Strikeforce boss: Melendez-Masvidal not yet official, Wilcox-Cavalcante II possible
DALLAS – With an impressive decision victory this past Saturday at "Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum," it looks like Jorge Masvidal has stolen K.J. Noons' thunder.
The American Top Team product swept the scorecards against the former pro boxer, and as Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), Masvidal should be next in line to meet current lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez.
"We're not making an official announcement, but I think that's going to be a frontrunner," Coker said.
Following lackluster Overeem win, Silva promises he'll win Strikeforce Grand Prix
DALLAS – Strangely enough, one of the biggest winners of Saturday night's "Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum" event might have been a heavyweight that didn't even step in the cage.
By virtue of a rather lackluster Alistair Overeem victory over Fabricio Werdum, Brazilian behemoth Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva (16-2 MMA, 3-1 SF) may now be considered a favorite to win Strikeforce's heavyweight grand prix.
Of course, if you listen to Silva, a potential new role as the man to beat isn't a possibility – it's a guarantee.
TUF 13's Chuck O'Neil Released by the UFC
More trimming has been done from the UFC roster. Shortly after the news that Kendall Grove has been released, another TUF alum has received his walking papers. Season 13's Chuck O'Neil announced it on his facebook page:
I was officially released by the UFC today. I will continue to work hard to improve myself as a person and a fighter everyday. I WILL make it back there because the UFC is where I belong. Thank you to everyone for your continued support and there will be a fight coming soon with a MUCH improved performance!
Kendall Grove cut by the UFC
"Da Spyder" is going to have to find somewhere else to weave his web.
That's because Kendall Grove (12-9) has been released by the UFC following a unanimous decision defeat at the hands of Tim Boetsch at the recent UFC 130: "Rampage vs. Hamill" event on May 28.
Bonnar Injured; Newcomer ‘Markes’ in for UFC Live 5
Stephan Bonnar has suffered an undisclosed injury and will be unable to compete as scheduled at UFC Live 5, the promotion announced Friday. Octagon newcomer Ronny Markes will get the call to confront Karlos Vemola, Bonnar's original opponent for the event.
Headlined by a welterweight clash between hard-hitting Brit Dan Hardy and durable veteran Chris Lytle, UFC Live 5 goes down Aug. 14 from the Bradley Center in Milwaukee. The event is also scheduled to feature a pivotal lightweight duel, as the surging Jim Miller squares off with former WEC champion Benson Henderson.
Markes, 23, rides a four-fight winning streak heading into his showdown with Vemola. The reigning light heavyweight king of Shooto Brazil, Markes has only lost once as a professional. The Nova Uniao representative holds nine of his 11 career wins by either knockout or submission and most recently earned a unanimous decision victory over former Pride Fighting Championships standout Paulo Filho in August...
"Overeem vs. Werdum" official weigh-in results
MAIN CARD (Showtime)
-Alistair Overeem (256) vs. Fabricio Werdum (246)
-Josh Barnett (256) vs. Brett Rogers (258)
-Daniel Cormier (239.5) vs. Jeff Monson (234)
-Chad Griggs (234) vs. Valentijn Overeem (234.5)
-Jorge Masvidal (155) vs. K.J. Noons (156)
PRELIMINARY CARD (HDNet)
-Gesias "JZ" Cavalcante (155) vs. Justin Wilcox (156)
-Magno Almeida (155) vs. Conor Heun (155)
-Nah-Shon Burrell (179) vs. Joe Ray (180)
-Mike Bronzoulis (170) vs. Todd Moore (169.5)
-Brian Melancon (175) vs. Isaac Vallie-Flagg (170)
Strikeforce's Masvidal plans to remain patient, send Noons scrambling for doctor
DALLAS – Jorge Masvidal might have lost the foil-shirted, metal-loving, intoxicated market of MMA fans, but that's a price he's willing to pay.
He's going to stick to what he knows best, no matter how much criticism he may or may not receive for shirking an out-and-out brawl.
"I just want to make sure I get the W," Masvidal told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "You've got to pick your shots. I want to last a long time in this career. I can't be getting dropped every time I fight."
Strikeforce Enacts Sponsor Tax Right Before 'Overeem vs. Werdum' Card
In 2009, the UFC enacted a sponsorship tax for companies to sponsor fighters. Now, that tax is coming to Strikeforce.
Now word has come out via The Underground and Fighters Only Magazine that the UFC is charging $35,000 to sponsor a Strikeforce fighter with the tax going into effect for this Saturday's "Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum" show at American Airlines Center in Dallas.
American Top Team's Alex Davis responded on The Underground:
The same policy that is used in the UFC is now in place at Strike Force. Sponsors must pay a fee in order to endorse athletes fighting in Strikeforce.
Strikeforce heavyweight Chad Griggs, who fights Valentijn Overeem on Saturday, spoke to us on Thursday's edition of Bloody Elbow Radio about this:
Q: Chad, there's a story that came out today talking about a new sponsorship tax coming in on Strikeforce fighters that kind of happened recently. Have you been effected by this at all?
CG: I have. Most definitely. I don't want to get in trouble with anybody so I won't say a whole lot other than it's, yeah, we're having a little issue with it right now and it's definitely costing, hopefully, we're trying to work it out, but yeah, it's snuck up on us pretty unexpectedly, and we're looking to lose a lot of money, potentially lose a lot of money in sponsorships. I hope that doesn't happen, but it's not looking good.
Court Denies Summary Judgment Motions in Affliction M-1/Fedor Litigation
On June 7, 2011, Judge Margaret M. Morrow denied the parties cross-motions for summary judgment in the Affliction v. M-1/Fedor litigation. I have previously posted about the litigation — most recently here.
The 55 page decision is a VERY interesting read especially with respect to the facts surrounding the “Trilogy” non-event — in particular the discussions and ultimate agreement between Affliction and the UFC.
Below are some of the interesting points — note the chronology.
As set forth in the Court’s decision, at a “July 13, 2009 meeting, Bassiri and Lawrence Epstein, UFC’s general counsel, discussed the possibility that UFC would assume responsibility for the Trilogy show and postpone it to September 19, 2009, in Dallas. Bassiri told Epstein that Affliction Promotions wanted to leave the MMA promotion business and re-establish its relationship with the UFC.” ...
Nevada to Increase Out-of-Competition Drug Testing
The state of Nevada will ramp up random, out-of-competition drug testing for combat sports athletes after Gov. Brian Sandoval on Wednesday signed a bill into law that will increase the amount of money available for screenings.
Senate Bill No. 498 amended the current Nevada state athletic commission regulations, which used promoter taxes from professional events to award grants to amateur organizations. Now, some of the money will be placed into a fund for drug testing fighters.
The language of the bill states that testing will be for "amateur and professional unarmed combatants at any time, including, without limitation, during any period of training."
UFC 138: Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos Planned for November in San Jose
After Junior dos Santos beat down Shane Carwin in a #1 contender's match at UFC 131, it was only a matter of time before his shot against heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez would be scheduled. The question mark was Velasquez' recovery time from rotator cuff surgery earlier in the year.
Velasquez pasted Brock Lesnar at UFC 121 to take the title last October but injured his shoulder and has not fought since.
Now apparently UFC officials know enough to set a date.
Despite quick rise, Dustin Poirier still "three of four years" away from UFC title shot
With fast, hard punches and kicks and an aggressive style, Dustin Poirier certainly looks the part of someone who could give UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo trouble.
Of course, if it holds true that a good opponent makes a fighter look good, credit is also due to his most recent one, Jason Young. The British newcomer went toe-to-toe with Poirer for three rounds in one of the more exciting fights of this past Saturday's UFC 131 event.
Jose Aldo Expects to Defend Title Against Kenny Florian in October
The last few weeks have seen a lot of strange stuff coming from the UFC featherweight division. After featherweight champion Jose Aldo defeated Mark Hominick at UFC 129, Dana White made it clear that Aldo's next defense would "likely" be against Chad Mendes at UFC 133 on August 6th. No contract was ever signed, and Aldo (through Ed Soares) ended up turning down that fight for a few different reasons. Mendes decided to stay on the card, and will fight Rani Yayha. And it seems he's lost his title shot as a result of all this.
Hatsu Hioki to Train with Georges St-Pierre and Andre Benkei While UFC Negotiations Continue
While former Sengoku and Shooto fighter Hatsu Hioki hasn’t officially signed with the UFC yet, he’s going to do some training in the U.S. and Canada just to help him prepare if it does happen.
Hioki, who is currently ranked No. 4 in the MMAWeekly World MMA rankings, has been rumored to be negotiating with the UFC while searching for a new fight home.
The Japanese featherweight attended UFC 131 in Vancouver over the weekend, and will now be taking his talents to Canada and the United States to get some training in as well.
Strikeforce's Brett Rogers: "Healthy is going to get you wealthy"
DALLAS – Who's that guy sitting at the Strikeforce podium?
It's heavyweight Brett Rogers. You might do a double take after you see him – not just for the bright yellow T-shirt and fire-engine red shoes he sports. Something is different. He's a bit more, well, svelte.
As Rogers (11-2 MMA, 2-2 SF) said today, it's not just a full training camp that's shed the pounds. It's a new diet, which he said is one more step in being a "top to bottom" good athlete.
Strikeforce CEO on Cris "Cyborg" Santos negotiations: No deal but "We're dancing"
DALLAS – Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos, who's arguably the top female fighter in MMA today, still is without a contract.
The management team for Strikeforce current women's middleweight champion hasn't been able to strike a new deal with company officials.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) he has no updates on the negotiations, but he's optimistic a deal will get done and the 145-pound champ will be back in the cage.
Noons-Masvidal winner a "frontrunner" for title shot with Strikeforce champ Melendez
DALLAS – The next challenger to Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez's title likely will come from Saturday's "Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum" event.
But it won't necessarily be the K.J. Noons vs. Jorge Masvidal winner.
While that victor is the "frontrunner," Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker today told MMAjunkie.com a preliminary-card bout between Gesias "JZ" Cavalcante and Justin Wilcox also could factor into his decision.