ULTIMATE FIGHTER'S HUTCHERSON TO FACE CROW
Sometimes it can be a good thing to fall through the cracks.
After his experience on the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s third season of “The Ultimate Fighter” television series ended with a loss to Luigi Fioravanti on the series finale in 2006, Solomon Hutcherson faded from the limelight.
Surfacing a year later in smaller shows, Hutcherson has been allowed the opportunity to sharpen his skills and become a true MMA veteran in the process without the pressures of performing on a Pay-Per-View stage.
EDDIE ALVAREZ, "I'M GOING TO GET MY DAY"
Eddie Alvarez entered the Dream 2008 Lightweight Grand Prix as a dark horse to win the star-studded tournament. After defeating Andre Amade, Joachim Hansen and Tatsuya Kawajiri, he earned his spot in the finals, but had to withdraw due to cut suffered in the semi-final bout.
The spectators that filled the Osaka Castle Hall in Osaka, Japan on July 21 witnessed a “Fight of the Year” candidate when Alvarez and Kawajiri slugged it out for seven and a half minutes to determine who would advance to the finals to take on favorite Shinya Aoki, who had defeated Caol Uno in the previous fight on the card.
"Once we felt each other’s power, and we hit each other, it just became mayhem," the Philadelphia fighter told MMAWeekly.com about the match with Kawajiri.
Alvarez received a cut under his right eye early in the fight, and the action was stopped to check the laceration at a time when Alvarez seemingly had Kawajiri hurt and fatigued. Asked about the decision to check the cut at that time, he replied, "The only thing I thought was they were trying to give Kawajiri time to get his breath back.
"It was part of my gameplan going in. He's 30 years old. I'm 24. My conditioning compared to most of the fighters out there, that's where I win fights," stated the Top 5 ranked lightweight. "I'm able to attack and keep coming. That's a big advantage of mine and they were taking that away from me by giving him his breath back.
"I kept arguing with the referee while I was in the corner, saying, 'I'm okay. I'm okay.' Let me back out," he added. "I don't know if that was more about them checking a cut or giving him some air."
Fifty seconds later, the fight resumed. And almost immediately Kawajiri stunned Alvarez with a punch that sent him to the canvas, swaying the momentum of the fight. Alvarez soon found himself mounted, but was able to scramble to his feet where he'd eventually knock his opponent down and finish him on the ground with strikes.
In a tournament format where you compete more than once in the same night, victory celebrations are short lived and the focus quickly shifts to resting, re-hydrating and preparing for the next fight. Alvarez did just that.
"I went to the back, I iced up, everything that we had practiced for the last six weeks before that night. I went through these trials plenty of times, so I did it just like I did it in practice," explained Alvarez. "I went to the back. I started icing up, massaging. I took my reload that I had. It's like carbohydrates and protein. I felt great. Within like 15 or 20 minutes, I felt fully recovered. I was icing up and all we had to do was keep that eye open.
"The doctors were checking it and everything seemed positive. Every time they came back to check it they seemed pretty positive, so I was pretty excited to be able to finish this up. Finally they sent in like seven different doctors. They all checked me. I passed all of their tests. They asked me how many fingers do I have up and whatnot. I passed everything as far as I was concerned."
"Then, they all got in a big huddle. I was like, 'what the hell is going on here? Can someone interpret, or let me know what's going on?'" continued the lightweight contender. "Finally the matchmaker came to me and was like, they think if you go back out and get hit you're going to go blind. They may even be concerned about you going blind right now, like before you even go out there. On the side of the white part of my eye, there was a blood bubble coming off of my eye, like protruding off of my eyeball. They were concerned about that busting and me having vision problems."
"I understand keeping my safety in mind, but I asked the guy, 'is it anything 100,000 dollars can't fix?' I wanted that money, man. He looked at me and said, 'seriously, I can't let you go back out there.' I just started crying like a girl. I couldn't deal with it. I worked so hard," added the disappointed fighter.
Alvarez tries to stay positive when looking back at the situation and was satisfied with his performance. "I'm not disappointed in anything that I did that night," stated the former Bodog welterweight titleholder. "The only thing I'm mad about and upset about is that I didn't get the big check that I wanted... I could have used that money. I seriously could have used that money. Other than that, I'm not disappointed about anything I did. Everything that was in my control I worked hard for, I controlled.
