Couture Nabs Victory in Court
Backed by Mark Cuban's HDNet Fights promotion, estranged UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture nabbed a substantial victory Monday in his ongoing legal dispute against Zuffa.
The District Court of Dallas County, Texas, denied Zuffa's three motions to stay, delay and/or dismiss HDNet's challenge of Couture's promotional contract, on which Zuffa says the fighter still owes two bouts.
Wiuff-Fujita Added to Sengoku III
Travis Wiuff, who bested a field of 16 heavyweights in one night at Yamma Pit Fighting 1 on April 11, has been tapped to face Kazuyuki Fujita at World Victory Road's "Sengoku Battle III" on June 8. The seasoned Minnesota wrestler will square off with the popular Japanese heavyweight at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale in high-def, slotted for three hours
The finale of "The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rampage vs. Team Forrest," which features a main event of former UFC middleweight champ Evan Tanner vs. Kendall Grove, will run three hours, and for the first time, will be presented in high-definition.
Spike TV today confirmed details for the June 21 event, including fights for the night's undercard. The televised main card airs at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Previously reported fights of Spencer Fisher vs. Jeremy Stephens, Jeremy Horn vs. Dean Lister, Josh Burkman vs. Dustin Hazelett, and Marvin Eastman vs. Drew McFedries were all confirmed today.
The Grove vs. Tanner fight, as well as a welterweight bout between Luigi Fioravanti and Diego Sanchez, were previously announced by the UFC.
The event will also feature the two finalists from the current season of "TUF." The final preliminary bout airs this coming Wednesday, and the cast will then be whittled down to eight remaining quarter-finalists. As with past seasons of the show, the winner earns a six-figure contract with the UFC and an assortment of prizes.
Chuck Liddell eyes fall return, title shot
Forced to withdraw from the main event of UFC 85 due to a torn hamstring, fan favorite Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell (21-5 MMA, 16-3 UFC) is now looking to return to the octagon in early fall. And although an opponent has not been determined, Liddell feels a win would earn him a shot at the light-heavyweight title he lost a year ago.
Liddell discussed his return while a recent guest on TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), a content partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
"It wasn't very fun," Liddell said regarding the injury. "But I've been doing rehab on it, and it's been going real well. I'm hoping to be back fighting in late summer, early fall. You know, September or November."
The latest officially announced UFC date is UFC 87, on Aug. 9 in Minneapolis, Minn. Liddell ruled that date out, stating it was "too early."
Once a date has been determined, Liddell and the UFC can work on arranging a match-up. The 38-year-old would still be willing to take on his original opponent, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, provided the Brazilian recovers from his own knee injury in time.
"It's a possibility," Liddell said of the bout. "If he's healthy and I'm healthy, it's a fight that makes sense."
Regardless whom Liddell ends up facing, the ex-champion feels a victory should be enough to earn him a shot to reclaim the title.
"I've been ready to fight the champion for a long time," Liddell said. "(If) I win in the fall, I think I deserve a title shot."
Liddell is also anxious to avenge his two most recent losses, to light heavyweight champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, and the rapidly improving Keith Jardine.
Ortiz guarantees victory
"The Huntington Beach Bad Boy," Tito Ortiz, completes his contractual obligation with the Ultimate Fighting Championship when he steps in the octagon at UFC 84 against Lyoto Machida. Ortiz spoke with MMAWeekly about his training, his focus and his match up with the undefeated Brazilian.
"I'm really healthy. I feel great. I feel really, really good," said Ortiz. "I'm excited about this fight. I'm very focused. This fight means the world to me. I'm not just fighting myself. I'm fighting for every one of those fans, the Tito Ortiz fans that support me."
As excited as Ortiz is for his showdown with Machida, it wasn't the fight he wanted for his final bout in the UFC. "It doesn't matter who I fight to me. In the beginning I thought the Rashad Evans deal was supposed to happen," said the former UFC light heavyweight champion. "They built it, it was going to happen, and that's what I expected. And I know a lot of fans expected that."
"The UFC has their own game plan. They have their own ideas of how they want to run things, and I turned it down at first, saying why would I want to fight Lyoto? There's no reason to. But then I just started going on, and I was like, I don't really care. Whoever you want me to fight, I'll fight. That's really what it came down to. No diss toward Lyoto. He's a great fighter, undefeated, but I thought they were building the Rashad Evans fight. I wanted to fight Rashad again because I thought I beat him the first time."
Silva No-Shows MFS Seminar In Houston
UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva was not at a scheduled Miletich Fighting Systems (MFS) seminar in Houston this past weekend due to "personal family health issues" according to MFS. But there are rumors of MFS being misled as Silva may actually have been opening the Miami gym he's started with fellow Champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and that could lead to legal action if true.
Kongo Returns At UFC 87
Coming off a unanimous decision loss to Heath Herring that perhaps cost him a title shot, Cheick Kongo returns to UFC at UFC 87 in August. He'll face Dan Evensen, who will make his UFC debut.
A Beached Bad Boy
If the UFC's ancillary video producers are on their game, they'll have a camera fixed on company president Dana White during the Lyoto Machida/Tito Ortiz bout Saturday -- preferably one in high definition, all the better to capture every dripping bead of sweat on White's reflectively smooth head.
After a years-long war of words that would make Vince McMahon glow with pride, White and Ortiz are finally set to go their separate ways, with White to continue chairing the biggest, most self-aggrandizing MMA organization in the world and Ortiz to ply his trade for one of the UFC's many upstart competitors.
The emotional volume of Ortiz's exit will go up considerably should he beat Machida, a 12-0 fighter being groomed as a future contender for the light heavyweight title. Ortiz will certainly see a victory as one final shot at White and his flagrantly insulting disposition, and a Machida win would act as a springboard for White to continue burying Ortiz in the media.
But unless Machida devastates Ortiz -- unlikely, considering his preference for a tactical chess game over a firefight -- there's little opportunity for White to whitewash what is arguably the most substantial exodus of talent from his company since its inception.
Josh the punk Thompson talks upcoming fight and more.
Josh talks about his upcoming fight with Gilbert and also talks a little trash on Ishida, Guida, and the heavy guys.
I found it pretty interesting what he said about Guida and Ishida. I also thoguth it was kind fo arrogant of him to not praise Cung Le more instead of say "Baroni didnt train with US (Josh and Javier)," and "Frank underestimated US."
Overall good interview.
Phil Baroni anticipates "friendly environment" for CBS debut
Although several fighters from EliteXC's May 31 card have discussed the added pressures surrounding the event, at least one combatant feels it's just another day at the office.
"The New York Bad Ass," Phil Baroni (10-9), doesn't care about the size of the audience that may view the fight on CBS. The UFC and PRIDE veteran just wants to revive a career that has seen the 32-year-old lose two straight and four of his past six bouts.
Baroni discussed his mentality regarding the upcoming match-up with "Smoking" Joe Villasenor (25-6) while a guest on Friday's edition of TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), a content partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
"It's cool," Baroni said about the network television audience. "But to be honest, I didn't get into fighting to be a rock star, to be on TV or any of that [expletive]. ... For me it's not about seeing how famous I'm going to be, the limelight. If that was the case, I would have done something else. I would have joined the drama club."
Chuck Liddell hamstring injury is ‘not good’
His injury’s not good. He can barely bend over and tie his shoe. He tore his leg real bad. It’s pretty nasty…. I know the doctor told him to kind of play it by ear. It’s one of those things that can heal in six days, or it could heal in 16 weeks. The doctor doesn’t really know. It depends on how fast Chuck can recover.”
– UFC President Dana White talks with FOXSports.com about the hamstring injury that Chuck Liddell recently sustained training for his fight with Rashad Evans at UFC 85: “Bedlam” in London, England, on June 7. He had to withdraw from the fight and there is no timetable for the return of the 39-year-old former light heavyweight champion. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua — who is also recovering from an injury — has encouraged “Iceman” to wait until he is 100 percent so the two can lock horns once and for all sometime in late 2008.
HDNet Fights Planning Super-Fights
When Mark Cuban announced his intentions of promoting mixed martial arts, many people were excited about the possibilities the billionaire could bring to the sport.
Since the formation of HDNet Fights last year, the Dallas based organization has held two events. It's been five months since they've put on a show, but HDNet Fights CEO Andrew Simon told MMAWeekly they plan on putting together "super-fights" in the future.
HDNet started airing MMA with World Extreme Cagefighting, but has expanded their coverage to showing several regional events from around the country as well as Japanese promotions.
"We have the ability to partner with pretty much any organization out there," said Simon. "And when the timing is right, you're going to see us promote again some super-fights."
"We're going to be pretty opportunistic when we want to promote ourselves. We're in a little bit of a different position than everyone else. We have our own television network. We have our own arena in Dallas with the American Airlines Center, and we're not into it to just put on fights every month ourselves just because. I think you're going to see when we come back it will be a pretty big fight."
Gilbert Melendez is signed, sealed and ready to deliver
Gilbert Melendez is feeling great and is ready to take the American lightweight scene by storm.
After years of primarily fighting in Japan, “Ill Nino” is on the verge of his biggest showdown stateside, as he defends his Strikeforce title against top 155-pound contender Josh Thomson. The fight is the main event of the promotion’s June 27 fight card taking place at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.
Lesnar/Coleman To Headline UFC 87
Las Vegas, NV (USA) – In yet another historic moment in the quest to conquer new territory and bring the best of mixed martial arts to fans around the globe, the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) organization today announced the first-ever UFC event to take place in Minnesota. In the main event, Brock Lesnar, fighting out of his hometown of Minneapolis, will return to the Octagon™ to face UFC Hall of Famer and former PRIDE® superstar Mark "The Hammer" Coleman, and in what many are calling the best lightweight fight of 2008, Kenny "KenFlo" Florian will square off against Roger "El Matador" Huerta in a battle that will move the winner one step closer to a 155-pound title shot. The Ultimate Fighting Championship will present UFC 87: SEEK AND DESTROY, featuring Lesnar vs. Coleman and Florian vs. Huerta, live from Target Center in Minneapolis Saturday, August 9, 2008.
Im sure that'll piss off the purists that Brock on his second fight in the UFC and he's headlining especially after losing to Mir in his debut. I understand its down to the marketability of Lesnar, but surely Florian/Huerta is the true headline event for this card???
Tyson fight or no, Kimbo is no freakshow (From the front page of Yahoo Sports)
It’s hardly a stretch to suggest that Kimbo Slice is the Mike Tyson of the 21st century. Tyson became a cultural phenomenon in the 1980s with his intimidating visage, powerful punches and almost weekly appearances on ESPN.
Slice shares the same intimidating look and powerful punching, but his vehicle to stardom was the Internet video-sharing site, YouTube.
And while Slice struggles to be taken seriously as a mixed martial artist, calls are increasing for the pulverizing punchers of past and present to meet in a cage. Slice’s promoter, Gary Shaw, said he’s not encouraging such talk, given that Tyson is retired and hasn’t fought in three years.
But Shaw said he owes it to Slice to consider the bout if Tyson, who appears to weigh nearly 300 pounds and hasn’t had a win in more than five years, would agree to it.
“Call it a freak show or a circus or whatever you want, but it would be the most-watched pay-per-view event ever,” Shaw said.
There’s little doubt of Slice’s importance to Elite XC, the mixed martial arts promotional company that Shaw runs.
So Nobody Wants To See GSP/Silva?
by MMAjunkie.com Staff on May 17, 2008 at 2:07 pm ET
Sure, it may be a pipe dream -- the type of fantasy match-up that mixed-martial-arts fans can only dream about.
So, when we posted our latest MMAjunkie.com/"Inside MMA" poll -- "Should the UFC allow a fight between Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva?" -- we were bracing for some of the most lopsided results in our polling history.
Sure enough, the results were lopsided. But not in the manner we expected.
Tens of thousands of votes were cast for the poll, and surprisingly, most of them were against the bout and didn't want to see the UFC's middleweight title-holder meet the UFC's welterweight champ.
In fact, nearly three-quarters of the voters -- 72 percent -- don't think the UFC should schedule the St. Pierre-Silva fight, and only 28 percent were in favor of it.
"I guess they don't want to see either one lose," host Kenny Rice concluded.
The results baffled panelists Renato "Babalu" Sobral, Gary "Big Daddy" Goodridge and Martin de Jong, as well. Granted, they didn't necessarily think the fight should be scheduled either -- but they assumed the MMA enthusiasts would want it.
Give 'em credit them, though. The fans know that some things are better left to the imagination.
WHAT DOES THE PLAYGROUND THINK?
"Fedor the Red Menace" in the LA Times
I've argued for a while that Fedor's previous failure to draw on PPV had to do with the lack of effective marketing around him and not with any inherent resistence to Fedor on the part of American MMA fans.
I refuse to believe that the archetype Fedor represents -- the implacable, seemingly unfeeling, and virtually invincible Russian -- isn't still planted deeply in the American psyche.