UFC Heavyweight Stefan Struve’s Fighting Career Put On Hold

The career of UFC heavyweight Stefan Struve is in jeopardy. A report on Tuesday’s, “UFC Tonight” stated that Struve has been diagnosed with a leaking aortic valve and an enlarged heart.

Struve’s management team sent a statement to MMAFighting.com explaining Struve’s situation, which includes Struve’s desire to return to the UFC and fight again:

Stefan Struve has recently been diagnosed with a leaking aortic valve and an enlarged heart and was hospitalized for a week to undergo testing to determine the best course of treatment. The doctors found that Stefan has a bicuspid aortic valve, wich means that his aortic valve only has two leaflets, instead of three.

The aortic valve regulates blood flow from the heart into the aorta, the major blood vessel that brings blood to the body. In combination with the enlarged heart it causes his heart to only pump 70 percent of the blood into the aorta and then the rest of his body, and the remaining 30 percent ends up back in the heart chamber. After consulting experts in both Holland and the United States, it was decided to treat the condition with medication for the next two months and asses the effectiveness of that treatment protocol. After those 2 months, the doctors will have an answer on what the best treatment options are.

At the direction of his doctors, Stefan has now been released from the hospital and has resumed light cardiovascular exercise. Stefan fully appreciates the significance of the condition he has been diagnosed with, however, he is optimistic about the eventual outcome and fully plans on living a long, healthy, active, happy life and eventually returning to competition in the octagon for his quest to become the UFC heavyweight champion.

Stefan loves the UFC and plans on being involved with company as a fighter and ambassador for years to come. Stefan wants to thank all the fans who have supported him thus far in his career as well as the UFC, Dana White, Lorenzo Fertita, Joe Silva, Dr. Jeff Davidson, the entire staff of the UFC, and his fellow fighters for affording him the opportunity to compete on the biggest stage of the sport of MMA, as well as a tremendous degree of support during this trying time. In particular Stefan wants to thank Dana White, Lorenzo Fertita and Joe Silva for immediately getting engaged with this issue and providing Stefan access to the best possible medical care. Stefan will be sharing his experiences as he deals with this medical condition in the hopes that he can serve as a role model by helping to create awareness and inspire others to fight through adversity.

Struve hasn’t fought since March when he lost to Mark Hunt. The tallest heavyweight in the UFC sent out a tweet thanking all the fans for the support.

We wish Struve the best of luck in his recovery and hope to see him inside the octagon once again. We will keep you updated if any new information arises.

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UFC Releases Cast For Upcoming Season Of The Ultimate Fighter

The UFC released today the full cast of fighters who will be on this upcoming season of the Ultimate Fighter. The 18th season of the reality show starts on September 4th with a two hour premiere on Fox Sports 1 featuring 16 men and 16 women bantamweight fighters who will then fight to just get into the house. The coaches will be UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate.

“This season of The Ultimate Fighter was monumental, as we had women as coaches and competitors – fighting and living together with the men – for the first time ever,” UFC president Dana White said. “Obviously the fierce rivalry between Ronda and Miesha is going to get everyone’s attention, but it doesn’t take away from their dedication and success as coaches and the level of talent this season. One of the things that always makes The Ultimate Fighter great is the fights, and this season continues to deliver. Since we added the women’s division earlier this year, they’ve been putting on awesome fights, and the streak continues on the show, giving the men some serious competition and setting up some Fight-of-the-Night worthy battles.”

“FOX Sports 1 is now the exclusive home of the UFC. To have a show that packs this kind of power and gives our viewers a raw, emotional look into becoming an MMA professional is reality television at it’s best. We can’t wait for the September 4th premiere,” said FOX Sports 1 Co-president Eric Shanks.

Here are the 32 fighters that will compete to be on this season’s Ultimate Fighter:

Shayna Baszler (15-8), 33, Sioux Fall, S.D.
Revelina Berto, (3-1), 24, Winter Haven, Fla.
Jessamyn Duke (2-0, 1NC), 27, Richmond, Ky.
Tonya Evinger (11-6), 32, Lake St. Louis, Mo.
Laura Howarth (4-0), 26, Hove, East Essex, ENG
Tara LaRosa (21-3), 35, Albuquerque, N.M.
Valerie Letourneau (4-3), 30, La Prairie, CAN
Bethany Marshall (4-1), 25, Newport News, Va.
Sarah Moras (3-1), 25, Kelowna, CAN
Margaret “Peggy” Morgan (2-0), 33, Nashua, N.H.
Gina Mazany (3-0), 25, Seattle, Wash.
Roxanne Modafferi (15-10), 30, Yokohama, JPN
Julianna Pena (4-2), 24, Spokane, Wash.
Raquel Pennington (3-3), 24, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Jessica Rakoczy (1-3), 36, Las Vegas, Nev.
Colleen Schneider (4-3), 31, Las Vegas, Nev.
Christopher Beal (7-0), 28, Somis, Calif.
Cody Bollinger (14-3), 22, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
Louis Fisette (6-1), 23, Winnipeg, CAN
Rafael Freitas (6-0-1), 29, Albuquerque, N.M.
David Grant (8-1), 27, Bishop Auckland, ENG
Tim Gorman (9-2), 30, West Des Moines, Iowa
Anthony Gutierrez (4-0), 22, Lee’s Summit, Mo.
Emil Hartsner (4-0), 23, Luberod, SWE
Joshua Hill (9-0), 26, Binbrook, CAN
Chris Holdsworth (4-0), 25, Woodland Hills, Calif.
Patrick Holohan (9-0-1), 25, Dublin, IRL
Sirwan Kakai (9-1), 23, Coconut Creek, Fl
Daniel Martinez (18-4), 28, San Diego, Calif.
Matthew Munsey (4-1), 26, Hollywood, Fla.
Lee Sandmeier (9-0), 30, Knoxville, Iowa
Michael Wootten (6-0), 24, Liverpool, ENG

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UFC Fight Night 26 Press Conference Starting At 1 P.M. ET

UFC Fight Night 26 takes place on Saturday from the TD Garden in Boston with the main event featuring Chael Sonnen facing off with Shogun Rua.

Before Saturday’s fights, the press conference for the event takes place today at 1 p.m. ET. The press conference will be taking place at the Wang Theatre in Boston.

Those attending the press conference will be: UFC president Dana White, Rua, Sonnen, Alistair Overeem, Travis Browne, Urijah Faber, Yuri Alcantara, Joe Lauzon and Michael Johnson.

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Nick Diaz Offered To Fight Lyoto Machida At Middleweight

Could we see Nick Diaz come out of retirement? UFC President Dana White hopes so, as White revealed during a special Q&A at Barrio Cantina in Boston for a fundraising effort for The Shawn Thornton Foundation that he talked to Diaz today and offered him a fight against Lyoto Machida at middleweight.

“I talked to Diaz today, and I made him an offer, so we’ll see what happens,” White said. “He had been talking about going to 185 pounds. Machida has been talking about going to 185 pounds. So we wanted to see if he wanted to fight Machida at 185.”

White said that Diaz told him that he would get back to him.

We haven’t seen Diaz in the octagon since his welterweight title loss to champion Georges St-Pierre at UFC 158 in March. The former Strikeforce champion stated after the fight that he was retiring from the sport.

Machida was last seen in the octagon ten days ago when he lost a controversial decision to Phil Davis at UFC 163. The former light heavyweight champion has stated in the past that he would be willing to make the move to the 185 pound division.

It had been rumored in the last few days that Machida would possibly be facing off with Vitor Belfort in November.

“I wanted Machida to fight Vitor Belfort, but Vitor Belfort is his own matchmaker, apparently,” White stated. “He wants to make his own fights.”

Machida and Diaz have never fought at 185 in their respective careers. We will give you an update on if this fight can be agreed too.

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Fox Sports 1 Agrees To Deals With Major TV Companies

UFC fans with DirecTV, Time Warner and Dish Network can now rejoice. The Los Angeles Times reported that Fox Sports 1 has agreed to deals with DirecTV, Time Warner and Dish Network in time for the network’s debut this Saturday. UFC President Dana White then confirmed the news on Twitter.

Terms of the deals with all three companies weren’t disclosed. Those three companies combined reach over 40 million homes, which will bring the reach of over 85 million homes that can watch Fox Sports 1.

The UFC debuts on the former channel known as Speed on Saturday with UFC Fight Night 26 taking place at the TD Garden in Boston with Chael Sonnen facing off against Shogun Rua in the headliner. The card begins with the preliminary card starting at 6 p.m. ET with the main card starting at 8 ET.

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Chael Sonnen Approved To Fight At UFC Fight Night 26

All the hoopla over whether Chael Sonnen would get his license for UFC Fight Night 26 was all for nothing.

The former UFC light heavyweight and middleweight title challenger was unanimously approved for a license by the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission to fight Maurcio “Shogun” Rua next Saturday in the main event at UFC Fight Night 26 in an email sent to BetweenTheRopes.com.

The hearing took place today due to the union group, Unite Here, who had filed the complaint with the MSAC due to the federal laundering conviction Sonnen received in 2011. Another complaint was filed by the National Organization for Women over Sonnen’s alleged sexist, homophobic and derogatory language following his conviction that year as well.

Both groups were rebuffed as the MSAC ultimately approved the Oregon native for a license.

