Saturday, April 30, 2011
Saturday July 30
Airing on Showtime or PPV
Rumored fight card for July 30:
* Dan Henderson (#8 Ranked Light Heavyweight) vs. Fedor Emelianenko (#9 Ranked Heavyweight)
* Ronaldo Souza (#6 Ranked Middleweight) vs. TBA (for Strikeforce Middleweight Championship)
* Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante vs. Ovince St. Preux
* Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal vs. Roger Gracie
* Tarec Saffiedine vs. Evangelista Santos
Per the report the delay comes as Sonnen's probation officer won't clear him to enter Clark County next week due to the Laughlin River Run motorcycle rally. There is apparently a mandate in place to keep convicted felons out of the county during the rally after rampant violence at past versions of the annual rally, namely the 2002 rally that saw a brawl break out between rival motorcycle gangs The Mongols and Hells Angels. That brawl left three bikers dead and led to this "preemptive step" against any felons entering the county during subsequent rallys.
Sonnen will be appearing in front of the commission in an attempt to get himself re-licensed in the state both to fight and to corner other fighters. Sonnen admitted to using testosterone for what he claims is a diagnosed condition of hypogonadism for his fight with Anderson Silva at UFC 117, and at his suspension appeal with the California State Athletic Commission in December, Sonnen stated he had been on the treatment prior to his UFC 109 fight with Nate Marquardt in Nevada, and that he had gotten approval from NSAC executive director Keith Kizer for the treatment.
He has since admitted that no such conversations took place, though he falls back on saying his manager spoke with Kizer and he claims he took his managers advice. Due to those statements, his TRT and more, there's no guarantee he will be licensed by the state of Nevada. However, he will have a chance to answer the commission's questions and they will then determine by a majority vote whether or not they will license him to fight and to corner others.
Link to Original Source Article
Penick's Analysis: This circus is delayed a few weeks longer for Sonnen. This hearing with the NSAC is going to be interesting, and could turn into a similar mess as the one he had with the CSAC in December. Still, moving it to mid-May would still allow the UFC to tap him as one of the coaches on The Ultimate Fighter 14 if that's the route they want to take, as the season won't begin filming until June. I think signs are still pointing to that unfortunately being the case, but we'll find out what the NSAC rules at that meeting next month before the next step can be determined.
The hard-hitting Barboza moved his perfect record to 8-0 in his second appearance in the Octagon last month, as he defeated WEC-import Anthony Njokuani by decision at UFC 128 in that event's "Fight of the Night." That win was a follow-up to his successful debut last November, where he destroyed Mike Lullo's legs with kicks, leading to the stoppage in the third round.
Pearson bounced back from the first loss of his UFC career when he defeated Spencer Fisher by decision in February in Australia. The TUF 9 winner had won his first three fights in the UFC before being submitted by Cole Miller last September, but the win over the longtime UFC vet Fisher has him back on track.
UFC 134 takes place from the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on August 27, headlined by the Middleweight Championship bout between Anderson Silva and Yushin Okami.
Penick's Analysis: This card is beginning to fill up nicely, and the UFC will continue putting a Brazilian in each fight for the home country crowd. This fight is a really good one in the lightweight division between two very good strikers who are sure to bring a very entertaining fight for the card. It will be Pearson's boxing against Barboza's kicks and overall striking game, and that makes for a very interesting fight overall.
Filed under: UFCThose stuffy buzz-kills at the FBI may have ruined everybody's fun when it comes to online poker, but fortunately there are still online sports bookies handicapping UFC 129 and giving us something to talk about as we twiddle our anxious thumbs on this Friday afternoon.
Let's take a look at how oddsmakers see the action going down on Saturday, and then speculate irresponsibly as to where they might have gone wrong.
Per the report, venues in Nottingham and Liverpool have been tapped for the event, and Nottingham could be the leading candidate should Dan Hardy be available for the card, as that is his hometown.
Unless they book another event in the U.K. prior to the October date, it would be the UFC's first event there since last October's UFC 120 in London, England. This would mark the UFC's first-ever event in either city, as they have previously run in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Newcastle.
