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Tag: UFC bookings

John Moraga vs. Darren Uyenoyama Flyweight Bout Added to UFC on FOX 9


(Stayin’ positive. / Photo via @chicanojohn)

You know a card is stacked when a guy who just fought for a world title is relegated to the prelims. (This and this come to mind.) But it looks like that will be the case for UFC flyweight contender John Moraga, who will return from his fifth-round armbar loss to Demetrious Johnson in a fight against Darren Uyenoyama at UFC on FOX 9: Pettis vs. Thomson (December 14th, Sacramento). The UFC recently confirmed the booking.

Moraga’s loss to Johnson snapped a seven-fight win streak and dropped his UFC record to 2-1 — the same promotional record as Uyenoyama, who was most recently TKO’d by Joseph Benavidez at UFC on FOX 7. Though we normally wouldn’t call a fight like this a “must win” (especially in the relatively shallow flyweight division), it’s becoming harder and harder to predict which fighters will be considered expendable by the UFC.

Moraga vs. Uyenoyama becomes the ninth matchup added to the action-packed UFC on FOX 9 lineup, which currently lacks any fights above 170 pounds. Check out the current fight card after the jump…

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Jon Jones vs. Glover Teixeira Targeted for February 2014 in New Jersey


(Don’t feel bad, Jon. There are insane, misguided women who would pay a lot of money for lips like those. / Photo via Getty)

No, there won’t be an immediate rematch of 2013′s Fight of the Year. UFC president Dana White confirmed to ESPN yesterday that Jon Jones‘s next light-heavyweight title defense will come against Brazilian contender Glover Teixeira. “That’s what the champ wants,” White said. “We’ll probably have that fight on the Super Bowl card in New Jersey.”

With Super Bowl XLVIII scheduled for February 2nd in East Rutherford, the Jones vs. Teixeira bout would go down the night before on February 1st, as per UFC tradition. Though White didn’t name a venue, it seems likely that the fight would take place at the Prudential Center in Newark, where Jones originally won his title from Mauricio “Shogun” Rua back in March 2011, and made his fifth title defense against Chael Sonnen earlier this year. (Hey, remember when we thought this event might happen at Madison Square Garden? That was pretty sweet. Let’s cross our fingers for 2015, guys.)

Undefeated for eight years and carrying a perfect 5-0 record in the UFC, Teixeira is clearly next in line on the light-heavyweight title ladder. The 33-year-old most recently TKO’d Ryan Bader in just under three minutes at UFC Fight Night 28, overwhelming Bader with strikes after being briefly staggered by the TUF 8 winner.

So where does this leave Alexander Gustafsson? Funny you should ask…

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Do-Or-Die Alert: Chris Leben and Uriah Hall to Fight for Their Jobs at UFC 168


(This fight happened exactly six years ago today. Time flies when you’re rough-neckin’.)

After UFC president Dana White completely buried Uriah Hall following his decision loss to John Howard in August, it was unclear if the TUF 17 finalist would be getting another shot in the Octagon. It turns out that he will — against another guy who’s one loss away from getting cut.

The UFC announced today that Hall will return at UFC 168: Weidman vs. Silva 2 (December 28th, Las Vegas) against eight-year UFC veteran Chris Leben, who has lost his last three outings, and hasn’t won a fight since his KO of Wanderlei Silva in July 2011. Leben is coming off a dull decision loss against Andrew Craig, which followed his dull decision loss against Derek Brunson. Any other fighter with the same run of failures both inside and outside the cage would have probably been cut by now. But Dana White has an almost inexplicable fondness for Leben, looking upon him like a wayward child.

“I’ve got to figure out what I think will be best for him,” White said following Leben’s loss to Craig. “I want Leben to get up everyday and be part of society and have to do something, whether it’s training or training other people, no matter what is. Chris Leben has the type of personality that can go off the deep very easily in a lot of negative ways. I really care about the kid. I like him a lot. I love him. So I’ve got to figure this thing out.”

And so, the decision has been made — one more fight for the Cat Smasher, who has earned the right to go out on his shield, and should maybe consider retiring directly after the fight if it doesn’t go his way. Any predictions?

In a related story, a featherweight bout between Dustin Poirier and TUF 14 winner Diego Brandao has also been added to UFC 168. Porier recently bounced back to the win column with an entertaining decision win against Erik Koch at UFC 164, while Brandao is riding a three-fight win streak, most recently earning a decision win against Daniel Pineda at UFC Fight Night 26.

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Barnburner Alert: Carlos Condit vs. Matt Brown Added to UFC on FOX 9


(You can’t really get a good look at Carlos’s face in this picture, but we imagine it looks something like this. / Photo via Getty)

Yet another potential slugfest has been added to the UFC on FOX 9 lineup. FOX Sports breaks the news that former UFC interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit will face Gritty Son-of-a-Bitch™ Matt Brown at the December 14th event.

Condit’s most recent appearance ended in a savage fourth-round TKO of Martin Kampmann, which snapped a two-fight losing streak. Meanwhile, Brown is on a six-fight win streak in the 170-pound division, with five of those wins ending by stoppage within the first two rounds.

