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MMA News & Updates: May 19

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MMA News in Brief for: Chael Sonnen's Indefinite Suspension Upheld, KJ Noons vs. Jorge Masvidal, More changes for UFC 131 In June, Bellator 44: Michael Chandler Wins Lightweight Tourney, LIVE Ultimate Cage Fighting, Rich Clementi Agrees to Face Shinya Aoki, Maximo Blanco Signs with Strikeforce, Cuban Olympic Medalist Alexis Vila Signs with Bellator, Nogueira’s Return, MMA Live 1 Thursday Night


  • Chael Sonnen's Indefinite Suspension Upheld

UFC middleweight Chael Sonnen on Wednesday lost his appeal against an indefinite suspension, leaving the 34-year-old contender's mixed martial arts future up in the air. In a hearing in Los Angeles, the California athletic commission ruled 4-1 to uphold Sonnen's indefinite suspension, reports. While suspended, Sonnen is ineligible for a fighting license in California. The Nevada athletic commission adheres to the rulings in California. Factored into the ruling were Sonnen's money laundering conviction in January and a false testimony last December. In January, Sonnen avoided jail time with a guilty plea to one charge of money laundering by agreeing to forfeit his real estate license and paying a $10,000 fine.

  • KJ Noons vs. Jorge Masvidal

KJ Noons will meet Jorge Masvidal in a battle of lightweight contenders at Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum on June 18. Noons confirmed the news, which was first reported by MMA Junkie, to MMA Fighting on Wednesday. Noons (9-2), the former EliteXC lightweight champion, is coming off a welterweight title loss to Nick Diaz in October. Prior to the loss, Noons had won his last six fights in a row.


  • More changes for UFC 131 In June

"With the announcement that Shane Carwin will replace Brock Lesnar in the UFC 131 main event against Junior dos Santos, there have been some changes to the June 11th card in Vancouver. Carwin's original opponent on the card, Jon Olav Einemo, will now face fellow newcomer Dave "Pee Wee" Herman, and Herman's original foe, Joey Beltran, will take on UFC debutant Aaron Rosa." UFC newcomer Vagner Rocha has agreed to replace Mac Danzig against Donald Cerrone, the organization also announced late Tuesday evening. Danzig was forced to withdraw from the fight due to an injury sustained in training.


  • Bellator 44: Michael Chandler Wins Lightweight Tourney

Atlantic City, NJ. (May 14, 2011) - In front of a sold out crowd, Bellator Fighting Championships crowned a new Lightweight Tournament Champion in Michael Chandler. Broadcast LIVE on MTV2 from Caesars in Atlantic City, NJ, Bellator 44 didn’t disappoint, as fans and viewers enjoyed another spectacular event. In addition to Chandler’s victory over Brazilian Knockout artist Patricky Pitbull and the $100,000 that goes with it, Bellator Middleweight Champion Hector Lombard added another knockout win and Alexander Shlemenko earned his way into the Season 5 Middleweight Tournament.


  • LIVE Ultimate Cage Fighting Sat July 9

At The Castine Center in Mandeville, LA! Main Event just Signed will Feature Undefeated Gracie Barra’s Kurt Holobaugh vs American Top Team’s Phil Daru! Co Main Event for the 185lbs Title Gracie Barra’s Undefeated at 185 Chris Haley vs Cajun Karate’s Undefeated Randy Landry! Also on the card: XFC 155lbs Champ Justin J-mart Martin with a record of 6-1 will Defend his Title against Sweat Shop Christopher Friddle who has a record of 7-2!! Other Featured Bouts Josh Booty vs American Top Teams Carlos Lopez!! Undefeated 5-0 Dustin Hebert vs 6-1 Cody Kidder.

  • Rich Clementi Agrees to Face Shinya Aoki

UFC veteran Rich Clementi is the latest candidate in a long line of possible opponents for DREAM lightweight champion Shinya Aoki at DREAM "Fight for Japan" on May 29 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. FEG USA's Mike Kogan released the news via Twitter, but also stated that although the bout has been agreed upon, a contract has not yet been signed.


  • Maximo Blanco Signs with Strikeforce

Strikeforce has signed former Sengoku fighter Maximo Blanco (8-2-1) to a multi-fight deal. Blanco is currently on a six fight win streak, the last of which being a unanimous-decision victory over Won Sik Park in December. - Blanco first fight in Strikeforce will also be his first fight in the United States.


  • Cuban Olympic Medalist Alexis Vila Signs with Bellator

Bellator’s Season 5 Bantamweight Tournament is starting to take shape as wrestling Olympian turned professional knockout artist Alexis “The Exorcist” Vila has been added to the eight man tournament starting in September. Vila will join fellow bantamweights Eduardo Dantas, Chase Beebe, Marcos Galvao, Luis Nogueira, Ed “Wild” West, and Bellator Featherweight World Champion Joe Warren, who will be dropping down to bantamweight, as confirmed participants in the upcoming tournament. “With fighters like Joe Warren, Eduardo Dantas, Marcos Galvao, Chase Beebe, Luis, Ed and now Alexis, this bantamweight tournament is absolutely loaded next season.” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “Vila is a wrestling Olympian that knocks his opponents out, and that makes him huge problem for anyone he fights.”


  • Video: Parisyan and Ford On Weight for MMA Live 1 Thursday Night in London, Ontario, Canada

All of the fighters scheduled to compete on Thursday night’s MMA Live 1 card set for the John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario, Canada made their respective contracted weight limits except for two, who hit their marks the second time after an hour in the sauna. Main event participants Ryan “The Real Deal” Ford (169.4) and Karo “The Heat” Parisyan (171) shared a private conversation during an intense staredown, which concluded with the two welterweights exchanging a pat on the back and a smile,  breaking the tension in the room.


  • Nogueira’s Return

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira will make his return to the UFC'sOctagon in his home country where he had hoped to fight next as the UFC announced today that Big Nog will face rising heavyweight star Brendan Schaub at UFC 134 in Rio. The heavyweight contest will join the card that will feature Anderson Silva defending the middleweight title against Yushin Okami. Nogueira hasn't fought since Feb. 2010, a loss to current heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez at UFC 110.Schaub's last bout was at UFC 128. The former NFLer knocked out the legendary Mirko Cro Cop in the fight.

UFC: Rio is expected to also feature the following bouts:

* Champ Anderson Silva vs. Yushin Okami (for middleweight title)

* Forrest Griffin vs. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua

* Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Brendan Schaub

* Edson Barboza vs. Ross Pearson

* Luiz Cane vs. Stanislav Nedkov

* Tom Lawlor vs. TBA

* Spencer Fisher vs. Thiago Tavares

* Alexandre "Cacareco" Ferreira vs. Rousimar Palhares

* David Mitchell vs. Paulo Thiago