'King Mo' signs with Strikeforce
Muhammad "King Mo'' Lawal has signed a multi-fight deal with Strikeforce and could make his promotional debut as early as December, according to a source with knowledge of the negotiations.
The deal allows the undefeated Lawal, a NCAA Div. 1 All-American wrestling champion for Oklahoma State in 2003 and decorated international competitor, to continue competing on the Japanese circuit. There, the 28-year-old heavyweight has made a name for himself with four straight victories in the Sengoku Raiden Championship (formerly Sengoku) over the last year. Three of those wins have come by stoppage from strikes, while Lawal’s only decision came after he tore his ACL in the first round of his match with Ryo Kawamura at Sengoku “Seventh Battle” last March.
Shogun "will knock Machida out in round 3"
Mauricio Ruas’s coach Andre Dida (the Muay Thai specialist and K-1 fighter) has been reponsible for Shogun’s preparation for his upcoming fight against light-heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida on October 24th.
Dida says, “He is very confident. He’ll face a striker and he is trained for it. It won’t be only a stand-up fight but Mauricio is ready to surprise everybody. Shogun is well-trained. We worked knowing that Lyoto is an athlete who moves very much. We know how this fight will go and have A, B, C and D plans. Shogun will know all the moves from Machida”.
Kimbo Slice vs. Houston Alexander possible for UFC 107
A slugfest between Kimbo Slice and Houston Alexander is looking like a strong possibility for UFC 107.
A source close to the situation advised FiveOuncesofPain.com today that although no bout agreements have been sent, at least one of the fighters has been formally approached about the possibility of the bout.
UFC 107 is scheduled for December 12 from Memphis, Tennessee, and will feature a headlining lightweight championship bout between B.J. Penn and Diego Sanchez.
BJ Penn: "I definitely want to fight GSP again"
“I definitely want to fight GSP again. I’m biased and I have confidence in myself and I don’t think the fight would go anything like that if we fought again. I’ve got to defend the lightweight title and take on all challenges that make me better but if I get a chance to fight GSP again — even if it was a non-title fight — I’d jump at the opportunity. There will always be people to beat and as the lightweight champion I have to honor that and keep defending the title. But as a businessman you hope it’s someone with a big name who can bring a big fan base into the fight. This is a business — it’s the entertainment business and the biggest fights that can be put together will only benefit me. I am surprised Georges St. Pierre hasn’t tried to push for a fight with Anderson Silva. If I was the welterweight champion I’d try and push myself and see what I could do up at middleweight.”
Despite the fact that he’s heading into a very dangerous fight with Diego Sachez on Dec. 12, UFC Lightweight Champion BJ Penn is still hoping to get revenge on reigning welterweight kingpin Georges St. Pierre — as well as other “superfights” before he hangs up the gloves for good.
Demian Maia still hopeful for a title shot despite "tremendous error" against Nate Marquardt
“Depending on the opponents, if they’re tough guys, well known, I think I will get the chance of fighting for the belt in two or three fights. I want a hard adversary to show everything what I couldn’t in the past fight, all my training. I made tremendous errors versus Nate. There was excess from my side and too much confidence in the beginning, that is the most dangerous part of the fight. There was also a technical mistake. I kicked three times of the same way. I threw a kick and went towards him when I had to wait to exchange some hits and put him to walk behind. I wanted to land a kick and made the big mistake.”
Former undefeated submission deity Demian Maia (10-1) reflects on his first round knockout loss to middleweight contender Nate Marquardt at UFC 102 back on August 29 in Portland. The Brazilian was headed for a possible title shot opposite Anderson Silva until a “Great” knockout punch floored him — and any immediate title opportunities.
Sanitago To Face Mamed Khalidov At Sengoku 11
World Victory Road today added another fight to Sengoku 11 in addition to the 2 previously announced: Sengoku Middleweight Champion Jorge Santiago returns to face Mamed Khalidov. But in a rather strange twist to the matchup, it appears to be a NON-TITLE match at the insistence of Santiago's camp.
The Pension for Punishment
"The ultimate fighter at 25 has a body with a good temperament for training. He can take repeated abuse and repair himself. He can fight four times a year -- or five, or seven -- if he wishes. If he suffers a significant dent (broken bones, damaged eyes, muscles torn from their adhesive) he’ll be ambulatory before long.
And he gets attention. Lots of attention. From sponsors, from fans who admire his abilities and from women. He can close a nightclub the week of a fight and not suffer the consequences. He makes a decent wage, gets his training subsidized by sponsor money and splurges when bonuses crop up. He’s not a champion, so he can’t afford to buy the Escalade outright, but he can make the lease payments."
