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Tag: UFC 160

Injury Knocks Gunnar Nelson Out of UFC 160; Rick Story to Replace Against Mike Pyle

The UFC’s most promising (and most eerily emotionless) welterweight prospect has just experienced an important rite of passage — his first injury withdrawal. As confirmed by UFC officials, Icelandic grappling phenom Gunnar Nelson will be unable to meet Mike Pyle at UFC 160: Velasquez vs. Bigfoot 2, scheduled for May 25th in Las Vegas. According to Gunnar’s father/manager Haraldur Nelson, it’s a knee injury that will require surgery. A timetable for his return hasn’t been announced.

Injuries have actually plagued both of Nelson’s previous UFC fights. His first win in the Octagon came against DaMarques Johnson, who was replacing the injured Pascal Krauss. Nelson’s second win came against Jorge Santiago, who was replacing the injured Justin Edwards. And now, the UFC Injury Demon has gone from teasing Nelson to actually taking a chunk out of his ass, so to speak.

Replacing Nelson against Pyle at UFC 160 will be Rick Story, who most recently TKO’d Strikeforce/KOTC standout Quinn Mulhern at UFC 158 last month. Pyle is coming off a superb 2012 during which he scored first-round KO/TKOs of Ricardo Funch, Josh Neer, and James Head. Pyle vs. Story is expected to be on the FX portion of the 5/25 card.

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Booking Alert: Brian Bowles Returns, Faces George Roop at UFC 160 in Las Vegas


(Word has it that Torres attempted to lure Bowles’ sister into his “surprise van” after the weigh-ins. Big mistake, bro. / Photo courtesy of Getty Images.) 

We’re pretty convinced the real Brian Bowles died in 2011. Following his submission loss to Urijah Faber at UFC 139, Bowles vanished from the MMA scene without a trace and no one seems to know why. Go ahead, try and find a Brian Bowles interview, injury update, photo, credit card receipt, Twitter update or Facebook wall post dated to 2012. You will not. Brian Bowles was as much alive in 2012 as Caylee Anthony.

But unlike the subject of that distasteful and completely unnecessary comparison, it seems Brian Bowles has been given a second chance at life. That, or the Mangalor that is wearing his face has decided to give this MMA thing a try. In either case, Bowles has been booked against fellow WEC vet George Roop at UFC 160, which transpires on May 25th in Las Vegas.

Roop didn’t have a much better 2012 than Bowles, suffering a mouthpiece-ejecting KO to Cub Swanson in his only octagon appearance. This year has already proved more successful for the TUF 8 alum, who was able to outpoint Reuben Duran at UFC 158. Although if history is any indication, Roop’s 2013 is about to get a lot worse.

Also booked for UFC 160…

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With Ryan Bader Injured, Glover Teixeira Draws James Te Huna For What Will Be the Greatest Slugfest of 2013


(This murderous ocean won’t be hurting anyone anymore.) 

Australian publication The Age is passing along the news that TUF 8 winner Ryan Bader has been forced to withdraw from his upcoming UFC 160 bout with Brazilian phenom Glover Teixeira due to injury. Luckily, his replacement opponent makes for an arguably more exciting potential fight, as it is being reported that streaking light heavyweight slugger James Te Huna has been brought into the fold in Bader’s absence. Early reports are also predicting that the fight will be a slugfest of epic proportions that winds up on every pundit’s “Top Ten Fights of the Year” list by the end of 2013, converting hoards of new fans to the sport and simultaneously blowing their minds in the process. Thank God we’re not setting ourselves up for disappointment.

Currently 5-1 in the UFC and on a four fight win streak, Te Huna is on the heels of a come from behind victory over Ryan Jimmo at UFC on FUEL 7. After getting rocked by a head kick in the first round, Te Huna showcased his resiliency (and a much improved grappling game) in the latter two rounds, controlling Jimmo en route to a unanimous decision victory. The victory followed up a record setting performance by the Aussie against Joey Beltran at UFC on FUEL 4 in which Te Huna anded 71 significant strikes in the first round.

Speaking of win streaks, Te Huna will be facing a guy with one of the longest active win streaks in the sport when he fights Teixeira, who is fresh off a unanimous decision victory of his own over Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC on FOX 6, his eighteenth in a row.

A win for either man will (probably) establish them as the next, next challenger to the light heavyweight title, so who do you think will come out of this one on top, Potato Nation?

