LUKE STEWART RETURNS TO STRIKEFORCE
It’s been an anxious several months for Strikeforce welterweight Luke Stewart.
Eager to rebound off the first loss of his career in March, he was supposed to be part of the promotion’s June card, but instead sat on the sidelines as opponent after opponent dropped out of the fight.
Three months later and Stewart finally gets his opportunity to atone for his loss, as he steps into the cage this Saturday as part of Strikeforce’s return to the world famous Playboy Mansion.
“It’s been a rough last six months,” he admitted of his second half to 2008. “I’ve come off a loss and I was real eager to get back in the cage, and everything that happened with my last (scheduled) fight, going through three opponents was really frustrating.
“I feel like it’s been all work and no play, so I’m really looking forward to fighting on Saturday night.”
As Stewart explains, it was vexing to go through his on again/off again ordeal in June.
NOGUEIRA BROTHERS OPEN TEAM NOGUEIRA DALLAS
Both Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and his brother have been very successful as trainers in the field of mixed martial arts and now the tandem is expanding into Texas with the opening of “Team Nogueira” Dallas, which will be located in the new Octagon MMA gym.
The Nogueira brothers are hopeful to train new mixed martial artists while continuing to teach and broaden their Brazilian Jiu-jitsu education to new students in the Dallas area.
“We are bringing the best mixed martial arts and Brazilian jiu-jitsu training that most people in Dallas have not experienced before,” said Nogueira. “We’ve developed training programs for men, women and children, as well as competitive fighters.”
Lead trainer, Greg Seal, owner of Octagon MMA, who is a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu black belt and who has trained with the Nogueira team for the past six years is very positive about bringing the popular fighter’s style to the Dallas based gym.
STRIKEFORCE KING FOCUSED ON THE SLEEPING LION
Josh Thomson leads a hard life these days. He most recently defeated highly regarded lightweight Gilbert Melendez to obtain the Strikeforce lightweight championship belt. He has won his last seven fights. He now will take a non-title fight against Ashe Bowman on Saturday night at the infamous Playboy Mansion.
MMAWeekly Radio caught up with Thomson to discuss how things have been going since being the newly crowned champ. “Things have picked up a lot obviously since I won the title,” said Thomson. “I've been doing a lot of traveling back and forth to Hollywood and the L.A. area and just trying to stay busy. Trying to make a buck.”
The last event that Strikeforce had at the Playboy Mansion, the matches were spread, the timing of the fights wasn’t as fluid as usual, and the fights started a little late. Thomson believes the kinks have been worked out and this event will go a little smoother. “The first time was probably a little rougher than this time will be. I don't think the fights are going to start as late as they did the last time. I'm kind of hoping the fight is a little earlier so I can enjoy the rest of the night.”
M-1 Vice President Jerry Millen talks new show and life with Fedor
Former PRIDE USA Vice President Jerry Millen is one of the most maligned individuals in mixed martial arts. But whether you like him or not, he has an insight into the business of MMA that very few individuals possess having worked for PRIDE both in Japan and in the United States.
After his tenure in PRIDE came to an end in the months that proceeded Zuffa’s acquisition of the promotion in 2007, Millen took some time off before being approached by an old friend from his PRIDE days, Vadim Finkelstein.
Finkelstein, the manager for former PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko, had plans to grow his Russian-based M-1 promotion into a global superpower. In Millen, he was looking for an experienced hand to help direct the company’s International television operations.
Bloody sport gains in mass popularity
Rich Franklin used to spend his days teaching math to high school students. Today, he spends his evenings in an octagon-shaped cage grounding and pounding fighters into submission in front of thousands of screaming fans.
Wow, no MMA bashing, Im stunned....
EliteXC adds Miller, Lapsley, Beerbohm, Khalidov to Oct. 10 ShoXC
Amidst an approaching barrage of three fight cards in the next four weeks, EliteXC is busy filling out the supporting cast for their Oct. 10 ShoXC event from Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Ind.
In addition to a previously-announced main event between Dave "Pee Wee" Herman (11-0) and Kerry Schall (21-10), EliteXC Vice President Jared Shaw today confirmed several additional matchups to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Mark Miller (8-3) meets Anthony Lapsley (12-3), Mamed Khalidov (14-3-1) will meet Jason Guida (17-17) and undefeated Lyle "Fancy Pants" Beerbohm (7-0) will meet an as-yet-undetermined opponent.
Miller fought four times for the now-defunct IFL in 2007, earning victories over Brad Blackburn and Josh Neer before suffering a brutal knockout at the ends of IFL middleweight champion Jay Hieron in his most recent outing.
Lapsley is a King of the Cage, Art of War and HDNet FIghts veteran who has maintained a torrid pace to start his professional MMA career. Fighting 15 times in his first two years in the sport, nine of Lapsley's 12 victories have come via submission.
Is Tito Ortiz AFL-Bound?
Tito Ortiz's UFC contract officially expired on August 4th. The next day, SI.com reported that Ortiz had signed a ground-breaking deal with Affliction. Several hours later, they changed the story to state that the former light heavyweight champion was on the verge of signing the contract. 43 days later, we still have no clue as to where and when Ortiz will fight next.
Every couple of days, Ortiz will pop up in some interview, insult Dana White, tell us he's been in this sport for eleven years and that it's finally time for him to get paid. Seriously, I know his speech off by heart at this point.
Recently, Ortiz was a guest on HDNet's "Inside MMA" and, once again, regurgitated the same song and dance about how he was ready to collect. However, when we spoke to Affliction COO, Michael D. Cohen, last month about Ortiz's demands, he flat out said that neither Affliction nor any other fight promotion will pay Ortiz what he wants.
I wonder if he was also referring to the American Fight League?
Recent reports have stated that Ortiz has been in negotiations with the fledgling promotion and, quite frankly, this is the only organization I can see paying Ortiz what he wants or at least close enough to it.
Showtime Enters Talks to Purchase Pro Elite
Showtime Networks filed public notice with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday announcing its intention to enter preliminary negotiations for the purchase of Pro Elite Inc.
Showtime, a subsidiary of the parent conglomerate CBS Corporation, already enjoys broadcasting deals with the Los Angeles-based company on both its premium cable channel and CBS. Showtime also has a 20% ownership stake in Pro Elite
Counter programming alert: UFC 86 to air at same time as Elite XC: ‘Heat’
If you watched UFC Fight Night 15 or “The Ultimate Fighter” (TUF) 8 on Spike TV last night then there’s a good chance you saw the commercials showing that UFC 86: “Jackson vs. Griffin” will be replayed for free on October 4 on Spike TV beginning at 9 p.m. ET.
That “coincidentally” happens to be the same date and time that Elite XC will air perhaps the most important event in its history, Elite XC: “Heat” on CBS.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that Dana White and the UFC have attempted to sabotage the competition with counter programming.
In fact, it was only two months ago when Affliction MMA was set for its first live pay-per-view (PPV) event. The t-shirt company turned MMA promotion had big plans to make a splash in the MMA world only to to have the UFC plan a free “Fight Night” on Spike TV the same night.
To make matters worse (for Affliction) the UFC headlined the card with one of the most popular fighters on the planet, Anderson Silva.
Apparently the plan worked because Affliction’s PPV buys did not reach expectations and the UFC’s free “Fight Night” pulled in better numbers.
While this isn’t a live event being put on by the UFC, it’s still counter programming and there will still be fans who opt to tune in to the replay of a card headlined by one of the better fights of the year between Rampage Jackson and Forrest Griffin instead of eyeballing another potential disaster main event involving Kimbo Slice.
It’s clear the UFC wants to clear the world of any and all competition. And if there’s an organization out there capable of pulling that off, it’s definitely the good ole’ Zuffa boys.
GUIDA HAPPY WITH WIN; WANTS 1 MORE FIGHT IN ’08
Having been on the wrong side of a few controversial decisions during his time with the UFC, lightweight competitor Clay Guida worked as hard as ever to prove himself during his bout with Ultimate Fighter Season 6 winner Mac Danzig on Wednesday night at UFC Fight Night 15 in Omaha.
Guida kept up a very high pace during the fight with Danzig and when it was over he felt there was no doubt that he was the victor.
