Former UFC light heavyweight champion “Suga” Rashad Evans is making his way to the UFC Hall of Fame.
Over the weekend the UFC announced that Evans, the winner of season two of The Ultimate Fighter, will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame’s ‘Modern Wing’ as a member of the class of 2019.
The 2019 UFC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, will take place on Friday, July 5, at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
“Rashad and I have been close since season two of The Ultimate Fighter and we’ve had an amazing relationship,” UFC President Dana White said.
“It has been fun to see him succeed and grow as a fighter, become a world champion and then a respected coach for up and coming fighters, and then to see him retire last year. I love to see him still involved with UFC. I couldn’t be prouder of Rashad than I am right now with him being inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.”
Evans will join Forrest Griffin (2013), BJ Penn (2015), Urijah Faber (2017), Ronda Rousey (2018) and Michael Bisping (2019).
Robin Van Roosmalen, a former champion in two weight classes with Glory Kickboxing, has signed with Bellator MMA.
Bellator President Scott Coker announced the signing via Twitter on Tuesday. Van Roosmalen’s deal is exclusively for mixed martial arts, so he will not compete in Bellator Kickboxing, according to a promotion official. While Coker hinted that van Roosmalen would take part in the promotion’s upcoming featherweight grand prix, the Dutch fighter’s participation in the bracket has not been finalized.
Van Roosmalen was the first fighter two win two titles for Glory Kickboxing, capturing crowns at featherweight and lightweight. He announced at the end of last year that he would be transitioning to MMA on a full-time basis. Van Roosmalen has been training at Hard Knocks 365 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., under the guidance of Henri Hooft and others.
A black belt in judo, van Rossmalen has gone 2-0 in MMA, winning both of his bouts via technical knockout. The 29-year-old last competed in MMA in March 2017. He owns a 51-17-3 mark as a professional kickboxer.
Martin Nguyen has become an international star over the last five years. Training out of Hardknocks 365 with other world champions like Kamaru Usman and Aung La Nsang has done wonders for the 30-year-old Vietnamese-Australian. “The Situ-Asian” is the first fighter in the history of ONE Championship to hold two titles simultaneously. He even famously went for a third title but was unable to pull it off.
Now, seemingly set on building his legacy at featherweight, Nguyen has successfully defended the title twice.
Here are his five most memorable moments in ONE Championship so far.
Nguyen was 3-0 as a professional when he debuted in ONE. His first fight in the new organization would be against Rocky Batolbatol who himself was a perfect 5-0 at the time.
The two undefeated combatants would meet at ONE FC 22: Battle of Lions.
The fight was back and forth affair. Batolbatol landed some solid punches on the advancing Nguyen. Nguyen would have some success with his takedowns and on the ground. He even partially landed an ill-intended soccer kick as Batolbatol was getting up.
Another GLORY alum is making his way to the big MMA stage.
On Tuesday, Bellator president Scott Coker announced the signing of Robin van Roosmalen. Coker also indicated that van Roosmalen, who held GLORY titles at both lightweight and featherweight, could be part of Bellator’s 145-pound tournament (via Twitter).
Roosmalen just announced his full-time transition from kickboxing to MMA last December, but he’s already got two pro MMA bouts on his record. And so far, so good: He finished both of them at Final Fight Championship (FFC) in impressive fashion.
At FFC 22, in February 2016, Roosmalen scored a second-round knockout of Theo Michailidis. In March 2017, at FFC 28, he kept his streak with a first-round knockout of Risto Dimitrov. (You can check out both fights in the videos below and above.)
Despite his short MMA record, Roosmalen (2-0) said in an interview with ESPN last year that he had been training in the sport for five years. At the time, the 29-year-old fighter from the Netherlands was representing Hard Knocks 365 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Aaron Pico now has an opponent for his return to New York.
The top up-and-comer will face Adam Borics at Bellator 222 on June 14 at Madison Square Garden, sources told ESPN on Saturday.
Pico (4-2) is coming off a first-round knockout loss to Henry Corrales at Bellator 214 in January. That defeat snapped a four-fight winning streak, all of which were first-round knockouts. The California native is regarded as one of the best blue-chip prospects in MMA history, though he has had two rocky outings in six career fights.
Rochester, NY — Desmond Green promised he’d get a good turnout at UFC Rochester. The only Rochester native on the card actually had to beg to get on it, and it’s a good thing he did. He had the biggest cheers, the most support, save perhaps for the main event. And in terms of media attention, Green was second to none. Every TV and radio station in the city turned out to cover Green, and just Green for the most part.
