Without Zuffa’s aggression, nobody has momentum
Have you noticed the compete lack of heat going into the second Affliction show on October 11th? You’re not the only one.
The promotion will headline their second big show (this time at the Thomas & Mack Center) with a main event of Josh Barnett vs. Andrei Arlovski. On paper, it’s an excellent bout. In reality, however, it’s going to be hard to see the fight moving the needle as far as casual fan interest is concerned. Affliction spent so much energy promoting Fedor on their debut show that the theme for the second show is, “Which heavyweight will end up facing Fedor down the road?” Call it the “Kimbo Slice effect,” but Affliction’s second show could turn out in similar fashion in terms of crowd heat as Elite XC’s second show on CBS did when they didn’t have Kimbo Slice on the card as opposed to their initial showing on broadcast TV.
The great irony in Fedor not appearing for the second Affliction show is that he claims he wants to fight on New Year’s Eve for DREAM in Japan. DREAM is another promotion that is teetering on the edge of collapse and given Fedor’s track record of headlining promotions that have gone out of business, it would be a sad but fitting end to K-1 & DSE’s bastard child of an MMA project gone horribly stale.
Rodrigo Damm Ready For Sengoku
Rodrigo Damm’s debut on MMA wasn’t like he was expecting, but since then everything is perfect. With eight straight wins, Damm will be at Sengoku’s lightweight GP, that starts at August 24th, against Eiji Matsuoka. Training at Minotauro Team (Rodrigo Nogueira and Anderson Silva’s team), Damm is focused on the title to earn a chance to fight Takanori Gomi. In an interview to TATAME, the athlete spoke about his beginning in MMA, his training at Nogueira’s team, about his sister (Carina Damm) and his preparation to the GP. Check below the complete interview.
Schoenauer, Gunderson to fight for PFC
The latest IFL fighters to find new homes are Alex Schoenauer and John Gunderson, who will compete for the Palace Fighting Championship promotion.
They'll continue their mixed martial arts career, at least for now, with the Lemoore, California-based promotion launched in Jan. 2007 to fill the void left at the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino when Zuffa purchased the WEC and moved it to Las Vegas.
Schoenauer (14-9) and Gunderson (15-5) could see promotional debuts at PFC 11 on Nov. 20 in Lemoore, California.
Here's a list of where other IFL stars have ended up since the promotion closed its doors...
Jason MacDonald vs Jason Lambert UFC 88 fight booked with Jason Day injury
It’s Jason mania.
Jason MacDonald (20-10) will fill-in for an injured Jason Day and take on Jason Lambert (23-8) in a middleweight bout at UFC 88: “Breakthrough” at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Ga., on September 6, according to Sherdog.com.
“Dooms” apparently hurt his biceps muscle while training for the fight and was forced to withdraw, opening the window of opportunity for another Canadian to claim redemption.
“The Athlete” is coming off a third round submission loss to Demian Maia at UFC 87: “Seek and Destroy” earlier this month. It marked the third loss in his last five attempts inside the Octagon — quite a departure from his early success that earned MacDonald the nickname “TUF Killer.”
JAMES LEE OUT; MIKE PATT TO FACE TIM BOETSCH
More changes are upcoming for the UFC 88 card in Atlanta as James Lee has been forced off the show with an undisclosed injury. His opponent, Tim Boetsch, will now face Ultimate Fighting championship newcomer, Mike Patt, as confirmed to MMAWeekly.com by sources close to the fight.
Mike Patt is a veteran fighter of Bodog as well as numerous regional shows, and currently boasts an impressive 11-2 record.
The Ohio based fighter most recently competed in Fight Time Productions in Oklahoma, defeating Adam Rodman in November 2007.
Now Patt will step up to the UFC and face a very tough competitor in Tim Boetsh, who looks to bounce back after suffering his first loss in the Octagon to Matt Hamill back in April.
BJ Penn Expecting To Fight In December, But Not Against GSP
It's looking more and more unlikely that BJ Penn vs. Georges St. Pierre will happen this year as originally expected.
First, St. Pierre publicly stated his need for a rest on a blog he posted for the French Canadian website RDS.ca.
I don't know if I'll be stepping back into the Octagon before 2009.
I've fought four times in the last 12 months. I therefore need some rest. I like the life I lead, but I sometimes need to relax.
It's not the fight as such that's exhausting; it's all the preparation that comes with it. I've made so many sacrifices to prepare myself. During training camps, I practically do not live anymore. It's therefore on a psychological level that I need to recharge.
Now JD Penn, BJ Penn's brother, is stating that Penn is training and expecting a fight sometime in December, but that the fight in question will likely not be against Georges St. Pierre. Instead, the two UFC superstars appear to be eying a return engagement in February 2009 as part of the UFC's Superbowl card.
Kenny Florian vs Joe Stevenson in November 15th clash
Source’s close to the camp of TUF 2 winner, Joe “Daddy” Stevenson, have confirmed to Mmabay that they have been offered and accepted a fight against Kenny Florian on November 15th, likely to be UFC 91.
Mmabay can also confirm that the fight has been accepted by Florian and is most likely to be held in Boston, giving Florian the home turf advantage as he looks to bridge the gap between his last fight and a possible title shot next summer against B.J. Penn.
Stevenson himself is moving back up the title ladder. After rebounding from his disappointment at not winning the title in January, Stevenson bounced back with an impressive second round win against Gleison Tibau at UFC 86 in July.
Looks like this fight is for real.
Machida tells Silva “I’m gonna look for a knockout!”
In an exclusive interview with Mmabay, top 205 pound contender, Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida, he told us how he intends to use Thiago Silva’s aggressive style against him and how he expects to knock him out.
Machida, when asked about his next fight said: “I love to fight aggressive fighters, because the more aggressive they are the better it is for me. It suits more my style.
He continued: “I’m going to over power him, I know Thiago is a very tough guy, but I’m gonna put on a strong pace. I know when I hit him, he is going to feel my hard punches and my hard kicks and I’m gonna look for a knockout.”
With the fight scheduled for October 18th, look for fireworks between the two Brazilian’s who are both coincidently 13-0 in their mma career’s.
By Michael Pepper.
WVR Updates Sengoku Cards
World Victory Road today announced the official card and fight order for its Sengoku 4 show next week and also announced more details for Sengoku 5. Notable items were adding Yuki Sasaki to the Middleweight GP and confirming participation of Roger Gracie and Jorge Masvidal, among others.
Affliction Debut May Have Sold 100,000 PPV's After All
It would seem that Tom Atencio's early estimates of Afflictions PPV buy rates may have been accurate after all.
Atencio came under fire for allegedly inflating projections of Affliction: Banned PPV buys when he stated that the buys where over 100,000. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer was the first to point out that the numbers looked a bit fishy.
Meltzer, at the time, estimated that the number was not over 100,000, stating that buy rate was likely closer to between 50,000 and 85,000.
Meltzer is now updating his original assessment:
It’s been hard to narrow down a buy rate for the Affliction show. Promoter Tom Atencio has claimed the figure was more than 100,000. Updated cable sources we’ve checked with have estimated from a low of 65,000 to a high of 100,000.
5 Fighters You Need to Watch
While some of you may see the brief reprieve we’re enjoying from a whirlwind last few weeks of high-profile throwdowns as a bit of welcome rest for the weary, you’re all wrong. Yes, every last one of you.
Now is the time to discover the fighters you’ve been ignoring, parked in front of your screen researching the next generation while selling your less-than-essential organs for rare fight tapes.
Luckily, I’ve done most of the work for you, finding five of the most pugilistically inclined superstars in the making of whom you’ve probably never heard. In the event you’re familiar with these guys, just smile and nod for the sake of everyone else.
Dana White, Mindfreak?
While the exact details of his appearance are being kept secret, Dana White is scheduled to appear on the 8/27 episode of the A&E series "Criss Angel Mindfreak". No word either on if Angel's so-called mentalism will influence Dana on any of those certain fighter signing rumors.
Kang Talks Upcoming Fights, Future Plans
Coming off back-to-back losses that have put him outside the Top 10 Middleweight rankings, Denis Kang plans on staying busy the rest of the year, with no fewer than 2 fights ahead and possibly returning to the US or Canada in the future.
Mark Munoz Off WEC 36
In perhaps a case of potentially unfortunate timing, WEC Light Heavyweight Mark Munoz, coming off an impressive debut, is now off WEC 36 due to an undisclosed injury. No replacement named yet for his opponent, Steve Steinbeiss. The winner could've been in line for a title shot.
Jason Day Off UFC 88
Jason Day wlll now have to wait another day for his next UFC fight. Originally set to return at UFC 88, he is now off the card due to an elbow & biceps injury. No replacement named yet for his fight against Jason Lambert.
Spike TV Releases 'TUF 8' Cast
Spike TV executives on Monday made public the cast for season eight of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series, set to premiere on Sept. 17 at 10 p.m. EST. The show served as a launching pad for current UFC stars Forrest Griffin (Pictures), Kenny Florian (Pictures) and Michael Bisping (Pictures), among others.
Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir (Pictures) and reigning interim heavyweight titleholder Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (Pictures) will coach hopefuls on the eighth season, which will feature fighters from the lightweight and light heavyweight divisions. Mir will then challenge Nogueira for the interim belt at a pay-per-view event in December.
The 32-member cast includes Shane Nelson (Pictures) -- a 24-year-old B.J. Penn (Pictures) protégé who will enter the competition on a five-fight winning streak -- and John Polakowski (Pictures), 26, a World Extreme Cagefighting veteran who trains alongside former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell (Pictures) at The Pit in San Luis Obispo, Calif. They are among the 16 lightweights who will vie for the UFC contract.
Efrain Escudero and Brandon Garner are among other notables who made the lightweight cut. Escudero, an unbeaten Rage in the Cage mainstay, has secured his last nine wins by submission. Garner, meanwhile, remains the only man to submit UFC veteran Jason Dent (Pictures).
Undefeated UFC light heavyweight contender Rashad Evans (Pictures), himself a product of “The Ultimate Fighter,” will have a rooting interest in the eighth installment of the reality series. His brother, Lance Evans (Pictures), will compete as a light heavyweight on the show.
Other notables who made the light heavyweight cut include Ryan Bader (Pictures), a former All-American wrestler at Arizona State University, rising Canadian prospect Ryan Jimmo (Pictures) and Jason Guida (Pictures) -- the 30-year-old brother of UFC lightweight contender Clay Guida (Pictures). International Fight League veteran Krzysztof Soszynski (Pictures) and American Top Team product Tom Lawlor are also in the mix at 205 pounds, along with Team Quest’s Vinicius Magalhaes (Pictures), a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Royler Gracie (Pictures).
As with last season, preliminary bouts will be held during the first two episodes to pair down the field from 32 to 16. The two finalists in each weight class will meet in “The Ultimate Fighter 8” Live Finale on Dec. 13 in Las Vegas live on Spike TV.