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Tag: UFC bookings

Dong Hyun Kim vs. John Hathaway Booked for TUF China Finale Headliner; Menjivar vs. Hioki Win-or-Get-Fired Fight Also Added


(Kim’s Knockout of the Night-winning comeback KO of Erick Silva at UFC Fight Night 29 in October. / Video via FoxSports)

Coming off three consecutive victories against Paulo Thiago, Siyar Bahadurzada, and Erick Silva, South Korean welterweight Dong Hyun Kim is one of the most successful Asian fighters currently competing in the UFC. Naturally, the UFC has booked him to headline the TUF China Finale, which goes down March 1st at the CotaiArena in Macau. Kim will face British vet John Hathaway, who is riding his own three-fight win streak, although against somewhat weaker competition. Plus, Hathaway was inactive for all of 2013 due to ulcerative colitis, so yeah, this kind of feels like a squash match. The fight will be scheduled for five rounds; neither Kim nor Hathaway has ever competed in a five-rounder before.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the contender spectrum, TopMMANews is reporting that Hatsu Hioki and Ivan Menjivar will face off in a featherweight bout at the TUF China Finale that could end with the loser getting the axe. Once considered to be one of the greatest featherweights in the world, Hioki has struggled to find his footing in the UFC, and has lost three consecutive decisions to Ricardo Lamas, Clay Guida, and Darren Elkins. As for Menjivar, the “Pride of El Salvador” went 0-2 in 2013, dropping fights against Urijah Faber and Wilson Reis.

The TUF China Finale will stream live on UFC Fight Pass, that online subscription thing that the promotion has been hawking lately, which means that most of you probably won’t see these fights anyway. Personally, we’re going to hold off on signing up until we’re sure that the shy yoga instructor has been added to the card, hopefully in a match against Bobby Ologun. Make it happen, Mark.

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Here Are Some Awesome Fight Bookings for UFC 170 to Take Your Mind Off Silva’s Leg


(Photo via Getty)

Even though the dust and scattered bone chips have settled, we can’t help but think about Silva departing the cage on a stretcher and screaming.

If you’re anything like us, you want something to distract you from this horrible visual. Fortunately, Joe Silva provided the MMA world with some new food for thought in the form of two excellent bookings for UFC 170, taking place in Las Vegas on February 22nd.

First, Ronda Rousey will defend her women’s bantamweight title against fellow Olympian Sara McMann. This bout will main-event the PPV. Look for the UFC to work the Olympian vs. Olympian angle here, especially since the 2014 Winter Olympics coincide with UFC 170.

Rousey just dominated Miesha Tate at UFC 168 and refused to shake her hand after armbarring her a second time, cementing her role as a heel. She’s now 8-0.

McMann hasn’t fought since an easy TKO victory over Sheila Gaff back in April. Her record stands at 7-0.

Second, 21-0 Dagestani warrior Khabib Nurmagomedov will face his greatest test at UFC 170: Former Strikeforce

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Sergio Pettis vs. Alex Caceres Added to UFC on FOX 10 Card in January


(Photo by Jeff Bottari, via Getty)

After outpointing Will “The Thrill” Campuzano last month at UFC 167, undefeated bantamweight prodigy Sergio Pettis has been quickly booked for his second Octagon appearance — which will take place just ten weeks after his UFC debut. As first reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Pettis will compete at UFC on FOX 10: Henderson vs. Thomson (January 25th, Chicago) against Alex Caceres.

Though Caceres first became known for his wacky “Bruce Leroy” persona on TUF 12, the Miami-based former yard-fighter has developed into one of the most durable mid-level contenders in the UFC bantamweight division. If not for his weed-related no-contest earlier this year, Caceres would currently be on a three-fight win streak, with all wins by split-decision. (Four of Caceres’s last five fights ended in split-decision, which I guess makes him the Leonard Garcia of his generation.)

Pettis vs. Caceres becomes the 12th fight added to the Bendo vs. Punk card card — which also includes such notable scraps as Gonzaga vs. Miocic, Cerrone vs. Martins, and Rosholt vs. Oliynyk — though its exact placement on the lineup has yet to be announced. Shoot your predictions in the comments section, and swing by Fightland to read about the time Caceres trained with the real Bruce Leroy before his UFC debut, which turned out to be a terrible decision on every level.

