UFC Will ‘Most Likely’ Look Outside Current Roster for CM Punk’s Debut Opponent

UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta believes Phil “CM Punk” Brooks’ Octagon debut will be competitive. 

While Fertitta is not sure who exactly will introduce Brooks to the cage, he recently told ESPN.com’s Brett Okamoto the company will “most likely” look outside its current roster to find a suitable opponent. 

But that doesn’t mean it’s searching for any Joe off the streets who took a class or two at a local dojo. Prefacing his comments by saying he’ll defer to UFC matchmaker Joe Silva for the official booking, Fertitta said Brooks’ opponent will be legit, somebody MMA media will recognize. 

I think it has to be somebody with some level of credentials,” Fertitta told ESPN.com. “It’s not just going to be some guy off the street. It’s going to be somebody who is a professional mixed martial artistcertainly somebody who MMA media will recognize and know.” 

This is good news. 

Brooks, who is expected to fight at middleweight, according to Okamoto, possesses no formal experience inside the cage. He’s 0-0 in his professional career, and the trophy case for his amateur achievements is just as bare. 

While the former professional wrestler is a superstar with great name value and fan recognition, there’s no doubt his trek into the world of MMA will be met with considerable challenge and adversity. 

According to UFC President Dana White, to help prepare for his debut, Brooks decided to train at Roufusport MMA Academy in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, home to UFC lightweight champ Anthony Pettis and One FC welterweight champ Ben Askren among others (h/t MMAFighting.com). 

Brooks, to his credit, isn’t trying to act like he’s going to step up and blitz the scene. He’s remained humble and appreciative of his opportunity since it was announced, and he’s kept his nose down in Milwaukee to prepare for what might be the most strenuous athletic test of his life. 

For now, the man standing across from him on the day remains unknown, but if Fertitta‘s words hold true, fans will be in for an evenly matched, fair fight. 

Read more UFC news on BleacherReport.com

Courtesy of :Bleacher Report – UFC

Silva vs. Diaz: A Complete Guide to UFC 183 Fight Card

UFC 183 comes to you this Saturday night with a middleweight showcase main event between two returning stars of the sport.

Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz both come off long layoffs to entertain the crowd in Las Vegas.

That is not the only good fight on this card. Continuing its fantastic open to 2015, the UFC has stacked UFC 183 from top to bottom. In the co-main event, welterweights Tyron Woodley and Kelvin Gastelum will clash in the hopes of establishing themselves as serious contenders in the division.

Ten more bouts help fill out the card that includes multiple ranked fighters and potential contenders.

Here is your complete guide to UFC 183. Find out where the fights will air, who is fighting and who is predicted to win each contest. Without further ado, let’s march forward to the first bout with the UFC’s next installment of exciting fights.

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Courtesy of :Bleacher Report – UFC

Anderson Silva’s Top 5 Career Moments

When Anderson Silva broke his leg in violent fashion during a December 2013 bout with Chris Weidman, some wondered whether he’d ever compete again. On Saturday, Silva will make his way back to the Octagon opposite Nick Diaz while attempting to silence some doubters who don’t think he has enough left in the tank to reclaim the middleweight championship.

Having recorded 10 straight UFC title defenses spanning more than six years, Silva is widely and deservedly considered the best fighter in MMA history. With a win over Diaz at UFC 183, Silva would earn another shot at the 185-pound belt, which would only improve his already outstanding legacy.

As Silva prepares to begin a new and likely final chapter in his MMA career, now seems like a good time to look back on his greatest accomplishments. Here are the five best moments in the Brazilian’s decorated MMA career.

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Courtesy of :Bleacher Report – UFC

Joe Schilling Says Anderson Silva ‘Would Get Wasted Under Kickboxing Rules’

Joe Schilling has been helping to prep Nick Diaz for his UFC 183 showdown with Anderson “The Spider” Silva. Through studying, the Brazilian and helping Diaz get ready, Schilling believes he has a good idea of Silva’s striking abilities.

Speaking to John Joe O’Regan of BloodyElbow.com, Schilling didn’t heap the praise MMA fans are used to hearing in regards to Silva’s striking.

“I think it would be embarrassing for him in there with me,” Schilling said. “The more I have studied Anderson Silva for this fight camp of Nick’s the more I think he is good at kickboxing for MMA but in a professional kickboxing fight he would get wasted.”

Schilling certainly has the background to provide a proper critique of Silva’s striking ability. The Brazilian has been widely panned as being among the best in MMA, combat sports fans have always debated how Silva would fare in striking-only sports.

Discussions of Silva engaging in a boxing match with Roy Jones Jr. were rumored, but ultimately nixed by Silva’s decision to sign a new contract with the UFC. That would’ve been an interesting match, even if it was just an exhibition, as Silva has a lot of similar traits to the former boxing star.

Schilling’s breakdown of Silva’s striking is nothing new of stars in combat sports discussing MMA fighters’ striking level.

James Toney, prior to his one and only UFC appearance, claimed that MMA wasn’t “a real sport.” In 2013, heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury told ESPN.com that MMA is rubbish and that he would take Cain Velasquez out. Dana White promptly invited Fury to step into the Octagon, but nothing ever came of the back-and-forth.

The criticism of the level of striking in MMA by boxers/kickboxers is ultimately an apples-to-oranges argument. While there is certainly some crossover between the two (Schilling told O’Regan that Chris Weidman wouldn’t look out of place and that Donald Cerrone would get murdered in glory), there are things that would work in one but not the other.

For example, kickboxers tend to stand more upright (not having to worry about a takedown), use a defensive shell more often (bigger gloves), and often choose to stand in front of one another instead of circling around. An example is Pat Barry claiming he used the wrong block for smaller gloves in his knockout loss to Cheick Kongo.

Despite Schilling’s critique, Silva will still be considered one of the greatest strikers in the MMA world. And considering that’s where Silva will remain, that’s likely all that matters to the future Hall of Famer.

Read more UFC news on BleacherReport.com

Courtesy of :Bleacher Report – UFC

UFC 183 Preliminary Card Predictions

The UFC continues its string of consecutive shows this weekend with UFC 183. Live on pay-per-view in Las Vegas, the card features a number of top fighters in their divisions, as well as some interesting prospects. 

Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz meet in what can be considered a superfight. Silva returns after a gruesome leg injury that could have ended his career against a popular, trash-talking boxer in Diaz. It should be entertaining.

Before that, we have the preliminary card. My record at UFC on Fox was .500, which put a damper on a strong start to the year. We look to get back to our winning ways here in the seven fights on the undercard.

Without further ado, here are the preliminary card predictions for UFC 183 on Saturday.

2015 Riley’s Record: 14-8

Last Event: UFC on Fox 14 (4-4)

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Courtesy of :Bleacher Report – UFC