Broken hand healed, UFC's Falcao eyes return, still interested in "disrespectful" Sakara
Brazilian slugger Maiquel Falcao has a message for the man he was supposed to fight this past March: Be careful what you wish for.
The one-time UFC vet has fully healed from the lingering hand injury that forced him out of a planned UFC on Versus 3 fight with Alessio Sakara, but "Big Rig" still remembers the Italian striker's pre-fight comments.
Falcao is now training in a gym in his hometown of Pelotas, Brazil, and eyeing a quick return to action. And while Sakara is currently lined up for a UFC 133 bout with Jorge Rivera, Falcao certainly isn't ruling out a future date with "Legionarius."
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira Shooting for Late Summer UFC Return
Former Pride heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira has had his share of ups and downs since coming to the UFC in 2007.
In his nearly four years with the promotion, Nogueira enjoyed a short time as heavyweight champion, and even picked up a win over UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture. The downside, however, has bit him in the form of knockout losses to both Frank Mir and Cain Velasquez, and recently put him on the sideline dealing with knee and hip surgery.
There is a silver lining to the story. Nogueira has always been an active fighter, and the time off due to the surgeries has not only given him some mental recuperation, but more importantly it’s given his body proper time to heal.
The Brazilian is still in recovery and working to return from the multiple surgeries he’s had to undergo, but don’t expect the same Antonio Rodrigo Nogueria that last fought in the UFC to be the one that shows up when he returns.
ESPN2 marks newest home for UFC's expanding "Primetime" series
Count ESPN2 among the UFC's growing library of broadcast partners.
On Wednesday night, the second episode of "UFC Primetime: St-Pierre vs. Shields" debuted on ESPN2, in addition to its traditional home on Spike TV.
UFC president Dana White today confirmed the series will continue to air on the all-sports channel as the UFC continues to look for increased viewership on a variety of networks.
"We have it on Spike TV, ION Televesion, Fuel TV, ESPN2 and Versus," White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "We have a good relationship with everyone."
White declined to describe the specifics of the relationship or to speculate on whether the appearance of the in-depth UFC 129 preview show on "The Worldwide Leader in Sports" could potentially lead to further programming on the ESPN family of networks...
Shields, St-Pierre admit media schedule taxing leading into historic UFC 129 event
It didn't take Jake Shields long to notice that there were more eyes on him in the UFC than anywhere else he'd previously fought. What was usually a slow trickle of interview requests turned into a flood, so much so that he developed a special bond with his calendar.
Nothing, however, could prepare him for the amount of attention he'd receive in vying for a UFC title. It only took one recent glance at his media schedule to figure that out.
"They have me getting up at seven in the morning doing interviews, which is four in the morning my time," Shields said today during a teleconference in support of UFC 129. "It seems kind of ridiculous to me."
Brian Ebersole and Dennis Hallman to meet at August's UFC 133 event
Brian Ebersole and Dennis Hallman have been added to UFC 133.
Sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com that the welterweights have verbally agreed to meet with contracts on the way.
Although not officially announced by the promotion, UFC 133 is expected to take place Aug. 6 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
UFC 129: Georges St-Pierre Believes Jake Shields Would Beat Every Contender He’s Ever Faced
Some fans might be counting Jake Shields out in his fight against Georges St-Pierre at UFC 129. Some fighters might be counting Jake Shields out in his fight against Georges St-Pierre at UFC 129. Oddsmakers have Shields as a four-to-one underdog going into UFC 129.
But there’s one key person who knows exactly how dangerous Jake Shields is. That person is Georges St-Pierre.
St-Pierre has had past opponents come at him with trash talk trying to get into his head, but with Shields he believes he’s legitimately facing the best fighter he’s ever fought at 170 pounds.
The Canadian champion has had his eye on Shields even before he came to the UFC, and mentioned fighting him a few years ago. Now that they are on a collision course in Toronto, St-Pierre will never look at Shields as an underdog. Shields is a champion, capable of beating the best in the world and that includes Georges St-Pierre.
UFC Middleweight Champ Anderson Silva Back to 205? “Never Say Never”
UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva will next put his title on the line when he faces Yushin Okami at UFC 134 in August in his home country of Brazil.
Prior to that fight ever being made, UFC president Dana White told the crowd following UFC 128 that Silva had told him specifically that he wanted to fight at middleweight and not go back to 205 pounds, as he had done twice before when the promotion offered him fights in the heavier class.
Silva’s focus is indeed on defending his middleweight title, but if the right opportunity came up at light heavyweight, there’s a very famous phrase that goes something like “never say never.”
“If there’s opportunities that happen to be the right opportunities at the right time, then we’ll take them. But right now he’s focused on the middleweight title,” Silva’s manager Ed Soares told MMAWeekly Radio.
A New List of Contenders Could Keep Jose Aldo at Featherweight After UFC 129
The talk about Jose Aldo eventually moving up to 155 pounds has been discussed ever since the Brazilian started his tear through the featherweight division, where he currently sits as the No. 1 ranked fighter in the world.
During his time with the WEC, Aldo went 8-0 with seven knockouts or TKO’s with six of those never making it out of the second round.
Now the UFC featherweight champion, Aldo will make his first title defense in the Octagon against Mark Hominick, but the chatter about his move to 155 pounds hasn’t gone away.
The talk, however, may soon shift because Aldo could have a new list of contenders, some of which he may have faced at lightweight should he have made the move.
'Mighty Mouse' Replaces Pickett Against Torres at UFC 130
British bantamweight Brad Pickett has suffered an injury and has been forced to withdraw from his UFC 130 bout with Miguel Torres. Stepping in to face the former WEC champion in Pickett's stead will be Demetrious Johnson, the promotion announced Wednesday evening.
