Sobral on Mousasi: When I Started Fighting, He Was Still on His Mother's Lap
Since making his debut in 1997, Renato "Babalu" Sobral has seen more than a few hot prospects capture attention before fading away. His Aug. 1 Affliction: Trilogy opponent, Gegard Mousasi, is perhaps the latest in a long line of hyped young stars who has excited observers with his potential.
And while only time will tell if Mousasi meets the predictions that many are forecasting for him, Sobral can only concern himself with the present. And what he sees is a talented kid who is a bit short on experience.
LITTLE KNOWN KING MO SAYS HE CAN BEAT FEDOR
Vitor Belfort, Bobby Lashley, Brett Rogers, Tom Erickson, Jeff Monson, Don Frye, and even... Tank Abbott?!
Well, now you can add Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal to the list of fighters that want to step in for Josh Barnett to fight Fedor Emelianenko at Affliction “Trilogy” on Aug. 1.
And who can blame him? According to a report from Dave Meltzer of Yahoo! Sports, multiple sources say that Affliction is dangling a $500,000 carrot in front of potential opponents.
AFTER ALL-STAR CAMP, FLORIAN "READY FOR HELL"
For the biggest fight in his mixed martial arts career, top UFC lightweight contender Kenny Florian spared no expense in bringing in some of the top fighters in the world to help him prepare for his championship bout against B.J. Penn at UFC 101 in Philadelphia. The Massachusetts native also made a trip north of the border to work with one of the pound-for-pound best in the world.
Knowing what a tough challenge Penn will be in the 155-pound title fight, Florian twice packed his bags, and left home for Canada to work with the last fighter to face the Hawaiian, UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, who is the only fighter to actually defeat Penn twice in his career.
UFC 106 and The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale dates now official for Las Vegas
The Nevada State Athletic Commission has officially granted two previously rumored dates to the UFC, as the organization will return to Las Vegas on Nov. 21 and Dec. 5.
While not yet officially announced by the organization, the November date will see UFC 106 take place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, while the December slot has been reserved for The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale at The Palms Casino Resort.
Frye vs. Lawal official for M-1 on Aug. 28; Thompson vs. Amoussou set for undercard
As MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) first reported, MMA legend Don Frye (20-7-1) will meet fast-rising prospect Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal (4-0) in the main event of "M-1 Breakthrough" on Aug. 28.
Announced as the organization's "new premium fight series," the event will be held in conjunction with IMMAE, and international MMA trade show, at the Los Angeles Convention Center in California.
"M-1 Breakthrough" will be broadcast live on HDNet.
Injury forces Matt Wiman out of UFC 103, Rob Emerson expected to face Rafael dos Anjos
UFC lightweight Matt Wiman (10-5 MMA, 4-3 UFC) will have to put on hold his attempt to break back into the win column; a knee injury has forced the 25-year-old out of a proposed contest at UFC 103.
Wiman was expected to face Rafael dos Anjos (11-4 MMA, 0-2 UFC) at the Sept. 19 event, but MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned "The Ultimate Fighter 5" contestant has bowed out of the event.
Headlined by a rematch between Dan Henderson and Rich Franklin, UFC 103 takes place at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
Cut forces Rob Emerson out of UFC 101 bout; George Roop reported as replacement
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned that "The Ultimate Fighter 5" cast member Rob Emerson (9-7 MMA, 2-1 UFC) has been forced to withdraw from his UFC 101 contest after suffering a cut requiring stitches while preparing for the event.
Emerson had been scheduled to face "The Ultimate Fighter 6" veteran George Sotiropoulos (9-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC) on the preliminary card of the pay-per-view event.
Featuring a lightweight title fight between current champ B.J. Penn and challenger Kenny Florian, "UFC 101: Declaration" takes place on Aug. 8 in Philadephia.
Kongo-Mir on tap for UFC 107
A source close to Kongo informed Sportsnet that the French striker is tentatively scheduled to face Frank Mir at UFC 107 in Memphis, TN.
The timing works great for Kongo as fellow Wolfslair training partner, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, is set to headline the UFC 107 show against his Ultimate Fighter 10 coaching counterpart, Sugar Rashad Evans.
Mir's camp has stated they have yet to hear of this fight request, but have stated they are definitely interested in fighting Kongo.
Nova Uniao Supplants Brazil's Old Guard
When Pride Fighting Championships met its end, the value of mixed martial arts teams seemed to diminish, too, as athletes were emphasized more for their own value, independent of the team they represented.
This trend has increased even more in Brazil, as Brazilian Top Team and the Chute Boxe Academy suffered several cuts and stars such as Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Paulo Filho, Wanderlei Silva and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua left their respective training camps. The only team not to suffer any major losses during this period was Nova Uniao. Names like Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro, Thales Leites, Wagnney Fabiano and Jose Aldo -- born and raised on a team led by Andre Pederneiras -- continue to shine in international events.
According to Pederneiras, Nova Uniao has about 50 professional athletes on its roster, including Ribeiro and the young Eduardo Dantas, who fought Masakatsu Ueda for the Shooto 132-pound championship last weekend.
Made famous in the 1990s by the brilliant showings of its lighter weight athletes in Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitions, the team made a seamless transition to MMA, winning titles in major events like Shooto (Ribeiro), Cage Rage (Ribeiro), the International Fight League (Fabiano) and Pancrase (Marlon Sandro).
