Joe Stevenson

Tap Selections: UFC 91

Here are our predictions (after the jump, winners in bold) for tonight’s UFC 91 event.

The main card will be broadcast on pay-per-view and Yahoo! Sports starting at 10 PM ET.

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Dana White: GSP-Penn II Moved to January

B.J. Penn, Dana White, and Georges St. Pierre. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The much-anticipated rematch between Georges St. Pierre and B.J. Penn has been moved to UFC 93 on January 31 in Las Vegas according to UFC President Dana White.

White revealed the change to Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports earlier today. The fight was originally planned for UFC 92 on December 27 but St. Pierre has opted to take the rest of the year off because of the exhaustive schedule he has maintained - fighting four times in the last twelve months.

Unfortunately, the UFC was unable to secure the Bell Centre in Montreal for an event. The NHL’s Montreal Canadiens occupy just about every Saturday night on the arena’s schedule.

White also confirmed details concerning the UFC’s inaugural venture into Portland, Oregon, where UFC 91 will be held on November 15 at the Rose Garden. A previously rumored bout between lightweight contenders Kenny Florian and Joe Stevenson has been confirmed for that card.

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Report: Florian-Stevenson Likely for UFC 91

Kenny Florian. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

It seems that Kenny Florian really isn’t going to wait for his shot at B.J. Penn. The Boston native has reportedly agreed to fight former lightweight title challenger Joe Stevenson at the yet-to-be-announced UFC 91 show, which is rumored to be taking place on November 15th at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon.

The news comes from MMA Weekly, which has confirmed with sources close to the fight that both fighters have agreed in principle to meet. Bout agreements are expected to be sent out shortly. The fight will likely be featured as the show’s co-main event.

Florian solidifed himself as the top contender for Penn’s lightweight belt with his resounding unanimous decision win over Roger Huerta at UFC 87 earlier this month. Since falling to former champion Sean Sherk in his only title shot to date, Florian has reeled off five straight victories.

Stevenson rebounded from a failed championship opportunity against Penn back in January to submit American Top Team’s Gleison Tibau at UFC 86. Since entering the UFC following winning the welterweight portion of “The Ultimate Fighter”, Stevenson has racked up a record of 6-2.

Sherk Expected to Return to Action in Fall

Sean Sherk. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Multiple sources have revealed to MMA on Tap that former UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk will most likely return to action at one of the organization’s planned fall events - either Chicago’s UFC 90 on October 25th or the yet-to-be-announced UFC 91 show, which is currently rumored to be taking place at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon in November.

While an opponent for Sherk’s next fight has not yet been determined, both Xtreme Couture member Tyson Griffin and one-time lightweight title challenger Joe Stevenson are said to have been thrown around by UFC officials as the most probable potential foes for Sherk.

A win for either of the three men would become even more important if current champion B.J. Penn is sent to move up in weight against Georges St. Pierre later this year, as they would either position themselves as one of the division’s top contenders or as a challenger for the winner of Saturday’s showdown between Kenny Florian and Roger Huerta.

While Sherk’s championship reign was cut short because of a positive test for steroids under the watch of the California State Athletic Comission, the Minnesota native suffered his first loss since winning the UFC’s lightweight title at the hands of Penn at UFC 84 back in May.

UFC 86 Results

Forrest Griffin def. Quinton Jackson - Unanimous Decision
Patrick Cote def. Ricardo Almeida - Split Decision
Joe Stevenson def. Gleison Tibau - Submission (guillotine choke)
Josh Koscheck def. Chris Lytle - Unanimous Decision
Gabriel Gonzaga def. Justin McCully - Submission (americana)
Cole Miller def. Jorge Gurgel - Submission (triangle choke)
Melvin Guillard def. Dennis Siver - TKO
Justin Buchholz def. Corey Hill - Submission (rear naked choke)

Update Jul 6 7:45pm: Adding post-fight video reaction.

First, Forrest Griffin:

Others after the jump.

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UFC Announces Three Additions to “Jackson vs. Griffin”

Frank Mir weighs-in for UFC 65: Bad Intentions. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship has announced three additional fights will take place at UFC 86: Jackson vs. Griffin on July 5th.

