Liam McGeary gets new opponent for Bellator 173 main event
For the second week in a row, Bellator is forced to change a main event on short notice.
Days after pulling Fedor Emelianenko vs. Matt Mitrione from Bellator 172 due to illness, former Bellator light heavyweight champion Liam McGeary found himself without an opponent after Chris Fields suffered an undisclosed injury. Severe MMA first reported the news.
Headlining Friday’s Bellator 173 in Belfast, McGeary will now take on promotional newcomer Vladimir Filipovic, who enters the Bellator cage for the first time after winning eight of 10 professional bouts in Serbia and Russia, including six stoppages.
Top flyweight Kyoji Horiguchi signs with Rizin
Kyoji Horiguchi didn’t stay long in the open market, as the Japanese star has signed a new deal to return home and compete with Rizin Fighting Federation. Promoter Nobuyuki Sakakibara has announced the news on Monday, saying that the contract with the 26-year-old UFC contender has been finalized.
Daniel Spitz replaces Todd Duffee at UFC 209
An unbeaten heavyweight will get a chance to make his UFC debut as a short-notice replacement.
Daniel Spitz will meet Mark Godbeer at UFC 209 on March 4 in Las Vegas, MMA Fighting has learned. He’ll replace Todd Duffee, who had to pull out of the bout Thursday for undisclosed reasons.
Ranked light heavyweight Nikita Krylov released from UFC contract
The UFC light heavyweight division is down another man after Nikita Krylov was released from his contract with the organization this month.
Krylov (21-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC), a nine-fight veteran of the promotion, was let go in the wake of his most recent fight, a first-round submission loss to Misha Cirkunov at UFC 206 in December.
A UFC official confirmed Krylov’s release to MMAjunkie. He was removed from the latest version of the UFC official rankings on the promotion’s website.
White makes return of GSP official, discusses opponents and divisions
Former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre retired in 2013, citing the need to rest. He later expanded that to include concerns about doping in the league, among other points.
On July 1, 2015, the UFC instituted what is arguably the toughest anti-doping program in the sports world. And it time negotiations for the return of GSP commenced but apparently broke down over apparel sponsorship. The UFC is wedded to Reebok, and GSP has a deal with UnderArmor. At one point things got so bad St-Pierre reported that he was a free agent, which the UFC firmly denied. By October, UFC president Dana White said the relationship between the two had never been better.
But there was no contract.
Now UFC President Dana White has told Lance Pugmire for the LA Times that it is official, and discussed potential opponents.
“He’s back. I’m excited,” said White. “We worked at it for a long time and finally got it done.”
Cyborg granted retroactive TUE, cleared to fight
In December it was announced that Cris Cyborg Justino had an anti-doping test flagged. She tested positive for spironolactone, which is prohibited, with a potential one-year suspension. However, Cyborg was by all indications legitimately taking it under the care of an MD, to recover from weight cutting.
Earlier this month her attorney reported that she was applying for a retroactive Therapeutic Use Exemption. Now USADA has announced that the TUE has been granted.
Bibiano Fernandes re-signs with ONE Championship
Bibiano Fernandes is not going anywhere.
“The Flash” became a free agent after defending his ONE Championship belt in December, and decided to sign a new deal with the Asian promotion after getting offers from some of the top promotions in the world, Fernandes told MMA Fighting.
Sarah Kaufman meets Jessica-Rose Clark in South Korea
Sarah Kaufman has now an opponent for her first fight since her UFC run.
Earlier this month, MMA Fighting reported that the former Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion would be returning to MMA competition under new South Korean MMA promotion Battlefield Fighting Championship. On Thursday, MMA Fighting learned that Kaufman will be fighting Jessica-Rose Clark in a bantamweight contest.
Former title challenger Valerie Letourneau announces she’s no longer in the UFC
After suffering her third consecutive defeat, strawweight Valerie Letourneau’s days in the UFC are (at least for now) over. Letourneau announced the news to fans on her Instagram page.
Letourneau (8-6) debuted in the UFC in 2014, winning by split decision over Elizabeth Phillips at UFC 174 in a bantamweight bout. “Trouble” dropped down to strawweight, where wins over Jessica Rakoczy and Maryna Maroz netted her a title shot against Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 193 in November 2015. The Canadian lost to the reigning champion by unanimous decision.
Mark Godbeer says opponent Todd Duffee out of UFC 209 matchup
Mark Godbeer apparently needs a new opponent for next month’s UFC 209 event.
Godbeer (11-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) today announced fellow heavyweight Todd Duffee (9-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) has been forced out of the fight for undisclosed reasons. However, Godbeer said he expects to remain on the card and that a potential replacement has been contacted.
UFC officials and Duffee haven’t made a formal announcement, and of this morning, the fight is still listed on UFC.com.
Jenel Lausa vs. Magomed Bibulatov slated for UFC 210 in Buffalo
April’s UFC 210 lineup in New York has a new flyweight addition.
Jenel Lausa (7-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is slated to take on undefeated promotional newcomer Magomed Bibulatov (13-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at the event.
UFC 210 takes place April 8 at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.
Lausa, a 28-year-old Filipino fighter, made his UFC debut in November and scored a dominant unanimous-decision victory over Yao Zhikui. After a 2-2 start to his pro career in 2011, the former PXC champion has now won five consecutive fights.
After 2 odd UFC fights, Jarjis Danho meets Dmitry Poberezhets at UFC 211 in Dallas
May’s UFC 211 lineup has yet another heavyweight addition.
A matchup with Jarjis Danho (6-1-1 MMA, 0-1-1 UFC) and promotional newcomer Dmitry Poberezhets (24-5-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is now set for the card.
UFC 211 takes place May 13 at American Airlines Center in Dallas. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.