Here is what MSAC representative Terrel Harris sent to BetweenTheRopes.com:

The State Athletic Commission voted unanimously to license Chael Sonnen in Massachusetts for the Ultimate Fight Championship contest scheduled for August 17, 2013 in Boston. The decision followed the recommendation of their Medical Advisory Board which considered Sonnen’s physical condition and medical information. The Commission also considered complaints regarding his reputation and character but concluded no information the Commission received should preclude Sonnen’s licensure.

UFC President Dana White stated his feelings on the matter when it was announced Sonnen was getting a license.

UFC Fight Night 26 takes next Saturday night from the TD Garden in Boston on the debut night of Fox Sports 1.

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Between The Ropes MMA Podcast – August 2, 2013

Brian and Steve talk about Tito Ortiz signing with Bellator MMA and coming out of retirement to face Rampage Jackson on Bellator’s first pay-per-view on November 2, the interest in the fight, both fighters also going into wrestling with TNA, cross-promotion between the two companies, the UFC world tour, Chael Sonnen and Victor Belfort talking fight, UFC 163 on Saturday night and more.

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Video: UFC World Tour 2013 in New York Starting at 1 P.M. ET

The UFC World Tour 2013 continues today as the UFC stops in New York as the press conference takes at the Beacon Theatre starting at 1 p.m. ET.

You can watch the video live on the player above.

The people that were in Los Angeles yesterday for the UFC World Tour 2013 are in New York today. Those people are: UFC President Dana White, UFC 165 headliners Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson, UFC 166 headliners Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos, UFC 167 headliners Georges St-Pierre and Johny Hendricks, and UFC 168 co-headliners Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate.

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Video: UFC World Tour in Los Angeles

The UFC announced about two weeks ago that a world tour would ensue to promote UFC 165, UFC 166, UFC 167 and UFC 168.

Today was the first time all eight participants on the tour were all together. The tour stop today was at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. The fighters that were there today were: UFC 165 headliners Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson, UFC 166 headliners Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos, UFC 167 headliners Georges St-Pierre and Johny Hendricks, UFC 168 co-headliners Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate and UFc President Dana White.

The video above is the full video of today’s UFC World Tour press conference.

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Chris Weidman vs Anderson Silva Fight Estimated To Do 550,000 Pay-Per-View Buys

For the prediction that UFC President Dana White made about UFC 162 trending to about 800,000 buys was a little bit off.

According to Dave Meltzer from MMAFighting.com, UFC 162 featuring Chris Weidman knocking off Anderson Silva to win the UFC middleweight championship did about 550,000 buys on pay-per view.

The promotion based around the fight was that fighters were picking Weidman to knock off Silva and it seems like it was a success for the organization.

The number of buys for UFC 162 would be right around the projection of UFC 159 when Jon Jones defeated Chael Sonnen to make the second highest number of buys in 2013. The highest number of buys would be 950,000 buys for UFC 158 when Georges St-Pierre defeated Nick Diaz.

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Dana White Shoots Down Nick Diaz Return To The UFC

If you were excited about Nick Diaz making his return to the UFC, you will have to wait a little longer.

UFC President Dana White told MMAFighting.com that he hasn’t spoken to the former Strikeforce welterweight champion or anyone in representing him.

That is contrary to an interview that Diaz trainer Cesar Gracie did with BJPenn.com stating that Diaz had been offered a return fight by White.

Diaz hasn’t fought since his unanimous decision at UFC 158 to welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. The native of Stockton, California stated after the fight that he was retiring from the sport.

BetweenTheRopes.com tried to reach out to Gracie for comment, but were unsuccessful at this current time.

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Report: Anderson Silva Wants His Rematch With Chris Weidman This Year

Well that didn’t take Anderson Silva long to change his tune about facing Chris Weidman again.

MMAFighting.com is reporting that people close to former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva are saying Silva wants his rematch with Weidman sooner rather than later. The former champion had stated immediately to Joe Rogan after his loss to Weidman that he wasn’t going to fight for the title again.

Silva then stated at the post-fight presser that he needed some time to think about it. Apparently it only took about 24 hours for Silva to want his rematch.

The report also states that Silva would like to face Weidman this year and not at the rumored February 1 show in New Jersey in conjunction with Super Bowl weekend.

UFC President Dana White told Lance Pugmire from the Los Angeles Times earlier this week that the company has been thinking about putting the Silva-Weidman rematch for UFC 168 on December 28 and moving the original main event of Ronda Rousey vs Miesha Tate to February 1.

Weidman appeared on a CBS Sports Radio show this morning stating that Dana White and UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta that the rematch will take place in either December or February.

When an announcement is official, we will bring it to you.

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Ronda Rousey vs Miesha Tate II Set For UFC 168

We knew the rematch was going to happen this year and now we have a date.

