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A welterweight battle has been added to UFC Pittsburgh, as Jonavin Webb (8-1, 0-1 UFC) is set to face Bryan Barberena (10-3, 1-1 UFC) in a 170-pound battle at the event.
Webb, who hails from New Jersey, was the welterweight champion for CFFC before making his UFC debut on short notice against Kyle Noke at UFC Fight Night 65 in May. “Spyder” dropped a split decision to Noke, and now looks to pick up his first UFC win fighting not far from home.
Undefeated promotional newcomer Joey Gomez has stepped in as a replacement at UFC Fight Night 81.
Gomez (6-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has replaced Patrick Williams (8-4 MMA, 1-1 UFC) and now meets bantamweight Rob Font (11-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) at the event.
UFC officials recently made the change to the official UFC.com fight card. Williams suffered an injury, according to nesn.com.
ONE Championship recently became the first MMA promotion to ban weight cutting by dehydration. CEO Victor Cui appeared on Fox Sports Asia to talk about the changes and how the fighters on the roster would be affected.
The reception to the ONE Championship announcement that fighters would be forced to fight at their normal weight was overwhelmingly positive. It did raise a number of questions, though; with many people speculating that the existing champions would be stripped of their titles.
On the last day of 2015, the UFC was given one last reminder of the injury bug that plagued the year.
As announced on UFC Europe’s Twitter, Jimi Manuwa (15-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) is injured and out of his UFC Fight Night 83 bout with Nikita Krylov (19-4 MMA, 4-2 UFC).
In what is supposed to be the final fight of his distinguished career, Manny Pacquiao will fight one last time, but against an opponent with which he is very familiar: Timothy Bradley. According to Dan Rafael of ESPN, Pacquiao and Bradley will face off on April 9 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The bout will air on HBO pay-per-view.
The April 9 bout will mark the third time Pacquiao and Bradley have faced one another. The pair first faced off in 2012 when Pacquiao dropped a controversial split decision to Bradley. They rematched in 2014, this time Pacquiao taking a clear cut unanimous decision victory. All three fights will have taken place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Pacquiao, 37, last fought this past May against the sport's top pound-for-pound star, Floyd Mayweather, in the most lucrative fight in boxing history. Pacquiao lost that contest via unanimous decision. His boxing record stands at 57-6-2.
The main card is set for next month’s RFA 34 event, which features a welterweight title fight.
As previously announced, RFA 34 takes place Jan. 15 at 1STBANK Center in Broomfield, Colo., and Benjamin Smith (15-3) and Bojan Velickovic (12-3) fight for the vacant 170-pound title in the main event.
The latest RFA 34 card includes:
Benjamin Smith vs. Bojan Velickovic – for vacant welterweight title
John Poppie vs. Adam Stroup
Jeremy Kimball vs. Cody Mumma
Zac Riley vs. Hugo Viana
Brian Camozzi vs. Tyler Milner
Cory Sandhagen vs. Andrew Tenneson
Next month’s CES MMA 32 event has a new title challenger, officials recently announced.
Rather than fighting Waylon Lowe (16-7), whom officials say suffered an injury, lightweight champion Luis Felix (14-8) takes on former Bellator fighter and replacement Ryan Sanders (9-7).
CES MMA 32 takes place Jan. 8 at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I. The main card airs on AXS TV.
The full RFA 32 card includes:
MAIN CARD (AXS TV, 9 p.m. ET)
Champ Luis Felix vs. Ryan Sanders – for lightweight title
Champ Gil de Freitas vs. Chris Curtis – for welterweight title
Josh Diekmann vs. Ashley Gooch
Kyle Bochniak vs. Taylor Trahan
Kody Nordby vs. Derek Shorey
Manny Bermudez vs. Evan Parker
PRELIMINARY CARD (Untelevised, 7 p.m. ET)
Rico DiSciullo vs. Chino Duran
Mak Kelleher vs. James Murrin
Pat McCrohan vs. Mike Rodriguez
Gary Balletto Jr. vs. Ryan Todd
David Baxter vs. Josh Ricci
Luay Ashkar vs. Nick Iaciofano
After a recent and quick title loss, Donald Cerrone says he’ll soon have his next fight. He also has a willing opponent.
Cerrone (28-7 MMA, 15-4 UFC) suffered a 66-second TKO loss to lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos (25-7 MMA, 14-5 UFC) earlier this month in UFC on FOX 17’s headliner.
On Tuesday, Cerrone, who snapped an eight-fight winning streak with the title loss, said he’s ready to fight again and that announcement will be made soon
Mansour Barnaoui will defend his 155-pound belt against Artiom Damkovsky at M-1 Challenge 64 on Feb. 19.
The promotion announced the pairing on Tuesday. M-1 Challenge 64 takes place at the Olympic Sports Complex in Moscow and also features a heavyweight title tilt between Alexander Volkov and Denis Smoldarev. The event is available via pay-per-view at M1GlobalTV.com.
