Gilbert Yvel Signs with DREAM
Dutch MMA media is reporting that PRIDE veteran Gilbert “The Hurricane” Yvel (33-12-1) has signed with DREAM. The Amsterdam native has supposedly agreed to a three fight contract, which will most likely see him take on former Golden Glory team-mate Alistair Overeem (28-11-0) in the near future.
In Japan, the Dutch bad boy is regarded as an instant ratings booster, for both his explosive style, and bad behaviour within the ring. Yvel has been disqualified three times in the past, the first instant being due to a bite, the second an eye gouge, and the third to attacking and knocking out a referee.
Regardless, the heavyweight holds an 88% KO/TKO ratio and is regarded as one of the top strikers in MMA. Among strikers he has defeated are Cheick Kongo (11-4-1) and current K-1 world champion Semmy Schilt (25-14-1).
Yvel’s last outing was earlier this year, where he defeated Michael Kita (3-1-0) under the Dutch GFN banner.
Fitch Drawing On Hidden Knowledge
Jon Fitch says having a teammate who has fought Georges St. Pierre has proved valuable to his preparations for Saturday’s title fight.
Josh Koscheck, who trains with Fitch at the American Kickboxing Academy, lost to St. Pierre on points at UFC 74.
Despite losing, he learned a lot about St. Pierre from that fight and has been passing his knowledge on, Fitch told UFC.com.
“He can explain the elements that are intangible, the things that you can’t see on tape,” says Fitch. “That makes him a little more real to me.”
He says that Koscheck had the wrong gameplan going into the fight “because he thought there was no way anybody was gonna take him down and he didn’t train any wrestling”.
Coleman Responds To Shogun Allegations
Mark Coleman has responded to ‘Shogun’ Rua’s allegations that he is ducking a rematch with him.
Last month, Shogun told Brazil’s Tatame magazine that the UFC was looking at putting them together in November.
"I hope this time he doesn't run from me. He said no to me a couple of times, but I believe now it will happen," Rua added.
Coleman disputes this.
“As far as him indicating the fact that I've ducked him, that's wishful thinking on his part," he told MMA Junkie.
He explained that as he has already beaten Rua once, he isn’t particularly interested in pushing for a rematch, but would take it if the UFC arranged it.
Murilo Bustamante bets on Palhares
Leader of Brazilian Top Team, Murilo Bustamante commented to TATAME about Rousimar “Toquinho” Palhares’ preparation for the biggest challenge of his career at UFC 88 against the former Pride champion, Dan Henderson. “He’s ready, man, we bet on his. We know Henderson is a top athlete and that it’ll be a tough fight, bus we believe in Toquinho”, said Bustamante, that told us that Palhares isn’t felling any pressure about this fight. “He’s loving it, impossible to be more motivated. He knows he’ll have a great chance to grown in the division and, if he wins, he’ll make a huge advance close to his dream: a title shot. We want that”, revealed Bustamante.
Hioki battles Nakamura to a draw in Nagoya
Top ranked featherweight Hatsu Hioki failed to put away Hiroshi Nakamura at Shooto Gig Central Volume 15 Sunday at the Zepp Nagoya in Japan.
They fought to a majority draw. The judges scored it 29-29, 29-29 and 28-29.
Nakamura entered the main event bout with a 5-3-3 record. He did however upset Tenkei Fujiyama in a majority decision win at Shooto "Back To Our Roots 8" in March.
Next up for Hioki is a TKO featherweight title defense in Montreal on Oct. 3.
Royce Gracie On Fighting Ken Shamrock Again
Our friends over at DreamFighters.com were recently granted a quick interview with MMA Legend Royce Gracie. It would appear that Gracie still has it out for Ken Shamrock. Some things never change.
Gracie On The Possibility Of Fighting Ken Shamrock A Third Time:
"I have no interest in fighting him. I have nothing to settle with him. I beat him in less then a minute the first time and the second time he held me down for 30 minutes and still I was the one attempting submissions. And then he landed one punch, which did not KO me, and he held again for 5 minutes. Then declared himself a winner because he did not lose. To me when a guy is 50 lbs. heavier then me and he holds me down, that is not a winner. So I have nothing to prove by fighting him again. And I don't need the money that bad. Maybe he does."
Fighter Salaries: A Fair Share of Revenues (Part 1)
Without a doubt the most contentious of all the fighter salary issues, determining a fair share of revenues for the fighters is no easy task. I’ve thought about the direction that I wanted to take this piece for some weeks and it has occurred to me that the best format for something such as this is to just put everything on the table and try to make some sense of it.
