For Brian Stann, Change Is Good
Four years ago, when Brian Stann turned pro, he was looking to pad his resume with something that might make for interesting conversation 10 or 20 years down the road. Winning a major championship was the furthest thing was from his mind.
“The first day I started training I thought, ‘This is really cool and it would be cool to look back on my life and say I fought professionally and as an amateur for a little while,’” the 27-year-old recalled. “It was just something I thought would be a great hobby. All of a sudden I turned pro, kept winning fights and here I am. You have to remind me everyday that I’m a champion of a big organization because I certainly don’t remember it or think about it. I never expected to be where I’m at. I’m very fortunate.”
The unbeaten WEC light heavyweight champion, who had lived in North Carolina, recently relocated to Atlanta. Stann has a new job in the healthcare industry and a flexible work schedule that allows him to train full-time. He raves about so-called “Hotlanta” being a hotbed of MMA talent. Just as important, for the first time in his career, Stann has MMA coaches like Adam and Rory Singer, Roan Carneiro and Roberto Traven teaching him the X’s and O’s of technique and fight strategy. After 9 years of military service – including two tours in Iraq – Stann is no longer on active duty, affording him more time to train for his upcoming rematch with Steve Cantwell. And though Stann smashed Cantwell in 49 seconds during their first go-round, he isn’t taking the dangerous challenger lightly.
Thales Leites Talks Training, Dean Lister And More
Thales Leites took time out from his busy training schedule to sit down with us and answer some questions. going to face the North-American Dean Lister, Jiu Jitsu specialist, at UFN 15 – in September. Check it out:
ER:Dean Lister has beaten Jeremy Horn by submission. He is a fighter who has Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as his main weapon of attack. What did you think about the choice of this opponent and what game plan do you intend to put in practice to beat him?
Zuffa Rumored To Have Signed Third "Team Bombsquad" Member Mike Massenzio
It's been an eventful week for "Team Bombsquad" to say the least. First came the news that light-heavyweight prospect Jon Jones had signed with the UFC and would be fighting at UFC 87 against Andre Gusmao, then featherweight John Franchi signed a deal with the WEC.
The new rumor is that 185lb. rising star Mike Massenzio (11-2) has signed a deal with the UFC, and will debut at Ultimate Fight Night 15 against the heavy-handed Drew McFedries of Miletich Fighting Systems.
Heath Signs Multi-Fight Deal With MFC
Following his release from the Ultimate Fighting Championship earlier this year, David Heath has signed a multi-fight deal with the Canada-based Maximum Fighting Championship.
The organization announced the signing of Heath in a press release sent out to the media this morning. No indication has been made as of yet by MFC President Mark Pavelich concerning a potential debut date and opponent for him.
After racking up five straight wins in smaller shows, Heath busted onto the UFC light heavyweight scene almost two years ago, winning consecutive over Victor Valimaki and Cory Walmsley. However Heath’s quick success earned him matchups against much tougher opponents and the Oklahoma native ended up dropping his next three UFC bouts. He was last stopped by replacement opponent Tim Boetsch at UFC 81: Breaking Point in February before his contract was terminated.
Emelianenko and Sylvia among lengthy "Affliction: Banned" medical suspensions
The California State Athletic Commission has issued a total of nine fighters, including headliners Fedor Emelianenko and Tim Sylvia, medical suspensions stemming from the July 19 "Affliction: Banned" event.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today received the list of suspensions from the CSAC.
The recent pay-per-view and FSN event took place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., and was the debut show for the upstart Affliction Entertainment promotion.
The full list of suspensions included:
Tito Ortiz's Options
Recent reports that Tito Ortiz has come to terms with Affliction appear to be premature. He was in Stockton for Elite XC, and I highly doubt he made the trip up to see the fights. At this point, he is by far the hottest free agent in the industry, and all three major companies would benefit from signing him.
Less than 33 percent of "EliteXC: Unfinished Business" tickets sold
This past Saturday's "EliteXC: Unfinished Business" event in Stockton, Calif. -- the second EliteXC event to air on network TV via CBS -- had a large and energetic crowd of spectators.
But few of them -- less than 33 percent in all -- paid to be there at the Stockton Arena.
Of the 8,541 tickets the organization printed for the event, just 2,871 were sold. A total of 3,701 were given away, and 2,023 "deadwood" tickets went unused, according to paperwork the California State Athletic Commission today sent to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
This past Saturday's event drew a live gate of just $268,715. A total of $340,960 in tickets were comp'd, and $206,155 worth of tickets went unsold.
Needless to say, the numbers are hugely disappointing.
Carlos Condit: ‘I can deal with any one of those guys in the UFC’ (Audio)
On his thoughts about the WEC’s welterweight division and where it fits in with Georges St. Pierre in the UFC and Jake Shields in EliteXC:
“There are some tough dudes. They (the WEC) are still working on their roster. They’re still working on filling out their welterweight division. Obviously, they are not as strong as the UFC. But I feel, me being the champion, I can deal with any one of those guys in the UFC and beat quite a few of them and give any of them a run for their money. There are some tough guys (in the WEC). My last three fights have been against pretty legit competitors. This guy I’m fighting on Sunday is very tough as well. It’s not as stacked as the UFC’s welterweight division, but there is some talent.”
