Kaepernick on Panthers rematch: ‘We owe them’


Colin Kaepernick is in search of payback in Sunday's rematch with the Panthers. (USATSI)

The last time the Panthers and 49ers met, back in Week 10, Carolina eked out a 10-9 victory. It was the Panthers' fifth win in a row, and came eight days earlier than they would defeat New England on Monday Evening Football and make even the most important skeptic concede that this workforce was legit.


Nine weeks later, and hours after the 49ers outlasted the Packers in frigid circumstances, now we have our rematch. However this time, quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who had all the pieces to do with San Francisco's wild-card win, is looking for a different final result within the NFC Divisional recreation.

And whereas some folks will little doubt try to flip that into bulletin-board materials, the reality is that Kap's right. If the 49ers have any pleasure – and so they clearly do – they are going to wish to make up for that early November loss. It's that mentality that also explains Kaepernick's explanation for going sleeveless in Green Bay despite wind chills that made it feel like -14 levels.

"I requested him if he was sure he didn't want to go to sleeves," coach Jim Harbaugh mentioned after the game. "He stated no, he'd played in colder."

So there you go.

"Colin Kaepernick, I believe we can all agree, is a clutch performer," Harbaugh continued, through the San Francisco Chronicle. "Somebody that solutions within the clutch time of the sport, on the essential down. On the time when it matters most. That's what I might name clutch.

"He is Kaepernick-powerful, and I think it is pretty superior."

It's onerous to argue with that assessment after Kap's efficiency against the Packers that included 98 speeding yards and a huge landing move to Vernon Davis.

That stated, chilly climate will not be a factor in Charlotte when these two teams face off next Sunday at 1:05 p.m. ET. The early forecast is for rain and highs within the mid-60s.

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Silva has ugly injury, loses rematch to Weidman


Chris Weidman will look to for a repeat performance as he defends his belt against Anderson Silva (USATSI)
Chris Weidman retained his title after Anderson Silva broke his leg throwing a leg kick. (USATSI)


**This blog will be updated after every spherical of each struggle, with a quick preview posted before every struggle. If it looks as if an excessive amount of time has handed between updates, click here to refresh**


Fundamental Occasion – UFC Middleweight Championship (185 lbs)
Chris Weidman, champion (10-zero) vs. Anderson Silva (33-5)

12:37 a.m. If this is the way it ends, it ended with Anderson Silva's leg damaged in half, and with Silva screaming in ache on the Octagon flooring as Chris Weidman jogged the other way, arms raised, a champion nonetheless, the only fighter to beat Silva as soon as in the UFC.. and now, having crushed him for a second time. Given his age, Silva – who turns 39 in April – might be done as a fighter. What's extra to show? He can't battle Weidman again any time soon, so does this all-time nice want to spend a yr in grueling bodily rehabilitation solely to drop down the ladder and combat an elimination bout or two within the hopes of getting one other crack at Weidman in a year or extra, pushing 40? My guess: No. My guess: We have seen the final of Anderson Silva, an infuriating but undeniably gifted fighter who pushed the boundaries, good and unhealthy, of what a fighter might get away with inside the cage. And in the end, he discovered what he couldn't get away with in opposition to someone nearly as good as Chris Weidman: taunting him in the first combat, and attempting an inside leg kick in the second.

As for Chris Weidman, who's subsequent? Most likely another Brazilian challenger, someone from among the next three guys: Vitor Belfort, Jacare Souza or Lyoto Machida.

12:29 a.m. Post-combat interview: Battle ends at 1:sixteen of Spherical 2 after Silva broke his shin on Weidman's test of a leg kick. The leg bent ninety levels in a spot the place there's no knee. Yikes. Afterward, Weidman advised Rogan: "No matter what occurred, he is nonetheless often known as the best of all time. I want him the perfect, and God bless him." Weidman said he labored on checking leg kicks in camp as a result of Silva damage him with leg kicks within the first battle: "I knew if he kicked me arduous on my knee, it might damage him. Crazy that it might happen like that."

12:23 a.m. Spherical 2: Silva is dancing and throwing now, like he usually does midway through Spherical 1. Weidman didn't give him that likelihood earlier, so now Silva is trying to get his rhythm going. Oh no. Oh wow. Weidman checked Silva's inside leg kick, and that broke Silva's leg. What an ending. TKO, damaged leg, Weidman wins. Silva is screaming in agony.

12:20 a.m. Spherical 1: Silva is not playing around or prancing pointlessly. However he's not throwing early, as traditional, and Weidman charges and puts him down, although Silva popped up and buried a knee in Weidman's abdomen. In the dirty-boxing position Weidman crushed Silva's temple and knocked him down and was attempting to complete with heavy ground-and-pound. Again?!??! No. Properly, not yet anyway. Silva survived, and Weidman is in Silva's guard, fending off submission makes an attempt and dropping elbows. One right hand to Silva's head seemed dangerous, then two more. Rogan keeps saying, "Weidman harm him." Silva appears OK, but he doesn't look protected. This looks like Silva-Sonnen I, is what it appears to be like like. This spherical is 10-9 for Weidman, 10-8 if the judges are feeling frisky.

Tale of the Tape
  Chris Weidman Anderson Silva
Report 10-0-0 33-5-zero
KO/TKO W-L four-zero 20-1
Submission W-L three-0 6-2
Decision W-L 3-0 7-1
Age 29 38
Peak 6'0'' 6'2''
Reach* 78'' seventy seven.6''
Weight* 185 185

eleven:59 p.m. Preview: We have by no means seen an embarrassed Anderson Silva. We've seen an angry Anderson Silva, who destroyed Chael Sonnen in the first spherical of their rematch. We have seen a bored Silva and a cocky Silva – we see that Silva means too typically – but he was humiliated in his last combat with Weidman by begging the American to hit him, even dropping his palms and jutting out his chin, and then getting knocked out chilly. Silva was embarrassed, and he ought to be indignant, which means this must be the most effective, most focused Anderson Silva of all time. And I am selecting that man to lose? No approach. I guess he finishes Weidman within the first spherical, which does not mean that is what I'd like to see. But that's what I believe we'll see.


Co-Most important Occasion – UFC Ladies's Bantamweight Championship (135 lbs)
Ronda Rousey, champion (7-zero) vs. Miesha Tate (thirteen-4)

11:fifty six p.m. Submit-combat interviews: Rousey to Joe Rogan: "Household comes before something, even the boos and cheers of the group. She did a tremendous job but I am unable to shake the hand of someone who spit on my household's again." And the gang booed, and booed, and booed. Rousey absolutely gained this battle – and misplaced this crowd. The gang cheered Tate for her interview with Rogan, then booed … as Rousey posed for pictures on the other facet of the cage. Tate said Rousey's proper hand was much improved, then pandered to the crowd by thanking them for his or her assist. And the group cheered. Ronda Rousey: bad man. Narrative! However generally narratives are true. You recognize?

eleven:51 p.m. Spherical three: They grapple and roll and Rousey leads to arm-bar place and closes the struggle out, submission win for Rousey … and what did I say within the preview? Rousey ruined it by showing no class. Tate tried to shake her hand, and Rousey walked away from her. The gang booed Rousey, and good for them. The replay confirmed on the screen, and the crowd booed Rousey again. Then they booed her when her arm was raised.