Though their returns to the United Kingdom have gotten fewer and farther between, UFC executive Marshall Zelaznik has promised a more frequent return across the pond in the near future.
Friday, April 29, 2011
It’s the classic “striker vs. grappler” bout here, as Akiyo Nishiura, better known as “Wicky”, will be taking on former UFC title challenger and Japanese legend Caol Uno in a featherweight bout.
While Uno has had a long and storied career, he has [...]
Though he lost the decision, he has been given a consolation prize with a spot in the next Bellator bantamweight tournament. Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney confirmed that consideration in comments made to MMAJunkie.com.
Rebney agreed that the 30-27 score handed down in Warren's favor was "completely out of line," but also tried to quell talk of a fix with the assertion made by all promoters in situations like these.
"The commissions and judges that oversee our events are appointed by the state or by the tribal nation that we work with," he said. "We don't control them. Sometimes they do an amazing job, and sometimes they don't. But they're human beings, and our sport remains comparatively new when you compare it to boxing and other combat sports."
"We've seen it across all promotions. There isn't a group of highly qualified professional judges in mixed martial arts. It's not because people don't want to be good or don't care but because MMA is relatively new. I'm not the first person to say it, and I don't think it's defamatory toward judges. We need to strive to get people who want to judge mixed martial arts better education."
There's no definitive word on when the next Bellator bantamweight tournament will take place, though it could come in this year's fifth season.
Link to Original Source Article
Penick's Analysis: With him already being under contract with Bellator with taking this fight against Warren, Galvao will at least be guaranteed a number of fights and a chance to make a lot of money during the next bantamweight tourney. All it takes is winning his fights, and hoping he doesn't again get screwed by poor judging.
Jason "Mayhem" Miller, a veteran of Strikeforce and DREAM and the star of MTV's "Bully Beatdown" has signed a multi-fight deal with the UFC after his Strikeforce deal expired, as reported by MMA Fighting and confirmed by Miller's Twitter account.
He plans to fight in the UFC's middleweight division:
"I will beat the brakes off most of the guys in the middleweight divisions in the UFC," he said. "I guaran-damn-tee it."
Miller hasn't fought since a DREAM win over the legendary Kazushi Sakuraba in September 2010. His last Strikeforce bout was a year ago in Nashville. He won over Tim Stout, then jumped in the cage after Jake Shields' win, sparking a brawl resulted in suspensions. He has fought in the UFC before: one loss to now-welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre.
This is the first big signing of a former Strikeforce fighter since Zuffa, the UFC's parent company, bought Strikeforce. At the time of the purchase, UFC president Dana White said that business would continue as usual and that the UFC and Strikeforce would continue to compete for fighters. Miller's contract had expired, and he hadn't had any Strikeforce fights in more than a year.
Many of the UFC's top middleweights are already tied up with fights, so it will be interesting to see where they will slot Miller first. Do you think they should challenge him with a top middleweight? Or bring him back into the fold slowly? Tell us in the comments or on Facebook.
Gesias "JZ" Cavalcante frustrated with lack of fights in Strikeforce, still hasn't been paid by DREAM
It's this setup that has led to frustration among many fighters healthy and able to fight, who have simply not been utilized on Strikeforce's cards as often as they perhaps should. The latest to voice his concern is lightweight Gesias "JZ" Cavalcante, who made his Strikeforce debut last October with a close and controversial split decision loss to Josh Thomson.
In an interview with Tatame.com, Cavalcante vented some of his anger about the situation, and expressed some hope that things might change with Zuffa now in charge of Strikeforce.
"[Things with Strikeforce are not] good at all. They've been promising me a fight since December and every month they say the same thing: that I'll be on their next card, next month," he said. "Meanwhile they've offered me two bouts with five days in advance and I asked them some time to think about it. They called me in the morning and I asked them to give an answer in the evening. Then, when I called them, they have found someone already, and they didn't tell me anything, they didn't call me... I hope that with Strikeforce's purchase [by Zuffa], its organization will improve, and also its structure."
His frustrations are compounding with not getting a fight in Strikeforce, as he claims he has still not yet been paid by DREAM for his last fight in Japan, a split decision win over Katsunori Kikuno.
