Josh Barnett to defend Japanese title in 2013
Top 10 heavyweight Josh Barnett will return to Pancrase next year to defend his openweight King of Pancrase title. The Warmaster, according to yahoo.co.jp, had a meeting with Pancrase CEO Masakazu Sakai after Barnett’s recent professional wrestling match with Shinichi Suzukawa at Inoki Genome Federation.
The meeting seems to have been fruitful. Barnett has agreed to defend his KOP title next year during the Pancrase 20th Anniversary Tour, against any opponent Sakai wants to put in front him. Barnett stated that he is a part of the Pancrase family and wants the legendary organization and its fighters to reach new heights of popularity.
Next step in UFC expansion: Market-specific live events
When Rony Mariano Bezerra came to the cage on Oct. 13 at the show in Rio de Janeiro for one of the Fuel prelims to face Ameican Sam Sicilia, the crowd of 16,844 at the HSBC Arena erupted like the main event with Anderson Silva was about to happen.
For most Americans watching, it suddenly felt like we were in another dimension. Rony Jason, as he was called because he usually enters the ring wearing a Jason mask from the 'Friday the 13th' movie series, would barely be known in the United States. He had appeared on a pay-per-view once before from Brazil. And a few fans may have seen him as one of the stars of the first season of The Ultimate Fighter in Brazil.
But Brazil is a different world, and about 12 million people weekly were watching the show. To them, Rony Jason, who won that night - and fighters like Erick Silva, who wasn't even on the show but has had explosive first-round finishes on major UFC events - were like Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture and Forrest Griffin in the United States going back seven years. Perhaps even multiplied due to greater exposure.
Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson Turned Down 'TUF 17' Coaching Spot Opposite Sonnen
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson could have been the next coach of "The Ultimate Fighter."
According to both Jackson and UFC president Dana White, the organization offered "Rampage" an opportunity to be a coach opposite Chael Sonnen on TUF 17 before asking Jon Jones. Interestingly enough though, Jackson turned down the opportunity.
"Forget TUF," Jackson told MMAFighting.com on Thursday. "I'm not interested in that."
"I don't want to fight Chael. He's the kind of fighter that I don't want to fight. He's a boring fighter that just wants to hump people."
Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez won't need surgery, January return not set
Strikeforce lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez won't need surgery to repair a bad tear to his AC joint, though a timetable for his return is unknown.
Melendez's manager and father, Gilbert Melendez Sr., expressed optimism that his son will be able to compete on a Strikeforce card planned for mid-January, though it depends on how quickly the fighter's recovery progresses.
"There's no definite yes," Melendez today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "It all depends if his body is healing on time as we anticipate."
The junior Melendez currently is working with Dr. Warren King, the current chief of orthopedic surgery for the Oakland Raiders and a team physician for the Golden State Warriors, to make sure the process goes smoothly.
Antonio Silva: Even if he was 'created in a lab,' I want to fight Alistair Overeem
While it appears former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem could be in line for a UFC title shot, it doesn't seem the "Demolition Man" is necessarily willing to wait for such a fight.
So if Overeem is intent in returning as soon as his suspension ends in late December, he's got a willing opponent: Antonio Silva.
"Bigfoot," who is coming off a recent win over Travis Browne, said he's more than happy to take on the massive Overeem, even if he was "created in a lab."
Emanuel Steward Passed Away Today
A legend in boxing left us today.
Steward trained Championship boxers including, but not limited to:
Oscar De La Hoya
Prince Naseem Hamed
I always enjoyed listening to him talk boxing & although he trained some fighters I was never a fan of, I always have had the utmost respect for him. RIP.
Mixed Martial Arts - Rousey to spearhead UFC female league
The burgeoning superstar remains under contract to Strikeforce, but Rousey's performance in 2012 has convinced UFC president Dana White to add a women's division to the sport's flagship brand.
Rousey still has three fights on her Strikeforce contract, White told Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday, and will fulfil that deal before she moves to the UFC. Sports Illustrated first reported Tuesday that the UFC would add women.
