WEC 51 ratings rebound 54 percent, "Aldo vs. Gamburyan" draws 486,000 viewers
This past Thursday's Versus-televised WEC 51 event scored an average audience of 486,000 viewers, an increase of 54 percent over August's WEC 50 event.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the ratings information with an industry source.
WEC 51 took place Sept. 30 at The Pearl at the 1STBANK Center in Broomfield, Colo., and featured a featherweight title fight between champion Jose Aldo and challenger Manny Gamburyan.
Overall, the event drew a 0.49 household rating.
Why Isn't Dan Henderson Fighting On CBS?
The reason according to Hendo: CBS. "It wasn't [up to] me. I was wanting to get back in there pretty quickly, but I think part of the problem was CBS kind of a little bit faltering on their commitment to mixed martial arts, especially after the little escapade in the cage after my last fight on CBS. You know, I don't quite understand that and they're definitely still wanting to be involved in mixed martial arts and with Strikeforce, but I think they're just gonna take their time on it a little bit more. It is disappointing [to not fight on CBS again], and the fact that that could have been easily avoided with the guys not coming into the cage after my last fight. It just gave them an out. But I also think that if CBS had a big problem with it, they didn't need to put it on their Web site, didn't need to replay it a bunch of times. I don't know if they're trying to renegotiate or get a little bit more out of the door, but I think they're definitely still going to be on board. But that's kind of what they were waiting on. [Strikeforce] wanted me to be on the next CBS card and CBS took a while and finally [Strikeforce] just got tired of waiting. I thought I was going to fight two, three months ago, but that's the way it goes."
Kenny Florian Targeting January Return
Although he hoped to get back in the Octagon sooner rather than later, it now looks like Kenny Florian is targeting a January return date for his next fight. His manager tried to get him another fight ASAP following Florian's UFC 118 loss to Gray Maynard and they were offered BJ Penn on November 20, but declined due to the date maybe being too soon for a full training camp and Florian also suffering a slight hamstring injury in training.
UFC Prelims Set For UFC 123
The lineup for the UFC's long-awaited return to Michigan is complete, and so, too, are the night's broadcast plans. The UFC Prelims special on Spike before the PPV will feature Mark Munoz vs. Aaron Simpson and, in keeping with the trend of featuring former Ultimate Fighter contestants on the series, TUF 7 fighter Matt Brown vs. Rory MacDonald.
With the Machida Era over, former champ Lyoto plans return of the Dragon
It's often been said that mixed martial arts fans are among the most fickle followers in sports.
Just one result – whether it be a win or loss – can often mean the difference between being labeled an all-time great or a washed-up bum.
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida (16-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) knows the pattern all too well. In a span of six fights, Machida went from "defensive bore" to "unbeatable champion" to "rebuilding challenger." But with a November fight looming against fellow former champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, Machida says it's time for the "Return of the Dragon."
Victorious Overeem Dominant at K-1 World Grand Prix
On hiatus from mixed martial arts until 2011, Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem showcased his formidable kickboxing game on Saturday with a brutal first-round dispatching of Australia’s Ben Edwards at the K-1 World Grand Prix 2010 Final 16 in Seoul, South Korea.
Other Tournament Bouts
Semmy Schilt def. Hesdy Gerges -- Split Decision
Siala-Mou Siliga def. Raul Catinas -- Unanimous Decision
Peter Aerts def. Ewerton Teixeira -- Split Decision
Keijiro Maeda def. Jerome LeBanner -- Disqualification (Abandonment)
Daniel Ghita def. Errol Zimmerman -- KO (Punches) 0:18 R2
Gokhan Saki def. Freddy Kemayo -- TKO (Punches)1:30 R1
Tyrone Spong def. Ray Sefo -- Unanimous Decision
Ryan Bader vs. Jon Jones Targeted For UFC 127
A matchup between two of the brightest prospects in the UFC's light heavyweight division appears likely for early 2011. A long-discussed contest between "The Ultimate Fighter 8" winner Ryan Bader and Jon Jones appears likely for the yet-unannounced UFC 127, which will probably be February 5 in Las Vegas and headlined by Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort. Jones' agent says he was recently hoping for a January 1 booking for his fighter, but that appears unlikely.
UFC 123 Lineup Now Official With 11 Fights
The UFC's first event in Michigan since UFC 9 in May 1996 in now official with 11 contests. UFC brass today officially announced five additional contests for "UFC 123: Rampage vs. Machida," and the pay-per-view's lineup is now complete. Main card additions include Tim Boetsch vs. Phil Davis and Joe Lauzon vs. George Sotiropoulos, while new preliminary contests feature Matt Brown vs. Rory MacDonald, Darren Elkins vs. Edson Barboza and Paul Kelly vs. Gabe Ruediger. UFC 123 takes place Nov. 20 at The Palace of Auburn Hills in suburban Detroit. A light-heavyweight bout between former champs Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Lyoto Machida headlines the pay-per-view portion of the show.
Chinese import Tiequan Zhang encouraged by pressure of representing a nation
BROOMFIELD, Colo. – Any time a fighter enters the cage of the WEC or UFC for the first time, nerves are certain to factor into the combatant's performance.
Fighting on the biggest stage in the world, no one wants to let himself down, much less his fans, coaches or training partners.
But lightweight Tiequan Zhang (12-0 MMA, 1-0 WEC) had a few more people on his mind when he stepped in the cage for his WEC debut at Thursday's WEC 51 event – like the 1.3 billion citizens of his native China.
