Alan Belcher pushing for fight with fellow UFC contender Demian Maia
Alan "The Talent" Belcher (16-6 MMA, 7-4 UFC) is both lucky and unlucky to be a UFC middleweight on a win streak.
He's lucky, of course, because he's risen to the top of the promotion's 185-pound division. (Hard work helped, too.) But he's unlucky because there aren't many fighters who share his streak, and as a result, he has to wait a little longer than most to stay active.
Belcher recently expressed frustration with his predicament, but he told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) that he has plans for moving his career forward.
"Right now we're pushing for Demian Maia because I think [the UFC] has plans for everyone else," Belcher today said on the radio show. "I think that's an interesting fight. That will help me solidify the No. 1 contender spot.
Kennedy vs. Prangley On 6/16 SF, Lashley Off
While one rising star gets his big-time shot at the next Strikeforce event, another star again must wait longer. Tim Kennedy has been added to the main card of SF's June 16 event and will face Trevor Prangley, but Bobby Lashley is now off due to a knee injury suffered in training. He was to have faced Ron Sparks.
Jorge Santiago vs. Kazuo Misaki Title Fight In Works For Sengoku 13
World Victory Road is reportedly working on making a title fight between Sengoku Middleweight Champion Jorge Santiago and Kazuo Misaki for the upcoming Sengoku 13 event on June 20. Word is at least one fighter has signed on for the bout and it should be finalized soon. They first fought in January 2009, when Santiago won by 5th round submission to become the first and only Sengoku Middleweight Champion to date.
Rener Gracie Taps Oprah Channel For Possible Reality Show
Rener Gracie wants to use jiu-jitsu to help kids stand up to bullies while also learning self-defense and how to improve their self-esteem. Gracie has reached out to the Oprah Channel to pitch his idea for a reality show that would bring kids and teens in need to his Gracie Academy in Torrance, California, for training. You can watch his video audition and vote for him at Oprah.com. The show seems to be partly inspired by MTV's "Bully Beatdown" but apparently will not involve fighting or bullies being confronted.
Rampage Is Going To Knock Rashad's Head Off
That's the latest short bit of potential attention-seeking from Quinton Jackson's teammate, Michael Bisping. "Rampage is going to knock Rashad's head off. I wouldn't want to be Rashad when he gets in there. If he carries on talking s***, it could be an early night for Rashad."
Report: Alves Cleared For UFC 117
After undergoing minor surgery to correct a brain "irregularity" that prompted his withdrawal from UFC 111 last March, former welterweight number one contender Thiago Alves has reportedly been cleared to participate in his UFC 117 rematch with Jon Fitch scheduled for August 7 from the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. TMZ, who seems to have the market cornered on "Pitbull" news, reports that Alves had a successful angiogram yesterday (May 25) and that his doctor "is sending a letter to the New Jersey Boxing Commission declaring him physically fit to fight."
Griffin sidelined until October
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin underwent minor surgery this month to repair a right-shoulder injury that forced him to pull out of a fight with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira scheduled for Saturday.
The procedure will keep him out of action for approximately 12 weeks and out of the octagon until late September at the earliest, according to his trainer Jimmy Gifford.
"He saw a specialist in Los Angeles and had it worked on," Gifford said. "It was minor surgery, nothing crazy. He'll start physical therapy in six weeks and be on the shelf for 12 weeks.
UFC champ Georges St-Pierre: "I fight safe, and I'm not going to hide it"
LOS ANGELES – Georges St-Pierre is grappling with UFC fans' expectations.
St-Pierre, one of MMA's most popular stars and a six-time UFC welterweight champion, said he's frustrated with the reaction to his most recent victory over Dan Hardy at UFC 111.
But the champion is more than willing to meet head-on the critics who say he plays it safe.
"That's true," St-Pierre (20-2 MMA, 15-2 UFC) told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) on Monday evening as he honed his mat moves with jiu-jitsu coach Shawn Williams at a Renzo Gracie Academy school in the Mid-Wilshire district. "I fight safe, and I'm not going to hide it."
Dana White: 'Rampage' Jackson made the right decision by doing A-Team
"I get guys all the time -- because the UFC is getting so big - doing movies, but they're usually movies that go straight to DVD, and you wouldn't even want to watch them on DVD, but Rampage made the right decision. The A-Team is the big summer hit this year, and from what I'm hearing from the guys in Hollywood, Rampage [nailed] it. He did an awesome job. Everything worked out. He and I made up, and the fight is still happening. It's definitely not a bad thing, but I don't know how many people will actually be going to see The A-Team movie knowing that Rampage Jackson is a UFC fighter. I don't know. We'll have to see how it works out."
Bruce Buffer To Handle WEC 49 Announcer Duties
Veteran UFC announcer Bruce Buffer has been tapped for a return trip to a World Extreme Cagefighting broadcast. Buffer has agreed to handle announcing duties at June's "WEC 49: Varner vs. Shalorus" event. While terms of the deal were not disclosed, Buffer's contract with the WEC does not appear to be long-term in nature at this time and instead applies only to the June event. Buffer's services were required following the recent departure of former WEC announcer Joe Martinez. Martinez originally said he resigned for family reasons but then revealed his contract with WEC had not been renewed and that he also had a contract to work boxing events for Golden Boy Promotions.
