UFC 87 bonuses: St. Pierre, Fitch, Maia and Emerson earn $60,000 each
Georges St. Pierre, Jon Fitch, Demian Maia and Rob Emerson each won $60,000 "fight night" bonuses stemming from Saturday's UFC 87 event at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minn.
The bonuses were announced in a post-event press conference and confirmed by MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) soon after the pay-per-view event.
Although the majority of the night's fights ended via decision, only one -- the night's main event -- earned bonus honors.
St. Pierre, who made his first successful title defense with a shutout unanimous-decision victory over Fitch, split "Fight of the Night" honors with the former top contender. The five-round fight was clearly dominated by St. Pierre, though Fitch's resiliency kept him in the game. For their efforts, each headliner earned a $60,000 bonus check in addition to their base salaries.
Ground wizard Demian Maia, who took another step toward title contention with his third consecutive UFC victory, earned a Submission of the Night award with his win over gatekeeper Jason MacDonald. Although his opponent fended off a multiple attempts, Maia eventually secured a rear-naked choke and forced MacDonald to tap out at 2:44 of the third round.
Georges St. Pierre: I almost had to kill Jon Fitch to win
I was trying to pace myself, because after the first time I rock him and I couldn’t finish him I was like ‘Man, this guy, I’m gonna have to almost kill him to win’. He’s very tough, I give him a lot of props. A big heart, good , amazing guy, very big heart, [I have] a lot of respect for this guy.
-UFC welterweight champion Georges “Rush” St. Pierre talks about trying to finish challenger Jon Fitch during a UFC 87 post fight interview. GSP successfully defended his title after fighting off a very game Fitch for 25 minutes.
Robbie Lawler discusses future
"Ruthless" Robbie Lawler became EliteXC's second-ever middleweight champion when he TKO'd incumbent champion Murilo "Ninja" Rua at EliteXC: Uprising on Showtime last Sept. 15 in Honolulu.
It was a crowning achievement for Lawler since evolving into a vastly improved fighter following the UFC's decision not to re-sign him in October 2004. Once considered a future star by the promotion, Lawler's star faded after he lost three of four fights.
After his fall from grace, Lawler has gone 9-1 with one no contest in his eleven fights since leaving the UFC. He has emerged as one of the top fighters in his weight class and is coming off two appearances on primetime national television within the past three months.
His most recent appearance came during CBS' Saturday Night Fights on July 26, in a rematch against Scott Smith that followed their first CBS meeting on May 31, which ended in a no contest. After a rocky first round in which he suffered a major laceration to his forehead, Lawler took care of business in the second round by finishing Smith with an array of punches and knees.
'Shogun' Rua Vs 'Rampage' Jackson
"Most likely right now it's looking like it's Quinton Jackson."
Shogun Rua, breaking the news that the UFC is planning to put him up against Quinton "Rampage" Jackson in his return fight.
Affliction ‘Day of Reckoning’: Pedro Rizzo vs Ben Rothwell
Affliction fighters Ben Rothwell (29-6) and Pedro Rizzo (16-8) have been scheduled to face off at October’s “Day of Reckoning” in a match that will right one ship and sink the other.
Rothwell is coming off a strong effort against Andrei Arlovski at Affliction “Banned” on July 19 that saw him hanging tough - only to eventually succumb to the Belarusian’s superior striking and ability in the third round.
It was Rothwell’s first loss in 14 fights and just sixth overall. He was unstoppable in the now defunct IFL and at just 27 years of age, is at or nearing his prime.
Rizzo on the other hand, may be feeling a sense of urgency. “The Rock” still garners respect from his ability to hit like a wrecking ball, but he’s not been able to demonstrate the kind of striking that made him famous earlier in his career.
His knockout loss to Josh Barnett last month probably hasn’t helped matters, but it looks like he’ll get another chance to turn things around against Rothwell.
From a career standpoint, it could be now or never.
Affliction “Day of Reckoning” takes place on October 11 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada and features the main event of Josh “The Babyface Assassin” Barnett (23-5) vs. Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski (13-5).
Cro Cop was the last nail in the coffin.
“Fifty times we thought it was over and we were buying PRIDE, then we hear they were talking to these guys and these guys and kept string us along. So when Mirko Cro Cop’s deal came up, we went after Mirko aggressively, signed him, and that really started to unravel PRIDE."
UFC 87 Spotlight: Demian Maia
UFC 87 will take place this Saturday and as we all know will feature three gigantic bouts as headliners. GSP vs. Fitch, Lesnar vs. Herring and Florian vs. Huerta could all very well headline a UFC event on their own merit.
Enough has already been said about those six combatants however and instead of going all "boring archaeologist" on you and covering old ground (take that Mauro Ranallo!) I will instead focus on one of the other fights that will be seen on Saturday's pay-per-view. The bout I am talking about is the middleweight contest between Jason "The Athlete" MacDonald and Demian Maia.
