Liddell Adresses Critics, Vows To Move On
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell is fighting a battle of meaning in the public eye: can one punch change everything?
Liddell, 38, built his reputation giving and taking punches. From 2004 to 2006, he cleaned out the sport’s marquee division, collecting wins against stars like Randy Couture and Tito Ortiz, who, like him, built the foundation for the UFC’s explosion in popularity.
But a new guard has encroached upon Liddell’s legacy, and chinks have begun to appear in his armor. Spearheaded by the minds at Jackson’s Submission Academy in Albuquerque, N.M., Liddell has lost to three out of his last four opponents, and his light heavyweight title to Quinton Jackson at UFC 71.
Misaki-Santiago, Gomi-Kitaoka Announced for Sengoku VII
Despite Takanori Gomi’s upset loss to Russian product Sergey Golyaev at World Victory Road’s “Sengoku VI” event this past weekend, the organization has still decided to match up against lightweight grand prix winner Satoru Kitaoka for it’s vacant lightweight title at their next scheduled show on January 4 in Japan.
Golyaev squeaked out a razor-close split decision over the former PRIDE champion on Saturday, handing him a rare loss and his first defeat in over two years, while Kitakoa defeated both Eiji Mitsuoka and Kazunori Yokota to win WVR’s inaugural lightweight tourney and called out Gomi after his victory even though “The Fireball Kid” had already lost his bout earlier in the night.
Streaking middleweight Jorge Santiago will hope to continue his rise up the rankings when he faces slick Japanese striker Kazuo Misaki for the promotion’s vacant middleweight title at the event as well.
Ishii Calls Out CroCop, Hong Man Choi
After Satoshi Ishii won the Olympic judo gold medal, he promptly said he'd like to fight Fedor Emelianenko in a mixed martial arts match.
That doesn't look like it's going to happen any time soon, but Ishii is ready to try MMA, and he has his sights set on a couple of well-known opponents, the former Pride star Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic and the Korean giant Hong Man Choi.
Ishii is quoted in an article at dnevnik.hr saying that he knows he's starting from scratch in MMA, but he would like to fight a big name like Cro Cop, who is back to fighting in Japan after an unsuccessful stint in UFC, or Choi, the 7-foot-2 kickboxer who took on Fedor last New Year's Eve.
Brock Lesnar is sick and tired of the steroid allegations
“I’ve been accused of using steroids my entire life, probably since the tenth grade in high school… I’ve never failed a drug test. Now if I was a black guy and I looked the way I do would I get asked this question a 100 times? I just happen to be a white guy that has some great genetics, so I guess that puts a bullseye on me… I’m a white dude that’s shredded and you don’t see a lot of it — a guy that’s walking around that looks like me.”
Varner Expects To Fight Razor/Cowboy In February
It appears World Extreme Cagefighting lightweight champion, Jamie Varner, will return to action in January to face the winner of “Razor” Rob McCullough and Donald Cerrone as announced by the champ himself at a public Q&A session with fans at the WEC event in Florida on Tuesday.
Varner last fought in August when he defeated Marcus Hicks, but the defending title holder has been waiting for a new opponent since that time and it was originally thought that he would fight in December, but the cancellation of the WEC event in September forced everything to be pushed back.
Now A Non-Title Bout, Filho's Belt Still At Risk
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – World Extreme Cagefighting middleweight champion and No. 2 ranked 185-pounder Paulo Filho on Tuesday missed weight at the WEC 36 weigh-ins. Not only did he miss weight, he was over by an astonishing seven pounds, weighing in at 192 pounds.
Filho will now go down as the final WEC middleweight champion. He will fight Sonnen on Wednesday night, but it will not be for the title.
MMAWeekly.com on Tuesday evening confirmed with WEC officials that Filho got down to 189 pounds on his second attempt, therefore making the bout ineligible for championship designation. The two camps did come to terms, allowing the fight to go on as a three-round non-title bout.
Sonnen's cornerman, Matt Lindland, said that Filho was penalized a percentage of his purse and that Sonnen would receive some monetary compensation for Filho missing weight and it being changed to a non-title bout.
(The WEC later reported on its website that Filho gave up 25% of his purse to Sonnen.)
Perhaps more interesting is that Filho's cornerman indicated to Lindland that they would give up the title belt if Sonnen wins. "His cornermen told us that they would walk across the cage and hand Chael the belt if he wins. When Chael whoops his ass, I expect them to live up to their word.
UFC Cementing Place as Industry Leader
A recent article in the Sports Business Journal emphasizes how the UFC continues to build on its success while many would-be competitors are struggling to survive. Notable excerpt:
Zuffa LLC, the UFC’s parent company, says it is turning a profit on $300 million in annual revenue. Pay-per-view accounts for more than half of that number, followed by television money generated from a deal with Spike TV, and event operations.
Gate receipts for PPV events are averaging $3.25 million this year, up nearly half a million from 2007. PPV buys were up approximately 8 percent in 2007, and another year-over-year increase is expected in 2008.
The UFC has steadily grown in the last few years by living off money generated by television and live events and using that cash to acquire competitors such as PRIDE and World Extreme Cagefighting. PRIDE was shuttered and absorbed into the UFC; WEC features lighter-weight fighters.
PRO ELITE FOR SALE AT PUBLIC AUCTION
The pieces of fallen mixed martial arts promotion Pro Elite, Inc. are on sale.
In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing dated Nov. 4, executives from Showtime Networks and parent company CBS Corporation announced that the assets of Pro Elite, Inc. would be sold to the highest bidder in a public auction scheduled for Nov. 17.
