Showtime Sports Boss Denies Existence of List of Strikeforce Fighters Blocked From UFC
Showtime Sports president Stephen Espinoza on Monday denied the existence of a list of Strikeforce fighters that are banned from signing with the UFC during the lifetime of the Strikeforce-Showtime deal.
Over the weekend, veteran MMA journalist Dave Meltzer reported that Showtime and Strikeforce and UFC parent company Zuffa had agreed to a list of fighters who could not cross promotional boundaries from Strikeforce to the UFC, even if their contracts expired, making them free agents. According to him, fighters including Gilbert Melendez, Luke Rockhold and Ronda Rousey were on the list.
On Monday's edition of The MMA Hour, Espinoza said the report was erroneous.
Espinoza said that because Showtime isn't an MMA promoter, they have no existing deals with fighters that can limit their movement. What they do have is a contract with Zuffa that allows them to broadcast the talent pool of Strikeforce-contracted talent.
"That roster of talent at the point we entered into the contract is attached to our contract informationally," he said. "But all this stuff about controlling people when they’re free agents and things like that, that’s not true."
Espinoza did acknowledge that the UFC could not bring Melendez or any other fighter over from Strikeforce if that fighter had existing fights on his current Strikeforce deal.
"Putting it in context, that’s the case for all other MMA promotions, that's the case for all other professional sports," he said. "If you're under contract in MLS you can't go sign in the European league. If you're under contract in the NBA, you cant go sign in another league while you're under contract with the NBA. It's the same thing. While you're under contract to Strikeforce, you can't go sign a contract with another organization."
RFA signs UFC veteran and top bantamweight prospect to exclusive multi-fight deals
The Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) added two more names to its ever growing stable of fighters last week when it announced that it had signed both UFC veteran Tyson Griffin (15-6) and top bantamweight prospect Chris Holdsworth (3-0) to exclusive multi-fight contracts.
Griffin, who signed a three-fight deal with the Nebraska based MMA promotion, is best known for his five year run in the UFC, which began in 2006. During that time, Griffin would earn wins over the likes of Clay Guida, Rafael dos Anjos and Manny Gamburyan before being cut from the organization late last year after going 1-4 in his last five bouts.
Currently training at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, Griffin is expected to return to the lightweight division following his brief stint at featherweight.
RFA also announced that it had signed Chris Holdsworth to a four-fight deal. Holdsworth, who is a Marc Laimon jiu-jitsu black belt, has won all nine of his bouts (three professional and six amateur) within the first round.
UFC 153: Glover Teixeira talks accepting the Rampage Jackson fight and the Shogun controversy
Glover Teixeira is one of the prospects the UFC had its eye on for an incredibly long time, but hurdle after hurdle got in the way of his signing with the world's largest promotion.
Teixeira spoke with Sherdog.com about his upcoming fight and had a few very interesting things to say:
On accepting the fight against Jackson:
"I knew more or less what would happen. They had offered me this fight and I accepted right away, as I accepted Shogun."
On what he expects from "Rampage:"
"I'm going out with him in the standup. I have to be smart and not stand still, move, fight the right fight. But, I'll work on the strategy with my coaches."
On reports that former champion Mauricio Rua turned down a fight against him, saying he'd rather be cut from the UFC than fight Teixeira:
"I don't think it's something from Shogun. He's not guilty. It should be something from the manager. Shogun has fought the best and wouldn't have any reason to deny a fight against me. Leave that alone."
Rashad Evans 50/50 On Possible Move To Middleweight
“I’ve been thinking about going down to middleweight lately. I haven’t totally made up my mind. It’s something I’m going to think about a little more in the coming months and see where my body’s at, but I’m definitely giving it serious consideration. The odds of me moving down to 185 are 50-50 or better.”
“The last thing I want to do is move down and become half the athlete I am at 205. That’s something that happened to me while wrestling in college (at Michigan State). I cut too much weight, and if I had competed one weight class higher I would have had a better career.
A move to 185 will be permanent. But what I’ve been thinking about also is that I’m one of the top contenders at 205, so there really is no reason for me to move other than fighting some different people. At 205 I fight tough guys anyway. Jon Jones is a tough dude.
