Complete coverage on

Ultimate Fighting Championship

Latest Stories

SI.com: Dave Doyle: Cancelled UFC 151 not without its winners and losersupdated: Wed Aug 29 2012 17:10:00

In the sports world at large, the first event cancellation in the modern era of the Ultimate Fighting Championship was a curiosity: A one-day headline on the home page of major websites and the subject of a quick mention on national sports broadcasts.

SI.com: Viewers' guide to UFC 150updated: Tue Aug 07 2012 17:09:00

This is your life, Frankie Edgar. You step into the octagon for a fight, and across the cage stands a familiar face. Not every time, of course, but every second time. First there's the title bout. Then there's the rematch. That's the rhythm of the beat of your fighter's heart.

SI.com: Jeff Wagenheim: Olympics afford MMA fans opportunity to scout future starsupdated: Sun Aug 05 2012 02:07:00

There's no UFC event this weekend, and no Strikeforce or Bellator fights, either. So what are mixed martial arts fans supposed to do with ourselves? Well, it's a prime opportunity for us to settle in front of a TV and scout for future stars.

SI.com: Jeff Wagenheim: UFC on Fox 4 now four-way fight for light heavyweight title shotupdated: Tue Jul 31 2012 19:39:00

It was late Monday morning when I decided to get a head start on the week by jotting down some ideas for a preview of this weekend's UFC on Fox event. Scanning the fight card, it occurred to me that quite a few of the bouts feature guys in the midst of stabilizing their careers after setbacks. Lyoto Machida. Phil Davis. Joe Lauzon. Mike Swick.

SI.com: Jeff Wagenheim: Viewers' guide to UFC 149updated: Tue Jul 17 2012 14:48:00

The venue for Saturday night's UFC 149 in Calgary, Alberta, is the 20,000-seat Saddledome. It might as well be Foothills Medical Centre, the Canadian city's 1,000-bed hospital.

SI.com: Jeff Wagenheim: Training-camp injury epidemic in MMA remains bad for businessupdated: Thu Jun 14 2012 17:48:00

Mixed martial arts is a dangerous game. You punch and you kick, you twist limbs and you choke off airways. And that's just what you do in training camp while preparing for an actual fight.

SI.com: Ben Fowlkes: UFC's message: Don't get hurtupdated: Thu May 31 2012 21:43:00

If you didn't know better, you'd have thought UFC president Dana White was talking about an act of God, some unavoidable misfortune that finds its way across the universe and zaps you right in the teeth. A tree falling on your house in the middle of the night. A meteor rocketing through the roof of your Camry as you zip along the highway. Nothing you can do.

SI.com: Ben Fowlkes: UFC can't be both promoter and regulatorupdated: Fri Apr 13 2012 20:48:00

STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- If you think it's an inherent conflict of interest for the UFC to act as its own regulator when it takes its event abroad, you're right. That's according to the UFC's VP of Regulatory Affairs and former Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Marc Ratner, who knows from prior experience that the fox cannot be left to guard the henhouse.

SI.com: Ben Fowlkes: UFC's new drug-testing policy is solid step, but problems remainupdated: Thu Jan 19 2012 15:47:00

The UFC might have no way of entirely ridding its roster of steroid users, but it's at least going to try to make it tougher for them to get in.

SI.com: Ben Fowlkes: No shortage of variables in Lesnar-Overeem at UFC 141updated: Thu Dec 29 2011 14:04:00

LAS VEGAS -- UFC president Dana White doesn't usually bother to comment on the typical pre-fight bluster that comes falling out of fighters' mouths in interviews and press conferences before the big night, but even he couldn't resist taking the bait this time.

SI.com: Jeff Wagenheim: Viewers' guide to UFC 141updated: Thu Dec 29 2011 13:20:00

The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

SI.com: Jeff Wagenheim: MMA predictions for 2012updated: Thu Dec 29 2011 11:46:00

1. Big-stage backlash. Now that the UFC is on network TV, with so many more viewers able to see the fights, it's inevitable that the wrong eyes will catch a glimpse. A curious football fan or let's-see-what's-on channel surfer will click over to Fox at the precise moment when a fighter suffers a broken limb, like Antonio Rodrigo Nogueria did at UFC 140, or when one drops to the mat lifelessly after being choked unconscious, as Lyoto Machida did that same night. Or maybe the cringe-worthy moment will be a bloodbath like the first Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar fight, a bout legendary for MMA diehards but probably too brutal for the uninitiated to bear.

