Nick Diaz vs Hayato ‘Mach’ Sakurai DREAM 5 fight to determine welterweight champion
Nick Diaz (16-7) will fight Hayato “Mach” Sakurai (32-8-2) for the first-ever DREAM welterweight title at the Osakajo Hall in Osaka, Japan, on July 21, accordingly to MMAWeekly.com.
Diaz earned the right to challenge for the vacant strap with a first round technical knockout of Katsuya Inoue at DREAM 3 this past weekend. It was a fight that almost scrapped but was given the green light at the last minute by ProElite officials, which turned out to be a wise decision in hindsight.
He is healthy enough to challenge Muhsin Corbbrey at the Elite XC show slated for the Blaisdell Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, on June 14 (a cause for alarm prior to the fight) and he is a possible star in the making overseas — Diaz was involved in a sensational bout with Takanori Gomi … something more than likely still fresh in the minds of Japanese MMA fans.
Sakurai, on the other hand, is coming of a surprise submission loss to David Baron at Shooto: “Tradition 1? earlier this month. “Mach” — who was recently courted by the UFC to no avail — has already competed under the DREAM banner, defeating Hidetaka Monma via technical knockout in the inaugural event back in March.
This should be an extremely exciting fight, which will punctuate the finals of the 2008 Dream Lightweight Grand Prix … what a night for mixed martial arts it is shaping up to be.
MMANews.com Interview With EliteXC Star Kimbo Slice
Chris Howie of MMANews.com: This is Chris Howie with MMANews.com and today I am speaking with the man who will face James Thompson on May 31st on CBS, Kimbo Slice. How are things Kimbo?
Kimbo Slice: Things are going good Chris.
MMANews.com: So you have a big fight coming up May 31st. What are your thoughts on that?
Kimbo Slice: May 31st? What do you want to know buddy?
MMANews.com: First and foremost how does it feel to be in the main event of the first MMA card ever on Network Television?
Kimbo Slice: I was born to do what I am doing and I am looking forward to this fight. I train hard. I make dedications and sacrifices and commitments because this is something I love to do Chris.
MMANews.com: What are your thoughts on your opponent that night, James Thompson?
Kimbo Slice: I never under estimate any of my opponents. James Thompson is a well rounded fighter. He has great ground work and he is not afraid to stand and bang. He has the ability to knock out his opponent and I’m prepared for that. If it goes to the ground I have a lot of tools that I’m dying to use so I’m also looking forward to a good ground game.
MMANews.com: How has your training been going for the fight?
Kimbo Slice: Training has been going great man. I can’t complain.
MMANews.com: You mentioned that you have some ground tools that you are dying to use. Are you training your ground techniques often?
Paul Kelly talks injury, withdrawal from UFC 85
British fighter Paul Kelly and Canadian fighter Jonathan Goulet had been expecting to face each other when the Ultimate Fighting Championship returned to the O2 Arena in London on June 7. But before the bout could even be officially announced by the promotion, not one, but both fighters had to withdraw from the bout due to health concerns.
Late last week, Goulet, not disclosing the specifics of his withdrawal, said, “I have to cancel the fight against Paul Kelly for UFC 85 because of health reasons.”
At the same time, Kelly, unaware of Goulet’s problems, had the injury bug bite him. “I injured me finger,” he told MMAWeekly.com.
Kelly actually injured his finger about three weeks ago in training, but tried to work his way through it, but it wasn’t to be. He later discovered that he pulled the ligaments on the back of his finger, which is quite painful and limits the functionality in his right hand.
He is expected to be in a cast for about three weeks or so.
It isn’t something that he could change, but that doesn’t stop Kelly from being disappointed that he will be unable to fight at UFC 85. “I’m feeling a bit guilty,” said Kelly. “I’m a little bit devastated over possibly missing me bonus.”
Tito Ortiz reforming team punishment
In it's heyday, Team Punishment was the top of the food chain in mixed martial arts. Founder Tito Ortiz plans to reform his fight team and return it to its former glory when Team Punishment fighters held the Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight and heavyweight titles.
"I have some really, really good guys. I'm really focusing right now on getting back to where I was four years ago, four or five years ago when we had Rampage (Quinton Jackson) and everybody else, Ricco Rodriguez and everybody together," Ortiz told MMAWeekly Radio.
"I'm going to do it again. Ricco is actually training with me now. I've got Mark Munoz from Sacramento training with me right now. I've got Carlo Prater from Texas who is training with me now. I'm going to start focusing on this. I'm going to start doing it. I really feel like I'm getting back to where I was before and surrounding myself with great people, great fighters. I'm going to do this."
Ortiz plans to expand Team Punishment to all weight classes and once again make it one of the premier training camps in MMA.
"I'm going to find a guy in each weight class from 155 to heavyweight, and try to get the best I possibly can. The brand of Team Punishment is a worldwide known brand, and we're known to punish our opponents. You've got to get the best fighters to do that, so I'm going to go across the United States and go across possibly Europe and try to find some of the best fighters and bring them around Team Punishment. I'm going to start the team again."
JZ Out 3-4 Months With Torn ACL
Gesias "JZ" Cavalcante revealed last week that he has been sidelined with a torn ACL, an injury that likely will keep him out 3-4 months. He hopes to return to DREAM by the end of the year.
DREAM has just signed Kid Yamamoto. Set to fight at DREAM.4
DreamFighters.com's reporter/contributer "MMAPhD" has reported that Kid Yamamoto has just signed a fight deal with DREAM, as is set to fight at DREAM.4
As quoted earlier by Kid Yamamoto"
"I don't know when my next fight is yet, but I'm sure I fight in DREAM and I hope I can fight in Jun or July."
"At first, I want DREAM to have a lighter weight class than the light weight class. 63 to 64 kg is ideal."
Andre Arlovski vs Ben Rothwell at Affliction: Banned
Affliction just announced today that Andre Arlovski and Ben Rothwell will fight each other at Affliction: Banned on July 19.
The “Banned” fight card will be the first show promoted by Affliction and has one of the best fight cards of the year. Both Rothwell and Arlovski are under contract with Adrenaline MMA but are fighting with permission on the Affliction card. Since the inaugural Adrenaline event is just a month earlier, both fighters will not be available for the Adrenaline show. The Adrenaline website does say both fighters are still scheduled to compete on the second Adrenaline fight card on September 6.
Manhoef Goes From Surgery to Dream Fight
Keeping it a secret from Dream officials, Melvin Manhoef fought on the recent DREAM.3 card on Sunday night in Japan, only a couple of weeks removed from surgery.
Manhoef fought and lost by way of knockout to Remy Bonjasky on April 26 in Amsterdam. The bout was part of the K-1 World Grand Prix 2008, fought under K-1 kickboxing rules.
On Sunday, May 11, in Saitama, Manhoef then fought under mixed martial arts rules, defeating Korean fighter Dae Won Kim in the first round of their fight at DREAM.3.
In his post-fight interview following the MMA bout, Manhoef revealed, “I didn't tell either Dream or K-1, but I was injured in my last fight against Remy Bonjasky. Because I received a lot of kicks and punches in the ribs, I had to have surgery to take out blood from behind the lung and I was hospitalized for seven days. So, I couldn't fight as aggressively as I wanted, I needed to be patient.”
This explains why he didnt look as impressive or explosive as usual at Dream 3, i hope he has a full recovery and gets the knockout in Manhoef fashion at Dream 4. WAR MANHOEF!
uk ufc action ... for all brits !!!
Hello guys, if you are like me wondering when a big deal would exchange hands so that the USA UFC events are broadcasted in the UK live on the night, then this could be what we have been waiting for. I have emailed Setanta sports over the last few weeks asking them if there are any plans in the pipe work or securing a deal with the UFC that hopefully gives us live coverage straight from the states.
They cant tell me too much but i did just receive this response ...
Thank you for your e-mail. Please accept my apologies for the delay in response.
Due to exceptional demand for the Setanta Sports package, we have received a high volume of customer enquiries by e-mail and are therefore unable to reply within our usual timescales. We are working hard to ensure that we respond to you as soon as we can.
I'm delighted to inform you that Setanta Sports and The Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC) have signed a multi-year deal. From July this year, Setanta Sports 1 will be the exclusive home for all of the UFC’s big UK -and- US fights, plus all other UFC programming, in Britain and Ireland.
I hope you enjoy your viewing.)
... So hopefully this is the deal that gives us live events anywhere in the world !!
thank you SETANTA !!
Tito Ortiz Makes a Fair Proposal: UFC Should Pay Fighters 30% of Revenues
As he prepares for what is being advertised as his last fight in the organization at UFC 84, Tito Ortiz is, as he so often has, talking about his belief that UFC fighters should make more money.
Ortiz told MMA Mania that he thinks fighters should make about 30% of revenues, and Michael Rome of Bloody Elbow crunches some numbers and says that would be a significant pay raise from where they are now.
But while it would be significantly more than they make now, it would be nowhere near as much as athletes in other sports make. Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal reports that baseball players make 51% to 55% of MLB revenues, football players make 59% of NFL revenues, basketball players make 57% of NBA revenues and hockey players make 55.6% of NHL revenues.
