UFC May Enlist Retired NBA Superstar Shaquille O'Neal as Ambassador
Plenty of celebrities have walked through the doors of an arena to watch a UFC event, from George Clooney to Robert Downey, Jr., to longtime fan Kevin James, who is so fight-crazy that he's currently filming an MMA-themed movie entitled Here Comes the Boom.
Among the longest standing of the celebrity fans though, is recently retired NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal, who has been to numerous major events and has openly talked about a desire to fight professionally.
Whether or not O'Neal follows through on his long-held desire to fight remains unlikely -- he is, after all, 39 years old -- but during a Friday ESPN interview, UFC president Dana White revealed that he recently spoke to O'Neal, who voiced a desire to help the promotion as it continues its worldwide expansion.
Video to ESPN Interview on the playground
Yves Jabouin vs. Ian Loveland slated for UFC 134 in Brazil
A bantamweight bout between Ian Loveland (14-8 MMA, 1-1 UFC) and Yves Jabouin (15-7 MMA, 0-1 UFC) is slated for August's UFC 134 event.
Officials today announced that verbal agreements are in place for the fight.
The bout likely will be part of the preliminary card of UFC 134, which takes place Aug. 27 at HSBC Arena in Rio De Janeiro. The pay-per-view headliner pits middleweight champion Anderson Silva against Yushin Okami.
Jonathan Brookins vs. Erik Koch slated for UFC Fight Night 25 "Bayou" event
This past week Jonathan Brookins told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) he planned to return at "UFC Fight Night 25: Battle on the Bayou."
"The Ultimate Fighter 12" winner now has an opponent.
Brookins (12-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has agreed to drop a weight class to fight featherweight Erik Koch (12-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) at the Sept. 17 event, UFC officials today announced.
UFC's Tom Wright: "We're really happy with tickets sales" for UFC 131
It's only logical that the UFC eventually would have to share Canada with hockey.
With three events up north in 2010 and the same number expected this year, the promotion was bound to run into the country's second most popular combat sport, where occasionally, a game breaks out.
The UFC knew full well it was on the Vancouver Canucks' turf when it booked UFC 131, its second event in the British Columbia city after this past June's UFC 115 event. But they hardly could've anticipated the team going on an impressive run that led to the Stanley Cup Finals, much less that the hockey team would be occupying Rogers Arena the night prior to the UFC's pay-per-view event.
UFC on Versus 5 gets 12th fight with Paul Taylor vs. John Makdessi
A lightweight bout between Paul Taylor (11-6-1 MMA, 4-5 UFC) and John Makdessi (9-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) is now official for August's UFC on Versus 5 event.
It's the 12th addition to the card, which takes place Aug. 14 at Bradley Center in Milwaukee.
The night's main card, including a Dan Hardy vs. Chris Lytle welterweight main event, airs live on Versus.
UFC 131 official weigh-in results
MAIN CARD (pay-per-view)
•Junior Dos Santos (239) vs. Shane Carwin (254)
•Kenny Florian (146) vs. Diego Nunes (145)
•Demian Maia (186) vs. Mark Munoz (186)
•Jon Olav Einemo (261) vs. Dave Herman (233)
•Donald Cerrone (155) vs. Vagner Rocha (155)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike TV)
•Yves Edwards (155) vs. Sam Stout (155)
•Jesse Bongfeldt (185) vs. Chris Weidman (186)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook)
•Mike Massenzio (201) vs. Krzysztof Soszynski (205)
•James Head (186) vs. Nick Ring (185)
•Dustin Poirier (146) vs. Jason Young (145)
•Joey Beltran (247) vs. Aaron Rosa (261)
•Darren Elkins (145) vs. Michihiro Omigawa (145)
Here are the pics for those who missed the weigh-ins
UFC 131's retooled Krzysztof Soszynski: I take pride in finishing fights
Krzysztof Soszynski isn't letting unexpected opponent changes dampen his spirit as he prepared to fighte in front of his Canadian fans Saturday night at Rogers Arena.
After scheduled opponents Anthony Perosh and Igor Pokrajac were both forced of the card with injuries, Mike Massenzio (12-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC) stepped in as the third opponent for Soszynski (25-11-1, 5-2 UFC).
Soszynski is 8-2 over his past 10 fights, and he hasn't let the changes affect his preparation leading into the Facebook-streamed fight, which takes place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Dana Wants To Broadcast All Entry-Round Fights
Dana White, at the UFC 131 press conference, mentioned that he planned on finding a way to air in full, all the entry-round fights from the upcoming 14th season of The Ultimate Fighter:
"The fights to get into the house happened Tuesday," White said. "I'm going to figure out a way to make sure every one of those fights airs on TV. The best fights ever in the history of 'The Ultimate Fighter.'"
"There's some nasty guys on this season. Just the show open is better than the entire last season's fights."
Pending Doc's Approval, Jones-Rampage Title Tilt Headlines UFC 135
Jon Jones will likely put his light heavyweight title on the line against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson on Sept. 24 at UFC 135 in Denver.
UFC President Dana White announced the news on Thursday, confirming the event's date and location as well as the potential headliner. However, White also noted that the probable main event is not quite yet a done deal, as Jones will need to receive an OK from his doctor before he can be cleared to fight.
Spike TV confirms 32-man "TUF 14" cast; elimination round back, wild card picks gone
As expected "The Ultimate Fighter 14" will feature featherweight and bantamweight fighters for the first time in the six-year history of the realuty series.
Spike TV officials today announced the show officially is in production and revealed some of the show specifics.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) subsequently confirmed some additional details for this season, which kicks off Sept. 21 on Spike TV.
Kenny Florian's Cut to 145 Pounds a 'Test of Discipline'
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – As the smell of hot dogs cooking on the street above wafted through Robson Square during Thursday afternoon's press conference, Kenny Florian's face seemed to betray the slightest quiver of agony.
After what he's been through just to get down to yet another weight class in his UFC career, it had to feel like just one more twist of the knife into his empty stomach.
As he made clear during the media workouts the day before, the cut to 145 pounds for the first time in his career requires no small amount of sacrifice and suffering. Fortunately, he's maintained a sense of humor in the face of starvation.
Dana White Waiting on Injuries to Heal To Make Fights for Shields, Fitch, and Penn
Dana White says no decisions have been made yet as far as what’s next for Jake Shields, B.J. Penn or Jon Fitch, mostly because a couple of them are still dealing with lingering injuries.
The welterweight division in the UFC is definitely one of the deepest and best in the sport, and a few of the fighters sitting at the top are waiting on the call to back in action.
A few weeks back, Jake Shields and former UFC welterweight champion B.J. Penn exchanged a few messages via Twitter offered to accept a fight against each other. Penn suffered an injury that him out of action for a few months, but he appears ready to return.
UFC 131's Yves Edwards on fight with Sam Stout: "It's going to be some explosive [expletive]"
By the time you get to rank of grandmaster in thugjitsu, as Yves Edwards has, you've only got so much time left.
Inventing a fictitious (and vicious) style has taken the lightweight years to perfect, and the work is not yet over. He turns 35 this year and still has plenty of fight left in him.
But he's aware that his current UFC run could be his last, so every step he takes has to be in the right direction. It only takes a sparring session with the young bucks to figure out that a misstep could be the end of his dream.
UFC boss Dana White on potential TV deal, Strikeforce, Nick Diaz, "TUF 14"
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – As has become the norm for UFC pay-per-view events, UFC president Dana White held court with a small group of reporters following Thursday's UFC 131 press conference.
In the meeting, which took place at Robson Square in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, White revealed a number of noteworthy items already covered by MMAjunkie.com, including the implementation of five-round non-title fights, the addition of the flyweight division and the schedule date for Jon Jones vs. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.
But White also dished on a number of other important topics, including a much-discussed potential TV deal, the future of Nick Diaz and Strikeforce, as well as the first days of "The Ultimate Fighter 14."
MMAjunkie.com shares the highlights of the half-hour conversation.
White "happy" with Nelson meeting, but heavyweight's next move still unclear
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – It's unclear what lies next for Roy Nelson.
An unhappy UFC president Dana White said he would meet with the heavyweight to discuss his future following back-to-back losses, the latter of which he called "embarrassing." It certainly didn't look good for the winner of "The Ultimate Fighter 10."
White today told MMAjunkie.com that the meeting took place, and while it was positive, he doesn't know what's in store for Nelson.
UFC May Pay $600 Million to Purchase G4 From NBC Universal
Reports surfaced yesterday that the UFC was in talks to purchase, or purchase a controlling interest in, the G4 cable network from NBC Universal. The network currently caters to the gaming and tech community, and reaches some 60 million homes.
Today, Bloomberg reports on some details from the negotiations:
NBC Universal's G4 channel may fetch as much as $600 million in a sale to Ultimate Fighting Championship, according to analysts including David Joyce of Miller Tabak & Co.
Negotiations are early and a deal may not be reached, said the people, who aren't authorized to speak publicly. Ultimate Fighting Championship's contract with Viacom Inc. (VIA/B)'s Spike TV ends this year, one of the people said. More broadly distributed cable channels with bigger advertising revenue can fetch as much as $20 per subscriber, Joyce said.
Nick Diaz Vacates Strikeforce Welterweight Title
Dana White was full of big news today. In addition to the five round UFC main events from now on, he also had a little tidbit to offer regarding Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz. Because he will be taking on Georges St. Pierre for the UFC welterweight title at UFC 137, Diaz gave up his Strikeforce title.
UFC boss confirms UFC 135 for Denver, Jones vs. Jackson expected to headline
UFC 135 is set for Sept. 24 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, and a light-heavyweight title fight between champ Jon Jones and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson is expected to headline.
UFC president Dana White today confirmed the news to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) following a pre-event press conference for UFC 131, which takes place June 11 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.