Eric Schafer returns to UFC, meets Aaron Simpson at UFC 136
With Nick Catone (9-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) out of the fight due to injury, UFC veteran and jiu-jisu ace Eric "Red" Schafer (12-5-2 MMA, 3-4 UFC) is returning to the UFC.
Middleweight Aaron Simpson (10-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) recently announced Schafer as his new opponent.
Featuring a pair of title fights in the evening's headlining contests, UFC 136 takes place Oct. 8 at Houston's Toyota Center.
The evening's main card airs on pay-per-view. Simpson vs. Schafer takes place on the evening's preliminary card.
UFC officials have not formally announced the change...
Ortiz vs. Lil Nog added to UFC 140
A bout between light-heavyweight stars that was supposed to happen for the Ultimate Fighting Championship in March will take place in December instead, if everything goes as planned.
UFC 140 will include Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Tito Ortiz, the organization announced Friday. The Dec. 10 show will take place in Toronto...
Joe Son Sentenced to Life in Prison for Felony Torture
Joseph Hyungmin Son, better known as Joe Son, on Friday was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole for the 1990 gang rape of a woman walking her dog on Christmas Eve.
According to a press release issued by the Orange County District Attorney, Son, 40, was convicted on one felony count of torture on Aug. 25. The former fighter had been charged with numerous felony counts of sexual offenses on Oct. 1, 2008, but the charges were not pursued, as the statute of limitations had run out.
Son was identified by a DNA sample he provided as part of a plea during a May 2008 arrest for felony vandalism. Son’s DNA sample was linked to a DNA sample collected from the victim in 1990, and Son was arrested on Oct. 7, 2008 by Huntington Beach Police Department detectives.
As outlined in the district attorney’s release, Son -- along with co-defendant Santiago Lopez Gaitan, 40, of San Antonio -- abducted the victim at approximately 12:30 a.m. on Dec. 24, 1990, forcing her into their vehicle and driving away. While holding the victim at gunpoint and threatening to kill her repeatedly, Son “repeatedly raped, sodomized and forced [the victim] to orally copulate him in the back of the car. He also penetrated her vagina with a firearm.” According to the release, Gaitlan also raped the victim and forced her to orally copulate him.
Cesar Gracie: 'No One Is Talking About the Carlos Condit Fight'
LayzieTheSavage of Middleeasy.com fame spoke with Cesar Gracie and got some choice quotes out of Nick Diaz's coach and manager. For those that haven't been paying attention, following the press conference on Wednesday, Cesar Gracie went on the defensive agreeing with the decision made by Dana White to pull Nick Diaz from the title fight with Georges St. Pierre at UFC 137. In a complete 180, Gracie's interview with LayzieTheSavage takes the side of his client and student.
On the current relationship with Nick:
"Nick is like family. People don't understand that you can get mad, you can get mad at your brother because it doesn't mean anything. Some people read into it like I kicked him off the team. I don't care what he does in the UFC. I mean I care but I'm not going to kick him off the team over it.
On the B.J. Penn fight:
"This is the better fighter of the two. Georges St. Pierre is the bigger fighter of the two. He can beat people by being bigger or whatever. But this is the better fighter of the two. He's more technical. He's got a better ground game. He's got a better stand up game."
On the title fight being cancelled:
"I talked to Dana after he pulled the fight. I explained why it was a mistake to pull the fight. I understood. I was as mad at Nick as anybody. When I calmed down a little bit and looked at the situation, I said not only am I Nick's trainer, manager...whatever, but I'm also a fan of the sport. And I'm thinking "why is Dana punishing the fans of the sport?" Punish Nick. Fine him a nice fat hefty fine. Do whatever you're gonna do and punish him. All he did was miss a press conference. Seriously? Did one fan in this world even care? It did not make sense to me. I told them this afterwards.
UFC Throws Curveball at Bellator's Plans to Move to Spike TV
Back in August after the UFC announced that it had inked an historic deal with Fox, one of the major questions rooted from the news was whether Bellator Fighting Championships, now the assumed #2 promotion in the landscape of MMA after Zuffa acquired Strikeforce, would replace the UFC on Spike TV. In the months leading up to the deal, rumors circulated that Spike TV executives were seen at Bellator's events, and those rumors were confirmed after the UFC/Fox deal by a number of media outlets. Bellator champions Joe Warren and Eddie Alvarez have been involved in promoting future Bellator events on Spike TV professional wrestling programs. The assumptions weren't without proof. Spike TV was toying with the idea all along.
Now, a report from MMAJunkie.com's Dann Stupp confirms what many of us already knew. Viacom, Spike TV and MTV2's parent company, is keen to the idea of moving Bellator to Spike TV. According to the report, a source stated, "It's going to happen. It's not 'if' but 'when.' Throw 'if' out the window. The only question is if it's next year or the year after."
A deal seems clear cut considering Viacom owns both MTV2 and Spike TV, but the UFC still has the ability to thwart Bellator's efforts to make the transition. It isn't without its own consequences however:
While Spike TV no longer will air live UFC events after this year, its existing contract allows it to air the UFC library (including past events, former "TUF" seasons, "UFC Unleashed" episodes and specialty programming) in 2012. However, as long as Spike TV has the rights to the content, it can't air programming - including live events - from other organizations, such as Bellator, until 2013.
However, the UFC could purchase and reclaim the library if it can reach a deal with Spike TV.
"If they made a decent offer, we'd probably sell," one Viacom source said. "Spike's preference next year is to have Bellator on air."
Despite BAMMA weight gaffe, Daley's manager says "Semtex" belongs at welterweight
Paul Daley today came in five pounds heavy for his co-headliner fight with Jordan Radev at BAMMA 7, but the fight will go on.
The onetime Strikeforce welterweight title challenger weighed in at 176 pounds and declined to cut any more weight. Radev weighed in at 171 and after initial negotiations decided to take the fight in spite of Daley's miss.
Daley was handed over a percentage of his purse for the infraction – his sixth in two-plus years – though his manager, Wad Alameddine, declined to disclose the amount docked.
Shark Fights 20 features Chris Camozzi vs. Matt Lucas, airs on FUEL TV via tape delay
The Texas-based Shark Fights organization returns to Nevada on Oct. 15.
Featuring a middleweight headliner between "The Ultimate Fighter 11" cast member Chris Camozzi and 12-time Rage in the Cage veteran Matt Lucas, "Shark Fights 20: Camozzi vs. Lucas" takes place at Laughlin's Edgewater Casino Resort and airs via three-week tape delay on FUEL TV.
Bellator Fighting Championships vet Georgi Karakhanyan and Xtreme Couture prospect Jimmy Jones are also featured on the card.
Dennis Hallman and John Makdessi agree to UFC 140 matchup in Toronto
Former welterweight Dennis Hallman (43-14-2 MMA, 3-5 UFC) is cutting down (his weight, not his shorts) and now meets lightweight John Makdessi (9-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) at UFC 140.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) confirmed verbal agreements are in place for the December fight, which MMADiehards.com first reported.
UFC officials have not formally announced the fight, which takes place Dec. 10 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
The night's main card airs live on pay-per-view, though Hallman vs. Makdessi likely will be part of the preliminary card.
Shocker: Nick Diaz rebooked to meet B.J. Penn in UFC 137 co-main event
Shortly after he booted Nick Diaz from a title fight with UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre, UFC president Dana White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that reporters would "flip out" if they knew whom he was putting opposite B.J. Penn, whose original opponent Carlos Condit was promoted to meet St-Pierre.
And considering the past 48 hours, White is not too far off the mark.
The UFC president today tweeted that Diaz (25-7 MMA, 6-4 UFC) has been re-booked to meet Penn (16-7-2 MMA, 12-6-2 UFC) in the co-main event of UFC 137, which takes place on Oct. 29 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
UFC Signs Tristar Gym Product, Francis Carmont for UFC 137 Debut
While accompany his friend and training partner, Georges St. Pierre to Las Vegas yesterday for the now infamous UFC 137 press conference, French fighter, Francis Carmont, managed to also get himself a UFC contract and a fight on the same card as St. Pierre. Carmont's trainer, Eric Keefe, who works under Firas Zahabi at Tristar Vale Tudo in Montreal, revealed the news to Sherdog:
According to trainer Eric O’Keefe, Carmont was in Las Vegas Wednesday with Tristar Gym teammate Georges St. Pierre for the promotion’s UFC 137 press conference, and the 16-7 fighter signed the dotted line before returning to the Montreal area on a redeye.
No opponent has yet been named, but O’Keefe says that he expects an opponent to be offered in the coming days.
Nick Catone out of UFC 136 fight against Aaron Simpson
The injury bug has hit Nick Catone once again.
"The Jersey Devil" has been forced to withdraw from his UFC 136 fight against Aaron Simpson due to an undisclosed injury, sources close to the fighter confirmed with MMAFighting.com.
The 30-year-old, who has only fought once since January 2010 due to several different injuries, including a serious back injury, most recently defeated Costantinos Philippou at UFC 128 in March. No word on the severity of his most recent ailment or who will replace him against Simpson.
Nick Diaz Responds With a Video: 'I'm Sorry I Didn't Make It to the Beauty Pageant
Unless you've been under a rock all day, you're probably aware of the Nick Diaz situation by now. He was removed from his UFC 137 welterweight title fight with Georges St. Pierre because he missed two press conferences and went MIA. Well, he's alive and well and chose to make a Youtube video to explain himself. Sort of. He doesn't address at all why he missed the press conferences, but he says he's ready to fight. About 16 times. He filmed the video while driving, on the way from San Francisco back to Stockton. He says he was trying to get on a plane to go to the press conference. He started by saying that he thinks Carlos Condit getting the fight with GSP is "ridiculous". He went off after that:
"Funny, one second I'm about to come into some money, do a little boxing, you know, f*uckin, probably lose some teeth. But um, I'm ready to get paid, ya know. So, I'll fight whoever, whatever, anything ya know. I'd definitely rather fight GSP of course. Ya know, I was ready to do some boxing, and they didn't like that. So they got me outta that, and they got me in the fight with GSP for the same money, or more money, or whatever. But now it looks like they get to save money, and I don't get paid, and I'm locked in a new contract. All these dealmakers making deals. All I know is I'm ready to fight. I'm sorry I didn't make it to the beauty pageant. But, ya know, I've never not showed up to a fight. I've never backed out of a fight in my life, that's not what I do. So I just wanted to throw that out there."
Who's going to fight B.J. Penn at UFC 137? Dana White hints at "crazy" option
Of all the phone calls he had to make following Nick Diaz's no-show of a press conference in support of UFC 137, Dana White wasn't thrilled about informing B.J. Penn (16-7-2 MMA, 12-6-2 UFC) that he had poached the fighter's original opponent, Carlos Condit (27-5 MMA, 4-1 UFC), to headline opposite welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre.
"B.J. doesn't know anything," White said today following a sudden announcement that Diaz (25-7 MMA, 6-4 UFC) had been bounced from his fight with St-Pierre (22-2 MMA, 16-2 UFC). "I'm sure I'm going to have one seriously pissed off Hawaiian to deal with."
Greg Jackson Will Not Train Georges St. Pierre or Carlos Condit
Coming out of today's bombshell announcement that Carlos Condit would be replacing Nick Diaz to face Georges St. Pierre for the UFC Welterweight title at UFC 137, several questions immediately began to surface. One of the big ones - how would Greg Jackson, trainer to both St. Pierre and Condit, handle this situation?
Now, just a few hours after the big news, we have our answer. Jackson will not train or corner either man. He spoke to Ariel Helwani at MMA Fighting to clarify:
Teammate protocols are pretty clear in this situation so everybody knows what happening. I step out, the other coaches -- John [Danaher], Phil [Nurse] and Firas [Zahabi] -- will take care of GSP and probably [Mike] Winkeljohn and some of the other guys here will take care of Carlos. But I step out of it, so I won't be cornering either guy. They'll fight each other. Those are the new teammate protocols. We knew this would be coming -- it will probably be coming again --but this time we are very well prepared.
White unsure on whether to cut Diaz, says financial blow from Diaz absence "pretty big"
UFC president Dana White said he's perfectly within his rights to cut Nick Diaz (25-7 MMA, 6-4 UFC) from the contract he inked just three months ago.
But he is unsure whether he'll do so.
"I'm still blown away by this thing," White today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I've got to take a couple of days and figure this thing out."
As of now, the executive is still dealing with the fallout from Diaz's absence. The former Strikeforce welterweight champion today no-showed his second consecutive press conference to promote UFC 137, which prompted White to remove Diaz from a welterweight title fight with champ Georges St-Pierre (22-2 MMA, 16-2 UFC) and slot former WEC champ Carlos Condit (27-5 MMA, 4-1 UFC) in his place.
"Shocked" St-Pierre believes Condit presents bigger challenge than Diaz at UFC 137
Count UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre (22-2 MMA, 16-2 UFC) among those shocked by Nick Diaz's press conference no-shows.
"I don't understand how someone can not show up to an opportunity like this," St-Pierre said during a Wednesday press conference at Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay Events Center. "I just can't believe it. It's amazing. I don't know what to say. It's crazy."
But now that the former Strikeforce champ has been yanked from a planned UFC 137 title shot, St-Pierre said he believes new opponent Carlos Condit (27-5 MMA, 4-1 UFC) now presents a stiffer test.