UFC boss says new champ Jon Jones' biggest tests may lie outside of the cage
At just 23 years old, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones (13-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) appears to have the mixed martial arts world in the palm of his hands.
But after "Bones" dismantled former champ Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at this past weekend's UFC 128 event, UFC president Dana White said it's not the palm of Jones' hands that need to be monitored right now.
It's his back.
UFC targets Belfort vs Silva II, the Axe Murderer holding out for Leben
For a guy who built a career on fighting anybody, anywhere, anytime, Wanderlei Silva (33-10-1 MMA, 3-4 UFC) is proving incredibly difficult to schedule.
UFC president Dana White said he's trying to book a rematch between Silva and Vitor Belfort (19-9 MMA, 8-5 UFC) – a fight "The Phenom" has verbally agreed to – but "The Axe Murderer" is holding out for a bout with Chris Leben (25-7 MMA, 11-6 UFC).
White admitted he's a little shocked by Silva's actions, especially considering he already turned down a UFC 130 fight with Brian Stann because he didn't want to face a U.S. military hero.
"We asked him to take [a fight with Stann], and he turned it down," White said. "He said, 'I don't like it because everybody likes this guy.' That's kind of a weird philosophy, but I'll accept that. Wanderlei's a warrior. He always goes out there. So we offered him the Vitor fight, and now he's on Twitter lobbying to fight Chris Leben."
Nate Marquardt Mulling Move Down to Welterweight
It's a surprising decree from a fighter that's never been considered small or outmuscled at the weight. Marquardt claimed that he walked around at a lighter weight during this camp, and felt like he could "go all day long" in the fight with Miller.
The most interesting bit of this info is that Marquardt reveals that he discussed the move with his coaches and a couple of teammates, including current UFC welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre. It makes one wonder if St. Pierre has resigned himself to a move up to middleweight should he defeat Jake Shields at UFC 129 in Toronto.
Champ Dominick Cruz gets Urijah Faber next, TUF 14 coaching slots possible
NEWARK, N.J. – UFC president Dana White isn't yet ready to dub UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber coaches for the upcoming 14th season of "The Ultimate Fighter."
But he told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) he's not closing the door on the possibility either.
Regardless of the possible reality-show duties, one thing is certain: the long-awaited Cruz (17-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) vs. Faber (25-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) rematch is going to happen.
UFC Primetime returns to Spike TV for UFC 129
In anticipation of their historic UFC 129 main-event fight, UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar (21-2 MMA, 15-2 UFC) and top challenger Jake Shields (26-4-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) will be featured in the newest edition of Spike TV's three-part "UFC Primetime" special.
While broadcast plans for the specials have yet to be finalized, White confirmed the plans following Saturday's UFC 128 card in New Jersey.
"We're going to do a Primetime on those two," White said.
UFC 128 bonuses: Schaub, Koch, Barboza and Njokuani each earn $75K
NEWARK, N.J. – Brendan Scahub, Erik Koch, Edson Barboza and Anthony Njokuani each earned $75,000 "Fight Night" bonuses for their performances at Saturday's UFC 128 event.
With not one fight ending via submission, both Schaub and Koch were awarded "Knockout of the Night" bonuses, and Barboza and Njokuani combined for the "Fight of the Night" honors.
Dana White says UFC television channel "makes sense"
With the UFC and Strikeforce now residing under the same Zuffa, LLC umbrella, the world's leading mixed martial arts promoter now has a plethora of broadcast options at its disposal.
The UFC's deals with Spike TV, Versus and ION Television (not to mention Facebook.com) are now coupled with Strikeforce's Showtime and CBS partnerships, creating a widespread MMA presence across a variety of television platforms.
But could the purchase of Strikeforce, including its fighters and extensive tape library, signal the coming of the UFC's own television channel? UFC president Dana White admits it certainly make sense.
"It's a different world out there right now," White told Mike Straka on this week's new edition of HDNet's "Inside MMA." "Going out and starting your own channel isn't as easy it was six or seven years ago. It's a lot tougher than it used to be.
"But does it make sense? Yeah, it makes sense."
