With broken hand healed, Houston Alexander working ground game for fall UFC return
Now recovered from a broken hand that forced him out of a scheduled UFC 98 fight with Andre Gusmao, UFC light heavyweight Houston Alexander is planning a late summer or early fall return to the octagon.
Alexander (8-4 MMA, 2-3 UFC), who's in a must-win situation after three consecutive UFC losses, never quit training after the injury.
"We spent the down time working on techniques and ran him through a six-week speed and agility program, so other than not hitting anything and not getting to fight, we never missed a beat training wise," Alexander's trainer, Mick Doyle, told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
WEC and PFC vet Poppies Martinez newest Strikeforce lightweight, debuts Aug. 15
Poppies "The Tachi Kid" Martinez (16-5), a former World Extreme Cagefighting fighter and Palace Fighting Championships title-holder, will further bolster Strikeforce's quickly filling lightweight division.
Christian Printup, founder and president of the successful PFC organization, today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) Martinez will make his Strikeforce debut at the organization's Aug. 15 event in San Jose, Calif.
An opponent will soon be signed for Martinez, who will compete on the night's preliminary card.
Martinez enters Strikeforce with three wins in his past four fights (all in PFC) and seven in his past nine; only one victory went to a decision. He launched his career in 2003 with the WEC, where he went 8-2 before a move to PFC in 2007.
Will Blagoi Ivanov Become the Next Great Heavyweight Fighter in Japan?
Monikered as the "Man Who Beat Fedor", Blagoi Ivanov has an interesting set of tasks to deal with in the coming months. He'll make his MMA debut on August 2nd at Sengoku IX against former PRIDE fighter and pro-wrestler Kazuyuki Fujita after signing a three-fight deal with Sengoku, and he is also rumored as to potentially taking on Fedor Emelianenko's brother, Aleksander Emelianenko, in the new South Korean promotion Fighting Mixed Combative. In typical Japanese fashion, it seems that Ivanov is being thrown to the wolves quite early in his career, but there is a favorable chance that Ivanov could come out on top.
Mixed Martial Arts and the UFC Doing Well, Still Not in Major Leagues
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.
Is PRIDE-Style Judging Criteria the Answer? Absolutely Not.
Without trying to beat a dead horse on the issue regarding judging, the discussion revolving around the current MMA judging model is definitely an intriguing debate. After The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 Finale's debatable decisions on both the main card and undercard, many fans have realized that some changes need to be made. Kid Nate made the argument that the Japanese judging system might be a better fit for MMA while Joe Rogan seemed to side a bit with its application as well.
Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Chris Tuchscherer official for UFC 102 preliminary card
A heavyweight bout between UFC veteran Gabriel Gonzaga (10-4 MMA, 6-3 UFC) and octagon newcomer Chris Tuchscherer (17-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has been officially added to the UFC 102 fight card.
UFC 102 takes place Aug. 29 at the Rose Center in Portland, Ore., and features a heavyweight main event between former UFC champions Randy Couture and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.
Mikey Burnett: Fight with Pat Miletich in the works for Strikeforce event in Oklahoma
Early UFC pioneers Mikey Burnett (5-2) and first-ever UFC welterweight champion Pat Miletich (29-7-2) could meet at a future Strikeforce event in Tulsa, Okla.
That's the word from Burnett, who posted on mixedmartialarts.com's popular forum, The Underground, that the fight, which would be a rematch from their first meeting 11 years ago, "is in the works."
However, Strikeforce has made no official announcement about an upcoming show in Oklahoma, which would be its first in the state. A phone call MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) left with a Strikeforce executive was not immediately returned.
2 More Fights Added To Sengoku 9 Card
World Victory Road has today added 2 more fights to Sengoku 9 on August 2. A Heavyweight bout between Yoshihiro Nakao and Mu Bae Choi joins a Lightweight bout between Eiji Mitsuoka & Clay French as the additions, making 8 fights so far on the card.
Randy Hedderick is ready to beat Tom Atencio’s ass at ‘Ultimate Chaos’
"This is a huge opportunity for me. I’ve been working hard and training non-stop. So many people have come up to me saying, ‘Beat his ass,’ and that’s what I’m going to try and do. I’m a stand-up fighter – boxing and Samba – but I’ve been learning Muay Tai. I’m a brawler who lives for the Fight of the Night. I’m looking for that to happen and to win by knockout. There’s huge interest in our fight. A lot of people at the casino have mentioned it to me and after the press conference, I ‘Googled’ myself and saw that I was all over the place. I must admit, I do have a few Affliction T-shirts, but my girlfriend bought them for me. I’m enjoying this and can’t wait to get in the cage with Tom. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime for me.”
Shane Carwin: Brock Lesnar ‘is a freaking liar’
Threat to the UFC heavyweight crown and human wrecking machine Shane Carwin has recently been on the receiving end of a few rumors that have him mad as hell, and he’s not going to take it anymore.
