UFC Likely Kentucky-Bound, Possibly On 3/3
While official word has yet to come, the Ultimate Fighting Championship is targeting Louisville, Ky., for its upcoming UFC on Versus 3 event. Both the KFC Yum! Center and Freedom Hall are under heavy consideration to host the event. UFC on Versus 3 takes place March 3 and is expected to feature a headlining bout between welterweights Martin Kampmann and Diego Sanchez. The KFC Yum! Center hosts a variety of sporting and entertainment events and is the primary home of the University of Louisville's mens and women's basketball teams. The arena holds up to 22,000 fans, though it's likely that a smaller seating configuration would be used with a UFC event. Freedom Hall, meanwhile, is a multipurpose arena that seats more than 19,000 people. It formerly hosted UL's men's basketball team.
Anthony Pettis' Striking Coach Duke Roufus Talks About 'Showtime' Kick
It was the Kick Heard 'Round the World, a climbing, twisting, off-the-wall, out-of-the-video-games-and-into-Ben-Henderson's-face, mind-scrambler of a strike in the 25th and final minute of a WEC championship match that shot Anthony Pettis into the consciousness of sports fans everywhere.
While his aim is to stay there for more than just one night, it's safe to say that regardless of his future, the 23-year-old cemented himself a place in MMA history by authoring one of the sport's most incredible moments.
I want more!!!
WEC 53 Draws 6348 Fans
Thursday's WEC 53 event at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Ariz., scored an attendance figure of 6,348. If the Arizona State Boxing Commission verifies the figure in the coming week, it'll rank as the seventh-best-attended event in the WEC's nearly 10-year and 53-event history. It was also the second-highest attendance mark for a show outside of California (only WEC 47 in Ohio drew more). Glendale, a Phoenix-area city, earned the right to host WEC 53 by winning the Amp Energy "Hometown Throwdown" contest. Fans could vote for 30 potential host sites, and Phoenix/Glendale – which is home to WEC 53 competitors Benson Henderson and Jamie Varner – emerged victorious. The show marked the WEC's debut in Arizona.
FEG Adds More Fights To Dynamite!! Event
Fighting and Entertainment Group (FEG) today added another round of match-ups to its annual New Year's Eve show as FieLDS Dynamite!! returns to the Saitama Super Arena on Dec. 31 in Saitama, Japan. Former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Gegard Mousasi will make his return to the K-1 circuit to compete against Kyotaro in a kickboxing bout that marks "The Dreamcatcher's" first K-1 rules bout since a TKO win over Musashi at Dynamite!! 2008. Joining them will be Super Hulk Champion Ikuhisa Minowa taking on judo silver medalist Hiroshi Izumi while Japanese mainstay Hayato Sakurai answers the call of "The Kansas City Bandit" Jason High.
WVR Adds 4 Fights To Year-End Event
World Victory Road today announced 4 more fights for their massive year-end event on December 30 in Tokyo. They included a pair of cross-promotion bouts with Sengoku's Maximo Blanco vs. DREAM lightweight Won Sik Park and former Sengoku champ Masanori Kanehara vs. DREAM featherweight Yoshiro Maeda. Additionally, Roxanne Modafferi meets fellow Strikeforce vet Hitomi Akano, and Misaki Takimoto takes on former kickboxer Amy Davis. This now brings the MMA portion of the event up to a planned 15 fights. The organization also today announced a Muay Thai fight between Fabiano Cyclone and Andrew Pekc, who replaces Ryuta Noji.
Report: Fedor-Silva Possible For 1/29 Strikeforce Event (Updated)
He's back. Fedor Emelianenko will make his long-awaited return to the cage when he takes on Antonio Silva on the upcoming Strikeforce card set for Jan. 29, according to MMA Weekly. If the report is true, it will mark the first time "The Last Emperor" will be in action since Fabricio Werdum tapped him in the first round with a triangle back in June. There's been confusion regarding the status of the Russian Sambo specialist, mainly due to issues with a long re-negotiation of his contract between his management, M-1 Global and Strikeforce. It looks like they've finally come to an agreement and it does not involve a rematch with Werdum or an oft-asked for fight with Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem. SF also has yet to announce the event.
