Post-fight scuffle mars Andreas Spang's Bellator 66 comeback, disciplinary action likely
Andreas Spang's comeback win over hometown hero Brian Rogers was a thing of beauty.
And then things got real ugly.
For the better part of two rounds, Rogers (9-4 MMA, 2-2 BFC) had his way with the late replacement Spang (8-1 MMA, 1-0 BFC), who filled in for injured Bruno Santos in middleweight-tournament-semifinal action. The bout was part of the MTV2-televised main card of Bellator 66, which took place Friday at Cleveland's I-X Center.
Rogers scored early in the fight with kicks and punches before slipping on a head kick. Spang was able to seize the moment and get his back in the scramble and threaten with a rear-naked-choke submission. But then it was back to punishment mode after the escape, and Rogers resumed peppering Spang with heavy punches to the body and head.
It was more of the same in the second frame. Rogers countered with a big right cross early, caught Spang's kick, and continued his vicious assault. Spang was visibly hurt and wobbly at one point, and Rogers sprung forward throwing wild punches looking for the kill.
It cost him dearly.
Out of nowhere, Spang countered with a left hook that dropped Rogers like a sack of potatoes. One hammerfist later, referee Jerry Poe had seen enough. That was it. Spang had authored one of the best comebacks of the year in MMA and advanced to the middleweight-tournament finals.
"I had a couple rough times," Spang told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "He hits pretty hard. I never felt really worried or in too much of danger. I know he had his way with me a couple times, but I was pretty focused on the win. I came here to win. I caught him with my moneymaker left hook."
Maiquel Falcao (30-4 MMA, 2-0 BFC), who defeated Vyacheslav Vasilevsky (16-2 MMA, 1-1 BFC) by unanimous decision earlier in the evening to secure his own spot in the finals, was brought into the cage to greet Spang for the first time after the fight.
Then all hell broke loose...
UFC 146 is now JDS vs. Mir
Dana white via twitter:
EDIT: I'm not sure if the screen capture showed up the first time I posted it so I uploaded it to photo bucket and posted it as a web image. Let me know if this shows up twice.
UFC 145 weigh-in results: Champ Jones (205), challenger Evans (204) on weight
MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view)
Champ Jon Jones (205) vs. Rashad Evans (204)
Rory MacDonald (169.5) vs. Che Mills (170)
Ben Rothwell (263) vs. Brendan Schaub (237)
Michael McDonald (135) vs. Miguel Torres (135.5)
Mark Hominick (145.5) vs. Eddie Yagin (144.5)
John Alessio (155.5) vs. Mark Bocek (155)
PRELIMINARY CARD (FX)
Travis Browne (250) vs. Chad Griggs (228)
Matt Brown (171) vs. Stephen Thompson (171)
John Makdessi (158)* vs. Anthony Njokuani (156)
Mac Danzig (155) vs. Efrain Escudero (156)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook)
Chris Clements (169) vs. Keith Wisniewski (170.5)
Maximo Blanco (146) vs. Marcus Brimage (145)
* - Surrenders 20 percent of purse as a fine
Fedor Emelianenko Vs. Pedro Rizzo Booked For June 21st In Russia
Fedor Emelianenko returns to action June 21st in Russia and it was announced this week that his opponent will be Pedro Rizzo who will be stepping into the cage after a nearly two year lay-off.
M-1 official Evgeni Kogan made the bout official via his Twitter account. Bobby Lashley had at one point been a rumored opponent as did Rolles Gracie.
The fight will take place at the Ice Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia and will most likely air on pay-per-view.
The Emelianenko-Rizzo bout is the only fight announced for the card so far.
UFC's Stann explains why he quit hitting Sakara, new need to 'fight up the rankings'
The elbows that ended Alessio Sakara's night this past Saturday at UFC on FUEL TV 2 were proceeded by an utterance in his native language.
"I hit him with a real quick short elbow, and it hit him on the bone just above his right eye, and then my elbow sank into his eye," winner Brian Stann told MMAjunkie.com Radio.
"I heard him say something in Italian, then right when he was saying that in Italian, that's when I hit him twice, and he went out for a second."
Bellator 66 weigh-in results: Eddie Alvarez (154.5), Shinya Aoki (154.5) on weight
Official Bellator 66 fighter weigh-ins took place today, and all fighters easily made weight.
Today's festivities took place at Great Lakes Ballroom at Cleveland's I-X Center.
Both Eddie Alvarez and Shinya Aoki were on weight for their highly anticipated rematch in Bellator 66's headliner. Both fighters weighed 154.5 pounds.
Bellator 66 takes place Friday at the I-X Center. The main card airs on MTV2, and prelims can be watched on MMAjunkie.com or Spike.com.
