Attention Strikeforce: Jake Shields' Camp Wants You to Call Them
According to Josh Gross' latest column for SportsIllustrated.com, Strikeforce 185-pound champ Jake Shields' manager and father, Jack Shields says that the promotion has yet to bother to contact them to attempt to negotiate a new contract.
"The time is ticking. We'd like to move forward as soon as possible,"the elder Shields told Gross on Monday. "I'd like to be negotiating right now."
Strikeforce reps blamed their busy event schedule for the delay, but a source told Gross that they have actually considered releasing Shields before an exclusive negotiating period that expires in three weeks. Even after that period ends, the promotion still has the right to match any offer made by any other promotion, but the fact that they are pretending Shields doesn't exist and discussing life after he leaves the organization essentially all but says they are conceding he will not be back.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker seemed irritated by Gross' inquiry about the possibility that they may release the talented welterweight who has spent the last year moonlighting as a middleweight so he could ensure he had challenging fights.
"Can I guarantee that we won't release him? No, I can't. It depends on how the last two or three weeks of negotiation go. I won't be able to answer until negotiations are over. Is it a possibility? It's a possibility. If we're not going to be in the Jake Shields business, let's just move on," Coker said. "That's how I feel. This is a business. Jake has a career and a life and it's not fair to him. But Jake is a guy we've appreciated having him as part of the family."
UFC To Make "Major Announcement" On 5/25 In Toronto
Is this the moment Canadian mixed martial arts fans have been waiting for? The UFC today revealed that a "major announcement" is coming on May 25, 2010, at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada, just two months after company President Dana White stormed Toronto's Eaton Centre for a public pep rally. White expects MMA to eventually become the world's largest and most popular sport. Unfortunately, that vision of global domination has faced opposition in Ontario as Premier Dalton McGuinty recently indicated that MMA regulation was "not a priority." Last year White was hoping to secure a show in Ontario at some point in 2010, setting his sights on Toronto's Rogers Centre in front of as many as 50,000 fans. Considering that one of the world's most popular fighters is a Canadian named Georges St. Pierre, that wasn't such an unrealistic goal. Then again, nothing is possible unless the Ontario Athletic Commission lifts its ban on cagefighting, that while not a priority, could help generate millions of dollars for the local economy.
Ikuhisa Minowa Faces Imani Lee At DREAM 14
Uh...yeah, who? In perhaps the spirit of his constantly getting freak show-type matchups, DREAM announced today that Super Hulk GP Champion Ikuhisa MInowa will face Imani Lee at DREAM 14 later this month. Lee, a former sparring partner of boxer turned MMA fighter James Toney, recently returned to active competition and dropped a first-round submission loss to Geovanni Sarran in April and has a 1-2 career record. At 325 pounds, Lee will probably have around a 130 pound weight advantage over Minowa, who most recently beat 315-pounder Jimmy Ambriz in March. There were rumors that Minowa could've faced Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson, but a Slice rep called those just that: Internet Rumors.
East Chicago, Ind., declares June 4, 2010 to be "Miguel Angel Torres Day"
Move over Urijah Faber, Miguel Torres is here.
While "The California Kid" recently received an official day in his honor, Faber isn't the only WEC star to receive such recognition.
East Chicago, Ind., hometown of former WEC bantamweight champion Miguel Torres, has declared June 4, 2010 to be "Miguel Angel Torres Day."
"East Chicago is my home, and to be recognized in this capacity means a lot," Torres stated in an official release from the WEC announcing the honor. "The city is full of hardworking people and I have done my best to represent East Chicago in a positive way."
The 29-year-old Torres grew up and still resides in East Chicago, and he operates a mixed martial arts academy in nearby Hammond, Ind.
Torres is expected to take part in a variety of activities around town on his official day.
DREAM Reschedules LHWGP For DREAM 15
The light heavyweight grand prix that was cancelled for Dream 14 has been scheduled as a smaller four-man field at Dream 15 on July 10, FEG president Sadaharu Tanikawa and Dream event producer Keiichi Sasahara announced Thursday at a news conference. The winners of the two tournament bouts at Dream 15 will face each other in September to determine Dream’s light heavyweight champion. Tanikawa and Sasahara also expressed hope for the Dream champion to face the Strikeforce champion in February 2011. No GP participants were confirmed but Gegard Mousasi is a likely entry. Also announced was that Dream 15 will be in the ring and not the cage.
Team "Shaolin" Planning To Appeal SF Loss To Beerbohm
After a controversial ending to the Lyle Beerbohm vs. Vitor Ribeiro fight from last Saturday's "Heavy Artillery" card in St. Louis, Nova Uniao leader Andre Pederneiras and Ribeiro manager Alex Davis will appeal the official decision that saw Beerbohm take the split decision. Pederneiras takes exception to the 30-27 scores and is hoping for a "No Contest" in his appeal. They told this to the TATAME website: "Man, it's the first time I see a guy spending all the fight defending himself and getting off there with a loss. There were a lot of critics, because Shaolin attacked all the time and there was a judge that gave 30 to 27 for the other guy...I think they missed his name on the paper, it's not possible. They can't do that, is absurd, it's not right. Even if I have to ask the help of a lawyer, I will change this outcome."
Georges vs. Georges Grappling Match On "Off The Record" Tomorrow
MMA vs. Boxing has been a hot topic lately. But MMA vs. Hockey? UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre has accepted a challenge from friend and fellow Canadian Georges Laraque for a grappling match at the Tristar Gym in Montreal. TSN will broadcast the showdown on Friday, May 21, 2010, at 6 p.m. ET on "Off the Record." The 33-year old heavyweight hockey player, who last skated for the Montreal Canadiens, appeared with "Rush" on a recent episode of "Off the Record," where he promised to use his weight advantage against GSP and "pick him up and body slam him." St. Pierre doesn't see it that way.
Kos: GSP Doesn't Have KO Power And I Do
Josh Koscheck, in commenting on his upcoming UFC Welterweight Title fight with Georges St. Pierre, also feels he's improved a lot since his first match with GSP at UFC 74, which GSP won by decision. "I don't think I need to get in Georges St-Pierre's head. He knows what kind of fighter I've improved (to) ... I'm going to have my wrestling so good that I'm going to force Georges St-Pierre into standing toe to toe with me and then I'm going to end up knocking him out, because I believe that Georges doesn't have knockout power and I do ... [In the first fight] I kind of just overlooked he was a good athlete and had the ability to learn wrestling so quick. I believe that I was young, naive and a little immature. I think now I'm wiser, older and a lot smarter when it comes to preparing and putting a game plan together."
KJ Noons vs Krazy Horse at June 26 Strikeforce
KJ Noons will rematch Charles 'Krazy Horse' Bennett at the June 26 Strikeforce event in San Jose, CA. Krazy Horse won by first rd KO in their first meeting at EliteXC: Destiny in February 2007.
Fedor Emelianenko vs Fabricio Werdum
Cris 'Cyborg' Santos vs Jan Finney
Cung Le vs Scott Smith
KJ Noons vs Charles Bennett
Manager: Vitor Belfort Will Get UFC Middleweight Title Shot In November
According to his manager, Vitor Belfort will return to UFC in November and get his shot at the UFC Middleweight Title immediately. "Vitor will be in (the best) absolute physical condition to return to the octagon and fight for the UFC title by November 2010," Fabiano Farah, Belfort's representative, wrote today in an email. Belfort won't get a warm-up fight first. There currently are no UFC events on the schedule for November.
Takanori Gomi vs. Shane Roller Added To UFC Fan Expo Grappling Tournament
The UFC Fan Expo just added another bit of star power, as former PRIDE and Shooto champion Takanori Gomi and current WEC lightweight title contender Shane Roller will face off in a superfight at the Grapplers Quest tournament being conducted at next week's UFC Fan Expo in Las Vegas. Grapplers Quest officials announced the matchup today. Held in conjunction with this month's "UFC 114: Rampage vs. Evans" event, the UFC Fan Expo takes place May 28 and 29 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. Gomi-Roller will be on the 29th.
Lindland: No union because fighters are whores, cowards...
“Unless you can get the top athletes and you’re not going to do that. I mean the fighters, they’re all whores, they just fight for the biggest purse and it’s going to be tough unless you could somehow get all the fighters to agree to something like that and you know there’s always somebody going to come up underneath who’s not willing to do it. Like I said, it doesn’t matter who the best guys are, it only matters what the announcers are telling you who the best guys are and the fans are going to believe it.”
UFC's Chael Sonnen claims victory in Oregon's Republican primary election
UFC middleweight contender Chael Sonnen has passed the first test in his bid for a spot in the Oregon House of Representatives.
Sonnen claimed a landslide victory in Tuesday's Republican Party primaries by earning 99.13 percent of the vote in Oregon's 37th District.
In fairness, Sonnen was running unopposed, though he did claim 2,167 votes versus 19 ballots that featured a write-in candidate.
Sonnen now faces Democratic nominee Will Rasmussen, who claimed victory over Gerritt Rosenthal and Joelle Davis with 65.82 percent of the votes cast.
The general election takes place Nov. 2.
