Posts Tagged ‘Jose Aldo’

With Anthony Pettis injured, José Aldo will defend UFC belt vs. Chan Sung Jung

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Jung, known as the "Korean Zombie," will face Jose Aldo as Anthony Pettis will miss the fight with a torn meniscus. (Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images)

Jung, known as the “Korean Zombie,” will face Jose Aldo as Anthony Pettis will miss the fight with a torn meniscus. (Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images)

You win some, you lose some.

Title bouts, that is.

On Thursday afternoon in Winnipeg, Manitoba, as he was hyping a UFC 161 card (Saturday, 10 p.m. ET, PPV) that has zero championship fights on it, promotion president Dana White captured the full attention of the assembled media by announcing the next title defenses for his heavyweight, light heavyweight and welterweight champs. Three belts, up for grabs.

Then, on Friday, White unveiled still another tussle for a brass-and-leather strap. But this time, the news, which was released via Twitter, was not so welcome. Well, unless you’re a zombie from East Asia.

Anthony Pettis, the lightweight contender who dropped down to featherweight in order to challenge José Aldo, injured a knee in training and is out of the Aug. 3 title fight in Rio de Janeiro. According to White, he’ll be replaced in the UFC 163 main event by Chan Sung Jung.

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  • Published On Jun 15, 2013
  • Rousey-Tate surprise signals troubling, drama-heavy trend in UFC title bouts

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    This was Ronda Rousey's demeanor before fighting Miesha Tate. Now she'll be living with her on a TV show. [Esther Lin/Getty Images]

    This was Ronda Rousey’s face before fighting Miesha Tate. Now the two will live together. [Esther Lin/Getty Images]

    The key word in the term “reality television” is not “reality” but “television.” Entertainment, or at least the promise of it, is what counts. If that means you must stretch the reality part a wee bit to pull in viewers, so be it.

    Within that context, the UFC and Fox didn’t simply rescue, but in fact spiced up The Ultimate Fighter on Tuesday. Season 18 of the show, which will air beginning Sept. 4 on the new Fox Sports 1 cable channel, was to feature women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey coaching against unbeaten Cat Zingano. The first female coaches in the show’s history would be working with teams composed, for the first time, of both men and women. It’s groundbreaking in a multitude of ways.

    Add to that some new made-for-TV drama. Zingano injured her right knee two weeks ago and had to drop out of the show, according to the UFC, which kept that information a secret until taping began on Tuesday. So when Rousey showed up in the promotion’s Las Vegas gym and the cameras rolled, she came face to face with her bitter nemesis, former Strikeforce champion Miesha Tate. Surprise, surprise.

    “For those of you who don’t know, Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate don’t like each other at all,” UFC president Dana White said in a Fox video. “They have been battling, verbally and physically, for years. Now they are going to be living together here for six weeks.”

    And afterward, they will fight — which is where this gets sticky if you care at all about the worthiness of title bouts.

    When Rousey puts her belt on the line against Tate sometime in the fall, she will be the fourth UFC champion this year to defend against an opponent coming off a loss. Tate, who had her Strikeforce title dislodged and her elbow dislocated by a Rousey armbar when they first met last year, was on the verge of earning a rematch after winning the first two rounds of a No. 1 challenger showdown with Zingano in April. But “Alpha Cat” turned the tide in Round 3, blasting Tate with knees to the face until the fight was stopped with just over two minutes remaining. Apparently the TKO loss was good enough to earn Miesha another shot at Ronda.

    Something has shifted in UFC matchmaking. José Aldo defended his featherweight championship in February against a man coming off two straight losses. Sure, Frankie Edgar is a former lightweight champ whose two prior defeats came in close title fights at that higher weight. But still. What about Georges St-Pierre, who put his welterweight strap on the line in March against Nick Diaz, who was coming off a loss and a year-long drug suspension? Just last month, Jon Jones defended the light heavyweight title against Chael Sonnen, who was coming off a knockout defeat and had not fought at 205 pounds in seven years. What a tangled web the UFC has weaved.

    Now, it’s not like this hadn’t ever happened before 2013. But generally — though not always — it’s either been a championship fight loser being granted a rematch or someone getting an unforeseen shot at a title because of a champion’s retirement, failed drug test or some other extenuating circumstance.

