HDNet relaunches Monday as AXS TV, promises continued MMA programming
HDNet's near-11-year run comes to a close on Monday, July 2, but the all-high-definition cable channel's replacement promises to have a familiar feel for MMA fans.
In January, HDNet announced a joint venture with AEG, Ryan Seacrest Media and Creative Artists Agency that sees HDNet rebranded as AXS TV (pronounced "access").
On Monday, that relaunch goes live, but AXS TV officials promise MMA-related programming such as "Inside MMA" and "HDNet Fights" will continue to feature prominently on the rebranded outlet.
Korean Zombie calls out Jose Aldo
The Korean Zombie tweets:
"I want Jose Aldo. I will end his reign as a Champion."
Aldo vs. Jung has a chance to be the biggest featherweight bout in the sport's history and KZ isn't going to be quiet while he waits for Aldo to heal up and deal with Erik Koch.
Patrick Cote says "Silva crushes Sonnen this time around"
Patrick Cote talks to sportsnet.ca:
"Once you've shared an Octagon with UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, very little else scares you. On July 7 at UFC 148 I meet Cung Le, another fighter who, like Silva, is very unorthodox with his striking, but, having fought the best in the world, I hold no fear whatsoever.
It will be interesting to see how Sonnen approaches his rematch with Silva on July 7. Personally, I think Silva crushes Sonnen this time around. Unlike last time, he won't be surprised about the pace or strength of Sonnen, and we could be in for a classic Anderson Silva performance. I think he wins before the end of the third round, probably by knockout.
... Anderson is up for this fight and we know he's looking to make a statement. You don't want to annoy somebody like Anderson Silva and, unfortunately for Chael, I think that's exactly what he has done. This one could get ugly for Chael..."
Bellator signs Spanish-language broadcast deal with Telemundo's mun2
Bellator Fighting Championships, which has maintained a Spanish-language broadcast team since its 2009 debut, has returned to a familiar broadcast partner.
Bellator officials today announced that the promotion has signed a new deal with mun2, which now will serve as the exclusive Spanish-language broadcast partner of the organization in the U.S.
The cable network, which aired 22 live events during Bellator's second and third seasons, relaunches its Bellator programming on Friday with a taped airing of Bellator 60. The first live event of the new deal to air on the network will be Bellator 72, which takes place July 20 at USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Fla.
"Both Bellator and mun2 have experienced tremendous growth since our earlier alliance, so when the possibility of re-aligning with mun2 for anything/everything Bellator Spanish-language in the U.S., the move was a natural fit," Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney stated. "Since our first event, Bellator has recognized and respected Hispanic consumers as some of the greatest MMA fans in the world, and this partnership ensures that audience will have a new spectacular home where it can watch Bellator live and 'best of' on a weekly basis."
There’s a Hurricane Brewing; Heather Clark Working to be Best Female Fighter
Following a disappointing loss in her last XFC outing in February, Heather “Hurricane” Clark was looking to make a statement at this past Friday’s event against Avery Vilche.
“I think I performed pretty well,” said Clark. “I think I could have done some a few things better, but all in all I listened to my corner and stuck with the game plan and it worked pretty effectively.
“She actually pulled me on top of her into half-guard and from there I kind of baited an arm bar to pass to side and from there I set up mount, and from mount I did a little ground and pound and made her turn her back and finished with the rear naked choke.”
The victory over Vilche gives Clark five wins in her last six fights, but it’s that loss in February to Marianna Kheyfets that still bothers her.
Roland Delorme vs. Francisco Rivera official for UFC 149
An exciting bantamweight bout now is official for UFC 149.
UFC officials on Wednesday announced that Roland Delorme (8-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) and Francisco Rivera (8-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) will meet at the event, which serves as the promotion's first trip to Canada this year. The Delorme-Rivera booking first was reported by MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) earlier this month.
UFC 149 takes place July 21 at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Main-card fights air on pay-per-view while preliminary-card fights air on FX and stream on Facebook.
Delorme, who briefly was linked to a fight with Bibiano Fernandes before the former DREAM champ quashed rumors of his UFC signing, comes into the matchup having finished his past two opponents via submission. Most recently, he dispatched fellow Canadian Nick Denis with a first-round rear-naked choke at UFC on FOX 3, which built on his third-round tapout of Josh Ferguson with the same hold at the Season 14 finale of "The Ultimate Fighter."
Delorme served on "TUF 14," where he was eliminated in the quarterfinals by eventual finalist T.J. Dillashaw.
Phil Davis vs. Wagner Prado official for August's UFC on FOX 4 event
A light heavyweight matchup between top prospect Phil Davis and promotional newcomer Wagner Prado is now official for UFC on FOX 4.
Davis was originally expected to face Chad Griggs on the card, but "The Grave Digger" was forced to withdraw due to injury. MMAjunkie.com in May reported the switch, and UFC officials recently confirmed the new matchup.
