Strikeforce nears deal for launch of live fights on NBC
Strikeforce is in advanced discussions with NBC to bring live fights to the Peacock Network.
The popular West Coast promotion struck a paid programming deal with NBC earlier this year, featuring 30-minute, weekly shows with fights from past Strikeforce events. Extending that agreement to live, primetime shows would be a major boast for Strikeforce as it looks to generate additional exposure for its brand and expand nationally.
"It's been signed off on at many levels (at NBC) already, and I think we're at the final stages," Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "By the first quarter of '09, we'll probably have some fights going on. We would need that time frame any way to book the right fights and do it properly."
Serious talks between Strikeforce and the network have been ongoing for the past couple of months, and Coker says the dialogue is continuing. Approval at the senior most programming levels at NBC is the only hurdle left to clear to bring live MMA to a second U.S. broadcast network.
C.B. Dollaway vs. Mike Massenzio close to being finalized for UFC 92
A bout between middleweight prospects C.B. Dollaway and Mike Massenzio for UFC 92 on December 27 in Las Vegas has been verbally agreed to by parties representing both fighters.
A source close to Massenzio’s Team Bomb Squad revealed the news to FiveOuncesOfPain.com over the weekend.
The source indicated that thus far, only verbal agreements pertaining to the matchup have been secured but that bout agreements could be finalized over the course of the next several days.
Both Massenzio and Dollaway are outstanding college wrestlers who once competed against each other on the Junior College level. Dollaway defeated Massenzio head-to-head during a tournament bout early in their college careers and Massenzio increased his training in hopes of winning a rematch the following year.
While Massenzio reached the finals of the tournament the next year, he was denied a shot at redemption after Dollaway had been eliminated prior to the final round. Since that time, Massenzio has searched for a chance to rematch Dollaway and it appears he may finally get that opportunity at UFC 92 in a bout contested under MMA rules.
Dan Hardy looks to finish Akihiro Gono in round two
“I anticipate playing a little cat-and-mouse chase for a little while. Brawling is not my style, so I’ll look to chip away at him and slow him down gradually. I’m not looking for a KO right away. It would be ignorant of me to think that I can just go out and knock him out straight away, but by around the midway point of the second round, I’ll have him at a point where I’ll be looking to finish him.”
– Team Rough House fighter Dan Hardy talks to Sherdog.com about his journey to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and what he expects when he makes his debut against Akihiro Gono at UFC 89: “Bisping vs. Leben” at The National Indoor Arena (NIA) in Birmingham, England, on October 18. The welterweight bout will headline the untelevised portion of the preliminary card; however, if it does finish fast the viewers at home will hopefully be treated to one of the better fights on the card.
RADACH EXPECTS ELITEXC TITLE SHOT IN FEBRUARY
It had been nine months since Benji "Razor" Radach competed in mixed martial arts when he stepped into the cage to face Murilo "Ninja" Rua at EliteXC "Heat" on Oct. 4. Slated to kick off the third installment of EliteXC on CBS, Radach delivered, knocking out Rua at the 2:31 mark of the second round.
"It was amazing. We definitely got it going," the middleweight fighter told MMAWeekly.com. "I just wanted to get right in his face and see what it was all about. You know what I mean? See what he was all about. And he's a tough dude."
Radach came out of the gate firing, stunning Rua with punches and looked as if he may get an early finish. Rua weathered the early onslaught and survived the round, inflicting his fair share of damage on Radach as well.
"Everything that I threw seemed to find it's home. It was hitting him, and some huge impacts. I couldn't believe, like I would see him stagger. He was hurt," said Radach. "He was looking through me instead of at me. I would go for a finishing shot and miss, and he'd have his bearings right back. He had such good composure."
UFC 89: THE NEW CHRIS LEBEN, STILL THE UNDERDOG
Chris "The Crippler" Leben travels to England to take on British fan-favorite Michael "The Count" Bisping at UFC 89 on Oct. 18 from the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham in a career defining fight that will leave the winner in title contention for the Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight crown.
