TJ Grant to Debut against Chonan at UFC 97
When most fighters learn they have finally received a coveted UFC invitation, their emotions can run the gamut, from incredulousness to joy. However, when Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, native T.J. Grant learned he had an offer to fight at UFC 97 on April 18 in Montreal, he tried to go back to sleep.
Grant (13-2) is currently half a world away, training his muay Thai with teammate Ryan Jimmo at the famed Kaewsamrit Gym in Thailand, and when his manager/trainer, Scott MacLean, gave him the big news, he did not really believe it.
Swick Injured, out at least 3 1/2 months
In recent weeks reports have circulated linking UFC welterweight competitor Mike Swick to potential fights vs. Anthony Johnson or Georges St. Pierre. While those fights still could happen at a later date, FiveOuncesOfPain.com has learned that an aggravation of a foot injury will prevent the season one veteran of The Ultimate Fighter from accepting a bout for at least the next three and a half months.
Andrei Arlovski's opportunity of a lifetime
Saturday will mark the culmination of eight years worth of challenges for Andrei Arlovski. Facing him at Affliction’s “Day of Reckoning” is the man generally considered to be the scariest, most talented, ruthless fighter to set foot on MMA’s canvas: Fedor Emelianenko.
For three months, this phrase has almost become a mantra: He’s only human.
A necessary reminder, of course, for a man many believe to be unbeatable.
“I thought nobody can beat me, but everybody knows that Tim Sylvia beat me twice,” counters Arlovski. “He’s a human. I guess he was prepared for all the fights very good.”
Arlovski wants the world to know he prepared for the fight of his life like no other. For three months, his web series, “Arlovski 360,” has chronicled the sweat shed for Emelianenko, along with his thoughts on facing the champion. It’s a record for him, too. Whatever happens on Jan. 24, he can look at the tape and know he did his best.
But to beat the unbeatable, the journey really begins and ends in his mind.
“I have to be mentally prepared for this fight I think the most,” he said. “I want to be the first in MMA to beat Fedor.”
Another mantra follows this wish: I will do everything possible to beat him.
Arlovski says the addition of Freddie Roach made his camp more experimental, a welcome change from the usual orbit of boxing/wrestling/jiu-jitsu, that, while necessary, gets old. Roach’s inexperience in the world of MMA shook up the well-defined play between steady coaches Mike Garcia, Dino Costeas, and Sean Bormet.
“I was really surprised, and at the same time excited, because Freddie asked me…'what can you do for example, can you kick here or punch there?' says Arlovski. "And all my trainers are here. Everybody asks each other, ‘what do you think about this?’ Everybody is on the same page, and it’s great. Freddie asks ‘what if you kick him low here or front kick here, can you punch here?’ I think so, let’s try it.”
Cowboy Cerrone Riding Into WEC Title Shot
Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone is finally going to get his shot at the World Extreme Cagefighting lightweight title against Jamie “The Worm” Varner. Cerrone is a perfect 9-0 in his mixed martial arts career and a title shot is the next logical progression for the Colorado native.
He has been on a tear through the lightweight division, beating everyone impressively. Eight of his nine victories have come by way of submission, five by triangle choke.
Nate Loughran Injured, Will Not Fight At UFN 18
Although recent reports had him listed as a possible opponent for WEC import Nissen Osterneck at UFN 18, Nate Loughran's manager says Loughran will not be ready to fight and may be out until May or June. Loughran is recovering from a broken rib and cartillage damage.
Hazelett Off UFC 96
There won't be any real "McLovin" at UFC 96 now-Dustin Hazelett, who was scheduled to face Ben Saunders at the event, is now off due to an injury sustained in training. Ryan Madigan, who will make his UFC debut at 96, is the replacement.
Keith Jardine perhaps expected to lose at UFC 96 …
… at least that’s what he thinks, anyway, in a recent SI.com article:
“I think [the UFC] is probably expecting me to lose. I think they’ve put me in other fights where they expected me to lose, but that didn’t happen. I guess I’m the guy they get to step in whenever they need somebody.”
“The Dean of Mean” attempts to get his head wrapped around the thought process behind matching him up against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in the main event at UFC 96 on March 1. It doesn’t make much sense on the surface, considering Jardine will not fight training partner, good friend and reigning division champion, Rashad Evans. And that’s a problem because the winner of the 205-pound bout between Jardine and Jackson would more than likely earn number one contender status. In fact, Jackson was already pegged to challenge Evans; however, the seven-week turnaround for “Sugar” between fights proved to be not enough time. Jardine has played spoiler twice before against big-name players in the division, including Forrest Griffin and Chuck Liddell. Can he pull off the hat trick at the Nationwide Arena?
Tonight's PFC 12 Card Streams Live!
Sherdog.com will offer a free live stream of tonight's PFC "High Stakes" card, which is headlined by four championship bouts.
The Sherdog Radio Network's TJ De Santis will broadcast live from ringside tonight at 6 p.m. PST/9 p.m. EST.
Medical Beat: Update on Horodecki's injury and a look at bulging disks
Chris Horodecki, the now 21-year-old "Polish Hammer" who enjoyed a meteoric rise during the IFL's brief history, ran into trouble during his medical evaluation for Saturday's "Affliction: Day of Reckoning" event, which MMAjunkie.com reported late Wednesday.
He was unable to gain a license for competition in California, scrubbing him from his pay-per-view bout with Dan Lauzon.