Cagewriter
  • (Getty)Alistair Overeem finally knows when he will return to the cage. The one-time Strikeforce heavyweight champ will fight fellow Strikeforce alumnus Antonio Silva at UFC 156 in February.

    Their bout is part of the UFC 156 card that already has Jose Aldo defending his featherweight belt against Frankie Edgar, Rashad Evans' bout with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, and Dan Henderson's return to the cage with Lyoto Machida.

    This will be Overeem's first fight in more than a year. After beating Brock Lesnar at UFC 141, Overeem was scheduled to fight Junior dos Santos for the heavyweight title in May. However, Overeem was denied a fight license by the state of Nevada after his testosterone levels were found to be out-of-whack. He is serving a suspension that will end Dec. 27.

    Though Overeem was hoping to fight dos Santos at UFC 155, the Dec. 29 card cut too close to the end of his suspension. Instead, Cain Velasquez is fighting dos Santos for the title.

    Silva most recently fought at UFC on FX 5, where he knocked out Travis Browne. Before that win, he lost to Velasquez and Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix champ Daniel Cormier.

    Read More »from Alistair Overeem will fight Antonio Silva at the UFC’s Super Bowl weekend card
  • Check out Tracy Lee's pictures from the UFC's trip to Macau. You'll see Cung Le's surprising knockout and celebration, Thiago Silva's big win and much more.

  • (Getty)

    Two of the UFC's free cards in December have been affected by training injuries.

    -- Eddie Yagin's UFC on Fox 5 bout with Dennis Siver is off because Yagin suffered a brain injury in training. According to MMA Weekly, Yagin is hospitalized for swelling in his brain. He became ill after practice, and went to the emergency room where doctors discovered the problem. Doctors expect swelling to go down without surgery.

    -- Anthony Perosh was supposed to fight Joey Beltran at UFC on FX 6 on Dec. 14 in Australian. However, Perosh suffered a toe injury so gruesome that I won't share the picture. (There's a search engine at the top of the page if you want to find it.) Now, Igor Pokrajac has stepped in and will fight Beltran.

    Read More »from Matchmaker, matchmaker: Injuries change December bouts
  • (Getty)Word came last week that UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva will be cageside for the welterweight championship bout between Georges St-Pierre and Carlos Condit. Assuming St-Pierre wins, could a staredown between Silva and GSP be the harbinger of a superfight between the two champs?

    Come on now. By now we know it's never that easy with Silva. Sometimes, he'll take a fight on short notice with a bigger fighter to save a card. Sometimes he adamantly refuses a fight. He has kept the fight world guessing for years. Why would he stop now?

    Silva told Brazilian outlet Tatame he doesn't want to return to the cage until the end of next year. He has non-fighting in the UFC business to attend to, including working on a new gym and filming a movie.

    If he does wait until late 2013 to fight, it means the middleweight belt will be on ice for more than a year. Silva's last middleweight fight was in July at UFC 148. Middleweight Michael Bisping has been pushing for a title shot for years, so he came up with a solution:

    Well, that's an interesting idea, Michael, but wrong fight. Bisping is fighting Vitor Belfort at UFC on FX 7 in Brazil in January. If Bisping wins, it will be just his second victory since losing to Chael Sonnen. Discounting Belfort's loss to Jon Jones since it was in another weight class, he still has just two wins since losing to Silva in his last title shot.

    Tim Boetsch and Chris Weidman are fighting at UFC 155. Weidman is undefeated and destroyed Mark Munoz in their July bout. Boetsch has not lost since he was submitted by Phil Davis in 2010. If the UFC wants to hand out interim belts, this is the fight that should be considered.

    Read More »from With Anderson Silva on a self-imposed shelf, should UFC give an interim belt?
  • A judge's view of the action. (Getty)There are hundreds of MMA fights around the country every weekend. Each fight needs qualified judges to score the action, but the growth of MMA means there aren't enough judges to go around.

    Over the weekend, I sat in on an MMA judging clinic by Association of Boxing Commissions-certified trainer Robert Hinds of Combat Consulting. (The ABC is the group that oversees the state commissions that administer MMA across the United States.) The clinic gives prospective judges to be a place to start their judging career, and several state commissions require certification from an event like the one I attended. Whether you want to be a judge or not, every MMA fan should know something about how winners and losers are chosen when fights go to decisions. Here is what you need to know:

    1. Judges look at result of the move, not the move itself. It's not about the takedown. It's about what happens from the takedown. It's not about the punch. It's about if the punch lands, and if it has an impact.

    2. Judges are not fans. If they are scoring as fans, they should be fired. Judges have to be dispassionate and objective in every fight they judge. If they are a fan of one fighter or another, they need to reconsider their job.

    3.Media, fans and promoters have no business comparing their score cards to those of judges. When I'm covering fights, I'm watching the fights, taking notes, tweeting and answering emails, text messages and instant messages. When fans watch the fights, they watch the fights, order beers, talk with friends, and check out the waitress who just delivered another plate of wings. When a promoter watches the fights, he or she is watching the fights, keeping an eye on the broadcast, dealing with inevitable problems on every fight card, and talking with fans and staff.

