Junior dos Santos Pulled From UFC 215 Due to Potential Anti-Doping Violation

Former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos has been removed from a UFC 215 matchup with Francis Ngannou due to a possible anti-doping violation.

Cody Garbrandt vs. T.J. Dillashaw Official for UFC 217 in New York

UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt got his wish.

The Ohio native had asked for a fight on Nov. 4 and now he’ll face former teammate T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 217 inside Madison Square Garden in New York.

UFC officials announced the matchup on Thursday night.

Garbrandt had been campaigning to land the Nov. 4 card after a back injury prevented his return to action earlier this year when he was scheduled to meet Dillashaw in July.

With rehabilitation on his back nearly finished, Garbrandt had targeted November for his first title defense after defeating former champion Dominick Cruz last December to win the belt.TJ Dillashaw Post UFC 200

Dillashaw will get his first crack at Garbrandt and second shot at the title after reigning as bantamweight champion for two defenses between 2014 and 2015.

Dillashaw is very familiar with Garbrandt after the two fighters were teammate at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento for several years before he split from the gym to relocate to Colorado to work full time with coach Duane “Bang” Ludwig.

Now the former friends will face off on Nov. 4 with the bantamweight title up for grabs in one of the most highly anticipated fights of 2017.

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Matt Brown vs. Diego Sanchez, Angela Hill vs. Nina Ansaroff Set for UFC Fight Night in Virginia

Two new fights have been added to the upcoming UFC Fight Night card in Norfolk, Virginia on Nov. 11 including the return of Matt Brown as he faces “Ultimate Fighter” season one winner Diego Sanchez while Angela Hill takes on Nina Ansaroff.

The new fights were announced via “UFC Tonight” on Wednesday.

Brown (20-16) will return to action for the first time in nearly a year as he looks to re-establish himself in the welterweight division.

The Ohio native has gone just 1-5 in his past six fights, but that streak came after he won seven bouts in a row to climb up the welterweight rankings.

Sanchez (27-10) not only books his next fight, but also gets back to the welterweight division after spending several bouts at both lightweight and featherweight in the UFC.

Sanchez has bounced back and forth between wins and losses over his past six fights while remaining one of the most exciting competitors on the UFC roster.Angela Hill

In the women’s strawweight division, former Invicta FC champion Angela Hill (7-3) will look to build on her last win over Ashley Yoder when she takes on Nina Ansaroff (7-5), who picked up her first win in the UFC in January with a submission victory against Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger.

The two new fights will be added to a card headlined by former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis taking on Dustin Poirier in a battle at 155 pounds with the card airing live on FS1.

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Anderson Silva and Kelvin Gastelum Officially Headlines UFC Fight Night Shanghai

Former middleweight champion Anderson Silva will take on middleweight contender Kelvin Gastelum in the UFC Fight Night 122 main event on Nov. 25 in China. The fight promotion officially announced the bout on Wednesday.

Silva (34-8, 1 NC) is the longest reigning champion in UFC history. He held the 185-pound belt from 2006 until 2013. He defended his title a record setting ten consecutive times. He’s widely considered the greatest fighter of all time, but he’s now 42-years old. “The Spider” maybe past his prime, but he’s a tricky puzzle to figure out. He’ll look remain relevant in the division he once sat atop of when he takes on Gastelum.

TRENDING > Cody Garbrandt vs. T.J. Dillashaw Official for UFC 217 in New York

Gastelum (14-3) won The Ultimate Fighter 17 middleweight tournament in 2013. He dropped down to the welterweight division and reeled off a four-fight winning streak inside the Octagon. After repeatedly missing weight at 170-pounds, Gastelum moved up to the middleweight division and finished veterans. He was defeated in his last outing to former champion Chris Weidman in July. He plans to get back in the win column when he faces the legendary Silva.

UFC Fight Night 122 takes place at the Mercedes Benz Arena in Shanghai, China.  It’s the first time the UFC has held an event in mainland China. 

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Daniel Cormier Congratulates Jon Jones on His Victory But Not Ready to Be Friends Just Yet

It’s been more than two weeks since Daniel Cormier suffered a third round knockout to Jon Jones in the main event at UFC 214 in Anaheim, Calif.

In the aftermath of the loss, Cormier has stayed relatively quiet considering the magnitude of the fight with Jones where he fell to his longtime rival for the second time inside the Octagon.

While Cormier has largely remained silent, Jones has actually sung his praises on numerous occasions while remarking that the former champion is a role model and example for other fighters in the sport. Jones even went as far as hoping that he could bury the hatchet with Cormier one day and perhaps they could even spark up a friendship.

Cormier has rarely held his tongue when speaking about Jones personally or professionally and in this case he pulled no punches either.

In fact, Cormier says he absolutely believes that Jones was being sincere with his complimentary post fight comments, but despite the olive branch being extended, he’s still not sure friendship is something he could ever see for the two of them.

“I believe he’s being genuine,” Cormier said on “UFC Tonight” on Wednesday. “Yes, I do believe he’s trying to turn over a new leaf. I think he’s trying to show that he is a different person than he was in the past. With that being said, friendship would be very difficult for us to achieve because of our history. I’m OK with that.

“I’ve always said that. We don’t have to be friends. I have always respected him for the competitor that he is. I even congratulate him for getting the job done on July 29. In terms of going forward, we will be professional because we have to until the cage door closes again.”

The setback to Jones was obviously devastating to Cormier but he’s hinted that losing to him twice won’t stop him from pursuing a third bout in the future.

At 38, Cormier may not have that many years left in fighting, but he’s definitely not done yet.

Right now, Cormier is just trying to come to terms with the loss he suffered to Jones in July before deciding on when and where he will make his return to the UFC.

“It takes time to get over something that’s so big, especially when you’re unsuccessful in such a big event,” Cormier said. “But day by day you get better, you keep fighting, you keep learning that there are things that are much more important than the competition and you’ve got to try to get through it.

“I’m a guy that really does love what I do and I’m a guy that takes it very hard if I am unsuccessful and I think we saw that down at the Honda Center in Anaheim.”

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ONE: Shanghai Full Fight Card Released

ONE: Shanghai is set for Sept. 2 the Oriental Sports Centre. It will be the promotion’s second event on Chinese territory in the space of two months following the show in Macau a couple of weeks ago.

The full fight card was released on Thursday and it is stacked with Chinese fighters. In total, there are 10 fighters from the host country in action, as well as former featherweight champion Narantungalag Jadambaa, who hails from neighboring Mongolia.

The main event sees welterweight king Ben Askren (16-0-0-1) look to keep his perfect professional record intact against Zebaztian Kadestam (9-3). The Swedish challenger is a former PXC welterweight champion and is coming off an impressive stoppage win against Luis Santos.

ONE Shanghai Askren vs Kadestam Fight PosterIn the co-main event, former featherweight champion Jadambaa (12-5) fights for the first time this year. He’s going up against Tetsuya Yamada (21-5-2), who has won four fights in a row with every single win coming on Chinese soil.

The card also sees the return of multiple time Muay Thai champion Saketdao Pephayathai (1-0). He is coming off an impressive MMA debut in Bangkok last year and will be going up against experienced Egyptian Mahmoud Mohamed (4-4) in Shanghai.

Saketdao’s Evolve MMA teammate Amir Khan (7-2) will also be in action. He’s won four in a row and will be looking for his fifth straight ONE Championship victory when he takes on Czech lightweight Jaroslav Jartim (8-6-1).

TRENDING > Matt Brown vs. Diego Sanchez Set for UFC Fight Night in Virginia

ONE: Shanghai Fight Card

  • Ben Askren vs Zebaztian Kadestam
  • Narantungalag Jadambaa vs Tetsuya Yamada
  • Miao Li Tao vs Liu De Li Ri Ge Hu
  • Xu Chun Yan vs Eh Ya Nut.
  • Chen Geng Min vs Peng Xue Wen
  • Mahmoud Mohamed vs Saketdao Petpayathai
  • Mona Samir vs Miao Jie
  • Jaroslav Jartim vs Amir Khan.
  • Zhang Ze Hao vs Li Cheng Chao
  • Marc Marcellinus vs Quang Loc

(Follow @JamesGoyder on Twitter)

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Listen to the Floyd Mayweather Media Call on Thursday at 6 PM ET

(Courtesy of UFC)

In advance of the most anticipated event of the summer, Floyd Mayweather hosts an international media conference call on Thursday at 6 p.m. ET.

TRENDING > Daniel Cormier Congratulates Jon Jones, but Not Ready to Be Friends Just Yet

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Fabricio Werdum vs. Derrick Lewis In the Works for UFC 216 in Las Vegas

A heavyweight fight pitting former champion Fabricio Werdum against Derrick Lewis is in the works for UFC 216 in Las Vegas on Oct. 7.

Sources close to the matchup confirmed the news to MMAWeekly.com on Thursday following an initial report from MMAFighting.com.

Werdum (21-7-1) is coming off a very close decision loss to Alistair Overeem at UFC 213, although he’s vehemently argued that he deserved the nod in the contest.

Still, Werdum has gone 1-2 in his past three fights including a loss to current heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic so he’ll look to get back on track when he returns in October.

Lewis (18-5, 1 NC) had actually teased retirement following his last fight against Mark Hunt that ended in a fourth round TKO, which brought to an end his six fight win streak.

Ultimately, Lewis decided to take some time off before booking his next fight as he looks to get right back into the title hunt as he faces Werdum in a marquee matchup at UFC 216.

