ELITE XC PLANS FOR HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE
The championship title picture in Elite XC is starting to come clear as on Thursday, Elite XC Live Events President Gary Shaw, confirmed the promotion is close to crowning their first ever heavyweight champion.
With the main event between Elite XC superstar Kimbo Slice and British heavy hitter James Thompson headlining the upcoming debut show on CBS, the heavyweight division looks to receive a lot of attention following this show.
“Right now, we’re close to doing a heavyweight title,” said Shaw during a media conference call on Thursday. “We’ll probably do the heavyweight title in 2008
Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou mentally ready for Kazuhiro Nakamura UFC 84 fight
“The African Assassin” is out for redemption after “choking” (figuratively and literally) in his Octagon debut against Lyoto Machida at UFC 79: “Nemesis” back in December 2007. Prior to the loss the Camaroonian was on fire, bursting on to the scene overseas in Japan with two sensational knockouts of top 205-pound fighters, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Ricardo Arona. He takes on Kazuhiro Nakamura on the under card this weekend at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, at UFC 84: “Ill Will.”
Strikeforce A Ratings Hit For NBC
The 5th episode of the weekly Strikeforce On NBC program topped some notable late-night competition in the key 18-34 males demo for the week of May 5, beating both Jimmy Kimmel and Craig Ferguson in the key ratings demo. Overall, the show's viewership has nearly tripled since the premiere and is now at just under 950,000 viewers.
Jardine forces his way into picture
Forrest Griffin has the next shot at the UFC’s light heavyweight title.
But Griffin has already lost to Keith Jardine.
One-time 205-pound king Chuck Liddell wants another crack at the belt, currently held by his nemesis, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
Liddell, too, has already lost to Jardine.
And Wanderlei Silva, who has two wins over Jackson, concedes that while he’s thinking of dropping to middleweight after his fight Saturday at UFC 84 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, he also wouldn’t mind a shot at Jackson’s belt.
Silva, not surprisingly, has a bout with Jardine on Saturday.
And when it’s brought to Silva’s attention that Jardine has not yet had a crack at the belt, he’s puzzled.
“Keith is a very difficult fighter,” Silva said. “If anyone should be fighting for a title, it’s him.”
Cheick Kongo vs. Dan Evensen Set: UFC 87
French striker Cheick Kongo will look to get back on his winning streak when he takes on UFC newcomer Dan Evensen. They will battle it out at UFC 87: ‘Seek and Destroy' to be held at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minn., on August 9.
Josh Neer returns at UFC Fight Night 14
Josh Neer (24-6-1 MMA, 3-3 UFC) will look to build upon a recent victory over Din Thomas when he returns at UFC Fight Night 14 in September.
A source close to the fighter told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Neer, who's won seven of his past eight fights, has agreed to fight at the Sept. 17 event, which airs on Spike TV.
An opponent for the 25-year-old the Team Miletich fighter has not been finalized.
AFTER UFC 84, SILVA EYES RAMPAGE AND LIDDELL
Rematches have become one of the most compelling storylines in all of mixed martial arts. From the trilogy of fights between Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture, to the fights featuring Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock, rematches mean big business in MMA.
Two potential rematches that seem almost certain to happen involve former Pride middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva. As he prepares for his upcoming bout at UFC 84 against Keith Jardine, he knows that fights with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Chuck Liddell may have new life down the road.
During his time with the Japanese promotion Pride, Silva defeated Jackson two separate times, finishing both fights with strikes and handing Rampage two of his more devastating losses. The Brazilian recently spoke to MMAWeekly Radio where he intimated that a third fight is definitely in order.
“Of course I want to fight him,” said Silva about another fight with Rampage. “Him and I are going to have to fight, maybe next year, or however I’m going to fight with him. I want to fight him in the Octagon, because I want to beat him here in the United States, in the Octagon.”
Never short on words, Rampage has rarely had nice things to say about Silva and the former Pride champion has taken notice.
“Guys don’t talk much (expletive) about me. The guy is talking a lot in interviews. I’ve looked at him many times at events, he don’t look at my eyes,” Silva commented. “He’s (saying), ‘Oh I’m not afraid of him,’ but he don’t look at my eyes.
“I don’t know what the problem is. They have a problem with me, come and talk to me, don’t talk on an interview. If I have a problem with some guy, I’m going to go talk and say, ‘hey man, I don’t like you.’ I talk to them (face to face).”
Matt Lindland cruises to Republican primary victory
MMA veteran and aspiring politician Matt Lindland won Tuesday's Republican primary for the Oregon House of Representatives in the 52nd district -- by 14 percentage points.
According to today's report from KATU.com, Lindland secured 2,410 votes (57 percent); opponent Phyllis Thiemann recorded just 1,803 votes (43 percent).
Chuck Liddell and Anderson Silva Scheduled To Appear At Guys Choice Awards
The following is a press release from Spike TV:
New York, NY, May 20, 2008 - Spike TV will once again gather many of the biggest names in music, entertainment and sports that guys love most for the second annual “Guys Choice.” From Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover girl Marissa Miller to “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull” star Harrison Ford, the night will be a homage to the best in “guydom.” Scheduled to tape Friday, May 30 at the Sony Studios in Culver City, CA, “Guys Choice” premieres Sunday, June 22 (10:00 PM-Midnight, ET/PT).
