Babalu Goes For Strikeforce Gold On 9/20
Strikeforce today confirmed that their Light Heavyweight Champion, Bobby Southworth, will next defend against former UFC standout Renato "Babalu" Sobral on 9/20 at the Playboy Mansion. This fight will be the first of 2 in about 3 weeks for Babalu, who also is to fight again for Affliction in October.
Quick Quote: GSP Done For The Year?
It seems like everyone is expecting Georges St. Pierre vs. BJ Penn at 170 to headline the final UFC PPV of the year. Everyone except maybe GSP, who says he may call it a year now to rest & mentally recharge.
Tito Ortiz actively negotiating with AFFLICTION
LOS ANGELES – At a press luncheon on Tuesday, Affliction vice president Tom Atencio told MMAWeekly.com that negotiations are now underway with former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz. Affliction COO Michael Cohen confirmed that Ortiz is free to negotiate with the upstart company, and was working on a deal with Ortiz’s lawyers.
In an interview with SI.com last week, Ortiz confirmed he was working on a “groundbreaking record contract” with a company assumed to be Affliction. However, the outspoken fighter was a no-show at the press conference for “Day of Reckoning” in Las Vegas. Ortiz still appears to be persona non grata in UFC president Dana White’s book, but on more than one occasion, that has not come between Ortiz and a UFC contract.
As of yet, few details on the negotiation exist, but Atencio initially said the dollar signs associated with the record-breaking contract are the major sticking point.
“We’ve got a contract, and it’s just not feasible,” Atencio said.
Both Atencio and Cohen have fielded interest from a large number of free agents looking to sign with the new promotion. Affliction received a great deal of attention, much of it negative, for the 3-4 million dollars it paid to fighters in its first show, “Banned,” on July 19. Afterwards, Atencio told MMAWeekly.com one of his future concerns was to make sure fighters didn’t look at Affliction as a “cash cow.” And while there’s no doubt Ortiz can sell tickets for Affliction, it would come at a steep premium.
Affliction Slugfest? Big Ben vs. Mighty Mo Possible
Affliction is reportedly trying to put together Ben Rothwell vs. Siala "Mighty Mo" Siliga for their next PPV on October 11. The fight is pending K-1 approval as Mo could still be a wild card in the upcoming K-1 GP finals, and if he is invited the Affliction fight would be off.
Tim Kennedy planning to leave Armed Forces and pursue full-time MMA career
While not yet a household name in mixed martial arts, middleweight Tim Kennedy has all the tools needed to go far in the sport.
Despite an impressive 9-2 record with notable victories over Jason “Mayhem” Miller, Dante Rivera, Ryan McGivern, and Hector Urbina, Kennedy has yet to breakthrough into the sport’s upper-echelon at 185 pounds.
The issue for Kennedy has been that since 2001, he has competed in just 11 pro bouts. His part-time fight schedule can be directly attributed to the fact that he’s Staff Sargent with the United States Army.
For Penn, Lightweight is Right Weight
B.J. Penn’s clearly excited about the prospect of rematching UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre in December, but the prospect of the bout reveals far more potential downside than payoff for Penn, and the sport itself.
Tara LaRosa and Bobby Lashley booked for American Fight League's PPV debut
Within the next couple months, the American Fight League will attempt to find a success in a place most MMA organizations haven't: pay per view.
The Kentucky-based organization, which garnered some headlines earlier this summer with the signings of notable free agents such as top female fighter Tara LaRosa and former WWE star Bobby Lashley, will makes it PPV debut this fall, and the fight card is starting to take shape.
AFL Director of Public Relations Sean McClure today said that the organization is close to an official event announcement.
Randy and Fedor meet again. Talks between two camps.
MMAPayout.com has learned that Couture and Emelianenko, along with their respective management teams, have spent a great deal of time together in Los Angeles this week. The purpose of the informal summit is not entirely clear, but one logical goal of the meetings could be the development of a collective strategy moving forward in order to insure that [their] fight takes place, sooner rather than later.
Interesting to see where this goes.
Mike Massenzio plans to apply constant pressure during UFC debut
FiveOuncesOfPain.com broke the news several weeks ago that top East Coast prospect and former IFL middleweight Mike Massenzio had signed a four fight contract with the UFC and that he’s set to debut against Drew McFedries at UFC Fight Night 15 on Sept. 17.
Massenzio’s bout is currently slated to make the Spike TV portion of the card, which will be telecast as a lead-in for the eighth season of “The Ultimate Fighter.” It’s somewhat ironic that he’ll be debuting during a TUF premiere night considering he was recruited to be a part of the cast for TUF 7. But the UFC wasn’t alone in their desire for Massenzio. He has been on the radar of talent evaluators for several national organizations after amassing a 10-1 record in MMA following a standout wrestling career in Junior College.
Lyman Good expected to sign six-fight contract with EliteXC
With Elite Xtreme Combat expected to promote four shows between Sept. 20 and Oct. 20, it has had the promotion’s fight team working overtime coming up with potential matchups as well as signing new fighters to contracts in order to fill up the myriad bout slots.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com has learned that one new fighter about to sign with the promotion is undefeated welterweight prospect Lyman Good of Team Tiger Schulmann’s in New Jersey.
Officials with Team Tiger Schulmann contacted FiveOuncesOfPain.com to inform us that Good has been offered a six fight contract by EliteXC and is expected to sign it by week’s end.
ULTIMATE FIGHTER ALUMNUS SAM HOGER RETURNS
World Championship Fighting on Tuesday announced that former Ultimate Fighter reality show star Sam Hoger will return to mixed martial arts competition at the promotion’s Sept. 19 event in Wilmington, Mass.
Following a win over highly touted Bobby Southworth at the inaugural Ultimate Fighter Finale, Hoger’s time in the UFC was rocky, amassing a 2-3 record in the Octagon. His last two bouts for the promotion were decision losses to top light heavyweight contenders Rashad Evans and Lyoto Machida.
He then moved on to the International Fight League (IFL), where he dropped his lone bout for that promotion to UFC veteran Vernon “Tiger” White.
JIM MILLER VS DAVID BARON AT UFC 89
Two new additions to the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s lightweight roster will square off at UFC 89 in Birmingham, England as Jim Miller is set to do battle with David Baron, as confirmed to MMAWeekly.com by sources close to the fight.
Both Miller and Baron just recently signed with the UFC and this should be a fast-paced fight between two of the brightest rising stars in the sport.
Jim Miller almost had his UFC debut earlier this year in a bout against Marcus Aurelio, but his existing contract with the now defunct International Fight League (IFL) prevented the move.
Now Miller steps in to face David Baron, another top fighter brought in from abroad by the UFC to expand its international talent pool.
Hominick to take on Tommy Lee at TKO 35
Mark Hominick will look to avenge a 2003 loss when he takes on WEC veteran Tommy Lee at TKO 35 October 3rd, 2008. MMATraining.com confirmed the news with Hominick Tuesday morning. Lee defeated Hominick by knock out back in August of 2003 with a slam. The American, Lee holds a professional record of 22-6 and will look to build on his 3 fight win streak as he steps back into the cage at TKO 35 in Montreal.
Jared Hamman: Thankful and ready for rematch
Jared Hamman was looking to be that guy in EliteXC. You know, the one that grows up in the organization and moves onto huge things with it. But then came a Poia Suganuma right hand and right knee on April 5th and suddenly things had changed; suddenly there was a loss on his record where one previously hadn’t been. Was the fight stopped prematurely? Probably. But as Hamman puts it, “it’s still a loss.”
Of course, many of the better MMA fighters on this planet will tell you that coming back from a loss tells more about a fighter’s potential than anything else. In fact, one’s championship spirit can really only really be evaluated when adversity hits.
Josh "The Punk" Thomson Talks Anthony Johnson, Frank Shamrock, And Much More
Earlier this evening, I had the great pleasure of joining Larry Pepe of Pro MMA Radio for some post UFC 87 fight talk. We touched on a variety of issues including reactions from the event and the latest regarding rumors and possible match-ups for many of its participants. Click here to check out the audio from the show.
After our segment, Pep also welcomed in Josh "The Punk" Thomson, who had a number of very interesting takes on everything from Anthony Johnson's recovery to his budding feud with Frank Shamrock. Below are just a few of the highlights from this very candid interview:
Randy Couture Speaks
Couture: Well, the language in [my UFC] contract is pretty clear. It’s 18 months or four fights and the 18 months expired on July 19, so we’re in a 30-day grace period for negotiating or re-negotiating with the UFC. If they find a way to make the Fedor fight happen, I’ll be all over it, but I don’t really see that happening realistically. The non-compete clause expires on Oct. 10, a year from when I resigned, and so I’ll be able to go back to work commentating and working with the other promotions and getting back into the business of MMA.
UFC Quick Quote: Jason MacDonald feels stupid
I don’t know what went wrong in my head. I don’t know what happened and why I chose to fight that fight on the ground. Sure I made the fight exciting and I’ve gotten lots of positive responses on how well I did on the ground with a guy like Maia. But at the end of the day, he caught me and that’s what he does best. I played into his game. It was a stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid fight on my behalf. And I take the full blame 100 percent for it. I’ll take it right on the forehead like I took those hundred elbows from Maia. And that’s that. I’m pretty disappointed because Maia was beatable if I had held that fight standing up. And I paid the price for not doing it.
– UFC middleweight Jason ‘The Athlete’ MacDonald grounds and pounds himself on Sportsnet.ca for not following his gameplan or the instructions from his corner during his submission loss to grappling phenom Demian Maia at UFC 87: ‘Seek and Destroy’ on August 9.