Keith Jardine: I Can't Help But To Feel A Bit Like I'm Losing A Family
That was the reaction of "The Dean Of Mean" to the news of his UFC release last week in comments made on his website, KeithJardine.net. "Last week I was let go by the UFC. I was sad to get the news but it was expected. I've always been proud to be a UFC fighter and they have been real good to me. I can't help but to feel a bit like I'm losing a family. As for now, I'm more motivated than ever. I'm going to take a vacation for a week then get back to work. Already, there are a lot of offers for fights coming I'm. Some are exciting. Starting over doesn't sound so bad to me. Although my career is at a crossroads my story is only half written. I have a lot of fight left in me and I continue to improve with every fight. Anyway, I'm best when the chips are stacked against me and I will make it to the top. Thanks to all of my fans."
Alistair Overeem vs. Ricco Rodriguez On Tap For DREAM 15
Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem's next title defense is currently uncertain, but his next opponent isn't. Overeem has verbally agreed to face Ricco Rodriguez at DREAM 15 on July 10. Paperwork pending, a formal announcement should soon follow. In related news, as a result of this Rodriguez is now likely off Impact FC 2 on July 18, where he was to have faced Jeff Monson.
Wiman vs. Danzig Rematch Possible For UFN 22
Matt Wiman and Mac Danzig are headed back to the future on Sept. 15. The lightweights have reportedly been booked to rematch immediately at UFC Fight Night 22, which is scheduled to take place at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas, according to Heavy.com. Wiman and Danzig first met on the undercard portion of UFC 115: "Liddell vs. Franklin" that aired on Spike TV on June 12 from the GM Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It had all the ingredients to be an exciting contest; however, it ended in controversy as "Handsome" was awarded the submission (guillotine) victory in the first round even though Mac didn't, well, submit. There was a miscommunication between the referee, Yves Lavigne, as well the fighters, which caused the early stoppage. Wiman thought Danzig was choked unconscious, Danzig apparently didn't respond effectively enough when questioned about his condition, and the rest is history.
Following Death Of Michael Kirkham, Opponent's Trainer Says Nothing Seemed Afoul
Mark Greubel said Carlos Iraburo's knockout of Michael Kirkham at this past Saturday's "Confrontation at the Convocation Center" wasn't unlike thousands of fights he'd seen before. Greubel, who trained Iraburo and was in his corner during the fight, also said that the event, which took place at the USC Aiken Convocation Center in Aiken, S.C., was well-managed by its promoters and athletic commission officials. Greubel said Iraburo usually fights at 145 pounds and came up in weight to fight Kirkham. However, the 6-foot-9 Kirkham did not look he had cut weight for the 150-pound catchweight contest. "I saw him at the weigh-ins, and he looked skinny then," Greubel said. "But he looked exactly the same the next day. He didn't look like gained very much weight at all. I think that was just the way the guy was built." The knockout came after a "very short fight." "This wasn't a brutal beating," Greubel said. "Carlos shot in (and) took [Kirkham] down. They were scrambling on the ground. Kirkham was trying to get back up by wall-walking up the cage; he had his right hand on the ground. Carlos hit him with a few left hands in a row, and that was it. Michael was knocked out.
"The referee jumped in when he should have. Carlos immediately stopped. There were no punches after the referee stoppage. We figured for sure the guy would come to in a few seconds, and he just never did." Greubel said Kirkham was taken out of the cage in a gurney and did not see him afterward.
The South Carolina State Athletic Commission issued a press release today that stated it plans to launch an internal review of the incident, though it confirmed that Kirkham carried a professional fight license going into the event. "Because it is under investigation, the commission cannot release any further information at this time," the statement read. Greubel plans hold a fundraiser and set up a Paypal account to accept donations, which will go to Kirkham's family. He said Kirkham did not have life insurance and has five children. Greubel said Iraburo, who also works for a supplement company that caters to MMA fighters, is taking time off.
Zoila Frausto vs. Jessica Pene targeted for Bellator 25 on Aug. 19 in Chicago
Two weeks ago, budding female prospect Zoila Frausto wasn't even a part of Bellator Fighting Championships' upcoming 115-pound female tournament.
Now – courtesy of a devastating knockout of Rosi Sexton – Frausto is in the tournament and already training for a planned matchup on Aug. 19.
The "Warrior Princess" today told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) that the promotion intends to match her up against Jessica Pene (7-0 MMA, 1-0 BFC) at Bellator 25.
