Not Retired, Phil Baroni Will Look to 'Enjoy' UFC 118 Fight
After a loss in his UFC return last November and a premature retirement announcement last Friday, Phil Baroni says he will make sure he enjoys himself when he takes on John Salter at UFC 118 on Aug. 28 in Boston, Mass.
"It was a do-or-die [my last fight]," Baroni said Tuesday on The MMA Hour. "This fight I'm not going to look at it that way. I'm going to go there and enjoy it and not put the pressure on myself."
Last November, returning to the promotion where he first made his name in 2002, Baroni said he felt as if his back was against the cage. And just last week, the pressure was elevated to the point where the 34-year-old was ready to call it quits.
Dana White Confirms Jens Pulver's Release From WEC
Ending speculation, Dana White confirmed Saturday to MMA Fighting that Jens Pulver has been released by Zuffa.
A report first surfaced nearly two weeks ago that the World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight, a former UFC champion and longtime fan favorite, had been let go. However, Pulver's agent, Monte Cox, told Versus.com that he hoped his client would remain with the company in a broadcasting capacity.
But White, Zuffa's president, said following the UFC 114 press conference on Saturday that will not be the case.
"He has been released," White said. "We had talked about Jens being a part of the WEC somehow, but he's not broadcasting."
Love or hate him, chances are you don't really know "TUF 12" coach Josh Koscheck
Between a healthy need for revenge, a tense relationship with UFC president Dana White, and a promise to call it like he sees it, Josh Koscheck thinks "The Ultimate Fighter 12" is going to be a good one.
"It will be like season one," Koscheck, who begins his stint as a coach on the reality show this week in Las Vegas, told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) from the Spike TV booth at UFC Fan Expo 2010.
If that holds true, you can expect mind games, rivalries and drama – all the stuff that's helped keep the UFC's Petri dish for new talent alive for a half-decade while making Koscheck a polarizing figure in the welterweight division.
Bellator's Joe Warren eyes 145-pound title, but bantamweight and DREAM also on tap
Bellator Fighting Championships featherweight contender Joe Warren (4-1 MMA, 2-0 BFC) has impressed MMA observers in his current run with a controlling style and an unrelenting pace.
But despite a pair of Bellator season two wins over Georgi Karakhanyan and Eric Marriott, the former Greco-Roman wrestling world champion says he's still figuring out the game of mixed martial arts.
Give him a little more time, Warren says, and he'll be nearly unstoppable – especially when he drops down to a more natural weightclass.
Manager: Nate Diaz "probably" will pay expected brawl fine to assure UFC 118 fight
UFC lightweight Nate Diaz likely will pay a $7,500 fine he expects the Tennessee Athletic Commission to hand down so he can avoid any possible hiccups to a scheduled fight with Marcus Davis.
Diaz, 25, is believed to be one of five people targeted by the TAC for disciplinary action in the wake of a post-event brawl at the April 17 "Strikeforce: Nashville" event at Bridgestone Arena, though the commission currently will not confirm if he is part of the group.
"We just want to get this past us, and probably we'll pay the fine and move on," Cesar Gracie, Diaz's manager, today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
As MMAjunkie.com first reported in May, Diaz (12-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC) is expected to fight Davis (17-6 MMA, 8-3 UFC) at UFC 118 on Aug. 28 in Boston, though fallout from the melee cast doubt on his ability to be licensed for the fight. This past weekend UFC president Dana White said that he would honor any suspension issued by the TAC as a result of the incident.
However, Diaz is not licensed in Tennessee and can't be suspended.
"They could probably not let him fight in Tennessee in the future, but they can't suspend him from fighting," Gracie said.
The manager said Diaz could be fined because the TAC believes he acted as "a second" (cornerman) to Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields, who just prior to the brawl defeated Dan Henderson in the event's headliner.
"He wasn't a second," Gracie said. "If we were get to the nitty-gritty, that wouldn't hold up in a court."
Nevertheless, Gracie said paying the fine – rather than requesting a hearing – would be a good lesson to Diaz and the rest of his fighters involved in the confrontation, including Shields; Diaz's brother, Nick Diaz; and Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez.
If Ya' Can't Beat 'Em...Urijah Faber to Drop to Bantamweight
In an interview with ProMMARadio this weekend, former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber confirmed that he will be dropping down to bantamweight to test the 135-pound waters.
“From the sound of things, they want me to go down to 35. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time -- go down and have some fights down there. So, I'll probably have a couple of fights down there and maybe go back up to 45; we're not real sure yet."
Although he is a short, but stocky featherweight, Faber says that the drop won't be a tough one.
“I'm a small 45-pounder. I mean, all through college I was 133 pounds. It isn't like it's been a hard cut for 145. I’m probably a natural 135-pounder, so it won’t be difficult for me.”
Despite win, UFC 114's Cyrille Diabate sees too many mistakes in performance
Cyrille Diabate sat in the UFC media center and got instant feedback on his performance as the big-screen TV replayed his UFC 114 fight with Luiz Cane.
Diabate, who hails from Paris, sat stone-faced as the fight played out, and he didn't say much when it was over.
Diabate survived a flash knockout in the fight's opening moments but managed to recover and light up the Brazilian with a flurry of punches that won him a first-round TKO.
Cage-fighter jailed over £53m Kent Securitas raid
A cage-fighter has been jailed in Morocco for his part in the UK's biggest cash raid at a Securitas depot.
Lee Murray, 30, originally from south London, was named during the trial of other gang members as the "mastermind" of the £53m raid in Kent in 2006.
Kent Police said Murray must serve 10 years in jail in Morocco for his involvement.
A spokesman for the force said Murray was deemed to be Moroccan and could not be extradited to the UK.
Brilz OK With Nog Fight, Plans To Be Finisher
You would think losing a close split decision in the biggest fight of his career would have Jason Brilz down in the dumps, but nothing could be farther from the truth. After coming close, but falling short against Antonio Rogerio “Minotoro” Nogueira at Saturday’s UFC 114, Brilz is actually in a more positive mind frame. In the eyes of many, Brilz managed to do well enough to win the fight, or at least earn a return shot even with the loss. According to Brilz, his contract status is not up in the air to his knowledge. “They said I’ll be back,” he announced. “Joe Silva said before the fight, ‘You’re doing me a favor here, thanks very much and no matter what happens you’ll be back.’ “I hope I’m not getting cut. Nobody told me if I am, but I’m usually the last one to find out about that stuff.”
Acting Is Kind Of Gay...
And evidently being coddled on the set of "The A-Team" is not the kind of treatment that sits well with Quinton Jackson. "Acting is kind of gay. It makes you soft. You got all these people combing your hair and putting a coat over your shoulders when you're cold. I don't want a coat over my shoulders! I'm a tough-ass [individual]! (In Hollywood) there's a thing called 'pecking order.' I'm not used to that. People can be really inconsiderate of people's feelings. I wasted three weekends in a row waiting in my trailer when they didn't use me at all. To be honest, my experience in this movie industry hasn't always been good. If you know one thing about me, I say time is the most valuable thing in this universe. I hate wasting time. And these [individuals] wasted a lot of my...time! Overall, I was glad I experienced the stuff. But sometimes I have mixed feelings. Sometimes I think, 'Damn, I should have taken that (UFC 107) fight.'"
Cole Miller vs. Ross Pearson Possible For UFN 22
A Lightweight matchup between Cole Miller and Ross Pearson is currently under consideration for UFN 22 in September. Ariel Helwani first broke the proposed matchup late last week and both sides have reportedly been approached about the fight. UFN 22 is expected to feature a headlining bout between middleweights Alan Belcher and Demian Maia.
Toronto, Pittsburgh Possible For December's UFC WW Title Fight
Whether it's the champion or the challenger, it looks like someone in December's Josh Koscheck vs. George St. Pierre UFC Welterweight Title fight will likely have home-cage advantage. Dana White says he has 2 potential hosts in mind for the fight-Toronto and Pittsburgh-but the UFC's efforts to get mixed martial arts sanctioned in new Canadian cities could be the deciding factor. If that happens in time, Toronto probably will get it, but if not then Pittsburgh becomes an option.
Diego Sanchez Looked Soft At 170
And according to Dana White, he doesn't belong at Welterweight. ""I don't think Diego belongs at 170. I think it's easier to be at 170. He looked soft. He looked real lethargic and slow and heavy. [One] fifty-five, Diego. Fifty-five. He's a tough guy. I'm not his manager, but I think he should stay at 155. Listen, a loss to B.J. Penn doesn't mean you go back up to 170. It means you stay at 155 and you do what Kenny Florian did. You stay in there and keep grinding it out and beating the top guys, and you get back in line and work your way up to the top again. Diego does not look good at 170."
Ortiz Still With UFC, Liddell Fight Could Still Happen
The last episode of “The Ultimate Fighter" ended with UFC president Dana White telling Chuck Liddell that Tito Ortiz pulled out of their proposed fight in June. While this week's episode is sure to answer more questions about the fight being canceled, the immediate question about Tito's future with the organization seems to answered for now. White commented on Ortiz's situation with the company on Saturday night following UFC 114, stating that if the surgery he had on his neck was successful and doctors clear him to return to action, he'll be back in the Octagon. "As long as the doctors say he's safe to fight and he's healthy enough to fight. They do amazing things these days," said White. As far as a timeline for his return, that was not discussed, but Chuck Liddell has already stated very clearly that if Ortiz makes it back to the UFC, he should have to fight him in his return bout. White says that Liddell vs. Ortiz 3 could still be a possibility when Tito returns because of the animosity they built while doing the reality show. "It could be possible," White said about the fight. "They did that season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter;’ we'll see what happens."
Is Sonnen in Silva's Head?
Apparently Anderson Silva is fed up with Chael Sonnen's pre-fight posturing and he wants his Team Quest opponent to lay off.
In the above interview with Pro MMA Radio, Sonnen recalls a tense situation that occurred at this weekend's UFC Fan Expo in which Silva approached him to tell him to "relax."
Sonnen said that he told the UFC middleweight champ, who seemed frustrated by the amount of autographs he had to sign for fans at the event, that "in two months, he wouldn't have to sign any more because nobody will care about him again." Apparently Sonnen's remark was lost in translation at the time, but when one of Anderson's entourage later informed the Brazilian fighter what was actually said, he decided to seek Chael out and tell him to lay off.
Bellator 115-LBs Women's Tourney Taking Shape
Bellator Fighting Championships recently began a push into women’s mixed martial arts announcing the signing of Megumi Fuji and Rosi Sexton, widely regarded as two of the top female fighters in the world.
Late last week, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney talked with a little bit more detail regarding the promotion’s plans for an eight-woman tournament.
“The goal and the entire idea was to put together a tournament with the greatest female fighters in the world: Megumi Fuji, Rosi Sexton we’ve announced; Jessica Penne, Lisa Ward, as well.”
I think Bellator has been doing great job and with Strikeforce really dropping the ball in alot of ways Bellator is in a great position to slide into the number two spot. I just wish I could see the fights on Thursday nights...Comcast has not been airing them at all where I live...the format is great and will definitely be sending guys into the UFC before too long...and they can really capitalize on the womens division...its always been said that a tourney would be a great way to develop the division quickly and now they are making it happen....what is wrong with Strikeforce?
MMA Live presence on ESPN 2 extended to August 2010
Congratulations are in order for Jon Anik, Kenny Florian, Franklin McNeil, and the countless others at ESPN who played a significant role in the development and production of MMA Live over the last couple years.
But most of all, congratulations are in order for you, the fans, for making the show as popular as it is today. ESPN has granted MMA Live a three-month extension on ESPN 2 until August due to the loyal viewers, like yourself, that have supported the mixed martial arts news show from jump street.
UFC 114 winner Rashad Evans says wrestling-oriented fight style here to stay
Like many wrestlers who begin acquiring standup skills and have success in the striking department, Rashad Evans found himself more and more comfortable on his feet.
But in his two most recent appearances – unanimous-decision wins against Thiago Silva in January and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson this past weekend at UFC 114 – the former Michigan State wrestler returned to his roots.
And for those who complain that it's a lay-and-pray style light on entertainment value, Evans has a message for you: Get used to it.
UFC 114 Fighter Payouts
The NSAC has announced the official fighter payouts from UFC 114. The total disclosed payouts were $1,371,000 with the biggest share-$435,000-going to Rashad Evans.