James Irvin Talks Pills, Curses, the UFC, and Getting Robbed by Ken Shamrock
By CagePotato contributor Jason Moles
Coming off a loss to Jorge Oliveira in December, James Irvin returned to action last weekend at Gladiator Challenge: Young Guns 4 — and he would have gotten his much-needed rebound victory, if it wasn't for the meddling of celebrity referee Ken Shamrock. (Seriously. You can't make this stuff up.) Freak occurrences have plagued Irvin's career from the beginning, and that night was no different. "The Sandman" recently gave us on opportunity to chat with him about his anti-climactic match against Mike Crisman, his battle with painkiller addiction, and his plan to make another run in the UFC.
CAGEPOTATO.COM: First and foremost, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to talk with us at CagePotato. Tell me a little about the physical toll your body has taken after fighting three times in the past four months.
JAMES IRVIN: It's been good for me. It's tough, but I've been doing this for ten years. In shape, out of shape, and back into shape again. Kinda like what Chris Leben said — it keeps me sharp. I fight again on February 20th and have two fights in March, one in May. I train best when it's intense and there's nothing more intense than training for a fight.
Belfort: Top Fighters Should Be Willing to Fight Anyone
Vitor Belfort agrees with UFC President Dana White’s belief that the best fighters should be willing to fight their friends, teammates and countrymen.
Belfort will challenge fellow Brazilian and former training partner Anderson Silva for the UFC middleweight title Saturday at UFC 126. Although Silva has been critical of Belfort’s loyalty in the past, Belfort thinks the fight will be worth it.
“This is a sport,” Belfort said recently on Bruce Buffer’s “It’s Time” show on the Sherdog Radio Network. “After this fight, I really think Anderson is going to look back and say, ‘Man, this fight [made history] in the sport.’ We’re proving this is a sport. … I believe after this fight, many fighters many years from now, they’re going to see how it was important that this fight happened for the sport.”
5 Bouts Signed for UFC 130
Five speculated bouts are now official for UFC 130 on May 28 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, including a lightweight championship rematch between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard (Pictured).
Also announced by the promotion was a light heavyweight scrap pitting Quinton Jackson against Thiago Silva, a heavyweight tilt featuring Frank Mir and Roy Nelson, a middleweight affair showcasing Wanderlei Silva and Brian Stann and a welterweight showdown between Thiago Alves and Rick Story. All five bouts were revealed during the most recent episode of the online series “Ultimate Insider” on UFC.com.
THQ Announces Launch of UFC Undisputed Fight Nation Interactive Facebook Game
THQ Inc. and Zuffa, LLC today announced the latest edition to the prominent UFC® UndisputedTM sports videogame franchise with the launch of UFC Undisputed Fight NationTM, the first official Facebook game based on the world's leading mixed martial arts (MMA) organization, the Ultimate Fighting Championship®.
The interactive experience, developed by Embassy Interactive and available on Facebook at apps.facebook.com/ufcfightnation, allows players to take control of their virtual UFC careers in a fun and engaging environment by training moves, competing against others and sharing their results on Facebook, as well as enabling them to successfully manage their progress for the opportunity to compete against many of the UFC's most renowned fighters.
"We understand the power of Facebook and this is a great way for fans to connect to the UFC."
"We are excited about the tremendous opportunities available in the social networking space to deliver key franchises to our core audiences in unique and compelling ways," said Danny Bilson, Executive Vice President, Core Games, THQ. "UFC Undisputed Fight Nation delivers a great combination of gameplay, competitive spirit and replay value, making it the perfect fit for millions around the world to enjoy on Facebook."
Wanderlei Silva Returns Against Brian Stann at UFC 130
MMA legend Wanderlei Silva has been on the shelf since his unanimous decision win over Michael Bisping at UFC 110 last February, but the former champion is ready to make his long awaited return to the Octagon against fellow middleweight Brain Stann.
Although the bout had been rumored for weeks, it was made official for UFC 130 during the promotion’s most recent episode of ‘Ultimate Insider.’
“The Axe Murderer” had several fighters call him out during his time on the mend, but one of the sport’s most well liked fighters is ready to end what will be a 15-month layoff, the longest of his professional career.
Stann, a former WEC light heavyweight champion, has been appointed the chairman of Silva’s welcome back party committee.
The former marine was impressive in his last outing at UFC 125 as he ran through the extremely durable Chris Leben on New Year’s Day.
UFC 130 is scheduled for May 28th and will go down inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. A lightweight championship rematch will headline the card as Frankie Edgar will once again defend his title against Gray Maynard.
Melvin Manhoef Added To March SF Event
Melvin Manhoef is the latest addition to next month's "Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson" event. The Dutch-Surinamese fighter announced his participation via Twitter today, though an opponent was not revealed. Manhoef is just 2-4 in his last 6 MMA fights.
UFC's Fight for the Troops 2 raises $4.1 million
Working in conjunction with Spike TV and the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, the Ultimate Fighting Championship raised nearly $4.1 million with its "Fight for the Troops 2" card on Jan. 22, a representative told ESPN.com Wednesday.
The money raised will go toward traumatic brain injury research among veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Cuomo leaves MMA out of New York's budget, UFC done with predictions for sanctioning
LAS VEGAS – Hopes that recently elected governor Andrew Cuomo could speed the process of getting MMA to New York were dashed by the recent release of his 2011-2012 budget proposal.
Conspicuously absent from a host of measures that aim to close the state's $10 billion budget deficit is language to legalize the sport.
The news drew frustration today from UFC president Dana White, who said he is "done with predictions in New York."
UFC boss says Facebook streams likely to stay, envisions day when fans see every fight
LAS VEGAS – In recent months, the UFC has explored several new options for distributing preliminary card fights to the masses.
From UFC.com to Facebook to ION Television, company officials have engineered creative viewing points for MMA fans to watch undercard matchups that would not normally see the light of day.
That trend continues with this weekend's UFC 126 card, and on Wednesday, White said the preliminary broadcasts aren't likely to disappear anytime soon – and in fact, the offerings may increase as time rolls on.
Dana White Worries About the UFC 126 Main Event
Sergio Non caught up with UFC President Dana White at the UFC 126 press conference, and White admitted his main event on Saturday night might fall flat:
"I'm going to be honest here -- I'm not going to be a promoter here, but let's be honest. This thing could be the most dynamic, incredible (freaking) fight we've ever seen -- or the worst staring competition in the history of mankind. All I care about is that both these guys come and let it go and fight the fight we know we could possibly see."
Jones signs signature deal with K-Swiss, FORM
K-Swiss announced a multi-year endorsement deal with UFC light heavyweight contender Jon “Bones” Jones for K-Swiss and FORM Athletics. Jones’ deal includes collaborating with K-Swiss on a signature shoe.
According to Jones’ agent, Malki Kawa, he is the first MMA star to have his own shoe.
Via K-Swiss press release:
The Jones deal with K·Swiss will include appearances, ad campaigns and representation in the company’s growing fitness category. He joins Jeremy Shockey of the New Orleans Saints, Patrick Willis of the San Francisco 49ers, and Urijah Faber, the MMA Fighter and WEC Champion, in representing the TUBES training footwear category. Jones will also be collaborating with K·Swiss on a signature shoe.
FORM Athletics will release a Jon Jones Signature Collection of performance and lifestyle apparel for both in and out of the ring.
Jones will begin representing K-Swiss in the Octagon at UFC 126...
Win or lose, retirement seems unlikely for UFC 126's Rich Franklin
Perhaps it's the recent win over Chuck Liddell. Or his newfound title contention.
Or, perhaps most likely, it's the layoff that's given him his first extended break to recover from an assortment of injuries that have dinged the fan favorite during his dozen years of professional MMA competition.
Whatever the reason, don't expect UFC 126 co-headliner Rich Franklin to call it quits anytime soon.
Franklin (28-5 MMA, 13-4 UFC), of course, co-headlines Saturday's UFC 126 event at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. He meets fellow ex-champ Forrest Griffin (17-6 MMA, 8-4 UFC) in the co-main event of the night's pay-per-view main card.
Jim Miller and Charlie Brenneman extend contracts with UFC
Two of AMA Fight Club's brightest standouts are going to stick around in the octagon.
Lightweight contender Jim Miller (19-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) and welterweight prospect Charlie Brenneman (12-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) have signed new four-fight contract extensions with the UFC.
AMA manager Mike Constantino broke the news today while appearing on MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio).
Miller has made nine octagon appearances and makes his 10th with a fight against Kamal Shalorus at UFC 128, which takes place March 19 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
A New Jersey native, Miller returns to the venue for the second time since he took on Canadian Mark Bocek this past March at UFC 111 and ground out a unanimous-decision win. He first signed with the UFC in late 2008 after a one-fight stint in the now-defunct International Fight League.
White on Silva vs. St-Pierre: It would be tough not to do it in Canada
LAS VEGAS – UFC president Dana White wants to make one thing perfectly clear – a long-discussed superfight between reigning UFC champions Anderson Silva (27-4 MMA, 12-0 UFC) and Georges St-Pierre (21-2 MMA, 15-2 UFC) is currently anything but a sure thing.
That said, the UFC boss believes with a win by each champion in their upcoming title defenses, there's simply no reason not to book the dream matchup.
And while White believes the potential superfight would prove a financial success just about anywhere the organization decided to take it, the UFC president said it would be awfully difficult not to let St-Pierre take on "The Spider" on Canadian soil.
"When you start thinking about an Anderson Silva-GSP fight, you could do that anywhere," White said. "But it would be tough not to do the thing in Canada."
