One-on-one with Mark Cuban
Cuban is the billionaire owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and the co-founder of the high definition television channel HDNet. In October 2007, Cuban built upon HDNet's past mixed martial arts telecasts, diving head first into the MMA ring with the start of his promotion, HDNet Fights. I conducted an e-mail interview with him this past weekend in which he discussed everything from entrepreneurship to pro basketball to where the sport of MMA is headed. What follows is the transcript of that interview.
Its interesting what Cuban has to say about the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act. It is something that soon the UFC could indeed be made to follow.
Arrested Bias Wakes from Coma
Former Palace Fighting Championship featherweight titleholder Shawn Bias (Pictures) awoke from his coma Tuesday morning and was lucid enough to speak with family and friends, Sherdog.com has confirmed.
The 22-year-old fighter suffered an apparent heart attack late Saturday night and lapsed into a coma around 1 a.m. Sunday morning. After being admitted to the Oroville General Intensive Care Unit, Bias was also diagnosed with complete kidney failure.
Bias, who was given a 30-percent chance of surviving by doctors, remains connected to a dialysis machine.
Akiyama-Misaki Ruled No Contest
Following a review of the Dec. 31 bout between Yoshihiro Akiyama (Pictures) and Kazuo Misaki (Pictures), the Yarennoka executive committee has ruled the fight a No Contest.
The match ended when Akiyama was knocked out with a vicious kick to the face as he attempted to scramble to his feet. Following the bout, there was much debate whether the decisive blow had been illegal.
Coleman to be inducted into the UFC HoF
The first-ever UFC Heavyweight Champion and PRIDE FC Grand Prix Champion, Mark Coleman (15-8), is rumored to be up for induction into the Hall of Fame at UFC 82: “Pride of a Champion” on March 1 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
UFC 82: Jon Fitch vs. Chris Wilson likely to fight (Exclusive)
With Akihiro Gono out with a hand injury, MMAmania.com has learned that Chris Wilson (13-3) might step up to face top welterweight contender, Jon Fitch (15-2), at UFC 82: “Pride of a Champion” on March 1 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
It would mark the Octagon debut for the red-hot Team Quest fighter if and when bout agreements are finalized.
Wilson is a veteran of the International Fight League (IFL) and Bodog Fight. He has strung together four straight wins against solid competitors such as Rory Markham, Jay Heiron and Derrick noble during that stretch.
He’s a tough guy who will be thrown in the deep end against an experienced UFC veteran like Fitch in his Octagon debut. It’s an incredible opportunity, however, to make an instant splash in the organization much like Houston Alexander did when he burst onto the scene to dash the title chances of Keith Jardine.
Fitch, however, is undefeated (7-0) in the Octagon since his debut in 2005. He has also not lost a professional fight since 2002 — more than five years. His rise to the top of the division has been long and hard and it didn’t get much easier with this fight … it’s dangerous.
In the recent past, we’ve called for Fitch to take on Karo Parisyan and Marcus Davis, who are top guys and well-known among fans. Those fights are not going to happen in the immediate future. Therefore, we’ll have to just sit tight and hang on for the ride.
This should actually be a tough fight for both guys if the Wilson who appeared in the footage that I’ve seen shows up in Ohio in top form.
UFC Sponsor Files For Bankruptcy
The Las Vegas manufacturer and distributor of energy drink Xenergy, which sponsors the Ultimate Fighting Championship, has filed for bankruptcy protection amid claims of intimidation and death threats.
*UPDATE* Heath Will Face Tim Boetsch At UFC 81 (NOT Ruiz!)
With Tomasz Drwal being forced to withdraw from the match-up with David Heath at UFC 81 due to a knee injury, it was believed that the entire bout would be scrapped, but MMAWeekly.com has confirmed that a new opponent for Heath stepped in at the eleventh hour, rounding out the card with a total of nine fights.
Originally, sources indicated to MMAWeekly that Anthony Ruiz, who recently defeated former Ultimate Fighter season two finalist Brad Imes at the Palace Fighting Championship, was accepting the bout with Heath.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Tuesday morning did confirm that Heath is still on the fight card for UFC 81, however, his opponent is not Anthony Ruiz, but Pennsylvania light heavyweight prospect Tim Boetsch.
David Heath Will Face Anthony Ruiz At UFC 81
With Tomasz Drwal being forced to withdraw from the match-up with David Heath at UFC 81 due to a knee injury, it was believed that the entire bout would be scrapped, but MMAWeekly.com has confirmed that Heath will now fight Anthony Ruiz, rounding out the card with a total of nine fights.
Recently defeating former Ultimate Fighter season two finalist Brad Imes at the Palace Fighting Championship show in California, Ruiz has won his last six fights in a row, including Imes and another UFC alum, Bobby Southworth.
