UFC Displaying Recession Resiliency
While billion-dollar companies across the United States have been laying off employees and making other budget concessions during a severe economic climate, the Ultimate Fighting Championship continues to resist the downturn.
Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer on Tuesday released the final gross ticket revenue and attendance numbers for the UFC 94 mega-fight between Georges St. Pierre and B.J. Penn.
“Big” John McCarthy Hints at History of Greasing Problems
The Los Angeles Times takes a look at various cheating methods in combat sports today, from the illegal substance in Antonio Margarito’s glove to the Vaseline on Georges St. Pierre’s body. The message here is that cheating, or “gamesmanship,” as Bert Sugar charitably tags it, is nothing new.
But of interest to MMA fans are remarks from former UFC referee “Big” John McCarthy, which suggest that greasing problems have persisted for some time now, and that it’s no big secret, either:
"Guys will push the envelope in every way possible," former UFC referee "Big" John McCarthy said of mixed martial arts fighters. "Vaseline has always been an issue in MMA. It's a real problem."
McCarthy has seen MMA fighters come into the octagon after taking a bath filled with soapy water or even baby oil. "You can't notice it when they're dry, but when they get on the ground and start to sweat, it starts to come out of their pores," McCarthy said.
McCarthy also blamed the persistence of this problem on athletic commission regulators, who are accustomed to working boxing matches and don’t realize the advantage a little extra grease on the body can provide in an MMA fight.
The issue raised by the greasebath version of events – and this isn’t the first time we’ve heard that accusation – is tricky to deal with.
Lauzon Wants Guida Next
Joe Lauzon is looking to climb the lightweight rankings and wants his next opponent to be one that will help him do that.
Lauzon is coming off a submission win over Jeremy Stephens at UFC Fight Night 17, who stepped in at lat notice for an injured Hermes Franca.
“Next, I'd like somebody like Clay Guida (26-6), who just won a big fight against Nate Diaz (decision)," he says.
Following Strike Box debacle, James Thompson returns at March's Sengoku
Fresh off a disastrous Strike Box fight with Steve Bosse that nearly caused an arena-wide riot earlier this month, PRIDE and EliteXC veteran James Thompson (14-9) will return to action next month at World Victory Road's Sengoku Seventh Battle.
A source close to the fighter told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that WVR officials are close to finalizing an opponent for Thompson. However, Thompson's agent, Ken Pavia from MMAAgents.com, declined to comment.
Troy Mandaloniz: I might take Paul Kelly's arm home with me at UFC 95
"It seems like [Kelly] is taking me really lightly," Mandaloniz said. "He's saying that he's stronger than me and that I'm no genius on the ground -- and that I gained all this weight and I'm sitting on the beach in Hawaii. He wants to talk all this [expletive] about my ground game, but at least my only submission loss is to a great jiu-jitsu practitioner. How did he lose his last fight again?"
Kelly dropped an October 2008 bout to Marcus Davis via submission, the lone loss of his career.
Mandaloniz said he was actually appreciative of his English opponent for providing him the extra bit of motivation he needed to finish training camp on a strong note before traveling to London.
"He got me real fired up in my last week of training," Mandaloniz said. "It's made me even more hungry to go over there.
"I'm taking this one with a smile. I'm a [expletive] maniac, man. I'm the guy that you punch in the face and I smile. You don't understand why the hell you just hit me with your best shot and I'm still coming forward."
As Mandaloniz considers the UFC's reasoning for arranging the bout with Kelly, the tension is evident in his words.
"I think [the UFC] put us two together and matched us up because they want to see us go in there and punch each other in the face," Mandaloniz said. "I'm a little frustrated. I'm really thinking about putting him on his back and finishing him. But we'll see what happens. I'm looking forward to this fight. It's a war. I'm hoping for that quick finish, but I'm ready to go to the end."
And as Mandaloniz looks to return to action in dramatic fashion, the Hawaiian native has a message for his opponent.
"It's going to be a great one," Mandaloniz said. "I'm hoping that we stand in front of each other and just bang it out and get that fight of the night. But it looks like he thinks I'm so easy on the ground he's going to take me down.
