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]
Matt Mitrione, who faces Roy Nelson this Saturday, has turned down Nelson’s request for random drug testing by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association. Mitrione told MMA Junkie, “Since I was coming on somewhat short notice, cutting a couple weeks out of my camp, and training for a five-round fight, this is something I wanted to make sure I didn't have anything that could distract me.”
Ronda Rousey was officially crowned the UFC women’s bantamweight champion this weekend at the UFC on Fox 5 pre-fight press conference. Following the event, UFC president Dana White said Rousey is currently signed to an eight-fight deal and the women’s division will basically live and die with Rousey. [USA Today]
Mike Ricci and Colton Smith both won their The Ultimate Fighter 16 semi-final fights which aired on Friday and will now appear in the finale set for this Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada. I recommend checking out Ricci’s interview on The MMA Hour where he gave a candid breakdown of his feeling regarding the TUF 16 experience. [MMA Fighting]
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.
The Maximum Fighting Championship has officially signed one of the biggest heavyweight matchups in organizational history for MFC 36: Reality Check.
Canada’s top two heavyweights will square-off with an MFC title shot at stake when undefeated hotshot Smealinho Rama meets rising star Mike “The Honey Badger” Hackert on Friday, Feb. 15. The bout will be a highlighted matchup on the MFC 36 card airing live on AXS TV Fights emanating from the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta.
The winner of the bout earns a shot at the MFC heavyweight title later in 2013.
The UFC has announced that welterweight contenders Jon Fitch and Demian Maia will lock horns at UFC 156. UFC president Dana White said, “Maia hopes to move up the welterweight rankings by taking out perennial contender Fitch. Fitch wants to build on his Fight of the Night-winning victory over Erick Silva." [UFC]
Despite earlier reports of The Ultimate Fighter being moved to Wednesday nights on FX, a FX official has stated that it’s highly unlikely TUF will air on Wednesday nights. An official announcement is expected to come within the next two or three weeks. [MMA Fighting]
MMA Fighting is reporting that Roy “Big Country” Nelson will face Matt Mitrione at The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale on December 15 in Last Vegas, Nevada.
Nelson was originally slated to fight fellow TUF 16 coach Shane Carwin before he was forced to withdraw with a knee injury. According to the report, the fight will be five rounds and serve as the main event.
Nelson, a native of Las Vegas, Nevada, possesses a mixed martial arts record of 17-7. Nelson holds UFC victories over the likes of Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, Stefan Struve, Brendan Schaud and most recently Dave Herman.
The injury bug continues to wreak havoc on the UFC as Eddie Yagan and Gray Maynard join Shane Carwin as the next group fighters to withdraw from upcoming bouts.
Yagan was forced to pull out of his fight with Dennis Siver after he was hospitalized with swelling around his brain. According to the report, Yagan returned home following a training session and after suffering from a headache and vomiting, Yagan went to the ER and was subsequently hospitalized. Yagan’s doctor stated that he didn’t feel that surgery was necessary and that the swelling should go down in the next few days. Nam Phan will replace Yagan and face Siver at UFC on FX 5. [MMAWeekly]
In other news, Joe Lauzon announced on Facebook that Maynard was injured and his new opponent would be Jim Miller. No details were released regarding Maynard’s injury.
The dreaded injury bug has struck again. UFC president Dana White has announced via Twitter that TUF 16 coach Shane Carwin has suffered a knee injury and been forced to withdraw from his upcoming bout with Roy Nelson. No replacement has been announced at this time.
White tweeted, “WOW!! It never ends Carwin blew his knee out. Looking for a new opponent for Roy on the TUF Finale on FX.”
The knee marks the second major injury for Carwin over the past two years. Before stepping onto TUF 16, Carwin spent the better part of a year rehabbing after undergoing back surgery. Carwin last appeared in the octagon on June 11 in a losing effort to UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos.
It looks like there is another hurdle to overcome before we'll finally see a super fight between Cris Cyborg and Ronda Rousey. Cyborg’s camp is saying that their fighter visited with her heart doctor and a cut to 135lbs is not safe based on her personal physical health. According to the report, Cyborg walks around at 160lbs and the cut could prohibit Cyborg from carrying a child in the future. [MMAWeekly]
Ronda Rousey’s camp wasted no time formulating a response stating that if you talk to five doctors, you’ll get five different opinions. In regards to moving up to 145lbs, Rousey’s manager Doug Harvey told Yahoo! Sports, “At the end of the day, it’s up to Ronda. I would advise against it because I would like to do everything to get Cyborg down to 135 pounds, but I know it’s the fight the world wants to see.”