UFC gambles on untested Lesnar
In the spring of 2000, Brock Lesnar was a University of Minnesota senior, just two weeks and a handful of workouts away from the NCAA Division I wrestling tournament.
Today, the 30-year-old Lesnar finds himself in a similar situation as he trains for his match against former Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight champion Frank Mir in the most publicized debut in UFC history.
The former “Next Big Thing” of pro wrestling has become ultimate fighting's next gigantic question mark, a 1-0 fighter with 69 seconds of ring experience thrown into the deep end of a shark-infested pool.
Whether he's in over his head remains to be seen, but the reason he's being billed as the semi-main event of UFC 81 on Feb. 2 in Las Vegas is because of his fame as a former World Wrestling Entertainment champion.
The success of this card hinges on people buying the novelty of a former WWE champion fighting a former UFC champion. The idea, if it clicks, is to rally the UFC fan base to want to see the fake wrestler get smashed, and for the pro wrestling audience, to whom the show is being heavily marketed, to tune in out of curiosity to see how one of its all-time tough guys can do.
For me this is a tough one to pick, its going to come down to the weigh-ins, if Mir comes in looking like he's in great shape (and I think he will, this fight is his big chance to get back in the title picture), he's the one go with for sure. Lets just hope that his injuries from his accident don't hinder his ability to get his conditioning and training to where it needs to be for this fight.
Bias in Coma, Clinging to Life
Former Palace Fighting Championship featherweight titleholder Shawn Bias has been given a 30-percent chance of surviving by doctors at Oroville General Hospital in Bias' hometown about 70 miles north of Sacramento, Calif.
Looks like we might have another death in MMA............
UFN 12 conference call with audio
From the OC Register:
Mike Swick on building his reputation as a quick finisher and whether that brings a lot of pressure:
“I don’t carry any pressure anymore. I got into all of that before. That built up a lot when I was going on my streak in the middleweight division. But, right now, I’m fighting for me and my head is really clear. I have no pressure. I don’t think about anything. I’m going to go out there and put on the best fight I can. Obviously, I’m going to try and end it as quick as I can and as dominantly as I can, but I am going to take whatever is out there. There is no pressure. That is one of the good things about this fight. I’ve learned a lot from the last fight and from my experience in the UFC. I’m going in real clear-headed and real focused."
Josh Burkman on the biggest things he learned from Tito Ortiz:
“A lot of the things I took, you know, the diet. I mean, the way those guys come together as a team. That’s their main focus. They go up to Big Bear to get rid of all the distractions. All you are doing is living with a bunch of guys. You are all cooking and eating the same food. Everybody is focused on the same task, and that’s getting ready for fights. I just took that with me back to Salt Lake. It’s kind of rubbed off on the guys around me. It’s the same mind set we have in Salt Lake at Absolute.
Patrick Cote on what kind of fight he expects against McFedries:
“I think we both have the same style. We like to stand on our feet and fight each other and that will be a lot of fireworks in this fight. That will be a good fight for the fans and for the UFC. Don’t blink because this fight can be quick. I expect a very good fight and a very entertaining fight.
Drew McFedries on coming back from Staph infection:
“I never forget. I hold grudges. Bottom line is you would like to think these things don’t happen in life, but they do. I would like to think they would happen to everyone but me, but everything seems to happen to me. I’m not worried about that at all. It keeps me driving, man. I know that unless you are struggling a little bit, you’re not living life.
McFedries on whether there was any hesitation when he first got back into the gym:
“Honestly, man, I was (expletive) (expletive). I was so upset, man, I couldn’t control myself. I was knocking people out left and right. Really, to be honest, I had a chip on my shoulder. I was hurting people. I had to take that out more on the pads. We really had to back off the live sparring."
To check out the entire rundown of the call click this link. There also is a link at the top of the story to the audio of the entire call, which is broken into two 15 minute parts:
Rumors ufc 81
Rumors — UFC 81
Date: Feb. 2, 2008
Location: Las Vegas, Nev.
Venue: Mandalay Bay Events Center
MAIN CARD (TELEVISED)
Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Tim Sylvia (for interim heavyweight title)
Ricardo Almeida vs. Alan Belcher
Jeremy Horn vs. Nate Marquardt
PRELIMINARY CARD (NOT TELEVISED)
Tyson Griffin vs. Gleison Tibau
Kyle Bradley vs. Chris Lytle
Marvin Eastman vs. Terry Martin
Rob Emerson vs. Keita Nakamura
Fedor interview: Talks Couture meeting and 2008 plans
Jaime Martinez: Are there any plans to fight in the U.S.? If so, with whom are you talking and when would that be scheduled?
Fedor Emelianenko: “We are planning on having two or three fights this year. The first is scheduled for April 11th, and I’m not sure who I’ll fight yet. It will either be Jeff Monson or Pedro Rizzo.”
At the end he said he'll try to win more often
Probably got lost in translation and he meant fight, but I thought it was kind of funny