Diego Sanchez

Sadollah-Dollaway II Completes “TUF Finale” Lineup


Amir Sadollah. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Last night’s episode of “The Ultimate Fighter” showed us that everything isn’t always set in stone, especially when it comes to who will be fighting to become this season’s winner.

After Amir Sadollah pulled off a third-round upset of highly touted wrestler C.B. Dollaway, he was set to join Jesse Taylor in the finals of the reality show’s middleweight bracket for this season. However when a few of the fighters opted to stay in Las Vegas following the filming of the show, Taylor’s infamous drunken escapades continued.

Taylor smashed a limousine window, upset guests at Palace Station, a casino owned by UFC co-owners Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, and then gave security all they could handle on the fighter’s final night in Sin City. UFC President Dana White had seen enough and ultimately decided to kick Taylor off of the show, additionally asking Dollaway and fellow semi-finalist Tim Credeur to fight in another exhibition bout to decide who would go on to fight Sadollah in the finals.

Dollaway used his wrestling skills to earn a hard-fought unanimous decision over Credeur, moving on to rematch Sadollah this Saturday night. This season’s finale will see the fewest amount of ‘TUF’ cast members in history - only seven from this season will be on the card. The remainder will have a slew of UFC veterans complete a stacked undercard.

The show will also feature a welterweight battle between Diego Sanchez and American Top Team product Luigi Fioravanti. Former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner will collide with Kendall Grove, the middleweight winner of the show’s third season, in the night’s main event.

The complete card for the event is as follows:

Main Card:

Evan Tanner vs. Kendall Grove
Diego Sanchez vs. Luigi Fioravanti
Amir Sadollah vs. C.B. Dollaway
Spencer Fisher vs. Jeremy Stephens
Matt Riddle vs. Dante Rivera

Preliminary Bouts:

Josh Burkman vs. Dustin Hazelett
Marvin Eastman vs. Drew McFedries
Dean Lister vs. Jeremy Horn
Tim Credeur vs. Cale Yarbrough
Rob Yundt vs. Rob Kimmons
Matt Arroyo vs. Matt Brown

Report: Sanchez-Fioravanti to Headline TUF 7 Finale


Diego Sanchez weighs-in for UFC 82: Pride of a Champion. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

UFC welterweight contender and former middleweight winner of the first season of “The Ultimate Fighter”, Diego Sanchez is expected to take on American Top Team’s Luigi Fioravanti in a bout that will serve as the main even of The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale on June 21st.

The news comes from Sherdog.com, which reports that although nothing has been signed as of yet, both fighters have verbally agreed to the contest.

Sanchez bounced back from a two-fight losing streak and submitted David Bielkheden with strikes at UFC 82: Pride of a Champion earlier this month. The Jackson’s Submission Fighting product has opted to bulk up and stay at welterweight instead of making a possible drop to a lower weight division.

Fioravanti, who was also victorious earlier this month via an unanimous decision over Luke Cummo, earned his first win at the event since he stopped former UFC middleweight champion Dave Menne with strikes in December 2006.

The upcoming season of “The Ultimate Fighter” will start on April 2nd, preceded by UFC Fight Night 13, which is slated to be televised in a three-hour Spike TV time slot. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Forrest Griffin will serve as coaches on the show. Jackson will then defend his UFC light heavyweight title against Griffin at UFC 86 in July.

Silva Submits Henderson; Becomes Undisputed


Anderson Silva weighs-in for UFC 82: Pride of a Champion. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Anderson Silva passed his toughest test yet as champion with flying colors, submitting former Olympic wrestler Dan Henderson and successfully defending his UFC middleweight title for the third straight time, becoming the second undisputed champ in mixed martial arts history while doing it.

Even in defeat, Henderson perhaps gave the best performance against the champion to date. After an exchange on the feet to start the fight, Henderson was able to take Silva down and control him on the mat until the end of the round.

Although Silva did a good job of keeping a tight guard and preventing Henderson from doing any significant damage, the Team Quest co-founder used a number of hammer fists and the constant disruption of Silva’s breathing pattern to take the lead on the judge’s scorecards.

