Matt Hughes Has An Empty Bag
Yes, even more pre-UFC 98 trash talk from Matt Serra. Speaking during an appearance on this past Monday's episode of Pro MMA Radio, Serra says the difference is he's training for the "old" Hughes and not the Hughes who's lost his last 2 fights and doesn't think Hughes "has it in the bag" like he thinks he does.
Lyoto Machida wants to test himself against Brock Lesnar
While Lyoto Machida is admittedly focused on his upcoming UFC light heavyweight championship match-up with Rashad Evans, and deservedly so, he recently revealed that a move up to the heavyweight division isn’t that far out of the picture.
If Machida wants to eventually challenge some like Lesnar he’s going to have to get past Evans first, something he is fully aware of.
“I don’t think about a fight at the heavyweight division, but I think about a challenge, maybe against the heavyweight champion,” revealed Machida in an interview with Tatame.com.
Changing styles: Frank Edgar UFC 98 interview
It’s hard to believe, but it’s been nearly a year since we last saw Frank Edgar inside the Octagon. And if he has it his way, we’re going to see a new and improved fighter at UFC 98. We’ll call it Frankie 2.0.
Tracing Edgar’s UFC career, you might not think this guy needs to change things up. He’s got a winning formula: he’s a four-time national-qualifying collegiate wrestler with great standup and a lot of flexibility (just ask Tyson Griffin).
UFC In Boston, MMA In Mass - One Step Closer
The Massachusetts Senate Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security last Monday approved the state’s first stand-alone piece of MMA legislation, passing it to the Senate Clerk after a unanimous vote.
The Clerk will next pass it to the Ways and Means Committee for a final review, or move it to the Senate floor for debate and a vote.
Matt Moran, Chief of Staff for James E. Timilty, the bill’s co-author and Security chair, said he expected it to go to Ways and Means. The committee oversees legislation with a fiscal impact on the state and votes on whether to pass them to the Senate floor.
While the original legislation passed the Ways and Means Committee last year, there was no timetable on a vote, said Moran.
Sean Sherk, Frank Edgar, Matt Serra clean in pre-UFC 98 drug tests
UFC 98 main card competitors Sean Sherk, Frankie Edgar and Matt Serra have all passed pre-event drug test administered by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer confirmed the results with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) following today's NSAC hearing at the Grant Sawyer State Office Building in Las Vegas.
Kizer also indicated the commission was still waiting on the results of a sample from Matt Hughes.
Roger Gracie Talking To Strikeforce
Strikeforce recently confirmed they are talking to and may even be close to signing Roger Gracie to a deal with the promotion. Gracie, a wizard in Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu, is 2-0 career in MMA but has not fought since May '08 due to an injury and legal issues surrounding an opponent-to-have-been.
TUF 10 Coaches Likely To Be Rampage & Machida/Evans
An independent report has been confirmed indicating that the coaches for The Ultimate Fighter 10 will be the fighters in the next UFC Light Heavyweight Title showdown after UFC 98: Former champion Quinton Jackson and the current champion after the fight-either Rashad Evans or Ryoto (Lyoto) Machida. TUF 10 is expected to showcase heavier fighters.
DEEP Women's Champ Miku Goes For Revenge On 6/28
The DEEP promotion (Japan) has announced a title match for their 6/28 event pitting their Women's Lightweight Champion, Miku Matsumoto, against Lisa Ward as the main event in a rematch from September 2006. Ward won that fight in the now-defunct Smackgirl promotion and to date is the only loss that Miku has yet to avenge, she's beaten the other 2 fighters to defeat her in her career since those losses. Miku also puts a 3 1/2 year 10-fight winning streak on the line dating back to after the loss to Ward.
CORRECTION: Leopoldo Charged for Possession of Marijuana
In a Feb. 17, 2009, article titled "Update: Leopoldo Arrested for Methamphetamine," Sherdog reported that UFC veteran Kimo Leopoldo had been arrested "for two felony charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of stolen property." The article stated that "Leopoldo tested positive for methamphetamine at the Tustin Police Department station" and that "a search of the fighter's car" produced "a baggie containing 'a small amount' of the drug." Sherdog's reporting on the matter was based upon a diligent and thorough investigation consistent with the highest journalistic standards, and the referenced information was obtained directly from police sources named in the story. However, Sherdog has since been advised that the information provided to Sherdog by those sources may have been erroneous. Sherdog is now informed that Leopoldo did not test positive for methamphetamine. Sherdog is also now informed that although methamphetamine was found in the car, Leopoldo was not the owner of the vehicle. Accordingly, Leopoldo has been charged only with possession of marijuana.
DREAM 10: WWGP Semifinals Set, Aoki-Hansen Confirmed
Sources close to Affliction fighter Jason High, who is continuing on in the DREAM Welterweight GP, confirm that the brackets for the GP semifinals at DREAM 10 in July are now set. High will face Andre Galvao in one match while tournament favorite Hayato Sakurai will face Marius Zaromskis in the other match. DREAM oficials also confirmed the rumored fight between WAMMA Lightweight Champion Shinya Aoki and DREAM Lightweight Champion Joachim Hansen, which is expected to be for the DREAM title.
The Man with Two Souls
A rising star in his ethnic home of South Korea -- and at once a celebrated and reviled athlete in Japan -- Yoshihiro Akiyama represents by far the UFC’s greatest East Asian acquisition to date. Though reaction to his signing was subdued in the West, hearing he had opted to sign with the American mixed martial arts juggernaut -- instead of landing with Sengoku or K-1 -- was big news for fans in Japan in South Korea.
“I did consider fighting in Japan, but because of my age and the notion that the major leagues are in the US, I felt that the major leagues of MMA was the UFC,” Akiyama says. “No one can really go to the UFC just because they want to. The chances are very limited. I received the offer, and since it was my dream to fight on a larger stage, everything all came together at the right time, and I decided to go.”
As one of the best talents raised in Japanese MMA, Akiyama seems more than worthy to step into the Octagon. However, pundits view Akiyama’s ancestry and celebrity as an ethnic Korean as the keys to Zuffa’s plans, should the company expand into South Korea. Akiyama’s stardom in that country extends beyond combat sports and borders on that of a bona fide pop star.
Surprisingly, Akiyama does not believe his heritage alone will help the UFC grow in Korea. In fact, he expresses reservations with the idea and voices concern over the pervasive and trite overemphasis on national and ethnic identity.
“I think a lot of people tend to focus too much on nationality, and when they try to assert or put me into either category [Korean or Japanese], I’m saddened by it,” he says. “A lot of ‘Zainichi’ Koreans (ethnic Koreans living in Japan) feel the same way -- where they don’t know if they’re Korean or if they’re Japanese.”
Like many ethnic Koreans born, raised and living in Japan, Akiyama has dealt with the difficulties of fitting into two cultures, under constant scrutiny and with little room for foreign inclusivity; the consequences can be seen in his struggles in judo and MMA over the past eight years. Nevertheless -- unlike his harshest critics and detractors -- he harbors no bitterness; that allows him to reconcile and appreciate both identities.
UFN 19 May Be In Oklahoma City
Sources close to UFC and the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission have confirmed that talks are underway to host UFC Fight Night 19 in Oklahoma City. The tentative date is September 16 and the event would lead into The Ultimate FIghter 10 premiere.