UFC Newcomer Alexander Gustafsson Proving Scandinavian MMA is Growing
Scandinavian countries such as Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland haven't been hotbeds of MMA talent. Over the years, there have been a few quality fighters coming out of the region that most hardcore fans would recognize instantly, but there hasn't been a large progression over the last few years in the talent being pumped out of these countries.
Norway's Joachim Hansen is probably one of the most recognized names on the list, but among casual fans -- Denmark's Martin Kampmann would fit the bill as one of the more successful Scandanavian fighters. Sweden brought two prospects to the UFC in Per Eklund and David Bielkheden, and other prospects such as Iceland's Gunnar Nelson, Swedish light heavyweight Bobby Rehman, welterweight Diego Gonzalez, lightweight Reza Madadi, and Finnish welterweight Janne Turilinta will all likely see a bright future with bigger promotions soon.
Former WEC Champ, Urijah Faber, Eyeing January Return
Former World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight titleholder Urijah Faber expects to return to action in January, but an opponent has yet to be named for "The California Kid."
Faber confirmed during the WEC 43 broadcast on Oct. 10 that Jan. appears to be when he'll fight again. "That would be perfect timing for me," Faber told MMAWeekly.com "I'm hoping it's January."
No opponent has been named, but the 30-year old fighter anticipates a tough match up.
"I imagine I'll get a tough opponent. That's the way mixed martial arts is, the best fights the best. I'm looking forward to challenging myself and putting the smack down on somebody," said Faber.
For UFC 104's Razak Al-Hassan, the art always came before the martial
At first, Razak Al-Hassan didn't know there was a problem.
"I didn't feel it," Al-Hassan told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of his dislocated elbow following his UFC debut in December 2008. "When the referee stopped it, I was bewildered. I was thinking, 'OK, why are you stopping the fight?'"
The referee, in fact, noticed what pretty much everyone else watching the fight against Steve Cantwell did. Al-Hassan, caught in an armbar, was going to suffer a significant arm injury, but he was refusing to tap out.
The first-round injury has made him into a notable UFC character. Some, he said, criticize him for not tapping out even though an injury was imminent. Others have slapped him on the back and praised him for his toughness in declining to quit.
Frank Trigg undergoes successful knee surgery, says target return date unchanged
A knee surgery went better than expected for UFC welterweight Frank Trigg, who underwent a 30-minute procedure this morning in Las Vegas.
The procedure, which will keep him out of training for just two weeks, was scheduled after months of problems with his right knee.
"It was a lot better than we thought it would be," Trigg today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of his knee. "I was on the table at 7 (a.m.) and off at 7:35. It took me longer to wake up from the anesthesia than the surgery itself."
UFC Signs Another KOTC Champion
First Tim Hague, then Mike Guymon, and now UFC has signed a 3rd King Of The Cage Champion in just the last several months. The latest one to sign is Rory MacDonald, a 4-year-pro who's only 20 but is a perfect 9-0 and is the KOTC Lightweight Champion. Terms not disclosed and no debut date set, but he's expected to move up to Welterweight in UFC.
TUF 10 is Called The Ultimate Fighter-Not The Ultimate Coach
And Quinton Jackson wants us to remember that. In a blog posting on his official website, Rampage wants to remind everyone the show, in which he is coaching this season against Rashad Evans, is really entertainment and says the reason his team is doing so poorly so far isn't just bad coaching-it's also bad editing. He also rants about Rashad acting so "fake" on the show and how Rashad thought the show was about him and how fake he could be.
Alistair Overeem Doesn't Have Time For Brett Rogers & His Bullcrap
Alistair Overeem's latest excuse for not responding to criticism recently? He's too busy. That, according to comments he made to a Polish MMA website, is why he will not respond to recent comments by Brett Rogers claiming Overeem is ducking fighting him. Overeem said he's "very busy with training and fighting and doesn't have time for this BS".
Strikeforce Wants Champs to Defend 2 Times a Year
One of the most attractive benefits for fighters signing with Strikeforce at the moment is the promotion’s open-door policy regarding non-exclusive contracts with the Japanese market.
Newly acquired Strikeforce fighters like Antonio Silva and Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal have either active contracts or relations with promotions in Japan.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has taken a surprisingly fighter friendly stance when it comes to contract exclusivity, as other promotions, like the UFC, continue to demand it.
Anderson Silva Has Surgery; Ponders Next Bout
-- Anderson Silva and manager Ed Soares are not quite ready to sign off on a fight with Vitor Belfort at UFC 108.
Nearly three weeks after UFC president Dana White told the Los Angeles Times his middleweight champion and revitalized former light heavyweight champion had agreed to face off in Las Vegas on Jan. 2, there are complications on Silva's side.
First, Silva must be able to heal properly -- and promptly -- from an arthroscopic surgery he underwent last Monday to repair chronic damage to his elbow, Soares told MMAWeekly.com Monday evening at a fashion show for sponsor Silver Star (Silva doubled as a runway model).
That won't be known until the 34-year-old Silva sees his Los Angeles doctor on Friday.
Strikeforce Wants To Unify Titles With Dream
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker on Wednesday said that his promotion is ready to take the leap forward and do something that has rarely been attempted in major mixed martial arts promotions, unifying titles across promotions. It’s something that he would like to pursue with Japanese promoter Dream.
Though it’s often been discussed by various promotions, Strikeforce and Dream already have an official fighter sharing partnership in place, so it would be less of a stretch for the two to come to some sort of agreement on unification bouts.
Coker announced the alliance between Strikeforce and Dream in early August, just after tapping Dream’s Mitsuhiro Ishida to come to the U.S. and challenge Gilbert Melendez for the Strikeforce interim lightweight championship.
He likened the agreement to the post-season in Major League Baseball, where teams from different leagues compete to declare the top team in the sport.
