Shine Fights Signs Rolles Gracie
After a one-and-done stint in UFC this year, Rolles Gracie has become the latest acquisition by Shine Fights. Executives today announced that Gracie has signed on with the upstart promotion, and his official debut will be announced at a later date. Gracie is 3-1 career, winning his first 3 fights before losing at UFC 109 to short-notice replacement Joey Beltran.
Ohi-No: UFC Not Returning To Ohio In March
The annual Arnold Festival weekend in March in Columbus, Ohio will be missing something next year-UFC. Dana White today confirmed that the organization won't return to the Buckeye State for the usual Arnold Sports Festival weekend show. UFC ran that weekend from 2007-09, then WEC took the spot last year. "We're definitely not (going to Columbus) this year," said White, referring to 2011. The WEC-UFC merger likely was the clincher, without it WEC probably would've run Ohio again that weekend and UFC currently has 2 shows planned around the Arnolds-UFC 127 in Australia in late February and a tentative Middle East event in mid-March.
UFC Prelims Expected To Return In 2011, But Deal Not Yet Official
After a successful full year of the specials, the "UFC Prelims" broadcasts appear they'll return in 2011. The one-hour specials, which air on Spike TV, feature two live preliminary-card fights and precede major event's pay-per-view broadcasts. Dana White said today he expects the specials to return, but Spike TV officials declined to comment, presumably due to the ongoing negotiations that they first must wrap up with the UFC.
UFC President Dana White: This Is Tito Ortiz’s Last Stand
One last shot.
That’s what Tito Ortiz asked for, and that’s what Tito Ortiz is going to get.
After losing a three-round decision to Matt Hamill at UFC 121, most people felt that Ortiz, after years of calling the UFC home, would be shown the door out of the Octagon. Mounting a record of 0-4-1 in his last five fights, that is what UFC president Dana White thought about Ortiz’s future as well.
“I thought I was gonna cut him, too,” he told MMAWeekly.com, when posed with the idea that most people thought Ortiz would be cut loose after UFC 121.
But just last week in Germany, White said that Ortiz would be returning to the Octagon in early 2011 to fight Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. The UFC president didn’t reveal a date or location, but it is widely believed to be taking place in Abu Dhabi in March.
Ludwig Requires Surgery for Broken Hand
UFC veteran Duane “Bang” Ludwig will undergo surgery to repair a broken right hand sustained in the first round of his split decision victory over Brit Nick Osipczak at UFC 122 at the Konig Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen, Germany.
Ludwig tweeted the news Wednesday morning, announcing that he had broken his right hand in two places during his victory and would see a new specialist today. A few hours later, the Grudge Training Center product announced that he would require surgery. It is unknown at this time when Ludwig will undergo the procedure. Sherdog could not reach Ludwig for comment.
Strikeforce's Frank Shamrock joins charge against bullying
A former UFC, WEC and Strikeforce champion – not to mention a former interim King of Pancrase – MMA legend Frank Shamrock admits he hasn't had to worry too much about being bullied throughout his life.
That said, it's becoming very clear to him that he's in the minority.
"I didn't know there was this bullying going on because nobody has ever really bullied me," Shamrock told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "It turns out everybody is getting bullied."
Shamrock officially announced his retirement from fighting earlier this year, but the 15-year veteran of the sport remains on with Strikeforce as a commentator and spokesperson for the promotion.
With his days of competition behind him, Shamrock said he believes it's now his responsibility to give back to the sport and community that have given so much to him.
"Martial arts saved my life and made me who I am," Shamrock said. "For me not to do spread that message would be wrong. That's my job.
Strikeforce's Dan Henderson committed to 205 pounds, not considering retirement
Next month's main event and rematch with Renato "Babalu" Sobral (36-8 MMA, 2-1 SF) is a big fight for former UFC and PRIDE star Dan Henderson (25-8 MMA, 0-1 SF).
But it's unlikely to be the final bout for the 40-year-old fighter and 13-year MMA veteran.
