'Barao' and Johnson Expected to Meet at UFC's TUF 13 Finale
Two of the UFC’s most exciting 135-pound prospects are set to collide, as “Mighty Mouse” Demetrious Johnson and once-beaten Brazilian Renan “Barao” Pegado have agreed to square off at the UFC’s “Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale” on June 4 in Las Vegas at the The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort.
Sherdog.com confirmed the match-up with a source close to the fight on Thursday.
The 24-year-old Johnson notched the biggest win of his career in his Feb. 5 UFC debut, dominating Japanese star Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto in a one-sided unanimous decision at UFC 126. Prior to entering the Octagon, the Matt Hume pupil scored back-to-back wins in World Extreme Cagefighting, besting Damacio Page and Nick Pace. The lone defeat on Johnson’s 9-1 ledger came at the hands of Brad Pickett in his April 2010 WEC debut.
Cub Swanson Off UFC On Versus 3
The recent run of injuries continues to claim fighters on upcoming UFC events, the latest victim is Cub Swanson, who is now off UFC On Versus 3 due to an undisclosed injury suffered in training. He was to have faced Erik Koch. UFC is looking for a short-notice replacement.
Update: There will be no replacement.
Eliot Marshall returns, steps in to meet Luiz Cane at UFC 128
"The Ultimate Fighter 8" cast member Eliot Marshall will get a chance at redemption on short notice.
Sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Marshall (8-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) has verbally accepted a fight with Luiz Cane (10-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC) at UFC 128 in the wake of Karlos Vemola's injury withdrawal. Tatame first reported the change.
UFC 128 is slated for March 19 at the Prudential Center in Newwark, N.J
Jorge Santiago's UFC deal official, meets Brian Stann at UFC 130
World Victory Road/ Sengoku middleweight champion Jorge Santiago officially has rejoined the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Officials from Authentic Sports Management, Santiago's management team, today announced the long-expected multi-fight contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Although not announced, as MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) first reported, Santiago (23-8 MMA, 1-2 UFC) fights former WEC champ Brian Stann (10-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) at UFC 130 in May
Sanchez Explains Why He Ditched ‘Nightmare’ Nickname, Makes Vague Reference to Getting Scammed Out of $175K
Diego Sanchez sort of unexpectedly dominated the action on Tuesday during the official media conference call for the Versus Network’s upcoming UFC Live broadcast. The newly nickname-free fighter talked openly about the hard times he suffered in the midst of back-to-back losses to BJ Penn and John Hathaway, said a return to lightweight is currently impossible (owing to a new weightlifting regimen courtesy of Olympic-wrestler-turned-Team-Jackson-middleweight Willie Parks) and explained why he recently decided to ditch his longtime moniker as “The Nightmare.” Turns out, it just wasn’t positive enough for him.
“I let the ‘Nightmare’ go,” Sanchez told reporters. “A nightmare is something that is negative and kind of evil. I don’t want to represent that. I want to represent positivity and I want to represent the good. I look back on my whole career (as) the ‘Nightmare’ (and) the nightmare was myself. I was my own nightmare. All the times I fell off track and got into drinking, got into smoking weed, the things that brought me down, the partying. That was my nightmare. I was my own nightmare. I’m grown up (now). I’m going to let that name go … I thought about changing it to ‘The Dream’ but I thought that would be a little bit out there, so I’m just going to stick with Diego Sanchez.”
Fukuda vs. Ring also part of ION Television's UFC 127 prelim-card broadcast
A middleweight bout between DEEP champion Riki Fukuda and "The Ultimate Fighter 11" contestant Nick Ring also will be part of ION Television's preliminary-card broadcast for this weekend's UFC 127 event.
MMAjunkie.com passed along news of the broadcast earlier today but mentioned just two bouts.
Since then, UFC officials have confirmed the broadcast but upped the number of total fights to three, including Fukuda vs. Ring.
Brandon Vera not cut by the UFC
Light heavyweight Brandon Vera is still a UFC fighter.
Vera was cut by the promotion this past month following his third consecutive loss, which came against Thiago Silva at UFC 125.