11:49 p.m. Spherical 2: Rousey pushed Tate down immediately however Tate scored with some brutal up-kicks while Rousey simply kind of stood there and … took it. Bizarre. Rousey took her down again, but did not score on the ground. Rousey pushed Tate once more the cage and punched her face from the clinch, then kneed Tate in the stomach, then tossed her with a judo throw into aspect control. Rousey was near arm-bar place, then gave it up for the complete mount with 1:55 left. Now she's landing lefts to Tate's face earlier than spinning for Tate's left arm. Appears to be like dangerous. Unhealthy. Bad. Tate escapes! However Rousey continues to be on prime, punching Tate's face. Rousey now has Tate in a reverse leg triangle, and Joe Rogan says Tate "is in deep, deep doo-doo proper now," but Tate will survive what could possibly be a ten-eight round for Rousey given how close she was to finishing the battle two or 3 times. But it will be 10-9, Rousey.

eleven:43 p.m. Round 1: They exchange punches for 10 seconds, then Rousey ducks, charges and will get Tate down. That is how it's gonna be, huh? Tate rises but Rousey is all over her, plastering Tate to the cage and then tripping her down once more. Tate put Rousey into triangle place, but Rousey lifted her over her head and compelled Tate to let go earlier than she grew to become Rampage'd. They rolled to the ground with Tate in Rousey's guard, and Rousey cuts up Tate's face with elbows while going for both an arm bar or a triangle from her back. Tate obtained out of it, and they stood and fired. Tate landed a huge right, however Rousey took her down with 90 seconds left and almost had the mount. Just a loopy spherical of motion, down and up and down and up, and this is the best Tate's ever seemed and still Rousey will win this round 10-9.

11:22 p.m. Brief interlude: They simply showed the Uriah Hall-Chris Leben combat from earlier tonight on the PPV card, and when Corridor tried that spinning wheel kick that produced the largest knockout in TUF actuality-present history, Leben ducked it but his face modified. His face mentioned: Oh s-t, I would like out of this cage. After which when Corridor dropped him with a straight proper and was clubbing away because the spherical ended, Leben was carried out. I'm undecided he was out on his toes, after watching and listening intently. However I'm positive Leben wanted no more of Uriah Hall. He advised his corner, "I'm finished," and he didn't sound like a man who was nearly out. He seemed like a guy who knew precisely what he was saying.

11:thirteen p.m. Preview: For a wrestler, Tate is lousy at stopping takedowns – opponents have an 80-p.c success rate – and that is awful in opposition to a judoka like Rousey. Their first assembly ended within the first spherical with Tate's arm bent the flawed method. That may occur once more here, of course. And then Rousey will smash it by doing something to make us all want probably the most well-known feminine fighter on the earth had more class.


Heavyweight Division (265 lbs)
Josh Barnett (33-6) vs. Travis Browne (15-1-1)

eleven:09 p.m. Round 1: Josh Barnett has a bad body for a professional fighter. Simply saying. Unhealthy physique. Awful. Have some satisfaction, man. That mentioned, he is dangerous and this spherical started with an incredible leg kick by Barnett. Browne, a former junior faculty basketball participant – he's 6-foot-7 – was jabbing Barnett to keep him away. Barnett received Browne towards the cage, but Browne landed a knee to the jaw to stun him, and then dropped 5 or 6 elbows to Barnett's temple and put him to sleep. After which Browne did the throat-slash after his KO victory. Wow.

10:forty four p.m. Preview: This is the toughest fight to predict on the entire card (for me, anyway) because Barnett is clearly superior on the ground and Browne is clearly superior on the toes, but there is no telling the place this fight will happen. Barnett – a throat-slashing, macho dummy – clearly could be higher served taking down Browne, however he might need to prove he does not must. In truth, that's what I feel will happen. Barnett will attempt to make some extent that he can stand with Browne, and might even catch Browne early (because Barnett isn't any slouch as a striker), but finally he'll chunk off more than he can chew and eat a shot that ends his night.


Lightweight Division (a hundred and fifty five lbs)
Jim Miller (22-four, 1 NC) vs. Fabricio Camoes (14-7-1)

10:forty one p.m. Spherical 1: Camoes is touchdown more than Miller after one minute. Nothing big, but greater than Miller, who appears tentative or simply … lethargic. Camoes drills Miller with a left hook which you can hear like flatulence a thunderclap. Camoes is placing all the pieces into his shots, which makes you marvel about his cardio later. Assuming this goes later. He desires to end it … and as I say that, Miller catches a headkick and throws Camoes down. A BJJ black belt, Camoes reverses that and is on top of Miller, within the full guard. Miller comes near an arm bar after deking with a gogoplata (I swear) … and he faucets out the black belt Camoes! Holy cow. Strong victory by arm-bar submission for Jim Miller. Camoes is furious, kicking the cage in defeat, as a result of Miller completed him from a place the place he actually, um, shouldn't have been in a position to finish him. He did not even lengthen his hips all the way to pop Camoes' arm the wrong approach. It was awkward and unlikely, and provided that Camoes is a black belt, it is frankly a surprising method for the Brazilian to lose. Which means Miller was fabulous to drag this finish off.

10:26 p.m. Preview: For years Miller has been preventing the very best of the UFC's greatest and breaking even. Camoes has principally constructed up his victories towards sub-UFC opposition, and lost to fairly a few of them as effectively, and consistently lost when he has moved up in competitors: to Melvin Guillard (whom Miller completed in two minutes), Gleison Tibau (whom Miller defeated) and Kurt Pellegrino. What am I saying? I am saying Camoes is slightly out of his league on this one.



Featherweight Division (a hundred forty five lbs)
Dustin Poirier (14-three) vs. Diego Brandao (22-eight-1)

10:23 p.m. Spherical 1: Poirier reminds me of Dayton basketball coach Archie Miller, if Miller could break your facial bones with palms, toes, elbows and knees. Anyway, the battle. Early on Brandao kicked Poirier within the head, barely, when Poirier was technically down. It was an accident and did no harm and Brandao apologized. Nice moment of class. They'd some nice exchanges of punches and took turns with leg kicks, and the factor I see is that Brandao is loading every little thing into every shot whereas Poirier is being more controlled – another reason to suppose Brandao is in peril of gassing out if this struggle goes previous the first spherical. Brandao keeps coming forward sloppily, and Poirier is countering him. With forty five seconds left Poirier has Brandao in hassle. Huge bother. Physique pictures, punches to the top, and Brandao is able to go. With a couple of seconds left within the spherical Poirier will get him down and then hammer-fists him into oblivion. I swear Brandao is out for just a few seconds, his eyes shut, as Poirier pounds on him and the referee stands there and simply form of.. watches. Idiot. TKO for Poirier.

