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Jan 29, 2005
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I'm a big Pettis fan but dude is trippin if he thinks Aldo is a harder fight than Bendo

Pretty clear to me Pettis picked the Aldo fight because it's an easier way to the title for him in his mind. Aldo is only going to stand with Pettis and Aldo always starts to get tired in the 3rd. Bendo can possibly wrestle fuck Pettis like Guida did and Bendo's gas tank doesn't run out.

On that note i'm happy as hell for this fight lol should be one of the best pure striking fights in UFC history.
 

RM211

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Feb 10, 2006
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UFC on FOX 7's Dan Hardy says retirement on the horizon

A four-fight skid that nearly ended his UFC career also brought clarity to Dan Hardy.

Now back on the winning track, the British welterweight is planning to retire next year, if all goes well.

"I'm ready for a new challenge, I'll be honest," Hardy said. "There are a lot of things about this sport that I love, and a lot of things about this sport that I don't like at all."

Hardy declined to elaborate on his reasons for leaving and said he'll do so when he's closer to retirement.

"Martial arts for me has always been a tool to understand myself a little more, and it's getting to the stage where it's run its course now," he offered. "The structure the sport has taken on is taking away from that for me, and I think I'm best served to be somewhere else in the future."

For now, Hardy (25-10 MMA, 6-4 UFC) is focused on a fight with Matt Brown (16-11 MMA, 9-4 UFC) at UFC on FOX 7, which takes place April 20 at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.

"Whatever Matt can bring, I can bring it back on him tenfold and make it really rough for him," Hardy said.

The fight is the first of what Hardy hopes is a five-fight win streak ending with a defense of the UFC welterweight title, which is currently held by the man who first halted his octagon win streak, Georges St-Pierre.

Hardy belted out four straight wins before getting a shot at the French-Canadian champ at UFC 111. In a one-sided fight, St-Pierre won via unanimous decision.

Subsequent losses to Carlos Condit, Anthony Johnson and Chris Lytle prompted many fans to wonder whether Hardy would be released from his contract, but UFC executive Lorenzo Fertitta said the fighter's job was safe.

Hardy then rebounded with a first-round KO of Duane Ludwig, which earned him a $70,000 performance bonus, and outpointed Amir Sadollah in his most recent outing.

Seizing upon current momentum is Hardy's chief goal.

"As of right now, I just need to embrace that instinctual inner-reptile and have a run at the belt again," he said. "I'm excited about this year because my potential is sky-high, and it's completely open for me to do whatever I like with it. I'm very determined to make this a big year for me and step away from the top of the sport and do something else for a while."

Of the many things he plans to do after hanging up his gloves, Hardy plans to get a doctorate in philosophy and backpack around South America, where he visited this past summer and participated in a life-changing ayahuasca retreat.

"I'll never be away from the gym for too long," he said. "I couldn't walk away from it entirely. I just think there's a time to review where you're at and see what you want to do with the rest of your life, and I think in that two years when I was losing, I had a lot of time to do that, and I made plans for the future that I was excited about. Now, I've got a second chance at my UFC career, and I'm going to run at it and see what happens after it."
 

RM211

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Feb 10, 2006
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UFC on FUEL TV 9 adds Mitrione-De Fries, Couture-Pearson, Alloway-LaFlare

A trio of bouts have been announced for April's UFC on FUEL TV 9 event in Sweden as the card continues to round itself out.

Matt Mitrione (5-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) meets Philip De Fries (9-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) in a heavyweight bout; Ryan Couture (6-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) makes his UFC debut against Ross Pearson (14-6 MMA, 6-3 UFC) at lightweight; and Ben Alloway (13-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) takes on promotional newcomer Ryan LaFlare (7-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at welterweight. UFC officials on Saturday announced the matchups.

UFC on FUEL TV 9 takes place April 6 at Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm. Headlining the event is a light heavyweight bout between Alexander Gustafsson and former Strikeforce champion Gegard Mousasi. The event's main card airs on FUEL TV following prelims on Facebook.

Mitrione gets a relatively quick return to action after a December first-round TKO loss to Roy Nelson at the TUF 16 Finale in Las Vegas. That bout was the "TUF 10" vet's first fight in more than a year after suffering a unanimous decision loss to Cheick Kongo at UFC 137 – his first career MMA loss. Mitrione started his career 5-0 with four KO or TKO stoppages and was steadily creeping into talk of a potential title shot at heavyweight when Kongo beat him.

De Fries will be looking to rebound from a knockout loss of his own. The Brit was stopped in the first round by Todd Duffee at UFC 155 in December, dropping him to 2-2 in the UFC. He has alternated wins and losses in the UFC starting with a decision win over Rob Broughton at UFC 138 in his native England. Then he was stopped by Stipe Miocic just 43 seconds into their fight at UFC on FUEL TV 1 before submitting Oli Thompson at UFC on FOX 4 in August.