Great and much needed read
Sengoku Announces 2 Fights Today For Sengoku 11, Other News
At a press conference today in Japan, World Victory Road announced 2 new fights for Sengoku 11 on November 7 at Ryogoku Kokugikan (Sumo Hall) in Tokyo. Satoru Kitaoka vs. Jorge Masvidal and Ronnie Mann vs. Shigeki Osawa were added to the card and Kitaoka admitted he almost retired after losing his Sengoku LW Title to Mizuto Hirota. WVR also announced MW Champion Jorge Santiago will fight in a NON-TITLE match at the event and that 3 title fights will be on the 12/31 event...but don't expect Muhammad Lawal back. He may be off to Strikeforce.
Caol Uno Vs Fabricio Camoes at UFC 106 + Wanderlei Silva Vs Yoshihiro Akiyama
The UFC, THQ and WOWOW held a joint press conference today in Tokyo to promote the Japanese broadcast of The Ultimate Fighter 9 (not 10) and release of "UFC Undisputed 2009." A couple interesting notes came out of the session, which was attended by Zuffa's top Japanese stars, as well as Tony Loiseleur, who gives us this via Twitter:
[Caol Uno] just announced he'll be fighting Fabricio Camoes at UFC 106. Welcome to the UFC, "Morango!"
Furthermore, the [Yoshihiro Akiyama - Wanderlei Silva] bout will likely happen @ UFC 110 or 111, Las Vegas, NV or Sydney, Australia, respectively.
Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante vs. Aaron Rosa targeted for "Strikeforce Challengers" on Nov. 20
A light heavyweight contest between Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante (7-2) and Aaron Rosa (12-2) is the works for the televised portion of Strikeforce's "Challengers Series" event on Nov. 20 in Kansas City, Kan.
Fighters.com was the first to report the potential contest, and MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has since learned from sources close to the event that verbal agreements are in place, though bout agreements have yet to be distributed.
Filho thinks the UFC is conspiring against his fellow Brazilian fighters
Speaking to Tatame Magazine, Filho said:
“The UFC is a great event, but the Americans do everything so that you cannot get the advantage. They [do] everything to get you down. American is American, they want to see Americans with the belt and so eliminate as many Brazilians as possible - but they will have to work a lot, because we are the best.”
“It is an uphill struggle for Shogun. Machida is very strategic, the Shogun is real, very brave. Both have star quality, but I would venture to say Lyoto [will win] by strategy. But a fight is fight and we will only know when it is over. It will be a fight all the way.”
UFC 108 targeted for MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas + Gilbert Yvel applies for NSAC License
The UFC has officially requested approval for a Jan 2 event at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
As MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) first reported in September, the UFC's traditional "year-end" event in Las Vegas is slotted for after the new year, and a formal request for the date will now be considered by the Nevada State Athletic Commission on Oct. 16.
The process is generally a mere formality for the UFC, and the new event is expected to serve as UFC 108.
PS: In addition to the new UFC date, the NSAC will also address a request by controversial Dutch striker Gilbert Yvel (36-13-1) for a license to fight in the state and conduct a disciplinary hearing for WEC featherweight Cole Province (6-1 MMA, 1-1 WEC).
The NSAC previously denied Yvel's 2007 request for a license based on his 2004 attack of a referee in a bout with Atte Backman in Finland. Yvel has since fought twice on U.S. soil, including a January bout with Josh Barnett under the supervision of the California State Athletic Commission.
Dan Hardy: Mike Swick has ‘no clue’ about ‘the beating’ he will get at UFC 105
“I have read some articles on the internet saying that I may lack the “killer instinct” in this fight with Swick because I’ve hung out with Mike and we get along very well. Not gonna happen…. A couple of days of pleasant conversation with Swick won’t save him from the beating I am going to give him next month … on the whole, it is easier for me to prepare for Swick than it is for Swick to prepare for me. I’ve only had three fights in the UFC and I’ve not shown even half of my skills yet. There are lots of things I do well that Swick has no clue about, whereas Swick has been in the UFC for four years and I know exactly what he can and can’t do. I think this is the fight of the night. My style will gel very well with Mike’s. We both come from a kickboxing background, we both have very fast strikes and there’s so much on the line for us both.”
Johny Hendricks Vs Ricardo Funch At UFC 107
Undefeated welterweights Johny Hendricks and Ricardo Funch have signed to do battle on the undercard of UFC 107, according to multiple sources MMAWeekly.com spoke to on Monday evening.
