BARNETT'S BITTERSWEET VICTORY
Josh Barnett has become accustomed to fighting his friends. After the downfall of Pride Fighting Championships last February, the Seattle native has faced a shrinking pool of opponents as the Ultimate Fighting Championship siphoned the majority of top-tier heavyweight talent in the industry. Before his KO victory over Pedro Rizzo in last week’s inaugural Affliction card, Barnett fought former training partners Hidehiko Yoshida and Jeff Monson in the first half of 2008. His sense of professionalism and competition led him past any misgivings that might affect his performance — he still pummeled the two to victory — but it was a bittersweet payday.
The brotherhood of old-guard opponents, something Barnett has talked about often, made his fight with Pedro Rizzo especially hard. Even though Rizzo had knocked him out cold at UFC 30 in 2001, a feat Yoshida and Monson couldn’t accomplish, Barnett regretted the outcome of the fight.
“Before the fight, during the fight, it’s completely destroy everybody mode,” Barnett told reporters after the fight. “But afterwards, I have to be honest, I felt pretty upset… I wasn’t really happy that I knocked Pedro out, because there’s not a lot of people in this world that really have a beautiful soul, and Pedro’s one of them. At the time, it didn’t even matter that he’d beaten me before, it was more about I wish it could have been somebody else.”
UFC 90 officially posted on UFC.com
Date Time: Oct-25-2008 7pm PT / 10pm ET
Event Type: PPV Live
Location: Allstate Arena, IL
UFC® Fight Club™ members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets to this event Friday, August 15 at 10am CT via the website ufcfightclub.com.
Whatever it takes: MMAmania exclusive interview with Josh Koscheck
MMAmania.com: So let’s start off by saying congrats on the big win over Chris Lytle. That turned out to be quite a blood-soaked battle. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re still finding his blood on you.
Josh Koscheck: [Laughs]. Thanks, man. I had to take like three showers and even then it was still everywhere. It turned my hair pink.
MMAmania.com: That was a tough fight because a lot of people sleep on Lytle — he’s very dangerous and very resilient. In fact, he’s never really been stopped other than a few cuts.
Josh Koscheck: Yeah, that’s what I was worried about when I was approached about the fight. He’s never really been stopped. I was a little more worried about this fight going in than some of the others actually because he’s good on the feet, great with submissions — has some tricky stuff. But we put together a great gameplan thanks to Javier Mendez and the other coaches at American Kickboxing Academy. Javier was pounding it in my head for three months leading up to the fight. In fact, he printed out Chris Lytle’s boxing record and made me stick it in the visor of my car so I would see it everyday and have that constant reminder that I was not going to trade punches all night with this guy. I just followed it to a tee and got the victory.
MMAmania.com: Are you surprised that the fight wasn’t stopped because of all the blood?
Diesel Back In Action-Joe Riggs Wins Saturday Night
After being sidelined with a back injury since February, Joe "Diesel" Riggs returned to action this past Saturday night. He beat Matt Dempsey by 2nd round tapout after replacing Dempsey's original opponent, Edwin Dewees, on short notice. Dewees had to pull out of the fight due to Affliction commitments.
Report: Smith Broke Hand In Lawler Fight
Those "Hands Of Steel" won't be that tough for a while. According to a Sacramento radio show report, Scott Smith suffered a broken hand during the fight with Robbie Lawler this past Saturday night. He's scheduled to have surgery Wednesday, no word on how long he'll be out.
Announced: UFC 89 Free on Spike
"At last night’s re-broadcast of UFC 84 that UFC 89 will be broadcast for free on Spike TV. The announcement coincided with Elite XC’s Saturday Night Fights presentation on CBS, but we assume that was just a coincidence."
This makes sense. Not a huge card and it's in England so getting it for free will be nice.
UFC newcomer Jon Jones to replace Tomasz Drawl at UFC 87
UFC newcomer and USKBA light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones (6-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has been signed to a UFC contract and will replace Tomasz Drwal (14-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at next month's UFC 87 event.