9:forty six p.m. Preview: Brandao will decide where this fight is fought – he rates better than 80 % at both takedowns and takedown protection, considerably simpler than Poirier at both – however Poirier is healthier on the feet and comparable on the ground, and also he needs to be in a lot better form given that Brandao weighed in at 153 pounds and was able to shave simply 1 half kilos in the subsequent hour. And that hour was in all probability grueling. If Brandao can't end Poirier earlier, his cardio will betray him late in this catch-weight bout that can see Brandao give 25 p.c of his purse to Poirier.


Middleweight Division (185 lbs)
Chris Leben (22-10) vs. Uriah Corridor (8-four)

9:forty one p.m. Official choice: Oh my phrase, Leben walked to his corner and mainly mentioned he could not fight anymore. He thought he'd been knocked out on the end of Round 1, and when he came upon he hadn't been, he advised his nook, "I am done." TKO for Uriah Corridor. Good choice, Leben. Now please retire.

9:39 p.m. Spherical 1: Leben charged across the cage initially, only to be dropped by a flying knee from Corridor. Extra of a flash knockdown than a struggle-ender, although, and so they squared off anew with Leben stalking Corridor and Corridor utilizing footwork and the jab to maintain Leben off him. Leben acquired close for the clinch, and Hall scored with a knee to the body. Halfway through the primary spherical this is the very best Corridor we have seen since the TUF present, and Leben is a bloody mess, albeit a bloody mess who continues to move robotically forward. Leben has aggression and octagon control, but Corridor gained this round with damage and effectivity and with a knockdown in the final seconds. Hell, I'd score it 10-8, Corridor, because the bell saved Leben from being TKO'd, I believe.

9:22 p.m. Preview: Leben has lost four of his final five fights and taken some ferocious poundings over time, even in fights he gained as a result of he was simply that robust and resilient. However toughness and resiliency do not last endlessly, and Corridor has the size and talent to explore just how much Leben has left. Downside is, Corridor has fought terribly in his only two UFC appearances since dominating people on the TUF actuality present. If Hall can recover from his stage fright and put it all collectively, this battle could possibly be his best moment. If not? This fight may very well be his ultimate UFC second. Which do I feel happens? I feel Hall figures it out and explodes all over the cussed however slower Chris Leben, who'll want to think about retiring if he loses for the fifth time in six fights.


Light-weight Division (155 lbs)
Gleison Tibau (37-9) vs. Michael Johnson (14-eight)

9:19 p.m. Round 2: A boring first minute gave way to a huge knockout for Johnson, who countered Tibau as Tibau was walking forward. A left to Tibau's temple dropped him, and then a brutal right to the face, on the ground, turned off his lights. Knockout win, Michael Johnson.

9:15 p.m. Spherical 1: Johnson is faster however Tibau has monumental arms and chest and used all of it to stun Johnson early with a proper. However Johnson wobbled Tibau with about 2 minutes left in the spherical, evening issues up for the ultimate minute or two, when little or no occurred till Tibau muscled him against the cage and held him there. Who won this round? Yikes. Johnson 10-9, as a result of he appears more fluid. It was that close. And that uneventful.

9:05 p.m. Preview: Johnson's placing has come a long, great distance … whereas Tibau's really has not. And Tibau, who tends to beat guys by being the larger, stronger fighter and getting on top of them, will not be a lot bigger than Johnson – a former welterweight – and won't find it easy to take the former wrestler down. Not sure Johnson can knock out Tibau, but I am optimistic he can beat him on the toes (as he beat Joe Lauzon on the ft in his last combat) and win a decision.


Featherweight Division (one hundred forty five lbs)
Dennis Siver (21-9) vs. Manny Gamburyan (sixteen-eight)

9:02 p.m. Official decision: All three judges rating it 29-28 for Siver, who won by taking the superior grappler Gamburyan's back late in rounds one and three.

9:00 p.m.Spherical 3: Siver has some great inside leg kicks, but fifty seven seconds into Round three he buries one in Gamburyan's groin. The battle is paused for a minute, then resumes and Siver takes him down (!). Gamburyan thinks a few guillotine choke, then leans to his right for a kimura on Siver's left arm. Siver takes Gamburyan's back and places in a hook. Then a second hook for a body lock, and now he's going for a rear bare choke on a man who has nearly no neck. Not going to work, however it is profitable this spherical. He lets the choke go and pounds the sides of Gamburyan's head with punches. This is a 10-9 spherical for Siver, and a 29-28 choice win for him as properly. I think.

8:fifty three p.m. Round 2: Siver dropped him during an alternate of punches 15 seconds into the round, however Gamburyan performed it off as a slip by rising and gesturing Siver again into the fray. The judges will purchase it, however me and my boy Joe Rogan didn't. What did Goldberg think? Who knows. He thinks what Rogan tells him to assume, for those who ask me. Gamburyan took down Siver and minimize him broad open with an elbow to the forehead, and now Siver's blond hair is pink from the blood. That evens the round getting into the ultimate ninety seconds, and Siver scores first with a flurry to the body. Gamburyan doesn't like it and takes Siver down, with some late ground-and-pound. This can be a powerful round to attain, however the gash on Siver's face is telling. So, 10-9 for Gamburyan and a 19-19 tie.

8:forty seven p.m. Round 1: Gamburyan is doing his best to get close to Siver, shut down Siver's superior putting and work the clinch. He does … and Siver takes him down. From his back, although, Gamburyan is going for an arm-bar and Joe Rogan is spitting the reality: "Siver needs to get the hell out of there." Gamburyan goes for a leg-lock earlier than Siver will get the hell out of there and stands up. Siver has a huge trapezoid trapezius muscle, which all the time makes me surprise. What do I ponder? None of your enterprise. Anyway … Siver is scoring higher on his feet, however Gamburyan takes him down with eighty seconds left and goes for another leg-lock. That leaves his head open, and Siver is popping his head with fists. From there Siver takes Gamburyan's again and sinks in hooks whereas using the standing Gamburyan. Good spherical for Gamburyan, but dangerous – terrible – strategy to end a detailed one. Siver's gonna win this 10-9.

8:36 p.m. Preview: The shorter Gamburyan simply has to take down Siver and maintain him there, or he will have his a- kicked in this fight. Problem for Gamburyan: He has only a 32-p.c charge of takedown success, whereas Siver has a 70-p.c charge of takedown protection. None of that bodes effectively for Gamburyan, who isn't any match for Siver on the toes. After faring nicely towards much greater fighters, Siver lastly picks on someone his personal dimension – if not smaller – and beats the poor little dude up.


Welterweight Division (170 lbs)
John Howard (21-8) vs. Siyar Bahadurzada (21-5-1)

8:33 p.m. Official determination: All three judges score it 30-27 for Howard as a result of I am good at guessing what they'll do this combat sucked but Howard sucked a little less than Bahadurzada.

