UFC 96 draws 17,033 spectators for a $1.8 million gate
Despite a main event that lacked in promotional power, UFC 96 drew 17,033 spectators to Nationwide Arena on Saturday night for a gate of $1.8 million, UFC president Dana White said.
For the third consecutive year, the UFC's Columbus show coincided with the Arnold Sports Festival, a three-day sports and fitness exhibition held in downtown Columbus.
"I heard on the radio today that between [the Artnold] and the UFC, we brought $41 million into Columbus this weekend," White said in the post-UFC 96 press conference. "So obviously in these hard economic times, coming in here and doing huge numbers like that (is impressive)."
Imanari, Maeda advance, Aoki, Kawajiri victorious at DREAM.7 (+ Full Results)
The 2008 DREAM featherweight grand prix kicked off on Saturday night with six of the tournament's first round matchups, as well as three non-tournament bouts, on the DREAM.7 card at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
And while the opening round of the tournament did lend a few surprises, it was a successful night for the Japanese fans that were cheering on their countrymen as several of the event's favored local stars moved on in the tournament.
The event was held on Sunday night in Japan and will air on a one-week tape delay on HDNet in the U.S.
* Masakazu Iminari def. Atsushi Yamamoto via split decision*
* Hiroyuki Takaya def. Jong Won Kim via TKO (punches) -- Round 2, 0:40*
* Yoshiro Maeda def. Micah Miller via unanimous decision*
* Tatsuya Kawajiri def. Ross Ebanez via submission (rear-naked shoke) -- Round 1, 4:03
* Shinya Aoki def. David Gardner via rear-naked choke -- Round 1, 5:58
* Mitsuhiro Ishida def. Daisuke Nakamura via unanimous decision
* Abel Cullum def. Akiyo Nishiura via unanimous decision*
* Joe Warren def. Chase Beebe via TKO (cut) -- Round 1, 10:00*
* Bibiano Fernandes def. Takafumi Otsuka via unanimous decision*
* - featherweight grand prix first-round bouts
+ - A GP first-round bout between Hideo Tokoro and Daika Hata takes place at DREAM.8, and Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto gets an automatic berth into the second round.
Jackson on Evans at UFC 98
"At the press conference, Jackson said he didn't know about the fight with Rashad Evans being moved up to May 23 until 15 minutes before he got out...He was clearly not thrilled about it. Dana White said they would wait a few days to give Jackson a chance to assess how he felt coming out of a tough fight and noted if Jackson turned it down, that Machida had already verbally accepted."
UFC 96 $60K Fighter Bonuses
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, Keith Jardine and Matt Hamill each earned $60,000 "fight night" bonuses for their performances at "UFC 96: Jackson vs. Jardine."
UFC 96 took place Saturday at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, and aired live on pay-per-view. The bonus amounts were up significantly from the $40,000 awards issued at UFC 95 in February, but down slightly from the $65,000 UFC 94 bonuses in January.
UFC 96 Results - (*SPOILERS*)
UFC 96 RESULTS:
UFC 96 Main Card Bouts:
-Quinton Jackson def. Keith Jardine by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Shane Carwin def. Gabriel Gonzaga by KO at 1:09, R1
- Matt Brown def. Pete Sell by TKO (punches) at 1:32, R1
- Matt Hamill def. Mark Munoz by KO (head kick) at 3:53, R1
- Gray Maynard def. Jim Miller by unanimous decision (30-27 on all judges' scorecards)
UFC 96 Preliminary Bouts:
- Tamdan McCrory def. Ryan Madigan by TKO (strikes on the ground) at 3:35, R1
- Kendall Grove def. Jason Day by TKO (strikes on the ground) at 1:32, R1
- Jason Brilz def. Tim Boetsch by unanimous decision (29-28 on all scorecards) R3
- Brandon Vera def. Mike Patt by TKO (leg kicks) at 1:27, R2
- Shane Nelson def. Aaron Riley by TKO (strikes on the ground) :44 seconds, R1
Brock Lesnar vs Frank Mir 2 moved to UFC 100 + Rashed Evans Defends At UFC 98
Better late than never.
