Former Pride heavyweight champ Fedor Emelianenko has cancelled a U.S. press tour, choosing instead to stay in Russia and prepare for his upcoming Affliction fight against Andrei Arlovski slated for Jan. 24. Emelianenko recently lost a Sambo competition (not counted as an MMA loss, but still Emelianenko's first loss in eight years). Arlovski is also an expert in the Russian martial art of Sambo.
Numerous credible sources are reporting that the UFC has dropped Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou. The light heavyweight, who trains with Team Quest, was 1-2 in the UFC. Also released was longtime UFC fighter Jorge Gurgel -- who helped train Rich Franklin and was a contestant in The Ultimate Fighter 2. Gurgel has signed with Strikeforce. In the most recent purge, the UFC has also shed heavyweight Fabricio Werdum.
COMEBACK FOR NEWTON
Toronto's Carlos Newton is getting set to make a comeback. The former UFC welterweight champ will fight in W1: Inception slated for March 28 in Gatineau, Que. He will take on Canadian fight staple Nabil Khatib.
NEER VS. DANZIG
MMAjunkie is reporting Josh Neer and Mac Danzig have been added to UFC Fight Night 17 to take place Feb. 7 at The Palms in Las Vegas.
ARONA BATTLES BACK
Former Pride standout Ricardo Arona tells sherdog.com he plans to return to fighting in 2009. The Brazilian has spent the past 18 months creating a training facility in Brazil which is nearly complete. The 30-year-old then plans to renew his focus on fighting.
WWE has two new heavyweight champs. Edge won the WWE title over Kozlov and Triple H in a three-way match at Survivor Series. John Cena beat Chris Jericho for the world title. Team HBK beat Team JBL, Team RAW beat Team Smackdown! (women), Undertaker beat The Big Show and Team Orton beat Team Batista.