WEC veteran Mark Munoz headed to the UFC in 2009
Former Oklahoma State University wrestler and recent World Extreme Cagefighting light heavyweight Mark Munoz (5-0 MMA, 2-0 WEC) is headed to the UFC.
Munoz is one of the chosen few WEC light heavyweights and middleweights who will head to the UFC following the WEC's recent elimination of its 205- and 185-pound weight classes.
Munoz sealed the deal with a first-round TKO of Ricardo Barros at the Dec. 3 WEC 37 event.
Ron Kruck confirmed the move during the Dec. 5 edition of "Inside MMA" on HDNet.
AKA To Kos: Follow Our Plan
Not regarding the non-signing of that contract thing that's gotten almost all the camp kicked out of UFC (or close to it), but regarding Josh Koscheck's fight Wednesday against Yoshiyuki Yoshida. Kos apparently didn't follow the plan against Thiago Alves and lost.
In a sport where an evening of hyperextensions and blood-faucet noses is considered getting off lightly, it should come as little surprise that some real savages occasionally enter the ring. You’ve got to have a misplaced synapse or two to eat pain for a living.
New Aleks E. Interview
The original looks longer than the translation I found
Three time combat sambo champion and one of the most extravagant masters in MMA jumped into a conversation with the journalists of SE.
We met Emelianenko junior on the Krasin Street, near the corporate HQ. We've reminisced how Nikolai Valuev has stumbled into SE the same way. We talked for an hour, and after that the giant Nikolai went to catch a cab. At that time barely anyone knew his face - the cars were afraid to stop for Valuev. Many would cross the lane into oncoming traffic.
The 27-year-old Aleksander Emelianenko, who's acknowledged by the whole world as one of the best MMA fighters, is rarely recognized on the streets of Moscow. Although in New York and Tokyo he can barely walk around. Even, when we met with his brother, famous Fedor Emelianenko, not too long ago in the crowd of the Kursk train station. We found a quiet corner and sat down, without anyone recognizing him. And just to the side of us, the kiosks of pirated discs were flooded with the fight bootlegs of the Emelianenko brothers. It was a fantastic feeling.
Aleksander has knocked out giants in such a way, that at times it seemed as if the floor was giving way. The worried doctors often times had to get the mouthpiece with their hands off of his opponents, and not everyone was able to raise their hands after a meeting with Emelianenko. No wonder the Americans gave him the nickname The Grim Reaper.
He came in wearing tall army boots. Sideways, bent his head to squeeze into the door. We remembered the site mesilovo.ru, which specified Sasha's height at 198 centimeters...
Your brother, the legendary Fedor, mentioned that, as a fighter, you are more talented than him. Do you feel like that?
- Of course I feel like that. I don't know what I don't have that Fedor does. I am the strongest. Better than anyone. I'm ready to fight with any fighter in the world - whoever is number one, whether in ratings, or by recongition. I will mess anybody up.
It's sad, that we can't even train with my brother. He lives in Stary Oskol, I live in Petersburg. We're both travel year-round.
You used to practice together before?
Yes. And we went at it at full strength. I boxed better. I was beating Fedor with my hands. And I was practicing without a coach, - I was training my hands by myself; whatever I felt was right. I just got a boxing coach not too long ago, Yuri Razumov. I realized that my understanding of boxing that I had at the time was...
Not even boxing, something else?
I didn't know crap! Just now, I finally saw what boxing was. Now, I trained my hands to be good. I'm boxing at a level higher. Did you hear about a young fighter - Kirill Sidelnikov?
Not a bad kid. Earlier he could somewhat hang with me in the ring, and now his coach is almost in tears; screaming "Don't hit him. Kirill is not ready yet. He's not gonna box with you again like that..." Then turns around to him and says "Aleksander has progressed, and you're just standing still!"
If you're more talented than Fedor, why is he number one and undefeated, and you're just barely making the top 10?
Fedor, in his time took the belt and held on to it. At that time I was the youngest fighter in Pride. Started fighting at 23, I just lacked basic experience. And I had to fight without any coaching. What I could - I learned from Fedor. I lost to the famous Croatian - Crocop just because it was only my fourth fight. I was just a kid.
And your brother just not too long ago went to Thailand with Crocop to study special styles of boxing
Yeah. I was not prepared. Didn't have the means.
What did he catch you with?
A kick to th head. With Josh Barnett it went a little different. I was beating the guy up for 10 minutes straight; broke his nose.. This Barnett is now doing everything to avoid a new fight. He knows what will happen to him.
But in that fight, broken nose and all, Barnett was able to beat you
I came to fight with a 37.4 temperature. Before each fight we go through the medical exams, and the doctors didn't want to let me fight. But the fight was part of the Grand Prix - you fight for your honour in those competitions. Eventually, I couldn't finish him, ran out of steam.
So how could a man with a broken nose take the win from you?
I messed up his nose before the break. Then they brought him back, stopped the bleeding. Barnett had one chance - to go in for the shoot. He gathered for this shoot; ran at me, hit me with a body shot and got me to the ground, where he ended up on top.
