UFC Update: Herring, Cro Cop, Franca, WEC

MMAWeekly and Sherdog both now have articles up which are reporting that Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic has signed in the UFC. The announcement will be made this Saturday at UFC 66: Liddell vs. Ortiz II. Cro Cop’s first fight is expected to come at UFC 67 against Eddie Sanchez.

Along with the signing of Mirko Cro Cop, it has been announced and PRIDE and K-1 veteran Heath Herring has signed a five-fight deal with the UFC which will see him make his debut January 25th against Jake O’Brien. Herring was one of the many contracts acquired when the UFC bought out the WFA.

InsideFighting is reporting that Hermes Franca will make his return to the octagon against Spencer Fisher on January 25th at the UFC Fight Night in Miami, Florida. Nothing has been confirmed but it is expected that the winner will become the number one contender in the lightweight division. Franca’s manager, Joe Mullings said, ““Nothing is guaranteed but the direction of conversation has been that either Fisher or Franca will likely be in line for a shot at (UFC lightweight champion) Sean (Sherk).”

Things are starting to come together with the UFC and HBO, as I posted yesterday, Larry Merchant confirmed that the UFC would appear on the network when he said “People look at it (UFC) as real wrestling. And next year HBO and Showtime, they both will test the waters and see if this works. I don’t know what Showtime is doing, but we’ll do four and see how it goes.”

MMAWeekly is reporting that various independent sources have confirmed that WEC will no renew their deal with HDNet but rather they will sign a deal with Versus. The deal calls for six shows to be televised next year including three live shows and three on tape delay. The first Zuffa-owned WEC event will take place January 20th as Kit Cope and Rob McCullough will be headlining the card. It is still unknown whether or not this event will be included in the television deal. Both McCullough and Cope’s contracts were acquired when the UFC purchased the WFA.

UFC Update: HBO, WEC, WFA, Canada

Today UFC President Dana White sat down with the OC Register and provided fans with some excellent insight as to what’s on the horizon for the UFC. Here is some interesting information from the interview.

Dana White confirmed the company has picked up:

- Quinton Jackson
- Rob McCullough
- Heath Herring
- Ivan Salaverry
- Urijah Faber
He also mentioned that they are still sifting through it all but the main score was the acquisition of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. We’ll be hearing more information on who was picked up in the coming days.

When asked if being associated with the IFL would be a problem, White stated “Not at all, I’ll take care of that too.” That means we could see the likes of Matt Lindland and Bas Rutten in the UFC in the near future.

White’s reason for purchasing the WFA was mainly for the contracts and in the process he was able to squash the company.

For the past couple of weeks there have been rumors floating around stating that the UFC had purchased the WEC and today Dana White confirmed them. In the interview White said he did in fact purchase the WEC and he went on to say “We’re going to take that to a whole other level, put it on television and blow it up. Pretty soon the WEC will be number 2.”

“The WEC isn’t going to be looked at as a feeder show or guys who are aspiring to be in the UFC. There is going to be no trading or swapping. It’s going to be UFC versus WEC.”

White continued to assure the reporters that 2007 was going to be huge and we now know that is true. At this point we are still at the tail end of 2006 and White has already gone out and purchased the WEC, bought out the WFA, acquired numerous WFA contracts, and he expects his product to be televised on HBO in the very near future. Also there have been many rumors floating around that heavyweight ace Mirko Cro Cop may be testing his luck in UFC in the very near future. When asked about Cro Cop, White said “I’m looking at a lot of guys right now, I want them all.”

White closed out the interview by saying that the UFC would be coming to Canada in April of 2007 for the Georges St. Pierre vs. Matt Hughes rubber match. When talking about the rematch in Canada, an excited White said “How crazy do you that place going to be that night? How do you think it’s going to be for Hughes when he walks in with 16,000 Canadians in there? They’re going to kill him.” On top of that he said the UFC plans on branching out into Mexico and the U.K.

2007 is going to be great!

UFC Acquires Assets from WFA; Purchases WEC

Zuffa, LLC, the company that owns the Ultimate Fighting Championship has announced that it has acquired select assets from the World Fighting Alliance.

The company purchased select fighter contracts and the trademarks and other intellectual property of World Fighting Alliance.

Dana White, UFC President and Zuffa co-owner said, “Zuffa is committed to giving our fans the best fights between the best fighters in the world. This acquisition helps us continue fulfilling that goal.” White also said, “Goodman and Palazzo were working towards building a strong promotion. But bringing the WFA fighters into the Zuffa family is the best thing that could happen for the fighters – and for the fans.”

The WFA will now cease all operations.

The UFC also is in the final stages of buying out the WEC, according to MMA Weekly.

The WEC is expected to serve as a sort of developmental promotion for young fighters that the UFC signs. The WEC will use the offical Octagon and is scheduled at this time to hold it’s first event under the UFC next month…

Update - 11:11 PM
The Fight Network is reporting that UFC president Dana White has confirmed that Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is among the talents acquired.

