Despite Changes, Jay Hieron 'Still Blessed to Be Fighting'
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Please excuse Jay Hieron if he sounds a little annoyed -- the man just can't buy a break.
The former International Fight League welterweight champion has now been a part of two failed promotions and recently saw his Strikeforce title shot evaporate after Nick Diaz failed to show up for his pre-licensing drug test.
UFC reverses course on Thales Leites and Tamdan McCrory, both returning to octagon
Thales Leites was stunned on Saturday when he heard that judges had come to a split decision in his fight with Alessio Sakara at UFC 101 at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia. He was even more stunned when he came out on the short end of the verdict.
But the really shocking news came on Thursday, when he learned he was being dropped by the Ultimate Fighting Championship only four months after competing for the middleweight title.
It turns out, though, that Leites still has a job with the UFC.
Toughill explains absence
With women’s MMA about to take its biggest step forward, one of the original pioneers of the movement will be sitting on the sidelines watching, but not by her choice.
Earlier this year Erin Toughill had been announced to participate on the undercard to Saturday night’s Strikeforce card, with the belief that she would step into the evening’s main event featuring Gina Carano and Cris “Cyborg” Santos should one of them be forced to withdraw.
Alas, it never came to fruition.
MMA conditioning expert Billy Rush in hospital
Police: Man shoots own leg, crashes his pickup
A Germantown man who apparently shot himself in the leg was flown to an area hospital Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 12, after crashing his pickup truck into two vehicles before striking a utility pole.
Billy Rush, 35, of Germantown, drove his Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck into a utility pole at 12:26 p.m. in front of 1270 E. Second St., minutes after he drove eastward out of a Shell gas station, crossing three lanes before he was struck by a Chevrolet Impala, said Franklin police Chief Gordon Ellis. The pickup then traveled into a parking lot and struck a parked car, then headed back onto the road and struck the pole, he said.
Josh Neer and Kurt Pellegrino Comment on Their Fight at UFC 101
Hey guys I figured I’d come on here and explain my fight a little. 1 thing I wish I would have done is just try to get up. The reason I didn't was because when he stood up, he was waiting for me to do so. Soon as I would of, he would of spun around and take my back. If I had it to do over again I would have just took the risk. I was complaining about the ref standing us up because c'mon he can't stand us up 1 time? But I guess you can't when you’re basically from the same town as my opponent. I watched the same ref being buddy buddy with all the guys on the card from New Jersey. My main problem with Kurt was b4 the fight he talked how it was going to be a war and he was going to leave it all out there and blah blah. Well in my opinion he didn't at all. If you’re going to play it safe and stick to a game plan just say that. Don’t talk like it's going to be a great fight.
Fabricio Werdum vs. Mike Kyle Moved to Showtime Portion of Strikeforce Card
The Fabricio Werdum vs. Mike Kyle heavyweight bout has been bumped up to the Showtime portion of Saturday's Strikeforce telecast. FanHouse learned the news from Kyle on Thursday, and confirmed it with Strikeforce officials.
The fight was originally scheduled to take place on the non-televised portion of the card, but once the Jesse Taylor vs. Jay Hieron fight was changed to a three-round non-title bout, there was enough time to add Werdum vs. Kyle to the main card.
Brian Bowles: Being the WEC Champion Won't Change Me
Brian Bowles shocked the mixed martial arts world on Sunday night when he knocked out Miguel Torres to win the World Extreme Cagefighting bantamweight title. In an interview with FanHouse Thursday, Bowles said even he didn't think he'd knock Torres out less than four minutes into their fight.
But Bowles also said he followed a well-crafted game plan to get himself into position to knock Torres out, and he said he's going to keep training hard and fighting the same way now that he's the champion.
Bowles also said that he broke a bone in his hand punching an unconscious Torres, that he expects to make his first title defense against Dominick Cruz, and that he thinks the win should put him near the top of the pound-for-pound rankings.
Strikeforce Close to Finalizing Debut Date For Fedor Emelianenko
October is shaping to be another can't miss month for mixed martial arts fans.
We already knew that DREAM.11 would take place on October 6 and UFC 104 on October 24, but now it looks like Fedor Emelianenko will make his Strikeforce debut on October 10. Ken Hershman, Showtime Sports' senior vice president and general manager, informed FanHouse of the news on Thursday. Emelianenko's first fight for the organization will air live on the premium cable network.
After Title Defense, 'Babalu' Sobral Wants Fedor Emelianenko Rematch
It seems as though we've been talking about Renato Sobral vs. Gegard Mousasi for quite some time now. Of course, both men were supposed to fight on the ill-fated "Affliction: Trilogy" card. Instead, the bout was moved to this Saturday's Strikeforce event on Showtime, where "Babalu" will defend his light heavyweight title against the up-and-coming Mousasi.
NOT INTIMIDATED, CYBORG READY FOR CARANO
Having worked her way up the ranks to eventually be considered the top female fighter in all of Brazil, Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos was well on her way to accomplishing the same feat in the United States when, after back-to-back wins in the promotion, EliteXC shuttered its doors.
She nearly made the move to Canada earlier this year, but a shoulder injury and subsequent offer from Strikeforce kept her in the States and now puts her in the biggest fight of her career.
