JARDINE CONFIDENT AS SILVA SHOWDOWN NEARS
It’s been more than four months since Keith Jardine hit a bump on the road in his journey to the UFC light heavyweight championship. That bump is named Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
Jardine fought Jackson to the full term of their 15-minute bout at UFC 96, but it was Jackson that had just enough of a burst late in the third round to secure the unanimous decision victory.
Jorge Gurgel vs. Billy Evangelista to headline Oct. 25 Strikeforce Challengers event
A lightweight bout that could have an immediate impact on Strikeforce's lightweight title picture will be held on Oct. 25 under the "Strikeforce Challengers" banner.
The fight features former UFC fighter Jorge Gurgel (13-5) vs. longtime Strikeforce fighter and top prospect Billy Evangelista (9-1).
Gurgel recently posted a series of Twitter updates about the fight, which headlines a Showtime broadcast at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif.
Still reeling from false death reports, "Kimo" Leopoldo searching for answers, apologies
If you're still having a hard time figuring out how a forum post from an internet message board resulted in the false reporting of an MMA pioneer's death, you're not the only one.
On today's edition of GoodSports, hosted by Rick Rosen and MMAjunkie.com Radio's (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) George Garcia, the subject of the erroneous report, Kim "Kimo" Leopoldo, said he was still trying to process the concept as well.
Barnett Issues Statement On Drug Test
Although his manager said interviews on ths issue would be granted after working with the CSAC, Josh Barnett today made a posting on his Myspace blog regarding his failed drug test that has forced him off Affliction Trilogy on 8/1.
Franklin Signs New UFC Deal, Possibly His Last
Rich Franklin may be playing his final "Ace" card in MMA. He recently signed a new 6-fight deal with the promotion, but also said that, depending on "the pace of the fights", it could be his final UFC deal as he mentioned possible retirement when it's done.
Fedor-Barnett Bout in Jeopardy
Affliction Entertainment and M-1 Global are looking for a new opponent to face Fedor Emelianenko at Affliction “Trilogy” on Aug. 1 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
Multiple sources have told Sherdog.com that the California State Athletic Commission will not license Josh Barnett after a positive result on a pre-fight test. Calls to the California State Athletic Commission and Affliction Entertainment were not immediately returned.
Barnett said he had not been notified of any issues with his eligibility as of Tuesday evening.
Kimo Leopoldo Update: NOT DEAD
Despite earlier reports that he had died, Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole has confirmed that former UFC fighter Kimo Leopoldo is alive and well. Iole spoke to Kimo's attorney who said that "Kimo has surfaced" and that erroneous reports of Kimo's death were posted on the internet and quickly removed.
Mirko Cro Cop: Brock Lesnar Winning the UFC Title Is a Defeat for MMA
It's been fascinating to see the reaction to Brock Lesnar becoming the undisputed UFC heavyweight champion by defeating Frank Mir at UFC 100: The response is just about evenly split between those who think Lesnar's larger-than-life persona is great for the sport, and those who think he has tarnished MMA.
Count Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic as part of the latter camp.
OVEREEM INJURY PERSISTS; TITLE BOUT IN JEOPARDY
Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem is struggling with complications from a hand injury sustained in a bar brawl and may not be able to defend his title against Fabricio Werdum at Strikeforce “Carano vs. Cyborg” on Aug. 15.
Multiple sources who asked not to be named reported the news to MMAWeekly.com on Monday evening and Tuesday morning.
One source indicated that it was highly unlikely that Overeem would be physically ready to fight on Aug. 15.
UFC 100 officially nets second-largest gate in company history with $5.13 million
UFC 100 officially drew 10,871 attendees (9,793 paid) for a live gate of $5,128,490, Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer today confirmed in an email to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The UFC's historic July 11 show now ranks as the second-largest gate in UFC history and fell just $268,810 short of UFC 66's record $5,397,300 gate, which resulted from the heavily hyped Chuck Liddell-Tito Ortiz rematch in late 2006.
Despite looking for "big challenges," light heavyweight Gegard Mousasi not rushing to UFC
Gegard Mousasi (25-2-1) isn't busy preparing for just one fight; he's getting ready for two.
With an Aug. 1 bout with submission ace Renato "Babalu" Sobral at "Affliction: Trilogy" nearing, Mousasi will also face judoka Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou at DREAM.11 in the Oct. 6 semifinals of the Japanese-based organization's "Super Hulk" tournament.
