Vitor Belfort Stricken with Hep A, Fight with Akiyama at UFC 133 Still a Go
Vitor Belfort will be taking a few weeks to rest after being diagnosed with Hepatitis A recently.
The UFC middleweight made the announcement about his contraction of the disease on his personal Twitter account, which his representative Pedro Lima later verified to MMAWeekly.com.
According to Lima, doctors are unsure how Belfort caught Hepatitis A, but the diagnosis will require the Brazilian to stay out of training and rest for the next three to four weeks.
Jon Jones injured, Phil Davis vs Rashad Evans now targeted for UFC 133
With UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones (13-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) injured, UFC officials now are targeting a bout between the champ's original opponent, Rashad Evans (15-1-1 MMA, 10-1-1 UFC), and replacement Phil Davis (9-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC).
Sources today confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) the new matchup, which is expected to take place at UFC 133. The Canadian Press' Neil Davidson first reported the opponent switch.
A source told MMAjunkie.com that Jones is facing a lengthy recovery from a torn right-hand ligament suffered in his title win. A timetable for his return wasn't immediately available.
UFC 129's "UFC Primetime" replay draws 144,000 viewers on ESPN2
With little to no promotion or fanfare, the UFC's debut on ESPN2 resulted in only tepid ratings.
This past Wednesday, ESPN2 aired back-to-back replays of "UFC Primetime: St-Pierre vs. Shields." Both of the April 20 airings featured the second part of the three-part series, which concludes this week.
An industry source told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) ESPN2 scored 144,000 viewers for the 11 p.m. ET replay and 105,000 viewers for the 11:30 p.m. ET airing.
Brilz and Matyushenko Aim for an Explosive Battle at UFC 129
If you believe what Vladimir Matyushenko (25-5) and Jason Brilz (18-3-1) are saying ahead of their fight at UFC 129 this Saturday night, this is one wrestler-versus-wrestler match-up that will look like anything but.
Matyushenko – a former Belarusian national team member – claims that he plans to use his wrestling skills mostly to stay off the mat, and his reasoning is fairly simple.
"I've been working on my stand-up skills for a little while now and honestly I'd like to show off a little bit in front of the fans," Matyushenko told MMA Fighting. "And I know my friends and my fans are expecting it."
UFC 129: Jake Shields Walks A Murderer’s Row To Get Ready for Georges St-Pierre
As Jake Shields walks into the gym on any given day, he tapes up his hands, puts the rest of his gear on, and warms up with his mind only on one thing… beating Georges St-Pierre.
But to get to St-Pierre, Shields is going through his own trials and tribulations every day in the gym.
After getting his head gear on and stepping inside the ring, Shields looks out at the crew assembled to get him ready for the biggest fight of his career. Faces staring back at him include the likes of Nick Diaz, Gilbert Melendez, Nate Diaz, and Daniel Roberts.
Jason Brilz Won’t Pull Any Punches at UFC 129, Even If It Costs His Job
UFC light-heavyweight fighter Jason Brilz refuses to let his loss last May to Antonio Rogerio Nogeuira get him down.
As he told MMAWeekly.com recently, “My thing is to go out and give everything I have, and I think I did that.
“I was happy with the performance. But other than that, a win or a loss is not that important. For me, it’s all about having a good show and seeing where I’m at.”
Rich Franklin vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira added to UFC 133 in Philadephia
A pair of high-profile light heavyweights looking to return to the win column will meet in Philadelphia, as Rich Franklin faces Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
UFC officials today announced the matchup, which takes place at UFC 133.
Though not yet officially announced by the promotion, UFC 133 takes place Aug. 6 in Philadelphia. The city's Wells Fargo Center is expected to host the pay-per-view event.
Jason 'Mayhem' Miller Signs With UFC
Jason "Mayhem" Miller is going back to the UFC.
The popular middleweight has signed a new multi-fight agreement with the organization, Miller's manager Ryan Parsons confirmed with MMA Fighting.
The 30-year-old Miller (24-7, 1 NC) was able to sign with the UFC due to the fact that his contract with Strikeforce had expired. No word just yet on when his first fight back inside the Octagon will take place.
"Mayhem" had not competed for Strikeforce since last April when he defeated Tim Stout on the undercard of Strikeforce: Nashville. He went on to defeat one of his MMA idols, Kazushi Sakuraba, at DREAM.16 in September, which stands as his last fight to date.
He was close to returning to action against the likes of Nick Diaz and Tim Kennedy, but for various reasons, some even still unknown, those fights never materialized.
The star of MTV's Bully Beatdown last fought for the UFC in 2005 when he dropped a unanimous decision to Georges St-Pierre. Two years later, Miller returned to Zuffa, defeating Hiromitsu Miura via unanimous decision at WEC 27.
Miller was a guest on a recent episode of The MMA Hour, and he appeared excited at the prospect of facing some of the UFC's best middleweights.
"I will beat the brakes off most of the guys in the middleweight divisions in the UFC," he said. "I guaran-damn-tee it."
WEC vets Renan Barao and Cole Escovedo meet at UFC 130
A bantamweight bout between UFC newcomers Renan Barao and Cole Escovedo has been added to May's UFC 130 event.
A source close to the negotiations today told MMAjunkie.com that verbal agreements are in place for the fight.
UFC 130 takes place May 28 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The night's main card airs on pay-per-view.
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.