For Bellator's Bjorn Rebney, Eventual Spike Move Vindicates Long-Term Vision
Surrounded by MMA start-ups when his promotion began, Bjorn Rebney faced long survival odds. But he's now preparing a move to Spike, the channel that launched MMA in the U.S.
There was a time when everyone just assumed Bjorn Rebney was crazy. This was back during the days when mixed martial arts leagues were popping up throughout the country, hoping to become the No. 2 promotion behind the UFC. At the time, there was stiff competition for the spot. Strikeforce had just started to break out following a deal with NBC. The IFL had just become the first fight league to gain network exposure, though it was on little-seen MyNetwork TV, while other organizations like Affliction and EliteXC were making big splashes by signing fighters to lucrative deals.
Bellator 60's Marlon Sandro uses Summer Series failure for current motivation
For Brazilian slugger Marlon Sandro, it took just one momentary lapse in focus to derail his dream of Bellator gold.
"There was only one minute left in the second round," Sandro recalled to MMAjunkie.com. "I decided to rest up, pace myself, to come out with everything on the third round. Unfortunately he surprised me.
"The moment I lowered my guard, he saw it and got the knockout."
Bellator 60 weigh-in results: Champ Warren (145), Curran (144.8) on weight
The Bellator 60 weigh-ins are in the books, and the organization's first season-six event got off to a fairly rocky start.
Although Bellator featherweight champion Joe Warren (145 pounds) and fellow headliner Pat Curran (144.8) made weight, not everyone else did.
Today's festivities took place at at Horseshoe Hammond in Hammond, Ind. The resort also plays host to Friday's event.
Urijah Faber Reveals Coaching Staff and Guests for Ultimate Fighter Live Team
That’s how far the trip is from Sacramento to Las Vegas, but Team Alpha Male will officially relocate starting this Friday for the new Ultimate Fighter Live.
The team’s leader Urijah Faber will be coaching the latest squad of lightweights opposite his longtime rival Dominick Cruz, while also preparing for his third bout with the UFC’s top bantamweight this summer.
In preparation for the new season of the show, Faber is bringing in all of the big guns to help train his team of 8 lightweights as well as run his camp while he trains for the fight with Cruz on July 7.
“The guys are coming out on the 6th so I’ve got my whole coaching staff. Master Thong, Fabio Prado, Dustin Akbari, Lance Palmer, Justin Buccholz, are all coming out to coach,” Faber told MMAWeekly Radio.
“Joseph (Benavidez) and T.J. (Dillashaw) and a couple of the guys are still in Australia, so they’ll be coming in a little bit later, and Danny Castillo and Chad Mendes, all the guys that are key players on our team right now will be coming out to train as well.”
Oddsmakers favor Edgar over new UFC champ 'Bendo,' Gustafsson over Silva
The odds are out for two new UFC main events.
Although the fight doesn't have a date, noted MMA oddsmaker and frequent MMAjunkie.com Radio guest Joey Oddessa has opened Frankie Edgar as a slight favorite (-125) over new UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson (-105).
Additionally, UFC on FUEL TV 2 headliner Alexander Gustafsson (-200) is a solid favorite over replacement opponent Thiago Silva (+160).
Kimbo Slice Returns To Boxing Ring Against Yet Another Undersized Opponent On March 24
The boxing career of former EliteXC and UFC "attraction" Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson keeps on rolling along when he meets mixed martial artist Mike Glenn on March 24. Predictably, Glenn is making his pro debut and, like all of Slice's prior opponents, is not actually a heavyweight. Glenn competed in MMA at 205 pounds so he will almost certainly come in the much lighter man when the two meet later this month.
This is a continuing trend for Kimbo as he made his debut against then 0-1 James Wade weighing 227 to Wade's 205, took on then 2-3 Tay Bledsoe weighing 244 to Bledsoe's 206 and then beat the debuting Charles Hackmann when he weighed 235 to Hackmann's 211. The only opponent Slice has faced (or is scheduled to face in Glenn's case) who is a listed heavyweight is Hackmann, and that's only because he made his debut at heavyweight. He almost certainly could have cut down to cruiserweight.
Faber Has No Problem Coaching Dakota Cochrane
Rivals Urijah Faber and Dominick Cruz are set to coach The Ultimate Fighter's debut season on FX, debuting this Friday March 9 at 9 p.m. ET. The two men have fought twice before with Faber beating Cruz in 2007 to retain the WEC featherweight belt and Cruz beating Faber last year to retain the UFC bantamweight belt. The pair will meet again at the end of this season of TUF, once again for a title.
Both men have been doing interviews to hype the season premiere. Faber spoke to MMA Weekly about the biggest story to come out of the nascent season so far -- contestant Dakota Cochrane's gay porn past:
"I'm interested to see where his head's at with the whole thing. That will be a big deciding factor on how everyone else deals with it. It's going to come up, there's no doubt about that. It's not a subject that just gets looked over.
"If these guys want to make fun of him or pick on him or whatever, they may be getting beat up by him, so I wouldn't make him look too bad cause if you're going to break a guy down and he beats you up then that kind of makes you look bad.
"I don't have a problem coaching the kid. I would maybe talk him out of doing something so degrading to himself if it comes up again, but other than that just wish the best for him."
UFC Lightweight Champion Ben Henderson Competes In AZ Grappling Tournament
On February 26th, Benson Henderson wrested the UFC lightweight championship from Frankie Edgar at UFC 144 in a thrilling five round main event in Saitama, Japan. One week later, on March 4th, Henderson entered the lists in the middleweight brown belt division and the open brown belt division at the 7th Arizona International Open in Phoenix, Arizona. The second Sunday was not as good to him as the first.
To put the big news up front, Daniel Grippaudo of BJJ Revolution beat Benson in the Absolute - with a submission no less. Check out the nifty straight armbar after the low pressure pass attempt by Henderson
As expected, Barry and Johnson promise standup war at UFC on FOX 3
If you weren't 100 percent certain that heavyweight sluggers Pat Barry and Lavar Johnson were going to stand in the pocket and duke it out on the feet, they each provided verbal confirmation on Tuesday.
Both heavyweights said their UFC on FOX 3 matchup is going to provide guaranteed fireworks.
"Lavar and I are both allergic to jiu-jitsu," Barry said. "That's a fact. We're also allergic to rounds two and three. Will we see a lot of beginner-level wrestling and grappling on [May 5]? Most likely not."
With twice-broken hand, Cormier hopes he's 'good enough' for Strikeforce tourney finale
Apparently, American Kickboxing Academy fighters hit opponents too hard.
Standing at a sponsor booth amid bronzed bodybuilders at this past weekend's Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio, Daniel Cormier and teammate Luke Rockhold both were nursing broken hands from previous fights.
Rockhold can now shake hands, confident that iron-gripped fans won't hurt him, but recovery is going longer than he expected. Cormier is a little further along and said he's back to full steam in the gym.
Spike TV counter-programs UFC on FOX 3 with Nate Diaz 'Unleashed' marathon
In its latest counter-programming move, Spike TV will air a Nate Diaz fight marathon opposite May's UFC on FOX 3 event.
Diaz headlines the May 5 event, which airs live on FOX, in a lightweight bout with fellow contender Jim Miller.
During the event time, Spike TV airs a five-hour "UFC Unleashed: Nate Diaz" marathon featuring the fighter's past UFC bouts.
The special airs from 7 p.m. to midnight ET (4 to 9 p.m. PT) on Spike TV. Diaz, who earned his UFC contract by winning "The Ultimate Fighter 5," was featured prominently in many Spike TV-televised UFC Fight Night events. In fact, eight of Diaz's first nine octagon appearances took place on "Fight Night" or TUF Finale fight cards.
Due to the UFC's new multi-year broadcast deal with FOX, events that previously aired on Spike TV are now slated for FX and FUEL TV. However, Spike TV owns the UFC's library rights through the end of this year, and officials said counter-programming will be the norm throughout the year. "TUF," for example, moves to FX with live Friday-night tournament fights this season, but Spike TV will counter-program with highlights from the past 14 seasons of the long-running reality series.
