UFC Notes: Maldonado replaces JDS vs. Miocic
Published on Wednesday, 5/7/14, at 12:44 p.m. Eastern.
By Brian Edwards
–Former UFC heavyweight champ Junior dos Santos had to pull out of his TUF Brazil 3 Finale main-event fight vs. Stipe Miocic due to a broken hand suffered in training camp. On just 3.5 weeks notice, Fabio Maldonado will replace JDS and face Miocic in a five-round fight at heavyweight. Maldonado is riding a three-fight winning streak, albeit in the light-heavyweight loop. He is a native Brazilian who will have the fans on his side in this May 31 tilt in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
–The UFC 176 card in Los Angeles has a main event that will pit featherweight champion Jose Aldo against Chad ‘Money’ Mendes for a second time. Mendes has won five consecutive fights since getting KO’d by Aldo with a perfectly-timed knee with only a few seconds remaining in the first round of their UFC 142 showdown in January of 2012. Aldo has defended his strap eight straight times dating back to his days in the WEC. 5Dimes opened the champ as a -210 favorite yesterday but as of 12:41 p.m. Eastern today, Aldo was a -280 ‘chalk.’ Mendes is +200 on the comeback (risk $100 to win $200).
–Conor McGregor will return from ACL surgery to face Cole Miller in the main event at UFC Fight Night: Dublin. The verbal banter between these featherweights is in high gear ahead of this July 19 scrap in Ireland. On the MMA hour this week, McGregor said, “He opened his mouth. I didn’t even give a shit about him. Nobody in the UFC gave a shit about him. 18 fights in the UFC, or 17, I don’t even know, and the motherfucker couldn’t even get off Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg rang and tried to get that man off Facebook. Nobody cares about him.” Miller responded with this: “I’m going to be the one that stops him in the first round. His jaw is going to be so weak from running his mouth, the first punch I’m going to hit with is going to lay him out.” We shall see…
–Cat Zingano was going to face Ronda Rousey for the women’s belt after her win over Miesha Tate in her UFC debut. However, an ACL injury 13 months ago forced her to the sidelines. She has also been coping with the death of her husband. But Zingano announced earlier this week that she’s been cleared to start training and Sarah Kaufman has expressed interest in facing the No. 1 contender.
–Just five months after snapping his leg in a second loss to Chris Weidman, Anderson Silva has also been cleared to begin training and the former middleweight kingpin is looking for a fight before the end of the year. The fight I would like to see for ‘The Spider’ is against Nick Diaz, who would presumably come out of retirement for this sort of payday.
–Mendes also appeared on The MMA Hour this week. When told of comments McGregor made about him, (“I think Mendes should be a 135er. He looks blown out at 145. He looks like a little bodybuilder. His body is not built for combat.”) Mendes offered up these thoughts: “I would beat the shit out of Conor McGregor. It wouldn’t even be a fight. I would knock that dude out in the first round. Guaranteed. The guy is a clown.”