UFC 88: Anderson Silva vs Yushin Okami title fight still possible
UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva turned quite a few heads in the past 24 hours with news that the Brazilian accepted a light heavyweight fight against James Irvin at UFC Fight Night 14 at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 19.
As we reported yesterday, win or lose Silva will retain his 185-pound belt. And he is not vacating it as some have suggested — he’s merely taking a temporary leave of absence because his boss, UFC President Dana White, asked him if he’s up for the challenge.
Here’s a snip from Silva on the decision to take the fight on short notice via SI.com:
“If the UFC asks me to do something, and it’s within my capability to do so, I’m going to do it. I feel like I’m part of the UFC family and the head of the family asked me to fight. I’m in condition to fight, my coaches say I can fight — I’m going to fight. I want to do whatever I can to help make UFC the No. 1 event around the world like it is.”
UFC announcement: Lorenzo Fertitta to work full-time to expand MMA promotion
Network television deal? Nope. Regulation in New York? Nope. Sale to major international investor? Nope.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) today revealed the major announcement that will serve as an “indicator of where this business is going over the next five years” via Yahoo!Sports.com:
“Lorenzo Fertitta, the president of one of the most successful casino chains in Las Vegas, resigned his position with Station Casinos on Wednesday to work full-time with the UFC.”
It’s a move that White feels it is the biggest day in the history of the promotion. And he defends the decision against those naysayers on the Internet who feel it’s much ado about nothing.
“The Internet may not consider this huge news, but what the people on the Internet think is huge and what I think is huge are two different things. But you know what? I think I have a pretty good track record. I think this is maybe the biggest day in UFC history. I’m so excited, I can’t begin to explain it to you. This is an historic day for me and this company.”
MMA Down for the Count in New York...again!
A measure to legalize Mixed Martial Arts, AKA Ultimate Fighting, or Cage Fighting, is apparently down for the count in the Assembly Tourism committee after it looked like it didn’t have enough votes to move forward this afternoon.
Among those taking credit for the knockout was Assemblyman Bob Reilly, D-Colonie who argued that the state shouldn’t sanction a sport characterized larely by its brutality.
“We ban cockfighting and dog fighting — should we allow humans to enter a cage to knee, kick, and punch each other?” asked Reilly.
Last week Reilly had expressed concern that the measure might pass, given the big money and lobbying pressure involved here. But ultimately, the argument against it prevailed.
Ultimate Fighting Championship, the organization that promotes such activities, has been lobbying to get in New York since 2001.
It’s currently illegal in over 20 states, including New York, said Reilly.
Frank Mir talks about his up-coming UFC HW title shot
Former UFC heavyweight Champion, Frank Mir has been on a tear of late, submitting highly touted fighters, Antoni Hardonk and Brock Lesnar in a combined time of less than 3 minutes.
As a reward for these impressive performances, the UFC has given the Las Vegan a chance to fight the current champion, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for his old title – and Frank can’t wait to get back in the cage.
Taking some time out from his hectic schedule, the submission magician recently spoke with Ironlife.com:
Affliction To Use Street Team
Affliction has added another tool to their marketing plan with the introduction of a street team to market their Affliction: Banned PPV. This is generally a low cost, grassroots level method used to get out word of mouth about your product.
This could be an effective tool for Affliction. While the UFC certainly has it legions of fans, there is a certain portion of the MMA audience that embrace the "other", that being anything except UFC. Affliction at this point is an unknown, but one that will be supported sight unseen by some.
Lindland Lays Down The LAW
U.S. Olympic Silver Medal Wrestler, Matt “The Law” Lindland would bring the same dogged determination that made him one of the world’s top professional mixed-martial-artists to a job in the Oregon House of Representatives.
The 38-year-old resident of Oregon City may be near the end of his fighting career, but his political life is just beginning. Recently winning the Republican nomination for House District 52 in Oregon, Lindland received 58-percent of the votes in the primary and has begun his campaign for the general election in the fall.
Oregon suffers from some of the worst unemployment rates in the country, and Lindland believes there’s a solution—if the state became competitive in the global marketplace, jobs would open in the private sector and the quality of life would improve for his prospective constituents. When it comes to building a world-class school system, the would-be Representative believes in shifting power from the bureaucracy to the teachers, parents and principals. Other key issues for him include changing land laws to make them fair to property owners, discontinuing government regulation of property values, and opposing tax increases.
UFC 89 - Bisping vs. Leben tentatively scheduled
I’m also glad that the UFC is looking to make the Leben vs. Bisping match actually take place instead of scrapping it altogether (Shogun vs. Chuck anyone?). It’s a fight that is extremely intriguing because Leben has a chin of granite, heavy hands, and a highly underrated ground game. It will be a very good test to see how far Bisping has actually come at the 185 lbs. division.
Fertitta shifts from casinos to cage
LAS VEGAS – Lorenzo Fertitta, the president of one of the most successful casino chains in Las Vegas, resigned his position with Station Casinos Wednesday to work full-time with the UFC.
Fertitta, his older brother, Frank III and Dana White purchased the UFC in 2001 for $2 million when it was struggling and on the verge of folding. But in the seven-and-a-half years since, they’ve turned it into one of the great success stories in sports.
Jeremy Stephens Talks TUF Finale & Future
Fresh off his 22nd birthday, Jeremy "Lil' Heathen" Stephens is one of the youngest fighters competing in the UFC. Having won 13 of his first 15 fights, Stephens is looking to emerge as the next young rising star in the UFC's stacked lightweight division. A win over MMA veteran Spencer Fisher this Saturday at the TUF Finale will certainly help him reach his goal. MMARated.com recently spoke with "Lil' Heathen" about fighting a friend and former training partner, his UFC future and more.
Jeffrey Lee: First off, Jeremy, how did you get the nickname "Lil' Heathen"?
Bisping And Arlovski Deepen MMA-Boxing Ties
Mixed Martial Arts is a full-on legit sport, not only drawing athletes from judo and wrestling but even exerting a gravitational pull on those less lucrative sports, drawing athletes and even distorting the nature of the game. The one combat sport that has so far most resisted integration into MMA is boxing, the big money, big time showpiece combat sport of the western world for the last 150 years.
Those boundaries are beginning to break down.
Top-flight cruiserweight David Haye has been talking MMA for a while, now he's training with UFC star Michael Bisping:
Evan Tanner’s just getting started
Tanner's outlook on life historically has been to live it first, fight in it second. That philosophy has fueled an adventure-filled existence for the single 37-year-old. Whether surfing, sailing, four-wheeling in the desert or overindulging, Tanner's life has never lacked for action, and, along the way, he found time to ascend to the top of the UFC's middleweight division.
"Fighting was the last thing on my mind my whole career," Tanner told MMAjunkie.com (mmajunkie.com) during a recent break from training for his Saturday main event with Kendall Grove. "I was busy doing other things. They (promoters) would call me up and offer me a fight. In between fights, I had absolutely nothing to do with fighting. I didn't watch fighting. I didn't do any training. I was out doing things, out adventuring, just living my life."
While some might have questioned the approach, it worked for Tanner, who started fighting in 1997 and won 19 of his first 20 bouts. He had a shot at Tito Ortiz's title at UFC 30 in 2001, but an early slam by the champion knocked Tanner out in less than a minute. Tanner's second crack at a belt came in 2005, and this time, he earned the middleweight strap with a TKO victory over David Terrell.
However, after consecutive losses to Rich Franklin and David Loiseau, followed by a win over Justin Levens, Tanner's typical break from MMA turned into a nearly two-year-long absence from the octagon.
Nick Diaz: The Grudge Is Real
Nick Diaz hates doing interviews. But after Saturday's confrontation with KJ Noons at the EliteXC event, it's clear there's plenty of hate between him & Noons as Diaz notes there have been other confrontations since, with Noons apparently instigating said confrontations. Obviously Diaz has less-than-kind words towards Noons and the situation.
AroundThe Octagon.com says fact, not rumor, UFC Sold!
As reported here a few days ago the UFC has indeed been sold and has a new ownership group. A source inside the UFC just confirmed this.Bertelsmann Media has been rumored as the new ownership group. This is the announcement that Dana White is expected to make tomorrow. More on this tomorrow when it is announced.
MMA Fights In Tennessee Now Legal
Gov. Phil Bredesen on Tuesday signed a bill that will pave the way for professional matches to be held in the state.
Until now, it was only legal to train in Tennessee.
One local gym is looking to hold large tournaments in front of 2,000 people as early as the fall. But first, the state has to set up a commission to regulate the fights.
"It was definitely a hurry up and wait. We pushed, we pushed, we pushed. We spearheaded this whole campaign to get this passed and now it's like, ‘Yes you're allowed but we don't really know what you're allowed to do yet,’” said Nashville MMA representative Jamie Bryant.
The Fight Network And Affliction Announce Partnership
The Fight Network and Affliction will team up in Toronto to announce some big news about the upcoming Affliction Banned event.
To learn more details about The Fight Network's coverage of the historic Affliction Banned MMA event and the All-World Caliber undercard on July 19th, please join us at a News Conference at the MMA Expo on Saturday, June 21st at 2 pm ET hosted by The Fight Network, North America and the UK's only all-combat sports channel, and Affliction, the premier fashion label for men who love hard rock and fast living.
Update on UFC's Big Annoucement
Speculation within the MMA industry about the subject of Dana White's major announcement continues to center on the potential sale of the company. In what would fit the bill as an industry changing announcement, MMAPayout.com has learned that Bertelsmann Media, a German based international entertainment company, is rumored to have had advanced discussions about acquiring a controlling interest in Zuffa.