[​IMG] Jessica Aguilar asked to be released from World Series of Fighting in order to enter the UFC, and she got what she wanted. The American Top Team fighter has signed a deal with the UFC, and will make her promotional debut against top contender Claudia Gadelha at Rio de Janeiro’s UFC 190on Aug. 1, sources told MMAFighting.com. Combate first reported the news. Aguilar (19-4), who won and defended the WSOF strawweight championship twice, enters the bout riding a 10-fight winning streak, including a victory over former UFC champion Carla Esparza. Gadelha (12-1) looks to bounce back from the first loss of her professional career, a close split-decision defeat against current UFC champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk. The Nova Uniao strawweight was expected to return against Aisling Daly in April, but withdrew from the bout with a back injury. LINK: Jessica Aguilar signs with the UFC, meets Claudia Gadelha in Brazil - MMA Fighting
[​IMG] Kimbo Slice made it clear that he plans to retire UFC Hall Of Famer Ken Shamrockwhen the two meet inside the Bellator cage next Friday night in St. Louis, Missouri. Slice, who was originally scheduled to meet Shamrock in the now defunct EliteXC promotion back in 2008 when an accidental cut to Shamrock forced the fight to be canceled on the day of the show. On the latest edition of the “Ross Report” podcast with WWE Hall Of Fame announcer and one-time MMA announcer Jim Ross, Kimbo spoke about the upcoming Bellator 138 main event fight. “Shamrock is still a threat to me,” said Slice. “He’s still considered deadly and dangerous to break limbs and submit somebody. I’m just not that motherf***er he’s going to submit. I’m just not that guy he’s going to tap out. It’s not going to happen with me. It’s in my DNA to beat his ass. “I’ve worked my mind and my body to train for this fight with Shamrock. From back in the day, from many years ago we trained for this fight. This fight isn’t going to go the distance.” Although he was incorrect with the age of every example he gave, Kimbo pointed out that he is not underestimating Shamrock because of his age (51). “A lot of people … not a lot of people, actually, just a select few normally just talk about the age as if it’s a f***ing factor and it’s not,” said Slice. “Bernard Hopkins is the man at 52 years old [actually 50]. The head coach at American Top Top, Ricardo Liborio, he’s over 50 [actually 47] and can f***ing can anybody. Even these prize fighters that fight for the UFC and like myself in Bellator, he can’t be touched. “Royce Gracie, over 50 [48], a f***ing threat, still. Mike Tyson, 50 [48], a threat. So don’t underestimate a guy because of that. You’re still as strong as you were when you’re in your thirties, you’re just a couple years wiser, a couple years older. That doesn’t change s**t.” Kimbo then went into details on how he envisions the fight playing out next Friday. “Ken is going to try this s**t,” said Slice. “We know he is. I’m expecting him to. I want him to. I’m daring him to. I’m almost double dog daring this guy to try to do a takedown or shoot in. What could he do to get me to the ground that I am not prepared for? I’m almost anticipating the takedowns. Because of that, I’m going to impose my will and break his jaw in the first round.” LINK: Kimbo Slice Says He's Going To Break Ken Shamrock's Jaw And Retire Him
[​IMG] Not so fast. The UFC on Tuesday announced that Uriah Hall would step in as a late replacement for the injured Derek Brunson at next week’s UFC Fight Night 69 in Berlin. On Friday, the...
[​IMG] Like many of the great grapplers of the modern era, Fabricio Werdum first came to most people's attention at ADCC 2003. This was the event that served as the coming out party for Marcelo Garcia, Roger Gracie and Jacare Souza among others. Where Marcelo and Roger elected to stay in BJJ for a few more years, Werdum quickly transitioned into MMA, being one of the most high level competitors to do so (along with Jacare). In the opening round, Werdum defeated well known UFC HW contender Tsuyoshi Kohsaka (TK). Sadly this match, like many from ADCC 2003, is lost to time owing to the production crew somehow fouling up their recording. This match would take on a certain historical significance however as TK was the first man to ever defeat Fedor Emelianenko in the RINGS promotion on a cut stoppage. Most wrote off the loss as an undeserved blemish on the great Fedor's career. Ironically, it would be Werdum who would hand the great champion his first incontestable loss a decade later. An upset over then perennial medalist Tata Duarte would see Palestinian-American wrestler Jehad Hamdan draw Werdum next. Werdum dispatched both Hamdan and another wrestler in Mike Van Arsdale in the semi-finals. In the final, Werdum met reigning Mundials champion Marcio Pe de Pano Cruz, falling to a head and arm choke submission. Despite the loss, Werdum put on a decent showing and at the time was considered an intriguing rival for the seemingly unstoppable Pe de Pano due to the fact that he had a similar build and weight (thought to be a decisive factor in Pe de Pano's victories). Miraculously, these prognostications were proven accurate the very next day as both Werdum and Pe de Pano entered the absolute. Werdum demolished Olympic wrestler and MMA fighter Matt Lindland and Pride Fighter Akira Shoji, both by armbar. In the semifinals, he lost a lackluster match to Cacareco Ferreira, but he would go on to face Pe de Pano in the 3rd place match. He would defeat the celebrated champion on points, causing his star to shine ever brighter. Just a few months later, Fabricio would win a gold medal at black belt at the IBJJF Worlds. A month after his win at the worlds. Werdum jumped right back into MMA. He had already had a few fights against the always tough James Zikic and GSP's coach Kristof Midoux, both of which he won, but it would be against Gabriel Napao Gonzaga at the inaugural Jungle Fight (co-promoted by famed Japanese pro wrestler Antonio Inoki and Carlson Gracie black belt Wallid Ismael) that Werdum would really jump onto people's radar. Gonzaga was a well respected black belt who had only recently taken 2nd in the absolute at the CBJJO World Cup (an event Werdum competed in successfully as well). The sweltering heat made it a miserable affair for these two young prospects, with Gonzaga controlling the opening frame and even mounting Werdum at a certain point. Werdum seemed to have the better gas tank, however, and he'd go on to defeat Gonzaga by TKO in the 3rd. Now these accomplishments may sound straightforward, but they're really not when you put them in the context of Werdum's life. First, he was a black belt under Sylvio Behring, who he came to when his original instructor, Marcio Corletta, merged his team with the Behrings to create Winner/Behring. We've all heard the story of how Werdum ended up at Corleta's gym after being submitted by his ex-girlfriend's ex-boyfriend. What's usually omitted from that story is that Werdum was only a teenager when that altercation took place. After he started training, Werdum tried and failed to challenge the guy to a rematch. Werdum soon moved off to Spain with his mom, but continued training, building his own academy as a purple belt, only training with pure noobs and then returning to take 3rd at the Worlds as a brown belt in 2002 followed by his ADCC win and his 2003 gold medal at black. As such, Werdum was, from the outset, the outsider's outsider. An interesting footnote is that Werdum's old coach Corleta would face Pe de Pano in the 2001 worlds twice as well, winning the weight class over him, but getting tapped out via triangle in the absolute. Werdum followed up his Jungle Fight win with another in the second show held by the promotion, retiring veteran fighter Ebenezer Fontes Braga by KO. It was following this victory that he made a connection that would change his life. In 2004 K-1 fighter turned MMA superstar Mirko Cro Cop was scouring Europe for high quality BJJ instruction. Owing to his familiarity with the continent and his championship pedigree, it was Werdum who answered Cro Cop's call. Werdum and one of his coaches from Winner/Behring, Mauricio Pereira, went to Croatia to help Cro Cop build a decent ground game, while also learning the fundamentals of striking. Not everyone was thrilled with this move, to say the least. Some Brazilians took exception to the fact that Werdum was helping the Croation defeat jiu jitsu, but others had more personal concerns. Sylvio Behring felt the exchange was not even. At the time he said jiu jitsu is easy to learn and pick up quickly whereas kickboxing can take years to master the timing and cadences. He worried his pupil would be seduced into thinking he was better than he was on his feet and his chin would suffer the consequences. Years later, Sylvio would claim Werdum had turned his back on him. Mauricio and Werdum continued their exchange, however. Cro Cop went 10-1 during that period (losing only via flash KO to Kevin Randleman and earned himself a title shot against Fedor. Thanks to Cro Cop's influence, Werdum would be given a contract with Pride. He handed the always fearsome Tom Erikson his second MMA loss and also submitted Red Devil team up and comer Roman Zenstov in his first couple Pride fights. Throughout this period, Werdum would always make time to go back and compete in BJJ events, with mixed results. But he had a return to form at the 2005 edition of ADCC taking third at weight after losing a tough semi-final to Jeff Monson and defeating Daniel Simoes Gracie. Weirdly, he faced his old instructor Marcio Corleta in the weight class quarter-finals. He didn't fare as well in the absolute, losing to Roger Gracie via RNC in the quarter finals. Back in the MMA world, Werdum lost a close decision to Sergei Kharitonov and then proceeded to decision Jon Olav Einemo. The Einemo match was actually pretty significant for its time because it was two very high level grapplers going at it in MMA and they actually chose to contest a significant portion of the fight on the ground. Sylvio Behring's admonitions about Werdum becoming too comfortable with the striking game started to seem founded in these two fights as Werdum would frequently stiffly charge forward flailing strikes with little regard for either defense or sitting down on his punches. Despite that, the Werdum/Einemo fight was pretty fun to watch and still is. In the opening round of the 2006 Pride HW Grand Prix, Werdum was looking like a decent contender. In the opening round, he submitted Alistair Overeem, who was not yet the Reem he would one day become, but was no slouch either, having not too long prior won the ADCC European qualifiers. Immediately afterward, tragedy struck. Mauricao Pereira, Werdum's coach and friend, was tragically gunned down back in Brazil following an argument. A short few weeks later, Werdum had to face his toughest test in former Heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Minotauro Nogueira. The fight was remarkably close considering the circumstances. Few doubted that Werdum was a more talented grappler, but Big Nog's boxing was considerably sharper and his experience deploying jiu jitsu in MMA made him savvy enough to avoid trouble on the ground. Werdum took some time off following the loss of his coach. He submitted Fedor's younger brother Aleks at a 2 Hot 2 Handle promotion in Holland. He would then sign with the UFC following the immolation of Pride. He went 2-2 in his early UFC career, kicking things off by losing an uninspiring match to Andrei Arlovski. He made time to jump back into ADCC, taking gold in his weight class, though he benefited from a pretty thin bracket, defeating Rolles Gracie in the final. He returned to the UFC the following year, beating a resurgent Gonzaga and an in between weights Brandon Vera. He was knocked out by Junior Dos Santos in the latter fighter's UFC debut and inexplicably released. Werdum found new life in Strikeforce and made a transition to training with Chute Boxe to sharpen his kickboxing skills. At the time, there was a schism in the famed muay thai academy as top masters Rudimar Fedrigo and Rafael Cordeiro decided to part ways. Werdum stuck with Cordeiro and moved to the US. Under his tutelage, he went 2-0 in Strikeforce and still found time to go back and win another ADCC, outpointing Saulo Ribeiro and Cyborg Abreu along the way. When he returned to MMA this time, he would finally face the man his career had been dancing around for years: Fedor. By the time of their fight, Fedor had been undefeated for 10 years. Werdum was absolutely not considered to be the guy who was going to break that streak. Fedor had, after all, made most of his career pummeling the best submission grapplers in the world into the mat. But Werdum had gotten a lot of looks at Fedor. He'd helped Cro Cop train for him. He had only a couple years prior defeated his brother. He outgrappled the last guy who beat him and he had faced at least two of his proteges in Kharitonov and Zenstov. Whether that factored into his shocking submission win over Fedor or whether it was just a pure hail mary triangle choke is anyone's guess. What we know is that Werdum ended Fedor's streak. He finished Fedor. Nuff said. After defeating Fedor, Werdum had a mostly listless and forgettable fight against a timid Alistair Overeem. The less said about that match, the better. He returned to ADCC in 2011 and faced the toughest bracket in years. He still managed to look sharp, outpointing Alexander Trans and submitting Jeff Monson. He would again defeat Roberto Cyborg Abreu in the semi-finals, but lost a barnburner of a match against Vinny Magalhaes by points in the finals. Most notably, he had Vinny in a tight, perfect armbar, but Vinny managed to somehow squirm out. The match is definitely worth watching if you haven't seen it. With Strikeforce having folded, Werdum returned to the UFC. This Werdum looked like a completely different fighter having finally after over a decade really figured out his striking game. He decisioned an always game Roy Nelson and took apart Mike Russow. He also finally avenged his loss against Big Nog via submission in a fight we really didn't need to see. His next fight saw him upset Travis Browne by completely picking him apart with his muay thai skills and those same skills would earn him the interim Heavyweight title when he KOed former K-1 champ Mark Hunt with a flying knee. Now Werdum faces Cain Velasquez to unify the belts and settle who the real Heavyweight champion is. To call it Werdum's stiffest test would be to overlook a life and career that's been filled with them. Werdum is the guy who finds a way to defy the odds. He has done so by remaining an outsider in a sport that puts so much pressure on athletes to hunker down with a particular team or training philosophy. Fabricio Vai Cavalo Werdum has done a great deal by following the beat of his own drummer. Will it be enough to stop the juggernaut that is Velasquez? It seems unlikely, but with Werdum, that doesn't seem to matter. It will be an interesting style match up of wrestling and American kickboxing vs. Brazilian jiu jitsu and muay thai. This new iteration of Werdum seems willing to impose his game rather than waiting for the fight to come to him as he's sometimes done in the past. This is a testament to Werdum's ability to reinvent himself, which is difficult for any fighter, but particularly a veteran. Win, lose or draw, Werdum will come to fight hard and will likely defy expectations.
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[​IMG] Mike Swick finds himself in something of a unique situation as he prepares to make his comeback at UFC 189. He has been on the roster for an entire decade and competed inside the Octagon no fewer than 14...
[​IMG] Former champion Johny Hendricks is ready to get that welterweight title back. And he'll attend UFC 189 on July 11 to...