Couture went 6-1 in Strikeforce, including four straight wins to close out his career in that promotion. Just this past month at Strikeforce's finale in Oklahoma City, Couture won a hard-fought split decision against K.J. Noons – a bout that drew controversy over the decision, including from UFC President Dana White, who believed Noons won the fight. Couture, son of UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture, will fight outside the United States for the first time. And he also will apparently do it without corner help from his father, who just signed a deal with Spike TV, the UFC's former cable home. As part of the deal, Randy Couture will be part of a reality series with Bellator, the UFC's rival, news which recently riled up White enough to say the former two-division UFC champ wouldn't even be able to buy a ticket to a UFC event, let alone be allowed to corner his son. White did say, though, that Ryan Couture was offered a chance to leave the UFC if he wanted, given the promotion's bad relationship with his father, and that Couture wanted to stay.

Pearson returned to lightweight in December and scored a big third-round TKO against George Stoiropoulos at UFC on FX 6 in Australia. That fight came after the two coached opposite each other on "TUF: Smashes" and became fairly heated rivals. Pearson, the Season 9 winner of "The Ultimate Fighter," went 5-2 at lightweight in the UFC. But after a loss to Edson Barboza, he tested the waters at featherweight. He went 1-1 there, and a second-round TKO loss to Cub Swanson sent him back to 155 pounds.

Alloway made his UFC debut this past December after a run on the promotion's second international edition of "The Ultimate Fighter." The Aussie reached the quarterfinals on "TUF: Smashes," but in his fight against Manuel Rodriguez at UFC on FX 6 in Australia, he impressed with a first-round knockout, giving him six straight wins.

LaFlare remained unbeaten this past month with a submission of Andrew Osborne at Ring Of Combat 43 – his first fight in more than two and a half years. That was enough to get him booked for a bout in March with UFC vet Josh Burkman at World Series of Fighting 2, a fight that was announced earlier this week. But that fight is off the table. LaFlare was signed to Strikeforce in 2011 for an anticipated debut at Strikeforce Challengers 16. But he was injured and forced out of a fight with Travis Bush and never did get a fight with the promotion. With his contract reportedly carrying over to the UFC after Strikeforce closed up shop, the unbeaten New Yorker now gets a high-profile spring fight in the UFC instead of his debut with WSOF.

With the additions, the UFC on FUEL TV 9 card now includes:
•Alexander Gustafsson vs. Gegard Mousasi
•Phil De Fries vs. Matt Mitrione
•Ryan Couture vs. Ross Pearson
•Mike Easton vs. Brad Pickett
•Akira Corassani vs. Robert Peralta
•Papy Abedi vs. Besam Yousef
•Marcus Brimage vs. Conor McGregor
•Benny Blanco vs. Ryan LaFlare
•Adlan Amagov vs. Chris Spang*
•Michael Johnson vs. Reza Madadi*
 
Jan 29, 2005
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Mighty Mouse vs. John Moraga For The Flyweight Title Added To TUF 17 Finale

lol damn, a world title fight headlining The Ultimate Fighter, I guess it's a great way to build up the flyweights to casual fans though

Demetrious Johnson-John Moraga title bout sweetens 'TUF' finale card - Sports - ReviewJournal.com


BY ADAM HILL
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
Posted: Feb. 11, 2013 | 12:57 p.m.
When the champion of the current season of "The Ultimate Fighter" is crowned in Las Vegas on April 13, the bout will not be the main attraction.

Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson will defend his title against John Moraga on the card, according to sources close to the organization. It will mark the first time a UFC belt is on the line on a "TUF" finale.

No venue has been announced for the event.

In addition, Miesha Tate will make her UFC debut against Cat Zingano. It's only the second female fight the UFC has announced and the first one that doesn't involve champion Ronda Rousey.

Also, heavyweights Gabriel Gonzaga and Travis Browne will meet.

Two featherweight fights are also set to be announced.

Bart Palaszewski will fight Cole Miller and Daniel Pineda will take on Justin Lawrence.

The remainder of the card is likely to be filled by contestants from this season of the reality show, which airs Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. on FX (Cable 24).
 
Jan 29, 2005
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Cain/Bigfoot II And JDS/Overeem Announced For UFC 160

Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio Silva II, Alistair Overeem vs. Junior dos Santos set for UFC 160 - MMA Fighting

One year after Cain Velasquez mauled Antonio Silva, the two heavyweights will do it again, agreeing to a rematch at UFC 160, the Memorial Day weekend card which will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

The matchups were reported on Tuesday's edition of UFC Tonight, citing confirmation from UFC president Dana White.

