Yoshihiro Akiyama meets Jake Shields at UFC 144 in Japan
Japanese superstar Yoshihiro Akiyama will have plenty of support from his home country fans on February 26th, when he makes his welterweight debut in UFC 144 action against 170-pound contender Jake Shields at Saitama Super Arena in Japan.
"Verbal agreements are in for a welterweight matchup in Tokyo, Japan between former Strikeforce champion Jake Shields and Asian superstar 'Sexyama' Yoshihiro Akiyama February 26th," said UFC President Dana White.
Bob Arum: The UFC got buried Saturday night
UFC president Dana White loves boxing, but the promoters, not so much, 80-year-old Bob Arum especially. in the space of two minutes, White has called Arum an "idiot, moron, full of s---, big, fat, mouth shooting off, rich, lying, makes me sick, phony, two-faced pig, scumbag who destroyed the entire sport of boxing."
Arum has made similar comments, but reversed.
Arum admires the promoters of the UFC, saying "I love the way they have shown us, because of how well they’ have been doing, in certain aspects, to make us adapt, they do an unbelievable job on advertising on the Internet. They do an unbelievable job in the arena with music and so forth, and steaming up the crowd, we’re trying to duplicate it. They are great promoters ... and they are really good guys so I give them all the kudos, and all the credit for what they’ve done. Theres’ no knock on them, these are good class guys who really built a terrific business."
Arum however, hates the sport, and the fans. "For me MMA is garbage and junk, that’s how I feel and I would think that the majority of people of my generation would feel the same ... It’s fans are skinheads ... It’s horrible, guys rolling around like homosexuals on the ground. It is not a sport, the guys who throw punches can’t throw a punch to save their ass, when the punches land the guys have no chins."
Saturday night the UFC debuted on national television, immediately before the Arum promoted Pacquiao fight, and it offered Bob Arum another opportunity to go off on MMA, and the UFC.
"They thought they would hurt us,” Arum said of the UFC. “Instead they got hurt because they got buried. But I think the fact they’re just on for an hour helps us.”
Magomed Malikov KO’s Aleksander Emelianenko in just 23 seconds at M-1 Challenge 28 *VIDEO*
The Emelianenko brothers have had a rough go as of late. Aleksander Emelianenko (17-5), brother of the legendary Fedor, returned to action Saturday for the first time in almost a year as he took on the much less experienced Magomed Malikov (4-1) in the M-1 Challenge 28 main event at the Star Centre in Astrakhan, Russia.
Although Malikov only began fighting professionally in January of this year, he took the fight on just a couple days notice against a fighter not long ago considered one of the top 10 heavyweights in the world.
As you will see in the following video, Emelianenko throws a left jab and is countered with a big overhand right that immediately drops him to the canvas and into the ropes. Malikov follows up with two more big rights and the referee is forced to step in to save Emelianenko who went limp. Official fight time — 23 seconds.
5.7 Million Viewers Makes Cain vs JDS Most Watched UFC Event Ever
So if you have a twitter you'll already know that MMA media types are proclaiming the UFC's first foray onto Fox as a massive failure now that the initial ratings are released. Prior to the night, expectations ranged from the realistic (6.5 million) to the hilarious (10+ million). There was also some discussion regarding what would be an acceptable number for Fox and the UFC with hopes they would surpass Kimbo Slice vs James Thompson.
According to the people at TV by the Numbers, the hour long show did a 2.4 rating with a 7 share at the 18-49 range. Total viewers for the initial estimates are 4.65 million. Now, these are incredibly early and shouldn't be considered the final rating. TV by the Numbers included a disclaimer saying "Due to the nature of live coast-to-coast programming the ratings for ABC (College Football), CBS (Republican Debate) and Fox (UFC) are approximate and subject to more than the typical adjustments in the final numbers. See below for more information on these Fast Affiliate Ratings." This essentially means that there are a number of households that haven't yet been tallied.
After scouting champ Edgar, Henderson wants to pack on weight for UFC title shot (Edgar vs. Bendo Poll Inside)
If it's 24 hours before one of his fights, former WEC champ Ben Henderson (15-2 MMA, 3-0 UFC) is an octagon girl's worst nightmare.
You see, when "Smooth" is ready to weigh-in for his fights, you can be sure Burt Watson and Dana White will soon be holding a towel (sending the girls scurrying away), as Henderson always makes use of the full 156 pounds allowed in his lightweight contests.
But now, with a UFC title shot against a smaller Frankie Edgar looming on the horizon, Henderson said he wants to push the envelope even further.
"I'm sure [Edgar] is used to it, but it's definitely something I do want to take advantage of: my size," Henderson said following Saturday night's post-UFC on FOX press conference. "I want to get as big as possible, bulk up a little bit and do a good job of cutting weight, re-hydrating – do a very scientific job of that to be as big as possible, size-wise, shape-wise, to my advantage."
Henderson, of course, looked absolutely unstoppable in earning a unanimous-decision win over Clay Guida in the featured preliminary bout of Saturday night's UFC on FOX event in Anaheim, Calif. Following the win, UFC president White confirmed Henderson would get the next crack at Edgar. The two are now expected to meet in the UFC's February return to Japan.
UFC Quick Quote: Dana White wants you to shut up and stop bitching about not seeing more fights on FOX
"This fight was not part of the (FOX) deal. The deal is for seven years (and) so many fights on FOX. This time, that time, this was never part of the deal. After we signed the deal, FOX said, 'Why don't we do this, why don't we do a fight right away, lets put a great fight on TV, kick it off and let everybody know about the partnership?' That's what this thing was. For anybody to bitch about this fight and they didn't get to see that fight, shut up! You should have bought tickets then if you wanted to see all the fights and you don't like to watch it on Facebook. Seriously, shut up. I don't even want to hear it."
UFC on Fox ratings fail to dethrone Kimbo on CBS ratings
Despite White's nostalgia and best intentions, UFC on Fox 1 reeled in about 4.5 million viewers last night, which is about 2 million less than the sport's very first taste of terrestrial television three years ago (May 31, 2008) on CBS, when Miami bareknuckle brawler Kimbo Slice took on James Thompson in the Elite XC: "Primetime" main event.
Ben Henderson Earns Shot At Frankie Edgar In Japan
Yesterday at the UFC on Fox weigh ins Joe Rogan announced that the winner of Clay Guida and Ben Henderson would be the number one contender for Frankie Edgar's lightweight belt. With the fight of the year candidate in the books and Henderson as the victor, the fight was made official at the post fight press conference. It was rumored that the next Frankie Edgar fight would be at Zuffa's first attempt to break into the Japanese market in January. Dana White confirmed this rumor tonight.
Ramsey Nijem vs. Anthony Njokuani targeted for UFC 141 in Las Vegas
A lightweight bout between Ramsey Nijem (5-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) and Anthony Njokuani (14-5 MMA, 1-1 UFC) has been targeted for next month's UFC 142 event.
Sources close to the event told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) verbal agreements are in place for the fight.
Featuring a heavyweight headliner between former UFC champ Brock Lesnar and recent Strikeforce titleholder Alistair Overeem, UFC 141 takes place Dec. 30 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The main card airs on pay-per-view, though Nijem vs. Njokuani likely will be part of the preliminary card.
Bobby Lashley thanks Josh Barnett for efficient Shark Fights 21 title win
The extensive work Bobby Lashley (7-1) did with Strikeforce heavyweight Josh Barnett paid off big time on Friday night.
The former WWE wrestler and ex-Strikeforce heavyweight cinched a first-round submission on Karl Knothe (20-6) in the main event of Shark Fights 21, which took place Friday at Fair Park Coliseum in Lubbock, Texas.
After a struggle, Lashley caught Knothe with a kimura, or – if you're a catch-wrestling type of person – a top-wrist lock.
Who drilled the sequence that led to the submission? One "Warmaster."
