MMA Top 10 Heavyweights: After UFC 99, Cain Velasquez Is In
After UFC 99, I wrote that Cain Velasquez looks like a future UFC heavyweight champion. I've heard some pushback on that from people who take a contrary view, saying Velasquez didn't look very good in the stand-up, and that he ate some hard punches from Cheick Kongo at the start of all three rounds of their fight.
Tim Sylvia Off 'Affliction: Trilogy'
Tim Sylvia's shocking 10-second knockout loss to Ray Mercer on Saturday has proven to be more costly than originally thought. Affliction Entertainment vice president, Tom Atencio, informed FanHouse on Monday that Sylvia has now been taken off the upcoming "Affliction: Trilogy" card. "It's his second knockout in a row, and I don't want to take a chance on anything," Atencio said. "The fight is less than 60 days away."
Atencio added that no one from the California State Athletic Commission contacted him about taking Sylvia off the card, but he felt it was in Sylvia's best interest to take some time off to heal.
Hello, Japan: Sengoku Gold Cup Match-Ups, Shooto and Pancrase Title Bouts Announced
Pairings for the opening round of the Sengoku Gold Cup were revealed on yesterday's episode of SENGOKU-G.
Here's what they look like:
Daisuke Endo (3-3 / Wajyutsu Keisyukai Suruga)
vs. Takeshi "Ken" Numajiri (1-1 / Kiguchi Dojo)
Makoto "Shin" Takenaka* (1-4 / P's Lab Tokyo)
vs. Ryosuke Komori (3-1 / Yoshida Dojo)
Takayuki Kishi (1-2-2 / X-One Gym - Team ZST)
vs. Shigeki Osawa (2-0 / Yoshida Dojo)
Toru Harai (6-2 / Mori Dojo)
vs. Makoto Sannai (1-1 / Gutsman)
Koji Ando (2-0-2 / Wajyutsu Keisyukai Tokyo)
vs. Kohei Maruyama (2-0 am. / SK Absolute)
Ikuo Usuda (4-0 / Kiguchi Dojo)
vs. Kota Okazawa (5-1-2 / Team ZST - AXIS)
The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale weigh-ins slated for Friday at the Palms Las Vegas
Weigh-ins for The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale take place this Friday, June 19, at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
As with all UFC events, the weigh-ins are free and open to the public. The event is slated for 3 to 5 p.m. PT (local time) with the first fighter on the scale at 4 p.m.
The weigh-ins take place before Saturday's Spike TV-televised event, which features a main event of Diego Sanchez vs. Clay Guida. The lightweight and welterweight finals of "TUF 9" are also slated for the main card.
Joe Stevenson reinvents himself for ‘dangerous’ Nate Diaz
“Honestly, coming off of two losses in a row really makes you think. You think, ‘I’ve got to do something different, otherwise you’re just going to be stagnant.’ You can’t be stagnant in this game. You’re not reinventing yourself if people are catching up to what you’re doing. I think coming to New Mexico was the best thing. I see [Nate Diaz] is very dangerous the whole time, not just at one point. Sometimes people think that they’ve got him in trouble and that’s when he attacks. He’s the most dangerous when you think he’s at his weakest. And that’s something I’m not going to let happen to me.”
Bellator Fighting Championships on the Fast Track to Success
The Bellator Fighting Championships were labeled as being a "first of its kind" when it was first reported as a new promotion that would air on ESPN Deportes. The unique tagline came with the idea that the fighters would be pushed to the absolute limit of their physical abilities by fighting in divisonal tournaments while being only given, at the most, a month off between battles. While some of us within the MMA blogosphere felt that this could turn ugly if stars were suspended by the commission due to trauma, the gamble paid off for Bellator as they will see an end to their first season on Friday night with buzz circulating that the promotion will broadcast to English-speaking audiences in the fall.
The UFC Should Consider Re-Signing Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski
I know, I know. That headline made a few of you gag. But why don't we start with a comment by Kid Nate yesterday:
They should re-sign Sylvia and/or Arlovski...
