Bay Area MMA Rolling Right Along

A stream for all things related to Bay Area and California mixed martial arts, follow along for updates as the region is represented by guys like Cain Velasquez, Urijah Faber and Nick Diaz. For more on MMA in general, go to Bloody Elbow.

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Daniel Cormier Vs. Frank Mir: Fight Likely For November 3rd In Oklahoma

The Strikeforce fight between Daniel Cormier and Frank Mir has been scheduled for November 3rd. Mookie Alexander of Bloody Elbow reports.

The heavyweight battle with former UFC champion Frank Mir (16-6) facing Strikeforce Grand Prix tournament winner Daniel Cormier (10-0) will take place Nov. 3 in Oklahoma, according to a Showtime source and sources in the Cormier camp.

Cormier fights out of American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, and this will definitely rank among one of the biggest fights in his career. Strikeforce is a San Jose-based promotion, despite being owned by Zuffa (which owns the UFC as well). He'll be fighting in a spot where he'll probably have home-crowd advantage in Oklahoma State, where he wrestled in college.

Cormier is 10-0 so far as an MMA fighter, and this is likely his last fight in Strikeforce before potentially making a move to the UFC. Cormier won his last match against Josh Barnett on May 19th, winning in an unanimous decision in a five round fight. Cormier broke his hand during that fight and has needed surgery, but it seems like he's ready enough tfor another bout in two months time.

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UFC 150 Henderson Vs. Edgar II: Jake Shields Has Been So Disappointing, Will That Change Saturday?

Being a Bay Area site doesn't necessarily mean each writer is totally devoted and a fan of each player/fighter/team in the region. In fact, SB Nation was built on quality fan coverage, and we proudly continue that here at our little regional. Now, given that the title references San Francisco's Jake Shields, you might think that this piece is going to hard on him ...

Well you're right.

Shields should not be 2-2 in the UFC, for one. He should be 1-3 at best, and there's still an argument for him being 0-4 when you really think about it, but let's not pile it on anymore than it actually needs. His run in Strikeforce was impressive, and his 15-fight win streak only included a couple no-name guys. Wins over guys like Dan Henderson and Jason Miller were certainly something to hang his hat on.

But when he came into the UFC, he took on Martin Kampmann, and was given a split decision victory. It's hard to see how Shields won that fight, given that he simply held a dominant position for portions of time mixed in with him getting the tar beat out of him. Kampmann fought a very stupid gameplan - something he's very prone to doing - so there's not a whole lot of sympathy, but Shields got a title shot based on a very poor performance.

And then of course, he lost that title fight, falling to unanimous decision to Georges St-Pierre. He won a round of that fight due to a major eye poke that shook GSP, but beyond that, there wasn't much else. His next fight was a 53-second TKO loss to Jake Ellenberger, so there's that. Then you get his fight against Yoshihiro Akiyama, which was basically a gimmie fight at this point.

Naturally, Shields won a very narrow decision in which many people thought Akiyama won on account of Shields not ... doing anything. Now, having not gone back to watch that fight since it was on, he gets a pass here. Let's call it 1-3 in our book. Now he's got a fight against Ed Herman at Middleweight.

It's unlikely he'll be cut if he loses to Herman but his time as a contender at any weight class is basically over if he doesn't come out victorious. Many of the bigger-named guys had to pass through Herman, such as Alan Belcher and Demian Maia. Even Kendall Grove had to get through him to get, you know, a UFC contract following TUF 3.

Rooting for someone to lose is a rare occurrence here. We're not going to be hoping Shields loses, we just wouldn't be surprised, given just how quickly he's flamed out since coming to the UFC. If Hector Lombard wasn't well on his way to the preliminary card, we'd be talking about Shields as potentially one of the biggest disappointments when it comes to hype and pedigree coming into the UFC.

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UFC 150: Henderson Vs. Edgar II Fight Card

The UFC will be looking to build on a very strong UFC On Fox event on Saturday when the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado plays host to UFC 150: Henderson vs. Edgar II. California and the Bay Area will have some solid representation on the card, mostly in the form of Jake Shields on the night's main card as he takes on Ed Herman.

Shields fights out of San Francisco and was one of the brightest spots in Bay Area MMA ... before coming to the UFC. Since then, he's arguably lost every fight, but what many consider to be two lucky breaks have him sitting at 2-2 since transitioning to the "big game" after his dominance as the Strikeforce Middleweight Champion.

When he came to the UFC, he competed at Welterweight, but judging by that 2-2 record, it's just not for him. So he'll be returning to the 185-pounds division on Saturday. Other California ties include Jared Hamman and Justin Lawrence on the night's preliminary card. Stay tuned for more preview information and things of that nature, but for now, here's the full fight card:

Main Card

Ben Henderson (16-2) vs. Frankie Edgar (14-2-1) [LW Title]
Donald Cerrone (18-4, 1 NC) vs. Melvin Guillard (30-10-2, 1 NC)
Jake Shields (27-6-1) vs. Ed Herman (20-8)
Yushin Okami (26-7) vs. Buddy Roberts (12-2)
Justin Lawrence (4-0) vs. Max Holloway (5-1)

Preliminary Card

Dennis Bermudez (8-3) vs. Tom Hayden (8-1)
Jared Hamman (13-4) vs. Michael Kuiper (11-1)
Ken Stone (11-3) vs. Erik Perez (11-4)
Dustin Pague (11-6) vs. Chico Camus (11-3)

Facebook card:

Nik Lentz (21-5-2, 1 NC) vs. Eiji Mitsuoka (18-8-2)

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UFC 149: Faber Vs. Barao Fight Card

For the third UFC event a row, we're going to have some solid California representation, if not direct Bay Area participation. We've taken to covering Northern and, at times, Southern California mixed martial arts in the past and that's going to continue. Perhaps the most popular California-based fighter period is Urijah Faber. At the very least, Faber has some of the most visible and outspoken fans.

The Sacramento-based and Isla Vista, CA-born Faber will be taking on Renan Barao for the Interim UFC Bantamweight Championship. The champion, Dominique Cruz, is out with an injury for an extended period of time, so Faber will be trying to show he's still got it against Barao, who many think is poised to dominate for years to come.

Outside of that, Faber's teammate at Team Alpha Male, Bryan Caraway, will be in action. He's fighting out of Sacramento with Faber, while Court McGee fights out of San Diego, CA. Lastly, Francisco Rivera was born in Whittier, CA and fights out of Buena Park, CA. Below, we've got the full fight card for your perusal.

Main Card

Renan Barao (28-1, 1 NC) vs. Urijah Faber (26-5)
Hector Lombard (31-2-1, 1 NC) vs. Tim Boetsch (15-4)
Shawn Jordan (13-3) vs. Cheick Kongo (17-7-2)
James Head (8-2) vs. Brian Ebersole (50-14-1, 1 NC)
Matt Riddle (6-3) vs. Chris Clements (11-4)

Preliminary Card (FX)

Nick Ring (12-1) vs. Court McGee (13-2)
Roland Delorme (8-1) vs. Francisco Rivera (8-2)
Ryan Jimmo (16-1) vs. Anthony Perosh (13-6)
Bryan Caraway (16-5) vs. Mitch Gagnon (9-1)

Preliminary Card (Facebook)

Mitch Clarke (9-1) vs. Anton Kuivanen (16-5)
Daniel Pineda (17-8) vs. Antonio Carvalho (13-5)

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Strikeforce Results: Luke Rockhold Defeats Tim Kennedy Via Unanimous DecisionTo Retain Middleweight Title

Saturday night's Strikeforce event in Portland was capped off by Bay Area fighter Luke Rockhold continuing his impressive and dominating streak by retaining his middleweight title in a fight against Tim Kennedy.

Kennedy had his best chance in the first inning, as he scored a big slam and takedown with less than two minutes left. Throughout the fight, Kennedy was unable to match Rockhold's grappling game and was unable to sink in anything definitive when he had the advantage. Rockhold scored a big knockdown in the fourth round and while the standup was evenly matched and largely unimpressive, Rockhold was visibly pressing the attack throughout the fight. The bout went to the judges, who ruled unanimously in favor of the champ, 49-46, 49-46, 49-46.

In the first match on the main card, Lorenz Larkin defeated San Diego fighter Robbie Lawler by unanimous decision, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27. Larkin dominated and this was a big win for him.

Roger Gracie also picked up a win by unanimous decision against Keith Jardine, who is close to being washed up at this point. Gracie totally dominated the first two rounds before getting rocked by a desperate Jardine in the final round. To Gracie's credit, he weathered the storm and looked hard to put away.

In the possible fight of the night, Nate Marquardt and Tyron Woodley swung for the fences against one another for four round in a fight for the welterweight championship before Marquardt was able to knock Woodley out cold against the cage. Marquardt looked like the confident and experienced veteran here, patiently stalking Woodley until being able to land his shot.

Stick with this StoryStream for results from Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy, and for all things MMA check out Bloody Elbow.

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Strikeforce: Rockhold Vs. Kennedy Prelim Card Results

Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy is underway in Portland, and the preliminary fights are in the books. All four fights went the distance, with no real surprises in results.

The highlight of the four fights was Mizuto Hirota vs. Pat Healy. Hirota surprised Healy with an early takedown and seemed to outstrike Healy on his feet, but Healy went for repeated takedowns and stayed busy on his feet. In the end, that proved to be enough to grind out a win in front of his hometown fans.

Here are the results from the Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy prelim card:

Welterweight Bout: Jordan Mein defeats Tyler Stinson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Lightweight Bout: Jorge Masvidal defeats Justin Wilcox via split decision (29-28, 30-27 Masvidal, 29-28 Wilcox)
Lightweight Bout: Ryan Couture defeats Joe Duarte via split decision (29-28, 29-28 Couture, 29-28 Duarte)
Lightweight Bout: Pat Healy defeats Mizuto Hirota via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Stick with this StoryStream for results from Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy, and for all things MMA check out Bloody Elbow.

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UFC On Fuel TV 4: Chris Cariaso Very Happy Staying At Flyweight Moving Forward

Following his big win over Josh Ferguson, Bay Area native Chris Cariaso is already looking forward to the next step in his UFC career. While all of his other fights came with him bantamweight (135lbs), Cariaso fought in the new flyweight class this week, which is 125. Despite being a very shallow weight class, he's very happy with staying at that weight class moving forward.


"I feel like 125 is the division for me," Cariaso said.

As for what's to come, he plans on setting up a fight with the No. 3 contender to position him for a chance at the title.

"Whatever's going to set me up for the title is where I want to be."

Cariaso will continue training in both the Bay Area and at his new gym in Tucson. No date has been set for his next fight, but he sure seems like a fighter eager to make his move sooner rather than later.

For more on mixed martial arts throughout the year, check out all of the good stuff SB Nation has to offer over at MMA Fighting and Bloody Elbow.

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Strikeforce: Rockhold Vs. Kennedy Fight Card

Bay Area MMA had a great showing at UFC On Fuel TV 4: Munoz vs. Weidman, if only because San Jose native Chris Cariaso was victorious in his Flyweight debut over Josh Ferguson. Now, the Bay will be represented again in the form of Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy on Saturday, July 14. Strikeforce is still a San Jose-based promotion and we'll continue to cover the company even under the Zuffa umbrella.

That being said, there are still plenty of ties to the Bay Area and California in general. Luke Rockhold, who is in the main event defending the middleweight title against Tim Kennedy, was born in Santa Cruz, CA and fights out of the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose. His opponent was born in California as well, in San Luis Obispo.

Both Nate Moore and Justin Wilcox are fighting out of San Jose as well, with both fighters also training with AKA. Jason High fights out of Lakewood, CA and Robbie Lawler was born in San Diego. So the regional ties are there. With Rockhold leading the way, it should be an exciting card for the Bay.

The full fight card is below:

Main Card

Luke Rockhold (9-1) vs. Tim Kennedy (14-3) [MW Title]
Nate Marquardt (31-10-2) vs. Tyron Woodley (10-0) [WW Title]
Roger Gracie (4-1) vs. Keith Jardine (17-10-2)
Lorenz Larkin (12-0, 1 NC) vs. Robbie Lawler (19-8, 1 NC)

Preliminary Card

Jorge Masvidal (22-7) vs. Justin Wilcox (11-4, 1 NC)
Pat Healy (27-16) vs. Mizuto Hirota (14-4-1)
Jordan Mein (23-8) vs. Tyler Stinson (23-8)
Jason High (15-3) vs. Nate Moore (8-2)
Ryan Couture (4-1) vs. Joe Duarte (10-2)

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UFC On Fuel TV 4 Results: Where Does San Jose Native Chris Cariaso Go From Here?

San Jose native Chris Cariaso was victorious on Wednesday night at UFC On Fuel TV 4: Munoz vs. Weidman, besting Josh Ferguson over three rounds for a clear-cut 30-27 decision. Cariaso moved to 14-3 for his career with the win, and is on a three-fight winning streak. He thoroughly bested Ferguson in the standup and had several impressive sweep takedowns to remain in control of the matchup.

Now, Cariaso has bested Takeya Mizugaki, a perennial top-ten Bantamweight, and taken Michael McDonald to a very close split decision. Those two fights are still the best of his career, but this win over Ferguson has shown that he needs to take another step up. Mizugaki hasn't been great in the UFC, so Ferguson wasn't necessarily a "step back," but more of a side-step. Then again, it was at a new weight class (as the fight was contested at Flyweight).

And Cariaso is very happy with that weight class, saying in the post-fight interview that the weight class seemed right for him. So where does Cariaso go from here? Will he ever be able to compete for UFC gold? Well, he's still got a ways to go. Judging from this fight, it seems that Cariaso needs to develop a little bit better of a killer instinct and fight with a little bit more urgency. Top flyweights like Demetrious Johnson and Ian McCall would almost certainly out-pace him right now.

But again, he does need a step up. So where does he go?

The UFC's Flyweight division isn't deep by any means. There are some fantastic fighters at the top-end, but the division is so new there isn't even a champion yet, as Demetrious Johnson is set to fight Joseph Benavidez for the right to be crowned the first-ever champion for that weight class in the UFC. Who is available after the top guys, though?

Well, there's John Dodson, Tim Elliott, Louis Gaudinot, John Lineker, Darren Uyenoyama and Yasuhiro Urushitani. Urushitani is a possibility, given that he was in the Flyweight tournament, but lost to Benavidez via second-round TKO. But Urushitani also lost his previous fight, and if the UFC doesn't want to match up fighters who have lost against fighters who have won, that's out of the question. That also disqualifies Lineker and Elliott, leaving Dodson, Gaudinot and Uyenoyama.

Dodson was supposed to fight Uyenoyama, but instead fought Elliott after Uyenoyama pulled out of the bout with an injury. Out of those listed, Dodson would certainly be the biggest test for Cariaso, but it's likely that the UFC wants to continue to bring him along slowly. It's still a new weight class for "Kamikaze," and it really might be best for him to take on either Gaudinot or Uyenoyama, while Dodson might be taking a step up to fight someone like McCall or the loser of the championship fight.

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UFC On Fuel TV 4 Results: Chris Weidman And Alex Caceres Get Post-Fight Bonuses

UFC On Fuel TV 4: Munoz vs. Weidman ended up being a wholly more exciting event than the much-more hyped UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen. This is because the UFC didn't bother to put significant fighters on that card outside of the main event, carrying it on the back of the epic rematch and the retirement fight for Tito Ortiz. On paper, UFC On Fuel TV 4 didn't seem to offer much, but it delivered with multiple finishes, some up-and-down fights and plenty of action in between.

The main event between Mark Munoz and Chris Weidman was excellent, as the latter moved to 9-0 on his career and experienced his coming out for the organization. San Jose native Chris Cariaso also was victorious on the night, picking up his third-straight win with a dominating decision over Josh Ferguson.

Unfortunately, the local fighter wasn't given a post-fight bonus on the night as the card featured several highlights. James Te Huna and Joey Beltran were both given $40,000 fight of the night bonuses, while Alex Caceres picked up the $40,000 submission of the night bonus for his expertly timed triangle hold on Damacio Page. Lastly, Weidman was given a $40,000 knockout of the night bonus for the aforementioned domination of Munoz.

It would be surprising if there weren't a sizable amount of undisclosed locker room bonuses for this card, however. There were plenty of fighters who absolutely brought it and made the card excellent. Here are links where you can find recaps of the main event, Cariaso fight, preliminary card and main card.

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UFC On FUEL TV 4 Results: Mark Munoz Thoroughly Dominated, Knocked Out By Chris Weidman

UFC On FUEL TV 4: Munoz vs. Weidman actually turned out to be a more entertaining card fight-wise than UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen, even without the drama of a championship fight in the main event. The evening finished with a tilt between Mark Munoz, a California-based fighter who was trying to make his name for a title shot, and Chris Weidman, who was trying to remain undefeated and make a case for yet another step up in competition.

From the start of the fight, Weidman took Munoz's back and threatened a submission. When Munoz got back to his feet, Weidman landed a knee and got a headlock, controlling Munoz for the first two minutes before moving into a guillotine choke and almost submitting Munoz. Weidman landed some short elbows and then tried to go for an armbar, and then a kimura. He was, to say the least, very active in the submission game.

He went for a mounted guillotine, and then Munoz tried to get up and Weidman hooked up the headlock yet again. The first round came to an end a clear 10-9 for Weidman. Round two came along and Weidman scored another takedown, but Munoz had a great escape. They get back to standing, and Munoz throws a very sloppy punch and is caught with a brutal right elbow counter by Weidman, who fell down on top of Munoz and threw vicious ground and pound to score a knockout victory.

It was potentially a 10-8 round one and a vicious, cerebral knockout in round two. There is not a single better kind of performance you can have in the UFC. You want to be able to dominate a round and then finish impressively in the second. It should it's not a fluke. Weidman walks away with a 9-0 record.

For recaps of the rest of the undercard, you can see our main card recap here and our preliminary card recap here.

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UFC On Fuel TV Munoz Vs. Weidman Results: Francis Carmont, T.J. Dillashaw Score Big Wins On Main Card

After a very strong preliminary card for UFC On Fuel TV 4: Munoz vs. Weidman in which San Jose native Chris Cariaso bested Josh Ferguson via unanimous decision, the night's main card got off to a bang with a tilt between Anthony Njokuani and Rafael dos Anjos. It was an exciting fight from the get-go, with dos Anjos scoring an excellent knockdown early on, but was unable to get the finish. After that, he basically neutralized Njokuani all fight with very solid takedowns and great grappling to snag the unanimous decision.

Next, another California fighter took the octagon in T.J. Dillashaw. He was fighting Vaughan Lee, and looked a little out of his league through the first minute or so as Lee was landing all manner of strikes, but Dillashaw flipped Lee to the ground at one point and took his back, eventually riding his back standing. Dillashaw locked up the rear naked choke while riding Lee's back and the referee missed the tap initially, letting it run a little too long, but Dillashaw got the win either way.

That was followed by a fight between Karlos Vemola and Francis Carmont, two huge middleweights. Vemola had the edge in round one with a couple guillotine attempts, and was securing a takedown in the second when Carmont spun it into a choke for an amazing submission victory and reverse to get the win.

The undercard wrapped up with a run-of-the-mill Aaron Simpson fight in which he won a unanimous decision and a light heavyweight slugfest that saw James Te Huna and Joey Beltran play rock 'em sock 'em robots. The fight set a record for number of significant strikes landed in a light heavyweight fight.

Rafael dos Anjos def. Anthony Njokuani via unanimous decision
T.J. Dillashaw def. Vaughan Lee via submission at 2:33 of round one
Francis Carmont def. Karlos Vemola via submission at 1:39 of round two
Aaron Simpson def. Kenny Robertsen via unanimous deci
sion
James Te Huna def. Joey Beltran via unanimous decision

For a full recap of the night's preliminary card, see our previous post.

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UFC On FUEL TV 4 Results: Andrew Craig, Alex Caceres Have Thrilling Finishes On Preliminary Card

UFC On FUEL TV 4: Munoz vs. Weidman kicked off the preliminary card in a big way, as Raphael Assunção demolished Issei Tamura in the second round of their fight. Assuncao threw a head kick that didn't quite land and Tamura tried to capitalize on the miss, cutting off the cage and going for a wide hook, but Assunção countered with a fantastic left hand that made Temura drop to the ground. A flurry of punches later and the fight was stopped.

This writer does not recommend you ever watch the Marcelo Guimaraes vs. Dan Stittgen fight, unless you like no punches to land and a man moaning into a microphone. Seriously. That happened.

Andrew Craig and Rafael Natal put on a very uninspiring first round of action, with Natal doing absolutely nothing, but taunting and yelling as though he were dominating the fight. In the second round, he backed some of that up by landing on Craig and staggering him. He followed Craig to the ground and tried to get the finish, but in the end, Craig ended up on top and they were stood up. Craig was clearly flustered until he, you know, threw a right head kick that landed perfectly and knocked Natal right out.

San Jose's own Chris Cariaso had a very exciting win over Josh Ferguson, and you can read our full recap for that thread here. The night's preliminary card wrapped up with a pretty good fight between Alex Caceres and Damacio Page. Caceres spent most of the first round on the bottom being controlled, but Caceres had an excellent triangle attempt near the end of the round, but wasn't able to secure it fully. In round tow, he ended up on his back again, and as Page went back to throw a punch, Caceres caught him in another triangle and this one he locked in for the submission victory.

You can find full results for the night's preliminary card below.

Raphael Assunção def. Issei Temura via TKO in 0:25 of round two
Marcelo Guimaraes def. Dan Stittgen via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Andrew Craig def. Rafael Natal via KO in 4:52 of round two
Chris Cariaso def. Josh Ferguson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Alex Caceres def. Damacio Page via submission in round two

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UFC On FUEL TV 4 Results: Chris Cariaso Dominates Josh Ferguson For Unanimous Decision Victory

The only strictly Bay Area fighter on the UFC On Fuel TV 4 card, Chris Cariaso, fought Josh Ferguson for three rounds in what was a pretty entertaining fight. Cariaso walked away with a unanimous decision victory, 30-27 on all judges cards. There was a moment at the end of the fight where Ferguson caught Cariaso's back and threatened a submission, but it came in the final minute of the fight after Cariaso had dominated the other four minutes of the third round.

Cariaso showed off impressive striking to land counters and generally not be sucked into a brawl with Ferguson. He also showcased superior grappling ability and better presence of mind, as Ferguson's only bright spot the whole fight was a spinning kick that did no damage and the aforementioned bit at the end of the third round.

Cariaso is now 14-3 for his career and is 3-1 in his UFC career and is officially a force to be reckoned with in the UFC's flyweight division. The fight is a fight of the night candidate, especially given the quality of the other fights thus far.

Below, we've got the play-by-play as written during the fight.

Round One: Cariaso takes the center of the octagon to star and starts pawing out a right jab. Ferguson dashes forward and throws about six hooks, but none of them land as Cariaso backs up effectively. Ferguson got him against the cage and goes for a takedown, but Cariaso shrugs it off and the fighters take the center of the octagon again. Ferguson is once again coming forward swinging wildly, but he isn't landing anything. Cariaso takes a small step and lands a nice right jab, and then they disengage, but Cariaso comes with a looping hook and it crumples Ferguson briefly. Cariaso jumps on Ferguson and takes half guard, looking for some ground and pound. Eventually, he lets Ferguson back up to the feet and the fighters take the center again.

Ferguson backs Cariaso up into the cage and actually secures a takedown. Ferguson ends up in half guard now as Cariaso tries to climb the cage and Ferguson tries to lock up a guillotine. With two minutes left in the round, Ferguson is trying to brute force a choke but he doesn't get it as Cariaso gets out of it and then stands up with Ferguson pressing him into the cage. Cariaso spins out and comes back with a strong left hand and they tie up again. Ferguson backs up and the fighters take the center once again. Ferguson goes for a spinning kick, lands it and Cariaso shrugs it off as Ferguson trips. Ferguson once again going for a takedown against the cage, holding onto Cariaso's legs with a minute left. Carison lands a couple short elbows against the cage and then spins a beautiful takedown with 20 seconds left. The round comes to an end with Cariaso on top.

SB Nation Bay Area scores the round 10-9 for Cariaso.

Round Two: Ferguson, the brawler, once again throws wild hooks in the center of the octagon but nothing lands. Cariaso is tracking him down looking for his opportunity and throws a flurry of his own but nothing connects. The two shadowbox for a bit. Ferguson keeps coming forward and missing and Cariaso keeps landing counters. Ferguson gets a takedown but Cariaso is down for less than three seconds and he lands some shots on the grounded Ferguson.

With three minutes to go Cariaso misses a high kick but he's still landing many more strikes. Ferguson goes for another takedown and fails. Ferguson presses Cariaso against the cage with a minute and a half to go and Cariaso lands plenty of short strikes. Ferguson is not landing anything at this point. He's physically stronger but it's clear that Cariaso is much more talented at this point. Ferguson is trying to muscle Cariaso, but again, "Kamikaze" spins and takes Ferguson down and starts raining down some ground and pound from a high half guard and the round ends.

SB Nation Bay Area scores the round 10-9 for Cariaso.

Round Three: The two touch gloves in the center of the octagon and Cariaso is showing no signs of being complacent with what is probably a 20-18 lead. Ferguson falls for a single leg and it's not even close as Cariaso reverses and lands into half guard, trying to move into side control. Ferguson flips Cariaso trying to sweep him, but Cariaso bounces out of it and lands a shot on the way out as both fighters return standing. Ferguson ties up, and Cariaso spins him to yet another sweep takedown into half guard.

With 2:30 left in the round, Cariaso is potentially working a choke but it seems like he's using it so he can pass into side control, but Ferguson holds onto his knee. Eventually, they stand and Cariaso lands a couple shots on the way out, as usual. Cariaso takes Fergusons back against the cage and he's looking for the trip. He goes down with Ferguson and Ferguson is threatening a kimura. He abandons it and jumps on top of Cariaso's back and is trying to finish it with a choke. There's a minute left with Ferguson riding Cariaso's back. It was an impressive transition, to be sure, but it appears too little too late with 20 seconds remaining. Cariaso controls a wrist effectively and the round comes to an end.

SB Nation Bay Area scores the round 10-9 for Cariaso and 30-27 for the fight.

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UFC On Fuel TV 4 Preview & Prediction: Mark Munoz Vs. Chris Weidman

The main event of UFC On Fuel TV 4: Munoz Vs. Weidman is looking to be a great one, as "The Filipino Wrecking Machine" Mark Munoz is hoping to make a push for a shot at Anderson Silva and the Middleweight Championship while Chris Weidman is trying to put together another solid win in a young career. He'd like to be challenging Silva for his title one day too, despite watching another wrestler in Chael Sonnen get knocked out on Saturday.

Munoz is the closer of the two to earning a title shot. It's unclear who is next in line for a shot at the title, with guys like Michael Bisping, Hector Lombard, Alan Belcher and Tim Boetsch all being in the discussion. But what is this fight actually going to come down to? Who has the best shot to win and why?

Well, Munoz is clearly more experienced, boasting a 12-2 record, with wins over guys like Demian Maia and Chris Leben. Munoz is a wrestler with some of the best ground and pound in the game, but thus far has proven he's not particularly great at bringing the fight to the ground. When he fought Yushin Okami, it simply looked like an exercise in takedown defense as Okami firmly prevented Munoz from getting him out of his comfort zone.

Since that point, Munoz has sort of taken to his striking game, which has improved in leaps and bounds. That doesn't necessarily mean it's quite on par with the elite strikers .. quite the opposite, really. He's got a slow, predictable style, but what he lacks in finesse he makes up for in power. He's got a few knockouts to his credit, and he certainly will be trying to stand with Weidman in this one.

To this point, Weidman has bested most of his opposition with his stellar wrestling and submission game. As such, Munoz likely won't be looking to take it to the ground. Weidman most certainly will though, but it's doubtful that he's got the chops to take Munoz to the ground with regularity. This will be his first true test in regards to being a dynamic fighter, as his gameplan of choice isn't likely to work.

That being said, Weidman doesn't need standup that's much better than serviceable to best Munoz in that regard. He just needs to avoid that power and play the part of a finesse fighter, which many believe he can. He was the underdog against Maia in his last fight - he was going to get steamrolled or something to that affect - but he went out there and largely dominated. It should be a very interesting fight.

Let's go with Munoz by decision for the prediction on this one.

For more on mixed martial arts in general, check out everything we have to offer over at MMA Fighting and Bloody Elbow. Also be sure to check out Bloody Elbow's staff predictions for the whole card here.

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UFC On FUEL TV 4 Preview & Predictions: Chris Cariaso Vs. Josh Ferguson

Chris Cariaso is a very solid prospect in the UFC, and he just happens to fight out of San Jose, CA, where he was born. That's right up our alley, so needless to say we're rooting for him. That being said, we won't say "good luck," or anything of the sort - cage fighters don't like to make careers on getting lucky, and by all accounts, this matchup already heavily favors Cariaso, so there's not a whole lot to worry about.

Cariaso is 13-3 in his young mixed martial arts career, with two of those losses coming to very, very talented prospects. Sure, his loss to Mark Oshiro is an outlier, but that was back in 2008, just seven fights into his professional career. His other losses were to Renan Barao, who is fighting Urijah Faber for the Interim Bantamweight championship and Michael McDonald, the Modesto native who mauled Miguel Torres at UFC 145.

"Mayday" is clearly the real deal, and the fact that Cariaso was able to take him to the limit in a very close split decision speaks volumes. It was at that point that people got excited about his potential going forward, and he rattled off two very solid wins to reinforce that - besting Vaughan Lee and Takeya Mizugaki.

Mizugaki was one of the highest rated guys at the weight class, and has fought guys like Urijah Faber, Miguel Torres and Scott Jorgensen. Cariaso soundly bested him and has made himself a contender. That's why it's a little odd to see him in a fight with Ferguson, who is on a two-fight losing streak, not counting a loss on The Ultimate Fighter to Johnny Bedford.

There's not a lot to say about Ferguson's chances in this fight. He's a brawler who will do all he can do to brawl, while Cariaso is a much more refined fighter who appears better everywhere, except perhaps when it comes to power punching. There's a chance Ferguson knocks him out, but it's a very small chance, and the safe pick is Chris "Kamikaze" Cariaso by decision, or perhaps submission.

For more on mixed martial arts in general, check out everything we have to offer over at MMA Fighting and Bloody Elbow. Also, be sure to check out the Bloody Elbow staff predictions for the whole card here.

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UFC On FUEL TV 4: Munoz Vs. Weidman Betting Lines

UFC On Fuel TV 4: Munoz vs. Weidman is just hours away, and we'll take a quick look at the betting lines. Chris Weidman is the favorite over Mark Munoz in the main event, which is somewhat surprising, but the lines are so narrow there's not really any action there. San Jose native Chris Cariaso is a sizable favorite over Josh Feruson, who has only ever faced middling talent and has lost to no-name fighters throughout his career.

Cariaso on the other hand has won two-straight fight and is rightfully favored given his last win was over perennial top-tenner Takeya Mizugaki. He's a safe bet at this point, but there's not a lot of money to be made unless you are taking out a loan or something. That being said, there is a little bit of action to be had on this card - in the form of T.J. Dillashaw vs. Vaughan Lee.

Dillashaw is a California-based fighter and a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter, but he didn't win and doesn't appear to be a remarkable fighter by any means. As he's based in California, we'd like to be proven wrong, but it really does feel like Lee is being overlooked here. That line is really tempting and it's the only attractive underdog bet on the card at this point.

Lines via bookmaker.eu, with a H/T to Bloody Elbow:

Main Card

Mark Munoz (12-2) +115 vs. Chris Weidman (8-0) -145
Joey Beltran (14-7) +275 vs. James Te Huna (14-5) -345
Kenny Robertson (11-1) +235 vs. Aaron Simpson (11-3) -295
Francis Carmont (18-7) -182 vs. Karlos Vemola (9-2) +152
T.J. Dillashaw (5-1) -435 vs. Vaughan Lee (12-7-1) +285
Rafael dos Anjos (16-6) -175 vs. Anthony Njokuani (15-6, 1 NC) +145

Preliminary Card

Alex Caceres (6-5) +135 vs. Damacio Page (15-7) -165
Chris Cariaso (13-3) -345 vs. Josh Ferguson (12-4) +265
Andrew Craig (7-0) -200 vs. Rafael Natal (14-3-1) +150
Marcelo Guimaraes (7-0-1) -345 vs. Dan Stittgen (7-2) +265
Raphael Assuncao (16-4) -200 vs. Issei Tamura (7-2) +150

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UFC On Fuel 4: Munoz Vs. Weidman Predicted By Bloody Elbow

UFC On Fuel TV 4: Munoz vs. Weidman is just about 24 hours away, and it promises to be an exciting event. It doesn't have the headline appeal that the recent UFC 148 had what with the title fight between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen, but the Bay Area and California are represented on both the night's main card and undercard. For a full look at the fight card, refer to our previous article.

