Franca vs. Griffin Likely For UFC 103
There are reports that Hermes Franca and Tyson Griffin have verbally agreed to face off at UFC 103 in September. Although not yet officially announced, 103 is expected to take place in Dallas. Both last fought at UFNs 17 & 18, respectively.
New Shogun interview
After solidifying his place in the UFC with two knockout wins, over Chuck Liddell and Mark Coleman, Mauricio Shogun is confirmed to face Lyoto Machida. The bout is worth the organization's light heavyweight belt, which could land Shogun back at the top of the world, a post he was used to occupying back in the days of Pride.
Portal das Lutas - How did you feel about getting a shot at the title so quickly?
Mauricio Shogun - I was really happy about the title challenge. When Dana White told me I was really happy. Lyoto's my friend, we train together. We've been in contact but there's no way to turn down the fight.
PDL - Is there anyone you would never face?
MS - The only guy I've said I would never face is Wanderlei (Silva). He is my true friend and I have a special affection for him.
PDL - After facing three tough guys (Forrest Griffin, Mark Coleman and Chuck Liddell), now you have this shot at the title. Would you rather do a few more fights and better adapt to the event?
MS - The one who decides whether the fight is for the belt is Dana White. When I joined the UFC, there already was the perspective of a shot at the belt soon, for what I had shown in Pride. Against Coleman I didn't fight that great, but against Liddell I did well. That's what Dana White had to work with. I'm new in the house, but I have experience and I'm happy for the opportunity.
PDL - For the second time in the organization there's an all-Brazilian title challenge, the other being between Anderson Silva and Thales Leites. How important is that?
MS - It shows how strong Brazil is in MMA. I believe that, after soccer, MMA is the sport that best represents Brazil abroad. And we are very well represented, because we really sport the jersey. I'm certain the athletes fight for the country. Brazil is still needy of heroes in sport and it's great motivation. We're out there to represent Brazil.
PDL - What do you think of Lyoto?
MS - Lyoto is a well-rounded fighter, good standing,on the ground and has good wrestling. He's the man to beat, undefeated and has shown his worth. I repect him, but I'm going to train a lot to come home with the win.
PDL - Would you like to send a message out to your fans?
MS - I can't promise victory, but I guarantee I'll do my all to represent our country, my team and my state. I would like to thank all my fans and tell them they are my greatest motivation in training every day.
German Media Reacts to UFC 99
Much of the media coverage in Germany prior to UFC 99 on Saturday was reminiscent of Sen. John McCain’s attack on mixed martial arts in the 1990s.
Spurred by local politicians in the midst of their election campaigns and polemic members of Deutschland’s still powerful and influential boxing lobby, the age-old prejudices of “human cockfighting” and “unrestrained brawls” returned to the surface.
But what was the postfight coverage like? Sherdog.com followed Germany’s most important newspapers, magazines and television segments for the following overview of the state of German MMA following Zuffa’s first expedition into central Europe.
‘Blood and Circuses’
Editors were texting headlines like “Blood and Circuses” (Berliner Morgenpost), “Cologne Cage Fight Pleases International Mob” (Die Welt) and “Bloodstain on the Canvas” (Süddeutsche Zeitung), and while the majority of coverage surrounding UFC 99 was rather negative, there were a couple of surprisingly well-researched articles written within the past 48 hours.
UFC 99 Medical Suspensions
The Association of Boxing Commission's official record keeping database, found at mixedmartialarts.com, today released the medical suspensions from Saturday's UFC 99 event.
TUF 9 Finale: Diego Sanchez Seeks to Validate Hype Surrounding Lightweight Move
Clay Guida (25-9) is no stranger to being given some of the stiffest competition within the UFC's lightweight division. He took on a much taller, more skilled Nate Diaz and managed to squeak out a decision win. He pushed the pace so vigorously against TUF alum Mac Danzig that Danzig's will to continue had been broken by the third round. He waged a relentless but losing war against Roger Huerta that many fans considered one of the most entertaining battles of 2007. Saturday night's Ultimate Fighter Season 9 Finale at the Palms in Las Vegas, Nevada won't be any different as Guida will be taking on one of the UFC's newest lightweight additions in the highly-touted Diego Sanchez (20-2).
Clay Guida: "After I Beat Diego Sanchez, I've Earned a UFC Title Shot."
After winning three straight fights in the Octagon over the last year and a half, Clay Guida has the biggest fight of his career ahead of him on Saturday night against Diego Sanchez at the Ultimate Fighter Finale -- a fight that Guida says will earn him a shot at the UFC lightweight title.
In an interview with FanHouse, Guida said he thinks he's at the top of his game heading into the fight with Sanchez, and that he expects to beat Sanchez and earn a shot at the winner of the August title fight between BJ Penn and Kenny Florian. The full interview is below.
