ESPN Deportes to Broadcast MMA in April
Promotional newcomer Bellator Fighting Championships has secured a broadcast deal with ESPN Deportes to begin airing MMA events as early as April 2009, numerous sources have confirmed to Sherdog.com.
Santa Brito, Communications Manager for ESPN Deportes, confirmed on Monday that the Spanish-language channel is in “the early developmental stages of an MMA program.” Brito would not divulge further information, but clarified that ESPN was currently not developing any MMA programming on its English-language networks.
ESPN Deportes has more than four million subscribers out of the nine million recognized Hispanic cable homes, said Brito.
Sources have told Sherdog.com that the proposed 12-week fight series will center around four eight-man tournaments utilizing the 145-, 155-, 170- and 185-pound divisions. Non-tournament bouts will also be featured. It is not clear if the events will run live or on tape delay. Multiple locations across the nation are being considered for the 12-week shoot, sources have told Sherdog.com.
American Top Team’s Jorge Masvidal and Dream standout Eddie Alvarez have been two of the better-known candidates approached to participate on the Hispanic-focused roster.
Bellator -- which translates to “warrior” in Latin -- is helmed by Bjorn Rebney, former CEO and president of Sugar Ray Leonard Boxing. Rebney and Leonard aired live boxing events on ESPN 2 the first Friday of every month under the “Friday Night Fights” moniker from 2001-2004. The relationship reportedly soured when Leonard departed to join NBC’s “The Contender” series.
Chris Leben test postitive for Stanzanol
Dave Meltzer is reporting...
Chris Leben became the first high-profile fighter suspended by the Ultimate Fighting Championships for failing a drug test, when results came back positive on Monday for the steroid Stanazolol in a test administered after his three-round loss to Michael Bisping on Oct. 18 in Birmingham, England.
The UFC suspended Leben for nine months and fined him one-third of his undisclosed fight purse.
Several UFC fighters, including champions like Tim Sylvia, Sean Sherk and Josh Barnett, had been suspended and forced to relinquish their championships after positive tests administered by both the Nevada and California State Athletic Commissions.
Because UFC events held in the United Kingdom are not under the auspices of a commission, the UFC’s vice president of regulatory affairs, Marc Ratner, who for years headed the Nevada commission, performs many of the duties normally associated with an athletic commission for those events.
“I am obviously disappointed with Chris, who has made great strides getting his life back on track,” said UFC president Dana White. “To his credit, he has taken responsibility for his actions and is accepting the punishment that has been handed down. But as always, the UFC puts the safety of its athletes first and foremost, and we won’t tolerate anyone using performance enhancing drugs in our organization.”
“I’ve really done everything I can to turn my life around,” said Leben.
“And this is a huge setback for me. But it’s something I will have to deal with. During my time off from fighting, I want to speak to kids about the dangers of using performance enhancing agents and let them know it just doesn’t get you ahead in life. Of course, this is a hard hit for me monetarily, but more so this is embarrassing for me and for all my fans.”
UFC tested all 22 fighters at UFC 89 both before and after their matches.
White said that Leben admitted to him using the drug, also known as Winstrol V, but believed it had enough time to clear his system. Leben, 18-5, one of the company’s most well-known fighters stemming from his appearance on the first season of Ultimate Fighter, said he used the drug shortly after his win over Alessio Sakara in March. While usually clearing your system in about three weeks, Stanazolol can show up in tests for several months.
Marcus Davis vs. Chris Lytle on tap for UFC 93
The worst kept secret of a fight now has a date.
UFC welterweights Marcus Davis (15-4 MMA, 7-2 UFC) and Chris Lytle (26-16-5 MMA, 5-8 UFC) have agreed to meet at UFC 93, and bout agreements for the fight have been distributed, sources close to both fighters told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The fight is expected to air on UFC 93's televised main card, which takes place Jan. 17 at The O2 in Dublin, Ireland.
The event airs on pay per view.
Davis and Lytle both spoke openly about wanting to fight each other even before they both competed last month at UFC 89. With victories from each fighter -- Davis submitted Paul Kelly, and Lytle stopped Paul Taylor with a unanimous-decision win -- the pieces fell in place for the bout.
As Davis first told TAGG Radio, MMAjunkie.com's official radio partner, in July, he and Lytle first discussed the fight earlier this year.
"Chris Lytle and I want to fight each other," Davis said at the time. "He's expressed that he wants to fight me. I've expressed that I want to fight him.
"We like each other, we respect each other, but we want to have that fight. And my pitch to Chris is, 'The first guy that starts grappling is a pussy, so let's not do that. Let's just stand up and just beat the hell out of each other. If we get in a clinching scenario, and somebody wants to throw somebody or whatever, go ahead and do it. But let's not try to finish it on the ground. Let's stand up, and let's bang it out.'"
Former IFL heavyweight Shane Ott fighting for life in hospital
Former IFL heavyweight fighter Shane Ott is fighting for his life in a Philadelphia-area hospital following a severe motorcycle accident early Sunday morning, sources have confirmed to FiveOuncesOfPain.com.
Word initially spread Sunday afternoon that the 37-year old had died from the injuries, but that is not the case. However, indications are that Ott has sustained devastating injuries and his recovery is less than certain.
Ott has been affiliated with the Anthracite Combat Club in Minersville, Pennsylvania, where he trained under Jeff Wolcott. The camp has also produced former EliteXC fighters Jon Murphy and Jim Bova.
According to friends, Ott was a natural wrestler who had an extensive history of street fighting. He was able to turn his life around after getting involved in MMA and was considered one of the top heavyweights on the Northeastern regional circuit.
Making his pro debut on March 23, 2007, Ott recorded a TKO over Allen Royster at 1:06 of round 1 during Extreme Challenge 75. The win over Royster allowed him to compete for the IFL in just his second fight, as Ott was tapped as a last-minute injury replacement to compete against Chad Griggs. Ott once again finished his opponent in the first round, submitting Griggs with a Kimura just 1:09 into the fight.
Ott improved his record to 3-0 following another first round finish, this time against TUF 2 veteran Kerry Schall during Extreme Challenge 77. Despite giving up a great deal of experience, Ott was able to TKO Schall at just 1:23 of round 1.
Ott then suffered back-to-back losses in the IFL against Antoine Jaoude and Roy Nelson, however, he was able to take the eventual-IFL heavyweight champion Nelson to a decision in their June 16, 2007 encounter.
His most recent fight was on April 19 of this year against former Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro offensive lineman Carlton Haselrig. Haselrig, a former six-time NCAA champion in freestyle wrestling, recorded an upset victory over Ott following a TKO at 4:09 of round 1 at Battle Cage Xtreme 4 in Atlantic City, N.J.
We’re monitoring this story closely and will have more details as they become available.
Faber Is Hungrier Than Ever To Get In A Fight
For World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight champion, Urijah Faber, the cancellation of the September event due to a pending hurricane in Florida didn’t throw him off his game, or make the strategy for fighting Mike Brown any different. It just made him hungrier.
The top 145lb fighter in the world has long been known for his intensive training regimen and desire to fight, but to say that he’s more prepared for the fight would be wrong, he’s just better all around now.
“In between fights I have more and more time to pack in some information, so I think I’m probably a better fighter, but not necessarily more prepared to fight,” Faber told MMAWeekly Radio recently. “I’m always prepared to fight.”
CSAC Changes Testing Procedures
The California State Athletic Commission has taken steps to strengthen its drug-testing process for combat sports.
The CSAC has signed a contract with UCLA for the processing of fighter drug-testing samples through the university's laboratory, which is certified by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Even though they refuse to admit that there was anything wrong with their previous testing facility and procedures, they are clearly sensitive to the criticism they recieved in the aftermath of the Sean Sherk case:
"The process was always good. We followed everything that we were instructed and how we were trained by the personnel from the lab," Douglas said. "I think the challenges that have been issued to us, and that we have faced, have made us better and stronger, because as situations have risen up, it's allowed us to open up and expand our thought process on how this needs to be tightened up. I believe we get better and better with each passing month."
A key part of that improvement is the commission moving its testing program to the WADA-certified facility at UCLA. If a fighter's A sample comes up positive for anabolic steroids at the UCLA lab, the B sample will be tested at another WADA-certified facility elsewhere in North America.
In the future, the commission will utilize only WADA labs for the processing of samples.
Alves To Wait For Shot At GSP's Belt
For Alves, the seventh victory is the last step before a title shot. “I wanna get this belt and bring it to Brazil. The said that the winner of this fight would get a title shot, and now I have the option to wait (after Georges St. Pierre’s fight with BJ Penn) or do another fight, it’s my choice, but I think I’ll wait”, said Alves,
Denis Kang heading to the UFC
by Dann Stupp on Nov 03, 2008 at 11:20 am ET
The Ultimate Fighting Championship's middleweight division just got some depth and a potential new challenger for middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
Former PRIDE fighter and current SpiritMC champion Denis Kang has signed a four-fight deal with the UFC, American Top Team General Manager Richie Guerriero today confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Kang, 31, will likely make his octagon debut in early 2009.
