Rashad Evans: Greg Jackson is About Greg Jackson, Not the Team
The word divorce rarely comes along with anything but a negative connotation attached to it.
Whether it’s a couple splitting up or a company separating from an employee or shareholder, divorce is never easy.
So it’s without much surprise that the very public split between UFC 145 headliner Rashad Evans and his former coach Greg Jackson has been anything but friendly.
Nate Marquardt expects vacant welterweight title to be on the line in Strikeforce debut fight against Tyron Woodley
The past 12 months have been a roller coaster for Nate Marquardt.
In March of 2011, "The Great" had just won a unanimous decision victory over Dan Miller at UFC 128. It appeared as though he was getting his career back on track, and he was re-energized by a move down to Welterweight, where he was set to fight Rick Story at UFC on Versus 4 in the main event of the evening. Everything was coming together nicely.
And then it happened.
The day before the Story fight, Marquardt was pulled from the match because of elevated testosterone levels. The withdrawal sent the entire card into disarray and caused Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White to immediately fire Marquardt and declare he'd never fight in the UFC again.
Fast forward one year later.
In the interim, Marquardt signed with the BAMMA, but never actually stepped foot in the cage for the British-based promotion. After being granted his release from the promotion earlier this year, there was speculation of Marquardt signing with Bellator, as well as a few other smaller promotions, before it was finally made official that he'd be signing with Zuffa-owned Strikeforce.
In February, it was announced that Marquardt's first fight for Strikeforce would be opposite welterweight contender Tyron Woodley. According to a recent interview Marquardt had with "Inside MMA," the fight will be for the vacant 170-pound belt:
Bruno Santos out due to injury, Andreas Spang to face Brian Rogers at Bellator 66
Unbeaten Brazilian Bruno “Carioca” Santos has been forced from Bellator Fighting Championships’ sixth-season middleweight tournament due to a shoulder injury.
Santos, who earned his slot in the tournament semifinals by outpointing Giva Santana on March 16, was slated to face Brian Rogers this Friday at Bellator 66. Instead, promotion officials today announced that Rogers will take on late replacement and Bellator newcomer Andreas Spang (Pictured) at the I-X Center in Cleveland.
“I don’t know anything about my new opponent,” Rogers wrote on Twitter. “I don’t care, so don’t ask me about it. You have Google just like me, guys.
Big Nog favors a fight pitting dos Santos against Mir or Hunt over of a rematch with Velasquez
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira would like to see his friend and teammate, Junior dos Santos, fight either Frank Mir or Mark Hunt instead of a rematch with Cain Velasquez whom he last defeated according to fightersonlymagazine.co.uk.
Dos Santos' current opponent, Alistair Overeem, is at risk of being removed from the upcoming UFC 146 heavyweight title bout due to a recently failed drug test. Overeem will appear before the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) on April 24 for a hearing as well as requesting for a fight license.
Tim Sylvia reveals 'big announcement,' says he would 'absolutely' do The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) if he had to
Remember that "big announcement" former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia was teasing for April 14? Well he revealed all on his Twitter account and while some were surely hoping Dana White had changed his mind about bringing "The Maine-iac" back to the UFC, that's simply not the case.
Instead, it was just as my colleague Jesse Holland said it would be: a simple fight announcement on a regional show later this year.
Indeed, Sylvia announced at the Fight Night 2 event in Biddeford, Maine, that he will be returning to action on June 16 in Lewiston, Maine, against an opponent to be announced later.
That doesn't mean Timmah is giving up his dream of making a return trip to the Octagon one day. In fact, when he's not outright begging to be let back in or retweeting fans pleading to the powers that be, Sylvia was telling The Hammerfisting Podcast that he would go through The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) house to earn his spot.
UFC 146: Dana White Doesn't Want To Talk About Alistair Overeem, Letting Due Process Run Its Course
The biggest story in the UFC remains Alistair Overeem's positive test for elevated testosterone levels ahead of his scheduled UFC 146 challenge for Junior dos Santos' heavyweight title. When news first broke of Overeem's test, UFC president Dana White described himself as "beyond pissed" and said anyone getting caught using banned substances is a "brain-dead dummy."
Dana has been quiet on the Overeem front since that point, seeming to have decided it was for the best to not lose his mind in public. In fact, that's exactly what White told reporters at the press conference for UFC on Fuel TV 2 (via MMA Fighting):
"I will snap and freak out and I don't want to do that," White told reporters following the conclusion of the press conference.
Dana White still certain UFC unable to conduct its own random PED testing
With Alistair Overeem facing the Nevada State Athletic Commission on April 24, UFC president Dana White is less than two weeks away from knowing whether or not he'll still have Overeem's services in the headlining slot of UFC 146.
Overeem, of course, is the latest fighter accused of abusing testosterone replacement therapy after a random NSAC test found his testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio was 14-to-1, well over the allowable 6-to-1 ratio.
So is White now ready to ramp up monitoring and institute a UFC-run random-testing procedure? Absolutely not, said White. It's simply not realistic.
"We don't do random testing," White said at Saturday's post-UFC on FUEL TV 2 press conference in Stockholm. "First of all, all the guys who come into the UFC, now we changed the policy. You sign a deal with us, you get tested. You go into 'The Ultimate Fighter,' you get tested. We test. We don't even have to [expletive] test. That's not what we do. That's what the athletic commission does.
"Then the athletic commission now is doing random tests before, leading up to the fight, after the fight. They're being tested like crazy. The [expletive] testing in this sport is insane. It is literally the gold standard in all of sports."
UFC boss hints door may be open for Muhammed 'King Mo' Lawal's return to Zuffa
Former Strikeforce champ Muhammed Lawal is still unemployed and unlicensed, but UFC president Dana White on Saturday seemed to suggest there may be a light at the end of the tunnel for "King Mo."
White praised Lawal for his recent dealings with the NSAC and suggested he would be willing to at least talk about a return to Zuffa umbrella.
"We'll see how this whole thing goes down," White said. "The fact that he called her and reached out to her, I mean that's what he should have done."
UFC on FUEL TV 2 draws 15,428 attendance and record $2.23 million live gate
Today's UFC on FUEL TV 2 event drew 15,428 attendees for a $2.23 million live gate.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) confirmed the attendance and gate figures at the night's post-event press conference.
The event, which took place at Stockholm's Ericsson Globe Arena, set a venue record for a live gate at a sporting event, UFC president Dana White said.
Without a local athletic commission working in Sweden, official figures won't be available for the show, which included a main card on FUEL TV and prelims on Facebook.
UFC on FUEL TV 2, which featured Swede Alexander Gustafsson's unanimous-decision victory over Thiago Silva in the headliner, produced one of the biggest non-pay-per-view events in UFC history.
Rally falls short, Mark Hunt 'ain't gonna' fight champ Junior Dos Santos at UFC 146
It was a valiant effort, Mark Hunt fans. But the rally will come up short.
Following a massive online campaign to get Mark Hunt under consideration for a potential title fight – complete with its own #RallyforMarkHunt hashtag – UFC president Dana White squelched the possibility.
If Alistair Overeem isn't cleared to fight heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos at UFC 146, Hunt won't be the replacement.
"They can keep rallying," White said on Saturday following UFC on FUEL TV 2 at Stockholm's Ericsson Globe Arena. "That ain't going to happen.
"Listen, Mark Hunt is going to have to fight one of the top guys. You don't just jump right into the title shot."
White suggests UFC could create regional fight circuits and champions
The way Dana White sees it, the organization needs more events, not fewer.
As the UFC president hits a grueling part of a ridiculously busy 2012 fight schedule, White sees a need to add even more shows to the lineup.
As White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), it's the only way to keep a consistent presence in key international markets while also giving new fighters – specifically those on the new international editions of "The Ultimate Fighter" reality series – a place to cut their teeth.
"The bottom line is as we start kicking off all these 'Ultimate Fighters' in other countries, it's going to open up the floodgates for a lot more fighters, and guys are going to need a lot more experience," White told MMAjunkie.com after Saturday's UFC on FUEL TV 2 event in Stockholm. "So, we're working on it."
Aaron Simpson To Make Welterweight Debut Against Jon Fitch
Aaron Simpson decided that he wanted to be a big welterweight instead of a smaller middleweight, and will make the drop to 170 pounds. He'll be in tough in his debut fight though, drawing one of the top welterweights in the world. MMA Weekly has the news:
Aaron Simpson’s first trip to welterweight will be a tough test for the former NCAA All-American, as he faces former title contender Jon Fitch.
Sources close to the fight confirmed the bout to MMA Weekly on Wednesday with bout agreements issued for the contest, but no date has been named yet for the event the welterweight showdown will take place at.
Rumors have placed the Fitch vs. Simpson bout’s likely landing pad at UFC 149 in Calgary, but again nothing is set in stone at this time.
UFC On fuel 2 Bonuses: Pickett, Page, Bahadurzada, Maguire cake in $50,000
Four men walked away with post-fight bonuses at UFC on Fuel TV 2, as Brad Pickett, Damacio Page, John Maguire and Siyar Bahadurzada each took home an extra $50,000 on Saturday.
Pickett and Page were awarded “Fight of the Night” for their two-round bantamweight affair, while Maguire and Bahadurzada pocketed “Submission of the Night” and “Knockout of the Night,” respectively. Headlined by a light heavyweight conflict between hometown favorite Alexander Gustafsson and American Top Team representative Thiago Silva, UFC on Fuel TV 2 marked the UFC’s inaugural trip to Sweden and took place at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm.
Anderson Silva-Chael Sonnen Rematch Date Could Be Changed
In March, the UFC officially announced the date and location of the Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen rematch, but now the timing of the fight appears to be up in the air.
At a press conference following Saturday's UFC on FUEL event, UFC president Dana White confirmed that the date is no sure thing. In trying to finalize the show -- originally scheduled for June 23 -- the UFC has come up against some resistance because Rio happens to be hosting a United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development during the same week.
"The problem is, they don't like the idea of us coming the same time this United Nations convention is going on," he said. "The other problem is hotel rooms. Most of the hotel rooms are being taken up. And we don't think, we know that the Anderson Silva-Chael Sonnen fight is one of the biggest sporting events this year, in the world."
Alistair Overeem breaks silence, confident he will fight Junior dos Santos at UFC 146
Embattled Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight number one contender Alistair Overeem, who put his UFC 146 headliner opposite Junior dos Santos in jeopardy after failing a pre-fight drug test, has finally broken his silence.
But "Demolition Man" has (still) refused to address his upcoming hearing with the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), scheduled for April 24, 2012 in Las Vegas.
Instead, Overeem broke down his gameplan for his championship fight against "Cigano," (still) scheduled for May 26 at "Sin City's" MGM Grand Garden Casino (until we hear otherwise).
Perhaps "The Reem" knows something we don't?
Check out the transcript from the Dutch striker (via Caged Insider), who was a guest on last night's edition of Spike TV's "MMA Uncensored Live," after the jump.
"I am bigger, I am stronger, I am better in the stand-up and I'm better on the ground. So for me, I don't think about what he is going to do to me. I think about what I am going to do to him and I am only thinking about what I am going to do to him. I am going to be ready wherever the fight takes me. I do prefer to strike, I do prefer a knockout over a submission win but I'm going to be ready for anything ... I'm going to get this guy, I'm going to beat him. Nothing scares me about Junior dos Santos. Everything he's doing, I've seen it before. I'm not worried about it, I've experienced it all. There's no fear, there's only two things - trained and untrained and when I step into the Octagon on May 26 I'm going to be trained."
Tito Ortiz ponders future in the WWE
Former UFC light-heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz expects Forrest Griffin to be his final fight with the promotion on July 7, and he hinted his future could be in the WWE.
In his prime Ortiz defended the 205lb belt more times than any other before or after him. A devastating ground-and-pound exponent, the Huntington Beach Bad Boy became one of the most popular figures in the sport.
However, a run of injuries has led to him winning just one of his last eight fights, and it is widely expected that he will bow out against Griffin. The pair have won one fight each, so this settles the trilogy.
"It's my final hurrah, Forrest brings the best out of me and vice-versa, and on July 7 we're gonna get some late fireworks," Ortiz told ESPN.
"I've had some major surgeries but I took the fights anyway, and I've shown that I'm able to compete. A lot of athletes don't compete with injuries, but I have. Those fights with Forrest were tight, and a completion of the trilogy should be the right way to end my career...
Tito Ortiz content with upcoming retirement, hoping for UFC front-office job
Yes, Tito Ortiz is going through with his planned retirement. His UFC 148 bout with Forrest Griffin will be the final one of his illustrious career.
For real. Seriously. No joking, you guys.
While some fighters find retirement too uncomfortable and a return to the cage too enticing, the 37-year-old Ortiz told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) he's preparing himself mentally for the end of the line.
"It's my last fight after 15 years," Ortiz told MMAjunkie.com while in Stockholm for promotional duties and fan events at UFC on FUEL TV 2. "I don't know what it's going to feel like to walk out for the last time, step in the octagon for the last time, to walk out of the octagon for the last time. Honestly, man, I don't know what to expect."
In fact, Ortiz (16-10-1 MMA, 15-10-1 UFC) said he recently signed a contract for his bout with Griffin (18-7 MMA, 9-5 UFC), which is part of the pay-per-view main card of UFC 148. The bout takes place July 7 at Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena. As Ortiz put pen to paper for the fight, just that simple act put him in a nostalgic mood...
James Te Huna To Face Brandon Vera At UFC On Fuel 4 In July
Light heavyweight slugger James Te Huna will return to the octagon in July, and he'll be facing a veteran who will be making his comeback from injury. UFC on Fuel doesn't have a date or location yet, but it has a fight. The source? Te Huna himself tweeted about the fight a little while ago:
Jamie Te Huna
I'm fighting Brandon Vera, UFC on fuel 4
Apr 12 via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply
Te Huna (14-5) has competed four times in the UFC, picking up three wins. His only loss was to UFC on Fuel 2 main eventer Alexander Gustafsson by first-round submission at UFC 127. His last two bouts have lasted a total of two minutes and fifty-five seconds, with the New Zealand native winning by KO over Ricardo Romero and TKO over Aaron Rosa, respectively.
UFC Supports International MMA Federation With Olympic Aspirations
The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Thursday officially threw its support behind the creation of the new International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF).
The UFC statement said the promotion “wholeheartedly supports this new initiative as well as its leader, IMMAF President August Wallén, who will spearhead the initial growth of this Federation.”
Wallén is a mixed martial arts trainer, who also holds a 6-1 professional record in the sport, as well as a 4-1 amateur record.
IMMAF, through the organization of national mixed martial arts federations, hopes to enable the possibility of international amateur competitions with a common set of rules and regulations, furthering the growth and development of the sport on a worldwide level.
One of IMMAF’s primary goals is to help MMA become and Olympic sport...