Moks Relinquishes M-1 MW Title to Compete at Welterweight

Saturday, January 22, 2011

By FCF Staff

Only weeks removed from Rafal Moks' 17 second submission victory over  Magomed Sultanakhmedov, which handed the Polish fighter the M-1 Global middleweight belt, the promotion has announced that he is relinquishing the title to compete at 170lbs. Moks will begin his 2011 campaign against welterweight Rashid Magomedov, at the upcoming, March 5th, M-1 Challenge XXIII card in Moscow, Russia.

“With the success that Moks had in the face of much larger opponents, making the decision to return to his natural weight class had to be extremely tough,” Evgeni Kogan, Director of Operations for M-1 Global was quoted saying in the announcement. “Moks has volunteered to vacate the middleweight title which will be fought for later this year. This was a decision that Moks and his camp believe directs his career down the proper path. M-1 supports it and we wish him continued success.”

Moks went undefeated in 2010 by winning four straight bouts, three of which came via first round submission.  The former champion hasn’t lost since November, 2008, when he was stopped by Ismail Cetinkaya while competing for Fight Club Berlin.

M-1 Challenge XXIII will be broadcast live on the official M-1 Global site and will be hosted by Moscow’s Crocus City Arena.

Here is the line-up to date:

Under Card Bouts:
Rashid Magomedov (7-1) vs. Rafal Moks (6-2) Welterweight
Magomed Sultanakhmedov (28-5) vs. Plinio Cruz (5-3) Middleweight
Daniel Weichel (25-7) vs. Magomedrasul Khasbulaev (16-4) Lightweight
Kenny ‘Deuce’ Garner (5-3) vs. Alexander Volkov (9-2-1) Heavyweight

Championship Bout

Heavyweight Division:
Guram Gugenishvili, M-1 Challenge Champion (10-0) vs.
Maxim Grishin, M-1 Selection Eastern Europe 2010 champion (7-4)·        

Additional bouts to be announced shortly

READ MORE - Moks Relinquishes M-1 MW Title to Compete at Welterweight

UFC Fight for the Troops Weigh-In Results

Friday, January 21, 2011

By FCF Staff

The Ultimate Fighting Championship held the official weigh-ins this afternoon in anticipation of the promotion’s “Fight for the Troops” event, tomorrow night in Killeen, Texas. The card, which will be broadcast live on Spike, will see rising lightweight Evan Dunham face punishing veteran Melvin Guillard in the main event. (Pictured: Yves Edwards)

Here are the official weigh-in results.

Main Event
Evan Dunham (156) VS Melvin Guillard (155)

Main Card
Tim Hague (256.5) VS Matt Mitrione (260)
George Roop (145) VS Mark Hominick (144.5)
Joey Beltran (230) VS Pat Barry (240)
Matt Wiman (155.5) VS Cole Miller (155.5)
Yves Edwards (155) VS Cody McKenzie (155)
Mike Guymon (170.5) VS DaMarques Johnson (170)
Chris Cariaso (135) VS Will Campuzano (135)
Rani Yahya (145) VS Mike Brown (146)
Wilamy "Chiquerim" Freire (155) VS Waylon Lowe (156)
Amilcar Alves (171) VS Charlie Brenneman (171)

READ MORE - UFC Fight for the Troops Weigh-In Results

Diaz Talks “Cyborg”, “Mayhem”, Souza Ready for Lawler

By FCF Staff

While much of the Strikeforce discussion has centered on the promotion’s upcoming heavyweight grand-prix lately, two of the organization’s more highly touted fighters in Nick Diaz (pictured) and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, will return to action, January 29th, in San Jose. Diaz (23-7) will look to defend his welterweight crown against Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos (18-13), while the Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Souza (13-2) will take on challenger Robbie Lawler (18-6).

The two champions participated in a conference call yesterday to discuss next Saturday’s event, which will be hosted by San Jose’s HP Pavilion. The card will be broadcast on Showtime.

Here are some of the highlights from the call.

Nick Diaz

How would you describe Cyborg’s style?