"The situation sucked because everything that I could control that night, like my performance and getting the knockout and everything, I was happy with. I controlled everything that I was able to, but it was just something that was beyond my control that I'm not used to."
Joachim Hansen replaced Alvarez in the finals and defeated Aoki to win the Grand Prix. With the disappointment behind him, Alvarez looks to the future. "I could have used the money, yes. But I'm still the only undefeated fighter in that tournament and I'm happy with that," he reflected. "My money will come. I'm going to get my day."
Rampage Jackson Trashes Forrest Griffin; Will Return in November
In an interview with Fighters Only Magazine, a UK publication, Rampage Jackson slammed Forrest Griffin:
...Regarding that fight, he says: "I just want my fans to know, I was at my worst, he was at his best - and I still beat him."
Jackson says that when he said [that he got his ass kicked], "I was being sarcastic, because I really could not believe that it went the way it did."
"I'm not a sore loser, shit happens. But I was hoping that Forrest would be a man and come out and say 'you know what, I didn't win that fight,' especially after he watched it."
"...But now, I don't respect him as a man. Because if it was me, I would have said, 'I have to give him a rematch right away, to remove all doubt.'"
I guess this is the beginning of the heat-up to their next fight. if Jackson pleas down his charges to probation and some community service, could we see this fight sooner than later? They sure are desperate for a November main event, but I don't know how willing they are to give Jackson a title shot given everything that just happened.
Kevin Iole interviewed Dana White for a new Yahoo Mailbag piece, and White confirmed that Jackson would return in November, but that they are still looking for an opponent:
But Jackson will fight, likely on the Nov. 15 card in Portland, Ore., and the charges won’t impede him.
“Of course he’ll fight,” White said. “If he was doing drugs, if he had been drunk, if he had gone out there and done what he did because he was pissed off at someone, that would be a completely different story. But he was ill. And in this company, we support our friends and anyone who works for us when they’re ill and have problems. He was ill, the incident occurred, and now he’s fine.
“Rampage feels awful about the woman’s baby, but he had nothing to do with it. And the (traffic incident) occurred because he was very ill and not with him in control of his faculties.”
Iceman Rx: Chuck Liddell vs. Forrest Griffin at UFC 92 (If all goes to plan)
It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world — especially for fans of mixed martial arts.
Who could have ever predicted the career of Chuck Liddell would be sandwiched between two contestants from The Ultimate Fighter (TUF)?
Yet that’s exactly what’s happened to the former light heavyweight champion, who’s had an interesting 2008.
Liddell was originally scheduled to face PRIDE assassin Mauricio Rua at UFC 85 until “Shogun” re-injured his ailing knee and was forced to withdraw.
TUF Season 2 winner and undefeated light heavyweight Rashad Evans answered the call to replace Rua, but this time it was Liddell who canceled after a devastating hamstring injury.
Now fully healed, Chuck is set to honor his commitment by battling Rashad Evans at UFC 88 at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Ga., on Saturday, September 6.
At that time of the announcement (June), it was sort of anti-climatic. After all, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson was still the 205-pound champion. Defeating Evans meant a possible autumn superfight against Shogun Rua and not the title shot for which he was hoping.
But boy have things changed since then.
Jackson was narrowly defeated by TUF Season 1 winner Forrest Griffin at UFC 86 and spent some time after the fight ranting and raving on the highway like Dr. Miles Bennell.
And Shogun somehow ended up bypassing Liddell altogether and could go straight to a Jackson rematch (from their PRIDE days) in November/December. That’s assuming he can make it that long without his knee folding up like George Jetson’s car.
So where does that leave the Iceman? In line for a title shot against Forrest Griffin at UFC 92, according to his nutrition company Iceman Rx.
Unless of course “Sugar” Rashad Evans has anything to say about it.
The Psychology of Fighting
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson’s recent hit-and-run encounter with the law reminded fans that training and competing are only two-thirds of the mixed martial arts equation. Jackson was arrested just 10 days after he relinquished his 205-pound title in a unanimous decision defeat to Forrest Griffin at UFC 86. The 30-year-old has since been charged with two felonies and could spend up to three years in jail.
