According to Sherdog.com, former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones will face the current UFC Light Heavyweight Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 in Anaheim, CA on July 29. The much anticipated and much delayed rematch may finally happen.
The two had previously fought at UFC 182 on Jan 3, 2015, with Jones winning by decision. Jones was later stripped off of his title in April 2015 due to a hit-and-run, leaving Cormier and Anthony Johnson to fight for the newly vacant title. Cormier defeated Johnson by a third round rear naked choke at UFC 187.
Jones and Cormier were scheduled to fight at UFC 197, but Cormier withdrew due to injury. Ovince Saint Preaux became the alternate for the fight, which was downgraded to an interim championship. Jones defeated Saint Preaux by decision, and rematch was scheduled again for UFC 200. This time Jones got pulled from the fight because of a positive test for banned substances the night before the fight. For fight fans, the third time can either be the charm or another disappointment.
Espn’s Brett Okamoto reported has reported today that former UFC Welterweight Champion Robbie Lawler will face former lightweight contender Donald Cerrone at UFC 213 on July 7. The two were originally supposed to fight at Madison Square Garden at UFC 205, but Lawler stated he needed more time from his knockout loss to current champion Tyrone Woodley.
Both fighters are known for their striking and punching power. Lawler tends have a more of a boxer-swarmer style of stalking his opponents and wearing them down at close range. Cerrone’s fighting is more of a calculated Muay Thai style that relies more on long range kicking. Cerrone tends to be slower starter, but is quick to explode once he finds his rhythm.
The Associated Press says that Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva will finally get that fight after all. The pair will headline Bellator 180 on June 24th at the Madison Square in New York City. The two were supposed to fight back at UFC 175 in 2014, but both fighters got suspended indefinitely for failed PED tests.
Bellator President Scott Corker told the AP that it will also be Bellator’s first pay-per view event. “We always said when we come to New York, we’ll bring the biggest and best fight card we’ve ever had in the history of this company. We’re putting it together, and our roster is robust enough that we feel like it’s time we get in the pay-per view business, so here we go.
Silva hasn’t fought in over two years since the suspension in June 2014, while Sonnen came back to fight Tito Ortiz at Bellator in January. The two have gone back and forth with trash talk on Twitter over the years, so there will likely still be tension between the two. Both fighters maybe older and rustier, but we finally get the “Axe Murderer” Silva against the “American Gangster” Sonnen.
Former UFC light-heavyweight contender Ryan Bader is another UFC veteran that has moved to Bellator MMA. The website MMAJunkie says Bellator President Scott Corker has informed them that Bader signed a multi-fight contract with Bellator after some time as a free agent when his UFC contract expired. Previous UFC light-heavyweights that have moved to Bellator in the past and present include Tito Ortiz, Quinton Jackson, Stephen Bonnar, Phil Davis, and Chael Sonnen.
Bader was the winner of The Ultimate Fighter 8, and went on to defeat former LH champions such as Keith Jardine, Quinton Jackson, Rashad Evans. Bader also defeated the respected Pride veteran Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. However, Bader lost to other former LH champions such as Jon Jones, Tito Ortiz, and Lyoto Machida.
After his loss to former title challenger Glover Texeira, Bader went on an impressive five fight win streak (including ones over Davis and Evans). But that ended in his last fight after being KOed in the first round by another title challenger named Anthony Johnson. Maybe Bader will have better luck reaching the title in the less competitive Bellator roster.
Mmafighting.com has reported that the UFC has just signed up David Branch, the former Middleweight and Light-Heavyweight Champion in the MMA World Series Of Fighting (WSOF). Branch with a record of 20-3, is reported to most likely be fighting in UFC Middlweight division. Branch could get a fight as early as May.
Branch recently left the WSOF for undisclosed reasons after a New York Eve’s victory over Louis Taylor. Branch had previously fought in the UFC, but left in 2011 with an octagon record of 2-2. Since then, he has won 12 of his last 13 fighters. His only loss since then was to UFC Light-Heavyweight contender Anthony Johnson.
BellatorMMA has been known to bring in former UFC stars with fighters such as Quinton Jackson, Tito Ortiz, Chael Sonnen, Stephan Bonnar, and even former UFC cutman Jacob “Stitch” Duran. Now MMA report Simon Head says Bellator President Scott Corker is in talks to bring in the long-time UFC commentator Mike Goldberg.
In other news, WWE Divas Champion and Total Divas cast-member Paige may transition from professional to MMA in a video interview with TMZ Sports. “I mean … when my time with WWE comes to an end, at some point then, maybe,” said Paige to the TMZ interviewer. “I want to start training like every single week,” said Paige, who then turned to her boyfriend Alberto Del Rio,”Which we’re gonna start doing, right?”
Paige already has some personal connections to MMA business. Her boyfriend works for the Brazilian fighting publication Combate Americas, which was founded by Campbell McLaren, who also co-founded the UFC. Paige says McLaren has been active in helping her out for a possible move to the sport.
