UFC exec says reports of UFC sale are 'false,' internal email to staff offers same message
The world’s largest MMA promotion may eventually change hands at some point, but UFC officials insist that no such transaction has taken place at this time.
FloCombat.com today reported that UFC officials had accepted a bid of $4.2 billion from “a group consisting of WME-IMG, the Dalian Wanda Group, The Kraft Group and Tencent Holdings.” However, UFC Vice President of Public Relations Dave Sholler said those reports are untrue.
“FloCombat.com’s report indicating that the UFC has been sold is false,” Sholler told MMAjunkie. “We’ve communicated that to our staff members tonight via an internal memo.”
MMAjunkie obtained the email sent to all UFC employees denying the legitimacy of the FloCombat.com report and signed by UFC co-owner and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta.
“A report today by FloCombat.com indicating that the company has been sold is false,” the email read. “This follows other false speculation in the press recently.
“Such misrepresentation of facts in the media negatively impacts our business, staff members and athletes. We have instructed our attorneys to investigate and take all appropriate legal actions against the parties publishing and contributing to these false stories.
“With International Fight Week and the historic UFC 200 rapidly approaching, we look forward to once again delivering a series of events that our fans won’t soon forget. We appreciate your hard work, diligence and commitment, and thank you for your focus as we continue to take the sport to new heights.”
Georges St-Pierre announces he is ready to return to fighting
Georges St-Pierre, a man widely considered to be the greatest welterweight to ever compete in mixed martial arts, is ready to give it one more good run. St-Pierre announced Monday on The MMA Hour that he has decided to end his nearly three-year hiatus and return to the Octagon, provided that his management and the UFC are able to come to terms on a deal.
Report: Zuffa accepts bid of $4.2 billion for UFC sale, White staying on
It sounds like the sale of the UFC is marching ahead successfully. FloCombat reports that sources close to the company are saying that a group of investors have put together a $4.2 billion bid for the MMA organization and that Zuffa has accepted it.
This potential new ownership group apparently consists of WME-IMG, the Dailan Wanda Group, The Kraft Group, and Tencent Holdings. Alongside this news are reports that, despite selling his shares as part of the deal, President of Operations Dana White would be staying on in his role with the promotion, apparently receiving a new stake in the company as well.
Stephen Thompson would rather fight Robbie Lawler than Tyron Woodley for UFC title
Say whatever you want about Stephen Thompson, but he clearly isn't a man who prefers the easy road.
Thompson not only called for his shot at the UFC welterweight title after capturing a unanimous decision over Rory MacDonald at UFC Fight Night 89, but he also made it clear that he would rather face the incumbent champion, Robbie Lawler, rather than challenger Tyron Woodley after the two American Top Team teammates meet with the belt on the line at UFC 201.
Donald Cerrone: 'According to my pay, I don't mean sh*t to the UFC'
Donald Cerrone is all about chasing that paper. And it sounds like he isn't too happy with where he's at in the race.
After being read a list of his impressive accomplishments in the UFC, "Cowboy" slammed the promotion -- with a smirk on his face -- about how much he's getting compensated. Just a few hours earlier Saturday, Cerrone had walked over welterweight stalwart Patrick Cote en route to one of his most impressive wins.
"God, that all sounds nice," Cerrone said at the UFC Fight Night: MacDonald vs. Thompson post-fight press conference. "According to my pay, I don't mean sh*t to the UFC. But we'll see. Maybe I'll talk to [UFC president] Dana [White] after this and see if we can figure that out."
Chad Mendes makes first public comment since being flagged by USADA
Chad Mendes had not commented at all since being flagged by USADA. Until Saturday.
The perennial UFC featherweight contender tweeted about his situation Saturday, saying he would "own it" and "pay for it."
The UFC announced that Mendes (17-4) was facing a potential USADA anti-doping violation June 10. That usually means a fighter failed a drug test or informed USADA that he or she unknowingly took a banned substance. USADA won't release any more information on the situation until the adjudication process is over.
Derek Brunson out of UFC 200 bout against Gegard Mousasi
Derek Brunson won't be competing against Gegard Mousasi at UFC 200. The news was first reported by Sherdog on Sunday, and was later confirmed by MMA Fighting.
Brunson, who's currently ranked No. 11 in the UFC's middleweight rankings, was forced to pull out of his bout with former Strikeforce middleweight champion Mousasi for unknown reasons. The 32-year-old middleweight is currently 6-1 in his past seven trips to the octagon. He last fought on February at UFC Fight Night 83, defeating Roan Carneiro. His fight with Mousasi was to serve as a UFC Fight Pass preliminary bout.
Alexander Gustafsson vs. Jan Blachowicz among UFC Fight Night 93 additions
September’s UFC return to Germany has two new additions, and one of them includes a former title challenger.
Former light-heavyweight challenger Alexander Gustafsson (16-4 MMA, 8-4 UFC) and fellow contender Jan Blachowicz (19-5 MMA, 2-2 UFC) are slated for the event, and bantamweights Brad Pickett (25-11 MMA, 5-6 UFC) and Henry Briones (16-5-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) have also been booked.
UFC Fight Night 93 takes place Sept. 3 at Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, Germany. The entire event streams on UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.
Paul Felder vs. Francisco Trinaldo in the works for UFC’s return to Brazil
The UFC will return to Brazil on Sept. 23, and the promotion is already working on the card.
