Brad Blackburn believes it's his time to shine
One of the UFC’s best kept secrets, Brad Blackburn, is making his return Monday night at UFC Fight Night 20 in Fairfax, Va.
Blackburn was last seen in action in a winning effort over fellow welterweight Edgar Garcia last June, where in his third appearance for the UFC he suffered what would be a debilitating injury that put a damper on the remainder of 2009.
Varner looks for vindication at WEC 46
World Extreme Cagefighting lightweight titleholder Jamie Varner heads into the WEC cage in Sacramento on Sunday, after nearly a year layoff, facing interim titleholder Ben Henderson, seeking vindication.
“It will be 10 days short of a year since the last time I was in there,” Varner told the media earlier this week. “I’m really looking forward to getting back in there and showing everybody the real reason why I’m the WEC lightweight champion.”
MFC 24: Yves Edwards vs Per Eklund booked for Feb. 26 with Hermes Franca retired
Few lightweight mixed martial artists have been where Yves Edwards (36-15-1) has been and are still strapping on four-ounce gloves.
Edwards has fought champions, and been written-off as washed up. He's fought around the world and in most major MMA promotions since 1997. And, now Edwards will ride a two-fight win streak into Maximum Fighting Championship at River Cree Casino February 26.
Edwards TKO'd Kyle Jensen in October and tapped James Warfield in a triangle choke in September, both intense performances for the veteran who has recommitted himself at American Top Team to returning to the top of the lightweight division.
"You know, I think it’s all mental. You hear coming up that so much of this sport is mental and you don’t really understand it until you’ve been around for awhile," Edwards explained Friday. "Now, I’ve been around for awhile and I’ve seen a lot of guys not perform the way they’re capable of. But, I know where I need to be and I’m just ready to fight."
Bobby Lashley vs Yohan Banks possible for Strikeforce: 'Miami'
Former WWE star and collegiate wrestling champion Bobby Lashley (4-0) is likely to make his mixed martial arts debut for the San Jose-based Strikeforce promotion against Yohan Banks (2-1) at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida on Saturday, Jan. 30, according to MMAWeekly.
The "Miami" bout has yet to be finalized and is currently awaiting commission approval.
"The Dominator," who also moonlights as a "face" for TNA Wrestling, entered the world of cage fighting back in Dec. 2008 as a co-headliner for South Florida's Mixed Fighting Alliance (MFA). The 6'3" powerhouse needed just 41-seconds to extirpate Joshua Franklin via doctor's stoppage.
Lightweight Kurt Pellegrino in for UFC 111
UFC lightweight contender and New Jersey native Kurt Pellegrino (14-4 MMA, 6-3 UFC) will fight in hid home state for the first time in more than four years.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned from sources close to the promotion that Pellegrino has committed to fight at UFC 111 at the Prudential Center in March.
An opponent for Pellegrino has yet to be determined.
The bout will be the 30-year-old's first since an August win over Josh Neer. Pellegrino was expected to face Frankie Edgar at The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale in December, but herniated discs forced "Batman" off of the card.
Clay Guida & Sean Sherk Agree To UFN 21 Fight
The first UFC event on Versus-UFC FIght Night 21 in Match, continues to take shape, and a big fight is in the works between Clay Guida & Sean Sherk. Verbal agreements in place, paperwork pending. The fight may also be contingent on Guida being cleared to return early from a 180-day medical suspension following UFC 107.
Liddell Lands Role In Major Motion Picture
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight titleholder Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell has recently been on location in Santa Fe, New Mexico filming the feature film “Passion Play” starring 2009 Golden Globe award winner Mickey Rourke and actress Megan Fox.The 40-year-old mixed martial artist went through several auditions beating out other actors to get the role.
Assuncao Believes Judging Needs To Be Consistent
"I actually didn't have the worry, right when I first accepted, but of course as time goes by and you start to train and people are like be careful," Assuncao told MMAWeekly.com. "Because people tell be careful with the decision, you're going to go to Sacramento."
Nate Quarry vs. Jorge Rivera in the works for UFC Fight Night 22
A potential middleweight slugfest between veterans Nate Quarry (12-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC) and Jorge Rivera (17-7 MMA, 6-5 UFC) is in the works for the as-yet-unannounced UFC Fight Night 22 in March.MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned that the organization is targeting the matchup for the March 31 event, and at least one fighter has verbally agreed to the contest.
Tavares: “I’m not thinking about the belt”
Recovered from injuries, Thiago Tavares will be back to the most famous octagon of the world on this Monday, and he’s prepared to one more challenge. Before the fight with Nik Lentz, the black belt talked to TATAME about the fight. “I was born ready”, Thiago guarantee. “I’m well prepared to hit him standing up.
