Paul Taylor/Ben Saunders Injury Updates
Popular British welterweight Paul Taylor has been forced to turn down an opportunity to compete at UFC 97 on April 18 in Montreal.
Taylor suffered a rib injury during his war with Chris Lytle at UFC 89 back in October of last year. Doctors originally said the injury was a cracked or broken rib. Initially expected to only miss 12 weeks, the injury has taken longer to heal. Now expected to be sidelined through July, Taylor was not able to accept an invitation to compete in Montreal.
After being scratched from a welterweight bout against Dustin Hazelett during next month’s UFC 96 event in Columbus, Ohio, Ben Saunders is looking to make his Octagon return within the next three months.
Saunders revealed his plans while speaking during a “UFC Fight Club” question and answer session this past week in Florida. The talented welterweight prospect specifically pointed to the months of April or May as a timetable for his return.
Johnson not ready to rumble with GSP
You have to be pretty good nine fights into your career for fans to be calling for you to fight Georges St. Pierre, or those same fans are just morons. In the case of the Anthony Johnson, the reason is somewhere in between. It's way too early for Johnson to get a shot at the welterweight champ especially considering he's also one of the top three guys in the Yahoo! Sports' pound-for-pound rankings. That said, "Rumble" Johnson does appear to have the game, that could turn him into a top five welterweight.
The Zuffa UFC/WEC Event Mill
Zuffa, LLC. has just completed a string of four consecutive weeks where they put on a ten fight card (Zuffa, LLC. is the parent company of both the UFC and the WEC). That’s forty fights in four weeks folks. Each fight takes two combatants, so that’s eighty fighters. They take a week off for Valentine’s, then they have another three week stretch with events every week. Two of those cards have eleven fights scheduled, and one has ten.* That’s a further thirty-two fights, and sixty-four fighters.
Florian, Parisyan Headed to Tri-Star Gym in Montreal
Coming off the heels of an uninspiring split decision win over Dong Hyun Kim at UFC 94, judo wizard Karo "The Heat" Parisyan will be making his way down to Tri-Star to do some training with conditioning coach Jonathan Chaimberg and head instructor Zahabi.
Also slated to make his way down to the "Beautiful Province" for training is Team Sityodtong member Kenny Florian, who looks to benefit from a full training camp with Zahabi and St-Pierre before taking on Penn for the lightweight title later this year.
TKO Leaves Hyped Velasquez Unsatisfied
TAMPA, Fla. -- Cain Velasquez hears the hype.
Viewed by some as a man who can contend for the heavyweight championship sooner rather than later, the 26-year-old American Kickboxing Academy prospect knows the UFC expects much from him. He believes his latest effort -- a second-round stoppage of pudgy newcomer Denis Stojnic in the UFC Fight Night 17 co-main event on Saturday at the Sun Dome -- left plenty of room for improvement.
“My timing was off,” Velasquez told UFC.com after he was pushed into the second round for the first time in his career. “The last two weeks of my training camp, I wasn’t able to spar. I think that had a lot to do with it. Other than that, I felt great.”
Still, he cannot argue with the results. Velasquez (5-0) battered Stojnic throughout the fight with knees, kicks and punches from the clinch. He did well in space, too, as he nearly finished the Golden Glory product with clean strikes from the outside in the first. A two-time All-American wrestler at Arizona State University, Velasquez mauled Stojnic on the ground and forced the referee to intervene 2:34 into the second round. Even so, he was not satisfied.
“I just wasn’t relaxed out there,” Velasquez said. “I think I need more ring time. I kind of tightened up. I was just throwing two punches [at a time]. I want to be able to throw more … head movement, sit in the pocket and keep that progress going. I was throwing and backing off. That’s not what I want to do. I want to be more active.”
XCF To Donate Saturday's Proceeds To Corey Hill Fund
Xtreme Cagefighting Federation, an 18-month-old promotion preparing to hold their sixth event, "DynaPep Rumble in Racetown" on Feb. 14, has committed to donate a portion of their profits to the "Corey Hill Get Well Fund." XCF Promoter Doug Bland said Hill's camp at Gracie Tampa was instrumental in helping him bring the XCF to Florida, so the organization was thrilled at the chance to give back. The event will air on PPV for $9.95, with $1 from each PPV buy going to the fund.
Ken Shamrock: A lifetime of work has earned me this chance
Ken Shamrock's days as an elite-level fighter are over. The 45-year-old is comfortable admitting to that reality.
But as Shamrock (26-13-2) recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), "The World's Most Dangerous Man" feels he has done enough for the growth of MMA to warrant his continued pursuit of an active career.
Josh Neer is ‘going to bring it win, lose or draw’
“I had nothing to lose. I was going to go in there and bang it out. I was going to go through whatever I had to go through [to get the win]…. I knew that I had more heart than him…. Win, lose or draw I’m going to bring it. Anybody that faces me they’re going to have to deal with that — they’re going to have to deal with someone who isn’t going to lay down. I’m not going to be a stepping stone for anybody.”
