BJ Penn Expecting To Fight In December, But Not Against GSP
It's looking more and more unlikely that BJ Penn vs. Georges St. Pierre will happen this year as originally expected.
First, St. Pierre publicly stated his need for a rest on a blog he posted for the French Canadian website RDS.ca.
I don't know if I'll be stepping back into the Octagon before 2009.
I've fought four times in the last 12 months. I therefore need some rest. I like the life I lead, but I sometimes need to relax.
It's not the fight as such that's exhausting; it's all the preparation that comes with it. I've made so many sacrifices to prepare myself. During training camps, I practically do not live anymore. It's therefore on a psychological level that I need to recharge.
Now JD Penn, BJ Penn's brother, is stating that Penn is training and expecting a fight sometime in December, but that the fight in question will likely not be against Georges St. Pierre. Instead, the two UFC superstars appear to be eying a return engagement in February 2009 as part of the UFC's Superbowl card.
Kenny Florian vs Joe Stevenson in November 15th clash
Source’s close to the camp of TUF 2 winner, Joe “Daddy” Stevenson, have confirmed to Mmabay that they have been offered and accepted a fight against Kenny Florian on November 15th, likely to be UFC 91.
Mmabay can also confirm that the fight has been accepted by Florian and is most likely to be held in Boston, giving Florian the home turf advantage as he looks to bridge the gap between his last fight and a possible title shot next summer against B.J. Penn.
Stevenson himself is moving back up the title ladder. After rebounding from his disappointment at not winning the title in January, Stevenson bounced back with an impressive second round win against Gleison Tibau at UFC 86 in July.
Looks like this fight is for real.
Machida tells Silva “I’m gonna look for a knockout!”
In an exclusive interview with Mmabay, top 205 pound contender, Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida, he told us how he intends to use Thiago Silva’s aggressive style against him and how he expects to knock him out.
Machida, when asked about his next fight said: “I love to fight aggressive fighters, because the more aggressive they are the better it is for me. It suits more my style.
He continued: “I’m going to over power him, I know Thiago is a very tough guy, but I’m gonna put on a strong pace. I know when I hit him, he is going to feel my hard punches and my hard kicks and I’m gonna look for a knockout.”
With the fight scheduled for October 18th, look for fireworks between the two Brazilian’s who are both coincidently 13-0 in their mma career’s.
By Michael Pepper.
WVR Updates Sengoku Cards
World Victory Road today announced the official card and fight order for its Sengoku 4 show next week and also announced more details for Sengoku 5. Notable items were adding Yuki Sasaki to the Middleweight GP and confirming participation of Roger Gracie and Jorge Masvidal, among others.
Affliction Debut May Have Sold 100,000 PPV's After All
It would seem that Tom Atencio's early estimates of Afflictions PPV buy rates may have been accurate after all.
Atencio came under fire for allegedly inflating projections of Affliction: Banned PPV buys when he stated that the buys where over 100,000. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer was the first to point out that the numbers looked a bit fishy.
Meltzer, at the time, estimated that the number was not over 100,000, stating that buy rate was likely closer to between 50,000 and 85,000.
Meltzer is now updating his original assessment:
It’s been hard to narrow down a buy rate for the Affliction show. Promoter Tom Atencio has claimed the figure was more than 100,000. Updated cable sources we’ve checked with have estimated from a low of 65,000 to a high of 100,000.
5 Fighters You Need to Watch
While some of you may see the brief reprieve we’re enjoying from a whirlwind last few weeks of high-profile throwdowns as a bit of welcome rest for the weary, you’re all wrong. Yes, every last one of you.
Now is the time to discover the fighters you’ve been ignoring, parked in front of your screen researching the next generation while selling your less-than-essential organs for rare fight tapes.
Luckily, I’ve done most of the work for you, finding five of the most pugilistically inclined superstars in the making of whom you’ve probably never heard. In the event you’re familiar with these guys, just smile and nod for the sake of everyone else.
Dana White, Mindfreak?
While the exact details of his appearance are being kept secret, Dana White is scheduled to appear on the 8/27 episode of the A&E series "Criss Angel Mindfreak". No word either on if Angel's so-called mentalism will influence Dana on any of those certain fighter signing rumors.
Kang Talks Upcoming Fights, Future Plans
Coming off back-to-back losses that have put him outside the Top 10 Middleweight rankings, Denis Kang plans on staying busy the rest of the year, with no fewer than 2 fights ahead and possibly returning to the US or Canada in the future.
Mark Munoz Off WEC 36
In perhaps a case of potentially unfortunate timing, WEC Light Heavyweight Mark Munoz, coming off an impressive debut, is now off WEC 36 due to an undisclosed injury. No replacement named yet for his opponent, Steve Steinbeiss. The winner could've been in line for a title shot.
Jason Day Off UFC 88
Jason Day wlll now have to wait another day for his next UFC fight. Originally set to return at UFC 88, he is now off the card due to an elbow & biceps injury. No replacement named yet for his fight against Jason Lambert.
Spike TV Releases 'TUF 8' Cast
Spike TV executives on Monday made public the cast for season eight of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series, set to premiere on Sept. 17 at 10 p.m. EST. The show served as a launching pad for current UFC stars Forrest Griffin (Pictures), Kenny Florian (Pictures) and Michael Bisping (Pictures), among others.
Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir (Pictures) and reigning interim heavyweight titleholder Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (Pictures) will coach hopefuls on the eighth season, which will feature fighters from the lightweight and light heavyweight divisions. Mir will then challenge Nogueira for the interim belt at a pay-per-view event in December.
The 32-member cast includes Shane Nelson (Pictures) -- a 24-year-old B.J. Penn (Pictures) protégé who will enter the competition on a five-fight winning streak -- and John Polakowski (Pictures), 26, a World Extreme Cagefighting veteran who trains alongside former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell (Pictures) at The Pit in San Luis Obispo, Calif. They are among the 16 lightweights who will vie for the UFC contract.
Efrain Escudero and Brandon Garner are among other notables who made the lightweight cut. Escudero, an unbeaten Rage in the Cage mainstay, has secured his last nine wins by submission. Garner, meanwhile, remains the only man to submit UFC veteran Jason Dent (Pictures).
Undefeated UFC light heavyweight contender Rashad Evans (Pictures), himself a product of “The Ultimate Fighter,” will have a rooting interest in the eighth installment of the reality series. His brother, Lance Evans (Pictures), will compete as a light heavyweight on the show.
Other notables who made the light heavyweight cut include Ryan Bader (Pictures), a former All-American wrestler at Arizona State University, rising Canadian prospect Ryan Jimmo (Pictures) and Jason Guida (Pictures) -- the 30-year-old brother of UFC lightweight contender Clay Guida (Pictures). International Fight League veteran Krzysztof Soszynski (Pictures) and American Top Team product Tom Lawlor are also in the mix at 205 pounds, along with Team Quest’s Vinicius Magalhaes (Pictures), a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Royler Gracie (Pictures).
As with last season, preliminary bouts will be held during the first two episodes to pair down the field from 32 to 16. The two finalists in each weight class will meet in “The Ultimate Fighter 8” Live Finale on Dec. 13 in Las Vegas live on Spike TV.
Tito Ortiz back on the open market
Despite proclaiming earlier this month that he had signed a “record breaking” contract with Affliction Entertainment, former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz is once again negotiating with multiple MMA promotions, reports MMAjunkie.com’s Dann Stupp in his latest column for the Dayton Daily News.
Stupp reports that Ortiz is talking to the usual suspects such as Affliction and EliteXC but also adds that the Kentucky-based American Fight League is making a play for his services and that even talks are taking place between Ortiz and the UFC.
UFC's NYE Rumors - Anderson Silva vs Chuck Liddell, and Kenny Florian vs Joe Stevenson ?
One possibility if St. Pierre decides he can't go is Chuck Liddell vs. Anderson Silva. That, fight, however, also has a few obstacles in its path. Liddell is fighting in September, so assuming he wins, he’d have enough time to recover. But Silva is competing on Oct. 25 against Patrick Cote. He’d have to come out of that match unscathed and take a fight with only two months to prepare against Liddell.
It might seem far-fetched, but Silva has voiced a hope to fight more frequently, and mentioned back in June that he hoped to have three more matches in ’08.
For those of you who may have not heard these fights are being considered as back up plans if Georges St.Pierre does not fight BJ Penn.
One other interesting little rumbling that we have heard are that Cain Velasquez may also fight on this card, the problem is not many people are stepping up to fight the former Arizona State wrestling sensation. There have also been rumors of Brock Lesnar's next opponent who may either be Gabriel Gonzaga or Cheick Kongo. We will bet on Kongo as Gonzaga seems as the more legitimate threat to a Lesnar title run that the UFC could profit heavily from.
We have also heard Kenny Florian vs Joe Stevenson, which would be a clash of titans at lightweight. Now keep in mind none of these rumors or speculations are confirmed and are to be considered loose talk at the most. We will keep you up to date on anything we do hear as time goes on.
Irvin Confirms Painkiller Use
Light heavyweight James Irvin (Pictures) admitted to allegations of painkiller use prior to his July 19 UFC bout with Anderson Silva (Pictures) in a letter received by the Nevada State Athletic Commission Monday. Irvin said he took the medication without a prescription.
The Sacramento native tested positive for the non-approved analgesic painkillers methadone and oxymorphone, according to a post-fight urinalysis collected after his TKO loss to UFC middleweight champion Silva.
Irvin lasted just over a minute with the stealth Brazilian fighter during their 205-pound contest broadcasted live on Spike TV.
“In the days leading up to my fight with Anderson Silva (Pictures), I experienced some residual pain in my foot from a previous injury,” wrote Irvin in an Aug. 14 letter. “I made the extremely poor choice to take some pain medications that I did not have a prescription for. I realize this was an ignorant and dangerous decision.”
UFC 90 Press Conference Report
* Dana White announced that Mike Swick will be added to the card but stopped short at saying who his opponent will be.
* Chicago is the UFC's #1 market for pay-per-view revenue.
* When all is said and done, UFC 90 will be the highest-grossing event in the 28-year history of the Allstate Arena, smashing Wrestlemania 22's record of 2.4 million dollars.
* As of Noon today, UFC 90's gate has already reached the two million dollar mark.
* White said Anderson Silva could potentially move up to light heavyweight again if he defeats Patrick Cote on October 25th.
* Furthermore, he even hinted at a possible GSP vs. Silva bout at an undetermined catch weight.
* The winner of the Diego Sanchez vs. Thiago Alves bout will receive a welterweight title shot.
* Speaking of Alves, he vowed to have no more issues making weight at 170 lbs.
UFC veteran Ivan Salaverry: Retirement comes with no regrets
When famous athletes retire, they get interviewed by Bob Costas in a luxurious hotel room with big lights, multiple camera angles, and complementary Fiji water at the ready.
They reminisce about their bygone glories as woeful fans abuse the Kleenex box and beg their hero not to fade away just yet.
Ivan Salaverry got me, Kelly Crigger, a part-time writer who happened to be in Seattle just days after the announcement that he would no longer grace the octagon. Salaverry has voluntarily bowed out of competition to pursue other interests and give his time back to the people who matter in his life -- his family and students.