Jeff Curran headed to Bellator
After announcing a pair of opening-round featherweight matchups, Bellator Fighting Championships officials have set three additional bouts for the second event of its upcoming second season, Bellator 14.
A featured attraction is an opening-round welterweight tournament matchup between NCAA Division I national wrestling champion and Olympian Ben Askren (3-0) and. former UFC and Strikeforce fighter Ryan Thomas (10-3).
Non-tourney matchups include veteran and Chicago-area fighter Jeff Curran (31-12-1) vs. Joe Doherty (8-3) and Felice Herrig (1-2) vs. Catia Vitoria (0-0).
This is actually really old news, especially for me as I train at Curran Martial Arts. But I hadn't seen it posted any where.
Unfortunately his opponent is a little outmatched so it's kind of a throw away fight.
Champ Alistair Overeem confirms May 15 Strikeforce fight with Brett Rogers
Alistair Overeem (32-11 MMA, 2-0 SF) wants American fans to get ready. There are no more obstacles in the way of his American MMA career; Strikeforce is the priority for 2010.
In an exclusive interview with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today, the Strikeforce heavyweight champion said he is likely to meet Brett Rogers (10-1 MMA, 2-1 SF) in a non-title fight on an as-yet-unannounced card set for May 15 in St. Louis, Mo.
Although Strikeforce has not placed an event permit request to the Missouri State Athletic Commission, all signs point to a second trip to the 22,000-seat Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
The promotion made its first visit there this past June for "Strikeforce: Shields vs. Lawler."
Overeem announced the Rogers fight earlier today on his Twitter account but clarified that the matchup is not confirmed. He also added that a rumored appearance at DREAM.13 against Neil Grove or Josh Barnett is also unconfirmed.
"I'll know this week," he said.
Keeping up with the Dutch fighter's schedule has proven a difficult task for American fans. Overeem was slated to face Rogers at "Strikeforce: Shields vs. Lawler" in 2009 before he injured his hand in an Amsterdam nightclub brawl and suffered severe complications, which he said shelved him for a follow-up appearance two months later against Fabricio Werdum at "Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg."
Just 11 days after the proposed Werdum fight, Overeem entered the 2009 K-1 Grand Prix and made two appearances for the kickboxing promotion before he lost to Badr Hari in the tournament's semifinals. Along the way, he picked up two MMA wins (via submission over Tony Sylvester and James Thompson) before he defeated Kazuyuki Fujita in his most recent appearance at the Dec. 31 "Dynamite!! 2009" event in Japan.
Overeem has not defended his title since November 2007, when he won the vacant belt by defeating Paul Buentello at "Strikeforce: Four Men Enter, One Man Survives."
Overeem's manager, Bas Boon, said his fighter made far more money competing for K-1 and assured American fans he will return in April or May. Boon, though, would not confirm the Rogers bout.
Meanwhile, Overeem said he hopes to fight in the 2010 K-1 Grand Prix but that Strikeforce obligations come first.
"If I can do K-1 after these fights or in between, that's OK, but if not, then I will go for Strikeforce," he said. "It's been too long. Last year was a good year in K-1, but this year, I want to fight in MMA."
The chance of a long-rumored fight with Fedor Emelianenko appears to be a longshot. Emelianenko will not appear on Strikeforce's second CBS-televised event, which is set for April 17 in Nashville, Tenn., and he is currently in a contract dispute with the San Jose, Calif.-based promotion. He is rumored to be fighting on the May 15 card against an unnamed opponent.
While Overeem counts the top-ranked Russian among his targets stateside, there is too much red tape between them.
"Fedor doesn't want to fight," Overeem said. "His manager doesn't want to fight. That's basically the message I'm getting out of all of this. The management said, 'Yeah, we want to fight Alistair, but first, Alistair must fight somebody else.' Basically, you need two parties to agree on a fight. Otherwise it's not going to happen.
"And now, I don't know what is going to happen because I think [Fedor] might want to leave Strikeforce. I'm not really occupied with the situation; I'm just focused on myself and my training."
Overeem was more than happy, though, to take on Rogers, who has called him out on several occasions and demanded he defend his title or give up the belt.
"He's an excellent opponent," Overeem said. "I'm looking forward to [smacking] his face and his loud mouth. I'm really happy that Strikeforce came with this fight so now we can settle things once and for all."
Rogers manager, Mike Reilly, declined to comment on a potential fight between Rogers and Overeem.
"I don't think it's going to be for the title because [Brett] lost to Fedor," Overeem said. "He’s coming off a loss, so I don't think they're going to put it for the title, but it's up to the promotion."
Rogers fights for the first time since his November loss to Emelianenko at Strikeforce's first CBS-televised event. The TKO defeat snapped his 10-fight win streak (all of the wins came via stoppage due to strikes), which included Strikeforce victories over Abongo Humphrey and Andrei Arlovski.
