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Tag: UFC bookings

Report: Alexander Gustafsson vs. Rashad Evans Likely for January UFC Event in Stockholm


(“So Alex, how do you plan to face the unique strategic challenges that Rashad will pres…uh…dude, don’t freak, but there’s a big-ass ebola virus like 30 feet behind you.” / Photo via Getty
)

As first reported by MMAMania, the UFC is working on a light heavyweight bout between Alexander Gustafsson and Rashad Evans, that would headline a FOX event in in Stockholm, Sweden, on January 24th, 2015. Mania credited the info to “a source with knowledge of the situation,” and the bout has not been officially confirmed yet.

Following his TKO of Jimi Manuwa in March, Gustafsson claimed that he wouldn’t take another fight until he got a rematch with Jon Jones, who had outpointed “The Mauler” during their title bout last September. A self-imposed hiatus is a high-risk strategy in the UFC, and we’re kind of glad to see him reconsider. As for Evans, the one-time UFC light-heavyweight champion is coming off back-to-back wins against Dan Henderson and Chael Sonnen, but hasn’t competed at all in 2014 due to the knee injury he sustained in February.

Essentially, it’s a fight that would clinch another title shot for Gustafsson if he wins, but wouldn’t necessarily do the same thing for Evans. Your predictions, please.

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Urijah Faber vs. Francisco Rivera, Renan Barao vs. Mitch Gagnon Booked for December UFC Cards


(Barao prepares to unleash another super uncomfortable victory celebration on poor, poor humanity. / Photo via Getty)

Two of the biggest names in the UFC’s bantamweight division will be back in action this December. First up, Urijah Faber — who still hasn’t lost a non-title fight, ever — will compete at UFC 181: Hendricks vs. Lawler II (December 6th, Las Vegas) against Francisco Rivera. UFC officials confirmed the matchup last night.

Faber is coming off his submission victory over Alex Caceres at UFC 175 in July, while Rivera most recently lost a decision to Takeya Mizugaki at UFC 173, snapping a two-fight win streak. I’m not exactly sure how this booking makes sense, but the opportunity to watch Faber strangle somebody just outside the top ten is the kind of gift that you don’t question.

In other booking news, former 135-pound champ Renan Barao goes back to being a regular-joe contender, when he fights Mitch Gagnon at UFC Fight Night 58: Machida vs. Dollaway (December 20th; Barueri, Brazil); the booking was also confirmed last night.

Barao was supposed to rematch TJ Dillashaw at UFC 177, but then passed out during his weight cut, and was pulled from the event and publicly shamed. Barao will have a chance to redeem himself against Gagnon, a Canadian up-and-comer who has won his last four (although against a relatively low level of competition).

So: Easy wins for the big names, or do you smell an upset cookin’?

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Diego Sanchez vs. Joe Lauzon Booked for UFC 180 in Mexico, After Norman Parke Withdraws Due to Injury


(“Superb matchmaking.” — This guy / Photos via Getty, USA Today Sports)

Due to an MCL injury, UFC lightweight Norman Parke has withdrawn from his scheduled matchup against Diego Sanchez at UFC 180: Velasquez vs. Werdum, November 15th in Mexico City. Dana White has confirmed that Joe Lauzon will come in to fight Sanchez as Parke’s replacement.

Sanchez vs. Lauzon is a potential barnburner, featuring two of the most frequently-bloody fighters on the UFC roster, both of whom are coming off victories. Sanchez most recently squeaked out a split-decision against Ross Pearson at UFC Fight Night 42 in June, while Lauzon earned a cut-stoppage TKO win against Michael Chiesa last month at UFC Fight Night 50.

Fun fact: After Parke’s injury was announced, featherweight star Conor McGregor tried to lie his way to a fight against Sanchez. But it turns out that the UFC has even bigger plans for McGregor, who is likely next in line for a featherweight title shot.

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Holly Holm Likely to Debut at UFC 181 in December — But Fight With Milana Dudieva Is Uncertain


(Holly Holm tags Juliana Werner at Legacy FC 30. / Photo via Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

According a report on UFC Tonight, undefeated bantamweight talent Holly Holm is likely to make her UFC debut at UFC 181: Hendricks vs. Lawler 2, December 6th in Las Vegas. While her opponent hasn’t been finalized yet, a fight against Russian scrapper Milana Dudieva was mentioned as being in the works.

