Antonio Silva vs. Justin Eilers Likely for EXC 7/26
It seems that Antonio SIlva has an opponent for his fight on EliteXC's 7/26 card to determine the promotion's first heavyweight champion. Silva & Justin Eilers have verbally agreed to the fight, and it's likely to be signed soon even though Eilers was not EXC's first choice of opponents for SIlva.
Rich Franklin likely to return at UFC 88
Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin (23-3 MMA, 10-2 UFC) will restart his quest for another title shot this fall -- most likely at a UFC 88 event in Atlanta -- though it won't necessarily come at 185 pounds.
A source closed to the Sept. 6 event tells MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Franklin has been targeted for the event, and the search for an opponent "is in full swing."
However, when contacted for comment, J.T. Stewart, Franklin's business manager, said nothing definitive has been decided and that he had no other comment.
UFC 88 currently features a main event between Chuck Liddell and Rashad Evans, and the winner could be in line for a title shot with either current light heavyweight champ Quinton Jackson or Forrest Griffin, who headline this weekend's UFC 86 event in Las Vegas.
Franklin will likely be slotted for UFC 88's co-main event.
Franklin, who lost his title and a subsequent rematch to current middleweight champ Anderson Silva, most recently scored a second-round TKO of Travis Lutter at UFC 83. After the victory, Franklin told MMAjunkie.com that a third fight with Silva probably wouldn't be marketable. Many have suggested that a move to the light-heavyweight class could open some new possibilities, though Franklin has been quick to dismiss the suggestion.
However, according to our source, he and the organization are now considering a move to 205 pounds, though it wouldn't necessarily be a permanent move and could simply depend on whether or not he thinks the match-up makes sense.
Although he's one of the sport's bigger middleweights and sheds considerable weight to make the 185-pound limit, Franklin recently told MMAjunkie.com that his body is better suited for the middleweight division.
"I've been at 185 (pounds) for several years," Franklin said in April. "I think that over the past couple years, I've really changed my body composition. It used to kill me to make weight, but now it's much easier than it was three years ago, and I think it's because my body's changed a lot. I just don't think I'm big enough to compete effectively as a light heavyweight anymore."
Franklin last competed at 205 pounds at The Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale in April 1005. He called it a "special case" since the first-ever Spike TV broadcast would reach millions of viewers and could catapult his popularity. After defeating Shamrock, the victory did just that.
Franklin said if a similar opportunity presented itself, he may be inclined to take it.
UFC Quick Quote: Gabriel Gonzaga road back to title shot starts at UFC 86
“I need to come back with wins. I’ll fight anybody. My goal is to be the champion. When I get a title shot, this is my goal. I had a long way to go to get a title shot, and I’ll do it again. I believe I need a couple of wins. And then more and more fights I need to win…. I’m here. I’m training hard to come back with my best condition to give my best show to my fans. I need to come back with wins, but my goal is still to win a belt.”
– Former number one heavyweight contender Gabriel Gonzaga tells Sherdog.com that he intends to once again challenge for the division championship. “Napao” lost his bid to claim the strap against Randy Couture at UFC 74: “Respect” in 2007. He followed that up with another loss to Fabricio Werdum earlier this year. Now he’s set to take on Justin McCully at UFC 86: “Griffin vs. Jackson” at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 5. The journey begins all over again. Can he make it?
**NEW Interview with UFC fighter - Jorge Gurgel**
**NEW Interview with UFC fighter - Jorge Gurgel**
Check out the whole Interview on
From part of the interview:
"“I’m very excited. Saturday can not come any sooner. I’ve been here in Seattle preparing for the last 6 weeks straight. It’s been the best training camp I’ve ever had. I finally have a coach that is going to be my perminente coach. That finally, I think, is going to make me fight to my potential and do what I’ve always planned to do. I’ve been very disappointed with my sub par performances in my UFC career so now, I’m ready." - Jorge Gurgel
Interview done by MMATurf's own Penny Buffington...Check out the whole interview as well as many more on
Can Strikeforce keep its talent satisfied?
Now that Josh Thomson has become Strikeforce's new world lightweight champion, and now that Bobby Southworth has successfully avenged a previous loss and defended his light heavyweight title, can Strikeforce keep the meaningful title fights coming?
I discussed the topic in this week's MMA Insider column for the Dayton Daily News.
Over the next year, finding title contenders could be one of the organization's biggest challenges.
The 10 Most Important Fighters to the Business of Mixed Martial Arts Part I
The mixed martial arts business has seen its ups and downs during its short history. This list is intended to capture the fighters who had the biggest influence in creating interest in the sport and drawing money.
This list is not intended to be a simple listing of the fighters who drew the most money. If that were the sole criterion, the list would look significantly different. Rather, this list is designed to capture the fighters who were most important in shaping the business. Fighters who sparked increases in business and paved the way for bigger things are given additional weight even if they drew less money at the time.
The four fighters who came the closest to making the list but fell short were Masakatsu Funaki, Wanderlei Silva, Matt Hughes and Kid Yamamoto.