UPDATE: Both SF and M-1 Global say a deal HAS NOT been finalized. Said Fedor-Silva matchup also isn't set either. But both Strikeforce and M-1 officials say they're still negotiating a contract that includes the services of Emelianenko as well as co-promotional agreement that could bring M-1 Global events to Strikeforce broadcast partner Showtime. M-1 also says 1/29 "is not on the table".
WEC 53 Bonuses Announced
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Eddie Wineland, Shane Roller, Anthony Pettis and Benson Henderson each earned $10,000 "Fight Night" bonuses for their performances at Thursday's WE3 52 event.
Wineland earned the event's "Knockout of the Night" award, Roller picked up the "Submission of the Night" bonus, and Pettis and Henderson earned "Fight of the Night" honors.
WEC 53 Main Card re-cap
GLENDALE, Ariz. – It's only fitting that World Extreme Cagefighting closed its doors with an awe-inspiring kick and closely contested main event that saw the crowning of a new and final WEC lightweight champion.
A late-fight fence walk that resulted in a highlight-reel head kick allowed challenger Anthony Pettis to edge champ Benson Henderson in the main event of Thursday's WEC 53 event.
It was the final fight in the history of the always-entertaining WEC, which now merges with its sister promotion, the UFC.
Jens Pulver changes things up, could be looking for a come back
Jens talks about his move to Team Curran as well as what he thinks his future in the sport might be and when he'd consider hanging up the gloves.
The video is really old but I never saw anything on here about this and I know everyone loves their Jens Pulver news. Plus today happened to be the first day I got to train with Jens.
Could UFC's Return To Brazil Also Mean Royce Gracie's Return To UFC?
Possibly, as he hinted at during yesterday's press conference. "I'm still thinking (on fighting in Rio). But I'm always training," he said laughing. "This return of UFC to Brazil touched me, made me feel the wish of coming back to the Octagon. Everything has being negotiated with Dana White. Let's wait and see." Renzo Gracie is also being rumored as a possibility for the event.
474 pound Rulon Gardner to appear on The Biggest Loser 11
Rulon Gardner, the former Olympian wrestler, and one time Pride fighter, will appear in the next season of "The Biggest Loser." Gardner and friend Justin Pope, who co-own Rulon Gardner Elite Training Center, will attempt to lose weight together.
In the show, which just finished its 10th season Tuesday, contestants fight to lose the most weight.
"I'm excited to see how far he can go, and cheer him on," said Kamie Gardner, his wife. "A friend talked to him about it, and an NBC representative contacted him and asked him if he wanted to do it, and he said he did."
Rua-Evans, Pellegrino-Tibau Slated For UFC 129 In New Jersey
The planned Mauricio Rua-Rashad Evans UFC Light Heavyweight Title fight originally planned for UFC 128 has now been pushed back to UFC 129 in New Jersey. Also in the works is Kurt Pellegrino vs. Gleison (Graison) Tibau. 129 is expected to take place on March 19 in New Jersey, but also could become UFC 128 if the planned 3/12 event in the United Arab Emirates falls through. 129 could also get the planned Tito Ortiz-Antonio Rogerio Nogueira fight scheduled for 128.
UFC Announces Return to MMA's Birthplace of Brazil
Marking a return to the country that helped create modern mixed martial arts as we know it, the UFC on Wednesday announced that the promotion would stage a show at HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Aug. 27, 2011.
UFC chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta and UFC president Dana White made the announcement at City Hall, flanked by the city's mayor Eduardo Paes.
Given the economic potential for both the promotion and potential host cities, White said the UFC's move into the country was more than a one-time visit.
Dana White Expects to Know 'Ultimate Fighter' Coaches on Friday
In the week and a half since the Finale of The Ultimate Fighter Season 12, speculation has run rampant about who the coaches will be for the show's 13th season, which will begin taping in early 2011. UFC President Dana White said on Wednesday that he's about 48 hours away from knowing the coaches' identities.
"We should have it done by Friday," White said at a press conference in Rio de Janeiro, where he announced that the UFC would host a fight card in Brazil in August.
So who are the likely choices?
Ultimate Fighter contestant pleads guilty to rape
Jeremy Jackson, who appeared on the television series, “The Ultimate Fighter,” pleaded guilty today to raping his former girlfriend in 2008.
The decision to enter a guilty plea came midway through Jackson’s felony trial, which began earlier this month. The change of plea stunned his lawyer, Russell Baker, who is with the Public Defender’s Office.
