Nate Diaz vs. Josh Thomson set for UFC on FOX 7 in April

Josh Thomson. Photo by Jon Swenson. Used with permission.

Recent UFC lightweight title challenger Nate Diaz will welcome former Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson back to the UFC in a lightweight affair slated for UFC on FOX 7, which is scheduled to take place on April 20 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.

The UFC officially announced the bout this afternoon.

Thomson has not competed in the UFC since a three-fight stint that ended at UFC 49 in August 2004 when Thomson suffered a highlight-reel KO loss to Yves Edwards by way of a flying head kick.

Continue reading "Nate Diaz vs. Josh Thomson set for UFC on FOX 7 in April"

Lawal-Newton, Martinez-Shamhalaev to headline Bellator 90 on February 21

Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal. Photo courtesy of Bellator MMA.

Former Strikeforce champion Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal will collide with fellow wrestler Emanuel Newton in a light heavyweight tourmament semifinal bout and upstart Rad Martinez will face Shahbulat Shamhalaev in the finals of the season 7 featherweight tourney at Bellator 90 on February 21.

Bellator announced the pairings in a press release to the media on Tuesday afternoon. 

The event emanates from the Maverik Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Like other Bellator events, the show's main card will air starting at 10 PM ET on Spike while the preliminary portion of bouts will stream live on Spike.com starting at 8 PM ET.

Continue reading "Lawal-Newton, Martinez-Shamhalaev to headline Bellator 90 on February 21"

Randy Couture inks Spike deal, will coach on new Bellator reality show

Couture signs Spike deal, joins Bellator reality series
sportsillustrated.cnn.com

SI.com has confirmed through multiple sources that UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture has signed into a multi-year deal with Spike TV, a property of Viacom, to appear in multiple projects for the cable channel, as well as other possible ventures within the media conglomerate’s family of networks.

As a part of the multi-faceted agreement, Couture’s first role will be as a coach in the forthcoming Bellator MMA reality Series, which begins shooting in February and airs later this year.

Spike TV will unveil this industry-shifting announcement on Feb. 5 during a press conference in Los Angeles, where Couture and Spike TV president Kevin Kay will discuss details of the agreement and what the 49-year-old retired fighter’s role will be on the Bellator series and possibly other Spike-broadcasted projects. The series is expected to feature a number of current and up-and-coming Bellator fighters.

The article also states that the deal was done, "much to the disapproval" of UFC president Dana White.

As if the budding war between the UFC and Bellator needed any more fuel to the fire after White's suggestion that fighters not sign with Bellator due to ther contract stipulation this past weekend. Things are about to get interesting to say the least.

MMA on Tap January Fighter Rankings

Demetrious Johnson. Photo courtesy of Yell Magazine.

Here are the latest MMA on Tap fighter rankings.

We will be updating these every month or whenever an adjustment is needed, like after a major event for example. The rankings break down into eight different lists of ten, each of them by division. If you ever want to compare these with your own or just take a look at the latest update, you can find them by typing “rankings” in our search box.

The rankings were tabulated by the MMA on Tap staff. Feel free to chime in with your own lists, thoughts, or suggestions.

Continue reading "MMA on Tap January Fighter Rankings"

Bellator announces Shlemenko-Falcao, featherweight tournament quarterfinals for February 7

Alexander Shlemenko. Photo courtesy of Fight! Magazine.

Bellator MMA announced on Monday that it will bring a middleweight title fight and the start of its season 8 featherweight tournament to The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia for Bellator 88 on February 7.

Vying for the promotion's vacant middleweight belt will be perennial contender Alexander Shlemenko and one-time UFC veteran and season six tourney winner Maiquel Falcao.

The event's main card will air starting at 10 PM ET on Spike while the preliminary portion of bouts will stream live on Spike.com starting at 8 PM ET.

Continue reading "Bellator announces Shlemenko-Falcao, featherweight tournament quarterfinals for February 7"

Cung Le would fight Anderson Silva if the possibility arises

Cung Le on talk of fighting Anderson Silva: 'I'm totally open for it'
www.mmafighting.com

That possibility came from Silva’s manager Ed Soares, who admitted even while saying it that he didn’t know whether it was a fight that would interest the UFC.

