UFC 99 - Wanderlei Silva Vs Rich Franklin
The Ultimate Fighting Championship is set to make its German debut on June 13 at the Lanxess Arena in Cologne. While several fights have been rumored for the event over the past couple of months, most have not come to fruition.
MMAWeekly.com on Wednesday, however, was able to confirm through multiple independent sources that former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin and former Pride 205-pound champion Wanderlei Silva have agreed to fight each other at UFC 99.
Franklin has fought his last two bouts at light heavyweight, returning to the division after running into a brick wall named Anderson Silva at middleweight. Even though Wanderlei Silva's fights in the UFC have all been at 205-pounds to this point, he has made public his intention of wanting to move down to the 185-pound division.
"I talk with (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva and... say no problem, I'm down for 185? He say, no problem," Silva said in a recent interview with MMAWeekly.com, but adding, "I could fight in both divisions; I could fight 185 and 205."
It appears that he may not fight at either weight come June 13. Though it is too soon for bout agreements, sources have indicated that Franklin and Silva have agreed to face each other at a catch weight somewhere in the neighborhood of 195 pounds.
Wineland Set to Return to WEC Against Yahya
After a year of fighting in smaller shows, former World Extreme Cagefighting bantamweight champion Eddie Wineland will likely make his return to the organization against jiu-jitsu champion Rani Yahya at WEC 40, which is scheduled to take place April 5 in Chicago, Illinois.
MMA on Tap was able to confirm the bout with sources close to the fight. Both fighters have agreed to the matchup and it is expected to be finalized shortly.
UFC announces TV deal to broadcast in France
The Ultimate Fighting Championship's European invasion shows no signs of slowing down.
As MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) reported on Saturday, the German station DSF will begin airing UFC-related content, including past episodes of "UFC Unleashed" and major pay-per-view events, next month.
Now, the UFC has announced a similar deal with RTL9 that will open the organization up to more than 14 million French-language homes across France and other European and African locales.
UFC 94 Does Only 800k Buys, Affliction Barely Over 100k
Dave Meltzer has buyrate updates on the UFC and Affliction in his latest newsletter(subscription only--it's worth it.) First, UFC 94:
The trending information and some early information from a variety of sources gives an inconclusive picture nailing down how UFC 94 did, but it appears to have fallen short of early predictions regarding blowing away all previous company marks.
Based on the early trending data, it overall looks to be just over 1 million buys, with the major boost coming from Canada, where it was a record setter.
There are other reports from those with actual knowledge of PPV numbers themselves who have said at this point the confirmed number of buys was closer to 800,000, which, if true, would be a disappointment by today’s standards.
Dana White looking to bolster UFC talent roster
Some big name fighters have been linked to the UFC in the past few months. In a recent conversation with Dana White, he commented on the status of the fighters.
To start, the UFC is looking to bring in some Japanese talent to the promotion. They are very close to a new deal with Caol Uno, with published reports indicating he could return to the UFC at UFC 99. The UFC has also expressed major interest in both Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto and Satoshi Ishii.
However, one guy White has not had discussions with is the former PRIDE lightweight champion Takanori Gomi.
“I haven’t talked with Gomi,” stated White.
Ask the Doc: Are narcotic painkillers performance-enhancing drugs?
Should narcotic painkillers be classified or thought of as performance-enhancing drugs?
In the wake of Karo Parisyan's failed UFC 94 drug test due to the alleged use of a painkiller cocktail, many fans wonder why the drug's users receive such harsh punishments. Is it because painkillers are performance-enhancing drugs, as some commission executives contend?
In our latest "Ask the Doc" column, MMAjunkie.com medical columnist and consultant Dr. Johnny Benjamin weighs in.
How Mike Budnik, the world's top inline skater, found MMA
The first Brazilian jiu jitsu lesson for Mike Budnik came just months after he ended a world-class professional inline skating career. He was a gym manager then, about six years ago, overseeing six facilities in the Chattanooga, Tenn., area.
One day, the general manager of one of his gyms was talking with him about jiu jitsu, which the man taught. He convinced Budnik, whose self image was that of a scrappy New Yorker ready to face any challenge, into attending one of his jiu-jitsu lessons.
Soon, Budnik even got involved.
With St. Pierre vs. Alves likely, Mike Swick still unsure of next move
While UFC welterweight Mike Swick (13-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) had made it very clear in recent months that he was hoping for a bout with Thiago Alves in the near future, recent events have forced a change of plans.
With "Pitbull" in line for a 170-pound title shot with Georges St. Pierre, Swick is now unsure of what comes next.
As Swick today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), he's still hoping for a bout that will clear his path to title contention.
"I'll fight whoever, but I would really like to have a bout that's going to put me in the top ranking if I have a good performance and I win," Swick said. "I'm 8-1 in the UFC, and I feel like I definitely deserve a big fight.
"I want to get out there. I'm training hard. I want to prove that I belong in the contendership at 170 pounds."
Swick has now won three-straight bouts since dropping to the 170-pound class after a 5-1 run in the UFC's middleweight division. Swick last fought in December 2008 in a 33-second TKO win over Jonathan Goulet. The American Kickboxing Academy fighter now hopes to be back in action in May or June.
"I'm healing up a foot injury that I've had," Swick said. "It should be pretty good to go pretty soon. I figure May or June should be about when I come back."
Unlike his ailing elbow which required surgery in July 2008, Swick said his foot is healing fine with a bit of rest.
"It was just a broken bone in my foot that's just been kind of lingering on," Swick said. "I've been training through it and not letting it heal, and it keeps getting agitated. I'm still training right now, but I'm just trying to heal up as fast as I can so I can get back to fighting."