SI.com: Loretta Hunt: Top 10 MMA stories of 2011updated: Tue Dec 27 2011 11:47:00

In a year where "Business as usual" became a tongue-in-cheek slogan for MMA fans in the know, it was a series of big business moves that changed the sport's landscape forever.

SI.com: Ben Fowlkes: UFC's breakneck schedule to blame for UFC 140's lackluster title boutupdated: Fri Dec 09 2011 12:57:00

TORONTO -- If you ask Jon Jones, he'll tell you that his light heavyweight title defense at UFC 140 is at least a little bit of a relief. You might think the same thing if you'd gone from having Quinton "Rampage" Jackson poking at you in the press to fighting a guy who barely speaks English, and isn't inclined to talk much trash even in his native Portuguese.

SI.com: Jeff Wagenheim: Viewers' guide to TUF 14 Finaleupdated: Tue Nov 29 2011 16:20:00

If you have something better to do with your life than watch so-called reality television -- and who doesn't? -- you've not been missing much if you've chosen to skip The Ultimate Fighter. The Spike TV show did put the UFC on the map six years ago, but it's never evolved beyond a tiresome formula of a few minutes of fervent, if ham-fisted fighting wrapped around hours of sometimes drunken, always childish stupidity. In other words, typical reality TV fare.

SI.com: Jeff Wagenheim: Viewers' guide to UFC 139updated: Fri Nov 18 2011 16:33:00

"This is, without a doubt, the biggest fight in UFC history."

SI.com: Jeff Wagenheim: Muñoz dominates UFC 138, eyes future title shotupdated: Sun Nov 06 2011 10:10:00

Mark Muñoz sure knows how to get himself noticed.

SI.com: Jeff Wagenheim: UFC 138 Viewer's Guideupdated: Fri Nov 04 2011 16:02:00

The other day, seeking a tidbit of information about UFC 138, I ventured to the fight organization's web site and had a brief moment of confusion. Had I got the date wrong? Is the event in Birmingham, England, not this weekend?

SI.com: Steven Marrocco: Winners, losers from UFC 133updated: Mon Aug 08 2011 13:33:00

UFC 133 is over, and we're out of the injury woods for now.

SI.com: Jeff Wagenheim: UFC provided the action that Klitschko-Haye didn'tupdated: Sun Jul 03 2011 03:02:00

It took around eight seconds for Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber to ensure that no one was going to confuse them for Wladimir Klitschko and David Haye. For one thing, the two UFC 132 main event fighters, combined, weigh in at not much more than Klitschko alone. And more important, unlike the heavyweight boxers, the bantamweight mixed martial artists came to fight on Saturday.

SI.com: Tim Marchman: UFC needs to market some fresh facesupdated: Wed Jun 29 2011 16:12:00

The other day, I was watching a ballgame on television and saw an advertisement for UFC 132. It promised violence.

SI.com: Jeff Wagenheim: Viewers' guide to UFC 132updated: Tue Jun 28 2011 14:32:00

It was a huge card for World Extreme Cagefighting. Just three months earlier, the California-based fight promotion had been purchased by Zuffa, parent company of the UFC. It was March 2007, and nearly 2,000 fans were packed into the special events center at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas for WEC 26, which featured not one, not two, but three title bouts.

SI.com: Steven Marrocco: Kongo dodges nosedive amid UFC card shuffleupdated: Tue Jun 28 2011 14:03:00

If you sat down on Sunday night for UFC on Versus 4, you couldn't help watching with just a little bit of skepticism and maybe consider a couple of alternative selections using picture-in-picture.

SI.com: Jeff Wagenheim: MMA weekend previewupdated: Fri Jun 24 2011 15:44:00

Are you ready for a big weekend of mixed martial arts? What, you weren't aware? Hey, just because a Countdown to UFC Whatever hype-it-up preview show hasn't been replayed over and over on Spike, Versus and all 32 flavors of ESPN throughout the week doesn't mean the cage is empty. There's Strikeforce on Friday, the Bellator Fighting Championships on Saturday and the UFC on Sunday. Clear out the TV room.

SI.com: Ben Fowlkes: Change in weight class rarely the answer for struggling MMA fightersupdated: Fri Jun 24 2011 15:31:00

Look around Sunday night's UFC Live fight card long enough and you might start to wonder whether Weight Watchers is the newest UFC sponsor. From Nate Marquardt to Tyson Griffin to Joe Stevenson, it seems like everyone is slimming down and dropping weight classes.

SI.com: Steven Marrocco: Winners, losers from UFC 131updated: Mon Jun 13 2011 17:55:00

Would two more rounds of Junior dos Santos vs. Shane Carwin have helped decide the winner? And if so, would the judges in Vancouver have made the right call?

