38 and in his prime, The Janitor still loves cleaning clocks
When Vladimir Matyushenko competed in his first mixed martial arts fight at the Battle in the Bayou back in September of 1997, Mike Tyson had only just taken a bite out of Evander Holyfield’s ear. The first Harry Potter book was published in the United Kingdom. Oh, and Steve Cantwell, Matyushenko’s opponent at UFC 108 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, was 11 years old.
Cantwell stays level, hungry, despite roller coaster year
Talk about highs and lows. Steve Cantwell became a world champion at just 21 years of age in 2008, but went winless in 2009. So as he prepares for a new year and a bout against respected veteran Vladimir Matyushenko on January 2nd at UFC 108, the young light heavyweight admits to having struggled with the ups and downs of these past two years.
In August of 2008, Cantwell scored a dramatic second round TKO win over Brian Stann. The victory not only avenged a prior KO loss to Stann but it also earned Cantwell the WEC 205-lb title belt.
2009 World MMA Awards debuts Jan. 6 on Versus
The 2009 World MMA Awards conclude this Wednesday, Dec. 30, with a red-carpet, black-tie ceremony that airs live on Versus.com at 10:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. PT local time).
The event, which celebrates and honors MMA's best of 2009, then airs via delay on the regular Versus cable station on Jan. 6 (9 p.m. ET/PT), Jan. 7 (midnight) and Jan. 9 (2:30 p.m.). Each broadcasts runs one hour.
The 2009 World MMA Awards ceremony, a star-studded affair organized by Fighters Only, takes place at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
In addition to dozens of the MMA industry's top fighters and executives, the awards show also features celebrity presenters and guests, such as MMA fans Holly Madison and Wilmer Valderrama, as well as comedian John Heffron, who hosts the event.
Dan Hardy: Georges St. Pierre should expect to get hit in the face over and over again at UFC 111
He knows what's coming. He knows there's a left hook with his name on it and at some point in the 25 minutes I'll land it. I'm expecting him to take me down. At some point in the fight I'll end up on my back and I'll fight from it. When you're fighting GSP you accept at some point you're going to get taken down, but now GSP has to expect that when he fights me he's going to get hit in the face over and over again. I'm always the underdog. Every fight I go into nobody thinks I'm going to win.
UFC Quick Quote: Paul Daley training in secret for Dustin Hazelett
I've had to sacrifice my entire Christmas to get ready for this fight and have been in lockdown for about six weeks now. I've done the bulk of my training at a secret location in Holland. I know Hazelett will be a test for me. Just because he has come in as a replacement doesn't mean he's any less of an opponent. If anything, a late replacement often offers even more of a threat.
Hazelette Ready For Next Step In Trek To The Top
Returning to the Octagon on Jan. 2 at UFC 108 after a slew of mishaps, Dustin Hazelett is ready to make an emphatic return.After rehabilitating a torn ACL suffered in preparation for a bout with Ben Saunders at UFC 96 last March, Hazelett was then lined up opposite former title contender Karo Parisyan for a UFC 106 televised spot in November.Following an exchange of jiu-jitsu versus judo banter between the two, the fight was cancelled at the last minute, and became the center of much controversy.
Control The Key To Silva's Title Aspiration
“To perform my job and be the best, and get a win and be on track to be the champion,” Silva said of his goals. “That’s what I want, is to compete against the best and be the champion.”That can only happen, he says, if he’s not a prisoner to his emotions.Appearances aside, Silva said he wasn’t trying to be a hothead when he screamed bloody murder after knocking out his latest victim, Keith Jardine. On the contrary, he was just happy to be back on the winning track.
Bellator adds notable Steve Carl to season-two welterweight tournament
Add Steve Carl to the star-studded pool of fighters who will compete in Bellator Fighting Championships' season-two, eight-man welterweight tournament.Bellator today informed MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of the signing.Carl, a 25-year-old U.S. Army sergeant who served in the Iraq War, owns a 10-1 career record since turning pro in 2006.
The Case for Fighting Friends in Mixed Martial Arts
Georges St. Pierre airs his apprehensions:
"You can say 'Oh I'm going to play football, I'm going to play hockey, I'm going to play baseball.' But you can't say I'm going to play fighting. It's not a game," the UFC welterweight champion told fans last month during a question-and-answer session prior to UFC 105 in Manchester, England. "It's a sport, yes, but it's a full-contact sport. And the way I fight, my so-called friend, if I fight him, it can affect his well-being.
"So let's say I'm mounted, on top of my friend, and it's time to land this last big elbow that will probably make a scar in the middle of his forehead and knock him out cold and cause him brain damage," he added, drawing laughs from crowd. "No I'm telling it like it is, if he's my friend, I'm going to think twice before I do it. I won't be able to do that to a friend. So that's the reason why I will never fight a friend. I know a lot of fighters who will disagree with me, but me that's my personal belief."
Marloes Coenen On Cris "Cyborg" Title Bout
“She’s an amazing athlete. I will not deny that, but everybody is a human being with two arms and two legs, so everybody is beatable,” commented the challenger. “Everybody has some flaws in their game, and I did see some flaw in her game.”
20/20 Vision: UFC's Dana White Lays Out A Rough 10-year Plan
UFC will be the biggest sport in the world by 2020. People were saying I was a lunatic 10 years ago when we first got this going, but the stuff we’re working on right now on so many levels is mind-boggling.... The sport was just sanctioned in Massachusetts and Vancouver. We’re going to get it done in Ontario and New York in 2010. And we’re already working on taking the UFC global. We’ve already done Germany, England and Ireland, and we just sold 22,000 seats for an event in Australia in 15 minutes....
Quote of the Day: Dana White Says UFC to Be Biggest Sport in the World
"UFC will be the biggest sport in the world by 2020. People were saying I was a lunatic 10 years ago when we first got this going, but the stuff we’re working on right now on so many levels is mind-boggling.... The sport was just sanctioned in Massachusetts and Vancouver. We’re going to get it done in Ontario and New York in 2010. And we’re already working on taking the UFC global. We’ve already done Germany, England and Ireland, and we just sold 22,000 seats for an event in Australia in 15 minutes.... Right now we are on some form of television in over 175 countries. We’re all human beings and we all 'get' fighting.... Me and Lorenzo Fertitta will sit down and figure out a game plan for the next 10 years, and we’ll execute it. So, is 10 years enough time to make this the biggest sport in the world? Hell, yeah."
Jim Miller: Student of the game
UFC 108 has quickly become known as the most cursed card in the promotion's history with injury after injury forcing fighters off the show. Some of the mainstays have had to become somewhat superstitious as it gets down to crunch time.
One fighter who has remained steadfast in his approach is lightweight Jim Miller, who changed opponents three times in under a week as he went from Tyson Griffin to Sean Sherk and has now settled on Duane "Bang" Ludwig. Miller has prepared himself like always, but it doesn't mean he wasn't avoiding a few black cats along the way.
Reminder: "Countdown UFC 108" debuts Tuesday on Spike
As a reminder, the next installment of the UFC's pre-event preview show debuts this Tuesday, Dec. 29, with "Countdown UFC 108: Evans vs. Silva."
The special spotlights UFC 108, which takes place Jan. 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Rashad Evans vs. Thiago Silva headlines a fight card ravaged by injuries.
A replay of the show is set for Wednesday, Dec. 30 (midnight ET/PT).
UFC 108 is the UFC's first show of 2010, and because of the holiday schedule, takes the spot usually reserved for the organization's big year-end show.
UFC 108's Rashad Evans: "Rampage" clash inevitable but Thiago Silva remains top priority
From all the questions he's answered in the buildup to next week's UFC 108 event, you might just think Rashad Evans is fighting Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.
The former champs, of course, were supposed to tangle following their coaching stints on the recently concluded 10th season of "The Ultimate Fighter" before Jackson's clash with UFC management put him on the sidelines.
Jackson has decided to return to the octagon to fulfill the terms of his contract, and Evans thinks their matchup is inevitable. But he wants to make one thing clear: the focus remains solely on opponent Thiago Silva for now.
Doc Hamilton Changes His Mind On Machida/Shogun Decision
It turns out Hamilton believes he may have judged incorrectly after re-watching the fight.
When UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida got his hand raised on Oct. 24 after his title defense against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, in a fight where most polls showed about 80 percent of the public believed the title should have changed hands, it set off a series of three straight major-show UFC main events in which judging became a hotly debated issue.
But some of the most vehement response has come from a surprising source: the judges themselves, some of whom feel handcuffed and frustrated with the system in place.
The most vocal is veteran official Nelson “Doc” Hamilton. Hamilton was one of the three judges who controversially scored that fight 48-47 in favor of Machida. Yet after watching tape of the fight, Hamilton now believes Rua was the winner.
“There was a round in that fight [Round 4] where my line of sight while they were standing was blocked,” said Hamilton, who feels TV monitors for judges would solve the problem. “Because of the angle where most of the round was fought, I couldn’t see the punches and whether they were landing. If the fight had been on the ground, I could look at the big screens, but this was a fight where the blows were coming one at a time and you don’t want to look away and miss an important blow.”
When Hamilton saw the fight again, he noted that viewers saw Round 4 from a completely different perspective that he did. He also added that the live commentary may have swayed viewers into thinking Rua won decisively. So, based on what he couldn’t see from his cageside vantage point, he believes Rua won the round.
Keith Kizer, the executive director of the Nevada Athletic Commission, said usage of monitors at the judging stations is worth looking into, but he also noted its flaws. He said he’s noticed that when he has watched fights on monitors while at ringside, sometimes he’s still looking at the monitor when the fight is front in front of him.
Keith Kizer had this to say...
“The reason we have judges in three different positions is to get three different vantage points,” said Kizer. “If all three judges are watching a monitor, they are all getting the same vantage point – the television camera angle.”
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