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UFC signs Japanese veteran Tatsuya Kawajiri

Written on October 23, 2013 by Hector

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MMA veteran Tatsuya Kawaijiri signs with UFC. He will be making his promotional debut in UFC's first ever event in Singapore

Tatsuya “Crusher” Kawajiri has finally signed with the biggest MMA organization after 13 years of MMA career. Crusher, who was once considered as one of the best 155 lb fighters in the world has started fighting in the Shooto organization. Kawajiri has also competed in Pride FC’s 2005 lightweight Grand Prix. He was defeated by Takanori Gomi in the quarterfinals of the said tournament.

He later competed in Dream and Strikeforce where he went into title contention only to be turned back by Shinya Aoki and Gilbert Melendez. Since then, Kawajiri racked up 5 straight wins including a decision win over Michihiro Omigawa in the final event of Dream. The 35 year old Japanese holds victories over Yves Edwards, JZ Cavalcante, Joachim Hansen and Josh Thomson. His professional  record currently stands at 32-7-2. Kawajiri is rumored to make his first octagon appearance in UFC’s upcoming Singapore debut on January 4, 2014.

[Photos from stsport.pl]

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Diego Sanchez calls out Nate Diaz

Written on October 23, 2013 by Hector

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Diego Sanchez is looking for another win over the Diaz brothers

Fresh from his Fight of the Year candidate bout with Gilbert Melendez, Diego Sanchez is again in a mood for another war. This time, he has set his sights on Nate Diaz. Sanchez, who already holds a win over Nate’s big brother, has expressed his desire to face the Stockton slugger via his Twitter account.

“Im thinking maybe nate diaz for the next fight would be an epic 5 rounder.” writes Sanchez on Twitter.

Diaz is already scheduled for a third match with Gray Maynard in the undercard of TUF 18 finale. He defeated Maynard in the semi finals of TUF 5 but the latter avenged his loss with a split decision win in 2010.

Both Maynard and Diaz are coming off knockout losses in their recent bouts. Maynard was stopped by TJ Grant while Diaz suffered his first KO loss at the hands of Josh Thomson. Prior to that, he was outpointed by then-champion Benson Henderson in his bid for the lightweight belt. Meanwhile, Sanchez suffered the only stoppage loss of his career in his lightweight title fight against BJ Penn way back in 2009.

[Photos from rantsports.com]

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No immediate title shot for TJ’s return

Written on October 22, 2013 by Hector

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TJ Grant won't be having an immediate title shot upon his octagon return according to Dana White

Canadian lightweight contender TJ Grant is tearing on the lightweight division before an injury altered his shot at the lightweight gold. He suffered a concussion while training for his title fight against then-champion Benson Henderson. As a result, he was pulled out of the bout and was replaced by Anthony Pettis who eventually wrestled the belt from Bendo. Grant has retained his number 1 status but the same injury would again force him out of the championship bout with Pettis.

Dana White, while saying that he feels bad for what happened to Grant, believes that the Canadian might have lost his chance for the title after missing it twice.

“T.J. Grant’s in one of those unfortunate situations where he had the title shot and he had to pull out twice,” says White after last Saturday’s UFC 166 in Houston. “He’s in limbo. He might come back and have to fight another fight. We’ve got to keep this thing rolling.”

Gilbert Melendez, who put on an impressive show in UFC 166, will likely be the man to take the spot of TJ Grant. White admits that El Nino’s performance makes it difficult to deny him of a title shot. Meanwhile, Grant is still on the process of recovering from the injury. The exact date of his octagon return has not been revealed up to now.

[Photos from kimura.se]

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Gilbert Melendez back to title contention after impressive showing in UFC 166

Written on October 21, 2013 by Hector

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Gilbert Melendez is back in the mix for a titleshot after his impressive win over Diego Sanchez

Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez moves back into title contention after he walked out with a W in the classic brawl against Diego Sanchez in the third featured fight of UFC 166 at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. Both fighters had promised to make a statement prior to the bout and they certainly lived up to the hype. Melendez and Sanchez clearly stole the show by providing nonstop action for the entire 15 minutes of their lightweight showdown. Dana White praised the performance of both fighters in an interview after the event.

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UFC 166 results: Velasquez stops Cigano in 5 rounds

Written on October 20, 2013 by Hector

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The Baddest man on the Planet: Cain Velasquez defeated Junior dos Santos in their rubber match at UFC 166

Houston, Texas – The much anticipated trilogy between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos turned out pretty similar to their rematch, albeit with more definitive results. The 32 year old champ played the perfect game; he dominated dos Santos in all the aspects of the fight, even in the striking department, where Cigano supposedly had an advantage. Just like their last fight, Velasquez negated the heavy hands of dos Santos by backing him up into the cage. The rest of the fight played out the same scenario; Velasquez controlling dos Santos in the clinch while chipping at him with dirty boxing. Cigano eventually succumbed due to the accumulation of punishment in the 5th round, he fell face first in to the canvass after a failed front choke attempt. Seeing Cigano’s vulnerable state, Referee Herb Dean decided to put a halt to the contest with 3:09 remaining in the final round.

