Sokoudjou: "I felt like someone stole my body and gave me a girl's"
When Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (5-3) burst onto the world's MMA landscape in 2007 with knockout wins over Ricardo Arona and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, "The African Assassin" was a picture of power and strength.
But after a disappointing 1-2 stretch in the UFC, Sokoudjou's lack of fitness became a major concern for his future endeavors.
With just hours remaining before Sokoudjou's "Affliction: Day of Reckoning" bout with Renato "Babalu" Sobral (31-7) in Anaheim, Calif., the Team Quest fighter told TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that he's ready to put an end to questions of his fitness.
"Usually I wake up 10 pounds over (on the day of the weigh-ins), but I did it different this time," Sokoudjou said. "[This time] I was three pounds over.
"I don't want to do a big cut anymore and get in the sauna and kill myself forever. This time I decided to get on a diet a long time ago and get my weight down to where I don't need a sauna anymore."
The chiseled Sokoudjou's strength and explosiveness have long been considered his greatest assets. But in UFC losses to Luis Cane and Lyoto Machida -- defeats that led to Sokoudjou's release from the organization -- the Cameroon native faded quickly after the opening five minutes.
Sokoudjou readily admitted his faults.
"Last time I had a big cut, and then halfway through the fight I felt like someone stole my body and gave me a girl's body to fight with," Sokoudjou said.
Dana White: Phone call to BJ Penn during ‘Primetime Live’ was as real as it gets
“… if you saw the fallout with me and B.J. during [”Primetime Live”] — a lot of people thought that was contrived, but we don’t ******* fake anything here — it was all real. We could have done a behind the scenes of the behind the scenes on that one. It’s a great product. The end result was awesome. I think the cinematography is amazing. I think the storyline is great. It pumps you up when you watch it and gets you ready for what I call, just to let you know how big this fight is, it’s Haggler-Hearns, it’s Haggler-Leonard, it’s any of the big Tyson fights…. [Me and BJ] got into it a little bit. I’ve had a relationship with this kid for like 11 years. His brother described it best when he said we’re like a family. We’re a dysfunctional family sometimes, but we’re family. Not everybody agrees on everything, but it’s all good. I’m fond of B.J.. I’m fond of Georges. They’re both great guys and they’re both great athletes, and this is going to be a great fight. The whole thing with the phone call was just that all he needed to do was pick up the phone and say, ‘Everything’s good. I’m training.’ It would have avoided a lot of behind the scenes drama.”
Affliction - DOR - Preview w/Guest Fighter Picks!
This weekend Affliction will host their second ever event, which as the first will also be headlined by undefeated heavyweight phenom Fedor Emelianenko. The former PRIDE champion and current WAMMA champion will face off against former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski.
The card will also feature PRIDE’s 2006 Open-Weight Grand Prix finalist Josh Barnett against the highly controversial striker Gilbert Yvel, as well as “Baby Fedor” Kiril Sidelnikov against former UFC heavyweight contender Paul Buentello, and late replacement Bobby Green against WCF veteran Dan Lauzon.
The main card, which will air live on pay-per-view, is rounded out with top ten middleweight Matt Lindland against Vitor Belfort and Strikeforce’s light heavyweight champion Renato “Babalu” Sobral against PRIDE and UFC veteran Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou. The HDNet-hosted preliminary card will feature PRIDE veteran Antonio Rogerio Nogueira against IFL champion Vladimir Matyushenko, L.C. Davis against Bao Quach (who fights as a late-notice replacement for Mark Hominick), and IFL welterweight champion Jay Hieron against Jason High.
Mike Reilly (Team Bison) – “There are two very different Andrei Arloski’s. One is really an average fighter who panics under pressure – the other is a stone cold killer with the hands of a top 10 pro boxer, the skills of a world class grappler, and the mind of a rapid Pitbull on crack who just found someone banging his wife on Christmas morning. This Andrei could be the best one the planet. This Andrei can drop any man, at anytime. His straight right is a king maker. There is only one Fedor. The quintessential Russian fighter. He can beat you with overwhelming forces. He can beat you with guile. And he can take a beating so server that it would kill a dozen lesser men. The saying goes that “Russians are born to bleed, but never die.” I foresee a long drawn out bloody civil war. This may be the fight that makes most of the world turn away as every vodka loving son of a bitch watches that much closer. In the end I see Fedor outlasting the Pitbull. Draining him and finishing him last in the fight as a non-Russian ref finally puts and end to the fight. However if the Pitbull lands that clean straight right we will see the last legend of the sport fall.”
For the REST:
Barnett & Babalu Talk Affliction---
Josh Barnett & Renato 'Babalu' Sobral Leading up to Affliction 'Day of Reckoning'
PDG: So much to lose by taking this fight and not much to win. Why did you as a top 3 Heavyweight in the world take this fight? Barnett: Because it’s a fight; Plain and simple. I can wait around to fight one guy and let my career pass me by or I can get in there and do what I love to do: commit murder.
For the rest:
'King Mo' Returns At Sengoku VIII
Ryo Kawamura will take on rising Sengoku star, King Mo. Kawamura is the current light-heavyweight King of Pancrase, and this should be a very good fight.
Sengoku also confirmed that they have about 80% of the participants ready for the featherweight GP. There will be an announcement shortly, but Marlon Sandro have said that he is in.
Pros Pick: Emelianenko vs Arlovski
John Hackleman: Fedor by overhand right.
Cung Le: Fedor by decision.
Patrick Cote: I’ll go with Fedor by submission in the second round.
Pros that picked Fedor to win: 26
Pros that picked Arlovski to win: 4
DREAM. 7 set for March 8th
FEG officially announced the date for the next Dream event. Dream 7 is all set to take place on March 8th in Japan.
The event will mark the opening round of Dream’s recently announced Featherweight Grand Prix tournament. No fighters have been announced for the event at this time.
Georges St. Pierre vs BJ Penn 2 is the fight of a lifetime
“You’re lucky if you see three or four of these fights in your lifetime. Two of the best fighters in the world in their weight classes — both champions — facing each other both in their prime. I know I keep saying this every time we put on another event, but I think this is going to be the biggest one we’ve ever done (on pay-per-view). B.J. is going to go down in history as one of the greatest lightweights in history. Georges St. Pierre has the opportunity to possibly beat B.J. Penn for the second time and possibly move up and take on Anderson Silva at 185 pounds….. It’s not boxing where one guy moves up six weight classes because he’s only jumping up three or four pounds. To hold two different titles in two different weight classes with the big jump in this sport is a big deal and something to be proud of.”
Affliction: Day of Reckoning Weigh-In Results
Fedor Emelianenko 230 vs. Andrei Arlovski 237
Josh Barnett 248 vs. Gilbert Yvel 240
Matt Lindland 186 vs. Vitor Belfort 184
Renato "Babalu" Sobral 204 vs. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou 205.25
Kirill Sidelnikov 229.5 vs. Paul Buentello 244
Vladimir Matyushenko 204.5 vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira 204.75
Jay Hieron 169.25 vs. Jason High 170
Dan Lauzon 155.5 vs. Bobby Green 155.5
Bao Quach 145.5 vs. L.C. Davis 143.75
Antonio Duarte 145 vs. Albert Rios 145
Brett Cooper 169 vs. Patrick Speight 169
Arlovski set to move into boxing after fight with Fedor
According to trainer Freddie Roach, Andrei Arlovski will move into boxing following his match-up with Fedor Emelianenko at the Affliction: Day of Reckoning PPV. Roach already knows who he wants Arlovski to face.
“Andrei’s going into boxing after this,” said Roach. “After we knockout Fedor, I’d like for him to challenge for the heavyweight championship against (WBA heavyweight champion Nikolay) Valuev.”
TJ Grant to Debut against Chonan at UFC 97
When most fighters learn they have finally received a coveted UFC invitation, their emotions can run the gamut, from incredulousness to joy. However, when Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, native T.J. Grant learned he had an offer to fight at UFC 97 on April 18 in Montreal, he tried to go back to sleep.
Grant (13-2) is currently half a world away, training his muay Thai with teammate Ryan Jimmo at the famed Kaewsamrit Gym in Thailand, and when his manager/trainer, Scott MacLean, gave him the big news, he did not really believe it.
Swick Injured, out at least 3 1/2 months
In recent weeks reports have circulated linking UFC welterweight competitor Mike Swick to potential fights vs. Anthony Johnson or Georges St. Pierre. While those fights still could happen at a later date, FiveOuncesOfPain.com has learned that an aggravation of a foot injury will prevent the season one veteran of The Ultimate Fighter from accepting a bout for at least the next three and a half months.
Andrei Arlovski's opportunity of a lifetime
Saturday will mark the culmination of eight years worth of challenges for Andrei Arlovski. Facing him at Affliction’s “Day of Reckoning” is the man generally considered to be the scariest, most talented, ruthless fighter to set foot on MMA’s canvas: Fedor Emelianenko.
For three months, this phrase has almost become a mantra: He’s only human.
A necessary reminder, of course, for a man many believe to be unbeatable.
“I thought nobody can beat me, but everybody knows that Tim Sylvia beat me twice,” counters Arlovski. “He’s a human. I guess he was prepared for all the fights very good.”
Arlovski wants the world to know he prepared for the fight of his life like no other. For three months, his web series, “Arlovski 360,” has chronicled the sweat shed for Emelianenko, along with his thoughts on facing the champion. It’s a record for him, too. Whatever happens on Jan. 24, he can look at the tape and know he did his best.
But to beat the unbeatable, the journey really begins and ends in his mind.
“I have to be mentally prepared for this fight I think the most,” he said. “I want to be the first in MMA to beat Fedor.”
Another mantra follows this wish: I will do everything possible to beat him.
Arlovski says the addition of Freddie Roach made his camp more experimental, a welcome change from the usual orbit of boxing/wrestling/jiu-jitsu, that, while necessary, gets old. Roach’s inexperience in the world of MMA shook up the well-defined play between steady coaches Mike Garcia, Dino Costeas, and Sean Bormet.
“I was really surprised, and at the same time excited, because Freddie asked me…'what can you do for example, can you kick here or punch there?' says Arlovski. "And all my trainers are here. Everybody asks each other, ‘what do you think about this?’ Everybody is on the same page, and it’s great. Freddie asks ‘what if you kick him low here or front kick here, can you punch here?’ I think so, let’s try it.”
Cowboy Cerrone Riding Into WEC Title Shot
Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone is finally going to get his shot at the World Extreme Cagefighting lightweight title against Jamie “The Worm” Varner. Cerrone is a perfect 9-0 in his mixed martial arts career and a title shot is the next logical progression for the Colorado native.
He has been on a tear through the lightweight division, beating everyone impressively. Eight of his nine victories have come by way of submission, five by triangle choke.
Nate Loughran Injured, Will Not Fight At UFN 18
Although recent reports had him listed as a possible opponent for WEC import Nissen Osterneck at UFN 18, Nate Loughran's manager says Loughran will not be ready to fight and may be out until May or June. Loughran is recovering from a broken rib and cartillage damage.