Gegard Mousasi vs. Jake O'Brien completes DREAM.15 light-heavyweight grand prix
Gegard Mousasi (28-3-1 MMA, 6-0 DREAM) and Jake O'Brien (13-3 MMA, 0-0 DREAM) have verbally agreed to meet at DREAM.15 in the promotion's scaled-down light-heavyweight grand prix.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) confirmed the fight Monday morning from sources close to the event, who said that while contracts have not been signed, the bout is expected to be finalized shortly.
DREAM.15 takes place July 10 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, and features the opening round of the four-man tournament.
The bout is Mousasi's first since a disappointing showing at April's "Strikeforce: Nashville" event, in which he relinquished his belt to Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal, who outwrestled him for five rounds en route to a unanimous-decision victory.
In 2008, the Dutch-Armenian fighter bested four fighters to win DREAM's middleweight grand prix, though he later vacated the belt when he decided to jump to light heavyweight. He defeated Mark Hunt in the opening round of the Japanese promotion's open-weight "Super Hulk" tournament before making the move to Strikeforce.
The 24-year-old Mousasi is currently training in Holland with Team Golden Glory and is expected to meet this week with M-1 Global executive Vadim Finkelstein to discuss the possibility of a European marketing deal.
O'Brien, meanwhile, is three months removed from a unanimous-decision victory over Toni Valtonen at Fight Festival 27 in Finland, which was his second consecutive victory since a submission loss to Jon Jones at UFC 100 brought his release from the promotion.
Spike to Broadcast UFC 116 Weigh-Ins
The UFC and Spike TV have officially announced that the UFC 116 weigh-ins will be broadcast live on Friday, July 2nd at 7PM ET/4 PM PT from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
New York, NY, June 28, 2010 – Spike TV will telecast live coverage of the weigh-ins for the highly-anticipated “UFC 116 Lesnar-Carwin” fight card on Friday, July 2 at 7:00pm ET/4:00pm PT. The main event features a showdown between the top two heavyweight mixed martial artists in the world, UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar and interim heavyweight titlist Shane Carwin.
SF Fedor vs. Werdum Medical Suspensions
The CSAC has announced the medical suspensions from Saturday's SF Fedor vs. Werdum event. Only 5 of the 16 fighters were suspended, all getting at least 45 days with both Jan Finney & Josh Thomson both suspended 180 days unless cleared early.
SF Fedor vs. Werdum Fighter Payouts
The CSAC has revealed the official fighter payouts from SF Fedor vs. Werdum. The total disclosed payouts were $788,800 with the biggest share-$400,000-going to Fedor. In fact, 6 of the 8 main card fighters combined to earn a total of $750,000 with nobody else getting more than $8000.
Werdum: Fighting Overeem is 'a step backwards' wants rematch
"The expectations were high. I was well trained. Even though they changed the date of my fight, I didn't stop training... They scheduled it for April, then for May, and I didn't stop training, so, in fact, it end up being a good thing for me. I was physically great, 100% mentally, happy, gathered with my team, my family, my mom, my brother and my sister, the crew that came from Brazil, so the vibe was 100% positive. The guys from the event were upset because we made a lot of noise. The Athletic Commission wanted to give us a fine because we were making a huge mess, but we showed our happiness for everybody, it was a great vibe. And it was the fight I felt best about myself, I was at ease in the ring, in the dressing room, backstage, it was great."
"What we wanted was the submission, the rest was all part of the strategy to go for the ground as soon as possible, even if he came forward, I wanted to go for the ground," Werdum stated. "I couldn't make up my mind if I would go for his arm or his neck. I went one way, he defended himself, and then I went the other way, so that double attack was great, because while he defended his neck, I got his arm and tightened the triangle... You can watch the video of the bout and you'll see that I checked the feet, the shin, the arm, I checked it and I was going to stretch his arm right there. I grabbed his arm and he was about to tap out, but I didn't work out, so I tightened the triangle and it worked."
"I fell on the ground wanting to go there. It wasn't a knockdown, not at all. I felt the blow, but it wasn't that strong, I just lost my balance."
Yoshihiro Akiyama Is Basically A Slower Version Of Aaron Simpson
So says his UFC 116 short-notice opponent, Chris Leben. "I think he’s basically a little slower version of the guy I just fought. He’s an awesome judo player, he’s got fast kicks, but I don’t think he’s got near the wrestling that Aaron Simpson has and I don’t think he’s got knockout power. But it’s a great fight and an opportunity I couldn’t pass up."
