Gilbert Melendez: “I Really Truly Believe I’m the No. 1 Fighter in the World”
Now that he has a new contract in place, Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez is ready to get back to the business of fighting, and he’s ready to prove he’s the top 155-pounder in the world.
Melendez hasn’t set foot in the cage in nearly a year following his win over Shinya Aoki last April. Since that time, Melendez welcomed a new baby into the world and recovered from a thumb injury, but now he’s healthy and ready to dominate again.
Scott Jorgensen vs. Ken Stone Added to TUF 13 Finale Show in June
Scott Jorgensen will look to get back on the path to the top of the bantamweight division when he faces Ken Stone at the upcoming “Ultimate Fighter” 13 finale show in June.
The bantamweight bout is the latest edition to the growing card taking place on June 4 in Las Vegas. Sources close to the negotiations confirmed the fight to MMAWeekly.com on Monday. Heavy.com initially reported the booking.
Martin Kampmann Expecting "Old School" Diego Sanchez at UFC Live on Versus 3
Danish striker Martin "The Hitman" Kampmann is looking to erase a previous setback against Jake Shields and make his way back to the top. Standing in his way is original TUF winner Diego "The Nightmare" Sanchez who is also fighting for a return to contention.
They are slated for a showdown at UFC Live on Versus 3 in Louisville Kentucky on March 5th and with the fight quickly approaching I caught up with "The Hitman". In his Bloody Elbow Exclusive interview we talked about squaring off with Sanchez and earning his shot at welterweight gold.
Ex-UFC Welterweight Jeremy Jackson gets 25 years-life
A Ventura County, Calif. judge today sentenced ex-UFC welterweight and "The Ultimate Fighter 4" cast member Jeremy Jackson to 25 years to life for sexual assault.
Jackson, 28, pleaded guilty in 2010 to charges that he raped his ex-girlfriend during an attempted burglary.
He was arrested in June 2008 and charged with seven felony offenses, including two counts of forcible rape. He has sat in a Ventura County jail since his arrest.
Brothers Fighting In SF GP? Too Soon To Tell, Say Overeems
Brother vs. brother is one fight several major promotions have tried – and failed – to put together. It's an easy sell on the business side, but not so much for the family involved. Plus, there's often a weight class or two between siblings. Still, there have been a few willing participants. The most popular example to American MMA fans is Ken Shamrock vs. Frank Shamrock, who were raised by the same adoptive father but aren't related by blood. The matchup fizzled when the two sides couldn't come to terms on the particulars of a fight contract. Strikeforce could be the first promotion to get brother vs. brother done, and it looks like they've got two willing participants if the stars correctly align: Strikeforce heavyweight champion and heavyweight grand-prix competitor Alistair Overeem and his older brother, possible tourney alternate Valentijn Overeem. The brothers say they'll get in the cage if the tournament format dictates they do so and if the fans want to see it. But there are many variables that stand in the way of the potential bout.
Fedor Eye Uninjured, No Broken Orbital Bone
"Fedor was checked last night and seemed fine this morning, in good spirits and walking around in sunglasses like a Hollywood star."
"They're going back to Russia tomorrow, and I think things should become clear over the next month or so about the future."
Doctor asked Fedor: "Can you continue?" Fedor shook his head and said – "No, I can’t" – accrdng to the doctor that spoke to Russian reporter
UFC 126 Drug Tests Come Back Clean
After an apparent failed test at UFC 125, UFC 126 was officially a drug-free zone. All 13 fighters who underwent drug testing at this month's UFC 126 event tested clean for performance-enhancing drugs and recreational/drugs of abuse. UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva topped Vitor Belfort in the headliner. The NSAC tested both of them, as well as Rich Franklin, Forrest Griffin, Jake Ellenberger, Jon Jones, Miguel Torres, Donald Cerrone, Chad Mendes, Paul Taylor, DaMarques Johnson, Mike Pierce and Kyle Kingsbury. All tests were negative. All tested negative for drugs of abuse (such as marijuana and cocaine), as well as anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancers.
Rafael Natal Off UFC On Versus 3 (Updated)
If Alessio Sakara is going to fight at UFC on Versus 3, it will be against a third opponent, since he was first slotted on the March 3 card. Renzo Gracie fighter Rafael Natal has been forced off the UFC on Versus 3 card against Sakara due to a knee injury suffered in training. No timetable set for his return. Natal himself was an injury replacement for Sakara's original foe, Maiquel Falcao. No word yet on yet another possible replacement.
Update: Chris Weidman is the expected replacement. Not yet final though.
What Might Have Been if Fedor went to the UFC
On July 28, 2009, the Los Angeles Times reported that Fedor Emelianenko and the UFC were finalizing a deal that would result in an announcement by the end of that week of the top heavyweight in mixed martial arts finally agreeing to step into the Octagon.
That report was wrong, Fedor went to Strikeforce instead of the UFC, and now Fedor has lost two fights and lost the mantle of Best Heavyweight in MMA. The heavyweight division in the UFC, meanwhile, has moved on and looks a lot different now than it did a year and a half ago.
But what if the report had been correct?
Josh Grispi vs. George Roop scheduled for June 4th
Josh Grispi will face George Roop on June 4, according to a UFC source. The fight will be on The Ultimate Fighter 13 finale card in Las Vegas.
Grispi, a 22-year-old featherweight from Plympton, lost his last fight to Dustin Poirier at UFC 125 on Jan. 1. The loss snapped a 10-fight winning streak for Grispi (14-2).
Jorge Santiago Confirms UFC Talks, But Says No Deal Is Official Yet
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ -- Free agent Jorge Santiago on Saturday night refuted reports that he has signed a contract with the UFC.
Santiago told MMA Fighting that he had not yet signed a contract with any promotion, but that he hoped to finalize a deal very soon. Santiago did confirm ongoing talks with the UFC.
Several MMA sites have reported that Santiago has agreed to a deal and will fight Brian Stann at UFC 130 in May, but he insisted that he has yet to ink his name to any contract.
"Maybe tomorrow," he said with a smile.
Santiago was the reigning Sengoku middleweight champion when he asked for and was granted his release. He holds a record of 23-8 after winning 11 of his last 12 fights.
Doctors Clear Fedor Emelianenko, Who Could Decide Future in Next Month
Fedor Emelianenko suffered no major facial damage from his loss at the hands of Antonio Silva.
Doctors checked Emelianenko's right eye, which was swollen shut in a dominant second-round offensive by Silva, and found no problems, M-1 Global director of operations Evgeni Kogan told MMA Fighting.
"Fedor was checked last night and seemed fine this morning, in good spirits and walking around in sunglasses like a Hollywood star," Kogan said.
Doctors had originally feared the possibility of a broken orbital bone.
UFC Cuts Paul Kelly
Not even winning "Fight of the Night" is enough to save UFC lightweights from the massive cuts still coming down after the merger with the WEC. Gareth Davies brings word that British striker Paul Kelly (11-4) has been released from the promotion after his second round submission loss to Donald Cerrone (14-3) at UFC 126: "Silva vs. Belfort" on Feb. 5. The "sucker punch" reportedly had nothing to do with the decision to let "Tellys" go.
Despite retirement talk, Strikeforce's Fedor Emelianenko could be top grand-prix alternate
Although the MMA legend hinted at retirement following a second-round TKO loss to Antonio Silva, Fedor Emelianenko's fighting career may not be over.
Both Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker and Emelianenko's agent, M-1 Global president Vadim Finkelchtein, want the 34-year-old to continue.
And Coker could dangle an intriguing opportunity should Emelianenko wish to continue fighting: first dibs on any alternate spots that open in the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix.
