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Tag: UFC fight booking

Tim Kennedy to Face the Only UFC Fighter He *Didn’t* Call Out Rafael Natal at ‘Fight For the Troops 3′

Matthew 7:7 states, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” The MMA career of Tim Kennedy, however, states, “Ask and all will be taken away from you and maybe replaced with something inferior.” Indeed, the extent to which Kennedy has been continuously screwed out of opportunities to fight upper level opponents is nothing short of bewildering. If it wasn’t his active military status nullifying his ability to secure a fight, it was Strikeforce’s inept matchmaking department or all the scared little bitches that made up their middleweight roster. And even when Kennedy was able to book a fight, his opponents were usually traded in and out like sex slaves at an Albanian brothel.

Most recently, Kennedy was finally given a shot at the big time when he was booked to welcome Lyoto Machida to the middleweight division in the main event of Fight For the Troops 3. That was until Michael Bisping injured his eye and was replaced by Machida against Mark Munoz. So what did Kennedy do in response? Call out every fighter in the middleweight division, the light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions, the women’s division, and various members of the MMA media via Twitter, of course.

Fortunately for Kennedy, the UFC was finally able to meet his “terrorist demands” and book him an opponent for the November card. Unfortunately for Kennedy, it’s the only guy he neglected call out on Twitter  (Ed note: Nevermind, turns out he called out Natal as well). Kennedy will now face Rafael “Sapo” Natal in what has to be the least intriguing main event matchup since Arlovski vs. Eilers at UFC 53. Hip hip hooray?

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TUF Winners Kelvin Gastelum and Court McGee Collide at UFC on FOX 9 in December


(Gastelum celebrates after beating the brakes off Brian Melancon at Fight Night 27. Photo via Getty Images) 

Earlier today, UFC officials announced that TUF winners Kelvin Gastelum (season 17) and Court McGee (season 11) have been booked to face one another at UFC on FOX 9: Pettis vs. Thomson. Featuring a pair of guaranteed barnburners in Carlos Condit vs. Matt Brown and Ian McCall vs. Scott Jorgensen, as well as Joe Lauzon vs. Mac Danzig and Chad Mendes vs. Nik Lentz, UFC on FOX 9 transpires at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento on December 14th.

The matchup is the latest in the long history of TUF winners fighting one another — the inaugural fight being Rashad Evans and Michael Bisping‘s headlining scrap at UFC 78: Validation. Did you forget about that fight? Because you are not alone, brother. Another fun fact: Of the 8 fights to take place between The Ultimate Fighter winners, just three of those fights have ended inside the distance (Danzig KO’d Joe Stevenson at UFC 124, Evans KO’d Griffin at UFC 92 and Robert Whittaker TKO’d Colton Smith at UFC 160).

What does this all mean? That McGee vs. Gastelum will likely go the distance. Unless Gastelum comes out like he did against Brian Melancon, in which case McGee is a dead man. Again.

Also recently booked for UFC on FOX 9…

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UFC Hoping to Book Grant vs. Pettis & Browne vs. Miocic at UFC on FOX 9, Faber vs. “Mayday” Already a Go


(“So then Frodo was all like ‘Give me back the ring!’ and I was all like ‘No way, dude!’ Anyways, long story short, the sumbitch burned me. He burned me bad.” Photo via Getty.)

After unveiling that the next season of The Ultimate Fighter would feature a head-scratching, perhaps even nonsensical coaching matchup, the UFC Tonight gang actually hinted at and/or confirmed a few matchups that fans might actually give two shits about. It’s called progress, you guys. All three of these fights are being pegged for UFC on FOX 9, which goes down in Sacramento, California on December 14th, so let’s start with the only matchup to be confirmed last night.

Currently riding an impressive three-fight win streak, Urijah Faber will be facing an incredibly tough challenge in Michael “Mayday” McDonald at the aforementioned event. Both men are coming off wins over Yuri Alcantara and Brad Pickett, respectively, at Fight Night: Sonnen vs. Shogun. Fun fact: This four fight stretch marks the longest Faber has gone without receiving a title shot of some kind (or defending a title) since his first five fights as a professional. Dude’s like the Mick Jagger of MMA.

In other, more tentative fight booking news…

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We’re Not Really Sure What to Think of Shogun Rua vs. James Te Huna, But It’s Happening Anyway


(Despite his best efforts, Te Huna was never able to turn his “Chimney Sweep” dance move into the Gangnam Style-level viral hit he had originally hoped for. Photo via graciemag.com)

According to the Daily Telegraph, former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio Rua and Australian contender James Te Huna have been booked to square off at the upcoming Fight Night 33: Hunt vs. Bigfoot, which goes down in Australia on December 6th.

The title says it all, really.