"It was exactly what we working on, from the transition to getting into it," Lashley told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "Step by step we went over that same series, like, maybe hundreds of times."
USA TODAY Sports Media Group acquires MMAjunkie.com
USA TODAY Sports Media Group announced today the acquisition of leading mixed-martial-arts site, MMAjunkie.com and its related editorial assets across all platforms, including its daily radio show.
The site's editor-in-chief, Dann Stupp, and its entire editorial staff, including award-winning lead staff reporter John Morgan, will remain in place and will report to Dave Morgan, the USA TODAY Sports Media Group's senior vice president of content and editor-in-chief.
"This is an exciting acquisition for us, and one that greatly enhances the editorial capabilities of the USA TODAY Sports Media Group in covering mixed martial arts across all platforms," said Tom Beusse, president of the USA TODAY Sports Media Group. "Since its inception, MMAjunkie.com has established itself by breaking stories on a regular basis and providing fans with the most relevant and complete coverage available for this evolving and fast-growing sport, and we will continue to strengthen and expand that coverage for our fans."
With more than one million unique visitors per month, MMAjunkie.com is one of the leading online news destinations for the sport, as well as a content partner for several print, online and TV outlets. It also produces the daily podcast/radio show "MMAjunkie.com Radio," with a TV simulcast syndicated through Fight Now TV...
Forrest Griffin Apologizes for Twitter Rape Joke, Donates to Rape Crisis Center
Forrest Griffin tweeting out a joke about rape became a big story given the timing of the UFC's Fox debut. The story of his tweet was picked up by major online media sources and it led to a questioning of the UFC's embrace of Twitter and associated reward system while refusing to hold fighters accountable for harmful tweets.
Forrest has now apologized to a local rape crisis center whose executive director said "The entire comment was disgusting and insensitive." Las Vegas ABC affiliate KTNV has Griffin's apology:
"I like to cause trouble, I like to stir the pot and I like to make a mess of things, but I really do not want to be mean or malicious to anyone. I feel bad, I want to apologize, I feel like a should be punished a little bit. Maybe other professional athletes or just guys in locker rooms can kind of be more sensitive towards the topic of rape. Once you take the comments in the light of day you feel disgusted by it, but at the time you don't think."
UFC on FOX's Guida vs. Henderson winner expected to face champ Edgar in Japan
Maybe fighting on Facebook isn't the worst thing in the world.
While many MMA fans and pundits have expressed their frustration that a key UFC on FOX lightweight matchup between Clay Guida (29-11 MMA, 9-5 UFC) and Ben Henderson (14-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC) has been relegated to the evening's Facebook-streamed undercard, it appears UFC brass is still dangling a rather large carrot in front of the winner.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned from multiple sources close to the promotion that the winner of the Guida vs. Henderson matchup is expected to receive an immediate title shot against current lightweight champ Frankie Edgar (14-1-1 MMA, 9-1-1 UFC).
Guida and Henderson meet in the co-feature of Saturday night's UFC on FOX 1 event, which sees heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez defend his belt against Junior Dos Santos in Anaheim, Calif. The main event airs on FOX.
Rich Attonito meets newcomer Jake Hecht at UFC 140
Following a card shuffle brought by Rory MacDonald's recent injury, the UFC has patched a hole in the second event headed to Toronto.
Sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Jake Hecht (10-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will meet Rich Attonito (10-4 MMA, 3-1 UFC) on the preliminary card of UFC 140, which takes place Dec. 10 at Toronto's Air Canada Centre. Facebook-streamed prelims serve as a lead-in for a two-fight card broadcast on Spike TV, which then heads to the pay-per-view main card.
Attonito was originally scheduled to meet Claude Patrick, who was promoted to a main card bout against MacDonald's original opponent, Brian Ebersole.
Hecht, a product of Fiore MMA, brings a three-fight win streak into the octagon and has earned five of his 10 career wins via submission. Most notably, he holds a decision win over "The Ultimate Fighter 13" veteran Charlie Rader in regional competition.