“I think he’s a brawler and he kicks well. He’s a kick-boxer brawler. He’s a good fighter. He has knockout power and he hits hard. He can hurt you with one punch. If you hit anyone right with a good punch they’ll go down.”

“I think (Cyborg) is the best opponent for me right now. I want to fight George St. Pierre. I think (Jake Shields) is going to take him out (when they fight April 30) to be honest.”

Diaz Landing a Left on KJ Noons
 Do you think the welterweight division is where you’ll stay?

“I don’t know. I wouldn’t mind moving up. I’d just like to get paid for it, you know? I don’t like when I hear people say I didn’t accept the fight with (Mayhem) Miller because I was too small. I never said anything about that. I said if I’m going to go off-track and screw with my whole season and it’s going to screw with my whole year and screw with my capabilities fighting at 170 then I’m going to have to get paid in full. I’d like to have a reason for doing that. I’d like to get paid double or triple to do something that crazy. To f--k with my weight like that? I’d rather move down than move up if you’re not going to pay me for it. I might as well move down than up. Am I going to get paid for it? I’ll fight at 155 pounds unless they offer me a big money fight at 185 pounds. If they do then I’ll make it happen but I’m not going to do it for free; for the same as I would make at my normal 170 pounds. Why would I? It’s more work. That’s why I never wanted to sign for that fight with Miller, because they were talking about me moving weight. I was like tell these guys to f-----g get in shape and make weight like I do. It’s f-----g hard enough for me to make 170 pounds. You know what I mean? He acts like he wouldn’t be able to do it. He doesn’t want to work hard like me. That’s the problem. So he can work his ass off and make 170 pounds or 175 pounds or someone can f-----g pay me a couple f-----g million dollars to move up to 185 pounds to fight him. I know someone’s got that shit on videotape. That motherf----r doesn’t want to fight me. Talking about how he wants to fight me every chance he gets. I’ll fight him anyway. I just want to get paid. Pacquaio’s making 40 f-----g million dollars. He’s making a couple million dollars. I’m over here f------ driving a Honda because my shit’s breaking down. F--- all you motherf------.”

So what you’re saying is money is the key factor to fighting Miller. Bad blood doesn’t factor into it as much?

“That’s what it sounds like.”

How do you think you match up against some of the UFC’s top guys?

“I think I got here first and I was fighting before most of them, including George St. Pierre in the UFC. I was at it first. I was mad that they were getting fights and getting all this recognition when I was at it first. I thought it was first-come, first-serve. Like Josh Koscheck. I cornered a guy at a bar who probably had two fights in his life. They worked it like he was set up to fight Josh Koscheck. Then he gets an ass-whuppin. That’s what I’m saying. They’ve made easy fights for those guys. These guys have got like six or seven fights. Like all easy fights. I’ve never got to fight a guy like the one they brought into fight Josh Koscheck. So when you bring up fighters like that and tell me they are the best fighters in the world it’s a fucking joke. Those guys are all ranked now but I was here first. So let’s fight then. Let’s make it happen, you know?

Souza Hitting Tim Kennedy
“Jacare” Souza:

“I want to show everyone that I’ve improved my cardio, my strength and my Jiu Jitsu technique. I want to show I have all those elements in my game.”

What is your game plan against Robbie Lawler?

“My plan is to bring Jiu Jitsu to the fight. I don’t know how or when but I’m well prepared. My guard is up and I will be 100 percent ready to go and fight. The plan for the fight is to bring Jiu Jitsu to the table when the time is right.”

What have you done to work on your standup game?

“I have a great gym behind me. We’ve been training a lot in cardio and boxing and learning how to walk around the cage and the ring. I know he’s a good boxer so I’m doing everything necessary to prepare for that. I’ve been training everything: boxing, wrestling, Jiu Jitsu, so I’m prepared to go in there and show everything.

“I’ve fought a lot of tough guys and I’ll put Robbie Lawler right there in the mix of the toughest I’ve faced.”

Is there a dream fight out there for you?

“I like to fight the best and the best changes every year so I pretty much want to fight anyone who can make my weight. The guy I want to fight right now is Robbie Lawler. He’s the guy that’s up next for me so that’s who I want to fight next.”

