Babalu to HCF for May 10 Event
UFC cast-off Renato "Babalu" Sobral (29-7) will return to action on May 10 for a Hardcore Championship Fighting show to be held in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. There, 32-year-old will take on fellow Brazilian Mauricio Alonso (4-1).
Sobral will be in Quebec on March 29 for the HCF's "Crow's Nest" event, featuring UFC veterans David Loiseau, Hector "Sick Dog" Ramirez and Gideon Ray, where a formal announcement of the fight card will be made.
During the interview, Pavia was unable to confirm, but did little to deny, a rumored match-up between Sobral and UFC veteran Mike Whitehead. It is believed the bout will be contested at the debut event of the new Affliction/Golden Boy co-promotion.
Pavia also mentioned a forthcoming "big announcement" by the UFC regarding welterweight Chris "Lights Out" Lytle. The UFC is expected to soon release information regarding Lytle facing a "very big name" at UFC 86 in July. Pavia felt confident that the match-up would be the co-main event of the card.
According to Pavia, "Razor" Rob McCullough will return to action in the WEC on the as-yet-unannounced June 1 WEC event in Sacramento, Calif. Although McCullough's opponent has not yet been determined, that card is believed to be headlined by Urijah Faber vs. Jens Pulver. Miguel Torres vs. Manny Tapia is also expected at the event, and Jeff Curran will also likely compete.
Lastly, Pavia said Joe "Diesel" Riggs was recovering quickly from back surgery after suffering an injury in his latest fight, and should return to action with Strikeforce in late May, when the organization looks to return to Tacoma, Wash.
Golden Boy Promotions, Affliction & MMA
I got a chance to interview Golden Boy Promotions matchmaker Eric Gomez about Golden Boy's relationship with Affliction and possible involvement with MMA in the future.
On the relationship between Golden Boy Promotions and Affliction and whether they will be teaming up to do MMA cards:
“We’ll make an announcement shortly. But there’s some things we’re working with them. As of right now we’ve started a relationship with them and they are one of the sponsors of our shows and, obviously, we are going to give them visibility on our shows and we’re just starting the relationship. There will be more announcements in the near future.”
On his thoughts about MMA:
“It’s exciting. I mean, If you get the right kind of … it’s just like boxing in the way that if you get the right matchups people will watch. If you get the right matchups, people will watch. It comes down to styles like boxing. That’s what makes the fights good fights.”
On the possibilites in MMA:
“Obviously, there is some money being made. When you add Oscar’s name and the element of Golden Boy, so there are some opportunities there. We’re not going to leave any rocks unturned.”
On when we might here some news about Golden Boy and MMA:
“Soon. I mean, you know, look, we’re a young company. We’re hungry. We’ve had huge success in the first four years of our existance. We have a lot more time ahead of us, so we’re just going to keep working hard and see what we can do. Make a difference.”
Check out this link for the entire interview:
Shamrock dismisses Silva
Veteran Frank Shamrock and EliteXC promoter Gary Shaw dismissed talk Tuesday that rival UFC champion Anderson Silva is pound-for-pound the best mixed martial arts fighter in the world.
"Well I think I've been named that guy several times over the past 14 years, so I think that it's fleeting, it's exciting but I certainly don't think he's the best in the world," Shamrock said in a conference call Tuesday to promote his March 29 Strikeforce-Elite XC middleweight title fight with Cung Le in San Jose.
"I think he's probably one of the best guys in the UFC, but all the best fighters are not in the UFC. So hopefully he can hang onto that and make something out of it and gain some fame. But I have 100 per cent confidence if I ran into him, they'd be calling me that guy."
Ben Saunders Likely to return at UFC 86
Sources close to the fighter tell MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Saunders has agreed to fight at the event. However, a phone call to the fighter wasn't immediately returned today, and the UFC has made no official announcement regarding the event.
Exclusive Interview: Bodog Matchmaker Eric Nichol
Describe what you do, in a nutshell.