"My manager called them, but nobody [responded], nobody answers," he said about his attempts to get what he's owed. "It's disrespectful, the guys disappeared. The situation in Japan's not good, because of the tsunami, but it's no excuse, because it's been a year. They should, at least, answer me, because there are people saying they plan to produce another event.
"I'm considering, I'm looking for a [lawyer], trying to find another agency in Japan, somebody from there, who's closer to it, so that I can get this cleared up."
It's another reason Cavalcante sees Zuffa's purchase of Strikeforce as a good thing, though he believes an eventual monopoly of the sport wouldn't be a good thing. That said, he hopes some other promotions are able to start up, and he hopes to keep his options open in the future.
"It's never good when there's a monopoly, it's complicated," he said. "For now, it's good because it's two different events, with individual contracts. If you have a contract with UFC, you have nothing to do with Strikeforce. It'll be good for the sport, because in the end of the day, you can have super fights, with people from both events, and you can reach different markets, but I'm waiting for other events too. The world is too big, and I hope that other countries grow and that new shows come up."
Link to Full Interview
Penick's Analysis: If Showtime was willing to air preliminary card fights to fill time on cards instead of simply going off the air once the main event is finished, even with time remaining on their broadcasts, it would help take care of some of these issues. There are a bunch of fighters on the roster that don't get fights because of recent losses that keep them off the main cards, or because they have names and contracts too big for the "challengers" series. Having even two or three undercard fights booked by Strikeforce that could possibly be broadcast to fill time allows them to keep more fighters active and not on the sidelines for overly lengthy periods of time.
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Thursday, April 28, 2011
ROUNDTABLE (pt. 2 of 2): Reactions to Zuffa's plans on moving Strikeforce to pay-per-view in July - Perez, Hyden, Hobaugh, Leet, Williams and Park
ANWAR PEREZ, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
Strikeforce on pay-per-view should be quite interesting. �I actually think it'll be harder than when Zuffa moved WEC to pay-per-view for the Jose Also vs. Urijah Faber fight. �With the UFC promotional machine behind it, it should do well, but it'll really be telling to see what changes will be made to the overall programming for Strikeforce, similar to what happened to the WEC with their foray into pay-per-view. �It has an opportunity to set itself apart, albeit, with the Zuffa brand behind it.
FRANK HYDEN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I don't really like it that much. I just don't think Strikeforce has enough talent to justify putting them on pay-per-view. Fans expect a certain level of quality, and it has to be on a consistent basis. Strikeforce has some very talented fighters, but not enough of them to justify this move, especially with the June 18 card they've got set up. Also, the brand Strikeforce doesn't carry the same weight that the UFC does, it'll be a hard sell to the casual fan.
ERIC HOBAUGH, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Strikeforce has mostly second tier fighters and they should be on free TV. Having said that, any time Dana White is involved he will do what makes Zuffa the most money.� I think that if they do not use UFC fighters on all of their pay-per-view shows the buy rates will be very poor.� The only way that the buy rates are respectable is if the cost is much less than the UFC pay-per-views.
LARAMEY LEET, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
As a fan, I really do not like it. We pay enough money in just watching the UFC pay-per-view. At the same time, I find the Strikeforce and Showtime presentation to be a little weak. I do not care for the announcers, the extra time at the end of an event, and sometime their overall ignorance of what the hell they are doing. So it would be interesting to see what the UFC does when Showtime is not in the picture.
ALEX WILLIAMS, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
It's a bad idea.� The PPV market is already oversaturated with shows that don't belong on PPV.
CHRIS PARK, MMATORCH UK SPECIALIST
The set up is really bizarre in the UK compared to the States. Being a relatively non-pay-per-view country, the set up with ESPN UK has been going very well. Single monthly payments and you get everything the channel has to offer (including the last minute signing of The Ultimate Fighter 13.)
Strikeforce, however, has been on pay-per-view station "Primetime" for the last few months and ironically means that, while �9-�12 a month will provide you with all the UFC that's availiable, a Strikeforce event requires a viewer to cough up and extra �10.
That said, last weekend's showing was something special and shows like that are worth every penny.
