Ben Saunders on UFC 86 fight, roster cuts, and upcoming video game
Ben Saunders (5-0-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC), who last competed in December at The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale, is best known for his Jeet Kune Do style -- and his constant smiling during fights. Don't let the smile fool you, though; the American Top Team member is very serious about fighting.
MMAjunkie.com (www.MMAjunkie.com) recently had a chance to speak with the 25-year-old as he prepares for a fight against fellow "TUF 6" alumnus Jared Rollins.
Saunders spoke about a number of topics, including the recent UFC roster cuts, the upcoming UFC video game, his future in the welterweight division, and his upcoming fight at UFC 86 on July 5.
MMAJUNKIE.COM: Can you officially confirm that you will be fighting Jared Rollins at UFC 86?
BEN SAUNDERS: <laughs> I 'm never sure when it's OK to say something. I never want to make a mistake and say something I'm not supposed to say, but yeah, I can confirm it now. I'll be fighting J-Roc in July.
In Bisping, Day Gets What He Wants
The day after his surprising dismantling of Alan Belcher (Pictures) at UFC 83 in Montreal last month, Jason Day (Pictures) told Sherdog.com that he wanted Michael Bisping (Pictures) as his next opponent.
Now, three weeks later, he has gotten his wish.
The UFC officially announced last week that the Canadian middleweight will be replacing Chris Leben (Pictures) as Bisping's opponent in London on June 7.
Leben was sentenced to 35 days in jail last Thursday following a probation violation that stemmed from an old DUI charge. With his release scheduled for less than two weeks before the June 7 bout in London, the UFC pulled Leben from the card and inserted Day. v The 29-year-old, who holds a 17-5 record, told Sherdog.com that he feels all of his hard work over the years is finally paying off.
"Everything is falling into place," Day said. "It's just clicking, and I'm loving it."
Lol at the meeting with Eddie Bravo.
Think American MMA Is Brutal? Check Japan
Mixed martial arts has a perception problem in the United States. From the guy who runs CBS saying it was a mistake to sign a deal with EliteXC to athletic commission officials saying there's more drug use in MMA than in boxing to negative stories in the Washington Post and Associated Press, a lot of casual American sports fans are left with the impression that the sport is savage and dangerous.
But the reality is that MMA in the United States is far more advanced than MMA in other countries in terms of taking the health of fighters seriously. Take this from Dave Meltzer's piece about this weekend's Dream.3 show:
Japanese MMA is still a completely different animal than the UFC, because the former has no governmental regulation. There is no steroid testing. Many of the matches are made at the last minute, and in one case, a fighter, Melvin Manhoef, was in the ring just two weeks after taking a knockout in a kickboxing match, something that would never be allowed in a major U.S. commission state.
ProElite.com Introduces MMA Video On Demand
ProElite.com, the world’s premier mixed martial arts (MMA) social networking and entertainment Web site, today unveiled its online offering of video-on-demand (VOD). Leveraging their industry-leading library of MMA events, ProElite.com’s VOD features high-quality streaming, top-notch competition, and world-class fight brands.
MMA fans will be able to purchase VOD at ProElite.com on a fight-by-fight and full-event basis starting as low as 99 cents and $4.95, respectively. Fighters include Kimbo Slice, Anderson Silva, BJ Penn, Gina Carano, Jake Shields and more going toe-to-toe in events produced by EliteXC, ShoXC, Cage Rage, ICON Sport and Rumble on the Rock. ShoXC’s undercard footage, featuring the up and comers of MMA, will be offered free of charge.
Additionally, ProElite is introducing the “ProElite Fight Pass,” which provides unlimited access to the entire VOD library and any future PPV event streams for an introductory price of $7.95 per month. Fight Pass is regularly priced at $12.95 per month.
Gouveia expects a step towards title at UFC 84
“I'm kind of going in blind for this fight. I just trained everything for this fight. For him, there is no information at all. I just have to be 100% for everything. He's supposed to be a very good jiu-jitsu guy. Every Croatian guy is supposed to be a very good striker. I'm not taking him as just being a jiu-jitsu fight.”
Since Reljik is stepping up in competition and exposure, Gouveia feels that can only put more pressure on his upcoming opponent. “I think it's going to be a shock. His fights were in small shows. That's a factor that will be in my favor.”