The show's date, May 25, is one day short of the one-year anniversary of their first meeting, which Velasquez won via TKO in just 3:36.

Silva set himself up for the heavyweight championship opportunity after stunning Alistair Overeem at UFC 156 on Feb. 2. At the time, Overeem had been promised a title shot with a win, but no such promise had been made to Silva, who was a sizable underdog going into the bout.

After losing the first two rounds, Silva came out on fire to start the third, rocking Overeem with an uppercut before flattening him with a thunderous barrage against the fence.

Silva is likely to be a major underdog to Velasquez as well. In his previous loss to the UFC heavyweight champ, it was an elbow that caused significant problems when Velasquez sliced him open, leading to a constant spray of blood that caused Silva vision problems. Partially because he was unable to see what was coming, he was out-landed by a lopsided 53-3 margin.

That match happened to be Velasquez's first since losing the belt to Junior dos Santos, and he later rebounded from his own one-sided beating, avenging the loss to dos Santos with a five-round romp to reclaim the belt. This will be his first attempt at a title defense since that December match.

Meanwhile, White also announced another major heavyweight fight that will pit dos Santos against Overeem in the night's co-main event.

Heading into late 2012, it seemed that the two were on a collision course to fight for the championship, but dos Santos was steamrolled by Velasquez while Overeem fell to Silva, and now here they are here, both facing the prospect of a two-fight losing streak.

The fight between the duo should carry with it some personal undertones. In the past, Overeem has accused dos Santos of being afraid of him, words that motivated dos Santos to request a matchup with the Dutch striker. On May 25, the stakes won't be quite as high as they could have been, but with Silva proving a two-fight win streak could lead to a title shot, they are still significant.
 
Feb 10, 2006
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Alexander gustafsson gets title shot if victorious in ufc on fuel tv 9 headliner

LONDON – Alexander Gustafsson's path to a shot at the UFC light-heavyweight title apparently has just one more step.

If victorious against Gegard Mousasi in the headliner of April's UFC on FUEL TV 9 event, the Swedish fighter will got a long-coveted title fight, UFC President Dana White said today while in London.

UFC on FUEL TV 9 takes place April 6 at Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm. Gustafsson (15-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) vs. Mousasi (33-3-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC), which headlines the FUEL TV-televised main card, marks Mousasi's promotional debut, though the former DREAM and Strikeforce champion is a stellar 20-1-1 over the past seven years.

"If Mousasi beats Gustafsson, he skyrockets right to the top of that division," White said. "And as far as Gustafsson goes, if he beats Mousasi in that fight, he's in line for a title shot.

"This is a big fight for both of those guys."

It'd mark a seventh straight win for Gustafsson, who's submitted Cyrille Diabate and James Te Huna, knocked out Matt Hamill and Vladimir Matyushenko, and earned decision wins over Thiago Silva and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua. The only loss of his six-year career came to fellow contender (and current training partner) Phil Davis back in 2010.

Mousasi, meanwhile, recently concluded his Strikeforce run with a submission victory over Mike Kyle in January.

Current light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones (17-1 MMA, 11-1 UFC) meets Chael Sonnen (27-12-1 MMA, 6-5 UFC) on April 27 at UFC 159. In another bout of top 205-pound contenders, Dan Henderson (29-8 MMA, 6-2 UFC) meets Lyoto Machida (18-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) next week at UFC 157.
 
Feb 10, 2006
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Vitor belfort vs. Luke rockhold to headline ufc event in brazil

LONDON – Final Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold (10-1 MMA, 0-0 SF) and fellow UFC contender Vitor Belfort (22-10 MMA, 11-6 UFC) will headline a major UFC event in Brazil.

UFC President Dana White today confirmed the plans while in London.

A date and venue have not been determined for the fight, White said, though the event is expected to take place in the second quarter of 2013.

The fight is likely to determine a No. 1 contender.

Rockhold, who's been nursing a shoulder injury, hasn't fought since July, when he successfully defended his Strikeforce belt with a unanimous-decision victory over Tim Kennedy. It was his second title defense (he also knocked out Keith Jardine) following his September 2011 title win over Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza. The American Kickboxing Academy fighter, who campaigned for the Belfort fight in recent weeks, now owns a nine-fight win streak with seven stoppages.

Belfort, meanwhile, most recently scored a TKO victory over Michael Bisping in the headliner of UFC on FX 7 in January. The victory, which moved Belfort to 3-1 in his past four fights, actually spoiled Bisping's promised title shot. After the fight, though, Belfort campaigned for a rematch with light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who submitted the Brazilian in September, rather than middleweight champ Anderson Silva, who knocked him out in 2011. However, he'll remain in the 185-pound division for now.

Belfort was granted use of testosterone-replacement therapy for the January bout, but he didn't fail a post-fight drug test, as was widely rumored. With no lingering injuries from the Bisping fight, he'll face a fairly quick turnaround time for the Rockhold meeting.
 