"It's pretty cool. It's me and my coach. We're going over there. We're going into enemy territory. We're going to be the bad guy the whole time. It makes it intense. You know? It helps me focus," Leben told MMAWeekly.com. "I've said it before. The only thing cooler than making 20,000 people scream at once is making them all shut up. That's going to be a nice feeling when I knock Bisping out and that whole arena is dead, stone quiet."
Bisping and Leben were originally slated to headline UFC 85 in London on June 7. Due to a legal situation regarding a parole violation stemming from a past DUI charge, Leben ended up serving 11 days of a 35-day jail sentence, which forced the Ultimate Fighter season one contestant out of the bout.
Analyzing Zuffa's Plans for the WEC & UFC
Zuffa’s plan to fold World Extreme Cagefighting’s middleweight and light heavyweight divisions into the UFC in 2009 leaves the sport with more questions than answers.
Parallel champions in the WEC suggested co-promotion would happen between the two organizations at some point. But talent-thin divisions in the WEC at 185 and 205 pounds were viewed as impediments and instead will be worked into the UFC fray.
UFC 90: RELJIC OUT, THALES LEITES LEFT WAITING
Goran Reljic is out of his scheduled match-up with Thales Leites at UFC 90 in Chicago. Reljic's manager, Zoran Saric, told MMAWeekly.com, "Reljic will not be able to fight on Oct. 25 at UFC 90. A back problem will force him out of a scheduled bout with Thales Leites."
I dont know but this sounds like its time to put on a re-match with Nate...anyone agree?
GSP in black belt club
It wasn’t just any Saturday at the Tristar martial arts academy, in Montreal, Canada.
The Jiu-Jitsu class, with around 50 participants, was more crowded than usual. But the UFC welterweight champion, Georges Saint-Pierre, suspected nothing.
And he was moved when medical researcher and holder of several Jiu-Jitsu titles Bruno Fernandes promoted him to the status of black belt in Jiu-Jitsu.
“This was the high point in my career,” an emotional Saint-Pierre confessed, when laying out the three happiest moments of his life:
“When I received my black belt in karate, when I conquered the UFC belt, and today.”
The promotion echoed in New York and, Renzo Gracie, who has taught Jiu-Jitsu to the Canadian star in the past before his collision course with Renzo student Matt Serra, approved:
“He more than deserves it. This was excellent new for the fight world,” said the teacher.
To Gracie Barrra black belt Fernandes, who has been living in Canada for the last few years, where he earned his PhD and researches cancer treatments, and thus has been teaching the martial arts phenomenon for years, it was a great honor to fasten the black belt and say:
“Welcome to the club!”
After "fighting two people," Roy Nelson seeks rematch with Arlovski
While it may not have been the most aesthetically pleasing strategy, the ground-based strategy implemented by Roy Nelson (13-3) against former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski (14-5) at "EliteXC: Heat" was undeniably effective.
But after a much-discussed stand-up from the match referee -- while Nelson was working for a possible fight-ending kimura -- Nelson abandoned the strategy. Arlovski then used his quickness and athleticism to score crushing blows on the feet en route to a second-round TKO win.
Realizing the mistake his frustration caused, Nelson recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) he wants a second chance.
Shamrock Brothers sign to fight each other
Estranged adoptive brothers Ken Shamrock and Frank Shamrock have both signed contracts in principle to fight each other in 2009, according to a new article by Michael Woods of ESPN.com.
The two have expressed a public interest in fighting each other for the past several years and plans appeared to be in motion earlier this year to stage a fight between the two sometime in 2008. However, the proposed bout was put on the back burner following Ken’s first round knockout loss to journeyman heavyweight Robert “Buzz” Berry during a ProElite-promoted Cage Rage event in London this past March. Shamrock was released from his ProElite contract following the loss.
A further shadow of doubt regarding the bout was cast after Frank suffered a broken arm in a TKO (medical stoppage) loss to Cung Le during a co-promotion between EliteXC and Strikeforce later the same month.
Whether the bout comes off is far from certain, as Frank Shamrock went so far as to launch a “Blood Brothers” website earlier this year with a countdown to a pay-per-view event that was never formally set. However, the younger Shamrock is quoted as telling ESPN.com that both have agreed to move forward with the fight.
Interview with Paul "Semtex" Daley
Paul was nice of enough to take some time to answer a few questions regarding his recent fight with Jake Shields at EliteXC:Heat, what his plans for the future are, his contract status with ProElite and what he thinks about the recent FSAC investigation into EliteXC.
Mousasi Moving To 205, Boxing
has strategic partnerships in place that will allow him to pursue a boxing career
New DREAM Middleweight Champion Gegard Mousasi announced not only plans to move up to 205 in MMA, but also to pursue a boxing world title. Mousasi believes his management company, who also represents Fedor Emelianenko, has strategic partnerships in place that will allow him to pursue a boxing career. No timetable set for a boxing debut.
MacDonald calls Slice's salary 'almost insulting'
UFC middleweight Jason MacDonald is among the fighters disgusted with Kimbo Slice's half a million dollar payday at EliteXC: Heat.
"I think the fact that EliteXC is paying a guy like Kimbo $500,000 is almost insulting to other 'real' mixed martial artists," MacDonald wrote on his blog on Sportsnet.ca. "If I were Jake Shields, who is a legitimate top 170-pound fighter. I would be very upset and angry. He's supposed to be a cornerstone of the organization and he's getting paid $50,000. That's a slap in the face for Shields, and pretty much every other top fighter there."
Former UFC champ Andrei Arlovski was the other fighter on the card making $500,000. In this case, MacDonald feels Arlovski was well-deserving of the purse.
"From his standpoint, leaving the UFC was probably the best thing for him," MacDonald continued. "He got $750,000 for his Affliction fight, now $500,000 for EliteXC fight. And for fighting two guys that aren't exactly at his caliber."
André Galvão Next Fight In November
Two times BJJ world champion, André Galvão showed his skills on his MMA debut, after submitting Jeremiah Metcalf on the second round, after being knocked down twice on the first. Getting ready for his next fight, Galvão will be at Colloseo Championship Fighting, at November 28th, to face Jared Bussemakers, who did three fights in professional MMA.
“I already signed the contract. I saw something on the internet and I think he (Jared) is from Jiu-Jitsu, he won fights by submission and, when lost, it was by knockout, I think. I’m getting ready and will be on my best for this fight”, said André, who’ll fight at welterweight division. With an undoubtedly superior ground game, Galvão won’t go to the fight thinking it’ll be easy to do his BJJ. “I believe he’s from BJJ, but he can surprise me… I’m training a lot Muay Thai, Boxing, BJJ and submission… I’m starting now in MMA and I don’t wanna underestimate nobody”.
PETRUZELLI COULD BE TWO WEIGHT CLASS FIGHTER
The future for EliteXC fighter Seth Petruzelli got a lot brighter on Oct. 4 after his 14-second knockout of Kimbo Slice, but according to EliteXC executives he may stay at heavyweight or even compete in two weight classes.
Before the chance to fight Kimbo came along, Petruzelli was all set to do battle against Aaron Rosa, a former training partner of UFC legend Tito Ortiz, at light heavyweight.
With Petruzelli’s newfound fame, the question immediately becomes what’s next for EliteXC’s newest star?
One possibility is an immediate shot at top 205-pound EliteXC fighter Rafael “Feijao” Calvancante, who has been rumored as part of a light heavyweight title fight for some time now, but according to EliteXC Vice President Jared Shaw, the company would like to give Petruzelli more time than four weeks to prepare for a bout of that magnitude.
