While Chael Sonnenís desire to fight champ Anderson Silva wonít be fulfilled in his next bout, it looks like the controversial middleweight contender will be headlining the next UFC on FOX event, against Mark Munoz.
According to MMAInterviews.tv, Sonnen and Munoz will meet in a No. 1 contender fight to determine the next challenger for the Brazilian champion.
Silva, who Sonnen had set his sights on, is currently rehabbing from a shoulder injury he suffered in a one-sided victory over Yushin Okami at UFC 134 and wonít be ready to return to the octagon until June 2012.
As well, it looks like bantamweight contender Demetrious Johnson will make his return to action against former WEC champion Eddie Wineland. Sources confirmed to MMAWeekly.com that a verbal agreement for the bout has been reached.
Also rumoured to be on the card is a welterweight collision between Jake Ellenberger and Diego Sanchez, as well as a potential fight between Melvin Guillard and Jim Miller.
JUNIOR EYES OLYMPIC GOLD
Junior dos Santos has accomplished his goal of being crowned UFC heavyweight champion, now the Brazilian fighter has his sights set on Olympic gold.
Dos Santos, who recently picked up a quick knockout victory over Cain Valesquez to secure the heavyweight title, told TATAME.com that he is considering making a run for boxing gold at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The 27-year-old fighter said he has always considered boxing to be his biggest asset and that he would like to compete at a national level.
ďMy trainings begin and end with boxing,Ē Dos Santos said. ďThere are dynamics and strategies Iím already used to. But Iíll test myself, itís inevitable. Who knows (maybe) I (can) get an Olympic medal.Ē
Dos Santos is widely considered to possess some of the best boxing skills in mixed martial arts.
ďThe adaptations from boxing to MMA are complex. You have to be careful about blocking the kicks and takedowns,Ē his boxing coach Luiz Dorea said. ďIf heís already above average combining all those things, imagine when he fights traditional boxing. The chances heíll shine are huge.Ē
Until then, dos Santos will have to focus on defending his heavyweight title, most likely against the winner of the Brock Lesnar-Alistair Overeem match at UFC 141.
JACKSON LEFT OFF JAPAN CARD
After Stephan Bonnar picked up his third straight victory with a win over Kyle Kingsbury at UFC 139, the light heavyweight said he had always dreamed of fighting Quinton (Rampage) Jackson.
The former champ must have heard what Bonnar said because Rampage quickly texted UFC president Dana White to say he wanted the fight.
Jackson was already set to compete at UFC 144 in Japan, but was without an opponent, making the Bonnar fight a real possibility.
In fact, it was reported by ESPN.com that a fight between the two was in the works. But just as quickly as the report was out, it was squashed.
Jackson revealed on Tuesday via Twitter that he will not be fighting in Japan.
ďIt donít look like Iím fighting in Japan which Iím not happy about at all, I think itís a big mistake by the UFC... F*** it.Ē
Jackson was a fan favourite while fighting for Japanese promotion Pride from 2001 to 2006 and most probably would have been welcomed back by Japanese fans with open arms.
SHOGUN WAS THAT CLOSE
Everyone seems to agree that the five-round light-heavyweight fight between Dan Henderson and Mauricio (Shogun) Rua at UFC 139 on Saturday night will go down as one of the all-time great battles in mixed martial arts history.
All three ring-side judges at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., scored the bout 48-47 for Henderson. But many, including Dana White, thought that Rua had won the final round, thereby making the fight a draw.
ďI thought it was a draw,Ē White told MMAWeekly.com following the event. ďThis is one of those tough fights. In the first round, they both knocked each other down. You give Henderson the first three rounds. You give Shogun (round) four and 10-8 in the last round for a dominant round. Itís a draw,Ē he explained. ďItís one of those tough ones. Thatís how I scored it. I scored it a draw.
ďI donít consider myself a professional judge, but I had the fight a draw.Ē
After being on the verge of being finished in the opening rounds, Rua logged the most dominant round of the fight in the fifth. Many scored it 10-8 for Rua.
ďI honestly didnít think it was going to make it out of the first round. It thought Henderson was going to finish him in the first round and Shogun showed amazing recovery, amazing heart,Ē White said.