Sizzling Brittney back in UFC good books

Octagon girl Brittney Palmer makes her way around the Octagon during UFC 131 at Rogers Arena in...

Octagon girl Brittney Palmer makes her way around the Octagon during UFC 131 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC, June, 11, 2011. (RICHARD LAM/QMI Agency)

DAVE HILSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:57 PM ET

First she was there, then she wasn’t. Now she’s back again.

You might not even know it, but for several days it seemed sizzling hot Octagon Girl Brittney Palmer’s time with the UFC had come to an end.

The bio and picture of the 5-foot-6 Las Vegas native had been unceremoniously yanked from the UFC’s official website, and, although no official announcement came from either party, Palmer had posted messages to her Twitter account alluding to the fact that her seven-month run with the UFC was over.

“Thanks for all the good luck wishes! I’m figuring it all out. Life is full of surprises. This will definitely keep me grounded. Over and out,” the beauty tweeted on July 16.

Speculation was rampant that UFC head honcho Dana White was miffed with the former WEC ring queen for messing up which network was carrying UFC Live.

But (a deep sigh of relief from everyone) it seems White has heard your cries and Palmer will be strutting her stuff around the octagon and keeping us abreast of what round it is for the foreseeable future.

After being bombarded with messages that fans didn’t want to see her go, Palmer’s profile has miraculously reappeared on the UFC website — phew!

INJURY CANCELS OVEREEM

In what appears to be another blow to the organization, reigning heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem has been pulled from the Sept. 10 Strikeforce Grand Prix semifinals.

Overeem, who made it past the quarters with a unanimous-decision win over Fabricio Werdum on June 18, revealed earlier this week on the MMA Hour that he might not be ready to fight Anderson (Big Foot) Silva because of injury. But it turns out it doesn’t matter. UFC president Dana White, who oversees Strikeforce as Zuffa co-owner, has piped in and said Overeem was out and being replaced by Daniel Cormier.

White told MMA Fighting that while Overeem was out of the tourney, he was still employed by Strikeforce and White confirmed that at a press conference on Tuesday to promote UFC 135 in Denver.

“Overeem is under contract and when his pinky toe heals up, we’ll get him another fight,” White said. “The date that was set in September was set by Showtime, and it is what it is. We’ve got to get an alternate in there, but he’s still under contract ... If you say you’re hurt, you’re hurt. What are you gonna do? There’s been a lot of that lately.”

FORD ON THE MOVE

Canadian mixed martial artist Ryan Ford is moving up in the world.

Ford (16-3), one of Canada’s top welterweights, announced via his Facebook account that he has joined the ranks of Bellator Fighting Championships and will make his debut with the organization at an as-of-yet unannounced October event at Casino Rama.

The fight is expected to serve as a qualifier for the promotion’s sixth welterweight tournament, which will take place in January, according to the 29-year-old who fights out of Edmonton.

The Real Deal is a compelling addition to Bellator’s 170-pound weight class, which is currently owned by champion Ben Askren. For Ford to get a shot at Askren, he’ll have to win a tournament first — Bellator requires all title challengers to come from its eight-man tournaments.

Ford, whose recent wins have come over the likes of UFC vets Karo Parisyan and Pete Spratt, has won four straight fights and eight of his past nine.

Prior to joining Bellator, Ford spent most of his career with Canadian promotion Maximum Fighting Championship.

Before January’s event, Bellator will hold its fifth welterweight tournament in September with fighters competing for $100,000 and a shot at Askren’s belt.

FARMING LIFE FOR LESNAR

Former UFC heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar is alive and getting well on his farm in Canada, UFC president Dana White said in a recent conference all.

Lesnar is on the mend following surgery in late May that removed 12 inches of his large intestine after his latest bout with diverticulitis, an intestinal disease, kept him out of his main event match against Junior dos Santos at UFC 131 in Vancouver.

“I talked to his manager. You want to hear how fast this guy is recovering?” White said.

“He has a big farm in Canada and he’s basically up there farming. He’s completely disconnected himself from the world, no phones, no nothing. He’s not talking to anybody.”

Lesnar’s first bout with the disease came in 2009 and forced him to pull out of a fight with Shane Carwin. But the behemoth was able to bounce back and defeat Carwin before losing his belt to Cain Velasquez at UFC 121.

The question is, can he bounce back this time? The MMA world and his boss certainly hope so.

“We’re hoping he can be back by the first of the year,” White said. “His recovery has been incredible.”

STRIKEFORCE CARD FINALIZED

With fight night quickly approaching, the complete 10-bout linuep for Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson has finally been announced. While the main card — featuring a blockbuster heavyweight clash between MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko and current Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion Dan Henderson — for the July 30 event at the Sears Centre just outside Chicago had been announced weeks ago, the preliminary fights were just finalized this week.

Those bouts include: Bryan Humes vs. Gabriel Salinas-Jones; Derek Brunson vs. Lumumba Sayers; Julie Kedzie vs. Alexis Davis; Eduardo Pamplona vs. Tyler Stinson; Gesias Cavalcante vs. Lyle Beerbohm.

Strikeforce must be hoping the highly anticipated bout between Fedor, who is coming off two straight losses, and Henderson, who just recently claimed his crown, will help bring back some of the shine to the organization after the defection of Nick Diaz to the UFC and the yanking of heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem from its Grand Prix tournament.

Showtime will broadcast the main bouts starting at 10 p.m.


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