“I felt confident in this one,” said Guida about the decision. “He’s got pretty good takedown defense, towards, up against the cage, he stopped it, he stopped my takedown a couple of times. But I stuck with it and put him down to his butt where I wanted it and it did feel good to come out with the decision.”
In the end, Guida was able to dominate the ground portion of the fight, landing numerous takedowns while being cautious of his opponent’s considerable submission skills in the process.
Second effort nets Schafer biggest win
OMAHA, Neb. – Eric Schafer was almost a Division I college football player. But a hip pointer caused him to miss his senior high school season and the Big Ten conference teams that had shown interest in him as a linebacker suddenly began to encourage him to walk on.
Then, he nearly became a doctor. He graduated magna cum laude with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. His medical school entrance test results were very high, enough so that he could have been accepted pretty much wherever he wanted.
But what he wanted, really, was to fight. He bought the pay-per-views of most Ultimate Fighting Championship shows and quickly became enthralled. His first was UFC 8, when Don Frye won a tournament by beating Gary Goodridge in the final round.
“Once I discovered MMA,” Schafer said, grinning, “I never thought about football for a minute again.”
It’s hard to imagine a guy who looks like a grown-up Opie Taylor being a mean and snarling linebacker, so that was probably a good call. But, honestly, it wouldn’t be easy to guess Schafer’s profession now simply by looking at him.
He took the first step toward establishing himself in the UFC when he submitted hometown favorite Houston Alexander with a slick arm triangle choke Wednesday at 4:53 of the first round at the Omaha Civic Auditorium.
Dustin Hazelett promoted to BJJ Black Belt
UFC welterweight Dustin Hazelett was promoted to a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt under Jorge Gurgel at Gurgel's gym Tuesday night in West Chester, Ohio.
Hazelett, 22, began training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in his junior year of high school and has been studying with Gurgel for the past 5 years and 10 months, according to the Team Gurgel website.
Hazelett, who will be quick to remind you he’s not Jon Fitch, is 4-2 in the UFC and 11-4 overall in MMA.
In his last fight, Hazelett won the Submission of the Night award with a second-round armbar win over Josh Burkman at “The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale” in June.
Hazelett had to go under the knife to remove damaged cartilage under his nose after that fight, but he’s already back training for his next fight scheduled for Nov. 15 at UFC 91 “Couture vs. Lesnar” against Tamden McCrory.
WEC's Marcus Hicks takes role in upstart Texas-based organization
Marcus Hicks (8-1) appears at ease when fighting.
Three straight submission victories in the WEC lightweight division earned the Texas native a shot at the title. In an August fight with current WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner, the 33-year-old suffered his first career loss after absorbing a brutal flurry of strikes from the champ.
In his well-deserved rest period following that WEC 35 bout, Hicks has entered another side of the MMA business.
"The Wrecking Ball" has joined forces with a new promotion in the Dallas area, Supreme Warrior Championship. Hicks has been installed in the role of an adviser for the upstart organization.
Hicks discussed his position in the SWC while a guest on Wednesday’s edition of TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Confident Paul Daley ready to dethrone EliteXC champ Jake Shields
In mixed martial arts' relatively short history, it has been a rare occasion in which a British fighter has been featured on a prominent card. At "EliteXC: Heat," Paul Daley (18-6-2) will follow in the recent steps of countryman James Thompson, as "Semtex" gets his opportunity in an Oct. 4 battle with Jake Shields (21-4) -- live on network television for the EliteXC welterweight crown.
Daley recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that he is relishing the prospect of this massive fight -- and that he feels he is more than capable of ending Shields' 10-fight winning streak while taking his title in the process.
"This is a great fight for me," Daley said. "[Shields] has gotta do what his game is, I gotta do mine. So it should be an entertaining fight -- before I knock him out."
Reigning over the U.K.'s local circuit for several years, Daley made his explosive entry to the U.S. scene with a 2007 knockout of eight-year veteran Duane "Bang" Ludwig at "Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Baroni." Currently riding a six-fight win streak -- all six by stoppages due to strikes -- confidence is at its peak for the 25-year-old.
