Cain Velasquez

Video: Cain Velasquez shooting for summer return, still won’t fight Daniel Cormier

In the above video from last night's "UFC Tonight" broadcast, UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez talks to Ariel Helwani about a host of topics including when he would like to return to action, fighting training partner Daniel Cormier, and rematches with Antonio Silva and Junior dos Santos among other things.

UFC Returning to Atlanta in April

Philips Arena. Photo courtesy of Atlanta Spirit LLC.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship will return to Atlanta for the first time since hosting UFC 88 at the Philips Arena in September 2008 for UFC 146 on April 21 at the same venue.

The organization announced the date and show on Tuesday night's episode of "UFC Tonight" on FUEL TV. MMA Junkie has since confirmed that the fight card will emanate from the Philips Arena.

No fights have officially been announced for the event, but a pivotal heavyweight matchup between former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and Strikeforce grand prix contestant Antonio Silva has been rumored.

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UFC Primetime: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos

We're less than a week away from the UFC's historic network television debut on FOX, so here's the full episode of the most recent edition of UFC Primetime, which previews Saturday's UFC heavyweight title bout between reigning champion Cain Velasquez and top-ranked contender Junior dos Santos.

Lesnar vs. Carwin to Headline UFC 106


Brock Lesnar. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar will defend his title against Shane Carwin at UFC 106 on November 21 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Sherdog.com is reporting that Carwin’s previous opponent, Cain Velasquez, will now face former IFL heavyweight “Big” Ben Rothwell at UFC 104.

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UFC 99 Results

Rich Franklin def. Wanderlei Silva - Unanimous Decision
Cain Velasquez def. Cheick Kongo - Unanimous Decision
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic def. Mustapha Al-Turk - TKO Round 1 3:08
Mike Swick def. Ben Saunders - TKO Round 2 2:47
Spencer Fisher def. Caol Uno - Unanimous Decision
Dan Hardy def. Marcus Davis - Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
Terry Etim def. Justin Buchholz - Submission (D’Arce Choke) Round 2
Dennis Siver def. Dale Hartt - Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Round 1
Paul Taylor def. Peter Sobotta - Unanimous Decision
Paul Kelly def. Roli Delgado - Unanimous Decision
Stefan Struve def. Denis Stojnic - Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Round 2
John Hathaway def. Rick Story - Unanimous Decision

Thanks to Sherdog, MMA Weekly and Yahoo! for filling in the results and some details of the earlier bouts.

Two Bouts Confirmed for UFC 99 in Germany


Heath Herring. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship today announced two more bouts for its inaugural trip to Cologne, Germany for UFC 99 on June 13. Rising heavyweight prospect Cain Velasquez will face his toughest opponent to date in former PRIDE Fighting Championships star Heath Herring and English MMA product Mustapha al Turk will face UFC newcomer Todd Duffee.

Velasquez has been victorious in all five of his professional bouts to date. The American Kicboxing Academy member has also won all three of his fights in the UFC, most recently earning a second-round stoppage of Denis Stojnic at UFC Fight Night 17 in February.

Herring has struggled since ending the Japanese-promotional portion of his career, posting a 2-3 record in the UFC and potentially endangering his stay with the organization if he is to lose to Velasquez. “The Texas Crazy Horse” last fell to current UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar via unanimous decision at UFC 87.

After grinding his teeth in the Xtreme Fighting Championship and Cage Rage stables overseas, al Turk experienced quite the rough start to his stint with the UFC, suffering one of the most brutal losses in a while in being stopped with strikes by Cheick Kongo at UFC 92. The loss snapped a two-fight winning streak for the heavyweight.

 

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Report: Herring-Velasquez Likely for UFC 99


Heath Herring. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

A heavyweight bout between rising prospect Cain Velasquez and former PRIDE Fighting Championships standout and longtime veteran Heath Herring is reportedly likely to take place at UFC 99, which is scheduled to take place on June 13 in Cologne, Germany.

Bout agreements have yet to be signed, but both fighters have agreed to meet at the event according to MMA Weekly. A light heavyweight bout between former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin and former PRIDE middleweight title holder Wanderlei Silva has also been confirmed for the card.

Herring has struggled since coming to the UFC two years ago, posting a 2-3 record. “The Texas Crazy Horse” last competed at UFC 87 this past August, where he dropped a unanimous decision to current UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar.

Velasquez is widely considered to be the heavyweight prospect in mixed martial arts today. Velasquez, a former collegiate standout wrestler, has won all five of his professional bouts to date. He last earned a second-round stoppage of Denis Stojnic at UFC Fight Night 17 on February 7.

UFC, Jon Fitch and AKA Come to Terms

Less than 24 hours after Jon Fitch was cut from his UFC contract, it was reported today by his management that they have come to terms.  Thus Jon Fitch’s free agency is over.

“Crazy” Bob Cook of Zinkin Entertainment and the American Kickboxing Academy told Sherdog.com about the process.