    Read More »from 10 things every MMA fan needs to know about judging
  • The UFC headed to Macau on Saturday, and Cung Le celebrated by knocking Rich Franklin out. Really out. Faceplant into the canvas out. Possibly out before he hit the ground out. Awkwardly falling to the ground out. See for yourself. The fight footage starts about 35 seconds in:

    After debuting in the UFC with a loss to Wanderlei Silva, 40-year-old Le has two straight wins. He wants to take off time before his next fight, because he went straight from his win over Patrick Cote in July to training for this fight. After his well-earned vacation, expect to see him against a tough opponent.

    Thiago Silva also had an impressive performance, submitting Stanislav Nedkov in the third round. (Skip to the 29-second mark for the submission.)

    Read More »from Watch Cung Le knock Rich Franklin out and more from UFC Macau
  • (Twitter)

    Before UFC Macau weigh-ins, main eventer Rich Franklin tempted his opponent, Cung Le, with chocolates. Nonetheless, both men made weight for Saturday's fights. However, one of the fights was canceled hours before the weigh-in.

    According to MMA Weekly, medical issues related to Hong Gyu Lim's weight cut forced doctors to keep him from fighting David Mitchell. Mitchell was paid his show money for the bout. Complete weigh-in results from MMA Junkie below:

    MAIN CARD (FUEL TV, 9 a.m. ET)
    •    Rich Franklin (185) vs. Cung Le (186)
    •    Stanislav Nedkov (203) vs. Thiago Silva (205)
    •    Dong Hyum Kim (170.5) vs. Paulo Thiago (169.5)
    •    Mac Danzig (155) vs. Takanori Gomi (155)
    •    Jon Tuck (156) vs. Tiequan Zhang (155)
    •    Jeff Hougland (135) vs. Takeya Mizugaki (135.5)
    PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook, 7:15 a.m. ET)
    •    Alex Caceres (136) vs. Motonobu Tezuka (135.5)
    •    John Lineker (126) vs. Yasuhiro Urushitani (125.5)
    •    Tom DeBlass (185) vs. Riki Fukuda (186)

    Consider this your open post to discuss Saturday's fights. Any predictions?

    Read More »from Cung Le vs. Rich Franklin official, but opening bout of UFC Macau canceled
  • rr140634597Lost in the hubbub over Ronda Rousey's admittance to the UFC last night was the fact that she's not the only woman who will be in the UFC. Unless Rousey will be fighting air or a man, she will need a female opponent.

    Miesha Tate, the only fighter to last more than a minute with Rousey, said on Twitter that she will be a part of the UFC.

    Read More »from Will Miesha Tate be Ronda Rousey’s first UFC opponent?
  • With Strikeforce set to fold, Ronda Rousey is set to invade the UFC (Getty Images)Multiple sources confirmed to Yahoo! Sports Thursday that Zuffa has reached a deal with Showtime to end the Strikeforce promotion sometime early in 2013, a move that will bring superstar Ronda Rousey into the UFC.

    Neither UFC president Dana White nor UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta could be reached for comment on Strikeforce's demise, which was first reported Thursday by TMZ. Chris DeBlasio, a spokesman for Showtime, which has broadcast Strikeforce events since 2009, declined comment.

    The plan is for the promotion to fold after a Jan. 12 card in Oklahoma City, in which all of the Strikeforce men's champions will defend their belts. A source stressed that nothing has been signed and, thus, things could change.

    That, however, appears unlikely, given the frequently rocky relationship between White and Showtime officials. Folding the promotion into the UFC would also follow Zuffa's pattern.

    Zuffa purchased Strikeforce from Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment in March 2011, reportedly for more than $40 million. Given that Zuffa had previously purchased competitors PRIDE, World Fighting Alliance and World Extreme Cagefighting and merged them into the UFC, speculation mounted almost instantly about Strikeforce's future.

    Strikeforce cards in September and November were canceled as the tensions between the sides heated.

    Read More »from Barring an unforeseen last-minute snag, Strikeforce to fold; Ronda Rousey and others headed to UFC
  • (Getty)

    A report from TMZ says Ronda Rousey, the Strikeforce bantamweight champion, will be one of the first two women to fight in the Octagon. According to the report, Rousey will defend her title in the UFC in 2013.

    Rousey has taken the fight world by storm since debuting as a pro in May of 2011. The 2008 Olympic bronze medalist in judo has six straight wins. All were first-round submissions. She has also reached levels of popularity only known to the most elite fighters. Rousey was on the cover of ESPN the Magazine's "Body Issue," and headlined two Strikeforce shows in 2012.

    An opponent has not been named, but a rematch with Miesha Tate or a grudge match with Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos are both possibilities.

    The other wrinkle to TMZ's report is that the Strikeforce show on Jan. 12 will be the promotion's last. As we mentioned Thursday, the January fights will have every male Strikeforce champion defend his belt, so it would be a fitting end to the promotion. With Rousey, one of their most bankable stars, headed to Strikeforce's sister company, there won't be many draws left.

    Read More »from Ronda Rousey reportedly to be the first female UFC fighter

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