Chris Cariaso is the only person on the card who is actually from the Bay Area - he was born and raised in San Jose, and he'll be on the Facebook preliminary card up against Josh Ferguson in a flyweight bout. Cariaso is 13-3 for his career and is coming off an impressive victory over Takeya Mizugaki at UFC 144. His lone UFC loss was to Michael McDonald, and that one doesn't look so bad after "Mayday" starched Miguel Torres in the first round at UFC 145.

Bloody Elbow, one of SB Nation's stellar MMA sites, posted their predictions for the event early Tuesday, and all five participating picked Cariaso to win. Two of them picked a submission victory, while two others picked decision (the fifth did not provide reasoning). Dallas Winston provides his thoughts on the fight:

Dallas Winston: As it turns out, Cariaso is kind of a beast. He's coming off a -- weird, but -- huge decision over perennial top-10 bantamweightTakeya Mizugaki and gave the surging Michael McDonald all he could handle. I like Ferguson because he's a gamer but this is his toughest opponent to date and he's dropped 3 of his last 4. Chris Cariaso by submission.

Outside of Cariaso, there are other California ties on the card. Mark Munoz, T.J. Dillashaw, and Joey Beltran are all based in California. Munoz is hoping to earn a title shot with a victory over Weidman, and the Bloody Elbow staff is split on that one - with three picking Munoz and three picking Weidman.

Beltran has been a gamer in the UFC, always coming to "war," but he really does not inspire much confidence at this point in his career. James Te Huna just seems more motivated and better at this stage, and all six picked him to best Beltran. Four of them picked Dillashaw, a competitor on The Ultimate Fighter: Team Bisping vs. Team Miller, while one of them picked his opponent, Lee.

For more on mixed martial arts in general, check out everything we have to offer over at MMA Fighting and Bloody Elbow. And don't forget to check up on their predictions for UFC On Fuel TV 4: Munoz vs. Weidman.

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UFC On Fuel 4: Munoz Vs. Weidman Fight Card

While UFC 148 was a mostly-disappointing event, things wrapped up in a big way when Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva defended his title in a rematch against Chael Sonnen and finished him in the second round. Silva and Sonnen had an awful lot of drama leading up the fight - namely due to Sonnen and his WWE-level hyping. There was still some controversy, but it looks like the whole Silva-Sonnen "saga" is over.

Now we can get back to other things. If you missed it, the Bay Area is playing host to another UFC event on Wednesday, where Mark Munoz will take on Chris Weidman in the main event of UFC on Fuel TV: Munoz vs. Weidman. Munoz is a California fighter, and while he's not strictly in the Bay Area, we'll root for him all the same.

On top of that, San Jose native Chris Cariaso will be looking to win his third-straight fight as he takes on Josh Ferguson, who is on a two-fight losing streak. Cariaso is heavily favored, as he should be. Other California fighters include T.J. Dillashaw and Joey Beltran. Below, we've got the full fight card for the night.

Main Card

Mark Munoz (12-2) vs. Chris Weidman (8-0)
Joey Beltran (14-7) vs. James Te Huna (14-5)
Kenny Robertson (11-1) vs. Aaron Simpson (11-3)
Francis Carmont (18-7) vs. Karlos Vemola (9-2)
T.J. Dillashaw (5-1) vs. Vaughan Lee (12-7-1)
Rafael dos Anjos (16-6) vs. Anthony Njokuani (15-6, 1 NC)

Preliminary Card

Alex Caceres (6-5) vs. Damacio Page (15-7)
Chris Cariaso (13-3) vs. Josh Ferguson (12-4)
Andrew Craig (7-0) vs. Rafael Natal (14-3-1)
Marcelo Guimaraes (7-0-1) vs. Dan Stittgen (7-2)
Raphael Assuncao (16-4) vs. Issei Tamura (7-2)
Tom DeBlass (7-1) vs. Nick Penner (11-2)

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UFC 148 Bonuses: Tito Ortiz Vs. Forrest Griffin Wins Fight Of The Night

Most fans had known for some time that Saturday night's UFC 148 event was a two-fight card. In the end, the PPV proceeded as advertised, with a red-hot crowd going nuts for the co-main and main events, while lackluster bouts populated the undercard.

There were no submissions in the entire card and only three of the bouts didn't go to decision, so the options for recipients of the $75,000 bonuses were very limited.

In the end, Anderson Silva won Knockout of the Night honors for his TKO of Chael Sonnen in Round 2 of the main event. Local fighter Chad Mendes was the only other viable option for knockout of the night and probably should have received it, but I suppose a body shot did most of the damage to Cody McKenzie and body shots aren't glamorous.

Tito Ortiz vs. Forrest Griffin won Fight of the Night honors. Again, San Jose fighter Cung Le vs. Patrick Cote was the only other real option here, but it was significantly more lackluster than Ortiz-Griffin III and didn't have nearly the marquee value.

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UFC 148 Results: Anderson Silva Shuts Up Chael Sonnen With TKO In Round 2

The main event of UFC 148 featured a Middleweight Championship rematch between champion Anderson Silva and challenger Chael Sonnen. The fight was one of the most heavily-anticipated matches in recent memory and the crowd was white-hot from start to finish. In the end, Silva retained his title with a TKO in the second round.

In the first round, Sonnen immediately shot in with a strong double-leg and took down Silva, then spent the entire round in control on top. The second round was a different story altogether, however. Sonnen tried a clinch and knees against the cage in the first minute, but slipped going for a spinning backfist. Silva landed a knee to the chest while Sonnen was on the ground and capitalized with strikes until the fight was waved off a few seconds later, with Silva the victor.

Here are the full results of Saturday's UFC 148 event from Las Vegas:

Main Card

Middleweight bout: Anderson Silva (c) def. Chael Sonnen via TKO (punches) 1:55 Round 2
Light Heavyweight bout: Forrest Griffin def. Tito Ortiz via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Middleweight bout: Cung Le def. Patrick Côté via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Welterweight bout: Demian Maia def. Dong Hyun Kim via TKO (rib injury) 0:47 Round 1
Featherweight bout: Chad Mendes def. Cody McKenzie via TKO (punches) 0:31 Round 1
Bantamweight bout: Mike Easton def. Ivan Menjivar via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)

Preliminary Card on FX

Lightweight bout: Melvin Guillard def. Fabrício Camões via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Lightweight bout: Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Gleison Tibau via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Middleweight bout: Constantinos Philippou def. Riki Fukuda via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Lightweight bout: Shane Roller def. John Alessio via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Preliminary Card on Facebook

Lightweight bout: Rafaello Oliveira def. Yoislandy Izquierdo via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

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UFC Silva Vs. Sonnen II Results: Forrest Griffin Wins Rubber Match Against Tito Ortiz Via Unanimous Decision

The co-main event of UFC 148 was the rubber match between two of the most popular fighters in MMA history. In a light heavyweight fight, Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin squared off in the third match between the two men. Ortiz their first fight via split decision in a bout that won Fight of the Year in 2006. Griffin answered back in 2011 with a split decision victory of his own. Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas was the fight meant to settle the issue for good.

The fight, in a surprise to no one, went the distance. Ortiz muscled Griffin around a bit in the first round, while Griffin landed some huge punches in the second round. Ortiz sent Griffin flying with a bit punch in the third round and spent much of the round on top. Both fighters were clearly gassed by the end.

The fight was not up to the quality of the first two fights between the two, but was still exciting for the most part. When the decision came in, the judges awarded the fight to Griffin by unanimous scores of 29-28, 29-28, 29-28.

After the match, Forrest Griffin took the microphone from Joe Rogan and conducted an interview with Tito Ortiz. Ortiz confirmed that this will be his last fight in the Octagon.

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UFC Silva Vs. Sonnen II Results: Cung Le Defeats Patrick Cote Via Unanimous Decision

In the second of two matches featuring Bay Area talent at UFC 148 on Saturday night, San Jose superstar Cung Le took on Patrick Cote in middleweight action. Le was coming off a loss against Wanderlei Silva at UFC 139 and really needed a win in his second UFC fight. Cote, meanwhile, was making his UFC return after two years away and four straight wins in the interim.

Both men had a solid fight, appearing to split the first two rounds and both looking tired by the time the third round began. Le cut Cote above the eye in the second round and Cote cut Le near the eye in the third round. Le landed more solid shots throughout the fight, however, including a big head kick. The fight went the distance and went to the judges, where they awarded Le the fight via unanimous decision, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27.

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UFC Silva Vs. Sonnen II Results: Chad Mendes Defeats Cody McKenzie Via Knockout In Round 1

The main card of UFC 148 is underway on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. One of the local fighters who appeared on the main card is Chad Mendes, who is from Hanford and fights out of Sacramento. He squared off against Cody McKenzie in a featherweight bout and scored an immediate and decisive victory via knockout.

In the opening seconds of their match, Mendes caught a kick attempt from McKenzie, floored him with a right hand to the midsection and pounced on him with punches. The fight was waved off almost immediately, awarded Mendes the victory.

Mendes' last fight was an unsuccessful attempt to wrest the UFC Featherweight title away from Jose Aldo. Mendes suffered a first-round knockout in that bout and his first professional loss. This showing against McKenzie is absolutely the way to get Mendes back on the right foot.

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UFC 148 Silva Vs. Sonnen II: Preliminary Card Results

The preliminary fights are in the books on Saturday night for UFC 148 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. While the card is much more top-loaded than the average UFC event, some of the early bouts were fairly underwhelming.

All five fights that comprised the preliminary matches televised on Facebook and FX went the distance, all of them resulting in unanimous decisions. The fight between Constantinous Philippou and Riki Fukuda nearly came to an end with under 2:00 remaining in the final round when Fukuda inadvertently poked Philippou in the eye. Philippou took a long time recovering and the doctor appeared nearly ready to stop the fight, but Philippou was insistent on continuing and fought the remainder of the match with visible anger.

Here are the results from the preliminary fights at UFC 148:

Lightweight bout: Melvin Guillard def. Fabrício Camões via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Lightweight bout: Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Gleison Tibau via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Middleweight bout: Constantinos Philippou def. Riki Fukuda via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Lightweight bout: Shane Roller def. John Alessio via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Lightweight bout: Rafaello Oliveira def. Yoislandy Izquierdo via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

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UFC 148 Silva Vs. Sonnen II: TV Schedule, Full Card, Streaming Info & More

On Saturday night, one of the most highly-anticipated MMA fights in recent memory will finally arrive. The UFC Middleweight Championship will be on the line as Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen square off in a rematch of their 2010 fight at UFC 117.

UFC 148 will be a stacked card emanating from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas that features a big co-main event and a popular Bay Area fighter in a match that will have big implications for him. Just before Silva vs. Sonnen II, Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin will face off in their third match against one another. The rubber match will also likely be Ortiz's swan song with the UFC.

San Jose superstar Cung Le will be fighting against Patrick Cote. If Le can't manage a win, he may not be long for the promotion.

There will be a free, live streaming lightweight fight kicking off the event. This fight will be viewable on Facebook at 4:25 p.m. PT. Following that opening bout, the preliminary fights will be shown on FX from 5 p.m. PT until 7 p.m. PT. The main card will be available only on pay-per-view (although there are options to purchase via UFC.com and YouTube if you don't have a cable box). The pay-per-view begins at 7 p.m. PT.

Here is the full card for Saturday's UFC 148:

Preliminary Card on Facebook

Lightweight bout: Rafaello Oliveira vs. Yoislandy Izquierdo

Preliminary Card on FX

Lightweight bout: Gleison Tibau vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov
Lightweight bout: Melvin Guillard vs. Fabrício Camões
Middleweight bout: Constantinos Philippou vs. Riki Fukuda
Lightweight bout: John Alessio vs. Shane Roller

Main Card

Bantamweight bout: Ivan Menjivar vs. Mike Easton
Featherweight bout: Chad Mendes vs. Cody McKenzie
Welterweight bout: Dong Hyun Kim vs. Demian Maia
Middleweight bout: Cung Le vs. Patrick Côté
Light Heavyweight bout: Forrest Griffin vs. Tito Ortiz
Middleweight bout: Anderson Silva (c) vs. Chael Sonnen

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UFC 148 Silva Vs. Sonnen II: Full Card For Saturday Night's Event

On Saturday night, UFC 148 will air on pay-per-view and will be headlined by one of the most eagerly-anticipated MMA fights of the past few years. The main event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena will feature UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva once again defending his title against Chael Sonnen in a rematch of their 2010 fight at UFC 117. In that fight, Sonnen shocked the world as he followed up months of trash-talking by winning the first four rounds of their title match before falling victim to a triangle armbar and tapping out in the final round.

The lead-up to this epic rematch has been much the same as the first, with Sonnen talking a nonstop line of trash in his inimitable old-school wrestling heel style and Silva getting more or less fed up with Sonnen's antics. This match will certainly be heated and the crowd is sure to be off the charts. Sonnen will try to shock the world once again and hand Silva his first-ever loss in the UFC and his first loss since 2006.

The co-main event is also destined to be a raucous crowd-pleaser, as Forrest Griffin and Tito Ortiz will meet for the third time in a rubber match between the two.

Closer to home, San Jose hero Cung Le will be in action, taking on Patrick Cote. Le's original opponent for the card was Rich Franklin, who was reshuffled into the main event of UFC 147 against Wanderlei Silva when Vitor Belfort suffered an injury. Franklin won that fight and Le may have a more winnable fight with Cote as an opponent.

Here is the full card for Saturday's UFC 148:

Preliminary Card on Facebook

Lightweight bout: Rafaello Oliveira vs. Yoislandy Izquierdo

Preliminary Card on FX

Lightweight bout: Gleison Tibau vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov
Lightweight bout: Melvin Guillard vs. Fabrício Camões
Middleweight bout: Constantinos Philippou vs. Riki Fukuda
Lightweight bout: John Alessio vs. Shane Roller

Main Card

Bantamweight bout: Ivan Menjivar vs. Mike Easton
Featherweight bout: Chad Mendes vs. Cody McKenzie
Welterweight bout: Dong Hyun Kim vs. Demian Maia
Middleweight bout: Cung Le vs. Patrick Côté
Light Heavyweight bout: Forrest Griffin vs. Tito Ortiz
Middleweight bout: Anderson Silva (c) vs. Chael Sonnen

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Cain Velasquez Vs. Junior Dos Santos Rematch Is Not Happening At UFC 152

Last year, Salinas native Cain Velasquez lost his UFC Heavyweight Championship to Junior dos Santos, who has looked pretty much unbeatable for a good while now. Velasquez is already hard at work on the redemption trail, looking impressive himself in his last match against Antonio Silva. Make no mistake: a rematch between Velasquez and dos Santos for the title is inevitable. It just looks like it will be happening later, rather than sooner.

Nitesh Dutt of CSN Bay Area relays the information that, per UFC President Dana White, the Velasquez vs. dos Santos rematch will not be happening at UFC 152 in Toronto, which was the anticipated main event, as well as more or less the soonest the fight could have realistically been expected to take place.

This announcement (or non-announcement, if you prefer), is good for a lot of reasons, but most of all it's just smart for UFC from a business standpoint. Although there have been a string of mishaps in the heavyweight division as of late, putting a huge rematch like this together right away would not only limit the amount of money the promotion can make, but robs the fans of the long build-up to a true dream match.

The fight can wait and so can we. It will be worth it for everyone.

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Paul Daley Released By Strikeforce

While the rumors of the demise of Strikeforce may be exaggerated -- at least for now -- the company's ranks continue to thin. On Saturday, the MMA promotion announced the release of welterweight fighter Paul Daley.

According to MMA Junkie, Daley released a statement claiming that he requested his release.

"I'm happy that Strikeforce has granted my request to be released from their roster as I found it difficult to fight so infrequently," the British striker stated. "My whole career I've wanted to fight as often as possible as it keeps me in the best form and condition.

"I felt that I put on nothing but entertaining fights while at the organization. The KOs of (Duane) Ludwig and Scott Smith were some great memories for me, as well as the back-and-forth fight of the year I had with Nick Diaz. My manager has already started speaking to some promotions about my future today following the official release papers from Strikeforce, and I'm looking forward to the next part in my journey."

Daley's manager insists the split with Strikeforce was amicable. The British fighter was 2-3 in his Strikeforce career and is coming off a March loss to Kazuo Misaki.

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UFC 149: Urijah Faber Will Face Renan Barao For Interim Bantamweight Title

The injury bug continues to plague planned UFC fights. If Dana White had any hair, he'd likely be spending a lot of his time these days pulling it out in frustration.

CSN Bay Area's Nitesh Dutt reports that UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo was forced to pull out of his main event title defense against Erik Koch at UFC 149 on July 21. Some face shuffling was needed in order to find a suitable replacement main event, but we may have ended up with an even better match out of the deal.

Sacramento native and fan favorite Urijah Faber was originally set to face Dominick Cruz in a co-main event at UFC 148, but Cruz is out with an ACL injury. Now, Faber will face off against Renan Barao to compete for the UFC Interim Bantamweight Title.

This is a great opportunity for Faber and definitely a worthy main event to make up for the loss of an Aldo defense. Bay Area MMA fans will definitely want to watch this one.

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NorCal MMA Pound-for-Pound Top 10: How We Voted

The latest NorCal MMA Pound-for-Pound Top 10 has been released via Nitesh Dutt of Comcast SportsNet, and a couple of us here at SB Nation Bay Area voted on it. Most of the fighters in the ballot also fight out of or train out of the Bay Area as well, so it's plenty relevant, don'tchaknow! It's been a strong couple of months for the region in general - unless you happen to be a welterweight, in which case Johny Hendricks probably pisses you off a whole bunch.

Or if you happen to be Nick Diaz, who is suspended, or King Mo, who is ... somewhere. Doing something. But yeah, outside of them, it's generally been strong. From Cain Velasquez massacring Antonio Silva like he nailed his mom to Nate Diaz trying to force Jim Miller to literally swallow his tongue, the Bay Area is rolling.

At any rate, here's how I personally voted (with a little bit of information after each selection, too)

1. Nate Diaz - Diaz's finish of Jim Miller is way more impressive every time I watch it. Sure, maybe Miller could have stuck it out and not tapped had he had his mouth guard in, but Diaz looks like a different fighter every time he's out there. Miller only loses to the very best out there, and fought a somewhat close decision against Benson Henderson. Diaz is right there in title talks.

2. Cain Velasquez - It will take more than overwhelming Antonio Silva to make people think that the same thing will work on someone like Junior dos Santos, but nobody can claim that Velasquez doesn't have a shot to get the title back sooner rather than later.

3. Urijah Faber - Definitely a shame that Faber isn't fighting Cruz any longer. He showed in his last fight that he's still getting better and might have more to offer.

4. Gilbert Melendez - Despite struggles in his last outing, Melendez has shown nothing less than the fact that he'll beat who's in front of him.

5. Joseph Benevidez - Is his opponent Dominick Cruz? No? Then he's getting a win.6. Jon FitchWhen ranking Fitch above Koscheck, I consider who I think would win a fight between one another. They're both having it rough, so Fitch gets the pass.

7. Josh Koscheck - Has he peaked? It's possible, but for now he gets a pass because the guy he just lost to knocked out the guy above him.

8. Chad Mendes - Mendes clearly needs to go back to the drawing board, but so does everybody else after they fight Jose Aldo.

9. Daniel Cormier - Maybe casual MMA fans don't get how big the Barnett win was, but the rest of us do. That was impressive as it gets right now.

10. Mark Munoz - It was hard to not put Rockhold here, but seeing him best Jardine like that did nothing but temper some of the excitement following the Jacare win. Munoz is an excellent fighter who will be in contention for awhile longer.

Another quick note on the list ... it was really hard to not include Luke Rockhold, and I also stressed with keeping Fitch on the list. Upon further reflection, I might include Michael McDonald, given his impressive outing against Miguel Torres. And here is how one of our contributors who also had an affect on the final ballot, Bill Hanstock, voted (with his explanation at the end).

1. Cain Velasquez
2. Nate Diaz
3, Michael McDonald
4. Daniel Cormier
5. Gilbert Melendez
6. Josh Thomson
7. Joseph Benavidez
8. Mark Munoz
9. Luke Rockhold
10. Josh Koscheck

Of all the Bay Area fighters, Cain Velasquez is clearly the best and most dominant fighter at this moment. It's just a shame that the only fighter better than him in the weight class is the champ, whom he can't beat. Nate Diaz and Michael McDonald both look fantastic at the moment and Daniel Cormier could be a legitimate rising star with his sudden resurgence. Melendez didn't look particularly impressive in a close fight against Thomson. Rockhold has the best record of all Bay Area fighters over the past year, but his quality of opponents is clearly on a lower level than those of the fighters I ranked above him.

So what do you think? Tweet us if you disagree, and don't forget to check out the official list here.

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UFC 148: Patrick Cote Hopes To Redeem Himself With Fight Against Cung Le

At UFC 148, iconic San Jose fighter Cung Le will face off against Patrick Cote, who is making his return to the UFC to fill the hole left by Rich Franklin. Franklin was originally slated to be Le's opponent before moving to the main event of UFC 147 to take on Wanderlei Silva.

Tim Burke at Bloody Elbow reports that Cote recently talked to Sportsnet about the upcoming fight with Le. Here is his opinion about the San Jose superstar:

"Le is a super good striker, a very powerful kicker with some weird angles," Cote said. "I’m going to have my hands full with him but I’m really, really confident I’m going to be able to put him away especially coming from a big knockout from Wanderlei Silva."

Cote is hoping to redeem himself after his last, disappointing run with the UFC that ended in a string of losses.

"I want to erase the last fight I did against Tom Lawlor in the UFC management's head. That was a pretty bad fight, I take the blame for that. I feel like I'm reborn in the UFC, have to come back and show I deserve to be there. I improved much more my game, especially my wrestling, now I'm ready to be back and show the world my new skills. I'm not going to bring back the old Cote, I'm going to bring back a new Cote. You're going to see a lot of improvement, but still a lot of power in my hands, and a solid chin."

Cote hopes his road to redemption will run through Cung Le.

For more on mixed martial arts in general, check out everything we have to offer over at MMA Fighting and Bloody Elbow.

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UFC On FX 3: Demetrious Johnson Is Betting Favorite Over Ian McCall

UFC on FX 3 will take place on Friday, June 8 and will be headlined by a flyweight bout between Demetrious Johnson and Ian McCall.

The main event will be a rematch between the two fighters, who waged a pitched battle against one another in their first meeting in March. The first fight was announced as a decision victory for Johnson in the cage, but was later revealed to be a majority draw. Perhaps that erroneous reading of the result colored the opinions of the oddsmakers.

The early odds, courtesy of our friends at OddsShark, have Johnson as the favorite in the fight, at between -140 and -155 to win. McCall is the underdog at between +120 and +125.

In another main card fight, Mike Pyle is seen as the favorite in his match against Josh Neer. Pyle is at -185 and -200, while Neer is +155 to +165.

In the final main card fight for which early odds are available, Erick Silva is favored over Charlie Brenneman at between -155 and -175.

For more on mixed martial arts in general, check out everything we have to offer over at MMA Fighting and Bloody Elbow.

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UFC On FX Johnson Vs. McCall: Full Card For Friday's Show

Just a week after the latest Ultimate Fighter Finale, the UFC will be presenting another live UFC on FX event on Friday, June 8. The fight will be headlined by a flyweight fight between Demetrious Johnson and Ian McCall. The main event is a semifinal in the flyweight tournament to determine an inaugural champion in the weight class. The two men had a thrilling fight in early March that was a majority draw (announced in-ring, erroneously, as a victory for Johnson). UFC wasted little time in booking the rematch.

Here is the complete card for the June 8 UFC on FX event. The preliminary card will air on Fuel TV, with the main card being televised on the FX Network.

Fuel TV:
Welterweight bout:
Jake Hecht vs. Sean Pierson
Lightweight bout: Henry Martinez vs. Bernardo Magalhaes
Light Heavyweight bout: Buddy Roberts vs. Caio Magalhaes
Lightweight bout: Tim Means vs. Justin Salas
Bantamweight bout: Dustin Pague vs. Jared Papazian
Featherweight bout: Leonard Garcia vs. Matt Grice
Welterweight bout: Mike Pierce vs. Carlos Eduardo Rocha
Welterweight bout: Seth Baczynski vs. Lance Benoist

FX:
Bantamweight bout: Eddie Wineland vs. Scott Jorgensen
Welterweight bout: Mike Pyle vs. Josh Neer
Welterweight bout: Erick Silva vs. Charlie Brenneman
Flyweight bout: Demetrious Johnson vs. Ian McCall

For more on mixed martial arts in general, check out everything we have to offer over at MMA Fighting and Bloody Elbow.

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Cung Le Will Now Face Patrick Cote At UFC 148

Another month, another big UFC card shake-up. After a new opponent was needed to take on Wanderlei Silva at UFC 147, Rich Franklin took the opportunity, pulling out of his scheduled fight against San Jose's own Cung Le at UFC 148.

Le was temporarily without an opponent for the July 7 event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. While the main event of UFC 148 will be a title fight rematch between middleweights Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen, Le (who is surprisingly not retired, despite appearances to the contrary) will still have a spot on the main card, as he takes on Patrick Cote.

Middleweight Cote will be making his return to the UFC for the first time since 2010. He has won his last four fights, but ended his last UFC stint with three straight losses.

This new fight is actually a much better situation for Le, who lost his UFC debut in November against Silva. It is unlikely he could have bested Franklin and Le needs a win at the very least to stay relevant in the national conversation. A dominant win over Cote would be exactly what his career needs.

For more on mixed martial arts in general, check out everything we have to offer over at MMA Fighting and Bloody Elbow.

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UFC 147 Now Features Rich Franklin Vs. Wanderlei Silva; Cung Le Without UFC 148 Opponent

With the news that Vitor Belfort was out of his scheduled main event bout against Wanderlei Silva at UFC 147, many wondered who could potentially replace him to face "The Axe Murderer." Gals Guide To MMA took a look at five potential candidates to replace him, including the Bay Area's Josh Koscheck.

As it happens, it won't be any of those. Instead, it will be renowned UFC company man Rich Franklin, who was already returning to middleweight from light heavyweight. The news comes from Inside Fight Sports on Facebook, who says the news is confirmed. As noted, Franklin was scheduled to face Cung Le at UFC 148.

Le trains in and fights out of San Jose California, and boasts a 7-2 record in mixed martial arts. He hasn't even fought outside of San Jose in a professional MMA fight, with all his fights being for Strikeforce or most recently, the UFC. His lone UFC fight was against the aforementioned Silva, who scored a second-round TKO, handing Le his second professional loss.

Franklin vs. Silva actually appears to be a more even matchup, as many felt that Belfort would knock out Silva rather easily, given the former's fast and powerful hands and the latter's weakening chin. But that leaves Le without an opponent, and the question now is who the UFC will get to replace Franklin?

Given the strength of the UFC 148 card already - with Anderson Silva taking on Chael Sonnen for the Middleweight Championship - they might simply move Le to a future event. We'll be on it when it's known.

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Strikeforce Results: Daniel Cormier Defeats Josh Barnett Via Unanimous Decision To Win Heavyweight Grand Prix

On Saturday, the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Tournament finally came to an end after a long 15 months with the final and the main event at the HP Pavilion in San Jose. Josh Barnett took on Daniel Cormier in the final for the ultimate bragging rights.

Barnett had advanced to the final by defeating Brett Rogers and Sergei Kharitonov via submission. Cormier had made his way to the final by subbing in for Alistair Overeem and knocking out Antonio Silva in the semifinals.

The first round was all stand-up, with Cormier landing a surprising amount of solid shots to the head and body. At the end of the round, Barnett managed to land a huge knee to the face that visibly rocked Cormier and resulted in a big contusion under his left eye.

Cormier landed plenty more shots in the second round and scored a takedown on Barnett at the halfway point. Barnett tried for submissions from the bottom, but Cormier held him down and opened a big cut near Barnett's right eye with an elbow. Cormier had clearly won the first two rounds at this point.

More standup opened up the third round but Cormier scored an enormous single-leg bodyslam with three minutes left. Both men were up again seconds later. In the final two minutes, Cormier landed a huge head kick and a flurry of strikes that rocked Barnett and opened him up again, but was unable to put his opponent away.

The men traded again in the fourth round, with Cormier once again getting the better of the situation. Cormier took Barnett down in the last couple of minutes but Barnett nearly sank in a heel hook before Cormier was able to escape. By the end of the round, Barnett was again a bloody mess and had lost every round.

Barnett headed into the fifth and final round knowing he would need a submission or knockout in order to garner the victory. It would not be Barnett's night. The fifth round featured the least action in the fight, but Cormier still managed to land more blows and score one last takedown.

Cormier officially won by unanimous decision on scores of (49-46, 50-45, 50-45) to become the Strikeforce World Heavyweight Grand Prix Champion.

Please click here to find the rest of the main card results from the Showtime telecast. You can view the preliminary card results from Saturday's event by clicking here.

For more on mixed martial arts in general, check out everything we have to offer over at MMA Fighting and Bloody Elbow.

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Strikeforce Barnett Vs. Cormier Results: Gilbert Melendez Retains Lightweight Title Via Split Decision Over Josh Thomson

The main card for Saturday night's Strikeforce event on Showtime is nearing its end at the HP Pavilion in San Jose. After a pair of quick knockouts and a championship bout, the only fight remaining is the main event: the final of the Heavyweight Grand Prix Tournament between Josh Barnett and Daniel Cormier.

In the co-main event, San Jose's Josh Thomson took on Strikeforce Lightweight Champion and Santa Ana native Gilbert Melendez. The third fight between these two combatants was possibly their most exciting to date.

The first two round represented an extended feeling out process and the two fighters looked fairly evenly matched, but Thomson ended up taking plenty of hard shots in the final moments of the second round. Nothing that looked in danger of ending the fight, but a notable flurry of unreciprocated blows.

At the beginning of the third round, a graphic revealed that although Melendez had thrown over twice as many strikes as Thomson, the challenger was over two times as accurate in landing the shots that he was taking. The fighters stood and traded in the third round and by the end, Melendez was looking significantly more winded than Thomson and had a lesion under his right eye.

Melendez scored a big takedown in the opening minutes of the fourth round, but Thomson was quickly back to his feet. In the final two minutes of the round, Thomson knocked down Melendez and took his back. He spent the final minute attempting several rear naked chokes, but Melendez kept his chin down and kept squirming out and was able to make it to the bell.

In the fifth and final round, Melendez again scored an early takedown, but again Thomson was right back up. Melendez looked like he was attempting to be aggressive and press the attack, but Thomson landed several big combos and wound up on top as the fight wound down and went to a decision.

The fight was certainly close and the split decision bore that out, as all three judges scored the fight 48-47, but two judges came down in favor of Melendez, who retained his title as a result to thunderous boos. We will almost certainly see a rematch for this one.

Here are the results of the main card for Saturday's Strikeforce event leading up the the main event.

Lightweight Championship bout: Gilbert Melendez (c) vs. Josh Thomson
Melendez defeats Thomson via split decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)

Light Heavyweight bout: Rafael Cavalcante vs. Mike Kyle
Cavalcante defeated Kyle via submission (flying guillotine choke) at 0:33 of round 1.

Welterweight bout: Nah-Shon Burrell vs. Chris Spang
Spang defeated Burrell via TKO (knees and punches) at 1:35 of round 1.

For more on mixed martial arts in general, check out everything we have to offer over at MMA Fighting and Bloody Elbow.

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Strikeforce Barnett Vs. Cormier Results: All Preliminary Bouts Go The Distance

The latest Strikeforce MMA event is underway on Saturday night at the HP Pavilion in San Jose and it should be another exciting night of Bay Area mixed martial arts. The main event for the evening is the final match of the Heavyweight Grand Prix Tournament between Josh Barnett and Daniel Cormier, the culmination of a lengthy saga within the promotion.

The preliminary card is all in the books and each of the fights before the Showtime telecast went to the judges. Here are the full results of the preliminary fights.

Lightweight bout: Gesias Cavalcante vs. Isaac Vallie-Flagg
Vallie-Flagg defeated Cavalcante via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

Light Heavyweight bout: Virgil Zwicker vs. Guto Inocente
Inocente defeated Zwicker via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Light Heavyweight bout: Gian Villante vs. Derrick Mehmen
Villante defeated Mehmen via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27).

Welterweight bout: Quinn Mulhern vs. Yuri Villefort
Mulhern defeated Villefort via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28).

Lightweight bout: James Terry vs. Bobby Green
Green defeated Terry via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28).