UFC 129's Ben Henderson - "Mark Bocek can be the best jiu jitsu guy at lightweight; I want to be the best fighter"
Going from headlining a WEC event in front of 6,300 people in Glendale, Arizona to making his UFC debut in front of 55,000 fans in Toronto, Henderson is doing what he can to prepare for the crowd, but at the end of the day he's simply thankful for the opportunity to be a part of such a historic event.
"I've been truly blessed by god for all my life, and I consider this a blessing," Henderson told MMATorch on Wednesday. "It's a great opportunity for me to go out there and showcase my skills in front of what's guaranteed to be a record-setting crowd at the Rogers Centre, and what's [likely] going to be a record-setting [event for] pay-per-view buys, and I'm just thankful to the UFC brass for giving me this chance."
Henderson says they've been doing what they can to prepare for what is sure to be a crazy crowd at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. He's fought in front of the bright lights before, but never has he experienced anything like what he'll see on this card and in this venue. For Henderson, the important thing is to not get worried about the distractions and simply focus on the task at hand.
"We're aware of [the difference in atmosphere for this event]," he said. "John Crouch, my head MMA trainer and jiu jitsu instructor, he's a really smart guy. We're going to be well prepared for [the crowd]. It's hard to emulate that or recreate that, but we've tried as much as possible in our training sessions. Turn the volume up on the stereo real loud, have everyone yell as I tried to listen to his voice in particular out of the whole crowd.
"It is new [being in the UFC]. I did [take part] in some pretty big moments, some pretty historic moments in the WEC, [but] this is a whole new level. I think for me the key is to go out and do what I normally do, go out there and fight, do whatever it takes to get my hand raised. I just focus on that, focus on the fight itself. I try not to worry too much about the crowd, about the booing or whatever else is going on. I just worry about the fight, and normally, for the most part, my fights take care of themselves."
Following a UFC 124 submission win over Dustin Hazelett - his fourth submission win over his last five fights - Mark Bocek declared that he had the best jiu jitsu game in the lightweight division. Henderson himself is a submission specialist, picking up eight of his 12 career wins by form of submission, but he says he's not after that moniker.
"I think that if Mark Bocek wants to be known as the best jiu jitsu guy in the lightweight division, that's fine by me. I just want to be known as the best fighter," Henderson said. "He can be the best jiu jitsu guy, it doesn't really concern me too much. I'm going to go out there and do what I always do, and that's whatever it takes."
Henderson is well aware of the ground threat that Bocek presents, and with a hostile pro-Bocek crowd in Toronto facing him, Henderson knows what he needs to be aware of. At the same time, he says he's more than willing to go wherever the fight needs to go in order for him to pick up the win.
"I definitely have to be aware of his submissions," he said. "Not [just that], but his wrestling and his clock-eating abilities. He's known for getting on top of guys and wearing them down and wearing them down and wearing them down. He's actively working, he's trying to do stuff, but it takes him three and a half minutes to do whatever he's trying to do and then he's already taken up a large chunk of the clock. So we're definitely going to stay aware of his jiu jitsu game but also his clock-eating abilities.
"I'm absolutely comfortable wherever this fight goes. If we stay standing, if we're up against the fence, if we're on the ground, if we're doing whatever it doesn't matter to me. I'm completely comfortable in any position in the Octagon."
Coming from the WEC, Henderson knows full well the stigma that had been attached to him and his fellow colleagues in the sister promotion's lightweight division. While he has fond memories of his stint in the WEC, and knows it's the place that really introduced him to the MMA world for the first time, he's now ready to see just what he can do against the top tier of the lightweight division in the UFC.
"Overall the whole experience of the WEC was really awesome. I got to go to a bunch of big fights, I got to take part in a bunch of big fights... It was the first place where I got to be known on a national and international level. [Now, coming over to the UFC, the stigma against WEC lightweights is] not the biggest deal to me, but it is something I have taken mental notes on and
I am aware of. I am aware that former WEC fighters against UFC fighters are now 3-3 [inside the Octagon].