SF Challengers 8 Medical Suspensions
The Oregon State Athletic Commission has announced the medical suspensions coming out of last weekend's Strikeforce Challengers event. All 12 pro fighters in action were suspended but the majority were for only 7-14 days with just 4 fighters getting more than 2 weeks. Only 2 fighters-Kevin Casey & Roger Bowling-got longer than a month off. Both are suspended indefinitely pending release by a physician.
SF Challengers 8 Fighter Payouts
The Oregon State Athletic COmmission has revealed the official fighter payouts from last weekend's Strikeforce Challengers event. The total disclosed payouts was $46,500 with the biggest share-$10,000-going to Kevin Casey. And while Matt Lindland is listed as only making $1000 for his fight, it's important to note that the salary figures from the commission do not include any undisclosed bonuses paid by the organization. For instance, Lindland was paid an official $50,000 purse for his December 2009 debut for Strikeforce, and it is highly unlikely "The Law" would sign-off on a 98 percent decrease in salary. Former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi was compensated in a similarly undisclosed fashion when his Aug. 2009 official fight purse was listed as just $2,000.
Does Joe Silva Think Alan Belcher Has No "Talent"?
According to the man himself, apparently. I don't know what [UFC matchmaker] Joe Silva's deal is. Through my career, I've pushed for certain fights, and I don't know if it's Joe's personality or what, but I think he's not an Alan Belcher fan ... [Joe Silva is] cool and everything; it's just ... I don't know. It seems like I'm sitting there screaming: ‘The fans want to see me fight big fights.' I've got a big following, and I've got not just a flashy style; I have an explosive striking style. The fans want to see it, but he's not hearing it, man. It doesn't matter."
Tim Sylvia Is From The East Coast And Doesn't Care What You Think
Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia reveals to Sherdog.com that he weighed 305-pounds for his Moosin "Gods of Martial Arts" fight against Mariusz Pudzianowski because he didn't want to give up any unnecessary pounds to the Polish strongman. "The Maine-iac" made the world's strongest can submit to strikes after a round of sucking wind and swinging for the fences. After the fight, Sylvia declared that he was "back" and doesn't seem to care if you like it or not.
SF Challengers 8: About 250K Viewers, Peak Nearly 300K
Nearly 300,000 Showtime viewers tuned in for this past Friday's Strikeforce Challengers 8 headliner between MMA legend Matt Lindland and middleweight prospect Kevin Casey. Ratings information indicates the main event drew 294,000 viewers, which was the peak of the entire broadcast that drew an estimated 249,000 viewers. That was down about 22,000 viewers from the last Challengers event, but that event ran during a "free preview" weekend. The event also drew just 14,000 fewer viewers than the heavily-hyped 5/15 event in St. Louis.
Dana White Talks Rampage vs. Evans, Canada, UFC Undisputed 2010 and More
Often times, a fighter may not be 100 percent focused in a return to competition after a layoff in pursuit of Hollywood dreams, but UFC president Dana White says Quinton "Rampage" Jackson should be an exception to the rule due to the amount of animosity he holds towards opponent Rashad Evans.
"The one saving grace for Rampage in this whole thing is how much he hates Rashad Evans," White said Monday on The MMA Hour. "The motivation for him to train and how angry he is and fired up he is for this fight. I think the fact that he's fighting Rashad is probably the best thing in the world for him."
White touched on many other subjects, below.
Kimbo Slice Mulling Over Future Options, Boxing & MMA Possible
Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson is at home in Miami and will soon decide what his fighting future holds. "He has a lot of offers and opportunities on the table, so it's up to him," his manager, Mike Imber said via text message. Imber declined to elaborate on Slice's current opportunities but said they were in both boxing and MMA. The manager left up to Ferguson which to choose. "It's been his call from the beginning, and it's his call now," Imber said.
Anthony Johnson Considering Move To Middleweight
A persistent knee injury has Anthony Johnson considering moving up from Welterweight to Middleweight. Johnson, a welterweight who cuts as much as 50 pounds to make the 170-pound limit, was in February forced to withdraw from a bout with rival John Howard at UFC on Versus 1 because of the injury. He has struggled since to get his knee back to 100 percent. Johnson underwent knee surgery a month ago and has not fought since welterweight contender Josh Koscheck submitted him at UFC 106 this past November. The loss snapped a three-fight streak of wins by TKO or KO. Johnson hasn't agreed to the move and it likely would be temporary. UFC has no objections to the move if it happens.
UFC 113: Early Reports Suggest 520K PPV Buys
According to Wrestling Observer, early reports have UFC 113 doing an estimated 520,000 PPV buys. But some reports have it doing as many as 687,000, which would be within industry esimates of 600K-750K. More reliable reports, though, seem to lean towards the lower number, which would be a disappointment for UFC.