MMA Hotbed Shut Down, Start Of Trend?
A recent hotbed of mixed martial arts talent, Arizona State University on Tuesday announced the discontinuation of its wrestling program due primarily to budget constraints. Cain Velasquez, C.B. Dollaway, Ryan Bader, and Aaron Simpson are all ASU alums. They all emerged from the university’s wrestling program. This could be the start of a trend among educational institutions, potentially a future detriment to MMA.
Affliction Not Airing On HDNet
Yet. Despite rumors that HDNet was a possible carrier and had a rumored deal to air Affliction, HDNet executives have confirmed those rumors as false. There is a chance, however, that a deal could be made at some point down the road.
Carano on ESPN E:60
The E:60 crew talking about Carano and MMA. These people have no idea what they are talking about, but at least it is prime time coverage.
EliteXC Plans Women's Title, All-Female Fight Card
During a conference call today, EliteXC president Gary Shaw announced plans to create a Women's Title for the promotion, and possibly an all-women fight card to air on TV in '09. The first women's title would be at 140 with other weight classes possibly getting titles later.
Tito Ortiz: Life After the UFC
***********: Tito, you do a million interviews - and with good reason, you're one of the most popular fighters of all time. So I have to ask...are you sick of giving interviews?
Tito Ortiz: No, you know, it's just part of the job. It's something that comes with the work and it's also something that I do very well. I'm not tired of them - I actually enjoy them. I always give good interviews and I have good answers for the fans.
***********: Have your fans stayed loyal with your impending UFC retirement or have you seen some drop off the bandwagon?
Tito Ortiz: Actually, I've seen my fan base increase. They've seen the true colors of Dana and they've seen that I'm not the only one saying something. Many fighters - Randy [Couture], Tim [Sylvia] - are talking about what Dana has been doing. Fans want to support me no matter where I go.
***********: And on that note, can you tell us what's next for you?
Tito Ortiz: Well, nothing official yet. As soon as this fight is over, I have a 30-day waiting period before I can negotiate.
***********: Which organizations are you interested in?
Tito Ortiz: Definitely EliteXC. Affliction seems to be building up well. And they just started with DREAM in Japan. Any organization that will respect me and promote me as the champion that I am.
Exclusive: Sean Sherk Talks Steroid Allegations, Says BJ Penn “Doesn’t Know What It’s Like” to Train Hard
Sean Sherk isn’t what most would call a fan favorite. Sure, he has his hardcore contingent of supporters, but even when he reigned as the UFC lightweight champ he faced criticism from detractors who found his style of fighting less than enthralling to watch. That criticism reached a fever pitch after a positive steroid test following his title defense against Hermes Franca last summer, which resulted in Sherk being stripped of the title.
“The Muscle Shark” has repeatedly professed his innocence on the steroid charge, filing an appeal with the CSAC and taking repeated polygraph tests to try and clear his name. Now the former UFC lightweight champion talks with Cage Potato about the steroid accusations, his attempts to prove his innocence, and the war of words with current title-holder B.J. Penn, as they prepare to meet in the Octagon at UFC 84.
Shonie Carter headlines PrimetimeFC1; Clay Guida guest referee
Longtime MMA fighter and UFC veteran Shonie Carter (38-17-7) headlines the Primetime Fighting Championship debut event, "Primetime FC 1," which takes place May 30.
Carter will face Midwesterner Demi Deeds (12-4), who goes for his fifth straight victory.
The event, which also features veteran Ron Fields (22-25-1) vs. Bobby Martinez (12-8), takes place at the Star Plaza Theatre in Merrillville, Ind.
UFC lightweight Clay Guida, who competed throughout the Midwest before moving onto larger organizations such as Strikeforce and World Extreme Cagefighting, will serve as a guest referee during the event.
Tickets for the show, which range from $20 to $155, are now available at Ticketmaster.
The full card includes:
* Shonie Carter (38-17-7) vs. Demi Deeds (12-4)
* Ron Fields (22-25-1) vs. Bobby Martinez (12-8)
* Boban Simic (7-2-1) vs. Jason Riley (9-0)
* Steve Kinnison (16-11-1) vs. Dustin Neace (21-10-1)
* Antonio Canas (2-2) vs. Paul Martin (0-1)
* Scott Tuggle (2-1) vs. Tony Marti (0-1)
* Chase Minor (6-0) vs. Brandon Munson (6-1)
* Jesse Chilton (11-3) vs. TBA
* Ramy Daoud (2-1) vs. Christian Neilsen (0-2)
* Jeremy Ashley (2-4) vs. Jon Murphy (3-1)
* Jay Estrada (21-8) vs. Dave Love (9-7-1)
* Said Hatim (0-0) vs. Michael Hampton (0-0)
Nick Diaz vs Hayato ‘Mach’ Sakurai DREAM 5 fight to determine welterweight champion
Nick Diaz (16-7) will fight Hayato “Mach” Sakurai (32-8-2) for the first-ever DREAM welterweight title at the Osakajo Hall in Osaka, Japan, on July 21, accordingly to MMAWeekly.com.
Diaz earned the right to challenge for the vacant strap with a first round technical knockout of Katsuya Inoue at DREAM 3 this past weekend. It was a fight that almost scrapped but was given the green light at the last minute by ProElite officials, which turned out to be a wise decision in hindsight.
He is healthy enough to challenge Muhsin Corbbrey at the Elite XC show slated for the Blaisdell Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, on June 14 (a cause for alarm prior to the fight) and he is a possible star in the making overseas — Diaz was involved in a sensational bout with Takanori Gomi … something more than likely still fresh in the minds of Japanese MMA fans.
Sakurai, on the other hand, is coming of a surprise submission loss to David Baron at Shooto: “Tradition 1? earlier this month. “Mach” — who was recently courted by the UFC to no avail — has already competed under the DREAM banner, defeating Hidetaka Monma via technical knockout in the inaugural event back in March.
This should be an extremely exciting fight, which will punctuate the finals of the 2008 Dream Lightweight Grand Prix … what a night for mixed martial arts it is shaping up to be.
MMANews.com Interview With EliteXC Star Kimbo Slice
Chris Howie of MMANews.com: This is Chris Howie with MMANews.com and today I am speaking with the man who will face James Thompson on May 31st on CBS, Kimbo Slice. How are things Kimbo?
Kimbo Slice: Things are going good Chris.
MMANews.com: So you have a big fight coming up May 31st. What are your thoughts on that?
Kimbo Slice: May 31st? What do you want to know buddy?
MMANews.com: First and foremost how does it feel to be in the main event of the first MMA card ever on Network Television?
Kimbo Slice: I was born to do what I am doing and I am looking forward to this fight. I train hard. I make dedications and sacrifices and commitments because this is something I love to do Chris.
MMANews.com: What are your thoughts on your opponent that night, James Thompson?
Kimbo Slice: I never under estimate any of my opponents. James Thompson is a well rounded fighter. He has great ground work and he is not afraid to stand and bang. He has the ability to knock out his opponent and I’m prepared for that. If it goes to the ground I have a lot of tools that I’m dying to use so I’m also looking forward to a good ground game.
MMANews.com: How has your training been going for the fight?
Kimbo Slice: Training has been going great man. I can’t complain.
MMANews.com: You mentioned that you have some ground tools that you are dying to use. Are you training your ground techniques often?
Paul Kelly talks injury, withdrawal from UFC 85
British fighter Paul Kelly and Canadian fighter Jonathan Goulet had been expecting to face each other when the Ultimate Fighting Championship returned to the O2 Arena in London on June 7. But before the bout could even be officially announced by the promotion, not one, but both fighters had to withdraw from the bout due to health concerns.
Late last week, Goulet, not disclosing the specifics of his withdrawal, said, “I have to cancel the fight against Paul Kelly for UFC 85 because of health reasons.”
At the same time, Kelly, unaware of Goulet’s problems, had the injury bug bite him. “I injured me finger,” he told MMAWeekly.com.
Kelly actually injured his finger about three weeks ago in training, but tried to work his way through it, but it wasn’t to be. He later discovered that he pulled the ligaments on the back of his finger, which is quite painful and limits the functionality in his right hand.
He is expected to be in a cast for about three weeks or so.
It isn’t something that he could change, but that doesn’t stop Kelly from being disappointed that he will be unable to fight at UFC 85. “I’m feeling a bit guilty,” said Kelly. “I’m a little bit devastated over possibly missing me bonus.”
Tito Ortiz reforming team punishment
In it's heyday, Team Punishment was the top of the food chain in mixed martial arts. Founder Tito Ortiz plans to reform his fight team and return it to its former glory when Team Punishment fighters held the Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight and heavyweight titles.
"I have some really, really good guys. I'm really focusing right now on getting back to where I was four years ago, four or five years ago when we had Rampage (Quinton Jackson) and everybody else, Ricco Rodriguez and everybody together," Ortiz told MMAWeekly Radio.
"I'm going to do it again. Ricco is actually training with me now. I've got Mark Munoz from Sacramento training with me right now. I've got Carlo Prater from Texas who is training with me now. I'm going to start focusing on this. I'm going to start doing it. I really feel like I'm getting back to where I was before and surrounding myself with great people, great fighters. I'm going to do this."
Ortiz plans to expand Team Punishment to all weight classes and once again make it one of the premier training camps in MMA.
"I'm going to find a guy in each weight class from 155 to heavyweight, and try to get the best I possibly can. The brand of Team Punishment is a worldwide known brand, and we're known to punish our opponents. You've got to get the best fighters to do that, so I'm going to go across the United States and go across possibly Europe and try to find some of the best fighters and bring them around Team Punishment. I'm going to start the team again."
JZ Out 3-4 Months With Torn ACL
Gesias "JZ" Cavalcante revealed last week that he has been sidelined with a torn ACL, an injury that likely will keep him out 3-4 months. He hopes to return to DREAM by the end of the year.
DREAM has just signed Kid Yamamoto. Set to fight at DREAM.4
DreamFighters.com's reporter/contributer "MMAPhD" has reported that Kid Yamamoto has just signed a fight deal with DREAM, as is set to fight at DREAM.4
As quoted earlier by Kid Yamamoto"
"I don't know when my next fight is yet, but I'm sure I fight in DREAM and I hope I can fight in Jun or July."
"At first, I want DREAM to have a lighter weight class than the light weight class. 63 to 64 kg is ideal."
Andre Arlovski vs Ben Rothwell at Affliction: Banned
Affliction just announced today that Andre Arlovski and Ben Rothwell will fight each other at Affliction: Banned on July 19.
The “Banned” fight card will be the first show promoted by Affliction and has one of the best fight cards of the year. Both Rothwell and Arlovski are under contract with Adrenaline MMA but are fighting with permission on the Affliction card. Since the inaugural Adrenaline event is just a month earlier, both fighters will not be available for the Adrenaline show. The Adrenaline website does say both fighters are still scheduled to compete on the second Adrenaline fight card on September 6.
Manhoef Goes From Surgery to Dream Fight
Keeping it a secret from Dream officials, Melvin Manhoef fought on the recent DREAM.3 card on Sunday night in Japan, only a couple of weeks removed from surgery.
Manhoef fought and lost by way of knockout to Remy Bonjasky on April 26 in Amsterdam. The bout was part of the K-1 World Grand Prix 2008, fought under K-1 kickboxing rules.
On Sunday, May 11, in Saitama, Manhoef then fought under mixed martial arts rules, defeating Korean fighter Dae Won Kim in the first round of their fight at DREAM.3.
In his post-fight interview following the MMA bout, Manhoef revealed, “I didn't tell either Dream or K-1, but I was injured in my last fight against Remy Bonjasky. Because I received a lot of kicks and punches in the ribs, I had to have surgery to take out blood from behind the lung and I was hospitalized for seven days. So, I couldn't fight as aggressively as I wanted, I needed to be patient.”
This explains why he didnt look as impressive or explosive as usual at Dream 3, i hope he has a full recovery and gets the knockout in Manhoef fashion at Dream 4. WAR MANHOEF!
uk ufc action ... for all brits !!!
Hello guys, if you are like me wondering when a big deal would exchange hands so that the USA UFC events are broadcasted in the UK live on the night, then this could be what we have been waiting for. I have emailed Setanta sports over the last few weeks asking them if there are any plans in the pipe work or securing a deal with the UFC that hopefully gives us live coverage straight from the states.
They cant tell me too much but i did just receive this response ...
Thank you for your e-mail. Please accept my apologies for the delay in response.
Due to exceptional demand for the Setanta Sports package, we have received a high volume of customer enquiries by e-mail and are therefore unable to reply within our usual timescales. We are working hard to ensure that we respond to you as soon as we can.
I'm delighted to inform you that Setanta Sports and The Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC) have signed a multi-year deal. From July this year, Setanta Sports 1 will be the exclusive home for all of the UFC’s big UK -and- US fights, plus all other UFC programming, in Britain and Ireland.
I hope you enjoy your viewing.)
... So hopefully this is the deal that gives us live events anywhere in the world !!
thank you SETANTA !!