"For me it's been a long time coming, because for a longtime I had to hear about and was questioned by the media, the journalists, the fans and the critics, hearing about how WEC fighters would stack up in the UFC and how we were [supposedly] second-class fighters to the UFC guys. For the longest time my only answer was to say 'who knows, we'll see.' And now we get to find out once we actually get into the UFC and get into the cage, there's no point in talking about it. Who can predict the future? One way to find out is to actually get in there. And I'm excited because now it's my chance to get in there. It's a good question, let's find out how I stack up against some of those upper tier UFC lightweight guys."
Henderson is a man of faith, and you won't hear him speak of his accomplishments and his life in general without a continued acknowledgement of how and why he believes he's gotten to this point.
"First and foremost, as always, [I give thanks] to my lord god above on high," said Henderson. "He's blessed me every day of my life and I want to continue to praise his name and thank him. Not just after you win a world championship fight, not just after you win a Super Bowl, not just after you win an NBA championship, I want to thank him each and every chance I get. Every interview I make it a point to thank god and praise his name."
Though he's focused on getting through his first fight in the Octagon, and the tough task at hand in Mark Bocek, Henderson's ultimate goal is to be the best fighter in the division. For him, that means a willingness to take on any and all comers, and now that he's in the UFC he feels that option will be available to him.
"[I want to fight] everybody," he said. "I'm here for everybody. I want to be the best fighter at 155 lbs. I want to be the best fighter on the planet, period. I want to beat everybody, there's not any one guy in particular... but as a true competitor and a man who loves a challenge, I want to face everybody, I want to beat everybody."
Henderson and Bocek meet on the pay-per-view card of next week's UFC 129 event from the Rogers Centre. Follow Ben before and after the fight on Twitter at @SMOOTHone155, as well as his Facebook fan page at http://www.facebook.com/smoothbenhenderson. You can also follow his coach John Crouch's gym at JCBJJ.com.
Georges St. Pierre believes UFC 129 opponent Jake Shields would beat all of his previous challengers
"This is foolish," St. Pierre said on a pre-fight teleconference this week. "This is like a trap for me. I'm not going to fall into that trap... I'm going to tell you something about Jake Shields. When everyone thought he was going to lose to Robbie Lawler, I knew he was going to win. When everyone thought he was going to lose to Dan Henderson, I knew, I told all my friends [as] I was watching the fight, I knew he was going to win. I knew every single time Jake Shields was going into a fight as an underdog, I knew, I had a strong belief that he was going to win."
"When I talk about Jake Shields, I know the danger of the fight because I know grappling. I know what I'm [going up] against. I don't know 100 percent, but I'm going to find out how dangerous this could be. The people who make the odds don't even acknowledge the true skillset of Jake Shields, and that's something that really pisses me off. Because I have the pressure of going through Jake Shields like a knife in butter. But they don't understand the danger."
St. Pierre holds Shields in very high regard, and knows the dangers his challenger possesses in his ground game. St. Pierre has faced strikers, grapplers, wrestlers and well-rounded fighters during the last four years, a stretch in which he hasn't lost a round, but for the Champion Shields is a fighter that he believes is above the rest of that field.
"I'm going to tell you right now, I strongly believe that if I put Jake against any of the contenders that I have fought before, Jake would have won the fight," he said. "That's why this fight, when I say this fight the bar is raised higher than it's ever been before, I'm not lying about it."
The two will finally meet at the Rogers Centre in front of 55,000 fans next Saturday, live on pay-per-view.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Fitch's injury forced him out of a UFC 132 bout with B.J. Penn, a rematch of their UFC 127 headlining bout that ended in a draw. He was hoping to rehab and return to training, but after meeting with his doctor today he got the bad news.
"This is the longest I've ever gone without training. Hope the doc has good news today," Fitch wrote early in the day. Then came the bad news:
"Looks like I will be getting shoulder surgery next week. Not the news I was looking for."
When asked on Twitter how long he would be out for, Fitch revealed it's now expected to be four to six months after surgery.
Penick's Analysis: Penn won't be out nearly as long, so I think we'll see him return to action early in the fall against someone else, and a rematch with Fitch could come either later in the year or early in 2012. Hopefully for Fitch the surgery goes off without a hitch and he can rehab the shoulder back to health sooner rather than later. This is definitely unfortunate news, but Fitch is a resilient fighter and he'll get back as soon as he's able.
