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ANS PERFORMANCE REPRESENTATIVE
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Davis vs. Magalhaes, Kongo vs. Nelson added to UFC 159
By email@example.com (MMAjunkie.com Staff)
A pair of new matchups has been added to April's UFC 159 event as Phil Davis (10-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) meets Vinny Magalhaes (10-5 MMA, 1-2 UFC) in a light heavyweight affair, while Cheick Kongo (18-7-2 MMA, 11-5-1 UFC) faces Roy Nelson (18-7 MMA, 5-3 UFC) in a heavyweight contest.
UFC officials announced the two bouts on Tuesday's new edition of "UFC Tonight."
UFC 159, which features a title fight between light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones and "The Ultimate Fighter 17" fellow head coach Chael Sonnen, takes place April 27 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. The evening's main card airs on pay-per-view, and while UFC officials did not reveal where the new matchups would appear on the evening's lineup, both appear worthy of main-card consideration.
The Davis vs. Magalhaes matchup was booked after both fighters openly lobbied for the matchup. Magalhaes started the talk on Twitter, and "Mr. Wonderful" was quick to accept the challenge.
Davis looks to build on the success of a second-round submission win over Wagner Prado in a rematch of the pair's August 2012 meeting that ended in a no contest after the Brazilian couldn't continue after an accidental eyepoke.
Meanwhile, Magalhaes currently boasts a six-fight win streak that includes a September 2012 win over Igor Pokrajac at UFC 152. That bout represented Magalhaes' first win in the octagon after a 2008 run on "The Ultimate Fighter 8" ended with two official UFC losses.
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Few things have been less clear in MMA over the last 6 months than the Middleweight title picture. Since champion Anderson Silva dispatched his last contender at UFC 148, a bevy of names have been tossed into the hat but none have stuck. However, throughout the discussion Chris Weidman has been at the forefront of many people's argument.
Weidman last fought at UFC On Fuel TV 4. He delivered a completely dominating performance against then #3 ranked Mark Munoz for his second consecutive top 10 win. Despite, being the only Middleweight on the UFC roster to boast such a record, Silva's camp has been hesitant to name him as even a possible challenger.
In an effort to appeal for contendership, Weidman met with UFC president Dana White on Friday before UFC On Fox 6. Tuesday, on UFC Tonight, Dana gave some details from his talk with Weidman:
people think. I actually thought that Weidman was going to be out a lot longer than he was because of his injury, but he's healed up pretty well and he'll be ready to start training in a couple of months. So we're looking at a couple of different options, some options we like, and Weidman is one of them.
White didn't expand on who the other possibilities may be. But Light Heavyweight Rashad Evans has had his name brought up often lately. And of course, the super fight with Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre was promised before UFC 154. It's possible that Dana is waiting to see the result of one or both of their next fights before making a decision.
Weidman was supposed to face Tim Boetsch at UFC 155, but was forced from the fight with an injury. He's still in recovery and said over the weekend that he'd be ready to fight Silva by July 4, 2013.
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38-year old Matt Serra hasn’t fought in more than two years yet he also hasn’t gone so far as to announce his retirement from MMA. Though Serra is willing to admit the likelihood of him officially calling it quits grows closer with each passing day, it appears the fire to compete is still burning in his belly and has recently been stoked by the possibility of a scrap with Sean Sherk.
“I read an interview he did of him talking about how we both came got to the UFC in 2000 or 2001, we both fought in the two weight classes, and we are both close to the same size and height,” said Serra to Rebellion Media.
“He sold me on it, I reached out to him.”
Like Serra, the 39-year old former champion has been out of action since September 2010 but, despite a number of injuries, hasn’t hung his gloves up yet. With a similar level of ring rust involved, “The Terror” thinks a fight with Sherk makes a lot of sense. However, when it comes to other opponents who lack Sherk’s status as a seasoned veteran, Serra isn’t nearly as interested.
“It comes down to motivation,” offered Serra on his approach to another fight in the future.
“You get set and relaxed, and you think of fighting some young buck looking to make a name off of you, it doesn’t get my nipples hard, you know? A Matt Hughes or a Sean Sherk, that’s one thing, but these new guys are tough as sh*t and what’s the upside? I fought a lot of tough people.”
