Despite title-shot snub, Kenny Florian "thankful" for bout with Joe Stevenson
UFC President Dana White giveth, and then he taketh away.
Such is the lesson learned by UFC lightweight Kenny Florian (10-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC), who was all but promised a second shot at the lightweight title in the months building up to his UFC 87 bout with Roger Huerta -- only to have the opportunity taken away.
But as Florian recently told TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), the chance to improve his game is just as important as another chance at the belt.
"UFC 93: Dublin" sells out in just two weeks
January's "UFC 93: Dublin" event, which is the first-ever UFC show to take place in Ireland, sold out in just two weeks, the organization today announced.
More than 6,000 of the available 10,000 tickets were purchased in the first week of sales, and the remaining seats were sold in week No. 2.
UFC 93, which is expected to air on pay per view, takes place Jan. 17 at The 02 and features former champions Rich Franklin vs. Dan Henderson, as well as Mauricio "Shogun" Rua vs. UFC hall-of-famer Mark Coleman.
WEC 36 Results (*Spoilers*)
-Mike Brown def. Urijah Faber by TKO (Strikes) at 2:23, R1
-Chael Sonnen def. Paulo Filho by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), R3
-Leonard Garcia def. Jens Pulver by TKO (Strikes) at 1:12, R1
-Jake Rosholt def. Nissen Osterneck by TKO (Strikes) at 3:48, R2
-Donald Cerrone def. Rob McCullough by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-27), R3
-Aaron Simpson def. David Avellan by KO (Punch) at 0:18, R1
-Jose Aldo def. Jonathan Brookins by TKO (Strikes) at 0:45, R3
-Carmelo Marrero def. Steve Steinbeiss by Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29), R3
-Danny Castillo def. Rafael Dias by TKO (Strikes) at 2:54, R2
-Rani Yahya def. Yoshiro Maeda by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 3:30, R1
CroCop on Ishii, Fedor, Kimbo and More
Cro Cop on Ishii
Q: We've just got news that Olympic gold medalist Satoshi Ishii may want to fight you? What do you think about that match-up?
"To be honest this is the first time I've heard of his name. This is the first thing I've heard of this. Well, its embarrassing to find out about my upcoming opponents via this online chat rather than my management team however yes its interesting. It's a major thing to fight any Olympic gold medalist. So why not, I'm interested."
Filho: “Sonnen will dearly pay me at WEC 36”
“I’m not feeling bad, I’ve already recovered my weigh and I’m ready. That guy (Sonnen) will pay dearly my 25% (purse) inside that octagon on those three rounds: 10% on the first, 10% on the second and the rest at the third”, guarantees Filho.
Bisping Responds to Leben’s Steroid Bust
“I have to admit I was disappointed when I heard. You know, when all’s said and done, I like Chris Leben. He conducted himself well before and after the fight and, as I say, I like the guy. I’m a little disappointed that he’s done what he’s done, bringing the sport into disrepute, but it’s not really my place to have an opinion on it.
The UFC, as they always do, have set the example with the punishment — and they’re right to do that. Should he banned for life? I don’t think so, people make mistakes, people learn from mistakes. Plenty of fighters have recovered after testing positive, the standard is set at nine months and it would be unfair to go any harsher on Chris…
I don’t know if it makes my win any better, you can make a case for it because — without wanting to start slinging mud — he did cheat and I didn’t. I don’t know why he did it or if he knew he was doing it, but I know my performance was purely down to blood, sweat and tears — and that’s all the satisfaction I need.”
Nate Quarry wants to put Maia between a Rock and a hard place
For a lot of fighters, seven months between bouts may feel like an awful long time. But when you’ve been through a purgatory of nearly two very uncertain years between fights—time spent rehabbing a bum back and restructuring a shattered nose—seven months of relative quiet between action can seem fast and furious.
That’s why when Nate “Rock” Quarry is asked about ring rust heading into his UFC 91 bout with Demian Maia, you can hear him mumble under his breath . . . ring rust, shmring rust.
