Chuck Liddell Plans to KO Rich Franklin, Wants Tito Ortiz in Return From Surgery
After nearly 14 months away from fighting and a series of camps designed to bring him back in pristine condition, legendary UFC star Chuck Liddell is set to return to the octagon at UFC 115 in Vancouver.
Though Liddell (21-7) returned with the expectation of fighting Tito Ortiz at the conclusion of the currently airing season of The Ultimate Fighter, an injury knocked Ortiz out, leaving an opening filled by former middleweight champion Rich Franklin.
In an interview with MMA Fighting, the 40-year-old Liddell spoke about the Ortiz fallout, facing Franklin, changing his lifestyle and whether his June 12 fight is a must-win affair.
UFC 117 Prelims Announced, Wallace vs. Nedkov Among Additions
Following Thursday's official announcement of UFC 117 and three main-card bouts, including a headliner of UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen, UFC officials have unveiled the night's preliminary card. Most of the fights were already known but there was a new addition to the card today: Rodney Wallace vs. Stanislav Nedkov. Wallace is on the Losing Streak Of Doom and needs a win to keep his roster spot while Nedkov will be making his UFC debut after fighting internationally including a 2-0 mark in World Victory Road Sengoku events.
Fertitta On Fighter's Union: That's Up To Them
To unionize or not. Lorenzo Fertitta says it's up to fighters. This past Saturday at UFC Fan Expo 2010, the UFC executive said collective third-party representation – an issue that's long shadowed the sport's explosive rise to popularity – is not under his company's domain. "We have no role," Fertitta said. "So we're not in a position to say we support it, or we're against it. That's entirely up to [the fighters]."
Strikeforce champ Jake Shields' non-exclusive negotiations begin Friday
Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields' exclusive negotiation period with the San Jose, Calif.-based promotion has expired, though negotiations with the company remain ongoing.
Shields' manager and father, Jack Shields, today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that he will begin non-exclusive negotiations tomorrow.
"The options are all good," Jack Shields said, though he did not confirm whether Strikeforce had yet offered a new contract.
Light heavyweight Ricardo Romero signs four-fight deal with UFC
Light heavyweight Ricardo Romero has signed a four-fight deal with the UFC according to his new manager, Mike Constantino, who announced the news today in a press release.
Romero (10-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is a former light heavyweight and heavyweight champion of the New Jersey-based Ring of Combat promotion and carries a five-fight win streak into the octagon.
Yager Clears Up Twitter Controversy With Tito (No TUF Spoilers)
Jamie Yager may have had a rough night on Wednesday watching his elimination from “The Ultimate Fighter" Season 11, but nothing like the storm of controversy he was hit with first thing Thursday morning. An account on Twitter that was said to be Jamie Yager’s went on a hate filled tirade aimed at Tito Ortiz, and several media outlets picked up on the back and forth, reporting the heated exchange between the former coach and fighter. The only problem, Yager says it wasn’t him. "Basically, I woke up today about like 9 o'clock west coast time, and my phone's blowing up like 'dude, what's going on? What's up with you and Tito?’" he told MMAWeekly Radio on Thursday night. As the confusion washed over him, Yager hit the Internet and saw the barrage of messages and media outlets reporting on his "feud" with Tito Ortiz. Blindsided by the whole incident, Yager immediately alerted everyone involved that while he does have his own Twitter account (www.twitter.com/jamieyager) the person posing as him posting the messages was an imposter.
UFC 117 Official For 8/7
UFC officially announced UFC 117 yesterday for August 7 in Oakland, CA at Oracle Arena. Headlining the event is a long-rumored middleweight title fight between UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and challenger Chael Sonnen. Also officially announced for the event were New UFC Hall Of Famer Matt Hughes vs. Ricardo Almeida and Clay Guida vs. Rafael Dos Anjos.
Bennett Off SF LA, Heun To Face Noons
KJ Noons won't get his Charles Bennett rematch after all. Noons has confirmed that Bennett is now off the 6/26 Strikeforce LA card for undisclosed reasons. Bennett was previously booked to appear opposite Luis Palomino at the "Rock-N-Rumble III" event tomorrow night (June 4) in Hollywood, FL; however, neither promotion was immediately available for comment on Bennett's status. Conor Heun is the replacement and there are reports the fight has now been moved up to the 6/16 event.
UFC 114 Early Estimate: 925K PPV Buys
It appears that in the over/under with regards to Dana White's prediction of 850,000 PPV buys for UFC 114, the over is going to win. While not yet official, the early estimate is Saturday's event did 925,000 PPV buys. The event was headlined by the grudge match of Rashad Evans vs. Quinton Jackson.
