Joe Lauzon "I'm not going to let any fight slip by"
In a relatively short period, 24-year-old Joe "J-Lau" Lauzon has gone from computer geek to starring on The Ultimate Fighter 5 television reality show, upsetting a former world mixed-martial-arts champ, and then headlining UFC Fight Night 13. Not too shabby for the nerd-looking but fearless fighting lightweight contender who has a Bachelor's degree in computer networking from Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston
Liddell changes his focus from title to “Rampage”?
Chuck spoke to thesun.co.uk about avenging one of the last losses on his record:
"I want to fight “Rampage” real badly. I actually think I match up very well against him, but I’ve managed to lose to him twice now. But the third fight will not have anything to do with the first two, it will be a fresh start. “Rampage” is the one fight I really want, as much as I want my title back. He’s lost the belt now, so I can’t beat him and win the title back in one fight, but I want to fight him just as bad as when he was champion.”
Speaking on his fight with Rashad Evans, Chuck thinks his unbeaten opponent won’t pose him a big threat:
"Evans is a very different type of challenge because he is very fast, goes for takedowns, and has a mentality to try and take the fight into his comfort zone. I won’t allow him to do that, I’ll pressure him for three rounds if I have to but I think I’ll knock him out. I think I’ll get to him. I have real doubts about his shot. He won’t be able to take me down. He had a hard time taking Michael Bisping down in his last fight, and I’m known for stopping shots.”
Chuck will be fighting Rashad at UFC 88 in Atlanta on September 6th, and on winning the fight, could gain himself a title shot.
MATT HUGHES ON THE MEND, SURGERY NOT LIKELY
Matt Hughes on Tuesday provided an update on the status of his knee injury via his personal blog. The outlook for the multi-time UFC welterweight champion is promising. It appears he may not need surgery.
“Last Wednesday, I went in for my second MRI and also a stress x-ray. It all came back very positive and looks as though I will not need surgery,” wrote Hughes.
“I still have to go back for my three-month check-up to find out more; but as of right now I can do more and start exercising a little bit.”
Hughes sustained the injury in a non-title fight against Thiago Silva at UFC 85 on June 7 in London. In a blog entry written shortly after the fight, Hughes confirmed that he had partially torn the ACL ligament in his knee.
There is hope that he will be healed up for a fight with Matt Serra in early 2009, possibly as soon as January or February.
Karo Parisyan ‘trying to deal with’ panic attacks
“Basically, eight months ago, I was diagnosed with panic attacks. It’s something I have been trying to deal with. I am trying to keep my head clear…. When I first got there (to Colorado), I couldn’t eat or sleep. I just didn’t want to be there. I struggled during camp (with panic attacks) and my conditioning wasn’t there. That Karo that used to come out tenacious was not there…. I am not going to stress myself out. This fight [at UFC 88] is very, very important in so many aspects and in so many ways…. It’s very simple. If I beat three bums, I get nowhere. If I beat Yoshida, I’m back in title contention. I’ve always said that if I come in shape, I can be the best at 170. Hopefully, if I can annihilate Yoshida, I can avenge some of my old losses to Thiago (Alves) and Diego Sanchez. Then I can annihilate those guys. I’m ready to show that I’m the best.”
Experienced mixed martial arts veteran and long-time Judo competitor, Karo Parisyan, reveals that he has recently been dealing with panic attacks. Being locked inside a cage with another man who wants to tear his head off — in front of a massive screaming crowd and television audience — is perhaps the worst place for someone with his condition to be. “The Heat” admits to feeling “girly” when the episodes emerge, but it seems like a step in the right direction to discuss and address them in the open — it must be extremely difficult for the the proud Armenian. Parisyan will take on the super tough Yoshiyuki Yoshida at UFC 88: “Breakthrough” at the Philips Arena in Atlanta. Ga., on September 6. Let’s hope his mind is right because this is a very good fight, which will surely deliver the goods if both fighters are in top form.
Frank Trigg ready for Falaniko Vitale (and Cung Le and Frank Shamrock)
After suffering little damage in his unanimous-decision victory over Makoto Takimoto at this past weekend's Sengoku 4 event, veteran middleweight fighter Frank Trigg (17-6) expects a proposed Oct. 3 Strikeforce bout with Falaniko Vitale (26-8) to go on as planned.
With less than seven weeks separating the bouts, and with his wife due to give birth literally any day now, Trigg wasn't initially sure if competing at the upcoming Strikeforce event would be a possibility.
However, he recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that he's ready for the fight -- and future bouts with Strikeforce world middleweight champ Cung Le (6-0) and former title-holder Frank Shamrock (23-9-2).
"I'm more tired than anything," Trigg said of his victory over Olympic gold medalist Takimoto. "My ear is a little torn up. He caught me with a good right hook early. It just bled a lot, but it wasn't really hurt or anything."
Now, Trigg will focus on the hard-hitting and, as he calls him, "very dangerous" Vitale. The Hawaiian fighter has won five of his past six fights with all but one of the victories coming via strikes. The Trigg-Vitale fight is expected to be the co-main event at "Strikeforce: Payback," which takes place Oct. 3 at the Broomfield Event Center near Denver.
Trigg, a former UFC and PRIDE fighter who turned 36 back in May, knows Father Time is casting a shadow on all his upcoming bouts. The clock is ticking, yet a series of fights fell through to create a recent eight-month layoff from competition. The Las Vegas-based Xtreme Couture fighter is now anxious to pick up the pace.
With his recently inked Strikeforce deal, Trigg is aiming for a bout with Le, the undefeated former San Shou kickboxer who beat Shamrock for the Strikeforce title back in March. As MMAjunkie.com recently reported, Strikeforce officials expect Le's burgeoning acting career to keep the fighter sidelined until early next year.
There's also been talk of a potential Trigg-Shamrock fight with Strikeforce. That fight -- and one with Le -- had been discussed at various times during the past 18 months, but they never panned out. Trigg said he want both fights in the next year, though the order makes no difference.
"Which one of the two do I want to fight first?" Trigg asked of Le and Shamrock. "If both are in my future, who cares? It doesn't make much of a difference."
However, both Strikeforce and World Victory Road are anxious for him to fight another opponent: Kazuo Misaki (20-8-2). Like Trigg, Misaki is also signed to both organizations, and since losing to Trigg at PRIDE 33, Misaki has been vocal about wanting a rematch.
"If he wants to go again, that's fine," Trigg said. "I'll be happy to beat him again."
Given the way their contracts were drawn up, Trigg expects the Misaki fight to take place in Japan under the WVR banner.
So, if everything works out as planned, Trigg could spend the next year fighting Vitale, Le, Shamrock and Misaki.
Outside of the UFC, you'd be hard pressed to find a tougher line-up.
"No one said it's going to be easy," Trigg said.
BJ Penn Willing to Wait for GSP Super Fight
UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn will have to wait just a little longer to face Georges St. Pierre, the man he’s set in his sights since conquering the 155-pound division. But it won’t be too long; manager J.D. Penn tells MMAWeekly.com that UFC president Dana White has named Jan. 31 as D-Day for B.J.’s next incursion into the 170-pound division. Penn and company had originally anticipated a showdown with St. Pierre at UFC 92 on Dec. 27 in Las Vegas.
“He’s staying strong and focused,” J.D. says. “Jan. 31 gives him an extra month to train.”
In a recent interview with MMAWeekly.com, B.J. said he’s pulling out all the stops in preparation for the fight. It’s not just an issue of avenging a loss – he dropped a split decision to St. Pierre at UFC 58 in his second go-around as a UFC welterweight – but advancing the sport to a higher level.
“St. Pierre, he’s got his Canadian fans, his American fans, his fans all over the world,” B.J. said. “I could see in one night that fight jumping the sport of mixed martial arts leaps and bounds. It could be maybe the Joe Frazier/Muhammad Ali type fight that the sport is looking for right now.”
The UFC’s Super Bowl weekend cards have taken on increased importance since the sport’s meteoric rise in visibility. With Penn and St. Pierre coming off extremely impressive performances at UFC 84 and UFC 87, respectively, the event has the potential to splash black ink across Zuffa’s first quarter balance sheet for 2009.
