Dana White Shoots Down Royce Gracie UFC 134 Return Rumors
UFC president Dana White has indicated to MMA Fighting that the promotion has no interest in offering a fight to Brazilian pioneer Royce Gracie for the UFC's upcoming August event in Rio de Janeiro, refuting previous reports that talks between the two sides could result in a Gracie return.
Just last week, Gracie told Brazilian news site Esporte.UOL.com that negotiations for his return were ongoing.
Gilbert Melendez’s Next Opponent Will Be from Strikeforce, Not UFC
Gilbert Melendez impressed everybody last weekend with his first-round drubbing of former Pride and Dream fighter Tatsuya Kawajiri to solidify his place among the best lightweights in the world.
Following a year layoff, Melendez came back guns blazing and didn’t stop until Kawajiri was finished. In the end, he laid claim to the top of the lightweight mountain.
Now comes the interesting part of finding the next opponent for Melendez.
Rumors started circling right after his fight with Kawajiri that the UFC was thinking about bringing in a title contender to face Melendez next. Names like Jim Miller started popping up right away, but it appears that fight or any cross-promotional fight won’t be Melendez’s next title defense.
Mark Pavelich Attacks Referee Pay, 'Big' John McCarthy Responds
The always outspoken MFC promoter Mark Pavelich made a minor splash with his most recent newsletter. In it he claimed that certain referees have become "celebrity referees" who charge upwards of $10,000 to work an event. From the newsletter:
It’s outrageous and absolutely inappropriate. These certain referees are charging anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 just to show up, bark out a catchphrase, and supervise a fight. But these fees aren’t being paid by any commission. They are paid by a show owner or promoter. And quite frankly it’s sad that some promoters feel obliged to pay them and put them front and center on a poster.
Why would they do that? Honestly, for most of them, it’s because they don’t have any talent pool to draw from so the biggest ovation of the night for anybody in the ring is for the referee. That’s a terrible statement for the sport of mixed martial arts. You don’t have much of a show if you’re paying your referee five times what you’re paying the two guys in the main event.
And how can you not call into question the ethics of these referees. Would you not expect their loyalties to be torn when some promoter is willing to pay them 10K, and that same referee is then calling the action when the promoter’s top fighters are in action.
It’s time for the commissions governing MMA to put a pay structure in place for all referees. They would be paid according to their experience, the level of competition they have overseen, and even feedback from notable fighters and insiders. There are a number of very good referees out there, including those that have worked recent MFC events. But even they shouldn’t be allowed to just toss out a price tag, or have a commission toss out one for them. There should be a pay scale in place – here’s what you get paid (plus reasonable expenses) … take it or leave it.
UFC 129: St. Pierre vs. Shields Conference Call
Jose Aldo: In my mind, this is just another fight. This is my job. Training camp went great.
- Aldo: There's no frustration because I knew I was in the UFC, fighting soon.
- Aldo: C5-C6 bothering him in his neck. Right shoulder bothering him from Mike Brown fight. Shoulder felt stress against Faber, Gamburyan.
- Aldo: No surgery, just rehab.
Mark Hominick: My life's flipped upside down with this fight. I've been in the fight game for 10 years. I feel like an overnight success.
- Hominick: People are intimidated when they step in with Jose. I'm going to come in and step forward against him.
- Hominick: How can you prepare for something you haven't seen before? (Re: fighting in Rogers Centre)
- Hominick: I'm excited for the fans. Every time you get the lighter guys, you're getting a great fight.
Randy Couture: Nothing changed. It's been an on-going transition for me. I want to go out on my own terms. I think that time has come.
- Couture: I've thought about it the last couple camps, and I made the decision this time.
- Couture: (biggest UFC show ever) played no factor in my decision, but being a part of a show of this magnitude is fun.
- Couture: The UFC offered me a couple of other guys, and I turned them down. Lyoto has such a unique style. That's intriguing to me.
- Couture: Representing mixed martial arts against Toney was an honor to me.
- Couture: It's been an interesting camp; I've had to learn some new things. Been fun studying Machida, trying to figure out what will work.
- Couture: I still have the health, ability to compete at this level. I don't want to get to the point where I don't. Go out on my terms.
- Couture: I want to be healthy and enjoy the rest of my life.
- Couture: I'm sure the UFC will have ideas for fights, try to entice me to come back. I see myself being with Zuffa in some other way.
- Couture: Lots to do politically with New York state. I also enjoyed commentating in the booth.
Pat Barry vs. Cheick Kongo official as UFC on Versus 4 co-headliner
A long-rumored bout between heavyweight fighters Pat Barry (6-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Cheick Kongo (15-6-2 MMA, 8-4-1 UFC) is now official for UFC on Versus 4.
UFC officials today announced the fight, which serves as the night's co-main event.
The latest UFC on Versus 4 card now includes:
Anthony Johnson vs. Nate Marquardt
Pat Barry vs. Cheick Kongo
Matt Mitrione vs. Christian Morecraft
John Howard vs. Martin Kampmann
Rich Attonito vs. Matt Brown
Manny Gamburyan vs. Tyson Griffin
Joe Lauzon vs. Curt Warburton
Joe Stevenson vs. Javier Vazquez
Matt Grice vs. Ricardo Lamas
Edward Faaloloto vs. Michael Johnson
Pretty decent free night of fights.
Chael Sonnen to appear before Nevada commission at April 27 meeting
Chael Sonnen will get a formal chance to clear the air with the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
The onetime UFC middleweight contender is expected to be placed on the agenda for the commission's next meeting, which takes place April 27 in Las Vegas, NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer today confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The five members of the NSAC will decide whether or not to grant Sonnen both a fighter's license and a second's (cornerman's) license.
