Cain Velasquez receives high praise from AKA trainer Javier Mendez
In Dave Meltzer’s latest column at Yahoo! Sports, he profiles up and coming heavyweight talent Cain Velasquez. Velasquez trains out of American Kickboxing Academy alongside talents such as Josh Koscheck, Mike Swick, and Jon Fitch. He was an All-American wrestler at Arizona State and is arguably the best heavyweight prospect in the UFC today (sorry, Shane Carwin). We all know how coaches talk their fighters up and how people from the same camp talk their teammates up, but coming from Javier Mendez, the head trainer at AKA, this is pretty high praise:
“Right now, he could walk in and be a good pro boxer,” said Mendez about someone who, aside from fooling around with gloves with some friends, had never even put on boxing gloves until August 2006. “He could not only be a good kickboxer, but he’s K-1 level (the Japanese group which is top organization for heavyweights in the world). He won a world championship in Jiu Jitsu (World No Gi world champion in the blue belt division in late 2007, 17 months after his first class). He’s the fastest learner I’ve ever had. And nobody trains harder. He trains harder than the lightweights.”
Out of the Blue: Interview with Kevin Burns
To the casual mixed martial arts fan, Kevin Burns (6-1) might not be a household name. But don’t let that fool you. This guy’s full of surprises.
He came out of nowhere (Iowa, actually) to take a fight on just nine days notice against Roan Carneiro at UFC 85: “Bedlam” and submitted the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt in the second round, earning “Submission of the Night.” This feat is made all the more impressive when you consider that Burns is just a blue belt. But you couldn’t tell by watching the fight.
In fact, the extremely composed Burns says he’s more comfortable on his feet. And he’ll be given every chance to prove that when he squares off against the heavy-hitting Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (5-1) at UFC Fight Night 14 this Saturday, July 19 at “The Pearl” at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The fight has all the potential for a slugfest, and Burns promises there will be fireworks. Somebody is going to sleep in this fight.
Shane Carwin vs Neil Wain UFC 89 fight confirmed
Up-and-coming heavyweight prospects, Shane Carwin (9-0) and Neil Wain (4-0), will lock horns at UFC 89: “Leben vs. Bisping” at The National Indoor Arena (NIA) in Birmingham, England, on October 19, according to UFC.com.
Carwin lived up to the hype in his inaugural appearance for the promotion, finishing Christian Wellisch with a punch just 44 seconds into their encounter at UFC 84: “Ill Will” in May. The enormous Colorado native still has not made it into the second round of any of his professional mixed martial arts fights.
In fact, Carwin has spent less than eight minutes COMBINED in his nine pro performances.
Marc Ratner on New York
MMA has seen the dominoes of regulation tumble in a fairly smooth fashion as an increasing number of states are looking to cash in on the sport's increased popularity. Recently, states like Arizona and Tennessee have joined the fold. One noted stumbling block in the wave of regulation has been the State of New York. Recent efforts to get MMA regulated in the state by the end of this year failed when a bill to regulate the sport was unable to make it out of committee to be voted on. Marc Ratner recently spoke with Tristatefighter.com about the bill's defeat and what may be needed to be done to get the bill passed:
Bud Merger And The Possible UFC Effects
After an extended negotiation process it looks like Euro brewing giant InBev will gobble up Anheuser Busch. Amy Robinson at MMAOpinion speculates at the possible impact the move may have as it relates to Bud Light's sponsorship deal with the UFC:
The greatest concern for the UFC, as stated by many financial experts is how exactly InBev will be able to cover the $70 a share stock price, which is a huge increase from the $52 a share that Budweiser had been stuck at for a year. The general understanding is that massive cuts will have to be made by Inbev to cover the high cost. Budweiser’s massive arsenal of sports sponsorships would almost certainly be one of the first expendable areas to be on the chopping block, which would be a huge blow to the UFC.
Anderson Silva: The Re-Launch
One of the key business goals of the upcoming Fight Night show, besides lowering Affliction PPV sales, is a relaunch of Anderson Silva. While their certainly haven't been any qualms about Anderson's work inside the octagon, there has been a less than stellar performance at the box office. Anderson has been an under-performer when you compare his PPV buy rates against those of the average UFC show, with Silva generally drawing in the 325k range as opposed to the normal show taking in anywhere from 400 to 425k. The UFC looks to be taking a two pronged approach in boosting Anderson's appeal to their core audience.
Interesting read i thought........
Hardy vs Gono at UFC 89
Warriors' own Dan 'The Outlaw' Hardy will face UFC & Pride veteran Akihiro Gono at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham on October 18th as his inaugural UFC fight since signing in May of this year.
Hardy, who signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship back in May of this year, sports an impressive 19-6-0-1nc record and is widely regarded as one of Europe's top pound-for-pound fighters. Already the Cage Warriors Welterweight and Light-Welterweight World Champion Hardy holds wins over the likes of former King of Pancrase; Daizo Ishige, the K-1 Heros veteran; Hidetaka Monma and the two time UFC veteran Chad Reiner.
Luiz Cane vs. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou at UFC 89
Two light heavyweights will look to join a crowded list of contenders when Luiz Cane (8-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) and Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (5-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) meet at UFC 89.
The event takes place Oct. 18 at The NIA in Birmingham, England.
The UFC today confirmed a handful of fights, including the Cane-Sokoudjou bout.
Cane, a knockout artist well-versed in submissions, made his octagon debut at UFC 78. Although he was clearly in control of his fight with James Irvin, Cane suffered a disqualification loss after tagging his opponent with an illegal knee.
Cane returned in June at UFC 85 and posted a quick TKO victory over Jason Lambert. It was his seventh knockout victory in eight career wins.
Sokoudjou, meanwhile, will look to reclaim some of the magic he found in PRIDE. After upset victories of Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Ricardo Arona, the Team Quest fighter made his octagon debut at UFC 79 and suffered a second-round submission loss (via arm-triangle choke) to Lyoto Machida.
The loss knocked Sokoudjou out of many top-10 rankings, but he rebounded in May with a TKO of Kazuhiro Nakamura at UFC 84. Sokoudjou battered his opponent with leg kicks, and Nakamura was unable to answer the bell for the second round.
Kyle Bradley looking for second chance at a first impression
Fighters around the world dream of the day they will first set foot in the famed UFC octagon. But for lightweight Kyle Bradley (13-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC), fulfilling that dream resulted in one night he would rather forget.
"I was pretty disappointed," Bradley admitted to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "All I really cared about going in was going out there and letting my hands fly and putting on a good show. Seeing that I pretty much got caught with the first punch ... it was really disappointing to me."
Bradley made his debut for the organization at UFC 81 in February. Matched against veteran Chris Lytle, Bradley fought in the welterweight division instead of the 25-year-old's preferred weight of 155 pounds.
"I had some things stacked against me," Bradley said. "I knew [the UFC] knew I had some things stacked against me. But I figure I go in there, I put on a great show, and then we'll talk about coming back at my weight class at 155 (pounds)."
Unfortunately, Bradley never got the chance to put on that show as Lytle clipped Bradley early, and the fight was halted just 33 second into the first round.
"That was pretty much the worst thing I felt could happen in that fight," Bradley said.
Tim Sylvia is ready to shock the world
Yes, upsets are as natural to sports as winning is and on Saturday night, former Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight, Tim Sylvia, looks to defy the odds and take out perennial top fighter, Fedor Emeliananko, in the main event of the debut Affliction show on pay-per-view.
While many consider Sylvia a heavy underdog in the fight against Emelianenko, the fight will take place in his home country with unified rules in place that Tim is used to fighting under. But Sylvia doesn’t feel the rules will be the biggest factor against Fedor in this match-up.
“I don’t know if any of that’s going to affect him,” Sylvia said about Fedor’s ability to adapt to the unified rules. “He’s a professional, he can adapt. The only thing I think could affect him is the level of competition that he’s fought in the last three years. I’ve fought top level opponents and he’s had not so stiff competition.”
The argument is just, as Fedor has spent the last three years battling fighters such as Mark Coleman and Hong Man Choi, while Sylvia has fought nothing less than top competition for years while serving in separate reigns as both champion and top contender in the UFC’s heavyweight division.
Another argument that has to lean Sylvia’s way is his size and reach advantage which can be nearly impossible to train for. Fedor, at 6’0” even, has fought tall fighters such as Semmy Schilt, who stands 6’11”, and most recently Hong Man Choi, a skyscraper himself at 7’2”.
UFC Fight Night 14 weigh-in details for ‘Silva vs Irvin’ Las Vegas
Not to be outdone, the UFC will stage its weigh in event for “Silva vs. Irvin” on Friday, July 18 at The Pearl” at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, in the ballrooms located on the second floor of the Fantasy.
This event is also FREE to attend and open to the public … what a great time to be a mixed martial arts fan.
Doors will open at 4 p.m. local time and fighters are expected to begin tipping the scales one hour later around 5 p.m. local time. This event will not be beamed live online or on television; however, the promotion is usually pretty good about getting a highlight package up quickly.
We’ll pass along all the particulars and that video (if possible) as soon as possible.
UFC Fight Night 14 features the light heavyweight debut of UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva against James Irvin. It’s a non-title fight, but there is still a lot at stake … especially for Irvin. He has an amazing opportunity to defeat perhaps the best pound-for-pound mixed martial artist on the planet in front of a national television audience.
Cain Velasquez to be the first Mexican UFC heavyweight champion?
“Right now, he could walk in and be a good pro boxer. He could not only be a good kickboxer, but he’s K-1 level (the Japanese group which is top organization for heavyweights in the world). He won a world championship in Jiu Jitsu (World No Gi world champion in the blue belt division in late 2007, 17 months after his first class). He’s the fastest learner I’ve ever had. And nobody trains harder. He trains harder than the lightweights…. But think about this, a dominant heavyweight champion, and he’s Mexican. There’s never been anyone like that yet.”
– Javier Mendez, owner and head trainer at American Kickboxing Academy (AKA), heaps praise via Yahoo!Sports.com on up-and-coming heavyweight prospect, Cain Velasquez. The former Arizona State University wrestler is undefeated in the Octagon (1-0) and will look to make it two straight when he takes on Jake O’Brien at UFC Fight Night 14 on July 19. Mendez feels that Velasquez right now can defeat former UFC champion Randy Couture and ranks him first among the most promising prospects to walk inside his gym — in front of Josh Koscheck, Frank Shamrock, Cung Le and B.J. Penn. That’s some serious company.
Tim Credeur vs Cale Yarbrough UFC Fight Night 14 fight official
The battle between former Team Forrest members Tim Credeur (9-2) and Cale Yarbrough (0-0) will finally happen at UFC Fight Night 14 at “The Pearl” at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 19.
It’s a last minute addition to the three-hour card set to air on Spike TV at 9 p.m. ET — the pair was supposed to tangle at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 7 Finale last month. However, the Nevada State Athletic Commission wouldn’t all Credeur to fight because of an Adderall prescription.
For more on that click here.
Credeur lost his initial semifinal bid to punch his ticket to the final fight against Amir Sadollah when he was defeated by Jesse Taylor in the final four. However, Taylor was kicked off the show shortly after it wrapped, creating another opportunity for Credeur to challenge for the six-figure contract.
Affliction weigh-in for ‘Banned’ set for Honda Center on July 18
The field of 22 fighters set to compete on the Affliction: “Banned” card will all tip the scales for the official weigh-in at the Honda Center (2695 E. Katella Ave.) in Anaheim, Calif., on Friday, July 18.
The “mega” event is FREE to attend and open to the public. Doors will open a 2 p.m. local time and the first fighter will drop his drawers around 3 p.m. PT. It will not air live online or on television.
“Banned” will take place the following day on Saturday, July 19, in the same location, airing on FOX Sports Net for FREE at 8 p.m. ET and then transitioning to pay-per-view (PPV) around 9 p.m. ET. MMAmania.com will provide up-to-the-minute coverage of the action throughout the afternoon and evening.
It’s the first-ever event for the apparel company-turned mixed martial arts promotion … and it’s a doozy. In the main event of the evening, former champions Fedor Emelianenko against Tim Sylvia will tangle for the right to claim the inaugural WAMMA heavyweight title strap.
Other heavyweights in action include Josh Barnett, Pedro Rizzo, Andrei Arlovski, Ben Rothwell, Alexander Emelianenko, Paul Buentello and others.