READ MORE - Diaz Talks “Cyborg”, “Mayhem”, Souza Ready for Lawler

Jose Aldo Confirmed for UFC 129 Title Defense

Thursday, January 20, 2011

By FCF Staff

Not only will the April 30th, UFC 129 card mark the first time the promotion holds an event in Toronto, Ontario, the organization has also confirmed that the show will include Jose Aldo defending the UFC Featherweight Championship for the first time. No opponent has been confirmed for Aldo; however, Mark Hominick will reportedly fight for the belt provided he defeats George Roop at this Saturday’s Fight for the Troops event. The announcement regarding Aldo’s first UFC appearance was made during this week’s edition of UFC Ultimate Insider.

The online program also confirmed several more bouts for the UFC 129 card, as Phil Davis vs. Matt Hamill, Mark Bocek vs. Ben Henderson, Brian Foster vs. Sean Pierson and Jason MacDonald vs. Ryan Jensen were all announced.

Aldo (18-1) had been expected to compete at UFC 125; however, an injury prevented the renowned featherweight from fighting Josh Grispi, who proceeded to lose by unanimous decision to Dustin Poirier on January 1st.

Aldo will head into UFC 129 having won eleven straight, a streak which includes winning the World Extreme Cagefighting Featherweight Championship, and scoring victories over Urijah Faber, Mike Brown and Manny Gamburyan.

UFC 129 will be hosted by Toronto’s Rogers Centre, and will feature welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre vs. number one contender Jake Shields in the main event.
READ MORE - Jose Aldo Confirmed for UFC 129 Title Defense

New FCF Radio with Trevor Prangley

On this episode of Full Contact Fighter Radio, host Jeff Meszaros and co-host James Kellaris go badly off track while discussing "UFC Fight For The Troops 2".  Is fighting in a cage anything like fighting in the battlefield? The UFC would like you to think so but honestly we're not so convinced.  Then it's time to talk about the fight card.  What's going to happen when Melvin "The Young Assassin" Guillard fights Evan Dunham?  How about in the heavyweight match between Tim Hague and Matt Mitrione? What about Pat "HD" Barry vs. Joey "The Mexicutioner" Beltran?  Should Barry's nickname be changed if he fights on a regular TV channel instead of in High Definition?  Speaking of which, is a movie really 3D just because you need to wear 3D glasses to watch it?  Again, we're not so sure.  Tune in and hear us wander from topic to topic, discussing the UFC fights as well as film reviews, the relative careers of pro-wrestlers and whether or not certain fighters look like certain characters from the movie "The Goonies".  Damn, it's a compelling argument, isn't it?  Maybe.

Like that's not enough, Strikeforce fighter Trevor Prangley stops by to chat about his upcoming match against Roger Gracie, his training for the fight and what he thinks about upcoming matches featuring his American Kickboxing Academy team-mates Cain Velasquez and Jon Fitch.  Damn, what a show!  Round up the family and force them to listen or face the consequences!
READ MORE - New FCF Radio with Trevor Prangley

Ryan Couture vs. Lee Higgins Confirmed for Feb.18th

By FCF Staff

Ryan Couture will be looking for his second pro win next month, as Strikeforce has confirmed that the Xtreme Couture lightweight will face the undefeated Lee Higgins, February 18th, at its upcoming Challengers card in Austin, Texas. The card, which will be hosted by the city’s Cedar Park Center, will be broadcast on Showtime.(Pictured: Couture submitting Lucas Stark last August)

Couture will be competing for the first time since August, 2010, when he submitted Lucas Stark with a first round armbar while making his pro debut. The 28 year-old-fighter, who is the son of MMA legend Randy Couture, was scheduled to fight again for Strikeforce in November; however, he was forced to withdraw due to a staph infection.

"I was down for a few weeks but now I'm ready to fight  and looking forward to fighting in Texas on Feb. 18,'' said Couture. "I'm excited and working hard. I expect a tough fight.''

Higgins has gone 2-0 since he transitioned into pro MMA last year. Most recently in December, the lightweight tapped out Gilbert Jiminez, while competing for the International Xtreme Fight Association.

