Legendary Referee “Big” John McCarthy Retiring
The best known referee in mixed martial arts will step down after Saturday’s UFC card at the Palms Hotel.
“Big” John McCarthy, who has been a referee since UFC 2 in 1994, will work the main event of The Ultimate Fighter finale on Saturday between Roger Huerta and Clay Guida and then announce his retirement.
(MMAjunkie.com first mentioned the rumor yesterday afternoon. For that story and more background information on McCarthy, check out the MMAjunkie.com archives.)
McCarthy, 45, will take a job as an MMA analyst with The Fight Network.
Kenny Florian Makes Broadcasting Debut at “TUF” Finale
Lightweight contender Kenny Florian, a true student of MMA, will make his official UFC broadcasting debut on Saturday at “The Ultimate Fighter: Team Hughes vs. Team Serra” live finale.
Spike TV officials recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) about Florian’s upcoming broadcasting duties.
Florian, who found his way into the UFC through “The Ultimate Fighter,” will join UFC broadcasters Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg in the booth for Saturday’s main event between Roger Huerta and Clay Guida.
Surgically Repaired Hand Likely to Sideline Brandon Vera Until April
Don't be afraid to tell Brandon Vera his October fight against Tim Sylvia sucked. He agrees with you.
Vera (8-1), who has five fights left on his current contract with the UFC, vowed to redeem himself inside the Octagon once his injured hand fully heals but not before. He said he was offered a fight in early March but indicated his doctor and manager did not believe he will be healthy enough to compete by then. Vera declined to name the opponent he was offered.
Tito Ortiz to fight in May?
Tito Ortiz competed only one time in 2007; in a draw against The Ultimate Fighter season two-winner Rashad Evans at Ultimate Fighting Championship 73 in July. After some time away from fighting, healing injuries and filming the television series “The Apprentice,” Ortiz expects to return to the Octagon in May 2008.
Jens Pulver Interview
Interview with Little Evil, Jens Pulver. He talks about fighting in his own weight class and not being one of the little guys anymore, his upcoming fight with Cub Swanson, some future matchups, and the state of the 145 lb division in general.
Big John” Set to Make Big Announcement Friday
“Big” John McCarthy, a legendary mixed-martial-arts referee who made his octagon debut at UFC 2, has scheduled a media conference call for Friday to make a big announcement.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has been told by multiple sources that the legendary referee may be announcing his retirement as an MMA referee, though the news could not be confirmed.
Hansen to Zuffa: ‘Soul not for sale’
PRIDE veteran Joachim “Hellboy” Hansen appeared content backstage at Cage Rage 24 “Feel the Pain” on Saturday at Wembley Arena. After a painful and stressful year, he is finally a free man.
Zuffa LLC, parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, officially released Hansen (15-6-1) from his contract last month, a contract it inherited with its purchase of PRIDE Fighting Championships on March 27. The Norwegian lightweight did not mince words when it came to discussing the Las Vegas-based promotion.
“I just hope people understand that the problems [with Zuffa] weren’t about the money,” Hansen said. “It was about them treating me with honor and keeping their word. I would rather fight for free, then to bend down to them. My soul is not for sale.”
Memorial Fund Created for Sammy Vasquez
A memorial fund has been set up for Sammy Vasquez, who may have been the first fighter to die from injuries sustained in mixed martial arts competition in North America.
Vazquez had been battling for his life since an MMA bout with 21-year old Vince Libardi on Oct. 20 during a Renegades Extreme Fighting show at the Toyota Center in Houston. After taking a flurry of punches from Libardi, Vasquez collapsed in the ring and the fight was waved off at 2:50 of the third round. Emergency medical technicians worked on him in the ring for several minutes until he was rushed to St. Joseph Medical Center, where he stayed until moving to hospice care on Monday.
Vasquez and his family live in Houston, and the Texas MMA Fight Shop has stepped forward to collect donations.
Donations can be sent to:
TEXAS MMA FIGHT SHOP
c/o Sandra Vasquez
San Antonio, Texas 78238
Contributors are encouraged to send checks, cashier checks or money orders made out to Sandra Vasquez.
UFC in Final Negotiations For Canadian Debut (UFC 83)
Mixed martial arts fans, particularly those in Canada, have long been awaiting the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s debut north of the U.S. border. According to UFC vice president Marc Ratner, the wait may soon be over.
He stated to MMAWeekly.com, “The UFC is looking at April 19 right now to come to Montreal, Canada. It’s still tentative as we’re in final negotiations with the Bell Centre, but we’re very confident that it’s going to happen.”
The UFC’s plans to promote an event in Canada have been in the works for a very long time. Their plans have long hinged on the participation of current welterweight contender and former champion Georges St-Pierre. He is very popular in the U.S., but even more so in his home country of Canada.
Matt Serra to Host UFC 79 Party — in New York
Scratched from his UFC 79 main event with Matt Hughes because of injury, UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra has now been booked to a host a party for the Dec. 29 event — at Madison Square Garden.
While UFC 79 is set to take place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Serra (a New Yorker) will host a viewing party at New York’s world-famous sporting venue. “The Garden” is located in the heart of New York City.
UFC fan club members will get the first crack at tickets starting this Thursday, Dec. 6. The price is $30 for a general admission ticket — or $25 if you order before Dec. 22. (Fan club members also get to take part in a pre-event autograph session.)
FOX News Give Sam Vasquez Tragedy, MMA a Fair Shake
Today I appeared on “Studio B with Shepard Smith,” which airs nationally on FOX News, for a piece about Sammy Vasquez, the Houston-based fighter who recently lost his life following an October fight at a Renegades Extreme Fighting Championship show.
Mixed-martial arts? The death of a fighter? FOX News?
Yes, I fully expected it to be a recipe for disaster.
I had about two hours’ notice for the guest spot, so I did a little studying, put out on something other than a Mizzou sweatshirt, and headed to the local TV station ready for battle.
Sherk to California: Never Again
If given the chance to fight in California a fourth time, UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk won't say yes.
Almost a half year removed from a positive test for nandrolone, Sherk -- one of 41 mixed martial artists popped for banned substances in the Golden State since a widespread anti-doping policy was implemented in March -- finally had a chance to defend himself in front of the California State Athletic Commission.
"At this stage of my career, there's absolutely no way I'd do something like that," Sherk said during his opening statement.
Wanderlei Silva Interview
Wanderlei sits down with with Gary Herman to touch on a few subjects including his upcoming bout with Chuck, thoughts on Fedor, and who he'd like to fight after Chuck.
UFC 81: Terry Martin vs. Marvin Eastman (Exclusive)
Hard-hitting Terry Martin (16-3) will look to get back on the winning track at UFC 81: “Breaking Point” against veteran Marvin Eastman (14-7-1) on February 2 from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
MMAmania.com (www.mmamania.com) learned about the middleweight bout earlier this afternoon.
Martin suffered a surprise defeat via third round knockout courtesy of a perfectly placed Chris Leben punch in his last appearance inside the Octagon at UFC Fight Night 11 on September 19. It was a back-and-forth battle that Martin would have more than likely won on the judges scorecards if it went the distance (”The Crippler” was docked a point for a fence grab earlier in the bout).
Eastman has competed in the light heavyweight class for the better part of his long career. He was booked to clash with Demian Maia at UFC 77: “Hostile Territory” on October 20; however, an eye injury forced him off the Cincinnati card.
Sean Sherk's Suspension Reduced
UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk (Pictures), who was suspended for one year after testing positive for Nandrolone Metabolites following his victory over Hermes Franca (Pictures) at UFC 73 on July 7, had his suspension reduced to six months on Tuesday, reports Sherdog.com editor Josh Gross.
The California State Athletic Commission upheld a fine of $2500. Sherk, 34, will be eligible to return to the Octagon in January.