UFC Champ Cruz to Undergo Sidelining Surgery
Dominick Cruz will undergo long-delayed surgery on his left index finger this week in Chicago, the UFC bantamweight champion told ESPN.com Monday.
The top-ranked 135 pounder joins the list of sidelined UFC champions which includes featherweight ace Jose Aldo (neck injury) and top heavyweight Cain Velasquez (shoulder injury). Cruz outlined a time frame of 8-12 weeks before he is likely to return to training, with the possibility of a six month hiatus from competition.
“It could be six months, but I’m not planning on six months,” Cruz said.
The 25-year-old Alliance MMA product first sustained the injury last summer in training for his Aug. 18 rematch with Joseph Benavidez at WEC 50. Nonetheless, Cruz defended his WEC bantamweight title against the Urijah Faber pupil, earning a split decision after five rounds. Following the bout, Cruz was issued a 180-day medical suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission due to a potential fracture of his right hand.
Rep: UFC's Anthony Pettis not waiting for title shot, returns May or June
It's certainly a gamble putting Anthony Pettis' lightweight title shot at risk. But the alternative is far worse.
Officials from Pettis' support team today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that keeping the WEC-champion-turned UFC-contender on the shelf while UFC champ Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard collide a third time could would bring cage rust as detrimental as a possible loss.
That's why they're targeting Pettis (13-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) for a May or June fight, presumably UFC 130 or UFC 131, against an opponent to be announced shortly.
Mike Roberts, Pettis' manager, today said verbal agreements are in place for the bout, though he declined to reveal the matchup.
Shane Carwin Plans Return at UFC 131 in Vancouver
UFC 131 is expected to take place June 11 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. ... UFC 131 is in the final planning stages and UFC officials are working this week to finalize the show and venue.
No bouts are rumored for UFC 131, but a source told MMAjunkie.com that former heavyweight title-challenger Shane Carwin could be featured prominently on the card, which would mark his first fight since back surgery.
UFC 130 Likely For Vegas, 131 For Vancouver
While neither event has been officially announced, UFC 130 & 131 are both taking shape and could be announced soon. 130 appears set for Las Vegas at the MGM Grand, while 131 will likely be held in Vancouver. The dates are to be May 28 and June 11, respectively.
"The Ultimate Fighter 13" cast shifts to all welterweights, coaches named this week
While initially intended to feature welterweights and middleweights, the upcoming 13th season of "The Ultimate Fighter" instead now will be a welterweights-only season.
A source close to the long-running competition/reality series today confirmed the plans with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The show begins taping this month, and it debuts March 30 on Spike TV. Coaches are expected to be announced this week, a source said.
With the single weight class, "TUF 13" is expected to use the same 28-man, 32-slot tournament that has been employed in recent seasons. The initial 28 elimination-round fights, which air over the first episode or two of the show, will determine the initial cast of 14. The fighters then enter a 16-slot bracket, and two opening-round losers will get a second shot as "wild card" picks. ("TUF 11" wild-card pick Kris McCray eventually became the show's runner-up.)
White Out: UFC President Dana White Silent on Strikeforce Tourney
It's been more than a week and we haven't heard a peep. No statements have been issued through media favorites like Kevin Iole or Ariel Helwani. There have been no mean spirited video blogs. Strikeforce has announced the biggest tournament in the history of American MMA and the UFC has maintained complete silence. For MMA fans, that has to be a little disconcerting.
Traditionally when UFC President Dana White sees a competitor on the horizon he strikes quickly. White isn't one to work the jab and bide his time for an opening either. He comes in windmilling, much like his favored brand of toughman style MMA, with both hands tossing wild and crazy winging blows. Usually the other guy falls down.
Pat Barry: I don't know how anyone is going to stop Alistair 'The Monster' Overeem
"The dude is a monster. That’s what I think. Not only is he humongous, (but) he’s extremely experienced. That’s what makes him the most dangerous. Not just the size, but he has so much experience in MMA and in kickboxing, and he’s a Dutch trained kickboxer. I was in Amsterdam for five years. I know what the Dutch train like out there... He doesn’t seem to get tired. All he needs to do is hit you one time. He’s fast, he’s athletic, and he’s strong as hell. He’s everything you need all in one body... The dude is a monster. I don’t know how anyone is going to stop him any time soon."