Evans and Duarte latest ex-TUF 8 contestants to find work
After having been shown during last night’s season premiere for the eighth season of “The Ultimate Fighter” as failing to make it past the qualifying round and into the TUF mansion, eliminated contestants Lance Evans and Joe Duarte have already surfaced with other promotions.
Evans, the older brother of TUF 2 heavyweight winner Rashad Evans, has been announced as the opposition for former minor-league hockey enforcer Steve Bosse during TKO 35 on Oct. 3 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.
Evans was one of 16 light heavyweight fighters invited to Las Vegas earlier this year to fight his way onto the show. Facing jiu-jitsu black belt Vinicius Magalhaes, he elected to withdraw from the fight following the completion of the first round after complaining of a rib injury.
Houston Alexander couldn’t hear at UFC Fight Night 15
“The crowd was so loud that I couldn’t hear my corner. If I heard them and knew, you know, there are 10 seconds left, five seconds left, whatever, I would have tried to hung in there a little longer and survived. But it was so loud and these people were supporting me so much, I couldn’t hear and I had to tap.”
– Houston Alexander tells Yahoo!Sports.com that if he knew how much time was left in the first round (seven seconds) he perhaps would have tried to last until the bell rather than tap because of an Eric Schafer arm triangle at UFC Fight Night 15: “Diaz vs. Neer” last night. Alexander is from Nebraska and had his hometown crowd vociferously rooting him on until the waning seconds of the opening frame. The loss is Alexander’s third straight, pushing his record inside the Octagon below .500 (2-3).
UFC FIGHT NIGHT $30,000 BONUSES HANDED DOWN
Following UFC Fight Night 15 in Omaha, Neb., Ultimate Fighting Championship officials informed MMAWeekly.com of the fighter bonuses as handed down by the promotion after the event’s conclusion.
Each fighter was handed a $30,000 bonus for their efforts including Fight of the Night, Knockout of the Night and Submission of the Night.
“Ultimate Fighter” season 5 winner Nate Diaz pulled off a split decision win over a very game opponent in Josh Neer and both fighters were rewarded with a Fight of the Night bonus.
Alessio Sakara sent a message to the middleweight division that he will always bring the fight as he finished off newcomer Joe Vedepo with a vicious head kick that earned him a Knockout of the night.
Wilson Gouveia made an impressive debut in the 185-pound weight class with a slick armbar submission, picking up the win over Ryan Jensen, and a $30,000 Submission of the Night bonus as well.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT 15 AWARDS AND BONUSES:
Fight of the Night:
-Nate Diaz vs. Josh Neer
Knockout of the Night:
Submission of the Night:
UFC 92: CB Dolloway vs Jorge Rivera
The Ultimate Fighter 7 runner-up CB Dollaway (7-1) will make his third straight Octagon appearance when he takes on UFC veteran Jorge Rivera (15-7) at UFC 92 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, on New Year’s Eve weekend according to WrestlingObserver.com.
“The Doberman” was unsuccessful in his bid to win it all at the TUF 7 finale on June 21, but he was able to rebound and score an impressive submission victory over Jesse “Yellow Submarine” Taylor less than a month later at Fight Night 14.
Facing him will be a very tough albeit inconsistent fighter in Rivera. “El Conqistador” came up short against Martin Kampmann at UFC 85 after a very impressive KO victory over Kendall Grove at UFC 80.
This should be a good test for Dollaway. Rivera has knockout power and has ended 10 of his 15 wins by (T)KO. No doubt Dollaway will try and utilize his wrestling to keep things on the ground until he can find a submission against the crafty veteran.
Demian Maia vs. Nate Quarry at UFC 91
With a perfect MMA career after eight wins in eight fights, Demian Maia remains unbeatable after three submission victories in UFC’s octagon, and he’s already training for his next bout. The UFC 91’s most important fight will be Randy Couture’s back to Ultimate against an young Brock Lesnar for the heavyweight title, and Demian Maia will face Nathan Quarry, at November 15th. Against the new opponent, Demian keeps training hard in Brazil, still without a specific training for Nate.
Guida talks win over Danzig
Sherdog talks the win over Mac Danzig with Clay Guida.
Way to go Guida! He's always putting on exciting fights and he's always respectful. Definitely one of my favorite fighters to watch.