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

Tag: UFC bookings

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.

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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Donald Cerrone vs. Bobby Green Booked for UFC 178 Co-Main Event


(Ready? He was *born* ready. / Photo via @CowboyCerrone)

In an attempt to add a little more sizzle to the deflated UFC 178 lineup, a lightweight match between perennial crowd-pleaser Donald Cerrone and streaking contender Bobby Green has been booked as the new co-main event for the September 27th “Johnson vs. Cariaso” pay-per-view. UFC officials confirmed the match last night.

Cerrone, who was rumored to fight Eddie Alvarez at the event after being momentarily booked to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov, has finished his last four opponents in the Octagon — earning $50,000 performance bonuses for each victory. “Cowboy” most recently knocked out Jim Miller in a wild two-rounder at UFC Fight Night 45 last month.

Green is a perfect 4-0 in the UFC since transferring from Strikeforce, and is riding an eight-fight win streak overall. The “hood” practitioner is coming off a split-decision victory against Josh Thomson at UFC on FOX 12, a fight we’ll mostly remember for how talkative he was.

Bobby Green was originally booked to face twitter-rival Jorge Masvidal at UFC 178, but in light of the new arrangement, Masvidal will face off against James Krause. I know, this is all getting confusing, so we’ve put the current UFC 178 lineup after the jump. It’s still pretty stacked, actually, even though the main event is only like the sixth-most interesting fight on the card.

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Polish Standout Jan Blachowicz Will Be Next Victim of ‘Latifi Era’ at UFC Fight Night 53 in Stockholm


(Whoa, he finally got a wikipedia page? WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?? / Photo via MMAnytt.se)

Highly regarded light-heavyweight Jan Blachowicz has become one of Poland’s greatest home-grown talents, with a 17-3 record competing almost exclusively for the KSW promotion. Blachowicz hasn’t competed since March 2013, but he’s currently riding a five-fight win streak, including decision wins over UFC veterans Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, Mario Miranda, Houston Alexander, and Goran Reljic.

Unfortunately, he’s about to get swallowed by the goddamned juggernaut that is Ilir “The Sledgehammer” Latifi. (Or Iliir Latifa, as it’s spelled traditionally.)

The UFC announced this morning that Blachowicz will make his Octagon debut against Latifi at UFC Fight Night 53, October 4th at the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden. (Only on Fight Pass!) Latifi is coming off a quick TKO of Chris Dempsey earlier this month, which came after his historic manhandling of Cyrille Diabate at UFC Fight Night 37 in March, in which no significant strikes were attempted by either fighter; Latifi won by guillotine choke after three minutes.

The fight marks Latifi’s return to competition in Sweden, following his unsuccessful UFC debut against Gegard Mousasi in April 2013. But true Latifi fans don’t really count that fight; the former non-wiki combatant was coming in to replace his training partner Alexander Gustafsson on short notice, and was unable to show us the real Latifi.

A main event for UFC Fight Night 53 hasn’t been announced yet. The current lineup is as follows…

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Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz Booked for UFC 183, January 31st in Las Vegas


(More arm-gestures than you’ve ever seen in a 25-minute fight…GUARANTEED. / Photos via MMAFighting, Getty)

Hold on to your asses, fight fans. The potential Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz superfight has just become a freakin’ reality.

UFC president Dana White just announced on Sportscenter that Silva vs. Diaz is now official (!) for January 31st in Las Vegas. The five-round fight will serve as the main event of the UFC 183 pay-per-view card, and will be held at middleweight. A venue for the card has yet to be announced.

We have very few other details right now, but here’s a photo of Dana and Anderson smiling together.

No other fights have been confirmed for UFC 183 at this point, not that it matters — they already have our money, damn it.

