Will Strikeforce's Japanese Gambit Succeed?
Let's face it, there's not too much intrigue around tonight's Strikeforce at the Playboy Mansion card. First off, lightweight champ Josh Thompson is fighting a non-title fight against relative unknown Ashe Bowman. Secondly, both Babalu Sobral and Bobby Southworth dropped out of their match due to injuries.Thirdly, UFC also rans like Joe Riggs, Trevor Prangley and Terry Martin aren't exactly setting the world on fire these days.
But in true Strikeforce creeper fashion, there is something VERY interesting happening on tonight's card. Two A-List Japanese fighters are making their U.S. debuts. Sengoku middleweight star Kazuo Misaki and DREAM lightweight contender Mitsuhiro Ishida.
Diaz vs Alvarez for vacant EXC title?
While EliteXC officials declined to offer specifics regarding a possible fight to determine a new lightweight champion for the promotion, sources informed FiveOuncesOfPain.com earlier in the week that the company had been considering an option that would involve Nick Diaz and Eddie Alvarez competing for the newly vacant title in a featured bout during a tentative Nov. 8 card.
Vitor Belfort back at Affliction 2
With a broken hand after Affliction’s first edition with a knockout over Terry Martin, Vitor Belfort was scrapped from the second edition due to recover his injury, but the postponement of the event to 2009 was good news for the athlete, able to recover in time to fight again. “My hand is getting better. I’m doing a lot of physical training and physiotherapy. I didn’t care about the postponement, I wasn’t going to fight anyway”, jokes the fighter, the confirmed to TATAME.com he’ll be at Affliction’s next show.
Full-Time Fighter: Sean Salmon reinstated, fighting for title tonight
Finally, after 10 months, unexpected delays, enormous expense, sleepless nights and alienating myself from family and friends, the nightmare with the California State Athletic Commission is over.
That being said, I will be doing a column early next week to detail everything that went down. But the most important part is that it's all over. I've been cleared to fight and have been fully reinstated.
However, I do have to touch on California one more time. MMAAgents.com is amazing, and I am not just saying that because it's my agency. Everyone in that office Ken ("The Pav") Pavia, Nate Broadnax, Julian Grugario and the new guys, Danny and Tony, went far and above my expectations to help get this cleared up. They never once let me believe that I was an inconvience in any way (believe me, I was) -- calling, texting and emailing serveral times a day. And when I was in town, I stayed at their house, they drove me everywhere, and made sure I was fed, watered and training. MMAAgents.com couldn't fire me if they tried. Like I said, though, I will be detailing all of that next week.
Up next -- and by up next, I mean tonight -- I will be fighting in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio, for the NAAFS (www.naafs.tv) middleweight belt. I take on reigning champion Mitch Whitesel.
K.J. NOONS STRIPPED OF ELITE XC LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE
LOS ANGELES (Sept. 19, 2008) – KJ Noons of San Diego has been stripped of his EliteXC lightweight title. The announcement was made Friday by EliteXC Head of Fight Operations, Jeremy Lappen.
The foremost reason EliteXC is taking this action, Lappen said, was due to Noons’ reluctance to defend against leading 160-pound contender Nick Diaz of Stockton, Calif.
“We are stripping KJ of his championship belt for refusing to defend against Diaz,’’ Lappen said. “It’s a very unfortunate situation but we cannot have belt-holders who refuse to fight the top contenders.We want champions who will fight anyone, anytime, anyplace.That’s the mentality all champions should have.
UFC Fight For The Troops Card Taking Shape
Not surprisingly, just as the Ultimate Fighting Championship announced its special UFC Fight For The Troops event for Dec. 10 at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, the fight card has started to slowly piece together.
Although the UFC has yet to make any bouts official, many fights have been verbally agreed to, quickly giving form to the UFC’s effort to raise money to build a treatment center for the brave men and women in the United States Armed Forces who have experienced traumatic brain injuries. The facility is being sponsored, built and equipped by the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.
A bout between Mike Swick and Jonathan Goulet was confirmed by MMAWeekly.com earlier in the week, although it is now being moved to the Dec. 10 benefit event instead of The Ultimate Fighter Season 8 Finale, according to Swick.
Other bouts that sources say have been agreed to include Steve Bruno vs. Luke Cummo, Eddie Sanchez vs. Justin McCully, Liugi Fioravanti vs. Brodie Farber, and Nate Loughran against an as yet unknown opponent.
There has been no word regarding who will be featured in the main event.
The goal of UFC Fight For The Troops is to raise the necessary funds for The National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE), an advanced research facility in Bethseda, Md. dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of military personnel and veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI) and psychological health issues.
Mustapha Al-Turk Signs With The UFC!
Mustapha Al-Turk (6-3) has vacated the Cage Rage British heavyweight title and signed with the UFC, we can exclusively reveal.
He has signed a four-fight deal with the organisation and will make his debut before the end of the year, possibly against Cain Velasquez.
TUF 8 debuts number one in timeslot; UFN 15 beats ESPN and ESPN2 combined in the ratings
UFN 15 served as a lead-in for the TUF premiere and aired live from 8-10 p.m. ET. Competing against ESPN’s telecast of Major League Baseball and ESPN2’s college football broadcast in the same time slot, UFN 15 outdrew both shows combined in the coveted young male demo.
To be exact, the Spike telecast drew 913,000 men 18-49 and 465,000 Men 18-34. By comparison, ESPN’s telecast of the Red Sox vs. Rays and ESPN2’s Louisville vs. Kansas St. college football game drew a combined 858,000 men 18-49 and 373,000 men 18-34.
Then, between 10-11 p.m. ET, TUF 8 debuted to a 1.2 household rating with an average audience of 1.6 million viewers. According to Spike, the show was number one in its timeslot on basic cable in the male 18-49 demographic, garnering a 1.5 rating. The premiere also drew a 1.5 rating in males 18-34.
Thiago Silva back to UFC in 2009
After the injury and the scrapped fight against Lyoto Machida, Thiago Silva now is focused on the back treatment, getting ready to go back to the octagon as faster as he can and keep the perfect 13-0 MMA history. “I’m doing the physiotherapy well to get better… I’m doing the medical treatment, following correctly, but I still don’t know when I’ll come back. Ultimate said that I won’t fight this year anymore, so I’ll probably be back in January, and I’ll be ready”, said the ATT fighter.
Victorious Joe Lauzon seeking return to UFC main card
From main event to undercard, perhaps no fighter has fallen so quick in the course of a single fight.
Such was the situation facing UFC lightweight Joe Lauzon heading into his "UFC Fight Night 15" bout with Kyle Bradley.
But Lauzon recently told the crew of TAGG Radio, the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com, he wasn't too disappointed at the change of position.
Jason MacDonald signs new four-fight deal with UFC
Veteran UFC middleweight Jason MacDonald (21-10 MMA, 5-3 UFC) has signed a new four-fight deal with the organization.
KO Dynasty, a sports management company that recently signed MacDonald, alerted MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of the fighter's new deal.
MacDonald is fresh off a solid victory over Jason Lambert at UFC 88 -- one that earned the 33-year-old fighter a $60,000 Submission of the Night bonus. MacDonald took the fight less than a month after his UFC 87 loss to Demian Maia.
Terms of his new deal were not disclosed.
MacDonald, a former Maximum Fighting Championships fighter, is 9-3 in his past 12 fights. He made his UFC debut in 2006 and garnered some early recognition by scoring submission victories over "TUF" notables Ed Herman and Chris Leben. Additional UFC victories have come over Rory Singer, Joe Doerksen and Lambert.
The UFC has not confirmed when MacDonald could next return to action.
WCF PREVIEW: SAM HOGER RETURNS TO HEAD WCF 4
On Friday night, World Championship Fighting will host their fourth MMA event as they continue to cement their position as the premiere organization in the North East. The event will once again be held at The Shriner’s Auditorium in Wilmington, Mass. The fight card that WCF has assembled for their upcoming show is packed with great local talent as well as UFC veteran and The Ultimate Fighter Season 1 competitor Sam Hoger.
Fighting out of his recently opened Miletich Fighting Systems affiliated gym in Houston, Hoger sports quite the hefty resume. Having fought the likes of Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, and Stephan Bonnar, he will surely have the edge in experience as he takes on Jason Dolloff at WCF 4.
Dolloff is a hard-hitting local heavyweight fighter who won by TKO at WCF’s inaugural event last year. Hoger is known mainly as a standup style fighter, but also possesses a well rounded game. In past fights, Dolloff has had some cardio issues as well as a lack of jiu-jitsu knowledge. Hoger should easily have the edge in all aspects, but Dolloff could use his powerful punches to pull off a huge upset win on Friday night.
