Silva suspended just 30 days, free for potential UFC 115 bout with Akiyama
While the New South Wales Combat Sports Authority (the commission in charge of regulating this past weekend's UFC 110 event) has yet to release an official list of medical suspensions from the UFC's first trip to Australia, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has confirmed the status of one high-profile competitor.
According to Marc Ratner, the UFC's Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, newly minted middleweight Wanderlei Silva (33-10-1 MMA, 3-5 UFC) will be free to return to action after a mere 30-day suspension.
The news clears the way for a recently reported potential fight between "The Axe Murderer" and Japanese middleweight star Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) at UFC 115 in June.
Lift The Ban Watch: MMA Now Legal In Alabama
Welcome to the club, Alabama. According to Dana White, Alabama is the latest state to adopt MMA legislation. The MMA regulation actually comes less than a year after Alabama passed a bill to create a state boxing commission to oversee MMA's sister sport. The recently created Alabama Boxing Commission will be renamed the Alabama Athletic Commission and will now oversee pro and amateur MMA events in the state. The MMA regulation opens the doors for organizations such as the UFC, WEC and Strikeforce to hold major shows in Alabama.
Denis & Sandro Added To SRC 12
World Victory Road today announced more matches for their upcoming SRC 12 event on 3/7. Breakout star and Featherweight King Of Pancrase Marlon Sandro will return to the promotion to face Tomonari Kanomata while Nick Denis has been added and will face Yuji Hoshino. Denis replaces Wilson Reis, who is off due to Bellator commitments.
Keith Kizer Explains Legality of George Sotiropoulos' Fight Gear
During last weekend's UFC 110, George Sotiropoulos turned in a star-making performance in a win over Joe Stevenson, but the victory also caused a minor controversy by some who questioned Sotirpoulos' fight attire as flouting the rules.
Sotiropoulos wore fight shorts, compression shorts, knee sleeves and ankle sleeves that left little of his legs exposed, causing some to think he exposed a loophole in the rule prohibiting grappling pants.
Although the bout took place in Australia, MMA Fighting spoke with Nevada state athletic commission executive director Keith Kizer, who oversaw a previous UFC event in Nov. 2009 during which Sotiropoulos wore the same gear.
With Dream contract obligations fulfilled, Alvarez focuses on Bellator
As Bellator Fighting Championships readies to make its Season 2 debut in 2010, one of the marquee names on its roster happens to be lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez. The Philadelphia native was just announced as a headliner for an upcoming super fight in May against former UFC slugger Josh Neer at a catchweight of 160 pounds.
For the last few years, Alvarez has been splitting time living in the U.S. and fighting in Japan, but now it looks like his eyes are focused on fighting closer to home and promoting Bellator.
Speaking with MMAWeekly Radio recently, Alvarez talked about his deal with Dream and his future with Bellator.
Stephan Bonnar to appeal UFC 110 loss, claims headbutt should lead to draw
UFC 110 competitor Stephan Bonnar, who suffered a TKO loss to Krzysztof Soszynsk at UFC 110i due to a deep facial cut, plans to appeal the loss and hopes to have it overturned to a draw.
Bonnar confirmed the plans to The Times of Northwest Indiana's Caged In MMA site, for which he also blogs.
Bonnar, who competed on the un-aired preliminary card of the Feb. 20 event, said the cut was caused by the first-round headbutt – an illegal blow – and that the referee should have gone to the scorecards after the third-round stoppage.
Instead, the referee determined the cut was caused by a punch, though multiple replays of the fighters bashing heads in the first round aired on the video screen at host site Acer Arena in Sydney, New South Whales, Australia.
It's Official: Shields vs. Hendo In April For SF MW Title
At long last it's on. Dan Henderson and Jake Shields have agreed to meet in Strikeforce with the Middleweight Title on the line in April. Shields confirmed the bout when speaking to MMAWeekly Radio on Tuesday night. The date & venue are set but apparently can't be revealed until TV arrangements are made. "I have a date (and) venue, but they told me to hold that back," said Shields. "Hopefully CBS. I think it's CBS. There's a slight possibility of Showtime because they're still (working it out). I don't know the rest of the card or any of that yet. But me and Dan's on, and I'm hoping it's on CBS."
Report: Bully Beatdown Gets 3rd Season
MMA fighter Jason Miller's reality series "Bully Beatdown", which has been airing on the cable network MTV, has reportedly been renewed for a 3rd season by the network. While details about the third season are scarce, the source said Miller returns as the show's host and that the pro-fighter-vs.-bully format will remain largely the same. During each 30-minute episode of the show, which debuted in March 2009, a bully victim contacts Miller, a professional MMA fighter currently under contract to Strikeforce, for help. An MMA fighter then competes against the bully, who receives cash prizes (up to $10,000) for surviving a round of grappling and a round of kickboxing with the pro. MTV has aired 16 "Bully Beatdown" episodes over two seasons, which ran from March to April and August to October of 2009. The show has been a solid performer in the men 12-34 demo, an age range that MTV primarily targets.
Stratus Media Group assumes control of ProElite Inc., plans to relaunch MMA promotion
More than 15 months since the company that housed fight promotions EliteXC and ShoXC closed its doors, the live entertainment company Stratus Media Group, Inc. has assumed control of its operations and plans to relaunch the brand, according to a press release issued today.
ProElite, Inc. held 21 MMA events before it collapsed in October 2008 under the weight of a $55 million debt accrued in 20 months of operations.
Stratus CEO Paul Feller said his company has a plan to revitalize the troubled brand and promote events in the near future, though details on the venture are scant.
"We believe that by combining select key experienced management executives, who made ProElite the immediate success it was, with new top executives with demonstrated successes in conducting and televising MMA events internationally and sufficient capital, that we will achieve the brand's strategy for global growth and success," Feller stated in today's release.
"With this combination, we can start focusing on strengthening and repositioning ProElite events and the brand, planning a series of MMA events that we believe will bring excitement to the MMA market, fans and our shareholders and establish ProElite as a leading international MMA company."
Frank Mir Not the Only One to Talk Death in UFC
Frank Mir may have crossed the line when he said he'd like Brock Lesnar "to be the first person that dies due to Octagon-related injuries." But in fairness to Mir, it should be pointed out that he's far from the only person associated with the UFC who has talked about fighting to the death. In fact, before they fought at UFC 100, Lesnar said of Mir, "I'm gonna murder him. I count the days and nights before I get to do that."
That's far from the only example.
Prior to UFC 94 last year, B.J. Penn addressed Georges St. Pierre in a video shot and distributed by the UFC by saying, "Georges, I'm going to go to the death. I'm going to try to kill you and I'm not joking about this."
Just days before Mir made his comments about Lesnar, UFC President Dana White said, "You know what would happen to Herschel Walker over here? It would be the first death in MMA."
The same week that Mir made his comments about Lesnar, another UFC heavyweight, Cain Velasquez, said of his UFC 110 fight with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, "He is going to have to kill me, and I will have to kill him to beat him out there, and that's what we'll do to each other."
Chuck Liddell told Ariel Helwani of his upcoming fight with Tito Ortiz, "I'm gonna try to kill him."
After earning a shot at Penn last year, Kenny Florian looked at Penn and said, "I consider you a master, and it's time to kill that master."
Mir is usually a model of sportsmanship and a fighter who embodies the best aspects of the martial arts mentality. If he went too far in explaining his motivation for a third fight with Lesnar, he was far from the first person affiliated with the UFC to do so.
Ed Soares praises Cain Velasquez, blasts critics who say "Big Nog" is done
While manager Ed Soares is heartbroken that his friend and client Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (32-6-1 MMA, 3-2 UFC) got knocked out at this past weekend's UFC 110, he has nothing but respect for Nogueira's opponent, Cain Velasquez (8-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC).
For fans and media who lit up message boards with posts about the former PRIDE heavyweight champion's apparent career end, Soares has no love.
"It's real easy to talk about people when you're sitting behind a computer with a bag over your face because nobody knows who you are," Soares told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) on Tuesday as he fought a case of jet lag.
Velasquez turned in a huge upset in the UFC's sold-out Australian debut when he beat Nogueira to the punch in early standup exchanges. A little more than two minutes into the bout, Velasquez landed a concussive right hand that put Nogueira down and out.
UFC president Dana White said the Hispanic heavyweight is now on standby for a title shot against champion Brock Lesnar in the event that the winner of an interim heavyweight title match between Shane Carwin and Frank Mir is injured.
Soares, who manages a host of top Brazilian UFC fighters, said Nogueira was in the best shape of his life for the contest. "Big Nog" simply guessed wrong on Velasquez's game plan.
"Everyone in [Nogueira's] camp really believed that Cain was going to shoot and ground and pound from the guard," Soares said.
Soares offered none of the bluster that often comes from a losing fighter's camp in the wake of defeat and instead praised the young contender's skills and poise.
"It's a breath of fresh air to see a guy like Cain moving up the ranks," Soares said. "I see a lot of similarities in him and Nogueira as far as their work ethic and how humble they are. He's a great guy, and congratulations to him. He fought a great fight and came in with a great strategy.
While the loss was understandably disappointing for Nogueira, there was no hesitation from Soares about his fighter's next step.
"He gets back on the horse and fights some more people," Soares said. "It could happen to anybody."
Soares blasted those who said the loss meant Nogueira's career was essentially over.
"What are you talking about?" Soares asked. "Six months ago, Nogueira's back, and now he's done again?
"It's really easy to talk about these people when you're not the one putting your ass on the line and stepping into the octagon. Anybody that steps into the octagon, that can happen to."
Soares also had some harsh words for some of the critical fans who have said the loss shows Nogueira's career may now be over.
"These fans love the sport so much," Soares said. "Well, they should really analyze the things that they say, because at the end of the day, these guys are human, too. I read some of the stuff that people put on the Underground and forums, and people need to realize—whether it's Nogueira, whether it's one of our fighters or not one of our fighters—that these people are human too and they have feelings and it's not cool.
"It's easy for you to sit being your computer with a fake name and write stuff about people and say that 'he's done.' These people, for as much as they love the sport, they should be a little more compassionate about the people that go in there and put their ass on their line."
The focus should be on respect for both competitors, he said.
"Nogueira is a legend and Cain is a legend in the making," Soares said. "I'm upset that Nogueira lost, but to see Cain beat him and the respect that Cain gave him, you've gotta take your hat off to both of those guys."
Frank Mir issues apology after Brock Lesnar death comments
Frank Mir today issued an apology following an interview in which he said he wanted rival and UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar to be "the first person that dies due to octagon-related injuries."
The comments, which were made over the weekend to WXDX-FM, caused quick condemnation from an industry still trying to win mainstream acceptance.
In today's UFC.com release, UFC president Dana White stated he is "disappointed" by Mir's comments and that "he won't be saying anything like that again."
Mir, a longtime UFC fighter and former champ, was Lesnar's first opponent after the former WWE star signed with the UFC. Lesnar battered his opponent at the February 2008 fight before Mir secured a submission for the come-from-behind win. The trash-talk was plentiful prior to their July 2009 rematch, and it continued even after Lesnar scored a lopsided TKO win.
Although Mir has never bitten his tongue when it comes to Lesnar, many understandably thought he crossed a line when wishing death upon the current title-holder.
"I would like to apologize to Brock Lesnar, his family, the UFC and UFC fans for the stupid remarks," Mir stated. "I respect Brock, all the other fighters, and the sport of mixed martial arts. I'm sorry that I stepped out of line."
White assured it won't happen again.
"Frank's been with the UFC a long time, he's a two-time heavyweight champion and a commentator for the WEC," White stated. "I think his emotions are running high right now, he has a big fight coming up next month, and he's still upset about his loss to Lesnar. He's been talked to, he regrets what he said, and he won't be saying anything like that again."
Mir next fights at UFC 111 on March 27, when he meets Shane Carwin for an interim heavyweight title. Lesnar, sidelined since the second Mir fight due to a severe case of diverticulitis, is likely to face the winner in a title-unification bout. As MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) recently reported, the fight is likely to take place at UFC 116 on July 3.
Anthony Njokuani vs. Shane Roller targeted for "WEC 48: Aldo vs. Faber" in April
Two of the WEC's brightest lightweight stars will likely meet in an intriguing contest with title-shot implications undoubtedly on the line.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned from sources close to the organization that Anthony Njokuani (12-2 MMA, 3-1 WEC) and Shane Roller (7-2 MMA, 4-1 WEC) have verbally agreed to meet at "WEC 48: Aldo vs. Faber."
Bout agreements are expected to be finalized shortly.