After a long absence, Overeem intends to prove his critics wrong and make his mark once again in the U.S.
"If people take the time to look what the situation is, there's no secrets; there's no strange stuff going on," he said. "I can look you in the face and answer your questions. Then they'll see that things turn out the way they turn out.
"There are no obstacles for me."
Arlovski Signs with Strikeforce *Update* meets Antonio Silva May 15 in St. Louis
Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski (15-7 MMA, 0-1 SF) has signed a multi-fight, 16-month deal with Strikeforce and is expected to fight former EliteXC title-holder Antonio Silva (13-2 MMA, 0-1 SF) at the organization's May 15 event in St Louis, Mo.
Arlovski announced the deal on his official Web site.
The Silva fight, first reported by Sherdog.com, was and later confirmed to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) by a source close to the Brazilian who said the fight will be part of the night's Showtime-televised main card.
Strikeforce, of course, hosts its next major show on April 17 when middleweight champ Jake Shields takes on recent signee Dan Henderson in a CBS-televised main event.
Arlovski fights for the first time since Strikeforce's initial St. Louis show, which took place in June 2009. There, he suffered a 22-second TKO loss to Brett Rogers, which followed a first-round knockout to Fedor Emelianenko at "Affliction: Day of Reckoning" six months prior.
Prior to the back-to-back losses, the former UFC superstar had posted five consecutive wins and reemerged as one of the world's top-five heavyweight fighters.
He can get his career back on track against Silva, whose six-fight win streak recently came to an end with a close but unanimous decision loss to Fabricio Werdum at Strikeforce's November 2009 debut on CBS. Silva posted the win streak with now-defunct EliteXC promotion (where he defeated Justin Eilers for the title) and World Victory Road's Japanese-based Sengoku event series.
A source close to the fighter told MMAjunkie.com Silva was also under consideration for a fight with Rogers.
SportsBusiness Journal: UFC Sets Company Merchandise Sales Record in Australia
UFC 110, headlined by the Antonio "Minotauro" Nogueira vs. Cain Velasquez heavyweight bout, grossed $540,000 in merchandise sales at Acer Arena in Sydney, breaking the previous record of $498,000 for UFC 83 at the Bell Centre in Montreal. Total sales also topped the previous arena record held by Iron Maiden.
Acer Arena doesn’t release concessions figures. The arena, built for the 2000 Summer Games, is the largest indoor venue in Sydney and has hosted acts such as Coldplay and Britney Spears.
All 16,500 tickets for the Feb. 21 fight were bought on the first day of sales back in December, trailing only the UFC’s debut in Montreal in 2008 as the fastest sellout ever. The $2.5 million gate for an international event was second only to the fight in Montreal.
Chris Lytle: UFC's All-Time Bonus Winner
A handful of the UFC's biggest stars get six-figure guarantees for all their fights and a cut of the pay-per-view revenue. Those guys are the promotion's highest-paid fighters.
For the majority of UFC fighters, the standard payday is in the five figures, and winning a bonus check for Fight of the Night, Knockout of the Night or Submission of the Night can actually make up the majority of their income. And in that category of fighter, no one has cashed in more than Chris Lytle.
Cage Potato has put together a great UFC performance bonus leaderboard, and Lytle comes out on top with seven bonuses that paid him a combined $310,000. No one else even has six career bonuses.
Obviously, being the all-time leader in performance bonuses in no way makes Lytle even close to the best fighter in UFC history. He's been pretty mediocre in his UFC career, has bounced around between the UFC and smaller promotions, and has a record of 7-9 inside the Octagon.
But I still think Lytle has a special place in UFC history. I've heard some people denigrate Lytle by saying he fights like he'd rather earn a bonus than a win, but in fairness to Lytle, only two of those bonuses were for fights he lost: He got the Fight of the Night check at UFC 78, when he lost to Thiago Alves because the fight was stopped when he suffered a nasty cut, and he got it at UFC 93, when he lost a split decision to Marcus Davis. It's not like he wasn't trying to win those fights.
The 35-year-old Lytle is never going to be a UFC champion, and he's never going to be one of those guys with a six-figure guarantee or a cut of the pay-per-view proceeds. But he'll always be a fighter the fans will want to see, and he has certainly earned that $310,000 in extra income.
UFC targeting Michael Bisping vs. Dan Miller for UFC 114 in Las Vegas
A middleweight bout between Michael Bisping (18-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) and Dan Miller (11-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC), established contenders both desperately in need of a win, is likely to take place in May at UFC 114.
Multiple sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that UFC officials are working to sign the bout and that at least one competitor has agreed to the matchup.
If signed the fight would likely be part of the main card for UFC 114, which takes place May 29 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and airs on pay-per-view.
As of Monday, though, bout agreements have not been distributed.
