Rafael Natal Signs With UFC
According to Renzo Gracie, Middleweight Rafael Natal has signed a 4-fight deal with UFC. Natal is an instructor ("professor") at Gracie's New York City-based academy. Natal has a 12-2 MMA record and is coming off a win against Travis Lutter at the recent Moosin MMA event in Massachusetts. He had originally signed with Shine Fights in February but never fought for them.
Nogueira vs. Mir To Headline UFC 119
Shortly after the co-main event for UFC 119 was announced, the main event was revealed and they have one thing in common: Nogueiras. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Frank Mir has been confirmed by Dana White as the main event soon after Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Ryan Bader was tapped as co-headliner. An official announcement is expected soon.
Frank Mir's Goals For 2011: Retire Nogueira And KO Lesnar
2 goals that boxing guru Jimmy Clifford thinks are attainable in comments made to The Las Vegas Sun. "We believe Mir is going to be the guy to knock out Brock Lesnar. Me, GSP, Freddie Roach - we all agreed Mir can do it. We see holes in his game we know we can expose. If you're asking me who would Frank Mir want to fight right now, it's Brock. He'd love to fight him. Realistically, that's not going to happen so we want that Nog fight. Nog claims staph infection affected his chin in the last one. I don't know how that happens, but I think if Mir gets a chance at Nogueira again, he'll knock him out early and retire him. Right now, he's at 252 and his best fighting weight is between 240 and 245 pounds. He's not going to stay at 265 to fight Brock again ... In Mir's mind, it's about martial arts vs. this big gorilla who really is just a big gorilla."
JAMES TONEY: "I'll make an example out of Dana"
"We're going to make an example of James Toney."
The upcoming fight between former UFC champion Randy Couture and current IBA heavyweight champion James Toney, according to UFC president Dana White, is being set-up as a freak show, to see what happens when a boxer steps in with a mixed martial artist.
James Toney was a guest on MMAWeekly Radio on Wednesday night and heard about White's comments for the first time. Not surprisingly, he had a few words on the subject.
"Give him the message, tell Dana White to excuse these nuts," said Toney. "I'm going to make an example out of him and his fighters."
Kyle Kingsbury vs. Jared Hamman targeted for UFC Fight Night 22
Light heavyweights Kyle Kingsbury (8-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) and Jared Hamman (11-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) are expected to clash in a preliminary card bout at UFC Fight Night 22.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) learned the news today from sources close to the event, who said that at least one fighter has signed off on the fight.
UFC Fight Night 22 takes place Sept. 15 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas, and airs live on Spike TV, though the promotion has yet to officially announce the event.
Nick Catone vs. Tomasz Drwal in the works for UFC Fight Night 22 in Texas
It appears Nick Catone will stay at middleweight for now.
Not long after the New Jersey native told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that he wants to drop to welterweight, sources close to the promotion today said Catone (8-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) will stay in the 185-pound division to fight Tomasz Drwal (17-3-1 MMA, 3-2 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 22.
UFC Fight Night 22 is expected to take place Sept. 15 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas, and air live on Spike TV, though the promotion has yet to officially announce the event.
The position of Catone vs. Drawl on the fight card is unknown at this time.
Carlos Condit signs new 4-fight deal with the UFC
Former WEC welterweight champion Carlos Condit has been offered and will sign a new four-fight deal with the UFC that will see the New Mexico native stay with the promotion into the foreseeable future.
Sources close to Condit on Wednesday confirmed the news to MMAWeekly.com.
Condit is expected to make his return to action against Dan Hardy at UFC 120 in London, England, in October, although no confirmation has been made by the UFC about the fight.
Anderson Silva Will Beat Chael Sonnen Like A Child And Shut His Mouth
So says the latest 3rd party to jump into the pre-UFC 117 trash talk fest, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. "I think he's just talking nonsense. He is not even a real challenger to Anderson. I think other fighters have done much more in the division, such as Dan Henderson, Nate Marquardt, whom he won against, Demian Maia, who played with (Sonnen) like a child, and Vitor Belfort. He is enjoying his 15 minutes of fame. He will take a beating from Anderson, who will beat him like a child, will beat his ass and will shut his mouth. He has no qualifications to compete for the belt -- that's the truth. He doesn’t have good boxing or ground, only good wrestling. Anderson is on another level. He hopes that Anderson will lose his control and blow up. It’s the only chance he has since Anderson is technically much better than him."