"This is a great opportunity and an honor for me to fight the son of a legend,'' Higgins said. "I couldn't believe it when they offered me the fight. To get a chance to show my skills and make a name for myself on television is very exciting and absolutely a huge deal.''

Undefeated lightweight Lyle Beerbohm (15-0) will take on the well traveled vet Pat Healy (25-17) in the Feb. 18th card's main event.
READ MORE - Ryan Couture vs. Lee Higgins Confirmed for Feb.18th

Jay Hieron Official for Bellator Season 4

By FCF Staff

As widely expected, Bellator Fighting Championships has announced that veteran Jay Hieron will compete in the promotion’s upcoming, Season Four, welterweight tourney, completing the line-up for the competition.

“Jay’s the perfect fighter to round out our stacked welterweight tournament,” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney in the official announcement. “He’s a true mixed martial artist who has very few weaknesses and a ton of strengths inside the cage.  Jay will be a tremendous test for anyone and everyone in this talent rich tournament.”

Hieron (19-4) will enter the tournament having not lost since June, 2007, when the Xtreme Couture vet was defeated by Brad Blackburn while competing for the International Fight League. Since then the 34 year-old-fighter has won seven straight, a streak which includes decision wins over UFC vets Jesse Taylor and Joe Riggs.

“I feel great right now. I turned a negative into a positive with my time off and just took the opportunity to sharpen my skills,” said Hieron. “When you're training for a fight, the pressure's on, so it's hard to learn and evolve. It's straight business. With this time off I've been able to focus on a lot of new techniques. Now I'm just excited to get back in there and show off my new arsenal.”

Bellator’s welterweight tourney is set to begin in March; however, no opponent or date for Hieron’s debut has been announced.

“This is the exact type of situation I wanted to be in right now. With the tournament format, there's no politics, no golden boys, and nobody getting protected, there's none of that. If you win you move forward, and that's that. That's the bottom line and that's exactly what I was looking for,” said Hieron, whose aforementioned win over Riggs marked the only time he fought in 2010. “I feel like I've been through as bad a situation that somebody can go through in their career, and I'm still here. Not only that, but my body's right, I'm healthy, and I feel like it's my time.”

Hieron joins former champion Lyman Good, Dan Hornbuckle, Rick Hawn, Steve Carl, Chris Lozano, “Judo” Jim Wallhead, and Brent Weedman as tourney competitors. The season will be broadcast live on MTV 2.

READ MORE - Jay Hieron Official for Bellator Season 4

Ortiz vs. Nogueira Official for Fight Night 24

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

By FCF Staff

Tito Ortiz will look to keep his UFC roster position at Seattle’s Key Arena on March 26th, when the former light-heavyweight champ takes on accomplished veteran Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, at Fight Night 24. The UFC officially confirmed the expected bout today.

Ortiz (15-8-1) has reportedly been given one more chance to remain with the UFC and end his five fight, winless streak. The 35 year-old-veteran has not won a bout since October, 2006, when he stopped Ken Shamrock. Ortiz (pictured) last competed at UFC 121 in October and lost by unanimous decision to Matt Hamill.

Nogueira (19-4) will also be looking to get back on the winning track, as the former Pride competitor is coming off a UD loss to Ryan Bader in September. The defeat was “Lil Nog’s” first since 2007, a run which has seen the fighter score wins over Jason Brilz and Luis Cane since signing with the UFC.

The UFC also confirmed two welterweight bouts for the March 26th card, as former contender Dan Hardy (23-8) will take on Anthony Johnson (8-3), and well travelled vet Duane Ludwig (20-11) will fight Amir Sadollah (4-2).

Some of the other bouts scheduled to take place at Fight Night 24 include John Hathaway vs. Kris McKray, Nam Phan vs. Leonard Garcia, and Sean McCorkle vs. Christian Morecraft.
READ MORE - Ortiz vs. Nogueira Official for Fight Night 24

Almeida vs. Pyle, Miller vs. Catone Official for UFC 128

By FCF Staff

Twelve bouts are now official for the upcoming Ultimate Fighting Championship 128 card, as the promotion has confirmed a welterweight bout between Mike Pyle and Ricardo Almeida, plus a middleweight tilt between Dan Miller (pictured) and Nick Catone for the March 19th event.