I’m a 205-pound fighter and the reason I’ve been successful is that I have attributes that, being a smaller guy, I’m able to bring, like having the speed advantage, things like that. It’s something I might not necessarily have at 185. That’s something I have to think about as well.”
Strikeforce's Pat Healy credits sensory-deprivation tank for weekend win
Pat Healy had to climb into a tank and cut off all sound and sight before the magnitude of this past weekend's Strikeforce fight really hit him.
"I went in there the morning of the fight ... and I didn't really realize how nervous I was until I was in there," he today told MMAjunkie.com Radio of his flotation/sensory-deprivation tank. "I was thinking about my fight, and my heart was racing.
"It really took me 20 or 30 minutes in there before I started calming down."
Twelve hours before he met Japanese standout Mizuto Hirota (14-5-1 MMA, 0-1 SF) at the July 14 "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy" card this past weekend, Healy (28-16 MMA, 6-1 SF) plunged into the tank for a 90-minute float. It helped the veteran lightweight clear his mind ahead of the preliminary-card fight, which aired on Showtime Extreme from the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore.
It also helped lead to an eventual unanimous-decision victory and his fifth straight win under the Strikeforce banner.
Jon Jones Most Concerned with Hendo’s H-Bomb
Dan Henderson, a veteran of more than 15 years in the fight game, possesses many tools and many weapons with which to score a victory. UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is well aware of the dangers that Hendo presents, but he’s as acutely aware as anyone else of the one weapon that could quickly put an end to his amazing title reign… the H-Bomb.
Asked what he’s more wary of, Hendo’s wrestling or his striking, Jones answered, “I think more of his striking, that H-Bomb. It seems like a heat seeking missile. He just comes from all different angles with that right hand.”
Ian McCall discloses how much cash he really received after his UFC debut
Many MMA fans were going through an instant bout of depression after it was disclosed that Ian McCall received only $9,000 for his UFC debut at UFC on FX: Alves vs. Kampmann back in March. Uncle Creepy took a visit to the UG to inform the public that even though he signed a '$9,000 to show' deal, his pockets were lined with enough dollar bills to buy the entire N64 videogame library.
Dana says he doesn't like to give out real numbers, which is def. the truth cause i came on here and saw people saying things like i shoulda got paid more even though i lost but i headlined the card..
i did, dana sent me an extra 25k right after the fight plus i got main event sponsor money haha
the UFC pays you to do your job, if you do it then you get paid good.. in my UFC debut i made over 80,000... thats a lot of money for a division half the MMA community didn't know existed!!
i love all of you guys, most of you know my life story, i just wanted you to know that i get taken care of by the UFC real well, ESPECIALLY when it comes to $!
All i gotta do now is beat the crap out of someone and move forward and start making anderson moneyyy !!!!!!! :)
UFC 149's Boetsch: New opponent Lombard more of a contender than Bisping
This is how much of a damn Tim Boetsch (15-4 MMA, 6-3 UFC) gave when the UFC socked him with Hector Lombard (31-2-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) instead of Michael Bisping.
When his wife woke him to news of the switch, which put him in the co-main event of UFC 149 and Bisping on the disabled list, you'd think he'd already given his 100th interview on the subject.
UFC 149 takes place Saturday at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The event's main card airs live on pay-per-view while FX and Facebook host preliminary-card fights.
"That's going to be a tough fight," he told her, "but to be the best, you have to beat everybody." Then he went back to sleep.
UFC 149 takes place Saturday at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The event's main card airs live on pay-per-view while FX and Facebook host preliminary-card fights.
Brendan Schaub targeted for UFC 154 in Montreal, wants Lavar Johnson
Brendan Schaub has a likely date for his next fight, and he also has an opponent in mind.
Schaub, who was on a four-fight win streak before back-to-back losses to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Ben Rothwell, told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) that UFC matchmaker Joe Silva has targeted him for a UFC 154 return.
And if he gets his way, Schaub (8-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) will fight heavy-handed heavyweight Lavar Johnson (17-6 MMA, 2-1 UFC).
UFC 154 takes place Nov. 17 at Montreal's Bell Centre. No fights have been officially announced for the pay-per-view event, but the UFC hopes to feature welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre vs. interim titleholder Carlos Condit, as well as welterweight contenders Johny Hendricks vs. Martin Kampmann.
