Full card set for June 19 "Strikeforce: Villasenor vs. Cyborg" event in Washington
The fight card is complete for Strikeforce's next major show, a Strikeforce Challengers event featuring a middleweight main event between Joey Villasenor (26-6) and Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos (16-12).
The event takes place Friday, June 19, at the ShoWare Center in Kent, Wash., and airs on Showtime.
In addition to a co-main event of Tim Kennedy (9-2) vs. Nick Thompson (38-10-1), the card features Strikeforce newcomer Jorge Gurgel, veteran Dennis Hallman and a women's bout between Shayna Baszler (9-5) and Sarah Kaufman (8-0).
Strikeforce Challengers, initially called "SHO MMA" before a recent name change, was designed to showcase top prospects. However, as Strikeforce shuffles around its current roster after an influx of talent acquired from ProElite, some notables names will appear on the initial Challengers cards.
For Cain Velasquez, UFC Title Is the Goal, but Not Right Away
Cain Velasquez is an undefeated heavyweight who's preparing for the toughest test of his career when he faces Cheick Kongo on Saturday at UFC 99, and he says his goal is to win the UFC heavyweight title. But the 26-year-old Velasquez, who only got into MMA four years ago after his wrestling career at Arizona State ended, says he can be patient.
In an interview with FanHouse, Velasquez said that even if he beats Kongo on Saturday, he doesn't expect to get the next shot at the UFC title. He's just looking to add one more win to his fast growing resume. The full interview is below.
At UFC 99, Mirko Cro Cop Expects to Have the Fans on His Side
Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic is one of the most popular mixed martial arts fighters in the world, but his most devoted fans -- the ones in his native Croatia -- haven't had many opportunities to see him fight. Cro Cop has fought almost exclusively in Japan, so as he prepares to fight in Continental Europe for the first time ever at UFC 99 in Cologne, Germany, he says he expects to have a big contingent of fans with him when he takes on Mostapha Al Turk.
"Many friends of mine are traveling," Cro Cop told me Tuesday on a call to promote UFC 99. "My brothers, my brothers-in-law, my father-in-law, my family will be taking their own cars to Cologne. Many, many people are going in their cars. It's only about 10 hours of driving to get there. Many, many, many people are coming, people are organizing trips, and definitely, many Croatian fans will be there."
Glazer Training MMA With Leinart Seems A Little Too Close for Comfort
So, how has Arizona Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart been spending his offseason? Why, he's doing some MMA training with FOX Sports' NFL reporter, Jay Glazer, of course.
Above is video evidence of one of Leinart's intense training sessions at Arizona Combat Sports. Even UFC fighters, Ryan Bader and Aaron Simpson, make an appearance to talk about Leinart's passion for MMA training.
UFC 99 Video: Six Fights Guaranteed on Pay-Per-View, 'A Sick Card'
The UFC 99 video blogs have started, with Dana White going through the video intro to Saturday's UFC 99 pay-per-view show.
After we see the video introductions of Mostapha Al Turk vs. Mirko Cro Cop, Caol Uno vs. Spencer Fisher, Dan Hardy vs. Marcus Davis, Mike Swick vs. Ben Saunders, Cheick Kongo vs. Cain Velasquez and Wanderlei Silva vs. Rich Franklin, White talks about how excited he is.
Jake Shields only wants big fights now.
"I just want to do the big fights," said Jake Shields after his first-round submission of No. 2 ranked middleweight Robbie Lawler at Strikeforce on Saturday night. "I think I showed I can fight at both. I bulked up a little for this fight. I'm still moving good. I'm in great shape. I think I can fight at either weight.
"Obviously guys are a little bigger at middleweight, but I feel like I'm faster there, so I'll fight where ever they want me."
Talking to MMAWeekly.com on Monday, Shields added, "I felt really comfortable up there. Robbie's obviously a strong guy, but I didn't feel overwhelmed by him at all. I definitely could deal with him."
6/28 DEEP Toyama Impact - Fight Order
DEEP have put together a good card for their DEEP Toyama Impact event. With 2 events in 3 days, it is impressive what they have managed. This will be a rare occation to see a title fight in the Toyama area, and it should be a good one too. The champion Miku Matsumoto will get a chance to revenge her loss to Lisa Ward, a loss that dates 3 years back and the only loss she is yet to revenge. This should be an awesome fight between 2 of the world's top female fighters.
Strikeforce expects return to St. Louis, further eastern expansion in near future
This past weekend's Strikeforce event could be just the start of the California-based Strikeforce promotion's expansion across America.
Prior to the June 6 "Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields" event at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, the organization had never ventured any further east than Colorado.
However, as MMAjunkie.com's Dann Stupp details in this week's "MMA Insider" column for the Dayton Daily News, the success of the St. Louis show could mean further shows for the Gateway City and other locales near and on the East Coast.