“I think that could be a great fight at 205,” Shaw commented on a fight between Feijao and Petruzelli. “I haven’t even had a chance to have a conversation with Seth Petruzelli since I saw him at the press conference, so I’d like to figure out where he’s going to feel comfortable. He used to campaign as a heavyweight.
MORE MATURE, RAMPAGE READY FOR AXE MURDERER
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson is back in the U.S. after a trip across the pond to the U.K., where he’s set up shop at the Wolfslair gym alongside teammates Paul Kelly and Michael Bisping.
Jackson’s commute is hard on his family life, so he lavishes attention on his four children when he returns.
“My dad was a working man. He was in the National Guard, be gone for two weeks at a time,” Jackson said in an exclusive video interview with MMAWeekly.com. “My big boys understand; my two little babies, they don’t know. They just know, ‘daddy gone, pow, pow.’”
Jackson immediately took a liking to the Wolfslair when Bisping invited him there to train for his fight with Dan Henderson at UFC 75. Jackson successfully defended his title, but lost it in a subsequent five-round war with Forrest Griffin at UFC 86. After leaving former trainer Juanito Ibarra, he felt a move across the pond was necessary.
“The managers and stuff over there are really good, and it’s just really a good atmosphere,” he said. “The guys work really hard. I needed a change in my training and how people trained me. I’m a Werewolf, and the name of the gym is the Wolfslair. You do the math.”
Wolfslair trainers have Jackson doing things he’s never done for a fight.
“I’m swimming now,” he said. “It’s helping my cardio get a lot better. I’ve started lifting weights. What do you call it, strength and conditioning.”
Night Of Combat 2 - Results (*SPOILERS*)
Night of Combat II
Superfights MMA and KC Concepts
Thomas & Mack Center
Las Vegas, Nev.
October 11, 2008
-Hector Ramirez def. Rick Roufus by Unanimous Decision
-Jay Hieron def. Chris Kennedy by Unanimous Decision
-Mike Pyle def. Brian Gassaway by Submission (Armbar) at 4:21, R1
-Josh Haynes def. Sean Salmon by Submission (Achilles Lock) at 2:46, R2
-Jonathan Mix def. John Halverson by TKO at 4:25, R1
-John Alessio def. Gideon Ray by KO at 0:45, R1
-Patrick Gonzalves def. Shawn David by Submission (Kimura) at 3:51, R2
-Elena Reed def. Stephanie Palmer by TKO at 0:56, R1
-Ryan Hess def Ian Omalza by Submission (Armbar) at 3:02, R1
Diabate Turns Down Feijao Fight For EliteXC LHW Title
Cyrille Diabate has turned down an offer from EliteXC to fight Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante on November 8 to determine the first EliteXC Light Heavyweight Champion. According to EXC's Jeremy Lappen, Diabate felt he wouldn't have enough time to prepare for the fight. Now it's not known if Feijao's fight on 11/8 will be for the title.
GEORGES ST. PIERRE READY FOR PENN; IS SILVA NEXT?
UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre won his fight with UFC lightweight champion BJ Penn by a razor’s edge.
Their UFC 58 battle was another example in a running debate amongst mixed martial arts fans – should the most damaged fighter be declared the loser? St. Pierre definitely lost in that department – he spent a night in a Las Vegas hospital, badly banged up – but two judges ruled he had come out ahead on points, giving him the 29-28 nod.
Two-and-a-half years removed from that important bout, St. Pierre wants to eliminate all the "what ifs." In a recent video interview with MMAWeekly.com, he spoke about fighting Penn for a second time.
“I’m a different fighter than I used to be,” he said. “And he is as well. This time, I want to take him out. I don’t want to go to a decision. I want to finish him.”
The fight is not signed yet, but St. Pierre thinks it will be sometime in the next week.
He left for Albuquerque, N.M. to get some training in with Greg Jackson’s camp. Right now, he’s gathering information from a variety of sources before putting it all together in an MMA-only environment.