8:30 p.m. Round 3: "Doomsday" Howard places together the best flurry of the fight, the flatulence however, with a collection of punches within the first 30 seconds of Round 3. Bahadurzada is out on his feet, not from harm however from exhaustion. Howard is tired as nicely, but compared to Bahadurzada, Howard is recent as a damn doomsdaisy. He takes down Bahadurzada and scores (somewhat), while Bahadurzada lays there and takes it as a result of his gasoline tank is empty. Howard takes the mount with 90 seconds left, postures up, and takes the again when Bahadurzada rolls over. A submission isn't close, however Howard rides out the spherical for his most clearly received spherical of the combat. I see it 10-9 for positive this spherical, and 30-27 (I feel) for the battle for Howard.

eight:24 p.m. Spherical 2: Inside 10 seconds every fighter lands his best punch of the struggle to this point, Howard starting with a (leaping) left hook, Bahadurzada countering with a straight right. Bahadurzada takes down Howard and then, I swear, somebody loudly broke wind. Neither Joe Rogan nor Mike Goldberg commented on it, however when you're watching this fight on Fox Sports 1, you heard it. (Sorry, but that was essentially the most interesting moment of this dud, to date.) (And I'm stunned Rogan let that go. Appears right up his alley.) Anyway … it's a tie round after three minutes, when Bahadurzada clinches and lands knees to the physique whereas Howard counters with uppercuts to the chin. After which, it occurs. Bahadurzada goes for a kimura and Howard solutions by lifting him up, strolling him throughout the cage and throwing him onto his again. Gradual fight. That is the large moment. I'm giving the spherical to Howard, 10-9. Wish I might rating it 9-9.

8:18 p.m. Spherical 1: Slow first minute, with Howard scoring with leg kicks and Bahadurzada searching for head kicks and punches. Bahadurzada has more size, so Howard is struggling to get inside punching range, leaping wildly into hooks that come up quick whereas leaving him susceptible. Bahadurzada is scoring towards the cage with knees to the physique until Howard takes him down with eighty seconds left in the spherical. He moves to mount and then takes the again, however does nothing with either place and Bahadurzada gets to his ft. They end with 15 seconds of standup, a close round I am giving to Howard 10-9.

7:58 p.m. Preview: Fascinating struggle for weight reasons. Each have fought at heavier weights – Bahadurzada has fought all the way at 205 pounds – but solely Bahadurzada seems to be higher at the smaller division. Howard was a constant winner at 185, within the UFC and out, however he's more hit-and-miss at welterweight, perhaps as a result of the load reduce is so draining. Add in the fact that Bahadurzada is an extended, more versatile fighter with critical KO power, and the native of Afghanistan should win his fifth combat in six tries at one hundred seventy pounds.


Welterweight Division (one hundred seventy lbs)
William Macario (7-1) vs. Bobby Voelker (24-10)

7:54 p.m. Official choice: The judges had it simple on this one. Clearly a 30-27 victory for Macario, who should struggle Elmer Fudd a top-10 welterweight next.

7:53 p.m. Round 3: Daffy Duck is covered in blood, nevertheless it's not his blood so he is not involved. Macario appears to be like almost bored as he picks apart Voelker with jabs and counter left hooks. He is also throwing lead left elbows, and landing them. A kind of is why Voelker started to bleed in the first place. Voelker got here forward arduous and Macario drilled him with a brutal left to the top, then a left to the liver. Voelker is wiping blood out of his eyes and shifting ahead, but he has solely a puncher's likelihood – and he is the second-best puncher on this combat. Macario wins this spherical 10-9 and should win a straightforward decision 30-27.

7:forty six p.m. Round 2: Between rounds Daffy Duck informed his corner he was going to knock Voelker out. Perhaps he's been reading my weblog? What I see is Voelker is about 2 inches short on the reach, and those 2 inches are killer. (Although I also see Macario leaning back on the waist to keep away from punches, and that's a lazy method to do it. Voelker is missing by, like I say, 2 inches. Macario better be proper when he leans back.) Round 2 is nearer for ninety seconds, mainly because Daffy Duck isn't doing something, however then he takes down Voelker and … would not do anything. Voelker gets up in 30 seconds, having taken no damage, however now Macario is trying to land on the ft. He's, but nothing like the primary spherical. Voelker's brow is now spurting blood. And here comes Daffy Duck, touchdown to the body and head and flooring Voelker and simply standing there, cocking his fist, and waiting for Voelker to drop a hand. Referee Mario Yamasaki is leaning in, considering of stopping it, as a result of Macario is simply abusing Voelker with punches. Yamasaki pauses the motion with a minute left to have a health care provider take a look at Voelker's messed-up face, but the fight resumes. Voelker's nostril appears broken, and this is one other lopsided 10-9 round for Macario.

7:40 p.m. Round 1: Macario's nickname, Patolino, is outwardly the Brazilian phrase for Daffy Duck." Voelker's nickname is "Vicious," so that sounds like more of a fighter. But Macario is the one hurting Voelker early with counter left hooks and straight proper palms down the pipe. Macario even landed a jab to the body, which you see in boxing but nearly never in MMA. Macario bullied Voelker towards the cage and landed more, and I will be honest: A knockout for Daffy Duck coming. Voelker is bleeding and blinking and out of his aspect right here. Except Voelker turns right into a black belt in BJJ in the next jiffy, he's screwed. Spherical 1 goes to Macario, 10-9, easily.

Preview: Voelker is a tricky, robust dude who beats everyone he should beat, but lacks the ability to beat upper-tier fighters. Unhealthy information: Macario, a 22-12 months-previous Brazilian, is (going to be) an upper-tier fighter. He was on a knockout rampage until his final struggle, when he tired after a busy first round and was submitted by BJJ ace Leonardo Santos. Voelker will stand and trade with Macario, and that is not going to end effectively for the 34-year-previous American.


Featherweight Division (145 lbs)
Robbie Peralta (sixteen-4, 1 NC) vs. Estevan Payan (14-4, 1 NC)

7:22 p.m. Spherical three: Peralta's corner advised him he needed to knock out Payan to win the struggle, and I will be damned: That is what Peralta did. He got here out swinging, and landing, and referee Yves Lavigne pulled Peralta off Payan before he may do more harm. A left hook dropped Payan, and some floor strikes ended it. Peralta by TKO, 12 seconds into Round three.

7:18 p.m. Round 2: Peralta has poor form on his feet, but when he lands a shot to the pinnacle he's going to knock Payan out. Up to now, although, Peralta has landed only leg kicks. However he is landed enough to win the first half of this round in opposition to Payan, who's simply type of … taking it. Till the 2:forty five mark, anyway, when Payan clinched Peralta and slammed him to the bottom. Payan spent a minute in side control, rearing up once in a while and throwing elbows, but Peralta received to his feet with 90 seconds left within the spherical. Peralta gets Payan against the fence for some grueling inside work, and finishes the round in control, however Payan deserves this round 10-9

7:12 p.m. Round 1: Peralta appears to be like stronger and more explosive, and instantly lands a giant proper over the top, then takes down Payan and moves into half-guard. Peralta is the bully and Payan the straightforward mark, appears to be like like. We'll see … Payan will get up and Peralta makes use of knees to the thigh, up against the fence, before taking down Payan once more. I will be damned … Payan sweeps Peralta onto his back, and now Payan is in facet management and delivering short elbows to the temple. Ouch. Payan is not touchdown a lot on the bottom, however neither did Peralta when he had top place. Who wins this round? Appeared like a tie to me, but since Payan ended the round on prime, the judges will give it 10-9 to Payan

6:32 p.m. Preview: Peralta has dynamite in his fingers – and Payan is an older, slower guy who has lost to the one UFC fighter he has faced (Jeremy Stephens by decision), was knocked out twice earlier in his career and is not a constant risk to finish fights. In different phrases, this struggle will go until Peralta finds Payan's suspect chin. Which I suspect he'll.