The final round of the mini heavyweight tournament set up to declare an undisputed division champion has been rescheduled to take place at UFC 100 from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 11.
EDIT: Announced live on the UFC 96 broadcast, Rashad Evans will now headline UFC 98 in place of MIr/Lesnar. His opponent will be Rampage Jackson (if he beats Jardine and is uninjured) or Lyoto Machida (If Rampage loses/is injured)
DREAM 7 Preview: FW Opening Round
DREAM Featherweight GP Bout: Masakazu Imanari vs. Atsushi Yamamoto
DEEP bantamweight champion Masakazu Imanari faces off with Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto protégé Atsushi Yamamoto. This will be the main event of the evening and the highlight of the first round of the DREAM Featherweight Grand Prix. To say that this is a contrast of styles would be a huge understatement, seeing that Imanari is a straight submission fighter and Yamamoto a wrestler.
Although Imanari’s style is odd, it is very effective. He has nothing to offer on the feet, but if he gets the fight on the ground then he’ll lock on a submission. Yamamoto needs to use his wrestling, keeping his feet away from Imanari and shutting out any submission attempts. By default Yamamoto will have an advantage on the feet because Imanari has zero stand-up. For Imanari to win, he’ll need to do what he does best and lock on a submission, while Yamamoto needs to keep the fight on the feet and punish Imanari with strikes.
Dana White's UFC 96 Vlog Ep. 4
edit: kind of funny to see scott "hands of steel" wearing an affliction shirt in front of dana. I saw him at day of reckoning, maybe he got out of his elitexc contract to sign with them ?
After successful surgery, Joe Lauzon’s recovery timetable could be shortened
Joe Lauzon posted a blog Friday afternoon on his personal website in which he revealed that his recent knee surgery was a success and that he may be back in as little as six months as opposed to the original 12-14 month timetable that was originally reported.
Apparently the doctors were able to repair the meniscus instead of removing it. Lauzon also claimed that he had his ACL replaced and was given a “nerve block” for his entire leg.
UFC newcomer Ryan Madigan comfortable with quick trip to big time
Just six fights into his mixed martial arts career, Ryan Madigan (5-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) might not seem like the most likely addition to the UFC roster.
Despite the limited experience, the 31-year-old will be facing Tamdan McCrory (10-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) on the preliminary card of Saturday night's UFC 96 event in Columbus, Ohio.
And as Madigan recently told TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), he thinks the timing is just fine.
FRANK MIR SAYS MAY 23 DATE WITH LESNAR NO GO
After a day of conflicting reports, it appears that the May 23 date for Frank Mir and Brock Lesnar to unify the UFC heavyweight championship will indeed be postponed. The latest confirmation comes from Mir himself at the Arnold Fitness Expo in Columbus, Ohio, on the eve of UFC 96.
UPDATE: Frank Mir will *STILL* fight Brock Lesnar...
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The heavyweight title unification bout between champion Brock Lesnar and interim champ Frank Mir at UFC 98 on May 23 remains on despite arthroscopic surgery performed on Mir’s right knee earlier this week.
Fiveouncesofpain.com initially reported Friday that the bout was off because of a back injury sustained by Mir. It later corrected that to say it was a knee injury. And then MMAWeekly.com reported Mir had knee surgery.
Injury forces Frank Mir out of UFC 98
A planned rematch between Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir for UFC 98 on May 23 that would have unified Lesnar’s UFC heavyweight title and Mir’s interim UFC heavyweight has been canceled.
Multiple sources have confirmed to FiveOuncesOfPain.com that the UFC was recently informed by Mir’s camp that he has been unable to train recently due to a back injury that could require surgery.
There is no word as to whether Lesnar will remain on the card against a new opponent or if he will be taken off the card entirely.
