WEC Champ Varner Eyeing September Return
The champion stopped by MMAWeekly Radio recently, and disclosed that all in total he had two hand surgeries, two pins, six screws, and a plate inserted into his hand, a broken blood vessel in his eye, and a broken foot. All told at this point, Varner says he is about a month out from being able to punch again on his broken hand, and then he's ready to get back into camp and fight.
"September's when I'm looking to get back in there," Varner said. "I'm thinking the WEC will have me headline the card in September, and I'm hoping for that. I'm going to start training coming into this next week."
Josh Koscheck vs Frank Trigg possible for UFC 103 on Sept. 26; Matt Hughes also in the mix
Top-ranked welterweight contender, Josh Koscheck (12-4), and former number one division contender, Frank Trigg (19-6), are in talks to battle it out for 170-pound supremacy at UFC 103 on Sept. 26.
MMAmania.com learned earlier today about the likely match up; however, a venue is still unknown at this time (locations in the United Kingdom and Las Vegas are under under consideration) for the event. In addition, nine-time division kingpin, Matt Hughes, is also lurking in the shadows as a possible opponent for Koscheck … albeit on the outside.
When reached for comment, Koscheck indicated that he didn’t have a preference, saying “I’ll fight either one of those guys. Line them up back-to-back so I can beat one and then move onto the other. It’s nothing personal against them — Trigg and Hughes are both great fighters and a fight with either one of those guys would be a great show for the fans. And that is what it’s all about. I want big fights against big names, guys who will motivate me to train harder than ever before — Trigg and Hughes are those types of guys.”
“Kos” broke his toe back in April while training for his 170-pound match up with Chris Wilson at UFC 98, which would have marked his fourth fight in six months. The wrestling phenom is already back at full strength after spending the past few months on the disabled list, itching to return from the sidelines and get back to his winning ways.
Koscheck was recently upended when he walked into a Paulo Thiago uppercut at UFC 95: “Sanchez vs. Stevenson” last February. The referee jumped in to stop the action in the first round after Koscheck hit the canvas, which several onlookers, including Koscheck, felt was a premature stoppage.
He will no doubt look to exact revenge on his next opponent, which could very well be the the 37-year-old veteran welterweight who just this week signed a contract to return to the organization.
Yves Lavigne Stands By 98 Bradley-Nover Call
While it might have been a tough call to make, referee Yves Lavigne says he stands by his decision to stop the Kyle Bradley-Phillipe Nover fight at UFC 98 when he did. Lavigne said Nover's body language when he went to stop the fight said Nover was "out" even though Nover quickly recovered. Lavigne says he'll adjust accordingly for his next assignment after reviewing the fight, and NSAC head Keith Kizer supports Lavigne's decision on the stoppage.
Chicago out for 2009, but Indianapolis in UFC's sights for 2010
The Ultimate Fighting Championship will not return to Chicago in 2009 according to Marc Ratner, the UFC's vice president of regulatory affairs, but it may be coming to Indianapolis in 2010.
The UFC came to Chicago for the first time in October 2008 for UFC 90 at the Allstate Arena in suburban Rosemont. The event took place just about three months after mixed martial arts regulation took effect in Illinois.
Some of the cities in which the UFC puts on events, outside of its Las Vegas base, have become fairly regular blips on the MMA radar screen. Columbus, Ohio, has hosted a UFC pay-per-view each March the last three years. Montreal has played host to highly successful cards the last two Aprils. But that apparently won't be the case for Chicago -- at least yet.
"Our schedule is pretty well done for this year," Ratner said, saying Chicago is not on the promotion's calendar for 2009. "But yeah -- we'd like to go back to Chicago. It's a great, great market. Maybe to the United Center this time. But we're also looking at cities like Memphis, (and) we're going to go to Portland (for UFC 102) at the end of August. We're very ambitious."
Ratner said the Midwest has been a market that has worked for the UFC. In the last three years, the world's largest MMA promotion has put on events in Columbus, Cincinnati, Chicago, Minneapolis and Nashville in an attempt to go into as many new markets as possible.
And with legislation to regulate MMA in Indiana taking effect on July 1, the possibility for a UFC or World Extreme Cagefighting show in the Hoosier State comes into play. (The WEC is owned by Zuffa LLC, the same company that owns the UFC.) Chicago played host to WEC 40 in April.
Ratner said the UFC is interested in putting on a show in Indianapolis at Conseco Fieldhouse -- either a pay-per-view or a "Fight Night" card, which would air live on Spike TV -- and already has begun preliminary discussions to come to Indiana for the first time, but that would not happen until 2010 at the earliest.
WEC 41: Mir Out Of Booth, KenFlo In
Kenny Florian confirmed today in his email newsletter that he will replace Interim UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir in the broadcast booth for Sunday's WEC 41 event on Versus. No reason given for Mir's absence although it's probably due to Mir training for UFC 100.
Michael Bisping: Life Will Imitate Art On July 11
Michael Bisping, ahead of his UFC 100 fight against Dan Henderson, apaprently has found a unique way to train for the fight: UFC Undisputed 2009. He's been constantly playing as himself against Hendo-and winning-and thinks the outcome at UFC 100 will be the same in the real Octagon as in the virtual Octagon.
Marcus Davis Blog - Part 1
We’re just over two weeks away from what has become the most important fight of my whole career
in mixed martial arts, and the most important fight I’ve ever had in MMA or even in my professional or amateur boxing careers.
“Hate” is a very powerful word, I know. It gets thrown around a lot when people don’t really mean it, like “Aw, I hate mustard!” or “Aw, I hate this song”. But I hate my opponent at UFC 99.
I hate Dan Hardy.