SI.com: Ben Fowlkes: For The Ultimate Fighter finalists, the struggle is only beginningupdated: Fri Jun 03 2011 16:42:00

In some ways, going from The Ultimate Fighter to the UFC is a little like finally finding a job after months and months of unemployment. At first, you're overcome with joy. Mission accomplished, and all that.

SI.com: Ben Fowlkes: The MMA heavyweights of today come in all shapes and sizesupdated: Fri May 27 2011 15:16:00

If you want to know what the modern MMA heavyweight looks like, don't pay too much attention to what you see at UFC 130 this weekend.

SI.com: Jeff Wagenheim: Going through reader mail during MMA's spring breakupdated: Tue May 17 2011 15:53:00

The folks at the Bellator Fighting Championships don't want to hear it. Hector Lombard definitely doesn't. But even though the promotion's middleweight champion fought Saturday night and scored a vicious one-punch knockout in front of the second-largest viewership in MTV2 history, mixed martial arts has been on spring break for the last couple of weeks, pretty much, and will remain in a holding pattern for another week or so, before picking up steam with UFC 130 on Memorial Day weekend.

SI.com: Ben Fowlkes: UFC's insurance coup may help with regulation efforts in New Yorkupdated: Fri May 13 2011 14:20:00

Of the many seismic shifts in the MMA landscape over the past few years, it's a little strange that something as seemingly mundane as health insurance would prove to rank among the biggest.

SI.com: Tim Marchman: Quality of UFC main events not as bad as it seemsupdated: Thu May 12 2011 15:51:00

Cain Velasquez, Jon Jones, Frankie Edgar, Gray Maynard, B.J. Penn and Jon Fitch would, between them, make for the core not just of a sound fight promotion, but one that could compete head up with UFC. All of them were scheduled to fight this summer. None of them will; all of them are injured.

SI.com: Jeff Wagenheim: There's more than one way to win as evidenced at UFC 129updated: Sun May 01 2011 21:55:00

Sometimes the guy who has his hand raised isn't the only winner.

SI.com: Jeff Wagenheim: Unheralded Mark Hominick looks to steal spotlight at UFC 129updated: Wed Apr 20 2011 13:00:00

You could bus the entire population of Thamesford, Ontario, the 100 miles of roadway through the province's industrial south to Toronto, hand each of the couple thousand people on those buses a ticket to UFC 129, and the collective townspeople would be but a speck in the Rogers Centre crowd.

SI.com: Steven Marrocco: MMA embraces social media crazeupdated: Thu Apr 14 2011 16:10:00

One inevitably sunny Las Vegas week early in the year, the UFC sequesters all of its fighters in a hotel and gives them the need-to-knows of working for the biggest MMA promotion. At some point in the gathering, as the world's toughest men do their best impression of conventioneers, there's a section on self-promotion, and social networking comes to the fore.

SI.com: Steven Marrocco: Diaz, Melendez among winners from Saturday's Strikeforce cardupdated: Mon Apr 11 2011 18:20:00

There are a dozen wrongs you can cite about Strikeforce and the way it's done business as the Avis to the UFC's Hertz over the past two years. But there is no question that it delivers, more often than not, a thoroughly compelling product.

SI.com: Steven Marrocco: Silva looks to UFC card in Rio, possible St-Pierre showdownupdated: Mon Apr 04 2011 14:29:00

SAN DIEGO -- Anderson Silva says he's perfectly happy to close out his current UFC contract and, perhaps, his fighting career in the division he's ruled going on four years.

SI.com: Steven Marrocco: UFC's monopoly in mixed martial arts may never be challengedupdated: Mon Mar 14 2011 17:36:00

March 12 will go down in history as the day the parent company of the UFC consolidated its reign over the sport of mixed martial arts by purchasing its last real rival, the San Jose, Calif.-based Strikeforce.

SI.com: Steven Marrocco: Winners, losers from UFC 127updated: Mon Feb 28 2011 18:16:00

So, things didn't exactly go as planned at UFC 127 on Saturday in Australia.

SI.com: Steven Marrocco: Winners, losers from UFC 126updated: Mon Feb 07 2011 18:33:00

It's not rocket science to figure out the big winners from Saturday's UFC 126 in Las Vegas. Jon Jones emerged as a light heavyweight title contender with a victory against Ryan Bader. Anderson Silva, on the strength of a stunning front kick, was devastating in a first-round knockout of Vitor Belfort. A rusty Forrest Griffin won a unanimous decision over Rich Franklin after a long layoff, and the former light heavyweight champion should continue to progress when he hits the road to work with new trainers, as he says he'll do for his next fight.