While this fight will likely turn into a slugfest rivaling Shogun’s scrap with Dan Henderson back at UFC 139 (let us not forget that Te Huna set a UFC record for significant strikes landed in a single round against Joey Beltran), it also reflects a somewhat significant step back in the career of Mauricio Rua. Not that Te Huna isn’t a great fighter — with 4 wins in his past 5 UFC contests, he surely is — but by pairing a legend like Rua with a relative unknown (by casual fans standards) like Te Huna, the UFC seems to be officially closing the book on Rua as a title contender.

With four losses in his past six contests and a career first two-fight skid coming at the hands of Alexander Gustafsson and Chael Sonnen, this is perhaps a revelation that we should have seen coming. However, for as long as we can remember, Rua has been one of the most intimidating forces in the sport, a perennial contender and a marquee fighter. To see him playing second fiddle to Antonio Silva (no offense) and fighting anyone less than a future title challenger or MMA megastar kind of erases, or at least blemishes, the mysticism that has existed around him for some time now. As did the fact that he was guillotined by Sonnen inside of a round in his last fight.

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Nate Diaz Gets His Rubber Match With Gray Maynard, Doesn’t Want a Rubber Match With Gray Maynard


(Word has it that Dana White responded to Diaz by telling him to “quit being such a fag and fight already.” Photo via Diaz’s twitter.)

Having suffered back-to-back defeats to Ben Henderson and Josh “Bitch Ass Lady Sounds” Thomson — the latter of which was the first TKO loss in his MMA career — you wouldn’t think that Nate Diaz would be in the position to start picking and choosing who he fights next. That is, after all, a right reserved exclusively for self-matchmaker extraordinaire Chael P. Sonnen. That Diaz was also recently fined and “suspended” for making offensive statements on Twitter* would further the belief that he should perhaps keep his nose to the grindstone for the time being, but a Diaz wants what a Diaz wants and that is usually weed or a fight they don’t deserve.

As such, when Nate found out he was once again being paired against Gray Maynard, he posted the above to his Twitter account. While it’s not that shocking that he would call out Pettis, it is shocking that a Diaz would seemingly turn down a fight against a guy who narrowly defeated him in their last contest. Or anyone, for that matter.

But as of this write up, Maynard and Diaz are still set to do battle at the TUF 18 Finale on November 30th. The fight will serve as a rubber match of sorts between the two, as Maynard was submitted by Diaz in an exhibition bout during the TUF 5 semifinals but went on to score a lackluster split decision over Diaz at UFC Fight Night 20 in 2010. So…advantage Diaz, we guess?

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Barnburner Alert: Rafael Cavalcante vs. Igor Pokrajac Joins ‘Fight Night 32: Belfort vs. Henderson’

Strikeforce Dan Henderson Rafael Feijao Cavalcante
(Feijao asks Dan Miragliotta to hold his hand while getting tattooed by Dan Henderson at Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson.)

Looks like it’s time to sound the do-or-die siren once again.

With a combined record of 3-4 2 NC since 2011 (both Feijao and Pokrajac’s UFC on FX 6 opponent, Joey Beltran, tested positive for PEDs last year), the UFC futures of Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante and Igor “The Duke” Pokrajac are on shaky ground to put it politely. While Feijao was trounced by Thiago Silva in his UFC debut at UFC on FUEL 10 in June, the Croatian has dropped 2 out of his last 3 contests. That being the case, the powerful and oft misunderstood Joe Silva has called upon these two gentlemen TO DO BATTLE.

*plays medieval trumpet, reads from scroll*

The winner shall receive the ultimate glory: a feast of carp, sloths, yams and breakfast cereals, as well as twenty thousand dollars cash. The loser shall be cast into Bellator purgatory forevermore. Tis a fate some consider worse than death, and other, humorless people oft lose their shit over when we joke about it.

Feijao vs. Pokrajac becomes just the third fight to join the UFC Fight Night 32: Belfort vs. Henderson card (along with the originally scheduled TUF Brazil finals match between Cezar Ferreira and Daniel Sarafian), which goes down on November 9th from somewhere in Brazil because Vitor Belfort is fighting. I know Dana White can’t see me, but I’m totally giving him the X-Pac Suck-It! gesture right now.

Who will be seeking new employment come November 10th, Potato Nation?

Fun facts: Cavalcante has never gone the distance in 15 contests and the Suck-It! gesture was originally a parody of Michael Buffer’s infamous “Let’s get ready to rumble!” catchphrase. Small world.

-J. Jones

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Thy Gangster’s Will Be Done: Chael Sonnen vs. Rashad Evans Set For UFC 167


(Further proof that Chael Sonnen is a direct descendant of Prometheus.) 

One of the most well known Bible verses is Matthew 6:10, which in the King James version reads: “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Although scholars believe that the verse was/is a plea for all of mankind to obey the will of God, recent evidence indicates that it was clearly describing the will of Chael P. Sonnen. For ye, whenever the “American Gangster” speaketh, so the UFC shall maketh it a reality.

