UFC Middleweight Alan Belcher Eyeing September Return Following Career Threatening Injury
May 8, 2010.
That was the last time UFC middleweight Alan Belcher stepped foot in the Octagon. Since his last appearance, Belcher has undergone two major surgeries and endured a lot of recovery time, but now that he’s back in the gym and training again, a return to action isn’t far off.
It was during training for a fight against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu whiz Demian Maia that Belcher suffered the eye injury. At one point, it looked like it might end his career altogether.
Lucky for him, Belcher’s recovery went better than expected. He’s training again and starting to get back into the form that saw him threaten as one of the more dangerous 185-pounders rising up in the UFC’s middleweight division.
“It looks like Alan will probably make his return sometime in September, is what I’m hoping for. It’s the date that we kind of targeted as the date that he wants to come back,” Belcher’s manager, Malki Kawa of Authentic Sports Management, told MMAWeekly Radio recently.
LESNAR: "I want to be a farmer."
Mike Straka: "Mick Foley became a very succesful author. The Rock became a very sucessful actor. John Cena is also doing acting as well ... What do you see as your future?"
Brock Lesnar: "I'm planning my retirement every day. My heart and soul is on the farm. I've got two young boys and a young daughter and a beautiful wife at home that I just love to be around. I just want to raise my kids and be Joe Farmer Jones."
Several Strikeforce employees axed with Zuffa acquisition
But if it didn’t feel like a UFC event on television, behind the scenes, things were much different. The changes actually started at a smaller Strikeforce event, held eight days earlier, in Stockton, Calif., when several of the Strikeforce employees were brought into a room and told they were being let go. They were told they would have the opportunity, if they wanted, to apply for positions in UFC parent company Zuffa LLC. Many noted that while there was clearly uncertainty as soon as the purchase was announced, they were surprised the ax came down so quickly.
NY Times: MMA makes inroads in MLB
Adam Dunn of the Chicago White Sox, Brad Penny of the Detroit Tigers and Russell Martin of the Yankees have used the sport’s punches and kicks to improve their throwing and swinging. In addition to improving overall fitness, Martin said, mixed martial arts can make an athlete mentally tougher.
“You tolerate the pain and get through it,” he said. “Mentally, I know I’m in a good place because I worked hard.”
Unlike Martin, Dunn and Penny guard the secrets of their workouts as if they were team signs.
Penny acknowledged training with Dan Henderson, but he declined through a Tigers spokesman to discuss his training. Dunn declined through the White Sox media-relations office.
Fedor's Camp Offers Fight at 220; Dan Henderson Unconcerned With Weight
It's a fight that Dan Henderson discussed prior to ever signing with Strikeforce, so the promotion's reigning light-heavyweight champion would gladly temporarily move up a division to accept a match with Russian legend Fedor Emelianenko.
Henderson's manager Aaron Crecy told MMA Fighting that while the fighter has yet to receive an offer for the bout, Strikeforce did ask for confirmation he would take the fight before beginning talks with Emelianenko's M-1 team. Those discussions remain ongoing, but as far as Henderson's concerned, he'll take the fight at any weight class.
"Dan has indicated he'd love to have the fight and he hasn't shied away from that," Crecy said. "He'd love to have the fight, and have it at heavyweight. He's happy to challenge Fedor there."
With mixed regulatory reaction, Canadian promotion planning PRIDE-rules show
If you think MMA has been sterilized by a ruleset that favors the American wrestler, there is a promoter who would like your dollars.
The Canada-based Colosseo Championship Fighting raised a stir at the start of 2010 when it received approval from the Edmonton Combative Sports Commission to use the ruleset of the Japan-based promotion DREAM, which allows knees to the head of a grounded opponent, among other differences with the Unified Rules used in most top MMA promotions.
Now, more than a year later, Colosseo is planning another event for July 23 that will employ mostly American talent.
Its promoter, Pasqualino Santoro, intends to up the action by using the ruleset of another Japanese promotion, the now-defunct PRIDE Fighting Championships. The soccer kicks and stomps used in PRIDE will stay at Santoro's event, dubbed "Colosseo Championship Fighting 6: Bushido."
One-time Strikeforce welterweight contender Marius Zaromskis is in negotiations to fight on the summer card, as are UFC vets Shane Nelson, James Irvin and Rob Emerson, Santoro told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
UFC 132 Fight Card: Cruz vs. Faber Official as Main Event
UFC.com has confirmed that bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz will face former WEC featherweight champ Urijah Faber at UFC 132 on Pay Per View on July 2. The fight will be a rematch of their 2007 bout at WEC 26 in 2007. That fight, contested at 145lbs, was won by Faber with a first round guillotine choke at 1:38. The Faber loss remains the only blemish on Cruz' record. The champ is on an eight fight win streak and Faber is 2-0 as a bantamweight.
July 2nd, live on Pay-per-view from Las Vegas, Nevada:
Royce Gracie Expecting to Fight at UFC Rio
UFC legend Royce Gracie hasn't fought in the Octagon since losing to Matt Hughes at UFC 60 in what was then the biggest pay per view (PPV) in company history. Gracie was the first star of the UFC, winning the 8 man tournaments at UFC 1 and 4 and the 16 man tourny at UFC 2.
