Gilbert Yvel's Unlikely Advocate......Josh Barnett
News that Dutch striker Gilbert Yvel was scheduled to face Josh Barnett at Affliction’s upcoming “Day of Reckoning” raised many eyebrows.
Few fighters in the game are as controversial as Yvel. Despite one of the most exciting and explosive skill sets in the heavyweight division, his career has been marred by several in-ring incidents that made him unemployable to most big promotions. Among the most notorious: biting a referee in a 1998 bout in Russia, eye gouging Don Frye at PRIDE 16, and most alarmingly, knocking out a referee in 2004 at a show in Finland.
In February of 2007, the Nevada State Athletic Commission denied Yvel a license to fight for his past misbehaviors.
To ensure he will licensed for “Reckoning,” Yvel and his representatives will meet with Assistant Executive Officer Bill Douglas in early January for a closed-door session.
Cung Le Reflects on 2008, Looks To 2009
From an infant escaping war-torn Vietnam shortly before the fall of its capital, Saigon, to San Shou star to MMA champion, Cung Le has seen his share of good times and bad.
Still, throughout it all, he has persisted to become the best at what he does, leading him to find success both in and out of the arena and become one of combat sports' most popular athletes.
Recently Le had a chance to look back over his year and discuss the injury that has kept him sidelined much of the year, while also pursuing a blossoming film career.
Paul Taylor Out Of UFC 95
Top British welterweight Paul Taylor will not be fighting at UFC 95 in London, Fighters Only has learned.
According to his management, Taylor is taking longer than expected to recover from the broken ribs he sustained against Chris Lytle at UFC 89.
Taylor had been rumoured to be facing The Ultimate Fighter season seven graduate Matt ‘The Immortal’ Brown.
Aside from Taylor being British, the UFC was keen to have him because he is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser with three Fight of the Night awards to his name.
Affliction's Tom Atencio unfazed by competition from UFC, WEC, Golden Boy
Despite a crammed month of combat-sports offerings from the Ultimate Fighting Championship, World Extreme Cagefighting and even partner Golden Boy Productions, Tom Atencio believes January's "Affliction: Day of Reckoning" event is poised for success.
In fact, Atencio, Affliction's Vice President, thinks the show could outdo its debut event "Banned," which took place in July and drew 14,832 spectators with more than 100,000 pay-per-view buys.
Vitor Belfort the boxer?
The fighter most excited by the recent alliance between Affliction Entertainment and Golden Boy Promotions is Vitor Belfort. Belfort made it clear that he wants to take up boxing in the very near future.
“I want to fight boxing - professional,” Belfort said, “I hope Golden Boy can make that happen.”
To this point, Belfort has not signed with Golden Boy or any other boxing promotion. He made it clear that this is the first official declaration of his intentions.
“I just made the first announcement today that I am interested,” Belfort said, “I am just going see who the person is that I need to negotiate with - now is the time with Golden Boy involved”
Eddie Alvarez Gearing Up For ESPN-Bellator
As the sport of mixed martial arts continues to grow all over the world, Bellator Fighting Championships may be the biggest expansion into the Latin market that has been made so far. Debuting on ESPN Deportes in 2009, Bellator made a huge move last month signing on No. 2 ranked lightweight Eddie Alvarez to fight in its inaugural tournament and fight for them beginning in April next year.
Frank Shamrock - New Interview!
Frank Shamrock ‘Moving on to 2009’
Former Undefeated UFC Champion and Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Frank Shamrock talked with PDG about the Fall of EliteXC, the Rise of Strikeforce, fighting Tito Ortiz, his brother Ken, a rematch with Cung Le and More!
PDG: Really, so the fight is still scheduled for around April?
Shamrock: I have arena dates booked and a pay-per-view date all set up. Ken is just being Ken though and we really haven't finalized his commitment to the fight. I have worked way too hard to make this fight happen but man it has been an uphill battle all the way.
PDG: Overall, what are your lasting impressions of how the whole EliteXC-CBS Saturday Night program ended and the ultimate demise of the company?
Shamrock: Sadly, I believe that the ending was almost inevitable. The way they had their business model laid out, they were not equipped to handle any bad press. You had a bunch of guys that didn't know what they were doing making the decisions for the company. As far as Kimbo Slice getting knocked out, I thought it was great MMA. That is what the whole sport is about; two fighters get in there and go at it and the situation created a great opportunity for Seth Petruzelli. That moment was pure MMA and its unfortunate that it caused the demise of the company.
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Lightweights Rich Clementi and Gleison Tibau meet at UFC Fight Night 17
After his six-fight win streak was snapped with a unanimous-decision loss to Gray Maynard at UFC 90, Rich Clementi (32-13-1 MMA, 5-4 UFC) looks to return to the win column when he meets fellow lightweight Gleison Tibau (15-6 MMA, 3-3 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 17.
The event takes place Feb. 7 at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Fla.
Spike TV will broadcast a live two-hour main card, but the Clementi-Tibau fight takes place on the night's un-aired preliminary card.
UFC newcomer Denis Stojnic to face Cain Velasquez at UFC Fight Night 17
Bosnia and Herzegovina-based UFC newcomer Denis Stojnic (5-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will meet highly regarded UFC heavyweight prospect Cain Velasquez (4-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) in February at UFC Fight Night 17.
The event takes place Feb. 7 at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Fla.
The night's main card will air on Spike TV, though it's unknown if the Stojnic-Velasquez bout will be a part of the two-hour broadcast.
UFC Signs Dutch Heavyweight Stefan Struve
He will make his debut at UFC 95 in London, although his opponent has not been agreed upon.
“I think I can beat most of the guys there. They have five or six really good heavyweights. The other guys... not so good, I think,” Struve told us.
Struve (22-2) was picked up by the promotion after submitting UFC veteran Mario ‘Sukata’ Neto several weeks ago.
And in July, he stopped another UFC veteran – Colin Robinson – with a triangle after a one-sided first round.
TUF 8's Lawlor Dropping To Middleweight
After likely earning at least one more fight in UFC thanks to his win at the TUF 8 Finale, Tom Lawlor has announced he will drop to Middleweight after being a Light Heavyweight on the show. He plans to return in March after recovering from what he's "pretty sure" is a broken hand suffered in his Finale win.
Paul Taylor Signs Contract Extension with the UFC
UK welterweight favourite Paul Taylor has signed another 4 fights deal with the UFC. Speaking to MMA Unlimited Paul said: “Wow, it’s great to think that potentially I will have 9 UFC fights. Some guys only get two. I am not blowing my own trumpet but I feel lucky that the UFC see that I entertain the fans.
Matt Hamill Training With Renzo Gracie
Matt Hamill has gone back to the drawing board. The stellar wrestler came up short in his last outing at UFC 88 against former UFC champion Rich Franklin in a performance that many felt lacked heart and desire.
Hamill has since rededicated himself to the sport and in doing so has been spotted training with Brazilian jui-jitsu legend Renzo Gracie.
Carneiro & Aurelio Depart UFC Roster
American Top Team black belt Roan Carneiro is no longer a member of the UFC roster, FiveOuncesOfPain.com learned Wednesday.
Five Ounces of Pain learned of the news having been contacted by a source speaking on the condition of anonymity. The information was later verified after speaking with American Top Team President Dan Lambert.
With the UFC looking to trim its roster from over 180 contracted fighters down to the neighborhood of 140 combatants, former PRIDE Bushido standout Marcus “Maximus” Aurelio found himself caught in a numbers game in the weeks that proceeded his loss to Hermes Franca this past October at UFC 90.
UFC Quick Quotes: ‘Tis the season to get into a fight
“I never really liked the holidays anyway.”
– Forrest Griffin
“I’ve been in camp for about seven weeks now. I guess all the holidays have kind of lost their significance. It’s going to be sad that I’m not going to be there with my kids and everything, cause I really look forward to that. It’s just going to be another day and then we’ll celebrate later on.”
– Rashad Evans
“They’re going to come see me on the 25th and everything. Then we’ll celebrate Christmas afterwards. It’s all good, it’s my job. All my kids know what dad does — I’m a fighter. That’s the job that God gave me.”
– Quinton “Rampage” Jackson