UFC announces accident-insurance coverage for all 350 contracted fighters
In a room packed with hundreds of mixed martial arts' top athletes, the long-awaited announcement was met mostly relief.
Officials from Zuffa LLC, the UFC and Strikeforce's parent company, today announced all of its contracted fighters now get accident-insurance coverage. The company's fighters learned of the additional coverage today at the four-day "fighter summit" in Las Vegas.
That means training injuries – which are costly and not previously covered by their independent-contractor agreements – will be picked up by the organization.
"Our athletes are some of the very best in the world, and we've committed significant financial resources to provide them with insurance that complements the gold standard we have set for event-related coverage," UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta stated in today's announcement. "We’re pleased to provide coverage that enables our athletes to seek and receive treatment for injuries sustained while preparing for bouts."
Nik Lentz vs Charles Oliveira signed for UFC Live 4
Once-beaten Brazilian prospect Charles Oliveira will lock horns with Minnesota Martial Arts Academy representative Nik Lentz (Pictured; file photo) in a featured lightweight matchup at UFC Live 4 “Marquardt vs. Johnson” on June 26 at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh. Eleven fights are now official for the event, which will air live on the Versus network.
Oliveira (14-1, 2-1 UFC) finds himself on the rebound for the first time as a professional, having submitted to a first-round kneebar from the world-ranked Jim Miller at UFC 124 in December. The 21-year-old won the 2008 Predator Fight Championship welterweight grand prix in his native Brazil and has secured 13 of his 14 career victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission. A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Jorge Patino, Oliveira was awarded “Submission of the Night” honors in his first two UFC appearances. Six of his last nine fights have ended inside one round.
Weekend Rundown: Downes Survives Scare, Wins Outside Octagon
Taking a tuneup fight with a regional promotion is a risky move for any fighter under Zuffa contract, and UFC lightweight Daniel Downes nearly demonstrated why.
An import from the World Extreme Cagefighting merger, the 25-year-old Roufusport product had not fought since WEC 53 in December, when he became the first man to top Chinese prospect Tiequan Zhang. Still without a date for his Octagon debut, Downes competed Friday night under the North American Fighting Championship banner at the Potawatomi Bingo Casino Expo Center in Milwaukee, and found himself in danger early against Tory Bogguess, a lesser-known veteran of the Midwest circuit.
UFC Heavyweight Roy Nelson Wants Three Minute Rounds
Roy Nelson is a multi-tasker. While preparing for his May 28 fight with Frank Mir at UFC 130, he is also trying to come up with ideas to improve the sport. Nelson recently spoke to ESPN.com and shared his reasoning for why he thinks three minute rounds are the way to go for MMA.
After Pacquiao vs. Mosley, UFC president White and boxing's duBoef discuss future
LAS VEGAS – Contrary to a popular opinion in the MMA community, boxing most certainly is not dead.
The 16,412 fans that packed Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena – nearly 1,600 more enthusiasts than the UFC has ever drawn to the venue – for Saturday's Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley event proved that at boxing's highest level, the sport still is financially viable.
Of course, that doesn't mean there aren't glaring opportunities for the sport to improve and evolve. Nevertheless, UFC president Dana White, who was among the sellout crowd on Saturday night, believes boxing can survive. His organization is not in a competition with boxing, White said, and both fight sports can flourish.
"I think boxing and the UFC can coexist," White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) after the pay-per-view show. "I'm a big fight fan. When there's a good boxing match, I want to see it."
Takeshi Inoue vs Koichiro Matsumoto added to Dream 17: Fight for Japan
A featherweight bout between former Shooto champion Takeshi Inoue (19-5 MMA, 0-1 DREAM) and current DEEP champ Koichiro Matsumoto (12-2 MMA, 0-0 DREAM) has been added to this month's "DREAM.17: Fight for Japan" event.
Officials today announced the addition.
DREAM.17 takes place May 29 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, and serves as a fundraiser following earthquakes and a tsunami that have ravaged the country.
Rampage Jackson to leave MMA when money is right with Hollywood, still wants Rashad Evans
It was gonna be an exciting fight. Those are the types of fights I'd watch. I'll watch Chuck fight every time he fights. I wouldn't watch a Rashad Evans fight or a "Queen" Mo fight. I wouldn't watch those guys fight but I'll watch Chuck Liddell fight."
Chuck Liddell was recently forced into retirement by Dana White and the UFC due to his growing number of knockout losses. The guys who had built him up into this indestructible force just couldn't bear to see him take so much punishment.
Jackson can be thankful that the same hasn't happened to him yet. He still possesses his iron clad chin that helped him gain the UFC light heavyweight title. He still has the speed and the skills to be competitive with most of the guys at 205 pounds, but that doesn't mean Jackson isn't about to call it quits.
Mike Brown rested, healed and ready to come back 'with a bang'
Less than two years ago, Mike Thomas Brown was the scariest featherweight in the sport.
Now, the 35-year-old mixed martial artist is fighting for job security after a dismal start to his 2011 fight campaign that saw the former WEC Featherweight Champion lose back-to-back contests to Diego Nunes (UFC 125) and Rani Yahya (UFC Fight for the Troops 2).
In fact, the American Top Team standout is 2-6 since dropping his 145-pound strap to Jose Aldo at WEC 44 in late 2009, including a shocking knockout loss to Manny Gamburyan at WEC 48 just a couple of months later.
Spike TV debuts "Frankie Edgar: In the Moment" on May 25 ahead of UFC 130
Following a successful March debut focused on Jon Jones, Spike TV brings back its special pre-event preview show "In the Moment," on Wednesday, May 25.
This time around, UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar takes center stage.
"UFC Presents Frankie Edgar: In the Moment" debuts at 10 p.m. ET/PT ahead of Edgar's UFC 130 main event with top contender and budding nemesis Gray Maynard.
UFC vet Antoni Hardonk retires from MMA
Eight-time UFC fighter Antoni Hardonk has retired from professional MMA.
The Dutch striker confirmed the plans with UFC.com while saying he plans to focus on coaching at his new gym in California.
He retires with an 8-6 pro MMA record (4-4 in the UFC) and a 10-5 pro kickboxing record.
UFC 134 Fight Card Shaping Up
The UFC will return to the country of Brazil for the first time since October 17th, 1998 later this year. UFC 134: Rio is scheduled for August 27th in the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, and the UFC is clearly stockpiling the card with popular Brazilian fighters. The top two fights are both rematches, with middleweight champion Anderson Silva defending his UFC middleweight title against the last man to earn a win over him, Yushin Okami. The other top matchup has former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua looking to avenge a loss in his first UFC fight at the hands of another former champion, Forrest Griffin.
"We couldn’t wait to host our first-ever UFC event in Brazil’s biggest city," said White. "Brazilians have given so much to the growth of this sport. I’m excited that we can give back to the country that has given us so many great fighters. From Royce Gracie and Vitor Belfort to "Shogun" Rua, Anderson Silva and Jose Aldo, these fighters are all champions and are so proud of their roots. It’s time for us to bring a live UFC event here and show the people of Brazil how much this sport has grown."
Dorea: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira Will Fight at UFC 134 if Healthy
The Nogueira brother's boxing coach Luis Carlos Dorea did an interview with Tatame where he spoke about his disciple Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and how he's coming along in his recuperation from injury. The topic of UFC 134 came up, and Dorea was quite clear that Big Nog could be on the card. But it all comes down to his health:
Everybody's looking forward to see Rodrigo fighting in UFC Rio. Is he getting ready to go and fight on this event?
Dorea: As for Rodrigo, he’s doing super fine. Rodrigo is going through much physiotherapy, he’s seeing how things are, but we first have to check his conditions, his health. If he’s good to go, I don’t see any problems. The thing isn’t about the fight, but the trainings. The trainings are hard, and Rodrigo trains like twice, three times a day, so he has to be good, 100% healed so that he can train hard and don’t feel a thing. Rodrigo’s doing just fine, we’ll all support him.
Wanderlei Silva Had Doubts of Coming Back, Now Holds Chris Leben’s Feet to the Fire
Wanderlei Silva is an icon in mixed martial arts. “The Axe Murderer” ruled the roost as the Pride middleweight champion in Japan. But even after Zuffa bought the venerable Japanese fight promotion and ultimately had to close its doors, Silva is as popular as ever.
He has struggled through his time in the Octagon. His record is just 2-3 in his latest stint in the UFC. Fans, however, forgive his losses because they simply love watching Wand fight. They don’t care if he holds a belt, or is rocketing up the rankings.
He’s well aware of that fact.
Zombieland: Chan Sung Jung calls out Mark Hominick
When Chan Sung Jung submitted Leonard Garcia with a twister back on March 26 at UFC Fight Night 24: "Nogueira vs. Davis," it broke a two-fight skid and gave him just his second win in five fights.
And, not to get greedy or anything, but he feels like he deserves a nice little step up in the featherweight division because of it. He made this clear with a short, but sweet, tweet:
History in the Making: Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson's greatest hits
The chain. The howl. The jovial smile that can turn into a menacing grimace in the blink of an eye.
For over a decade, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson has entertained fight fans with theatrics that are exceeded only by his performance in the ring or cage.
Whether he's knocking opponents out with the cinder blocks he calls fists or he's slamming them through the mat, the Memphis-born fighter almost always manages to entertain his audience.
At UFC 130: "Edgar vs. Maynard 3" on May 28, 2011, he will face off against another American wrestler in Matt Hamill, as both fighters hope to continue their climb up the 205-pound rankings.
