Mousasi plans move to HW Division
Gegard Mousasi strolls into the Artemis Hotel in Amsterdam, Netherlands, sporting a simple blue zip-up jacket, a matching baseball cap and two black eyes.
You would think that the Dream middleweight champion would have an entourage surrounding him like most champions do these days, but the lanky 6-foot-1 fighter is alone.
Fabricio Werdum: UFC heavyweight division is ‘weak’ besides Nogueira
“I would fight with anyone, but if I could choose, I would like to make a rematch with Arlovski. That fight wasn’t cool, it was a debut against an ex-champion. Some people said that I won, others that he won or tied, but I want a rematch with him and then fight with Fedor, which is the will of everyone, he is the best in the world. This thing of saying that (Brock) Lesnar is the best in the world doesn’t exist, I’m against that. The guy has four fights and is already the world champion? Everybody knows that Fedor is the best. In heavy, I think the best are in Affliction. Apart from Minotauro, the rest in the UFC are weak. The UFC has what he wanted, two Americans to fight the “final”. The marketing is the most important thing, they are good at it. Frank Mir also, this final among them doesn’t exist.”
Former Pride FC and UFC veteran Fabricio Werdum shares his thoughts on the talent level in the current UFC heavyweight division, calling it “weak” with the exception of Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira. Werdum competed three times inside the Octagon before getting cut, losing to Andrei Arlovski, defeating Gabriel Gonzaga (again) and getting floored by Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos. The Brazilian is particularly not impressed with the two champions atop the division, Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir, which is “what the UFC wanted” for marketing purposes.
British Fighting Championship (BFC) Tournament Pairings Announced
The British Fighting Championship is serious, make no mistake about that, and Friday’s press conference was the culmination of 18 months of behind the scenes work by the promoters involved. Convened at the Ultimate Training Centre in Birmingham, England, the respective heads of Cage Warriors, FX3, Ultimate Force, AMMA and, although not physically present, the Ultimate Warrior Challenge, announced initial tournament draws via a lottery.
From initial announcement of their plans, applications for participation in the new series have been flowing in thick and fast with fighters from all over the U.K., both established and upstarts. The layout of the BFC will run in a similar way to the defunct PRIDE tournaments for heavyweights, middleweights, and so on. With the names matched, fights will then take place over the course of the year, leading to quarterfinals, semi-finals, and final matchups to determine the British Fighting Champion of 2009 in each weight category.
Strikeforce Looking at Tournament Format
Scott Coker is on MMA Weekly's radio show right now, and brought up a very interesting promotional strategy. He mentioned that when he meets with the Showtime people to discuss promotional strategy, he will propose tournaments and see what their interest level is.
They just don't get it - Quebec
The QAC's proposed amendments are not new per se, but a sudden return to what the former regime originally drafted into law. A source close to the commission said that these rules list a maximum cage size that is smaller than the UFC's Octagon, no elbows and knees permitted, and should a fighter get dropped from any type of strike, the action will be stopped.
Josh Barnett Calls Out Kenny Florian
Kenny Florian is a punk-ass bitch. He thinks he can put on a suit, shave his stubble off, and get in front of a camera, and it makes him some sort of expert on MMA. I think it just makes him an expert on taking it up the ass, as far as I can tell...if he thinks his ability on the mat can match his mouth, and if he'd like to show me how to throw an armbar, then be my guest....I can fly out to "sit on a dong," grab him, and see what he's got to say now.
UFC To Lose 50 Fighters!
UFC To Release 50 Fighters? According to The Salt Lake Tribune recently released fighter Derek Downey made the following comments, "They released 50 of us," he said. "We’re on the short list, is how [UFC matchmaker] Joe Silva puts it. … They had to get rid of 50 and I was the newest little guy on the list."
Downey lost a disappointing fight to Nick Catone at UFC Fight Night 17 last week.
The big question is who are the 50 released fighters? We know Downey, Rich Clementi, Luigi Fiorivanti, Eddie Sanchez, Christian Wellisch, Andy Reese. It’s possible more releases are to come after UFC 95 next weekend. You just have to wonder who will be next.
Kurt Pellegrino: UFC Comeback Kid
Whoever coined the phrase “you can never go home again” never met Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight Kurt Pellegrino.
After a few years fighting out of Florida with mixed results, Pellegrino relocated back to his native New Jersey and has been on a tear, impressively dispatching Thiago Tavares and Rob Emerson en route to a two-fight winning streak.
Rules Shift Jeopardizes UFC 97 in Montreal
The UFC’s second trip to Montreal is in jeopardy following a decision by the Quebec Boxing Commission this week to adhere to regulations that prohibit elbow and knee strikes and other standard MMA moves.
Sportsnet.ca was the first to report on the story on Thursday.
Nearly 13,000 tickets have been sold for UFC 97 “Redemption,” scheduled to take place at the Bell Centre in Montreal on April 18, according to Marc Ratner, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for the UFC. The show, which pits middleweight champion Anderson Silva against jiu-jitsu ace Thales Leites, may face tough choices in the coming days though.