“It was against my advice. I tried to tell him not to do that,” said Baker in an interview, adding that he was extremely disappointed. “I feel that we could have beaten his case.”
The alleged victim testified that Jackson had threatened, intimidated and raped her on June 28, 2008. She said Jackson put a gun to her head. Prosecutors say it was a BB gun.
She said Jackson wanted her to call another man and have sex in front of him. She said he threatened to kill her, her children and himself if she didn’t do what he said.
Jackson, 28, will be sentenced on Feb. 14 and is facing 25 years to life, said prosecutor Thomas Dunlevy.
Dunlevy said Jackson pleaded guilty to one count of forcible rape with the special allegation of entering the residence to sexually assault the victim. He said Jackson was facing 60 years to life if he had been found guilty of all charges, including one felony count of criminal threat and one felony count of witness intimidation.
Outside the courtroom, three jurors, a male and two females, said they were also surprised that Jackson decided to plea guilty.
The defense began putting on its case today, and Baker had only called one defense witness to the stand. After the lunch hour, jurors were told that Jackson decided to plea guilty...
Donald Cerrone eyes WEC 53 win, future dates with Jose Aldo, Nate Diaz, Cole Miller
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Three-time WEC title challenger Donald Cerrone (12-3 MMA, 5-3 WEC) is not looking past his WEC 53 fight with Canadian slugger Chris Horodecki (16-2 MMA, 2-1 WEC).
In fact, with roster spots at a premium due to the pending UFC and WEC merger, Cerrone considers the Thursday night contest to be one of the most important of his career.
Cerrone badly wants to claim victory over Horodecki and guarantee himself a spot in the world's premier mixed martial arts organization. From there, Cerrone eyes opportunities from 145 pounds on up to 170, and Jose Aldo, Nate Diaz and Cole Miller are just a few of the names on his to-do list.
UFC Cuts Joe Doerksen
The first post-UFC 124 cut has been made and once again Joe Doerksen finds himself on the outside looking in. Sources close to the fighter confirm he has been released by the promotion following a split decision loss to Dan Miller htis past weekend. Doerksen earned his latest chance with a 6-fight win streak but the Losing Streak Of Doom left him at 1-2 this go-around. Despite an impressive 46-14 career record, Doerksen is just 2-7 all-time in UFC.
Rep: Randy Couture Retirement Announcement Premature
UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture dropped a bomb online Tuesday evening when he suddenly announced that he is calling it quits on an MMA career that's spanned 13 years, 29 fights and two titles. "I think I'm at the end of it y'all," Couture wrote on his official Twitter account, which has just under 70,000 followers. "It's time." "It's time to move on and focus on all the other amazing things going on in my life," he added on his Facebook account. But that statement is premature, according to his lawyer and representative, Sam Spira. "There's been no official announcement," Spira said Tuesday evening. "There's been no decision. Any announcements or decisions would be likely coordinated with the UFC." Couture is currently filming a role in the movie "The Setup" in Michigan, and is expected to begin work on "The Expendables 2" in March.
Randy Couture wants Rua, Machida, or UFC retirement
UFC hall of famer Randy Couture all but announced his retirement on Monday night via his official Twitter account, but told the Times he’d be willing to hold out for bouts against either UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua or former titleholder Lyoto Machida to cap off his storied 13-year MMA career.
“Thanks to everybody who's been tweeting about seeing my fights I must have missed the memo :) I think I'm at the end of it Yall. It's time,” posted the 47-year-old fighting legend.
When reached by the Times Monday evening, Couture (19-10) said he was surprised by the response he’d gotten from the message and hadn’t intended it as an “official statement” on his status. Still, he reiterated that his cage career was likely coming to an end.
“I think I’m done. The time is right,” said Couture via text. “I’d fight Machida or Shogun but outside of that, I wanna focus on other things in my life.”
UFC 127 Penn vs. Fitch Full Fight Card in Sydney; Melbourne Next?
SYDNEY – Marshall Zelaznik, UFC Managing Director of International Development, on Tuesday officially announced the UFC 127: Penn vs. Fitch event to be held on Feb. 27 in Sydney at Acer Arena.
In front of a huge media contingent, Zelaznik spoke openly about how serious the UFC is about continuing to hold events in Australia. With recent elections in the state of Victoria there is every chance of the promotion moving to Melbourne for its next Aussie event following UFC 127, if legislation for sanctioning gets approved there.