The 11-7 Serra was 3-3 in six fights after his stint on TUF 4 including a title-win over Georges St-Pierre to produce arguably the biggest upset in UFC history. Comparably, Sherk is 36-4-1 with past success against the likes of Karo Parisyan, Kenny Florian, and Nick Diaz.
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A couple of years ago, UFC welterweight Jon Fitch (24-4-1) would have been the first one to say he deserved a title-shot with the sentiment being echoed by countless fans and members of the media. The grinding grappler put together a five-fight winning streak and come out victorious in eight of his nine other Octagon appearances with the lone exception involving a crack at champion Georges St-Pierre. However, as successful as Fitch was, his performances were rarely if ever labeled as entertaining and other fighters ultimately received the opportunity he felt he deserved. All that talk ended when Fitch fought to a Draw with B.J. Penn and then suffered a knockout loss to Johny Hendricks. The run of adversity forced Fitch to reevaluate his approach to competition, not to mention life in general, with the result involving a Fight of the Night winner against Erick Silva last October.
With BJJ ace Demian Maia in front of him this weekend at UFC 156, Fitch will once again put 100% of his energy into the test he’s taking rather than look down the road at things that may never materialize, expecting the outcome to be similar to the one fans last saw from him.
“I think the biggest thing was just focus; eliminating too many thoughts and too many concerns about what was taking place in the moment. Whether it was that one individual fight, that one individual training camp, or that one individual day of training – you can’t start thinking about what is this next fight going to bring me? What’s going to happen after this? Who am I going to fight next? All those things, I think I had too much going on in my mind to be really focused on being myself, and the best version of me that I could be for the fight,” said Fitch in a recent interview with the UFC’s website. “I didn’t really change much about my style or whatever, I think I just gave myself more focus for the individual fight, and that allowed me to be the best me that I could for that fight. I think focus brings another level of performance out of me, and I don’t think that next level of performance that I’m currently operating at will be something that people will be dissatisfied with.”
Fitch is certainly smart to set his sights solely on Maia considering the Brazilian’s success at welterweight so far since a solid run at 185 pounds. The 17-4 submission specialist is 2-0 in the division with a first-frame finish of Rick Story in his latest outing.
“I get excited for challenges like this, and this is definitely a big challenge,” confessed Fitch. “He’s a very dangerous opponent in areas where I’m strong, so it’s going to be a very fun test. He’s definitely very tricky on the ground; he’s got a slow, methodical ground game that is very smooth. He’s able to transition very smoothly into submissions and his control positions. He’s not super-vicious with ground-and-pound; he may grind and control you into the submission, but he may not do a lot of damage along the way.”
Fitch-Maia can be seen as part of the PPV portion of UFC 156. Adding intrigue, Fitch has not been tapped out since his MMA debut more than a decade ago.
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War Demian Maia. What a ground fight that's going to be. Who's going to take it? Maia's potentially sharper & more technical, straight BJJ, or Fitch's blanketing wrestling/very high level BJJ combo.
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ONE FC 7 happens in the same day as UFC 156, and the Asian MMA fighters from the card give their Aldo vs. Edgar predictions. They also give you several reasons to wake up early and watch them fight on the same day.
The highly anticipated UFC 156 card happens this Saturday and it will be headlined by a featherweight super-fight between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar. If you didn't already know, there's also a stacked Asian MMA card happening on the morning of the same day, and it will also be headlined by their own featherweight championship bout.
ONE FC 7: Return of Warriors happens at 8 a.m. ET, the morning before UFC 156, and since the top fighters on that card are MMA fans as well as competitors, I've asked them to give out their Aldo vs. Edgar predictions. Here's who they think will win the UFC Featherweight Title:
Eric Kelly (9-0), URCC Featherweight Champion: "Jose Aldo. His leg kicks are very fast and I do not think that Frankie Edgar can deal with his speed."
Honorio Banario (7-1), URCC Lightweight Champion: "Jose Aldo. He has convincingly beaten every challenge put in front of him so far."
