Diaz-Miller Rivalry Continues At SF, Coker Open To Fight
There nearly was another brawl at last night's Strikeforce event, but this time we wouldn't have seen it because it was backstage. Nick Diaz & Jason Miller nearly came to blows after last night's event and had to be separated by Showtime officials. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said Diaz needs rest following a unanimous decision victory over K.J. Noons in this past Saturday's event, but he's not opposed to a grudge match between the welterweight champion and "Bully Beatdown" host. According to a source who witnessed the scene, Diaz and Miller locked eyes while passing each other in the hallway between the dressing rooms and the pressroom as the post-event press conference took place. Words were exchanged, and Diaz allegedly threw a water bottle at Miller. The two were immediately broken up by members of their respective camps and Showtime officials. A Showtime official later confirmed the incident with MMAjunkie but downplayed its significance. Coker reacted with surprise when told of the near-scuffle following the press conference. While he pointed to a different path for Diaz during the meeting – Diaz could meet either the winner of a Dec. 4 bout between Scott Smith and Paul Daley or perhaps Brazilian brawler Evangelista "Mr. Cyborg" Santos – he isn't opposed to having the rivals settle their score inside the Strikeforce cage.
Strikeforce Working On Melendez-Aoki Rematch
Gilbert Melendez has been on “Daddy Daycare Duty” as of late, but all signs point to him returning to competition in short order... it’s just a matter of settling upon who and where. Speculation has centered on the Strikeforce lightweight champion making the trip to Japan to face Dream champion Shinya Aoki on New Year’s Eve. Far from cementing a rematch between the two titleholders, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker did say that bout is a likely scenario. “That is not confirmed, but it is something that (Dream has) said that they would like to have happen if possible, so we're having that dialogue,” he said at Saturday night’s post-fight press conference in San Jose, Calif. If it doesn't work out, the likely Plan B is Melendez-Josh Thomson 3.
Coker: No More SF On CBS In 2010
Strikeforce's ambitious expansion plans took a major hit last night when CEO Scott Coker revealed after last night's event that there will be no more events on CBS this year. Coker didn’t comment on the particulars on Saturday night following Diaz vs. Noons II, but he did confirm that CBS is still on ice and will remain so for the remainder of the year. He deflected talk away from any friction between the promotion and CBS, saying, “We're working on a couple of things with them, one being the DVD. We're working on another type of product with them, as well as getting back on the air next year, but it definitely is shelved until 2011.” But the post-event brawl on the last CBS card involving Jake Shields & Jason Miller may have been a partial factor.
Evan Dunham vs. Kenny Florian In The Works For UFC 127 (Updated)
Kenny Florian recently said he hopes to return to action in early 2011, and it looks like it'll come in February at UFC 127. While not yet announced he's expected to meet Evan Dunham at the event on February 5. Florian recently revealed on "MMA Live" that he's verbally agreed to the fight.
UPDATE Kenflo says yea, agent says nay. Dunham's camp says they have not agreed to the fight, verbally or otherwise, and no date is set. Sources did make it clear the fight could still happen, but despite what some sites say it is NOT official at this time.
UFC Re-signs Mario Miranda
UFC believes Mario Miranda can get back on the right track. Although he has a losing record in the promotion at 1-2, he was recently given a new 4-fight deal from the promotion and is hoping to return in early 2011. Miranda's last fight was a UFC 118 loss to Demian Maia, but that fight came together on short notice due to an Alan Belcher injury.
Dustin Hazelett vs. Mark Bocek Official For UFC 124
As expected, Dustin Hazelett is dropping from Welterweight to Lightweight and his first fight at Lightweight will come at UFC 124. UFC officials have confirmed that Hazelett will face Mark Bocek at the event. It's not known if the fight will be a prelim or PPV fight.
Fedor? Overeem? Werdum? Scott Coker "Going To Put These Fights Together" In 2011
Among others, and he says expect to hear something in the next 4 weeks. "One thing I can tell you is all these guys … Alistair, Fedor, Fabricio, Josh Barnett, ‘Bigfoot’ (Antonio Silva), (Sergei) Kharitonov, Andrei Arlovski, Brett Rogers, all those guys are all going to fight each other in 2011. We’re not going to hold anything back. You’re going to see these guys fight the toughest guys because really, if you’re a heavyweight, there are no easy fights in Strikeforce. It’s arguably the best heavyweight division in the world, and I think Josh Barnett said it best. The competition is here. He signed with us because he wants to fight all those guys. We’re going to put those fights together, and I think the fans are going to love it."
