Bob Sapp Returns To MMA On NYE (*UPDATED*)
K-1 on Monday announced that Bob Sapp will make his return to Japan one year to the day of his last appearance.
Adding him to the Fields Dynamite!! New Year's Eve event at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, Sapp will face the mysterious Kinniku Mantaro in a mixed martial arts bout. Little is known about Mantaro and even the K-1 announcement contained no information about him.
EDIT: Kinniku Mantaro is actually the name of a Japanese anime character. NightmareOfBattle.com is reporting that the true name of the person facing Sapp on New Year's Eve is Akihito Tanaka, a seven-time All Japan Wrestling champion. The bout with Sapp is being sponsored by the creators of the Japanese anime that features Kinniku Mantaro and Tanaka will actually wear a mask of the character when he fights.
The one-hour "Countdown to UFC 92" special
The preview show for Saturday's UFC 92 "The Ultimate 2008" premieres tonight, Dec. 22 at 11 p.m. ET on Spike TV.
The one-hour "Countdown to UFC 92" special will cover the light heavyweight title fight between Forrest Griffin-Rashad Evans, the heavyweight title fight between Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira-Frank Mir and the third encounter between Quinton "Rampage" Jackson-Wanderlei Silva.
Replays will air Thursday, Dec. 25 at midnight and Friday, Dec. 26 at 6 p.m. ET.
UFC 92 "The Ultimate 2008" takes place in Las Vegas and will air live on pay-per-view Saturday at 10 p.m. ET.
jeff monson wins-gold-world-grappling-championship
Former UFC heavyweight Jeff Monson won a Gold medal on Saturday in Ucerne, Switzerland at the first official World Grappling Championship.
Monson, who last week avenged a loss against Ricco Rodriguez from UFC 35, won Gold in the 125kg division.
The other pro MMA fighter walking away with Gold was Fatal Femmes Fighting flyweight champ Lisa Ward, who was first in the women’s 48kg division.
Miesha Tate, who defeated EliteXC vet Elaina Maxwell in June at Strikeforce, took home Silver in the women's 72kg division.
The World Grappling Championship was organized by the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) and the Swiss Wrestling Federation.
Stefan Struve Offered Fight With Junior Dos Santos For His Debut @ UFC 95
Dutch heavyweight Stefan Struve has been offered a fight with Junior Dos Santos for his UFC debut, Fighters Only has learned.
A source close to the fight confirmed that Dos Santos has been offered to Struve, who will make his first appearance for the organisation at UFC 95.
However, the source added that Dos Santos was one of several potential opponents and that nothing has been confirmed as yet.
Speculation had been rife that Struve would face Neil Grove, the UK-based heavyweight who was signed within days of the Dutchman.
But Fighters Only was told on Friday that the two would definitely not be facing each other in their UFC debuts.
MMA Mania's 10 Best Knockouts Of 2008
It’s the most feared and decisive ending in all of combat sports. Unlike a submission, where a fighter may be working for position or already have a hold applied, a fight-ending knockout is almost impossible to see coming.
And perhaps that’s what makes it so exciting. A knockout can cause an entire arena to gasp in unison, or force a once prominent fighter to forever change his strategy or weight class.
From Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic’s near-death experience at the foot of Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 70 to the pinpoint precision of Anderson Silva’s dismemberment of Chris Leben at Ultimate Fight Night 5, a knockout can come in all shapes and sizes.
And 2008 was full of them.
Big In 2008, Strikeforce Plans Expansion In 2009
It has been a banner year for mixed martial arts. Viewership and popularity grew to record numbers, but that success was not without a cost.
While the Ultimate Fighting Championship soared above all others, 2008 saw the downfall of the International Fight League and apparently ProElite and its MMA promotion EliteXC.
Still, there were survivors, most notably California-based promotion Strikeforce, which achieved its highest levels of exposure and revenue since its inception two years ago.
Lister faces tall task as he prepares for Okami
How do you see Okami from a technical standpoint?
Okami is a really good neutralizer. If you're a real good striker, he can take you down, and ground and pound you. If you're a good grappler, he's hard to take down. He's going to be able to make your strong point not as strong. He has pretty good endurance. He keeps going a constant pace in a fight. I've heard he's very strong. He's real tall and he's a good counterpuncher.
