Forrest Griffin pulling for Chuck Liddell at UFC 88
ATLANTA - With a potential title shot on the line in tonight's UFC 88 main-event fight with Rashad Evans, Chuck Liddell could be just one win away from a shot at Forrest Griffin's light-heavyweight title.
UFC President Dana White recently mentioned the possibility of that scenario, and on Friday, the former champion got some additional support.
As mentioned in today's edition of the Dayton Daily News, it came from the current title-holder.
During a Q&A segment with the UFC's fan club (and hosted by UFC broadcast Mike Golberg), Griffin was at first hesitant to predict a winner in tonight's Liddell-Evans main event, which takes place at Atlanta's Philips Arena. But, after a little prodding and some critical thinking, Griffin picked a winner.
However, he was admittedly self-serving with his prediction.
UFC 88 Projected Big Pay-Per-View Numbers
MMA Payout is projecting big numbers for UFC 88 -- 590,000 ppv orders -- based on the number of viewers for the UFC Countdown program earlier this week -- 701,000.
That is the second highest rated Countdown special of the year, trailing only Countdown to UFC 83, which drew 782,000 viewers. This was only the second countdown special all year to break the 700,000 level and suggests a strong PPV performance for this card.
Zach Arnold comments:
590,000 PPV buys for this weekend’s show? If that is the case for a show that has received little or no media coverage, then UFC is truly unstoppable and everyone else in the business should get out now and cut their losses.
MMA Payout's Robert Joyner hedges his bets a bit at Fight Opinion:
The predictor thing is a work in progress to be sure, Zach. We went back and did the data for the past year and a half and it gave us between 8 and 10% margin of error. Not the best but it was scarily accurate at times. My gut tells me it will be closer to the 475k (500 maybe) figure mentioned in my UFC 88 preview. tbh, I was surprised at the strong number the Countdown show did.
I've commented previously on the lack of buzz for this show so it will be a very good sign indeed for UFC's upcoming big money run of events starting with UFC 91.
Our own Mike Rome comments:
The online hype is all Randy Couture, but Chuck Liddell is still a huge mainstream draw, as evidenced by the countdown rating. Rashad has also surprised headlining before.
Chuck was on sportscenter today too, I think this one will do 500-550, which is still a great number. 590 seems very high.
Strongman Mike Miller Enters the Cage
Following in the footsteps of his WWE counterpart Brock Lesnar, former pro wrestler and one of the world’s stongest men Mike Miller has decided to test his chops in the mixed martial arts cage.
Miller, who at the pinnacle of his powerlifting career weighed in excess of 400 pounds, made the announcement during a recent episode of the “Super Human Radio” show.
And while Miller has never professionally competed in MMA, he is no stranger to mixed martial arts.
“I’ve been training in martial arts for over ten years” Miller told the host Carl Lanore during the interview.
Liddell Wants Two Titles Before Retirement
Chuck Liddell thinks it would be possible for him to hold both the light-heavyweight and heavyweight titles in the UFC.
He has set his sights on getting the light-heavyweight belt back, assuming he beats Rashad Evans this weekend, but is also eyeing the strap currently held by Randy Couture.
Regarding the light-heavyweight belt, he told MMA Mania: "I think I'm due a crack at that title, sure. I'm going to argue for it after I win but we'll see what happens.''
And if Couture is still heavyweight boss at that point, “I wouldn't mind coming up and getting the heavyweight title too,'' he added.
Couture and Liddell have fought three times before, with Liddell being the winner on two occasions, both times by knockout.
Earlier this week, the UFC announced that its errant heavyweight champion had returned to the fold after a prolonged absence.
Palhares’ coaches betting on his victory
Tomorrow UFC will view the most important fight in Rousimar Palhares’ MMA career, and his coaches bet on his victory against Dan Henderson. One of the most Brazilian Boxing coaches, Cláudio Coelho trained some of the best fighters of the world, as Murilo Bustamante, Rodrigo Nogueira, Royce and Ryan Gracie, Marco Ruas and many others, and helped Rousimar on his stand up game. “He’s really aggressive on the ground, and Murilo (Bustamante) put him to do Boxing to catch some skills, and we’re doing a special job to prepare him for this fight”, said Cláudio, that guarantees Palhares’ has an underrated stand up game.
“He’s very explosive and has a great punch that can end with a fight”, said, betting his tips on a victory. “After knowing him like I know, I can say that I think he’ll win by submission”, said Coelho. After Paulo Filho, WEC middleweight champion, said TATAME that he could bet his own house on Palhares’ victory, Zé Mário Sperry, the man that took Palhares out of Rio de Janeiro streets and put him to train at BTT, actually bet on his victory at UFC 88.
“I’m not as Las Vegas, but I put some money on him, there are people there to bet for me”, said Sperry, that is waiting for the vitory. “MMA is an unpredictable sport, but I can say that Palhares’ game is perfect to fight Dan Henderson, and I believe Henderson’s only chance is to find a punch in the beginning”, said Sperry, that thinks this fight will be fast. “I truly believe this fight will be over with a heel hook first round submission”, finished Sperry.
PFC Announces Complete Card for “Explosive”
The Palace Fighting Championship has announced the complete fight card for it’s upcoming event on September 26. “Explosive” will take place at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, California.
World Extreme Cagefighting mainstay Olaf Alfonso will take on UFC and PRIDE veteran Phil Baroni in the show’s main event. Baroni dropped down to welterweight for the first time in his career and knocked out Scott Jansen at Cage Rage 27 in July, following it up with a first-round TKO of Ron Verdadero at ICON Sport’s “Hard Times” on August 2.
Alfonso snapped a dreadful six-fight losing streak with a surprising knockout of lightweight prospect Casey Olson at a PFC boxing and MMA card in February. Regardless of the outcome of his fight against Baroni, PFC officials intend on offering Alfonso a shot at the promotion’s lightweight title later this year.
Other notable fighters in action include WEC veteran Antonio Banuelos, Poppies Martinez, and Xavier Foupa-Pokam. A total of three championship bouts will also take place on the card, which can be found after the jump.
Phil Baroni vs. Olaf Alfonso
Shawn Klarcyk vs. Brandon Miller - PFC Bantamweight Title
Brian Cobb vs. Lance Wipf - PFC Lightweight Title
Bryan Travers vs. Jeremiah Metcalf - PFC Welterweight Title
Antonio Banuelos vs. Bryan Goldsby
Poppies Martinez vs. Sergio Cortez
Xavier Foupa-Pokam vs. Derek Thornton
David Mitchell vs. David Suarez
Chris Botelho vs. Anthony Bivins
Dustin Akbari vs. Bill Theofanopoulos
Joe Soto vs. Brandon Jinnies
Lavar Johnson vs. Vince Lucero
Elvis Franco vs. Mike Craddock
Joey Cabezas vs. Billy Terry
Chad Mendes vs. Giovanni Encarncacion
Luis Gonzales vs. Elbert Randle
Sherdog to Stream Strikeforce on Sept. 20
Strikeforce today announced that Sherdog.com will be providing a live stream of the organization’s upcoming “Strikeforce at the Mansion II” event, which will take place at the at the Playboy Mansion in Hollywood, California on September 20.
The stream, which will be free of charge to viewers, is scheduled to begin promptly at 7:30 PM PT and will air the entire fight card in its entirety, including the show’s two preliminary bouts. The link to the stream will appear on Sherdog and Strikeforce’s official websites on the day of the event.
“We are looking forward to bringing fight fans around the world a great night of professional MMA action from the Playboy Mansion on a major web platform,” Strikeforce founder Scott Coker said in a press release today. “Sherdog has been cutting edge in its delivery of MMA coverage since the sport’s early days so showcasing this event is a natural fit for its brand.”
Brian Gassaway to appear at TKO 35 on Oct. 3
TKO Championship Fighting has announced that UFC veteran Brian Gassaway will take on welterweight prospect T.J. Grant at TKO 35: Hioki vs. Quenneville.
Gassaway, a native of Chicago, Illinois, possesses a mixed martial arts record of 28-18-2 and has appeared in the UFC confines once losing to TUF 1 winner Diego “Nightmare” Sanchez. Gassaway’s record includes appearances in organizations such as King of the Cage, World Extreme Cagefighting, and Pancrase while he holds victories over Travis Fulton, Mark Hughes, and Jose “Pele” Landi-Jons.
Gassaway’s victory over Pele marked his debut in TKO and the bout ended in a gruesome fashion. While battling it out on the feet, Pele moved in and attempted a low kick only to have his right tibia and fibula snap. He immediately went down in a heap of pain and Gassaway was awarded the victory on the injury.
Martin Kampmann "at 100 percent" for UFC 88 bout with Nate Marquardt
UFC middleweight contender Martin Kampmann (13-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) has been in this position before.
In June of 2007, Kampmann was slated to face former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin with a shot at current champion Anderson Silva on the line. A devastating knee injury suffered in training forced Kampmann out of the bout.
A little more than a year later Kampmann stands again on the verge of a title shot. And as "The Hitman" told TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmmajunkie.com), this time he's ready.
"I feel good," Kampmann said. "It was a long way to get back in training because the knee injury was very complicated. It took a long time, but now I've been back training 100 percent. I'm ready to go 100 percent."
Kampmann actually suffered multiple traumas to his knee. The process required two surgeries and a tissue transplant.
Possible Rampage vs. Wanderlei Silva at UFC 91?
According to FightTicker the two have been offered a spot against each other on the November card that will feature Couture/Lesnar.
MMARated.com is reporting that a light heavyweight bout between Rampage Jackson and Wanderlei Silva has been offered to both fighters for UFC 91.The show will be held on November 15th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas,NV.
The show's main event between the returning Randy Couture against Brock Lesnar has had the MMA world abuzz this week and the addition of this fight could only help draw even more PPV buys to what may already be a record number when all is said and done. The card will also feature a lightweight bout between Kenny Florian and Joe Stevenson and a possible matchup between TUF season 7 winner Amir Sadollah and Nick Catone is also being rumored.
Silva has two previous victories against Rampage in the now defunct Pride organization.
It will be interesting to see which Rampage shows up. Will it be the man who rose to glory to defeat Chuck Liddell or will it be the disturbed man we have seen lately? I personally hope that Jackson can work through all of his troubles and give us a performance that could lead to "Fight of the Night" honors.
This could make for a great start to a huge card. It'd be really interesting to see if Rampage can really be in the right mental state to take a fight with Silva by November, given all of his problems of late. But if it goes, that'd be two huge fights to look forward to.
Pros Pick: Liddell vs. Evans
This Saturday down in sultry Atlanta, the UFC is delivering one heck of a fight card.
However, one fight in particular has the MMA world abuzz: Chuck Liddell (Pictures) versus Rashad Evans (Pictures). Looking at the fight a bit closer, the keys to victory for each combatant seem quite simple: Will it be Liddell’s superb sprawl and debilitating striking power or Evans’ athleticism and speed that reign supreme?
Sherdog.com turned to the pros for their opinions:
Teacher vs. student as Franklin faces Hamill
At a time when most fighters are trying to cut as much weight as possible to get a size advantage, Rich “Ace” Franklin is swimming against the tide.
The former UFC middleweight champion moves up 20 pounds, to light heavyweight, for Saturday night’s UFC 88 at the Phillips Arena in Atlanta.
And that’s only part of the unique situation. His first opponent is a guy Franklin was instrumental in getting into MMA in the first place, former training partner Matt “The Hammer” Hamill.
Ontario Canada says no to amauter mma
On May 3, 2006, the Ontario Mixed Martial Arts Association (OMMAA) received a letter from the Ministry of Government Services explaining why professional MMA was not permitted in the province of Ontario in Canada. In that letter they stated the following:
“You may wish to contact the ministry of Health Promotions (MHP) so that you can explore having MMA recognized and sanctioned through the amateur sporting process. Steps in this direction may enable you to establish a safety track record in Ontario…”
It wasn’t until August 2008 that OMMAA finally received a response from the MHP denying the application on the basis of three concerns. Firstly, the MHP was uncomfortable with OMMAA’s coaching certification program stating the following:
Ortiz Sheds Light On Ibarra-Rampage Breakup!
Ortiz Sheds Light On Ibarra-Rampage Breakup!
In an , Ortiz had the following to say about 'Rampage' Jackson's firing of trainer Juanito Ibarra:
"Let me explain this to you because it really pisses me off that Ibarra has done what he has done, he is a thief. I have been running training camps for seven years up in Big Bear California and the most that my camp has cost a fighter to attend is $35,000. Ibarra was charging Jackson $65,000 to go to Big Bear. I don't understand that!! He was being very disrespectful and taking advantage of ‘Rampage’. Including travel, training partners, food and lodging, the most ever was $35,000, maybe if you flew in more trainers...$40K. Where did that extra money go that Ibarra was charging? ‘Rampage’ is really pissed and he feels betrayed that he was taken advantage of and I couldn't agree more with him. I don't care if Juanito reads this or hears about it anywhere, he already knows that he is blackballed. I don't care who you are; fighters work very hard for the money they earn and I feel slighted for even knowing Juanito."
Remember that White Chocolate Management (Who also represents Jackson) filed a $10 Million Lawsuit against Ibarra and Jackson for alleged breach of contract by two. Jackson has now all but been removed from the lawsuit since he fired Ibarra.
Matt Brown versus Dong Hyun Kim moved to UFC 88 main card
After a last-moment injury forced a bout between Karo Parisyan and Yoshiyuki Yoshida to be canceled, the UFC has elected to move a welterweight contest between "The Ultimate Fighter 7" cast member Matt Brown (7-6 MMA, 1-0 UFC) and Dong Hyun Kim (10-0-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) to UFC 88's televised main card.
Joe Rogan, who emceed this afternoon's official weigh-in for tomorrow night's "UFC 88: Breakthrough," mentioned the change during the weigh-ins. The UFC's official website has also notated the switch.
Brown, an Ohio-based fighter who trains in Cincinnati (with Team Jorge Gurgel) and Columbus, was one of the surprises of "TUF: Team Rampage vs. Team Forrest." Brown defeated Josh Hall via TKO in an elimination-round bout, and he followed up that performance with a first-round knockout of Jeremy May in a preliminary-round fight. However, eventual show winner Amir Sadollah defeated him in the quarterfinals in one of the season's better fights.
UFC 88 weigh in results and photos
According to MMAWeekly.com sources, the bout between Korean fighter Dong Hyun Kim and Ultimate Fighter alumnus Matt Brown will be moved from the preliminary fight card up to the main card on pay-per-view.
(All weights in pounds.)
Main Card Bouts:
-Chuck Liddell (204) vs. Rashad Evans (205)
-Rich Franklin (204.5) vs. Matt Hamill (205)
-Dan Henderson (185) vs. Rousimar Palhares (184.5)
-Nate Marquardt (185) vs. Martin Kampmann (184.5)
-Kurt Pellegrino (156) vs. Thiago Tavares (155)
-Mike Patt (205.25) vs. Tim Boetsch (205.25)
-Dong Hyun Kim (170) vs. Matt Brown (170)
-Jason Lambert (185) vs. Jason MacDonald (185)
-Roan Carneiro (170) vs. Ryo Chonan (170)
Liddells Top 8 Moments
Zuffa brings its beloved big top to Atlanta on Saturday night for UFC 88. As good hosts, Dana White and Co. are putting their best foot forward in Georgia with an end-to-end burner of a fight card, suitably topped off with MMA's foremost rockstar, Chuck Liddell (Pictures).
In a main event some five months in the making, Liddell, now with full hamstring capabilities, meets the undefeated Rashad Evans (Pictures). For the 38-year-old Liddell, the fight is a must-win to secure a December mega-fight with UFC light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin (Pictures) and to have one last crack at solidifying his resume as the sport's greatest light heavyweight.
On the cusp of boom-or-bust for MMA's favorite San Luis Obispan, here are eight of the finest episodes from "The Iceman." And in the interest of class, only one reference to “Good Morning Texas.”
Please no liddell haters right now