With a move back to light heavyweight following a failed big to win the Strikeforce middleweight title, Henderson said he feels great heading into Showtime's Dec. 4 headliner.
The event, "Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu," takes place at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
"I have always felt comfortable at 205," said Henderson, who previously held PRIDE titles in both weight classes, during a media conference call. "I have never felt weak or out-powered. I can eat a good meal the night before the fight. ... It's one less thing I need to worry about before the fight. I am hanging out at 203, 204 (pounds)."
Shine FIghts Expected To Sign TV Deal Soon
Shine Fights has been looking to make some major moves recently including the signing of former “Ultimate Fighter” winner Efrain Escudero to a contract. Now the upstart organization appears on the verge of signing a deal to bring their brand of MMA to cable television. Shine Fights COO Jason Chambers revealed the news to MMAWeekly in an exclusive interview on Tuesday. “For all intensive purposes we’ve come to an agreement,” Chambers said about the new TV deal. “It’s just a matter of dotting the “I”s and crossing the “T”s.” While Chambers stopped short of naming which network would get the rights for Shine Fights, he did say it was a recognizable name that fans of MMA will be able to access with ease. “It’s definitely a network that everyone will be familiar with,” Chambers disclosed. “It’s a network that I think is the right size and the right scope for where we are.” The deal that will see Shine Fights hit free TV will be similar to the current package the UFC runs prior to their pay-per-view offerings. The plan according to Chambers is to have the Shine Fights debut with their new TV deal early next year. “We plan on doing six pay-per-views next year and all of those undercards will be able to be seen live on cable,” said Chambers. There has been no word which network is going to land Shine Fights, but with MMA becoming a viable product as shown by the UFC’s success on Spike TV as well as the WEC on Versus, it could be any number of cable stations looking to add fights to their roster.
Is Herschel Walker An Embarrassment To MMA?
WEC veteran Keith Berry thinks so. "I'd love to fight Herschel Walker, but they'd probably never give me that fight because they only want to give him the wins. I think sometimes Strikeforce they build up these guys like Herschel Walker, like the last fight I saw him in, he fought a guy that was 1-1 and he just looked bad. I just thought he looked really bad, and his hands were so stiff and I just thought if I gave him one good overhand right, he would just go down. I saw his fight and it was embarrassing. A regular guy, a journeyman could smash him. That's just my opinion." Berry said he could try to make the fight happen if he beats Brett Cooper this weekend in California.
Stefan Struve plans to bulk up to 290 pounds before rematching Roy Nelson and Junior dos Santos
UFC heavyweight skyscraper, Stefan Struve has been speaking about his goal of bulking up over the next couple of years to a massive 290 pounds before rematching the two men to defeat him inside the octagon, Roy Nelson and Junior dos Santos.
Speaking via Fighters Only Magazine, Struve said:
“Well, I only turned 21 a few days before the fight. I was at 235 I believe and if you see these guys running round, well.. Dos Santos is a beast. I need more muscle and more power, but that will come in the next couple of years. I would like to have a rematch with Roy and Dos Santos at some point in my career to see if I did improve. I am pretty sure I did. I want to go up to 290 to see what trouble I give them. Right now I weigh 255 so its going good.”
Featherweights Mike Brown and Diego Nunes official for UFC 125 clash
Nearly seven years after first fighting in the octagon, one-time UFC veteran Mike Brown (24-6 MMA, 6-2 WEC) returns to the promotion's cage on Jan. 1.
UFC brass today officially announced that the former lightweight contender meets Brazilian featherweight Diego Nunes (15-1 MMA, 4-1 WEC) at UFC 125 in both fighters' first bout after the pending UFC-WEC merger.
UFC 122 on Spike TV draws average audience of 2.2 million viewers
The past weekend's Spike TV broadcast of "UFC 122: Marquardt vs. Okami" scored an average audience of 2.2 million viewers, the cable station today announced.
The event took place Nov. 13 at the Konig Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen, Germany, and aired via same-day tape delay on Spike TV.
UFC 122 earned a 1.4 household rating, which includes a 2.0 rating among men ages 18-49 and a 2.16 among males ages 18-34.
Don't Let Karo Parisyan Catch You Dancing, Bro
Ahead of his UFC reutrn at UFC 123 against Dennis Hallman, he likens his chosen discipline of judo to dance. "Best thing about me, when I grab my opponent and I clinch with them, it's pretty easy for me to feel their weakness and their strength. I get them to dance. As soon as they start dancing, that's when I catch them. Judo is a dance. You dance with your partner and he makes a mistake and you catch him, you throw them on their head. It's very easy for me sometimes to throw opponents. At the same time, sometimes I feel like I'm cheating, sometimes it's so easy, with foot sweeps and all my hip tosses, and all the other arm drags or whatever people think I do. I think it all comes down to feel. I say that once and I'll always say it. Everything comes down to feel. You have to feel your opponent. Just like boxing, it's timing. Everything is timing and everything comes to that part where you have to feel, where it becomes second nature. It's like, 'How do you do it?' I don't know. It just happens. It's second nature. I feel it. And I feel the judo."
WEC 52: 570,000 Viewers
Urijah Faber is a proven draw. No doubt about it. Bolstered by the World Extreme Cagefighting star's main event with Takeya Mizugaki, the Nov. 11 broadcast of WEC 52 scored an impressive 0.57 household rating and an average audience of 570,000 viewers on Versus. Only WEC 46 drew more viewers so far this year-and that event also featured Faber. In fact, 4 of the 6 most-viewed WEC events since WEC 34 (Faber-Pulver 1) have had Faber in the main event or co-main.
UFC-WEC Merger Will Not Include Alex Karalexis
We now know that not all current WEC fighters are going to UFC as part of the upcoming merger-Alex Karalexis is not UFC-bound. In fact, he actually has been released by Zuffa. Karalexis last fought in April, losing by submission to ANthony Pettis. He was to have faced Zhang Tie Quan at WEC 51 but withdrew due to injury. He was 4-3 in WEC but just 1-3 in his last 4 fights.
UFC 123's "Rampage" vs. Machida winner gets title shot? UFC boss not sure
With UFC 122 in the books, the focus now turns to Saturday's UFC 123 headliner between former champions Lyoto Machida and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.
And though the light-heavyweight bout may seem a likely No. 1 contender's bout, UFC president Dana White told MMAjunkie.com he's not ready to promise a title shot to the winner just yet.
"I don't know," he told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "The fight has to happen first (before I decide)."
Saturday's pay-per-view show takes place at the Palace of Auburn Hills in suburban Detroit and is bolstered by a B.J. Penn vs. Matt Hughes co-headliner. But the bout that could have the biggest and most immediate impact on its division is Machida (16-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) vs. Jackson (30-8 MMA, 5-2 UFC).
UFC boss says Rua vs. Evans on target for March, "Suga" comfortable with schedule
While a recent ESPN.com report suggested that former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans (15-1-1 MMA, 10-1-1 UFC) was upset at sitting on the sidelines while waiting for current champ Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (19-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC) to heal from knee surgery, UFC president Dana White said "Suga" is doing just fine.
White was initially baffled by Evans' comments in the report, which suggested he was frustrated at Rua's recovery schedule, but the UFC boss says the two have since worked through any hard feelings and everything is on track for 2011.
"Rashad and I talked right after that whole goofy incident," White said. "We're cool."
Despite Fight Cancellation, Both Rivera & Sakara Paid
Despite a last-minute cancellation of their UFC 122 co-main event, Jorge Rivera and Alessio Sakara both received pay for the fight. According to Dana White, Sakara got paid his show money, but Rivera got both his show money and what would've been his win bonus. "Do we not take care of guys?" White asked MMAjunkie.com when questioned about their pay. "Jorge actually got both (his show money and win bonus)." UFC officials aren't required to pay fighters in such situations but usually do. The fact that Sakara had hoped to fight through his illness likely won him the respect and loyalty of White and Co. It's not known how much each fighter actually got and also no word on if they'll try the fight again.