Three Smart Moves for the UFC
Usually, the UFC is a dart board at which most MMA analysts and fans hurl their harshest critiques of how the promotion handles its business. But this week the UFC deserves a pat on the back for three of the decisions they made:
Interview With WAMMA CEO Dave Szady
Wednesday afternoon I was able to sit down for a phone interview with WAMMA's CEO Dave Szady and COO Mike Lynch. I was able to pose a lot of the questions that have been troubling the MMA community as well as allowing them an opportunity to address a lot of the rumors that have been running rampant on message boards and websites. Are sanctioning fees being charged to the fighters and promotions? How is Tim Sylvia involved in a supposedly "undisputed" world title fight with two losses in his last three fights? Are the WAMMA rankings fixed? Read on for the answers and much more:
Matthew Riddle – Still Smiling
Thomas Gerbasi, UFC - The stories are the same, even if the names telling them are different. Almost to a man, alumni from The Ultimate Fighter reality show have talked of the torture that accompanies six weeks in a house with 15 other fighters and no contact with the outside world in the form of phone calls, emails, television, books, or newspapers. To some, weekly root canal would have been an easier task.Now meet Matthew Riddle.
Tim Credeur – Good Things Come to Those Who Keep Fighting
Thomas Gerbasi, UFC - Like Forrest Griffin and Joe Stevenson before him, Tim Credeur had reached the breaking point. Years of blood, sweat, and tears with little reward or a light at the end of the tunnel had pushed him to this point in 2006 where he was going to walk away from the sport of mixed martial arts.
Amir Sadollah – MMA’s Unlikely Action Hero
Thomas Gerbasi, UFC - With no pro fights, and just a handful of amateur MMA and Muay Thai titles to his name, Richmond, Virginia's Amir Sadollah probably seemed to be one of the easiest marks out of the 32 fighter field trying to squeeze themselves into 16 spots on The Ultimate Fighter's seventh season.
Fioravanti prepared for battle
Luigi Fioravanti chuckled and said he could only dream that Diego Sanchez will choose to stand and trade blows with him when they meet on Saturday in an undercard bout in “The Ultimate Fighter” finale at the Pearl at the Palms in Las Vegas.
Fioravanti has been around mixed martial arts long enough to know, however, that Sanchez will bore at him relentlessly, like a tank.
Rory Markhan signs with the UFC; could debut at UFN 14 vs. Brodie Farber
A source speaking on the condition of anonymity has confirmed to FiveOuncesOfPain.com that the UFC has signed former IFL welterweight fighter Rory Markham.
Terms of the contract were not disclosed and the UFC has yet to officially announce the signing.
Markham, who trains out of Miletich Fighting Systems in Davenport, Iowa, is 14-4 according to Sherdog.com’s fight finder. One of the hardest punchers at 170 pounds, Markham accumulated an impressive 7-2 overall record while with the IFL. He holds notable wins over Mike Pyle, Brad Blackburn, Keith Wisniewski, and Pat Healy.
UFC Signing IFL Talent
In a move that strangely acknowledges just how talented the IFL's roster is or at least once was, the UFC has been signing several IFL fighters recently and not all of them standouts. To wit:
The inclusion of Andy and Blackburn is very intriguing, as they were two of the IFL’s better fighters. In the past, it has been said that the UFC has such a bias against the upstart New York-based fight promotion that it wouldn’t sign any of its fighters.
However, there doesn’t appear to be a bias, as in recent months the UFC has selected former IFL fighters such as Gerald Harris, Mike Dolce, and Dante Rivera for the cast of its seventh installment of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality TV show. Now, with the recent signings of other former IFL fighters such as Blackburn, Andy, and Andre Gusmao in recent weeks, the anti-IFL theory has been blown completely out of the water.
REDEMPTION FOR DOLLAWAY AT TUF FINALE?
Rarely does opportunity knock twice, but when C.B. Dollaway steps into The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale on Saturday night, he will have a chance to redeem himself from a loss he suffered during the filming of the show that should have kept him from being the champion of season seven.
Not only that, but his opponent in the fight, Amir Sadollah, is the exact fighter that eliminated him from the show in the first place.
DAN LAUZON FIGHTS TONIGHT, READY TO MOVE UP
Dan Lauzon will be headlining World Championship Fighting event on Friday night against Brenden Hoxie. Lauzon has a wealth of experience for a fighter of his age. At just 20-years-old, he has already competed in 11 professional mixed martial arts bouts and has compiled a record of 9-2.
WCF’s card will take place in Lauzon’s home state, Massachusetts. Massachusetts is becoming one of the most popular states for mixed martial arts training, especially in the northeast. With Lauzon’s school, Reality Self Defense, and Sityodtong in Boston, there is a lot of interest being generated.
FIGHT-BY-FIGHT: ULTIMATE FIGHTER 7 FINALE
Middleweight Bout: Evan Tanner vs. Kendall Grove
Former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner takes on Ultimate Fighter 3 winner Kendall Grove. Tanner has a 32-7 record and is a freelance fighter out of Nevada. Grove has an 8-5 record and trains out of Cobra Kai with Joe Stevenson.
Tanner comes off a knockout loss to Yushin Okami at UFC 82, while Grove also comes off a knockout loss to Jorge Rivera at UFC 80.
Both fighters are at crossroads at this point in their careers. Neither can afford a loss because it may spell the end for their UFC tenure. With that being said, look for these two to fight with little caution as they look to continue their UFC career.
Kimbo Slice vs. Brett Rogers Confirmed For October
Brett Rogers has asked and now he shall receive. The undefeated EliteXC heavyweight prospect hailing from Minnesota called out Kimbo Slice after the EliteXC/CBS show in which both men fought.
Rogers asserted during the post fight press conference that Kimbo had lost his fight to James Thompson due to tap out and that the popular Bas Rutten protege was garbage. A melee ensued and the two men had to be separated by security. Days later Rogers' camp issued an open letter stating their case for a match up with the much hyped internet sensation and now their wish has been granted.
CB Dolloway On Rampage: "He's still got a lot of learning to do as a coach."
TUF 7 alum, CB Dollaway will face Amir Sadollah at The Ultimate Finale Live this Saturday. Our friends over at CagePotato.com recently sat down with Dollaway and got his thoughts on a variety of topics including; his first fight with Amir Sadollah, his thoughts on fellow castmember and resident omega male, Jeremy May and much much more. Below are some of the highlights from their conversation:
More competiton for UFC for Entertainment Dollar
The UFC has seen increased competition this year with the initial Affliction show and the network debut of EliteXC, but there is another quasi-competitor that could affect their business in the near future. The WWE is on an uptick with arena attendance being on the increase:
In 2007, WWE's North American events averaged 6,600 spectators, up from 5,800 and 4,800 in the two prior years. That's a long way from the year 2000 -- the company's most recent heyday, when average attendance was 12,000 per event.
UFC Expansion: a Filipino One Two Punch
As the UFC looks to expand on an international basis, one of the keys to success will be having local fighters that they can market to the populace. All great promotion is done on a local basis, and having home town boys is a sure way to energize their countrymen to turn out in droves for your card.
The UFC is ahead of the game in that respect when it comes to The Philippines, a country mentioned on multiple occasions as a site of future expansion efforts for the company.
Brock Lesnar training jiu-jitsu with Rodrigo Comprido for UFC 87 Heath Herring fight
“It is not enough that Brock Lesnar is a freak of nature with a physique that few can match, and have top trainers around like Greg Nelson (Black Belt under Pedro Sauer) & Marty Morgan (University of Minnesota Wrestling Coach). Noooo, Lesnar is taking his MMA training so seriously that he contracted multiple times BJJ World Absolute Champion Rodrigo “Comprido” to add to his preparation team. Comprido is spending time at the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy, adding his personal touch to Lesnar’s training as he prepares to fight in UFC 87 against Heath Herring. Comprido’s MMA training is in high demand especially coming off a super-successfull participation of his TEAM FLOMMA in the Adrenalin show.”
Newcomers Shannon Gugherty and Dale Hartt to meet at UFC Fight Night 14
Two more UFC newcomers have been scheduled to fight at next month's UFC Fight Night 14 event.
Lightweight fighters Shannon Gugherty (9-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) and Dale Hartt (5-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) have agreed to meet in an undercard bout at the July 19 event. A source from Gugherty's camp alerted MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of the bout, though Hartt's agent, Ken Pavia, could neither confirm nor deny the fight.
UFC Fight Night 14 takes place at The Palms Las Vegas and airs live on Spike TV.
TUF 7 Finale Preview
The Ultimate Fighter has revolutionized mixed martial arts world. If I would have told you three years ago that we’d be wrapping up the seventh installment of the show with the sport bigger and better than it’s ever been before, then you might have called me crazy.
But that’s exactly what has happened. The sport is near the top of the sports world – yet nowhere near its peak – and a ton of eyes will be on the little town of Las Vegas this weekend as another Ultimate Fighter is crowned to join the ever-growing list of Diego Sanchez, Forrest Griffin, Joe Stevenson, Rashad Evans, Michael Bisping, Kendall Grove, Matt Serra, Travis Lutter, Nate Diaz, and Mac Danzig. Below is your full breakdown of all of the fights on the card.