UFC Quick Quote: Experience tells Matt Hughes BJ Penn should win at UFC 94
“This weekend is the GSP/BJ rematch, I’ve been doing a lot of interviews on this topic, since I’ve fought both of them (lost to both and beat them both). I think this fight comes down to a lot of things, I think GSP will have a slight wrestling advantage and I think BJ will have a submission advantage. GSP might be a little quicker with his punches; but I believe BJ has more power and has a stronger chin. If BJ shows up in good shape, I think he can get his hand raised at the end. If BJ doesn’t show up in good shape, then he might have some problems.”
– Former welterweight champion Matt Hughes share his prediction on the upcoming megafight between champions Georges St. Pierre and BJ Penn via Matt-Hughes.com. As Hughes points out, he has competed against both fighters, splitting the series with Penn and losing the last two to “Rush.” Hughes is set to take on Matt Serra at UFC 98 on May 23. St. Pierre and Penn will collide this Saturday, Jan. 31 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Lashley, Lombard scratched from PFC: Best of Both Worlds
American Top Team Fighters Bobby Lashley (1-0) and Hector Lombard (17-2-1) have been forced to withdraw from their planned bouts at the Palace Fighting Championship's upcoming hybrid MMA/boxing card, "Best of Both Worlds."
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today learned of the pair's departures from sources close to the event.
"PFC: Best of Both Worlds" is scheduled for Feb. 6 at the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino in Lemoore, Calif.
Lashley was forced off the card due to an ankle ligament injury suffered in a recent training session. The extent of the injury and potential layoff for recovery is unknown at this time.
The heavyweight prospect and former collegiate wrestling champion was slated to face fellow undefeated up-and-comer Mike Hayes. Lashley made his MMA debut in December 2008 with a 41-second TKO win over fellow first-time-fighter Joshua Franklin.
A replacement for the former professional wrestler has not yet been named.
Lombard had long been considered for the event, though his participation was never officially announced by the organization. The former Cuban judoka has been fighting professionally since 2004 and was looking to make his long-awaited U.S. debut.
The PRIDE, DEEP and SpiritMC veteran will pass on the Feb. 6 date in favor of a previously signed April appearance for Bellator Fighting Championships, a debuting promotion slated for broadcast on ESPN Deportes.
Crunkilton vs. Palaszewski promoted to co-main event at WEC 39
With the recent loss of a scheduled welterweight title fight between champion Carlos Condit and challenger Brock Larson for the main card of "WEC 39: Brown vs. Garcia," a lightweight scrap between Richard Crunkilton (16-2 MMA, 6-1 WEC) and Bart Palszewski (30-11 MMA, 1-0 WEC) is slated for an elevation to co-main event status.
Sources close to the bout today alerted MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of the pending change.
WEC 39 is scheduled for March 1 in Corpus Christi, Texas. The main card will air live on VERSUS.
Crunkilton debuted professionally in 1999. The 29-year-old won his first nine pro bouts before being derailed by Hermes Franca in his lone UFC appearance at UFC 42 in 2003.
The American Kickboxing Academy fighter has since won seven of his past eight bouts. His lone defeat in that stretch was a September 2007 TKO loss to former WEC lightweight champion Rob McCullough.
Palaszweski has been fighting professionally since 2002. The Extreme Challenge and SuperBrawl veteran gained further exposure during an 8-4 run in the now-defunct IFL.
Palszweski is currently riding a two-fight win streak after a successful WEC debut over Alex Karalexis at WEC 37 in December 2008.
George Sotiropoulos out, debuting Matt Veach in for UFC Fight Night 17
A rib injury recently suffered by George Sotiropolous (9-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC) has opened a door for UFC newcomer Matt Veach (10-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC).
Veach, a member of the Illinois-based HIT Squad, replaces Sotiropoulos in a UFC Fight Night 17 preliminary bout with Matt Grice (9-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC). A source close to Grice confirmed the change with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
UFC Fight Night 17 takes place Feb. 7 at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Fla., and airs on Spike TV.
As of late Wednesday, the UFC had yet to announce the fight-card change.
The setback is yet another disappointment for Sotiropoulos, who last fought in the UFC at UFC Fight Night 13 in April 2008. The 31-year-old earned a TKO win over Roman Mitichyan that night, but injuries has kept "The Ultimate Fighter 6" cast member out of action since.
His replacement, Veach, enters the UFC with a stellar 10-0 record with nine stoppage victories in just 18 months of professional competition. Fighting in Midwest-based shows, the former high school and collegiate wrestler hosted posted six submission victories and three knockout wins.
Grice, meanwhile, will be returning to action for the first time since his October 2007 "Fight of the Night" with Jason Black at UFC 77. Grice put his MMA career on hold for the past year in order to complete training at the Oklahoma City Police Department academy. With that training behind him, the 27-year-old will now renew his commitment to the UFC.