Feb 10, 2006
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Barring retirement, ufc unlikely to strip injured champ dominick cruz of title

LONDON – UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz has been on the sidelines for 16 months, and with recent knee surgeries, his exact return date remains unknown. But don't expect the UFC to strip his title anytime soon.

The division, of course, has moved on without Cruz (19-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC). Renan Barao (29-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC), who defeated Urijah Faber for the interim title in July, next meets challenger Michael McDonald (19-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) on Saturday at UFC on FUEL TV 7 in London.

But what happens if Cruz, who's already undergone two ACL injuries, is further delayed?

Regardless, White said, don't expect the Barao-McDonald winner to drop the "interim" tag. Not unless the 27-year-old Cruz calls it quits, anyway.

"If he starts training again and gets another injury that's going to take him out for a year – and I hate to even say this about the kid since he's a really good kid – but he should seriously probably look at retiring," White said. "But I'm not taking something like [the title] from somebody.

"The way that it works in the fight business is you beat the man who beat the man. Obviously, though, if he had to retire, then [the interim titleholder] would automatically become the champion."

White, though, suggested such a scenario is unlikely. Cruz previously held the WEC title until he was folded into the UFC's new bantamweight division and dubbed its first champion in late 2010. He defeated Faber in July 2011 and then topped Demetrious Johnson a few months later. However, while preparing for a rubber match with Faber back in July, he tore his ACL and underwent surgery. Then, later that year, his body rejected cadaver tissue, and he was forced to go under the knife again.

"I've never seen anybody with worse luck than this kid has had over the last several years," White said.

Cruz, who's a frequent analyst during FUEL TV's live-event broadcasts, hasn't given a timetable for his return. White also isn't sure of one, though he told MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps*–*MMAjunkie.com) he's hopeful Cruz will be back this summer in time to fight this weekend's Barao-McDonald winner.

"We expect him to come back," White said. "Everything is going as well as can be expected, and hopefully he comes back soon. But that's really all I can say."
 
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Comcast and fox reach deal, xfinity customers to get fuel tv's ufc programming

Comcast customers will have much more access to UFC programming following a new programing agreement that was reached by the cable company and FOX Networks.

The deal, announced Tuesday, impacts Comcast's approximately 22 million Xfinity cable subscribers.

They'll now have access to FOX's 20 broadcast outlets, including FUEL TV, which broadcasts dozens of UFC main and preliminary cards – and other UFC specialty programming such as weigh-in specials, pre-/post-event shows, and the weekly "UFC Tonight" news program – each year.

The deal's financial terms were not disclosed.

FUEL TV airs the UFC's next event, "UFC on FUEL TV 7: Barao vs. McDonald," live on Saturday with a main-card broadcast from London's Wembley Arena. Additionally, when UFC on FX and The Ultimate Fighter Finale events air on FX, FUEL TV carries the preliminary cards.

Comcast customers were left in the dark after the UFC moved from Spike TV to the FOX family of channels in 2012.

Earlier this year, FOX announced plans to rebrand SPEED and FUEL TV as FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2. Officials haven't formally announced how the new setup will impact UFC content once the rebranding is implemented in August.

In addition to FX and FUEL TV, which both carry UFC programming, the FOX channels include the likes of FX Movie Channel, FOX Soccer, National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild, MundoFox, FOX Deportes and FOX Business Network. The Comcast deal includes both live and OnDemand content.
 
Feb 10, 2006
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Ufc 157's lyoto machida expects a title shot; dan henderson, a tough fight

Lyoto Machida expects the winner of UFC 157's co-main event to get a title shot.

"I believe that whoever wins should definitely be the contender for the title," the ex-champ told MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps*–*MMAjunkie.com) during a media call in support of the event. "If we're No. 1 and No. 2, then the title shot is definitely on the line in this fight."

Machida (18-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) meets Dan Henderson (29-8 MMA, 6-2 UFC) in a battle of top light heavyweights at the Feb. 23 event, which takes place at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The event's main card airs live on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and Facebook.

Henderson, a two-time UFC title challenger at middleweight and light-heavyweight, sounded far less charged about the stakes of the fight.

"Just like any fight nowadays, there's a lot on the line, and he's definitely going to be a huge challenge," he said. "I'm not really looking past it. I just want to make sure my game plan is there, my mind is in this fight, and we'll see what happens after that."

Henderson and Machida are ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the UFC's recently released rankings, which have drawn criticism from fans and observers.

The current No. 1 light heavyweight contender, Chael Sonnen, who meets champ Jon Jones at UFC 159, isn't even in the top 10.

