Josh Koscheck inks 20-month contract extension with UFC; Eager to fight six times in 2009
After a unanimous decision loss to Thiago Alves at UFC 90: “Cote vs. Silva” in October 2008 — and an epic spat between officials from his management team at Zinkin Entertainment/American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) and the promotion — the top welterweight contender’s future inside the Octagon was suddenly (and shockingly) a huge question mark.
MMAmania.com can reveal that The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) alum recently agreed to a 20-month contract extension, which will keep him locked up until almost 2011.
World beater: Josh Barnett interview exclusive with MMAmania.com
James Iannotti (MMAmania.com): How do you feel you match up with either Fedor or Andrei? Are both of those fights you feel like you can win?
Josh Barnett: Yeah, I think on the feet I can knock either one of them out. I think that Fedor is actually more dangerous because of his ability to mix it up so well between striking and then initiating grapples and taking you down. He keeps people on their toes and he keeps them off balance. It’s really a cool thing to see him implement it. As far as the grappling aspect, I think that Fedor would be a much more difficult fight for me on the ground than Arolvski. Arlovski’s a very strong, capable heavyweight and when he’s doing well he gets stronger as he goes. That’s always something to keep in mind, but when things are going tough you usually test the faith.
James Iannotti (MMAmania.com): What are your thoughts on the rumors of poor ticket sales for this event?
Josh Barnett: They’re just that, rumors. I’ve not heard or seen anything to substantiate them. Unfortunately, a lot of things that people like to point out is the negative. I’ve read some of the negativity in terms of — not just Affliction — but any promotion besides the UFC that’s trying to get off the ground. Everybody’s got an opinion and they all think they can do a better job. Instead of being happy for the possibility of seeing more great fights and sometimes the match ups you’ve been wanting to see for a while, I don’t know, people are just very, very hard to please nowadays. But, you know, the economy is hurting things and the UFC has a huge lock on the market so it’ll be hard to establish your brand amongst that. But you do what you can and if you can put on the kind of fights that get people talking then that’s what’s going to keep bringing them back.
WEC Makes Texas Debut In March
WEC today officially announced WEC 39, the promotion's first foray into Texas. Scheduled for March 1, the card is headlined by WEC Featherweight Champion Mike Brown and WEC Welterweight Champion Carlos Condit making title defenses. The main card will air on Versus.
Randy Couture: Size will be the difference for ‘Penn vs St. Pierre 2'
“We’ve seen the best B.J. Penn we’ve seen in recent years, but that was at 155. He had abs, he looked in shape, he had to train to be down there. The question I have is how much quality weight in this time period can he put on to deal with the size difference between him and Georges. … At that weight class, at 170, I like Georges. Georges has got all the tools. He seems to be within himself mentally, going out and putting together good performances, and demonstrating a lot of skills that nobody really knew he had. There’s some tough things for B.J. to deal with there.”
UFC 96: Rashad Evans vs Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson
MMAmania.com can confirm that a main event title fight between newly crowned UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Rashad Evans (13-0-1) and former 205-pound kingpin Quinton Jackson (29-7) could be added to the UFC 96 card at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, on March 7.
Perhaps the only thing currently standing in the way is time — both fighters face relatively tight turnarounds (nine weeks) since their most recent winning performances at UFC 92: “The Ultimate 2008? on Dec. 27.
Jacaré: “I’ll win the Dream title in 2009”
Without fighting since September, when he had his unbeaten sequence of ten wins in the Dream's middleweight GP final, against Gegard Mousasi, Ronaldo Jacaré wants to go back soon to the Japanese rings. The athlete talked with TATAME about his trains at the X-Gym, in Rio, and ensured that the title will come in 2009.
Rousimar Palhares: “My dream is to fight for the title”
Sometimes in mixed martial arts, as crazy as it sounds, the positives that come from a loss can outweigh the negatives.
Former Pride FC middleweight and light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson put recently put an end to Rousimar Palhares‘ six fight when streak at UFC 88, out pointing Palhares by unanimous decision. Although it was a losing effort, the Brazilian Top Team stand out showed the kind of heart and determination in a fight that few gave him a chance in. It was the kind of performance that let people know that, given the proper development, Palhares could be a serious force to be reckoned with in the future.
