Manhoef Booked Up, But Open To Offers
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker on Sunday told MMAWeekly.com he was eyeing Dutch terror Melvin Manhoef for a spot on one of the 10 Showtime cards expected for the San Jose-based organization in 2009.
Heavy-handed former EliteXC middleweight champion Robbie Lawler was a front-runner as an opponent, and manager Monte Cox said on Tuesday that there had been “discussions” about a possible bout in April and May, Strikeforce’s first shows planned for the premium cable network.
“I mean, wouldn’t that be a great fight?” Coker said from Los Angeles.
However, Simon Rutz, Manhoef’s manager, said his client's schedule ruled out an appearance on the spring/summer cards. Manhoef’s next commitment was a possible appearance in a K-1 fight against Gohkan Saki on March 28 in Japan, followed by a Showtime-broadcast fight at the Amsterdam Arena against Stephan Leko on May 16.
Brian Cobb In For Justin Bucholz @ UFC 95
Riding a nine-fight winning streak, Palace Fighting Championship lightweight titleholder Brian Cobb is stepping in on short notice to face Terry Etim at UFC 95 on Feb. 21 in London, according to a report on Sherdog.com.
Justin Buchholz was originally slated to fight Etim, but had to withdraw after he stricken with a severe staph infection on his arm.
Evans addresses 'worse than Tito' comments by Whitehead
Fighter alum Mike Whitehead poured gasoline on the fire by comparing Evans to Tito Ortiz saying that he's terrible for the sport. Evans has been consistent in saying he's unphased by the criticisim and told Cage Writer there may be an additional reason for Whitehead's anger:
"About three weeks before that I get a call from coach he says 'what do you think about Mike Whitehead coming to train with us Jackson's Gym? Well he wants to be part of the team, he's sick of it over at Couture's'. And now after the fight he says this."
Nogueira vs. Couture Still Possible for June
Although Randy Couture turned down the fight offer last month, opting instead to have a pair of large bone spurs in his elbow removed, it appears "Captain America" could still collide with the UFC's other recently dethroned Heavyweight Champion in June at the company's German debut. After losing his UFC Interim Heavyweight Title to Frank Mir at UFC 92, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira remained in the United States in order to have knee surgery last Saturday, February 7th, according to a new interview with "Minotauro's" Muay Thai coach Luiz Alves
DREAM Announces WWGP Participants-Mach, Aoki Entered
On the heels of their Featherweight GP, DREAM has begun announcing the participants for their 8-man Welterweight GP. They've loaded it right away, among the announced participants today are perennial Top 5 Welterweight Hayato Sakurai and current WAMMA Lightweight Champion Shinya Aoki, who will move up to Welterweight to participate.
UFC Signs Another Heavyweight
Todd Dufee, a 23-year-old Heavyweight with a 5-0 record, has now been signed by UFC. Dufee trains with Antonio Silva and most recently beat former UFC fighter Assuerio Silva in September.
DIEGO SANCHEZ DROP TO 155 NOT PERMANENT
When the announcement was made that perennial Top 10 welterweight Diego Sanchez was making a move to lightweight just about every fighter at 155 pounds took immediate notice. From top contenders on down, Sanchez is gunning for the best fighters in the world at lightweight, but as he told MMAWeekly Radio recently, his run at 170 isn't finished either.
Always known for his tremendous strength and cardio conditioning, Sanchez will not accept a loss in either of those categories for his move to lightweight, which may not last as long as some people may have expected.
"I definitely am going to go back to welterweight. Maybe a year, year and a half at this weight, we'll see," he said in the interview. "It's all about the business and the right fights, whatever are the best fights for the UFC. I'm here to put the best fights on for the fans and the UFC, and be the best fighter out there that I can be for you guys."
The New Mexico born fighter attributes the move to lightweight as something he felt necessary at this point in his career, but as he ages, he believes that 170 will be his home once again.
"I'm 27 now, so I'm only in my twenties. When I come into my thirties it's going to be a lot harder to make that weight drop, so I said hey go for the belt at 155 and then later on in my career, I can go for the belt at 170," commented Sanchez.
