Get Ready to love M-1
DSE/Yarennoka announced Shin’ya Aoki vs. JZ Calvan and Hayato “Mach” Sakurai vs. Hidehiko Hasegawa for their 12/31 Saitama Super Arena event. Calvan, of course, is a K-1 fighter and two-time HERO’s Middleweight tournament champion. A lot of people in Japan were wondering if we were going to see Takanori Gomi vs. Calvan on NYE for K-1. Instead, he’s on a DSE show? It is awfully curious to see why K-1 would be helping these people out, especially given the fact that Aoki vs. Calvan is not that big of a money draw whatsoever in Japan. Sadaharu Tanigawa (K-1’s matchmaker) apparently showed up (along with Saeki of DEEP fame) at the Yarennoka press conference today.
I plan to watch this event.
Nathan Marquardt vs.Thales Leites at 81
Nova Uniao middleweight standout Thales Leites confirmed to MMAWeekly.com that he will face Nate Marquardt on Feb. 2 at Ultimate Fighting Championship 81.
The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt says he signed the bout agreement a couple weeks ago. He currently has two fights left on his contract, including the upcoming bout.
“I think Nate is a great fighter,” commented Leites. “He’s very technical and is very experienced.”
He was originally scheduled to make his UFC debut against Marquardt on the undercard of Ortiz vs. Shamrock 3: The Final Chapter. Leites, however, was unable to make it to the U.S. due to complications in obtaining a visa.
“At this moment I think this will be the toughest fight of my career,” he commented.
Since losing his Octagon debut against Martin Kampmann, Leites has compiled three straight victories. He is coming off of a submission win over Ryan Jensen at UFC 74.
Marquardt, a seven-time former King of Pancrase, made his UFC debut at the inaugural Ultimate Fight Night in 2005. The Colorado resident built himself up to title contender status, winning four straight in the Octagon including wins over Ivan Salaverry, Joe Doerksen and Dean Lister. He challenged middleweight champion Anderson Silva in July, but succumbed to the dominant Brazilian via strikes in the opening round.
“I don’t think the loss will affect him. He is a professional and will come in 100% for this fight, physically and mentally,” said Leites.
Silva is quickly becoming one of the most dominating champions in the UFC today. Many potential contenders wait for their opportunity to challenge for his belt.
“It is up to the UFC,” said Leites of a shot at Silva. “I just want to do my job and win my fights. When they think that it is my time, I will be ready. I’m not worried about it; I’m happy to fight in the UFC and I want to take it step-by-step towards the title.”
For Thales, a win over Marquardt could very well place the Rio de Janeiro resident into title contention, but he remains humble as ever.
“I would like to thank all of my fans for the support. I will always do my best.”
The only bout that has been officially confirmed by the UFC for Feb. 2 is the likely main event between Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir.
Bouts rumored for UFC 81, but not yet officially confirmed:
-Nathan Marquardt vs. Thales Leites
-Tyson Griffin vs. Gleison Tibau
-Alan Belcher vs. Ricardo Almeida
-David Heath vs. Andre Gusmao
Erik Paulson interview talking about training Lesnar and also a little on a possible Barnett/Fedor fight
PDG: Was that it or are you planning on a few more fights?
Erik: I want to keep fighting and I actually was planning on a fight in early December in the Philippines for Josh Barnett’s team. They had an opening at the 205 slot for a card in Manila but things just didn’t work out that way. I was disappointed because it would have been a good rollover for me in regards to the time between my first fight and that one. I didn’t suffer any real injures in my fight with Jeff so I am ready to go now. I had a bit of an ankle sprain but even the day of the fight I went running, took a sauna, lifted some weights to get the blood flowing and swam about 10 laps in the pool.
And for those who have no idea who Erik is a highlight video.
Andre Gusmao vs. David Heath at UFC 81
David Heath (7-2) will look to pull his record inside the Octagon above .500 when he meets up with UFC newcomer Andre Gusmao (5-0) at UFC 81: “Breaking Point” on February 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
UFC Art Book Entitled 'Octagon'
This is an art book filled with many pictures of the UFC and it's fighters. Now much is known about this book except Dana White will be plugging it wednesday ngiht on CNBC's Conversations with Michael Eisner.
Frankie Edgar Discusses Spencer Fisher & Future
There was speculation by some Ultimate Fighting Championship fans as to whether or not Frankie Edgar would be able to handle Spencer ‘The King’ Fisher’s stand up game and in-cage experience. For those who doubted, they don’t anymore.
Almost as quickly as the bout began, the momentum of the fight moved in Edgar’s direction, and it was he who dominated the Miletich fighter through the final bell. For a man who has only eight professional fights, Edgar showed the composure of a much more seasoned competitor.
M-1 Press confrence, Nov 28th
M-1 Global will hold its second press-conference on November, 28. It will be dedicated to the first organization's event, which will be held on NYE. M-1 Global will be represented by its President Monte Cox. Also today President of M-1 Mixfight Vadim Finkelstein will depart in Japan to negotiate about some details of the tournament
Hopefully they'll announce who's fighting who!
January’s UFC 80 Event Will Air on Pay-Per-View
Jan. 19’s UFC 80 event that takes place in Newcastle, England, will be shown on pay-per-view — not on free television as a Spike TV broadcast.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) was told of the UFC’s broadcast plans by a representative from one of the nation’s biggest cable companies, who said a Zuffa LLC representative contacted the company about the pay-per-view broadcast.
Jorge Gurgel vs. John Halverson Set for UFC 82
UFC lightweight Jorge Gurgel (11-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC), who runs a mixed-martial-arts training center just north of Cincinnati, and John Halverson (16-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC) have agreed to a bout that will take place at a UFC 82 event in Columbus, Ohio. The show is set for March 1 at Nationwide Arena.
A source close to Halverson alerted MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of the fight earlier this morning. Gurgel’s camp could not immediately be reached for comment
Planet Tapout 11.27.07: Interim Is Not So Bad
Though interim implies makeshift, it's not necessarily the worst thing in the world. In the latest edition of Planet Tapout, 411Mania's Lotfi Sariahmed delves into the interim title bouts at UFC 79 and UFC 80 and tells you why there's a lot more good than bad. All that and more in the latest edition of Planet Tapout!
Brandon Vera Makes Acting Debut in the Philippines
UFC heavyweight contender Brandon Vera, a Filipino-American-Italian fighter who last competed at UFC 77 in October, recently traveled to the Philippines to test his chops as an actor.
Showcasing his fighting skills, the 30-year-old will soon appear on “Kamandag,” a new fantasy Philippine drama that airs on the GMA Network. The show, which debuted earlier this month, is based on a novel written by Carlo J. Caparas.
The show is a tale of a half-human, half-snake creature who is forced “to live in the mortal world because of the conflict he brings in his birthplace,” according to an official show description. That main character becomes a hero because of his powers.
Matt Serra Promises To Return
After all the talk and a reality show that fueled a rivalry, Matt Serra had to drop out of his title defense against Matt Hughes due to a devastating back injury that will keep the Ultimate Fighting Championship titleholder out of action at least through his December fight date.
He spoke exclusively to MMAWeekly.com about the injury and the upcoming bout between Hughes and Georges St-Pierre.
"UFC: Best of 2007" Airs Dec. 4th on Spike TV
A three-hour, year-end special entitled “UFC: Best of 2007” airs Tuesday, Dec. 4th at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Spike TV.
The special, which re-airs on Saturday, Dec. 15, features highlights from the 2007 fight season, as well as a handful of never-before-seen match-ups that took place on the undercards of Spike TV fight events.
World Victory Road Announces ‘Sengoku'
TOKYO, Nov. 27 -- Newly formed mixed martial arts promotional company World Victory Road Inc. officially announced its first show for the new event "Sengoku" will take place March 5, 2008 at the Yoyogi First National Gymnasium.
Fighters who will be participating in the Sengoku show in March were in attendance. Among those were Hidehiko Yoshida, Sanae Kikuta, Makoto Takimoto, and Ryo Kawamura.
Philho's going to help chuck....
The JJ and Judo blackbelt, Paulo Filho will travel December 8th to USA to make his first title defence against Chael Sonnen, at WEC 21, which will happen in Dec. 12th. In an exclusive interview for TATAME, Filho told us his preparation for the fight, and about his invitation to train Chuck Liddell for his fight with Wanderlei Silva. "I would never train an American to fight against a Brazilian. I am not a slut, or a prostitute" said the WEC champion.
Most know that Brazilians are verrry patriotic, surprised he said it like he did lol.
Yoshida said to be Fedor's opponent on Dec 31.
The Japanese press is excited to have discovered who Fedor Emelianenko’s adversary will be at the M-1 Global event to take place in Japan in partnership with former Pride employees on December 31. The name to have surfaced this week is Hidehiko Yoshida. According to the Japanese site Sportsnavi, there is a good chance the judoka will be called up to face the Russian.
Gray Maynard Returns at UFC Fight Night 12, Possibly Against Matt Grice
Promising lightweights and former collegiate wrestlers Gray Maynard (3-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) and Matt Grice (9-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) will likely square off at a UFC Fight Night 12 event that takes place Jan. 23.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) first learned of the potential bout last week from a source close to Maynard. Additionally, while a recent guest on ESPN’s “Between Rounds” radio program, Maynard confirmed with show host Ken Gonzalez that the UFC planned for him to return at the upcoming event, though he didn’t mention an opponent. (ESPN’s “Between Rounds” is a content-partner site of MMAjunkie.com.)
Calls to Grice were not immediately returned.
If officially booked, the Maynard vs. Grice bout could end up on the televised UFC Fight Night 12 main card, which airs on Spike TV.
Maynard, a Randy Couture-trained fighter who’s part of the Xtreme Couture team in Las Vegas, appeared on the fifth season of “The Ultimate Fighter.” The 28-year-old posted victories over Wayne Weems in a preliminary fight and Brandon Melendez in the show’s quarterfinals, but he was halted (via guillotine choke) in the quarterfinals by eventual show winner Nate Diaz.
Maynard, who wrestled with Rashad Evans at Michigan State Univerity, was then scheduled to fight Rob Emerson at The Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale in June, but the fight was ruled a no-contest when Maynard slammed his opponent to the mat. Emerson worsened a pre-existing rib injury and was forced to verbally submit, but Maynard temporarily knocked himself out in the process, prompting a ruling of a no-contest. Maynard, though, rebounded for an impressive nine-second KO of newcomer Joe Veres at UFC Fight Night 11 in September.
Maynard’s next likely opponent, Grice, is a former University of Oklahoma wrestler who rebounded from a submission loss to Terry Etim at UFC 70 with a split-decision victory over Jason Black at UFC 77 last month.
Grice’s collegiate wrestling career was cut short by injuries he suffered in a car accident prior to his freshman year of college. However, when his health improved, he gave professional MMA shot, and the 26-year-old has now lost just once in 10 pro fights.
UFC Fight Night 12 also features bouts between Cole Miller and Jeremy Stephens, as well as Patrick CÃ´tÃ© vs. Drew McFedries. Potential headliner Mike Swick is rumored to be fighting Josh Burkman at the event, though Burkman was being considered for an upcoming fight with a UFC newcomer earlier this month.
UFC confrence call with Hughes, GSP, and Dana
UFC 79 on Dec. 29 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas took a huge hit when UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra was forced to pull out of his fight against Matt Hughes after injuring himself in training on Thanksgiving, but UFC president Dana White quickly bounced back by bringing in Georges St. Pierre to face Hughes for the interim title on Saturday.