With Fedor "Out Of The Picture", Alistair Overeem Has A Score To Settle With Fabricio Werdum
So says the reigining SF Heavyweight Champion. "A loss is always a possibility, but naturally, I thought Fedor would beat him. It’s about what the people want to see, what the organization wants and what I want. That all pointed to Fedor, but he declined to fight me last month in the May 15 show and he’d rather fight Werdum. Now he lost to him. It’s changed everything. Fedor’s a little bit out of the picture. He has one more fight on his (Strikeforce) contract and I don’t know against who he’ll fight. He might retire after that anyway. He might retire now. He’s the X-factor. (Werdum) looked sharp, so all I can say is congratulations to him. I have a score to settle. I want to fight him."
Strikeforce's Werdum doesn't remember being hit, says stoppage fortunate
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Like famed boxer Mike Tyson before him, MMA great Fedor Emelianenko (31-2 MMA, 1-1 SF) has always had a presence about him.
Many an opponent of the Russian heavyweight has admitted after the facat that the icy cold stare of Emelianenko left them at a mental disadvantage from the opening bell.
Not so for Brazilian Fabricio Werdum (14-4-1 MMA, 3-0 SF), who defeated Emelianenko in the main event of Saturday's "Strikeforce and M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Werdum" event in San Jose, Calif. – at least not as far as he can remember.
"I never fear a fight," Werdum told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) at the evening's post-event press conference. "I like to fight. It's my life.
"I looked at Fedor, and I was confident because my training is hard training. I know this is Fedor, but I believe in myself."
Strikeforce open to Werdum-Emelianenko II; exec says pay-per-view still an option
SAN JOSE, Calif. – There were some MMA observers who believed prior to Saturday night's "Strikeforce and M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Werdum" event that a Fedor Emelianenko loss would signal the beginning of the end for both Strikeforce and M-1 Global.
But after Fabrcio Werdum shocked the world – not to mention Emelianenko – with a 69-second submission victory, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, while a bout between Emelianenko and Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem had been targeted for a future pay-per-view event, Coker thinks a rematch between "The Last Emperor" and Werdum may now prove to be the more lucrative matchup.
Fedor's loss not end of the world
The UFC loyalists are having their moment. Fedor Emelianenko, the mythic Russian heavyweight who was unbeaten over the last eight years and held the position of top heavyweight in the sport was defeated. All those who have long doubted Emelianenko’s dominance are screaming, “I told you so.” And the reaction is both warranted and unnecessary.
Lawal's First TItle Defense Set For 8/21
During last night's Strikeforce event, the promotion announced that SF Light Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Lawal will make his first title defense on August 21 in Houston. No venue or opponent was announced. The first challenger was expected to be Renato Sobral by virtue of his recent win over Robbie Lawler but Sobral said he'd rather fight Dan Henderson instead.
Frank Shamrock Retires
Frank Shamrock promised a "major announcement" during last night's Strikeforce event and he did make it...he's retiring from MMA. Unless he pulls a Randy Couture and makes a comeback he finishes his career with a 23-10-2 career record and 4 titles to his name including the first-ever UFC Middleweight Champion (now the Light Heavyweight Title). He lost his last 2 fights, both in SF to Cung Le & Nick Diaz.
They Warn You Not To Grab The Cage, Here's Why
Unlike Earl Brown, I will never have to worry about this problem. If, at any point in my life, I find myself locked inside a cage with another man, I will be alcohol-free for the rest of my life. At Ultimate Challenge UK MMA - 'Feel The Pain' this June, Ben Craggy (the guy not on the ground) gives Earl Brown (the guy on the ground) why you should never use your hands to slowly crawl up a cage.
I'm guessing Earl Brown will never be grabbing the cage again. I thought it was pretty funny.