While some Natural Born Killer fans might consider this a step backwards for Condit — who is currently listed as the #2 welterweight contender on the UFC’s official media rankings, compared to Brown all the way down at #10 — keep in mind that Condit specifically asked for this fight. “[Brown has] been on a tear, and it’d be really exciting for the fans,” Condit explained to MMAJunkie earlier this month. And so, Condit gets the fan-friendly matchup he wants, and Brown gets what he’s long been pleading for — a chance to prove that he’s an elite-level welterweight. Will he rise to the challenge?

UFC on FOX 9 will also feature the Anthony Pettis vs. Josh Thompson lightweight title fight, as well as Urijah Faber vs. Michael McDonald, Chad Mendes vs. Nik Lentz, Joe Lauzon vs. Mac Danzig, and Scott Jorgensen vs. Ian McCall. Sacramento, you really don’t deserve this much awesomeness.

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UFC Booking Update: Barnett vs. Browne Added to UFC 168, Mendes vs. Lentz Confirmed for UFC on FOX 9


(One of these days, Josh Barnett is going to choke to death on a peanut in a room full of people, and nobody will realize what’s going on until it’s too late. Everyone will just think, “There’s good ol’ Josh, threatening our lives again.” / Photo via Getty)

A clash between two top heavyweights has been added to the year-end blowout of UFC 168: Silva vs. Weidman (December 28th, Las Vegas). Sources close to the UFC have informed the Las Vegas Review Journal that crowd-pleasing veteran Josh Barnett will take on dangerous contender Travis Browne.

Both men are on two-fight win streaks, with Barnett most recently TKO’ing Frank Mir during his UFC homecoming last month at UFC 164, and Browne coming off his first-round knockouts of Gabriel Gonzaga and Alistair Overeem. The winner of this fight immediately stakes a claim to UFC heavyweight title contendership, assuming that the promotion won’t just have Velasquez and Dos Santos fight each other over and over and over again, forever.

Even though Barnett is just four years older than Browne, the two heavies represent a generational clash of the sport’s modern eras. Will Barnett big-brother the less-experienced Hapa, or will Browne’s new-school approach win the day?

In other booking news…

Ever since his unsuccessful featherweight title challenge against Jose Aldo in January 2012, Chad Mendes has been on a killing spree, scoring first-round stoppages of Cody McKenzie, Yaotzin Meza, and Darren Elkins, before upping the level of difficulty with a brilliant third-round TKO of Clay Guida last month at UFC 164. One more impressive win could earn the Team Alpha Male product another shot at the 145-pound belt, and he now has an opportunity to do just that.

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Anthony Pettis vs. Josh Thomson Booked for UFC on FOX 9 Title Fight, With TJ Grant Still Sidelined Due to Concussion


(Strikeforce neva die. WEC neva die. UFC doing best it can, under circumstances. Images via Getty/FOX Sports)

In July, a concussion suffered in training robbed UFC lightweight contender TJ Grant of his title shot against Benson Henderson. Grant was expected to return to action at UFC on FOX 9 (December 14th, Sacramento) against new champion Anthony Pettis, but news broke last night that the Canadian fighter has still not been medically cleared to compete. As Grant wrote on twitter:

Hey people. Quick update. Unfortunately I won’t be fighting Pettis on dec 14. I am still not yet 100% n can’t commit to fight. UFC is going with someone else instead. It sucks but it is the best for both myself and the UFC. Please don’t worry. Ill be back and if I gotta fight someone else to get back to where I wanna be then that’s what I’m gonna do. I’m not bitter. Thanks

The promotion confirmed shortly afterward that Pettis will remain on the UFC on FOX 9 card, defending his belt against Josh Thomson. It’s a somewhat unexpected choice, as Thomson’s TKO of Nate Diaz at UFC on FOX 7 represented his first victory in 13 months. Still, his performance against Diaz was extraordinary (“bitch-ass lady sounds” notwithstanding), and The Punk’s epic battles against Gilbert Melendez in Strikeforce always suggested that he might be a better fighter than rankings and records indicate.

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Loser Leaves Town Alert: Alistair Overeem vs. Frank Mir Booked for UFC 167


(“You mean Soa Palelei, right? No? Aw crap.” / Photo via Getty)

In what might be the most obvious win-or-get-fired match in UFC history, a bout between struggling heavyweights Alistair Overeem and Frank Mir has just been added to UFC 167: St. Pierre vs. Hendricks, the promotion’s 20th-anniversary show slated for November 16th in Las Vegas.

We’re less than a week removed from Mir’s first-round TKO loss to Josh Barnett at UFC 164 — which followed two previous losses to Daniel Cormier and Junior Dos Santos — and it seems almost cruel that the UFC will be throwing him back into the fire less than three months later…especially against an opponent who certainly carries the potential to beat him up. This ain’t exactly a rebound fight; it’s like the UFC’s accountants need to know by the end of the calendar year whether they’re keeping Murr on their ledgers or not.