Featuring a main event between Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Brandon Vera, UFC on FOX 4 takes place Aug. 4 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
UFC Fan Expo hosts Tito Ortiz HOF induction before UFC 148
The upcoming UFC Fan Expo is set to host the induction of Tito Ortiz, "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy," into the UFC Hall of Fame.
Officials on Thursday announced the ceremony will take place at noon PT on July 7 at Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay Events Center, which hosts the two-day Expo as part of UFC 148's fight festivities.
"It is a huge honor to be recognized as one of the greatest fighters of all time by the UFC," Ortiz stated. "To be inducted into the Hall of Fame is final proof that all the hard work and dedication, all the pain and sacrifices, were all worth it."
Oregon State Athletic Commission executive director on leave pending investigation
The Oregon State Police and Oregon Department of Justice are investigating the longtime head of the Oregon State Athletic Commission.
The OSP issued a press release this past week that states Brad D'Arcy, who's served as the executive director of the OSAC since 2004, on June 6 was placed on paid leave as the enforcement agencies look into "conduct associated with the director's duties."
Oversight for combat sports events in the state, including next month's "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy" event, now is handled by the OSP, which supersedes the OSAC. The commission's five-member volunteer board remains in place.
"Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy" takes place July 14 at Rose Garden in Portland, and airs live on Showtime and Showtime Extreme. The main event features a middleweight title fight between current champ Luke Rockhold and challenger Tim Kennedy.
Nearly all established North American athletic commissions require drug testing for title fights. Speaking today to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), John Yost of the OSP referred questions about event administration and testing to Gaming Enforcement Division Lt. Craig Heuberger, who now is in charge of the OSAC's business-related matters. Yost declined to answer questions about the investigation. Heuberger was unavailable for comment.
Rick Story glad for UFC on FX 4 win, but still critical of own performance
Rick Story got back to his winning ways with a lopsided victory over Brock Jardine at UFC on FX 4 this past Friday.
But even after his dominant decision, the 27-year-old Story left Atlantic City, N.J., wanting more.
"I hold myself to high standards," Story (14-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC) recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "I'd rate it about (A-minus, B-plus). I don't want to fall in the category of one of those guys that just ride out wins."
While Story's workman-like victory over the UFC newcomer never really was in doubt, the Washington native said he would have preferred a finish.
"I didn't want to get too excited for the finish and then get clipped with something stupid," said Story, who snapped his two-fight losing streak and added a little job security with his Zuffa employer. "I just played it a little more conservative than I normally would."
Greg Jackson wanted Clay Guida to engage more
Rightly or wrongly, trainer Greg Jackson caught some of the flak after Clay Guida delivered a lackluster performance in a split-decision loss to Gray Maynard at UFC on FX 4.
"(Clay) still got a split decision. He was a 4-1 underdog. Had we done just a little more, I think it would have gone our way. But [some criticism] is obviously just biased because no one's saying, ‘Hey Greg, that was a great game plan with Cub. Way to get the second knockout of his career and Knockout of the Night and look so good.' It's all about the negative stuff. At that point, it doesn't hold any water for me, so I'm all right."
"I wanted Clay to engage a little bit more, but I think Clay was waiting for him to open up a little bit. ...I chalk it up to experience and a learning process, and hopefully we won't be in that situation again where we have such a close decision. Hopefully we'll be able to dominate the next time.
...."I'm always going to be trying to do it smartly. It's got to be an entertaining fight obviously, but at the same time you can't just jump on somebody that's stronger than you, that hits harder than you and has better wrestling than you do."
California State Athletic Commission In Disarray, With Boss Censured, Agency Insolvent
Jun 28, 2012 - The California state athletic commission is one of the largest combat sports sanctioning bodies in the nation, overseeing 190 events during its 2011 fiscal year, but it is also in chaos, a fact highlighted by a Tuesday meeting in which it was revealed that the agency is insolvent, with expenditures far outpacing revenue.
CSAC is already in the red, and according to numbers released in a memorandum from Department of Consumer Affairs budget officer Taylor Schick, if the commission continues its current projections, it would face a deficit of nearly $700,000 by the end of fiscal year 2013, a shortfall that could have a catastrophic effect on MMA and boxing in the state, because it could cause the commission to halt its programs, thereby denying regulation for combat sports.
Ian McCall was sick going into fight with Mighty Mouse
UFC's Ian McCall talks Demetrious Johnson vs. Joe Benavidez
Ian McCall: I failed (in the fight with Demetrious). I failed that test miserably. No excuses. I just chalk it up to me being stupid and cutting too much weight. I didn't do my diet perfectly like I usually do. I cut like 19 pounds, 24 hours prior to the fight. I screwed up. I was off my game. It happens. My hat's off to Demetrious for beating the crap out of me.
