Nova Uniao Supplants Brazil's Old Guard
When Pride Fighting Championships met its end, the value of mixed martial arts teams seemed to diminish, too, as athletes were emphasized more for their own value, independent of the team they represented.
This trend has increased even more in Brazil, as Brazilian Top Team and the Chute Boxe Academy suffered several cuts and stars such as Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Paulo Filho, Wanderlei Silva and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua left their respective training camps. The only team not to suffer any major losses during this period was Nova Uniao. Names like Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro, Thales Leites, Wagnney Fabiano and Jose Aldo -- born and raised on a team led by Andre Pederneiras -- continue to shine in international events.
According to Pederneiras, Nova Uniao has about 50 professional athletes on its roster, including Ribeiro and the young Eduardo Dantas, who fought Masakatsu Ueda for the Shooto 132-pound championship last weekend.
Made famous in the 1990s by the brilliant showings of its lighter weight athletes in Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitions, the team made a seamless transition to MMA, winning titles in major events like Shooto (Ribeiro), Cage Rage (Ribeiro), the International Fight League (Fabiano) and Pancrase (Marlon Sandro).
“Our team went from BJJ to MMA,” Pederneiras said. “As we already had a very strong team in the lighter weights, basically my BJJ team migrated with the same success to MMA, so we just continued the work. But we’ve also proven that we can do it with heavier guys. Thales Leites is an example. The more that come here, the more we’ll do it.”
Although the recognition has come only in recent years, the team began to take its first steps more than a decade ago, with Pederneiras himself fighting in international events and Rafael Carino emerging victorious at UFC 9 in 1996.
“Rafael Carino was my first athlete who fought in MMA, then Joao Roque and some others,” Pederneiras said. “Even when I fought, I did not have an MMA team. I called some people for training, but most of them had never fought MMA before. Only when Shaolin began fighting MMA could I bring in more people. Then we really had a team.”
CSAC: Josh Barnett Failed First Random Drug Test in California State History
There are still many questions that have been left unanswered in the wake of Josh Barnett's positive test for an anabolic steroid, which has forced Affliction to find a new opponent for Fedor Emelianenko on August 1. FanHouse spoke to the California State Athletic Commission's assistant executive officer, Bill Douglas, Wednesday evening to find out more about this situation and what it means for Barnett's MMA future in the United States.
MMAjunkie.com Fight Biz Brief: TapouT partners with videogame "Tekken 6" for apparel line
TapouT is taking its brand into the videogame market through a new multi-year partnership with game developer Namco Bandai Games. The companies announced a new alliance today at Comic-Con 2009 in San Diego.
As part of the agreement, TapouT will design five co-branded T-shirts, which will appear as in-game customization options for characters in "Tekken 6," the latest installment of Namco's popular fighting game franchise. In addition to outfitting their "Tekken 6" fighters, players and fans will be able to wear their own Tekken 6 TapouT gear.
Legislation would create state regulations for mixed martial arts
BOSTON — Massachusetts has begun the process of opening the door to mixed martial arts, a sport that could be regulated here in time for the hosting of an Ultimate Fighting Championship event next summer.
The state Senate voted Tuesday to approve regulations for the sport. Without such regulations in place, the industry-leading UFC organization will not stage one of it shows – shows that can generate millions of dollars in tourist spending.
Trial delayed in Eilers murder case
Justin Eilers’ stepfather, James R. Malec, has had his trial date pushed back. A provisional date of Aug. 31 has been set for the man accused of shooting and killing the former UFC heavyweight title contender after a Christmas night argument at Malec’s home in Nampa, Idaho.
Alistair Overeem Withdraws From Strikeforce Title Fight
Alistair Overeem has been forced to withdraw from his scheduled August 15 Strikeforce heavyweight title fight against Fabricio Werdum. Strikeforce director of communications Mike Afromowitz confirmed the news with FanHouse on Tuesday. Afromowitz said that the reason for the withdrawal was that the hand infection Overeem suffered following his May altercation in an Amsterdam nightclub has not fully healed.
Nick Thompson vs. Karl Amoussou Booked for M-1 Global's August Event
Nick Thompson (38-11-1) will face Karl Amoussou (10-3-1) in a middleweight bout at "M-1 Global presents Breakthrough" on August 28 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in California. Thompson confirmed the news with FanHouse on Tuesday.