Scheduled appearances include: Selma Blair, Steve Carell, David Duchovny, Harrison Ford, Brendan Fraser, E!’s “The Girls Next Door,” Summer Glau, Meagan Good, Chad Johnson, Kim Kardashian, Chuck Liddell, Linkin Park, Seth MacFarlane, Jenny McCarthy, Eva Mendes, Marisa Miller, Anderson Silva, Nikki Sixx, Slash, Tila Tequila, Kat Von D and many more to be announced.
Spike TV will pay special tribute to an American icon; Playboy editor-in-chief and chief creative officer, Hugh Hefner. As Playboy marks its 55th anniversary in December, “Guys Choice” will honor Hefner with the first-ever Alpha Male award for his pioneering vision and ground-breaking achievements that forever changed the face of entertainment for men. The night will also offer other discretionary honors to be announced shortly.
AFFLICTION MMA ANNOUNCES DEAL WITH FOX SPORTS
At a press conference held Tuesday in Los Angeles, the forces behind new fight promotion Affliction unveiled the stars of their “Banned” show to be held July 19th at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
Fedor Emelianenko will clash with Tim Sylvia in the main event, and Josh Barnett and Pedro Rizzo will co-headline the event in a rematch of their 2001 fight. Ben Rothwell, Matt Lindland, Renato “Babalu” Sobral, and Aleksander Emelianenko are but a few of the fighters filling the card.
And according to Tim Ryan, president and CEO of the Honda Center, the stars are lining up for the show, with $250,000 in tickets sold within the first 30 minutes of going on sale Tuesday morning.
California State Athletic Commission executive director Armando Garcia confirmed that a 3.5 million dollar bond had already been posted for the show, clearing the way for ticket sales to the public. The bond ensures, among other things, that fighters are guaranteed their purses.
The amount of the bond further refutes the rumors that the fighters’ purses alone were expected to total six million dollars.
Also announced was a partnership with Fox Sports Net to air the evening’s hour long undercard live.
Making his way to the black stage at the trendy Century City shopping mall, Fedor Emelianenko received a raucous welcome from hundreds of fans – some of them waited five hours for an autograph – before speaking for the first time about his fight with Tim Sylvia. And not so subtly, he established the link between his services and Affliction, thanking M-1 Global – the defunct American/Russian MMA promotion now run by his manager Vadim Finkelstein – and Affliction for bringing him to California.
Bobby Lashley Next In Line
Bobby Lashley is the next former WWE star to make his way into MMA. He spoke with the Daily Star about it here:
Lashley has his sights set on MMA, and has been training hard, to avoid going in as a typical wrestler. He tells me his kickboxing and striking have come on leaps and bounds - "I want to knock people out on my feet and submit people" - and that he's looking at his debut as early as August, or even on PPV in October.
"I want to be an MMA guy who used to wrestle," he says, but he's not ruling out wrestling. Lashley's great mates Angle and Booker made the switch to TNA and have obviously been bending his ear to get him over there.
The only two companies doing PPV's in October are Affliction and UFC. I could see UFC bringing him in to face Brock Lesnar, because the marketing potential is very obvious. However, it is also clear that companies like Affliction looking for names to draw would be interested in paying him good money too. It's also possible that Elite XC could try to run a PPV in October if the May debut goes well. Kimbo v. Lashley, anyone?
That being said, companies like Affliction and Elite XC should be very wary of signing Lashley to a big contract for his name value. He was never a draw at all in the pro wrestling world, and doesn't have anywhere close to the name value of a Brock Lesnar or Kurt Angle. Without a hype machine like UFC behind his debut, Lashley is not going to draw very much.
Emelianenko vs. Buentello added to July 19 Affliction card Officially
A once-rumored match between Aleksander Emelianenko (13-3) and Paul Buentello (25-10) is now official for the July 19 "Affliction: Banned" show.
The organization, which will air its main card on pay per view, made the announcement during today's media and fan events in Los Angeles and New York City.
The latest booking further bolsters a fight card that's full of familiar names, including main-event participants Fedor Emelianenko and Tim Sylvia.
Aleksander Emelianenko, the younger brother of Fedor, has bounced around the MMA circuit ever since the demise of PRIDE Fighting Championships, his former home. He's 4-0 in his past four fights, which included stops with BodogFIGHT, M-1 and Hardcore Championship Fighting. He most recently defeated Silvao Santos via first-round TKO at an April 3 M-1 event in Russia.
Buentello, a former UFC heavyweight contender, hasn't fought since a November 2007 loss to Alistair Overeem for the first-ever Strikeforce world heavyweight title. The second-round submission loss was his first defeat in five fights -- and just his second loss in his past 12 fights.
Expect fireworks with the the Emelianenko-Buentello clash. Of the two fighters' combined 38 victories, 24 have come via knockout or knockout.
Anderson Silva's "Mother" passes away
UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva was in Curitiba, Brazil on Tuesday following the death of his aunt. Her name was not immediately available, but a source close to the fighter confirmed that the woman had raised Silva from his youth and that he thought of her as his mother. She passed away Monday.