UFC Legend Anderson Silva to be Inducted into UFC Hall of Fame

Anderson Silva is headed to the hall…

The 47-year-old Brazilian mixed martial artist and boxer, a former UFC Middleweight Champion who holds the record for the longest title reign in UFC history at 2,457 days, will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame this summer, the promotion announced during the UFC 286 broadcast.

Anderson SilvaConsidered one of the greatest MMA fighters to ever live will enter the Hall as part of the pioneer wing.

The Spider, as he’s nicknamed, has dominated the sport. He held the UFC middleweight title from 2006 to 2013 and compiled 16 straight victories in the UFC, the longest winning streak in promotion history.

Silva had 10 middleweight title defenses, second all-time after Jon Jones and Demetrious Johnson (11).

“Anderson Silva is one of the greatest athletes of all time,” UFC president Dana White said in a statement. “Anderson’s 16-fight winning streak in the UFC, 10 successful title defenses and almost seven years as middleweight champion were one of the most remarkable things we’ve ever seen in professional sports. He was an absolute artist inside the Octagon, and it will be an honor to induct him into the UFC Hall of Fame this summer.”

It wasn’t just that Silva would win, either. He put opponents away with a flourish, sometimes making foes look foolish in the process. His nine UFC title finishes are the most in promotion history, and he’s tied for the most KO/TKOs in UFC middleweight history.

Silva asked for his UFC release in 2020 and went on to win boxing matches against former world champ Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and fellow UFC luminary Tito OrtizJake Paul defeated Silva in a boxing match, Silva’s most recent fight, last October.

In the UFC, Silva owns victories over the likes of Rich FranklinDan HendersonVitor BelfortChael Sonnen (twice) and Forrest Griffin.

Raul Rosas Jr. Becomes First 18-Year-Old to Win in the UFC

Raul Rosas Jr. has a first UFC win under his belt…

The Mexican mixed martial artist, who turned 18 years old just two months ago, became the youngest fighter ever to compete in the UFC on Saturday night, and his performance was dominant in a first-round submission of veteran bantamweight Jay Perrin during the prelims of UFC 282 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Raul Rosas Jr.Rosas, who was born in Mexico and raised in New Mexico and California, was signed off of Dana White‘s Contender Series when he was still 17.

He now is 18 years and 63 days old, younger than the only other 18-year-olds to compete in the OctagonSean Daugherty and Dan Lauzon.

But Rosas is the first 18-year-old to win in the UFC. And he made it look easy.

Rosas, whose specialty is grappling, took the fight to the canvas within the first minute and immediately seized control, which he maintained before eliciting the tapout from Perrin via rear-naked choke at 2:44 of Round 1.

Rosas spoke afterward about the next historical accomplishment in his sights.

“Man, this is crazy, but I knew I was going to be here at this age,” he said. “So right now I’m just living the dream. I had no nerves, no pressure, felt free. I’m doing what I love to do. And right now, tonight, I just came to introduce myself, because I’m coming for that belt.”

Raul Rosas, Jr. to Become Youngest Fighter to Compete in UFC with Debut Fight Against Jay Perrin

Raul Rosas, Jr. is set to earn his place in UFC history…

The 18-year-old Mexican mixed martial artist, known as “El Niño Problema,” will become the youngest fighter to compete in the UFC when he makes his debut against Jay Perrin (10-6) at UFC 282 on December 10 in Las Vegas.

Raul Rosas Jr.Rosas’ representative agency, Iridium Sports, announced the news on social media.

Last month, Rosas became the youngest fighter to win a contract on Dana White‘s Contender Series when he defeated Mando Gutierrez (7-1) via unanimous decision. Rosas was just 17 at the time of that fight. He celebrated his 18th birthday on October 8.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said White, the UFC president, as he signed Rosas. “The amount of fighters blowing me up saying, ‘You’re crazy not to [sign him].’ … He’s special.”

According to UFC Stats and InfoDan Lauzon currently holds the record as the youngest fighter to ever compete in the Octagon (18 years, 198 days). He made his UFC debut in January 2010. Rosas will comfortably beat that mark, as long as the fight stays together on December 10.