-J. Jones

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Mark Hunt to Fight Junior dos Santos at UFC 160

Better late than never. Props: @ZeusJupiterMMAO

It may have taken a year to come about, but a fight between Mark Hunt and Junior dos Santos has been booked for UFC 160.

When a quadriceps injury to Alistair Overeem left Junior dos Santos without an opponent for UFC 160, Hunt immediately organized a Twitter assault in an effort to get the fight. Despite White’s initial insistence on postponing Overeem vs. dos Santos, a phone call from “The Super Samoan” last night was enough to change his mind. See, sometimes persistence doesn’t result in a restraining order.

Mark Hunt is currently riding a four fight win streak, coming off of a brutal, jaw-breaking knockout over Stefan Struve at last Saturday’s UFC on FUEL 8. Meanwhile, dos Santos is coming off of a gutsy, yet lopsided loss to Cain Velasquez at UFC 155.

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Alistair Overeem Out of UFC 160 With Injury; Fight With Dos Santos Likely Pushed to Summer [UPDATED]


(“It’s embarrassing, okay? Let’s just say I’ll be on penicillin for a while, and leave it at that.”)

As first reported by MMAFighting yesterday evening, UFC heavyweight Alistair Overeem will be unable to fight former champion Junior Dos Santos at UFC 160: Velasquez vs. Bigfoot 2 (May 25th, Las Vegas), due to an undisclosed injury suffered in training. No word yet on the nature or severity of the injury, although it will reportedly require 4-5 weeks of recovery. [Update: Overeem has revealed that it was a slight tear in his quad muscle.]

As soon as news of the withdrawal broke, fellow UFC heavyweight Mark Hunt tried to organize a twitter assault to claim the replacement spot against Dos Santos. However, UFC president Dana White suggested that Overeem vs. Dos Santos will simply be postponed to sometime in the summer. Ah well. Would have been nice to see this happen again.

The injury couldn’t come at a worse time for the hormonally fluctuating Overeem, who just followed up his nine-month licensing timeout with an upset knockout loss to Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva last month. If Overeem does meet Dos Santos this summer, the fight will come a full year-and-a-half since the Reem’s last victory over Brock Lesnar in December 2011 — not a good look for a guy who spent the previous four years unbeaten.

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Cody McKenzie Rebooked in Do-or-Die Fight Against the Un-Do-or-Dieable Leonard Garcia at UFC 159


(“No, Leonard, I don’t know how they make Dippin’ Dots either.”)

When Leonard Garcia and Cody McKenzie were originally booked to face each other back at UFC 155, we categorized the pairing as a “loser leaves town” match. What fools we were; although McKenzie was forced out of the fight with an injury, his replacement opponent in Max Holloway was responsible for Garcia’s fourth straight loss in the UFC*. And while a whole bunch of guys got the axe shortly thereafter, Leonard Garcia was somewhat surprisingly not one of them.

We double-checked the list of fired fighters, then we triple checked it. We even created a flowchart to try and make sense of things, but it appears that as long as Garcia continues to treat strategy like Lloyd Irvin treats consent, he will always have a place in the UFC. It’s a luxury that his upcoming opponent, TUF 12 alum Cody McKenzie, cannot afford.

McKenzie and Garcia have in fact been rebooked for UFC 159 in what has to be a do-or-die fight for at least McKenzie, who has dropped three of his past four UFC contests including a 40 second KO via body punch loss to Chad Mendes in his last outing. Again, according to our chart, McKenzie’s current place on the “100 heavy” UFC roster makes about as much sense as Garcia’s, so expect these two to put on a show come April 27th. One of their UFC careers could depend on it.

So who takes this one, Potato Nation, the one-trick pony or the one-track mind?

The full lineup for UFC 159 is after the jump. 

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Barnburner Alert: Mike Pyle Booked Against Gunnar Nelson at Stacked UFC 160 Card


(“Gunnar, talk us through the end of the fight…………………………………………Gunnar Nelson everybody!” Photo via MMAViking.) 

Cross your fingers and pray for an injury free couple of months, Potato Nation, because UFC 160 is currently stacked with more firepower than Burt Gummer’s basement. Velasquez vs. Silva, Dos Santos vs. Overeem, Teixiera vs. Bader, the list goes on and on. And if a main card that also features the likes of Khabib Nurmagomedov, Stephen Thompson, and Abel Trujillo somehow doesn’t do it for you, rounding out the preliminary card —which is whatever the antithesis of garbage-ass is — will now be a matchup of streaking welterweight contenders when Mike Pyle faces Gunnar Nelson.

