Nick Diaz camp wants KJ Noons but will settle for Hayato ‘Mach’ Sakurai
Elite XC lightweight contender Nick Diaz provided his hometown fans in Stockton, Calif., with an exciting early second round technical knockout win over Thomas “Wildman” Denny last Saturday night during Elite XC: “Unfinished Business.”
The question now is: What is next for the Cesar Gracie jiu-jitsu black belt?
On the surface there are two very obvious answers to that question, both of which involve world titles. Either Diaz will take on Hayato “Mach” Sakurai (32-8-2) in Japan at DREAM 6 for the company’s welterweight gold, or he’ll finally get his redemption fight against Elite XC lightweight champion KJ Noons (7-2).
So which fight is going to happen?
Diaz has made it clear that he enjoys competing in Japan — where he feels the art of this sport is better appreciated and the rules favor more of a traditional martial arts style. He was already supposed to have fought Sakurai at DREAM 5 two weeks ago, but that fight fell through when Diaz learned he was instead going to fight in Stockton for Elite XC.
It seemed obvious that Diaz would have much rather taken on “Mach” for a world title than a mediocre Thomas Denny in a non-title affair, but there’s more to that story than meets the eye.
Not only was he fighting in his hometown an exciting idea for Diaz, but there’s also some hesitation on his part to compete for DREAM since the Japanese based company has yet to pay him a single dime for his May win over Katsuya Inoue at DREAM 3.
WEC 35 - Weigh In Results
Champ Carlos Condit (169.5) vs. Hiromitsu Miura (169) -- for welterweight title
Champ Brian Stann (201.5) vs. Steve Cantwell (205) -- for light heavyweight title
Champ Jamie Varner (155) vs. Marcus Hicks (156)* -- for lightweight title
Brian Bowles (136) vs. Damacio Page (135)
Josh Grispi (145) vs. Micah Miller (145)
Brock Larson (171) vs. Carlo Prater (170)
Blas Avena (170) vs. Dave Terrel (170)
Todd Moore (154) vs. Shane Roller (155)
Mike Budnik (154) vs. Greg McIntyre (155)
Scott Jorgensen (135.5) vs. Kenji Osawa (135.5)
* -- After weighing 156, was given an additional hour to make weight. He made the 155-pound limit shortly after
UFC 87 week of events
The UFC returns to pay per view next weekend for UFC 87, which takes place Aug. 9 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minn. UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre takes on Jon Fitch in the night's main event.
The UFC recently announced details for UFC 87's weigh-ins and pre-event autograph sessions.
In a rare move, the UFC will also make the pre-event press conference open to the public.
The week of events begins on Thursday at the Mall of American Rotunda for the press conference. It begins at 1 p.m. local time and is followed by an autograph signing with Matt Serra, Nate Quarry, Clay Guida, Amir Sadollah, Keith Jardine and Sean Sherk.
On Friday, the UFC's fan club has autograph sessions with Matt Hughes, Guida, Sherk and Quarry (1-3 p.m.) and a pre-weigh-in Q&A with UFC President Dana White and Sadollah (2 p.m.).
Doors to the weigh-ins then open to the general public at 3 p.m., and the first fighter is expected to hit the scale at 4 p.m.
Report: Gina Carano vs. Kelly Kobold-Gavin at Oct. 4 EliteXC
After her dominating win over Shayna Baszler at last weekend's "EliteXC: Unfinished Business" event, Cristiane Cyborg (5-0) was mentioned as a possible Oct. 4 opponent for EliteXC poster girl Gina Carano (6-0).
Instead, the undefeated Carano is expected to face Kelly Kobold-Gavin (16-2-1), according to Mike Chiappetta of NBCSports.com, citing a source close to one of the fighters.
The bout is expected to be announced soon, according to the report.
The Carano vs. Kobold-Gavin fight will be one of the main draws for the October CBS-broadcast event, which takes place at the 22,000-seat BankAtlantic Center near Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Heavyweight Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson is slated to headline the event.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) reported last weekend that Carano, a gladiator on NBC's "American Gladiators," had been announced as an Oct. 4 competitor. However, an opponent wasn't immediately revealed.
Kobold-Gavin, a six-year MMA veteran, hasn't competed since August 2006, when she suffered a unanimous-decision loss to Julie Kedzie at a BodogFIGHT event. It was her second consecutive loss after strarting her career with a near-spotless 16-0-1 record.
UFC Quick Quote: Brock Lesnar would beat up himself … kinda
“If the Brock Lesnar of today would fight the Brock Lesnar from then … I’d win.”