    GALLERY: Classic photos of Ronda Rousey

    One might view Rousey vs. Tate II as the product of extenuating circumstances. Losing a coach two weeks before your high-profile reality show begins taping calls for desperate measures. And what were the UFC’s options? Sarah Kaufman is ranked higher than Tate, and is also an ex-Strikeforce champ, but she lasted less than a minute against Ronda last August. There’s also Liz Carmouche, who was scheduled to fight Miesha in July … and who did better than either Tate or Kaufman against Rousey, nearly submitting the champ early before succumbing to — what else? — an armbar in the final seconds of the first round. But that February bout, the first women’s fight in UFC history, was the most recent on the resumes of both Ronda and Liz. “Girl-Rilla” needs to wait a while for another title try.

    An intriguing possibility for Rousey would have been fellow Olympian — and fellow groundbreaker — Sara McMann. Whereas Ronda became the first American woman to earn an Olympic medal in judo when she took bronze in Beijing in 2008, McMann became the first female American silver medalist in wrestling four years later in Athens. But while both also share a 7-0 record, Sara has been building her MMA career more steadily than the meteoric champ has. McMann dominated Sheila Gaff in her UFC debut last month, and the promotion apparently believes she needs more seasoning before it can serve up an Olympian vs. Olympian clash.

    In the end, the UFC has eschewed new blood for bad blood.

    Rousey is all for it — after getting over her initial shock. Yahoo! Sports’s Kevin Iole, who was at the UFC gym, wrote that Ronda “was clearly stunned” when she spotted Tate, and stormed out in search of White. When she emerged back under the bright lights, Rousey was in full TV publicist mode. “This is what we really wanted all along,” she told Iole. “Everyone said an Ultimate Fighter between me and Miesha would be the best. We have a personal history with each other, and this is a personal show. For some reason, me and Miesha are intertwined in fate like Ali and Frazier or something like that.”

    — Jeff Wagenheim


  • Published On May 29, 2013
  • Overeem, Aldo and Edgar top the lucrative UFC 156 purses

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    Frankie Edgar

    Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar were handsomely rewarded for their UFC 156 bout [Eric Jameson/AP]

    The Nevada State Athletic Commission released the reported purses from Saturday night’s UFC 156 fight card, headlined by Jose Aldo’s unanimous decision win over Frankie Edgar.  These amounts do not include performance-based bonuses given to fighters.

    Fighter Purse Win Bonus Total
    Jose Aldo

    $120,000

    $120,000

    $240,000

    Frankie Edgar

    $120,000

    $120,000

    $240,000

    Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

    $107,000

    $67,000

    $174,000

    Rashad Evans

    $300,000

    $300,000

    Antonio Bigfoot Silva

    $70,000

    $0

    $70,000

    Alistair Overeem

    $285,714.29

    $285,714

    Demian Maia

    $60,000

    $60,000

    $120,000

    Jon Fitch

    $66,000

    $66,000

    Ian McCall

    $9,000

    $9,000

    Joseph Benavidez

    $30,000

    $30,000

    $60,000

    Evan Dunham

    $23,000

        $23,000

    $46,000

    Gleison Tibau

    $33,000

    $33,000

    James Hieron

    $12,000

    $12,000

    Tyron Woodley

    $43,500

    $43,500

    $87,000

    Bobby Green

    $10,000

    $10,000

    $20,000

    Jacob Vokmann

    $22,000

    $22,000

    Isaac Vallie-Flagg

    $10,000

    $10,000

    $20,000

    Yves Edwards

    $21,000

    $21,000

    Dustin Kimura

    $8,000

    $8,000

    $16,000

    Chico Camus

    $8,000

    $8,000

    Franciso Rivera

    $8,000

    $8,000

    $16,000

    Edwin Figueroa

    $10,000

    $10,000

     — Melissa Segura


  • Published On Feb 04, 2013
  • For his biggest fight, Edgar returns to scene of his other biggest fight

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    Frankie Edgar

    Frankie Edgar (left) defeated Tyson Griffin in his UFC debut on Feb. 3, 2007. [Josh Hedges/ Zuffa LLC via Getty Images]

    LAS VEGAS — When Frankie Edgar makes the long, lonely walk to the octagon at the Mandalay Bay Events Center for the biggest fight of his career on Saturday night, he might experience a flashback to the other time he made the long, lonely walk to the octagon at the Mandalay Bay Events Center for the biggest fight of his career.

    It was six years ago almost to the day, at the traditional Super Bowl Weekend fight card on Feb. 3, 2007. Edgar was 6-0 at the time, but he’d fought outside his native New Jersey only once, in his first professional bout on an unsanctioned card in a dingy gym in the Bronx. Now he was under the sparkling lights of Vegas for UFC 67, making his debut with the sport’s behemoth fight promotion.

