Fedor versus Sylvia to produce first WAMMA champion
The World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts (WAMMA) will stage its first title fight next month, with the winner of the Fedor Emelianenko versus Tim Sylvia bout emerging as the alliance's "undisputed world heavyweight champion."
WAMMA formed in November of last year as MMA's first sanctioning body with goals that include creating greater visibility for the sport and recognizing world champions in each weight class. The organization's first order of business was assembling a group of journalists and bloggers to rank the best of the best in MMA. (In the interest of full disclosure, two MMAjunkie.com staffers are members of the rankings committee.)
Emelianenko is currently WAMMA's top-ranked heavyweight, while Sylvia checks in at No. 4. They meet at the Affliction "Banned" show July 19 at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The winner earns WAMMA's first title belt.
While the notion of an "undisputed champion" would ordinarily pit the top two ranked fighters against one another, No. 1 versus No. 4 is as close as WAMMA can get. Both Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (ranked No. 2) and Randy Couture (No. 3) are under contract to the UFC.
The battle between former PRIDE titleholder Emelianenko and Sylvia, former two-time UFC champ, is the first of what WAMMA hopes will be a series of title fights, but stringing together meaningful match-ups to create undisputed champions will be a challenge.
Of the six weight classes ranked by WAMMA, heavyweight is the only division not currently topped by a fighter under contract to Zuffa. The UFC and WEC have traditionally not worked with other promotions to make fights and appear to have little interest in working with WAMMA.
Big Nog Talks TUF
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira recently took time out from the taping of Spike's newest edition of their reality TV hit "The Ultimate Fighter", to sit down with Gracie Mag to speak about a variety of topics including his budding rivalry with fellow coach Frank Mir.
“The mood of rivalry between us is getting strong," Nogueria told GracieMag.com. "We see each other here all the time, and I've known his game for awhile. Ever since he submitted Roberto Traven at the UFC, in 2001, he's been known. But you'll see: I'm going to be all over him standing, I’m better than him both standing and on the ground. In the fight with Sylvia the way to the win was clearly on the ground, but against Mir I'm going to show more of what I'm capable of to the world and my fans. I'll always respect him as an adversary, of course. Even more so since he’s trained with Demian Maia and Robert Drysdale.”
Dan Miragliotta On The DL
Prolific MMA referee Dan Miragliotta will be out of action for three months with a torn rotator cuff.
The injury was sustained 30 May when Miragliotta dove in to save a whithering “New York Bad Ass” Phil Baroni (10-10) from suffering more punishment from Joey Villasenor’s (26-6) boxing barrage.
Johnson-Burns Likely for UFC in August
A welterweight bout between rising prospects Anthony Johnson and Kevin Burns will likely take place when the Ultimate Fighting Championship travels to the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota for their upcoming “Seek and Destroy” event on August 9th.
MMA on Tap has learned through a source close to the potential bout that both fighters have verbally agreed to fight. Bout agreements have been sent out and are expected to be signed and returned by the end of the week.
Arizona Adopts Unified MMA Rules
Chalk Arizona as another state that's joined the action:
Arizona joins Georgia and North Carolina as the latest states to adopt the unified rules for mixed martial arts combat. The Arizona bill was sponsored by Jonathan Paton, a member of the Arizona House of Representatives. An intelligence officer for the U.S. Army Reserve, Paton became a fan of MMA during his infantry training in Fort Benning, Ga. When he returned to Arizona, he began working out at Arizona Combat Sports, one of the top professional gyms in the Southwest, which has produced such fighters as current WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner (Pictures) and TUF 7 cast member C.B Dollaway.
Rob McCullough vs Donald Cerrone WEC fight in the works
Former WEC lightweight champion “Razor” Rob McCullough will likely take on the undefeated Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (8-0) in a bout that will possibly determine the next 155-pound number one contender.
News of the match up surfaced at a recent Ring of Fire event in Denver, Colo.
MMAmania.com was unable to confirm the actual date and location of the showdown at this time; however, with three title fights slated for WEC 35 on August 3 it’s possible that this bout will be tacked on to the WEC 36 card that features the middleweight rematch between 185-pound champion Paulo Filho and Chael Sonnen.
McCullough most recently won a lackluster split-decision victory over Kenneth Alexander at WEC 34: “Faber vs. Pulver” earlier this month. It was his first fight since losing his title to Jamie Varner via technical knockout at WEC 32 back in February.
Drew Fickett fiasco puts Elite XC title fight against Jake Shields in doubt
Drew Fickett and Jake Shields were supposed to hook ‘em up at “Return of the King” this past weekend to crown the first-ever 170-pound champion for the mixed martial arts promotion.
However, Fickett had to withdraw from the June 14 fight because of an alleged injury, postponing the bout for the second time (an injury to Shields was the reason for the first cancellation).
This where things get a little funny.
It seems the injury to Fickett’s knee — his reason for bowing out of the fight against Shields at the Hawaii show — wasn’t as bad as he originally thought.
