UFC matchmaker Joe Silva has chosen a somewhat curious opponent for Yushin Okami for his next fight, considering that the only losses he’s had in the past three years came against arguably the number one and number two middleweights in the world.
The promotion announced today that Okami will lock horns with Tim Boetsch when the Octagon returns to “The Land of the Rising Sun” for UFC 144 on February 26.
(Aldo will make his third UFC title defense at home in Brazil.)
Jose Aldo will be in for a stiff test when he puts his UFC featherweight crown on the line against undefeated 11-0 wrestling standout Chad Mendes on January 14 at UFC 142 in a yet-to-be-announced locale in Brazil.
“Pound-for-pound superstar Jose Aldo will return home to fight in Brazil for the first time since 2007 when he defends his UFC featherweight title against unbeaten powerhouse Chad Mendes,” UFC president Dana White revealed to FoxSports.com this morning. “Aldo hasn’t lost in over five years, but Mendes has yet to lose in MMA, and after clearing out all the contenders put in his way, he believes he has what it takes to beat the champion.”
(Kenny chose brown and blue to match his face at the presser.)
When Kenny Florian fell short in his third UFC title bid Saturday night against featherweight champion Jose Aldo at UFC 136, fans and the media immediately began inexplicably asking “The Ultimate Fighter 1″ finalist if perhaps it would be a good time for him to call it a career. Seems a bit harsh, but everyone loves winner.
Even UFC president Dana White seemed to hint at the post-fight press conference that Florian’s future with the promotion might be behind the microphone as opposed to in the Octagon.
“I’ve got nothing but respect for him, and Kenny Florian will be with us no matter what.
“Kenny Florian’s awesome. He commentated our last show. I think he’s great on camera. I think he’s great on the mic,” White gushed. “He’s a talented guy with a lot of options, and he’s always been a solid guy with us and always been a team player. I love Kenny Florian. There’s a lot of things that could happen with Kenny Florian.”The thing about Kenny is he’s smart. He’s talented. He’s got other options. He’s got things going on outside of fighting, too. It’s just one of those things he needs to sit down and really figure out on his own.”
As a long time UFC fan, I’ve recently noticed that their marketing team has seemingly taken a break from using corny phrases to label their events. In fact, the last UFC pay-per-view to not be named after the fighters in the main event was back at UFC 125: Resolution, which featured the eventual draw between, you guessed it, Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard. You just don’t see that kind of irony everyday.
UFC 136 was actually able to provide us with closure, however — more closure in fact than any card in quite a while. Not only did Edgar vindicate himself in triumphant fashion, but Jose Aldo proved to many of his critics that his gas tank is not an issue, Kenny Florian proved that he will never, ever, win a title fight, and Chael Sonnen proved that ring rust is for the weak. But now, we look to the future, and more importantly, try to predict it for the weekend’s big winners. So if you think our future match-ups are garbage, be sure to let us know in the comments section below.
It’s no stretch to say that UFC 136 was, on paper, the most stacked UFC card since UFC 100. It featured two title fights, the return of the only middleweight to make Anderson Silva look human, a rematch from one of the most controversial decisions of 2010 and a lightweight contender looking to keep his winning streak alive. Add on the UFC Fan Expo being held on the same weekend, and it would seem impossible for UFC 136 to live up to the hype. Yet, impressively enough, it did.
If you’re a fan of “zombie style” fighting, then Frankie Edgar absolutely has to be one of your favorite fighters after last night. In a performance that caused more than a few of us to experience déjà vu, Edgar seemed like he was one punch away from being knocked out throughout Gray Maynard’s early onslaught. But Edgar hung on and managed to take the next two rounds en route to a fourth round TKO. It’s an impressive accomplishment, especially considering that Frankie Edgar is a natural featherweight while Gray Maynard is pretty big for a lightweight, if Mike Goldberg is to be trusted. Any questions about Frankie Edgar’s ability to finish seem to have been answered last night. Especially in the eyes of Dana White, who awarded Frankie Edgar the 75k Knockout of the Night honors.
(“I’m so sick of your friggin’ face.” “No, I’m so sick of *your* friggin’ face.”)
Well, we’re finally going to sort out this lightweight championship mess. Thanks for joining us for the ride. Bear with us as we try a slightly different format to appease the complaints we’ve had about spoilers and such. If you want to read about certain fight, click ”next page.”
Jose Aldo grew up playing soccer, but transitioned to MMA when his love of brawling with rival teams began to overcome his love of scoring goals. His UFC 136 opponent Kenny Florian took his passion for soccer all the way to a position on the Boston College varsity team. Tomorrow night, they’ll be trying to kick each other, in a real sport. As this is a championship fight, their soccer-juggling showdown should have really gone five rounds. But I have a feeling it would have been an even bigger blowout if Aldo didn’t grab the fence in the third. A sign of things to come? [Ed. note: No.]
Want to make some real money this weekend? Then come over to my place on Saturday afternoon and be prepared to clean some toilets. Want to make some hypothetical, for-entertainment-purposes-only money this weekend? Then check out the latest UFC 136 betting lines (via BestFightOdds) and read our gambling advice after the jump.
PPV Main Card
Frankie Edgar (-125) vs. Gray Maynard (+120)
Jose Aldo (-320) vs. Kenny Florian (+301)
Chael Sonnen (-255) vs. Brian Stann (+227)
Nam Phan (-210) vs. Leonard Garcia (+208)
Melvin Guillard (-312) vs. Joe Lauzon (+310)
Spike TV Prelims
Demian Maia (-275) vs. Jorge Santiago (+245)
Anthony Pettis (-277) vs. Jeremy Stephens (+250)
Joey Beltran (+190) vs. Stipe Miocic (-210)
Tiequan Zhang (-120) vs. Darren Elkins (+115)
Aaron Simpson (-313) vs. Eric Schafer (+300)
Steve Cantwell (-135) vs. Mike Massenzio (+130)
Zuffa Editorial Director Thomas Gerbasi has just given us a stack of his upcoming book UFC Encyclopedia, a slick and meticulously detailed reference guide to the promotion’s 18-year history — perfect for your coffee table or the crapper. And we want to give away three copies to the savviest fight-pickers in the Potato Nation.
This Saturday, UFC 136: Edgar vs. Maynard III goes down at the Toyota Center in Houston, featuring the conclusion (we hope) of MMA’s grittiest lightweight rivalry, Jose Aldo‘s latest title featherweight defense against Kenny Florian, and Chael Sonnen‘s love-fest with Brian Stann. Submit your predictions for these three fights in the comments section below, including the winner’s name, the method of victory, and the time/round of stoppage, if any. Your entry should be in this format: