FBI seizes top online poker sites, including traditional MMA mega-sponsors
Apparently, sometimes you can stop the Internet – at least briefly, anyway.
Online poker sites PokerStars.com, FullTiltPoker.com and AbsolutePoker.com were today seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the owners of the sites have been charged with accusations of fraud and illegal gambling.
The shutdown could have a substantial impact in the world of mixed martial arts as the online poker industry features several companies that have traditionally invested heavily in the sponsorship of entire promotions, as well as individual fighters.
Chad Mendes Heading to UFC 129 Intending to Challenge Aldo or Hominick
As UFC 129 fast approaches, most eyes will be on the two main event title fights that head the card. One of which will be the first appearance of featherweight champion Jose Aldo defending his belt against Mark Hominick.
One person, who will be sitting cageside with his eyes locked on that fight, will be current top 145-pound contender Chad Mendes.
The undefeated Team Alpha Male fighter blew through former Sengoku and Dream fighter Michihiro Omigawa in his last bout, and now has every intention of challenging the winner of Aldo and Hominick.
“I can tell you Chad will be sitting ringside in Toronto watching Aldo and Hominick fight, and he has all the hopes in the world that the winner of that will be his next fight. I believe he deserves it, I believe he’s ready for it, and I think it’s his time,” Mendes’ manager, Mike Roberts from MMA Inc., told MMAWeekly Radio recently.
Japanese MMA Is Back! Dream Bantamweight GP Starts May 29th
Awesome news out of Tokyo today. Nightmare of Battle is reporting that the rumored Japan Cup that was scheduled for late April now has the Dream name attached to it, a bigger venue, and some really good fights. A press conference officially unveiled that "DREAM Japan GP ~2011 Bantamweight Japan Tournament" will be the official title, and it will be going down May 29th in the Hall of the Saitama Super Arena.
Jon Jones: I could have finished Rashad Evans in training
The champion, almost brazenly, claims an advantage in style, preparation and experience.
"We fought each other in practice," said Jones, who pushed his record to 13-1 with last month's triumph. "A finish has been possible several times and it has always been me finishing him. I never did it out of respect that he was the elder of the school. It's against protocol in a way. Some people would do it but I believe in tradition.
"He has a lot to study. I have a lot to study, but I get to study[ing] more in-depth. He gets to study[ing] and gets a headache."
Feijao vs. St. Preux Targeted for Strikeforce in July
A light heavyweight bout between Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante and Ovince St. Preux is in the works for a rumored July Strikeforce event. Feijao most recently lost the Strikeforce light heavyweight title in a knockout loss to Dan Henderson, while St. Preux has steadily built steam as a serious prospect at 205 with consecutive victories. The July event is also rumored to feature a catchweight fight between Dan Henderson and Fedor Emelianenko.
UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones Saves The Day… Again
Jon “Bones” Jones may soon need to change his nickname to Superman or Batman.
The current UFC light heavyweight champion has somehow gotten into the hero business over the last couple of months, and business is good.
Jones hit the spotlight on the same day he fought Maurcio “Shogun” Rua for the UFC light heavyweight title when he subdued a thief after he broke into someone’s car and stole their belongings.
Jones, along with his coaches Mike Winkeljohn and Greg Jackson, stopped the thief and held him there until police could arrive to make the official arrest.
Jones’ heroics don’t always involve stopping thieves.
While on a business trip to Florida this week, Jones observed a young woman along with her child involved in a somewhat loud conversation over a cell phone while he was checking into his hotel.
According to sources, Jones overheard the young woman crying because she had apparently flown to Florida to be with her boyfriend, and after an argument ensued, he left her and her child to fend for themselves with no place to stay and an airline ticket for a flight that didn’t depart for two days...
Jacare: Lack of fights in Strikeforce 'sucks'
Strikeforce Middleweight champion Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza has defended his title just once (vs. Robbie Lawler) since earning the title in August 2010. And once is not enough.
