Cro Cop was the last nail in the coffin.
“Fifty times we thought it was over and we were buying PRIDE, then we hear they were talking to these guys and these guys and kept string us along. So when Mirko Cro Cop’s deal came up, we went after Mirko aggressively, signed him, and that really started to unravel PRIDE."
UFC 87 Spotlight: Demian Maia
UFC 87 will take place this Saturday and as we all know will feature three gigantic bouts as headliners. GSP vs. Fitch, Lesnar vs. Herring and Florian vs. Huerta could all very well headline a UFC event on their own merit.
Enough has already been said about those six combatants however and instead of going all "boring archaeologist" on you and covering old ground (take that Mauro Ranallo!) I will instead focus on one of the other fights that will be seen on Saturday's pay-per-view. The bout I am talking about is the middleweight contest between Jason "The Athlete" MacDonald and Demian Maia.
I am very much looking forward to this bout as I believe that Maia has the most potential out of all the UFC middleweights to topple the scariest dude on the planet, Anderson Silva.
I say that because Maia is one of the finest pure grapplers in the world and I don't mean that like Mike Goldberg means it when he says, "he's one of the best in the world, Joe." I mean that for reals. In 2007, he won the 77kg - 87kg weight division at the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship. He has also defeated other notable high profile grapplers in the form of Ronaldo De Souza, fellow UFC middleweight Yushin Okami and former UFC heavyweight title challenger, Gabriel Gonzaga.
Huerta clarifies recent controversial comments
UFC president Dana White tends to tolerate fighters who publicly complain about their contracts about as well as he does a tack in his shoe. When he starts comparing those who do dare to challenge him publicly to his ex-light heavyweight champion and favorite whipping boy, Tito Ortiz, it’s a sure sign he’s about to erupt.
White was interviewed by a Toronto radio station on Wednesday when he heard for the first time that lightweight Roger Huerta had expressed unhappiness with his contract. Predictably, White didn’t take it well. A day later, he said Huerta’s comments were “almost Tito-like,” which is about as big an insult as White can dish out.
Huerta faces the most significant fight of his life Saturday at UFC 87 at the Target Center when he takes on Kenny Florian in a highly anticipated lightweight bout. A battle with White is the last thing Huerta needs on the eve of the toughest fight of his life, but Huerta, who survived one of the most difficult childhoods imaginable, said he’s prepared so well for the fight that nothing will distract him.
The Fitch Push
Jon Fitch represents one of the problems the UFC has faced in recent years in being able to properly promote and market a full stable of over 250 fighters. He’s a great fighter - undefeated in almost 5 years - but prior to his fight with Diego Sanchez, few in the mainstream had even heard of the guy. Most of his fights had not been shown on broadcasted events nor had he really received any press for his grinding, “blood and guts” fight style.
It’s not like Fitch is the only fighter to contend for a title that the general public may not know about; Nathan Marquardt is another that comes to mind. You might even add Lyoto Machida, previous to his bout with Tito Ortiz, to that list.
Attempting to change all this, the UFC is taking every opportunity to push Fitch to the masses. Last night, SpikeTV aired Countdown to UFC 87 and chose to focus the spotlight on the contender, Fitch, for the majority of the main event portion of the segment.
It’s really no surprise, either, as Dana White has been telling every and anyone that will listen this week that not only is Fitch the real deal, but also that he’s White’s personal pick for upset of the night.
BART PALASZEWSKI HEADS XFO 25
The XFO returns on Saturday, Aug. 9. Known as the “small show with big fights,” X-treme Fight Organization will hold its 25th event in Island Lake, Ill.
Headlining the show will be IFL and XFO veteran Bart Palaszewski. “Bartimus” is scheduled to face Eric Wisely in lightweight action. The Team Curran fighter defeated UFC veteran Jeff Cox in his last outing at the inaugural Adrenaline MMA event.
Pat Curran looks to continue his unbeaten streak when he takes on HIT Squad fighter Amir Khillah. The featherweight prospect is coming off of a win over Lazar Stojadinovic. The crew at Tapout were on hand to film Curran recently and his fight will be profiled in a future episode of the Tapout show.
UFC Quick Quote: ‘Stitch’ Duran a possible X factor?
“It might be a good thing that I’m in the red corner — Georges might need me. Jon Fitch punishes his opponents and is known for doing damage in his fights. And this is a five rounder. I might be able to get Georges one or two more rounds if he needs them.”
– The best cut man in the business, “Stitch Duran,” tells MMAmania.com that UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre has perhaps an ace up his sleeve if need be — a man who can get him more time to fight if he needs it. “Rush” will take on Jon Fitch in the main event of UFC 87: “Seek and Destroy” at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minn., on August 9.
JAMES THOMPSON RETURNS AT CAGE RAGE 28
September 20 at the Troxy Theatre, Commercial Road, London, London England’s, James “Collosus” Thompson returns to fight before his home town crowd after a controversial third round stoppage to American Kimbo Slice. He is back in the UK and looking to get on track as one of the UK’s Top Heavyweights. Thompson is set to fight the 6’5 Polish fighter Piotor “Doctor” Kusmierz.
This Card also features the British Welterweight Title Fight featuring the champion, Che “The Silent Assassin” Mills. Undefeated since his first fight and the only man to beat Lithuanian power house Marius Zaromskis, not once but twice will be facing the highly regarded contender, Ross “The Gladiator” Pointon.
Ross Pointon has made significant improvements in his last few performances and seems to have found the proper weight class to suit his body.
Lesnar faces stern test in veteran Herring...
When we last saw Brock Lesnar, the former NCAA wrestling champion and WWE alumnus was shaking his head in the Octagon after being submitted by former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir.
Lesnar had imposed his bulk on Mir and laid copious punishment on the more technically advanced Mir for about 90 seconds. His fists of fury hammered Mir's face and almost forced a stoppage.
Mir kept conscious, though, then lured Lesnar into a trap. As Mir swiveled on his back, Lesnar stood straight up, allowing Mir to get a good look at his exposed legs. The vet snapped on a kneebar. Lesnar couldn't shake off the agony or slide out; he was forced to tap.
The end came at 1:30 of the first round.
Lesnar still blames Mazagatti for UFC 81 loss...(w/audio)
The heat is on MMA ref Steve Mazzagatti (pictured w/stache) in this week leading up to UFC 87. The formerly mustacheiod Mazzagatti's competence has been called into question more than few times by media, fans and most importantly Brock Lesnar.
Lesnar spoke with ProMMARadio's Larry Pepe and basically called Mazzagatti a clown for his actions early on in the loss to Frank Mir. Lesnar grazed the back of Mir's head with just one punch. Instead of issuing a verbal warning, Mazzagatti stopped the fight with only 25 seconds elapsed and deducted a point from Lesnar.
"It's just an consistency in the reffing by that particular referee. Every fight that I ever watch him ref there's a lot of inconsistency. I'm not naming any names."
Heath Herring won’t hesitate to take out Brock Lesnar
MINNEAPOLIS – Heath Herring chuckled at the mention of what undoubtedly is the biggest mistake of his professional life.
For the last 13 months, rarely has a day gone by where someone hasn't asked the fighter known as "The Texas Crazy Horse" about the events of UFC 73.
A career-defining and, perhaps, career-changing victory was in his grasp and he hesitated. He looked at a fallen Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and hesitated. Herring didn't pounce on Nogueira and finish him after a kick to the head nearly knocked Nogueira out.
Sengoku announces four fighters for Middleweight Grand Prix
World Victory Road’s Sengoku promotion has announced four of the eight fighters that will be competing in its Middleweight Grand Prix beginning at Sengoku 5 on Sept. 28 at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium.
According to a press release received by FiveOuncesOfPain.com on Friday, Jorge Santiago, Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos, Siyar Bahadurzada, and former UFC and PRIDE light heavyweight Kazuhiro Nakamura will all be a part of the tournament field.
More on Fedor Emelianenko's hand injury
Soon after Affliction's debut event in July and Fedor Emelianenko's quick main-event victory over Tim Sylvia, the California State Athletic Commission confirmed that the Russian fighter had been issued a 180-day medical suspension due to a right-hand injury.
The injury will keep Emelianenko from making a scheduled return at Affliction's Oct. 11 show.
On this week's edition of "Inside MMA," which airs tonight at 9:30 p.m. ET on HDNet, Bas Rutten discusses why he thinks Emelianenko is so susceptible to hand injuries.
And thanks to you partnership with the weekly MMA news show, we now have an exclusive preview clip of that conversation.
"It's the way he hits," Rutten said. "It's a little awkward. It's not an overhand. It's a really crazy punch, and he connects with it. That's the whole problem, once you connect with a crazy punch."
THE ART OF WAR AS STRATEGIZED BY ST PIERRE
“The clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy's will to be imposed on him.”
- Sun Tzu, “The Art of War”
Current UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre may not have studied the famous text by Chinese General Sun Tzu, but he certainly employs his strategies in all of his fights.
Whether it was out wrestling Josh Koscheck, putting a ground clinic together against Matt Serra, or simply overpowering Matt Hughes, St. Pierre has taken the best weapon away from each of his opponents and made it his own strength.
Now St. Pierre faces his toughest challenge to date at UFC 87 when he faces top contender Jon Fitch, who is an extremely well rounded and dangerous fighter in all parts of his game. Despite the odds making him a huge favorite, St. Pierre isn’t looking past Fitch at all.
“A lot of people make me try to see through Jon Fitch and I don’t want that. I made a mistake once, I don’t want to do it again,” said St. Pierre alluding to his loss to Matt Serra. “Jon Fitch is probably the most dangerous guy I’ve fought so far, he’s a new breed of mixed martial arts fighter. Very well rounded.”
Cris Cyborg's Trainer Reveals Next Fight, Opponent
Rafael Cordeiro, one of the top dogs at Chute Boxe Academy in Curitiba and trainer of EliteXC competitor Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos, recently spoke with Tatame and let slip what's next for everyone's new favorite female fighter.
She'll be at EliteXC’s October 4th show, again live by CBS, at Florida, against a Japanese fighter, Yoki Takarashi [sic]. She’s a very tough fighter and it’ll be a great fight. We signed the contract yesterday and Cris will fight her.
Gary Shaw, EliteXC’s VP, said that [Cyborg's] the most brutal athlete he had ever seen and that Gina is a star of the event, but now Cris is a star too. We’re very happy, we saw that he was praising both of them, and said that they can face each other.
Wilson Reis vs. Bao Quach for EliteXC belt:
After his fifth victory in a row in an unbeatable career, Wilson Reis now gets a chance to grow more in EliteXC. “My last fight was very tough, I had good moments and my opponent was better and others, but I put him down seven times and controlled the whole fight on the ground, I won all three rounds”, said Wilson , that will get a title shot at featherweight division. “EliteXC put me to fight for the belt against Bao Quach, from California . I’m very happy. I have three victories at Elite and now have a chance to fight for the belt, and I’m already training to win this”, told Reis, that’s very happy with EliteXC’s growth in . “EliteXC is growing a lot and has a lot of shows already set, they’re strong and threat me very well. In my opinion, EliteXC is only behind UFC, and has everything to be the best MMA event of the world.
PENN MOVING TO 170 REGARDLESS OF UFC 87 OUTCOMES
"I don't think he'll get the winner of Fitch and GSP, said the UFC president. "He wants to fight GSP if GSP wins the title. GSP has a win over him. He wants to try to beat GSP. I don't think he'd move up if Fitch won."
Penn disagrees, commenting, "I'd feel okay facing anyone for the welterweight title."
"Jon Fitch is a great opponent, a tough opponent, but St. Pierre brings the whole backing of Canada with him to a fight," stated Penn. "Fan base, this sport, it's entertainment. It would be great to put on a big fight with me and St-Pierre, but then again, it’s about me fighting the best fighter and if Fitch goes down and proves he’s the best fighter, then he’s the man.”