Benji Radach completes comeback to the big time at "EliteXC: Heat"
Twenty-eight months is a long time to think about what could have been.
But that's exactly what American Top Team's Benji Radach (18-4) did after a 2004 loss to Chris Leben.
"A lot of it was just sitting around all that time wanting to get back to [MMA]," Radach recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I was real hungry the whole time. I was injured -- one surgery after another. It was such a down period of time."
After suffering just one defeat in his first 15 bouts, including three appearances for the UFC, Radach dropped two straight fights and fell into obscurity. But the 29-year-old said he never lost faith his day would come again.
"I knew that I'd come out on top at some point," Radach said. "Things started clearing up for me. I went out to American Top Team and started training full time out there. Thanks to Dan Lambert and Ricardo Liborio I got back on my feet."
The Growing Wave of Females in MMA
Julie Kedzie's nose bleeds again, and her hair's a mess. Wisps of it have come free from her tight cornrows. She works hard to catch her breath.
Still, the professional mixed martial arts fighter beams like a cheerleader at the top of the pyramid. It's a clear case of "You should see the other guy."
The referee has called a stop to Kedzie's fight with Julia Berezekova at the Ice Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. The packed venue erupts as Kedzie raises her arms in victory.
And so begins an article by my friend, Susan Brackney (non-pdf version here). I point the article out because not only is this a focus piece on women's MMA, but it can be found in an issue of Indianapolis Woman.
Sadollah vs Catone at UFC 91 confirmed
On November 15th, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, his saga continues as he returns to the Octagon to take on unbeaten newcomer Nick Catone on the televised portion of UFC 91: Couture vs Lesnar.
FEG: Dream Promotion going nowhere
Fighting and Entertainment Group remains resolute that its Dream promotion is in the mixed martial arts business to stay, despite rampant speculation to the contrary following dismal television ratings for Dream 6 on Tuesday in Japan.
Rampage vs Wanderlei at UFC 92 not UFC 93
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson (28-7) and former Pride FC middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva (32-8-1) will collide at UFC 92 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, on December 27.
The blockbuster light heavyweight match up was first discussed for the UFC 91: “Couture vs. Lesnar” show on November 15 and then the UFC 93 Super Bowl weekend event on January 31. Those dates did not work out, however, and the bout is now slated to enhance the New Year’s Eve weekend mixed martial arts bonanza.
Ninja ready to ‘heat’ Radach in EliteXC
After a great knockout against Tony Bonello in June, Murilo “Ninja” Rua now prepares himself to face another challenge, what might give him a title shot with another impressive victory. “My preparation to face Benji Radach is very good, like always, and I’m working my stand up game and MMA with Carioca and Mauricio Veio for this fight. Benji is a good Boxing and Wrestling fighter, so I’m preparing myself on theses parts too”, said Rua, that faces Radach in October 4th event.
Doing his debut on Saturday Night Fight’s live CBS transmission, Murilo gets even more motivated to do a great show and impress the American fans. “I’ll go after the knockout all the time, and the quickest I can. I wanna do the fight of my life and enjoy the public, and I’m happy with this new opportunity”, told Rua, who may get a title show if he defeats Benji. “I think I’ll get a title show if I win this fight, it’s almost set”, revealed. One of the most expected fights is this event is Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos’ second fight in the event, after a “double” knockout in her first fight at Elite, and Ninja bets on his former team partner.
Baroni Decisions Alfonso at PFC 10
Phil Baroni extended his undefeated streak in the welterweight division Friday night, winning an unanimous decision over former WEC mainstay Olaf Alfonso at Palace Fighting Championship’s “Explosive” event at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, California.
Baroni overcame a tough first round in which he suffered a cut under his left eye to control Alfonso over the next two rounds. He used crisp combinations in timely takedowns to keep Alfonso off-balance and hand him his first loss of the year.
The event also featured three separate championship bouts: Bryan Travers defeated Jeremiah Metcalf via unanimous decision to claim the vacant PFC welterweight title, Shawn Klarcyk submitted Brandon Miller to retain his PFC bantamweight crown and Brian Cobb coasted to an easy decision win over David Gardner to remain the PFC’s lightweight champion.