UFC 168 data

Back on July 6 of this yr, Chris Weidman (10-zero-0) shocked the MMA world when he knocked out Anderson Silva (33-5-0) to capture the UFC middleweight championship. In the principle event of Saturday's UFC 168 Weidman units out to prove his victory was no fluke as he places the belt on the line in a rematch in opposition to Silva.

In the co-main event of evening, UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey (7-0-zero) will put her title on the road in a rematch in opposition to Miesha Tate (13-four-zero). The fight comes on the heels of each fighters' stints as coaches on the fact show The Final Fighter. In the course of the present, the world received a glimpse of the nasty rivalry between the two ladies, a rivalry that pre-dates their March 2012 encounter the place Rousey broke Tate's arm along with her signature armbar.

Test back in to this very blog on Saturday at 7 p.m. (ET) as CBSSports.com's Gregg Doyel will probably be reside running a blog all of the motion from UFC 168 beginning with the web prelims all the way through the primary occasion.

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Weidman, Silva make weight for rematch

LAS VEGAS – One of many first ideas that went by way of Chris Weidman's head after he knocked out Anderson Silva in July was, "We've to do this again."

Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva

Chris Weidman is ready to defend his title against Anderson Silva after both made weight Friday.

Weidman (10-zero) will get his want Saturday as he appears to defend the UFC middleweight title for the primary time at UFC 168 against Silva (33-5). Each fighter came in at the 185-pound restrict throughout Friday's official weigh-in.

"I think he is the very best guy within the weight class for me to beat," Weidman told ESPN.com. "He's the best of all time. He is a man most individuals suppose I can not beat, and that gives me a drive. That is what I would like."

At UFC 162, Weidman became the primary fighter in UFC historical past to defeat Silva, snapping a file 16-struggle win streak by the Brazilian. Regardless of that consequence, Weidman enters the rematch a slight underdog to the former champion.

All 22 fighters scheduled to compete at UFC 168 made weight Friday, except for featherweight Diego Brandao. Brandao (18-eight) initially came in at 153 pounds. He finally cut to 151.5 pounds.

Within the co-fundamental event, bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey will search her second title defense against a well-known foe in Miesha Tate. The two fought in March 2012 for Tate's Strikeforce title. Rousey (7-0) gained via first-spherical armbar.

Rousey and Tate (13-4) each tipped the size at the 135-pound title battle limit.


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Herb Dean Assigned to Referee Chris Weidman-Anderson Silva Rematch at UFC 168

HerbDean will likely be back in the cage for the Silva-Weidman rematch at UFC168. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com


Herb Dean has been assigned to referee the extremely anticipatedrematch between







The Nevada Athletic Commission introduced on Monday that Dean wouldoversee the middleweight title bout. UFC 168 takes place at the MGMGrand Backyard Enviornment in Las Vegas and also encompasses a ladies’sbantamweight title tilt between RondaRousey and MieshaTate.

Dean, who was also the referee for first assembly between Silva andWeidman at UFC 162, has refereed 510 bouts in promotions such asthe UFC, WEC, Strikeforce, Affliction and Elite XC throughout hiscareer, in line with FightMetric.com Thus far in 2013, Dean has been in theOctagon for sixty three UFC bouts.

The NAC additionally announced that Junichiro Kamijo, Chris Lee andPatricia Morse-Jarman will be the cageside judges for the UFC 168headliner. All three have intensive expertise scoring fights inthe UFC.

Weidman ended Silva’s title reign in July, stopping “The Spider”with punches 1:18 into the second round at UFC 162. It was Silva’sfirst loss since he was disqualified for touchdown an unlawful kickagainst Yushin Okamiat a Rumble on the Rock event in January 2006. Weidman, meanwhile,is unbeaten in six Octagon appearances.

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Honorio Banario Vows to Not Let Koji Oishi ‘Off the Hook’ in One FC 13 Rematch

Honorio Banario has but to go the distance as knowledgeable. |Photograph: Taro Irei/Sherdog.com



One Combating Championship

featherweight titleholder


wants to reclaim the belt he misplaced a little more thansix months in the past.

Lakay MMA’s Banario will get his alternative when he faces Koji Oishi, theman who dethroned him, in the OneFC 13 “Second of Reality” principal occasion on Friday on the Mall ofAsia Arena in Manila, Philippines. Oishi knocked out “The Rock” inthe second spherical of their Might 31 encounter.

Though he was born, raised and nonetheless lives within the Philippines,Banario as a toddler found himself drawn to the Chinese language martial artof Wushu quite than the Filipino arts of Eskrima and Kali.

“I am not sure the way it occurred,” Banario mentioned. “I began training inWushu in school, and I liked every second of it. I began moving upthe ranks, and that is when I met coach Mark [Sangiao] and the restof the blokes at Workforce Lakay.”

Banario spent years coaching and competing in Wushu, as he wantedto master the artwork earlier than progressing to MMA – a sport in which hehad additionally been fascinated from childhood.

“I assumed MMA was very exciting for the longest time, however we wereactively pursuing medals in Wushu,” Banario said. “Staff Lakay is myfamily, and I do all my coaching here. I've always trainedexclusively with coach Mark since l was part of the Wushu- SanshouJunior Nationwide Group within the Philippines and represented the countryduring international Sanshou competitions. On the similar time, webegan to train and compete in MMA, until we had improved our MMA[abilities]. As soon as that part of our careers was over, we all moved toMMA.”

Banario remained undefeated for the primary two years, as hedominated the Universal Reality Combat Championship. He capturedthe URCC lightweight crown in his fourth battle, successfullydefending it twice. In February 2012, he received the call to OneFighting Championship, and though he suffered a submission lossin his promotional debut, he rebounded to grow to be the group’sfirst featherweight champion.

“URCC is nice at selling the fights at a grassroots stage, and Iwould not be the place I am at the moment with out them,” Banario mentioned. “One FCdoes everything bigger and higher, including the level of opponentsthat I face.”

The lure of larger and better competitors led to a matchup withOishi on Could 31. It was a back-and-forth battle wherein Banarioknocked down the Pancraseveteran in the first spherical. Oishi returned the favor within the secondand ultimately stopped him with punches.

“I used to be so close to finishing him in the first round; I believe I gotahead of myself and was too eager to complete him within the second,”Banario said. “It was a moment of complacency that price me. Thistime I can't let him off the hook. I’m knocking him out.”

