Houston Alexander Denies UFC Firing Rumors and Says He’s Sticking by His Coaches
Houston Alexander has apparently heard internet rumors to the effect that he’s been dropped from the UFC or has fired his entire coaching staff or desperately needs to learn the ground game. Oh, wait. That last part’s not a rumor. Anyway, the point is, he’s sick of it. So to clear the air and talk directly to fans without the filter of the MMA media, he turned to the Fight Magazine MMA blog:
People keep asking me what my plans are, they have read things all over the internet about my future with the UFC and how I am firing my coaching staff. So I thought I would address the rumors and my upcoming plans.
NO – I have not lost my UFC contract.
NO – I have not fired my coaching staff.
NO – I am not going to step down and fight for smaller organizations.
The loss last month was tough, but life goes on. People need to remember that I have only been fighting professionally for a year and a half. I have made great strides during that time, as well as faced some setbacks. My training will continue and we are looking at visiting some of the larger camps for additional training and strategy for my next fight. I have a lot to learn and am hoping to have everything straightened out before I enter the cage next time.
UFC Coming To Scotland........If Anywhere is Big Enough
Scotland is proving to be a difficult nut to crack for the UFC as it continues its European expansion - because there are no venues in the country big enough.
Glasgow is the most likely prospect to host a show if the UFC does travel there, even though its arena holds less than 6,000 people.
"Scotland is a region that we'd love to be in," UFC UK division president Marshall Zelaznik told Tough Talk
"The venues are a little small there for us so we're trying to figure out if we can bring one there even if it doesn't offer the 9,000, 12,000 or 15,000 seats.
"There's a 5400 seat arena in Glasgow at Braehead, which is probably the best venue for us now, so we'd love to be there."
Scotland is home to a significant UFC fanbase and the organisation has noted that many fans at UK shows have travelled from there.
Such ticket-buyer analysis was the reason that the UFC went to Newcastle in January, as UK ticket sales have been particularly consistent in the north-east of England.
In January, the UFC will make its Republic of Ireland debut when it stages a show at the newly-expanded O2 Arena in Dublin.
The show will be headlined by Rich Franklin and Dan Henderson, while Mauricio ‘Shogun' Rua and Mark Coleman will clash in a co-main event.
Jake Rosholt vs Nissen Osterneck WEC 36 fight set
We reported yesterday that Danillo Villefort was having trouble getting back into the United States because of visa issues, forcing him to be pulled from the WEC 36 card on November 5. He was scheduled to face Jake Rosholt (4-0) in a middleweight bout.
Today, MMAmania.com can confirm that undefeated submission specialist Nissen Osterneck (5-0) has been tapped as his fill-in.
Osterneck is a very dangerous threat toward Rosholt’s undefeated record. He’s an accomplished grappler, sporting a record of (64-4) on the jiu-jitsu circuit and holds a purple belt under the legendary Relson Gracie.
He’s the Gracie Fighting Championships Evolution Champion, the Fight Party Full Throttle 8 Champion, the Gracie Proving Ground Champion, the International Sport Combat Federation Invasion Champion, the four time South Carolina Grappling Champion, and the 2006 Gracie National Champion after submitting 13 guys in one day to win the title.
In short, his jiu-jitsu is sick.
Kaitlin Young vs Sarah Kaufman Elite XC fight set for Showtime
Continuing the theme of having at least one female match on each of its big events, Elite XC announced today that Minnesota Martial Arts Academy standout Kaitlin Young (4-2) will face off against undefeated Canadian Sarah Kaufman on the Showtime card set for the Reno Events Center in Reno, Nevada, on November 8.
Young was soundly defeated by Gina Carano during the May 31 debut for the promotion on CBS, but she proved to be a gamer while taking a good deal of punishment during the two round bout. She wanted to continue for a third round, but the fight was called by a ringside doctor because her faced was banged up pretty good.
She trains with one of the top camps in MMA where she gets quality sparring and training with fighters like Kelly Kobald. The camp is also known for producing fighters with great cardio by instilling the “caveman training” made popular by Sean Sherk.
UFC CLARIFIES MEDICAL INSURANCE CLAIMS BY TITO
In a statement released to MMAWeekly.com on Tuesday night, former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz openly discussed his ongoing bout with back problems and his decision to have surgery to repair his back.
“I have made it though the last eight fights by physical therapy, methylprednisolone pills, and spinal injections for my last three fights,” he recounted. “I took it upon myself to get surgery in hopes that my fight career will jump back on track and I will be back to the explosive monster I always have been.”
He didn’t stop there, however. In his statement, Tito went on to claim that his former employer, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, denied the claims for medical coverage for his back.
“The kicker to this whole story is that the UFC denied my claim for coverage of my debilitating back injury obviously acquired in the Octagon,” he said. “After all of the battling, and allegiance I pledged to them, they now have stooped so low as to not give me the medical care I so desperately needed.”
