Thiago Alves Discusses Possible Fight With Jake Ellenberger
Thiago Alves is coming off a very good win over a solid prospect, but he's not going to get much respect for it. That's the way it goes when you beat a fighter that is off most people's radar like Papy Abedi, no matter how good he is. But now that he has that win, he's looking at bigger and better things. When asked by ESPN UK about a possible fight with rising star Jake Ellenberger, Alves was diplomatic:
"That would be a great fight," he said to ESPN. "But like I said, whoever Joe Silva wants me to fight, I'm ready for it.
"I know I'm a few fights away from title contention, so whoever brings me closer - I'm ready."
Anderson Silva Reacts to Mark Munoz Challenge, Thought He Was a Friend
Mark Munoz came into UFC 138 ranked #4 in the world at middleweight in the USA TODAY / MMA Nation Consensus Rankings and did nothing to lower his ranking with a resounding drubbing of #12 Chris Leben. Following his win, Munoz made it known that he wanted a shot at UFC champ Anderson Silva.
Munoz has trained at Black House several times, increasing his own skills as well as providing men like Silva with a top shelf wrestler to train with. Silva was told by SporTV about the challenge from Munoz and didn't seem too thrilled (translation by Tom Mendes):
I hadn't even seen that (Munoz's challenge). I thought Munoz was a friend, but that's okay...
Terry Etim to fight Edson Barboza at UFC 142
Terry Etim did not waste any time in defeating Eddie Faaloloto at UFC 138, and the UFC has been similarly rapid in arranging the Brit's next contest, sealing a bout with Edson Barboza at UFC 142.
Etim walked away with $70,000 after securing Submission of the Night inside 17 seconds against Faaloloto, sparking the instant question: Who next?
Before Etim's 19-month layoff the lightweight had been heading for a clash with Joe Lauzon, and that is the level to which he wants to return as soon as possible.
Barboza represents a thrilling test. Like Etim the Brazilian loves to strike, and he is currently 9-0 in his MMA career and 3-0 for the UFC. Two of those wins have earned Fights of the Night honours, and he is credited with some of the nastiest leg kicks in the UFC...
Bellator considering more tournaments per season, elimination of non-title fights
Since winning his title two-and-a-half years ago, Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard has defended his belt just once.
The same goes for lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez.
But that could soon change. As Bellator CEO and chairman Bjorn Rebeny told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), the addition of more tournaments, the elimination of non-title fights, and continued between-seasons events all could result in the champs defending their titles more often.
Bellator, of course, has carved out a niche in the MMA industry with its eight-man (and eight-woman) tournaments. The only way to win a Bellator belt or to get an opportunity to challenge for one is to win a tourney – which requires fighting three times in as little as 10 weeks.
Recent tourney winner Jay Hieron recently earned the right to fight welterweight champion Ben Askren, who squeaked by with a split-decision victory at Bellator 56. It was a good, competitive fight with plenty of pre-event buzz, and many feel a rematch is in order. But Rebney said his policy isn't going to change.
"Absolutely not," Rebney said. "It was a great fight ... but Jay would have to win another tournament to get another shot."
Thankfully for Askren, he'll have his next challenge soon enough; a season-five welterweight tourney wraps this weekend with Bellator 57's finale between Ben Saunders and Douglas Lima. But that hasn't been the case in other weight classes. Bellator currently boasts eight champions, but despite five seasons and 56 shows, no champion has had the opportunity to defend his title more than once.
Part of the reason is the infrequency of tournaments. Currently, Bellator hosts four tournaments per 12-week season (a tourney also was held during three monthly "Summer Series" events). So without top contenders continually churned out, Bellator has booked a number of "super fights" – non-title bouts pitting a champion vs. what's usually an underdog opponent. For a couple years, Bellator avoided any disasters, but this past month against veteran Travis Wiuff, light-heavyweight champion Christian M'Pumbu earned the dubious honor of becoming the first champ to lose a super fight...
MMAPlayground Interview Series - Vol. 13 ("Rowdy" Ronda Rousey)
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.
For anyone familiar with Women's MMA, you've likely heard the name "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey before. If not, you most certainly will. Rousey's MMA record stands at 3-0-0 with all 3 wins coming by way of submission (armbar). And get this...the total combined time of those three fights? 99 seconds - nearly the same amount of time it took me to do the math...
Rousey was kind enough to spare some of her personal time and agreed to participate in the MMAPlayground Interview Series with our own, Kyle Galvin (aka Kpro). The full interview is below.
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MMAPG: Ronda, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions! You're scheduled to take on Julia Budd on the Strikeforce Challengers card on November 18th. How is your training going?
ROUSEY: Training is going great. I'm in the best shape of my life, and after competing in two Olympics, that's saying a lot.
MMAPG: For readers who may not know, you've won multiple Judo gold medals at the Pan American games and also became the first female American to medal in Judo at the Olympics. As you could have easily continued training for the 2012 Olympics, what made you decide to turn to MMA?