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Memphis beats Oklahoma State in rematch

Memphis Holds Off Oklahoma State


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Shaq Goodwin helped ensure the outcome for Memphis and Tigers coach Josh Pastner was totally different than the primary matchup this season in opposition to Oklahoma State.

Goodwin had 17 points, Joe Jackson hit four key free throws late and No. 21 Memphis beat No. 5 Oklahoma State seventy three-68 Sunday night time within the championship sport of the Previous Spice Classic.

“Of course we wished it for him,” Goodwin said. “I hate to say that we needed to prove individuals improper, but it simply felt good to present my head coach a prime-5 win. It simply feels good when you make him really feel good.”

Memphis (5-1) held Oklahoma State preseason All-American Marcus Smart to 12 points. Good, who played with virus-like abdomen symptoms, went four for thirteen from the field and had 5 turnovers.

“That is undoubtedly not an excuse,” Good stated. “They did a wonderful job executing their scouting report. I couldn’t find a groove out there.”

Within the earlier assembly this season between the Top 25 groups on Nov. 19, Oklahoma State (7-1) gained handily over Memphis, getting 39 points from Sensible in a a hundred and one-80 victory.

“I am not a revenge man,” Pastner mentioned. “I am not like an ill-will man. I feel when you maintain things in, issues come out sideways. I talked to our guys about that. We wanted to have course correction, and we corrected some of the course.”

Sensible turned the ball over with Oklahoma State trailing by one with eleven seconds left, and fouled Jackson, who made two free throws to make it 71-68.

Oklahoma State’s bid to tie it ended when Sensible had one other turnover in the closing seconds and Jackson linked on two more free throws.

“They deserved to win, we did not should win,” Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said. “We simply weren’t ourselves. Not taking anything away from Memphis in any respect, however we had been our personal worst enemy on a lot of occasions. I am just a little shocked that it was even, as bad as we played, as close as it was. Give Memphis credit, they were a very determined basketball crew.”

Chris Crawford scored on a layup and later added a free throw to put Memphis up 69-64 with 2 half minutes left. Sensible, who missed 9 of his first 11 shots, had consecutive baskets that pulled the Cowboys within sixty nine-68 with 2 minutes to play.

Crawford completed with 16 points, whereas Jackson had 11.

Michael Dixon Jr. hit a jumper and 3-pointer as Memphis went ahead fifty six-52 with eight minutes remaining.

Memphis scored the primary seven factors in the second half, including a three-level play by Goodwin, to chop its deficit to 42-39.

After Memphis’ Geron Johnson was given a technical foul, Phil Forte made two free throws and added a three-pointer to make it 47-39.

Forte had nine of 19 factors as Oklahoma overcame a six-level deficit to take a forty two-32 lead at halftime. Sensible had two of his 5 factors in the course of the opening 20 minutes on a layup and Brian Williams had a rebound basket through the closing minute to provide the Cowboys a ten-level benefit.

Oklahoma State noticed snug leads disappear in both of its two earlier video games on the tourney. The Cowboys let a 23-level halftime lead dwindle to 4 with three minutes to play before beating Purdue 97-87 Thursday, and then escaped with a sixty nine-sixty seven victory over Butler sooner or later later after taking a forty four-30 halftime benefit.

Goodwin scored eleven first-half points, together with a jumper that put Memphis up 21-15 10 minutes into the sport.


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UFC’s Dana White: GSP-Hendricks rematch ‘on schedule’

MMA: UFC 167-St-Pierre vs Hendricks

A rematch between UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and Johny Hendricks will occur, in response to UFC President Dana White, and the battle could place on the promotion’s annual Memorial Day weekend event in Las Vegas.

In an interview Monday with the LA Instances, White stated St-Pierre is taking a vacation “off the grid,” however not a hiatus from the sport as he originally announced following his break up-name win over Hendricks at this previous Saturday’s UFC 167.

“As far as a rematch, we’re on schedule and I’ll have a date inside a pair weeks,” White said. “I really feel assured that Georges is fine with that and all is on monitor.”

St-Pierre’s post-fight speech initially introduced anger from White, who said following the occasion that the champ owed a rematch to Hendricks in mild of the first bout’s controversial scorecard. The UFC president later calmed down after a private assembly with St-Pierre and expressed confidence that a rematch would happen.

St-Pierre defended his title a ninth time by winning three rounds on two of three judges’ scorecards at the pay-per-view occasion, which happened at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Backyard Area and was overseen by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

The combat’s first round proved to be pivotal in the last tally, as NSAC judges Tony Weeks and Sal D’Amato gave St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC) the frame while judge Glenn Trowbridge gave it to Hendricks (15-2 MMA, 10-2 UFC). The welterweights cut up the remaining 4 rounds.

White blasted the scores and the NSAC, but on Monday clarified the occasions, “it’s not the commissioners who I have an issue with. I’ve nice respect for the commissioners. I truthfully consider change goes to occur, that the athletic commissioners in Nevada will fix the problem.”

The battle was the toughest problem of St-Pierre’s reign as champion, trainer Firas Zahabi on Monday told MMAjunkie. The champion was badly marked up after the struggle and received stitches under his proper eye. Zahabi said he additionally sustained a punch to the attention that robbed him of his sight in the course of the bout.

At UFC 167′s publish-occasion press conference, St-Pierre stated he was “going loopy” and dropping sleep in dealing with private points that he declined to determine. On Monday, White stated the 32-yr-previous fighter refuted a TMZ report that his issues stemmed from an unplanned pregnancy and the illness of his father.

“(St-Pierre) is denying these rumors that TMZ is reporting about those two things,” White stated.

UFC 167 drew a stay gate of $5.7 million, making it the second most profitable MMA event in Nevada history. The pay-per-view proceeds are also anticipated to earn hundreds of thousands for the UFC, which implies a rematch may additionally do massive enterprise.

Per the NSAC, St-Pierre is suspended till Jan. 1, 2014, while Hendricks may very well be out for six months except cleared for a right knee subject.

For full protection of UFC 167, try the UFC Events part of the location.

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Eddie Alvarez-Michael Chandler rematch lives up to billing, helps Bellator save face (Yahoo Sports)


Eddie Alvarez (purple gloves) and Michael Chandler trade blows on Saturday. (USA As we speak)

LENGTHY BEACH, Calif. – Whoever got here up with the notion that a sequel can’t be better than the original wants to watch the Michael Chandler-Eddie Alvarez rematch.

On Nov. 19, 2011, Chandler and Alvarez placed on what was thought-about the greatest combat within the five-12 months historical past of the Bellator promotion and one of many greatest MMA fights, interval. Chandler punctuated four rounds of again-and-forth action by submitting Alvarez with a choke and taking his Bellator lightweight title.

Saturday night time, although, the duo simply might need outdone themselves. Beneath the backdrop of a protracted legal struggle between Alvarez and the promotion, and coming on the finish of what had been a lackluster battle card, Chandler and Alvarez added their names to a prolonged record of contenders for 2013’s Struggle of the Year.