    So while the then-25-year-old’s fight with Tyson Griffin was one of the early prelims — not the main event, as will be the case this weekend when Edgar (15-3-1) tries to dethrone featherweight king Jose Aldo — it sure was a big deal to Frankie. Griffin was also unbeaten, with wins over Duane Ludwig and Urijah Faber. Edgar, meanwhile, took the fight on four weeks’ notice and had his training interrupted by “the worst sinus infection of my life.”

    “I remember just coming here and that week I felt like I still had to get in shape to fight on Saturday,” he recalled in a conversation with reporters on Thursday. “It was wild, man.”

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  • Published On Feb 01, 2013
  • Experts’ Predictions for UFC 156

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    Jose Aldo

    Two of SI.com’s three experts believe Jose Aldo (above) will defeat Frankie Edgar on Saturday. (Andrew Richardson/Icon SMI)

    SI.com analysts Dave Doyle, Loretta Hunt and Jeff Wagenheim provide their predictions for UFC 156 on Saturday in Las Vegas. 

    Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar

    HUNT: This is one of those rare occasions where I’m glad a fighter was cajoled into something he didn’t want to do. After a stellar run at lightweight, the smaller Edgar makes his featherweight debut against the explosive Brazilian champ, who will finally have an opponent who can match his speed and skill. Trilogy potential here. Aldo by decision.

    DOYLE: This is the toughest pick I’ve had to make in seven years covering MMA. I’ve changed my mind 100 times and might change it 100 more before fight time. As of now, I think Aldo’s kicks will be enough to keep Edgar from getting his offense fully untracked. Aldo via decision. 

    WAGENHEIM: Anyone have a coin I can borrow to flip? Too many variables here for the math to make any sense to me, so let me try to keep it simple: Aldo has won 14 straight fights, while Edgar has lost two in a row. So obviously the answer is… well, “The Answer” is Frankie. Why? Because he always has an adjustment, an answer, for anything thrown at him. So look for him to weather an early storm (been there, done that) and settle into a rhythm and a pace that gradually makes him the lead in this dance. Edgar by decision.

    Rashad Evans vs. Antonio Rogério Nogueira

    HUNT: Speed and nimbler footwork will give Evans the edge against the more plodding Nogueira. Evans by TKO.

    DOYLE: “Li’l Nog” has always been just a cut below the championship level, and he isn’t getting any younger. Evans is going to be motivated in his first fight since losing to Jon Jones. I smell 30-27 across the board. Evans via decision.

    WAGENHEIM: “Little Nog” is coming off a win, but beating Tito Ortiz does not mean what it used to. On the other hand, losing to Phil Davis and Ryan Bader speaks volumes. Nogueira is a solid light heavy, but Rashad is simply too quick, too slick, too good for him to contend with. Where a victory here will lead “Suga Rashad” is uncertain, but that’s a question for another day. Evans by KO.

    Alistair Overeem vs. Antonio Silva

    HUNT: This is a career re-builder for Overeem, whose reputation took the hit everyone anticipated when he was flagged for steroid use last summer. With a brutally bloody battering from Cain Velasquez still in the back of his mind, the 6-foot-4, 285-pound “Big Foot” won’t be overshadowed by Overeem’s stature, but he will be bullied on its feet and from his back. Overeem by TKO.

    DOYLE: I’m calling an upset here. Overeem has been out a year and his win streak is frankly a bit of a hype. Silva seems to perform best when he’s counted out. “Bigfoot” tags a rusty Overeem and scores the early finish. Silva via TKO.

    WAGENHEIM: Overeem might be rusty after being idle since December 2011, and “Bigfoot” might have what it takes to step up. Silva is coming off an upset of rising heavyweight Travis Browne, and the two losses that preceded it were to the iron of the division, Cain Velasquez and Daniel Cormier. But “The Reem” has too much riding on this. Overeem by KO.

    Jon Fitch vs. Demian Maia

    HUNT: BJJ black belt Maia’s work ethic is top-tier in and he constantly pushes himself out of his comfort zone to even out his skill set. This isn’t necessarily a bad matchup for him — Fitch is a wrestler and Maia is a shark on the canvas — but if Fitch pushes this one to the fence and lingers there, he can eat crucial time and ride out a decision. Fitch by decision.

    DOYLE: Fitch has never been known to take easy fights. This is no different. Maia’s undergone a career rebirth at welterweight, but ultimately, Fitch’s wrestling and submission defense will be too much for the jiu-jitsu specialist. Fitch by decision.

