UFC Announces Return to MMA's Birthplace of Brazil
Marking a return to the country that helped create modern mixed martial arts as we know it, the UFC on Wednesday announced that the promotion would stage a show at HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Aug. 27, 2011.
UFC chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta and UFC president Dana White made the announcement at City Hall, flanked by the city's mayor Eduardo Paes.
Given the economic potential for both the promotion and potential host cities, White said the UFC's move into the country was more than a one-time visit.
Dana White Expects to Know 'Ultimate Fighter' Coaches on Friday
In the week and a half since the Finale of The Ultimate Fighter Season 12, speculation has run rampant about who the coaches will be for the show's 13th season, which will begin taping in early 2011. UFC President Dana White said on Wednesday that he's about 48 hours away from knowing the coaches' identities.
"We should have it done by Friday," White said at a press conference in Rio de Janeiro, where he announced that the UFC would host a fight card in Brazil in August.
So who are the likely choices?
Donald Cerrone eyes WEC 53 win, future dates with Jose Aldo, Nate Diaz, Cole Miller
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Three-time WEC title challenger Donald Cerrone (12-3 MMA, 5-3 WEC) is not looking past his WEC 53 fight with Canadian slugger Chris Horodecki (16-2 MMA, 2-1 WEC).
In fact, with roster spots at a premium due to the pending UFC and WEC merger, Cerrone considers the Thursday night contest to be one of the most important of his career.
Cerrone badly wants to claim victory over Horodecki and guarantee himself a spot in the world's premier mixed martial arts organization. From there, Cerrone eyes opportunities from 145 pounds on up to 170, and Jose Aldo, Nate Diaz and Cole Miller are just a few of the names on his to-do list.
UFC Cuts Joe Doerksen
The first post-UFC 124 cut has been made and once again Joe Doerksen finds himself on the outside looking in. Sources close to the fighter confirm he has been released by the promotion following a split decision loss to Dan Miller htis past weekend. Doerksen earned his latest chance with a 6-fight win streak but the Losing Streak Of Doom left him at 1-2 this go-around. Despite an impressive 46-14 career record, Doerksen is just 2-7 all-time in UFC.
Rep: Randy Couture Retirement Announcement Premature
UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture dropped a bomb online Tuesday evening when he suddenly announced that he is calling it quits on an MMA career that's spanned 13 years, 29 fights and two titles. "I think I'm at the end of it y'all," Couture wrote on his official Twitter account, which has just under 70,000 followers. "It's time." "It's time to move on and focus on all the other amazing things going on in my life," he added on his Facebook account. But that statement is premature, according to his lawyer and representative, Sam Spira. "There's been no official announcement," Spira said Tuesday evening. "There's been no decision. Any announcements or decisions would be likely coordinated with the UFC." Couture is currently filming a role in the movie "The Setup" in Michigan, and is expected to begin work on "The Expendables 2" in March.
Randy Couture wants Rua, Machida, or UFC retirement
UFC hall of famer Randy Couture all but announced his retirement on Monday night via his official Twitter account, but told the Times he’d be willing to hold out for bouts against either UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua or former titleholder Lyoto Machida to cap off his storied 13-year MMA career.
“Thanks to everybody who's been tweeting about seeing my fights I must have missed the memo :) I think I'm at the end of it Yall. It's time,” posted the 47-year-old fighting legend.
When reached by the Times Monday evening, Couture (19-10) said he was surprised by the response he’d gotten from the message and hadn’t intended it as an “official statement” on his status. Still, he reiterated that his cage career was likely coming to an end.
“I think I’m done. The time is right,” said Couture via text. “I’d fight Machida or Shogun but outside of that, I wanna focus on other things in my life.”
UFC 127 Penn vs. Fitch Full Fight Card in Sydney; Melbourne Next?
SYDNEY – Marshall Zelaznik, UFC Managing Director of International Development, on Tuesday officially announced the UFC 127: Penn vs. Fitch event to be held on Feb. 27 in Sydney at Acer Arena.