Meanwhile, the top-ranked fighters have seen title shots elude them in the past year. Henderson was scheduled to fight champ Jon Jones at UFC 151 before a knee injury forced him to withdraw (the event was later canceled). Machida declined a fight with Jones at UFC 152 citing lack of preparation time.

In the interim, another light heavyweight made a strong case for a title shot. At UFC on FOX 5, Alexander Gustafsson earned a unanimous decision over ex-champ Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.

"I obviously wanted a title shot a lot, but it wasn't the right situation," said the 34-year-old Machida, who was named No. 1 contender following a knockout of Ryan Bader at UFC on FOX 4. "I had about 20 days to prepare for the fight, and Jon Jones had been training for two or three months, so it wasn't the right time to do it.

"I was upset, but everything happens for a reason, and hopefully I get back on top this year."

The 42-year-old Henderson this past month told MMAjunkie.com Radio (MMA Radio, UFC Radio - MMAjunkie Radio*–*MMAjunkie.com) that he had given up pushing for a shot at the belt and would prefer to keep a regular schedule in his final years of fighting.

It's been more than a year since Henderson stepped into the octagon. His most recent appearance came in November 2011, when he outpointed ex-champ Rua in an exhilarating scrap widely recognized as "Fight of the Year."
 
Props: trips
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Usa today: Chad mendes meets clay guida at ufc on fox 7

This story appeared in today's edition of USA TODAY.)

With officials unable to find a replacement for injured opponent Manny Gamburyan, Chad Mendes has been pulled from the Feb. 23 UFC 157 event altogether.

But the former title challenger is getting what is arguably a bigger fight when Mendes (13-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) meets fellow featherweight Clay Guida (30-13 MMA, 10-7 UFC) at UFC on FOX 7 on April 20, UFC President Dana White confirmed with USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps*–*MMAjunkie.com) on Monday.

The event takes place at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. Mendes vs. Guida could be one of four fights featured on the network-televised main card, which follows prelims on FX and Facebook.

Since a failed title shot with champion Jose Aldo in early 2012, Mendes has posted back-to-back knockout wins over Cody McKenzie and Yaotzin Meza to put the division on notice. According to Mendes' manager, Mike Roberts, it's not surprising UFC officials couldn't find a replacement to keep him on the UFC 157 card.

"There's not a huge line of people that want to fight Chad, especially on two weeks' (notice)," he said. "But Chad is the best – if not, the second best – guy in that weight division, period. Chad's not going to turn anybody down. He believes he can beat anybody."

He'll get that opportunity against Guida, who has the same strengths (wrestling and cardio) as Mendes. The former lightweight recently made the drop to featherweight and suffered a split-decision loss to perennial contender Gray Maynard. However, the high-energy Guida rebounded in January and edged Hatsu Hioki via split decision.

In addition to Mendes vs. Guida, UFC on FOX 7 also features a previously announced headliner of lightweight champ Benson Henderson (18-2, 6-0) vs. Strikeforce import Gilbert Melendez (21-2, 0-0). Heavyweights Frank Mir (16-6, 14-6) and Daniel Cormier (11-0, 0-0) meet in the co-headliner.

The latest UFC on FOX 7 card includes:
Champ Benson Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez - for lightweight title
Daniel Cormier vs. Frank Mir
Nate Diaz vs. Josh Thomson
Matt Brown vs. Dan Hardy
Clay Guida vs. Chad Mendes
Roger Bowling vs. Anthony Njokuani
Jorge Masvidal vs. Tim Means
Myles Jury vs. Ramsey Nijem
Francis Carmont vs. Lorenz Larkin
Clifford Starks vs. Yoel Romero
Norman Parke vs. Jon Tuck
 
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Constantinos philippou vs. 'jacare' souza targeted for ufc on fx 8 in brazil

A middleweight bout between surging contender Constantinos Philippou (12-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) and former Strikeforce champion Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza (17-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is expected to be part of UFC on FX 8 in May.

A source close to the event told MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps*–*MMAjunkie.com) at least one fighter has agreed to the bout. MMAFighting.com first reported the planned matchup.

MMAjunkie.com recently passed along news of UFC on FX 8, which takes place May 18 at Arena Jaragua in Jaragua do Sul, which is located in the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina.

The main card, including a Vitor Belfort (22-10 MMA, 11-6 UFC) vs. Luke Rockhold (10-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) middleweight headliner, airs on FX following prelims on FUEL TV and Facebook. Philippou vs. Souza also is expected to be part of the main card.

Since suffering a decision loss to Nick Catone in his UFC debut, Philippou has posted five consecutive wins. The Serra-Longo Fight Team striker most recently replaced injured Chris Weidman and scored a TKO victory over fellow contender Tim Boetsch. The former Ring of Combat champion also has picked up octagon wins over Riki Fukuda, Court McGree, Jared Hamman and Jorge Rivera during his move into title contention.

