Breaking down the UFC heavyweight tourney
Two mixed martial arts legends and two fighters whose paths intertwined for a very important 90 seconds, will be competing over the next several months in what comprises the biggest heavyweight MMA tournament ever in North America.
At stake is the UFC heavyweight championship, which has been a matter of confusion over the past year.
Affliction and Goldenboy
Affliction Entertainment Vice President Tom Atencio on Saturday confirmed that his company has entered into an agreement with Golden Boy Promotions, the boxing promotion led by Oscar De La Hoya. The two will co-promote a hybrid evening of boxing and mixed martial arts to be held at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. on Jan. 17.
DREAM Not Paying Fighters, Other Japanese News
According to a report at Sports Seoul, there is growing criticism about FEG delaying or not giving fighters money that they owed. "Fighter A" claimed in the article that he didn’t receive money for his last two fights, and "Fighter B" who is preparing for an upcoming fight also is claiming they didn’t get some fight money. "Fighter C" claims that he had to wait three months to get his fight salary.
The article quotes a source as saying, "There’s many fighters who don’t get paid. Especially DREAM fighters, foreigners mostly." The article claims that the reason in the alleged delaying of payments is due to DREAM’s financial situation and the situation regarding Kazuyoshi Ishii.
Is this starting to sound like Pride?
UFC Cuts War Machine
Evidently at least one UFC fighter didn't learn from recent incidents about fighters getting in trouble for what they said-the latest case is War Machine. The former Jon Koppenhaver reportedly was cut this week by UFC due to controversial (and rather incendiary) postings about fighter pay and one clearly aimed at Evan Tanner.
Machida "Would Like To Wait For Thiago Silva Fight"
Ed Soares-the manager who represents top light heavyweight contender Ryoto (Lyoto) Machida-says that he and his fighter would prefer to wait until Thiago Silva heals from a back injury and fight him rather than someone else. Soares says they "don't see the advantage of fighting a newcomer" and wants to wait for Silva to see "who can get to 14-0 first".
Henderson's Next Fight In The Courtroom?
Dan Henderson this week filed a lawsuit against MMA Authentics, a California-based clothing company, claiming breach of contract. The lawsuit stems mainly from royalty payments Henderson claims the company owes him from a contract signed in '07 but has not yet paid.
Ken Shamrock: I Will Shut Everybody Up On 10/4
Apparently Ken Shamrock views the upcoming EliteXC 10/4 fight against Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson as a bit of an insult. He made that feeling known during a teleconference yesterday and said "I will shut everybody up and make amends for those [defeats] by putting Kimbo’s lights out."
Ninja Talks Upcoming Fights & Shogun Return!
Murilo ‘Ninja’ Rua Update: ‘Coming to CBS’
EliteXC Middleweight Contender Murilo ‘Ninja’ Rua talked with PDG about his victory over Tony Bonello, his upcoming fight against Benji Radach on the EXC-CBS Saturday Night Fights on October 4th and his brother ‘Shogun’ Rua.
PDG: Your brother Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua is rumored to return later this year against Quintin ‘Rampage’ Jackson and other fighters. How is his knee and how often are the two of you training together? NINJA: A lot of rumors about ‘Shogun’ are running around on the internet. I read about ‘Rampage’ and Mark Coleman a few weeks ago and now most recently about Lyoto Machida. They are all just rumors; right now he is in the USA, training in San Diego. He was in Canada for a month conducting special training on the knee with a specialist and we kept contact by phone and radio. ‘Shogun’ is coming home next week and then I think that we will have the official news about his next fight. Right now the most important thing is to have him 100%, focus on the hard training and I’m sure that we will see him fighting again at the end of this year, for sure.
JASON MACDONALD WANTS ANOTHER FIGHT IN 2008
The big fight that may appeal to a lot of fans is a potential match up with England's Michael “The Count” Bisping, who is headlining UFC 89 against an opponent that MacDonald has already defeated, Chris Leben. “I'd be interested to see the Bisping-Leben fight. Of course I already fought Leben. I'd love the opportunity to step up and take on Michael Bisping. He's getting a lot of hype in the middleweight division these days. Anyone that fights with the guys in the top half of this division that can continue to move my career forward.”
Travis Lutter without a home
"I would like to be fighting," Lutter told MMARated.com today. "To be honest, I'm a little frustrated that I haven't found a home."
When we spoke to Lutter immediately following his release close to five months ago, he mentioned that he had preliminary talks with the now-defunct IFL and Affliction. Apparently, nothing came of those talks.
"I might have to take a fight on a smaller show just to get my name out there and build up my career again because it's a little frustrating that my career has stalled," Lutter said.
Randy Couture pushing for Emelianenko second, UFC policy changes first
A year's worth of legal battles began their conclusion with one obscene joke by "Captain America."
As UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture today told the crew of TAGG Radio, the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com, his year-long conflict with UFC executives needed a creative solution.
Couture discussed that story, as well as explaining the changes he's worked hard to make within the UFC.
"In kind of coming up with some strategies with my attorneys to open some dialogue with the UFC, I sent (UFC President) Dana (White) a nice text," Couture explained. "I told him I was on [an MMA forum], and there were some guys that were bagging on him -- no surprise there. They were saying that he likes to eat [expletive] sandwiches.
"I told [Dana] that I stuck up for him, and that there was no way that could be true because he doesn't even like bread.
"It's true. I sent him that text, and he texted me right back -- laughing his ass off -- saying, 'I'd love to talk to you. We can enjoy some [expletive] sandwiches together.' That started the whole thing."
Kongo leaves Ibarra for UK’s Wolfslair
“Quinton had a split from his coach and he knew what a good job we did with [Michael] Bisping so it was a natural move for him. His old management weren’t on great terms with the UFC, but we are very UFC-friendly here and have a lot of time for (UFC president) Dana White so we stepped in. It was the same with Cheick. He was having some problems negotiating his new contract with the UFC and was looking for somewhere to train so it was an easy decision for him to join his mates…. He has been training with Quinton for his last couple of fights, and we know that has not been a happy camp. We think he will be a happier fighter here; he is only a couple of hours from his home in Paris and we will be taking all the other distractions like sponsorship out of his hands.”
When it rains it pours … just ask Juanito Ibarra. Cheick Kongo has now bolted from his camp, joining one of Ibarra’s other prized fighters, former light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, overseas at the Wolfslair MMA Academy in the United Kingdom. Of course, Michael “The Count” Bisping is also a Wolfslair fighter and more than likely the person responsible for recruiting Jackson to join the gym after his differences with Ibarra emerged. No specific reason was given for the split between Kongo and Ibarra, but the “French Sensation” is now certainly closer to his native France.
Quinton Rampage Jackson vs Wanderlei Silva 3 UFC 91 fight likely
Sources close to Wanderlei Silva (32-8-1) have indicated that the explosive (and long-rumored) third showdown between “The Axe Murderer” and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (28-7) is indeed set, according to MMACanada.net.
The blockbuster light heavyweight match up will co-headline UFC 91: “Couture vs. Lesnar” at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on November 15.
Gracie-Wiuff Rounds Out Sengoku 5
With the addition of Roger Gracie vs. Travis Wiuff to the card today, World Victory Road has finalized the official Sengoku 5 card. 8 fights in all are scheduled highlighted by the first round of WVR's Middleweight Grand Prix.