MM-Eh! News and Notes from Canada
Speaking from a warm Albuquerque, New Mexico, Mark Bocek took time out of his busy training schedule to discuss how things are going just a week away from his UFC lightweight debut against Frank Edgar (Pictures), slated for July 7 in Sacramento, Calif.
UFCjunkie.com Exclusive: An Interview with Hermes Franca
Saturday's UFC 73 event boasts one of the most talent-rich fight cards in UFC history. There, UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk makes his first title defense against 32-year-old Brazilian-born Hermes Franca. Franca is a mixed-martial-arts veteran with a 18-5 MMA record and is 6-2 in the UFC.
"It's Gonna Be A Knockout!" Rashad Evans
This Saturday night, ‘Sugar’ Rashad Evans is going to take on his toughest opponent thus far in the former light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz. The rivalry has been brewing for a couple months since their altercation at UFC 69, where Tito and Rashad were talking some trash to each other, when Tito shoved him. Tito even went as far as to call Rashad a “nappy headed ho” on an internet forum. Now the time is almost here to settle the score.
Big Fight Breakdown - Sherk vs. Franca
With each fight a chance to showcase the excitement, the little guys of mixed martial arts are getting bigger every time out. And with UFC lightweight champ Sean Sherk slated to make the first defense of his crown against tough contender Hermes Franca at UFC 73 on July 7th, fans should get a high-octane dose of the kind of action that makes the 155-pound division one of the world’s best in terms of pure talent.
Franca is probably most recognizable among casual fans for his distinctively dyed hair – the colors of which run the gamut from pink to green and beyond – but in a 24-fight career, he’s gone 19-5 against extremely tough competition. He’s beaten quality foes like Spencer Fisher, Rich Crunkilton, Caol Uno, Nate Diaz, Ryan Schultz, Gabe Ruediger and Jamie Varner. And his losses – including a close split duke to Josh Thomson, and two decisions to wily Yves Edwards – have been competitive scraps
BITS AND PIECES: MMA News and Notes
CONTRACTS, CONTRACTS, CONTRACTS
Two of the hottest prospects in MMA have been busy fielding offers lately, but so far, neither one has signed. As part of the fallout from the ownership change-up of Pride, Denis Kang and Thierry Sokoudjou are looking for new homes.
205-lb Showdown Too Close to Call
One man is fighting to retain his standing among the game’s elite. He is fighting to show the world that he is still a box office hit and a legitimate contender for the title he defended more than any light heavyweight champion in UFC history. Back-to-back losses, however, could do serious damage to his standing both with fans and within the division.
Rua’s Injury not Serious; Silva vs. Liddell not Scheduled
The recent injury Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (16-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) suffered will not keep him from making his scheduled Octagon debut at UFC 76.
Master Rudimar Fedrigo, Rua’s trainer at Chute Boxe, told MMAWeekly.com that it was nothing more than a little knee pain and that Rua will continue doing his physical-therapy sessions.
"Minotauro" Nogueira's Championship Heart
November 9, 2003. For almost ten minutes at the Tokyo Dome in Japan, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira went through hell. In a battle for the interim PRIDE heavyweight championship, the Brazilian was battered and bloodied by Mirko Cro Cop, forced to absorb the Croatian’s legendary left kicks to the head and body, and thrown to the side like a bag of laundry with almost every takedown attempt in the round’s late stages.
Levens signs with pFc
Would not let me insertweblink so here is the site.........http://www.mmaweekly.com/absolutenm/templates/dailynews.asp?articleid=4242&zoneid=13
Justin Levens, a member of Marcu Ruas’ So. Cal. Condors in the IFL, has signed a 3-fight deal to fight for the Palace Fighting Championships. He will compete on the promotion’s Oct. 18 event at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, Calif.
“I’m very happy to be back fighting there. I have always loved fighting in Lemoore. The crowd and the fans are the best,” said Levens. “It’s always a good high-energy level there. I have a good fan base there, they’re always happy to see me and I’m happy to fight for them.”
Levens fought at the Tachi Palace under the WEC banner when Lemoore was the home of the WEC.
As a Condor, Levens lost all three of his IFL fights, but still brings a respectable overall professional record of 9-6 to PFC.
Fights confirmed for PFC 4 on Oct. 18:
-Olaf Alfonso vs. Thomas Denny
-Shad Smith vs. Poppies Martinez
Fighters confirmed for PFC 4:
Alexander vs.Sakara Ufc 75
This found at Ufcjunkie.com (would not let me insert web link)
Promising UFC newcomer Houston Alexander (7-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) will face UFC veteran Alessio Sakara (11-5 MMA, 2-2 UFC) at UFC 75 in September, according to Alexander’s camp.
Earlier today, UFCjunkie.com (www.ufcjunkie.com) debunked recent rumors that Alexander would instead face light heavyweight winner of The Ultimate Fighter 1 Forrest Griffin. The rumors surfaced from alleged comments Alexander made at a regional MMA show this past weekend.
Instead, Alexander has agreed to fight Sakara, who most recently defeated Victor Valimaki with a swift first-round TKO at UFC 70. Both fighters are expected to sign fight papers next week to make the bout official.
Last month at UFC 71, Alexander — a 6-to-1 underdog — defeated the heavily favored Keith Jardine with a quick and stunning first-round knockout. The Omaha, Neb. DJ and hip-hop school lecturer hasn’t lost a professional fight in more than six years.
He’ll now take on Sakara. Earlier this month, UFCjunkie.com announced that the Italian boxer was expected to appear on the UFC 75 card, which takes place in London.
Before his UFC 70 victory, Sakara had lost two in a row (to Dean Lister and Drew McFedries). In previous UFC fights, he defeated Elvis Sinosic and earned a no-contest (groin kick) with Ron Faircloth. He’ll now go for the first back-to-back UFC victories of his career.
UFC 75 takes place at The O2 arena on Sept. 22.
Diaz wants Shamrock
Nick Diaz, who is signed with ProElite, has requested to face Frank Shamrock as soon as possible. After a spectacular win against Takanori Gomi, Diaz seems intent on enrolling himself for higher profile fights. With both fighters fighting in the same organization this fight seems the logical next step in what would be an MMA fan's dream come true.
"I watched his last fight and no disrespect intended but I think I would whoop his ass.", stated Diaz. A formal offer of intent has been delivered to the promoters to set this fight up and now we await their response.
Wouldn't that one be an awesome fight?
UFCjunkie.com Exclusive: Houston Alexander’s Camp Says “No Truth” to Rumored Fight with Forrest Griffin
Rumors that UFC light heavyweight Houston Alexander (7-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is set to face Forrest Griffin (14-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC) in his next UFC fight are not true, according to Alexander’s trainer and coach, Mick Doyle, who spoke to UFCjunkie.com (www.ufcjunkie.com) today.
The rumored Alexander vs. Griffin fight surfaced from comments Alexander supposedly made at an Omaha Fight Club show this past weekend. Doyle, though, firmly denied the rumors.
“As far as the Forrest Griffin rumor, there is no truth to that, although we would love to fight him,” says Doyle. “I am pretty sure Houston did not say that (he would be fighting Griffin) to anybody at that fight.“
Of course, this news does not eliminate any future possibility for a fight between the two light heavyweights. It simply means that there is no truth — at this time — to the rumored bout.
Last month at UFC 71, 35-year-old UFC newcomer Alexander defeated the heavily favored Keith Jardine with a swift and stunning first-round knockout. Alexander was a 6-to-1 underdog entering the fight.
The explosive Alexander may have made a serious impression on UFC fans with his dramatic upset victory, but he’s not letting his recent success go to his head.
“It’s been crazy, but I’m ready to fight tomorrow,” says Alexander. “As soon as I got back from Vegas, I was back in the gym. I was back in the gym at 5:30 a.m. the day after I got back.“
Alexander’s coach confirmed his fighter’s intensity and motivation.
“Houston is so focused on his training,” says Doyle. “He’s training three times a day and never misses a practice. His ground game is progressing significantly, and his attitude is great.“
Doyle is a former world champion kickboxer who runs an impressive Muay Thai and grappling gym in Omaha, Neb. (www.mickdoyle.com). Doyle has trained some big names in Muay Thai, such as Renzo Gracie. Alexander also trains with Willie Stewart and Curlee Alexander.
We plan to have news of Alexander’s next opponent later today, so stay tuned to UFCjunkie.com.
Dana White: Tito Ortiz Is a “Complete and Total Moron”
UFC veteran Tito Ortiz is complaining that the organization isn’t promoting him properly, and as expected, UFC president Dana White didn’t take too kindly to the accusation.
The former UFC champ and the organization’s head honcho recently opened up to Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports.
As Ortiz prepares for next weekend’s UFC 73 main-card bout with rising light heavyweight contender Rashad Evans, he says the organization isn’t giving him the exposure he deserves. In fact, Ortiz says the slights are intentional and a way to drive down his price come contract-renegotiation time.
White says the accusations are laughable.
“There’s a billboard of his big ugly gorilla face at the busiest point in Las Vegas,” White said, “where it can scare kids who are riding by in their cars. Guess whose ugly head is on our billboard in Times Square?
“He’s a moron: A complete and total moron. His whole career, he’s stepped over a dollar to pick up a dime. I’m sick of him. It’s time he started beating up someone other than a nearly 50-year-old Ken Shamrock.“
White also said the UFC has an ad set to run in USA Today on July 6 which has a picture of the lightweight and middleweight title belts that are up for stake at UFC 73 on the top half of the ad and has Ortiz’ and Evans’ faces on the bottom of it.
“Does that sound to you like we’re ignoring him or not promoting him?” White said. “I’ll tell you what it is, it’s more proof, as if anybody needed any, that Tito is a moron.“ -
UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva faces Nate Marquardt in next weekend’s main event, and lightweight champion Sean Sherk takes on Hermes Franca in a second title fight. However, as White mentioned, the Ortiz-Evans fight is getting a big part of the spotlight — especially for a non-title/non-main-event fight.
In fact, when you head to the official Web site for UFC 73 (73.ufc.com), it’s Ortiz and Evans — not next weekend’s title-fight competitors — who get top billing.
Despite the war of worlds, White did mention during yesterday’s UFC 73 media conference call that he expects Ortiz and the UFC to come to terms on a new contract. But Ortiz, who has two fights remaining on his current deal, hasn’t sounded as optimistic in recent interviews.
Next weekend’s UFC 73 event takes place at the ARCO Arena in Sacramento, Calif. and airs on pay-per-view.
Read Full Story here at
WEC 30: Former UFC champ Jens Pulver on the card
Former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver is headed for the World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) 145-pound division, according to a recent MySpace message from Duke Roufus.
Pulver will make his debut at WEC 30 on September 5 at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
This doesn’t come as a surprise, considering “Lil Evil” alluded to the switch before and immediately after his recent bout with BJ Penn (a loss) at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 5 Finale. For that fight, he came in weighing 152 pounds and didn’t have to work to make the cut.
By his own admission, when in shape, Pulver is a natural for the lighter division. And, the UFC currently doesn’t feature anything below the 155-pound class.
It should be a good move for Pulver, who seems reborn after being a coach on TUF 5 and preparing for the rematch with Penn. He won’t have it easy, however, in the WEC.
Urijah Faber — the uber-talented 145-pound WEC champion — and others in the division provide top competition. But Jens seems up to the task, and there’s no doubt that he won’t disappoint fans.
Pulver always puts on a show, win or lose.
The WEC main card, which also features “Razor” Rob McCullough vs. Rich Crunkilton, will air live on Wednesday, September 5 on Versus Network.
It should be a good one … don’t miss it.
Note: Roufus — a Milwaukee-based Muay Thai coach — trains several mixed martial artists and UFC fighters, including Stephan Bonnar, among others. He made the Pulver announcement during a promotion for a seminar that is taking place on July 21 in Milwaukee for which Pulver is the featured coach.
IFL anounces deal
International fight league, alfred haber distrubition and fox sports
net announce telivision deal with AFN, American Forces Network