Rising from the Slums
In Brazil, where an estimated 50 million people live in favelas, or slums, it’s common for a child to dream of changing his or her life through sports.
In years past, kids have aspired to follow in the footsteps of soccer idols like Romário and Ronaldo, both of whom were born in the Rio de Janeiro favelas. Nowadays, the popularity of mixed martial arts in Brazil and the growth of its international market have attracted more athletes from these poor communities who aim to become the next Wanderlei Silva, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira or Anderson Silva.
*one of the best reads in a long time*
Cung Le Not Ready To Ditch Real Fighting
Cung Le may be on his way to movie stardom, but he still wants to get in the cage.
This year, the Strikeforce middleweight champion will have four movies in the can. Fighting, with Channing Tatum, was released last month. Pandorum, with co-star Dennis Quaid, is due Sept. 4. Video game adaptation Tekken is undergoing final touches. True Legend, with legendary fight coordinator Woo Ping, is in production.
Between takes, he sneaks in workouts, trying to stay in shape for an eventual return to the cage.
Gabe Ruediger Returns, Leaving Past Behind
Heading into 2009, former WEC lightweight champion Gabe “Godzilla” Ruediger was on a downslide.
After a controversial stint on “The Ultimate Fighter 5,” bad tidings with his former team and a neck injury forced him on a rollercoaster ride of wins and losses.
Chuck Liddell: War on retirement ‘blown way out of proportion’
“It’s like if you’re a kid and your parents don’t get along. They both called me up and talked to me, and they both love me and have my best interests at heart. I love both guys, and I’m not going to take sides. They’ve never liked each other. But they’ve always kept it quiet out of respect for me. Now that it’s going back and forth, it’s been blown way out of proportion.”
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell is uncomfortable with the public feud that he erupted between his longtime trainer, John Hackleman, and his boss and good friend, UFC President Dana White, over his retirement. White feels the “Iceman” — who has suffered three knockouts in his past five fights — “is past his prime, doesn’t need the money, and there is no purpose in risking permanent injuries.” Hackleman feels Liddell should be able to make up his own mind. Perhaps the only thing that will end this saga is a decision from Liddell, which is apparently still in the works.
Blog: Gomi says 'Hi, Dana!'
Monday, 5:00 p.m. ET: In shape and focused for the first time in a while, the Takanori Gomi of old returned to us on Sunday evening's Shooto Tradition Final card, where he knocked out Shooto 154-pound world champion Takashi Nakakura late in the second round.
After the event, Sherdog.com was able to catch up with an ecstatic and jovial “Fireball Kid” to talk about his immediate feelings on the bout, as well as his next step in the sport.
Gesias “JZ” Calvancante headed to Bellator ?
FiveOuncesOfPain.com has learned that top lightweight Gesias “JZ” Calvancante has expressed interest in the possibility of joining the fledgling Mixed Martial Arts organization Bellator’s second season.
The bit of information came in a conversation with Bellator CEO/founder Bjorn Rebney at this past Friday’s Bellator VI event. American Top Team’s Calvancante attended a previous Bellator card where he stated his interest to Rebney in involving himself with Season Two’s lightweight tournament.
UFC fighter Houston Alexander rescues child left in car
UFC light heavyweight Houston Alexander is used to knocking out opponents inside the Octagon. On Wednesday, May 6, “The Assassin” did his part to help knock out child neglect.
According to WOWT.com, Alexander discovered a child left alone and crying inside an unlocked Chevy Lumina in a parking lot near his hometown of Ohama, Nebraska, and stayed with the girl until she was safe.
After searching local businesses for her family, the child’s mother was found at a local plasma center giving blood, accompanied by a cousin who was supposedly left in charge of watching the girl.
'Minotoro' Nogueira Wins At Jungle Fight
Top 10 ranked light heavyweight Antonio Rogerio Nogueira on Saturday night kept his winning streak intact with a third round submission of Golden Glory fighter Dion Staring at Jungle Fight Ceara in Fortaleza, Brazil.
The win marked his fifth straight victory and improved his overall record to 17-3.
Despite having 20 bouts to his credit, Saturday's bout was Nogueira's first in his home country of Brazil. He fought the majority of his early career in Japan, but has spent the majority of his most recent fights in the U.S. and Canada, including wins on both Affliction fight cards.
Following back surgery, Goran Reljic takes up light training for UFC return
Goran Reljic's UFC debut couldn't have gone much better.
Pushing his professional career record to 8-0, the 25-year-old Croatian defeated Wilson Gouveia via second-round TKO and earned a $75,000 Fight of the Night bonus for his efforts.
Reljic (8-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) hasn't fought since that UFC 84 main-card bout a year ago, but his manager told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) the middleweight recently recommenced light training and hopes to return to the UFC later this year.
Reljic had been slated to make his second UFC appearance in October at UFC 90. However, a back injury forced him out of his scheduled bout with Thales Leites just two weeks before the Chicago event.