As UFC on FOX headliner looms, champ Cain Velasquez envisions he's underdog
When he walked into the UFC's Rosemead, Calif. gym some 13 months ago, Cain Velasquez was the best challenger the promotion had to offer heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar.
Now Velasquez (9-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC) is the champ, and Junior Dos Santos (13-1 MMA, 7-0 UFC) sits on the horizon waiting to dethrone him.
Oddsmakers still see Velasquez as a slight favorite leading into his headliner with Dos Santos, which takes place Saturday at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., as the main event of UFC on FOX.
In so many words, the line says Velasquez is the champ and brings better wrestling to the fight and therefore has a greater ability to control where things go.
Velasquez, though, has the mentality of an underdog. Whether he's fighting for the title or defending it, as he is under the network lights, this is the part of him that never changes.
UFC 137 drug tests come back clean
All 17 fighters who underwent drug testing at this past month's UFC 137 event tested clean for performance-enhancing drugs and recreational/drugs of abuse.
Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer today e-mailed the drug-testing results to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
UFC 137 took place Oct. 29 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas with a Nick Diaz vs. B.J. Penn pay-per-view headliner.
The NSAC tested both of them, as well as Cheick Kongo, Roy Nelson, Scott Jorgensen, Hatsu Hioki, Donald Cerrone, Eliot Marshall, Brandon Vera, Chris Camozzi, Francis Carmont, Ramsey Nijem, Danny Downes, Bart Palaszewski, Tyson Griffin, Dustin Jacoby and Clifford Starks.
All tested negative for drugs of abuse (such as marijuana and cocaine), as well as anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancers.
UFC on FOX's Ben Henderson promises his fight will be on TV 'somehow, someway'
When UFC president Dana White says his company is focused solely on the promotion of Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos leading into this weekend's UFC on FOX event in Anaheim, Calif., he means it.
Unfortunately, that means a critical bout in the lightweight division between perennial contender Clay Guida (29-11 MMA, 9-5 UFC) and former WEC champ Ben Henderson (14-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC) has flown largely under the radar.
But if you listen to "Smooth," it won't stay that way for long. Henderson thinks his promotion will take place when the cage door shuts.
"Someway, somehow, this fight will make it to air," Henderson said at Thursday's pre-UFC on FOX media workouts in Rosemead, Calif. "If it is afterward or whatever, Dana White is going to want to put this one on primetime television. He's going to be like, 'Oh, wow. We need to get this on TV somehow, someway.' I'm going to make sure of that."
UFC and FOX officials, of course, elected to feature only the card's heavyweight title fight on the night's special one-hour "teaser" special. But hardcore fans will be forced to stream the fight via Facebook or FOXSports.com (or watch in Spanish on FOX Deportes).
UFC 137 officially draws 10,313 attendance and $3.9 million gate
This past month's UFC 137 event officially drew a 10,313 attendance figure and a $3,900,650 live gate.
UFC 137 took place Oct. 29 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas with a Nick Diaz vs. B.J. Penn pay-per-view headliner.
Of the 21 events the UFC has held to date at the Sin City venue, the gate figure ranks third all time.
Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer today emailed the officials figures to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Of the 10,313 attendees, 8,179 paid for tickets, and 2,134 received complimentary admission. Additionally, 409 tickets went unsold, though UFC officials announced the show as a sellout. That produces an average paid ticket price of $476.91.
In addition to the actual event, Mandalay Bay hosted a closed-circuit feed of UFC 137. The event drew 723 attendees (523 paid) for a gate of $26,150.
The Mandalay Bay Events Center's all-time top UFC gates as compiled by MMAjunkie.com include:
UFC 100 (Lesnar vs. Mir II): $5,128,490 gate (10,871 attendance)
UFC 79 (St-Pierre vs. Hughes III): $4,994,000 (11,075)
UFC 137 (Penn vs. Diaz): $3,900,650 (10,313)
UFC 126 (Silva vs. Belfort): $3,600,000 (10,893)
UFC 57 (Liddell vs. Couture III): $3,382,400 (11,000)