UFC president Dana White recently told Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports that the company was having a retreat this week to figure out the marquee fights for the four yet to be announced cards, starting with UFC 91 on Nov. 15 in Portland, Ore.
As of yet, no other fights have been rumored or confirmed for the Jan. 31 card in Las Vegas.
Tim McKenzie Out of Sept. 10th WEC Fight
The upcoming World Extreme Cagefighting show set for Sept. 10 has undergone another change. MMAWeekly.com has learned that Tim McKenzie has been forced to drop off the card due to an undisclosed injury.
McKenzie was set to take on David Avellan in the 205-pound division, but as of now it appears the fight may get scrapped all together with Avallan’s opponent out of the bout.
Following a disappointing return to the WEC that saw McKenzie lose to now champion Steve Cantwell, he got back to his winning form with a submission over Jeremy Lang in June.
No word has come down as to the medical reason behind McKenzie’s departure from the show.
As of now, the WEC show still boasts a total of 10 bouts, which could mean that David Avellan could be bumped to a future show, unless a last minute replacement steps in.
Thales Leites analyzes fight with Reljic
With four victories in a row, Thales Leites will have a tough opponent at UFC 90. After a huge unanimous decision victory over Nate Marquardt, Leites faces now Goran Reljic, that won his eight bouts at light-heavyweight division and now debuts at 185’s. “I’m expecting a great fight, everything is fine. I’m training hard and the only different detail is that he’s left-handed, but the reat is all the same”, said the Nova União’s athlete, that doesn’t believes it’ll be a problem.
“I never fought a left handed before, but it won’t be a problem. I’m well trained, I saw some videos and I’m doing my preparation with left-handed athletes… The sad thing is that we (right-handed) don’t usually train with left-handed athletes”, said the athlete, that bet at the middleweight decision between Anderson Silva and Patrick Cote.
“I think it’ll be a huge fight, but I think Anderson will take it… If Patrick wants to do a game on feet he won’t make it, Anderson is taller, more technical and is left-handed. But it’s a fight and everything can happen”, bet Leites, that wants to win another fight to get a titleshot. “Obviously I wanna win the title… If any fighter says he doesn’t wants to fight for the belt, he’s crazy or a liar. But my main focus is to keep winning and if they call me I’ll be ready”, said the athlete.
MMA Fighters...The Hardest I've ever been hit
When I fought Jorge Oliveira in WEC. It Sucked!
-- "Mr. International" Shonie Carter
"My most painful was probably David Loiseau's elbows... Felt like getting hit in the head with a bamboo pole....
-Mike "Quick" Swick
"It was my dad in 8th grade...I wiped boogers(i know i was old but immature and still am)on a girl and teacher got pissed and told my dad. It was a private school so my dad was really embarrassed so he beat the shit out of me on the drive home in the car it felt like sledgehammers hittin' me at 20 punches per second! Either that or training at TUF2 with Keith Jardine he kicked me in the head and I was out for a few seconds...that sucked!.
---Seth "The Silverback" Petruzelli
In preparation for Forrest Griffin's fight with Rampage (Jackson) we were doing a lot of hard sparring at Extreme Couture. There was a particular day when Forrest hit me clean with a solid left hook to the liver followed by a left Thai kick straight to the liver as well. Needless to say either shot would have dropped me but both in succession of one another sort of felt like I was having my colon removed while I was awake. I still finished the round but it did almost kill me.
"I would have to say taking a clean and clear right cross to the forehead just above my left eye. The guy who punched me was Falaniko Vitale. We were sparring last year around this time and we were coming to the end of the round. I felt pretty confident with my left hook so I was in the process of throwing one when "POW"!! I dropped to a knee and put my right fist on the ground, "3 points of contact" to try and get my bearings back:) It is still the hardest I have ever been hit. My head felt like it did when you were a kid and you would fall off your skate board and smack the back of your head on the concrete. A vibrating cold feeling and then you're snapped back to normal:)".
--"The SGT" Steve Byrnes
"Most painful hit I've ever been hit with was probably a liver shot from (Jens) Pulver. It happened more than once, and every time I wished I got KO'd cause it's hard to explain the amount of pain I was in..
--Bart "Bartimus" Paleszewski
Dan Henderson almost knocks me out every day at practice, Thierry (Sokodjou) kicks the shit outta my legs, Mayhem (Jason Miller) has given me the hardest liver kick fortunately all my training partners though.".
--Jesse "JT Money" Taylor
"Well I don't need any more herpes rumors getting out... I would say most hits aren't painful, especially during the fight. You're either conscious or not. Probably the worst are body shots, a good hit in the liver is pretty debilitating. I've been dropped in practice a few times with those."
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Mickey's signs Tito Ortiz, set to release limited-edition cans
Despite being a free agent with no MMA home of which to speak, former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz remains a popular pick with sponsors.
In fact, Mickey's Fine Malt Liquor has signed Ortiz to a sponsorship deal, and this week, the company will roll out commemorative Mickey's cans that feature Ortiz's likeness.
Mickey's has provided MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) an exclusive first look at the cans.
"Tito is one of the most talented and popular athletes in the world of mixed martial arts, and Mickey's is thrilled to bring the partnership to life for our fans with this limited-edition can," Mickey's Brand Manager Mike Davitt stated. "Many people have wanted to get their hands on Tito over the years. Well, this is their chance."
Financial terms of the sponsorship deal were not revealed.
"Can" jokes aside, Ortiz (15-6-1) remains one of the sport's most recognizable stars and one of the very top pay-per-view draws in MMA history. However, he's winless in his past three fights, and despite announcing he agreed to a "record-breaking" contract with Affliction earlier this month, Ortiz currently remains a free agent.
The Ortiz cans hit stores this week and will be available through the end of the year.
Exclusive KJ Noons: I'm Not Ducking Nick Diaz
"I'm not ducking Nick Diaz at all" Noons told MMANews.com "anybody with half a brain knows how big a fight that could be for me."
This fight could be the biggest fight of my career." said Noons of the fight with Diaz "Taking a fight with Nick Diaz is not the problem at all, the problem is the fight with EliteXC."
Unwilling to go further in terms of what the problem is with the company and when asked if it had anything to do with contract negoiations, Noons would only say that the problem goes deeper than just contract negoiations.
Noons again told MMANews.com that he would hold a conference call when the time was right to tell his side of the story.
What is going on behind the scenes can only be left to speculation but there is obviously a stand still between EliteXC and their Lightweight Champ, KJ Noons.
Affliction Goes Nascar Racing This Weekend
Affliction Entertainment teams up with NASCAR's Michael Waltrip Racing for this weekend's Pepsi 500 at the Auto Club Speedway in San Bernardino County, Calif. for a one-race deal to sponsor the No. 00 car driven by Mike Skinner.
The Affliction "Day of Reckoning" sponsored Toyota will be "fully wrapped" with graphics promoting the upcoming Oct. 11 pay-per-view event at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. Top 5 ranked heavyweights and former Ultimate Fighting Championship titleholders Josh Barnett and Andrei Arlovski headline Affliction’s sophomore effort.
"Affliction is proud to make racing history as the first MMA organization to sponsor a car in NASCAR," said Tom Atencio, vice president of Affliction Entertainment. "NASCAR fans are huge supporters of MMA and this is a great collaboration for both sports."
"It's great to have Affliction Entertainment as a Michael Waltrip Racing partner," said Michael Waltrip, driver of the No. 55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota and founder of Michael Waltrip Racing. "Our partnership with Affliction and MMA allows us to connect with millions of fans in a unique way."
In addition to Affliction's sponsorship of the Michael Waltrip Racing No. 00 entry, the company will work with Auto Club Speedway to promote "Day of Reckoning" to the multitude of fans who attend the events planned at the speedway this Labor Day weekend. Utilizing the venue's multiple promotional opportunities, Affliction and Auto Club Speedway have packaged a mixture of promotional opportunities to make the fans aware of Affliction's upcoming event.
