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. He will face fellow Strikeforce import Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva for a shot at Cain Velasquez and the UFC heavyweight belt.
My predictions are after the jump.
Josh Neer. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Miletich Fighting Systems product Josh Neer will replace injured former UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk against Brazilian grappler Gleison Tibau on the main card of UFC 104, which will take place on October 24 in Los Angeles, California.
The change was officially announced today on UFC.com, which cites a separated shoulder suffered during a recent training session as the reasoning behind Sherk’s withdrawal. Sherdog.com first reported the news on Thursday.
We will be going live at 7:00 PM ET with live results of “The Ultimate Fighter: U.S. vs. U.K. Finale”, which takes place at the Pearl at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas. The show’s main card will be televised live in North America starting at 9 PM ET on Spike TV.
The event will be headlined by an anticipated lightweight matchup between Diego Sanchez and Clay Guida. Past “Ultimate Fighter” winners Joe Stevenson and Nate Diaz will also clash on the main card.
Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments throughout the afternoon and evening. Detailed live results are after the jump.
Gleison Tibau. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Quite a few recently reported fights, at least regarding the UFC, have popped up over the last day or so. Here they are:
- With Efrain Escudero out of action after sustaining a rib injury during a recent training session, Gleison Tibau has stepped in to face Jeremy Stephens at UFC Fight Night 18 on April 1 in Nashville, Tennessee. Since Escudero will no longer be featured on the card, the bout has been bumped down to the preliminary portion and a lightweight bout between Tyson Griffin and Rafael dos Anjos has been moved to the main card. [UFC.com]
- A late addition to the UFC’s return to Canada next month is expected to be light heavyweight bout between Eliot Marshall and Mike Ciesnolevicz. Bout agreements will reportedly be signed shortly. It will be the second fight in three months for Ciesnolevicz, who submitting Neil Grove in his UFC debut at UFC 95 in February. The fight should be part of the event’s non-televised preliminary action. [MMA Weekly]
- International Fight League veteran Brad Blackburn will attempt to keep his five-fight undefeated streak alive when he faces UFC newcomer Edgar Garcia at The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale on June 20. Other fights expected to take place at the event include lightweight battles between Diego Sanchez and Clay Guida as well as Joe Stevenson and Nate Diaz. [Five Ounces of Pain]
- Rising “Ultimate Fighter” alumnus Tim Credeur will reportedly return to action at April 1st’s UFC Fight Night 18 against Nick Catone, who has had trouble finding an opponent that will actually come out of a training camp healthy. It will supposedly be one of the eight preliminary bouts on the card. [MMA Weekly]
Hermes Franca. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship will reportedly be headed to Florida once again for another “UFC Fight Night” card, which is currently slated to take place on February 7 at the USF Sun Dome on the campus of the University of South Florida in Tampa Bay.
Various fighters and officials involved with the event have confirmed the UFC’s choice over the last few days. The organization is expected to formally announce the show at the end of this week with ticket sales likely beginning as soon as this coming weekend.
MMA on Tap has confirmed that the event will be headlined by a pair of co-main events: Former UFC lightweight title challenge Hermes Franca will try to win his second straight fight against “Ultimate Fighter” season six cast member Joe Lauzon and the winner of the aforementioned reality show, Mac Danzig, will face Josh Neer.
Marcus Aurelio. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Former PRIDE lightweight standout Marcus Aurelio will reportedly replace injured teammate Gleison Tibau and take on former student Hermes Franca at UFC 90 on October 25 according to a report from Sherdog.com.
Tibau was said to have suffered a shoulder injury during a recent training session. Aurelio served as one of Franca’s coaches at Florida-based American Top Team before Franca left the camp a couple of years ago. However he maintains that the relationship they have still allows them to fight without worry.
“It doesn’t matter who I fight; it’s a big challenge,” Franca said in the report. “It is what it is. We’re both professionals. I think it’s better for me. I know his game really well. I’ve never trained with Gleison before. When you lose fights, it sucks. It’s going to be a good fight. I want to win and give people what they want to see.”
Hermes Franca. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
In a do-or-die type of fight for both involved, former UFC lightweight title challenger Hermes Franca will attempt to keep his UFC career alive against a fellow Brazilian who is also looking at the same situation in Gleison Tibau. The two will meet at UFC 90: Silva vs. Cote on October 25th.
