For Gilbert Melendez, friendship no longer a part of lightweight plans
The last 14 months haven't been kind to Gilbert Melendez (14-2).
Winner of his first 13-straight bouts, Melendez has gone just 1-2 in past three appearances. But as "El Niño" recently told TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), he's focused on turning things back around.
"I lost two out of my last three right now," Melendez said. "I can't be talking no [expletive]. I've just got to go out there and deliver."
For Heath Herring, bout with Cain Velasquez just another day at the office
UFC heavyweight Heath Herring (28-14 MMA, 2-3 UFC) has never been one to back away from a fight.
A quick check of his past three fights is a good place to start. Brock Lesnar. Cheick Kongo. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Now Herring will face talented prospect Cain Velasquez in May. The "Texas Crazy Horse" wouldn't have it any other way.
"If you kid of look through my career, I don't ever really refuse fights," Herring recently told TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "That's kind of my deal."
Emily Thompson vs. Erin Toughill added to PFC 13: Validation
The Palace Fighting Championships has added a female feature to its May 8 event, "PFC 13: Validation," as Emily Thompson (3-0) will meet Erin Toughill (9-2-1).
Sources close to the bout alerted MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of the addition to the card.
PFC 13 is scheduled for May 8 at the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino in Lemoore, Calif.
Raphael Assuncao Vs Jameel Massouh At WEC 40
Featherweight prospect Raphael Assuncao will face fellow WEC newcomer Jameel Massouh at WEC 40 on April 5 in Chicago. Bout agreements have been signed and both fighters are a go.
According to sources close to Massouh, he was confirmed on Saturday after a victory at an unnamed show in Russia. The 24-year-old fighter now carries an impressive 21-4 professional record, and boasts a four-fight win streak. He currently trains with UFC veteran Dave Strasser’s Freestyle Academy in Milwaukee, Wis.
Josh Koschek vs Chris Wilson at UFC 98
No rest for the weary.
Josh Koscheck will indeed return to the Octagon sooner rather than later, accepting a bout to take on Chris Wilson in a welterweight tilt scheduled for UFC 98 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on May 23.
Dana White says he has no knowledge of June meeting with Fedor
“… Me and my management hope to get a chance to talk to Dana White in person in June to discuss a possible fight between me and Brock,” Emelianenko is quoted as telling Adam Baker of DreamFighters.com.
During a recent interview with “Carmichael Dave” on the CBS Radio nationally syndicated show “MMAsh,” White was asked if he was aware of a June meeting with Fedor.
“No,” White responded, before continuing, “If that’s true, that’s awesome. I’d have to hear that from him to believe it. But if that’s true, I’d love to meet with him. I’d love to.”
Dana White responds to new rumors of UFC sale
“Here’s the big rumor Dana: Station Casinos is filing for bankruptcy and the UFC is going right down with them,” Carmichael Dave asked sarcastically.
“(Laughs) Right. Yup,” White began to respond. “Station Casinos and the UFC have nothing to do with each other. They never have. They’ve always been kept very separate… Right now in Las Vegas (and) all over the world, companies are in trouble right now.
UFC President clarifies his outlook on competition
UFC President Dana White was a recent guest on the CBS Radio nationally syndicated show “MMAsh,” where his discussed a number of pressing topics.
One of the main issues White was asked to address by host “Carmichael Dave” was Strikeforce’s recent acquisition of ProElite’s assets and subsequent broadcast deal with Showtime.
WEC 39 Weigh-In Results
The full weigh-in results included:
* Champ Mike Brown (144.25) vs. Leonard Garcia (145)
* Ricardo Lamas (154.5) vs. Bart Palaszewski (155.5)
* Jose Aldo (145.5) vs. Chris Mickle (145)
* Marcus Hicks (155.5) vs. Rob McCullough (156)
* Phil Cardella (155.5) vs. Danny Castillo (156)
* Marcos Galvao (136) vs. Damacio Page (136)
* Johny Hendricks (171) vs. Alex Serdyukov (171)
* Kenji Osawa (135.25) vs. Rafael Rebello (135.25)
* Alex Karalexis (156) vs. Greg McIntyre (155)
* Mike Budnik (145.25) vs. John Franchi (145)
* Justin Haskins (170.25) vs. Mike Pierce (170)
Akiyama signing has major implications
The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s signing of Yoshihiro Akiyama represents a significant business first – the first time a true native top-level drawing card from Japan has signed with a foreign mixed martial arts organization.
There have been plenty of Japanese fighters in UFC over the years, including Caol Uno, a legitimate lightweight contender in the early days of the division (who is set to return to UFC in June); Yushin Okami, a top middleweight contender; and even Kazuhiko Nakamura came in after the PRIDE purchase in 2007.
Mike Swick vs Ben Saunders at UFC 99
Former contestants from different seasons of The Ultimate Fighter, Mike Swick and Ben Saunders, are penciled in to hook ‘em up in a welterweight bout at UFC 99 from the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany on June 13, according to FiveOuncesOfPain.com
Jacaré, Galvão Training Silva for Leites
If you need to train top-level jiu-jitsu, there is no better place than Rio de Janeiro.
UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva knows this well, and that’s why he’s in Rio getting ready for his April 18 title defense against Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Thales Leites at UFC 97.
Two BJJ legends are helping Silva prepare: Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (ADCC 2005 88-kg champion and multiple-time world BJJ champion in his weight class and the absolute class) and André Galvão (current world BJJ Champion and ADCC 2007 third-place finisher at 77 kilograms and the absolute class).
The Curious Case of Kaitlin Young
With Strikeforce’s recent asset purchase from ProElite, things seemed to be looking up for noted women’s MMA fighter Kaitlin Young. After a tough loss to Gina Carano on the initial EliteXC on CBS card, Young had been held in limbo waiting for another bout. The collapse of EliteXC further delayed her getting back in the cage. With Strikeforce’s purchase of contracts and signing of Gina Carano, things were looking up. Unfortunately, Young was not among those moving over with the new Strikeforce deal. Tom Hamlin with MMAWeekly talked with Strikeforce brass about the decision not to pick up Young:
Mendez also released a list of female talent acquired in the purchase of ProElite assets.
Confirmed to fight in Strikeforce:
Conspicuously missing was Kaitlin Young, the Minnesota Mixed Martial Arts prospect, who was defeated by Carano in a controversial stoppage at EliteXC’s first CBS televised event. Mendez said Strikeforce opted not to acquire Young out of a desire to develop lesser-seen fighters.
“We want to build up new talent,” he said.
The women listed above share the common trait that none have faced Carano before.
Vernon “Tiger” White: A Changed Man
It’s hard to think of anyone in mixed martial arts as ring tested and battle proven as Vernon “Tiger” White. An original member of the Lion’s Den, White has been involved in the sport since the very beginning. Over the course of sixteen years the 37 year old father has been involved with virtually every major promotion on the planet and has fought the very toughest competition the game has had to offer.
His record reads like a who’s who list of the some of the very best to have ever fought. Guys like Lyoto machida, Chuck Liddell, Vladimir Matyushenko, Kazushi Sakuraba, Frank Shamrock, Jeremy Horn, Mario Sperry, Pedro Rizzo and Bas Rutten have all traded blows with ‘The Tiger’ at some point during their illustrious carers. The resume is staggering.
Wanderlei Silva on his ‘incredible’ fight against Rich Franklin at UFC 99
“… incredible, because he is the last champion before Anderson. He is a great fighter, a complete fighter and it is a good first fight for me in this division…. I didn’t see this fight [with Henderson] but I have seen two or three of his fights. He is complete - good ground, good stand-up, good takedowns, and I think he is a very good fight for me. I am bringing in several sparring partners from Brazil that are also complete fighters, I will be ready for him.”