- TOP 10 FEATHERWEIGHTS CLASH AT WEC 37
IFL featherweight champion Wagnney Fabaiano will make his World Extreme Cagefighting debut on Dec. 3 as he takes on former Shooto lightweight champion Akitoshi Tamura at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. MMAWeekly.com was also able to confirm the fight with sources close to the fight.
Nelson Unhappy With Politics of Arlovski Fight
Following a successful run as International Fight League heavyweight champion, Roy Nelson suffered his first loss in his last six fights after he faced off against former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski at CBS-EliteXC Saturday Night Fights.
I'm starting to think EliteXC might have wanted people to stand because they know they are presenting MMA to a wide variety of people, most of whom do not understand the ground game at all? Either way, they need to be off CBS ASAP.
If this is already posted please delete, I looked but not that hard.
Scott Smith vs Hector Lombard Elite XC fight booked for Nov. 8
Former middleweight number one contender Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith (13-5) and Cuban Judo Olympian Hector “Shango” Lombard (17-2-1) will soon duke it out the Reno Events Center in Reno, Nevada, adding another exciting bout to the main card of Elite XC’s November 8 Showtime event.
Smith has been busy over the past few months feuding with division champion Robbie Lawler. The two competed against one another in the “Fight of the Night” during the debut for Elite XC on CBS back in May before having the bout ruled a no contest in the third round after and inadvertent eye poke.
The rematch went down two months later during the second CBS event. This time, however, Lawler proved to be too much for the challenger, handing him a second round technical knockout with some vicious body kicks and strikes.
Smith’s road back to a title shot will not begin with an easy fight — Lombard is a highly touted prospect with a solid mixed martial arts resume.
Ricardo Arona heads back to RINGS; gives Wandy the hat trick
“Quinton is a great fighter, but only when he’s doing well in the fight. When he fights someone like me or Wanderlei he doesn’t like it, tries the takedowns and gets lost. Wanderlei needs to do the same gameplan, doesn’t need to change anything. Quinton has a ******* hand, if he hits you, you’ll feel it, but it’s the perfect game for Wanderlei.”
– Light heavyweight standout Ricardo Arona, who is scheduled to return to the Japanese mixed martial arts promotion RINGS in 2009, weighs in on Wanderlei Silva vs Quinton Jackson III for UFC 92 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, on December 27. The Brazilian knows a thing or two about both men, having competed against them back in PRIDE FC.
Sokoudjou Contemplates Career In Porn And (Hopefully) Luis Cane
With just two years of professional experience, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou has quickly become one of the more successful and likable new figures in MMA. At 24 years old, early signs indicate Sokoudjou will have a bright future in the Octagon … as long as the UFC doesn’t lose him to the pornography industry first.
In this short Q&A published in advance of his upcoming bout with Luis Cane at next Saturday’s UFC 89, the Cameroonian judo practitioner says if he hadn’t gotten into MMA, he’d be a porn star. We assume he was joking, but with Sokoudjou you never can tell.
Remember, this is the same guy who once famously played up his nickname as the “African Assassin” by telling Japanese reporters that he trains with “animals in the jungle.” This is the same guy who responded to a glut of Photoshopped pictures of him on the Internet by showing up for his UFC debut wearing a Predator mask. The same guy who claims that he got “beat down by a girl” the first time he trained in Muay Thai.
Boxing Imitates The UFC
London-based boxing promoter Frank Maloney has decided to incorporate a new concept into his business - he is now offering bonus money to the ‘Boxer of the night’ on his future shows.
The idea of bonuses for fighters would be a new innovation for boxing event producing but it is standard procedure for the UFC which has been awarding bonuses to match winners for many years now.
Maloney is best known in the boxing world for being the long-time promoter of former Heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis as well as his flamboyant Union Jack outfits which he wore to many world title fights. These days, Maloney mostly promotes local shows in England and says he will offer a 500-pound bonus to the ‘Boxer of the night’ which will be determined in a yet-to-be specified way (by text, posting a coupon from the show program or logging onto Maloney’s web site).
Cordeiro: “Quinton wanted to train with me”
Considered one of the best MMA coaches of the world, Rafael Cordeiro is running the Chute Boxe branch in USA, and celebrates the good moments of the team. With more than 70 athletes and training in it’s own training center, Rafael believes that now Chute Boxe will show her work in America. In an exclusive chat with TATAME, Cordeiro revealed that one of the biggest opponents of the team in the past, Quinton Jackson, that fought Wanderlei Silva, Maurício Shogun and Murilo Ninja, wanted to train with him to face Wanderlei again, at UFC 92.
“I heard something that he wanted to train with me and, when I knew it was his reparation to fight Wanderlei, I didn’t accept.
