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Anderson Silva, Nick Diaz to fight on Jan. 31

Anderson SilvaAnderson Silva and Nick Diaz will be making their returns to the octagon early next year in a highly-anticipated fight against each other, UFC boss Dana White announced.

White says Silva has received medical clearance to fight and is “100 percent healthy.”

The fight will take place Jan. 31 in Las Vegas and will be the main event. The event has not yet been named but could be UFC 183.

White shared a photo on Instagram of him with Silva confirming news of the fight:

“Lunch with the GOAT @spiderandersonsilva and just got the Diaz fight done!!!! #ufc #superfight” he wrote as the caption.

He says both fighters are excited for the fight.

Neither fighter has fought since 2013. Silva is coming off consecutive losses to Chris Weidman and recovering from a broken leg suffered in his last fight. He’ll be returning to the octagon after a 13-month layoff.

Diaz is also coming off consecutive losses. He lost to Carlos Condit in Feb. 2012 and GSP in March 2013. Often hard to deal with, Diaz was staying away from the UFC for what was believed to be disputes over how much he should be paid.

News of this fight should not come as a surprise; last month there were comments indicating both parties want the fight to happen.

Though the fight has two of the more exciting names in the sport, it’s not an ideal matchup. Diaz is well undersized compared to Silva, though he is one of the better fighters around.

Daniel Cormier on Jon Jones: I like his heel persona

Daniel Cormier Jon Jones

Jon Jones has engaged in a trash talking game with Daniel Cormier leading up to their Sept. 27 fight, which is something unusual for the champ.

Jones doesn’t typically talk before a fight, instead leaving most of that to his opponents (think Chael Sonnen). Cormier thinks that’s a sign that the champ is a little rattled.

“I like his heel persona. But for me, it just tells me that he’s a bit uncomfortable because this is out of character for Jon Jones. He doesn’t directly go at his opponents like he has with me. This is out of character a little bit,” Cormier said Monday as a guest on “The MMA Hour” via MMAFighting.com.

“I’m not in his mind or under his skin,” Cormier added. “But I know that he knows that he has a real fight ahead of him September 27th, so maybe he’s trying to use mind tricks on me to affect me. But, I mean, oh my goodness that is just so petty and childish. He can’t use mind games on me. I’ve deal with all this stuff for so long in my life that mind tricks don’t work. They won’t. They won’t ever work.”

Cormier also said he’s pleased Jones gave up the goody two-shoes act he tried to put on early in his career. Between the DUI and clash with Dana White, it didn’t take long for that image to dissipate. This Jones persona is much better. Now he just needs to leave his tweets up rather than delete them.

Dana White on Gina Carano contract talks: ‘It’s complicated’

Gina Carano

Dana White just changed the UFC’s relationship status with Gina Carano to “it’s complicated.”

White said last week that he planned to have Carano signed to a contract by the end of the week. That obviously didn’t happen, but White remains positive about the situation.

“It’s complicated,” White said Saturday after the UFC on FOX 12 card in San Jose via Bloody Elbow. “I’m very positive about it, but it’s complicated. I’m still working on it. That’s all I can say. It’s complicated.”

Carano has not fought since losing to Cyborg Justino in 2009 to mark her first ever defeat. She went into the movie business after that and began starring in a number of action films, but she has expressed interest in returning to the octagon.

White said that if Carano were signed to the organization, she would be in line for a Dec. title fight against Ronda Rousey. Women’s bantamweight contender Miesha Tate has expressed her unhappiness with that possibility, while UFC newcomer Holly Holm believes Carano is deserving of the shot.

Rumble Johnson destroys Lil Nog with TKO in 44 seconds (Video)

Rumble Johnson destroyed Lil Nog in 44 seconds to score a first-round TKO win at UFC on FOX 12 Saturday.

Lil Nog hadn’t fought since beating Rashad Evans at UFC 156 in Feb. 2013 and the rustiness and age showed for the 38-year-old. He stood with Johnson and tried to trade punches, but he could not avoid getting hit.