However, it has been learned that the result of that bout is expected to be changed to a "no contest" following additional scrutiny of Silva's post-fight drug test, and the promotion has rescinded Vera's release, sources close to the event told MMAjunkie.com.
Karlos Vemola Off UFC 128 (Updated)
Unfortunately for UFC fans but perhaps fortunately for Luiz Cane, Karlos Vemola has been "Terminated" and is now off UFC 128. According to a source with knowledge of the situation, Vemola was recently diagnosed with a serious infection that has left him unable to train. Faced with the issue, he was forced to pull out of the fight. No replacement named yet.
Update: Eliot Marshall is the replacement.
Rich Franklin and Forrest Griffin’s Tattoo Bet Ends in Henna-Dragon Nightmare
Remember when Forrest Griffin and Rich Franklin tried to add some heat to their UFC 126 meeting by suggesting that the loser would have to get an embarrassing tattoo? As Griffin suggested, “I think the loser should have to get like a big, flaming dragon tattoo, or something just hideous.”
Franklin lost the fight by unanimous decision, and we quickly forgot about this silly business — except Franklin didn’t. An MMAFighting report came out Friday claiming that Ace had actually visited a tattoo shop to honor the bet that nobody thought was real.
Diego Sanchez Staying At Welterweight
One-time lightweight contender Diego Sanchez says his days in the lightweight division are over. After a three-fight stint at 155 pounds that culminated in a December 2009 title shot against then-champion B.J. Penn, Sanchez will stay in a welterweight division in which he spent the bulk of his professional career. "The options are closed for me to ever go down to 155 (pounds) again," Sanchez said during a conference call in support of his headlining fight with Martin Kampmann at "UFC on Versus 3: Sanchez vs. Kampmann."
‘UFC Prelims Live’ Specials Return to Spike TV with UFC 128
Spike TV will once again broadcast a “UFC Prelims Live” special, as the cable network will air two UFC 128 undercard contests one hour prior to the event’s pay-per-view broadcast.
Sherdog.com confirmed the news with a source close to the broadcast, which MMAJunkie.com first reported Tuesday morning. The free special will feature a light heavyweight duel between former heavyweight prospect Karlos Vemola and hard-hitting Brazilian Luis “Banha” Cane, as well as a lightweight shootout between strikers Anthony Njokuani and Edson Barboza.
UFC 128 will go down March 19 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., and will be headlined by a light heavyweight title clash between reigning champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and up-and-comer Jon Jones.
Vemola looks to capitalize on his successful light heavyweight debut, as the powerful Czech most recently pounded out Seth Petruzelli at UFC 122 in November. In his last bout at heavyweight, the London Shootfighters product was outpointed by powerful wrestler Jon Madsen at UFC 116. That loss marked the first and only defeat of Vemola’s career.
UFC Announces Prelim Streaming Plans For UFC 127 (Updated)
In addition to the night's pay-per-view main card, UFC 127 will feature four televised or streamed UFC 127 preliminary-card bouts. UFC officials recently announced that two bouts from this weekend's event stream on Facebook (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT), and then ION Television carries an additional pair of fights (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT). The ION fights are scheduled to be Spencer Fisher vs. Ross Pearson and James Te Huna vs. Alexander Gustafsson. The Facebook fights are scheduled to be Jason Reinhardt vs. Zhang Tie Quan and Anthony Perosh vs. Tom Blackledge.
Update: Riki Fukuda vs. Nick Ring has been added to the ION fights, so they will now show 3 fights instead of 2.
Darren Elkins dropping to 145, likely meets Michihiro Omigawa at UFC 131
Darren Elkins is dropping a weight class and is expected to make his featherweight debut against Michihiro Omigawa at UFC 131.
MMAjunkie.com today confirmed the planned bout with sources close to the event, who said verbal agreements are in place but bout agreements not signed.
Although not officially announced, UFC 131 is expected to take place June 11 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Vladimir Matyushenko vs. Jason Brilz Slated for UFC 129 in Toronto
A light-heavyweight bout between Vladimir Matyushenko and Jason Brilz is being finalized for April's UFC 129 event in Toronto.
Sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com that verbal agreements are in place and that bout agreements are being finalized.
Brilz was expected to meet Matyushenko this past November at UFC 122 before a back injury forced him to pull out of the overseas show.
Tim Credeur vs. Ed Herman targeted for TUF 13 Finale in June
Dustin Poirier isn't the only Gladiator Academy product planning to do work in June.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has confirmed that Tim Credeur (12-3 MMA, 3-1 UFC) is also expected to return to the octagon in June in order to take on "The Ultimate Fighter 3" finalist Ed Herman (19-7 MMA, 4-5 UFC).
The two are expected to meet at The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale in a matchup that was first reported by HeavyMMA.com.
Dustin Poirier vs. Rani Yahya in the works for June's UFC 131 event
Fast-rising featherweight prospect Dustin Poirier (9-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) will soon tangle with Brazilian submission ace Rani Yahya (16-6 MMA, 1-0 UFC).
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has confirmed that both fighters have verbally agreed to meet at June's UFC 131 event.
Bout agreements for the contest, which was first reported by Heavy.com, are expected to be finalized shortly.
While not yet officially announced by the promotion, UFC 131 is expected to take place June 11 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Tito Ortiz Off UFN 24, Davis Faces Nogueira
The UFC's first-ever trip to Washington has undergone a major overhaul. UFC president Dana White today announced that Tito Ortiz has been forced out of the UFC Fight Night 24 main event after receiving stitches, and Phil Davis has been tapped as a replacement opponent for Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Davis had been expected ot next fight at UFC 129.
Keith Hackney: Where Is He Now?
Held on Sept. 9, 1994, UFC 3 had some notable tweaks from its two predecessors. It remained in a one-night, tournament format but with an eight-man field, instead of 16. The canvas, previously white, was replaced with a more viewer-friendly blue. It was, in a sense, a social phenomenon coming to terms with its own success, which was accompanied by an equal dose of notoriety.
Naturally, that was exactly when Art Davie, then co-owner of the UFC, made the call to Keith Hackney. It came during the peak time for Hackney’s primary business, a heating and air conditioning company he founded in 1980 and still runs today.
His background included boxing, tang soo do, five years of kenpo and a year of high school wrestling, in which he made the state tournament as a 98-pound sophomore. After Hackney responded to a magazine ad, event organizers told him the roster was full but that, perhaps, a future slot could be in the works.
“He said somebody backed out and they had a space for me. It was one week before the fight,” Hackney says. “I thought if I said no, they wouldn’t call me back in the future, so I said, ‘I don’t care. I’ll fight. Get me on a plane.’ Art said, ‘Whoa! Let me tell you who you’re competing against.’ I didn’t care. I wanted to fight.”
Kenny Florian vs. Diego Nunes in the works for UFC 131 in Vancouver
After dropping hints of a possible move to 145 pounds, two-time lightweight title challenger Kenny Florian (14-5 MMA, 11-4 UFC) erased all doubts.
On the latest edition of ESPN's "MMA Live" series, Florian announced he'll meet Brazilian featherweight Diego Nunes (16-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) at June's UFC 131 event.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has since verified that both fighters have verbally agreed to the fight and that bout agreements are expected to be finalized shortly.
UFC 131, which is expected to take place June 11 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It's currently unknown if the Florian vs. Nunes fight will factor into the evening's main card.
For Florian, the move confirms he'll now compete in an incredible fourth different weightclass for the UFC.
Rich Franklin Gets Tattooed After Losing UFC 126 Bet With Forrest Griffin
This one's gonna leave a mark.
Prior to their UFC 126 co-main event fight, Rich Franklin and opponent Forrest Griffin joked about the loser getting tattooed. At least it seemed like a joke.
But don't ever say Rich Franklin isn't a man of his word. True to his promise, Franklin -- who lost the fight via unanimous decision -- visited a tattoo shop on Friday to begin the process of getting inked.