Ronda Rousey vs. Cat Zingano booked for UFC 182

The co-main event of UFC 182 on January 3rd in Las Vegas will be a title fight as Ronda Rousey will defend the UFC women’s bantamweight title against number one contender Cat Zingano.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The fight booking was announced on Wednesday night on UFC Tonight.

UFC 182 will come from the MGM Grand Garden Arena on January 3rd and will be headlined by Jon Jones defending the UFC light heavyweight title against Daniel Cormier.

Rousey (10-0) is coming off a knockout win at UFC 175 against Alexis Davis and her last two wins have come by TKO. She has been recovering from a hand injury and this will be her fifth UFC title defense.

Zingano (9-0) returned from injury last month and she defeated Amanda Nunes by TKO in the third round at UFC 178. Both of her wins have come by TKO in the third round and eight of her nine wins have come by stoppage.

The current UFC 182: Jones vs. Cormier fight card is below.

Jon Jones (20-1) vs. Daniel Cormier (15-0)
Ronda Rousey (10-0) vs. Cat Zingano (9-0)
Hector Lombard (34-4-1, 1NC) vs. Josh Burkman (27-10)
Jared Cannonier (7-0) vs. Shawn Jordan (16-6)
Louis Gaudinot (6-3, 1NC) vs. Kyoji Horiguchi (14-1)

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UFC 179 Embedded – Episode 2

In the second episode of “Embedded” for UFC 179, Jose Aldo has one of his final training sessions before his fight on Saturday night. Also, Chad Mendes and Phil Davis arrive in Brazil, and Glover Teixeira gets a workout in.

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UFC Fight Night 56: Shogun vs. Manuwa fight card lineup finalized with five fight main card

UFC Fight Night 56 will take place on November 8th from the Ginasio Municipal Tancredo Neves in Uberlandia, Minas Gerais, Brazil and the fight card has been finalized by the UFC.UFC Fight Night 56

The preliminary card will begin with two fights on Fight Pass at 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT and the final five preliminary bouts will be shown at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Fox Sports 2.

Following the conclusion of the preliminary card, the main card on Fox Sports 1 will start at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT and will be headlined by a light heavyweight bout as former UFC champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua meets Jimi Manuwa.

The current UFC Fight Night 56: Shogun vs. Manuwa fight card is below.

Main Card: (Fox Sports 1 – 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT)
Mauricio Rua (22-9) vs. Jimi Manuwa (14-1)
Ovince St. Preux (16-6) vs. Francimar Barroso (16-4)
Ian McCall (13-4-1) vs. John Lineker (24-7)
Warlley Alves (7-0) vs. Alan Jouban (10-2)
Juliana Lima (6-2) vs. Nina Ansaroff (6-3)

Preliminary Card: (Fox Sports 2 – 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT)
Diego Rivas (5-0) vs. Rodolfo Rubio (12-6)
Leon Edwards (8-1) vs. Claudio Silva (10-1)
Caio Magalhaes (8-1) vs. Trevor Smith (12-5)
Dhiego Lima (9-2) vs. Pawel Pawlak (10-1)
Leandro Silva (11-2-1) vs. Charlie Brenneman (19-7)

Preliminary Card: (Fight Pass – 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT)
Thomas Almeida (17-0) vs. Tim Gorman (8-3)
Colby Covington (6-0) vs. Wagner Silva (3-1)

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Titan FC 31: Ricci vs. Yoshida fight card lineup finalized with five fight main card on CBS Sports Network

Titan FC 31 will take place next Friday night at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida and promotion officials have announced the eleven fight card lineup.Titan-FC-31

The event will begin with two unaired preliminary bouts at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT and the final four preliminary bouts will be shown on beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

Following the conclusion of the preliminary card, the main card on CBS Sports Network will begin at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m PT and will be headlined by a vacant lightweight title bout as Ultimate Fighter alum Mike Ricci meets Yoshiyuki Yoshida.

The current Titan FC 31: Ricci vs. Yoshida fight card lineup is below.

Main Card: (CBS Sports Network -10 p.m. ET/7 p.m PT)
Mike Ricci (10-4) vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida (17-6)
Desmond Green (12-3) vs. Miguel Torres (43-7)
Ken Hasegawa (8-0-1) vs. Matthew Thompson (19-9)
Hayder Hassan (5-1) vs. Felipe Portela (8-1)
Jose Figueroa (13-6) vs. Tyler Stinson (27-10)

Preliminary Card: ( – 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT)
Scott Barrett (15-4) vs. Kenny Garney (13-7)
Brock Jardine (9-4) vs. Steve Montgomery (7-2)
Sirwan Kakai (10-2) vs. Joe Barajas (10-0)
Michael Graves (3-0) vs. Rafael Souza (6-2)

Preliminary Card: (Unaired -7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT)
Mike Bruno (11-7) vs. Kamrin Naville (7-7)
Matthew Wagy (2-2) vs. William Sizemore (0-0)

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The MMA Insiders Podcast Episode 8

On this week’s episode of “The MMA Insiders Podcast,” former Bellator MMA Vice President of Talent Relations and current promoter of Matrix Fights Sam Caplan and Jason Floyd discuss the injury to UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez.The MMA Insiders Podcast

Also, they recap last weekend’s Bellator 129, preview Bellator 130 and UFC 179. In addition, Caplan discusses the signing of Pawal Wolak to Matrix Fights, Dave Meltzer article on Bellator in 2015, and leg breakers in MMA.