For more on mixed martial arts in general, check out everything we have to offer over at MMA Fighting and Bloody Elbow.

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UFC 146: Dos Santos Vs. Mir Fight Card

Just a couple months ago, UFC 146: Dos Santos vs. Mir looked like one of the most explosive fight cards in recent memory - mostly due to the fact that it wasn't subtitled "vs. Mir." No, it was "vs. Overeem," as in Alistair Overeem, the Adonis of men who steals souls with vicious knees and eats horse meat. A potential fight between Junior dos Santos and Overeem was absolutely interesting.

But that's in the past. Now, it's dos Santos taking on Frank Mir, and the fight isn't very compelling at all. Mir is great and routinely exceeds expectations, but they remain low for this one. That being said, there's definitely some interesting matchups worth noting still remaining on the card.

Cain Velasquez will be representing the Bay Area while welcoming Antonio Silva back to the UFC. There's some other Bay Area ties in action as well, including Daver Herman and Shane del Rosario on the main card and Kyle Kingsbury and Jason Miller on the prelims. Below, we've got the full fight card.

Main Card

Heavyweight Championship: Junior dos Santos vs. Frank Mir
Heavyweight fight: Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio Silva
Heavyweight fight: Roy Nelson vs. Dave Herman
Heavyweight fight: Stipe Miocic vs. Shane del Rosario
Heavyweight fight: Mark Hunt vs. Stefan Struve

Preliminary Card

Featherweight fight: Diego Brandao vs. Darren Elkins
Lightweight fight: Edson Barboza vs. Jamie Varner
Middleweight fight: Jason Miller vs. C.B. Dollaway
Lightweight fight: Paul Sass vs. Jacob Volkmann
Welterweight fight: Dan Hardy vs. Duane Ludwig
Light Heavyweight fight: Kyle Kingsbury vs. Glover Teixeira
Featherweight fight: Mike Brown vs. Daniel Pineda

For more on mixed martial arts in general, check out everything we have to offer over at MMA Fighting and Bloody Elbow.

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Nick Diaz No-Shows BJJ Grappling Charity Event

Nick Diaz has been suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission and is filing a lawsuit against them, but has still managed to find the time to disappoint some mixed martial arts fans on Saturday.

Anton Tabuena reports that Diaz was scheduled to have a grappling match against Braulio Estima on Saturday at the World Jiujitsa Expo in Long Beach. The superfight was meant to be the main event, with Diaz's purse having been promised to St. Jude's Children's Hospital.

The only problem is that Diaz never showed, leaving Estima waiting in the ring for a match that never materialized. No reason has been giving for Diaz's absence from the event.

For his part, Estima voiced his displeasure at Diaz's lack of professionalism and revealed that he was willing to take the fight even though Diaz had come in over weight.

Add a new wrinkle to the Nick Diaz saga. Win, lose, or suspended, he'll always keep the fighting world on its toes.

For more on mixed martial arts in general, check out everything we have to offer over at MMA Fighting and Bloody Elbow.

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Muhammed 'King Mo' Lawal Signs With Bellator & TNA Wrestling

Muhammed Lawal, the mixed martial arts fighter better known as "King Mo," seems to have landed on his feet rather admirably following a failed drug test and suspension, a health scare and some unfortunate comments that led to his being terminated from Strikeforce.

Brent Brookhouse at Bloody Elbow relayed the news that Lawal has found not one, but two new promotions that were eager to sign him; one legitimate, one ... less so. The original news comes from Sherdog.

Sherdog.com confirmed with sources close to the situation on Wednesday that "King Mo" is expected to sign with both Total Nonstop Action Wrestling and the Bellator Fighting Championships in the near future. According to Sherdog's sources, the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion will likely perform simultaneously for the professional wrestling organization and the Chicago-based MMA promoter. Details surrounding the deals were not revealed.

Of course, Lawal will have to wait until his license is reinstated before he can compete with Bellator, but his picture and profile is already up on TNA's roster page. It is unfortunate that WWE was not interested or was beaten to the punch by TNA, because Lawal would likely have fit in quite well in the WWE. He'll possibly do well in TNA, but TNA is just awful.

For all news and information regarding mixed martial arts, stay tuned to either MMA Fighting or Bloody Elbow.

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UFC On FOX 3: Final Numbers Show Massive Drop In Ratings

UFC on FOX 3 took place on Saturday night and was headlined by a terrific fight between Nate Diaz and Jim Miller. It was the third event for UFC to be broadcast on prime time on a major network and as usual, the company was hoping for big things with the national exposure.

Brent Brookhouse over at Bloody Elbow gathered the final ratings data for UFC on FOX 3 and the results aren't pretty. The event did a 1.6 in males aged 18-34, which is down 50% from UFC on FOX 2 and pulled in 2.4 million total viewers, which is down 48% from UFC on FOX 2.

The show was only No. 6 out of the eight network programs that ran at the same time as the event. To put things in perspective, UFC on FOX 3 pulled in about 34% less total viewers than the average 2012 episode of COPS, which normally airs in that Saturday time slot.

The main explanation for the dive in numbers is due to a lack of star power, but UFC will need to tread extremely lightly for UFC on FOX 4 in August, as networks have previously shown -- as they showed with EliteXC and Strikeforce -- that they are perfectly happy to drop an MMA promotion from their schedule at a moment's notice.

For all news and information regarding mixed martial arts, stay tuned to either MMA Fighting or Bloody Elbow.

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Nate Diaz Having A Career Resurgence With Mightily Impressive Recent Outings

The Diaz Brothers will always be some of the more polarizing figures in mixed martial arts. But there's an awful lot more to it than the fact that they're poor sports in the octagon - it helps (or hurts, really) that they're really, really, really good. Seriously. Super good.

In other words, why devote some of that precious, precious hate you love to spread around to a fighter who isn't worth a damn when he steps into the octagon? Why devote any actual distaste toward, say, Sean McCorkle? People throw it at the Diaz brothers because they're great at two things: their own, legitimate brand of showmanship and, of course, fighting.

When people hated on Nick Diaz, he went on a long winning streak and amped up the things that people hated tenfold, building a fanbase of the people who love that brand of (un)sportsman-like conduct. And there is nothing at all wrong with that - not even a little bit. They've earned the right to handle themselves however they want, or at the very least, Nick did, until UFC On Fox 3.

Nate Diaz earned the honor in amazing fashion. He became the first man to stop Jim Miller in the octagon, and did so while taunting all the way. He taunted Miller just before dropping him with a straight left, and he taunted him after forcing Miller to tap to a guillotine (a submission that surely was going to finish Miller regardless, but one he might have been content riding through and passing out as opposed to tapping, if only he wasn't about to bite his tongue off due to a discarded mouthpiece).

And that's just perfect. Diaz has had a career resurgence - if you can cal three fights a resurgence. This writer is totally OK with doing so, given the seemingly endless progression as a fighter over the past three fights. Personally, I've never been a fan of the Diaz brothers and their showmanship - but Nate is making me a fan by showing that they're not just one trick ponies.

Personally excited to watch the next Nate Diaz fight - signed, an excited new fan.

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UFC On Fox 3 Results: Reviewing Main Card Predictions

Earlier, we took a look at how my personal predictions for the preliminary card of UFC On Fox 3: Diaz vs. Miller turned out. I was wrong more often than naught, which is just how this sport works sometimes. I assure you that I'm not always that poor at picking fights. Unfortunately, it didn't get much better for me when the main card came 'round.

And what a main card it was. Pat Barry taking on Lavar Johnson was everything the UFC wanted it to be, with a big, big knockout. Rousimar Palhares and Alan Belcher made those unacquainted with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu scratch their heads in wonderment, but ultimately enjoy what they see. Josh Koscheck and Johny Hendricks, those of the polarizing hair, threw down like they always do.

And Nate Diaz shocked everyone by stopping Jim Miller. It was quite the card. Let's see how I did in my predictions (spoiler alert: not good).

Lavar Johnson Vs. Pat Barry

At the very least, I did discuss why Johnson could win the fight - by hitting really, really hard. I also did discuss why Pat Barry could lose the fight - by being really, really stupid. He stood in front of Johnson and, accordingly, he got knocked out. I was wrong on this one.

Rousimar Palhares vs. Alan Belcher

Personally, I'm a big Belcher fan. Clearly, it didn't cloud my judgement, as I figured Palhares was going to walk out of there with one of his limbs. He didn't. Belcher escaped the leg lock like he should have, and Palhares, seemingly stunned that Belcher didn't, you know, run away immediately, proceeded to get TKO'd thanks to a solid Belcher elbow. I was wrong on this one, too.

Josh Koscheck vs. Johny Hendricks

I had Hendricks winning, and I also scored the fight for him. But I thought he was going to walk all over Koscheck, which he didn't, and that was surprising. Koscheck is getting older, and I pictured Hendricks doing what he did to Jon Fitch. That's not what happened, and I'm actually disappointed in that, but at the very least, I did pick the winner correctly ...

Jim Miller vs. Nate Diaz

Kudos to Diaz, who is making me a fan. I know that's kind of crazy around here - I'm not a Diaz brothers fan, but Nate is winning me over. His career resurgence is nothing short of stunning at this point, so naturally he followed up his absolute destruction of Donald Cerrone by becoming the first man to finish Jim Miller. I said that Miller had all the ways to win this and if they fought again, I might say the same thing, but Diaz is improving by leaps and bounds, and if it means a smarter, more cerebral Nate, then I'm happy to be wrong.

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UFC On Fox 3 Results: Reviewing Preliminary Card Predictions

On Saturday morning, I gave my predictions for the UFC On Fox 3 preliminary card - and I've decided I'll take a look over them and see how I did. I'll go over each fight and talk a little bit about the prelims, which were action-packed, if a little sloppy. Buy sloppy is just fine, providing that it's still exciting and people actually get hit.

Bad sloppy is Leonard Garcia, who may or may not actually have ever hit somebody in his time with Zuffa. At any rate, it was a solid watch of a main card, so let's go ahead and see how I did. Which is to say, let's see how poorly I did.

Karlos Vemola vs. Mike Massenzio

All of the experts at Bloody Elbow picked Massenzio to work Vemola pretty handily, but I had Vemola winning on crazy gorilla strength or something along those lines. At any rate, it was actually a very competitive first round. It was a pretty tight first, and Vemola entered the second looking pretty gassed, which was a bad sign. But Vemola powered Massenzio down and started delivering heavy strikes to start the second. Massenzio covered up, and Vemola secured a submission victory. I picked a knockout in the first round, instead we got a submission just over a minute into the first. Either way, it was due to gorilla strength, so I'll take a win here.

Roland Delorme Vs. Nick Denis

I had Delorme being one-dimensional and losing the fight to an aggressive Denis, which wasn't too far off, except he won, but that's just a technicality. Denis was forcing Delorme to panic early, but eventually, it was Delorme who landed a punch that forced Denis back. He then tripped him, pounced on him, and sunk in the rear naked choke for the round one submission. I had Denis by TKO in round two, so this is a loss for me.

Pablo Garza vs. Dennis Bermudez

Garza started off this fight exactly like he should have - out-landing Bermudez as the more polished fighter overall. But along the way something happened and Bermudez got hulk strength and started tossing Garza around like a sack of potatoes. I had a Garza submission in round three and it was a clear-cut decision win for Bermudez. I was on the right track, but it's another loss for me.

Danny Castillo vs. John Cholish

This fight exactly how it was supposed to. I said that Castillo would win a decision, and he did - though it was somewhat controversial. I said they're similar fighters, and that was illustrated well in how close it was. Had Castillo by decision and that's what happened. A rare win for me.

Louis Gaudinot vs. John Lineker

Alright so I called this one way wrong. It turns out Gaudinot could take all the punches Lineker threw at him. Still, if Lineker was just a bit more calm, he was on his way to an easy 30-27. As it happens, he made some dumb mistakes and Gaudinot secured a guillotine that nobody was escaping from. I lose again.

John Hathaway vs. Pascal Krauss

I had Hathaway winning by being better than Krauss straight-up, even if he's never going to live up to his short-lived hype. I was right. Pretty clear-cut decision. Hathaway almost finished the fight multiple times and, though it would have screwed up my prediction, I wish he would have. Would have been fun. I win on this one, though.

John Dodson vs. Tim Elliott

I called this one right, too - though I had Dodson scoring a TKO late in the fight. In all honesty, Dodson disappointed me - I had him pegged to do much better than he did. I'm not sure why he struggled so much with Elliott, who arguably took the third round with a slowing Dodson. I had this mostly right, wither way.

Anthony Ferguson vs. Michael Johnson

Hey look at that, a recent TUF alum actually progressed and developed into a decent fighter, it seems. Unfortunately, he did so against a more recent TUF alum, so there's that. I had Ferguson making Johnson look really bad, with the caveat that Johnson has always had to strike with defensive wrestling in mind. The first time he fights a strike, he embarrasses him. Could be good things in his future if he hits the right matchups. I was wrong here.

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UFC On FOX 3: Fight Of The Night Bonuses From Diaz Vs. Miller

UFC on FOX 3 on Saturday night featured a thrilling card of fights, culminating in four great bouts on prime time network television.

At the post-event press conference, UFC president Dana White announced which fighters would be taking home the bonuses for the various superlatives of the evening. All winners received a $65,000 bonus check in addition to their regular winnings.

The knockout of the night went to Lavar Johnson, who whooped up on professional tomato can Pat Barry in the first round of their heavyweight fight and won via TKO from punches. The opponent was less than elite, but Johnson looked impressive nonetheless.

Submission of the night went to Nate Diaz, who wrapped up Jim Miller in an impressive-looking power guillotine. The setup and the move were picture-perfect examples of just how talented Diaz is and on a card full of submissions, this one stood out.

Fight of the night went to Louis Gaudinot and John Lineker, a frantic catchweight fight at 127 pounds that ended with a Gaudinot choke in the second round.

The full results of the fight card from Saturday:

Preliminary card (Facebook)

Middleweight bout: Mike Massenzio vs. Karlos Vemola
Vemola defeated Massenzio via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:07 of round 2.

Bantamweight bout: Roland Delorme vs. Nick Denis
Delorme defeated Denis via submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:59 of round 1.

Preliminary card (Fuel TV)

Featherweight bout: Dennis Bermudez vs. Pablo Garza
Bermudez defeated Garza via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

Lightweight bout: Danny Castillo vs. John Cholish
Castillo defeated Cholish via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

Catchweight (127 pound) bout: Louis Gaudinot vs. John Lineker
Gaudinot defeated Lineker via technical submission (guillotine choke) at 4:54 of round 2.

Welterweight bout: John Hathaway vs. Pascal Krauss
Hathaway defeated Krauss via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27).

Flyweight bout: John Dodson vs. Tim Elliott
Dodson defeated Elliott via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).

Lightweight bout: Tony Ferguson vs. Michael Johnson
Johnson defeated Ferguson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

Main Card

Heavyweight bout: Pat Barry vs. Lavar Johnson
Johnson defeated Barry via TKO (punches) at 4:38 of round 1.

Middleweight bout: Rousimar Palhares vs. Alan Belcher
Belcher defeated Palhares via TKO (elbows & punches) at 4:20 of round 1.

Welterweight bout: Josh Koscheck vs. Johny Hendricks
Hendricks defeated Koscheck via spilt decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29).

Lightweight bout: Nate Diaz vs. Jim Miller
Diaz defeated Miller via submission (guillotine choke) at 4:09 of round 2.

For all news and information regarding mixed martial arts, stay tuned to either MMA Fighting or Bloody Elbow.

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UFC On FOX 3 Results: Nate Diaz Chokes Out Jim Miller In Round 2 Of Main Event

UFC on FOX 3 from East Rutherford, New Jersey is now in the books. The main event featured Stockton native Nate Diaz going up against Jim Miller. The fight was set to go five rounds and would likely have lightweight title ramifications.

Round 1 began with plenty of standup before the two men got into an extended clinch against the cage. Diaz kept on the offensive during the clinch, lading over three times as many strikes as Miller while in the clinch. In the last 45 second, Diaz dropped Miller with a straight left, but Miller was able to turtle long enough to recover and get back to his feet, now taking Diaz down. Diaz was able to sweep and retain control by the time the round ended. The round likely easily went to Diaz.

The second round featured more of the same, with standup and clinches, with Diaz again landing many more strikes than Miller. Diaz also egged on Miller, as is typical, continually suckering Miller into charging him. Diaz finally got ground control and went for a power-guillotine, rolling over Miller and locking up his legs at the same time, forcing Miller to tap at 4:10 of Round 2 for the win.

Diaz now improved to 16-7 and looked very impressive in this showing.

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UFC On FOX Diaz Vs. Miller Results: Josh Koscheck Loses To Johny Hendricks Via Split Decision

On Saturday, UFC on FOX 3 is underway in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The main event will feature Stockton native Nate Diaz taking on Jim Miller in a five-round fight.

The co-main featured Josh Koscheck, who fought out of San Jose and American Kickboxing Academy for years before his recent split with the prestigious dojo. Koscheck took on Johny Hendricks in a welterweight fight as both men attempt to re-insert themselves in the conversation for a title shot in the division.

In the opening round, both men stood and traded for a while before Hendricks scored a takedown. Hendricks landed more punches in the round and was the aggressor, which looked to be enough to easily win the round.

Round 2 saw both men work towards something significant in grapples, but neither could make anything happen and the round once again focused mostly on the standup. Both fighters landed some solid strikes, but nothing that ever looked close to putting the fight away. The second round was extremely close and the judges likely had things 19-19 at this point, but Koscheck entered the final round knowing he would need to dominate at the very least and try to finish if he was at all able to.

Both men landed some huge shots on one another about 2:00 into the third round and were swinging freely, both looking for the win. Koscheck had swelling over his eye midway through the round and was hit by a huge Hendricks knee, but scored a takedown in response. Kos stayed on top and held Hendricks down for the remainder of the fight to easily win the round, but it was left up to the judges at that point.

The fight was indeed as close as it appeared, as the judges awarded Hendricks the victory via split decision on scores of (29-28, 29-28, 28-29).

Here are the results of the main card of UFC on FOX up to the main event:

Heavyweight bout: Pat Barry vs. Lavar Johnson
Johnson defeated Barry via TKO (punches) at 4:38 of round 1.

Middleweight bout: Rousimar Palhares vs. Alan Belcher
Belcher defeated Palhares via TKO (elbows & punches) at 4:20 of round 1.

Welterweight bout: Josh Koscheck vs. Johny Hendricks
Hendricks defeated Koscheck via spilt decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29).

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UFC On FOX Diaz Vs. Miller: Preliminary Card Results

On Saturday, UFC is once again appearing on prime time, as the third UFC on FOX event will be headlined by a pair of fights featuring fighters with deep Bay Area ties.

Before the main card gets underway this evening, the preliminary fights are all in the books. It was a thrilling set of fights, with three of the first five fights ending by submission chokes.

Here are the results of the preliminary matches at Saturday's UFC on FOX 3:

Preliminary card (Facebook)

Middleweight bout: Mike Massenzio vs. Karlos Vemola
Vemola defeated Massenzio via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:07 of round 2.

Bantamweight bout: Roland Delorme vs. Nick Denis
Delorme defeated Denis via submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:59 of round 1.

Preliminary card (Fuel TV)

Featherweight bout: Dennis Bermudez vs. Pablo Garza
Bermudez defeated Garza via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

Lightweight bout: Danny Castillo vs. John Cholish
Castillo defeated Cholish via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

Catchweight (127 pound) bout: Louis Gaudinot vs. John Lineker
Gaudinot defeated Lineker via technical submission (guillotine choke) at 4:54 of round 2.

Welterweight bout: John Hathaway vs. Pascal Krauss
Hathaway defeated Krauss via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27).

Flyweight bout: John Dodson vs. Tim Elliott
Dodson defeated Elliott via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).

Lightweight bout: Tony Ferguson vs. Michael Johnson
Johnson defeated Ferguson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

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UFC On Fox: Diaz Vs. Miller Preliminary Card Predictions

UFC On Fox 3: Diaz Vs. Miller is set to go down tonight, and we're going through our predictions for the main card and preliminary card. It's likely going to be a great event, worthy of being on the Fox network - a good successor to the first two shows, which were pretty good. The main event will feature a showdown between lightweights Nick Diaz and Jim Miller, who are both high up on the totem pole in the division. Miller is just a fight removed from a title eliminator.

But we're going to look at the prelims first - with my personal predictions. The main card predictions are coming just a little bit later this morning. The prelim card is packed with some potentially exciting fights, though with some less-than stellar prospects. Do you enjoy sloppy fights? Then read on!

Facebook Prelims

Mike Massenzio Vs. Karlos Vemola

Vemola is a very volatile guy - he's going to throw wildly and if something connects, you're going to sleep. That's just how it is. Mike Massenzio, on the other hand, is not ... as volatile. But he's good, and calculated. That might be enough for him to win the fight, but Vemola will be headhunting and I'm going with him. Vemola by KO, Round One

Roland Delorme Vs. Nick Denis

This fight is kind of up in the air in my eyes. Denis could absolutely wreck Delorme right off the bat or or Delorme could get this fight to the ground and take a decision. I'm going with the former. Denis by TKO, Round Two

Fuel TV Prelims

Dennis Bermudez Vs. Pablo Garza

It's hard to imagine Pablo Garza losing this fight - he's just too polished for someone like Bermudez. It's like the fight listed above, except Garza is good at everything and not just judo. He'll be able to control Bermudez, stay on point and land when he needs to. He's just better. Not to mention, Bermudez likes to eat punches. They're his favorite. Garza by submission, Round Three

Danny Castillo Vs. John Cholish

Castillo is a well-rounded guy and Cholish is ... a well-rounded guy. However, Castillo has more experience at the higher level and there's much more known at this point. He's gritty, and in the UFC, that counts for a lot. Cholish is relatively unknown and might be able to hang a little bit and surprise some people, but in the end, I can't see him winning. Castillo by decision

Louis Gaudinot Vs. John Lineker

Gaudinot is a fan of catching haymakers with his face and Lineker is a fan of throwing haymakers at people's faces. It isn't a particularly compelling matchup, but it should be fun while it's going. Lineker by KO, Round Two

John Hathaway Vs. Pascal Krauss

At one point, Hathaway was seen as a guy who could possibly be in title contention. Then he went on to lose and now he's faded into relative obscurity, all in a short period of time. That being said, he'll be good enough to avoid the submissions of Krauss and he'll ride out a decision on his striking. Hathaway by decision

John Dodson Vs. Tim Elliott

Dodson has a lot of potential to be really good, and Elliott has a lot of potential to be really super average. Dodson should outpace him early on and eventually overwhelm Elliott en route to a TKO. Dodson by TKO, Round Three

Tony Ferguson Vs. Michael Johnson

Johnson throws well, but doesn't throw with much power, while Ferguson is technical enough to get inside and land something big. Johnson just seems like he's not going to be a guy who sees his potential, while Ferguson seems like his potential is beating guys who aren't going to reach thier's. That being said, Johnson is fighting a striker for basically the first time in his UFC career and that could be a great thing for him. That being said, Ferguson is the smart bet. Ferguson by decision.

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UFC On Fox: Diaz Vs. Miller Main Card Predictions

Tonight, the UFC kicks off its third event on the Fox network with UFC On Fox 3: Diaz vs. Miller. It promises to be a strong event and a worthy successor to the first two events on the network, if the main card is anything to go by. The main card is kept to four fights to keep the run-time down, with a preliminary card on Fuel TV and Facebook.

In the main event, Nate Diaz will square off against Jim Miller, who is one fight removed from a number one contender's match for the lightweight championship. Diaz, a Stockton, CA native, is looking to continue his career resurgence at lightweight for the second time. His last outing was an intensely impressive victory over perennial lightweight contender Donald Cerrone.

Below, we're going to take a look at the fights and I'll give my own predictions for the night's main card.

Pat Barry vs. Lavar Johnson

This fight will be opening up the night's main card and it's pretty obvious why: Dana White and Joe Silva think that this fight will end very quickly and very violently. Johnson hits like a tank. No, more than that, he hits like a giant robot with super tanks for arms that shoot out normal-sized tanks. That being said, Barry is the more polished striker and if he gains some fight IQ, he should be able to out-strike Johnson and earn a knockout. There's a good chance this one is three rounds of bad cardio, though. Beware. Barry by TKO, Round Two

Rousimar Palhares vs. Alan Belcher

If there was a UFC title belt for "lowest fight IQ", this fight would be for said belt. Palhares isn't good at anything but grabbing onto a limb and ripping it right off. Unfortunately for Belcher, he's so ridiculously good at doing that. So very ridiculously good at it. Belcher is a great striker and doesn't have very many weaknesses technically, but he is on the sluggish side. He's still probably the smart bet as the more polished MMA fighter, but I think Palhares goes home with another limb to add to his collection. Palhares by submission, Round Two

Josh Koscheck vs. Johny Hendricks

Hendricks suffered a setback when he was controlled by Rick Story for three rounds, but he rebounded from that nicely by knocking out the No. 2 welterweight in the world, Jon Fitch, in only a few seconds. Hendricks is an excellent wrestler (Story wasn't able to get him down, just control him against the fence) and a very, very strong puncher. He's also very technical, and able to score the knockout from multiple angles and distances. Koscheck, on the other hand, has the tendency to engage in sloppy striking battles in which he throws an overhand right and nothing else. He really doesn't throw anything else. This is a changing of the guard and Hendricks makes another statement with an early KO. Hendricks by KO, Round One

Nate Diaz vs. Jim Miller

This is a tough fight to call, because Miller is so good at everything he does, but has lost in the past to guys who can out-hustle him. Is Diaz that guy? Probably not. Diaz doesn't out-hustle anybody, he just beats them. You have to have a great gameplan out out-hustle Miller, and the Diaz brothers aren't known to be strong tacticians. That being said, you can't ignore Diaz's fight against Cerrone. It was absolute domination and the opposite of what most experts expected. That being said, Miller is just too good at too many things, and it's hard to see anything other than Diaz being controlled by the bigger and better man. Miller by decision

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UFC On FOX 3: TV Schedule, Fight Card & More

UFC on FOX 3 will take place on Saturday, May 5. The prime-time network event will be headlined by a Bay Area fighter, as Stockton native Nate Diaz takes on Jim Miller in a match that is likely to have lightweight title implications.

In the co-main, another fighter with deep San Jose ties will be fighting, as the always-polarizing but rarely-boring Josh Kockscheck continues his journey back into the welterweight title picture against Johny Hendricks.

The main card airs on FOX, naturally, beginning at 5:00 p.m. PT. You can watch preliminary fights beginning at 1:00 p.m. PT on Facebook, then flipping over to FUEL TV at 2:00 p.m. PT and running all the way up to the main card.

Main card

Lightweight bout: Nate Diaz vs. Jim Miller

Welterweight bout: Josh Koscheck vs. Johny Hendricks

Middleweight bout: Rousimar Palhares vs. Alan Belcher

Heavyweight bout: Pat Barry vs. Lavar Johnson

Preliminary card (Fuel TV)

Lightweight bout: Tony Ferguson vs. Michael Johnson

Flyweight bout: John Dodson vs. Tim Elliott

Welterweight bout: John Hathaway vs. Pascal Krauss

Flyweight bout: Louis Gaudinot vs. John Lineker

Lightweight bout: Danny Castillo vs. John Cholish

Featherweight bout: Dennis Bermudez vs. Pablo Garza

Preliminary card (Facebook)

Middleweight bout: Mike Massenzio vs. Karlos Vemola

Bantamweight bout: Roland Delorme vs. Nick Denis

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Bellator 67 Results: Bay Area Fighters Represented On Toronto MMA Card

Bellator held their 67th fight card north of the border on Friday night and there were two Bay Area fighters represented.

While Dave Huckaba was only able to win the third round en route to a unanimous decision loss in his heavyweight fight against Damian Grabowski, fellow Bay Area fighter Bryan Baker fared much better. His fight against Ben Saunders in the welterweight division also went the distance, but Baker was able to pick up the win via unanimous decision.

Here are the full results for Bellator 67 in Rama, Ontario, Canada:

Lightweight bout: Michael Chandler defeats Akihiro Gono by TKO (punches), 0:56 Round 1
Welterweight bout: Bryan Baker defeats Ben Saunders by unanimous decision
Heavyweight bout: Damian Grabowski defeats Dave Huckaba by unanimous decision
Welterweight bout: Ryan Ford defeats Luis Santos by TKO (knee and punches), 1:24 Round 2
Lightweight bout: Cosmo Alexandre defeats Lorawnt-T Nelson by unanimous decision
Featherweight bout: William Romero defeats Matt Veal by TKO (knees and punches), 4:25 Round 2
Bantamweight bout: David Harris defeats Nick Kirk by unanimous decision
Welterweight bout: Dom O'Grady defeats Nathan Gunn by submission (armbar), 4:51 Round 2
Catchweight (180 pounds): Nordine Taleb defeats Matt MacGrath by TKO (punches), 2:30 Round 2

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Nick Diaz Sues Nevada State Athletic Commission, Claiming Violation Of Due Process Rights

After Nick Diaz was suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for failing a post-fight drug test and lost his appeal, he and his freshly-acquired legal team threatened to sue the NSAC in order to get the Stockton native reinstated. On Thursday, they made good on their threat.

Kid Nate at Bloody Elbow reports that the Diaz legal team has indeed sued the NSAC, claiming a violation of due process rights. Luke Thomas at MMA Fighting provides all the gory legal details:

Diaz's suit centers on three allegations, two of which relate to statutory complaints for which he seeks injunctive relief -- namely, to have the temporary suspension lifted and to not be required to go any further punitive proceedings. The other allegation focuses on Diaz's due process rights, the NSAC's violation of which entitles Diaz to both injunctive and declaratory relief, according to the lawsuit.

Diaz is arguing the NSAC is in violation of two statutory codes. First, statutory code NRS 233B, requires the commission to determine the outcome through proceedings related to the order of a summary suspension within 45 days of the date of the suspension.

Diaz and his lawyers argue this term has passed without any date set for a hearing. "Diaz's license has, in effect, been suspended indefinitely," says the lawsuit, "in the absence of any adverse findings having been made against him by the NSAC."

...

Diaz's complaint also cites breach of statute NRS 467.117, which requires that a "temporary suspension may be made only where the action is necessary to protect the public welfare". In other words, Diaz's temporary suspension is unlawful because no basis has been established that demonstrates suspending Diaz was done as a matter of preserving public health.

Citing the alleged violation of these two statutes by the NSAC, Diaz's complaint asks the court to enjoin NSAC from proceeding with any further punitive proceedings because "the NSAC has lost statutory jurisdiction to proceed with the complaint."

This story has no shortage of twists and turns. Hopefully, this case will neither turn into a circus nor get bogged down in court for years. MMA fans should just be rooting for Diaz to be back in the cage and fighting as soon as possible.

For the latest developments in the ongoing Nick Diaz saga, keep checking this StoryStream. For all news and information regarding mixed martial arts, stay tuned to either MMA Fighting or Bloody Elbow.

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Alistair Overeem Suspension Upheld By NSAC

Alistair Overeem recently failed a drug test for elevated testosterone levels, which cost him his title fight against Junior Dos Santos at UFC 146. It also meant that there was a shuffling of the card, as Frank Mir will now get the main-event title shot and former Mir opponent, San Jose fight and Salinas native Cain Velasquez will be fighting against Antonio Silva.

On Tuesday, the Nevada State Athletic Commission held their official hearing on the Overeem case and made their ruling. Brent Brookhouse of Bloody Elbow reported on the hearing live on Tuesday.

Overeem tested positive for 14:1 (as we knew). Overeem tried to flee the building at time of random test, jumped into a car and sped off despite being told that he had to stay to give a sample. Claims he "didn't realize" he needed to stick around and was going to an interview, then changed story that he was going to talk about his battery case, then changed story again that he was going to try to avoid Golden Glory serving him papers. UFC says they made it entirely clear that he needed to stick around.

Overeem's lawyers requested a continuance, which was denied by the commission. They did not feel a strong enough case was made to allow a conditional license, so their final judgment was that Overeem's license would remain suspended.

Overeem will be allowed to re-apply for a new license in nine months (roughly the end of December). That nine month period insists that the fighter not apply for a license anywhere else during that time. We will find out what is in store for him after that re-application.

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UFC 146: Cain Velasquez To Fight Antonio 'Bigfoot' Silva In Lieu Of Frank Mir

The Bay Area no longer has a champion in regards to the highest levels of mixed martial arts - Nick Diaz and Jake Shields both vacated their Strikeforce titles to come to the UFC, and both have failed to win gold in the bigger of the two big organizations, while Cain Velasquez lost the Heavyweight Championship in his most recent fight, a knockout loss at the hands of Junior dos Santos.

