Kenny Florian injured, forced to withdraw from UFC Fight Night 23
A highly anticipated lightweight main event between top UFC contenders Kenny Florian (14-5 MMA, 11-4 UFC) and Evan Dunham (11-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) will not take place as scheduled.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned from sources close to the promotion that Florian suffered an undisclosed injury while training for a planned matchup with Dunham and has been forced to withdraw from the bout.
The pair was expected to meet in the main event of "UFC Fight Night 23: UFC Fight for the Troops 2," which takes place Jan. 22 at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas.
The UFC has yet to announce the change, and it's currently unknown whether a replacement opponent will be found or if the matchup will be pushed back to a later date.
Florian's manager, Malki Kawa, declined to comment on the report when contacted by MMAjunkie.com.
Trainer: only top-10 opponents for UFC's Rick Story from here on out
Rick "The Horror" Story is quietly terrorizing the middle tier of the UFC welterweight division.
But his team says he's capable of much more. And after a decision win over Johny Hendricks (9-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) this past Saturday at The Ultimate Fighter 12, Story (12-3 MMA, 5-1 UFC) is looking for big things in 2011.
"I don't think he should be fighting anyone out of the top 10 now," Pat White, Story's longtime trainer, today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The 26-year-old Story turned in his fifth consecutive octagon victory by dominating Hendricks where he wasn't supposed to – the mat.
Following TUF 12 Finale loss, Michael Johnson says it's jiu-jitsu every day
LAS VEGAS – For Michael Johnson (8-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC), the difference between victory and defeat boiled down to one split-second decision.
Unfortunately, at this past Saturday's The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale event, Johnson made the wrong choice against Jonathan Brookins in the evening's main event.
"The opening round, I came out and I felt real good," Johnson told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I hit him with some big shots. I looked up, and I noticed I dropped him a little bit late. I was thinking, 'Here is my time to finish.'
"He did a great job of recovering. I just made a mistake and took a backstep a little too much and let him recover from the knockdown."
Joe Rogan: You Should Be Able To Leave It In The Hands Of The Judges
And he made his feelings on the outrage following the Nam Phan-Leonard Garcia decision known during the Rick Story-Johny Hendricks fight. "I don't think the last fight was close and the decision went the wrong way. It puts a tremendous amount of pressure on fighters not knowing what kind of officiating you're getting. It's gross. You should be able to leave it in the hands of the judges. You should be able to just fight. And we should point out, that is the situation because of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. It has nothing to do with the UFC. People keep saying 'oh the UFC!' We have no say whatsoever. And (NSAC executive director) Keith Kizer has denied that there's an issue. I think (Kizer) needs to clean house. There's a few very good judges surrounded by a bunch of incompetent morons, who know nothing about the sport. They need to do something about that, because it's ruining MMA. It's making people think that this sport is corrupt. It has nothing to do with corruption. It's sheer and total incompetence."
The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale bonuses
LAS VEGAS – Pablo Garza, Cody McKenzie, Leonard Garcia and Nam Phan each earned $30,000 fight-night bonuses for their performances at The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale on Saturday.
Garza earned the "Knockout of the Night" award, McKenzie earned the "Submission of the Night bonus, and Garcia and Phan both earned "Fight of the Night" honors.
The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale recap
LAS VEGAS – Michael Johnson was so close to winning the 12th season of "The Ultimate Fighter," he was probably considering exactly where he was going to display his trophy.
Then suddenly, it was all snatched away.
Mike Pierce Vs. Kenny Robertson Agreed For UFC 126 In February
Undefeated prospect Kenny Robertson will finally get his chance to debut in the Octagon in February when he faces a very tough challenge in Mike Pierce. The welterweights will lock horns at UFC 126.
The fight was confirmed to MMAWeekly.com on Friday by sources close to the match-up, with verbal agreements in place but no signed bout agreements at this time. The fight was originally reported by MMAJunkie.com.
Verbal agreements in place for Curt Warburton vs. Maciej Jewtuszko at UFC 127
A lightweight bout between British fighter Curt Warburton (6-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) and undefeated Polish WEC competitor Maciej Jewtuszko (8-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is expected to be part of February's UFC 127 event.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed with sources close to the event that verbal agreements are in place.
Bout agreements are expected to be signed shortly.
Warburton reportedly hinted at the fight on Facebook, though a source it's not signed as of today.