Souza, meanwhile, makes his UFC debut following an eight-fight stint in Strikeforce. Since losing his title to Luke Rockhold via close decision in late 2011, the world-champion grappler has posted consecutive stoppage wins over Bristol Marunde, Derek Brunson and Ed Herman. He's now 7-1 since a DREAM.9 no-contest with Jason "Mayhem" Miller in 2009.
 
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Cristiane 'Cyborg' Santos signs to fight Ediane Gomes at Invicta FC 5

Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos (10-1) is headed to Invicta Fighting Championship.

The ex-Strikeforce champ's manager, Tito Ortiz, confirmed the move on Friday during a news conference at Punishment Training Center in Huntington Beach, Calif.

Santos' debut is set for Invicta FC 5, where she'll meet Ediane Gomes (10-2) on the main card of the April 5 event at Ameristar Casino Hotel in Kansas City, Mo.

Featherweight Gomes was previously linked to Julia Budd in a bout that was expected to crown a No. 1 contender in the promotion's 145-pound division. Budd will now face Fiona Muxlow (6-2), the promotion on Friday announced.

Santos' signing comes after a week of acrimony between Ortiz and UFC parent Zuffa, which held the rights to the fighter's services following the end of Strikeforce. Ortiz this past week relayed Santos' request to be released from her contract after an impasse with the company.

Santos, Ortiz said, wanted to fight bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey at a catchweight of 140 pounds after three bouts, while Zuffa wanted her to fight for Invicta and then return to the octagon for a fight with Rousey, which is widely regarded to be the most bankable women's matchup on the market.

This past week, Santos, who held the Strikeforce women's featherweight title before a positive steroid test stripped her of the belt, gave an interview to MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps*–*MMAjunkie.com) in which she was optimistic about striking a deal with Zuffa.

"Without a doubt, if we make an agreement with the UFC, it wouldn't include an immediate title shot," Santos said earlier this week. "We would face someone else first. But nothing is set in stone.

"The only thing that's for sure is that I am willing to drop to 135. I've sought out a doctor that would assist me in that. I said I'm willing to drop to make this title fight happen. I think it would be a great fight that all the fans are waiting for."

But Ortiz later said Santos, could not make the 135-pound limit without endangering her health. On Wednesday, UFC president Dana White lashed out at the manager and fighter and indicated he had halted negotiations.

"'Cyborg' is pretty much irrelevant right now," he said. "Go out there and win some fights again, get your name back, stay clean, stay off steroids, get your career back on track and we'll talk. But for her to think that everyone should move around and jump through hoops for her is insane."

Santos hasn't fought since December 2011, when she earned a 16-second TKO over Hiroko Yamanaka. A post-fight drug test revealed the presence of the steroid stanozolol, which netted her a one-year suspension. She claimed a member of her training staff was responsible for the positive test, but was unsuccessful in appealing the punishment.

Now she moves on to the all-women's Invicta promotion for what presumably is the next phase of her career. Ortiz at Friday's news conference, which was carried live on AXS TV, said he believes the fight with Rousey will one day happen. Until then, Santos is an Invicta fighter.

"We are thrilled to welcome Cris 'Cyborg,' arguably the top pound-for-pound female fighter in the world, to our rapidly growing roster of world-class athletes," Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp stated. "Cris' incredible performances in front of national TV audiences over the last few years have helped put women's MMA on the radar of the masses and paved the way for others to establish themselves in the sport."
 
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Ryan Bader vs. Glover Teixeira light heavyweight bout booked for UFC 160

card is looking good


The UFC's annual Memorial Day weekend card continues to take shape and continues to add high-profile fights to the ledger.

A light heavyweight bout between Ryan Bader (15-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) and Glover Teixeira (20-2 MMA, 3-0 UFC) has been added to UFC 160 in May. UFC officials announced the booking late Tuesday.

UFC 160 takes place May 25 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and Facebook.

Bader, the Season 8 winner of "The Ultimate Fighter," is coming off a quick first-round submission of Vladimir Matyushenko at UFC on FOX 6 this past month in Chicago. The win netted him a $50,000 "Submission of the Night" bonus and got him back in the win column after a knockout loss to Lyoto Machida at UFC on FOX 4 in August.

Bader started his career 12-0. But in a light heavyweight title elimination fight against Jon Jones, he was submitted in the second round. Jones, of course, went on to win the title. In his next fight, Bader was submitted by Tito Ortiz in one of the biggest upsets in UFC history.

But then he went on a two-fight streak with a knockout of Jason Brilz and a dominant unanimous decision against Quinton "Rampage" Jackson at UFC 144 before his loss to Machida. The win over Matyushenko gave Bader three wins in his past four fights.