David Loiseau 'The Crow Returns to the UFC' Interview
David Loiseau 'The Crow Returns to the UFC'
PunchDrunkGamer's Justin Bolduc sat down with David “The Crow” Loiseau to talk about his UFC return against Ed Herman at UFC 97 in April.
PDG: First, it is great to have you back in the UFC. How do you feel about your upcoming return?
David: I feel great, man. It feels good to be back home. [The UFC] is my home. It was a long time since I've been back – since 2006, and I'm just very happy to be back, man.
Demian Maia: The gentleman black belt
The National Hockey League presents an annual award called the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy. According to NHL.com, the Lady Byng is an annual award given to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct.
MMA is not a sport that offers accommodations for congeniality but if there was a Lady Byng Trophy in MMA, undefeated UFC Brazilian middleweight Demian Maia would be a leading contender.
Zuffa aiming for UFC live events and programming in neighboring Mexico
In addition to its exploits in Europe, Zuffa was wildly successful with its debut in Canada last year at the Montreal-held UFC 83 “Serra vs. St. Pierre 2.” Now they hope to replicate that success with UFC 97 “Redemption” — assuming the UFC brass can convince the Quebec Athletic Commission to lower their swords.
With that, the UFC has conquered two of the three major markets they set their sites on in early 2006. While events in Germany, Italy and Japan are all a part of the organization’s aggressive growth strategy, neighboring Mexico has somehow still eluded them.
Though that may be just a matter of time.
Parisyan Remains Under Temporary Suspension
Keith Kizer, executive director for the Nevada State Athletic Commission, said the suspension of UFC welterweight Karo Parisyan will hold until a formal complaint against him is heard at the regulatory body’s next meeting in mid-March.
Kizer, on Feb. 10, issued a temporary suspension of the 26-year-old athlete when his post-UFC 94 drug test revealed the presence of painkillers Hydrocodone, Hydromorphoone, and Oxycodone.
During a commission meeting on Tuesday afternoon in Las Vegas, NSAC officials concluded its agenda could not accommodate a “full” hearing of the complaint against Parisyan, and that both officials and Parisyan needed more notice before the commission levies a formal decision on the matter.
Jake Shields Vs Joe Riggs At Next Strikeforce Event On April 11
Former EliteXC welterweight champion Jake Shields has reached an agreement to fight for Strikeforce, signing on to the San Jose-based promotion’s April 11 Showtime debut to face veteran Joe Riggs.
Aroundtheoctagon.com was the first to report the news. MMAWeekly.com subsequently confirmed it with Shields’ manager and father Jack Shields.
UFC signs lightweight Josh Neer to a new four-fight deal
Following his second-round submission victory over "The Ultimate Fighter 6" winner Mac Danzig earlier this month at UFC Fight Night 17, lightweight Josh Neer (25-7-1 MMA, 4-4 UFC) has signed a new four-fight contract with the UFC.
Mickey Dubberly, CEO of KO Dynasty, today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of his client's signing.
The new deal deal comes after a stretch in which Neer has gone 4-1 in his past five fights and 8-2 since November 2006.
UFC Displaying Recession Resiliency
While billion-dollar companies across the United States have been laying off employees and making other budget concessions during a severe economic climate, the Ultimate Fighting Championship continues to resist the downturn.
Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer on Tuesday released the final gross ticket revenue and attendance numbers for the UFC 94 mega-fight between Georges St. Pierre and B.J. Penn.
“Big” John McCarthy Hints at History of Greasing Problems
The Los Angeles Times takes a look at various cheating methods in combat sports today, from the illegal substance in Antonio Margarito’s glove to the Vaseline on Georges St. Pierre’s body. The message here is that cheating, or “gamesmanship,” as Bert Sugar charitably tags it, is nothing new.
But of interest to MMA fans are remarks from former UFC referee “Big” John McCarthy, which suggest that greasing problems have persisted for some time now, and that it’s no big secret, either:
"Guys will push the envelope in every way possible," former UFC referee "Big" John McCarthy said of mixed martial arts fighters. "Vaseline has always been an issue in MMA. It's a real problem."
McCarthy has seen MMA fighters come into the octagon after taking a bath filled with soapy water or even baby oil. "You can't notice it when they're dry, but when they get on the ground and start to sweat, it starts to come out of their pores," McCarthy said.
McCarthy also blamed the persistence of this problem on athletic commission regulators, who are accustomed to working boxing matches and don’t realize the advantage a little extra grease on the body can provide in an MMA fight.
The issue raised by the greasebath version of events – and this isn’t the first time we’ve heard that accusation – is tricky to deal with.
Lauzon Wants Guida Next
Joe Lauzon is looking to climb the lightweight rankings and wants his next opponent to be one that will help him do that.
Lauzon is coming off a submission win over Jeremy Stephens at UFC Fight Night 17, who stepped in at lat notice for an injured Hermes Franca.
“Next, I'd like somebody like Clay Guida (26-6), who just won a big fight against Nate Diaz (decision)," he says.
Following Strike Box debacle, James Thompson returns at March's Sengoku
Fresh off a disastrous Strike Box fight with Steve Bosse that nearly caused an arena-wide riot earlier this month, PRIDE and EliteXC veteran James Thompson (14-9) will return to action next month at World Victory Road's Sengoku Seventh Battle.
A source close to the fighter told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that WVR officials are close to finalizing an opponent for Thompson. However, Thompson's agent, Ken Pavia from MMAAgents.com, declined to comment.