"I just think timing wise, it was a good point in his career (to sign with the UFC)," Guerriero said. "He's always had his eye on the UFC, but with his commitment to SpiritMC, and with him fighting for PRIDE at the time, it just never happened."
Kang, a Canadian of Korean-French descent, was a top star with SpiritMC, a South Korean-based fight promotion. Kang won the organization's heavyweight (80+ kg) title in September 2004 and cited his desire to fight for the organization as a stumbling block in previous UFC negotiations.
"With the UFC being what it is, I think Denis knew it was a good time to get some exposure here in America," Guerriero said.
Although Guerriero didn't know the particulars of the deal, he said it would be unlikely for Kang to continue fighting for SpiritMC "just based on the way [the UFC] has always done things," he said.
Kang, the 2006 PRIDE welterweight grand prix runner-up, had emerged as a top-five-ranked middleweight during a 23-fight undefeated streak from April 2003 to November 2006. However, he then suffered three losses in a four-fight span, which included a first-round submission defeat to Gegard Mousasi in the opening round of the 2008 DREAM middleweight grand prix earlier this year.
However, Kang has since rebounded for back-to-back victories, which included a 48-second TKO of Marvin Eastman at an Oct. 25 Raw Combat event.
EliteXC Responds To Notice Of Breach, Promotion Not Dead Yet?
Reports of EliteXC's death may have been greatly exaggerated. Yesterday ProElite, EXC's parent company, notified several fighter managers the company still intends to promote mixed martial arts events. They're also disputing bankruptcy filing reports and "trying to buy more time to get more money or whatever" according to Cesar Gracie.
Gomi-Kitaoka Still Planned
TOKYO -- Sergey Golyaev tried to throw a wrinkle into World Victory Road’s plans to have the winner of its lightweight grand prix face Takanori Gomi for the vacant lightweight championship.
Despite Golyaev’s split decision victory over Gomi at Sengoku “Sixth Battle” on Saturday, the promotion plans to move forward with a Satoru Kitaoka-Gomi title fight on Jan. 4.
Kim Couture To Fight For StrikeForce In Nov.
Strikeforce announced on Sunday that they have added Kim Couture to the line-up of fights taking place on Nov 21 in San Jose, CA against fellow newcomer, Lina Kvokov in a bout that will be fought at 130lbs.
Couture was last seen in her professional MMA debut in June dropping a unanimous decision to Kim Rose while also suffering a broken jaw in the process.
“Losing that fight was the best thing that ever happened to me,” said Couture. “It’s completely changed me as a fighter. I’ve started doing things a lot different. It made me realize that I have to be the aggressor or I’m going to get hurt.”
The wife of UFC heavyweight champion, Randy Couture, Kim adds MMA fighter to an impressive list of other jobs as she also currently maintains the Xtreme Couture gym, has run promotions of her own under her brand “KC Concepts” and also managing several fighters under the Xtreme Couture banner.
Dana White Not Happy With New TUF Format
In an article for The Sun, Dana White expressed his displeasure with the next season of TUF.
I said from day one I hate the UK v USA idea.
It's dumb, I don't like it — it's not USA v the UK, we're looking for the best fighter in the world.
We put on a card one time, the USA v Canada, it was f***ing retarded.
I don't care if you're from the UK, Croatia or Brazil because at the end of the day, when Michael Bisping comes to America — Americans don't boo him.
When GSP comes down and fights in the US more people cheer for him than the guy who's from America!
When Tim Sylvia from the United States fought Antonio Nogueira from Brazil, everybody booed Sylvia on the way in and cheered for Nogueira. The reason is because in this sport it's not country versus country.
You either like the guy's fighting style or personality — nationality has nothing to do with it.
That's the way it used to be with boxing, with the exception of Ricky Hatton because everybody hates Floyd Mayweather!
But with the exception of that, you never saw guys from one country cheering a guy from a different country.
That's what's changing in what we're doing.
We're looking for the best fighters in the world — this country versus that country is irrelevant."
Jerry Bohlander: Where is He Now?