It's a full schedule against top-tier talent, and Mousasi recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) that the unique opportunities he's currently enjoying are precisely why he's not ready to make a bid to compete in the UFC.
"My manager told me that he had spoke to Joe Silva, the matchmaker of the UFC," Mousasi said. "I think that it's a possibility for me to fight (in the UFC) if I want to fight. But the UFC I think would be better for me at a later stage of my career.
WEC signs undefeated lightweight Dave Jansen, debut set for WEC 43 in September
World Extreme Cagefighting has signed undefeated lightweight prospect Dave Jansen (12-0) to a multi-fight deal, and the 29-year-old Team Quest fighter will make his promotional debut at WEC 43 in September.
WEC officials today confirmed the signing with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, and an opponent had not been determined for the WEC newcomer's debut fight.
Rich Franklin "assuming" UFC 103 fight with Dan Henderson at 205 pounds
A recently announced UFC 103 main event between Rich Franklin and Dan Henderson, two fighters who have bounced between the middleweight and light-heavyweight divisions, will likely be contested at 205 pounds.
While a guest on today's edition of MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio), Franklin said he hasn't been told definitely but that he's "assuming" the fight will be at light heavyweight.
On Monday the UFC announced the surprise booking, which is a rematch from the first Franklin vs. Henderson fight that took place in January at UFC 93, but didn't specify the weight for the bout.
Jesse Taylor wants the best Japan has to offer
“I feel great, it’s a win, it’s my first time here, definitely not my last. I really like being here in Japan and fighting here, I love the audience. I really loved it out here but I really wish you know it wasn’t an injury, I think I would have won any kind of way, I would have won anyways but I don’t like winning like that … the UFC kind of labeled me [as a “bad boy”] and I don’t know if I really like that or not but yeah I just want to show the fans, the people at home that I’m actually a pretty good guy. Obviously from my past I have a lot to prove now. I have two boys, two sons and you know this provides a means to an end and I really like fighting here, I mean, to tell the truth I like fighting here a lot more than in the States so hopefully you guys like me and hopefully I’ll be back and I want the best. I can also go both wegiht classes, so I can do welterweight or middleweight here, so wherever the fight you demand from me is where I’ll go.”
UFC ‘Fights of the Year’ for 2009 … so far
Diego Sanchez vs. Clay Guida at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 9 Finale
Rich Franklin vs. Wanderlei Silva at UFC 99
Cain Velasquez vs. Cheick Kongo at UFC 99
Martin Kampmann vs. Carlos Condit at UFC Fight Night 18
Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Alan Belcher at UFC 100
Honorable mention included Dan Henderson vs. Rich Franklin, Marcus Davis vs. Chris Lytle, Frankie Edgar vs. Sean Sherk, and Matt Hughes vs. Matt Serra, among others. Agree or disagree with the “highly unofficial” list from the promotion? Have other memorable fights in mind outside of the UFC that are even better than those mentioned above?
Ask the Doc: Can groin injuries like Georges St-Pierre's severely hinder a fighting career?
Ever since Georges St-Pierre completed the third round of his UFC 100 bout and complained of a groin injury (and trainer Greg Jackson humorously told GSP to hit opponent Thiago Alves with it), message-board MDs have been diagnosing and predicting the fighter's future.
Although St. Pierre's manager, Shari Spencer, announced that no surgery will be needed, some fans still think the injury could have lasting effects.
In his latest "Ask the Doc" column, MMAjunkie.com medical columnist Dr. Johnny Benjamin discusses some typical groin injuries and why a finely tuned athlete such as St-Pierre probably doesn't have much to worry about.
Diego Sanchez Guaranteed Shot at UFC Title
According to lightweight Diego Sanchez, UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta and president Dana White have told him that he will be meeting the winner of the lightweight title bout between champion BJ Penn and Kenny Florian at UFC 101.
“Guaranteed,” Sanchez told Ron Kruck on the latest edition of Inside MMA. “It’s guaranteed. After August 2nd, it’s on. I get the winner.”
A few weeks back, Sanchez took exception to the fact that the division’s top contender, Florian – who he dominated to capture the “TUF 1? crown, will be getting his second shot at UFC gold while Diego has never seen a 25-minute title fight.