Pulver: June 1 Is "Biggest Fight Of My Career"
On Thursday's edition of the TAGG Radio program, Jens Pulver, facing WEC Featherweight Champion Urijah Faber on June 1 in perhaps the promotion's biggest fight ever, says it's no doubt "the biggest fight of my career". He also expects over 10,000 fans to be solidly against him and behind Faber.
Tommy Speer Returns...Sort Of
After being released from his UFC contract following 2 straight losses, Zuffa has now re-signed TUF 6 runner-up Tommy Speer and will send him to WEC. Speer says the current plan is for his WEC debut to be in August.
Kimbo Slice: Pro, Scapegoat, or Hype Job?
It's getting harder and harder to talk about Kimbo Slice, though it's not from a lack of trying. It seems like everybody has an opinion on the Internet-brawler-turned-pro-fighter.
Either he's the worst thing to happen to the sport of mixed martial arts, or he's the next big superstar.
Hardcore Championship Fighting Done
Hardcore Championship Fighting is officially out of business, CEO Keith Crawford has informed Sherdog.com.
The news comes after a period of great optimism for the Canadian organization. HCF was expected to announce this week that it had been purchased -- a move that Crawford hoped would put the promotion among the few legitimately vying for the No. 2 spot behind the UFC.
THE GREAT FIGHT NORTH
THE GREAT FIGHT NORTH
News and Notes from Canada
John Alessio may have lost more than a match when he was disqualified against Brock Larson at WEC 33 in March.
The fight with Larson was the last on Alessio’s contract, and, according to the Canadian veteran, negotiations with the Zuffa LLC-owned organization have stalled, prompting him to consider offers from other promotions.
“I’m actually wondering myself what’s going on,” Alessio said. “I figured I would have heard something by now. They offered me the rematch with Larson, but it’s now up to my manager to negotiate. It’s going to come down to money and if they want to sign me long-term or not.”
Also features The Crow, Sam Stout & others
Tito's Last Stand
TITO’S LAST STAND
Former Champion Ortiz Blames UFC President for Pending Separation
By Brian Knapp (email@example.com)
The rift between UFC president Dana White and former light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz appears to have passed the point of no return.
The 33-year-old Ortiz will fulfill the final bout on his current contract with the Las Vegas-based promotion when he faces unbeaten Lyoto Machida at UFC 84: Ill Will on Saturday, May 24 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Afterwards, he plans to walk away from the organization that gave rise to his stardom. The blame for the pending separation, he says, rests at White’s feet.
“I think just about 90 percent of this is me just wanting to get away from Dana White,” Ortiz told Live Audio Wrestling’s Dan Lovranski. “He has a vengeance for me. He’s a person who’s very hateful towards me, and he doesn’t want to see me grow as a superstar. He’s always been like that. He’s always been trying to hold me down and not let me go further, and it’s just really sad to see.”
- IFL LOOKING FOR NEW PARTNERS OR BUYER
During a media conference call on Thursday, International Fight League CEO Jay Larkin confirmed rumors that the organization is actively shopping the promotion for new investors and could even possibly sell the company.
“Are we actively looking for a partner or a sale? The answer is, yes,” Larkin stated on the call. “We entertain phone calls and questions almost on a daily basis from potential investors, potential buyers, people who want to get in the MMA business, people who are already in the MMA business.”
The news comes just prior to the organization’s May 16 event, which will take place at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. The promotion will then go on a brief hiatus until its August 15 event, which will feature a newly designed hexagon-shaped ring dubbed “The Hex.”
"Inside MMA" video: Bas Rutten on MMA's most essential discipline
Earlier this week we passed along the results of our most recent MMAjunkie.com/"Inside MMA" poll: "Which discipline is the most essential foundation in modern mixed martial arts?"
As you may remember, jiu jitsu got 43 percent of the votes, wrestling got 42 percent, and striking came a distant third at 15 percent.
"Inside MMA" host and longtime MMA fighter Bas Rutten was surprised by the results and explains his choice in this discussion clip.
As it turns out, Rutten thinks wrestling would be the most essential discipline when it comes to success in MMA.......
Matt Hughes wants to prove his time hasn’t passed
One of the classic symptoms of an aged, or aging, fighter is seeing openings and being unable to take advantage of them.
It's no different than a running back who once could burst through a hole for a 15-yard gain when he ran a 4.4 40, but who now runs a 4.65 and can't hit it quick enough to get more than three yards before the pile collapses upon him.
And what Matt Hughes was describing as a problem in his loss to Georges St. Pierre in December sounded suspiciously like a man losing the battle with time. But the two-time former UFC welterweight champion, who saved the UFC yet again when he agreed on short notice to fight Thiago Alves in the main event of UFC 85 in London on June 7, insists he's far from through.
MMANews.com Exclusive: Interview With Kimbo Slice
On May 31st EliteXC will do something that no other MMA company has done in North America when it airs the first ever live MMA card to be broadcast on network television. The main event of the evening will be Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson goes up against James Thompson in a heavyweight tilt. MMANews.com's own Chris Howie had the chance to speak with Kimbo in depth recently on a number of topics. Below is a transcript of that interview.
American Top Team Camp Report
Gesias “JZ” Calvancante And The Dream Grand Prix
Din Thomas Released From UFC; WEC Bound?
July 5 Event Could Be Called UFC: ATT
Other News & Notes from American Top Team:
Match-ups featuring American Top Team fighters:
Debi Purcell Signs With EliteXC And Will Debut On June 27
Debi Purcell will return to mixed martial arts action against Carina Damm on June 27.
Purcell's Fightergirls.com website announced the fight and also revealed that she has signed a 3-fight deal with EliteXC.
Purcell (4-1) began her professional fight career in September 2001 and last competed in February 2006. She assisted Marco Ruas on the coaching staff of the Southern California Condors in the IFL.
Damm (9-3) of Brazil will enter the fight with a four-fight winning streak. The "Beauty But The Beast" appeared on three separate Bodog Fight events the last two years.
Pele wants revenge
Jose “Pele” Landi has been recovering speedily from one of the ugliest injuries ever seen in MMA, and is already venturing some light training. “I’m training light in Jiu-Jitsu and boxing, but I’m limited due to this serious injury. I think my recovery has been coming along well, but I have to be careful. It’s still recent, only two months now, but I think in one month I’ll be able to fight again,” he declared to GRACIEMAG.com.
The muay thai ace, and one of the first big names in the sport in Brazil, suffered two fractures at once in his leg in a fight in the Canadian event TKO against Brian Gassaway in February of last year. The accident came about as a result of the wear from many years of training. Born in Cuba, but growing up in Brazil, Pele does not yet have a date to return to the ring, but the moment he suffered the injury has still not left his head.
“You could see I actually broke it before kicking. You can see right after the second round begins I did a front kick that didn’t connect and then when I put my foot down the peronio was already broken, then after that my tibia breaks,” he recalls.
Considering the final result unfair, the fighter already has it in his head what he wants as his career unfolds: revenge. “I wanted it considered a No Contest and them to grant me a revenge match. He (Brian Gassaway) was losing. I hope TKO re-watches the fight and does what’s right. I think if the referee had seen it he wouldn’t give my opponent the win,” he said in closing.
After freak hand injury, John Kolosci returns to action
A freak hand injury has kept him sidelined for nearly half a year, but "The Ultimate Fighter: Team Serra vs. Team Hughes" semifinal fighter John Kolosci is ready to return to action.
Kolosci (8-5), who stepped up to replace injured "TUF" semifinalist Matt Arroyo when no one else would, next fights Steve Reyna (4-3-1) at the May 31 Duneland Classic.
It'll be Kolosci's first fight since a December 2007 loss to Arroyo at The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale, and he told MMAjunkie.com he's just happy to be healthy again.
Pe de Pano to fight at Sengoku 3
Not having stepped in a ring since June of 2007, when he defeated Rafael Feijão in the IFL, Marcio “Pe de Pano” Cruz has been getting back to peak form for a triumphal return, possible at Sengoku 3, on June 8th.
Even knowing from the start he would be working for the Japanese event organized by World Victory Road, the black belt does not yet know his opponent, since the show’s promoters have been having a hard time finding opponents for the Brazilian.
While he waits, the twice absolute Jiu-Jitsu world champion has been training hard with his team (Gracie Fusion) to get ready and get back on track in MMA and position himself among the best in the world.
“The fight will possibly take place at the next event (Sengoku 3) on June 8th. The problem is that they haven’t yet found me an opponent, they were trying, trying and haven’t managed to. I know some guys didn’t accept the fight with me. Not having an opponent yet doesn’t change much in training, what matters is that I’m in shape,” said the fighter to GRACIEMAG.com.
Kit Cope chosen for second "MTV True Life" show
MTV will feature Kit Cope, a champion Muay Thai veteran and one-time UFC fighter, for a second time as part of its "MTV True Life" documentary series.
Cope was featured in "True Life: I'm a Muay Thai Fighter" four years ago, and the program was one of the most popular episodes in series history.
Cope's management, KO Dynasty, recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Cope has been filming for the new episode, "MTV True Life: I'm an MMA Fighter," and cameras will catch his World Fighting Championships debut, which takes place May 30 in Atlantic City.
Exclusive: Randy Couture Talks Fedor-Sylvia, Being the “Banned Brand”, and More
MMA legend Randy Couture finds himself in a strange position these days. An ongoing legal battle with the UFC threatens his future as a fighter, and his affiliation with clothier-turned-MMA promoter Affliction has prompted the UFC to keep him and the “banned brand” off any of their broadcasts. Recently Couture talked with Cage Potato about his life as a fighter, the future of MMA, and this summer’s Fedor-Sylvia bout.
CagePotato.com: Thanks for taking the time to talk with me, Randy. How’s everything at Xtreme Couture? It seems like you guys have so many fighters in so many different organizations now. Does it ever get hard to keep track of who is fighting and where?
No, it’s not too hard. We’ve actually just got a big grease board and we just write who’s fighting and where and when and we do a pretty good job of keeping track of it that way. We’ve got new gyms opening up in Long Island and in Toronto. Everything is going really great.
What are your thoughts on Tim Sylvia signing to fight Fedor this summer? You’ve beat Tim, and the Fedor fight is the one you wanted more than any other. How does it make you feel to see Tim get that chance before you do?
I think it’s going to be a great fight. Tim’s a seasoned veteran and he presents some unique challenges with his height and his size. People knock Fedor because he hasn’t fought any top guys recently, but Fedor’s an excellent fighter. It should be very interesting to see how he handles this challenge. I know I’ll be interested to see it. It’s going to be a good one and I hope to be right there at ringside when it happens.
Leben gets 35 days in jail
UFC fighter Chris Leben, who turned himself in to Clackamas County officials in Portland, Oregon, last week, went before a judge on Thursday for sentencing for his probation violation case.
According to Clackamas County Court officials, Leben’s probation was revoked and he was sentenced to 35-days in jail. With credit given for time already served, his release would come at the end of May, putting his release inside of two weeks prior to a scheduled bout against Michael Bisping at UFC 85 in London.
Following the completion of his jail time, Leben will be clear of his probation, which stems from a DUI arrest in 2005.