Check back here at 2 PM ET for the live pre-fight press conference for Saturday's UFC on FOX 6 event. UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson and challenger John Dodson will join Rampage Jackson, Glover Teixeira, Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone on the podium.
Today the Nevada State Athletic Commission voted unanimously to reinstate Alistair Overeem’s license. The approval opens the door for Overeem’s scheduled bout with Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva at UFC 156.
According to MMA Fighting, Overeem provided the NSAC with five self-administered tests between June and December that were all clean. Along with those, he faced tests on November 16 and December 21, both of which he passed.
Nate Marquardt defends his Strikeforce welterweight title January 12 against Tarec Saffiedine at Strikeforce’s final event. If victorious, Marquardt told Ariel Helwani he’s open to a unification bout with Georges St. Pierre. Marquardt and St. Pierre have been training together since Marquardt’s first UFC stint. [MMA Fighting]
The UFC hits Seattle on Saturday night with UFC on Fox 5 which is arguably their most stacked card of the year. In the main event, Benson Henderson defends his lightweight title against Nate Diaz. Henderson, who is riding a five fight winning streak, will look to prove his doubters wrong when he takes on the versatile Stockton, California native.
The card also includes an intriguing welterweight matchup between BJ Penn and Rory MacDonald. Penn, who is coming out of retirement, has a lot to prove after a lackluster two years in the octagon. He’ll be in tough with MacDonald who has consistently looked stronger with each outing.
Rounding out the main card is a light heavyweight showdown between former champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Alexander Gustafsson plus a welterweight clash between Mike Swick and Matt Brown.
It is being reporting that UFC flyweight contenders Joseph Benavidez and Ian McCall will lock horns at UFC 156 on February 2, 2013.
MMAWeekly.com is reporting that verbal agreements are in place for the Superbowl weekend showdown. UFC 156 will be headlined by a featherweight title bout between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar.
While the event will be held in Las Vegas, Fox officials made news last week when they said they'd like to "own" Superbowl weekend in 2014 with a free card on Fox. For that to happen, mixed martial arts has to get regulated in New York.
One of the most dynamic free-agent talents available is joining the deepening MFC middleweight talent pool.
Jay “Da Spyda Killa” Silva (Twitter: @jaysilvamma) has agreed to a multi-fight contract with the Maximum Fighting Championship and will make his debut at MFC 36: Reality Check to be held on Friday, February 15 at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, and live on AXS TV Fights.
“Jay Silva is a huge talent, and can become an absolute wrecking machine in the Maximum Fighting Championship,” touted MFC Owner/President Mark Pavelich.
Alex Garcia, who last fought in October 2011, didn’t waste any time shaking off the rust. Garcia made quick work of journeyman Stephane Lamarche, securing a rear naked choke in just the first round. With the victory, Garcia raised his MMA record to an impressive 8-1.
Aiemann Zahabi, brother of Firas, was successful in his professional MMA debut pounding out Kyle Vivian in just under a round. Zahabi took Vivian to the canvas early and rained down a barrage of punches that forced the Ontario native to tap.
Complete results from the event are after the jump.
Dana White has announced via Twitter that Lavar Johnson has suffered a pulled groin and has been forced to withdraw from his upcoming bout with Brendan Schaub. No replacement has been announced at this time.
Earlier this week, White pleaded with UFC on Fox 5 fighters saying, “It’s tough to keep a card together. What have we got like a week and a half to go? I want to say to all the guys, tone your training down a little bit. Let’s not get anybody injured this last week and a half.”
UFC on Fox 5 is slated for December 8 and features a UFC lightweight championship bout between Benson Henderson and Nate Diaz. The stacked undercard includes Rory MacDonald vs. BJ Penn, Alexander Gustafsson vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, and Matt Brown vs. Mike Swick.
Update, 11:33 PM: MMA Fighting is reporting that the UFC will not seek a replacement for Johnson meaning Schaub will no longer appear on the card.
MMA Junkie is reporting that Pat Healy will face Jorge Masvidal at Strikeforce: “Champions” on January 12 in Oklahoma City. Healy was originally scheduled to face Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez but the fight was scrapped when Melendez withdrew with an injury.
This is good news for Masvidal who recently expressed his concern with the lack of opportunities in Strikeforce. Masvidal was penciled in for two previous Strikeforce cards but both fights fell through leaving Masvidal without an opponent or a paycheck.
The UFC has announced that they’ll be returning to London, England on February 16, 2013 at the Wembley Arena. While no fights have been announced, it is being reported that the card will be UFC on Fuel TV 7.
It looks like Nick Diaz is getting consideration for a UFC welterweight shot again… At least by Tristar head trainer Firas Zahabi. Zahabi told MMA Junkie, "I think Diaz is the guy who deserves it most. His fight with Carlos (Condit) was so close. Who knows? People judge it both ways.”
Of course, Johny Hendricks is current front runner after he stopped Martin Kampmann at UFC 154. Diaz is still sidelined, serving the remainder of his suspension for testing positive for marijuana metabolites.
Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold has been forced to withdraw from his January 12 bout with Lorenz Larkin. According to The MMA Corner, Rockhold reaggravated a wrist injury which had previously forced him to pull out of his Nov. 3 fight with Larkin.
Strikeforce “Champions” will reportedly be the last event before the company ceases operations. Rockhold joins Gilbert Melendez as the second champion to withdraw from the card.
The card now features a welterweight championship showdown between Nate Marquardt and Tarec Saffiedine. The co-main event will see Daniel Cormier take on Dion Staring.