Thursday, January 13, 2011

Junior dos Santos Favored to Beat Brock Lesnar

Filed under:

Brock Lesnar is no longer viewed as the baddest man on the planet by the betting public.

Lesnar, who has entered the Octagon as the betting favorite in every one of his UFC fights, is actually the underdog for his June bout against Junior dos Santos, which was announced on Tuesday. Bodog lists dos Santos as the favorite at -160 and Lesnar as the underdog at +130.

That says a lot about what the beating Lesnar took at the hands of Cain Velasquez did to Lesnar's reputation. When Lesnar tapped out 90 seconds into his first UFC fight, against Frank Mir, it was easy to write that off as an inexperienced fighter making a mistake against a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt. But the Velasquez fight? That was a good, old-fashioned butt kicking.

Source: http://www.mmafighting.com/2011/01/12/junior-dos-santos-favored-to-beat-brock-lesnar/

Mike Goldberg Joe Silva Chuck Lidell Tito Ortiz

UFC NEWS: Brian Foster vs. Sean Pierson coming to UFC 129 in April

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

LogoUFC_150_723.jpg
A welterweight fight between Brian Foster and Sean Pierson is in the works for UFC 129 in Toronto, according to a report from MMAJunkie.com.

The event, headlined by a Welterweight Championship bout between Georges St. Pierre and Jake Shields, is set to take place on pay-per-view from the Rogers Centre on April 30, and this bout is expected for the night's preliminary card.

Pierson, who made his UFC debut in December at UFC 124 in Montreal in a victory over Matt Riddle, lost his job with the Toronto Police Department shortly thereafter. The department stated it was partly due to a previous nickname he used as a fighter earlier in the decade, and Pierson is now a full time MMA fighter.

Foster won his second straight fight in November when he submitted Matt Brown at UFC 123. Foster's been up and down in his five fights in the UFC, alternating losses and wins before getting this second straight victory. However, in all three of his wins he's been highly impressive, and his losses came against Rick Story and Chris Lytle.

Link to Original Source Article

Penick's Analysis: This is another good fight for this card. While Pierson's fight with Riddle was extremely sloppy, it was still a good debut for him in victory. Foster has faced some much tougher competition in his career so far, and will represent a step up for Pierson, but this should be a competitive fight. It'll also give him a chance to fight in front of a hometown crowd, and after losing his job with the police department and moving to MMA full time, he'll be out to prove that it was the right move for him.

Source: http://www.mmatorch.com/artman2/publish/UFC_2/article_8093.shtml

Chuck Lidell Tito Ortiz Frankie Edgar

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Strikeforce Tournament Could Crown MMA's Top Heavyweight

by Michael David SmithThere's no such thing as "the heavyweight champion of the world" in mixed martial arts. That's a title that various promoters can bestow on their fighters, but the reality is that the promotions have their own heavyweight champions. If those champions won't fight each other, then we never really know, for sure, who the champ is.

But there is usually a consensus opinion among MMA fans and the MMA media about who the top heavyweight is. For years, the top heavyweight was Fedor Emelianenko, which meant that the No. 1 heavyweight resided outside the UFC. The combination of Fedor's loss to Fabricio Werdum and Cain Velasquez's victory over Brock Lesnar, however, solidified Velasquez, in the eyes of most observers, as the No. 1 heavyweight.

None of the fighters participating in Strikeforce's eight-man heavyweight tournament will get the opportunity to wrest control of the mythical heavyweight crown away from Velasquez inside the cage. But the tournament will give the winner a lot of ammunition for an argument that he is, in fact, the best. And the tournament gives Strikeforce its best chance of making a legitimate case that its champion -- and not the UFC's -- is the best heavyweight.

 

Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments

Source: http://www.mmafighting.com/2011/01/05/strikeforce-tournament-could-crown-mmas-top-heavyweight/

Jose Aldo Phil Davis Pat Barry Mirko Cro Cop

Where would MMA be without Chuck Liddell?

Certain athletes can carry a sport to the next level. Was Chuck Liddell "that guy" for MMA and the UFC? 

Has MMA really arrived yet? Maybe. Maybe not. It is safe to say the sport might be still be struggling badly if it weren't for "The Iceman's" contributions in and out of the Octagon.

Liddell arrived on the scene at UFC 17 in 1998. He had the look, with the mohawk haircut and a scowl, plus a love of the standup game. If you think some fans complain now about the ground game, imagine trying to sell MMA back in 1998 to an audience that only wanted blood and guts, and was raised on watching boxers duke it out.

Liddell produced huge wins over Randy Couture at UFC 52 and 57. He also put an exclamation point on his war with Tito Ortiz by crushing him at UFC 66. That 2007 event was the first time the UFC passed the one million mark in pay-per-view buys on a single card.

There was a lot of work outside the cage that led to that moment.

Liddell, along with Dana White, basically went on a barnstorming media tour for three years.

My radio show in Las Vegas had Liddell on at least a half-dozen times.

The future champ signed autographs and made appearances all over the U.S., even if only a few dozen people showed up in the early going. But it was that grassroots effort, which Liddell took part in wholeheartedly, that laid the groundwork for what we see today. Now a "disappointing" UFC PPV draws 350,000 buys (numbers the company would have been thrilled with during the dark era) and the company is reportedly worth in excess of $1 billion.

The sport is also all over cable television. Remember the days when holding a UFC card outside of Las Vegas seemed like just a dream? In 2010, the promotion hit 18 different cities in six different countries.

Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar are given a lot of the credit, and rightly so, for saving the company in 2005 with their scrap at the first "The Ultimate Fighter Finale." Don't forget it was Liddell, along with Couture, who coached that first season. It was a reality show that the promotion and participants didn't even know would make it onto television. What if Liddell, who was becoming a big star at that point, had an inflated ego and said he didn't want to do it? What was the fallback plan?

In the cage, Liddell dominated the American MMA landscape in 2005-06. As his career was winding down, he became a crossover star on shows like "The Simpsons" and "Dancing With The Stars."

Liddell probably shouldn't be mentioned in the same breath as other sports greats like Jack Dempsey, Bill Russell/Wilt Chamberlain, Dale Earnhardt, Johnny Unitas, Babe Ruth. But 25 years from now, he'll be looked upon fondly by those who'll remember the early days of MMA when it was an absolute zero on the sports landscape.

Throughout the day, we'll post some old interviews we did with Liddell from 2004-2009.

Aug. 2004 - Liddell talks about his fight at UFC 49.

Oct. of 2006 - Liddell and Matt Hughes before UFC 64.

Dec. 2006 -- While cutting weight joined us to talk about Tito fight before UFC 66

Sept. 2007 -- Before UFC 76 and after his loss to Quinton Jackson

Apr. 2009 - Liddell before his fight against Mauricio Rua at UFC 97.

Source: http://sports.yahoo.com/mma/blog/cagewriter/post/Where-would-MMA-be-without-Chuck-Liddell-?urn=mma-301794

Michael Bisping Jon Fitch Thiago Alves Jake Shields

UFC 125 weigh-ins: The top four showdowns emerge

UFC 125 is less than 24 hours away. After hitting the scales a few hours ago, the fighters are probably enjoying a wild and crazy night at the dinner table. Only the bravest souls will venture down to the Las Vegas strip.

All 22 fighters made weight without an issue. Main eventers, Frank Edgar and Gray Maynard, were men of few words.

The battle for the UFC lightweight title is an intriguing one stylistically, but hasn't generated a lot of heat. Some fans seem down on the fight based on the lack of an explosive storyline.

To whet your whistle, we found four good ones that emerged during today's weigh-in. 