Emelianenko (31-3 MMA, 1-2 SF) and Silva (16-2 MMA, 3-1 SF) headlined Saturday's Showtime-televised "Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva" event at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J. After a close first round, Silva unloaded a brutal ground-and-pound assault in the second. With the Russian's right eye swollen shut, the cageside physician halted the bout after before the start of the third round, which resulted in Emelianenko's second consecutive defeat since a legendary decade-long win streak.
The bout was part of the opening round of Strikeforce's eight-man, season-long heavyweight tournament. And though three tourney-reserve bouts populated Saturday's main card, any available alternate spots instead could go to Emelianenko.
"There's absolutely a possibility he could be a replacement," Coker told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) after the show. "That's the beauty of the tournament. You don't know what could happen in the next leg of the tournament. As this tournament unwinds over the year, there could be an injury, and you could see Fedor back in the tournament."
Decisions about injury replacements ultimately will be made by a Strikeforce committee, as Coker previously announced. And though Shane Del Rosario, Chad Griggs and Valentijn Overeem all won reserve bouts at Saturday's show, Emelianenko could cut to the front of the line.
"Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva" attendance reaches 11,287 in New Jersey
Strikeforce's debut in the state of New Jersey resulted in a solid attendance figure of 11,287.
A Strikeforce official confirmed the tentative tally with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
If the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board verifies the number, Saturday's "Strikeforce and M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Silva" event will go down as the organization's second-highest attended show in its past 18 events.
It'll also mark just the seventh time in 44 events the organization has drawn at least 11,000 fans.
Rashad Evans Might Cut Down To Middleweight-If The Fans Want To See It
That's what he said on the latest episode of ESPN's MMA Live. "You know, I would never put going to any weight class out of the question because if a fight was there and it was going to be a fun and competitive fight and something that the fans wanted to see then I would try to do it. But I started my camp at 237, my last camp, and it's going to be really hard for me to make weight. I think the older I'm getting, my body is starting to settle in a little bit, besides the fact my biceps are growing every second of the day. I'm just kidding but I'm getting to be a little bit bigger now so it's harder for me to make 185. It would be a very hard cut but if the fans wanted to see it then I might do it, you know."
Francisco Rivera Off UFC On Versus 3
Former WEC bantamweight Francisco Rivera will have to wait a little longer to make his octagon debut. Rivera is now off of a planned UFC On Versus 3 fight due to an undisclosed injury suffered in training. He was to have faced Takeya Mizugaki. No replacement named yet, a search is underway for one before the 3/3 event.
UFC Applies For 6/4 Vegas Event Date, Likely TUF 13 Finale
As expected, the Ultimate Fighting Championship is planning to conduct a June 4 event in Las Vegas. The world's biggest mixed martial arts promotion has officially applied with the Nevada State Athletic Commission for permission to hold a card at the The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. While the promotion has yet to officially announce the event, the date is expected to host The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale and feature a lightweight main event between fan favorite Clay Guida and the WEC's final champion, Anthony Pettis, as well as the tournament final for "The Ultimate Fighter 13." The NSAC will vote on the application at its November meeting, which takes place Feb. 16 at the Grant Sawyer State Office Building in Las Vegas. The process is generally considered a mere formality for the UFC.
Brian Stann Likely To Meet Santiago, Not SIlva, At UFC 130
After recent reports of a potential return to the UFC, Sengoku middleweight champion Jorge Santiago appears to have an opponent: Brian Stann. Stann initially was slated to face Wanderlei Silva at the May 28 event, though Silva repeatedly has voiced a preference not to fight the fan favorite and military hero. Currently, bout agreements have not been signed. Additionally, Santiago's agent, Malki Kawa of Authentic Sports Management, said he couldn't confirm the fight or even if the veteran officially has signed with the UFC. Stann's rep also declined to comment. If the Santiago vs. Stann fight is signed, Silva likely will be shifted to another matchup, possibly against Vitor Belfort, whom he recently has been feuding via a series of interviews in the Brazilian media. Belfort recently lost a title fight with middleweight champion Anderson Silva at UFC 126.