“Shogun vs. Evans” will be hosted by the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, and will feature light-heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Rashad Evans in the main event.

Pyle (20-7-1) has won back-to-back bouts over Jesse Lennox and most recently John Hathaway, after being stopped by Jake Ellenberger last January.

Almeida (13-4) recently returned to the winner’s column, after being choked out by Matt Hughes last August, scoring a unanimous decision win over TJ Grant in December.

Catone (8-2) has not competed since UFC Fight Night 20 last January, when he worked his way to a split decision win over Jesse Forbes, extending his Octagon record to 2-2.

Miller (13-4) is also coming off a split decision win as the middleweight defeated Joe Doerksen at UFC 124 in December. Prior to that, at UFC 118 in August, Miller submitted John Salter to end a three fight losing skid.

Some of the other bouts scheduled for UFC 128 include Urijah Faber vs. Eddie Wineland, Jim Miller vs. Kamal Shalorus, Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Nate Marquardt and Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic vs. Brendan Schaub.
READ MORE - Almeida vs. Pyle, Miller vs. Catone Official for UFC 128

Catching Up with Roli Delgado

By Jim Genia

TUF 8 alum Roli Delgado strapped on the gloves this past weekend and threw down, and he wholloped his opponent for three rounds before earning a unanimous decision.  What’s most notable about that, though, is Delgado – considered by most to be more of a jiu-jitsu guy – employed only striking to snag the win.  Also, it was a pro Muay Thai match.  FCF caught up with the jiu-jitsu black belt while he was teaching a seminar at the C3 Athletics gym in Stamford, Connecticut, to get the scoop on what the UFC veteran has been up to.

Hailing from Little Rock, Arkansas, Delgado debuted as a lightweight on the Ultimate Fighter with a unanimous decision loss to George Roop, but was brought back to replace an injured fighter.  He subsequently lost a close split decision to controversial contestant Junie Browning, and the 29-year old followed that up with a submission win at the TUF 8 finale.  When last we saw him, Delgado was the victim of a first-round knockout at the hands of Andre Winner (at UFC 105), which, coupled with his UFC 99 loss to Paul Kelly, soon had Zuffa handing him his walking papers.

The tall, lanky Delgado returned to combat seven months later, submitting an opponent in under two minutes at a smaller event.  “I fought a really tough guy out of Oklahoma, a three-time state wrestling champion,” he says.  “A really, really tough guy.  And I did really well, I triangled him the first round.  Then I had trouble just getting fights.  I don’t know if it’s just people don’t want to fight me with my height at that weight, or what.”

Delgado, of course, did his best to remain active – which lead to his recent bout against pro fighter Turan Hasanov at New York City kickboxing promotion Friday Night Fights.  “I kind of had some downtime, and this opportunity to fight Muay Thai came up.  I wanted to do something, and I kind of always wanted to do a Muay Thai fight, so I decided to do one of those in between MMA fights.”

How did it go?  “I won a unanimous decision,” says Delgado.  “I fought a guy that was really respected down here and had a good amateur career, and now he’s a pro Muay Thai fighter.  In the Muay Thai scene, everyone was expecting him to walk through me, so on paper I was a really big underdog for this fight.  It was cool because it was a legit challenge, it wasn’t like I was just taking a Muay Thai fight with another MMA fighter or something.  This kid, in his interviews and stuff, was talking about how Muay Thai striking is so superior, that MMA guys don’t know how to do it and don’t know how to strike, and that it’s crazy for us to do it.  He definitely had that kind of elitist attitude about it, so it was really a great opportunity for me to take a tough fight out of my element.  It was also something I wanted to use as a tool to become a better MMA fighter.”  He adds: “It was kind of cool to go in there and just smoke the guy.  I won the unanimous decision, and he didn’t touch me.  I was just a better striker than him.  Before the fight they all had the elitist attitude, like an MMA guy would get killed in a Muay Thai fight.”