Velasquez was set to get back on the horse with his first fight back against tough veteran Frank Mir, but that fight is now off, with Mir set to take on dos Santos for the title with Alistair Overeem being taken from the fight after failing a pre-fight test. It was revealed that Overeem had failed a pre-fight test that saw him with elevated testosterone levels (or rather, skewed ratios).

On Sunday, UFC President Dana White confirmed on Twitter that Velasquez would remain on the card though - against Antonio Silva, who is making his return to the UFC after a stint in Strikeforce. It was a notable stint for "Bigfoot," who had a strong victory over Fedor Emelianenko, in which he dominated the Russian legend en route to a TKO stoppage.

But facing Velasquez is a tough return to the big show for anybody. Silva will have his hands full, while Velasquez should be the heavy favorite to get back in the win column and start his run back to the top. The biggest issue for him is ... well, just how big Silva is. As Velasquez is primarily a wrestler, it will be interesting to see how he handles the giant mass of man that is "Bigfoot."

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UFC 145 Results: Michael McDonald Should Be Brought Along On Opposite Path To Renan Barao

Somewhat glossed over at UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans is the fact that a new contender was born in Michael McDonald. He scored a huge knockout over Miguel Torres, a perennial title contender. It's huge, given that it was only Torres' fifth loss in his MMA career - out of 45 total fights. To contrast, that was just McDonald's 16th MMA fight ever. So yes, he's definitely in the title picture, especially in a somewhat thin Bantamweight Division.

As it stands, Dominick Cruz is the champion, and he's set to defend his title against Urijah Faber ... it will be the third time they've fought. Outside of Faber, the division is somewhat shallow, with contenders Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson dropping down to Flyweight. But there is definitely one fighter with a lot of potential outside of the aforementioned McDonald: Renan Barao.

Barao is set to fight Ivan Menjivar at UFC 148, and it "could" be to see who is the No. 1 contender, but with McDonald's huge knockout of Torres, some believe that McDonald could be fighting the winner of this fight instead. This writer believes that would be a mistake. If Barao is that close to a title shot (he should be ... a win over Menjivar on top of victories over Brad Pickett and Scott Jorgensen are sufficient), then let him have his fight.

And if he's not as close to a title shot? Then have them go on separate paths, regardless. This isn't quite like Jon Jones and Phil Davis or Ryan Bader - that division was stacked without them. Bantamweight isn't afforded that luxury. McDonald and Barao are both at a point where a loss wouldn't destroy their career, but it's also something that they certainly don't need right now.

More than that, the UFC doesn't need to cannibalize their contenders in a division that still hasn't "stuck" with fans of MMA. They should bring them along separate paths, and give McDonald someone else in the meantime to see where he's at while Faber tries to get through Cruz.

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UFC On FOX 3: Nate Diaz Will Headline Card, Josh Koscheck In Co-Main Event

The full card for UFC on FOX 3 has been announced and two notable Bay Area fighters will have top slots on the nationally-televised event.

Tim Burke of Bloody Elbow relays the full card, which will air live on FOX on May 5 and emanate from East Rutherford, NJ.

The main event on the card will feature Stockton native Nate Diaz taking on Jim Miller in a five-round fight to possibly determine the next challenger for the UFC lightweight title.

The co-main will feature Josh Koscheck also continuing his quest to return to title contention. Koscheck has deep ties to the Bay Area, as the polarizing fighter trained at the prestigious American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose for years before a recent and acrimonious split. Koscheck will take on the 12-1 Johny Hendricks.

Here is the full card for UFC on FOX 3:

Main card

Lightweight bout: Nate Diaz vs. Jim Miller

Welterweight bout: Josh Koscheck vs. Johny Hendricks

Middleweight bout: Rousimar Palhares vs. Alan Belcher

Heavyweight bout: Pat Barry vs. Lavar Johnson

Preliminary card (Fuel TV)

Lightweight bout: Tony Ferguson vs. Michael Johnson

Flyweight bout: John Dodson vs. Tim Elliott

Welterweight bout: John Hathaway vs. Pascal Krauss

Flyweight bout: Louis Gaudinot vs. John Lineker

Lightweight bout: Danny Castillo vs. John Cholish

Featherweight bout: Dennis Bermudez vs. Pablo Garza

Preliminary card (Facebook)

Middleweight bout: Mike Massenzio vs. Karlos Vemola

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UFC 145: Dan Henderson May Be Largely Overmatched In His Fight Against Jon Jones

Jon Jones had another fantastic and dominating defense of his UFC light heavyweight championship on Saturday at UFC 145. His defeat of Rashad Evans was decisive and left many wondering who in the division could match up to Jones, who at this point looks nearly unbeatable.

Following the event, Dana White confirmed that Dan Henderson will be the next challenger for Jones' title. The most makes sense, as Henderson is the most readily-apparent person to be next in line for a title shot, but it's unclear whether he will fare any better than Evans.

Henderson, a California native, is currently 29-8 and has won his last four fights -- three by knockout and one by unanimous decision. His last three losses, dating back to 2007, were all in title fights, but the last two were in the middleweight division.

Hendo will likely give the crowd a great fight, as he always tends to do. He's a fan favorite and the fight with Jones should be highly-anticipated and heavily watched, but at age 41, there is no telling how well he will fare against the 16-1, 24-year-old champion. Henderson will also be giving up five inches of height and an astounding 13.5 inches of reach. We all saw how well the reach disparity worked out for Evans.

Henderson will certainly give it his all, but -- on paper at least -- Jones looks to be on another level right now.

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UFC 145 Results: Michael McDonald Becomes Instant Bantamweight Contender With Win Over Miguel Torres

At UFC 145 on Sunday, the Bantamweight division found a new and much-needed contender for the championship conversation. Modesto native Michael McDonald solidified his stock as young phenom with a flash first-round knockout of Angel Torres. McDonald won his fourth UFC fight (and fifth Zuffa fight) as he laid Torres out cold with a right uppercut at 3:18.

McDonald, who now holds a 15-1 record at age 21, hasn't lost a fight in three years. He looked impressive against Torres, who is on the decline but far from a tomato can. In McDonald's highest-profile fight to date, he made himself a contender in a division that is sorely lacking in legitimate threats to the title. Bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz will have a rematch against the division's biggest star, Urijah Faber, in July, but beyond that, the only name realistically in the mix is the 28-1 Renan Barao. There's a steep drop-off after Barao to the other names in the division. Until last night, anyway.

McDonald has looked sharp in all five of his Zuffa fights, with two knockouts and a victory by submission. With another win or two, he will almost certainly be next in line after Barao for the title.

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UFC 145 Results: How Much Of A Chance Does Dan Henderson Have Against Jon Jones?

UFC 145: Jones Vs. Evans was, by some accounts, an underwhelming event when it was all said and done. That isn't to say that there wasn't plenty to be impressed with on the night, from Michael McDonald's knockout of Miguel Torres to the insane defensive striking of Jon Jones, the night definitely had its high points.

As is the usual case for the numbered cards with title fights at the top, the biggest takeaway in regards to news is always who is going to have the next shot at said title, and UFC 145 delivered in this vein just fine with the news confirmed by Dana White: Dan Henderson will get the next shot at the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.

Really, the thought of Henderson getting the next shot is a little scary. Sure, he hasn't slowed down at all in his old age, but Jones is a mauler with a killer instinct, and perhaps it's just this writer's bias, but the MMA world doesn't need to see "Hendo" lose like that.

That being said, what are the chances Henderson pulls out the win? It might be surprising to you - but they're actually pretty decent. Henderson has the strongest right hand in the game - anybody who gets cracked with it has a very good chance of getting put down and waking up with a doctor standing over them. How Mauricio Rua didn't get knocked out in his fight against Henderson is anybody's guess, but for the most part, that right hand will put you down.

And it just so happens that Jones has been hit quite a few times in his most recent fights. Sure, some judges are poor and actually gave Jones the first round against Lyoto Machida, but everyone out there saw Machida tag Jones and get him backpedaling, taking that first round with a huge statement. And everyone saw Rashad Evans come out and stumble Jones four or five times over the course of five rounds in their fight.

Of course, Jones went on to choke out Machida like he was a school child and elbow/kick/knee Rashad a couple hundred times, but you know.

The point is that Jones has holes in his striking, and Henderson only needs to land once. It would not be shocking to see Henderson land that right hand, no matter how telegraphed it happens to be. Most will tell you this fight is likely to end with the much bigger Jones smothering Henderson and pummeling him close or choking him out, but it's compelling because of that right hand, and, really, you'd be a fool not to tune in.

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UFC 145: Dana White Confirms That Jon Jones Will Fight Dan Henderson Next

UFC 145 took place on Saturday and is now in the books. Jon Jones successfully defended his Light Heavyweight Championship in the highly-anticipated main event by defeating former champion Rashad Evans.

The fight was a decisive one for Jones, who looked in control for much of the fight and won via unanimous decision. Evans looked overmatched, while Jones' conditioning, in particular, looked spectacular. His dominance and performance was slightly reminiscent of Anderson Silva, another seemingly unbeatable champion in the UFC.

As soon as the fight against Evans was final, the questions began to swirl about who Jones' next opponent would be. The only realistic contender to the title seemed to be Dan Henderson and UFC President Dana White confirmed at a post-UFC 145 press conference that Henderson would indeed be getting the title shot. Ariel Helwani tweeted out the information during the presser.

No word yet on when the fight would take place, but given the popularity of both Jones and Henderson, the match could end up being even more anticipated than Jones-Evans was.

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UFC 145 Results: Jon Jones Retains Light Heavyweight Title As He Defeats Rashad Evans By Unanimous Decision

UFC 145 took place at Philips Arena in Atlanta. The main event of the evening was one of the most highly-anticipated matches in recent years, as Jon Jones defended his light heavyweight title against former champion Rashad Evans.

The fight began with "Bones" Jones picking apart Evans seemingly at will and looking as though his reach advantage would be a handicap that Evans would be unable to overcome. Evans did not go quietly, however, as the second and third rounds were entirely standup, with both men trading huge shots and occasionally rocking one another.

As the fight headed to the championship rounds, neither man showed significant signs of fatigue, although Evans began breathing through his mouth midway through Round 4. Evans had significant swelling above his right eye by this point and was clearly looking for one huge punch that could end the fight.

In Round 5, Evans came out throwing haymakers, but was unable to make any significant shots lands and clearly did not have much left in the tank. Jones landed several big shots and was striking Evans seemingly at will. He floored Evans and dropped a forearm, but Evans was back to his feet before Jones could go for the finish.

Jones retained his title via unanimous decisions on scores of 49-46, 49-46, 50-45.

Here are the complete results from UFC 145.

Preliminary card (Facebook)

Featherweight bout: Marcus Brimage vs. Maximo Blanco
Brimage defeated Blanco via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28).

Welterweight bout: Keith Wisniewski vs. Chris Clements
Clements defeated Wisniewski via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27).

Preliminary card (FX)

Lightweight bout: Mac Danzig vs. Efrain Escudero
Danzig defeated Escudero via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).

Catchweight (158 lb) bout: John Makdessi vs. Anthony Njokuani
Njokuani defeated Makdessi via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

Welterweight bout: Matt Brown vs. Stephen Thompson
Brown defeated Thompson via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-27, 30-27).

Heavyweight bout: Travis Browne vs. Chad Griggs
Browne defeated Griggs via submission (arm-triangle choke) at 2:30 of round 1.

Main card

Lightweight bout: Mark Bocek vs. John Alessio
Bocek defeats Alessio via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).

Featherweight bout: Mark Hominick vs. Eddie Yagin
Yagin defeated Hominick via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).

Bantamweight bout: Miguel Torres vs. Michael McDonald
McDonald defeated Torres via knockout (punches) at 3:18 of Round 1.

Heavyweight bout: Brendan Schaub vs. Ben Rothwell
Rothwell defeated Schaub via TKO (punches) at 1:10 of round 1.

Welterweight bout: Rory MacDonald vs. Che Mills
MacDonald defeated Mills via TKO (punches) at 2:20 of round 2

Light Heavyweight Championship bout: Jon Jones (c) vs. Rashad Evans
Jones defeated Evans via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 50-45).

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UFC 145 Results: Michael McDonald Knocks Out Miguel Angel Torres In Round 1

On Saturday in Atlanta, the UFC 145 card is well underway. There are three fight in the books on the main PPV, which will be headlined by the big title match between Jon Jones and Rashad Evans.

The third match on the card featured Modesto native Michael McDonald getting the highest-profile match of his career, as he matched up in a featherweight bout against Miguel Torres.

After an extended feeling-out process, McDonald scored a flash knockout of Torres in the first round with a huge combination, including a final uppercut from a right hand that completely knocked out Torres. It was the ninth career win by knockout for McDonald. His record now improves to 4-0 in the UFC

The results of the main card thus far:

Lightweight bout: Mark Bocek vs. John Alessio
Bocek defeats Alessio via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).

Featherweight bout: Mark Hominick vs. Eddie Yagin
Yagin defeated Hominick via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).

Bantamweight bout: Miguel Torres vs. Michael McDonald
McDonald defeated Torres via knockout (punches) at 3:18 of Round 1.

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UFC 145 Jones Vs. Evans Results: Full Preliminary Card Results

The preliminary card for UFC 145 in Atlanta is in the books. The entire preliminary card was underwhelming and every fight but the last went to a decision. That last match, however, nearly made up for the sloppy and often boring fights leading up to it.

In a heavyweight bout, Travis Browne took on Chad Griggs. Browne manhandled Griggs right from the outset, brutalizing him with strikes and tossing his opponent around like a rag doll. In the first round, he landed a huge knee to the head, grounded Griggs and took his back before sinking in an arm triangle for the submission victory. It is definitely an early candidate for submission of the night (and not just because it is the only submission so far).

Here are the full results of the preliminary card as the main PPV gets underway:

Preliminary card (Facebook)

Featherweight bout: Marcus Brimage vs. Maximo Blanco
Brimage defeated Blanco via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28).

Welterweight bout: Keith Wisniewski vs. Chris Clements
Clements defeated Wisniewski via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27).

Preliminary card (FX)

Lightweight bout: Mac Danzig vs. Efrain Escudero
Danzig defeated Escudero via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).

Catchweight (158 lb) bout: John Makdessi vs. Anthony Njokuani
Njokuani defeated Makdessi via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

Welterweight bout: Matt Brown vs. Stephen Thompson
Brown defeated Thompson via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-27, 30-27).

Heavyweight bout: Travis Browne vs. Chad Griggs
Browne defeated Griggs via submission (arm-triangle choke) at 2:30 of round 1.

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UFC 145 Jones Vs. Evans Results: Mac Danzig Defeats Efrain Escudero By Unanimous Decision

UFC 145 is taking place on Saturday night at the Philips Arena in Atlanta. The event will be headlined by a Light Heavyweight Championship bout between champion Jon Jones and former champ Rashad Evans.

One notable California fighter has already fought in the preliminary card, part of which aired on FX. Former The Ultimate Fighter winner Mac Danzig fights out of Los Angeles. He opened the FX prelims with a lightweight fight against Efrain Escudero.

The two fighters appeared very evenly matched and much of the fight featured extended feeling-out periods, as well as a lot of time spent in the clinch. Between the second and third rounds, it was clear that Danzig was fighting on a blown ankle, as his right ankle was visibly swollen.

The fight went the distance, but although neither fighter showed a distinct edge, Danzig appeared to be initiating more of the clinches against the cage that permeated the fight. In the end, that bore out, as Danzig won the fight by unanimous decision, on scores of 30-27, 30-27, 29-28.

There were two preliminary fights that opened the live event and aired for free on Facebook. Here are the results of those opening fights:

Featherweight bout: Marcus Brimage vs. Maximo Blanco
Brimage defeated Blanco via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28).

Welterweight bout: Keith Wisniewski vs. Chris Clements
Clements defeated Wisniewski split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27).

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Nick Diaz Files New Claim With Nevada State Athletic Commission

Nick Diaz is currently fighting a suspension given to him by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for failing a post-fight drug test following his loss to Carlos Condit at UFC 143. His lawyer, Ross Goodman, is now filing a new complaint letter against the NSAC, according to Kid Nate at Bloody Elbow.

Diaz, to the shock of no one, tested positive for marijuana in the failed test. Goodman's argument is that the presence of inactive marijuana metabolites does not provide proof that Diaz was high, or under the influence of drugs, during the fight.

The NSAC's issue is that Diaz failed to list marijuana as a prescription drug on his pre-fight questionnaire -- thus lying about his drug use. The fighter's lawyer addresses this as well.

Goodman further claims that the NSAC complaint "does not allege any facts supporting that Diaz violated a rule"and that "after the fact allegations impugning Diaz's character serve to distract from the core issue that Nevada does not prohibit inactive marijuana metabolites."

Certainly -- as with all things Nick Diaz -- this story will not be going away any time soon.

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Former Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem Fails Drug Test, May Lose Title Shot Against Junior Dos Santos

For years, Strikeforce was the one and only MMA presence in the Bay Area. The emergence and dominance of the promotion, as well as the continued success of the prestigious American Kickboxing Academy, made San Jose a destination for mixed martial arts.

As of late, however the Strikeforce brand and specifically its alumni haven't been doing so hot. In recent months, there have been drug test failures and suspensions for past Strikeforce star Nick Diaz, former Strikeforce champ Muhammed Lawal, AKA King Mo and now former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem.

According to Mike Chiappetta at NBCSports.com, Overeem's March 27 drug test failure for elevated testosterone levels may be putting his planned May 26 title fight against UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos in jeopardy.

NBCSports spoke with Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker regarding Overeem's failed drug test.

"I can tell you this: in the times that Alistair has fought for us, he's always tested clean. He's never had a problem with testing. To me, I was caught off-guard a little bit.

"I feel bad for him, I feel bad for the fans that wanted to see this fight. This is a fight that I personally wanted to see happen. I feel bad for all of us as fans that won't be able to go watch that fight. Now he's going to have to go in front of the commission and see what happens."

UFC president Dana White, as is to be expected, is none too pleased about the results of the failed drug test. This may bode ill for other Strikeforce fighters attempting to make a transition to the UFC.

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Muhammed 'King Mo' Lawal Considering A Future In Professional Wrestling

Muhammed Lawal, better known as "King Mo," has had a turbulent week, to say the least. He was suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for failing a post-fight drug test on Tuesday. He only made matters worse by making a personal attack on the head of the NSAC and was released by Stikeforce parent company Zuffa as a result of his actions.

Now Lawal is both looking to the future and attempting to mend bridges. In addition to apologizing to the NSAC, Kid Nate at Bloody Elbow reports that Lawal is considering a potential move to professional wrestling. As originally reported by Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer:

Lawal immediately expressed interest in going to WWE. He's had interest in the past. He was recruited years ago by Gerald Brisco, and at the time said he would be interested in going in 2008 because he first wanted to go to the Olympics. However, he lost in overtime in the finals at the Olympic trials. He had interest in both WWE and MMA after the Olympics but made the call to do MMA, feeling he could always do WWE after a few years of MMA, but couldn't do it in the other direction.

Given his personality, Lawal seems like a natural fit for pro wrestling, but it remains to be seen whether there would still be interest from the WWE.

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'King Mo' Muhammed Lawal Receives Support From AKA In Wake Of Suspension And Release

Muhammed Lawal, better known to mixed martial arts fans as "King Mo," has been in the news quite a bit over the past week. Unfortunately, it hasn't been good news. The former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight champion was handed a nine-month suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission on Tuesday for failing a post-fight drug test and immediately took to Twitter to vent his frustration, notably calling the head of the NSAC a "racist bitch." Just a short time later on Tuesday, Lawal was released by Zuffa, which owns Strikeforce.

Lawal fights out of San Jose and the prestigious American Kickboxing Academy. His fall from grace has been immediate and perhaps justified, but he has already expressed regret for his actions and is receiving encouragement from his training camp. Nitesh Dutt of CSN Bay Area reports that Lawal's teammates and friends at AKA are supporting him during all of this.

Lawal admitted to his mistakes and how he took them as learning experiences, but was still visibly upset by the outcome of it all. When he spoke of his future, it was clear that he was unsure of what was next for his MMA career. However, Lawal did know that whatever he was going through his family at AKA would stand right beside him.

One of his closest teammates, fellow NCAA All-American wrestler Daniel Cormier, is also one of his staunchest supporters. Cormier and Lawal share a unique relationship. Both are former NCAA wrestling champions and Lawal's first collegiate match was against Cormier. They trained together for the USA wrestling team and are now teammates at AKA. The two have built a strong bond and brotherhood that both share openly.

CSN Bay Area also has an exclusive one-on-one interview with Lawal where the fighter expresses his regret and talks about his plans for the future. You can watch that interview by clicking here.

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Nick Diaz Hires Lawyer To Appeal Suspension, Likely Not Retiring

Following his decision loss to Carlos Condit at UFC 143, Nick Diaz famously suggested he was retiring due to his disgust at the result of the fight. He then equally-famously failed his post-fight drug test and was suspended for one year by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

Tim Burke at Bloody Elbow reports that Diaz has hired a lawyer -- Ross Goodman -- and now plans to fight the suspension.

According to Goodman, the substance Diaz tested positive for was THC-Carboxylic Acid, an inactive marijuana metabolite. NSAC executive director Keith Kizer was unavailable to comment on that claim Monday.

The response filed to the commission, therefore, challenges that Diaz merely tested positive for an inactive metabolite, which is not listed as a prohibited substance.

"You have to test positive for marijuana, as opposed to this inactive ingredient Nick did," Goodman said.

"If there's nothing in the rules prohibiting marijuana metabolites, why are we here?"

This seems to raise the question of why a retired fighter would challenge a one-year suspension. Yes, perhaps Diaz is not interested in forfeiting his share of the purse, but it seems much more likely that he has no intention of retiring at all, which Bay Area MMA fans likely already knew.

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Josh Koscheck Blasts Coaches At American Kickboxing Academy

Josh Koscheck has never been known for keeping his opinions to himself. He recently parted ways with American Kickboxing Academy, the prestigious fighting camp from San Jose. Knowing Koscheck, it was likely the split wasn't amicable.

Brent Brookhouse of Bloody Elbow shares a recent video of Koscheck running down the coaching staff at AKA. If you click through, you can see the video where Ariel Helwani interviews Kos. Here is the money quote from the interview regarding AKA:

"I think the reason why everybody is so successful at the gym, over there in San Jose, is because of the training partners. I really truly believe that the training partners is why guys have fought for world titles and guys have been UFC champions like Cain, was because of the training partners. I think that is the number one reason. I think if you had real coaching, you would have seen a lot more champions out of that gym and I think that now, in my career, were going to see big improvements really quick."

Koscheck will face Johny Hendricks in the co-main event of UFC on Fox 3.

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UFC On FX 2 Results: Martin Kampmann Chokes Out Thiago Alves, Flyweight Division Has Stellar Debut

The UFC held its third-ever event in Australia and its second televised event on FX on Friday night. The night saw a bevy of excited fights, perhaps none more thrilling -- and confusing -- than the first-ever UFC flyweight fight.

The 125-pound division had a fiery debut with a knock-down, drag-out fight between Demetrious Johnson and Ian McCall, who fights out of Dana Point, California. Johnson, who also goes by the name "Mighty Mouse," appeared to win the first round handily, but the third round absolutely went to McCall in dominant fashion. The second round was the question, but McCall seemed to leave the impression that he was the winner. Bruce Buffer read the scores, which declared Johnson the winner by split decision. The announcement was met with rousing boos by the Australian crowd. It was later revealed, as Bloody Elbow reports, that the fight was actually a draw, but addition and transcription errors led to the incorrect announcement of Johnson as the winner. At the post-event press conference, UFC president Dana White confirmed that the fight was a draw and that there would be a rematch in April.

The second flyweight bout of the night saw Joseph Benavidez -- who fights out of Sacramento -- pick up a win over Yasuhiro Urushitani by TKO on strikes at the beginning of the second round.

In the main event, Martin Kampmann choked out Thiago Alves in the final minute of the third round of their welterweight fight.

Here are the full results of UFC on FX 2:

Preliminary card (Fuel TV)

Featherweight bout: Mackens Semerzier vs. Daniel Pineda
Pineda defeated Semerzier via submission (triangle armbar) at 2:05 of round 1.

Welterweight bout: T.J. Waldburger vs. Jake Hecht
Waldburger defeated Hecht via submission (armbar) at 0:55 of round 1.

Middleweight bout: Kyle Noke vs. Andrew Craig
Craig defeated Noke via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).

Featherweight bout: Cole Miller vs. Steven Siler
Siler defeated Miller via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).

Light Heavyweight bout: Anthony Perosh vs. Nick Penner
Perosh defeated Penner via TKO (punches) at 4:59 of round 1.

Light Heavyweight bout: James Te Huna vs. Aaron Rosa
Te Huna defeated Rosa via TKO (punches) at 2:08 of round 1.

Main card

Middleweight bout: Court McGee vs. Constantinos Philippou
Philippou defeated McGee via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).

Flyweight bout: Demetrious Johnson vs. Ian McCall
Johnson and McCall fought to a majority draw (28-28, 29-29, 29-28). The fight was initially incorrectly scored as a majority decision win for Johnson.

Flyweight bout: Joseph Benavidez vs. Yasuhiro Urushitani
Benavidez defeated Urushitani via TKO (punches) at 0:11 of round 2.

Welterweight bout: Thiago Alves vs. Martin Kampmann
Kampmann defeated Alves via submission (guillotine choke) at 4:12 of round 3.

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UFC On FX 2: Alves Vs. Kampmann Fight Card

Zuffa is set for a big weekend, even if there's no pay-per-views this go-round. They've got two events to make up for it, and up first is UFC On FX 2: Alves vs. Kampmann. Following that, we've got Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey on Saturday. On Friday, the UFC will return to Australia for the third time in its history and we've got a strong card ahead of us. Not only is it the second event to be on FX, it's the debut of flyweights in the UFC.

That's 125 pounds, if you're just tuning in - and the UFC is holding a small tournament to crown the first champion. Demetrious Johnson will be taking on Ian McCall and Joseph Benavidez will take on Yasuhiro Urushitani, and the winners of those two fights will fight for the title. Those should be great fights, on top of the main event between striking experts in Martin Kampmann and Thiago Alves.

For the Bay Area and California, Court McGee fights out of San Diego (at The Pit) and will be taking onConstantinos Philippou. Benavidez fights out of Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, and McCall trains in California as well. They're all going to be solid fights, and will be a good transition into the Saturday Strikeforce event. Let's take a look at the card.

Main Record

Thiago Alves (19-8) vs. Martin Kampmann (18-5)
Joseph Benavidez (15-2) vs. Yasuhiro Urushitani (19-4-6)
Demetrious Johnson (10-2) vs. Ian McCall (11-2)
Court McGee (13-1) vs. Constantinos Philippou (9-2, 1 NC)

Preliminary Card

Aaron Rosa (17-4) vs. James Te Huna (13-5)
Nick Penner (11-1) vs. Anthony Perosh (12-6)
Cole Miller (18-5) vs. Steven Siler (19-9)
Andrew Craig (6-0) vs. Kyle Noke (19-5-1)
Jake Hecht (11-2) vs. T.J. Waldburger (14-6)
Daniel Pineda (16-7) vs. Mackens Semerzier (6-3, 1 NC)
Shawn Jordan (12-3) vs. Oli Thompson (9-2)

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UFC 144 Results: Frankie Edgar Plenty Gifted To Remain At Lightweight After Ben Henderson Loss

At UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson, we saw one of the most technically gifted fighters in the sport of MMA lose his title. Now, many will question that fighter and his decision to fight at his chosen weight class. Obviously, we're talking about Frankie Edgar and his unanimous decision loss to Ben Henderson in a Lightweight Championship fight.

Edgar has always been an undersized fighter, and probably wouldn't have ever fought for the title at that weight class if the UFC had brought in the featherweight and bantamweight clases sooner. Hell, the guy could probably get close to making flyweight (hyperbole, keyboard warriors). But Edgar wanted to fight for the biggest organization, and he got by on his skill, without the benefit of being bigger than any of his UFC opponents. He was always the smaller guy.

And he always won (for the most part). The only blemishes were a loss to Gray Maynard earlier in his career and a draw against Maynard after winning the title. Edgar would later go on to knock Maynard out to retain his title before facing Henderson. Everything has been a matter of Edgar being faster and more-skilled than his opponent.Henderson is a lot bigger than Edgar. That isn't to say that Henderson won because of his size alone, it's just saying that Henderson had the size and strength advantage and that gave him the edge.

Maynard also had the size advantage, but he didn't have enough skill to make up for the fact that Edgar has it oozing out the wazoo, which is typically where that kind of thing oozes from.

So why are folks already talking about a potential drop in weight and a future marquee matchup with Featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo? Aside from the fact that said fight would likely be incredibly competitive and entertaining, it just doesn't make all-that much sense for Edgar's career right now. The guy dethroned B.J. Penn by making him look absolutely silly for no less than eight of the 10 rounds they fought, survived an unholy beating to come back and force a draw with Maynard, and then hand Maynard the very same beating in the third meeting.

And he's not a good fit at lightweight? Then let me ask you - who's going to beat him next? Will Jim Miller get past his next opponent and out-blue-collar him to death? Is Nate Diaz gonna mean mug him until he runs in fear to the featherweight division? What about Clay Guida and the caveman dance? None of these things are going to force Edgar to drop. He owes it to himself, if not anyone else, to get back to the top and another crack at Henderson before considering a drop in weight.

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UFC 144 Edgar Vs. Henderson Results: Where Does Rampage Jackson Go From Here?

Over the last few years, few fighters have received doubts about their determination and dedication than Quinton Jackson. Only a couple really come to mind, in fact (BJ Penn, Forrest Griffin), and that's definitely not a good sign. Even though "Rampage" has fought for the title recently, he was still being questioned. In the build-up to that fight, he was questioned.

Most of the questioning stopped when Jackson passed up an opportunity to fight on a big UFC on FOX card to fight at UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson. Rampage got his start with PRIDE in Japan, and was a monster back in those days. His counter left hook was absolutely killer and his slams (earning the moniker "Slampage") were brutal. In short, Japan loved Rampage and Rampage loved Japan. When the UFC announced they were making their return, Rampage was the first guy to say he wanted on the card. He could smell blood and glorious, glorious slams aplenty for his opponent, Ryan Bader. Folks stopped questioning him (for the most part) and didn't start again until the day before the fight.

When he weighed-in five pounds overweight.So Rampage forfeited 20 percent of his purse (tragic for him, a guy who has claimed he fights just for money in the recent past) and fought the fight at catchweight. He came in and looked fine, taking time to find his rhythm, which he did find at the end of the first round. By that point, he was clearly down 10-9, though - with Bader looking more slick in the striking game than we've seen.

But in the second round, Jackson came out and looked like he smelled blood. He picked up Bader, who said that Rampage wouldn't be able to slam him, and slammed him down. Hard. It could have won Rampage the round and made it even at 19-19 all, but Bader did eventually secure the takedown and hold Rampage for the remainder of the round.

In round three, Jackson simply looked lost. Bader slammed him, took him down and wrestled him for the entire round, clearly winning it 10-9. Rampage may have got up here or there, but Bader immediately had him down again. He didn't look like he had anything left. The judges granted Bader a unanimous decision, as they should have, and everyone in the building was a little bit more sad.

So where does Jackson go from here? He fought for the title when nobody thought he should have, and just lost to the guy who was steamrolled by Tito Ortiz in 2010. It's really hard to say, given how competitive 205 is. Do you feed Rampage to another guy, and hope that Alexander Gustaffson or Phil Davis make it through him? Or do you put him back down against a guy like Stephen Bonnar? Or do you go with some kind of awaited rematch, like another fight against Griffin or Mauricio Rua?

Probably one of the latter, in hopes that an angry Rampage shows up to send it all off with a bang.

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Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey Fight Card

Though Strikeforce was purchased by the UFC some time ago, it lives on - and continues to put on solid shows with some solid talent still on the roster. Much of that talent will be featured on the next card: Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey. That main event will be between Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey, for the Strikeforce Women's Bantamweight Championship. That's one very good reason that Strikeforce is still around: women's MMA.

The talent pool may be small and stretched thin of late, but the UFC doesn't have any women's division and that's a shame, because it's generally just as entertaining as men's MMA. For this event, the Bay Area isn't just represented by the fact that Strikeforce is still based in San Jose, there's about six ties on the card, including both of the main event fighters. Tate fights out of Sacramento, CA, while Rousey was born in the state, lives in the state and fights out of Santa Monica.

Josh Thomson fights out of San Jose, while the ever-exciting K.J. Noons fights out of San Diego. Finally, Scott Smith and Conor Heun also fight out of different parts of California. Al-in-all, there's some strong fights on the card, so let's take a look at the full card, with the event set for March 3 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH.

Main Card

Miesha Tate (12-2) vs. Ronda Rousey (4-0)
K.J. Noons (11-4) vs. Josh Thomson (18-4, 1 NC)
Paul Daley (29-11-2) vs. Kazuo Misaki (24-11-2)
Ronaldo Souza (14-2, 1 NC) vs. Bristol Marunde (15-6)
Scott Smith (17-9, 1 NC) vs. Lumumba Sayers (5-2)

Preliminary Card

Sarah Kaufman (14-1) vs. Alexis Davis (11-4)
Caros Fodor (7-1) vs. Pat Healy (26-16)
Ryan Couture (3-1) vs. Conor Heun (9-4)
Roger Bowling (10-2) vs. Brandon Saling (8-5)

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UFC 144 Results: Cheick Kongo Is A Lie (Like The Cake), And Mark Hunt Is An Actual Contender

UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson was as fitting a return to Japan as the UFC could have had without forcing ever ex-PRIDE star on the card. It would have been nice to see Vitor Belfort, Wanderlei Silva, Mauricio Rua and all of those guys on the card, but there were plenty of guys who fit in that same group and plenty who provided the same fireworks that Japan knows and loves.

One fight that was guaranteed fireworks was Mark Hunt vs. Cheick Kongo. More accurately, the fight was most-likely going to result in fireworks, providing Kongo couldn't take Hunt down and hold him there. He couldn't, and it's unclear if he even tried. Hunt landed that strong left hook and remained cool and calculated until he could land a right and drop Kongo to the ground.

If you were unacquianted with this sport, the pudgy Hunt and formidable tank that is Kongo wouldn't seem an even fight given the eyeball test. What about the test that takes a look at the fighters' skillset? A couple years ago, that fight would have looked like Kongo's, too.

It's unclear if it was the UFC hype machine or just a couple of strong performances, but before Kongo transitioned into a semi-competent wrestler, he was one of the most technically impressive strikers in the division. The guy used such beautiful angles, slipping punches and utilizing brutal knees. The guy could hit you in the face from any angle.

Where did that Kongo go? Maybe he was overhyped and that Kongo was never truly around, but the guy still was expected to deliver more than he has. Crazy knockout comebacks notwithstanding. He's a visually impressive fighter with standup that's rapidly deteriorating and wrestling that's ... unimpressive.

Kongo's biggest asset at this point is being a somewhat recognizable name and a guy who probably holds eyeballs. For the casuals, it's because he looks like he'll maul anybody who comes in the octagon and for the devout fans of MMA, it's because they're hoping to see him knocked out or maybe pull some of that Pat Barry knockout magic.

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UFC 144 Results: Jake Shields Wins, But Still Fails To Look Impressive Post-Strikeforce

At UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson, the Bay Area saw two of its top fighters go in opposite directions. Quinton Jackson lost a match he was definitely favored to win against Ryan Bader, while Jake Shields got his UFC career back on track with a unanimous decision win over Yoshihiro Akiyama.

In this instance, "opposite directions," isn't much of an extreme, not due to how poorly "Rampage" lost, but more so to how poorly Shields won. Since coming to the UFC, Shields is now 2-2, but most would argue that he should have lost in his split decision victory over Martin Kampmann in his first UFC fight. Some would now argue that he should be 0-4, giving Akiyama the nod.

The problem with Shields' win was the fact that he clearly beat somebody who could have and should have beat him on Saturday. That kind of thing does happen a lot - a fighter will score a flash knockout over a fighter who has the preception of being better - but that's not what happened here.

What happened was Shields looked bad in every aspect of the fight, struggling to look like he's ever spent a day training striking, failing to secure takedowns to work his strong jiu-jitsu game and generally looking very, very sloppy in the octagon. His angles were poor, he kept slipping and he threw some of the silliest kicks you'll ever see.

Unfortunately for Akiyama, he was far too complacent. Akiyama used much better angles, manhandled Shields and stuffed just about all of his takedowns. He landed the better shots and looked like the stronger fighter, but Shields landed far, far more strikes. They were poor strikes that didn't do any damage, but they were strikes none the less.

What do you do when a fighter simply looks like he's better in the octagon, but doesn't actually fight his opponent? You give it to the guy who looks bad, but is at least trying and landing something not entirely unlike a punch or kick. Shields deserved the win on Saturday, even if it was a very poor performance. He's going to need to do better in his next outing, especially because he'll likely be paired up with a winner.

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UFC 144 Results: Anthony Pettis Likely To Get Next Lightweight Title Shot

The UFC Lightweight Title changed hands on Saturday night, as Ben Henderson won a thrilling five-round fight against overmatched champion Frankie Edgar in Japan via unanimous decision. The UFC 144 main event was scarcely in the record books before UFC president Dana White dropped the hint as to who might be Henderson's first opponent as champion.

According to Tim Burke at Bloody Elbow, White attended the postfight press conference and said he thinks that Anthony Pettis will probably be the fighter that is next in line for a title shot.

Pettis led off the PPV with an impressive first-round knockout of Joe Lauzon via head kick, in a fight that earned Pettic Knockout of the Night honors and rightly so.

Pettis currently holds an MMA record of 15-2. He is a former WEC lightweight champion, but is 2-1 since making his UFC debut in June of 2011. He lost his debut match against Clay Guida by decision and defeated Jeremy Stephens by split decision before dispatching Lauzon on Saturday night.

For complete coverage of UFC 144, stay tuned to this StoryStream or check out Bloody Elbow.

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UFC 144 Results: Edgar Vs. Henderson Fight Bonuses

UFC 144 in Japan was a spectacular event from top to bottom. The absolutely stacked card lived up to its potential, with thrilling events from top to bottom and nary a clunker in the mix. The night was capped off with the main event between Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar and challenger Ben Henderson, which was a tooth and nail scramble that went the distance and ended with Henderson emerging as the new champ.

Henderson and Edgar earned the Fight of the Night bonus and picked up $65,000 each for their instant classic.

Anthony Pettis also made two trips to the pay window as he earned Knockout of the Night honors for his first-round head kick that dispatched Joe Lauzon to open up the PPV. Vaughan Lee took home the check for Submission of the Night for his armbar that caused opponent Norifumi Yamamoto to tap at 4:29 of the first round.

For complete coverage of UFC 144, stay tuned to this StoryStream or check out Bloody Elbow.

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UFC 144 Results: Benson Henderson Batters Frankie Edgar To Win Lightweight Championship Via Unanimous Decision

UFC's return to Japan was a rousing success, featuring exciting fights from the prelims all the way to the top pf the card. UFC 144 is now in the books, capped off by the main event fight for the Lightweight Championship that pitted champion Frankie Edgar against challenger Ben Henderson in a veritable war.

The two combatants felt one another out in the first round, with plenty of feints and strikes thrown, but few landed. The size disparity between the two fighters with enormous, with Henderson looking like he was at least one weight class above the champion. Edgar repeatedly caught Henderson's kicks, but was unable to capitalize. Edgar did manage to get Henderson to the ground in the first half of the round on a throw and executed a double leg takedown, but Henderson was back up immediately. Henderson settled in by using his size advantage, hitting kicks and strikes from a distance. Edgar's left eye was swelling up quite a bit after the round.

Round 2 was more of the same, with the two men exchanging shots and Edgar repeatedly catching Henderson's kicks. Henderson once again landed many more shots than Edgar, but the champ managed a pair of takedowns. A real turning point came in the final seconds, as Henderson landed a vicious upkick from his back. Henderson's heel caught Edgar square in the nose and Edgar crumpled, but managed to protect until the round ended. Replays showed that Edgar may very well have been knocked out for a moment following the kick.

The third round showed Edgar badly battered, but still proceeded with the same game plan as in the first two rounds. The champion was still taking plenty of shots, but landing a fair number of his own and managing an early takedown. Edgar got another takedown to end the round. Henderson was being taken down easily by Edgar, but was extremely elusive any time Edgar tried to capitalize.

Round 4 followed the same template as the preceding rounds. Henderson caught Edgar with a low kick in the first 90 seconds of the round but the champ recovered quickly. Edgar shot in and slammed Bendo with authority, but Henderson sunk in a very deep guillotine on the way down. Edgar managed to escape and the two men were back up. Standing and banging did not go Edgar's way and the round came to an end.

The fifth and final round saw Edgar needing a KO or submission to win the match and retain his title. He landed a couple of big shots, but they seemed to have no effect on Henderson. Edgar again took Henderson down, but Henderson popped right back up. A flurry of blows capped off yet another exciting round as the bell rang.

Henderson won the fight and the Lightweight Championship via unanimous decision on scores of 49-46, 48-47, 49-46.

Here are the other results from the main card:

Lightweight bout: Anthony Pettis vs. Joe Lauzon
Pettis defeated Lauzon via KO (head kick & punches) at 1:21 of round 1.

Featherweight bout: Hatsu Hioki vs. Bart Palaszewski
Hioki defeated Palazewski via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).

Middleweight bout: Yushin Okami vs. Tim Boetsch
Boetsch defeated Okami via TKO (punches) at 0:54 of round 3.

Welterweight bout: Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Jake Shields
Shields defeated Akiyama via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

Heavyweight bout: Mark Hunt vs. Cheick Kongo
Hunt defeated Kongo via TKO (punches) at 2:11 of round 1.

Catchweight (211 lb) bout: Quinton Jackson vs. Ryan Bader
Bader defeated Jackson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

For complete coverage of UFC 144, stay tuned to this StoryStream or check out SB Nation's dedicated MMA hub.

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UFC 144 Results: Jake Shields Wins Unanimous Decision Over Yoshihiro Akiyama

The main card of UFC 144 in Japan is underway. One Bay Area fighter has managed a big win in a new weight class to make sure his spot in the UFC is secure for the time being.

Jake Shields, fighting out of San Francisco, cut weight to take a welterweight fight against Japanese fighting icon Yoshihiro Akiyama (who was announced to the crowd by just his nickname, "SEXYAMA," in a burst of sheer awesomeness). The first round consisted of an extended feeling-out process. Akiyama demonstrated plenty of takedown defense and executed a pair of authoritative judo throws on Shields in the last minute. Shields landed more strikes in the first round, but Akiyama looked much better on defense.

The second round was much the same, as Akiyama avoided takedowns and landed another fierce judo throw in the final minute. Shields again landed more punches than Akiyama, but they seemed to do little damage. The second round could have gone either way.

The third round was another round of Shields getting stuffed in his takedown attempts. Finally, in the final minute, Shields got Akiyama down and took his back. Akiyama twice in succession grabbed the cage to prevent being taken all the way to the ground, but Shields got him down and went for a rear naked choke. He was unable to sink it in, but the huge takedown and control looked like it might be enough to put him over the top for the win. Sure enough, the judges awarded Shields the victory by unanimous decision, on scores of 30-27, 30-27, 30-27.

Shields was hoping for a win to get back on the right track in the UFC. He came into the fight following back-to-back losses against Jake Ellenberger and Georges St.-Pierre and a questionable split decision victory over Martin Kampmann. A third loss in a row might have threatened his future with the UFC.

In the match right before Shields', Tim Boetsch pulled off one of the best comeback wins in UFC history, taking an absolute pounding for two rounds before coming back to overwhelm Yushin Okami and win by KO in 0:54 of the third round.

Results on the main card so far:

Lightweight bout: Anthony Pettis vs. Joe Lauzon
Pettis defeated Lauzon via KO (head kick & punches) at 1:21 of round 1.

Featherweight bout: Hatsu Hioki vs. Bart Palaszewski
Hioki defeated Palazewski via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).

Middleweight bout: Yushin Okami vs. Tim Boetsch
Boetsch defeated Okami via TKO (punches) at 0:54 of round 3.

For complete coverage of UFC 144, stay tuned to this StoryStream or check out SB Nation's dedicated MMA hub.

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UFC 144 Results: Chris Cariaso, Riki Fukuda Both Winners On Preliminary Card

UFC 144 is underway, with no shortage of action on the undercard as the promotion makes its triumphant return to Japan. A couple of fighters with strong Bay Area fights emerged victorious on the undercard on Saturday night.

Chris Cariaso, who fights out of San Francisco, took on Muay Thai specialist Takeya Mizugaki in the prelims. The bantamweights took it right to each other in the early going, with Cariaso landing some nice combinations. Mizugaki got a takedown midway through the first round. Cariaso managed an armbar attempt from the bottom, but Mizugaki was able to evade it. They closed out the round grappling, with Mizugaki staying on top. Round 2 involved a lot of clinching against the cage before Mizugaki managed another takedown. Cariaso locked on a "100 percent" shoulder bar and neck crank in the final minute and rolled his opponent over, but Mizugaki was quickly out of it and back to his feet. The third round began with more clinching against the cage, with Cariaso looking for a sweep and a single-leg but Mizugaki showing excellent evasion. They went back to the stand-up before ending up on the ground once again, with Cariaso on his back. They stood up once again and Cariaso nailed a solid right hand just before time expired, to no avail. In the end, neither man seemed definitively dominant in the fight. Mizugaki showed excellent defense throughout and was on top for the majority, while Cariaso was continually working for submissions and takedowns, but was usually working from the bottom. In somewhat of a surprise -- and certainly a disappointment for the home crowd --Cariaso picked up the win via unanimous decision, on scores of 29-28, 29-28, 29-28.

As soon as that fight wraped up, Steve Cantwell was taking on Riki Fukuda in a middleweight fight. Both fighters have strong local ties, as Cantwell is a California native fighting out of Las Vegas and Fukuda spends a lot of time training at AKA in San Jose. Cantwell entered the night having lost four straight UFC fights dating back to 2009. The first round was mostly stand-up as Cantwell landed a score of great combinations toward the end. In the second round, Cantwell, grabbed a deep guillotine choke right away, but Fukuda struggled hard until he was able to break free. After standing up again, Fukuda unloaded on Cantwell with a multitude of shots. Cantwell weathered the storm and answered back with some big shots of his own before responding in kind. The two men went toe-to-toe, swinging for the fences and tiring. Fukuda made a halfhearted kick that caught Cantwell low and they took a short injury break. When the fight resumed, Cantwell got a quick double-leg takedown and took Fukuda's back, but Fukuda was out of it as the round ended. Round 3 opened with more stand-up. Fukuda briefly took Cantwell down and established side control, but Cantwell made it to his feet again. Fukuda nailed some big body kicks as the final round wound down, with Cantwell looking noticably spent and battered. Fukuda won the easy unanimous decision, 29-28, 30-27, 30-27.

Here are the complete results from the preliminary card:

Featherweight bout: Zhang Tiequan vs. Issei Tamura
Tamura defeated Zhang via KO (punch) at 0:32 of round 2.

Bantamweight bout: Takeya Mizugaki vs. Chris Cariaso
Cariaso defeated Mizugaki via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Middleweight bout: Riki Fukuda vs. Steve Cantwell
Fukuda defeated Cantwell via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27).

Bantamweight bout: Norifumi Yamamoto vs. Vaughan Lee
Lee defeated Yamamoto via submission (armbar) at 4:29 of round 1.

Lightweight bout: Takanori Gomi vs. Eiji Mitsuoka
Gomi defeated Mitsuoka via TKO (punches) at 2:21 of round 2.

For complete coverage of UFC 144, stay tuned to this StoryStream or check out SB Nation's dedicated MMA hub.

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UFC 144 Preview: Jake Shields Potentially In Must-Win Situation Against Yoshihiro Akiyama

At UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson, multiple Bay Area and California ties will be on showcase, including Quinton "Rampage" Jackson against Ryan Bader in the co-main event. That being said, there's another tie who was born in California and who currently fights out of San Francisco: Jake Shields, of Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

Shields, best known for his stint as the Strikeforce middleweight champion, will be taking on Yoshihiro Akiyama on the main card, hoping to get back in the win column after dropping his last two and arguably losing the third prior. Shields came into the UFC with a lot of hype, after submitting Robbie Lawler and winning unanimous decisions over Jason "Mayhem" Miller and Dan Henderson with Strikeforce.

Unfortunately, he hasn't really lived up to any of that hype. The UFC refused to give him an immediate title fight and instead had him fight Martin Kampmann at UFC 121, where he earned a split decision over the Danish kickboxer. Many are of the opinion that Shields didn't win that fight, and just about everyone believed that Shields looks really, really bad for what was expected of him.

So he followed that up with a shot at Georges St-Pierre and the Welterweight Championship. He clearly lost that fight, but did get in an eye poke that threw St-Pierre off for a little while, so there's that. Either way, Shields tried to get back to his winning ways with a fight against Jake Ellenberger in a headline bout, but was knocked out in the very first round. Prior to coming to the UFC, Shields had won 15-straight fights.

Up next, as noted above, is Akiyama at UFC 144, and it's not going to be an easy fight. Akiyama himself has lost three-straight fights, but he's been fighting a murderer's row of late. After losing to Chris Leben by last-second submission, Akiyama seemingly took a step up to fight Michael Bisping, which he lost by decision. Then, for some reason, he moved even further up the rankings to fight Vitor Belfort, a first-round knockout loss.

All of those fights were at middleweight, and Akiyama has now dropped down to welterweight to try and get his career back on track. On paper, Shields should be favored, but given Akiyama's level of competition, this is definitely no gimmie fight. Shields is a very talented fighter on a very talented team, though that team might be without its best fighter shortly if Nick Diaz and ever goes through with his retirement.

This writer is predicting a Shields submission and a return to his pursuit of grappling excellence. Akiyama has been submitted by guys with weaker jiu jitsu games, and Shields knows he has a chance of being cut if he loses.

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Nick Diaz Temporarily Suspended, Pending Full Hearing

This is something that everybody saw coming, but it's worth noting anyway - Nick Diaz has been levied a temporary suspension from competition in Nevada following a positive test for marijuana. The positive test came after his fight with Carlos Condit at UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit, and now it's pretty clear there won't be a rematch any time soon. Diaz' post-fight antics included retiring and suggesting that Condit fighting to his gameplan was cheap.

Either way, the Nevada State Athletic Commission voted unanimously to suspend Diaz until an official disciplinary hearing later on in 2012, likely for April. At that point, Diaz can argue his case as to why he doesn't deserve a full suspension and the revocation of his license to fight. As noted earlier, Diaz could have applied for a medical exemption for his marijuana, which he uses medically under California state law. He did not apply for the exemption.

Diaz will have to provide plenty of information to the commission in advance of his official hearing on top of his, you know, defense. He'll need to provide information regarding his medical usage in California, will have to provide information about his purse and bonuses, and he'll need to talk about the last time this happened, back in 2007.

As previously noted, it's easy to imagine potential complications with a hearing. Diaz probably didn't really plan on going through with his retirement, but the fact that he'll have to go through all kinds of things which surely don't make sense to him (he chooses to deem things he doesn't like as "not making sense") makes it all seem unlikely. Well, perhaps unlikely isn't the right word, but it certainly can't help things, that's for sure.

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Gray Maynard Switches From Xtreme Couture To American Kickboxing Academy, Former Teammates Comment On The Move

Gray Maynard suffered the first loss of his mixed martial arts career at UFC 136, when he was knocked out by Frankie Edgar in their rematch for the Lightweight Championship. Following the loss, Maynard announced his intent to leave his longtime training camp as part of team Xtreme Couture and join San Jose's American Kickboxing Academy.

Kid Nate at Bloody Elbow relays some quotes from a couple of Maynard's former Xtreme Couture teammates. Here's what Frank Trigg had to say:

Gray just was not prepared. It was really one of those deals where a coach within his staff just would not pay attention any other coaches. He was getting really upset if any other coach tried to explain to him 'hey, this is how hard I'm going to push Gray in my session. You need to back off in your session so he can recover. [Maynard] wasn't prepared. It's ultimately up to one coach that didn't pay attention.

John Gunderson added the following:

The last fight Gray wasn't mentally prepared or physically prepared for that fight. I don't think he trained hard enough and he knows that. I think if Gray really put the time in and the work in, Gray could finish him.

It is worth noting that Xtreme Couture owner Randy Couture recently released Gil Martinez, who was Maynard's head trainer prior to Maynard leaving the team.

For all news and information regarding UFC 143 and mixed martial arts, please visit Bloody Elbow and SB Nation's dedicated MMA hub.

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Nick Diaz Did Not Attempt To Obtain Possible Exemption For Marijuana Use

As most MMA fans are now aware, Nick Diaz failed his post-fight drug test following his loss to Carlos Condit at UFC 143. The test came back positive for marijuana, throwing any potential rematch between the two fighters into jeopardy much moreso than Diaz's premature announcement of retirement immediately following the fight.

Both Nick and his brother Nate Diaz have long been unabashed fans of recreational marijuana use, but Nick actually has a marijuana prescription. Some fans have said that prescription should render any positive tests for the drug moot, but the truth is that the athletic commissions have exemptions in place for just situation and the Diaz camp never went that route.

Brent Brookhouse at Bloody Elbow explains that Keith Kizer of the Nevada State Athletic Commission explained the situation in a recent interview.

According to Kizer, though, Diaz had another option: coming to the NSAC weeks before fighting and applying for a therapeutic exemption (TUE) for his marijuana use.

Given that Diaz' coach and manager, Cesar Gracie, has made a point of saying that Diaz has a legal right to use marijuana in California since a doctor prescribed it to him, one would have expected Diaz to have applied for the exemption with the commission.

But that did not happen Kizer explains, as no one from Diaz' camp has ever attempted to explain any mitigating circumstances to him about the fighter's marijuana use or tried to contextualize it to attempt for Nick to granted a therapeutic exemption. "I have no idea what [Diaz's] marijuana situation is," Kizer told CagePotato on Thursday. "No one from his camp has ever come to me or the commission and tried to explain it."

Anyone who has been following the Diaz brothers for any length of time should be anything but surprised regarding this revelation. Understanding that there is a potential way around a possible failed drug test that Nick did not take advantage of is the least shocking thing to happen yet in this story.

For all news and information regarding mixed martial arts, please visit Bloody Elbow. For more developments on the Nick Diaz saga, stay tuned to this StoryStream.

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UFC 144: Edgar Vs. Henderson Odds, Betting Lines

UFC 144, featuring the promotion's return to Japan, is just a week away. On Saturday, February 25, the card will be headlined by the lightweight title match between Frankie Edgar and Ben Henderson. Also drawing in viewers will be Quinton "Rampage" Jackson returning to action against Ryan Bader, who could really make a name for himself with an impressive win in that fight. The card is stacked with recognizable fighters, including Jake Shields and Joe Lauzon

We're happy to bring you the available odds, courtesy of our friends over at OddsShark. Not every fight has odds at this point, but the matchups featuring most of the name fighters give you a good idea of who the oddsmakers are pegging as the favorites and the underdogs.

Bader is the clear underdog in his fight against Jackson, which is to be expected, although Jackson has lost three of his last seven fights, most recently getting choked out by Jon "Bones" Jones in September. Bader has lost two of his last three, so there is a definite reason for him being the underdog in this one, but I wouldn't write him off so quickly.

Joe Lauzon is also an underdog in his fight against Anthony Pettis, but has a much better chance of pulling off a win than does Bader. Cheick Kongo is pegged as the favorite to win his fight against Mark Hunt, but Hunt's punching power is always dangerous.

Here are the current available odds for the event.

Main Card

Frankie Edgar (-130) vs. Ben Henderson (+100)
Quinton Jackson (-260) vs. Ryan Bader (+200)
Mark Hunt (+200) vs. Cheick Kongo (-280)
Anthony Pettis (-260) vs. Joe Lauzon (+180)

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UFC 144: Edgar Vs. Henderson Fight Card

UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson on Feb. 26 promises to be one of the best cards of the year, and we're still just in February. It's the UFC's return to Japan and with it comes plenty of guys who are going to fight to their absolute maximum potential for the simple reason that they love fighting in Japan. Outside of the fact that the main event is between two guys who have been in separate fight-of-the-years, you've got a co-main event in which Quinton Jackson is set to face Ryan Bader and a seven-fight main card.

Jackson, who was born in California, loved his time fighting for PRIDE in Japan and specifically asked to be put on this card. With all of the speculation that "Rampage" doesn't put his heart into fighting anymore, this is definitely a welcome development. If fighting at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan can't get him motivated, then it's unlikely that anything can.

You've got guys like Anthony Pettis and Joe Lauzon opening up your main card, how can it not be awesome? There's fireworks all over the card, and even the certified sexiest fighter alive doing battle with Jake Shields. Let's take a look at the full fight card below:

UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson fight card

Main Card

Frankie Edgar (14-1) vs. Ben Henderson (15-2)
Quinton Jackson (32-9) vs. Ryan Bader (13-2)
Yushin Okami (26-6) vs. Tim Boetsch (14-4)
Mark Hunt (7-7) vs. Cheick Kongo (17-6-2)
Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-4, 2 NC) vs. Jake Shields (26-6-1)
Hatsu Hioki (25-4-2) vs. Bart Palaszewski (36-14)
Anthony Pettis (14-2) vs. Joe Lauzon (21-6)

Preliminary Card

Takanori Gomi (32-8, 1 NC) vs. Eiji Mitsuoka (18-7-2)
Norifumi Yamamoto (18-5, 1 NC) vs. Vaughan Lee (11-7-1)
Takeya Mizugaki (15-6-2) vs. Chris Cariaso (12-3)
Riki Fukuda (17-5) vs. Steve Cantwell (7-5)
Zhang Tiequan (15-2) vs. Issei Tamura (6-2)

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UFC 144 Preview: Quinton Jackson, Jake Shields Anchor Bay Area Ties In Decade-Overdue Return To Japan

UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson features several Bay Area and California ties but more than that, it's shaping up to be a fantastic card overall, a fitting return to Japan for the organization. Jake Shields and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson anchor the California ties. For more on the event, head on over to Bloody Elbow and MMA Nation.

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Josh Koscheck Set To Fight Johny Hendricks At UFC On FOX 3

UFC will not make their return to prime time network television until May 5, but already news has come out about a fight that will be featured at UFC on FOX 3.

Tim Burke at Bloody Elbow reports that Josh Koscheck will face off against Johny Hendricks at the event. The welterweight bout should figure out who will be next in line for a title shot at either current interim champion Carlos Condit or the rehabbing champ Georges St. Pierre.

Koscheck has deep Bay Area ties, as he trained at American Kickboxing Academy for years. He recently left the gym following his victory over Mike Pierce at UFC 143, the Feb. 4 event that saw Condit take home the interim title by defeating Nate Diaz.

Koscheck will take a 17-5 record into the fight against Hendricks. If Koscheck works his way back into title contention, it will be just his second shot at the title. He lost his only other title fight against St.-Pierre via unanimous decision in Montreal in December of 2010.

Hendricks last fought at UFC 141, where he knocked out another Bay Area fighter, Jon Fitch, in 12 seconds. Hendricks holds a 12-1 record and has never had a title fight in the UFC.

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Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Keith Kizler Comments On Next Steps For Nick Diaz

Nick Diaz recently lost his bout at UFC 143 against Carlos Condit for the interim welterweight championship. After the fight, Diaz abruptly suggested he was thinking about retirement. A short time later, his post-fight drug tests were returned with a positive reading for marijuana and a masking agent.

If Diaz does not stick to his proposed retirement -- which few are expecting at this point -- his potential rematch with Condit is in serious jeopardy based on the failure of the drug test.

Kid Nate at Bloody Elbow relays that Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) Executive Director Keith Kizer recently appeared on Sirius XM and discussed what will happen now for Diaz. This is what Kizler had to say:

The complaints have been mailed to him. He'll receive the complaint by mail and he'll have 20 days upon receipt to file an answer.

With the complaint, those are just allegations at this time. There's been no finding against him. He'll have ample opportunity to respond to the complaint and then we'd put it on for a hearing at a time that works for him as well as the Attorney General's office...Probably April based on past disciplinary complaints and at that time, there'll be a hearing before the full commission and then they make a decision at that time and if they found the athlete guilty, they'd then impose whatever discipline they felt was appropriate.

Given that Chael Sonnen and Sean Sherk both made comebacks from more serious failures than this, it would not be a surprise if Diaz returned to the UFC in short order.

For all news and information regarding mixed martial arts, please visit Bloody Elbow. For more developments on the Nick Diaz saga, stay tuned to this StoryStream.

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Georges St-Pierre Doesn't Want Nick Diaz To Retire, Still Wants To Fight Him Down The Road

The only certainty for Nick Diaz right now is that he did, in fact not beat Carlos Condit at UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit. Had he won, it would be declared a no contest due the fact that he failed his post-fight test. On Saturday, we took a look at the possibility that the new complications with the athletic commission might push him over that edge and confirm his retirement, but it would definitely be a shame if Diaz went through with it. The main problem is that it's hard to see Diaz sitting out something like a full year, then going before a commission hearing to get back in the octagon after what went down after the match with Condit in the post-fight interview.

But Diaz is still a very good fighter who only loses to the top of the division. He's still in his prime and has a lot to offer the sport of MMA and the UFC, with plenty of attractive matchups still out there for him, including a potential rematch with Condit or a future matchup with Georges St-Pierre. Losing a matchup for the Interim Welterweight Championship doesn't mean your career is down the toilet.

According to Sherdog.com, another fighter thinks Diaz shouldn't retire either. The aforementioned St-Pierre, despite the fact that he doesn't like Diaz very much, said that Diaz shouldn't retire at this point in his career. St-Pierre says that Diaz has sacrificed too much in his life to get here to just throw it away, leaving a lot of money on the table, on top of that. St-Pierre also says that the sport needs a guy like him.

While St-Pierre does eventually say that he wants to fight Condit now that he's the "best man," he does leave open the possibility of fighting Diaz down the line.

"I wanted to fight him because of what he was, not because of what he said," St. Pierre explained. "He was ranked No. 1 before that fight. ... As much as we dislike each other, I like the guy in a way that I need a guy like him to motivate me and to make me a better martial artist."

It's clear that St-Pierre is at a point where he only wants to fight the best. It just helps that Diaz is one of the best and also gets under St-Pierre;s skin. It really would be a shame if Diaz followed through with his retirement, because the potential matchup down the line still remains just as compelling as it was before UFC 143.

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UFC 143 Results: Nick Diaz Could Be Suspended For A Year, Could It Affect 'Retirement'?

With the recent news that Nick Diaz failed a post-fight urinalysis, the question now is what kind of punishment he'll be in for. After losing to Carlos Condit in the main event at UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit, the Bay Area-based fighter got on the microphone and, in so many words, said that he was going to retire because Condit wasn't going to stand in front of him and fight his fight. There's a small inkling of truth to his words in that Condit was very evasive, but he was still out-struck by a good margin.

That's not the point - the point is that Diaz could be suspended for up to a year. This is the second time he's been busted for this, and recent evidence suggests that a suspension of a year and a forfeiture of 40 percent of his purse is the course of action to be taken. Seeing as how Diaz has been publicly outspoken about his ability to beat the tests, it's unlikely he's to receive any leniency.

On top of all of that, Diaz will likely be forced to attend a long, drawn-out hearing to plead with the commission when he re-applies for his license to fight. There's not really a scenario in which Diaz legitimately applies, asks for it back, admits he's wrong and doesn't receive a license. Unfortunately, there's probably a couple scenarios in which Diaz presents himself, flips the entire commission the bird and blazes up right then and there.

And with his feet up on the table, too.

In all seriousness, this is unfortunate because if there's even the slightest chance that Diaz was serious about his retirement talk, the prospects of appearing in front of the commission and dealing with a year-long layoff might actually drive him to go through with it. His post-fight antics that were really kind of sad notwithstanding, Diaz is a wholly entertaining fighter who brings a lot to the sport. It'd be a shame if this is how he goes out.

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Nick Diaz, Carlos Condit Rematch In Jeopardy After Failed Drug Test Due To Marijuana

Let's take a brief recap of what's gone on for Nick Diaz. After failing to adapt his fighting style over five rounds to be soundly out-pointed by Carlos Condit at UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit, he took to the microphone and, in so many words, said that he was going to retire because other fighters refused to play into his gameplan. Then, his camp said the same thing, and Diaz fans got all up-in-arms about him being robbed.

You won't find any Diaz haters here, but the guy lost the fight fair-and-square. Or was it fair? Diaz actually cheated, pending some kind of false positive, according to Yahoo! Sports. Diaz has failed his post-fight urinalysis, who has tested positive for marijuana metabolites. This essentially means that Diaz has tested positive for the drug and some form of masking agent to try and cheat the test.

