Jason MacDonald returns at UFC 97
Veteran UFC middleweight and Canadian fighter Jason MacDonald (21-11 MMA, 5-4 UFC) will return to action in April when the UFC heads to Montreal, Canada, for UFC 97.
The UFC is in the process of finalizing an opponent for the 33-year-old Edmonton native.
UFC 97 takes place April 18 at the Bell Centre and airs live on pay per view.
Dana White: Phone call to BJ Penn during ‘Primetime Live’ was as real as it gets
“… if you saw the fallout with me and B.J. during [”Primetime Live”] — a lot of people thought that was contrived, but we don’t ******* fake anything here — it was all real. We could have done a behind the scenes of the behind the scenes on that one. It’s a great product. The end result was awesome. I think the cinematography is amazing. I think the storyline is great. It pumps you up when you watch it and gets you ready for what I call, just to let you know how big this fight is, it’s Haggler-Hearns, it’s Haggler-Leonard, it’s any of the big Tyson fights…. [Me and BJ] got into it a little bit. I’ve had a relationship with this kid for like 11 years. His brother described it best when he said we’re like a family. We’re a dysfunctional family sometimes, but we’re family. Not everybody agrees on everything, but it’s all good. I’m fond of B.J.. I’m fond of Georges. They’re both great guys and they’re both great athletes, and this is going to be a great fight. The whole thing with the phone call was just that all he needed to do was pick up the phone and say, ‘Everything’s good. I’m training.’ It would have avoided a lot of behind the scenes drama.”
Georges St. Pierre vs BJ Penn 2 is the fight of a lifetime
“You’re lucky if you see three or four of these fights in your lifetime. Two of the best fighters in the world in their weight classes — both champions — facing each other both in their prime. I know I keep saying this every time we put on another event, but I think this is going to be the biggest one we’ve ever done (on pay-per-view). B.J. is going to go down in history as one of the greatest lightweights in history. Georges St. Pierre has the opportunity to possibly beat B.J. Penn for the second time and possibly move up and take on Anderson Silva at 185 pounds….. It’s not boxing where one guy moves up six weight classes because he’s only jumping up three or four pounds. To hold two different titles in two different weight classes with the big jump in this sport is a big deal and something to be proud of.”
TJ Grant to Debut against Chonan at UFC 97
When most fighters learn they have finally received a coveted UFC invitation, their emotions can run the gamut, from incredulousness to joy. However, when Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, native T.J. Grant learned he had an offer to fight at UFC 97 on April 18 in Montreal, he tried to go back to sleep.
Grant (13-2) is currently half a world away, training his muay Thai with teammate Ryan Jimmo at the famed Kaewsamrit Gym in Thailand, and when his manager/trainer, Scott MacLean, gave him the big news, he did not really believe it.
Swick Injured, out at least 3 1/2 months
In recent weeks reports have circulated linking UFC welterweight competitor Mike Swick to potential fights vs. Anthony Johnson or Georges St. Pierre. While those fights still could happen at a later date, FiveOuncesOfPain.com has learned that an aggravation of a foot injury will prevent the season one veteran of The Ultimate Fighter from accepting a bout for at least the next three and a half months.
Nate Loughran Injured, Will Not Fight At UFN 18
Although recent reports had him listed as a possible opponent for WEC import Nissen Osterneck at UFN 18, Nate Loughran's manager says Loughran will not be ready to fight and may be out until May or June. Loughran is recovering from a broken rib and cartillage damage.
Hazelett Off UFC 96
There won't be any real "McLovin" at UFC 96 now-Dustin Hazelett, who was scheduled to face Ben Saunders at the event, is now off due to an injury sustained in training. Ryan Madigan, who will make his UFC debut at 96, is the replacement.
Keith Jardine perhaps expected to lose at UFC 96 …
… at least that’s what he thinks, anyway, in a recent SI.com article:
“I think [the UFC] is probably expecting me to lose. I think they’ve put me in other fights where they expected me to lose, but that didn’t happen. I guess I’m the guy they get to step in whenever they need somebody.”
“The Dean of Mean” attempts to get his head wrapped around the thought process behind matching him up against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in the main event at UFC 96 on March 1. It doesn’t make much sense on the surface, considering Jardine will not fight training partner, good friend and reigning division champion, Rashad Evans. And that’s a problem because the winner of the 205-pound bout between Jardine and Jackson would more than likely earn number one contender status. In fact, Jackson was already pegged to challenge Evans; however, the seven-week turnaround for “Sugar” between fights proved to be not enough time. Jardine has played spoiler twice before against big-name players in the division, including Forrest Griffin and Chuck Liddell. Can he pull off the hat trick at the Nationwide Arena?
Despite Comments, Swick Likely Not Facing Alves At 94, Future TBD
Although comments recently made by Marcus Davis suggest otherwise, sources have confirmed that his comments about Mike Swick vs. Thiago Alves happening at UFC 94 are false. In fact, Swick's next fight likely will be determined by the outcome of the BJ Penn-Georges St. Pierre fight at 94. Should GSP win, Swick likely will have to take a fight against someone other than Alves.
Luis Cane vs Steve Cantwell UFC 97 fight likely
Surging light heavyweight contender Luis Cane (9-1) will likely get to sink his chops into the last man to hold the World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) 205-pound title, Steve Cantwell (7-1), at UFC 97 from The Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on April 18.
“Banha” was supposed to collide with Keith Jardine; however, “The Dean of Mean” now has bigger and better things to take care of, namely Quinton “Rampage” Jackson,” after division champion Rashad Evans revealed he would not be ready in time for UFC 96 in March.
Ronys Torres Off UFN 18
Ronys Torres' UFC debut that was scheduled for UFN 18 on April 1 is now off. Torres has suffered a knee injury and will need surgery, which will keep him out up to 6 months. No word yet on the fate of Torres' planned opponent, Melvin Guillard.
Nissen Osterneck vs. Nate Loughran targeted for UFC Fight Night 18 bout
One-time World Extreme Cagefighting fighter Nissen Osterneck (5-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will likely make his UFC debut against Nate Loughran (9-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) in April at UFC Fight Night 18.
The fight is in the works and has been pitched to at least one of the fighters, a source close to one of the competitors told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).