Now and yen: UFC flirting with Japanese market
Lights, Gamera, Action.
It seems the UFC is kicking around the idea of making a run at mixed martial arts in the Land of the Rising Sun. In fact, several of Japan’s media outlets including Nikkan and Houchi Sports have a spring 2009 date for an alleged UFC invasion.
As the mill turns, names are already being paired up for combat. Of course a rematch between Takanori Gomi and BJ Penn is a no-brainer, as is Kid Yamamoto vs Uriah Faber. But appearances by Kazushi Sakuraba and Hidehiko Yoshida aren’t exactly whetting my appetite.
Not that it matters. A Japanese event needs Japanese icons, which describes both Sakuraba and Yoshida. And if the UFC really wants to sell tickets, Hong Man Choi vs. Dalip Singh is a MUST.
While this story has yet to be corroborated by the UFC, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to most MMA fans. On July 11 the UFC signed a contract with WOWOW Broadcasting to air UFC pay-per-views in Japan, and after successful shows in England it seems only fitting for Zuffa to capture the former Mecca of mixed martial arts.
Besides, the way DREAM and Sengoku are performing finacially, they may have little or no competition.
UFC Quick Quote: My cup runneth over
“Matter of fact, I’m wearing his cup. That’s probably why I got the knockout because I’m wearing his cup! I fogot to say that - I’m wearing his cup! We’re brothers…we all just come together and help each other out.”
“Sugar” Rashad Evans reveals his secret weapon against Chuck Liddell during a UFC 88 post-fight interview. Evans shocked the world twice in twenty-four hours. First by knocking out “The Iceman” in brutal fashion at UFC 88 ‘Breakthrough” and then by sharing just how close Team Jackson gets during training. TMI!
UFC 88 fighter salary released.
MMAWeekly has obtained the fighter salary information from the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission for UFC 88 featuring Chuck Liddell vs. Rashad Evans, which took place on Saturday, Sept. 6, at the Philips Arena in Atlanta.
The following figures are based on the fighter salary information that promoters are required by law to submit to the state athletic commissions, including the winners' bonuses.
Evan Tanner Death Confirmed in California
Update 9:28 PM ET: MMA on Tap has been able to confirm through members of Tanner’s camp that the body found in Palo Verde mountain area was indeed that of Evan Tanner. No other details are available at this time and Tanner’s camp has asked that everyone please respect the wishes of his family at this time. Everyone here at MMA on Tap would like to send our condolences to Tanner’s family and friends.
Im pretty speechless, but i will say that ever since i started watching MMA (2005) i have had the utmost respect for this guy. I remember when i first heard that he taught himself jiu-jitsu just by watching tutorial tapes, then he became the champion! Tanner was always a warrior and my heart goes out to his family.
LIDDELL & FRANKLIN TOP UFC 88 MEDICAL SUSPENSIONS
Not surprisingly, Chuck Liddell was given the most serious of medical suspensions coming out of Saturday's UFC 88 in Atlanta. The former champ is suspended for 60 days and will require a CT Scan or MRI and a neurological evaluation before being cleared to fight again.
Rich Franklin is also suspended for 60 days for the serious cut above his right eye, while opponent Matt Hamill is suspended for 30 days.
Martin Kampmann is suspended 30 days for his TKO loss to Nate Marquardt. According to a post-fight doctor’s report, he had soreness in his jaw and “TMJ tenderness.”
Thiago Tavares is also suspended for 60 days and will require a CT scan to his face to evaluate his nose and “zygomatic arch” before being cleared to fight again.
Michael Patt is suspended for 42 days and will require a CT scan to fight again. He sustained a nasal septal fracture in his fight with Tim Boetsch.
Ryo Chonan is suspended for 42 days due to a large laceration on his right eye.
Matt Brown is suspended for 15 days due to a cut he sustained in his fight with Dong Hyun Kim.
The remaining fighters on the card were suspended for 7 days, standard practice for anyone fighting in the state of Georgia.
A report on the economic activity generated by the event is also forthcoming, said Matthew Carrothers, director of media relations for Secretary of State Karen Handel.
UFC's Martin Kampmann considering move to 170 pounds
Coming off his first-ever UFC loss -- and just the second defeat of his professional career -- UFC middleweight Martin Kampmann (13-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC) could finally pull the trigger on a move down to welterweight.
Over the weekend, Kampmann told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that he's been considering a drop to 170 pounds.
