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Bellator and UFC dueled somewhat evenly in going head-to-head on a Saturday night where nearly 1.5 million fans watched MMA between 8 and 10 p.m. on cable television.
The UFC aired the prelims for UFC 198, doing 786,000 viewers, headlined by Demian Maia vs. Matt Brown, a stronger than usual FS 1 main event. It was the lowest prelim number before a pay-per-view so far this year. The head-to-head competition with Bellator was probably at least partially responsible. The prelims for UFC 197 did 835,000 viewers.
The Brown vs. Maia main event peaked at 985,000 viewers for the final rounds.
Bellator, which ran from 8 p.m. to 10:22 p.m., headlined by Phil Davis vs. King Mo Lawal, did 709,000 viewers, slightly above what Bellator usually does, a number fairly impressive given it was not on the regular night, started an hour earlier than usual and had the UFC competition.
In the key 18-49 demo, UFC had an edge in viewers by 399,000 to 346,000.
Spike, which airs Bellator, is available in about nine million more homes than FS 1.
The UFC welterweight title will be on the line on Saturday, July 30, as champion Robbie Lawler defends his title against number three-ranked contender Tyron Woodley in the main event of UFC 201 at Philips Arena in Atlanta.
UFC 201 marks the promotion's first event in Atlanta since UFC 145 in 2012.
Abel Trujillo has a next opponent for this month’s UFC Fight Night 88 event.
With Diego Ferreira (12-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) recently removed the matchup due to a potential USADA anti-doping violation, fellow lightweight Jordan Rinaldi (12-4 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has stepped in as a replacement to fight Trujillo (14-6 MMA, 5-2 UFC), officials recently announced.
July’s UFC on FOX 20 event in the Windy City has a new heavyweight matchup.
Francis Ngannou (7-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) and Bojan Mihajlovic (10-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) have been added to the summer card, officials today announced.
UFC on FOX 20 takes place July 23 at United Center in Chicago. The event is expected to air on FOX following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the lineup and bout order haven’t been finalized.
Seven fighters from this past weekend’s UFC 198 event were issued lengthy medical suspensions, and two could be out of action for up to six months.
Warlley Alves and Yancy Medeiros both face medical suspensions that could stretch 180 days.
Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson has signed a new, eight-fight deal with the UFC. The 29-year-old broke the news on Monday during an appearance on The MMA Hour.
“I signed a new eight-fight deal. I’m very excited to announce that,” he said.
Johnson (24-2-1) is coming off a first-round finish of Henry Cejudo at UFC 197. “Mighty Mouse” had fights remaining on his previous contract, but negotiated a new deal.
Matt Brown’s trip to Brazil didn’t end the way he was hoping.
The welterweight veteran, who suffered a third-round submission loss to Demian Maia at Saturday’s UFC 198 event in Curitiba, Brazil, was allegedly assaulted by his former jiu-jitsu coach Rodrigo Botti on Sunday morning in Brown's hotel lobby, sources confirmed with MMA Fighting.
Botti allegedly attacked Brown from behind, and then ran away. Brown’s friend chased him down, and was able to catch him outside the hotel. The ensuing fight was caught on tape and posted on YouTube.
(different angle in this vid)
Saturday’s UFC 198 event was a record-setting one for the MMA-crazed country of Brazil.
The event set a new UFC-Brazil attendance record with 45,207 attendees. A live gate total was not announced.
UFC Senior VP and GM of Brazil Giovani Decker announced the total at the post-event press conference, which MMAjunkie attended. Decker said the show sold out in 90 minutes, making it the fastest sell-out in UFC Brazil history.
In an ugly moment from UFC 198 on Saturday, American welterweight Matt Brown was struck by at least three fans as he made his walk to the octagon to take on Brazlian Demian Maia.
UFC General Manager of Brazil Giovani Decker was asked about the incident during the event’s post-fight press conference and said that the fight promotion is going to be “extra careful” in the future.
“We identified who it was that pulled him and we took them out of the arena,” he said.
Former PRIDE and interim UFC heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira will be inducted into the UFC's Hall of Fame as part of the 2016 class and into the pioneer wing. The UFC made the news official during the UFC 198 pay-per-view broadcast.
