Monday, December 5, 2022

MMA Tracker: Cain Velasquez News, Vitor Belfort Update, Much More

Good morning, MMA fans! Welcome to the MMA News Tracker! Here are some of the latest happenings across the world of MMA.

Reason For Vitor Belfort’s Hasim Rahman Jr. Fight Pullout Revealed

Vitor Belfort was forced to pull out of his boxing matchup originally scheduled for this weekend against Hasim Rahman Jr. It was initially reported that the withdrawal was due to an illness without any additional details made available at the time.

Wednesday, Belfort took to Instagram to reveal that it was COVID-19 that was the illness that forced him out of the bout, and he then confirmed that he is looking to return to action next year.

“I am very disappointed that I won’t be able to fight this weekend because this virus 🦠 came without my permission. But God know all things!!! The open door 🚪 is God, but the closed one is also God’s will. We have to focus on what we can control. I am devastated that I cannot put on this show for my family, friends and all the fans. This is part of God’s plan and I will be back stronger than ever early in 2023. God Bless you all!”

Alex Pereira Awarded BJJ Brown Belt

Days after taking home championship gold with his UFC middleweight championship victory at UFC 281, Alex Pereira earned another achievement in being awarded a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu by coach Plinio Cruz on Tuesday night. MMA journalist Ariel Helwani shared the news on his Twitter page Wednesday.

With the streak Pereira is on, now might be the prime time for him to shoot his shot at being Gisele Bündchen’s new jiu-jitsu instructor for yet another massive W.

Ilir Latifi Handed Three-Month Suspension From NSAC

Ilir Latifi & Aleksei Oleinik
Image Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Last month, UFC heavyweight Ilir Latifi was issued a temporary suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) for fighting Aleksei Oleinik with a staph infection at UFC Vegas 61.

The cost for Latifi’s risky maneuver has now been levied, with the Swede being issued a three-month suspension for not disclosing the illness to commission doctors prior to the bout.

This marks the first time that the commission has suspended a fighter for not disclosing an illness. Latifi publicly revealed the illness during his Octagon interview after picking up the unanimous decision victory.

The suspension is retroactive from the date of the aforementioned bout, so Latifi will be eligible to return to competition in January 2023.

Muhammad Mokaev’s Matchmaking Woes Persist

Yesterday, we ran a story on Muhammad Mokaev’s callout of #3-ranked flyweight Kai Kara-France. Less than 24 hours later, it was revealed that Kai Kara-France has been booked against #5-ranked Alex Perez instead.

Shortly after his callout of Kara-France, Mokaev gave his Twitter followers a glimpse into the frustrations he’s been experiencing in finding his next opponent.

“Tim Elliot is injured Dvorak didn’t accept Molina has a fight and he’ll never fight me in his life… Manel Kape has a fight Matt Schnell has a fight Amir Albazi has a fight But if any of them are ready for March UKs card you know who to contact @Mickmaynard2

Wednesday, Mokaev steadied his radar on one of the above-mentioned targets.

“Let’s go old man @DavidDvorak18 let’s fight!”

David Dvorak is currently ranked #8 in the division, with Mokaev at #14. Dvorak is coming off a unanimous-decision loss to Matheus Nicolau in March, but prior to that, he won all three of his UFC fights in impressive fashion and has a professional record of 20-4.

MMA News will keep you in the loop if this callout gains any tracion!

Chris Gutiérrez Eyes Next Matchup After Frankie Edgar KO

Chris Gutiérrez
MMA Junkie

At UFC 281, Chris Gutiérrez sent Frankie Edgar into retirement with an emphatic KO loss in the first round. Now, not unlike Muhammad Mokaev at flyweight, the #13-ranked bantamweight is plotting his next move.

During his UFC 281 post-fight media presser, Gutiérrez named Rob Font (#7), Dominick Cruz (#8), and Pedro Munhoz (#10) as potential next opponents.

Which fight do you think makes the most sense for Gutiérrez next?

Harry Goularte’s Legal Proceeding Delayed

In our final story, the legal proceedings for Harry Goularte, the accused child molester who was the alleged target of Cain Velasquez in the attempted murder charge he is facing, has been delayed until 2023. This comes after Goularte’s mother, Patricia Goularte, received a body attachment order after she failed to appear in court as a witness and did not answer or return phone calls.

The order will be in effect until at least January 17, which is the date of the rescheduled hearing. If Patricia does not appear, she will be taken into custody after the activation of a bench warrant. Harry Goularte has pleaded not guilty to the charge of lewd acts with a minor.

For a full review of the latest updates on the Goularte case, you can read the official court documents obtained by MMA Junkie right here.

Velasquez faces 20 years in prison for the attempted murder charge on Harry Goularte. He was released on bail earlier this month after multiple failed attempts by his legal team.

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