BJ Penn, Michael Bisping, Urijah Faber and Carlos Condit to visit troops in Afghanistan
UFC Lightweight Champion BJ Penn and middleweight contender Michael Bisping, along with WEC champions Carlos Condit and Urijah Faber, will soon travel to Afghanistan to visit with United States military and other coalition troops stationed there.
Here’s a snip from UFC President Dana White:
“We are honored to send UFC and WEC fighters to visit the men and women of the United States Military. We are pleased to be giving back to such a great cause; many of our fighters have served in the military and understand what a great contribution our troops are making overseas.”
No timetable for the visit or duration of the trip was announced at this time. However, Condit is set to defend his 170-pound title on August 3, meaning it has to happen real soon or after WEC 35.
This is certainly not the first time Zuffa has dispatched a small contingent of its fighters overseas. Randy Couture, Rich Franklin and Rachelle Leah visited troops in Iraq back in 2006. Tito Ortiz and Justin McCully have also been fixtures on recent USO tours.
Remember that the promotion staged a special Spike TV live event in an aircraft hangar at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, Calif., on December 13 that was open only for troops to attend. It featured a main event between Diego Sanchez and Joe Riggs, which the “Nightmare” won via first round knockout.
And there’s also been discussions that the UFC plans to hold a future event on the deck of a Navy aircraft carrier.
Cesar Gracie: "You guys might see the Diaz-Gomi rematch"
"If Nick is 100% on, he is the best in the world. If you put Nick somewhere and you say, 'the winner is the fighter that comes out of this cage,' guess who is coming out? Nick Diaz is coming out of that cage. I don't care if it's Georges St-Pierre or whatever. I know he can lose a fight and I know in X amount of rounds this guy can outpoint him, but I know that Nick is a true fighter. He's a warrior wherever he goes," stated Cesar Gracie as he spoke about Nick Diaz and his upcoming clash with Mushin Corbbrey this Saturday. You don't want to miss what else he had to say as he talked more about the Diaz brothers and shared his thoughts on BJ Penn, Georges St-Pierre, Anderson Silva, Jake Shields, Matt Hughes, Frank Shamrock, the EliteXC debut on CBS, a Diaz-Gomi rematch and much more.
Wanderlei Silva Interview
Wanderlei Silva was interviewed by Japanese MMA and pro wrestling mag Kampiro following his brutal 1st round knockout of Keith Jardine at UFC 84, and Wand had an interesting theory about how he got back on the winning track:
Donald Trump Makes His Move
When the Affliction clothing line announced its Affliction: Banned pay-per-view event, there was a great deal of skepticism. To be blunt, there is no way that the show will be able to make a profit.
Fedor Emelianenko, Tim Sylvia, Josh Barnett and Andrei Arlovski have big money contracts, and the ceiling for non-UFC MMA pay-per-views has been around 50,000 buys. That includes the Las Vegas Pride pay-per-views which had comparably star-studded cards, world-class production and a much stronger brand name. As a live event the Affliction show will take place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, which drew a $1.98 million gate for the last UFC show featuring Chuck Liddell.
More Reality On The Way From UFC
In the most recent issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer intimated that there may be more reality programming on the way from the UFC, in addition to The Ultimate Fighter:
"UFC is going to do a new reality show. I don't know the details of the show itself, but my impression is it involves Matt Hughes in a big way."
Hughes would seem an excellent choice for the new reality concept. Hughes's career has benefited greatly from his two stints as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter.
Matt Hughes Wants Matt Serra Showdown
Former UFC champion Matt Hughes had a long journey home after his defeat at UFC 85: Bedlam. Hughes was beaten in the second round of his fight with Thiago Alves at the 02 Arena in South East London. Hughes has had time to reflect on the defeat and consider his future as a fighter.
He shared his views on his blog at www.matt-hughes.com .
“Well, I didn’t think I’d come back writing something up after a loss. I fully expected to win, things didn’t go my way. Thiago came in big, some people told me that he looked bigger than me in the octagon. I didn’t expect that but I also think that had nothing to do with the outcome of the fight.
PS. Thiago really did come in big! He made Hughes look tiny in comparison i thought.