I’m serious. You know those guys are a lot more affordable than they were just a few months ago.
AND they’re good enough to be a test for any heavyweight — any heavyweight without one punch KO power that is!
This makes a LOT of sense honestly. Right now both guys have no bargining power so the UFC could go into negotiations by saying "THIS is the deal we're offering. We're not going to have any back-and-forth. If you're not willing to take it we're done here" and just offer a small deal with some significant incentives for winning fights.
Friday's Strikeforce Women's Fight To Be 5 Minute Rounds
While it doesn't necessarily represent a change to policy regarding women's fights in the promotion, Strikeforce has announced that Friday's women's fight between Shayna Baszler and Sarah Kaufman will be 5-minute rounds. The change was quickly approved by the Washington State Athletic Commission following California allowing 5-minute rounds for Gina Carano vs. Cristiane Santos in August.
Heavyweights Jessie Gibbs vs. Rob Broughton added to "Affliction: Trilogy" preliminary card
A heavyweight bout between M-1 fighters Jessie Gibbs (7-2) and Rob Broughton (10-4-1) has been added to the "Affliction: Trilogy" preliminary card.
M-1 Global officials today announced the bout.
"Affliction: Trilogy" takes place Aug. 1 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The main card, featuring a headliner of Fedor Emelianenko vs. Josh Barnett, airs on pay-per-view, and the night's preliminary card airs on HDNet.
Gibbs, a member of Team Benelux in M-1 Challenge, is 5-2 in M-1 events. He enters the Affliction show with six wins (five via stoppage) in his past seven fights. Gibbs most recently competed in May when he defeated MMA newcomer Nikola Dipchkov with a 97-second submission due to strikes. Gibbs' only two career losses have come to notables Aleksander Emelianenko and Alexey Oleinik.
Paul Buentello on Tim Sylvia Loss: 'I Wish He Never Took the Fight'
Lost in the aftermath of Tim Sylvia's shocking 10-second knockout loss to Ray Mercer on Saturday night is how it may drastically affected Paul Buentello's summer plans. "The Headhunter" was scheduled to face Sylvia at "Affliction: Trilogy" on August, but is now unsure as to whether or not that fight will happen.
FanHouse spoke to Buentello on Sunday about his thoughts on Sylvia's loss and why he may now have to wait a little longer to face the former UFC heavyweight champion.
SWICK READY TO MAKE A MOVE; MATT HUGHES NEXT?
Mike "Quick" Swick has been nothing short of perfect since moving from middleweight down to the crowded UFC welterweight division. He has gone 4-0 in the Octagon at 170 pounds, including Saturday night's UFC 99 dismantling of the previously undefeated Ben Saunders.
Aside from Saunders, Swick's hit list includes Josh Burkman, Jonathan Goulet, and Brandon Wolff. All of them solid opposition, but none more highly regarded than Swick himself.
That is about to change.
"This is my tenth fight in the UFC, I'm 9-1. I want to fight for the title," he stated in the Octagon after his second round TKO victory. "I want to fight top guys, Matt Hughes, Georges St. Pierre, Thiago Alves."
FRANKLIN REFLECTS ON FIGHT, SILVA'S 185 FUTURE
Rich Franklin prepared to play the hit-and-run game with Wanderlei Silva at UFC 99.
The former UFC middleweight champion said footwork was a key factor in avoiding the machine gun bursts of punches Silva is known for.
“We just decided that we were going to use a lot of footwork as much as we could and try to move around,” said Franklin following the fight. “The thing about Wanderlei is that he comes forward, and once his arms get started moving, he’s explosive and he’s dangerous.”
Silva did not look as explosive and dangerous against Franklin as in previous outings. It was rumored he had to make a 12-pound cut the day prior to make the 195-pound weight limit, and his energy seemed to wane in the middle of the fight. But his punching power had not left him.
