Mike Van Arsdale plans comeback, signs with American Fight League
Veteran light heavyweight and former UFC fighter Mike Van Arsdale (8-5) will return from a two-year layoff and make his comeback with the upstart American Fight League.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the signing with AFL officials, who said Van Arsdale will be part of the organization's pay-per-view debut, which takes place sometime in November.
Van Arsdale, 43, could be an opponent for another 205-pounder the AFL hopes to land: former UFC champion and current free agent Tito Ortiz.
Van Arsdale, a stand-out high school and collegiate wrestler at Iowa State University, began his career with an 8-1 record and earned a spot on the UFC's roster. However, after suffering four consecutive losses (to notables such as Randy Couture, Renato "Babalu" Sobral and Matt Lindland), Van Arsdale walked away from competition.
He hasn't competed since April 2006 and has been healing from an array of injuries.
"This is huge for us," said AFL CEO BJ Santiago, who recently signed top female fighter Tara LaRosa, former WWE star Bobby Lashley and a host of UFC veterans. "Van is a scary, freak-of-nature-type athlete who has a terrific wrestling and MMA pedigree. He is a class-A fighter with unbelievable potential. ... This is big for us and I think MMA in the long run."
The AFL is one of many organizations currently vying for the services of Ortiz, who recently became a free agent after fulfilling the terms of his UFC contract. As MMAjunkie.com reported earlier this week, despite claims he had agreed to a record-breaking contract with Affliction, Ortiz is again negotiating with all the sport's top players.
Not surprisingly AFL Director of Public Relations Sean McClure has an opponent in mind for Van Arsdale.
"Tito Ortiz," McClure stated. "Our operations director and one of the owners Jon Hatton has wanted to see that fight for years. Mike's wrestling is sick, and Tito is a really tough guy. It would be a good fight for Mike."
He also didn't rule out a move to middleweight for Van Arsdale.
"I would also love to see Mike fight a guy like Trevor Prangley or maybe even drop down to 185 to fight, say, a Renzo Gracie or someone like that," McClure said. "I know Mike could make 185 pounds if he wanted to. It would be up to him, and if he did want to do it, we would support it."
AFL officials said the date of their PPV debut will be announced soon. In addition to Van Arsdale, LaRosa and Lashley are also booked for the event.
Dana Confirms UFC schedule-> No Canada in remainder of 08', GSP vs Penn in Jan.31
UFC President Dana White, speaking to Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole, has confirmed the UFC’s plans for the remainder of the calendar year.
After getting Montreal fans’ hopes up about a possible return before the end of the year, White revealed to Iole that they won’t be able to hold a second show this year after all. Instead, UFC 91 is planned for Nov. 15 at the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore. and UFC 92 is planned for Dec. 27 in Las Vegas.
White also stated that a planned Georges St. Pierre vs. B.J. Penn fight will not take place at UFC 92 and will instead happen on Jan. 31 during the promotion’s annual Super Bowl weekend show.
The UFC’s calendar for the remainder of the year is as follows:
* Sept. 6 in Atlanta: UFC 88 featuring Chuck Liddell vs. Rashad Evans
* Sept. 17 in Omaha: UFC Fight Night 15 featuring Nate Diaz vs. Josh Neer
* Oct. 18 in Birmingham, England: UFC 89 featuring Michael Bisping vs. Chris Leben
* Oct. 25 in Rosemont, Ill.: UFC 90 featuring Anderson Silva vs. Patrick Cote
* Nov. 15 in Portland: UFC 91 with Kenny Florian vs. Joe Stevenson
* Dec. 13 in Las Vegas: LIVE Finale for the eighth season of “The Ultimate Fighter”
* Dec. 27 in Las Vegas: UFC 92 with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Frank Mir
* Jan. 31 (2009): UFC’s annual Super Bowl weekend event
Dana White: UFC to Portland on Nov. 15, Las Vegas on Jan. 31
The UFC will, in fact, head to Portland, Ore., for a UFC 91 event on Nov. 15, and UFC President Dana White also confirmed the organization's traditional SuperBowl weekend card will take place on Jan. 31 in Las Vegas.
As reported earlier this week, the UFC had been in talks with the Oregon State Athletic Commission to host an event at Portland's Rose Garden Arena. It'll be the UFC's first event in the state.