Lowen Tynanes (2-0), wrestling champ and top lightweight prospect: "I'm pulling for Frankie Edgar. I think he has the speed and footwork to negate the power that Jose Aldo can generate in his punches and kicks."
Rey Docyogen (10-0), URCC Pinweight Champion: "I hope Aldo wins. I like his style and he is very aggressive. Either way, I expect a knockout in this fight."
Shinichi Kojima (12-5-5), Shooto Bantamweight Champion: "I like Frankie Edgar in this fight. He is very fast and moves a lot."
Peter Davis (5-1), Malaysian ONE FC star: "This is one of the toughest championship fight to predict in awhile but I think Aldo's leg kicks will eventually slow Edgar down for a decision victory."
Pros who picked Jose Aldo: 4
Pros who picked Frankie Edgar: 2
Aside from giving picks for UFC 156, I've also asked these stars to give the casual MMA fan reasons to get up early to watch them compete and perform at ONE FC 7 on the same date. Here's how they each made their case for people to watch them, and Asian MMA in general:
Eric Kelly (9-0), URCC Featherweight Champion: "Why? Because I'll prove that I'm the best featherweight in the world by winning the ONE FC featherweight championship. We put on exciting fights and we always come ready to fight."
Honorio Banario (7-1), URCC Lightweight Champion: "The fans in the USA should stay up to watch the crowining of a ONE FC featherweight champion for the first time. Also, ONE FC shows are the biggest shows in Asia and our fans are the most passionate in the world!"
Lowen Tynanes (2-0), wrestling champ and top lightweight prospect: "Asian MMA is growing at such a rapid pace and the growth in the few years of existence has been phenomenal. They shouldn't even be sleeping! Just pull an all-nighter and be ready to go in the morning!"
Rey Docyogen (10-0), URCC Pinweight Champion: "We are growing rapidly and there are many undiscovered MMA talent in Asian countries. You should watch because because ONE FC would put on an even better show than the UFC the night before!"
Shinichi Kojima (12-5-5), Shooto Bantamweight Champion: "ONE FC shows are very good. They have some elements similar to Pride, such as soccer kicks! Asian MMA is going to rise up again and challenge UFC. It's only a matter of time."
Peter Davis (5-1), Malaysian ONE FC star: "Why? Because we'll put on an absolute firecracker of a show and any MMA fan will be impressed by the level of competition. We are getting bigger and we are bringing MMA to countries which have never seen an MMA event of this magnitude before."
Well there you have it. All six MMA stars from the region have made their cases. Will you be joining the BE Breakfast Club this Saturday?
FIGHT CARD - ONE FC 7: Return of Warriors
February 2, 2013 -- Stadium Putra, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Main Card - Online PPV:
- Eric Kelly vs. Honorio Banario [ONE FC Featherweight Championship]
- Rey Docyogen vs. Shinichi Kojima [Flyweight Title Eliminator]
- Vuyisile Colossa vs. Lowen Tynanes
- Peter Davis vs. Leo Krishna
- Adam Kayoom vs. Zuli Silawanto
- Ryan Diaz vs. Thanh Vu [Bantamweight GP Quarterfinals]
Malaysian FW National Championship Tournament:
- Melvin Yeoh vs. Raymond Tiew
- AJ Vaa vs. Jian Kai Chee
Prelims - Free on YouTube:
- Gianni Subba vs. Saiful Merican
- Jake Butler vs. Antonio Romulo
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Bellator light heavyweight Muhammed Lawal spent more than a year on the sidelines due to a drug-related suspension and slew of injury issues leading up to his unveiling in the organization’s cage. However, Lawal found a way to channel the adversity into an impressive debut last week at Bellator 86 where he knocked out opponent Przemyslaw Mysiala in the opening round of action.
“King Mo” won’t be wasting anytime getting back into the swing of things this time around, agreeing to face Emanuel Newton on February 21 at Bellator 90 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The event will also host a featherweight bout between regional star Rad Martinez and Russian striker Shahbulat Shamhalaev with the winner going on to challenge for the company’s divisional belt.
The 9-1 Lawal, who has trained with Newton before in the past, made it clear his personal connection with the former MFC champion won’t prevent him from gunning for a highlight-reel finish.
