Affliction could become MMA heavyweight
The landscape of the mixed martial arts business may have changed Saturday night as the debuting Affliction promotion came out of its debut show with the potential for several of the biggest heavyweight marquee matches in the sport.
The Secret's Out: Fedor's the Best MMA Has
ANAHEIM, Calif. - Going into Saturday's Affliction fight card — billed with characteristic modesty as "the greatest MMA show of All-time" — Fedor Emelianenko was cast as The Russian. There had been reams of copy citing "Rocky" villain Ivan Drago as his spiritual ancestor.
James Irvin: ‘I didn’t know what hit me’ in Anderson Silva fight last night
“He’s a scary dude…. It was a flash knockout, because I didn’t know what hit me after that. Even waking up, I was covered in blood. He got me right on the money tonight…. I don’t think I’ll have another (chance) as big as this.”
It was a blistering overhand right punch that came blazing down Broadway, James, which was then followed up with a few head bouncers.
$25,000 AWARD BONUSES AT UFC FIGHT NIGHT 14
With the victory, Markham not only won his UFC debut, but he also picked up a $25,000 bonus for “Knockout of the Night.”
While everyone assumed the match-up would have happened during the seventh season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” it took until Saturday night for former wrestling adversaries C.B. Dollaway and Jesse Taylor to compete in the UFC against each other.
Dollaway helped to erase the memory of his last fight against Amir Sadollah, by submitting his former housemate with his signature move, the Peruvian Neck Tie, and earning himself $25,000 for “Submission of the Night.”
Coming off a loss, Frankie Edgar had something extra to prove, while Hermes Franca had just as much to prove after sitting out for more than a year due to a steroid suspension handed down after his last fight against Sean Sherk in July 2007.
Franca and Edgar went to war for the duration of their 15-minute affair, exchanging positions, working on the ground and feet. For their efforts, they each earned $25,000 for “Fight of the Night” honors.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT 14 AWARD BONUSES
(as disclosed by UFC officials)
Each fighter earned $25,000 for the following awards.
Fight of the Night:
-Frankie Edgar and Hermes Franca
Knockout of the Night:
Submission of the Night:
P4P king Anderson Silva speaks with his strikes
LAS VEGAS – Anderson Silva has been one of the elite mixed martial arts fighters in the world for the past 18 months or so.
He hasn't been a star, though, until recently.
But on Thursday, the large media scrum that squeezed in tightly to hear Silva's every utterance was symbolic of his rise to stardom.
Fighting talent and box-office appeal don't always go hand-in-hand and some of the game's best fighters frequently are poor draws. But Silva compensated for his lack of proficiency in English in front of an entirely English-speaking media by grinning and grunting and grimacing to captivate an audience that couldn't understand a word he said.
The UFC middleweight champion will move up to light heavyweight on Saturday to meet rugged James Irvin in a nationally televised card on Spike TV from The Pearl at The Palms Theater.
Shannon Gugerty has Dean Lister and Brandon Vera to thank for UFC debut
With 10 fighters making their UFC debuts at tonight's UFC Fight Night 14 event, it is a safe assumption that all of them were excited when the opportunity to fight in the world's biggest MMA promotion was bestowed upon them.
But for Shannon Gugerty (10-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC), he had a feeling his time was quickly approaching.
"I just had that gut feeling that [the chance to fight in the UFC] was coming really soon," Gugerty recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "And then, sure enough, my manager Matt Stansell (from NCFC Fight Management), he called me up about four weeks ago, and he said 'The UFC is looking to put on a show the same day as that Affliction card, July 19. You think you'd be ready to fight by then?'"
REESE ANDY LOOKING TO SPOIL THE TRUTH
Reese Andy may not be known by a lot of fans, especially casual UFC fans. However, he has a chance to propel himself to the forefront of the light heavyweight division, as he will take on Brandon “The Truth” Vera, who is making his debut at 205 pounds, on Saturday night at UFC Fight Night 14.
Quite a few fighters, including Dan Henderson, turned down a fight with Vera, but Reese Andy didn’t hesitate. “I was excited about the offer,” said Andy recently on MMAWeekly Radio. “I wasn't going to pick and choose to get into the show I want to get into. I know other guys turned it down and they have their reasons why they're doing it. I'm not going to turn anything down like that.”
Report: Yushin Okami breaks hand in training
Top middleweight contender Yushin Okami has suffered another hand injury — this time in training — and will more than likely be unable to challenge 185-pound champion Anderson Silva anytime soon, according to MMARated.com.
“Thunder” initially broke his hand against Evan Tanner at UFC 82: “Pride of a Champion” — a fight the Japanese import won via crushing knockout. There’s currently no word on whether or not this is a fresh break or if he re-aggravated the existing damage.
The tentative plan was to pit Okami against Silva as soon as UFC 88: “Breakthrough” on September 6 if the “Spider” escaped his non-title light heavyweight fight tonight with James Irvin injury-free. Patrick Cote would then take on the winner of that match in late 2008.
Now it seems that the “Predator” may have leapfrogged Okami — the last man to deal Silva a loss (albeit disqualification — for a chance to next take on the feared Brazilian striker.
Arlovski ready for Rothwell
Arlovski explained during a recent Affliction conference call with media that following a brief period where he was unable to negotiate with other promotions, it was ultimately Affliction that won his services inside the ring.
“First of all I had 60 days basically for negotiations with the UFC,” he said about his contract negotiations. “After that time my management talked with Affliction and we got a deal.”
Now Arlvoski can just get back to the business of fighting and next up on the agenda is a battle with former IFL top dog Ben Rothwell. To get ready for Rothwell, Arlovski trained with regular coach Mike Garcia, but he also enlisted the help of famed boxing trainer Freddie Roach.
Roach worked with Arlovski for about three weeks leading up to the fight with Rothwell and his new boxing coach will also accompany him to the ring and work his corner for the upcoming fight.
“I was very happy Freddie (Roach) let me train with him because I know it’s a big line to work with Freddie Roach, and when my friends told me he had time to train with (me) I said I’m in,” Arlovski commented. “Anytime, he would let me come to his gym, I’m in.”
MMA Quick Quote: Affliction out in three?
“Our plan is to do three events, and if we’re successful with those, then we’ll continue and go from there. I’m in business to make money, not lose money. We’ll see how it goes.”
– Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio tells the Chicago Sun-Times that his upstart promotion could call it quit after three shows if the profits aren’t living up to expectations. It took the UFC — the top organization in the business — several years to begin making money. In addition, other promotions such as Elite XC and the IFL, which have been around much longer than Affliction, have yet to turn profits. There is literally a lot riding on the “Banned” debut tomorrow and the next to shows if Atencio sticks to his guns.
JESSE TAYLOR PUTTING THE PAST BEHIND
Jesse "JT Money" Taylor advanced to the finals of The Ultimate Fighter Season 7, but was released from the show and kicked out of the finale for his destructive behavior following the filming on the popular reality series on Spike TV.
Taylor makes his official Ultimate Fighting Championship debut July 19 against the man who replaced him in the finals, C.B. Dollaway, in an effort to put the past behind him and prove he belongs in mixed martial arts' premier organization.
"It's a dream come true to come back. And I'm more ready than ever," Taylor told MMAWeekly.com. "I can't wait to get back in there."
KOJIMA RETAINS 123-POUND TITLE AT SHOOTO
Shinichi “BJ” Kojima defeated Mamoru Yamaguchi via guillotine choke in their rubber match. Kojima retained his Shooto 123-pound world title.
Yusuke Endo claimed the Shooto 154-pound Pac-Rim belt with a unanimous decision victory over Kenichiro Togashi. The title was vacated by current Shooto 154-pound world champion Takashi Nakakura.
Shinya Murofushi made his mark as one of Shooto’s best 115-pound fighters with a win over Takehiro Harusaki.
MATT LINDLAND: FIGHTER, PROMOTER, POLITICIAN?
Matt Lindland is one of the most respected middleweight fighters in the world. He’s defeated top competitors such as Carlos Newton, Jeremy Horn, Travis Lutter and Phil Baroni. He’s been out of action for over a year, but he will make his return the ring on July 21 in Affliction’s debut show. He will be taking on a well-rounded fighter in Fabio Negao.
“I'm excited to get in the ring,” said Lindland recently on MMAWeekly Radio. Even though he has not fought for a while, he is very confident going into this fight. “His name is Fabio. What else is there to say? There is no way I'm losing to a guy named Fabio. I don't know what else we got to talk about. If I had a name like that, I would hate my parents for doing that.”
Controversial Andrei Arlovski Interview: Watch it Here!
Back in the day, before anybody read us, we used to post whatever we wanted. All kinds of crazy stuff. Then, we actually got an audience and we started to hear the lectures: “You can’t post that stuff! This site is considered legitimate!” or “You should be ashamed of yourselves. You have a responsibility based on your status not to cross the line.”
We took a lot of that stuff to heart and changed our approached for the most part. However, we try to have a little fun every now and then and when we do, people freak out. I still don’t think some people have let go of the Edith Larrente post we did a while back. Whatever.
So while we usually try to stay high-brow, that’s not always going to be the case. Some things are just too good not to call to your attention, such as the below video of Ariel Helwani of MMARated.com interviewing Andrei Arlovski.
Arlovski used to date Patrycja Mikula until the two broke up (which is usually the case when people break up). Then there were rumors that Mikula and Tim Sylvia were involved when the two were seen together during Adrenaline MMA’s first show. The whole Sylvia and Mikula rumor was never confirmed but it wasn’t really ever denied. So towards the end of the interview, Ariel decided to go straight to one of the sources and try and get the scoop. Arlovski said he didn’t care and didn’t want to talk about it. Then, Ariel got a very humorous answer regarding a question Arlovski has for Sylvia that might not be safe for work.
Maybe I just have a juvenile sense of humor, but the line, as well as the delivery, still have me cracking up. In fact, it keeps getting more funny every time I watch it.
Joe Riggs Headlines August Rage in the Cage
Former Rage in the Cage heavyweight and middleweight title holder Joe “Diesel” Riggs will make his return to the promotion next month, headlining a scheduled event on August 26th at the Toyota Center in Prescott, Arizona.
Riggs replaced fellow longtime veteran Edwin Dewees, who was slated to fight in the night’s main event, but was granted contractual relief by the organization to challenge former PRIDE standout Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at this weekend’s Affliction: Banned event. Riggs will take on Matt Dempsey, who has not fought professional since March of 2005 when he submitted Troy King at a Courage Fighting Championships event.
Irvin Talks Training For Silva
On this week's edition of "Between Rounds," UFC light heavyweight James Irvin talks about what will be the biggest fight of his career this Saturday when he takes on Anderson Silva.
ON WHAT HE EXPECTS FROM SILVA:
"I expect him to be crafty. I expect him to really go out there and try to dictate the pace of the fight. I expect him to hold the center of the ring and have ring control. For him to be the general in there.
"He's in and out of southpaw to conventional. And that really spins people's heads off when he does that.
"If anything I'm thinking about certain things he will do that I'm just going to explode on . When he goes into southpaw I already have things coming. When he goes back into conventional I already have things coming. And that's the best game plan I can have on him."