Kickboxing legend Rick Roufus looking towards MMA title, "Night of Combat"
When NBA legend Michael Jordan stepped away from basketball in the prime of his career to pursue a job in baseball, many questioned his sanity. But for Jordan, failure wouldn't result in broken limbs or concussions.
But at 41-years-old, six-time kickboxing world champion -- and former WBC boxing champion -- Rick Roufus is seven months into his search for an MMA light-heavyweight title. Roufus recently told MMAjunkie.com he's enjoying the challenge.
"It's a new challenge to me," Roufus said. "I'm going to be the only guy to go from American kickboxing to boxing to Thai boxing and to MMA, winning titles in all of them."
FRANK MIR TALKS TUF AND TITLE FIGHT
In a recent interview with MMAWeekly.com, Frank Mir reflected on his experiences with the eighth season of “The Ultimate Fighter” and moving forward to face Antonio Rogrido Nogueira at UFC 92 on Dec. 27 at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino.
Mir says he's found the right training chemistry for his fight with the former Pride champion. Before moving to Striking Unlimited with Ken Hahn—now Mir’s assistant coach on the show—Mir found himself dominating his training partners in the gym. His schedule was rigid and unvaried. Though it stroked his ego to blow through the weekend warriors and two pro fighters there, it was giving him a false sense of security, and ultimately, hurting his ability to persevere in later rounds.
“Wrong mindset,” he said. Mir's 2006 UFC performances many to question his heart, and forced him to take a good look at how he was preparing himself for battle. Hahn now emphasizes wearing Mir down with a steady stream of fresh sparring partners at the new gym, some of which are from the reality show. He may dominate initially, but after a while, he gets humbled.
“There’s been a couple of times towards the end where, on video, if you just watched it and that was by itself, you didn’t know I had sparred a lot before that, you’d be like, ‘damn, dude, you suck,’” he said.
Ivan Serati, UFC debut December
It's becoming apparent that the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has its sights set firmly on European expansion and that the talent pool on the continent is being harvested for resources. One of the key signings outside of the ubiquitous British talent pool comes from Milan, Italy in the shape of Ivan "Il Terrible" Serati - a monster of a man at 205 pounds and one of the toughest wrestlers this side of the Atlantic.
"The biggest difference this will make to Ivan (Serati) is that he will now be able to train full-time for fights,” Serati’s manager, Alex Burzotta told MMAWeekly.com. “It's something he hasn't had the pleasure of up until now, so his evolution as a fighter will continue, but at a much greater pace than we have witnessed so far.”
Serati had been working as a doorman for several years, but became weary of being continually challenged by troublemakers looking to prove themselves in the street. He turned it all in and paid for his license as a Taxi driver in Milan about 18 months ago and aside from a few people arguing about airport run fares, life has been filled with people recognizing his persona as a fighter, especially after his bout with Vitor Belfort.
Robbie Lawler versus Joey Villasenor set for Nov. 8 EliteXC
The long-rumored rematch between EliteXC middleweight champion Robbie Lawler and challenger Joe Villasenor will indeed take place on the Nov. 8 broadcast of EliteXC on Showtime.
The organization made the announcement in a preview of upcoming events during Friday night's ShoXC event.
EliteXC Vice President Jared Shaw had hinted at the possibility of the bout to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), but the official word had not been released before tonight.
Melvin Manhoef has retired!!!!!
Melvin Manhoef has retired following his semi-final loss to Gegard Mousasi in the DREAM middleweight GP earlier this week.
His team - Mike's Gym, headed by Mike Passandier - made the announcement earlier this evening, according to German-language site Ground and Pound.de
Miguel Torres vs Manny Tapia WEC 37 title fight set for Dec. 3
Miguel Torres will once again put his 135-pound title on the line when he takes on Manny Tapia at WEC 37 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Wednesday, December 3.
Torres is in the midst of a breakout year despite years of dominating his competition in smaller shows throughout the nation. In fact, he has what some would consider a cult-like following from those who watched him shine in and around the Chicago area before signing with the Zuffa-owned promotion.
Fans likely now know the reason for all the underground buzz after “Angel” scored a thrilling third round technical knockout win over Yoshiro Maeda earlier this year in one of the best fights of 2008 to date.
Torres — a Carlson Gracie protégé with sick Muay Thai skills — submitted Chase Beebe prior to defeating Maeda to capture the WEC bantamweight title.