When Gouveia knocked out Lambert, most would believe that his next fight would be against a top ranked opponent. While Gouveia is slightly disappointed about not getting a top ranked contender, he does not take Reljik lightly. However, he would like to get a really tough fight following this one.
“To be honest, I pulled four wins in a row. My last fights I won by submission or knockout. I was expecting a real tough (opponent). It's no problem. I fight anybody they put against me,” said the American Top Team fighter. “I want to fight a big name. If I could pick the fights I want right now, I would like to fight Chuck (Liddell) or a rematch against Keith (Jardine). They are the two guys that are in my mind right now. I'm taking this fight very seriously though. I trained very hard.”
Winner of Four in a Row, Wilson Gouveia Makes His Move
Light heavyweight is known as the glamour division in the UFC, with the most recognizable fighters in the sport, such as Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Chuck Liddell, and Forrest Griffin campaigning in the 205 pound weight class. Just as these three and a few others are household names in the mixed martial arts world, Wilson Gouveia of Brazil is not, but if he keeps dominating fights the way he has been, he will soon join them.
Gouveia brings a four fight winning streak into his May 24th fight against unbeaten Croatian fighter Goran Reljic as part of UFC 84: Ill Will, with his last win a spectacular knockout over Jason Lambert. Although that impressive victory inched him closer to a title shot, Gouveia admits he’s in better shape for his fight against Reljic than he was for the matchup versus Lambert.
“I feel better than when I fought Jason,” Gouveia said. “In January everyone was away from the gym. They were out traveling for Christmas and New Year’s. Now everyone’s back and my training has been more intense. I know this guy (Reljic) is a tough guy and if I beat him big things are coming up for me.”
Gouveia (10-4) knows he can’t take Reljic (7-0) lightly. The 24 year-old will be making his UFC and United States debut when he fights Gouveia, but the native of Fortaleza, Brazil isn’t looking past Reljic to the “big things” that are right around the corner for him. He knows a loss to Reljic sets him back, and that’s something Gouveia knows he can’t afford to let happen.
CAGE RAGE 26 REVIEW: RESULTS & PICS
BIRMINGHAM, England – Cage Rage 26: Extreme played out to a new audience as part of the promotion’s 2008 jaunt around the country, and the crowd was not disappointed. The main card of the evening provided the highlights we were all looking for and was supported by an undercard full of fighters laying everything on the line in order to impress.
Crowd attendance fell somewhere into the region or 5,000 people. They appeared to really enjoy themselves, including “The Ultimate Fighter” season three winner Michael Bisping.
didnt wanna spoil it for anyone so the link has all the major info
SANTIAGO LOOKING TO FINISH SASAKI AT SENGOKU
American Top Team fighter Jorge Santiago will take on Yuki Sasaki on May 18 at World Victory Road’s Sengoku II in Tokyo. These two were supposed to square off in Strikeforce’s middleweight tournament last November. Sasaki, however, was pulled from the fight after failing to get medical clearance. Now, Santiago is ready to finish what he never had the chance to start.
MMAWeekly Radio had a chance to speak with Santiago amidst his final preparations for the fight. “I'm so excited,” exclaimed Santiago. “I've been training harder than ever. I'm prepared to put on a big show for the Japanese crowd.”
Since they were previously scheduled to fight, it wasn’t much of a problem to adjust to Sasaki’s style. “I studied him before because we were supposed to fight.”
While Santiago had mixed results in the UFC, he has rebounded well since then. After finishing Andrei Semenov in Bodog, he submitted the always tough Jeremy Horn in Art of War 3.
Brain behind it all: MMAmania.com exclusive sit down with Marc Laimon
Coaches are literally a dime a dozen in mixed martial arts, but one stands quietly among the handful of elite teachers in the sport: Brazilian jiu-jitsu guru Marc Laimon.
Laimon has proven himself to be one of the more intelligent coaches in the sport of MMA. Laimon’s been in the sport for more than 12 years, when he went to his first jiu-jitsu class at the Gracie Academy. His desire to fight got Laimon interested in learning more about the discipline … the rest is history.
“I always wanted to know how to fight and I didn’t really know what was the best,” Laimon told MMAmania.com. Laimon saw his first MMA event (UFC 4), which featured Royce Gracie defeating Dan Severn in the finals to win his third tournament.