    WAGENHEIM: Wouldn’t it be a cool turnabout if the crowd were to boo as the fighters come out of their corners and trade punches, then let out one of those bloodthirsty cheers as soon as they take the contest to the mat? After all, it is in the grappling (usually a dirty word for cageside fans) where the magic will happen. Fitch by decision.

    Joseph Benavidez vs. Ian McCall

    HUNT:  A rebound fight for Benavidez, the faster, more assertive, and most importantly, more marketable fighter of the pair coming off a split decision loss against champion Johnson. Benavidez by submission.

    DOYLE: McCall’s had a nice run at flyweight, but Benavidez is simply a notch above. I see a dominant win for Benavidez, the type that demands a shot at Demetrious Johnson’s title. Benavidez via submission.

    WAGENHEIM: I must admit I was surprised to see Demetrious Johnson beat Benavidez, who I thought was going to own the new UFC flyweight division. Now Joseph faces a guy “Mighty Mouse” had to fight twice on the way to the championship. All roads lead to rematch, no? Benavidez by decision.


  • Published On Jan 31, 2013
  • Knock us over with a feather: Edgar to challenge for Aldo’s belt at UFC 153

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    So now we know the new formula for securing a title shot in the UFC: Lose two straight championship fights in your weight class, then move to another division and, Voila!

    That was the path cleared a week ago for Chael Sonnen, who less than two months removed from a TKO loss in his second challenge of middleweight champion Anderson Silva was offered a shot at light heavyweight belt holder Jon Jones. (That fight fell through, of course, as did all of UFC 151 amid a fiery scenario we’ve already beaten to death and will not rehash here.)

    Now that same yellow brick road is being paved for Frankie Edgar.

    The former lightweight champion, who just three weeks ago lost a tight, much-debated decision in his attempt to regain the belt from Benson Henderson, will drop down to featherweight to challenge José Aldo on Oct. 13 at UFC 153 in Rio de Janeiro. Aldo was scheduled to face Erik Koch, but USA Today reported late Thursday that Koch suffered an undisclosed injury in training and was a no-go.

    No doubt UFC president Dana White breathed a sigh of relief when his champion gave the OK to a change of opponent this time. To be fair, Aldo has a full six weeks to prepare for Edgar, while Jones was being asked to step in with Sonnen on essentially three days of training.

    That’s not the only reason this featherweight fight has more appeal and way more credibility than the late-replacement title bout Dana & Co. tried to foist upon us last week. Unlike Sonnen, Edgar has been a champion. Unlike Sonnen, Edgar is ranked in most every pound-for-pound Top 10 you’ll find. And perhaps most important from a competitive angle, while Sonnen would have been stepping up to a division 20 pounds heavier and therefore taking on a bigger, stronger athlete, Edgar will be moving down 10 pounds. He’s always been a small lightweight, anyway, fighting close to his walk-around weight and using quickness to deal with being outmuscled. Now Frankie will be basically picking on someone his own size.

    Aldo vs. Edgar might not be a “superfight,” a designation that should be reserved for a meeting of two reigning champions. But it has the makings of a super fight … and a super opportunity — for Aldo, who can use a high-profile challenge like this to launch himself into the MMA stratosphere, and especially for Edgar, who after two straight losses to Henderson appeared to be out of opportunities at lightweight.

    Frankie acknowledged as much when he took to Twitter after midnight and wrote, “Thanks to all of the UFC fans for all of the support. And thank you @danawhite & [UFC co-owner/CEO] @lorenzofertitta for the opportunity.” Then, in the morning, Frankie tweeted out the fight announcement and added this hashtag: #herewego.

    Here we go, indeed.

    –Jeff Wagenheim


  • Published On Aug 31, 2012
  • Experts’ predictions for UFC 142

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    Jose Aldo is the prohibitive favorite Saturday to defend his featherweight championship against Chad Mendes at UFC 142 in Rio de Janeiro. (AP)

    SI.com analysts Ben Fowlkes, Loretta Hunt, Jeff Wagenheim and Jon Wertheim provide their predictions for UFC 142 on Saturday in Rio de Janeiro.

    José Aldo vs. Chad Mendes

    FOWLKES: If Mendes actually manages to go on the attack early, he could be the toughest test the champ has had in the UFC. In the end though, Aldo’s speed and ability to adjust mid-fight will make the difference. Aldo by decision.

    HUNT: Aldo has more tools in his arsenal to thwart the grinding wrestler. Aldo by decision. 

    WAGENHEIM: Mendes might have what it takes to put the champ in an uncomfortable position, but fighting in Brazil will provide an adrenaline rush that’ll keep Aldo in his comfort zone no matter what. Aldo by decision.