The Xtreme Couture fighter said he's received encouragement from many of his teammates, including team leader and current UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture.
Kampmann, 26, fought this past weekend at "UFC 88: Breakthrough" in just his second fight back since a significant knee injury (and two subsequent knee surgeries) that kept him sidelined for more than 16 months. Although he returned with a quick submission victory over Jorge Rivera in June, Kampmann suffered a first-round TKO to Nate Marquardt this past weekend.
Kampmann mentioned the possible move to welterweight prior to the loss.
"On the morning of (UFC 88) weigh-ins, Martin was eating breakfast with nothing to worry about," said Kampmann's agent, Ken Pavia. "He's been considering the move for a while now. He's a pretty small middleweight."
Kampmann had been considered a top middleweight contender prior to UFC 88. With the loss, he's now at least a few fights -- and possibly more than a year -- away from a shot at the belt, which is currently held by Anderson Silva.
However, things wouldn't get much easier in the UFC's deep 170-pound division. A small army of contenders -- including Diego Sanchez, Thiago Alves, Jon Fitch, Josh Koscheck and Mike Swick, just to name a few -- are jockeying for the chance to fight current title-holder Georges St. Pierre. (St. Pierre, though, is expected to first fight current lightweight champ B.J. Penn on Jan. 31.)
Matt Serra: "I want to retire Matt Hughes"
"I think I'm a bad matchup for Matt Hughes," Serra said. "I think he's a one-trick pony, and he's not good at that one trick. If people think that he's putting me to the mat like GSP did, he's not one-third as explosive as GSP. He's not putting me down like that. If he does, I have way better jiu-jitsu than I've shown in my last fight. There's so much stuff, and I want to show that if he does put me down."
Even if Serra defeats Hughes and makes his point, there are no plans on riding off into the sunset. His allure to fight is that strong. It's mightier than creating the next champion, equally hip with becoming an action figure ("I'm going to be a freakin' action figure. That's going to be the coolest thing in the world," Serra said). And almost as powerful as becoming a first-time father.
"Whenever it gets to the point where it's not fun for me and I'm not enjoying it, then maybe I'll think about retiring," Serra said. "As long as there are fights that excite me, I'll be fighting, man."
UFC Heading to Japan
The Japanese press is reporting that the UFC is looking to put on a mega-event in Japan as early as next spring. Dave Meltzer reported on this a while back.
Word is they're calling out the top Japanese stars and hoping to set up a battle of the Zuffa champs vs the Japanese stars. Dana is apparently hoping to land Kazushi Sakuraba, Kid Yamamoto, Hidehiko Yoshida and Takanori Gomi to face Zuffa's top stars. Presumably they want Urijah Faber vs Yamamoto and B.J. Penn to rematch Takanori Gomi. Not sure who which wolf they want to throw Sakuraba to. And Brock Lesnar vs Hidehiko Yoshida is just too dreadful to contemplate.
Clearly from a business angle they're after the right Japanese fighters, although you could make a case for Yoshihiro Akiyama instead of Sakuraba, both as a draw and as a top fighter. Regardless, it would require getting both DREAM and World Victory Road on board, as well as securing a Japanese TV deal.
Rich Franklin talks win and weight class
It wasn’t an easy job, but former UFC middleweight champ Rich Franklin got it done, stopping former training partner Matt Hamill with a liver kick in the final round of their UFC 88 fight in Atlanta. The onslaught of takedowns Franklin and many pundits expected never came, and as the fight wore on, his kicks made sure of that. His lone stay on the mat was short lived.
“I just put myself in the mindset that if I ended up on my back I was comfortable there anyway, it didn’t matter to me,” he said. “I assumed that he would probably have several shot attempts that I just wouldn’t be able to defend, because he’s such high caliber wrestler.
Rich franklin talks about mashida later on in the interview. Very good point he makes about having a history of bad luck vs "south paws from chute box"
he is a cool guy. i love that he can joke
oh my sorry i guess i got caught up in the moment
Anderson: “Paulo Filho is the best middleweight”
Pointed for many as the best pound for pound MMA fighters, Anderson Silva has no doubts on pointing his favorite athlete in his own division. “Paulão (Paulo Filho) is no comments, he’s complete. I think he’s absolute in this division, there’s nobody to beat him. In my opinion, he’s the best middleweight”, said Anderson, that doesn’t think about unifying the WEC and UFC belts in a fight against Filho.
