UFC Building State-of-the-Art Arena and Production Facility in Las Vegas (Yahoo Sports Special)

Dana White

(The following report comes from MMAWeekly.com content partner Yahoo Sports, written by Kevin Iole.)

“The Ultimate Fighter” gym is about to get a huge upgrade.

The UFC purchased the building just east of its current Las Vegas headquarters, as well as 20 additional acres and plans to build a state of the art production facility around a small arena that could seat as many as 1,700 people.

That arena, which will take about 60,000-square feet of the 130,000-square feet the UFC purchased, will host “The Ultimate Fighter,” “Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series” and other potential shows. UFC president Dana White said it could also be used to host smaller boxing events, as well.

White said that for small shows that won’t attract a huge crowd, instead of going to a casino and using its venue, the new facility will allow the UFC to host it on campus. But White said the company “absolutely, without a doubt,” will do one of its Fight Night cards from the new facility.

Crisci Construction in Las Vegas began work on Friday. It is estimated to be completed by July 1. Craig Borsari, the UFC’s executive vice president for operations and production, said it will be future-proof from a technology standpoint.

“Who knows what I’ll come up with fight-wise,” White said. “But we’re always trying to push the needle and come up with new things and having this facility is going to allow us to do so many more things. I always say, ‘Every year we raise the bar,’ and here we go again.

“It’s going to have everything. It will have my office and a parking garage and there are showers and a warm-up area and we’re building a gym. There will actually be a gym inside this facility for ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ or whatever else. Like I said, in building this, not only are we thinking of what we’ve done and what we’re doing, but what we might do in the future. This will have everything that we’d need. Anything we could possibly think of, this place will have it.”

TRENDING > Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Manager: ‘Khabib Can Drop Floyd Mayweather’

The UFC begins a partnership with ESPN in January, and is required to produce shows that will air on ESPN. A lot of those shows can be recorded out of this new facility, including any studio shows.

It’s got full production capabilities, including a 20,000-square foot sound stage. And with 42-foot high ceilings, it will allow camera placement never available in its old facility near the Palms hotel it rented since 2005 to record “The Ultimate Fighter.”

“This facility is going to be so flexible and allow us to do so many things,” White said. “You could do boxing in there, for sure. You could do kick boxing, jiu-jitsu tournaments, anything we’d want to do. We could even let other promoters do fights in there. If you had a small fight, what better place to do it than here, where there would be anything and everything you could possibly need? Nothing in town is going to have what we have here.”

Jared Cannonier Makes Middleweight Debut at UFC 230 Following Fight Card Shuffle

Jared Cannonier TUF 24 Finale weigh-in

The UFC 230 fight card has undergone a myriad of changes to this point, and we’ve still got two weeks to go until fight time. 

The last 24 hours in particular have seen a flurry of activity as Luke Rockhold had to withdraw from his co-main event rematch with Chris Weidman because of an undisclosed injury. He is hoping to return to training in about four weeks, according to ESPN.

Weidman wasn’t left without an opponent for long, as Ronald “Jacare” Souza, who had been slated to fight David Branch on the UFC 230 main card, quickly agreed to move into the co-main event slot and face Weidman. That, of course, left Branch without an opponent.

Acting swiftly, UFC officials enlisted Jared Cannonier to step in and face Branch. 

Having fought all of his previous bouts at either heavyweight or light heavyweight, Cannonier had been scheduled to make the drop to middleweight opposite Alessio Di Chirico at UFC Fight Night 140 later in November. With the opportunity to face Branch, Cannonier agreed to move his middleweight debut from Nov. 17 up to Nov. 3 in New York.

TRENDING > Jacare Souza Steps in to Face Chris Weidman in UFC 230 Co-Main Event

Branch had been hoping to use the fight with Jacare as a stepping stone back into middleweight title contention, but he will instead be charged with welcoming Cannonier to the 185-pound weight class.

Dual-division champion Daniel Cormier puts his heavyweight title on the line against Derrick Lewis in the UFC 230 headlining bout at Madison Square Garden.

Chris Weidman Issues Statement Addressing Luke Rockhold UFC 230 Withdrawal

Chris Weidman

It didn’t take long for the UFC to re-book Chris Weidman after Luke Rockhold had to pull out of their co-main event bout at UFC 230.

Shortly after news broke on Friday that Rockhold was out because of an injury, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza agreed to forego his UFC 230 bout with David Branch and step in to keep Weidman in the co-main event. Now, Weidman and Jacare will throw down at UFC 230 on Nov. 3 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Weidman has been looking forward to the rematch, however, having lost to Rockhold in their first meeting nearly three years ago. It was a loss that he’d been itching to avenge, and one that would have put him back in the thick of title talks had he won. 

He should still have championship aspirations if he defeats Jacare, seeing as how he is ranked No. 3 in the division and Jacare sits at No. 5. Be that as it may, Weidman addressed Rockhold pulling out of the fight.

TRENDING > Dana White Has No Interest in Offering Nate Diaz Another Fight

“I was really looking forward to fighting Luke in this rematch, but unfortunately, it wasn’t in the cards this time around,” Weidman said on Twitter.

“This a tough sport. I’m hoping and praying Luke makes a quick recovery and returns to good health.”

LFA 52 Results & Highlights: Submissions Were the Order of the Night

LFA 52 Fight Highlights

(Video courtesy of AXS TV Fights | Viewing may be limited due to broadcast rights restrictions)

Chris Gutierrez (12-2-1) made quick work of Ray Rodriguez (13-5), submitting him with a rear naked choke near the end of the first round in the LFA 52 main event on Friday night in Belton, Texas. In a short notice fight, Jimmy Flick (12-4) caught Cee Jay Hamilton (13-7) in a head-and-arm choke in the second round of their 130 pound catchweight fight.

