NEWCOMER AL-TURK TO FIGHT KONGO AT UFC 92
Having just signed a multi-fight agreement with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Cage Rage champion Mustapha Al-Turk was all set for a baptism of fire in the UFC against highly touted heavyweight prospect Cain Velazquez. It was scheduled to be a tough debut for the London Shootfighters standout, but one that suited him stylistically as both are heavy handed grapplers.
According to his coach and manager Alexis Demetriades, it appears that the fight is off due to injury. "We got word from Joe Silva that Velazquez has pulled out due to injury and will be undergoing knee surgery to fix it. It’s a shame as we had a strategy in place and we were all set to go."
The announcement of Velazquez withdrawing from the fight will leave many disappointed as the fight guaranteed fireworks. All is not lost, as a replacement has been found in tough Frenchman Cheick Kongo, who is coming off a TKO win over Dan Evensen at UFC 87 in Minneapolis.
CroCop's Right Testicle Runs For Cover
Apparently Mirko's testicles didn't get any rest after Kongo played knee-bongos with them. Here's the scoop from the Overeem vs CroCop bout.
Also, here's a (slow as hell loading) video to the fight. I just left it alone for a while then went back to the window to watch.
Fedor Aiming For DREAM Return
Although a year-end DREAM 7 event has not yet been officially announced, one fighter planning to be there is Fedor Emelianenko. While addressing the crowd today at DREAM 6, Fedor confirmed his interest in fighting on the show, which likely would be around the end of the year, although such a fight could cause problems due to his likely being put in the January Affliction event.
Travis Lutter Back In UFC (Again)?
Apparently being cut from UFC for various reasons isn't the end of your career there-TUF 4 MW winner Travis Lutter, despite being let go by UFC earlier this year, could be coming back again. He appears set to face Joe Doerksen at UFC 91.
ELITEXC: SILVA REMAINS CHAMP, NO WOMEN'S TITLE
As Elite XC started to introduce titles last year, each weight class has started to receive attention as to when or who would be involved in championship fights.
One of the open categories is the light heavyweight division, which still hasn’t been crowned, but top contender Rafael Feijao seems to be the leading candidate for a title shot.
EliteXC Vice President Jared Shaw confirmed to MMAWeekly.com that Feijao would be involved in the upcoming Nov. 8 card on Showtime, but still didn’t know if a title would be on the line.
“I can just tell you that there’s no guarantees that we will be introducing a light heavyweight title, but at this point any fight that Feijao’s in, it is a title worthy challenge,” Shaw stated. “He’s only going to be facing top notch competition.”
With the EliteXC lightweight title now up in the air, as the promotion stripped champion K.J. Noons of the belt, the promotion also has to look at their heavyweight division where champion Antonio Silva is currently under suspension stemming from a positive drug test result following his last fight.
“Antonio (Silva) is the EliteXC heavyweight champ and he will continue to be the heavyweight champ until he has his day in front of the commission,” confirmed Shaw to MMAWeekly.com about the status of their heavyweight titleholder.
“When the commission comes and levies down on him with whatever ruling they have, EliteXC will huddle up and we will figure out what we want to do about the title at that point.”
Anderson Silva NOT Retirng Next Year, says his Manager
Anderson Silva’s manager says that the middleweight champion will definitely not be retiring within the next 12 months.
He made the statement after UFC middleweight champion Silva told a Brazilian television station he was thinking of quitting MMA in the coming year.
Some have speculated that the decision was prompted by Dana White’s refusal to allow Silva leave to enter into a boxing match with Roy Jones Jr.
However, his manager Ed Soares says that this is not the case and that White has a good relationship with Silva.
“Dana hasn't done anything to **** over Silva. It's the complete opposite. Dana has been very good to Anderson,” he wrote on popular message board MMA.tv earlier.
“I can guarantee you Anderson will not be retiring within the next year. He still has 6 fights on his contract.”
Japanese stars now bringing show to U.S.
Back in the day, American mixed martial artists often had to travel to Japan in order to face quality opponents and make real money. The sport thrived on the other side of the Pacific Ocean as it struggled on these shores.
These days, the tide has turned. With the industry troubled in the Land of the Rising Sun, Japanese fighters increasingly opt to seek fame and fortune in the United States.
Such was the case at Saturday night’s Strikeforce at the Mansion 2, where a pair of debuting Japanese stars highlighted the card. Former PRIDE Welterweight Grand Prix tournament champion Kazuo Misaki stopped UFC vet Joe “Diesel” Riggs in the second round in a middleweight main event; and lightweight Mitsuhiro Ishida had the night’s best submission with an armbar victory over Justin Wilcox.
Denis Kang to face Marvin Eastman at Raw Combat on Oct. 25
Raw Combat, a promotion based out of Calgary, Alberta, has announced that PRIDE and K-1 star Denis Kang will headline their upcoming event titled “Redemption” in a middleweight affair with UFC veteran Marvin Eastman.
Kang, a native of Vancouver, British Columbia, possesses a mixed martial arts record of 30-10-1. Kang holds victories over Akihiro Gono, Amar Suloev, Murilo Rua, and Mark Weir. Kang was last in action at Spirit MC 18: The Champion where he successfully defended his middleweight title against Jae Young Kim.
“We’re two athletic guys who like to get out there and swing. It’s going to be a very heated fight,” Kang explained in a press release. “There’s going to be a lot of desire by the both of us to win. I’m coming off a couple of losses and he is as well so we’re both going to be really hungry. Neither of us are going to take this fight lightly or take any shortcuts in training. That’s for sure.”
Eastman, a native of Las Vegas, Nevada, possesses a mixed martial arts record of 15-8-1. Eastman holds victories over Terry Martin, Rob Kimmons, Alan Belcher and Travis Wiuff. He last fought at The Ultimate Fighter 8 Finale losing to heavy handed Drew McFedries.
Matt Hamill: I’m glad I have a trainer that won’t accept that performance
“I don’t know why I didn’t take him down more. That’s the one thing I have been thinking about over and over. I should have taken him down more like in the first round. That was the game plan. My weapon is ground and pound…I don’t follow what people say in the media, all I can say is I didn’t follow the game plan that we put together. Duff wants me to perform at the level he knows I’m capable of. I’m glad I have a trainer that won’t accept that performance and I respect him for speaking the truth. Duff didn’t do anything wrong.”
STRIKEFORCE AT THE MANSION 2 FIGHTER SALARIES
MMAWeekly has obtained the fighter salary information from the California State Athletic Commission for “Strikeforce at the Mansion 2” featuring Kazuo Misaki vs. Joe Riggs, which took place on Saturday, Sept. 20, at the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, Calif.
The following figures are based on the fighter salary information that promoters are required by law to submit to the state athletic commissions, including the winners' bonuses.
Although mixed martial arts fighters do not have collective bargaining or a union, the fighters' salaries are still public record, just as with every other major sport in the United States. Any undisclosed bonuses that a promoter also pays its fighters, but does not disclose to the athletic commissions (specifically, fight of the night bonuses, etc.), are not included in the figures below.
In the listings below, "Main Event Fighters" are defined as fighters who compete in the main event of a show. "Main Card Fighters" are defined as fighters whose fights appear on the main card, but not in the main event. "Preliminary Card Fighters" are defined as fighters whose matches take place before the live broadcast goes on the air, regardless of whether or not those matches end up airing on the TV or Internet broadcast.
MAIN EVENT FIGHTERS
– Kazuo Misaki ($1,400/win bonus was undisclosed) def. Joe Riggs ($20,000)
MAIN CARD FIGHTERS
– Josh Thomson ($40,000/win bonus was $20,000) def. Ashe Bowman ($2,000)
– Terry Martin ($10,000) def. Cory Devela ($10,000)
– Mitsuhiro Ishida ($1,400/win bonus was undisclosed) def. Justin Wilcox ($5,000)
– Trevor Prangley ($40,000) def. Anthony Ruiz ($6,000)
PRELIMINARY CARD FIGHTERS
– Luke Stewart ($8,000) def. Jesse Juarez ($2,000)
– Eric Lawson ($6,000/win bonus was $500) def. Kenneth Seagrist ($2,000)
– Brandon Magana ($2,000) def. Brandon Thatch ($2,000)
– Jesse Gillespie ($2,000/win bonus was $1,000) def. Dave Martin ($1,000)
STRIKEFORCE AT THE MANSION 2 DISCLOSED FIGHTER PAYROLL: $159,300
All DREAM 6 Fighters Make Weight
All fighters competing in Tuesday's DREAM.6 event at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, have successfully made weight.
There's likely a typo in the article as it says Ronaldo Souza weighed in at 284.6 pounds, which would mean he'd have missed weight by nearly 100 pounds.
Expanding the Base: UFC, Affliction Trying to Broaden MMA’s Demographic
In this election year, “the base” is an often repeated phrase. In politics, a candidate’s core supporters form his base. The challenge faced by Senators McCain and Obama in the race for the Presidency is to maintain the support of their base while expanding their appeal to a broader constituency, namely the independents who will decide the election.
The “politics” of MMA are no different. MMA has found a solid base of its own in the form of the 18-34 male demographic that comprises the vast majority of the sport’s current niche following. That demographic has been the foundation of MMA’s growth over the last three years, but for the industry to continue to grow the sport’s appeal must expand further into the mainstream of American culture. The UFC and Affliction are both aggressively courting the crossover audience necessary to broaden the sport’s reach beyond 18-34 males, but the companies have identified decidedly different target audiences for expansion.
Josh Thomson wants Joachim Hansen next
After defeating Ashe Bowman in a non-title fight this past weekend, Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson made it very clear who he wants to fight next.
“I am really looking forward to possibly fighting Joachim Hansen,” said Thomson.
Thomson went on to say that his next fight will definitely take place in 2008.
“November 21st is my next fight. I do know that I will be fighting at the HP Pavilion. I believe it will be a title defense.”
