MONDAY NEWS DIGEST 9/12: Rockhold comes to terms with UFC to main event Fight Night in November against Souza, UFC 203 payday info on Punk and more, Fedor, Lawler-Cerrone

By Mike Hiscoe, MMATorch contributor

Luke Rockhold (Photo credit Joe Camporeale © USA Today Sports)


Luke Rockhold will step away from the runway for a night in November when he faces Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in the main event of a Fight Night from Melbourne, Australia.

The fight will be a rematch of a 2011 Strikeforce Middleweight Championship fight that saw Rockhold win a unanimous but hard fought decision.

Rockhold vs. Souza 2 will serve as the main event of the show that will air live on FS1 on Saturday, Nov. 26 (Sunday afternoon in Melbourne).

The fight had been rumoured to be part of UFC 205 from New York City, and Rockhold disclosed he had been offered a bout agreement but complained in interviews that the money wasn’t enough and that he could do better modeling.

The fight in Australia will be five rounds. Rockhold is coming off a TKO loss to Michael Bisping at UFC 199 where he lost his Middleweight Championship while Souza is coming off a TKO win over Vitor Belfort at UFC 198.

Hiscoe’s Analysis: This is a good fight and I’m glad UFC was able to come to terms with Rockhold to get the fight made. With Chris Weidman and Yoel Romero penciled in for the MSG show, this was the logical other fight to make in the middleweight division.

It’s placement on the Australia show as a five-round main event rather than MSG is curious but may have a bigger purpose. If Dan Henderson wins the championship at UFC 204 and retires as promised, a new champion will need to be crowned. By having Rockhold vs. Jacare as a five-round fight, it can easily be turned into a fight for the vacant championship if necessary. If this were a three-round fight on the UFC 205 mid-card, it would be more difficult, but not impossible, to make that change. The potential for this being a championship fight may have been the incentive Rockhold needed to accept the fight as well. Title or no title, it’s going to be an important fight and adds a new layer of intrigue to Bisping vs. Henderson on Oct. 8.


-C.M. Punk earned $500,000 for his first-round loss to Mickey Gall at UFC 203. Gall earned $15,000 for the fight and another $15,000 for winning. Other notable payouts are $800,000 to Alistair Overeem for his loss to Stipe Miocic who earned a flat $600,000 for the win. (SOURCE LINK)

-Robbie Lawler has pulled out of his just announced fight with Donald Cerrone at UFC 205. Lawler did not disclose a reason for pulling out but Cerrone was disappointed, needless to say.

-Russia’s (via Bloody Elbow) is reporting that Fedor Emelianenko has been offered $2 million to fight for RIZIN on Dec. 31 with Wanderlei Silva being a potential opponent.

-CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S REPORT: SUNDAY NEWS DIGEST: What Punk told Gall after their first, what Gall told Punk during weigh-ins, plus much more UFC 203 follow-up

(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)

SUNDAY NEWS DIGEST: What Punk told Gall after their first, what Gall told Punk during weigh-ins, plus much more UFC 203 follow-up

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