Follow Sam Caplan on Twitter: @SamCaplanMMA
Follow Jason Floyd on Twitter: @Jason_Floyd
Subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher

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Bellator 129 TV ratings increase 21 percent in +3 DVR numbers with 683,000 viewers

Bellator 129 took place last Friday night in Council Bluffs, Iowa and the preliminary television ratings (Live+SD) had 564,000 viewers with a peak viewership of 780,000.B129 WI

The ratings for the broadcast went up 21 percent in the +3 DVR numbers with 683,000 viewers and the new peak of the broadcast in now 948,000 viewers at 10:11 p.m ET.

The increase of 21 percent is the biggest increase in +3 DVR numbers during this season of Bellator as the previous high was 16 percent with Bellator 123 in September. With the viewership from last week’s card, the preliminary viewership (Live+SD) is now at 668,000 and the +3 DVR average is 740,000.

The television ratings for the eleventh season of Bellator are below.

Bellator 123:
Live+SD: 667,000 with peak of 979,000
+3 DVR: 777,000 with peak of 1,193,000

Bellator 124:
Live+SD: 771,000 with peak of 1,271,000
+3 DVR: 836,000 with peak of 1,429,000

Bellator 125:
Live+SD: 742,000 with peak of 1,120,000
+3 DVR: 796,000 with peak of 1,250,000

Bellator 126:
Live+SD: 656,000 with peak of 942,000
+3 DVR: 687,000 with peak of 1,011,000

Bellator 127:
Live+SD: 609,000 with peak of 780,000
+3 DVR: 670,000 with peak of 886,000

Bellator 128:
Live+SD: 668,000 with peak of 946,000
+3 DVR: 731,000 with peak of 990,000

Bellator 129:
Live+SD: 564,000 with peak of 780,000
+3 DVR: 683,000 with peak of 948,000

Stay with for ongoing coverage of the Nielsen ratings battle between Bellator MMA and the UFC.

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Karl Etherington on Bellator 130 bout against Bobby Lashley: The fans should expect a train crash

The co-main event of Friday’s Bellator 130 main card on Spike TV will be a heavyweight bout as Karl Etherington looks to remain undefeated as he meets Bobby Lashley.Karl Etherington

Etherington (9-0) made his Bellator debut last year and all of his professional mixed martial arts fight have ended in the first round.

Prior to entering the sport of mixed martial arts, he was a British Junior Champion in Judo, British Sambo Champion (both Combat and Sport Sambo), European BJJ Champion (blue belt and no-gi), and British BJJ Champion (gi and no-gi). He took his first professional mixed martial arts bout in September of 2010 and recently talked about his journey into the sport of mixed martial arts.

“After I didn’t get the final selection for the Olympic squad in Judo, I took an offer to fight pro MMA,” Etherington said. “Prior to that, the British Judo Association always took a dim view on the sport of MMA. So I decided that it would work itself out if I took the opportunity in MMA, and that’s the way it went. I felt confident stepping into MMA because of my varied background in martial arts, and I proved I was a good fit in my first few fights.”

“Being a multi-disciplined athlete, I used what I was good at against their weaknesses. One was a good British-level K-1 guy and I knew I had to take that fight to the floor, so I slammed him. The big Polish guy I fought, Tomas Vaicickas, I knew his strong point was ground-and-pound, and I saw him in earlier fight and didn’t think too much of his chin. So I took it right to him and put him to sleep. I try to choose my better disciplines for each particular opponent.”

Etherington’s Bellator MMA debut came at the beginning of last year as he defeated Jason Fish by TKO at the 3:45 mark of the opening round. It would only be one of two fights for him in 2013 as his other fight came in July of last year, which was a disqualification win against Harry Duivan Junior.

His fight on Friday night will be his first fight since defeating Duvian Junior, which was 454 days ago. Why has Etherington been inactive for the last 14 months? The answer is simple as Etherington says injuries are the cause of his inactivity.

“To be honest, last year I only fought twice,” he said. “I was supposed to fight Raphael Butler. I had a bad year of silly injuries. I took a fight as a warm-up fight against a guy who didn’t have a big MMA record, but he was a really tough guy. His name was Harry Duiven Jr. from Holland. I knew Raphael Butler had a boxing background and Harry Duiven Jr. was a WBC junior champion. He was a successful pro boxer and I was well aware that he’d been training with the likes of Alistair Overeem and such over in Holland.”

