Josh Thompson not fighting now
Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Josh Thomson today broke his left leg while training for his first title defense against the man who he defeated to capture it, Gilbert Melendez. Therefore, the highly anticipated rematch on April 11 has been scrapped.
Guillard v. Tavares at TUF Finale
A lightweight contest between Melvin Guillard (21-7-2 MMA, 5-3 UFC) and Thiago Tavares (14-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) has been added to The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale fight card.
While the bout was originally reported as a possibility for UFC 101 in August, sources close to Guillard today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) the fight will actually take place at The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale in June.
Lashley To Appear At XFC 8 After All
Although rumors of him fighting on the card turned out to be false, Bobby Lashley will still appear at the upcoming XFC 8 event in Tennessee, but only to present the new XFC Title belt to the winner of the Jarrod Card vs. Bruce Connors featherweight bout which will now headline the show.
Some Managers, Agents Lose Backstage Pass
Managers and agents are fast becoming an endangered species backstage at UFC and WEC events.
Zuffa, the company that owns and operates both promotions, has notified select fighter representatives that they will no longer receive credentials from the promotion to sit with their clients backstage on fight night.
The reasoning behind the UFC’s decision varies according to the source. Some say the move is yet another strike in a campaign to separate fighters from their business representatives. Others say Zuffa is making a reasonable attempt to control unnecessary backstage traffic and lighten overcrowded dressing rooms of freeloaders.
The latter explanation loses traction, however, when the promotion has not enacted a blanket policy across the board, which brings into question if the move is more personal than procedural.
Of five separate fighter representatives and their firms that spoke to Sherdog.com, two said they were told that credentials would no longer be doled out to them shortly after UFC 94 on Jan. 31. These firms were also denied backstage access in person at UFC Fight Night 17, UFC 95 and UFC 96, as well as WEC 39, which took place March 1 in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Both reps said Zuffa would give no reason for the change in policy when asked over the phone and in person.
“You don’t ask questions of them. You know how that goes,” said one manager, who, like multiple fighter representatives interviewed, would only speak on the condition of anonymity for fear of repercussions.
Zuffa’s public relations department did not respond to an e-mail requesting comment on the promotion’s sudden shift in policy after eight years.
Outraged managers and agents said the silent treatment speaks to a greater issue that Zuffa is trying to keep hidden behind closed locker room doors.
“They’re divisively trying to split management and fighters,” said one representative. “They’re trying to de-power the managers and agents to create a wedge between them. They give locker room bonuses and say, ‘This is from Dana [White] and the UFC -- nobody else.’ They’re telling fighters they can go directly to them. They’re telling fighters they’ll be doing sponsorships themselves in the near future that will put the managers and agents out of business. They’re trying to minimize the managers’ and agents’ role in the fighter’s life so they can better control salaries.”
Jacaré back in action at Dream 9
Few months after the middleweight tournament, Ronaldo “Jacaré” Souza will be back in action at Dream. According to the fighter, he’ll fight at Dream 9, which takes place in Japan on May 26th.
Rousimar Palhares v. Alessio Sakara at ufc 99
The card continues to grow for UFC 99 in Germany, as Rousimar "Toquinho" Palhares will return for a middleweight match-up against American Top Team fighter Alessio Sakara. The bout was confirmed to MMAWeekly.com on Monday by sources close to the fight
Versus Close To Long-Term Extension With WEC
Although the deal isn't done yet, the cable network Versus and WEC are closing in on at least a 2-year extension of their contract. The deal also will ilkely give versus.com the rights to air prelim fights that do not air on TV as part of WEC events.
Sengoku 8: Phan vs. Omigawa In FWGP Round 2
According to Nam Phan, he will face former UFC fighter Michihiro Omigawa at Sengoku 8 on May 2. The fight, expected to be announced this week, is one of 4 fights in the quarterfinals of Sengoku's Featherweight GP scheduled for the 5/2 card.
Wand Breaks Down Liddell-Shogun
“… I told him: Liddell is not Coleman. He is an aggressive guy, has heavy hands and does not give up. If he hits you on the chin, probably a KO. Shogun has a very aggressive style and has to be in very good shape, with much cardio, because he doesn’t stop. He goes with punches, kicks, knees and takedowns. With him there’s no asking to stop. So he has to give good attention to the cardio because his style requires much cardio. He is a very talented guy, but age comes for everyone, including him. Then with time he will realize that nowadays we … must have a higher preparation. The guys are always getting better here. Shogun is a guy who can win the belt soon. He is in the front of the line. I believe in him. I think he’ll have a great performance against Liddell. I would not be surprised if he knocks him out or submits him. If he gets a takedown, I think it ends in the second round by submission.”
Wanderlei Silva has faith that his former Chute Box training partner and good friend, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, will finish former light heavyweight champion, Chuck Liddell, when the pair collide at UFC 97: “Redemption” from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on April 18. Shogun has battled injuries, as well as serious fatigue, in his two performances inside the Octagon since coming over from Pride FC to much fan fare in late 2007. He has certainly not lived up to the hype as the best 205-pound fighter in the world, losing to Forrest Griffin via submission in his debut and having trouble putting away what should have been a very overmatched Mark Coleman earlier this year. Rua needs to prove that he can hang with the big cats in the UFC. And an impressive win over “Iceman” would do just that.
MATT HAMILL VS BRANDON VERA SET FOR UFC 101
A light heavyweight match-up between Brandon Vera and Matt Hamill is in the works for UFC 101 on Aug. 8 in Philadelphia. A source close to the fight confirmed the news to MMAWeekly.com, with *********** first reporting its possibility.
While contracts have yet to be signed, the fighters have agreed to the bout and are expected to make it official in the coming days.