CroCop – "maybe...I just couldn’t smell the blood"
For all great knockout artists in combat sports, mystique and the intimidation factor are almost as important as the punch or kick that puts an opponent down and out. Lose that, and you’re suddenly human again.
In 2007, Mirko Cro Cop was human.
The year started out well enough for the Croatian, who entered the UFC to much fanfare after winning the PRIDE Grand Prix in 2006 with two wins in one night over Wanderlei Silva and Josh Barnett. At UFC 67 in February of 2007, Cro Cop stopped Eddie Sanchez in a single round, but didn’t look to be the same ferocious striker he was in Japan. Two months later, he was knocked out by Gabriel Gonzaga, and in September of that year, he was listless in losing a three round decision to Cheick Kongo.
Miguel Torres: Cain Velasquez Is the Next Mexican MMA Star
One of the big questions facing mixed martial arts as it attempts to move from niche sport to the mainstream is whether it can attract the millions of Mexican-American fans who love boxing. The most popular Mexican-American MMA fighter right now is World Extreme Cagefighting bantamweight champion Miguel Torres, but Torres says there's another Mexican-American fighter who is a budding star: UFC heavyweight Cain Velasquez.
"It's Cain Velasquez's coming out party," Torres said of Saturday's UFC 99 show on this week's installment of ESPN.com's MMA Live. "He's the next Mexican MMA star. ... I think it's his coming out party."
While excited for UFC 99, Mike Swick's trip to Germany on par with previous visit
As the UFC's latest venture overseas draws near with Saturday's UFC 99 event in Cologne, Germany, the inevitable question asked frequently of all U.S.-based fighters is, "How will you deal with the time change?"
While the rigors of trans-Atlantic travel can lead to a fatiguing case of jet lag for the average vacationer, for a professional fighter the condition could lead to far-worse consequences.
But UFC welterweight Mike Swick (13-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) isn't concerned about the trip to Germany. Why should he? It's the second time he's been there in the past two months.
UFC 99 preview: Davis and Hardy draw verbal battle lines, Franklin gets inside access for Silva prep
The insults are enough to make even the most mean-spirited middle-school kid blush.
Marcus Davis and Dan Hardy have traded heavy artillery in a war of words heading into their welterweight bout at UFC 99 this Saturday in Cologne, Germany. The UFC's last double-digit fight card features a pair of former world champions, the return of Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic and rising heavyweight contender Cain Velasquez.
Yet, it's the Davis-Hardy feud that has served as a compelling subplot. And, from all accounts, the verbal combativeness isn't for show. These two fighters genuinely harbor a strong distaste for one another, and those feelings have been on full display on messages boards and in pre-fight interviews.
WEC Going To Mexico In 2010
World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC), the Zuffa-owned sister promotion to the UFC, is set to host events in Mexico in 2010, Fighters Only has learned.
A source close to the organisation said that due to the increasing popularity of the brand among Spanish-speaking fans, Mexico is considered a prime territory for expansion and that they anticipate events on Mexican soil "by next year".
Dale Hartt: ‘I just want to punch Dennis Siver’s teeth in’
It was one of the most gruesome moments in the history of the UFC. There were many theories on how the bout would unfold but none of them included Corey Hill’s shin bone snapping in half like a tree branch after colliding with the shin of Hartt.
It wasn’t the way the native of Bangor, Maine wanted to win that bout. He felt like his back was up against the wall in the fight with Hill, one more loss would have equaled an uncertain future with the biggest fighting promotion on the planet.
Hartt will finally have his chance to show the world that he’s in the UFC to stay this Saturday evening when he faces off with the Russian-German Dennis Siver.
Mind Games: Dan Hardy UFC 99 interview
By now it’s no secret that UFC 99: “The Comeback” will feature a heated grudge match between 10-fight UFC veteran, Marcus Davis (16-4) and red-hot British prospect Dan Hardy (21-6, with 1 NC). In fact, it looks to be one of the better fights on an already-stacked card.
