Photo from Dave Mandel
Dhafir “Dada 5000” Harris’ stay in a Houston hospital has reached one week, according to a post on the fighter’s Facebook page.
“We had hoped to bring Dada's fans and supporters news that he would be released today after completing a full week in the hospital,” the post read. “However, his doctors have required that he stay through the weekend and into early next week for continued monitoring and observation. If his progress continues as it has he should be released early next week.
“We appreciate the outpour of support from fans all around the country wishing Dada a speedy recovery, your kind words and prayers are heard.
“We would also like to thank the good people at Bellator, the EMT's, doctors and nurses at the hospital, his friends and everyone who has worked their best for Dada to get better. Thank you.”
Harris suffered from severe dehydration, fatigue and renal failure following a third-round technical knockout loss to Kimbo Slice at Bellator 149 at Toyota Center in Houston on Feb. 19. Harris’ was reportedly in critical condition after his heart stopped, although that was not mentioned in the statement released last week by the fighter’s family.
The “Dawg Fight” star cut approximately 40 pounds to make the 265-pound heavyweight limit for his bout against Slice, which resulted in high potassium levels in Harris’ blood. According to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, Harris met the necessary medical physical requirements to compete at Bellator 149. He received and passed EKG and EEG tests and also passed a physical exam performed by a doctor at weigh-ins the day before the event.
Photo from One Championship
Ben Askren will return to the One Championship cage on April 15 when he defends his welterweight crown against Nikolay Aleksakhin.
One Championship confirmed the match following an initial report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The event, entitled One Championship 40 “Global Rivals,” will take place at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila. Both fighters will be subject to One Championship’s recently-adopted weigh-in policy, which requires athletes to compete at their “walking around” weight.
After an eye-poke resulted in his April bout against Luis Santos being ruled a no contest for Askren, their November rematch was scrapped when Santos was unable to make weight. Askren’s last victory came in August of 2014, when he earned a first-round technical knockout triumph over Nobutatsu Suzuki at One Championship 19. The 31-year-old former Bellator champion is 14-0 as a professional.
Aleksakhin, 25, made his promotional debut at One Championship 33, where he submitted Burenzorig Batmunkh in the third round of their bout. Aleksakhin is 16-3 as a pro.
Photo from Dave Mandel
Dhafir Harris, the Florida heavyweight known as “Dada 5000,” is on his way to recovery after suffering a health scare at Bellator 149, according to a report from TMZSports.com.
“Dada is recovering well,” Mike Vasquez, a representative of the fighter, told TMZ. “On his feet and moving around. Back to his usual self.
“He should be out [of the hospital] by the end of the week and can personally address [then].”
Harris, 38, was hospitalized on Friday night following his third-round knockout loss to Kimbo Slice at Toyota Center in Houston, after which he was taken from the cage on a stretcher. Harris’ family stated that he had been diagnosed with “severe dehydration, fatigue and renal failure” due to high levels of potassium brought on by a 40-pound weight.
Bellator MMA President Scott Coker on Monday afternoon also issued a brief statement via Twitter, confirming that Harris is “progressing well and will be headed home soon.”
Photo from Dave Mandel
UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum will defend his belt on Brazilian soil against top contender Stipe Miocic in the main event of UFC 198.
Sources close to the bout on Monday confirmed the matchup to Sherdog.com following a report from Brazilian outlet Combate.
Werdum and Miocic were originally scheduled to fight in January after Miocic stepped in to replace injured former champion Cain Velasquez. However, Werdum also came up injured and withdrew from the bout soon after, and the event formerly known as UFC 196 became a UFC Fight Night.
UFC 198 will take place on May 14 at Arena da Baixada football stadium in Curitiba, Parana. The event was previously announced as a UFC Fight Night card with a middleweight main event between Ronaldo Souza and Vitor Belfort; that bout will instead serve as the pay-per-view co-headliner.
The show will mark UFC’s first visit to Curitiba, home of the famed Chute Boxe academy and such MMA legends as Anderson Silva, Mauricio Rua, Jose Landi-Jons and Wanderlei Silva.
Photo from Marcelo Alonso
UFC and Pride Fighting Championships veteran Kevin Randleman has died at 44 years old.
Wes Sims, who once trained alongside Randleman at Mark Coleman’s Team Hammer House, confirmed the news to Sherdog.com on Thursday evening via text message. Bleacher Report’s Jeremy Botter revealed on Twitter that the fighter went to the hospital with pneumonia and died of heart failure.
Randleman was a two-time NCAA national champion wrestler at Ohio State University, he began his mixed martial arts career in 1996 under the Universal Vale Tudo Fighting banner in Brazil. He made his Octagon debut in 1997, taking a unanimous decision over Maurice Smith at UFC 19. Two bouts later, he captured the promotion’s heavyweight title with a five-round verdict over Pete Williams at UFC 23. Randleman defended the belt once before losing it to Randy Couture at UFC 28.
Randleman made his Pride debut in 2002 and compiled a 4-7 record with the Japanese promotion over the next three-plus years, including wins over Mirko Filipovic and Murilo Rua. He also notably squared off with the likes of Quinton Jackson, Kazushi Sakuraba and Mauricio Rua during his tenure.
Known as “The Monster,” Randleman last fought on May 7, 2011, losing to Baga Agaev via first-round armbar at an event in Russia.
