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One FC 5 is Looking Pretty Damn Good

Bibiano Fernandes and Phil Baroni Draw One FC 5 Opponents
www.mmaweekly.com

A day after learning that former UFC champions Andrei Arlovski and Jens Pulver would be making their One FC debuts in August, we have two more bouts to add to the promotion’s debut in the Philippines.

Former Dream champion Bibiano Fernandes, who recently signed with the promotion as well, has his first opponent in Gustavo Falciroli. UFC veteran Phil Baroni is also returning to the One FC fold for a fight against Rodrigo Ribeiro.

Both bouts are slated for One FC 5: Pride of a Nation on Aug. 31 in Quezon City, Philippines.

In addition, a trio of Gracies (Igor, Gregor and Rolles) are expected to be in action as well. 

Ask anyone that has been following the steady rise of One FC and they will tell you that all four of the promotion's events to date have certainly been worth a watch. Now mixing in notable names along with exciting international talent, it'll be interesting to see how far things can go.

Vinny Magalhaes Might Be the First to Ever Escape M-1’s Clutches

Vinny Magalhaes rejoins the UFC
mmajunkie.com

Following a series of suggestive tweets from “The Ultimate Fighter 8” runner-up and recent M-1 champ, MMAjunkie.com confirmed the long-expected signing with sources close to the promotion.

Tatame first reporting the deal, though a reported September fight date hasn’t been confirmed.

...

Since a 0-2 stint in the UFC, which included a loss to Ryan Bader in the “TUF 8” tournament final and a subsequent defeat to Eliot Marshall, Magalhaes has racked up a 7-1 record. Half the jiu-jitsu specialist’s fights came in M-1, where he won the organization’s 205-pound title before a strained relationship with company officials.

Magalhaes told MMAjunkie.com the relationship soured during an October title defense over Mikhail Zayats. Magalhaes, who won the belt from Viktor Nemkov in his previous bout, and representative Steve Pacitti said an M-1 official, Evgeni Kogan, was openly rooting for and coaching Zayats during the bout. Magalhaes has been on the sidelines ever since while he waited for his M-1 contract’s matching period to fully expire.

After Anderson Silva, Chael Sonnen Wants to Stay Active in 2012

With biggest fight of career looming, UFC 148's Chael Sonnen prefers more fights
mmajunkie.com

And that could be a slight problem for Sonnen’s goal of getting more than, he says, three fights a year, which is about what healthy UFC fighters average.

“It’s not about anything else – it’s about competition,” Sonnen said. “I hate the fact that we only fight three times a year. I hate the fact that I’ve got to go to bed at night wondering, ‘I wonder how I’d do with this guy, or what this guy’s skills would do with mine.’

“Well, let’s just find out. Let’s get in there a lot more often. Let’s fight all these guys.”

Sonnen said he understands why it can’t happen and doesn’t happen, but the Division I All-American wrestler from the University of Oregon longs for the days of the kind of competition that had him wrestling many opponents a day.

It's almost impossible to have more than three UFC fights under your belt in the course of a single year these days. The fact that Donald Cerrone was able to make five appearances in 2011, albeit a couple of times as a short-notice replacement, is amazing. 

But with the amount of shows the UFC is now putting on, it's not impossible. Fans and fighters alike have recently been calling for a thinning out of the talent pool. The recent rash of injuries has obviously decimated the lineups for upcoming UFC shows, leaving ticket holders to look forward to matchups featuring a serious lack of star power since that is all the UFC can muster at the moment. If they started stacking the cards as in years past, problems and wishes would go away and be granted at the same time.

UFC Enters the Chinese Market in November

UFC Announces China Debut in November With UFC on FUEL 6
www.mmafighting.com

After years of speculation, the UFC will make its long-awaited Chinese debut on November 10, 2012 with UFC on FUEL 6, promotion officials announced on Tuesday’s episode of UFC Tonight.

The international event is slated to be held in Macau, a special administrative region of China located on the country’s eastern shore, at the 15,000 seat CotaiArena inside the Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel. The $2.4 billion hotel opened in 2007 and is currently the largest casino in the world.

“Breaking into a market with a population of over 1.3 billion is both a testament to the growth of our sport and a long-term challenge we are excited to undertake,” UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta stated. “This is just the first of many world-class fights we plan to hold over the coming years in China, one of the birthplaces of martial arts.”

This is huge news for the UFC, who earlier this year, didn't believe a trip to China was in the cards until 2013 at the earliest. The promotion has slowly built a following in the country through television specials and online broadcasts and will now test the market with a live event in Macau, which hosted Chinese-based Legend Fighting Championship in recent years. It'll be exciting to watch.

Could the Difference in Pay Between Winning and Losing Cause Boring Fights?

Dan Hardy: Pay Structure May Affect Fighters' Strategy
www.sherdog.com

“We’ve all seen him fight. We saw his fight against [Diego] Sanchez and all those other crazy ones where they were back-and-forth wars. He’s got a great pace and he’s a fantastic fighter. So really, for me, that showed that he made the choice of going in there and fighting that way. And whether that was down to his coaches convincing him or what, I don’t know, but I do think a lot of the responsibility is on the fighter.

