WEC star Urijah Faber plans to dabble in 135- and 155-pound divisions
CHICAGO - Figuring he has a little less than a decade left in his mixed-martial-arts career, former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber (22-2 MMA, 7-1 WEC) has given plenty of thought to the future.
And during a 30-minute question-and-answer session following Saturday's WEC 40 weigh-ins in Chicago, the 145-pound Faber gave a sneak peak of some potential coming attractions.
They include a move down to 135 pounds for a potential fight with WEC bantamweight champ Miguel Torres and a jump up to 155 pounds for a possible bout with UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn.
"I'll probably have another seven to eight years in this sport," the 29-year-old Faber said while sharing a panel with fellow WEC fighters Mike Brown and Donald Cerrone and WEC broadcaster Frank Mir. "I'll probably go down to 135 (pounds) and up to 155. I'll try to stabilize myself at 145, so there's a lot of fights out there for me."
Diaz and Stevenson to Clash on TUF9 Finale Card on June 20
For only the fourth time in UFC history, two winners of The Ultimate Fighter reality series will meet as combatants in the Octagon when season two’s Joe Stevenson clashes with season five’s Nate Diaz in what promises to be a memorable battle on The Ultimate Fighter: US vs UK season finale card at The Pearl at The Palms in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, June 20.
UFC 96 Pegged At 350k Buys
Jack Encarnacao over at Sherdog relayed the Dave Meltzer scoop on the trending patterns for UFC 96 PPV buys:
The pay-per-view buy rate for UFC 96 on March 7th gives the best indication to date of the singular drawing power of Quinton Jackson, who headlined the event against Keith Jardine. The show drew about 350,000 buys, according to The Wrestling Observer. Unlike most of his other UFC bouts, Jackson’s fight against Jardine positioned him as the main draw on an entire card, which was low on star power.
The 350K number has to be looked on as somewhat of a disappointment. No one would expect Rampage to draw on the level of the company’s top PPV draws, like GSP, Randy Couture, Brock Lesnar, or Chuck Liddell, all of whom have shown the ability to do near or over 500k buys every time out. The other end of that range would be top card guys like Rich Franklin and Anderson Silva, who have drawn in the lower 300K range for most of their UFC tenure. A fair expectation would be for Rampage to fall somewhere in the middle, at about the 400 to lower 400K level, but Rampage as a draw on PPV would look to fall in the latter group, despite his being positioned by the UFC to do better numbers:
Rampage has been uniquely primed to be a stand alone draw for the UFC. He faced off against Chuck Liddell for the belt, a fight that drew over 600k PPV buys. That was followed up by a title defense on Spike TV that drew one of the largest US television audiences for a MMA fight. After a long-ish delay, his next fight, this time against Forrest Griffin, was given the benefit of an entire season of build on TUF and drew over 500k buys. Rampage had his noted indiscretions after his loss to Forrest, but it didn’t seem to affect folk’s appetite for watching him perform. His face-off vs Wanderlei Silva for a third time was part of a tripleheader PPV that as of this writing has came in at approximately a million buys. Few on the roster of the UFC have such a strong mix of high profile PPV match-ups and cable television exposure via Spike. While Rampage hasn’t had to carry the entire weight of the PPV on his shoulders, he has certainly been put in the best possible position to succeed. UFC 96 will let us know if Quinton is up to the task.
Michael Bisping ‘too quick’ and ‘too fast’ for Dan Henderson at UFC 100
Spending so much time around him has given me confidence. Obviously I grew up in MMA watching Dan Henderson fight and he was a hero for me. I watched him win two belts in two weight divisions [in Pride FC]. I am looking forward to the fight and I’m going in really confident that he is going to lose … in fact I know he is going to lose. I am going to win every minute of every round for the whole fight. I am going to be too quick for him, too fast. His striking is no where near my level. All I’ve got to watch out for is a big right hand and the clinch. As long as I avoid that I think it’s my fight to lose.”
The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 3 light heavyweight winner, Michael Bisping, keeps up the confidence as his showdown with Dan Henderson at UFC 100 on July 11 draws closer. “The Count” has been talking a good game to promote the middlweight showdown, saying previously that Henderson is “nowhere near his level.” In this interview, Bisping once again takes a shot at another top contender, Demian Maia, calling him a “one-trick” pony who he would “stuff like a Christmas Turkey” is the two ever met inside the Octagon. The winner of the match up between Bisping and Henderson, as well as Maia, are the front runners to challenge for the 185-pound title next. The next few months should be very interesting for the suddenly crowded middleweight class.
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- ALVAREZ AND MASVIDAL WIN AT BELLATOR
Bellator I Full Results:
Eddie Alvarez def. Greg Loughran by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 2:44, R1
Jorge Masvidal def Nick Agallar by TKO (Strikes) at 1:19, R1
Yahir Reyes def. Nick Gonzalez by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:11, R1
Estevan Payan def. Luis Palomino by Split Decision at 5:00, R3
Joe Soto def. Ben Greer by TKO (Strikes) at 3:40, R1
Toby Imada def. Alonzo Martinez by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:26, R1
Jonathan Brookins def. Stephen Ledbetter by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:32, R1
Lorenzo Borgomeo def. Daniel Morales by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:46, R3
Moses Gabon def. Daniel Sarafien by Submission (Triangle Choke) at 1:33, R1
James Brasco def. Kevin Abrante by Submission (Armbar) at 2:14, R1
Gary Padilla def. Chris Decaro by TKO (Strikes) at 3:04, R2
Welterweight Grand Prix:
Hayato "Mach" Sakurai beat Shinya Aoki by first-round KO (knees)
Andre Galvao beat John Alessio by first-round submission (arm bar)
Jason High beat Yuya Shirai by first-round submission (rear-naked choke)
Marius Zaromskis beat Seichi Ikemoto by unanimous decision
Featherweight Grand Prix:
Daiki "DJ Taiki" Hata beat Hideo Tokoro by unanimous decision
Jeff Monson beat Sergei Kharitonov by first-round submission (north-south choke)
Katsuyori Shibata beat Ikuhisa Minowa by unanimous decision
Riki Fukuda beat Murilo Ninja Rua by unanimous decision
Andrews Nakahara beat Shungo Oyama by first-round TKO (strikes)
Vitor Ribeiro beat Katsuhiko Nagata by first-round TKO (cut)
Diego Sanchez: One win away from UFC title shot at 155 pounds?
Currently on a three-fight win streak, UFC welterweight-turned-lightweight Diego Sanchez (20-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) believes he's one solid win away from a shot at the UFC's lightweight 155-pound title.
And on the most recent episode of HDNet's "Inside MMA," Sanchez said the UFC feels the same way.
"I have been given word that a dominating victory over Clay Guida, which I intend to do, will be put me right in my spot for the title shot," Sanchez said.
Sanchez meets Guida at the Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale on June 20 in Las Vegas.
Sanchez, winner of season one of "The Ultimate Fighter," went through a rough stretch in 2007 with back-to-back decision losses to Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck - the first two losses of his then-five-year-old career.
Sanchez believes his first-round TKO win over Florian in 2005's original Ultimate Fighter Finale, and his size advantage in his new division, prove he's ready for the challenge.
"Being one of the biggest 155-pounders is going to give me a great edge," Sanchez said. "I've beat Kenny Florian in a decisive fashion, so I put myself as a No. 1 contender - and I'm here to prove that."
Brock Lesnar on UFC 100: "Is Frank really hurt, or is he just scared?"
A knee surgery Mir deemed necessary forced the rescheduling of the bout, but in the most recent episode of HDNet's "Inside MMA," Lesnar said he's not sure the move was made for the right reasons.
"I'm a little disappointed that it got pushed back," Lesnar said. "In my mind, is Frank really hurt, or is he just scared?"
Mir submitted Lesnar with a knee bar at UFC 81 in February 2008. Lesnar's first trip to the octagon - and his just his second career fight - Mir found himself in trouble early in the contest, but took advantage of a restart by referee Steve Mazagatti to lock in the fight-ending maneuver.
Lesnar said he's learned his lesson regarding the over-aggressive approach that cost him the bout.
"The biggest thing was that you've got 15 minutes," Lesnar said. "As soon as I entered the octagon, there were a few other key factors that played into why I rushed the fight. But those would be just plain old excuses.
WEC 40 Weigh-In Results
The weigh-ins for WEC 40 were held earlier today. Initially, 4 fighters missed weight but 3 made it on their second try. Only Mike Budnik could not make weight, so his fight with Rafael Dias is now catch weight.
Aoki Promises Groundbreaking Performance at Dream 8
“Tomorrow will be the end of the era dubbed ‘vale tudo,’ as sogo kakutogo (Japanese for mixed, unarmed martial arts combat) will become MMA. I will show you all a new kind of martial arts fighting.”
“Generations change is what I mean,” he added. “I’ll be 26 years old this year. I want to do my best to change the era and to be sure that [fighters of] my generation become leaders in MMA.”
Bobby Lashley Willing To Compete On The Ultimate Fighter
While he hasn't shot up the ranks from out of nowhere like fellow ex-WWE Champion Brock Lesnar, Bobby Lashley still has his sights set on making it to UFC, albeit perhaps along a different path. With tryouts for season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter coming up next week, and Heavyweights invited, Lashley is considering trying out for the show and try that path to UFC.
TUF 9 Debut Draws 1.8 Million Viewers
Spike TV has announced that the premiere of The Ultimate Fighter 9 this past Wednesday drew a total of 1.8 million viewers. This makes it the highest-rated premiere for the show since season 5 and the top-rated key men 18-49 demo premiere since season 4.
Yoon Off DREAM 8, Replacement Search On
The familiar "nightmare" scenario is returning to haunt DREAM again at the last moment. Dong Sik Yoon, who was to have faced Murilo Rua on Sunday's event, is now off due to injury. They are trying to find a last-minute replacement for Rua, but for now the fight is no longer listed on DREAM's website.
Koscheck Injured, Off UFC 98
The injury bug is again biting UFC big-time. The latest victim is Josh Koscheck-Kos is now off UFC 98 due to a foot injury. He was to have faced Chris Wilson. No replacement named yet and no word on how long Kos may be out.