Kyle Noke out at UFC on FX 6, Seth Baczynski awaits new foe
Injury has forced Aussie favorite Kyle Noke out of a planned UFC on FX 6 matchup with Seth Baczynski.
UFC officials today announced the withdrawal, and "The Polish Pistola" now awaits a new opponent.
UFC on FX 6 takes place Saturday, Dec. 15, at Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre in Broadbeach, Gold Coast, Australia. The event's main card airs live on FX (on Friday, Dec. 14, in the U.S. due to the time difference) following prelims on FUEL TV.
Sean Sherk discusses his health, UFC return, Ben Henderson vs. Nate Diaz, and much more
It's been over two years since former UFC Lightweight Champion Sean Sherk has stepped inside the Octagon, but "The Muscle Shark" hasn't gone anywhere. Sherk's battled a series of nagging injuries during that time, but he's continued training, hosted seminars, and has gotten himself into the equipment business with his Elevation Training Mask (available at TrainingMask.com).
All the while, he's continued planning his return to action, and isn't near ready to walk away from a sport he's been involved with for the last 13 years. I caught up with Sherk last weekend in Maplewood, Minn., where he was a guest for an event from local Minnesota promotion Cage Fighting Xtreme, and he discussed a number of topics, including his health, returning to action, the UFC's lightweight division, the upcoming Championship bout between Ben Henderson and Nate Diaz, and more. Here's what Sherk had to say:
Bellator Making Hard Push to Keep Eddie Alvarez
According to Alvarez’s manager, Glenn Robinson of Authentic Sports Management, Bellator is pushing hard to keep their former champion right where he is as they make their transition to Spike TV in 2013.
“Bjorn and Eddie had a great conversation and had some great talks. Bjorn has expressed interest in keeping Eddie, and talks have gone really well, and that’s all I can really say at this point,” Robinson told MMAWeekly.com this week.
“Talks have gone really well with Bellator and Eddie just wants to fight the best fighters he can, and get a contract he feels is fair, but I can tell you Bjorn has gone out of his way to make Eddie feel welcome and talks have gone well so far, so we’ll see what the future brings,” said Robinson.
David Mitchell vs. Hyun Gyu Lim completes UFC on FUEL TV 6 lineup in Macau
A welterweight bout between David Mitchell (11-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC) and Hyun Gyu Lim (10-3-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is the final addition to next month's UFC on FUEL TV 6 event in Macau.
Mitchell recently replaced injured Marcelo Guimaraes (8-0-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC).
With the addition of the event-opening bout, UFC on FUEL TV 6 now features 10 total fights, including a Rich Franklin vs. Cung Le middleweight headliner.
Report: Jose Aldo Vs. Frankie Edgar Targeted For UFC 156 In Brazil
On October 13, 2012, we saw one of the greatest fighters on the planet completely destroy Stephan Bonnar in the headline fight at UFC 153. Though that fight in itself was a nice little treat for fight fans, it was a result of a super fight falling through, a bout that was supposed to feature Jose Aldo defending his featherweight crown against Frankie Edgar.
Now, as reported by Brazilian website clicrbs, that matchup is being sought out yet again by the UFC, and it is likely for UFC 156 in Brazil.
Details on the event have yet to emerge, but it is expected to be a major Brazilian show in a high-profile city. The event is likely to occur in January of 2013. So far, Aldo vs. Edgar has been the only bout rumored for the card, but seeing how great recent Brazilian cards have been, I'd expect it to fill out quickly.
Luiz Cane released from UFC contract
Luiz Cane entered UFC 153 in a must-win position. After losing three of four at light heavyweight, the Brazilian striker decided to drop to the middleweight division and was matched up with Chris Camozzi. Unfortunately for him, he dropped a unanimous decision. And according to his manager Alex Davis (via Tatame), he has been released from his UFC contract as well. Davis also said that Cane has had to undergo two knee surgeries lately and that he will be back with some wins outside the organization.