Jason Macdonald Vs Nate Quarry @ UFC 97
Middleweights Jason MacDonald and Nate Quarry will attempt to shrug off recent setbacks when they face each other at UFC 97 in Montreal, Canada on Apr. 18.
Sources close to both fighters indicated that bout agreements were signed and the fight was a go. At the time of this writing, it is unknown whether the bout will grace the main card of the event.
Jamie Varner put his body through Hell
“My medical bills are going to be way more than what I made in this fight. I had to get a bunch of X-Rays done, a CAT scan, I had to go get surgery on my hand, I’m gonna have to get my foot casted, I have to go back to the doctor and have my eyes checked out again, all that stuff adds up. It’s crazy that people can sit there and talk **** about me when they have no idea what I did [on Sunday night]. I laid it all on the line, I put my body through Hell. My hand’s broken, I can barely walk, my foot’s broken, I’m on crutches and I got a cast on my hand. I don’t know what the hell people wanted from me. It’s crazy.”
Randy's Take On GSP Vs Penn
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight and light heavyweight titleholder Randy "The Natural" Couture has made a name for himself by his performances in big fights in the UFC Octagon. He's defied Father Time over and over while proving his critics wrong time and again.
Almost as boisterous as his in-cage accolades are his fight breakdowns. "The Natural" has an uncanny ability to make accurate fight picks, including correctly predicting some of the biggest upsets in recent years.
Couture gave his analysis of the UFC 94 main event, the rematch between Georges St. Pierre and B.J. Penn, exclusively for MMAWeekly.com.
TJ Grant Vs Ryo Chonan @ UFC 97
A welterweight fight has been added to the upcoming UFC 97 card in Montreal, as popular Canadian fighter T.J. Grant will make his debut with the promotion against veteran competitor Ryo Chonan. The bout was confirmed to MMAWeekly.com by sources close to the fight who indicated that bout agreements have been signed for the contest.
Spending time in organizations like TKO and King of the Cage, Grant has amassed an impressive record defeating top opponents including former UFC fighters Forrest Petz and Chad Reiner.
Gary Shaw: Benedict De La Hoya slapped boxing in the face with allegiance to ‘haters’
Oscar is not into MMA. He can’t sit there and tell you anything about the moves or strategies that these guys are using. Oscar is not into MMA, and the people who are in MMA are haters. They will never accept him. Oscar won’t be able to overcome that. How could you not attend a fight that involves a boxer who is a partner in your company in a sold-out arena where they have a statue of you out front? That’s a slap in the face to boxing.”
– Former Elite XC Live Events President Gary Shaw shares his thoughts on the recent partnership between Affliction MMA and Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, specifically De La Hoya’s decision to attend “Day of Reckoning” on January 24 instead of the WBA welterweight title fight between Shane Mosely and Antonio Margarito at the nearby Staples Center. Shaw has been a part of both sports at the highest level and perhaps he knows what he’s talking about. Or maybe he’s just bitter about his lack of success in mixed martial arts and doesn’t want to see other people succeed where he did not. Hi hater.
Vitor discusses his future in boxing, a dream match with Fedor, and more
Still in the United States, the fighter spoke with TATAME.com about his future in the event and revealed: his plans, now, also involve the professional Boxing. "It was perfect. I trained hard, was so focused that nothing was going through my min. Now I’ll start to fight professional Boxing. I’ll have a meeting with Oscar de La Hoya and we’ll see that. It has no mystery", said Vitor, who also celebrated the victory over Matt, Renato "Babalu” and Rogério Nogueira’s victories, the dream of fighting against Fedor Emelianenko and more.
Britain's Strongest Man to Make MMA Debut
When Oli Thompson makes his MMA debut at Ultimate Challenge UK (07 Feb 2009) - it will mark an interesting career change. Thompson, who takes on Ashley Pollard at the Troxy in East London, has already been a champion in another field.
Bonnar braces for return
The recession has negatively impacted millions of people, who have lost their jobs and their homes.
Stephan Bonnar has been struggling the past few months, though his financial woes have little to do with the economic downturn.
But when you’re a professional fighter who gets paid only when you compete, a serious injury is a devastating fact of life.
Bonnar missed all of 2008 and will fight for the first time in 15 months on Saturday at UFC 94 when he meets Jon Jones at the MGM Grand Garden.
UFC newcomer Derek Downey to replace Amir Sadollah at UFC Fight Night 17
UFC newcomer Derek Downey (10-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC), a six-year vet who's won five of his past six fights, has signed a multi-fight deal with the UFC and will make his octagon debut in place of an injured Amir Sadollah (1-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) on next week's UFC Fight Night 17 card.
Multiple sources close to the fighter today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of the signing.
Houston Alexander returns at UFC 98 against Andre Gusmao
UFC light heavyweight Houston Alexander (8-4 MMA, 2-3 UFC) will look to end a three-fight losing streak when he meets Andre Gusmao (5-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at UFC 98.
A source close to Alexander told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that both fighters have agreed to the fight and that bout agreements are close to finalized.