I am very much looking forward to this bout as I believe that Maia has the most potential out of all the UFC middleweights to topple the scariest dude on the planet, Anderson Silva.
I say that because Maia is one of the finest pure grapplers in the world and I don't mean that like Mike Goldberg means it when he says, "he's one of the best in the world, Joe." I mean that for reals. In 2007, he won the 77kg - 87kg weight division at the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship. He has also defeated other notable high profile grapplers in the form of Ronaldo De Souza, fellow UFC middleweight Yushin Okami and former UFC heavyweight title challenger, Gabriel Gonzaga.
Huerta clarifies recent controversial comments
UFC president Dana White tends to tolerate fighters who publicly complain about their contracts about as well as he does a tack in his shoe. When he starts comparing those who do dare to challenge him publicly to his ex-light heavyweight champion and favorite whipping boy, Tito Ortiz, it’s a sure sign he’s about to erupt.
White was interviewed by a Toronto radio station on Wednesday when he heard for the first time that lightweight Roger Huerta had expressed unhappiness with his contract. Predictably, White didn’t take it well. A day later, he said Huerta’s comments were “almost Tito-like,” which is about as big an insult as White can dish out.
Huerta faces the most significant fight of his life Saturday at UFC 87 at the Target Center when he takes on Kenny Florian in a highly anticipated lightweight bout. A battle with White is the last thing Huerta needs on the eve of the toughest fight of his life, but Huerta, who survived one of the most difficult childhoods imaginable, said he’s prepared so well for the fight that nothing will distract him.
The Fitch Push
Jon Fitch represents one of the problems the UFC has faced in recent years in being able to properly promote and market a full stable of over 250 fighters. He’s a great fighter - undefeated in almost 5 years - but prior to his fight with Diego Sanchez, few in the mainstream had even heard of the guy. Most of his fights had not been shown on broadcasted events nor had he really received any press for his grinding, “blood and guts” fight style.
It’s not like Fitch is the only fighter to contend for a title that the general public may not know about; Nathan Marquardt is another that comes to mind. You might even add Lyoto Machida, previous to his bout with Tito Ortiz, to that list.
Attempting to change all this, the UFC is taking every opportunity to push Fitch to the masses. Last night, SpikeTV aired Countdown to UFC 87 and chose to focus the spotlight on the contender, Fitch, for the majority of the main event portion of the segment.
It’s really no surprise, either, as Dana White has been telling every and anyone that will listen this week that not only is Fitch the real deal, but also that he’s White’s personal pick for upset of the night.
BART PALASZEWSKI HEADS XFO 25
The XFO returns on Saturday, Aug. 9. Known as the “small show with big fights,” X-treme Fight Organization will hold its 25th event in Island Lake, Ill.
Headlining the show will be IFL and XFO veteran Bart Palaszewski. “Bartimus” is scheduled to face Eric Wisely in lightweight action. The Team Curran fighter defeated UFC veteran Jeff Cox in his last outing at the inaugural Adrenaline MMA event.
Pat Curran looks to continue his unbeaten streak when he takes on HIT Squad fighter Amir Khillah. The featherweight prospect is coming off of a win over Lazar Stojadinovic. The crew at Tapout were on hand to film Curran recently and his fight will be profiled in a future episode of the Tapout show.
UFC Quick Quote: ‘Stitch’ Duran a possible X factor?
“It might be a good thing that I’m in the red corner — Georges might need me. Jon Fitch punishes his opponents and is known for doing damage in his fights. And this is a five rounder. I might be able to get Georges one or two more rounds if he needs them.”
– The best cut man in the business, “Stitch Duran,” tells MMAmania.com that UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre has perhaps an ace up his sleeve if need be — a man who can get him more time to fight if he needs it. “Rush” will take on Jon Fitch in the main event of UFC 87: “Seek and Destroy” at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minn., on August 9.
JAMES THOMPSON RETURNS AT CAGE RAGE 28
September 20 at the Troxy Theatre, Commercial Road, London, London England’s, James “Collosus” Thompson returns to fight before his home town crowd after a controversial third round stoppage to American Kimbo Slice. He is back in the UK and looking to get on track as one of the UK’s Top Heavyweights. Thompson is set to fight the 6’5 Polish fighter Piotor “Doctor” Kusmierz.
This Card also features the British Welterweight Title Fight featuring the champion, Che “The Silent Assassin” Mills. Undefeated since his first fight and the only man to beat Lithuanian power house Marius Zaromskis, not once but twice will be facing the highly regarded contender, Ross “The Gladiator” Pointon.
Ross Pointon has made significant improvements in his last few performances and seems to have found the proper weight class to suit his body.