Ricardo Almeida. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Along with a previously rumored bout between Thales Leites and Goran Reljic, the Ultimate Fighting Championship today announced the addition of a middleweight bout between Ricardo Almeida and former IFL middleweight champion Matt Horwich to the preliminary card of UFC 90: Silva vs. Cote.
Almeida returned to professional competition after a five-year hiatus and immediately reverted back to his winning ways, submitting last-minute replacement opponent Rob Yundt at UFC 81 in February. The victory earned Almeida a shot at rising contender Patrick Cote at UFC 86 last month, with a shot at current champion Anderson Silva on the line. However Almeida’s lack of cardio came into play and he ended up losing a split decision to the Canadian.
Horwich meanwhile, became the IFL’s first-ever middleweight champion after besting Brian Foster and Benji Radach in last year’s four-man tournament to win the vacant belt. Horwich was then defeated in his first title defense, dropping a unanimous decision to Ryan McGivern in February. Horwich most recently fought at the IFL’s last-ever event three months ago, winning a decision over Joey Guel.
Ben Rothwell. Photo by Tracy Lee. Courtesy of CombatLifestyle.com
Report: Rothwell-Rizzo to Happen at Affliction II
Former IFL heavyweight champion Ben Rothwell will attempt to bounce back from his first loss in three years when he reportedly takes on three-time UFC heavyweight title challenger Pedro Rizzo at Affliction’s “Day of Reckoning” event on October 11th in Las Vegas according to MMANews.com, which cites Affliction VP Tom Atencio as confirming the fight.
At Affliction’s debut show last month, Rothwell suffered a third-round knockout loss to former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski while Rizzo was defeated in a rematch against Josh Barnett, another former UFC title holder. Barnett knocked Rizzo out with a left in the second round of their fight.
WVR Announces Middleweight GP Participants
World Victory Road has announced four of the fighters that will compete in their inaugural middleweight grand prix, which will begin at “Sengoku V” on September 28th at the Yoyogi National First Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan. Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos, Jorge Santiago, Kazuhiro Nakamura, Siyar Bahadurzada will all compete in first-round bouts.
Dean Lister. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Grappling wizard and current UFC middleweight contender Dean Lister has been forced to withdraw from his scheduled bout against Thales Leites at UFC Fight Night 15 on September 17th after suffering a knee injury during a recent training session.
Lister’s management team confirmed the injury with MMA Weekly earlier this afternoon. Lister is only expected to be out of action for a couple of weeks and his bout against Leites is said to be currently in talks to be moved to a yet-to-be-announced UFC event in Portland, Oregon in November. According to Lister’s management team, matchmaker Joe Silva was very understanding of Lister’s injury and will attempt to get him a future fight as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, Leites tells Tatame.com that Lister’s withdrawal is now the second straight opponent that pulled out of a fight against him at the same event. Leites stated that newcomer Goran Reljic, who surprisingly stopped Wilson Gouveia at UFC 84 in May, also became injured in recent weeks as well.
“Now I don’t know who will I fight with”, Leites said in the article. “I was thinking and all the other guys from my division are with opponents. They said I’ll fight, but I don’t know against who.”
Thiago Silva weighs-in for UFC 78: Validation. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has announced three additional bouts for the the organization’s return to Las Vegas on May 24th for UFC 84: Ill Will.
The promotion confirmed the already-rumored fights on their official website.
UFC 84 will be headlined by a bad blood-filled UFC lightweight title bout that pits current champion B.J. Penn up against former champion Sean Sherk. Former light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz will also go up against an undefeated Lyoto Machida in a fight that will likely be Ortiz’s last with the UFC.
Former PRIDE standouts Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou and Kazuhiro Nakamura will return to action against each other at the event.
After busting onto the scene with two huge upsets over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Ricardo Arona in consecutive fights, Sokoudjou was defeated in his UFC debut, submitting to Ryoto Machida at UFC 79: Nemesis in December. Similar to his opponent, Nakamura also lost his debut to Machida as well. Nakamura is coming off of a suspension courtesy of the California State Athletic Commission after testing positive for marijuana.
After being originally scheduled to face Rashad Evans, who was tapped to fill in as an injury replacement against Chuck Liddell at UFC 85 in June, Thiago Silva will now take on Europe Top Team product Antonio Mendes.
Silva has won his first three fights inside the Octagon and remains undefeated in his professional career. Mendes, who will be making his debut inside the UFC, is currently riding an eleven-fight winning streak that stretches all the way back to October 2004.
Light heavyweight contender Wilson Gouveia will attempt to continue his winning ways when he takes on international prospect Goran Reljic.
Gouveia is currently riding a four-fight UFC winning streak. The American Top Team product recently pulled off a huge knockout win over veteran Jason Lambert. Reljic has not lost yet in his professional career. He last earned a unanimous decision over Waldemar Golinski at a Boxing Explosion event this past August.
Wilson Gouveia weighs-in for UFC 71: Liddell vs Jackson. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Light heavyweight contender Wilson Gouveia will likely attempt to continue his winning ways when he takes on international prospect Goran Reljic at UFC 84 in May.
The news comes from our friends at UFC Daily, who learned from a source close to Reljic that the Croatian would be fighting on the card.
The event, which is scheduled to take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on May 24th, is also expected to be headlined between a lightweight title showdown between B.J. Penn and Sean Sherk.
Tito Ortiz will likely return to action at the event as well against an undefeated Ryoto Machida is what might just be Ortiz’s last fight in the UFC. Additional unconfirmed bouts include Rashad Evans vs. Thiago Silva and Ivan Salaverry vs. Rousimar Palhares.
Gouveia is currently riding a four-fight UFC winning streak. He shook off a unanimous decision loss to Keith Jardine in his debut to rack up three straight victories over Carmelo Marrero, Wes Combs, and Seth Petruzelli respectively. The American Top Team product recently pulled off a huge knockout win over veteran Jason Lambert last month at UFC 80: Rapid Fire.
Reljic has not lost yet in his professional career. He last earned a unanimous decision over Waldemar Golinski at a Boxing Explosion this past August.