STRIKEFORCE: BUSINESS AS USUAL FOR SPRATT
“The Secret Weapon” Pete Spratt isn’t one to try to be sneaky with his game plan heading into fights. As he puts it, “My game plan is always the same, just as their game plan is always the same: they’re going to try to take me down, and I’m going to try to strike.”
That is the creed of the former Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran who will be making his first appearance in the Strikeforce promotion this Friday night against Donnie Liles on the outskirts of Denver in Broomfield, Colo.
“It’s nothing new going into this fight,” he continued. “For me it’s all the same fight every time. Whether they’re young or old, veteran or not, it’s the same fight – it doesn’t matter who it is.”
Indeed, it’s business as usual for Spratt, and that’s why he remains a fan favorite, even when heading into the hometown of his opponent.
“I’ve got quite a fan base in the Denver area,” stated Spratt. “It’s been a while since I fought out here, so I’m excited about that.”
Spike TV Press Release: "Fight for the Troops" NOT at Fort Bragg
While some considered it a non-story that UFC President Dana White would announce that "Fight for the Troops" would be held at U.S. Army base Fort Bragg without getting confirmation from the Army, the plot now thickens. Spike TV has a press release that says the UFC's December 10th event "Fight for the Troops" will not be held on Fort Bragg:
Spike TV will telecast "UFC Fight For The Troops" live from the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, NC on Wednesday, December 10 from 9:00 PM – Midnight, ET. The event will feature a full UFC fight card as well as celebrity appearances and an all-star lineup of UFC fighters. A phone bank in Los Angeles will also be created where donors can interact with the celebrities and UFC fighters answering phones. Further details on appearances and event information will be released soon.
Goulet Vs Swick Is Official
Jonathan Goulet has signed a bout agreement to face Mike Swick at UFC Fights for the Troops on December 10th, Fighters Only can exclusively reveal.
Speaking to a Fighters Only staff writer earlier this week, Goulet said he had “only just signed the contract”.
“He’s a good fighter, a quick fighter, he is versatile,” he said. “All my friends are trying to guillotine me [laughs]. They are trying to help me because of The Swick-otine.”
Swick finished Steve Vigneault and Joe Riggs in two minutes each via a guillotine choke he jokingly named the Swick-otine.
Rampage On facing Wanderlei For A 3rd Time
Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson will face Wanderlei Silva for a third time at UFC 92 in December.
The pair have fought twice before, in Japan’s now-defunct PRIDE organization, with Jackson losing by KO both times.
The second loss was particular dramatic, with Rampage taking a barrage of knees to the head before being left hanging from the ring ropes. It was the kind of loss that many would find difficult to come back from.
"I was conscious that whole time! I was kind of KO'd but I remember all that!" he laughed when discussing the forthcoming fight with Fighters Only.
A newly sober Don Frye ready for another run at big time
Forty-two-year-old MMA legend Don Frye has a newfound focus on training and is ready for another shot at MMA prominence.
Frye shared his vision for the future, and what change was most needed, while a guest on a recent edition of TAGG Radio, the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com.
"I quit drinking a month ago because I was doing too much of it," Frye admitted. "It lost its fun for me, but I was still doing it. Now I'm clean and sober."
‘Karate Hottie’ Michelle Waterson readies for Strikeforce debut
“It’s gonna be an explosive fight. I heard Tyra’s really aggressive and good on the ground so it should be very exciting for the fans.”
“The Dean of Mean,” “The Hungarian Nightmare,” “Lights Out,” “The Iceman,” “The Arm Collector,” “The Baby Faced Assassin,” “The Axe Murderer” … Some fighters do a decent job of living up to their nicknames, but Michelle “The Karate Hottie” Waterson (pictured above) takes the cake. Oh yeah, the former bikini model will take on Tyra Parker tomorrow night on the Strikeforce: “Payback” card, which takes place at the Broomfield Events Center in Denver, Colorado and will air live on HDNet beginning at 10 p.m. ET. Yum.
