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.
Brandon Vera Wants To Know "The Truth" About Thiago Silva's Urine Sample
And he also hoped that he's the person to welcome Silva back to UFC...once he gets back himself. "I roll with Phil Davis. I roll with Travis Browne. I roll with Junior dos Santos. I roll with the Nogueira brothers. When I'm in the half guard underneath somebody and I have their leg, and my other leg's half-cocked up on their arm pit, I can rock people back and forth. I can rock you and either stand back up or get the sweep. I remember when I was underneath him and I was pushing him back and forth. I was thinking, ‘What the hell? Why is this guy so damn strong?' And I remember thinking during the fight, ‘Yo, I gotta start lifting weights again.' He was one of, if not the strongest dudes I ever rolled with in my life ... There's stuff I want to say about you, Thiago. You know, I'm glad you were happy winning the way you were. It's cool, man. It's cool. If this thing comes back and you did do whatever you did and I make it back to the UFC, on your welcoming back party, I want to make sure I'm the one you get to fight. And I promise if you take me down, I'm going to get back up. Then I'm going to punish you on the feet just like I did while we were fighting, until you took me down. Then you gave it to me, but you won't take me down next fight. So I'm glad you got to showboat. I'm glad you got to win, kind of. But I'm gonna see you again soon, bud."
"UFC Fight Night 23: UFC Fight for the Troops 2" drug tests come back clean
All six fighters who underwent drug testing at January's "UFC Fight Night 23: UFC Fight for the Troops 2" event tested clean for performance-enhancing drugs and recreational/drugs of abuse.
UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner today confirmed the results with MMAjunkie.com.
"UFC Fight Night 23: UFC Fight for the Troops 2" took place Jan. 22 at Fort Hood in Texas, and the night's main card aired on Spike TV. The event raised more than $4 million for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.
Lentz-Lowe Matchup Targeted for UFC Fight Night 24
A lightweight clash between two powerful wrestlers will go down at UFC Fight Night 24, as Minnesota Martial Arts Academy product Nik Lentz squares off with American Top Team standout Waylon Lowe.
Sherdog.com today confirmed the matchup with a source close to the bout, which was initially reported by MMADieHards.com. According to Sherdog.com’s source, bout agreements were recently signed.
UFC Fight Night 24 will mark the promotion’s first trip to Seattle, as the event emanates from KeyArena on March 26. The show will be headlined by a light heavyweight showdown between former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz and onetime Pride Fighting Championships star Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Also expected for the event is a welterweight duel between the returning Anthony “Rumble” Johnson and heavy-handed Brit Dan Hardy. In total, 11 bouts have been made official for the show; only Lentz-Lowe remains unannounced.
Dan Lauzon Stabbed Outside Boston Nightclub
Dan Lauzon is recovering today after being stabbed in the shoulder following an altercation early Thursday morning outside a Boston-area nightclub. An initial report from the "Enterprise News" states Lauzon was stabbed with a knife on the top of his shoulder during a fight with a group of men in the club's parking lot at around 1 a.m. ET. Lauzon's name subsequently was removed from the report, but his older brother, current UFC lightweight Joe Lauzon, confirmed the incident via his personal blog. Joe Lauzon was due this morning to depart for Iraq to visit active-duty troops. He injured his ankle on the way to Bridgewater Hospital where Dan was taken after the incident. "I got to the hospital and gimp-walked my way into the ER and found Dan in one of the rooms," he wrote on his blog. "Luckily, everything was OK, and it wasn’t a big deal as was originally thought." Bridgewater police are investigating the incident. Joe's trip is now delayed while his ankle heals from what doctors are calling a bad sprain. "Hopefully I can walk on it better by tomorrow and I can get another flight out there, but it’s not looking real good," he stated. "I definitely won't be able to train out there, but I would still like to be able to do all of the Q&A, meet and greets and whatnot."
Mike Brown Dealing With Hand Injury, Mystery Heart Ailment
Times are tough right now for Mike Brown, to say the very least. The former WEC featherweight champion has lost four of his past six fights and two in a row for the first time since 2004. His future is uncertain and remains on unstable ground due to his recent performances. Couple that with lingering questions regarding the 35-year-old's overall health after nearly a decade in the fight game, and his career officially has been placed in a quandary. He has a torn ligament in a finger suffered against Rani Yahya. But that's not all. He potentially could have a bigger, much more serious issue to address. "I am seeing a cardiologist," Brown said. "It's something to do with my heart rate not being right.
"It happened in the middle of camp. We thought we were overtraining because I was peaking hard, and all the sudden, I started getting more and more tired really quickly. It didn't make any sense. I'd be sparring for half a round, and I was getting exhausted. But two weeks before, I was mowing through everyone in camp." Although he did experience the same sensation against Diego Nunes, it was even more pronounced in the Yahya fight. "My body shut down," he said. "I had this weird lactic acid buildup real early. It's the most bizarre thing. It just wasn't me." Currently, the jury is still out on what exactly has been plaguing him.
