Maximo Blanco Leaves Sengoku, Eyes UFC and Strikeforce
Sengoku break-out star Maximo Blanco spoke to MMAWeekly.com recently, and there are some interesting bits of info here. The Venezuelen Lightweight fighter confirms that he has left Sengoku, and is now looking to make his name in the US. Blanco has signed with US based management company SuckerPunch Entertainment, and is hoping they can help him as he looks to make his stateside debut. SuckerPunch represents some quality, upper level fighters, including UFC names like Pat Barry and Donald Cerrone, plus fighters for Strikeforce, Bellator, and various other organizations.
If you have never seen Blanco fight, you are missing out. The man is a joy to watch, bringing a wild intensity to his fights...
Jon Olav Einemo's UFC debut uncertain following Shane Carwin's promotion at UFC 131
Jon Olav Einemo (6-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is without an opponent following Brock Lesnar's withdrawal from UFC 131 and Shane Carwin's promotion to headliner opposite Junior Dos Santos.
Einemo's trainer, Golden Glory's Martin De Jong, was unaware of the change when contacted today by MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) and began a scramble for answers with an expletive.
UFC president Dana White said today that Einemo's future is currently undetermined. Asked whether a replacement is on the way for the Norwegian fighter, he said, "Not yet."
Junior Dos Santos opens as -260 favorite for UFC 131 bout with Shane Carwin
Former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar's career may be on temporary hold, but oddsmakers' work is never done.
With one-time heavyweight title challenger Shane Carwin announced as a replacement opponent for Lesnar in a UFC 131 main event with Junior Dos Santos, noted oddsmaker and frequent MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) guest Joey Oddessa opened the Brazilian slugger as a -260 favorite, meaning a bettor would need to wager $260 in order to earn $100 of the book's money.
Meanwhile, Carwin opened as a +200 underdog, meaning a $100 wager would return a bettor $200 of the book's money in addition to the original wager amount.
Roger Gracie Injured, Possibly Out Of IBJJF World Jiu Jitsu Championships
We are less than a month away from Sport Brazilian Jiu Jitsu's most prestigious tournament and its biggest star's participation may be in jeopardy. Perhaps the world's best BJJ competitor, Roger Gracie has been recovering from an injury that has kept him from training for over a month according to the GracieMag blog:
"I'm not sure if I'll be able to compete this year yet," revealed the Gracie Barra athlete, from London.
"I suffered a leg injury and have been out of training for five weeks. I just started training again now. I'm already training hard and doing my best to be 100% by the Worlds. If I'm feeling well, I'll fight for sure," added the three-time absolute world champion.
Eddie Alvarez Talks About Having the Best Hands at LW, Frankie Edgar
Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez was a guest on Fight Corner Radio recently, and they conducted a pretty extensive interview with him. Alvarez is coming off a five round decision win over Pat Curran at Bellator 39, and his next opponent will be decided in two days at Bellator 44 when Patricky Friere meets Michael Chandler in the tournament final. This interview touches mostly on stuff outside the realm of Bellator. It leads off with how Eddie would fare as a professional boxer, and he was surprisingly frank with his thoughts (transcribed by fiveknuckles):
"I don't think I'd do well," Alvarez said. "Just because in boxing it would be hard for me to make 147. And I know boxers here in Philly at that weight and I spar with them, and I get my (expletive) whooped. They're not no world champions either, but these guys are seriously good. It would be really tough for me. I'd have to develop a whole different style of boxing to be successful.
"Actually Bernard (Hopkins) thinks that I would become a world champion; he said it out of his own mouth that he's never seen an MMA fighter box the way that I box. And I felt good about him saying that, but in the back of my head I'm thinking to myself, 'Nah.' Maybe I'm not as confident in myself as some other people are, but I'm not looking to go into pro boxing any time soon."
Brock Lesnar out of UFC 131, Junior Dos Santos now faces Shane Carwin
Diverticulitis has stricken Brock Lesnar again.