Ian McCall: I think I caught some sort of bug. I was sick and feeling sh*tty all week leading up to it. It just wasn't my night. Weight cut-wise, I felt horrible. I've never felt so bad making a cut, but what it comes down to, is that it's all my own fault. It's nobody else's fault.
I don't even know if DJ can get past Joseph Benavidez, to be honest. Nothing against Joe, I like Joe more than I like Demetrious, but I would like Demetrious to beat Joe, because it would make me look better and give me a little more satisfaction in life [laughs], but I don't know if I really see that happening.
Carlos Eduardo Rocha upset about being cut by the UFC
Carlos Eduardo "Ta Danado" Rocha entered the UFC undefeated in late 2010, and keep his streak going with a knee bar over TUF 11 runner-up Kris McCray. In early 2011 Rocha lost a split decision to Jake Ellenberger and recently lost via unanimous decision to Mike Pierce.
“I went there to fight MMA and he wants to win by points. There were 15 minutes of pure mooring. This is bullshit”, complains on an interview with TATAME. “And UFC fires me after a fight where the guy just stood there mooring. I had good performances and even so I was cut off. I didn’t expect this”.
“...I thought he could come for me but he didn’t. He didn’t attack me on the clinch, he didn’t hit me nor let me hit him”, criticizes Carlos. “That’s not MMA”.
Court McGee vs. Nick Ring rematch added to UFC 149 main card
According to Nick Ring on Facebook:
"Thank you to everybody for the tweets... I have been put on the main card for UFC 149.... You guys are awesome!!"
The fighters first met in an opening round matchup on "TUF 11" that Ring won via hotly contested majority decision. However, McGee later won the reality-show tournament when he got a second life with an injury-replacement slot.
Urijah Faber vs. Renan Barao (for interim bantamweight title)
Tim Boetsch vs. Hector Lombard
Shawn Jordan vs. Cheick Kongo
Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Chris Clements
Court McGee vs. Nick Ring
Roland Delorme vs. Francisco Rivera
Mitch Clarke vs. Anton Kuivanen
Bryan Caraway vs. Mitch Gagnon
Antonio Carvalho vs. Daniel Pineda
Ryan Jimmo vs. Anthony Perosh
James Head vs. Claude Patrick
UFC Won't Match McCall with Dodson
In this past week's podcast, Ian "Uncle Creepy" McCall told us that the UFC does not want to match the consensus #3 and #4 fighters in the UFC flyweight division against eachother.
Apparently because McCall is coming off a loss, and Dodson a win; the UFC brass don't see the match-up as one they want. McCall told us that we would take a fight against Louis Gaudinot, the next best flyweight in the UFC.
Obviously, the 125-lb division needs bolstering in the UFC. Kind of disappointed the UFC doesn't want to match Creepy with Dodson.
(Interview about 1:00:00 in)
Georges St-Pierre Has Goal to Become the David Beckham of MMA
Every athlete admires other athletes, whether it be while they're growing up or while they're performing at the highest level.
UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has a goal to become the David Beckham of MMA.
"'My goal one day is to be the David Beckham of MMA but I still have a lot to do to reach that point. Mr Beckham is a great role model and I aspire to do the same,'" said St-Pierre in an interview with The Sun.
What athlete wouldn't strive to become Beckham? Charismatic, raking in millions of dollars and married to a Spice Girl? Sounds pretty good.
Beckham, of course, was a role model for many kids, whether it be when he was with Manchester United or Real Madrid, or now over here in the United States playing for the Los Angeles Galaxy. Beckham has also spent time out on loan with Italian giants, A.C. Milan and has made numerous appearances for the English national team.
St-Pierre and Beckham also share the same agency, as both are signed to Creative Artists Agency that boasts some of the top players in the world's biggest sports.
UFC on FX 4's Ramsey Nijem wanted to give back fine after opponent missed weight
There are all sorts of little rules Ramsey Nijem (6-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) isn't particularly keen on in MMA.
One, he said, forced him to keep a 20-percent purse deduction awarded him by the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board after opponent C.J. Keith (8-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) missed weight by one pound at this past Friday's UFC on FX 4.
"The commission said that's their way of making sure fighters makes weight," Nijem told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "He's a respectful kind of person, and after he didn't make weight, I was like, 'Well, it's a frickin' pound.' But they didn't let me."
Nijem respected the decision of the referee who stopped the action in the first round of their fight, which served on the FX-televised prelims of the event at Revel Atlantic City in Atlantic City, N.J.
Yet he thinks the fight could have gone longer.
"It was a little early (of a stoppage)," Nijem said. "I'm not the one that called it, but I really did have him in danger. I hit him with a good overhand right on the feet and then when we were on the ground, I had him mounted and was landing some big elbows.