Which meant that the back stage area following Green’s win over UFC newcomer Charles Jourdain was crowded. The local media got in position immediately following his win, circled around the interview area like hawks. Clearly unaware how long it takes a fighter to clear the commission following a bout.
It didn’t matter. Their guy had won. Green was one of the biggest stories of the night. Hometown hero triumphs. The Rush–Henrietta High School grad and University of Buffalo alum went the distance against the scrappy Jourdain, then got his hand raised.
Speaking to reporters including Cageside Press after the fight, he admitted that “the roar that I got from that crowd, I had no clue it was going to be that big.”
Rochester, N.Y. — Desmond Green is making his long-awaited homecoming Saturday night at UFC Rochester. There should be about 1,000 friends and family in what’s expected to be close to a sold out Blue Cross Arena. His energy is high and the city is buzzing.
But this night and any other night for that matter were almost taken away from him on Aug. 18 last year.
Green collided with an 18-wheeler tractor-trailer truck on Interstate 75 in Davie, Fla. (he lives and trains in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. as a member of the Hard Knocks 365 fight camp). The crash worsened when five more cars slammed into the truck resulting in the death of two people.
Green lost a tooth and suffered a rib injury, but those wounds didn’t take long to heal. The trauma of that morning, however, remains still almost a year later.
UFC announced Saturday that Niagara Falls native and former Niagara-Wheatfield and Niagara County Community College star Rashad Evans will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame’s ‘Modern Wing’ as a member of the class of 2019 during a July 5 ceremony in Las Vegas.
“Rashad and I have been close since season two of The Ultimate Fighter and we’ve had an amazing relationship,” UFC President Dana White said in a press release. “It has been fun to see him succeed and grow as a fighter, become a world champion and then a respected coach for up and coming fighters, and then to see him retire last year. I love to see him still involved with UFC. I couldn’t be prouder of Rashad than I am right now with him being inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.”
Evans, the former UFC light heavyweight champion and winner of season two of The Ultimate Fighter, will enter the UFC Hall of Fame as a member of the Modern Wing, joining Forrest Griffin (2013), BJ Penn (2015), Urijah Faber (2017), Ronda Rousey (2018) and Michael Bisping (2019). The “Modern Era” category includes athletes who turned pro on or after November 17, 2000 (when the unified rules of mixed martial arts were adopted), are a minimum age of 35, or have been retired for one year or more.
Vicente Luque believes in the USADA process, but he does feel that Neil Magny is telling the truth about his failed drug test being accidental.
Rochester, NY — Needless to say, it’s been a tumultuous week for UFC welterweight Vincente Luque. Luque (15-6-1) had expected to be facing Neil Magny in the UFC Rochester co-main event. Instead, while fight week was still unfolding, Magny was pulled from the card due to a failed drug test. LFA veteran Derrick Krantz has stepped up in his place, keeping Luque on the card — but creating a high risk, low reward situation for the Brazilian-American.
Well, some might see it that way. Luque, however, told Cageside Press and other media outlets on Thursday that he sees things differently. “I never think fighting is a lose-lose, especially because I love fighting,” he explained.
“So whenever I can go [out] there and do what I love, for me, it’s a win.” Especially since he risks being lost in the shuffle otherwise. “If I am not active, I think other welterweights will be active, and they’re going to have visibility.” So while he’s not fighting a top fifteen guy at UFC Rochester, or someone who will move him up the rankings, “I’m still going to go out there and have the opportunity to show what I do.”
Martin Nguyen is the first One Championship fighter to win titles in two weight divisions. It could have been three had he not given up a split decision to bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes. The man they call “The Situ-Asian” has now decided to focus on his featherweight belt after relinquishing his lightweight strap because of an injury.
He is most recently coming off a successful title defense against Mongolian great, Narantungalag-Jadambaa. And as he awaits his next opponent, you can learn more about him through the numbers below.
21: Years old when he started to get into mixed martial arts. Nguyen’s original sport was rugby, but after suffering multiple injuries, he was forced to quit. Needing something to keep him fit and active, he turned to martial arts. It’s impressive how far he has come as a professional MMA fighter, especially considering he started rather late.
2: Recorded amateur fights before turning pro. Nguyen fought and came out victorious in a couple of local events, namely Competitive Edge – The Fight Project and Brace for War 21.