In a hastily called conference call, UFC president Dana White announced that the former heavyweight champion has been forced to withdraw from an expected UFC 131 matchup with Junior Dos Santos with a shot at UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez on the line.
Despite Lesnar's withdrawal, Dos Santos will remain in the headlining slot of UFC 131, and former title challenger Shane Carwin will face him in the octagon.
Brock: "I'm not retiring... I believe there's a solution to every problem, I just gotta find the right solution... I love this sport."
Ryan Couture Gets Matt Ricehouse for Strikeforce Challengers 16
Ryan Couture, the son of recently retired UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture, is set to face undefeated Matt Ricehouse at Strikeforce Challengers 16 on June 24 in Kent, Wash.
Strikeforce announced Couture's opponent Wednesday as well as the main event featuring Caros Fodor against James Terry.
Couture (2-0) began his professional MMA career at Strikeforce Challengers 10 last August, submitting Lucas Stark with a triangle choke in 75 seconds. His second fight this past February took a little longer, but also resulted in a submission when Couture finished Lee Higgins with a rear-naked choke in the third round.
Bob Reilly Questions Motives Behind Zuffa's Accident Insurance
Mixed martial arts' most vocal critic in New York acknowledges that Zuffa's new accident insurance for its fighters is a positive move but won't go as far as saying it will help get MMA legalized in the Empire State.
MMA Fighting contacted Assemblyman Bob Reilly to discuss whether Zuffa's new insurance policy could help pave the way for the legalization of MMA in New York, and while he at first admitted to not hearing the news, he offered -- for perhaps the first time -- a compliment to the MMA promoters.
"I certainly wouldn't disparage that," Reilly said. "I think that's a good thing."
Mike Dolce Not Working With Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson for UFC 130
Mike Dolce, one of the key members of Team Quinton "Rampage" Jackson for the last couple of years, has not been helping Jackson prepare for his UFC 130 fight against Matt Hamill.
Dolce, a fighter who was a cast member on the seventh season of The Ultimate Fighter but has gained notoriety as of late for his work as a nutritionist and strength and conditioning coach, had been working closely with Jackson since his UFC 92 fight against Wanderlei Silva.
The pair didn't have a falling out, however, Dolce was just already booked to work with Thiago Alves for his fight against Rick Story at the same event.
Grappling stud Robert Drysdale finds early success in MMA, eyes UFC title in five years
What Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza and Demian Maia can do, so can Robert Drysdale (2-0). That's the thinking, anyway.
Transitioning from high-level grappling competitor to high-level mixed martial artist was made to look easy by the Strikeforce champion Souza and former UFC No. 1 contender Maia. It's not. Ask somebody like Andre Galvao, who has had mixed results so far in his career.
The jury is still out on what level of success Drysdale will eventually attain after making his metamorphosis, which remains in the early stages.
Nicolae Cury vs. Luis Santos added to Bellator 45 prelims
One of MMA's most prolific prospects, Luis "Sapo" Santos (48-6 MMA, 0-0 BFC) will make his big-show debut at Bellator 45 against judoka Nicolae Cury (4-1 MMA, 0-0 BFC).
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) learned that both fighters have agreed to the contest, and bout agreements are expected to be finalized soon.
Featuring a pair of season-four tournament finals, Bellator 45 takes place at L'Auberge du Lac Casino Resort in Lake Charles, La.
CSAC Suspends Sonnen Indefinitely Pending May 18 Hearing
The California State Athletic Commission has suspended Chael Sonnen’s license to fight in the state indefinitely.
Reportedly handed down in late April, news of Sonnen’s suspension was first reported Tuesday by MMAWeekly.com. Sherdog.com on Wednesday confirmed the suspension with CSAC Executive Officer George Dodd, who said that Sonnen requested to meet with the governing body once notified. A hearing has been set for May 18 in Los Angeles.
Lindland Returns Fire on ‘Hendo’ in Team Quest Lawsuit
Matt Lindland loudly answered former teammate Dan Henderson’s lawsuit against him over the Team Quest logo and name.
