Strikeforce move to the bigs includes bush-league writter ban
The enduring image from Saturday night's Strikeforce event was not of Nick Diaz or Gilbert Melendez rocking the house in San Diego with the stuff of a champion, or even of a bloodied, battered yet rejuvenated Keith Jardine. Even more memorable -- and surreal -- was the sight of UFC president Dana White sitting cageside in a Strikeforce T-shirt. This was the second-fiddle mixed martial arts promotion's first major event since being purchased by the top-dog UFC's parent company. And the historic evening made clear that it's now a whole new ballgame for the organization White not long ago was referring to as "Strikefarce."
The Hitman Meets Doomsday On June 26th
UFC President Dana White has announced perhaps the most explosive matchup of the early summer, as two welterweight contenders collide in Pittsburgh on June 26th.
“Verbal agreements are in for a battle between two of the best strikers in the welterweight division as John “Doomsday” Howard takes on Martin “The Hitman” Kampmann,” said White.
TUF Alumni, led by Mitrione, Back in the Octagon updated April 11
Dana White announced that four more bouts have been set for June UFC events.
Heavyweight bangers Matt Mitrione and Christian Morecraft will meet in Pittsburgh on June 26th. “Big men collide as verbal agreements are in for 7-1 Christian Morecraft vs. undefeated Matt Mitrione in a heavyweight matchup,” said White.
TUF 11 star Nick "The Promise" Ring will meet James Head in Vancouver on June 11. "Seven-and-one James head is coming off an impressive victory over UFC veteran Gerald Harris and has verbally agreed to make his UFC debut against the undefeated Canadian middleweight Ring," he said.
In lightweight news, TUF favorite Joe "J-Lau" Lauzon and Curt "The War" Warburton have agreed to throw down. A lightweight bout has also been agreed to between TUF 12 runner-up Michael Johnson and Hawaiian slugger Edward Faaloloto, a WEC alum. Those fights will take place June 26 at UFC on Versus in Pittsburgh.
UFC Middleweight Alan Belcher Eyeing September Return Following Career Threatening Injury
May 8, 2010.
That was the last time UFC middleweight Alan Belcher stepped foot in the Octagon. Since his last appearance, Belcher has undergone two major surgeries and endured a lot of recovery time, but now that he’s back in the gym and training again, a return to action isn’t far off.
It was during training for a fight against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu whiz Demian Maia that Belcher suffered the eye injury. At one point, it looked like it might end his career altogether.
Lucky for him, Belcher’s recovery went better than expected. He’s training again and starting to get back into the form that saw him threaten as one of the more dangerous 185-pounders rising up in the UFC’s middleweight division.
“It looks like Alan will probably make his return sometime in September, is what I’m hoping for. It’s the date that we kind of targeted as the date that he wants to come back,” Belcher’s manager, Malki Kawa of Authentic Sports Management, told MMAWeekly Radio recently.
LESNAR: "I want to be a farmer."
Mike Straka: "Mick Foley became a very succesful author. The Rock became a very sucessful actor. John Cena is also doing acting as well ... What do you see as your future?"
Brock Lesnar: "I'm planning my retirement every day. My heart and soul is on the farm. I've got two young boys and a young daughter and a beautiful wife at home that I just love to be around. I just want to raise my kids and be Joe Farmer Jones."
Several Strikeforce employees axed with Zuffa acquisition
But if it didn’t feel like a UFC event on television, behind the scenes, things were much different. The changes actually started at a smaller Strikeforce event, held eight days earlier, in Stockton, Calif., when several of the Strikeforce employees were brought into a room and told they were being let go. They were told they would have the opportunity, if they wanted, to apply for positions in UFC parent company Zuffa LLC. Many noted that while there was clearly uncertainty as soon as the purchase was announced, they were surprised the ax came down so quickly.
NY Times: MMA makes inroads in MLB
Adam Dunn of the Chicago White Sox, Brad Penny of the Detroit Tigers and Russell Martin of the Yankees have used the sport’s punches and kicks to improve their throwing and swinging. In addition to improving overall fitness, Martin said, mixed martial arts can make an athlete mentally tougher.
“You tolerate the pain and get through it,” he said. “Mentally, I know I’m in a good place because I worked hard.”
Unlike Martin, Dunn and Penny guard the secrets of their workouts as if they were team signs.
Penny acknowledged training with Dan Henderson, but he declined through a Tigers spokesman to discuss his training. Dunn declined through the White Sox media-relations office.
Fedor's Camp Offers Fight at 220; Dan Henderson Unconcerned With Weight
It's a fight that Dan Henderson discussed prior to ever signing with Strikeforce, so the promotion's reigning light-heavyweight champion would gladly temporarily move up a division to accept a match with Russian legend Fedor Emelianenko.
