UFC gambles on untested Lesnar
In the spring of 2000, Brock Lesnar was a University of Minnesota senior, just two weeks and a handful of workouts away from the NCAA Division I wrestling tournament.
Today, the 30-year-old Lesnar finds himself in a similar situation as he trains for his match against former Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight champion Frank Mir in the most publicized debut in UFC history.
The former “Next Big Thing” of pro wrestling has become ultimate fighting's next gigantic question mark, a 1-0 fighter with 69 seconds of ring experience thrown into the deep end of a shark-infested pool.
Whether he's in over his head remains to be seen, but the reason he's being billed as the semi-main event of UFC 81 on Feb. 2 in Las Vegas is because of his fame as a former World Wrestling Entertainment champion.
The success of this card hinges on people buying the novelty of a former WWE champion fighting a former UFC champion. The idea, if it clicks, is to rally the UFC fan base to want to see the fake wrestler get smashed, and for the pro wrestling audience, to whom the show is being heavily marketed, to tune in out of curiosity to see how one of its all-time tough guys can do.
For me this is a tough one to pick, its going to come down to the weigh-ins, if Mir comes in looking like he's in great shape (and I think he will, this fight is his big chance to get back in the title picture), he's the one go with for sure. Lets just hope that his injuries from his accident don't hinder his ability to get his conditioning and training to where it needs to be for this fight.
Bias in Coma, Clinging to Life
Former Palace Fighting Championship featherweight titleholder Shawn Bias has been given a 30-percent chance of surviving by doctors at Oroville General Hospital in Bias' hometown about 70 miles north of Sacramento, Calif.
Looks like we might have another death in MMA............
UFN 12 conference call with audio
From the OC Register:
Mike Swick on building his reputation as a quick finisher and whether that brings a lot of pressure:
“I don’t carry any pressure anymore. I got into all of that before. That built up a lot when I was going on my streak in the middleweight division. But, right now, I’m fighting for me and my head is really clear. I have no pressure. I don’t think about anything. I’m going to go out there and put on the best fight I can. Obviously, I’m going to try and end it as quick as I can and as dominantly as I can, but I am going to take whatever is out there. There is no pressure. That is one of the good things about this fight. I’ve learned a lot from the last fight and from my experience in the UFC. I’m going in real clear-headed and real focused."
Josh Burkman on the biggest things he learned from Tito Ortiz:
“A lot of the things I took, you know, the diet. I mean, the way those guys come together as a team. That’s their main focus. They go up to Big Bear to get rid of all the distractions. All you are doing is living with a bunch of guys. You are all cooking and eating the same food. Everybody is focused on the same task, and that’s getting ready for fights. I just took that with me back to Salt Lake. It’s kind of rubbed off on the guys around me. It’s the same mind set we have in Salt Lake at Absolute.
Patrick Cote on what kind of fight he expects against McFedries:
“I think we both have the same style. We like to stand on our feet and fight each other and that will be a lot of fireworks in this fight. That will be a good fight for the fans and for the UFC. Don’t blink because this fight can be quick. I expect a very good fight and a very entertaining fight.
Drew McFedries on coming back from Staph infection:
“I never forget. I hold grudges. Bottom line is you would like to think these things don’t happen in life, but they do. I would like to think they would happen to everyone but me, but everything seems to happen to me. I’m not worried about that at all. It keeps me driving, man. I know that unless you are struggling a little bit, you’re not living life.
McFedries on whether there was any hesitation when he first got back into the gym:
“Honestly, man, I was (expletive) (expletive). I was so upset, man, I couldn’t control myself. I was knocking people out left and right. Really, to be honest, I had a chip on my shoulder. I was hurting people. I had to take that out more on the pads. We really had to back off the live sparring."
To check out the entire rundown of the call click this link. There also is a link at the top of the story to the audio of the entire call, which is broken into two 15 minute parts:
Rumors ufc 81
Rumors — UFC 81
Date: Feb. 2, 2008
Location: Las Vegas, Nev.
Venue: Mandalay Bay Events Center
MAIN CARD (TELEVISED)
Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Tim Sylvia (for interim heavyweight title)
Ricardo Almeida vs. Alan Belcher
Jeremy Horn vs. Nate Marquardt
PRELIMINARY CARD (NOT TELEVISED)
Tyson Griffin vs. Gleison Tibau
Kyle Bradley vs. Chris Lytle
Marvin Eastman vs. Terry Martin
Rob Emerson vs. Keita Nakamura
Fedor interview: Talks Couture meeting and 2008 plans
Jaime Martinez: Are there any plans to fight in the U.S.? If so, with whom are you talking and when would that be scheduled?
Fedor Emelianenko: “We are planning on having two or three fights this year. The first is scheduled for April 11th, and I’m not sure who I’ll fight yet. It will either be Jeff Monson or Pedro Rizzo.”
At the end he said he'll try to win more often
Probably got lost in translation and he meant fight, but I thought it was kind of funny
M-1 Global Eyes April US Debut
The M-1 Global promotion, featuring top Heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko, is looking to make it's US debut in April in either Rosemont, Illinois or at East Rutherford, New Jersey (the former Meadowlands). They passed on a Chicago date in February due to ongoing fighter negotiations.
Monday Morning Reverie: Ultimate England
If I could only use one adjective to describe this past Saturday's UFC, it would be "incredible."
Only one of the televised bouts went the distance, and that fight was exhilarating from beginning to end. Since the event was filled with fights that nearly all ended early and emphatically, Zuffa was able to squeeze in every single off-TV bout save for the Sam Stout - Per Eklund battle.
The story of the night was without question B.J. Penn (Pictures)'s utter domination of Joe Stevenson. It was sheer wizardry: a dazzling array of strikes, agility, athleticism and, of course, magnificent submission prowess.
It wasn't as if Penn fought some stiff that was pulled out of the crowd. Stevenson came into battle as prepared as he ever has been before and made it entertaining. He was able to pull Penn back to guard after "The Prodigy" achieved full mount with grapevines more than once. Even when B.J. dropped "Daddy" with a compact left uppercut seconds into the fight, a woozy and wobbly Stevenson regrouped and made things interesting.
Report: UFC Signs Undefeated Heavyweight Shane Carwin
Undefeated Shane Carwin (8-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC), a three-time NCAA Division II All-American and national champ in wrestling and two-time All-American in football, has signed a multi-fight deal with the UFC, reports the good folks at fiveouncesofpain.com. The signing was confirmed with Carwin himself.
Not only does the deal bring some new talent to the heavyweight division (which, MMAjunkie.com believes, desperately needs it), but it also brings a veteran presence. Carwin debuted professionally in October 2005 and has fought for some of the country’s top regional promotions, including Art of War and the WEC. And quite simply, he’s dominated the competition.
Carwin, who fights out of Colorado, trains with T’s K.O. Fight Club and High Altitude Martial Arts, where he’s a training partner of UFC middleweight Nate Marquardt.
Of Carwin’s eight pro bouts, all eight were first-round stoppages (three by knockout and five via submission). The average time of each fight? Just 72 seconds.
Fabricio Werdum Earns Title Shot — And the Reasons Why
With his come-from-behind victory over Gabriel Gonzaga at Saturday’s UFC 80 event, Fabricio Werdum — who owns a mere 1-1 record in the UFC — has been granted a heavyweight title shot. He’ll take on the winner of an interim title fight between Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Tim Sylvia that headlines next month’s UFC 81 event.
UFC Dana White confirmed Werdum’s upcoming shot at the belt during UFC 80, (The UFC, of course, is assuming that estranged heavyweight champ Randy Couture, who announced his resignation from the organization in October, will turn down the fight
However, is Werdum really ready to fight for the title? Will UFC fans consider it a legitimate main event if the UFC gives the fight headliner status?
So, why does he get a title fight so soon in the UFC?
Honestly, there aren’t many other options. Couture appears finished with the UFC, Gonzaga already got his shot, Arlovski could be fighting for the final time in the UFC in March, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic has been struggling and is unsure about his future in MMA (according to White anyway), Brandon Vera is coming off a loss, the world’s other top heavyweights (Fedor Emelianenko, Josh Barnett and Aleksander Emelianenko, for example) don’t fight for the UFC, and the UFC’s other heavyweights (such as Jake O’Brien, Eddie Sanchez, Justin McCully and Antoni Hardonk) are far from ready.
Tomasz Drwl forced off UFC 81 card with injury
Tomasz Drwal (14-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) has been scratched from next month’s UFC 81 event with an injured knee.
The fighter’s manager recently confirmed the injury with our friends at the German site groundandpound.de.
Drwal was scheduled to face fellow light heavyweight David Heath (7-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC), who’s fighting for the first time since a loss to Renato “Babalu” SobralÂ in August, at the SuperBowl weekend event. UFC 81 takes place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and airs live on pay-per-view.
A replacement hasn’t yet been named; UFC.com still lists Drwal as a UFC 81 fighter.
UFN 13: Florian vs Lauzon officially announced
Las Vegas, NV (USA) – Fellow New Englanders and rising stars in the UFC® lightweight division, The Ultimate Fighter® alumni Kenny “Ken Flo” Florian and Joe “J-Lau” Lauzon will meet each other where the Ultimate Fighting Championship® all began, and headline the first UFC fight in the state of Colorado in 14 years live on Spike TV Wednesday, April 2 at 8:00 PM ET/PT.
Jonathan Goulet vs Kuniyoshi Hironaka at UFC 84
We now have confirmation of another Canadian fighter that’s been booked for the UFC’s first-ever show in Canada: Jonathan Goulet (21-9 MMA, 3-3 UFC).
The veteran fighter will take on Kuniyoshi Hironaka (11-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC) at UFC 84, which is set for April 19 at Montreal’s Bell Centre. Our Canadian friends at TKO Xtreme first broke news of the bout earlier today, and MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) was able to confirm Goulet’s booking with a source close to the fighter.
Andrei Arlovski vs Jake O'brien at UFC 82
Bring out the blankets:
Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski will return to the Octagon after almost a one-year layoff to fight Jake O’Brien at UFC 82: “Pride of a Champion” on March 1 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, according to Yahoo!Sports.com.
Here’s the snip:
“… popular heavyweight Andrei Arlovski would fight at UFC 82 on March 1 in Columbus, Ohio. He said the opponent isn’t certain but is likely to be Jake O’Brien. Arlovski hasn’t fought since a lackluster win over Fabricio Werdum in April in Manchester, England.”