A Fight With Kurt Pellegrino is A Step In The Right Direction For George Sotiropoulos
In a battle of emerging lightweight stars at UFC 116 between George Sotiropoulos and Kurt Pellegrino, one man figures to propel himself into the top five of the division with a win. The Australian-bred Sotiropoulos looked great in completely dismantling Joe Stevenson back at UFC 110 while "Batman" has been on a four-fight tear. Though George sees similarities in Stevenson and Pellegrino, he admits this fight is definitely a step up in competition as well as a step in the right direction of one day achieving his ultimate goal.
After Years Of Fighting, Wanderlei Silva's Body Made Him Stop This Time
And in comments about the broken ribs that ultimately forced him out of his UFC 116 fight with Yoshihiro Akiyama, he also revealed a knee injury he was working through and how disappointed he is about having to withdraw from the fight. "I went through a very tense and difficult weekend and had a very hard decision. Two weeks ago I felt pain in my knee while I was training wrestling. I had an MRI of my knee and three doctors told me my knee was torn. I took medicine to help with the pain, and although my knee felt loose, I said 'no,' this date is very important to me and I continued training. Last Friday, during sparring, I injured my rib. It was very painful and the next day I had an x-ray and an MRI. I discovered I had three broken ribs. After years of fighting, my body made me stop this time. This is a very, very, very hard moment for me. This was a fight I really, really desired. You cannot imagine how much I wanted to fight on this card. It was my birthday, I had friends and family from Brazil and around the world coming to see me and now I cannot fight. I apologize to my opponent. I hope that I can fight with you in the future. You are an amazing fighter."
Diaz Admits SF Brawl Role, Will Be Suspended
The TAC has a check and more coming from Nick Diaz. Diaz has on paper admitted his role in a brawl following April's "Strikeforce: Nashville" event, according to his representative. Diaz on Monday sent the Tennessee Athletic Commission a "consent order" that will trigger a three-month suspension from professional competition. However, the fighter will not be licensed in time for a Strikeforce event planned for Aug. 21 in which he was considered for a possible eight-man middleweight tournament. Cesar Gracie, Diaz's manager and trainer, said Tuesday that the fighter included his fine with the consent order as part of a reduced punishment for his role in the brawl, though he did not disclose the amount his client paid. The fine could be $5000 because he agreed to the consent order.
Chris Leben replaces Wandi
Fresh off a dominant win at The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale, Chris Leben (20-6 MMA, 10-5 UFC) has agreed to replace injured Wanderlei Silva (33-10-1 MMA, 3-5 UFC) and fight Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-1-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) in the co-headliner of next week's UFC 116 event.
A source close to the event told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) Leben has agreed to the bout and is expected to sign shortly.
Leben scored a second-round TKO of Aaron Simpson on Saturday, and if signed, his fight with Akiyama will take place after a mere 12-day layoff.
Wanderlei Silva Pulls Out of UFC 116 bout.
Wanderlei Silva, who was scheduled to meet Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 116 on July 3, has been forced to withdraw from the card due to fractured ribs suffered in training, UFC president Dana White confirmed with MMA Fighting Tuesday afternoon.
Akiyama, who defeated Alan Belcher in his UFC debut last July, will still fight on the card, and according to White, the organization is currently working on signing his replacement. No word just yet on who that might be.
Silva (33-10-1) is 2-3 inside the octagon. He most recently defeated Michael Bisping at UFC 110 in Sydney, Australia.
Share17 UFC 116 is headlined by Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin for the undisputed heavyweight title.
Fedor Became A Thorn In UFC's Side
So he says. "UFC is a money making machine. The most important thing for this organization is a brand and it's marketing. They have a couple of good fighters and there are also some very good champions; but they are trying to keep everyone at the same level. The most important thing for them is the promotion, not the fighters. I think that they lack a respect for their fighters. As for me, I became a thorn in their side... We are constantly negotiating, but only during recent time the Americans began to show some respect. The dialogue between us is completely different right now. They are more interested in our opinion."
Brendan Schaub Believes Speed Will Kill Against Chris Tuchscherer At UFC 116
The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finalist Brendan Schaub talked to Larry Pepe of Pro MMA Radio about his upcoming fight against Chris Tuchscherer, which is set to take place on Spike TV's UFC 116 "Prelims Live" broadcast before the event goes live on pay-per-view. Schaub feels as though his advantages in the speed and cardio departments are what is going to be the deciding factor in this fight. Schaub will probably be 15-20 pounds smaller than Tuchscherer going into the fight.
Strikeforce Shooting for Fall Return to CBS
If you thought the post-fight brawl at Strikeforce: Nashville would immediately mark the end of the organization's run on CBS, think again.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker told MMA Fighting's weekly podcast, The MMA Hour, last week that, while nothing is set in stone just yet, the organization is shooting for a return to the network.
"We're going to re-engage in another conversation right after the Fedor fight and try to put something together in the fall," Coker said. "You know, there's no guarantees, and that was very clear from the beginning. So let's give it some time, get a better picture of what happened in the last two fights, and let's put a card together that makes sense for us, and if it makes sense for CBS, then they'll get back in the business."
Dana White on GSP-Silva: 'I Guess I'm Gonna Have to Do It'
UFC President Dana White says that so many UFC fans are asking him about welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre fighting middleweight champion Anderson Silva that he may soon have no choice but to put the fight together.
"People ask me that all the time," White told Dan LeBatard, via Sports Radio Interviews. "This is what I believe. I believe my job is to put on fights that people want to see. I keep hearing that and enough people want to see it. I guess I'm gonna have to do it."
