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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Somewhere between Randy Couture “miraculously” extending his career in the cage to Vitor Belfort transforming into a character in a cartoon about superheroes, the use of testosterone replacement therapy turned into a gigantic mess – a mess that has begun shaping the course of the sport. Gone are the days when a fighter getting busted for steroids in their urine sample is the worst thing that they could do. Now it’s all testosterone levels during training camps, and testosterone-usage exemptions and who can get them for which athletic commissions.
Well, the Association of Ringside Physicians (ARP) has had enough of that TRT crap, and they’ve released the following statement on the matter:
The incidence of hypogonadism requiring the use of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) in professional athletes is extraordinarily rare. Accordingly, the use of an anabolic steroid such as testosterone in a professional boxer or mixed martial artist is rarely justified. Steroid use of any type, including unmerited testosterone, significantly increases the safety and health risk to combat sports athletes and their opponents. TRT in a combat sports athlete may also create an unfair advantage contradictory to the integrity of sport. Consequently, the Association of Ringside Physicians supports the general elimination of therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) for testosterone replacement therapy.
It’s unclear just how much juice the ARP has – i.e., will their statement coming down against TRT actually lead to any sort of change? However, regardless of whether anything is changed, one thing is certain: the issue with TRT abuse is there and medical professionals see it. That’s got to count for something.
The Diaz brothers are the gifts that keep on giving. Take the younger Nate, for example. In response to Saturday night’s UFC on FOX 10 kerfluffle between Benson Henderson and Josh Thomson – which ended in a controversial, crappy split decision for “Bendo” – he took to social media to release… a statement? A reaction? A poem? I can’t for the life of me understand what this cat is trying to say, but it’s Nate Diaz, so does it really matter?
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“This might be it.” Those were the words uttered by top ten lightweight Josh Thomson at the postfight presser for UFC on FOX 10 – an event that saw him go five rounds with former champ Benson Henderson, and lose a controversial split decision.
Thanks to the keens ears of UFC commentators Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg, it was a fight filled with ever-increasing drama. After overhearing Thomson tell his corner that he’d broken his hand in Round 1, Rogan and Goldberg kept that fistic limitation in the forefront of viewers minds, punctuating each grappling exchange and each punch thrown with a reminder that Thomson was fighting while handicapped.
“I beat the former UFC champ with one hand, and that’s what pisses me off,” said Thomson after the event, and when he was pressed further about whether or not he truly wanted to retired, he could only respond with “I don’t know right now.”
Thomson’s career in the cage has been a lengthy one. He first saw action back in 2001, and in 2004 was fighting Yves Edwards in the Octagon to determine the who was the “unofficial lightweight champ” (the UFC was no longer booking fights in the 155-pound weight class, and wouldn’t again for years). Thomson eventually found gold in the Strikeforce Organization, and when the UFC absorbed that roster, he quickly established his place in the pecking order by destroying Nate Diaz at UFC on FOX 7.
“I was ranked number one or number two in the world in 2003… I have no regrets. This ride has been great.”
What’s next for Thomson in the immediate future? “Realistically, I’m just going to go home and talk with my family and my coaches, and then I’ll sit down and talk with Dana [White] and Joe [Silva] and Sean [Shelby], and we’ll see.”
Thomson fielded more questions on his future, and admitted that he loves the sport, loves being around it, and would love to work for FOX Sports – an avenue of employment that has become the brass ring for fighters like Brian Stann, Chael Sonnen and Kenny Florian.
Add Thomson: “Everyone needs to know when their time has come, and I’m not saying my time has come, but I don’t want to be that guy who stays until he’s dust.”