Dream Pre-fight Press Conference (video)
Dream held a press conference Friday in Tokyo, where the promotion introduced the lineup for its debut effort and encouraged the athletes to address the press.
Gesias Calvancante (Pictures), Shinya Aoki (Pictures), Mirko Filipovic (Pictures) and the rest of the fighters on the card made their last public comments on the eve of battle.
Rashad Evans Readies for Chuck Liddell
Dave Hiza: What are your thoughts on the fight with Liddell?
Rashad Evans: I think it's is a good matchup for me. Chuck Liddell is a tough customer, but at this point in my career, I'm not going to get away with fighting too many guys that are not tough. I'll take them anyway they line up.
Ken Gonzalez: Well, yeah. Last three fights: Ortiz, Bisping, Liddell. No slouches there.
Rashad Evans: No slouches. I welcome the challenge. Like I said, I enjoy it. This is, after all, a fun career. I want to make it as fun as possible and not put too much pressure on myself to try to go out there and not fight the best people. I want to fight the best people and challenge myself all the time.
Dave Hiza: After you found out Mauricio "Shogun" Rua was out of the fight with Liddell because his knee was messed up, did the UFC call you -- or did you call them?
Rashad Evans: They called me and asked me if I wanted to step up and face him. I was like, "Yeah, sure!" I was very happy to take the fight. Chuck is one of those fights you definitely get up for. I've watched Chuck on TV when I was in college, and it was a fight I definitely wanted to have one day.
Kurt Angle Admittedly NOT Ready for MMA
Although professional wrestling superstar Kurt Angle will compete against UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture in a submission grappling match later this year, don't expect Angle to immediately follow in fellow professional wrestler Brock Lesnar's footsteps -- at least not yet.
"I've always wanted to do (MMA), from after the Olympics, and I just never got the shot," Angle said. "I've been keeping myself in really, really good shape, but not in the fighting shape you have to be in to go into MMA."
Instead, Angle will first try his hand at submission wrestling, which is essentially MMA without striking. The match will be Angle's first in Rico Chiapparelli's Professional Submission League, while Couture has competed in the organization before, battling Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza to a draw. The date of the event has not yet been determined, but Angle believes it will take place in late summer or early fall.
"A lot of people are pretty much counting me out, which I don't blame them," Angle admitted. "But you can't count out an Olympic gold medalist."
TapouT Named Official TUF 7 Sponsor
The MMA-themed clothing line TapouT has been named as the first-ever wxclusive apparel sponsor for "The Ultimate Fighter", a deal that covers TUF 7 and also a number of episodes of "UFC Unleashed" on Spike.
UFC Quick Quote: Kenny Florian 4.0 vs. Joe Lauzon
“[Joe Lauzon is] definitely a very aggressive fighter. If you would have asked me that 3 years ago, 2 years ago, 1 year ago or even 8-6 months ago, maybe he is [meaner]. But right now I think I’ve changed a lot of the way I approach the game. My intensity and focus is just far and away greater. I’m very intense out there and have bad intentions for my opponents, and I’m sure Joe does too. I want him to want to beat me, to come forward. I want an aggressive fight. I don’t want to go against a guy that I have to chase or that lays on top of me. I want to see it all, man…. I would agree with that, back then from what Rudy [BJ Penn’s head coach] knew of me. That’s the beauty of things. We constantly train and improve. I want every fight, I want them scouting out that Kenny Florian. It’s a different Kenny Florian, they’re scouting the wrong guy. There preparing for Joe Shmoe when I’m actually version 3 or 4.”
– According to InsideFighting.com, Kenny Florian is unconcerned that BJ Penn and his trainer, Rudy Valentino, will be able to provide Joe Lauzon with any helpful inside information when the two throwdown during the main event at UFC Fight Night 13 at the Broomfield Events Center in Broomfield, Colo., on April 2. Florian trained with the pair for several weeks while in Hawaii after his loss to Sean Sherk in 2006 and now Lauzon trains with them full-time.
DREAM fight card and lightweight grand prix belts (Pic)
The debut event for the new Japanese DREAM promotion takes place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, this Saturday (March 15). It will not air on television here in the United States.
Here’s the line up for the opening round of the stacked lightweight grand prix:
Koutetsu Boku vs. Joachim Hansen
Kazuyuki Miyata vs. Luis “Buscape” Firmino
Artur Oumakhanov vs. Katsuhiko Nagata
Mitsuhiro Ishida vs. Jung Bu-Kyung
Andre Dida vs. Eddie Alvarez
Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Kultar “Black Mamba” Gill
Shinya Aoki vs. Gesias “JZ” Calvancante
*Note that one more bout will possibly be added.