WEC 24: Full Force Results

Patrick Kaase defeated Jarrod Kwitty - TKO (Strikes) 
David Terrel defeated Mike Moreno - Unanimous Decision
Justin Levens defeated Justin Hawes - TKO (Strikes)
Glover Teixeira defeated Thierry Sokoudjo - TKO (Strikes)
Poppies Martinez defeated Robert Breslin - Submission (Guillotine)
Justin Eilers defeated Josh Diekman - TKO (Strikes)
John Polakowski defeated Olaf Alfonso - Split Decision
Terry Martin defeated Keith Berry - TKO (Strikes)
Hermes Franca defeated Nathan Diaz - Submission (Armbar)

WEC 24 “Full Force” Weigh-In Results

Here are the weigh-in results from WEC 24 “Full Force”.

Nathan Diaz (160) vs. Hermes Franca (158)
Keith Berry (205) vs. Terry Martin (205)
John Polakowski (159) vs. Olaf Alfonso (159.5)
Josh Diekman (222) vs. Justin Eilers (235)
Robert Breslin (155) vs. Poppies Martinez (155)
Glover Teixeira (205) vs. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (204.5)
Justin Hawes (198) vs. Justin Levens (198)
David Terrel (170) vs. Mike Moreno (170)
Patrick Kaase (185) vs. Jarrod Kwitty (182.5)

WEC 24: Full Force Updated Card

While not all of the fighters on the card have opponents, here is the updated card for this weekend’s event in California…

Mike Moreno vs TBA
Billy Evangelista vs John Gunderson
Justin Levens vs TBA
Terry Martin vs Keith Berry
Robert Breslin vs Poppies Martinez
John Polakowski vs Olaf Alfonso
James Irvin vs TBA
Josh Diekman vs Justin Eilers
Nathan Diaz vs Hermes Franca - WEC Lightweight Title

Franca Staying Busy

Hermes Franca will be looking to add on to his six-fight win streak October 12 when he defends his WEC lightweight belt against Nathan Diaz. Franca is coming off of a submission victory over Jamie Varner at UFC 62. Nathan Diaz is currently on a four-fight win streak with his latest victory coming August 12 over Dennis Davis.

WEC 23 Results

Here are the results for last night’s event

-Robert Breslin draws with Mickey Martinez
-Josh McDonald def. Pat Murphy by Majority Decision
-Dan Molina def. Rafael Real by Heel Hook in Round 1
-Clayton Guida def. Joe Martin by Unanimous Decision
-Anthony Ruiz def. Jeremy Freitag by TKA in Round 2
-Fernando Gonzalez def. Alex Steibling by TKO in Round 1
-Casey Olsen def. Chris Solomon by Unanimous Decision
-Kenny Ento def. Mario Rivera by Armbar in Round 1
-Poppies Martinez def. Gigo Jara by Rear Naked Choke in Round 2
-Alex Karalexis def. Thomas Denny by Unanimous Decision
-John Alessio def. Alex Serdyukov by Rear Naked Choke in Round 3
-Antonio Banuelos def. Cole Escovedo by Unanimous Decision
-Doug Marshall def. Lodune Sincaid by KO in Round 2

WEC “Hitman” Results

Here are the results from WEC “Hitman”.

Mike Joy def. Robert Densley (Armbar)
Doug Marshall def. Jeff Terry (Strikes)
JT Taylor def. Drew Dimanlig (Armbar)
Alex Steibling def. Jason Guida (Unanimous Decision)
Wes Sims def. Joel Suprenant (Triangle Choke)
Pat Murphy def. Joel Thomas (Unanimous Decision)
Trevor Harris def. Colley Bradford (Rear Naked Choke)
JJ Mix def. Mario Rivera (Rear Naked Choke)
Glover Teixeira def. Jack Morrison (Strikes)
Poppies Martinez def. Troy Miller (Armbar)

WEC Benefit Show Update

The WEC has announced a share of the fighters who will be competing on the July 28th Ryan Bennett benefit show. The event will take place at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, California.

Urijah Faber vs. Cory Cass (submission grappling super-fight match)
Keith Barry vs. TBA
Sam Morgan vs. TBA
Dennis “Piranha” Davis vs. TBA
Craig “Big Z” Zellner vs. TBA
Thomas Schulte vs. TBA
Mikko Rupponen vs. TBA
Doug “The Rhino” Marshall vs. TBA
Glover “The Brazilian Pit Bull” Teixeira vs. TBA
Nick “The Goat” Thompson vs. JT Taylor
Jake O’Brien vs. TBA
Poppies “Tachi Kid” Martinez vs. TBA
Mike Whitehead vs. TBA
Wes “The Project” Sims vs. TBA

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