“So I thought that would be a good way to get back into it. I still won the fight, but I got injured during it, I didn’t enjoy it and I didn’t feel like my preparation was right. Again it held me back and I’d already had a bad year, so I’m very motivated right now. That’s why I got into Sambo, just to reignite me into combat sports.”

His matchup against Lashley is a fight that Etherington says is going to be like a train crash. Two athletes that are not going to hold anything back and one train is going to be stronger than the other.

“Bobby Lashley has good skills. I think he’s a slower starter than me though,” Etherington said. We won’t be leaving anything in the locker room. I think it’s going to be an exciting fight to watch. As far as my conditioning, I took this fight on six weeks notice and my main focus for this fight has been cardio.”

“My last fight in Bellator was the worst performance I’ve had. But from the minute I got on the plane, it took us 30 hours to reach America. There were a lot of delays and we were stuck in Chicago. From the minute I got into Michigan, it was two hours between getting there and fighting. I was in no physical condition to take the fight, but I took it because I was there. So I was tired before that fight even started.”

For the fans that tune into this fight on Friday night, along with this fight being a train crash, Etherington believes this will be an explosive fight that will not be decided by the judges.

“The fans should expect a train crash,” Etherington said. “This is two big guys who are going to hit each other on the head. This fight will be explosive and I don’t expect to see three rounds of action. It will something where people don’t want to blink because I’m going out there to put him out early.”

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Scott Coker discusses elimination of tournament model, Gina Carano, Stephan Bonnar, and drug testing

Bellator MMA held a fan fest yesterday in San Diego and check out Fight Hub TV’s interview with Bellator MMA President Scott Coker as he talked about the elimination of the tournament model, Gina Carano, Stephan Bonnar, drug testing, and more.

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UFC 179 Embedded – Episode 1

In the first episode of “Embedded” for UFC 179, Jose Aldo goes through a training session at Nova Uniao and talks to the media. Also, Chad Mendes goes through his final preparations before heading to Brazil.

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Cain Velasquez injured, Fabricio Werdum vs. Mark Hunt for interim heavyweight title headlines UFC 180

UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez suffered a right knee injury in training and is out of his UFC 180 title defense against Fabricio Werdum.

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

With Velasquez out, Werdum will now face Mark Hunt for the interim title in the main event of the November 15th card coming from the Arena Ciudad de México in Mexico City, Mexico.

In a statement released to the media on Tuesday evening, Velasquez confirmed he suffered a right knee injury and will be looking to get back to training as soon as possible.

“I’m so unbelievably disappointed that this happened,” Velasquez said. “To say I was looking forward to fighting in Mexico for the first time is an understatement. I wanted to fight on that card so bad. Looks like it wasn’t meant to be and it’s not going to happen. I’m going to get my [right] knee fixed and get back to training as soon as I can. I’m sorry to the fans in Mexico who were expecting this fight, and I hope to be able to come down and still be a part of this historic event.”

Hunt (10-8-1) has gone 5-1-1 since losing his UFC debut in 2010 and is coming off a knockout win at UFC Fight Night 52 against Roy Nelson last month. In his five UFC victories, four of them have come by TKO/KO and has won a fight night bonus in each of his last four fights.

“I feel blessed to have this opportunity to fight for another world title,” Hunt said. “This is something that doesn’t happen often to people. First K1 and now UFC – how can I say no, even though it’s on short notice? I’m dropping everything and flying to Mexico tomorrow so I can best prepare myself for this fight. I have to get into shape and acclimatize to that environment, which is really important. There’s nothing to lose when you’re competing against the best at the top level.”

Werdum (18-5-1) is currently on a four fight winning streak and coach against Velasquez in The Ultimate Fighter Latin America. He has been training in Mexico for this fight and he is ready for the challenge Hunt brings.

“I’m ready for whatever comes,” Werdum said. “I have been training in Mexico for nearly two months and accept the challenge that is presented to me. I’ll continue to prepare and will arrive ready to fight on behalf of all my Latin American fans.”

The current UFC 180: Werdum vs. Hunt fight card is below.

Fabricio Werdum (17-5-1) vs. Mark Hunt (10-8-1)
Jake Ellenberger (29-8) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (10-0)
Diego Sanchez (27-7) vs. Joe Lauzon (24-9)
Ricardo Lamas (14-3) vs. Dennis Bermudez (15-3)
Augusto Montano (13-1) vs. Chris Heatherly (8-2, 1NC)
TBD vs. TBD – TUF Latin America Featherweight Final
TBD vs. TBD – TUF Latin America Bantamweight Final
Jessica Eye (10-2) vs. Leslie Smith (7-5-1)
Edgar Garcia (14-3) vs. Hector Urbina (16-8-1)

Posted in Cain Velasquez, Fabricio Werdum, Mark Hunt, UFC 180 | Leave a comment