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Tag: UFC bookings

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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Demetrious Johnson vs. Chris Cariaso Booked for UFC 177 Co-Main Event


(Hell yeah bro, if you’re not psyched for this one you’re just not a real f-ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.)

As first reported by Yahoo!’s Kevin Iole, UFC 177: Dillashaw vs. Barao 2: Seriously? Already? (August 30th; Sacramento, CA) will also feature flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson facing challenger Chris Cariaso in the co-main event.

It’ll be a brisk 11-week turnaround for Johnson, who successfully made his fourth title-defense against Ali Bagautinov at UFC 174 last month, in spite of Bagautinov loading up on EPO during his training camp. [Ed. note: Mighty Mouse deserves some extra cash for that. Can the UFC institute a "Sorry We Made You Fight a Juicer" bonus?] Fun fact, via Iole: “Given that UFC 176 was canceled, Johnson will appear in two of the last three pay-per-view shows when he steps into the cage on Aug. 30.” And of course, Dillashaw and Barao will appear in two of the last four, since they previously got it on at UFC 173.

Chris Cariaso is just 4-2 as a flyweight, but has won his last three bouts against Iliarde Santos (0-3 UFC record), Danny Martinez (0-2 UFC record), and Louis Smolka (1-1 UFC record) — not exactly a murderer’s row of top competition. Fun fact, via me: The split-decision that Cariaso notched against Smolka represented the first time that Cariaso has ever appeared on a UFC main card, back in May at UFC Fight Night 40. And this guy is getting a title shot, because the UFC is struggling to fill out this pay-per-view card. Times are getting hard, boys.

And so, UFC 177′s buyrate has shot up from an estimated 95,000 buys to a solid 110,000 with the addition of Johnson/Cariaso. I kid the flyweights. Sort of. I mean, they’re awesome and everything, but good luck convincing paying customers of that.

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UFC Booking Roundup: Alistair Overeem vs. Ben Rothwell, Andrei Arlovski vs. Bigfoot Silva 2 Added to September Cards


(You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”)

Dana White might insist that he’s not trying to compete with Bellator on September 5th — but the UFC is making damn well sure that its Connecticut card will be worth watching. In addition to Gegard Mousasi vs. Ronaldo Souza 2 being confirmed as UFC Fight Night 50′s main event, the following matches have also been added to the FOX Sports 1 card…

- Alistair Overeem vs. Ben Rothwell: Coming off a redemptive win against Frank Mir in February and a layoff for elbow surgery, Overeem will take on fellow heavyweight Ben Rothwell, who will be competing for the first time since his August 2013 TKO of Brandon Vera and subsequent nine-month suspension for elevated testosterone. (Again, UFC Fight Night 50 is taking place on an Indian reservation, so Overeem and Rothwell probably won’t have to deal with any inconvenient random drug tests before the match.)

- Matt Mitrione vs. Derrick Lewis: Mitrione was supposed to compete at last weekend’s UFC 175 event until his opponent Stefan Struve collapsed in the locker room and was pulled at the last minute. “Meathead” has now been re-scheduled against Derrick Lewis — better known as “The Black Beast” — who has gone 2-0 in the Octagon so far, with both wins by first-round TKO. Lewis most recently finished Guto Inocente at the TUF 19 Finale. I smell a slugfest.

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Gegard Mousasi vs. Ronaldo Souza 2 Moved to UFC Fight Night 50 in Connecticut


(Jacare Souza, smiling like a man who clearly doesn’t remember getting upkicked in the face six years ago. Photo via Combate/Globo)

In the wake of UFC 176′s cancellation, scheduled co-main event fighter Gegard Mousasi posted the following on Facebook:

 

Mousasi later erased the post, but it was too late — the UFC responded to his sarcasm by reassigning his rematch with Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza to Fight Night 50, the September 5th card being held on an Indian reservation in Connecticut, ten miles away from a Bellator show.

To be honest, we doubt the UFC brass had any malicious intent with this booking, but it’s still a kick in the nuts to go from a pay-per-view event at the Staples Center to a Friday night FS1 card in Ledyard, CT. Mousasi vs. Souza hasn’t officially been named as the UFC Fight Night 50 main event, although that’s certainly a possibility, considering that the only other notable fight on the lineup right now is Joe Lauzon vs. Michael Chiesa. We’ll keep you posted.

Fun fact: UFC Fight Night 50 comes smack in the middle of an eight-week stretch that will feature 10 UFC events. So yeah. The eyes of the world will be watching.

