UFC

Ultimate Fighting Championship

Rashad Evans still unsure about move to middleweight division

Rashad Evans. Photo by Jerico Angeles/Authentic Sports Management.

Following Rashad Evans’ one-sided decision loss to Jon Jones last spring, speculation began to arise that he may be interested in dropping down to the UFC’s middleweight division for a fresh start. A new weight class with new opponents and of course, a shot to test himself against Anderson Silva.

Evans has said that the idea certainly interests him, and that he would want nothing more than to be able to compete against and defeat Silva, whom he considers to be the greatest fighter of all-time.

On the eve of Evans’ meeting with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 156 this Saturday night, the 33-year-old is still unsure if a change to 185 lbs. suits him well.

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Five things to watch for: UFC 156

Frankie Edgar. Photo courtesy of Gaspari Nutrition.

The UFC returns for its third event in consecutive weeks and it's a big one - the promotion's annual Super Bowl weekend event in Las Vegas.

This year's edition features a "superfight" of sorts as UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo will defend his title, welcoming former UFC lightweight king Frankie Edgar to the division. Alistair Overeem will also return to action for the first time after a year-long layoff due to suspension. He will face fellow Strikeforce import Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva for a shot at Cain Velasquez and the UFC heavyweight belt.

After the jump, check out five things that you should watch for during Saturday night's festivities.

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Quote of the day: Cris Cyborg tells Ronda Rousey to “Step up, bitch”

Cris "Cyborg" Santos. Photo by Esther Lin/Showtime Sports.

"I am not afraid of Rhonda! I will fight her anywhere and anytime for free - everyone knows I barely make 145- but I am willing to sacrifice and meet her half way at 140- I can't believe dana says I want nothing to do with Rhonda- what he wants me to do is fight Rhonda with both my hands tied behind my back or comatosed-so that she can have a chance-which is what making me fight at 135 is- to finally shut everyone up - i will fight Rhonda with one hand tied behind my Back at 140lb and still kick her ass and prove that I'm the real champ not her- and let the winner take ALL come on rhonda step up bitch!"

— Former Strikeforce bantamweight women's champion Cris Cyborg responds to recent comments from UFC president Dana White that she is not interested in a highly-anticipated fight with current UFC women's champ Ronda Rousey via Instagram.

The controversy about her ability to cut down to 135 lbs. aside, I don't think there is any reason to question whether or not Cyborg wants to fight Rousey. I believe she is concerned about whether or not the weight cut would affect her negatively during the fight. And with all the trash talk that has went on up until this point, it's a valid concern. Losing to Rousey would do irreparable damage to her career.

HT to Middle Easy for the find.

Bisping-Belcher, Miller-Healy inked for UFC 159 on April 27

Michael Bisping. Photo by Jeff Cain/MMA Weekly.

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.

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UFC 156 fighters content to let skills take them to titles, rather than talking

Jose Aldo. Photo by Ken Pishna/MMA Weekly.

Ever since Chael Sonnen secured a shot at Jon Jones' UFC light heavyweight title, it has become a topic of conversation.

Sonnen again used his trash talk to earn himself a shot at a UFC title. He did so before with a barrage of harsh criticism and veiled threats leading up to his rematch with Anderson Silva. Granted, Sonnen did win a pair of fights against top middleweight competition prior to the loss, but it was his verbal bravado that really set the second meeting between the two in motion.

In a sport that is starting to mix in entertainment to go along with its skill and toughness, is the easy way to a title shot to now talk your way towards it rather than climbing up the ladder through winning fights? The stars of UFC 156's main card don't think so.

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Video: Countdown to UFC 156

Check out the full replay of "Countdown to UFC 156", which premiered last night on Fuel TV. The program previews the main card of Saturday night's event, profiling Jose Aldo's UFC featherweight title defense against former lightweight king Frankie Edgar and Alistair Overeem's return to action against Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva.

Also detailed is former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans meeting Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Jon Fitch taking on jiu-jitsu wizard Demian Maia.

Nelson-Kongo, Davis-Magalhaes added to UFC 159 in April

Roy Nelson. Photo courtesy of MMA Weekly.

A heavyweight bout between longtime veterans Roy Nelson and Cheick Kongo as well as a heated clash pitting Phil Davis against Vinny Magalhaes have both been added to UFC 159, which takes place at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ on April 27.

The matchups were officially announced on tonight's edition of "UFC Tonight" on Fuel TV.

The show is headlined by a UFC light heavyweight title fight between current "The Ultimate Fighter 17" coaches, reigning champion Jon Jones and challenger Chael Sonnen.

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Nate Diaz vs. Josh Thomson set for UFC on FOX 7 in April

Josh Thomson. Photo by Jon Swenson. Used with permission.

Recent UFC lightweight title challenger Nate Diaz will welcome former Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson back to the UFC in a lightweight affair slated for UFC on FOX 7, which is scheduled to take place on April 20 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.

The UFC officially announced the bout this afternoon.

Thomson has not competed in the UFC since a three-fight stint that ended at UFC 49 in August 2004 when Thomson suffered a highlight-reel KO loss to Yves Edwards by way of a flying head kick.

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Back to the Future: UFC on Fox 6

Glover Teixeira. Photo courtesy of Black House MMA.

The dust has settled following another edition of the UFC on FOX. Out of it came another promise of a lightweight title shot to Anthony Pettis, the first defense of the UFC flyweight title, the end of Rampage's days in the UFC and the coming out party for a trio of rising stars.

What comes next for those victorious at UFC on FOX 6 can only be speculated. Still, it's always fun to play the guessing game.

After the jump are some predictions on what matchups we may see in the future from this group.

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Video: UFC 156 Extended Preview

Check out the UFC's extended preview of UFC 156, which takes place this Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event is headlined by UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo defending his belt against former lightweight title holder Frankie Edgar in his debut at 145 lbs. 

Former Strikeforce and DREAM heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem will return to action for the first time in over a year against Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva in the co-main event. The stacked main card will also feature Rashad Evans, Jon Fitch and Joseph Benavidez among others.

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