MIESHA TATE RETURNS TO ACTION IN NOVEMBER
One of the fastest rising stars in women’s mixed martial arts, Miesha Tate, will return to action on Nov. 29 as she stays in her hometown of Tacoma, Wash. to take on pro boxer turned MMA fighter Theresa Doerksen.
Tate made a big impression on many MMA fans with her dominant performance over Elaina Maxwell back in June on the Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Thomson card.
Since that time, she was expecting to return to Strikeforce, possibly on the last Playboy Mansion show, Strikeforce at the Mansion 2, but the promotion decided against her appearance on the card.
“I'm not quite sure what to make of that whole deal,” Tate told MMAWeekly.com. “At first they seemed all about me, but then I was turned down on the Playboy show because they decided they didn't want any female bouts and I haven't heard anything since so I'm not waiting around on them.”
STANN VS CANTWELL AT UFC FIGHT FOR THE TROOPS
It didn’t take long for some of the fighters from the soon-to-be-defunct WEC light heavyweight division to make their move to the UFC and none could be happier than former 205-pound champion Brian Stann, who will make his promotional debut in a third fight against Steve Cantwell at the UFC Fight for the Troops show on Dec. 10.
Stann and Cantwell have fought each other twice in the past with each gaining a victory, most recently with Cantwell taking the 205-pound divisional crown away with a TKO win in early August.
The rematch had already been discussed internally at the WEC, and according to Stann, as happy as he was to get another shot at Cantwell, he was a little sad that a week later a fight would take place in front of the military and he wouldn’t be involved.
“They were talking to me about a rematch right after I lost that fight, so I was already excited about that and I thought it was going to be Dec. 3 in Vegas, so I’d be fighting Steve (Cantwell) in his hometown for the third time,” Stann said in an exclusive interview with MMAWeekly.com. “It was kind of like a tear in my heart because all of a sudden I was watching Spike TV and watching the Fight Night and they announced this special featuring the Fallen Heroes Fund and it’s going to benefit TBI (traumatic brain injury) patients.
World Extreme Cagefighting Eliminates Middleweight and Light Heavyweight Divisions
"With every fight, the WEC has proven itself to be a powerful and growing presence in sports, both with our live events and our programming on Versus," said Peter Dropick, WEC Vice President, Operations and Production. "Exciting matchups like Torres vs. Tapia on Dec. 3 and the incredible fights we have planned for 2009 under this new structure will no doubt establish WEC as the home of the best lighter weight fighters in the world."
Industry insiders have speculated for months as to when the move would actually happen and according to officials at the WEC, 2009 will move the focus to the lighter weight classes with the light heavyweight and middleweight classes leaving the promotion.
The WEC made no statement as to what would happen to the fighters currently competing in those weight classes, but it has long been assumed that at least champions like Paulo Filho and Steve Cantwell would make the move along with fighters such as Brian Stann, who has a tremendous fan following.
Current middleweight champion, Paulo Filho, is still slated to defend his WEC title in November against Chael Sonnen, but that may be the last scheduled fight for the weight class.
Rampage Jackson: Michael Bisping could beat Anderson Silva one day
“I’ve been working and training with Michael for a year now, and I have seen improvements consistently; he is already one of the best. He just can’t see it yet. This guy doesn’t know just how good he is. Or how good he can be yet. I think if Michael beats Chris Leben and he fights Dan Henderson next he has the chance to show he is one of the best. If Michael beats and defeats Henderson then he can take on Anderson Silva. Michael has all the qualities to be one the best. He’s better than me at so many things. Michael is a great fighter. He works hard, trains hard, he’s got the potential to be one of the best champions in the sport. He’s also got really good trainers. In the MMA game, anything can happen in a fight. People see Silva as invincible, but Michael could beat Silva one day. There is always a first in this sport.”
Former light heavyweight champion Quinton Rampage Jackson — who now trains full time with top middleweight contender Michael Bisping at Wolfslair MMA Academy in the United Kingdom — feels his team member and friend could defeat UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva. The interesting thing here is that he lays out a fight schedule that could groom Bisping for an eventual showdown with “The Spider” after two fights — Chris Leben at UFC 89 and then Dan Henderson.