Sonnen's attorney chews out Josh Gross
Chael Sonnen's Attorney Raffi Nahabedian takes issue with ESPN's Josh Gross for statements made on on MMA Live and Twitter
We have known each other for some time and I had an ongoing respect for you and your reporting. However, I think there is a growing disconnect with my beliefs.
I just watched your interview on MMA Live regarding Chael Sonnen and I respectfully disagree with the manner the information was presented and that crucial information that was purposely left out.
In regards to the testimony issue, there is a continued blatant oversight and disregard for Chael’s testimony/responses to Commissioner Zinkin that fully clarify, explain and vitiate his statement that “he [Chael] spoke to Kizer.” If you read the transcript of Chael’s responses to Commissioner Zinkin (and, perhaps, print them for the public to read), Chael made it unambiguously clear what he meant – “my management and/or my manager.” As someone who represents people/companies, it is not uncommon to hear clients who are represented by agents, managers and attorneys to speak in such a manner (i.e. that they s poke to so-n-so or handled “y” matter). While the initial tweet about Chael’s initial comment is plausibly understandable (solely from the perspective that people like to create controversy to increase readers/viewers), there would not have been such an over zealous and unfounded determination to crucify Chael if there was some responsible journalistic follow-up reporting clarifying Chael’s subsequent testimony. Specifically, what he testified to in response to Commissioner Zinkin (no different than the CSAC issuing a retraction of its incorrect press release and subsequent clarification of its decision). The person who made the initial tweet should have done this which would have eliminated a lot of problems for everyone – Sonnen, Kizer, CSAC, etc.
Benavidez vs. Wineland Set for UFC on Versus 5
Eddie Wineland will take one more crack at Team Alpha Male when he faces Joseph Benavidez at the UFC's show in Milwaukee, UFC on Versus 5, in August.
Wineland, the first bantamweight champion in WEC history, is coming off his first loss in nearly two years, a unanimous decision setback against Alpha Male kingpin Urijah Faber at UFC 128 in March. Now he'll take on Faber's training partner. The UFC announced the verbal agreement at its website late Tuesday night.
Benavidez (14-2, 1-0 UFC) has won two straight since a split decision loss to bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz at WEC 50 last August. He submitted Wagnney Fabiano at WEC 52 in November, and in March, also at UFC 128, he beat Ian Loveland by unanimous decision on the preliminary card.
Alex "Bruce Leroy" Caceres vs. Leonard Garcia slotted for UFC on Versus 5
An intriguing bout between Alex "Bruce Leroy" Caceres (4-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) and fellow featherweight Leonard Garcia (15-7-1 MMA, 2-2 UFC) had been added to August's UFC on Versus 5 lineup.
UFC officials today announced that verbal agreements are in place for the fight.
UFC on Versus 5 takes place Aug. 14 at Bradley Center in Milwaukee as part of the UFC's Wisconsin debut. The night's main card airs live on Versus.
Caceres vs. Garcia likely will be part of the preliminary card.
Jon Jones Expects to Fight Lyoto Machida or Rampage Jackson, Not Rashad Evans
If you're like me, you expected Rashad Evans to receive the first crack against Jon Jones should he defeat Jones' injury-replacement Phil Davis. It's a grudge fight. It's a money fight. It makes sense. Now, strange news from Jones during an interview with 1260 The Score in Syracuse (transcript by Sports Radio Interviews):
I had to postpone my first title defense against Rashad Evans due to some torn tissues in my thumb. My last doctor's appointment they told me I should be able to get back to full out training within the next month. I'm excited about that. I'm expected to compete against Lyoto Machida or Rampage Jackson in maybe October, mid-October.
Joseph Benavidez vs. Eddie Wineland on Tap For UFC On Versus 5
Eddie Wineland gets another shot at Team Alpha Male. Joseph Benavidez, the # 2-ranked bantamweight on the USA Today/SB Nation Consensus Rankings, will look to continue his streak of beating everyone not named Dominick Cruz when he faces off with the # 12-ranked former WEC bantamweight champion Wineland at UFC on Versus 5 in Milwaukee on August 14th. UFC.com has it:
Two bantamweight powerhouses will go at it as Joseph Benavidez and Eddie Wineland have verbally agreed to face each other at the UFC on Versus show, confirmed Dana White today. Both WEC vets are coming off three-round battles at UFC 128 and recently sat next to one another at the UFC Fighter Summit.
Strikeforce's Silva apologizes for Lesnar comments, eyes Barnett for grudge match
Strikeforce contender Antonio Silva (16-2 MMA, 3-1 SF) recently made waves with a string of harsh comments toward some of his fellow heavyweights.
