Ultimate Fighting Championship
Former two-time UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes has officially announced his retirement and joined the UFC's front office in the brand-new role of Vice-President of Athlete Development and Government Relations.
UFC COO Lawrence Epstein broke the news prior to this afternoon's pre-fight press conference for UFC on FOX 6 in Chicago. According to Epstein, Hughes will be overseeing the UFC's new conduct policy, which will seek to help fighters hold themselves to a high standard, both in and out of the cage.
“Hughes will be an invaluable resource for UFC athletes,” Epstein said in a press release to the media. “Leveraging the background and expertise he gained over a Hall of Fame career, Hughes will be dedicated to providing guidance on a wide range of issues athletes face inside and outside of the octagon.
Demetrious Johnson and John Dodson. Image courtesy of UFC.com.
Here are the staredowns from this afternoon's UFC on FOX 6 pre-fight press conference, which just ended moments ago in Chicago. UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson and challenger John Dodson are above. The rest of the main card is after the jump.
Check back here at 2 PM ET for the live pre-fight press conference for Saturday's UFC on FOX 6 event. UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson and challenger John Dodson will join Rampage Jackson, Glover Teixeira, Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone on the podium.
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]
All of the participants for UFC on FX 6 successfully made weight in preparation for their fights tonight at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre in Australia.
The card will be headlined by a lightweight fight between The Ultimate Fighter Smashes coaches Ross Pearson and George Sotiropoulos. The card will also feature a middleweight showdown between contenders Rousimar Palhares and Hector Lomard.
The official weights can be found after the jump:
Matt Mitrione, who faces Roy Nelson this Saturday, has turned down Nelson’s request for random drug testing by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association. Mitrione told MMA Junkie, “Since I was coming on somewhat short notice, cutting a couple weeks out of my camp, and training for a five-round fight, this is something I wanted to make sure I didn't have anything that could distract me.”
Ronda Rousey was officially crowned the UFC women’s bantamweight champion this weekend at the UFC on Fox 5 pre-fight press conference. Following the event, UFC president Dana White said Rousey is currently signed to an eight-fight deal and the women’s division will basically live and die with Rousey. [USA Today]
Mike Ricci and Colton Smith both won their The Ultimate Fighter 16 semi-final fights which aired on Friday and will now appear in the finale set for this Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada. I recommend checking out Ricci’s interview on The MMA Hour where he gave a candid breakdown of his feeling regarding the TUF 16 experience. [MMA Fighting]
Benson Henderson def. Nathan Diaz - Decision (Unanimous)
Alexander Gustafsson def. Mauricio Rua - Decision (Unanimous)
Rory MacDonald def. BJ Penn - Decision (Unanimous)
Matt Brown def. Mike Swick - KO (Punches)
Yves Edwards def. Jeremy Stephens - KO (Punches & Elbows)
Raphael Assuncao def. Mike Easton - Decision (Unanimous)
Ramsey Nijem def. Joe Proctor - Decision (Unanimous)
Daron Cruickshank def. Henry Martinez - KO (Kick)
Abel Trujillo def. Marcus LeVesseur - TKO (Knees)
Dennis Siver def. Nam Phan - Decision (Unanimous)
Scott Jorgensen def. John Albert - Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
The UFC hits Seattle on Saturday night with UFC on Fox 5 which is arguably their most stacked card of the year. In the main event, Benson Henderson defends his lightweight title against Nate Diaz. Henderson, who is riding a five fight winning streak, will look to prove his doubters wrong when he takes on the versatile Stockton, California native.
The card also includes an intriguing welterweight matchup between BJ Penn and Rory MacDonald. Penn, who is coming out of retirement, has a lot to prove after a lackluster two years in the octagon. He’ll be in tough with MacDonald who has consistently looked stronger with each outing.
Rounding out the main card is a light heavyweight showdown between former champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Alexander Gustafsson plus a welterweight clash between Mike Swick and Matt Brown.