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vitor belfort

The UFC is planning to head to Japan later this year once again, and Gegard Mousasi wants on that card.

Mousasi, who topped Costas Philippou earlier this month to improve to 4-2 since joining the UFC, even has an opponent in mind.

Vitor Belfort.

Mousasi (37-5-2) is a former DREAM middleweight and light heavyweight champion. In fact, he was the last man to hold those titles. His last fight in Japan came in 2011 when he finished Hiroshi Izumi to defend his DREAM 205-pound belt.

Overall, Mousasi is 13-1 when fighting in Japan, including wins over Hector Lombard, Denis Kang, Mark Hunt and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza.

Belfort saw his three-fight win streak snapped by Chris Weidman for the UFC title recently. He previously competed for Pride in Japan.

wsof 22

The World Series of Fighting will go head-to-head with UFC 190 on August 1, bringing out the big guns for an event.

WSOF 22 will feature three world title fights, headlined by Rousimar Palhares defending his welterweight title against Jake Shields. The main card airs on NBC Sports Network at 11 p.m. ET from Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino.

Along with Palhares-Shields, Marlon Moraes defends his bantamweight title against Sheymon Moraes and Magomed Bibulatov faces Donavon Frelow for the flyweight crown.

“This is, in my opinion, the most incredible lineup of fights featuring marquee talent that WSOF has put together since we launched the company in 2012,” said WSOF president Ray Sefo. “We have a collection of highly competitive matchups with top-caliber superstars that have all made some kind of mark in the sport, and it should be a spectacular night of world-class combat.”

The event will also include the return of Tyrone Spong, as he takes on Mike Kyle, while Abubakar Nurmagomedov – the brother of UFC lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov – makes his WSOF debut.

One of the top leg lock specialists in MMA who has earned 11 of his 17 career wins using this method of submission, the 35-year-old Palhares (17-6) of Dores Do Indaia, Minas Gerais, Brazil, will enter the cage looking for his third straight victory under the WSOF banner and his fourth consecutive win overall.

In his first two WSOF starts, Palhares turned in back-to-back first round submission wins – the first over Steve Carl by way of inverted heel hook to claim the promotion’s welterweight strap, and the second over Jon Fitch via knee-bar.

Like Palhares, the 36-year-old Shields (31-7-1, 1 NC) is also seeking his third WSOF win in a row after defeating his last two opponents – Ryan Ford and Brian Foster – inside of one round of action by way of submission.

During his stellar, 16-year professional career, Shields, who held world titles with the now defunct promotions Strikeforce and EliteXC, has faced and defeated a long list of rival icons, including all-time great Dan Henderson, and superstars Robbie Lawler, Paul Daley and Tyron Woodley.

Since making his WSOF debut with a split-decision victory over superstar Miguel Torres on the promotion’s inaugural card, Moraes (14-4-1) has been unstoppable and earlier this year, the 27-year-old secured his ninth straight win with a unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Josh Hill.

The other Moraes has also been perfect since he jump-started his professional career with a unanimous decision win over Richard Medeiros. The 24-year-old, who has earned four of his seven career wins by way of (T)KO, made both his U.S. and promotional debut for WSOF, earning a split decision over Gabriel Solorio.

Bibulatov (9-0) of Grozny, Chechnya, Russia and Frelow (4-0) of Las Vegas represent two of MMA’s most heralded 125-pound prospects.

Bibulatov, whose first start for WSOF also represents his debut in the U.S., notched his ninth career win in March, scoring a first round (1:30) KO on Eduardo Felipe in Grozny. The 26-year-old’s most noteworthy achievement to date is his victory of a one-night, eight-man tournament when he defeated three consecutive opponents, including two by way of first round submission, to emerge the winner of the single-elimination affair.

Frelow is a 30-year-old member of Wanderlei Silva’s fight squad and a product of Las Vegas’ highly competitive amateur fight circuit where he amassed an overall record of 5-1 between 2011 and 2013, his only defeat being on the losing end of a split decision in May 2011. In his last appearance and WSOF debut, Frelow earned a unanimous decision over Taylor McCorriston.

After sustaining a broken leg in kickboxing competition in April 2014, Spong (2-0) will enter the cage for the first time since 2013 when he notched a unanimous decision over Angel DeAnda in WSOF action.

A three-time world kickboxing champion with over 80 career professional bouts in the sport, the 29-year-old former protégé of kickboxing legend “Mr. Perfect” Ernesto Hoost recently began pursuing a third combat sports career in professional boxing, as well, where he is a perfect 2-0 (1 KO), to date.

Kyle (21-12-1, 2 NC) is a battle-tested, heavy-handed finisher and member of Team AKA who has competed all over the world for numerous, major MMA promotions since he began his professional career in 2001.

The 35-year-old Kyle, who has earned 17 of his 21 professional career wins by way of (T)KO or submission, is coming off of a first round (1:56) submission (guillotine choke) victory over Baga Agaev.

