Dos Santos Knocks Werdum Out of UFC
Following a rocky time in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, capped by a surprising knockout loss to Octagon newcomer Junior dos Santos at UFC 90, Chute Boxe fighter Fabricio Werdum has left the promotion.
Sources tell MMAWeekly.com that Werdum's exit comes on the heels of a failed contract renegotiation following the loss to dos Santos. The Brazilian came into the fight with the expectation that he would soon be contending for a heavyweight title shot.
The knockout at UFC 90 derailed anything of the like in the near future, and spurred a renegotiation of his contract. Werdum and the UFC were apparently unable to come to an agreement. He has already opened talks with other promotions in the U.S. and Japan.
After losing his opening salvo in the UFC to Andrei Arlovski, Werdum put together back-to-back impressive victories with TKOs of Gabriel Gonzaga and Brandon Vera, effectively positioning him as one of the top contenders in the promotion's heavyweight division.
Current champion Randy Couture faces Brock Lesnar at UFC 91 on Saturday and interim heavyweight titleholder Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira defends against Frank Mir on Dec. 27 at UFC 92. The winners of those two fights are expected to fight in early 2009, as a unification bout to the UFC mini-tournament.
Had Werdum taken care of business against dos Santos, he was expected to be in contention to face the unified heavyweight champion later in the year. Now it appears he will be moving on to another promotion such as Affliction in the U.S. or Dream or Sengoku in Japan.
Kenny Florian seeks truth in UFC 91 clash with Joe Stevenson
While the vast majority of the attention for "UFC 91: Couture vs. Lesnar" is being centered around the main event -- and rightfully so -- an important lightweight scrap between contenders Kenny Florian (10-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) and Joe Stevenson (29-8 MMA, 6-2 UFC) will also grace the card.
And as Florian recently told TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), the bout is quickly developing some real emotion behind it.
"[Stevenson] said he's reading on the internet that everyone is saying that I'm the favorite," Florian said. "He doesn't understand why. He's just had some real odd comments. I don't know why he's upset, or why it's motivating him now. I don't have to read the internet to get motivated for a fight."
Despite 15-month layoff, Randy Couture says ring rust not a factor
When 45-year-old UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture (16-8 MMA, 13-5 UFC) steps into the cage on Saturday night against Brock Lesnar at "UFC 91: Couture vs. Lesnar," it will be the first action for "The Natural" in nearly 15 months.
Couture has faced layoffs of over a year twice before in his illustrious career -- and won his return fight both times. In a recent UFC 91 media conference call, Couture said to expect the same this time around.
"Everybody asks about ring rust and all that stuff," Couture said. "I don't think it's the same for a mixed martial artist as it is for boxing. Sparring in the gym -- the training we do -- it's just about as real as the fights. So I'm not worried about that at all."
As the head of Xtreme Couture, one of the biggest and most highly respected training camps in MMA, Couture believes his daily routines have kept him in fight-ready shape.
Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua to ’set the story straight’ against Mark Coleman at UFC 93
Well, I personally would never want to beat someone that way. I wouldn’t celebrate the win and wouldn’t go bragging about it, and that’s what Coleman did the whole time. I was really bothered by him celebrating the win in that way, and afterwards talking a lot of crap about me in interviews. I always respected all the fighters I’ve fought, since I know how hard it is to make it to the top of the list and just getting into the ring means you’re a winner, so they deserve respect. I respect Coleman as an athlete, the guy’s an MMA legend. I hope to have a good fight with him, I’m confident. God willing I’ll win…. In the category in which I fight there are only top guys, so I see about 10 guys I could fight. Coleman really is a guy I want to face, because of our last fight, but I wasn’t sure it would be him. This was good for both of us, we’ll be able to set the story straight.”
Kang Says ''Timing Was Right'' For UFC Move
Considered one of the top free agents in mixed martial arts just a week ago, Denis Kang signed on with the Ultimate Fighting Championship on Monday to become the latest top fighter to land with the biggest promotion in the sport today.
When the doors of Pride Fighting Championships closed, Kang was on the roster, but after the final contracts were moved and reassigned to the UFC, the American Top Team stand-out didn’t end up fighting in the Octagon, instead opting to stay and compete overseas.
Just over a year later, Kang is now finally a part of the Ultimate Fighting Championship and ready to stack up in the 185-pound division.
Sadollah Ready To Emerge
Amir Sadollah is set to return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship at UFC 91 in Las Vegas, after a close to a five-month layoff. This fight will be his first since winning The Ultimate Fighter finale over CB Dollaway.
Sadollah came into The Ultimate Fighter an unknown. He was a fairly green fighter after having only a 4-0 amateur record prior to getting on the show. Sadollah quickly impressed Forrest Griffin, his assigned coach, during the show submitting Steve Bynes, TKOing Gerald Harris and submitting highly regarded Matt Brown.
Many thought that his next fight against Dollaway would be a quick and easy win for his competitor, but out of nowhere, Sadollah locked on an armbar. Now, an almost “Rocky” underdog, he was going into the finals against Jesse Taylor. However, Taylor got into some antics after the show wrapped, which forced UFC president Dana White to take him out of the finale. Dollaway came back to fight in the finale against Sadollah and get his redemption. However, Sadollah had other plans as he again submitted Dollaway via armbar.
Not fighting for five months affects some fighters, but Sadollah feels it was good to get some time off.
Garcia Resigns from CSAC
The California State Athletic Commission will formally accept the resignation of Executive Officer Armando Garcia at a commission meeting on Nov. 18 in Los Angeles, according to a notice posted on the CSAC Web site. Garcia left the position he held for over three years this week, Sherdog.com has learned.
The commission will also name an interim executive officer and appoint a search committee to review candidates for Garcia’s replacement on Nov. 18, according to the agenda notes.
Numerous commission-hired employees who asked not to be identified confirmed to Sherdog.com on Saturday that Garcia had left the post, but were not given details of his exit. Sherdog.com corresponded with Garcia via email as late as Thursday to discuss the CSAC’s decision to suspend the promoter licenses of Pro Elite and King of the Cage last Wednesday.
Commission representatives declined to comment on Garcia’s departure at a state-regulated MMA event on Saturday in Fresno, Calif. Representatives said an official statement from the Dept. of Consumer Affairs, which oversees the commission, would be issued shortly.
With nearly 20 years of experience as a boxing referee and judge, Garcia was appointed as executive officer for the CSAC in mid 2005. In his tenure, he was instrumental in the passage of MMA regulations in California in late 2005 and oversaw the first regulated event in March 2006 with Strikeforce “Shamrock vs. Gracie,” which held the North American attendance record for one year with 18,265 spectators.
Garcia was also at the center of the controversial steroid suspensions of former UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk, Strikeforce participant Phil Baroni, and most recently, in the one-year suspension of EliteXC heavyweight champion Antonio Silva.
In an interview with BoxingInsider.com in August 2008, Garcia said he had regulated over 500 boxing and MMA events in California during his three-year tenure.
“Commission revenue the year before I took over the job was at about $441K,” Garcia told BoxingInsider.com. “In my first year we went to $1.3 million, the next one $1.6 million and then this tremendous $2 million plus year.”
Tito Ortiz Close to Signing Contract...Again
When last we saw Ortiz, he was at the October 4 EliteXC show announcing that he was going to sign a contract with the organization soon. EliteXC is now finished, but Ortiz isn't finished saying he's close to signing a deal.
In an appearance at last weekend's Rumble in the Park in Fresno (broadcast today on HDNet's Inside MMA), Ortiz said, "It's either going to be with the UFC or it's going to be with Affliction, but guaranteed, you guys will see me fight -- no matter what -- by July."
Ortiz also mentioned that he had back surgery last month, which he deemed successful. He also said it was the same surgery that Nate Quarry had, and Quarry was out of action for 15 months after his back surgery. So Ortiz is very optimistic if he thinks he can guarantee that he'll return just seven months after the surgery.
Bas talks Kimbo, EXC, Lesnar-Couture & More!
Bas Rutten ‘Living Mixed Martial Arts Part II’
The former King of Pancrase took some time recently to talk with PDG about the many projects he has going on, the Fall of EliteXC & Kimbo Slice what he thinks of some of the biggest fights of the year coming up in the UFC.
PDG: The last time you were in Japan was for DREAM 6; what did you think about the Alistair Overeem vs Mirko ‘Cro-Cop’ fight?
Bas: It was a great fight and it was a shame that it ended like it did because Overeem was winning the fight. I was a little surprised by his dominance but then I talked to his trainer from Golden Glory; which is a Thai boxing gym in Holland that I used to train at. His striking has definitely gotten better since he started training there and Mirko has not looked very good his last few fights. Don't get me wrong, I am a huge Mirko fan and I wish he could get back on track.
Paulo Filho has agreed to vacate the WEC middleweight belt
True to his word, Paulo Filho has agreed to vacate the WEC middleweight belt after losing unanimously on points to Chael Sonnen on Wednesday. Flying back to Los Angeles from Florida the day after what was supposed to be a five-round championship fight, Filho's manager, Ed Soares, said he planned on shipping the belt to Sonnen as soon as he could.
Eddie Alvarez Talks Future & More!
Eddie Alvarez 'Waiting for a Fight'
Lightweight rising superstar Eddie Alvarez took some time to talk with PDG about the fall of EliteXC, his DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix experience, training and what the future holds for his mixed martial arts career.
PDG: Your scheduled fight against Nick Diaz was canceled when EliteXC went bankrupt last month; what were your thoughts when you got the news?
Alvarez: It was very unfortunate as I was about five weeks into my training for the fight. I was really looking forward to that fight and the whole situation just basically sucked. It was very important for me to win a title in America on national television. Shit happens and it wasn't the first time in my career. There was a similar situation when I was fighting for Bodog. I'm looking forward to moving on and signing with another American company that has a television presence.
Jacob ‘Stitch’ Duran: ‘I get off on the blood’
“”MMA is far bloodier than boxing. These guys will have multiple cuts—the middle of their forehead, their scalp. Head cuts bleed a lot. And the cuts are deeper, because of the elbows and knees. It’s bone on bone…. I see so many cuts, [fixing them] is automatic for me. It’s poetry in motion.”"
– ESPN the Magazine has a great article this month on the best cut man in the business, Jacob “Stitch” Duran. It talks about how he made it to where he is today and how his unique approach to closing cuts has helped several fighters, including UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Forrest Griffin, continue to compete after getting busted open “as wide as an elevator door.” Very cool article. Very different … go check it out.
Brocks Big Plan: Be Bigger
I expect to walk in [to the Octagon] about 275, 280. That’s one of the things we took into consideration when we took this fight. We’re younger, we’re stronger, we’re faster and this guy’s on his way out and we’re going to make sure that happens.
We’ve watched every single one of Randy’s fights a number of different times…there really are no comparables to me and the rest of the guys he’s fought because none of them have the wrestling credentials that I have. He has trouble with bigger guys, guys [like Barnett and Rodriguez] who knew how to control him. Tim Sylvia and Gabriel Gonzaga didn’t know how to control him.
I’m not scared to go twenty-five minutes. As the rounds go longer I have a much bigger advantage because for Randy to have to push around 275 lbs for five rounds and me to push around a guy who if he’s lucky is 230 lbs - I know how to wrestle. These other heavyweights that he pushed around the Octagon were guys that had no clue how to wrestle and how to keep position.
The UFC and the Issue of Steroids
Mike Straka’s FoxNews Fight Game recently had a roundtable discussion on steroids. John Moody of Tri-State Fighter asks some pointed questions about the UFC’s testing process. MMAPayout.com had some of the same questions and more in the wake of Chris Leben’s positive steroid test.
Anthony Torres tested positive on a Euro Card and was released while Leben gets a suspension. Was Torres under a one fight contract? If not, is there equal protection under the UFC’s steroid policy? If no, Why not? Is the decision based on what level the fighter is with the company (Torres being a newer guy vs Leben being a veteran)?
There seems to be a lack of transparency when it comes to the UK drug tests (Who what when where how many). Zuffa/UFC, being a private company, has transparency issues in many areas, especially financial items, which is understandable, but the lack of transparency in the drug testing area seems to be a PR problem. Will the company be taking any moves to increase transparency in the future?
Swanson Returns Against Takaya At WEC 37
Cub Swanson will make his World Extreme Cagefighting return at WEC 37 in Las Vegas to face off with Shooto veteran Hiroyuki Takaya. MMAWeekly has confirmed the bout with sources close to the fight.
Both fighters suffered losses when they last saw action in the WEC and will look to get back into the winning column. Swanson comes off a submission victory over Donnie Walker at International Fighting & Boxing League: Fight Night 11. His last action in the WEC was a quick submission loss to former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver at WEC 31. In his last outing, Takaya suffered a stoppage loss to Leonard Garcia at WEC 32.
Frank Mir confirms he would rematch Brock Lesnar
Speaking to Setanta Sports News, Mir said:
“I’d rather fight Brock than Randy. Randy has been dealing with MMA for a lot longer and he knows how to fight off submissions to a greater degree than Brock does.”
“Brock’s only trained for two or three years. I’ve been doing it a lot longer. But Randy’s ability to stop my submissions would be about the same as my ability to stop his takedowns.”
“He’s been wrestling for 18 years - I’ve been doing martial arts since I was four, so I’ve been practicing for 25 years. For him to catch up on the submissions game is going to be one heck of a feat.”
M-1 strengthens its positions in MMA
Vadim Finkelstein started off with the following statement: "After some important negotiations several major agreements were reached, namely a strategic agreement with one of the major boxing promotion organizations of the North America Golden Boy Promotions, leading American clothing manufacturer in Affliction and with an American business magnate billioner Donald Trump. This alliance will have huge consequences for progress and evolution of MMA in the whole world."
Gomi-Kitaoka and Santiago-Misaki title fights headline Sengoku 7
Despite his loss to Sergey Golyaev earlier this month, prized World Victory Road lightweight Takanori Gomi (29-4) will meet the organization's grand prix winner, Satoru Kitaoka (23-8-9), at Sengoku 7 for the WVR lightweight title.
Additionally, middleweight grand prix winner Jorge Santiago (20-7), who's quietly amassed as eight-fight win streak, will meet stand-out Kazuo Misaki (21-8-2) for the organization's first-ever middleweight championship.