Teixeira also picked up a big win at UFC on FOX 6, taking a unanimous decision against Jackson in the co-main event. Though he went to a decision for just the fourth time in his career, Teixeira improved to 3-0 in the UFC and beat his biggest-name opponent to date.

In his UFC debut at UFC 146 this past May, Teixeira impressed with a first-round submission of Kyle Kingsbury in less than two minutes. Booked to face Jackson at UFC 153 in Brazil, he instead met Fabio Maldonado when Jackson was injured and again was dominant, getting a doctor's stoppage after two rounds.

The California-trained protege of former light heavyweight champion and UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell now has won 18 straight fights with 16 by stoppage.

The latest UFC 160 card now includes:
•Champ Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio Silva - for heavyweight title
•Junior dos Santos vs. Alistair Overeem
•Donald Cerrone vs. KJ Noons
•Ryan Bader vs. Glover Teixeira
•Amir Sadollah vs. Stephen Thompson
 
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UFC releases Jon Fitch, Vladimir Matyushenko, 14 others

WOW!



UFC veteran and former title challenger Jon Fitch and Vladimir Matyushenko are among a deep list of fighters released by the Ultimate Fighting Championship this week.

MMA Fighting on Wednesday first reported the news, citing UFC President Dana White.

Along with Fitch and Matyushenko, the list of cuts includes Terry Etim, Ulysses Gomez, Josh Grispi, Che Mills, Jorge Santiago, Paul Sass and Motonobu Tezuka, all of whom lost their fights at this past weekend's UFC on FUEL TV 7 event in London.

Also on the cut list were Jay Hieron, C.J. Keith, Wagner Prado, Mike Russow, Mike Stumpf, Simeon Thoresen and Jacob Volkmann. The Volkmann news was reported earlier Wednesday. All those fighters were coming off losses.

Sources close to the UFC told MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps*–*MMAjunkie.com) the UFC plans to release as many as 100 fighters in 2013, a byproduct of the recent start of the women's division as well as taking on the contracts of fighters from Strikeforce following the closing of that promotion.

The news on Fitch (24-5-1 MMA, 14-3-1 UFC) is sure to send a quick shockwave through the MMA world, as the Indiana native and longtime American Kickboxing Academy welterweight has been considered one of the best 170 pounders in the world for years. In 2008, Fitch fought champion Georges St-Pierre for the welterweight title, losing by unanimous decision. He had started his UFC career 8-0 and the loss was his first after a 16-fight win streak.

After that setback, Fitch ran off five more in a row before a majority draw with B.J. Penn at UFC 127. And then things hit a bit of a slide for him. At UFC 141, Fitch was knocked out in just 12 seconds by Johny Hendricks. He rebounded with a decision win over Erick Silva at UFC 153, but at UFC 156 earlier this month, he was dominated by Demian Maia in a unanimous decision loss.

In the UFC's most recent rankings, Fitch is ranked No. 9 in the promotion's Top 10.

Matyushenko (26-7 MMA, 7-5 UFC) returned in January after a layoff of more than a year and was submitted in 50 seconds by Ryan Bader at UFC on FOX 6. That gave him two straight losses after a first-round TKO setback against top light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 141. But before that, Matyushenko had two straight wins and five in his past six, with the only loss coming to future champion Jon Jones
 
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Nate Marquardt steps in to meet Jake Ellenberger at UFC 158 in Montreal

Former Strikeforce welterweight champion Nate Marquardt (32-11-2 MMA, 10-4 UFC) will meet Jake Ellenberger (28-6 MMA, 7-2 UFC) at UFC 158, a source close to the event told MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps*–*MMAjunkie.com) on Monday evening.

Marquardt fills a spot left vacant by Johny Hendricks, who was tapped to meet onetime UFC title challenger Carlos Condit when Rory MacDonald was forced to withdraw from the event due to injury.

Marquardt vs. Ellenberger still serves on the March 16 event's pay-per-view main card, which follows prelims on FX and Facebook.

UFC 158 takes place at Montreal's Bell Centre.

Marquardt hopes to rebound after losing his Strikeforce welterweight belt in the promotion's final event, which took place this past month in Oklahoma City. Tarec Saffiedine battered the onetime UFC middleweight title challenger with leg kicks en route to a unanimous-decision win.

In his previous outing, Marquardt, a former UFC middleweight title challenger, captured the Strikeforce belt with a fourth-round KO of Tyron Woodley, who also volunteered to fight Ellenberger at UFC 158.

Marquardt returns to the octagon two years after failing to receive medical clearance to headline UFC on VERSUS 4 against Rick Story, which prompted the promotion to release him. Later, he revealed that a regimen of testosterone-replacement therapy caused his scratch from the event. He got a second chance with the Zuffa-owned Strikeforce and later returned to the UFC when the promotion was shut down.