Chris Leben is older, wiser and … better?
“They say as we get older, we get smarter. I guess I’ve kind of got to agree a little bit. I still like to have fun, I still like to get my heart rate up, do exciting things. After my last little stint in jail, a lot of things that have happened to me in my life, I’ve realized there’s a lot of situations that are good fun, safe fun, beneficial fun - and then there’s other kinds of fun and situations that I now choose to abstain from…. Believe or not, moving to Hawaii definitely is not a difficult move. For me or for anybody for that matter. I had just an awesome opportunity. (Icon’s) T.J. Thompson offered me a job out here, being the head coach at Icon Sport. I came out to check it out. Everything clicked great and just things started falling into place and I tell you what I couldn’t be happier. I can’t tell you the future but I can tell you I’m definitely happy right now…. More than anything, a gradual progress. I think obviously maturing as a person and again as a fighter and being a coach, now I can’t tell the guys I’m training with, do this, don’t do that - when I’m doing something different. To some extent, I’ve got to walk the line.”
PETRUZELLI ADDRESSES PAYOFF CONTROVERSY AND FUTURE WITH ELITEXC
In just a matter of 2 hours, Seth Petruzelli went from an undercard fighter to the man who would soon knock out Internet and YouTube legend, Kimbo Slice, in a scant :14 seconds in their main event fight last Saturday night.
Originally, Petruzelli was scheduled to face Aaron Rosa in a light heavyweight contest and he explained during a recent appearance on MMAWeekly Radio exactly how it all went down to put him in a fight that will now live in infamy.
“I was actually warming up for my fight against Aaron Rosa in the back and Elite XC came back and said we need to talk to you for a second,” Petruzelli commented. “I automatically got nervous thinking that Aaron backed out or something like that and then he’s like, ‘look I’ve got a huge opportunity if you decide to take it, Ken got cut on his eye and can’t fight, and we want you to fight Kimbo.”
“It took about :10 seconds to let it all settle down and I said heck yeah.”
The fight with Kimbo lasted only about 4 seconds longer than it took Seth to decide to take the match-up, but almost immediately after the fight controversy struck.
IN HIS OWN WORDS: Back surgery spurs Tito on
This was the biggest decision of my career… back surgery
Since the Randy Couture fight, I have had lower back problems. Each fight it got worse. I have made it though the last eight fights by physical therapy, methylprednisolone pills, and spinal injections for last three fights.
I fought injured time and time again for the fans. After the Rashad (Evans) fight, I told the fight doctor I was having excruciating back pain. It was so bad that my security had to carry me from the Octagon to my dressing room to the press conference and back.
This continued for the next four months. If anyone has had back pain, you know the pain I deal with. It got to be so bad that I was barely able to get up off the couch or drive for longer than 20 minutes.
Now try to imagine training for eight hours a day and having to fight formidable opponents like Rashad, and (Lyoto) Machida. From November of 2007 to May of 2008, I did two separate injections and worked my ass off in physical therapy so I was able to fight Machida.
During the second round of the fight I felt the same pain as I did in the Rashad fight. After the fight, I told the fight doctor I was having back pain. It never got better. I didn't want to fall into the terrible life of having to take painkillers in order to be capable of making it through training.
I simply refuse to fall into that trap. I started to look into other ways to help my back pain. I have done everything from rehab to injections to make it better and nothing has succeeded.
Noons: 'I’m a Free Agent'
Karl James Noons is looking towards greener pastures, which may or may not include his return to the EliteXC cage, he says.
“I’m a free agent,” Noons told Sherdog.com Monday, the result of EliteXC taking back his championship belt.
Noons, 25, was stripped of his EliteXC 160-pound title on Sept. 19 after the promotion said he refused to defend his title against Nick Diaz.
Noons bested the mouthy Stockton, Calif. native with a first-round TKO on cuts in November 2007. Words between the fighters and their families ensued in the cage, and a rematch loomed.
EliteXC attempted to promote said rematch on three separate cards since July. But Noons took umbrage with Diaz’s pay scale, which was nearly three times more than his.
Private discussions spilled into the public forum when an EliteXC rep announced Noons had been given a 24-hour deadline to accept the bout.
Though Noons was subsequently removed from EliteXC’s champions mantle, he said a piece is missing from the timeline.
“We weren’t coming to agreements on the fight, so I gave them written notice that I’d give them the belt back five days prior before they stripped me,” he said, in the hopes of “working something out.” “I didn’t make it public, and I guess to prove a point, or maybe out of ego or whatever they want, they stripped me.”
Noons said his contract, of which two fights remain, only pertains to his reign as a titleholder.
"Since I’ve been stripped, I’m no longer the champion and I don’t owe them the fights," he said. "I owed them fights for being a champion.”
