MICHAEL BISPING GETS READY FOR THE SECOND TIME
For the second time in as many months, Michael Bisping has been working and training for a match-up against Chris Leben. The first time around, Leben had to pull out of the bout to serve time for a past legal offense, but now the fight is on and the British fighter has had plenty of time to think about this one.
Before fighting Jason Day in his last UFC bout, Bisping had game planned and prepared for Leben. He is now able to recycle that knowledge for the fight scheduled for UFC 89 this weekend in England.
“This time when the fight was scheduled I kind of already had an idea of how the fight was going to go and what I needed to do,” said the Brit in a recent interview with MMAWeekly Radio. “I was already watching his tapes, now I started doing that again. The gameplan’s still the same.”
While the gameplan itself hasn’t been revealed, one big key to Bisping’s success could be his patience to deal with Leben’s incredible chin and ability to withstand a ton of punishment.
DETAILING THE KIMBO-PETRUZELLI INVESTIGATION
Last week, the Florida State Boxing Commission opened a preliminary investigation into allegations of fight fixing in the main event of EliteXC’s “Heat” between Seth Petruzelli and Kimbo Slice.
According to Alexis Antonacci, press secretary for Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), the investigation will release its findings in a week to a week and a half.
Representatives from the DBPR will first interview the promoters of EliteXC; presumably Jeremy Lappen, Head of Fight Operations; Jared Shaw, Vice President; and Chuck Champion, CEO.
Antonacci said Petruzelli and Kimbo, along with other fighters on the card, may or may not be interviewed.
14 Questions for Marcus Davis
Coming off a loss to Mike Swick in June, Marcus Davis will try to bounce back Saturday against Paul Kelly at UFC 89 in Birmingham, England. “The Irish Hand Grenade” shared some old boxing stories with Sherdog.com, as well as his thoughts on various topics from music to alcoholism to his meeting with Kelly.
Sherdog.com: Have you ever been rocked or knocked down during training or ever reconsidered fighting?
Davis: Nope. I've never been knocked out ever in my life. A lot of people look at my boxing record and it says TKO on there -- they think it was from a knockout. It wasn't. It was from a cut. I've never been knocked out in sparring or anything. I've never ever once reconsidered fighting. I've always wanted to be a fighter.
Sherdog.com: You spent a lot of time in boxing. What are some of those old-time memories?
Davis: One that just popped into my head: We were all in the gym one time, and there was this guy that was supposed to come in and spar with Dana Rosenblatt, who was an undefeated Jewish boxer at the time -- and there weren't a whole lot of Jewish boxers period, you know? So bringing this kid in, he was 5-0, and so they come walking in and he's got like this entourage and they’re screaming out, "Mikey D! 5-0 Mikey D!" All cheery as hell. The kid comes in and gets his stuff on. They start sparring. Dana hit him so hard with a body shot that the guy s--t himself.
There's just s--t pouring out of this guy's trunks. He ends up crawling out of the ring, and they rush him to the bathroom and he was so embarrassed, he didn't come back into the gym to get his stuff. He left right out of the side door, and they came in and gathered his stuff and they left. Never saw the kid again. I don't even know what ever happened with his career. I never followed him. I probably should have; it'd be funny to hear if he did any well at all.
You know, we had lots of different stories like that. A guy came in and was kicking a bag, and back then … you don't kick bags at a boxing school. My coach said, "Don't kick the bag!" The guy kind of looked at him -- he was a bodybuilder, the guy was all beefed up -- and he starts hitting the bag again, kicked it again and my trainer walked over to him and just smashed him right in the face. The guy actually broke down and started crying. Big muscle-bound guy broke down and started crying, looked at my coach and made an apology. We just have so many crazy stories about back then when I was boxing. It was just a different time. It was 15 years ago. You know the stories of scumbag promoters and stuff like that. There's good memories and bad memories.
M-1 Exclusive! Gegard Mousasi: "Fedor inspired me"
We caught up with the DREAM middleweight Grand Prix winner & champion. In this exclusive interview Gerard tells about his emotions before & after the GP Finals, starring in a movie alongside Fedor and how it feels like training with the best heavyweight in the world. Further he reveals future plans, bureaucratic origin of his name, hints at moving up the class and much more.
Heavyweight Antoni Hardonk vs. newcomer Mark Burch at UFC 92
UFC heavyweight Antoni Hardonk (7-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC) will go for his third consecutive UFC victory when he meets UFC newcomer Mark Burch (9-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at UFC 92, an event that takes place Dec. 27 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Sources close to Hardonk told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of the bout earlier today.
The fight is expected to air on the un-aired preliminary card of the pay-per-view event.
Hardonk, a former kickboxer, made his octagon debut at UFC 65 and defeated Sherman Pendergarst via first-round TKO. The 32-year-old Dutchman then suffered back-to-back losses to Justin McCully and Frank Mir before recently scoring TKO victories over Colin Robinson (in just 17 seconds) and Eddie Sanchez.
He'll now meet Burch, a BodogFIGHT veteran who's undefeated in his past four fights. The Indiana native has fought twice this year -- both times in the Hoosier state -- with first-round TKOs over Chris Hanni (0-1) and Alex Rozman (0-6). Prior to those victories, he posted wins over the likes of Yoshiki Takahashi (28-24-3) and stand-out Xtreme Couture grappler Jay White.
Six of Burch's nine fights have come via knockout.
UFC Signs Japanese TV Deal
The UFC is headed back to Japanese TV sets via a new two-year deal with the Japanese subscription-based broadcaster WOWOW. They’ll be broadcasting all UFC pay-per-views starting with this Saturday’s UFC 89 from England on a tape delay. From the press release:
“The Japanese market has always been important to the UFC, and we want to bring MMA and all of its biggest stars back to Japan,” said Dana White, UFC President. “We are thrilled to be back with WOWOW.”
“WOWOW is extremely pleased to announce that UFC is back on WOWOW, starting with the UFC 89 event in Birmingham, UK,” said Mr. Kazuyuki Omura, Chief Producer, WOWOW. “The UFC will telecast in High Definition on WOWOW’s popular “Timely-on-Air” format, a limited delay broadcast adjusting the airtime to a time that will be convenient for the sports fans in Japan. After airing over 50 UFC shows from 2001 to 2007, we are excited to once again provide our subscribers with the most prominent mixed martial arts program in the world.”
UFC Back To Ohio In March
It seems that when Arnold goes to Ohio, UFC is right behind. When the Arnold EXPO goes to Ohio March 6-9, UFC is expected to return to Columbus on March 7.
Strikeforce nears deal for launch of live fights on NBC
Strikeforce is in advanced discussions with NBC to bring live fights to the Peacock Network.
The popular West Coast promotion struck a paid programming deal with NBC earlier this year, featuring 30-minute, weekly shows with fights from past Strikeforce events. Extending that agreement to live, primetime shows would be a major boast for Strikeforce as it looks to generate additional exposure for its brand and expand nationally.
"It's been signed off on at many levels (at NBC) already, and I think we're at the final stages," Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "By the first quarter of '09, we'll probably have some fights going on. We would need that time frame any way to book the right fights and do it properly."
Serious talks between Strikeforce and the network have been ongoing for the past couple of months, and Coker says the dialogue is continuing. Approval at the senior most programming levels at NBC is the only hurdle left to clear to bring live MMA to a second U.S. broadcast network.
C.B. Dollaway vs. Mike Massenzio close to being finalized for UFC 92
A bout between middleweight prospects C.B. Dollaway and Mike Massenzio for UFC 92 on December 27 in Las Vegas has been verbally agreed to by parties representing both fighters.
A source close to Massenzio’s Team Bomb Squad revealed the news to FiveOuncesOfPain.com over the weekend.
The source indicated that thus far, only verbal agreements pertaining to the matchup have been secured but that bout agreements could be finalized over the course of the next several days.
Both Massenzio and Dollaway are outstanding college wrestlers who once competed against each other on the Junior College level. Dollaway defeated Massenzio head-to-head during a tournament bout early in their college careers and Massenzio increased his training in hopes of winning a rematch the following year.
While Massenzio reached the finals of the tournament the next year, he was denied a shot at redemption after Dollaway had been eliminated prior to the final round. Since that time, Massenzio has searched for a chance to rematch Dollaway and it appears he may finally get that opportunity at UFC 92 in a bout contested under MMA rules.
Dan Hardy looks to finish Akihiro Gono in round two
“I anticipate playing a little cat-and-mouse chase for a little while. Brawling is not my style, so I’ll look to chip away at him and slow him down gradually. I’m not looking for a KO right away. It would be ignorant of me to think that I can just go out and knock him out straight away, but by around the midway point of the second round, I’ll have him at a point where I’ll be looking to finish him.”
– Team Rough House fighter Dan Hardy talks to Sherdog.com about his journey to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and what he expects when he makes his debut against Akihiro Gono at UFC 89: “Bisping vs. Leben” at The National Indoor Arena (NIA) in Birmingham, England, on October 18. The welterweight bout will headline the untelevised portion of the preliminary card; however, if it does finish fast the viewers at home will hopefully be treated to one of the better fights on the card.
RADACH EXPECTS ELITEXC TITLE SHOT IN FEBRUARY
It had been nine months since Benji "Razor" Radach competed in mixed martial arts when he stepped into the cage to face Murilo "Ninja" Rua at EliteXC "Heat" on Oct. 4. Slated to kick off the third installment of EliteXC on CBS, Radach delivered, knocking out Rua at the 2:31 mark of the second round.
"It was amazing. We definitely got it going," the middleweight fighter told MMAWeekly.com. "I just wanted to get right in his face and see what it was all about. You know what I mean? See what he was all about. And he's a tough dude."