The event will be headlined by Quinton “Rampage” Jackson’s first light heavyweight title defense in nearly a year as he will take on Forrest Griffin, who is currently serving as one of the coaches alongside Jackson on the current seventh season of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir will try to continue a successful road back from a near career-ending motorcycle accident when he takes on Team Punishment member Justin McCully, who has not fought since winning a unanimous decision over Antoni Hardonk at UFC Fight Night 9, leaving him inactive since last year.

Joe Stevenson will attempt to bounce back from a failed bid for the UFC lightweight title in January when he challenges American Top Team’s Gleison Tibau. German native Dennis Siver will also return to action against Melvin Guillard, who recently took a leave of absence from the UFC in order to fight in smaller shows.

The rumored fight card for the event now looks like this:

Quinton Jackson vs. Forrest Griffin
Josh Koscheck vs. Chris Lytle*
Joe Stevenson vs. Gleison Tibau
Frank Mir vs. Justin McCully
Ricardo Almeida vs. Patrick Cote*
Melvin Guillard vs. Dennis Siver
Justin Buchholz vs. Corey Hill*
Tyson Griffin vs. TBA*
Cole Miller vs. TBA*
Steve Bruno vs. TBA*
Ben Saunders vs. TBA*

* - not yet confirmed by UFC.

Back to the Future: UFC 86

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.”

Penn Discusses Championship Win

Newly crowned UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn discusses his recent win over Joe Stevenson at UFC 80: Rapid Fire at the post-fight press conference for the event. Penn also talks about his past fights against Jens Pulver and elaborates on his post-fight comments for former champ Sean Sherk.

Third Title Fight is a Charm for Penn

B.J. Penn throws a jab at Joe Stevenson during their championship bout at UFC 80: Rapid Fire. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

In a night of quick fights and surprising stoppages, one thing remains the same: B.J. Penn is still that damn good.

Penn submitted former Ultimate Fighter contestant Joe Stevenson with a rear naked choke in the second round to claim the vacant UFC lightweight title and become the second fighter in history along with current heavyweight champ Randy Couture to win championship gold in two different weight classes.

The lively 8,412 inside the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, England saw Penn surprise Stevenson with an uppercut that sent the California native down to the mat in the opening seconds. Penn pounced on his opponent but Stevenson was able to maintain his composure and survive Penn’s initial assault.

The former welterweight champion controlled Stevenson on the ground for the remainder of the first round, opening up a vicious cut in the middle of Stevenson’s forehead with just over a minute left in the round. Stevenson would end up donning a crimson mask for the rest of the fight.

The two had an even exchange on the feet to start the second stanza but that ended once Penn started to pick Stevenson apart with looping lefts and uppercuts. The bout was stopped at one point to have the doctor check Stevenson’s cut but the stream of blood avoiding Stevenson’s eyes already gave those watching the doctor’s answer.

Stevenson fell victim to another Penn (12-4-1) uppercut once the bout was restarted, signaling the beginning of the end for “Daddy.” Penn used punches and elbows to force Stevenson (28-8) out of position enough to be able to give up his back, which Penn quickly took without a second thought.

Penn was able to sink in a rear naked choke and Stevenson was forced to tap out without putting up much of a fight. The win finally gave Penn the UFC lightweight title in what was his third career attempt at the belt.

After the fight Penn acknowledged that he was trying to make his third try a successful one.

“Joe is a great guy,” said Penn. “I knew he was going to be tough, but I put everything into this. I wanted to make sure it was three times the charm and not three strikes you’re out.”

Penn also went out of his way to send former champion Sean Sherk a message now that Sherk will be challenging Penn in his first title defense later this year.

“Hey Sean Sherk, you’re dead,” Penn shouted during his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan.

Sherk, who was cage-side doing color commentary on the bout along with Rogan and UFC play-by-play announcer Mike Goldberg, stormed into the Octagon and picked up a microphone right after Penn made his comment.

“That belt belongs to me,” said Sherk. “You’ve got one more fight before you can be called lightweight champ.”

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UFC 80: Rapid Fire Live Results

We will be going live at 1:00 PM EST with live results of UFC 80: Rapid Fire, which will take place live from the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, England.

UFC 80 features a lightweight championship bout between former welterweight title holder B.J. Penn and top contender and Ultimate Fighter 2 winner Joe Stevenson. Also on the card is a rematch between Gabriel Gonzaga and Fabricio Werdum and a welterweight clash between Marcus Davis and Jess Liaudin.

Be sure to leave comments throughout the afternoon and night.

Live results are shown after the jump. 

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