UFN 24 Official For Seattle, Garcia-Phan First Fight
In March, the UFC makes its first-ever trip to Seattle, and a highly anticipated featherweight rematch will be featured on the evening's main card. UFC executives today announced that UFC Fight Night 24 takes place March 26 at Key Arena in Seattle and airs on Spike TV. While the card is expected to be headlined by a light heavyweight contest between Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Tito Ortiz, Leonard Garcia vs. Nam Phan II is the first fight officially announced for the event.
Strikeforce Clarifies HW Tournament Rules
While the buzz surrounding Strikeforce's recently announced heavyweight grand prix has been immense, understanding of the specifics of the tourney has been a bit less than ideal. Today, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker clarified many of the questions that needed to be addressed. First up, Alistair Overeem's title will not be on the line in the tournament. And while there were some suggestions that every fight in the tournament would be contested as five-round affairs, instead, that will only happen in the grand prix finals, when a newly created Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix title will be on the line. "All quarterfinal and semifinal matches will be scheduled for three, five-minute rounds," Coker said. "The tournament final will be five, five-minute rounds for the Strikeforce world grand prix championship." Strikeforce's heavyweight grand prix, featuring such luminaries as Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem, former UFC champions Andrei Arlovski and Josh Barnett, PRIDE great Fedor Emelianenko, and others, kicks off on Feb. 12 at "Strikeforce and M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Silva," which takes place at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J. With the heavyweight grand prix set up as an eight-man, multi-night, single-elimination tournament, draws could prove problematic along the way. In order to address that, Coker said a fourth judge will be on hand in each fight to determine which fighter will advance from the tie. "If any fight results in a draw, an independent fourth judge will determine who advances or who wins based on the fighter's overall performance in the fight," Coker said. "We will have a fourth judge on hand scoring the fight independently of the three that we normally have." The final question mark in terms of tournament format involved potential injuries to the eight competitors. If a winner suffers a serious issue, who continues on in the bracket? "If a fighter qualifies to advance in the tournament but for any reason can not advance, we're forming a five-person tournament-review committee who will select a fighter to advance in his place," Coker said. "This fighter will be chosen from a pool of fighters that will include the previous opponent and the winners of reserve matches."
Thiago Silva Doesn't Care What A "Jerk" Like Jon Jones Thinks
And he certainly didn't appreciate Jones calling him out after his recent win over Brandon Vera, as he tells the TATAME. "This guy is a jerk. Everybody’s a professional fighter and all fights include provocations. Brandon Vera said he’s break my legs, that I wasn’t on his level. I don’t say things, I do. You get recognized when you do things. I’m a professional fighter, but I can’t always please everybody. There’s always somebody behind the computed with a plate filled with French fries, ready to criticize you. I fight for the fans, for the money and to put my name up there. Talking is too much easy, nobody knows what goes on in your life, your trainings… I think I did my job. Who likes it, likes it, but you can dislike it if you want."
Phil Baroni Signs With Titan Fighting Championships
"The New York Bad Ass" will return. Despite his recent release from the UFC, 34-year-old Phil Baroni will fight again, this time with the Kansas-based Titan Fighting Championship. Titan Fighting Championship officials announced late Wednesday night that Baroni has signed a multi-fight deal with the promotion. The company expects Baroni to debut on March 25 against an opponent still to be determined.
Jens Pulver in main event of XFO 38, Jan. 22
Former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver (22-14-1) will whet his appetite for an expected March fight with another booking later this month just outside of Chicago.
Now-featherweight Pulver is set to headline XFO 38 opposite Mike Lindquist (6-19) on Jan. 22 at the Woodstock Harley Davidson in Woodstock, Ill.
It's the former champ's second fight since being released from the now-defunct WEC following a stretch of five losses.
Report: Pace-McDonald Slated for UFC Fight Night 24
Bantamweight prospects Nick Pace and Michael McDonald have agreed to meet at UFC Fight Night 24, according to a report from MMAWeekly.com.
While neither the matchup nor the event has been announced by the promotion, the show is expected to go down on March 26 at Key Arena in Seattle, and will likely be headlined by a light heavyweight duel between Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Tito Ortiz.
Pace suffered the first loss of his career against Demetrious Johnson in September, but rebounded with a victory over Will Campuzano at “The Ultimate Fighter 12” finale in December. The Team Tiger Schulmann representative ended the fight late in the third round with an innovative submission which he dubbed the “Pace Choke.”
Volkmann On Leave While High School Investigates Obama Comments
Jacob Volkmann (Pictured) has been placed on paid administrative leave by his employer, White Bear Lake Area High School -- North Campus, while the institution conducts an investigation regarding the UFC lightweight’s postfight comments about President Barack Obama.
Volkmann, 30, serves as an assistant coach to the Minnesota school’s wrestling team and also coaches its youth wrestling club for children from kindergarten to sixth grade. His standing as head coach of the squad has not been affected.
“It’s very frustrating that they think that I’m being a bad influence on the students.” Volkmann told Sherdog.com. “That’s what their reason was [for placing me on leave].”