Rosas was born in Mexico and now fights out of California. Perrin, 29, is 0-2 since signing with the UFC earlier this year. He has fought professionally since 2014.

Glover Teixeira Reportedly Set to Fight Jiri Prochazka in Light Heavyweight Championship Rematch

Glover Teixeira is heading to the Octagon in December…

The UFC has added a light heavyweight championship rematch between the 42-year-old Brazilian mixed martial artist and Jiri Prochazka  to its December pay-per-view event in Las Vegas.

Glover TeixeiraContracts haven’t been signed, but multiple sources confirmed the bout is close to being finalized.

It will take place at UFC 282 on December 10 inside T-Mobile Arena. The UFC has not announced whether it will serve as the main event.

Prochazka (29-3-1) won the title by submitting Teixeira in the fifth round of a back-and-forth fight at UFC 275 in June. Fighting out of Czech Republic, Prochazka has been perfect since signing with the UFC in 2020. He has recorded three consecutive finishes against Teixeira, Dominick Reyes and Volkan Oezdemir.

Teixeira (33-8) has strung together some of the best performances of his career at age 42. He upset Jan Blachowicz for the UFC title in October 2021, before surrendering the belt in his first attempted defense. Before that loss, the Brazilian had not tasted defeat since 2018.

The first meeting between Prochazka and Teixeira is considered one of the most entertaining fights of the year. Ironically, it was Prochazka who was adamant about an immediate rematch, as he felt he did not give his best performance despite the late finish.

UFC 282 also features a high-profile light heavyweight bout between Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev.

The news of the bout being added to UFC 282 was first reported by The Underground.

Marlon Moraes Coming Out of Retirement with Multi-Fight PFL Deal

Marlon Moraes is making a comeback…

The 34-year-old Brazilian mixed martial artist and former UFC bantamweight title challenger  has decided to come out of retirement, and will do so under a new multi-fight deal with Professional Fighters League (PFL).Marlon Moraes In addition to the new deal, Moraes (23-10-1) has agreed to a featherweight matchup against Shane Burgos (15-3) on the promotion’s tournament finals card later this year.

Multiple sources told ESPN contracts haven’t been signed for the bout, but verbal agreements are in place.

The PFL has not announced an official date or location for the event, although it is expected to take place in November.

Moraes walked away from the sport earlier this year following a four-fight skid in the Octagon, but figures to be a prominent new face in the PFL’s season format. He’s actually returning to his former home, in a sense. Moraes was a 135-pound champion at World Series of Fighting, which was rebranded into the PFL in 2017.

Originally from Brazil and now fighting out of Florida, Moraes came within one win of becoming a UFC champion in June 2019, when he came up short in a vacant title bid against challenger Henry Cejudo. He went on to drop four of his next five, although he was fighting the very best of his weight class in the likes of Song YadongMerab DvalishviliRob Font and Cory Sandhagen.

Burgos, of New York, also signed a new deal with PFL this year. The 31-year-old fought exclusively in the UFC from 2106 to 2022. He has fought some of the top names of the division during his career. Following his signing with PFL, UFC president Dana White went so far as to admit the promotion made an error in not keeping Burgos on its roster.

Raul Rosas Jr. Becomes Youngest MMA Fighter to Sign with UFC

Raul Rosas Jr. has earned his place in UFC history…

The 17-year-old Mexican mixed martial artist has become the youngest fighter to sign with the UFC.

Raul Rosas Jr.Rosas signed with UFC Tuesday night, following a unanimous decision win over Mando Gutierrez on Dana White‘s Contender Series.

White, impressed by Rosas’ performance, offered the teen a contract before the end of the show, which he accepted. Rosas is the youngest fighter to compete on the series.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” White said of Rosas’ age and outing against Gutierrez. “Not only that, the amount of fighters blowing me up saying you’re crazy not to (sign him). … He’s absolutely, positively talented. He’s special, he’s different.”

Rosas, a bantamweight fighter, dominated the 25-year-old Gutierrez for most of the fight with his grappling prowess. He nearly finished Gutierrez in the first round with a rarely used Suloev stretch submission from back control. Gutierrez had moments, taking Rosas down and landing some ground-and-pound. But almost always, Rosas would end up in the better position, using his dexterity, skill and creativity on the ground to scramble his way to the top.

