Blagoi Ivanov out, Neil Grove back in heavyweight tourney at Bellator 56
Bellator's heavyweight-tournament shuffle continues.
The latest change comes as a result of an injury to semifinalist Blagoi Ivanov (5-0 MMA, 2-0 BFC). Taking his place in the final four is opening-round loser Neil Grove (11-4-1 MMA, 3-2 BFC), who now gets a second life and meets Thiago Santos (9-1 MMA, 1-0 BFC) in a semifinal matchup at Bellator 56.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the change with a source close to the fighter.
Bellator 56 takes place Oct. 29 at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. The main card airs on MTV2 (and in high-definition on EPIX), and the prelims stream on Spike.com.
Amir Sadollah accepts full blame for recent loss, eyes January UFC return
Ups and downs are inherent to life, which means you're not immune if you're an MMA fighter and your name happens to be Amir Sadollah.
Since May 2010, "The Ultimate Fighter 7" winner has an even 2-2 record.
Mixed results aren't ideal in a cutthroat business. You never know what could happen following a loss. Sadollah is safe at the moment – but definitely shouldn't get too comfortable.
After all, fellow "TUF" winners such as Joe Stevenson, Kendall Grove, Efrain Escudero and Travis Lutter all currently find themselves outside the promotion looking in.
While Sadollah's situation isn't too dire, the inconsistency is still worth his upright and full attention. To address it, he looks to fight again in the near future to get back in the win column.
Coach: Werdum fighting in December, hopefully for UFC
Guilherme Cruz: Is Wanderlei training with you guys for Cung Le?
Raphael Cordeiro: He’s here, he’s practically living here. He’s done a marathon here, he’s pouring his heart out on the trainings. We’re having good results on the trainings with Werdum, Babalu, Munoz, Dida, quality guys. And he’s doing great. We’re much confident because of the work we’ve been doing here.
GC: Before Wand vs. Cung Le, Mark Munoz, another fighter from your team, fights Chris Leben. How is he doing on the trainings?
RC: He’s on fire. Mark is super dedicated, he’s a good guy, special, who’s making some room for himself in the organization. He’s one of the guys who trains the most, he’s our ‘geek’ (laughs). Sometimes he overtrains… But sometimes it’s good to make a mistake by trying to hard than not trying hard enough, right?
GC: And what about Werdum’s return? There were rumors about him signing with UFC…
RC: He’s back to the trainings, he’s making everybody laugh. He’ll probably fight in December… He’s talking to the UFC, and maybe they come up with something for December
Efrain Escudero vs. Cesar Avila added to Saturday's Bellator 55 event
A notable name has been added to Saturday's Bellator 55 event.
"The Ultimate Fighter 8" winner and recent regional-show regular Efrain Escudero (17-3 MMA, 0-0 BFC) meets fellow lightweight Ceasar Avila (6-1 MMA, 0-0 BFC) on the event's preliminary card.
The official Bellator 55 card includes:
MAIN CARD (MTV2)
Marcos Galvao vs. Alexis Vila (bantamweight tourney semifinal)
Eduardo Dantas vs. Ed West (bantamweight tourney semifinal)
Champ Christian M'Pumbu vs. Travis Wiuff (non-title light-heavyweight fight)
Ricardo Tirloni vs. Steve Gable
PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike.com)
Cesar Avila vs. Efrain Escudero
Carlos Flores vs. Richard Hale
Edgar Garcia vs. Jacob Ortiz
Erin Beach vs. Roscoe Jackson
Nick Piedmont vs. Jade Porter
Dano Moore vs. Steve Steinbeiss
Friday's XFC 14 fight card finalized, HDNet lineup undergoes two changes
With Friday's XFC 14 event quickly approaching, the promotion has announced a few late changes to the lineup.
Welterweight Nicolae Cury (5-2) replaces Charles Blanchard and now faces Elijah Harshbarger (6-3), and featherweight John Mahlow (12-12) steps in for Lawson McClure to face Bruce Connors (8-3).
Both fights air Friday on HDNet as part of the seven-bout main card of "XFC 14: Resurrection."
Featuring a headliner of former WEC champion Jamie Varner (17-5-1) vs. fellow lightweight Nate Jolly (10-3), XFC 14 takes place Oct. 21 at UCF Arena in Orlando, Fla., on the campus of the University of Central Florida.
With the official changes, the latest XFC 14 lineup now includes:
MAIN CARD (HDNet)
Nate Jolly vs. Jamie Varner
Scott Barrett vs. Carmelo Marrero
Marianna Kheyfets vs. Molly Helsel
Josh Clark vs. Reggie Pena
Nicolae Cury vs. Elijah Harshbargar
Mike Bernhard vs. Mikey Gomez
Bruce Connors vs. John Mahlow
Dustin Jacoby vs. Brad Tavares promoted to UFC 137 main card
Georges St-Pierre's misfortune is a gain for Dustin Jacoby Brad Tavares.
The middleweights, who had been relegated to the Facebook-streamed preliminary card for next week's UFC 137 event, have been promoted the pay-per-view main card, UFC officials today confirmed with MMAjunkie.com.
A PPV slot opened when an injured St-Pierre was forced out of UFC 137's championship headliner with Carlos Condit.
Cesar Gracie on B.J. Penn vs. Nick Diaz - 'Let's Make it Five Rounds'
It looks like Nick Diaz wants to go five rounds with B.J. Penn in the new main event of UFC 137, despite Dana White stating it would only be a three-rounder on twitter earlier today. Of course, they are now in the marquee spot because Georges St. Pierre was forced out of his headlining bout with Carlos Condit due to a knee injury. As usual, Nick's manager Cesar Gracie is leading the campaign for a five-rounder, speaking to MMA Fighting about the idea:
"If they can't fight five rounds against each other, how are they going to fight five rounds against GSP?," Gracie said to MMAFighting.com on Tuesday.
UFC champ St-Pierre out of UFC 137 with injury, Diaz vs. Penn named new headliner
An injury has forced UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre (22-2 MMA, 16-2 UFC) out of next weekend's UFC 137 event and a title fight with Carlos Condit (27-5 MMA, 4-1 UFC).
UFC president Dana White today tweeted the news.
A co-main event between B.J. Penn (16-7-2 MMA, 12-6-2 UFC) and Nick Diaz (25-7 MMA, 6-4 UFC) has been promoted to the main event. It'll be contested at three rounds.
Sonnen hints loser-leaves-town offer off table, but promises to push for Silva rematch
Chael Sonnen made a limited-time offer to Anderson Silva. The loser-leaves-town fight he presented the middleweight champ is apparently off the table.
"That offer was good when I made it, but it's like any offer: They've got to expire," Sonnen said today during an appearance on "The Jim Rome Show."
But as with many proclamations given by Sonnen, it's a good bet that just the opposite is true, or the entire offer was never true.
Rich Franklin: 'Sometimes The UFC Doesn't Really Have My Back'
Former UFC middleweight champion, Rich Franklin, has always been portrayed as the UFC's ultimate company man. Whether it's moving between weight classes to make way for younger, more talented fighters, fighting at catch-weights in bouts with no divisional relevance, or taking part in countless media opportunities, press tours, and promotional activities, "Ace" has always gone above and beyond to do whatever Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta, or Joe Silva ask of him. This is partly because Franklin is one of the UFC's most well-spoken and highly educated fighters, and also because he has a large fan-base and appeal as the all-American good-guy fighter who's rarely in a boring fight.
St. Pierre Out of UFC 137
An injury has forced UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre (22-2 MMA, 16-2 UFC)out of next weekend's UFC 137 event and a title fight with Carlos Condit (27-5 MMA, 4-1 UFC).
Tito Ortiz Names Himself 'The People's Champ'
Tito Ortiz may be 1-5-1 in his last seven bouts, but his shocking win over Ryan Bader at UFC 132 was enough to keep Tito in the UFC and just relevant enough. Tito is now set to face Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 140 and, somewhat shockingly, is only a slight underdog (+130 to +145). It opened even closer with Ortiz only a +110 underdog.
Maybe this was based on Tito's one win in five years, or maybe it's his new status as "The People's Champion." Via ESPN:
Jon Robinson: I was at your fight against Ryan Bader and the look on your face after you won was one of such pure joy, I can't remember seeing you that happy before. What did that moment mean to you?
Tito Ortiz: It meant that everything had paid off. My whole legacy, my whole career depended on that fight. I trained really hard and had some great guys around me training with me. It was almost like winning my world title. A lot of people didn't believe in me. A lot of people couldn't believe that I was still here. I had neck surgery, lower back surgery and a lot of athletes don't compete after that. I showed that I'm able to compete against the best guys in the world, and I think that will help show people that if they believe in themselves, if they believe in their dream, they can accomplish anything. That's why I changed my name to The People's Champ. I want everyone to know that I'm here for the fans. I want them to know that they can bounce back from anything.
Danny Castillo vs. Shamar Bailey Set for UFC 139 in San Jose
It appears that the fight card for UFC 139 in San Jose, California is now full with the addition of a lightweight match-up between Danny Castillo and Shamar Bailey. The UFC announced the bout via Twitter today:
Anyone wondering who @ShamarBailey and Danny Castillo @lastcall155 have agreed to fight next? Mmm how bout each other, UFC 139 #beastmode
Jorge Santiago Released by the UFC
Jorge Santiago has been released by the UFC. The Middleweight fighter is coming off a loss to Demian Maia at UFC 136. Santiago made his return to the UFC earlier this year, losing to Brian Stann at UFC 130 before falling to Maia. This was Santiago's second run in the UFC as he was 1-2 in the company back in 2006.
In the years between his two UFC runs, Santiago established himself as one of the top Middleweights in the world outside of the UFC, putting together a solid 11-1 record. His major success came in Japan, where he claimed the Sengoku Middleweight championship and turned some heads with a pair of classic fights against Kazuo Misaki. His work in Japan earned him a lot of respect, and many fans were excited about his return to the UFC.
ProElite signs broadcast deal with HDNet
ProElite is back on cable television.
The organization announced late Monday night that it had signed a multi-fight broadcast deal with HDNet to air its events live on the cable network. As a result, ProElite: Big Guns will air live on HDNet on Nov. 5 from the iWireless Center in Moline, IL.
"Our multi-fight agreement with HDNet elevates the ProElite brand to a national MMA audience with a preeminent broadcast partner," said Paul Feller, President and CEO of Stratus Media Group, the parent company of ProElite, and Chairman of the organization. "This strategic partnership offers new opportunities for corporate sponsors and advertisers looking to reach this passionate and rapidly growing audience of ProElite fans."
Lindland: I've got the gameplan for Chael to finish Silva in 3 rounds
JS: Haha, sounds sensible. Now you’ve gone on record as stating that Anderson is already attempting to shirk Chael. If the fight eventually materialises, how would Chael fare in the rematch?
ML: I think the rematch would look just like the first one, except I’ve got a game plan for Chael to finish him before the end of the third round. So, yeah it’ll look similar to their first encounter, but with some additional techniques and strategy, it won’t make it to the championship rounds.
JS: WOW, ok. Just trying to probe a little further, would these additional techniques involve wrestling submission holds or BJJ?
ML: (Sounds jokingly astounded) BJJ submissions? We are not Brazilians. We are Americans. You understand that right? Why would we be working BJJ? We do not employ BJJ. We employ American wrestling submissions.
Koscheck: I'm about making money
“I don’t have much longer in this career and at this point I want to take big fights, big names, and sell the hell out of the fight and go in there and perform and win,” Koscheck told MMAWeekly.com recently.
Speaking very honestly about his standing in the welterweight division, Koscheck knows that as long as Georges St-Pierre is champion, he’s not likely to get a third shot at the belt, having lost to the Canadian twice already.
“I don’t see myself fighting for the title any time soon unless Georges loses,” Koscheck stated. “Would you guys want to see a third GSP/Koscheck fight right away? I mean, I’m down for it don’t get me wrong, but that’s a tough sell for the UFC.”