The UFC broke attendance and box office records with its first event on Canadian soil 10 months ago, though that show was regulated under rules more akin to the unified rules of combat recognized throughout North America.
From 2000-2008, the Universal Combat Challenge, later renamed TKO, held 44 of its 46 events in Quebec under similar regulations as well.
But now Québécois officials are saying the province does not have the latitude to allow those or any other set of regulations outside of the ones they already have in place.
“We had a tolerance for the application of the rules in the past,” Réjean Thériault, director of communications for the combat sports division of the Governing Body of Alcohol, Races and Games of Quebec (RACJ), which oversees the commission, told Shedog.com on Thursday. “We learned today that we had a place for tolerance and we didn’t know. Now we know the rules under which to live. We informed all the promoters last week that they must now respect the rules of Quebec.”
Shamrock To Shamrock: Get Over Your Problems
Adoptees Frank and Ken Shamrock haven't much got along since younger Frank stepped out from the elder Ken's shadow. As Ken's career has entered its sub-twilight phase, Frank has gotten more and more vocal about a possible fight between the two. And according to a conference call announcing his next bout against Nick Diaz on Apr. 11, he still hasn't given up the idea. Ken faces Ross Clifton tonight for Wargods, and gives up a lot to the nearly 400-pound Clifton, so clearly he has a bigger problem for now.
Wanderlei Silva is ready for the move to 185
Quinton Jackson, Chuck Liddell, and Keith Jardine are all fighters that Wanderlei Silva has faced since returning to the UFC. They are also all light heavyweight fighters that, when they are not fighting, walk around well above the 205-pound limit of the weight class.
What weight does Silva walk around at outside of the Octagon?
Try 208 pounds.
It's no surprise then that "The Axe Murderer's" recent UFC record is 1-2 against that cast of characters. He doesn't pawn off his losses to the disparity in size, though.
"I think it is the technique," Silva told MMAWeekly.com, saying that he lowered his hand against Jackson at UFC 92 and the former UFC light heavyweight champion took advantage.
He does realize, however, that contrary to popular belief size does matter. He's ready to drop down and see if he is a fit in the middleweight division.
"Yeah, I could try because every guy in my division have to cut to 205 and my normal is 208. I'm going to test now... I'm going to cut my weight. Maybe I go to fight in my next fight at 185," says Silva. Always toeing the company line, he's not ready to make a permanent move, adding, "I could fight in both divisions; I could fight 185 and 205."
It's not something that he jumped into overnight. Silva has been talking about 185 for a long time, but it looks like the UFC is ready for the move, too. "I've been lots and lots of thinking about this now, I see what (UFC president) Dana (White) wants. What he wants (me) to fight, no problem. I talk with (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva and... say no problem, I'm down for 185? He say, no problem."
Sanchez: ''Weight Cut Hasn't Been Easy''
Diego Sanchez says he is having some difficulty cutting down to 155lbs for his UFC lightweight division debut next week.
Sanchez, who will face Joe Stevenson at UFC 95, revealed this evening that he is eating 1,100 calories a day at present and has had to cut carbs from his diet.
“This weight cut hasn’t been easy,” laughed Sanchez, who minutes earlier had been sitting in a sauna to lose some water.
“But the reason I went to 155 is, it’s a challenge, and I knew that it was going to take a lot of discipline. I was 193lbs on Christmas Eve, so I’ve dropped about 30lbs up to now.
Atencio: ''Affliction Will Be Back In 3-4 Months''
Affliction is still committed to mixed martial arts and will stage its next live event in around three or four months, says company vice-president Tom Atencio.
Speaking exclusively to Fighters Only this week, he said that rumours of Affliction’s demise are greatly exaggerated and the company’s desire to stage fight shows is undiminished.
“Whats happening right now is I’m sitting down with my partners and we’re going to work out [our next show],” he said. “We’re looking at three or four months, but right now we don’t have a date set.”
Manhoef Booked Up, But Open To Offers
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker on Sunday told MMAWeekly.com he was eyeing Dutch terror Melvin Manhoef for a spot on one of the 10 Showtime cards expected for the San Jose-based organization in 2009.
Heavy-handed former EliteXC middleweight champion Robbie Lawler was a front-runner as an opponent, and manager Monte Cox said on Tuesday that there had been “discussions” about a possible bout in April and May, Strikeforce’s first shows planned for the premium cable network.
“I mean, wouldn’t that be a great fight?” Coker said from Los Angeles.
However, Simon Rutz, Manhoef’s manager, said his client's schedule ruled out an appearance on the spring/summer cards. Manhoef’s next commitment was a possible appearance in a K-1 fight against Gohkan Saki on March 28 in Japan, followed by a Showtime-broadcast fight at the Amsterdam Arena against Stephan Leko on May 16.
Brian Cobb In For Justin Bucholz @ UFC 95
Riding a nine-fight winning streak, Palace Fighting Championship lightweight titleholder Brian Cobb is stepping in on short notice to face Terry Etim at UFC 95 on Feb. 21 in London, according to a report on Sherdog.com.
Justin Buchholz was originally slated to fight Etim, but had to withdraw after he stricken with a severe staph infection on his arm.