Former WEC Featherweight Champion Urijah Faber is unfazed over his loss to Mike Brown and expects a war at WEC 38
Former WEC Featherweight Champion Urijah Faber (21-2) had emerged as the face of World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC), racking up five consecutive wins for the Zuffa-owned promotion, and hadn’t tasted defeat in 13 fights — an impressive streak that dated back to 2005.
Then came a well-placed, fight-ending right hand courtesy of the powerful Mike Brown in the first round of their WEC 36 main event back on November 5.
As Faber explains on MMAmania’s exclusive presentation of Pro MMA Radio, what you see is what you get.
Schaefer Gunning For UFC 93 Submission Bonus
It’s not just a special honor to receive the UFC’s “Submission of the Night” – it also makes your wallet a lot fatter.
For Eric “Ravishing Red” Schafer, tax season is coming up, and he wants a few extra bills to cover the bill from Uncle Sam.
“I’ve gotten second place twice now,” he told MMAWeekly Radio. “One of these days, it will come around.”
Building A Megafight, UFC Goes Primetime
As the big boys on the block, the Ultimate Fighting Championship is used to promoting fights that are considered among the greatest match-ups in mixed martial arts' short history. But the UFC welterweight title bout between current champ Georges St. Pierre and former titleholder and current UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn is a first in the promotion's 15-year history.
Never before has the promotion allowed two current champions to face off. And never before has the prospect been possible that one man in the UFC could hold belts in two weight classes simultaneously. That is exactly what is on the line when St. Pierre and Penn square off at UFC 94 on Jan. 31 in Las Vegas.
UFC: 94 Is Sold Out
To probably nobody's surprise, UFC has announced today that UFC 94, headlined by BJ Penn vs. Georges St. Pierre, is sold out. While some single tickets remain available, seats adjacent to each other appear to be gone. This means at least 14,000 should be in attendance at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Vegas.
UFC 96 Dilemma and the Problem With Overloading Cards
As of today, the main event for UFC 96 in Columbus is Shane Carwin vs. Gabriel Gonzaga. As recently as the UFC 92 post-show conference Dana White expressed an interest in having Chuck Liddell headline the show, but Dave Meltzer reported on his radio show that Chuck does not want to fight in March.
Affliction opens more seats for 'Day of Reckoning'
Affliction announced today that due to high demand, more seats will be made available for "Day of Reckoning" at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
"Despite the tight economy, fight fans are choosing 'Day of Reckoning' as the must-see event of the year, with its stacked to bursting line-up of stellar matches from top to bottom," the promotion's press release stated. "Day of Reckoning," headlined by a title bout between former PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko versus former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski, takes place Saturday, Jan. 24.
British Fighting Championship Launched
Following on from many discussions during 2008, an alliance of MMA promoters have come together to help the growth of the sport in the UK and to assist home grown talent to the international stage by creating a unified set of British Belts.
Titled the BFC - British Fighting Championship - the aim of this joint venture is to include established and new promotions across the UK regions to grow their fighter talent in a free and unrestricted market and for all to benefit from the media exposure that one group brand will be able to provide.
TUF fishbowl staying as-is
UFC president Dana White said he’s not going to require the fighters to change anything about the way they behave. That means alcohol stays in the house and the fighters are free to do what they please when they please.
“If you take any young guys, from a frat house, and put them alone and together you’re going to get that kind of stuff,” White said. “Welcome to dealing with young guys. I’ve talked to the pro skaters and snowboarders and they helicopter guys up to a house and sometimes they get snowed in. They told me that some of the [expletive] that happens with those guys makes what happened on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ look like a joke.”
EliteXC Fighters Threaten to File Formal Complaint If Not Released From Contracts
EliteXC fighters have apparently had enough of waiting around to see what becomes of their contracts, and are now threatening to get tough. MMA Payout reports that many of the fighters have joined forces with the Mixed Martial Arts Fighters’ Association to bring a formal complaint against the organization for holding them in limbo all this time. EliteXC is said to have been given a week to respond before the fighters file their complaint in court.
If "TUF" awaits, UFC 93 headliner Rich Franklin ready to give it his all
For former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin, Saturday's UFC 93 main event fight with Dan Henderson at The 02 in Dublin, Ireland, will answer a lot of questions about his future.
With a coaching stint on "The Ultimate Fighter 9" and a likely return to 185 pounds on the line, Franklin, who recently moved up to the light heavyweight division, isn't too concerned about the future.
But if "TUF" does await, expect Franklin to give it his all.