“This is actually really good pacing for me,” says the rejuvenated 36-year-old middleweight. “After a fight I like to take a little time, rest, relax, let the body heal up, remind myself why I train so hard and take care of my little girl [8-year-old Ciera]—maybe take her on vacation or something to show her my appreciation for putting up with me working so hard for the last three months.”
Palhares Wants To Be Back In The Octagon
After a great debut in UFC, the Brazilian Top Team fighter Rousimar “Toquinho” Palhares faced the toughest challenge in his career, against the former Pride champion Dan Henderson, and the loss came by unanimous decision. Besides the loss, Palhares only sees good experiences from the bout. “I think it was great, because I wasn’t 100% in my physical strength and even tough I could take the fight till the end. It was a good fight for me and I think they (UFC) liked the fight and my style”, commented.
Shamrock Inc: Frank Talks Business and Brand Building
Despite having only six fights in the past nine years – all of them outside the UFC - Frank Shamrock has kept his name recognition high and built a multi-faceted business with almost 30 full-time employees. In a recent interview with MMAPayout.com, Shamrock described his keys to success, while offering some advice to anyone hoping to follow in his footsteps.
“I’m no closet genius,” said Shamrock. “I learned through trial and error. It took me 7-8 years to build my business and it was a good time for me because the sport was small then. I was blessed in that way.”
But times have obviously changed. “The days of gun slinging and hanging out in this business are gone,” he says. “The dollars are bigger and the sport of MMA keeps moving closer to the mainstream. Everyone’s rushing to the sport because it’s very popular and cool, but your brand needs to be consistent.”
Ask the Doc: Should rounds be extended to five minutes for female MMA fights?
In this week's edition of "Ask the Doc," I want to respond to the many questions I get about extending the length of rounds for women's MMA bouts.
As most of you know, standard practice has been for women to compete with three, three-minute rounds (rather than the five-minute rounds found in men's MMA).
Should women be treated equally in this sense? I'm going to discuss the topic from the perspective of a doctor -- and a fan.
Let's start by dealing with any potential bias that I may have. I am not a huge fan of the current level of televised women's MMA.
But I truly believe that anyone who wants to compete should be afforded the opportunity. I just don't enjoy a bout that lacks a high level of skill. Man or woman, it makes no difference to me. If you suck, you suck, bottom line. Over time, you may improve -- and when you do, let me know, and I'll watch enthusiastically.
But not until then.
Hector Lombard under consideration for new MMA series on ESPN Deportes
Former Cuban Olympic Judo competitor and Cage Fighting Championship middleweight champion Hector Lombard is one of a handful of MMA competitors being considered for a new MMA series that will air on ESPN Deportes in the spring of 2009.
Sources close to the series, which is still in development, told MMAjunkie.com of Lombard's possible inclusion in the program on Tuesday.
The show, which is expected to be a combination reality and event series, will likely debut in April or May of 2009 with a formal announcement of the show's launch likely to take place on Nov. 17.
Liddell Adresses Critics, Vows To Move On
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell is fighting a battle of meaning in the public eye: can one punch change everything?
Liddell, 38, built his reputation giving and taking punches. From 2004 to 2006, he cleaned out the sport’s marquee division, collecting wins against stars like Randy Couture and Tito Ortiz, who, like him, built the foundation for the UFC’s explosion in popularity.
But a new guard has encroached upon Liddell’s legacy, and chinks have begun to appear in his armor. Spearheaded by the minds at Jackson’s Submission Academy in Albuquerque, N.M., Liddell has lost to three out of his last four opponents, and his light heavyweight title to Quinton Jackson at UFC 71.
Misaki-Santiago, Gomi-Kitaoka Announced for Sengoku VII
Despite Takanori Gomi’s upset loss to Russian product Sergey Golyaev at World Victory Road’s “Sengoku VI” event this past weekend, the organization has still decided to match up against lightweight grand prix winner Satoru Kitaoka for it’s vacant lightweight title at their next scheduled show on January 4 in Japan.
Golyaev squeaked out a razor-close split decision over the former PRIDE champion on Saturday, handing him a rare loss and his first defeat in over two years, while Kitakoa defeated both Eiji Mitsuoka and Kazunori Yokota to win WVR’s inaugural lightweight tourney and called out Gomi after his victory even though “The Fireball Kid” had already lost his bout earlier in the night.
Streaking middleweight Jorge Santiago will hope to continue his rise up the rankings when he faces slick Japanese striker Kazuo Misaki for the promotion’s vacant middleweight title at the event as well.
Ishii Calls Out CroCop, Hong Man Choi
After Satoshi Ishii won the Olympic judo gold medal, he promptly said he'd like to fight Fedor Emelianenko in a mixed martial arts match.
That doesn't look like it's going to happen any time soon, but Ishii is ready to try MMA, and he has his sights set on a couple of well-known opponents, the former Pride star Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic and the Korean giant Hong Man Choi.
Ishii is quoted in an article at dnevnik.hr saying that he knows he's starting from scratch in MMA, but he would like to fight a big name like Cro Cop, who is back to fighting in Japan after an unsuccessful stint in UFC, or Choi, the 7-foot-2 kickboxer who took on Fedor last New Year's Eve.
Brock Lesnar is sick and tired of the steroid allegations
“I’ve been accused of using steroids my entire life, probably since the tenth grade in high school… I’ve never failed a drug test. Now if I was a black guy and I looked the way I do would I get asked this question a 100 times? I just happen to be a white guy that has some great genetics, so I guess that puts a bullseye on me… I’m a white dude that’s shredded and you don’t see a lot of it — a guy that’s walking around that looks like me.”
Varner Expects To Fight Razor/Cowboy In February
It appears World Extreme Cagefighting lightweight champion, Jamie Varner, will return to action in January to face the winner of “Razor” Rob McCullough and Donald Cerrone as announced by the champ himself at a public Q&A session with fans at the WEC event in Florida on Tuesday.
Varner last fought in August when he defeated Marcus Hicks, but the defending title holder has been waiting for a new opponent since that time and it was originally thought that he would fight in December, but the cancellation of the WEC event in September forced everything to be pushed back.
Now A Non-Title Bout, Filho's Belt Still At Risk
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – World Extreme Cagefighting middleweight champion and No. 2 ranked 185-pounder Paulo Filho on Tuesday missed weight at the WEC 36 weigh-ins. Not only did he miss weight, he was over by an astonishing seven pounds, weighing in at 192 pounds.
Filho will now go down as the final WEC middleweight champion. He will fight Sonnen on Wednesday night, but it will not be for the title.
MMAWeekly.com on Tuesday evening confirmed with WEC officials that Filho got down to 189 pounds on his second attempt, therefore making the bout ineligible for championship designation. The two camps did come to terms, allowing the fight to go on as a three-round non-title bout.
Sonnen's cornerman, Matt Lindland, said that Filho was penalized a percentage of his purse and that Sonnen would receive some monetary compensation for Filho missing weight and it being changed to a non-title bout.
(The WEC later reported on its website that Filho gave up 25% of his purse to Sonnen.)
Perhaps more interesting is that Filho's cornerman indicated to Lindland that they would give up the title belt if Sonnen wins. "His cornermen told us that they would walk across the cage and hand Chael the belt if he wins. When Chael whoops his ass, I expect them to live up to their word.
UFC Cementing Place as Industry Leader
A recent article in the Sports Business Journal emphasizes how the UFC continues to build on its success while many would-be competitors are struggling to survive. Notable excerpt:
Zuffa LLC, the UFC’s parent company, says it is turning a profit on $300 million in annual revenue. Pay-per-view accounts for more than half of that number, followed by television money generated from a deal with Spike TV, and event operations.
Gate receipts for PPV events are averaging $3.25 million this year, up nearly half a million from 2007. PPV buys were up approximately 8 percent in 2007, and another year-over-year increase is expected in 2008.
The UFC has steadily grown in the last few years by living off money generated by television and live events and using that cash to acquire competitors such as PRIDE and World Extreme Cagefighting. PRIDE was shuttered and absorbed into the UFC; WEC features lighter-weight fighters.