"I get upset. I am an MMA professional, a guy who’s always ready to fight, I keep waiting approximately six months to fight. It sucks, I don’t like that. They’re thinking of July [for another fight], but for me that’s a long time. I’m going to relax in training right now, I’m going to travel. Maybe I’ll fight in July again. I hope my new boss puts me to work more often."
Strikeforce champ Nick Diaz reworks contract, eyes boxing bout with Jeff Lacy
Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz is not retiring from MMA. But he sees a bleak future in his division, and his manager, Cesar Gracie, is angling for opportunities outside the sport if those within it are not of interest.
In fact, a trip to professional boxing is still on Gracie's radar, and he said he's working to book Diaz on a fight sometime in the fall, possibly against former IBF champion Jeff Lacy.
That could be a possibility now that Diaz has reworked his MMA contract.
"These guys get to the point in their career where they want the big fights," Gracie today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "That's what Jake Shields is wanting. That's what (Dan) Henderson wants. They don't have to prove themselves."
In a preview of a video interview released today by "Inside MMA," Gracie said the Diaz camp had "signed on the dotted line" for a boxing match with former champion Fernando Vargas, though that match very recently fell by the wayside.
Featherweights Ricardo Lamas vs. Matt Grice added to UFC on Versus 4
After two years away from the organization and a subsequent four-fight win streak, lightweight Matt Grice (13-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) is returning to the UFC and dropping to featherweight.
Officials today announced he'll fight fellow 145-pounder Ricardo Lamas (9-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at UFC on Versus 4.
UFC on Versus 4 takes place June 26 at Pittsburgh's Consol Energy Center, and the main card airs on Versus.
Riki Fukuda vs. Rafael "Sapo" Natal on tap for UFC 133 in August
A middleweight bout between submission specialist Rafael "Sapo" Natal (12-3-1 MMA, 0-1-1 UFC) and Japanese striker Riki Fukuda (17-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC) has been added to UFC 133.
A source close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) verbal agreements are in place for the fight, which Tatame.com first reported.
Bantamweights Michael McDonald and Nick Pace slotted for UFC 133
A bantamweight bout between Michael McDonald (12-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) and Nick Pace (6-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) will fight at UFC 133, UFC officials today announced.
Verbal agreements are in place for the 135-pound matchup, according to the announcement.
Although not announced by the organization, UFC 133 could take place at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on Aug. 6. The event is expected to air on pay-per-view.
UFC Fan Expo Toronto grappling tourney includes UFC fighter Diego Sanchez
UFC officials have announced a star-studded four-man field for a UFC Fan Expo Toronto grappling tournament.
The tournament takes place April 29-30 in conjunction with UFC 130 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Competitors include UFC lightweight Diego Sanchez, Canadian grappler Andrew McInnes, American jiu-jitsu champion Ryan Hall, and MMA veteran/Toronto BJJ head instructor Jorge Britto.
Rashad Evans Decides Against Training at One Specific Gym for Jon Jones Fight
Instead of joining a new camp, Rashad Evans has decided to train in several different locations in preparation for his light heavyweight title fight against Jon Jones.
Glenn Robinson, Evans manager at Authentic Sports Management, confirmed with MMA Fighting on Wednesday that "Suga" is "not going to train at one specific place" for the Jones fight.
"(Evans) is going to do a private training camp headed by Coach (Mike) Van Arsdale," Robinson said.
Robinson added that Evans' camp will officially kick off in "a couple of weeks," while the light heavyweight showdown between the former training partners is still scheduled to take place in late September or early October.
Anderson Silva versus Yushin Okami in Rio (Confirmed)
Yushin Okami will receive the middleweight title shot he earned last year after all.
UFC president Dana White confirmed with USA Today on Wednesday that UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva will defend his title against Okami on Aug. 27 in Rio de Janiero. The news was first reported by Tatame.com.
Okami (26-5) earned the shot to fight Silva (28-4) at UFC 122 when he defeated Nate Marquardt. However, following Silva's win over Vitor Belfort in February, White indicated that Okami might have to wait while Georges St-Pierre fought Silva first.