Franca confirmed the bout earlier this morning with Sherdog.com. According to Franca, he and Tibau are actually good friends, but are willing to put their friendship aside in order to battle in the Octagon when the UFC travels for the first time to Chicago, Illinois this fall.
“It was just great to be back in the UFC,” Franca said about his recent loss to Frankie Edgar at UFC Fight Night 14, which was his first bout since serving a one-year suspension for a positive steroids test in California. “It was a crazy year. I fought against a tough opponent, and I thought I did well. I have no excuses. Gleison’s a friend of mine. I just saw him last week. We shook hands, and I wished him luck.”
After quietly working his way up the lightweight rankings last year, Tibau dropped consecutive fights to Tyson Griffin at UFC 81 and then to Joe Stevenson at UFC 86 last month. With the UFC now frequently dropping fighters that have lost 2-3 bouts in a row, his matchup against Franca has suddenly turned into a must-win situation.
Forrest Griffin def. Quinton Jackson - Unanimous Decision
Patrick Cote def. Ricardo Almeida - Split Decision
Joe Stevenson def. Gleison Tibau - Submission (guillotine choke)
Josh Koscheck def. Chris Lytle - Unanimous Decision
Gabriel Gonzaga def. Justin McCully - Submission (americana)
Cole Miller def. Jorge Gurgel - Submission (triangle choke)
Melvin Guillard def. Dennis Siver - TKO
Justin Buchholz def. Corey Hill - Submission (rear naked choke)
Update Jul 6 7:45pm: Adding post-fight video reaction.
First, Forrest Griffin:
Others after the jump.
Patrick Cote weighs-in for UFC Fight Night 12. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
A slew of signed and proposed fights for the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s planned July 5th UFC 86 event in Las Vegas have come to light this week.
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson will defend his UFC light heavyweight title against top contender Forrest Griffin at the event. The two fighters will serve as coaches for the upcoming seventh season of “The Ultimate Fighter”.
American Top Team has confirmed via it’s official website that four of their fighters will be competing at UFC 86: Gleison Tibau, Cole Miller, Steve Bruno, and Ben Saunders. The only fighter with a potential opponent as of right now is Tibau. MMA Mania reports that a bout between him and former title contender Joe Stevenson will likely take place at the show.
A lightweight affair between Corey Hill and Justin Buccholz also seems to be in the works. Patrick Cote will return to action at the event as well against Ricardo Almeida according to The Fight Network.
According to Cote, he wants a fight that will potentially put him in title contention in the near future. A showdown with Almeida just might do that.
“We wanted a big fight,” Cote said in the report. “I have four wins in a row, three in the UFC, and I think I’m ready for a real tough opponent. I want to fight a guy who, if I win, the UFC will put me in a title fight or one more fight before I get my shot.”
Some thoughts and notes from this past weekend’s UFC 81: Breaking Point.
I was right and wrong
I did pretty well in the predictions department. I knew going into the fight that Tim Sylvia was going to give Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira fits and that’s exactly what happened. However Nogueira has been tough to finish off all throughout his career and this fight didn’t turn out to be any different. No shame in losing for Sylvia. He hung in there with one of the best heavyweights in history.
I had a feeling that if Brock Lesnar was going to be submitted, it might have been by way of a leg lock/kneebar. Wrestlers always have been notorious for being too stationary with their legs while posturing up and working some ground and pound although a lot of fighters don’t really take advantage of it. It just goes to show how intelligent of a ground specialist Frank Mir is to keep his composure while getting pounded and still be able to pull off a smart move.
The only fight I took issue with was Rob Emerson’s split decision over Keita Nakamura. I actually thought that the fight was dead even at the end. I thought that Nakamura won the third round convincingly and that the first round was even.
More thoughts on the fights
Marvin Eastman surprised me while Tim Boetsch did not. While Eastman’s fight against Terry Martin wasn’t necessarily the most exciting, I was a tad happy to see that Eastman was able to take some power shots and still stay on his feet. Boetsch did exactly what I thought he would do against an average fighter in my opinion in David Heath.
Ricardo Almeida, Tyson Griffin, and Chris Lytle all did what I thought they would do. I talked to someone after the event who truly thought that Tibau beat Griffin, which is absurd. I wasn’t expecting that quick of a stoppage from Lytle but a stoppage win nonetheless. What’s going on with Jeremy Horn? I’ll have a piece on him up later today.