"Since then we had been trying different (forms of) rehabilitation to solve his back problems," Relic's manager, Zoran Saric, said. "Three months ago, doctors in Croatia decided to do lower back/disc surgery. Everything went well, and Goran started light training for a month."
With Silva Partnership, Franklin Likely At 205 For Good
It's safe to say that, after his upcoming catch weight fight at 195, Rich Franklin is not going to fight any more Silvas at Middleweight or anybody else for that matter. His recent partnership with current UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva means that, in his words, "Ace" is likely staying permanently at Light Heavyweight after he faces Wanderlei Silva at UFC 99.
Shawn Thompkins Suggests Rift With Wanderlei
Xtreme Couture coach Shawn Tompkins appears to have had something of a fall-out with Wanderlei Silva, judging by recent comments.
"With Wanderlei and I, we've worked together before -- we worked together with the Keith Jardine fight," Tompkins told MMA FanHouse. "We're great friends, I just think we have different ideas on what a training schedule should be.
Tompkins suggested that Silva had a more relaxed approach to training than was required, prompting to the two to part ways.
Affliction's Tom Atencio on MMA fight with UFC's Dana White: "Let's do it"
On June 27, at an Ultimate Chaos event in Mississippi, Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio (1-0) will make his second appearance as a professional mixed-martial-arts fighter.
During a recent press conference for the event, Atencio seemed to hint he wanted to fight UFC President Dana White sometime in the future.
On Friday's edition of MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio), Atencio left no doubts. He's ready to fight White, and he thinks it would be "huge" for both fight executives.
Rashad Evans: Lyoto Machida is better than Rampage Jackson; Interested in Anderson Silva fight
“I thought Lyoto was more deserving than Rampage anyway. He’s better … actually, I like Rampage a lot. I think he’s really funny and charismatic. But I still want to beat his ass some day…. [My goal is to] get Anderson Silva’s record for the most consecutive wins in the UFC, with nine, keep the belt and then break that record…. I’d love to fight Anderson Silva.”
UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Rashad Evans — who has eight wins in nine attempts inside the Octagon (the “other” fight was a draw against Tito Ortiz — has no qualms defending his 205-pound title for the first time against Lyoto Machida at UFC 98 on May 23, because as he puts it, the undefeated Brazilian is more deserving. “Sugar” was expected to defend his belt against former division champion, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, however, he had to turn down the bout because of nagging injuries. He is expected to take on the winner of Evans-Machida later in 2009, which would no doubt be a blockbuster pay-per-view (PPV) event … especially if Evans can come out on top. And if Machida and possibly Jackson were not enough to handle, Evans also has middleweight champion Anderson Silva — who also competes at light heavyweight — in his cross hairs. Talk about a tough road ahead … can he pull it off?
Antwain Britt swiftly KOs UFC vet Antonio Mendes at Shine Fights
The featured bout at Saturday's Shine Fights' debut event ended swiftly.
Eights seconds to be exact.
Antwain Britt (7-2), who earned a spot on "The Ultimate Fighter 8" cast before being forced off the show due to injury, stopped UFC vet Antonio Mendes (16-5) with a swift first-round knockout during Saturday's "Genesis" event at the Celeste Center in Columbus, Ohio.
Takanori Gomi claims non-title win over Shooto champ Takashi Nakakura
Takanori Gomi rebounded from recent back-to-back losses and picked up his first knockout win via strikes in two-and-a-half years with a victory over Takashi Nakakura earlier today at Shooto's latest event, "The Final Tradition."
Gomi (30-5) stopped Shooto star Takashi Nakakura (11-3-1) and snapped his five-fight win streak with the second-round TKO.
It was a must-win fight for Gomi, who was once arguably the world's top lightweight fighter.
New British Promotion Headed Straight To UK TV
Bravo Television is a tempting proposition for any Mixed Martial Arts promotion in the U.K., as it presents a unique opportunity to reach a wider viewing audience as well having a background in UFC programming. In short, Bravo understands the sport.
So when it was originally announced that Bravo was considering MMA in its programming schedule, the promotions started to take note, most of all the British Fighting Championship and Ultimate Challenge. The reality is that neither show will be featured on Bravo and that a new tournament based format show will emerge in its place.
Starting on June 28, BAMMA will be running its first event on Bravo, a fight card featuring three tournaments across the lightweight, middleweight and light heavyweight categories and will be fought with the winners moving onto a place in the finals.
Fighting Blind, Ben Henderson Opening His Eyes
In mixed martial arts, fighting blind is typically more or less a euphemism, but in WEC fighter Ben Henderson's case, it's been applied quite literally.
Often seen after fights donning glasses that make him look rather scholarly, Henderson, in a recent interview on MMAWeekly Radio, gave some insight into the effect his poor eyesight has had on his fight career.
"It's not very good, my vision," said Henderson. "I can (my opponents) far away as a blur, but the closer they get, if I squint, I can see them more clearly.