Hostile territory no problem for Mike Whitehead
Mike Whitehead (21-5) knows he is headed into hostile territory tomorrow night.
The former UFC and IFL fighter will face Southern California resident Renato "Babalu" Sobral (29-7) on the main card of "Affliction: Banned," and Whitehead plans to play the role of spoiler for the hometown hero.
The Xtreme Couture-trained fighter was a recent in-studio guest on TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), he and discussed why fans should expect him to extend his 12-fight win streak by upsetting Sobral on his home turf.
"A lot of people are pulling for [Sobral], which is great," Whitehead said. "That means it's going to be a hell of a fight. But I'm here, I'm healthy, and I am ready to bring it."
The 27-year-old veteran knows the crowd will be decidedly against him, but he believes it may actually work in his favor.
"I'm already mentally preparing myself to be booed on the way [to the ring] since this is Sobral's hometown," Whitehead said. "All the pressure is on him to perform, and I am a pretty tough guy (for someone) to go out and try to have an impressive win (over) -- like he wants to have."
UFC Quick Quote: Lyoto Machida and Thiago Silva on the Birmingham battle
“I know that this fight will show who is going to lose. The event will sell it this way, two unbeaten guys. I wanna do a great fight, a great show.”
– Lyoto Machida via Tatame.com
“It’ll be a good fight, we’re determined fighters. I trained a lot and I’ll do my job. I believe it’ll be a fight with more strategy. Lyoto likes to escape, fight moving backwards, it’s his style, but it’ll do my job…. I can’t say that I like (facing Brazilian fighters), but I want the belt, and wanna prove my talent and win. I want the belt. I already can fight for the belt. I’ve already showed UFC what I can and what I can’t do. I’m here to fight for the belt.”
– Thiago Silva via Tatame.com
Lyoto Machida and Thiago Silva comment for the first time on their huge 205-pound showdown at UFC 89: “Bisping vs. Leben” at The National Indoor Arena (NIA) in Birmingham, England, on October 18. The winner of the bout will likely earn a title shot in early 2009.
UFC 90 Set For Chicago On 10/25
UFC is finally blowing into the Windy City this fall, announcing that Chicago will host UFC 90 on October 25. No word on participants yet but if Stephan Bonnar is recovered from knee surgery in time he'll be there.
Pound-for-pound king speaks with his strikes...
LAS VEGAS – Anderson Silva has been one of the elite mixed martial arts fighters in the world for the past 18 months or so.
He hasn’t been a star, though, until recently.
But on Thursday, the large media scrum that squeezed in tightly to hear Silva’s every utterance was symbolic of his rise to stardom.
Anderson Silva Vs The UFC Light Heavyweight Division
He has suggested that he won’t stick around 205 pounds for long, but if he did, he’d have a rogues’ gallery waiting for him.
In this article, I’ll play the Las Vegas bookie setting the lines for Silva’s hypothetical run through the UFC light heavyweight class. So kick back and enjoy as the guy who can’t do his own taxes tries to be Jimmy The Greek.
FEDOR LOOKING TO RE-ESTABLISH DOMINANCE
op ranked heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko returns to the States and returns to fighting top competition July 19 when he takes on former UFC heavyweight titleholder Tim Sylvia in the main event of Affliction “Banned” at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
Widely regarded as the best fighter in the world, Emelianenko solidified his place in the Japanese Rings and Pride organizations, obtaining the Pride belt by defeating current UFC heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at Pride 25 in March of 2003. But since defeating Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic at Pride: Final Conflict 2005, Emelianenko has received criticism for not competing against top tier talent.
Although ranked No. 1 in the world, Emelianenko in a lot of ways has to re-establish himself in the heavyweight division. In his second appearance in the U.S., he seeks to silence the critics when he squares off against Top 5 ranked Tim Sylvia for the WAMMA heavyweight title.
"How can you say that the guy is the number one fighter in the world if there's different organizations not willing to work with each other?" said Affliction vice president Tom Atencio. "If there is even a shadow of a doubt that this guy is not the best, how can you say he's the best in the world worthy of a belt of even the title if he's not fighting everybody?"
"Fedor’s willing to come over here and put his title on the line," added Atencio. "Everybody says he's the number one fighter in the world. Well here's one step closer to being it if he beats Tim Sylvia."
Tim Sylvia, Michael Bisping, Chuck Liddell, Dana White and Marc Ratner comment on Rampage Jackson situation
In a chat with the Las Vegas Sun today UFC Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs, Marc Ratner, said the company was “still gathering information” on Quinton “Rampage” Jackson’s strange behavior over the past several days.
In the two days since the 30-year-old fighter was arrested following a hit and run accident in California the UFC has been virtually mum. However, several media outlets reported that UFC President Dana White flew to California to bail out the former champ.
Exclusive: Affliction to broadcast entire "Banned" fight card
In Saturday's upcoming battle of counter-programming with the UFC, Affliction has again raised the stakes with its debut "Banned" card.
Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Saturday night's pay-per-view broadcast will run a full four hours and will feature eight bouts. Additionally, FSN will air three bouts, rather than the previously reported two fights.
In other words, between FSN and PPV, the entire "Banned" fight card will be televised.
Alves-Sanchez Fight Off
The Thiago Alves vs. Diego Sanchez match earmarked for 10/18 in Birmingham, England is now off. The Thiago Silva vs. Ryoto (Lyoto) Machida match announced yesterday was to take its place.
Horn vs. Gouveia at UFN 15
Jeremy Horn vs. Wilson Gouveia has been booked for UFN 15. The only question is at which weight class: Horn usually fights at middleweight, Gouveia at light heavyweight. That should be decided fairly soon.
Dana White Did Not Help Affliction
There's a narrative going around that by booking a free show opposite Affliction's debut, Dana White did Affliction some kind of favor. The people making the argument say that the UFC opposition created more interest in the weekend than there would have been otherwise. I don't buy this at all.
If Affliction was running unopposed this weekend, their ads might actually reach and have some effect on the millions of fans who watch UFC. Instead, those fans have been saturated with ads for Anderson Silva and a free show, and I haven't spoken to one casual fan even considering buying Affliction over the UFC show. Whereas these fans may have considered buying a fight on Saturday night just because they like fights, they now have a free option, and the idea of buying Affliction and weighing cards against each other isn't even a consideration.
Second, the narrative of competition is not a good one for Affliction. If they were running unopposed, all the hype would be on seeing Fedor fight again. Instead, three days out, the narrative is about the competition, and it's a contest Affliction can't win. People have pointed to the story on ESPN weighing the Affliction and UFC cards as proof that this has been a good thing for Affliction. Realistically, it probably did nothing to hurt or help, but certainly helped less than a major ESPN article on Fedor Emelianenko would have.
Report: UFC to Buy the IFL
So says Adam Swift:
A Senior Producer at HDNet's Inside MMA tells MMAPayout.com that the IFL will be bought by the UFC.
MMAPayout.com has confirmed talks between the IFL and UFC. More details as they become available.
They've already signed a ton of their talent, so this would be a very smart move to keep EliteXC and Affliction from building their divisions. I doubt the UFC will keep everyone, but this allows them to get first dibs on who they want to keep and give the leftovers to the competitors.
Say what you want about the IFL, but they had a lot of very talented competitors on their rosters. And I'm guessing the asking price at this point is pretty low. Well done, Dana.
UFC Counter-Programs Affliction to Death
What a FANTASTIC day for US MMA fans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Check out SpikeTV's schedule for July 19th:
4:00 PM EST / 1:00 PM PST
Martin Kampmann vs. Drew McFedries (UFC 68)
Marcus Davis vs. Jason Tan (UFC 72)
Rich Franklin vs. Jason McDonald (UFC 68)
Anderson Silva vs. Travis Lutter (UFC 67)
5:00 PM EST / 2:00 PM PST
Jason Lambert vs. Renato "Babalu" Sobral (UFC 68)
Houston Alexander vs. Keith Jardine (UFC 71)
Brandon Vera vs. Justin Eilers (UFC 57)
Assuerio Silva vs. Frank Mir (???)
6:00 PM EST / 3:00 PM PST
Frank Edgar vs. Tyson Griffin (UFC 67)
Dave Terrell vs. Matt Lindland (UFC 49)
Spencer Fisher vs. Thiago Alves (UFN 2)
7:00 PM EST / 4:00 PM PST
UFC Countdown: Silva vs. Irvin
8:00 PM EST / 5:00 PM PST
UFC: Ultimate Knockouts 5
9:00 PM EST / 6:00 PM PST
UFC: Silva vs. Irvin
Anderson Silva vs. James Irvin
Brandon Vera vs. Reese Andy
Hermes Franca vs. Frank Edgar
Cain Velasquez vs. Jake O'Brien
Anthony Johnson vs. Kevin Burns
Jesse Taylor vs. C.B. Dollaway
Hideo Tokoro Involved in Car Accident
Not a good week for mixed martial artists and automobiles. Thankfully, Hideo Tokoro's incident yesterday didn't result in his arrest and, according to Kamipro, was only a minor fender bender. Unfortunately, it sounds like it may keep him out of his upcoming bout with Takeshi Yamazaki. Translation from SukiMMA:
Hideo Tokoro, who was recently announced his participation to DREAM 5 on July 21, had an car accident on July 16. He was on the way going to see his doctor for check-up. He was ran into from behind and suffered an injury on his back that would take a week to heal completely.
Great new Alexander Emelianenko interview.
"I'm ready. It doesn't matter with who or where. On foot or on horseback. With maces or poleaxes. To fight. To first blood or to death. It doesn't matter, I'm ready to fight." -- Aleksander Emelianenko (Pictures)
Living in the shadow of a big brother isn't easy.
When you are in the same profession and he's more accomplished and better known, it's hard to stand in the spotlight unobstructed, as your own man. Side by side, the achievements that you've worked your whole life for, that you've gone through hell for in order to become a better person are less dazzling, less impressive when compared to his. You have less say in your fighting future, less media attention when he's caught in a perpetual avalanche of flash bulbs and microphones. You're fighting on the televised undercard when he's headlining the pay-per-view.