Davis needs little introduction to fans on both sides of the pond. The Bangor, Maine, native first got our attention as a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 2, at a time when he was known mostly for his boxing skills. He compiled a professional boxing record of 17-1-2 on the New England boxing circuit — and has since been referred to as “the most-improved TUF contestant” from the show’s first few seasons.
Despite Move to Light Heavy Rich Franklin is Still the Gatekeeper for Anderson Silva's Middleweight Belt
I don't think this fight makes sense for either fighter as a catchweight bout at 195lbs, but I'm glad we're going to get to see it. After his second loss to Anderson Silva, the UFC asked Franklin to move up to 205lbs. But ever since they've treated him as a kind of supplement to their 185lb class, having him fight top 185lb contender Dan Henderson at 205lbs in what was essentially a title contention eliminator fight for two divisions -- Henderson at middle and Franklin at light heavy.
Kimbo's Trainer Says He's Ready For Round Two
Randy Khatami says Kimbo Slice is ready for the 15 heavyweights who want a piece of him.
Khatami, a trainer at Elite MMA with Bas Rutten, was one of Slice's chief trainers since the bearded fighter announced his entry into MMA.
Early last month, Khatami began working with Slice again after a six-month layoff. Slice told him he would return soon – to what, he didn’t know, but he wanted to be ready.
Minotauro Plans To Retire Next Year
Another fighter retirement tour may be right around the corner. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira says he plans to retire next year, but not before one more run at the UFC Heavyweight Title and possibly fights in Japan and his native Brazil.
Carano-"Cyborg" to go five, five-minute rounds
Five Ounces of Pain has learned that Strikeforce's Aug. 15 women's title bout between Gina Carano and Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos will go a full five rounds.
Ever better: Strikeforce has confirmed to ESPN that rounds will be a full five minutes in duration. About time. There appears to be evidence that females have a 10-15 percent lower oxygen consumption rate than men do, which conceivably could limit the kind of interval and muscular endurance performance that MMA demands, but is it really by so much that they needed competition duration reduced by nearly half?
Hopefully, subsequent women's bouts will follow suit. If any division is in need of curtailed rounds for the safety of participants, it's the sloppy super heavyweights. A blended cheeseburger is not a proper postworkout recovery drink.
Sylvia-Mercer Goes MMA
Tim Sylvia and Ray Mercer will now meet in a heavyweight mixed martial arts bout at Adrenaline III this Saturday at the BJCC Arena in Birmingham, Ala.
The matchup of former UFC champion and former boxing champion will headline 14 additional MMA bouts in the cage. The event will no longer be regulated.
Originally scheduled as a six-round boxing bout, Adrenaline owner and promoter Monte Cox said he made the decision to re-categorize the match on Thursday.
“I got a call from the Pennsylvania commissioner saying that the boxing match is illegal because we weren’t getting regulated by a U.S. commission,” said Cox on Thursday.
With no regulatory body present in Alabama, the Canadian-based River Cree Combative Sports Commission had agreed to step in and oversee the event.
Cox said he believed he had completed all the necessary requirements asked of him, which included procuring a letter from Alabama’s governor welcoming the Canadian commission into the jurisdiction.
However, Association of Boxing Commissions President Tim Lueckenhoff told Sherdog.com that neither he nor the ABC organization had been approached directly to regulate the bout. Further, Lueckenhoff said he’d thought Sylvia-Mercer would be an MMA contest and not a boxing bout. Lueckenhoff said federal law currently has no jurisdiction over MMA bouts, but laws are in place over boxing under the Professional Boxing Safety Act.
In a press release issued by the ABC on Thursday, the organization denounced the “unwarranted and illegal” boxing match. The release also noted that the River Cree commission, as well as referee John McCarthy, had withdrawn their involvement from the bout and event.
