Eddie Alvarez has his hand raised after winning a unanimous decision over Matt Lee in July 2007. Photo by David Singer.
A lot of news coming to our attention late today…
Alvarez-Aina Possible at EliteXC April Show
Former BodogFight welterweight champion Eddie Alvarez is currently in negotiations to take on EliteXC lightweight Mike Aina at an unannounced show in April according to a report by The Fight Network, who confirmed the contract talks yesterday with Alvarez.
Alvarez is coming off of an impressive knockout of Ross Ebanez at the fourth edition of ShoXC’s Elite Challenger Series. The Philadelphia native signed a three-fight deal with EliteXC earlier this month. Aina has not fought since losing a razor close decision to Nick Diaz in September.
Liddell-Rua Signed for June
A rumored bout between former champions Chuck Liddell and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is now official according to Sherdog, who confirmed the bout with Rua himself earlier today:
“The fight against Liddell is confirmed,” Rua said. “I signed the contract yesterday. Now I am going to train hard, focused on him, to represent my new team, Universidade da Luta, and my country. The fight is going to be in June.”
This could be an interesting fight and a possible great matchup for Liddell. Just like Wanderlei Silva, Rua loves to push the envelope and come right at his opponent, which is a dream come true for a counter-puncher like Liddell.
In order to win this one, “Shogun” will have to find a way to counter Liddell’s wrestling with a ground attack that will keep Liddell off-balance during scrambles. Should be a fun chess match to watch if it does actually go down.
Edgar-Maynard Set for UFC Fight Night 13
Lightweights Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard are set to clash at UFC Fight Night 13 in April according to Five Ounces of Pain.
We reported earlier this week through Five Ounces that Edgar was offered a bout against former PRIDE lightweight champ Takanori Gomi by the UFC, only to have the plans fall through after the promotion was unable to sign Gomi to an official contract.
Maynard was victorious last week, winning a decision over Dennis Siver at UFC Fight Night 12.
Bisping-McCarthy Moved to UFC 83 in Canada
A planned bout between former Ultimate Fighter winner Michael Bisping and American Top Team’s Charles McCarthy has been moved from a tentative U.K. show in March to the UFC’s debut show in Canada on April 19th.
Our partner site Rogers Sportsnet interviewed Bisping earlier this week, who confirmed the move with the network.
While we all know what Bisping has been up to these days (he’s moving down to 185 lbs), McCarthy has not fought in the UFC since submitting Gideon Ray with an armbar at The Ultimate Fighter 4 Finale last year. McCarthy was stopped in his debut by David Loiseau at UFC 53: Heavy Hitters in June 2005.
PFC Announces Five Fights for March
The Palace Fighting Championship has officially announced it’s next event for March 20th at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, California.
PFC 7 will feature a pair of flyweight bouts: Luis Gonzalez will be back in action taking on David Mitchell while newcomers Ulysses Gomez and Greg McDowell will compete for the first time professionally.
Additional bouts include former UFC middleweight Justin Levens taking on Phil Collins, Darren Crisp challenging Danny Castillo, and PFC light heavyweight champion Jeremy Freitag defending his title against top contender Anthony Rubalcalva.
Art of War Acquires IFO-Steele Cage Assets
SUN Sports, the parent company of Texas-based Art of War has announced that it has acquired the assets of the recently defunct International Fighting Organization, which was run in conjunction with Steele Cage Promotions.
“We are delighted to be able to acquire the assets of the International Fighting Organization,” said SUN Sports CEO C.J. Comu stated earlier today in a press release sent out to the media. “We are also delighted to be able to acquire all the raw footage and finished broadcast production of the IFO events promoted by Steele Cage Promotions, which we plan on distributing globally. We feel that the film inventory will be a great compliment to the Art of War film inventory which will provide more available product to networks and distributors world-wide.”
The UFC is certainly starting 2008 with a bang in terms of all of the fights they’ve put together already. Here’s some news on three more potential matchups that could be announced in the near future.
