Bellator Targets Thursday, Jan. 10, For Season 8 Debut Event On Spike TV
With MMA's big 2013 television-schedule shuffle rapidly approaching, Bellator Fighting Championships has apparently played its first card.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has confirmed with the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board that Bellator has reserved Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall for Thursday, Jan. 10.
Bellator officials were not immediately available for comment, but sources close to the promotion suggested that event will serve as Bellator 85 and mark the company's debut on Spike TV.
"The Jan. 10 has already been formally requested and officially reserved for Bellator in Atlantic City," NJSACB Counsel Nick Lembo told MMAjunkie.com.
Officials have already been assigned for the evening, and as an interesting side note, recently retired UFC veteran Tom DeBlass is expected to serve as a shadow judge.
Spike TV officials would not confirm the plans and would only suggest that the network is "exploring many different options right now." However, additional sources indicated the network is leaning toward a 10 p.m. ET slot, which would allow Spike TV to use TNA Impact Wrestling (which also employs Bellator light heavyweight contender Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal) as lead-in programming for the MMA promotion's weekly events.
Bellator is currently in the middle of its seventh season, the final one on MTV2 before the organization moves to the higher-rated Spike TV, the former home of the UFC, next year. The promotion is currently earning an average of 168,700 viewers per Season 7 event, but that figure is expected to rise when the promotion moved to Spike TV, which has been a primary destination for MMA fans since the 2006 debut of "The Ultimate Fighter
GSP-Anderson Silva Super-Fight Being Targeted For May
Despite nothing being official from either side, a potential super-fight between Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre has a time frame set up. UFC president Dana White told ESPN's SportsCenter on Thursday that the promotion is looking at May for Silva-GSP.
"Anderson Silva will be there Saturday watching, and if (GSP) wins, it'll be a huge fight for us," White said (thanks to MMAjunkie.com for transcribing). "It'll probably be the biggest fight in UFC history."
White reiterated that the bout would take place in either a "soccer stadium in Brazil, Dallas' Texas Stadium, or we'd do Toronto again."
BJ Penn Serious About His UFC Comeback with Stacked Team of Training Partners
No one has ever questioned that B.J. Penn wants to go down in the annals of UFC history as one of the best fighters of all time, but there have been moments when his motivation to train and prepare have come into doubt.
Returning from a short-lived retirement to face Rory MacDonald at UFC on Fox 5 on Dec. 8 in Seattle, however, Penn appears to be at the top of his game, even in the training room.
At least, if the training partners he’s hired for this fight are any indication, it appears that Penn couldn’t be any more serious about his Octagon comeback...
Gray Maynard Headed For Surgery With Torn Ligaments
Gray Maynard's manager, David Martin, informed MMAWeekly.com that "The Bully" has torn his medial and lateral meniscus in his knee and will need surgery. Maynard was forced out of a planned UFC 155: Dos Santos vs. Velasquez II fight with Joe Lauzon due to the injury on Wednesday.
Following a victory over Clay Guida earlier this year, Maynard was looking to finish 2012 on the right note. Instead, he'll be headed for an operating table. Martin confirmed Maynard will have surgery next week and is expected to be away from training for three-to-five weeks.
The UFC has already announced a replacement for Maynard, as Jim Miller has stepped in to face Lauzon on December 29 from Las Vegas.
Shane Carwin Tore Just About Every Ligament In His Knee, Says His Manager
Shane Carwin's manager, Jason Genet of Ingrained Media, told Fighters.com on Wednesday night that his client suffered extensive damage to his knee in training. UFC president Dana White confirmed that Carwin will not make his scheduled December encounter with Roy Nelson at The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale.
"He was essentially training through the injury and pushed too hard, too fast," Genet said. "The gut feeling is that he can recover without surgery if he rehabs it."
Genet said that Carwin, a former interim UFC heavyweight champion, tore his PCL, LCL and popliteus in his knee, but added, "Shane will be fine and is staying positive."
Carwin has not competed since early in 2011, falling to current UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos. He underwent back surgery and was on his way to returning before the knee injury.
Royce Gracie Makes Claims Against Shane Carwin Following Fight Withdrawl
Former UFC champion Royce Gracie made an interesting remark on Wednesday following news of Shane Carwin's knee injury. Carwin was forced to pull out of a planned fight with Roy Nelson at The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale in December with the injury.
"So much for the claims (Nelson) was trying to get out of the fight with (Carwin)," Gracie posted, "guess that random test (expletive) up the cycle and 'blew out the knee.'"
Gracie is claiming that Carwin would have failed a pre-fight drug test for a banned substance had he went ahead with the bout. This is all just Gracie stating his own opinion, but Carwin and Nelson had several arguments over such claims before they began coaching on The Ultimate Fighter.
Nelson is expected to remain on the card, as the UFC has said they are searching for a replacement.
TPF 15 streams live on Sherdog.com beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT
A new Tachi Palace Fights light heavyweight champion will be crowned Thursday when veteran Anthony Ruiz battles rising talent Angel DeAnda in the main event of TPF 15 “Collision Course.”
The event takes place at Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, Calif. TPF 15 streams live on Sherdog.com beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will also see Tachi staple Poppies Martinez lock horns with Fernando Bernstein at lightweight, while 22-year-old prospect Andre Fili squares off with SportFight featherweight champ Enoch Wilson.
Additionally, the Nov. 15 show will offer up a bantamweight co-main event, as “Ultimate Fighter” Season 14 qualifier Carson Beebe collides with onetime Palace Fighting Championship titlist Rolando Velasco. A pair of featherweight bouts will also be featured, as Anthony Avila meets Darren Crisp Jr. and Art Arciniega faces Alexander Crispim.
Dana White confirms Ultimate Fighter's return to Wednesdays in 2013
The 17th season of Ultimate Fighter, which is currently being filmed in Las Vegas with Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen as coaches, is expected to air on Wednesday nights, starting in January on FX.
The show moving to a better night was announced by FX Executive Vice President Chuck Safler back in October. Malki Kawa, the manager of Jones, said the move would be to Wednesday in an interview with The Fight Network. Subsequently, MMAFighting.com confirmed the new date with Dana White.
In doing so, the show is moving back to the night it ran on Spike for many years. The show moved to Fridays at the start of 2012, with the move from Spike TV to FX. Even though moving to a significantly higher rated network, and having the fights air live for the first time in the show's history, ratings fell to the lowest level in the show's history.
Gray Maynard Out, Jim Miller in Against Joe Lauzon at UFC 155
When it rains, it pours. Just minutes after announcing a torn knee had forced Shane Carwin out of his bout against Roy Nelson, an undisclosed injury has now yanked Gray Maynard (Pictured) from his UFC 155 shootout against Joe Lauzon.
As we all know full well, the Octagon show waits for no man. It will be Miller Time on December 29th, as Jim Miller has agreed to serve as substitute.
UFC 154 hits theaters on Saturday with fighter meet-and-greets around country
The UFC returns to movie theaters on Saturday for UFC 154.
As the promotion has done for several past shows, UFC 154 will be available on the big screen through Fathom Events. And in conjunction, more than 20 UFC fighters will attend screenings around the country to watch the card with fans and participate in meet-and-greets.
UFC 154 takes place at Montreal's Bell Centre and features a main event welterweight title unification bout between champion Georges St-Pierre and interim titleholder Carlos Condit.
The event is scheduled to be shown at more than 350 movie theaters in the United States.
Nam Phan Replaces Eddie Yagin, Fights Dennis Siver at ‘UFC on FOX 5'
Ask and you shall receive. Shortly after requesting to replace fellow Asian fighter Eddie Yagin in his December 8th scrap against Dennis Siver, the UFC has granted featherweight Nam Phan (Pictured) his wish.
“if 1 azn brother falls than another must take his spot. Who wants 2 c me fight Dennis Siver? tweet 2 @ufc & @danawhite lol : ) ,” Phan tweeted to the powers that be.
It has been reported Yagin was forced to pull out of the contest after suffering a head injury during a recent practice session.