“He was kind of bummed about the [Griffin fight],” said friend and one-time World Extreme Cagefighting lightweight titleholder “Razor” Rob McCullough. “He hadn’t slept. That alone will make someone act a little weird.”
Disappointment often leads to self blame, as fighters become overwhelmed by the feeling they have let down trainers, training partners, family, friends and fans. It anchors their perceived professional and personal failures.
“You can’t be embarrassed to be a warrior,” McCullough said, reflecting on his own high-profile loss to Jamie Varner earlier this year. “Win or lose.”
All celebrities walk a tightrope in the public eye, and professional athletes are no different. MMA fighters are slowly entering mainstream circles and some, like Jackson, have even started earning their Hollywood stripes. With greater fame comes the risk of greater falls.
Dana White on Kimbo Slice vs Ken Shamrock
"Another ******* joke from Gary Shaw. This ****** is so clueless that it's laughable. First he thought we protected our guys, which is bullshit. Then he gave us shit for matching up Brock against Frank Mir. Which would he rather us do? Obviously he's in favor of protecting guys since Kimbo doesn't seem to be fighting a good fighter anytime soon. Bo Cantrell? Who the **** is Bo Cantrell? Tank Abbott? He was never that good, he just looked tough and always got his ass kicked. Now Ken Shamrock? When is Kimbo going to fight a guy who was relevant past 1998? Tito Ortiz, who sucks, destroyed Ken Shamrock three times. It's clear that Gary is going to milk his YouTube cash cow for all he's worth but true fans know that Kimbo is a joke and he would get destroyed against any UFC Heavyweight. Maybe that moron Ken Shamrock will expose Kimbo and he'll go back to fighting guys at the local Burger King. Gary Shaw and his 3rd rate promotion have no ******* credibility."
Joe Lauzon "I'm not going to let any fight slip by"
In a relatively short period, 24-year-old Joe "J-Lau" Lauzon has gone from computer geek to starring on The Ultimate Fighter 5 television reality show, upsetting a former world mixed-martial-arts champ, and then headlining UFC Fight Night 13. Not too shabby for the nerd-looking but fearless fighting lightweight contender who has a Bachelor's degree in computer networking from Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston
Liddell changes his focus from title to “Rampage”?
Chuck spoke to thesun.co.uk about avenging one of the last losses on his record:
"I want to fight “Rampage” real badly. I actually think I match up very well against him, but I’ve managed to lose to him twice now. But the third fight will not have anything to do with the first two, it will be a fresh start. “Rampage” is the one fight I really want, as much as I want my title back. He’s lost the belt now, so I can’t beat him and win the title back in one fight, but I want to fight him just as bad as when he was champion.”
Speaking on his fight with Rashad Evans, Chuck thinks his unbeaten opponent won’t pose him a big threat:
"Evans is a very different type of challenge because he is very fast, goes for takedowns, and has a mentality to try and take the fight into his comfort zone. I won’t allow him to do that, I’ll pressure him for three rounds if I have to but I think I’ll knock him out. I think I’ll get to him. I have real doubts about his shot. He won’t be able to take me down. He had a hard time taking Michael Bisping down in his last fight, and I’m known for stopping shots.”
Chuck will be fighting Rashad at UFC 88 in Atlanta on September 6th, and on winning the fight, could gain himself a title shot.
MATT HUGHES ON THE MEND, SURGERY NOT LIKELY
Matt Hughes on Tuesday provided an update on the status of his knee injury via his personal blog. The outlook for the multi-time UFC welterweight champion is promising. It appears he may not need surgery.
“Last Wednesday, I went in for my second MRI and also a stress x-ray. It all came back very positive and looks as though I will not need surgery,” wrote Hughes.
“I still have to go back for my three-month check-up to find out more; but as of right now I can do more and start exercising a little bit.”
Hughes sustained the injury in a non-title fight against Thiago Silva at UFC 85 on June 7 in London. In a blog entry written shortly after the fight, Hughes confirmed that he had partially torn the ACL ligament in his knee.
There is hope that he will be healed up for a fight with Matt Serra in early 2009, possibly as soon as January or February.
Karo Parisyan ‘trying to deal with’ panic attacks
“Basically, eight months ago, I was diagnosed with panic attacks. It’s something I have been trying to deal with. I am trying to keep my head clear…. When I first got there (to Colorado), I couldn’t eat or sleep. I just didn’t want to be there. I struggled during camp (with panic attacks) and my conditioning wasn’t there. That Karo that used to come out tenacious was not there…. I am not going to stress myself out. This fight [at UFC 88] is very, very important in so many aspects and in so many ways…. It’s very simple. If I beat three bums, I get nowhere. If I beat Yoshida, I’m back in title contention. I’ve always said that if I come in shape, I can be the best at 170. Hopefully, if I can annihilate Yoshida, I can avenge some of my old losses to Thiago (Alves) and Diego Sanchez. Then I can annihilate those guys. I’m ready to show that I’m the best.”
Experienced mixed martial arts veteran and long-time Judo competitor, Karo Parisyan, reveals that he has recently been dealing with panic attacks. Being locked inside a cage with another man who wants to tear his head off — in front of a massive screaming crowd and television audience — is perhaps the worst place for someone with his condition to be. “The Heat” admits to feeling “girly” when the episodes emerge, but it seems like a step in the right direction to discuss and address them in the open — it must be extremely difficult for the the proud Armenian. Parisyan will take on the super tough Yoshiyuki Yoshida at UFC 88: “Breakthrough” at the Philips Arena in Atlanta. Ga., on September 6. Let’s hope his mind is right because this is a very good fight, which will surely deliver the goods if both fighters are in top form.
Frank Trigg ready for Falaniko Vitale (and Cung Le and Frank Shamrock)
After suffering little damage in his unanimous-decision victory over Makoto Takimoto at this past weekend's Sengoku 4 event, veteran middleweight fighter Frank Trigg (17-6) expects a proposed Oct. 3 Strikeforce bout with Falaniko Vitale (26-8) to go on as planned.
With less than seven weeks separating the bouts, and with his wife due to give birth literally any day now, Trigg wasn't initially sure if competing at the upcoming Strikeforce event would be a possibility.
However, he recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that he's ready for the fight -- and future bouts with Strikeforce world middleweight champ Cung Le (6-0) and former title-holder Frank Shamrock (23-9-2).
"I'm more tired than anything," Trigg said of his victory over Olympic gold medalist Takimoto. "My ear is a little torn up. He caught me with a good right hook early. It just bled a lot, but it wasn't really hurt or anything."
Now, Trigg will focus on the hard-hitting and, as he calls him, "very dangerous" Vitale. The Hawaiian fighter has won five of his past six fights with all but one of the victories coming via strikes. The Trigg-Vitale fight is expected to be the co-main event at "Strikeforce: Payback," which takes place Oct. 3 at the Broomfield Event Center near Denver.
Trigg, a former UFC and PRIDE fighter who turned 36 back in May, knows Father Time is casting a shadow on all his upcoming bouts. The clock is ticking, yet a series of fights fell through to create a recent eight-month layoff from competition. The Las Vegas-based Xtreme Couture fighter is now anxious to pick up the pace.
With his recently inked Strikeforce deal, Trigg is aiming for a bout with Le, the undefeated former San Shou kickboxer who beat Shamrock for the Strikeforce title back in March. As MMAjunkie.com recently reported, Strikeforce officials expect Le's burgeoning acting career to keep the fighter sidelined until early next year.
There's also been talk of a potential Trigg-Shamrock fight with Strikeforce. That fight -- and one with Le -- had been discussed at various times during the past 18 months, but they never panned out. Trigg said he want both fights in the next year, though the order makes no difference.
"Which one of the two do I want to fight first?" Trigg asked of Le and Shamrock. "If both are in my future, who cares? It doesn't make much of a difference."
However, both Strikeforce and World Victory Road are anxious for him to fight another opponent: Kazuo Misaki (20-8-2). Like Trigg, Misaki is also signed to both organizations, and since losing to Trigg at PRIDE 33, Misaki has been vocal about wanting a rematch.