However: Dudieva’s manager Anton Linder vaguely tweeted today that “other issues have occurred” which might prevent Holm vs. Dudieva from happening, and Dudieva herself clarified that the matchup is not official, so stop spreading rumors. We’ll update you when we know more.

Holm has been recovering from a broken arm that she sustained in her fifth-round TKO victory against Juliana Werner back in April. The win bumped Holm’s pro MMA record to 7-0 with six wins via KO/TKO. Dudieva most recently won her own UFC debut with an awfully controversial split-decision against Elizabeth Phillips at UFC Fight Night 48 in Macau. Dudieva would be a great “barometer for Holm’s ability,” if the fight really takes place. If not, the UFC will have to find another sacrificial lamb for Holm to devour.

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Frankie Edgar vs. Cub Swanson Set as UFC Fight Night 57 Main Event in Austin


(If you don’t want to see a fourth fight between these two warriors, you’re just not a real sociopath, bro. / Photo via Getty)

The UFC announced last night that a match between featherweight contenders Frankie Edgar and Cub Swanson will headline UFC Fight Night 57, November 22nd at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, TX. With both fighters in the top three according to the UFC’s rankings*, the winner could earn a title shot with an impressive performance.

Edgar has won his last two 145-pound appearances, most recently beating BJ Penn into retirement at the TUF 19 Finale in July. Swanson has won a solid six in a row, earning Fight of the Night bonuses for his last two wins against Dennis Siver and Jeremy Stevens.

UFC Fight Night 57 will also feature a lightweight bout between Bobby Green and Edson Barboza in the co-main event spot. The current lineup is after the jump…

* Lukewarm take: Frankie Edgar’s 2-1 record at featherweight shouldn’t put him close to the top five. I know that he was a former lightweight champ, and we all love Frankie, but his #3 ranking is inflated as hell. Dennis Bermudez is riding the longest win streak in UFC featherweight history and he’s all the way down at #7. What’s up with that, approved members of the UFC ranking body? And don’t give me any bullshit about “strength of schedule”: Edgar outpointed Charles Oliveira (okay) and smashed a totally depleted BJ Penn, and he’s #3? PUPPYPOOPING.JPG.

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Joe Riggs vs. Ben Saunders, John Moraga vs. Jussier Formiga Added to UFC on FOX 13


(“Help you with your squat technique, ma’am?“)

Two months after accidentally blasting a hole through his leg, welterweight veteran Joe Riggs has been rescheduled to make his Octagon return at UFC on FOX 13: Dos Santos vs. Miocic (December 13th, Phoenix). Riggs will face Ben “Killa B” Saunders in a booking that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that UFC matchmaker Joe Silva is a closet Bellator fan. Basically, this fight is for the unofficial Fight Master Season 2 certificate. The stakes literally couldn’t be higher.

Saunders was successful in his own UFC return in August, submitting Chris Heatherly with an omoplata — the first such finish in the promotion’s history — after a 7-3 run in Bellator. Riggs has yet to compete this year, but is riding a six-fight win streak. And in case you missed it, Joe Riggs says his recent near-death experience started when he brought a gun to his gym and his friend cocked it. To which we can only respond: Joe, that “friend” of yours is trying to kill you.

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UFC Booking Alert: Alistair Overeem vs. Stefan Struve, Lyoto Machida vs. CB Dollaway Added to December Cards


(“Whoooo…whoooo…whoooo wrecked another one of my goddamned parlays?” / Photo via instagram.com/alistairovereem)

With three knockout losses in his last four fights, Alistair Overeem has become almost the biggest bust in UFC history. But he’ll get at least one more chance to salvage his career later this year, when he faces fellow Dutch heavyweight Stefan Struve at UFC on FOX 13 (December 13th, Phoenix). UFC officials confirmed the booking yesterday.

Overeem was most recently spotted enjoying a private performance of Ben Rothwell’s celebratory jig, earlier this month at UFC Fight Night 50. Struve hasn’t competed since his jaw-breakin’ TKO loss to Mark Hunt back in March 2013. Since then, “Skyscraper” has been sidelined due to a heart condition. Struve was slated to face Matt Mitrione at UFC 175 in July, but fainted backstage before his fight and was not allowed to compete.

UFC on FOX 13 will also feature a win-or-get-fired lightweight bout between Jamie Varner and Drew Dober, and will “more than likely” host a heavyweight match between ex-champion Junior Dos Santos and highly regarded contender Stipe Miocic; we’ll let you know when that one is finalized.

