Dana White Acknowledges Fedor Emelianenko's Win at Affliction
UFC president Dana White has been relentless in his criticism of ex-PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko over the past several years.
White has criticized and mocked the popular Russian for failing to face top competition and taking on inexperienced and even smaller fighters over the past three years.
But upon learning that Emelianenko had submitted ex-UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia on Saturday in Anaheim, Calif., in less than a minute, White unflinchingly admitted he was impressed.
“It does (change my opinion),” he conceded. “Tim Sylvia was a real opponent.”
DREAM 5 Preview
An absolutely huge weekend for American MMA has overshadowed what looks to be a very solid card from Japan's heavyweight organization, Dream. The love child of Dream Stage Entertainment and K-1's Fighting and Entertainment Group, Dream's efforts have steadily improved with each card. This offering should continue that trend, highlighted by an extremely exciting and relevant conclusion to the Light Weight Grand Prix.
The first semi-final fight pits rising Rubber Guard juggernaut Shinya Aoki with the poular Japanese veteran Caol Uno. Uno surprised the MMA world by defeating the relentless Mitsuhiro Ishida by rear naked choke in the quarter final round. He has an uphill battle, however, with the "Tobikan Judan" who will have a decided size advantage and owns a better grappling pedigree. Aoki enters the bout with victories over American Top Team star Gesias Cavalcante and Japanese wrestler Katsuhiko Nagata.
Alvarez proving himself against the world’s top lightweights
Great interview with Eddie, here's wishing him well tonight!
Eddie Alvarez didn’t get into mixed martial arts intending to be a champion, but the Philadelphia native is a couple of wins away from winning the prestigious DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix and establishing himself as one of the best in the world in his weight class.
A two-time All America wrestler in high school, Alvarez says he was no stranger to the occasional scuffle and figured he may as well get paid to do it.
“In the beginning I was just doing it as a hobby,” Alvarez says.
But it didn’t take long for Alvarez (14-1) to make a name for himself on the New Jersey MMA circuit, utilizing his heavy hands, strong boxing skills and wrestling background. In just his fifth professional fight, Alvarez defeated experienced journeyman Seichi Ikemoto with a second round TKO, one of ten knockouts in his career.
Affliction Pay-per-view Expectations & Bar Sales
The pay-per-view numbers for Affliction: Banned will be among some of the most anticipated and watched of the year. A strong number will be evidence that there is a market for MMA outside of the UFC. A weak number will provide support to the notion that there is no market for MMA, only for the UFC. The obvious question then is: what constitutes a good or a bad number?
Last week, Affliction Entertainment COO Michael Cohen told MMAPayout.com that he guaranteed the event would do above 50,000 buys, while Affliction VP Tom Atencio has publicly stated that it would take 250,000 buys for the show to break even. Based on the fact that no MMA event outside of the UFC has broken 100,000 buys, conventional wisdom around the industry is that anything above that mark would be a success.
MMAPayout.com has learned that bar sales for Banned are believed to have been around 700. For comparison, it is believed that the UFC typically has between 750-1,000 in bar sales. However, it should be noted that it isn’t clear whether or not the Affliction event was offered at a discount to the UFC’s events.
That number may give credence to what appeared to be a growing sense of optimism concerning the event’s chances on pay-per-view within the industry over the last week. Officials at InDemand were also reportedly excited about the events prospects.
Affliction could become MMA heavyweight
The landscape of the mixed martial arts business may have changed Saturday night as the debuting Affliction promotion came out of its debut show with the potential for several of the biggest heavyweight marquee matches in the sport.
The Secret's Out: Fedor's the Best MMA Has
ANAHEIM, Calif. - Going into Saturday's Affliction fight card — billed with characteristic modesty as "the greatest MMA show of All-time" — Fedor Emelianenko was cast as The Russian. There had been reams of copy citing "Rocky" villain Ivan Drago as his spiritual ancestor.
James Irvin: ‘I didn’t know what hit me’ in Anderson Silva fight last night
“He’s a scary dude…. It was a flash knockout, because I didn’t know what hit me after that. Even waking up, I was covered in blood. He got me right on the money tonight…. I don’t think I’ll have another (chance) as big as this.”
It was a blistering overhand right punch that came blazing down Broadway, James, which was then followed up with a few head bouncers.
$25,000 AWARD BONUSES AT UFC FIGHT NIGHT 14
With the victory, Markham not only won his UFC debut, but he also picked up a $25,000 bonus for “Knockout of the Night.”
While everyone assumed the match-up would have happened during the seventh season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” it took until Saturday night for former wrestling adversaries C.B. Dollaway and Jesse Taylor to compete in the UFC against each other.
Dollaway helped to erase the memory of his last fight against Amir Sadollah, by submitting his former housemate with his signature move, the Peruvian Neck Tie, and earning himself $25,000 for “Submission of the Night.”
Coming off a loss, Frankie Edgar had something extra to prove, while Hermes Franca had just as much to prove after sitting out for more than a year due to a steroid suspension handed down after his last fight against Sean Sherk in July 2007.
Franca and Edgar went to war for the duration of their 15-minute affair, exchanging positions, working on the ground and feet. For their efforts, they each earned $25,000 for “Fight of the Night” honors.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT 14 AWARD BONUSES
(as disclosed by UFC officials)
Each fighter earned $25,000 for the following awards.