"If he wants to go again, that's fine," Trigg said. "I'll be happy to beat him again."
Given the way their contracts were drawn up, Trigg expects the Misaki fight to take place in Japan under the WVR banner.
So, if everything works out as planned, Trigg could spend the next year fighting Vitale, Le, Shamrock and Misaki.
Outside of the UFC, you'd be hard pressed to find a tougher line-up.
"No one said it's going to be easy," Trigg said.
BJ Penn Willing to Wait for GSP Super Fight
UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn will have to wait just a little longer to face Georges St. Pierre, the man he’s set in his sights since conquering the 155-pound division. But it won’t be too long; manager J.D. Penn tells MMAWeekly.com that UFC president Dana White has named Jan. 31 as D-Day for B.J.’s next incursion into the 170-pound division. Penn and company had originally anticipated a showdown with St. Pierre at UFC 92 on Dec. 27 in Las Vegas.
“He’s staying strong and focused,” J.D. says. “Jan. 31 gives him an extra month to train.”
In a recent interview with MMAWeekly.com, B.J. said he’s pulling out all the stops in preparation for the fight. It’s not just an issue of avenging a loss – he dropped a split decision to St. Pierre at UFC 58 in his second go-around as a UFC welterweight – but advancing the sport to a higher level.
“St. Pierre, he’s got his Canadian fans, his American fans, his fans all over the world,” B.J. said. “I could see in one night that fight jumping the sport of mixed martial arts leaps and bounds. It could be maybe the Joe Frazier/Muhammad Ali type fight that the sport is looking for right now.”
The UFC’s Super Bowl weekend cards have taken on increased importance since the sport’s meteoric rise in visibility. With Penn and St. Pierre coming off extremely impressive performances at UFC 84 and UFC 87, respectively, the event has the potential to splash black ink across Zuffa’s first quarter balance sheet for 2009.
UFC president Dana White recently told Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports that the company was having a retreat this week to figure out the marquee fights for the four yet to be announced cards, starting with UFC 91 on Nov. 15 in Portland, Ore.
As of yet, no other fights have been rumored or confirmed for the Jan. 31 card in Las Vegas.
Tim McKenzie Out of Sept. 10th WEC Fight
The upcoming World Extreme Cagefighting show set for Sept. 10 has undergone another change. MMAWeekly.com has learned that Tim McKenzie has been forced to drop off the card due to an undisclosed injury.
McKenzie was set to take on David Avellan in the 205-pound division, but as of now it appears the fight may get scrapped all together with Avallan’s opponent out of the bout.
Following a disappointing return to the WEC that saw McKenzie lose to now champion Steve Cantwell, he got back to his winning form with a submission over Jeremy Lang in June.
No word has come down as to the medical reason behind McKenzie’s departure from the show.
As of now, the WEC show still boasts a total of 10 bouts, which could mean that David Avellan could be bumped to a future show, unless a last minute replacement steps in.
Thales Leites analyzes fight with Reljic
With four victories in a row, Thales Leites will have a tough opponent at UFC 90. After a huge unanimous decision victory over Nate Marquardt, Leites faces now Goran Reljic, that won his eight bouts at light-heavyweight division and now debuts at 185’s. “I’m expecting a great fight, everything is fine. I’m training hard and the only different detail is that he’s left-handed, but the reat is all the same”, said the Nova União’s athlete, that doesn’t believes it’ll be a problem.
“I never fought a left handed before, but it won’t be a problem. I’m well trained, I saw some videos and I’m doing my preparation with left-handed athletes… The sad thing is that we (right-handed) don’t usually train with left-handed athletes”, said the athlete, that bet at the middleweight decision between Anderson Silva and Patrick Cote.
“I think it’ll be a huge fight, but I think Anderson will take it… If Patrick wants to do a game on feet he won’t make it, Anderson is taller, more technical and is left-handed. But it’s a fight and everything can happen”, bet Leites, that wants to win another fight to get a titleshot. “Obviously I wanna win the title… If any fighter says he doesn’t wants to fight for the belt, he’s crazy or a liar. But my main focus is to keep winning and if they call me I’ll be ready”, said the athlete.
MMA Fighters...The Hardest I've ever been hit
When I fought Jorge Oliveira in WEC. It Sucked!
