Despite Love of Boxing, Trevor Wittman Happy to Have Moved on to MMA
WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. – Trevor Wittman has a case of strep throat. Maybe. At least, there's a chance he does, and for a top MMA trainer, a chance is too much.
In his line of work, which requires getting right in the faces of elite professional fighters who are anywhere from several months to several days away from important fights, he can't risk the possibility that he might accidentally infect them. They have enough to worry about, and he can practically feel the white spots popping up on the back of his throat every time he swallows. This explains his uniform for today.
"I swear I don't normally dress like a ninja," the 35-year-old Wittman explains as he leads me into his little office inside the Grudge Training Center.
Ricco Rodriguez to Face James McSweeney at BAMMA 5
Former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez will meet The Ultimate Fighter 10 contestant James McSweeney at BAMMA 5 on Feb. 26 in Manchester, England, the promotion announced Wednesday.
Rodriguez will look to extend his 10-fight win streak at the UK-based event, which will be headlined by Strikeforce contender Paul Daley vs. DEEP champion Yuya Shirai for the vacant BAMMA welterweight strap.
Going Through Brock Lesnar Is A Better Path For Junior Dos Santos
At least according to his manager, the one & only Ed Soares. "Our first choice, and he rightfully deserves it, was to fight for the title, but considering that couldn’t happen, I think this is the next best thing that could have happened for his career. And in the long run, it might be a better path. To get the exposure that they’re going to get on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ and then to fight a guy like Brock Lesnar, who is such a huge draw, I think it’s a pretty good solution to the problem.... You’ve got to fight to stay alive, he’s got to pay his bills. His last fight was in August and who knows when Cain would have been able to be back and fight. I think (Dos Santos) needs to stay sharp and he’s gotta not have any ring rust."
After Brock Lesnar Beats Junior Dos Santos He Plans On Taking His Title Back From Cain Velasquez
But he's also focused on his primary task ahead-TUF 13. "I have one thing in my mind for this whole thing, which is to help these kids and to improve their lives. More importantly, it's an opportunity for me to get down here and train and it's an opportunity for me to get my title back sooner rather than later. When I beat dos Santos, then I get a rematch with Velasquez and I get my f****n belt back. That's the way I'm looking at this."
Diaz focuses on Cyborg -- then boxing?
Nothing is taking Nick Diaz's mind off the task at hand -- not the hoopla surrounding his refusal to move up in weight and face Jason "Mayhem" Miller nor the possibility of competing in a boxing match later this year.
Strikeforce's welterweight champion is focused solely on successfully defending his title on Saturday night (on Showtime at 10 ET) in San Jose, Calif., against Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos.
If Diaz loses focus for just a short period of time, his reign could end. Diaz (23-7-0, 1 no-contest) is aware that Santos has enough power and determination to end his night quickly.
Regardless of UFC Fight Night 24 outcome, Tito Ortiz not ready to retire
Tito Ortiz laughed it off at first. Then he realized they were serious.
Not long after Matt Hamill handed him his third consecutive loss at this past October's UFC 121 event, he got a call from UFC executive Lorenzo Fertitta and UFC president Dana White.
They told him he should retire. After the initial surprise, he pleaded with them.
"I said, 'You guys have got to give me a chance, man,'" Ortiz told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "Look at my last fights. I fought Forrest Griffin last year with a ruptured disk in my neck, and I still fought to a split decision. I come back a year later after neck surgery, and I fight a guy who's on a five-fight win streak, and I lost a couple of takedowns.
"You guys think I should retire? It's just crazy."
He eventually convinced them to give him one last shot. White later called him back, and Ortiz (15-8-1 MMA, 14-8-1 UFC) asked for a fight with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (19-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC), the twin brother of former PRIDE and UFC champ Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. "Little Nog" had most recently lost a unanimous decision to blue-chip prospect Ryan Bader.
