The UFC has announced that welterweight contenders Jon Fitch and Demian Maia will lock horns at UFC 156. UFC president Dana White said, “Maia hopes to move up the welterweight rankings by taking out perennial contender Fitch. Fitch wants to build on his Fight of the Night-winning victory over Erick Silva." [UFC]
Despite earlier reports of The Ultimate Fighter being moved to Wednesday nights on FX, a FX official has stated that it’s highly unlikely TUF will air on Wednesday nights. An official announcement is expected to come within the next two or three weeks. [MMA Fighting]
Longtime heavyweight king Fedor Emelianenko will return to action at an M-1 Global event on June 21 at the Ice Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia against an opponent yet to be named.
M-1 Global Director of Operations Evgeni Kogan revealed the news earlier today via Twitter. An update on Emelianenko's opponent is expected to come in the near future. For what it's worth, MMA Junkie says that it could possibly be Bobby Lashley.
Emelianenko snapped a three-fight losing streak to win a pair of consecutive fights at the end of last year. "The Last Emperor" won a one-sided unanimous decision over Jeff Monson at an M-1 Global event in November and then scored a first-round KO of Satoshi Ishii a little more than a month later at DREAM's New Year's Eve Show in Japan.
Fedor Emelianenko. Photo by Esther Lin/AllElbows.com.
It's been nearly a month since Fedor Emelianenko fell to Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva and promptly announced that he was leaning towards ending the greatest career that this sport has ever seen.
Since then, it remains unknown whether or not PRIDE's final heavyweight champion will fight once more, but the word coming out of Emelianenko's camp is that he is preparing for a return to action in the near future. In the meantime, Emelianenko's handlers, M-1 Global, have also announced a deal with Showtime that will have the network air four M-1 Challenge events this year.
I think you know where I'm going with this.
Vinny Magalhaes. Photo courtesy of Team Quest.
With his impressive submission victory over Alihan Magomedov in his first outing with M-1 Global this past December, Brazilian jiu jitsu ace, Vinny Magalhaes, has officially signed a six-fight contract with the European mixed martial arts promotion; details on the slick submission specialists first trip into the ring under the new 2-year deal will be announced shortly.
“M-1 Global is looking to expand its roster with fighters who are at the top of their game and Vinny is by far one of the best submission experts on the planet. The skills he possesses are unparalleled,” says Evgeni Kogan, Director of Operations for M-1 Global.
“With the growth that M-1 Global is going through, extending a long-term contract to Magalhaes is the right thing to do for us a promotion. We have expectations that Vinny will become one of the greatest fighters in the world and are proud to have him on board.”
Fedor Emelianenko’s trainers and management team gather for a press conference. Photo courtesy of M-1 Global.
The Daily Recap is a collection of news and notes from around the web that will be posted at the end of each day. Bout signings, injury news and much more can all be found here.
— M-1 Global CEO Vadim Finkelstein is pushing for drug testing regulations that he hopes will begin with the semifinals of Strikeforce’s heavyweight grand prix this summer. “Two out of eight fighters in the tournament previously failed a drug test. Obviously, I’m talking about Josh Barnett and Antonio Silva,” Finkelstein said. “Fedor is not using any kind of substance to enhance his performance, and will be ready for any kind of testing. So if the commission decides to follow our suggestion, we’ll be ready.” [Lowkick.com]
— Dave Branch has been tapped to fill in for Alexandre “Cacareco” Ferreira in a middleweight bout against Rousimar Palhares that will take place on March 3 at UFC on Versus III. Ferreira opted to withdraw from the matchup yesterday, citing a need to cope with the loss of family and friends from the massive flooding in Brazil. [Heavy.com]
Fedor Emelianenko. Photo property of Affliction Entertainment.
Former PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko underwent successful surgery to correct a dislocated thumb in his left hand. Fedor will have the half cast removed in 4-6 weeks.
According to Sherdog.com, Fedor was initially expected to be out 4-6 months but following the procedure it was noted that the bone had not been fractured or broken thus two pins were placed in the hand to fix the injury.
Fedor Emelianenko def. Brett Rogers – TKO (Punches)
Jake Shields def. Jason Miller – Decision (Unanimous)
Gegard Mousasi def. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou – TKO (Punches)
Fabricio Werdum def. Antonio Silva – Decision (Unanimous)
Marloes Coenen def. Roxanne Modafferi – Submission (Armbar)
Jeff Curran def. Dustin Neace – Submission (Rib Injury)
Shamar Bailey def. John Kolosci – Decision (Unanimous)
Nate Moore def. Louis Taylor – Submission (Punches)
Christian Uflacker def. Jonatas Novaes – Decision (Unanimous)
Andy Wang. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Tonight’s Strikeforce Challengers event on Showtime isn’t the only notable event taking place this weekend. China-based Art of War will hold its latest offering on Saturday at the Cotai Arena in Macao with “Ultimate Fighter 5” cast member Andy Wang headlining the event against Tsuboi Atsuhiro.
Other featured bouts include one of the newest member of Greg Jackson’s camp, Rolles Gracie, challenging K-1 kickboxer Peter Graham and Sengoku veteran Michael Costa facing highly-touted welterweight prospect Simeon Thoresen.
Jon Jones. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
— Light heavyweight prospect Jon Jones has reportedly inked a new four-fight deal with the UFC. Jones has won all nine of his professional fights to date, including three inside the Octagon. “Bones” was last seen in action at UFC 100, where he submitted fellow wrestler Jake O’Brien with a guillotine choke in the second round. [MMA Madness]
— Former boxing welterweight champion Ricardo Mayorga will apparently be entering the world of mixed martial arts. Shine Fighters promoter and “TUF” alumnus Dorian Price announced Mayorga’s participation at a future event against an opponent yet-to-be-determined. Mayorga has racked up a record of 28-7-1 in the ring with notable wins over Fernando Vargas and Vernon Forrest. [MMA Junkie]
Kirill Sidelnikov. Photo courtesy of M-1 Global.
The sixth installment of M-1 Global’s “Selection” show will be streamed live and free of charge on M-1Global.com starting at 12 PM ET this afternoon. A total of 15 bouts are scheduled to take place.
M-1’s Selection events sport a year long competition featuring the top fight gyms in Russia vying for the right to represent its home country in the 2010 M-1 Challenge. Two of the more notable fighters to be featured during today’s stream are Radmir Gabdullin and Kirill Sidelnikov of Red Devil Sport Club.