MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

Tag: bookings

UFC Booking Alert: Robbie Lawler to Face Jake Ellenberger at UFC 173


(Robbie Lawler storms the Octagon, refusing to leave until Joe Silva offers up a sacrifice. / Photo via Getty)

UFC 173 just got a little more star power. An intriguing welterweight bout between Jake Ellenberger and Robbie Lawler just got added to the May 24th card.

Originally, Ellenberger was slated to fight Tarec Saffiedine at UFC 172 in Baltimore next month. However, an injury Saffiedine sustained in training changed all that. Not to diss Saffiedine, but Ellenberger-Lawler is a much more exciting fight to daydream about.

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Booking Alert: Chris Weidman Will Face Vitor Belfort at UFC 173


(Chris Weidman cheers on NSAC officials as they deliberate. / Photo via Getty)

Chris Weidman‘s first middleweight title defense against someone not named Anderson Silva will take place at UFC 173 on May 24th. Weidman will be facing the young dinosaur Vitor Belfort, who is on a three-fight winning streak and most recently became the first man to knock out Dan Henderson at UFC Fight Night 32.

Of note: The fight is taking place in Las Vegas. Belfort’s last three fights were located in Brazil. Conspiratorially minded individuals suspected this clever booking had something to do with Belfort’s much-maligned TRT use. When venerable MMA journalist Kevin Iole tried to separate himself from Dana White’s cheerleaders (aka the MMA media) and call attention to the issue, he was reprimanded.

The TRT issue will, in some ways, overshadow the combatants and the other narratives present in the fight—Weidman coming into his own as champion after definitely proving his superiority over Silva, Belfort’s resurgence as a top contender, etc. The Nevada State Athletic Commission is unsure of whether they’ll award Belfort a therapeutic use exemption, while Dana White has switched stances on the TRT issue. He’s now hoping the commission denies Belfort’s TUE request and TRT gets banned from MMA. Go figure.

It’s going to be an interesting spring.

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Wait Until You Hear What Nate Diaz Said About Dana White [UPDATED]


(Does this look like the face of guy who would duck a fight? / Photo via Getty.)

Remember when the UFC showed they could still book great matches when they paired off Khabib Nurmagomedov and Gilbert Melendez? And remember how they canceled that fight for no reason?

The UFC apparently had other plans for Nurmagomedov—the kind that involved a fight against Nate Diaz. According to Dana White, Diaz wanted none of it.

Needless to say, Diaz wasn’t happy with White’s words. He rushed to twitter to protect his Stockton street-cred.

 

We all probably think our bosses are full of shit to some extent, but saying it in public isn’t the smartest idea.

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UFC Booking Alert: Rory MacDonald to Face Demian Maia at UFC 170


(If MacDonald’s fighting career doesn’t pan out, he can always get a job as a male model. / Photo via Getty.)

The UFC announced that welterweights Rory MacDonald and Demian Maia would face off at UFC 170 this February. They made the announcement when the MMA world was abuzz with talk about the stellar fight card taking place. You know, the one that hosted one of the most exciting main events ever? So the news didn’t really stick.

Maia is coming off a disappointing loss to Jake Shields at UFC Fight Night 29 back in October. He looked his age, 36, during the fight.

MacDonald recently had his hype train derailed by a resurgent Robbie Lawler at UFC 167, snapping a five-fight winning streak and presumably a fight with Georges St.Pierre.

MacDonald-Maia is good booking. The well-rounded MacDonald is an atrocious match-up for Maia—who has average striking and deficient takedowns. It’s clear that the UFC wants to get their 24-year-old, Canadian prospect back in “the mix” as soon as possible, and the best way to do that is give him a name opponent that he has a high chance of beating. They want to make him their next GSP sooner rather than later.

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[UPDATED] Report: Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans [Not] Possible for UFC 140 Main Event

Rashad Evans Jon Jones UFC 135 UFC 140 photos face off
(“…and if my damn hand wasn’t in a cast, I’d definitely be grabbing my nuts right now, believe that.” Photo via MMAFighting)

Update: Dana White has denied this report.

Despite Rashad Evans‘s belief that Jon Jones will fake another injury to duck him, it’s looking like the two best frenemies could settle their grudge by the end of the year. MMAFighting reports that the UFC is in the process of setting up a light-heayweight title match between Jones and Evans at UFC 140 (December 10th, Toronto), and the booking could be made official within the next 24-48 hours.

The health of both men has been in question recently. Evans busted up his hand pretty good in his most recent victory over Tito Ortiz, but he’s expected to receive a doctor’s clearance this week to resume training. As for Jones, he caught a somewhat mysterious six-month medical suspension after last month’s UFC 135 title defense against Rampage Jackson. Dana White later confirmed that Jones was uninjured outside of a sore calf.

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Inaugural UFC on Fox Adds Three More Bouts


(Awwwww yeah.)