Arianny Celeste vs. Brittney Palmer

Above, you see what could be a heated rivalry in 2011. Arianny is the mainstay with the UFC. She had a huge 2010, that included a spread in Playboy. But Palmer, the call up from the WEC, has a lot of fans on Twitter and the Internet. It should be interesting to see how the girls fight it out in 2011. The scrap starts tomorrow night in Las Vegas. 

Marcus Davis vs. food

Marcus Davis is making a last ditch effort to around his recent woes. He was torn apart at UFC 118 by Nate Diaz, to make it three losses in his last four fights at 170. The thickly muscled 37-year-old, dropped to lightweight for his fight against Jeremy Stephens. Davis, a former boxer generally walked around at roughly 200 pounds when he fought at welterweight. His battle versus food worked out well. He made the limit 155. You can see the difference in his physique. He shed a lot of bulk to get down with the little guys.  

Clay Guida vs. the clock and clothes

Guida cuts weight until the final seconds before he steps on the scale. "The Carpenter" is in constant motion, bouncing around and today, it took forever for him to get through multiple layers of clothing. Smart move though. A little extra time for his sponsors doesn't hurt anybody. 

Phil Baroni vs. "Ravishing" Rick Rude

Baroni (13-12, 3-6 UFC) is back with what might be his last shot in the UFC. "The New York Badass" is fighting TUF 11 alum Brad Tavares. He showed up today with the sunglasses, jeans and a leather coat. He should've grabbed the microphone and told all of us fat, UFC sweathogs to be quiet while he took off his gear. Rude would've been proud. 

Check out the full weigh-in video here and highlights from Heavy.com below.

UFC 125 weigh-in (courtesy MMAjunkie):

MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view)
Frankie Edgar (155) vs. Gray Maynard (155)
Chris Leben (186) vs. Brian Stann (186)
Nate Diaz (170) vs. Dong Hyun Kim (171)
Takanori Gomi (155) vs. Clay Guida (156)
Thiago Silva (206) vs. Brandon Vera (205)

PRELIMINARY CARD (Ion Television)
Marcus Davis (156) vs. Jeremy Stephens (156)
Josh Grispi (146) vs. Dustin Poirier (145)
Phil Baroni (186) vs. Brad Tavares (185)

PRELIMINARY CARD (Untelevised)
Mike Brown (146) vs. Diego Nunes (146)
Daniel Roberts (171) vs. Greg Soto (171)
Antonio McKee (156) vs. Jacob Volkmann (156)

Source: http://sports.yahoo.com/mma/blog/cagewriter/post/UFC-125-weigh-ins-The-top-four-showdowns-emerge?urn=mma-302210

Chuck Lidell Tito Ortiz Frankie Edgar Georges St-Pierre

UFC NEWS: Featherweights Cub Swanson and Eric Koch expected to meet at UFC on Versus 3

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

LogoUFC_150_729.jpg
An exciting featherweight bout between WEC veterans Cub Swanson and Eric Koch is on its way to the UFC on Versus 3 card in Louisville, Ky. on March 3, according to a report from MMAJunkie.com.

Both fighters will be making their UFC debuts after finishing their WEC stints at WEC 52 in Las Vegas last November.

Swanson alternated wins and losses throughout his WEC career, earning a 5-3 mark overall in the organization. He picked up three victories from 2008-2010 that earned him "Fight of the Night" honors on the respective events, but an eight second loss to now Champ Jose Aldo and a decision loss to Chad Mendes were sandwiched in between those victories.

Koch, another one of Duke Roufus' proteges entering the UFC in 2011, will look to build upon consecutive first round victories to finish out his WEC career. The 22-year-old sports an 11-1 record, with the sole loss being a decision to Chad Mendes. At WEC 52, he picked up a first round knockout over Francisco Rivera to end his time with that organization on a high note.

UFC on Versus 3 airs live on March 3 from the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, headlined by a welterweight bout between Diego Sanchez and Martin Kampmann.

Link to Original Source Article

Penick's Analysis: This is a really, really exciting fight that may fall victim to the circumstances of the merger between the UFC and WEC. This fight most certainly would have been a main card fight on Versus for the WEC, but is looking to be relegated to the preliminary card of this event at this moment. It's an unfortunate by-product of the merger, because a lot of these fights and fighters are not getting the exposure that perhaps they should because of a number of factors. I think it will get better as the year goes on, but a lot of fighters will still be fighting off of TV when they otherwise would have gotten TV time with the WEC still around. That said, the winner of this fight likely gets a boost to television the next time out, depending on their performance, and this is a big fight for both guys against a talented and dangerous opponent.

Source: http://www.mmatorch.com/artman2/publish/UFC_2/article_8110.shtml

Rashad Evans Quinton Jackson Lyoto Machida Forrest Griffin

HANSEN: Fedor's first loss in a decade tops list of "Top Stories of 2010"

By: Rich Hansen, MMATorch Columnist

Staff10HansenRich_150_3.jpg
Throughout this week, we'll present a number of articles from MMATorch writers detailing their top ten stories of 2010. Check back throughout the week for a different perspective on the year that was MMA in 2010.

1.) Fedor Emelianenko Lost a Fight

On December 22, 2000, Fedor Emelianenko lost the first fight of his career. Nine years, six months, four days, and twenty-eight victories later, Fedor Emelianenko lost the second fight of his career. Between his controversial loss to Tsuyoshi Kohsaka in 2000 and his loss to Fabricio Werdum in 2010, Emelianenko scored victories over such luminaries as Babalu Sobral, Heath Herring, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (twice), Mark Coleman, Kevin Randleman, Mirko Cro Cop, Matt Lindland, Tim Sylvia, Andrei Arlovski, and Brett Rogers.

I am in full support of the criticism that Emelianenko and his management team receive for the way his career has been handled since signing with Strikeforce in 2009. I am well aware of the fact that Emelianenko hasn't fought more than twice Since 2005. I am well aware of the scorn Emelienko receives from the general MMA cognoscenti. I understand that 99% of the current fan base (myself included) became fans of the sport after his fight with Mirko Cro Cop in 2005, and that most of today's fans believe that if it doesn't happen in 'MERICA, that it doesn't matter one bit (I'm looking at YOU, Pelkey).

But everyone who chooses to dismiss the historic nature of this upset are selling themselves short. The sport is unlikely to ever see a twenty-eight fight, nine-plus year long win streak again. Just because Fedor and his management team have made decision after decision that are seemingly designed to turn him off to the modern-day MMA fan should not for one moment lessen the importance of his achievements and accomplishments in this sport. Fedor may be choosing to make his future irrelevant, but everything he did yesterday is wildly important.


2.) Strikeforce Signs Elite Heavyweights Who Never Actually, You Know, Fight

Strikeforce's Heavyweight division features such names as Fedor Emelianenko, Fabricio Werdum, Josh Barnett, Antonio Silva, Andrei Arlovski, Sergei Kharitonov, Brett Rogers, and Champion Alistair Overeem. In Strikeforce, Fedor has fought Werdum, Rogers has fought Fedor, Silva has fought Werdum, Silva has fought Arlovski, and Rogers has fought Overeem.

Fedor renegotiates his contract before and after every fight, doesn't care about his legacy, ducks fighters he thinks he can't beat, and manipulates both Scott Coker and his sycophant fans into believing that he still has mystique.

Overeem, the most dangerous man in the world, has fought twice for Strikeforce; once in 2007 when he won the title, and once in 2010 (a year that Scott Coker promised Overeem would fight three times). Overeem's five most recent fights are for FEG (four kickboxing fights, and one MMA fight). And in MMA alone, since winning the oh-so-coveted Strikeforce Heavyweight Championship, Overeem has fought in nine MMA fights. Only one of those fights have been under the Strikeforce banner. Due in part to Overeem's love of Japanese culture and K-1, his return to Strikeforce is yet to be negotiated.