In front of a huge media contingent, Zelaznik spoke openly about how serious the UFC is about continuing to hold events in Australia. With recent elections in the state of Victoria there is every chance of the promotion moving to Melbourne for its next Aussie event following UFC 127, if legislation for sanctioning gets approved there.
Jon Fitch: “I Think I’m Better Than Jake (Shields) And Should Be Fighting For The Title”
Jon Fitch has never been a fighter to hold back on saying exactly what he’s feeling.
After watching his teammate Josh Koscheck fall to Georges St-Pierre over the weekend, he then had to hear the news that Jake Shields would indeed be getting the next crack at the UFC welterweight title in 2011. While Fitch has his own fight coming up in Australia in February, he still believes the title shot should be his.
Speaking in Australia on Monday, Fitch let it be known that he believes he’s a superior fighter to Shields, but knows he has a tough test ahead of him at UFC 127.
Zuffa Sues Ubisoft
Two more mixed martial arts-related lawsuits were filed last week, as Zuffa LLC, parent company of the UFC, filed a claim against Ubisoft and two Tapout investors filed a complaint against the company and its affiliates.
Zuffa is claiming trademark infringement over the term “ULTIMATE FIGHTING” against Ubisoft, the company that recently produced and distributed a video game called “Fighters Uncaged.” The game drops players into the world of underground street-fighting and encourages gamers to become “the ULTIMATE FIGHTING weapon.”
Joe Stevenson Will Not Be Cut After KO Loss To Mac Danzig
Not yet anyway, according to Dana White after UFC 124. "We like guys that fight, we like guys that come in and lay it on the line. Joe Stevenson's had a bad run, it's so tough to cut a guy that comes in and does what he's supposed to do, and he's one of those guys. He got knocked out trying to knock (Danzig) out tonight. That's what happened. We'll see what happens with Joe Stevenson. I respect him, Joe (Silva) respects him, we like him and I wouldn't say he's getting cut, no." Stevenson is 2-4 in his last 6 fights.
GSP Wants 131 Slot, Velasquez-Dos Santos Also Possible
With the UFC's return to Canada already slated for April, it was easy to anticipate the question. Will Canadian superstar and welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre be available to headline April's UFC 131 event, which marks the promotion's debut in Toronto and takes place at the 69,000-seat Rogers Centre? If it's GSP's choice, absolutely. But not so fast, says Dana White. "The fight just got over," White said. "Like I say all the time, every time we go into the press conference, you guys are trying to make fights. I just don't know yet." UFC 131 is scheduled for April 30. If St-Pierre does commit to the four-and-a-half month turnaround, it will be the shortest span between fights for the champ since the sub-four-month break he had between his rematch with Matt Serra and his August 2008 win over Jon Fitch. St-Pierre will need a doctor's clearance first, but immediately after the fight, he said he felt up to the challenge. "I think I'm OK," St-Pierre said. "I will see the doctor. I have some bumps and bruises, but I'm healthy. So far, with the adrenaline, I feel good. We'll see in a few minutes when things slow down, but I think I can go back to training in maybe two or three days." Dana also said while nothing is set 131 has a chance to also host the Cain Velasquez-Junior Dos Santos UFC Heavyweight Title match.
UFC Claims 23,152 Attendance, $4.6 Million Gate For UFC 124
As expected, the UFC's fourth-ever trip to Montreal's Bell Centre was a smashing success at the box office. But it only broke one of the two records the organization hoped would fall. According to UFC president Dana White, Saturday's "UFC 124: Koscheck vs. St-Pierre II" event drew a North American MMA record 23,152 attendees for a live gate of $4.586 million, which fell short of the worldwide MMA record. That record is still $5.397 million at UFC 66 back in 2006. Both are expected to fall in April, however, when UFC 131 is held in Toronto at the 69,000 seat Rogers Centre.