UFC 107 is headlined by a lightweight title fight between B.J. Penn and Diego Sanchez and is expected to take place at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tenn.
Hendricks (6-0) successfully migrated to the Octagon with a win over Amir Sadollah at UFC 101 following a March appearance in the last WEC show to feature welterweights. A two-time NCAA wrestling champion, Hendricks lives and trains in Las Vegas along with fellow Team Takedown fighter and UFC prospect Jake Rosholt.
Funch (7-0) is a former collegiate soccer player who hails from Lencois, Brazil, and trains with Team Link in Ludlow, Mass. Despite a focus on jiu-jitsu, Funch has finished the majority of his fights by TKO.
Jamie Varner: ‘I want to apologize to Donald Cerrone for every ill word I ever said about him’
What was fast-becoming one of the most heated feuds in Mixed Martial Arts could be simmering down now thanks to an apology issued by current WEC Lightweight Champion Jamie Varner on the popular Underground forum.
His statement comes on the heels of a hard-fought bout between personal rival Donald Cerrone and newly crowned interim champ Ben Henderson this past Saturday night. It reads as follows:
First of all I want to apologize to Donald Cerrone for every ill word I ever said about him. I’d also like to apologize to all his fans and anyone else I may have pissed off by my actions. Donald is a great fighter that fights with all heart and he’s my toughest fight to date. I wish him nothing but the best and it was an honor to fight a fighter with such heart and skill.
I have a tough test ahead. I’m really looking forward to getting back in there and proving to all of you why I am the WEC lightweight champ. I know there are always gonna be haters. I hope most of you accept my apology because you guys are the reason why I’m able to do what I love for a living. Thanks for taking the time to read this and its time to go train.
Gonzaga vs. Dos Santos targeted for UFC 108
Heavyweights Junior Dos Santos and Gabriel Gonzaga are expected to meet at UFC 108 on Jan. 2 in Las Vegas.
Multiple sources on Monday told MMAWeekly.com that the fight has been agreed to and contracts are expected to be signed shortly. Fiveknuckles.com was first to report the pairing on Sunday. The bout has yet to be officially announced by the UFC.
Sources tell MMAWeekly.com that the match-up is expected to groom the next contender for the heavyweight title.
Ben Henderson says WEC 43 "Fight of the Year" just next step on path to greatness
New WEC interim lightweight champion Benson Henderson (10-1 MMA, 3-0 WEC) defeated Donald Cerrone in what is being widely referred to as 2009's "Fight of the Year" in the main event of this past Saturday's WEC 43 event.
Henderson, who claimed the organization's interim lightweight title with the win, isn't sure his win qualifies as the best scrap of the year, but he today told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) that the bout was a step toward establishing him as one of the sport's great fighters.
"I think you have to have those fights where you're just dominant and you show the world that you're that much better than your opponent," Henderson said. "But you have to have those fights where the fans, the crowd knows that you were pushed to your limit, and you went out there and you showed your heart and soul – you gave it everything you had.
"To be a great champ, to be known as one of the greatest fighters, you have to have both of those."
Officiating & Sunlight’s Disinfecting Properties
For their Saturday night theatrics, Benson Henderson and Donald Cerrone may well take "Fight of the Year" honors when Sherdog staffers convene in January to talk about awards hardware for 2009. It will likely get my vote. But it's not the lightweight fight from the night I want to talk about.
Lost in the post-event excitement that a truly great fight breeds -- never mind the upset special delivered by Mackens Semerzier -- is the horrific job that referee Jon Schorle did in officiating the Dave Jansen-Rich Crunkilton fight. Completely missing a blatant (albeit inadvertent) knee to Crunkilton's groin -- to which he reacted visually and audibly -- was bad enough on its own. However, with the fight on the line in the third round, Schorle saw fit to repeatedly stand Jansen up from top control instantaneously, as the unbeaten lightweight prospect was trying to steal the round and the fight. For the last half of the final stanza, the eventually victorious Jansen fought both Crunkilton and the inane whims of Schorle.
But this is not an op-ed about an isolated incident in which Referee X did his unwitting best to ruin a fight. It's not even just about the act of refereeing itself. People reacted to Schorle's mishandling as if he were a local misfit referee who just cropped up that evening. Media reports used the name "Jon Schorle" without a sense of context. The commentary booth, including an increasingly agitated Frank Mir, referred to him only by the disparaging title of "this referee."