MMA fans have long salivated over the prospect of a 24-hour network dedicated to the broadcast of UFC programming. With the PRIDE, WEC, Strikeforce and EliteXC video libraries now under Zuffa's control, it would seem there is now more than enough stockpiled footage to make that dream a reality.
White, himself, even spoke on the potential for a UFC channel in an October 2010 interview with Broadcasting & Cable.
"SportsBusiness Journal just came out with a survey asking big names in the industry which sport could start its own network, and four out of five said us," White told Broadcasting & Cable. "They are right. I agree. That will happen within the next couple years."
Of course, exactly when that will happen remains a mystery. Some MMA pundits have suggested that while an all-UFC channel is certainly possible, the real crux behind the UFC's acquisitions of promotions like Strikeforce and the WEC is the access to their TV deals, thus allowing White to pit networks against each other in their bids for his programming.
White dismissed that notion.
"It makes me laugh sometimes when I'm cruising through the Internet and I read some of the stories that some of the reporters write," White told Straka. "Nobody knows what we're doing. We know what's going on. We're the ones that built this industry. We're the trailblazers that are out there making all these things happen.
"We know what we're doing. We know what the future is. We know what's going on, and it's funny to sit around and read some of the ideas that some of these websites throw out there. Trust me, we know exactly what we're doing for the next five years."
Instead, White stuck to his "business as usual" mantra in regards to current broadcasting plans. And as far as Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker is concerned, that means a continued presence on Showtime, as well as a return to network-television partner CBS for the first time since a post-fight brawl marred the April 2010 broadcast of "Strikeforce: Nashville."
"It's definitely still a possibility," Coker told HDNet's Bas Rutten. "We all know what happened last year, and we said we'll revisit it this year.
"Under the new regime, honestly, we haven't had a chance to sit down. It happened so fast. ... We really haven't had the time to sit down and create the overall master plan in detail."
The UFC's recent purchase of Strikeforce was unquestionably a game-changer in MMA, and the sport's most powerful promotion further distanced itself from any potential challengers for its market share. But what exactly that means for the sport's presence on television remains to be seen. White declined to reveal the company's current plan, but he admitted his promotion is an extremely enviable position.
"To be where we are right now in such a short amount of time?" White asked. "We bought the company literally 10 years ago, so to be sitting here now and talking about all this stuff and to be where we are today is pretty amazing in 10 years."
Dana White Says Rashad Evans Likely to Face Winner of Rua-Jones
It appears as though Rashad Evans will get a second chance to fight for the UFC light-heavyweight championship after all. Weeks after a knee injury forced his withdrawal from a title bout with Mauricio "Shogun Rua -- paving the way for teammate Jon Jones to compete for the belt -- Evans is likely to be offered the next chance to fight for the title, UFC president Dana White said on Thursday's night's edition of ESPN's MMA Live.
White stopped short of guaranteeing the title shot, saying that the man who emerged as champion would have to come out unscathed for him to be quickly matched up with Evans.
"If the guys are ready to roll again with no injuries, Rashad is definitely next in line," White said.
The statement reiterated one that White made earlier in the week to MMA Fighting. In an interview with Ariel Helwani, White confirmed Evans was still the No. 1 contender, saying, "If I was Rashad, I would say, 'Whoever wins this fight, I want to fight [him].'"
You won't see Jon Jones do the chicken dance against Shogun Rua
"For everyone who says I've never been hit and is wondering how I'll react to it, the reason why I haven't been hit is because I'm literally obsessed with what I'm doing and I'm in the gym every day, three times a day, six hours a day. And when you dedicate your life to it, hopefully you guys will never see me do the chicken dance. That's the way it works. But for people who are wondering how I'll react, I've been hit several times throughout practice and I react just fine. I've been dazed in wrestling - I remember a few times in high school I would throw people and land on my own head and almost knock myself out, but I kept wrestling through it. So I've seen those white flashes before and I've always fought through it. If it happens in this fight, I'm definitely prepared to fight through it and I know I can fight through it."