"The Goat" expressed some frustration over the fact that he will have to fight at 185 pounds instead of his natural fighting weight of 170 pounds.
UFC 105 - Michael Bisping set to take on Wanderlei Silva (unconfirmed)
MMABay can EXCLUSIVELY reveal that the main event is all set for the UFC’s next visit to the UK on November 14th as Wolfslair trained middleweight, Michael “The Count” Bisping will take on Brazilian MMA legend, Wanderlei Silva in Manchester, England.
News of the fight was passed along to MMABay by a source at the Wand Fight Team in Las Vegas, Nevada who revealed that the Brazilian would be putting pen to paper very soon after returning from receiving the key to the city in Pensacola, Florida. It will be the first fight of his career to be competed at 185 pounds.
Fedor Emelianenko 'Disappointed' Josh Barnett Fight Off, Will Fight Anyone
Fedor Emelianenko, the generally recognized heavyweight champion of MMA, made his first public comments about Josh Barnett's failed drug test on Thursday in Russia, a day after learning that Barnett would not be able to fight him in the main event at Affliction Trilogy. Fedor said he was disappointed by the news and open to fighting anyone, while his manager said Fedor's next opponent was likely to be Brett Rogers or Vitor Belfort.
JARDINE CONFIDENT AS SILVA SHOWDOWN NEARS
It’s been more than four months since Keith Jardine hit a bump on the road in his journey to the UFC light heavyweight championship. That bump is named Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
Jardine fought Jackson to the full term of their 15-minute bout at UFC 96, but it was Jackson that had just enough of a burst late in the third round to secure the unanimous decision victory.
Jorge Gurgel vs. Billy Evangelista to headline Oct. 25 Strikeforce Challengers event
A lightweight bout that could have an immediate impact on Strikeforce's lightweight title picture will be held on Oct. 25 under the "Strikeforce Challengers" banner.
The fight features former UFC fighter Jorge Gurgel (13-5) vs. longtime Strikeforce fighter and top prospect Billy Evangelista (9-1).
Gurgel recently posted a series of Twitter updates about the fight, which headlines a Showtime broadcast at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif.
Still reeling from false death reports, "Kimo" Leopoldo searching for answers, apologies
If you're still having a hard time figuring out how a forum post from an internet message board resulted in the false reporting of an MMA pioneer's death, you're not the only one.
On today's edition of GoodSports, hosted by Rick Rosen and MMAjunkie.com Radio's (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) George Garcia, the subject of the erroneous report, Kim "Kimo" Leopoldo, said he was still trying to process the concept as well.
Barnett Issues Statement On Drug Test
Although his manager said interviews on ths issue would be granted after working with the CSAC, Josh Barnett today made a posting on his Myspace blog regarding his failed drug test that has forced him off Affliction Trilogy on 8/1.
Franklin Signs New UFC Deal, Possibly His Last
Rich Franklin may be playing his final "Ace" card in MMA. He recently signed a new 6-fight deal with the promotion, but also said that, depending on "the pace of the fights", it could be his final UFC deal as he mentioned possible retirement when it's done.
Fedor-Barnett Bout in Jeopardy
Affliction Entertainment and M-1 Global are looking for a new opponent to face Fedor Emelianenko at Affliction “Trilogy” on Aug. 1 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
Multiple sources have told Sherdog.com that the California State Athletic Commission will not license Josh Barnett after a positive result on a pre-fight test. Calls to the California State Athletic Commission and Affliction Entertainment were not immediately returned.
Barnett said he had not been notified of any issues with his eligibility as of Tuesday evening.
Kimo Leopoldo Update: NOT DEAD
Despite earlier reports that he had died, Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole has confirmed that former UFC fighter Kimo Leopoldo is alive and well. Iole spoke to Kimo's attorney who said that "Kimo has surfaced" and that erroneous reports of Kimo's death were posted on the internet and quickly removed.
Mirko Cro Cop: Brock Lesnar Winning the UFC Title Is a Defeat for MMA
It's been fascinating to see the reaction to Brock Lesnar becoming the undisputed UFC heavyweight champion by defeating Frank Mir at UFC 100: The response is just about evenly split between those who think Lesnar's larger-than-life persona is great for the sport, and those who think he has tarnished MMA.
Count Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic as part of the latter camp.