Gonzaga-Carwin important to heavyweight future
Last year, the UFC heavyweight division appeared decimated.
Former champions Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski left for far bigger money offers from Affliction. Mirko Cro Cop, the most publicized PRIDE signing, looked unimpressive in losing two of three UFC fights and was let go with the feeling he wasn’t worth his enormous paycheck. Randy Couture, the company’s top heavyweight star, had a bitter divorce with UFC. And the biggest star of the PRIDE roster, Fedor Emelianenko, never came to terms with the company.
UFC’s reaction was to build for the future, taking three huge wrestlers who were all unproven in the sport. Just one year after the divisional low point, that influx of talent led to the division’s rehabilitation.
Wilson Reis to headline second Bellator event at Mohegan Sun on April 10
Bellator Fighting Championships announced today that Bellator II (the second event of the highly anticipated 12-week tournament series airing on ESPN Deportes) will be hosted by Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn., on April 10, 2009. The second nationally and internationally-televised event hosted by Mohegan Sun will occur Friday, June 12, 2009 and will feature a Bellator World Championship bout.
The fight card is detailed below:
145 lbs. — Wilson Reis (6-0) vs. Henry Martinez (5-1)
155 lbs. — Thomas Schulte (18-6) vs. Ivan Iberico (7-1/27-1)
170 lbs. — Lyman Good (7-0) vs. Hector Urbina (12-4)
170 lbs. — Jorge Ortiz (15-4) vs. Aaron Romero (5-2)
170 lbs. — Dave Menne (42-15) vs. Norman Paraisy (5-0)
170 lbs. — Omar De La Cruz (3-1) vs. Victor Meza (9-0)
Mark Munoz interview: Work with Roach may push him past Hamill
Mark Munoz was one of four fighters who attended the final UFC 96 press conference. Much of the media covering UFC for the first time had to be asking, who is this guy? Afterall, he's making his UFC debut yet he's one of the top four fighters featured? Maybe that says a lot about the promotion's regard for the guy. The 2001 NCAA wrestling champ at 197 pounds is getting rave reviews from fighters in Southern California as he makes the move over from WEC.
UFC president was ready to brawl with former Jackson manager Ibarra
UFC president Dana White isn't quite as guarded saying that Jackson's manager/trainer Juanito Ibarra was the issue and he could see it coming from a mile away:
"You know when you're around bad guys. You don't have to be a (expletive) rocket scientist," White said as he spoke about the day he had to fly to Southern California to get Jackson out of jail. "I knew (Ibarra) was the problem. I actually got into a huge fight with him in the parking lot of the police department."
KJ Noons Turned Down Strikeforce Title Shot
Former EliteXC lightweight champion Karl James Noons was offered a title shot against Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson at StrikeForce: Shamrock vs Diaz on April 11 but turned down the fight to concentrate on his boxing career.
UFC UK TV Partner Setanta Sports in Turmoil
DUBLIN-BASED pay TV broadcaster Setanta Sports is believed to have missed a £10 million installment payment to the Football Association in England, potentially jeopardising its rights to live FA Cup and England internationals and raising concerns about its future viability.
Aleksander Emelianenko and the Red Devil fight team part ways
According to published reports, Aleksander Emelianenko and the Red Devil fight team in St. Petersburg, Russia have parted ways. The separate appears to be mutual, as both the team website and Emelianenko’s own personal website indicated that there are no hard feelings towards either side.
Emelianenko commented on his site that he was looking forward to the next chapter in his life and that he would defend his name and prove that he was the best. He also added that his first priority was to defend the honor of Russia in international tournaments.
An official statement by M-1 Global has yet to be issued and while Emelianenko’s separation from Red Devil has been confirmed, it is unclear if he is still contractual aligned with M-1.
With UFC 96 nearly sold out, UFC vows return trips to Columbus
On the eve of what will be the UFC's third blockbuster event in Columbus, Ohio, UFC 96 is nearly sold out with fewer than one thousand tickets remaining for the 19,000-seat Nationwide Arena.
Dana White discussed the sales figures during Thursday's pre-UFC 96 press conference, and the UFC President promised the UFC will return to Columbus for future shows.
As detailed in today's Dayton Daily News, Ohio Athletic Commission Executive Director Bernie Profato certainly approves of the plans and on Thursday presented White with a lifetime matchmaker's license in Ohio.
Heading into UFC 96, the bite is back in Quinton Jackson's bark
Nightfall, a black sky lightly whitewashed by clouds and glazed by the light of a full moon. That's when it's Quinton "Rampage" Jackson's time to play. He borrows that old World Wrestling Federation Junkyard Dog gimmick by adorning not a collar, but a heavy chain. He looks up, and under nature's spotlight, he howls.
Feeling it: A UFC 96 interview with Tim Boetsch
UFC light heavyweight Tim Boetsch is set to make his third straight appearance inside the Octagon when he takes on the well-rounded Jason Brilz at UFC 96 “Jackson vs. Jardine” this Saturday, March 7, from the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
“The Barbarian” made his debut against David Heath at UFC 81: “Breaking Point” last February in which he had less than two weeks to prepare after Tomasz Drwal went down with a knee injury at the last minute.
Mauricio Rua Not Looking Past Chuck Liddell At UFC 97
In recent comments made to the TATAME website, Mauricio Rua says he wasn't happy with his performance against Mark Coleman in his last fight, and is now focusing on Chuck Liddell and not the UFC Light Heavyweight TItle. Rua says that Wanderlei Silva told him if he goes into the Chuck fight "focused and with gas", he wins.
Dana: Nogueira Had Staph Infection Going Into 92
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira apparently wasn't the fighter he usually is against Frank Mir at UFC 92, and now Dana White is telling us why. Though he didn't have blood tests to prove this, Dana said he could tell just by looking at Nog that the fighter had a "real bad" staph infection going into the fight.
Bobby Lashley discusses upcoming fight vs. Ken Shamrock
There has been much speculation as to how Bobby Lashley would fare in the very real fighting world of mixed martial arts when the former NAIA wrestling champion made the announcement that he would be joining the sport in early 2008 but the former WWE superstar turned professional fighter showed the world that he is taking this MMA thing seriously when he made his professional debut a succesful one. In December of 2008 Lashley made the jump into mixed martial arts official when it took him all of :41 seconds to dispatch of Joshua Franklin at the MFA: There Will Be Blood event.
UFC HEADS TO PHILADELPHIA IN 2009
As the UFC expands their business worldwide, the sport's #1 promotion hasn't forgotten about new U.S. markets as well, and on Thursday, UFC president Dana White confirmed that they will head to Philadelphia before 2009 is over.
The state of Pennsylvania just officially ratified the rules and regulations of mixed martial arts on Feb 27 and it looks like the state will welcome the UFC this year as a way to celebrate the sport in the Keystone state.
The Company Making the UFC Undisputed Video Game May Be Going Under
The first UFC videogame, titled Undisputed, for the next generation of consoles is currently in development by THQ. But the international developer and publisher of videogames is facing tough financial times.
THQ has lost $334 million dollars this year and their stock prices has fallen from $20 a share to $2 a share.
Now according to Michael Hickey of Janco Partners, the company has a fifty percent chance of going bankrupt (via gamereplays.org).
Currently THQ is trying to save over $220 million next year and are preapring to slash over 600 employees. However, the prognosis remains dark for THQ.
Evans Will defend This Summer Against Rampage Or Machida
With UFC 96 only 2 days away, Quinton Rampage Jackson and Keith Jardine, met the press at the customary pre-fight press conference to address last minute questions about their fight and of course what will happen in the light heavyweight division after their bout is over.
UFC President Dana White announced at the press conference that UFC light heavyweight champion, Rashad Evans, would be defending his title this summer against either Jackson if he is victorious against Jardine, or Lyoto Machida if Jardine wins. White was also adamant in saying that if Jardine does get the win, he will get closer to a title shot, and he will fight Evans if he's still the champion.
Terry Etim vs. Justin Buchholz Back on at UFC 99
Terry Etim (12-2) will be fighting Justin Buchholz at UFC 99 later this year, Fighters Only was informed earlier today.
The Liverpool lightweight earned plaudits and comparisons with Anderson Silva after his profile-raising head kick KO win over Brian Cobb at UFC 95 late last month.
Etim (3-2 in the UFC) was supposed to fight Buchholz (1-1 in the UFC) at that event but a bad staph infection meant that Cobb had to be drafted in as a replacement.