That's not an apples-to-apples comparison, though, because UFC pays a lot more of its own costs for things like TV broadcasts than other sports leagues do. No one would suggest that UFC should pay more than half of its revenue to its fighters.
Randy Couture: All UFC Fighters Combined Make Less Than Floyd Mayweather
Former UFC heavyweight champ Randy Couture was a guest on the Opie and Anthony Show with, of all people, Pat Cooper, and he discussed payment for mixed martial arts fighters (Warning, foul language):
(Via MMA Mania) When asked if the money is getting better, Couture said, "I think that's one of the things that needs to change in our sport."
Couture then added that every single UFC fighter combined makes less money for all of the organization's pay-per-view shows than Floyd Mayweather makes for one boxing match. (Mayweather is the second-highest-paid boxer in the world; Oscar De La Hoya is first.)
Couture said he has "no beef" with UFC President Dana White, but he just wants to get paid a fair market value for his work and that won't happen while he's under contract to UFC. I think Couture is basically right that the fighters in UFC aren't paid enough, but I also worry that fighters leaving UFC for greener pastures would be good for their short-term financial gain but bad for the long-term health of the sport.
One other interesting note from the interview: When Cooper asked Couture whether his opponents are ever afraid, Couture said, "Some guys are, you can see that."
"Inside MMA" poll results: Do fans really attend MMA events?
Our latest MMAjunkie.com poll results surprised just about everyone, including the panel on this past Friday's edition of "Inside MMA."
Last week we ran a simple but what proved to be a telling question: "Have you attended a live MMA event in the past year."
The results were revealed on "Inside MMA," and they should have fight promoters -- especially those who plan to rely solely on ticket sales -- taking notice.
When all the votes were tallied, 51 percent of respondents said they haven't been to a show in the past year while 49 percent said they had. That means a big segment of the MMA fan base -- one committed enough to frequent an MMA news site and weekly MMA TV show -- hasn't bought a single ticket to an MMA event in the past 12 months.
MMA WEEKLY DREAM 3 EVENT PHOTOS
DREAM on Sunday held its second event in two weeks at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan before 21,789 fans.
The focus was on the second round of the promotion’s lightweight grand prix. Caol Uno upset Mitsuhiro Ishida to move on in the tournament, along with Eddie Alvarez and Tatsuya Kawajiri.
In fact, Alvarez’s performance was part of a fight that is already being considered a candidate for “fight of the year.”
After a tumultuous week, Nick Diaz proved his mettle, defeating Katsuya Inoue midway through the first round. He earned a shot at the DREAM welterweight championship. Diaz will now face Hayato “Mach” Sakurai on July 21 at DREAM.5.
MMAWeekly.com’s Scott Petersen was there to capture all of the action.
Redbelt movie review: One part anti-hollywood, one part MMA
I once said of Syriana — labeled as one of the smartest films of the last decade — “Just because it’s hard to follow, doesn’t mean it’s smart.”
Something similar can be said of David Mamet’s Redbelt. Just because it’s vague, doesn’t mean it’s Zen.
Redbelt follows jiu-jitsu master Mike Terry (Chiwetel Eliofor), who is down on his luck financially and forced — because of a strange series of events — to enter a mixed martial arts tournament run by manipulative, crooked promoters. Fighting for competition goes against Terry’s philosophy and integrity, but he must do it to save his dojo, as well as to satisfy several other debts he incurs during the course of the film.
Writer/director David Mamet (best known for writing the stage and screenplays for the brilliant Glengarry Glen Ross) spins a complex web of plot points — probably too complex for the length of the film. But Eliofor is outstanding as the lead actor, which makes the film interesting until the end.
It costars Tim Allen (who is surprisingly good as an aging action film star and boozehound), Alice Braga (Terry’s hardnosed, opportunistic wife), Max Martini (Terry’s prize pupil/police officer), Emily Mortimer (a frazzled lawyer whose inability to deal with a recent tragedy launches this entire series of events), Rodrigo Santoro (Terry’s corrupt brother-in-law), Joe Mantegna (a crooked Hollywood producer) and Ricky Jay (a crooked fight promoter).
UFC Quick Quote: Wilson Gouveia ‘going in blind’ against Goran Reljik at UFC 84
“I’m kind of going in blind for this fight. I just trained everything for this fight. For [Goran Reljik], there is no information at all. I just have to be 100% for everything. He’s supposed to be a very good jiu-jitsu guy. Every Croatian guy is supposed to be a very good striker. I’m not taking him as just being a jiu-jitsu fight…. To be honest, I pulled four wins in a row. My last fights I won by submission or knockout. I was expecting a real tough (opponent). It’s no problem. I fight anybody they put against me. I want to fight a big name. If I could pick the fights I want right now, I would like to fight Chuck (Liddell) or a rematch against Keith (Jardine). They are the two guys that are in my mind right now. I’m taking this fight very seriously though. I trained very hard. I’m training very much to be the next UFC light heavyweight champion.”
