Will We See The Best Rich Franklin vs. The Best Chuck Liddell At UFC 115?
"Ace" seems to think so, in his conversation with the Springfield News Sun. "I really didn’t plan on fighting until maybe July or August this year [but at the end of the day, you’re fighting Chuck Liddell ... Even though Chuck has taken a couple losses, people are going to remember it’s Chuck Liddell. A year from now, five years from now, whatever — it’s a win over Chuck Liddell. That’s what people are going to remember. I saw Chuck recently. Chuck, to me, physically looks better than he has in his entire career. He looked like he was in the best shape I’ve ever seen him in, and so I honestly believe I’m going to get the best Chuck we’ve seen in some time. You’ll also see the best Rich Franklin you’ve seen in years."
Bellator 19 recap: Soto stops Saraiva; Askren and Hornbuckle book finals date
UFC veteran Diego Saraiva hoped to make a statement in his featured non-title bout with Bellator featherweight champion Joe Soto.
Instead, it was the undefeated Nor-Cal Fighting Alliance product that made the statement.
Soto needed just five minutes to earn a doctor's stoppage in the main event of Thursday's Bellator 19 event at the Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie, Texas.
Saraiva worked well on his feet early, but Soto was able to work the fight to the canvas. From there, Soto rained down blows from top position, and the damage started to show. Saraiva remained active from his back and looked to threaten with a submission, but Soto elbows opened up a massive cut on his opponent's head. Saraiva made it to the bell, but doctor's quickly assessed his wound and called a halt to the bout.
Ricardo Almeida signs to fight ex-champ Matt Hughes at UFC 117
As expected former middleweight Ricardo Almeida (12-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) looks to build off a welterweight-debut win over Matt Brown when he fights former champ Matt Hughes (44-7 MMA, 17-5 UFC) at UFC 117.
While a recent guest on Versus' "The Daily Line," Almeida confirmed he's signed a bout agreement for the fight. MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) confirmed with a source close to Hughes that he's also set for the bout.
Although not officially announced by the organization, UFC 117 takes place Aug. 7 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif. The night's main card, including Almeida vs. Hughes, airs on pay-per-view.
Bellator Announces Sexton Signing & Women's Tourney
Bellator Fighting Championships on Thursday night announced two bits of news related to the promotion moving into the realm of women’s mixed martial arts. Rosi Sexton, widely regarded as one of, if not the top 125-pound female fighter in the world, has signed an exclusive contract with Bellator. Details of the contract were not disclosed. The promotion also confirmed that it will move forward with plans for a 115-pound women’s tournament as part of Season 3, which begins on Aug. 12. Bellator did not clarify whether or not Sexton would be part of the tournament. She recently made the move to 115 pounds, so it is likely that Sexton would be in the tournament.
UFC Fan Expo 'Boston' announced for Aug. 27-28
Dana White wasn't messing around when he promised to pull out all the stops for the promotion's first-ever trip to Boston, Mass., which is scheduled for the TD Garden on Aug. 28, 2010.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) today announced that it will coordinate a two-day "Fan Expo" at the nearby Hynes Convention Center from Aug. 27 right up until fight time to coincide with the major pay-per-view (PPV) event
Here's what White, a "Beantown"-area native, had to say about his big plans:
"I think everyone knows how much it means to me to bring the UFC to Boston and to give fans this two-day event packed with amazing UFC experiences."
Those "experiences" include meet and greets with legendary UFC, Pride FC and WEC fighters, mixed martial arts (MMA) demonstrations, grappling "Super Fights," fan-inspired special events, training and development sessions, as well as other combat related opportunities and entertainment.
Additionally, the third UFC Fan Expo, which is the first to be staged outside of "Sin City," is expected to attract more than "150 leading vendors covering roughly 200,000 gross square feet of space."
According the the release, the exhibit floor will also "feature apparel, electronic gaming, food & beverages, fight gear, fitness equipment and supplies, nutritional supplements, lifestyle products and much more."
Oh, and by the way, there are also some huge fights taking place that weekend,
UFC 118 is expected to be headlined by a rematch for the lightweight title between B.J. Penn and division champion Frankie Edgar, as well as another exciting 155-pound showdown between Kenny Florian and Gray Maynard.
Former light heavyweight and heavyweight champion Randy Couture is also expected to introduce professional boxing champion James Toney to the Octagon.
GSP set to train with Freddie Roach
UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre broke the news that he will be spending some quality time with world renowned boxing trainer Freddie Roach in the very near future.
"Rush" told Jim Rome on his nationally syndicated radio show that he will be flying to California today to begin training at Roach's Wildcard Gym in Hollywood.
Roach, best known for his training of seven-division world champion Manny Pacquiao, is coming off his supervision of yet another masterpiece less than a week ago on May 15. He was in the corner of trainee Amir Khan as he made his stateside debut at Madison Square Garden in New York. "King Khan" recorded an 11th round TKO victory to retain his WBA world light welterweight title after a dominant performance over challenger Paulie Malignaggi.