Silva heeded advice to crank up the pressure at the start of the second round, waving Henderson towards him and then stunning him with a mix of kicks, knees, and punches. A dazed Henderson swung wildly while trying to keep himself from falling over and then came up short in a takedown attempt.

Silva (21-4) capitalized by pouncing on his opponent. After softening him up with punches from inside his guard, Henderson (22-7) gave up his back and was forced to tap out via a rear naked choke moments later.

“My hat goes off to Anderson Silva,” Henderson said during a post-fight interview. “He was definitely the better fighter tonight. I controlled him well and beat him up a little bit in that first round and he came back ready to get after me in the second. He dazed me a little bit on the ground and then he got me in the choke.”

“I think I should have been more aggressive,” continued Henderson. “I didn’t fully execute my gameplan.”

Continue reading "Silva Submits Henderson; Becomes Undisputed"

UFC 82: Pride of a Champion Weigh-In Results


Anderson Silva and Dan Henderson weigh-in for UFC 82: Pride of a Champion. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The official weigh-in results for tonight’s UFC 82: Pride of a Champion are below. All fighters successfully made weight.

UFC 82 features a main event, middleweight title unification bout between current UFC title holder Anderson Silva and PRIDE champion Dan Henderson.

The show will also include a heavyweight affair between Cheick Kongo and Heath Herring as well as the return of former champion Evan Tanner as he takes on Japanese sensation Yushin Okami.

Main Card:

Dan Henderson (184.5 lbs) vs Anderson Silva (185 lbs)
Heath Herring (248 lbs) vs Cheick Kongo (233.5 lbs)
Yushin Okami (184.5 lbs) vs Evan Tanner (185 lbs)
Chris Wilson (169.5 lbs) vs Jon Fitch (170 lbs)
Alessio Sakara (185 lbs) vs Chris Leben (185 lbs)

Preliminary Fights:

Jake O’Brien (231.5 lbs) vs Andrei Arlovski (241 lbs)
Luigi Fioravanti (170.5 lbs) vs Luke Cummo (170 lbs)
Dustin Hazelett (170 lbs) vs Josh Koscheck (169.5 lbs)
David Bielkheden (170 lbs) vs Diego Sanchez (169.5 lbs)
John Halverson (155 lbs) vs Jorge Gurgel (154.5 lbs)

Video of the weigh-ins are after the jump, courtesy of ESPN:

Continue reading "UFC 82: Pride of a Champion Weigh-In Results"

Previewing UFC 82: Pride of a Champion

Here’s a little preview breaking down tomorrow night’s UFC 82: Pride of a Champion, fight-by-fight, including detailed predictions along the way.

UFC 82 features a main event, middleweight title unification bout between current UFC title holder Anderson Silva and PRIDE champion Dan Henderson.

The show, which will take place at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, will also include a heavyweight affair between Cheick Kongo and Heath Herring as well as the return of former champion Evan Tanner as he takes on Japanese sensation Yushin Okami.

A total of ten fights round out the card.

Continue reading "Previewing UFC 82: Pride of a Champion"

Leben-Sakara Officially Added to UFC 82


Photo courtesy of ChrisLeben.com

The Ultimate Fighting Championship has officially announced that popular middleweight Chris Leben will return to action against light heavyweight convert Alessio Sakara, who will be fighting for the first time at 185 lbs when the UFC travels to Columbus, Ohio for the second time for UFC 82: Pride of a Champion on March 1st at the Nationwide Arena.

The event is headlined by a middleweight title unification bout between current UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and PRIDE middleweight champion Dan Henderson. Other main card bouts include a heavyweight affair between Cheick Kongo and Heath Herring as well as the return of former champion Evan Tanner as he takes on Japanese sensation Yushin Okami.

Leben last fought in September, where he scored a dramatic third-round knockout win over upstart middleweight Terry Martin at UFC Fight Night 11.

Sakara defeated James Lee at UFC 80: Rapid Fire a couple of weeks ago, stopping him with strikes in the first round of their bout. The former professional boxer, who has had a roller coaster of a UFC career, recently joined forces with American Top Team.

The Leben-Sakara matchup will be one of the televised bouts according to the UFC’s official website, forcing a welterweight matchup between former Ultimate Fighter winner Diego Sanchez and newcomer David Bielkheden to become one of five preliminary fights.

UFC Unveils Full Card for “Pride of a Champion”

The Ultimate Fighting Championship earlier today announced the complete card for it’s upcoming UFC 82: Pride of a Champion event, which will take place on March 1st at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

The event is headlined by a middleweight title unification bout between current UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and PRIDE middleweight champion Dan Henderson. Previously announced main card bouts include a heavyweight affair between Cheick Kongo and Heath Herring as well as the return of former champion Evan Tanner as he takes on Japanese sensation Yushin Okami.

The two other televised bouts that were officially announced this morning involved former Ultimate Fighter winner Diego Sanchez challenging newcomer David Bielkheden and Jon Fitch, who remains undefeated inside the confines of the UFC going up against Team Quest’s Chris Wilson.

Luigi Fioravanti and Luke Cummo will both return to action in a welterweight bout together. Ohio natives Dustin Hazelett and Jorge Gurgel will both be in action at the event. Gurgel will face off against fellow lightweight John Halverson and Hazelett will take on powerhouse wrestler Josh Koscheck, who will be fighting in a preliminary bout after two consecutive lackluster performances.

The most high-profile preliminary bout includes an undefeated Jake O’Brien attempting to pass the biggest test of his career against former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski. This will mark the first time in over five years that Arlovski has not been promoted as part of the main card of an event, further confirming the notion that he has decided to not re-sign with the company.

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that a rumored bout between Chris Leben and Alessio Sakara was not annnounced as being part of the card.

Sanchez Now Faces Bielkheden at UFC 82


Diego Sanchez weighs-in for UFC 69: Shootout. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Diego Sanchez will now take on Swedish welterweight David Bielkheden at UFC 82: Pride of a Champion on March 1st at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

Sanchez made the announcement late yesterday via MySpace. His original opponent, Roan Carneiro, was forced to bow out of the bout after coming down with an undisclosed illness.

“He’s a tough guy that comes forward and he fights out of American Top Team,” said Sanchez told MMA Weekly. “He has good ground and stand-up and was man enough to take the fight.”

The former middleweight winner of the first season of The Ultimate Fighter is coming off of the first two losses in his career, dropping consecutive unanimous decisions to Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch respectively. Sanchez considered after a potential move to lightweight after the defeats but ultimately decided to stay at 170 lbs.

Bielkheden competed this past weekend at Lord of the Ring’s inaugural event where he stopped Nikola Matic with strikes in the first round. The Stockholm native also owns a win over current UFC middleweight Charles McCarthy.

Sanchez to Face Carneiro at UFC 82


Diego Sanchez weighs-in for UFC 69: Shootout. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Diego Sanchez will return to action when he takes on brand new American Top Team member Roan Carneiro at UFC 82: Pride of a Champion on March 1st at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

Sanchez made the announcement yesterday via his MySpace page.

The former middleweight winner of the first season of The Ultimate Fighter is coming off of the first two losses in his career, dropping consecutive unanimous decisions to Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch respectively. Sanchez considered after a potential move to lightweight after the defeats but ultimately decided to stay at 170 lbs.

Carneiro won a unanimous decision over Rich Clementi in his UFC debut only to be submitted by Jon Fitch in his very next fight. Carneiro bounced back with a stoppage win over Tony DeSouza at last month’s UFC 79.

The native Brazilian became the newest member of American Top Team last week, joining Alessio Sakara, Marcelo Garcia, and Dorian Price as fighters that have joined the team in the month of January.

Sanchez Staying at Welterweight For Now

Former Ultimate Fighter winner Diego Sanchez will remain at welterweight for the time being according to an announcement Sanchez made through his MySpace account earlier today:

Thank you all so much for your on going support and patience, I will be back in the ring really soon. So to answer ALL the questions about when, where, who and at what weight. Here you go. I will know by Feb. who I will be fighting. Probably Vegas, but site not decided. Whoever UFC puts in front of me, does not really matter, I will be ready! 170lbs. Hope this helps.

Sanchez announced that he would consider a possible move to the lightweight division following his loss to Jon Fitch at UFC 76 last year.

Touch of gloves to MMA Mania for the find.

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