Two days ago, we reported that the mushroom cloud of anger that Wanderlei Silva has become would have to wait until next year to rearrange Sonnen’s butt face (and to think, he coulda been in the NFL if it weren’t for his bum back). Being that Chael loves fighting more than Jack Donaghy loves negotiation, he figured he might as well keep busy while his (next) Brazilian nemesis recuperated by calling out his UFC Tonight co-worker Rashad Evans in “The Axe Murderer’s” place.

Which brings us to today’s announcement: The Oregonian will indeed be facing Evans at UFC 167, because shit happens when you were one half of the highest selling UFC PPV of all time. The event will mark the UFC’s 20th anniversary and will transpire at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on November 16th.

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McGregor, Brandao Agree to a Humdinger of a Hootenanny in Vegas at UFC 168


(Seriously, the similarities are un-f*cking-believable. Photo via Getty.)

Fresh off a one-sided beatdown of Max Holloway at UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen, it appears as if Irish phenom Conor McGregor has his next fight lined up already. Despite suffering a minor LCL sprain midway through the second round of his eventual unanimous decision victory, McGregor’s camp has insisted that the Irishman is fine and that he would prefer to fight on the UFC’s year end card, UFC 168: Silva vs. Weidman II. His coach, John Kavanagh, then proceeded to call out TUF 14 winner Diego Brandao, who in turn accepted the fight faster than Chael Sonnen on a sightseeing tour across Brazil. If “sights” were asses and “seeing” was kicking them, that is.

Being that McGregor spends his spare time speeding down the Vegas strip with The Baldfather himself, you can expect this matchup to be officially announced in a matter of days. SIXTY G’s BABAYYYYYYY!!

Brandao is also coming off a unanimous decision victory at the TD Garden, having bested Daniel Pineda on the Fight Night 26 undercard just two fights previous to McGregor’s aforementioned shellacking of Holloway. The victory improved “DB’s” record to 4-1 in the octagon, with three of those victories coming in his past three fights. It’s at this point that we should all probably start saying that McGregor is an overrated yadda yadda will be exposed yadda yadda you know the deal.
CP Prediction: McGregor by cardio.

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Rustam Khabilov Faces Jorge Masvidal at ‘Fight for the Troops 3′ as Brazilians Continue to Turn Down Fights


(When you see it, you’ll shit bricks. Photo via JiuJitsuMania.) 

It’s one thing when Vitor Belfort turns down an opponent — he’s a former champ, a legend in the game and the only guy who was willing to dive on the grenade against Jon Jones at UFC 152. He’s earned the right to turn down a fight every now and again, is what we’re saying. But Edson Barboza? We don’t care if had the greatest knockout of 2012; who the hell does this guy think he is, Vitor Belfort?!

What are we on about? We’re on about the fact that Barboza recently turned down a fight with Russian suplex machine Rustam Khabilov despite the fact that, you know, he shouldn’t really be in the position to do that. While head matchmaker Joe Silva would have ordered Barboza lashed to the breaking wheel for such insolence, lightweight & under matchmaker Sean Shelby is apparently more forgiving. As such, Khabilov will now face Jorge Masvidal — who is fresh off a 2nd round, buzzer-beater submission of the previously undefeated TUF 15 winner Michael Chiesa at UFC on FOX 8 — at “Fight for the Troops 3″ on November 6th. The matchup was announced last night on UFC Tonight. 

It’s understandable that Barboza would turn down a fight with a grappling powerhouse like Khabilov, however. As we all know to be 100% true with zero exceptions, strong wrestlers are kryptonite to Brazilians. Khabilov has finished both his UFC opponents in under three minutes via vicious takedowns and slams (Yancy Medeiros was lucky to walk away from that fight with just a thumb injury. Lucky.). And given how notorious Fight for the Troops cards are for somehow delivering even more carnage than the average card, let’s do a little MMA Math, shall we?

Scared Brazilian + Russian Suplex Machine + “Fight for the Troops” card >….

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Vitor Belfort vs. Tim Kennedy Off, Vitor Belfort vs. Chael Sonnen…On?

It’s become increasingly obvious that Vitor Belfort has taken a shining to beating up only the pastiest, whitest members of the middleweight division lately. Michael Bisping? Ghastly. Luke Rockhold? Surprisingly pale for a surfer, brah. Tim Kennedy also seemed to fit that bill, which made it all the more confusing when Belfort turned down the fight a couple days ago. But that’s what happened, as Kennedy officially broke the news that the fight was off on Twitter yesterday.

However, according to Ariel Helwani, Belfort has set his sights on yet another fair-skinned member of the middleweight division: Chael P. Sonnen.

Yes, even though Chael already has a headlining fight scheduled with Mauricio Rua at “Fight Night” in August — his last at light-heavyweight for the time being — he’s being called out by Belfort, specifically at a catchweight. It is…odd to say the least. Belfort(‘s wife) stated that he would only be accepting a title fight at middleweight next, yet he is preemptively calling out a guy (albeit at catchweight) who could potentially be on a three-fight losing streak?

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