Another pair of bouts have been booked for UFC 159, which takes place on April 27 at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.
A pivotal middleweight matchup between recently defeated contenders Michael Bisping and Alan Belcher will serve as the show's co-main event. In addition, durable lightweight Jim Miller will welcome Strikeforce contender Pat Healy back to the UFC.
The UFC confirmed the bouts as official this afternoon.
After three straight wins over a trio of the UFC's toughest and most durable lightweights, including a first-round TKO of Donald Cerrone at UFC on FOX 6 last night, former WEC champion Anthony Pettis is content to wait for a shot at the UFC lightweight belt if a crack at it is set in stone for him.
"If it's a guaranteed title shot, I'm waiting," Pettis said at the event's post-fight press conference. "That's what my goals are. It's one of my goals this year. If it's next, I'm going to wait, get better and get what's mine."
Pettis has been guaranteed a UFC title shot once before. As the last reigning WEC lightweight champion, Pettis was slated to meet the winner of a January 2011 title fight between then champion Frankie Edgar and rival Gray Maynard.
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]
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.
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.
Strikeforce returns with another female-headlined card as fast-rising women’s star Ronda Rousey defends her Strikeforce bantamweight title against former champion Sarah Kaufman at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California this Saturday night on Showtime.
Other notables on the card include former Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza looking for a second straight win against previously scheduled opponent Derek Brunson. Bouts featuring prospects Lumumba Sayers, Ovince St. Preux and Tarec Saffiedine will also take place.
Here’s a preview of the event’s five-fight main card, which can be seen in its entirety after the jump.
The Daily Recap is a collection of news and notes from around the web that will be posted at the end of each day. Bout signings, injury news and much more can all be found here.
Well, it's been a hell of a day to say the least. Let's get to it.
Jason "Mayhem" Miller was arrested today in an Orange County, California church after police found the building broken into, covered in fire extinguisher spray, various materials broken and scattered all over and "Mayhem" sitting naked on a couch. The arrest comes just a couple of days after he and UFC president Dana White got into a spat on Twitter, which ended up with Miller telling White to kill himself at one point.
I've already seen some comments from people saying that "Mayhem" is punch drunk or on drugs. It's sad. I really don't hope that is the case. And for some reason, part of me really wants to give him the benefit of the doubt here. We all know he's had a history of problems. Terrible childhood on top of being a generally wild dude for years. He's spoken openly about suffering from depression and stuff like that. Had the whole incident with his sister last year, plus more in the past.
I heard that he was in a bad place even before the Twitter back-and-forth with Dana White this weekend and now this. I'm sure a lot of it has to do with his poor showing in his return to the UFC, plus getting cut over what Dana says was a backstage ordeal caused by him. Who knows.
Either way, I hope he gets some help. It's sad to see him like this.
Jason High was angry after his 29-second submission win over Nate Moore was nixed from last Saturday's Strikeforce broadcast on Showtime.
He had every right to be, especially since he's probably the most worthy choice for Nate Marquardt's first welterweight title defense. Showtime was kind enough to put High's win up for everyone to see. A title shot would be even nicer.
Former two-time K-1 Hero's middleweight tournament champion Gesias "JZ" Cavalcante will return to action at Strikeforce's scheduled May 19 event in San Jose, California against Jackson's MMA product Isaac Vallie-Flagg.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker announced the bout via Twitter this afternoon. Strikeforce: "Barnett vs. Cormier" will take place at the HP Pavilion and will feature of the finals of the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix, pitting Josh Barnett against Daniel Cormier.
"JZ" has had an unfortunate run under the Strikeforce banner thus far. After dropping a unanimous decision to Josh Thomson in his promotional debut, a fight with Justin Wilcox was ruled a no-contest after Wilcox was unable to continue after inadvertently being poked in the eye. Cavalcante righted the ship last July, earning a split decision over Bobby Green in his last appearance.
Vallie-Flagg is currently riding a ten-fight unbeaten streak, sporting nine wins and a draw. The New Mexico native was victorious in his Strikeforce debut last June, grinding out a split decision over Brian Melancon.