Jones is a member of the Northeast-based Team BombSquad, and team manager Ryan Ciotoli today confirmed the signing with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Jones will now meet Drawl's original opponent, Andre Gusmao (5-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC), at the Aug. 9 event. The reason for Drwal's departure from the card wasn't immediately known.
Schultz Finds Security With Sengoku
Monday, July 28, 2008
by Brian Knapp (email@example.com)
International Fight League lightweight champion Ryan Schultz (Pictures) ended his search for professional stability in the open arms of the Japan-based Sengoku promotion.
Schultz has agreed to a five-event deal with Sengoku that begins with his participation in an eight-man lightweight grand prix on Aug. 24 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The deal could span six fights if Schultz reaches the final of the tournament. Financial terms were not disclosed.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR UFC'S HERMES FRANCA
It’s been a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs for UFC lightweight Hermes Franca over the past 12 months.
After getting his much awaited 155-pound title shot against Sean Sherk at last July’s UFC 73, following a succession of impressive wins, Franca tested positive for a banned substance, sidelining him due to a suspension by the California State Athletic Commission.
Upon serving his suspension, Hermes was eager to return to action and was called to do so at Ultimate Fight Night 14 against up and comer Frankie Edgar. Finally Franca would have an opportunity to redeem himself.
EliteXC: Building To Make Them Buy
Fresh off of EliteXC’s Saturday night card, talk has turned to the October card and possible match-ups between Carano vs Cyborg, Diaz vs Noons, and possibly Kimbo vs Rogers. While these are certainly exciting match-ups, putting them forth as possible match-ups for the October card is a bit misguided. Doing these fights on free TV would go against the strategy laid out by DeLuca as it relates to EliteXC’s television and PPV strategy:
Doug DeLuca: Absolutely, the Pay-Per-View model is the goal for most people in this sport. So, yes, it’s our goal, too. The exact plan is broadcast television drives the Pay-Per-View. It builds stars. SHOWTIME to CBS. CBS to Pay-Per-View. Build stars, build the interest in the stars, let people know even more that these fighters – the guys and gals — are people and they have real stories and make people care about them and drive the Pay-Per-View. So that’s absolutely the goal. As far as timing goes, you’ll probably see a Pay-Per-View from us early in ‘09.
HUERTA FORSEES EVENTUAL MOVE TO 170
As Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight prospect Roger Huerta heads into the home stretch of preparation for his fight with Kenny Florian at UFC 87, it would be understandable for the pressure to build. At 25, Huerta has managed to cement his reputation as a hard-hitting, never-say-die breed of fighter, even after an extended layoff from the game — when criticism tends to get louder.
Like many fights that materialize over time, it appears Huerta’s decision to step back into the Octagon was born out of a slight misunderstanding. During a post-fight interview, Florian mentioned him as a potential opponent. Huerta says that provided the motivation to return.
“I kind of heard that Kenny had called me out, (and) at the same time I started to get edgy, and I started to feel like I wanted to come back and fight again,” Huerta said.
Florian counters that he was simply giving his opinion on the division’s best match-up, but regardless, it was an interaction that bore fruit for serious fans of the sport.
Huerta has made a point of traveling to different camps for fresh perspectives, landing with UFC welterweight Georges St. Pierre’s camp for a finer lesson in the art of savaging his opponents. He’s taken well to St. Pierre’s round the clock attack, something he considers to be his greatest asset going into his fight with Florian.
Quick Update On Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson
''Rampage thinks he’s God…He had a falling out with his trainer a couple of days before the first arrest. Basically he has lost his mind and is talking very religious and is saying that he is God. This is the main thing I wanted to keep hidden, but with the second arrest and Dana talking it will come out regardless. He needs some serious help. I don’t know if you would call it schizophrenia or bipolar disorder or what have you, but whatever it is, basically it’s become impossible to have a conversation with him. He is delusional.''
