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fedor emelianenko

Spike TV announced Friday night that the return of Fedor Emelianenko will air on December 31 at 10 a.m. ET as part of three hours of coverage from Rizin’s New Year’s Eve event.

Emelianenko’s opponent has yet to be announced.

“Fedor’s return is receiving global attention, and we want to give our fans the chance to see it New Year’s Eve morning with minimal delay,” said Jon Slusser, Senior Vice President, Sports and Specials, Spike. “What better way to end the year than waking up with Fedor.”

Along with Emelianenko, Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal will take part in an eight-man tournament.

Spike TV’s broadcast will be on a short delay and air from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. ET with coverage from bouts on both New Year’s Eve and December 29.

Below is the complete press release sent out:

Spike TV is helping MMA fans ring out 2015 with a special late morning broadcast of the highly anticipated return of “The Last Emperor,” Fedor Emeliananko, to mixed martial arts on New Year’s Eve from Tokyo, Japan. Spike will begin its three-hour coverage of the Rizin World Fighting Grand-Prix at Thursday, December 31 at a special time of 10:00am ET/PT with the main event featuring the worldwide legend, Emelianenko. His opponent will be announced shortly.

“Fedor’s return is receiving global attention, and we want to give our fans the chance to see it New Year’s Eve morning with minimal delay,” said Jon Slusser, Senior Vice President, Sports and Specials, Spike. “What better way to end the year than waking up with Fedor.”

Emanating from the Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo, Japan, the MMA mega-event marks the debut of a Rizin World Fighting, a new global MMA promotion run by former Pride Founder Nobuyuki Sakakibara. The Grand-Prix includes a tournament and fights on December 29 and December 31.

Spike will broadcast the December 31 card on a short delay in the morning (10:00am-1:00pm ET/PT) along with coverage of marquee fights and highlights from bouts fought on December 29.

Bellator MMA will be among the worldwide combat sports organizations partnering with Rizin World Fighting for the Grand-Prix.

Bellator superstar King Mo will be part of the eight-man tournament that will begin on December 29. Details on the other participating fighters will be announced at a later date.

The MMA extravaganza also includes a catch-weight fight between Shinya Aoki and Kazushi Sakuraba along with Brazilian superstar Gabrielle Garcia, a jiu jitsu world champion, making her long-awaited MMA debut against pro wrestler “Queen of Rings” Lei’d Tapa.

The other organizations participating include BAMMA, KSW, Bushido, Jungle Fight, and Desert Force. Spike will be the U.S. broadcast home of the Rizin World Fighting Grand Prix and the event will be produced by Fuji Television Network. The announce team of Jimmy Smith and Sean Grande will call the action for the Spike broadcast.

Fedor Emelianenko last fought in June, 2012 and scored a first round KO over Pedro Rizzo. The Russian MMA superstar will look to repeat history on Dec 31 in Tokyo. In 2011, on New Year’s Eve, Fedor thrilled the Tokyo crowd with a punishing first round KO over Satoshi Ishii.

ufc on fox 18

Light heavyweights Anthony Johnson and Ryan Bader will collide in a title-eliminator this January at UFC on FOX 18, officials announced.

Set for January 30 from the Prudential Center in New Jersey, the main card airs live on FOX.

Johnson (20-5) and Bader (20-4) have gone back-and-forth through interviews and social media regarding a potential meeting. While Bader was hoping to be the next contender to the belt, he’ll instead face off against a former title challenger in “Rumble.”

After losing to Daniel Cormier in a bout to crown the new champion, Johnson rebounded in September to score his 11th UFC victory when he finished Jimi Manuwa. Bader, who topped Rashad Evans recently, sports a 13-4 Octagon mark and is a former Ultimate Fighter winner.

Along with the main event announcement, welterweights Tarec Saffiedine and Jake Ellenberger will also square off that night.

Below is the current lineup:

Light Heavyweight: Anthony Johnson vs. Ryan Bader

Welterweight: Tarec Saffiedine vs. Jake Ellenberger

Lightweight: Joaquim Silva vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier

Welterweight: Alexander Yakovlev vs. George Sullivan

Lightweight: Felipe Olivieri vs. Tony Martin

ufc fight night 80

Paige VanZant has heard all the talk about the UFC “babying” her career.

After officials paired VanZant up with Joanne Calderwood, the youngster was left without an opponent when Calderwood went down with an injury.

