Dana White Goes Deep About The Ultimate Fighter
Three years ago, Forrest Griffin fought Stephan Bonnar in what is widely regarded as the most significant fight in mixed martial arts history. On Saturday night, Griffin was part of another significant fight, wresting the UFC light heavyweight championship away from Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
It won’t shift the course of the sport the way that the inaugural Ultimate Fighter Finale did, but Griffin’s title win does shine a glaring spotlight on the impact of the reality series.
Following Griffin’s title winning performance on Saturday night, Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White held court and went deep into the tectonic shift The Ultimate Fighter has had on what is now the fastest growing sport in the world.
“It is one of the biggest things that’s ever happened to mixed martial arts,” he stated. “The people that are on the inside know. Young, up-and-coming talent can’t wait to get on that show. And the talent that’s coming out of that show… if you look at half the guys that are on our cards, they’re coming from this show.”
Not only does the show sling talent into the Octagon, White says it puts the development of that talent on fast forward. “The fact of the matter is, the guys that are on the show are on a certain level, and when they come off they’re at a whole other level.”
Forrest Griffin is White’s quintessential example.
“This whole week I’ve been telling everybody this guy is the American Dream. He was going to quit mixed martial arts. He was going to do the white picket fence, become the cop in Georgia. He didn’t fly out like he was supposed to. We had to get on the phone and talk him in. All the things that happened, he gets cut in that fight against (Alex) Schoenauer. He wins the fight easily, but gets cut bad,” White recounted.
“If we didn’t have Dr. (Gregory) Shu – the guy we used to stitch guys up – Forrest Griffin would have never fought that fight. So if it wasn’t for him, Forrest would have never fought Stephan Bonnar in the finale. And I swear to God, I don’t know if we’d be sitting here talking right now if that fight didn’t happen.”
UFC 86 Fallout: Possible Protest, Rematch
Although Quinton Jackson lost his UFC light heavyweight title Saturday to Forrest Griffin in a grueling 25-minute bout, his camp is ready to keep fighting.
Jackson's coach, Juanito Ibarra, plans to protest the unanimous decision with the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
"We got robbed," Ibarra told Sherdog.com Sunday afternoon. "We won the majority of the fight."
Judges Adalaide Byrd and Nelson Hamilton scored the bout 48-46 for Griffin, while Roy Silbert turned in a 49-46 tally for Griffin.
It's extremely unlikely that a protest would change the outcome of the fight. Ibarra isn't hopeful in that regard, but less than 24 hours after his fighter had lost in the UFC for the first time, the coach seemed determined to learn exactly how the fight was scored.
He was baffled that Byrd and Silbert gave Griffin a 10-9 advantage in the first round, during which Jackson dropped the challenger. In Ibarra's view, the knockdown warranted a 10-8 round in Jackson's favor. He believes Jackson won the third and fourth rounds on 10-9 scores, though he said Griffin deserved a 10-8 second round and a 10-9 fifth. That comes out to a 47-46 win for Jackson.
"You have to beat the champion," Ibarra asserted more than once.
Randy Couture, a coach and training partner of Griffin, gave a slight edge to the new champion.
"I thought that it was a very, very close fight," Couture said. "I thought that it was three rounds to two [for Griffin]. I thought that Quinton did enough to win two of the rounds clearly. I thought they may have been able to give Quinton a 10-8 round in the first round with the knockdown and then the second round you could have given Forrest a 10-8 round.
"And it could have went the other way. If one or two rounds went the other way, it could have been three rounds to two for Quinton. It was that close."
Forrest Griffin Gets Knocked Out...At The Poker Table
Just because you're an MMA champion doesn't mean you're gonna have it easy at the tables. The new UFC Light Heavyweight Champion was one of thousands of participants in the ongoing Main Event at the WSOP (World Series Of Poker in Las Vegas), and eventually got knocked out by a fellow champ: 2-time WSOP World Champion Johnny Chan.
Five Greatest Career Turnarounds in MMA
Nothing gets boring faster than perfection, except for perhaps mediocrity. In the realm of fight sport, the sight of an athlete slipping from one into the other is often the fuel for the theater of the unexpected that MMA has become.
While seeing our favorites cast aside after one beating too many is all too common an occurrence, we do occasionally get to see the most moribund of fighters get in touch with their inner "Cinderella Man."
With both James Braddock and a certain "TUF" product in mind, we cast our sights on chronicling the five greatest career turnarounds this young sport has ever seen. So load up for a trip down memory lane and don't forget the Kleenex -- this place is gonna be Niagara Falls in a bit.
The Highly Unofficial Half-Year UFC Awards - The Upsets
Unless the world gets turned upside down in the second half of 2008, it is unlikely that we will ever see a year like 2007 when it comes to upsets in the UFC Octagon. But while there aren’t any fights on the level of Matt Serra-Georges St-Pierre I, Gabriel Gonzaga-Mirko Cro Cop, Houston Alexander-Keith Jardine, or Jake O’Brien-Heath Herring on the ledger thus far this year, there have been a handful of fights that confirm the old adage that on any given night, anything can happen, especially in the UFC.
Forrest Griffin vs. Rampage Jackson Rematch Under Consideration
Bloody Elbow has learned that the UFC is considering an immediate rematch between Quinton Jackson and Forrest Griffin after the razor close decision on Saturday night. A major factor in determining whether there is such a rematch is Jackson's knee. If it is injured and he needs time off, then they'll go another direction, but a source from the Jackson camp say his leg was hurt in the fight, but sustained no damage that should keep him out for an extended period of time. Needless to say, that's not a certified medical opinion or anything, so the status of Jackson's knee remains a question mark.
