UFC 89 Press Conference Notes
Today the UFC held a press conference ahead of UFC 89 this Saturday at the Birmingham National Indoor Arena.
The press conference was chaired by UFC UK division president Marshall Zelaznik, who was accompanied by Paul Kelly, Keith Jardine, Michael Bisping, Chris Leben, Brandon Vera and Marcus Davis.
One thing that has been noticeable about the build-up to this event is that animosity is conspicuous by its absence.
Instead, an air of professional courtesy has prevailed, although some of the fights on this card are hugely important for their participants.
Top of the bill is Mike Bisping, one of six British fighters on the card. He faces tough-chinned – and heavy-handed – middleweight brawler Chris Leben.
MARCUS DAVIS: 2 SURGERIES DOWN, KELLY TO GO
Following an 11-fight win streak, Marcus Davis suffered his first loss in almost three years in his last bout against Mike Swick, but after two surgeries and an amazing training camp, he is back for the attack getting ready for Paul Kelly on Saturday night at UFC 89 in England.
The fight with Swick was supposed to be Davis' toughest test to date, but while he would never talk about it before or immediately after the fight, he was fighting with a bum shoulder that kept him down for much of the match.
After the fight with Swick was over, Davis decided to get some things fixed. First he had shoulder surgery to repair tears and then also went forward with plastic surgery to help repair scar damage he had endured from his many years of fighting.
According to Davis, doctors were able to file down bones to smooth them out to prevent cuts while also imputing collagen pads that will eventually dissolve and help make his skin thicker.
Shogun vs Coleman and Franklin vs Henderson set for UFC 93 in Dublin
In the light heavyweight main event, former two-division world champion Dan Henderson will collide with former UFC middleweight king Rich Franklin in three-round war which will set the tone for the 205lbs division in 2009.
Then, 2005 PRIDE® Grand Prix Champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua returns to the Octagon™ to throw down with UFC Hall of Famer Mark Coleman in a rematch MMA fans thought they would never see. The pair last met in Japan in 2006, with the legendary Coleman pulling off a stunning upset by breaking Rua’s arm in the first round.
The Ten Greatest Fights in UFC History
Blood streaming from his eye down across his face, his tooth already projected into the stunned audience, sumo wrestler Teila Tuli became the crimson canvas to which the brutality of the Ultimate Fighting Championship was first conveyed.
On the devastating end of a vicious kick to the face via Gerard Gordeau, Tuli's misfortune concluded the first bout in the roller coaster that has been the UFC. Through all the ups and downs of brutal controversy, financial woes, epic showdowns and the maturation of the world's fastest growing sport, there has been one constant as it relates to the UFC - great fights.
‘Fighting Fedor’ Reality Show in Works
Affliction has partnered with M-1 Global, which is shopping around a reality TV series called “Fighting Fedor” that will feature a 16-man tournament with the winner eventually getting a shot at Fedor Emelianenko on an Affliction card.
The partnership was officially announced Thursday at Trump Tower, along with some details on the show.
A promo video presented by M-1 Global explained that participants from various countries will travel to St. Petersburg, Russia, where they’ll train at the Red Devil camp and compete in the tournament. The video said the show will be on “American TV,” though it doesn’t have a home yet.
“We’re currently having negotiations with many different networks and channels,” said M-1 Global President Vadim Finkelchtein through an interpreter.
Finkelchtein said networks are particularly interested because the show will focus on heavyweights. He also noted the international scope of M-1 Global, which through the M-1 Challenge has hosted events this year in Spain, Holland, England, Korea and Japan...
Dana White: Brandon Vera is ‘not the same fighter’
As soon as he had a few wins and all the money got involved and his new contract and his ex-manager and all that bullshit, he’s changed. He’s not the same fighter he was. He needs to put all that shit behind him and he’s needs to come back and be the cocky, crazy Brandon Vera that I met a few years ago. That kid needs to come back. It seems that now the money’s involved, he doesn’t take chances like he used to, he doesn’t let his hands go like he used to. He’s got to come back and be the old Brandon Vera.”
UFC President Dana White hopes to see the old Brandon Vera return against Keith Jardine at UFC 89: “Bisping vs. Leben” at The National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, England, this weekend. “The Truth” was undefeated before getting mired in an ugly contract dispute with the promotion and former manager Mark Dion, which kept him on the sidelines for more than a year. He returned to action only to lose to Tim Sylvia via unanimous decision and then Fabricio Werdum via controversial first round technical knockout stoppage. After the two losses at heavyweight, Vera took a 205-pound fight against Reese Andy at UFC Fight Night 14 back in July. He won the bout with a decision but didn’t look very sharp while doing it, attributing the lackluster performance to the weight cut. Broken Hand, bad stoppage and weight cut: All reasons (and not saying they aren’t valid) Vera has used to explain his three most recent performances … none of which include money. Let’s see which Brandon Vera shows up on October 18 and whether or not White may be onto something or Vera has indeed been the victim of misfortune.
UFC 89: CAN BARON KEEP BIG WINS COMING?
Most fighters will tell you that a win’s a win. That one could be indistinguishable from another in the grand scheme of things.
That is, however, not always the case.
There are certain instances where a win is more than just another notch in someone’s record column. For instance, a first win is always special, as would be winning a title, and following title defenses; but from some perspectives, there’s nothing quite like coming out of nowhere to topple a giant.
Such is the case for David Baron, a veteran French fighter who built a solid career for himself, but fell short against top caliber opposition, until he knocked off perennial top ranked lightweight/welterweight superstar Hayoto “Mach” Sakurai in May.
“Sakurai is an excellent fighter, so to beat him it means that I can compete at that level,” said Baron of his career setting victory over the Japanese hero.
“(It) reassures me for my upcoming fight and my future.”
GINA CARANO EXCITED FOR CYBORG AND TITLE
Keeping her undefeated record intact with her last fight, Gina Carano is doing some promotion for her appearance in the new "Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3" game, but then her focus will shift to a proposed match-up against Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos early next year.
Carano is currently doing a media tour for the video game, but she spoke to MMAWeekly Radio on Wednesday about her next fight, which is likely to be against Cyborg, possibly in February.
"That's what I'm hearing too, and I'm real excited about it," Carano said about the match-up. "Maybe it will be for a title, maybe it will be a main event, I don't know. I'm just really excited about this fight because everybody else is excited about it and I just think it's an awesome match-up. I can't wait to train for it and I'd like to see where I'm at."
On the same night that Carano defeated Kelly Kobold, her next opponent, Cyborg, was also on the card. She was able to watch the fight and it actually made her feel more at home for the show.
Chris Leben: From Jail Cell to Main Event
Chris Leben sat in a Clackamas County jail in northwestern Oregon for three weeks and pondered his past, present and future. Arrested on a probation violation related to a previous DUI conviction, Leben forfeited his chance to fight Michael Bisping at UFC 85 in June. As bad career moves go, few could have been worse.
“Obviously, things came up,” Leben says. “It was a huge letdown.”
Fortunately for the 28-year-old middleweight, UFC officials were in a forgiving mood. Given a reprieve by matchmakers, Leben (18-4) will challenge the once-beaten Bisping in the featured bout at UFC 89 this Saturday at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, England.
Michael Bisping: Leben Still Look's the Same
With Michael Bisping less than three days away from a middleweight clash with Chris Leben at UFC 89 in Birmingham, England, the UK standout made no qualms about what he thinks of his recently rejuvenated opponent.
“He still looks like the same Chris Leben,” Bisping told Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” on Wednesday. “There might be a little bit of a difference but I think ultimately he’s still the same fighter.”
Bobby Lashley Set To Make MMA Debut December 13th
Waiting to make his MMA debut for quite some time now but with unforeseen circumstances standing in his way, Bobby Lashley is now set to make his Mixed Martial Arts debut.
“It’s looking like December 13th will be the date.” Lashley tells MMANews.com. “We have the contract in hand right now and we are just working out all the details but December 13th will be the date.”
Although Lashley could not go into detail about who the promotion is that he would be fighting with until the contract is officially signed, he did give a few details about the show.
“It will be in Miami, FL with one of the bigger MMA promotions there. Not one of the real big organizations like the UFC, EXC, or Strikeforce but it will be held at the American Airlines Arena so I can tell you that if it is being held at a venue like that it will be a big show.”
KJ Noons, Krazy Horse And Nick Diaz To SENGOKU?!
I wouldn’t post this if it wasn’t for:
After being stripped of his title, Noons is no longer under contract with EliteXC and is now going to do freelance boxing while waiting for another opportunity to come. He’s hoping that opportunity comes with the top lightweights in the world, “I am really interested in a Takanori Gomi fight or any top lightweights at the 155lb or 160lb for that matter.” - FightLine
Dream pays Nick Diaz in full from his last bout in May. Diaz agrees to return to fight in Japan, however at this point it is unclear for which organization. - GracieFighter
A quite big Japanese MMA blog made a post today that KJ Noons, Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett, and Nick Diaz are going to SENGOKU and that KJ Noons will most likely debut on the New Years Event.
Remember that this could be false though. However, the timing of the two articles and the blog post is quite interesting.
Nick Diaz gets paid by DREAM and agrees to fight in Japan
Nick Diaz has always been open about how much he loves fighting in Japan and how he feels about the way the nation embraces and respects the sport. He’s also stated in the past he feels the Japanese rules with a ring and no elbows on the ground favor traditional martial arts.
Basically, the Stockton native likes the way the Japanese approach the fight game. In fact, he recently confirmed through GracieFighter.com that he will return to fight in “The Land of the Rising Sun.”
Here’s a snip:
“Dream pays Nick Diaz in full from his last bout in May. Diaz agrees to return to fight in Japan, however at this point it is unclear for which organization.”
There have been rumors all summer that Diaz would face “Mach” Sakurai for the DREAM welterweight title during his next trip out there, but Diaz had problems getting paid for his last fight with the promotion against Katsuya Inoue at DREAM 3 on May 11.
He was reportedly owed $100,000 by the Japanese mixed martial arts promotion for the first round technical knockout win over Inoue. He is now clearly skeptical about doing business with them again.
CONTRACT LOCKS FEDOR TO AFFLICTION, NIXES UFC
MMAWeekly.com on Wednesday learned that Affliction Entertainment has entered into a formal partnership with M-1 Global to promote mixed martial arts events around the globe.
The two entities had already been working together, but had no formal arrangement.
The partnership is bad news for fans that hope to see “The Last Emperor” tussle with Randy Couture in the UFC. The new agreement makes Emelianenko an exclusive client of Affliction and M-1 Global worldwide for the foreseeable future. Previously, Affliction’s deal with M-1 Global was exclusive only to the U.S.
so no more "Fedor to the UFC" rumor threads??????
Lindland-Sobral In Works for Affliction 2
A bout between Olympic wrestling silver medalist Matt Lindland and Renato "Babalu" Sobral are one of a few fresh bouts proposed for Affliction Entertainment’s return engagement to the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on Jan. 24.
Sherdog.com confirmed the tentative tilt with both fighters’ camps.
The pair are said to have been offered and agreed upon a fight at 195 pounds to serve as a tryout point for the Brazilian as he makes his way down to middleweight. Lindland, 38, has competed at 185 pounds for the majority of his career, but has also dabbled among the light heavyweight and heavyweight ranks as well.
babalu dropping to MW!!!!
if this is successful, anyone see UFC trying to bring him in to fight Anderson?