Jason Brilz and Phil Davis targeted for UFC 129 matchup
All may not be lost for Phil Davis.
The light heavyweight is now expected to meet Jason Brilz on the main card of UFC 129, according to sources close to the event who told MMAjunkie.com that verbal agreements are in place for the fight. Contracts are expected to be finalized shortly.
UFC 129 takes place April 29 at Rogers Centre in Toronto and has already broken box-office records for a North American MMA event with 55,000 tickets sold and a live-gate tally of $11 million.
Jeremy Stephens vs. Jonathan Brookins likely for The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale
A lightweight bout between veteran Jeremy Stephens and "The Ultimate Fighter 12" winner Jonathan Brookins is in the works for June.
A source close to the event told MMAjunkie.com the two fighters are expected to meet at The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale.
The fight, which will be one of the few not associated with the reality series' conclusion, takes place June 4 at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
"Dragon" Slayer: A Loss To Randy Couture And UFC "Won't Feel Sorry" For Lyoto Machida
That's what the former UFC champ tells the TATAME. "We know Randy Couture is a great champion, a guy who helped to build the sport as it is, and it's a great pleasure to have this fight on my résumé, because I'll be part of Randy Couture's history on the sport. He added much to MMA. I believe we can win, we have many weapons. Despite he's on a certain age, he's tough and experienced, and he's been fighting guys like Minotauro, and he did tough fights and he's tough for anyone. ... UFC considers the incomes a lot, the profits, and if I'm not pleasing the fans anymore, they won't feel sorry for me. That's why I've always invested on me a lot, and it won't be any different now. If I did a lot, I'll do a lot more now. I'll give my best trying to win."
UFC 127: Penn-Fitch Winner Now Becomes Next #1 Contender
The main event of UFC 127: "Penn vs. Fitch" on Feb. 27 in Sydney, Australia just became a lot more interesting. That's because the winner will determine the next number one contender to the welterweight title, according to Dana White on a conference call today (via Twitter). Both fighters have previously fought for the coveted 170-pound strap. Penn, himself a former welterweight champion, last had his shot at UFC 94, a four round beating at the hands of current titleholder Georges St. Pierre.
UFC 126 Draws 9667 For $3.6 Million Gate
The NSAC today announced the official atttendance for UFC 126 was 9667 fans with a total live gate of $3,605,725. The attendance dropped from fight night estimates when UFC claimed 10,893. The gate is 3rd-highest for a UFC event at Mandalay Bay Events Center (#1 appears to be UFC 100). Additionally, a closed-circuit feed at Mandalay Bay drew 1,046 fans for a take of $45,100.
Dana White Details International Expansion in UFC 127/UFC 129 Joint Conference Call
Zuffa held a conference call today to promote both the upcoming UFC 127 show and April's UFC 129 show in Toronto, Ontario. UFC President Dana White, B.J. Penn, and Jon Fitch were on hand for the call. Highlights provided by Luke Thomas via Twitter and SB Nation MMA:
Dana says last set of international fights were sellouts. Goes over Rogers Centre UFC 129 records. Largest North American gate, a Rogers Centre record. Says the event will do $11 million gate.
Dana says 17,000 tickets sold for UFC 127, added 400 seats over the last Australia event.
Dana uses UFC 129's ticket sales to prove UFC will be biggest sport in the world. He also says when "new deals" get done, UFC will be in over a billion homes.
In terms of a show in Dallas, he says UFC 129 ticket sales motivates him. Says, however, as big as the stadium is there aren't enough hotel rooms.
WEC's former GM Reed Harris now UFC vice president of community relations
As expected former World Extreme Cagefighting General Manager Reed Harris is sticking around following the organization's recent merger with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
And he now has a new job title: UFC vice president of community relations.
Harris today stopped by the MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) studio with UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and briefly discussed the position.
"I'll handle all the community work with the UFC," the longtime fight executive said. "I've been really busy trying to get this moving."
UFC site coordinator Burt Watson: "I like it when it's wacky, baby. It's what we do."
If you've ever attended a live UFC event or other pre-fight activities, you may recognize the man – but may not know his name.
He's most visible at the official weigh-ins. He's the first man on stage revving up the crowd before UFC commentator Joe Rogan grabs the microphone to introduce the UFC management, octagon girls, and shortly thereafter, the fighters.
He's Burt Watson – UFC site coordinator, part-time hype man, part-time counselor, part-time disciplinarian, jack of all trades.
Despite a laundry list of responsibilities, his main focus centers on monitoring the weight of fighters throughout any given fight week to ensure they are able to compete.
"Making weight is a part of what we do," Watson recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "It's what these guys know they need to do. It's disrespectful if they don't. It shows me they're not trying.