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Diego Sanchez: Gilbert Melendez is my golden ticket to a title shot

Written on October 18, 2013 by Hector

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Diego Sanchez expects a titleshot if he defeats Gilbert Melendez in an exciting fashion

Diego Sanchez may not be that impressive in his recent outings, he is 1-2 in his last three fights and one can argue that he lost all those fights. Nevertheless, his string of unimpressive performances did not prevented “The Dream” from assuming that a title shot is next once he gets past Gilbert Melendez in UFC 166.

With the recent happenings in the UFC, it is not that impossible for Sanchez to believe that he can earn a shot at gold after two consecutive wins. He has done it before when he challenged then-champion BJ Penn in 2009. Even Chael Sonnen did it when he went straight for Jon Jones belt after losing his middleweight title shot against Anderson Silva.

“Gilbert Melendez is my golden ticket. I’ve done it before. I fought two fights in 2009 at 155. Straight to the belt. (Melendez) has never been stopped. He avenged two of his three losses. His only loss is to Benson Henderson in a split decision that I felt went his way, so in a way I’m fighting a guy who’s almost untainted. And if I go in there, and I stop this guy, I think it makes a real case for a title shot.”

A stoppage win over El Nino will clearly raise Sanchez’ stocks but The Dream seems to forget that he is currently not ranked at 155. He would certainly enter the ranks but leapfrogging to a title shot is unlikely even if he stops Melendez in their showdown this weekend.

[Photos from enlapelea.com]

 

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Nick Diaz remains silent about the potential fight with Michael Bisping

Written on October 18, 2013 by Hector

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Nick Diaz has not yet responded to the rumored fight with Michael Bisping

Talks of Nick Diaz’s octagon return has stemmed earlier this week from an interview with Diaz’ close friend and training partner Gilbert Melendez. El Nino has stated Diaz might come out from retirement once he is offered a fight of his liking. After a few days, Michael Bisping noticed the news and decided to join the fray. He wrote in his twitter account that he will be happy to welcome Nick Diaz to the middleweight division.

That being said, UFC President Dana White has revealed that Diaz has not yet expressed an intention to return to the cage.

“I love that fight,” White said following today’s pre-UFC 166 media session. “I love that fight. I like it, but everything I hear from Nick Diaz is that he doesn’t want to fight.”

Nick’s habit for announcing to retire after a loss is perhaps the reason why his retirement has not been taken seriously. He did it first after the Condit loss and it earned him his biggest fight to date, a match with GSP. Considering Diaz’ attempts to land a fight against Anderson Silva a few months ago, it would be safe to assume that it will be just a matter of time before the Stockton native announces his octagon return.

[Photos by www.kimura.se]

 

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Diego Sanchez confident on his chances against Anthony Pettis

Written on October 16, 2013 by Hector

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Diego Sanchez believes he has the right "style" to beat lightweight champion Anthony Pettis

Diego Sanchez has already set his sights on Anthony Pettis despite being just days away from facing Gilbert Melendez at UFC 166. “The Dream” believes that he has the right tools to take away the belt from the current lightweight champ.

“I love the way I match up with Anthony Pettis,” says Sanchez. “We’re a contrast in styles, and I feel my style beats his style.”

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Michael Bisping welcomes the idea of a middleweight fight against Nick Diaz

Written on October 15, 2013 by Hector

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Michael Bisping would love to welcome Nick Diaz in the middleweight division

Former UFC welterweight contender and Strikeforce welterweight champ Nick Diaz has decided to retire from MMA following his decision loss to GSP earlier this year. However, his friend and training partner Gilbert Melendez, believes that Diaz will come out of retirement if the right opportunity comes his way.

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Strikeforce Fighters To Be Given Compensation For Cancelled Event

Written on September 26, 2012 by Avlya Jaie

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The "Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Healy" event was scrapped after headliner, Gilbert Melendez, withdraws from his bout after sustaining a shoulder injury

Fighters who were a part of the scrapped “Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Healy” event can now take a deep breath. It seems that Zuffa, the company that owns UFC and Strikeforce is set to give all nineteen competitors a financial compensation. According to Authentic Sports Management publicist Jen Wenk, the fighters will be receiving a partial payment of their “Show” money.

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