Fedor & His "Lunatics" Don't Want To Do Business-We Gotta Get Over It
Those "lunatics" Dana White refers to in a radio interview in Miami are Strikeforce, and it simply means no Fedor in UFC. At least while he's there. "[Co-promotion with them] will never happen in a million years. [Strikeforce is] a minor league. Listen I have come to the realization and everyone else needs to too that Fedor (Emelianenko) doesn’t want to fight the best guys in the world. Believe me when I tell you guys I have done everything in my power, I have flown to crazy parts of the world, done all this stuff, been on the phone for hours, not hung out with my kids on weekends because I’m on the phone with these lunatics and just can’t make the deal. They don’t want to do it so we gotta get over it.
McSweeney's Camp Wants TUF 11 Finale Loss Overturned, NSAC Head Responds
James McSweeney's representative contends that his fighter was hit with several illegal elbows during a loss to Travis Browne this past Saturday at The Ultimate Fighter 11 finale. Lex McMahon, McSweeney's manager, today said that he intends to file an appeal this week with the Nevada State Athletic Commission. However, NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer said he does not believe Browne committed any fouls during the bout, which took place in a preliminary-card bout at the The Pearl at the Palms Resort Casino in Las Vegas. During the Spike TV broadcast, cameras showed McSweeney bleeding from his head shortly after Browne followed him to the ground and began striking. It appears at least one of Browne's elbow strikes may have caused the cut. According to McMahon, backstage prior to the fight, referee Kim Winslow explained illegal strikes to McSweeney and highlighted an area "two knuckles beyond the ear" as foul territory.
M-1 Claims Fedor Is MMA's Highest-Paid Fighter
Last year Fedor Emelianenko disappointed a lot of mixed martial arts fans when he turned down a contract offer from the UFC and decided to stick with his own promotion, M-1 Global, and fight on co-promoted cards with Strikeforce. One of the reasons that move seemed so baffling is that the UFC was reportedly offering Fedor an enormous contract that would have made him the highest-paid fighter in the sport.
But according to M-1, Fedor is already the highest-paid fighter in the sport.
Commission Docs Said Hamill's Staph "Posed No Threat" To Anyone At TUF 11 Finale
That's the short and sweet explanation from Matt Hamill's camp. The NSAC was aware of Hamill's issue but still cleared him to fight after checking him. "The doctors and the Commission were aware and repeatedly examined the red mark on Matt's back. They concluded that it was healing and hardened to the point that it posed no threat to Matt or anyone else inside the Octagon."
Roller vs. Pettis Set For WEC 50, #1 Contender's Bout?
As expected, Shane Roller & Anthony Pettis are set to meet at WEC 50. Officials confirmed the booking, which will be part of WEC 50's main card, during the WEC 49 broadcast. But with Jamie Varner vs. Kamal Shalrous, expected to determine a #1 contender to WEC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson, ending in a draw, Pettis-Roller now could determine a #1 contender. Assuming, of course, they too don't go to a draw.
Lloyd Irvin Says Kris McCray Just Needs More Time
Trainer Lloyd Irvin worked with "The Ultimate Fighter 11" contestant Kris McCray for about two months and cornered him against Court McGee this past Saturday at the show's live finale. Although McCray came up short against McGee, Irvin said it's just a matter of time before the durable fighter reaches his potential. Irvin, who's worked with UFC veterans Brandon Vera and Phil Davis, met McCray through an affiliate school, Gold Medal Grappling, and hosted the fighter after his six-week stint on the Spike TV reality show. The trainer said McCray's camp was on point. Saturday's result may have just been a case of inexperience.
Shields Camp Says Demands Are Fair, But SF Leaning Towards MW Tourney
If Jake Shields is doing a "numbers dance" with Strikeforce, he's dancing with himself. That's according to Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, who has not yet extended a new contract offer to the middleweight champion. Shields' manager and father, Jack Shields, begs to differ. He said the promotion recently made an offer, and he asked for more. Despite indications that the company has already turned its attention toward an eight-man middleweight tournament in order to crown a new champion in Shields' expected absence, he stressed Jake Shields has not decided the next phase of his career. As for the tournament, fighters being considered are Ronaldo Souza, Robbie Lawler, Tim Kennedy, Dan Henderson, Nick Diaz and Jason Miller. Additionally, the winner of a June 26 bout between Scott Smith and Cung Le is under consideration for a tourney spot, as is the winner of an upcoming World Victory Road/Sengoku bout between Kazuo Misaki and champ Jorge Santiago.
Hardy to face Condit or Kampmann at UFC 120
ESPN.co.uk understands that the UFC has narrowed down the shortlist for Dan Hardy's next opponent to just two names: Carlos Condit or Martin Kampmann.
Hardy is ready to return to the Octagon at UFC 120 in London following his March defeat to Georges St-Pierre, a fight that represented British MMA's first ever title shot. "The Outlaw" has taken time out following the unanimous decision defeat to recover from the draining process of being involved in a UFC main event, but now he is champing at the bit to put the loss behind him.
I for one would like to see Condit, what about you guys?
Rampage Wants Forrest, Rashad and a Snuggie?
Rampage Jackson plans to make up for the 'most embarrassing fight' of his career by rematching Forrest Griffin, and then taking revenge over Rashad Evans.
Jackson is gutted that he played a part in what he labels a 'boring' fight against Evans, which saw "Suga" Rashad triumph via unanimous decision. Rampage is adamant it wasn't a true defeat, and he is promising to wear the snuggy that became so prominent during the Countdown show if Rashad can repeat the victory.
I'm all for these fights and I wouldn't mind seeing him lose to Rashad and having to wear the Snuggie to be honest.