Steve Mazzagatti Apologizes to Anthony Johnson
Scott Smith and Robbie Lawler weren't the only ones settling "Unfinished Business" last night at EliteXC: Lawler vs. Smith II. Anthony Johnson ran into Steve Mazzagatti last night for the first time since Johnson's controversial TKO loss to Kevin Burns last Saturday night.
FightLine.com was on hand when Johnson approached Mazzagatti at ringside during last night's event. Mazzagatti and Johnson shook hands and hugged. Mazzagatti apologized to Johnson and noted that it was "a bad call" and Johnson immediately accepted, saying it was all good
MMA Fastball: Fedor Emelianenko erases all doubt
It’s called fastball for a reason, folks. Now let’s get to it.
Fedor erases all doubt who the number one heavyweight in the world is: When Fedor was the PRIDE Heavyweight Champion almost everyone— especially this writer—was absolutely convinced that he was the best heavyweight MMA fighter in the world. Along with this, most were pretty sure that he would dispose of his UFC counterparts quite easily.
But then two things happened. First PRIDE fell and Fedor found himself out of work, creating a situation by which he went over two years without fighting a heavyweight contender. Second, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic went over to the UFC and performed very poorly, causing most people’s confidence in the former PRIDE organization’s heavyweight division to be shaken.
But then came July 19th and Affliction: Banned. If you’re still doubting Fedor’s greatness after his 36 second destruction of former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Tim Sylvia, something is wrong.
Ikemoto captures DEEP welterweight title
Seichi Ikemoto became the new DEEP welterweight champion at DEEP 36 Impact Sunday, unanimously outpointing Hidehiko Hasegawa through three rounds at the Zepp Osaka in Osaka, Japan.
The win was Ikemoto's second over Hasegawa. Ikemoto also won by unanimous decision in their first meeting at DEEP 20 Impact in September 2005.
Ikemoto improves to 17-14-5, while Hasegawa drops to 14-10-5.
Terry Martin well-prepared to bounce back from recent defeat
On July 19 Terry Martin (17-6) suffered a crushing knockout defeat at the hands of a resurgent Vitor Belfort at Affliction's debut event, "Banned."
But if anyone can overcome adversity, it's Martin, a Chicago native who has been seemingly fighting to survive since grade school.
The hard-hitting knockout artist divulged a very personal side of his non-fighting life while a guest on a recent edition of TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), and revealed a Terry Martin that many fans don't know.
"A lot of people don't know this, but I had gangbanged my whole life -- since the age of 10," Martin admitted.
Paulo Filho Training with BJJ Champ André Galvão
Undefeated WEC Middleweight Champion Paulo Filho has been shoring up his already nasty Brazilian jiu jitsu game in training for his September 10 title scrap with Chael Sonnen by rolling with decorated BJJ world champion André Galvão, Tatame reports.
"I believe a lot on BJJ, and he’s not a rookie, his an expert, he’s a star. I’m sure he’ll debut with a victory, I trust on BJJ a lot more than any other martial art. It’ll be hard to find an opponent with better BJJ than his", guarantees Filho, that believes Galvão helping him on training will be excellent. "He trained with Wanderlei (Silva) and will help a lot on the ground work. I hadn’t a great material to work with for a long time", celebrates Paulão.
Report: Silva vs. Cote to headline UFC 90 in Chicago Cote Starts trash talk
‘‘I’m telling all my friends to bet on me,’’ Cote said, ‘‘because they’re going to make a lot of money.’’
‘‘This guy will need 10 punches to my face to knock me out, and I’ll just need one,’’ Cote said. ‘‘I have a good chance. He won’t exchange with me, and I’m not scared of him.
‘‘He wins a lot of his fights before they start because his opponents are intimidated and scared of him. I’m not scared of anyone in my weight class, especially him.’’
Cris Cyborg levels path to Gina Carano.
Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos levels the path to Gina Carano
by John Morgan on Jul 27, 2008 at 2:25 pm ET
Cristiane CyborgEliteXC didn't have a Russian to answer Affliction's main event this past weekend. But the organization was able to bring in a "Cyborg."