After 25 minutes of again-and-forth action at Lengthy Seaside Arena, Alvarez gained a call which may have gone both method. All three judges scored the fight 48-47; two of them leaned Alvarez’s way, because the Philadelphia native took again the belt he misplaced two years in the past whereas handing Chandler his first profession loss.

Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler land awkwardly during their struggle. (USA In the present day)


“Whether it is blended martial arts or boxing, sometimes guys just gel stylistically,” Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney mentioned. “You watch the struggle, and you’ll’t consider these guys did that again. Ali-Frazier. Gatti-Ward. We’ve had a couple of of them in MMA. These two guys just match like a glove once they battle each other.”

CompuStrike’s official numbers bear out the combat’s razor-skinny margin: Alvarez landed a hundred and fifteen strikes to Chandler’s 111. Both fighters attempted two submissions. Chandler had 10 takedowns to Alvarez’s zero, however Alvarez additionally stuffed 11 more takedown attempts.

All three judges scored the primary spherical for Chandler, who managed it with his wrestling. All three had round two for Alvarez, who wobbled Chandler late. Two of three had round three for a hard-charging Alvarez. All three had round four for Chandler, who almost completed the struggle with a ruthless ground-and-pound assault. And all three scored a again-and-forth closing spherical for Alvarez, who got here in robust over the ultimate ninety seconds.

This was the type of battle that necessitated doctor’s attention. Chandler wasn’t on the submit-struggle news convention. This was announced as being attributable to a trip to the hospital, though Chandler’s coach, Eric Del Fierro of San Diego’s Alliance MMA, later tweeted that Chandler (12-1) had simply been stitched up by the commission physician at the enviornment and went back to his resort room.

Alvarez, in the meantime, mustered an appearance at the information conference earlier than making a hospital go to. Walking slowly and with a face that looked like he stepped in the path of a David Ortiz house-run swing, Alvarez deflected any reward that got here his means.

“I will take zero credit for what happened tonight,” Alvarez mentioned. “It takes two people to put on a struggle like that. Not just me. Me and Mike Chandler. The guy fights his ass off. The center of a lion. On the finish of the fight, I didn’t give a [expletive] who won. I was simply completely satisfied to be a part of it.”

Alvarez (25-three) left the information conference after making these remarks, but actually, he made his statement in the cage. This fight was his vindication after a protracted authorized battle with Bellator turned ugly in public. Alvarez acquired a lucrative offer from the UFC which might have included pay-per-view points. Bellator used its matching rights clause in his previous contract to match retain his services. With a court battle that looked to tug out interminably, Alvarez threw in the towel and re-signed with Bellator.

Michael Chandler punches Eddie Alvarez throughout their combat. (USA At this time)


Not that Alvarez will likely be going poor any time quickly, mind you: In keeping with the California State Athletic Fee’s disclosed paydays, Alvarez is taking house $160,000 for his evening’s work, with an $80,000 win bonus doubling his pay.

Still, if Saturday night was some grand design by Rebney to defeat Alvarez once more and kill off his drawing power, he was putting on a pretty stable poker face.

“That’s why we fought so onerous to enforce the contract,” Rebney stated. “I thought Ed was a wickedly proficient lightweight and could beat anyone on earth. I needed to see him stay on this group. That’s what I negotiated for up top. I think Ed’s an unimaginable talent.”

It’s hard to argue in opposition to that time after Saturday. The fight was so good, it eliminated the stench of what had appeared a misbegotten occasion. Initially slated for pay-per-view, it was moved to Spike TELEVISION after the planned main event, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Tito Ortiz, fell out as a result of an Ortiz neck injury. Previous to Chandler-Alvarez, a string of boring fights had killed the atmosphere within the constructing.

Instead, Rebney left Long Seaside Enviornment with the excitement of a traditional combat, one which all but demands a trilogy combat.

“For those who asked me two hours ago whether or not I know all’s properly would end nicely, I wouldn’t have been so assured,” Rebney stated. “However, all’s well that ends properly. I’m leaving here with a smile.”


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Green Bay’s defense contains Russell Wilson as rematch with Colin Kaepernick approaches

USA At present Sports Images

Every member of the Green Bay Packers’ protection ought to have endured sleepless nights after final season’s playoff loss.

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Green Bay finished the regular season with an 11-5 report, and entered the NFC playoffs as a wild-card crew. The Packers defeated Minnesota in the first-spherical, which gave them the chance to face San Francisco in the NFC Divisional sport. The Packers’ simple assignment was to cease a younger 49ers quarterback named Colin Kaepernick, who was playing properly, but didn’t have any playoff experience.

Kaepernick proceeded to present Green Bay an expertise they haven’t forgotten.

San Francisco’s quarterback completed 17-of-31 passes for 263 yards and two touchdowns throughout a 45-31 dismantling of Inexperienced Bay. Kaepernick also rushed for 181 yards, which was a record for an NFL quarterback in a regular or postseason recreation.

Green Bay faced the challenge of stopping Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson throughout Week three of the preseason on Friday. Russell is a quarterback with scrambling capacity, and considering the primary two video games on Inexperienced Bay’s schedule are in opposition to San Francisco (Sept. eight) and Robert Griffin III’s Washington Redskins (Sept. 15), Wilson was the barometer to measure Green Bay’s progress.

So far, so good.

Wilson accomplished 10-of-15 passes for 110 yards by halftime, but also threw two interceptions and was sacked twice earlier than the third-quarter. Seattle’s quarterback started the game 7-of-7 for ninety four yards earlier than Green Bay’s protection found out the best way to apply constant pressure on Wilson. Inexperienced Bay’s protection played so nicely, Seattle guard J.R. Sweezy was known as for holding twice, plus picked up a personal foul, throughout the first half.

In addition, Wilson was sacked twice on Seattle’s first sequence within the second half, however a kind of takedowns was negated because of a holding penalty. Wilson completed with 11-of-17 completions for 126 yards, two interceptions, and 13 yards on one carry earlier than he exited the game.

Green Bay’s sturdy defensive performance on Friday was a step in the suitable path for the Packers, however their true take a look at occurs when Kaepernick is beneath center in two weeks.

For now, the Packers’ defense seems as if they’ve improved enough to avoid a repeat of final 12 months’s nightmarish performance.


Dana White talking with Anderson Silva about a rematch with Chris Weidman, but no deal is done

Chris Weidman (R) lands a left that knocks out Anderson Silva at UFC 162 (AP)

UFC president Dana White said he was in Los Angeles on Friday, meeting with ex-middleweight champion Anderson Silva about the possibility of a rematch with new champion Chris Weidman.

But White vehemently denied a report in GQ Brazil (Editor’s note: Story is in Portuguese) in which Silva was quoted as saying the rematch was made for Dec. 28 at UFC 168 in Las Vegas. Right now, a women’s bantamweight title fight between Ronda Rousey and archrival Miesha Tate headlines that card.

Chris Weidman wrapped himself in the flag at UFC 162 (Getty Images) There has been much speculation about whether a rematch would be made, and Weidman, during a post-victory media tour earlier this week, told several outlets that a rematch was a done deal and would be held in either December or February.