UFC 96 Weigh-In Results
The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Saturday night returns to Columbus, Ohio for the third straight year on the same weekend as the Arnold Classic. Former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson faces Keith Jardine in the main event of UFC 96 at the Nationwide Arena.
The UFC 96 fighters weighed in at the arena on Friday afternoon. With all 20 fighters making weight, all 10 bouts are now officially on the docket.
A lot of attention has focused on Keith Jardine and the possibility of him fighting teammate and current light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans in the future. He says he doesn't plan on it, while UFC president Dana White says it is inevitable if both continue winning. Of course, with Jardine facing Jackson on Saturday night, such talk is a bit premature.
"I like Jardine and I like Rashad. But Dana’s right, this is mixed martial arts, and it’s a business. So I’m gonna try and help you out. I got your back,” quipped Jackson to Jardine, planning to defeat the Jackson's MMA fighter so that it becomes a moot point.
“Thanks for looking out for me, man,” responded Jardine. “I couldn’t say yes to this fight fast enough, because I could match myself up against one of the greatest of all time.”
Aside from the main event, there are several other pivotal bouts on tap for UFC 96, but none as telling as a heavyweight showdown between Gabriel Gonzaga and Shane Carwin. Gonzaga is trying to work his way back into the title picture, while Carwin – undefeated in 10 professional bouts – looks to prove himself as a contender in the UFC heavyweight division.
(All weights in pounds.)
UFC 96 Main Card Bouts:
-Quinton Jackson (205) vs. Keith Jardine (204)
-Gabriel Gonzaga (257.5) vs. Shane Carwin (259.5)
-Matt Brown (170.5) vs. Pete Sell (170)
-Matt Hamill (205) vs. Mark Munoz (204.5)
-Gray Maynard (155) vs. Jim Miller (154.5)
UFC 96 Preliminary Bouts:
-Tamdan McCrory (170) vs. Ryan Madigan (169)
-Kendall Grove (185) vs. Jason Day (184.5)
-Tim Boetsch (205) vs. Jason Brilz (204)
-Brandon Vera (205) vs. Mike Patt (204.5)
-Aaron Riley (155) vs. Shane Nelson (155)
Hughes-Serra Set; Other UFC 98 Bouts Announced
Matt Hughes and Matt Serra will meet May 23 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, the UFC announced Wednesday.
The welterweight grudge match will be featured on a UFC 98 card headlined by the Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir heavyweight title fight.
The UFC also announced that middleweight title contender Yushin Okami will fight Dan Miller. Okami, the last man to get a win over Anderson Silva (it came via disqualification), is 7-1 in the UFC. Miller is 3-0 in the Octagon and most recently scored an impressive submission of Jake Rosholt in February.
Former lightweight champion Sean Sherk will battle Frankie Edgar in another main card bout.
In light heavyweight prelim action, James Irvin will fight Drew McFedries, and Houston Alexander will fight Andre Gusmao. Patrick Barry, a dangerous kickboxing crossover who easily chopped down Dan Evensen in December, will take on Tim Hague in a heavyweight bout.
Yoshiyuki Yoshida will look to bounce back from his knockout loss to Josh Koscheck when he meets Brandon Wolff at 170 pounds. At 155, “The Ultimate Fighter” finalist Phillipe Nover will fight Kyle Bradley, and David Kaplan will tangle with George Roop.
Gonzaga-Carwin important to heavyweight future
Last year, the UFC heavyweight division appeared decimated.
Former champions Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski left for far bigger money offers from Affliction. Mirko Cro Cop, the most publicized PRIDE signing, looked unimpressive in losing two of three UFC fights and was let go with the feeling he wasn’t worth his enormous paycheck. Randy Couture, the company’s top heavyweight star, had a bitter divorce with UFC. And the biggest star of the PRIDE roster, Fedor Emelianenko, never came to terms with the company.
UFC’s reaction was to build for the future, taking three huge wrestlers who were all unproven in the sport. Just one year after the divisional low point, that influx of talent led to the division’s rehabilitation.