Mitsuhiro Ishida: Gilbert Melendez Better Get Ready for 'Something Special'
Mitsuhiro Ishida will be stepping in on two weeks' notice this Saturday at Strikeforce as he attempts to repeat the biggest win of his career in a lightweight title bout against interim champion Gilbert Melendez.
Ishida (18-5-1), who handed Melendez (15-2) the first loss of his career at "Yarennoka!" on New Year's Eve 2007, accepted the rematch in place of the only other person to hand Melendez a loss, the injured champ Josh Thomson.
Chuck Liddell: 'Hard for an Athlete to Quit What He's Done His Whole Life'
Four months after his most recent fight, a loss to Shogun Rua at UFC 97, Chuck Liddell is relaxing and enjoying life. But he's not ready to say he's retired.
In an interview Wednesday with FanHouse, Liddell said that he doesn't know if he'll fight again, and he doesn't know when he'll be ready to retire. Liddell wants to determine the future of his career on his own schedule, and he's only going to decide for sure after he gets back in the gym and tests himself again.
Liddell also talked about connecting with the fans, dealing with a Twitter imposter, and his acting career. The full interview is below.
EXCITED FOR WIN, BOWLES EXPECTS REMATCH SOON
With Nevada State Athletic Commission officials herding him to the exit door, new WEC bantamweight champion Brian Bowles looked a mixture of relieved, happy, and hurt. A sizable bump protruded from his left hand, the result of one of the many shots dealt to Miguel Torres in a title taking performance.
He was ready to let his hair down. The hospital would be first, but afterwards, he wanted to party.
“It’s been a long time preparing for this fight,” Bowles told MMAWeekly.com. “I’m ready to let loose a little bit.”
KURT PELLEGRINO SCORES A UFC TRIFECTA
Over a brief period of time it looked like UFC lightweight Kurt Pellegrino may be on his way down the 155-pound ladder, or worse yet, out of the company.
Losses in two out of three fights, to Joe Stevenson and Nate Diaz, had Pellegrino reeling, looking for a way to rebound and get his career back on track.
Enter fellow UFC lightweight contender Kenny Florian.
After moving back to his native New Jersey and making a decision to join Florian’s camp in Boston, Pellegrino has flourished, winning three straight fights, including this past Saturday’s win at UFC 101 over Josh Neer.
UFC 1 COMMENTATOR KATHY LONG MAKES MMA DEBUT
The breakout mainstream success that has been achieved by Gina Carano may seem like a new phenomenon, but in truth she is simply the latest in a line of women to achieve such things.
In the 90’s it was Kathy “The Punisher” Long who parlayed her success in the kickboxing and boxing ring to movie roles in such films as Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers and Tim Burton's Batman Returns to even making an appearance as a commentator at UFC 1.
GINA CARANO IS BRINGING THE PASSION BACK
For Gina Carano, it’s a good thing that her next opponent, Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos, is the scariest fighter south of the equator. If she wasn’t, Carano would have a hard time getting into the gym.
On Saturday, history will be made in San Jose, Calif., when the two face off as headliners of a major MMA card in the midst of a headline-filled summer. Strikeforce, the sole second of the UFC, booked the fight for five, five-minute rounds to the objections of some of its fighters. The logic was that female fighters always steal the show, especially when one of those fighters is the first and only female to crossover on the mainstream radar.
UFC Gives Thales Leites His Walking Papers
Thales Leites, who less than four months ago competed for the UFC middleweight title, was given his walking papers in a meeting Wednesday afternoon with the UFC, FanHouse confirmed with a source close to Leites.
Leites (14-3) had exclusively fought for the UFC since The Ultimate Fighter 4 Finale in November 2006, where he lost his promotional debut to Martin Kampmann, but would bounce back with five straight wins to earn a shot against champion Anderson Silva. However, after the two turned out a lackluster and tentative five-round performance, both faced heavy criticism and required a strong follow-up outing to restore their reputation.
MATYUSHENKO RETURNS AT UFC 103
The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Wednesday confirmed the return of Vladimir Matyushenko to the promotion, announcing a bout between the Belarusian and Croatian fighter Igor Pokrajac.
They will meet on the undercard of UFC 103 in Dallas, which features a main event pitting Rich Franklin against Vitor Belfort.
Forrest Griffin’s speedy exit at UFC 101 ‘wasn’t really a big deal’
“He wasn’t injured. He’s an emotional guy and he just didn’t feel like sticking around. He’s done that before. After the Jardine fight, they kind of surrounded him a little bit, but he said a couple of things into the mic and left the cage pretty quickly. Just the emotions of…here is a guy who is very confident that he could win this fight and he just never had a chance to get off. He’s an emotional creature, so he left the cage. It wasn’t really a big deal. I think people are making a bigger deal about it then it really is. It wasn’t anything left to see anyway. Anderson had beaten him and it wasn’t like it was going to a decision. We already knew what happened, so he decided to go into the back and get his tape off and get changed and everything else. I think he was kind of comforting us more than anything else because we were all down and bothered and you know, that’s that.”
– Xtreme Couture boxing coach Ron Frazier tells FightHype.com that the hoopla surrounding Forrest Griffin’s mad dash for the locker room following his knockout loss to Anderson Silva at UFC 101 was much ado about nothing — and that most of what people wanted to know in his post-fight comments was already covered in the few minutes he spent getting manhandled by “The Spider.” Do fighters have an obligation to their opponents to stay for the official announcement? Or is it okay to split if they’re not in the right frame of mind? Sound off, Maniacs.
Anderson, Ideals and Atychiphobia
by Jordan Breen (email@example.com)
Anderson Silva is a great fighter.
