UFC drops Jon Fitch, other American Kickboxing Academy fighters (interviews with Dana and Fitch)
A bitterly angry Dana White said Wednesday the Ultimate Fighting Championship has cut highly regarded welterweight contender Jon Fitch and is not going to do business with any fighters who are part of the American Kickboxing Academy team in San Jose, Calif.
White said he excepted AKA welterweight Mike Swick from that group because he said Swick called him and told him he wants to fight for the UFC. But Fitch and heavyweight Christian Wellisch were cut on Wednesday, and heavyweight prospect Cain Velasquez and welterweight Josh Koscheck could be next.
"We're looking for guys who want to work with us and not against us, and frankly I'm just so [expletive] sick of this [expletive] it's not even funny," White said from Honolulu, where he flew Wednesday from Toronto to hold a news conference to announce the B.J. Penn-Georges St. Pierre fight for UFC 94 on Jan. 31 in Las Vegas.
"Affliction is still out there trying to build its company. Let [Fitch] go work with them. Let him see what he thinks of those [expletives]. [Expletive] him. These guys aren't partners with us. [Expletive] them. All of them, every last [expletive] one of them."
Fitch said Wednesday the dispute was over his reluctance to sign a lifetime contract to allow his name and likeness to be used in a video game the UFC is planning with THQ. He said the dispute has nothing to do with money and that he never caused a problem during his time in the UFC.
Working for free and selling our rights away for lifetime, that's a little different," said Fitch, who said he hasn't spoken with White but plans to call him. "We tried to negotiate five- or 10-year deals with them, but it wasn't good enough. It was all or nothing. He wanted our lifetime. He wanted our souls forever."
White complained that he has to make frequent sacrifices in his personal life and is away from his family for long stretches because of his commitment to growing the UFC. He said the AKA fighters don't understand the things UFC management is trying to do and said they'll learn how tough things are in the poor economy.
Ninja Rua: “Shogun will tear Coleman up”
he’s training all the time and certainly will take the light-heavyweight belt. He’s a great fighter, he is 100% recovered (from knee surgery) and will tear Coleman up…He wanted this fight a long time ago and now it’s only reduce the weight and fight”
John Fitch Cut By UFC
Former number one UFC welterweight contender Jon Fitch was today handed his walking papers for refusing to sign an agreement that would give the promotion exclusive lifetime video game rights to his name and likeness, MMAmania.com can exclusively confirm.
- MMAWEEKLY WORLD MMA RANKINGS UPDATED
The latest MMAWeekly World MMA Rankings were released on Wednesday, November 19. This system ranks the Top 10 MMA fighters from all across the world – now in each of the seven most widely accepted weight classes.
Babalu opens BJJ school in California
Babalu Sobral: Yes, we opened my gym in Cerritos two weeks ago. Check us out at BabaluBJJ.com. Right now, I’m very focused on my fight, but when I finish my fight, I’ll be back at my gym, working at my gym, teaching jiu-jitsu there in Cerritos in California. I’m very happy to have it.
I have a lot of students, and my students are happy because they are going to watch my fight. They know, they talk to me and say, “Ah, this is fun, because now the guy we are watching on TV is the guy we are training with together.” But the thing is, if you train jiu-jitsu, that’s a lot of teaching. I now have a place for when I retire I have a place to stay and give my knowledge away. Give something back to martial arts that they gave to me my whole life.
Fabricio Werdum gone
FiveOuncesOfPain.com has learned that lightweight competitor Marcus Aurelio is the latest fighter to depart the UFC.
The American Top Team member was released from his contract with the promotion soon after his unanimous decision loss Hermes Franca last month at UFC 90.
s anybody else heated about this? Werdum may have looked bad in his last fight but I can't think of one fighter who hasn't had a bad fight. Keithe Jardine got beat by a no name in Houston Alexander and he got to fight Liddell in his next fight, why the hate on Werdum? I know he makes a lot of money but that division is weak and a guy like him is needed. Bring back Cro Cop.
Bellator Fighting Championships releases details for ESPN Deportes show
Bellator Fighting Championships today officially announced its launch and television partnership with ESPN Deportes, but the organization is making it very clear that its competition will, in no way, resemble your typical reality show.
In today's press release, BFC executives promise "a business model unique in the fight industry, yet followed in every other major sport."
BFC, which has opened offices in Los Angeles and Chicago, will feature a format in which title shots are awarded base strictly on advancing through the tournament -- and no other factors.
"We are implementing a tournament structure to determine champions and No. 1 challengers so that world-class fighters can control their destiny based on their performance," stated Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney, a former "Friday Night Fights" executive. "Simply put, at Bellator, fighters fight their way to the title."