WEC 51 bonuses: Roop, Torres, Cerrone and Varner earn $10K awards
BROOMFIELD, Colo. – George Roop, Miguel Torres, Donald Cerrone and Jamie Varner each earned $10,000 "Fight Night" bonuses for their performances at Thursday's WEC 51 event.
Roop earned the night's "Knockout of the Night" award, Torres picked up the "Submission of the Night" bonus, and Cerrone and Varner earned "Fight of the Night" honors.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) learned of the bonus winners and award amounts while in WEC 51's post-event press conference.
WEC 51 took place at the 1STBANK Center near Denver in Broomfield, Colo., and the night's main card aired on Versus.
WEC champ Jose Aldo says plenty of challenges still await in featherweight division
BROOMFIELD, Colo. – WEC featherweight champion Jose Aldo (18-1 MMA, 8-0 WEC) might as well get used to the question.
After his latest destruction of a top contender – this time, a WEC 51 win over Manny Gamburyan in Broomfield, Colo. – MMA pundits and fans alike once againwere forced to ask, "Is there anyone who can beat Aldo in the 145-pound division?"
Aldo says he believes there are plenty of deserving contenders on the horizon, and while he's not opposed to moving up in weight someday, he's just fine where he's at right now.
Cerrone credits rodeo for WEC 51 win, says mental hurdle finally cleared
BROOMFIELD, Colo. – It was tough to tell what meant the most to WEC lightweight contender Donald Cerrone (12-3 MMA, 5-3 WEC) after defeating his arch-rival, Jamie Varner (16-4-1 MMA, 4-2-1 WEC), in a rematch at Thursday night's WEC 51 event.
Was it defeating his nemesis in sound fashion? How about displaying a newfound set of wrestling skills? Finally getting out of the blocks quickly? Or maybe proving he actually can win the big fight when the pressure is on?
For the "Cowboy," who credited his rodeo roots for one of the best performances of his fighting career, it was all of the above.
Despite resisting "ghetto bloodlust" urges, WEC's Torres still a work in progress
BROOMFIELD, Colo. – Despite earning a convincing win over Charlie Valencia at Thursday's WEC 51 event, Miguel Torres (38-3 MMA, 6-2 WEC) sat down at the evening's post-event press conference looking like someone had just stolen his lunch money.
Torres' second-round TKO victory came under must-win circumstances, and the result snapped the first-ever two-fight skid of the former bantamweight champion's lengthy career.
But for Torres, the win was just a small step along a lengthy path back to the top of the 135-pound division, and the time for celebration will come much later.
Ex-Bellator Champion Joe Soto May Be Forced To Retire Due To Injury
Former Bellator featherweight champion Joe Soto is the latest fighter to suffer a severe eye injury as the likely result of active competition. The 23-year-old fighter is undergoing surgery today for a severely detached retina and now faces a long recovery process and uncertain future. The injury was discovered Wednesday and he was immediately scheduled for surgery, with a second surgery likely in one year.
UFC 122 lineup set with 11 bouts, Spike TV main card official with five fights
The fight card for November's "UFC 122: Marquardt vs. Okami" event is now complete with 11 bouts.
The event takes place Nov. 13 at Konig Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen, Germany.
The night's main card, including a No. 1 contender's bout between middleweights Nate Marquardt and Yushin Okami that headlines the show, airs via same-day delay on Spike TV.
Co-headlining the event is another middleweight matchup with legit contenders: Jorge Rivera and Alessio Sakara. And rounding out the main card are lightweights Dennis Siver vs. Andre Winner, welterweights Amir Sadollah vs. Peter Sobotta and light heavyweights Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Goran Reljic.
No Longer His Own Boss, Miguel Torres Turns to Firas Zahabi for WEC 51
BROOMFIELD, Colo. – Brad Pitt, as Tyler Durden in "Fight Club," says, "It's only after you've lost everything that you're free to do anything."
To say Miguel Torres "lost everything" might be something of a stretch. But after back-to-back losses for the first time in a career spanning 40 professional fights (and a dozen others that exist off the books), Torres definitely reached that type of moment of critical mass.
After years of training himself at his Torres Martial Arts Academy in Hammond, Ind., near his hard-luck, blue-collar hometown of East Chicago, Torres was living the good life as his own boss. Sure, he made sporadic trips to drill with coaches like Robert Drysdale and Mark DellaGrotte. He rolled with Frank Mir and Kenny Florian, Rashad Evans and Kurt Pellegrino.
But when you've never been knocked out and someone pops you in the chin and puts you to sleep and takes your gold, and when you've never been made to quit and someone cracks your head open and chokes you until you tap ... it must feel like you've lost everything. So you go out and get a coach.
Shinya Aoki Meets Thai Boxer Yokthai Sithoar at DEEP 50
DREAM lightweight champion Shinya Aoki will return to the promotion where he got his start on October 24 when he meets former boxing titlist Yokthai Sithoar at DEEP's "50th Impact" in Tokyo, Japan. The bout was revealed by the promotion today at a press conference inside Tokyo's DEEP Official Gym Impact.
Jamie Varner Believes Donald Cerrone 'Has Set MMA Back About 10 Years'
If it feels like Jamie Varner and Donald Cerrone have been at each other's throats for two years, well, it's because they have.
The two first fought in January 2009. Varner won via technical decision after Cerrone landed an illegal knee to Varner's head in the fifth round of their title fight.
Varner was winning the bout on most people's scorecards up until that point (I had him winning four rounds to none), but Cerrone, who was beginning to put the heat on Varner in the fifth stanza felt like the then-champion was looking for a way out.