Initial "Strikeforce Challengers" event earns $81K gate
Strikeforce's debut "Strikeforce Challengers" event, held May 15 in Fresno, Calif., drew 2,322 paid attendees for a live gate of $81,395.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) recently requested and received the official attendance figures from the California State Athletic Commission.
The inaugural "Strikeforce Challengers" event took place at the Save Mart Center. The 16,000 seat arena was scaled down to 4,500 seats in preparation for the crowd size Strikeforce expects for its developmental series shows.
Dan Lauzon vs. Chris Horodecki planned for Affliction III in August
A fight that was originally scheduled to take place at Affliction's January event has instead been arranged for the organization's as-yet-unannounced third show.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned from sources close to the event that lightweights Chris Horodecki (12-1) and Dan Lauzon (14-2) have agreed to meet at Affliction III.
While official details have not been released, the organization's third show is expected to be held on Aug. 1 at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
Machida and Rampage to coach TUF 10?
Now that Lyoto Machida has cemented himself as the #1 light heavyweight in the world, the next step for him is to defend his title, and possibly build his reputation with more fans all over the world.
A natural step to build that bridge would seem to be placing Machida on the next season of the "Ultimate Fighter" reality show, and have him opposite his next opponent, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, who previously served on the show during season 7.
UFC president Dana White was asked point blank if the coaches for the tenth season of the show had been picked, and while he was able to confirm they have been chosen, he wouldn't divulge any names.
"I'm not going to tell you. We start filming on the 1st and there's a media day on like the 2nd or 3rd. All your questions will be answered then," White responded.
Dana White Laid Ground Work for Lyoto Machida vs Quinton Rampage Jackson in 2006
The victory on Saturday was a validation of his investment in the Machida's tactical, karate-based style, which drew early criticism from fans.
"We bought the WFA to acquire his contract and Rampage's," added White. "I've always thought this kid was talented."
Dana made that investment back at the end of 2006 and Rampage was already well-enough known to be part of the story when the purchase was made, but Lyoto was not.
Dana Makes It Official: Rampage Gets Next Title Shot
In a fight that will be announced soon, Dana White has confirmed that, as expected, Quinton Jackson will be the first challenger to new UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Ryoto (Lyoto) Machida. Rampage actually was to have gotten the fight last night but injuries after UFC 96 forced him to sit it out.
UFC Returns To Los Angeles In October
At last night's UFC 98 post-fight press conference, Dana White announced UFC will make only it's second trip ever to Los Angeles on 10/24 for what could be UFC 104. The only prior UFC event held in LA to date is UFC 60, headlined by Matt Hughes vs. Royce Gracie.
Former Owner of Premier Fighter Indicted
Forbes is reporting that the gentleman with ties to the MMA apparel line Premier Fighter has been indicted on multiple charges related to fraud, money laundering and other criminal activity:
A federal grand jury has indicted a 37-year-old Nebraska man, alleging he operated a Ponzi scheme that caused investors to lose about $4 million from 2006 to 2008. Matthew Anselmo of Bellevue is accused of misappropriating investment and loan funds from 13 people to pay off previous investors and business debts, underwrite his gambling and buy a residence and vehicles.
The 27-count indictment, announced Friday, also charges Anselmo with mail fraud, money laundering and possessing counterfeit checks with the intent to deceive other people. Anselmo was owner, operator and manager of M&M Marketing and Premier Fighter. Premier Fighter sold mixed martial arts-related apparel.
There had been talk in MMA circles about Premier Fighter allegedly not paying fighters after the fighters wore Premier Fighter during their bouts during Anselmo’s ownership, with many threads on the UG detailing this. Premier Fighter had been distributed by Hitman Fight Gear (and therefore by TapouT) before Hitman parted ways with Premier during the Fall of last year. This indictment sounds like the other show dropping in relation to these earlier troubling reports.
Limp Bizkit booked for UFC 100 weekend, concert to stream on UFC.com
The Ultimate Fighting Championship and the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino have further bolstered July's historic UFC 100 weekend with a Limp Bizkit concert.
The rap-metal group performs on the eve of UFC 100, July 10, at Mandalay Bay Beach as part of its "Unicorns N' Rainbows" tour.
Tickets for the concert go on sale May 29, and the show also airs live on UFC.com.
