May 22, 2013 3:44:33 PM
Alistair Overeem vs. Travis Browne set for first event on UFC on Fox Sports1
Alistair Overeem's return to the octagon has been shifted from UFC 164 to the promotion's debut event on FOX Sports 1.
Mutiple sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com(www.mmajunkie.com) that Overeem (36-12 MMA, 1-1 UFC) is set to meet fellow standout heavyweight Travis Browne (14-1-1 MMA, 5-1-1 UFC) at UFC on FOX Sports 1 1, which takes place Aug. 17 at TD Garden in Boston.
Although the fight will be part of the night's main card and a major attraction, it won't even be the main event, UFC President Dana White subsequently told MMAjunkie.com. That assures at least one other significant bout will be added to the card.
Overeem originally was targeted to appear at UFC 164, which takes place Aug. 31 at Bradley Center in Milwaukee. Recently, the ex-Strikeforce champ tweeted, "Training hard and looking forward to aug 31!"
Overeem previously was scheduled to fight Junior dos Santos this weekend at UFC 160, but he was forced to withdraw from the event with an injury.
In his most recent performance at UFC 156, he suffered a knockout loss to underdog Antonio Silva, who is set to meet champ Cain Velasquez in UFC 160's headliner this weekend. That followed another setback when he tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone prior to a scheduled fight with dos Santos at UFC 146, which effectively barred him from competition for nine months.
Browne most recently fought at The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale, where he earned a first-round knockout win over onetime heavyweight title challenger Gabriel Gonzaga. Afterward, Gonzaga appealed the bout's official result, claiming the fight should be changed to a no-contest due to illegal strikes thrown by Browne. However, the Nevada State Athletic Commission denied his request.
The win put Browne back in the winner's column after a first-round TKO loss to Silva at UFC on FX 6, which came after he tore his hamstring early in the fight.
May 22, 2013 2:14:13 AM
Demetrious Johnson: 'I want to clear the air' with John DodsonSource: [/caption] Just a man on the job, Demetrious Johnson has a message for John Dodson, bullies and boxers. Johnson (Twitter: @MightyMouseUFC) will put his UFC flyweight title on the line at UFC on Fox 8 against John Moraga, which takes place on July 27 at the Key Arena in Seattle, Wash. Before “Mighty Mouse” moves on to his next opponent, he has to straighten something out with an old foe. Johnson, the first ever UFC flyweight champion, defended his title one time, and it was against John Dodson at UFC on Fox 6. The bout was a high paced, back and forth battle, which the judges scored in Johnson’s favor. There was no animosity between the two 125-pound combatants ahead of the match, but a statement on Johnson’s behalf was misconstrued and the champ has a message for “The Ultimate Fighter 14” winner. “I saw that John Dodson thought I was talking a lot of crap about him because I said he’s explosive, and I want to clear the air,” Johnson told Jason Kelly and Corey Charron on MMA DieHards Radio on the MMA DieHards Radio Network. “John Dodson is an amazing athlete, a great fighter; he has amazing technique and skill set. When I was trying to get a point across I said that his greatest asset that I was worried about was his explosiveness. That’s the only thing I was worried about. I know he has great technique and all that other stuff, I’m not saying that’s all he has. In my general category, when I go into fight him, that’s the only thing I worried about. How he can explode on people and knock them out. He took it the opposite way and thought I said, ‘He’s just explosive and that’s all he has.’ That’s the only thing I was worried about against him. He’s a great fighter, has a great skill set, great athlete, amazing ambassador for the sport. I just wanted to clear that up on the air. I hope this gets back to him so he knows I wasn’t disrespecting him.” Johnson is never one to call out a fighter, nor is he one to back down from a challenge, even if that test comes from another genre of combat sports. Every MMA fan in the world enjoyed former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Randy Couture having his way with the highly decorated boxer, James Toney. Recently from the boxing world, heavyweight Tyson Fury has been calling out UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez. The boxer versus MMA fighter debate is one that is unlikely to ever end, and Johnson wouldn’t mind the challenge in the cage or the squared circle. “If I was offered to fight a boxer in the Octagon, straight up, I’d be fine,” Johnson said. “Let’s say I was offered to fight Floyd Mayweather in the Octagon, and they were like, ‘I’m going to give you one million (dollars) of my money, but you got to do all you can to promote;’ I would do everything in my power to promote that fight and make boxing money any day of the week. “Especially if it was mixed martial arts, but if it was