First they cut their Lightweight Champion Will Brooks. His contract expired this coming July and he didn't have a fight lined up so they opted to waive his matching period and just outright release him. Brooks definitely doesn't have the most exciting style but I wouldn't be shocked if he ends up in the UFC. I'm assuming now when they re-book Michael Chandler versus Josh Thomson it will be for the vacant belt.
Secondly they stripped their Heavyweight Champion Vitaly Minkov of his title due to inactivity. It's been over two years since he defended the belt and it doesn't seem like that will change anytime soon. They don't have much of a heavyweight division to speak of but I wouldn't be shocked to see Rampage move up to heavyweight since his is friends with the Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion Liam McGeary and won't fight him. Plus their heavyweight division is so thin I could see him actually doing well even being small for a typical heavyweight. Also gives them a marketable fighter for the division.
I saw that coming a mile away, Weidman is pretty damn injury prone. Kind of limited in terms of options if Jacare doesn't take it. Can't say I blame him if he doesn't. Yeah he smashed Belfort but Rockhold has beat him before when they were in Strikeforece so I'd imagine he'd want more than a couple of weeks to prepare.
I could see Bisping getting the title shot, though I don't see any way he beats Rockhold. Luke beat him pretty convincingly not too long ago and I don't see it going any different.
EDIT: Confirmed. Michael Bisping will face Luke Rockhold at UFC 199 for the Middleweight Championship. Jacare needed knee surgery and wasn't able to take the fight. Not a big Bisping fan but good for him for finally getting that title shot he's chased after for so long.
Just a reminder, a pretty solid FS1 card airs tonight. Here is the card rundown:
Main Card (Live on FS1 @ 9PM EST)
Thomas Almeida vs Cody Garbrandt (Bantamweight Bout) Renan Barao vs Jeremy Stephens (Featherweight Bout) Tarec Saffiedine vs Rick Story (Welterweight Bout) Chris Camozzi vs Vitor Miranda (Middleweight Bout) Jorge Masvidal vs Lorenz Larkin (Welterweight Bout) Josh Burkman vs Paul Felder (Lightweight Bout)
Preliminary Card (Live on FS1 @ 7PM EST)
Sara McMann vs Jessica Eye (Women's Bantamweight Bout) Abel Trujillo vs Jordan Rinaldi (Lightweight Bout) Jake Collier vs Alberto Uda (Middleweight Bout) Erik Koch vs Shane Campbell (Lightweight Bout)
Fight Pass Prelims (Live on Fight Pass @ 6PM)
Aljamain Sterling vs Bryan Caraway (Bantamweight Bout) Chris De La Rocha vs Adam Milstead (Heavyweight Bout)
Shame Sterling is on Fight Pass but I do understand they are trying to build up that platform. I expect the entire Main Card to deliver (minus maybe the Camozzi fight) and the Prelims have a few gems as well.
Really good fights so far. McMann/Eye was somewhat disappointing but all the other fights have delivered. Won't be surprised if Eye gets cut after that loss. Even though her losses have all been to ranked opponents, she still has a UFC record of 1-4-0-1
Well I haven't talked about it because of it being a rumor but at this point with so many people reporting the rumor it has become a "where there is smoke" situation. It looks like the UFC is on the verge of being sold and while that is news in itself what makes the deal even more big is the fact that 100% ownership is being sold if the rumor is to be believed. Rumor suggests that the sale is going to be in the 4 billion range which isn't bad considering they bought the company for 20 million. With this and the possibility of the Ali Act being extended into MMA (look it up) the UFC could be going through some major changes in the next few years, changes that if I'm being honest have me a bit concerned. Say what you will about Dana White and the Fertittas, and sure they make some petty decisions from time to time but it is absolutely undeniable what they have done for the sport. While I'm sure the Fertittas would stay on initially to ensure a smooth transition, it is unknown about Dana. When asked about the rumor a few weeks back not only did he flat out deny the sale he basically said the day the UFC sells he was done with the business. In an interesting trickle down effect, Joe Rogan has stated that if the UFC were to be sold he wouldn't have any interest in continuing to call fights. Obviously it remains to be seen whether the sale is true and what it would truly mean for the brand, but it is definitely looking like it could be an interesting second half of the year and beginning of next.
So I watched EFN: 50 yesterday on Fight Pass. It's a Russian promotion that was hosting Fedor's latest fight against former UFC journeyman Fabio Maldonado. Most of the fights were one-sided bookings in favor of the Russian fighters. For instance one of the first fights I watched featured a 2-2 Brazilian fighter going against a 15-0 Russian fighter. Needless to say the fight was over in the first and was fairly one-sided.
The main event saw Fedor land a pretty nasty combination early but then get mauled by Maldonado in a series of events that had the fight been anywhere else would have been stopped. Since the fight took place in Russia the referee ignored the around 5 instances in which he could have very justifiably stopped the bout, and decided that the only way he'd stop it was if Fedor ceased to have a pulse. The next two rounds consisted of Fabio standing there like a human punching bag almost as if someone after the first round reminded him that it might not be in his best interest to finish Fedor. The end result was Fedor winning a decision that honestly should have been a draw. Fabio easily had a 10-8 first round with Fedor taking rounds 2 and 3 via a 10-9 score which would have been 28-28.