M-1 Global: Ron Keslar vs. Magomed Shikshabekov Added To Fedor vs. Werdum Event
Strikeforce and M-1 Global's co-promotion relationship won't end with just Fedor Emelianenko. M-1 Global officials announced late Wednesday night that six-time M-1 Challenge veteran Magomed Shikshabekov will fight in the U.S. for the first time when he meets Ron Keslar at "Strikeforce and M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Werdum." The bout is expected for the unaired preliminary portion of the card, though Strikeforce has yet to officially announce the matchup. Shikshabekov's six M-1 Global fights have all ended by first-round stoppage, including three bouts that have ended in the opening minute. More M-1 Global fighters likely will be added to the card soon.
Match-Ups Announced for July 5th K-1 WORLD MAX
FEG today announced the match-ups for the 2010 Under 63 kg Japan Tournament Finals and three matches for the Under 70 kg World Tournament to be held on July 5th at Yoyogi Stadium 1st, Tokyo, Japan.
The final of the 63 kg tournament is to be an 8 man, one night affair meaning that three of the 11 winners in the opening round have missed out on a finals slot and no reserve fights have been announced.
UFC Plans Return To Germany
Die UFC ist wieder nach Deutschland kommen. Translation: The UFC is coming back to Germany. After a successful first show in 2009, it appears the promotion will be heading back to Germany sooner rather than later. They aren't backing down from the challenge of the local government that wants to take the sport off of television there. Never one to back down from a potential challenge, UFC president Dana White was adamant when asked about returning to Germany, and he says this year is the plan in motion right now. "We are doing a show," White said about returning to Germany in 2010. "One thing we don't do, we don't back down, and we don't curl up and climb into the closet when things don't go (our way). We're going to come out, guns a-blazing, and we're going to keep going."
Paulo Filho Calls Out Mauricio Rua
Seriously. That's what he told Graciemag is in his future plans. "I couldn’t miss the chance to challenge [Shogun]. I want to fight him and feel the pressure up close by the end of my career. That’s just something I want. Shoot, I’ve been getting lambasted on forums. Folks are acting with a lot of disrespect. But it’s what I want and I know I can make it.”
Clint Godfrey Off WEC 49, Replacement Search On
With a little more than two weeks until the WEC makes its Canadian debut with the Versus-broadcast WEC 49 event, the fight promotion is going to have to secure a fighter on short notice. Clint Godfrey, who was to have faced Renan Barao, is now off due to an undisclosed injury. No timetable set for his return and no word on a possible replacement but if UFC 113 was any indication, a Canadian fighter could be getting a lucky break and a short-notice chance at a WEC fight.
A "Frustrated" Todd Duffee Had A "Horrible" Game Plan Against Mike Russow
And he took to The Underground message board to explain what happened. "It was on the temple I felt the shot...it just shut down the cns system couldnt use my arms to catch my fall or anything i was watching everything till my head hit the canvas(which may have put me out)i blinked and he hit me with a hammer fist....the way i fell made it look much worse than it was...I wasn't gassed i was more frustrated and trying to stick to the game plan should of threw that out after the first 30 seconds ...my game plan was horrible......i wasn't snapping punches instead i was muscling them shoudl of kicked should of grappled should of fought....I'll be back and show I am more than capable of wrestling etc., thanks for the support and thanks to the people who helped me out sorry i let you down it will pay off in the long run."
Rampage: I've got to make a decision, MMA or movies
"I’m really ashamed of myself that I fell victim to ring rust. Emotions had nothing to do with it.”
“I focused really hard and I trained really hard on this fight, but me having this damn movie and everything -- I kind of almost regret doing the damn movie now. There was so much pressure. (20th Century) Fox kind of threatened to sue me if I lost and everything because they didn’t know I was fighting.”
Report: Kim Couture arrested for domestic violence after allegedly choking personal assistant
Kim Couture, female mixed martial artist and ex-wife of UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture, was arrested for domestic violence over the weekend stemming from an attack on her personal assistant according to a report from MMA News Leak and later confirmed by Five Ounces of Pain.
While an arrest for domestic violence is uncommon in non-couples, the charge may have been applicable because Ms. Couture shared a home with her assistant, who was allegedly being choked and showed visible signs of abuse when police arrived.
Not Retired, Phil Baroni Will Look to 'Enjoy' UFC 118 Fight
After a loss in his UFC return last November and a premature retirement announcement last Friday, Phil Baroni says he will make sure he enjoys himself when he takes on John Salter at UFC 118 on Aug. 28 in Boston, Mass.
"It was a do-or-die [my last fight]," Baroni said Tuesday on The MMA Hour. "This fight I'm not going to look at it that way. I'm going to go there and enjoy it and not put the pressure on myself."
Last November, returning to the promotion where he first made his name in 2002, Baroni said he felt as if his back was against the cage. And just last week, the pressure was elevated to the point where the 34-year-old was ready to call it quits.