(Charles “Chainsaw” McCarthy, lookin’ svelte!)
— Contradicting earlier rumors that Michael Bisping‘s first opponent as a middleweight will be Evan Tanner, Sherdog is reporting that Bisping will face Charles McCarthy in London on March 8. Nicknamed “Captain Miserable” on the fourth season of The Ultimate Fighter, McCarthy’s last match was a submission victory over Gideon Ray in November 2006. With UFC 82 scheduled for March 1 in Columbus, this could mean that the Bisping/McCarthy bout is part of a UFC Fight Night card — or, the entire thing could be made up, which is always a possibility.
— Tim Sylvia has signed an agreement to face Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 81 for the vacant heavyweight title. The Fight Network also reports that Team Punishment heavyweight Justin McCully has been offered a match against Cheick Kongo, whose last fight was a decision victory over Mirko Cro Cop. If both fights happen, there could be three heavyweight bouts on UFC 81′s main card, including the featured bout of Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir.
— Yesterday, Rich Franklin claimed that he had never agreed to a fight in March — and made us all feel very guilty for spreading unconfirmed rumors. Well, other people are now saying that the rumored fight against Travis Lutter was legit, but Franklin had to pull out because of a knee injury, which will keep him out of the Octagon until June. Personally, we think it’s all an act, and Rich Franklin is just too scared to step into the cage with Lutter. I mean, did you see what the dude almost did to Anderson Silva?