PITTSBURGH WELCOMES MMA ON JUNE 27
While the UFC is set to descend on Philadelphia in August, the city of champions, Pittsburgh, Penn., will officially welcome mixed martial arts to town on June 27. The Ultimate Cage Fighting Championship makes its Keystone State debut bringing the "Rumble on the Rivers" to the Mellon Arena featuring a number of top fighters including the main event pitting Rich Clementi against Kyle Jensen.
BRAD BLACKBURN ADDRESSES CONTROVERSIAL WIN
Heading into Saturday’s Ultimate Fighter Season 9 Finale versus Edgar Garcia, “Bad” Brad Blackburn was anticipating a war of attrition, and that’s exactly what he got.
Over the course of three rounds, Blackburn and Garcia battered each other, with Blackburn ultimately coming out on top via a close, controversial split-decision.
Upon return to his home in Washington, Blackburn spoke to MMAWeekly.com about his controversial win and what he feels was the deciding factor in the fight.
GINA CARANO PAVING HER OWN WAY THROUGH MMA
ina Carano was in no rush to sign a new contract.
Two months ago, the MMA star had two promotions interested in her talent: Strikeforce, who owned her EliteXC contract, and the UFC, whose owners Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta were thinking about creating a division around her.
The UFC was the popular kids’ choice, like it was for every fighter who dreamed of doing big things. Strikeforce, though not on par with the UFC’s prestige, had a new deal with Showtime and CBS, where she had first cemented herself as the “face of women’s MMA,” at one point adding one million new viewers to the telecast she fought on.
Affliction no longer interested in Andrei Arlovski
The former UFC heavyweight champion was contracted to fight three fights for Affliction. The first of which was his mugging of Ben Rothwell; the second, the disappointing knockout loss at the hands of Fedor Emelianenko; and the third and final bout in his agreement with Affliction was his recent loaning out to Strikeforce where he was overwhelmed by Rogers in lightning quick fashion.
“His contract has expired and right now we have so many fighters under contract that we are just concentrating on working with them,” said Affliction VP Tom Atencio.
Chris Lytle refutes claims he tapped out to Kevin Burns at The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale
No, Chris Lytle did not tap out during this past Saturday's co-"Fight of the Night" bout with Kevin Burns at The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale.
Soon after the June 20 fight aired live on Spike TV and Lytle was awarded a unanimous-decision win, MMA forums lit up with claims stating that veteran fighter tapped out late in the first round after Burns connected on a solid uppercut and took the fight to the mat.
However, on today's edition of MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio), Lytle (27-17-5 MMA, 6-9 UFC) said he never tapped out in his previous 48 professional fights and that he didn't tap out in this one either.
Coming soon: Takanori Gomi Interview
Former Pride FC lightweight champion and posterboy, Takanori Gomi, was a consensus top-ranked lightweight in the world as recently as 2008 — some even branded “The Fireball Kid” the best in the business.
That status quickly changed, however, when Gomi dropped back-to-back fights at the hands of Sergey Golyaev and Satoru Kitaoka under the World Victory Road banner.
Critics quickly jumped on Gomi, saying he was protected throughout his career when the Japan-based promotion was in its heyday. In addition, it was suggested that he lacked motivation and top-flight competition to still be considered among the world’s best at 160 pounds.
Lyoto Machida, Randy Couture, Fedor Emelianenko All Possible for EA Sports MMA Video Game
"We are looking obviously at every fighter that we can, that we feel is applicable from a quality level and then analyzing their image rights, and if they're available and we want them -- then we'll get them. If they're not then we'll move on to the next fighter."
When asked about fighters such as UFC star Lyoto Machida, Moore added: "Machida? A great fighter. There's plenty of great fighters that have their image rights, and we'll start announcing fighters pretty soon."
MMA In New York On The Ropes For 2009 - Not Likely
A two-week deadlock in the New York senate has put MMA on the ropes.
The last day of the legislative body’s 2009 session ended Monday, stranding several bills under consideration including one to legalize MMA in the Empire State.
