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.
Patrick Cote weighs-in for UFC Fight Night 12. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
A slew of signed and proposed fights for the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s planned July 5th UFC 86 event in Las Vegas have come to light this week.
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson will defend his UFC light heavyweight title against top contender Forrest Griffin at the event. The two fighters will serve as coaches for the upcoming seventh season of “The Ultimate Fighter”.
American Top Team has confirmed via it’s official website that four of their fighters will be competing at UFC 86: Gleison Tibau, Cole Miller, Steve Bruno, and Ben Saunders. The only fighter with a potential opponent as of right now is Tibau. MMA Mania reports that a bout between him and former title contender Joe Stevenson will likely take place at the show.
A lightweight affair between Corey Hill and Justin Buccholz also seems to be in the works. Patrick Cote will return to action at the event as well against Ricardo Almeida according to The Fight Network.
According to Cote, he wants a fight that will potentially put him in title contention in the near future. A showdown with Almeida just might do that.
“We wanted a big fight,” Cote said in the report. “I have four wins in a row, three in the UFC, and I think I’m ready for a real tough opponent. I want to fight a guy who, if I win, the UFC will put me in a title fight or one more fight before I get my shot.”
The UFC is certainly starting 2008 with a bang in terms of all of the fights they’ve put together already. Here’s some news on three more potential matchups that could be announced in the near future.
Sherdog’s Greg Savage is reporting that Michael Bisping will make his debut at middleweight against “Chainsaw” Charles McCarthy at an upcoming UFC event in London, England on March 8th. That gives us two UFC events in the month of March and both just six days apart. (UFC 82 is currently slated to take place on March 2nd at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio)
While we all know what Bisping has been up to these days, McCarthy has not fought in the UFC since submitting Gideon Ray with an armbar at The Ultimate Fighter 4 Finale last year. McCarthy was stopped in his debut by David Loiseau at UFC 53: Heavy Hitters in June 2005.
The Fight Network is reporting two things of interest in the UFC’s heavyweight division.
According to Loretta Hunt, the UFC has offered Justin McCully a bout against Cheick Kongo for UFC 81 in February. McCully has apparently not yet made a decision on the offer but is expected to make one at some point this week.
It seems that the UFC was originally leaning on having Kongo take on fellow contender Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira but that all fell apart once Randy Couture resigned from the company.
Speaking of Nogueira, Hunt has also learned that he and former champion Tim Sylvia have both been sent bout agreements to face each other for the vacant UFC Heavyweight Title on February 2nd.
According to Sylvia’s manager Monte Cox, Sylvia has signed his paper:
“Tim signed the contract, and we haven’t heard anything else about it—if Nogueira has signed his contract or what,” said Cox.
Rumored matchups for the UFC’s upcoming events in January and February are being revealed at a pretty good rate and here we are with three more to report on…
MMA Mania is reporting that welterweights Josh Koscheck and Dustin Hazelett are currently in discussions to potentially meet at UFC 82 in February.
Note that I said discussions because nothing is official as of right now. Contracts haven’t been written up or signed. The news is apparently coming from Hazelett’s camp.
Koscheck is coming off of only his second loss in the UFC, that being an unanimous decision dropped to former champ Georges St. Pierre. Hazelett has actually won his last three fights in pretty impressive fashion, his last being a submission win over Jonathan Goulet.
Koscheck has done pretty well when facing skilled grapplers so far in his career and I don’t think Hazelett will present that much of a problem for him.
Our friends at MMA Junkie are reporting on two separate bouts that both may take place at UFC Fight Night 12.
TUF 5 alumnus Corey Hill will finally make his UFC debut when he goes up against Joe Veres according to Hill’s agent, Ken Pavia.
Hill has not competed since being submitted by Nate Diaz during the taping of The Ultimate Fighter 5. He was slated to face Allen Berube at The Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale but was forced to withdraw after suffering an injury during training. Veres’ UFC debut only lasted 9 seconds as he was knocked out by Gray Maynard.
Speaking of Gray Maynard, the UFC has apparently informed him that he will most likely be fighting at UFC Fight Night 12 as well. Maynard confirmed the rumor today on an ESPN radio show where he stated that he may be fighting fellow former collegiate wrestler Matt Grice.
Two new rumors and one kind of old one to report for UFC 79…
The Fight Network’s Loretta Hunt is reporting that Tony DeSouza will return to the Octagon to face Roan Carneiro:
Tony DeSouza has been slated to face Roan Carneiro in a welterweight bout at Dec. 29’s UFC 79 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. In most recent action, the ground savvy DeSouza touts a first-round submission victory over Ohio upstart Dustin Hazelett (10-3) from last October’s UFC Fight Night featuring Tito Ortiz versus Ken Shamrock in Hollywood, Fla. DeSouza suffered a second-round knockout loss to American Top Team’s Thiago Alves (12-3) at last December 29’s UFC 66 in Las Vegas, and has not competed in the ten months since.
“My last fight made me very hungry to get back in the game,” says DeSouza, 33. “I am looking forward to my return.”
DeSouza will be training with B.J. Penn, Renato Verissimo, and Joe Lauzon in Hawaii for the fight.
Brazilian website Tatame recently interviewed Fabricio Werdum who stated that his next opponent may be Frank Mir:
“I thought that my next opponent was going to be Tim Sylvia but it ended up not being him. Now I’ve heard rumors saying that it might be Frank Mir. However I’m training at a high level so I’m ready for anyone.”
Even bigger than those two combined was a statement made by Chuck Liddell’s trainer John Hackleman during a recent interview with FightHype where he says that the UFC is most likely going to match Liddell and Wanderlei Silva together for UFC 79:
PC: I know you guys were eyeballing a fight with Shogun, but his knee surgery will prevent that fight from happening. Will you still like to get the Wanderlei fight?
JH: Looks like the Wanderlei fight is going to happen.
PC: Ok, is it still going to be in December?
JH: December, yeah!
Like I’ve said before there is no better time to finally do Liddell-Silva then right now. It might even be the only chance actually. Hackelman continues to seem confident that Chuck is going to facing Silva and he’s rarely wrong. I guess we’ll find out for sure in the coming weeks.
It’s been a while since we’ve had one of these. I guess potential fight matchups haven’t been coming out in huge bunches lately.
Apparently a lot of news has come out of Strikeforce’s latest show at the Playboy Mansion this past weekend. The promotion announced that signing of Renato “Babalu” Sobral but that wasn’t all that was revealed courtesy of Gary Herman at 15 Rounds.
Sobral has told Herman that Strikeforce has also inked former UFC Heavyweight Champion Kevin Randleman and Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos to contracts. Sobral stated that he would like to fight either of the two:
Sobral signed a three-fight contract with Strikeforce.
“Strikeforce is a very strong organization. They are bringing in a lot of good fighters in my weight class,” said Sobral.
According to Sobral, two other fighters headed to Strikeforce are Kevin “Monster” Randleman and Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos. Sobral has his sights set on both of the former Pride Fighting Championship competitors.
“I’d like to fight both Randleman and Cyborg,” Sobral said.
Sobral also stated that he expects to fight in December.
Frank Shamrock says that he expects to be back in action at some point next spring.
After Daniel Puder’s victory Saturday night, he went over and challenged K-1 veteran Bob Sapp:
“After the match, I went and told Bob Sapp I want to fight him,” Puder said.
Puder said that Sapp was more than willing to accept the challenge.
“Sapp is going to talk to Scott Coker about it. We want to make it happen,” said Puder. “I want to fight him next year.”
BodogFight Middleweight Champion Trevor Prangley noted that discussions are currently taking place in order to have him making his first title defense against Matt Lindland:
“It has been talked about,” said Prangley. “I would love to fight him.”
Touch of gloves to Five Ounces of Pain for the find.
The trend of future UFC matchups being revealed is continuing this week and UFC President Dana White is a big part of it.
White announced a trio of possible future matchups at the post-fight press conference for UFC 73:
- Anderson Silva will meet Rich Franklin for the second time in a UFC Middleweight Championship bout on October 20th in Franklin’s hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. It was announced that Franklin would face the winner of last night’s bout between Silva and Nate Marquardt after UFC 72 and White confirmed the situation last night.
- White also announced that BJ Penn has decided to stay in the lightweight division and will challenge Sean Sherk for his UFC Lightweight Title in November.
- Mirko Cro Cop will take on Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira later this year provided that he is victorious over Cheick Kongo at UFC 75 according to White.
White also stated that Chuck Liddell will most likely fight again in September during an interview yesterday on the Scott Ferrall Show:
“Chuck is probably going to fight again in September,” White said yesterday on the radio program. “We’re working on a big fight for him. We don’t have it done yet, but Chuck is chomping at the bit to jump back in there and fight again.“
This contradicts previous reports that had White saying that Liddell now wouldn’t be able to fight again until November.
White made clear about yet another possible matchup during an interview with The Gainesville Sun that would take place at UFC 76: Maurico Rua would make his UFC debut against Ryoto Machida.
Rua, a 205-pound Muay Thai specialist, is scheduled to start at UFC 76 on Sept. 22. White said Rua’s most likely first opponent will be Ryoto Machida (10-0), though Forrest Griffin said he would like the fight.
Three big future UFC matchups are being reported by three different sites…
UFC Mania is reporting that Chris Leben may take on Mike Swick in a rematch of their January 2004 bout at WEC 9. Leben won that bout by knockout in the second round and it was the focal point of a good amount of discussion between Leben and Swick during the first season of The Ultimate Fighter.
Yesterday UFC President Dana White also mentioned the possibility of the bout during a Q&A session with UFC Fight Club members after the UFC 73 weigh-ins. The bout is expected to take place at either UFC 76 or UFC Fight Night 11. No word on whether the fight would take place at welterweight or middleweight.
UFC Junkie is stating that Diego Sanchez and Jon Fitch are expected to meet at UFC 76:
Rising welterweight contender Jon Fitch could put his spotless UFC record on the line with a fight against Diego Sanchez at UFC 76.
Early this morning, a reliable source close to one of the fighters told UFC Junkie that the fight is in the works and expected to take place at UFC 76 on Sept. 22. The bout would be on the main card, and according to our source, may even be billed as a co-main event.
Sherdog got into the announcing of future bouts this morning when they revealed that Marcus Aurelio will make his UFC debut at UFC 74 against Clay Guida. Aurelio signed a four-fight deal with the UFC last month and is widely known for his win over Takanori Gomi at PRIDE Bushido 10. Guida is coming off a pair of close decision losses to Tyson Griffin and Din Thomas respectively.