Joe Riggs' plan: Move to 170 pounds, return to the UFC
With a September bout with highly regarded middleweight Kazuo Misaki (20-8-2) on the horizon, Joe Riggs (28-10) on Thursday told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) it will be his last in the division.
The Riggs vs. Misaki bout is one of a handful of matches that have been officially announced for "Strikeforce at the Mansion II," scheduled for Sept. 20 at the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Riggs, who has fought from 170 pounds all the way up to heavyweight in his seven-year career, said the decision was made based on the way his 25-year-old body has developed.
Vitor Belfort out of Affliction 2
After his victory at Affliction’s debut, Vitor Belfort now is recovering from his broken hand and has been scratched from Affliction 2. “Man, I’m doing physiotherapy now and won’t be able to fight at October 11th, I wanna fight with 100%, so I’ll be at the next show to fight for the title”, said the athlete to TATAME, confirming that he’ll still fight for the title. “I spoke to them yesterday and they said I’ll face the winner of Matt Lindland’s next bout for the middleweight title. He doesn’t have an opponent yet, but the winner of this fight will face me probably in December”, told the athlete.
Imanari Challenges for DEEP Title on Sunday
Cage Rage featherweight champion Masakazu Imanari will drop down to the bantamweight division to challenge Hiroshi Umemura for DEEP’s vacant bantamweight title this Sunday at the organization’s “37th Impact” event, which takes place at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan.
The fight will be Imanari’s first since losing his DEEP featherweight title to UFC veteran Dokonjonosuke Mishima via majority decision back in May. It was Imanari’s second career loss to Mishima and his first defeat since dropping a decision to Fredson Paixao in August of 2006.
MFC Inks Hollett and Clark to Multi-Fight Deals
The Maximum Fighting Championship announced this week that they have signed light heavyweight champion Roger Hollett and longtime veteran LaVerne Clark to multi-fight contracts that will have both fighters compete for the promotion before the end of the year.
Hollett has not competed since tearing multiple ligaments in his left knee during his first professional loss to American Top Team’s Lew Polley in October of last year. “Hulk” won the vacant MFC light heavyweight title with a first-round stoppage of UFC veteran Victor Valimaki at MFC 13 last August.
Donald Trump will always have a seat at Dana White’s table
“I have a ton of respect for [Donald Trump]. When the Fertittas bought the UFC, most venues wouldn’t deal with us. We were outlaws. Our first event was at the Trump Taj Mahal, and Trump actually came to the fights. You’ll never hear me say a bad word about Donald Trump. He can have my seats anytime.”
– UFC President Dana White — who is featured in the most recent edition of Playboy magazine — talks about just about everything, including his thoughts on Mark Cuban (HDNet Fights) and Donald Trump (Affliction MMA). He also touches on the HBO deal that never was, John McCain and Barrack Obama, boxing, ratings and the percieved violence of the sport. And of course, Tito Ortiz, calling him a “bigmouthed bitch, that clown.” Head over to WrestlingObserver.com for the annotated Cliffs Notes version of the sit-down. Or just go buy Playboy as soon as possible. You might actually get away with the “I read it for the articles” excuse on this one.
ELITEXC CHAMP SHIELDS CONSIDERING OPTIONS (Alessio Fight Not Signed Yet)
Despite published reports that Jake Shields will return on Sept. 20 to defend his newly won EliteXC welterweight title against John Alessio, MMAWeekly.com has confirmed with Shields himself that the fight has been offered, but is far from a done deal.
“That fight might happen, but it’s not 100%, not finalized yet,” said Shields in an interview with MMAWeekly.com on Thursday.
The other interesting note to this report is that Shields is currently fielding an offer from an outside promotion to have him compete in a show at 185 pounds against a top contender, but as of now he is still waiting on approval from EliteXC to take the fight.
“Right now I have a really good offer on the table to fight a top 185-pounder,” Shields stated. “I’m just waiting, hoping Elite (XC) will give me that opportunity to go out there and represent Elite and test myself.
“Alessio, he’s a good opponent, (but) it’s a fight that doesn’t really excite me though unfortunately. I’m not too motivated about it, but he’s one dangerous guy that you’ve got to watch out for. He’s a really difficult guy to fight, hard to take down, good stand-up, but if that’s the fight I end up taking, I’ll get myself motivated and pumped up to go do it, but right now I’m really excited about the other fight. I think it’s good for my career and I hope (Elite XC) will realize it too, that it’s not bad for their show, that it helps push me further.”
Nobody Will Fight Cain Velasquez
According to Bryan Alvarez, the UFC has still not found an opponent for Cain Velasquez at UFC 90:
UFC sources say that despite reports of Cain Velasquez vs. Antoni Hardonk for the Chicago show, as of this morning, there was no opponent for Velasquez.
Dave Meltzer recently noted that they are having a lot of trouble finding people to take fights against Velasquez. He is very good, but he has no name value yet, so fighters don't see any upside in facing him.
Fabricio Werdum, the number one contender, is supposedly booked on this show against Junior dos Santos. This fight really makes no sense at all, it's a guy that is barely known to UFC fans against another that is completely unknown. If Werdum is the top contender, he should fight Velasquez on this show.
John Alessio: I'm not facing Jake Shields at Sept. 20 EliteXC event
Despite recent reports of EliteXC welterweight champion Jake Shields (21-4-1) defending his title on EliteXC's Sept. 20 card against John Alessio (23-11), the potential challenger today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) he will not be ready in time for the Albuquerque, N.M. event.
Alessio was recently forced to take time off from training after suffering a broken arm in a June victory over veteran Pete Spratt. Now the Xtreme Couture fighter feels it imperative to allow ample time for a full recovery
The Olympic Crossover
The 2008 Summer Olympic Games and their vast commercial reach could serve as a launching pad for the next mixed martial arts superstar.
With NBC, MSNBC, the USA Network and various Internet outlets providing more than 3,600 hours of Olympic coverage, a medal-winning athlete with a compelling story could be in perfect position to crossover to MMA. After all, it has happened before.
Many Olympic wrestlers and judokas from various countries have gone on to give MMA a try. Some enjoyed more success than others.
Jackson Arraignment Postponed
The arraignment of former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (Pictures) has been postponed Friday pending further investigation into his July 15 arrest in Costa Mesa, Calif.
Jackson was arrested on suspicion of felony evading, reckless driving and hit-and-run charges following a chase by authorities that saw elite fighter’s Ford pick-up truck bounce off other vehicles, jump street medians and swerve onto sidewalks, which “caused pedestrians to flee in terror,” according to a Costa Mesa police department report.
Demian Maia Interview
With three submissions in three bouts in UFC, Demian Maia now is 7-0 in MMA, but in his las fight he had more trouble to finish Jason MacDonald. For the first time ever, Demian needed three rounds to beat his opponent, but it’s not bad at all. Speaking to TATAME.com, the BJJ black belt chat about his last fight, the training with Wanderlei Silva and Rafael Alejarra, the plans for the extra money with the best submission of the night and his next fight in UFC. Check below the complete interview with Demian Maia.
Morris-Brilz Set for UFC Fight Night 15
Australia native Brad Morris will make the drop down to the light heavyweight division to face UFC newcomer Jason Brilz when the Ultimate Fighting Championship travels to Omaha, Nebraska for UFC Fight Night 15 on September 17th.
Sources close to the fight informed MMA on Tap that both fighters had recently agreed to meet. The fight is expected to take place as one of the event’s non-televised preliminary bouts.
Camacho Defends KOTC Title Tonight
King of the Cage lightweight champion Joe Camacho will defend his title against EliteXC veteran Victor Valenzuela in the main event of the organization’s “Bio Hazard” show tonight at the San Manuel Casino in Highland, California.
Camacho rebounded from a disappointing loss to Fabricio Camoes at a ShoXC event in April to score a first-round verbal submission win over skilled wrestler Zach Light at Sparstar Promotions inaugural event last month. Camacho claimed the KOTC lightweight crown with a knockout of Thomas Denny in January.
Sincaid, Von Flue Return at PureCombat
One-time “Ultimate Fighter” cast members Lodune Sincaid and Jason Von Flue will both return to action tomorrow night at PureCombat’s scheduled “Hardcore” event at the Visalia Convention Center in Visalia, California.
Sincaid, who has won four out of his last six bouts, will be taking on Emanuel Newton, who brings an eight-fight undefeated streak into the bout. Sincaid most recently submitted Rafael Real at a Palace Fighting Championships event in May while Newton last competed at an IFL show last year, submitting Jeff Quinlan.
Von Flue will attempt to snap a four-fight losing streak against Hawaii native Bryson Kamaka. Both fighters have struggled greatly as of late. Von Flue has racked up a 1-4 record since being released from the UFC two years ago while Kamaka hasn’t won consecutive bouts since 2005.
Amir Sadollah’s Return
Ultimate Fighter Season 7 winner Amir Sadollah is preparing for his first fight since defeating C.B. Dalloway in the finals on June 21. Sadollah said that he’ll be fighting again in September or - more likely - October. At this point, the opponent is not known.
One question Sadollah did answer for certain though is which weight class he’ll be fighting at.
I’ll be fighting at middleweight. I will not be dropping to 170,” said Sadollah.
Sadollah has also moved from Virginia to Las Vegas to train at - where else - Xtreme Couture.