“Showtime gave the Issuer a notice pursuant to the Security Agreement, as amended, that it intends to sell all of the Issuer’s personal property, whether tangible or intangible, to the highest bidder at a public sale,” the filing states. “Showtime reserves its rights under the Security Agreement, as amended, and applicable lawto adjourn or cancel the sale and thereafter dispose of such property in a public or private sale or in any other manner provided by applicable law.”
The filing comes only days after Pro Elite sent a letter to fighter managers stating the company was in the process of downsizing and planned to put on another card in early 2009.
Kelly Kahl, Senior Executive Vice President for CBS Primetime Television, had no comment on the sale.
Jay Hieron vs. Jason High at Affliction’s “Day of Reckoning”
While yet to be officially announced, a welterweight encounter between Jay Hieron vs. Jason High is believed to be finalized for Affliction’s second-ever event on Jan. 24 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com confirmed the news early Tuesday morning with a source close to one of the fighters.
Hieron is the former welterweight champion of the now-defunct IFL and is a former UFC veteran. He is 16-4 lifetime in an MMA career that began in 2003 and holds notable victories over Mark Miller, Delson Heleno, Pat Healy, and Jake Ellenberger.
Martin Kampmann signs new four-fight contract with the UFC
FiveOuncesOfPain.com has learned that the UFC has signed Martin Kampmann to a new four-fight contract.
The news was confirmed with Kampmann’s agent, Ken Pavia.
Kampmann is 13-2 in his professional mixed martial arts career and is 4-1 lifetime inside of the Octagon. His most recent fight was a first round TKO loss to Nathan Marquardt at UFC 88 in September but prior to that he was 4-0 with victories over Crafton Wallace, Thales Leites, Drew McFedries, and Jorge Rivera.
A standout kickboxer prior to crossing over into MMA, Kampmann has become a respected grappler and had won nine consecutive fights prior to the loss to Marquardt.
According to Pavia, Kampmann is planning to drop to welterweight for his next bout and has also signed a sponsorship agreement with Hitman Fight Gear.
Chael Sonnen and Team Quest Game Plans
Tomorrow. Chael Sonnen will step into the World Extreme Cagefighting cage to face title holder, Paulo Filho for a second time.
As we all know, the first encounter ended semi-controversially when Filho locked up an arm bar on Sonnen. The controversy lay in the fact the fight was stopped before Sonnen tapped.
Justifiably so, the ending of the bout is all that anyone seems to remembers. What many forget is just how dominant Sonnen was before the fight ended. Sonnen was doing serious damage on the feet while his vastly superior wrestling enabled him to to keep the fight wherever he wanted.
In the end it was the Team Quest fighter's decision to take Filho down late into the second round that proved costly.
I guess what I am trying to say with all of this is, why was Sonnen taking Filho down in the first place?
2008 OLYMPIAN BEN ASKREN JOINS ATT
2008 Olympic wrestler Ben Askren has decided to take a shot at mixed martial arts and officially joined the American Top Team, as confirmed to MMAWeekly.com on Monday.
Askren, who wrestled at 163 pounds while competing in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, has considered the move to MMA for quite some time now.
Just after returning from China, Askren spoke to MMAWeekly Radio about his pending decision to move into MMA and how working his way up to the top is very important to him.
Nevada Drug Tests More UFC 91 Fighters
Following a three month dry spell in which no mixed martial artists were tested under the Nevada State Athletic Commission's new out-of-competition drug testing process, there have been a number of athletes from the upcoming UFC 91 fight card tested recently. The latest, according to the NSAC's Keith Kizer, were Mark Bocek and Alvin Robinson-both returned negative test results.
Rosholt ready for next big step
The first thing you learn when talking to three-time NCAA wrestling champion Jake Rosholt is that he hates losing.
In a sport filled with All-American wrestlers, Rosholt has the best collegiate credentials in the Zuffa organization, which includes the WEC and the industry-leading Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Rosholt, who makes his WEC debut Wednesday, when he faces unbeaten submission specialist Nissen Osterneck, was the NCAA champion at powerhouse Oklahoma State in 2003, 2005 and 2006, and is considered one of the best clutch college wrestlers of the past decade.
Alessio-Daley to Collide at MFC 19 (**Now Confirmed**)
Former UFC and WEC welterweight title challenger John Alessio will reportedly take on rising British striker Paul Daley in a bout that will take place inside Mark Pavelich’s Maximum Fighting Championship on December 5 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada according to Sherdog.com.
Both Alessio and Daley were connected to the demise of ProElite’s EliteXC brand earlier this month. Daley had fought on four separate occasions in different promotions under the ProElite banner while Alessio was in talks to sign with the company before opting to twice fight at Las Vegas-based “Night of Combat” events following his release from the WEC earlier this year.
Alessio has won his last two fights since being disqualified for illegally kneeing Brock Larson at WEC 33 back in March. The Canadian submitted Pete Spratt in early summer and followed up by stopping fellow UFC veteran Gideon Ray with strikes on October 11.
Unheralded Mike Brown views Urijah Faber as best path to top
Less than 48 hours before facing WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber, your average fighter would generally share how he expects the bout to be his toughest ever
But American Top Team's Mike Brown (19-4 MMA, 1-0 WEC) told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) he simply views his upcoming bout as the final step on his path to the top of the division.
"It's huge," Brown said of his main-event bout with Faber at "WEC 36: Faber vs. Brown" on Wednesday night. "It will be the final piece to the puzzle."
While Faber's 13-fight win streak and boyish good looks have landed him at the front of the WEC's marketing campaigns, Brown is a far less-known commodity. But while his confidence and approach to the bout may surprise you, Brown knows he has made great strides in his seven-year career in preparation for this fight.