UFC Quick Quote: Efrain Escudero just needs to keep winning
Evan and I haven't been hyping the fight like that -- we're not saying anything bad about each other. We don't even know each other but we're just looking forward to competing. In the Ultimate Fighter house I hated two guys when I fought them. I hated Junie Browning and I hated Shane Nelson when I fought them. Cole Miller is a very respectful guy, we talked before and after, and I think Evan Dunham is a very respectful guy too.
Hermes Franca Retires
Former UFC & WEC veteran Hermes Franca has called it a career. He retired following a TKO loss to Eric Wisely last night in Iowa, his 4th loss in his last 5 fights. His career peaked with a UFC Lightweight Title shot at UFC 77, but he lost then was suspended 1 year for a failed steroids test. He plans to rest then focus on training students at his gym in Syracuse, NY.
After initial hesitation, "Cheesesteak" Morrison ready to eat as WEC 46 nears
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Recent WEC signee Anthony "Cheesesteak" Morrison (15-7 MMA, 0-0 WEC) didn't get his nickname by accident, so you can almost imagine what he was doing when he received his call to the big leagues.
"I was on my way back home from going to Max's Cheesesteaks," Morrison recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "They called me and were like, 'Are you sitting down?' I don't like surprises, so I was like, 'What's up?' They said, 'You've got an opportunity to fight Mike Brown in the WEC.'"
Morrison's first answer might not be exactly what you'd expect to hear, though the response is undeniably understandable.
"I said, 'I don't know,'" Morrison said. "I ain't even gonna front. I was like, 'I don't know.'
"I talked to my wife, and she was kind of scared. I talked to her, and my coach talked to her, SuckerPunch Entertainment president Brian Butler talked to her. We all got on the phone, we all conversed, and here I am. I got my team behind me, and I'm here, ready to work."
Heavyweight Herschel Walker draws Greg Nagy in mma debut
We've known since November that former NFL star Herschel Walker (0-0 MMA, 0-0 SF) would make his professional MMA debut on Jan. 30 at "Strikeforce: Miami" at BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla.
Now we know who he'll face.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned from sources close to the promotion that Walker will meet two-time Rage in the Cage veteran Greg Nagy (1-1 MMA, 0-0 SF).
Shinzo Machida likely to go to WEC
Lyoto Machida’s younger brother Shinzo, a karate black belt like Lyoto, could soon be signing with the WEC, according to Brazilian MMA writer Eduardo Cruz. He left a post in the Fighters Only Forums today saying MMA manager Jorge Guimaraes, who looks after the Machidas, had mentioned the news.
Guimaraes was interviewed in his home country recently and when asked about the prospect of Shinzo signing with the WEC soon had replied, “That’s a reality.”
Reports today said that Shinzo is being considered for the UFC or WEC, but his 1-1 record is unlikely to earn him a UFC spot. That promotion wants developed fighters, not those that are still learning (except perhaps Kimbo Slice). The WEC could also benefit in profile terms from having the brother of the UFC light-heavyweight champion on board.
Following UFC release, Houston Alexander joins star-studded Jan. 16 Tulsa card
The Ultimate Fighting Championship officially has released light heavyweight Houston Alexander, his manager, Monte Cox, today confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Alexander, 37, suffered his fourth UFC loss in six appearances when Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson out-pointed him at The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale in December.
The fight drew tremendous criticism from fans due to its lack of action, but no one was more vocal in disapproval than UFC president Dana White, who promised to cut Alexander afterward.
It didn't take long, though, for the Nebraskan to find another home.
On Jan. 16, Alexander (9-5), who went 2-4 in the UFC, headlines 5150 Fight League's "The New Year's Revolution" at the SpiritBank Event Center in Bixby near Tulsa, Okla., against Total Combat and King of the Cage veteran Joey Beltran (9-3).
Nick Catone and The Real Jersey Shore
Despite what you may see on MTV, there is no Snooki, ‘The Situation’, or ‘J-Woww’ on Nick Catone’s Jersey Shore. Yet like most of us who let curiosity get the best of us, the longtime native of Brick Township has tuned in to the cable station’s latest hit reality series, and his reaction is typical of those who actually live at the shore.
“Yeah, I’ve seen it – it’s kinda stupid to me,” he laughs. “But at least people know that they’re coming down from New York and it’s not us from around here making a laugh about the Jersey Shore. But they’re giving a bad impression about it, that’s for sure.”
Brock Lesnar Will Fight Again
Acccording to Lesnar's trainer, University of Minnesota assistant head wrestling coach Marty Morgan:
"He will fight again. I know that it's just a matter of the public finding out when soon enough."