The No. 00 Toyota is 37th in owner points in stockcar racing's premier division, the Sprint Cup Series. The top 35 in owner points are guaranteed a starting position in the race, although only 44 cars are attempting to make the 43-car field.
If qualifying is canceled due to rain, the Affliction sponsored car will be on the starting grid. The only way it will not make the race is if Johnny Sauter, Patrick Carpentier, Marcos Ambrose, Kyle Petty, Tony Raines, Joe Nemecheck, A.J. Almendinger and Brad Coleman all post faster qualifying speeds.
No SF Title Fight For Babalu On 9/20
Although Renato "Babalu" Sobral is still on for Strikeforce At The Playboy Mansion next month, his title shot isn't. SF Light Heavyweight Champion Bobby Southworth, who was to have defended against Sobral, is now off due to injury. Sobral will now face Anthony Ruiz.
Jared Shaw: Diaz Back In November, Noons Not?
EliteXC VP Jared Shaw confirmed yesterday that Nick Diaz will next fight for the promotion on their November Showtime event with an opponent TBA and that Diaz-KJ Noons is not happening anytime soon. Shaw doesn't even know what's next for Noons.
UFC 1: A Look Back
Cool 15th Anniversary article with lots of behind the scenes info and interviews.
Like the fact that Big John applied but Rorion wouldn't let him in.
Or that Zane Frasier got in Rorion's face and then challenged Rickson on the spot.
Or that besides the original alligator moat around the ring, Art Davie wanted to add an electrified copper fence!!
Robert Drysdale to make MMA debut
PRO MMA has just learned that the Xtreme Couture BJJ instructor and grappling phenom, Robert Drysdale is set to make his amateur MMA debut at Tuff-N-Uff’s Future Stars of MMA on October 17 at the Orleans Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Whenever we speak to fighters from the Xtreme Couture gym in Vegas, one name always comes up when the subject of grappling is raised, and that is Robert Drysdale. His name seems to have reached almost mythical proportions and this has stemmed from the way top level professional fighters describe his grappling abilities.
Now while MMA is a different ballgame than straight jiu-jitsu, Drysdale is certainly surrounded by some of the best fighters in the game at Couture’s that can help round out his skills. I certainly would not want to learn that one of the first fights in my amateur career would be against Robert Drysdale. No opponent has been named yet. Hopefully Tuff-N-Uff can find an amateur willing to get in there with him.
Exclusive Interview: Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral
One of the most unfortunate aspects of Tito Ortiz’s bizarre negotiation cock-up with Affliction is that it’s jeopardizing his grudge match with Renato “Babalu” Sobral, the Brazilian UFC vet who would love, love, love to kick the crap out of him. After Sobral’s impressive unanimous decision over Mike Whitehead last month at “Affliction: Banned,” a meeting between Babalu and the Huntington Beach Bad Boy seemed inevitable. Right now, the only thing that’s certain is that Sobral will be fighting Bobby Southworth on September 20th for Strikeforce’s light-heavyweight championship, and he’s currently training hard to be worthy of the belt. Our own Luiz De Souza chatted with Sobral recently about Ortiz, Strikeforce, and the real story behind his unique nickname.
CAGEPOTATO.COM: First of all, how likely is it that we’ll see you face Tito Ortiz in Affliction?
RENATO SOBRAL: I don’t know when that fight will happen. It’s not up to me — if it was, I would have beaten his ass yesterday.
You’ve said that facing Tito would be your “dream fight.” Why is that, exactly?
First of all because he said that I am a “C-class fighter,” then he went on to say that I am a third-world country fighter. It would be a pleasure for me to kick his ass.
What do you think of him as a person?
Well…he is a good fighter. But it would be my pleasure to send him to hell.
If you two fought, how do you think the fight would end?
Whatever way in which the ending is me sending him to hell.
The salaries for some of the fighters at the first Afflicton show were incredibly high — do you feel like you were underpaid compared to guys like Ben Rothwell, Matt Lindland, or some of the other headliners?
I don’t really comment on money. Some make more money; others who are just starting make less. I have nothing to complain about.