Jesse Taylor returns to action on Oct. 2 vs. Drew Fickett
Following his July release from the UFC, former TUF 7 middleweight contestant Jesse Taylor will be returning to action on Oct. 2 during Total Combat 32 at the Syucan Casino just outside of San Diego.
Taylor’s opponent will be another former UFC veteran, Drew Fickett.
Taylor lost a chance to compete against Amir Sadollah in the finals of TUF 7 after he was dismissed from the show following an incident at a Las Vegas hotel and casino. He had earned the right to meet Sadollah after winning a semifinal fight against Tim Credeur and remained in Vegas after the show had wrapped filming to celebrate the win.
Cain Velasquez vs Mustafa Al-Turk (**OFF DUE TO INJURY**)
Hot heavyweight blue chip prospect Cain Velasquez (4-0) will likely return to action against Octagon newcomer Mustafa Al-Turk (6-3) at UFC Fight Night 16: “Fights for the Troops” at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, N.C., on December 10.
MMAmania.com recently learned of the possible match up between the future the division and the current Cage Rage British Heavyweight Champion.
Velasquez is an undefeated American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) standout who has won all of his UFC bouts (two), building a reputation as a dangerous opponent who many in the division would prefer to avoid. Brad Morris and Jake O’Brien weren’t so lucky, and the former Arizona State University wrestler stopped them both in the first round.
He is widely regarded as a future champion, a distinction his possible opponent already has locked down.
SENGOKU PAIRINGS SET, JOSH BARNETT ADDED
World Victory Road has announced the semi-final matches for the Sengoku Lightweight Grand Prix, which will take place on Nov. 1 at the Saitama Super Arena.
Two tournament favorites clash in the first semi-final match as Pancrase veteran Satoru Kitaoka faces off with Wajyutsu Keisyukai grappler Eiji Mitsuoka. Both fighters are coming off of quick submission victories at Sengoku 4. Kitaoka submitted Clay French with a heel hook in just 31 seconds while Mitsuoka submitted Rodrigo Damm with a rear naked choke in the opening round.
In the other final semi-final match, Cage Force lightweight champion Mizuto Hirota faces off against former DEEP lightweight champion Kazunori Yokota. Hirota pulled off the biggest upset in the tournament so far, knocking out IFL lightweight champion Ryan Schultz at Sengoku 4.
Kharitonov To Face Ambriz @ DREAM.6
Jimmy 'The Titan' Ambriz will replace Mighty MO at DREAM. 6 & Face Sergei Kharitonov
Ken Pavia frm MMA Agents informed PDG today that he will be flying to Japan tomorrow and his fighter Jimmy "The Titan" Ambriz will be replacing Mighty MO at DREAM. 6 against Sergei Kharitonov on Tuesday Sept. 23rd. No word yet on why Mighty MO had to withdraw but an announcement is expected soon.
Bad news for MO fans but great that Sergei is still going to be on the card!!
Machida wants to face Rashad Evans to determine number one contender
After being scrapped from UFC 89 because of Thiago Silva’s back injury, Lyoto Machda keeps training in Brazil, but less than before. With his back to the octagon still undefined, Machida waits for the UFC to set his next bout. “I continue training, I can’t be caught unprepared for a fight, but I’m training less now, doing only some physical training, Jiu-Jitsu and Karatê… They didn’t say anything, but told me that this fight (with Thiago Silva) still can happen”, said the fighter, who would need to wait for his recovery to come back to the octagon.
But if it depended on his decision, he’d come back tomorrow with another opponent. “I’m waiting for any situation, or face him, if he gets better, or having another opponent. I would like to face Rashad Evans, and the winner gets a title shot, but now it seems like they will put him against Forrest Griffin… I’d like to face him and the winner gets Griffin, it’s a good way”, suggests Machida, who waits for a top opponent for his next fight.
“I don’t know how it’s gonna be, I’m ready to fight, but don’t wanna fight anyone, because I’m building my way in UFC and I wanna fight the top fighters so that they could give me a title shot after”, says. Between the option in the light-heavyweight Top 10 ranking is Maurício Shogun, getting better from a knee injury and waiting to fight in December, still without and opponent. If Machida could choose, another Brazilian fight could happen. “I never chose opponents, I leave it to UFC and my managers, what they want for me is good. If they think fight Shogun is better I’ll do it, I’m prepared to for everything”, guarantees Machida.
"My next fight will be in Japan with World Victory Road before the end of the year," Randleman told MMAnews.com, "They haven't thrown an opponent for me out there yet but who it is going to be better me ready."
Also within the article is a cool video that may interest you all.
Josh Thomson dreaming of November bout with Japanese star
LOS ANGELES -- With a non-title fight and an after-party at the world-famous Playboy Mansion looming, it would be easy to forgive Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson (15-2) were his focus to stray.
But as Thomson told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) at Friday's "Strikeforce at the Mansion II" weigh-ins, the situation has been a blessing.
"It makes me really focus on my opponent more," Thomson said. "To not have to worry about the fact, 'Oh, gosh. If this goes three rounds, I've got to go two more.' I know I'm more than capable of going three rounds. Three rounds just seems like a walk in the park these days."
Thomson admits to knowing very little about his opponent, the Lion's Den's Ashe Bowman (9-4). But "The Punk" insists that will simply force him to be more aware of his opponent's actions.
"I heard he's a good grappler," Thomson said of Bowman. "I heard he's probably got heavy hands. It's kind of a feeling out process.
Trevor Prangley: Strikeforce, Affliction and DREAM all on horizon
LOS ANGELES -- South African middleweight Trevor Prangley (17-5) was on a tear.
After back-to-back decision losses to Jeremy Horn and Chael Sonnen forced Prangley out of the UFC in 2006, the 36-year-old won five-straight fights with BodogFIGHT and Strikeforce. However a surprising loss to Jorge Santiago in the finals of Strikeforce's November 2007 four-man tournament was the last time Prangley has stepped in the cage.
But as Prangley told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) at Friday's "Strikeforce at the Mansion II" weigh-ins, a return to more frequent activity is on the way.
ENOCH WILSON DEFENDS BELT AT SPORTFIGHT 24
Sportfight featherweight champion Enoch Wilson successfully fended off the challenge of Ultimate Fighter 5 alumnus Brian Geraghty Friday night at Sportfight 24 in Portland, Ore.
The action was fast paced as the two fighters traded positions on the ground in the opening round. Wilson landed strikes, while Geraghty went for submissions, attempting an armbar at the end of the round.
The next two rounds resembled the first as the fighters traded positions on the ground with Wilson landing hard strikes, while Geraghty looked for submissions. Geraghty started to find his groove midway through the third, gaining Wilson’s back, but he was unable to finish the choke as Wilson landed annoying strikes that opened a small cut on Geraghty’s forehead just prior to round’s end.
The fourth round was different as Geraghty on two occasions was able to take the fight to the ground, working over Wilson with short strikes. Wilson however was able to reverse out and get back to his feet, standing over Geraghty. Out of nowhere, Wilson landed a huge elbow that rocked Geraghty, finishing him off with a couple of strikes as the referee called a halt to the fight at 2:50 of the fourth round.
GABE LEMLEY RETAINS TITLE AT EXTREME CHALLENGE
RIVERSIDE, Iowa – Extreme Challenge No. 106 unfolded Friday evening, as the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort helped to lay the foundation for iconic MMA legends to compete, ironically, from outside the cage.
The fight card, labeled as Midwest vs. West Coast, summoned a flourishing amateur and pro fight team from Big John McCarthy’s Ultimate Training Academy, to clash against comparable athletes from such notable coaches as Jens Pulver, Dave Menne, and Pat Miletich.
McCarthy’s venture into the Midwest was greeted with multiple losses, his team brandishing a disappointing 2-5 record on the night. Big John’s amateur competitor, German Baltazar, generated a unanimous decision win over Freddy Artega. Pro fighter Levi Kurtovich fought back from a solid spinning back kick that dropped him early in the first round, to land multiple elbows from mount, splitting open Brent Mehrhoff’s right eye and prompting the ringside doctor to stop the fight between rounds.
Will Strikeforce's Japanese Gambit Succeed?
Let's face it, there's not too much intrigue around tonight's Strikeforce at the Playboy Mansion card. First off, lightweight champ Josh Thompson is fighting a non-title fight against relative unknown Ashe Bowman. Secondly, both Babalu Sobral and Bobby Southworth dropped out of their match due to injuries.Thirdly, UFC also rans like Joe Riggs, Trevor Prangley and Terry Martin aren't exactly setting the world on fire these days.
But in true Strikeforce creeper fashion, there is something VERY interesting happening on tonight's card. Two A-List Japanese fighters are making their U.S. debuts. Sengoku middleweight star Kazuo Misaki and DREAM lightweight contender Mitsuhiro Ishida.
Diaz vs Alvarez for vacant EXC title?
While EliteXC officials declined to offer specifics regarding a possible fight to determine a new lightweight champion for the promotion, sources informed FiveOuncesOfPain.com earlier in the week that the company had been considering an option that would involve Nick Diaz and Eddie Alvarez competing for the newly vacant title in a featured bout during a tentative Nov. 8 card.
Vitor Belfort back at Affliction 2
With a broken hand after Affliction’s first edition with a knockout over Terry Martin, Vitor Belfort was scrapped from the second edition due to recover his injury, but the postponement of the event to 2009 was good news for the athlete, able to recover in time to fight again. “My hand is getting better. I’m doing a lot of physical training and physiotherapy. I didn’t care about the postponement, I wasn’t going to fight anyway”, jokes the fighter, the confirmed to TATAME.com he’ll be at Affliction’s next show.
Full-Time Fighter: Sean Salmon reinstated, fighting for title tonight
Finally, after 10 months, unexpected delays, enormous expense, sleepless nights and alienating myself from family and friends, the nightmare with the California State Athletic Commission is over.
That being said, I will be doing a column early next week to detail everything that went down. But the most important part is that it's all over. I've been cleared to fight and have been fully reinstated.
However, I do have to touch on California one more time. MMAAgents.com is amazing, and I am not just saying that because it's my agency. Everyone in that office Ken ("The Pav") Pavia, Nate Broadnax, Julian Grugario and the new guys, Danny and Tony, went far and above my expectations to help get this cleared up. They never once let me believe that I was an inconvience in any way (believe me, I was) -- calling, texting and emailing serveral times a day. And when I was in town, I stayed at their house, they drove me everywhere, and made sure I was fed, watered and training. MMAAgents.com couldn't fire me if they tried. Like I said, though, I will be detailing all of that next week.
Up next -- and by up next, I mean tonight -- I will be fighting in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio, for the NAAFS (www.naafs.tv) middleweight belt. I take on reigning champion Mitch Whitesel.
K.J. NOONS STRIPPED OF ELITE XC LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE
LOS ANGELES (Sept. 19, 2008) – KJ Noons of San Diego has been stripped of his EliteXC lightweight title. The announcement was made Friday by EliteXC Head of Fight Operations, Jeremy Lappen.
The foremost reason EliteXC is taking this action, Lappen said, was due to Noons’ reluctance to defend against leading 160-pound contender Nick Diaz of Stockton, Calif.
“We are stripping KJ of his championship belt for refusing to defend against Diaz,’’ Lappen said. “It’s a very unfortunate situation but we cannot have belt-holders who refuse to fight the top contenders.We want champions who will fight anyone, anytime, anyplace.That’s the mentality all champions should have.
UFC Fight For The Troops Card Taking Shape
Not surprisingly, just as the Ultimate Fighting Championship announced its special UFC Fight For The Troops event for Dec. 10 at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, the fight card has started to slowly piece together.
Although the UFC has yet to make any bouts official, many fights have been verbally agreed to, quickly giving form to the UFC’s effort to raise money to build a treatment center for the brave men and women in the United States Armed Forces who have experienced traumatic brain injuries. The facility is being sponsored, built and equipped by the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.
A bout between Mike Swick and Jonathan Goulet was confirmed by MMAWeekly.com earlier in the week, although it is now being moved to the Dec. 10 benefit event instead of The Ultimate Fighter Season 8 Finale, according to Swick.
Other bouts that sources say have been agreed to include Steve Bruno vs. Luke Cummo, Eddie Sanchez vs. Justin McCully, Liugi Fioravanti vs. Brodie Farber, and Nate Loughran against an as yet unknown opponent.
There has been no word regarding who will be featured in the main event.
The goal of UFC Fight For The Troops is to raise the necessary funds for The National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE), an advanced research facility in Bethseda, Md. dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of military personnel and veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI) and psychological health issues.
Mustapha Al-Turk Signs With The UFC!
Mustapha Al-Turk (6-3) has vacated the Cage Rage British heavyweight title and signed with the UFC, we can exclusively reveal.
He has signed a four-fight deal with the organisation and will make his debut before the end of the year, possibly against Cain Velasquez.