“We just spent an hour on the phone with Lorenzo [Fertitta],” said Cook, “and cooler heads have prevailed.”

When asked about the negotiations, Cook stated that Fertitta and UFC President Dana White were “on the same page” when it came to their goals but that their approaches were as different as night and day…

...Cook, who was singled out by White as part of the problem, stated Fertitta assured him the working relationship between their camp and White was salvageable.

As for the fates of welterweight contender Josh Koscheck and heavyweight prospect Cain Velasquez—both of whom were rumored to be next on the chopping block—as well as heavyweight Christian Wellisch, who was cut along with Fitch on Wednesday, Cook stated that all of the fighters have worked out agreements to remain with the UFC.

This is the exact type of scenario why Lorenzo Fertitta has taken on more of a role in the day to day operations of Zuffa, LLC.

This does not excuse Dana White’s actions in this case at all.  But at least in the end, a talent like Jon Fitch remains in the organization that hand down, has the majority of the best welterweights in the world today.

UFC Cuts Jon Fitch Among Others

Jon Fitch.  Photo courtesy of the UFC.

The UFC yesterday released #3 ranked welterweight contender Jon Fitch for failing to sign a document that gives lifetime rights to his likeness in any future video games.  The story, first broken by MMA Mania, is developing very quickly.  Apparently, Christian Wellisch has also been cut and fellow AKA treammates Josh Koscheck and Cain Velasquez are also on the chopping block following their upcoming fights. 

Fitch, who was defeated in a 5 round war with champion Georges St. Pierre in his last turn in the octagon, was completely taken by surprise by this move.  According to MMAWeekly...

“This is like over the course of two days, three days,” Fitch explained about the release. “It had to do with Dana (White) calling my managers and immediately saying, ‘we need to get him to sign this contract’ and ‘it’s a big favor to me.’ Then we asked him, ‘Why do you need this contract signed?’

“Then we finally asked, after reading through the contract, why can’t we negotiate for different terms? Because it asked me for a lifetime contract for the video games, so they would have exclusive rights to use our likeness for these video games and we couldn’t go and do any other video games ever again in our lifetime.”

Before anything was decided, Fitch says his managers tried to re-negotiate a different deal from the lifetime contract, but an ultimatum was soon made.

“So basically we said we weren’t cool with that deal and why can’t we do it for five or 10 years? Why does it have to be a lifetime deal? Their next response was, ‘either you guys are in or you’re out’ and ‘sign this or you’re going to get dropped from the UFC,’” said Fitch. “So we hear that and we didn’t even think they were serious. Why would you want to release fighters at our level over something like that? Doesn’t make any sense.

“Within two phone calls, it got to ‘sign this or you guys are out.’”

Dana White’s response was pretty typical of him.  On Yahoo Sports.

“We’re looking for guys who want to work with us and not against us, and frankly I’m just so [expletive] sick of this [expletive] it’s not even funny. Affliction is still out there trying to build its company. Let [Fitch] go work with them. Let him see what he thinks of those [expletives]. [Expletive] him. These guys aren’t partners with us. [Expletive] them. All of them, every last [expletive] one of them…. I’m not a douche bag and I do a lot for these guys, a lot more than any of you will ever know. We’re in a horrible time in the economy now, and every guy with two nickels to rub together is making a run at us. We’ve worked too hard, given too much, to let certain guys come in and [expletive] with that.”

White later toned down thhe rhetoric on the “Carmichael Dave” radio show.

“No, no, no. It has nothing to do with an agreement. It doesn’t have to do with Jon Fitch either. I like Jon Fitch. I’ve never had a bad word with Jon Fitch. The problem is with the idiots that run AKA. I won’t use any names; the idiots know who they are.”

I’m sure there will be a lot more to this story in the upcoming days.

Silva Cruises Through Irvin in Las Vegas


Anderson Silva. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Moving up to the light heavyweight division proved to be no problem at all for pound-for-pound phenom and current UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, as he made quick work of hard-hitting striker James Irvin in the main event of UFC Fight Night 14, which was organized promptly to counter Affliction Entertainment’s debut show happening just one state over.

What was expected to be somewhat of a test for Silva, who has completely cleaned out the UFC’s 185 lb division of viable contenders, proved to be nothing at all. After exchanging kicks with Silva early, Irvin attempted to go inside with a high kick. Unfortunately for him, it was caught, allowing Silva to come right down the pipe with a straight right hand. Irvin was sent crashing to the canvas. Silva pounced on him, landing unanswered punch after punch until the final one finished Irvin off for good.

After the fight, Silva, who originally expressed uncertainty when questioned if he would like to remain at light heavyweight, stated that he’d be willing to do whatever Dana White and the UFC asked of him. It’s the exact way of thinking that landed him an impressive win over Irvin.

“It doesn’t matter where I have to fight, at middleweight or light heavyweight, I’ll do whatever the UFC wants me to do,” Silva said. “I want to help setup the biggest fights I can and I want to be a part of them. I’m here to challenge myself and test my skills against the best fighters in the world.”

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