SI.com: Jeff Wagenheim: St-Pierre, Silva headline Feburary MMA rankingsupdated: Tue Feb 01 2011 20:21:00

Power rankings on the sports pages have always seemed a little silly to me. Yet I eagerly pore over them with the colossal seriousness that someone more educated than I might devote to a Kierkegaard treatise. When the experts rank my favorite NFL team at No. 21, say, I scan the list and invariably find a team ranked above us that we beat. (Us? We? No, I don't play pro football, but my unbridled, even unbalanced passion for the game has bred in me the righteousness to invoke such we're-all-in-this-together language.) Seemingly glaring indignities like my Giants being underrated by as little as one or two spots never fail to get me riled up, though not so much when we're ranked above a team we lost to.

SI.com: Jeff Wagenheim: Hominick must take care of business for much-desired shot at titleupdated: Fri Jan 21 2011 20:25:00

He's not a main event fighter, never has been, at least not in the big show. He's not even part of Saturday night's co-main event -- you know, the other fight the UFC has chosen to trumpet on its poster for Fight for the Troops 2. That distinction goes to the big boys, Matt Mitrione and Tim Hague, probably because heavyweight bouts always make us sit up straighter in our seats.

SI.com: Tim Marchman: Fitch may lack flash, but he's a force in UFCupdated: Fri Jan 21 2011 08:24:00

Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, is rarely rested, careless by nature and often in range of people with questions and notebooks. So he says a lot, and a great deal of what he says makes no sense.

SI.com: Ben Fowlkes: Pro fighters face hard decisions, big consequencesupdated: Thu Jan 13 2011 21:13:00

The life of a pro fighter is filled with tough decisions. From who to fight next or which obnoxious Vegas nightclub to host your after-party at, there's always some pressing dilemma coming down the pipe.

SI.com: Ben Fowlkes: UFC's cutthroat climate sends mixed messages to fightersupdated: Fri Jan 07 2011 18:36:00

These are tough times to be a UFC fighter, and they're only getting tougher.

SI.com: Jeff Wagenheim: Chael Sonnen still smarter than us, but where's it gotten him?updated: Tue Jan 04 2011 22:10:00

Chael Sonnen is smarter than you. It doesn't matter if you're a Nobel laureate, the brightest light in Mensa or even Yogi Bear. The self-satisfied UFC middleweight is smarter than the average bear, too, and he's certain he is brainier than you as well. That is what gets the man in trouble.

SI.com: Ben Fowlkes: No shortage of fighters at crossroads on UFC 125 undercardupdated: Fri Dec 31 2010 13:06:00

If you want to know just how much can change in MMA over the course of half a decade, all you have to do is take a look at the UFC 125 undercard. Or, if you don't want to spend the time on a Google search, cut out the middle-man and just ask Brandon Vera. He can tell you all about it.

SI.com: Steven Marrocco: MMA predictions for 2011updated: Wed Dec 29 2010 12:12:00

1. WEC makes its mark on TUF. Although the UFC's seminal reality show has maintained an impressive watermark of about 1 million viewers per episode going into its 13th season, the show could use a jump-start. And who better to give that then the Tasmanian devils of World Extreme Cagefighting, who are set to cross over to big-brother UFC as 2011 gets underway. Newly minted UFC bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz and recent 135-pound transplant Urijah Faber get my vote to coach TUF 13. They've got history (Faber handed Cruz his only professional loss early in his 145-pound title reign), beef (Cruz rubs the normally hang-loose Faber the wrong way), and good support squads (Faber with Team Alpha Male and Cruz with Lloyd Irvin and Alliance MMA). That's all the makings of good reality TV. (Now if only Spike producers could shoot the show higher than 30 frames per second.)

SI.com: Steven Marrocco: Top 10 MMA stories of 2010updated: Wed Dec 22 2010 11:47:00

1. UFC sells 10 percent share to Abu Dhabi-based Flash Entertainment. Despite several offers to go public or take on additional investors, the Ultimate Fighting Championship remained a private outfit since Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta purchased it in 2001. Amid explosive growth in the decade's second half, UFC president Dana White repeatedly said the promotion's parent company, Zuffa LLC, would never dilute its ownership. But in January, that's exactly what it did when it sold a 10 percent stake in the UFC to the Abu Dhabi-owned entertainment company Flash Entertainment. Fertitta said the sale would benefit the UFC's strategic goals in the Middle East and other developing countries while keeping intact its management structure. One month later, the promotion announced its entry into the Middle Eastern market with UFC 112, held an arena to be constructed specifically for the event. The first event would later prove challenging -- to put it charitably.