Not only do I focus on matchmaking, but I also look at fighter relations. I look at scouting, single fight, multi-fight contracts, purse negotiations. I look at sponsorship proposals. My day, I come in, I’ll fire up my computer and I’ll just scan through the list of guys getting a hold of my e-mail and they want to be fighters. ‘What do I have to do?’ I’ve kind of taken the approach that I’m going to reply to every single one of these guys. If they reply back, fantastic. If they actually fill out the bio stuff that I need, if they have some amateur fights, I want to see video of it. I want to see what their style is, how finely tuned their skills are. I want to see what they look like in a ring, on a canvas. I’d say out of about a hundred people that actually reply back to me, I’ll get five or six that will actually complete the bio form that I need from them. Once it gets to there, I’d say maybe two out of a hundred will actually make it to the cut, where I can say, “Okay, great, you’re an up-and-comer, I can match you against another up-and-comer and let’s see if you guys can make the cut.” It’s a swift process.
Tape is critical. Typically what I’ll do (everyday), I’ll catch up on my e-mail, I’ll go through the forums, all the message boards, all the sites, just to see what’s going on to stay up on all the news as I possibly can. If there’s nothing super important, typically I’ll have meetings — planning for different events, who we want to work with. The people we want to work with — the different organizations — is a key factor. It’s a small niche industry and I want to surround myself with the most positive people.
WEC Champ Doug "Rhino" Marshall -- An MMAjunkie.com Interview
MMAjunkie.com: I've heard you have one of the most unique stories about getting into the sport. How did you get started in MMA?
Doug Marshall: Well, I was always a fan of the UFC, and as a young man, I got into my fair share of fights. My dad and I were at a WEC show, and we had both had a few beers. This guy (Anthony Arria) enters the cage, and I point at him and tell my dad that I could kick his ass. My dad told me to shut up and have another beer or do something about it. I started training the following Monday at a small gym. What a lot of people don't know is the first thing I started working on was my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
MMAjunkie.com: And three short months later, you had a 32-second submission victory in your debut.
Doug Marshall: Once I had my first fight, I fell in love with the competition, and I was driven to put on a great show for the crowds.
WEC 33 - Logan Clark has new opponent
Logan Clark, originally slated to face Bryan Baker at WEC 33 on March 26, will instead face Scott Harper. Clark announced the bout on his website on Wednesday.
Clark was actually a last minute replacement for the injured Nissan Osterneck. During the past week, however, current middleweight champion Paulo Filho withdrew from his title defense having recently checked himself into a rehabilitation clinic for a reported substance abuse problem, leaving challenger Chael Sonnen without an opponent.
Diego Sanchez To Headline TUF Finale
Diego Sanchez (Pictures) will return to the Octagon June 21 in Las Vegas in the main event of "The Ultimate Fighter 7" finale, sources have told Sherdog.com. He is expected to square off against Luigi Fioravanti (Pictures) in a welterweight tilt that will follow a series of bouts involving participants of the upcoming season of the UFC's reality show.
Frank Shamrock-Cung Le conference call
Frank Shamrock, Cung Le, Jake Shields, Drew Fickett and Gary Shaw held a conference call for the EliteXC/Strikeforce card on March 29 in San Jose on Showtime.
Gary Shaw on the particulars for the first EliteXC card on CBS:
“There will be a CBS press release going out tomorrow, announcing when the first fight card is and announcing some of the fighters on that card. So I don’t want to pre-empt it. But it is much sooner than later. We think we have a great card put together. We’re very excited to be on CBS, and I think the announce team will surprise some people. It’s just exciting. This is just the single biggest thing that I think will happen to any fighter or MMA to have the ability to be seen by over 100 million eyeballs.”
To check out the entire rundown of the conference call and to listen to the audio, which is broken into four parts of about 10 minutes apiece, click this link:
Cung Le Undettered by Frank Shamrock's Head Games
Today's media conference call for a March 29 Strikeforce/EliteXC event, which features a headline bout between Strikeforce world middleweight champ Frank Shamrock (24-8-1) and undefeated challenger Cung Le (5-0), featured a lot of talk about strategy.