“But at the same time, I think pay scale could be an issue as well. I think that there could be a way of paying people so there’s not a massive amount of money resting on winning and losing. I mean, 50 percent of purse pretty much is a win bonus for most people. If you win the fight, you get double the money. For a lot of people, double the money is what they need in order to cover their training camps. It’s really difficult. We need a little bit more money turning towards the fighters and we need the fighters with a bit more of an aggressive work ethic.”

Hardy's take on things is definitely something that's part of the equation here. However, there are other factors. The biggest is the UFC's ability to cut struggling fighters. Three losses and you're out has been the policy for years now, with a handful of exceptions for certain guys. We're starting to see cuts after two consecutive losses as well as two defeats in three fights more and more, especially with those fighters that don't carry any sort of name value.

Pay certainly has something to do with it,  but job security has more. In Guida's case though, it may not have been either of the two. It could have just been the plan employed by his camp. It's not the first time that Guida has been conservative in fights since joining Jackson's. Just ask Anthony Pettis.

Dana White Booked Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen II Minutes Before Announcing It

Dana White, UFC 148 and the rematch that almost wasn't: Silva vs. Sonnen II
mmajunkie.com

“When we did the press conference down in Brazil, Silva hadn’t even agreed to fight him,” White said. “That fight wasn’t happening. I had them bring Anderson to the place where the press conference was, and we sat in a room for three hours fighting about the fight.”

Fans may remember the April 24 news conference in Rio de Janeiro for its late start. And White said that late start was because he and his biggest star were at odds over Silva signing on for the rematch.

Silva, as should come as little surprise, is not a fan of the brashness and trash talk that led up to UFC 117, and the talk that Sonnen has continued for nearly two years since then. But when Sonnen got on the plane with White, he flew to Brazil with no guarantee of a fight – only the hope that White could get Silva to agree to the rematch.

“Yeah, (Chael knew),” White said. “He knew there was no fight. (What Chael said) was true, absolutely true. We went down there to make that fight. We set up a press conference, and I had to get it done.”

As interesting as that story is and was, I'd be even more intrigued to find out what the UFC's plans were for the press conference had Anderson not agreed to the bout. Would they have allowed Sonnen to call him out again in his home country? Or would Dana and Chael have just held a "state of the UFC" address?

Another Possible Opponent for Fedor Emelianenko Could be Rolles Gracie

Rolles Gracie In Consideration to Face Fedor Emelianenko in Russia
www.mmaweekly.com

Fedor Emelianenko will next compete in June in his home country of Russia against an as of yet unnamed opponent, but a new contender has entered the fray.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and student of legendary trainer Renzo Gracie, Rolles Gracie is now under consideration for the bout with Emelianenko on June 21 in St. Petersburg.

While there is no deal in place at this time, Gracie is one of the leading candidates to potentially land the spot against the former pound-for-pound king later this year.

Meh.

Nick Diaz to Meet Braulio Estima in BJJ Superfight on May 12

Nick Diaz, World Champion Braulio Estima Agree to Meet in BJJ Superfight
www.mmafighting.com

Braulio Estima, one of the best Jiu-Jitsu players in the world, will welcome Nick Diaz back to the world of BJJ.

The Diaz vs. Estima BJJ superfight, which will be contested at 180 pounds, will take place at the World Jiu-Jitsu Expo on May 12 in Long Beach, Calif., according to WJJE officials.

The 31-year-old Estima has won a plethora of BJJ competitions over the past decade. He most recently defeated Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in a super-fight at the 2011 edition of the prestigious Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling Championship and won gold medals at the 2009 ADCC tournament in the 88kg and Absolute divisions. He is currently training with the Blackzilians in South Florida in preparation for his MMA debut later this year.

Mike Winkeljohn Convinced Greg Jackson to Corner Jon Jones Against Rashad Evans

Winkeljohn Convinced Jackson to Corner Jones After Evans 'Kept Throwing Greg Under the Bus'
www.mmafighting.com

Winklejohn recently told Bleacher Report’s Ari LeVaux that he ultimately convinced Jackson to corner Jones against Evans at UFC 145 after feeling Evans criticized his former coach one too many times.

“I was always going to corner Jon because I was working with Jon since almost day 1 here, and Rashad had left camp, and Rashad is actually cool with that. We’ve spoken many times and he understands that everybody is out there to make a living, do their thing and we’ve got a good rapport.

“But he upset me in that he kept throwing Greg under the bus. Enough’s enough. You have your disagreements, I understand that, but there’s more important things out there and it’s time for Greg to work in Jon’s corner.”

“TUF Brazil” Episodes Likely to Air on FUEL TV Starting in June

FUEL TV targets June for 'The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil' debut
mmajunkie.com

“The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” is expected to air for U.S. audiences on FUEL TV in June, FUEL TV executive vice president and general manager George Greenberg today confirmed.

Greenberg said FUEL TV decided to delay the debut of the first international season of the long-running reality series in order to avoid competition with “The Ultimate Fighter: Live.”

“We don’t want to take any air out of the room promotionally for ‘TUF’ on FX,” the executive told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “As soon as ‘TUF’ on FX is done then we will premiere ‘TUF: Brazil,’ which will feed into the next ‘TUF’ on FX.”

Good news for those who haven't seen any of the season yet and are waiting for it to hit the television airwaves. I've been catching the episodes a couple of days later online and they have been pretty entertaining.

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