SI.com: Ben Fowlkes: Cruz-Jorgensen offers tantalizing look at what's to comeupdated: Thu Dec 16 2010 11:43:00

When Dominick Cruz and Scott Jorgensen step in the cage together in Glendale, Ariz., on Thursday night, consider it an appetizer.

SI.com: Tim Marchman: Everybody wins in UFC-WEC merger except, perhaps, MMA itselfupdated: Wed Dec 15 2010 18:39:00

When UFC president Dana White announced in late October that his promotion's roster would merge with that of WEC, its sister entity, this was the rare move applauded by more or less everyone who loves fights.

SI.com: Ben Fowlkes: What's next for Matt Hughes after Saturday's UFC 123 catastrophe?updated: Tue Nov 23 2010 18:08:00

It was a place Matt Hughes probably never thought he'd be. Standing in the Octagon after just 21 seconds worth of work in the co-main event of UFC 123, looking over at his corner and asking, in full view of the UFC's cameras, "What happened?"

SI.com: Josh Gross: Five observations from UFC 122updated: Sun Nov 14 2010 04:01:00

Five observations from UFC 122, where Yushin Okami beat Nate Marquardt to become the No. 1 contender in the middleweight division:

SI.com: Ben Fowlkes: Underappreciated Okami can nab title shot with victory at UFC 122updated: Fri Nov 12 2010 18:01:00

Japanese middleweight Yushin Okami is the kind of guy who no one really wants to fight, and I mean that in the best possible way. In the end, it boils down to risk and reward.

SI.com: Josh Gross: Watered-down WEC, UFC cards stress necessity of pending mergerupdated: Wed Nov 10 2010 16:23:00

Two fight cards this week speak to the reasons Zuffa decided it was time to fold WEC into the UFC.

SI.com: Jon Wertheim: Q&A on Lesnar-Velasquez, more UFC 121updated: Fri Oct 22 2010 23:24:00

SI.com caught up with Sports Illustrated senior writer Jon Wertheim to talk about Saturday's UFC 121 card at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

SI.com: Josh Gross: Ten days, nine can't-miss MMA fightsupdated: Thu Oct 14 2010 17:18:00

Thursday marks the start of a 10-day stretch featuring a massive amount of quality mixed martial arts, capped, of course, by the UFC heavyweight championship fight between Brock Lesnar and Cain Velasquez. While much of the fan and media focus over this period will center on Lesnar-Velasquez, there are several bouts worth anyone's attention.

SI.com: Josh Gross: Should the UFC take harder stand on PEDs? Readers speak outupdated: Tue Oct 05 2010 16:10:00

As we move into the last quarter of 2010, it's time for SI.com's MMA readers to have their say. The biggest topic in September was reaction to the news that Chael Sonnen produced a positive steroid test for elevated levels of testosterone. If you read my column in the wake of the news, you know where I stand. Something must be done to further curtail performance-enhancing drug use in MMA, and that is a fine place to start the latest mailbag.

SI.com: Josh Gross: Five things we learned from UFC 119updated: Sun Sep 26 2010 02:51:00

It happens sometimes that UFC matchmaker Joe Silva puts together a card both fans and media are quick to prejudge. It also happens that these events, on occasion, are among the organization's most exciting. That hope lingered Saturday night as UFC made its debut in Indiana without a championship up for grabs or a main event -- altered in August when Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was replaced by Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic to fight Frank Mir -- that held much importance.

SI.com: Ben Fowlkes: UFC 119 main event feels like Plan B because it isupdated: Thu Sep 23 2010 18:05:00

UFC president Dana White probably doesn't spend much time wishing it were still 2004. Back then his company was millions in the hole and desperate for a TV deal. These days, Zuffa sits atop a pile of money and has a pair of cable channels at its beck and call.

SI.com: Josh Gross: UFC should adopt zero-tolerance policy for steroid usersupdated: Tue Sep 21 2010 16:59:00

The Ultimate Fighting Championship, in hopes that it might shift the culture of competitive mixed martial arts away from a widely adopted philosophy that rationalizes the use of illegal drugs to enhance performance -- i.e. everyone does it, people will always cheat when opportunity or money is on the line -- should immediately and forcefully declare it no longer wants to be in the business of promoting steroid users.

SI.com: Josh Gross: Athletic commissions have no say on MMA events on tribal landsupdated: Tue Sep 14 2010 22:31:00

Half an hour before stepping into a cage against Tommy Morrison, the famed boxer who on this June evening in 2007 could not prove for certain he was HIV-negative, John Stover was told about the rules changes.

SI.com: Ben Fowlkes: Small-time promoters still have a place in the MMA marketplaceupdated: Fri Sep 10 2010 03:23:00

It's an old joke, repurposed for several different industries, but it survives because it's true:

SI.com: Josh Gross: Ex-phenom Duffee suddenly released from UFC contractupdated: Thu Sep 09 2010 16:54:00

Todd Duffee's looking for work if you have some.

SI.com: Josh Gross: Questions on UFC 118 and more mailupdated: Tue Aug 31 2010 22:07:00

As the calendar turns from August to September and the end of summer nears, this is as good a time as any for SI.com's MMA readers to have their say in 140 characters or less.

SI.com: Jon Wertheim: UFC returns to roots with Toney-Couture sideshowupdated: Thu Aug 26 2010 10:06:00

They came from the cities and they came from the smaller towns. An odd collection of kickboxers, sumo wrestlers, grapplers, jiu-jitsu masters, karate kids and garden-variety badasses descended on Denver in 1993 for the first UFC card. It wasn't known as UFC 1. There was no series, no ambition that more cards would follow. It was supposed to be a one-time event, a made-for-TV charade, meant to determine which fighting style was superior. For all the times fight fans wondered whether Bruce Lee could beat up Mike Tyson, this was supposed to provide the answer.

SI.com: Josh Gross: MMA steps up as college wrestling programs face chopping blockupdated: Fri Aug 20 2010 12:44:00

It's late May on the campus of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Mott Gym is packed. This is a welcome sight for Lennis Cowell and John Azevedo, who fondly remember the halcyon days when wrestling drew more than 2,000 fans -- four times today's average -- to dual meets against Cal State Bakersfield, the California coast school's rival.

SI.com: Ben Fowlkes: Jones faces dangerous opponent in Matyushenkoupdated: Fri Jul 30 2010 12:45:00

The trouble with being a hot young prospect in the UFC is that there are so many ways to go wrong, and only one way to go right. It's a good problem to have, but it's still a problem, not to mention a minor headache.

SI.com: Josh Gross: All that's missing from Okami's resume is a UFC championshipupdated: Thu Jul 29 2010 17:56:00

All too quietly Yushin Okami has established himself as the most successful Japanese mixed martial artist inside the UFC.

SI.com: Josh Gross: At last, Shields ready for UFC close-upupdated: Tue Jul 20 2010 18:33:00

Jake Shields can once again go about following his bliss.

SI.com: Josh Gross: Ten must-see MMA fights for the second half of 2010updated: Wed Jul 14 2010 12:38:00

Not yet fully fleshed out, the fight calendar for the back half of 2010 already reads like a best-of list. While this is sure to get augmented as promoters update their schedules for the remainder of the year, it's clear there's more than enough mixed martial arts to keep fight fans occupied. Here are the 10 fights (plus 10 more honorable mentions) I'm most looking forward to:

SI.com: Ben Fowlkes: Leben proves his value to UFC by taking fight with Akiyamaupdated: Tue Jul 06 2010 20:33:00

I can think of at least two good reasons why Chris Leben would take a fight against Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 116 just two weeks after beating Aaron Simpson via TKO.

SI.com: Ben Fowlkes: Ultimate Fighter dreams often dashed by realityupdated: Fri Jun 18 2010 15:02:00

There's something about these Ultimate Fighter Finale events that feels like the scene at the middle of a mountain hiking trail. You have people going up, people going down, and people who haven't decided yet whether they have it in them to climb any farther.

SI.com: Ben Fowlkes: What's in it for Rich Franklin as UFC 115 looms?updated: Thu Jun 10 2010 18:50:00

Every company should be so lucky as to have an employee like Rich Franklin. He's courteous, affable, and even the people who don't like him don't seriously dislike him.

SI.com: Josh Gross: May MMA rankingsupdated: Thu Jun 03 2010 19:24:00

When current WEC matchmaker Sean Shelby and I established the now-buried MMA Media Top 10 in 2001, it became a goal of mine to see mixed martial artists ranked in a real way. Yes, there were periods when I soured on the idea -- e.g. confusion among weight classes in different regions of the world and the likelihood that top fighters in competing promotions would never fight -- but for the most part I hung in there, convinced the exercise was worthwhile because it put fighters' accomplishments into context, assigned them value on the open market, and held promoters accountable when it came to matching title fights.

SI.com: Josh Gross: UFC 114's racial overtones unnecessaryupdated: Sat May 29 2010 00:46:00

If you feel at all uneasy about the racially-tinged exchanges between Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Rashad Evans, you're not UFC president Dana White.

