If Dana Comes Calling, Okami "Ready For The Challenge" Of Title Shot
Yushin Okami has been the bridesmaid for long enough. "Thunder" is ready to get his due. OK, so the always respectful Japanese contender didn't exactly issue a challenge to UFC brass following his UFC on Versus 2 victory over Mark Munoz, but Okami did say he's up for the task of a long-discussed title shot. "Obviously, we all fight to be champions," Okami told MMAjunkie.com through an interpreter. "I think that I'm ready to go." Dana White told Versus' "The Daily Line" this past week that a victory would go a long way toward putting the 29-year-old in the middleweight title mix. "Winning this fight would be big," White said. "I say it all the time, you know, Yushin Okami is one of the best 185-pounders in the world and has been for a while. This guy's due for a title shot." And with fellow top contender Belcher forced out of a planned September contest with recent title challenger Demian Maia due to injury, could Okami leapfrog "The Talent" for a spot behind Vitor Belfort in line for the middleweight title? Okami refused to play matchmaker, but after hearing of White's comments, he said he'd enjoy seeing what might happen. "I'm honored that [White] would say that, and I hope that I'm up to the challenge if I'm given the opportunity," Okami said. "It's nice that he thinks I am [ready], and if I'm given the opportunity, we shall see."
UFC on Versus 2 quick results
Jon Jones def. Vladimir Matyushenko via TKO (strikes) - Round 1, 1:52
Yushin Okami def. Mark Munoz via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Jake Ellenberger def. John Howard via TKO (eye injury) - Round 3, 2:21
Takanori Gomi def. Tyson Griffin via KO (punch) - Round 1, 1:04
Jacob Volkmann def. Paul Kelly via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Matt Riddle def. DaMarques Johnson via TKO - Round 2, 4:29
Igor Pokrajac def. James Irvin via submission (rear-naked choke) - Round 1, 2:29
Brian Stann def. Mike Massenzio via submission (triangle choke) - Round 3, 3:10
Charles Oliveira def. Darren Elkins via submission (armbar) - Round 1, 0:41
Rob Kimmons def. Steve Steinbeiss via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
UFC on Versus 2 fighter bonuses
SAN DIEGO – Takanori Gomi, Charles Oliveira, Brian Stann and Mike Massenzio each earned $40,000 fight-night bonuses for their performances at Sunday's UFC on Versus 2 event.
Gomi earned the "Knockout of the Night" award, Oliveira picked up the "Submission of the Night" bonus, and Stann and Massenzio earned "Fight of the Night" honors.
Alan Belcher Off UFN 22
Next month's UFC Fight Night 22 event has lost its headlining fight. Alan Belcher is now off due to a detached retina in his right eye. He was to have faced Demian Maia, who he campaigned for a fight against. A replacement search is underway. According to Belcher, he began losing vision in his right eye, consulted doctors and recently underwent surgery in Alabama. He's now prohibited from contact sparring for six weeks, though he said he hopes to attend UFN 22.
Jesse Taylor: I want to out strike Tom Watson as well as out wrestle him
There can be no doubt that some of the best fighters in MMA have graduated into the mainstream through The Ultimate Fighter. Jesse Taylor showed a great deal of promise while in the house and following on from the show has amassed an impressive 9-4 record, traveling to the corners of the globe to meet new challengers. Jesse took the time to chat with MMA Hit Pit about Tom Watson, fighting in Japan and the life of a fighter.
Carina Damm Secures Visa, Will Compete In SF Tourney
Carina Damm will be at Strikeforce Challengers 10 after all. Damm was able to secure a visa necessary for travel to the U.S., and she will compete in Strikeforce's upcoming four-woman tournament. Strikeforce officials had previously announced that a backup competitor was on standby, but Sherdog.com first reported that Damm's spot will not need to be filled. Strikeforce Challengers 10 takes place Aug. 13 at the Dodge Theatre in Phoenix, Ariz., and airs live on Showtime. Damm joins Hitomi Akano, Maiju Kujala and Miesha Tate in the single-night bracket. The tournament crowns a contender to the women's 135-pound title currently held by Sarah Kaufman, who next defends her belt against Marloes Coenen at a future Strikeforce event.
James Toney Plans To Slap Jon Jones
Well, this just keeps getting uglier. Professional boxer and UFC newcomer James Toney called out light heavyweight prospect Jon Jones in a recent interview with FightHype, resorting to juvenile name calling and hurling baseless allegations that likely won't make company president Dana White very happy. Toney is booked to battle Randy Couture at UFC 118 at the end of August, but he has called out just about everyone, including Brock Lesnar, who has been skeptical about his success inside the Octagon.
Bellator: Zuffa lawsuit "a big pile of nothing," company moving forward undistracted
They weren't, per se, confidential UFC documents that were being talked about," English said. "It was very simple. Bellator was interested in checking on forms that the UFC typically uses in order to see if it was missing anything in terms of its own forms. The types of forms that we're talking about, by and large – there's a form that the UFC uses making sure that the fighters don't use the same colored trunks. There's forms that notify them that they're not supposed to have sponsorship stuff on their attire. There was a form that dealt with termination of contracts. Those are not confidential documents, and the bulk of what we're talking about is that.
MC Hammer gets into the MMA business
Stanley Burrell, also known as MC Hammer, announced today that he's getting into the MMA business with Alchemist Management, a new management and "brand-building" firm based out of Los Angeles.
The firm has amassed several high-profile MMA names, including former UFC middleweight contender Nate Marquardt and veterans Vladimir Matyushenko, Jorge Rivera, Jared Hamman, Antoni Hardonk and James McSweeney. Current Strikeforce middleweight contender Tim Kennedy has also signed on.
Dana: There Is No Way Rua Returns In December
Apparently injured Mauricio Rua wants to return from knee surgery in December. Only one problem with that: Dana White, who said no to that...and perhaps to the dismay of Rashad Evans, also said no interim title. "This kid keeps pushing it to get out there faster and faster. I completely respect him for that. He's an animal. I love it. But there's no way he's going to be ready by December. People keep asking why he's had so many knee surgeries. That's exactly why he's had that many knee surgeries. I doubt [there will be an interim title]. When we did the belt for Brock Lesnar, we didn't know if Brock was ever going to come back or if he'd be out for a year or two. No interim title. We know this kid is coming back. He's already had the surgery. He knows exactly the date he can come back." Which could be as far out as June '11.
Dana: I Think It's Time Okami Got A Title Shot
Yes, Dana White actually is pulling a Lyoto Machida of sorts again with regards to perhaps his Middleweight counterpart. He made this comment recently on the Versus sports talk show The Daily Line: "I think it's time this guy gets a title shot; he's been here a long time." Okami is 8-2 in UFC with the only losses coming to Rich Franklin & Chael Sonnen. He next faces Mark Munoz Sunday at UFC On Versus 2, but the fight hasn't been confirmed as being a #1 contender's fight.
Will You Forget That Tyson Griffin Lost To Evan Dunham If He Beats Takanori Gomi?
Griffin sure hopes so. "I was actually the one that let the UFC know that I was ready to get back in there right away if any of the upcoming lightweights fighting got injured, so I was ready, stayed in shape and got back in the gym a week after the (UFC 115) fight and kept the ball rolling. I don't really need much time to prepare. It's not like Gomi's got anything spectacular about him. He's just a hard-nosed fighter and aggressive. I've dealt with that a lot. I think that's a perfect matchup for me. (It’s) not necessarily the loss, (I’m) just disappointed with my performance and just making simple mistakes ... I'd rather be beaten than lose the fight and I feel like I lost the fight against Dunham just being stupid and forcing myself out of similar positions when he's on my back and kind of expecting him to choose a different option and him going for something else. I want to erase that out of my head and the fans’ memories as well."
Ben Rothwell Has ACL Surgery, Out 9 Months
UFC heavyweight Ben Rothwell sat at UFC 115's post-fight podium and made no excuses. He had won a unanimous decision over Gilbert Yvel on the June 12 event's pay-per-view card but said it was "not a victory" for the fight's lack of finish. He chose not to disclose that he had torn his ACL on the first takedown of the three-round contest. Rothwell on Tuesday underwent surgery to repair both his ACL and a torn meniscus and hopes to be back in action by February or March of 2011.
Dana Confirms Dos Santos-Nelson Winner Gets Title Shot
As has been expected for some time, the winner of the upcoming Junior Dos Santos-Roy Nelson fight will indeed get a UFC Heavyweight Title shot following the upcoming Brock Lesnar-Cain Velasquez title fight. Dana White made the official announcement on the latest episode of ESPN's MMA Live.
UFC Sues Bellator & Fighter Agent
Zuffa LLC, the parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship and World Extreme Cagefighting, has filed suit against Ken Pavia, one of the sport’s most prominent fighter agents, alleging Pavia passed along trade secrets and confidential Zuffa documents to rival mixed martial arts promotion Bellator. The suit alleges that Bellator used the documents to help run its business. Pavia is the founder of MMA Agents and represents in excess of 50 fighters, more than 40 of whom are now or have been in the past under contract to Zuffa. Bellator, which is a co-defendant, is a fledgling MMA promotional company that has earned rave reviews for the entertaining fights it made during its first two seasons, which were broadcast initially on ESPN Deportes and then on FOX Sports Net, among other networks.
Jason MacDonald cleared to train, anticipates December return
UFC middleweight Jason MacDonald (24-14 MMA, 5-6 UFC) on Tuesday had two three-inch screws removed his ankle and was cleared for light training.
MacDonald suffered a broken tibula, a dislocated ankle and bone and ligament damage when John Salter took him down in the first round of their fight at UFC 113.
Impact FC hasn't paid its fighters
The majority of the fighters who competed on the Impact Fighting Championships' two scheduled July MMA events in Australia have not been paid by the promotion. The list of unpaid fighters includes Karo Parisyan, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, Jesse Taylor and Brian Ebersole.
Although most commissions require that fighters be paid before the promoter leaves the arena the night of the show (some even hold onto and distribute the money themselves) none of the men who fought on either show received checks before flying home from Australia. A handful of them have since received partial payment – the most being 75% of what was owed, however most of the fighters we spoke to have yet to receive a dime, despite multiple phone calls they have made and emails they have sent to promoters Tom Huggins and Andrew McManus asking that they be paid.