Shinya Aoki Wants to Avenge His Evolve MMA Team Mate By Fighting Kotetsu Boku for the ONE FC Lightweight Belt
Longtime mixed martial arts (MMA) veteran Shinya Aoki reluctantly returned his DREAM lightweight belt recently as, with the Japanese promotion's future looking bleak, he had elected to sign an exclusive contract with the new force in Asian MMA, ONE FC.
That means the Japanese submission wizard is without a title for the first time since 2008, when there was a brief gap between him giving up his Shooto welterweight belt and winning the DREAM lightweight strap.
It leaves a space in the 29 year old's trophy cabinet which he is in a hurry to fill and he already has a replacement belt in his sights.
Tom DeBlass retires after UFC: Macao loss
After two consecutive losses in the UFC, middleweight Tom DeBlass has decided to end his fighting career.
Following a 3 round fight against Riki Fukuda at UFC Macao, Middleweight Tom DeBlass has announced his retirement from MMA. Last Saturday, he opened up the first ever UFC event out of China on the Facebook prelims. After 15 minutes of action, the judges decided that Fukuda had outworked DeBlass and handed him his second consecutive UFC loss in as many fights.
DeBlass announced his retirement though his Twitter account:
After a lot of talk with my family and Coaches. I have decided to retire from fighting and focus on my family, my Academy, and helping my students to achieve their goals. I have had the opportunity to win the Pan American games, the No Gi World Championships, and National Championships, the Abu Dhabi trials and compete in Abu Dhabi. I have competed all over the world at 30 years old. I fought for Ring of Combat and won their titles. I made it to UFC in a year and a half. I know I am no where near my prime, however I feel my time is better spent else where. I want more then one Academy. At this time I feel it's best for me to give my time to others, and spend more time with my family. The drive to keep fighting is not there any longer. I have an amazing Academy and feel my students need my full attention. Maybe I will return to Jiu-Jitsu competition. Thanks to everyone for the support. It's been an awesome ride. God Bless.
Mats Nilsson vs. Denniston Sutherland middleweight bout added to Cage Warriors 50
A middleweight battle has been added to next month's Cage Warriors 50 event.
Promotion officials on Tuesday announced a bout between Sweden's Mats Nilsson (9-2-1) and Jamaica-born, England-based Denniston Sutherland (18-8). Both fighters will compete under the Cage Warriors banner for the second time.
Cage Warriors 50 takes place Dec. 8 at Kelvin Hall in Glasgow, Scotland. The main card streams on MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) following prelims on Facebook.
Nilsson earned a second-round submission win over UFC veteran Tommy Speer at Cage Warriors Fight Night 3 this past February in Beirut, his debut with the promotion. He followed that with a submission win in Switzerland in March.
Martin Kampmann: Georges St. Pierre vs Anderson Silva is not the ‘super fight’ to make
According to Martin Kampmann, a bout between Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva is not the 'super fight' to make after UFC 154. 'Hitman' argues that a showdown between Silva and light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is much more intriguing ... and way more super.
What do Tito Ortiz, Freddie Roach and Martin Kampmann have in common?
They all believe a contest between Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight and welterweight champions, Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre, is not the 'super fight' to make because of the fact "The Spider" is simply too big for the French-Canadian.
They all could very well be spot on with their assessments, given that Silva walks around at 215 to 220 pounds, while "Rush" probably doesn't even break the 200-pound mark on any given day.
Furthermore, Ortiz believes a showdown between heavyweight title holder Junior dos Santos and light heavyweight kingpin, Jon Jones, is a much more even fight. Kampmann, meanwhile, shares the same sentiments as just about any other mixed martial arts (MMA) fan, saying a fight between "Bones" and "The Spider" is the "super fight" to make.
In the Dane's conversation with ESPN, he declares St. Pierre would get knocked out by the Brazilian bomber:
"I think [St-Pierre] is going to get knocked out. That's my honest answer. Everything aside, I'd much rather see Anderson Silva fight Jon Jones. [Silva] is calling out the smaller guy. I'd like to see him fight Jon Jones. I think that's a much more interesting fight, and that's not just from my personal perspective. It's also from a fan's perspective."
Ronda Rousey's manager responds to Cyborg's life-threatening weight cut claims
Ronda Rousey's manager takes 'Cyborg' Santos and her professional medical opinion that warns a 10-pound weight cut could harm the Brazilian to task, saying opinions (paraphrasing here) are like belly buttons ... everyone has got them.
Everyone has got them, including medical professionals who are charged with protecting the health -- and possibly even the self interests -- of their patients.
The cardiologist who former Strikeforce female champion Cristiane Santos relies on to ensure that her lub-dub lub-dubs properly to keep her blood pumping, recently warned her that cutting 10 pounds could have detrimental effects on her ticker. In addition to the potential pulmonary problems, the drop from her current fighting weight of 145 to pounds to 135 pounds could prohibit "Cyborg" from "carrying a child later in life."
Risking life and possibly motherhood for a mixed martial arts (MMA) fight seems like a pretty easy decision: No thanks.
Then again, it's only one opinion and, as we've already explained, everyone has got them, including medical professionals who are charged with protecting the health -- and possibly even the self interests -- of their patients. Just because it's one opinion, naturally, doesn't mean it's the correct or accurate reflection of the current situation.
Rather than let me try and explain it, I'll turn it over to Darin Harvey, who represents current Strikeforce female champion -- and possibly future big-money "Cyborg" opponent -- Ronda Rousey, who just so happens to weigh 10 pounds less than the Brazilian.
Harvey breaks it down to Yahoo!Sports.com:
"If you ask five doctors, you'll get five different opinions. I guarantee you, you can find doctors that'll say the weight cut will be fine.... It all depends on what side they're working for. It's her doctor. If you're going to trial, I can find a professional witness to make you look innocent or make you look guilty.... I don't want to see anyone get hurt long-term ... but my personal belief is she can lose the weight. She would just prefer an advantage to fight at 145 pounds. And I think we have the advantage at 135."
"We want that fight because it's a big money fight. We want to fight Cyborg and I think Ronda can beat her at any weight. But I believe if she's not taking drugs, 135 pounds will be absolutely no problem.... At the end of the day, it's up to Ronda. I would advise against it because I would like to do everything to get Cyborg down to 135 pounds, but I know it's the fight the world wants to see. I think it's a million-plus Pay-Per-View fight, so we have to take those things into consideration."
New and improved UFC welterweight Jon Fitch says he's caught his second wind
After 10 years of plodding away at his MMA career, in hot pursuit of a title, top UFC welterweight Jon Fitch feels like he's never been in a better position to make a run at the 170-pound belt.
Jon Fitch is boring, Jon Fitch doesn't finish fights, Jon Fitch "lays and prays" and will never be an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) title holder.
Whether you've made or believed the aforementioned statements, you're certainly aware of them if you're a fan of mixed martial arts (MMA). After what's been an absolute grind of a career, it felt, for many, as though the perennial UFC welterweight contender was destined to forever be a bridesmaid and never a bride.
However, all that may have turned around, after Fitch's recent unanimous decision win over top prospect Erick Silva at the UFC 153 event in Rio de Janeiro back on Oct. 13, 2012. Sure, he still was unable to procure a finish, but it was the complete antithesis of a Jon Fitch fight.
It was exciting.
He brought the fight from opening horn to the end. And even though it had to go to the judges' scorecards, the win was a dominant one, and it was against a very tough and athletic fighter.
The victory gives Fitch hope for a dynamic contrast in his not so far off future:
"Erick Silva's a very tough fighter, but I believe this is the new Jon Fitch. I kinda got a second wind in my career, and we're gonna see a lot of bigger and better fights for me."
So, what's the difference? Was it just one fluke fight, or are we seeing a new improved version of the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) product?
If you ask him, it's decidedly the latter:
"I think it's partly an accumulation of years of training and finally having the confidence in my full skill set, to really open up and not worry about making mistakes in a fight, knowing that even if I do make a mistake, I'll be able to find my way back on top for the win."