Yoshihiro Akiyama: Heart and spirit for the game
Top ranked middleweight and highly regarded Judoka Yoshihiro Akiyama is set to wage his first battle on American soil this Saturday evening at UFC 100 as he faces off with the always dangerous Alan Belcher.
A 2002 Gold Medalist in Judo at the Asian Games, Akiyama will be looking to throw his way to the top of the UFC’s stacked 185 pound weight class.
“What I would like to do is show everyone that Judoka can be successful, even in the UFC,” the native to Osaka, Japan was quoted as saying in a recent video interview on UFC.com.
BJ Penn: ‘I’m making sure not to overtrain’ for UFC 101
“The training’s going great for UFC 101. I’m making sure not to overtrain. And, you know we started a couple months ago, and I’m training with Marv Marinovich, and we’ll be spending our last 8 weeks in California with a bunch of good training partners, with Marv Marinovich there, Jason Parillo will be there, Rudy Valentino’s gonna fly up, so I feel VERY good about this training camp…"
Stephan Bonnar not looking to get hammered on July 11
“I just need a win, and a win over a big name. We’ll take it from there. I’m not going to be like demanding a title fight or anything. Just climb up that ladder, that’s all I see it as. I know I always have that feeling, something to prove, but I especially have it now..."
UFC 100 Forgotten Storyline: Is Paulo Thiago For Real?
Among the storylines somewhat hidden due to the stacked card at this weekend's UFC 100 is whether or not Brazilian Paulo Thiago has the goods to become a true welterweight title contender.
Thiago debuted at UFC 95 in February, signing a one-fight deal. His opponent was Josh Koscheck, making Thiago a decided underdog in the match, but shockingly, he TKO'd the usually durable Koscheck in the first round.
Nate Diaz vs Melvin Guillard announced for UFC Fight Night 19 on Sept. 16
A lightweight contest between "The Ultimate Fighter" veterans Nate Diaz (10-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC) and Melvin Guillard (23-7-2 MMA, 5-3 UFC) is set for the main event of UFC Fight Night 19.
The UFC today officially announced the contest, as well as confirming the previously reported bout between Roger Heurta and Gray Maynard.
UFC Fight Night 19, a Spike TV-broadcast event that will serve as the lead-in for the debut episode of "The Ultimate Fighter 10," takes place Sept. 16 at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City.
A cage full of UFC memories
Marcus Davis was a 19-year-old professional boxer the night he sat down to watch UFC 1 in 1993. He didn’t know a thing about jiu-jitsu or grappling, but what he knew, or at least what he thought he knew, was that he could pummel the crap out of that skinny guy rolling around on the ground twisting arms and choking people.
Davis laughed when UFC 1 was over and Royce Gracie, who weighed all of 180 pounds soaking wet, came out as the tournament winner.
“Being a boxer and watching guys with what I considered horrible standup and seeing a guy who was 180 pounds at most taking guys out and making them quit, well, I had no concept of what was happening,” Davis said. “The only conclusion I could draw was that it was fake. I thought the whole thing was phony. It’s the only thing that made sense to me.”
Manny Tapia meets former WEC champ Eddie Wineland at WEC 43 in September
Two fighters both in need of a win will square off at WEC 43 when Manny Tapia (10-2-1 MMA, 2-2 WEC) meets former WEC bantamweight champion Eddie Wineland (14-6-1 MMA, 1-2 WEC).
The bout was first reported by Matt Erickson of The Northwest Times of Indiana. WEC officials could not immediately confirm the matchup when contacted by MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), but Wineland himself confirmed the bout in the NTI report.
WEC 43 takes place Sept. 2 at the Covelli Centre in Youngstown, Ohio, and features a main event of Donald Cerrone vs. Benson Henderson for the WEC's interim lightweight title.
Matt Jaggers vs. Chan Sung Jung grand prix reserve bout set for Sengoku Ninth Battle
A bout between Chan Sung Jung (6-1) and Matt Jaggers (11-5) that will serve as the night's featherweight grand prix reserve bout is set for World Victory Road's upcoming Sengoku Ninth Battle event.
The Aug. 2 event features the semifinals and finale of the organization's featherweight tournament and takes place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Jaggers was eliminated in the first round of the 16-slot tournament in March, and Jung was eliminated in the second round two months later.