UFC confirms title shot for Canadian Cote
Canada could have two UFC champions by year's end. Georges St. Pierre rules the 170-pound welterweight division. And Patrick (The Predator) Cote, GSP's friend and Montreal training partner, has been granted a crack at the 185-pound middleweight title -- probably later this year.
Cote (14-4) earned that Saturday night by winning a split decision over Ricardo (Big Dog) Almeida in the co-main event of UFC 86 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.
Crocop's official statement regarding dream 5
A quote from Crocop from his website at MMA-ID.com
unfortunately I have some bad news? I won't be fighting at DREAM 5 at all. I was about to face Jerome LeBanner but he decided to fight in K1 against Schilt. Mighty Mo was the alternative and I accepted this challenge, but unfortunately Mighty Mo pulled off from the fight. I was ready to face Mo, but maybe this scenario wasn't that bad for me at all and I'll tell you why.
I've been having problems with my right elbow for years and the injury got even worse over last 6 months. I'm already receiving a proper treatment but the recovery won't happen over night. The second problem is a knee injury, something that troubles me for quite a while. I had difficulties using my kicks and over last few weeks I focused more on boxing and grappling. I really wanted to fight on July 21 and I was even ignoring doctor's suggestions, but now I've rached the point from which I can't continue with my normal training regiment due to my injuries.
I was willing to accept the risk of fighting Mo or someone else without being 100% ready fo the fight. I had only one fight this year, I miss big fights and top level competition. I'm eager to get back to the big stage, I still have good fights left in me and I won't give up. I'm not happy with this outcome of course, but at this moment I need to be patient and give some time for my body to recover.
I'm scheduled for arthroscopy tomorrow morning, it's a minor surgical procedure but it will keep me away from MMA trainings for 2-3 weeks probably. From Wednesday I'll focus on my new cardio training program and we'll add MMA elements to my training regiment as soon as my knee will be ready for action.
My goal is to become the first heavyweight champion in DREAM and to do that I need to be ready to fight on September 23. I'm not interested in summer time, vacations or things like that; I'll focus on getting back to shape and hopefully I'll fight in September. I would really like to fight Alistair Overeem, we all know why and I won't let it go. My career is far from being over, I'll be fighting some strong competitors soon again and hopefully I'll meet Fedor in the ring once more in 2009.
Thank you for supporting me and I'll get back to you all soon to keep you updated. "
Forrest Collects $250k Purse!?
Griffin made a purse of $250,000, including a $100,000 win bonus. Jackson collected $225,000. The purses do not necessarily contain other bonuses included in fighter contracts.
The two got another $60,000 apiece for winning fight of the night honours.
"I think we're going to have to do that again. And that sucks for me," said Griffin.
"Every punch he threw hurt," added Griffin.
Said Jackson: "He really hurt my leg. ... He just whupped my ass."
UFC still going through growing pains
LAS VEGAS – When the Ultimate Fighting Championship started as a made-for-pay-per-view event in 1993, it was a learn-as-you-go proposition since nobody knew what to expect.
Over the past few years, in attempting to turn whatever it started out as being to a legitimate sport with unified rules and commission regulation, there have been a new set of growing pains. The more popular the sport gets, the more controversies there seems to be regarding judging criteria, referee stoppages and rule interpretations.
New champ Josh Thomson searches for new challenges
Riding a six-fight win streak and holding the Strikeforce U.S. lightweight championship belt, Josh "The Punk" Thomson (15-2) still entered the June 27 "Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Thomson" event a decided 3-to-1 underdog against his longtime training partner and Strikeforce world lightweight champion Gilbert "El Nino" Melendez.
$60K UFC 86 bonuses (spoilers)
Forrest Griffin, Quinton Jackson, Melvin Guillard and Cole Miller each earned $60,000 "fight night" bonuses for their performances at UFC 86.
UFC 86 took place Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and aired live on pay per view. The bonus amounts represented an increase of $10,000 over the $50,000 payouts for winners from June's UFC 85 event.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) confirmed the bonuses with sources close to the winning fighters.
UFC 86 Gate Figures
According to the Las Vegas Sun the attendance was 11,172 with a gate of $3.2 million. This was slightly off of NSAC Director Keith Kizer's prediction of a Top 5 gate, with the show coming at number 6.
In other news from the post fight press conference, Dana White said the UFC is trying to go to Chicago in October and Boston in November. As previously announced, the UFC also will being doing a show from Birmingham, England in October.
UFC's Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson becomes a changed man
Just as some began to sense Quinton "Rampage" Jackson was on the downside of his career, Juanito Ibarra saw a man with untapped potential. When other mixed martial artists considered Jackson nothing more than a brawler, Ibarra was convinced he could supply him with an arsenal of self-defense tactics...........
"What I seen in Quinton was just a lot of raw ability and a bad attitude," Ibarra remembers.
"I always said, if this kid can really learn how to be a professional, act like a professional, build a brand and have somebody teach him how to fight . . . he'd be a champion."
IFL’s impact greater than some realize
In my weekly article for CBSSports.com, this week I decided to take a look at all the former IFL talent that has migrated into the UFC.
Between Mike Dolce, Gerald Harris, and Dante Rivera on TUF 7; from Rory Markham, Brad Blackburn, and Reese Andy on the card for UFN 14; and Andre Gusmao debuting at UFC 87, the UFC has done some pretty big reaching into the IFL well.