Donald Trump will always have a seat at Dana White’s table
“I have a ton of respect for [Donald Trump]. When the Fertittas bought the UFC, most venues wouldn’t deal with us. We were outlaws. Our first event was at the Trump Taj Mahal, and Trump actually came to the fights. You’ll never hear me say a bad word about Donald Trump. He can have my seats anytime.”
– UFC President Dana White — who is featured in the most recent edition of Playboy magazine — talks about just about everything, including his thoughts on Mark Cuban (HDNet Fights) and Donald Trump (Affliction MMA). He also touches on the HBO deal that never was, John McCain and Barrack Obama, boxing, ratings and the percieved violence of the sport. And of course, Tito Ortiz, calling him a “bigmouthed bitch, that clown.” Head over to WrestlingObserver.com for the annotated Cliffs Notes version of the sit-down. Or just go buy Playboy as soon as possible. You might actually get away with the “I read it for the articles” excuse on this one.
ELITEXC CHAMP SHIELDS CONSIDERING OPTIONS (Alessio Fight Not Signed Yet)
Despite published reports that Jake Shields will return on Sept. 20 to defend his newly won EliteXC welterweight title against John Alessio, MMAWeekly.com has confirmed with Shields himself that the fight has been offered, but is far from a done deal.
“That fight might happen, but it’s not 100%, not finalized yet,” said Shields in an interview with MMAWeekly.com on Thursday.
The other interesting note to this report is that Shields is currently fielding an offer from an outside promotion to have him compete in a show at 185 pounds against a top contender, but as of now he is still waiting on approval from EliteXC to take the fight.
“Right now I have a really good offer on the table to fight a top 185-pounder,” Shields stated. “I’m just waiting, hoping Elite (XC) will give me that opportunity to go out there and represent Elite and test myself.
“Alessio, he’s a good opponent, (but) it’s a fight that doesn’t really excite me though unfortunately. I’m not too motivated about it, but he’s one dangerous guy that you’ve got to watch out for. He’s a really difficult guy to fight, hard to take down, good stand-up, but if that’s the fight I end up taking, I’ll get myself motivated and pumped up to go do it, but right now I’m really excited about the other fight. I think it’s good for my career and I hope (Elite XC) will realize it too, that it’s not bad for their show, that it helps push me further.”
Nobody Will Fight Cain Velasquez
According to Bryan Alvarez, the UFC has still not found an opponent for Cain Velasquez at UFC 90:
UFC sources say that despite reports of Cain Velasquez vs. Antoni Hardonk for the Chicago show, as of this morning, there was no opponent for Velasquez.
Dave Meltzer recently noted that they are having a lot of trouble finding people to take fights against Velasquez. He is very good, but he has no name value yet, so fighters don't see any upside in facing him.
Fabricio Werdum, the number one contender, is supposedly booked on this show against Junior dos Santos. This fight really makes no sense at all, it's a guy that is barely known to UFC fans against another that is completely unknown. If Werdum is the top contender, he should fight Velasquez on this show.
John Alessio: I'm not facing Jake Shields at Sept. 20 EliteXC event
Despite recent reports of EliteXC welterweight champion Jake Shields (21-4-1) defending his title on EliteXC's Sept. 20 card against John Alessio (23-11), the potential challenger today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) he will not be ready in time for the Albuquerque, N.M. event.
Alessio was recently forced to take time off from training after suffering a broken arm in a June victory over veteran Pete Spratt. Now the Xtreme Couture fighter feels it imperative to allow ample time for a full recovery
The Olympic Crossover
The 2008 Summer Olympic Games and their vast commercial reach could serve as a launching pad for the next mixed martial arts superstar.
With NBC, MSNBC, the USA Network and various Internet outlets providing more than 3,600 hours of Olympic coverage, a medal-winning athlete with a compelling story could be in perfect position to crossover to MMA. After all, it has happened before.
Many Olympic wrestlers and judokas from various countries have gone on to give MMA a try. Some enjoyed more success than others.
Jackson Arraignment Postponed
The arraignment of former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (Pictures) has been postponed Friday pending further investigation into his July 15 arrest in Costa Mesa, Calif.
Jackson was arrested on suspicion of felony evading, reckless driving and hit-and-run charges following a chase by authorities that saw elite fighter’s Ford pick-up truck bounce off other vehicles, jump street medians and swerve onto sidewalks, which “caused pedestrians to flee in terror,” according to a Costa Mesa police department report.
Demian Maia Interview
With three submissions in three bouts in UFC, Demian Maia now is 7-0 in MMA, but in his las fight he had more trouble to finish Jason MacDonald. For the first time ever, Demian needed three rounds to beat his opponent, but it’s not bad at all. Speaking to TATAME.com, the BJJ black belt chat about his last fight, the training with Wanderlei Silva and Rafael Alejarra, the plans for the extra money with the best submission of the night and his next fight in UFC. Check below the complete interview with Demian Maia.
Morris-Brilz Set for UFC Fight Night 15
Australia native Brad Morris will make the drop down to the light heavyweight division to face UFC newcomer Jason Brilz when the Ultimate Fighting Championship travels to Omaha, Nebraska for UFC Fight Night 15 on September 17th.
Sources close to the fight informed MMA on Tap that both fighters had recently agreed to meet. The fight is expected to take place as one of the event’s non-televised preliminary bouts.
Camacho Defends KOTC Title Tonight
King of the Cage lightweight champion Joe Camacho will defend his title against EliteXC veteran Victor Valenzuela in the main event of the organization’s “Bio Hazard” show tonight at the San Manuel Casino in Highland, California.
Camacho rebounded from a disappointing loss to Fabricio Camoes at a ShoXC event in April to score a first-round verbal submission win over skilled wrestler Zach Light at Sparstar Promotions inaugural event last month. Camacho claimed the KOTC lightweight crown with a knockout of Thomas Denny in January.
Sincaid, Von Flue Return at PureCombat
One-time “Ultimate Fighter” cast members Lodune Sincaid and Jason Von Flue will both return to action tomorrow night at PureCombat’s scheduled “Hardcore” event at the Visalia Convention Center in Visalia, California.
Sincaid, who has won four out of his last six bouts, will be taking on Emanuel Newton, who brings an eight-fight undefeated streak into the bout. Sincaid most recently submitted Rafael Real at a Palace Fighting Championships event in May while Newton last competed at an IFL show last year, submitting Jeff Quinlan.
Von Flue will attempt to snap a four-fight losing streak against Hawaii native Bryson Kamaka. Both fighters have struggled greatly as of late. Von Flue has racked up a 1-4 record since being released from the UFC two years ago while Kamaka hasn’t won consecutive bouts since 2005.
Amir Sadollah’s Return
Ultimate Fighter Season 7 winner Amir Sadollah is preparing for his first fight since defeating C.B. Dalloway in the finals on June 21. Sadollah said that he’ll be fighting again in September or - more likely - October. At this point, the opponent is not known.
One question Sadollah did answer for certain though is which weight class he’ll be fighting at.
I’ll be fighting at middleweight. I will not be dropping to 170,” said Sadollah.
Sadollah has also moved from Virginia to Las Vegas to train at - where else - Xtreme Couture.
Kimbo Slice inspiring gridiron greatness?
In the old days, folks wanted to “Be like Mike”.
Never in a million years did I think they’d want to “Be like Kimbo”.
But an article with the Washington Times shows Santana Moss, a fan of the EliteXC heavyweight and star wide-receiver for the Washington Redskins, injecting a little fire into his off-season workout by turning to mixed martial arts training for a much needed shot in the arm.
That decision was inspired by his interest in the aforementioned brawler and has apparently caught on with teammates like Antwaan Randle El.
From the starting wideout:
“If it was just run, run, run - that’s something I could do, but I was losing some of my muscle mass. But I’m not losing as much this year. I think the grappling [helps]. When you are on the ground wrestling with a guy - that’s how it is when you catch a ball and you’re tussling with a guy and trying to get out.”
VARNER'S SIGHTS ALREADY SET ON NEXT CHALLENGER
World Extreme Cagefighting lightweight champion Jamie Varner showed once again why he is considered one of the elite 155-pound fighters in the world when he dispatched of top contender Marcus Hicks at WEC 35.
The now defending champion has been very happy with his home in the WEC and looks forward to any top challenger they bring in to fight him for his title.
“I love my home in the WEC and would not rather be in any other organization,” said Varner during a recent appearance on MMAWeekly Radio. “I’m not too worried about the lack of opponents or opposition in the WEC. They’re always going to find somebody for me to fight and people want to be in that organization. I’m so proud to be a part of the WEC.”
PENN WILL HOLD ONTO LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE FOR NOW
Not before and not since Dan Henderson won the Pride 183-pound and 205-pound titles has a fighter in a major organization held two belts in two weight classes simultaneously, but it appears current Ultimate Fighting Championship 155-pound king, B.J. Penn, will try to do that very thing as he sets his sites on welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre later this year.
But what does that mean for the 155-pound weight class and the lightweight championship if Penn is off fighting for another title in a different division?
"B.J.'s not vacating the 155-pound title,” according to UFC president Dana White following UFC 87 in Minnesota last weekend.
Of course this puts possibly the deepest weight class in all the UFC on hold for an indefinite amount of time as Penn and St. Pierre aren’t likely to clash before late December and the lightweight title could be out of the picture until some time deep into 2009.
Quote of the Day: Dana White Trashes Tim Sylvia
"He’s not the best pound-for-pound fighter, not even close, but he’s one of the four or five best heavyweights...But we all have to thank him for getting rid of Tim Sylvia. He’d been stinking out the joint the last couple of years and Fedor did everyone a favor by beating him so easily and getting rid of him."
-- Dana White, in a new Kevin Iole column, thanking Emelianenko for "getting rid" of Sylvia. Interestingly, Emelianenko somewhat corroborates White's assessment by saying he doesn't consider himself the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world either.
Oh yeah, so much for Sylvia returning to the Octagon to finish out his career. I suspect White might be holding his tongue in the event Arlovski returns, however.
Randy Couture’s Pricetag: $6-10 Million
I’d love for the UFC to step up and make the fight [with Fedor Emelianenko] happen. It has the potential to be the biggest mixed martial arts fight to date…It has the potential to do 700,000+ pay-per-view buys which is a helluva lotta money. I think 6-10 [million should be the salary] for each of us and they’re still gonna make a boatload of money on top of that.
Now I am beginning to believe that this fight will never happen. No way any promoter can make it happen at that price tag.
Strikeforce Expects Le Back In Early '09
According to Strikeforce VP Mike Afromowitz, Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Cung Le is expected to return to the promotion in early '09. No word yet on a potential opponent but former champion Frank Shamrock is thought to be a possibility, as is top Japanese fighter Kazuo Misaki if he beats Joe Riggs next month.