Wilson Gouveia tells MMAWeekly.com that he does not know much about his upcoming opponent at UFC 84: “Ill Will,” Goran Reljik. It sounds as though Gouveia — who has four straight wins and just one loss (Keith Jardine) inside the Octagon — would have been happier with more noteworthy opponent. His fight with Reljik will be televised on the pay-per-view (PPV) main card, which means that he might just get his wish next time out with a win or exciting fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Blaisdel Arena to host June 14 EliteXC
Blaisdel Arena, a 9,000-capacity venue located in downtown Honolulu, will host EliteXC's June 14 event in Hawaii.
The main card of the "EliteXC: Hawaii 2," currently headlined by a fight between EliteXC lightweight champion K.J. Noons (6-2) and Yves Edwards (34-13-1), airs on Showtime at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
EliteXC Vice President Jared Shaw today confirmed the event details, including the hosting venue and latest fight card, with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Noons will return to action for the first time since November, when he defeated Nick Diaz for the first-ever EliteXC lightweight title. Noons excelled as an underdog and battered his veteran opponent with a number of blows that caused multiple facial cuts. A doctor intervened after the first round, which prompted a TKO victory for Noons.
He puts his title on the line against Edwards, a former UFC and PRIDE fighter. Edwards had suffered three straight losses, with five defeats in six fights, before bouncing back for a current three-fight win streak in EliteXC and HDNet Fights. He most recently defeated James Edson Berto via flying knee. The first-round TKO came back in February at "EliteXC: Street Certified."
The latest confirmed card for the June 14 event now includes:
* Champ K.J. Noons vs. Yves Edwards (for EliteXC lightweight title)
* Nick Diaz vs. Muhsin Corbbrey
* Tony Bonello vs. Murilo "Ninja" Rua
* Dave Herman vs. Ron Waterman
* Wayne Cole vs. Rafael Feijao
Although unannounced and unconfirmed, "The Ultimate Fightert 7" cast member Paul Bradley, who was sent home in the season's third episode because of a contagious skin condition, could also be booked for the event. He recently inked a deal with ProElite, Inc., after the UFC declined to sign him to a contract.
Three title fights at May 30 American Fight League event
The American Fight League has announced its full card for May 30's "AFL: BULLETPROOF," the first-ever mixed martial arts event to take place at the Phillips Arena in Atlanta.
Three titles will be on the line as AFL lightweight champ Diego Saraiva meets challenger Josh Cate, and AFL welterweight title-holder Douglas Lima takes on Brent Weedman.
Additionally, George Lockhart and George Allen meet for the AFL's first-ever AFL middleweight title, and UFC veteran Dan Christison takes on Sam Holloway.
The full card includes:
* Junior Assuncao vs. Torrance Taylor
* Champ Diego Saraiva vs. Josh Cate (for AFL lightweight title)
* Dan Christison vs. Sam Holloway
* Champ Douglas Lima vs. Brent Weedman (for AFL welterweight title)
* George "Loaded" Lockhart vs. George Allen (for first-ever AFL middleweight title)
* Robi Ramey vs. David curby
* Todd Duffee vs. Steve Banks
* Ethan Garrison vs. Willy Smalls
The AFL has also confirmed that two marquee signings will be revealed during the May 30 event. Both fighters will be in attendance.
Up until the AFL secured Phillips Arena, the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission had never approved MMA for the 21,000-capacity arena. The card features a number of Atlanta-area fighters, including Saraiva, a UFC veteran.
Tickets for the event, which range from $27 to $202, are now on sale at Ticketmaster.
Ben Saunders on UFC 86 fight, roster cuts, and upcoming video game
Ben Saunders (5-0-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC), who last competed in December at The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale, is best known for his Jeet Kune Do style -- and his constant smiling during fights. Don't let the smile fool you, though; the American Top Team member is very serious about fighting.
MMAjunkie.com (www.MMAjunkie.com) recently had a chance to speak with the 25-year-old as he prepares for a fight against fellow "TUF 6" alumnus Jared Rollins.
Saunders spoke about a number of topics, including the recent UFC roster cuts, the upcoming UFC video game, his future in the welterweight division, and his upcoming fight at UFC 86 on July 5.
MMAJUNKIE.COM: Can you officially confirm that you will be fighting Jared Rollins at UFC 86?
BEN SAUNDERS: <laughs> I 'm never sure when it's OK to say something. I never want to make a mistake and say something I'm not supposed to say, but yeah, I can confirm it now. I'll be fighting J-Roc in July.