Mir, Nogueira breathe new life into TUF
The past two seasons of the Ultimate Fighter have been met with criticism on two levels. The first is that the show, which launched mixed martial arts' popularity in North America, was growing stale.
After all, how many times can you watch unknown fighters training, struggling to make weight and fighting in front of a small audience in the gym before it all starts looking the same?
Second, the depth of talent over the past two seasons hasn't been as strong as it was in earlier seasons, blamed somewhat on the rise of competing organizations who signed a lot of up-and-coming fighters.
The Spike TV show, which starts its eighth season on Wednesday night, launched the careers of a several top Ultimate Fighting Championship stars, including both competitors in the next light heavyweight title match – champ Forrest Griffin and challenger Rashad Evans.
But it hasn't turned out a title contender since Matt Serra parlayed winning the fourth season into one of the biggest upsets in company history when he defeated Georges St. Pierre for the welterweight title in 2007.
Calvacante slams CSAC over Silva's steroid ban
American Top Team fighter Gesias ‘JZ’ Calvacante had some strong words for the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) in a recent interview.
His teammate Antonio Silva has been hit with a steroid ban by CSAC, but Calvacante believes the body – which found Sean Sherk positive last year - to be in error.
Huerta desperate for Florian rematch, may change trainers
Roger Huerta is desperate to get a rematch with Kenny Florian, who handed him his first loss at UFC 87 last month – and he may enlist new trainers to help him get his revenge.
Speaking exclusively to Fighters Only, the lightweight star said it has been difficult for him to get to grips with the emotional demons that the fight left him with.
"After the fight I was confused and in shock. I kept thinking it was a bad dream and after three days the loss really hit me hard, so hard that I had to go back to Rio Grande Valley to be around family and friends,” he revealed.
Going back home helped him put the loss into perspective: “It made me realise that the loss was just a bump and a further challenge and that there are bigger meanings in life than just fighting.
Winners of Cro Cop/Overeem, Kharitonov/Mighty Mo to Fight for DREAM Heavyweight Title
Earlier today, Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic appeared on Croatian channel NovaTV (a station who in the past has televised many of the Croat's bouts live for his home nation) and revealed future plans for the fledgling DREAM promotion's heavyweight division. User "loreia" on the Kakutougi forums broke the news with a quickfire translation:
From his interview for NovaTV broadcasted just minutes ago:
"Winners of two HW fights scheduled for Dream.6 will fight for Dream HW title. Those fighter will be: myself and most probably [Sergei] Kharitonov".
Exclusive Interview: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
In some of the past seasons of The Ultimate Fighter, the coaches built up great rivalries. Was there ever any hostility between you and Frank Mir? Did he get on your nerves in any way?
ANTONIO RODRIGO NOGUEIRA: No, there wasn’t much of that; we have a lot of respect for each other. If there were arguments they were between the fighters themselves. I went there to do my job. I went to teach the guys, with the goal of not getting involved in fights with the guys inside the house or from the show, but to train them instead. That was my idea. I did my part and Frank did his. At times I was pissed at some of them because some of the guys were picking fights inside the house, and they would lose their control. There was one who wouldn’t quit picking fights, but overall nothing too major.
What do you think of Frank, as a person and as a fighter?
He is a good fighter, very strong, and he has great jiu-jitsu skills. He is also a very cool and nice guy, but he is my opponent, so I am training to fight him.
What’s your strategy going to be when you fight him in December? Would you rather fight him on the ground or standing?
There isn’t really a strategy; my strategy is to finish him. We don’t really choose if the fight will be standing up or on the ground. Whatever happens I will be ready for it.
After he lost to Forrest Griffin, Quinton Jackson partially blamed his performance on the fact that, because of The Ultimate Fighter, he’d gone 10 months between fights. Are you concerned that your own long layoff will affect your performance?