Mir, Velasquez in No. 1 contentder bout at UFC 146
A former UFC heavyweight champion will be the next No. 1 contender for the belt, and we'll find out who that is at UFC 146.
“Verbal agreements are in for a No. 1 contender match between former UFC world heavyweight champions Frank Mir and Cain Velasquez at UFC 146, May 26 in Las Vegas,” UFC president Dana White said.
The fight will be part of a card that pits current UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos against Alistair Overeem in the UFC 146 main event. The winner of that fight will know right away who he'll be facing, either Velasquez or Mir...
'I Am Bruce Lee' documentary debuts tonight on Spike TV
"I Am Bruce Lee" makes it television debut tonight on Spike TV.
The two-hour documentary focuses on the legendary Bruce Lee, a cultural icon and seminal figure in the history of martial arts.
The two-hour film – which includes interviews with the likes of UFC president Dana White, Stephan Bonnar, Jon Jones, Cung Le and Gina Carano – airs at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Before an untimely death in 1973 at just 32 years old, Lee entertained as a martial-arts instructor, actor and producer, which earned him the nickname the "Father of Martial Arts Cinema." He also founded the Jeet Kune Do martial-arts and life-philosophy movement, which inspired many current MMA fighters...
With changing TV landscape, UFC president envisions a day without pay-per-view
Pay-per-view is the engine driving the UFC's explosive growth of recent years.
But as the media landscape continues to change and new broadcast platforms compete with networks, the UFC thinks there may be a time when the pay-TV takes the back seat in producing revenue for the promotion.
"Lorenzo and I talk about this all the time – I do believe there will be a day when this probably isn't pay-per-view," UFC president Dana White said of his promotion during a press conference in support of UFC on FOX 3.
At the moment, the bulk of UFC fans shell out between $44.95 and $55.95 to order a numbered UFC card through providers such as DirecTV and Dish Network. That's meant big bucks for the UFC as its grown from a company of dozens to one of hundreds around the globe. Estimates of the UFC's pay-per-view revenue reached as high as $400 million in 2010, and the promotion is believed to be worth in excess of $1 billion.
SFL's Phil Baroni has seen both sides of Joe Rogan vs. 'Rampage' feud
Phil Baroni can understand why Quinton "Rampage" Jackson got angry at UFC commentator Joe Rogan.
Back in the day, he did too.
But Baroni's opinion changed when he did Rogan's job himself. Now on the verge of a gig calling the fights for the new India-based promotion, Super Fight League, he knows the job.
Super Fight League's inaugural event takes place March 11 at Andheri Sports Complex in Mumbai, India. The event streams live on YouTube.
Not a lot of people remember this, but the UFC once sent Baroni to communications classes at UNLV. This was during his first tenure with the then-struggling fight promotion and after he got a call to be a color commentator at UFC 42.
Jon Jones: Being called cocky is the biggest blow I can get
The March 2012 issue of Men’s Journal contains an extensive profile of UFC Lightheavyweight champion Jon Jones. While the piece has the feel of the puzzled coverage MMA received in the mid 90s, it never the less managed to convey some of what makes Jones unique.
"When I was, like, 20 years old, I had this voice-mail message that said, ‘Hi, this is Jon Bones Jones, the light heavyweight champ.’ I was speaking it into existence and carrying myself like I was the champion way before I was even in the UFC. It’s crazy that it all played out.”
“I want to change our sport with something positive, to brighten up people’s lives and get them to look more on the positive side about every little thing.”
This is precisely the sort of comment that polarizes UFC fans, many of whom don’t like self-righteous knockout artists. On message boards, fans call him an “arrogant b----” and accuse him of faking the humility.
The truth is that Jones is racked with self-doubt. He begins every morning reading motivational quotes to get himself going, and he is haunted by the fear of getting knocked out while millions of people are watching.
“Sometimes I look back, and I want to be rude to people who didn’t believe in me. But that’s not what I do,” he says. “I try to treat everybody with love. But when I go home now, to the people who treated me like a loser, I’m, like, the hero of our whole town.”