"He better be careful, I might take his arm home with me."
Thales Leites ready for wherever Anderson Silva takes him at UFC 97
“I can fight him standing. I will not be afraid to fight him in the standup game. I will never be afraid. I’ve been training my Muay Thai and boxing for five years and I think that I’m ready for any situation. I will be ready for anything. I know he wants to fight me standing to try and knock me out. But anything can happen. Cote was doing a good job with him closing the distance and keeping him down every time and moving forward in front of him. I’m thinking I have to do the same thing…. The most important thing is I trust in me and believe in me. He has two arms and two legs like me and like everyone else. If I believe in me and trust me and do my job I can do it. That’s it.”
– Top middleweight contender Thales Leites talks to Sherdog.com about how his skills match up against division champion Anderson Silva. The two Brazilians are scheduled to collide at UFC 97: “Redemption” at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on April 18. Leites — a talented Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt — feels that he can stand with the deadly striker if necessary, but feels his ground game is the one area where he is better than “The Spider.” Perhaps he can snag one of those four limbs and ride off into the sunset as the new (and unlikely) 185-pound champion? Easier said than done, but stranger things have happened inside the Octagon … like if he were able to somehow finish Silva via strikes.
UFC Back On German TV In March
Its official the UFC will return to German TV on the 7th of March. The first details have emerged of the deal via German network DSF. The 24 hour sports network has posted the following on their website. This exclusive translation via “Free Fight Videos”.
"As real as it gets" - experience non stop fight action with a "decathlon of martial arts"
Starting next month, DSF will broadcast the Ultimate Fighting Championship every Saturday from 11PM.
Ultimate Fighting has its origins in Bruce Lee's "Jeet Kune Do". It combines a variety of martial arts such as boxing, kickboxing, karate, wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu. Two combatants battle it out in an octagon over three rounds that are 5 minutes long. Victory can be achieved by knockout, submission or a points decision . The security and saftety of the Ultimate Fighters will be determined by a long list of well-defined rules and regulations. With the UFC, the DSF is now the German home of the most successful Mixed Martial Arts Organization (MMA) in the world.
A very confident fighter
Joe “Daddy” Stevenson is hardly putting down a welcoming mat for Diego Sanchez’s move to the lightweight division in the main event of Saturday night’s UFC 95 show in London.
Sanchez, known for wearing out his opponents by fighting at a fast pace for as long as it takes, is, in Stevenson’s mind, not going to find that as much of an advantage in the move down.
Why Paul Kelly Feels Sorry For Troy Mandaloniz
Wolfslair welterweight Paul Kelly says it will be do or die when he gets in the cage with Troy Mandaloniz at UFC 95 on Saturday night.
With the UFC cutting its excess weight from its roster of fighters, he knows there is a good chance he will be cut if he loses, which is why he is preparing to lay everything on the line come showtime.
“Its do or die time for me. I don’t know whether the UFC would keep me on after another loss. They keep Paul Taylor on, they keep a few other guys on, where the losses are exciting fights, so my whole point on this [next fight] is just to be exciting,” he says.
Rory Markham plans on turning enemies to friends at UFC 95
It's been a wild ride for UFC welterweight Rory Markham (16-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC).
Eight months ago Markham was fighting in front of sparse crowd on the preliminary card of Adrenaline MMA's debut event in Chicago against a fighter with a record of 6-18.
One fight later -- one stunningly quick, "Knockout of the Night"-earning fight later -- Markham is heading just outside of Englishman Dan Hardy's (20-6 MMA, 1-0 UFC) hometown in preparation for a co-feature clash at "UFC 95: Sanchez vs. Stevenson."
Florian Hits Back on Penn’s Secret Text/Email Claims
Sounds like Kenny Florian isn’t buying B.J. Penn’s revised story about the alleged GSP greasing and ‘roiding tip off any more than we are. Talking with Fighters Only, KenFlo dismissed Penn’s claims outright, saying:
"Yeah it went from an email, to a text to a friend of the camp. I think next it will be a fax, and then it'll probably be a bird that delivered a telegram to him from a roommate's brother's dog's owner's sister,” Florian laughed.
