UFC on Versus 4: Weight Drop Doesn’t Faze Nate Marquardt Heading into Fight with Rick Story
Nate Marquardt steps into the main event at UFC on Versus 4 not only with the weight of a headlining bout on his shoulders, but also the prospect of fighting for the first time in a new weight class in the Octagon.
A staple of the middleweight division since his UFC debut in 2005, Marquardt has bumped up against realizing his dream, a UFC championship, several times at 185 pounds, only to fall short.
Noticing how much better he felt at a lighter walking around weight, he decided to give the welterweight class a go. He has no easy first fight at his new weight, stepping into the Octagon with Rick Story, who has quickly risen up the ranks of the division.
Jason High vs. Quinn Mulhern promoted to Strikeforce Challengers 16 main card
An intriguing welterweight bout between Jason High (13-3 MMA, 0-0 SF) and Quinn Mulhern (15-1 MMA, 0-0 SF) has been promoted to the televised main card of Friday's Strikeforce Challengers 16 event.
High announced the news via Twitter.
As MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) reported this past week, the spot opened when a middleweight bout between Antwain Britt (11-5 MMA, 1-2 SF) and Danillo Villefort (13-3 MMA, 0-0 SF) was scratched due to injuries to both fighters.
Riki Fukuda out of UFC 133 due to car-accident injury
Japanese striker Riki Fukuda (17-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC) has been forced out of a UFC 133 bout with fellow middleweight Rafael "Sapo" Natal (12-3-1 MMA, 0-1-1 UFC).
In a Twitter update, Fukuda said he suffered a left-knee injury in a recent car accident. He didn't give a timetable for his return.
UFC officials have not officially announced the withdrawal or a possible replacement opponent for Natal.
UFC 133 takes place at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on Aug. 6. The night's main card airs on pay-per-view, though Fukuda vs. Natal was slated for the preliminary card.
Strikeforce Results: FightMetric Report for Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum
My friend turned to me after the final bell and said, "This is going to be close." I felt confident the judges would award last night's Strikeforce main event to Alistair Overeem, though I also expected the numbers to show Werdum with the advantage in volume striking. Werdum was hurt by his flopping and butt-scooting, not only because it's a passive action that looks bad in judges' eyes, but many of his flops coincided with Overeem punches, garnering a similar reaction as NBA and soccer players diving for fouls, only in reverse.
Josh Barnett's Licensing Issues Likely to Keep Grand Prix Out of California
DALLAS -- Just minutes after wrapping up the quarterfinals of the heavyweight Grand Prix, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker was already discussing plans for the semifinal round, which he said would take place some time early this fall.
As far as where the event will go down, that's a trickier question, but Coker added, "We're open to anything."
Anything, that is, except the state of California, where semifinal participant Josh Barnett is still not licensed.
Strikeforce champ Alistair Overeem underwhelmed with victory over Fabricio Werdum
DALLAS – Alistair Overeem said he came into his rematch with Fabricio Werdum expecting fireworks and was disappointed when all he got was a sparkler.
In the end, the Strikeforce heavyweight champion won and advanced to the semifinals of the promotion's heavyweight grand prix. But the way he won it left a bad taste in his mouth, just as it did for most who witnessed the fight.
But those who say he bears some of the blame for the dud, Overeem says, are looking the wrong way.
"I came to fight," Overeem said. "But you need two to tango, so I'm a little bit disappointed. I want to deliver entertaining fights, and tonight was as little bit less entertaining."
"Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum" nets reported 7,639 attendees for $543k gate
DALLAS – Strikeforce's first-ever event in Dallas drew a reported 7,639 attendees for a $543,060 live gate.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) learned of the figures at the post-event press conference for Saturday night's "Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum" event, which took place at American Airlines Center in Dallas.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker revealed the results following the event.
Paul Daley vs. "Cyborg" Santos official for "Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson"
A welterweight scrap between sluggers Paul Daley (27-10-2 MMA, 2-1 SF) and Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos (18-14 MMA, 1-2 SF) is now official for next month's "Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson" event.
Strikeforce brass officially announced the previously reported contest at Saturday night's "Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum" event.
"Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson" takes place July 30 at Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill. The main card, including a Fedor Emelianenko vs. Dan Henderson headliner, airs on Showtime.
Strikeforce's Jorge Masvidal calls virtuoso performance, "Just another fight"
DALLAS – Jorge Masvidal (22-6 MMA, 4-0 SF) emerged from his fight with K.J. Noons (10-4 MMA, 2-2 SF) a supremely confident guy.
Then again, that's not much of a change for the Florida-based fighter.
Not only did Masvidal dismantle a former title contender at "Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum," but he lined up a lightweight title shot against champ Gilbert Melendez. For all the ups and downs he's had in his career, this past Saturday's performance might have been the biggest win to date.
But Masvidal seemed to take it all in stride.
Unapologetic Barnett comfortable with Strikeforce win, looking forward to Kharitonov
DALLAS – Strikeforce heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem wasn't the only recipient of boos this past Saturday at "Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum."
Josh Barnett (30-5 MMA, 1-0 SF) did as well, though for a completely different reason.
After proving early on that he was completely in a different league than Brett Rogers (11-3 MMA, 2-3 SF) in the quarterfinals of the promotion's heavyweight grand prix, he caught flack because he didn't finish the fight in the first round.
Instead, he finished in the second when Rogers tapped to an arm-triangle choke.
Boo him? Oh well.
Strikeforce boss: Melendez-Masvidal not yet official, Wilcox-Cavalcante II possible
DALLAS – With an impressive decision victory this past Saturday at "Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum," it looks like Jorge Masvidal has stolen K.J. Noons' thunder.
The American Top Team product swept the scorecards against the former pro boxer, and as Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), Masvidal should be next in line to meet current lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez.
"We're not making an official announcement, but I think that's going to be a frontrunner," Coker said.
Following lackluster Overeem win, Silva promises he'll win Strikeforce Grand Prix
DALLAS – Strangely enough, one of the biggest winners of Saturday night's "Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum" event might have been a heavyweight that didn't even step in the cage.
By virtue of a rather lackluster Alistair Overeem victory over Fabricio Werdum, Brazilian behemoth Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva (16-2 MMA, 3-1 SF) may now be considered a favorite to win Strikeforce's heavyweight grand prix.
Of course, if you listen to Silva, a potential new role as the man to beat isn't a possibility – it's a guarantee.
TUF 13's Chuck O'Neil Released by the UFC
More trimming has been done from the UFC roster. Shortly after the news that Kendall Grove has been released, another TUF alum has received his walking papers. Season 13's Chuck O'Neil announced it on his facebook page:
I was officially released by the UFC today. I will continue to work hard to improve myself as a person and a fighter everyday. I WILL make it back there because the UFC is where I belong. Thank you to everyone for your continued support and there will be a fight coming soon with a MUCH improved performance!
Kendall Grove cut by the UFC
"Da Spyder" is going to have to find somewhere else to weave his web.
That's because Kendall Grove (12-9) has been released by the UFC following a unanimous decision defeat at the hands of Tim Boetsch at the recent UFC 130: "Rampage vs. Hamill" event on May 28.
Bonnar Injured; Newcomer ‘Markes’ in for UFC Live 5
Stephan Bonnar has suffered an undisclosed injury and will be unable to compete as scheduled at UFC Live 5, the promotion announced Friday. Octagon newcomer Ronny Markes will get the call to confront Karlos Vemola, Bonnar's original opponent for the event.
Headlined by a welterweight clash between hard-hitting Brit Dan Hardy and durable veteran Chris Lytle, UFC Live 5 goes down Aug. 14 from the Bradley Center in Milwaukee. The event is also scheduled to feature a pivotal lightweight duel, as the surging Jim Miller squares off with former WEC champion Benson Henderson.