No, I know, that's not a startling revelation, let alone an interesting one. After his three-minute mauling of Forrest Griffin on Saturday night, the ever-fickle MMA public has decided that Silva is to be celebrated once again, and in the strongest of terms.
That's to be expected after a performance with such a violent and skillful aesthetic. Griffin threw 35 strikes at Silva's head and landed literally one. Silva knocked Griffin on the mat three times. In case you're not mathematically inclined, that means Silva actually knocked Griffin down triple the amount of times that Griffin even touched his face. However, what's been overlooked in discussion of Silva's superlative skills is his equally lofty accomplishment.
Silva's complete sonning of Griffin is not just a technical sign of the times or an acid test that portends a successful light heavyweight run. It's actually set a particularly impressive standard for pound-for-pound achievement: With the victory, Silva has become the first fighter in this sport's short modern history to defeat top-five opponents across three weight classes.
Of course, Silva became a superstar when he became MMA's first pantheon-level middleweight. However, long before he ever eviscerated Rich Franklin, even before his Pride tenure, Silva was one of the sport's best welterweights. Eight years ago, he rolled into Osaka and took the Shooto world 168-pound title from Hayato "Mach" Sakurai, who was widely seen as the sport's top pound-for-pound fighter at the time.
In fact, on the back of that victory, Silva was actually slated to make his UFC debut at UFC 34 to face then-champ Carlos Newton. The exclusive deal that Zuffa wanted for Silva didn't jive with "The Spider," though, or his Chute Boxe handlers, who wanted to keep doors to Pride and Meca Vale Tudo open. Just think how radically different history might be if Silva got into the Octagon in '01 and Matt Hughes didn't unconsciously powerbomb his way to glory. Maybe there's a Marvel Comics-style "What If?" concept brewing.
Nonetheless, it is strange that the victory over Sakurai gets glossed over historically when it was Silva's first great moment and it is an accomplishment that stands the test of time. How often does any fighter dethrone the pound-for-pound king? Surely when Silva loses, the world won't forget about it in eight years -- at least I hope not.
Olympic wrestler Cormier training for MMA.
by MMAjunkie.com Staff on Aug 12, 2009 at 5:30 am ET
Yet another high-profile amateur wrestler is heading to the world of mixed martial arts.
Daniel Cormier, a two-time Olympian and the U.S. squad's 2008 Olympic team captain, was a two-time JUCO national champion and NCAA Division I runner-up at Oklahoma State University in 2001.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) learned of the move from Zinkin Entertainment & Sports Management, a high-profile agency that now represents Cormier.
Cormier, who will train with other collegiate-wrestling champions such as Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck at American Kickboxing Academy, is expected to compete in the light-heavyweight division upon his MMA debut.
Cormier's wrestling accomplishments are in no short supply. Among the feats are three high-school state championships in his native Louisiana, a 117-6 collegiate record that included three-time All-American honors, six U.S. senior national championships and a fourth-place finish at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
While many fighters compete in relative obscurity early in their careers, Cormier is likely to follow in the footsteps of former amateur wrestling champions such as Ben Askren and "King" Mo Lawal and garner immediate attention.
Brad Blackburn Signs New UFC Deal, But Out Until 2010
Although IFL veteran Brad Blackburn signed a new 4-fight deal with UFC yesterday, it's going to be a while before he can actually fulfill the contract. He also had what was to have been minor shoulder surgery that turned out to be a worse injury than expected and thus will be out 6 months. Blackburn is 3-0 to date in UFC.
DENNIS HALLMAN SIGNS FOR ANOTHER UFC RETURN
Sometimes the fourth time is the charm.
That’s what veteran welterweight Dennis “Superman” Hallman is hoping with the recent announcement of his new contact.
“I just signed a four-fight deal with the UFC and it’s good to be back with MMA’s premier organization,” Hallman announced to MMAWeekly.com. “I’m prepared to come in there and perform to the best of my abilities and climb back up the ranks.”
Having been four years since Hallman last appeared at a UFC event, he feels much has changed within him to make this next run more successful than previous ones.
“I’m a more mature Dennis Hallman,” he stated. “I think I’m better prepared physically and mentally to compete at a high level.
Tamdan McCrory released by UFC
This one gets a big WTF from me.
Tamdan McCrory has been let go by the UFC following a split decision defeat at the hands of John Howard at UFC 101.
Apparently a representative of “The Barn Cat” was notified of the release by UFC matchmaker Joe Silva sometime Monday evening according to a recent report on the Underground News.
McCrory earned a reputation as a tougher than nails, well rounded mixed martial artist during his time with the UFC where he put together a respectable record of 3-3 while compiling wins over the likes of Pete Spratt and Luke Cummo, and dropping bouts to Akihiro Gono and Dustin Hazelett.
- NOT SO FAST, ANDERSON STILL WANTS TO SWING
- NOT SO FAST, ANDERSON STILL WANTS TO SWING
Tuesday, August 11, 2009 - by Ken Pishna - MMAWeekly.com
Hot on the heels of reports that Anderson Silva had acquired a permanent taste for the 205-pound division, it appears that the most dominant middleweight champion in UFC history isn’t quite ready to relinquish his thrown at 185.
A recent column by Yahoo! Sports writer Dan Wetzel stated that Silva’s manager, Ed Soares, told UFC President Dana White that his client was willing to make the move to light heavyweight permanent, even if it meant dropping his middleweight belt in the process.
Not so Soares told MMAWeekly.com, saying he’s not sure where that information was drawn from.
I actually agree with what he says at the end of the article about pairing up henderson with the maia/marquardt winner and producing a clear #1 contender...with so few fights left on his contract and the desire to retire and fight Roy Jones Jr...it would be way better for the fans if he fought again at lhw or even Wanderlai at a catchweight...and then after the dust settles he can fight the number one contender at mw