Well, the last time Frank Mir fought was the last time I fought, so the truth is that we both have the same disadvantage. I really don’t like to go such a long time without fighting; never in my life have I gone without fighting for this long. This does make a difference, but this is my job and I will fight when the day comes.
Rule Changes Possible Following Johnson-Burns Decision
On July 19th Anthony Johnson was defeated by Kevin Burns at UFC Fight Night 14 via technical knockout, but that isn’t the entire story of a loss that could ultimately result in rule changes both in Nevada where the bout took place and possibly elsewhere.
Following repeated warnings throughout the opening rounds for incidentally poking Johnson in the eyes Burns dropped Johnson to the canvas with a deep-but-accidental eye gouge in the third frame. After collapsing in pain Johnson was unable to defend himself or continue the fight so the referee waived the fight off and awarded a TKO victory to Burns.
Immediate replays of the finish showed that Johnson was downed by a finger to the eye, not a punch as the originally believed, but the decision was final and Burns was declared the victor via technical knockout.
Fans questioned the ruling, asking why Johnson wasn’t declared the winner via disqualification as he was defeated using a banned maneuver or at the very least why the bout wasn’t declared a no contest. Johnson and his agent, Ken Pavia, challenged the rendered decision, filing an unsuccessful appeal with the Nevada State Athletic Commission of the July loss.
The NSAC last week denied the appeal due to a “lack of remedy”.
The current MMA rules in Nevada do not allow for the athletic commission to change a decision rendered at the end of any contest or exhibition unless one of three situations occur:
* The Commission determines that there was collusion affecting the result of the contest or exhibition;
* The compilation of the scorecards of the judges discloses an error which shows that the decision was given to the wrong unarmed combatant; or
* As the result of an error in interpreting a provision of this chapter, the referee has rendered an incorrect decision.
Greg Jackson: The Swamp Fox of MMA
"I love the mist coming off the trees," Greg Jackson says staring at the early morning fog enshrouding the Georgia pine. "It reminds me of Francis Marion." Just the fact that he knows who Francis "The Swamp Fox" Marion is turns my head. I'm an Army officer who sees the world through historical blunders and tactical victories, so Jackson is treading on my turf. Like he cares. Shocking people has become a hobby of his and he'd just pulled off his biggest surprise party the night prior when Rashad Evans knocked Chuck Liddell off the ‘top ten light heavyweights in the world' list. I've had a relationship with Jackson for over a year, but like the rest of the world, I'm learning that he has a knack for unpredictability; a facet that reinforces his nearly mythical status.
It's roughly eight o'clock in the morning and we've just finished an hour-long workout with Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment at Fort Stewart, Georgia. The soldiers catch their breath and cool down, but Jackson, covered in grass and sweat, is amped. "I can't think of a better way to start the day," he tells the troops. His days immediately after a stressful event like UFC 88 should be reserved for decompressing and relaxation, but instead he's on a road trip with me to spend a couple of days with soldiers in the muggy southern heat. That doesn't stop the MMA world from trying to find him despite the poor cell phone coverage.
DANZIG SEES GUIDA AS KEY TO TOP LIGHTWEIGHTS
With the recent success of both Forrest Griffin and Rashad Evans, “The Ultimate Fighter” has been proven a successful building ground for future champions. The winner of Season 6, Mac Danzig, is hopeful to keep that formula alive. His next step up the lightweight ladder is Wednesday night against Clay Guida.
In his first fight out since the show, Danzig put away Brazilian Jiu-jitsu ace Mark Bocek at UFC 74 in Montreal, but following the fight he was forced to take some time off with a knee injury.
Coming into the fight with Guida, the former Pittsburgh native says he is 100 percent healthy and ready to compete.
“The knee’s good going into the fight,” Danzig said during an appearance on MMAWeekly Radio. “I could stand to have a little bit more range of motion with it. It’s still not at 100 percent range of motion wise, but there’s no more pain or anything.”
In a previous interview discussing his opponent, Danzig had been quoted as calling Guida a “gatekeeper,” but the Xtreme Couture team member wants everyone, including Guida, to know that it was not meant as an insult to him at all.
