UFC 130 Fight Card Finalized at 10 Bouts; Rampage vs. Hamill Headlines
The fight card for UFC 130 has been finalized at 10 bouts, that is, of course, barring any more injuries or other issues in the two weeks that left until fight time.
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson heads the card in a bout with “Ultimate Fighter” alum Matt Hamill. Jackson was originally slated to face Thiago Silva, who fell out of the bout following a drug test related revocation of his license. Silva admitted to providing a sample “inconsistent with human urine” at UFC 125.
Paul Heyman Working with Shane Carwin to Promote UFC 131
New UFC 131 headliner Shane Carwin posted a piece of news on twitter this weekend that is sure to anger a portion of fans:
Paul Heymen @HeymanHustle is here handling the UFC Countdown shoot.
For those who are unfamiliar with the name, Paul Heyman is a professional wrestling personality best known for his time running ECW (Extreme Championship Wrestling) in the late 90's. He has been out of pro wrestling for some time now, and has been a vocal fan of MMA . He is also good friends with Brock Lesnar. Dave Meltzer at the Wrestling Observer has a bit more detail:
[T]his is not a deal with UFC, but the production company that does the Countdown special and Spike TV hired Heyman to help with the Countdown show for UFC 131. His role was to help Brock Lesnar promote the fight, and with Lesnar pulling out, they asked him if he'd instead work with Carwin, which he's doing. It's not a UFC hire. The idea of Heyman working with UFC in teaching fighters how to promote matches (and how not to) isn't the world's worst idea.
UFC confirms Brendan Schaub vs Big Nog at UFC 134 in Brazil
Yes, heavyweights Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (32-6-1 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Brendan Schaub (8-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) will fight at UFC 134.
UFC officials today confirmed the rumored main-card bout.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) reported the likelihood of the bout earlier today and said officials were "leaning" toward the matchup. Sportsnet.ca first reported it.
The Aug. 27 event is set for HSBC Arena in Rio De Janeiro. The pay-per-view headliner pits middleweight champion Anderson Silva against Yushin Okami.
Brendan Schaub’s Management States Fight with Nogueira at UFC 134 Not Offered, But Would Gladly Accept
Brendan Schaub really wants to fight Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in Brazil, but the only problem is right now the fight hasn’t been offered.
Reports surfaced on Sunday stating that verbal agreements were in place for Schaub to face Nogueira in Brazil at UFC 134. According to Sportsnet.ca, the bout had been verbally agreed by both fighters.
Now Schaub’s manager Lex McMahon from Alchemist Management has confirmed to MMAWeekly.com that at this time the fight has not been offered, but if it is they will gladly accept.
'Minotauro': I'm fighting at UFC 134
Former interim UFC heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira revealed Saturday on Brazilian TV show “Globo Esporte” that he will fight at UFC 134 “Rio” on Aug. 27.
Nogueira was discussing the surgeries he underwent last year -- including one on his hip and a reconstructive procedure on his knee -- when he declared that he will compete on the card, which takes place at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro.
“The biggest MMA promotion in the world will be back in Brazil after 14 years and I’ll be there, steady and strong.”
Who do you think he will fight?
John Howard Still Wants to Shut Anthony Johnson’s Mouth, but Takes Kampmann Fight as Compliment
Coming off of back-to-back losses, John Howard will likely be fighting for his UFC survival in his next bout.
It’ll be Doomsday vs. the Hitman when he squares off with Martin Kampmann at UFC on Versus 4 on June 26 in Pittsburgh. Howard had been angling for a fight with Anthony Johnson – a fighter he has verbally sparred with in the media lately – after losing to Thiago Alves in his last fight.
“My beef with (Johnson) is that he went online talking all of this trash (saying) ‘I’m going to stand and bang (with Dan Hardy).’ Then he threw one high kick and took him down for 15 minutes. Really?” Howard explained on MMAWeekly Radio Weekend Edition. “That’s my beef, he talks so much crap… I’m so sick of him… he talks so much trash and he doesn’t back it up.”
Officials confirm Alexander Gustafsson vs. Vladimir Matyushenko for UFC 133
As expected, light heavyweights Alexander Gustafsson (11-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) and Vladimir Matyushenko (25-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC) will meet at UFC 133.
This is what the card looks like so far:
•Champ Jose Aldo vs. Chad Mendes (for featherweight title)
•Phil Davis vs. Rashad Evans
•Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Vitor Belfort
•Rich Franklin vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
•Johny Hendricks vs. Mike Pierce
•Alexander Gustafsson vs. Vladimir Matyushenko
•Jorge Rivera vs. Alessio Sakara
•Mike Brown vs. Nam Phan
•Michael McDonald vs. Nick Pace
•Brian Ebersole vs. Dennis Hallman
•Riki Fukuda vs. Rafael "Sapo" Natal
Pretty awesome card if you ask me.
Benson Henderson vs Jim Miller on top for next edition of UFC on Versus
Jim Miller's new lot in life may be testing the mettle of former WEC lightweights. After destroying Kamal Shalorus at UFC 128 many were calling for Miller to get a crack at the lightweight championship. After all, Miller had run off seven consecutive UFC wins and only Gray Maynard and Frankie Edgar hold wins over him.
With Edgar and Maynard injured and their third fight postponed, a title fight wasn't coming any time soon and it now appears that former WEC lightweight champion Ben Henderson is next.
Junior dos Santos Predicts a Knockout in UFC 131 Matchup With Shane Carwin
We've all heard the news by now - Brock Lesnar has pulled out of his UFC 131 fight with Junior dos Santos, and Shane Carwin has stepped up to face Cigano on June 11th in Vancouver. This new fight is still a number one contender's matchup, with the winner getting a shot at Cain Velasquez later this year. Sherdog was able to speak to dos Santos after the change was announced, and dos Santos was complimentary towards his new opponent:
"I got a little upset about this change, but I’m happy that the UFC got another opponent for me," Dos Santos told Sherdog.com Thursday evening. "Carwin is an excellent fighter and deserves all my respect."
UFC 131 Heavyweight Fight Card Reshuffled After Brock Lesnar Withdraws
The news came rather abruptly on Thursday that former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar is suffering from another bout with diverticulitis, causing him to withdraw from his UFC 131 main event bout with Junior dos Santos.
Shane Carwin immediately accepted Lesnar’s slot, giving him the opportunity to return to title contention. But that left Carwin’s UFC 131 opponent, Jon Olav Einemo without a fight.
UFC matchmaker Joe Silva moved swiftly, however, pulling Joey Beltran from his fight on the card, and slotting him to face Einemo. Just as quickly, he signed Strikeforce veteran Aaron Rosa to face Dave Herman, Beltran’s original opponent in Vancouver.
Poor Fighter Management Continues as UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones Not Having Surgery on Hand
UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones had originally pulled out of his UFC 133 bout with Rashad Evans due to a hand surgery. The move raised the ire of some MMA fans, especially when Jones explained the surgery. From his original statement:
(The torn tissue in my right hand in the area between my thumb and forefinger) is an injury that’s been recurring since I was a college wrestler, it doesn’t affect my punching or grappling, but I am taking the time and the proper measures to correct this now, so that it doesn’t happen again. I look forward to getting back to training and to my first title defense. As for Rashad, let’s see what happens with Phil Davis. I will be watching that fight with great interest.
Last chance for veteran fighter Jeff Curran
Imagine your career comes down to one night.
For Jeff Curran, that’s exactly what tonight’s three-round featherweight match represents.
Two years ago, after he lost four consecutive fights, the WEC cut him. In the meantime, the Crystal Lake fighter has won three of his last four fights as he attempts to claw his way back into the big time.
Tonight represents his final hurdle in his comeback. Curran (31-13-1) will fight Billy Vaughn (9-7) in the main event of XFO 39 at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates.
“If I can finish this guy off, most likely, I’m going back to the UFC,” Curran told the Sun-Times. “That’s where I want to finish my career —whether I’m successful there or not. I don’t want to go back to the drawing board. I’ve done it too many times in my career.”
Jon Jones and Rashad Evans Nearly Came to Blows in a Vegas Club This Week
It looks like there’s no love lost between Jon Jones and Rashad Evans.
A pirate at the Las Vegas Review Journal is reporting that the former Team Jackson training partners came close to getting in a bar fight this week while in town for the Fighter Summit.
According to the story, Jones was sitting at a table at Surrender nightclub with Tito Ortiz and Evans was sitting at the next table with Georges St-Pierre when a verbal back-and-forth between the pair escalated to the point that the current and former UFC light heavyweight champions “got physical” with each other. Apparently St-Pierre had enough of the childish behavior and the UFC welterweight champ told the pair to take the argument outside.
There’s no word as to whether or not they resolved their issues, but they did continue the discussion elsewhere and Evans tweeted the following this morning, so it seems he’s implying that Jones was the scared homie:
UFC Quick Quote: Talk smack about Brock Lesnar and you'll answer to Pat Barry
"TOTALLY OUT OF CHARACTER FOR ME- BUT MY FRIEND HAD A RELAPSE OF SOMETHING THAT ALMOST KILLED HIM AND LEFT HIS WIFE A WIDOW AND KIDS FARHERLESS! AAAAAAANYBODY GOT SOMETHING SHITTY TO SAY ABOUT HIM DUCKING A FIGHT OR BEING SCARED, COME FIND ME AND I'LL HEAR YOU OUT EYE TO EYE!!! IF U GOT THE SAND!"
Don't let the diaper fool you, UFC heavyweight Pat Barry (via his official Facebook fan page) is mad as hell and he ain't gonna take it anymore. "HD" is ready to defend the name of Brock Lesnar after the former division champion was forced to withdraw from his UFC 131 main event against Junior dos Santos on June 11 in Vancouver following another flare-up of diverticulitis. It seems some of the haters have insinuated that Brock was scared to fight "Cigano" or perhaps lost his desire to compete to which Barry says COME FIND HIM. Anyone gonna start looking?
Maximo Blanco Leaves Sengoku, Eyes UFC and Strikeforce
Sengoku break-out star Maximo Blanco spoke to MMAWeekly.com recently, and there are some interesting bits of info here. The Venezuelen Lightweight fighter confirms that he has left Sengoku, and is now looking to make his name in the US. Blanco has signed with US based management company SuckerPunch Entertainment, and is hoping they can help him as he looks to make his stateside debut. SuckerPunch represents some quality, upper level fighters, including UFC names like Pat Barry and Donald Cerrone, plus fighters for Strikeforce, Bellator, and various other organizations.
If you have never seen Blanco fight, you are missing out. The man is a joy to watch, bringing a wild intensity to his fights...
Jon Olav Einemo's UFC debut uncertain following Shane Carwin's promotion at UFC 131
Jon Olav Einemo (6-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is without an opponent following Brock Lesnar's withdrawal from UFC 131 and Shane Carwin's promotion to headliner opposite Junior Dos Santos.
Einemo's trainer, Golden Glory's Martin De Jong, was unaware of the change when contacted today by MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) and began a scramble for answers with an expletive.
UFC president Dana White said today that Einemo's future is currently undetermined. Asked whether a replacement is on the way for the Norwegian fighter, he said, "Not yet."
Junior Dos Santos opens as -260 favorite for UFC 131 bout with Shane Carwin
Former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar's career may be on temporary hold, but oddsmakers' work is never done.
With one-time heavyweight title challenger Shane Carwin announced as a replacement opponent for Lesnar in a UFC 131 main event with Junior Dos Santos, noted oddsmaker and frequent MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) guest Joey Oddessa opened the Brazilian slugger as a -260 favorite, meaning a bettor would need to wager $260 in order to earn $100 of the book's money.
Meanwhile, Carwin opened as a +200 underdog, meaning a $100 wager would return a bettor $200 of the book's money in addition to the original wager amount.
Brock Lesnar out of UFC 131, Junior Dos Santos now faces Shane Carwin
Diverticulitis has stricken Brock Lesnar again.
In a hastily called conference call, UFC president Dana White announced that the former heavyweight champion has been forced to withdraw from an expected UFC 131 matchup with Junior Dos Santos with a shot at UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez on the line.
Despite Lesnar's withdrawal, Dos Santos will remain in the headlining slot of UFC 131, and former title challenger Shane Carwin will face him in the octagon.
Brock: "I'm not retiring... I believe there's a solution to every problem, I just gotta find the right solution... I love this sport."
Bob Reilly Questions Motives Behind Zuffa's Accident Insurance
Mixed martial arts' most vocal critic in New York acknowledges that Zuffa's new accident insurance for its fighters is a positive move but won't go as far as saying it will help get MMA legalized in the Empire State.
MMA Fighting contacted Assemblyman Bob Reilly to discuss whether Zuffa's new insurance policy could help pave the way for the legalization of MMA in New York, and while he at first admitted to not hearing the news, he offered -- for perhaps the first time -- a compliment to the MMA promoters.
"I certainly wouldn't disparage that," Reilly said. "I think that's a good thing."