[Jon Fitch art by Cory Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
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The three-part series will bring new episodes each Wednesday beginning at midnight ET leading into their April 30 scrap, and will follow both fighters in their training camps as they prepare for the Welterweight Championship fight.
This is St. Pierre's third stint on the program, having previously taken part in the three-part series for fights with B.J. Penn and Dan Hardy.
Replays of the half-hour episode will air on Thursdays at 1:30AM ET and 11PM ET. Subsequent episodes will replay in the same timeslots in the coming weeks.
Researchers at Cal State Fullerton took a look at how weight-cutting affects wrestlers, and the results might surprise you. Cutting six pounds or more in a short period of time tends to lead to confusion among the athletes, but their strength is not affected.
The researchers found that wrestlers who lost 4 percent or more of their body mass had significantly higher levels of confusion on the day of the competition. There was no increased confusion for those who lost less than 4 percent of their body mass. Body mass reduction had no effect on other psychological functions or on grip strength or lower body power, said the researchers at California State University, Fullerton.
The weight-cutting that wrestlers do is generally of a smaller amount than fighters because they do it more often, and at the collegiate level, wrestle the same day that they weigh-in.
Fighters generally get at least 24 hours to recover from cutting down for weigh-ins, but also usually cut more weight. The study noted that decision-making is affected by weight cuts. Both Efrain Escudero and Thiago Alves did not look like themselves in bouts where they had blown weight the day before.
Consider that the next time you watch a fighter who has had significant weight-cutting issues. Is he slowing down, or is it his mental skills that are breaking down?
Nick Diaz could have some success in boxing. He wouldn't have nearly the success that he enjoys in MMA, though. Perhaps he craves a new challenge, though. One of the reasons Diaz gave for not seeing a future for himself in MMA is money. Hell, I have no problem with that, who doesn't want more money? Everyone wants to get paid. The reality, though, is that Diaz will likely make more money fighting in MMA than he would in boxing. The main reason for that is that he'll be more successful in MMA than in boxing.
Right now the UFC has to deal with the headache Nick Diaz is creating by his comments and actions. To borrow a phrase from Woody Paige, I'm solutions-oriented and here's what I would do. The UFC should sign Nick Diaz to fight Georges St. Pierre, regardless of what happens in GSP's fight against Jake Shields.
If GSP beats Shields, you have a Welterweight Title unification bout. We all know this is where things are headed after Zuffa bought Strikeforce anyway, why not have it now? Even if GSP loses to Shields, I would still sign GSP vs. Diaz. GSP would need to earn his way to a title shot, and what better way to do that then to have him fight for the Strikeforce Welterweight Title? Can anyone name someone who deserves a shot at the Strikeforce Welterweight Title more?
I know this is dicey, as Diaz and Shields wouldn't fight each other, but I don't think it would even be an issue because I think that GSP can beat either one very handily.
Giving Nick Diaz a fight against GSP will placate Diaz because it would be the biggest fight of his career, both athletically and financially. It would also give GSP a new opponent to face, rather than a rematch against someone he's already dominated.
The UFC is going to run an event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in August. Royce Gracie has stated that he wishes to fight at this card. Art Jimmerson and Dan Severn have both publicly challenged Gracie to a fight at this card. If Gracie wants to fight another legend, that's cool. It'd be a nice throwback to his glory days, and it's a special occasion. If I had to choose an opponent from Jimmerson and Severn, I would definitely choose Severn. It's been a long time since Jimmerson fought while Severn just fought in February and is scheduled to fight two more times in the next few months.
I think a Severn vs. Gracie fight would be a good old school moment for the UFC. I'm for it, as long as it doesn't happen too often. It should be reserved for certain times and events, and only with fighters who are in shape to compete. Having two UFC legends collide would be a nice addition to a pay-per-view, though it should be the third fight in a triple main event card. It's nice to look back sometimes, but you also have to keep looking forward.
Comments and suggestions can be sent to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
A tantalizing matchup between middleweight superstars Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) and Vitor Belfort (19-9 MMA, 8-4...
Monday, April 25, 2011
Saturday August 27
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Airing on PPV
* Anderson Silva (#1 Ranked Middleweight) vs. Yushin Okami <#2 Ranked Middleweight) (for UFC Middleweight Championship)
* Mauricio Rua (#2 Ranked Light Heavyweight) vs. Forrest Griffin (#6 Ranked Light Heavyweight)
* Ross Pearson vs. Edson Barboza
* Thiago Tavares vs. Spencer Fisher
* Luiz Cane vs. Stanislav Nedkov
* Yuri Alcantara vs. Mackens Semerzier
Filed under: UFC
Jason "Mayhem" Miller's return to the Octagon will take place in July, as he battles Aaron Simpson at UFC 132. The UFC announced the Miller-Simpson fight on Saturday, a day after Miller's signing with the UFC was confirmed.
There's no word yet on whether Miller-Simpson will be on the pay-per-view card, but it would be an ideal fight for a Spike TV preliminary bout. Thanks to his brash personality and his status as host of MTV's Bully Beatdown, Miller was one of the most famous mixed martial artists outside the UFC, and his presence on a basic-cable bout would draw some eyeballs and likely reel in some casual fans to make a last-minute pay-per-view purchase.
Rashad Evans says Jon Jones is fake, will be the "Milli Vanilli" of MMA in response to Jones interview
An interview Jones did with ESPN's Josh Gross this week has drawn the ire of Evans once again, who took to Twitter in response to comments made by the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. Jones commented on their time training together in the interview, and it was a comment meant to garner a response.
"We fought each other in practice," he said. "A finish has been possible several times and it has always been me finishing him. I never did it out of respect that he was the elder of the school. It's against protocol in a way. Some people would do it but I believe in tradition.
"He has a lot to study. I have a lot to study, but I get to study[ing] more in-depth. He gets to study[ing] and gets a headache."
Obviously, Evans didn't take to kindly to the notion that Jones wouldn't finish him in practice out of "respect", especially when said respect didn't apply to the gym's policy of not fighting teammates. In a series of Tweets both aimed at Jones and responding to fans on Twitter, Evans responded:
"[Jones] will [be] mma's version of Milli Vinilli... Wait until the curtain comes down [cause] it will!"
"[I'm] telling [you] that record is about [to] start skipping! 'Girl [you] know, girl [you] know, know,... It's true, true true' (laughs)"
"[Jones] is a swagger jacker"
"He is fake! The fighting is off the hook but as a person he is fake!"
To Jones, whose only response was "#cmonson" - "It's been on!! Get off your own fan bus [cause] nobody is driving! [You] ain't as raw as [you] believe & I'm gonna show ya!"
"I'm just annoyed how he said he could've finished me in practice.. [Are you] kidding me?! (laughs) This dude is nuts!!"
"[Jones] must [be] high! [Cause I] remember him looking at me begging me [to] let him up [cause] he couldn't get back [to] his feet in training."
Finally, to Jones - "[You] ain't forgot what I can do [to you]! Don't believe your hype! [Ask] your coaches! I'm gonna introduce the world [to] the real [you]!"
Is it September yet?
Penick's Analysis: In the same interview with Josh Gross, Jones admitted that he says things on purpose in order to drive controversy and interest. His exact comment was "I'm not afraid to push the envelope. Controversy is good for your career. It gets your Twitter followers up. Some people are going to love it. Some people are going to hate it. I did it on purpose." So I think he knew exactly what his comment was going to get from Rashad. Whether or not he was given trouble by Evans in training doesn't matter right now, because they'll be developing separately over the next six months or so for this fight. It's going to be huge, and there's going to be even more of this type of thing from the two. It's going to keep people interested, it's going to make people take sides, it's going to get two factions of fans heading into this fight and it's all going to be fantastic.
The UFC did what it could to push DeMarco Murray past former Heisman winner Mark Ingram, but the efforts to get the Las Vegan the cover of EA Sports NCAA Football '12 fell short.
After 140,000 votes were cast, Ingram beat out Murray along with future NFL draft picks Nick Fairley and Jake Locker for the cover.
Why did the UFC care if Murray landed the prestigious spot?
