UFC newcomer Jon Jones to replace Tomasz Drawl at UFC 87
UFC newcomer and USKBA light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones (6-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has been signed to a UFC contract and will replace Tomasz Drwal (14-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at next month's UFC 87 event.
Jones is a member of the Northeast-based Team BombSquad, and team manager Ryan Ciotoli today confirmed the signing with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Jones will now meet Drawl's original opponent, Andre Gusmao (5-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC), at the Aug. 9 event. The reason for Drwal's departure from the card wasn't immediately known.
Schultz Finds Security With Sengoku
Monday, July 28, 2008
by Brian Knapp (firstname.lastname@example.org)
International Fight League lightweight champion Ryan Schultz (Pictures) ended his search for professional stability in the open arms of the Japan-based Sengoku promotion.
Schultz has agreed to a five-event deal with Sengoku that begins with his participation in an eight-man lightweight grand prix on Aug. 24 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The deal could span six fights if Schultz reaches the final of the tournament. Financial terms were not disclosed.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR UFC'S HERMES FRANCA
It’s been a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs for UFC lightweight Hermes Franca over the past 12 months.
After getting his much awaited 155-pound title shot against Sean Sherk at last July’s UFC 73, following a succession of impressive wins, Franca tested positive for a banned substance, sidelining him due to a suspension by the California State Athletic Commission.
Upon serving his suspension, Hermes was eager to return to action and was called to do so at Ultimate Fight Night 14 against up and comer Frankie Edgar. Finally Franca would have an opportunity to redeem himself.
EliteXC: Building To Make Them Buy
Fresh off of EliteXC’s Saturday night card, talk has turned to the October card and possible match-ups between Carano vs Cyborg, Diaz vs Noons, and possibly Kimbo vs Rogers. While these are certainly exciting match-ups, putting them forth as possible match-ups for the October card is a bit misguided. Doing these fights on free TV would go against the strategy laid out by DeLuca as it relates to EliteXC’s television and PPV strategy:
Doug DeLuca: Absolutely, the Pay-Per-View model is the goal for most people in this sport. So, yes, it’s our goal, too. The exact plan is broadcast television drives the Pay-Per-View. It builds stars. SHOWTIME to CBS. CBS to Pay-Per-View. Build stars, build the interest in the stars, let people know even more that these fighters – the guys and gals — are people and they have real stories and make people care about them and drive the Pay-Per-View. So that’s absolutely the goal. As far as timing goes, you’ll probably see a Pay-Per-View from us early in ‘09.
HUERTA FORSEES EVENTUAL MOVE TO 170
As Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight prospect Roger Huerta heads into the home stretch of preparation for his fight with Kenny Florian at UFC 87, it would be understandable for the pressure to build. At 25, Huerta has managed to cement his reputation as a hard-hitting, never-say-die breed of fighter, even after an extended layoff from the game — when criticism tends to get louder.
Like many fights that materialize over time, it appears Huerta’s decision to step back into the Octagon was born out of a slight misunderstanding. During a post-fight interview, Florian mentioned him as a potential opponent. Huerta says that provided the motivation to return.
“I kind of heard that Kenny had called me out, (and) at the same time I started to get edgy, and I started to feel like I wanted to come back and fight again,” Huerta said.
Florian counters that he was simply giving his opinion on the division’s best match-up, but regardless, it was an interaction that bore fruit for serious fans of the sport.
Huerta has made a point of traveling to different camps for fresh perspectives, landing with UFC welterweight Georges St. Pierre’s camp for a finer lesson in the art of savaging his opponents. He’s taken well to St. Pierre’s round the clock attack, something he considers to be his greatest asset going into his fight with Florian.
Quick Update On Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson
''Rampage thinks he’s God…He had a falling out with his trainer a couple of days before the first arrest. Basically he has lost his mind and is talking very religious and is saying that he is God. This is the main thing I wanted to keep hidden, but with the second arrest and Dana talking it will come out regardless. He needs some serious help. I don’t know if you would call it schizophrenia or bipolar disorder or what have you, but whatever it is, basically it’s become impossible to have a conversation with him. He is delusional.''
Steve Mazzagatti Apologizes to Anthony Johnson
Scott Smith and Robbie Lawler weren't the only ones settling "Unfinished Business" last night at EliteXC: Lawler vs. Smith II. Anthony Johnson ran into Steve Mazzagatti last night for the first time since Johnson's controversial TKO loss to Kevin Burns last Saturday night.
FightLine.com was on hand when Johnson approached Mazzagatti at ringside during last night's event. Mazzagatti and Johnson shook hands and hugged. Mazzagatti apologized to Johnson and noted that it was "a bad call" and Johnson immediately accepted, saying it was all good
MMA Fastball: Fedor Emelianenko erases all doubt
It’s called fastball for a reason, folks. Now let’s get to it.
Fedor erases all doubt who the number one heavyweight in the world is: When Fedor was the PRIDE Heavyweight Champion almost everyone— especially this writer—was absolutely convinced that he was the best heavyweight MMA fighter in the world. Along with this, most were pretty sure that he would dispose of his UFC counterparts quite easily.
But then two things happened. First PRIDE fell and Fedor found himself out of work, creating a situation by which he went over two years without fighting a heavyweight contender. Second, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic went over to the UFC and performed very poorly, causing most people’s confidence in the former PRIDE organization’s heavyweight division to be shaken.
But then came July 19th and Affliction: Banned. If you’re still doubting Fedor’s greatness after his 36 second destruction of former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Tim Sylvia, something is wrong.
Ikemoto captures DEEP welterweight title
Seichi Ikemoto became the new DEEP welterweight champion at DEEP 36 Impact Sunday, unanimously outpointing Hidehiko Hasegawa through three rounds at the Zepp Osaka in Osaka, Japan.
The win was Ikemoto's second over Hasegawa. Ikemoto also won by unanimous decision in their first meeting at DEEP 20 Impact in September 2005.
Ikemoto improves to 17-14-5, while Hasegawa drops to 14-10-5.
Terry Martin well-prepared to bounce back from recent defeat
On July 19 Terry Martin (17-6) suffered a crushing knockout defeat at the hands of a resurgent Vitor Belfort at Affliction's debut event, "Banned."
But if anyone can overcome adversity, it's Martin, a Chicago native who has been seemingly fighting to survive since grade school.
The hard-hitting knockout artist divulged a very personal side of his non-fighting life while a guest on a recent edition of TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), and revealed a Terry Martin that many fans don't know.
"A lot of people don't know this, but I had gangbanged my whole life -- since the age of 10," Martin admitted.
Paulo Filho Training with BJJ Champ André Galvão
Undefeated WEC Middleweight Champion Paulo Filho has been shoring up his already nasty Brazilian jiu jitsu game in training for his September 10 title scrap with Chael Sonnen by rolling with decorated BJJ world champion André Galvão, Tatame reports.
"I believe a lot on BJJ, and he’s not a rookie, his an expert, he’s a star. I’m sure he’ll debut with a victory, I trust on BJJ a lot more than any other martial art. It’ll be hard to find an opponent with better BJJ than his", guarantees Filho, that believes Galvão helping him on training will be excellent. "He trained with Wanderlei (Silva) and will help a lot on the ground work. I hadn’t a great material to work with for a long time", celebrates Paulão.
Report: Silva vs. Cote to headline UFC 90 in Chicago Cote Starts trash talk
‘‘I’m telling all my friends to bet on me,’’ Cote said, ‘‘because they’re going to make a lot of money.’’
‘‘This guy will need 10 punches to my face to knock me out, and I’ll just need one,’’ Cote said. ‘‘I have a good chance. He won’t exchange with me, and I’m not scared of him.
‘‘He wins a lot of his fights before they start because his opponents are intimidated and scared of him. I’m not scared of anyone in my weight class, especially him.’’
Cris Cyborg levels path to Gina Carano.
Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos levels the path to Gina Carano
by John Morgan on Jul 27, 2008 at 2:25 pm ET
Cristiane CyborgEliteXC didn't have a Russian to answer Affliction's main event this past weekend. But the organization was able to bring in a "Cyborg."
Nielsen Ratings Saturday, July 26: EliteXC MMA on CBS Had No Kick
FOX won another lame Saturday night with the time-tested duo of Cops and America’s Most Wanted. Normally, because it’s Saturday, and because it’s a Saturday in the middle of the summer there wouldn’t be a whole lot to say. And indeed, FOX was the only network to crack above a 1.0 rating among 18-49 year olds for the whole night.
And there really still isn’t much to say except for this: EliteXC Saturday Night Fights without any buzz surrounding Kimbo Slice performed much worse without Kimbo than it did with him. CBS initial foray into MMA didn’t draw a slew of viewers but at least performed well in the 18-49 and 18-34 demos.
Fedor gets more than $300,000 for win over Tim Sylvia at Affliction
“… Emelianenko received a sizable part of his Affliction contract up front in the form of a signing bonus, and added that Emelianenko also owns the rights to his fight footage in several European countries. That second part may not mean much right now but if Affliction chooses to hold an event in Europe, they would have to pay him for the footage.”
Georges St. Pierre to bring his toolbox for Jon Fitch fight
“When I won the world title the first time, it was like a dream. I didn’t realize what I had until I lost it. Then I went crazy. I made a mistake and I don’t want to do that again. I said then that every time I step into the Octagon, I’m going to be 100 percent ready, physically and mentally. I can’t say I’ll never lose again. No one is invincible. But I will never come to a fight unprepared…. [Jon Fitch] is undefeated in UFC and he brings a lot more problems to the table than my other opponents. He’s not an old school fighter. He’s in the new breed of mixed martial arts fighters. He’s not coming from only one solid background. He’s a good wrestler, he’s good standing up and he’s a black belt in jiu jitsu, which means he’s very good at submission on the ground. That means I’m going to have to use a lot more tools than I have in the past.”
Mark Coleman discusses possible rematch with Mauricio "Shogun" Rua
Mark ColemanMMA legend Mark Coleman (15-8 MMA, 6-3 UFC) has been pursuing a comeback in the organization that made him famous ever since he was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame at UFC 82 in March.
While Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (16-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) has made recent headlines by declaring his interest in a second match with "The Hammer," Coleman told MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps | MMAjunkie.com) he "wasn't aware of any of these rumors."