“Our team went from BJJ to MMA,” Pederneiras said. “As we already had a very strong team in the lighter weights, basically my BJJ team migrated with the same success to MMA, so we just continued the work. But we’ve also proven that we can do it with heavier guys. Thales Leites is an example. The more that come here, the more we’ll do it.”
Although the recognition has come only in recent years, the team began to take its first steps more than a decade ago, with Pederneiras himself fighting in international events and Rafael Carino emerging victorious at UFC 9 in 1996.
“Rafael Carino was my first athlete who fought in MMA, then Joao Roque and some others,” Pederneiras said. “Even when I fought, I did not have an MMA team. I called some people for training, but most of them had never fought MMA before. Only when Shaolin began fighting MMA could I bring in more people. Then we really had a team.”
CSAC: Josh Barnett Failed First Random Drug Test in California State History
There are still many questions that have been left unanswered in the wake of Josh Barnett's positive test for an anabolic steroid, which has forced Affliction to find a new opponent for Fedor Emelianenko on August 1. FanHouse spoke to the California State Athletic Commission's assistant executive officer, Bill Douglas, Wednesday evening to find out more about this situation and what it means for Barnett's MMA future in the United States.
MMAjunkie.com Fight Biz Brief: TapouT partners with videogame "Tekken 6" for apparel line
TapouT is taking its brand into the videogame market through a new multi-year partnership with game developer Namco Bandai Games. The companies announced a new alliance today at Comic-Con 2009 in San Diego.
As part of the agreement, TapouT will design five co-branded T-shirts, which will appear as in-game customization options for characters in "Tekken 6," the latest installment of Namco's popular fighting game franchise. In addition to outfitting their "Tekken 6" fighters, players and fans will be able to wear their own Tekken 6 TapouT gear.
Legislation would create state regulations for mixed martial arts
BOSTON — Massachusetts has begun the process of opening the door to mixed martial arts, a sport that could be regulated here in time for the hosting of an Ultimate Fighting Championship event next summer.
The state Senate voted Tuesday to approve regulations for the sport. Without such regulations in place, the industry-leading UFC organization will not stage one of it shows – shows that can generate millions of dollars in tourist spending.
Trial delayed in Eilers murder case
Justin Eilers’ stepfather, James R. Malec, has had his trial date pushed back. A provisional date of Aug. 31 has been set for the man accused of shooting and killing the former UFC heavyweight title contender after a Christmas night argument at Malec’s home in Nampa, Idaho.
Alistair Overeem Withdraws From Strikeforce Title Fight
Alistair Overeem has been forced to withdraw from his scheduled August 15 Strikeforce heavyweight title fight against Fabricio Werdum. Strikeforce director of communications Mike Afromowitz confirmed the news with FanHouse on Tuesday. Afromowitz said that the reason for the withdrawal was that the hand infection Overeem suffered following his May altercation in an Amsterdam nightclub has not fully healed.
Nick Thompson vs. Karl Amoussou Booked for M-1 Global's August Event
Nick Thompson (38-11-1) will face Karl Amoussou (10-3-1) in a middleweight bout at "M-1 Global presents Breakthrough" on August 28 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in California. Thompson confirmed the news with FanHouse on Tuesday.
"The Goat" expressed some frustration over the fact that he will have to fight at 185 pounds instead of his natural fighting weight of 170 pounds.
UFC 105 - Michael Bisping set to take on Wanderlei Silva (unconfirmed)
MMABay can EXCLUSIVELY reveal that the main event is all set for the UFC’s next visit to the UK on November 14th as Wolfslair trained middleweight, Michael “The Count” Bisping will take on Brazilian MMA legend, Wanderlei Silva in Manchester, England.
News of the fight was passed along to MMABay by a source at the Wand Fight Team in Las Vegas, Nevada who revealed that the Brazilian would be putting pen to paper very soon after returning from receiving the key to the city in Pensacola, Florida. It will be the first fight of his career to be competed at 185 pounds.
Fedor Emelianenko 'Disappointed' Josh Barnett Fight Off, Will Fight Anyone
Fedor Emelianenko, the generally recognized heavyweight champion of MMA, made his first public comments about Josh Barnett's failed drug test on Thursday in Russia, a day after learning that Barnett would not be able to fight him in the main event at Affliction Trilogy. Fedor said he was disappointed by the news and open to fighting anyone, while his manager said Fedor's next opponent was likely to be Brett Rogers or Vitor Belfort.
JARDINE CONFIDENT AS SILVA SHOWDOWN NEARS
It’s been more than four months since Keith Jardine hit a bump on the road in his journey to the UFC light heavyweight championship. That bump is named Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
Jardine fought Jackson to the full term of their 15-minute bout at UFC 96, but it was Jackson that had just enough of a burst late in the third round to secure the unanimous decision victory.
Jorge Gurgel vs. Billy Evangelista to headline Oct. 25 Strikeforce Challengers event
A lightweight bout that could have an immediate impact on Strikeforce's lightweight title picture will be held on Oct. 25 under the "Strikeforce Challengers" banner.
The fight features former UFC fighter Jorge Gurgel (13-5) vs. longtime Strikeforce fighter and top prospect Billy Evangelista (9-1).
Gurgel recently posted a series of Twitter updates about the fight, which headlines a Showtime broadcast at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif.