NOVA UNIAO CAMP REPORT: LEITES TALKS MARQUARDT
MMAWeekly: Thales, what were your thoughts on the illegal knee and pile driver?
Thales Leites: He did a lot of illegal blows during the fight. It wasn’t just the illegal knee; it was the pile driver and elbows, too. For sure he hit the back of my head. After the fight I showed to Joe Rogan the "ball" that I had in the back of my head. In my opinion he was obliged to knock me out in the second round with the illegal knee and I came back to fight without even knowing where I was properly.
If he wants to fight me again, I think he should get in line. I'm looking for the title shot. He had his chance before and he wasn’t successful so now it's my time.
Dream LW GP Semi-finals and Finals to be held in one night
Sorry if it's old news.
DREAM.5 will feature the organization's lightweight grand prix semifinals, and the match-ups include Shinya Aoki (16-2) vs. Caol Uno (25-10-4) and Eddie Alvarez (14-1) vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri (22-4-2).
The Japanese-based organization announced the match-ups on Sunday during its DREAM.4 event.
Unlike former rounds of the tournament, both the semifinals and finals will take place during the July 21 event, meaning the finalists will fight twice in one night.
July 26th EliteXC Event to Be Titled "Unfinished Business" (+ Semtex Fighting?)
Joining an announced rematch between EliteXC middleweight champion Robbie Lawler and challenger Scott Smith at Unfinished Business on July 26 are Jake Shields and Antonio Silva, each of whom may fight to raise the card's title bouts to three.
According to EliteXC Vice President Jared Shaw, Shields' opponent for the newly created 170-pound title will be determined this week. Potential challengers include International Fight League champion Jay Hieron, former Bodog champ Nick Thompson, or the recently motivated Paul Daley.
Shields was in line to fight Drew Fickett for the vacant title before injuries nixed the bout. If Silva appears on the card (it's not a guarantee that he will, right now) he could face IFL heavyweight champion Roy Nelson, or Robert "Buzz" Berry, who knocked out Ken Shamrock in March.
Don Frye To Fight Minowaman at DEEP "Gladiator"
Four fights were announced today. In an MMA rules fight Minowaman returns after his loss against Kin Taiei on DREAM.2 to take on Don Frye. Newly crowned DEEP Lightweight champion Pang Sung Hwan will also participate against Japanese Akihiko Mouri. K-1 veterans Gary Goodridge and Hiromi Amada will fight in a K-1 rules fight.
The Godz Of War Are Silenced for Now
Godz Of War, a new MMA promotion that was to hold its first event this Saturday in Charlotte, NC, has now postponed the event. No new date was announced. Ricco Rodriguez vs. Jeff Monson was to headline "the biggest MMA competition ever on the East Coast" according to promoters.
Jake Shields to fight for EliteXC welterweight title on July 26
EliteXC welterweight Jake Shields (20-4-1) will finally get a chance to fight for the organization's 170-pound title.
EliteXC officials tell MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Shields will next fight during the organization's second CBS show, which takes place July 26 -- possibly in St. Louis.
Two previously scheduled title fights between Shields and former UFC fighter Drew Fickett (34-5) fell apart due to injuries, and it now looks like Shields could fight either Nick Thompson (36-9-1) or Jay Hieron (15-4) for the first-ever title.
"EliteXC: Unfinished Business" was announced over the weekend (see: event announcement), and the event will feature a headline bout between EliteXC middleweight champ Robbie Lawler (15-4) and Scott Smith (13-4). In addition to that title fight and Shields', Antonio Silva (10-1) may also fight for the the heavyweight belt against a yet-to-be-determined opponent.
Shields, perhaps the only top-10 welterweight not under contract to Zuffa, is 2-0 with EliteXC and has won nine straight fights, which included stops with BodogFIGHT and Rumble on the Rock. His list of victims includes top UFC middleweight contender Yushin Okami, WEC welterweight champ Carlos Condit, former UFC champ Dave Menne, and most recently, Xtreme Couture fighter Mike Pyle. In late 2007, he signed a long-term deal with EliteXC -- with the promise he would get to fight for the title.
Shields had been scheduled to fight Fickett in March at a Strikeforce/EliteXC co-promoted show, but a back injury forced Shields out of the title fight. It was then rescheduled for June at this past weekend's "EliteXC: Return of the King" event, but Fickett pulled out of the show with injury. Oddly, though, Fickett picked up a victory June 7 at Rage in the Cage 111 -- and EliteXC officials are well aware of it.
With Fickett now apparently on the outs with the organization, Shields' camp expects him to fight either Thompson, who reigned as a BodogFIGHT veteran before the organization unceremoniously shut down, or Hieron, one of the International Fight League's most notable fighters. (Considering Thompson's 12-fight win streak and notoriety from fighting in the UFC, he'd probably be the most marketable opponent for Shields.)
As it stands today, EliteXC has just two title-holders: middleweight champ Lawler and lightweight title-holder KJ Noons. The potential addition of two more -- and crowning them in front a national TV audience -- would be a solid step for the organization.
EliteXC's first "Saturday Night Fights" event on May 31 featured Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson's third-round TKO of James Thompson, and a controversial no-contest (due to an eye poke) between Lawler and Smith. The broadcast peaked with more than 6.5 million viewers (and averaged 4.9 million viewers), which promoted CBS executives to ask for a quick follow-up event.
Nick Diaz goes off about everything
“Before we get started, I want to say that I know there are a lot of people and everybody is trying to protect the sport. And everybody wants to be sportsmen and that type of thing where everybody shakes hands and everybody is great friends and whatever. And that’s great. But you know what, this sport is (expletive) established. That’s obvious. There are people out there doing a great job making it look like a non-violent sport. That’s not my job. My job is warfare. I’m over here to (expletive) kill. We’re mortal enemies until we fight and then we can shake hands and be cool. But until then, if I’m signed to fight you I don’t (expletive) like you and I hate you’re (expletive) guts and we’re fighting until we’re cool. We’re not cool until I win or I lose and we can settle this. So that’s how I am about this sort of thing."
Fedor versus Sylvia to produce first WAMMA champion
The World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts (WAMMA) will stage its first title fight next month, with the winner of the Fedor Emelianenko versus Tim Sylvia bout emerging as the alliance's "undisputed world heavyweight champion."
WAMMA formed in November of last year as MMA's first sanctioning body with goals that include creating greater visibility for the sport and recognizing world champions in each weight class. The organization's first order of business was assembling a group of journalists and bloggers to rank the best of the best in MMA. (In the interest of full disclosure, two MMAjunkie.com staffers are members of the rankings committee.)
Emelianenko is currently WAMMA's top-ranked heavyweight, while Sylvia checks in at No. 4. They meet at the Affliction "Banned" show July 19 at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The winner earns WAMMA's first title belt.
While the notion of an "undisputed champion" would ordinarily pit the top two ranked fighters against one another, No. 1 versus No. 4 is as close as WAMMA can get. Both Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (ranked No. 2) and Randy Couture (No. 3) are under contract to the UFC.
The battle between former PRIDE titleholder Emelianenko and Sylvia, former two-time UFC champ, is the first of what WAMMA hopes will be a series of title fights, but stringing together meaningful match-ups to create undisputed champions will be a challenge.
Of the six weight classes ranked by WAMMA, heavyweight is the only division not currently topped by a fighter under contract to Zuffa. The UFC and WEC have traditionally not worked with other promotions to make fights and appear to have little interest in working with WAMMA.
Big Nog Talks TUF
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira recently took time out from the taping of Spike's newest edition of their reality TV hit "The Ultimate Fighter", to sit down with Gracie Mag to speak about a variety of topics including his budding rivalry with fellow coach Frank Mir.
“The mood of rivalry between us is getting strong," Nogueria told GracieMag.com. "We see each other here all the time, and I've known his game for awhile. Ever since he submitted Roberto Traven at the UFC, in 2001, he's been known. But you'll see: I'm going to be all over him standing, I’m better than him both standing and on the ground. In the fight with Sylvia the way to the win was clearly on the ground, but against Mir I'm going to show more of what I'm capable of to the world and my fans. I'll always respect him as an adversary, of course. Even more so since he’s trained with Demian Maia and Robert Drysdale.”
Dan Miragliotta On The DL
Prolific MMA referee Dan Miragliotta will be out of action for three months with a torn rotator cuff.
The injury was sustained 30 May when Miragliotta dove in to save a whithering “New York Bad Ass” Phil Baroni (10-10) from suffering more punishment from Joey Villasenor’s (26-6) boxing barrage.
Johnson-Burns Likely for UFC in August
A welterweight bout between rising prospects Anthony Johnson and Kevin Burns will likely take place when the Ultimate Fighting Championship travels to the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota for their upcoming “Seek and Destroy” event on August 9th.
MMA on Tap has learned through a source close to the potential bout that both fighters have verbally agreed to fight. Bout agreements have been sent out and are expected to be signed and returned by the end of the week.
Arizona Adopts Unified MMA Rules
Chalk Arizona as another state that's joined the action:
Arizona joins Georgia and North Carolina as the latest states to adopt the unified rules for mixed martial arts combat. The Arizona bill was sponsored by Jonathan Paton, a member of the Arizona House of Representatives. An intelligence officer for the U.S. Army Reserve, Paton became a fan of MMA during his infantry training in Fort Benning, Ga. When he returned to Arizona, he began working out at Arizona Combat Sports, one of the top professional gyms in the Southwest, which has produced such fighters as current WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner (Pictures) and TUF 7 cast member C.B Dollaway.
Rob McCullough vs Donald Cerrone WEC fight in the works
Former WEC lightweight champion “Razor” Rob McCullough will likely take on the undefeated Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (8-0) in a bout that will possibly determine the next 155-pound number one contender.
News of the match up surfaced at a recent Ring of Fire event in Denver, Colo.
MMAmania.com was unable to confirm the actual date and location of the showdown at this time; however, with three title fights slated for WEC 35 on August 3 it’s possible that this bout will be tacked on to the WEC 36 card that features the middleweight rematch between 185-pound champion Paulo Filho and Chael Sonnen.
McCullough most recently won a lackluster split-decision victory over Kenneth Alexander at WEC 34: “Faber vs. Pulver” earlier this month. It was his first fight since losing his title to Jamie Varner via technical knockout at WEC 32 back in February.
Drew Fickett fiasco puts Elite XC title fight against Jake Shields in doubt
Drew Fickett and Jake Shields were supposed to hook ‘em up at “Return of the King” this past weekend to crown the first-ever 170-pound champion for the mixed martial arts promotion.
However, Fickett had to withdraw from the June 14 fight because of an alleged injury, postponing the bout for the second time (an injury to Shields was the reason for the first cancellation).
This where things get a little funny.
It seems the injury to Fickett’s knee — his reason for bowing out of the fight against Shields at the Hawaii show — wasn’t as bad as he originally thought.
At least not severe enough to keep him from fighting on June 7.
Apparently “The Master” — without Pro Elite’s knowledge — competed in local a Rage in the Cage 111 event one week prior to the Elite XC show, submitting Jeff Horlacher with a first round guillotine.
So here’s the question: How can a fighter be fit enough to fight on June 7, but not June 14?
Even if Fickett thought he could defeat Horlacher at less than 100 percent it still makes no sense. Or, perhaps he felt his non-exclusive contract meant he was just free to fight whoever and wherever without telling anybody.
Affliction hoping for big burst on MMA scene
He doesn't so much as have a promoter's license yet, but Tom Atencio has already got the shtick down.
He's about a month away from promoting his first mixed martial arts card, but he's already touting it as the best in the history of the sport.
That might be a stretch, though it's going to feature six of the world's elite heavyweights and enough of the world's finest fighters to hold the interest of even the most ardent MMA fans.
And Atencio insists he's undaunted by the enormity of the task that lay ahead of Affliction before its July 19 debut card at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
He's got a card stacked with big – and expensive – names, elite heavyweights such as Fedor Emelianenko, Tim Sylvia, Andrei Arlovski, Josh Barnett, Ben Rothwell, Pedro Rizzo and Aleksander Emelianenko.
That's a former PRIDE heavyweight champion and three ex-UFC heavyweight champs among that group, in case you're wondering.
"If you are an MMA fan, even if you're just a casual fan, can you look at this card and not say you're dying to see it?" Atencio asks.
No doubt. It's a must-see event, particularly since it brings Emelianenko back onto the world stage.