Part II of interview with ProElite Chairman Chuck Champion
On Friday, we debuted Part I of our exclusive interview with new ProElite Chairman Chuck Champion. Champion was gracious enough to sit down with Five Ounces of Pain for an extended interview.
In Part I, we asked Champion his thoughts on the resignations of Doug DeLuca and Gary Shaw; whether Shaw’s son, EliteXC Vice President Jared Shaw would be remaining with the company; Champion’s business background before getting involved with MMA; whether a replacement for Shaw will be recruited outside the company; and more.
In Part II, Champion answers questions regarding what needs to happen in order for MMA to go to the next level; whether EliteXC will focus on going after established stars or up-and-coming fight prospects; whether the company’s plans for Sept. and Oct. are too ambitious; if the company can survive without pay-per-view revenue; what the future holds for ProElite.com; his thoughts on the most recent CBS show; and more.
Rolling with the Flo: Ever-talented Kenny Florian readies for UFC 87
He already may be the best television analyst in mixed martial arts. As a studio analyst, he has no peer.
As a prognosticator, he's tops in his field and his newsletter almost reads like a post-fight recap and not a prefight prediction.
He speaks six languages, is the son of a heart surgeon and grew up in a well-to-do area of suburban Boston. At first glance, Kenny Florian might seem better suited for a job behind the cameras or on the production.
But this erudite, engaging man is as ferocious inside the octagon as any man in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
And while he's one of the sport's finest ambassadors, it's the punishment he's able to deliver, as well as take, that has endeared him to UFC president Dana White. They're both from the Boston area, but the local ties play no role in White's admiration for Florian.
Stann Wants Cantwell To Regret Rematch
Never one to back down from a challenge, World Extreme Cagefighting light heavyweight champion Brian Stann will for the second time in his career face Steve Cantwell. The first time definitely favored Stann, who picked up the TKO win in only 41 seconds.
But this time around, Stann puts his WEC gold on the line and that makes it like the first fight never even happened.
“I really don’t care about that first fight I fought with him,” Stann said in a recent interview with MMAWeekly Radio.
Beyond the significance of the title fight, the highly decorated Marine thinks that he has progressed much, much further in his own skill level since defeating Cantwell the first time.
“I was seven weeks back from Iraq to the day at that point in time. I was pulling guys off the street to come in and spar with me and grapple with me. The closest thing I had for a jiu-jitsu coach at that time was a blue belt,” Stann commented. “I can’t even imagine the difference between me the first time I fought him to now.”
WILL RANDY COUTURE FIGHT AGAIN?
LONG BEACH, Calif. – MMAWeekly.com caught up with former UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture this week at a signing for his new book, “Becoming the Natural.” He was tired, bogged down from 14-hour days of back-to-back interviews and PR events. Wife Kim Couture described the book tour as a full day of being “on,” smiling and shaking hands, a constant parade of new faces.
A little over a week into the tour, Couture is getting tired of talking about himself all day.
“All the time,” he said with a smile.
Couture’s success outside the cage has blossomed since his departure from the UFC. He’s got a book, a movie debut, and a slate of film projects into next year. His fighting career, though, may be in serious jeopardy.
Nick Diaz camp wants KJ Noons but will settle for Hayato ‘Mach’ Sakurai
Elite XC lightweight contender Nick Diaz provided his hometown fans in Stockton, Calif., with an exciting early second round technical knockout win over Thomas “Wildman” Denny last Saturday night during Elite XC: “Unfinished Business.”
The question now is: What is next for the Cesar Gracie jiu-jitsu black belt?
On the surface there are two very obvious answers to that question, both of which involve world titles. Either Diaz will take on Hayato “Mach” Sakurai (32-8-2) in Japan at DREAM 6 for the company’s welterweight gold, or he’ll finally get his redemption fight against Elite XC lightweight champion KJ Noons (7-2).
So which fight is going to happen?
Diaz has made it clear that he enjoys competing in Japan — where he feels the art of this sport is better appreciated and the rules favor more of a traditional martial arts style. He was already supposed to have fought Sakurai at DREAM 5 two weeks ago, but that fight fell through when Diaz learned he was instead going to fight in Stockton for Elite XC.
It seemed obvious that Diaz would have much rather taken on “Mach” for a world title than a mediocre Thomas Denny in a non-title affair, but there’s more to that story than meets the eye.
