Jeremy Stephens Talks TUF Finale & Future
Fresh off his 22nd birthday, Jeremy "Lil' Heathen" Stephens is one of the youngest fighters competing in the UFC. Having won 13 of his first 15 fights, Stephens is looking to emerge as the next young rising star in the UFC's stacked lightweight division. A win over MMA veteran Spencer Fisher this Saturday at the TUF Finale will certainly help him reach his goal. MMARated.com recently spoke with "Lil' Heathen" about fighting a friend and former training partner, his UFC future and more.
Jeffrey Lee: First off, Jeremy, how did you get the nickname "Lil' Heathen"?
Bisping And Arlovski Deepen MMA-Boxing Ties
Mixed Martial Arts is a full-on legit sport, not only drawing athletes from judo and wrestling but even exerting a gravitational pull on those less lucrative sports, drawing athletes and even distorting the nature of the game. The one combat sport that has so far most resisted integration into MMA is boxing, the big money, big time showpiece combat sport of the western world for the last 150 years.
Those boundaries are beginning to break down.
Top-flight cruiserweight David Haye has been talking MMA for a while, now he's training with UFC star Michael Bisping:
Evan Tanner’s just getting started
Tanner's outlook on life historically has been to live it first, fight in it second. That philosophy has fueled an adventure-filled existence for the single 37-year-old. Whether surfing, sailing, four-wheeling in the desert or overindulging, Tanner's life has never lacked for action, and, along the way, he found time to ascend to the top of the UFC's middleweight division.
"Fighting was the last thing on my mind my whole career," Tanner told MMAjunkie.com (mmajunkie.com) during a recent break from training for his Saturday main event with Kendall Grove. "I was busy doing other things. They (promoters) would call me up and offer me a fight. In between fights, I had absolutely nothing to do with fighting. I didn't watch fighting. I didn't do any training. I was out doing things, out adventuring, just living my life."
While some might have questioned the approach, it worked for Tanner, who started fighting in 1997 and won 19 of his first 20 bouts. He had a shot at Tito Ortiz's title at UFC 30 in 2001, but an early slam by the champion knocked Tanner out in less than a minute. Tanner's second crack at a belt came in 2005, and this time, he earned the middleweight strap with a TKO victory over David Terrell.
However, after consecutive losses to Rich Franklin and David Loiseau, followed by a win over Justin Levens, Tanner's typical break from MMA turned into a nearly two-year-long absence from the octagon.
Nick Diaz: The Grudge Is Real
Nick Diaz hates doing interviews. But after Saturday's confrontation with KJ Noons at the EliteXC event, it's clear there's plenty of hate between him & Noons as Diaz notes there have been other confrontations since, with Noons apparently instigating said confrontations. Obviously Diaz has less-than-kind words towards Noons and the situation.
AroundThe Octagon.com says fact, not rumor, UFC Sold!
As reported here a few days ago the UFC has indeed been sold and has a new ownership group. A source inside the UFC just confirmed this.Bertelsmann Media has been rumored as the new ownership group. This is the announcement that Dana White is expected to make tomorrow. More on this tomorrow when it is announced.
MMA Fights In Tennessee Now Legal
Gov. Phil Bredesen on Tuesday signed a bill that will pave the way for professional matches to be held in the state.
Until now, it was only legal to train in Tennessee.
One local gym is looking to hold large tournaments in front of 2,000 people as early as the fall. But first, the state has to set up a commission to regulate the fights.
"It was definitely a hurry up and wait. We pushed, we pushed, we pushed. We spearheaded this whole campaign to get this passed and now it's like, ‘Yes you're allowed but we don't really know what you're allowed to do yet,’” said Nashville MMA representative Jamie Bryant.
The Fight Network And Affliction Announce Partnership
The Fight Network and Affliction will team up in Toronto to announce some big news about the upcoming Affliction Banned event.
To learn more details about The Fight Network's coverage of the historic Affliction Banned MMA event and the All-World Caliber undercard on July 19th, please join us at a News Conference at the MMA Expo on Saturday, June 21st at 2 pm ET hosted by The Fight Network, North America and the UK's only all-combat sports channel, and Affliction, the premier fashion label for men who love hard rock and fast living.
Update on UFC's Big Annoucement
Speculation within the MMA industry about the subject of Dana White's major announcement continues to center on the potential sale of the company. In what would fit the bill as an industry changing announcement, MMAPayout.com has learned that Bertelsmann Media, a German based international entertainment company, is rumored to have had advanced discussions about acquiring a controlling interest in Zuffa.
Dana White to Do National Radio Tour Tomorrow
Sources within the radio industry have told BloodyElbow.com that Dana White will be appearing on large market radio shows across the country tomorrow. In fact, in at least one case, a previously booked UFC fighter was pulled by the UFC in favor of Dana White. No word has been given on what White intends to talk about, but it seems all but certain the "huge announcement" will be part of it.
Interview With Evan Tanner
After making his return to action in March with a loss to Yushin Okami after a near two year hiatus from the sport, former UFC Middleweight Champion Evan Tanner will look to get back on the winning track this Saturday, June 21st, when he goes up against TUF 3 winner Kendall Grove. In this MMANews.com exclusive interview, Tanner talks with Chris Howie about a number of topics.
Vera to fight Reese Andy on July 19th
Anderson Silva is about to make the jump.
The UFC middleweight champion has accepted an invitation to move up to the light heavyweight division for a bout with James Irvin at an impromptu UFC event July 19 in Las Vegas. Heavyweight prospect Brandon Vera has also agreed to make a move in the opposite direction -- he'll face former International Fight League rep Reese Andy in a co-featured bout at 205 pounds, multiple sources have confirmed to Sherdog.com.
The event, which is being assembled on five weeks' notice, will air live on Spike TV the same night that Affliction Entertainment hosts its first pay-per-view card, "Banned," at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
Jake O'Brien vs. Cain Velasquez scheduled for July 19 UFC card
In a move surely to delight this site's readers, the UFC has re-signed UFC heavyweight Jake O'Brien (10-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) and scheduled him to fight Cain Velasquez (3-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) at the recently announced UFC Fight Night 14 -- an event that features a main event of Anderson Silva vs. James Irvin.
LINK WORKS NOW
Tim Boetsch Returns Sept. 6th
Boetsch made the following announcement on his official myspace page:
Subject: UFC Sept. 6 Atlanta
Body: The Barbarian returns to the octagon to take out James Lee on Sept 6. Get your tickets! It is going to be a good show!!!!
HERB DEAN EXPLAINS MARQUARDT POINT DEDUCTIONS
Referee Herb Dean levied two point deductions against Nate Marquardt in his UFC 85 middleweight bout with Thales Leites, one for an illegal knee and one for an elbow that landed to the back of Leites' head. Dean explained the rule of striking to the back of the head and the point deductions against Marquardt that resulted in Leites winning by split decision.
Nate Marquardt landed an illegal knee to the head of the downed Thales Leites during the second round. The knee was intentional, but mistimed, garnering the Top 10 ranked Marquardt an immediate point deduction by referee Herb Dean.
Interview with 1st UFC Champion Royce Gracie
MMAyou.com had the opportunity to speak with a legend in Mixed Martial Arts when we interviewed the first UFC champion; Royce Gracie. Check out what Gracie has to say regarding rematches with Ken Shamrock and Kazushi Sakuraba, what’s he up to nowadays, Rickson Gracie appearing in the Incredible Hulk, and much more!