Kawajiri Possibly Returning To K-1
Coming off a win at DREAM 9 that has earned him a Lightweight title shot, Tatsuya Kawajiri may be headed back to K-1 for a second fight. Although not yet official, the plan is to have "Crusher" face K-1 star Masato in a Superfight on July 13 as part of the K-1 World Max 2009 Tournament Final 8 event. The K-1 vs. MMA concept was very popular with fans in Japan and parent company FEG liked the concept.
Carwin Cleared To Spar, Targeting Fall Return
Coming off a badly broken nose suffered in his huge victory over Gabriel Gonzaga, Shane Carwin recently said he was cleared to resume sparring last week and, while he doesn't have an opponent in mind, is targeting a September or October return to UFC. He says he likes 3 months' notice before a fight but will be ready when UFC calls.
Andrei Arlovski: ‘I got my ass kicked, it’s that simple’
From The Pitbull's Website:
The loss bothers me, it hurts me. I have to do something about this. (Brett Rogers) had a good record, but I thought he was not the top like Fedor or Barnett. It was my mistake and when you make a mistake you have to pay for it. I took Rogers seriously, but I didn’t think the fight would have been this situation. I focused too much on boxing and not enough on the wrestling and jiu-jitsu. It wasn’t right. It’s another thing I have to think about. MMA is not boxing. I have to change something. I don’t understand this question about my chin. When you open your face for four or five punches it doesn’t matter your chin, you will get KOed. Rogers was great, he did what he did. I took the fight and I got my ass kicked, it’s that simple. It’s embarrassing, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I have to move on. I’m definitely going to come back.
UFC Signs Cro Cop For UFC 99 On Verbal Agreement, No Contract
When asked on a conference call Tuesday how many fights Cro Cop had on his new UFC contract, White said it was up in the air.
"Mirko and I are working on that still," White said. "Mirko Cro Cop ended up on this card last minute, weeks before the event, and this whole deal was done verbally over the phone with me and him."
Something To Prove, CroCop Returns To The UFC
For Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic motivation is the sole reason he fights at an elite level.
The Croatian kickboxer turned MMA fighter Tuesday spoke to the media of his return to the UFC after a 21-month absence. He faces British fighter Mustapha Al-Turk at UFC 99 in Cologne, Germany on Saturday.
Filipovic lost two of his three appearances in the Octagon after winning the Pride Absolute Grand Prix in dominating fashion almost three years ago. There were physical problems to contend with, Cro Cop said, like his knee and foot, but mostly, his mind wasn't right after the tournament.
Despite Headaches, UFC 99 & 101 Nearly Sold Out
Resistance be damned, UFC president Dana White says UFC 99 will go on.
The promotion’s first trip to Germany hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing.
Front page news decrying mixed martial arts as a bloodsport was the first harbinger of trouble. Now, television partner Setanta Sports could go under before it gets a chance to televise the event for British audiences.
All in a day’s work, says White.
UFC 99 IS AT 195, BUT 205 IS FRANKLIN'S HOME
Rich Franklin has caught the catchweight fever, but don’t expect him to fall below 205 pounds for the foreseeable future.
This Saturday, the former middleweight champion headlines UFC 99 with Wanderlei Silva at 195 pounds, 10 lighter than his previous two outings. For the third time, he’s crossing time zones for a big fight, this one at the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany.
Silva walks around between 210 and 220 pounds and is on his way down to middleweight.
UFC 99: MUSTAPHA AL-TURK READY FOR CRO COP
If a man is less than fazed about the return of Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic to the UFC, it is British heavyweight Mustapha Al-Turk.
“I was initially taken aback at the announcement, but hey, it’s a big opportunity for me and since then I have just immersed myself in training. He is an opponent like any other. I take all of them seriously.”
The encounter – which is slated to kick off the main card of UFC 99 in Cologne, Germany, on the June 13 – will mark Al-Turk’s second venture into the promotion’s heavyweight ranks following a disappointing debut against Wolfslair product Cheick Kongo. He is keen to make a different impression this time round.
UFC 99: Mike Swick Looking for Impressive Win, Seeks "Big Fight"
Mike Swick (13-2) vs. Ben Saunders (7-0-2) could easily be considered one of the best matchups at UFC 99. The welterweight tilt will pit two Ultimate Fighter alums in what could be deemed a situation in which Swick has much to lose while Saunders could gain considerable momentum in the divisional picture. Saunders will see a substantial step up in competition against Swick after defeating Dan Barrera, Ryan Thomas, and Brandon Wolff while Swick rides a three-fight win streak with wins Josh Burkman, Marcus Davis, and Jonathan Goulet.
UFC Fighters Weigh In On Kimbo
Four top UFC fighters have given their opinion on Kevin 'Kimbo Slice' Ferguson joining the cast of The Ultimate Fighter season ten.
Rich Franklin, Wanderlei Silva, Marcus Davis and Dan Hardy gave their take on the controversial former streetfighter ahead of their fights at UFC 99 this weekend.