UPDATE: And it’s finalized. Dos Santos vs. Miocic has been confirmed as the main event of UFC on FOX 13.

In other UFC booking news…

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Travis Browne vs. Brendan Schaub Added to UFC 181 in December


(I just went on Schaub’s twitter page to grab a recent photo of him. What I found…changed everything.)

UFC 181 (December 6th, Las Vegas) is already slated to feature Chris Weidman‘s middleweight title defense against Vitor Belfort, and a lightweight title fight between Anthony Pettis and Gilbert Melendez. If the UFC didn’t add a single other fight to this card, we would still begrudgingly hand over our money. (Don’t get any ideas, guys.) But luckily, a supporting bout between heavyweights Travis Browne and Brendan Schaub was just added today.

Browne most recently got his ass handed to him by Fabricio Werdum, who outstruck “Hapa” to a clear-cut unanimous decision victory at UFC on FOX 11 back in April. The loss snapped a streak of three consecutive first-round knockout wins for Browne, which he earned against Gabriel Gonzaga, Alistair Overeem, and Josh Barnett.

Schaub is coming off his own decision loss to Andrei Arlovski at UFC 174 in June — a fight so boring that they both should have lost. Before the Arlovski defeat, Schaub became the first UFC heavyweight to finish a fight by D’Arce choke, when he submitted Matt Mitrione at UFC 165.

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Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Jimi Manuwa Booked as UFC Fight Night 56 Main Event in Uberlandia, Brazil


(A classic Shogun moment, via WEIRD vidz. #trainy #eaty #sleepy)

The UFC confirmed over the weekend that a light-heavyweight battle between Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Jimi Manuwa will serve as the main event of UFC Fight Night 56, November 8th at the Ginásio Municipal Tancredo Neves in Uberlandia, Minas Gerais, Brazil. It will be the first UFC event held in Uberlandia, which is one of the most badass city-names I’ve ever heard.

Rua is coming off his third-round TKO loss to Dan Henderson in their rematch at UFC Fight Night 38 in March. The loss dropped Shogun’s overall UFC record to 6-7. On the bright side, all six of his wins in the Octagon have come by KO/TKO, which sort of makes him the Roy Nelson of the 205-pound division. Meanwhile, Jimi Manuwa suffered the first loss of his career at UFC Fight Night 37 when he was TKO’d by Alexander Gustafsson. In 15 professional matches, Manuwa has still never seen the third round of a fight.

UFC Fight Night 56 is also expected to feature a flyweight bout between John Lineker and Ian McCall, and a light-heavyweight meeting between Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante and Ovince St. Preux. In other words, it’ll feature the same kind of “Brazil vs. The World” theme as UFC 179: Aldo vs. Mendes 2, which takes place two weeks earlier in Rio. We’ll keep you posted as both cards continue to fill out.

Related: Shogun Rua’s Family Wants Him to Retire

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UFC 180 in Mexico Adds Dennis Bermudez vs. Ricardo Lamas, Diego Sanchez vs. Norman Parke + More


(Sanchez racks up some serious “Octagon control” points at UFC Fight Night 42 in June. / Photo via Getty)

UFC 180: Velasquez vs. Werdum (November 15th, Mexico City) is steadily adding an impressive lineup of Hispanic talent. The latest bookings on the PPV card include…

- Dennis Bermudez vs. Ricardo Lamas: Bermudez has won seven straight fights since becoming a finalist on TUF 14 — the longest win streak in UFC featherweight history. Coming off Performance of the Night-earning victories against Jimy Hettes and Clay Guida this year, Bermudez could clinch a title shot with a victory against Lamas, the former title challenger who bounced back to the win column with a decision over Hacran Dias in June. (Hispanic credentials: Bermudez is Puerto Rican-American; Lamas is half-Cuban, half-Mexican.)

- Diego Sanchez vs. Norman Parke: You know Sanchez as the old-school warrior who won his last fight against Ross Pearson via judges’ robbery, and hasn’t finished a fight in over six years. He’s already #4 on the significant strikes absorbed leaderboard, and will look to improve his position against Parke, the TUF Smashes lightweight winner who has yet to lose a fight in the Octagon, and most recently TKO’d Naoyuki Kotani in Dublin last month. (Hispanic credentials: Sanchez is Mexican-American, Parke is a white dude from Northern Ireland.)

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