Big In 2008, Strikeforce Plans Expansion In 2009
It has been a banner year for mixed martial arts. Viewership and popularity grew to record numbers, but that success was not without a cost.
While the Ultimate Fighting Championship soared above all others, 2008 saw the downfall of the International Fight League and apparently ProElite and its MMA promotion EliteXC.
Still, there were survivors, most notably California-based promotion Strikeforce, which achieved its highest levels of exposure and revenue since its inception two years ago.
Lister faces tall task as he prepares for Okami
How do you see Okami from a technical standpoint?
Okami is a really good neutralizer. If you're a real good striker, he can take you down, and ground and pound you. If you're a good grappler, he's hard to take down. He's going to be able to make your strong point not as strong. He has pretty good endurance. He keeps going a constant pace in a fight. I've heard he's very strong. He's real tall and he's a good counterpuncher.
Mike Patt vs. Brandon Vera set for UFC 96 in Ohio
While there have been no officially announced bouts by the organization, light-heavyweights Mike Patt (12-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) and Brandon Vera (9-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) have verbally agreed to meet at UFC 96.
Sam Caplan of Fiveouncesofpain.com first reported the likelihood of the bout earlier today, and MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) was able to confirm the agreements with multiple sources close to the bout.
UFC 96 is scheduled for March 7 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
Ohio-native Patt will be looking for his first win in the octagon. The BodogFIGHT veteran made an unsuccessful first appearance for the organization at UFC 88 in September. Patt entered the bout having won eight of his previous nine outings, but was stopped in the first round by Tim Boetsch after taking the fight on less than three week's notice.
Despite the unsuccessful initial outing, Patt told MMAjunkie.com that he hoped to become a permanent fixture in the UFC.
"There are plenty of places to fight, and some guys will tell you how they want to fight here or there," Patt said. "But given the chance, they would all fight for the UFC regardless of what they might say. It validates everything you do as a fighter. I would be very happy to call the UFC home."
Vera will enter the bout looking for just his second win in his past five bouts. After establishing himself as a UFC contender with wins over Frank Mir, Assuerio Silva, Justin Eilers and Fabiano Scherner, Vera would drop his next two bouts to Fabricio Werdum and Tim Sylvia. Those losses prompted Vera to make a cut to 205 pounds.
Vera was victorious in his debut at light-heavyweight over Reese Andy, but lost a close split-decision to Keith Jardine in his most recent bout at UFC 89.
Gilbert Yvel cleared to fight by California commission (*UPDATED: Yvel Not Cleared Yet*)
One of the more controversial fighters of the past decade is heavyweight Gilbert Yvel. Yvel is scheduled to face Josh Barnett in the co-main event at Affliction Entertainment’s “Day of Reckoning” PPV on January 24. The problem with signing Yvel is that he has had a multitude of licensing issues with the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
The VP of Affliction Entertainment, Tom Atencio, confirmed that Yvel can fight in California.
“Yvel has been cleared through the CSAC (California State Athletic Commission),” said Atencio.
Yoshida Recovering, Planning Spring Return
Following a knockout loss to Josh Koscheck at the UFC "Fight for the Troops" show, Japanese judoka Yoshiyuki Yoshida was taken to the hospital and later released. MMAWeekly.com received word from Yoshida's camp on his condition and his plans for a return.
Ryan Bader: Not Just A Wrestler
Ryan "Darth" Bader made his professional mixed martial arts debut on March 31, 2007, and within a year's time the former Arizona State wrestling stand out had racked up a 7-0 record heading into The Ultimate Fighter season 8. With his technical knockout victory over Vinicius Magalhaes in the season finale to become The Ultimate Fighter, Bader showed he's not just a wrestler anymore.
Rashad Evans prepared for "TUF" battle with Forrest Griffin
When Forrest Griffin (16-4 MMA, 7-2 UFC) shocked Quinton "Rampage" Jackson in July and claimed the UFC's light-heavyweight title, many pointed to Griffin's success as validation for the the viability of "The Ultimate Fighter" as a means to find new talent for the organization.
And while many pointed to the most recent season of the program as proof that the show had outlived its need, undefeated Rashad Evans (12-0-1 MMA, 7-0-1 UFC) believes his upcoming bout with Griffin proves the remaining value of the series.
Jake Rosholt vs. Alessio Sakara set for UFC Fight Night 17
Former collegiate wrestling champion and WEC veteran Jake Rosholt (5-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is set to make his debut against American Top Team's Alessio Sakara (13-7 MMA, 4-4 UFC) at February's "UFC Fight Night 17: Lauzon vs. Franca."
Our friends at Fiveouncesofpain were the first to report the possibility of the bout, and MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has confirmed with multiple sources close to the bout that both camps have agreed to the fight and bout agreements are forthcoming.
"UFC Fight Night 17: Lauzon vs. Franca" takes place Feb. 7 at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Fla.
Getting To Know Mike Wessel
Stepping up on short notice is never easy for any fighter, but with the success of guys like Tim Boetsch and Jim Miller, who have taken bouts with little time to prepare, the benefits can be plentiful. The latest fighter to take this task to heart is Arkansas based fighter Mike Wessel, who earlier this week stepped in to replace Mark Burch at UFC 92 against Antoni Hardonk.
Gabriel Gonzaga vs Shane Carwin at UFC 96
FiveOuncesOfPain.com can exclusively report that a heavyweight clash between former heavyweight title challenger Gabriel Gonzaga and former NCAA Division II wrestling champion Shane Carwin is now set to take place.
Gonzaga is 10-3 and trains out of Team Link in Massachusetts. The jiu-jitsu black belt’s most high-profile fight took place at UFC 74 in August of 2007 when he lost to then-UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture via third round TKO.
Following the loss to Couture, the native Brazilian then suffered a second round TKO defeat at the hands of Fabricio Werdum at UFC 80 last January. However, since that time, Gonzaga has once again begun to climb the championship ladder with consecutive wins.
Video Game News: UFC 2009 Undisputed Hands-on
December 19, 2008 - Last night we got our hands on UFC 2009 Undisputed for the first time, and, while the game's still far from complete and its control scheme has yet to be finalized, we can safely say that this game has all the makings of a future champ.
Former TUF Competitor Traded
Trades are not uncommon in sports, although MMA seemed to be the exception...until now. So it was quite a surprise when former TUF competitor Noah Thomas heard that he was traded from the TKO promotion to the XMMA promotion.
Shileds Wants UFC & GSP
Top ranked welterweight Jake Shields is tired of waiting and wondering. He wants job stability, and more importantly, to establish himself as the world’s best.
“I’m just sick of not knowing when I'm going to fight,” he told MMAWeekly.com.
In recent months, Shields has had anything but stability. Since the financial woes of ProElite virtually closed the organization and put a lock down on communications with its fighters, Shields has been in the dark about his future.