Jacaré on Mousasi: “It wasn’t a lucky shot”
After submitting Zelg Galesic at the Dream’s middleweight GP, Ronaldo “Jacaré” Souza got to the final as the favorite against Gegard Mousasi, but an unpredictable kick put an end to the championship for Jacaré. “It wasn’t a lucky shot! I did some mistakes and he was the champion of the night”, said the fighter, who doesn’t thinks about a revenge. “I don’t think about a revenge. I wanna fight always and if one they he come to fight me, I’ll be very happy”.
One of the biggest names of the championship, Melvin Manhoef was submitted by Mousasi on the same night, but Jacaré was already expecting the result. “I was prepared to fight both of them, and the day after I said that Mousasi was more complete fighter and had more chances to win”, said the athlete, that comes back to train waiting for his new challenge in the event.
Fedor Vs Barnett: "Unlikely Within The Next Few Months"
Don't get your hopes up just yet for a Josh Barnett-Fedor Emelianenko on Affliction's next show in January.
In an article picked up by several websites, Dream middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi, who has the same agent as Emelianenko, recently told Fighters Only magazine that Barnett-Emelianeko is being considered for Affliction Entertainment's January card. Mousasi also said that Affliction wants to match him up against Vitor Belfort, a former light-heavyweight titleholder in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
But no fights have been confirmed for the January show, Tom Atencio, vice president for Affliction, told me this week. And in an e-mail message, Barnett's representative, Shannon Hooper, cast doubt on his prospects of fighting Emelianenko in the near future: "It is unlikely that Josh and Fedor will fight within the next few months."
Cro Cop To Overeem: Don't Go There Next Time
While talking about his recent no contest against Alistair Overeem at DREAM 6, Mirko Cro Cop has promised to deliver during a rematch on December 31. He also issues a warning to Overeem: Don't hit too close to the groin or expect similar revenge.
Broken arm healed, John Alessio hopes for less costly "Night of Combat"
A broken arm in the course of an MMA bout is never a positive experience. But as Xtreme Couture fighter John Alessio (23-11) proved in his June bout with Pete Spratt at Superfights MMA's inaugural "Night of Combat," it doesn't always mean a loss.
Alessio recounted the experience while an in-studio guest on Wednesday's episode of TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Alessio said the reason Spratt was able to inflict the injury was simple.
"That bastard can kick hard, man," Alessio admitted.
In that bout, a first round flurry by Spratt put Alessio on the defensive. Alessio did his best to evade the onslaught, but ended up ducking into a Spratt kick. Alessio's attempt to block the strike caused the fracture.
While Alessio said he knew right away that his arm was broken, the thought of conceding never crossed his mind.
STRIKEFORCE FIGHT CARD LAYED OUT FOR DENVER
Strikeforce continues its measured expansion outside of its home state of California, making its way over the Rocky Mountains to land at the Broomfield Events Center, just outside of Denver, on Friday night.
The event is highly geared towards drawing local fans to the event with a number of Denver-based fighters. Chief among them is Duane “Bang” Ludwig, who heads the “Payback” fight card, searching for a little payback of his own. He rematches Ultimate Fighter alumnus Sam Morgan, a fighter who knocked Ludwig out three years ago, in front of this same Denver crowd.
There are several strong veteran fighters on the card, many being UFC or Pride veteran, such as Frank Trigg and Falaniko Vitale, who square off in a 185-pound super fight.
Pete Spratt, a staple of Denver-based promotion Ring of Fire and a UFC veteran, returns in an intriguing welterweight contest with International Fight League veteran Donnie Liles, another local area favorite.
A recent transplant to Denver, Luke Caudillo has also built his name up as a favorite to the Ring of Fire crowd. He faces a tough road in trying to make his way back to the UFC by having to get through undefeated Strikeforce fighter Billy Evangelista.