Sherdog’s Greg Savage is reporting that Michael Bisping will make his debut at middleweight against “Chainsaw” Charles McCarthy at an upcoming UFC event in London, England on March 8th. That gives us two UFC events in the month of March and both just six days apart. (UFC 82 is currently slated to take place on March 2nd at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio)
While we all know what Bisping has been up to these days, McCarthy has not fought in the UFC since submitting Gideon Ray with an armbar at The Ultimate Fighter 4 Finale last year. McCarthy was stopped in his debut by David Loiseau at UFC 53: Heavy Hitters in June 2005.
The Fight Network is reporting two things of interest in the UFC’s heavyweight division.
According to Loretta Hunt, the UFC has offered Justin McCully a bout against Cheick Kongo for UFC 81 in February. McCully has apparently not yet made a decision on the offer but is expected to make one at some point this week.
It seems that the UFC was originally leaning on having Kongo take on fellow contender Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira but that all fell apart once Randy Couture resigned from the company.
Speaking of Nogueira, Hunt has also learned that he and former champion Tim Sylvia have both been sent bout agreements to face each other for the vacant UFC Heavyweight Title on February 2nd.
According to Sylvia’s manager Monte Cox, Sylvia has signed his paper:
“Tim signed the contract, and we haven’t heard anything else about it—if Nogueira has signed his contract or what,” said Cox.
Former UFC Middleweight Champion Evan Tanner will finally make his long-awaited return to the Octagon at UFC 82 in March according to a report by MMA Mania.
UFC 82 is currently scheduled to take place at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus Ohio on March 2nd.
MMA on Tap has also learned that a potential fight between Tanner and the UFC’s newest middleweight Michael Bisping has been discussed by UFC officials.
Tanner recently signed a new four-fight deal with the UFC last month.
Tanner has not competed inside the Octagon since April of last year when he submitted Justin Levens with a triangle at UFC 59. He became the third UFC Middleweight Champion in history when he stopped David Terrell at UFC 51 in 2005. He would go on to lose the belt in his very next fight against Rich Franklin at UFC 53.
Michael Bisping announced an official move to middleweight today on the UFC’s official website.
I guess when Rampage is only eating a leaf of lettuce to keep on weight while you’re stuffing your face with Domino’s and Subway it might be time for a move:
“Dana thought it was a great idea,” said Bisping. “He said I’d be ‘a monster’ down at middleweight. In fact all sorts of people like Rampage were telling me this was the best thing for my career. Really, I knew middleweight was the place to be. When I went to train with Rampage in America over the summer, when we’d go eat he’d have half a lettuce leaf; I’d have a pizza or a couple of foot-long Subways and a couple of sneaky cookies.”
Seriously though, Bisping will be much better off at 185 lbs. I’d still like him to continue to improve his wrestling though. It will improve his chances against guys like Okami and Belcher. The move brings a bit more life to a rather dull middleweight division right now. I like it.
Rashad Evans and Michael Bisping discuss their fight at the UFC 78 post-fight press conference. Evans squeaked out a close split decision over Michael Bisping last Saturday at UFC 78: Validation.
Tonight we will be going live at 8 PM EST, covering UFC 78: Validation with one of our patented live blogs. Be sure to leave some comments throughout the day and night…
While you are waiting for the event to start, feel free to check out our coverage of the event which includes predictions, weigh-in results, and much more:
UFC 78: Validation Weigh-In Results
Tap Selections: UFC 78
Goldberg and Rogan Preview UFC 78
Herman Wants Revenge Against Doerksen
Bisping and Evans Ready to Battle at UFC 78
Alexander Plans to be Quick and Exciting
UFC 78 Conference Call Notes
Terrell Replaced by Doerksen at UFC 78
Parisyan-Chonan; Alves-Lytle Now Set for UFC 78
Lombard Unable to Compete at UFC 78
Aurelio-Caudillo Agree to Terms
UFC Announces Bisping-Evans, Alexander-Silva
Rashad Evans vs Michael Bisping
Houston Alexander vs Thiago Silva
Karo Parisyan vs Ryo Chonan
Spencer Fisher vs Frankie Edgar
Joe Doerksen vs Ed Herman
Chris Lytle vs Thiago Alves
Joe Lauzon vs Jason Reinhardt
Marcus Aurelio vs Luke Caudillo
Akihiro Gono vs Tamdan McCrory
UFC commentators Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan break down tomorrow night’s two huge fights in the UFC’s light heavyweight division: Ultimate Fighter winners Rashad Evans and Michael Bisping square off in a bout that will see one fighter earn his first professional loss; Upstart Houston Alexander will try to continue his string of impressive stoppage wins when he takes on Chute Boxe product Thiago Silva.