Laimon was impressed and knew that jiu-jitsu was what he wanted to do.
“I saw UFC 4 and I saw Royce fight and I was like wow,” Laimon said. “What he did made sense to me.”
At the time, Laimon was going to college and looking to be a chiropractor, but he dropped out to practice jiu-jitsu full time. Laimon had a 3.87 GPA when he dropped out.
“I immersed myself in college and I wanted to succeed in that,” Laimon said. “I pretty much did the same jiu-jitsu. I immersed myself in trying to be successful and understanding as much of it as possible.”
Laimon views jiu-jitsu as much more than fighting. He views it more as a science.
a lot more to read & a small video @ the end of the article
Dream III Results
Caol Uno, Eddie Alvarez and Tatsuya Kawajiri Advance-Alvarez will face Kawajiri and UNo will face Aoki or Katsuhiko Nagata.
Also winning last night Nick Diaz by corner stoppage in the first. Katsuya Inoue team threw the towel in.
A much needed win for Diaz and in impressive fashion.
WEll Hansen out so now I'm going for Alvarez.
Roger Huerta readies for UFC 87
Well rested from what will end up being an eight-month break from competition, UFC lightweight contender Roger Huerta is poised for his return to the organization and an upcoming August fight.
Fighters Ready for Dream
May 10, 2008
by Stephen Martinez (email@example.com)
TOKYO -- Several thousand fans will pack the Saitama Super Arena on Sunday for Dream's third installment, which features the lightweight grand prix quarterfinals.
On the eve of the event, the 16 participating fighters gathered at Tokyo's Hotel East 21 to share their thoughts with local and international media.
Nick Diaz (Pictures) expressed some discontent in how his fight against Katsuya Inoue (Pictures) has been handled. The bout was cancelled earlier in the week and then restored, which forced Diaz through a rigorous weight-cutting and travel schedule.
The Cesar Gracie (Pictures)-trained fighter acknowledged Saturday that he also knew little about Inoue.
"I'm glad to fight in Japan again," Diaz said. "I will fight here tomorrow to represent EliteXC. I haven't watched a fight video of my opponent and don't really know about him. I checked the Internet and couldn't find any information. Please send me his fight video if you have it."
The always charismatic Jason "Mayhem" Miller did his usual job to recruit more "Mayhem Monkeys" in Japan. He labeled himself a new pro wrestler who is going to beat an old pro wrestler in opponent Katsuhiro Shibata.
Asked about the meaning of the enormous gold chain he was wearing, Miller said it was "a symbol showing how Americans waste their money."
The most heated words came from lightweight tournament participant Luiz Firmino (Pictures), who expressed his dislike of Japanese lightweight Tatsuya Kawajiri (Pictures).
Firmino said he had waited three years to fight Kawajiri again. Kawajiri outpointed the Brazilian in July 2005, but Firmino said Saturday that he had found Kawajiri's weaknesses both on the ground and standing.
On the other side, Kawajiri limited himself to stating his dislike for trash talking and his personal dislike for Firmino.
the link has a couple press conference pics
DREAM Elite: Dream & ProElite Announce Partnership
At today's DREAM 3 pre-fight press conference in Japan, DREAM and ProElite announced a working relationship between the two promotions that will include sharing of fighters and referees, as well as co-promoted shows in the future. This could also result in both promotions running more shows in Europe, Korea, and elsewhere.
Affliction: Banned" July 19 debut card
As we mentioned in Friday's "Inside MMA"/MMAjunkie.com preview clip, Affliction Clothing has officially released details of its debut card, which takes place July 19.
The event is set for the Honda Center ("The Pond") in Anaheim, Calif., and features a previously announced main event between Fedor Emelianenko and Tim Sylvia. The main card airs live on pay per view.
The organization has also confirmed a number of former UFC and PRIDE veterans for its event, entitled "Banned," which is a knock at the clothing company recently being banned as a sponsor of UFC and EliteXC fighters.