Fight of the Night:
-Frankie Edgar and Hermes Franca
Knockout of the Night:
Submission of the Night:
P4P king Anderson Silva speaks with his strikes
LAS VEGAS – Anderson Silva has been one of the elite mixed martial arts fighters in the world for the past 18 months or so.
He hasn't been a star, though, until recently.
But on Thursday, the large media scrum that squeezed in tightly to hear Silva's every utterance was symbolic of his rise to stardom.
Fighting talent and box-office appeal don't always go hand-in-hand and some of the game's best fighters frequently are poor draws. But Silva compensated for his lack of proficiency in English in front of an entirely English-speaking media by grinning and grunting and grimacing to captivate an audience that couldn't understand a word he said.
The UFC middleweight champion will move up to light heavyweight on Saturday to meet rugged James Irvin in a nationally televised card on Spike TV from The Pearl at The Palms Theater.
Shannon Gugerty has Dean Lister and Brandon Vera to thank for UFC debut
With 10 fighters making their UFC debuts at tonight's UFC Fight Night 14 event, it is a safe assumption that all of them were excited when the opportunity to fight in the world's biggest MMA promotion was bestowed upon them.
But for Shannon Gugerty (10-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC), he had a feeling his time was quickly approaching.
"I just had that gut feeling that [the chance to fight in the UFC] was coming really soon," Gugerty recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "And then, sure enough, my manager Matt Stansell (from NCFC Fight Management), he called me up about four weeks ago, and he said 'The UFC is looking to put on a show the same day as that Affliction card, July 19. You think you'd be ready to fight by then?'"
REESE ANDY LOOKING TO SPOIL THE TRUTH
Reese Andy may not be known by a lot of fans, especially casual UFC fans. However, he has a chance to propel himself to the forefront of the light heavyweight division, as he will take on Brandon “The Truth” Vera, who is making his debut at 205 pounds, on Saturday night at UFC Fight Night 14.
Quite a few fighters, including Dan Henderson, turned down a fight with Vera, but Reese Andy didn’t hesitate. “I was excited about the offer,” said Andy recently on MMAWeekly Radio. “I wasn't going to pick and choose to get into the show I want to get into. I know other guys turned it down and they have their reasons why they're doing it. I'm not going to turn anything down like that.”
Report: Yushin Okami breaks hand in training
Top middleweight contender Yushin Okami has suffered another hand injury — this time in training — and will more than likely be unable to challenge 185-pound champion Anderson Silva anytime soon, according to MMARated.com.
“Thunder” initially broke his hand against Evan Tanner at UFC 82: “Pride of a Champion” — a fight the Japanese import won via crushing knockout. There’s currently no word on whether or not this is a fresh break or if he re-aggravated the existing damage.
The tentative plan was to pit Okami against Silva as soon as UFC 88: “Breakthrough” on September 6 if the “Spider” escaped his non-title light heavyweight fight tonight with James Irvin injury-free. Patrick Cote would then take on the winner of that match in late 2008.
Now it seems that the “Predator” may have leapfrogged Okami — the last man to deal Silva a loss (albeit disqualification — for a chance to next take on the feared Brazilian striker.
Arlovski ready for Rothwell
Arlovski explained during a recent Affliction conference call with media that following a brief period where he was unable to negotiate with other promotions, it was ultimately Affliction that won his services inside the ring.
“First of all I had 60 days basically for negotiations with the UFC,” he said about his contract negotiations. “After that time my management talked with Affliction and we got a deal.”
Now Arlvoski can just get back to the business of fighting and next up on the agenda is a battle with former IFL top dog Ben Rothwell. To get ready for Rothwell, Arlovski trained with regular coach Mike Garcia, but he also enlisted the help of famed boxing trainer Freddie Roach.
Roach worked with Arlovski for about three weeks leading up to the fight with Rothwell and his new boxing coach will also accompany him to the ring and work his corner for the upcoming fight.
“I was very happy Freddie (Roach) let me train with him because I know it’s a big line to work with Freddie Roach, and when my friends told me he had time to train with (me) I said I’m in,” Arlovski commented. “Anytime, he would let me come to his gym, I’m in.”
MMA Quick Quote: Affliction out in three?
“Our plan is to do three events, and if we’re successful with those, then we’ll continue and go from there. I’m in business to make money, not lose money. We’ll see how it goes.”
– Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio tells the Chicago Sun-Times that his upstart promotion could call it quit after three shows if the profits aren’t living up to expectations. It took the UFC — the top organization in the business — several years to begin making money. In addition, other promotions such as Elite XC and the IFL, which have been around much longer than Affliction, have yet to turn profits. There is literally a lot riding on the “Banned” debut tomorrow and the next to shows if Atencio sticks to his guns.
JESSE TAYLOR PUTTING THE PAST BEHIND
Jesse "JT Money" Taylor advanced to the finals of The Ultimate Fighter Season 7, but was released from the show and kicked out of the finale for his destructive behavior following the filming on the popular reality series on Spike TV.
Taylor makes his official Ultimate Fighting Championship debut July 19 against the man who replaced him in the finals, C.B. Dollaway, in an effort to put the past behind him and prove he belongs in mixed martial arts' premier organization.
"It's a dream come true to come back. And I'm more ready than ever," Taylor told MMAWeekly.com. "I can't wait to get back in there."