“I said it after my quarterfinal win, and I’ll say it again, I’m looking to smash this dude,” said Lawal in a prepared statement to media.
“Emanuel is a tough guy, but I know where my game is at, and if I focus on me, we won’t have any issues on February 21. I’m always looking for that first round knockout, and that’s it.”
Lawal has won seven of his fights by way of a strike-based stoppage and holds past wins over the likes of Roger Gracie and Gegard Mousasi. By comparison, Newton is 19-7-1 with ten finishes and triumphs in seven of his last eight outings.
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Nearly every weekend there’s a minor league MMA event somewhere in the world. Here’s a brief look at one: Ring of Combat 43, which went down at the Tropicana Casino & Resort in Atlantic City, N.J. on Friday, January 25, 2013.
- Ryan LaFlare def. Andrew Osbourne via Submission (Armbar) at 2:01, R3
- Deividas Taurosevicius def. Frank Carabello via Submission (Reverse-Triangle Choke) at 3:38, R1
- Chris Wade def. Mike Medrano via Unanimous Decision
- Ariel Sepulveda def. Ryan Contaldi via Unanimous Decision
- Frankie Perez def. Alfred Walker via Submission (Head-and-Arm Choke) at 3:36, R2
- Elias Silverio def. Pat DeFranco via Split Decision
- Andre Harrison def. Ruben Ray via TKO (Punches) at 2:19, R2
- Joe Ray def. Gil Isabel via Majority Decision
- Robert Plotkin def. Whitney Francois via Submission (Triangle Choke) at 3:27, R1
- Frank Buenafuente def. Ashure Elbanna via Submission (North-South Choke) at 3:23, R1
- Keith Berish def. Mike Andrillo via TKO (Injury) at 1:10, R1
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Rampage Jackson: UFC lies about its pay-per-view numbers
By Jesse Holland on Jan 30, 12:08p +
Why is Quinton Jackson on a "Rampage" about leaving UFC? According to the ex-champ, his employer has been lying about how many pay-per-views it sells, either to inflate its position in the media -- or to shortchange its fighters.
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton Jackson was unhappy with the way he was being treated leading up to what may have been his final fight inside the Octagon, a unanimous decision loss to Glover Teixeira at the UFC on FOX 6 event last weekend in Chicago (see it here).
But you knew that.
What you may not have known, are some of the specifics of his complaint against the Las Vegas-based mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion, which "Rampage" tells MMA HEAT is "taking advantage of its fighters" while "cleaning house" in the pay-per-view sales.
Jackson has headlined seven pay-per-view events since joining UFC in early 2007, but doesn't believe he's getting his fair share of the percentages based on the discrepancy in reported numbers, particularly his UFC 114 clash against ***** and Ultimate Fighter (TUF) coach Rashad Evans.
"In my opinion, I feel like me and the rest of the UFC fighters are getting taken advantage of. I feel like the UFC is cleaning house. The pay-per-view dollars? They tell me one number, but then they tell the press another. Pay me the numbers that you tell the press! Don't tell me, 'Oh, we only sold this many,' then you tell the press, 'Oh we sold this many!' But then I'm saying, 'Hey, you only told me we sold 800,000 buys but you told the press you sold a million buys.' Then they say 'Oh, we just say that for the press.' No, pay me what you told the press because you lyin' somewhere. You either lyin' to me or you lyin' to the press about the pay-per-view numbers. If they're doing it to me, I'm sure they're doing it to other fighters."
As always, there are two sides to every story, but this is his.
Despite his reported $15.2 million salary, "Rampage" insists he would compete elsewhere for less money, so long as it was "honest money." But until his matching clause expires in his current deal with UFC, he may not be competing anywhere.
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Here we go again. Rampage is always most humble and most gracious immediately following a loss for some reason, but I knew that I knew that I knew, that once he's given the chance to settle, he'll be idiot, ingrate Rampage as per usual. Leave already.
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Co-main event set for UFC 159
Updated: January 30, 2013, 12:48 PM ET
By Brett Okamoto | ESPN.com
A middleweight bout between Michael Bisping and Alan Belcher will serve as the co-main event for UFC 159 on April 27 in Newark, N.J.