"I'm really excited to announce Minotauro Nogueira as the first inductee of the 2016 UFC Hall of Fame class," UFC President Dana White said via press release. "Big Nog is a mixed martial arts legend and, as an icon of the sport, we couldn't think of a more fitting platform to make this announcement then at the record-breaking stadium event in Brazil. Nogueira is a true pioneer and we look forward to celebrating his career with all the fight fans in July at the UFC Fan Expo."
The Brazilian bonanza that was UFC 198 is now in the books. The event, which is the first show the UFC has ever held in the storied fight-city of Curitiba, lived up to expectations - delivering a number of thrilling upsets and dramatic finishes. In what must have been a difficult decision for the UFC brass, the following fighters received a $50,000 bonus check.
Fight of the Night: Francisco Trinaldo defeats Yancy Medeiros by unanimous decision
Performance of the Night: Stipe Miocic and Ronaldo Souza
July’s UFC Fight Night 90 event has a new bantamweight matchup.
Russell Doane (14-5 MMA, 2-2 UFC) and Pedro Munhoz (11-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) were recently added to the fight card.
The latest UFC Fight Night 90 card includes:
Champ Rafael dos Anjos vs. Eddie Alvarez – for lightweight title
Derrick Lewis vs. Roy Nelson
Alan Jouban vs. Nordine Taleb
Mitch Clarke vs. Joseph Duffy
Alberto Mina vs. Mike Pyle
Mehdi Baghdad vs. John Makdessi
Anthony Birchak vs. Dileno Lopes
Gilbert Burns vs. Lukasz Sajewski
Marco Beltran vs. Reginaldo Vieira
Alvaro Herrera vs. Vicente Luque
Russell Doane vs. Pedro Munhoz
Anderson Silva was forced out of UFC 198 due to gall bladder surgery, but would apparently like to return at UFC 200.
Anderson Silva's late removal from UFC 198 due to gall bladder surgery disappointed many fans, but the former UFC middleweight champion is apparently angling for a quick return. Silva's physical trainer Rogerio Camoes spoke to Sherdog, and said Anderson wants to fight on the big July 9th card in Vegas:
"Thank God everything went fine and Anderson is already planning his return. He told me 'Master, pack everything up. We're going to UFC 200.' The most important thing is that he kept his mind strong and didn't lose his motivation. On the contrary, he's really motivated to take part at that historical UFC 200 event."
UFC champ Conor McGregor will have to cross “biggest weigh-in” off his list of accomplishments, because after today’s UFC 198 weigh-in, there’s a new record-holder in town.
UFC officials, who issued tickets, tell MMAjunkie that 15,000 fans attended today’s UFC 198 weigh-in event in Curitiba, Parana, Brazil...
Last month, it was revealed that Frank Mir tested positive for oral turiabol metabolites - an anabolic steroid - for his in-competition drug test relating to UFC Fight Night: Mir vs. Hunt.
Mir, who lost via first round KO to 'Super Samoan', hinted that tainted kangaroo meat in Australia was perhaps responsible for his failed drug test, and the two-time heavyweight champion is using the same argument to defend his 'B' sample, which also flagged for performance-enhancing drugs.
Mir cited NFL lineman Duane Brown on his Phone Booth Fighting podcast (per MMA Fighting), whose positive drug test for clenbuterol stemmed from tainted beef he ate in Mexico.
The fight card for UFC 201 began to take shape on Friday, as Ultimate Fighting Championship officials announced a pair of bouts for the July event.
Afghan knockout artist Siyar Bahadurzada will square off against Brazilian Claudio “Hannibal” Silva in a welterweight matchup, while Australian lightweight Damien Brown will make his sophomore Octagon appearance against Paraguay’s Cesar Arzamendia.
UFC 201 takes place July 30 at Philips Arena in Atlanta, marking the company’s first trip to Georgia’s capital since UFC 145 in April 2012. Though not officially announced, a welterweight title fight between champion Robbie Lawler and challenger Tyron Woodley has been tabbed as the pay-per-view’s main event.
UFC lightweight Carlos Diego Ferreira is the latest fighter to find themselves in hot water with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). The UFC announced Friday that Ferreira was flagged for a "potential Anti-Doping Policy violation" in a recent out-of-competition drug test with USADA.
As a result, Ferreira has been removed from his preliminary card fight against Abel Trujillo on May 29 at UFC Fight Night 88. The UFC is currently looked for a replacement opponent to fight Trujillo.