The UFC’s next Canadian date is slowly beginning to take shape.
Montreal will host UFC 145 on March 24. The event is expected to be held at the Bell Centre, but the venue is not confirmed at this point.
Though a main event has yet to be announced, three fights are set for the show.
B.C. welterweight Rory MacDonald will return to action when he meets British knockout artist Che Mills. MacDonald was scheduled to fight Brian Ebersole at UFC 140 in Toronto earlier this month, but was forced off the card due to an undisclosed injury.
A pair of heavyweight bouts have also been confirmed. Strikeforce vet Chad Griggs will take on undefeated Travis Browne while Brendan Schaub looks to bounce back from his KO loss to Antonio Rodrigo (Minotauro) Nogueira when he faces Ben Rothwell.
DOESN’T REMEMBER A THING
MMA fans who tuned in to UFC president Dana White’s first video blog for UFC 141 were stunned to hear Krzysztof Soszynski say he was done with the sport while getting checked out by the event doctor following his KO loss to Igor Pokrajac in Toronto earlier this month.
But no one was more shocked by the news than Soszynski, who had no recollection of saying he would hang them up.
“I’m sitting down surfing the net, and I come across Dana White’s video blog,” Soszynski told MMA Junkie. “I pop it on because I’m always a fan of those things, and next thing you know, there I am.
“The truth is, I don’t remember (retiring). The last thing I remember before the knockout was going into the cage, setting up across from Igor, and then shaking hands. The next thing I remember is I’m woken up in the back, fully dressed, and (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva came up to me, sort of gave me a hug and told me to keep my head up.”
FASTEST KNOCKOUT, MAYBE
The UFC has officially awarded Duane (Bang) Ludwig the fastest knockout in company history.
At UFC Fight Night 3, Ludwig scored a lightning-quick KO over Quebec’s Jonathan Goulet. Footage of the fight shows referee Mario Yamasaki stopping the action as early as the four-second mark, but a timekeeper error resulted in the bout duration being recorded at 11 seconds.
In a recent video blog (tinyurl.com/ludwigko), UFC president Dana White timed Ludwig’s KO and compared it to those of official record-holders Todd Duffee and Chan Sung Jung.
Ludwig’s clocked in at 6.06 seconds, while Sung’s and Duffee’s were timed at 6.26 and 7.56 respectively.
But Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer has so far refused to change the official time.
“I did tell his people,” Kizer told MMA Junkie. “I timed it myself with a stopwatch. It was eight seconds. Officially, it’s got to stay at 11 seconds, but unofficially, it could be at eight.”
JAPAN’S MARATHON MMA ‘DREAM’
Japanese MMA promotion DREAM has announced the official bout order for its massive fight card Saturday.
‘DREAM: New Year! 2011’ will clock in at a whopping nine hours and features two title fights, a bantamweight tournament, kickboxing bouts and even some pro-wrestling matches. The card, which will air at 1 a.m. ET Saturday on HDNet, is headlined by a MMA fight between Fedor Emelianenko and Satoshi Ishii.
Here’s the full card. All fights are under MMA rules unless otherwise noted.
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Satoshi Ishii
Shinya Aoki vs. Satoru Kitaoka (for lightweight title)
Hiroyuki Takaya vs. Takeshi “Lion” Inoue (for featherweight title)
Atsushi Sawada & Shinichi Suzukawa vs. Kazushi Sakuraba & Katsuyori Shibata (pro-wrestling match)
Peter Aerts vs. Kazuyuki Fujita (pro-wrestling match)
Jerome Le Banner vs. Tim Sylvia (pro-wrestling match)
Yuichiro Nagashima vs. Katsunori Kikuno (mixed-rules bout)
Josh Barnett vs. Hideki Suzuki (pro-wrestling match)
Yuta Kubo vs. Nils Widlund (kickboxing match)
Masaaki Noiri vs. Kengo Sonoda (kickboxing match)
Ryo Chonan vs. Hayato Sakurai
Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Kazuyuki Miyata
Karla Benitez vs. Megumi Fujii
Rodolfo Marques Diniz vs. Bibiano Fernandes (tourney semifinal)
Antonio Banuelos vs. Masakazu Imanari (tourney semifinal)
Yusup Saadulaev vs. Hideo Tokoro (tourney reserve match)