“I would never fight with Paulão. We almost train together, we’re always helping each other and (Josuel) Distak is our coach. There’s no chance to happen. People can complain, scream, whatever, but it won’t happen”, said the UFC middleweight champion.
Next For Rashad: Title Shot
Rashad Evans' devastating KO of Chuck Liddell earned him far more than the $60,000 KO Of The Night bonus-it's also earned him a title shot. Dana White confirmed that Evans has earned a shot at the UFC Light Heavyweight Title, but didn't mention exactly when. Rumors are it could be at UFC 92 in December.
UFC 88 AWARDS: FIGHTER BONUSES NET $60,000
Rashad Evans took the heat in “Hot-lanta” to a whole new level on Saturday night as the Ultimate Fighting Championship descended on Atlanta. He spent the first round being stalked by former UFC champion Chuck Liddell, but didn’t wait long to score the “Knockout of the Night” in round two
Exclusive Interview: Chuck Liddell
Chuck Liddell isn’t the easiest man to get on the phone. But our buddy Ben Zeidler pinned him down yesterday for a wide-ranging discussion on his impending title shot, Dana White’s trustworthiness, money, and tonight’s UFC 88 fight against Rashad Evans. (Quick prediction: “I’m gonna knock him out.”) So without further ado…
CAGEPOTATO: What’s the plan for Rashad Evans?
CHUCK LIDDELL: I’m gonna punch him until he falls down and then I’m gonna punch him a few more times until they stop me. Can’t give you more of a gameplan than that. Simple.
Can you handle Rashad’s wrestling? You wrestled at San Luis Obispo, but Evans is one of the top wrestlers in the sport.
I mean, that’s definitely one of his strengths and you have to worry about it, but you know, I was a Division I wrestler myself so I can handle him.
What do you see happening if the fight goes to the ground? Will you stay there or try to stand back up?
I’ll try to stand back up. The plan is to get back to the feet and make him work to keep me down. No matter where the fight is, he’ll have to work.
What from your strategy will you bring in from the Wanderlei fight and what will you leave out?
I’ll probably use just about everything.
Werdum still wants the heavyweight belt
Randy Couture’s back to UFC may have pushed a Brazilian fighter back in the title line. Pointed as the next contender with a new victory at UFC 90, against Junior Cigano, Fabrício Werdum maybe was forgotten by the Dana White, Ultimate president, that put Randy Couture to face Brock Lesnar, who only has one fight in the octagon, and the winner will face the winner of Nogueira-Mir bout. “Ultimate thinks about business, and Lesnar is more famous in United States. I don’t know how they’ll do it, because my new contract guarantees a title shot with a victory against Cigano”, said Werdum to TATAME.com.
Brock Lesnar and the road to Randy Couture
Quite frankly, it had gotten to the point where it didn’t seem as if there was any chance Randy “The Natural” Couture would ever fight in the UFC again. After all, he wanted a match with Fedor Emelianenko— who currently fights for Affliction— and had said some rather unsettling things about the UFC upon initiating his recent hiatus from the fight game. But then came the announcement that we were all waiting for—Randy Couture would be fighting again.
But it wouldn’t be against the guy we all thought it would be against. Forget Fedor for now; apparently those recent rumblings were true. That’s right, we’re talking about Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Couture at UFC 91 on November 15th.
“We aired out a lot of our differences, resolved a lot of things,” said Randy Couture on ESPN’s SportsCenter regarding his problems with the UFC.
Rousimar Palhares: “Henderson can say whatever he wants; the fight will be decided in the Octagon”
While Rousimar Palhares has yet to gain much traction with casual UFC fans, his outstanding Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu credentials have caught the eyes of many hardcore fans. When it comes to Palhares and his recent entry in the UFC, there is a certain buzz going around as it pertains to him.
Palhares made his UFC debut at UFC 84 this past May thanks in large part to his impressive 3-0 record while competing for Brazil’s Fury Fighting Championships. Facing veteran Ivan Salaverry in his Octagon debut, Palhares did not disappoint after he notched a first round armbar submission.
While the fight with Salaverry was not featured during the live portion of the PPV broadcast, the performance was still strong enough to spark some fans to suggest that Palhares could be an eventual challenger for current UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Based on the UFC’s decision to match Palhares against former PRIDE middleweight and welterweight champion Dan Henderson in just his second UFC match during tonight’s UFC 88 event, it’s safe to say that the promotion things highly of him as well.