    WERTHEIM: If Aldo, a WEC refugee, can defend the takedown and avoid Mendes superior wrestling, he should win by decision. Simply the more skilled all-around fighter. Aldo by decision.

    Vitor Belfort vs. Anthony Johnson

    FOWLKES: As long as Johnson can stay conscious past the three-minute mark of round one, I like his chances to outwrestle and outwork Belfort, who’s been known to fade when he doesn’t finish fast. Johnson by decision.

    HUNT: In my book, Belfort will forever have one of the fastest, most accurate set of hands in the sport. Johnson’s debut at middleweight will show promise, but I like Belfort’s experience and (I can’t believe I’m saying this) centeredness going into this one. Belfort by TKO.

    WAGENHEIM: A bulked-up Johnson is not to be taken lightly — nyuk, nyuk — but the heaviest things we’re going to see in the octagon during this bout will be Belfort’s punches. Belfort by KO.

    WERTHEIM: Belfort will be the crowd favorite but there’s a lot of mileage on that odometer. A likely fight of extremes: Either Belfort by electrifying TKO or Johnson by pedestrian sprawl-and-stall decision. We’ll take the latter. Johnson by decision.

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  • Published On Jan 13, 2012
  • Stock Watch: UFC 136

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    Frankie Edgar (right) scored a fourth-round knockout of longtime rival Gray Maynard to defend his UFC lightweight title on Saturday in Houston. (AP)

    Finally, some clarity.

    The belt still resides around lightweight champ Frankie Edgar’s waist following his trilogy with Gray Maynard in the main event of Saturday’s UFC 136, and finally, business can resume in the store of available contenders. The queue got shorter early in the evening when Melvin Guillard tapped to Joe Lauzon in 47 seconds flat to halt his title bid. That puts the focus squarely on the result of two upcoming bouts: Ben Henderson vs. Clay Guida, which is set as the co-main for UFC on FOX 1, and Gilbert Melendez vs. Jorge Masvidal, which headlines a yet-unannounced Strikeforce card set for Dec. 17.

    The more compelling of the winners is likely to get the first crack at Edgar, who will take some much-needed recovery time as the title picture comes into focus. A small caveat: The lesser-known Masvidal won’t get the shot if he manages to upset Melendez, who’s been waging a long P.R. campaign for a crossover and has the ear of UFC president Dana White.

    That should occupy Edgar for the next year, but if he’s not vacating the belt for featherweight — and I’m guessing he’s not any time soon — there’s a long list of tough guys within reach. Should be an interesting 2012.

    And now, here’s a stockwatch. Buys on the list should be as surprising as a cageside sighting of Steven Seagal.

    Buy

    Frankie Edgar (14-1-1): With a champion’s mix of guts and skill, Edgar is the toughest guy on the Jersey shore and, maybe, inside the octagon. I wouldn’t put him at No. 2 in the pound-for-pound rankings, but No. 3 looks about right. He’s now beaten Maynard, B.J. Penn (twice), former champ Sean Sherk, Tyson Griffin, Jim Miller, and done so at a physical disadvantage that veers toward criminal in boxing. The 170-if-he’s-been-to-Buca-di-Beppo Edgar proceeds like it’s nothing. Maynard had him dead to rights on a takedown when he overextended a punch in the fourth. It was perfectly timed, and he sprawled and stuffed a guy who cuts from a minimum of 175 pounds.

    About that weight: It’s not surprising that concern for Edgar’s long-term well being has underscored the second defense of his belt. When I think of the damage he took in the first round from the bigger Maynard, I remember lightweight Antonio McKee, the king of wrestling “blankets,” telling me how much time he lost when he tried, for once, to be a gunslinger and how much time he lost when his opponent cracked him. I remember welterweight Rory Markham telling me he heard cartoons when he took a stiff punch. I remember another very popular welterweight that shall go unnamed tell me he lost his sense of smell for a month after getting kicked in the head.

    The point is, the brain is a fragile device, as we’re well aware in this era of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Shots like those set the timer running and punch the punchcard. How long one fighter remains unaffected is left to the mysteries of the brain. What we do know, however, is that at some point, there’s nothing left. The 29-year-old Edgar’s card has two punches, probably more. That will in all likelihood make him increasingly susceptible to brief lapses of consciousness upon contact with his jaw. Will 10 fewer pounds protect him? Maybe. It may also have absolutely no bearing. Edgar is doing more than fine at lightweight. Change is more likely to come from a blow to the ego (a loss) or financial incentive (Uncle Dana).

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  • Published On Oct 10, 2011


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