Sports

MMA News: Overeem v. Lesnar, Nick Diaz, Diego Sanchez and More

| by Sports Nickel

Multiple published reports are stating that Alistair Overeem has signed an exclusive deal with the UFC, and has turned down a chance at the winner of Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos. Instead, he has ask for, and been granted, a fight with former champion, Brock Lesnar on December 30, 2011 in Las Vegas. “Brock is a big name, a dangerous guy, and this is a dream match-up,” Overeem said of the fight.

“Brock’s a big guy, an exciting wrestler with his takedowns. I want to see this fight myself. Overall, I’m a different fighter. A striker, athletic, big. These are going to be two big trucks going at it on a collision course. UFC President commented on the bout saying, “This is the fight the fans want,” UFC President Dana White said. “Both of these guys are monsters. Can Lesnar take Overeem down?” And UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta chimed in with, “Our thinking when we bought Strikeforce was to give fans the fights they want,” said UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta. “Obviously, Alistair’s one of the best heavyweights in the world, but he also has that ‘it’ factor — the tremendous look, he’s huge. It’s a star factor.”

This is a huge fight to end the year with. I don’t know if that was smart to pass up a title shot to fight Lesnar. It’s no secret Lesnar is going to try and take Overeem down. And last I checked, Overeem’s takedown defense isn’t all that great. But fighting on the “New Years” card against someone who will pull 1 million plus in PPV buys will pull eyes toward Overeem, especially if he somehow defeat the former champion. My initial thinking before breaking tape: Lesnar wins via TKO.

Nick Diaz missed a schedule press event for UFC 137, and the person who he’s challenging is none too happy about it. Georges St-Pierre told the Canadian Press, “I don’t know why he did not show up. Maybe he has personal issues, I have no idea. I know they bought two flights for him and he didn’t show up. I have no idea. I can’t talk about it because I don’t know what’s going on in his life. Hopefully he’ll be OK and I’ll see him in the cage…I’m a little bit mad, because it’s a little bit unfair. I missed days of training to come here. Plus jet lag and everything. I think it’s not fair — he should do the same thing that I do.” Diaz’s trainer Cesar Gracie told MMAJunkie.com that Diaz would be there on Wednesday. “Nick is extremely happy about the opportunity to fight GSP, but old habits die hard. Nick is going to be there tomorrow, and we’ll go from there.”

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For those of you wondering how long it’d take for Nick Diaz to pull a “Nick Diaz,” wait no longer. It took ONE event for him to show that he is a total punkass. St-Pierre is absolutely right in his stance on this. If it was something personal, then I could see people giving Diaz some slack. But obviously it wasn’t. He was just being a dbag.

With Diego Sanchez out of UFC 135 with a broken hand, and Josh Koscheck asking to replace him, Dana White approached Matt Hughes about the Koscheck volunteering for the spot. Well, according to Dana White’s Twitter account, Hughes has agreed to fight Koscheck and the fight is now official.

This is great for me, since I’m attending. But this is bad for Matt Hughes. If Koscheck fights this fight smart, he’ll win going away. Hughes might have more experience and may be stronger, but he’s light-years behind in the striking department. Won’t be pretty if Koscheck just keeps him at bay with jabs.

On Tuesday UFC officials confirmed three more fights for their debut on Fox television on November 12. Ben Henderson vs. Clay Guida, Ricardo Lamas vs. Cub Swanson, and Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto vs. Darren Uyenoyama have all been added to the event. Before you people start panicking, thinking you’ll miss some of these fights, rest assured the UFC will make them all available somehow. Henderson/Guida will most likely make the televised portion. If it doesn’t and they only show Junior Dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez, it’ll be on Facebook at the very least.

The UFC announced during a press conference, with help from a video message from Dana White, that they will finally be returning to Japan on Feburary 26, 2012 at the Saitama Super Arena. Well it’s about time. The UFC is no doubt hoping for a Brazil-like welcome when they hit Japan for the first time in the Zuffa era, and the first time since 2000 in the UFC’s history.