Chinese import Tiequan Zhang encouraged by pressure of representing a nation
BROOMFIELD, Colo. – Any time a fighter enters the cage of the WEC or UFC for the first time, nerves are certain to factor into the combatant's performance.
Fighting on the biggest stage in the world, no one wants to let himself down, much less his fans, coaches or training partners.
But lightweight Tiequan Zhang (12-0 MMA, 1-0 WEC) had a few more people on his mind when he stepped in the cage for his WEC debut at Thursday's WEC 51 event – like the 1.3 billion citizens of his native China.
WEC 51 bonuses: Roop, Torres, Cerrone and Varner earn $10K awards
BROOMFIELD, Colo. – George Roop, Miguel Torres, Donald Cerrone and Jamie Varner each earned $10,000 "Fight Night" bonuses for their performances at Thursday's WEC 51 event.
Roop earned the night's "Knockout of the Night" award, Torres picked up the "Submission of the Night" bonus, and Cerrone and Varner earned "Fight of the Night" honors.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) learned of the bonus winners and award amounts while in WEC 51's post-event press conference.
WEC 51 took place at the 1STBANK Center near Denver in Broomfield, Colo., and the night's main card aired on Versus.
WEC champ Jose Aldo says plenty of challenges still await in featherweight division
BROOMFIELD, Colo. – WEC featherweight champion Jose Aldo (18-1 MMA, 8-0 WEC) might as well get used to the question.
After his latest destruction of a top contender – this time, a WEC 51 win over Manny Gamburyan in Broomfield, Colo. – MMA pundits and fans alike once againwere forced to ask, "Is there anyone who can beat Aldo in the 145-pound division?"
Aldo says he believes there are plenty of deserving contenders on the horizon, and while he's not opposed to moving up in weight someday, he's just fine where he's at right now.
Cerrone credits rodeo for WEC 51 win, says mental hurdle finally cleared
BROOMFIELD, Colo. – It was tough to tell what meant the most to WEC lightweight contender Donald Cerrone (12-3 MMA, 5-3 WEC) after defeating his arch-rival, Jamie Varner (16-4-1 MMA, 4-2-1 WEC), in a rematch at Thursday night's WEC 51 event.
Was it defeating his nemesis in sound fashion? How about displaying a newfound set of wrestling skills? Finally getting out of the blocks quickly? Or maybe proving he actually can win the big fight when the pressure is on?
For the "Cowboy," who credited his rodeo roots for one of the best performances of his fighting career, it was all of the above.
Despite resisting "ghetto bloodlust" urges, WEC's Torres still a work in progress
BROOMFIELD, Colo. – Despite earning a convincing win over Charlie Valencia at Thursday's WEC 51 event, Miguel Torres (38-3 MMA, 6-2 WEC) sat down at the evening's post-event press conference looking like someone had just stolen his lunch money.
Torres' second-round TKO victory came under must-win circumstances, and the result snapped the first-ever two-fight skid of the former bantamweight champion's lengthy career.
But for Torres, the win was just a small step along a lengthy path back to the top of the 135-pound division, and the time for celebration will come much later.
Ex-Bellator Champion Joe Soto May Be Forced To Retire Due To Injury
Former Bellator featherweight champion Joe Soto is the latest fighter to suffer a severe eye injury as the likely result of active competition. The 23-year-old fighter is undergoing surgery today for a severely detached retina and now faces a long recovery process and uncertain future. The injury was discovered Wednesday and he was immediately scheduled for surgery, with a second surgery likely in one year.
UFC 122 lineup set with 11 bouts, Spike TV main card official with five fights
The fight card for November's "UFC 122: Marquardt vs. Okami" event is now complete with 11 bouts.
The event takes place Nov. 13 at Konig Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen, Germany.
The night's main card, including a No. 1 contender's bout between middleweights Nate Marquardt and Yushin Okami that headlines the show, airs via same-day delay on Spike TV.
Co-headlining the event is another middleweight matchup with legit contenders: Jorge Rivera and Alessio Sakara. And rounding out the main card are lightweights Dennis Siver vs. Andre Winner, welterweights Amir Sadollah vs. Peter Sobotta and light heavyweights Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Goran Reljic.
No Longer His Own Boss, Miguel Torres Turns to Firas Zahabi for WEC 51
BROOMFIELD, Colo. – Brad Pitt, as Tyler Durden in "Fight Club," says, "It's only after you've lost everything that you're free to do anything."
To say Miguel Torres "lost everything" might be something of a stretch. But after back-to-back losses for the first time in a career spanning 40 professional fights (and a dozen others that exist off the books), Torres definitely reached that type of moment of critical mass.
After years of training himself at his Torres Martial Arts Academy in Hammond, Ind., near his hard-luck, blue-collar hometown of East Chicago, Torres was living the good life as his own boss. Sure, he made sporadic trips to drill with coaches like Robert Drysdale and Mark DellaGrotte. He rolled with Frank Mir and Kenny Florian, Rashad Evans and Kurt Pellegrino.
But when you've never been knocked out and someone pops you in the chin and puts you to sleep and takes your gold, and when you've never been made to quit and someone cracks your head open and chokes you until you tap ... it must feel like you've lost everything. So you go out and get a coach.
Shinya Aoki Meets Thai Boxer Yokthai Sithoar at DEEP 50
DREAM lightweight champion Shinya Aoki will return to the promotion where he got his start on October 24 when he meets former boxing titlist Yokthai Sithoar at DEEP's "50th Impact" in Tokyo, Japan. The bout was revealed by the promotion today at a press conference inside Tokyo's DEEP Official Gym Impact.
Jamie Varner Believes Donald Cerrone 'Has Set MMA Back About 10 Years'
If it feels like Jamie Varner and Donald Cerrone have been at each other's throats for two years, well, it's because they have.
The two first fought in January 2009. Varner won via technical decision after Cerrone landed an illegal knee to Varner's head in the fifth round of their title fight.
Varner was winning the bout on most people's scorecards up until that point (I had him winning four rounds to none), but Cerrone, who was beginning to put the heat on Varner in the fifth stanza felt like the then-champion was looking for a way out.
Sengoku Raiden Championship 15 adds Takahashi vs. Lee, Yokota vs. Cobb
World Victory Road's Sengoku Raiden Championships 15 lineup has two new additions.
Officials today announced a light-heavyweight bout between light heavyweights Kazuo "Yoshiki" Takahashi (28-24-3 MMA, 0-2 SRC) and Chang Seob Lee (3-5 MMA, 0-1 SRC), as well as a lightweight bout of Kazunori Yokota (11-3-3 MMA, 5-1 SRC) vs. UFC vet Brian Cobb (16-6 MMA, 0-0 SRC).
Sengoku Raiden Championship 15 takes place Oct. 30 at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo and airs via HDNet in North America.
The event also features the semifinal round of the Sengoku welterweight grand prix and the quarterfinals of the Asian bantamweight grand prix.
Frankie Edgar defends title against Gray Maynard at UFC 125
An old matchup becomes new again, but this time a UFC title is on the line.
As was previously expected, UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar (13-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) will defend his title against undefeated challenger Gray Maynard (10-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) at UFC 125.
While not officially announced by the organization, UFC 125 is expected to take place Jan. 1 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and air on pay-per-view.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) confirmed that verbal agreements are in place for the contest, which was first reported by MMAFighting.com.
Paul Daley vs. Scott Smith Official for 12/4 Strikeforce Event
In a matchup with fireworks written all over it, kickboxer Paul Daley will take on slugger Scott Smith on Dec. 4 at Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu in St. Louis.
First reported as in the works by CSNCalifornia.com, MMAFighting.com on Tuesday received confirmation from Strikeforce that the welterweight bout is set to go.
A crowd-pleasing fighter known for a trio of incredible come-from-behind wins, Smith (17-7) will be dropping down to welterweight after fighting the majority of his career at middleweight. Smith is 3-2 with the Strikeforce organization and is coming off a TKO loss to Cung Le in June.
Bellator 33: Ben Askren vs Lyman Good booked for Oct. 21 in Philadelphia
CHICAGO, Ill. (September 27, 2010) - Bellator Fighting Championships today made the welterweight title fight between Bellator Welterweight Champion Lyman "Cyborg" Good and Season 2 Welterweight Tournament Champion Ben "Funky" Askren official for Bellator 33 taking place at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia on Oct. 21.
