News on Jake Shields, Tim Sylvia, Sean Salmon, Cung Le and Bill Mahood
After claiming his past four or five fights have been “easy” victories, Elite Xtreme Combat welterweight Jake Shields (19-4-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) says he’s ready for a step up in competition, which could mean a move to the UFC. In a recent interview with adcombat.com, the 28-year-old fighter confirmed he has one fight remaining on his current contract and wants to talk to the UFC before he considers re-signing with EliteXC. Shields, who many consider a top-10 welterweight, would be a solid addition to the UFC’s 170-pound division — but the division is stacked, and it wouldn’t be an easy road to a title shot.
The Tuesday Takedown 10.16.07
In this week's edition of The Tuesday Takedown, we'll discuss the shocking news of Randy Couture's departure, who Fedor Emelianenko's next opponent might be, EliteXC signing two big names, a look ahead to my picks for UFC 77, and much more!
UFC endures tough week
While UFC remains the No. 1 domestic MMA brand in the U.S., last week's announcement by Randy Couture that he is resigning from the promotion wasn't the only bad news for Dana White. A couple of other domestic and foreign competitors made moves that only compounded the shock of Couture's departure.
Bas Rutten Speaks On Randy Couture's Resignation
Randy Couture's good friend and training partner Bas Rutten spoke recently with Mauro Ranallo of Fight Network Radio. They touched on a variety of topics, including Couture's abrupt resignation from the UFC . Below are a couple of excerpts from that conversation:
Work In Progress: Cuban Critiques His MMA Debut Show
The first HDNet Fights MMA show is now in the books, and now HDNet owner Mark Cuban is commenting on how everything came off, basically amounting it to a work in progress and a "learning experience".
One good sign is that it appears everyone, both fans and fighters, left happy. That's one very important thing for Cuban to stay focused on in the future so that both keep coming back.
News From Japan: Akiyama-Kang Headlines HERO'S
At a press conference earlier today in Tokyo, FEG announced the full card for the K-1 HERO'S event on 10/28 in Seoul, South Korea. The biggest story was that the main event will be Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Denis Kang.
A bit of a surprise here, while they were both expected to be in showcase bouts I don't think anyone expected them to be in the same main event fight.
Karo Parisyan: No Lombard, No Problem
UFC Welterweight Karo Parisyan, who was set to face Hector Lombard at UFC 78 before visa issues caused Lombard to pull out, doesn't seem to mind Ryo Chonan stepping in to replace Lombard. In fact, Karo might be looking more forward to it now.
Definitely a bigger fight now based on just name recognition and also because Chonan is another top PRIDE fighter coming over to UFC.
Strikeforce Fighter Fails Drug Test
The CSAC announced Monday that Bill Mahood, who fought and lost to Bobby Southworth at Strikeforce on 9/29, has failed a post-fight drug test.
The Fight Network reports Mahood was suspended for 1 year and fined $2.500. He apparently took the same substance as UFC's Hermes Franca.
Robbie Lawler Set For ICON Title Defense
ICON Sport has confirmed that Middleweight Champion "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler will defend his title against Kala Kolohe Hose on December 15. The fight originally was set for June but a Lawler injury forced its postponement.
This one could be either a short or long slugfest, both fighters usually win their bouts by KO or TKO. It's also a chance for Lawler to show his recent EliteXC title win over Murilo "Ninja" Rua wasn't a fluke.
Cung Le Confirmed For Strikeforce Event
Strikeforce has confirmed that their November 16 event in San Jose, CA will now feature hometown Middleweight fighter Cung Le. No opponent has been named yet but Le said in an interview yesterday that Frank Shamrock backed out of the fight.
Seems Shamrock is getting good at not backing up his words, it seems that this fight was all but confirmed not too long ago by both fighters and would've been a good test for the unbeaten Le.
Hendo Rejects UFC Extension
Famed PRIDE fighter turned UFC star Dan Henderson (22-6) recently rebuffed UFC overtures regarding a contract extension. Henderson was apparently dissatisfied with an extension offered by Dana White before his light heavyweight title fight with Quinton Jackson, and chose instead to continue fighting under his "Pride" contract.
Arona denies being signed to M-1
Translated from Tatame:
Arona denies fight with Fedor in the M-1
Recently signed come from Europe, where gave seminars in Paris, Barcelona and Malaga, the range of black-BTT Ricardo Arona denied the rumors that the event would have closed with Russian M-1 and that Emilianenko fight with Fedor. "We closed with the M-1. I heard a lot about it there, but have not received any proposal to fight Fedor. Pra you be honest I do not know of this event, "said Arona, who wants to make a fight yet this year. "Now some proposals of Canada, the States and Japan, but I am awaiting the best proposal to close a struggle even in December," revealed the BTT.
Sylvia’s Quest for a Third Belt Begins Saturday
Tim Sylvia’s been here before, in the role no fighter wants to be in. And while “comeback” is a dirty word because it means you’re returning from a loss, serious injury, some other mishap, or a combination of all of the above, those who do return in successful fashion find glory first of all, and sometimes they even find redemption.
Another Type Of Rush-Climbing The MMA Ranking Ladder
As fighters like Sean Salmon Kenny Florian and trainers like Monte Cox will tell you, climbing the ladder that is the way up in MMA is quite different from boxing-namely, it can be a lot faster. But there are still pitfalls to watch out for.
Really good read here, it reveals a lot about how UFC has to rely a lot on inexperienced fighters to fill cards and how sometimes it's good to move up the rankings fast, but it's also good to still go the slow but steady route to the top.
News From Japan: New MMA Sanctioning Body And Victory Road Begin
In addition to the announcement today of the founding of the World Victory Road promotion in Japan, also announced was the creation of the Japan Mixed Martial Arts Federation (JMM), a sanctioning body for MMA in Japan. Tomiaki Fukuda was named President of JMM, Tadao Yasuda VP, and Naoya Kinoshita the CEO of World Victory Road.
No fighters named as of yet for the promotion, but they promised a first show announcement soon and they said a TV deal's in the works, so it sounds like Victory Road is off to a good start. The sanctioning body is another positive that should benefit every MMA promotion in Japan.
Ricardo Arona signs with M-1
Ricardo Arona signs with M-1
According to “Vale Tudo News”, Brazilian ace Ricardo Arona (13-5-0) announced that he has signed a four fight deal with Russian organization M-1. The opponent(s), due to contractual issues, weren't revealed. Arona said that he is now focused in his debut, in December. When asked if the first fight would be with Fedor Emilianenko (26-1-0), Ricardo Arona smiled and kept his silence.
Forrest Griffin To Have Shoulder Surgery?
According to a forum post by fellow TUF alum Rory Singer, Forrest Griffin has been fighting with a shoulder injury and should have surgery soon.
Never would've guessed by looking at him and it hasn't really affected his recent fights negatively.