Abubakar (9-1) of Makhachkala, Russia will make his much-anticipated debut on U.S. soil after inking a multi-fight agreement with WSOF in March. Nurmagomedov, who trains under his father, Abdulmanap at Khabib’s gym FightSpirit Team, is coming off of a first round TKO (punches).

Below is the current lineup:

WSOF Welterweight Championship
Rousimar Palhares (c) vs. Jake Shields

WSOF Bantamweight Championship
Marlon Moraes (c) vs. Sheymon Moraes

Inaugural WSOF Flyweight Championship
Magomed Bibulatov vs. Donavon Frelow

Tyrone Spong vs. Mike Pyle

Abkbakar Nurmagomedov vs. TBA

ufc fight night 67

The Octagon heads to Brazil to conclude May this Saturday night with UFC Fight Night 67.

In the main event, former interim UFC welterweight champion Carlos Condit returns from an extended layoff to take on Thiago Alves. The main card, and most of the prelims, air live on FOX Sports 1 from Goiana, Brazil.

Action starts at 7 p.m. ET on UFC Fight Pass before shifting over for the remainder of the night to FS1 at 8 p.m. ET.

Along with Condit-Alves, Nik Lentz meets Charles Oliveira and Alex Oliveira faces KJ Noons.

Check out the complete lineup below:

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

Welterweight: Carlos Condit vs. Thiago Alves

Featherweight: Nik Lentz vs. Charles Oliveira

Lightweight: Alex Oliveira vs. KJ Noons

Light Heavyweight: Ryan Jimmo vs. Francimar Barroso

Lightweight: Norman Parke vs. Francisco Trinaldo

Welterweight: Wendell Oliveira vs. Darren Till


Featherweight: Rony Jason vs. Damon Jackson

Flyweight: Jussier Formiga vs. Wilson Reis

Welterweight: Nicolas Darly vs. Elizeu Zaleski

Featherweight: Mirsad Bektic vs. Lucas Martins


Female Strawweight: Juliana Lima vs. Ericka Almeida

Welterweight: Tom Breese vs. Luiz Dutra

ufc 187

Former two-division UFC champion BJ Penn will be the fourth and final member of the 2015 UFC Hall of Fame class. The announcement was made during the prelims for UFC 187 Saturday night.

Penn is one of two people to hold UFC gold in multiple weight classes, as “The Prodigy” is a former lightweight and welterweight champion. He’ll go into the Modern Era wing.

He went unbeaten over an eight-plus-year run in the lightweight division, including a nine-fight unbeaten streak.

Penn joins Jeff Blatnik, Bas Rutten and the second Matt Hughes-Frank Trigg fight as inductees this year.

Below is the press release from the UFC:

UFC President Dana White said: “It is our honor to induct BJ Penn into the UFC Hall of Fame. He was one of those stars who helped build the UFC. When we bought this company, we were told no-one cared about lightweights. BJ Penn not only made people care, he was one of the biggest draws in UFC history. And what he accomplished inside the Octagon speaks for itself – he is one of only two people to win two UFC titles in two different divisions and he beat a who’s who of his era. He is a legend and a no-brainer for the UFC Hall of Fame.”

Born Jay Dee Penn on December 13, 1978, “Baby Jay” is believed to have earned a legitimate Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt faster than any practitioner of the martial art. He was awarded the honor by André Pederneiras in 2000, aged 20, less than three years after taking his first lesson. Penn validated his black belt status just weeks later, when he became the first American to ever win the black belt division of the World Jiu-Jitsu Championships.

Because of the speed of Penn’s achievements in BJJ, he was dubbed “The Prodigy” – a moniker which he carried into his MMA – and UFC – debut vs Joey Gilbert at UFC 31 on May 4, 2001.

“Nothing personal, I just want the belt,” Penn said after scoring a first round knockout.

The first UFC championship came at welterweight, when he choked out the previously unstoppable Matt Hughes in the opening round of their UFC 46, January 2004, clash. However, Penn never defended the title, spending the next two years competing outside of the UFC organization.

A truly fearless competitor who’s self-belief knew few boarders, Penn defeated both Renzo Gracie and Rodrigo Gracie in middleweight bouts outside of the UFC; he even took a 225lbs Lyoto Machida the distance in a heavyweight fight.

Whether inside or outside the Octagon®, Penn fought the best of the best and his scalp list includes luminaries like Caol Uno, Matt Serra and Takanori Gomi.

But it was his achievements in the UFC lightweight classes that Penn cemented his legacy as one of the very best of all time.

Upon returning to the division in 2007, Penn embarked on a three year reign of terror. He swiftly avenged his first career loss to Jens Pulver before winning the vacant 155lbs title with a one-sided beatdown of Joe Stevenson at UFC 80. In winning the title, Penn became only the second man to hold two UFC titles in two weight divisions. He then defended the belt against former champion Sean Sherk, and surging contenders Kenny Florian and Diego Sanchez in impressive fashion before finally losing the title to Frankie Edgar in 2010.