ROUSEY: I just wasn't happy with the lifestyle required to be a world class judoka. I reached a point where I knew what it would take to win the Olympics, and I just wasn't willing to be miserable for 4 years so I could be happy on one day. Doing MMA, I enjoy every day of training, love where I live, love the team of people working to help me win, and am just a more content person in general.
UFC on Fox: John McCarthy Likely to Referee Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos
According to a report that came out last week, Big John McCarthy was 99% likely to referee the UFC on Fox main event bout between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos. MMA Mania spoke to George Dodd, the Executive Officer of the California State Athletic Commission and asked for an update today. And it still appears that BJM will be center stage on Fox on Saturday night:
"It's 99 percent still. There's always that last minute thing that could always change something. Obviously something could happen to John or whatever the case may be but for right now, until he steps in the cage, it's 99 percent sure."
With 'Pitbull' injured, Pat Curran gets Bellator champ Joe Warren in February
With Patricio "Pitbull" Freire (17-1 MMA, 5-1 BFC) recovering from a second hand surgery, fellow tournament winner Pat Curran (16-4 MMA, 6-1 BFC) will get the next shot at Bellator featherweight champion Joe Warren (7-2 MMA, 5-1 BFC).
Bellator CEO and chairman Bjorn Rebney today confirmed the plans with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
According to Rebney, Curran has leapfrogged Freire in the division's pecking order. His title fight with Warren in now targeted for a currently unannounced February event – one that could also feature Bellator champ Eddie Alvarez (22-2 MMA, 7-0 BFC) vs. DREAM champ Shinya Aoki (29-5 MMA, 0-0 BFC).
Bobby Lashley now meets Mark Martinez in Shark Fights 21 headliner
Let's try this again. Again.
Mark Martinez (4-1) has stepped up to headline Shark Fights 21 opposite Bobby Lashley (6-1) in a bout for the promotion's heavyweight title.
Shark Fights CEO Bud Brutsman today confirmed the news to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), saying, "As a Shark Fights veteran, we're happy that Mark is getting a shot at the title."
Shark Fights 21 takes place Nov. 11 at Fair Park Coliseum in Lubbock, Texas. The event airs via delay on FUEL TV on Dec. 23.
With injury woes behind him, UFC on FOX 1's Cub Swanson motivated for debut
It's a nice idea to Cub Swanson that he's fighting at the event where the UFC makes its network TV debut, even if he's not one of those who gets to bask in the spotlight (just like everyone else not named Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos).
But reality is staring Swanson in the face.
This is his first fight in the UFC after injuries delayed his debut. In fact, when he learned he will be in the newest version of the UFC's video game, he tweeted its developer and asked whether his character breaks his hands after every fight.
"I just wanted to know how realistic the game was," Swanson (15-4 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who fights Ricardo Lamas (10-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) at UFC on FOX 1, joked while on MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio).
UFC on FOX 1 takes place Saturday at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. Swanson's fight streams live on Facebook while the card's main event airs live on FOX.
Bellator looks for worldwide TV deals following FremantleMedia partnership
Bellator Fighting Championships has inked a deal to give FremantleMedia Enterprises a license to negotiate its international TV rights.
FremantleMedia will handle the licensing, digital and ancillary rights for the U.S. and international markets.
The company has operations in 22 countries and distributes nearly 100,000 hours of programming, including some of the highest-rated prime-time entertainment, drama, serial drama and factual entertainment programs.
Viacom recently purchased a majority interest in Bellator, which currently airs on MTV2 and is planning a move to Spike TV in 2013. MTV2 is available in approximately 80 million homes, and Spike TV is available in 100 million. Prelims currently stream worldwide on Spike.com.
"This deal further diversifies FME's third party slate and builds on our reputation as experts at identifying and exploiting the potential of emerging brands," FME Global CEO David Ellender stated. "The sport of mixed martial arts is gaining momentum with fans worldwide, and we can see huge potential for the Bellator brand across all platforms, both in the U.S. and internationally."
SB Nation announces acquisition of MMAFighting.com
Great news for mixed martial arts (MMA) fans.
MMAmania.com parent company, SB Nation, today (Nov. 7, 2011) announced that it has expanded its MMA portfolio by acquiring MMAFighting.com.
SB Nation Chairman and CEO Jim Bankoff made the announcement on today's edition of The MMA Hour.
"SB Nation, unlike a lot of other sports sites, from the beginning, put our emphasis on coverage of MMA. We have a lot of big sites in our portfolio like MMA Mania and Bloody Elbow. Those sites will continue to exist as they do exist now and its not really our plan to merge those sites whatsoever."
While it's impossible to say this without drawing a humorous comparison to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), you can expect it to be "business as usual" around these parts.
UFC on Fox: Clay Guida Wants Title Shot After Ben Henderson Bout
Clay Guida may be getting shafted a bit by it being made clear that his fight with Ben Henderson is not going to make the Fox TV broadcast no matter how quickly the bout between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos ends, but that isn't keeping him down. Guida knows that the Henderson fight is a huge moment in his career and he seems ready to pounce.
UFC president says U.K. and European expansion hinges on 'right TV deals'
A little more than a week ago at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, the venue was nearly empty for UFC 137's first preliminary-card fight.
A week later, a raucous crowd filled LG Arena in Birmingham, England, and gave every UFC 138 bout a main-event feel.
So why is the UFC much more likely to visit Sin City than other European locales?
UFC president Dana White said it's all about the TV deals. In the U.S., the UFC is wrapping up a seven-year live-events deal with Spike TV and will move to FOX (and FX and FUEL TV) in 2012. In Canada, Rogers Sportsnet has been a dependable home for the organization. The deals supplement and help promote the UFC's usual pay-per-view offerings, which is the promotion's real cash cow.
Chris Leben Reportedly Cut 21 Pounds in 24 Hours
Chris Leben gave it his best shot when he faced Mark Munoz at UFC 138. Leben scored with some punches, came close with a few submissions and even got a pair of takedowns over the much better wrester. In the end Munoz's skills were just too much though and Leben was forced to retire from the bout when he said he couldn't see due to vision problems stemming from a cut over his eye.
Now, Fighters Only Magazine is reporting that Leben had a terrible weight cut:
Chris Leben cut nearly 21 pounds in 24 hours to make weight for his fight with Mark Munoz, Fighters Only was told ahead of last night's bout.
The 31-year old middleweight had "a terrible weight cut" and was in such bad shape before the weigh ins that medical staff were keeping a very close eye on him.
A source close to Leben told Fighters Only on Friday that Leben had been left "shattered" by the amount of weight he had to cut on weigh-in day.
Bellator 57 fight card official with eight bouts, including two tourney finales
The fight card is set for this weekend's Bellator 57 event.
As previously announced, the event takes place this Saturday, Nov. 12, at Casino Rama in Rama, Ontario, Canada.
The co-headlining spots feature tournament finales with welterweights Ben Saunders (12-3-2 MMA, 3-0 BFC) vs. Douglas Lima (20-4 MMA, 2-0 BFC) and middleweights Alexander Shlemenko (42-7 MMA, 6-1 BFC) vs. Vitor Vianna (12-1-1 MMA, 2-0 BFC).
Each winner of this season's eight-man tournaments earns $100,000 in total pay and a guaranteed title shot.
The full Bellator 57 card includes:
MAIN CARD (MTV2)
Douglas Lima vs. Ben Saunders (welterweight tourney finale)
Alexander Shlemenko vs. Vitor Vianna (middleweight tournament final)
John Hawk vs. Roger Hollett
PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike.com)
Alexandre "Popo" Bezerra vs. Doug Evans
Chuck Mady vs. Denis Puric
Eric Moon vs. Josh Shockley
Mike Sledzion vs. Taylor Solomon
Shawn Levesque vs. Matt Van Buren
UFC 138's Renan Barao says he's ready for bantamweight title shot
Renan Barao believes he's ready for a title shot.
Of course, his 27 straight victories lend some credence to the argument.
After all, Barao, who scored a first-round submission victory over English fighter Brad Pickett in Saturday's UFC 138 co-headliner, said there's only one reason fighters come to the UFC: to fight for a championship.
Soon after his Spike TV-televised victory, which came via rear-naked choke at LG Arena in Birminghan, England, Barao answered the obvious question: Is he ready for a shot at bantamweight titleholder Dominick Cruz?
Fighters in L.A. for BJJ tournament stop a robbery at hotel
Two mixed martial artists from Oregon were in Los Angeles for a grappling tournament, but they ended up using their skills to do much more than win a match. They subdued an armed robber who was holding up the clerk at their hotel. Watch the security video in this report from KCAL-TV.
Brent Alvarez runs Twisted Web MMA in Eugene, Ore., and Billy Denney is his student. They were walking through the hotel lobby when they saw the robber, who had gone behind the hotel's counter, pulled out a gun, and demanded money. The clerk handed over the cash, but yelled for help. Alvarez and Denney jumped on the robber, and while Denney controlled his wrists, Alvarez sunk in a rear naked choke. They held him in place until police arrived.
Alvarez is 2-2 in amateur bouts, while Denney is 7-2. According to the Twisted Web Facebook page, Denney took third at the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation no-gi worlds. (In no-gi, participants wear a rash guard or no shirt instead of the traditional martial arts uniform of a gi.) Alvarez went 1-1 in his fights.
No matter their results, I have a feeling that Denney and Alvarez will remember this trip to L.A. for something other than the tournament. Kudos to them both for being brave and using martial arts to do more than win a match