Ariel Helwani was offering up all sorts of insider information on “UFC Tonight” Wednesday, including updates on champions Chris Weidman and Johny Hendricks.
Weidman was recently forced to postpone his planned title defense with Lyoto Machida to July after deciding on knee surgery. The UFC middleweight champion is expecting to be ready for the summer event.
“He’s in relatively good spirits. He’s been battling knee problems since high school. He’s had meniscal tears in both his knees since high school,” Helwani stated. “It’s something he’s been battling throughout his career. About every six months, the left one would get locked up. It just happened twice in the last week and swelled up and has been painful.
“So he decided get it cleaned up and get a scope of the left knee and while he was at it, he decided to get the right one cleaned out as well, which was operated on in high school. He’s having surgery on Tuesday.
“They’re anticipating a four-week recovery and don’t expect any problems to be ready for the fight on July 5.”
Hendricks, who won the welterweight title earlier this month, underwent surgery Monday on a torn bicep. He is targeting a return to action before the end of the year.
“He just had successful bicep surgery on Monday. He’s back home feeling good,” Helwani said. “He has a four-to-eight-week recovery and then right back to training, hoping to fight later this year.”
As for future fights, reports are circulating that Daniel Cormier will meet Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante on the same July card as Weidman-Machida, while Demian Maia will take on Mike Pierce in Brazil this May.
Chael Sonnen’s “love” for Wanderlei Silva could best be described as non-existent.
Since his feud with Anderson Silva years ago, Sonnen has made “The Axe Murderer” a target for his shots at Brazil and other Brazilian fighters.
With the contract signed for Sonnen and Silva to fight in May, he recently told Combate about a time during the filming of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3 where the show was almost forced to be cancelled.
“He is so stupid…I’m so embarrassed for him,” Sonnen said. “He is a player of checkers. This mean that, ladies, you have one move at a time. If you are a chess player, I have to guess what you will do after I do something and plan my next move. I have to be three-or-four moves ahead.
“Here he comes, oh my God, he’s so stupid, and I’m not trying to insult you, stupid is a word of truth, he comes and says, ‘If you do not apologize for everything I said about Brazil, this show (will) not go ahead.’ When I refused, all he could do was give up. Then he gave up and the show stopped.”
Sonnen added that UFC president Dana White was called in an attempt to get Silva back to filming.
“I had to beg him to return,” he added. “In the end, he called a taxi and the taxi (came). The producer had to stop him in the taxi and (bring him back).”
If Dan Henderson doesn’t get Lyoto Machida, another Brazilian is ready and willing to take him on inside the Octagon.
Fabio Maldonado, winner of three straight, is asking for the chance to face the future hall of famer.
“I’m a big fan of Dan Henderson,” he wrote on Twitter. “It would be an honor and a dream to fight him.”
Maldonado (21-6) scored a decision over Gian Villante this past weekend, the same card that featured Henderson finishing Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
After three straight losses, including a TKO defeat to Glover Teixeira, Maldonado has rebounded with decisions over Villante, Joey Beltran and Roger Hollett.
— Fabio Maldonado (@MaldonadoMMA) March 25, 2014
Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos displayed some Cain Velasquez-like ground-and-pound during a commercial for Samsung TV.
Dos Santos, who will meet Stipe Miocic later this year in a key heavyweight tilt, filmed the commercial centered around his anger after seeing his favorite soccer team lose.
The UFC has released the cast for season 19 of The Ultimate Fighter, which will feature former champions Frankie Edgar and BJ Penn as head coaches.
The first episode airs April 16 on FOX Sports 1 and will feature two hours of action. Thirty-one fighters have been announced, leaving one spot in one of the two tournaments – either middleweight or light heavyweight.
“Frankie Edgar is a guy who many believed should have fought at 145 pounds but fought at 155 pounds and beat everybody including BJ Penn – twice,” said UFC president Dana White. “This kid went from being a one-dimensional wrestler to having some of the best hands, knockouts and toe-to-toe wars.
“BJ Penn is one of the legends in the sport. He basically built the 155-pound division in the sport and had championship belts at 155 and 170 pounds. I can’t wait to see this third fight.”
Some of the more notable names include former Bellator champion Lyman Good, Irish prospect Cathal Pendred, Dhiego Lima and Nordine Taleb.
Taleb was actually a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia.
Below is the complete roster for the show:
Corey Anderson (3-0), 24, Lincoln, Ill.
Cathal Pendred (13-2), 26, Dublin, Ireland
Kelly Anundson (6-1), 29, Deerfield Beach, Fla.
John Poppie (3-1), 24, Ettrick, Wis.
Anton Berzin (3-1), 24, Philadelphia, Pa.
Doug Sparks (7-2), 31, Bloomington, Ind.
Josh Clark (7-2), 29, Richmond, Ky.
Daniel Spohn (8-3), 29, Columbus, Ohio
Chris Fields (8-4), 30, Dublin, Ireland
Joshua Stansbury (4-2), 29, East Liverpool, Ohio
Matthew Gabel (8-3), 28, Le Mars, Iowa
Ian Stephens (4-0), 25, Ringgold, Ga.
Lyman Good (15-3), 28, New York, N.Y.
Adam Stroup (5-1), 27, Denver, Colo.
Eddie Gordon (6-1), 29, Uniondale, N.Y.
Nordine Taleb (8-2), 32, Montreal, Canada
Jacob Heun (6-3), 26, Coconut Creek, Fla.
Hector Urbina (16-8), 26, Coconut Creek, Fla.
Mike King (5-0), 30, Naples, Fla.
Matt Van Buren (6-2), 27, Chula Vista, Calif.
Tyler King (7-1), 33, North Attleboro, Mass.
Bojan Velickovic (8-2), 33, Delray Beach, Fla.
Dhiego Lima (8-1), 33, Sugar Hill, Ga.
Daniel Vizcaya (7-2), 28, Aurora, Ill.
Adrian Miles (14-5), 30, Biloxi, Miss.
Patrick Walsh (4-1), 25, Stoughton, Mass.
Tyler Minton (5-1), 26, Johnson City, Tenn.
Tim Williams (8-1), 27, Millville, N.J.
Todd Monaghan (8-2), 31, Clinton, Iowa
Roger Zapata (5-1), 27, New York, N.Y.
Cody Mumma (5-1), 30, Henderson, Colo.