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.
Exclusive: Roy Nelson Talks TUF, WWE and Brock Lesnar
In the world of MMA media a fighter's place in the headlines can be somewhat of a catch-22. When the attention is warranted a fighter revels in the good news spreading of a job well done but when the information is vague and ambiguous it leaves an unsettled situation up for speculation. Those moments of unchecked speculation can lead into waves of forum boards, chat rooms and even headlines that eventually set the mark of validation on the situation. Outspoken UFC heavyweight and TUF season 10 winner Roy Nelson is square in the middle of this type of back and forth and rather than leave the issue alone to run it's course, Nelson chooses to speak up and set the record straight.
Nelson was originally scheduled to face former Interim champion Shane Carwin as the co-main event at UFC 125 on January 1st. After Carwin was forced to withdraw from the matchup due to an injury, Nelson sat idle as the UFC looked for his next opponent. Then the news broke that former champion Brock Lesnar was looking for a bout with Nelson and when he received word "Big Country" welcomed the opportunity. Prior to the reports that Lesnar wanted to fight Nelson there was speculation that Nelson would face Mirko Cro Cop or possibly Frank Mir but the UFC never issued any information to back these claims. Nelson jumped on the chance to fight Brock Lesnar and from his Twitter account pushed to make the fight happen. Unfortunately for Roy Nelson just as quickly as the Lesnar bout hit the headlines it disappeared as the UFC announced that Nelson had been pulled from the card entirely. Fans and the media alike were left in limbo as to the reasons but when UFC President Dana White came out with the story explaining Nelson was involved in a contract dispute with Roy Jones Jr.'s Square Ring Promotions all motivations became clear. White also confirmed that it would be some time before Roy Nelson fought in the UFC again and that is where the story left off in the eyes of the public. Other fighters would keep a low profile and allow the controversy to blow over but Roy Nelson has never been considered a "company" man. Rather than sit on the sidelines quietly Nelson has continued to push ahead citing the contract dispute as old news as he pecks away at Dana White for bigger opportunities.
UFC 122 Drug Tests All Clean
UFC 122 in Germany was Das Drug Free Zone. 8 fighters were tested for performance-enhancing drugs and recreational/drugs of abuse and UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner today confirmed they all tested clean. The only fighters identified as tested were Yushin Okami and Nate Marquardt. All of the fighters tested negative for drugs of abuse (such as marijuana and cocaine), as well as anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancers. Without a regulatory body in place to oversee the event, UFC officials hired a company to conduct the testing.
As Chael Sonnen Prepares for Steroids Hearing, More Details Emerge
In the months leading up to his UFC 117 title challenge, Chael Sonnen had plenty to say. Sonnen seemed to be everywhere, talking up his potential to dethrone champion Anderson Silva in a middleweight championship match. More than 20 minutes into the fight, he was making good on his pre-fight boasting, seemingly on his way to a career-defining victory when Silva caught him with a fifth-round triangle/arm bar submission.
In the months since, Sonnen has had almost nothing to say publicly, his silence precipitated by a positive drug test in the days after the fight.
UFC eyes possible August return to Brazil
After much speculation, it appears as though the UFC will return to Brazil for the first time in more than a decade, perhaps as soon as August at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro.
Respected journalist Joaquim Ferreira dos Santos -- a columnist for O Globo, the second-largest newspaper in Brazil -- broke the news.
UFC officials initiated negotiations during an October visit for two meetings, the first with Mayor Eduardo Paes and the second with an assistant of Eike Batista, the richest businessman in Brazil. Ranked as the eighth-richest man in the world by Forbes Magazine, with an estimated net worth of $27 billion, Batista was instrumental in bringing the 2016 Summer Olympics to Rio de Janeiro.
Chael Sonnen to re-emerge for steroid appeal on Thursday
The meeting will take place on Thursday at 9:30 AM at 2005 Evergreen Street (Hearing Room) in Sacramento.