The mention flattered Le, who has been idle since his Nov. 10 knockout win against Rich Franklin. The 40-year-old, who has one foot planted in the fight world and the other in Hollywood, is in a position where he can pick the path of his future, and he admitted that a fight with Silva is something that would interest him.

“If the UFC wants me to fight after our discussion, I’m totally open for it,” he said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour.

While it's a good move on Le's part to step up to the plate and strike while the iron his hot, I don't think anyone seriously wants to see this fight other than Le, Silva and Soares. Silva would destroy Le inside of four minutes, and that's giving Le the benefit of the doubt.

Dana White said that Silva and Soares throwing around names of potential opponents is commonplace, and it's true. We've seen it before. And I don't know if the non-interest in Weidman is because of the threat he poses or his lack of name value. What I do know is that there are better choices out there for a title defense than Le.

Back to the Future: UFC on Fox 6

Glover Teixeira. Photo courtesy of Black House MMA.

The dust has settled following another edition of the UFC on FOX. Out of it came another promise of a lightweight title shot to Anthony Pettis, the first defense of the UFC flyweight title, the end of Rampage's days in the UFC and the coming out party for a trio of rising stars.

What comes next for those victorious at UFC on FOX 6 can only be speculated. Still, it's always fun to play the guessing game.

After the jump are some predictions on what matchups we may see in the future from this group.

Continue reading "Back to the Future: UFC on Fox 6"

Video: UFC 156 Extended Preview

Check out the UFC's extended preview of UFC 156, which takes place this Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event is headlined by UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo defending his belt against former lightweight title holder Frankie Edgar in his debut at 145 lbs. 

Former Strikeforce and DREAM heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem will return to action for the first time in over a year against Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva in the co-main event. The stacked main card will also feature Rashad Evans, Jon Fitch and Joseph Benavidez among others.

UFC on FOX 6 Notebook: Pettis will wait for title shot, Dana White on Rampage & more

Anthony Pettis. Photo courtesy of Showtime Striking Systems.

After three straight wins over a trio of the UFC's toughest and most durable lightweights, including a first-round TKO of Donald Cerrone at UFC on FOX 6 last night, former WEC champion Anthony Pettis is content to wait for a shot at the UFC lightweight belt if a crack at it is set in stone for him.

"If it's a guaranteed title shot, I'm waiting," Pettis said at the event's post-fight press conference. "That's what my goals are. It's one of my goals this year. If it's next, I'm going to wait, get better and get what's mine."

Pettis has been guaranteed a UFC title shot once before. As the last reigning WEC lightweight champion, Pettis was slated to meet the winner of a January 2011 title fight between then champion Frankie Edgar and rival Gray Maynard.

Continue reading "UFC on FOX 6 Notebook: Pettis will wait for title shot, Dana White on Rampage & more"

UFC on FOX 6 reportedly averages 3.78 million viewers following preliminary data

UFC on Fox 6 Averages Nearly 3.78 Million Viewers, Kills Competition in Coveted Demographic
www.mmaweekly.com

The preliminary ratings for UFC on Fox 6 have been returned, and according to a report from TVByTheNumbers.com, the show headlined by flyweights Demetrious Johnson and John Dodson actually pulled in the third highest viewership yet for a UFC on Fox card.

Nearly 3.78 million viewers (3.7766 to be exact) on average watched the two-hour long broadcast that featured Johnson vs. Dodson in the main event, as well as the farewell fight for Quinton “Rampage” Jackson as he lost to Glover Teixeira in what should likely be his last trip to the Octagon.

The ratings signify a 13-percent increase from the numbers returned for the UFC on Fox 5 card in December.

Now that the UFC has dedicated themselves to putting together fun and exciting cards with some value for the FOX shows, the ratings are starting to steadily improve. 

I'm a big fan of putting title fights on network TV. Even though you likely won't see GSP and Anderson Silva on FOX anytime soon, the non-marquee divisions will slowly gain respect and star power through all of the eyeballs they are catching.

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