Palaszewski to WEC; Curran drops to 135
Bart Palaszewski will be the latest talent to join the WEC’s ranks on the heels of the demise of the rival International Fight League promotion. Palaszewski (29-11) has been offered a six-fight deal with the Zuffa-owned organization and said he will be ready to compete as early as its Sept. 10 event in Hollywood, Fla.
Jeff Curran, Palaszewski’s longtime friend and coach, made the announcement Sunday at the opening of his new training facility in Crystal Lake, Ill., unbeknownst to the Polish-born lightweight.
Curran, who unsuccessfully challenged champion Urijah Faber for the WEC featherweight crown last December, also announced his own intentions to move down to the promotion’s bantamweight division.
Hosman, Curran Victorious at XFO 25
Despite main eventer Bart Palaszewski being scratched from the card after opponent Eric Wisely failed pre-fight blood tests, Xtreme Fighting Organization’s latest offering went on without much of a hitch Saturday night at the Sideouts Bar And Eatery in Crystal Lake, Illinois.
XFO bantamweight champion John Hosman successfully defend his title against Shawn Tompkins-trained James Haourt in the night’s new main attraction. After controlling Haourt on the ground throughout the first three minutes or so of the fight, Hosman stunned Haourt with a trio of elbows, allowing him to sink in a fight-ending rear naked choke that ultimately put Haourt to sleep.
Misaki, Riggs Collide at Strikeforce at the Mansion
Former PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix runner-up Kazuo Misaki will make his Strikeforce debut against UFC veteran Joe Riggs when the organization returns to the famous Playboy Mansion in California for their second “Strikeforce at the Mansion” show on September 20th.
Strikeforce Vice President Mike Afromowitz officially announced the bout in a press release sent out to the media last night. After spending his entire career fighting for Japanese-based promotions, Misaki signed a two-fight deal with Strikeforce in March.
“I am looking forward to making my debut for Strikeforce at the Playboy Mansion, an incredible venue that is well-known throughout the world,” Misaki said. “Joe Riggs is a tremendous competitor. His style is aggressive like mine so I have no doubt that our fight will be an exciting and memorable one.”
UFC 87 Gate and Attendance Figures
The gate was $2.2 million, a new record for the Target Center. The attendance was 15,082.
A week out from the event the gate was at $2.2 million on just over 13,000 tickets sold, so the last couple of thousand seemed to be mostly comped/papered tickets.
Miguel Torres ‘itching’ for next WEC fight in December
“I’m itching real bad. I want to get down. I hate going to fights and sitting in the stands. I would have loved to have stepped in the cage on Sunday. I guess I just have to wait my turn…. I think [Manny] Tapia is at the front of the line, but he just messed up his knee. So I don’t know. I’ll fight [Brian] Bowles — he looks good. And if he doesn’t get the next shot I’m sure we’ll cross paths one of these days if he keeps winning. I don’t really care. I’ll fight anybody, anywhere. He doesn’t even have to be 135 pounds.”
WEC Bantamweight Champion Miguel Torres talks about his eagerness to return to action in a recent interview against possibly Manny Tapia or Brian Bowles. Torres appears to indicate that Tapia has the inside track to challenge for his 135-pound belt next if he’s fit. Otherwise, we could see Bowles — who recently stopped Damacio Page — get the nod. Either way it should be a tough fight for either fighter — Torres sounds fired up.
Brock Lesnar: ‘Can you see me now?’
Brock Lesnar is a God … in Minnestota.
It’s hard to explain the unbelievable (and deafening) reception that Lesnar received last night from the hometown crowd that packed the Target Center to watch him take on Heath Herring at UFC 87: “Seek and Destroy.”
We were seated in section 100 and could not hear anything besides the roar of the crowd, which totally drowned out the voice of Bruce Buffer during the pre-fight introductions. In fact, my ears were ringing well after the lights came down to signal the end of the show.
To his credit Lesnar did an amazing job of whipping the crowd into a frenzy, hoisting his massive limbs in the air if he wanted to raise the volume inside the venue, throwing gloves and shirts into the stands and hijacking the microphone to deliver a dramatic speech.
BJ Penn vs. G. St. Pierre Confirmed
White said, “BJ was here tonight all fired up cheering for GSP; they both really want that fight. I’m gonna let that fight happen."