Delgado’s victory in the Muay Thai arena was no fluke, though.  It was, instead, the product of hard work and renewed focus.  “When I got done with the Ultimate Fighter it was obvious that I knew how to kickbox but I didn’t really train it.  I knew how to throw a punch, but I didn’t know all the nuances.  I could work the bag, but I was your typical low-level MMA guy.  It was apparent that I needed to learn how to box, so I started training at Straight Right Boxing, which is really good boxing gym in Little Rock.  I started training with them right after the show and I’ve been training with them ever since.  I haven’t really stopped.”

“Just the way my MMA fights went, no one could really see my progression,” says Delgado.  “That’s what was cool about this Muay Thai fight – I was able to show people that, hey, I know people think I still the same person I was when I fought Junie, but I really have been working on my boxing.”
What’s next for the TUF alum?  “I’m definitely trying to get back into the top MMA organization, so I’m going to pick up my fights and show people that I am working hard on the areas I needed to work on.”

However, with a walk-around weight of around 160 pounds, Delgado believes his return to the Octagon would likely not be at lightweight.  “Basically, I’m just a big 145er,” he says.  “I’m the tallest 145er in the world in MMA – I’m taller than everyone at 155 except for Corey Hill.  I really feel I could be a contender at 145.  I know I can.”

His thoughts on the UFC’s new 145-pound weight class?  “It’s an amazing division and it’s getting even better.  It’s going to be harder to break into it, but that’s my goal this year, and I think this Muay Thai fight was kind of a way for me to show people that I’ve been working really hard.”

“It sucks to get labeled in this sport,” says Delgado.  “I mean, you get labeled as a jiu-jitsu guy, or you get labeled as ‘not being a good striker’, and once you get a label it’s really hard to break it.  I want to do that, though.  I want people to say, ‘Oh, Roli’s a jiu-jitsu guy but he really knows how to use his reach and throw his punches.’  I want to be respected for my jiu-jitsu as well as my striking.”

If he keeps defeating Muay Thai fighters at their own game, this MMA fighter is certainly well on his way toward earning that respect.

READ MORE - Catching Up with Roli Delgado

Steve Carl to Compete in Bellator Season 4 WW Tourney

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

By FCF Staff

Bellator Fighting Championships continues to confirm competitors for the promotion’s upcoming, season four, welterweight tourney, as it has announced that Steve Carl will fight in the competition. The Iraq War vet is the seventh man to be confirmed for the tourney, joining Dan “The Handler” Hornbuckle, Rick Hawn, Brent Weedman, Jim Wallhead, Chris “The Assassin” Lozano, and Lyman “Cyborg” Good.

Carl (14-2) enters 2011 having lost just once since 2006; last May, the 26 year-old-fighter was eliminated from the Bellator tourney, when he was submitted by the aforementioned Hornbuckle. Carl returned to competition in August and stopped Tyler Stinson with a first round, guillotine choke.

“I don't feel like I've ever been able to show my true potential out there in any of my fights, but I think fans can expect to see a more explosive and fired-up Steve Carl than ever before in 2011,”Carl was quoted saying in the official press release. “What was good enough last year isn't going to cut it this year.”

“Steve Carl has been on an incredible journey, and I’m very happy to see him compete in this stacked tournament,” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “Steve has been a tremendous competitor throughout his fights in Bellator, and I expect him to take his game to the next level in this tournament.”

The welterweight tournament is scheduled to begin in March and will be broadcast live on MTV 2.
READ MORE - Steve Carl to Compete in Bellator Season 4 WW Tourney

Beerbohm vs. Healy Confirmed for Feb.18th Challengers

By FCF Staff

Pat “Bam Bam” Healy will be the next man who looks to hand Lyle “Fancy Pants” Beerbohm his first professional loss, as Strikeforce has announced that a bout between the two lightweights will headline its upcoming, February 18th Challengers card in Cedar Park, Texas (a suburb of Austin). The card, which will be broadcast on Showtime, will be hosted by the Cedar Park Center.

Beerbohm (pictured) has won 15 straight bouts since he turned professional in 2007. The 32 year-old-fighter last competed for Strikeforce in May, 2010, when he worked his way to a split decision win over Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro. Since then, the Washington State fighter has earned back-to-back victories over Josh Calvo and Talon Hoffman.