Johnson vs. Zwicker, Olsen vs. Budd official for Strikeforce Challengers 11
A heavyweight bout between Lavar Johnson (10-0 MMA, 6-0 SF) and Virgil Zwicker (8-1 MMA, 0-0 SF) is set for this month's Strikeforce Challengers 11 event.
So, too, is a women's 145-pound matchup between unbeaten Shana Olsen (4-0 MMA, 0-0 SF) and Canadian Muay Thai champion Julia Budd (0-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC), officials recently announced.
Strikeforce Challengers 11 takes place Oct. 22 at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., and the night's main card airs on Showtime.
Njokuani vs. Faaloloto, Jabouin vs. Visher slated for WEC 52 prelims
Featherweights fights of Anthony Njokuani (12-4 MMA, 3-3 WEC) vs. Edward Faaloloto (2-0 MMA, 0-0 WEC) and Yves Jabouin (14-6 MMA, 0-2 WEC) vs. Brandon Visher (13-1 MMA, 1-1 WEC) are set for next month's WEC 52 event.
WEC 52 takes place Nov. 11 at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, and the night's main card airs on Versus.
Njokuani vs. Faaloloto and Jabouin vs. Visher both are tentatively slotted for the unaired preliminary card.
Miller vs. Oliveira Added To UFC 124
According to sources close to the fight, the other half of the "Miller Time" doubleheader at UFC 124 will feature Jim Miller taking on fast-rising prospect Charles Oliveira. While the UFC has made no announcement about the bout, it's like that Miller vs. Oliveira will make the televised broadcast of the UFC 124 show in some capacity. Jim's brother Dan also is scheduled for 124, he'll face Joe Doerksen.
Nate Diaz vs. Dong Hyun Kim in the Works for UFC 125
According to Korean news site mfight.co.kr:
Dong Hyun Kim will be fighting at January 1, 2011 at the MGM Arena in Las Vegas’ UFC 125 against Nate Diaz.
Kim Dong Hyun: "The most important thing for my next fight is to try to win in exciting fashion with a KO or submission finish."
The UFC Puts Money Down in the NY Governor's Race
The New York Post reported that Zuffa, the parent company of the UFC, has contributed $74,000 to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo.
S.C. Michaelson commented:
As you know, MMA is in the middle of a 5-round war with the NY State Legislature over sanctioning of MMA. Their biggest opponent is Bob Reilly (who I have discussed in the past) who also has the ear of the Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (who is the key to keeping the bill from going to vote).
Current Governor David Paterson is a strong proponent for MMA but that has not helped the cause as it is still illegal. However Paterson was not elected and only ascended to the Governorship after David Spitzer resigned. Andrew Cuomo is a much more popular figure in the state of New York and thus could have more influence. According to the Post, Cuomo has not officially stated his position on the legalization of MMA. I'm sure that Zuffa has some knowledge of his position as they donated a substantial sum.
Ricardo Almeida vs. T.J. Grant targeted for UFC 124 in Montreal
A welterweight bout between Ricardo Almeida (12-4 MMA, 5-4 UFC) and Canadian T.J. Grant (16-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC) is being finalized for December's UFC 124 event.
Sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that bout agreements have been distributed and are in the process of being finalized. Showdown.ca first reported the fight.
UFC 124 takes place Dec. 11 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
The night's main card airs on pay-per-view, though it's unclear if Almeida vs. Grant is part of the broadcast.
Jason MacDonald targeted for UFC 124 return, meets Rafael Natal in Montreal
Middleweights Jason MacDonald (24-14 MMA, 5-6 UFC) and Rafael Natal (12-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) have been penciled in for a meeting at UFC 124.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the impending matchup with sources close to the event, who said verbal agreements are in place and contracts are on the way.
Natal's management, Dominance MMA, confirmed the fight earlier today via Twitter.
Injured Brian Bowles out of WEC 52, replacement search underway
An undisclosed injury has forced former World Extreme Cagefighting bantamweight champion Brian Bowles (8-1 MMA, 5-1 WEC) out of his WEC 52 bout with Wagnney Fabiano (14-2 MMA, 4-1 WEC), and a search is underway for a replacement.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the card change with sources close to the event.
WEC 52 takes place Nov. 11 at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, and Bowles vs. Fabiano tentatively was slotted for the night's Versus-televised main card.