Charles Oliveira Signs New UFC Deal
Despite coming off a loss to Jim Miller at the "St. Pierre vs Koscheck" event last December, UFC lightweight Charles Oliveira has signed a four fight extension with Zuffa, according to the Houston MMA Examiner. The dynamic young fighter commented on the new deal: "I am very happy about the extension. They have been cutting so many 155 pounders, I am very blessed to have a job for 2011."
Forrest Griffin Is Just As Good As Rich Franklin-At Everything
So says Forrest, at least when it comes to their fighting styles. "Since 2001, I haven't gone a year without a win, at least a win, you know in a year. Now I've gone a whole year without a fight. ... Me and Rich are kind of the same; we're jacks of all trades, master of none. One thing he's done better than me -- oftentimes he's put the fight where he's better than his opponent, whereas a lot of times I think, 'I'm pretty good at this, I can do this, I can do that,' so I just do whatever my opponent wants me to thinking, 'I'm good enough at this,' as opposed to taking them out of their strong suit. With Rich, it's not really... it doesn't really matter because we're both pretty good at everything."
Zhang Tie Quan vs. Jason Reinhardt Added To UFC 127
Get ready for some "Big Trouble from Little China." Tiequan Zhang will become the first Chinese born fighter to compete in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) when he takes on Jason Reinhardt at UFC 127 in Sydney, Australia on Feb. 27. Zhang had previously competed under the Zuffa umbrella for the WEC, defeating Pablo Garza with a guillotine choke in his debut before dropping a decision to Danny Downes, the first loss of his budding career. "The Mongolian Wolf" typically competes at lightweight but will drop to 145-pounds for his debut in the Octagon. Reinhardt hasn't fought since January of 2008, a submission win over Cody Larson at Iowa Challenge 46. The Illinois native boasts an impressive career record of 20-1; however, that one loss came in his lone appearance in the Octagon at UFC 78, a submission defeat at the hands of Joe Lauzon. While fans may not exactly be on a first name basis with these competitors, of the 34 fights among them, only one of which has gone to the judges.
Anthony Pettis Will Fight Again Instead of Waiting for Edgar or Maynard
The draw between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard at UFC 125 will mean a trilogy between the two lightweight competitors will happen in 2011, but it also means the last WEC champion Anthony Pettis is left out of the title picture for the time being.
Now it appears Pettis will not wait around for a title shot, and will fight again before challenging Edgar or Maynard.
Phil Davis vs. Matt Hamill targeted for UFC 129 in Toronto
Welcome to the upper echelon of the division, Phil Davis.
Sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that fast-rising light heavyweight Phil Davis (8-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) is expected to face fellow contender Matt Hamill (10-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) at UFC 129 in Toronto.
Sources said verbal agreements are in place for the fight and that bout agreements soon should be signed.
UFC 129 takes place April 30 at Toronto's Rogers Centre, and the pay-per-view main card features welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre vs. top contender Jake Shields.
Davis vs. Hamill is expected to be part of the televised lineup.
Brown Replaces Jung Against Yahya at UFC ‘Fight for the Troops 2’
Former WEC featherweight champion Mike Thomas Brown will step in for an injured Chan Sung Jung and take on Rani Yahya at UFC “Fight for the Troops 2”.
News of the bout was first reported by MMA Junkie on Friday afternoon, and Sherdog.com has confirmed the report with sources close to the negotiations. “Fight for the Troops 2” will go down Jan. 22 from Fort Hood near Killeen, Texas. The event will raise money for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.
Quinton Jackson vs. Thiago Silva Targeted For UFC 130
Fresh off a dominating win over Brandon Vera at UFC 125, light heavyweight Thiago Silva next will fight former champion Quinton Jackson in a UFC 130 bout expected to have a major impact on the title picture. Sources say verbal agreements are in place, paperwork pending. The fight likely will be on the PPV, possibly the main event or co-main.
Chan Sung Jung Off UFC FFTT 2 (Updated)
There will not be any Korean Zombies at UFC Fight For The Troops 2 after all-Chan Sung Jung is now off the event due to an undisclosed injury. He was to have faced Rani Yahya. No replacement named yet.
UPDATE: Mike Brown is the replacement.