The former Oklahoma running back has ties to the UFC's owner Lorenzo Fertitta and president Dana White. Murray attended Bishop Gorman, the same Las Vegas high school, as the UFC powers.
During a video campaign on UFC.com and mentions on the promotion's Facebook page, White pointed out that Murray is a longtime MMA fan, who supported the sport in its infancy during live events in Sin City.
Murray's also a fan of MMA training.
"It's definitely a lot different than what I do on the football field, but some things you can translate into your game. I spent three, four weeks in Las Vegas training with [striking coach James Gifford] at Lorenzo's gym, and that definitely helped me out a lot with my hand coordination and speed, along with working muscles that I've never worked on in football," Murray told UFC.com.
According to MMAjunkie, Murray plans on wearing something with the UFC logo during next week's draft.
Saturday August 6
Wells Fargo Center
Airing on PPV
* Vitor Belfort (#9 Ranked Middleweight) vs.Yoshihiro Akiyama
* Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (#9 Ranked Middleweight) vs. Rich Franklin
* Jorge Rivera vs. Alessio Sakara
* Brian Ebersole vs. Dennis Hallman
* Michael McDonald vs. Nick Pace
* Riki Fukuda vs. Rafael Natal
Team dos Santos has the momentum from last week's win. Who will win the next fight? Will Brock Lesnar misuse more colloquialisms? Who paints his toenails? Read on for spoilers and a recap this week's episode.
Lollygagging of the week: After the loss, Lesnar is disappointed in the work ethic of his team, making me think that Lesnar learned his coaching style from:
You know what that makes you? Lollygaggers.
Fight announcement of the week: Team dos Santos has this week's pick, so he picks Ramsey Nijem to take on Lesnar's Charlie Rader, who Lesnar called out for lollygagging.
J. Crew model of the week: Nijem has painted toe nails and loves Glee, which give his teammates a reason to make fun of him."Everyone makes fun of me for watching Glee, but those kids are talented," Nijem says. No argument here.
Like a two-year-old, he takes his clothes off at the drop of a hat. He likes to joke around with his teammates, which may be a ruse to throw his opponents off. Perhaps, or perhaps not.
Cameo of the week: Brock Lesnar brings in UFC Hall-of-Famer Matt Hughes to work with his fighters on wrestling. Now, far be it from me to question Lesnar, but he is a former wrestler with pretty strong bona fides, and so he brought it another wrestler ... ? I love wrestling as much as anybody, but wouldn't it make sense to bring in a coach to shore up weaknesses? Nonetheless, Brock's team loves working with Hughes, a legendary welterweight.
As both teams talk about this fight, they're absolutely sure that the other team is underestimating the other. Both teams think that their fighter's advantage will be wrestling. Hmmm.
Misuse of the word disgrace of the week: Lesnar tells Rader that if he doesn't win, it's a disgrace because Nijem paints his toenails. I'd like to see Lesnar call Chuck Liddell a disgrace.
Fight of the week: Ramsey Nijem (Team dos Santos) vs. Charlie Rader (Team Lesnar)
Round One: Nijem starts by driving Rader into the fence in a clinch. They continue to pummel for much of the round until Nijem throws an inadvertent knee to Rader's crotch. Once broken apart, Nijem dives in for another takedown attempt. Though he has trouble getting it, he does inflict damage with knees and short strikes. He finally puts Rader on his back after tons of work. Rader springs back to his feet, but Nijem brings him back to the ground and stays in control for the rest of the round.
Round Two: This time, Nijem has no problem getting the takedown. He takes Rader's back and controls him at the beginning of the round, throwing short strikes until he can flatten Rader out and apply a rear-naked choke. Rader didn't put up much of a fight, and tapped to give Nijem the win.
After the fight, Lesnar said that he was worried from the start of the fight, when he saw the look in Nijem's eyes. He also says that Rader quit, an idea that Dana White backed up.
Quote of the week: "I don't even care. These guys don't want to even be here." -- Brock Lesnar
Lesnar clearly doesn't know how to handle fighters who don't have the same drive as he has. He rips them for choking and not caring. It's going to be a long season if Lesnar and his fighters don't get on the same page.