Once again, Thomson made it clear who he wants the title defense to be against.
“We are hoping for Joachim Hansen.”
A fight between Thomson and Hansen would certainly be an excellent match-up. Hansen is coming off a very impressive showing in the recent Dream lightweight tournament that included a win over Shinya Aoki and a loss to Eddie Alvarez in a potential fight of the year candidate. On the other hand, Thomson is on an eight fight winning streak dating back to March 2006.
UFC VET SEAN SALMON WINS AFTER LONG LAYOFF
The NAAFS made its return to the Hoop Sports Complex on Friday, Sept. 19 for Columbus Night of Pain 4 in Columbus, Ohio.
In the main event, UFC veteran Sean Salmon made a successful return to the sport after a 10-month layoff, to defeat Mitch Whitesel by TKO in round three to become the new NAAFS Pro Series Middleweight Champion. Immediately after the fight, Salmon thanked all of his fans and his opponent for the opportunity and now sets his sights on his next opponent.
In the co-main event, a new Pro Series Heavyweight Champion was crowned as Justin Black avenged an earlier loss, defeating current champion “Cujo” Joe McCall by Armbar in Round one. The new champion said after the fight that he would be open to a possible third battle between the top two fighters in the division.
Columbus native Thad Schlichter continued his winning ways with an impressive knockout victory def. Terry Davinney in the first round. Davinney entered the arena wearing a Michigan jersey, immediately making him the most hated man in the building. Schlichter took control early and remained so until picking up the win with an emphatic KO.
ELITEXC TO CLOSE 2008 WITH SHOWTIME BROADCAST
The current focus for EliteXC is the upcoming Oct. 4 show on CBS, which will pit top star Kimbo Slice against Ultimate Fighting Championship hall of famer Ken Shamrock. But the promotion is already working on its next major Showtime broadcast set for Nov. 8.
The promotion has set the date and confirmed it will be a Showtime broadcast, but at this time no location has been announced or secured for the show.
EliteXC Vice President Jared Shaw did confirm a number of the competitors that will fight on the card including Joey Villasenor, Rafael Feijao, Brett Rogers, and Nick Diaz.
No opponents have been secured for any of the fighters, outside of Shaw stating that Diaz would not be fighting lightweight champion K.J. Noons, who was stripped of his belt by the promotion on Friday.
Speculation has Villasenor getting a rematch against Robbie Lawler, who he lost to while fighting in Pride a few years ago, and getting a shot at the EliteXC middleweight title for the second time in the process, although nothing has been confirmed at this time.
Shaw also disclosed that the Nov. 8 show will be the final EliteXC show for 2008 as they gear up for the new year.
World Victory Road Accuses Roger Gracie of Faking Injury
Japan-MMA has the story:
-They requested an official doctors certificate and CT scan showing the injury.
-They requested Roger Gracie to come to Japan to be examined by WVR's doctor
On both these points Roger Gracie has failed to comply and WVR/Sengoku are considering penalties.
I've been critical of Roger in the past and thought maybe I was being too hard on the guy, but I have to say this looks really really weak. Travis Wiuff is not that dangerous -- unlike previous duckees Josh Barnett and Jeff Monson, he's a perfect step-ladder for Gracie at this early point in his career.
UFC ZEROING IN ON SUMMER 2009 FOR PHILIPPINES
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has not hidden its desire to expand its brand across the world. The UFC has yet to return to Japan and Brazil, countries that they haven’t been to in many years, but they have recently expanded into Canada, following a strong building process in Northern Ireland and England.
ULTIMATE FIGHTER HOGER WINS RETURN AT WCF
WILMINGTON, Mass. – Not much time was wasted before both the co-main event and the main event came to a halt on Friday night at World Championship Fighting’s WCF 4. The total time of each bout combined was a mere 31 seconds. Yet the fans in attendance still left the venue buzzing about the event without much turmoil.
It certainly wasn’t long after the bell that Ultimate Fighter Season 1 competitor Sam Hoger began his celebration. Both he and his opponent, Jason Dolloff came out eager to fight. Hoger managed to land a few kicks early on before they clinched. From there, he used some dirty boxing to land a heavy blow that dropped his opponent to his knees. He quickly spun around and gained back control where he hammered Doloff with several right hands until the referee called the bout. With the win, Hoger gained his first victory in nearly three years and started his path back to the big stage.
Dan Bonnell seems to have had the winning formula on his hands for some time now with yet another big win. This featherweight match-up had the makings to be fight of the night, but it appeared that Bonnell had different plans.
As both fighters circled, he threw a right hand that seemed to buckle Joe Cushman’s knees a bit, but they continued to feel each other out. Seconds later from the clinch, Bonnell displayed some effective dirty boxing of his own. A few punches rocked Cushman sending him to his knees. He immediately bounced back up, but Bonnell gained control of Cushman’s head again and continued to land clean shots. Cushman dropped to his back this time and Bonnell followed him, peppering him with punches before the referee stepped in. That was the fourth win in a row for Bonnell, who has continued to impress fans with solid victories.