"It's kind of ridiculous. BJ is known as a trash talker and he plays a lot of mind games. He does a lot of psychological warfare. …People have tried that on me in the past, but what they don't know is that they're playing checkers and I'm playing chess," he said.
There you have it, B.J. Kenny Florian is not impressed with your attempts at mind games. Try again. Or just get in the gym and prepare yourself to kick his ass over the course of five rounds. Either one, though I hear the second option generally pays better.
Former UFC fighter Kimo Leopoldo busted for drug possession
Former UFC fighter Kimo Leopoldo was arrested by police for drug possession in Tustin, California earlier today after authorities spotted the ex-fighter wearing a Long Beach Police Department jumpsuit complete with patches and a cloth badge according to TMZ.com
The clothing, restricted to police officers only, prompted the men in blue to investigate and upon searching Leopoldo’s car, found “a small amount of (illegal substance) what is believed to be meth.”
Kimo (10-7-1) is perhaps best known for wearing down Royce Gracie in a losing effort at UFC 3, thus allowing Nebraska police officer Steve Jennum his fifteen minutes of fame.
Leopoldo last competed at UFC 48, getting dropped back into irrelevance courtesy of Ken Shamrock’s knee. Kimo would subsequently test positive for steroids following the bout, and again get caught using the juice prior to a scheduled match with Bas Rutten at the World Fighting Alliance.
When we last heard from the German-born brawler, he was applying to be Executive Officer of the California State Athletic Commission (no, really). Leopoldo is currently still in custody.
Caol Uno's UFC return likely to come vs. Spencher Fisher at UFC 99
A source close to the negotiations today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that former UFC lightweight contender and recent DREAM fighter Caol Uno (27-11-4 MMA, 3-3-1 UFC) will take on UFC veteran Spencer Fisher (22-4 MMA, 7-3 UFC) at the June event.
Verbal agreements are in place, and the fight is expected to be finalized shortly, the source said.
Wilson Gouveia: "I Don't Need Ten Punches to Put Someone Away. I Just Need One."
CagePotato.com: Thanks for talking with me, Wilson. How is your preparation coming for the fight with Nate Marquardt?
The training has been very intense. I’m taking this fight very seriously. I think it’s going to be the most important fight of my career so far. Right now I feel very good. I’m in great condition, no injuries, just ready to go.
Are you doing anything specifically to prepare for him?
Not really, to tell the truth. In all my fights I try to be prepared for everything. With Nate it’s no different. He’s a pretty well-rounded fighter. He’s good at everything. I have to try and be prepared for the worst-case scenario. He’s a good wrestler. He’s got better takedowns than me. I’ve been training a lot of jiu-jitsu off my back, a lot of stand-up.
I think he’s good in everything, but I don’t think he’s great in anything. I think his jiu-jitsu is good, but it’s not amazing. His wrestling, I think, is his greatest strength. But even with that, I don’t think he’s the best wrestler in the UFC. His striking is good, but if you watch his last fight with [Martin] Kampmann, he spent like ten or more punches to put him away. I really don’t need ten punches to put someone away. I just need one.
You were on a good roll in the UFC until your loss to Goran Reljic. What do you think went wrong for you in that fight?
What happened in that fight, that not many people know because it happened behind the scenes, was an argument between my coaches and his agent. I made a huge mistake after that and treated that fight like a personal problem. And I have no problem whatsoever with any fighter. But I tried to punish the guy and put him away. When I was on the top throwing punches I gave everything that I had. So when we both stood up again I was tired. I tried to rest for a second and that’s when he threw a hook or something that caught me. When you use those small gloves, anything can hurt you.
Steve Bruno Latest Victim Of UFC Roster Cuts
American Top Team welterweight Steve ‘Hollywood’ Bruno (12-5-0) appears to have become the latest casualty in a round of roster cuts that the UFC is engaged in.
His listing was removed from the UFC.com site earlier today and sources contacted by Fighters Only said the he has been dropped, although neither the UFC nor ATT has officially confirmed this at time of writing.