Cub Swanson vs Hiroyuki Takaya WEC 35 fight set
Two fighters looking to get back in the win column after devastating defeats — Cub Swanson (12-2) and Hiroyuki Takaya (9-5-1) — will battle it out in a 145-pound clash at WEC 35 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, on August 3, according to Sherdog.com.
Swanson was on the rise until he suffered a setback against Jens Pulver in his return to the featherweight division at WEC 31. “Lil Evil” submitted Swanson just 35 seconds into the first round — only the second loss of Swanson’s pro career.
He actually took a low profile tune-up fight outside the promotion after the defeat, submitting Donnie Walker with a rear naked at an International Fighting & Boxing League (IFBL) bout back in February.
Evan Tanner blog on Spike.com coming soon
“I’ll be making two to three posts a week. Spike’s given me the freedom to talk about whatever’s on my mind, within reason of course.
1. I’ll be giving training updates, with pictures and video footage, sparring sessions, technique sessions, and strength and conditioning sessions. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some behind the scenes footage in the dressing room before and after fights, and footage of everything else that goes on that’s never shown on the UFC event coverage.
2. I’ll also be giving thoughts on upcoming events, and individual fights. And sometimes, I’ll be doing post fight reviews. I’m sure I’ll have a thing or two to say about developments with the UFC and the MMA world in general.
Mezger clarifies comments...
In this statement from Guy Mezger, Mezger clarifies for our readers any misunderstanding that might have arisen from our Wednesday June 11th, 2008 interview with him.
Glad people didn't jump all over it before.
Fedor interview by mixfight-combat.com.ru
Are fighters born or made?
Fighters are made. There is a predisposition for it in one’s character, but I think you need to become a fighter.
Is there a difference between a fighter who grew up on the street and then came to the gym - and a man from a successful family, who was brought in by his father, and then started training?
It’s tough to say. I do think that children from either family can achieve great results. What’s probably more important is a child’s upbringing. Not in which conditions he lives in, but how he is brought up. The street doesn’t always harden a young guy, girl, or child; sometimes the opposite. We need to take the children away from the streets.
At the same time if a child lives not feeling a need in anything, and doesn’t have goals, interests, doesn’t go to the gym, or anywhere else - his character will rot. But if a child is busy training, that’s a whole other story. I would wish that there was mentoring at home and at the gym.
Ken Shamrock's Lion's Den NEW Elite Fight Team
The next generation of MMA champions have been chosen. MMA Legend Ken Shamrock recently held open tryouts for the highly anticipated Lion's Den Scottsdale Elite Team. The tryouts, open to all experienced professional fighters, took place at Shamrock's newest MMA training facility located in Scottsdale Arizona.
Cacareco Out, Ralek Gracie in at Dream 4
Alexandre “Cacareco” Ferreira has been pulled off the Dream 4 fight card due to visa issues that prevent him from entering Japan. He was scheduled to face Russian fighter Alavutdin Gadzhiev.
Replacing Cacareco will be Ralek Gracie, who takes the MMA fight on short notice. Gracie was originally scheduled to face Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic in a special grappling rules match at Dream 4. The grappling bout, however, was scratched off the card when Cro Cop withdrew because of injury.
With MMA, UFC influence spilling over to wrestling, are Olympics next?
The U.S. Olympic wrestling trials begin Thursday in Las Vegas. It's the perfect location because so much of the chatter surrounding the event is focused on pushing the ancient sport to sexy, combative extremes.
"People aren't trying to pin each other anymore," said Jason Townsend, who is promoting a new style -- "Grappling" -- for USA Wrestling, the sport's national governing body. "They're trying to choke each other, arm-bar, leg-lock and get their opponent to say, 'Uncle.' How long can you hold out before you tap out?'"
You "tap out" before turning blue, feeling your knee burst or your arm snap.
Welcome to 21st-century international wrestling, and -- perhaps -- the future of Olympic wrestling. Buffeted by a perfect storm of marketing and cultural vectors striking Olympic sports, wrestling -- arguably the most traditional of all -- can be traced back thousands of years, when, Townsend said, "wherever people were, whether they were in a tree, they were wrestling. People have evolved with wrestling."
Freestyle, which is similar to high school and college wrestling, and Greco-Roman, in which no holds or actions are permitted below the waist, remain the classic Olympic styles and are on the Beijing program. But that almost certainly won't be the case 20, 10 or perhaps even five years from now.
"There is a school of thought among traditionalists that our sport will exist in its current form forever," USA Wrestling executive director Rich Bender said. "But even those within that traditionalist community would have to admit our sport has changed. We have to keep our eyes wide-open."
The International Olympic Committee has made it known it seeks to modernize its sports to better attract young audiences. Consider the advent of BMX cycling in Beijing this summer, or snowboarding in the Winter Games.
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) have exploded onto the sports scene recently, giving rise to the new wrestling style, Grappling, which was approved by FILA, the international wrestling federation, in 2006.
UFC Quick Quote: Thales Leites not interested in Nate Marquardt rematch
“I don’t think so [take a rematch with Nate Marquardt]. He did a lot of illegal things to me. In my opinion it was his obligation to knock me out in the second round after the illegal knee. If he wants to fight me again I think he should get to the line, and wait in it again. I’m looking for the title-shot. He had his chance before, and he couldn’t get it so now it’s my time.”
‘Those who cant … teach:’ MMAmania.com exclusive interview Juanito Ibarra
UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is a wanted man — not just inside the Octagon, but outside of it, too.
With the conclusion of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 7, which he was a coach alongside Forrest Griffin, he is now hunkering down in Big Bear, Calif., to prepare for his monster upcoming title defense at UFC 86: “Jackson vs. Griffin” on July 5.
California likely to require clean drug tests for past offenders
California is poised to join Nevada in requiring fighters who previously tested positive for drugs to prove they are clean before being allowed to fight again.
The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) is working on this and other changes to regulations designed to stem the use of performance-enhancing and recreational drugs in combative sports. The proposed change to current rules in California would require a clean drug test for licensure or renewal of a license when an athlete has "previously tested positive for a prohibited substance in any commission state." This clean-test stipulation comes with no expiration date.
To cite a real-world example, this proposed rule change means that if former UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk is to fight again in California, whether it's next month or 10 years from now, he will be required to pass a drug test before he's cleared to compete. This is similar to a rule on the books in Nevada, as Sherk was required to pass a drug test prior to his bout with BJ Penn last month at UFC 84.
"This is to assure us that they are safe to be placed into a competitive environment again and prevent repeat test failures," Bill Douglas, acting assistant executive officer with the CSAC, told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "It will only apply if they have had a previously verified test failure."
The proposed rule is working its way through the bureaucratic process in California. That includes a public-comment period, which closed last month, and reviews by a litany of state agencies. Douglas is confident that the rule will pass and be signed into law by the middle of July. If that timing holds, Douglas anticipates the rule would take effect approximately 30 days after being signed to give promoters ample notice of the change.
Few, if any, other states outside of Nevada require this clean test for fighters who have previously tested positive for drugs, according to Douglas.
Another rule change currently under review would permit the commission to overturn a victory when a fighter has won his or her fight and subsequently tested positive for a banned substance. The fight would be declared a no-contest. Currently, victories by fighters who fail a drug test stand.
Following this round of rule revisions, random testing is next on the CSAC agenda.
"One of the things that were also hoping to address in the future with a rules package -- more than likely the very next one I'll be working on -- is out-of-competition testing," said Douglas. "That's currently being done in Nevada, and California is hoping to do the same thing. We're not looking to do this a week or two before a fight. We want to be able to do it whenever we want. So if someone fights and then six months into their training, we can call them up with their date and time (for testing)."
Judo Olympian Ronda Rousey Could Be an MMA Star -- If Her Mom Will Let Her
There's a lot to like about Ronda Rousey. She's America's best hope for an Olympic medal in judo this summer, she's a passionate advocate for her sport, and she has a blog that shows she's smart and funny.
Unfortunately, beyond those two weeks in August in Beijing, she's not going to have many opportunities to be in the public eye, or to make a living as a professional athlete. So that's why it makes sense that, as Beau Dure of USA Today reports, she's considering turning her attention to mixed martial arts:
"I have quite a few people who have been trying to get me to do MMA," Rousey says. "A coach has been talking to me about teaching me striking (punches, kicks) after the Olympics....
"My mom's generally not a big fan of the idea, so we'll see if I can convince her,"