Matt Hamill and Frankie Edgar host July 11 UFC 100 viewing party in New York City
The hoopla around July's historic UFC 100 event will now include a viewing party at the world-famous Radio City Music Hall in New York City, the UFC today announced.
A high-definition closed-circuit feed of the July 11 event, available on the venue's 70-foot-by-35-foot screen, is available for just $25 beginning today. (The price increases to $30 after July 3.)
UFC fighters Matt Hamill and Frankie Edgar will host the UFC 100 Viewing Party and be part an autograph signing (limited to the first 200 fans in attendance) and Q&A session.
Cain Proves Able To Become Champion After 99 Win
Cain Velasquez will someday, and soon, be the UFC Heavyweight Champion. The former All-American wrestler at Arizona State wasn't as sharp as he has been and, most importantly, as he will be. But Velasquez has more weapons than just about anyone in the division and most of them were on display Saturday. It's simply a matter of time before UFC president Dana White climbs into the cage and is strapping the belt around his waist.
UFC promises October return to U.K., Canada on track for two events in 2010
As the UFC's global expansion continues to gain steam, UFC president Dana White recently promised European fans that an October return to the U.K. was a certainty.
White made the statement in response to a fan's question at Friday's UFC Fan Club Q&A session in Cologne, Germany.
The announcement of the date could mean two additional events in the U.K. before the end of the year as the organization is already rumored to be visiting the U.K. on Nov. 14.
Sacrificing the Young
At UFC 99, I watched a worthwhile prospect in Ben Saunders outmatched in a pointless bout designed to trick and fool spectators. I watched a great prospect in Cain Velasquez diligently work on his craft in the cage, but with a sense of finitude for that luxury. Needless to say, I was a sad purist panda.
As verbose as I am, I'd like to write a 4000-word tome on all the inane ideas people have about developing prospects in MMA. However, because my editors think you're all ADHD-addled adolescents whose brains melt after 1200 words, I can't. So, let us stick to the more specific and pointed question of whether or not it's feasible for Zuffa to allow blue chippers to blossom in the UFC.
I've already dedicated radio hours and column inches to the fact that as a sport, MMA maims, rapes and kills its young. However, prospect development is an extremely foxy issue for Zuffa specifically. Because regional MMA is still a work in progress, prospects who can draw a major audience as a local star -- like Eddie Alvarez in his early career -- are few and far in between, and limited by the lack of stalwart promoters. Therefore, it's often attractive for sterling young fighters and their managers to get them big show deals, because it represents not only adequate purses but also a level of competition that can foster their development -- or, of course, completely railroad them.
However, the design for the UFC (or WEC for that matter) is at odds with the true development of prospects because the entire business is built around funneling fighters toward the top to fight for titles. Fans are already debating how Velasquez fares against elite heavyweights. Worse for fighters, it's often in Zuffa's interest to risk pushing prospects quickly in the off-chance they're able to develop like as B.J. Penn, Georges St. Pierre or Brock Lesnar, which gives the promotion another star.
This structure exists only to support itself. It holds any average prospect to an unrealistic standard: We all acknowledge that Penn, St. Pierre, Lesnar and others like them are freakish anomalies and that their ability to adapt to the sport is virtually without parallel. How then can this be the standard? How can we expect any 5-0 kid out of the Midwest with some game to do exactly as Penn, St. Pierre or Lesnar have done? Imagine taking a test on which your professional livelihood hinged, and because a select group of brilliant individuals had previously tested so well, the passing mark was now a 95.
Some fighters -- notably Roger Huerta -- have gotten the proper treatment as developing fighters. However, these instances are the exception rather than the rule, and worse, it tends to be the up-and-comers who’ve shown flashes of brilliance that get victimized.
The most bizarre truth about prospects developing within the UFC is that early mediocrity is a blessing in disguise. If you impress fans and the brass from jump street, you're going to get fast-tracked, and likely to your detriment. If you can manage to win as sterilely as possible, you'll actually get to face a greater number of opponents, different stylistic tests and you'll evolve into a better fighter because of it. (cont'd)