Lavar Johnson Currently in Stable Condition Following Surgery
Strikeforce heavyweight fighter Lavar Johnson is recovering at a local Bakersfield, Calif., hospital after what appears to have been a successful surgery Monday morning.
When FanHouse contacted Zinkin Entertainment, the organization which represents Johnson, a publicist issued this update:
"Lavar underwent surgery this morning for internal injuries. The surgery was a success, and he is currently in stable condition. He sustained life-threatening injuries to internal organs. We ask for everyone to continue to keep Lavar in their prayers."
JAKE O'BRIEN WANTS TO STEAL JON JONES' THUNDER
Jake O’Brien (11-2) is experiencing a bit of déjà vu. It’s his third time serving as a gatekeeper to a division’s upper level.
The 24-year-old freestyle wrestler turned fighter is 1-1 in the spoiler role, having defeated Pride standout Heath Herring in January 2007 and lost to fast rising Cain Velasquez last July.
On July 11, he’s aiming to rain on another prospect’s parade, Jon Jones, this time as a light heavyweight. Jones is a 21-year-old terror that grabbed headlines with an unconventional, go for broke style that dispatched Andre Gusmao and Stephan Bonnar. O’Brien’s is unconvinced that his opponent is the next big thing.
Aleksander Emelianenko would like to fight in the UFC
Surrounded by an aura of danger and mystery, Aleksander Emelianenko is one of the scariest men on the planet. The younger brother of consensus number one heavyweight in the world Fedor Emelianenko, Aleks has forged his own path to stardom.
Although still unknown to many of today’s Ultimate Fighter raised MMA fans in the U.S., Aleks has made it clear that will one day change. At only 27 years of age, the Saint-Petersburg born heavyweight plans on fighting for many years to come.
Middleweight Michael Bisping suggests title fight hangs in balance at UFC 100
With UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva busy preparing for his Aug. 8 light-heavyweight showdown with Forrest Griffin, the next challenger for "The Spider's" middleweight crown may very well be decided on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
While Dan Henderson (24-7 MMA, 4-2 UFC) has openly stated he expects a second shot at Silva should he defeat Michael Bisping (17-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) at UFC 100, "The Count" recently said he's under the impression a win would also get him a shot at the 185-pound title.
Tim Credeur and Nate Quarry set for UFN 19
Middleweights Tim Credeur (12-2 MMA, 3-0 UFC) and Nate Quarry (11-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) are the latest additions to UFC Fight Night 19 in September, as the two middleweights have agreed to meet in a bout expected for the evening's main card.
Bout agreements have been distributed for the contest, and both fighters are expected to finalize the contracts over the next several days.
Sengoku Adds FWGP Reserve Fight, Another Judo Medalist To 8/2 Event
Recession? What recession? If there is one nobody has told the people spending the money at World Victory Road, as they've broken out the checkbooks again to add talent to Sengoku 9 on 8/2. This time they've signed 2004 Olympic judo silver medalist Hiroshi Izumi, who won his medal in the 90kg division, and also added a Featherweight GP reserve fight of Chan Sung Jung vs. Matt Jaggers.
DaMarques Johnson Signs Multi-Fight UFC Contract
Popular TUF 9 welterweight finalist DaMarques Johnson and has signed a multi-fight contract with the UFC. The news comes courtesy of The Salt Lake Tribune.
Johnson is coming off a solid overall showing during his time on Spike TV's The Ultimate Fighter Season 9. The Jeremy Horn trained fighter made his way to the TUF 9 welterweight final before being stopped by James Wilks via first round submission.
Leading UK MMA org folds; follows collapse of Cage Rage and Cage Warriors
Leading UK MMA promotion Cage Gladiators has today announced it has ceased operations and will no longer be staging events.
The Liverpool-based event produced a number of current UFC fighters, including Terry Etim and Paul Kelly, as well as hosting internationals such as Melvin Manhoef and Paul Cahoon.
Cage Gladiators released a statement this afternoon. "After many successful MMA events Cage Gladiators Ltd is sad to announce that it will no longer be putting on MMA events and is ceasing trading," it read.