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Ian McCall vs. Brad Pickett, Gunnar Nelson vs. Omari Akhmedov Added to UFC Fight Night 37 in London


(Clad in a ragged fedora and suspenders, ‘One Punch’ is the first sub-boss you encounter in the “England” level of Super UFC Bros. / Image via @MleegArt)

After pulling out of this weekend’s UFC on FOX 9 card due to injury, Ian McCall has been reassigned to UFC Fight Night 37: Gustafsson vs. Manuwa, March 8th at the O2 Arena in London. “Uncle Creepy” will face off against Brad “One Punch” Pickett, who is dropping to flyweight for the first time following a 3-3 UFC stint at bantamweight. The UFC confirmed the booking yesterday.

Though Pickett was never able to put together a long winning streak in the Octagon, his fan-friendly style has earned him four Fight of the Night bonuses and one Knockout of the Night bonus since 2011, totaling $270,000 in extra cash. His last appearance resulted in a triangle-choke loss to Michael McDonald, in a bout that won the FOTN award for UFC Fight Night 26: Shogun vs. Sonnen. Of course, McCall is no slouch himself when it comes to bonuses, with two Fight of the Night bumps in his four UFC appearances. So yeah, should be fun.

Also on the card…

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Slobberknocker Alert: Jared Rosholt vs. Oleksiy Oliynyk Added to UFC on FOX 10


(Suddenly, my American flag lapel pin feels very inadequate. / Rosholt portrait via Getty)

Now that Mark Hunt and Antonio Silva have made heavyweight slugfests cool again, we’re pleased to inform you that 9-1 prospect Jared Rosholt will face old-school Russian veteran Oleksiy Oliynyk (often referred to by the more-coherent spelling of Alexey Oleinik) at UFC on FOX 10: Henderson vs. Thomson, January 25th in Chicago. The UFC announced the booking over the weekend.

Rosholt won his Octagon debut on the TUF 18 Finale prelims, brawling his way to a unanimous decision victory against Walt Harris. Though he comes from a very decorated collegiate wrestling background at Oklahoma State University, Rosholt has preferred to stand and throw bombs thus far in his MMA career.

As for Oliynyk, he most recently caught our attention with his neck-crank submission of Mirko Cro Cop at Legend Fight Show 2 in Moscow last month. The win was Oliynyk’s ninth in a row (all by stoppage), including previous submissions of Jeff Monson, Tony Lopez, and Dion Staring. Overall, Oliynyk has compiled a record of 48-9-1 through 16 damn years of competition. He made his MMA debut when the sport still looked like this. He lost to Chael Sonnen in Bodog seven years ago. He was a YAMMA semi-finalist for God’s sake. And now, at the age of 36, he’s fighting in the UFC for the first time. Do you believe in miracles?

The current lineup for UFC on FOX 10 is after the jump…

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UFC Booking Alert: Rory MacDonald to Face Demian Maia at UFC 170


(If MacDonald’s fighting career doesn’t pan out, he can always get a job as a male model. / Photo via Getty.)

The UFC announced that welterweights Rory MacDonald and Demian Maia would face off at UFC 170 this February. They made the announcement when the MMA world was abuzz with talk about the stellar fight card taking place. You know, the one that hosted one of the most exciting main events ever? So the news didn’t really stick.

Maia is coming off a disappointing loss to Jake Shields at UFC Fight Night 29 back in October. He looked his age, 36, during the fight.

MacDonald recently had his hype train derailed by a resurgent Robbie Lawler at UFC 167, snapping a five-fight winning streak and presumably a fight with Georges St.Pierre.

MacDonald-Maia is good booking. The well-rounded MacDonald is an atrocious match-up for Maia—who has average striking and deficient takedowns. It’s clear that the UFC wants to get their 24-year-old, Canadian prospect back in “the mix” as soon as possible, and the best way to do that is give him a name opponent that he has a high chance of beating. They want to make him their next GSP sooner rather than later.

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Jon Jones vs. Glover Teixeira Re-Re-Booked for UFC 171, March 15th in Dallas


(“MR. JONES, MR. JONES, TELL US MORE ABOUT THIS ‘GATORADE’ DRINK. IS IT TRUE THAT IT QUENCHES THIRST *AND* RESTORES ELECTROLYTES?” / Photo via Getty)

Super Bowl weekend didn’t work. February 22nd didn’t work either. But we have a good feeling that the latest date for Jon Jones vs. Glover Teixeira is going to stick, you guys. As revealed by UFC press secretary Ariel Helwani on the latest episode of UFC Tonight, the impending light-heavyweight title fight has been scheduled to headline UFC 171, March 15th at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.

Though the UFC wanted Jones to return to action earlier, the champ couldn’t commit to a February date against Teixeira due to lingering injuries from his last fight, as well as the desire to spend Christmas with his family. As for Teixeira, he’s been twiddling his thumbs since his TKO win over Ryan Bader in September, but other than a bout of indigestion, the Brazilian slugger is ready to roll.