Nate And Nick Diaz Launch Into Tirade At UFC Fight Night Presser
n what was a baffling and undoubtedly rare moment for the media, Nate Diaz was short of salacious quotes about his latest win and opponent Josh Neer. Diaz’s time was limited in dropping four-letter bombs. Why? Because Nate had noly taken his seat in front of reporters at the post-fight press conference when his older brother Nick launched into a tirade that disrupted the interview and left the UFC staff with the unenviable task of keeping the Diaz clan from causing a scene
Kevin Burns wants rematch with Anthony Johnson to "make it right"
Much of the MMA world was taken aback when the Nevada State Athletic Commission recently elected to leave Kevin Burns' (7-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) controversial July TKO victory over fellow welterweight Anthony Johnson unchanged.
After repeated warnings throughout the bout by referee Steve Mazzagatti for Burns to be cautious of repetitive eye pokes, a final third-round blow crumpled Johnson to the mat. Mazzagatti did not initially see the illegal strike, and Burns was awarded a much-maligned victory.
But as Burns recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), regardless of the NSAC's opinion on the matter, the Iowa native is prepared to correct the matter in his own manner.
"To be honest with you, I was kind of impartial," Burns said about Johnson's appeal with the commission. "[The NSAC] had the right and the ability to do what they wanted as far as making the appeal. I didn't have adverse feelings either way.
"I guess what's really going to be the true-tell sign at the end of the day is when we meet in the cage again, and we have a chance to compete against each other. Then the fans will get to see what they wanted to see, and we'll get to make it right."
LUKE STEWART RETURNS TO STRIKEFORCE
It’s been an anxious several months for Strikeforce welterweight Luke Stewart.
Eager to rebound off the first loss of his career in March, he was supposed to be part of the promotion’s June card, but instead sat on the sidelines as opponent after opponent dropped out of the fight.
Three months later and Stewart finally gets his opportunity to atone for his loss, as he steps into the cage this Saturday as part of Strikeforce’s return to the world famous Playboy Mansion.
“It’s been a rough last six months,” he admitted of his second half to 2008. “I’ve come off a loss and I was real eager to get back in the cage, and everything that happened with my last (scheduled) fight, going through three opponents was really frustrating.
“I feel like it’s been all work and no play, so I’m really looking forward to fighting on Saturday night.”
As Stewart explains, it was vexing to go through his on again/off again ordeal in June.
NOGUEIRA BROTHERS OPEN TEAM NOGUEIRA DALLAS
Both Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and his brother have been very successful as trainers in the field of mixed martial arts and now the tandem is expanding into Texas with the opening of “Team Nogueira” Dallas, which will be located in the new Octagon MMA gym.
The Nogueira brothers are hopeful to train new mixed martial artists while continuing to teach and broaden their Brazilian Jiu-jitsu education to new students in the Dallas area.
“We are bringing the best mixed martial arts and Brazilian jiu-jitsu training that most people in Dallas have not experienced before,” said Nogueira. “We’ve developed training programs for men, women and children, as well as competitive fighters.”
Lead trainer, Greg Seal, owner of Octagon MMA, who is a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu black belt and who has trained with the Nogueira team for the past six years is very positive about bringing the popular fighter’s style to the Dallas based gym.
STRIKEFORCE KING FOCUSED ON THE SLEEPING LION
Josh Thomson leads a hard life these days. He most recently defeated highly regarded lightweight Gilbert Melendez to obtain the Strikeforce lightweight championship belt. He has won his last seven fights. He now will take a non-title fight against Ashe Bowman on Saturday night at the infamous Playboy Mansion.
MMAWeekly Radio caught up with Thomson to discuss how things have been going since being the newly crowned champ. “Things have picked up a lot obviously since I won the title,” said Thomson. “I've been doing a lot of traveling back and forth to Hollywood and the L.A. area and just trying to stay busy. Trying to make a buck.”
The last event that Strikeforce had at the Playboy Mansion, the matches were spread, the timing of the fights wasn’t as fluid as usual, and the fights started a little late. Thomson believes the kinks have been worked out and this event will go a little smoother. “The first time was probably a little rougher than this time will be. I don't think the fights are going to start as late as they did the last time. I'm kind of hoping the fight is a little earlier so I can enjoy the rest of the night.”