Ellenberger returns to the cage following a decision over win Jay Hieron this past October at UFC on FX 5. Although far from flashy, the win nevertheless put him back on the right track after Martin Kampmann knocked him out at The Ultimate Fighter 15 Finale, which snapped a six-fight win streak that put him on the list of future contenders
 
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Rory MacDonald scratched from UFC 158, Johny Hendricks now meets Carlos Condit

Canadian contender Rory MacDonald (14-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) has suffered a neck injury in training and has been forced to withdraw from a planned UFC 158 matchup with Carlos Condit (28-6, 5-2). However, the "Natural Born Killer" will still face a fellow top-ranked opponent as Johny Hendricks (14-1, 9-1) has agreed to fill the open slot.

USA TODAY Sports and MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps*–*MMAjunkie.com) learned of the shuffle while speaking with UFC President Dana White late Monday evening.

"Once we knew Rory had to withdraw, we started looking for potential replacements," White said. "Johny Hendricks called me and said he wanted that fight, so we're going to give it to him a shot at Carlos."

Condit and MacDonald were scheduled for the co-main event of "UFC 158: St-Pierre vs. Diaz," which takes place March 16 at Montreal's Bell Centre. The winner was expected to hold an envious position in the company's ultra-competitive 170-pound division and potentially earn a shot at the welterweight title. That might have left Hendricks, who recently dispatched of perennial contender Martin Kampmann in just 46 seconds, again waiting his turn.

Hendricks was already on the fight card at UFC 158, where he was expected to face Jake Ellenberger (28-6, 7-2). But by moving into the matchup with Condit, a onetime title challenger, "Bigg Rigg" now likely boosts his chances for earning a title shot of his own with a victory.

Ellenberger is still expected to compete at the event against an opponent to be determined.

White also revealed his first selection to fill MacDonald's position was incoming Strikeforce welterweight champion Tarec Saffiedine (14-3, 0-0). However, the UFC boss said the Belgian fighter turned down the opportunity, allowing Hendricks to step in against Condit.

UFC 158 features a welterweight title bout between current champion Georges St-Pierre and former Strikeforce title holder Nick Diaz. The evening's main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and Facebook.
 
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UFC planned for Barnett vs. dos Santos before negotiations failed (updated)

Before he ultimately got booked for a fight with Alistair Overeem at UFC 160, the UFC planned to match up former champion Junior dos Santos with Josh Barnett.

But with the UFC unable to secure Barnett (32-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) to a contract following the recent closing of Strikeforce, his former ahead, UFC officials instead booked dos Santos (15-2 MMA, 9-1 UFC) vs. Overeem (36-12 MMA, 1-1 UFC) for May 25 pay-per-view event.

Earlier this month, Barnett's manager, Leland LaBarre, told MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps*–*MMAjunkie.com) that "a sticking point" had spoiled the negotiations. Neither side has completely closed the door on a potential deal, but both Barnett's camp and UFC President Dana White have suggested the fighter won't be competing for the UFC anytime soon.

Had they reached a deal, which officials said was held up for reasons other than financial ones, Barnett would have gotten a high-profile fight against dos Santos, who lost his title to Cain Velasquez during a December rematch.

But, "I'm sure Josh Barnett doesn't care," White said. "Josh Barnett's a fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants type guy, beats to his own drum. He said if he stayed in the UFC all this time, what could he have accomplished or whatever.

"But Josh Barnett's never been a guy to say 'I don't want to fight this guy' or 'I don't want to fight that guy.' He's not that type of person. He likes to fight."

That's actually high praise from White, who's sometimes quick to criticize fighters when deals can't be worked out.

Barnett, an early-UFC champion who's also dabbled in pro wrestling during his 16-year pro MMA career, hasn't indicated where he could end up next. LaBarre said they've talked to "every major organization you've heard of and some you haven't."

"I was excited to fight JR. (sic)," said Barnett in a written statement obtained today by MMAjunkie.com. "I thought he was a very favorable matchup for me, but Zuffa was unwilling to give me something that they gave Eddie Alvarez. No disrespect to Eddie, but I felt it was fair to give it to me as well."

LaBarre declined to elaborate on the sticking point that led to the impasse. Alvarez, however, was offered a variety of sweeteners by UFC parent Zuffa following the expiration of his Bellator contract. They included a $250,000 signing bonus and a cut of pay-per-view profits should he fight for the UFC title or capture the belt. (Bellator and Alvarez currently are locked in a legal dispute over the Zuffa offer and a subsequent match by the tournament-based promotion.)

Barnett, who's 9-1 over the past five years, is arguably the only non-UFC fighter in the heavyweight division's world top 15, so quality of competition could be an issue going forward
 
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