Along the way Penn also attempted to win back the UFC welterweight title, in a rematch of a very close and controversial fight vs Georges St-Pierre. The UFC 94, January 2009, main event was a rare UFC champion vs UFC champion superfight and one of the biggest fights of the decade.

Penn’s final win came in November 2010, at UFC 123, when he knocked out his great rival turned friend Matt Hughes in 21-seconds, winning their trilogy 2-1. Penn last competed one year ago, losing a somber fight against nemesis Frankie Edgar at International Fight Week 2014.

Now, 12 months later, Penn will be given the send-off his legendary career deserves.

What made Penn a perpetual pound-for-pounder was his unique combination of high-level BJJ, takedown defense, remarkable balance plus his supreme boxing skills. Even the most experience fight commentators marveled at the Hawaiian’s skill set; UFC broadcaster Joe Rogan once opinioned that Penn had more flexibility and dexterity in his legs than most good fighters had in their arms and, in 2008, famed boxing trainer Freddie Roach said Penn was the best boxer in MMA “by far.”

According to FightMetric, the official statistics provider to the UFC, Penn spent a total of 5-hours, 18-minutes and 7-seconds in the UFC Octagon, the second most of any UFC fighter. He landed 1,736 strikes in the UFC, the fourth most in organization history, with 1215 of them setting a lightweight division record. He landed with over half of his power shots and his takedown completion rate of 66.7% remains the most accurate in the UFC lightweight division.

vitor belfort

Two title fights highlighted the Memorial Day Weekend event that was UFC 187 Saturday night.

Daniel Cormier weathered an early storm from Anthony Johnson, relying on his Olympic-level wrestling in the second and third rounds to score a submission win over “Rumble” and become the new UFC light heavyweight champion.

The title had been declared vacant after Jon Jones was stripped of it following an alleged hit-and-run incident in New Mexico.

Following his title-winning performance, Cormier grabbed the microphone and delivered a stern message to the former champion, instructing him to get his “shit together” and that he’d be waiting for him.

It took Chris Weidman one takedown a less than a minute to put away Vitor Belfort in the co-main event, earning his third successful title defense vs. a former Brazilian champion. The reigning UFC middleweight champion took Belfort’s best shot early on, scoring with his patented power takedown and ending it in less than three minutes.

Weidman, unbeaten, has now downed Anderson Silva twice, Lyoto Machida and Belfort in succession.

Nothing Donald Cerrone did in the first round could make John Makdessi quit. In the second, though, “Cowboy” landed with another head-kick that broke the jaw of Makdessi, propelling him to his eighth straight win and fifth finish in the lightweight division.

Ex-UFC champion Andrei Arlovski and Travis Browne engaged in what might go down as the greatest round in heavyweight history, standing and banging for four minutes. After dropping Browne, Arlovski finished him with a flurry on the feet and earned a win over the third-ranked fighter.

In a battle of former UFC flyweight title contenders, it was Joseph Benavidez coming out on top, besting John Moraga via decision. Benavidez has now won three straight since a 2013 first round knockout loss to Demetrious Johnson for the title.

John Dodson made a triumphant return to the Octagon following surgery for a torn ACL, besting Zach Makovsky in a key flyweight contest via unanimous decision. Dong Hyun Kim, fighting for the first time since a 2014 loss to Tyron Woodley, choked out Josh Burkman.

Rafael Natal pulled out a split decision over Uriah Hall. The two came out like gangbusters against one another, but it was the wrestling of Natal that made the difference. Colby Covington was pushed to the distance for the first time since joining the UFC, besting veteran Mike Pyle.

Justin Scoggins kicked off the night with a hard-fought decision win over Josh Sampo, while Islam Makhachev had an impressive Octagon debut. The American Kickboxing Academy fighter scored a second round rear-naked choke on Leo Kuntz, who was also fighting for the first time with the UFC.

Arlovski and Browne claimed “Fight of the Night” honors, while Cormier and Weidman each earned “Performance of the Night” bonuses. The attendance for the card was announced at 12,615 with a live gate of $5,189,167.

Complete results can be found below:

Daniel Cormier def. Anthony Johnson via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:39 of Round 3 to become the new UFC light heavyweight champion

Chris Weidman def. Vitor Belfort via TKO (strikes) at 2:53 of Round 1 to retain the UFC middleweight championship

Donald Cerrone def. John Makdessi via TKO (strikes) at 4:44 of Round 2

Andrei Arlovski def. Travis Browne via TKO (strikes) at 4:41 of Round 1

Joseph Benavidez def. John Moraga via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

John Dodson def. Zach Makovsky via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Dong Hyun Kim def. Josh Burkman via submission (arm-triangle choke) at 2:13 of Round 3

Rafael Natal def. Uriah Hall via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Colby Covington def. Mike Pyle via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)

Islam Makhachev def. Leo Kuntz via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:38 of Round 2

Justin Scoggins def. Josh Sampo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

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