He went on to a second legendary run fighting Japanese superstars Kazushi Sakuraba and Hidehiko Yoshida in Japan's Pride organization. Rumors have been swirling that Gracie would fight at the UFC's first return to Brazil since the 1990s in August.
It sounds like Royce will be fighting at UFC Rio after all, from UOL Esportes comes the following quote from Royce:
"It would be the perfect place to do my last fight. I never fought in Rio de Janeiro and I couldn't be more psyched. We are negotiating [the fight deal], but we should have it finalized in two weeks. We only had an initial contact and I don't even have an opponent yet, but we should have that finalized soon" said the 44 year old Gracie.
He also touched on his weight:
"My weight is the same as it was twenty years ago [80kg], I am still training, keeping the blade sharp. I follow a very strict diet. I never drank, never party, Carnaval, none of that... I'm ready to fight"
Cyborg Santos and Tarec Saffiedine slated to fight, possibly at July Strikeforce
A welterweight matchup pitting Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos (18-14 MMA, 1-2 SF) against Tarec Saffiedine (10-3 MMA, 2-1 SF) has been targeted by Strikeforce officials.
A late-July event planned by the California-based promotion is likely to host the matchup, sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
However, official confirmation has yet to arrive. Verbal agreements are currently in place for the fight, though.
Jay Hieron defends victory over Brent Weedman in Bellator tourney semifinals
You might have noticed a visible sigh from Jay Hieron (21-4 MMA, 2-0 BFC) when he was announced the winner in a fight with Brent Weedman (18-6-1 MMA, 4-1 BFC) this past Saturday at Bellator 40.
Some might say that sigh was an acknowledgment that he'd just dodged a bullet.
But that's not the case, Hieron on Monday told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). It was a sigh of happy exhaustion.
Anderson Silva wants to fight Georges St. Pierre, says he is "the best in the World"
Ron Kruck of HDNet catches up with UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson "The Spider" Silva during the grand opening of the Blackhouse gym in San Diego, California. Silva dicusses the facility, as well as the various teams who come together as one big "family." Silva says he is happy with his win over Vitor Belfort, but says he is focused only on preparing for the future. He also talks about the potential "superfight" with Georges St. Pierre, who he considers one of the best fighters in the world.
This past February Silva extended his UFC record for most consecutive title defenses to eight by knocking out Belfort in the opening round of their UFC 126 match-up. Who the consensus pound for pound king will face next is unclear, however should St. Pierre emerge victorious from his April 30th bout with Jake Shields, UFC President Dana White has stated that a "superfight" between the champs would be the likely scenario. Photo by: Francis Specker
Following life-changing win, Edson Barboza focused on UFC's best lightweights
UFC lightweight prospect Edson Barboza will never forget the night he fought Anthony Njokuani.
You see, March 19, 2011, is the day his life changed forever.
"My life changed dramatically because now I can help my family, and my wife's family, too," Barboza told MMAjunkie.com through his interpreter and manager, Alex Davis. "The money is in the bank, and I have to give thanks to God."
Welterweight Brian Foster out of UFC 129 with brain hemorrhage
UFC welterweight Brian Foster has been forced to withdraw from a fight with Sean Pierson at UFC 129 when an MRI – required by the Ontario Athletic Commission to compete at the event – revealed a brain hemorrhage.
Marc Fiore, who trains Foster at the H.I.T. Squad, today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that while his fighter is OK, he is required to undergo another MRI in six weeks to assure no permanent damage is present.
The article also says he just recovered from an injury that resulted in his testicle exploding and having to have it removed... Damn this guy has some bad luck...
Big Nog: Anderson Silva moving to 205 after Okami fight
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira revealed in his column for Brazilian site Jornal Extra that he has information regarding the middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
“The mystery about the UFC Rio card that takes place on Aug 27th starts to be unfolded. I have information in which my friend and current biggest phenomenon Anderson Silva will make the main fight of the event versus Japan’s Yushin Okami,” he wrote.
“They already fought in 2006 but that bout didn’t have a conventional end because Anderson was disqualified by throwing an illegal hit.”
Nogueira also says the current climate sees Anderson moving up to the 205lb division due to the lack of adversaries at his current weight class.
"Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum" tickets on sale this week
Tickets to the June 18 event in Strikeforce, which is officially dubbed "Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum," go on sale this week.
And for the first time since the UFC's acquisition of Strikeforce, UFC Fight Club members get first dibs at tickets.
The event takes place at American Airlines Center, and the main card – including opening-round grand-prix bouts of Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum and Josh Barnett vs. Brett Rogers – airs on Showtime.
Matt Mitrione vs. Christian Morecraft added to UFC on Versus 4
A heavyweight bout between undefeated Matt Mitrione (4-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) and Christian Morecraft (7-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) has been added to UFC on Versus 4.
UFC officials today announced that verbal agreements are in place for the fight.
UFC on Versus 4 takes place June 26 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh. It marks the UFC's debut in Steel City.