How much of it anyone really believes is a whole 'nother matter.
After all, when Shamrock (a famed submission fighter) said he plans to stand and trade with Le (a decorated San Shou kickboxer), few believed him -- Le chief among them.
"I have that much confidence (in my striking)," he said. "I don't think he's prepared for striking in an MMA fight."
Of Shamrock's 24 career victories, you can count on one hand that number that have ended via strikes.
That's why Le was naturally a little skeptical of his opponent's proposed game plan.
"I think it's a big smokescreen," Le said, with a hint of bemusement in his voice. "He's a very intelligent fighter... He'll try to get in my mind and get it in my head that he'll strike.
"But I'm also an intelligent fighter... I don't really believe him."
Regardless of his game plan, Shamrock predicts a quick finish.
"If Cung le runs from me, I think it'll last a while because it'll take some time to run him down," Shamrock said. "I don't think it'll go long, though... I want it over quick.
"My wife is pregnant, and I want to get home in case it pops out."
Fedor Emelianenko Is More "Free Agent" Than You Think
Despite the announcement of an agreement last October between Fedor Emelianenko and M-1 Global, the deal was never signed, a source close to both camps told Sherdog.com.
The Russian heavyweight's only agreement with the company -- according to the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity -- came in the form of a letter of intent.
The return of a $1.5 million signing bonus paid by M-1 Global to Emelianenko is the only hurdle to the former Pride champion's potential free agency. That should be remedied this week, the source said.
M-1 Global CEO Monte Cox declined to comment.
Once Emelianenko is clear of his M-1 obligations he is expected to field offers from several MMA promotions. The early leader, according to the same source, comes from the purported partnership between Affliction and Oscar de la Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions, which Sherdog.com has learned could debut on June 28.
"Right now we don't have any comments," Golden Boy Promotions Public Relations Director Romiro Gonzalez told Sherdog.com. "[Oscar] is in the sports business. He is loading up on all the fields, especially boxing. We're moving into soccer, MLS. There is nothing official we can say."
This is pathetic to the point of satire. That M-1 and Monte Cox would go through the motions of trotting out in front of press conferences and the free world arguably the biggest fighter in the sport without a contract is beyond amateurish. I believe Dana White when he says Fedor's people are hard to deal with, which makes a lack of a contract to secure Fedor's services mind blowing.
What this means for a potential Couture vs. Fedor match is anyone's guess, but what is clear is that the idea M-1 can reasonably compete with the UFC anywhere besides Russia is absurd. Their marquee fighter has no contract and the infighting causes promotional paralysis. It's a good thing Monte Cox didn't quit his job as an agent because it's likely going to be the only job he has very soon.
Koppenhaver returns at UFC 84 against Yoshiyuki Yoshida
Koppenhaver third round stoppage of Jared Rollins last December capped off one of the most action-packed bouts of 2007, and on Saturday, May 24th, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, 170-pound prospect Jon Koppenhaver will kick off his 2008 campaign when he faces UFC newcomer Yoshiyuki Yoshida in a UFC 84 preliminary bout.
Also added to the undercard is a welterweight contest between England’s Jason Tan and Korea’s Dong Hyun Kim.
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CRO COP to fight KHARITONOV in JUNE
The article is in Croatian, I will summerize it. Article states that Cro Cop was supposed to fight Sergei at Dream 1 but he declined the fight stating that would be too tough of a match for him after a six month break. Now they moved the fight to Dream 4 which will take place in mid-june and it will apparantly be made official in about a month possibly on April 29th which is Dream 2. That is when Dream is supposed to announce the fight. In one of Mirko's quotes he said " I am not approaching these fights in Dream as practice for UFC comeback instead I am treating every fight seriously."
DREAM Officials Planning Fedor Vs CroCop 2
The producers of DREAM, the new Japanese MMA promotion borne out of the ashes of PRIDE and K-1 HERO'S, have set forth their "dream" match for the annual end-of-year fight festival known as Dynamite: a rematch between former PRIDE aces Fedor Emelianenko and Mirko "CroCop" Filipovic.