“Canadian boxing commissions are not authorized to supervise boxing matches in the U.S.; and, patently, it is wholly inappropriate for one representative from a Canadian boxing commission, together with an MMA referee, to supervise a boxing match,” said Bruce C. Spizler, chairman of the ABC legal committee in the release.
“I told the promoter I would do it if it was a sanctioned event,” McCarthy told Sherdog.com Thursday. “As soon as it became apparent that that would not happen, I pulled out.”
In March, it had been reported that the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board (NJSACB) said it would not regulate the bout, prompting Cox to move the bout to another venue.
“Everyone thinks I came to Alabama because it’s unsanctioned here,” said Cox, “but why would I go to so much trouble to try and get this event regulated if that were the case?”
Cox also said the Mashantucket Pequot Athletic Commission, which oversees events at the Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut, had agreed to regulate the event in March, but a financial agreement could not be reached with the casino.
The event was moved to Alabama for sponsorship opportunities, Cox said. Cox said he would not be able to procure new regulation for the event in time.
Series 3 of popular Round 5 MMA figurines hits store shelves this week
Round 5's latest series of popular MMA figurines hits store shelves this week, the Ontario, Canada-based company announced today.
Series 3 features former UFC champion Andrei "The Pit Bull" Arlovski, referee "Big" John McCarthy, UFC heavyweight title-holder Frank Mir and former PRIDE and UFC champ Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira.
The company also announced that a planned figurine of popular Russian fighter Fedor Emelianenko has been delayed and will not be part of the Series 4 this summer.
"We continue to work closely with Fedor and his team on making his figurine as accurate and true to his persona as possible," Round 5 President Damon Lau stated. "Consumers appreciate Round 5's commitment to producing collectibles that capture each athlete's individual style, and we look forward to completing the Fedor figurine with that goal in mind."
Series 4, expected to be in stores by no later this early August, now features Gina Carano, Dan Henderson, Cung Le, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Matt Serra.
Series 5 will be released by year's end, though participating fighters have not been announced.
Round 5's offerings can be purchased at leading retailers such as Walmart (Canada), Toys 'R' Us, FYE, Century Martial Arts, Sunrise Records, The Treadmill Factory and Hatashita International. Other retailers can be found at www.round5mma.com/wheretobuy.php.
UFC: Next UK Show Is In Manchester
The UFC's next UK show will definitely take place in Manchester, Fighters Only Magazine has learned from a well-placed source.
The city, which hosted UFC 70 in 2007, boasts a 17,500 seat venue in the form of the Manchester Evening News Arena.
No fights have yet been officially scheduled for the card but Manchester's close proximity to the city of Liverpool means that the Wolfslair gym is likely to be well represented on the card.
M-1 Challenge invades South Korea on July 4
Amsterdam, Holland: M-1 Global officials officially announced Wednesday that the sixth installment of the 2009 “M-1 Challenge Presented by Affliction” will take place on Saturday, July 4 in Seoul, South Korea.
M-1’s international crew and staff will accompany a troupe of 30 fighters representing six different countries as they prepare to go head-to-head in three separate best-of-five series’.
As UFC 99 looms, Wanderlei Silva wonders if the win is finally more important than the show
For all of the ferocious attacks Wanderlei Silva (32-9-1 MMA, 2-4 UFC) has implemented with his hands, elbows, feet and knees in his 23 career wins by knockout or TKO, it is perhaps his eyes that are most intimidating.
The animal-like stare, full of evil intentions, has won "The Axe Murderer" countless fights before the opening bell ever sounded.
But on this day, Silva's threatening stare has softened, and his eyes betray him. The intimidation is replaced with reflection, and those eyes are staring at his own hands as they rest on a table in the office of his Las Vegas gym.
New York Government Turmoil Could Sidetrack MMA Regulation
Just a week ago, it seemed like mixed martial arts was on the fast track to regulation in New York.
Not so fast.
A bizarre series of events in the state's capital that have been characterized as "turmoil" and a "coup" by various New York newspapers, has left the state senate in disarray, leaving the actual governing of the state on the back burner.