In actuality, Coker has been sharing fighters with Dream for quite some time, but once Strikeforce signed Fedor Emelianenko to a multi-fight contract, the two promotions decided to make the alliance more official. The formal partnership could now lead to the title unification bouts, and Coker is ready for that next step...
Coker: Overeem Will Defend Title Early Next Year
During a media call today, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker fielded a variety of questions, including when we'll see Strikeforce Havyweight Champion Alistair Overeem defend the title for the first time since winning it in '07. Coker was adamant in getting the defense to happen, saying we'll see Overeem back in SF in early '10, probably in February or March.
Antonio Silva: To get to Fedor, Fabricio Werdum must be eliminated
“Werdum is a good fighter, very experienced, cautious with good jiu-jitsu. He is famed among Strikeforce heavyweights and I want to be between the best ones to get the chance to fight Fedor, so I have to look for a knockout or a submission victory over him. I have improved my stand-up game in the past two years. I’m more confident, moving better, kicking and punching harder. I’m ready for any circumstance that may come up because my ground game is also very sharpened. It’s a fight and anything can happen, but I don’t see Rogers knocking out or submitting Fedor, despite his heavy hands. If you observe, he goes towards the opponent with his guard opened and Fedor hits very well in the short distance. I will be rooting for Fedor to keep winning.”
Former Elite XC heavyweight champion Antonio Silva (13-1) heads back to the United States to challenge Strikeforce heavyweight contender Fabricio Werdum at the Nov. 7 “Fedor vs. Rogers” event from the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.
Frankie Edgar vs. Kurt Pellegrino lightweight bout to co-headline TUF 10 Finale
Indicating the lightweight fighters are moving toward the top of of the contenders list, Frankie Edgar (10-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) and fellow New Jersey native Kurt Pellegrino (14-4 MMA, 6-3 UFC) have been tapped co-headliners of The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale.
Spike TV today confirmed the rumored bout and announced that the fight will co-headline the Dec. 5 event along with Matt Hamill vs. Jon Jones, which the UFC formally announced on Tuesday.
The event takes place at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas and airs on Spike TV.
UFC 111 - UFC books February 21st for its trip to Sydney, Australia
The Ultimate Fighting Championship is planning an event for Feb. 21 at Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia, MMAWeekly.com has learned from a source within the UFC.
The date, landing on a Sunday, is an unorthodox move for the promotion. The UFC’s sister promotion, World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC), often holds events on Sunday to accommodate the schedule of television partner Versus.
The Sydney Morning Herald first reported the news Sunday citing the UFC’s U.K. president, Marshall Zelaznik.
Yoshihiro Akiyama may headline the event against Wanderlei Silva, the Japanese star said during a recent UFC “Undisputed” video game press conference in Japan, according to a report on Sherdog.com. Akiyama, however, said he'd prefer the fight to happen at UFC 110, scheduled for Feb. 6 in Las Vegas.
The Acer Arena played host to the 2000 Sydney Games and is the largest indoor arena in the country, holding up to 21,000 fans.
Aussie Rag Slams MMA Down Under, Elvis Slams Back
Uh-Huh. A few days ago, The Sydney Morning Herald ran the usual MMA hatchet job when covering the UFC venture into the land down under, peppering the article with all the tried-and-true anti-fight buzzwords like “human cockfighting” and “brutal,” to name a few. That didn't sit well with Australian-born MMA fighter Elvis Sinosic, who wasn't pleased by this and took the time to write his own reply, pointing out many of the article's inaccuracies including the article referring to "pound and ground". Seriously.
Frank Trigg vs. Tomato Can Coming To An Octagon Near You?
Don't laugh too hard. If Frank Trigg has his way that could happen. That's kinda what he wants because he realizes he's likely out of UFC again if he loses his next fight, which could be against Matt Serra. Thus Trigg for his next fight wants "a tomato can, like some low-level martial artist, so I can beat the crap out of somebody for a change and get a win streak going, but the way they work with me, it’s going to be somebody tough no matter who it is.”
Who Wins If Cain Velasquez Fights Fedor?
Cain, if you ask him. While making the rounds promoting his fight with Ben Rothwell at UFC 104, Velasquez said he definitely wins against Fedor, should that fight ever happen. "I'm a proud Mexican fighter. Anybody who steps in that ring with me, it’s like **** them, I’m gonna beat them. The guy’s gonna have to kill me. I think he’s an awesome fighter, he’s the best. It’s not like the movies or TV with the biggest and most muscular guy going out there and he’s the baddest guy, it’s not always like that. Like Cheick Kongo, I don’t look anything like him, but if you got the heart and the fighter spirit, that counts for a lot.”
WEC 43: 419,000 Viewers On Versus
Reports are now out that WEC 43 did a total of 419,000 viewers Saturday night on Versus. This was down 37% from WEC 42 in August, but this can partly be blamed on Versus not being available on satellite provider DirecTV due to a pricing dispute with Comcast, and it being the rare WEC show to not feature one of their major draws-Urijah Faber, Miguel Torres, or Mike Thomas Brown.
K-1 and DREAM announce ‘Dynamite!!’ New Year’s Eve supershow
At an Oct 14 press conference hosted by Fighting and Entertainment Group (FEG), president Sadaharu Tanigawa and DREAM event producer Keiichi Sasahara unveiled the synopsis of this year’s annual “Dynamite!!” show on New Year’s Eve.
The event will be held at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, on a similar scale as the last year’s event, with the maximum stadium capacity of more than 40,000 people.
Regarding the much-anticipated fight card, Tanigawa told the media that FEG will start releasing the fight cards once DREAM 12 and K-1 MAX 2009 World Championship Tournament, scheduled for Oct. 25 and 26, respectively, are in the books.