Henderson's manager Aaron Crecy told MMA Fighting that while the fighter has yet to receive an offer for the bout, Strikeforce did ask for confirmation he would take the fight before beginning talks with Emelianenko's M-1 team. Those discussions remain ongoing, but as far as Henderson's concerned, he'll take the fight at any weight class.
"Dan has indicated he'd love to have the fight and he hasn't shied away from that," Crecy said. "He'd love to have the fight, and have it at heavyweight. He's happy to challenge Fedor there."
With mixed regulatory reaction, Canadian promotion planning PRIDE-rules show
If you think MMA has been sterilized by a ruleset that favors the American wrestler, there is a promoter who would like your dollars.
The Canada-based Colosseo Championship Fighting raised a stir at the start of 2010 when it received approval from the Edmonton Combative Sports Commission to use the ruleset of the Japan-based promotion DREAM, which allows knees to the head of a grounded opponent, among other differences with the Unified Rules used in most top MMA promotions.
Now, more than a year later, Colosseo is planning another event for July 23 that will employ mostly American talent.
Its promoter, Pasqualino Santoro, intends to up the action by using the ruleset of another Japanese promotion, the now-defunct PRIDE Fighting Championships. The soccer kicks and stomps used in PRIDE will stay at Santoro's event, dubbed "Colosseo Championship Fighting 6: Bushido."
One-time Strikeforce welterweight contender Marius Zaromskis is in negotiations to fight on the summer card, as are UFC vets Shane Nelson, James Irvin and Rob Emerson, Santoro told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
UFC 132 Fight Card: Cruz vs. Faber Official as Main Event
UFC.com has confirmed that bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz will face former WEC featherweight champ Urijah Faber at UFC 132 on Pay Per View on July 2. The fight will be a rematch of their 2007 bout at WEC 26 in 2007. That fight, contested at 145lbs, was won by Faber with a first round guillotine choke at 1:38. The Faber loss remains the only blemish on Cruz' record. The champ is on an eight fight win streak and Faber is 2-0 as a bantamweight.
July 2nd, live on Pay-per-view from Las Vegas, Nevada:
Royce Gracie Expecting to Fight at UFC Rio
UFC legend Royce Gracie hasn't fought in the Octagon since losing to Matt Hughes at UFC 60 in what was then the biggest pay per view (PPV) in company history. Gracie was the first star of the UFC, winning the 8 man tournaments at UFC 1 and 4 and the 16 man tourny at UFC 2.
He went on to a second legendary run fighting Japanese superstars Kazushi Sakuraba and Hidehiko Yoshida in Japan's Pride organization. Rumors have been swirling that Gracie would fight at the UFC's first return to Brazil since the 1990s in August.
It sounds like Royce will be fighting at UFC Rio after all, from UOL Esportes comes the following quote from Royce:
"It would be the perfect place to do my last fight. I never fought in Rio de Janeiro and I couldn't be more psyched. We are negotiating [the fight deal], but we should have it finalized in two weeks. We only had an initial contact and I don't even have an opponent yet, but we should have that finalized soon" said the 44 year old Gracie.
He also touched on his weight:
"My weight is the same as it was twenty years ago [80kg], I am still training, keeping the blade sharp. I follow a very strict diet. I never drank, never party, Carnaval, none of that... I'm ready to fight"
Cyborg Santos and Tarec Saffiedine slated to fight, possibly at July Strikeforce
A welterweight matchup pitting Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos (18-14 MMA, 1-2 SF) against Tarec Saffiedine (10-3 MMA, 2-1 SF) has been targeted by Strikeforce officials.
A late-July event planned by the California-based promotion is likely to host the matchup, sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
However, official confirmation has yet to arrive. Verbal agreements are currently in place for the fight, though.
Jay Hieron defends victory over Brent Weedman in Bellator tourney semifinals
You might have noticed a visible sigh from Jay Hieron (21-4 MMA, 2-0 BFC) when he was announced the winner in a fight with Brent Weedman (18-6-1 MMA, 4-1 BFC) this past Saturday at Bellator 40.
Some might say that sigh was an acknowledgment that he'd just dodged a bullet.
But that's not the case, Hieron on Monday told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). It was a sigh of happy exhaustion.
Anderson Silva wants to fight Georges St. Pierre, says he is "the best in the World"
Ron Kruck of HDNet catches up with UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson "The Spider" Silva during the grand opening of the Blackhouse gym in San Diego, California. Silva dicusses the facility, as well as the various teams who come together as one big "family." Silva says he is happy with his win over Vitor Belfort, but says he is focused only on preparing for the future. He also talks about the potential "superfight" with Georges St. Pierre, who he considers one of the best fighters in the world.
This past February Silva extended his UFC record for most consecutive title defenses to eight by knocking out Belfort in the opening round of their UFC 126 match-up. Who the consensus pound for pound king will face next is unclear, however should St. Pierre emerge victorious from his April 30th bout with Jake Shields, UFC President Dana White has stated that a "superfight" between the champs would be the likely scenario. Photo by: Francis Specker