Radach came out of the gate firing, stunning Rua with punches and looked as if he may get an early finish. Rua weathered the early onslaught and survived the round, inflicting his fair share of damage on Radach as well.
"Everything that I threw seemed to find it's home. It was hitting him, and some huge impacts. I couldn't believe, like I would see him stagger. He was hurt," said Radach. "He was looking through me instead of at me. I would go for a finishing shot and miss, and he'd have his bearings right back. He had such good composure."
UFC 89: THE NEW CHRIS LEBEN, STILL THE UNDERDOG
Chris "The Crippler" Leben travels to England to take on British fan-favorite Michael "The Count" Bisping at UFC 89 on Oct. 18 from the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham in a career defining fight that will leave the winner in title contention for the Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight crown.
"It's pretty cool. It's me and my coach. We're going over there. We're going into enemy territory. We're going to be the bad guy the whole time. It makes it intense. You know? It helps me focus," Leben told MMAWeekly.com. "I've said it before. The only thing cooler than making 20,000 people scream at once is making them all shut up. That's going to be a nice feeling when I knock Bisping out and that whole arena is dead, stone quiet."
Bisping and Leben were originally slated to headline UFC 85 in London on June 7. Due to a legal situation regarding a parole violation stemming from a past DUI charge, Leben ended up serving 11 days of a 35-day jail sentence, which forced the Ultimate Fighter season one contestant out of the bout.
Analyzing Zuffa's Plans for the WEC & UFC
Zuffa’s plan to fold World Extreme Cagefighting’s middleweight and light heavyweight divisions into the UFC in 2009 leaves the sport with more questions than answers.
Parallel champions in the WEC suggested co-promotion would happen between the two organizations at some point. But talent-thin divisions in the WEC at 185 and 205 pounds were viewed as impediments and instead will be worked into the UFC fray.
UFC 90: RELJIC OUT, THALES LEITES LEFT WAITING
Goran Reljic is out of his scheduled match-up with Thales Leites at UFC 90 in Chicago. Reljic's manager, Zoran Saric, told MMAWeekly.com, "Reljic will not be able to fight on Oct. 25 at UFC 90. A back problem will force him out of a scheduled bout with Thales Leites."
I dont know but this sounds like its time to put on a re-match with Nate...anyone agree?
GSP in black belt club
It wasn’t just any Saturday at the Tristar martial arts academy, in Montreal, Canada.
The Jiu-Jitsu class, with around 50 participants, was more crowded than usual. But the UFC welterweight champion, Georges Saint-Pierre, suspected nothing.
And he was moved when medical researcher and holder of several Jiu-Jitsu titles Bruno Fernandes promoted him to the status of black belt in Jiu-Jitsu.
“This was the high point in my career,” an emotional Saint-Pierre confessed, when laying out the three happiest moments of his life:
“When I received my black belt in karate, when I conquered the UFC belt, and today.”
The promotion echoed in New York and, Renzo Gracie, who has taught Jiu-Jitsu to the Canadian star in the past before his collision course with Renzo student Matt Serra, approved:
“He more than deserves it. This was excellent new for the fight world,” said the teacher.
To Gracie Barrra black belt Fernandes, who has been living in Canada for the last few years, where he earned his PhD and researches cancer treatments, and thus has been teaching the martial arts phenomenon for years, it was a great honor to fasten the black belt and say:
“Welcome to the club!”
After "fighting two people," Roy Nelson seeks rematch with Arlovski
While it may not have been the most aesthetically pleasing strategy, the ground-based strategy implemented by Roy Nelson (13-3) against former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski (14-5) at "EliteXC: Heat" was undeniably effective.
But after a much-discussed stand-up from the match referee -- while Nelson was working for a possible fight-ending kimura -- Nelson abandoned the strategy. Arlovski then used his quickness and athleticism to score crushing blows on the feet en route to a second-round TKO win.
Realizing the mistake his frustration caused, Nelson recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) he wants a second chance.
Shamrock Brothers sign to fight each other
Estranged adoptive brothers Ken Shamrock and Frank Shamrock have both signed contracts in principle to fight each other in 2009, according to a new article by Michael Woods of ESPN.com.
The two have expressed a public interest in fighting each other for the past several years and plans appeared to be in motion earlier this year to stage a fight between the two sometime in 2008. However, the proposed bout was put on the back burner following Ken’s first round knockout loss to journeyman heavyweight Robert “Buzz” Berry during a ProElite-promoted Cage Rage event in London this past March. Shamrock was released from his ProElite contract following the loss.
A further shadow of doubt regarding the bout was cast after Frank suffered a broken arm in a TKO (medical stoppage) loss to Cung Le during a co-promotion between EliteXC and Strikeforce later the same month.
Whether the bout comes off is far from certain, as Frank Shamrock went so far as to launch a “Blood Brothers” website earlier this year with a countdown to a pay-per-view event that was never formally set. However, the younger Shamrock is quoted as telling ESPN.com that both have agreed to move forward with the fight.