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Tag: UFC bookings

Dan Henderson vs. Gegard Mousasi Set for UFC on FOX 14 Co-Headliner, January 24th in Sweden


(I suppose could try to come up with another funny caption to a Dan Henderson photo, but I’ll never top this one, so what’s the point? / Photo via Getty)

Alright…maybe UFC on FOX 14: Gustafsson vs. Johnson will be stadium-worthy after all. The UFC has announced that the January 24th event in Stockholm will be co-headlined by a middleweight bout between 44-year-old MMA legend Dan Henderson and 29-year-old veteran Gegard Mousasi. Somebody is going to get destroyed here, and it will most likely be Henderson. But I don’t judge people for their life choices like some people I know.

Henderson vs. Mousasi will mark Hendo’s first appearance at 185 pounds since his decision loss to Jake Shields at Strikeforce: Nashville waaaaay back in April 2010. Since returning to the UFC in 2011, Henderson has gone 2-4, with both of his wins coming against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. He most recently got flung around like a damn child by Daniel Cormier at UFC 173 in May — which was Henderson’s first fight off of testosterone replacement therapy, by the way.

Mousasi is 2-2 under the UFC banner, and most recently got guillotine choked by Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in the main event of UFC Fight Night 50 in September. Nevertheless, Sassy should come in as a strong favorite here. But all it takes is one well-timed H-bomb, right? Right? Please God, don’t let Dan Henderson’s retirement fight be in Stockholm. There’s something perversely un-American about that.

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Benson Henderson vs. Eddie Alvarez Booked as Co-Main Event for UFC Fight Night 59: McGregor vs. Siver


(Eddie Alvarez briefly turns Donald Cerrone into Karl Childers during their three-round war last month. / Photo via Getty)

As first reported by the Boston Herald, a lightweight bout between former UFC lightweight champ Benson Henderson and former Bellator lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez has been booked as the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 59: McGregor vs. Siver, January 18th at the TD Garden in Boston. And before you start complaining about how Bendo and Eddie shouldn’t be playing second bananas to a loud-mouthed Oirishmin, may I remind you that no other UFC fighter can pull off an ivory suit quite like this.

Henderson and Alvarez will both be looking to bounce back from recent defeats. Henderson is coming off his first-round knockout loss to Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC Fight Night 49 in August, while Alvarez was out-pointed by Donald Cerrone in his Octagon debut at UFC 178.

The Herald is also reporting two more interesting bookings for the 1/18 card…

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Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort, Ronda Rousey vs. Cat Zingano Confirmed for UFC 184 on Feb. 28th


(Surprisingly decent photoshop job via the MMAJunkie forums)

As confirmed earlier today by UFC president Dana White, Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort will indeed headline UFC 184, February 28th at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The date and location for the middleweight title fight has been rumored since last week, and Belfort let the cat out of the bag this afternoon.

White also announced that Ronda Rousey vs. Cat Zingano will now serve as the co-main event for UFC 184. The bantamweight title bout was originally slated as the co-main event for UFC 182: Jones vs. Cormier on January 3rd, but has been bumped back nearly two months for undisclosed reasons. Instead, the lightweight scrap between Donald Cerrone and Myles Jury has been confirmed as the UFC 182 co-main event.

UFC 184 will be the third time that a Ronda Rousey fight has supported a Chris Weidman main event on pay-per-view — following UFC 168: Weidman vs. Silva 2 in December 2013 and UFC 175: Weidman vs. Machida in July. It’s been a winning strategy so far, and we don’t expect that to change in February.

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Conor McGregor vs. Dennis Siver Booked for January UFC Event on FOX Sports 1 [UPDATED]


(“Moi suit is made otta 100% albino python. And moi shoes didn’t come from Payless, I can assure ya dat.” / Photo via Getty)

MMAJunkie is reporting that UFC featherweight star Conor McGregor is being targeted to fight fellow 145′er Dennis Siver at a yet-to-be-announced event on January 18th, which will take place at Boston’s TD Garden. Update: The UFC has confirmed the booking. From the Junkie report:

The Jan. 18 event, which falls on a Sunday, would follow the NFL’s NFC Championship Game on FOX and air on FOX Sports 1, sources close to the event told MMAjunkie. A lightweight matchup is already rumored for the event; according to FOX’s “UFC Tonight,” Donald Cerrone will face off with Myles Jury.

Fresh off his one-round whoopin’ of Dustin Poirier at UFC 178, McGregor will be in attendance at the featherweight title fight between Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes this Saturday at UFC 179 in Rio de Janeiro, just in case one of them slips in the tub. And while McGregor also just offered to fight the opponent-less Diego Sanchez at UFC 180, the UFC would rather have “Notorious” face somebody in his own weight class, pick up another win before challenging for the belt, and let’s face it, make them some more money in front of a pro-Irish crowd.

Siver most recently won a three-round war against non-wiki-fighter Charles Rosa at UFC Fight Night 53 earlier this month, which followed a PED-fail-related no-contest against Manny Gamburyan and a loss to Cub Swanson. Siver is a dangerous striker and very experienced, but is he a step up from Poirier? Nah, not really.

Crazy fact: The UFC now has Jon Jones, Ronda Rousey, Anderson Silva, Nick Diaz, and Conor McGregor all scheduled to fight in January. I can only draw one conclusion — the world is going to end in February, and the Zuffa top brass is hiding this information from the public while they prepare their escape from this doomed planet. #questioneverything

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Ronda Rousey vs. Cat Zingano Confirmed for ‘UFC 182: Jones vs. Cormier’ on Jan. 3


(Rousey hasn’t exactly been pushed to her limits lately. Will Cat Zingano change that?/ Photo via Getty)

UFC president Dana White confirmed last night that bantamweight star Ronda Rousey will defend her title against top contender Cat Zingano in the co-main event of UFC 182: Jones vs. Cormier, January 3rd in Las Vegas.

Rousey has been recovering from a fourth knee surgery, which followed her 16-second knockout of Alexis Davis at UFC 175 in July. Zingano recently returned from her own extended layoff due to a knee injury — which robbed her of the chance to be a coach on TUF 18 and fight Rousey last year — and TKO’d Amanda Nunes last month at UFC 178.

And so, the UFC will get off to a blazing start in 2015 with its two most high-profile champions (Jones and Rousey) fighting on the same card, followed by the must-see circus-fight between Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz in the same damn month at UFC 183. That’s the plan at least. We’ll see what the injury bug has to say about it…

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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 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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