Guess who’s back? Last week I took a bit of a hiatus to bring you my UFC 98 preview which I hope you all enjoyed but now it’s time to get back to business. Let’s take a look at the latest news from the past two weeks in MMA. This week you get an extended issue of No News Barred 5/14-5/27/2009.
Three fights were confirmed for UFC 101 in Philadelphia this August. The title fight between Kenny Florian and BJ Penn has been officially signed. I can’t wait to see these two throw down and to see Kenny finally get another shot at the title.
Shane Nelson v. Aaron Riley has also been confirmed for that card. This is actually a rematch from UFC 96 back in March where where Nelson KO’d Riley inside of a minute. I don’t get the rematch but hopefully the finish will be as exciting no matter who wins.
Also announced for this card is that Thales Leites, coming off his disappointing title fight against Anderson Silva, will replace Rousimar Palhares in a fight against Alessio Sakara.
Two bouts have changed for the two cards the UFC is putting on next month. First up is Cheick Kongo will replace Heath Herring in his fight against Cain Velasquez. While these fighters are totally different both will provide a much stiffer test to the up and coming Velasquez and I can’t wait to see this fight.
One fight was scratched altogether from the TUF 9 Finale card. Both Anthony Johnson and Matt Brown had to pull out due to injury. This is very unfortunate as both fighters are promising young fighters and it probably would’ve been a good fight.
And last but not least I want to send a hearty congratulations to Lyoto Machida who won his UFC Light Heavyweight title fight this weekend at UFC 98 against Rashad Evans. He was obviously overcome with emotion and he is a deserving champion. Hopefully he has many more good fights ahead of him.
Strikeforce also had a big couple of weeks. First up was the inevitable cutting of Kimbo Slice from the roster. He has officially been released from his contract and will most likely leave MMA to pursue a boxing career. This was the best result for both sides as Slice became a side show and hurt the sport of MMA even with all the publicity he brought. And for Slice it was obvious he tired of MMA even before his loss and now he can move on with his life.
While Strikeforce cut one fighter they also brought in another. Nick Thompson will bring his 50 fights of experience into the cage further deepening Strikeforce’s talent pool. Thompson is a veteran of the UFC, Bodog Fight, World Victory Road, and EliteXC. He held the Bodog Fight Welterweight title.
Last but certainly not least, Strikeforce announced a huge addition to their June 6th card. Andrei Arlovski will take on Brett Rogers. There was a big question of who would step in to replace Alistair Overeem but I don’t think anyone saw this coming.
Arlovski did take part in a co-branded fight at the last EliteXC card between Affliction and EliteXC but it had been long thought that Arlovski would leave MMA for boxing, at least for the immediate future after his brutal KO loss to Fedor. This is a huge addition to the card and will be a big litmus test for Rogers. It will also be interesting to see how Arlovski responds after his last fight.
World Victory Road News:
WVR will return in August with Sengoku 9. So far four bouts have been confirmed. In their semifinals for the Featherweight Grand Prix we will see:
Hatsu Hioki v. Masanori Kanehara
Marlon Sandro v. Michihiro Omigawa
In two other announced fights Satoru Kitaoka will take on Mizuto Hirota and Kazuo Mizaki will fight Kazuhiro Nakamura.
At Bellator 7 Omar De La Cruz upset former UFC champion Dave Menne by TKO in the first round to move on to the Welterweight championship. Meeting him there will be Lyman Good who won his match by TKO in the second round. Also at Bellator 7 UFC Light Heavyweight Brandon Vera’s wife, Kerry, won her MMA debut.
Bobby Lashley moves to 3-0 with his win via Guillotine choke at MFC 21.
Last but not least Jay Hieron v. Paul Daley has been confirmed for Affliction’s third show tentatively scheduled for August.
That’s it for now folks. Stay tuned next week as I bring you the best in MMA news each and every week. Until then,
Enjoy the fights!
Tags: Aaron Riley, Affliction, alessio sakara, Alistair Overeem, Andrei Arlovski, Anthony Johnson, B.J. Penn, Bobby Lashley, Brandon Vera, Brett Rogers, Cain Velasquez, Cheick Kongo, EliteXC, Fedor Emelianenko, Hatsu Hioki, Heath Herring, Jay Hieron, Kenny Florian, Kimbo Slice, Lyman Good, Lyoto Machida, Marlon Sandro, Masanori Kanehara, Matt Brown, Michihiro Omigawa, Mixed Martial Arts, Mizuto Hirota, Nick Thompson, Paul Daley, Rashad Evans, Rousimar Palhares, Satoru Kitaoka, Strikeforce, Thales Leites, UFC, UFC 101, ufc 96, ufc 98, World Victory Road