Work In Progress: Cuban Critiques His MMA Debut Show
The first HDNet Fights MMA show is now in the books, and now HDNet owner Mark Cuban is commenting on how everything came off, basically amounting it to a work in progress and a "learning experience".
One good sign is that it appears everyone, both fans and fighters, left happy. That's one very important thing for Cuban to stay focused on in the future so that both keep coming back.
News From Japan: Akiyama-Kang Headlines HERO'S
At a press conference earlier today in Tokyo, FEG announced the full card for the K-1 HERO'S event on 10/28 in Seoul, South Korea. The biggest story was that the main event will be Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Denis Kang.
A bit of a surprise here, while they were both expected to be in showcase bouts I don't think anyone expected them to be in the same main event fight.
Karo Parisyan: No Lombard, No Problem
UFC Welterweight Karo Parisyan, who was set to face Hector Lombard at UFC 78 before visa issues caused Lombard to pull out, doesn't seem to mind Ryo Chonan stepping in to replace Lombard. In fact, Karo might be looking more forward to it now.
Definitely a bigger fight now based on just name recognition and also because Chonan is another top PRIDE fighter coming over to UFC.
Strikeforce Fighter Fails Drug Test
The CSAC announced Monday that Bill Mahood, who fought and lost to Bobby Southworth at Strikeforce on 9/29, has failed a post-fight drug test.
The Fight Network reports Mahood was suspended for 1 year and fined $2.500. He apparently took the same substance as UFC's Hermes Franca.
Robbie Lawler Set For ICON Title Defense
ICON Sport has confirmed that Middleweight Champion "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler will defend his title against Kala Kolohe Hose on December 15. The fight originally was set for June but a Lawler injury forced its postponement.
This one could be either a short or long slugfest, both fighters usually win their bouts by KO or TKO. It's also a chance for Lawler to show his recent EliteXC title win over Murilo "Ninja" Rua wasn't a fluke.
Cung Le Confirmed For Strikeforce Event
Strikeforce has confirmed that their November 16 event in San Jose, CA will now feature hometown Middleweight fighter Cung Le. No opponent has been named yet but Le said in an interview yesterday that Frank Shamrock backed out of the fight.
Seems Shamrock is getting good at not backing up his words, it seems that this fight was all but confirmed not too long ago by both fighters and would've been a good test for the unbeaten Le.
Hendo Rejects UFC Extension
Famed PRIDE fighter turned UFC star Dan Henderson (22-6) recently rebuffed UFC overtures regarding a contract extension. Henderson was apparently dissatisfied with an extension offered by Dana White before his light heavyweight title fight with Quinton Jackson, and chose instead to continue fighting under his "Pride" contract.
Arona denies being signed to M-1
Translated from Tatame:
Arona denies fight with Fedor in the M-1
Recently signed come from Europe, where gave seminars in Paris, Barcelona and Malaga, the range of black-BTT Ricardo Arona denied the rumors that the event would have closed with Russian M-1 and that Emilianenko fight with Fedor. "We closed with the M-1. I heard a lot about it there, but have not received any proposal to fight Fedor. Pra you be honest I do not know of this event, "said Arona, who wants to make a fight yet this year. "Now some proposals of Canada, the States and Japan, but I am awaiting the best proposal to close a struggle even in December," revealed the BTT.
Sylvia’s Quest for a Third Belt Begins Saturday
Tim Sylvia’s been here before, in the role no fighter wants to be in. And while “comeback” is a dirty word because it means you’re returning from a loss, serious injury, some other mishap, or a combination of all of the above, those who do return in successful fashion find glory first of all, and sometimes they even find redemption.
Another Type Of Rush-Climbing The MMA Ranking Ladder
As fighters like Sean Salmon Kenny Florian and trainers like Monte Cox will tell you, climbing the ladder that is the way up in MMA is quite different from boxing-namely, it can be a lot faster. But there are still pitfalls to watch out for.
Really good read here, it reveals a lot about how UFC has to rely a lot on inexperienced fighters to fill cards and how sometimes it's good to move up the rankings fast, but it's also good to still go the slow but steady route to the top.
News From Japan: New MMA Sanctioning Body And Victory Road Begin
In addition to the announcement today of the founding of the World Victory Road promotion in Japan, also announced was the creation of the Japan Mixed Martial Arts Federation (JMM), a sanctioning body for MMA in Japan. Tomiaki Fukuda was named President of JMM, Tadao Yasuda VP, and Naoya Kinoshita the CEO of World Victory Road.
No fighters named as of yet for the promotion, but they promised a first show announcement soon and they said a TV deal's in the works, so it sounds like Victory Road is off to a good start. The sanctioning body is another positive that should benefit every MMA promotion in Japan.
Ricardo Arona signs with M-1
Ricardo Arona signs with M-1
According to “Vale Tudo News”, Brazilian ace Ricardo Arona (13-5-0) announced that he has signed a four fight deal with Russian organization M-1. The opponent(s), due to contractual issues, weren't revealed. Arona said that he is now focused in his debut, in December. When asked if the first fight would be with Fedor Emilianenko (26-1-0), Ricardo Arona smiled and kept his silence.
Forrest Griffin To Have Shoulder Surgery?
According to a forum post by fellow TUF alum Rory Singer, Forrest Griffin has been fighting with a shoulder injury and should have surgery soon.
Never would've guessed by looking at him and it hasn't really affected his recent fights negatively.
MM-Eh! News From Canada: Big MMA Weekend Ahead
Canada is getting ready for a huge weekend of MMA coming up-not only are natives Jason MacDonald and Kalib Starnes fighting at UFC 77, World Top 10 Heavyweight Aleksander Emelianenko makes his debut for Hardcore Championship Fighting in Calgary, with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira's debut right around the corner at their Vancouver show in November.
It's worth noting the Vancouver show was sanctioned before the city's MMA ban took effect, so that show will be allowed to go on. Between the UFC fights and HCF (Fedor should also be in his brother's corner, addin that much more intrigue), it could be a banner weekend for the Great White North.
News From Korea: Murata wins Spirit MC HWGP, Gets Kang Next
Ryuichi Murata emerged victorious at this weekend's Spirit MC Heavyweight Grand Prix in Seoul, South Korea. But perhaps more significant than his win in the GP is the result: He now gets to fight Spirit MC HW Champion Denis Kang in a unification bout.
It's considered more a middleweight bout because of their natural weights. Interestingly, the fighter Murata beat to win the GP has fought and lost to Kang in the past.
News From Japan: Kondo Wins At Pancrase, HW Title Match Scrapped
The Japanese Pancrase promotion ran their most recent show over the weekend in Tokyo, with the main event seeing former UFC & PRIDE fighter Yuki Kondo get his first win of 2007. The card was to have been headlined by King Of Pancrase Heavyweight Champion Assuerio Silva vs. Kestutis Arbocius, but Arbocius no-showed.
A handful of Japan vs. Korea bouts were also featured, which seems to further illustrate the continued growth of MMA in South Korea, which is good for the long-term prospects of the sport in the Far East.
White's reaction could determine MMA's future
Dana White may be the man most responsible for the meteoric growth of the UFC. It has a national television contract, it does ever-larger pay-per-view sales, it routinely sells out major venues and it has one of the most passionate fan bases in sports.
Much of that is due to White's grit, guile and cunning.
But White, the UFC president, has a challenge before him, the likes of which he has never faced in his seven years at the helm of the world's most successful mixed martial arts promotional company.
Though White hardly seemed upset by UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture's announcement Thursday that he is retiring as a professional fighter and severing all ties with the company, how he handles the situation will determine whether the company will continue its rocket-like ascent toward mainstream acceptance or whether it will return to the netherworld of niche sports status............