Josh Barnett was recently signed by Strikeforce. Of course, he's been busted thrice for steroids, and doesn't know that it might be a good idea to bring an attorney to a licensing hearing before the California State Athletic Commission. He hasn't had a meaningful MMA fight since dropping a decision to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira on New Year's Eve 2006. Because he is currently unlicensed, it is unknown if or when he will debut for Strikeforce.

On November 29, 2010, Scott Coker was quoted as saying of Alistair Overeem, "I'm talking to his management and we have a game plan for Alistair and I'm sure you'll hear about it soon." Or, maybe we won't hear something soon because even the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

It doesn't matter how many names Strikeforce has signed to their heavyweight division if Coker can't coerce or convince them to fight.


3.) Strikeforce Nashville

The night that should have been the best night in Strikeforce's short history became the worst night in Strikeforce's history. On April 17, Strikeforce was granted two hours of airtime on CBS. Strikeforce, the battered wife to M-1 Global and Fedor Emelianenko, was unable to convince Fedor to fight on the CBS card, leaving THE LEGENDARY DAN HENDERSON MAKING HIS STRIKEFORCE DEBUT vs. Um, You Know, That Guy What's His Name Whom We Just Can't Sell To The General Public, Not That We Actually Tried (Check his birth certificate. Jake Shields is merely his stage name?), as the main event of the evening. Also booked on the two hour televised card were a five-round title fight between Muhammed Lawal and the expressive, outspoken, and charismatic Gegard Mousasi, and a five-round title fight between Gilbert Melendez and Shinya Aoki.

Mousasi, then the Light Heavyweight Champion, learned the hard way that in MMA, you might want to learn how to defend the takedown. Both fighters gassed out about half way through the ring intros, leading to a horrifyingly dull decision which defined the derisive term "lay and pray."

So, with approximately 42 trillion people having turned off their televisions after the Lawal fight in order to do something more pleasurable (like, drinking arsenic), Gilbert Melendez dominated the best fighter Japan had to offer. Melendez fought a great fight, to a decision. Unfortunately it was aesthetically pleasing to approximately 42 people. But to be fair, the most hardcore of American MMA fans were able to take several months worth of joy in Shinya Aoki's crocodile tears.

Unfortunately, in their infinite wisdom (I'm being sarcastic here. There was a decided LACK of wisdom in play all through the telecast), the production crew ran every pre-taped package, promotion, interview, and piece of filler that they had in the can, all in an effort to make sure that the main event between the two most charismatic figures in MMA (again, sarcasm here) did not start until minutes after they were supposed to be off the air. Of course, the one thing they did manage to cut was Lawal's ring entrance, which is the best part of his game.

Dan Henderson almost managed to salvage the evening for Strikeforce, as he dominated the first round against Shields, and was consistently three seconds away from a ref stoppage. However Shields, then the Strikeforce Middleweight Champion, turned things around and dominated Henderson with a stunning display of grappling and ground & pound, coasting to a remarkably easy one sided decision.

And that would have been GREAT news for Scott Coker. Well, except for the fact that they were just goaded into signing Henderson to a massive multi-fight contract (I'd love to know who was the actuary who ran the ROI numbers on THAT contract). Oh, and Shields was on the last fight of his contract, and it was the worst kept secret in the sport that Shields had no intentions of returning to Strikeforce after the Henderson fight.

So, to recap... Three bad fights. 45 minutes over their time window. Their golden child was just beaten like they thought they were the Vikings playing the Bears at TCF Bank Stadium. And instead of sending Shields off with a defeat, they showed him beating Dan Henderson to millions of people on national television.

And then while Shields was being interviewed, Jason Miller snuck into the cage and barged into Shields' post-fight interview and interrupted in order to demand a rematch - which led to Shields, Melendez, and the Diaz gang stomping a mudhole into him while the cage filled with officials and security desperate to break up the riot. All the while Gus Johnson calmly explained to the stunned audience of casual fans wondering where their f***ing local news was that these things happen in MMA.


4.) UFC - WEC merger

Such WEC stalwarts such as Urijah Faber, Dominick Cruz, and Jose Aldo no longer have to worry about $8,000 Fight of the Night bonuses that they were afforded as fighters in the WEC, as the UFC absorbed the WEC and added Featherweight and Bantamweight divisions to their brand. The final WEC Lightweight Champion, Anthony Pettis, may unify his title with the UFC Lightweight Championship sometime in 2011. The UFC named WEC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo as the first UFC Featherweight Champion, and did the same for Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz. Also as part of the merger, Versus will be airing four fights this year, as opposed to two UFC shows and approximately eight WEC shows.

While the merger is receiving rightfully universal acclaim, I fear that the lighter weight fighters are going to be treated like the poor unwanted step-children of the UFC. Until the ION TV deal was announced four days before UFC 125, Mike Brown (former FW Champ, top 5 FW in the world) and Josh Grispi (#1 contender for the FW Champion) were both scheduled to fight on unaired preliminary fights. Even after the ION deal was announced, Brown remained shunted to the unaired prelims because he is not the best EVAH!


5.) UFC Sells Nine Million PPVs

For a sport that has hit a comfortable plateau, they sure are peaking, aren't they? In 2010, fifteen UFC PPVs sold more than 9,000,000 PPVs, for an average of more than 600,000 buys per event. And this was in a year where the company also had three PPVs that sold under 300,000 buys, which had been considered their previous 'Floor' level.

It is hard to predict what will happen in 2011, as the future of Brock Lesnar, who headlined two of the UFC's three events that sold more than 1,000,000 buys, is yet to be determined. But considering that their average 2010 buy-rate was six times higher than the highest selling non-Zuffa MMA PPV of all time, the UFC can rest comfortably knowing that they face precisely zero competition in the immediate future.


Other big stories in 2010, in no particular order:

* Zuffa sells ten percent of the company to an arm of the Abu Dhabi government This is probably the most important thing that happened in 2010, but it's kind of like how your pancreas is super important to you staying alive, but it doesn't mean you understand a damn thing about your pancreas. Of course, if you really want to know how your pancreas helps you not die, click here.

* Chuck Liddell announces his retirement: Or, to be more accurate, Dana white announces Chuck Liddell's retirement and then benevolently allows the retiring legend to say a few words before demanding more face time for Dana.

* Chael Sonnen talked, lost, and got busted for taking steroids: Or he got busted for having itty bitties.

* The end of B.J.'s reign at Lightweight: B.J. Penn lost a fight at LW for the first time in five hundred years (or so). He lost twice. He lost twice to the same fighter. He was taken down at will by the smaller fighter. He was thrashed so handily that he left the lightweight division in order to fight in Georges St-Pierre's weight class.

* Japanese MMA is on life support: This saddens me to no end. I was never a PRIDE guy, as I got into the sport about the time Crop Cop signed with the UFC, but I understand and respect Japan's place in MMA, and it does nobody any good if Japanese MMA dies.

* Nick Diaz and Robbie Lawler resign with Strikeforce: Big fishes, meet Small Pond.

Source: http://www.mmatorch.com/artman2/publish/richhansen/article_8030.shtml

Mauricio Rua Rashad Evans Quinton Jackson Lyoto Machida

UFC 125 Post-Fight Press Conference Video

by Michael David SmithGray Maynad and others will answer media questions at the UFC 125 post-fight press conference.After the action in the Octagon ends at UFC 125, fighters will meet the media at the UFC 125 post-fight press conference, and we'll have the video right here at MMAFighting.com.

The post-fight press conference is an opportunity to hear the winning fighters' thoughts on their performances, and it's also the place where the Fight of the Night, Knockout of the Night and Submission of the Night bonuses are announced.

The press conference will begin about half an hour after the main event ends (usually around 1 AM ET) and the video is below.

 

Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Comments

Source: http://www.mmafighting.com/2011/01/02/ufc-125-post-fight-press-conference-video/

Jon Fitch Thiago Alves Jake Shields Josh Koscheck

Fedor is back! Strikeforce heavyweight tournament, a coup for MMA in 2011

Many bloggers were skeptical about the possibility of Strikeforce putting together an eight-man tourney for its heavyweights. It looks like Scott Coker and Showtime have cut through the red tape. The heavyweight extravaganza could result in some of the best matchmaking of 2011! 

The Canadian Press reported that Fedor Emelianenko Tweeted about his first-round fight. It'll be Antonio Silva on Feb. 12 in New Jersey. The former Strikeforce champ, regarded by many as the greatest heavyweight in the history of the sport, hasn't fought since his upset loss at the hands of Fabricio Werdum last June. Silva, a winner of two straight, has only lost one fight since 2006.  

Update - FanHouse reports that the field is set:

The first two quarterfinal bouts will take place on Feb. 12, with Fedor Emelianenko taking on Antonio Silva, while Andrei Arlovski will face Sergei Kharitonov.

The other two quarterfinal bouts include
Brett Rogers facing Josh Barnett and current Strikeforce champ Alistair Overeem taking on Fabricio Werdum, the last man to beat Emelianenko 

The tourney will also include a cool feature for Strikeforce's up and coming heavyweights. Shane del Rosario, Lavar Johnson and Daniel Cormier may be involved in alternate bouts as insurance down the road for injured participants.   

Source: http://sports.yahoo.com/mma/blog/cagewriter/post/Fedor-is-back-Strikeforce-heavyweight-tournamen?urn=mma-303264

Quinton Jackson Lyoto Machida Forrest Griffin Ryan Bader

STRIKEFORCE NEWS: Alistair Overeem out to avenge career losses, Fabricio Werdum not thrilled about "giving" him a rematch

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

LogoStrikeforce2010_105_61.png
Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem is taking part in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix at his own request. His first round opponent, Fabricio Werdum, defeated him in Pride in 2006, and Overeem told Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker that he's looking to avenge the losses on his record.

"Alistair wanted to be in the tournament," said Coker in an interview with MMAWeekly.com. "He asked me in Japan when I was there for Dream, after he knocked out (Todd) Duffee. He said, 'Scott, I want to fight Fabricio Werdum. I'm gonna avenge all the people that beat me early in my career and he?s at the top of my list.'"

But Werdum isn't thrilled about the booking, despite getting a crack at the organization's Championship.

"What I think about is a rematch with Fedor," Werdum said in an interview with Tatame.com. "I wouldn't like to give Overeem this rematch, I'm just fighting because the event matched this fight. To Fedor I'll give this rematch happily, because I like him and he deserves this rematch. But first I have to think about how I'll beat Overeem so that rematch can happen."

Werdum seems to believe that Strikeforce is looking to work to the rematch between him and Fedor, saying the organization is banking on him beating Overeem when they meet in April.

"I believe they did it that way so that they can sell many pay-per-view subscriptions on the semifinals and on the finale," Werdum said. "They're betting I?ll beat Overeem and that Fedor beats Big Foot, because they know everybody wants that rematch. So, they want to guarantee a good semifinal so that they sell it out and they?re betting on it. Who doesn't want to watch a rematch like this one?"

The tournament begins on February 12 in East Rutherford, New Jersey, as Fedor Emelianenko meets Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva and Andrei Arlovski meets Sergei Kharitonov.

Penick's Analysis: It's obvious that Strikeforce's Heavyweight Title is meaningless to Werdum. He's taking the fight against Overeem because Strikeforce has booked it, but he continues to act as if he's above Overeem due to defeating him four years ago. He still believes the money for him is in the rematch with Fedor, which may be true, but Strikeforce needs this fight to happen to bring some legitimacy to their belt. Right now, it has none even with the man that's fighting for it, but regardless of who wins this fight they will be the clear and rightful Champion of the division, and will have another meaningful title fight against a deserving challenger in the semifinals. Werdum's attitude about the fight is ridiculous, though, because Overeem is a completely different fighter than when they met in Pride. If he believes Overeem isn't a worthy opponent because he's beaten him once before, he's going to be in for a rude awakening in April.

Source: http://www.mmatorch.com/artman2/publish/Affliction2/article_8102.shtml

Chris Leben Dan Hardy Dana White Joe Rogan

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The MMA sched is light: Let's watch people steal hats and Dana White dance

The fellas over at Fightlinker can always fill the slow periods in the mixed martial arts schedule. Things heat up again next weekend with Ultimate Fight Night 23 from Ft. Hood, Tx. and then Strikeforce: Diaz vs. "Cyborg" on Jan. 29. Until then, let's kill some time with these videos.

What's more entertaining? Fans stealing hats or Dana White "jamming" on stage with Snoop Dogg in Las Vegas?

Tip via Fightlinker. Enjoy the GIFs as well.

Source: http://sports.yahoo.com/mma/blog/cagewriter/post/The-MMA-sched-is-light-Let-s-watch-people-steal?urn=mma-305631

Fedor Emelianenko Junior dos Santos Shane Carwin Frank Mir

'Maynard was robbed' says Brit MMA writer and Vegas columnist

Close, disputed decisions have always been of the fight game. There's no way around them and really no way to fix the system. Tight decisions often produce passion on both sides and that's just fine with me, as long as we get to see the fighters to duke it out again sometime in the future. 

A draw was all Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard could walk away with, after battling tooth and nail for 25 minutes last night at UFC 125. "Kissing your sister" always elicits a strong response from fight observers. This Cagewriter scored the fight for Maynard (47-46), but a draw was understandable.

MMA writer Gareth A. Davies and Las Vegas Review-Journal Ed Graney weren't quite as open to a tie fight.

After being bombarded on Twitter for the use of the word "robbery," Davies said the term may have been too harsh and backed off. Graney did no such thing.

It was the UFC's turn at offering a major head-scratcher on Saturday night, when Gray Maynard should have departed the octagon at the MGM Grand Garden wearing a shiny new belt instead of a disgusted look.

That the main event at UFC 125 between lightweight champion Frankie Edgar and Maynard was scored in a way to produce a draw was just a tad more laughable than the thought of Floyd Mayweather Jr. going finger-to-finger with Paul Blart the Mall Cop.

Edgar got crushed in the first round, losing 10-8 on all three scorecards. He was in a hole. Graney suggested there was no way Edgar climbed out of it by winning the final four rounds.

But to say Edgar then won Rounds 2 through 5 -- which is how judge Marcos Rosales foolishly scored the fight -- is to say Mayweather has been basking in good press of late. [...] Adam Hill, the mixed martial arts beat writer for the Review-Journal, also had it 48-46 for the Las Vegas challenger. Adam knows his stuff. He's no Marcos Rosales.

Graney's take was strong and he even found a way to squeeze in two JWoww mentions. Jenni Farley, the breasty "Jersey Shore" bimbo, was seated cageside backing Edgar, the New Jersey-native.

There rest of Graney's column focused on the fact that at least MMA fans get to see the fights they yearn for, unlike boxing. Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather may never happen while we've been waiting for Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez III since March of 2008.

Shortly after the draw was announced, Dana White decided that Anthony Pettis would have to wait for his shot at the winner until a real winner emerges. Early this morning, he confirmed his attentions to make Edgar-Maynard III as soon as possible.

Source: http://sports.yahoo.com/mma/blog/cagewriter/post/-Maynard-was-robbed-says-Brit-MMA-writer-and-Ve?urn=mma-302472

Jose Aldo Phil Davis Pat Barry Mirko Cro Cop

Meltzer says UFC is having difficulty with Lesnar's future

Maybe there was something to that little exchange between the Undertaker and Brock Lesnar following his fight at UFC 121. The rumors are swirling around Lesnar, the former UFC heavyweight champ and WWE star.

Some say the UFC wants Lesnar to take part as a coach on Season 13 of "The Ultimate Fighter." Others say Lesnar doesn't want to be involved with very much involving MMA right now. This report was written after listening to Pro Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer:

Lesnar reportedly hasn't talked with anyone from UFC or answered their phone calls since losing the UFC Heavyweight Title to Cain Velasquez last month. Sources also say that Lesnar hasn't began to prepare for his next UFC fight and hasn't trained since losing to Velasquez.

It's said that Lesnar has lost some interest in MMA and has been been re-considering his future in the sport after his loss to Velasquez and the beating he took in the win against Shane Carwin before that.

Lesnar reportedly has only one fight left on his contract. Could it be that the Wrestlemania appearance, which he could make upwards of $2 million for, is the hold up? Is Lesnar really thinking about bailing on MMA after just one bad loss?

Source: http://sports.yahoo.com/mma/blog/cagewriter/post/Meltzer-says-UFC-is-having-difficulty-with-Lesna?urn=mma-300989

B.J. Penn Gray Maynard Kenny Florian Jose Aldo

UFC 125 POST-FIGHT: Chris Leben gives Brian Stann credit for TKO win; Stann wants Wanderlei Silva next

By: Laramey Leet, MMATorch Contributor

UFC_125_poster_180_10.jpeg
The following are key excerpts from Brian Stann and Chris Leben regarding their UFC 125 co-main event bout during the UFC 125 post-fight press conference. Stann defeated Leben by TKO in the first round.

Chris Leben:

"I give all of the credit to my opponent. I was not on today. I did some things well, but I did most things bad. My opponent did an excellent job and my hat's off to him."


Brian Stann:

"The first key was Chris accepting the fight, he is a bigger name fighter and he could have waited on a more well known fighter, but he is a true fighter and he took the fight. So I really want to thank him."

"I have great coaches, the best in the world. Chris gets very frustrated with fighters that move a lot or change angles, and we knew that. I wanted to attack the body then go for the knockout. I practiced on not punching myself out, because Chris can recuperate so fast."

"I should have made the move to [middleweight] sooner, but I had no experience or knowledge on cutting weight. I use to walk around at 205 lbs. I noticed the strength difference when I fought Phil Davis. You need the losses to help you with experience."

"I am in this to fight the best so I want to fight whoever I need to fight to be a top ten fighter. I just hope that it is not a wrestler; I hope I filled my spot and I can fight a stand up guy."

"I am fighting in the house that some amazing fighters have fought in and I want to fight some of those guys. No disrespect what so ever, but I really want to fight Wanderlie Silva next, he is a multi weight champion and I would love to fight a legend."

Source: http://www.mmatorch.com/artman2/publish/UFC_2/article_8015.shtml

Michael Bisping Jon Fitch Thiago Alves Jake Shields

UFC NEWS: Jon Madsen vs. Mike Russow booked for UFC Fight Night 24 in Seattle

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

LogoUFC_150_704.jpg
Heavyweights Jon Madsen and Mike Russow are being slated for a bout on the UFC Fight Night 24 event in Seattle, Wash., according to a report from MMAWeekly.com.

Russow fights for the first time since knocking out Todd Duffee in the third round of their bout at UFC 114 in May. The 13-1 fighter ran his current win streak to nine fights with the shocking knockout. He had been behind on the scorecards until landing the knockout blow. The Chicago police officer will look to win his third straight fight in the UFC.

He'll now meet the undefeated Madsen, who is coming off his most impressive win in the UFC. After three consecutive decision victories garnered him a reputation for being a boring and grinding fighter, Madsen took Gilbert Yvel down at UFC 121 in October and quickly dispatched of him with brutal ground and pound. The fight was over in under two minutes. The Ultimate Fighter 10 alum and training partner of former UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar is now 7-0 in his career.

UFC Fight Night 24 will take place from the KeyArena in Seattle, Wash., headlined by a light heavyweight bout between Tito Ortiz and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.

Link to Original Source Article

Penick's Analysis: This is a good heavyweight fight. Madsen has briefly shrugged off the "boring" label, but he'll need to continue to perform like he did against Yvel for the UFC and the fanbase to buy into him as more than a "lay and pray" artist. Russow's not the best example of a highly in-shape mixed martial artist, but he packs a heavy punch and good submission skills. There's a reason he's only lost once in his career. This is a competitive fight, but I'm not sure if it will make the televised broadcast or not.

Source: http://www.mmatorch.com/artman2/publish/UFC_2/article_8017.shtml

Dana White Joe Rogan Mike Goldberg Joe Silva

HANSEN: Fedor's first loss in a decade tops list of "Top Stories of 2010"

By: Rich Hansen, MMATorch Columnist

Staff10HansenRich_150_3.jpg
Throughout this week, we'll present a number of articles from MMATorch writers detailing their top ten stories of 2010. Check back throughout the week for a different perspective on the year that was MMA in 2010.

1.) Fedor Emelianenko Lost a Fight

On December 22, 2000, Fedor Emelianenko lost the first fight of his career. Nine years, six months, four days, and twenty-eight victories later, Fedor Emelianenko lost the second fight of his career. Between his controversial loss to Tsuyoshi Kohsaka in 2000 and his loss to Fabricio Werdum in 2010, Emelianenko scored victories over such luminaries as Babalu Sobral, Heath Herring, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (twice), Mark Coleman, Kevin Randleman, Mirko Cro Cop, Matt Lindland, Tim Sylvia, Andrei Arlovski, and Brett Rogers.

I am in full support of the criticism that Emelianenko and his management team receive for the way his career has been handled since signing with Strikeforce in 2009. I am well aware of the fact that Emelianenko hasn't fought more than twice Since 2005. I am well aware of the scorn Emelienko receives from the general MMA cognoscenti. I understand that 99% of the current fan base (myself included) became fans of the sport after his fight with Mirko Cro Cop in 2005, and that most of today's fans believe that if it doesn't happen in 'MERICA, that it doesn't matter one bit (I'm looking at YOU, Pelkey).

But everyone who chooses to dismiss the historic nature of this upset are selling themselves short. The sport is unlikely to ever see a twenty-eight fight, nine-plus year long win streak again. Just because Fedor and his management team have made decision after decision that are seemingly designed to turn him off to the modern-day MMA fan should not for one moment lessen the importance of his achievements and accomplishments in this sport. Fedor may be choosing to make his future irrelevant, but everything he did yesterday is wildly important.


2.) Strikeforce Signs Elite Heavyweights Who Never Actually, You Know, Fight

Strikeforce's Heavyweight division features such names as Fedor Emelianenko, Fabricio Werdum, Josh Barnett, Antonio Silva, Andrei Arlovski, Sergei Kharitonov, Brett Rogers, and Champion Alistair Overeem. In Strikeforce, Fedor has fought Werdum, Rogers has fought Fedor, Silva has fought Werdum, Silva has fought Arlovski, and Rogers has fought Overeem.

Fedor renegotiates his contract before and after every fight, doesn't care about his legacy, ducks fighters he thinks he can't beat, and manipulates both Scott Coker and his sycophant fans into believing that he still has mystique.

Overeem, the most dangerous man in the world, has fought twice for Strikeforce; once in 2007 when he won the title, and once in 2010 (a year that Scott Coker promised Overeem would fight three times). Overeem's five most recent fights are for FEG (four kickboxing fights, and one MMA fight). And in MMA alone, since winning the oh-so-coveted Strikeforce Heavyweight Championship, Overeem has fought in nine MMA fights. Only one of those fights have been under the Strikeforce banner. Due in part to Overeem's love of Japanese culture and K-1, his return to Strikeforce is yet to be negotiated.

Josh Barnett was recently signed by Strikeforce. Of course, he's been busted thrice for steroids, and doesn't know that it might be a good idea to bring an attorney to a licensing hearing before the California State Athletic Commission. He hasn't had a meaningful MMA fight since dropping a decision to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira on New Year's Eve 2006. Because he is currently unlicensed, it is unknown if or when he will debut for Strikeforce.

On November 29, 2010, Scott Coker was quoted as saying of Alistair Overeem, "I'm talking to his management and we have a game plan for Alistair and I'm sure you'll hear about it soon." Or, maybe we won't hear something soon because even the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

It doesn't matter how many names Strikeforce has signed to their heavyweight division if Coker can't coerce or convince them to fight.


3.) Strikeforce Nashville

The night that should have been the best night in Strikeforce's short history became the worst night in Strikeforce's history. On April 17, Strikeforce was granted two hours of airtime on CBS. Strikeforce, the battered wife to M-1 Global and Fedor Emelianenko, was unable to convince Fedor to fight on the CBS card, leaving THE LEGENDARY DAN HENDERSON MAKING HIS STRIKEFORCE DEBUT vs. Um, You Know, That Guy What's His Name Whom We Just Can't Sell To The General Public, Not That We Actually Tried (Check his birth certificate. Jake Shields is merely his stage name?), as the main event of the evening. Also booked on the two hour televised card were a five-round title fight between Muhammed Lawal and the expressive, outspoken, and charismatic Gegard Mousasi, and a five-round title fight between Gilbert Melendez and Shinya Aoki.

Mousasi, then the Light Heavyweight Champion, learned the hard way that in MMA, you might want to learn how to defend the takedown. Both fighters gassed out about half way through the ring intros, leading to a horrifyingly dull decision which defined the derisive term "lay and pray."

So, with approximately 42 trillion people having turned off their televisions after the Lawal fight in order to do something more pleasurable (like, drinking arsenic), Gilbert Melendez dominated the best fighter Japan had to offer. Melendez fought a great fight, to a decision. Unfortunately it was aesthetically pleasing to approximately 42 people. But to be fair, the most hardcore of American MMA fans were able to take several months worth of joy in Shinya Aoki's crocodile tears.

Unfortunately, in their infinite wisdom (I'm being sarcastic here. There was a decided LACK of wisdom in play all through the telecast), the production crew ran every pre-taped package, promotion, interview, and piece of filler that they had in the can, all in an effort to make sure that the main event between the two most charismatic figures in MMA (again, sarcasm here) did not start until minutes after they were supposed to be off the air. Of course, the one thing they did manage to cut was Lawal's ring entrance, which is the best part of his game.

Dan Henderson almost managed to salvage the evening for Strikeforce, as he dominated the first round against Shields, and was consistently three seconds away from a ref stoppage. However Shields, then the Strikeforce Middleweight Champion, turned things around and dominated Henderson with a stunning display of grappling and ground & pound, coasting to a remarkably easy one sided decision.

And that would have been GREAT news for Scott Coker. Well, except for the fact that they were just goaded into signing Henderson to a massive multi-fight contract (I'd love to know who was the actuary who ran the ROI numbers on THAT contract). Oh, and Shields was on the last fight of his contract, and it was the worst kept secret in the sport that Shields had no intentions of returning to Strikeforce after the Henderson fight.

So, to recap... Three bad fights. 45 minutes over their time window. Their golden child was just beaten like they thought they were the Vikings playing the Bears at TCF Bank Stadium. And instead of sending Shields off with a defeat, they showed him beating Dan Henderson to millions of people on national television.

And then while Shields was being interviewed, Jason Miller snuck into the cage and barged into Shields' post-fight interview and interrupted in order to demand a rematch - which led to Shields, Melendez, and the Diaz gang stomping a mudhole into him while the cage filled with officials and security desperate to break up the riot. All the while Gus Johnson calmly explained to the stunned audience of casual fans wondering where their f***ing local news was that these things happen in MMA.


4.) UFC - WEC merger

Such WEC stalwarts such as Urijah Faber, Dominick Cruz, and Jose Aldo no longer have to worry about $8,000 Fight of the Night bonuses that they were afforded as fighters in the WEC, as the UFC absorbed the WEC and added Featherweight and Bantamweight divisions to their brand. The final WEC Lightweight Champion, Anthony Pettis, may unify his title with the UFC Lightweight Championship sometime in 2011. The UFC named WEC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo as the first UFC Featherweight Champion, and did the same for Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz. Also as part of the merger, Versus will be airing four fights this year, as opposed to two UFC shows and approximately eight WEC shows.

While the merger is receiving rightfully universal acclaim, I fear that the lighter weight fighters are going to be treated like the poor unwanted step-children of the UFC. Until the ION TV deal was announced four days before UFC 125, Mike Brown (former FW Champ, top 5 FW in the world) and Josh Grispi (#1 contender for the FW Champion) were both scheduled to fight on unaired preliminary fights. Even after the ION deal was announced, Brown remained shunted to the unaired prelims because he is not the best EVAH!


5.) UFC Sells Nine Million PPVs

For a sport that has hit a comfortable plateau, they sure are peaking, aren't they? In 2010, fifteen UFC PPVs sold more than 9,000,000 PPVs, for an average of more than 600,000 buys per event. And this was in a year where the company also had three PPVs that sold under 300,000 buys, which had been considered their previous 'Floor' level.

It is hard to predict what will happen in 2011, as the future of Brock Lesnar, who headlined two of the UFC's three events that sold more than 1,000,000 buys, is yet to be determined. But considering that their average 2010 buy-rate was six times higher than the highest selling non-Zuffa MMA PPV of all time, the UFC can rest comfortably knowing that they face precisely zero competition in the immediate future.


Other big stories in 2010, in no particular order:

* Zuffa sells ten percent of the company to an arm of the Abu Dhabi government This is probably the most important thing that happened in 2010, but it's kind of like how your pancreas is super important to you staying alive, but it doesn't mean you understand a damn thing about your pancreas. Of course, if you really want to know how your pancreas helps you not die, click here.

* Chuck Liddell announces his retirement: Or, to be more accurate, Dana white announces Chuck Liddell's retirement and then benevolently allows the retiring legend to say a few words before demanding more face time for Dana.

* Chael Sonnen talked, lost, and got busted for taking steroids: Or he got busted for having itty bitties.

* The end of B.J.'s reign at Lightweight: B.J. Penn lost a fight at LW for the first time in five hundred years (or so). He lost twice. He lost twice to the same fighter. He was taken down at will by the smaller fighter. He was thrashed so handily that he left the lightweight division in order to fight in Georges St-Pierre's weight class.

* Japanese MMA is on life support: This saddens me to no end. I was never a PRIDE guy, as I got into the sport about the time Crop Cop signed with the UFC, but I understand and respect Japan's place in MMA, and it does nobody any good if Japanese MMA dies.

* Nick Diaz and Robbie Lawler resign with Strikeforce: Big fishes, meet Small Pond.

Source: http://www.mmatorch.com/artman2/publish/richhansen/article_8030.shtml

Cain Velasquez Brock Lesnar Fabricio Werdum Fedor Emelianenko

Dominick Cruz, who broke his left index finger prior to fighting Joseph Benavidez in August of last...

Source: http://www.mmamania.com/2011/1/10/1926925/dominick-cruz-who-broke-his-left-index-finger-prior-to-fighting

Brock Lesnar Fabricio Werdum Fedor Emelianenko Junior dos Santos

UFC moves prelims to ION TV

The UFC and Spike have had a great relationship over the years. Has it changed?