Weidman won the title by knocking Silva out at UFC 162 at the MGM Grand Garden on July 6, handing the great Brazilian the first UFC loss of his career.

White told Yahoo! Sports via telephone earlier in the week that he felt the bout could draw a massive crowd to Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, but said “This just feels like one of those huge Vegas fights to me.” White has repeatedly said he thinks Silva-Weidman II will be the largest-grossing, best-selling pay-per-view card in UFC history.

“We are talking about a rematch and I am and have been confident I will get it done,” White told Yahoo! Sports via text message. “It isn’t done yet, though.”

Silva said in the cage after the fight that he wasn’t interested in fighting for a title again, and reiterated that stance at the post-fight news conference.

But he’s apparently had a change of heart in the last several days and is at least open to the possibility of meeting Weidman a second time.

Silva was stopped at 1:18 of the second round when, after putting his hands at his side and taunting Weidman to hit him, he was clipped on the chin by a massive left hook and went down.


Anthony Pettis replaces injured T.J. Grant, setting up anticipated rematch with Benson Henderson

Anthony Pettis leaps off the cage to hit Benson Henderson with the ‘Showtime’ kick in 2010 (Getty)

Anthony Pettis was supposed to open August fighting Jose Aldo for the UFC featherweight title. Instead, after two injuries, Pettis will instead close the month rematching Benson Henderson at UFC 164 on Aug. 31 in Milwaukee for the UFC lightweight belt.

Pettis defeated Henderson in the final event in World Extreme Cagefighting history, lifting that organization’s belt from Henderson by pulling off the now-legendary “Showtime kick” in the waning moments of a close fight. Pettis leaped up against the cage, pushed off and blasted a surprise Henderson in the head with a kick.

That move, one of the most spectacular in modern mixed martial arts history, lifted Pettis to the WEC title.

Henderson later went on to win the UFC lightweight belt and was supposed to defend it against T.J. Grant at UFC 164. But, according to UFC president Dana White, Grant suffered an injury and had to withdraw.

Grant tweeted that he suffered a concussion while practicing jiu-jitsu and had to withdraw. He also tweeted that it was not a conspiracy by the UFC to get Pettis onto the card.

Benson Henderson, L, is 7-0 in the UFC (Getty Images) But that opened the door for the Henderson-Pettis rematch. Pettis had injured a knee that forced him to pull out of his planned Aug. 3 featherweight title fight with Aldo in Brazil. He was replaced on that card by “The Korean Zombie,” Chan Sung Jung.

MMA Junkie first reported Grant’s injury and the coach of Pettis as his replacement.

Pettis coach Duke Roufus said Pettis’ knee “is feeling great after rehab.”

White was ecstatic to be able to make the bout and said he thinks the UFC is set up for a memorable finish to 2013.

“If all of these fights we have set hold up and no one else gets hurt, this is going to be the baddest string of fights we’ve ever done in a six-month period,” White said. “Without question, this will be the best second-half of a year in UFC history.”

White noted that the string began last week with Chris Weidman’s stunning upset win over middleweight champion Anderson Silva at UFC 162 in Las Vegas.

The rest of the 2013 pay-per-view schedule, according to White, is:

• Aug. 3, UFC 163 in Rio de Janeiro, Aldo vs. “The Korean Zombie” for the featherweight title.

• Aug. 31, UFC 164 in Milwaukee, Henderson vs. Pettis II for the UFC lightweight title.

• Sept. 21, UFC 165 in Toronto, Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson for the UFC light heavyweight title.

• Oct. 19, UFC 166 in Houston, Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos III for the UFC heavyweight title.

• Nov. 16, UFC 167 in Las Vegas, Georges St-Pierre vs. Johny Hendricks for the UFC welterweight title.

• Dec. 28, UFC 168 in Las Vegas, Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate II for the UFC women’s bantamweight title.

Chan Sung Jung will fight Jose Aldo for the featherweight title Aug. 3 (Getty) White spent much of his day Friday in Los Angeles negotiating with Silva about a rematch with Weidman that he hopes to put on UFC 168. Silva has commitments to sponsors he’s already made, though, that may make it impossible for him to fight as soon as December.

“We’d love to have him on that New Year’s Eve card in Vegas,” White said. “That would be sick. We’re working on that, but all that stuff Anderson has going on is why the Super Bowl card is still a possibility.”

Pettis could be reached for comment on Friday, but Roufus was with Pettis when he was offered the fight with Henderson. He was thrilled, not only for the title opportunity but for the chance to do it in Milwaukee, his hometown.

“Anthony and I received the news together here,” Roufus said. “He can’t wait to get the UFC championship. Ben is a great fighter, but Anthony is a special fighter who will beat Ben again.”

White said one of the reasons he likes Pettis so much is that he is willing to fight anyone at any time. He said Pettis had no concern about having started to get ready to fight at featherweight and then having to go up and fight at lightweight.

Pettis, he said, just loves to compete in big fights.

“What I love about this guy is he doesn’t give a [expletive] about stupid [expletive] like whether it’s at 145 or 155 or where it is or when it is or any of that,” White said. “He has the attitude, ‘I’m the best. I’m going to win. I don’t care when or where. Let’s do it.’ Those are the kind of guys I love.”

White also said he is in talks to re-sign heavyweight Roy Nelson, whose contract expired in June after a loss to Stipe Miocic at UFC 161 in Winnipeg. White said if he re-signs Nelson in time, he plans to pair him with Daniel Cormier at UFC 166 on the Velasquez-dos Santos III undercard.

Nelson and Cormier have had a feud on social media and have been eager to fight. Cormier is also Velasquez’s training partner, close friend and wrestling coach.


What’s next for UFC champ Chris Weidman?

(Twitter) After shocking the world by beating Anderson Silva at UFC 162, Chris Weidman’s first task was getting his new accessory through security at the airport. They can be sticklers about not wearing a belt through the metal detectors. After getting the belt home, what is next for Weidman?

A layoff: He had surgery in winter, then started preparing for the fight with Silva. He wouldn’t likely mind taking a little time to relax and enjoy his accomplishment.

A middleweight contender: Since losing to Silva, Vitor Belfort has four straight wins at middleweight. (His loss to Jon Jones was at light heavyweight.) He’s already had two highlight reel knockouts in 2013, and is begging for a title shot on Twitter. Michael Bisping, one of the fighters who was knocked out by Belfort, is also throwing his name in the hat.

A rematch with Silva: Even before their bout, UFC president Dana White said Weidman and Silva would rematch if Weidman won. He didn’t change that stance after the fight.

“Anderson Silva has gone undefeated since 2006 and has beat everybody and held the title,” White said after Saturday night’s fights. “He deserves the rematch. I mean, Chris Weidman said that before he even fought him. Vitor is just going to have to wait.

This fight is so likely that White already has a date in mind. He is considering it for UFC 168 on Dec. 28. Right now, a bout between UFC women’s bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate is scheduled for that card.