UFC 88 in Atlanta (Will the fans fill the stadium?)
Tickets go on sale tomorrow for UFC 88 in Atlanta. It is UFC’s first show in the market, and features UFC’s top draw in Chuck Liddell. Those signs point to a strong gate, and indeed the show may do well.
However, one thing to keep in mind in advance is that Atlanta may be the worst sports town in the United States. Despite having the 9th largest metropolitan area in the United States, no Atlanta team has drawn the 9th or better attendance in any sport in the past five years.
Alessio submits Spratt, Couture injured in pro debut during night of free fights
LAS VEGAS - John Alessio choked out fellow UFC veteran Pete Spratt in the night's main event, and Kim Couture was on the wrong end of a unanimous decision in her professional MMA debut, during Friday's "Free for All, A Night of Combat" event.
The fights took place at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of UNLV in Las Vegas as part of a combination boxing/MMA event.
Approximately 18,000 tickets were distributed for the night of free fights.
After four boxing bouts, the MMA portion of the night kicked off with a five-fight card.
Spencer Fisher Hurt in Wreck; "I'm all Jacked Up"
Spencer Fisher wrecked his bike this week...says he's all jacked up with rash burns, but still plans on fight.
On his accident...
"I’ve been better. I wrecked my bicycle 2 days ago and I’m all jacked up. I got rash burns on my knees all the way up to my elbows; it’s bad."
UFC 86-The Coaches Test Clean
The NSAC today confirmed that it tested both Forrest Griffin and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson for drugs and illegal substances heading into UFC 86. Both passed with one more test likely right before the fight, so it's so far so good with regards to their main event matchup.
Between viewers or fighters, T.U.F. chooses the former
It's hard to believe more than three years have past since Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar lit up televisions across America during the finale of the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter.
On Saturday, the Spike TV reality show completes yet another season -- its seventh -- in a world where mixed martial arts has become a fairly regular installment on television.
Of course, roughly three-and-a-half years ago, that wasn't the case. Few realized it, but the gimmicky show on a network no one had ever heard of was MMA's chance -- maybe even its last chance -- to make it big. While mounting debt put Zuffa, the parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, in a perilous spot, co-owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta cobbled together $10 million to pay for one season of the show.
It wasn't some great discovery. Everyone around the sport rightly believed that exposure in large doses of an underappreciated sport was the only way to get MMA off life support and on the path of progression. The problem resided in getting a deal done. Networks weren't interested in taking a risk on something they hadn't a clue about, especially when the targeted audience was unclear.
Thanks to The Ultimate Fighter, we now know that young men take to MMA.
The show's concept was new, or at least the MMA spin was unforseen. There wasn't a template, and everyone seemed to be winging it -- from the fighters to the promoters, and even the producers. Whether it was genius casting or a moment of serendipity, the first group of fighters was special. Not only could most of the guys prove themselves in the cage, but they were also boiling over with personality. From the pranks of Chris Leben and Dana White's infamous "Do you want to be a [deleted expletive] fighter?" speech, to, perhaps, the best battle in T.U.F. history between Griffin and Bonnar, no season has yet to compare...
Chris Leben Reflects On Jail Time
UFC Middleweight Chris “The Crippler” Leben, who recently finished up an 11 day stint in a Portland, Oregon jail for parole violation, divulged to MMAWeekly.com how his incarcerated experience has helped him to see things more clearly, and evolve into a more mature individual. Personally, I found his anecdote about an inmate choking to be the highlight:
Matt Arroyo wants redemption with Matt Brown
Avenging a loss is always at the top of a fighter's list of priorities, though some have to wait years for the opportunity.
Matt Arroyo will have to wait just 19 months, though, when he attempts to avenge the only loss of his career on Saturday. He faces off with "The Ultimate Fighter 7" quarterfinalist Matt Brown. The two met in November 2006 at a Real Fighting Championships event, and Arroyo suffered a second-round TKO.
Kendall Grove On Evan Tanner: "I Hope He Tries To Kill Me"
Kendall Grove is dead! My next tattoo that I get on Sunday, I'm going to put 'In loving memoryof Kendall Grove' right down my right hand. That dude was killing me. He was pulling me down; he was too weak. He was helping everybody else and you have to help yourself before you could help anyone else. F*#k that guy. I'm back to being ruthless," stated UFC middleweight contender Kendall Grove as he talked about his upcoming clash with Evan Tanner. In this raw and uncut exclusive, Grove breaks down his prior performances and blah, blah, blah…
*Exclusive New Interview with Thiago "The PitBull" Alves*
Check out for exclusive interview from Thiago Alves done by MMATurf's very own Penny Buffington!!
From part of the Interview:
“The end of 2006 I got caught with diuretics and I got suspended for 8 months. But not for this fight though I really sprained my ankle. I was going to turn down the fight and I called my manager and everything and we called the UFC management.” -Thiago Alves
For the Complete interview go to and click on Interviews...New ones are posted daily!!!!!!
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.