If you're a boxing fan, you'll be dismayed to find out that Schorle, a Californian-based official now splitting time in Texas, was the referee who stood by while Vic Darchinyan beat Victor Burgos until he had a blood clot in his brain, resulting in emergency surgery and an induced coma following the bout. He was the third man in the ring for Vitali Klitschko beating hapless Corrie Sanders to a pulp. He oversaw the Erik Morales-Zahir Raheem bout -- which he allowed to devolve into a clinch-filled slip-and-slide on a soaked canvas -- as well as Joel Casamayor-Michael Katsidis, in which a thrilling bout was compromised by Schorle's all-around inattentiveness. Schorle's reputation is such that before the rubber match in his epic trilogy with Rafael Marquez, Israel Vazquez's camp fought viciously and successfully to have Schorle removed as the bout's referee and replaced with Pat Russell. These are just a few recent examples.
Spike TV to air UFC 104 prelim fights of Bader vs. Schafer, Hardonk vs. Barry on Oct. 24
In what MMA fans will surely hope is sign of things to come, Spike TV today announced it'll air two fights from the UFC 104 preliminary card before the event's main card goes live on pay-per-view.
The two bouts chosen for free viewing are "The Ultimate Fighter 8" light heavyweight winner Ryan Bader (9-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) vs. Eric Schafer (11-3-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Antoni Hardonk (8-5 MMA, 4-3 UFC) vs. fellow heavyweight Patrick Barry (4-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC).
UFC 104, headlined by UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida vs. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, takes place Oct. 24 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and the one-hour Spike TV broadcast kicks off at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Strangely, though, while Bader vs. Schafer and Hardonk vs. Barry were chosen for the broadcast, a fight between Yushin Okami (23-4 MMA, 7-1 UFC) and Chael Sonnen (23-10-1 MMA, 2-3 UFC) remains on the un-aired portion of the card. Okami is a longtime middleweight contender who's only career UFC loss came via close decision to former champ Rich Franklin in 2007. However, many criticize the fighter for a lackluster fighting style that often leads to decisions.
Bader most recently fought in an April win over Carmelo Marrero at UFC Fight Night 18. The Arizona Combat Sports-trained fighter injured his knee in the contest, tearing both his MCL and PCL. It was the "TUF" champion's first bout since defeating Vinicius Magalhaes at The Ultimate Fighter 8 Finale in December 2008, Bader's first official contest in the UFC. Bader has won all nine of his professional fights, seven of them by stoppage.
His opponent, Schafer, is in his second stint with the UFC. After back-to-back losses to Stephan Bonnar and Michael Bisping in 2006 and 2007, "Red" earned two wins in the Wisconsin-based Gladiators Cage Fighting organization. Now back in the UFC, he has since defeated Antonio Mendes and Houston Alexander to run his current win streak to four bouts.
Hardonk, meanwhile, most recently suffered a defeat via TKO to Cheick Kongo at UFC 97 in April. The loss snapped a three-fight win streak for the Dutch striker, a run that included victories over Mike Wessel, Eddie Sanchez and Colin Robinson.
Barry also looks to bounce back from a loss, which was the first of the former kickboxer's MMA career. After earning four-straight wins to open his career, which included a first-round TKO of Dan Evensen, Barry suffered a submission loss to Tim Hague in May at UFC 98.
The UFC and Spike TV first used the teaser-fight setup last month for UFC 103 in Dallas. The Sept. 19 broadcast, which featured Efrain Escudero vs. Cole Miller and Tomasz Drwal vs Drew McFedries, drew 1.4 million viewers (1.0 rating) and was the No. 2 rated program in the coveted 18-to-34 year old male demographic.
Following UFC 103, UFC president Dana White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) he wasn't sure if the organization would use other Spike TV/PPV tandem cards in the future. However, the organization apparently will do so with its first opportunity. Still, it's not known if this will be a standard setup for future cards or simply a matter of the UFC again gathering data.
Regardless, Spike TV officials said the broadcast will air commercial-free.
The full UFC 103 card includes:
MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view)
•Champ Lyoto Machida vs. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (for light-heavyweight title)
•Ben Rothwell vs. Cain Velasquez
•Josh Neer vs. Gleison Tibau
•Spencer Fisher vs. Joe Stevenson
•Anthony Johnson vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida
PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike TV)
•Ryan Bader vs. Eric Schafer
•Patrick Barry vs. Antoni Hardonk
PRELIMINARY CARD (Not televised)
•Yushin Okami vs. Chael Sonnen
•Rob Kimmons vs. Jorge Rivera
•Razak Al-Hassan vs. Kyle Kingsbury
•Stefan Struve vs. Chase Gormley
For complete coverage of UFC 104, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of MMAjunkie.com.