Mike Guymon Confirms Retirement, Will Continue As Trainer
UFC welterweight Mike Guymon is officially retired from the sport, and he's "at peace" with that decision. After a tough loss to DaMarques Johnson at this past weekend's "UFC Fight Night 23: UFC Fight for the Troops 2" event at Fort Hood in Texas, Guymon suggested in a UFC.com interview that his retirement was imminent. Today, Guymon, who's healing from rib and back injuries sustained in the fight, confirmed the decision but said he'll continue training other fighters. "It's too hard on my heart and mind," Guymon said. "That's when I knew it was time.
"I'm at peace with retirement. I accomplished all I wanted to accomplish in MMA." Guymon was 12-5-1 career but finished with a 1-3 mark in UFC over his last 4 fights.
Will Ronaldo Souza Survive The "Ruthless" Standup Of Robbie Lawler?
Not if Lawler has his way Saturday night. "He’ll have no choice but to stand. That’s what I plan on doing. I’m forcing him to stand and seeing how good his standup is. I believe if anyone stands, it’s just a matter of time before I catch them. I believe I’m better on standup. He’s a really good athlete. He’s explosive. His takedowns are real explosive and he’s got a judo background. I just have to keep it where I want to and not make any mistakes and take advantage of it being on the feet. I believe it’s going to be an awesome fight. Two guys, one guy not wanting to give up the belt and one guy going in there to take the belt. It’s going to be a battle." Lawler faces Souza for the Strikeforce Middleweight title.
Fedor Emelianenko Will Not Win The Strikeforce HWGP Tournament
So says none other than Scott Coker...and if he's on it'll be a loss to a familiar face. "I believe that there are going to be some upsets in this tournament. On one side you'll have Alistair Overeem and he will fight (Josh) Barnett. The other prediction is, if Fabricio Werdum beats Alistair (Overeem), I believe Fabricio can beat Fedor (Emelianenko) again and he'll probably fight (Josh) Barnett. That's my prediction, but in these things you never know, I'm just throwing out some names. The reality is we're going to have a lot of fun watching it unfold."
UFC FFTT 2: 1.85 Million Viewers
This past weekend's "UFC Fight Night 23: UFC Fights for the Troops 2" event scored a 1.3 household rating and an average of 1.85 million viewers. The event also peaked with 2.5 million viewers. The most recent "Fight Night" event, "UFC Fight Night 22: Marquardt vs. Palhares," scored an average audience of just 1.2 million viewers in September.
Jon Jones Is "Pissed Off" At Aaron Simpson
Apparently Simpson started a Twitter war with comments about Jones' next fight at UFC 126 against Ryan Bader. Naturally, Jones' fuse was lit. "Didn't you lose your last 2 fights? Please don't piss me off, I actually have respect for ryan. Don't you have a fight scheduled? Focus on yourself instead of whether I'm ready or not. Are you familiar with the strike policy in baseball?"
Don't "Axe" Me: Wanderlei Silva Doesn't Want To Fight Brian Stann
At least that's what Dana White said recently. "We were actually trying to hook [Silva] up with Brian Stann. He doesn't want to fight Brian Stann. He's like, 'F*** that; everybody is going to hate me if I fight Brian Stann. Everybody loves Brian Stann.' But that's the fight we're trying to make right now." Stann spoiled a planned Silva-Chris Leben fight by beating Leben at UFC 125, then he called out Silva.
Kenny Florian: If Melvin Guillard Thinks He Deserves A Title Shot Over Me, He Should Fight & Beat Me
That's what KenFlo had to say on Pro MMA Radio last night in response to recent comments on the show by Guillard. "It doesn't make sense. There's a lot of guys working hard. It's who the best fighter is. If Melvin thinks he deserves a shot over me, he should fight me and beat me. It's always about who the best fighter is. Who has he beaten? What has he done? That's great he's finally considered a top contender. Losing to Joe Stevenson in the first round isn't gonna get you that shot. You have to be consistent. He has to separate himself from the pack. I would take that fight."