SI.com: Josh Gross: Jackson vs. Evans an intriguing headliner for UFC 114updated: Sat May 22 2010 10:14:00

Hey, Josh, I can't wait for UFC 114 on May 29. It feels like the first major UFC event of the year to me. Maybe because we were forced to wait on Quinton Jackson vs. Rashad Evans for what felt like forever. I was so bummed when Jackson was off the card in Memphis because he went to film The A-team, but all the trash talk has me fired up again. What do you think about the card? Do you think it will be the biggest event of the year for the UFC? Thanks. -- Jared Westwood, Memphis, Tenn.

SI.com: Josh Gross: What we learned from UFC 113updated: Sun May 09 2010 13:07:00

What we learned from UFC 113 in Montreal:

SI.com: Josh Gross: Looking back at a decade covering an outlaw sportupdated: Fri Apr 30 2010 18:07:00

Let me start by saying something my friends and family already know: I'm generally awful at being sentimental. But in trying to sort through a decade of covering mixed martial arts -- April 2010 marks my 10-year anniversary reporting on this rags-to-riches tale -- it occurred to me, if there was ever a period worth getting reflective about, it's this one.

SI.com: Josh Gross: Garcia, Jung delivered all-timer, more WEC 48 mailupdated: Tue Apr 27 2010 16:21:00

Leonard Garcia-Chan Sung Jung was like a KFC Double Down. I know we're all supposed to love healthy, clean, well-prepared food but I'll be damned if two pieces of fried chicken with cheese and bacon in between them isn't just amazing sometimes. Just like how we're all supposed to love highly technical bouts, but sometimes seeing two guys go out and just wing it is fun as hell. --Brian Alleman, Tulsa, Okla.

SI.com: Josh Gross: Penn, Silva fail to shine in UFC's Middle Eastern debutupdated: Sun Apr 11 2010 05:32:00

Well, we won't have a hard time remembering the Ultimate Fighting Championship's first effort in Abu Dhabi. In the shadows of all things red, fast and Italian, Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta and Frank Fertitta came to the Arabian Peninsula touting two high-performance machines of their own.

SI.com: Ben Fowlkes: Little uncertainty as Penn, Silva get ready for UFC 112updated: Thu Apr 08 2010 15:13:00

You know there's something strange going on when three UFC champions put their respective titles on the line within a two-week span, and the most pressing questions they face revolve around when they're going to gain or lose weight so they can fight one another.

SI.com: Ben Fowlkes: Five things we learned from UFC Fight Nightupdated: Thu Apr 01 2010 13:57:00

In terms of sheer fight-finishing excitement, Wednesday's UFC Fight Night on Spike TV delivered in a way that last weekend's pay-per-view outing didn't. Maybe you have to sit through a ton of commercials to get to it, but who says you never get anything good for free? Here are some of the things we learned from Wednesday's action:

SI.com: Josh Gross: What we learned from UFC 111updated: Sun Mar 28 2010 02:59:00

What we learned from Saturday's UFC 111 card in Newark, N.J.:

SI.com: Josh Gross: Looking ahead to UFC 111updated: Fri Mar 26 2010 16:35:00

Never again. If his loss to Matt Serra in 2007 provided any lasting impact on Georges St. Pierre, it's that never again would he be cocky walking into fight. Never again would he consider himself unbeatable. Never again would he fail to take every possible step to ensure his readiness. Never, he's repeated like some mantra, again.

SI.com: Josh Gross: Five thoughts on a busy Sunday in MMAupdated: Mon Mar 22 2010 16:17:00

Two cards. One night. Mixed martial arts, the global sport that it is, was in full force Sunday evening deep into the morning Monday. From the continued growth of two of the UFC's most impressive prospects in Broomfield, Colo., to the return of a maligned heavyweight and a Dream featherweight championship fight in Yokohama, Japan, there was plenty to take away from a busy few hours of fights.

SI.com: Josh Gross: March brings bevy of top boutsupdated: Tue Mar 09 2010 15:35:00

During a month loaded with important MMA, here are 10 bouts that stand out for more than just compelling matchmaking:

SI.com: Ben Fowlkes: Toney's UFC trial may be freak show, but fans will still watchupdated: Thu Mar 04 2010 15:32:00

After a public campaign that featured press conference outbursts, incoherent Internet videos and even a cable TV cameo, former three-division champion boxer James Toney finally got what he wanted this week -- a contract with the UFC.

SI.com: Josh Gross: UFC afterthoughts, Strikeforce Challengers, moreupdated: Fri Feb 26 2010 15:03:00

With the latest Strikeforce Challengers card hours away, many loyal SI.com readers decided to chime in with their thoughts and questions. Lets go to the mail- and Twitter-bags, shall we?