This will certainly not be the first time Roach has helped MMA fighters fine tune their "sweet science" repertoir. Anderson Silva, Andrei Arlovski, Gegard Mousasi, and Dan Hardy have all trained under his watchful eye in the past.
Attention Strikeforce: Jake Shields' Camp Wants You to Call Them
According to Josh Gross' latest column for SportsIllustrated.com, Strikeforce 185-pound champ Jake Shields' manager and father, Jack Shields says that the promotion has yet to bother to contact them to attempt to negotiate a new contract.
"The time is ticking. We'd like to move forward as soon as possible,"the elder Shields told Gross on Monday. "I'd like to be negotiating right now."
Strikeforce reps blamed their busy event schedule for the delay, but a source told Gross that they have actually considered releasing Shields before an exclusive negotiating period that expires in three weeks. Even after that period ends, the promotion still has the right to match any offer made by any other promotion, but the fact that they are pretending Shields doesn't exist and discussing life after he leaves the organization essentially all but says they are conceding he will not be back.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker seemed irritated by Gross' inquiry about the possibility that they may release the talented welterweight who has spent the last year moonlighting as a middleweight so he could ensure he had challenging fights.
"Can I guarantee that we won't release him? No, I can't. It depends on how the last two or three weeks of negotiation go. I won't be able to answer until negotiations are over. Is it a possibility? It's a possibility. If we're not going to be in the Jake Shields business, let's just move on," Coker said. "That's how I feel. This is a business. Jake has a career and a life and it's not fair to him. But Jake is a guy we've appreciated having him as part of the family."
UFC To Make "Major Announcement" On 5/25 In Toronto
Is this the moment Canadian mixed martial arts fans have been waiting for? The UFC today revealed that a "major announcement" is coming on May 25, 2010, at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada, just two months after company President Dana White stormed Toronto's Eaton Centre for a public pep rally. White expects MMA to eventually become the world's largest and most popular sport. Unfortunately, that vision of global domination has faced opposition in Ontario as Premier Dalton McGuinty recently indicated that MMA regulation was "not a priority." Last year White was hoping to secure a show in Ontario at some point in 2010, setting his sights on Toronto's Rogers Centre in front of as many as 50,000 fans. Considering that one of the world's most popular fighters is a Canadian named Georges St. Pierre, that wasn't such an unrealistic goal. Then again, nothing is possible unless the Ontario Athletic Commission lifts its ban on cagefighting, that while not a priority, could help generate millions of dollars for the local economy.
Ikuhisa Minowa Faces Imani Lee At DREAM 14
Uh...yeah, who? In perhaps the spirit of his constantly getting freak show-type matchups, DREAM announced today that Super Hulk GP Champion Ikuhisa MInowa will face Imani Lee at DREAM 14 later this month. Lee, a former sparring partner of boxer turned MMA fighter James Toney, recently returned to active competition and dropped a first-round submission loss to Geovanni Sarran in April and has a 1-2 career record. At 325 pounds, Lee will probably have around a 130 pound weight advantage over Minowa, who most recently beat 315-pounder Jimmy Ambriz in March. There were rumors that Minowa could've faced Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson, but a Slice rep called those just that: Internet Rumors.
East Chicago, Ind., declares June 4, 2010 to be "Miguel Angel Torres Day"
Move over Urijah Faber, Miguel Torres is here.
While "The California Kid" recently received an official day in his honor, Faber isn't the only WEC star to receive such recognition.
East Chicago, Ind., hometown of former WEC bantamweight champion Miguel Torres, has declared June 4, 2010 to be "Miguel Angel Torres Day."
"East Chicago is my home, and to be recognized in this capacity means a lot," Torres stated in an official release from the WEC announcing the honor. "The city is full of hardworking people and I have done my best to represent East Chicago in a positive way."
The 29-year-old Torres grew up and still resides in East Chicago, and he operates a mixed martial arts academy in nearby Hammond, Ind.
Torres is expected to take part in a variety of activities around town on his official day.
DREAM Reschedules LHWGP For DREAM 15
The light heavyweight grand prix that was cancelled for Dream 14 has been scheduled as a smaller four-man field at Dream 15 on July 10, FEG president Sadaharu Tanikawa and Dream event producer Keiichi Sasahara announced Thursday at a news conference. The winners of the two tournament bouts at Dream 15 will face each other in September to determine Dream’s light heavyweight champion. Tanikawa and Sasahara also expressed hope for the Dream champion to face the Strikeforce champion in February 2011. No GP participants were confirmed but Gegard Mousasi is a likely entry. Also announced was that Dream 15 will be in the ring and not the cage.
Team "Shaolin" Planning To Appeal SF Loss To Beerbohm
After a controversial ending to the Lyle Beerbohm vs. Vitor Ribeiro fight from last Saturday's "Heavy Artillery" card in St. Louis, Nova Uniao leader Andre Pederneiras and Ribeiro manager Alex Davis will appeal the official decision that saw Beerbohm take the split decision. Pederneiras takes exception to the 30-27 scores and is hoping for a "No Contest" in his appeal. They told this to the TATAME website: "Man, it's the first time I see a guy spending all the fight defending himself and getting off there with a loss. There were a lot of critics, because Shaolin attacked all the time and there was a judge that gave 30 to 27 for the other guy...I think they missed his name on the paper, it's not possible. They can't do that, is absurd, it's not right. Even if I have to ask the help of a lawyer, I will change this outcome."
Georges vs. Georges Grappling Match On "Off The Record" Tomorrow
MMA vs. Boxing has been a hot topic lately. But MMA vs. Hockey? UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre has accepted a challenge from friend and fellow Canadian Georges Laraque for a grappling match at the Tristar Gym in Montreal. TSN will broadcast the showdown on Friday, May 21, 2010, at 6 p.m. ET on "Off the Record." The 33-year old heavyweight hockey player, who last skated for the Montreal Canadiens, appeared with "Rush" on a recent episode of "Off the Record," where he promised to use his weight advantage against GSP and "pick him up and body slam him." St. Pierre doesn't see it that way.
Kos: GSP Doesn't Have KO Power And I Do
Josh Koscheck, in commenting on his upcoming UFC Welterweight Title fight with Georges St. Pierre, also feels he's improved a lot since his first match with GSP at UFC 74, which GSP won by decision. "I don't think I need to get in Georges St-Pierre's head. He knows what kind of fighter I've improved (to) ... I'm going to have my wrestling so good that I'm going to force Georges St-Pierre into standing toe to toe with me and then I'm going to end up knocking him out, because I believe that Georges doesn't have knockout power and I do ... [In the first fight] I kind of just overlooked he was a good athlete and had the ability to learn wrestling so quick. I believe that I was young, naive and a little immature. I think now I'm wiser, older and a lot smarter when it comes to preparing and putting a game plan together."
KJ Noons vs Krazy Horse at June 26 Strikeforce
KJ Noons will rematch Charles 'Krazy Horse' Bennett at the June 26 Strikeforce event in San Jose, CA. Krazy Horse won by first rd KO in their first meeting at EliteXC: Destiny in February 2007.
Fedor Emelianenko vs Fabricio Werdum
Cris 'Cyborg' Santos vs Jan Finney
Cung Le vs Scott Smith
KJ Noons vs Charles Bennett
Manager: Vitor Belfort Will Get UFC Middleweight Title Shot In November
According to his manager, Vitor Belfort will return to UFC in November and get his shot at the UFC Middleweight Title immediately. "Vitor will be in (the best) absolute physical condition to return to the octagon and fight for the UFC title by November 2010," Fabiano Farah, Belfort's representative, wrote today in an email. Belfort won't get a warm-up fight first. There currently are no UFC events on the schedule for November.
Takanori Gomi vs. Shane Roller Added To UFC Fan Expo Grappling Tournament
The UFC Fan Expo just added another bit of star power, as former PRIDE and Shooto champion Takanori Gomi and current WEC lightweight title contender Shane Roller will face off in a superfight at the Grapplers Quest tournament being conducted at next week's UFC Fan Expo in Las Vegas. Grapplers Quest officials announced the matchup today. Held in conjunction with this month's "UFC 114: Rampage vs. Evans" event, the UFC Fan Expo takes place May 28 and 29 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. Gomi-Roller will be on the 29th.
Lindland: No union because fighters are whores, cowards...
“Unless you can get the top athletes and you’re not going to do that. I mean the fighters, they’re all whores, they just fight for the biggest purse and it’s going to be tough unless you could somehow get all the fighters to agree to something like that and you know there’s always somebody going to come up underneath who’s not willing to do it. Like I said, it doesn’t matter who the best guys are, it only matters what the announcers are telling you who the best guys are and the fans are going to believe it.”
UFC's Chael Sonnen claims victory in Oregon's Republican primary election
UFC middleweight contender Chael Sonnen has passed the first test in his bid for a spot in the Oregon House of Representatives.
Sonnen claimed a landslide victory in Tuesday's Republican Party primaries by earning 99.13 percent of the vote in Oregon's 37th District.
In fairness, Sonnen was running unopposed, though he did claim 2,167 votes versus 19 ballots that featured a write-in candidate.
Sonnen now faces Democratic nominee Will Rasmussen, who claimed victory over Gerritt Rosenthal and Joelle Davis with 65.82 percent of the votes cast.
The general election takes place Nov. 2.
Grappling ace Robert Drysdale set for professional mixed martial arts debut in July
Brazilian jiu-jitsu superstar Robert Drysdale will soon test the waters of mixed martial arts.
The Canadian-based Armageddon Fighting Championship today announced that Drysdale has signed a four-fight contract with the promotion and is expected to make his debut on July 17 at the company's third event, "AFC 3: Evolution."
An opponent has yet to be determined.
Drysdale fought one amateur contest under the Las Vegas-based Tuff-N-Uff banner and handed a then 5-0 Josh Musick a first-round defeat via armbar.