Rosas (6-0) had finished all of his previous opponents before Tuesday night. The Mexican-born fighter, who trains out of Las Vegas, previously fought in the UWC promotion in Tijuana.

Dan Lauzon holds the record as the youngest fighter to compete in the UFC (18 years, 198 days), per ESPN Stats & Information research. As long as Rosas steps into the Octagon within the next 216 days — a likely scenario — he will beat that mark.

And Rosas is already talking about winning championships. The youngest UFC champion was Jon Jones at age 23 in 2011.

“Everybody shouldn’t be surprised,” Rosas said. “I’m the new king in here, so I’m coming for that belt now. … I’m gonna be champion when I’m 20. Respect to everybody, but I’m gonna be champion when I’m 20, or even earlier. Nobody is gonna stop me.”

Brandon Moreno Defeats Kai Kara-France to Claim UFC’s Interim 125-Pound Title

Brandon Moreno is a UFC champion once again…

The 28-year-old Mexican professional mixed martial artist (20-6-2) claimed the interim 125-pound title in thrilling fashion on Saturday, as he finished Kai Kara-France in the third round with a nasty left body kick followed by ground and pound. The TKO came at 4 minutes, 34 seconds.

Brandon MorenoThe title fight co-headlined UFC 277 from inside American Airlines Arena. Figueiredo, the defending unified champion and a longtime rival of Moreno’s, was in attendance cageside.

UFC originally wanted Figueiredo to defend his title against Moreno this summer, but Figueiredo was unavailable due to injury. The Brazilian champion entered the Octagon after Moreno’s win and asked to do it in Brazil.

“This guy right here, tonight is his night and he is the champion,” Figueiredo said through an interpreter. “I have a lot of respect for him. … I want to take this fight home to Brazil.”

Brandon Moreno

Moreno, of Tijuana, quickly accepted the invitation. He also apologized to Figueiredo for any bad blood between them in the past. The two have had a heated rivalry, mostly from Figueiredo’s side, since 2020. Moreno challenged Figueiredo for the belt in December 2020 and fought him to a majority draw. He then beat Figueiredo by submission in an immediate rematch before losing a controversial decision in their third fight in January.

“I don’t hate you. I don’t feel nothing against you. I forgive you,” Moreno told Figueiredo. “Please forgive me if I did something bad against you. I want to fight in December.”

Saturday’s fight was Moreno’s first since he left his original training camp in Mexico and joined forces with veteran MMA coach James Krause in Missouri. It proved to be one of the most impressive performances of his career. He already held a prior decision win over Kara-France (24-10) from 2019, and the rematch was similar in that Moreno simply had more tools than the challenger from New Zealand.

He attacked Kara-France with leg kicks, jabs and right hands. He looked for the takedown when the opportunity came but didn’t force it.

However, Kara-France, 29, was certainly competitive until the finish. He relied mostly on leg kicks as his primary offense and had success with it. Moreno’s lead leg was very red from kicks early on. In the third round, Kara-France did his best work after he caught a Moreno kick and dumped him to the floor. He landed a hard elbow from top position that opened a cut under Moreno’s right eye.

Just when it appeared Kara-France had seized momentum, however, Moreno caught him with a spinning back fist and then the body kick that put him down. Kara-France immediately rolled over and covered up, which brought in a quick stoppage from referee Herb Dean, as Moreno swarmed on him with hammerfists.

Moreno, who was cut from UFC in 2018, now holds a 4-1-2 record since re-signing in 2019.

Glover Teixeira to Defend UFC Light Heavyweight Title Against Jiri Prochazka

Glover Teixeira is going on the defensive…

The 42-year-old Brazilian mixed martial artist and UFC light heavyweight champion will defend his title against Jiri Prochazka on May 7, according to ESPN sources.

Glover TeixeiraBoth Teixeira and Prochazka have committed to the date and opponent.

The 205-pound title fight will take place on a UFC 274 pay-per-view event. The UFC has not announced an official venue for the event.