Jens Pulver Out to 'Rebuild' After Ending Six-Fight Losing Streak
There's still some fight left in "Lil' Evil."
Former UFC lightweight champ Jens Pulver (23-14-1) this past Saturday submitted Mike Lindquist with a first-round rear-naked choke at an XFO event in Woodstock, Ill., snapping a six-fight losing streak.
It was Pulver's first win in over three years and would have retired had he fallen short against the unheralded fighter (6-20), Pulver said Monday on MMAFighting.com's The MMA Hour.
Paul Daley Could Lose SF Title Shot With 2/26 BAMMA Loss
Right now, Paul Daley is Strikeforce's contender-in-waiting and will get a title shot against the winner of Saturday's championship fight between welterweight titleholder Nick Diaz and challenger Evangelista Santos. But Daley could lose that title shot if he suffers a loss on Feb. 26. That's when Daley fights Yuya Shirai for a vacant welterweight belt at BAMMA 5, an event that takes place in his native U.K. During a media call today, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker was asked about that fight. While the organization allows some fighters to sign non-exclusive deals and compete in outside organizations, that fight could affect Daley's future in Strikeforce. Coker said a win at the BAMMA show will keep Daley next in line for the title shot. And a loss? "The deck gets reshuffled," he said.
Sources: No TUF 13 Elmination Round, Only 14 Cast Members
While the past three seasons have featured an initial elimination round of fights, "The Ultimate Fighter 13" will kick off with just 14 cast members. Beginning with "TUF 11," the UFC expanded its initial fighter group from the usual 16 to 28. To get into the house and become an official cast member, fighters had to win an elimination-round bout on the first day of taping. With the upcoming 13th season, the elimination round has been eliminated. But the "wild card" selections still are in play. "TUF 13" began production today in Las Vegas, and the shows debuts March 30 on Spike TV. Former champ Brock Lesnar and fellow heavyweight contender Junior Dos Santos serve as head coaches and each oversees a team on the show. Although initially expected to feature both welterweight and middleweight fighters, producers recently chose to go with a cast of all 170-pounders this season. It's not clear why the UFC and Spike TV nixed the elimination round for "TUF 13."
UFC FFTT 2 Medical Suspensions
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation has issued the medical suspensions from Saturday's UFC Fights For The Troops 2 event. As is commonplace in Texas all fighters received a mandatory suspension for precautionary reasons but most are only for 8-10 days. 3 fighters got 31 days and 2-Matt Mitrione and Willamy Friere (Chequerim)-are suspended indefinitely and must be cleared by doctors before they can return.
UFC Claims 3200 Attendance For FFTT 2
This past weekend's "UFC Fight Night 23: UFC Fights for the Troops 2" event drew an announced crowd of 3,200. There was no live gate for the event because the event was not only open to military personnel only (outside of some press) but all the tickets given out were free tickets. The totalproceeds raised for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund hasn't been announced yet, but will reportedly be in the millions once the totals are added up this week.
Spike Announced UFC Prelims For 2011, UFC 126 Next
As expected Spike TV will broadcast a dozen "UFC Prelims" broadcasts, which are one-hour preliminary-card specials that precede pay-per-view airings, this year. Spike announced the plans today, first up is UFC 126. The featured TV fights will be Donald Cerrone vs. Paul Kelly and Chad Mendes vs. Michihiro Omigawa. But the reported contract renewal to keep the specials going still hasn't been finalized, that would be needed for the specials to continue past 2011.
Former UFC champ Jens Pulver snaps losing streak, wins XFO 38 headliner
Jens Pulver snapped a six-fight losing streak and picked up his first victory since 2007 with a win in the headliner of Saturday's XFO 38 event.
Pulver (23-14-1) scored a quick, 49-second rear-naked choke victory over area fighter and one-time WEC competitor Mike Lindquist (6-20).
The event took place at Woodstock Harley Davidson in Woodstock, Ill., and streamed online.