BJ Penn wants Diego Sanchez sooner rather than later
“It’s gonna happen, hopefully within the next two, two-and-a-half months. I’m 30 now and I’m hoping to get a couple of more fights in. I know they say that in MMA, people peak later, but who knows? My whole career, fighting from age 20 to 30, I’ve gotten into real good shape and gotten out of shape and started getting back into shape again. I don’t want to do that anymore. Here I am. I’m in shape. I want to have fun for a couple of days, take some time off, eat some good food, and then I want to get right back into all that stuff…. [Diego is] really good; he’s really explosive. He’s shown that he has some knockout power and he’s a very good grappler. He’s very hungry; he’s shown that he wants to be a champion someday. This is an important fight…. I’d like to get a fight with St. Pierre again, but now that Diego Sanchez is next, once we get the word from Dana White, that’s what we’re gonna be thinkin’ about.”
THALES LEITES SURPRISED, UPSET ABOUT UFC RELEASE
Following a controversial loss to Alessio Sakara at UFC 101, Brazilian fighter Thales Leites received word that he would be released by the promotion. He was surprised by the move.
"My manager received one e-mail from the UFC telling that I was out of the UFC," Leites told MMAWeekly.com in an exclusive interview. "Personally, I think (it’s) unfair."
Despite neither competitor finishing the fight, most felt that Leites did enough to notch the win, but the judges in Philadelphia saw it different and handed the decision to Sakara instead.
"I didn't understand what the two judges saw," Leites commented. "Unreal."
With the news still fresh in his mind, Leites is quick to point out that he doesn't plan to sit on the sidelines for very long.
"Still training hard, looking for new proposals for a fight," he said about his immediate future.
The motivation of being cut seems to be all Leites needed to drive him to work that much harder, and the Brazilian will do exactly that to get back to the top promotion in the sport.
"I was upset about the fight and much more about being cut (from) the UFC," Leites said. "I didn't fight well, but I know that I won that fight. This gives me more motivation to train more and one day come back stronger than ever to the UFC."
Leites will continue his training in Brazil while waiting for his next chance to step back in the ring and prove he belongs among the elite middleweights in the world.
Welterweight Phil Baroni released by Strikeforce; reportedly "likely" to sign with UFC
Following a June defeat at the hands of Joe Riggs, welterweight slugger Phil Baroni (13-11) was today officially released from his contract with Strikeforce.
Baroni fought just twice for the organization, compiling an 0-2 record.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said he wasn't ruling out a future relationship with the "New York Bad Ass," providing Baroni can put together a win streak in the welterweight division.
"We wish Phil the best of luck and hope he can revive his career," Coker said. "If he can, maybe one day he can return and fight for us."
A former middleweight, Baroni made his Strikeforce debut in June 2007. Facing MMA pioneer Frank Shamrock for Strikeforce's first-ever middleweight title, Baroni was choked unconscious in the second round.
The loss to Shamrock started a three-fight skid for the hard-hitting Baroni, a run that ultimately inspired the 33-year-old to drop to the welterweight division, where he put together a three-fight win streak before the loss to Riggs.
A report from Sherdog.com cites the UFC as Baroni's likely new employer. Baroni's agent, Ken Pavia of MMAAgents.com, was unable to comment on the matter when contacted by MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Would MMA fans ‘love to see’ Chuck Liddell vs Tito Ortiz III?
According to the “Huntington Beach Bad Boy” they would:
“I have no more pain, no more soreness, no more numbness going down my legs; I’m back in to fighting shape again. I just started working with Freddie Roach out of Los Angeles, the ‘Wild Card,’ and I’m excited. For once I’m gonna be 100 percent, and hopefully the fans get to the see the champion I was before, ’cause the last time I was 100 percent, when I was the world champion, and I defended my world title five consecutive times … I gotta give the respect to Chuck Liddell, he was a great champion. Too bad he retired, a rematch with him would be nice, and I think the fans would love to see that.”
The former light heavyweight champ talks via SportsRadioInterviews.com about his ‘comeback’ under the tutelage of famed boxing coach Freddie Roach. Ortiz is coming off major spinal fusion surgery to correct a back problem that plagued him in his most recent bouts. His last appearance was in May 2008 — a unanimous decision loss to now 205-pound champion, Lyoto Machida. Speculation has swirled that Ortiz could return to competition at UFC 106 opposite Mark Coleman, but nothing is official at this time. Is a win over the aging wrestler going to propel him back into the mix? Or would any fans out there rather see him tangle with “The Iceman” for a third time instead?
Randy Couture expresses interest in a possible fight with current UFC Middleweight Champion
Chad Dukes: Would you ever consider [dropping to light heavyweight] and facing [Silva]?
Randy Couture: Yeah, are you kidding? I think he's one of the best fighters in the world. Those are the kinds of guys I want to fight. That would be an interesting fight.
I think the guy with a wrestling background that can get their hands on him, tie him up and smother him is definitely a guy that's going to give him fits and make him have a rough night.
Le Hints at CBS Return
It’s gone past passé to say that Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le has been conspicuously absent from the promotion’s expanding rotation.
Le (6-0) earned the title after defeating Frank Shamrock almost a year and a half ago but has yet to defend it. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has even relented in announcing that he’ll put an interim title up for grabs before the end of the year. Hopefully, the splintered lineage will be unified sooner than later.
Le, 37, said he’s spent his time away from the cage nursing injuries and surgeries, as well as acting in five films (including a co-starring turn with Dennis Quaid in the sci-fi flick “Pandorum” due out Sept. 18). Le hinted the promotion has bigger plans for him anyway.
Houston Alexander Possible For Adrenaline 4
In the rather rare case of a fighter still under contract to Zuffa yet fighting elsewhere, UFC star Houston Alexander, coming off a recent injury, is tentatively set for the 4th Adrenaline event to be held September 18. He's scheduled to face Sherman Pendergarst in the co-main event.