Tatsuya Kawajiri Drops to Featherweight, Takes on Joachim Hansen on DREAM.17
He's already the #9 ranked lightweight in the USA Today / SBN consensus rankings, but he will soon be trying to crush guys in another division. He's done very well at lightweight, but after failing to wrest both the DREAM and Strikeforce lightweight titles, DREAM officials have announced today that Tatsuya Kawajiri will now look to take on new challenges as a featherweight.
He will be making his debut against Joachim Hansen on September 24th, as part of the DREAM.17 card. This will be a rematch of their extremely quick and controversial bout back in 2006, when Kawajiri defended his Shooto welterweight (154 lbs.) title.
DREAM.17 - September 24, 2011 - Saitama Super Arena, Japan
Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Joachim Hansen
Shinya Aoki vs. Rob McCullough
Takeshi Inoue vs. Caol Uno
Willamy Freire vs. Satoru Kitaoka
Strikeforce's Gina Carano cleared for training, manager hopes for 2011 return
Gina Carano's doctor has cleared her to resume training, and if all goes well, she'll be back in the cage before the end of the year.
As with any Carano update, that's far from a promise, but it's the plan for now, manager Scott Karp today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
If nothing else, it appears the medical issue that precluded her from fighting this past June at "Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum" won't keep her from mixing it up in the gym.
Golden Glory trainer on recent UFC/Strikeforce cuts: "I think it's unfair"
Martin de Jong got a punch to the gut when he checked his email Wednesday morning.
In his inbox was a letter forwarded from Golden Glory manager Bas Boon that stated three of his fighters under the Zuffa umbrella had been cut due to recent losses.
The fighters included former Strikeforce women's bantamweight champion Marloes Coenen, UFC heavyweight Jon Olav Einemo and Strikeforce heavyweight Valentijn Overeem.
"This is a big blow for us," de Jong today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I feel it's kind of unfair to the fighters. They train hard. They put on exciting performances."
Are the cuts related to the recent strife between Alistair Overeem and Zuffa?
De Jong can't be sure.
"You tell me," he said. "I have no idea, but it doesn't look good. Of course, for us, it's really bad. I'm very disappointed. What can I say?"
Marloes Coenen cut by Strikeforce
A week after Zuffa released Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem from his contract, three of Overeem's Golden Glory teammates have also been cut, including former women's champion Marloes Coenen.
Golden Glory's Martin de Jong wrote on Twitter that Coenen, heavyweight John Olav Einemo and Overeem's brother Valentijn Overeem were all released by Zuffa.
There's clear tension at the moment between Golden Glory and Zuffa, the parent company of both the UFC and Strikeforce. Although Zuffa can point to the fact that Coenen, Einemo and Valentijn Overeem were all coming off losses, cutting them all and also cutting Alistair Overeem suggests that Zuffa doesn't want to deal with Golden Glory (which functions as both a gym and a promoter) at all.
Jim Miller unsure of title shot with win over Ben Henderson on Aug. 14
At a special conference call held today to promote the upcoming UFC on Versus 5 event on Aug. 14 in Milwaukee, lightweight wrecking ball Jim Miller continues his trend of being the best employee on the entire promotional roster.
That's because despite the fact that he's been all but promised the number one contender spot with a win over Ben Henderson, he's still ready and willing to fight everyone else under the sun except the champion, if that's what his bosses so choose.
Miller is already a champ in my book. What an exceptional attitude.
UFC returns to Toronto for UFC 140 on Dec. 10
Toronto has won the day for the UFC's next excursion into Canada.
After the promotion considered events in the Ontario capital as well as in Montreal, Quebec, which was the site of four previous (and lucrative) shows, Toronto's Air Canada Centre will host host UFC 140 on Dec. 10 .
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the event location with sources close to negotiations. ESPN first reported it.
Sergei Kharitonov: “Alex Emelianenko is a mistake of nature”
Sergei Kharitonov told ValeTudo.ru about Fedor`s fight and his brother Alex problems with akcohol, drugs, prison and more!
The long-expected SF: Fedor vs. Henderson tournament where Dan Henderson defeated Fedor Emelianenko in the main event of the evening took part yesterday. Not long before it Fedor’s brother Alexander Emelianenko gave a scandalous interview where he said some unflattering words about Strikeforce Grand prix semi-finalist Sergei Kharitonov. Sergeicould find some time during his preparation to Josh Barnett in Thailand and shared some of his thoughts on the last events with us.
Keith Jardine Dropping to Middleweight, Wants Cung Le
Former UFC and current Strikeforce fighter Keith Jardine is dropping to middleweight, and he has one name on his mind for a debut fight at 185 - former Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le. Le has been campaigning for a fight in the UFC, but Jardine wants to duke it out in a Strikeforce cage. He had a lot to say to MMA Weekly about Le:
"Just looking out there, they need to get a fight for me, and it needs to be a big named guy, I want it to be a big named guy. Looking at Strikeforce seeing who they’ve got and there’s not much bigger than Cung Le. I thought that would be a great match-up."
Aleksander Emelianenko Trashes Fedor's Coaches Following Loss to Dan Henderson
One of the few bright spots that were talked about during Fedor Emelianenko's preparations for his Strikeforce bout against Dan Henderson, was him re-uniting with his brother Aleksander. The two had a falling-out of sorts, and after two straight losses for Fedor, they mended fences and trained together again.
Shortly after his brother's loss though, Aleks spoke out and had some harsh words for Fedor's coaches. He talked to LifeSports.ru about it, in a phone interview (translated by Fighters Only):
"They sat like two amoebas, and did not know what to say. They were asked direct questions and would say, "It is difficult to say… we will see in the fight," - what kind of a coach says that? Only one who doesn’t understand the sport. I just call them ‘Stopwatch’ and ‘Towel’. That's as much use as they are, that's it,"
Leonard Garcia Out, Jim Hettes In Against Alex Caceres at UFC on Versus 5
Leonard Garcia will have to a wait a little while longer to try and get back into the win column. The veteran featherweight was forced out of his August 14th fight with Alex Caceres at UFC on Versus 5 and will be replaced by the debuting Jim Hettes. UFC.com has it:
"Leonard Garcia is out with an injury, so newly signed prospect Jim Hettes is taking his place vs Alex "Bruce Leroy" Caceres on August 14 in Milwaukee," said White. "Hettes is undefeated as a pro and has finished all opponents by submission. Caceres has also never gone the distance. Both fighters have verbally agreed to the bout."
UFC 133 Fight Card: Rashad Evans 'Would Love To Fight' Dan Henderson
Dan Henderson picked up a huge win this past Saturday, knocking out legendary heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson. With his contract ending with Strikeforce, and having picked up three solid wins in a row, it's no shock that the talk of a Hendo return to the UFC has picked up.
Rashad Evans was supposed to be fighting for the UFC light heavyweight championship this weekend against Jon Jones, but an injury forced Jones off the card followed by Phil Davis pulling out with injury leading to a rematch with Tito Ortiz. A win should move Evans into position to fight the winner of the Jones/Quinton Jackson fight for the UFC title. So, would Evans have any interest in fighting Henderson in some sort of fight with Dan in the future (assuming he regains the 205 pound strap)? He tells a recent ESPN.com chat that he'd love it (HT: MMA Mania):
I'm a big Hendo fan. I picked him [against Fedor] even though I didn't think he was really going to win, but it was a pleasant surprise. I would love to fight him. He's getting better and better -- not so much learning new techniques, but having a stronger competitive mentality.
Unemployed Hendo wants Jones vs. Rampage winner
“I think that could be interesting going forward, a unification fight with the winner of that contest would be a good match,” Dan Henderson told Telegraph Sport from his home tonight.
“I’m the Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion, I’ve beaten Fedor, and I’m unemployed, so we’ll have to see what the talks are now after I’ve had a few weeks off. It’s not a bad position to be in though.”
Strikeforce's Tim Kennedy takes Robbie Lawler to task after decision win
Tim Kennedy is looking for a fight. Does anyone have one for him?
The Special Forces soldier is frustrated. He said it's been a while since he's had a good scrap.
In his past three fights, his opponents have spent more time backing away from him than engaging.
He said his most recent opponent, Robbie Lawler (18-8 MMA, 2-4 SF), is guilty of that charge, and Kennedy (14-3 MMA, 5-1 SF) isn't afraid to say it. Following a unanimous decision over the former EliteXC champion this past Saturday, Kennedy, an active duty solider in the Texas National Guard, said he's getting tired of chasing down a firefight.
"I was really disappointed with myself, and honestly, Robbie," he today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I wanted to meet in the middle and go. I felt like I was chasing him for 15 minutes, so yeah, bittersweet."
Not two days after their meeting at "Strikeforce and M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Henderson," Kennedy is back at the gym, taking out his frustration on heavy bags and other things that can be hit.
2011 ABC Report on the Half Point MMA Scoring System
The Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) holds annual conventions, and last year veteran MMA referee and judge Nelson "Doc" Hamilton presented the Half-Point Scoring System as an alternative to the Ten Point Must. A Scoring Committee was then formed to explore the merits of the system and report their findings the following year.
If you're not familiar with the innovative ideas associated with the Half-Point System -- such as the broader gradient of available scores, the referee signaling a near-submission, or the role of the additional fourth judge -- you should be. I suggest reading Doc Hamilton's theory about the existing problems with MMA judging and how the Half-Point System would offer the freedom "to score bouts in a manner that accurately reflects the qualitative difference between the combatants."
The 2011 ABC convention concluded last weekend and I just received a copy of the Scoring Committee's analysis of the Half-Point System. I'm encouraged by the results. The report lays out the positive and negative aspects of each individual component of the system, and their findings indicate a very logical and realistic stance on the judging predicament overall. The entire report is posted in the full entry, but first, I'll extract and compile what I feel are the most noteworthy parts.
UFC Broadcast Partner Versus Re-Branding To NBC Sports
As the UFC continues to search for a solid long-term TV deal while dealing with an increasingly antagonistic relationship with Spike, it is Versus, the UFC's other home, that is undergoing a big change. The sports network, owned by NBC, is going to officially re-brand into NBC Sports. From AOL Sporting News:
Versus officially will turn into the NBC Sports Network on Jan. 2.
The name change, which has been rumored for much of the last year, is timed to coincide with NBC's broadcast of the NHL Winter Classic and the run-up to NBC's February telecast of Super Bowl XLVI.
"Our goal is for anyone who sees the name or logo of one of our assets to immediately connect with NBC Sports," said NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus. He will officially announce the name change today at the Television Critics Association tour in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Brazilian Lightweight Ricardo Tirloni Signs With Bellator Fighting Championships
CHICAGO, Ill. (August 1, 2011) - Bellator Fighting Championships confirmed today the signing of top Brazilian lightweight prospect Ricardo Tirloni. Tirloni joins a lightweight division that already features the likes of Season 4 Lightweight Tournament winner Michael Chandler, Patricky Pitbull, Rene Nazare, Marcin Held and Bellator Lightweight World Champion Eddie Alvarez.
Tirloni joins Bellator after compiling an impressive 13-1 record, with notable wins coming over UFC veteran Brian Cobb and WEC veteran Anthony Morrison. Out of his thirteen professional victories, Tirloni has picked up eleven finishes, with six submissions and five knockouts to his credit.
Reminder: "DREAM: Japan GP Final" replay debuts Friday on HDNet
As a reminder, a tape-delayed broadcast of July's "DREAM: Japan GP Final" event debuts on HDNet this week.
Officials recently announced that the July 16 event will debut on HDNet on Aug. 5 at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT).
The event, which didn't air live on North America, took place at Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo and featured two title fights, as well as the conclusion of the DREAM Japan bantamweight grand prix.
Herb Dean's Actual Missed Call Being Overlooked
One of the biggest stories in the wake of Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson was referee Herb Dean's actions in the main event. While I've written that I feel the stoppage was correct and that Dan Henderson had Fedor Emelianenko knocked out, others (such as MMA Nation's Jonathan Snowden) have taken issue with the speed of the stoppage and/or the strikes to the back of Fedor's head in the final moments of the fight.
The minor controversy has completely overshadowed a moment from the undercard which seems to point out a larger failing on the part of Dean. It appears that during the bout between Gesias Cavalcante and Bobby Green saw Cavalcante lock in a rear naked choke in the final moments of the second round. Sherdog explains:
...referee Herb Dean elected not to call the tapout at the bell, allowed the fight to proceed and left Cavalcante to sweat out a decision. The 28-year-old Brazilian was awarded a split verdict, as all three judges scored it 29-28, two of them in his favor.