Joe Warren on controversial Bellator 41 win: "I have to leave it up to the judges"
If you have a problem with Joe Warren's controversial victory over Marcos Galvao at this past weekend's Bellator 41 event, take your complaints elsewhere.
Sure, he knows many fans are up in arms over the judges' controversial decision.
But at this point, it's out of his hands, and he'd rather focus on the positives of his performance.
Warren, a season-two tournament winner who defeated then-champ Joe Soto with his guaranteed title shot in September, topped Galvao via 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28 scores.
Following questionable loss, Marcos Galvao granted Bellator tourney spot
There is a silver lining to the highly controversial decision loss Marcos Galvao suffered to Joe Warren this past Saturday at Bellator 41. And it's more work.
The Brazilian bantamweight has secured a spot in the promotion's next 135-pound tournament, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
If all goes well for Galvao in the tournament, Rebney said, a rematch with Warren is an "absolute consideration" down the line.
Bellator 41 ratings: Event draws season-low 132,000 viewers on MTV2
This past weekend's Bellator 41 event drew a season-low 132,000 viewers on MTV2, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed with an event source.
That marks a 39 percent ratings drop from Bellator 40. It's also 18,000 fewer viewers than Bellator 37, which previously held the season low with an audience of 150,000.
The April 16 event took place at Cocopah Resort and Casino in Yuma, Ariz.
Coker: No Discussion of Miller-Melendez Title Fight
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said Monday that a rumored matchup between Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez and UFC contender Jim Miller is just that: a rumor.
“There’s going to be a lot of rumors flying back and forth, around fights and what’s going to happen, but they’re not based on fact,” Coker said during a “Savage Dog Show” interview. “They’re just based on rumors and people just trying to start a story or keep legs on the story. The truth is there has not been any dialogue on that.”
However, Coker does believe his champion will eventually meet opposition from the UFC.
Source: Buentello Injured, Konrad Bout Off at Bellator 42
Paul Buentello has suffered a back injury and will not compete against Bellator heavyweight champion Cole Konrad on Saturday as originally anticipated.
According to a source close to the event, the bout will likely be rescheduled for a later date in 2011, once the UFC veteran's injury has healed. MMAJunkie.com first reported the change.
Bellator 42 goes down April 23 from the Lucky Star Casino in Concho, Okla., and will air live on MTV2. Though the non-title superfight has been lost for the time being, the televised card will feature the Bellator debut of highly-regarded British featherweight Ronnie Mann as he squares off with Josh Arocho.
Melendez: I Match Up ‘Very Well’ with Edgar, Maynard
Gilbert Melendez was in the zone against Tatsuya Kawajiri. Or, as Melendez describes his April 9 Strikeforce lightweight title defense, he was in the “Matrix.”
“I was precise on every shot,” he said on “The Savage Dog Show” of his dominant first-round win. “I wanted to make every shot worth it. I feel like I’m in the ‘Matrix’ out there right now in that I can see things very well. I can see timing. I tried to rush, but it wasn’t there so I sat back and I waited for my openings and I created openings. When openings were there, I capitalized. I was precise and I was on the money. I think things worked perfectly.”
UFC Reportedly Loses ‘Huge’ New Sponsorship After Online Poker Indictments
The federal indictments lobbed at three top poker websites late last week – including noted fight sponsor Full Tilt Poker – continue to cause a troubling ripple effect in the MMA world, new reports indicate. You may have already seen the stories over the weekend about how much the sudden absence of such poker site dough may or may not adversely affect the bottom line of individual fighters, but notable sports business reporter Darren Rovell (who works a lot on ESPN) now says the charges against Full Tilt also mean the loss of an important upcoming deal for the UFC.
COUTURE: "I believe this is my last fight..."
I believe this is my last fight," Couture told ESPN.com on Monday. "I know the UFC is probably going to have other ideas, especially with acquiring Strikeforce and all that. They're probably going to try to draw me into another fight but I don't think that's going to happen. I want to stick to my guns and this is the last one."
"I will miss the competition immensely but I want to go out on my terms," Couture said. "I want to go out when I think it's time to go out and not because I lost this fight or lost that fight or because I had an injury that precludes me from training the way I want to train.
"I want to make the decision on my own."
The Verdict is in: Shogun to Reunite with Cordeiro at Kings MMA
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua has made his decision.
The 2005 Pride Fighting Championships middleweight grand prix winner and former UFC light heavyweight champion will reunite with longtime former mentor Rafael Cordeiro at Kings MMA in Huntington Beach, Calif. Cordeiro made public his invitation for Shogun to rejoin him, as he prepares for his upcoming rematch with Forrest Griffin at UFC 134 “Rio” on Aug. 27 at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Griffin spoiled Rua’s Octagon debut in 2007, submitting him with a rear-naked choke at UFC 76.
“I will make my training camp at Kings MMA because I have so much respect for Rafael Cordeiro,” Rua told Sherdog.com. “He invited me, and I agreed with him that it would be a good way to develop my game.”
Rua has not competed since UFC 128 in March, when he surrendered the light heavyweight championship to Jon Jones in a third-round technical knockout defeat at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Long considered one of the sport’s top fighters at 205 pounds, Rua’s career has been interrupted by three reconstructive knee surgeries. Still only 29, He holds a 3-3 mark inside the UFC. He enjoyed some of his greatest success under Cordeiro at the famed Chute Boxe Academy.
“He’s one of the best coaches ever in the history of MMA,” Rua said. “I’m going for him and for the other athletes there who are all great fighters, like Wanderlei Silva and Fabricio Werdum. I don’t know if Anderson Silva will be there, but the others are great.”