White confirmed that the upcoming event will feature a lightweight bout between contender Kenny Florian and Joe Stevenson. He also gave an update on Wanderlei Silva.
Although Silva previously stated that he expected to return at the organization's year-end Dec. 27 card, White said the booking isn't a done deal and that he's "thinking [Silva's] not going to be on that (card) at this point."
Kang vs Eastman at Raw Combat
Las Vegas’ own Marvin Eastman (Pictures) is finally set to return to action. The veteran of King of the Cage, the WFA and the UFC, as well as dozens of muay Thai and K-1 fights is scheduled to tackle Denis Kang (Pictures) at RAW Combat on Oct. 25 in Alberta, Canada.
Brock Lesnar vs. Cheick Kongo in November?
Big news, ladies and gents: Our own Jeffrey Lee has tracked down the "International Man of Mystery" himself, Cheick Kongo. Not sure how he did it but good on him for doing so. Stay tuned for his interview with the Frenchman in the coming days.
In the meantime, we leave you with these two little nuggets:
Kongo on Brock Lesnar:
"There's really nothing that worries me too much with Brock Lesnar."
So, wait, are these two behemoths about to get it on?
Well, according to a member of Kongo's management team the answer is yes:
"Cheick has been contacted about his next fight. It should be Lesnar maybe in November or December."
Mikey Gomez Florida's #1 unsigned Mixed Martial Artist
Check out all the Interviews by Penny Buffington on
Here is just part of the Interview from Mikey Gomez who was voted #1 unsigned Fighter in Florida!!!!!!!
"Gomez is fighting Charley Blanchard for the welterweight title. On Thursday August 15, 2008 I spoke with a happy Mikey. He told me, “I am really excited to fight for the Cage Warriors belt. I’m fighting a really tough aponant named Charley Blanchard from American Top Team. I’ve been training really hard for this upcoming belt and now I’m just tweaking up my game in preparation for it.” - Mikey Gomez
Check out the Full interview by Penny Buffington on
Hermes Franca 'Ready to Show My Full Potential'
Hermes Franca 'Ready to Show My Full Potential'
By Dave Carpinello
UFC Lightweight contender Hermes Franca took some time to talk with PDG after his trip to New York about his comeback, future opponents and his upcoming fight with Gleison Tibau at UFC 90 in Chicago.
PDG: All right, let's talk just a little bit about the past; did it bother you at all that you served a full one-year suspension and Sean Sherk only had to sit out six months?
Franca: It doesn't bother me because it was my problem and my fault. I told the commission the truth and it doesn't matter to me what Sherk told them. It is just great to be back and the commission has a lot of great guys that came up to me at my last fight and told me they were glad to have me back. They told me I was the man and I had balls because I told the truth which apparently a lot of people don't.
Cory Devela To Meet Terry Martin At "The Mansion"
Strikeforce recently announced that middleweight rising star Cory Devela will meet the recently KO'd Terry Martin at "Strikeforce at the Mansion II" which will take place on Sept. 20 at the "Playboy Mansion".
Devela hasn't lost since his June '04 bout against Ed "Short Fuse" Herman. His only other loss came against Matt Horwich in Devela's pro debut. He most recently defeated Dan Molina via unanimous decision at an Xtreme Cage Combat event in April. He also holds wins over Joe Riggs and Lodune Sincaid.
EliteXC issues KJ Noons 24-hour deadline to accept Nick Diaz fight
EliteXC officials have distributed a fight agreement and set a deadline for EliteXC 160-pound champion KJ Noons (7-2) to accept an Oct. 4 title fight with challenger Nick Diaz (18-7).
EliteXC Vice President Jared Shaw contacted MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) late Wednesday to discuss the deadline that the organization set.
"A bout agreement has been sent to KJ Noons," Shaw said. "He has until 5 (p.m. PT Thursday) to accept it, or he can face public opinion."
That public opinion has already been decidedly mixed since MMAjunkie.com reported Noons' unwillingness to commit to the bout earlier today. Shaw claims he has been unable to contact Noons' camp but hinted that the fighter may be unhappy with his contracted pay.
Yoshiro Maeda vs. Rani Yahya WEC fight booked for Hard Rock
A solid bantamweight fight between Yoshiro Maeda (23-5-2) and Rani Yahya (12-4) was announced by the WEC today for its at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla., on September 10.
