The UFC continues to finalize fights in preparation for their April shows.
A quartet of fights has been added to the list of UFC on FOX 7 preliminary bouts, all in the lightweight division. Recent Strikeforce signees Jorge Masvidal and Roger Bowling will make their UFC debuts against Tim Means and Anthony Njokuani respectively. TUF Smashes lightweight winner Norman Parke will face Jon Tuck in his first real UFC test. Undefeated prospect Myles Jury will also meet Ramsey Nijem.
In addition, a pivotal featherweight matchup between Brad Pickett and Mike Easton has been signed as well as a 145 pound meeting between Marcus Brimage, who remains undefeated in the UFC, and newcomer Conor McGregor, who currently holds titles in the featherweight and lightweight division in the Cage Warriors promotion.
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.
As Gilbert Melendez enters what could be his last fight under the Strikeforce banner, he admits that he can't help but pay attention to the rumors that are circulating and suggesting what will likely be a move to the UFC at some point next year.
Still, the reigning Strikeforce lightweight champion remains grounded, acutely aware of the challenge that well-traveled veteran Jorge Masvidal presents during their scheduled title clash on December 17 at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California.
“I’m very excited for this fight,” Melendez told reporters during a Tuesday media conference call. “I think Jorge is a very tough guy. He’s not very popular, so he’s pretty underrated. It’s a good challenge. He’s someone that’s been in this circuit for a long time outside of the UFC so I’ve wanted to fight him for a couple of years now. He looked really good against K.J. [Noons] Looked in good shape. Looks like he’s really adapted to the weight class. He’s a complete MMA fighter.”
Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez will reportedly put his title on the line in an expected showdown against American Top Team product Jorge Masvidal at a yet-to-be-announced Strikeforce event on December 17.
The news comes from MMAJunkie.com, citing sources close to the event. A date and location for the show, which will likely be the organization's last of the year, remain unknown.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker suggested that the matchup would probably take place following Masvidal's three-round destruction of K.J. Noons in June, which was easily the biggest win of his career.
Tim Kennedy. Photo by Esther Lin/Strikeforce.
Former middleweight title challenger Tim Kennedy will lock horns with American Kickboxing Academy product Luke Rockhold and undefeated lightweight Billy Evangelista will face well-traveled veteran Jorge Masvidal at Strikeforce's March 5 event at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
Strikeforce officially announced the matchups for the show's televised main card today. A pair of title bouts featuring Rafael Feijao vs. Dan Henderson and Marloes Coenen vs. Miesha Tate will headline.
Kennedy, an American military veteran, was originally slated to meet Jason "Mayhem" Miller in a third bout between the two, but the matchup was apparently scrapped over the weekend.
Eddie Alvarez. Photo courtesy of Bellator Fighting Championships.
Philadelphia native Eddie Alvarez and American Top Team product Hector Lombard were both awarded title belts from the upstart Bellator Fighting Championships promotion following clinching wins in their respective tournament finals on Friday night.
Those in attendance at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida saw Alvarez score a second-round submission of Toby Imada in the Bellator welterweight final while Lombard bloodied and battered previously unbeaten prospect Jared Hess until the ringside doctor halted their middleweight title bout in the fourth round.
Other notable fights saw Jorge Masvidal submit Eric Reynolds with a rear-naked choke in the third round of their bout and Rosi Sexton defeat Valerie Coolbaugh via submission as well.
If you haven’t seen the video of this yet, you can catch it above. During the third round of a come-from-behind effort in the Bellator lightweight tournament semi-finals on Friday night, Toby Imada submits Jorge Masvidal with one of the most creative triangle chokes in history. Video of the sub starts at the 0:26 mark.
Eddie Alvarez. Photo courtesy of Fighting and Entertainment Group.
Philadelphia native Eddie Alvarez secured his spot in Bellator Fighting Championships’ first-ever lightweight tournament finals on Friday night, controlling upstart opponent Eric Reynolds for over twelve minutes before submitting him with a rear-naked choke in the third round of their main event attraction.
Strikeforce veteran Jorge Masvidal was expected to meet Alvarez in the finals but will instead be watching the remainder of the tourney as a spectator. Masvidal played down the skills of Toby Imada during the weeks before their semi-final fight, but ended up succumbing to an impressive modified triangle choke in the third round of their fight.
A number of notable veterans were also in action on Bellator’s fifth event. Former EliteXC heavyweight standout Dave Herman picked up a much-needed win over Josh Barnes. Dan Evensen also scored a second-round stoppage of Raoul Romero while fellow UFC veteran Sherman Pendergarst fell to Total Combat product Joey Beltran.
Complete results from the event:
Eddie Alvarez def. Eric Reynolds - Submission (Rear-Naked Choke), R3
Toby Imada def. Jorge Masvidal - Submission (Triangle Choke), R3
Dave Herman def. Josh Barnes - TKO (Strikes), R2
Dan Evensen def. Raoul Romero - TKO (Strikes), R2
Joey Beltran def. Sherman Pendergarst - TKO (Strikes), R1
Justin Edwards def. John Troyer - Submission (Guillotine Choke), R1
Matt Jaggers def. Peter Dominguez - Submission (Choke), R1
Waylon Lowe def. Frank Carabello - Unanimous Decision
Jessica Pene def. Tammie Schneider - TKO (Strikes), R1
Jorge Masvidal. Photo courtesy of BodogFight.
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. — Bellator Fighting Championships, a first of its kind mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion, officially announced today the exclusive signing of Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal, one of Florida’s top fighters.
As the latest addition to the lightweight (155 lb.) division of Bellator’s tournament, premiering on ESPN Deportes April 4, 2009, Masvidal is poised for a breakout performance on the national MMA scene.
A Cuban-American and native of Miami, Florida, Masvidal has become known for routinely beating fighters that are larger and more well-known than he is. Wins over the likes of former IFL champion Ryan Schultz and UFC standout Joe Lauzon earned him the moniker of Florida’s top Lightweight, a title that he solidified with an eight-bout win streak in the following months.
Takanori Gomi. Photo courtesy of World Victory Road.
Despite being one of the world’s top-ranked lightweights for a number of years, Takanori Gomi fell victim to World Victory Road’s mediocre roster of 155 lb. fighters as he lost a split decision to M-1 veteran Sergey Golyaev at Sengoku IV on Saturday morning in Japan.
“The Fireball Kid” was unable to get past Golyaev’s swift striking, which earned the Russian points early and often during their battle. Golyaev used his reach advantage to keep Gomi at a distance throughout their battle and even dropped him with a left hook in the second round. Despite the loss, Gomi will likely challenge WVR lightweight tournament winner Satoru Kitaoka at the organization’s January 4 event. Kitaoka bested Kazunori Yokota and Eiji Mitsuoka to win the inaugural tourney.
UFC and Strikeforce veteran Jorge Santiago continued his run through the middleweight division by stopping Siyar Bahadurzada and former PRIDE light heavyweight standout Kazuhiro Nakamura en route to winning the middleweight grand prix.