UFC announces UFC 126 Facebook stream for "Kid" Yamanoto vs. Johnson fight
One significant bout from a previously untelevised UFC 126 preliminary card will stream for free on Facebook.
UFC officials today announced via its 4.5 million-member-strong Facebook account that recent UFC signee Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto (18-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) and post-merger WEC import Demetrious Johnson (8-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will fight on the stream.
The bantamweight bout begins at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT) on Saturday.
UFC 126 takes place Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and features a middleweight title fight between champion Anderson Silva and challenger Vitor Belfort. The main card airs on pay-per-view, and two additional bouts air on Spike TV as part of a "UFC Prelims" special.
Currently, there's no word if the night's other three untelevised prelims (Gabe Ruediger vs. Paul Taylor, Kyle Kingsbury vs. Ricardo Romero, and Mike Pierce vs. Kenny Robertson) will join Yamanoto vs. Johnso on the Facebook stream...
Complaint Filed Against Timekeeper From UFC 123
A Michigan state agency has filed a complaint against a timekeeper, alleging he mishandled the clock at the end of a round during a UFC fight between middleweights Maiquel Falcao and Gerald Harris last year.
Stephen George Daher, a licensed timekeeper under Michigan's Unarmed Combat Commission -- formerly the state's boxing commission -- was named in a complaint brought by the Bureau of Commercial Services, a part of the state Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth.
The complaint alleges Daher failed to ensure the Falcao-Harris fight "was terminated in accordance with the official contest clock" at UFC 123 on Nov. 20 at the Palace of Auburn Hills. ESPN.com obtained the complaint on Tuesday following a Freedom of Information Act request.
The violation occurred at the end of the first round, according to the complaint, when Falcao appeared near completion of a choke that could have finished Harris. When Daher allegedly called an end to the round, approximately six seconds remained on the clock.
Falcao won by unanimous decision and Harris was subsequently released from his UFC contract.
The state commission will determine whether or not to take disciplinary action against Daher after the complaint advances through the contested case hearing process, where he will have the opportunity to defend the allegations.
Daher has 15 days to reply to the formal complaint, dated Jan. 13, by opting for a compliance/settlement conference or a formal administrative hearing. A conference could be scheduled in as little as two weeks, while it would take six weeks to appoint an adminstrative judge for a formal hearing.
The commission will then decide upon a penalty that could include a fine, a suspension or revocation of license...
ANderson Silva vs. Georges St. Pierre Superfight Would Be "All About Legacy"
That's according to Dana White...if it happens, of course. "What happened is they're both close to cleaning out their division. If Anderson beats Vitor Belfort and St. Pierre beats Jake Shields, seriously, what's left for them? It's a fun fight to do.... The fans [understand] that. No doubt about it [on the challenge of moving up in weight]. That's what I love about this fight. I'm all about legacy. That's what matters more than the money. I love it if a guy will go up for a super fight like this. Anderson Silva has already moved up and fought at 205. For 'GSP' to do it, I think it's big for his legacy."
For Antonio Silva, Strikeforce tourney starts and ends with Fedor Emelianenko
Fedor Emelianenko (32-2 MMA, 1-1 SF) is the title, tournament, and big fish all wrapped into one, says Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva (15-2 MMA, 2-1 SF).
He's not even remotely concerned about what comes next.
Some look at Silva as a mere placeholder for the Russian's advance in the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix. "Bigfoot" says they're about to get a big surprise, just like they did this past summer.
Silva said he was supposed to lose to Andrei Arlovski this past May at "Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery." The former UFC champion had hit the skids with back-to-back losses against Emelianenko and Brett Rogers, and he needed a win. Silva would be the pivot for a career turnaround.
UFC 126: Donald Cerrone All Studied Up for Paul Kelly, Calls Mac Danzig ‘Hypocritical’
Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (17-3) is officially in the UFC. He’ll make his debut for the promotion this Saturday at UFC 126: Silva vs. Belfort in Las Vegas when he takes on English fighter Paul Kelly.
Kelly (11-3) will be making his ninth appearance in the UFC, so he’s definitely earned his stripes in the Las Vegas-based promotion. It’s safe to assume that with eight fights in the Octagon, opponents will know who Paul Kelly is.
Tim Sylvia Vows To Keep Fighting-At 265-After "BS" Loss
And he blames a lot of bad things for his loss to Abe Wagner over the weekend-diet, knee, and of course referee Ken Shamrock. "Refs need to know the fighters. Did he see my fight with Andrei Arlovski – the second one – I got dropped, got up, and KO’d him. The Randy Couture fight I got dropped and fought for 25 minutes. It was stopped way too early… It was bulls**t. (And) the sad part is the ref told the promoter and my corner he was sorry because he knew he made a mistake and stopped it a little early.... I still love this sport and always will.... I will never fight at Super Heavyweight again. I fight much better at 265 so from here on out that’s what I am going to fight at."