UFC 127: Penn-Fitch Winner Now Becomes Next #1 Contender
The main event of UFC 127: "Penn vs. Fitch" on Feb. 27 in Sydney, Australia just became a lot more interesting. That's because the winner will determine the next number one contender to the welterweight title, according to Dana White on a conference call today (via Twitter). Both fighters have previously fought for the coveted 170-pound strap. Penn, himself a former welterweight champion, last had his shot at UFC 94, a four round beating at the hands of current titleholder Georges St. Pierre.
UFC 126 Draws 9667 For $3.6 Million Gate
The NSAC today announced the official atttendance for UFC 126 was 9667 fans with a total live gate of $3,605,725. The attendance dropped from fight night estimates when UFC claimed 10,893. The gate is 3rd-highest for a UFC event at Mandalay Bay Events Center (#1 appears to be UFC 100). Additionally, a closed-circuit feed at Mandalay Bay drew 1,046 fans for a take of $45,100.
Dana White Details International Expansion in UFC 127/UFC 129 Joint Conference Call
Zuffa held a conference call today to promote both the upcoming UFC 127 show and April's UFC 129 show in Toronto, Ontario. UFC President Dana White, B.J. Penn, and Jon Fitch were on hand for the call. Highlights provided by Luke Thomas via Twitter and SB Nation MMA:
Dana says last set of international fights were sellouts. Goes over Rogers Centre UFC 129 records. Largest North American gate, a Rogers Centre record. Says the event will do $11 million gate.
Dana says 17,000 tickets sold for UFC 127, added 400 seats over the last Australia event.
Dana uses UFC 129's ticket sales to prove UFC will be biggest sport in the world. He also says when "new deals" get done, UFC will be in over a billion homes.
In terms of a show in Dallas, he says UFC 129 ticket sales motivates him. Says, however, as big as the stadium is there aren't enough hotel rooms.
6 Strikeforce ‘Fedor vs. Silva’ Fighters Dealt Medical Suspensions
After sustaining brutal ground-and-pound at the hands of Antonio Silva during Saturday’s Strikeforce “Fedor vs. Silva” main event, Fedor Emelianenko will be required to spend a minimum of 90 days on the shelf, pending a CT scan.
The New Jersey State Athletic Control Board on Tuesday informed Sherdog.com of the medical suspensions from the event, which took place Feb. 12 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J.
Emelianenko was battered and beaten by heavy underdog Silva, who forced the bout to be stopped prior to the third round on the advice of the cageside physician. Emelianenko’s face suffered severe bruising, and his right eye was swollen completely shut after Silva gained the mount in the second round and rained down punches.
Emelianenko-Silva was one of two heavyweight grand prix quarterfinals contested at the show, the other being a bout between former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski and onetime Pride Fighting Championships standout Sergei Kharitonov.
Fedor Emelianenko wanted Strikeforce bout to continue, hints at future fights
Fedor Emelianenko apparently has had a change of heart.
After suggesting an imminent retirement following Saturday's doctor's-stoppage loss to Antonio Silva in the opening round of Strikeforce's eight-man heavyweight grand prix, the fighter today changed his tune.
In a series of Twitter messages, Emelianenko stated he wanted the fight to continue and said he hasn't decided whether he's going to retire.
The 34-year-old Russian headlined Saturday's Showtime-televised "Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva" event at IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J. After a close first round that Emelianenko won on two of the three judges' cards, the much-heavier Silva got him to the mat and unloaded a vicious ground-and-pound assault. Emelianenko's right eye became badly swollen during the exchanges, and prior to the third round, the cageside physician declared the fighter unable to continue.
WEC's former GM Reed Harris now UFC vice president of community relations
As expected former World Extreme Cagefighting General Manager Reed Harris is sticking around following the organization's recent merger with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
And he now has a new job title: UFC vice president of community relations.
Harris today stopped by the MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) studio with UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and briefly discussed the position.
"I'll handle all the community work with the UFC," the longtime fight executive said. "I've been really busy trying to get this moving."
SF Fedor vs. Silva-741,000 Viewers
Saturday's "Strikeforce: Silva vs. Fedor" event shattered the organization's ratings records on Showtime. Overall, the Feb. 12 event averaged 741,000 viewers and peaked with 1.1 million for the Antonio Silva vs. Fedor Emelianenko headliner. Both broke Strikeforce's previous bests on Showtime. The new ratings records break those previously held by "Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg," an August 2009 event headlined by female fighters Gina Carano and Cristiane "Mrs. Cyborg" Santos that averaged 576,000 viewers and peaked with 856,000.
Scott Coker Expects to Book Fedor vs. Overeem-Werdum Loser
Two days after Fedor Emelianenko suffered his second consecutive loss and said in his post-fight interview that it might be time to walk away, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said he expects Fedor to return rather than retire.
And Coker already has an opponent for Fedor in mind: The loser of the April 9 bout between Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum.
UFC site coordinator Burt Watson: "I like it when it's wacky, baby. It's what we do."
If you've ever attended a live UFC event or other pre-fight activities, you may recognize the man – but may not know his name.
He's most visible at the official weigh-ins. He's the first man on stage revving up the crowd before UFC commentator Joe Rogan grabs the microphone to introduce the UFC management, octagon girls, and shortly thereafter, the fighters.
He's Burt Watson – UFC site coordinator, part-time hype man, part-time counselor, part-time disciplinarian, jack of all trades.
Despite a laundry list of responsibilities, his main focus centers on monitoring the weight of fighters throughout any given fight week to ensure they are able to compete.
"Making weight is a part of what we do," Watson recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "It's what these guys know they need to do. It's disrespectful if they don't. It shows me they're not trying.
Fedor Knew Better Than To Fight In UFC, Milked His Career To Get Paid
And Rome Is Burning about it-that would be Jim Rome on a recent episode of his ESPN program. "No matter how good you are, you will lose. Everybody does, there are so many different disciplines and everybody gets caught at some point. But, that's not what happened to Fedor Emelianenko Saturday against Antonio Silva. After going a decade without losing, he follows up last summer’s loss to Fabricio Werdum by getting his face beaten in Saturday. And that's no fluke, that's not a guy getting suckered into a savvy submission hold or just getting caught with one big shot in the chin. That was a bigger, stronger, better fighter on top of Fedor pounding him senseless. Silva said that he was surprised that the doctors stopped the fight. Surprised or disappointed? Did you bother to check that piece of meat that you were bludgeoning between shots. Trust me, he had enough. Fedor admitted enough afterwards, quote, 'Maybe it's time to leave … Maybe it's the last time, maybe it's high time.' No, maybe's about it, if anything it's probably past time. Now it's pretty obvious why he didn't want to sign with the UFC. While Strikeforce does have competitive heavyweights, he didn't want to fight the best of the best on the biggest stage, he knew better. He refused to take any chances; he milked it for all its worth and he got paid and then exposed and now it's over."
Newcomer Ruben Duran Signs With UFC, Faces Mizugaki At UFC On Versus 3
Takeya Mizugaki will get a chance to fight after all. The UFC has found a replacement opponent for the bantamweight standout three days after an undisclosed injury forced Francisco Rivera to withdraw from a bout with Mizugaki at UFC on Versus 3, which takes place March 3 at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky. Reuben Duran (7-2-1) will step in on short notice to meet the one-time WEC contender. Duran's management at Iridium Sports Agency subsequently announced the fight via its official Facebook page. Duran has signed a five-fight deal with the UFC.
Man Uses Martial Arts Tactic He Saw on TV to End Alleged Stabber's Spree
Joseph Lozito, the man being dubbed a hero for helping disarm and capture a New York man accused of going on a 28 hour stabbing spree, says that watching mixed martial arts fights for 20 years may have saved his life.
Lozito used his leg to sweep Maksim Gelman off his feet when the accused killer lunged at him on a subway car with what Lozito described as a "giant knife."
Lozito, his face bruised and his skulled slashed from his fight with Gelman, told "Good Morning America" today that he was alert to Gelman as soon as the suspect boarded the train at Penn Station.
Gilbert Melendez: “I Really Truly Believe I’m the No. 1 Fighter in the World”
Now that he has a new contract in place, Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez is ready to get back to the business of fighting, and he’s ready to prove he’s the top 155-pounder in the world.
Melendez hasn’t set foot in the cage in nearly a year following his win over Shinya Aoki last April. Since that time, Melendez welcomed a new baby into the world and recovered from a thumb injury, but now he’s healthy and ready to dominate again.
Scott Jorgensen vs. Ken Stone Added to TUF 13 Finale Show in June
Scott Jorgensen will look to get back on the path to the top of the bantamweight division when he faces Ken Stone at the upcoming “Ultimate Fighter” 13 finale show in June.
The bantamweight bout is the latest edition to the growing card taking place on June 4 in Las Vegas. Sources close to the negotiations confirmed the fight to MMAWeekly.com on Monday. Heavy.com initially reported the booking.
Martin Kampmann Expecting "Old School" Diego Sanchez at UFC Live on Versus 3
Danish striker Martin "The Hitman" Kampmann is looking to erase a previous setback against Jake Shields and make his way back to the top. Standing in his way is original TUF winner Diego "The Nightmare" Sanchez who is also fighting for a return to contention.
They are slated for a showdown at UFC Live on Versus 3 in Louisville Kentucky on March 5th and with the fight quickly approaching I caught up with "The Hitman". In his Bloody Elbow Exclusive interview we talked about squaring off with Sanchez and earning his shot at welterweight gold.
Ex-UFC Welterweight Jeremy Jackson gets 25 years-life
A Ventura County, Calif. judge today sentenced ex-UFC welterweight and "The Ultimate Fighter 4" cast member Jeremy Jackson to 25 years to life for sexual assault.
Jackson, 28, pleaded guilty in 2010 to charges that he raped his ex-girlfriend during an attempted burglary.
He was arrested in June 2008 and charged with seven felony offenses, including two counts of forcible rape. He has sat in a Ventura County jail since his arrest.
Brothers Fighting In SF GP? Too Soon To Tell, Say Overeems
Brother vs. brother is one fight several major promotions have tried – and failed – to put together. It's an easy sell on the business side, but not so much for the family involved. Plus, there's often a weight class or two between siblings. Still, there have been a few willing participants. The most popular example to American MMA fans is Ken Shamrock vs. Frank Shamrock, who were raised by the same adoptive father but aren't related by blood. The matchup fizzled when the two sides couldn't come to terms on the particulars of a fight contract. Strikeforce could be the first promotion to get brother vs. brother done, and it looks like they've got two willing participants if the stars correctly align: Strikeforce heavyweight champion and heavyweight grand-prix competitor Alistair Overeem and his older brother, possible tourney alternate Valentijn Overeem. The brothers say they'll get in the cage if the tournament format dictates they do so and if the fans want to see it. But there are many variables that stand in the way of the potential bout.