Once laughed at, the lightweights are taking over
Jens Pulver's Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight title defense against B.J. Penn in January of 2002 should have been the last time anyone questioned the idea of having 155-pounders headline a pay-per-view event.
The belief that undersized fighters could deliver at the till was ludicrous to many. American mixed martial arts fans were so obsessed with heavier fighters and their presumptive knockout power, they argued, that there wasn't time to care about skinny lightweights.
Yet there they were, "L'il Evil" and "The Prodigy," overshadowing "The Iceman." And Murilo Bustamante's middleweight-title win over Dave Menne in the Octagon? Just a mere prelude to the evening's main event.
Cale Yarbrough's Episode 7 Blog
So, here goes another blog. I ate sushi with some friends and wasn't able to get home in time to catch the episode so we walked to my buddy Gardner's bar and watched it there. So I wasn't really able to catch the audio but I was able to see what was going down.
Gerald picked Amir which seemed like a really good match up. We all knew what Gerald's gameplan was. Gerald is a big, strong wrestler so we knew he would try to slam Amir on his head and smash him on the ground (which he did).... (Check out the rest of his blog on his site.)
‘MMA Live’ on ESPN.com to debut online tonight with host Kenny Florian
ESPN — the worldwide leader in sports – is set to debut a half-hour long online show on ESPN.com dubbed “MMA Live,” which will be hosted by top UFC lightweight contender, Kenny Florian, according to MMAWeekly.com.
“MMA Live” will debut on ESPN.com today (Thursday, May 15) at 7 p.m. ET and will cover the latest mixed martial arts news from the top organizations in the sport such as UFC, Elite XC, Dream and others. It will eventually — if all goes well — feature fighters interviews and other specials.
Here’s a snip from “Ken-Flo:”
“(It’s) kind of a fast-paced show on the current news and events going on in the sport. There’s a whole lot of guys at ESPN that have been trying to get this done I guess for two years…. It’s strictly going to be on ESPN.com. It’s not going to be on TV as of right now. Basically they’re going to do a run for three shows on ESPN.com and see what the response is, see how it does. Then if it goes well, we’ll do a regular thing on the Internet, and if it does even better, then possibly you’ll see it on TV.”
Florian will be joined by co-hosts John Anik and Franklin McNeil from the Newark Star-Ledger.
UFC, Spike Working On UFN 14 For September
According to sources familiar with the event, both UFC and Spike are working on finalizing details for UFC Fight Night 14. This next installment would likely be held on September 17 and serve as the lead-in to the premiere of The Ultimate Fighter 8.
American Gladiators To Feature Another MMA Fighter
The TV show "American Gladiators" will soon feature its first contestant who also happens to be an MMA fighter. Aaron Simpson, an Arizona Combat Sports fighter, will be a contender on the current season of the series on a future show, competing alongside his wife who will be a women's contender.
Florian Hosting New ESPN MMA Show
A new online show focusing on the world of mixed martial arts called "MMA Live" is set to debut exclusively on ESPN.com Thursday night (tonight) at 7 p.m. ET. UFC Lightweight Kenny Florian will be one of the show's hosts.
Interview With Former UFC Champion Matt Hughes
Matt Hughes is highly-regarded as the best 170-pound fighter in the history of the UFC. He is a future hall of famer, and a legend in the sport of MMA. He has a phenomenal 42-6-0 professional MMA record, including an 18 fight win streak. A former UFC welterweight champion, Hughes holds notable wins over BJ Penn, Georges St. Pierre, Frank Trigg, Royce Gracie, Hayato Sakurai, and Sean Sherk.
Affliction VP Atencio Debunks Rumors
After months of hush-hush negotiations and a rumor mill working overtime, clothing company Affliction has stepped out of the shadows to announce its entry into fight promotion.
In an appearance on “Inside MMA” last week, Affliction vice president Tom Atencio announced a card to be held July 19 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., featuring a laundry list of top fighters including the ever-elusive Fedor Emelianenko.
Several published reports have put Emelianenko’s asking price at between $1.5 and $2 million. On top of that, a report on Sports Illustrated’s online magazine put total value of fighter’s purses north of $6 million.
Get To Know Them: The Life Of An MMA Photographer
In his most recent online column, former UFC fighter Sean Salmon wrote about Tracy Lee, a photographer who works various MMA events and training camps. Salmon says she's proof that you don't have to be a pretty face with a camera to get close to fighters and their camps & after-parties.
Matt Hamill The Subject Of A Movie
UFC Light Heavyweight Matt Hamill, the first deaf fighter in the UFC, will be the subject of a movie about his early life and wrestling career. Titled "Hamill", the movie is to be released in 2009 and will star Eban Kostbar as Hamill.
MMA Hotbed Shut Down, Start Of Trend?
A recent hotbed of mixed martial arts talent, Arizona State University on Tuesday announced the discontinuation of its wrestling program due primarily to budget constraints. Cain Velasquez, C.B. Dollaway, Ryan Bader, and Aaron Simpson are all ASU alums. They all emerged from the university’s wrestling program. This could be the start of a trend among educational institutions, potentially a future detriment to MMA.
Affliction Not Airing On HDNet
Yet. Despite rumors that HDNet was a possible carrier and had a rumored deal to air Affliction, HDNet executives have confirmed those rumors as false. There is a chance, however, that a deal could be made at some point down the road.
Carano on ESPN E:60
The E:60 crew talking about Carano and MMA. These people have no idea what they are talking about, but at least it is prime time coverage.
EliteXC Plans Women's Title, All-Female Fight Card
During a conference call today, EliteXC president Gary Shaw announced plans to create a Women's Title for the promotion, and possibly an all-women fight card to air on TV in '09. The first women's title would be at 140 with other weight classes possibly getting titles later.