“I want to fight the best, I want to fight for the Strikeforce title,’’ Beerbohm was quoted saying in the official announcement. “All I can do is continue to work hard and beat who they put in front of me. This is going to be a very difficult fight for both of us, but I’m confident of winning and moving up the ranks.

“I am very anxious to fight on Showtime and show the fans and Strikeforce what I can do. My goal is to fight for the world title. I want to be the champ. I want a five-round fight. That would be something else.’’

Healy (25-17) is coming off a submission loss to former Strikeforce champion Josh Thomson last June, after earning three consecutive wins over Sal Woods, Sidney Silva and Brian Travers. The 27 year-old-Healy is the former Maximum Fighting Championship welterweight champ.

“I was disappointed I didn’t quite get it done the last time, but I appreciate getting another opportunity against an up-and-coming fighter,’’ the Team Quest fighter said about his last Strikeforce performance. “This fight is obviously very important to me. I’ll enter the cage with a lot of confidence.’’

Strikeforce’s next event will take place January 29th in San Jose, California, and will feature welterweight champion Nick Diaz vs. Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos in the main event.

READ MORE - Beerbohm vs. Healy Confirmed for Feb.18th Challengers

Velasquez Says Surgery “Went Well”, Back in Gym

Monday, January 17, 2011

By FCF Staff

Cain Velasquez reportedly is keeping busy, following surgery last week to repair the injured rotator cuff that could keep the UFC Heavyweight Champion sidelined for much of 2011, as the undefeated fighter is reportedly already back in the gym. A post on Velasquez’s official Twitter account earlier today stated:

Surgery went well. Back at Joe Grasso's lifting legs . Best place to train.

Velasquez had been scheduled to face number one contender Junior dos Santos sometime in early 2011, until it was announced that he would have to undergo surgery to fix his injured shoulder. The 9-0 fighter is expected to be sidelined for six to eight months.

In an effort to keep dos Santos busy, the UFC recently announced that the heavyweight will coach opposite Brock Lesnar in the upcoming season of "The Ultimate Fighter," and that the two will fight, likely sometime this summer. The winner of that bout will face Velasquez when he returns. 

At UFC 121 in December, Velasquez laid claim to the UFC heavyweight title by overwhelming Lesnar in the first round with a flurry of strikes. The 28 year-old Velasquez was awarded a title shot after the accomplished wrestler stopped former interim champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, at UFC 110 last February.

READ MORE - Velasquez Says Surgery “Went Well”, Back in Gym

Garner vs. Volkov Confirmed for M-1 Challenge XXIII

By FCF Staff

M-1 Global has confirmed that Kenny Garner (pictured) will soon be returning to Russia, as the promotion has announced that the American heavyweight will face the nation’s Alexander Volkov, March 5th. The bout will be part of M-1 Challenge XXIII, which will be hosted by Moscow’s Crocus City Arena.

“Kenny was asking for a shot to come back to Russia even before he left St. Petersburg after his loss to Guram in October,” Evgeni Kogan, Director of Operations for M-1 Global was quoted saying in the press release. “Kenny brings relentless ‘heart’ in to all his fights and losing the title fight in the fashion he did left him upset and hungry to get back on track. Not only does the fight against Volkov make sense based on both fighters’ contention position, it makes a great fight stylistically.”

Garner (5-3) headed to St. Petersburg in October to fight Guram Gugenishvili for the M-1 heavyweight belt, but was submitted by the Ukrainian fighter in the second round.  The loss ended Garner’s three fight win streak which included winning the M-1 Americas tournament last year.

Volkov last competed on December 10th at M-1 Challenge 22 and fought to a draw with Pat Bennett. Prior to the bout the Red Devil fighter had won back-to-back fights versus Evgeni Babich and Eldar Yagudin.

The March 5th event will see the aforementioned Gugenishvili take on Eastern Europe champ Maxim Grishin in the main event.

The card will be streamed live on the official M-1 Global site.

READ MORE - Garner vs. Volkov Confirmed for M-1 Challenge XXIII