As Movie Release Nears, Scott Coker Expects Gina Carano Back Soon
Stop me if you've heard this one before: Scott Coker thinks Gina Carano will return to Strikeforce sooner rather than later.
Of course you have. But this time, he really believes it's going to happen.
That's what the Strikeforce CEO said again on Monday's episode of The MMA Hour. If you recall, Coker said back in October 2009 that Carano would return to action "probably towards the summertime" of 2010.
TUF 13 Coaches Announced
The big men of mixed martial arts are back on The Ultimate Fighter, but this time, they will be coaching, not competing.
UFC President Dana White announced today that former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar and number one contender Junior dos Santos will match wits as the coaches of season 13 of the hit Spike TV reality series.
Following the season, which begins filming this month and begins airing on March 30, Lesnar and dos Santos will then match fists in the Octagon later in 2011.
This will be the first time either fighter has appeared on The Ultimate Fighter, which began airing on Spike in 2005. The last time heavyweights coached the show was during season eight in 2008, when dos Santos’ mentor, “Minotauro” Nogueira, faced off against former champion Frank Mir. This season, the two will coach a host of welterweight hopefuls looking to secure a UFC contract.
Mark Hominick vs. Jose Aldo Being Targeted For UFC 129 (Updated)
Josh Grispi's loss could be Mark Hominick's gain. According to "Showdown" Joe Ferrara, if Hominick beats George Roop at UFC Fight Night 23 and comes out injury free, he will face UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo at UFC 129 in Toronto. This was to have happened at UFC 125 but an injury then an Aldo injury changed plans.
Update: Dana White has confirmed the report.
Jon Jones: With The Right Fight, I Would Definitely Take A Fight At Heavyweight
And he adds it doesn't have to be a title fight or a Cain Velasquez, but he's thinking about taking the Randy Couture career path at some point. "I kind of like how Randy (Couture) has done it all throughout his MMA career. With the right fight, I would definitely take a fight at heavyweight, but my dreams and my goals are all at the light heavyweight division, and I don't want anything to get twisted saying I want to fight Cain (Velasquez) or any of the top heavyweights. If there was a cool fight stylistically for me at heavyweight, I'd give something to the fans and fight at a bigger weight."
John Makdessi meets Kyle Watson, not Jonathan Brookins, at UFC 129
Lightweight prospect John Makdessi (8-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) will meet "The Ultimate Fighter 12" semifinalist Kyle Watson (13-6-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) at UFC 129, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned from sources close to the event.
Verbal agreements are in place for the bout with paperwork on the way.
Makdessi was rumored to be fighting "TUF 12" winner Jonathan Brookins at the event, but for reasons unknown, the matchup did not materialize.
Makdessi is the ninth Canadian slotted for the event, which takes place April 30 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. A welterweight title match between reigning champ Georges St-Pierre and challenger Jake Shields headlines the pay-per-view event.
Shane Carwin confirms likely UFC 131 slot, was offered Roy Nelson fight
Following recent back surgery, Shane Carwin (12-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) expects to make his return to the cage in June at UFC 131.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) first reported the news on Monday, and Carwin confirmed the tentative booking on his official website, www.shane-carwin.com.
In the update, Carwin also confirmed he had been approached about fighting "The Ultimate Fighter 10" winner Roy Nelson before he ultimately was scheduled for a meeting with Frank Mir at UFC 130.
Officials hope to finalize plans for UFC 131 this week. The show is tentatively planned for June 11 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. As MMAjunkie.com reported on Monday, Carwin is expected to play a prominent role in the pay-per-view event.
Barnett: UFC champ Velasquez is good, but Strikeforce tourney winner better
Everyone and his brother has weighed in on who's the world's best MMA heavyweight, and given Strikeforce's upcoming and star-studded heavyweight grand prix, the debate won't stop anytime soon.
Josh Barnett, an entrant in the tourney, understandably thinks the world's No. 1 heavyweight will be the Strikeforce grand-prix winner.
But that's no shot at UFC champ Cain Velasquez, Barnett recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio).
In fact, Barnett has nothing but respect for Velasquez, who's rehabbing a shoulder he injured in an October title win over then-champ Brock Lesnar. Barnett admires how Velasquez has blended his new striking skills with his wrestling foundation during an undefeated career, and he doesn't question the champ's toughness.
The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale is June 4; door opened for Edgar-Maynard as coaches?
The upcoming 13th season of "The Ultimate Fighter" debuts March 30 on Spike TV, and a source close to the show today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale is slated for June 4.
The event takes place at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas and airs live on Spike TV.
Although no coaches have been named, the date would allow for UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar and top contender Gray Maynard, who could be part of UFC 131 in June, to meet in a season-ending fight.
UFC officials will announce the coaches later today during a media call, but they and other industry insiders have been tight-lipped about the names. Edgar and Maynard have emerged as possible candidates, though rumored coaches have included everyone from Dominick Cruz to Urijah Faber to Chael Sonnen to Wanderlei Silva to Brock Lesnar to Frank Mir to Jose Aldo.