After comeback fight failed, UFC 136's Jorge Santiago ready to show the real him
Jorge Santiago quickly realized he'd messed up in his return to the octagon.
"It took me like a half-hour," he today told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "Soon as I left the ring, I was like, '[Expletive].' That wasn't me."
Santiago's thoughts came in the late hours of May 30 as the main card of UFC 130 got into full swing. He had fallen to Brian Stann's punches in the second round, which deflated a wave of hype that brought him back to the UFC after a five-year absence.
The following weekend, Santiago was back at the gym training. He wanted to get back in the cage as soon as possible.
"I asked my manager (to) get me a fight," he said. "I know I can fight the way I used to fight, and I want to prove that I can do it."
Spike TV's UFC 139 'UFC Prelims' special gets Bader-Brilz, Lawlor-Weidman
Two fights have been chosen for UFC 139's "UFC Prelims" special.
As MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) previously reported, the Nov. 19 event will get a one-hour Spike TV special prior to the night's pay-per-view main card.
Now, the fights have been chosen for the cable broadcast: light heavyweights Ryan Bader (12-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) vs. Jason Brilz (18-4-1 MMA, 3-3 UFC) and middleweights Tom Lawlor (7-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) vs. Chris Weidman (6-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC).
UFC 139 takes place at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. The night's main event pits recent Strikeforce champ Dan Henderson vs. ex-UFC champ Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in a five-round non-title fight.
Chael Sonnen: Tell Anderson Silva I will pat his wife on the ass and have her make me a steak
I get the feeling Chael Sonnen really wants to fight Anderson Silva (again).
That could explain his obsession with calling out the reigning 185-pound champion, who survived four-and-a-half rounds of abuse before submitting Sonnen with a triangle choke at UFC 117 back in August 2010.
The mouthy middleweight mudslinger was a recent guest on The MMA Show and told host Mauro Ranallo (via Middle Easy) to relay a message to "The Spider," which sounded more like the threat of home invasion, but let's not argue about semantics.
"You tell Anderson Silva I'm coming over and I'm kicking down his backdoor and patting his little lady on the ass and I'm telling her to make me a steak, medium-rare just how I like it."
MMAPlayground Interview Series - Vol. 6 (Brian "Bad Boy" Ebersole)
As with any successful professional, mixed martial artists eat, sleep and breathe their craft. They put everything on the line when they wake up, hit the gym and pour their blood, sweat and tears into the sport we all love. When they enter that cage, for the fan, it's all about the entertainment, but these athletes go through the daily rigors with more in mind. For some fighters, it's a paycheck. For others, it's the glitz and glamour, but for some it's a lifestyle fueled by a deep passion and connection to the sport of mixed martial arts.
In our newest site feature, MMAPlayground would like to introduce you to some of these men and women of MMA that you may not know much about.
Our mission? To introduce. To educate. To spread the word.
Brian Ebersole is a veteran mixed martial artist, who after years on the other circuits, has finally found his way to the UFC. He is 2-0 in the Octagon and is coming off two impressive performances against Chris Lytle and Dennis Hallman. Brian recently sat down to answer some questions from MMAPlayground.
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MMAPG: First of all, thanks for taking time to answer some questions. I’m sure your schedule must be hectic. Also, we’d like to congratulate you on your win against Dennis Hallman in August. How are you feeling since that win?
EBERSOLE: I came out healthy, so I'm very pleased. A quick return to the Octagon (3-6 weeks later) would have been possible, but as it stands, I've had to wait quite a while. So now, I'm feeling fat because dieting proper for that long is just not in my nature.
MMAPG: You’ve been around the sport for quite some time now. How and when did you start getting involved in mixed martial arts? Was there something in particular that piqued your interest?
EBERSOLE: Can I point you to previous interviews? Teasing.... I saw UFC 1, like most teenagers in 1993. I had my first submission grappling experience at 15 years old and continued ever since. I was a wrestler, so it appealed and was a simple/natural extension of thought/technique/goals/rules from what I'd always done.
Alex Caceres drops to bantamweight, fights Cole Escovedo at UFC on FOX 1
Since featherweight apparently wasn't the answer, "Bruce Leroy" is going to give bantamweight a go.
UFC officials today announced that "The Ultimate Fighter 12" cast member Alex Caceres (5-4 MMA, 0-2 UFC) will get a third chance at a first octagon win, as "Bruce Leroy" drops to 135 pounds to face Cole Escovedo (17-8 MMA, 0-2 UFC), who is also winless in two UFC appearances.
The pair now meets at UFC on FOX 1.
Featuring a heavyweight title fight between current champion Cain Velasquez and top contender Junior Dos Santos, UFC on FOX 1 takes place Nov. 12 in Anaheim, Calif. The evening's main event airs on FOX, but broadcast plans for the preliminary card have yet to be determined.
"Both bantamweights had non-stop action fights in their last outings and are sure to do the same Nov. 12," UFC president Dana White stated.
Caceres competed on "TUF 12" as a lightweight but was eliminated in the semifinals by eventual runner-up Michael Johnson. Caceres then dropped to 145 pounds for his official UFC debut, which came in a submission loss to Mackens Semerzier at UFC Fight Night 24.
UFC 136's Jeremy Stephens on Anthony Pettis: 'I'm going to destroy him'
Here at MMAjunkie.com, we largely avoid the typical pre-fight banter and promises of destruction when it comes to headlines and story intros.
But with Jeremy Stephens, an ultra-confident lightweight who meets Anthony Pettis at Saturday's UFC 136 event, it's not so much trash-talk as statements of fact.
As far as Stephens is concerned, he's not threatening anything. He's just telling you how Saturday plays out: He's going to hunt down Pettis, work the body, hit the chin, and "destroy him."
Stephens (20-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC), of course, meets Pettis (13-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) in a featured UFC 136 preliminary-card bout. The event takes place at Houston's Toyota Center, and Stephens vs. Pettis is one of two bouts airing on Spike TV prior to the night's pay-per-view main card.
Since its announcement, Stephens vs. Pettis has been pegged as an early "Fight of the Night" candidate. Stephens, though, thinks it's going to be a lot more one-sided than most predict.
"I thought stylistically this was a great matchup for me," he today told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "I don't think he's really going to stand in front of me. I don't think he likes to get hit. I think he's going to be on his horse a little bit."
UFC Targeting Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans for UFC 140 Main Event
HOUSTON -- Get ready for the grudge match.
The UFC is targeting December's UFC 140 for the long-awaited Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans light-heavyweight title bout, MMA Fighting has learned from sources with knowledge of the situation.
The fight is not yet official, but appears likely to be announced within the next 24-48 hours. UFC president Dana White told MMA Fighting that he could not yet announce a UFC 140 main event, but might possibly be able to do so by the end of the day.
Before that can happen, at least one hurdle must be overcome. Evans has to be cleared from a hand injury suffered in his recent UFC 133 win over Tito Ortiz. That injury required pins to be inserted into his hands, but Evans' coach Mike Van Arsdale told MMA Fighting that he was scheduled to visit the doctor on Wednesday and expected Evans to be cleared.
Van Arsdale told MMA Fighting he had no knowledge of the rumored December date, but said a clean bill of health would make Evans' participation in a Dec. 10 fight feasible.
Sonnen-Stann winner not guaranteed UFC title shot, Henderson could make bid with win
While this weekend's UFC 136 event is headlined by a pair of title fights, the middleweight contest between Chael Sonnen (25-11-1 MMA, 5-4 UFC) and Brian Stann (11-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) is also rife with championship implications.
However, the winner won't necessarily book a future date with 185-pound kingpin Anderson Silva (31-4 MMA, 14-0 UFC).
Recent Strikeforce import Dan Henderson (28-8 MMA, 5-2 UFC) meets Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (20-5 MMA, 4-3 UFC) in November, and UFC president Dana White said a win could rush him to the front of the line.