Company executives report the following line-up:
MAIN CARD (PAY PER VIEW)
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Tim Sylvia
Josh Barnett vs. Pedro Rizzo
Ben Rothwell vs. TBA
Paul Buentello vs. Aleksander Emelianenko*
Matt Lindland vs. Fabio Nascimento
Renato "Babalu" Sobral vs. Mike Whitehead
Ray Lazama vs. Justin Levens
Mark Hominick vs. Savant Young
J.J. Ambrose vs. Patrick Speight
Brett Cooper vs. Mike Pyle
* - not signed
Tickets for the event go on sale May 20.
Jason Day’s Whirlwind UFC Ride Continues
A Canadian veteran who had finally started to find his groove in the fight game after a rocky start that saw him lose three of his first five pro bouts, Jason Day was on the fringes of the UFC in 2007, with all but one of the four opponents he faced that year current or former UFC fighters.
He won two of those fights, submitting Jonathan Goulet and stopping Ron Faircloth, with the only loss coming in June of last year to Patrick Cote. It got the buzz going about the Lethbridge, Alberta native, and when he kicked off 2008 with a hard-fought decision win over former world title challenger David Loiseau, it was clear that the next stop for Day would be the UFC.
First test? A bout against up and comer Alan Belcher in front of close to 22,000 Canadian fans on April 19th. If there was going to be a case of the first-time UFC jitters, this was it. Surprisingly though, Day wasn’t affected by the atmosphere surrounding the biggest fight of his career.
Bisping ready to take on any opponent
Michael Bisping, the biggest British name in the UFC, will now face Canadian submission expert Jason Day at the UFC 85 super show at London's O2 Arena, June 7.
Middleweight striker Michael Bisping is ready for any opponent
UK's best: Michael Bisping will be tested by submission expert Jason Day
Middleweight striker Bisping was due to face Chris Leben, but on Thursday the American was handed a 35-day prison term for violating the terms of a 2005 probation order. Leben was expected to be fined for no-showing several mandated drink education classes three years ago but, instead, he was sentenced to 35 days in jail by Clackamas County Circuit Court in Oregon.
Bisping, 16-1, told me on Friday evening: "Obviously I had heard about Chris's legal issues and knew there was a chance the court would want to make an example of him. I know he must be gutted to miss out on this fight, as am I, but I've already switched my focus to Jason Day.
Gina Carano on Tuesday's "E:60"
ESPN's "E:60" program will feature Gina Carano, one of MMA's most recognizable female fighters, this coming Tuesday, May 13. The program airs at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.
Carano, who moonlights as "Crush" on NBC's "American Gladiators," next fights May 31 at "EliteXC: PRIMETIME," the first-ever live MMA event to air on major U.S. network television.
HANSEN & ALVAREZ PRE-FIGHT COMMENTS
Joachim Hansen takes on Eddie Alvarez in the second round of the DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix. MMAWeekly caught up with both competitors before they face off May 11 in Saitama, Japan.
Joachim Hansen is coming off back-to-back wins, entering this fight as the favorite, but many feel Eddie Alvarez is the dark-horse to win the tournament.
"We have similar styles and it's going to be a good fight," Hansen told MMAWeekly.com.
Alvarez respects Hansen's abilities and agrees with his assessment of their fighting styles. "Even before this tournament, I was a big fan of Joachim," said Alvarez. "I like the way Joachim fights. He's much like myself. He fights to finish the fight, not to win the fight, and I think the two of our styles, the way we clash, it can only make for the most exciting fight of the tournament."
This is the biggest fight of Alvarez' career and the American fighter recognizes the opportunity before him. "I realize the opportunity that's ahead of me, and it's allowed myself to push myself beyond barriers that I've ever pushed myself," said Alvarez.
"I believe this is the finals match. It's unfortunate that it has to happen so soon, but if we didn't get to fight, it would also be unfortunate. If we're going to fight, we might as well do it now and give the fans what they want to see. I think it's a great match up."
Hansen is a natural lightweight and has competed in that division his entire career. Alvarez recently moved down to the lightweight division from the 170-pound welterweight class. "I've been training very hard this time, so I'm a little bit under weight," commented Hansen. "I'm eating a lot to make the weight."
Alvarez will have a size advantage over Hansen, and expects to enter the ring well above the 154 weight limit after re-hydrating following stepping on the scales for the weigh-ins.
"I usually start my cut around 176, something like that, 176 pounds and I cut my weight down to 154 ," stated Alvarez.