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Miesha Tate vs. Rin Nakai in the Works for UFC Fight Night Japan in September


(…everything else is virtually identical. / Image via McKinley Noble)

In a matchup straight out of our darkest, most deranged fantasies, a fight between UFC bantamweight contender Miesha Tate and Japanese muscle-fetish sex symbol Rin Nakai is reportedly in the works for UFC Fight Night Japan: Hunt vs. Nelson, September 20th in Saitama. MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani first reported the bout on Wednesday’s edition of UFC Tonight, but clarified that it hasn’t been finalized yet.

Tate (14-5) recently earned her first win in the UFC, out-pointing Liz Carmouche at UFC on FOX 11 in April. Nakai (16-0-1) is an undefeated Queen of Pancrase — although the promotion has occasionally had to bend the rules to keep her impressive record intact. Random fact: Nakai’s height is listed at 5’1″, which makes her even shorter than John Dodson. We can’t wait for her first post-fight interview with Helwani.

Does anybody else feel like Tate vs. Nakai is a direct response to Bellator’s latest moves? I picture Joe Silva huddled on his laptop saying, “Oh, you think you can beat us on freak show fights, huh? We can do this all day, homie.”

After the jump: Videos of Rin Nakai working out topless — tastefully shot from behind — and bouncing on an exercise ball while giggling. #fitnessmotivation

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The Durkin Era Continues: Patrick Cummins to Make Quick Return Against Kyle Kingsbury at UFC on FOX 12 in July

The UFC knows when it has a hot commodity on its hands. And so, the promotion has booked light-heavyweight ex-barista Patrick “Durkin” Cummins to return at UFC on FOX 12: Lawler vs. Brown (July 26th, San Jose), just days after he ran through Roger “At Least He’s on Sherdog” Narvaez on the Fight Pass Prelim of UFC Fight Night 42. Total time between fights: Seven weeks, which is a little on the short side. Then again, UFC fans are currently in the throes of Durkinmania, and their appetite must be fed at all costs.

I’m sure you’ll tune into this one no matter who Cummins is fighting, but for the record, he’ll be taking on TUF 8 vet Kyle Kingsbury, who hasn’t competed since Jimi Manuwa shattered his orbital bone — and gave him his third consecutive loss — in September 2012. Though Kingsbu considered retirement after that rough patch, he confirmed last month that he’ll be returning to action in San Jose, where he currently trains. Too bad he’s being sacrificed to a GODDAMNED JUGGERNAUT.

We’ve been guilty of declaring “eras” a little prematurely around here, but I think it’s safe to say that we’re already living in the Durkin Era, and are rapidly approaching the Geological Epoch of Patrick Muthatruckin’ Durkins. Trust me, guys. Just watch it happen.

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Mark Hunt vs. Roy Nelson to Headline September UFC Fight Night Card in Japan (Yes!); Event to Air on Fight Pass (Crap!)


(“Ohhh, look at that. It’s like an ad for a f*ckin’ weight-loss center. Before, and *way* before.” / Photos via MMAJunkie)

After a month of rumors, it’s finally official: Heavyweight sluggers Mark Hunt and Roy Nelson will be trading bombs in the main event of UFC Fight Night 51, which is slated to take place September 20th at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

Hunt hasn’t competed since his Fight of the Year-candidate draw against Antonio Silva last December, which followed a TKO loss against Junior Dos Santos at UFC 160. Nelson is coming off his brain-rattling knockout win over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in April, which snapped a two-fight losing streak. Feel free to call this one “The Battle of the Bulge,” as long as you acknowledge that Hunt already made that joke.

The only drawback to this guaranteed slobberknocker is that the event is expected to air on Fight Pass, which means that most of us North American types won’t see it live, and will have to settle for the GIFs that hit the Internet later. Ah well. The Great and Powerful UFC has a plan, and we must always trust in it.

Your predictions, please.

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Hector Lombard vs. Dong Hyun Kim Booked for UFC Macau Show on August 23rd


(We’d like to formally retract that “Caribbean Jerk” comment. / Photo via @hectorlombard)

As reported on yesterday’s edition of UFC Tonight, a high-profile welterweight bout between Hector Lombard and Dong Hyun Kim is expected for an August 23rd UFC Fight Night show at the Cotai Arena in Macau, China.

Lombard is coming off a dominant decision win against Jake Shields at UFC 171 in March, which followed his first-round knockout of Nate Marquardt last October. Kim is riding a four-fight win streak, and most recently knocked out John Hathaway with a spinning back elbow at the TUF China Finale, which also took place at Macau’s Cotai Arena.

Though Lombard had been trying to build heat for a fight against Matt Brown, it seems that the UFC has other plans for “The Immortal” right now. What those plans are remain to be seen, although UFC president Dana White stated last night that he’d happily set up Brown vs. Nick Diaz if Diaz wanted it.

The 8/23 Fight Night show in Macau will likely be broadcast on UFC Fight Pass, and will take place the same day as a FOX Sports 1 card in Tulsa, Oklahoma, God help us.

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