TUF 11 Finale Drug Tests All Clean
Like many UFC events before it, The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale was a drug-free zone. The NSAC revealed today that 13 fighters at the event, including main event winner Court McGee, were given drug tests at the event and all passed.
Shane Carwin, UFC Heavy-Fake Champion?
Don't laugh, it's a title the Interim UFC Heavyweight Champion takes seriously...but it seems he's taken some lessons from the "real" champ. "Beating Brock does not make you Brock. I will still need to insult most of the fighters in my division, flip off the fans, insult the biggest sponsors the UFC has and then and only then will I renegotiate with Zuffa. Dana and Lorenzo have taken good care of my family and I. They have given us more than they are obligated to and we are happy. My manager always says it is not about making money when you fight but to make money when you are not fighting. We really do not have our hands out for anything more – if it comes we will take it and smile. I love fighting for the UFC and for me I choose to do this, I do not have to fight to survive. I am honored to be working for the UFC and representing them in the 'fake' champions category."
Undefeated Korean middleweight Dong Yi Yang inks deal with UFC
Korean Top Team middleweight Dong Yi Yang (9-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will soon make his debut for the UFC.
The world's biggest mixed martial arts promotion today announced that Yang is the newest member of its roster, and an announcement regarding the 27-year-old's debut first fight in the octagon will be announced at a later date.
Yang joins WEC featherweight Chan Sung Jung as Korean Top Team fighters currently under contract with Zuffa, LLC, the parent company for both the UFC and WEC.
UFC 113 Replay On Spike: 1.5 Million Viewers
Spike TV's Saturday night re-broadcastof May's "UFC 113: Machida vs. Shogun II" event drew an average audience of 1.5 million viewers, Spike TV officials today announced. The event was aired to counter this past weekend's "Strikeforce and M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Werdum" event, which reportedly earned approximately 500,000 viewers. Spike claims SF did 412,000 viewers based on Nielsen reports, but the SF number is an early estimate and could wind up around 550K when DVR viewing is later factored in.
Lift The Ban Watch: Not Likely In New York (Again)
It's all but over again for efforts to legalize MMA in New York. Assembly Democrats stripped approval for the wildly popular violent sport from a budget bill that lawmakers will take up as soon as today. "The majority of voices who spoke about this issue in our conference were not supportive of approving it as part of the budget," said Assemblyman Steven Englebright (D-L.I.), a fight fan. Englebright said it's a long shot the Assembly will revisit the issue. The state Senate has already approved the sport.
Yager among four fighters released
The UFC confirmed that 4 fighters have been released after losing their debut efforts on the The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale. Josh Bryant, James Hammortree, Seth Baczynski, and Jamie Yager were all given their walking papers. There are no real surprises with these releases, considering the UFC has recently been making TUF participants fight for their respective roster spots on the Finale cards.
Thiago Alves vs. Jon Fitch official for co-main event of August's UFC 117 event
A highly anticipated welterweight rematch between top contenders Thiago Alves (16-6 MMA, 9-3 UFC) and Jon Fitch (22-3 MMA, 12-1 UFC) is finally official.
UFC officials announced that the long-rumored and previously scheduled bout will enjoy co-main event status at August's UFC 117.
Featuring a middleweight title fight between current champion Anderson Silva and top contender Chael Sonnen, UFC 117 takes place Aug. 7 in Oakland, Calif. The main card airs live on pay-per-view.
SF Fedor vs. Werdum: Estimated 500,000 Viewers
While Showtime executives do not traditionally release ratings figures, early estimates for this past weekend's historic "Strikeforce and M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Werdum" co-promoted event put the average Showtime viewership at nearly 500,000 viewers. Showtime experienced a ratings jump of 56 percent for the show against May's "Strikeforce: St. Louis" event, which drew 308,000 average viewers. The sources also indicated that Showtime executives are pleased with the results and that "Fedor vs. Werdum" now ranks as the third-most viewed Strikeforce card in Showtime's history behind the August 2009 "Carano vs. Cyborg" event and January's "Strikeforce: Miami." Quarter-hour and peak figures were not revealed. For those curious, ratings for Spike's SF counter-programming, a replay of UFC 113, should be out later today.
"Fedor vs. Werdum" ratings up 56 percent, rates third-highest ever for Showtime
While Showtime executives do not traditionally release ratings figures, early estimates for this past weekend's historic "Strikeforce and M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Werdum" co-promoted event put the average Showtime viewership at nearly 500,000 viewers.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned from industry sources that Showtime experienced a ratings jump of 56 percent for the show against May's "Strikeforce: St. Louis" event, which drew 308,000 average viewers.
