Phil Davis signing with Bellator, who could or couldn’t beat Floyd Mayweather Jr in an MMA fight (hint: the correct answer is everyone), and a tiger on Conor McGregor’s stomach have dominated the news this week. Add to that all the fight week hype and attention that has accompanied UFC on Fox: Rockhold Vs Machida, and there has been a lot to take in.
Fear not, because Collateral Damage MMA has you covered with details of all the official fight announcements made by the UFC over the past week.
UFC on Fox: Dillashaw Vs Barao 2 Has Makings of a Great Card
We knew two of these fights were coming, we just didn’t know where and when. Now it has been announced that the United Center in Chicago, Illinois, will play host to both the World Title rematch between T.J. Dillashaw andRenan Barao, and the number one contender fight between Miesha Tate and Jessica Eye.
Dillashaw and Barao had been scheduled to fight at UFC 177 and UFC 186. We are all now hoping that it’s third time lucky for the long-awaited rematch. Dillashaw pulled the biggest upset of 2014 when he defeated Barao for the bantamweight title in May of last year.
Also added to the card is the return of Anthony Pettis. After losing his title to Rafael dos Anjos in a one-sided fight at UFC 185, “Showtime” will now face Myles Jury. On the surface it might seem that Pettis, who is clearly someone the UFC believe can become a marketable commodity, is being given a very winnable fight. The flipside of that is that should he lose, it is a very long road back to a lightweight title shot.
Former Hockey Player Added to Underwhelming UFC 186 Card
As previously mentioned, UFC 186 was originally supposed to have the T.J. Dillashaw, Renan Barao rematch in the headliner. In addition Rory MacDonald and Hector Lombard fell through as a result of Lombard’s failed drug test, and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson was pulled from the card when Bellator were granted an injunction which prevented him from competing for the UFC.
Jackson was originally set to face Fabio Maldonado, and will now be replaced by former hockey player Steve Bosse. Bosse was originally scheduled to debut at The Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale. After a shoulder injury forced him out of the fight, he announced his retirement. Bosse has fought just once since 2011, but does hold somewhat notable wins over Marvin Eastman and Houston Alexander.
WEC Vets Collide at Valley View Casino Center in July
Following an unsuccessful run at flyweight that saw him go 1-3 in the 125lb division, Scott Jorgensen returns to bantamweight to face fellow WEC veteran, Manny Gamburyan at UFC Fight Night: Mir Vs Duffee.
Jorgensen has found the going tough since WEC was absorbed into the UFC, holding a 4-6 record with the company. Another defeat to Gamburyan on July 15th would see him move precariously close to a pink slip.
After getting back to back losses in his first two UFC outings, against Tyson Griffin and Diego Nunes, Gamburyan has rebounded with 3 wins and 1 no contest from his next five fights. He last fought at UFC 178 in September of last year, submitting Cody Gibson towards the end of the second round.
Alan Omer Returns From Injury at UFC Berlin
After more than a year on the sidelines, Alan Omer makes his return to the octagon on June 20th. It is a situation that his opponent, Mike Wilkinson, knows only too well.
Wilkinson was forced to pull out of The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes, due to injury. He would later suffer more heartbreak, out of the octagon for over a year between fights in 2013 and 2014. Now healthy, he returned to action in October with a first round win against Niklas Backstrom.
Omer, born in Iraq, but training in Germany, has not fought since a split decision loss to Jim Alers in his UFC debut in April of last year.
Top 15 Bantamweights Added to Cormier Vs Bader Card
As we are reminded at every turn, the UFC rankings will determine the fighter payouts from the Reebok sponsorship deal in the Summer. As such, 11th ranked Francisco Rivera, and 15th rankedAlex Caceres, should be desperate for a win when they face each other at UFC Fight Night 68 on June 6th.
Both men come into the fight off back to back losses and would almost certainly slip out of the top 15 with another defeat. The card is headlined by a light-heavyweight clash between division standout Daniel Cormier, and Ryan Bader.
Another bout added to UFC 189: Aldo Vs McGregor in July
When even a welterweight world title fight on the same card is being somewhat overlooked due to the magnitude of the main event, you could be forgiven for paying little notice to the addition of a bantamweight tussle at UFC 189.
Team Alpha Male will be represented by Cody Garbrandt against Mexican 135lb’er Henry Briones. Both men were victorious in their UFC debuts and will be hoping to do enough to get noticed in the preliminaries of one of the year’s biggest shows.
By: Stephen Rivers