Pride FC 2006 Open Weight Grand Prix Champion Mirko Cro Cop will also be in action against Tatsuya Mizuno. In addition, Hayato “Mach” Sakurai will take on Hidetaka Monma and Ikuhisa Minowa is slated to compete against a yet to be named opponent.
This is shaping up to be a fantastic evening of mixed martial arts.
I know i'v already posted the line up but them belts look sweet!!!!
Breaking News: Filho in Clinic, Out of WEC Fight
Paulo Filho (Pictures) will not defend his WEC middleweight crown against Chael Sonnen (Pictures) on March 26, his manager, Jorge Guimaraes, told Sherdog.com.
"We tried our best with Filho, but it didn't work and he'll not fight in the WEC," Guimaraes said. "He tried with all his effort to accomplish the title defense, but he realized he couldn't do it due to chemical dependence and depression. He knew this kind of stuff does not have a link with the sport, and I'm happy he had a conscience and looked for help."
"The WEC staff was superb with us," the manager added. "They understood the situation, and Filho will return and defend his belt in June. Filho also realized who his real friends are, and he took this lesson seriously. He'll come back victorious from this tough moment and he will be supported, as mentioned, by his real friends."
Saturday's DREAM 1 Fight Card
DREAM, the upstart fight promotion born out of the former K-1 HERO'S organization with help from former staffers of PRIDE Fighting Championships, has (nearly) finalized its fight card for Saturday's debut show.
The event, which takes place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, includes the opening round of a lightweight grand prix, as well as the return of former UFC and PRIDE fighter Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic.
The event airs in Japan on the Tokyo Broadcasting System beginning at 7 p.m. JST. The event won't be broadcast in the U.S.
"DREAM 1" is slated to feature a main event between Shinya Aoki (14-2) and Gesias "JZ" Calvancante (14-1-1), two of the 16 lightweights taking part in the grand prix. Ikuhisa Minowa -- who's slated to compete in the night's first bout -- is without an opponent. Additionally, only 14 participants have been announced for the 16-man grand-prix tournament.
The latest card, according to dreamofficial.com, includes:
Shinya Aoki vs. Gesias "JZ" Calvancante
Kultar Gill vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri
Andre Amade vs. Eddie Alvarez
Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic vs. Yoshihiro Nakao*
Mitsuhiro Ishida vs. Jung Bu-Kyung
Katsuhiko Nagata vs. Artur Oumakhanov
Luiz Firmino vs. Kazuyuki Miyata
Koutetsu Boku vs. Joachim Hansen
Hidetaka Monma vs Hayato "Mach" Sakurai*
Ikuhisa Minowa vs. TBA*
* -- non-grand prix bout
CAGE RAGE CONFIRMS FIRST DRUG TEST SUSPENSION
Cage Rage on Thursday announced the first casualty of its internal drug testing policy. John Phillips, who won his bout over London favorite Jake Bostwick at Cage Rage 25 on March 8, failed his drug test.
In this instance, with Phillips’ drug test results coming back positive, the fight has been ruled a no-contest and he faces a 120-day suspension that will prohibit him from “competing in any U.K. Mixed Martial Arts Event.”
It will be interesting to see if this prevents him from competing in any kickboxing events or any mixed martial arts events run by another promoter, as there is currently no governing body for the sport in the U.K. to enforce the penalty handed down by Cage Rage.
The full acid test on the U.K. working together for the benefit of the sport and supporting Cage Rage’s plans for a controlled drug-free environment will be known if and when another promotion outside of the Cage Rage network tries to book Phillips for a show.
B.J. Penn: I'd Make Joe Lauzon Fight Me
If Joe Lauzon (16-3 MMA, 3-0 UFC) beats Kenny Florian in their UFC Fight Night 13 main event, and if B.J. Penn (12-4-1 MMA, 8-3-1 UFC) successfully defends his title against Sean Sherk at UFC 83, a Lauzon-Penn title fight could be on the horizon -- according to Penn, anyway.
Although the two training partners would seem unlikely opponents, Penn says he would make Lauzon fight him so the youngster could "realize his dreams."