"When I talked to Joe Silva [on July 6], they said Nov. 17 is the plan," Schaub said. "Nov. 17 in Montreal is the plan.
"And if it was up to me, I'd love to fight Lavar Johnson. That'd be fun, right?"
Andrei Arlovski vs. Soa Palelei, Jens Pulver vs Eric Kelly Set for One FC 5
One FC's has added star power to their next event, inking fights that include former UFC champions Andrei Arlovski and Jens Pulver, respectively.
Arlovski will face Australian Soa Palelei, while Pulver is set to scrap with Eric Kelly.
Palelei announced his fight on Twitter.
The onetime UFC veteran has mostly fought in his home country over the last few years, amassing a seven-fight win streak since his last defeat. Palelei (17-3) has been defeated only a single time since his sole UFC bout, which came in 2007 when he lost to Eddie Sanchez. Since then, he's 9-1 with his only defeat coming at the hands of current Strikeforce champion Daniel Cormier.
Arlovski (17-9) has won two straight, with back-to-back knockouts over Travis Fulton and Ray Lopez respectively, while fighting for the ProElite promotion.
Multiple outlets have reported the Pulver-Kelly scrap, which the promotion has yet to officially confirm.
Dan Henderson’s Game Plan Against Jon Jones At UFC 151: “Win Every Round”
Jon Jones has had an undeniably impressive run through his young MMA career. Ten men have been unable to solve the Jon Jones puzzle in the UFC, but at UFC 151 on Sept. 1, Dan Henderson hopes to change all that.
Henderson is best known for his crucifying knockout power and trademark overhand right. The move have knocked many men out cold and while the California native will undoubtedly be throwing the punch against Jones, he says landing the ‘H-Bomb’ isn’t his sole focus for the fight. In fact, Henderson went into detail with a group of reports at the recent UFC Fan Expo in Las Vegas and explained how his focus gainst Jones at UFC 151 is to win every round, not headhunt with the ‘H-Bomb’.
“My focus is to win every round, not to land the ‘H-Bomb’. But if I hit him pretty good along the way hopefully it knocks him out. I do need to make sure I get inside his length and stay in his face and make him fight me. That’s going to be nice to be able to knock him out, but I never depend on it. It’s something that, you know, I try to make sure I win every round and control the fight whether I have to take it to the ground, stay on my feet, on the outside or in the clinch. I’m sure I won’t be on the outside a whole lot with Jon Jones, I’ll feel like one of those little kids, you push your hand out there and you can’t hit him. So I’ve just got make sure I get past his reach.”
“A lot of people that think (he’s unbeatable) have never fought before. They see what he’s done from the outside and, you know he’s done well with his style but I fee like he’s never fought anyone like me and with my style it really, you know, I think goes well for me against someone like him. He’s still young and unorthodox, I think that’s his biggest asset and, you know but he’s young and sloppy a bit. He still has a lot to learn in this sport technically and those are the things, I just need to make sure I stay in position and not catch some goofy elbow.”
Donald Cerrone-Melvin Guillard set
Former lightweight training partners Donald Cerrone and Melvin Guillard will meet Aug. 11 at UFC 150 in Denver, the promotion announced Friday.
Cerrone and Guillard once trained together at Team Jackson-Winkeljohn in Albuquerque, N.M. During their stint at Jackson's the 155-pound title contenders became friends. But that won't prevent them from going hard at one another on fight night. "Two best friends fighting," Guillard said on Twitter. "We are about to kick each other in the face. Fun times, right!"
this should insure fireworks in the octagon
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker looking forward to Roger Gracie's MMA progression
One look at Keith Jardine's face, sliced open and a bloody mess on Saturday, and it was obvious his opponent was more than just some jiu-jitsu player looking to latch onto an arm.
Though Roger Gracie couldn't submit Jardine at "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy," and even got a little bit of a late challenge from him, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said he's looking forward to giving the middleweight a chance to move up the ladder.
"He's by far the No. 1 grappler in that weight class," Coker said. "Let's see how he progresses – we're going to get him some more fights."
Luke Rockhold unsatisfied with Strikeforce title defense, but wants rematch with 'Jacare'
Despite winning four rounds and defending his title for the second time, Luke Rockhold was less than thrilled with his win over Tim Kennedy.
Rockhold on Saturday defended his Strikeforce middleweight belt, taking a unanimous decision from Kennedy in the main event of "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy." But he said afterward he was kept frustrated most of the fight by his opponent.
"It just wasn't my best night and I like to be better every time," Rockhold told MMAjunkie.com at the post-fight news conference. "I wanted to finish the fight and I couldn't. He's tough. What can I say?"
Strikeforce winner Ryan Couture: 'Someday I want that belt'
Don't get him wrong: Strikeforce fighter Ryan Couture realizes he's got a long way to go before he's in the conversation for a lightweight title shot.
"But the ultimate goal is to win that Strikeforce belt and maybe a UFC belt at some point," Couture told MMAjunkie.com. "So I've just got to keep getting better and passing these tests, and eventually we'll be there."
Couture took one small step closer toward that end with another high-profile win on the preliminary-card of "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy" when he outpointed Bellator vet Joe Duarte.
With mind finally focused on fighting, Anthony Johnson sees 205 pounds as fresh start
Standing next to the 6-foot-2 Anthony Johnson, it's hard to believe the broad-shouldered slugger ever found a way to make it down to 170 pounds.
And while his critics would immediately point to the four times Johnson has missed weight in his 15 professional bouts, "Rumble" isn't interested in arguing about the past.
After electing to make the move to light heavyweight, Johnson insists he's happier than ever. The stress and worries that once accompanied his fighting career are gone, and at 28 years old, Johnson feels he's making a new start to his career.
Ronda Rousey, Luke Rockhold, Other Strikeforce Fighters Reportedly Contractually Blocked From Moving To UFC; Updated With Dana White's Denial
Dave Meltzer's latest podcast has a bit of shocking news that we'd not heard to this point when it comes to Strikeforce fighters. In the wake of last night's Strikeforce show that saw Luke Rockhold retain his Strikeforce middleweight title, Dave was discussing the idea of fighters in Strikeforce fighting the best in the UFC when he said the words "but that can't happen because of the deal with Showtime."
He went on to explain that this was the result of Showtime's paranoia over having Alistair Overeem, Nick Diaz and Dan Henderson lost to the UFC (all through slightly different circumstances):
"They made this list of guys and they said 'these are our guys' and, even if their contract expires, they can't move to UFC. That's part of their deal with keeping this alive. So these guys are stuck."
"He [Gilbert Melendez] couldn't go to UFC. He could go to Bellator if he wanted to, but he couldn't go to the UFC...
There's a list of guys, not everyone on Showtime is on the list, but Ronda Rousey is on the list, Gilbert Melendez is on the list, Luke Rockhold is on the list...
It's for as long as Showtime broadcasts MMA."
UPDATE: Meltzer clarified the Rousey situation:
I think it's important that we understand that this could be a misunderstanding, could be fact, could be somewhere in the middle. Meltzer has talked to people about it, it appears that if it is not the case, that some people think it is. Discuss it with that in mind.
Well, that didn't take long. UFC president Dana White tweeted earlier today that he was on his way to Australia for the the first episode of TUF: UK vs. Australia. Not long after he got there, he responded to Dave Meltzer's report regarding a deal that Zuffa made with Showtime that will see a collection of Strikeforce fighters staying with the organization as long as the two organizations continue to work together. Cindy O on the UG asked Dana if it was true, and he responded by text:
"idk wtf melzers problem is! Has this guy lost his mind? That is absolutely not true!"
New Strikeforce champ Nate Marquardt: 'I feel like I'm the best in the world'
Nate Marquardt's confidence is at an all-time high following a fourth-round knockout of Tyron Woodley that won him the Strikeforce welterweight title.
"I really feel like it's my time," he told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) following "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy." "I'm one of the best in the world, and actually, I feel like I'm the best in the world, the best welterweight."
Now, the question is what awaits him as champion.
Marquardt, for his part, didn't have an answer at the post-event press conference. But he appeared no less confident that another tough challenge is on the horizon.
"This is a sport where everybody at this level is going to be tough," he said. "But I feel like I'm the best in the world, and that's who I expect I'll be fighting for my next fight – is one of the best in the world."