Rubber Match Not Likely in Bonnar-Soszynski Rivalry Anytime Soon
Stephan Bonnar's spent much of the last three years in search of a win, and much of the last year focusing on one man: Krzysztof Soszynski.
After splitting two fights with Soszynski in the last five months, though, it appears that a rubber match to their series is not likely to happen in the near future, according to UFC president Dana White.
UFC 116's "UFC Prelims" broadcast peaks with 1.5 million viewers; weigh-ins draw 645K
After earning an impressive 1.6 million viewers for its UFC 114 broadcast, Spike TV's "UFC Prelims" broadcast for this past weekend's UFC 116 event dipped slightly for an average of 1.3 million viewers, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed with an industry source.
The three-fight July 3 broadcast, which featured Brendan Schuab vs. Chris Tuchscherer and Ricardo Romero vs. Seth Petruzelli, as well as a bonus fight of Gerald Harris vs. David Branch did peak with 1.5 million viewers in the final quarter hour.
Additionally, the July 2 broadcast of the UFC 116 weigh-in ceremonies, the first-ever such broadcast for Spike TV, drew 645,000 viewers.
Brock Lesnar vs. Cain Velasquez Won't Happen at UFC 119
UFC 119, the organization's first event in Indianapolis, IN, is still without a main event, and considering Brock Lesnar walked away from Saturday night's title defense relatively healthy, many were pushing the idea that his next title defense against Cain Velasquez, could occur as soon as September.
However, UFC president Dana White squashed those rumors Tuesday.
UFC 116 Medical Suspensions
The NSAC has posted the official UFC 116 results on its website, which also reveal the medical suspensions coming out of the event. Of note with regards to a potential UFC Heavyweight Title fight as soon as September is that Brock Lesnar is suspended due to cuts, but for only 45 days with no contact for 30 days.
UFC's Lyoto Machida primed for return; camp calls for interim shot with Rashad Evans
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida (16-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) has fully recovered from a knockout loss to Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in May, and "The Dragon" is primed for a return to action.
And if you think Machida is looking for some kind of warm-up fight to get the taste of his first professional loss out of his mouth, think again.
Instead, with Rua sidelined until the spring, Machida and his camp would like a shot at an interim title against Rashad Evans with the winner eventually taking on "Shogun."
TJ Grant vs. Julio Paulino In The Works For UFC 119
Following withdrawing from UFC 116 due to a back injury, Julio Paulino now appears set to return to action at UFC 119, where he likely will face TJ Grant. Verabl agreements are in place, paperwork pending. The fight will likely be a prelim but that hasn't been determined yet.
Nate Diaz Signs New 4 Fight Deal With UFC
TUF 5 winner Nate Diaz is expected to finalize a new deal with UFC today. Diaz' manager, Cesar Gracie, says it's a 4-fight deal. Additionally, Diaz is signed to face Marcus Davis on the first televised bout of Aug. 28's UFC 118 in Boston.
UFC 116 Official Fighter Payouts
The NSAC has revealed the official fighter payouts from Saturday's UFC 116 event. The total discloused payouts were $923,000 with the biggest share-as expected, $400,000-going to Brock Lesnar.
Leben will stay busy, but not against Wanderlei
In what would be guaranteed dynamite, Leben vs. Silva would seem like a lock, but UFC president Dana White had to let the air out of the balloon at the post-fight press conference saying that Silva will be out for several months.
"We talked about that, the problem is Wanderlei's having knee surgery. He's going to be out for a while," said White.
Leben will undoubtedly take some much needed time off now after two fights in two weeks, but White hopes to keep the former Team Quest fighter busy, because that's the best way to guarantee his performance.