boxing, it would be much tougher. If the money was right and my coach thought it was OK and the UFC was OK with that, then hell yeah I’d fight. Why not? I mean, you might as well.” Johnson isn’t calling any boxers out, that’s not his style. He doesn’t see the need to talk about opponents or people in a slanderous fashion, or be the instigator in an effort to start a fight, and he travelled to share his beliefs on bullying. The UFC and AMC Pankration teammate visited Las Vegas schools to talk to kids about bullying. Various forms of victimization were touched upon, and Johnson pulled from his past experiences to inform students of the effects of bullying. “I was on the opposite end (of bullying),” Johnson said. “I tell my wife my bullying stories and she’s like, ‘What about the time you got jumped?’ And I’m like, ‘Well, I call that part of life. That’s what happens, it just happens.’ Obviously I’m a grown man now, so I can look back at it and it’s funny, but at the same time it’s like, what can you do about it? It’s part of life, it happens, but hopefully I can spread my word about how when I look back at it now I wish it never did happen. Maybe I wish it did happen because it made me who I am. Maybe if I didn’t get beat up I would be the person who bullied people, or maybe I’m happy those guys did beat me up because it made me not want to beat anybody else up.” Johnson, once bullied on, is now a UFC champion. Things may have changed in regards to who can mess with him these days, but not much else is different about the humble champion. For a history-making UFC champion with fame and money, Johnson does an outstanding job of staying true to himself and keeping his ego in check. “I’m just me being me and I won’t change for nobody,” Johnson said. “You know, they say when people stumble upon a lot of money they change. I guess I just haven’t stumbled upon enough money to make me change, or I don’t think there is enough money to make me change. I still do the same thing every day: I get up, I wash dishes, I head to the gym and train, come home and my wife has dinner cooked for me. I tell her don’t wash the dishes, I’ll do that. I’m just a man trying to pay my bills, and the way I do that is by fighting.”" target="ext_news">mmadiehards.com
May 22, 2013 2:01:42 AM
Josh Barnett returns to UFC
Heavyweight Josh Barnett (32-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) is an Ultimate Fighting Championship competitor once more.
USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie.com(www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed with promotion officials that former UFC heavyweight champion Barnett has signed a new multi-fight deal with the promotion and is expected to make his return to the octagon later this year. An official announcement is expected soon.
Barnett is currently ranked No. 6 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie.com rankings and was considered the world's most-talented free-agent heavyweight. His return date and opponent have yet to be determined.
Barnett has been fighting professionally since 1997 and made his promotional debut in 2000 with a TKO victory over Gan McGee at UFC 28. He would suffer a knockout loss to Pedro Rizzo in his next appearance before rattling off victories over Semmy Schilt, Bobby Hoffman and UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture. The win over Couture scored Barnett the UFC's heavyweight title, though he was later stripped of the belt in 2002 after failing the evening's post-fight drug test.
Barnett spent much of the next six years fighting in Japan, where in 2006 he made it to the finals of that year's PRIDE open weight grand prix before losing to Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic.
In 2008, Barnett returned to the U.S., where he earned victories over Gilbert Yvel in Rizzo under the Affliction banner before that promotion folded up shop. He would later sign with Strikeforce, where he advanced to the promotion's heavyweight grand prix final before falling short against undefeated contender Daniel Cormier. Barnett bounced back with a January win over Nandor Guelmino in Strikeforce's final event.
Earlier this year, Barnett and the UFC appeared close to signing a deal, but the talks stagnated and talks briefly dissolved. However, the two parties have now reached an agreement, and "The Warmaster" is now set for an octagon return.
May 21, 2013 11:03:32 PM
Lima-Saunders, Koreshkov-Askren set for Bellator Summer Series on July 31
The Summer Series continues for Bellator MMA as the promotion returns to Albuquerque Wednesday, July 31st as the Santa Ana Star Center will play host to reigning Bellator Welterweight World Champion Ben Askren defending his title against Russian phenom Andrey Koreshkov live on Spike TV. The night will also feature the long awaited conclusion to the Bellator Welterweight Tournament Finals as Douglas Lima takes faces Ben Saunders in a second epic battle, while featherweights collide as Patricio Pitbull returns to battle Rob Emerson.