TRENDING > Conor McGregor UNHINGED: Best Trash Talk Moments from UFC 229 Press Conference

LFA takes a breath next week before heading to Arizona for its next event. The main event of LFA 53 will bring a high-octane world title fight to the Valley of the Sun. The headliner will see flyweight champion Maikel Perez defend his title against top contender Casey Kenney. LFA 53 – Perez vs. Kenney takes place Friday, November 9th at the Comerica Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona. The main card will be televised live and nationwide on AXS TV.

LFA 52 Results

  • Main Event – Bantamweight Fight – Chris Gutierrez (12-2-1) submitted Ray Rodriguez (13-5) with a rear-naked choke at 4:47 in round one.
  • Co-Main Event – 130 Pound Catchweight Fight – Jimmy Flick (12-4) submitted Cee Jay Hamilton (13-7) with head-and-arm choke at 4:09 in round two
  • Middleweight Fight – Puna Soriano (5-0) submitted Jhonoven Pati (4-2) with a rear-naked choke at 3:36 in round one.
  • Heavyweight Fight – Vernon Lewis (6-3) scored a TKO victory over  Jeremy Hardy (6-4) at 0:51 in round three.
  • Strawweight Fight – Itzel Esquivel (4-2) defeated  Vanessa Demopoulos (1-1) by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).
  • Bantamweight Fight – Armando Villarreal (4-1) defeated  Jose Johnson (6-5) via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).

(Photo courtesy of Legacy Fighting Alliance and Mike Jackson)

Anderson Silva Accepts Conor McGregor’s Challenge: ‘It’s Not About Money’

Conor McGregor and Anderson Silva

(Video courtesy of TMZSports | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)

Prior to fighting Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229, Conor McGregor had been asked about what might lay ahead for him beyond that fight. 

He shrugged off the idea of fight Georges St-Pierre anytime soon, though he didn’t close the door on the idea, but he did seem to have a bit more interest in another legend of the sport, Anderson Silva. 

“I would be interested in an Anderson Silva bout. I swear to God. Anderson is a legend in the game. What’s the difference between him and Georges? Same damn thing,” McGregor said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on ESPN. “I’m going to do fights that interest me or have meaning.”

Of course, McGregor went on to lose the bout with Nurmagomedov and immediately began calling for a rematch, although UFC president Dana White seems to be interested in Tony Ferguson for Nurmagomedov. Not to mention, Nurmagomedov has to face the Nevada State Athletic Commission for his actions in a post-fight brawl at UFC 229. So it’s not really clear what’s next for him or McGregor.

Silva, however, was listening, and would gladly accept a super fight with McGregor.

TRENDING > Nate Diaz Disses Dustin Poirier, ‘Going Back Out on Tour Until the Game Mans Up’

“I’m waiting because I accept the challenge for Conor. I think Dana, think about this, because two big guys in this sport, two big names, two big legends, and why not?” Silva told TMZ Sports. “This is super fight, it’s not about weight class. It’s not about money.”

Dana White on Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Floyd Mayweather: Nothing to See Here

UFC Dana White claims there is nothing to the recent banter between light champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and retired boxer Floyd Mayweather. 

The two fighters have been drumming up interest in a potential boxing match, a la Mayweather vs. McGregor, but White claims that there is no fuel for their fire. 

“Floyd is very good at getting his name back out there when he’s ready to,” said White, adding that Nurmagomedov is still under contract with the UFC, is facing potential sanctions from the Nevada State Athletic Commission from his post-brawl with Conor McGregor’s crew, and stated that Mayweather’s team has not been in contact with the UFC at all about a Nurmagomedov bout or any other fight.

TRENDING > Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Manager: ‘Khabib Can Drop Floyd Mayweather’

Of course, we’ve heard this all before en route to McGregor materializing a fight with Mayweather out of thin air. Could it happen again?

Daniel Cormier: There Will Be No Hail Mary For Derrick Lewis At UFC 230

Daniel Cormier says there will be no last-second knockout for Derrick Lewis at UFC 230. Cormier will defend his UFC heavyweight title against Lewis in the main event of UFC 230. The heavyweight tilt came to fruition seemingly at the 11th hour as the UFC was scrambling to find a suitable main event after fans […]

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David Branch vs. Jared Cannonier Set For UFC 230

David Branch has a new opponent for UFC 230 and his name is Jared Cannonier. Branch was originally scheduled to take on Jacare Souza on the main card of UFC 230. Once Luke Rockhold pulled out of his rematch with Chris Weidman, the UFC needed a replacement opponent. Souza was quickly pulled from his fight […]

The post David Branch vs. Jared Cannonier Set For UFC 230 appeared first on MMA News.

Dustin Poirier: I See Through Nate Diaz’s ‘Fake Ass Gangster Sh*t’

Dustin Poirier isn’t fond with how Nate Diaz was handling bout negotiations before the cancellation of their fight. Poirier was initially set to fight Diaz next month at UFC 230. The two would’ve done battle inside Madison Square Garden in New York City. “The Diamond’s” hip issues forced him to be removed from the card. […]

The post Dustin Poirier: I See Through Nate Diaz’s ‘Fake Ass Gangster Sh*t’ appeared first on MMA News.

Chris Weidman Wishes Luke Rockhold A Speedy Recovery

Chris Weidman wishes Luke Rockhold a quick and full recovery in a classy message. Weidman was scheduled to compete against Rockhold in a rematch on Nov. 3. The middleweight clash would’ve served as UFC 230’s co-main event. As plans will be, plans will go awry. Rockhold was forced to pull out of the event due […]

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