It's not nearly as bad as taking steroids or other performance enhancers, and there are plenty who believe marijuana shouldn't be disallowed at all, but the point remains that Diaz did a very dumb thing by testing positive. It's making headlines, it's putting the UFC in a bind and Diaz will likely be suspended. A second offense for marijuana usually results in being out for a year, and a fine of 40 percent of a fighter's purse, at least going by recent disciplinary actions.

That would be a loss of $80,000 ... though Diaz likely made a lot more than the $200,000 reported purse of the fight. Either way, this will likely mean no rematch with Condit, which is a shame because it'd be a good fight and Condit agreed to said rematch, even if Diaz didn't deserve it.

There should be more on this in the coming days, but for now, the UFC has only said they're disappointed that Diaz tested positive. We'll just have to see if there's any chance of this test being a false positive. The UFC generally sides with the commission and will adhere to any punishment handed out.

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UFC 143 Results: Josh Koscheck Leaving Bay Area's American Kickboxing Academy

Josh Koscheck has been one of the most consistent fighters representing the Bay Area in the sport of MMA, but he could now be on his way out. There were reports of Koscheck having issues with his camp, the American Kickboxing Academy in the buildup to UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit, (where Koscheck defeated Mike Pierce via a controversial split decision) and now those reports have been confirmed, by the man himself. In an interview with MMAWeekly, Koscheck stated what he didn't like about his long-time training camp:

"This goes back from quite a bit, and history repeats itself. Whenever you have a guy for example whenever I had the loss against (Thiago) Alves and I took the fight on short notice with him, and after the fight I had a lot of friends come up to me and calling me saying ‘have you read this interview with Javier Mendez?' and talking about me and my game plan," Koscheck said.

There's more to it at the link above, but in so many words, Koscheck isn't happy with the way the head of the camp, Javier Mendez, handles himself. According to Koscheck, Mendez rarely takes any of the blame for a poor performance, despite the fact that fighter's depend on him and his camp so much. It's true to varying degrees, but it only has to be a little bit true to take hold in this regard.

A training camp represents a bond of trust, between the fighters who take part in it and the coaches who hold said fighter's career in their hands. While each fighter deserves the largest slice of the blame for his or her loss, the camp should always assume responsibility, at least in this writer's opinion. Mendez is not someone who has done that with anything approaching regularity in the past.

MMA Nation also reported that Dave Camarillo, AKA's grappling coach, left the camp, but denied any differences were involved. He simply wised to spend more time running his two gyms and teaching classes.

Koscheck is from Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, but has been training with AKA in San Jose for almost six years, and officially fights out of Fresno, CA. If he moves his camp elsewhere, the Bay Area could be without one of its best fighters representing it. Still, AKA features some of the best fighters in the sport and, while this is worrying, it's not a trend yet.

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UFC 143 Results: Would A Nick Diaz Victory Have Been Better For The Organization And PPV Buys?

At UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit on Saturday, Carlos Condit took home the Interim Welterweight Championship by out-working Nick Diaz en route to a five-round unanimous decision win. It was the biggest win of his career and puts him in line for a shot to take on Georges St-Pierre for the undisputed Welterweight Championship. While it's clear that the matchup is less compelling than a potential GSP-Diaz matchup, which is better for the UFC?

Strike two. A Diaz-GSP matchup is likely better for the UFC, as well.

For one, GSP really wants to fight Diaz, for one reason or another. It's not that we have been seeing an unmotivated GSP in the octagon the last few times out, it's probably true that we've seen one that lacks the unmitigated desire to punch his opponent in the face until he stops moving. GSP hasn't had the fire in him to really take it to one of his opponents, though admittedly, he did come close to that with Josh Koscheck.

Still, it's no secret that GSP wants to hit Diaz an awful lot. That's not going to happen now. Instead, we get GSP up against a former teammate (or present?) who he has no ill-will toward. And on top of that fact, Condit likely has less of a chance to disrupt to St-Pierre than Diaz would.

The biggest point to make, however, is one of UFC growth. A Diaz-GSP fight could carry a whole pay per view card. It's a potential one million-buy event. Whether Condit presents a better stylistic matchup or Diaz has more options to get to a win, a fight between GSP and Condit won't do nearly as well. Maybe the UFC had some great buyrates for UFC 143, and since GSP will be fighting again, that fight will do well - but if the former is true, it was because of Diaz, and it means a lot of missed buys for the latter.

Just a casual observation that Diaz-GSP would have been much better for the UFC. It's even worse if Diaz decides to go through with his retirement.

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UFC 143 Bonuses: Fabricio Werdum Vs. Roy Nelson Wins Fight Of The Night

UFC 143 on Saturday night was an interesting night of MMA action. Some of the fights were true clunkers and the three marquee matchups were all close affairs that went the distance. According to Matt Erickson of Heavy, the fight bonuses for the event have been announced. Here is the full rundown.

Fight of the Night honors went to heavyweights Fabricio Werdum and "Big Country" Roy Nelson for their honest-to-god war in the last fight before the main event. This was the most decisive match that went to a decision, with Werdum absolutely demolishing Nelson in the first round, while Nelson spent the next two alternately dishing out his fair share of shots and taking heaps of abuse from the much-taller Werdum. The two fighters picked up an extra $65,000 each for their performance.

Stephen Thompson and Dustin Poirier also ended up taking two trips to the pay window. Thompson picked up Knockout of the Night with his head-kick KO of Dan Stittgen in the opening fight of the prelims. Poirier took home Submission of the Night honors with his triangle-armbar on Max Holloway, also in the prelims.

For complete coverage and results of UFC 143: Diaz Vs. Condit, stay tuned to this StoryStream. For all news and information regarding UFC 143 and mixed martial arts, please visit Bloody Elbow and SB Nation's dedicated MMA hub.

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UFC 143: Nick Diaz Threatens Retirement Following Decision Loss To Carlos Condit

Following the main event of UFC 143, Nick Diaz had some very interesting comments for interviewer Joe Rogan. Diaz lost a unanimous decision to Carlos Condit in an extremely close fight for the interim Welterweight Championship. Condit's attack plan throughout the fight appeared to largely consist of sticking and moving, evading Diaz, not allowing himself to be cornered and not allowing himself to be trapped by Diaz, who is an exceptional wrestler.

After the fight, Diaz and Condit briefly embraced before the decision was announced. Rogan interviewed Diaz, who intimated that he would be retiring from the UFC following this fight, saying, "I don't need this shit." Rogan asked him to clarify and was he really thinking about retiring. Diaz then commented that he didn't approve of Condit's fighting strategy, that Condit was "running away from [Diaz] the entire fight" and that if this is the way that fights are going to be and winners are going to be decided, he's "out of here."

The Diaz brothers have reputations as malcontents, so this may be written off as just another page in that long family history. Diaz has a point in certain ways, as he continually tried to get Condit to engage and attack. From a business standpoint (and certainly from Dana White's point of view), a less evasive strategy makes for more exciting fights, which leads to better business. On the other end of the argument, Condit fought exactly the fight that he wanted to and it netted him the interim title. Had he engaged Diaz, he likely would have played right into his opponent's strategy and lost the fight in short order.

There is no guideline that you are required to fight a certain way, nor should there be. I understand the frustration of Diaz and hope he will return, if for no other reason than that he is an extremely gifted and talented fighter and is far from the end of a still-promising career.

For complete coverage and results of UFC 143: Diaz Vs. Condit, stay tuned to this StoryStream. For all news and information regarding UFC 143 and mixed martial arts, please visit Bloody Elbow and SB Nation's dedicated MMA hub.

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UFC 143 Results: Carlos Condit Wins Interim Welterweight Championship By Unanimous Decision After Going The Distance With Nick Diaz

After an absolutely brutal heavyweight fight between Fabricio Werdum and Roy Nelson that saw Werdum winning by unanimous decision, 30-27, it was finally time for the UFC 143 main event in Las Vegas.

Stockton's own Nick Diaz faced off against Carlos Condit in a five-round main event fight for the interim Welterweight Championship. Definite big fight atmosphere right off the bat as Diaz came out with his game face on and then some. Georges St. Pierre was in attendance and was shown in the crowd.

The first round was very evenly matched and a sort of stand-and-bang feeling-out round. Condit seemed focused on hitting leg kicks and attempted several spinning strikes, none of which landed. Diaz landed several leg kicks of his own and a couple of big body blows. While Condit seemed intensely focused and working at keeping his defense up, Diaz -- as usual -- talked trash, let his hands hang down at his sides and tried to get Condit to force the issue. In the first round at least, Condit didn't bite.

The trash-talking kept up in the opening minutes of the second round, as Diaz dared Condit to hit him and slapped Condit in the face to try to get him to press. Condit still didn't bite, keeping his distance. Diaz again landed a couple of nice combinations and body shots, but Condit responded in kind. Diaz tried to tie up Condit against the cage in the final 0:30 of the round but Condit didn't want any part of it and got away quickly. Another extremely close round, although Diaz seemed much more comfortable in the cage, working slowly, methodically and with an uncanny sense of ease.

Round 3 was more of the same, with the fighters working their stand-up game and the fight ranging all over the confines of the cage. Diaz kept backing Condit against the cage with combinations, but Condit never stopped moving and never stayed in danger for long, always managing to land a strike or two of his own. In the second half of this round, the pace picked up considerably, with both fighters scoring heaps of big strikes, notably a big left hand to Condit's jaw as part of a combination. Due to continued leg kicks, this was the first round that could have been argued as being definitively in favor of Condit.

The fourth round was more of the same, as the same tactics were employed by both fighters. Diaz tried for a couple of single-leg takedowns but was unable to make anything of either attempt. Condit looked to land much more strikes in this round than did Diaz. Heading into the fifth round, it seemed that Diaz would have to finish or put together a big round to avoid losing by decision.

In Round 5, Nick tried for a barrage of kicks but few connected. Condit looked to again control the pace through much of the round, but in the final minute, Diaz scored the first takedown of the fight and took Condit's back. Diaz sunk in a deep body triangle but was unable to cinch in a choke or arm submission and Condit escaped during a transition by Diaz as time expired.

The fight went to the judges at that point. The judges scored the contest 48-47, 49-46 and 49-46 to give Condit the unanimous win by decision and the interim Welterweight Championship.

It was an extremely close fight and there was the sense that if Condit had not been able to evade Diaz so consistently, it would have been a much, much different result.

For complete coverage and results of UFC 143: Diaz Vs. Condit, stay tuned to this StoryStream. For all news and information regarding UFC 143 and mixed martial arts, please visit Bloody Elbow and SB Nation's dedicated MMA hub.

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UFC 143 Results: Josh Koscheck Picks Up Split Decision Victory Over Mike Pierce In Evenly-Matched Fight

The main card is well underway in Las Vegas as UFC 143 continues toward the big main event of Nick Diaz vs. Carlos Condit for the interim Welterweight Championship. The main event was originally scheduled to pit Stockton's own Diaz against the seemingly unbeatable Georges St. Pierre, but St. Pierre revealed in December that he had an ACL injury that would keep him out of action for 10 months. The winner of Diaz-Condit on Saturday night will later meet St. Pierre to duke it out for the undisputed title.

In other California welterweight fighting news, the polarizing Josh Koscheck, fighting out of Fresno, faced off against Mike Pierce. Koscheck stated that he wanted to use Pierce as a stepping stone to get back into title contention, while Pierce was hoping to gain some consideration of his own in the weight class with a win.

Koscheck came into the fight looking in possibly the best shape I've ever seen him. He looked extremely lean, particularly in comparison to the beefy Pierce. The first round involved a mix of Pierce clinching Koscheck against the cage and some standup. Koscheck appeared to take slightly more punishment from trading blows and was able to prevent any sort of takedown against the cage, but Pierce controlled the pace of the first round a bit more than did Kos.

In the opening minute of the second round, Pierce again pressed the issue, but as they stood and traded blows, an inadvertent headbutt by Koscheck opened up a cut on Pierce's hairline, which immediately started to bleed. About halfway through the round, Koscheck received a warning for having open hands, with referee Herb Dean telling him to watch his fingers. Seconds later, Koscheck grabbed the first successful takedown of the fight with a double-leg. After the second round, Dean again spoke to Koscheck about the fingers. Pierce looked winded in his corner after the round and appeared to be bleeding quite a bit from the hairline cut.

Pierce grabbed a single-leg in the opening minute of the final round and got his own takedown, but Kos was quickly back to his feet. After some more clinching against the cage, both fighters began trading blows in earnest, with Koscheck landing solid shots and a good combo, but Pierce landed just as many shots to the head of his own, throwing in a Muay Thai clinch and knee to the body for good measure. Koscheck, sure enough, poked Pierce in the eye inadvertently due to his fingers being out and Dean once again took him to task, giving him a final warning. Kos once again shot in hard with a double-leg and got another takedown in the final 0:30. Pierce landed a spinning elbow just before time expired and the fight went to the judges. Pierce appeared to have taken more visible damage throughout the fight but it was extremely close in all respects, with both fighters very evenly matched.

The judges scored the fight 29-28 Pierce, 29-28 Koscheck and 29-28 Koscheck, giving him the win by split decision. One of the closer fights in recent memory and probably not impressive enough of a win to get him back in the welterweight title picture immediately.

Other results from the main card, in less-than-thrilling fights:

Middleweight bout: Ed Herman vs. Clifford Starks
Herman defeated Starks via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:43 of round 2.

Bantamweight bout: Renan Barão vs. Scott Jorgensen
Barão defeated Jorgensen via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

For complete coverage and results of UFC 143: Diaz Vs. Condit, stay tuned to this StoryStream. For all news and information regarding UFC 143 and mixed martial arts, please visit Bloody Elbow and SB Nation's dedicated MMA hub.

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UFC 143 Results: Chris Cope KO'd In Second Round By Matt Brown, Plus Full Prelim Results

UFC 143 takes place live on Saturday, February 5. We have all of the results for the event which culminates in a match between Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit for the interim Welterweight Championship.

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UFC On Fox 2 Results: Rashad Evans Earns Title Shot Against Jon Jones, What About Dan Henderson?

Though the Bay Area boasts a lot of talent in regards to the sport of MMA, one of California's most prominent fighters is Dan Henderson. He's held gold just about everywhere on the planet, and has beaten some of the best MMA has to offer. He'll easily go down as one of the best to fight in the sport, and his right hand may just be the most devastating force in the sport today, even though he'll turn 42 years-old in 2012.

Henderson left Strikeforce as its light heavyweight championship, and is fresh off a big win over Mauricio Rua, another PRIDE legend in his own right. Unfortunately for Henderson, it doesn't look like he'll be getting a shot at the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship soon, given how things played out at UFC on Fox 2: Evans vs. Davis. Henderson was offered a fight against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, but declined it in hopes that he might be getting a title shot.

What he needed to happen ... didn't happen, however. Henderson needed Phil Davis to score the upset over Rashad Evans, but that didn't happen, with "Sugar" likely taking at least four of the five rounds convincingly. Davis just didn't have anything for Rashad's seasoned style, and now Evans has earned himself a shot at Jon Jones and the Light Heavyweight Championship. Had Davis won the fight, he likely would have had to have another fight to get a title shot, but the loss to Evans sets him back.

With Anderson Silva likely fighting Chael Sonnen next for the Middleweight Championship, it looks like Henderson will need to fight to keep busy. A matchup with Lyoto Machida, who lost to Jones in his last fight, seems likely. One has to be pulling for "Hendo" in that fight, given how close he is to the end of his career ... another title would be a great addition to his legacy.

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UFC On Fox 2 Results: Lavar Johnson Makes Heavyweight Division Interesting With Joey Beltran Knockout

Despite being the owner of potentially the least-clever name in mixed martial arts, San Jose's Lavar " Big" Johnson made things a little interesting in the UFC's heavyweight division on Saturday. On the Fuel TV undercard portion of UFC on Fox 2: Evans vs. Davis, Johnson became the first person to ever knockout Joey Beltran, something that is actually much more impressive than it sounds.

Sure, Beltran isn't a world-beater, but in his 20-fight MMA career, he's only been stopped once, a submission loss back in 2008 to Tony Lopez in just his sixth fight ever. He's lost other fights, but hasn't been finished, despite matches against hard-hitters like Pat Berry, Matt Mitrione and Houston Alexander. Maybe all of those guys don't necessarily have a huge finishing rate, but all of them hit Beltran very, very hard, and he took the punishment just fine.

His chin, however, could not hold up against Johnson, who unloaded with five or six uppercuts and a right hook, though all but one of the uppercuts were superfluous. They actually served to keep Beltran standing, as he went limp and was punched into a standing position several times before the referee realized that he was, in fact, out.

Don't get me wrong, Johnson "making things interesting," doesn't entail that the tops of the division need to keep their eyes out and start calling their insurance providers, it just means that he hits really, really, really, really hard and utilizes some pretty fantastic angles to make sure said hits land. Like Beltran, he'll never be a world beater, but there's always a place in the UFC who can take a guy like Beltran and make a ragdoll out of him.

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UFC 142 Results: Chad Mendes Loses To Jose Aldo By Flash Knockout With One Second Remaining In First Round

UFC 142, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil featured a spectacular main card, with four of the five fights ending in exciting and decisive fashion. The main event in particular contained one of the most surprising endings to an MMA fight in recent memory.

Jose Aldo defended his featherweight championship against native Californian Chad Mendes, who was born in Hanford and fights out of Sacramento. Mendes was a perfect 11-0 coming into the fight, having won six straight WEC and UFC fights since his debut with the organization in 2010.

In the opening round of the scheduled five-round championship fight, Mendes stood toe-to-toe with Aldo, at first choosing to exchange leg kicks before the two men began throwing punches. Mendes landed a couple of key blows but appeared not to be doing much damage to the champ. With the round winding down, Mendes ended up against the cage with Aldo, holding Aldo in a rear waistlock. As the final ten seconds of the round wound to a close, Aldo separated Mendes' hands and freed himself. Still holding the right wrist of Mendes, Aldo spun and delivered a strong knee directly to the forehead of Mendes, laying him flat on his back, dazed or possibly out cold. Aldo pounced on him and delivered two big punches before the referee was able to step in and wave off the fight. The winner was Aldo by knockout at 4:59 of the first round.

Aldo, a native Brazilian, ran from the cage and into the thick of the crowd, who greeted him like a conquering hero. It was an incredible knockout and an incredible visual. Aldo's record is now 21-1. He has not lost a fight since 2005.

The rest of the results from Brazil:

Preliminary card

Featherweight bout: Felipe Arantes vs. Antonio Carvalho
Arantes defeated Carvalho via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).

Welterweight bout: Ricardo Funch vs. Mike Pyle
Pyle defeated Funch via TKO (knee and punches) at 1:22 of round 1

Featherweight bout: Yuri Alcantara vs. Michihiro Omigawa
Alcantara defeated Omigawa via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27)

Heavyweight bout: Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Ednaldo Oliveira
Gonzaga defeated Oliveira via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:22 of round 1

Lightweight bout: Thiago Tavares vs. Sam Stout
Tavares defeated Stout via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Main card

Lightweight bout: Edson Barboza vs. Terry Etim
Barboza defeated Etim via KO (wheel kick) at 2:02 of round 3

Welterweight bout: Erick Silva vs. Carlo Prater
Prater defeated Silva via disqualification (illegal blows to back of head) at 0:29 of round 1

Middleweight bout: Rousimar Palhares vs. Mike Massenzio
Palhares defeated Massenzio via submission (heel hook) at 1:03 of round 1

Catchweight (197 lb) bout: Vitor Belfort vs. Anthony Johnson
Belfort defeated Johnson via submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:49 of round 1

It was a big night for the Brazilian fighters. Gonzaga won his first fight back in the UFC in 15 months. On the main card, there were three endings worth noting. The knockout kick by Etim against Barboza has to be seen to be believed, as it was quite impressive. Equally impressive was the scary speed with which Palhares dispatched Massenzio, shooting in for a double-leg and rolling it into a brutal heel hook that was more of a knee submission. In the catchweight fight, Vitor Belfort choked out the inexcusably-overweight Johnson and after the fight pointed out how disrespectful and unprofessional it was of his opponent to show up for weigh-in a full 11 pounds over the 186-pound weight limit for their fight. Luckily, Belfort's skill was more than enough to dispatch Johnson, weight difference or no weight difference.

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UFC 141 Results: With Brock Lesnar Retiring, How Do We Look Back On His MMA Career?

At UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem, former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Brock Lesnar, announced his retirement from the sport of MMA. Nothing about this move was surprising, as many figured he wasn't going to have another fight before his tilt with Alistair Overeem was announced. Leave it to a patented Uberknee and the slightly inferior-sounding Uberliverkick to force a man into retirement. Doesn't quite roll off the tongue, does it?

Still, it's curious to see the varied responses in regards to Lesnar. Most consider him a joke, a sideshow who was brought in for eyeballs and for the most part, that is how he got started. Lesnar got a title shot very early on and wouldn't you know it, he started to do well. It's interesting to see how fans are treating his retirement. Many of the people who were his fans are thanking him for the things he did, a lot of his previous detractors are actually grateful for the eyeballs he brought to the sport, and there are quite a few who legitimately believe he is one of the better heavyweights of this generation.

Could that be true? Let's take a look at the numbers.

Lesnar finished his MMA career with just a 5-3 record, winning four of those fights in the UFC, and losing three. In his first ever UFC fight, Lesnar fought perennial contender and former interim UFC Heavyweight Champion, Frank Mir. He lost that fight by submission, but looked good before it was applied. Following that, Lesnar beat down Heath Herring, before challenging Randy Couture for the UFC title. Lesnar won via TKO in the second round, and then went on to avenge his loss to Mir by brutalizing him in the second round. Following that, he came from behind to submit Shane Carwin to defend his title a second time.

After that, he lost to Cain Velasquez, which was followed by his lost to Overeem on Friday. Keep in mind, only two other fighters have ever defended the UFC Heavyweight title on two consecutive occasions: Couture, and Tim Sylvia. Lesnar is also the only fighter to defend the title against two former champions. Six of Lesnar's seven fights in the UFC were against former champions of major organizations - five from the UFC, and Overeem, who has held titles in Strikeforce, Dream and outside of MMA in K-1.

All of those things considered, it's a lot easier to remember Lesnar a little bit more positively. Was he over-hyped? Certainly so (and personally, this writer is not a fan of his), but the things he did were far beyond what could have legitimately been expected of him from a level-headed standpoint. Now, it's certainly true that Lesnar received the title shot against Couture because of his name and his history with the WWE, but shouldn't we be grateful for that?

Lesnar brought eyeballs to the sport, and the potential circus-fight element of it all was somewhat invalidated by the fact that he actually, you know, won fights with the premier MMA organization in the world. He brought a lot of eyeballs to the sport. UFC 100 was a turning point for the UFC and the sport of MMA, and without Lesnar, who knows where they'd be right now? Certainly not broke and destitute, but what about the new deal with Fox? What if that doesn't materialize?

Think what you want about the legitimacy of Lesnar and his merits as a fighter, but everyone should be happy that he was in the UFC, all things considered. Plus, we wouldn't have got to see Velasquez maul him and Overeem get a nice boost from beating him the way we all knew he would.

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UFC 141 Results: Nate Diaz Can Walk The Walk To Backup His ... Well, You Get It

Allow me to get a bit away from the analyst in me to speak as somewhat of a fan. Despite the fact that I write for SB Nation Bay Area and that both Nick Diaz and Nate Diaz represent this region to a degree, I've always been very against the both of them. There's something about the both of them that really got on my nerves, and I took great joy in seeing them lose. Unfortunately, they rarely lost.

That being said, Nate has turned me into a pretty big fan of late. He's shown a ton of improvement, and a lot of the things he used to do, he doesn't anymore. I was always put off by the things Nick says, his interviews, his attitude and the way he carries himself around his opponents. I've never been outspoken against his antics because, really, there's nothing more annoying than an outraged fan who thinks other people care about the fact that he doesn't like somebody's personality (looking at you, Jon Jones haters).

But I do think it's worth noting that I like the direction Nate is going. You can debate his future in the lightweight division for hours upon hours, but I really like the fact that he's no longer giving idiotic interviews like Nick, and that when he talks big game before a fight, he usually backs it up and doesn't keep it personal after the fight. Nick occasionally will carry himself well after a fight, but usually, he's disrespectful and punkish. That's OK - you won't find any of the silly "bad for MMA" talk from me - I'm simply not a fan.

I really liked the way Diaz carried himself after the fight with Donald Cerrone at UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem. More than that, I liked the fact that he even mentioned before the fight that it wasn't personal, that he just wanted Cerrone to be as uncomfortable as possible before a fight. That's the way you should do it.

At least in my opinion.

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UFC 141 Results: Alistair Overeem May Not Have Been Facing A Dedicated Brock Lesnar, But No 'Fix' Here

Leading up to UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem, many folks figured they had the main event figured out pretty well. Brock Lesnar is a poor striker who would have to wrestle to pick up the win, while it was very likely that Alistair Overeem would use his vaunted status as a K-1 Champion to batter Lesnar into a TKO before any wrestling can actually be done. Well, a could of knees to the body, punches to the head and a sweet liver kick, the prevailing theory of Overeem picking up a quick TKO victory came true.

So why are so many people acting as though there is some kind of funny business going on?

To explain, there are folks commenting all over about how Lesnar didn't look like he was really there to fight, and have insinuating that the UFC fixed the fight in favor of Overeem, paying Brock to lose before he retires, whether it means he's gone from the public eye, or gone for different things, such as the WWE. Not only are those insinuations far-fetched in their inception, they're also ridiculously idiotic in their application. How about we take a good look at some of the truths, yes?

For one, how about we all agree that Dana White and the UFC wanted Alistair Overeem to win on Friday? Is that a fair assessment? It probably is, considering that, even if Lesnar won, most assumed he wasn't long for the sport. Add to that the fact that the guy embarrassingly turtled up in his last fight and actually ran from Cain Velasquez, and you get a fighter that is unappealing and disappointing to counter-act the potential new audience he'd attract. So yes, sure, White wanted Overeem to win.

But how do you go from that to immediately assuming a fixed fight?

Was the fight easier for Overeem because Lesnar wasn't trying 100% to win? That's certainly a possibility, but why does that have to come back to White and the UFC? The whole crux of Lesnar's retirement is based on the fact that he wants to move on, doesn't like the public, and certainly doesn't like to get hit in the face really damn hard. In other words, sure Overeem may have beaten a fighter that wasn't really putting all of his effort into trying to win, but that's almost certainly due to Lesnar and Lesnar alone.

Lesnar was distracted, distant and seemed to lack any kind of concentration or dedication to beating Overeem. That comes from Lesnar's own mind though, and does not at all enforce any kind of conspiracy theory regarding "the fix." Before the fight, people imagined that Overeem was going to maul Lesnar, who would crumple, and that's exactly what happened. Call it open and shut.

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UFC 141 Results: Did Jon Fitch Lose His Last Chance To Get A Title Shot With Loss To Johny Hendricks?

For the Bay Area-based Jon Fitch, Friday night's loss at UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem was much more than that, it was a probable evaporation of Fitch's chances at another shot at the UFC Welterweight Championship. Fitch had more to fight for than ever on Friday when he entered the octagon against Johny Hendricks, and he certainly looked like it - before the bell sounded to begin the fight. He looked extremely confident coming down to the octagon, and he bounced with a renewed enthusiasm the likes of which we've never seen from him.

The confidence was likely due to the recent injury to Welterweight Champion, Georges St. Pierre, who took a bad ACL injury and will miss somewhere around a year, but potentially longer. That meant that the title was up for grabs - in interim fashion - at UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit when another Bay Area fighter, Nick Diaz, squares off with Carlos Condit. Fitch has only lost to GSP in the UFC, and he lost big time. Even if he had put together another five, six, seven wins - it would have been unlikely that he got another shot at gold, so long as GSP was the champion.

But with St-Pierre's injury, it really did open the door for Fitch.

Unfortunately for him, Johny Hendricks was looking to bolster his chances as well, and had a door of his own open. He'll be fighting nothing but top contenders from here on out, and he'll be paying just as much attention as the other contenders to the UFC 143 matchup between Diaz and Condit. Hendricks came out with one simple plan: hit Fitch really hard and see what happens, in his own words following the event.

Well, he hit him - and hard. Fitch immediately went down and Hendricks followed up with another shot under the chin before the referee got in to stop it just 12 seconds into the fight. It was a great highlight reel knockout, and Hendricks is on his way up.

But for Fitch, this could certainly mean his chances of ever getting another shot at the title are gone. It's not some huge losing streak by any means, but this, following the draw against B.J. Penn, sets him back pretty far. It hurts his chances especially if GSP returns, but more than that, it represents a shift in the welterweight division. For so long, Fitch was the No. 2 welterweight in the world, with GSP at the top. Now Fitch just got knocked out, and two others are set to fight for the title.

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UFC 141 Results: Nate Diaz Progressed Against Donald Cerrone, But Can He Compete With The Division's Best?

If there's any kind of negative to take from Nate Diaz' big, dominating victory of Donald Cerrone on Friday at UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem, it's Nate's potential future in the lightweight division. By beating Cerrone, Diaz shot himself up the ladders into relevance, while eliminating a potential title contender (for now) in Cerrone, but while the strong elements of his win may give him hope against the division's elite, the negatives are a strong reminder that he has a long way to go.

Though it's unclear just how many of the times Diaz fell down as part of his gameplan to try and lure Cerrone to the ground, he took an awful lot of leg kicks and definitely hit the ground because of them. As part of his volume punching strategy, he also tired himself out later in the fight. He was able to maintain said punching throughout, but his balance was certainly off. An entirely gassed and battered Cerrone was able to land kicks from start to finish.

Part of that is Diaz' tendency to trust in his chin and forsake defense altogether, but another part of that was fatigue. Either way, could you imagine Diaz leaving his lower body so exposed against this iteration of, say, Gray Maynard? Diaz would sure be dumped on his back, much like Dong Hyun Kim did to him. And what of his inability to put Cerrone away? What happens if he takes on Frankie Edgar? We've seen it a couple times now - Edgar coming back from a volume beating.

That all being said, Diaz has improved leaps and bounds in each of his last two fights. His striking looked amazing against Takanori Gomi, and against Cerrone at UFC 141, he put on the best performance of his career ... again. Maybe he will be ready for the division's best after another fight against a high level opponent.

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UFC 141 Results: Nate Diaz, Donald Cerrone Earn Fight Of The Night; Johny Hendricks Gets Knockout Award

UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem is in the books and it was a great way to finish 2011, or better yet, it was a great way to head into 2012 and an exciting new deal with Fox. Alistair Overeem came into the UFC and brutalized Brock Lesnar en route to a first-round TKO and a shot at Junior dos Santos and the UFC Heavyweight Championship. We had a thrilling co-main event in which Nate Diaz peppered Donald Cerrone for three-straight rounds, and we had a huge, huge upset as Johny Hendricks scored a 12-second knockout of the Bay Area-based Jon Fitch.

On top of all of that, Lesnar retired from MMA for good, which is certainly huge news. There's bound to be plenty more coming out of this, but you can expect a huge step-up in competition for Hendricks and Diaz - not to mention Overeem, who will have his hands full with dos Santos.

The UFC announced the bonuses for the night of fights, and of particular note is the fact that there is no submission of the night because, of course, the card featured no submission finishes.

Fight of The Night Bonus: Nate Diaz, Donald Cerrone

Knockout of The Night Bonus: Johny Hendricks

Both of those are $75,000 bonuses - both of the fighters involved in the fight of the night get the same $75,000 bonus. Hendricks beat out Overeem's TKO of Lesnar and Alexander Gustafsson's thrilling knockout of the veteran, Vladimir Matyushenko.

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UFC 141 Results: Brock Lesnar Announces Retirement Following Loss To Alistair Overeem

Brock Lesnar's big MMA comeback on Friday night did not go quite as well as he might have hoped, but at least he was able to walk away from the evening with his head held high.

Brock Lesnar hadn't fought in the UFC since losing the Heavyweight Championship to Cain Velasquez in October of 2010. Since then, Lesnar has had a string of health issues that have kept him out of action, including a debilitating bout of diverticulitis that led to a surgery in May. That surgery involved removing and repairing a sizable portion of Lesnar's colon, but he appeared to be on track for a comeback.

He did indeed return on Friday night at UFC 141 in Las Vegas, where he took on the debuting Alistair Overeem. The fight was to determine the number one contender for the title, currently held by Junior Dos Santos. Overeem won the bout by TKO due to body kicks and punches in 2:26 of the first round.

After the match, an unusually humbled Lesnar announced to the crowd that it would be the last time they would see him in action in the Octagon. He promised to Dana White and everyone else that he was officially announcing his retirement from mixed martial arts. He stated that he had promised his wife and children that if he had won, he would fight the title match and then retire, but if he lost, he would retire immediately. He kept his promise and referenced his recent surgery and health problems as fueling his decision.

Lesnar could have a long career still ahead of him as an MMA coach, commentator, or personality. It is also impossible to rule out a potential return to professional wrestling, which carries fewer unexpected possibilities of permanent damage than does something like a series of brutal kicks to a surgically-repaired stomach. It has been rumored that the WWE has been trying to lure back Lesnar for a few years now.

For complete UFC 141 coverage and results, please stay tuned to this StoryStream.

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UFC 141 Results: Alistair Overeem Earns Title Shot Against Junior Dos Santos With Quick TKO Of Brock Lesnar

The highly-anticipated main event of UFC 141 on Friday night lived up to the hype, although it was perhaps shorter than anticipated.

The heavyweight fight between Brock Lesnar and Alistair Overeem was to determine the number one contender for the UFC Heavyweight Championship, currently held by Junior Dos Santos. The fight was Overeem's debut in the UFC and Lesnar's first since losing the title to Cain Velasquez in October 2010.

The opening minutes of the main event saw the two men testing one another with short and light jabs. Lesnar opened a small cut over Overeem's right eye with one of the jabs, but Overeem quickly went to work on Lesnar, repeatedly clinching and delivering devastating knees to the body.

Overeem kept pressing the attack with knees and kicks to the body, before unleashing a huge right kick to the liver that left Brock clutching his body and slumping to the ground, leaning against the cage. Overeem kept on Brock with a flurry of punches before the fight was waved off at 2:26 of the first round, awarding Overeem the fight and becoming the number one contender by TKO.

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UFC 141 Results: Nate Diaz Unloads Nonstop Punches On Donald Cerrone, Wins By Unanimous Decision

The UFC 141 co-main event was a lightweight fight pitting Stockton native Nate Diaz against "Cowboy" Donald Cerrone.

The bad blood between these two fighters leading up to the fight continued into the ring, as referee Herb Dean asked for the fighters to shake hands before the opening bell and Cerrone responded by giving Diaz the middle finger.

Diaz and Cerrone went toe-to-toe from the start, but Diaz clearly took the first round, continually peppering Cerrone with unending punches, including straight right after straight right that left Cerrone looking dazed and fighting with his mouth open.

Cerron fared a bit better in the second round, knocking down Diaz with a head kick that appeared to not do much damage after Cerrone walked away without capitalizing and Diaz got right back up. Cerrone's best offense in the second round was with his kicks, but Diaz appeared to easily take the second round as well. Cerrone was bleeding from the nose and mouth by the time the round ended.

The fight remained standing into the third round, as again Diaz kept landing combinations that Cerrone appeared unable to answer. Cerrone looked winded but managed a sweep and a couple of good knees to the body. Still, Cerrone was able to capitalize and looked unwilling to take the fight to the ground, although he was clearly losing the standing game by quite some measure. Cerrone tried a flying knee with about 0:45 left but it missed. The two fighters both tried flurries in the final ten seconds, but Cerrone was visibly exhausted. The horn sounded to end the fight and the two men finally shook hands and congratulated one another.

Diaz inevitably took the unanimous decision by scores of (30-27, 30-27, 29-28). The crowd seemed surprised for some reason, raining down boos on Diaz after the decision was read. Diaz apologized to Cerrone for "all the [stuff] that went down" as he was interviewed after the fight, stating, "That's just TV."

For complete UFC 141 coverage and results, please stay tuned to this StoryStream.

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UFC 141 Results: Johny Hendricks Drops Jon Fitch With Immediate Round One Knockout

Since losing his welterweight title match against Georges St. Pierre way back in 2008, San Jose fighter Jon Fitch has slowly been inching his way back into title contention. Over the past three years, he's gone an impressive 5-0-1 and looked to be one of the next in line for another shot at the belt.

All of that came to an immediate, brutal end on Friday night at UFC 141.

In the second fight of the main PPV card, Fitch faced off against Johny Hendricks, who was 7-1 in UFC fights entering the bout.

The two fighters came out and stood toe-to-toe for just ten seconds before Hendricks threw an enormous left hand that knocked Fitch flat on his back and for all intents and purposes, out cold. Hendricks pushed forward and threw another punch to the jaw before referee Steve Mazzagatti threw himself on Fitch to end the fight. Fitch seemed to come to almost immediately after Mazzagatti waved it off, but it was clear he had been knocked out from the first punch and the stoppage was necessary.

I would be shocked if this did not receive Knockout of the Night honors. It was a huge, shocking KO out of nowhere.

For complete UFC 141 coverage and results, please stay tuned to this StoryStream.

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UFC 141 Results: Alexander Gustafsson Scores Flash Knockout Win Over Vladimir Matyushenko

The second match on the main card of UFC 141 pitted light heavyweight stalwart Vladimir Matyushenko against Alexander Gustafsson, who had won three UFC fights in a row entering Friday's event.

Matyushenko is 40 years old and faced off against a lithe Gustafsson, who is 16 years the junior of the 40-year-old Russian and a full five inches taller.

Matyushenko came out headhunting right away as the two fighters felt one another out and circled. Matyushenko attempted a huge combo, missing with both swings, the second of which was so powerful that it threw him off-balance. The two continued to circle for two minutes.

Suddenly, Matyushenko lunged in and Gustafsson threw out a straight left hand that clipped Vladimir on the jaw and dropped him immediately. The referee waved off the fight and the fourth straight UFC win went to Gustafsson.

On replays, the punch from Gustafsson seemed to be almost out of shock at the charging Matyushenko, who just ran right into it and put his own lights out.

For complete UFC 141 coverage and results, please stay tuned to this StoryStream.

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UFC 141 Results: Manny Gamburyan Loses By Decision, Plus Full Preliminary Card Results

The preliminary card for UFC 141 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas is in the books. As the PPV gets underway with the five main-card fights, headlined by Brock Lesnar vs. Alistair Overeem to determine the No. 1 contender for the UFC heavyweight title, currently held by Junior Dos Santos.

All five preliminary matches went the distance. One notable California fighter lost his bought while another fighter out of California lost his. Manny Gamburyan, who made it to the finals of The Ultimate Fighter 5, fights out of Hollywood. He lost his preliminary fight against Diego Nunes by unanimous decision and has now lost three fights in a row.

Danny Castillo, fighting out of Sacramento, took home the winner's purse in his fight against Anthony Njokuani. He is now 3-1 in the UFC.

Featherweight bout: Manny Gamburyan vs. Diego Nunes

Nunes defeated Gamburyan via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).

Lightweight bout: Jacob Volkmann vs. Efrain Escudero

Volkmann defeated Escudero via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).

Welterweight bout: Dong Hyun Kim vs. Sean Pierson

Kim defeated Pierson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

Lightweight bout: Anthony Njokuani vs. Danny Castillo

Castillo defeated Njokuani via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).

Featherweight bout: Ross Pearson vs. Junior Assunção

Pearson defeated Assunção by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).

For complete UFC 141 coverage and results, please stay tuned to this StoryStream.

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UFC 141 Lesnar Vs. Overeem: Jon Fitch Could Be A Whole New Fighter Against Johny Hendricks

And suddenly, Jon Fitch has a real, tangible reason to drive to win fights in the UFC. If that seemed like a bad novel in which "and suddenly" is used to describe the plot twist, that was the desired effect. Because if Jon Fitch's career has been anything in the UFC, it's a bad novel. Sure, there's the occasional high point of action, but for the most part, it's been an over-powered hero who dispatches foes in the most mundane ways possible.

That is to say, outside of when said hero was humiliated and humbled by the villain (in Fitch's book, anyway), Georges St-Pierre.

In other words, Fitch has dominated opponent after opponent, only to make it to GSP, where he would be thoroughly dominant. Since losing to GSP in his last outing, Fitch has done seemingly enough to make it back to a shot at the UFC Welterweight Title, but the organization has been hesitant to give him a third shot, mostly because of the fact that his style hasn't shown that he's improved enough to challenge GSP.

But now, GSP has a bad injury to his leg and the title is up for grabs in an interim fashion at UFC 143 when Nick Diaz takes on Carlos Condit. GSP could be out for a year or more with the injury, and at his age, some are wondering if he'll even be back in the octagon. His surgery has reportedly went well, but at this point, everything is up in the air, as is the usual case with an ACL injury.

Fitch could work his way back into title contention, though following a draw with B.J. Penn, he has a ways to go. Still, if Fitch puts together some wins, the UFC has no grounds to prevent him from getting a shot, though there are some other fighters ahead of him. Diego Sanchez and Jake Ellenberger are set to fight in February, so Fitch could be in line after that. It really all depends on when GSP returns.

But at this point, Fitch should be fighting with a renewed vigor. He's a heavy favorite over Johny Hendricks at UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem on Friday, but he shouldn't be complacent. A win over Hendricks would be good for Fitch, and set him up with some high-level fights, including a potential rematch with Penn, if he doesn't officially retire. In other words, Fitch should fight Hendricks like he hasn't fought in some time - as exciting as possible while still fighting his fight.

There are times when Fitch is exciting. When he's trying to bully a fighter into a takedown so he can work his exhausting (and boring) wrestling game, he's throwing some nice knees and other things of that nature. With Hendricks, he needs to watch out for the counters, as he's a great wrestler in his own right and probably won't be bullied.

Either way, Hendricks could be in for a whole new Fitch at UFC 141.

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UFC 141 Lesnar Vs. Overeem: Nate Diaz Will Be A Maniac To Make Donald Cerrone Uncomfortable

Much like his brother Nick, Nate Diaz is kind of quirky. Funny thing about the word "quirky," it can mean a wide range of things, from somewhat funny to indisputably maniacal. When it comes to the Stockton, CA born-and-raised Diaz brothers, it's always been more of the latter than the former. One important thing to note though, is that when the crazy comes out, it's always been a bit more Nick than Nate.

Though Nate shares the same aversion to the media as Nick, he's always been more soft-spoken and entirely less offensive. Once the octagon doors shut, Nate turns into the trash-talking thug we've all come to love, but again, he's always been relatively tame in interviews. Or at the very least, more tame than Nick. Still though, you can never expect either Diaz to be your friend before (or during) a fight. That especially applies for Nate.

The Bay Area-based fighter had a prior standoff with his UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem opponent, Donald Cerrone, and slapped his hand away, refusing a handshake. But it's not necessarily personal, Diaz just wants his opponents to be as uncomfortable as possible heading into the fight. He had a few quotes to the media, via MMA Junkie:

"Let's just say for second you're fighting some maniac from the street that's killed 20 people and they're just like crazy as hell, but you get a fair fight with him, and he's just biting his arm off and talking crazy [expletive], then you're going to fight this nice guy that goes to church, and he just comes up and says, 'Hey, man, nice to meet you, It's going to be a good fight.' Who are you guys gonna feel more comfortable fighting? I'd rather not go in like the rest of these guys."

That's not necessarily a unique view point, but you can leave it to one of the Diaz brothers to put it so ... eloquently. Once the fight starts, Cerrone can expect a lot more jeering, a bit more lunacy and he'll have his hands full. Though Cerrone is favored, maybe Diaz and his mind games will help him out here? Probably not, considering Cerrone has been under some intense pressure before.

Just another reason to enjoy the Diaz brothers, either way.

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UFC 141: Lesnar Vs. Overeem Features Simple Main Event, But Can Brock Execute His Gameplan?

The gameplan for both Brock Lesnar and Alistair Overeem at UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem is pretty straightforward. Lesnar, the Division-1 wrestling champion, is going to try and take Overeem, the K-1 kickboxing champion down to the ground to neutralize his stand-up. On the flip side, Overeem is going to try and shrug off the takedown, all the while trying to beat Lesnar's face into a fine mash. It's all very simple on paper.

But Lesnar's usual gameplan of bull-rushing his opponent to try and bully them into a takedown may not be the smartest move, at least against a guy like Overeem. Unlike Frank Mir and Cain Velasquez, Overeem sports similar size and strength Lesnar, and he's not one to wilt under pressure. More than that, Overeem is the kind of guy who will absolutely punish you if your takedowns don't come at the right time. He's the kind of guy who will steal your soul with a well-placed knee.

No, Lesnar will need to set up his takedown, or so-says "King" Mo Lawal, former Strikeforce heavyweight champion, via Yahoo!:

If I were Brock, I would establish a good jab, fake ... jab, fake ... fake, jab. Look to shoot off the fakes. You know in wrestling. if the person doesn't respond to your fakes then you shoot next time. If the person responds to your fakes then you throw punches ... It's going to be very important for Brock to set up his takedowns because without the setups, he's getting knocked out or hurt ... Overeem is the wrong person to shoot on out of the blue.

Really, that's great and all - and the general response when talking about wrestlers needing the takedown. Of course a fighter needs to set up his takedowns, lest they get stuffed or worse, kneed into oblivion. But it's worth noting here, specifically due to Overeem's insane strength and striking ability. Lesnar absolutely has to set up every single one of his takedowns to be successful in this fight.

The problem is that Overeem is, again, a trained striker. He'll likely know what's a fake, especially for someone with as rudimentary striking as Lesnar. I'm sure Brock has a series of tells that Overeem will be able to discern rather quickly, so unless Lesnar catches him with something early (a TKO for Lesnar standing is not out of the realm of possibility, solely because of just how big these monsters are, mind you), the more he tries to set up the takedown, the more obvious it might become.

Lesnar's gameplan is very clear. What's not clear is his striking ability needed to execute the gameplan. By all accounts, he's not a great striker and is very telegraphed. If we see a Lesnar who jabs technically and sets up some particularly inventive and surprising takedowns, it will be a totally new Lesnar in the octagon.

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UFC 143: Diaz Vs. Condit Lines Are All Over The Place Early, Though Nick Diaz Holds Edge

Though UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit isn't for some time, odds-makers have already set the line for the main event featuring Bay Area-based Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit, who will battle for the UFC Interim Welterweight Championship. It's an interim bout because long-time champion Georges St-Pierre is set to miss at least a year with an ACL injury, one of the most debilitating injuries in sports. There are some who think the Canadian fighter may not ever return from it, while others believe it signifies his best years are behind him.

Either way, both Diaz and Condit have been slotted into bouts with St-Pierre this year, and neither of them were able to fight, be it due to Diaz skipping some of his PR duties or Condit being lined up for the shot when GSP went down with an injury. Condit has had an impressive run in the UFC, starching top level competition and certainly earning his shot at the title. Diaz had a great 2011, beating Engelista Santos and Paul Daley in Strikeforce before coming to the UFC and putting a whooping on B.J. Penn.

In short, it should be a really good fight. The betting lines thus far are all over the place, though. You can find sites with Diaz as the favorite and others with Condit as the man winning. Right now, Diaz is favored and with Condit's power, it might be worth some action. The current line from Bodog.ca has Diaz at -155 and Condit at +125.

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UFC 141: Lesnar Vs. Overeem Almost Didn't Happen, But A Terrible Commission Helped

Friday's main event between Brock Lesnar and Alistair Overeem almost didn't make it through barriers at the athletic commissions. There's an awful lot to the story to consider, and a lot of questionable decisions from more than one person, but with those things having passed and things calmed down a little, it's worth taking another look at what happened. Most of the issues were with the athletic commission, which once again proved its woeful incompetence, something that will eventually be a very big problem in the sport.

It's really hard to say whether or not Overeem should have been granted a license. The fan in me wants to be very excited for the brawl we're almost guaranteed to see on Friday, while the other part of me questions the handling of Overeem's testing. Overeem left the country on the same day that the commission requested a test sample to make sure he hasn't been taking any illegal substances before his fight with Lesnar. His explanation was that he bought the ticket two days prior, and an assistant failed to notify him.

Then, Overeem gave a blood test, which is generally better than a urine test that the commission requests, but he had it administered by a private doctor and had it delivered very late. I don't think I need to explain to you why an unsupervised test shouldn't be admissible. The whole point of commission-supervised testing is to ensure that there's no fair play involved.

Either way, the commission granted Overeem a temporary license pending further testing (which appears to be all good at this point), and that's where the issue is. Whether you believe that Overeem was taking illegal substances or not, you have to wonder how a governing body like this commission lets this kind of thing slide with nothing more than a simple hearing in which they seek only to put Overeem in the corner for a short period of time.

It doesn't help that the commission had no idea what they were doing during their hearing. They had asked Overeem if this was his first fight at heavyweight, even though he's been at this weight for years. How can this commission, while putting on a hearing they scheduled not know about the fighter who has the most pressing issue from the hearing?

Call it outrage if you want, but call it outrage over the commission. The sport of MMA is growing, and growing rather fast - this kind of thing should be a lot bigger news than it is. It probably was overlooked because Overeem is such a beloved fighter. It is quite true that we get a great fight out of it and that Overeem had legitimate reasoning to leave the country.

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UFC 141: Lesnar Vs. Overeem Lines And Odds

UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem is set to go down live on pay per view on Dec. 30, and you'd be crazy not to be interested. Brock Lesnar and Alistair Overeem don't necessarily represent the best that the sport of MMA has to offer, but just take a look at the two of them. Did you look? Can you honestly say you don't want to see which one of them is going to explode and shatter into a million pieces when they collide?

The betting odds have been slowly trickling out, and it's worth taking a look, even though the last few events haven't had any action worth taking. Really, the last couple have either been too close or too far apart with no underdog appeal at all. Donald Cerrone is a solid favorite over the Bay Area-based Nate Diaz, so if you're a firm believe in their abilities (not an irrational belief at all), there's some good money to be made there.

Another solid pick, at least in our opinion, is taking Vladimir Matyushenko as the underdog. The guy is on a tear lately, and over the last ... millennium or so ... he's only lost to current light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Alexander Gustafsson is certainly a promising up-and-comer, but Matyushenko is the definition of dependable veteran. Also tempted to put money on Anthony Njokuani, but let's just assume that odds-makers know something about Danny Castillo that we don't.

Below are some odds, provided by Odds Shark, these ones taken from Bodog.

Main Card

Brock Lesnar (5-2) +115 vs. Alistair Overeem (35-11, 1 NC) -145
Nate Diaz (14-7) +220 vs. Donald Cerrone (17-3) -280
Jon Fitch (23-3-1, 1 NC) -225 vs. Johny Hendricks (11-1) +175
Vladimir Matyushenko (26-5) +250 vs. Alexander Gustafsson (12-1) -325
Nam Phan (17-9) -230 vs. Jimy Hettes (9-0) +180

Preliminary Card

Ross Pearson (12-5) -260 vs. Junior Assuncao (13-4) +200
Anthony Njokuani (14-5, 1 NC) +160 vs. Danny Castillo (12-4) -200
Dong Hyun Kim -400 (14-1-1, 1 NC) vs. Sean Pierson (11-5) +300
Jacob Volkmann (13-2) -265 vs. Efrain Escudero (18-3) +205
Matt Riddle (5-3) -130 vs. Luis Ramos (19-7) +100
Diego Nunes (16-2) -325 vs. Manny Gamburyan (11-6) +250

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UFC 141: Lesnar Vs. Overeem Fight Card

UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem is set to go down live on pay per view on Dec. 30, and the card is packed with great fights from top to bottom. Not only is the main event between former UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar and K-1 Champion Alistair Overeem virtually guaranteed to end with some sort of giant man unconscious, but the rest of the card promises fireworks from top to bottom.

On top of that, the Bay Area is being represented well on both the main and preliminary cards (otherwise you wouldn't be reading this, of course!). In the evening's co-main event, Stockton, CA-born and raised Nate Diaz (who trains in San Francisco) is taking on the always-exciting Donald Cerrone. Between the two of them, there's 41 wins, and of those wins, there's 23 submissions, so you can expect a potentially fast-paced submission battle.

The night also features perennial top-three welterweight Jon Fitch, as he takes on the up-and-coming wrestle-boxer, Johny Hendricks, who has a glorious, glorious beard. If genetic freaks trying to maul one another, two wily veterans trying to snap a limb off and impressive beardery in general doesn't get you pumped, then there's very likely something wrong with you.

UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem fight card:

Main Card

Brock Lesnar (5-2) vs. Alistair Overeem (35-11, 1 NC)
Nate Diaz (14-7) vs. Donald Cerrone (17-3)
Jon Fitch (23-3-1, 1 NC) vs. Johny Hendricks (11-1)
Vladimir Matyushenko (26-5) vs. Alexander Gustafsson (12-1)
Nam Phan (17-9) vs. Jimy Hettes (9-0)

Preliminary Card

Ross Pearson (12-5) vs. Junior Assuncao (13-4)
Anthony Njokuani (14-5, 1 NC) vs. Danny Castillo (12-4)
Dong Hyun Kim (14-1-1, 1 NC) vs. Sean Pierson (11-5)
Jacob Volkmann (13-2) vs. Efrain Escudero (18-3)
Matt Riddle (5-3) vs. Luis Ramos (19-7)
Diego Nunes (16-2) vs. Manny Gamburyan (11-6)

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UFC 141: Lesnar Vs. Overeem Has Bay Area Significance With Nate Diaz, Jon Fitch

On Dec. 30, the UFC is putting on its customary New Years card, and this one looks to be a good one. UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem is headlined by a heavyweight tilt that pits two of the biggest, angriest guys in the sport up against one another, as Brock Lesnar  looks to rebound after losing his title to Cain Velasquez by spoiling the UFC debut of Alistair Overeem, the ex-Strikeforce heavyweight champion.

For the Bay Area, it will be a big event as well. The Stockton born-and-raised Nate Diaz is on the event's main card, up against Donald Cerrone. Diaz trains with the Cesar Gracie camp in San Francisco and is widely considered to be a "Bay Area fighter." Well, he's got one of the toughest tests of his career, but the same can be argued for Cerrone as well, who has faced middling competition since his dual fights with Ben Henderson in the WEC.

On top of that, Jon Fitch will take on Johny Hendricks on the night's main card, as well. Fitch lives in, and fights out of San Jose and is one of MMA's best fighters, looking to fight his way back to another shot at the UFC welterweight championship. Fitch could easily make an argument for being the best fighter in the Bay Area, along with guys like Jake Shields, Cain Velasquez and Nick Diaz.

Other fighters with links to California are Danny Castillo (fighting out of Sacramento), Nam Phan (born in CA, fighting out of Garden Grove), Vladimir Matyushenko (fighting out of El Segundo) and Manny Gamburyan (fighting out of Hollywood). Both Phan and Matyushenko are fighting on the event's main card and should be part of excellent fights.

Still, the focus is firmly on Diaz, who is expected to put on a great fight against Cerrone. Both of the Diaz brothers, while not necessarily representing MMA well from a public relations standpoint, represent the best and most exciting mixed martial arts action the Bay Area has to offer. On top of that, it's a very competitive fight. Expect more on the event in the coming week.

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Bay Area MMA Not At Its Highest Point, But The Sport Is Growing

A stream for all things related to Bay Area and California mixed martial arts, follow along for updates as the region is represented by guys like Cain Velasquez, Urijah Faber and Nick Diaz. For more on MMA in general, go to Bloody Elbow.

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UFC 139 Results: Pro Cung Le Crowd Excited To See Wanderlei Silva Dust Him; Is He Making Too Much?

There was a very pro-Cung Le crowd at Heroes Sports Lounge in Modesto, CA - where this writer happened to catch UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson on Saturday. Le has been based in San Jose, CA for essentially his entire career, and all of the other California fighters were cheered on at the bar as well. Aside from Urijah Faber, it was Le who got the loudest cheers.

That is to say, until Wanderlei Silva started teeing off on him, and the bar exploded in rabid cheers for "The Axe Murderer." It was an odd sight to behold, especially as someone without rooting interest in either fighter. There were audible boos for Wanderlei and cheers for Le, yet once he started teeing off on Le, it was very clear that the crowd was in Wanderlei's corner. Was it because of the fact that they just had the bloodlust going and wanted to see someone get knocked out, or was there something more?

In all actuality, there was probably a lot more to it. More than almost any fighter, Wanderlei has been loved by the fans for his fights as well as his personality. He's so humble and fun-loving, and wants nothing more than to entertain the fans. Watching him in interviews, he'd honestly be adorable if he didn't possess the quality to rip you limb from limb and mercilessly beat you with them. But yes, other than the potential destruction of one's entire being, he is, in fact, adorable.

Wanderlei's "Axe Muderer" ways have been absent of late. The spurts of intense, high gear action have become few and far between, and it's likely that everyone in the bar simple wanted him to get a win, at any cost. It could have been those patron's own mother in the octagon being kneed repeatedly in the face, and they'd likely have cheered him on. Knee, Wandy, knee.

Le is still a wildly popular fighter, as evidenced by the fact that he earned more (before fight bonuses, sponsorships and a potential cut of the PPV) than any other fighter on the card, with $350K. That's really impressive - but he'll have to win these kinds of fights in the future to keep making it. San Jose will always be behind Le, save in a PRIDE-induced frenzy while watching Silva knee him into nothingness, and the UFC can always fall back on him if they need a big name for another event in California, but he'll need to win his next fight.

Apparently, Le was brought back and given a multi-fight deal, though typically, the UFC can cut any fighter coming off a loss (or for a myriad of other reasons). 350K is just too much money at this point, and those fans in the bar will quickly forget about him if he keeps losing and keeps dropping fights to PRIDE fighters far past their prime. The UFC may have a decision to make sooner rather than later.

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UFC 139 Results: Dan Henderson Indisputably Ready To Compete For UFC Gold, But Where?

Though Dan Henderson and Mauricio Rua put on what is probably the best MMA fight we'll see this year and one of the better fights of all time in the history of the sport on Saturday for UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson, it did further some major concerns about Henderson, who hopes to be competing for UFC gold sometime very soon. But first, a little bit of backstory on Henderson and where he stands. 

Henderson has always been a guy who could fight at multiple weights ... he made his money at middleweight, but held the Strikeforce light heavyweight championship, and beat Fedor Emelianenko at heavyweight.  Recently, UFC president Dana White has talked about Henderson and where he stands - noting that Henderson could be fighting for UFC gold at either light heavyweight or middleweight. The current light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones, is an enigma, and he's fighting Lyoto Machida at UFC 140. It seems like Henderson would be the underdog in both of these fights, but they're definitely attractive matchups.

At middleweight, Anderson Silva holds the title and will defend it next against Chael Sonnen in a rematch. Again, Henderson at this point would be an interesting matchup, despite having lost to Silva in the past. "Hendo" was actually nearing another fight with Silva before leaving the UFC due to contract disputes. 

The problem, though, is the fact that Henderson just might not be a great fit at middleweight anymore. At light heavyweight, he gassed big time against Shogun by the middle of the third round. In round four, he was breathing heavily and in the fifth and final round, he only had enough gas to survive, and it almost cost him the win. Had the judges scored that final round a 10-8 for Shogun, we'd be looking at a draw and one less immediate contender for the title.

He's 41 years old, and his gas tank looked even worse the last time he fought at 185. It's really up in the air as to whether or not he can continue fighting at a high level with that weight cut, something that a guy like Silva would certainly be able to take advantage of. It's a shark tank at 205 right now, but it might be best to just suck it up and give Henderson a title shot while the getting is good. He was just part of one of the better fights this year, he really should be in nothing but big fights.

Let's just hope those big fights are where he's at his best, which is probably at light heavyweight, right now.

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UFC 139 Results: Dan Henderson, Shogun Rua Put On War, Will The Event Get A Boost From UFC On Fox 1?

Though UFC 139 featured what was probably the best fight we've seen this year in the night's main event between Dan Henderson and Mauricio Rua, it was probably best suited for that event, as opposed to the inaugural UFC on Fox event that saw Junior dos Santos score a TKO victory over Cain Velasquez in just 64 seconds. The first, and most obvious reason is that the Fox event averaged above five million viewers and had a reported peak of 8.8 million viewers – though some are now saying it could even be above nine million.

In other words, why second guess an event that performed above expectations and became the most-watched MMA event in history – without even factoring in the Brazilian audience. No, it's safe to say that going with Velasquez vs. dos Santos was the best course of action, as the heavyweights always bring in the numbers.

But now, a week after that event, UFC 139 puts on a helluva show, from Urijah Faber showcasing a revitalized skillset to set up a bantamweight title fight with Dominick Cruz to "The Axe Murderer" Wanderlei Silva throwing muay thai knees from the clinch to score a TKO over Cung Le, to Henderson and "Shogun" putting up a fight for the ages. It was an event worth every bit of an 8.8 million viewership, but that doesn't mean it will get it. Far below that, more than likely. That's just how the UFC's pay per view model has worked.

What will be interesting, though, is whether or not the UFC on Fox event will lead to more buys for UFC 139. Retroactively, we can say this event should be through the worth and worth every bit of your $49.99 or $54.99, depending on your preference for high definition, but before the fight, how much interest did it draw? You had two knockout artists in Shogun and Henderson in the main event, and Wanderlei in the co-main event. Faber was possibly the bigger draw on the card and, on paper, it's a card that could have exceeded most folks' expectations of around 300k buys.

If the event gets, say, 500,000 buys, can we then say that it got a boost from UFC on Fox? How about 600,000? It will be very interesting to see how many buys this event gets, but the UFC is most definitely heading in the right direction with UFC on Fox, regardless. And the actual deal with the network doesn't even kick in until 2012 – so the future of the sport is bright.

One way to help it along, though? Put Dan Henderson on one of the early Fox cards – it doesn't matter who against and it doesn't matter if he's the main event or the co-main. Whether he drops to 185 in pursuit of Anderson Silva's belt or he has his eyes on Jon Bones Jones, the public needs to see the 41-year old fight and, more than likely, win.

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UFC 139 Results: Dan Henderson, Shogun Rua Put On Instant Classic In San Jose

On Saturday, during UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson, two legends in the sport of MMA absolutely went to war. There are so many cliches in the sport these days, starting with the Gladiator-inspired intro to UFC events (which will be phazed out once the UFC's deal with Fox kicks in, so say your goodbyes over the next couple events) to the pre-fight declarations of wanting to go out there and put on a war. It's not exactly "rare" that these fighters deliver on their promises, but there is one thing that's definitely rare.

Rare is what we saw in the main event, when Dan Henderson and Mauricio Rua went to war for five rounds. Like any good wars, their were swings in momentum. Henderson clearly had the advantage early on, connecting early and often with that ferocious right hand, while peppering "Shogun" with a left straight. Henderson swarmed several times, and almost finished a couple times in the third round.

But the exertion while trying to finish cost him, and he entered round four extremely tired. He fought gamely, and even could have taken that round to a draw, but Shogun had a bit of a fire lit in him. Round five was total exhaustion in every way. The only things that saved Henderson were an iron chin and the fact that Shogun was too punched out to throw his shots from mount with any authority.

The fight ended in Henderson's favor, as this writer feels it should have, and it's hard to not want to see them fight again. The California-born Henderson surely would bring a war to Shogun and be favored again in a second fight, but at this point in both of their careers, it's hard to imagine them spending more fights on one another. Henderson just vacated the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Championship, and has his eyes on the winner of Jon Jones vs. Lyoto Machida, or perhaps on Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen down at middleweight.

Either way, the point is that you need to watch this fight, if you have not yet. Go on - do it. I'll wait.

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WASN'T THAT AWESOME!?

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UFC 139 Results: Urijah Faber Makes Upcoming Title Fight Against Dominick Cruz Interesting

Not only did Urijah Faber pick up a big win on Saturday over Brian Bowles on UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson, he actually got folks excited to see a rematch with bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz. Faber knew going into this fight that he'd likely be getting a title shot if he walked away from San Jose victorious, but he did much more than that. A lot of times, when a fighter knows he can get a title shot if he wins his next fight, he'll fight safe. Faber certainly has the wrestling tools to give Bowles fits and win the fight that way.

But that thought didn't even seem to cross his mind.

Though Faber finished the fight with an impressive guillotine choke at into 1:27 into the second round, it was his striking and gameplan that stole the show. Faber was thoroughly and soundly beaten in his last fight against Cruz, though he did win the first one in 2007 via guillotine. Cruz grew a lot since that point, and when they met earlier this year on July 2, Cruz danced around him and won easily on points. Faber has always had passable standup, but he has had troubles throwing with power and committing to his strikes.

He landed a lot against Cruz - but couldn't follow up with something else and failed to pack enough heat with the initial strike. But on Saturday, Faber really let loose against Bowles. Not only did he tee off and follow through on his punches, but he planted his feet and put a lot of power behind them. He cut off the cage when Bowles circled or retreated, trying to go with a more technical approach. Faber threw him off that approach and landed multiple times with shots that clearly would have eventually put Bowles down if not for the submission.

The most important thing Faber did was make a fight with Cruz interesting. This might just be one writer's opinion, but Cruz has this weird way of being completely unimpressive while baffling other fighters. It's not a matter of him not delivering huge knockouts or finishes in general, he just moves a whole bunch, and Faber did not fight a sound fight when they last met. It is now a much more interesting affair, providing the California Kid can keep it up.