The yet-to-be-named UFC event will feature a lightweight clash between Paul Felder and Francisco Trinaldo, multiple sources close to the situation told MMA Fighting.
Felder (12-2), who has competed outside of the United States only once in his MMA career, enters the bout coming off back-to-back wins over Daron Cruickshank and Josh Burkman, improving to 4-2 under the UFC banner.
Jorge Masvidal replaces Claudio Silva, meets Siyar Bahadurzada at UFC 201
Jorge Masvidal (29-11 MMA, 6-4 UFC) has stepped in for an injured Claudio Silva (11-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) and now will meet Siyar Bahadurzada (22-6-1 MMA, 2-2 UFC) at UFC 201.
UFC officials today announced the change in plans.
With the change to the card, UFC 201 now includes:
Champ Robbie Lawler vs. Tyron Woodley – for welterweight title
Champ Demetrious Johnson vs. Wilson Reis – for flyweight title
Cesar Arzamendia vs. Damien Brown
Michael Graves vs. Bojan Velickovic
Erik Perez vs. Francisco Rivera
Damian Grabowski vs. Anthony Hamilton
Matt Brown vs. Jake Ellenberger
Ed Herman vs. Nikita Krylov
Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Rose Namajunas
Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Jorge Masvidal
Ian McCall vs. Justin Scoggins
Cortney Casey vs. Cristina Stanciu added to UFC Fight Night 91
UFC Fight Night 91 has added a strawweight showdown between Cortney Casey and Cristina Stanciu.
The UFC announced the bout on its official website.
With the addition, UFC Fight Night 91 includes:
Michael Chiesa vs. Tony Ferguson
John Lineker vs. Michael McDonald
Tim Boetsch vs. Josh Samman
Scott Holtzman vs. Cody Pfister
Keita Nakamura vs. Kyle Noke
Ben Nguyen vs. Louis Smolka
Devin Clark vs. Alex Nicholson
Alexey Oleinik vs. Daniel Omielanczuk
Matthew Lopez vs. Rani Yahya
Ryan Hall vs. Alex White
Cortney Casey vs. Cristina Stanciu
UFC 203 Update: Mairbek Taisumov to Face Nik Lentz on Sept. 10 in Cleveland
Mairbek Taisumov will attempt to earn his fifth straight win inside the Octagon when he faces Nik Lentz at UFC 203.
Promotion officials announced the lightweight contest on Wednesday. UFC 203 takes place at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on Sept. 10 and is headlined by a heavyweight title bout between Stipe Miocic and Alistair Overeem.
Fights announced so far are:
Stipe Miocic vs Alistair Overeem - for heavyweight title
Ben Rothwell vs Fabricio Werdum
Bethe Correia vs Jessica Eye
Mairbek Taisumov vs Nik Lentz
With knee finally healed, Mitch Gagnon eyes fall UFC return following lengthy layoff
After 18 months on the sidelines, Mitch Gagnon is finally ready to step back into the UFC cage. Almost.
“I just started to get back in the swing of things, and I plan on being back in there by the end of the year,” Gagnon told MMAjunkie.
Gagnon (12-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) hasn’t fought since a December 2014 loss to former UFC bantamweight champ Renan Barao at UFC Fight Night 58. While the submission defeat was disappointing enough, things got worse for Gagnon afterward, when he discovered that he tore his ACL during the contest.
Pete Williams vs. Mark Coleman at UFC 17 added to UFC Hall of Fame
A heavyweight matchup that provided one of the most surprising and spectacular knockouts in UFC history will be enshrined in the UFC Hall of Fame.
It was revealed on Wednesday’s new edition of FOX Sports 1’s “UFC tonight” that Pete Williams vs. Mark Coleman will join Matt Hughes vs. Frank Trigg at UFC 52, as well as Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar at The Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale in the UFC Hall of Fame’s fight wing.
Williams (12-6 UFC, 3-5 UFC) vs. Coleman (16-10 UFC, 7-5 UFC) joins fellow 2016 inductees Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Don Frye and Bob Meyrowitz.
Yair Rodriguez-Alex Caceres Headliner, 5 Other Bouts Set for UFC Fight Night in Utah
The bout was announced during Wednesday’s edition of “UFC Tonight.” In addition to the main event, five other contests were revealed: Cub Swanson vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri at featherweight; Court McGee vs. Dominique Steele at welterweight; Zak Cummings vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio at 170 pounds; Marcin Tybura vs. Viktor Pesta at heavyweight and Thales Leites vs. Chris Camozzi at middleweight. UFC Fight Night Salt Lake City takes place at Vivint Smart Home Arena and airs on Fox Sports 1.
Anthony Pettis faces Charles Oliveira in featherweight debut at UFC on FOX 21
Anthony Pettis has his first opponent as a featherweight.
The former UFC lightweight champion takes on Charles Oliveira at UFC on FOX 21 on Aug. 27 in Vancouver, FOX Sports reported Wednesday, per UFC executive Tom Wright.
Pettis (18-5), once considered one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world, lost three straight at lightweight before deciding to move down a weight class. "Showtime" dropped the belt last year to Rafael dos Anjos, then fell to Eddie Alvarez and Edson Barboza. Pettis, 29, is also now doing part of his training camp at JacksonWink MMA in Albuquerque.