In the past year, Mike Pyle has put together a three fight (T)KO streak over the likes of Josh Neer and most recently James Head. A veteran of the UFC since 2009, Pyle will be looking to improve to 7-1 in his past 8 with a win over the undefeated Nelson, who showcased a rather versatile stand up game in his recent victory over Jorge Santiago at UFC on FUEL 7.

As it stands, UFC 160 is a card that we will gladly chase around 3 channels, Facebook, and a couple illegal stream sites to watch. Disagree? Then check out the full lineup after the jump and become a believer.

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Gray Maynard Returns at UFC 160, Faces Ever-Rising Prospect T.J. Grant


(I tell you what, if Maynard is able to catch Grant in his patented Indian rug burn, this shit is gonna be all over.) 

Figuratively speaking, Gray Maynard has not been involved in a UFC fight since he came up short against Frankie Edgar at UFC 136 in October of 2011. Sure, he did his best to nullify the “offense” of Clay Guida at UFC on FX 4 last June, but that exercise in tedium was less a fight and more like watching your cataract-stricken friend try to wrangle up all the cuccos in Kakariko Village on The Legend of Zelda. Although ”The Bully” was expected to face Joe Lauzon at UFC 155 last December, he was forced out of the bout with a knee injury that has sidelined him ever since.

But if the above gif is any indication, Maynard has been staying quite active on the sidelines and will be more than ready for his return to the octagon on May 25th at UFC 160, where he will face the streaking veteran T.J. Grant in a battle of top contenders. Grant has been on something resembling a killing spree lately, collecting four straight wins including a first round annihilation of Matt Wiman at UFC on Fox 6 last month. The far-and-away most impressive aspect of Grant’s recent wins has been the drastic improvement to his stand up game, an attribute he credits to the time he spent training in Thailand.

In a way, this fight is kind of a lose-lose for Maynard, at least by Ed Soares’ concept of the term.

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‘UFC 160: Velasquez vs. Silva’ Picks Up Cerrone vs. Noons, Teixeira vs. Bader


(It is reported that Cerrone’s final words were “Hold my beer, and watch this.” / Photo via Sherdog)

Two more big matchups have been added to the already-beefy UFC 160 lineup, which is slated for May 25th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. In addition to the previously reported Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio Silva heavyweight championship headliner and Junior Dos Santos vs. Alistair Overeem, the card will feature…

- Donald Cerrone vs. KJ Noons (lightweight): The always entertaining “Cowboy” Cerrone, who followed up his ass-whuppin’ at the hands of Anthony Pettis last month by nearly falling to his death in a recent rock-climbing incident*, will welcome former Strikeforce boxing-specialist KJ Noons to the Octagon. Noons has hit a rough stretch lately, losing four of his last five fights, all by decision. His last match ended in a split-decision loss against Ryan Couture.

- Glover Teixeira vs. Ryan Bader (light-heavyweight): Coming off his decision win over Rampage Jackson at UFC on FOX 6 — his third-straight win in the UFC and 18th-straight overall — the much-hyped Teixeira will get another solid test in the form of Ryan Bader, who choked out Vladimir Matyushenko in just 50 seconds at the same event.

We expect Cerrone and Teixeira to be solid favorites in these fights. Anybody predicting an upset?

* Don’t blame me, I wanted to go bowling.

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Cain Velasquez vs. Bigfoot Silva Rematch, Dos Santos vs. Overeem Set for UFC 160 in May


(But other than that, how was the fight, Antonio? / Photo via Getty Images)

As first reported by a “random Irish person” and officially confirmed last night on UFC Tonight, Cain Velasquez will defend his heavyweight title at UFC 160 (May 25th, Las Vegas) in a rematch against Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, just one year after Velasquez tore Silva apart at UFC 146. Though Bigfoot is coming off back-to-back stoppages of Travis Browne and Alistair Overeem, the news still comes as a bit of a surprise; even Bigfoot’s management felt that he should win a couple more fights before testing his fate against Cain Velasquez again.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many better options in the heavyweight division right now. Velasquez won’t fight his teammate Daniel Cormier, and the rest of the UFC’s heavyweight contenders either have their next fight booked already, or lack the kind of hype that Bigfoot currently carries after his comeback win over The Reem. And what are you going to do, have your champion sit out until a totally legitimate contender emerges? Come on. That’s not how you run a business.

So will Velasquez smash Antonio Silva for the second time, or should we start preparing for “The Bigfoot Era”? (Step one: Stock up on canned goods. Step two: Limber up.) In other UFC 160 heavyweight booking news…

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