Herring Moving On, Wants Rematch With Lesnar
Heath Herring was convincingly defeated by Brock Lesnar at UFC 87 on Aug. 9 at the Target Center in Minneapolis by unanimous decision. Unhappy with his performance and the outcome, Herring looks to the future and would eventually like a rematch with the Division I collegiate wrestling champion and former World Wrestling Entertainment superstar.
Herring had high expectations heading into the octagon against Lesnar, but was caught by a right hand in the opening moments of the bout that sent him and his expectations crashing to the canvas.
"I think that shot pretty much changed the whole dynamic of the fight," said Herring. "I sure would like to know what would have happened if it hadn't landed."
"Once that right hand landed it was like I was fighting half blind, or pretty much blind at that point. It was all pretty much downhill from there," explained the 30-year-old heavyweight. " I just tried to come back and mount some type of offense. Unfortunately, I was never able to mount anything that significant...After getting rocked with a shot like that, and not being able to see, you're more in survival mode."
Jared Shaw on Gary, CBS, and female MMA: "I don’t think it’s just the Gina Carano weight class anymore."
Danny Acosta: Can you comment on Gary stepping down?
Jared Shaw: What’s out there is the truth. That is Gary just had a lot going on between family, travel at his age, and his boxing. He’s got really spectacular fall cards: Alfredo Angulo fighting on the 4TH on HBO, you’ve got [Antonio] Tarver-Chad Dawson world title fight on Showtime in October, Sergio Mora contender fight with Vernon Forrest…
DA: EliteXC was definitely steered by Gary’s vision, how will the direction of the company change now that he’s not involved?
JS: I don’t think that’ll change at all. The production remains the same. You have Showtime and CBS as the platform and their people do a fantastic job at producing these shows and making them great for television. All the fights are still in tact, with the same matchmaking team, the same guys completely working for the promotion.
We just don’t have the face, which was Gary. Right now we don’t have a face, but I like to think EliteXC the brand is the face.
UFC 91 - “Rampage” Jackson vs Wanderlei Silva
Mmabay have learned from a very reliable source that the main event for the yet to be announced November show, UFC 91, will be between former UFC light heavyweight champion, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva.
Although no location has been determined for the event to take lace at this time, the UFC have been busy in putting together one of the biggest and most anticipated matches in UFC history. Both have aspirations of getting into the title mix and this fight, although very dangerous for both will greatly propel the winner up the ranks for a possible shot next year.
Although coming off a loss and suffering personal problems, Jackson is back in the gym with a new trainer and working hard to be in shape for this one. He will need to be, as he’s faced Silva twice before and was dominated both times. Silva himself has seemingly shaken his losing streak with the kind of performance we are used to against Keith Jardine in May, knocking him out in the first round.
Von Flue, Lighty Win at PureCombat
Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Jason Von Flue snapped a four-fight losing streak with a first-round submission of Bryson Kamaka at PureCombat’s “Hardcore” event, which took place Friday night at the Visalia Convention Center in California.
Even though Von Flue came away as the victor, it was Kamaka that looked to have the fight in hand from the start. Kamaka dropped Von Flue with a right halfway through round one and followed up with punches on the ground that prompted the referee to keep an extremely close eye on the action. However Von Flue survived the onslaught and dropped back for a kneebar, which forced Kamaka to tap out.
Minowa Subs Frye at DEEP’s “Gladiator”
Ikuhisa Minowa was victorious again in his quest to become Japan’s most successful open-weight fighter, submitting fellow longtime veteran and cult hero Don Frye with a first-round kneebar in the main event of DEEP’s “Gladiator” show this morning at the Momotaro Arena in Okayama, Japan.
After stuffing Minowa’s first takedown attempt, Frye quickly found himself on his back at the start of the bout. Minowa immediately dropped back for a heel hook and locked in the hold, but was unable to force Frye to tap. Minowa eventually switched to a kneebar, which after a few moments, finally forced Frye to give up.
In a team battle between fighters from Korea and Japan, it was Korea that came away with a 4-1 victory. Notable bouts saw UFC veteran Michihiro Omigawa drop a unanimous decsion to Chul Hyun Jung while Jutaro Nakao picked up the lone win for the Japanese, defeating Yong Fun Lee via second-round TKO.
ATT Loses Top Trainer Andre Benkei
André Benkei has decided to leave one of MMA's most prestigious fight camps, American Top Team, due to ideological differences. Benkei informed Brazilian site Tatame.com of his decision this earlier this afternoon.
“I left the team because of some idealogical disagreements with ATT head coach, Ricardo Libório. I had no trouble with the Dan Lambert or Conan Silveira”, said Benkei told Tatame.
Benkei stated many of the fighters at ATT will continue to work with him at Prime Time.
Thiago Silva Says That He Or Lyoto Machida Deserves Next Title Shot
Unbeaten Brazilian Thiago Silva will face fellow unbeaten countryman Lyoto Machida in a battle that may determine the UFC's next light heavyweight title contender. Silva believes that the winner deserves a shot.
“I think we both got where we are by facing great fighters," Silva told Tatame.com. "Whoever wins our fight has all rights to fight for the title; and he has even more than me (laughs).
Silva laments having to face another Brazilian but appears confident in his preparation thus far.
“I’m ready to fight," said Silva. "My preparation is good, I’m really focused. But unfortunately I have to face another Brazilian fighter."
Jared Hamman Exacts Revange At SHOXC (+ Results)
FRIANT, Calif. – Jared Hamman avenged his only career loss on Friday night as he stopped Poai Suganuma in front of a packed house at the Table Mountain Casino.
These two met at the same venue in April with Suganuma winning amidst controversy after the fight seemed to be stopped a bit prematurely. Like the first fight, Suganuma started out strong taking the fight to Hamman again with a furious barrage of strikes. On this occasion though, Hamman remained composed and weathered the storm as he landed a strong combination of his own that stunned the Hawaiian, who was forced to go for a takedown. Smelling blood, Hamman began to drop vicious strikes that eventually put out Suganuma at 2:34 of the opening round.
Highly touted Brazilian lightweight Fabricio Camoes made quick work of UFC veteran Sam Morgan, submitting him with a rear naked choke. Camoes immediately took Morgan down with a powerful slam, quickly transitioning to mount as Morgan gave up his back with Camoes sinking in the choke 47 seconds into the first round.
The UFC Emerges Stronger From a Dangerous Summer
I wrote a piece called "Zuffa's Dangerous Summer" in April, and pointed out three potential threats: 1) Affliction's first show; 2) EliteXC on CBS; and 3) Randy Couture winning his case and pursuing the Fedor fight in one of these competing promotions.
It's now August, and it looks like Zuffa will emerge from this dangerous period as the undisputed top player in the industry.
Affliction did far better than I guessed when they first announced the show, but they spent so much more money to do it that they have cut their second payroll by millions of dollars, and do not look to be a formidable threat at any point in the near future.
EliteXC is on the ropes, reeling from significant financial loss and management issues. CBS does not pay them enough for them to survive without Pay Per View, but who knows if we'll ever see that? They are not a threat, they are more like an occasional novelty act that will serve to build up names on CBS that will get better deals when they eventually sign with the UFC. Lesnar-Kimbo may be a fight we see in 2009 in the UFC. If they do survive and stay strong, they still won't be any kind of threat to the UFC.
For Jon Jones, upset victory proved he belongs in UFC
Not much was expected of unheralded 21-year-old Jon Jones (6-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) at UFC 87. A late replacement for an injured Tomasz Drawl, Jones was regarded as little more than a sacrificial lamb for highly touted prospect Andre Gusmao (5-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC).
But after 15 minutes in the octagon at UFC 87, Jones had delivered a stunning unanimous decision victory. The win proved to Jones that only four months into his MMA career, the Team BombSquad fighter belonged in the UFC.
"[The win] meant a lot to me," Jones told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "It showed me that I can do this. A lot of people doubted me. They said, 'Jon's tough, but he hasn't fought anybody.' Now they can't say that."
Jones started the bout uncharacteristically. Despite owning four first-round stoppages in his previous five fights, Jones looked tentative in the opening frame. While much is made of first-time UFC fighters' "octagon jitters," Jones said it was the locker room that caused his challenges.
"I wasn't nervous at all," Jones said. "I was a little unprepared though. Usually before my fights I'm in a zone. My mind and body is one unit. I'm ready to go. My reactions are quick. I've got a great sweat going. My lungs are open.
"In this fight I'm fighting against a Renzo Gracie guy. I've got Wanderlei Silva hanging out in my locker room. Matt Serra's in my locker room hanging out. Renzo Gracie is walking in and out of my locker room. There's all these cameras in my face. I just couldn't really get in my groove."
The wealth of talent surrounding the young fighter was in stark contrast to the smaller stage on which he was used to competing.
"I wasn't as focused as I was if I was at a smaller show," Jones explained. "So when I went out there it wasn't that I was nervous. I kind of had cold feet. I didn't get that mental game together before I came out there.
"So it took me a while to get comfortable. The more I landed punches, and the more I avoided his attacks, my creative juices got flowing. My comfort got flowing. And that's when I started opening up a bit."
Once Jones began to open up, a vast array of strikes followed. Jones peppered Gusmao with unorthodox attacks from every angle. Gusmao claimed a few of those angles ended below his belt.
Much of the crowd in attendance, as well as Jones himself, disagreed.
"It definitely was frustrating to me," Jones said of the situation. "The first knee to the groin was legit. I definitely kneed him to the groin. It was a total accident.
"I'm a lot taller than most of my opponents. When I throw a knee it usually lands to my opponent's face or chest. Him being a tall guy, I kind of caught him a little low. It was a total accident.
"He took enough time and got to catch his breath. All the rest of the knees I think was just acting a little bit trying to get the crowd and the judges on his side. I had no respect for that."
Adding to the frustration was Gusmao scoring an illegal knee of his own below the belt on Jones.
"I definitely remember that moment," Jones said of being hit in the groin. "I definitely felt the knee. But you're in a fight. I felt the knee. It was a legit knee, but it wasn't enough to drop me, so you fight through it. Some guys just don't have that mental edge."
Jones fought through the controversy and delivered the upset victory. The importance of the win was not lost on the New York native.
"I fought a guy who's 5-0 in the IFL, and it showed me a lot," Jones said. "It shows me that I can do this and I do belong in the UFC."
The win also showed two other fighters in attendance that Jones belongs in the UFC. An invitation to train together soon followed.
"Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson, his manager contacted me right after the fight, and we exchanged information," Jones said. "I know that Quinton and Cheick Kongo want to fly me out to their gym to give them a different look as far as workout partners.
"So I'm excited about that. I get to work out with one of the best 205-pounders in the game. I'm sure that's going to help me out a lot."
It's a safe bet that Jones will not enter his next UFC bout as such an unknown commodity. Although Jones believes he'll still be the underdog for quite some time, he hopes his performance in Minneapolis has earned him a bit more respect.
"I'm sure there will be lots more cases of me being the underdog," Jones admitted. "But I definitely think I earned the respect of the UFC with the performance I put on.
"Anyone who watches that fight knows that when it comes to stand-up, they don't know what to expect. I think it's going to be hard to train for a fighter like me -- especially when I get my jiu-jitsu a little bit stronger.
"I definitely think I have a lot more underdog fights to come. Especially with me being so young, being so new to the game. But I definitely know that even though I'm going to be the underdog, I'll be the respected underdog."
And for a fighter with six professional fights in just four months, the opportunity to step back into the cage can't come soon enough.
"I'm ready to step into UFC 88 or 89," Jones said. "I'm ready to get in there right away. I love staying in my groove. I don't really like to take too much time off.
"I'm hungry to fight more. Hopefully they throw me back in there as soon as possible."
IFL champ Roy Nelson says choice to sign with Affliction was easy one
After the seemingly defunct IFL closed its doors on July 31, IFL heavyweight champion Roy Nelson found himself among the many of the organization's fighters forced into free agency.
Nelson recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) the choice to sign with upstart promoters Affliction was an easy one. Of course that was only after Nelson found out very unceremoniously his time with the IFL was over.
"Actually the first time I actually heard of [the IFL folding] was when I was doing a taping for 'Inside MMA' a couple of weeks back," Nelson said. "They actually announced it on the show, and that's when I found out."
Nelson said the disappointment of the league folding was tempered by his realization of new opportunities on the horizon.
"It really wasn't that tough just off the pure fact that with any business if your employer's not really sound and they don't take very good business strategies -- I knew there were bigger and better things," Nelson explained. "If [the IFL] had the potential to go get a Fedor (Emelianenko) or a Randy (Couture) or a top-10 guy like an (Andrei) Arlovski, then I would have been 10 times more happy. But I knew that wasn't going to happen."
Jackson Arraignment Postponed
By Loretta Hunt
The arraignment of former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (Pictures), scheduled for Friday, has been postponed pending further investigation
Heath Herring recovering from injury, disappointment after loss to Brock Lesnar
"[Lesnar] is a pro wrestler," Herring said. "What do you expect? That's kind of his shtick. It's what he does. I figure that's what everybody expected from him."
Additionally -- despite rumors to the contrary -- Herring said there was no pre-fight clash between the two fighters.
"I don't know if [Lesnar] said something," Herring said. "I didn't really have any words with him before the bout. I've never even really met the guy.
"I've been around this sport for years. I've never really done any trash-talking or anything like that before a match. I don't know where that came from."
Herring also denied reports that he requested he not be forced to walk to the cage ahead of the hometown-hero Lesnar.
"I never even had a discussion with [the UFC] about anything," Herring insisted. "I'll be honest. You bringing that up is the first I've heard of it."
Herring said after the disappointment of the loss that he plans on taking a bit of time off to prepare himself mentally and physically for his next chance in the octagon.
"I've got to step back a little bit," Herring said. "I've got some other stuff kind of working on the backburner right now. We're going to go do some of that stuff and just see how everything pans out.
"I've got some acting possibilities. I'm going to try to do some acting a little bit.
"I'm trying to get back to training and do some other things with training.
"It's just disappointing when you kind of feel like you've done everything right and you get some bad luck early on. I've got to clean that out a little bit and get refocused. We'll be back to business before too long I imagine."
And once Herring does return, Lesnar will be on a list of targets for future opponents.
"We took the best [Lesnar] could give us for 15 minutes, and he couldn't finish it," Herring said. "I don't know what else he's going to bring to the table to finish me off.
"We took his best shot and went on from there. I'd love for him to take one of mine, and we'll see how it goes."
UFC Quick Quote: Thiago Alves via knockout of Diego Sanchez at UFC 90
”I know I’m going to knock him out. It doesn’t matter what round…. I want to put on an exciting fight for the fans. Diego is a pretty tough guy, but I can knock him out. But I have to take him down and submit him, I’ll do that. I’ll be on top of my game.”
– Thiago Alves shares his prediction (a knockout) with the Chicago Sun-Times for his upcoming welterweight scrap with Diego Sanchez at UFC 90: “Silva vs. Cote” at the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Ill., on October 25. “The Pitbull” has every reason to be confident — he is riding impressive back-to-back technical knockout wins over top contenders, Matt Hughes and Karo Parisyan. The winner of this fight will likely land a spot behind BJ Penn as the next 170-pound title challenger or at the very least earn a berth in a number one contender eliminator match.
Kirk Florian Poised For Amateur MMA Debut
As if jumping into the cage and fighting another human being in close combat for the first time wasn't pressure enough, when Kirk Florian makes his amateur debut at Full Force Productions: Untamed 22 show in Plymouth, Mass. against Colin Joyce (1-0), he'll have some big shoes to fill. He's the younger brother of UFC lightweight phenom Kenny Florian.
Quote of the day: Hansen will never fight for the UFC
I would fight anyone of the UFC lightweights, but the problem is that I will never put my foot in the octagon after they (UFC) tried to be funny, I would rather have bleeding hemorrhoids than fight for the UFC.
- Joachim "Hellboy" Hansen, who was none too pleased when Zuffa bought PRIDE and tried to offer him 1/2 of his contracted salary for a fight against Marcus Aurelio.
Elite XC cancels Sept. 20th event.
"The organization has canceled their planned September 20 event in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Not postponed. Not rescheduled. Straight-up canceled. They still have plans for an October 4 show on CBS, so this is far from a death knell for Elite XC, but it’s not something to celebrate, either."
Hopefully this isn't the first crack in the foundation.