In spite of legal trouble - Sonnen vs. Akiyama at UFC 128
Chael Sonnen's life just got a lot more complicated, as if it weren't already.
The UFC middleweight, who's currently serving a suspension from the California State Athletic Commission, today plead guilty to federal charges of money laundering – a charge that carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine – according to a release issued today by the U.S. District Attorney's Office in Oregon.
His sentencing is set to begin 10 days after he is expected to fight Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 128, according to sources close to the event, which today informed MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of the pending booking just as news of the legal trouble broke.
UFC 128 takes place March 19 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., and features a light heavyweight title bout between champ Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and former champ Rashad Evans.
Matt Brown vs Mark Scanlon at UFC on Versus 3
A welterweight bout between Matt Brown (11-10 MMA, 4-4 UFC) and Mark Scanlon (7-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) will be part of March's UFC on Versus 3 event.
Sources close to the negotiations today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) verbal agreements are in place for the fight, which Heavy.com first reported.
Chael Sonnen pleads guilty to money laundering, May face Prison Time
Haha, this just keeps getting better....
"Chael Sonnen, an ultimate fighting champion and one-time candidate for a seat in Congress, has pleaded to a federal money laundering charge.
A licensed Realtor from West Linn, Sonnen admitted before a judge Monday that he conducted a financial transaction designed to hide or disguise the ownership and control of proceeds of mortgage fraud, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release"
Now, Where's that Sonnen Bandwagon at?
Benson Henderson vs. Mark Bocek In The Works For UFC 129
A lightweight bout between rising contender Mark Bocek and former WEC champ Ben Henderson is in the works for April's UFC 129 event. Verbal agreements are in place according to a source close to the negotiations, but fighter reps couldn't be reached for comment. If it happens, the fight will mark Henderson's UFC debut.
UFC 125 Medical Suspensions
The NSAC has announced the medical suspensions today from Saturday's UFC 125 event. A total of 9 fighters were suspended and a whopping 6 of them-including UFC Lightweight Champion Frank Edgar-could be out until July 1 due to injuries. All can be cleared to return early, but all of them except for Greg Soto are still suspended until at least February 16 and Phil Baroni can't fight until at least March 3. Getting shorter suspensions were Gray Maynard, Chris Leben and DIego Nunes.
John Hathaway vs. Kris McCray Slotted For UFN 24
A fight with both fighters in need of a win appears set for UFC 124, as John Hathaway & Kris McCray are set to face off at the event on March 26. Verbal agreements are in place, paperwork pending. Hathaway is coming off his first career loss at UFC 120, while McCray tries to avoid losing 3 in a row and in all likelihood his UFC spot since making his official debut at the TUF 11 Finale.
Sam Stout Off UFC 126, Cerrone In
With Sam Stout off next month's UFC 126 event due to injury, former WEC star Donald Cerrone has agreed to be the replacement and will face Paul Kelly at the event. This will be Cerrone's UFC debut after a recent 3-1 run to close out his WEC career.
Junior Dos Santos Needs To Fight Because He Needs To Get Paid
And apparently he can't wait until possibly August to face Cain Velasquez in Rio, so he has a simple message for Dana White: Interim Title Fight. Now. "Of course, it would be amazing to face Velasquez at UFC ‘Rio’ in August, but I cannot stay away from the Octagon for a year just waiting for him to recover. I really think that the fairest thing to do would be for [UFC President] Dana [White] to give me the opportunity to fight for an interim belt. I’m 100 percent focused on getting this belt. I’m in the best moment of my career, training hard and working so hard to reach the fight of my life, and, suddenly, it’s postponed eight months. It’s definitely not fair. I’m already five months away from fighting. I can’t wait eight months. Fighting is my life, not only because I love to do that but because I need to fight for a living. I still don’t make money like the other top guys, so I really need to work."
UFC 125 salaries: Thiago Silva and Frankie Edgar top $872K fighter payroll
Main-card fighter Thiago Silva ($110,000) and UFC lightweight champion/headliner Frankie Edgar ($102,000) were the top earners at this past weekend's UFC 125 event.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today requested and received the list of disclosed paydays from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
The total disclosed payroll for the New Year's Day event was $872,000.
Champion Frankie Edgar: $102,000 (includes $51,000 win bonus)*
vs. Gray Maynard: $52,000 ($26,000 win bonus)*
Brian Stann: $42,000 ($21,000 win bonus)
def. Chris Leben: $46,000
Thiago Silva: $110,000 ($55,000 win bonus)
def. Brandon Vera: $60,000
Dong Hyun Kim: $70,000 ($35,000 win bonus)
def. Nate Diaz: $33,000
Clay Guida: $62,000 ($31,000 win bonus)
def. Takanori Gomi: $50,000
Jeremy Stephens: $36,000 ($18,000 win bonus)
def. Marcus Davis: $31,000
Dustin Poirier: $8,000 ($4,000 win bonus)
def. Josh Grispi: $15,000
Brad Tavares: $16,000 ($8,000 win bonus)
def. Phil Baroni: $25,000
Diego Nunes: $20,000 ($10,000 win bonus)
def. Mike Brown: $23,000
Daniel Roberts: $24,000 ($12,000 win bonus)
def. Greg Soto: $8000
Jacob Volkmann: $24,000 ($12,000 win bonus)
def. Antonio McKee: $15,000
* - Although not reflected in the NSAC paperwork, both headliners received their win bonuses despite the draw.
Phil Baroni: I Was Given A Chance At UFC 125 And I Blew It
But despite the loss to Brad Tavares that now leaves his career mark at only .500 (13-13), he appearently isn't done fighting yet. "Hey guys thanks for the support. Im a fighter and Ill have to figure out how to fight through this and win some fights and get back in a big show. Its really the only option I have unless the UFC or another big promotion gave me a chance. Im a fighter and this is what I do...... I fight ... I was given a chance and I blew it. Ill have to wait and see. I plan on getting back on the horse ASAP and getting some wins regardless. 2011 can only go up from here lol."
Stann Dedicates UFC 125 Win To Fallen Marine
Brian Stann was fighting with a heavy heart Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena during UFC 125. Stann, a former Marine, dedicated his TKO victory against slight favorite Chris Leben at the 3:37 mark of the first round in the co-main event to a soldier he served with in Iraq who died this week in combat. During Stann’s post-fight interview with pay-per-view announcer Joe Rogan, he spoke about the tragedy and how his thoughts were with the fallen Marine’s family. The crowd of 12,688 fans cheered wildly in support. Sgt. Garrett Misener, 25, of Cordava, Tenn., died Monday in Afghanistan during combat. Misener was one of 42 Marines who served in Stann’s unit during his deployment to Iraq in 2005. Stann, who in 2008 retired with the rank of Captain, received the Silver Star — the third highest military honor — for managing counterattacks and leading his team safely through a six-day ambush in Iraq with no casualties. “He was the most professional Marine I have ever met,” Stann said of Misener. “I believe he volunteered to go to Afghanistan and deploy again. I think this was he third or fourth deployment to combat.”
Coach Says Chris Leben Was Vomiting Before Bout With Brian Stann
First, great job by Brian Stann. He never looked better. Many have commented that Chris was very slow and looked off last night. The truth is that Chris was sick. He had a fever and chills when he stepped into the cage. He was vomiting in the lockeroom before the fight, and after a hard warm up he didn't have a drop of sweat. Big heart to fight like that, but he was moving slow motion. He was very sharp in training. He will be back.
GSP-Shields Booked For UFC 129
When GSP wants to fight in Canada, apparently GSP gets to fight in Canada. Dana White announced Saturday (via Yahoo! Sports) that Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre will defend his title as expected against Jake Shields at UFC 129 in Toronto on April 30. GSP was hoping to fight on the card after his most recent successful title defense in December. With the recent news that Randy Couture will potentially return to fight Lyoto Machida at the same event, it's now expected that this show will be the biggest in UFC history. GSP will come into this match-up having run through nearly every challenger at 170-pounds matchmaker Joe Silva could possibly offer him. In fact, Shields just might be the only one left.
Following UFC 125 win, Brian Stann wants Wanderlei Silva, top-10 ranking
LAS VEGAS – UFC middleweight contender Brian Stann (10-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) isn't exactly the "call out" kind of guy, but he also knows how to ask for what he wants.
For instance, following an August win over Mike Massenzio, the Marine respectfully asked for a future booking with Chris Leben, which eventually resulted in his UFC 125 victory over "The Crippler."
Following that win in the co-main event of Saturday's pay-per-view event in Las Vegas, Stann was at it again, and this time, he's got an "Axe Murderer" on his mind.
UFC 125 draws a reported 12,688 attendees for $2.17 million live gate
LAS VEGAS – Saturday's "UFC 125: Resolution" event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas drew a reported 12,688 spectators for a $2,174,780 live gate.
UFC vice president Craig Borsari revealed the figures at the evening's post-event press conference, which MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) attended.
Featuring an exciting and controversial main-event draw between champion Frankie Edgar and challenger Gray Maynard, the UFC 125 main card aired on pay-per-view, while a trio of preliminary bouts aired on ION Television – a first for the UFC.
The number of complimentary tickets issued was not revealed, but the reported figured indicate the UFC generated an average revenue of $171.40 per ticket issued.
Not so fast Pettis - Maynard vs. Edgar 3 happening first
Less than two hours after UFC executive Craig Borsari informed the media at UFC 125's post-event press conference that Anthony Pettis would get the next crack at the UFC's lightweight belt, UFC president Dana White had a change of heart.
White informed MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the promotion will instead book Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard III as soon as possible.
"We changed the plans," White told MMAjunkie.com. "After Craig made the announcement, I had a lot of people talking to me, and the reality is, Gray Maynard deserves that fight. We had planned on doing Anthony Pettis next, but Gray went in there and fought his ass off and deserves another chance.
No Rematch for Maynard, Dana White Says Pettis Will Get Edgar Next
UFC President Dana White has refused to give Gray Maynard an immediate rematch after he fought light weight champ Frankie Edgar to a split decision draw.
Instead White will stick to his plans announced before the event to allow the final WEC light weight champion Anthony Pettis to get an immediate title shot to unify the WEC and UFC belts.
Report: Russow-Madsen Targeted for UFC Fight Night 24
The lineup for UFC Fight Night 24 continues to come together, as heavyweights Mike Russow and Jon Madsen have reportedly agreed to square off at the event.
The show, while not officially announced by the promotion, has been confirmed to take place at Key Arena on March 26 in Seattle. MMA Weekly first reported news of the proposed Russow-Madsen matchup.