Jason Brilz ready for a fight against UNO Athletic Director Trev Albetrs
After three straight Division II wrestling titles University of Nebraska Omaha Athletic Director, Trev Alberts, has decided to cut the program. Alberts aletered the UNO wrestling team by telephone a meer hour after the team had won its third straight title...upon returning to the school there lockeroom had been padlocked, and they were escorted by security to clean out their lockers and peacefully leave the campus.
Assistant Coach Jason Brilz is ready for a fight with the former failed ESPN announcer and new University of Nebraska Omaha AD, Trev Alberts...
UFC 128 Weigh-In Results
MAIN CARD (pay-per-view)
•Champ Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (205) vs. Jon Jones (205)
•Urijah Faber (135.5) vs. Eddie Wineland (135.5)
•Nate Marquardt (186) vs. Dan Miller (185)
•Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic (229) vs. Brendan Schaub (245)
•Jim Miller (155.5) vs. Kamal Shalorus (155)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike TV)
•Luiz Cane (205.5) vs. Eliot Marshall (205)
•Edson Barboza (155.5) vs. Anthony Njokuani (155)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook)
•Ricardo Almeida (170) vs. Mike Pyle (171)
•Kurt Pellegrino (156) vs. Gleison Tibau (155)
•Joseph Benavidez (136) vs. Ian Loveland (135)
•Nick Catone (194) vs. Costantinos Philippou (195)
•Raphael Assuncao (145) vs. Erik Koch (145)
Attonito vs. Brown moved from TUF 13 Finale to UFC on Versus 4
"The Immortal" and "The Raging Bull" will have to wait a few more weeks to clash.
UFC officials recently announced that a bout between Matt Brown (11-10 MMA, 4-4 UFC) and Rich Attonito (9-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC) that was expected to take place at The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale is now scheduled for UFC on Versus 4.
UFC on Versus 4 is expected to take place June 26, though an exact date and location have yet to be announced.
No reason was given for the change in schedule.
No Love for Shogun?
UFC Light Heavy Weight Champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua was originally scheduled to face Rashad Evans at UFC 128, but that was before Rashad suffered a knee injury while training for the title bout. Now, Rashad will be sitting on the sidelines watching his teammate Jon Jones attempt to take the title on March 19 in Newark , NJ.
Matt Wiman vs. Dennis Siver Set for UFC 132
"Lightweights coming off of impressive wins face off in Vegas as Matt Wiman and Dennis Siver have verbally agreed to fight July 2nd," said UFC President Dana White
Great fight! This card is looking incredible already. Who wins it Playground?
UFC 128 Fight Card: Bas Rutten Predicts Jon Jones Will Defeat Shogun Rua
"At first I thought, (Jon Jones) 23 years old, maybe it's too early. But then I go, if I have to put money down I think I'd put it on (Jon Jones). And the reason I said that is, every time he fights a wrestler who supposed to be better than him, he just schools these guys and takes them down. So in my mind, I think its going to be pretty easy for him to take (Shogun Rua) down. Once it's on the ground, with (Jones) ground control, he's a very hard guy to deal with, he has unlimited energy. The first time we saw him fight, with 8 takedowns, craziest suplexes off the chart and he's only getting better now training at Greg Jacksons. I predicted it right away when I saw him fight, he's going to be the new champion. But I think he can do it. But trust me; don't get anything wrong, if Shogun lands one of those punches or knees."
"Greg Jackson knows (about Shogun's leg kicks). Greg Jackson has the same crazy mind as I and people are low kicking (Jon Jones) all day long. Because that's the weapon."
Fitch vs Penn 2, Dunham vs Sots on for UFC 132
Reports of The Prodigy's retirement have been greatly exaggerated: Dana White confirmed today that BJ Penn and Jon Fitch have verbally agreed to rematch at UFC 132.
The welterweights first met in the main event of UFC 127, a number-one contender bout that ended in a draw. "Both fighters look to keep it out of the hands of the judges this time," said White.
The stacked lightweight division will also see two of its fastest-rising stars meet over Fourth of July weekend: White confirmed that Evan Dunham and George Sotiropoulos have verbally agreed to a bout at UFC 132.