Rumble caught him with an uppercut by the cage and pressed forward where he proceeded to bounce Nogueira’s head like he was playing with a bolo bat. After about 5 vicious uppercuts, Herb Dean stepped in to thankfully call off the fight.

Nogueira is now 21-6 and has lost 3 of his last 5 fights. Retirement has to be a consideration. Johnson, meanwhile, has won 8 straight inside the octagon and continues to look like one of the most dangerous strikers in the light heavyweight division.

Rumble Johnson Lil Nog

Jon Jones responds to Daniel Cormier: ‘Oh shut up please’

Daniel Cormier Jon Jones

The beef between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones is real.

Cormier was serving as an analyst for UFC on FOX 12 Saturday and talked about his upcoming fight with Jones. Cormier tooted his own horn, boasting about how he could beat Bones.

“I tell you fans: I have the skill, I have the confidence, I have the ability to go in there and beat the best fighter in the world,” he said on the program.

“This is what I’m made to do. This is why I’m in the UFC. I believe my style matches up great against Jon Jones. Sept. 27 is my coronation day. I’m going to be the king of the UFC and king of the pound-for-pound rankings.”

Clearly Jones was watching the show, because it didn’t take him long to respond. Here’s the tweet he sent:

It didn’t take long for Cormier to reply:

Will Cormier make good on his promises? Or will Jones shut him up? This is definitely shaping up to be one of the best fights of the year.

Jon Jones calls Daniel Cormier ‘fresh meat’ over Twitter

Daniel Cormier Jon Jones

Daniel Cormier is finally getting his wish and will have a shot to fight Jon Jones at the main event at UFC 178 in Las Vegas on Sept. 27, and the trash talk has already begun for the two.

Alexander Gustafsson was originally scheduled to face Jones in a rematch of their fight at UFC 165 a year ago, but he suffered a torn meniscus during training this week. The UFC announced Wednesday that Cormier will step in as the replacement fighter, which is a solution pleasing to all parties.

Cormier, who is 15-0 in his professional career, has been dying for a shot at Jones and even moved down from heavyweight to light heavyweight to prepare for the chance. He has been calling out Jones for two years.

Back in June, Jones called Cormier the tougher fighter. Dana White even said Jones preferred to face Cormier.

Now that the fight has been set, Jones is fired up. He sent this tweet in which he called Cormier “fresh meat”:

Jones has run through most of the competition within the light heavyweight division pretty easily. Cormier may give him the toughest test of all.

Jones is excited about the fight, Cormier is excited, and the fans should be, too. This will be a good one.

Holly Holm: Gina Carano has earned shot at Ronda Rousey

Gina CaranoGina Carano has not fought for over five years, but she will still get a title shot at Ronda Rousey upon signing with the UFC, company boss Dana White has said.

Many people feel like Carano is undeserving of a title shot because of her long layoff. Miesha Tate, who has lost to Rousey twice, is one of those people. I feel similarly and don’t think Carano should be fighting Rousey without winning one tuneup fight first.

Holly Holm, who recently signed with the UFC to provide more competition in the women’s bantamweight division, shared her thoughts on the matter and seems to be fine with Carano getting the shot at Rousey.

[Also see - Ronda Rousey: Gina Carano had a fantastic rack]

“Carano has been on the big show before, so she can handle the pressure,” Holm wrote in a chat on ESPN.com. “There are a lot of girls who have been working hard for a shot who might deserve it a little more than someone who has been out that long, but Carano has put a lot of time in before. She’s earned her spot in certain ways. Who am I to say Carano is undeserving of an opportunity? I’ll let the promoter make those decisions.”

That’s a pretty politically correct answer from Holm. She’s a new fighter in the organization and isn’t about to make enemies with White before she’s even had a fight. Even though she’s saying one thing, it seems that she still has some reservations, as she should. How can anyone expect Carano to hang with Rousey after over a five-year absence? Washington Wizards Michael Jordan thinks that will be a challenge.

Previously: Gina Carano and Ronda Rousey to fight in December if Carano signs