It'd be another solid addition to a card, though not officially announced, that's expected to feature Rashad Evans vs. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, Forrest Griffin vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and John Hathaway vs. Diego Sanchez.
Both Bisping and Miller, who were both once on the verge of top title contention, look to rebound from recent losses.
Bisping's losses came to Dan Henderson (vicious knockout at UFC 100), and then after a rebound TKO win over Denis Kang at UFC 105, to Wanderlei Silva via close unanimous decision last month at UFC 110. Bisping thought he won the fight, but Silva knocked him down in the final 10 seconds of the co-main-event fight to take the final third round on the judges' cards and the decision win (via scores of 29-28).
Prior to the recent 1-2 skid, "The Ultimate Fighter 3" winner's only loss came to Rashad Evans via razor-thin split decision at UFC 78 in 2007.
Meanwhile, Miller's two consecutive losses both came via unanimous decision to top contenders Chael Sonnen (UFC 98) and Demian Maia (UFC 109). Prior to the defeats, the former IFL middleweight champion went undefeated over a 10-fight span that included UFC victories over Rob Kimmons, Matt Horwich and Jake Rosholt in his first three UFC appearances.
Introducing The Ultimate Fighter 11 Cast - All 28 Middleweights
For the first time Spike TV has officially announced the full cast of the 28 middleweights fighting for a chance to become the next Ultimate Fighter. TUF 11 premieres March 31.
Nick Ring (10-0), Jordan Smith (10-0), Josh Bryant (10-0), Charley Lynch (6-0)
Kris Mccray (5-0), Warren Thompson (5-0), James Hammortree (4-0), Brad Tavares (4-0)
Joseph Henle (3-0), Court Mcgee (9-1), Victor O’Donnell (8-1), Norman Paraisy (5-1)
Costantinos Philippou (5-1), Brent Cooper (5-1), Greg Rebello (9-2), Kyle Noke (16-4-1)
Jacen Flynn (8-2), Lyle Steffens (5-2), Chris Camozzi (11-3), Charles Blanchard (7-2)
Cleburn Walker (9-3), Ben Stark (3-1), Rich Attonito (7-3), Woody Weatherby (7-3)
Seth Baczynski (11-5), Clayton Mckinney (4-2), Jamie Yager (2-1), Kyacey Uscola (18-15)
Cain Velasquez: I'm ready for a shot at Brock Lesnar
"Yes. I'm ready. I think I've been ready for a while. The way this sport works is you've just got to prove yourself when you get the chance. I want to fight the best so I can be the best ... I don't know what I do better than (Lesnar) but I do know I'd be ready. I know what I can do, I know I train with really tough guys, and I know I'd prepare myself to give him a really good fight"
B.J. Penn, Tito, Kimbo Head Next Round 5 Series
Like most sports today, mixed martial arts has its fair share of fans that also fancy themselves collectors. One of the first companies to really fill that niche for MMA aficionados was Round 5, a Markham, Ontario, Canada based company that specializes in collectible figures.
B.J. Kojima Relinquishes Shooto Belt
Shooto Bantamweight (123 lbs.) Champion Shinichi "B.J." Kojima today announced his decision to vacate the title, citing a slowly-healing ACL in his right knee. Kojima - who has held the belt since October 2006 - suffered the injury in a non-title bout loss to Nova Uniao's rising star Jussier "Formiga" da Silva last July.
Ultimate Fighter International Coming Soon
Over the last three years, the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s plan for global domination has been in full swing, hosting events on three continents and in five different countries, six if you include its home base of the United States. Its first trip to the United Arab Emirates is scheduled in April chalking up another continent and another country.
Dream 13: Nakahara ready for Ryo Chonan
Andrews Nakahara, one of the new promises of Brazilian MMA, is ready to another challenge on Japanese rings. After to debut with loss to the legend Kazushi Sakuraba and two knockout victories, the Brazilian is ready to face the Ryo Chonan at Dream 13, scheduled to March 22.
Kendall Grove Ready To "Make History" Against Mark Munoz
But there are no bad words between the Middleweight fighters facing each other, and both are looking forward to their UFC 112 fight in Abu Dhabi-and perhaps a few rounds at the bar afterwards. According to Grove, "I can't wait to go out there and fight. We get to do it in Abu Dhabi. We're making history; the first outdoor event in the Middle East. We're going to have war in war. Right when I got the word that we were fighting, I shot him a Tweet saying, 'Hey man, I respect you a lot. Good luck and let's put on a show.' He responded back, 'Likewise, it's an honor to fight you and we will give these guys a good show.' To me, that's just how our business is. At the end of the day, I can honestly say no matter if I'm on the positive or negative side of it, I will be the first to shake his hand and say, 'Let's go grab a beer or do something.' There are no hard feelings because business is business."