UFC Threatened TapouT With Lifetime Ban Over Fedor Shirts
Co-owner and President of M-1 Global Vadim Finkelchtein accuses the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) of blocking a potential deal between Fedor Emelianenko and TapouT, the world's most recognizable brand of mixed martial arts apparel and merchandise. TapouT produced a Fedor shirt that will probably never see the light of day under threat of a lifetime ban from the UFC. "I'm afraid to disappoint the fans, but it seems like, never. Literally today they called me from the TAPOUT firm and told me that they were contacted by the representatives of the UFC, and that under the threat of tearing up all the contracts with their organization demanded that TAPOUT categorically stop producing all the shirts from the line of Fedor Emelianenko. This is how Dana White feels about Fedor. So tell me, what can we think about such person after this, that even in things that have nothing to do with UFC, he still tries to mess it up for us. So it seems that the shirts will just stay a rarity that fans will see in pictures. Say thanks to UFC and their politics of monopoly."
Mike Swick Makes Top 10 At World Series Of Poker Event
Although best known as UFC welterweight contender, Mike Swick is finding his other job lucrative, as well. On Friday Swick finished a remarkable run in the World Series of Poker event No. 42–a three-day no-limit hold'em tournament with a $3.4 million prize pool. Swick made the final day of competition and finished 10th among the event's 2,521 competitors. The showing allowed him to turn a $1,500 buy-in into winning of $34,748. Swick, a sponsored player of online site Full Tilt Poker, actually played in his eighth WSOP event and cashed in his second. (In addition to the "main event," each annual WSOP now includes more than 50 other, smaller events.) In 2007's event No. 25 ($2,000 buy-in no-limit hold'em), Swick finished 151st out of 1,618 competitors and earned $3,828. He also plans to enter the main event-the $10,000 No Limit Hold 'Em World Championship-which starts 2 days after UFC 116.
Pulver, Sylvia Return at ‘War on the Mainland’
Former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver will meet Diego Garijo in a featured matchup at Powerhouse World Promotions “War on the Mainland” on Aug. 14 at the Bren Events Center in Irvine, Calif.
Pulver has lost five consecutive fights, leading many to speculate he might opt for retirement. The 35-year-old was released by World Extreme Cagefighting following his submission loss to Javier Vazquez at WEC 47 in March. Though he remains one of the sport’s most popular figures, Pulver has not survived the first round in any of his past four appearances. Still, his resume speaks for itself, highlighted by wins against former two-division UFC champion B.J. Penn, one-time WEC featherweight titlist Cole Escovedo, “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 2 winner Joe Stevenson and former Shooto welterweight titleholder Caol Uno. More than half (13) of Pulver’s 22 career victories have come by knockout or technical knockout.
In Garijo, he faces an unproven commodity. A Total Combat and Bellator Fighting Championships veteran, he has not competed since he submitted Saad Awad with a first-round rear-naked choke at Bellator 10 in June 2009. Based out of The Arena Mixed Martial Arts gym in San Diego, Garijo trains alongside former EliteXC lightweight champion Karl James Noons, 2007 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships winner Rani Yahya and 2004 Olympic silver medalist Stephan Abas. In five professional appearances, the once-beaten Garijo has never gone the distance.
In the main event, two-time UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia will lock horns with the well-traveled Paul Buentello.
Rosi Sexton Out Of Bellator Women's Tourney, Frausto Possibly In
The future got a lot less "Rosi" for Rosi Sexton last night. Not only did Zolio Frausto highlight-reel KO her at Bellator 23, but Frausto also KO'd her out of next season's Bellator Women's Tournament. Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney says Sexton will sit the tournament out as a result (Sexton also got a 60 day medical suspension) and Frausto will be considered as a replacement, but she's not guaranteed to be in.
Grove-Reijic Demoted, Petruzelli-Romero Promoted To UFC 116 Prelims
Apparently Kendall Grove has learned the hard way to not badmouth your employer and it's TV partners. A middleweight bout between Grove and Goran Reljic has been demoted to UFC 116's un-aired preliminary card, and a light-heavyweight fight between Seth Petruzelli and Ricardo Romero has been promoted to its slot on UFC 116's "UFC Prelims" special on Spike TV. Grove, who was the season-three middleweight winner of "The Ultimate Fighter" reality series, earlier this week told Tapout Radio that Spike TV officials only care about ratings and getting "as much drama and stupidity out of us" as possible with little regard for the cast members' careers. Grove rejoined the radio show a few days later and apologized to Spike TV officials, UFC president Dana White and UFC matchmaker Joe Silva for passing off his personal feelings as fact. He said he "put my foot in my mouth" and thanked Spike TV officials for "giving me my shot" with the UFC.