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Rogerio Nogueira Faces Jared Cannonier at UFC Winnipeg

A light heavyweight bout between No. 11 ranked Rogerio Nogueira and Jared Cannonier has been added to the UFC on FOX 26 fight card in Winnipeg on Dec. 16. UFC officials announced the match-up on Thursday.

Nogueira (22-8) last fought in November, losing to Ryan Bader by TKO stoppage. He’s lost three of his last four outings, but remains ranked due to his longevity and experience. The Brazilian is a Pride FC veteran with wins over Dan Henderson, Alistair Overeem, Rashad Evans, and Tito Ortiz. He looks to show he can still compete at 41 years of age when he faces Cannonier at the MTS Centre.

Cannonier (10-2) has won three of his last four outings and is coming off a TKO victory over Nick Roehrick in July. Cannonier has gone 3-2 in his five Octagon appearances and hopes to pick up the biggest win of his career when he faces Nogueira.

TRENDING > Anderson Silva and Kelvin Gastelum Officially Headlines UFC Fight Night Shanghai

UFC on FOX 26 will be the second event the UFC has held in Winnipeg. The last time Winnipeg hosted a UFC fight card was UFC 161 in 2013.

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Ryan Bader Faces Linton Vassell in First Bellator Title Defense

Bellator is set to make its debut at Bryce Jordan Center on the campus of Penn State University in University Park, Pa. on Friday, November 3 for Bellator 186: Bader vs. Vassell.

In the main event of Bellator 186, newly crowned light heavyweight champion Ryan “Darth” Bader (23-5) will make his first title defense against British sensation Linton “The Swarm” Vassell (18-5, 1 NC).

In addition, two Bellator competitors who spent their college years as members of the Penn State Nittany Lions wrestling team, Phil Davis (17-4, 1 NC) and Ed Ruth (3-0), will return to their alma mater to compete in MMA for the first time in their careers. Their opponents are yet to be determined.

Ryan Bader Bellator promo shootBader returns to the cage for the first time since dethroning former Penn State wrestling standout Phil Davis as light heavyweight champion in June at Bellator 180. Fighting out of Tempe, Ariz., Bader began his professional career on an impressive run, steamrolling the competition en route to a 12-fight winning streak and winning one of the most competitive seasons of The Ultimate Fighter in franchise history on Spike in 2008. “Darth” continued his path of dominance by collecting wins over some of the 205-pound division’s top talent, including victories over former world champions Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, “Rampage” Jackson, Rashad Evans, as well as a previous win over Phil Davis. Currently riding a three-fight winning streak with victories in eight of his past nine bouts, the former two-time NCAA Division I All-American wrestler from Arizona State University will look to protect his belt on November 3.

Currently training at Combat Club in South Florida alongside Matt Mitrione, Michael Chandler and Robbie Lawler, Vassell has once again put himself in position to fight for Bellator’s 205-pound title. After making his professional debut in 2008, the Milton Keynes, England native has tallied 18 victories, including 14 finishes and 10 coming inside the first round, as well as seven wins over nine bouts in just four years with Bellator. Following three consecutive victories over two former champs in Liam McGeary and Emanuel Newton, as well as Francis Carmont, the 34-year-old Vassell will attempt to become the second-ever Bellator light heavyweight champion who hails from the United Kingdom.

TRENDING > Conor McGregor Still Considers Himself UFC Lightweight and Featherweight Champion

A native of Harrisburg, Pa., Phil “Mr. Wonderful” attended Harrisburg High School and would go on to an extremely successful wrestling career at Penn State University. After transitioning to the sport MMA, Davis made his pro debut in 2008 and went on to win his first nine bouts. He’s established himself as one of the best light heavyweights in all of MMA, winning the Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix and Bellator 205-pound title. The San Diego-based fighter now boasts career wins over Liam McGeary, Alexander Gustafsson, Lyoto Machida, “King Mo” Lawal, Glover Teixeira, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Francis Carmont.

One of the most celebrated wrestlers in Penn State University history, Ed Ruth has followed in the footsteps of Phil Davis by pursuing a career in MMA. The 3x NCAA D1 champion, who now trains out of Fresno, Calif., makes his fourth appearance inside the Bellator cage looking to keep his undefeated streak intact. With three consecutive KO finishes, Ruth has established himself as a new threat in the middleweight division. Born in Harrisburg, Pa., Ruth returns to familiar territory for this upcoming bout with plans to put on another exciting bout for his hometown fans.

Updated Bellator 186: Bader vs. Vassell Fight Card:

  • Light Heavyweight Championship Main Event: Ryan Bader (23-5) vs. Linton Vassell (18-5, 1 NC)
  • Light Heavyweight Feature Bout: Phil Davis (17-4, 1 NC) vs. TBA
  • Middleweight Feature Bout: Ed Ruth (3-0) vs. TBA

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