No other fights have been announced for UFC 171 yet, although there’s a rumor floating around that Daniel Cormier could make his light-heavyweight debut on the card against none other than Rashad Evans. We’ll keep you posted…

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UFC Fight Night 37 Booking Update: Ilir Latifi Is Back, Baby!


(Ilir’s the blurry guy getting punched. / Photo via Getty)

Swedish light-heavyweight Ilir Latifi — the UFC on FUEL 9 emergency fill-in who lost to Gegard Mousasi and still lacks a Wikipedia page nearly eight months later, for God’s sake — has finally booked his second fight in the Octagon. As confirmed by UFC officials yesterday, Latifi will return at UFC Fight Night 37: Gustafsson vs. Manuwa (March 8th, London) against French kickboxer Cyrille Diabate.

It’s not a booking that suggests the UFC has long-term plans for Latifi. Though Diabate is coming off a loss to Jimi Manuwa via injury TKO (mind bullets) in February, “The Snake” has racked up a respectable 4-3 record in the UFC overall, including first-round stoppages of Luiz Cane and Chad Griggs. In other words, Diabate should be a heavy favorite in this one, and Latifi’s permanent status as a trivia answer/punchline will likely be secure.

UFC Fight Night 37 will take place at London’s O2 Arena, and will mark the first event in the promotion’s 2014 European Tour.

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TUF 18 Finale Lineup Complete With Pena vs. Rakoczy, Modafferi vs. Pennington + More


(Jessica Rakoczy vs. Raquel Pennington full fight video, via TheUltimateFighterFX)

Assuming you had better things to do on Wednesday night, you probably missed the 13th and final episode of The Ultimate Fighter 18, in which Team Rousey dark horse Jessica Rakoczy fought through an injured shoulder to win a unanimous decision over Team Tate’s Raquel Pennington. (Now everybody pat Jared on the back for calling it.) Rakoczy, who came into this season with a rather stinky professional record of 1-3, now heads into the TUF 18 Finals against Julianna Pena. New prediction: Bruce Buffer will announce Rakoczy’s record as “4-3,” including her exhibition bouts on the show. Call it a hunch.

After Wednesday’s episode aired, the UFC released the full fight lineup for this Saturday’s TUF 18 Finale. Headlined by the lightweight grudge match between Nate Diaz and Gray Maynard, the main card will kick off with two bouts between female TUF 18 castmembers, including the Happy friggin’ Warrior herself. None of TUF 18‘s male castmembers made the cut, besides Chris Holdsworth and David Grant in the men’s final. Harsh, but fair, considering how badly some of these dudes embarrassed themselves.

Check out the full TUF 18 Finale lineup after the jump, and come back to CagePotato.com tomorrow night at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT for our liveblog of the main card.

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John Moraga Out of UFC on FOX 9, Replaced by Turkish Dude Named “Alp”


(Watch this video right now. We’ll explain later. Props: Gavin Halbert via MiddleEasy)

The injury curse that’s been plaguing UFC on FOX 9 (December 14th, Sacramento) has already claimed Anthony Pettis, Ian McCall, Kelvin Gastelum, and Jamie Varner, turning a once-loaded free show into a half-decent one that we’ll still watch because OMFG BROWN vs. CONDIT YOU GUYS. Today, we regretfully add one more body to the casualty list: Former flyweight title contender John Moraga, who has pulled out of his prelim match against Darren Uyenoyama due to an undisclosed injury that will sideline him for four weeks.

Stepping up on short notice to face Uyenoyama will be Alptekin “Alp” Ozkilic, an 8-1 native of Turkey who now trains out of St. Charles MMA in St. Peters, Missouri. Luckily, Ozkilic is more qualified to compete in the Octagon than some other people we could mention. His only career defeat came in a decision loss to current UFC flyweight Chico Camus in April 2012, and since then Alp has won three straight fights, including a 30-second TKO of former WEC mainstay Antonio Banuelos.

But it’s Ozkilic’s TKO of Josh “Shortstack” Robinson from February of this year that will surely become a viral-video sensation. Captured in the video above, we see Ozkilic on top, bashing Robinson with elbows. Then, in one of the dumbest displays of bravery absolute fucking stupidity we’ve ever seen, Robinson shouts “COME ON HIT ME YOU MOTHERFUCKER,” and Ozkilic happily obliges, laying into Robinson’s head with even harder elbows. There’s some controversy about what happens next. Robinson’s arms appear to go limp and the referee jumps in to stop the fight, but apparently Robinson wasn’t defending himself on purpose, and he immediately protests the stoppage. As Josh writes in the comments section on the YouTube video:

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