The sources also indicated that Showtime executives are pleased with the results and that "Fedor vs. Werdum" now ranks as the third-most viewed Strikeforce card in Showtime's history behind the August 2009 "Carano vs. Cyborg" event and January's "Strikeforce: Miami."
Quarter-hour and peak figures were not revealed.
Tuesday Autopsy Scheduled For MMA Fighter Who Died After Pro Debut
MMA fighter Michael Kirkham, who made his pro debut this past weekend after 4 amateur fights, today became the second MMA fighter to die as a result of injuries sustained in a pro MMA bout. Kirkham died this morning as a result of injuries sustained from a professional bout this past Saturday at the USC Aiken Convocation Center in South Carolina. Kirkham, 30, suffered repeated blows to the head during an MMA event dubbed "Confrontation at Convocation Center" and collapsed afterward. He was taken unconscious to the Aiken Regional Medical Center, where he died from brain hemorrhaging. An autopsy is expected Tuesday morning.
UFC 120: Dan Hardy vs Carlos Condit planned
Former UFC welterweight number one contender Dan Hardy (23-7) will return to the Octagon in front of a hometown crowd when he clashes with former WEC welterweight champion Carlos Condit (25-5) at the upcoming UFC 120 event tentatively scheduled for October 16 at the O2 Arena in London, England.
MMAWeekly brought word of the potential match up earlier today.
"The Outlaw" was last seen on the wrong end of a unanimous decision loss against 170-pound division champion Georges St. Pierre at UFC 111 back in March. The lopsided defeat to "Rush" was Hardy's first as a UFC employee.
Prior to his title shot the Brit racked up decision wins over Mike Swick, Marcus Davis and Akihiro Gono. His only stoppage inside the Octagon was a first round knockout over Rory Markham at UFC 95 in January 2009.
A convincing win over Condit might get him back into the title hunt just as a loss may send him tumbling back down the welterweight ladder.
Gegard Mousasi vs. Jake O'Brien completes DREAM.15 light-heavyweight grand prix
Gegard Mousasi (28-3-1 MMA, 6-0 DREAM) and Jake O'Brien (13-3 MMA, 0-0 DREAM) have verbally agreed to meet at DREAM.15 in the promotion's scaled-down light-heavyweight grand prix.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) confirmed the fight Monday morning from sources close to the event, who said that while contracts have not been signed, the bout is expected to be finalized shortly.
DREAM.15 takes place July 10 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, and features the opening round of the four-man tournament.
The bout is Mousasi's first since a disappointing showing at April's "Strikeforce: Nashville" event, in which he relinquished his belt to Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal, who outwrestled him for five rounds en route to a unanimous-decision victory.
In 2008, the Dutch-Armenian fighter bested four fighters to win DREAM's middleweight grand prix, though he later vacated the belt when he decided to jump to light heavyweight. He defeated Mark Hunt in the opening round of the Japanese promotion's open-weight "Super Hulk" tournament before making the move to Strikeforce.
The 24-year-old Mousasi is currently training in Holland with Team Golden Glory and is expected to meet this week with M-1 Global executive Vadim Finkelstein to discuss the possibility of a European marketing deal.
O'Brien, meanwhile, is three months removed from a unanimous-decision victory over Toni Valtonen at Fight Festival 27 in Finland, which was his second consecutive victory since a submission loss to Jon Jones at UFC 100 brought his release from the promotion.
Spike to Broadcast UFC 116 Weigh-Ins
The UFC and Spike TV have officially announced that the UFC 116 weigh-ins will be broadcast live on Friday, July 2nd at 7PM ET/4 PM PT from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
New York, NY, June 28, 2010 – Spike TV will telecast live coverage of the weigh-ins for the highly-anticipated “UFC 116 Lesnar-Carwin” fight card on Friday, July 2 at 7:00pm ET/4:00pm PT. The main event features a showdown between the top two heavyweight mixed martial artists in the world, UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar and interim heavyweight titlist Shane Carwin.
SF Fedor vs. Werdum Medical Suspensions
The CSAC has announced the medical suspensions from Saturday's SF Fedor vs. Werdum event. Only 5 of the 16 fighters were suspended, all getting at least 45 days with both Jan Finney & Josh Thomson both suspended 180 days unless cleared early.