Fans Warming Up To Rashad Evans
“What a difference a year makes,” Evans said in between screams of his name. “Last year I would have came in, probably got boo’ed out of the place, but it’s cool that everybody is receiving me well.” His fight on Saturday with Thiago Silva is incredibly important for keeping his place on the light heavyweight ladder, but he’s determined not to let the pressure make him freeze.
An Experienced Dan Lauzon Returns At UFC 108
Dan Lauzon returns to the Ultimate Fighting Championship on Jan. 2 at UFC 108: Evans vs. Silva taking on Cole Miller in a preliminary fight that will air live on Spike TV.He’s no longer a teenager making his UFC debut at UFC 64 in 2006. Lauzon is on an eight fight win streak and while he admittedly will be nervous returning to the biggest stage in mixed martial arts he feels he’s gained valuable experience since losing to Spencer Fisher that night when he was 18-years old.
Vladimir Matyushenko Likely Off UFC 108
With original opponent Steve Cantwell now off Saturday's UFC 108 for undisclosed reasons, it now appears Vladimir Matyushenko is off as well. It appears UFC won't be able to find a replacement on roughly 2 days' notice, so Matyushenko has been pulled and 108 will have 10 fights.
(Note: There appears to be a typo saying a replacement could be found in time)
Dana White: If you don't like the UFC 108 fight card -- don't buy it
"You get 10 (expletive) hardcores on the Internet going, 'Oh, this card (stinks), there’s no this, there’s no that.' Then guess what: Don’t (expletive) buy the card! It’s usually the ones that they’re bitching about that end up being some of the best. What happened with the last card is people were (complaining) because the Rashad Evans-Rampage fight wasn’t happening. Look at what happened. This is my philosophy on this, if you’re a (expletive) fight fan, we’re going to put on good fights for you."
Frank Gomez forced out of WEC 46; Wagnney Fabiano waits on new opponent
Greg Jackson's MMA-trained bantamweight Frank Gomez (8-1 MMA, 2-1 WEC) has suffered an undisclosed injury in training and has been forced to withdraw from a planned bout at WEC 46 bout with Wagnney Fabiano (12-2 MMA, 2-1 WEC).
News of the injury was first reported by "The MMA Show" with Mauro Ranallo, and MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has since confirmed the change with sources close to the promotion.
Fabiano is expected to remain on the card, though a replacement opponent has not yet been secured.
Featuring a lightweight title unification match between dual champs Jamie Varner and Benson Henderson, WEC 46 takes place Jan. 10 at ARCO Arena in Sacramento, Calif. The main card airs live on Versus.
The Blueprint: Rashad Evans
Most fans that I’ve talked with over the past few months believe Rashad Evans had to be just a bit disappointed when he first learned the identity of his opponent for UFC 108 on January 2.
After all, he had spent six weeks exchanging venomous barbs with bitter rival Quinton “Rampage” Jackson on the most recent installment of The Ultimate Fighter and was then reminded of those exchanges during the subsequent airing of the 11 episodes on Spike TV. The pair was supposed to work out their differences in a headlining bout at UFC 107 in Memphis, Tennessee, but Jackson’s foray into acting put that super fight on temporary hold.
DREAM to Host Light Heavyweight Grand Prix This May?
"We are waiting for the schedule of Strikeforce. It is a little bit surprising for us that there is no schedule yet. [Mousasi] will fight in April, together with Fedor (Emelianenko).
"After that, the 30th of May, he will have a fight in Japan – the first round of the light heavyweight championship. Then in July, he will have his second round of the light heavyweight championship."
"After [the April fight, Mousasi] has to make one more fight with Strikeforce," Echteld said. "Because we don't know the schedule yet, we are seriously thinking of making him do boxing fights in the second part of the year because it's still something he wants to do."
If this pushes through, 2010 could be a huge year for the Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion as he has the chance to win his second Grand Prix in as many weight divisions, and also a shot at holding two world titles at the same time.
Melvin Manhoef: I don’t do the ground game
What appeared to be a somewhat Melvin Manhoef recently sat down to speak about his New Year Eve showdown with Kazuo Misaki.
The pair will face off during the DREAM/Sengoku/K-1 promoted New Years event, “Dynamite!! 2009” on December 31, which will air live on HDNet.
Junior dos Santos: Carwin vs. Mir for UFC interim title isn’t fair
With three consecutive wins inside of the Octagon since his arrival in the UFC, the one fighter that continuously seems to be thrown under the bus when talk turns to the future of the promotion’s heavyweight division in the absence of current champion Brock Lesnar is without a doubt Junior dos Santos.
The heavy handed Brazilian knockout artist burst onto the UFC scene with the first round demolition of the highly regarded Fabricio Werdum before rattling off consecutive TKO victories over the likes of Stefan Struve and Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic.
As it now looks like Shane Carwin and Frank Mir will be slugging it out for the UFC interim heavyweight crown, Dos Santos doesn’t agree with the decision, and surprisingly it’s not in his best interest but a close friend’s.
Gilbert Yvel: Junior dos Santos is not in my league
"This is like the highest point you can reach. It’s still a little bit difficult to believe, but I am in the UFC. What better way to prove myself than to knock out Dos Santos ... If I play my game and I be relaxed, and listen (to my corner) through the whole thing, I won’t, I hope there won’t be no problems because he is a good fighter, but his stand-up game is not in my league. For sure I’m going to knock him out. I do MMA to knock somebody out, because then you know you won. He’s on the ground. He’s sleeping, you’re standing, and it’s better than after two rounds the judge says to tell you who is better. If I knock him out then I did my job and nobody can say anything."
Gilbert Yvel anticipates a highlight reel debut when he takes on the fast-rising heavyweight prospect Junior dos Santos at UFC 108: "Evans vs. Silva" on Jan. 2 in Las Vegas.
Couture, Nogueira, Ortiz, Silva, St-Pierre, White attending World MMA Awards
While the 2009 World MMA Awards was already a highly anticipated year-end event, the confirmed list of attendees recently released for the black-tie gala added even more excitement.
A star-studded cast of confirmed presenters and award nominees was released Monday, and it included legendary UFC fighters Randy Couture, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Tito Ortiz, Wanderlei Silva and Georges St-Pierre, as well as UFC president Dana White.
Despite drastic change of opponent, Martin Kampmann happy to fight at UFC 108
Changes of opponent have become commonplace in the UFC recent months, but not all have been quite as dramatic of a shift as welterweight Martin Kampmann's path to Saturday's "UFC 108: Evans vs. Silva" event.
Kampmann (15-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) was originally expected to face fellow slugger Rory Markham (16-5 MMA, 1-1 UFC), but he will now meet grappling standout Jacob Volkmann (9-1 MMA 0-1 UFC).
Cantwell Off UFC 108, Replacement Sought
And the curse continues...
Vladimir Matyushenko on Tuesday confirmed to MMAWeekly.com that his originally scheduled opponent for this weekend’s UFC 108 in Las Vegas, Steve Cantwell, is out of their fight due to undisclosed reasons.