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UFC 139 Results: Dan Henderson And Wanderlei Silva Victorious

The debut event for UFC in San Jose ended up with a full night of exciting fights and at least one hometown hero tasting defeat.

In the main event, light heavyweights Dan Henderson and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua faced off in a five round fight. Henderson went on the attack from the first round on, bloodying Rua around the left eye early and stuffing Shogun's takedown attempts. The two combatants kept up a furious pace in the opening two rounds, but both fighters quickly tired. Rua in particular looked completely gassed by the third round. Henderson was also winded following the opening rounds, and was unable to finish Rua. The fight went the distance and Henderson won the unanimous decision on three scores of 48-47, bringing his career record to 29-8.

In the match preceding that one, San Jose local legend Cung Le made his UFC debut, against Wanderlei Silva. Unfortunately, things did not go so well for him. Le seemed to take the majority of the first round, before getting bloodied towards the end and Silva beginning to find his rhythm as the round ended. Silva fairly demolished Le in the second round, notably catching him in a clinch and busting Le's nose with a vicious knee. Le shot for a desperation double-leg, but started getting pounded with hammerfists and the referee stopped the match in a TKO in 4:49 of round 2. With the loss, Le's career record stands at 7-2.

You can always find MMA coverage and news at Bloody Elbow.

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UFC 139 Results: Urijah Faber Dominates, Wins By Submission

In one of the marquee matchups in UFC's first San Jose event, bantamweight superstar Urijah Faber defeated Brian Bowles via submission in 1:27 of round 2.

After a 10-9 first round by Faber, he came out swinging in round 2. A big early uppercut rocked Bowles and he pounced, unloading with a flurry of punches. Bowles survived the assault, but Faber was able to lock on a guillotine choke, and Bowles tapped soon after.Faber's career record improves to 26-5.

In the second match on the main card, welterweight Martin Kampmann won a split decision in three rounds over Rick Story on scores of (28-29, 30-27, 29-28).

Next up on the card is the co-main event, a middleweight bout putting Wanderlei Silva against local San Jose hero Cung Le. After that will be the main event of Dan Henderson vs. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.

As always, you can locate all news and information pertaining to mixed martial arts at Bloody Elbow.

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UFC 139 Results: Stephan Bonnar Wins By Decision

The main card for UFC 139 is officially underway. In the first fight on the PPV, Stephan Bonnar dominated three rounds against fellow light heavyweight Kyle Kingsbury and picked up the win on a unanimous decision.

The win is the third in a row for Bonnar, who is back on the right track after a string of three losses between January 2009 and February 2010. UFC 139 also marks the first time that Bonnar has fought since December 4, 2010, when he also won a unanimous decision against Igor Pokrajac.

Bonnar has done a good job of revitalizing his career since his back-to-back fights against Krzysztof Soszynski, the second of which kicked off his current string of victories. His overall record now stands at 14-7, but Saturday night's win at UFC 139 made a big statement to the world that the most famous runner-up in Ultimate Fighter history is far from washed up.

For all your MMA news, notes and info, head over to Bloody Elbow.

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UFC 139 Preliminary Card Results: Ryan Bader Wins By Knockout

As the main card is about to get underway, the preliminary fights have wrapped up for UFC's debut show in San Jose. Ryan Bader, the former Ultimate Fighter winner, wrapped up the prelims with a victory in what many felt was a must-win fight for him following two straight losses. He was able to defeat Jason Brilz via knockout in the first round with a glancing blow to the head.

The full preliminary results as the main show gets underway:

Light heavyweight bout: Ryan Bader defeats Jason Brilz by knockout at 1:17 of round 1.

Bantamweight bout: Michael McDonald defeats Alex Soto by knockout at :56 of round 1.

Middleweight bout: Chris Weidman defeats Tom Lawlor by submission (D'arce choke) at 2:07 of round 1.

Lightweight bout: Gleison Tibau defeats Rafael dos Anjos by split decision (29-28 dos Anjos, 29-28 Tibau, 30-27 Tibau)

Catchweight bout (141 lbs.): Miguel Torres defeats Nick Pace by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

Welterweight bout: Seth Baczynski defeats Matt Brown by submission (guillotine) at :42 of round 2.

Catchweight bout (158 lbs.): Danny Castillo defeats Shamar Bailey by TKO (referee stoppage) at 4:52 of round 1.

For news, notes and coverage of all MMA happenings, please visit Bloody Elbow.

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UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson Lines And Odds

UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson is set to go down on Saturday at the HP Pavilion in San Jose., It marks the first time the promotion has ever been to San Jose, the longtime base of Strikeforce, the promotion that was semi-recently purchased by the UFC. In the main event, Mauricio Rua is taking on fellow PRIDE legend Dan Henderson. Another PRIDE legend in his own right, Wanderlei Silva, is taking on Cung Le in the co-main event of the night. The event will be live on PPV.

SB Nation's odds partner, OddsShark, has some of the lines and odds for the event, but to be honest, they're nothing particularly juicy. You can find both Henderson and "Shogun" as marginal favorites, but there are a lot of really close fights on the night. The only real "lock", at least by general consensus, is Michael McDonald over Alex Soto. Most of these matchups are extremely competitive all the way down, with questions like "How much does Wanderlei Silva have left?" and "How will Ryan Bader fare after his recent loss?" I suppose that fight, between Bader and Jason Brilz, is one that features a heavily favored fighter, but Brilz is a gamer and might be a solid underdog bet.

Using the Bodog odds listed on OddsShark

Main Card

Mauricio "Shogun Rua (20-5) +100 vs. Dan Henderson (28-8) -130
Wanderlei Silva (33-11-1, 1 NC) +115 vs. Cung Le (7-1) -145
Urijah Faber (25-5) -250 vs. Brian Bowles (10-1) +195
Martin Kampmann (17-5) +115 vs. Rick Story (13-4) -145
Stephan Bonnar (13-7) +120 vs. Kyle Kingsbury (11-1, 1 NC) -150

Prelimary Card (Spike TV)

Ryan Bader (12-2) -380 vs. Jason Brilz (18-4-1) +290
Michael McDonald (13-1) -450 vs. Alex Soto (6-0-1) +325

Preliminary Card

Gleison Tibau (23-7) -170 vs. Rafael dos Anjos (15-5) +140
Miguel Torres (38-4) -340 vs. Nick Pace (6-2) +260
Tom Lawlor (7-3, 1 NC) +265 vs. Chris Weidman (6-0) -350
Matt Brown (12-10) -145 vs. Seth Baczynski (14-8) +115
Shamar Bailey (12-4) +230 vs. Danny Castillo (11-4) -300

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UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson Fight Card

UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson marks the UFC's first event ever in San Jose, and just one of very few events in the Bay Area thus far. The promotion has previously been to Oakland, namely for UFC 117: Silva vs. Sonnen, but since San Jose and the HP Pavilion had served as the home base for the Strikeforce organization for a number of years, the UFC had never secured an event in the city.

The card promises fireworks throughout, but especially so in the main event between PRIDE legends Dan Henderson and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua. The two fighters boast 48 wins between them, with 30 of those wins coming via knockout. Henderson is coming off a TKO victory over one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time in Fedor Emelianenko, while "Shogun" just dusted former light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin in 1:53 in his last fight.

On top of that, the card features a co-main event of Wanderlei Silva vs. Cung Le, the latter of which has fought in California multiple times, and is based in San Jose. Other fighters with California ties include Urijah Faber, Kyle Kingsbury, Danny Castillo, Michael McDonald and Alex Soto.

UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson fight card:

Main Card

Mauricio "Shogun Rua (20-5) vs. Dan Henderson (28-8)
Wanderlei Silva (33-11-1, 1 NC) vs. Cung Le (7-1)
Urijah Faber (25-5) vs. Brian Bowles (10-1)
Martin Kampmann (17-5) vs. Rick Story (13-4)
Stephan Bonnar (13-7) vs. Kyle Kingsbury (11-1, 1 NC)

Prelimary Card (Spike TV)

Ryan Bader (12-2) vs. Jason Brilz (18-4-1)
Michael McDonald (13-1) vs. Alex Soto (6-0-1)

Preliminary Card

Gleison Tibau (23-7) vs. Rafael dos Anjos (15-5)
Miguel Torres (38-4) vs. Nick Pace (6-2)
Tom Lawlor (7-3, 1 NC) vs. Chris Weidman (6-0)
Matt Brown (12-10) vs. Seth Baczynski (14-8)
Shamar Bailey (12-4) vs. Danny Castillo (11-4)

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UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson: Promotion Makes Its Debut In San Jose

One week after staging an event in Anaheim, the UFC is bringing its first ever event to San Jose with UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson. In the main event, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua will be taking on Dan Henderson. For more on the event and MMA in general, go to Bloody Elbow.

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UFC On Fox 1 Ratings: Event Outdraws All College Football Games Except LSU Vs. Alabama In Key Demographic

One thing that's being glossed over when considering the ratings for UFC on Fox 1: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos is the fact that, in essence, the event did about the number the UFC probably expected, performed well in many demographics and - oh yeah - was the most watched UFC event of all time. Most (us included) have been putting the bulk of their attention on whether or not the event would/did out-perform Kimbo Slice vs. James Thompson on the CBS broadcast of EliteXC in 2008.

Well, the UFC did out-perform that event in average viewers, but there's much more to note. The most interesting tidbit is probably the fact that the UFC out-performed all but one college football game in men age 18-34. Plus, the fight was going on during the Stanford-Oregon game, and it drew better ratings in the younger demographics there, too. 

There's been people talking about not liking the event, and one reader said yesterday that we were viewing the fight from the viewpoint of a fan, but it's simply not true. Said reader claimed that the 5.7 million average viewers were all fans already and that the broadcast should have catered to them - but perhaps that reader missed the bit about this being the most-watched UFC event of all time. That's clearly indicative of a new audience, at least to some extent, and that event really did cater to said new audience.

As Dana White said, this event wasn't even part of the new multi-year deal with Fox. This was a freebie, a test run, if you will. It was a way to assimilate new viewers and it probably did that very well. In short, think about it like this: White's definition of a freebie after signing with Fox is a Heavyweight Title fight between Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos. It doesn't get much more awesome that, even if it was only 64 seconds of heart-pounding action.

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UFC On Fox 1 Ratings: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos New Average At 5.7 Million, More Than Slice In '08

Though the UFC On Fox 1: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos seemed to fall short of peoples' expectations at first - at least in regards to ratings - there's been some more info since the news yesterday that the show averaged 4.6 million viewers during the one-hour broadcast. Most folks were disappointed that a legitimate fight between two of MMA's best in Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos couldn't out-perform a freakshow fight from 2008 when Kimbo Slice took on James Thompson on CBS.

That being said, some new numbers have given hope to the show (not that it's short on hope, as most are of the opinion that it was a great way to get started and a huge step in the right direction for the UFC) in regards to ratings, as that figure has been adjusted to an average of 5.7 million viewers. That figure was provided by Fox Sports, and would indicate the most-watched UFC event ever, and according to Fox, the most-watched professional fight of any kind on any network since 2003, when seven million watched Lewis-Kitschko on HBO.

Still, there's no word on the peak viewers for the show, and that's one of the most important bits. UFC on Fox 1 actually surpassed 2008's event with Slice in average viewers, by 16 percent with the 5.7 million against that event's 4.9 million. Also according to Fox, the UFC's event beat out the EliteXC event in household rating, with a 3.1 to 3.0. Lastly, the UFC event beat the Slice event in male demographics age 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54.

Unfortunately, we still don't know if the UFC peaked beyond the EliteXC event, which reportedly topped out at 6.51 million viewers, the MMA record. It's hard to gauge whether or not it will end up peaking higher, considering the fact that the UFC bout only lasted 64 seconds, limiting the potential numbers from channel surfers and people hoping to catch just the fight and not the actual broadcast.

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UFC on Fox 1 Results And Analysis: Dos Santos Scores Thrilling KO, But Was It Enough For New Viewers?

The main card of UFC On Fox 1: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos featured just one fight - quite obviously the Heavyweight Title fight between champion Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos. It was a great fight - or at the very least, it was an exciting 1:04, at which point dos Santos landed a vicious overhand right on the temple of Velasquez, then proceeded to swarm him and punch him out on the ground to score the TKO stoppage.

For the UFC, the event signified a lot of things, but more than anything, it served as a means to introduce new viewers to the sport. The first thirty minutes of the broadcast was spent hyping the fight. Curt Menefee was there to talk, and though he didn't leave much of an impression, he brought an air of familiarity and validation to the broadcast. The Fox Sports music and logos were plastered everywhere and this helped, as well. Dana White and Joe Rogan were both yelling as they usually do, but it was a more subdued roar at this point.

Heck, the UFC and Fox even thought to clean up the died blood in the octagon before the main event, in case new viewers would be put off by it. Every detail was thought of and carried out. The broadcast was simple, to the point, and featured backstories on both fighters, with equal hyping for both of them. It may have been a little cookie cutter, but it was a clear step above any UFC event's production in the promotion's history and, quite honestly, leaves the core fanbase wanting more.

What it all comes down to is this: the UFC, along with Brock Lesnar, who definitely got another popularity boost Saturday night, took 64 seconds of actual fight content and turned it into a broadcast that featured not a second of dead air.

That being said, was the fight itself enough to bring in some new viewers? This writer things that it was. It's very obvious that the UFC wanted the fight to go longer than the 1:04 that it did, perhaps through two rounds (the broadcast was guaranteed no commercials between the first and second round), but the spectacle itself was brilliantly portrayed. New viewers were looking at two fighters who, among other things, seemed to radiate this feeling of professionalism and had this "best in the world" aura about them.

It only makes sense that the two best in the world could collide and, yes, a knockout in the first two minutes is feasible. Even new fans could see that they were both ready to go and that one of them could certainly end the fight on one punch. What ended up happening was a thrilling TKO after about forty seconds of intense buildup. They saw an emotional dos Santos at the end of the fight with tears in his eyes and they say Bruce Buffer put on his best performance yet announcing the fighters before it.

All-in-all, the actual fight wasn't ideal, but the UFC planned the broadcast around the possibility that the fight could be ending soon, so it ended up being pretty awesome through-and-through. So far, the feedback I'm getting from fans is very, very positive - while most of the MMA media is sort of talking about how it wasn't that great. It's pretty clear that the broadcast was tailored to the new fans and casuals, though, so it's hard to really take that into consideration.

We won't know if it was enough until we get the ratings and, of course, some level of numbers to compare them to when the second UFC on Fox event happens.

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UFC on Fox 1 Results: Junior Dos Santos Gets $65K Knockout Bonus; Henderson, Guida Get Fight Of The Night

There were most certainly fireworks on display for the UFC's network debut: UFC on Fox 1: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos. There was an excellent undercard (watchable on FoxSports.com and Facebook.com at the time) in which the number one contender for the lightweight belt was determined and the one-fight main card most certainly delivered as advertised. Cain Velasquez succumbed to strikes when Junior Dos Santos hit him with a big overhand right and swarmed him, getting the stoppage at 1:04 in the very first round and winning the UFC Heavyweight Championship.

As usual, the UFC held a post-event press conference and announced various bonuses, namely the fight of the night bonus, which come with a nice, fat paycheck. There were definitely some good contenders for fight of the night, as the undercard was really packed with high-paced action. The winners of SOTN and KOTN received $60K, while both fighters in the FOTN received that bonus each.

Fight of the Night: Ben Henderson vs. Clay Guida

Knockout of the Night: Junior dos Santos

Submission of the Night:  Ricardo Lamas

Attendance: 14,019

Gate: 1.1 million

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UFC on Fox 1 Results: Junior Dos Santos Scores TKO On Cain Velasquez To Become UFC Heavyweight Champion

On Saturday, Bay Area MMA was on show for one of the biggest fights in the sports' history for UFC on Fox 1: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos. Can Velasquez, California native was defending his title against the Brazilian Junior dos Santos in the main event, and it was certainly explosive. Velasquez would go on to fall at 1:04 in the very first round, when dos Santos landed a huge overhand right flush on the temple and swarmed to get the stoppage, landing several shots to the floored Velasquez.

In post-fight interviews, dos Santos was extremely humble and in tears, and Velasquez was adamant that he'd be getting his belt back. It's a downer to see Velasquez, who fights out of the Bay Area, suffer the first loss of his career, but that was a huge fight for the sport and the promotion, and he should be honored to have been a part of it.

The Fox broadcast was really top shelf, with the normal music at the beginning and the familiar Cut Menefee talking with UFC President Dana White. Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg were still loud and boisterous, but were restrained and made limited mistakes throughout. The entirety of the presentation was so concentrated and defined to the very minute details - including a clean ring. That's right, before the main event, a crew covered up the dried blood from past fights, because for some reason, seeing blood without knowing exactly where it came from is more unsettling than seeing it drip from somebody's face.

Below is the play-by-play as the fight happened.

Round 1

We are live, with Junior Dos Santos quickly taking the center of the octagon, and Velasquez slowly moving in. Celasquez throws a quick leg kick and dos Santos lands with a right hand, but it's a small one. Dos Santos goes for a risky front kick, and Velasquez catches it, but can't get a takedown. Velasquez looks for another leg kick, but Dos Santos circles away. Dos Santos swing a huge overhand right and Velasquez takes it on the temple and dos Santos swarms, landing a few shots and referee "Big" John McCarthy steps in to stop it. 

Junior dos Santos wins via TKO at 1:04 of the very first round and is the new UFC Heavyweight Champion.

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UFC On Fox 1 Results: Ben Henderson Wins Decision Over Clay Guida To Earn Shot At Frankie Edgar's Title

The last fight on the undercard for UFC on Fox 1: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos was a great one, and eventually ended with a unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27) for Ben Henderson over Clay Guida. It was a very high-paced fight and almost too close to call, and definitely an exciting way to cap off the undercard (in what is a main card and even main event caliber fight, but due to the nature of this first card on Fox, was put on the undercard). 

Dana White announced on Friday that the winner of the fight would go on to take on UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar for the title, so the matchup will be Ben Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar. The champion is coming off a knockout win over Gray Maynard, and it should be a very explosive matchup. Guida will likely remain in contention after such a strong performance. 

Below is the play-by-play of the fight as it happened.

Round 1

The fighters meet in the middle of the ring, looking to find their range. It's a very pro-Guida crowd at this point, chanting early and often for "The Carpenter".Guida lands early right a right hook and Henderson stumbled, but responds by cracking the pursuing Guida. Clay is backed up into the fence and the two start windmilling punches at eachother before "Bendo" lands again and Guida shoots for a takedown, which is stuffed. Guida pushes Hendo into the cage and is looking for a single leg takedown on Henderson's left leg, and "kind of" gets a takedown, but Henderson actually does the splits to negate the takedown.

The two get back to their feet and Henderson turns Clay into the cage with one underhook in. Henderson is looking for some dirty boxing against the cage, and Guida is trying to push out. Guida pushes away, lands a good punch and almost secures a high double leg takedown, but Henderson keeps himself standing with awesome takedown defense. The two separate and Clay lands again, but no significant damage is done. Henderson goes for Superman punch off of the cage and Guida answers back with a flying knee. The two windmill again, but this time it's Guida who connects big and Henderson goes to the ground, but recovers well, and pushes Guida to the cage and eventually to the ground. Henderson tries to land some shots to the midsectio nof Clay, and finishes the round with a couple head kick attempts. Really close round, 10-10 at this point, with both fighter's controlling one part of the round.

Round 2

Both fighters immediately take the center of the octagon again, and Henderson lands a good left knee, and Guida is stumbled again, but he secures a takedown on Henderson. Henderson goes for a guillotine and Clay gets out, but Henderson quickly turns it into a takedown of his own. Henderson is held from below by Guida, and eventually the two get to their feet, with Henderson continually pressing Guida into the cage. Then Guida turns that into a takedown of his own, and presses Henderon into the cage ... very back and forth at this point. Henderson stands up again, but it's Guida pushing him against the cage for half a minute ... and then Henderson turns it around and pushes Guida up against the cage. Henderson lands a knee to separate and Guida glances off a punch. Guida tries to throw ... something, and spins in like a 540 and falls down to the ground . Henderson gets on top of Guida, and somehow, Guida is close to securing a guillotine. Henderson gets out though and eventually takes Guida's back with thirty seconds to go in the round. Henderson throws some strikes and the round comes to an end. Another really close round, with perhaps an edge to Henderson 10-9. 20-19 Henderson at this point.

Round 3

Again, the center of the octagon is occupied and the two fighters jab from a distance. Guida continues dancing and changing levels, and lands a strong right hook on Henderson, who eats it and moves forward. The two are hesitant to exchange, and then tie up ,with Henderson pushing Guida into the cage. Henderson throws a knee, which Guida catches and tried for a takedown, but Bendo backs up all the way across the cage to maintain his balance and turns, again holding Guida against the cage. The two separate and Guida goes for a high left kick, but Henderson catches him and takes him down to the ground, where Henderson lands in side control, the first truly dominant position of the match with significant time left. Henderson eventually takes Clay's back and gets a body lock. Henderson rolls him over with a minute left and is looking for a rear naked choke, but Guida  reverses it and gets to his feet. The two collide in the air, with Guida landing in side control this time, and Guida looks for a guillotine for thirty seconds, but Henderson eventually gets out. It was really, really tight, but Henderson gets out. The fight comes to an end with both parties scrambling and it's so very close. Henderson lands some shots at the end. It looks like a round for Guida ... or maybe Henderson ... so close. This could go either way, but probably a 29-29 draw on this writer's scorecard.

Official Score: 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27 all for Ben Henderson

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UFC On Fox 1 Results: Darren Uyenoyama Picks Up Win, Dustin Poirier Chokes Pablo Garza On Undercard

Though the main event of UFC on Fox 1: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos features a Bay Area fighter in Cain Velasquez, the landmark event also featured multiple fighters on the night's undercard with Bay Area ties. Three fighters, to be exact: Cole Escovedo (born in Fresno, CA), Darren Uyenoyama (born in San Francisco, multiple fights in San Jose) and Cub Swanson (born and fighting out of Palm Springs, CA). The results for these guys were mixed, at best.

First, the good news: Uyenoyama (who fought three times in San Jose for the Strikeforce promotion) thoroughly dominated the highly-regarded and highly-favored Norifumi Yamamoto. Uyenoyama was dominant from the opening bell, and almost finished the fight with a rear naked choke late in the very first round, but Yamamoto survived the round until the bell. Aside from a monster left that opened up a big cut on Uyenoyama early in the second round, it was smooth sailing for the California native.

And now the bad news: Cub Swanson, who was born, lives and fights out of Palm Springs, CA was submitted by Ricardo Lamas via arm triangle choke at 2:16 of round 2. Swanson looked good to start the first and was super-aggressive in the second, and it ended up costing him, giving up the takedown and, ultimately, the submission.

Cole Escovedo, who was born in Fresno, was thoroughly outstruck on the feet and lost a unanimous decision to Alex Caceres. Nicknamed "Bruce Leroy," most figured that Caceres was destined for a loss and a boot out of the organization after this fight. It wouldn't be so, as the judges handed him three 30-27 cards to extend his UFC career.

Undercard Results

Dustin Poirier def. Pablo Garva (D'Arce choke, 1:32 of round 2)
Richardo Lamas def. Cub Swanson (arm triangle choke, 2:16 of round 2)
DaMarques Johnson def. Clay Harvison (TKO punches, 1:34 of round 1)
Darren Uyenoyama def. Norifumi Yamamoto (30-27, 30-26, 30-27)
Robert Peralta def. Mackens Semerzier (TKO punches, 1:54 of round 3)
Alex Caceres def. Cole Escovedo (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Mike Pierce def. Paul Bradley (29-28, 30-27, 28-29)
Aaron Rosa def. Mat Lucas (28-28, 30-26, 30-26)

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UFC On Fox 1: Velasquez Vs. Dos Santos Ratings Projections: More Than Kimbo Slice, EliteXC?

Saturday marks the first time the UFC has ever been on network television - have you gotten sick of hearing that yet? Perhaps you've gotten sick of reading it over and over, but it really is worth noting for many reasons. The biggest reason is the fact that the sport of MMA almost took off in a huge, huge way not too long ago, when the backyard brawler Kimbo Slice took on the virtual unknown James Thompson in the main event of EliteXC: PRIMETIME On CBS in May 2008. 

That fight was mostly looked at with a good deal or scorn by MMA fans, since Slice, at the time, wasn't taking the sport seriously and was only on television due to his rise to internet stardom beating up bums and jocks in backyards, alleys and venues of equal stature. But the event drew an estimated average viewership of 4.3 million, with a peak of just over 6.5 million, easily the most watched MMA event in history. Another EliteXC show in October of the same year would draw an average of 4.5 million viewers, but marked the last time they were on air, as Slice was knocked out by late replacement Seth Petruzelli, a fighter who has flunked his way out of the UFC multiple times.

A Strikeforce event on CBS in November of 2009 drew an average of 4 million viewers, peaking at just above five million. But it all goes back to that event featuring Kimbo Slice - the peak of 6,510,000 viewers on CBS. The UFC wants to usher in a new era for not just the company, but the sport in general. And while Strikeforce's event had one of the greatest fighters in MMA history in Fedor Emelianenko, he was going up against a fighter far overmatched in Brett Rogers ... so the UFC really can claim to be doing this the "right" way.

UFC on Fox 1: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos isn't just the promotion's debut on network television, it's the first time that two legitimate fighters who are at the top of their respective divisions are squaring off against one another on free television - network television, that is. Cain Velasquez is most definitely the top heavyweight fighter in the world, and Junior dos Santos can easily make an argument for number two - they are the sport's very best at that weight class - the weight class that generally appeals the most to the general public.

It's hard to say whether or not the UFC is legitimized in the eyes of the casual viewer, but the one thing that is certain is that watching Slice beat down on cans is not the thing that would have been able to do it. This is a fight between two hard-working, passionate fighters at the top of the game in what they day. For the UFC, they have to be hoping they can beat the  EliteXC numbers. The UFC Primetime special for the fight on Fox already did more than any other Primetime before it, reaching nearly two million viewers, which is more than a half million more than the next best.

This writer is going to say the upwards of seven million viewers will be the peak.

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UFC On Fox 1: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos Odds, Betting Lines

On Saturday, the UFC is set to debut on network television with it's first of (hopefully) many events on the Fox network: UFC On Fox 1: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos. The main event will feature California native Cain Velasquez defending his heavyweight title against Brazilian Junior dos Santos, a fight which will comprise the entirety of the televised portion of the card.

We've got some odds for you, courtesy of OddsShark, for the entire night of fights, though. The preliminary card is headlined by a lightweight tilt between Clay Guida and Ben Henderson, and also features an excited matchup between Dustin Poirier and Pablo Garza. Both of the latter two fights will be on Fox Deportes, and the entire preliminary card can be seen on Facebook or FoxSports.com.

That being said, the lines aren't all that attractive for this night of fights. The only sure-loser at this point, in this writer's eyes, is Alex Caceres, who is just ... just awful. Dos Santos is the underdog and since the main event is so close, that's obviously something that could be attractive. We're going to use the Bodog odds.

Main Card

Cain Velasquez (9-0) -200  vs. Junior Dos Santos (13-1) +160

Preliminary Card (Facebook/FoxSports.com)

Ben Henderson (14-2) -250  vs. Clay Guida (29-11) +195
Pablo Garza (11-1) +220 vs. Dustin Poirier (10-1) -280
Norifumi Yamamoto (18-4, 1 NC) -370 vs. Darren Uyenoyama (6-3) +280
Ricardo Lamas (10-2) -140 vs. Cub Swanson (15-4) +110
Clay Harvison (9-3) +220 vs. DaMarques Johnson (12-9) -280
Robert Peralta (15-3) +100 vs. Mackens Semerzier (6-3) -130
Paul Bradley (18-3) +265 vs. Mike Pierce (12-4) -350
Aaron Rosa (16-4) -140 vs. Matt Lucas (14-2) +110
Alex Caceres (5-4) +230 vs. Cole Escovedo (17-8) -300

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UFC On Fox 1: Velasquez Vs. Dos Santos Indisputably Significant, More Than Griffin Vs. Bonnar?

As we've noted multiple times now, the Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos fight on UFC On Fox 1: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos is one of major significance. It's significant to us because Velasquez, the champion, was born in Salinas, CA and fights out of San Jose, CA - he's been honored by the city for his accomplishments in MMA. More champions based in California will likely mean more fight cards in California - likely headlined by said champions.

But it holds so much more significance. The words "network debut" continue to appear in this pieces and it can't be stressed enough how big this card and this fight is for the UFC. It's such a big deal that Bloody Elbow recently asked the question - is this fight more important to the UFC than the fight between Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar on the Ultimate FIghter 1 Finale. They asked the question in a recent round table discussion, and it's certainly an interesting one.

That fight was so important because it signified the first season of The Ultimate Fighter, a hugely successful reality TV show that served as a gateway into a full UFC contract for a house of hopeful fighters. It occurred at a point where the UFC was really struggling and it was a huge leap of faith - despite how good the season itself was, it really all depended on that one fight on the finale and the hype behind it.

What followed was a bloody slugest in which Griffin eventually won and the UFC was propelled to new heights. Here's some excerpts, the first one being from folks who don't think it's as significant:

Leland Roling - No. Without the significance of Griffin-Bonnar, we probably aren't where we are at today in terms of opportunity.

Tim Burke - I agree with Leland. Griffin/Bonnar was the culmination of a 10 million dollar experiment that very nearly bankrupted the company. If that fight wasn't what it was, the UFC likely wouldn't be owned by the Fertittas anymore.

Though there is some sentiment that it could possibly be as important:

Matt Roth - I think this is possibly more important just because of what's at stake. The UFC has been trying to "legitimize" the sport for years. They finally have the chance to pull in an audience that doesn't know anything about the sport, who most likely still call it cage fighting. If the fight is a complete bust, this could force the UFC and Fox to reevaluate their plan. They're planning to interview the fighters much in the same way they do with the Superbowl. Even the format could negatively affect the fight.    

They're both definitely good points. The biggest thing to note here is the fact that in this fight, Velasquez and dos Santos are representing the future of not just an organization, but a sport in general. If it doesn't go well, that doesn't mean the UFC will suddenly be in debt and the sport is doomed, but if it does go well, it can mean so many huge things for the sport. 

While it's hard to argue that one fight is more significant than the other, this certainly seems like the point that Griffin-Bonnar was setting up. One fight could only push it so far, and maybe that served its purpose, to bring on the second phase of the UFC's growth - through Velasquez vs. dos Santos.

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UFC On Fox 1: Velasquez Vs. Dos Santos Fight Card

On Saturday, the UFC sees its debut on network television capped off with a bang as Junior dos Santos challenges California native Cain Velasquez for the UFC Heavyweight Championship in the card's main event. The night of fights features plenty of matchups, including a high-level lightweight tilt between Clay Guida and Ben Henderson, but the one-hour broadcast on Fox will over feature the heaveyweight title matchup.

The one-fight main card is something new for the UFC, and it goes hand-in-hand with the promotions debut on network TV. It's not likely that future fights on the network will only have one fight, but as an introductory "beginner's course", if you will, the first show will serve its purpose. It's MMA's big night and it's all focused on the heavyweight fighters, which is probably how it should be, as it's what seems to appeal the most to the casual viewers.

A look at the full card for UFC on Fox 1: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos below:

Main Card

Cain Velasquez (9-0) vs. Junior Dos Santos (13-1)

Preliminary Card (Facebook/FoxSports.com)

Ben Henderson (14-2) vs. Clay Guida (29-11)
Pablo Garza (11-1) vs. Dustin Poirier (10-1)
Norifumi Yamamoto (18-4, 1 NC) vs. Darren Uyenoyama (6-3)
Ricardo Lamas (10-2) vs. Cub Swanson (15-4)
Clay Harvison (9-3) vs. DaMarques Johnson (12-9)
Robert Peralta (15-3) vs. Mackens Semerzier (6-3)
Paul Bradley (18-3) vs. Mike Pierce (12-4)
Aaron Rosa (16-4) vs. Matt Lucas (14-2)
Alex Caceres (5-4) vs. Cole Escovedo (17-8)

For more on the event, check out MMA Nation's page, and as always, head on over to Bloody Elbow.

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UFC On Fox: Velasquez Vs. Dos Santos Is Big For MMA, Bay Area

Bay Area MMA and the sport in general is being represented in a heavyweight title fight on UFC On Fox: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos on Saturday. California native Cain Velasquez will be defending the heavyweight championship against Junior Dos Santos live on the Fox network. For more on the card and MMA in general, go to Bloody Elbow.

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