So basically a guy who was a journeyman in the UFC's 205 lbs division anywhere else in the world would now hold a victory over the man that was once considered to be the best heavyweight in the world. Yeah I think Fedor should have just stayed retired.
Also there is a UFC Fight Night card tonight
Main Card (Live @ 10:30PM EST on FS1)
Rory Macdonald vs Stephen Thompson Donald Cerrone vs. Patrick Cote Steve Bosse vs. Sean O'Connell Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Thibault Gouti Joanne Calderwood vs. Valerie Letourneau
Preliminary Card (Live @ 8:30PM EST on FS2)
Jason Saggo vs. Leandro Silva Misha Cirkunov vs. Ion Cutelaba Krzysztof Jotko vs. Tamdan McCrory Chris Beal vs. Joe Soto
Fight Pass Prelims (Live @ 6:45PM EST on UFC Fight Pass)
Sam Alvey vs. Elias Theodorou Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger vs. Randa Markos Colby Covington vs. Jonathan Meunier Ali Bagautinov vs. Geane Herrera
Hard to say with Punk Jules. My biggest concern is time not being on his side and the "mileage" on his body already. Again though it's hard to judge Gall's talent for sure based simply on his previous fights I've seen (only two to be fair) but he does seem pretty slick with his submission.
Yeah it is on the 360, it was there first. I just couldn't remember if it was on XBOX One for sure.
EDIT: BTW Bellator is running a card tonight. Not going to get burned again and watch it live but I'll record it. Really only interested in Matt Mitrione's debut, the Rampage fight, and Chandler/Pitbull for the vacant belt. Always been a sucker for Mitrione even if his ground game will always be a weak point for him.
I read this interesting concept about an alleged "Frank Mir curse" that basically said anybody who beats Frank Mir loses their next fight. Having never heard of such a thing, I decided to examine it myself. I decided to look at all 11 of Frank's losses and then examine the fighter's next bout.
Frank Mir vs Ian Freeman (UFC 38) Freeman wins via TKO @ 4:35 of Round One
Ian Freeman vs Andrei Arlovski (UFC 40) Arlovski wins via TKO @ 1:25 of Round One
Frank Mir vs Marcio Cruz (UFC 57) Cruz wins via TKO @ 4:15 of Round One
Marcio Cruz vs Jeff Monson (UFC 59) Monson wins via Split Decision
Frank Mir vs Brandon Verra (UFC 65) Verra wins via TKO @ 1:09 of Round One
Brandon Verra vs Tim Sylvia (UFC 77) Sylivia wins via Unanimous Decision
Frank Mir vs Brock Lesnar (UFC 100) Lesnar wins via TKO @ 1:48 of Round Two
Brock Lesnar vs Shane Carwin (UFC 116) Lesnar wins via Submission @ 2:19 of Round Two
Frank Mir vs Shane Carwin (UFC 111) Carwin wins via KO @ 3:48 of Round One
Shane Carwin vs Brock Lesnar (UFC 116) Lesnar wins via Submission @ 2:19 of Round Two
Frank Mir vs Junior Dos Santos (UFC 146) Dos Santos wins via TKO @ 3:04 of Round Two
Junior Dos Santos vs Cain Velasquez (UFC 155) Velasquez wins via Unanimous Decision
Frank Mir vs Daniel Cormier (UFC on Fox) Cormier wins via Unanimous Decision
Daniel Cormier vs Patrick Cummins (UFC 170) Cormier wins via TKO @ 1:19 of Round One
Frank Mir vs Josh Barnett (UFC 164) Barnett wins via TKO @ 1:56 of Round One
Josh Barnett vs Travis Browne (UFC 168) Browne wins via TKO @ 1:00 of Round One
Frank Mir vs Alistair Overeem (UFC 169) Overeem wins via Unanimous Decision
Alistair Overeem vs Ben Rothwell (UFC Fight Night) Rothwell wins via TKO @ 2:19 of Round One
Frank Mir vs Andrei Arlovski (UFC 191) Arlovski wins via Unanimous Decision
Andrei Arlovski vs Stipe Miocic (UFC 195) Miocic wins via TKO @ 0:54 of Round One
Frank Mir vs Mark Hunt (UFC Fight Night) Hunt wins via Knockout @ 3:01 of Round One
Mark Hunt vs Brock Lesnar (UFC 200) Lesnar wins via Unanimous Decision
So looking at that the only two guys who didn't fall victim to the alleged "Frank Mir" curse were Brock Lesnar and Daniel Cormier. Lesnar though entered his next fight against someone also coming off a win to Frank Mir so something had to give in that regards. Cormier on the other hand is a bit of an enigma. Still it is an interesting bit of trivia that 9 of the 11 opponents whom Frank Mir lost to went on to lose their next bout.
Apparently as was originally reported by Chael Sonnen (so weird to say), it has been confirmed by the NSAC that Jon Jones failed his drug tests for two different estrogen blockers. That's going to be tough to sell as a "tainted supplement" seeing as they are generally used to balance back out your testosterone levels following steroid usage. We'll see how this pans out but I don't expect to see Jones in a cage again before June of 2018.
It should be noted that a suspension from the NSAC prevents you from doing commentating work as well as cornering fighters. So outside of being able to train, Jones would be completely absent from the UFC and MMA.