BJ Penn's Trainer Calls Dana White a "Drama King"
UFC Primetime tried to insert what the BJ Penn camp unequivocally calls a non-issue. That is, there is a storyline being pursued that suggests Penn is taking a vacation in the middle of his training camp thereby somehow indicating Penn isn't taking the fight seriously or won't be properly prepared. Penn's head trainer, Rudy Valentino, says it's all rubbish. To wit:
“Dana White was making a big deal out of nothing,” Valentino tells InsideFighting.
Tyson Griffin to return at Fight Night 18
After what will be more than a six-month layoff, UFC lightweight contender Tyson Griffin (12-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) will return to action in April at UFC Fight Night 18.
A source close to the Xtreme Couture fighter today told MMAjunkie.com Griffin has agreed to fight at the event. UFC officials are currently finalizing plans for an opponent.
Pro's Pick: Coleman vs. Shogun II
Sherdog caught up with 25 pros to get their picks on the upcoming rematch at UFC 93.
19 took Shogun, 4 went with Coleman, and 2 couldn't decide.
I was suprised to see Tompkins pick Coleman, Randy seems to be leaning that way as well.
Pros Pick: Henderson vs. Franklin
With the winner penciled in to coach alongside Michael Bisping on the next season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Sherdog.com caught up with plenty of professional fighters and trainers for their predictions on Henderson vs. Franklin.
411 MMA Interview: A Conversation With Jason High
411’s Todd Bergman recently had the opportunity to talk with Affliction’s Jason High, who is busy training for his upcoming showdown at Affliction’s “Road To Reckoning” with Jay Hieron. High discusses his previous fights, his experience with the Ultimate Fighter and more!
Kang Confident Heading Into UFC Debut
When Pride Fighting Championships was bought by Zuffa many of the fighters under their umbrella moved into the Ultimate Fighting Championship, but many others chose to move on to different promotions instead. One of those fighters, Denis Kang, left for a different option, but starting in Ireland at UFC 93 he will finally get his chance to compete in the world famous Octagon for the first time.
A longtime member of the American Top Team, Kang spent the last two-plus years fighting in various organizations all over the world, but when the UFC came calling after his latest free agency stint, he decided he wanted to make the move.
Cro Cop Overeem K-1?
“They’ve offered me to fight Overeem under K1 rules. At 34 years of age ideally I’d like to fight for both organizations. At 34 years of age, I don’t have many more fights left but fighting for both companies would keep me as active as possible.” Concluded Cro Cop.
Franklin brings fresh approach to UFC 93
Rich Franklin is meticulous by nature and rarely leaves anything to chance.
After working with trainer Matt Hume for a year, though, Franklin might have thought that he spent the first part of his mixed martial arts career wholly unprepared. It may seem to him that he’s spending as much time in the video room as in the training room these days.
UFC 92 drug test results come back clean from NSAC for ‘The Ultimate 2008'
The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) announced today that 12 of the 20 competitors who were tested for illegal/banned substances after competing at UFC 92: “The Ultimate 2008? have all passed with flying colors.
Newly-crowned UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Rashad Evans, Forrest Griffin, interim heavyweight champion Frank Mir, Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira, Brad Blackburn, Matt Hamill, Antonio Hardonk, Yushin Okami, Cheick Kongo, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, CB Dolloway and Patrick Barry were all screened for performance enhancers such as steroids, as well as drugs of abuse like cocaine and marijuana, among others.
Results of those tests all returned negative.
Josh Koscheck inks 20-month contract extension with UFC; Eager to fight six times in 2009
After a unanimous decision loss to Thiago Alves at UFC 90: “Cote vs. Silva” in October 2008 — and an epic spat between officials from his management team at Zinkin Entertainment/American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) and the promotion — the top welterweight contender’s future inside the Octagon was suddenly (and shockingly) a huge question mark.
MMAmania.com can reveal that The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) alum recently agreed to a 20-month contract extension, which will keep him locked up until almost 2011.
World beater: Josh Barnett interview exclusive with MMAmania.com
James Iannotti (MMAmania.com): How do you feel you match up with either Fedor or Andrei? Are both of those fights you feel like you can win?
Josh Barnett: Yeah, I think on the feet I can knock either one of them out. I think that Fedor is actually more dangerous because of his ability to mix it up so well between striking and then initiating grapples and taking you down. He keeps people on their toes and he keeps them off balance. It’s really a cool thing to see him implement it. As far as the grappling aspect, I think that Fedor would be a much more difficult fight for me on the ground than Arolvski. Arlovski’s a very strong, capable heavyweight and when he’s doing well he gets stronger as he goes. That’s always something to keep in mind, but when things are going tough you usually test the faith.
James Iannotti (MMAmania.com): What are your thoughts on the rumors of poor ticket sales for this event?
Josh Barnett: They’re just that, rumors. I’ve not heard or seen anything to substantiate them. Unfortunately, a lot of things that people like to point out is the negative. I’ve read some of the negativity in terms of — not just Affliction — but any promotion besides the UFC that’s trying to get off the ground. Everybody’s got an opinion and they all think they can do a better job. Instead of being happy for the possibility of seeing more great fights and sometimes the match ups you’ve been wanting to see for a while, I don’t know, people are just very, very hard to please nowadays. But, you know, the economy is hurting things and the UFC has a huge lock on the market so it’ll be hard to establish your brand amongst that. But you do what you can and if you can put on the kind of fights that get people talking then that’s what’s going to keep bringing them back.
WEC Makes Texas Debut In March
WEC today officially announced WEC 39, the promotion's first foray into Texas. Scheduled for March 1, the card is headlined by WEC Featherweight Champion Mike Brown and WEC Welterweight Champion Carlos Condit making title defenses. The main card will air on Versus.
Randy Couture: Size will be the difference for ‘Penn vs St. Pierre 2'
“We’ve seen the best B.J. Penn we’ve seen in recent years, but that was at 155. He had abs, he looked in shape, he had to train to be down there. The question I have is how much quality weight in this time period can he put on to deal with the size difference between him and Georges. … At that weight class, at 170, I like Georges. Georges has got all the tools. He seems to be within himself mentally, going out and putting together good performances, and demonstrating a lot of skills that nobody really knew he had. There’s some tough things for B.J. to deal with there.”
UFC 96: Rashad Evans vs Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson
MMAmania.com can confirm that a main event title fight between newly crowned UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Rashad Evans (13-0-1) and former 205-pound kingpin Quinton Jackson (29-7) could be added to the UFC 96 card at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, on March 7.
Perhaps the only thing currently standing in the way is time — both fighters face relatively tight turnarounds (nine weeks) since their most recent winning performances at UFC 92: “The Ultimate 2008? on Dec. 27.