Welcome to the third edition of “All Five Rounds”, our weekly look back at some of the stories that made headlines in the world of mixed martial arts.
After his unexpected defeat at the hands of the new UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman, MMA legend Anderson Silva initially showed no interest in an immediate rematch. However, the greatest fighter of all time is now rumored to be interested in a second fight with Weidman and not surprisingly, UFC President Dana White wasted no time in delivering the news to the sports media.
Also in the news this past week, the UFC held a press conference on July 9th in Toronto to promote UFC 165 which will take place at the Air Canada Center on September 21st. UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones will be defending his title against top light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafson in the main event.
The recent wave of mixed martial artists to retire also continued this past week, as UFC middleweight Brian Stann announced that he was calling it quits. The former WEC Light Heavyweight Champion last fought this past March in a loss to Wanderlei Silva and made the announcement on “The MMA Hour”, with Ariel Helwani.
Silva Rumored to Now Want Rematch
Not long after his knockout loss to Chris Weidman, Anderson Silva made it clear to UFC commentator Joe Rogan that he was no longer interested in fighting for the UFC Middleweight Championship and was looking forward to some much-deserved time away from the sport. While Silva maintained that he would be taking some time off to weigh his options, the former champion’s attitude towards a rematch with Weidman had noticeably changed in time for the post-fight press conference.
UFC middleweight Mark Munoz who was also victorious at UFC 162, was quick to throw his hat in the octagon, suggesting himself as Weidman’s next opponent, despite having previously lost to the new title holder.
While Anderson Silva has yet to publicly state his interest in the rematch, UFC President Dana White seemed to have no hesitation in naming either December 2013 or February 2014 as the most likely date for the fight. Calling it the “biggest fight in UFC history” already, White has hinted towards the bout being held on Super Bowl weekend in Newark, New Jersey.
For the new champ, the idea of a rematch in the New York-New Jersey area would no doubt sound appealing due to the fact that he is a native of Long Island, New York.
Swanson In Line for a Title Shot?
Featherweight Cub Swanson extended his winning streak to five straight on Saturday night, with a third-round knockout of fellow featherweight contender Dennis Siver at UFC 162.
After a losing his UFC debut to Ricardo Lamas in November 2011, Swanson quickly bounced back, defeating George Roop, Ross Pearson, Charles Oliveira, and Dustin Poirier, prior to his knockout win this past weekend.
Explosive and highly unpredictable, Swanson is currently ranked as the # 4 featherweight contender and if he continues on his present path, the 29-year-old BJJ black belt is very likely to earn a title shot and rematch with UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo.
Next up for Swanson? At this point, the most likely opponents would be top-five featherweight contenders Frankie Edgar (3) or Ricardo Lamas (2), and a win against either would put Swanson in line for a title shot.
BJ Penn Considering a Comeback?
Former UFC champion BJ Penn is rumored to be considering a comeback to the UFC as a lightweight and while he is yet to officialy announce his return, the sports media has been buzzing with Penn-related headlines consistently for the past week.
During his last trip to the octagon in December 2012, Penn was defeated in a unanimous decision victory by welterweight Rory MacDonald. With a 1-2-1 record in his last four fights, it was clear that one of MMA’s most dominating fighters had lost a step and was at times, unable to compete against the division’s elite.
Having been motivated recently by Anderson Silva who is still competing at the age of 39, the 34-year-old Penn stated that if he did return, it would definitely be at 155 pounds in order to avoid matchups against much larger opponents in the welterweight division.
One of the best welterweights-lightweights of all-time, Penn told MMA reporter Ariel Helwani that at least for now, “I’m not coming back.”, despite the fact that he admitted to recently restarting his training regimen.
UFC on Fox 8 Next on the Menu
Continuing with their busy summer schedule, the next event on the UFC calendar will take place on July 27 in Seattle Washington at UFC on Fox 8.
Fortunately for fight fans, a Fox event means that the card will be available on TV and is a non–pay per view fight.
Headlining the card, UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrius Johnson [17-7-1], will defend his belt for just the third time, against top flyweight contender John Moraga [13-3-1], who brings a six-fight winning streak and five first-round finishes with him into the octagon.
The main card will start with a women’s bantamweight matchup of Liz Carmouche (7-3-0) and Brazilian Jessica Andrade (9-2-0), followed by a welterweight contest between Robbie Lawlor (20-8-0) and Bobby Voelker (24-9-0).
To many, the most intriguing bout on the card is between third-ranked welterweight contender Rory MacDonald (14-1-0) and the fourth-ranked Jake Ellenberger (29-6-0), who have recently taken their dislike for each other to Twitter.
The winner of the MacDonald-Ellenberger fight will most likely earn a shot at UFC Welterweight Champion George St. Pierre in the near future, provided that GSP successfully defends his belt against Johnny Hendricks this fall.
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