At least not severe enough to keep him from fighting on June 7.
Apparently “The Master” — without Pro Elite’s knowledge — competed in local a Rage in the Cage 111 event one week prior to the Elite XC show, submitting Jeff Horlacher with a first round guillotine.
So here’s the question: How can a fighter be fit enough to fight on June 7, but not June 14?
Even if Fickett thought he could defeat Horlacher at less than 100 percent it still makes no sense. Or, perhaps he felt his non-exclusive contract meant he was just free to fight whoever and wherever without telling anybody.
Affliction hoping for big burst on MMA scene
He doesn't so much as have a promoter's license yet, but Tom Atencio has already got the shtick down.
He's about a month away from promoting his first mixed martial arts card, but he's already touting it as the best in the history of the sport.
That might be a stretch, though it's going to feature six of the world's elite heavyweights and enough of the world's finest fighters to hold the interest of even the most ardent MMA fans.
And Atencio insists he's undaunted by the enormity of the task that lay ahead of Affliction before its July 19 debut card at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
He's got a card stacked with big – and expensive – names, elite heavyweights such as Fedor Emelianenko, Tim Sylvia, Andrei Arlovski, Josh Barnett, Ben Rothwell, Pedro Rizzo and Aleksander Emelianenko.
That's a former PRIDE heavyweight champion and three ex-UFC heavyweight champs among that group, in case you're wondering.
"If you are an MMA fan, even if you're just a casual fan, can you look at this card and not say you're dying to see it?" Atencio asks.
No doubt. It's a must-see event, particularly since it brings Emelianenko back onto the world stage.
‘Elbow Room' Remains for Controversy
What exactly constitutes an illegal elbow to the back of the head?
It depends who you ask.
That's the hot topic off the heels of June 7's Nate Marquardt-Thales Leites (Pictures) fight at UFC 85 in London, where referee Herb Dean (Pictures) took a point from Marquardt for illegal elbows, and the deductions made the difference on the scorecards. Leites, who was otherwise on the short end of a competitive but uphill battle, took a split duke by scores of 28-27, 28-27 and 27-28.
Herb was right!
Tito Ortiz-This Is Gonna Hurt...It Certainly Did
I will get to the very few highlights of the book but believe me when I say there weren't many. If half the shit he talked about is true I certainly commend him for picking himself up and making a life for himself. While I have always enjoyed Ortiz's antics and for the most part his fights, I have lost a measure of respect for him as a person.
The book starts out talking about his early childhood, his mother and father were big time potheads. There's a picture of them sitting at a table cutting up marijuana plants. Tito grew up with two older half brothers. This is where his first outrageous claim starts. He says that he was smoking pot and drinking by the time he was 5, I don't know about you but I find that a little ridiculous. If it's true then his older brothers are the biggest dirtbags in the world. He was never a good student because for the most part he skipped a lot of school and was into getting in trouble. Nothing major but petty theft and the like. His parents never tried to hide their drug use and were very open about it. His father was injured at work and was on morphine to dull the pain, when that was no longer working his mom and dad were introduced to Heroin. Their habit was bad and it forced the family to move from place to place, live in motels, people's garages and trailers. Tito had no direction and was getting high and joined a gang.
This behavior continued throughout middle school and it wasn't until early on in High School Tito met a friend named Eric Escobdo who was on the wrestling team, this is where Tito's life began to turn for the better. He kept clean for the most part while wrestling but after the season ended it was right back to the drugs. He did everything but Heroin, he said he would never do that because of what it did to his parents. He was pretty succesful in wrestling right from the start and he really enjoyed it. He met his future wife Kristin while a sophmore and it was just a friendship then it wouldn't turn into love until awhile later. Tito went to jail during the summer of his sophmore year for stealing a car. This was one of many times he had run ins with the law, but as I said they were never anything major. He was very close to going to jail for a long time and he has wrestling to thank for not being involved. His friend Nacho begged him to go on a run with him to do some work for a guy, well he didn;t go because pf practice and his friend was arrested with a million dollars worth of speed, guns and bulletproof vests, his friend got 25 to life.
After high school his mom who was now remarried told him his stepfather wanted him out so he moved in with his stepbrother and his girlfriend. He got a job at a moving company and was miserable. He was still getting high and being a degenerate. He started dealing meth and other drugs and one night at a party he reconnected with Kristin, they started to hang out and that's how they began their love story. Then by chance he was at a bar and ran into an old wrestling coach. He helped Tito get financial aid, hooked him up with the wrestling coach and he was off to Golden West College. Tito started school in 1995 and was a physical education major, he said he would have loved to have been a teacher because he wanted to help kids avoid the pitfalls that life can throw at you. Kristin also attended the same school with him. In his first year he won the state title and led the state with the most pins. It was around this time when he became hooked on watching The UFC. One day while watching an event he recognized a guy he had defeated while in high school, his name was Jerry Bohlander and Tito was amazed.
After the wrestling season ended he was introduced to Tank Abbott who was looking for someone to help him train, so Tito went and trained with Tank for a few weeks. Tank taught how to work the crowd and make yourself a commodity. Tito went back to school and repeated as state champion in 1996. In March of 1997 Tank called Tito asking him if he was interested in fighting on an UFC card. He fought as an amateur so he wouldn't lose his student status. He trained for 6 months with Tank to get ready for his fight. To my surprise his first fight in MMA was not with the UFC, it was to fight in a gym against a BJJ guy, he wanted to test himself. That fight went to a draw.
His first UFC fight was May 30th, 1997 at UFC 13. He fought Wes Albritton a 5th degree black belt in karate. The fight lasted 22 seconds, they clinched Tito took him down and mounted him and nailed him with punches. To his surpise he fought again that night against Guy Mezger. Tito tapped out to a rear naked choke after some back and forth action. After that people started recognizing him and his life would never be the same. He then attended Bakersfield college and it was there that he started another life long problem, cheating on Kristin. With her back in Huntington Beach it was easy. This is also where his relationship with Tank went awry. Tito got into trouble, Tank promised him help and never delivered. He also had problems with the wrestling coach at Bakersfield, they didn't get along at all. He quit school after the season and went back to Huntington Beach and got a job at Spanky's Adult Novelty Store. He had a manager by the name of Saul Garcia who was trying to get him a fight with the UFC but Tank stabbed Tito in the back and said he would never fight for the UFC again if they hired Tito. He took a fight in a warehouse against a guy named Eugen Jackson a veteran of Extreme Fighting Championships. That fight ended up a draw as well.
Tito was fed up and him and his manager went down to Brazil to go see a UFC official named John Peretti, this trip was sponsored and paid for by the owner of Spanky's. After some needling Peretti called Tito and offered him a fight with his old high school opponent Jerry Bohlander. This took place on January 8, 1999 at UFC 18. Tito won by TKO at 14:31. Right before the fight he was approached by a porn production company and they paid him a couple grand to wear a t-shirt htat said I Just ****** Your Ass. This is where the t-shirt thing started. His next fight was on March 5, 1999 at UFC 19 against Guy Mezger once again. He beat him the whole fight and it was stopped at 13:00. That;s when he pulled out the Gay Mezger Is My Bitch shirt and this is where the war with Ken Shamrock started as Tito flipped of Mezger's crew.
Liddell VS Evans Headlines UFC 88 in Atlanta
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight champion Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell is set to return to action at UFC 88 on Sept. 6 as he faces Rashad Evans in a 205-pound showdown that could have title implications on the line.
So much for the MMA Gods letting Chuck vs Shogun happen...
Fighter Salaries: The Problems With Revenue Linking
There exists a critical assumption within the business world that most of our theories rely on: the concept of rationality. A rational or "greedy" individual is said to prefer more than less and it is this preference that can be seen in all walks of life. Investors are expecting greater wealth generation, creditors want higher interest rates, buyers want a cheaper price, and sellers want more for their goods. The same can also be said for the relationship that exists between a firm and its employees; no matter how much you pay someone, they're always going to want more.
This is human nature. This is rationality.
Very, very interesting:
UFC Signs Another Marketing Deal
The New York-based licensing and manufacturing company, Silver Buffalo, announced it has signed a licensing agreement with the UFC.
According to Silver Buffalo the products will include watches, barware & bar accessories, lighting, wall décor, and billiards & darts accessories.
EliteXC gets into the family act by signing brother fighting duo
FiveOuncesOfPain.com has learned that EliteXC signed a pair of top fight prospects over the weekend in Honolulu, Hawaii while conducting its “Return of the King” event.
According to Mike Camp of F1 Management, the promotion has inked both Torrance Taylor (pictured) and Tiawan Howard to three-fight, one-year contracts. The half-brothers both train out of Ohio and had been considered two of the best unsigned prospects in the region until signing with EliteXC.
Affliction: Buying Into The Hype
It's one thing for fans to salivate in anticipation of the card Affliction is putting on in July. It's another for the people in charge of that company to mark out so hard for the fights they have that they ignore the reality of their situation.
In this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer reported Affliction's internal expectations:
The promotion internally believes it can break even, even with a $4 million fighter payroll off a combination of a sellout live gate and 250,000 to 300,000 PPV buys.
On the live gate issue, a sellout is extremely unlikely
Professor Horn Keeps the Fight Game Pure
Thomas Gerbasi, UFC - The response came without hesitation or elaboration. When asked for his thoughts on his upcoming opponent, Dean Lister, Jeremy Horn simply blurted, "He's definitely a tough guy and a real good grappler."Silence. That was it.Not surprising really, considering that…
David Baron Signs With The UFC
French fighter David Baron, who submitted Hayato “Mach” Sakurai in his last bout in May, has signed with the UFC according to The Fight Network.
Baron (15-2) submitted Sakurai (32-8-2) via first round guillotine choke at a May Shooto event.