Looking Back at UFC 123, Matt Hughes Contemplating Retirement
It’s difficult to evaluate what went wrong in a fight when you get knocked out in 21 seconds.
It’s even more difficult, mere minutes later, to evaluate a career that has spanned more than 50 fights, and determine where that career is headed.
But that’s exactly where UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes found himself after his fight with B.J. Penn at UFC 123 in Detroit. In an increasingly Internet-centric society that craves up-to-the-second information, Hughes didn’t have immediate answers.
“I don’t know what the plan is now. I had a perfect training camp coming into this. This is one of those fights I would have paid my purse to Dana White to put this fight together,” Hughes told interviewer Joe Rogan in the Octagon after the fight.
Two weeks later, Hughes has the advantage of hindsight looking back on the fight, a rubber match that put the Hawaiian up 2-1 in their trilogy.
“A lot of people have been asking about the fight and how I am doing. Of course, the fight didn’t go like I had planned it,” Hughes wrote in a blog post on Matt-Hughes.com. “He hit me with a hard right hand that I never saw coming. It’s funny how styles make fights and I’m not at all like Frankie Edgar. So it just kind of stinks that B.J. came off two losses (both to Edgar) and then ended up beating me in less than 30 seconds.”
Maiquel Falcao arrested in Brazil on assault charge
Chute Boxe middleweight Maiquel Falcao – who recently debuted in the UFC with a victory over Gerald Harris - was arrested today in Pelotas, South Brazil by local police.
Falcao was apprehended after giving an interview to Grupo Brasil de Comunicação. According to witnesses, there was no resistance.
Sonnen's Suspension Reduced To 6 Months
The California State Athletic Commission today approve a reduction of UFC middleweight Chael Sonnen's UFC 117 drug suspension from a year to six months. His $2,500 fine remains unchanged. Sonnen landed a date with the influential commission after a failed bid to take UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva's title during an Aug. 7 event in Oakland. Sonnen dominated the champ for four rounds but succumbed to a triangle-choke submission midway through the fifth and deciding round. Although promised an immediate rematch, Sonnen instead was put on the sidelines when CSAC executive director George Dodd confirmed the challenger had tested positive for elevated testosterone levels. (His testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio tested at 16.9, which well exceeded the CSAC's 4.0 cutoff, according to recently released documents.) Sonnen has kept quiet since news of the failed test, but he and a team lead by lawyers Howard Jacobs and Steven Thompson today broke their silence. Sonnen said he's undergone testosterone-replacement therapy since 2008 as treatment for hypergonadism, a condition in which there is hyperfunction of the gonads. Jacobs argued that Sonnen passed a CSAC test in October 2009 (when he defeated Yushin Okami at UFC 104) and rebutted the commission's claim that officials hadn't been notified prior to UFC 117 of the therapy. Sonnen, though, said he received verbal confirmation. Dodd confirmed Sonnen had notified him of the therapy but said he hadn't taken the proper steps at UFC 117. With some apparent miscommunication, CSAC officials voted 3-1 (after an initial 2-2 deadlock) to reduce his suspension. He's now eligible to return to competition on March 2 of the coming year.
Kyle Kingsbury vs. Ricardo Romero added to UFC 126 in Las Vegas
A light heavyweight bout between Kyle Kingsbury (9-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) and Ricardo Romero (11-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) will be part of UFC 126.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the two fighters have agreed to the bout, which was first reported by MMADieHards.com.
UFC 126 takes place Feb. 5 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and airs on pay-per-view. Kingsbury vs. Romero is slated for the preliminary card
2010 World MMA Awards Results
Link has all the nominees.
Referee of the Year: Herb Dean
Best Technical Clothing Brand: Bad Boy
Best Technical Equipment Brand: Everlast MMA
Media Source of the Year: MMAjunkie
Best Promotion: Ultimate Fighting Championship
Submission of the Year: Fabricio Werdum vs. Fedor Emelianenko
Gym of the Year: Wand Training Center
MMA Journalist of the Year: Ariel Helwani
Coach of the Year: Greg Jackson
Best Lifestyle Clothing Brand: TapouT
International Fighter of the Year: Alistair Overeem
Ring Girl of the Year: Arianny Celeste
Leading Man of the Year: Dana White
Outstanding Contribution to MMA: Randy Couture
Most Memorable Ring Entrance: Jason "Mayhem" Miller
Fight of the Year: Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen
Female Fighter of the Year: Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos
KO of the Year: Mauricio "Shogun" Rua vs. Lyoto Machida
Breakthrough Fighter of the Year: Jon Jones
Charles "Mask" Lewis Fighter of the Year: Jose Aldo
TUF 12 Finale's Branch not impressed with Attonito's striking pedigree
Once-beaten UFC middleweight David Branch (7-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) knows a thing or two about submissions.