Markes, 23, rides a four-fight winning streak heading into his showdown with Vemola. The reigning light heavyweight king of Shooto Brazil, Markes has only lost once as a professional. The Nova Uniao representative holds nine of his 11 career wins by either knockout or submission and most recently earned a unanimous decision victory over former Pride Fighting Championships standout Paulo Filho in August...
"Overeem vs. Werdum" official weigh-in results
MAIN CARD (Showtime)
-Alistair Overeem (256) vs. Fabricio Werdum (246)
-Josh Barnett (256) vs. Brett Rogers (258)
-Daniel Cormier (239.5) vs. Jeff Monson (234)
-Chad Griggs (234) vs. Valentijn Overeem (234.5)
-Jorge Masvidal (155) vs. K.J. Noons (156)
PRELIMINARY CARD (HDNet)
-Gesias "JZ" Cavalcante (155) vs. Justin Wilcox (156)
-Magno Almeida (155) vs. Conor Heun (155)
-Nah-Shon Burrell (179) vs. Joe Ray (180)
-Mike Bronzoulis (170) vs. Todd Moore (169.5)
-Brian Melancon (175) vs. Isaac Vallie-Flagg (170)
Strikeforce's Masvidal plans to remain patient, send Noons scrambling for doctor
DALLAS – Jorge Masvidal might have lost the foil-shirted, metal-loving, intoxicated market of MMA fans, but that's a price he's willing to pay.
He's going to stick to what he knows best, no matter how much criticism he may or may not receive for shirking an out-and-out brawl.
"I just want to make sure I get the W," Masvidal told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "You've got to pick your shots. I want to last a long time in this career. I can't be getting dropped every time I fight."
Strikeforce Enacts Sponsor Tax Right Before 'Overeem vs. Werdum' Card
In 2009, the UFC enacted a sponsorship tax for companies to sponsor fighters. Now, that tax is coming to Strikeforce.
Now word has come out via The Underground and Fighters Only Magazine that the UFC is charging $35,000 to sponsor a Strikeforce fighter with the tax going into effect for this Saturday's "Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum" show at American Airlines Center in Dallas.
American Top Team's Alex Davis responded on The Underground:
The same policy that is used in the UFC is now in place at Strike Force. Sponsors must pay a fee in order to endorse athletes fighting in Strikeforce.
Strikeforce heavyweight Chad Griggs, who fights Valentijn Overeem on Saturday, spoke to us on Thursday's edition of Bloody Elbow Radio about this:
Q: Chad, there's a story that came out today talking about a new sponsorship tax coming in on Strikeforce fighters that kind of happened recently. Have you been effected by this at all?
CG: I have. Most definitely. I don't want to get in trouble with anybody so I won't say a whole lot other than it's, yeah, we're having a little issue with it right now and it's definitely costing, hopefully, we're trying to work it out, but yeah, it's snuck up on us pretty unexpectedly, and we're looking to lose a lot of money, potentially lose a lot of money in sponsorships. I hope that doesn't happen, but it's not looking good.
Court Denies Summary Judgment Motions in Affliction M-1/Fedor Litigation
On June 7, 2011, Judge Margaret M. Morrow denied the parties cross-motions for summary judgment in the Affliction v. M-1/Fedor litigation. I have previously posted about the litigation — most recently here.
The 55 page decision is a VERY interesting read especially with respect to the facts surrounding the “Trilogy” non-event — in particular the discussions and ultimate agreement between Affliction and the UFC.
Below are some of the interesting points — note the chronology.
As set forth in the Court’s decision, at a “July 13, 2009 meeting, Bassiri and Lawrence Epstein, UFC’s general counsel, discussed the possibility that UFC would assume responsibility for the Trilogy show and postpone it to September 19, 2009, in Dallas. Bassiri told Epstein that Affliction Promotions wanted to leave the MMA promotion business and re-establish its relationship with the UFC.” ...