Paulo Fihlo Released From WEC, Unlikely to Fight in UFC
In the November 17th edition of the Wrestling Observer there is strong indication that (former) top 10 middleweight Paulo Fihlo has been released from his Zuffa contract and will most likely not be heading to the UFC any time soon, if at all.
FiveOuncesofPain.com has the wrap up:
“Not only will Paulo Filho’s middleweight championship be forgotten, but Filho himself will be after his performance on the show, as it’s all but a lock that Filho won’t be moved to UFC,” one excerpt states.
“There is zero criticism I’ve seen of (Zuffa) cutting Paulo Filho, who was 16-0 coming into his fight (vs. Chael Sonnen) but his cut wasn’t over money but that the person who was in that cage has no business fighting at this time,” writes Observer publisher Dave Meltzer
Poll: Most Fans Don't Want Shields-GSP First
On this past Friday's episode of "Inside MMA", the results of a poll conducted by the show and MMAjunkie.com on who fans most want to see Jake Shields first fight in the UFC were revealed. The biggest surprise may be that most fans do not want a possible dream match between Shields and Georges St. Pierre, but most want Shields vs. Diego Sanchez first instead.
WEC 37 Card Finalized, Late Changes Made
WEC has announced the official final card for WEC 37, headlined by WEC Bantamweight Champion Miguel Torres vs. Manny Tapia for the title. A couple late changes were made-Alex Serdyukov and Josh Grispi are both off now, Grispi to injury and Serdyukov for undisclosed reasons.
Antonio 'Rodrigo' Nogueira’s Protégé Readies for XFC LW Title Fight
Mixed Martial Arts superstar Antonio “Minotauro” Nogueira is the only man in MMA history to capture both the UFC and PRIDE heavyweight championships – and his renowned mastery of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu helped earn him the coveted position of team trainer on the current season of Spike TV’s hit series “Ultimate Fighter.” Nogueira’s MMA credentials are beyond dispute; he clearly understands the sport on a level few can approach, which lends his prognostications considerable weight.
So when Antonio Nogueira claims that 9-2 Luis “Baboon” Palomino of Miami, Florida just might be MMA’s next great champion, it’s a prediction worth noting.
“Luis had a pair of losses and didn’t really understand the intricacies of MMA before I began working with him,” said Nogueira, “which makes sense when you realize that he never competed as an amateur before turning pro. But the progress we’ve made at the Team Nogueira training facility in Miami is just incredible; his striking prowess and overall knowledge of Jiu-Jitsu grows almost daily. Luis is currently riding a five-fight winning streak, and despite our size difference, he’s the one fighter I always want to spar with whenever I’m preparing for a bout. He’s that good, and I’m proud to have him as my protégé.”
Hidehiko Yoshida vs. Sanae Kikuta announced for Jan. 4 Sengoku
Previously announced Sengoku 7 competitor and longtime PRIDE fighter Hidehiko Yoshida (8-6-1) now has an opponent for the Jan. 4 World Victory Road event: Sanae Kikuta (27-6-3).
The event takes place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Sengoku officials recently announced the light-heavyweight bout.
UFC to return to Columbus on March 7
According to a report in the Nov. 17 print edition of the Wrestling Observer, the UFC will be returning to Columbus, Ohio for the third consecutive year on Saturday, March 7. While a venue was not identified in the report, the Nationwide Arena is considered the most likely candidate.
The date has yet to be confirmed by the UFC and few details surrounding the event have yet to surface.
Jake Shields will only be happy in the UFC fighting Georges St. Pierre
Former Elite XC Welterweight Champion Jake Shields is just one of the many fighters who are looking to free themselves from their contracts with the now defunct Pro Elite.
Showtime Networks Inc. — who partnered with Pro Elite to air over 14 Elite XC events over the last two years — planned on auctioning off the remaining assets from the promotion in an attempt to recover nearly $6 million in defaulted loans. Among the main items listed at the auction were the contracts for guys like Jake Shields and a number of other top mixed martial artists.
Anderson Silva Begins Boxing Training With Freddie Roach
As if Anderson Silva's opponents needed more reason to worry, Anderson Silva began training with Freddie Roach today. The fact that Roach is becoming more and more involved with MMA is an interesting story in and of itself, but Silva may also be doing this in order to see where he stands for a potential boxing career once he's done with MMA.
On another note, Silva has definitely been tapped for the main event of London in February. They are considering a few possibilities against him, including Chuck. I think the only obstacle to this fight happening is the idea of Liddell vs. Couture for the summer, potentially at UFC 100. I suspect they will pull the trigger on it though, seeing as both men want it.
Affliction Announces Several Fights For Next Event
Affliction yesterday announced several fights for its next PPV on January 24. Among the confirmed fights are Fedor Emelianenko vs. Andrei Arlovski for the WAMMA Heavyweight Title and Renato Sobral vs. Matt Lindland in a Light Heavyweight fight, plus the additions of Vitor Belfort and Josh Barnett to the card.
Wagney Fabiano heads to WEC
The International Fight League may have vanished, but its most dominant fighter had no trouble finding a new home.
Wagnney Fabiano is excited about joining the WEC, and his arrival adds yet another top-flight contender to the organization’s suddenly stacked featherweight division. Fabiano steamrolled and finished all six of his IFL opponents, but he believes the WEC is a step up in competition and will reveal a lot more about him as a fighter.
Rich Franklin open to rematch with Lyoto Machida
Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin, apparently content since moving up a weight class to the light-heavyweight division, is open to a rematch with Lyoto Machida, who defeated "Ace" at a December 2003 event in Kobe, Japan.
Franklin said he's willing to do the rematch now that both fighters are in the 205-pound division, but he has one concern.
"I'd fight him," Franklin said. "The thing about a Machida fight that isn't appealing to me is that stylistically, Machida is kind of a boring fighter.
"That's not a putdown. It's not a putdown. He's very, very effective. He's good at what he does. He's constantly backing away and forces his opponent into mistakes, and that's how he catches you."
DEEP To Crown New Champ With LW Tourny
DEEP recently announced several fights for their next event, DEEP 39, which will be headlined by a lightweight tournament. The winner of the tournament will be crowned the new DEEP lightweight champion. Former champion Pang Sung Hwan recently vacated the title.
All eight participants for the tournament were named with several fights being announced for the tournament. Participants include former DEEP lightweight champion Nobuhiro Obiya, former DEEP welterweight champion Jutaro Nakao and DREAM veteran Daisuke Nakamura.
Former DEEP lightweight champion Nobuhiro Obiya returns to action after a hiatus from fighting to take on DEEP veteran Yoshihiro “Barbaro44” Tomioka. UFC veteran and Pride veteran Jutaro Nakao faces off with touted Japanese prospect Katsunori Kikuno in the second tournament fight. In the last tournament fight, DEEP veteran Seigo Inoue faces off with fellow veteran Toshikazu “ISE” Iseno.
That leaves two tournament participants without a fight in DREAM veteran Daisuke Nakamura and DEEP lightweight prospect Koichiro Matsumoto. Its not known whether they’ll end up facing each other as the last tournament fight or if one of the other fights will end being a reserve bout for the tournament.
Shinya Aoki and Hong-Man Choi Added to K-1 Field's Dynamite
Dreamfighters is reporting that lightweight grappling wizard Shinya Aoki and the mammoth K-1 fighter Hong-Man Choi have been added to the end of the year Field's Dynamite event.
Neither fighter has an opponent at this time. Expect their opponents to be announced in typical Japanese MMA fashion: a week before the event. It is also not known if Hong-Man Choi will be fighting in a K-1 match or an MMA match.
Affliction Signs Man Who Beat Fedor? (***Video of fight added***)
Russian heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko lost a decision to Bulgaria’s Blagoi Ivanov in the semi-finals of the World Combat Sambo Championships this weekend.
Ivanov defeated Emelianenko by 8 points to 5, then stopped his German opponent in the final match of the tournament to take the gold medal.
Emelianenko, who has won the tournament for the past three years running, eventually took bronze.
Reports have emerged that Ivanov was signed by Affliction immediately after winning the tournament.
However, Fighters Only has not been able to confirm these reports with Affliction Entertainment, the promotional arm of the popular clothing company.
Hazelett Happy With Win, Still wants To Improve
Pulling off another victory with a great finish, Dustin Hazelett moved his career UFC record to 5-2 while earning another bonus for the slickest submission of the night.
In the fight against Tamdan McCrory, it was Hazelett's rubber guard transition to oma plata and then into a reverse armbar that saw the fight finished, but he says that is a regular move for him to practice versus the maneuver he used to submit Josh Burkman in his last fight.