-- "Mr. International" Shonie Carter
"My most painful was probably David Loiseau's elbows... Felt like getting hit in the head with a bamboo pole....
-Mike "Quick" Swick
"It was my dad in 8th grade...I wiped boogers(i know i was old but immature and still am)on a girl and teacher got pissed and told my dad. It was a private school so my dad was really embarrassed so he beat the shit out of me on the drive home in the car it felt like sledgehammers hittin' me at 20 punches per second! Either that or training at TUF2 with Keith Jardine he kicked me in the head and I was out for a few seconds...that sucked!.
---Seth "The Silverback" Petruzelli
In preparation for Forrest Griffin's fight with Rampage (Jackson) we were doing a lot of hard sparring at Extreme Couture. There was a particular day when Forrest hit me clean with a solid left hook to the liver followed by a left Thai kick straight to the liver as well. Needless to say either shot would have dropped me but both in succession of one another sort of felt like I was having my colon removed while I was awake. I still finished the round but it did almost kill me.
"I would have to say taking a clean and clear right cross to the forehead just above my left eye. The guy who punched me was Falaniko Vitale. We were sparring last year around this time and we were coming to the end of the round. I felt pretty confident with my left hook so I was in the process of throwing one when "POW"!! I dropped to a knee and put my right fist on the ground, "3 points of contact" to try and get my bearings back:) It is still the hardest I have ever been hit. My head felt like it did when you were a kid and you would fall off your skate board and smack the back of your head on the concrete. A vibrating cold feeling and then you're snapped back to normal:)".
--"The SGT" Steve Byrnes
"Most painful hit I've ever been hit with was probably a liver shot from (Jens) Pulver. It happened more than once, and every time I wished I got KO'd cause it's hard to explain the amount of pain I was in..
--Bart "Bartimus" Paleszewski
Dan Henderson almost knocks me out every day at practice, Thierry (Sokodjou) kicks the shit outta my legs, Mayhem (Jason Miller) has given me the hardest liver kick fortunately all my training partners though.".
--Jesse "JT Money" Taylor
"Well I don't need any more herpes rumors getting out... I would say most hits aren't painful, especially during the fight. You're either conscious or not. Probably the worst are body shots, a good hit in the liver is pretty debilitating. I've been dropped in practice a few times with those."
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Mickey's signs Tito Ortiz, set to release limited-edition cans
Despite being a free agent with no MMA home of which to speak, former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz remains a popular pick with sponsors.
In fact, Mickey's Fine Malt Liquor has signed Ortiz to a sponsorship deal, and this week, the company will roll out commemorative Mickey's cans that feature Ortiz's likeness.
Mickey's has provided MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) an exclusive first look at the cans.
"Tito is one of the most talented and popular athletes in the world of mixed martial arts, and Mickey's is thrilled to bring the partnership to life for our fans with this limited-edition can," Mickey's Brand Manager Mike Davitt stated. "Many people have wanted to get their hands on Tito over the years. Well, this is their chance."
Financial terms of the sponsorship deal were not revealed.
"Can" jokes aside, Ortiz (15-6-1) remains one of the sport's most recognizable stars and one of the very top pay-per-view draws in MMA history. However, he's winless in his past three fights, and despite announcing he agreed to a "record-breaking" contract with Affliction earlier this month, Ortiz currently remains a free agent.
The Ortiz cans hit stores this week and will be available through the end of the year.
Exclusive KJ Noons: I'm Not Ducking Nick Diaz
"I'm not ducking Nick Diaz at all" Noons told MMANews.com "anybody with half a brain knows how big a fight that could be for me."
This fight could be the biggest fight of my career." said Noons of the fight with Diaz "Taking a fight with Nick Diaz is not the problem at all, the problem is the fight with EliteXC."
Unwilling to go further in terms of what the problem is with the company and when asked if it had anything to do with contract negoiations, Noons would only say that the problem goes deeper than just contract negoiations.
Noons again told MMANews.com that he would hold a conference call when the time was right to tell his side of the story.
What is going on behind the scenes can only be left to speculation but there is obviously a stand still between EliteXC and their Lightweight Champ, KJ Noons.