NOTE: The audio link has the full interview. The other link just gives you a quick outlay of what was asked.
Former UFC Contender Coming Out Of Retirement
6'10" Heavyweight Gan McGee, a former UFC Heavyweight best known for losing a title fight against then-champion Tim Sylvia only to see Sylvia later fail a drug test but keep the win, is coming out of retirement. He'll fight for the Florida-based XFC organization on September 13.
Tito Ortiz Not Yet Signed To Affliction
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz is not out of the Octagon just yet.
Despite several published reports of Ortiz’s whereabouts, Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio today told MMAWeekly.com that he has not signed the popular UFC fighter. Atencio claims that Ortiz’s promotional contract with the Las Vegas based company precludes that.
“I can’t talk to Tito until after August 3rd,” Atencio says. “Everybody just wants to read into it and put whatever they want on the internet.”
Fabricio Werdum Sign 5-Fight Deal With UFC
Fabrício Werdum has signed a new 5-fight contract with the UFC. The Brazilian has beaten Brandon Vera and Gabriel Napão by TKO and will fight again in October. The opponent has not yet been confirmed but is thought to be Junior dos Santos.
Werdum is waiting on the title-match between Antonio Rodrigo Minotauro Nogueira, the current heavyweight champion, and number one contender Frank Mir; both of them are coaching opposite one another for the next season of The Ultimate Fighter, SpikeTV's popular reality show. Werdum has stated his desire to face Minotauro for two reasons:
Aleksander Emelianenko Reveals The Real Reason He Was Removed From Affliction: Banned
Days after Aleksander Emelianenko was forced to withdraw from Affliction: Banned due what the CSAC termed as "failing to meet all licensing requirements", heavy rumors persisted that Emelianenko had contracted hepatitis B and could possibly be forced into early retirement.
Aleksander spoke out today about the real reasons behind his dismissal from Affliction's inaugural event and addressed rumored health concerns in an interview with Life.ru
Below is a brief description of the interview:
Fedor Made 1.6 Million For Affliction: Banned
Yesterday, a very reliable source informed Fightline.com that Fedor Emelianenko received a "substantial" bonus before his fight with Tim Sylvia.
Today, Fightline.com has learned that the bonus was 1.3 million dollars, putting Emelianenko's final take at 1.6 million dollars. That's quite substantial.
Eyebrows were raised when the California State Athletic Commission released the promotions payouts and it was revealed that Emelianenko ($300,000) received less than half of what his opponent Tim Sylvia ($800,000) received; this after Fedor demolished Sylvia in under a minute.
WEC lightweight Sergio Gomez to headline FCC 36
WEC lightweight Sergio Gomez is slated to main event Freestyle Combat Challenge 36 Saturday, September 12 at Marina Shores in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
A source close to Gomez told MMAFighting.com that the Dave Strasser's Freestyle Academy fighter received permission from the WEC to take this fight to shake off ring rust. Gomez is expected to return to the WEC in December.
Gomez (7-2) landed himself a contract with the WEC after opening his professional mixed martial arts career with six straight wins. However, Gomez is still searching for his first win within the organization. In his WEC debut in May 2007 which was profiled in the reality show "Tapout," he suffered a second round submission loss to the still undefeated Marcus Hicks. In March, Gomez lost a unanimous decision to former title contender Richard Crunkilton that was later received Fight of the Night honors.
Entire Aug. 15 ShoXC card unveiled
EliteXC’s next card will be a ShoXC event scheduled for August 15 and will feature five bouts to be televised on SHOWTIME at 11 p.m. ET from the Table Mountain Casino in Friant, Calif.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com learned of the finalized card after speaking with EliteXC Vice President Jared Shaw on Tuesday afternoon.
According to Shaw, the card will feature two light heavyweight bouts with Jared Hamman and Poa’i Suganuma rematching each other in the night’s main event and Cyrille “The Snake” Diabate making his EliteXC debut against Jaime Fletcher.
Cro Cop vs. Akiyama ???
Buried at the end of Dave Meltzer’s latest column at Yahoo! Sports regarding the health of the MMA business is this little tidbit about DREAM’s possible plans to put a fight together between Japan’s most hated fighter, Yoshihiro Akiyama, and their most beloved foreign fighter, Mirko Cro Cop:
Under the gun to draw ratings, the company is attempting to put together middleweight Akiyama against heavyweight Mirko Cro Cop, the country’s most popular foreign fighter.
Really? A top tier middlweight against a top tier heavyweight? Is DREAM doing so bad that it would really put this matchup together? It seems a little farfetched, especially since Cro Cop vs. Allistair Overeem is being rumored for the next DREAM, but Japanese promotions have done crazier fights in the past. Usually freakshow fights favor one fighter heavily over the other, such as Choi vs. Fedor, but this is a matchup that I have no interest in seeing. Perhaps the Japanese simply want to see Akiyama get smashed by Cro Cop because they hate him so much? That’s the only plausible reason I could see for putting on this fight. Here’s to hoping it doesn’t happen, but don’t color me surprised if it does.
I think this fight is far more likely to happen than the Overeem fight.