- Kevin Iole at Cagewriter5 hrs ago
Two world title fights will still lead UFC 181 on Dec. 6 in Las Vegas. It's just that it will be a different title fight at the top of the card than originally planned.
Middleweight champion Chris Weidman pulled out of his title defense against Vitor Belfort that was to headline the show because he broke his left left while punching during a recent training session. The UFC quickly added a welterweight title rematch between Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler to replace it at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
Weidman has a hairline fracture. It will be casted 4 weeks, cleared in 6. He'll be fighting Vitor in February now.
Robbie Lawler will face Johny Hendricks for the title at UFC 181 on Dec. 6. http://t.co/io3IUjchdz
The co-main event of UFC 181 will remain a lightweight title fight between champion Anthony "Showtime" Pettis and former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez.
Hendricks, Lawler, Pettis and Melendez will take part in a news conference Friday at 2 p.m. PT in the MGM Grand's Premier ballroom that is free and open to the public.
- Elias Cepeda at Cagewriter7 hrs ago
Dominick Cruz will fight for the first time in nearly three years when he faces Takeya Mizugaki this Saturdayin Las Vegas. The former WEC and UFC bantamweight champion never lost his title in the ring, but a string of traumatic injuries and reconstructive surgeries have kept him out of the Octagon since his Oct. 2011 title defense against now-flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson.
Cruz hasn't competed in so long that it's anyone's guess as to how well he'll still be able to perform. The fighter, however, is confident that there's still no one better than him at 135 pounds.
"I'm still the best bantamweight in the world in my mind," he recentlytold Damon Martin.
- Elias Cepeda at Cagewriter11 hrs ago
UFC queen Ronda Rousey may believe that featherweight champ Cris "Cyborg" is afraid to fight her, but no one can say that the Muay Thai specialist is scared to try new foods. During a recent training trip to Thailand, the Invicta FC champ downed a black scorpion, and video taped it for posterity (above.)
Justino will attempt to move down in weight, to 135 pounds, this December in Iowa. It is expected that the move will be the first step in her re-positioning herself to fight the UFC bantamweight champ Rousey.
The two have traded insults over the years but the Brazilian seems serious now about challenging the "Rowdy" one. Time will tell how well Justino will adjust to 135 pounds from her old weight of 145 pounds, but for the time being - watch her eat a scorpion. Because, Mondays.
- Elias Cepeda at Cagewriter11 hrs ago
There will be a lot worth watching this weekend at UFC 178. For starters, Demetrious Johnson will defend his 125 pound championship against Chris Cariaso, Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier will face off in a lightweight grudge match and Donald "Cowboy" Cerronewill welcome Eddie Alvarez to the UFC.
In the new Countdown to UFC 178 mini-documentary special (above and below), you can check out all of those guys get ready for battle this Saturday from inside their training camps. Watch Johnson goof around with his family and then train hard, see Conor McGregor break boards, and Eddie Alvarez prepare to make his eagerly-anticipated UFC debut.
- Kevin Iole at Cagewriter23 hrs ago
The first tiny steps down the path that may lead to a match with UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey will be taken on Dec. 5, when Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino will make her 135-pound debut in the main event of an Invicta card that will be streamed on UFC FightPass.
No opponent or venue has been announced.
Since the night in 2012 that Rousey defeated Miesha Tate on Showtime to win the Strikeforce bantamweight title, there have been calls for a match between the ex-American Olympian and Justino, the Brazilian striker who'd held the Strikeforce 145-pound title.
UFC president Dana White has so far steadfastly refused to pit the two, citing a news conference Justino and then-manager Tito Ortiz held in which Ortiz said a doctor told Justino she could be risking her life trying to cut to 135 pounds. Ortiz, who is a longtime White nemesis, was hoping to make the fight at 145 pounds, the weight in which Rousey began her mixed martial arts career.
- Elias Cepeda at Cagewriter1 day ago
Conventional wisdom might hold that Dustin Poirier (16-3) will be a step-up in competition for rising featherweight star Conor McGregor (15-2) when they meet Sep. 27. The brash Irishman, however, doesn't see it that way.
“He’s a journeyman fighter, and that’s what I see,” McGregor said in a recent interview.
“He doesn’t impress me at all. I believe he’s a basic fighter, he throws basic shots, and in my eyes he’s a journeyman. It’s that simple.”
So, despite his excellent record and three fight win streak Poirier is kinda "basic," (in club girl parlance) or "standard" (in Brit-speak. Yeah, I know Conor is a Dubliner and not from the North and the UK, it's the best I could do, ok?).
- Kevin Iole at Cagewriter2 days ago
It's not all that surprising when a fight with fighters weighing a combined 524 pounds ends in a devastating one-punch knockout.
What is surprising, though, is that one of them was able to score a massive knockout after having a pretty incredible battle with the scale.
A UFC source who asked not to be identified told Yahoo Sports a day before the weigh-in at UFC Fight Night 52 at the Saitama Super Arena in Tokyothat Mark Hunt had to cut 19 pounds to make the heavyweight limit of 265. Hunt, who was 284 the day before the weigh in, worked the weight off and weighed 264 officially.
He then went out and performed like a star, catching Roy Nelson with a perfectly placed right uppercut that knocked "Big Country" cold. Nelson went down face first as referee Leon Roberts immediately stopped the fight while Hunt simply walked away.
- Kevin Iole at Cagewriter3 days ago
This must be what it feels like these days to cover the NFL.
Two cases of domestic violence, an athlete holding a gun, allegations of drug use and an unhappy fighter ripping his organization highlighted the news that happened Friday in the UFC.
Iconic light heavyweight Wanderlei Silva, one of the most popular fighters in mixed martial arts history, announced his retirement in a sometimes rambling video he posted on YouTube in which he blasted the UFC for the way it treated fighters and for underpaying them.
Earlier in the day, the company announced in a terse statement it posted on its website that it had indefinitely suspended light heavyweight Anthony Johnson, who is No. 5 in its ratings, after the mother of two of his children obtained a temporary protective order against him. She told police he'd knocked out two of her teeth in 2012.
The UFC noted in its statement it had hired "a third-party law firm" to investigate the allegations against Johnson, which he denies.
- Elias Cepeda at Cagewriter3 days ago
UFC Fight Night Japan Weigh Ins
According to UFC lightweight Takanori Gomi, MMA is definitely back on the rise in Japan. "Of course," he recently told Tom Gerbasi in an interview.
“The UFC coming back to Japan for the third time this year and I am feeling the heat from the fans.”
Gomi fights Myles Jury in Tokyo Saturday on the UFC Fight Night main card. When he was a Shooto and Pride champion, Gomi got used to fighting at or near home in Japan.
Since coming to the UFC, "The Fireball Kid" has had to adjust to fighting away. As such, he appreciates that his opponent, the American Jury, was willing to take him on in Tokyo.
“I had a lot of fights there at Saitama Super Arena. It’s a shame that I only get a chance to fight there once a year these days, but that’s why I feel so many expectations from Japanese fans. As for me, it is easy to fight there because I don’t have to fly and adjust to a different time zone," Gomi said.
"I really appreciate the fact that Myles accepted to fight me in Japan."
- Elias Cepeda at Cagewriter3 days ago
Andrei Arlovskipunched his way back into the top-ten last week with a knockout of Antonio "Pezao" Silva, but before he did that, he conducted what the UFC called "The greatest open workout in UFC history," with his Muay Thai Coach. The light-hearted open workout, which featured Arlovski's coach Said Hatim(view Hatim's most recent MMA fight in the video above) punching, kicking, elbowing and headbutting the fighter (video below) a couple days before the fight in Brazil, delighted the crowd of fans and media members in attendance.
According to Hatim, the drill was equal parts useful and fun. "It was Andrei's idea to do it for the workout," Hatim said.
"He wanted to do something fun. It gets crazy in Brazil and he didn't want to be serious. He just wanted to relax and have fun. This is something we do after training, sometimes, to just get the body ready to be hit.