Teixeira (33-7) capped off an improbable run to the UFC title in October, when he submitted Jan Blachowicz at UFC 267 to capture a belt at age 42. The victory came more than seven years after Teixeira came up short in his first title bid against Jon Jones in 2014. 

Originally from Brazil, now fighting out of Connecticut, Teixeira has won six in a row, including finishes of Blachowicz, Thiago Santos and Anthony Smith.

Prochazka (28-3-1) has been a dark horse in the 205-pound division ever since signing with the UFC in 2020. He’s fought only twice inside the Octagon, but he’s been supremely impressive in finishes of Volkan Oezdemir and Dominick Reyes.

Prochazka, of Czech Republic, has recorded 10 consecutive knockout finishes.

Jorge Masvidal to Fight Leon Edwards at UFC 269 in December

Jorge Masvidal is preparing for a grudge match

One of the most infamous backstage scuffles in UFC history will be revisited in December, when the 36-year-old Cuban and Peruvian American mixed martial artist and fellow UFC welterweight Leon Edwards have agreed to meet inside the Octagon.

Jorge Masvidal

Edwards and Masvidal will square off at UFC 269 on December 11, UFC chief business officer Hunter Campbell told ESPN. Contracts have not yet been signed, but bout agreements have been sent to both parties.

This fight has held personal implications since March 2019, when Edwards and Masvidal were involved in a backstage incident at a UFC Fight Night event in London. Masvidal struck Edwards in the face after Edwards interrupted him during a postfight interview.

Later in the night, Masvidal would infamously describe the punches he landed on Edwards as a “three-piece and soda.”

Masvidal wrote in a tweet Monday: “You’re welcome #supernecessary”

In addition to settling a long-standing grudge, the matchup will have major implications on the welterweight division. Edwards (19-3) is riding a nine-fight win streak and is a strong candidate for a title shot in 2022. Masvidal (35-15) is coming off back-to-back failed title bids against Kamaru Usman in 2020 and 2021 but has said his goal is still to claim the UFC championship.

“Despite earning the next title shot, [Edwards] has always been willing to fight Jorge first, provided the terms were correct,” Edwards’ manager, Tim Simpson, told ESPN. “We are very happy with the deal, and excited to compete in December, and then for a world title thereafter.”

As a result of the UFC adding this high-profile bout to the card, a trilogy flyweight title fight between Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo has been moved to UFC 270 on January 22, according to the UFC.

UFC 270 on January 22 does not have an official location yet, but sources told ESPN the promotion is looking at Anaheim, which is only about 100 miles north of Moreno’s hometown of Tijuana, Mexico.

Yair Rodriguez In Final Talks to Fight Max Holloway at UFC Fight Night in November

Yair Rodriguez is thisclose to returning to the Octagon

The UFC is finalizing a featherweight matchup between the 28-year-old Mexican professional mixed martial artist and former champion Max Holloway.

Yair Rodriguez

Rodriguez and Holloway would headline an event on November 13, according to ESPN.

Contracts haven’t been signed, but the bout is expected to become official shortly.

It will serve as the main event of a UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas.

Yair Rodriguez

The 145-pound contest was originally supposed to take place on July 17 in Las Vegas; however, Holloway was forced to pull out due to injury. Rather than book Rodriguez another opponent, the UFC elected to keep the matchup intact until Holloway made a recovery.

According to sources, Holloway accepted the date this week.

Rodriguez (13-2) has not fought since he defeated Jeremy Stephens via decision in October 2019. He was booked to fight Zabit Magomedsharipov in August 2020, but was forced to pull out because of an injury. The Mexican featherweight has only fought three times in the last three years, but is still the UFC’s No. 3-ranked featherweight.

Holloway (22-6) is already viewed as the division’s No. 1 contender. The former champion lost his title to current champion Alexander Volkanovski via unanimous decision in December 2019. The bout was razor close, and the two fought again in July 2020. Volkanovski won again, by split decision in a bout many observers felt Holloway won.

The 29-year-old Hawaiian fought Calvin Kattar in January, and delivered arguably one of the best performances in UFC history. He defeated Kattar via unanimous decision, and landed 445 total strikes in the process.

The winner of the November bout is virtually guaranteed a title shot.