Who knows how the political winds have changed in California and whether or not this will be a forgiving appeals panel to one Chael Sonnen. What I do know is this — after Thursday’s hearing, we may find out some new angles to usage of PEDs in MMA. A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned publicly that I thought it was curious that all of a sudden we are starting to hear reports about fighters allegedly using TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy). TRT is not exactly something that you associate with healthy guys in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. Yes, I realize that 2010 became the year that lots of potions and infomercials for “Low T” (testosterone) got pitched to the public to buy the latest and greatest invention to give your sex life a boost and make you more active again like you used to be. However, we’re talking about MMA fighters here who are viewed by many fans as tremendous athletes. (More on a TRT defense here.)
Alexander Gustafsson vs. James Te Huna Slotted For UFC 127
A light-heavyweight bout between New Zealand fighter James Te Huna and Swedish competitor Alexander Gustafsson will be part of February's UFC 127 event. Although not officially announced by the organization, UFC 127 is expected to take place Feb. 27 at Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia. Te Huna has fought exclusively in Australia, where he won the 2009 Cage Fighting Championships light-heavyweight grand prix, which included a knockout of former UFC fighter Anthony Perosh in the finale. That led to Te Huna's own UFC contract and a TKO victory over Igor Pokrajac at UFC 110, the UFC's first trip to Australia. He's been on the sidelines since that February win. After posting a perfect 8-0 record with seven stoppage wins, Gustafsson signed with the UFC and knocked out Jared Hamman in his promotional debut at UFC 105 a year ago. However, he then suffered a submission loss to top prospect Phil Davis but rebounded in October with a submission win over Cyrille Diabate at UFC 120.
Jake Ellenberger vs. Carlos Eduardo Rocha Targeted For UFC 126
In lieu of a planned bout with Jon Fitch, Jake Ellenberger instead is expected to meet welterweight prospect Carlos Eduardo Rocha on the televised main card of UFC 126. Verbal agreements are in place, paperwork pending. Ellenberger was originally to have faced Fitch before Fitch was instead tapped to face BJ Penn at UFC 127.
Krzysztof Soszynski Talks UFC, Stephan Bonnar, Gerald Harris and Dana White
In the sport of mixed martial arts a fighter's fortune can change in a heartbeat. Hours of preparation and training to refine muscled mass into a flexible, powerful and agile machine can all be lost under the white hot glare of the stadium lights. The primal gear may shift into fight mode but the warrior has to recite a game plan that has been drilled a thousand times in hopes that once the cage door closes everything that has been picked up along the road traveled will finally produce gains. When the referee steps aside and the action hits full tilt anything can happen but when TUF alum Krzysztof Soszynski faced Goran Reljic at UFC 122 all of the hard work in combination with the desire to bounce back from a disappointing performance brought the end result he was determined to find. "The Polish Experiment" dictated every step of the three round affair in route to grinding Reljic to exhaustion. Several times during the bout Soszynski looked close to finishing Reljic but the Croatian light heavyweight persevered and held on until the final bell. The end result came as a unanimous decision victory for Soszynski and while on paper it will fall as another notch in the win column, to Krzysztof it meant that past issues where resolved and he was back to doing what he does best.
A few days after returning to the states I caught up with Krzysztof to talk about his victory over Goran Reljic in addition to other major topics that have hit the MMA headlines since his fight in Germany at UFC 122. In this Bloody Elbow Exclusive interview "The Polish Experiment" added his unique perspective to several of the larger fires that are currently burning across MMA.
Thiago Silva vs. Brandon Vera promoted to UFC 125 main card
An intriguing light-heavyweight bout between Thiago Silva (14-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) and Brandon Vera (11-5 MMA, 7-5 UFC) has been salvaged from untelevised purgatory.
Sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) the onetime preliminary-card bout has been promoted to the pay-per-view main card of "UFC 125: Resolution."
The event takes place Jan. 1 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and is headlined by UFC lightweight champ Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard.
Former UFC Fighter Lee Murray's Bank Heist Sentence Increased to 25 Years
Former UFC fighter Lee Murray, who was convicted of masterminding the biggest non-wartime cash heist in history, has had his prison sentence increased from 10 years to 25, according to BBC News.
On February 22, 2006, Murray and a group of others broke into a Securitas cash depot in Tonbridge, Kent and escaped with the U.S. equivalent of $92.5 million in cash. A series of arrests soon followed and the British-born Murray was named as the mastermind of the crime.
Greg Jackson Fires Back at Dana White Over Recent Criticism
MMA trainer Greg Jackson isn't pleased with some of the recent comments coming from UFC president Dana White, so he decided to do something about it. With White criticizing the Jackson camp for what he describes as a boring, conservative approach to fights, Jackson is firing back with a weapon of his own: statistical analysis.
On Monday night Jackson sent MMA Fighting an email listing all the bonus awards and finishes tallied by his fighters in Zuffa events in 2010. The list includes the names of 20 Jackson camp fighters who competed in the UFC or WEC in 2010, but perhaps the most telling figure is the distribution of UFC's bonuses after each event, Jackson explained.
"Here's a quick stat for you. So there's been 22 [UFC events] this year? We had 12 bonuses so far this year," Jackson said in a phone interview. "So one out of every two, one of my fighters got Submission of the Night, Knockout of the Night, or Fight of the Night."
Nate Marquardt Calls Out (And Wants To Knock Out) Wanderlei Silva
Evidently Marquardt thinks the path from "choker" (as Dana White called him) back to #1 contender involves a fight he thinks everyone wants...and some promises. "In order to re-establish myself as the number one contender, my next opponent needs to be an elite fighter who will stand and bang with me in the center of the Octagon until one of us is knocked out. The fight that makes the most sense to me is Wanderlei Silva. I have a ton of respect for Wanderlei and have wanted this fight for years, the fans have wanted this fight, they deserve to see two of the best fighters in the world in an all out war. Wanderlei is an amazing fighter who is very aggressive, I will pursue him with unwavering tenacity, then I will knock him out! I promise the UFC, Dana, my fans, my team, my coaches and most importantly myself that never again will there be a question about my cage aggression."
Former UFC middleweight contender Gerald Harris: "I messed up"
Believe it or not, Gerald Harris (17-3) is not angry.
Despite being released from the UFC following a decision loss to Maiquel Falcao (26-3) at UFC 123, Harris does not harbor ill will toward the organization or UFC president Dana White, who was openly critical of Harris' performance.
Instead, Harris said he has learned a valuable lesson from his release and vows to be a better fighter the next time he's in the cage.
"I messed up," Harris told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I had the biggest opportunity in the world, and I didn't seize the day. I didn't take advantage of the situation I was in.
Bisping wasn't interested in Rivera at UFC 127, now he'll teach opponent a lesson
Michael Bisping's bout agreement was signed the moment Jorge Rivera (18-7 MMA, 8-5 UFC) called him out.
Bisping (20-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) said there was no other choice than to say yes, even if Rivera wasn't in his crosshairs.
"I had to take the fight just to shut him up," he today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
As MMAjunkie.com earlier reported, the two will meet at UFC 127, which takes place Feb. 27 at the Acer Arena in Sydney. Bisping in February co-headlined the promotion's first trip Down Under at UFC 110 and fell short on points to Wanderlei Silva.
Was Gerald Harris Released Because He Wasn't "Being A Team Player"?
Jon Jones thinks so. "That's absolutely insane. ... You know a lot of times when you get booted, I think it's because of guys not being team players. The UFC likes guys who show up on time, they're never late to their appearances, they don't give people in the offices a hard time, they don't give too much of a big fight when it comes to contract negotiations; they like guys who are team players. Maybe he wasn't being a team player. I mean, three knockouts and one loss and to get booted, there's definitely something more than performance. ... There's more to the story."