The show, which debuts in April 2009, will feature 12 two-hour episodes that air on Saturday nights. The nationally televised events will feature a combination of tournament and non-tournament feature bouts.
Eight competitors will comprise each of Belator's four divisional tournaments. The weight classes included featherweight (145 pounds), lightweight (155), welterweight (170) and middleweight (185).
As Bellator fighters progress through the tournament, they earn substantially larger fight purses. Opening-round winners receive $25,000, semifinal-round winners receive $50,000, and finals winners receive $100,000. Each champion also gets $175,000. That's $350,000 in total for a champion who wins each round of the tournament.
Burns vs Johnson II Headlines TUF 8 Finale
A previously reported rematch between Anthony Johnson (5-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) and Kevin Burns (7-1 MMA, 2-0) set for The Ultimate Fighter 8 Finale in December will headline the event, Spike TV today announced.
Additionally, officials have confirmed a previously reported middleweight fight between Jason MacDonald (21-10 MMA, 5-3 UFC) and Wilson Gouveira (11-5 MMA, 5-2 UFC) will serve as the night's co-main event.
Pretty lame in my opinion, two relatively no namers but what do you guys think?
Fedor own words on Couture and Lesnar
WAMMA heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko has a message for Randy Couture following his loss to Brock Lesnar at last Saturday’s UFC 91, keep your chin up.
MMAWeekly.com spoke with Emelianenko via telephone as he finished watching the first round of the fight on a nearby television. The top ranked heavyweight is currently in Thailand, filming an action movie starring Rutger Hauer and Michael Madsen.
“It’s a very interesting fight,” Emelianenko said of the bout’s first round through his interpreter. “So far, it looks like Randy – he’s more active in the ring.”
Asked who the winner of the first round was, he paused.
“The first round, I thought Randy had the round,” he continued after a beat. “He certainly showed more skills. He was quite interesting in the first round.”
If Emelianenko knew how the fight ended in advance, he didn’t make it known. But after witnessing Lesnar’s fight-ending hammerfists, he warmed to the former pro wrestler.
“He’s a very good fighter,” he remarked. “He’s a very strong fighter. I’m very impressed with his speed.”
Emelianenko said it was too early to say how he would have approached the fight differently. Not what you’d expect, seeing as he knows a thing or two about facing monsters. In his last three years of MMA competition, Emelianenko has faced an equal amount of giants – Tim Sylvia, Hong Man Choi, and Wagner da Conceicao Martins. Lesnar’s speed clearly set him apart from those Emelianenko had laid waste to in the rings outside the UFC.
“I would certainly take a different tactic to the fight, although I do believe that Randy had a smart game plan, but it appears that he wasn’t able to control the top position, which is what I believe he was trying to do,” Emelianenko offered.
Jerry Millen, M-1 Global’s American Vice President, issued a statement following the interview that welcomed an Emelianenko vs. Lesnar fight, however grim the chances of its fruition are at the moment.
“We would welcome a Fedor vs. Lesnar matchup, but to act in a preemptive fashion to address the possibility that UFC officials will try and position Lesnar as the No. 1 heavyweight in the world, much like they have tried to use a marketing ploy to brand Anderson Silva as the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world,” the statement read. “In a match between Fedor and Lesnar, we do not feel that at this stage Lesnar would be able to make it out of the first round.”
Emelianenko has certainly resigned himself to the fact that a fight with Couture may never happen. Despite his affinity for the legend, he says it suits him fine if he never gets the chance to participate in the dream match-up.
“Nothing is ever certain,” Emelianenko said. “This is something that the managers and the organizers need to resolve. But I understand that in all likelihood if Randy stays with the UFC, that the chances of us fighting are much less, and hopefully our fans will be able to overcome that. We both have our history in the sport and if a fight between Randy and I was not to materialize in the future, there will still be other fights. I’m not going to be angry or upset about it in any way.”
In his usual understated way, Emelianenko stopped short of calling Lesnar out in his critique. That’s for the managers.
As for a message to his friend and colleague, another pause.
“I would tell Randy that – I’m sure he already knows – he’s already in the history books, that he’s a legendary fighter, and regardless of the outcome of this fight, things just didn’t go his way,” Emelianenko said.
I'm not sure I thought the first round was pretty close.
Does Lesnar 'deserve' UFC HW Title?
Kevin Iole's mail bag addresses this issue on Yahoo! Sports.
Brock Lesnar’s win over Randy Couture on Saturday at UFC 91 in their match for the heavyweight title created a lot of interest, both pro and con.
I’ll answer questions about Lesnar’s win and his future, as well as other UFC 91 topics, in this edition of the weekly mixed martial arts mailbag.
My answers, as always, are in italics after the questions.
My personal opinion is that he deserves it until he loses it. I'm not a Lesnar fan at all, but that's the facts jack. There's no use crying over spilled milk and if he doesn't lose who else deserves it?
WEC 38 Set For January, Faber Return Likely
WEC apparently is planning to kick off 2009 in a big way with WEC 38. Scheduled to be held in San Diego, former Featherweight Champion Urijah Faber is scheduled to headline the event although he won't get his title rematch yet (Mike Brown is injured), but Lighweight Champion Jamie Varner and Welterweight Champion Carlos Condit will both defend their belts. The card is likely to air on Versus and not PPV.
SUPERCOP MATT GRICE READYING FOR RETURN
"Following one of the most exciting fights in all of 2007 in a win over Jason Black at UFC 77, Oklahoma native Matt Grice took some time off from competing in MMA to attend the police academy and help solidify a future for his wife and young daughter.
Grice asked permission from the Ultimate Fighting Championship to take the time off to attend the academy. They were accommodating to let him do what he had to do, while holding his contract in place to allow for his return to the Octagon."
Seven UFC 91 fighters, including Lesnar and Couture, issued medical suspensions
Lesnar, who defeated Couture with a second-round TKO for the UFC heavyweight championship, is suspended until Dec. 16 with no contact during training until Dec. 7 for precautionary reasons. Couture, meanwhile, has been suspended until Jan. 15 with no contact until Dec. 31, also due to precautionary reasons.
Josh Hendricks, a UFC newcomer who suffered a 61-second TKO to Gabriel Gonzaga, has been suspended until Dec. 16 with no contact until Dec. 7 for precautionary reasons.
Tamdan McCrory, who dropped a first-round submission loss to Dustin Hazelett in a main-card bout, needs his right foot and ankle X-rayed to rule out factures. If the X-rays come back positive, McCrory is suspended until May 15 unless cleared early by a doctor.
Aaron Riley, who defeated Jorge Gurgel via unanimous decision in the UFC 91 Fight of the Night, has been suspended until Dec. 16 with no contact until Dec. 7 for precautionary reasons. Gurgel, meanwhile, must have an MRI on his left shoulder and an X-ray on his right ankle to rule out fractures. If fractures are detected, Gurgel is suspended until May 15 unless cleared early by an orthopedic doctor.
Finally, Rafael dos Anjos, who loss to Jeremy Stephens via a stunning third-round TKO, has been suspended until Jan. 15 with no contact until Dec. 31 for precautionary reasons.
New MMA promotion scheduled to announce launch later this week
A new promotion to be known as the World Cagefighting Alliance is scheduled to announce its planned launch later this week, FiveOuncesOfPain.com has learned.
Sources within the organization confirmed to us that the WCA plans to adopt the same business model as Strikeforce, with the notable exception that it will operate in the Northeastern corridor of the United States as opposed to the West Coast.
WCA’s founders are looking to build up the East Coast MMA scene and take advantage of a void created by the demise of both the International Fight League and Elite Xtreme Combat, both of which promoted several major events in the Northeast region.
UFC Fight Night 17 scheduled for February 7
The 17th installment of Spike TV’s “UFC Fight Night” fight series is set to take place on Saturday, February 7, 2009.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com confirmed the news on Tuesday morning after contacting a source close to the event who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
As of now, few details are known about the planned Spike TV special as a venue has yet to even be finalized.
The next UFC Fight Night, “UFC Fight Night 16: UFC Fights for the Troops,” is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 10 at the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The event is being held to help raise contributions for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund
Lesnar radio interview
Here's a interview from KFAN a local sports radio show in Minnesota. Nothing groundbreaking but worth a listen. He's been on this show a few times before so that's why they sound all buddy buddy with each other.
Will fight for food: Strikeforce middleweight Tony Johnson
Strikeforce middleweight Tony Johnson doesn’t have any trouble knocking people out, even if it has to be done on short notice.
With just three days to prepare, Johnson stepped up to face Marcus Gaines at the War Gods event on September 21 at the Salinas Sports Complex in Salinas California and stopped the more experienced Gaines in just 25 seconds.
As Johnson tells MMAmania.com (www.MMAmania.com), taking the fight was his only option, regardless of the time frame, because it had the potential to give him unprecedented exposure.
“We fought in Selinas, California in the War Gods Show. It’s a local show here, but they are doing a reality show with it. It’s airing on Comcast. It seems to be a big deal here in California.”
It’s not uncommon for fighters to be injured in training, and an unfortunate mishap at the American Kickboxing Academy left Gaines original opponent taking an unscheduled nap in the middle of training camp.