"Lyman dominated Season #1 and Ben dominated Season #2. This is a great Welterweight Championship fight between two world-class undefeated Welterweights," said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney.
The fight marks Good's first title defense since racking up consecutive stoppage victories in the quarter and semifinal rounds of the Season 1 Welterweight World Championship Tournament that preceded a first round TKO of Omar De La Cruz in the finals at Bellator 11 in June of 2009.
The impressive run through the tournament established Good as the first Bellator Welterweight Champion and catapulted the undefeated star into the MMA spotlight.
Maldonado To Face McSweeney at UFC 120 After Blackledge Pulls Out
The UFC has signed Brazilian light heavyweight Fabio Maldonado to fight James McSweeney at UFC 120 on Oct. 16 at the O2 Arena in London.
Maldonado will fill in for McSweeney's original opponent, fellow Englishman Tom Blackledge, whose reason for pulling out of the event could not be confirmed.
A member of Team Nogueira, Maldonado (17-3) will carry a 10-fight winning streak into the Octagon. Of Maldonado's 17 victories, 14 have been finishes, and he has never been knocked out. The 30-year-old also competes in professional boxing and is undefeated in 22 fights, with 21 of those wins ending by KO. Though the Brazilian typically trains out of Nogueira's gym in Rio De Janeiro, recently he has spent time training with UFC lightweight Thiago Tavares in Florianopolis, Brazil.
Ross Pearson out with knee surgery
TUF 9 winner Ross Pearson today revealed that he had failed a post-fight MRI scan after losing to Cole Miller at UFC Fight Night 22 earlier in the month. Pearson says the injury was sustained in the first round of the fight with Cole Miller at UFC Fight Night 22.
“I think it tore when he pulled guard on me. After that I was really heavy-footed and I lost my movement,” he told Fighters Only today. “I am not using that as an excuse though, Cole Miller beat me fair and square. I didn’t want to mention it at all but now I am having an operation I suppose it would come out sooner or later.”
EA MMA Video Game Review
I sat down and played the EA MMA demo for Xbox 360 for about an hour today. The demo comes with four playable characters - Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem, Bobby Lashley, Jason "Mayhem" Miller, and Jake Shields, a Fight Now mode, and an "MMA 101" tutorial. My thoughts below.
The character models are excellent. The four playable characters (Overeem, Lashley, Miller, and Shields) and two non-playable characters ("Big" John McCarthy and Jimmy Lennon Jr.) look fantastic. All the faces are recognizable, the body types are correct, and the textures have a lot of detail.
Basic striking with the right stick is fluid. I played a fair bit of the Fight Night series, so this wasn't completely jarring for me. Kicks are performed by using the left trigger as a modifier. Putting together combos felt natural. Everything felt intuitive, so while I by no means have mastered the striking system, I feel comfortable with it.
Grappling still sucks. Another MMA game, another disappointing grappling engine. The grappling system is simple: press "A" to improve position, press "B" to prevent your opponent from improving, press "X" to attempt a submission, and press "Y" to try disengage. While THQ's series uses the right stick for positional advancement, grappling ends up as the same back-and-forth improve/deny position game in EA MMA as well. Never mind that this isn't an accurate representation of real-life grappling, it just feels clunky and disjointed. I'm beginning to worry that a fun, fluid, and simple grappling system is out of reach.
Jeremy Stephens Talks Melvin Guillard - Says That Wasn't Fighting
"It really wasn't an exciting fight. Everybody hyped it up to be. For (Melvin Guillard) calling me out, saying he's going to knock me the f*ck out in the first round, I would have rather had that happen, instead of him really not trying to engage with me."
"I was trying to put he pressure, trying to engage. I've never really seen Melvin fight like that; where he is just moving around the whole time. I thought we were just going to go to war, but it is what it is."
Arlovski Tweets That He's Out of K-1
When K-1 announced the pairings for Saturday's Final 16 event, it made a special point of emphasizing the presence of former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski.
So much for that.
Although his fight with Raul Catinas has been announced as happening in less than four days, Arlovski wrote on Twitter that he is not going to be there.
"I would like to confirm that I am not participating in the K-1 on October 2nd," Arlovski tweeted on Tuesday evening.