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Memorial Day News Round-Up: Fedor-Hendo, Mayhem-Bisping, Rampage’s Hand, Strikeforce Notes

Guys, I’m too exhausted to bang out a bunch of posts tonight, so here’s a rundown of news and notes from Memorial Day Weekend. Normal posting will resume tomorrow.

— Fedor Emelianenko vs. Dan Henderson is finally official for July 30 at Sears Centre Arena in Chicago. Scott Coker told members of the press it would be a 220 lbs. catchweight bout, but Dan Henderson later refuted that claiming it was never spelled out in the bout agreement.

Incorrect. Ask him to show it to you cuz the one we have doesn’t say that & furthermore it was never discussed. What is the point? RT @arielhelwani: Seems to be some confusion about @danhendo-Fedor fight. Just asked Coker again; said bout agreement states it’s a 220-lbs catchweight

The official press release later clarified that it will in fact be contested at heavyweight. Either way, the fight isn’t going to be cheap for Strikeforce. ESPN’s Josh Gross is reporting that Fedor will make $1.5 million while Hendo will make a whopping $800,000. If you think they’re going to recoup that on pay-per-view, think again. The fight will air on Showtime.

— By now you’ve heard that Mayhem Miller and Michael Bisping will coach TUF 14. That pair definitely has potential, but unlike previous seasons, this season of TUF won’t be used as a vehicle to build a high-profile pay-per-view bout between the two coaches. Instead, Mayhem and Bisping will throw down at the TUF 14 Finale in December on Spike TV.

— I still haven’t seen it, but judging by the various reactions I’ve read Rampage Jackson didn’t put on the most thrilling performance of his career against Matt Hamill the other night. Still, it was enough to earn him a title shot at Jon Jones, but only if his hand is okay. As Rampage told Ariel Helwani after the fight, he broke it last December messing around with one of friends and then re-injured it during his UFC 130 camp. Dana White says they need to get the hand checked out first and if he gets clearance, he gets the shot. If not, Machida likely will, or even Rashad Evans depending on how things play out.

“If Rampage can’t go, we’d either have to do Machida – because Machida is ready to go – or have [Jones] wait for Rashad because Rashad wants to (fight him),” White said. “Rashad is 100 percent confident he’s going to win this fight and wants to turn right around and fight Jones too. We’ll see what happens.”

Interestingly, Rampage did say after the fight that he wants his belt back. It’s the first time he’s said it in a long time. Machida says he wants the title fight too. I think everyone knows Rashad does.

— Jim already mentioned this the other day, but Dana White revealed over the weekend that Brock Lesnar did in fact undergo surgery for his diverticulitis. His statement:

“Brock Lesnar had surgery yesterday. They removed about 12 inches of his colon, and they repaired it,” said White. “He says he feels great. He’s a little sore, but the operation was a huge success. We’re hoping that he can be back by the first of the year. He’s excited to recover and get back in the UFC.”

Dana White blasted Roy Nelson for his performance against Frank Mir the other night. Dana wants to see Roy slim down to at least 240, but Nelson tweeted today that he had walking pneumonia during the fight, which resulted in the poor outing.

— Despite his personal feelings on Chael Sonnen’s recent hearing with the CSAC, Dana White confirmed that they will not attempt to book him anywhere until his issues with the CSAC and NSAC are straightened out.

Scott Coker announced over the weekend that the Strikeforce “Overeem vs. Werdum” preliminary bouts will air on HDNet. The officially announced prelims:

  • Jorge Masvidal vs. K.J. Noons
  • Julie Kedzie vs. Amanda Nunes
  • Gesias Cavalcante vs. Justin Wilcox
  • Magno Almeida vs. Conor Heun

— The rumored GSP vs. Nick Diaz fight is still up in the air, but Scott Coker did tell Ariel Helwani over the weekend that Diaz will remain the Strikeforce champion and didn’t sound too optimistic that the GSP fight would happen anytime soon as much as he wants to see it. These roadblocks Dana White keeps speaking of must be pretty big.

— Beginning with Strikeforce Challengers 17 on July 22, all Challengers events will now be held at The Pearl at The Palms in Las Vegas.

Five fights were announced for DREAM.17 (apparently the DREAM event over the weekend was just DREAM: Fight for Japan and not DREAM.17) on July 16.

  • Gegard Mousasi vs. Hiroshi Izumi (for Dream LHW title)
  • Hiroyuki Takaya vs. Kazuyuki Miyata (for Dream FW title)
  • Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Willamy “Chiquerim” Friere
  • Hideo Tokoro vs. Mazakazu Imanari (Finals of Japan BWGP)
  • Atsushi Yamamoto vs. Kenji Osawa (Third Place of Japan BWGP)

Dana White says they’re close to nailing down the first international version of TUF in the Phillippines, but it’s not quite a done deal yet. The long-term plan however is to make a world grand prix out of international TUF competitors. Explained Dana: “It’s like the World Cup of ‘TUF. Dude, if we can nail that one, that’s my dream.”

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Fight Cards

Bellator 163: McGeary vs. Davis

Event Date: November 4, 2016
Broadcast: Spike

UFC Fight Night 98: Dos Anjos vs. Ferguson

Event Date: November 5, 2016
Broadcast: TBD

Bellator 164: Koreshkov vs. Lima

Event Date: November 11, 2016
Broadcast: Spike Sports

UFC 205: Alvarez vs. McGregor

Event Date: November 12, 2016
Broadcast: Pay-per-view, Fox Sports 1, UFC Fight Pass

Bellator 165: Chandler Vs. Henderson

Event Date: November 19, 2016
Broadcast: Spike TV

UFC Fight Night 99: Mousasi vs. Hall 2

Event Date: November 19, 2016
Broadcast: TBD