We started chatting about what he thought of Joe's upcoming fight; BJ feels that Joe has a very good chance of winning his fight against Kenny Florian for Ultimate Fight Night in Broomfield, CO. "If Joe does win, and I win the belt, there's a good chance that we may have to fight each other." I quickly responded, "But you guys wouldn't do that, would you?" BJ said, "He would have to fight me if he wants to be the champion. I want him to realize his dreams; I would make him fight me."
UFC 84: Shane Carwin vs. Christian Wellisch
Shane Carwin (8-0) will make his Octagon debut against Christian Wellisch (8-3) at UFC 84: “Ill Will” at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on May 24, according to multiple reports.
Carwin — a Western State College NCAA Division II national wrestling champion and two-time football All-American — is a top heavyweight prospect who has gone undefeated in smaller promotions with the guidance of veterans such as Ron Waterman and Nate Marquardt.
He’s an extremely athletic fighter who has drawn comparisons to Brock Lesnar. Carwin, however, has more mixed martial arts experience. In fact, he has finished all of his opponents in the first round with a mix of knockouts and submissions.
If he can replicate those results inside the Octagon … watch out. Carwin appears to have some serious potential to make waves in a division that sorely needs it.
Wellisch is a law school student who has won two of his three fights with the UFC. He most recently submitted Scott Junk with a heel hook at UFC 76: “Knockout” back in September 2007. He also earned a unanimous decision over Anthony Perosh at UFC 66: “Liddell vs. Ortiz II” back in December 2006.
Here is a HighLight of Shane Carwin
Michael Bisping doesn’t deserve fight with Anderson Silva … yet
“It’s flattering to hear some of the fans on Mixed Martial Arts forums think I might be able to beat Anderson Silva…it’s nice to hear comments like that. But right now, if I’m being brutally honest, I don’t think I deserve to be spoken about in those terms. As I’ve said before, I’ve got to establish myself at middleweight. I’m coming off a reasonably successful career at light heavyweight so I suppose that brings some momentum with it but I think middleweight suits me better. I’m performing so much better in the gym. I’m faster, I’m stronger and I feel great. Everyone around me has commented on it – I thought I might have lost a bit of strength moving down but that isn’t the case. My boxing coach tells me I’m hitting a lot harder and my combinations are a lot faster and I’m eager to see what I can do at this weight. I think I can go a long way, but let’s see.”.
Note that this is the same publication that recently attributed comments to “The Count” that “insisted” he could defeat UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva. These latest remarks appear to make much more sense … especially since Bisping is untested at 185 pounds. He makes his middleweight debut against Charles McCarthy at UFC 83: “Serra vs. St. Pierre 2? at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, on April 19.
Strikeforce To Air Weekly on NBC
MMA Junkie breaks the broadcast MMA news again! According to them, Strikeforce has signed a deal with NBC:
The NBC-Strikeforce deal comes just weeks after CBS and ProElite, Inc. announced a formal partnership that will put four annual EliteXC events on primetime television. The first EliteXC-CBS event is expected to air in May. And though it won't be a live event, Strikeforce could actually beat EliteXC to the airwaves.
As part of the NBC deal, fight footage from past Strikeforce events will likely be shown in "highlights" shows, not unlike the Pride Fighting Championships shows that currently air on Fox Sports Net. The first Strikeforce show is expected to air in mid-April.
The program will likely air on late Saturday nights (early Sunday mornings) either immediately after or soon after the hit NBC series, "Saturday Night Live."
This is not as a big of a deal as the EXC/CBS deal, but it is a nice step for Strikeforce. Dana was never going to accept a saturday night late night timeslot to show old fights, negotiations between UFC and NBC never even really got started. If UFC does sign some kind of new deal, it will likely be with FOX or HBO.
Silva boxing Jones a step closer to reality?
Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight titleholder Anderson Silva recently indicated that he would like to challenge Roy Jones, Jr. – once regarded as one of the top pound-for-pound boxers in the world – to a boxing match.
“Anderson really would love to fight Roy Jones, Jr. in a boxing match,” said Ed Soares, Silva’s manager. “It’s not just talk, we really would like to put that fight together.
“We respect Jones’ boxing ability and think he’s one of the best, but we’re tired of different boxers saying that MMA fighters aren’t technical. Anderson would love to fight Roy Jones in a boxing match under boxing rules to prove that MMA fighters are technical, too.”
It now appears that what started out as a dream bout may actually have some merit to it.
"The Law" May Become The Law
It seems that the Oregon State House Of Representatives had a shortage of qualified candidates on deadline day, as the rush of last-minute filers to run included an "ultimate fighting champion"-former UFC Middleweight Matt "The Law" Lindland.