Hansen to Zuffa: ‘Soul not for sale’
PRIDE veteran Joachim “Hellboy” Hansen appeared content backstage at Cage Rage 24 “Feel the Pain” on Saturday at Wembley Arena. After a painful and stressful year, he is finally a free man.
Zuffa LLC, parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, officially released Hansen (15-6-1) from his contract last month, a contract it inherited with its purchase of PRIDE Fighting Championships on March 27. The Norwegian lightweight did not mince words when it came to discussing the Las Vegas-based promotion.
“I just hope people understand that the problems [with Zuffa] weren’t about the money,” Hansen said. “It was about them treating me with honor and keeping their word. I would rather fight for free, then to bend down to them. My soul is not for sale.”
Memorial Fund Created for Sammy Vasquez
A memorial fund has been set up for Sammy Vasquez, who may have been the first fighter to die from injuries sustained in mixed martial arts competition in North America.
Vazquez had been battling for his life since an MMA bout with 21-year old Vince Libardi on Oct. 20 during a Renegades Extreme Fighting show at the Toyota Center in Houston. After taking a flurry of punches from Libardi, Vasquez collapsed in the ring and the fight was waved off at 2:50 of the third round. Emergency medical technicians worked on him in the ring for several minutes until he was rushed to St. Joseph Medical Center, where he stayed until moving to hospice care on Monday.
Vasquez and his family live in Houston, and the Texas MMA Fight Shop has stepped forward to collect donations.
Donations can be sent to:
TEXAS MMA FIGHT SHOP
c/o Sandra Vasquez
San Antonio, Texas 78238
Contributors are encouraged to send checks, cashier checks or money orders made out to Sandra Vasquez.
UFC in Final Negotiations For Canadian Debut (UFC 83)
Mixed martial arts fans, particularly those in Canada, have long been awaiting the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s debut north of the U.S. border. According to UFC vice president Marc Ratner, the wait may soon be over.
He stated to MMAWeekly.com, “The UFC is looking at April 19 right now to come to Montreal, Canada. It’s still tentative as we’re in final negotiations with the Bell Centre, but we’re very confident that it’s going to happen.”
The UFC’s plans to promote an event in Canada have been in the works for a very long time. Their plans have long hinged on the participation of current welterweight contender and former champion Georges St-Pierre. He is very popular in the U.S., but even more so in his home country of Canada.
Matt Serra to Host UFC 79 Party — in New York
Scratched from his UFC 79 main event with Matt Hughes because of injury, UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra has now been booked to a host a party for the Dec. 29 event — at Madison Square Garden.
While UFC 79 is set to take place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Serra (a New Yorker) will host a viewing party at New York’s world-famous sporting venue. “The Garden” is located in the heart of New York City.
UFC fan club members will get the first crack at tickets starting this Thursday, Dec. 6. The price is $30 for a general admission ticket — or $25 if you order before Dec. 22. (Fan club members also get to take part in a pre-event autograph session.)
FOX News Give Sam Vasquez Tragedy, MMA a Fair Shake
Today I appeared on “Studio B with Shepard Smith,” which airs nationally on FOX News, for a piece about Sammy Vasquez, the Houston-based fighter who recently lost his life following an October fight at a Renegades Extreme Fighting Championship show.
Mixed-martial arts? The death of a fighter? FOX News?
Yes, I fully expected it to be a recipe for disaster.
I had about two hours’ notice for the guest spot, so I did a little studying, put out on something other than a Mizzou sweatshirt, and headed to the local TV station ready for battle.
Sherk to California: Never Again
If given the chance to fight in California a fourth time, UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk won't say yes.
Almost a half year removed from a positive test for nandrolone, Sherk -- one of 41 mixed martial artists popped for banned substances in the Golden State since a widespread anti-doping policy was implemented in March -- finally had a chance to defend himself in front of the California State Athletic Commission.
"At this stage of my career, there's absolutely no way I'd do something like that," Sherk said during his opening statement.
Wanderlei Silva Interview
Wanderlei sits down with with Gary Herman to touch on a few subjects including his upcoming bout with Chuck, thoughts on Fedor, and who he'd like to fight after Chuck.
UFC 81: Terry Martin vs. Marvin Eastman (Exclusive)
Hard-hitting Terry Martin (16-3) will look to get back on the winning track at UFC 81: “Breaking Point” against veteran Marvin Eastman (14-7-1) on February 2 from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
MMAmania.com (www.mmamania.com) learned about the middleweight bout earlier this afternoon.
Martin suffered a surprise defeat via third round knockout courtesy of a perfectly placed Chris Leben punch in his last appearance inside the Octagon at UFC Fight Night 11 on September 19. It was a back-and-forth battle that Martin would have more than likely won on the judges scorecards if it went the distance (”The Crippler” was docked a point for a fence grab earlier in the bout).
Eastman has competed in the light heavyweight class for the better part of his long career. He was booked to clash with Demian Maia at UFC 77: “Hostile Territory” on October 20; however, an eye injury forced him off the Cincinnati card.
Sean Sherk's Suspension Reduced
UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk (Pictures), who was suspended for one year after testing positive for Nandrolone Metabolites following his victory over Hermes Franca (Pictures) at UFC 73 on July 7, had his suspension reduced to six months on Tuesday, reports Sherdog.com editor Josh Gross.
The California State Athletic Commission upheld a fine of $2500. Sherk, 34, will be eligible to return to the Octagon in January.
Texas agency responds to Vasquez death
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations announced Monday that its review of an Oct. 20 mixed martial arts show in which a fighter was seriously injured and later died showed the event was conducted in compliance with all regulating procedures.
The aftermath of the Oct. 20 Renegades Extreme Fighting Championship show at the Toyota Center in Houston culminated in tragedy on Friday with the death of 35-year-old fighter Sammy Vasquez.
Sean Sherk’s Fate Decided Tuesday
Current UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk should — finally — learn his fate from the appeal of a failed UFC 73 drug test tomorrow.
Sherk, who defended his title with a unanimous-decision victory over Hermes Franca in July, tested positive for elevated testosterone levels and nandrolone, an anabolic steroid, during an event drug test. The event took place July 7 at ARCO Arena in Sacramento, Calif., and the California State Athletic Commission subsequently suspended Sherk one year and fined him $2,500.
Randy Coutre Turns Down Title Defense
In a meeting with Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White last Tuesday, current heavyweight champion Randy Couture turned down a proposed title defense against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 81 on Feb. 2, 2008.
There was also some fence mending to be done at the meeting. Following Couture’s resignation from the UFC in October, the two went a couple of rounds through the media, disputing the basis of the resignation. With the meeting, Couture said he was able to air out the issues addressed in his decision and looks forward to a cooperative relationship with his employer of eleven years.
“We’ve cleared the air, and hopefully we’ll move forward with some sort of relationship,” Couture said. “I’ve got a lot of fighters and a lot of things that hinge around mixed martial arts and the UFC as well. I want to continue to work with them and I think that they want to continue to work with me, so we’ll figure out how that happens.”
Gilbert Melendez's future
Melendez talks about his upcoming fight against Mitsuhiro Ishida on the NYE card in Japan, his potential Strikeforce title defense against Josh Thomson in March in San Jose and his future after his contract with Strikeforce expires:
Ben Saunders: I Want A Rematch With Speer
TUF 6 competitor Ben Saunders, who lost to Tommy Speer on the show, is lobbying for a rematch. He's claiming his medical issues played a huge role in his losing the fight and feels he deserves a rematch, and is now trying to drum up support online.