When the UFC decided to add a couple more fights to their first card on Fox, we figured it was the inevitable result of our time tested, sound advice. And now, Sherdog has confirmed that they are in fact adding three additional bouts to the card, so I’d say our theory is pretty much a lock at this point.

Though the fights may not be composed of big names like “Dos Santos” and “Velasquez,” there are still some pretty interesting match-ups with the definite potential for fireworks, the first of which is a featherweight contest between Virginian powerhouse Mackens Semerzier and Robert Peralta. Semerzier most recently broke a 3 fight skid with a first round submission victory over Alex “Bruce Leroy” Caceres back at UFC Fight Night 24. Peralta is coming off a successful UFC debut at UFN 25 where he scored a unanimous decision victory over Mike Lullo.

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Tim Kennedy’s Opponent Switched Again, Will Now Face Melvin Manhoef in Columbus


(Melvin Manhoef highlight reel, via StillW1ll)

After his decision loss to Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza in August, Strikeforce middleweight contender Tim Kennedy has had quite an adventure finding his next opponent. First, everybody in the world was ducking him. Then, he was slated to have a tie-breaker match with Jason "Mayhem" Miller. Then, Strikeforce decided to nix that idea and put Kennedy up against exciting prospect Luke Rockhold, who has been inactive for a year due to a shoulder injury. Well, that’s off now too. Due to a reported leg injury suffered in training, Rockhold has been forced to withdraw from his meeting with Kennedy at Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson (March 5th; Columbus, OH). Replacing him? None other than balls-to-the-wall striker Melvin Manhoef.

Manhoef has one of the most impressive finishing percentages in MMA, with 23 of his 24 career victories coming by way of KO/TKO. However, he’s lost four of his last six fights — three by way of submission, and one by Hail Mary KO at the hands of Robbie Lawler. Manhoef last competed at Dream.15 in July, when he lost to Tatsuya Mizuno by kimura. Kennedy’s keys to victory are very simple: Slow the pace down, check (or dodge) Melvin’s brutal leg kicks, and get the fight to the ground as soon as possible. Let’s hope this is the last opponent swap for Kennedy, because we’re actually kind of psyched to see this one go down.

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Joe Stevenson’s Last-Chance Fight Will Be Against Danny Castillo


(Vidprops: teezme420)

After suffering a first-round knockout at the hands of Mac Danzig at UFC 124, Joe Stevenson is once again riding back-to-back losses, and in desperate need of a victory. While a few UFC fighters (including Danzig himself) have been able to drop three straight without losing their jobs, it’s just not something you’d want to leave to chance these days.

According to MMA Mania, "Joe Daddy" will return at UFC on Versus 3 (March 3rd; Louisville, KY) where he’ll face former WEC lightweight contender Danny "Last Call" Castillo. With an overall record of 10-3, Castillo has eaten stoppage losses against Donald Cerrone, Shane Roller, and Anthony Pettis. But after defeating Dustin Poirier and Will Kerr in his two most recent fights, he’ll be coming into his next bout with some momentum. It’s one of those "nothing to lose, everything to gain" situations for the Team Alpha Male member, who is looking to make a dramatic entrance in the UFC. As for Stevenson? Well, he’d better not lose this one.

Semi-related: Despite dropping an unexpected decision to Rani Yahya on the preliminary card of UFC Fight for the Troops 2, former featherweight champion Mike Brown will be getting another shot in the Octagon. Brown’s most recent loss was his fourth in his last six outings.

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Nick Diaz vs. Evangelista ‘Cyborg’ Santos Title Fight Booked for Jan. 29 Strikeforce Card

Evangelista Cyborg Santos Cris Cyborg MMA photos nude naked
(You don’t want any part of this, Nick. No part whatsoever. / Photo courtesy of ESPN.)

It’s official: Nick Diaz vs. Jason Miller ain’t happening, at least not in the near future. With both sides failing to come to an agreement on weight class, Strikeforce has decided to move on with their welterweight champion, reportedly booking Diaz to defend his belt against Chute Boxe veteran Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos. The fight is expected to take place on the January 29th San Jose card that will also feature the middleweight title fight between Ronaldo "Grappler" Souza vs. Robbie "Striker" Lawler.

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Strikeforce Signs Rhadi Ferguson for January 7th Debut

Rhadi Ferguson judo
(It’s the kind of moment that makes you wish competitive judo used the same commentator as NBA Jam. Photoprops: AlumniRoundup.com)

Rhadi Ferguson — four-time Judo national champion, 2004 Olympic Judo competitor, BJJ black belt, American Top Team strength-and-conditioning coach, Doctor of education, and cousin of Kimbo Slice — is about to make his televised MMA debut. After picking up two first-round TKO victories this year in southern regional leagues, Ferguson has been signed to the Strikeforce light-heavyweight roster, and will make his first appearance on the main card of Strikeforce Challengers: Woodley vs. Saffiedine, January 7th in Nashville. His opponent will be 1-0 Canadian rookie Ion Cherdivara, whose list of credentials isn’t nearly as long as Dr. Rhadi’s.

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