Mauricio Rua Signs To Face Machida At UFC 104
According to sources within the fighter's camp, Mauricio Rua has signed to be the first challenger to new UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Ryoto (Lyoto) Machida. The fight, which likely is still pending Machida signing on, would probably happen at UFC 104 on October 24.
Dana White thinks Fedor Emelianenko will eventually end up in the UFC
“I would never cross-promote. Regarding Fedor, he either wants to come over and fight here or he doesn’t. If he came over and wanted to fight I’d do a deal with him in a minute. You know we’ve been chasing him since we bought Pride. In my opinion, I think it’s going to happen. He’d be crazy not to. I mean, why not? He’ll come over here and make a bunch of money and maybe even win the title and go down in history as the greatest heavyweight ever. The problem is it’s one thing for everyone to say it, I mean I can say, “Brock is the greatest heavyweight ever” but they have got to fight. It’s the only way to find out. We can argue about it all day but in the end you just have got to get out there and fight.”
Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua in Talks Regarding 'Really Big Fight', Potentially Lyoto Machida!
According to InsideFights.com, Dana White will be speaking with Mauricio "Shogun" Rua as potentially a challenger to the newly-crowned Light Heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida for a September matchup.
Dana White met with Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at the Zuffa offices today and is in the process of putting together what Dana calls a "really big fight".
Our gut feeling tells us that Lyoto Machida will be defending the light heavyweight belt against Rua in September. That would leave Machida without an opponent for the December show, since Rashad Evans and Rampage Jackson will likely be meeting on that card.
Fedor Emelianenko vs Josh Barnett can be one of the most anticipated fights in MMA history
“I consider Josh as one of the truly best in MMA, I think he is really in his prime right now. Just like when I fought Cro Cop, he was in his prime as well. At that time it was one of the most anticipated fights in MMA history (and) my fight with Josh can be that as well…. Every opponent is a danger for me and Barnett has a great ground game. He is capable of adjusting his gameplan any minute in the fight.”
The last man to hold the Pride FC heavyweight title and current WAMMA heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko (29-1) hypes his long-awaited fight against “The Babyface Assassin” at Affliction’s third venture, which is set to go down from the Honda Center in Los Angeles, Calif., on Aug. 1, 2009. There has been a lot of talk over the years that both Emelianenko and Barnett were avoiding meeting in the center of the ring because of the friendship they forged during their years under the Pride FC banner. It appears, however, that the showdown was inevitable — they are the last two men standing under the Affliction banner atop their respective division.
Rampage And Rashad Tapped For Coaching TUF 10
The UFC may have just thrown us a curveball.
The upcoming 10th season of "The Ultimate Fighter" will feature former UFC light heavyweight champions Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Rashad Evans as coaches, according to Fighter's Only.
So what about current champ Lyoto Machida, who won the title this past weekend at UFC 98?
So a little change of plans... I like this way more than holding the belt up...
GSP Makes Men’s Fitness 2009 MF 25
By dismantling UFC lightweight champion BJ Penn earlier this year, St-Pierre took ownership of the "best pound-for-pound fighter" mantle. GSP routinely kills it in the gym with strength and conditioning coach Jonathan Chaimberg, a fellow Montreal native. Chaimberg has taken him from only eight body-weight pullups per set to now banging them out with a 120-pound dumbbell attached to his waist. Normally 188 pounds, St-Pierre cuts about 20 pounds for a fight and carries only about 5% body fat. "He's probably the most gifted athlete you'll ever meet," says Chaimberg.
Rampage lets cat out of the bag on TUF
UFC president Dana White announced at the UFC 98 post-fight press conference that former light heavyweight titleholder Quinton "Rampage" Jackson will get the first crack at newly crowned Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida's belt. Speculation immediately arose whether Jackson and Machida would be coaches on the next season of the Spike TV reality show "The Ultimate Fighter."
White was asked point blank at the press conference if the coaches for the tenth season of the show had been picked. White confirmed they have been chosen, but wouldn't divulge any names.
"I'm not going to tell you. We start filming on the first and there's a media day on like the second or third. All your questions will be answered then," said White.
Jackson let the cat out of the bag on his Twitter account (twitter.com/rampage4real) late Wednesday night that he was a coach on the upcoming season.
It read, "Packing my stuff to move to Vegas to coach TUF!!"
"TUF" alumn Noah Thomas signs with WEC, replaces Eddie Wineland at WEC 41
Noah Thomas (13-4), a cast member from the fifth season of "The Ultimate Fighter," has replaced an injured Eddie Wineland (14-6-1) at next month's WEC 41 event.
Thomas will drop to 135 pounds to fight Frank Gomez (6-1) in a preliminary card bout.
WEC GM Reed Harris today announced via Twitter.com that Thomas had signed with the organization, and WEC PR Manager Dave Sholler confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that he'll take Wineland's spot on the WEC 41 card.
Ronnys Torres debuts at UFC Fight Night 19
After a knee injury forced him out of a UFC Fight Night 18 bout with Melvin Guillard, UFC newcomer Ronnys Torres (14-1 MMA 0-0 UFC) will now apparently make his octagon debut at UFC Fight Night 19.
Torres told Tatame he's slotted for the event, though no opponent has been determined.
Fight Night 19 is expected to take place Sept. 16.
Scott ‘Hands of Steel’ Smith winds up for Nick Diaz
Scott Smith’s road to Strikeforce has been filled with twists and turns, much like his recent fights that have kept fans on the edge of their seats.
Smith — who currently competes in the 185-pound division — began his career fighting at heavyweight nearly a decade ago. His first major appearance, however, came during a light heavyweight tournament under the World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) banner in 2005.