Monday night, MMAjunkie broke the story that the UFC 125 prelims will air on ION Television. Fans may also see three fights instead of the normal two.

Dana White indicated that he can't guarantee all three will make it to television.

"The prelims we do air, there's only supposed to be two," White said. "Time-wise, it's impossible to pull off three if they all go to the distance. I'm going to roll the dice on this thing.

"Not only are we going to bring the prelims to the fans, but everybody has been hammering me for the Phil Baroni-Brad Tavares fight, so I'm going to do three fights. I'm going to give them that fight, too."

This is something the UFC president was hoping for.

"I always try to give the fans as much as I can give them," White said. "I love being able to give them free fights. That's always been my goal and my model with this thing since day one.

"I grew up watching free fights in TV with boxing, and I loved it. I was a huge fan. I always try to give the fans as much as I can."

The Spike relationship produced 12 seasons of "The Ultimate Fighter," 34 free Ultimate Fight Night and TUF Finale cards, and the live prelims at several recent pay-per-view events. The promotion and network seemed to have run into a snag recently.

"We're going to talk to [ION] and see what's up," White said. "This might be a regular thing.

"Listen, it's a ballsy move to go on network with prelims, but the Ion guys are the real deal. We're going to see if we can make it happen with them."

Source: http://sports.yahoo.com/mma/blog/cagewriter/post/UFC-moves-prelims-to-ION-TV?urn=mma-300990

Fedor Emelianenko Junior dos Santos Shane Carwin Frank Mir

Monday, January 10, 2011

UFC NEWS: 28 welterweights to compete on The Ultimate Fighter season 13, coaches to be announced this week

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Logo_TUF_150_40.jpg
The UFC tried out both middleweights and welterweights for the upcoming 13th season of The Ultimate Fighter, but according to a report from MMAJunkie.com, only the welterweights will be represented when the show begins filming later this month.

Per the report, the UFC will once again go with the 28 fighter format that they've used in the last two seasons. The 28 fighters all compete in an opening round fight to get into the house, then fight to make it to the quarterfinal round. Two of the losing fighters from that round get a chance to fight in the "wild card" fight, and they take the eighth and final spot in the quarterfinals.

The coaches for this season are expected to be announced later in the week, and the show will be taped in Las Vegas.

This will be the first season featuring welterweights since season nine, which was the U.S. vs. U.K. season coached by Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping, and will be the fifth season of the show to feature the division.

Link to Original Source Article

Source: http://www.mmatorch.com/artman2/publish/UFC_2/article_8112.shtml

Chuck Lidell Tito Ortiz Frankie Edgar Georges St-Pierre

Vera's nose, Guida's choke and more: Pictures from UFC 125

Check out our exclusive pictures from UFC 125 by Tracy Lee. You'll see a great shot of Brandon Vera's twisted nose, Clay Guida's choke (and his mother's reaction to it) as well as shots from every fight on the card. Enjoy. 

Source: http://sports.yahoo.com/mma/blog/cagewriter/post/Vera-s-nose-Guida-s-choke-and-more-Pictures-fr?urn=mma-302992

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira Mauricio Rua Rashad Evans Quinton Jackson

UFC NEWS: Frankie Edgar medically suspended up to six months with nasal fracture; eight others handed medical suspensions at UFC 125

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Frankie_Edgar_180_5.jpeg
A fractured nose suffered by UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar in his split draw with Gray Maynard on Saturday night at UFC 125 could hold off their pending rematch for a considerable amount of time.

According to the list of medical suspensions released by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (per MMAJunkie.com), Edgar has been medically suspended until July 1 due to the nasal fracture. He can be cleared early by a physician, but he's suspended at a minimum until February 16 with no contact until February 1.

That timetable pushes the rematch with Gray Maynard until likely April at the earliest, and it could be significantly later than that.

The rest of the medical suspensions for the event are below:

* Frankie Edgar: Suspended until July 1 due to nasal fracture, though an ENT doctor can clear him early; regardless, minimum suspension until Feb. 16 with no contact until Feb. 1

* Gray Maynard: Suspended until Feb. 16 with no contact until Jan. 23 due to facial lacerations

* Chris Leben: Suspended until Feb. 6 with no contact until Feb. 1 for precautionary reasons

* Brandon Vera: Suspended until July 1 due to nasal fracture, though an ENT doctor can clear him early; regardless, minimum suspension until Feb. 16 with no contact until Feb. 1

* Marcus Davis: Suspended until July 1 due to nasal fracture, though an ENT doctor can clear him early; regardless, minimum suspension until March 3 with no contact until Feb. 16

* Josh Grispi: Suspended until July 1 due to a jaw injury, though a, oral, maxial and facial doctor can clear him early; regardless, minimum suspension until Feb. 16 with no contact until Feb. 1

* Phil Baroni: Suspended until July 1 due to nasal fracture, though an ENT doctor can clear him early; regardless, minimum suspension until March 3 with no contact until Feb. 16

* Diego Nunes: Suspended until Jan. 23 with no contact until Jan. 16 due to left-eye contusion

* Greg Soto: Suspended until July 1 due to a left-shoulder injury, though an orthopedic doctor can clear him early

Penick's Analysis: This may lead to Anthony Pettis deciding to take a fight in the UFC prior to his title fight, especially if Edgar's return comes later than April, as that would leave him out of action upwards of nine months to a year. But hopefully for all involved Edgar will be able to get cleared to get back to action as soon as possible with that being the only significant damage he suffered in the fight. At least neither were hit with any joint injuries or serious limb breaks, as that could have set this rematch back for an even longer period of time.

Source: http://www.mmatorch.com/artman2/publish/UFC_2/article_8031.shtml

Fabricio Werdum Fedor Emelianenko Junior dos Santos Shane Carwin

Roller coaster of 'Truth': The ups and downs of Brandon Vera

Brandon Vera will face Thiago Silva in his 12th UFC fight on Saturday at UFC 125. Vera knows the ups and downs of the UFC like few other fighters.

Early Career Hill: After wrestling for Old Dominion University and the United States Air Force, Vera tried MMA and started his career with two quick wins. He then didn't fight again until the pre-Zuffa WEC heavyweight tournament. Vera won that with TKOs of Mike Whitehead and Fabiano Scherner.

Great Mountain of 2006: Vera started off his career in the Octagon in style. In 2006, he rattled off three straight first-round knockouts of Assuerio Silva, Justin Eilers, and the one that really made his name, Frank Mir.

Valley of the Heavyweights: The Mir win was supposed to give Vera a title shot, but a contract dispute kept him out of the Octagon for nearly a year. His return was wrecked by Tim Sylvia, who took a decision from him, and then Fabricio Werdum, who TKOed him in the first round.

Light Heavy Hill: After those losses, Vera realized that despite his height, he was not a heavyweight. His first fight at 205 pounds was decent: a decision over Reese Andy at Fight Night 14. 

Valley of the Mean Dean: Light heavyweight didn't stay so welcoming for Vera. Keith Jardine -- at the time, one of the hotter prospects in the UFC's 205-pound division -- took a split decision from Vera at UFC 89.

Back in the W Column Hill: Vera needed wins to keep his job, and he got them over Michael Patt, a TKO by leg kicks at UFC 96, and Krysztof Soszynszki, a decision at UFC 102.

Valley of the Main Event: Vera's last two fights have been main events and losses. First, he dropped a disputed decision to MMA legend Randy Couture at UFC 105. Next, he became part of the Jon Jones highlight reel, losing a TKO after Jones delivered a massive elbow that broke Vera's face in three places.

This leads him to the UFC 125 bout with Silva, a fight that will either right the course for Vera or give him his third loss in a row. Will we see a hill or a valley out of the Truth this weekend?

Source: http://sports.yahoo.com/mma/blog/cagewriter/post/Roller-coaster-of-Truth-The-ups-and-downs-of-?urn=mma-301495

B.J. Penn Gray Maynard Kenny Florian Jose Aldo

ESPN MMA Live 138: UFC 125 Highlights, 2010 Awards

On this week’s edition of ESPN MMA Live, Jon Anik and crew recap UFC 125. MMA Live year-end awards in the clips below. ESPN MMA Live Archive If you have trouble playing the video, you can also watch it on ESPN.com. ESPN MMA Live airs on ESPN 2 Thursday nights at 1AM ET/10PM PT.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/mmaconvert/~3/qJ6m8ZjFtdI/

Vitor Belfort Nate Marquardt Michael Bisping Jon Fitch

UFC 125 fireworks: Stephens steals a win by knocking Davis stiff in the third

Jeremy Stephens isn't the boxer that Marcus Davis is, but when you're using four ounce gloves, any good puncher has a shot. Stephens was struggling to avoid Davis' jab and couldn't find the veteran for two and half rounds. When he finally did with 2:31 remaining in the fight, he left Davis nearly sleeping on his back. Stephens scored a knockout victory at 2:39 of the third round in the final fight of UFC 125 prelims on ION television.

"My whole goal was to be light on feet, in and out, chase these guys down. They're going to run from me," Stephens told UFC.com. "I gotta be a tiger, hunt my prey. That third round, I was pissed. I knew I had to end it." 

This was the fourth loss in five fights for Davis. The former pro boxer was struggling at welterweight so he dropped down to 155 pounds for this one. His smooth boxing gave Stephens lots of trouble in the first two rounds and he was probably heading to unanimous decision win before getting drilled.

Update - Judges Marcos Rosales and Junichiro Kamijo had the fight 1-1, while Glenn Trowbridge had Marcus Davis leading 2-0.

Update II - Stephens one-punch knockout got Knockout of the Night. The bonus was good for $60,000. This is the fourth UFC postfight he's received and his third KO of the Night. 

The southpaw Davis (17-8, 9-6 UFC) worked well behind the jab for most of the first two rounds. It helped him land a great left hook in the first that nearly put Stephens out, but he got a little sloppy with the jab late in the second. Davis' cornerman Mark Dellagrotte told him to avoid lazy jabs in the final round. He didn't listen.

When Davis threw a slow right, Stephens timed it perfectly with his own right straight down the pipe. Davis was out on the way down and Stephens vaulted into one more shot with the fallen fighter on his back. 

"He was winning. He got me with some takedowns. I was clinching with him a bit. You know, I wanted to wear him out. He was strong, he has old man's strength," said the 24-year-old Stephens. 

This was a big win for Stephens (19-6, 6-5 UFC), who was coming off a loss against Melvin Guillard. He had lost 3-of-5 before this victory. 

"I started thinking, I don't want to lose a job. I love the UFC. I've been with these guys since the beginning. That third round I was going to get knocked out or knock him out," said Stephens.

Source: http://sports.yahoo.com/mma/blog/cagewriter/post/UFC-125-fireworks-Stephens-steals-a-win-by-knoc?urn=mma-302360

Dana White Joe Rogan Mike Goldberg Joe Silva

UFC NEWS: Heavyweights Stefan Struve and Travis Browne to meet at UFC 130 in May

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

LogoUFC_150_717.jpg
A heavyweight bout between Stefan Struve and Travis Browne has been agreed upon for the UFC 130 event on Memorial Day weekend in Las Vegas, according to a report from MMAJunkie.com.

Struve had been a possible opponent for Brendan Schaub in March before the UFC put Schaub against Mirko Cro Cop. He's won two straight fights since his knockout loss to Roy Nelson in March, knocking out Christian Morecraft and, most recently, defeating Sean McCorkle by TKO in December.

Browne fought to a disappointing draw with Cheick Kongo in his most recent bout at UFC 120 in London. He was behind on the scorecards, but a point deduction for Kongo in the third round led to the draw. It was Browne's second fight in the Octagon, as he finished TUF 10 competitor James McSweeney in his UFC debut.

UFC 130's only other reported bout at this time is a welterweight fight between Thiago Alves and Rick Story.

Link to Original Source Article

Penick's Analysis: Interesting heavyweight fight. Struve is coming off two big wins, the most recent of which came in a co-main event, so this is could be considered a step down, but Browne's a tough opponent and this should make for a good matchup in Las Vegas on Memorial Day Weekend.

Source: http://www.mmatorch.com/artman2/publish/UFC_2/article_8072.shtml

Frank Mir Alistair Overeem Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira Mauricio Rua

BELLATOR NEWS: Welterweight tournament officially announced for season four, Dan Hornbuckle first confirmed competitor

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Logo_Bellator_150_200.jpg
Bellator's welterweight tournament for season four is official, and it has its first participant.

The organization announced on Monday that season four, which will begin on MTV2 in March, will feature another tournament in the 170 lb. weight class, with the winner getting a shot at Bellator Welterweight Champion Ben Askren.

Only one participant was confirmed for the tournament, and that is season two runner up Dan Hornbuckle, who lost to Askren in the finals of that season's tournament.

"The fact that Ben Askren is going to be there waiting for me after I win this tournament keeps me motivated," said Hornbuckle in today's release. "It keeps me waking up every morning hungry. There's never a loss that is taken easily, so I definitely want to get back in there, win this tournament, and avenge that loss. My sights are definitely still set on obtaining that Bellator gold, but the way that this tournament is shaping up, I can't look past my next fight for a second. This is going to be the toughest welterweight tournament that you will ever see in MMA."

Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney is expecting their strongest field of the three welterweight tournaments they will have conducted.

"While our first two welterweight tournaments have been great, based on the lineup, this tournament is stacked from #1 through 8 and should be our strongest to date,? said Rebney. ?Dan's a significant talent and I know how motivated he is to earn his way to a rematch with Ben, it's great to have him back in."

Source: http://www.mmatorch.com/artman2/publish/Bellator/article_8028.shtml

Joe Silva Chuck Lidell Tito Ortiz Frankie Edgar

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Poirier cuts through the Grispi hype for a decision win at UFC 125

Dustin Poirier derailed the Josh Grispi hype train, beating him in a unanimous decision, 30-27 on all three judges cards at UFC 125 on Saturday night. Grispi had no answer for Poirier's stand-up, and his lack of experience in later rounds showed.

Poirier surprised Grispi in the first round, landing several striking unanswered combinations. He used a front kick both to create distance and to knock Grispi on the ground. Twice, when Grispi tried for a takedown, Poirier ended up on top. Grispi tried for a Kimura near the end of the round, but couldn't finish.

In Grispi's first second round since the Spring of 2007, Grispi attempted to take Poirier down and maintain control. He couldn't do it. Poirier moved to the top, pinned Grispi's arm down and landed short punches before letting Grispi stand up. Back on the ground, Grispi tried for a triangle choke. Poirier slammed Grispi off of his neck and then followed up with a strike.

Poirier utilized the clinch for much of the third round, landing knee after knee on the exhausted Grispi. He was able to get a takedown with less than a minute left, but he wasn't able to do anything to Poirier from the top position.

Grispi had been scheduled to fight UFC featherweight champ Jose Aldo on ths card, but an injury sideline the champ. Grispi wanted to still fight on the card, and was given Poirier. Given the beating that Poirier put down, it was clear that Grispi was not the fighter to end Aldo's run. 

Source: http://sports.yahoo.com/mma/blog/cagewriter/post/Poirier-cuts-through-the-Grispi-hype-for-a-decis?urn=mma-302357

Tito Ortiz Frankie Edgar Georges St-Pierre Anderson Silva