–- Brock Lesnar, during the media conference call for UFC 87: “Seek and Destroy,” fields a question about how his game has improved since his submission loss to Frank Mir at UFC 81: “Breaking Point” back in February 2008. Along with Georges St. Pierre’s “training to face an army” quote (“Every time I’m training and I do my sparring, I have a fresh guy coming on me all the time.”), Lesnar’s quote had to be one of the more memorable of the call. It will be interesting to see how quickly Lesnar’s game improves. His collegiate wrestling credentials alone (two-time NJCAA All-American, two-time NCAA All-American, two-time Big Ten Champion, 2000 NCAA heavyweight champion, 1999 NCAA heavyweight runner-up, with a career record of 106-5) are some of the very best in the UFC. Time will tell how well he adapts those wrestling skills to MMA. For now, he gets his second chance inside the Octagon against Heath Herring on August 9.
Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson accident victim has miscarriage
“Huntington Beach woman who was more than 16 weeks pregnant and who police said was injured in a hit-and-run crash with mixed martial artist Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson on the 55 Freeway two weeks ago has had a miscarriage, her fiance said Friday.
Holli Griggs, 38, was driving her 2007 Cadillac Escalade in the left lane on the southbound 55 Freeway just south of Bay Street on July 15 when Jackson’s gray-and-green pick-up truck sideswiped her as he drove along the median lane at about 45 mph, California Highway Patrol officials said.
Prosecutors have yet to file charges against Jackson, a former light heavyweight champion for the Ultimate Fighting Championship who remains free on $25,000 bail. Prosecutors would not comment on any potential charges due to Griggs’ miscarriage.”
Right now there’s no word on whether or not the miscarriage was a result of the accident — it could just be coincidence. However, the couple has retained the services of an attorney and could possibly proceed with legal action against the former light heavyweight champion.
UFC Takes Next Round in Couture Saga
The UFC’s parent company, Zuffa LLC, emerged with another victory Friday, as a Dallas appeals court granted the promotion a stay against a motion for summary judgment submitted by Mark Cuban’s HDNet Fights.
The Mavericks NBA team owner had filed the motion on Feb. 13, requesting that a Texas court decide when five-time UFC champion Randy Couture (Pictures) would be eligible to sign into a contract with his own rival organization.
JAMIE VARNER LOOKING TO DEFEND WEC TITLE
Jamie Varner was relatively unknown until he stepped into the Octagon at UFC 62 against Hermes Franca. He dominated Franca throughout the majority of the fight, until he gassed out. Franca ended up finishing him towards the end of the third round.
Even though Varner lost that fight, he opened a lot of eyes. He had a subsequent victory over Jason Gilliam at UFC 68. After his victory, he was moved to the World Extreme Cagefighting organization. It was there that he rose to championship form.
He defeated Sherron Leggett in the first round of their bout, earning a title shot against then-champion “Razor” Rob McCullough. Varner shocked fans by knocking out McCullough and gaining the WEC lightweight champion.
Gesias Cavalcante Interview
Two times Hero’s champion, Gesias Cavalcante is recovering from his knee injury at American Top Team, but watched the finals of Dream’s GP, that he fought against Shinya Aoki twice, but lost. The athlete spoke to TATAME about the surprise Joachim Hansen, that came from a substitute fight and won the GP. The Brazilian fighter spoke about the his recovering and that he hopes coming back soon to GP’s, and winning them. Check below the complete interview.
What do you think about Hansen’s victory at the GP?
This Dream tournament was great, excellent fights! Tournaments are like this, everything can happen, like a substitute being the champion.
Diaz-Noons II Proposed for October
A much-anticipated rematch between EliteXC lightweight champion K.J. Noons and Nick Diaz could take place at the organization’s third edition of “Saturday Night Fights” on CBS, which will take place on October 4th at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida.
Graciefighter.com, which is run by Diaz’s trainer and manager, Cesar Gracie, reported the news yesterday morning. However the site has also noted that there is a strong possibility that Noons’ camp may not accept the fight. If the proposal is turned down, Diaz could then set his sights on a DREAM welterweight title bout against Hayato “Mach” Sakurai, but the promotion’s officials have yet to pay Diaz following his win over Katsuya Inoue in May.
Ask the Doc: Dr. Benjamin on scar tissue
Welcome to our initial "Ask the MMA Doc" column here at MMAjunkie.com.
Every other week, I'll answer your questions about current medical issues and general trends within the MMA industry.
My initial column takes a look at some of the big topics currently being discussed within the community, including scar tissue, the ABC's new definition as to what constitutes a strike to the "back of the head," and whether youth MMA is really safe.
If there's a question you have, scroll to the bottom of the page to find out how to contact me. We might use it in a future column.
Here we go...
Exclusive: Arlovski vs. Fedor likely to be scrapped, Arlovski vs Barnett expected to be the Headliner
FiveOuncesOfPain.com learned late Friday that a proposed main event for Affliction’s second-ever show on Oct. 11 between WAMMA heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko and Andrei Arlovski appears to be off for the time being.
A reliable source speaking on the condition of anonyomity revealed to Five Ounces of Pain that Emelianenko has been dealing with a lingering hand injury that will make it virtually impossible for him to be ready in time for Affliction’s October show at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Josh Barnett on Affliction return, rumored pay cuts
Despite being passed up for a shot at WAMMA heavyweight title-holder Fedor Emelianenko, and amid rumors of a possible pay-reduction request from the company's front office, heavyweight Josh Barnett (23-5) is preparing himself for a rumored October Affliction card.
Barnett discussed his possible return while a guest on "The Lights Out Show" on the TAGG Radio Network (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
"I've got a pro wrestling match Aug. 15 in Tokyo, Japan," Barnett said. "After that, I guess I'll be fighting someone Oct. 11. I don't know who yet."
Despite no official announcement from Affliction, Barnett feels confident the rumored show will come to fruition.
"I'm training for it," Barnett said.
Barnett, who has fought in several organizations throughout his 11-year career (including the UFC and PRIDE), said he enjoyed his first experience with the debuting Affliction promotion. The proximity of the Anaheim, Calif. show to the southern California resident's home was one reason Barnett was pleased.
"It was nice to be able to just hang out in my own house (and) drive down to the arena (and to) have all my friends and family be able to come and see me that live here in the States," Barnett said.
There was another simpler, yet important, reason Barnett hopes to return to the Affliction ring.
"I think [Affliction] is doing a pretty good job," Barnett said. "PRIDE owes me money. And the check from Affliction went through just fine. They're certainly a step up there."
After Affliction's first show, many believed a Barnett vs. Emelianenko bout would be the next logical step for both fighters. The prevailing belief at this point, however, is that Emelianenko will be paired with Belarusian heavyweight and former UFC title-holder Andrei Arlovski.
Barnett said he was unconcerned with Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio's choice of opponent.
"It's not about chasing down fights or fighters, particularly," Barnett said. "The fights will come. And I'm going to be standing on top."
Although official announcements regarding a future Affliction show have yet to be made, Barnett encouraged fans to contact the organization if a fight between "The Babyface Assassin" and "The Last Emperor" was something they wanted to see on an upcoming card.
"If people really want to see this fight, then they need to say something," Barnett said. "Write Affliction or whoever. Let it be known. If that's the fight you want to see, then say so."
With rumors swirling that Affliction may ask its fighters to take an alleged 50 percent pay decrease in the future, the possibility of a Barnett vs. Emelianenko bout may prove doubtful. But Barnett wanted everyone to know he's not opposed to the proposition.
"I know I've got a lot of great fans here, and I'm not here to let them down or sleight them," Barnett said. "There's nobody I wouldn't fight."
To hear the full interview, in which Barnett discusses other possible opponents as well as his extensive career in Japan, download Thursday's edition of "The Lights Out Show," available for free in the TAGG Radio Network archives.
Drew McFedries vs. Mike Massenzio at UFC Fight Night 15
Hard-hitting Drew McFedries (7-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) will meet UFC newcomer and former IFL fighter Mike Massenzio (10-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 15 in September.
The fight, first reported by fiveouncesofpain.com, has since been confirmed by MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The bout is likely to end up on the night's un-televised preliminary card.
UFC Fight Night 15, which takes place at the Omaha Civic Auditorium in Omaha, Neb., features co-main events of Nate Diaz vs. Josh Neer and Mac Danzig vs. Clay Guida.
McFedries, a Team Miletich fighter, most recently defeated Marvin Eastman at The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale. Like his other UFC victories -- over Jordan Radev and Alessio Sakara -- the win came via first-round knockout. His only losses in the UFC are to middleweight contenders Martin Kampmann and Patrick Cote.
Massenzio fought just once in the IFL and suffered a first-round submission loss to Danillo Villefort. The defeat snapped his nine-fight win streak, which included four-consecutive submission victories prior to his IFL debut. He fought primarily in the Reality Fighting and Ring of Combat organizations. According to fiveouncesofpain.com, the former collegiate wrestler signed a four-fight deal with the UFC.
MORE POSITIVE DRUG TEST RESULTS APPEAR LIKELY
Though the California State Athletic Commission has already released partial drug test results from Affliction’s debut mixed martial arts event on July 19 and EliteXC’s second edition of CBS-EliteXC Saturday Night Fights on July 26 with only one positive result, neither promotion can plan on clear sailing as the remaining results come in.
Of the first eight fighters returning drug test results from Affliction, only Justin Levens tested positive, that being for oxymorphone, a pain reliever related to morphine.
None of the results for the first eight fighters tested for EliteXC returned a positive result.
The initial test results for the remaining fighters on each show, however, indicate that there are more positive results forthcoming. CSAC Assistant Executive Officer Bill Douglas told MMAWeekly.com that, “Both cards are not out of the woods yet.”
He would not identify any of the individuals involved, nor would he indicate how many individuals were involved, but did indicate that initial testing of the remaining fighters’ “A” samples returned more positive results.
Each fighter has an “A” sample and a “B” sample for the drug testing procedure. The “A” sample is sent to Quest Diagnostics, Inc. and tested twice to confirm results. The “B” sample is sent to a World Anti-doping Agency approved lab in Montreal for the same sort of procedure in an effort to independently confirm or deny the initial results.