Of course, Overeem finds himself in the exact same situation. The Dutch striker is 0-2 in the UFC since being forced to sit out most of 2012 due to a PED-related licensure suspension, and his job security was by no means guaranteed after he suffered his second-straight knockout loss against Travis Browne at UFC Fight Night 26. But with this booking, he’ll be given another chance to prove that he’s not one of the UFC’s biggest hype-busts of all time. Your predictions on this one? And how long before the loser shows up in Bellator?

Aside from the welterweight title fight main event and this latest heavyweight addition, UFC 167 will also feature Chael Sonnen vs. Rashad Evans, Rory MacDonald vs. Robbie Lawler, and Josh Koscheck vs. Tyron Woodley.

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U.S. Army Ranger vs. Filthy Bearded Hippie Added to ‘UFC Fight for the Troops 3′


(Look, you’re either with us or against us. / Colton Smith photo via kimurawear.com)

UFC officials have confirmed that a lightweight bout between TUF 16 winner Colton Smith (3-2) and TUF 15 winner Michael Chiesa (9-1) has been added to UFC Fight for the Troops 3, November 6th in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. On paper, the matchup might not blow your socks off — Smith is a methodical wrestler coming off a TKO loss to Robert Whittaker at UFC 160, while Chiesa suffered the first loss of his professional career when he was submitted by Jorge Masvidal at UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Moraga. It’s safe to say that title contention won’t be on the line, here.

However, there is some relevance to Colton Smith being booked for the event, as he’s an Army Ranger and an instructor of hand-to-hand Combatives at Fort Hood. Clearly, he’ll play the role of fan-favorite for the military crowd, especially considering that Chiesa looks like a propaganda cartoon making fun of a dirty, draft-dodging pacifist and possible dope-fiend. PUT THE BOOTS TO HIM, COLT.

UFC Fight for the Troops 3 will be headlined by American hero Tim Kennedy vs. disgusting piss-guzzling foreigner Lyoto Machida.

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Ranking the Newest Additions to the UFC ‘Fight for the Troops 3′ Card, By My Interest Level


(This photo of Ronny Markes was included to show Paulo Filho in happier times, and the shorts he bought at the Walmart across the street from this event when he realized he left his gym bag at home.)

Over the past twenty-four hours, ‘Fight for the Troops 3′ has seen several bouts added to a card that will be headlined by the middleweight debut of Lyoto Machida. Some of these fights are worth getting excited about (such as the Jorge Masvidal vs. Rustam Khabilov bout), while others, well, the Facebook preliminary card needs something, I guess. The following bouts are also set for the event, loosely arranged in order of how interesting they are on paper.

Nik Lentz vs. Dennis Bermudez – Lentz has been on a tear since dropping to featherweight, having won all three of his fights in the weight class. I guess I should also point out that he’s currently the #8 ranked featherweight in the UFC, in case it matters to anyone reading this. Bermudez, meanwhile, has won four in a row since being armbarred by Diego Brandao during the TUF 14 Finale – including a Fight of the Year candidate and a Submission of the Night earner at UFC 150.

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Lyoto Machida Drops to Middleweight to Face Tim Kennedy at ‘Fight for the Troops 3′


(Let me guess: Liquid diet?)

Lyoto Machida had a damn good run at light-heavyweight. The hard-to-touch karate fighter spent a year as the UFC’s 205-pound champion in 2009-2010, and has earned victories against Dan Henderson, Randy Couture, Rashad Evans, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Tito Ortiz, Ryan Bader, and Thiago Silva. If you’re keeping score, that’s five former world-champions, a TUF winner, and a weed-puffin’ juice-monkey. What other active LHW can claim that kind of resume, outside of Jon Jones himself?

But following a loss to Phil Davis earlier this month — which he blamed on Davis running away from him during the fight, oh irony of ironies — Machida will officially be testing the waters in a new weight class. UFC president Dana White announced last night on FOX Sports Live that Machida will be making the drop to middleweight, and will face Tim Kennedy in the main event of Fight for the Troops 3, November 6th at Fort Campbell in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Kennedy is on a two-fight win streak, most recently getting Roger Gracie fired at UFC 162, and will surely be the recipient of some totally-acceptable “USA!” chants during the match.

For Machida, the drop in weight is a logical step and long overdue. “The Dragon” has often showed up to weigh-ins under the 205-pound limit, most notably coming in four pounds under for his August 2012 fight against Ryan Bader, and three pounds under for his subsequent fight against Dan Henderson. In terms of height and reach, he’s not too much different from Nick Diaz, who he was rumored to fight until the UFC realized it was a bad idea. Fighting smaller opponents at 185 could jump-start Machida’s career, and put him on a new path to a title — as long as his longtime friend Anderson Silva doesn’t get in the way.

At this point, the only other match booked for Fight for the Troops 3 is the lightweight scrap between Jorge Masvidal and Rustam Khabilov. The two previous installments of Fight for the Troops helped raise over $8 million for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.

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