Quote of the Day: Underselling Rampage Jackson
"Stranger still is an auspicious lack of promotion for Jackson, who has easily earned an hour's worth of highlights in his Pride career. Why not package a propaganda piece prior to the show that elaborates on his impressive history? Wasn't that more or less the point of acquiring that video library?"
The Case Against Forrest Griffin
Forrest only has two likely ways to pull out a victory in this fight grind out a decision or catch Quinton in a submission during a scramble. Forrest just doesn't knock people out, especially block heads like Rampage. He has excellent ground skills, but is self admittedly lacking in the area of takedowns. He will have the gas tank to go full speed with Jackson for five rounds and after seeing both of their last fights it's a very likely outcome.
HDNet Satisfied As Programming Leader, No Event Plans Yet
Even though the Mark Cuban-backed HDNet seems to have the financial resources to be a challenger to UFC, HDNet Fights has chosen to be more a programming brand than a fight promotion in the 9 months it's been around. They have no imminent plans for a 3rd event yet, admitting the timing is completely tied to-no surprise here-Randy Couture getting his freedom from UFC.
Melvin Guillard prepares to give the UFC one more shot
“Right now it’s tough. You got guys like Spencer Fisher, Frankie Edgar, I can name so many. You even got Rich in there. It gets tougher and you just got to train harder, but right now I’m going to give it a shot and try to become UFC champion. But for future reference, if that doesn’t work and I don’t feel that I’m going to be a champion in the UFC then switch me over to the WEC because its about being a champion and I want to go somewhere where I can be a champion right now. I’m not going to be naive and a hypocrite but I don’t see myself beating BJ Penn right now, he’s a top guy. Anybody under him, yeah, I can go head to head with and I could give it a shot, but I’m not going to sit here and say that my skills are good enough to beat BJ Penn right now because his ground game is way off the charts. Guys like (WEC lightweight champion) Jamie Varner and (Rob) McCullough and guys like that — those guys are tailor made for me to fight. I’m gonna give it a shot and give it a run, but if I fall short again, I’ll be looking forward to moving somewhere else so I can become a champion.”
well at least he seems more humble and mature than he has in the past
UFC 86: Forrest Griffen is up to challenge
He’s not the first Ultimate Fighter alum to get a shot at a title, but that’s not anything that worries the laid back Xtreme Couture fighter. “I was very fortunate with The Ultimate Fighter. A lot of guys have done it now, but I’m glad it took as long as it did,” said Griffin in an exclusive interview with MMAWeekly.com.
Of his transformation from competitor to coach on the television series that helped to launch the current rise in success that mixed martial arts has received, Griffin delivered in his brutally honest style that always makes you wonder if he is dead serious or dripping with sarcasm.
“It’s easier to tell people what to do than do it. But actually I’m a selfish bastard. I care about me primarily. So I’d rather be getting trained than training people,” he said.
“I don’t lead nothing man. If we were all on a deserted island, lost, I would not be Jack.”
In Jackson, Griffin faces a man that is riding an impressive six-fight winning streak, including a title-crowning win over Chuck Liddell and a subsequent five-round defense against former Pride light heavyweight and middleweight champ Dan Henderson.
Mac Danzig on Clay Guida fight, TUF advice
MMAWeekly: First off, Mac, can you give us an injury update?
Mac Danzig: I actually suffered the knee injury in the middle of the (Mark Bocek) fight. I tore a bunch of muscles in my knee, and had a partial tear of a ligament. I’ve jut been healing it up and taking it easy. I moved my girlfriend in with me, took a few photography trips for myself, and now I’m just preparing to get back in there. It’s getting to the point where I’m eight weeks out (from my next fight) and I can start pushing hard.
The injury was slower to heal than I thought it would be, but it will be fine for this fight, unless something crazy happens. I should be good to go.
MMAWeekly: You mention your upcoming fight. For fans that haven’t heard yet, tell us what’s upcoming.
Mac Danzig: It’s going to be me and Clay (Guida) at a UFC Fight Night in September. I guess it’s going to be in Omaha, Neb. I’m not sure what spot our fight is going to be on the card. I’ve heard rumors that it might be the main event, co-main event or just a regular fight on the card – I don’t know. None of that really matters to me; I’m just really looking forward to fighting him.
This is the first time in a long time that I’ve been very excited about the opponent and match-up. I think from a fan’s perspective it’s an awesome fight. If I was a fan watching, I’d want to see it.
Bobby Southworth: a win over "Babalu" could cement legacy
AN JOSE, Calif. -- Soon after defending his Strikeforce world light heavyweight title with Friday's unanimous-decision victory over Anthony Ruiz, Bobby Southworth (9-5) was already looking ahead to future challenges.
Southworth, who avenged a previous non-title-fight loss to Ruiz with the victory, said that he's entering the twilight of his career and wants to fight the division's best before calling it quits.
The 38-year-old considers Renato "Babalu" Sobral (29-7) one such fighter.