The Renzo Gracie Jiu-Jitsu product owns three of his career wins via tapout and boasts a black belt from one of the most respected instructors in all of the sport.
But don't try to pigeon-hole Branch into the role of a grappling-first fighter. The 28-year-old said at this weekend's The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale, he's more than willing to throw hands.
Leonard Garcia meets Nam Phan at TUF 12 Finale
A featherweight bout between "The Ultimate Fighter 12" semifinalist Nam Phan (16-7 MMA, 0-0 UFC) and WEC fighter Leonard Garcia (14-6-1 MMA, 1-2 UFC) is slated for The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) learned of the matchup from sources close to the event.
The Ultimate Fighter 12 takes place at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, and the night's main card airs on Spike TV.
Garcia initially was scheduled to fight fellow WEC vet Tyler Toner at the show, but Ian Loveland took his place this past month. Initially, Garcia was thought to have suffered an injury, but it appears officials simply re-booked him for a fight with Phan.
Aaron Wilkinson vs. Cody McKenzie slated for The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale
Two quarterfinalists from "The Ultimate Fighter 12," Team GSP's Cody McKenzie (11-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) and Team Koscheck's Aaron Wilkinson (6-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC), meet Saturday at the show's live finale
McKezie, who was Team GSP's seventh-round pick, scored upsets with submission wins over Amir Khillah and Team Koscheck No. 1 pick Marc Stevens to advance to the quarterfinals. However, he fell short in the that round when semifinalist Nam Phan stopped him with strikes in the second round.
Wilkinson, Team Koscheck's seventh-round pick, dealt with everything from facial cuts to his grandmother's death to an opening-round loss (to finalist Michael Johnson) once on the cast of "TUF 12." However, in the "wild-card" fight, he submitted teammate Stevens and got his second shot in the quarterfinals, where he posted a gutsy but unsuccessful effort against Kyle Watson.
Kyle Watson and Sako Chivitchian meet at The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale
After a semifinal finish on "The Ultimate Fighter 12," Kyle Watson (13-6-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) now meets castmate Sako Chivitchian (5-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at the show's live finale on Saturday.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) confirmed the fight with sources close to the event.
The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale takes place at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, and the night's main card airs on Spike TV.
Watson, a member and fifth-round pick of head coach Georges St-Pierre's team, suffered a semifinal-round loss to Jonathan Brookins on tonight's regular-season finale of the reality show. He advanced to the final four with an elimination-round victory over Joseph Duffy, an opening-round win over Andy Main, and a quarterfinal-round victory over Aaron Wilkinson. All of the wins came via submission
Diego Sanchez Likely To Stay At 170 Pounds For Next Fight
When Diego Sanchez moved back to New Mexico, he not only went back to his roots, he went back to the team and trainer that took him to the peak of his career.
Walking through the doors at Team Greg Jackson, Sanchez was truly home again and it showed when “The Ultimate Fighter Season 1? winner put on a classic performance in defeating Paulo Thiago at UFC 121 in October.
The return to form was Sanchez’s statement that he was back. For trainer Greg Jackson, it was just the time he had been waiting for. Jackson brought Sanchez up from his earliest days in MMA, and after an absence from the camp in recent years, the return culminated in a great moment after the fight.
Trainer Greg Jackson: "Fighting safe is an illusion" but fighting smart isn't
Greg Jackson's philosophy on finishing fights is not too far from a well-worn cliche in mixed-martial-arts circles: Impose your will.
Still, he's been criticized for grooming fighters who favor scorecards over submissions and points over punches.
He'd like to set the record straight with those who question him. When it comes to how things play out inside the octagon, he asks only that his fighters be smart when they compete.
"I get in there and I ask guys to finish every fight," Jackson told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "Because here's the problem with fighting safe: Fighting safe is an illusion."
A statement such as that might bring groans from those who've seen decisions from several of Jackson's high-profile clients. UFC president Dana White recently went on the offensive and said it's "safety first" when it comes to the trainer's octagon strategy. That prompted Jackson to respond on Tuesday with a stat sheet that listed the bonuses his fighters have earned in 2010.
Jackson urges fans to look at his stats for evidence of his philosophy.