"September 11, 2001. I think that sums it up,” says former UFC light heavyweight Jerry Bohlander The 34-year-old Bohlander names that catastrophic day as the catalyst that took him from the world of mixed martial arts into law enforcement.
Matt Brown Steps In VS Ryan Thomas At UFC 91
Just days after MMAWeekly.com first reported that Matt Riddle would be forced out of his upcoming bout against Ryan Thomas at UFC 91, a replacement has been found as Matt Brown has been confirmed to step in on short notice.
Brown confirmed the fight to MMAWeekly.com on Saturday.
The last time Brown competed was at UFC 88 in Atlanta dropping a somewhat controversial decision to Korean fighter, Dong Hyun Kim.
The Cincinnati based fighter has recently been working with stablemates like Jorge Gurgel and Rich Franklin while taking time to work with MMA guru, Matt Hume, and his team of fighters in Washington.
Hume’s camp has become a hot spot over the past few months with fighters like Brown, Franklin, Gurgel, Jens Pulver, Spencer Fisher and Hayato Sakurai seeking out the longtime MMA trainer for his expertise.
Brown will now move onto the UFC 91 undercard to face newcomer Ryan Thomas with just about 2 weeks to go until fight time.
Razor Rob Looking To Cut In Line For Title Shot
Rob McCullough is trying to get himself back in the lightweight title mix in World Extreme Cagefighting. The WEC had one of its strangest moments when they had to postpone the show scheduled for Sept. 10 when Hurricane Ike threatened the South Florida area. The show wasn't actually just pushed for a week or two, but for two months.
Now the time has come for the fight to finally begin when McCullough will take on Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. The postponement had a serious effect on McCullough's training camp, being it was so close to the fight when it was canceled... just five days prior.
WEC Reality Show In The Works For 2009
The Ultimate Fighter reality series premiered on Spike TV on Jan. 18, 2005, featuring 16 aspiring fighters competing for two Ultimate Fighting Championship contracts. Largely responsible for mixed martial arts' meteoric rise from grassroots beginnings to a mainstream audience, the popular reality show has featured and made some of the sports' biggest stars.
The show's success has other promotions thinking of their own version of reality television, including the UFC's sister promotion World Extreme Cagefighting.
"From the beginning it (a reality show) was something always in our plans," said WEC vice president Peter Dropick. "Versus, we're in discussions with Versus. We're looking right now at trying to figure out what we're going to do exactly.
"We've got a lot of ideas," he added. "We want to find ways similar to the UFC to showcase our fighters on a more consistent basis."
While still in the planning stages, expect to see a WEC reality show on Versus in 2009. "I don't know if we'll do exactly what the UFC did with The Ultimate Fighter, but we do have plans for a reality show of some nature," said Dropick. "Possibly soon and launching in 2009."
Scott Adams and Reed Harris founded the WEC in 2001. Zuffa, UFC's parent company, purchased the California-based promotion in December 2006 and relocated it to Las Vegas. Live WEC events began airing on Versus in June 2007.
Filho Tries To Stay Perfect With WEC 36 Rematch
To say that World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) middleweight champion Paulo Filho is an intimidating man is a decisive understatement. His physique alone portrays strength and a robust toughness, but it may be what one can’t see from the Brazilian’s outward appearance that is ultimately most impressive.
Paulo Filho is a Rio de Janeiro native who grew up – literally – participating in combat sports. On WEC.tv recently, Filho stated, "I started fighting judo at the age of five as recommended by my pediatrician. I was a very hyperactive kid, so he thought it would be a good way to use up my energy and learn some discipline.”
He continued, “At age nine, I moved to Copacabana and started training jiu-jitsu with Carlson Gracie.”
In essence, Filho was groomed to be a fighter before he had even reached the first grade… and with a 16-0 record, it shows.
Jorge Santiago Breaks the Glass Ceiling
Jorge Santiago is a fighter that doesn't get a ton of press but has slowly crept his way into the top 10 rankings. This guy has not only won 8 fights in a row but he's finished all of them - all against top level competition. His opponents in that span haven't been "elite" level fighters but they have all been tough and most are UFC or PRIDE veterans.
After a disapponting 1-2 run in the UFC Santiago has picked up his game considerably and the results are paying off. He entered the Strikeforce four man tournament and came out on top - finishing both opponents. Then he entered the Sengoku MWGP and acheived the same result. No one in the middleweight division is on the roll that this guy has been on - except for a man by the name of Anderson Silva.