UFC's Frankie Edgar anticipates future date with Jose Aldo, regardless of weightclass
Former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar (14-2-1 MMA, 9-2-1 UFC) is getting his wish: a rematch with current titleholder Benson Henderson (16-2 MMA, 4-0 UFC).
Despite an urging from UFC president Dana White to drop to 145 pounds and face current featherweight champ Jose Aldo (21-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC), Edgar will instead face Henderson sometime later this year.
But that doesn't mean Edgar is ruling out a potential fight with Aldo. In fact, he believes a future meeting with the Brazilian is a near certainty, though he's not sure if it will be 145 or 155 pounds.
"I'm all about fighting big fights and fighting the best guys," Edgar said. "Jose Aldo is one of them. We'll see that fight whether it's at 145 or 155."
Miguel Torres: Every Fight That I’ve Trained For I Haven’t Lost
As Miguel Torres continues his hunt to get back to another title shot, he says things have changed dramatically for him since his last run as champion.
He’d put the controversial Twitter situation behind him, but now Torres trains and gets ready as a professional and has learned how to say ‘no’ when commitments get in the way of his training.
Torres also opens up about past losses to Brian Bowles and Joseph Benavidez, and says that any time he’s had time and no injuries to train, he’s never lost.
Matt Brown: ‘He’s Gotta Worry About What I’m Going to Do, I’m Going to Smash His Face In’
Matt Brown has heard all about Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson and on Saturday night he says we’ll find out if it’s hype or reality.
Brown has fielded so many questions about Thompson’s flashy and unique karate style and honestly he’s sick of them.
See, Brown says that Wonderboy needs to worry about what he’s going to do to him in the fight and that plan is simple – he’s going to smash his face in.
Kid Yamamoto Jumps On Subway Track To Rescue Injured Man
Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto may be on a losing streak in the UFC, but he made one new fan in Tokyo this week when he lept onto a subway track to pull an injured man out of the path of oncoming trains. Yahoo! Japan was the first to report on the incident.
Ariel Helwani at MMA Fighting summarized the story:
The bantamweight fighter noticed that an older man was unconscious and bleeding from his head on the Gotanda Station track. While he was the first to jump onto the track to help him, the man was too heavy to lift on his own, so other bystanders assisted Yamamoto in getting him off the track. Yamamoto and others were successful in rescuing the man before the next train arrived at the station.
Rory MacDonald would move to middleweight before fighting GSP
Let's make this clear: It might be a while before Rory MacDonald is knocking at champ George St-Pierre's door, and interim titleholder Carlos Condit isn't necessarily around the corner.
Still, seemingly everyone feels something big is on the horizon for the 22-year old welterweight.
And if MacDonald beats Che Mills, there are aren't many top welterweights who seem out of immediate reach, including the interim champion.
Patience proving tough for UFC champ Georges St-Pierre, hints at middleweight
For recovering UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, there's no tougher part of recovery than the needed patience.
After rushing his recovery from a previous knee injury, St-Pierre suffered another and was shut down in December for an ACL injury.
He's making progress and even addressed a potential move to middleweight due to UFC 145 co-headliner Rory MacDonald, but the champ has learned to follow his doctor's instructions.
Dana White Uses Rashad Evans Vs. Jon Jones As Proof Jackson's MMA Is Not 'Family'
Greg Jackson and Jackson's MMA have been one of the biggest camps at the center of the teammates not fighting teammates thing. The idea that fighters are "family" or "teammates" who shouldn't fight each other has long bothered UFC president Dana White and he's taken the opportunity to try to prove what nonsense the idea that fighters are family is in the wake of the fallout between Jon Jones, Jackson's MMA and Rashad Evans.
Here's the quote from Yahoo's Cagewriter:
"There is one thing that is an absolute fact, and no matter how often Greg Jackson pumps that family [expletive], Greg Jackson is a [expletive] businessman," White told Cagewriter. "The more top guys he brings in, the more money he makes. There's nothing wrong with Greg Jackson, but he's a [expletive] businessman. Some of these fighters, who ought to know better but don't listen to that [expletive] and don't take it for the crock of [expletive] that it is. These guys need to make the decision where they train based on where they think they'll get the best work and develop the best, and not on this [expletive] crazy idea that you're becoming a part of a family.
"Greg Jackson [expletive] told Rashad this wouldn't happen, that they're family and all that other [expletive], but look what is going on now. Look and see who is at Jackson's and who is not. Train where you think it's going to be best for you and if that's Jackson's, that's fine. Just don't buy into this family [expletive] because there's nothing to it. This is the fight business, not the friend business."
Lorenzo Fertitta Claims That Rashad Evans Believed Dana White Was Betting On Jon Jones
UFC executives are continuing to discuss their reaction to a story on the MMA blog CagePotato that the promotion alleges gave the misleading and incorrect impression that UFC president Dana White was betting on the UFC 145 headliner between Jon Jones and Rashad Evans.
The UFC demanded a formal retraction and CagePotato obliged.
UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta spoke to USA TODAY's Sergio Non about the story and the promotion's response.
"We had a flurry of people contacting us through e-mail, Twitter. Rashad throwing a complete fit ... and then Dana having to call him to calm him down. If (people) thought it was just satire, we wouldn't have had that reaction," said Fertitta."
"Dana had to talk to Rashad on the phone for 30 minutes to calm him down, to tell him, 'Are you crazy? There's no way I would ever bet on a fight or bet against you,' " Fertitta says."
UFC 147: Brazilian Media Reporting That Anderson Silva Vs. Chael Sonnen 2 Might Be Moved To Las Vegas
"O Globo" reported today that the bout will be moved to Las Vegas, and rumors indicate that it might happen in UFC's July 7th show (UFC 148).
Anderson Silva's manager Ed Soares told TATAME on Monday that the bout is already signed for June 23, in Rio de Janeiro, but his Black House partner, Jorge Guimaraes, told TATAME today that the plans could change.
"This situation is already being discussed. There are some speculations. What you heard, I heard too. It seems like there are no hotels to fit everybody with UN's event, Rio+20", Guiamares said.
Liddell: 'Evans knows Jones isn't invincible'
Chuck Liddell has ridiculed the odds-makers who have made Rashad Evans a huge underdog against Jon Jones at UFC 145, insisting there is one massively important factor at play this weekend: The challenger knows the champion is not invincible.
Jones puts the UFC light-heavyweight title on the line on April 21, and only the boldest punter is rushing to back against him. The champ has never been beaten, other than a sole disqualification in the act of winning.
Evans, however, rarely makes a habit of losing either. Only Lyoto Machida has defeated him, and the No. 1 contender has the advantage of having previously trained with Jones.
Liddell, the former 205lb champion, does not buy into the suggestion that either man knows what the other will do as a result of their history together. However, he is convinced it will stop Evans taking any fear into the Octagon, as the likes of Rampage Jackson and Lyoto Machida may have done.
BJ Penn insists: I'm staying retired
BJ Penn appeared to confirm the end of his MMA career on Saturday, revealing he cannot see one challenge that could tempt him out of retirement.
Penn, one of only two men to win a UFC title in separate divisions, hung up his mitts after defeat to Nick Diaz. However, he has since been quoted as saying that he would return if he began to feel the fire once again.
The Hawaiian has been linked to fights with Gilbert Melendez and new UFC lightweight champion Ben Henderson, but the Prodigy appears to be very happy to stay outside of the Octagon.
"I haven't made any plans to come back and fight again," Penn said on Fuel TV. "Dana White has called me a few times, but I'm staying retired.
Bitterness Aside, It’s Time for Jon Jones and Rashad Evans to Play the Game
The showdown between former friends and teammates Jon Jones and Rashad Evans, the main event at Saturday’s UFC 145 in Atlanta, has been shaping up as one of the most heated grudge matches in UFC history.
But the flames of the fire between the two aren’t reaching as high as they once did.
Both men seem to be tiring of all the talk of their fallout and friction. They just want to get in the Octagon and prove who the better fighter is.
Is Drug Testing in MMA the Gold Standard Among Pro Sports?
Alistair Overeem. Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal. Cris “Cyborg” Santos.
Those are just a few of the names that have been in the headlines of MMA lately and it had nothing to do with winning fights. All three fighters tested positive for a banned substance or elevated levels of testosterone, and it once again raises the question if enough is being done to curb performance enhancing drug use in mixed martial arts.
The UFC recently instituted a new drug policy that screens all incoming fighters who intend to sign a contract with the promotion, and they must test clean before the contract can be tendered. In addition, all competitors on The Ultimate Fighter must also be tested prior to their admission onto the reality show.
Outside of those screening requirements, the UFC does no other testing on their own, except when the promotion operates an event in a location where the local sanctioning body does not provide for drug testing or in global locals where there is no sanctioning body. In areas where there is a sanctioning body, the athletic commissions in each area are responsible for drug testing the athletes as they see fit. Commissions like Nevada have instituted out-of-competition drug screenings to help curb performance enhancing drug use.
UFC 145’s Stephen Thompson Believes Matt Brown Won’t Stand With Him
Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (6-0) is a dynamic welterweight striker that you have to keep your eyes on.
While competing in kickboxing, Thompson earned several titles and won 30 fights by knockout. Last we saw him, Thompson shocked UFC fans with a frightening head kick knockout victory over Daniel Stittgen at UFC 143. The knockout came in his Octagon debut and while the 28-year-old is just getting warmed up, he knows that his patience is key in his next fight.
The decorated kickboxing champion meets his toughest challenge in the cage to date when he takes on veteran Matt Brown at UFC 145 in Atlanta on Saturday night.