SI.com: Ben Fowlkes: UFC hands Coleman walking papersupdated: Fri Feb 12 2010 10:16:00

Mixed-martial-arts great Mark Coleman learned this week that his services would no longer be needed by the UFC. After nearly 14 years as an MMA fighter, beginning with the days of bare knuckles and headbutts and continuing on through the initial decline of the sport in the U.S., the golden days of the Pride organization in Japan, and then back home to the UFC again just last year, the 45-year-old Coleman has been given his walking papers.

SI.com: Josh Gross: Five things we learned from UFC 109updated: Mon Feb 08 2010 17:37:00

It was a night to celebrate wrestling at UFC 109 in Las Vegas. In the evening's main event at the Mandalay Bay stood two of the game's early pioneers, Randy Couture and Mark Coleman, wrestlers responsible for changing how mixed martial arts was fought.

SI.com: Ben Fowlkes: Defiant Swick gets back in line, preps for UFC 109updated: Fri Jan 22 2010 17:32:00

Mike Swick had gotten used to going back to the locker room a winner. Four straight victories and two-and-a-half years without a loss will do that. But as he sat backstage at the MEN Arena in Manchester, England, after dropping a decision to Dan Hardy at UFC 105, it hit him. For the first time since 2007, he was going home a loser.

SI.com: Josh Gross: Q&A with Spike TV exec Brian Diamondupdated: Fri Jan 22 2010 16:05:00

Five years ago Monday, The Ultimate Fighter debuted on Spike TV and changed the trajectory of a sport. For as much impact as Zuffa had in popularizing mixed martial arts and the UFC, it could be argued that no group is more integral to the sport's turnaround than the brass at a fledgling cable network attempting to establish itself as a bastion for all things male.

SI.com: Josh Gross: Readers divided over co-promotionupdated: Tue Jan 19 2010 16:11:00

Last week I wrote that mixed martial arts' long-term health and viability is rooted in ensuring the best fighters meet in competition. My recipe included co-promotion, which prompted an active discussion with readers via e-mail. Many of you agreed that something needed to be done. Some didn't. Here is a sampling:

SI.com: Josh Gross: Fights need to trump entertainmentupdated: Wed Jan 13 2010 14:47:00

Not quite two weeks into the new year, Zuffa LLC, the driving force behind the UFC and WEC, has already promoted three cards and announced a 10 percent sale of its business to a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi government.

SI.com: Josh Gross: St. Pierre headlines SI.com's 2009 MMA Awardsupdated: Mon Dec 28 2009 14:47:00

SI.com's Josh Gross hands out the year-end hardware.

SI.com: MMA: Decade highlights and lowlightsupdated: Fri Dec 18 2009 12:53:00

FIGHTER OF THE DECADE: Fedor Emelianenko Emelianenko isn't the only fighter to ply his trade exclusively during the first decade of the 2000s, but he is the best. Competing in a wholly unforgiving sport, the 33-year-old Russian boasts -- not that he would -- an unparalleled resume featuring 31 victories in 33 fights. The other two? A dismissed loss in 2000 (that he violently avenged) and a no-contest against the second best heavyweight in MMA history, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, who Emelianenko has beaten twice.

SI.com: MMA: 10 signature moments of the decadeupdated: Fri Dec 18 2009 12:05:00

1. UFC 100 heralds new era (July 11, 2009)

SI.com: Josh Gross: Penn's dominance, Mir's weight gamble, more UFC 107 notesupdated: Sun Dec 13 2009 20:35:00

SI.com's resident MMA guru Josh Gross points out five key storylines from UFC 107, highlighted by lightweight champion B.J. Penn's successful title defense against Diego Sanchez.

SI.com: Josh Gross: Henderson discusses Strikeforce deal, Dana White's reactionupdated: Mon Dec 07 2009 16:33:00

Dan Henderson's days with the UFC are over. For now, anyway. On Monday, the heavyweight signed a four-fight deal with rival organization Strikeforce, sparking a heated response from UFC president Dana White and continued speculation on the terms of his contract.

SI.com: Ben Fowlkes: Five things we learned from Ortiz-Griffin IIupdated: Mon Nov 23 2009 07:40:00

UFC 106 may not have turned in the blockbuster heavyweight clash that it originally promised, but the UFC dug deep into its roster and made the best of a difficult situation in Las Vegas on Saturday night. The result was entertaining, if not earth-shattering, and there are a few lessons we can take with us as we leave the Mandalay Bay and head out into that glittering desert night:

We recommend