Now, VanZant takes on Rose Namajunas in the main event of UFC Fight Night 80. During a recent interview with Submission Radio, VanZant discussed the change in opponent.

“I think that anyone that knows anything about the Strawweight division, knows there’s only 30 athletes,” she said. “So once you’re in the Top-15, it’s very selective who you have fights with. So that’s why when we looked at a new opponent with Joanne, we had to find someone who either hadn’t just fought, or didn’t have a fight lined up already. That’s very hard. Rose just fought.

“So it’s awesome that she stepped up and she’s taking this fight. You know, and there isn’t enough girls in the division. But you have to take the fight that you’re offered, and so I’m gonna take every single fight the UFC offers me.”

VanZant was also asked about Sage Northcutt, another young prospect that will compete the same night on the all-Fight Pass card.

“It was great to meet him. I met him right after he stepped off the scales to weigh-in,” she said. “Super nice, very well spoken. I think he’s got a very, very bright future, and that’s going to be exciting to watch his uprising as well.

“We’re both young, we’re new generation and the new breed. It’s awesome to see another young person like myself being very successful in this sport.”

vitor belfort

For the third time in their legendary careers, Vitor Belfort and Dan Henderson will meet.

UFC Fight Night 77 takes place this Saturday night from the Ginasio do Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The main card airs live on FOX Sports 1.

Henderson scored a win in 2006 over Belfort, while “The Phenom” earned a first round knockout seven years later.

Also scheduled are Glover Teixeira vs. Patrick Cummins, Thomas Almeida vs. Anthony Birchak, Alex Oliveira vs. Piotr Hallmann, Gilbert Burns vs. Rashid Magomedov and Fabio Maldonado vs. Corey Anderson.

Prelim bouts air on FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Below is the current lineup, along with a video preview:

MAIN CARD (FOX Sports 1/10 p.m. ET)

Middleweight: Vitor Belfort vs. Dan Henderson

Light Heavyweight: Glover Teixeira vs. Patrick Cummins

Bantamweight: Thomas Almeida vs. Anthony Birchak

Lightweight: Alex Oliveira vs. Piotr Hallmann

Lightweight: Gilbert Burns vs. Rashid Magomedov

Light Heavyweight: Fabio Maldonado vs. Corey Anderson

PRELIMINARY CARD (FOX Sports 1/8 p.m. ET)

Lightweight: Gleison Tibau vs. Abel Trujillo

Lightweight: Johnny Case vs. Yan Cabral

Featherweight: Clay Guida vs. Thiago Tavares

Featherweight: Chas Skelly vs. Kevin Souza

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass/6:30 p.m. ET)

Welterweight: Viscardi Andrade vs. Gasan Umalatov

Bantamweight: Jimmie Rivera vs. Pedro Munhoz

Flyweight: Bruno Rodrigues vs. Matheus Nicolau

will brooks

Bellator returns to St. Louis this Friday night with Bellator 145: Vengeance.

Set for the Scottrade Center, the main card airs live on Spike TV with a pair of title fights.

In the main event, Patricio “Pitbull” Freire defends his featherweight belt against Daniel Straus, while Will Brooks puts his lightweight gold on the line against Marcin Held.

The remaining main card bouts include Emmanuel Sanchez vs. Justin Lawrence, Michael Chandler vs. David Rickels and Bobby Lashley vs. James Thompson.

Check out the current lineup, along with a video promo, below:

MAIN CARD (Spike TV/9 p.m. ET)

Bellator Featherweight Championship
Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (c) vs. Daniel Straus

Bellator Lightweight Championship
Will Brooks (c) vs. Marcin Held

Featherweight: Emmanuel Sanchez vs. Justin Lawrence

Lightweight: Michael Chandler vs. David Rickels

Heavyweight: Bobby Lashley vs. James Thompson

PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike.com/7 p.m. ET)

Heavyweight: Alex Huddleston vs. Augusto Sakai

Welterweight: Adam Cella vs. Chel Erwin-Davis

Lightweight: Garrett Gross vs. Luke Nelson

Lightweight: Steve Mann vs. Hugh Pulley

Lightweight: Vince Eazelle vs. Chris Heatherly

Welterweight: Kevin Engel vs. Kyle Kurtz

Heavyweight: Kain Royer vs. Clay Mitchell

Middleweight: Adam Meredith vs. Jordan Dowdy

Bantamweight: Scott Ettling vs. Garrett Mueller

Lightweight: Brandon Lowe vs. Rashard Lovelace

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