Forrest Griffin Gets UFC's First 'Authentic Spirit' Award
The UFC, in conjunction with Tequila Cazadores, awarded Forrest Griffin the first ever UFC Authentic Spirit Award.
The award will be given to a UFC fighter monthly who exemplifies social responsibility, dedication to their art form and good sportsmanship. Griffin was announced as the recipient by UFC President Dana White at a media event held by the UFC, Tequila Cazadores and THQ at Tabu in the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino.
Griffin was given the award for his work with the Wounded Warriors program, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors.
Tim Sylvia Returns To MMA In August
Tim Sylvia will be fighting for a "very high profile" mixed martial arts organisation in August, Fighters Only can exclusively reveal.
The former UFC heavyweight champion says that contracts for the summer fight have been drawn up but not signed.
"We have the contract at home, I am just waiting to get back and send it out," he said. "I'm not allowed to say right now what the show is or who my opponent is."
UFC 98 Weigh-In Results
OFFICIAL WEIGH-IN RESULTS:
UFC 98 Main Card Bouts:
-Rashad Evans (205) vs. Lyoto Machida (204)
-Matt Hughes (170) vs. Matt Serra (171)
-Dan Miller (185) vs. Chael Sonnen (186)
-Sean Sherk (156) vs. Frankie Edgar (155)
-Drew McFedries (185) vs. Xavier Foupa-Pokam (186)
UFC 98 Preliminary Bouts:
-Brock Larson (171) vs. Mike Pyle (172)
-Tim Hague (263) vs. Patrick Barry (237)
-Phillipe Nover (156) vs. Kyle Bradley (156)
-Andre Gusmao (206) vs. Krzysztof Soszynski (206)
-Yoshiyuki Yoshida (171) vs. Brandon Wolff (170)
-George Roop (154) vs. David Kaplan (156)
Mike Pyle was a late replacement filling in for Chris Wilson against Brock Larson. Pyle didn't step on the scales during the official weigh-in, but did make weight shortly after.
Is Serra fight Hughes' last stand?
The Matt Hughes train is headed to the UFC Hall of Fame. The question is, is Las Vegas on Saturday night the final stop before enshrinement?
Hughes is near the top of most UFC all-time lists. The two-time welterweight champion is tied with Randy Couture for most wins in championship matches with nine. He’s tied with Tito Ortiz and Anderson Silva for most consecutive successful title defenses with five. He’s second to Randy Couture for most total time as champion at 52 months. And he’s tied with Tito Ortiz for second place behind Chuck Liddell for most UFC victories, with 17.
During what most would consider his peak, from 2001 to the end of 2006, when he dropped the title for a final time to Georges St. Pierre, he went on a 19-1 (including two wins outside the UFC) tear.
When UFC president Dana White pushed him as “the greatest welterweight of all-time,” during the build for his most famous match, a UFC 60 win over Royce Gracie, there was virtually nobody who tried to pick apart the statement because it was almost impossible to argue.
Hughes has repeatedly said that he’s not the kind of fighter who wants to be the former champion who becomes the stepping stone for young fighters to make themselves stars, and the subject of retirement has been broached by him a few times.
Ed Soares, Krzysztof Soszynski and Chael Sonnen sound off on UFC 98 and so much more
UFC 98-featured fighters Krzysztof Soszynski and Chael Sonnen, as well as MMA super-manager Ed Soares, were the featured guests on MMAmania.com’s exclusive presentation of Pro MMA Radio this week.
First up was Soares, the manager of Brazilian legends such as UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva, former PRIDE and UFC heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, former WEC middleweight champion Paulo Filho and the number one-ranked 205-pound contender, Lyoto Machida, who has his title shot against Rashad Evans at UFC 98 on Saturday.
Soares was quick to play up the potential for the fight, saying that it could prove to be “one of those fights that people talk about for the rest of their lives.”
Stephan Bonnar says Matt Hughes is retiring after UFC 98
First, Matt Serra dropped some hints that he's at least entertaining the idea of retiring after Saturday's UFC 98 event.
Now, it's his opponent's name that's popping up in recent retirement talk.
On the latest edition of ESPN's "MMA Live," UFC light heavyweight Stephan Bonnar said he heard directly from Matt Hughes that the former champ will call it quits after his fight with Serra.
"I've heard it from Matt Hughes' mouth that this is going to be his last fight – I think win or lose," said Bonnar