UFC 124 Post-Fight Bonuses
At the UFC 124 post-fight press conference, Dana White announced the Bonus Of The Night winners. The KO Of The Night went ot Mac Danzig, Submission Of The Night went to Jim MIller and Mark Bocek, while fans voted Georges St. Pierre-Josh Koscheck as Fight Of The Night. Danzig, GSP & Kos all earned $100,000 for theirs while Bocek & Miller split it and each get $50,000. For the first time in company history, fans voted online for the "Fight of the Night" winners – much to White's chagrin. "They blew it," joked White, who said it won't be back. For what it's worth, Dana said his FOTN was Sean Pierson vs. Matt Riddle.
Fans Choose UFC FOTN For First Time.
Dana White will offer a $100,000 bonus to be split between the two fighters who participate in tonight's Fight of the Night. And for the first time ever, he's letting the fans choose it.
Starting at 10 pm ET/7 pm PT, fans around the world can vote at www.UFCVote.com via computer, iPhone/iPad or Android phone -- you can change your mind throughout the night, but only your final vote will be counted.
At the end of the broadcast, votes will be tallied and Dana will announce the winning bout at the Post Fight Press Conference, which can be viewed live at UFCLive.com.
myandroid713 RT @DigitalRoyalty UFC President @DanaWhite is allowing fans to decide "Fight of the Night". An unprecedented move.
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Zuffa Cuts LC Davis
Another casualty of the UFC-WEC merger was announced yesterday as Zuffa has released WEC fighter LC Davis. Davis was 3-2 overall in Zuffa but is on the Losing Streak Of Doom after winning his first 3 WEC fights. Additionally, all but one of his last 7 fights have been decisions.
Brock Lesnar’s Return Date Undetermined, Won’t Appear In WWE
Brock Lesnar’s next fight in the UFC still has not been determined, but one place he won’t be in 2011 is making a guest appearance in the WWE come Wrestlemania time.
Following his title loss to Cain Velasquez in October, Lesnar went on sabbatical to go hunting and get away from the fight game for a little while and also to spend time with his family. Since then, the questions continuously come in about when Lesnar could return. While UFC president Dana White has said nothing is on the table that might soon change.
Speaking to the media on Thursday, White plans on having a conversation with Lesnar’s team next week to start ironing out some details.
UFC 124's Sean McCorkle wants to fight aging legends after Stefan Struve
Sean McCorkle is past the days of fighting for any other reason than cash.
So what better way to make more green than to piggyback off a few aging legends?
After he beats Stefan Struve (20-4 MMA, 4-2 UFC) tomorrow at UFC 124, McCorkle (10-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) said, he'd like to up his earning potential against fighters whose best days are behind them.
"Preferably once they're on their last legs and are no longer very competitive," McCorkle told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "Like when Mike Tyson fought Larry Holmes, or when Holmes fought Ali way past [Ali's] prime."
The somewhat-serious UFC heavyweight said he already has a few names in mind.
"I'd like to have maybe (Antonio Rodrigo) Nogueira in two or three years and (Brock) Lesnar in 10, maybe," he said. "I keep telling people I'd love to fight Mirko 'Cro Cop' (Filipovic) after Struve.
"People think I'm crazy, and then I remind them that Mark Hunt beat Mirko when 'Cro Cop' was in his prime. Especially if the 'Cro Cop' that fought Frank Mir (at UFC 119) shows up. You fight a guy like that, and you've got nothing to lose and everything to gain."
Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto Signs With UFC; Debuts Against Demetrious Johnson In February
Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto is coming to the UFC and his first fight has now been confirmed as the Japanese fighter will meet Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson in a bantamweight fight likely set for UFC 126 in Las Vegas.
Sources close to the negotiations confirmed the bout to MMAWeekly.com on Friday, with at least verbal agreements in place for the February bout.
Yamamoto just signed with the UFC as confirmed by president Dana White on Twitter as of Thursday night. The former Dream and K-1 fighter was a powerhouse just a few years ago and widely considered the top featherweight in the sport before injuries and a run at the Olympics put his career on hold.