Here are the official weigh-in results for UFC 78: Validation which is set to take place tomorrow night at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. All 18 fighters scheduled to compete successfully made weight.
Rashad Evans (206 lbs) vs Michael Bisping (205 lbs)
Houston Alexander (203 lbs) vs Thiago Silva (204 lbs)
Karo Parisyan (170 lbs) vs Ryo Chonan (169.5 lbs)
Spencer Fisher (154.5 lbs) vs Frankie Edgar (154 lbs)
Joe Doerksen (185.5 lbs) vs Ed Herman (186 lbs)
Chris Lytle (170.5 lbs) vs Thiago Alves (171 lbs)
Joe Lauzon (155 lbs) vs Jason Reinhardt (155 lbs)
Marcus Aurelio (156 lbs) vs Luke Caudillo (155.5lbs)
Akihiro Gono (169 lbs) vs Tamdan McCrory (170 lbs)
Michael “The Count” Bisping and Rashad Evans recently sat down with ESPN to discuss their upcoming bout at UFC 78: Validation on November 17 in Newark, New Jersey.
The UFC held a conference call with the media yesterday afternoon to promote this weekend’s UFC 78: Validation which is set to take place live from the brand new Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey this Saturday. UFC President Dana White was the host of the call. Featured fighters included Michael Bisping, Rashad Evans, and Houston Alexander.
- White stated that Randy Couture contacted him and requested a face-to-face meeting. White said that the meeting will most likely take place at some point this week. White also noted that Couture has been offered an official title defense against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for early next year. Couture has not given an answer as of yet. White says that there are no plans for an interim heavyweight title if Couture chooses not to accept.
- When it comes to Sean Sherk, White says that Sherk will now most likely be stripped of his title if the California State Athletic Commission refuses to overturn his positive steroids test next month. That means Penn and Stevenson would fight for the actual title at UFC 80 and that Sherk would become a mandatory challenger once his suspension was over.
- No decision on whether or not UFC 80 will be broadcasted on PPV or Spike TV.
- The UFC held a meeting with all of it’s fighters last week in Las Vegas where a variety of topics were discussed. Topics included the steroids problem, contracts, taxes, organization policy, and how to deal with the media. Rumor has it that White told fighters they no longer be permitted to participate in internet radio shows. That seems to be false however as Spencer Fisher was on Sherdog yesterday.
- White says that he is slated to meet with officials in the New York State Athletic Commission to discuss the possible legalization of MMA in the state.
- White noted that rematches of Tito Ortiz-Rashad Evans and Michael Bisping-Matt Hamill were originally supposed to headline UFC 78 but both Hamill and Ortiz claimed that they were injured and couldn’t compete.
- The next UFC Fight Night is scheduled for January 23rd. No word on a location or potential participants on the card yet.
- The UFC plans on returning to Florida at some point next year but the show will most likely be a PPV instead of the usual UFC Fight Night cards that have taken place in the state.
- While White did not reveal which major network he was currently in discussions with, he admitted that he was indeed in talks to have the UFC air on a “prime-time” network in the future.
- White has no idea concerning who is next in line to challenge Anderson Silva for the UFC Middleweight Title. White noted that he has attempted multiple times to try and get Dan Henderson to drop down to middleweight but Henderson seems to want to stay at 205 lbs.