Grappling ace Robert Drysdale set for professional mixed martial arts debut in July
Brazilian jiu-jitsu superstar Robert Drysdale will soon test the waters of mixed martial arts.
The Canadian-based Armageddon Fighting Championship today announced that Drysdale has signed a four-fight contract with the promotion and is expected to make his debut on July 17 at the company's third event, "AFC 3: Evolution."
An opponent has yet to be determined.
Drysdale fought one amateur contest under the Las Vegas-based Tuff-N-Uff banner and handed a then 5-0 Josh Musick a first-round defeat via armbar.
Mission Impossible? Fabricio Werdum Has A Secret That He Doesn't Want Fedor To Hear...
And he's not telling us either. "This is my life fight, a very good opportunity. I'm training every day for six months because my last fight was in November. I want this fight. I have a lot of respect for Fedor, he's very good, very tough, but it's my opportunity and my turn now. Fedor's a very good puncher, very strong with his right cross. Everybody tries the same game every time. Cro Cop, Arlovski, Minotauro -- everybody tries the same thing. I'm trying a different technique this time. I have a good surprise. I have a good strategy but it's a secret."
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson says roots of feud with Rashad Evans go back to 2004
While "The Ultimate Fighter 10" showcased a pair of rival coaches, the root of Quinton "Rampage" Jackson's beef with Rashad Evans stretches back almost six years.
After 11 months of verbal warfare, the rivals face off May 29 at UFC 114 in what's become the most heated rivalry in the promotion's history, according to UFC president Dana White.
MMA fans' first peek at the rift came when the two went nose-to-nose in the cage at UFC 96 after Jackson's decision victory against Keith Jardine, Evans' teammate. But the seeds of discontent were sown in middle-of-nowhere Colusa, Calif.
Jackson, then a PRIDE star just a few weeks shy of his 26th birthday, cornered Hector Ramirez, his teammate under trainer Colin Oyama, for a June 2004 fight against Evans at Gladiator Challenge 27.
UFC Announces 4 Grappling Superfights For 2010 UFC Fan Expo
As UFC 114: "Rampage vs. Evans" and the coinciding 2010 UFC Fan Expo quickly approaches, the world's leading mixed martial arts promotion has announced their plans for the second annual grappling tournament held in conjunction with Grappler's Quest. On Friday, May 28 at 1 p.m. PT, ADCC (Abu Dhabi Combat Club) world champion Penny Thomas will battle EliteXC and Strikeforce veteran Shayna Baszler. Also on tap for the Friday afternoon session is a match up between UFC veteran and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Hermes Franca and 23 year-old jiu-jitsu phenom Bill Cooper. Scheduled for Saturday, May 29 at 1 p.m. PT, is contest between former Shooto world champion and UFC veteran Caol Uno and current WEC featherweight contender Fredson Paixao. And finally, to wrap up the two-day event, WEC star Javier Vazquez will face 23-time Grappler's Quest champion Jeff Glover.
To Fans, You've Either Saved America Or You're The Scum Of The World
That's the view of UFC Heavyweight Todd Duffee on the hype or hate he's received since his last fight, as he explained on last night's episode of Pro MMA Radio. Duffee told host Larry Pepe that hype can be a fickle thing in this sport and that even he's not sold on his current standing in the division just yet."That's the one thing it [his seven-second knockout of Tim Hague at UFC 102] did for me. It got me more acquainted with the public eye. It just got me more recognition. But not too much else has changed. I'm a low-key guy so I haven't had to deal with too much... [As for the hype or hate he's received since his last fight] In this sport, it's like that for everybody. I've been around athletics my whole life, but in the fight game there's just a different dynamic between the fighters and the fans. It's a real love hate relationship. You either saved America, or you're the scum of the world." Duffee faces Mike Russow at UFC 114.
SF Heavy Artillery: 308,000 Viewers
This past weekend's "Strikeforce St. Louis: Heavy Artillery" event, which featured the long-awaited return of heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem to the U.S., drew an average of 308,000 viewers on Showtime. Compared to Strikeforce's most-recent Showtime-broadcast event, January's "Strikeforce: Miami," the numbers were down 40.43 percent from the 517,000 viewers that tuned in to see a pair of title wins by Nick Diaz and Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos along with performances by Bobby Lashley and Herschel Walker. However, the numbers were comparable to, though down 9.68 percent from, the 341,000 viewers that tuned into this past December's "Strikeforce: Evolution" event. That event featured Scott Smith vs. Cung Le and a lightweight title-unification bout of Gilbert Melendez vs. Josh Thomson. Showtime is available in 12 million homes.