Governor David Patterson on Sunday called a special session for the Senate to break a stalemate brought by a shift in party lines. Democrats have refused to participate in session since two members of its party sided with Republicans in a leadership vote, giving the GOP control of the Senate. Last week, one Democrat returned to the fold, leaving the chamber in a tie.
Lawmakers are due to vote on a budget for New York City, same-sex marriage, and a sales tax hike, among others.
UFC requests Date Of November 21 In Vegas For UFC 105
It looks like the Ultimate Fighting Championship may be headed to its home turf for a Nov. 21 event.
The promotion has requested the pre-Thanksgiving weekend date from the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Executive Director Keith Kizer Monday confirmed in a posting on popular Internet message board The Underground. The commission's website also confirms the event as targeted for the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
The event is subject to approval by the commission.
Time to Re-Think MMA Judging?
Diego Sanchez's split decision victory over Clay Guida at Saturday night's Ultimate Fighter Finale was one of the best UFC fights of the year, but MMA fans have been talking almost as much about the judging of the fight as the fight itself.
Denny Hopes to End Career on High Note
2008 could have been a banner year for MMA veteran Thomas Denny. After bouncing around different local promotions for most of his career, he signed a contract with EliteXC, and much to many pundits surprise, was booked against Nick Diaz in a high-profile fight in Diaz's hometown of Stockton, Calif., on the second EliteXC on CBS telecast in July.
Despite losing to Diaz via second-round TKO, Denny showed a ton of heart, and appeared to have found a home with the upstart promotion. But it was not to be, as EliteXC folded three months later, and "The Wildman" was once again a free agent.
Fight Biz: UFC conquers North America, but education top priority overseas
The crowd of 21,451 that turned out for UFC 97 in April not only set a North American attendance record for MMA, it also topped this year's average home attendance of four Major League Baseball teams.
The Washington Nationals, Florida Marlins, Pittsburgh Pirates and Oakland Athletics are each averaging less than 21,400 fans for their home games through this past Saturday.
Welcome to the new normal in sports, where MLB is struggling to draw fans amid the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, yet the UFC is playing to large, raucous crowds wherever it travels. As recently as earlier this decade, no one in sports would have fathomed the possibility that an MMA event could draw a crowd larger than the average home attendance of one big-league baseball team, let alone four.
Ricardo Arona Returns to MMA Competition in Brazil on Sept. 12
From Fightbomb's translation of a Portugese interview:
Ricardo Arona: Well, what I have confirmed by now is the ADCC in Barcelona, Spain. I'm confirmed to fight in there. It's gonna happen in September 24th. Also I've spoken with Amaury Bitteti who is promoting a large MMA event in Rio de Janeiro, Bitteti Combat. I'm signed with this event, it'll be in September 12nd.
Will Ultimate Fighter Winners Ross Pearson & James Wilks be Able to Compete in the UFC?
Saturday night's Ultimate Fighter Season 9 Finale from the Palms Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada was a final chance for the participants of the show to prove they have what it takes to compete in the UFC. Throughout the last few weeks, many fans had regarded this season's roster as less than stellar. In fact, most fans believe that the eventual winners of the show would probably have a tough time breaking into the mid-echelon of their respective divisions. Did Ross Pearson and James Wilks prove on Saturday night that they could hang in their divisions?
Carano On Couture: 'He's A Master Game Planner'
When it came time for Gina Carano to assemble a fight camp that would prepare her for her toughest career challenge, Randy Couture was a no-brainer.
“There’s not a lot of people that can put it straight and organize you like Randy,” she said during a Thursday teleconference promoting her headlining fight with Cris “Cyborg” Santos on Aug. 15 at Strikeforce.
UFC Possibly Back To Germany In 2010
Marek Lieberberg, who served as co-promoter for UFC 99 in Cologne, is looking into the possibilities of returning to Germany as early as April 2010. Nothing's set but he's suggesting a possible April event in Oberhausen, which seats 13,000 and is in a city well-positioned to draw foreign (non-Germany) fans.
Bas Rutten Has Zero Respect For Kimbo Slice
At least now he does. In a recent interview, Rutten says that he "misjudged" Kimbo and that he "can't train people that he has no respect for", among other things. Rutten also discussed preparations for the Seth Petruzelli fight that saw Kimbo go down and take EliteXC with him.