Featuring a featherweight title fight between current champ Jose Aldo and an ever-popular challenger in Urijah Faber, WEC 48 takes place April 24 at the ARCO Arena in Sacramento, Calif. The event marks the organization's first foray into the pay-per-view market.
Njokuani, a Nigerian native who grew up in Dallas but now resides in Las Vegas, comes to the fight with a three-bout win streak. All three of the wins came via TKO, and all three of the wins resulted in the devastating striker being awarded the evening's "Knockout of the Night."
Njokuani's lone WEC loss came to current lightweight champion Benson Henderson in January 2009. "The Assassin's" only other loss was delivered courtesy of fellow contender Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone in a 2007 matchup under the Ring of Fire banner.
Njokuani has found himself in high demand following a spectacular high-kick finish of Chris Horodecki this past December.
Meanwhile, Roller currently carries a two-fight win streak into the cage. The Team Takedown fighter earned "Submission of the Night" honors at this past November's WEC 44 event when he latched in a third-round rear-naked choke on Danny Castillo in a bout Roller appeared to be less than 90 seconds away from losing.
Roller also toppled Marcus Hicks at WEC 42 in August 2009.
Roller's lone WEC loss also came to current champ Henderson at WEC 40 in April 2009. In one of the more exciting sub-two-minute bouts in recent memory, Roller opened aggressively and dropped Henderson before "Smooth" quickly turned the tide in earned a TKO win just 1:41 into the bout.
The winner of the Njokuani-Roller matchup will undoubtedly have the inside track on a lightweight title fight in their next outing.
Adrenaline 3/20 Event Cancelled
And no, it has nothing to do with Tim Sylvia. Monte Cox has cancelled his planned Adrenaline MMA event on 3/20, but the reson is a concert scheduled in conjunction with the event was cancelled over an apparent conflict with a local labor union. Cox asked for the event to be moved to a date TBA in April.
CRO COP back in Croatia, says Rothwell at 112 is a maybe
I'm very sorry Ben had to pull out few days before the fight, but Dana said we might fight on UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi.
I admire Perosh for taking the fight. There were much better fighters there who turned down the fight but I understand them, they didn't have time to prepare.
I'm very sorry I've hurt Perosh. I tried to do the fight with as much consideration for him as I could. I avoided the ground cause i'm 7-8 kg's heavier then him. Even Dana asked me why I didn't finish im but I just couldn't do that to him when he was so bloody.
Mirko says it's possible he will take just a few days to rest and then he probably goes back to training cause he's maybe fight as soon as april.
Mirko also commented his old rival and friend Nog
Nog asked me before the fight what do I think Cain's game plan is gonna be. I told him Cain certainly won't go for his legs. Even his trainer said to me after the match that i guessed the game plan right. I'm sorry it ended that way for Nog, but he entered the fight a bit careless. He held his hands to high and naively enetered in punch exchange and in that kind of situation it's 50:50 and you need some luck.
UFC 111's Rory Markham implements fight-camp trash talk
UFC Rory Markham isn't just training to fight – he's training to fight trash talk.
At UFC 111, Markham (16-5 MMA, 1-1 UFC) faces a dynasty in the world of trash talking: a Diaz brother. Although Nate Diaz (11-5 MMA, 6-3 UFC) is the kinder, gentler version of older brother Nick Diaz, he also can talk a good game, especially during a fight.
Markham said he isn't going to be distracted by verbal warfare when they meet on March 27 in Newark, N.J., but just the same, his sparring partners have orders to talk smack during training sessions.
If Diaz decides to go there, the heavy-handed IFL veteran said it's fine with him.
Tim Sylvia: The Hinkle Fight Is Off
Seems Tim Sylvia can't get a fight these days. The former UFC Heavyweight Champion was to have faced Wes Sims at Adrenaline 4 on 3/20, but the Ohio Athletic Commission said no. "Non-competitive". Then they gave him Brandon Lee Hinkle. Off according to Sylvia. "Something else is in the works," promises the former Affliction headliner.
Sinosic: I Will Most Likely Need A Complete Shoulder Reconstruction
The King isn't dead, but he's likely not fighting again for a while. Australian MMA pioneer Elvis Sinosic, who had to miss his scheduled UFC 110 fight due to a shoulder injury, now says he'll likely need a complete shoulder reconstruction at some point. The full extent of the injury won't be known until he has an MRI and a process called Key Hole surgery.