WEC CHAMP MIGUEL TORRES DEFENDS IN DECEMBER
Top ranked bantamweight Miguel Torres is gearing up to defend his World Extreme Cagefighting title in December, and while his opponent has yet to be named, he expects it to be undefeated Manny "The Mangler" Tapia.
"I fight Dec. 3. I don't know who I'm going to fight yet, but I'm going to fight whoever they bring to me," Torres told MMAWeekly.com. "I don't know the venue. I think it might be in Vegas."
While he will fight whomever the WEC lines up, he has his sights set on Tapia. "Like I said, I'm down to fight whoever they have in my weight class. I think Manny Tapia will be an exciting fight because he'll want to bang the whole time. Brian Bowles too, is very explosive standing up and has a good ground game. But I'm hoping to fight anybody," said Torres.
"They have a long list of guys for me to fight, but I think the guy next in line is going to be Manny Tapia. I think him first and then after that, whoever."
Guillard Arrested on Drug Probation Violation
UFC lightweight contender Melvin Guillard was arrested Aug. 13 in Houston for violating probation on a 2007 drug charge, a Harris County deputy told Sherdog.com.
The 25-year-old New Orleans native is in custody at the Harris County jail in Houston, the deputy said last Thursday, and will be released to a drug treatment facility as soon as space becomes available per the terms of his recently amended probation.
Same old Melvin.
Mac Danzig: ‘I’m going for that first round finish’ of Clay Guida at UFC Fight Night 15
“Clay is one of the coolest people I’ve met in the fight game. One of the things that makes him dangerous isn’t necessarily his skills, but his intensity and heart. He’s constantly moving forward and has a good work ethic. He goes for the whole fifteen minutes … I know that I’m going to win. I think I have an advantage in training with guys who, skill-wise, are better than Clay. I know what he’s going to bring to the table. I just have to work on stopping him and controlling the pace. The best-case scenario: I end it in the first round. I’m not going to say how, but I’m going for that first round finish.”
Season six winner of The Ultimate Fighter, Mac Danzig, talks about his upcoming UFC Fight Night 15 co-main event bout against Clay Guida at the Omaha Civic Auditorium in Omaha, Neb., on September 17. Danzig has not lost since he joined the promotion, winning his last two fights via submission against Tommy Speer and Mark Bocek, respectively. He has 10 first round finishes in 23 professional fights.
“Young Guns III” Forced to End Early
A broken cage door forced the California State Athletic Commission to abruptly shut down the remainder of Strikeforce’s “Young Guns III” show last night in San Jose due to an official ruling preventing the event to continue with a damaged fighting structure.
Shortly after Chris Bostick scored a first-round submission of Jorge Interiano, ringside officials discovered that the latch locking the cage door had broke. A brief intermission was instituted in order to allow Strikeforce workers the opportunity to fix the problem, but their attempts were unsuccessful.
Oddly enough, this isn’t the first time that Strikeforce has experienced a problem with their cage. Bobby Southworth‘s June 2006 bout against James Irvin was ruled a no-contest after a Southworth takedown attempt inadvertently drove both fighters through the cage.
Affliction's Future Hinges on Main Events
I remain unconvinced Affliction's new joint promotion with Golden Boy Promotions will end in success. However, the bottom line is that Affliction had to make a major change. Financial reality hit after their first show, and they found themselves in a position where they could not afford to lose that much again, but had no way to avoid losing that much again. They deserve credit for making a major change this early. Most promotions have waited too long, lost too much, and fell by the wayside before they could make changes.
In fight promotion, it is a universal truth that the main event sells PPV buys. There's a reason UFC 66 did over a million buys and UFC 73 did under 400,000. Similarly, Oscar de la Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather did over 2 million buys without any fights on the undercard to speak of. If Affliction can promote joint shows with just one big MMA fight and one big boxing fight, they may be able to pull in enough buys on PPV to survive. Besides those two fights, the fights on the undercard don't matter at all, and they need to avoid fights like Matt Lindland vs. Trevor Prangley, which would have cost about $350,000 for nothing in return.