Mike Patt vs. Brandon Vera set for UFC 96 in Ohio
While there have been no officially announced bouts by the organization, light-heavyweights Mike Patt (12-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) and Brandon Vera (9-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) have verbally agreed to meet at UFC 96.
Sam Caplan of Fiveouncesofpain.com first reported the likelihood of the bout earlier today, and MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) was able to confirm the agreements with multiple sources close to the bout.
UFC 96 is scheduled for March 7 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
Ohio-native Patt will be looking for his first win in the octagon. The BodogFIGHT veteran made an unsuccessful first appearance for the organization at UFC 88 in September. Patt entered the bout having won eight of his previous nine outings, but was stopped in the first round by Tim Boetsch after taking the fight on less than three week's notice.
Despite the unsuccessful initial outing, Patt told MMAjunkie.com that he hoped to become a permanent fixture in the UFC.
"There are plenty of places to fight, and some guys will tell you how they want to fight here or there," Patt said. "But given the chance, they would all fight for the UFC regardless of what they might say. It validates everything you do as a fighter. I would be very happy to call the UFC home."
Vera will enter the bout looking for just his second win in his past five bouts. After establishing himself as a UFC contender with wins over Frank Mir, Assuerio Silva, Justin Eilers and Fabiano Scherner, Vera would drop his next two bouts to Fabricio Werdum and Tim Sylvia. Those losses prompted Vera to make a cut to 205 pounds.
Vera was victorious in his debut at light-heavyweight over Reese Andy, but lost a close split-decision to Keith Jardine in his most recent bout at UFC 89.
Gilbert Yvel cleared to fight by California commission (*UPDATED: Yvel Not Cleared Yet*)
One of the more controversial fighters of the past decade is heavyweight Gilbert Yvel. Yvel is scheduled to face Josh Barnett in the co-main event at Affliction Entertainment’s “Day of Reckoning” PPV on January 24. The problem with signing Yvel is that he has had a multitude of licensing issues with the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
The VP of Affliction Entertainment, Tom Atencio, confirmed that Yvel can fight in California.
“Yvel has been cleared through the CSAC (California State Athletic Commission),” said Atencio.
Yoshida Recovering, Planning Spring Return
Following a knockout loss to Josh Koscheck at the UFC "Fight for the Troops" show, Japanese judoka Yoshiyuki Yoshida was taken to the hospital and later released. MMAWeekly.com received word from Yoshida's camp on his condition and his plans for a return.
Ryan Bader: Not Just A Wrestler
Ryan "Darth" Bader made his professional mixed martial arts debut on March 31, 2007, and within a year's time the former Arizona State wrestling stand out had racked up a 7-0 record heading into The Ultimate Fighter season 8. With his technical knockout victory over Vinicius Magalhaes in the season finale to become The Ultimate Fighter, Bader showed he's not just a wrestler anymore.
Rashad Evans prepared for "TUF" battle with Forrest Griffin
When Forrest Griffin (16-4 MMA, 7-2 UFC) shocked Quinton "Rampage" Jackson in July and claimed the UFC's light-heavyweight title, many pointed to Griffin's success as validation for the the viability of "The Ultimate Fighter" as a means to find new talent for the organization.
And while many pointed to the most recent season of the program as proof that the show had outlived its need, undefeated Rashad Evans (12-0-1 MMA, 7-0-1 UFC) believes his upcoming bout with Griffin proves the remaining value of the series.
Jake Rosholt vs. Alessio Sakara set for UFC Fight Night 17
Former collegiate wrestling champion and WEC veteran Jake Rosholt (5-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is set to make his debut against American Top Team's Alessio Sakara (13-7 MMA, 4-4 UFC) at February's "UFC Fight Night 17: Lauzon vs. Franca."
Our friends at Fiveouncesofpain were the first to report the possibility of the bout, and MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has confirmed with multiple sources close to the bout that both camps have agreed to the fight and bout agreements are forthcoming.
"UFC Fight Night 17: Lauzon vs. Franca" takes place Feb. 7 at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Fla.
Getting To Know Mike Wessel
Stepping up on short notice is never easy for any fighter, but with the success of guys like Tim Boetsch and Jim Miller, who have taken bouts with little time to prepare, the benefits can be plentiful. The latest fighter to take this task to heart is Arkansas based fighter Mike Wessel, who earlier this week stepped in to replace Mark Burch at UFC 92 against Antoni Hardonk.