We all remember Maeda from his three round war against division kingpin Miguel Torres at WEC 34 in June. Unfortunately for the Japanese fighter, he wasn’t able to answer the bell for the fourth round because of a doctor’s stoppage.
But he was able to open a lot of eyes with the way he went toe-to-toe with the champ, who is widely considered to be a top 10 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. It’s a step up in competition for anyone when they face Torres, and Maeda was ready for the challenge.
However, he can’t expect a huge drop off in talent when he faces Rani Yahya. Obviously, the 23-year-old Brazilian has a long way to go in his development as a complete mixed martial artist, but the kid is a submission whiz, boasting 10 wins by way of tapout.
OZZY OSBOURNE GOES MMA
Las Vegas – Heavy metal legend Ozzy Osbourne will perform live at Affliction “Day of Reckoning” on Saturday, Oct. 11 at the Thomas & Mack Center. Presented by Roy Englebrecht Events, Donald J. Trump, Affliction Entertainment in association with Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, the mixed martial arts event will be the first Affliction show in the Las Vegas area.
“To bring the ‘Godfather of Heavy Metal’ to our event is a dream come true,” said Tom Atencio, vice president of Affliction Entertainment. “An incredible fight card combined with Ozzy’s live performance, our fight in Las Vegas will be an unforgettable event.”
With a career spanning for more than 37 years, Ozzy has entertained in front of millions worldwide. The Grammy Award-winning rocker has released more than 20 solo albums including his first solo record, the multi-platinum Blizzard of Ozz to 2007’s success of Black Rain. Ozzy has continuously released chart-topping hits including “Dreamer,” “No More Tears” and “Mamma I’m Coming Home.” In 2002, Ozzy and his family gained national appeal with their record-breaking reality show “The Osbournes” on MTV. From singing sensation to reality star, Ozzy Osbourne epitomizes the free artistic expression that transcends true rock culture around the globe.
Tito Ortiz: The Barry Bonds of MMA?
Steve Cofield makes the argument:
Barry Bonds is desperate to get back on the baseball field. So much so that his $15-18 million asking price is now down to the major league minimum. His agent Jeff Borris told Ryen Russillo of ESPNRadio that Bonds would play this year for the minimum salary. Borris said, "What other option does he have?"
Is fighter Tito Ortiz going to face a similar fate in the MMA world? This is not to say Ortiz has been involved in a drug scandal like Bonds but the slugger is out of baseball as much for his attitude as the steroid mess. Ortiz may be developing the reputation that he's a guy who is impossible to work with.
Cofield also brings up recent remarks by Affliction COO Michael D. Cohen about Tito's asking price being "more than ANY league could afford."
Tito has clearly wildly over-estimated his current market value. I expect the UFC will re-sign a sadder but wiser Tito when it's all said and done.
Kenny Florian vs. Joe Stevenson? Florian Eyes Frankie Edgar Instead
ESPN's Franklin McNeil (grrooooaaannnn) has talked to both Florian and Edgar. Both, it seems, believe they need a fight with each other to earn a shot at BJ Penn's title. Notable quote:
"Like Kenny, I want to fight the best in my division and right now he might be the No. 1 contender. So, fighting him is kind of a no-brainer. I want to get one [fight] in before the year is out. I would prefer November, but I would wait around to fight Kenny in December."
As for having his name mentioned prominently by Florian? That's fine by Edgar.
"It kind of gives me some recognition," Edgar said. "For a guy like Kenny to consider me as a formidable opponent; he's fought for the title and he's on a lot of people's list for a possible future title shot. So, it's good for me.
"I don't think Kenny's really calling me out; he's just making a statement that he wants to fight tough opponents."
Florian and Edgar are friends. The dropping of Edgar's name was not a show of disrespect by Florian.
"As an athlete, I have a lot of respect for [Frankie Edgar] for what he's accomplished," Florian said. "I respect him as a fighter and a person.
"It was the same with Roger Huerta. I had nothing against Roger; I liked Roger. But he was the best opponent available at the time. … It's nothing personal.
"I want to fight Frankie because he's a great fighter. That's the most important thing. It's about respect, and beating someone like Frankie Edgar will get me more respect."