"Should Dan win, he's definitely one of the guys that could go take that fight," White said today following a UFC 136 pre-event press conference.
The move would seem a slight departure from White's August claims that the winner of the Sonnen-Stann matchup "should be" in line to meet Silva. But White said that his position hasn't necessarily changed. There are just more options available with Henderson's arrival.
"I'm not even thinking about [Silva's next opponent] yet," White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "We'll figure it out after. But I still feel that way."
UFC prez on Strikeforce champ Melendez: "If I have to yank him over here, I'll do it"
There have been strong indications that Gilbert Melendez's run in Strikeforce is over and that his UFC run is just beginning.
Following Saturday's UFC on Versus 6 event, UFC president Dana White said he wanted the lightweight champ in the UFC "ASAP," which prompted speculation that Melendez's headliner with Jorge Masvidal at a December Strikeforce event had been dissolved pending his imminent departure for the octagon.
Masvidal and his representatives say the bout – which is set for Dec. 17 at Valley View Casino Center in San Diego – is still a go, and while White said today that he isn't sure when Melendez will make the jump.
It could happen at any time, he said.
"I've got to run my business, so if I have to yank him over here, I'll do it," White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) following a press conference for UFC 136, which takes place Saturday at Houston's Toyota Center.
Of course, UFC 136's headliner – a highly anticipated rematch between lightweight champ Frankie Edgar and challenger Gray Maynard – is set to clear the way for the next lightweight contender, and Melendez is on a long list of possibilities, according to White.
UFC boss says no to Edgar vs. Maynard IV regardless of UFC 136 outcome
If champ Frankie Edgar (13-1-1 MMA, 8-1-1 UFC) beats challenger Gray Maynard (10-0-1 MMA, 8-0-1 UFC) at Saturday's UFC 136 event, that will give each a win to accompany a frustrating draw in their second bout back at UFC 125.
Usually, rubber matches are booked when a series is tied. But UFC president Dana White today said that he'd rather just move on.
"(Let's) put it behind us," White today said at a pre-event press conference in support of Saturday's fight, which takes place at Houston's Toyota Center. "This division is stacked with tons of talent, and there's a lot of good fights to make at 155."
For the past 10 months, the UFC has been unable to make a lot of those fights given the inconclusive result of UFC 125. White often refers to the situation as a logjam, and for good reason. Contenders such as Clay Guida, Ben Henderson and Melvin Guillard have made strong cases for No. 1 contender's status, to say nothing of the long-rumored arrival of Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez in the UFC.
When a winner does emerge on Saturday, he'll have a long list of potential future bookings.
Mike Swick and Roger Huerta's Thailand gym meets resistance, but venture continues
Mike Swick is fulfilling a longtime dream, and with fellow UFC vet Roger Huerta, he's opening an MMA gym in Phuket, Thailand.
MMAjunkie.com Radio recently caught up with Swick while he's in the U.S. following back-and-forth 24-hour trips to the Asian country.
Swick currently is finalizing plans for the new gym's opening. And though the venture has ruffled some feathers at Tiger Muay Thai and Mixed Martial Arts – a Phuket gym Swick nearly purchased – Swick said his team at American Kickboxing Academy has been quite supportive.
Chael Sonnen: I don’t talk trash
Chael Sonnen was recently interviewed on Mauro Ranallo's The MMA Show.
Mauro Ranallo: Why has there been so little trash talk for the Brain Stann fight?
Chael Sonnen: “Look, I don’t try to get under someone’s skin. I don’t talk trash. I hear that said about myself but I don’t do that. I’m the most respectful guy in the sport. The difference is I’ve got a different opinion of what respect is. A lot of guys think it’s to be fake. A lot of guys think it’s respectful to bow to your face and stick a knife in your back when you turn around. I will tell you to your face that when you turn I’m going to put a knife in your back and then I’ll do it.
MR: What kind of game plan will you implement against Stann?
CS: “What’s a game plan? What does that mean? You got a bunch of guys with their 8th grade educations and their gold teeth sitting around trying to break down a fight. Listen, it’s a fist fight in a steel cage in Texas on Saturday night. There is nothing more simplistic in life than that. I don’t exactly need a plan. I walk out there when the guy in the shark suit gets out of my way and the referee with the dreadlocks says ‘get it on,’ I get it on.”
MR asked him about the suspension and if he would fight in California again after issues relating to ‘elevated testosterone’ levels.
CS: “First off, shame on you for putting out a false report. Not only did I not have elevated testosterone (levels), I was never even accused of that. The state of California never even accused me of that. Josh Gross went on ESPN and falsely reported that. I was never even up against those charges. I took testosterone and testosterone is 100% legal and shame on you as a member of the media for not coming out and not blasting the commission for that. I took testosterone, I offer no apology. Testosterone is not a banned substance in any of the 46 states that govern MMA or the two provinces in Canada. It is completely legal. They banned me for taking a legal substance and I never took an elevated amount, ever. I was never even accused of that other than by Josh Gross who got it on ESPN and by then it was all over the wire.
Bobby Lashley Returns to MMA in November
Former pro wrestler turned MMA fighter Bobby Lashley has his next fight set. The former Strikeforce fighter will face Darrill Schoonover in the main event of a Shark Fights show on November 11. Schoonover is the reigning Shark Fights Heavyweight champion (though he has not defended the title since winning it in 2009), and the bout will be a title fight.
Bellator 52 Ratings on MTV2 Are Up
Like the UFC this past weekend, Bellator 52 also experienced an upswing in ratings. The card was the quarterfinals of the heavyweight tournament. The ratings for Bellator has appeared to be disappointing since they made the move to MTV2 and in some ways they have been. However, it is all about putting things in perspective. This weekend's show did a combined rating of 465,000 viewers with a .33 market share. The telecast peaked between 9:30 and 9:45 p.m. with 345,000 people tuning in for the fights.
Lyoto Machida Will Likely Not Return Until 2012, Doesn't Know If He Is Being Punished
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida hasn't competed since UFC 129 when he knocked out Randy Couture in spectacular fashion, and people have been wondering when he's going to fight next. He was asked to step in at UFC 133 and replace an injured Phil Davis to face Rashad Evans, but his monetary demands weren't to Dana White's liking (he wanted "Anderson Silva money") so the bout went to Tito Ortiz instead. Machida was asked a couple of weeks ago whether he felt he was being punished for his demands
Clay Harvison vs. DaMarques Johnson targeted for UFC on FOX 1
After bowing out of a fight with Clay Harvison (9-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) due to injury, DaMarques Johnson's next opponent will be: Clay Harvison.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned that Harvison and Johnson (12-9 MMA, 3-3 UFC) have each verbally agreed to meet at UFC on FOX 1, and bout agreements are expected to be distributed shortly.
The two were first expected to fight at this past month's UFC Fight Night 25 event, but Johnson was forced to withdraw. Harvison instead faced Seth Baczynski and lost via submission.
Bellator 58 sees champ Hector Lombard face Trevor Prangley in non-title affair
Bellator Fighting Championships middleweight champ Hector Lombard returns to action on Nov. 19, when he'll face longtime vet Trevor Prangley in a 195-pound non-title matchup.
Bellator officials today announced the contest, which will headline Bellator 58.
"I just want November to get here and knock someone out," Lombard stated in an official release. "It doesn't matter who it is, I just want to do what I do and that's win."
Peralta vs. Semerzier, Bradley vs. Pierce, Lucas vs. Rosa added to UFC on FOX 1
A trio of new bouts has been added to UFC on FOX 1.
UFC brass today announced that Robert Peralta vs. Mackens Semerzier, Paul Bradley vs. Mike Pierce and Matt Lucas vs. Aaron Rosa will all take place at the Nov. 12 event in Anaheim, Calif.
UFC on FOX 1 features a heavyweight title fight between current champ Cain Velasquez and top contender Junior Dos Santos. The main event airs on FOX, but broadcast plans for the remainder of the contests have yet to be announced.