Al-Turk To Get Another Shot
Although he's 0-2 so far in UFC, it's not "Strike 2, You're Out" for Mustapha al-Turk. His instructor says the Heavyweight will be offered another shot in UFC despite losing his first 2 fights, with one likely difference-no Dan Miragliotta as referee.
Dan Hardy Not Quite Ready For Mike Swick
Although he's ready to take the next step in UFC, Dan Hardy says don't be so "Quick" to put him up against Mike Swick. Hardy's not against the fight later on but right now he feels Swick needs a "bigger fight" than him.
Lyle Beerbohm: From Prison Inmate to Undefeated MMA Fighter
Lyle Beerbohm will attempt to run his professional mixed martial arts record to 10-0 on Friday night when he steps into the cage against Duane Ludwig at the Strikeforce Challenger Series event in Kent, Wash. But whether Beerbohm wins or loses, he's come a long way from where he was three years ago, in a very different kind of cage.
Beerbohm spent a year and a half at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla, Wash., as a result of multiple felony convictions, all related to his crystal meth addiction. But Beerbohm discovered MMA while locked up, and he knew he had found his new calling.
TEAM USA WEST VS RUSSIA IMPERIAL ON 4TH OF JULY
While friends and family will be back at home in the U.S. celebrating the Fourth of July Holiday at BBQs and fireworks displays, Team USA West will find itself amerced in a best-of-five series with Team Russia Imperial in Seoul, South Korea.
And when the 2009 "M-1 Challenge Presented by Affliction" (www.M-1Global.com) resumes with its "Sixth Edition" inside the Seoul Arena, Group B leading USA West (2-0 in team challenges and 8-2 overall individually) will find itself going head-to-head with an Imperial team that will not feature a single member from its 2008 M-1 Challenge Championship team.
BIG EXPECTATIONS FOR LUKE ROCKHOLD AT SHO MMA
It’s no surprise that Luke Rockhold is going to be featured on this Friday’s Sho MMA: Strikeforce Challenger Series event in Kent, Wash. Long has he been heralded by the promotion’s management as one of their future stars, and for good reason.
Since making his debut in 2007, Rockhold has increasingly moved up against tougher competition, and all but once he has come out on top.
The Return of Spectacle to the MMA Landscape: Kimbo Slice on TUF, Kyle Maynard and More
It started as a spectacle, a gladiator contest in an octagon that promoters considered surrounding with a shark-filled moat rather than a steel-mesh fence. The first Ultimate Fighting Championship began with Gerard Gordeau kicking Teila Tuli's teeth across the arena and ended with the very same Dutchman trying to bite Royce Gracie's ear, Tyson style. In those early days, the event thrived on being a freakshow. With no television coverage and no online audience to cater to, the UFC counted on newspaper articles to spread the word. The early UFC had no intention of being a sport. They were a spectacle- and they loved it.
NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer says instant replay possible by end of year
While much of the post-UFC 99 fallout has focused squarely on Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic's apparent snub of the UFC, the Croatian striker's path to victory over Mostapha Al Turk has been relatively ignored.
While difficult to pick up live, replays of the action from Saturday's main-card bout in Cologne, Germany clearly show a single poke to both of Al Turk's eyes led directly to the ensuing TKO win for Filipovic.
While Al Turk was left without recourse based on current MMA regulations, Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer on Tuesday told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that change could be quickly coming in the form of instant replay.
"We're trying to find out if there's a way to do limited instant replay," Kizer told MMAjunkie.com's George Garcia and John Morgan on Tuesday's edition of "GoodSports," co-hosted by Garcia. "We're hoping to find a way to do that."
When the UFC ventures abroad to countries lacking an athletic commission, the organization and its Vice President of Regulatory Affairs (and former NSAC Executive Director), Marc Ratner, turn to the NSAC's regulations for guidance.
Refocused Jorge Gurgel guarantees win over Conor Heun in Strikeforce debut
After watching Brazilian-born Jorge Gurgel (12-5) competing for the past three years inside the UFC's famed octagon, watching the "TUF 2" veteran step onto another fight surface will certainly be an odd sight.
But that's exactly what the Ohio resident will do on Friday night as Gurgel meets a streaking Conor Heun (8-2) on the main card of "Strikeforce Challengers: Villasenor vs. Cyborg" at the ShoWare Center in Kent, Wash.
While still disappointed to have been released by the UFC, Gurgel recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) that he believes his move to Strikeforce has brought fresh life into his seven-year-old career.
Cain Velasquez talks UFC 99 and his future in the heavyweight division
The amount of build-up bestowed upon Cain Velasquez leading up to UFC 99 bordered on “enough already.” But when it was learned that Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic refused to replace Heath Herring against Velasquez, it spoke volumes about a reputation that has preceded Cain ever since he signed with the UFC.
As overhyped as some thought Velasquez was, the pounding he put on Cheick Kongo was a tipping point for him becoming a credible name among UFC fans. Credit fellow Mexican-American fighter Miguel Torres for declaring it would be Cain’s coming-out party.