There really is no other place to start than defining the word fair; and, in this case it’s a matter of multiple perspectives. Without a doubt, primary consideration must to be given to the opinions and viewpoints of both the promoters (and their organizations) and the fighters - they are the main actors. However, secondary consideration needs to be given towards creating a revenue sharing scheme that is fair to the sport and fair in the eyes of the fans.
It has been reported that the Fertitta brothers dumped close to $40 million of their own wealth into the UFC from 2001 until 2005 (the time before the company began to see a profit). From their point of view and that of other owners and promoters, those that take the financial risks ought to determine the amount of financial rewards they’re entitled to.
Fisher vs Guillard at UFC 90 In Chicago
MMAWeekly.com on Monday confirmed that Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweights Spencer “The King” Fisher and Melvin “The Young Assassin” Guillard will face each other at UFC 90 in Chicago on Oct. 25.
Both fighters have received bout agreements and are in the process of signing them.
Fisher, 32, is coming off a tough decision victory over sometime training partner Jeremy Stephens at the Ultimate Fighter Finale on June 21. The durable Miletich Fighting Systems fighter has won seven out of 10 performances in the Octagon since debuting at Ultimate Fight Night 2 in 2005. Though he slid against contenders Frankie Edgar and Hermes Franca in 2007, Fisher has always been considered among the top-tier in the division.
Guillard, 25, has had mixed results in the UFC after debuting on the second season of “The Ultimate Fighter.” The New Orleans native has faced a variety of personal issues outside the cage, despite several impressive performances since debuting at The Ultimate Fighter 2 finale in 2005. Guillard’s recent dispatch of Dennis Siver at UFC 86 was quick and explosive, two words that are often attributed to him.
Fisher’s trainer, Pat Miletich, is none too happy about the match-up.
“Spencer has no reason to fight that guy,” Miletich said. “I don’t think Melvin’s earned the right to fight him yet. I think Spencer should be fighting somebody where he’s got something to gain.”
Still, Miletich is confident that his student will emerge victorious.
“Spencer obviously would be the favored guy,” he continued. “Melvin’s a dangerous kid, but I don’t think Melvin’s a polished fighter at Spencer’s level.”
Fisher and Guillard were unreachable for comment.
UFC COMMENTS ON TEXAS RULING IN COUTURE CASE
Depending upon whom you ask, Randy Couture resigned or retired from the Ultimate Fighting Championship on October 11, 2007. Since that time, he has been embroiled in a legal battle with the Zuffa owned promotion.
With billionaire Mark Cuban’s company HDNet being one of the main suitors for Couture's services when and if he is ever clear of his legal entanglements with the UFC, both HDNet and Couture were handed a clear blow to their legal efforts in the Texas Court of Appeals on Friday.
HDNet has pursued a declaration stating the finality of Couture’s fight contract with Zuffa and when he would be free to fight for another organization. Its efforts were denied on Friday, however, when the Texas Court of Appeals found that the lower court that was acting on the HDNet litigation had engaged in “a clear abuse of discretion” by permitting it, according to a statement released by Zuffa.
The Texas Court of Appeals granted Zuffa’s Motion to Compel Randy Couture to arbitrate in the District of Nevada, staying all further action by HDNet against Zuffa in the state of Texas.
RELEASED BY IFL, CIESNOLEVICZ WANTS A SHOT
In the last days of the International Fight League, many of the promotion’s fighters have been given opportunities elsewhere on large shows. One fighter however that has been conspicuously absent from such large opportunities is light-heavyweight contender Mike Ciesnolevicz.
After losing his first two bouts with the promotion, Ciesnolevicz rebounded, winning five straight, becoming a big part of the Quad Cities Silverbacks team that took two straight team championships.
Eager to prove himself as an individual fighter, Ciesnolevicz looked to be a favorite heading into the promotion’s 205-pound Grand Prix, but due to a deviated septum was forced to sit on the sidelines and recover from injury.
WEC Signs Mexican Television Deal
Somehow this got swept under the radar, but it's worth a look. Notable quote:
Boxing has been the sport of choice for Mexican fans, but World Extreme Cagefighting is banking on the excitement, intensity and popularity of mixed martial arts to win over Latin fight fans.
The WEC is home to many Mexican fighters such as WEC bantamweight champion Miguel Angel Torres, Manny Tapia, Leonard Garcia and Blas Avena. The WEC is going after the Mexican market in a huge way, announcing a deal with Cadena Tres to become the network television home for the WEC in Mexico.
The deal with Cadena Tres starts with Sunday’s broadcast of WEC 35, which features three titles fights, and runs through 2009.
