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.”
M-1 Vice President Jerry Millen talks new show and life with Fedor
Former PRIDE USA Vice President Jerry Millen is one of the most maligned individuals in mixed martial arts. But whether you like him or not, he has an insight into the business of MMA that very few individuals possess having worked for PRIDE both in Japan and in the United States.
After his tenure in PRIDE came to an end in the months that proceeded Zuffa’s acquisition of the promotion in 2007, Millen took some time off before being approached by an old friend from his PRIDE days, Vadim Finkelstein.
Finkelstein, the manager for former PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko, had plans to grow his Russian-based M-1 promotion into a global superpower. In Millen, he was looking for an experienced hand to help direct the company’s International television operations.
Bloody sport gains in mass popularity
Rich Franklin used to spend his days teaching math to high school students. Today, he spends his evenings in an octagon-shaped cage grounding and pounding fighters into submission in front of thousands of screaming fans.
Wow, no MMA bashing, Im stunned....
EliteXC adds Miller, Lapsley, Beerbohm, Khalidov to Oct. 10 ShoXC
Amidst an approaching barrage of three fight cards in the next four weeks, EliteXC is busy filling out the supporting cast for their Oct. 10 ShoXC event from Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Ind.
In addition to a previously-announced main event between Dave "Pee Wee" Herman (11-0) and Kerry Schall (21-10), EliteXC Vice President Jared Shaw today confirmed several additional matchups to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Mark Miller (8-3) meets Anthony Lapsley (12-3), Mamed Khalidov (14-3-1) will meet Jason Guida (17-17) and undefeated Lyle "Fancy Pants" Beerbohm (7-0) will meet an as-yet-undetermined opponent.
Miller fought four times for the now-defunct IFL in 2007, earning victories over Brad Blackburn and Josh Neer before suffering a brutal knockout at the ends of IFL middleweight champion Jay Hieron in his most recent outing.
Lapsley is a King of the Cage, Art of War and HDNet FIghts veteran who has maintained a torrid pace to start his professional MMA career. Fighting 15 times in his first two years in the sport, nine of Lapsley's 12 victories have come via submission.
Is Tito Ortiz AFL-Bound?
Tito Ortiz's UFC contract officially expired on August 4th. The next day, SI.com reported that Ortiz had signed a ground-breaking deal with Affliction. Several hours later, they changed the story to state that the former light heavyweight champion was on the verge of signing the contract. 43 days later, we still have no clue as to where and when Ortiz will fight next.
Every couple of days, Ortiz will pop up in some interview, insult Dana White, tell us he's been in this sport for eleven years and that it's finally time for him to get paid. Seriously, I know his speech off by heart at this point.
Recently, Ortiz was a guest on HDNet's "Inside MMA" and, once again, regurgitated the same song and dance about how he was ready to collect. However, when we spoke to Affliction COO, Michael D. Cohen, last month about Ortiz's demands, he flat out said that neither Affliction nor any other fight promotion will pay Ortiz what he wants.
I wonder if he was also referring to the American Fight League?
Recent reports have stated that Ortiz has been in negotiations with the fledgling promotion and, quite frankly, this is the only organization I can see paying Ortiz what he wants or at least close enough to it.
Showtime Enters Talks to Purchase Pro Elite
Showtime Networks filed public notice with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday announcing its intention to enter preliminary negotiations for the purchase of Pro Elite Inc.
Showtime, a subsidiary of the parent conglomerate CBS Corporation, already enjoys broadcasting deals with the Los Angeles-based company on both its premium cable channel and CBS. Showtime also has a 20% ownership stake in Pro Elite
Counter programming alert: UFC 86 to air at same time as Elite XC: ‘Heat’
If you watched UFC Fight Night 15 or “The Ultimate Fighter” (TUF) 8 on Spike TV last night then there’s a good chance you saw the commercials showing that UFC 86: “Jackson vs. Griffin” will be replayed for free on October 4 on Spike TV beginning at 9 p.m. ET.
That “coincidentally” happens to be the same date and time that Elite XC will air perhaps the most important event in its history, Elite XC: “Heat” on CBS.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that Dana White and the UFC have attempted to sabotage the competition with counter programming.
In fact, it was only two months ago when Affliction MMA was set for its first live pay-per-view (PPV) event. The t-shirt company turned MMA promotion had big plans to make a splash in the MMA world only to to have the UFC plan a free “Fight Night” on Spike TV the same night.
To make matters worse (for Affliction) the UFC headlined the card with one of the most popular fighters on the planet, Anderson Silva.
Apparently the plan worked because Affliction’s PPV buys did not reach expectations and the UFC’s free “Fight Night” pulled in better numbers.
While this isn’t a live event being put on by the UFC, it’s still counter programming and there will still be fans who opt to tune in to the replay of a card headlined by one of the better fights of the year between Rampage Jackson and Forrest Griffin instead of eyeballing another potential disaster main event involving Kimbo Slice.
It’s clear the UFC wants to clear the world of any and all competition. And if there’s an organization out there capable of pulling that off, it’s definitely the good ole’ Zuffa boys.
GUIDA HAPPY WITH WIN; WANTS 1 MORE FIGHT IN ’08
Having been on the wrong side of a few controversial decisions during his time with the UFC, lightweight competitor Clay Guida worked as hard as ever to prove himself during his bout with Ultimate Fighter Season 6 winner Mac Danzig on Wednesday night at UFC Fight Night 15 in Omaha.
Guida kept up a very high pace during the fight with Danzig and when it was over he felt there was no doubt that he was the victor.
“I felt confident in this one,” said Guida about the decision. “He’s got pretty good takedown defense, towards, up against the cage, he stopped it, he stopped my takedown a couple of times. But I stuck with it and put him down to his butt where I wanted it and it did feel good to come out with the decision.”
In the end, Guida was able to dominate the ground portion of the fight, landing numerous takedowns while being cautious of his opponent’s considerable submission skills in the process.
Second effort nets Schafer biggest win
OMAHA, Neb. – Eric Schafer was almost a Division I college football player. But a hip pointer caused him to miss his senior high school season and the Big Ten conference teams that had shown interest in him as a linebacker suddenly began to encourage him to walk on.
Then, he nearly became a doctor. He graduated magna cum laude with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. His medical school entrance test results were very high, enough so that he could have been accepted pretty much wherever he wanted.
But what he wanted, really, was to fight. He bought the pay-per-views of most Ultimate Fighting Championship shows and quickly became enthralled. His first was UFC 8, when Don Frye won a tournament by beating Gary Goodridge in the final round.
“Once I discovered MMA,” Schafer said, grinning, “I never thought about football for a minute again.”
It’s hard to imagine a guy who looks like a grown-up Opie Taylor being a mean and snarling linebacker, so that was probably a good call. But, honestly, it wouldn’t be easy to guess Schafer’s profession now simply by looking at him.
He took the first step toward establishing himself in the UFC when he submitted hometown favorite Houston Alexander with a slick arm triangle choke Wednesday at 4:53 of the first round at the Omaha Civic Auditorium.