Affliction Co-Promoter Englebrecht Comments on Affliction-Golden Boy Deal
Roy Englebrecht, Affliction’s Promoter of Record for the Affliction Banned and Day Of Reckoning PPV cards, spoke exclusively with MMAPayout.com about the joining of forces between Affliction and Golden Boy:
“I am the only person in this new partnership that has worked for both entities, as the COO for Golden Boy Promotions for its first three years, and as the licensed promoter for Affliction Entertainment and their inaugural MMA show Affliction Banned show.
The Affliction Entertainment bar has been set pretty high after Affliction Banned….a sellout of 13,850 fans and a 2.1 million dollar gate. I feel very privileged to have worked with some great people in Todd Beard, Tom Atencio, Rick Kulis, Michael Cohen, Eric Foss and Clif Chason in making this first show happen. What was done by a small number of people (7), in a small amount of time (60 days), with the awesome results achieved, may never happen again!
No one captain’s a ship better than Richard Schaefer at Golden Boy Promotions, so I am confident that this partnership will come out of the gate strong and be innovative in what they will do with this new combative sports concept.
It would be my pleasure to continue to have a relationship with them.”
Despite Affliction postponement, Jay Hieron still looking to fight Oct. 11
Jay Hieron, the final reigning welterweight champion of the IFL, had been slated to debut for his new fighting home of Affliction during it’s “Day of Reckoning” pay-per-view event scheduled for Oct. 11 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. But like many other fighters, Hieron learned last week that the card would not be taking place as scheduled and that the promotion’s second show is now slated for January 17 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
Despite the setback, Hieron has no regrets about his decision to sign with Affliction despite offers from the UFC, WEC, EliteXC, and Strikeforce, and is still working on competing on Oct. 11 at the Thomas & Mack anyway.
During an exclusive interview with FiveOuncesOfPain.com, Hieron revealed that he’s in talks with another promotion to fight on that same date.
JAMES MCSWEENEY SCORES FX3 HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE
READING, England – FX3 9: Relentless played out once again to a packed house at the Rivermead Complex, where former K-1 fighter James McSweeney lifted the vacant FX3 heavyweight title in an entertaining back and forth battle with Chris Cooper.
Both fighters started out strong firing on all cylinders, but neither landing much damage. McSweeney has always been rangy with his knees and tried to implement them into his game as much as possible. Cooper had obviously studied his adversary well and knew what he had on offer, so he set about throwing crosses and hooks as a response to every knee attack catching McSweeney flush on occasion and prompting him to work for the takedown. He scored it, but it wasn’t long before Cooper was back out to the feet.
And so they engaged again, McSweeney looking for the knees and Cooper looking for the shoot. He went for a single, but was deflected with a fast sprawl. Transitioning fast, McSweeney piloted round to take his back and sink the hooks in, bypassing the hunt for a read naked choke in order to pound away at the side of his opponent’s head. At 3:09 into the round, referee Grant Waterman steps in to halt the bout.
Akiyama Selects Tonooka for DREAM.6 Bout
Top-ranked middleweight Yoshihiro Akiyama has officially been added to the card for DREAM.6, which will take place on September 23 at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan. Akiyama will be facing karate stylist Masanori Tonooka.
DREAM officials stated at a press conference on Thursday that they had given Akiyama a list of three potential opponents for him to choose from, but his management team didn’t respond right away.
The judo expert fought for the first time this year on July 21, submitting professional wrestler Katsuyori Shibata in a bout that turned out to be tougher than expected. Tonooka is 1-1 thus far in his professional career. After falling in his debut against Young Choi at a K-1 Hero’s show last October, Tonooka bounced back to score a first-round knockout of Hidehira Yabu at DEEP’s 36th Impact show in July.