1. Ontario sanctions MMA: The Ontario government in Canada will be adopting the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts used across North America. According to multiple published reports, mixed martial arts events can begin taking place in the province starting next year. “This is a huge moment for the UFC in Canada,” said UFC President Dana White. “Premier Dalton McGuinty, Minister Sophia Aggelonitis and Canadian fight fans, thank you for your support. You helped to make this happen and I can’t wait to bring big fights and the biggest names in the UFC to Ontario.” And the UFC continues to tear down walls for the sport of MMA. Love him or hate him, Dana White delivers on almost all his promises. Ontario is a huge market, and with the Canadian MMA fans already selling out every other Canadian venue, they should have no problem selling out their first ever event there.
2. B.J. Penn starts the trash talk with Frankie Edgar: In a pre-fight hype video for UFC 118, B.J. Penn says he’s going to finish Frankie Edgar this time around. I’m goingto knock him out or submit him or slam him on his head and have him get knocked out from that. I’m all about finishing my guy and I cannot wait to finish him. After it’s done I want him to look at me and think ‘That’s what it’s like to fight B.J. Penn, that’s what it’s like to fight the world champion.’” Gotta love B.J. Penn. He definitely has a mouth on him and can sell a fight. Not that I didn’t’ want to see this fight already, but to see a rejuvenated B.J. Penn will be a sight to see.
3. Big Nog out, Cro Cop in at UFC 119: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira has been forced to pull out of his main event fight with Frank Mir at UFC 119 on September 25, according to multiple reports. Indianapolis fans will now be seeing a main event bout between Frank Mir and Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, according to Fighters Only Magazine. MMAJunkie.com is reporting that Nogueira’s withdrawal can be attributed to a recurring hip injury. I actually like this match-up better. At least it’s something we haven’t seen before. And if Cro Cop can somehow defeat Frank Mir, he’ll be vaulted up the heavyweight ladder. If Cro Cop can keep the fight standing it’s anyone’s guess on what will happen.
4. UFC 121 main card officially announced: Today the UFC announced the full main card for UFC 121 on October 23 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA. Lesnar will defend his heavyweight championship against 8-0 Cain Velasquez in the night’s main event, while the rest of the main card features Jake Shields in his UFC debut against Martin Kampmann, Diego Sanchez against Paulo Thiago, Tito Ortiz against Matt Hamill, and Brendan Schaub against Gabriel Gonzaga. This card is stacked. One of the better cards on paper this year. And with Lesnar headlining, the UFC can be sure to sell another 1 million PPV buys.
5. Hector Lombard vs. Alexander Shlemenko: Fresh off another quick knockout victory, Bellator Middleweight Champion Hector Lombard’s next fight will be against season two tournament winner Alexander Shlemenko at Bellator 34 this October. Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney confirmed the match-up on Bellator’s Thursday’s broadcast on Fox Sports Net. Lombard’s current unbeaten streak now stretches to 20 fights and almost four years. That’s just ridiculous. Can we get this guy some real competition? Thanks. He should definitely be in the UFC. Dana White, take notice. Oh, and in case you missed the beatdown: