Thales Leites vs. Nate Marquardt Set for UFC 85
Visa issues forced Thales Leites (12-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) to cancel a scheduled October 2006 bout with Nate Marquardt (26-7-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC), and then a broken hand forced him out of a second attempt at the fight last month at UFC 81. However, the two UFC middleweights will give the fight a third try at UFC 85 in London
With the UFC's middleweight division short on contenders, the winner of the Leites-Marquardt bout could inch very close to a potential title shot.
After Leites pulled out of the UFC 81 fight, Marquardt instead took on late replacement and veteran fighter Jeremy Horn. Marquardt dominated the fight and earned a second-round victory after securing a guillotine choke. It was the 28-year-old's seventh victory in his past eight fights, with the only loss coming in a title shot with Anderson Silva at UFC 73.
Leites, a 26-year-old Brazilian, made his UFC debut at The Ultimate Fighter 4 Finale and dropped a unanimous decision to middleweight standout Martin Kampmann; it was the first loss of his career. Leites has bounced with a three-fight winning streak, which includes victories over Pete Sell, Floyd Sword and Ryan Jensen.
Chuck Liddell willing to fight for Heavyweight title
First things first: Chuck Liddell wants to remain at 205 lbs. so he can reclaim his light heavyweight title. However, the former champ says he's willing to move up to the heavyweight division to fight interim champ Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira if the UFC makes the request.
He's won once in his last 3 fights, I dont think he needs to be even thinking of moving up just yet.
Boston to Host "The Ultimate Fighter 8" Tryouts on April 10
The seventh season of "The Ultimate Fighter" is still a month away from its debut on Spike TV, but UFC and Spike TV officials are already preparing for an eighth season that debuts later this year.
The first tryouts for "The Ultimate Fighter 8" will take place Thursday, April 10 in Boston at a site to be determined.
However, a source close to the show today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that producers haven't yet decided on a weight class or any other major details for the show.
Cro Cop’s *New* New Opponent; DREAM Rules Announced
Yoshihiro Nakao must have just realized he had a previous engagement or something, because DREAM is now saying that Tatsuya Mizuno will instead be taking on Mirko Filipovic at DREAM’s debut show this Saturday in Japan. And is Mizuno a worthy opponent for Cro Cop? Oh, sure! I mean, after all, we’re talking about a guy with a 4-2 record in Pancrase, who’s been previously stomped by Thiago Silva and UFC washout Assuerio Silva. He should present a stiff challenge to Mirko — still, we’re calling it for Cro Cop via head kick KO, nine seconds into round one. But fortunately, we think this opponent will finally stick, and we hope Mizuno can train hard over the next four days by taking lots of naps. It’ll be an honor just to meet Filipovic’s left foot.
One thing that Mizuno won’t have to worry about is being soccer kicked when he’s down. Nightmare of Battle has a translation of the DREAM rules, which work out like this :
— 10 minute first round, 5 minute second round, 90 seconds between rounds.
— Fights are judged in their entirety and no draws are possible.
— Stomps and soccer kicks to the head of a grounded opponent are not allowed, but knees to the head of a grounded opponent are allowed. If both fighters are on the ground, head kicks are allowed. If there is a 15 kg or more weight difference, no stomps, soccer kicks, or knees to the head of a grounded opponent are allowed.
Due to the sizable difference in talent, Cro Cop will also be blindfolded. And the betting line still has him as a -950 favorite…
No Joke-Silva Wants To Box
It's more than just talk-UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva does want to fight Roy Jones Jr. in a boxing match according to Silva's manager. Whether or not it actually happens is yet to be seen.
Interview with Bas Boon
Hi Bas, it's a pleasure to talk to you. Let's make a brief introduction for our readers. How did you get involved in martial arts?
Bas Boon: When I was 15 years old I started taekwondo, later I took up full contact kickboxing and kicking 8 times above the waist.
What were the key moments that gave such a boost to Golden Glory, making it the leading fight team in Europe, next to Red Devil?
Bas: Please do not compare Red Devil with Golden Glory. Gambaryan was beaten by Fatih (Kocamis) and Zentsov was beaten by Chalid (Arrab) and Alistair (Overeem). This was all before Fedor was introduced to Red Devil by me. Golden Glory started at 2H2H number 2, where all GG fighters were victorious and many journalist therefore wrote about Golden Glory.
Josh “The Punk” Thomson about his recovery from shoulder surgery, Frank Shamrock vs. Cung Le
PDG: Your good buddy Frank Shamrock is fighting Cung Le in about three weeks. How do you think this fight will go?
Josh: "Frank is a mystery to a lot of people, no one thought he was going to come out and stand with Baroni but that is exactly what he did. I think that threw Baroni's game off a little bit."
"He thinks his boxing is good and so he will try to use that to get into Cung’s face. I'm sure Frank thinks his boxing is that of a pro-level fighter but I can assure you that it is not. Frank is a legend in his own mind and so he will try to impose that on Cung in this fight."
"I also think deep down in his mind he remembers sparring with Cung years ago and so I'm sure he also remembers how many times he was dropped in those sparring sessions. If he goes into the clinch with Cung, that will be a mistake and he will get thrown to the ground. The bottom line is that the fight always starts on the feet and Cung is better than Frank in the standup game. I have to favor Frank for this fight as far as experience is concerned but I AM GOING TO HAVE TO TAKE CUNG TO WIN THIS FIGHT."
Gilbert Melendez vs. Gabe Lemley Official for March 29
Strikeforce world lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez (13-1) will defend his title against Extreme Challenge veteran Gabe Lemley (11-6) at a March 29 Strikeforce/EliteXC card.
Strikeforce Vice President Mike Afromowitz alert MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of the card's latest booking. The event, which features a main event of Strikeforce world middleweight champion Frank Shamrock vs. Cung Le, airs on Showtime.
The latest fight card now includes:
Champ Frank Shamrock vs. Cung Le (for Strikeforce world middleweight title)
Jake Shields vs. Drew Fickett (FOR THE FIRST-EVER ELITEXC WALTERWEIGHT TITLE)
Champ Gilbert Melendez vs. Gabe Lemley (for Strikeforce world lightweight title)
Nick Diaz vs. Jae Suk Lim
Joey Villasenor vs. Evangelista Santos
Diego Wants Rematch With Koscheck Soon
Diego Sanchez had an impressive victory against David this past weekend at UFC 82. The win snapped a two fight losing streak for the former original Ultimate Fighter cast member and put him back on track to begin another title run.
Sanchez's confidants appears high as he looks forward to exacting some revenge on an old nemesis.
"One that would be big for my heart and soul would be Josh Koscheck,” Sanchez told MMAWeekly. “The number one question that everyone always asks me is, ‘When are you going to kick that Josh Koscheck’s ass?’ So hopefully, maybe in June or July, we can go ahead and set that fight up.”
UFC Going To Do Things "Their Way"
Dana White recently sat down with the Boston Herald to discuss a variety of topics including his disdain for Elite XC president Gary Shaw and the reasons why the UFC hasn't signed on with a major network. Below are some of the highlights of that conversation:
Dana White On Elite XC President Gary Shaw:
The next company that was going to take me out has been coming for the last eight years. Every time somebody puts something new together, it’s been "Oh, these guys are gonna kick Dana’s ass and put his ego in check" There ain’t anybody kicking our ass. It isn’t going to happen this year with CBS and Elite XC or any year. We’ll see who’s around in five years, me or Gary Shaw. There’s some ego for you. The reality is I know what I’m doing and Gary Shaw doesn’t. If you go and search Gary Shaw and mixed martial arts (on the Internet), this guy was saying five years ago that mixed martial arts was a joke. (He said) it’s not a real sport, these guys are barroom brawlers. Now that fat, bloated guy is running around acting like he loves mixed martial arts.
Dana White On Why He's Nixed Deals In The Past With HBO and CBS:
The bottom line is we built this brand without the help of anyone. We built this thing from the ground up, and no one’s going to control our business. It has nothing to do with ego at all; it has to do with the business we’ve built and our vision for it. We’re going to do it our way.
UFC 83 card complete for Montreal PPV event on April 19
Main card (televised):
185 lbs.: Rich Franklin (22-3) vs. Travis Lutter (9-4)
185 lbs.: Kalib Starnes (8-2-1) vs. Nate Quarry (9-2)
185 lbs.: Michael Bisping (15-1) vs. Charles McCarthy (10-4)
155 lbs.: Mac Danzig (17-4-1) vs. Mark Bocek (5-1)
Under card (may not be broadcast):
185 lbs.: Jason MacDonald (19-9) vs. Joe Doerksen (39-11)
185 lbs.: Alan Belcher (12-4) vs. Jason Day (15-5)
155 lbs.: Sam Stout (13-3-1) vs. Rich Clementi (30-12-1)
170 lbs.: Jonathan Goulet (21-9) vs. Kuniyoshi Hironaka (11-4)
265 lbs.: Cain Velasquez (2-0) vs. Brad Morris (10-2)
185 lbs.: Ed Herman (14-5) vs. Demian Maia (6-0)
Herman vs. Maia Official; UFC 83 to Feature 11 Bouts
The UFC today made official the long-rumored UFC 83 bout between middlweights Ed Herman (14-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Demian Maia (6-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC). With the booking, UFC 83 now features a total of 11 bouts.
The announcement was on UFC.com.
The 27-year-old Herman, one of the most experienced fighters cast for the third season of "The Ultimate Fighter," made it to the show's finals but lost to Kendall Grove. In his very next fight, he was quickly submitted by Jason MacDonald for his second straight loss, but the Team Quest fighter quickly turned things around. First came a first-round submission of Chris Price at UFC Fight Night 8, then came a second-round submission of Scott Smith at UFC 72. He most recently earned a third-round knockout of veteran fighter Joe Doerksen -- the first knockout of his career -- this past November at UFC 78.
Although Maia hasn't fought the biggest names in MMA, every fighter the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt has beaten currently has a winning record. Five of the six victories have come via first-round stoppages.
UFC events have traditionally featured nine fights, but with approximately 250 fighters signed to contracts, the organization has been booking a growing number of bouts for each event. UFC Fight Night 13, for example, will likely feature 12 fights next month.
Rich Franklin training with Hume at AMC in Kirkland
Rich Franklin is training for Lutter and UFC 83 in Kirkland at AMC Pankration (www.mmawizard.com) with Matt Hume. A friend of a friend just met Hume and Franklin at a restaurant in the Seattle area and confirmed it with a picture. Maybe roll with Barnett? C’mon Rich get Dana to bring Barnett on!!!! Matt and Josh get Rich the win!!!!!
The UFC’s New York Seduction Drive: Day 1
According to this New York Times article, today marks the beginning of the UFC’s public campaign to legalize MMA in New York State. Eleven years after it was banned by killjoy governor George Pataki, Zuffa has launched MMAFacts.com to massage NY lawmakers into realizing that MMA is safe family entertainment. And at no small cost: Prior to the launch of the site, Zuffa made a $25,000 donation to the state Democratic party, hired a political consulting firm used by current New York governor Eliot Spitzer for media relations, and has had the $10,000/month Albany lobbying firm Brown, McMahon & Weinraub on retainer since November.
Anyway, take a gander at the site, which combines a mix of positive news coverage (”Associated Press: Anheuser-Busch ad deal is milestone for Ultimate Fighting”), original fluff pieces (”MMA Events Draw Tourism and Tax Revenue to Host Cities”), explanations of the sport’s honorable history, and good old-fashioned charticles. But the best part is the athlete profile page, where dudes like Keith Jardine, Kenny Florian, and Joe Lauzon — awkwardly stuffed into button-down shirts — try to explain that MMA fighters are just as educated as you are, if not more so, and don’t turn to the sport because they can’t do anything else. (Lauzon’s an IT guy!) But unlike the other guys in their office-ready wear, Matt Lindland keeps it real in his IFL jersey. It’s very possible that no photos of him wearing collared shirts actually exist.
Report: Nick Diaz vs. Jae ‘The Korean Ice Pick’ Lim fight set for March 29
Nick Diaz will return to action against Jae “The Korean Ice Pick” Lim (9-3) later this month on March 29 as a featured bout on the Shamrock vs. Cung Le card — an event that will be co-promoted by Strikeforce and ProElite — in San Jose, Calif., according to GracieFighter.com.
Diaz was penciled in to fight Muhsin Corbbrey on April 26 in Hawaii, however, we learned that the bout was eventually scratched during an exclusive interview with the Diaz brothers last month.
Lim just fought last Saturday in Japan, beating Yoon Young Kim in the second round via technical knockout. He last fought for EliteXC in November 2007 on the Renegade show, submitting Daniel Pinedo with a first round rear naked choke.
The Koreon Ice Pick is a pretty big 160 pounder. He’s listed as 176 pounds and his size could give Diaz some trouble come March 29. Lim is an aggressive fighter who has five submissions and three technical knockouts in his nine wins.
Even so, this is a fight Diaz should win on paper. We’ll call this a tune up fight for either his rematch with KJ Noons for the belt or his fight with Yves Edwards, depending on who wins the Noons/Edwards fight.
Gilbert Melendez not Fighting Cristiano Marcello on March 29
Contrary to recent reports, Strikeforce world lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez (13-1) will not be fighting Chute Boxe jiu-jitsu coach Cristiano Marcello (4-2) at a March 29 EliteXC/Strikeforce event.
Strikeforce Vice President Mike Afromowitz today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the fight was never booked and that a different opponent for Melendez could be named as early as today.
LOYALTY TO B.J. PENN HAS JOE LAUZON PREPARED
To prepare for the fight, Lauzon has been working with his Ultimate Fighter coach, current UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn, with whom Lauzon continues to adjust his fight game.
“Working with B.J. has been amazing. Every day I get to go out and work out with the lightweight champ of the UFC,” he said with exuberance. “I have learned everything from small training habits to ideas on fighting and technique.”
A win for Lauzon would definitely help his continual climb up the lightweight ladder, but he intends on keeping his focus on the fight.
Dana White Unleashes Another Tirade
Yesterday it was the Orange County Register. Today its the the Boston Herald. UFC President Dana White this time takes specific aim at EliteXC Live Events President Gary Shaw as well as clarifies his stance on HDNet Fights’ Mark Cuban.