"The fastest man in the division has answered the call, and Demetrious Johnson will move into Pickett’s spot to face the former divisional kingpin," said UFC president Dana White. "Both men have verbally agreed to the fight."
Ben Henderson Isn't Afraid of Canadians, Wants Rematch With Anthony Pettis
Former WEC Lightweight Champion Ben Henderson could be forgiven if he was bitter about his last fight: a tight decision loss to Anthony Pettis that will forever be remembered more for "The Kick" than any of the action leading up to it.
But the 27-year-old isn't looking back and is ready to travel to hostile territory when he faces Canadian Mark Bocek to open the PPV portion of UFC 129 in Toronto, Canada. He isn't concerned in the least with the task of battling Bocek in front of a raucous pro-Canadian crowd of 55,000.
UFC 129: Patrick-Roberts, Menjivar-Valencia Free Fights on Facebook
MMA Fighting reports that the UFC is planning on airing prelim fights on Facebook for UFC 129 in Toronto. Claude Patrick vs. Daniel Roberts and Ivan Menjivar vs. Charlie Valencia are expected to be featured, but more fights may be added. The Spike TV prelims broadcast will air Nate Diaz vs. Rory Macdonald, and Jake Ellenberger vs. Sean Pierson.
Dana White Shoots Down Royce Gracie UFC 134 Return Rumors
UFC president Dana White has indicated to MMA Fighting that the promotion has no interest in offering a fight to Brazilian pioneer Royce Gracie for the UFC's upcoming August event in Rio de Janeiro, refuting previous reports that talks between the two sides could result in a Gracie return.
Just last week, Gracie told Brazilian news site Esporte.UOL.com that negotiations for his return were ongoing.
UFC 129: St. Pierre vs. Shields Conference Call
Jose Aldo: In my mind, this is just another fight. This is my job. Training camp went great.
- Aldo: There's no frustration because I knew I was in the UFC, fighting soon.
- Aldo: C5-C6 bothering him in his neck. Right shoulder bothering him from Mike Brown fight. Shoulder felt stress against Faber, Gamburyan.
- Aldo: No surgery, just rehab.
Mark Hominick: My life's flipped upside down with this fight. I've been in the fight game for 10 years. I feel like an overnight success.
- Hominick: People are intimidated when they step in with Jose. I'm going to come in and step forward against him.
- Hominick: How can you prepare for something you haven't seen before? (Re: fighting in Rogers Centre)
- Hominick: I'm excited for the fans. Every time you get the lighter guys, you're getting a great fight.
Randy Couture: Nothing changed. It's been an on-going transition for me. I want to go out on my own terms. I think that time has come.
- Couture: I've thought about it the last couple camps, and I made the decision this time.
- Couture: (biggest UFC show ever) played no factor in my decision, but being a part of a show of this magnitude is fun.
- Couture: The UFC offered me a couple of other guys, and I turned them down. Lyoto has such a unique style. That's intriguing to me.
- Couture: Representing mixed martial arts against Toney was an honor to me.
- Couture: It's been an interesting camp; I've had to learn some new things. Been fun studying Machida, trying to figure out what will work.
- Couture: I still have the health, ability to compete at this level. I don't want to get to the point where I don't. Go out on my terms.
- Couture: I want to be healthy and enjoy the rest of my life.
- Couture: I'm sure the UFC will have ideas for fights, try to entice me to come back. I see myself being with Zuffa in some other way.
- Couture: Lots to do politically with New York state. I also enjoyed commentating in the booth.
Pat Barry vs. Cheick Kongo official as UFC on Versus 4 co-headliner
A long-rumored bout between heavyweight fighters Pat Barry (6-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Cheick Kongo (15-6-2 MMA, 8-4-1 UFC) is now official for UFC on Versus 4.
UFC officials today announced the fight, which serves as the night's co-main event.
The latest UFC on Versus 4 card now includes:
Anthony Johnson vs. Nate Marquardt
Pat Barry vs. Cheick Kongo
Matt Mitrione vs. Christian Morecraft
John Howard vs. Martin Kampmann
Rich Attonito vs. Matt Brown
Manny Gamburyan vs. Tyson Griffin
Joe Lauzon vs. Curt Warburton
Joe Stevenson vs. Javier Vazquez
Matt Grice vs. Ricardo Lamas
Edward Faaloloto vs. Michael Johnson
Pretty decent free night of fights.
Melendez: I Match Up ‘Very Well’ with Edgar, Maynard
Gilbert Melendez was in the zone against Tatsuya Kawajiri. Or, as Melendez describes his April 9 Strikeforce lightweight title defense, he was in the “Matrix.”
“I was precise on every shot,” he said on “The Savage Dog Show” of his dominant first-round win. “I wanted to make every shot worth it. I feel like I’m in the ‘Matrix’ out there right now in that I can see things very well. I can see timing. I tried to rush, but it wasn’t there so I sat back and I waited for my openings and I created openings. When openings were there, I capitalized. I was precise and I was on the money. I think things worked perfectly.”
UFC Reportedly Loses ‘Huge’ New Sponsorship After Online Poker Indictments
The federal indictments lobbed at three top poker websites late last week – including noted fight sponsor Full Tilt Poker – continue to cause a troubling ripple effect in the MMA world, new reports indicate. You may have already seen the stories over the weekend about how much the sudden absence of such poker site dough may or may not adversely affect the bottom line of individual fighters, but notable sports business reporter Darren Rovell (who works a lot on ESPN) now says the charges against Full Tilt also mean the loss of an important upcoming deal for the UFC.