UFC Quick Quote: Eric Schafer ready for a stress-free night against Ryan Bader
“I’m definitely more experienced than he is in striking. I’ve been training striking since ‘96; probably since he was in junior high school. This may be the first guy I might not be able to take down, so I might have to show (my striking) a lot more than you normally see it. Definitely my biggest edge is that he won the reality show but he’s only had one UFC fight after that. So he’s really 1-0 in the UFC. He’s never been in there with a big name yet and never had those big fights, and I had to learn that myself. I’m working my striking a lot more and my defensive Jiu-Jitsu off my back. I’ll let him decide where it goes. I’m working my wrestling a lot less offensively, because again, he’s an All-American wrestler, so I don’t want to waste all my energy trying to take him down. So it should be a lot more fun and a lot less stress.”
Eric Schafer sounds off to BSN Online about his pending 205-pound battle against Ultimate Fighter (TUF) star Ryan Bader at UFC 104 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on October 26.
Anthony Johnson: "I truly believe I'm nowhere near my potential"
“The only pressure I feel, honestly, is the pressure to make the weight. Once I’m on weight, I know everything else will take care of itself. I’m hard on myself and I get upset when I make a mistake, but the good thing is that I can see the progress I’ve made and I truly believe I’m nowhere near my potential. My granddad used to tell me never to settle for second best and never stop pushing to get better. Every day in the gym, I think of what he used to say and I’m determined to make myself better. It’s a way to honor him, to take what he taught me and put it into practice. And that’s what I try to do. It’s why I work so hard. It’s my way of thanking him for all he did for me.”
Anthony Johnson — winner of four of six inside the Octagon — has his sights set on Japanese import Yoshiyuki Yoshida for their 170-pound “Rumble” at UFC 104 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif., on Oct. 24.
Daley and Condit for 108
Rumours surrounding Paul Daley's Octagon return have been rife since his impressive debut against Martin Kampmann in which he scored a TKO win over the Xtreme Couture based Dane in the first round.
MMA Unltd has been able to confirm with sources close to the bout that he will face Carlos Condit at UFC 108 as both fighters have agreed to the contest.
Should be a sick fight. War Daley!
Rumor: Varner-Cerrone 2 Maybe Next With Henderson Hurt
Although Benson Henderson beat Donald Cerrone last week to win the WEC Interim Lightweight Title and apparently ruin plans for a Cerrone-Jamie Varner rematch, it seems those plans may be un-ruined now. On ESPN's "MMA Live" this week, guest host and Cerrone teammate Rashad Evans said it looks like Cerrone gets the next title shot despite the loss because Henderson could be out longer than expected (and longer than WEC wants to wait) due to an eye injury suffered in the fight.
'Shogun' sees Machida as favorite at UFC 104
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua knows his place in the UFC 104 main event against light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida on Oct. 24 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Though he has not played it often during his career, he likes his role as the underdog.
“I think Lyoto is the favorite, and rightfully so,” Rua said during a Thursday teleconference. “It’s only right that he’s the favorite. He’s the number one fighter in the weight class and the champion. It gives me a lot of motivation to train hard and do my best, which is the goal of every fighter.”
UFN 20 Targeted For January 11 In Virginia
Although no announcement has been made and there's no official date yet, UFC could be headed to the Washington, DC area in January. Reports are the promotion is targeting January 11 for UFC Fight Night 20, with the Patriot Center in Fairfax a possible host site. The arena has a seating capacity of 11,000. The first fight for the card could be Rory MacDonald vs. Mike Guymon.
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.