Also from the article : "A source close to the situation has informed Fightline.com that the fight will take place on December 27 of this year, corroborating a previous report that the two would meet for the UFC's New Years Eve show so that date looks likely at this point. "
UFC 87 bonuses: St. Pierre, Fitch, Maia and Emerson earn $60,000 each
Georges St. Pierre, Jon Fitch, Demian Maia and Rob Emerson each won $60,000 "fight night" bonuses stemming from Saturday's UFC 87 event at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minn.
The bonuses were announced in a post-event press conference and confirmed by MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) soon after the pay-per-view event.
Although the majority of the night's fights ended via decision, only one -- the night's main event -- earned bonus honors.
St. Pierre, who made his first successful title defense with a shutout unanimous-decision victory over Fitch, split "Fight of the Night" honors with the former top contender. The five-round fight was clearly dominated by St. Pierre, though Fitch's resiliency kept him in the game. For their efforts, each headliner earned a $60,000 bonus check in addition to their base salaries.
Ground wizard Demian Maia, who took another step toward title contention with his third consecutive UFC victory, earned a Submission of the Night award with his win over gatekeeper Jason MacDonald. Although his opponent fended off a multiple attempts, Maia eventually secured a rear-naked choke and forced MacDonald to tap out at 2:44 of the third round.
Georges St. Pierre: I almost had to kill Jon Fitch to win
I was trying to pace myself, because after the first time I rock him and I couldn’t finish him I was like ‘Man, this guy, I’m gonna have to almost kill him to win’. He’s very tough, I give him a lot of props. A big heart, good , amazing guy, very big heart, [I have] a lot of respect for this guy.
-UFC welterweight champion Georges “Rush” St. Pierre talks about trying to finish challenger Jon Fitch during a UFC 87 post fight interview. GSP successfully defended his title after fighting off a very game Fitch for 25 minutes.
Robbie Lawler discusses future
"Ruthless" Robbie Lawler became EliteXC's second-ever middleweight champion when he TKO'd incumbent champion Murilo "Ninja" Rua at EliteXC: Uprising on Showtime last Sept. 15 in Honolulu.
It was a crowning achievement for Lawler since evolving into a vastly improved fighter following the UFC's decision not to re-sign him in October 2004. Once considered a future star by the promotion, Lawler's star faded after he lost three of four fights.
After his fall from grace, Lawler has gone 9-1 with one no contest in his eleven fights since leaving the UFC. He has emerged as one of the top fighters in his weight class and is coming off two appearances on primetime national television within the past three months.
His most recent appearance came during CBS' Saturday Night Fights on July 26, in a rematch against Scott Smith that followed their first CBS meeting on May 31, which ended in a no contest. After a rocky first round in which he suffered a major laceration to his forehead, Lawler took care of business in the second round by finishing Smith with an array of punches and knees.
'Shogun' Rua Vs 'Rampage' Jackson
"Most likely right now it's looking like it's Quinton Jackson."
Shogun Rua, breaking the news that the UFC is planning to put him up against Quinton "Rampage" Jackson in his return fight.
Affliction ‘Day of Reckoning’: Pedro Rizzo vs Ben Rothwell
Affliction fighters Ben Rothwell (29-6) and Pedro Rizzo (16-8) have been scheduled to face off at October’s “Day of Reckoning” in a match that will right one ship and sink the other.
Rothwell is coming off a strong effort against Andrei Arlovski at Affliction “Banned” on July 19 that saw him hanging tough - only to eventually succumb to the Belarusian’s superior striking and ability in the third round.
It was Rothwell’s first loss in 14 fights and just sixth overall. He was unstoppable in the now defunct IFL and at just 27 years of age, is at or nearing his prime.
Rizzo on the other hand, may be feeling a sense of urgency. “The Rock” still garners respect from his ability to hit like a wrecking ball, but he’s not been able to demonstrate the kind of striking that made him famous earlier in his career.
His knockout loss to Josh Barnett last month probably hasn’t helped matters, but it looks like he’ll get another chance to turn things around against Rothwell.
From a career standpoint, it could be now or never.
Affliction “Day of Reckoning” takes place on October 11 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada and features the main event of Josh “The Babyface Assassin” Barnett (23-5) vs. Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski (13-5).
Cro Cop was the last nail in the coffin.
“Fifty times we thought it was over and we were buying PRIDE, then we hear they were talking to these guys and these guys and kept string us along. So when Mirko Cro Cop’s deal came up, we went after Mirko aggressively, signed him, and that really started to unravel PRIDE."