Marshall Signs With PFC
Former WEC Light Heavyweight Champion Doug Marshall, coming off losing his title to Brian Stann, has signed a 1-fight deal with Palace Fighting Championships. He'll fight July 18 for PFC after being granted permission by WEC to sign the deal (he remains under contract to WEC).
On a crisp November morning in Culver City, Calif., Gina Carano pulled up in front of Sony Pictures Studios. It was the final day of cuts for "American Gladiators," the popular spandex-laden, physical-challenge driven TV series that thrived on Saturday night television from 1989-1996.
Carano hadn't been aware of the show when news leaked of the latest guilty pleasure revival. She hadn't waited in the lines of thousands that churned out as many pull-ups as they could muster at rapid-fire pace or catapulted their bodies from end-to-end of a gymnasium in the hopes of catching the right producer's eye.
Instead, NBC producers had seen Carano -- who had fought two of her five career MMA bouts under the newly-formed EliteXC banner that year on Showtime -- and wanted her. She had turned down audition after audition, until her coach of four months, six-time UFC champion Randy Couture, encouraged her to head down to Los Angeles and at least give it a try.
Sitting outside the studio, looking up at the massive white building in front of her, Carano made a decision. She started her car, pulled out of the parking lot, and kept driving until she reached a friend's house in San Diego.
"I didn't want it to take away from who I am. I wanted to live up to my responsibilities of being a well-known female MMA fighter," says Carano. "I wanted to be good for the sport."
Carano's name, along with her beautiful face and a physique more suited for modeling then fighting, had become a regular fixture of EliteXC advertisements played in diligent rotation on Showtime. Carano's gutsy performance with fellow femme Julie Kedzie for EliteXC "Destiny" that previous February has not only helped launch the fledgling promotion, it had cemented at least a temporary home for female fighters.
The dimple-cheeked 26-year-old was crowned "The Women's Face of MMA," and with good reason. EliteXC executives saw that same intangible quality that fueled NBC producers to go back to the raven-haired beauty one last time and convince her to finally join the "American Gladiators" cast the night before shooting was scheduled to begin. This time, Carano hesitantly agreed.
Toe-to-toe with ‘Lil’ Evil’
Pulver dropped down to 145 pounds, his natural weight where he feels more comfortable, for his WEC debut and submitted highly-touted Cub Swanson with a guillotine choke.
That victory earned him a title shot against Faber, who is one of the fastest rising stars in mixed martial arts.
Garcia looking to clear his name, eyeing return to the cage.
WEC featherweight Leonard Garcia (11-3) has lived through a roller coaster of emotions over the past 12 months.
The 28-year-old first came in to prominence with a spirited decision loss to lightweight Roger Huerta at UFC 69 in April 2007. And after mixed results in Garcia's next two fights, "Bad Boy" decided to drop to his natural weight of 145 pounds, and he earned an impressive first-round-TKO victory over Hiroyuki Takaya at February's WEC 32.
Pulver and Faber discuss fight strategy
WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber (20-1) says Jens Pulver's (22-8-1) only chance at victory at Sunday's WEC 34 event is via knockout; Pulver doesn't disagree.
The two fighters discussed their upcoming bout and fight strategies in a video clip released by VERSUS.
The cable station airs the title fight and the rest of WEC 34's televised main card on Sunday at 9 p.m. ET.
Kevin Burns expected to replace Ryo Chonan at UFC 85
UFC newcomer Kevin "The Fire" Burns (4-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will likely replace Ryo Chonan (12-6 MMA, 2-1 UFC) at UFC 85, where he'll meet Roan Carneiro (14-8 MMA, 0-1 UFC) on the night's preliminary card.
Sources close to Burns today told MMAjunkie.com that the Nebraska-based fighter has agreed to be a late replacement at next weekend's pay-per-view event.
UFC 84 Payouts Revealed
The NSAC has released the fighter payouts from UFC 84. The total disclosed payouts, which do not include sponsor money, other bonuses, etc. totaled just over $1.23 million.
What If Thompson Ruins The Party?
Listening to the Elite XC Kimbo-Thompson press conference, it was amusing to me how Thompson got like 2-3 questions and the rest of the time was Kimbo and Gary Shaw. Thompson is a complete afterthought in the promotion of this fight, but it sounds like he is taking it very seriously:
Sherk Didn't Fight to Win ??
Having re-watched UFC 84, I have to say that Sean Sherk, despite fighting hard for almost three full rounds against the best 155lb fighter in the world, didn't give it his best.
In the post fight interview, Rogan asked Sherk why he didn't try harder to take B.J. down. Sherk said it was because he felt he was "competitive" against B.J. on his feet.
Affliction and Negativity
Sam Caplan has a piece up at CBS taking umbrage with those focusing on the financial follies of Affliction:
However, in spite of the abundance of talent this show stands to offer, there are still some Internet curmudgeons who have taken issue with Affliction and the amount of money they intend to spend on the card, which has been reported to be anywhere between $4 million to $6 million.
Which begs the question: Who cares?
Because, after all, it's not our money. If Affliction has it and wants to spend it generously, where's the downside? If someone wants to toss around millions of dollars for the benefit of the MMA fan, I'm all for it.
How do you solve a problem like Machida?
Lyoto Machida posted his 13th straight career victory -- and his fifth win in the UFC -- with Saturday's UFC 84 unanimous decision over former title-older Tito Ortiz.
But is his latest victory really worth celebrating? Does he now deserve a title shot or a fight with another top contender?
It depends on whom you're asking.