Not only does Lindland now ask the California federal court to dismiss Henderson’s complaint altogether, but in his answer to Henderson’s complaint, he also countersues the Strikeforce light heavyweight champion for claims including trademark and copyright infringement, unfair competition, deceptive advertising, breach of contract, and interference with Lindland’s future business relationships.
Henderson fired the first shot in this legal dispute by filing the lawsuit on Feb. 14, alleging trademark infringement, copyright infringement, and unfair competition against Lindland and his company, Team Quest Fight Club, LLC
Alan Belcher targeting return at UFC Fight Night 25 in New Orleans
After 16 months away from the cage, UFC middleweight contender Alan Belcher is hoping to make a return in September at "UFC Fight Night 25: Battle on the Bayou."
His agent, Malki Kawa, today told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) that Belcher's return fight soon should be finalized.
And the Mississippi native is aiming for a spot on the Sept. 17 card, which takes place in nearby New Orleans.
"He's from Mississippi and literally 25 minutes away," Kawa said of the Spike TV-televised event. "Hopefully (UFC matchmaker) Joe (Silva) can make it happen."
Belcher (16-6 MMA, 7-4 UFC) was scheduled for a UFC Fight Night 22 bout with Demian Maia this past September. But he started to lose vision in his right eye a few months before the event. After consulting with physicians and learning he had a detached retina, the injury forced the 26-year-old to not only withdraw from the fight but also face the possibility of watching his career come to an abrupt end.
Rashad Evans: 'I Have More Respect for Rampage Than I Do for Jon Jones'
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans had a lot to say in an interview with ESPN radio last night at the UFC Fighter Summit. Most of the content was in regards to his beef with current champion Jon Jones, but he also touched on a variety of other subjects that he hasn't addressed in the media until today.
On his twitter war with Jones:
"Yeah I was gettin' into it. I like to talk, and I was gettin' real excited about it. There were a lot of things that made me mad about the whole situation so...I definitely wanted to address a few things."
On going back to Jackson's:
"No, I will not be going back to Jackson's. I'll never go back to Jackson's. Wait, because I don't want to go back there I'm not goin to say never, I'm just gonna say I'm not going back."
UFC to Offer Bonuses for Twitter Use
If you’ve noticed the ridiculous crush of Twitter messages that have flooded the social networking site during the current Zuffa, LLC. fighter summit in Las Vegas, this may be the reason why: UFC President Dana White announced on Wednesday that the fight promotion will begin offering bonuses to fighters for Twitter use, essentially paying them to tweet. Bonuses will be available to fighters who add the most Twitter followers and write the most creative tweets, according to a report from MMA Fighting. Jesus, this oughta be good. No word yet on whether the UFC Octagon girls will get bonuses for incessantly tweeting about their daily agendas.
Those of you who have been paying attention know it is no accident that the UFC has quickly evolved into a major player in the social media world during the last couple of years. As one of its primary PR objectives, the promotion recently partnered with a marketing firm called The Digital Royalty, which specializes in teaching celebrities and organizations how to maximize their presence on Twitter. Turns out, Dana doesn’t just tweet because he likes it. And here we thought one of Twitter’s only redeeming qualities was that it seemed halfway organic and spontaneous. Guess not. Anyway, exactly how these bonuses will work is after the jump.
Featherweights Mike Brown vs. Nam Phan slotted for UFC 133 in Philly
Former WEC champion Mike Brown (24-8 MMA, 0-3 UFC) and "The Ultimate Fighter 12" semifinalist Nam Phan (16-8 MMA, 0-1 UFC) will meet at UFC 133.
UFC officials today announced the featherweight fight.
UFC 133, which also featured Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis, takes place Aug. 6 in Philadelphia. The city's Wells Fargo Center plays host to the event.
The night's main card airs on pay-per-view, though Brown vs. Phan likely will be part of the preliminary card.