“UFC Tonight” aired late Wednesday evening, providing several updates on current fighters.
In potential fight announcement news, plans are in place for heavyweights Roy Nelson and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira to square off sometime this summer in Abu Dhabi. UFC president Dana White recently confirmed an event for the country earlier this week.
Also, White offered a little more insight into what happened with recent Ultimate Fighter winner Julianna Pena, who was forced out of a scheduled fight. Pena suffered a torn ACL, MCL, LCL, meniscus and hamstring during a training session.
Pena, who defeated Jessica Rakoczy to become the first-ever female TUF winner, was set to square off with Jessica Andrade at UFC 171. She is looking at two years on the sidelines following surgery and rehab.
In other news tidbits, Frank Mir did not train at Jackson-Winkeljohn gym for this UFC 169 encounter this weekend with Alistair Overeem. Instead, the former UFC heavyweight champion brought up coaches from the gym to work with him at Las Vegas.
And finally, former UFC lightweight contender Gray Maynard is looking at returning to action in either May or June. “The Bully” has suffered three knockout defeats in his last four fights, including a November finish at the hands of Nate Diaz.
Below are video interviews with hosts Kenny Florian and Daniel Cormier talking with Saturday’s title contenders, Urijah Faber and Ricardo Lamas.
A lightweight scrap has been added to April’s The Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale card, as Evan Dunham takes on Mark Bocek.
Officials announced the bout Thursday for the April 16 event from Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. It joins three previously confirmed fights for that night, along with two finals in the TUF Nations tournaments.
Dunham (14-5) is just 1-3 in his last four, including his first-ever submission loss to Donald Cerrone last time out. Once viewed as a rising contender, Dunham hasn’t won since 2012.
Bocek (11-5) will be fighting in his native country of Canada. After a pair of wins over John Alessio and Nik Lentz, he was downed by Rafael dos Anjos in late 2012. Injuries have kept Bocek on the sidelines since.
Below is the current fight card:
Welterweight: Patrick Cote vs. Kyle Noke
Lightweight: Evan Dunham vs. Mark Bocek
Bantamweight: Mitch Gagnon vs. Tim Gorman
Lightweight: Sam Stout vs. KJ Noons
Two featherweights have been added to the April UFC 172 card, as Max Holloway takes on Andre Fili.
The event goes down April 26 from Baltimore and the Baltimore Arena. In the headliner, Jon Jones puts his UFC light heavyweight title on the line vs. Glover Teixeira.
Holloway (8-3) entered the UFC unbeaten, but has went just 4-3 since. The Hawaiian is coming off a “Knockout of the Night” performance in a win over Will Chope earlier this month.
Prior to that, Holloway dropped two straight fights to Conor McGregor and Dennis Bermudez.
Fili (13-1) scored a win over Jeremy Larsen in his Octagon debut last October. The Team Alpha Male fighter has won nine in a row, and sports one of the greatest nicknames in all of MMA with “Touchy.”
Below are the bouts announced to date:
UFC Light Heavyweight Championship
Jon Jones (c) vs. Glover Teixeira
Welterweight: Jake Ellenberger vs. Tarec Saffiedine
Lightweight: Joe Ellenberger vs. Yancy Medeiros
Featherweight: Andre Fili vs. Max Holloway
UFC officials have tabbed bantamweight Aljamain Sterling to replace Bryan Caraway at next month’s UFC 170 event.
Sterling will meet Lucas Martins at the card, which goes down February 22 from Las Vegas and the Mandalay Bay Events Center.
Caraway was forced out with an injury.
Sterling (8-0) is part of Serra-Longo Fight Team, which has also produced the likes of UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman and former Ultimate Fighter runner-up Al Iaquinta. He has won four of his fights via submission and comes from the CageFury Fighting Championships.
“Finally got my foot in the door,” Sterling posted on Twitter. “Thanks for all the support positive messages! This is only the beginning. Feb 22 is when I go to work!”
Martins (14-1) made his debut at bantamweight with a technical submission over Junior Hernandez in September.
Below is the current lineup for the night, which features UFC female bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey defending her title against Sara McMann.
MAIN CARD (PPV/10 p.m. ET)
UFC Female Bantamweight Championship
Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Sara McMann
Light Heavyweight: Rashad Evans vs. Daniel Cormier
Welterweight: Demian Maia vs. Rory MacDonald
Welterweight: Stephen Thompson vs. Robert Whittaker
Lightweight: Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Rustam Khabilov
PRELIMINARY CARD (FOX Sports 1/8 p.m. ET)
Female Bantamweight: Jessica Eye vs. Alexis Davis
Bantamweight: Raphael Assuncao vs. Francisco Rivera
Bantamweight: Lucas Martins vs. Aljamain Sterling
Welterweight: Mike Pyle vs. TJ Waldburger
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass/6:30 p.m. ET)
Flyweight: Zach Makovsky vs. Josh Sampo
Lightweight: Erik Koch vs. Rafaello Oliveira
Pat Barry has announced his retirement through a statement made by his management team, SuckerPunch Entertainment.
Barry, 34 years old, suffered his second straight knockout loss in December to Soa Palelei. He is 8-7 in his career, with seven knockout victories and four KO losses.
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