Not only was he fighting in his hometown an exciting idea for Diaz, but there’s also some hesitation on his part to compete for DREAM since the Japanese based company has yet to pay him a single dime for his May win over Katsuya Inoue at DREAM 3.
WEC 35 - Weigh In Results
Champ Carlos Condit (169.5) vs. Hiromitsu Miura (169) -- for welterweight title
Champ Brian Stann (201.5) vs. Steve Cantwell (205) -- for light heavyweight title
Champ Jamie Varner (155) vs. Marcus Hicks (156)* -- for lightweight title
Brian Bowles (136) vs. Damacio Page (135)
Josh Grispi (145) vs. Micah Miller (145)
Brock Larson (171) vs. Carlo Prater (170)
Blas Avena (170) vs. Dave Terrel (170)
Todd Moore (154) vs. Shane Roller (155)
Mike Budnik (154) vs. Greg McIntyre (155)
Scott Jorgensen (135.5) vs. Kenji Osawa (135.5)
* -- After weighing 156, was given an additional hour to make weight. He made the 155-pound limit shortly after
UFC 87 week of events
The UFC returns to pay per view next weekend for UFC 87, which takes place Aug. 9 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minn. UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre takes on Jon Fitch in the night's main event.
The UFC recently announced details for UFC 87's weigh-ins and pre-event autograph sessions.
In a rare move, the UFC will also make the pre-event press conference open to the public.
The week of events begins on Thursday at the Mall of American Rotunda for the press conference. It begins at 1 p.m. local time and is followed by an autograph signing with Matt Serra, Nate Quarry, Clay Guida, Amir Sadollah, Keith Jardine and Sean Sherk.
On Friday, the UFC's fan club has autograph sessions with Matt Hughes, Guida, Sherk and Quarry (1-3 p.m.) and a pre-weigh-in Q&A with UFC President Dana White and Sadollah (2 p.m.).
Doors to the weigh-ins then open to the general public at 3 p.m., and the first fighter is expected to hit the scale at 4 p.m.
Report: Gina Carano vs. Kelly Kobold-Gavin at Oct. 4 EliteXC
After her dominating win over Shayna Baszler at last weekend's "EliteXC: Unfinished Business" event, Cristiane Cyborg (5-0) was mentioned as a possible Oct. 4 opponent for EliteXC poster girl Gina Carano (6-0).
Instead, the undefeated Carano is expected to face Kelly Kobold-Gavin (16-2-1), according to Mike Chiappetta of NBCSports.com, citing a source close to one of the fighters.
The bout is expected to be announced soon, according to the report.
The Carano vs. Kobold-Gavin fight will be one of the main draws for the October CBS-broadcast event, which takes place at the 22,000-seat BankAtlantic Center near Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Heavyweight Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson is slated to headline the event.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) reported last weekend that Carano, a gladiator on NBC's "American Gladiators," had been announced as an Oct. 4 competitor. However, an opponent wasn't immediately revealed.
Kobold-Gavin, a six-year MMA veteran, hasn't competed since August 2006, when she suffered a unanimous-decision loss to Julie Kedzie at a BodogFIGHT event. It was her second consecutive loss after strarting her career with a near-spotless 16-0-1 record.
UFC Quick Quote: Brock Lesnar would beat up himself … kinda
“If the Brock Lesnar of today would fight the Brock Lesnar from then … I’d win.”
–- Brock Lesnar, during the media conference call for UFC 87: “Seek and Destroy,” fields a question about how his game has improved since his submission loss to Frank Mir at UFC 81: “Breaking Point” back in February 2008. Along with Georges St. Pierre’s “training to face an army” quote (“Every time I’m training and I do my sparring, I have a fresh guy coming on me all the time.”), Lesnar’s quote had to be one of the more memorable of the call. It will be interesting to see how quickly Lesnar’s game improves. His collegiate wrestling credentials alone (two-time NJCAA All-American, two-time NCAA All-American, two-time Big Ten Champion, 2000 NCAA heavyweight champion, 1999 NCAA heavyweight runner-up, with a career record of 106-5) are some of the very best in the UFC. Time will tell how well he adapts those wrestling skills to MMA. For now, he gets his second chance inside the Octagon against Heath Herring on August 9.
Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson accident victim has miscarriage
“Huntington Beach woman who was more than 16 weeks pregnant and who police said was injured in a hit-and-run crash with mixed martial artist Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson on the 55 Freeway two weeks ago has had a miscarriage, her fiance said Friday.
Holli Griggs, 38, was driving her 2007 Cadillac Escalade in the left lane on the southbound 55 Freeway just south of Bay Street on July 15 when Jackson’s gray-and-green pick-up truck sideswiped her as he drove along the median lane at about 45 mph, California Highway Patrol officials said.
Prosecutors have yet to file charges against Jackson, a former light heavyweight champion for the Ultimate Fighting Championship who remains free on $25,000 bail. Prosecutors would not comment on any potential charges due to Griggs’ miscarriage.”
Right now there’s no word on whether or not the miscarriage was a result of the accident — it could just be coincidence. However, the couple has retained the services of an attorney and could possibly proceed with legal action against the former light heavyweight champion.
UFC Takes Next Round in Couture Saga
The UFC’s parent company, Zuffa LLC, emerged with another victory Friday, as a Dallas appeals court granted the promotion a stay against a motion for summary judgment submitted by Mark Cuban’s HDNet Fights.
The Mavericks NBA team owner had filed the motion on Feb. 13, requesting that a Texas court decide when five-time UFC champion Randy Couture (Pictures) would be eligible to sign into a contract with his own rival organization.
JAMIE VARNER LOOKING TO DEFEND WEC TITLE
Jamie Varner was relatively unknown until he stepped into the Octagon at UFC 62 against Hermes Franca. He dominated Franca throughout the majority of the fight, until he gassed out. Franca ended up finishing him towards the end of the third round.
Even though Varner lost that fight, he opened a lot of eyes. He had a subsequent victory over Jason Gilliam at UFC 68. After his victory, he was moved to the World Extreme Cagefighting organization. It was there that he rose to championship form.
He defeated Sherron Leggett in the first round of their bout, earning a title shot against then-champion “Razor” Rob McCullough. Varner shocked fans by knocking out McCullough and gaining the WEC lightweight champion.
Gesias Cavalcante Interview
Two times Hero’s champion, Gesias Cavalcante is recovering from his knee injury at American Top Team, but watched the finals of Dream’s GP, that he fought against Shinya Aoki twice, but lost. The athlete spoke to TATAME about the surprise Joachim Hansen, that came from a substitute fight and won the GP. The Brazilian fighter spoke about the his recovering and that he hopes coming back soon to GP’s, and winning them. Check below the complete interview.
What do you think about Hansen’s victory at the GP?
This Dream tournament was great, excellent fights! Tournaments are like this, everything can happen, like a substitute being the champion.
Diaz-Noons II Proposed for October
A much-anticipated rematch between EliteXC lightweight champion K.J. Noons and Nick Diaz could take place at the organization’s third edition of “Saturday Night Fights” on CBS, which will take place on October 4th at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida.
Graciefighter.com, which is run by Diaz’s trainer and manager, Cesar Gracie, reported the news yesterday morning. However the site has also noted that there is a strong possibility that Noons’ camp may not accept the fight. If the proposal is turned down, Diaz could then set his sights on a DREAM welterweight title bout against Hayato “Mach” Sakurai, but the promotion’s officials have yet to pay Diaz following his win over Katsuya Inoue in May.
Ask the Doc: Dr. Benjamin on scar tissue
Welcome to our initial "Ask the MMA Doc" column here at MMAjunkie.com.
Every other week, I'll answer your questions about current medical issues and general trends within the MMA industry.
My initial column takes a look at some of the big topics currently being discussed within the community, including scar tissue, the ABC's new definition as to what constitutes a strike to the "back of the head," and whether youth MMA is really safe.
If there's a question you have, scroll to the bottom of the page to find out how to contact me. We might use it in a future column.
Here we go...
Exclusive: Arlovski vs. Fedor likely to be scrapped, Arlovski vs Barnett expected to be the Headliner
FiveOuncesOfPain.com learned late Friday that a proposed main event for Affliction’s second-ever show on Oct. 11 between WAMMA heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko and Andrei Arlovski appears to be off for the time being.
A reliable source speaking on the condition of anonyomity revealed to Five Ounces of Pain that Emelianenko has been dealing with a lingering hand injury that will make it virtually impossible for him to be ready in time for Affliction’s October show at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.