Now he wants to apologize for those remarks – well, some of them, anyway.
Silva admits he recently crossed a line when questioning the severity of former UFC champion Brock Lesnar's health. And his criticism of Josh Barnett (29-5 MMA, 0-0 SF)? Well, Silva insists some of his words were poorly translated, but he's not ready to make nice with "The Babyfaced Assassin" just yet.
Bellator Ends Season 4 Strong with Record TV Ratings for MTV2
Bellator’s fourth season has come to a close, but just as it did, the promotion started to garner some momentum with its new broadcast partner MTV2. The promotion on Saturday pulled in an average audience of 264,000 viewers for Bellator 45, it was the promotion’s second highest TV rating of the season.
Soares clarifies: Aldo's injuries aren't new, and he never bailed on Mendes fight
UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo's hands were tied.
That's what his manager, Ed Soares, today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) in an effort to set the record straight.
An injured Aldo (19-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC), of course, recently had to push back a targeted August title fight with top contender Chad Mendes (10-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC). But, Soares said, the injuries aren't new, and the champ never bailed on the Mendes fight.
Akihiro Gono Back to Kickboxing This Weekend
Akihiro Gono has signed for his next fight, and once again, it's not in MMA. The UFC and Pride veteran will take part in a Muay Thai event in Japan this weekend on May 29. The event is sponsored by Japan's NJKF organization. Gono's fight is part of a larger international Muay Thai tournament that concludes this fall. That tournament, called the Isuzu Thai Fight tournament, will feature top Muay Thai talent from all over the world competing in two different weight classes. This weekend's event is a 4 man tournament to determine Japan's Thai Fight representative at the 70kg level. If Gono wins, he'll move on to the main tournament, which begins in September.
Report: Jose Aldo Injured, Out of UFC 133 Bout With Chad Mendes
UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo has pulled out of his UFC 133 title fight against Chad Mendes according to Heavy.com. Aldo's injury is expected to keep him out of action until mid-September.
Aldo, the final WEC featherweight champion, was named the UFC's first 145lb champ at a special ceremony at UFC 123 last November. He was initially expected to make his first title defense against Josh Grispi at UFC 125. Aldo suffered a neck injury and had to pull out of that fight.
State Senate Votes to Legalize MMA in NY
By a vote of 42-18, the New York State Senate on Monday voted to regulate the sport of mixed martial arts in The Empire State.
The passage of the bill was hailed as a breakthrough by UFC President Dana White, though it still must pass the State Assembly and receive the signature of Gov. Andrew Cuomo before it becomes law. Similar bills have passed twice before, only to stall elsewhere in the state legislature. New York remains one of six states that do not regulate MMA.
The UFC has had a full-court press on the state for quite some time. The promotion held a press conference at Madison Square Garden in January, promising the state two UFC events within the first year of legalization. If the bill is passed by lawmakers and signed by the governor, there will still be a 90-day waiting period before events can be sanctioned.
The vote in the state senate brings fighters like UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and former UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra one step closer to competing inside the Octagon in their home state.
Promoter says Nick Diaz no longer set to box, Dana White insists UFC bout not guaranteed
The man prepared to promote a Nick Diaz (25-7 MMA, 6-4 UFC) boxing contest now says the Strikeforce welterweight champion will not be entering the squared circle anytime soon.
Don Chargin today announced via press release that Diaz has determined it's in his "best interest to focus on his primary combat sport and profession."
Chargin also referenced a potential "opportunity of a lifetime" for Diaz, fueling further speculation of a pending matchup with UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre (22-2 MMA, 16-2 UFC). However, UFC president Dana White continues to insist Diaz is far from UFC-bound.
Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 14 to feature the return of the elimination round
Not happy with this season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF)? Neither is UFC President Dana White.
One of the early criticisms directed at TUF 13 was the decision to select 16 contestants for the Spike TV reality show without requiring them to fight for a final spot in the competition.
In seasons past, the premiere would feature 32 aspiring fighters slugging it out for the right to bunk at the TUF house. That, according to White, was a luxury they couldn't afford after the cable television network reduced the number of episodes for this season.
SportsPro Magazine includes Anderson Silva on list of 'World’s 50 Most Marketable Athletes'
And since Silva is the only mixed martial artist to make the list, that puts him ahead of combat sports' other marketing magnets like UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre and former UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar.
Athletes are ranked "according to their marketing potential over a three-year period" and the list "comprises the 50 athletes deemed by SportsPro to offer value for marketing money if signed today to a long-term global endorsement deal."