Olympian Ben Askren, UFC Vet Din Thomas Win In Missouri
Former Olympian and two-time NCAA Division I national wrestling champion Ben Askren's first professional MMA fight was a quick one.
Askren (1-0), a former University of Missouri wrestler, scored a first-round TKO of Josh Flowers (0-3) at the Holiday Inn Expo Center in Columbia, Mo., at the debut Headhunters Fight League event.
Askren, the head wrestling instructor at American Top Team of Missouri, scored an early takedown and forced an 84-second stoppage after a subsequent ground-and-pound assault.
UFC Fight Night 17 Draws 7,596 For $428K Live Gate
Saturday's "UFC Fight Night 17: Lauzon vs. Stephens" event scored 7,596 attendees at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Fla.
The near-soldout crowd accounted for a live gate of approximately $428,000.
The Feb. 7 event, which was the UFC's first-ever trip to Tampa, aired on Spike TV and featured Joe Lauzon's submission victory over Jeremy Stephens in the night's main event.
While the UFC's "Fight Night" events are traditionally held in smaller venues, such as those at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and The Palms in Las Vegas, UFC Fight Night 17 stuck with a recent trend of hosting the shows in larger venues.
UFC Fight Night 17 - Results (Spoilers)
UFC Fight Night 17 Results:
Main Card Bouts:
-Joe Lauzon def. Jeremy Stephens by Submission (Armbar) at 4:43, R2
-Cain Velasquez def. Denis Stojnic by TKO (Strikes) at 2:34, R2
-Josh Neer def. Mac Danzig by Submission (Triangle Choke) at 3:36, R2
-Anthony Johnson def. Luigi Fioravanti by TKO (Strikes) at 4:39, R1
-Kurt Pellegrino def. Rob Emerson by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:14, R2
-Dan Miller def. Jake Rosholt by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 1:03, R1
-Gleison Tibau def. Rich Clementi by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 4:35, R1
-Matt Veach def. Matt Grice by TKO (Strikes) at 4:34, R1
-Nick Catone def. Derek Downey by Submission (Keylock) at 1:15, R2
-Matt Riddle def. Steve Bruno by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
UFC Fight Night 17 - Fighter Bonuses
UFC FIGHT NIGHT 17 AWARDS AND BONUSES
(Each fighter received a $30,000 bonus.)
UFC Fight Night 17 Fight of the Night:
-Josh Neer vs. Mac Danzig
UFC Fight Night 17 Knockout of the Night:
UFC Fight Night 17 Submission of the Night:
Anderson Silva may not retire after all
When he came out and we started representing him, I asked him what his long term goal was. He always said he imagined himself retiring at 35. That’s his goal. And my goal as his manager is to set him up financially so that he has a choice. Do I think he’s going to retire at 35? No, I don’t.”
The Weekly Wrap: Jan. 31 - Feb. 6
The Weekly Wrap walks readers through the last seven days in MMA, recapping and putting into context the week's top story, important news and notable quotes. by Jack Encarnacao (firstname.lastname@example.org)
"Completely new" Gleison Tibau seeks fresh start at UFCFN 17
It has been said that the definition of insanity is repeating the same actions over and over yet expecting different results.
After suffering two-straight defeats for the first time in his career -- and adding injury to insult in a training session -- UFC lightweight Gleison Tibau (15-6 MMA, 3-3 UFC) was driving himself crazy. But heading into Saturday night's "UFC Fight Night 17: Lauzon vs. Stephens" bout with Rich Clementi, Tibau told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) he has reinvented himself in an effort to earn different results.
"I changed almost all of my preparation," Tibau said through an interpreter. "I'm completely new."
Next Stop GSP. Alves Starts Preparing
Sitting cage side for possibly the biggest fight in MMA history, Thiago "Pitbull" Alves had the most watchful eye of anybody in the crowd at UFC 94. He knew that the winner would soon land in his crosshairs, being the No. 1 contender in the UFC welterweight division.
Prior to the fight, Alves had said he thought Penn would win the fight, but he was rooting for St. Pierre because he wanted his title shot. If the Hawaiian won and held two titles, nothing was guaranteed. When it was all said and done, St. Pierre dominated Penn like no other fighter ever has and even Alves was surprised by the outcome.
Win or lose, Rich Clementi wants to scrap at UFC Fight Night 17
Win or lose, UFC lightweight Rich Clementi (32-13-1 MMA, 5-4 UFC) just wants to fight.
Clementi is still sour over his October 2008 loss to Gray Maynard at UFC 90, and "No Love" refuses to have another disappointing performance when he faces Brazilian submission ace Gleison Tibau (15-6 MMA, 3-3 UFC) at "UFC Fight Night 17: Lauzon vs. Stephens" on Saturday in Tampa, Fla.
"I will really, really, really be upset if I'm not really, really busted up or I'm going out of there with my hand up," Clementi recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "It better be one or the other."