The UFC has cut eight fighters from its roster, including light heavyweight veteran Fabio Maldonado.
A source close to the promotion told MMAFighting.com that the UFC has released Maldonado, Chico Camus, Kevin Souza, Ericka Almeida, Bubba Bush, Mickael Lebout, Vernon Ramos and Jumabieke Tuerxun from their contracts.
Sam Alvey is injured and out of his Feb. 21 UFC Fight Night 82 bout opposite Daniel Sarafian in Pittsburgh.
The 29-year-old fighter suffered a broken jaw after absorbing a head kick while training for the fight. The report initially surfaced on the MMA subreddit, /r/MMA, and MMAFighting.com has since confirmed the news with Alvey.
Less than two months after announcing a pay-per-view event in Rio de Janeiro on March 5, the UFC has decided to change plans.
Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva revealed the news on a conference call Tuesday, and MMAFighting.com confirmed it with sources close to the promotion.
"(The plan) was to have me fighting in Brazil against I don’t know who," Silva said, "but with this situation going on in Brazil, economically and everything, the UFC decided to abort this event for now."
Angela Hill has a new opponent for her Invicta debut.
The Ultimate Fighter alum will face Alida Gray at Invicta FC 15 on Jan. 16 in Costa Mesa, Calif., officials confirmed with MMA Fighting on Monday.
Hill was supposed to face top strawweight contender Jodie Esquibel. No comment was given on the reason why Esquibel has been pulled, but Esquibel has reportedly tried out for the next season of The Ultimate Fighter, which features 115-pound women.
Leading Polish promoter Konfrontacja Sztuk Walki on Monday announced that its first event of 2016 will feature a trio of championship bouts.
KSW 34 is scheduled to take place March 5 at Torwar Hall in Warsaw, marking the organization’s first show in Poland’s capital since KSW 26 in March 2014.
The show, which streams in its entirety on KSWTV.com, will be headlined by heavyweight champion Karol Bedorf defending his belt. The co-main event will feature light heavyweight champ Tomasz Narkun, while third billing goes to featherweight titlist Artur Sowinski. Opponents for the three champions have not yet been announced.
Robbie Lawler was just hanging out one day earlier this month when he got a few unsolicited calls. Everyone wanted to know how he got injured and if he was out of his fight with Carlos Condit at UFC 195.
"I got calls saying, 'Hey, are you hurt?'" Lawler said Monday on a media conference call. "[I said,] 'Um, no I'm just sitting here relaxing.' I just had no idea anything was going on, because I don't really get on social media much. So, maybe a couple days later I kind of figured it out."
With the rise of Conor McGregor and the crash of Ronda Rousey, 2015 was a record year for the UFC.
In an interview with CNN Money, UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta revealed that his company would “generate about $600 million in revenue for the year.” That’s not all profit, of course, and he wouldn’t reveal how much of it would be profit for the company, but it’s safe to say that 2015 was a great year for the company.
After an unsatisfying Octagon outing earlier this month, Kevin Casey will get straight back to work in the new year.
Ultimate Fighting Championship officials Monday announced that Casey will take on Rafael Natal in a middleweight attraction at next month’s UFC on Fox 18 in New Jersey.
Headlined by a light heavyweight duel between Anthony Johnson and Ryan Bader, the nationally televised show takes place Jan. 30 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
Rizin Fighting Federation 1: Day 1 Weigh-in Results:
Kazushi Sakuraba (171) vs. Shinya Aoki (169.75)
Satoshi Ishii (219) vs. Jiri Prochazka (211.5)
Goran Reljic (215) vs. Vadim Nemkov (219.5)
Teodoras Aukstuolis (216) vs. Bruno Henrique Cappelozza (218)
Muhammed Lawal (214) vs. Brett McDermott (215)
Yuta Uchida (209) vs. Valentin Moldavsky (215)
Hiroyuki Takaya (143) vs. Daiki Hata (143)
Hideo Tokoro (135) vs. Kizaemon Saiga (136)
A.J. Matthews (184) vs. Anatoly Tokov (185)
Yuki Motoya (125) vs. Felipe Efrain (128)
Kirill Sidelnikov (253) vs. Carlos Toyota (259)
Tsuyoshi Kosaka (220.5) vs. James Thompson (291)
Brennan Ward has fought on five separate occasions at the Mohegan Sun, not far from where he grew up in New London, Connecticut. He won four of those fights, and lost once to Tamdan McCrory. Each time he fights there he brings a good portion of New England in to root for him. It is always a Brennan Ward crowd when Bellator visits the Mohegan reservation.
The UFC had an historic year in 2015. From the highs of mega-events that caught the world’s attention to the lows of an overwhelming number of key fight cancellations, a lot unfolded over the past 12 months and 41 events.
Now that the year has come to a close, and with a major assist from FightMetric research analyst and live statistics producers Michael Carroll, here are some of 2015’s most significant milestones from the events, the fights and individual performances.