Jeremy Lappen, EliteXC’s Head of Fight Operations, doesn’t agree.
"KJ still has two more fights on his contract," Lappen said Monday. “I’m hoping we’ll work something out, but there’s really not much to work out. He’s still under contract with us.”
Gabriel Gonzaga interested in Brock Lesnar clash of monsters
“[Brock Lesnar] was never proposed to us, but Gabriel Gonzaga would love to fight him because he’s a big name and I think it would be a clash of two monsters. I think it would be a huge fight so if the UFC gave Gonzaga that honor he would be happy to fight Brock Lesnar.”
– Marco Alvan — the head trainer for former UFC heavyweight number one contender Gabriel Gonazaga — tells BostonHerald.com that he and his fighter would be interested in a fight with Brock Lesnar in the near future. “Napao” is among the larger fighters in the division (like Lesnar) who also has a tight submission game (unlike Lesnar), which would more than likely be another dangerous test for the former professional wrestling star. Lesnar takes on Randy Couture — who beat down Gonzaga last year — at UFC 91 on November 15. Gonzaga will also compete on that same card against Octagon newcomer Josh Hendricks. If Couture defeats Lesnar and Gonzaga defeats Hendricks it would be real interesting to see if the promotion would book a fight like this, which would once again put a big pay-per-view (PPV) money machine at risk of losing to a much more experienced fighter.
Cage fighters 'behind £53m raid'
I know Lee Murray has long been rumoured to be involved in this robbery, but this is the first time to my knowledge that he has been formally named/accused:
Two cage fighters masterminded the £53m raid on a Securitas depot in Kent and then fled to Morocco, a jury was told.
Paul Allen and Lee Murray, 29, were at the heart of the raid in Tonbridge in February 2006, the Old Bailey heard.
Mr Allen, 30, of Chatham, was extradited to the UK while Mr Murray remains in a Moroccan jail.
Mr Allen is on trial along with Michael Demetris, 32, of Bromley Common, south London. Both deny conspiracy to rob, to kidnap, and to possess a firearm.
Mr Allen and Mr Demetris, a hairdresser, are accused of conspiring with five other men who were jailed in January after being found guilty of kidnap, robbery and firearms charges in connection with Britain's biggest cash raid.
During the raid, depot manager Colin Dixon and his family were kidnapped at gunpoint by men posing as police officers.
After "depressing" July loss, Jorge Gurgel next meets Aaron Riley at UFC 91
After dealing with the first bout of depression in his entire life, submission specialist Jorge Gurgel (12-4 MMA, 3-3 UFC) will next fight at UFC 91 against Aaron Riley (26-10-1 MMA, 0-2 UFC), who returns to the UFC for the first time in nearly three years.
Gurgel today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that bout agreements have been signed for the Nov. 15 fight, which takes place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Gurgel, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, looks to rebound from his disappointing submission loss to Cole Miller at UFC 86.
Although seemingly on his way to a tough-fought unanimous-decision victory in the July bout, Gurgel ran into disaster in the fight's final moments. While scrambling for position after securing a trip-takedown, Gurgel was trapped by Miller's triangle choke and forced to tap out with just 12 seconds remaining in the fight.
It would have been Gurgel's fourth UFC victory in a five-fight span. Instead, he suffered just the second submission loss of his career -- and his first in nearly five years.
"It was extremely difficult for me," Gurgel said. "I never in my life -- never in any circumstance -- I've never been depressed. Depression can't get to me. I'm always happy. I don't get depressed. But, I got to the point where I couldn't sleep.
"My parents were disappointed. My family was very hurt, and the first words out of my step-dad's mouth, as soon as he walked down the aisle in the arena (at UFC 86) and saw me -- he goes, 'This is the first time in my life, Jorge, that I saw a fighter win and lose a fight in the same fight.' And that quote has never left my head because that's exactly what happened. ... I lost my focus for one second, and it cost me 14 minutes and 30 seconds of beating [Miller] up. It was my best fight yet. I didn't even have a black eye, but I just lost focus for that split second."
After such a stunning and stinging loss, Gurgel heard the same thing over and over from friends, family and fans.
"It was either 'tough break' or '[expletive] happens,'" Gurgel said. "I'm just ready to get in there and put it behind me."
Standing in his way is Riley, who returns to the octagon for the first time since a first-round TKO loss to Spencer Fisher at UFC Fight Night 3. Ten fights and four years earlier, the former PRIDE and BodogFIGHT veteran made his UFC debut with a unanimous-decision loss to Robbie Lawler.
Since his latest UFC appearance, Riley has posted a 3-2 record in a variety of organizations; the losses came to notables Eddie Alvarez and Ryan Schultz.
Riley, a former Golden Gloves champion who made his professional MMA debut as a 16-year-old in 1997, has won seven of his past 10 fights.