UFC officials confirmed the 185-pound contest to ESPN.com. A light heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen will headline the event.
Both fighters will look to get back into title contention following recent losses. Bisping (23-5) lost a guaranteed title shot against Anderson Silva when he suffered a second-round knockout loss to Vitor Belfort earlier this year.
The Brit had won five of his last six prior to the loss. Bisping holds an overall record of 13-5 in the Octagon. He has never fought for a UFC title.
Belcher (18-7) had also been a strong No. 1 contender candidate before dropping a unanimous decision to Yushin Okami at UFC 155 in December. The 28-year-old had put together a four-fight win streak ahead of the loss that included three first-round stoppages.
UFC officials have previously announced a heavyweight fight between Roy Nelson and Cheick Kongo, a lightweight bout between Jim Miller and Pat Healy and a light heavyweight contest between Phil Davis and Vinny Magalhaes for UFC 159.
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‘Shogun’ Rua revamps training staff: Recruits Freddie Roach, reunites with Mark Munoz and Rafael Cordeiro
By Adam Guillen Jr. on Jan 30, 5:01p 26
After losing to Alexander Gustafsson at UFC on FOX 5, former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua looks to bolster up his training staff and revamp his arsenal before jumping back into the Octagon.
Mauricio Rua is looking for a fresh start.
After losing to Alexander Gustafsson at UFC on FOX 5 last December in Seattle, Washington, "Shogun" is going back to the drawing board as he looks to plug up a few holes in his fight game while polishing up his all-around mixed martial arts (MMA) skills.
And he's bringing in the big guns to do it.
According to one of his trainers, Andre Dida, Rua will bring in a few familiar faces to his next camp as he reunites with former Chute Boxe trainer and head honcho at Kings MMA, Rafael Cordeiro, who has been in and out of the Brazilian's camp for the past couple of years.
On top of that, the former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion will brush up on his wrestling skills under the tutelage of current UFC middleweight contender and former NCAA Division 1 Champion, Mark Munoz.
Dida's words to Tatame:
As if Rua's striking wasn't dangerous enough already, the Brazilian bomber will look to polish his technique as he heads west to train with famed boxing trainer Freddie Roach, who has helped multiple boxing champions such as Manny Pacquiao and Oscar de la Hoya reach the pinnacle of the sport as well as tossing a few pointers to UFC titleholders Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva.
"Shogun is a guy who knows everything about MMA, trains well in all areas, but noted that he has to seek further knowledge, have more activities, new workouts. That's always good for any athlete, and Shogun will be no different. He has excellent wrestling, workouts out there will evolve too. We talked with Mark Munoz in Seattle and he was excited to train with Mauricio again. They trained together at Kings MMA, and it was there that our friendship has also increased. We exchanged many experiences. But Mauricio will also train with Jacob Rocha, a guy who trains the American Wrestling in college, then it is a complete workout of Wrestling. His students have great results in California, earn everything. It will be a great experience for Mauricio. The expectation is that Shogun will go to the United States in February after Carnival. There, he will meet with Rafael Cordeiro, since the coach will be in Brazil for the recordings of TUF Brazil 2."
Over his last eight bouts inside the Octagon, "Shogun" has alternated wins and losses, failing to put together consecutive victories since 2009 when he defeated Mark Coleman and Chuck Liddell in a span of four months.
"Here in America, Shogun also trains with Freddie Roach, who is the trainer of Manny Pacquiao in boxing. The knockout power of Mauricio is very large, his Muay Thai is very sharp, and we think these workouts will leave you with a footprint standing even stronger."
While the 31-year old former PRIDE FC Middleweight Grand Prix winner awaits word of his next opponent (perhaps the loser of this weekend's Rashad Evans vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira bout at UFC 156) the 28-fight veteran looks to show it's never too late to learn some new tricks.
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Rampage is on a role eh lol
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I'm pretty confident Rampage has been overpaid, relative to the performances he's given in his last 4-5 fights. He hasn't looked "GOOD" in a long time, so he should really be counting his lucky stars and show some gratitude for an employer that stuck by him, during and after his truck driving mental breakdown. I can't think of anyone else who's received as much grace from Dana and the UFC as Rampage to be honest.
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