But first, a look back.
Hello, Pride... meet "Rampage"
Jackson had a rough debut in Pride FC. He was matched up against the smaller Kazushi Sakuraba and used that size difference to his advantage. But the seasoned grappler was able to score a submission on the American.
When "Rampage" returned to Japan four months later, the result was decidedly different.
He took on professional wrestler Yuki Ishikawa and ragdolled him all around the ring. Punches to the head while on their feet and knees while on the mat were delivered to the Japanese fighter.
A combination against the ropes dropped Ishikawa to the mat and earned "Rampage" his first Pride victory.
But it wouldn't be his last.
Saturday Night's Mania Event: Jake Shields eye pokes Georges St. Pierre at UFC 129 ... but was it intentional?
Saturday Night's Mania Event is back, despite heavy competition from both Bellator 43 and the mega-fight between Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley.
That's alright, though, because we've got business to take care of.
In the wake of one of the most successful events in the history of the UFC, there are questions that need asking in regards to the main event that marred the entire show.
Was Jake Shields intentionally trying to poke Georges St. Pierre in the eye at UFC 129 this past Saturday, April 30, 2011, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada?
To start, it should be immediately established that an eye poke did, in fact, occur and it was the main culprit in causing GSP to lose vision in his left eye for most of the duration of the fight.
It was not a punch to the eye, as Shields initially commented at the post-fight press conference. It was a vicious poke, or maybe even scrape is a better term.
There are many layers to this occurrence that need to be discussed. Should the fight have been allowed to continue after the infraction, in which St. Pierre's sight was clearly compromised to the point of dangerousness?
Does someone need to tell Greg Jackson, trainer to the stars, that it's simply irresponsible for him to outright dismiss this fact when his fighter made him aware of it between rounds?
Did the ringside doctors and the entire commission drop the ball in regards to this entire incident?
Lots to talk about, ladies and sirs, let's get right to it.
Bellator 43 Results
Bellator Fighting Championships bills itself as the place "Where championships are earned, not given."
Following a highly controversial split-decision loss to fellow season-four welterweight tournament finalist Jay Hieron, former Olympic judoka Rick Hawn might disagree.
The Hieron vs. Hawn bout served as the featured contest of Saturday's Bellator 43 event, which took place at the First Council Casino Hotel in Newkirk, Okla., and aired on MTV2.
OFFICIAL MAIN CARD RESULTS
Jay Hieron def. Rick Hawn via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) - welterweight tourney final
Bryan Baker def. Joe Riggs via knockout (punch) - Round 2, 3:53
Chase Beebe def. Jose Vega via submission (guillotine choke) - Round 1, 4:06
Ron Sparks def. Vince Lucero via submission (keylock) - Round 1, 2:18
OFFICIAL PRELIMINARY CARD RESULTS
David Rickels def. Richard Bouphanouvong via submission (triangle choke) - Round 2, 1:11
Michael Osborn def. Mike Schatz via submission (strikes) - Round 1, 1:58
Tachi Palace Fight 9 Results
Three-time WEC veteran Ian McCall (10-2) earned his third-straight victory and a shot at Tachi Palace Fights' flyweight title with a one-sided unanimous-decision win over Dustin Ortiz (7-1) in the main event of Friday's "TPF 9: The Contenders" event.
Additionally, UFC veterans Fabricio Camoes (12-5-1) and Gerald Harris (18-4) also picked up decision victories at the event.
Tachi Palace Fights 9 took place at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, Calif.
While the opening round was the most competitive of the three, McCall dominated Ortiz for the majority of the contest with a sprawl-and-brawl approach that saw Ortiz unable to garner takedowns and unable to match his opponent's striking prowess. It was McCall's second-straight decision win under the Tachi Palace Fights banner after upsetting Jussier da Silva this past February.
Ian McCall def. Dustin Ortiz via unanimous decision
Isaac DeJesus def. Russ Miura via TKO (punches) - Round 1, 2:52
Fabricio Camoes def. Efrain Escudero via unanimous decision
Gerald Harris def. Anthony Ruiz via unanimous decision
Mamoru Yamaguchi def. Kevin Dunsmoor via knockout (punch) - Round 2, 4:03
Jorge Lopez def. Waachiim Spiritwolf via unanimous decision
Farkhad Sharipov def. Tommy Vargas via unanimous decision
Chidi Njokuani def. Alan Jouban via knockout (punch) - Round 3, 1:27
Art Arciniega def. Josh Herrick via submission (triangle choke) - Round 1, 1:08
Cody Gibson def. Walel Watson via TKO (strikes) - Round 2, 4:09
Brad McDonald def. Jesse Bowen via split decision
Kenny Ento def. James Chaney via TKO (doctor's stoppage) - Round 2, 1:53
Alex Perez def. Jesus Castro via TKO (punches) - Round 1, 1:56