Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker looking forward to Roger Gracie's MMA progression
One look at Keith Jardine's face, sliced open and a bloody mess on Saturday, and it was obvious his opponent was more than just some jiu-jitsu player looking to latch onto an arm.
Though Roger Gracie couldn't submit Jardine at "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy," and even got a little bit of a late challenge from him, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said he's looking forward to giving the middleweight a chance to move up the ladder.
"He's by far the No. 1 grappler in that weight class," Coker said. "Let's see how he progresses – we're going to get him some more fights."
Luke Rockhold unsatisfied with Strikeforce title defense, but wants rematch with 'Jacare'
Despite winning four rounds and defending his title for the second time, Luke Rockhold was less than thrilled with his win over Tim Kennedy.
Rockhold on Saturday defended his Strikeforce middleweight belt, taking a unanimous decision from Kennedy in the main event of "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy." But he said afterward he was kept frustrated most of the fight by his opponent.
"It just wasn't my best night and I like to be better every time," Rockhold told MMAjunkie.com at the post-fight news conference. "I wanted to finish the fight and I couldn't. He's tough. What can I say?"
Strikeforce winner Ryan Couture: 'Someday I want that belt'
Don't get him wrong: Strikeforce fighter Ryan Couture realizes he's got a long way to go before he's in the conversation for a lightweight title shot.
"But the ultimate goal is to win that Strikeforce belt and maybe a UFC belt at some point," Couture told MMAjunkie.com. "So I've just got to keep getting better and passing these tests, and eventually we'll be there."
Couture took one small step closer toward that end with another high-profile win on the preliminary-card of "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy" when he outpointed Bellator vet Joe Duarte.
With mind finally focused on fighting, Anthony Johnson sees 205 pounds as fresh start
Standing next to the 6-foot-2 Anthony Johnson, it's hard to believe the broad-shouldered slugger ever found a way to make it down to 170 pounds.
And while his critics would immediately point to the four times Johnson has missed weight in his 15 professional bouts, "Rumble" isn't interested in arguing about the past.
After electing to make the move to light heavyweight, Johnson insists he's happier than ever. The stress and worries that once accompanied his fighting career are gone, and at 28 years old, Johnson feels he's making a new start to his career.
Ronda Rousey, Luke Rockhold, Other Strikeforce Fighters Reportedly Contractually Blocked From Moving To UFC; Updated With Dana White's Denial
Dave Meltzer's latest podcast has a bit of shocking news that we'd not heard to this point when it comes to Strikeforce fighters. In the wake of last night's Strikeforce show that saw Luke Rockhold retain his Strikeforce middleweight title, Dave was discussing the idea of fighters in Strikeforce fighting the best in the UFC when he said the words "but that can't happen because of the deal with Showtime."
He went on to explain that this was the result of Showtime's paranoia over having Alistair Overeem, Nick Diaz and Dan Henderson lost to the UFC (all through slightly different circumstances):
"They made this list of guys and they said 'these are our guys' and, even if their contract expires, they can't move to UFC. That's part of their deal with keeping this alive. So these guys are stuck."
"He [Gilbert Melendez] couldn't go to UFC. He could go to Bellator if he wanted to, but he couldn't go to the UFC...
There's a list of guys, not everyone on Showtime is on the list, but Ronda Rousey is on the list, Gilbert Melendez is on the list, Luke Rockhold is on the list...
It's for as long as Showtime broadcasts MMA."
UPDATE: Meltzer clarified the Rousey situation:
I think it's important that we understand that this could be a misunderstanding, could be fact, could be somewhere in the middle. Meltzer has talked to people about it, it appears that if it is not the case, that some people think it is. Discuss it with that in mind.
Well, that didn't take long. UFC president Dana White tweeted earlier today that he was on his way to Australia for the the first episode of TUF: UK vs. Australia. Not long after he got there, he responded to Dave Meltzer's report regarding a deal that Zuffa made with Showtime that will see a collection of Strikeforce fighters staying with the organization as long as the two organizations continue to work together. Cindy O on the UG asked Dana if it was true, and he responded by text:
"idk wtf melzers problem is! Has this guy lost his mind? That is absolutely not true!"
New Strikeforce champ Nate Marquardt: 'I feel like I'm the best in the world'
Nate Marquardt's confidence is at an all-time high following a fourth-round knockout of Tyron Woodley that won him the Strikeforce welterweight title.
"I really feel like it's my time," he told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) following "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy." "I'm one of the best in the world, and actually, I feel like I'm the best in the world, the best welterweight."
Now, the question is what awaits him as champion.
Marquardt, for his part, didn't have an answer at the post-event press conference. But he appeared no less confident that another tough challenge is on the horizon.
"This is a sport where everybody at this level is going to be tough," he said. "But I feel like I'm the best in the world, and that's who I expect I'll be fighting for my next fight – is one of the best in the world."
Urijah Faber, Renan Barao Differ on Waiting to Fight Champ Dominick Cruz
Given Urijah Faber's history with Dominick Cruz, you would think that he would be hellbent on waiting to fight his rival and avenge his defeat. Faber would probably have that option if he beats Renan Barao in an interim bantamweight championship match at UFC 149. But Faber's not interested in putting his career on ice to make that happen.
Interestingly, Barao is taking the direct opposite approach. It's the Brazilian who says that if he wins, he'll wait until Cruz returns from a knee injury in order to fight him in a bout that determine supremacy in the weight class.
"I think I would want to want to wait to fight Dominick Cruz," he said. "That’s a fight that I would really want. And I would want to convert my interim title into a definitive title for the weight class."
But Faber? He has no interest in playing the waiting game.
"I'm not waiting for Dominick in any way, shape, or form," he said. "It makes sense for Carlos Condit to wait around for Georges St-Pierre. It’s a huge fight for him, but for me, of course, everyone wants to see the fight with Dominick and I, but I’m not going to put my life on hold because of his injuries. Fighting's what I do, it's how I make my living, it's what I love to do, and I’ll be fighting whenever they give me the opportunity."
UFC Targeting March 2013 for Next Stop in Japan
The Ultimate Fighting Championship returned to Japan for UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson this past February. It marked the promotion’s first event in Japan in more than a decade.
It appears the UFC is ready to return, already planning for another date at the Saitama Super Arena in 2013, according to NikkanSports.com.
MMAWeekly.com sources indicate that March 3 is the date that officials are circling on the calendar.
BJ Penn prepared to pay for UFC 152 pre-fight testing
“For much of his career, former UFC champion B.J. Penn (16-8-2 MMA, 12-7-2 UFC) has been an outspoken opponent of performance-enhancing drug use in the sport of mixed martial arts.
And so when the non-profit Voluntary Anti-Doping Association volunteered to sponsor pre-fight testing for Penn and his UFC 152 opponent, Rory MacDonald (13-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC), “The Prodigy” immediately agreed to take part.
Penn has since been forced to withdraw his support of the program due to VADA’s insistence the results of the testing be released prior to the matchup. However, the Hawaiian scrapper doesn’t want to nix the plan all together. Instead, he said he’s willing to foot the bill for the procedures if the organization can wait to make the results public.
Strikeforce: Rockhold Vs Kennedy Results
Champ Luke Rockhold def. Tim Kennedy via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
Nate Marquardt def. Tyron Woodley via knockout (elbows, punches) – Round 4, 1:39
Roger Gracie def. Keith Jardine via unanimous decision (29-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Lorenz Larkin def. Robbie Lawler via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Pat Healy def. Mizuto Hirota via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Ryan Couture def. Joe Duarte via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Jorge Masvidal def. Justin Wilcox via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
Jordan Mein def. Tyler Stinson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Jason High def. Nate Moore, submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 0:26
Showtime announces Sept. 29 Strikeforce card, including Daniel Cormier
After its August show in San Diego, Strikeforce will bring a fall show to Sacramento.
The promotion will host a Sept. 29 card at Power Balance Pavilion, formerly the ARCO Arena, in the California state capital. The card was announced Saturday during the Showtime broadcast of "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy."
Though a precise headliner wasn't announced, Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix winner Daniel Cormier will be on the card, likely in the main event.
Ken Stone meets Erik Perez in bantamweight bout at UFC 150 in Denver
A bout between a pair of bantamweights has been added to the UFC's return to Denver.
Ken Stone (11-3 MMA, 2-1 UFC) will meet Erik Perez (11-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) next month on the preliminary card of UFC 150. UFC officials on Saturday announced the fight booking.
UFC 150 takes place Aug. 11 at Denver's Pepsi Center and features a main event lightweight title fight between champion Benson Henderson and former champ Frankie Edgar, a rematch from their UFC 144 main event. Main-card fights air on pay-per-view, while FX and Facebook are expected to carry the prelims.
Chad Robichaux cites medical reasons for withdrawal from Legacy FC 12 headliner
In a statement released Thursday on his official Facebook page, Chad Robichaux said doctors discovered serious kidney problems after he failed to make weight for a flyweight title bout with Will Campuzano at Legacy Fighting Championship 12.
Robichaux bowed out of the headliner late Thursday after the fight was set as a non-title affair. AXS TV, which broadcasts tonight's event, confirmed his withdrawal.
Now headlining the event is a welterweight clash pitting veteran Jay Hieron against Romario Da Silva.
Chris Weidman firms up stance, wants next shot at UFC champ Anderson Silva
Chris Weidman asked for his fight with Mark Munoz, and things seemed to go not bad. Not bad at all.
Now he wants another fight – an even bigger one. And he believes if given a crack at UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, he'll shock the world.
"I asked for (Munoz), and the UFC was willing to give me the fight I wanted," Weidman on Friday told MMAjunkie.com Radio. "Mark Munoz was probably the worst matchup for me on paper. He's a wrestler and he has powerful striking. But I took the test, and I was able to pass it."
Will Campuzano vs. Jimmy Flick title fight added to Legacy FC 13
A flyweight title fight between Will Campuzano and Jimmy Flick has been added to next month's Legacy Fighting Championship 13 event.
Campuzano initially was slated to fight Chad Robichaux for the vacant belt at last night's Legacy FC 12 event.
However, a tough weight cut and kidney issues forced Robichaux out of the bout a day prior, and the title fight was pulled from the card altogether.
'Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy' preview: A highly underrated card
Rightfully so, eyes should be locked on the two title fights that grace "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy."
Luke Rockhold attempts the second defense of his middleweight title when he meets Tim Kennedy, and Nate Marquardt and Tyron Woodley vie for the vacant welterweight belt.
But with the end of the promotion's prospects-driven Challenger series, there is less real estate on this year's schedule. In the case of Saturday's card, that means lineups more densely packed with talent.
UFC signs top-ranked flyweight fighter Jussier da Silva to contract
One of the most glaring omissions in the burgeoning Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Flyweight division has just been corrected.
Nova Uniao's Jussier da Silva (14-1), according to manager Andre Pederneiras and the man himself, has just signed with the world's leading mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion, adding yet another intriguing element to the growing 125-pound division.
Da Silva, better known as "Formiga" ("ant" in Portuguese), burst onto the scene with an upset decision win over then-top dog Shinichi "BJ" Kojima back in 2009, usurping his place as number one in the division. Da Silva has since gone 7-1, his sole loss coming at the hands of UFC contender Ian McCall with a win over Mamoru Yamaguchi following immediately after.
"Formiga" packs a nasty grappling game, with his airtight back control of particular note. While he struggled for a long time with finishing from there, his last four victories have come via tapout.
Zuffa announces PED Policy
The UFC announced earlier this week at its Fighter Summit that it would provide UFC and Strikeforce fighters a formal policy concerning Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) and other banned substances.
Via UFC press release:
Lawrence Epstein, the company’s Executive Vice-President and General Counsel, explained the written policy is a continuation of existing policy, and that both promotions will follow guidelines drafted by the same law firm which advises the National Football League on PEDs.
Legacy FC 12 results: Hieron earns controversial submission, Drysdale remains unbeaten
Longtime veteran Jay Hieron earned his first post-Bellator Fighting Championship victory, but it came in controversial fashion.
After locking in a second-round head-and-arm choke over late replacement Romario Da Silva, Hieron squeezed until referee Kevin Hancock stepped in and waved off the fight.
Unfortunately, Da Silva did not appear to be in any danger while offering up what appeared to be a "thumbs-up" signal and resisting the referee's tug of his arm.
The bout served as the headliner of Legacy Fighting Championship 12, which took place Friday night at Houston's Arena Theater. The evening's main card aired on AXS TV (formerly HDNet).
Ian McCall lobbying for flyweight fight against Louis Gaudinot at UFC on FOX 4
Ian McCall is looking for a rebound, and he has someone in mind.
After a disappointing loss to Demetrious Johnson in their rematch this past month in Florida, McCall has been bummed. But what better way to put a smile back on his face, he figures, than getting his hand raised again in the octagon.
"I've been pissed off and depressed about losing (to Johnson)," McCall recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "I want to be happy again."