Askren comes to Albuquerque sporting a spotless 11-0 record and is regarded as one of the best welterweights in the world. The former US Olympian has continued to impress during his illustrious career with Bellator, and will be looking to add another title defense to his resume with a huge victory on July 31 from the Santa Ana Star Center.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back into that cage and putting on a show,” Askren said. “I feel like I’ve continued to mature and get better in every one of my fights, and July 31st should be no different. I don’t think Andrey has any ability to stop my wrestling and ground attack, so this will be another successful title defense.”
Only 22, Koreshkov had a 2012 to remember as the Russian knockout artist was 5-0 over the year, including a tournament run that featured victories over Jordan Smith, Marius Zaromskis and Lyman Good.
"I'll be 110% ready for this fight,” Koreshkov said. “I'll make sure that Askren's tactics to put everybody in the audience to sleep won't work this time. Instead, I'll keep everybody entertained by putting him to sleep."
After two devastating knockout victories on his way to the Bellator Welterweight Tournament Finals, Douglas Lima is ready to collect his second Tournament Championship with a victory over Ben “Killa B” Saunders July 31st. Originally schedule for March of 2013, Lima suffered a fractured hand that delayed the fight, but is fully healed and ready to capture his $100,000 prize and shot at the Bellator Welterweight Championship.
“It’s an honor to fight a fighter like Ben again,” Lima said. “With the time off I’ve been able to fully heal to 100% and like always, will be looking to finish the fight early.”
For Saunders, the South Florida native is looking to avenge his 2011 Tournament Finals loss to Lima with a signature finish and finally achieve the title shot that has since evaded him.
“Quite simply, it’s about damn time Douglas and I get back into the cage,” Saunders said. “July 31st can’t get here soon enough. Can’t wait.”
The night will also feature the return of fan favorite and top featherweight Patrico Pitbull, as the Brazilian striker will battle California native Rob “The Saint” Emerson. After suffering just the second loss in his dominating career to the hands of reigning Bellator Featherweight Champion Pat Curran, Pitbull is eager to get back to his winning ways.
"I'm very motivated to get back in the cage, and I feel that I still haven't left totally removed myself from my fight with Curran, a lot of me is still in the fight,” Pitbull said. “But it's gone now and I have a tough opponent ahead, I'll be going stronger for this next challenge and doesn't matter how tough my opponents will be I will be stronger than I was! It's great to know I'm back."
“Our first event in Albuquerque was a huge success,” Rebney said. “With a Welterweight Title fight, the conclusion of our Welterweight Tournament, and a stacked fight card top to bottom, we’re looking at another huge night of fights July 31st live on Spike.”Source: mmadiehards.com
May 21, 2013 10:57:53 PM
With Barao out, Henderson-Evans fill UFC 161 main event
UFC interim champ Renan Barao is injured and out of next month's UFC 161 event. With little time to find a suitable replacement, the night's co-feature betweenRashad Evans (17-3-1 MMA, 12-3-1 UFC) and Dan Henderson (29-9 MMA, 6-3 UFC) has been promoted to headlining status.
UFC officials today made the change. Evans vs. Henderson remains a three-round bout.
UFC 161 takes place June 15 at MTS Centre in the Canadian city of Winnipeg. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and Facebook.
Evans, who had won four straight fights after losing his title to Lyoto Machida in 2009, looks to end a two-fight losing streak after dropping back-to-back decisions to current light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
The 33-year-old had flirted with the idea of a potential move down to middleweight in recent months but instead will face Henderson, who dropped a close split decision to Lyoto Machida this past month at UFC 157. The loss, which snapped a four-fight win streak and came after a 15-month injury layoff, likely cost the 42-year-old a title shot.
Barao looked to defend his interim title for a second time as champion Dominick Cruz recovers from a knee injury. Barao, who's won 30 straight fights (and five straight in the UFC), defended his interim belt for the first in February with a submission win over Michael McDonald.
His original opponent, Eddie Wineland, a former WEC champion, recently fought his way back into title contention with back-to-back wins over veterans Scott Jorgensen and Brad Pickett. Wineland's next move has yet to be announced.
With the loss of the Barao vs. Wineland contest, the UFC 161 main card has room for one more fight. It's currently unknown if UFC officials will secure a new opponent for Wineland or promote another contest from the evening's preliminary card.