BILLY EVANGELISTA TRIES TO REMAIN UNDEFEATED
Wednesday night, Billy Evangelista hit what distance athletes call “The Wall.” MMAWeekly.com spoke to him in the throes of cutting weight. Cotton-mouthed and gravelly, he sounded miserable on the phone.
“Hot and tired,” he said. “I’m thinking every time I see a gas station of something, I can drink in there. Part of the untold great things of MMA.”
When Evangelista’s suffering ends Thursday after weigh-ins, he’ll acquaint himself with another unknown, his opponent. Like all of his fights, Evangelista sees them for the first time on the scale. In this day of tape dissecting and game plans, he prefers to improvise when he gets in the cage.
“I think all the secrets are out already,” he said. “I think it’s how well you use them in combination, from move to move, and discipline to discipline. I just know that he’s going to be a tough fighter, and like everybody else, I should be ready for everything he’s going to try and throw at me.”
DIRE STRAITS: CEO TRIES TO RESUSCITATE ELITEXC
In the corporate world, Chuck Champion is seen as a turnaround artist. After making his start in business-to-consumer marketing for newspapers, he took the reigns of several companies in financial distress. His last turnaround, online gambling website Youbet.com, went from $.45 a share to $6.50 a share in his five-year tenure with the company.
Champion had left Youbet and was “taking a break” when he received a call from a board member of ProElite, Inc. in November of 2007, asking him to take a look at the company’s ledger. Their balance sheet was a story he’d read before.
“Like a lot of startups, they’d gone out and their appetites were fairly significant. They’d bought a lot of brands and they did that very quickly,” he said. “You could see the problems that created, trying to integrate all that stuff into one company.”
The company was also bleeding cash. Champion says Sales, General, and Administrative costs, which account for the overhead of a business, were burning $1.7 million dollars a month in cash reserves. Something needed to be done, fast, or ProElite would soon close its doors.
- UFC 92 TO FEATURE NOG VS MIR, GRIFFIN VS EVANS & SILVA VS RAMPAGE
The Ultimate Fighting Championship expects to close out 2008 with a bang as the promotion has decided on three key match-ups for their year end show on Dec 27.
Interim heavyweight champion, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira will face Frank Mir, while light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin returns to action defending his belt against Rashad Evans and Wanderlei Silva goes for three in a row against former 205lb champion, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
The news was confirmed by UFC President Dana White to Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports.
UFC 94: Matt Arroyo vs Dan Cramer
It’s a battle of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) contestants as season six alumnus Matt “No Regard” Arroyo (3-2) is scheduled to face season seven’s Daniel Cramer (0-0) at UFC 94 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 31, according to WrestlingObserver.com.
Arroyo was last seen getting pounded out by Matt Brown at The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale back in June. This will actually be Dan Cramer’s first professional fight despite a 3-0 amateur record and making it all the way to the TUF 7 quarterfinals.
This should prove to be an interesting fight between two competitors who match up pretty well.
UFC 94 will feature the welterweight superfight between former 170-pound champion and current lightweight kingpin BJ Penn versus current welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre.
“Rush” first fought “The Prodigy” back at UFC 58 in 2006. The two battled back-and-forth in a very close fight that ultimately ended in a split-decision - one hotly contested by Penn and his followers ever since. Now he finally has his rematch - and a chance to settle the score.
- UFC DUBLIN: FRANKLIN/HENDO & SHOGUN/COLEMAN
i know it's been posted but his time it's official
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has officially announced a return to Ireland on Jan 17, but this time they will be traveling to Dublin for the first time. Former middleweight champion, Rich “Ace” Franklin stays put at 205lbs to face Dan Henderson in a tough light heavyweight showdown as the main event.
Also on the card will be former top light heavyweight stand-out, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua moving up to heavyweight for the night to get a rematch with Mark “The Hammer” Coleman, who defeated Rua while the two were in Pride a few years ago.