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Jose Aldo vs. Chad Mendes 2 Re-Booked for UFC 179, October 25th in Rio


(“Damn it, Chad. I told you the dress code was business casual.” / Photo via Getty)

Nearly three years after their first meeting, UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo and top contender Chad Mendes will get another chance to settle the age-old debate: “Who’s the real pussy?” UFC president Dana White confirmed Saturday night that their “postponed” featherweight title fight has been re-scheduled to headline UFC 179, October 25th in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

If you’ll recall, Aldo and Mendes were set for a rematch at UFC 176 in Los Angeles this coming weekend, but Aldo suffered a cervical spine injury in training, which led to the euthanization of that event. Now, Mendes has to face Aldo in Rio again — the same town where Aldo KO’d him in front of a very supportive crowd at UFC 142 back in January 2012. Kind of a bummer for Mendes.

No other fights for UFC 179 have been confirmed yet. The pay-per-view event will be held at the 12,000+ capacity Ginásio do Maracanãzinho, not the larger HSBC Arena, where the UFC’s four previous Rio PPVs were held. It’s unclear whether the Kings of Leon had anything to do with the venue change, although it should be mentioned that Aldo vs. Mendes 1 reportedly had the smallest paid attendance for an HSBC show (10,605).

We’ll keep you posted as the card fills up.

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Barnburner Alert: Donald Cerrone vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov Reportedly Booked for UFC 178 in September [UPDATE: GOD DAMN IT]


(Video related. / Self-props: The CP tumblr)

UPDATE: “20 minutes after Khabib-Cerrone fight was signed, Khabib blew his knee out and the fight is off UFC 178 card” — Kevin Iole. WHY MUST YOU MOCK US, GOD???

Feel free to stop reading at this point. An amazing fight was booked, and we were struck down for our hubris. End of story.

*****

According to a tweet by semi-retired MMA journalist Mike Chiappetta, lightweight gunslinger Donald Cerrone and Dagestani bear-wrestler Khabib Nurmagomedov will face off at UFC 178: Jones vs. Gustafsson 2, September 27th in Las Vegas.

Not only is it a fantastic matchup, it could potentially produce a title contender, as both men are currently hovering around the top of the 155-pound division. Cerrone’s knockout of Jim Miller on Wednesday was his fourth-straight victory, with all wins by stoppage (and all wins earning him a performance bonus).

Nurmagomedov is a perfect 6-0 in the UFC, and 22-0 (!) overall. He most recently out-pointed Rafael Dos Anjos in April, then decided to take the summer off due to Ramadan. After Cerrone’s win over Miller, Nurmy tweeted out the following:

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TUF 8 Winner Efrain Escudero Gets Another Ticket Back to UFC, Will Face Francisco Trinaldo


(My memory’s not so good…this was the TUF 8 lightweight final, right?)

If you put together a list of the most successful Ultimate Fighter winners in the show’s history, TUF 8‘s Efrain Escudero would definitely not be on that list. “Hecho in Mexico” has already bounced out of the promotion twice: First in 2010 when he blew weight by four pounds before a submission loss to Charles Oliveria, then in 2012 when he suffered back-to-back decision losses to Jacob Volkmann and Mac Danzig.

MMAFighting reported yesterday that Escudero will have a third crack at Octagon success, as he’s been brought back to fight Francisco “Massaranduba” Trinaldo at UFC Fight Night 51: Bigfoot vs. Arlovski 2, September 13th in Brasilia, Brazil. Trinaldo is a TUF Brazil 1 vet with a 4-3 official record in the UFC. He last competed at UFC 173, where he was dominated by Michael Chiesa en route to a decision loss.

Escudero most recently competed in May, where he TKO’d a person named Juha-Pekka Vainikainen in Sweden to win Superior Challenge’s lightweight belt. Before that, he lost a decision to former film-actor Dakota Cochrane, a guy who couldn’t even make it into the house on The Ultimate Fighter: Live. In other words, Escudero is currently riding a one-fight win streak.

The UFC needs as many warm bodies as it can get these days, which might explain Escudero’s new UFC contract. Will the re-signing of Travis Lutter be far behind? (Yes, yes, I know Lutter is retired, but I just couldn’t resist making a joke that lazy.)

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