Carwin recently took the time to issue a statement through FiveOuncesOfPain.com in response to several stories regarding himself recently.
In a recent interview with GroundNPound.org, UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar spoke about an encounter he had with Carwin prior to UFC 96 where the two powerhouses had the force of their punches tested. According to Brock, it was he who possessed the more powerful hammer.
Keep an Eye on Tomasz Drwal
Saturday night's Ultimate Fighter Finale featured five televised fights, three of which won co-Fight of the Night honors and the other two which crowned the winners of The Ultimate Fighter reality show. So there wasn't much time left over to talk about the fights that didn't make the Spike TV broadcast.
But you can watch those non-televised fights on UFC.com, and after watching the undercard online I think it's worth mentioning one fighter in particular: Tomasz Drwal, who beat Mike Ciesnolevicz by first-round technical knockout.
Michael Bisping on Dan Henderson: I'll Be the First to Knock Him Out
Michael Bisping is an underdog in his UFC 100 fight with Dan Henderson, but he's sounding increasingly confident as the fight approaches.
"He's got a vicious right hand with a lot of power in it -- he's knocked out a lot of guys," Bisping said, before adding, "I think I'm going to be too quick for him. I don't think he's going to land that big shot. I don't see Dan Henderson -- no disrespect -- at 38 years of age, I think he's got to be slowing down a bit. I don't think he's going to catch me with it. ... Tune in to see the first time ever Dan Henderson gets knocked out."
How Likely Is Vitor Belfort-UFC Deal? Just Follow the Evidence
Last week, UFC President Dana White surprised a few people by saying that he'd like to put together a matchup between middleweight champion Anderson Silva and current Affliction middleweight Vitor Belfort.
The statement was surprising because White's been burned in the past announcing matchups that never happened and deals that fell through. Most recently, he did a verbal contract with Mirko Cro Cop prior to UFC 99, but the Croatian star bolted after one fight. Most famously, he had then-PRIDE fighter Wanderlei Silva enter the octagon at UFC 61 to announce a matchup with UFC superstar Chuck Liddell. But talks soon fizzled and White wasn't able to put the two together until after he bought PRIDE and acquired Silva's contract.
CONTROVERSY OR NOT, TIM KENNEDY MOVES ON
Nowadays it’s almost commonplace that if there’s an MMA show, there’s some sort of controversy. Case in point, this past Friday’s ShoMMA: Strikeforce Challengers Series event.
During the second round of the match-up between Tim Kennedy and Nick “The Goat” Thompson, Thompson tapped out due to strikes, but almost immediately began complaining that he was getting hit in the back of the head, which is illegal by Strikeforce rules.
SYLVIA WILL STILL FIGHT; ADRENALINE WILL RETURN
Adrenaline MMA promoter Monte Cox says in the fight business, things can go either way.
Things like your choice of fights, venue, and production budget. It can take very little to change a proposed MMA show. Just like the fights, the margin for error is slim – especially when you’re in a foreign territory.
“Anytime you go somewhere for the first time, you’re always going to encounter resistance,” said Cox. “You have hometown promoters that don’t want you there; you don’t really know who the local fighters are that draw; you don’t know where to go to get the best sponsors. And you’re not always treated fairly because you’re the out of town guy.”
Technically Speaking: Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos vs. Gina Carano
August 15th is a little under two months away, but there is already a hot buzz surrounding the women's MMA scene. Strikeforce has managed to line up potentially one of the most anticipated matchups of the year in Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos vs. Gina "Conviction" Carano. It'll also be the first women's MMA matchup to receive main event treatment under a major MMA promotion, and it will likely become a historical battle on the women's MMA front.
Quote of the Day: Joe Rogan Talks MMA Judging
TM: You've seen a lot of good judging and a lot of bad judging over the years, and a lot of good refereeing and bad refereeing. What's your natural reaction when you see a judging or refereeing decision you disagree with? Is it pretty much what we get on the air, or do you try to temper it a little bit because you don't want to pile on?
Joe Rogan: The problem with the referees when we go to a place like Nashville is we have to use local referees and a lot of these guys just aren't prepared for the big show. They're not good enough, and they're nervous and some are real trigger happy. They want to step in and stop the action or tell the guys what to do. They make mistakes and don't know what to do...
Chris Lytle's post-UFC career could include political run in Indiana
Fulltime firefighter, professional boxer, star mixed-martial-arts fighter, devoted family man.
Could Renaissance Man and UFC welterweight Chris Lytle's list of job responsibilities soon include rookie politician?
On Monday's edition of MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio), the longtime fighter mentioned interest in entering the political ring once his career in the cage runs its course.
"I've been talking to some people in my state about it, trying to use whatever popularity I have from my name to help me run for some sort of political office," Lytle said.
Lytle, a fan favorite who's stand-and-bang style and no-nonsense interviews have earned him a home in the UFC for nearly a decade, joked about another qualification.