Drysdale tests out role as player-coach
A few moments before the weigh-in for UFC 86 was to begin at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, UFC lightweight Joe Stevenson spotted a reporter standing about 100 yards away.
The moments before a weigh-in are when a fighter is usually at his crankiest. He’s sick of not being able to eat, sick of having to sweat weight off, and the pressure of the fight is beginning to build. Normally, he just wants to be left alone.
Stevenson, though, ran over in a dead sprint. He was eager to introduce his new jiu-jitsu coach, 2007 Abu Dhabi Submission Wrestling world champion Robert Drysdale.
“This guy is the best ever,” Stevenson said exuberantly.
Tim Sylvia in talks to fight former boxing champ Ray Mercer
Long-time MMA promoter and manager Monte Cox is looking to think out of the box for his next Adrenaline MMA shows as he is involved in negotiations to finalize the first-ever MMA rules matchup between a former heavyweight champions in MMA and boxing.
Cox revealed to FiveOuncesOfPain.com that an Adrenaline event tentatively scheduled for May 30 in Atlantic City, N.J. could be headlined by former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia taking on 46-year old former WBO heavyweight champion “Merciless” Ray Mercer.
Free of AFL, Rafael Assuncao seeking April return
As the Kentucky-based American Fight League continues forward under a self-imposed hiatus, one of its most successful fighters is looking for a new home.
Featherweight Rafael Assuncao (12-1) has been granted his release from the AFL and is now seeking an April return to action.
Considered by many MMA analysts to be among the world's top-10 145-pounders, Assuncao today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the WEC and soon-to-debut Bellator Fighting Championships are the top contenders for his services.
Injury forces Shannon Gugerty off UFC 95 card
With the UFC's next trip to the U.K. growing closer, an injury has forced two-time UFC veteran Shannon Gugerty (11-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) off of the "UFC 95: Sanchez vs. Stevenson" preliminary card.
Gugerty was originally scheduled to face U.K. product Jeff Lawson (12-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) in a bout that may simply be scratched from the card.
"[Gugerty] has a herniated disc in his neck that was giving him pain in his shoulder blade and arm," Clark said. "I think it's between his C6 and C7 discs. It's giving him pain down his arm. He's just got to recover from that."
Amir Sadollah recovering from surgery, planning drop to 170 pounds
For Amir Sadollah (1-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), his UFC dream has become a nightmare.
The improbable winner of "The Ultimate Fighter 7" hasn't fought since his June 2008 professional debut against C.B. Dollaway. After pulling out of his UFC 94 bout with Nick Catone -- the second-straight fight for which Sadollah was a late scratch -- the 28-year-old admits he might have to make some changes moving forward.
Josh Koscheck doesn’t care about Paulo Thiago
I really don’t know anything about him. To be honest with you, I don’t even know what he looks like. I’ve never seen video on him, nothing. For me, it’s a fight. I expect to go in there and fight and just do what I do, which is win. I just don’t even care to look. I don’t care to watch [him]. I don’t watch video on any of my opponents. For me it’s just another fight. I’m sure he’s a tough opponent, but he hasn’t fought in the UFC yet. This will be his first opportunity to fight somebody really tough.
Frank Shamrock: Breaking people is entertaining
“I’d be pretty pissed off if someone smashed my coach. Diaz is going to be carrying the pride of his school with him, but a fight’s a fight. Someone’s getting smashed and it’s just not going to be me. I’m done breaking myself for entertainment. I’m just going to break everybody else and they’ll be entertained by that.”
-Former Strikeforce middleweight champion Frank Shamrock (23-9-2) comments in a company press release on his upcoming main event bout with Nick Diaz at the Strikeforce event scheduled for April 11 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California. The 179-pound catch weight contest will headline what the promotion is calling “The greatest fight card in Strikeforce history.” Shamrock — who defeated Diaz’ mentor Cesar Gracie in just 21 seconds back in 2006 – is looking to stick it to the Gracie camp one more time with a dominant performance over Diaz.
Strikeforce Pay $3 million for ProElite Assets
In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing released by ProElite, Inc. on Wednesday, the restructuring company disclosed it received $3 million for assets sold to Strikeforce. Those assets included the sale of 42 fighter contracts, a video library of 20 live events, and other assets not specified.