UFC President Dana White announced on Monday that the rematch between UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey(7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) and former Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate(13-4 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at UFC 168.

This is the annual year-end show for the UFC and will be taking place on December 28 with a venue to be determined.

Rousey and Tate first squared off in a highly anticipated bout in March of 2012 while both of them were in Strikeforce. Tate gave Rousey her toughest test at the time, but the champion won in the first round by submission due to an armbar.

Rousey entered the UFC and became their first women’s bantamweight champion and made a successful title defense against Liz Carmouche winning by first round submission due to an armbar at UFC 157 in February.

Tate is coming off a loss as she was defeated by Cat Zingano by third round TKO at The Ultimate Fighter Finale in April. Zingano was then slated to coach this upcoming season of TUF with Rousey and fight later in the year, but a few days the season was supposed to start taping, Zingano tore her ACL.

The UFC then went to Tate for the spot on the show and subsequently the fight in December. All reports coming out from the show have said the two rivals haven’t really gotten along on the show.

White told MMAJunkie.com earlier this week regarding Tate and Rousey, “It’s not reality bulls–t,” White said. “It’s complete and total hatred. They hate each other.”

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Between The Ropes MMA Podcast UFC 161 Preview – June 14, 2013

UFC-161-SmallBrian and Steve preview UFC 161 with includes Rashad Evans against Dan Henderson and Roy Nelson squaring off against Stipe Miocic as well as the rest of the card.  Plus, the look ahead to fights later this year including Jon Jones against Alexander Gustaffson, Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos and Georges St. Pierre against Johny Hendricks and more UFC talk.

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Georges St-Pierre vs Johny Hendricks likely for November event in Vegas

gspIt is looking like Johny Hendricks won’t have to wait too much for his shot at Georges St-Pierre.

Dana White announced today at the UFC 161 open workouts that Hendricks and the UFC welterweight champion will be meeting at a to be determined event in November with Las Vegas being the probable destination.

Hendricks has been campaigning for the fight with St-Pierre since he became the number one contender when he defeated Martin Kampmann in 46 seconds at UFC 154 last November. St-Pierre on that same show defeated Carlos Condit in a unification bout by unanimous decision.

“Bigg Rigg” got denied his opportunity as St-Pierre decided he wanted his next title defense to be against arch nemesis, Nick Diaz. That bout took place at UFC 158 in March with the champion defeating Diaz by unanimous decision. Hendricks also fought on the same event defeating Condit by unanimous decision.

We will keep you up to date when everything is made official for this welterweight showdown.

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Cain Velasquez vs Junior Dos Santos III Likely For October in Houston

It didn’t take long for this announcement.

Photo from UFC.com

Photo from UFC.com

The fight will likely take at UFC 165 in Houston in October.

No date and venue were announced by White, but he did state the event will be in an arena and not the stadium show that was rumored.

The rubber match was setup at UFC 160 last month when Velasquez defeated Antonio Silva by TKO and Dos Santos knocked out Mark Hunt.

The first fight between these two took place at the first UFC on Fox show in November of 2011 with Dos Santos stopped Velasquez in just 64 seconds.

The second fight this past December at UFC 155 had a different result with Velasquez controlling all five rounds and regaining his title by unanimous decision.

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UFC News: Jon Jones Will Face Alexander Gustafsson This Fall

UFC President had some time on his hands after landing in Winnipeg last night for UFC 161.  So, he decided to use some time to respond to some fans questions on Twitter.

 

The Mauler is, of course, Alexander Gustafsson.  And Jon Jones added that he has some news coming soon too:

While “Bones” never says he will be fighting Gustafsson, it looks like that will be the next matchup for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.

It was believed that Lyota Machida would be getting the next shot at the title but that was not well received by many fans with Jones already beating Machida by chokeout in 2011.  Gustafsson – now 15-1 and having won six in a row – had never received a title shot and would be a fresh challenger.

UPDATED:  White confirmed the match to the media today and said it will take place at UFC 165 on September 21 in Toronto.

Video: Jon Fitch Responds to Dana White Regarding Fighter Pay

That didn’t take long for Jon Fitch to respond to Dana White.

The World Series of Fighting fighter responded to White’s saying that Fitch made $302,000 in discretionary bonuses in his UFC tenure.

Fitch stated in the video he released this morning stating that he was paid a total of $1,022,000 for his 18 bouts with the promotion and a”bout $300,000 in bonuses,” which he said brought his total payout to $1,322,000.

In an interview with MMAJunkie.com last week, White stated that Fitch was “delusional”, when Fitch said that the UFC was a “hostile work environment” during last week’s World Series of Fighting conference call.

World Series of Fighting 3 takes on Friday night from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Watch the video above.

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