“This partnership between Cadena Tres and the WEC is a groundbreaking event for Mexican television,” said Erik Zuckermann, director of programming and new content for Cadena Tres. “We are the first free TV network to bring the Mexican audience this kind of contact sport in primetime. The WEC live events represent the perfect choice for Cadena Tres, which, being the newest option on Mexican free TV, continually bets on content that represents a unique and fresh option for our viewers. We are certain the WEC will represent one of the biggest hits on TV and Cadena Tres will be the channel to watch every week.”
Affliction: Day Of Reckoning - October 11, Las Vegas
ffliction announced over the weekend that its next show will feature a showdown of two of the best heavyweights in all of mixed martial arts as Josh Barnett will face Andrei Arlovski on Oct. 11 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.
The upcoming bout, labeled Day of Reckoning, is the second card for Affliction banner which made its debut at the Honda Center on July 19 in front of nearly 14,000.
In that card, Barnett dispatched Brazilian Pedro Rizzo to vindicate a loss early in his career. And that same night, Arlovski battled Ben Rothwell and earned a hard-fought knockout win.
More bouts are expected to be announced shortly for the pay-per-view event. Tickets go on sale Wednesday at 10 a.m.
New Heath Herring Interview
Heath Herring has made a living fighting in other fighters' backyards. This Saturday he does it again, facing Brock Lesnar in Lesnar's native Minnesota at UFC 87-which is "nothing new" to Herring, a subject he touched on among others in a new interview.
Wanderlei Silva told to prepare for December return
After a brutal destruction of Keith Jardine in May, UFC light-heavyweight Wanderlei Silva (32-8-1 MMA, 2-3 UFC) has been told by UFC officials to prepare for a December return.
The win was Silva's first victory in almost two years, and the famed light heavyweight shared his thoughts on his next bout while a guest co-host on a recent edition TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
"I'm talking with (UFC co-owner) Lorenzo (Fertitta)," said Silva, who's English continues to improve since a move to Las Vegas. "They're talking about December because it is the best event of the year. (Antonio Rodrigo) Nogueira is going to fight (Frank) Mir for the belt for the heavyweights.
"This is the best event. It's much more promotion. They told me to be ready to fight in December."
Silva said he doesn't yet know who he will face on the card.
"They gave me 10 (possible) names," Silva said. "My division is the best division in the world. They have so many names. I think they're going to give a good opponent to me."
While several names have been rumored, a possible third bout between Silva and ex-champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson has been brought up repeatedly as of late. Perhaps unsurprisingly, in light of his two previous knockout victories over Jackson, Silva said he would be open to the match-up.
"I wanted to fight [Jackson] again," Silva said. "I think it's a very good match."
Despite recent troubles, including three straight losses to Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic, Dan Henderson and Chuck Liddell before the victory over Jardine, Silva still has his eyes focused on the UFC's light heavyweight title.
"For me, I have time to fight for the belt in the future, no problem," Silva said. "I'm going to wait for my opportunity. I'm going to give my best on every fight. After I win my fights, I'm going to have an opportunity to fight for the belt."
And regardless of whom the UFC brings forth in December, Silva knows he'll be ready.
"For me, no problem," Silva said. "I'll fight with everybody."
Silva also discussed the advantages of his relocation to the U.S., his relationship with his old Chute Boxe teammates and the opening of his own gym in Las Vegas. To hear the full episode, which Silva co-hosted, download Wednesday's edition of TAGG Radio, available for free in the TAGG Radio archives.
Seven Fighters in Need of a Promotion
As the boom of mixed martial arts promotions and shows continues, one fact has become more and more apparent: Zuffa and the UFC are the gold standard, both in show production and fighter talent. As a result it can be sometimes painful to watch fighters of superior talent fight in promotions lacking the roster depth to fully test their abilities.
In the wake of the EliteXC show the newly crowned welterweight champion is a staunch reminder of the challenges that face a top ten fighter when fighting outside of the UFC. The talent discrepancy between the top 10 fighters in a weight class and the rest of the division can be daunting when trying to match-make. The 63 second drubbing Jake Shields laid on Nick Thompson is a repercussion of being an elite level fighter outside of the UFC.
Fighters who show elite-level ability can outgrow the competition around them very quickly in some promotions. If they want to take the next step forward as a fighter, both competitively and financially, then they need to make the move to the UFC. It’s a harsh reality of the mixed martial arts landscape for those not in the good graces of Zuffa. The step up in competition that Zuffa can provide brings legitimacy and respectability. Combined with the increased marketing and exposure the UFC can bring to the table, it results in sponsorship money that can far exceed a fighter’s purse.
After watching Shields win on Saturday evening, it got me thinking about who else in mixed martial arts would benefit from a move to the UFC or the WEC. Below is a short list of fighters, one from each major weight class, who are in dire need of a move to Zuffa: