Josh Barnett's Manager Says Fighter Not Defending King Of Pancrase Title In 2013
Leland LaBarre, the manager for Josh Barnett, denied a report that Barnett would defend his King of Pancrase title in 2013. A report circulated on Thursday that Barnett had told the promotion he would fight for them next year.
It's not true," said LaBarre, in an interview with Sherdog.com. "I guess (Pancrase) talked to Josh while (Josh) was (in Japan), and they said they would love to have him back, but there was nothing (to it)."
LaBarre said that Barnett is focused on his next Strikeforce bout and that he is "totally back" from suffering a broken hand in a loss to Daniel Cormier.
Barnett won the Pancrase open weight title in 2003. It is unknown if "The Warmaster" will follow other Strikeforce heavyweights into the UFC, but his manager seems to think so.
"If Zuffa wants Josh Barnett to fight in their UFC Octagon after Josh's last Strikeforce fight," LaBarre said, "I think that is where he'll be."
Vitor Belfort vs. Michael Bisping scheduled for UFC 156
Another blockbuster bout has been scheduled for UFC 156 according to UFC officials, this one between top middleweight contenders Michael Bisping and Vitor Belfort.
The event is set for Jan. 19 in an, as of yet, undetermined Brazilian city. Cities currently being considered to play host, however, so far include; São Paulo, Porto Alegre and Florianópolis, and Rio de Janeiro.
The card already features a much-anticipated featherweight clash between UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo and former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar.
Bisping (23-4) comes into the bout with an impressive 5-1 record in his last six fights. During the streak, he's has collected victories over Dan Miller, Yoshihiro Akiyama, Jorge Rivera, Jason Miller and Brian Stann.
UFC 154: Stephen Thompson pulled from card with knee injury
Yes, we have another injury to report. The preliminary card of UFC 154 has taken a hit as Stephen Thompson has been forced out of his fight with Besam Yousef with a knee injury. MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani has the story:
Welterweight prospect Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson has pulled out of his UFC 154 fight against Besam Yousef due to an injured knee, MMAFighting.com confirmed with sources close to the fight. Thompson recently suffered a torn meniscus in training. He will undergo surgery on Monday and is expected to be out of action for eight weeks.
Streaking lightweight T.J. Grant signs new four-fight deal with UFC
Riding a three-fight win streak since dropping to lightweight, T.J. Grant has a new deal with the UFC.
The Canadian fighter has re-upped with the UFC for four more fights. Grant announced the news on his Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Grant (19-5 MMA, 6-3 UFC) is coming off a "Fight of the Night" decision win over Evan Dunham at UFC 152 this past month.
Josh Barnett to defend Japanese title in 2013
Top 10 heavyweight Josh Barnett will return to Pancrase next year to defend his openweight King of Pancrase title. The Warmaster, according to yahoo.co.jp, had a meeting with Pancrase CEO Masakazu Sakai after Barnett’s recent professional wrestling match with Shinichi Suzukawa at Inoki Genome Federation.
The meeting seems to have been fruitful. Barnett has agreed to defend his KOP title next year during the Pancrase 20th Anniversary Tour, against any opponent Sakai wants to put in front him. Barnett stated that he is a part of the Pancrase family and wants the legendary organization and its fighters to reach new heights of popularity.
Next step in UFC expansion: Market-specific live events
When Rony Mariano Bezerra came to the cage on Oct. 13 at the show in Rio de Janeiro for one of the Fuel prelims to face Ameican Sam Sicilia, the crowd of 16,844 at the HSBC Arena erupted like the main event with Anderson Silva was about to happen.
For most Americans watching, it suddenly felt like we were in another dimension. Rony Jason, as he was called because he usually enters the ring wearing a Jason mask from the 'Friday the 13th' movie series, would barely be known in the United States. He had appeared on a pay-per-view once before from Brazil. And a few fans may have seen him as one of the stars of the first season of The Ultimate Fighter in Brazil.
But Brazil is a different world, and about 12 million people weekly were watching the show. To them, Rony Jason, who won that night - and fighters like Erick Silva, who wasn't even on the show but has had explosive first-round finishes on major UFC events - were like Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture and Forrest Griffin in the United States going back seven years. Perhaps even multiplied due to greater exposure.
Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson Turned Down 'TUF 17' Coaching Spot Opposite Sonnen
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson could have been the next coach of "The Ultimate Fighter."
According to both Jackson and UFC president Dana White, the organization offered "Rampage" an opportunity to be a coach opposite Chael Sonnen on TUF 17 before asking Jon Jones. Interestingly enough though, Jackson turned down the opportunity.
"Forget TUF," Jackson told MMAFighting.com on Thursday. "I'm not interested in that."
"I don't want to fight Chael. He's the kind of fighter that I don't want to fight. He's a boring fighter that just wants to hump people."
Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez won't need surgery, January return not set
Strikeforce lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez won't need surgery to repair a bad tear to his AC joint, though a timetable for his return is unknown.
Melendez's manager and father, Gilbert Melendez Sr., expressed optimism that his son will be able to compete on a Strikeforce card planned for mid-January, though it depends on how quickly the fighter's recovery progresses.
"There's no definite yes," Melendez today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "It all depends if his body is healing on time as we anticipate."
The junior Melendez currently is working with Dr. Warren King, the current chief of orthopedic surgery for the Oakland Raiders and a team physician for the Golden State Warriors, to make sure the process goes smoothly.
Antonio Silva: Even if he was 'created in a lab,' I want to fight Alistair Overeem
While it appears former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem could be in line for a UFC title shot, it doesn't seem the "Demolition Man" is necessarily willing to wait for such a fight.
So if Overeem is intent in returning as soon as his suspension ends in late December, he's got a willing opponent: Antonio Silva.
"Bigfoot," who is coming off a recent win over Travis Browne, said he's more than happy to take on the massive Overeem, even if he was "created in a lab."
Emanuel Steward Passed Away Today
A legend in boxing left us today.
Steward trained Championship boxers including, but not limited to:
Oscar De La Hoya
Prince Naseem Hamed
I always enjoyed listening to him talk boxing & although he trained some fighters I was never a fan of, I always have had the utmost respect for him. RIP.
Mixed Martial Arts - Rousey to spearhead UFC female league
The burgeoning superstar remains under contract to Strikeforce, but Rousey's performance in 2012 has convinced UFC president Dana White to add a women's division to the sport's flagship brand.
Rousey still has three fights on her Strikeforce contract, White told Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday, and will fulfil that deal before she moves to the UFC. Sports Illustrated first reported Tuesday that the UFC would add women.
Kyle Noke out at UFC on FX 6, Seth Baczynski awaits new foe
Injury has forced Aussie favorite Kyle Noke out of a planned UFC on FX 6 matchup with Seth Baczynski.
UFC officials today announced the withdrawal, and "The Polish Pistola" now awaits a new opponent.
UFC on FX 6 takes place Saturday, Dec. 15, at Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre in Broadbeach, Gold Coast, Australia. The event's main card airs live on FX (on Friday, Dec. 14, in the U.S. due to the time difference) following prelims on FUEL TV.
Sean Sherk discusses his health, UFC return, Ben Henderson vs. Nate Diaz, and much more
It's been over two years since former UFC Lightweight Champion Sean Sherk has stepped inside the Octagon, but "The Muscle Shark" hasn't gone anywhere. Sherk's battled a series of nagging injuries during that time, but he's continued training, hosted seminars, and has gotten himself into the equipment business with his Elevation Training Mask (available at TrainingMask.com).
All the while, he's continued planning his return to action, and isn't near ready to walk away from a sport he's been involved with for the last 13 years. I caught up with Sherk last weekend in Maplewood, Minn., where he was a guest for an event from local Minnesota promotion Cage Fighting Xtreme, and he discussed a number of topics, including his health, returning to action, the UFC's lightweight division, the upcoming Championship bout between Ben Henderson and Nate Diaz, and more. Here's what Sherk had to say:
Bellator Making Hard Push to Keep Eddie Alvarez
According to Alvarez’s manager, Glenn Robinson of Authentic Sports Management, Bellator is pushing hard to keep their former champion right where he is as they make their transition to Spike TV in 2013.
“Bjorn and Eddie had a great conversation and had some great talks. Bjorn has expressed interest in keeping Eddie, and talks have gone really well, and that’s all I can really say at this point,” Robinson told MMAWeekly.com this week.
“Talks have gone really well with Bellator and Eddie just wants to fight the best fighters he can, and get a contract he feels is fair, but I can tell you Bjorn has gone out of his way to make Eddie feel welcome and talks have gone well so far, so we’ll see what the future brings,” said Robinson.