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UFC Notebook: Las Vegas getting an all-heavyweight main card for next event

Four heavyweight bouts to play direct support to Dos Santos vs. Overeem at UFC 146


Jeff Chiu / AP

Stefan Struve celebrates after beating Christian Morecraft by TKO in the second round at UFC 117 in Oakland, Calif.

The next UFC card in Las Vegas is shaping up as a historic event for the local fight promotion.

For the first time in history, every bout on the pay-per-view card of UFC 146 — scheduled for May 26 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena — will feature the heavyweight division. The UFC revealed the plans Wednesday afternoon and announced the final fight scheduled for the main card.

Stefan Struve (23-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC) vs. Mark Hunt (8-7 MMA, 3-1 UFC) joins four previously revealed heavyweight bouts for Las Vegas’ annual Memorial Day weekend card.

The championship belt and top contendership are on the line in the main event and co-main event, respectively. Junior dos Santos (14-1 MMA, 8-0 UFC) and Alistair Overeem (36-11 MMA, 1-0 UFC) face off for the title, while Frank Mir (16-5 MMA, 14-5 UFC) and Cain Velasquez (9-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) battle for a shot at the winner.

The other two heavyweight fights pit Roy Nelson (16-7 MMA, 3-3 UFC) against Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva (16-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) and Gabriel Gonzaga (13-6 MMA, 8-5 UFC) with Strikeforce import Shane del Rosario (11-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC).

A meaningful lightweight bout between local Evan Dunham (13-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) and rising Brazilian star Edson Barboza (10-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) is relegated to the preliminary card. But that was a small price for the UFC to pay in order to put together a product consisting entirely of its most popular weight class.

Flyweight headliner rumored for “The Ultimate Fighter Live” finale

Less than a week after 10 of the biggest guys in the UFC descend upon Las Vegas, two of the smallest will follow suit.

Multiple mixed martial arts media websites are reporting that a flyweight rematch between Demetrious Johnson (15-2-1 MMA, 2-1-1 UFC) and Ian McCall (11-2-1 MMA, 0-0-1 UFC) will serve as the main event for “The Ultimate Fighter Live” finale card.

The finale is scheduled for June 1 at The Pearl at the Palms.

Johnson and McCall met in the semifinals of the UFC’s inaugural 125-pound tournament, but their bout controversially ended in a draw. Joseph Benavidez awaits the winner.

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson to fight Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in summer, leave the UFC

Click to enlarge photo

Quinton Jackson at Gallery Nightclub at Planet Hollywood on June 16, 2011.

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rampage Jackson created quite the stir with a twitter tirade last week.

Jackson complained about the UFC — coining the organization “u fight cheap" — and expressed his desire to leave the promotion after his next fight. It seemed to reach a boiling point on this week’s episode of “Inside MMA” on HD Net, when Jackson asked for his immediate release.

Instead, Jackson agreed to honor his current contract with one last fight. The UFC revealed on its weekly television show on FUEL TV, “UFC Tonight”, that Jackson will meet Shogun Rua at a date to be determined.

It’s a matchup Jackson has long desired after Rua defeated him by TKO in the first round of a PRIDE event seven years ago.

“I will fight whoever they put in front of me, I always have,” Jackson wrote on twitter, “but it will be my last fight in the UFC. I have other things on my mind.”

UFC aggressively going after illegal streaming

If the UFC’s first priority of 2012 was integrating its programming with FOX, its second was preventing the illegal streaming of its pay-per-view events on the Internet.

The UFC made a step in that direction Tuesday, taking down and seizing the website’s records. The organization now has the e-mail addresses and IP addresses of everyone who watched pay-per-views ranging from UFC 130 to UFC 142 on the website. A UFC press release said the company planned to pursue claims against the accused users in court.

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at

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