Is it a heroic to win with such an injury?
Nothing heroic. Just heart.
Did you have instances where you had to use your "heart"?
In my fight with Ricardo Morais I broke by hand in two places. Look - I still have a growth on my wrist. I threw a combination of punches - on about third or fourth punch I broke my hand. And after that I threw about five more punches.
You didn't feel the pain?
I felt it when Morais fell down. I started thinking 'if he gets up and continues the fight, I can't hit with this hand, will need to change my stance'
But the guy, whose head you used to break the hand, he didn't get up?
No he didn't
You think someone would get up after that?
Doubt it. Although Morais throughout his whole career was never even in a knockdown. And I knocked him out. He fell standing forward. With all his height of 205.
What place are you in the world rating?
I have no idea. My rating is also not as high, because americans have bought out Pride. The fighters they needed they took with their contracts. And for the rest, they told them "You want to fight with us? We'll be paying 500 dollars a fight. If you don't want that - get the hell out..."
So you have nowhere to fight?
Exactly. I spent a long time without any fights, until I signed a contract with Affliction for 3 fights. Japanese also opened a new organization - "Dream", want me to fight there.
If you would end up in American league today - you would start beating their local heroes?
I don't see any heroes there. Noguiera is their champion, whom Fedor destroyed three times. He's an experienced fighter, but it seems he got old because of all the fights. It's time for him to rest. I'm, on the other hand just getting started. My last loss was a long time ago.
Affliction Promising More Than 16 Shows in 2009
So says Werdum in an interview with Tatame.com:
"We’re still in negotiation, my sister entered in contact with them, but until now there is nothing right. We’ll see everything in 2009. I’m recuperating myself from injuries and, for this event now (in January), there’s not way. Affliction is promising more than 16 shows in 2009, mainly do not claiming exclusivity, having the possibility to fight in others events, that is good, but still there’s nothing right", finished."
I would love 6 more shows from Affliction, let alone 16.
Dana White Slams HBO PPV
"Did you see the production? And that was HBO. Maybe they should give us some of their Emmys. The pacing was awful. There was no energy in the crowd. They had to loop Pacquiao’s music when he came out because he had to walk so far."
-- Dana White, UFC president, trashing the horrendous production (and by extension the undercard matchmaking) from last night's De La Hoya vs. Pacquiao pay-per-view on HBO.
Eddie Sanchez: We're going to stand on our feet and bang
Eddie Sanchez (8-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) gets it.
The 26-year-old may not be at the top of the heavyweight ladder. But as Sanchez recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), he knows what it takes to make it in the UFC.
"I always feel every fight is a must-win situation for me, especially being in the top fighting organization in the world," Sanchez said." Either you've got to be well-liked by the fans, you've got to put on a superb show, or you've got to win and put on a superb show."
Josh Koscheck knows judo
“I was originally preparing for Mr. Yoshida before I stepped up and took the Thiago fight. .. (It’s) definitely a different style. He poses some interesting threats, but I definitely have a lot of good training partners at American Kickboxing Academy and I think I’ll be ready. I’m a good wrestler, so I think our styles are going to make for an exciting fight…. Dave Camarillo is a judo guy and we are working on the judo throws. And I have San Jose State former judo coach who comes over. And there’s a lot of judo guys at our gym — Dave Camarillo teaches a judo class. So I’ve been doing judo for some time . … I have no worries.”
Martin Kampmann vs Alexandre Barros UFC 93
Former top middleweight contender Martin Kampmann (13-2) could make his welterweight debut against Octagon newcomer Alexandre Barros (13-5) at UFC 93: “Franklin vs. Henderson” at The O2 in Dublin, Ireland, on January 17, acoording to MMA Insider Blog.
The “Hitman” recently had his nine-fight win streak snapped after getting wrecked by Nate Marquardt in short order via bruising first round technical knockout at UFC 88: “Breakthrough” back in September. It was apparently a wake up call for the Danish kickboxer that perhaps he is better suited to compete in a division 15 pounds lighter.
UFC newcomer Brandon Wolff seeking full-time opportunity
The UFC may be fighting for the troops Wednesday night, but newcomer Brandon Wolff (7-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will be battling for his MMA future in his preliminary card bout with "The Ultimate Fighter 6" veteran Ben Saunders at "UFC Fight Night 16: UFC Fights for the Troops."
Wolff recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) his future as a full-time fighter hinges on his performance in the bout.
"If I do good on this fight, I'm going to be training full time," Wolff said. "I'll be able to fight four or five times a year, whenever the UFC wants me to. That's my goal, is to be real active after this fight. Just do it full time."
Justin McCully contemplates changes after UFC Fight Night 16
When heavyweight Justin McCully (8-4-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) enters the cage for Wednesday night's "UFC Fight Night 16: UFC Fights for the Troops," he will be at a crossroads.
But as the 32-year-old recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), he feels that all paths lead to a successful destination.
"You go from a semi-main event to an undercard with a guy like Gabriel Gonzaga, then back to the Ultimate Fight Night," McCully said. "But I feel very comfortable on the Ultimate Fight Night, and especially fighting for the troops. It's going to be an honor."
Koscheck has no plans to sign licensing agreement
Looks like Koscheck will be leaving the UFC very soon.......
During this week’s edition of ESPN.com’s MMA Live, Franklin McNeil of the NewarK Star-Ledger stated that UFC welterweight Josh Koscheck has not signed the infamous merchandising and licensing agreement that was one of the contributing factors for Jon Fitch’s brief release from the UFC last month.
Koscheck is a teammate of Fitch’s at the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose and is also represented by the same management company, Zinkin Entertainment. The former NCAA wrestling standout is set to face Yoshiyuki Yoshida at “UFC Fight Night 16: UFC Fight for the Troops” on Dec. 10 in Fayatteville, North Carolina.
McNeil expressed uncertainty as to whether Koscheck will continue fighting for the UFC following the bout’s conclusion.
K-1 ‘World Grand Prix 2008 Final’ Results
Here are the official results for K-1 ‘World Grand Prix 2008 Final’:
K-1 World Grand Prix Final
Remy Bonjasky (82-14) defeated Badr Hari (77-8-1) by disqualification (0:53-R2)
K-1 World Grand Prix Semifinals
Badr Hari (77-8-1) defeated Errol Zimmerman (75-8-1) by KO (2:15-R3)
Remy Bonjasky (82-14) defeated Gokhan Saki (74-10, 1NC) by TKO (0:53-R2)
Melvin Manhoef (38-4) defeated Paul Slowinski (87-14-1) via KO (2:26-R2)
Ray Sefo (75-20-1) defeated Hong Man-Choi (17-6) via unanimous decision
K-1 World Grand Prix Quarter Finals
Badr Hari (77-8-1) defeated Peter Aerts (93-27-1) by TKO (1:39-R2)
Errol Zimmerman (75-7-1, 1 NC) defeated Ewerton Teixeira (7-1) via majority decision
Gokhan Saki (74-9, 1 NC) defeated Ruslan Karaev (18-7) via unanimous decision
Remy Bonjasky (82-14) defeated Jerome Le Banner (91-16-1, 1 NC) by TKO (Injury) (1:46-R3)
Mitsugu Noda (7-2) defeated Tsutomu Takahagi (1-6) by KO (2:49-R2)
Takeru (6-12) defeated Taisei Ko (1-1) via unanimous decision
Fighting For Something Bigger.....The US Troops
"I'm looking forward to a good opportunity to step up and headline this event. It's going to be a historical event, where the UFC is giving back to the foundation. It's just a good honor. I think the UFC is doing a good thing and everybody that's fighting on this card can hopefully put on a great show for these troops and give them the show they deserve."
Jim Miller - No Hesitation
Most fighters just returning from their honeymoon after being married only a few weeks earlier would never entertain the idea of taking a fight on only eight days notice, but Jim Miller is not most fighters.
Without a blink, he stepped in for injured teammate Frankie Edgar, who had to drop out of his scheduled fight against Matt Wiman, and helped keep the bout on the main card of the upcoming UFC Fight for the Troops card on Dec. 10.
"Tuesday I got the call, like around noon, and came right down to the gym and warmed up and did a fight simulation to see where I was at, almost puked. I've just been training, trying to get a little bit of the rust out, and get ready to start cutting weight," Miller told MMAWeekly.com about his decision to accept the fight.
Neil Grove - New Ultimate Challenge HW Champ
LONDON – Having started a new promotion with a clean slate, former Cage Rage brains Dave O’Donnell set up three clashes to determine the new champions in front of a busy London Troxy on Saturday night to close out a turbulent 2008. Here’s how it all went down…
Trying to overcome a size deficit to someone like Neil Grove means that you have to be smart, and initially, that’s exactly the strategy James McSweeney implemented having opened his account with a superman punch before concentrating on sticking and moving. Once close, Grove took no hesitation in putting the smaller heavyweight on his back and under his gait, unable to land much in the way of damage, they went back and forth before finding their way to the feet again.
Browning Focused On Moving Forward
Junie Browning became one of the most polarizing figures in the eight seasons of The Ultimate Fighter, gaining notoriety for his aggressive fighting style and one liners before generating endless discussion on mixed martial arts forums and around water coolers for his drunken exploits and short temper. Browning wants to put the reality show persona behind him and focus on becoming a better fighter.
Strikeforce VP Talks Talent
The recent addition of former Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Jorge Gurgel to the ranks of Strikeforce caps off a year where veteran stars like newly crowned light-heavyweight champ Renato “Babalu” Sobral and young talents like Eric Lawson have helped the promotion grow to its biggest and most diverse state yet.
With a multitude of exciting fights and surprises from both the men and women’s divisions, Strikeforce has a lot to grow on in the coming year, according to company Vice President Mike Afromowitz.
“I think the talent we’ve had has really showed tremendous progression,” he stated. “We brought in new talent and there were some incredible moments.”