Photo from Jeff Sherwood of Sherdog.com
According to a report from MMAFighting.com, Punk will go under the knife on Wednesday in Chicago to repair a herniated disc. The injury is a lingering ailment from his many years on the professional wrestling circuit.
Punk’s recovery period is expected to be four to six weeks, according to the report, but he is still unlikely to fight this summer as originally planned. The 37-year-old told MMAFighting that he still wants to fight once before the end of 2016
"My back has always bugged me," Punk told MMAFighting.com. "Figured it was just wrestling s—t. Turns out it was. It got bad enough to the point where I couldn't do anything the week before I went to train with the New Jersey Devils last month. One day I could manage, the next day I couldn't. I've been in agony for almost a month. Chiropractor, acupuncture, massage, cryotherapy ... nothing worked.”
Punk, signed with the UFC in December 2014, finally had an opponent for his debut when Mickey Gall submitted Mike Jackson this past Saturday in Las Vegas. After the bout, the Chicago native expressed his desire to face Gall at UFC 200 in July. Meanwhile, White said the promotion had been targeting the matchup for UFC 199 in June, although nothing was official. Punk apparently knew about the need for surgery prior to the Gall-Jackson bout but did not reveal the news until now.
Photo from Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will be back in court this week to face charges of driving without a license, insurance and registration.
KRQE.com reports that Jones is set to appear Wednesday in an Albuquerque, N.M., traffic court after being cited for the violation on Jan. 31.
Jon Jones, 28, will return to the cage at UFC 197 in a championship rematch against current UFC titleholder Daniel Cormier.
Jones has a recent history of trouble with the law, particularly while behind the wheel. He has previously been ticketed in Albuquerque for driving with a suspended license, though those charges were later dropped. In 2012, “Bones” was convicted in New York for driving while intoxicated after crashing his car into a utility pole.
The New York native has been out of action for over a year, having been stripped of his title and suspended by the UFC after his arrest in April 2015 on a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury. Jones reached a plea agreement on that charge and is currently on supervised probation, the terms of which require him to not break any law.
It is currently unclear whether Jones will face jail time for his latest infraction. MMAJunkie.com on Monday obtained a statement from the public information officer at the court where Jones was sentenced last year, who said that Jones has “no special condition of probation forbidding driving without a license.”
“However, all defendants being supervised on probation are required generally to not violate any laws,” the statement reads. “We have not received at this time a formal report of a violation of probation. It does not appear that Mr. Jones is in custody at (the Metropolitan Detention Center).”
Update: The New Mexico Corrections Department will not charge Jones for failing to report his January infraction, according to a report from MMAFighting.com Instead, Jones will have three days of community service added to his probation requirements.
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Middleweights Robert Whittaker and Rafael Natal are set to meet in April at UFC 197.
UFC officials on Monday confirmed the scheduled three-round matchup following a report from The Daily Telegraph.
Whittaker, 25, is on a 4 fighting winning streak inside the Octagon, including knockouts wins against Brad Tavares and Clint Hester. The Australian prospect last saw action in November, when he rolled past Uriah Hall in a unanimous decision upset.
Natal, 33, will also enter the match on a four-fight winning streak, including a split nod over Hall in May 2015. “Sapo” comes fresh off a Jan. 30 bout against Kevin Casey in which the Brazilian dominated and eventually punched out Kevin Casey in the third round.
Headlined by a light heavyweight title clash between current titleholder Daniel Cormier and former champ Jon Jones, UFC 197 takes place April 23 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
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Six-time UFC veteran Karlos Vemola has been sentenced to one year in jail for running three suburban cannabis farms in England, according to a report from the International Business Times.
Vemola, along with his in-laws, Terrance Byman and Linda Sharp, and former partner Sarah Sharp were running the illegal farms across three properties in Hertfordshire, England. Police reportedly found £18,200 ($20,396) worth of skunk cannabis during raids on the three farms; Vemola is believed to have made approximately £6,500 ($7,284) from the endeavor thus far.
Police found evidence of the illegal activity after a burglary at one of the cannabis farm locations. Byman and Linda Sharp were given nine months in jail, while Sarah Sharp received a conditional discharge.
During court proceedings it was revealed Vemola began using the drug to help him deal with injuries sustained in mixed martial arts competition. The 30-year-old Czech Republic native went 2-4 during a UFC stint from 2010 to 2013, earning victories over Seth Petruzelli and Mike Massenzio.
Vemola has won seven of eight fights since exiting the Las Vegas-based promotion. Most recently, he suffered a first-round submission loss to Jack Hermansson at a Warrior Fight Series event in London. “The Terminator” owns a 16-5 record since beginning his pro career in 2008.
Photo from Tim Leidecker
Abdul-Kerim Edilov, who was scheduled to make his Octagon debut last month, has been notified of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation from an out-of-competition sample.
The UFC released a statement on Tuesday evening. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency will handle the situation as it progresses. The substance for which Edilov tested positive was not revealed.
“USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case,” the statement read. “It is important to note that, under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full and fair legal process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.”
Edilov was supposed to face Francimar Barroso at UFC Fight Night in Boston on Jan. 17, but was forced to withdraw from the light heavyweight contest. Elvis Mutapcic replaced Edilov and lost a unanimous decision to Barroso.
A native of Moscow, the 24-year-old Edilov is 16-4 since beginning his professional career in 2010. The Akhmat Fight Team representative has finished all but one of those victories inside the distance.
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