On Wednesday, Deadspin Editor Tim Marchman decided to challenge Ted Cruz supporters on Twitter who had been trolling a fellow editor to fight in the UFC. Two former Army solders that have fought in the UFC accepted the challenge. One is UFC Heavyweight Tim Johnson, and U.S. Army Special Forces vet and former UFC Middleweight Tim Kennedy.
The drama started with an article posted by Ashley Feingberg on the Deadspin Twitter page about wanting proof that Senator Ted Cruz can play basketball. Cruz or someone on Cruz’s Twitter handle jokingly sends a picture of Ted Cruz look-a-like Grayson Allen from Duke University’s basketball team with the tagline ‘What do I win?’Someone on Deadspin’s Twitter handle responded with “Go Eat Shit.” After that, both Feinberg’s and Deadspin’s Twitter handles were bombarded with angry messages or tweets mocking them.
This finally caught the attention of Deadspin Editor-In-Chief Tim Marchman.
After having a supposedly clean fight record for seven years, the 39-year old Josh Barnett has been flagged for potentially using banned substances in a out-of-completion test on December 9. The former UFC Heavyweight Champion has had a controversial history of failed drug tests, but seemed to have cleaned up act until today.
Barnett (35-8) defeated Randy Couture of the UFC Heavyweight Title at UFC 36 back in 2002. He was shortly stripped of the UFC heavyweight title back in 2002 after failing two tests for banned substances. He also tested positive for anabolic steroid for an upcoming 2009 Affliction Entertainment fight with former Pride Heavyweight Champion Fedor Emelianenko, and the whole card had to be scrapped.
Barnett then competed in the Strikeforce heavyweight division and defeated fighters such as Brett Rogers and Sergei Kharitonov. He lost however to the current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier for the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Championship in 2012. In 2013, Barnett returned to the UFC in 2013 where defeated another former UFC Champion in the first round by TKO at UFC 164. Later that year, Barnett would lose to Travis Browne in the first round via TKO at UFC 168. Barnett would make a comeback in 2015 by defeating Roy Nelson via decision. He would lose his next fight to Ben Rothwell in 2016, but bounced back with victory over yet another former UFC HW Champion Andrei Arlovski.
Chael “The American Gangster”Sonnen will face off against Tito “The Huntington Bad Boy” Ortiz at Bellator 170 on January 21 at Great Wester Forum in Inglewood, California.
Sonnen (28-14-1), the 39 year-old former middleweight contender and wrestler was known for giving UFC Middleweight Champ Anderson Silva on his toughest fights. Sonnen later moved up to light-heavyweight, after losing to to Silva twice. lost to former champions such Jon Jones and Rashad Evans by TKO, but defeated another former champion Mauricio Rua by RNC. Sonnen retired from fighting back in 2014 after drug tests tested for multiple banned substances. Sonnen recently came out of retirement this year to fight in Bellator.
The 41-year old UFC Hall Of Famer Ortiz (18-12-1) was the UFC Lightweight Champion with an impressive five win defense streak, a record which was later broken by Jones. Ortiz won the title via an elimator match against Wanderlei Silva and later lost it to fellow Hall Of Famer Randy Couture. After splitting from the UFC, Ortiz moved to Bellator in early 2014 where he compiled a record of 2-1, with wins over Alexander Schlemenko and Stephan Bonnar.
The Sacramento Bee has reported that Urijah “The California Kid”will face against Brad “One-Punch”Pickett for a bantamweight match at UFC On Fox 22. The fight will be in Faber’s hometown of Sacramento, CA on Dec 17. Sacramento is also the location of “Alpha Male,” an MMA gym managed by Faber.
Faber (33-10), the 37 year old WEC Bantamweight Champion is well known for his grudge match against current UFC Bantamweight Dominick Cruz. Faber defeated Cruz by decision in their bout for the WEC title, which Cruz avenged later also by decision. Faber recently challenged Cruz for the UFC title, but ended losing by decision again. Faber would suffer another loss in his last fight against Jimmie Rivera. So Faber should be desperate for a win to break the losing streak.
Pickett (25-12), is another older fighter at 38 and a former bantamweight contender like Faber. Pickett has gone 3-6 over his last nine fights and is known for his exciting and aggressive fighting style. Despite the nickname “One-Punch,” Pickett only has 7 wins by knockout in his 37 fight career.
Other fights featured on the card are:
- Paige VanZant vs. Michelle Waterson
- Mickey Gall vs. Sage Northcutt
- Urijah Faber vs. Brad Pickett
- Mike Perry vs. Alan Jouban
- Bryan Barberena vs. Colby Covington
- Scott Holtzman vs. Josh Emmett
- Sultan Aliev vs. Bojan Velickovic
- James Moontasri vs. Alex Morono