April 2012 MMA News Archive - Page 8
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Nick Diaz, World Champion Braulio Estima Agree to Meet in BJJ Superfight
Braulio Estima, one of the best Jiu-Jitsu players in the world, will welcome Nick Diaz back to the world of BJJ. The Diaz vs. Estima BJJ superfight, which will be contested at 180 pounds, will take place at the World Jiu-Jitsu Expo on May 12 in Long Beach, Calif., according to WJJE officials. The 31-year-old Estima has won a plethora of BJJ competitions over the past decade. He most recently defeated Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza in a super-fight at the 2011 edition of the prestigious Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling Championship and won gold medals at the 2009 ADCC tournament in the 88kg and Absolute divisions. He is currently training with the Blackzilians in South Florida in preparation for his MMA debut later this year.
Gilbert Melendez wanted a big UFC name next, but doesn’t see the same eagerness from them
One of the best Lightweight fighters in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA) today, Gilbert Melendez, has long desired to get his chance to enter the world-famous Octagon and test his skills against the best of the best in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) ranks to prove that he is deserving of being called the best 155-pound fighter in the world. Rumors ran rampant last year that "El Nino" was set to take his talents to the eight-walled cage, but were quickly shot down as he was matched up with Jorge Masvidal at Strikeforce: "Melendez vs. Masvidal" on Dec. 17, 2011. Gilbert's training partners, Jake Shields and Nick Diaz, made the jump from Strikeforce to the UFC in 2010 and 2011, respectively, but he was left to hold the fort down with the San Jose based promotion as its poster boy Lightweight champion. Though a move over the world's largest MMA promotion to join his Cesar Gracie trained companions isn't in his near future, he would settle for Zuffa to send down some of the best Lightweights currently in the UFC to challenge him for his Strikforce throne. Those pleas, unfortunately, have fallen on deaf ears and everyone, for the time being, is staying put with their respective organizations.
George Roop vs. Antonio Carvalho in the works for UFC 149 in Calgary
A featherweight bout between George Roop (12-9-1 MMA, 2-5) and Antonio "Pato" Carvalho (13-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC) is in the works for UFC 149. A source close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) verbal agreements are in place for the fight. "Showdown" Joe Ferraro initially reported the matchup. UFC 149 takes place July 21 at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo headlines against an opponent to be announced.
Bellator 64 TV Ratings Match Season High, but Future on Spike Holds the Key
The TV ratings for Bellator 64 on Friday night tied the Season 6 high for the promotion, drawing 175,000 viewers on MTV2. The season low to this point is 108,000 for Bellator 61, with the five weeks thus far averaging 153,400 viewers per episode. Those numbers pale in comparison to the oft maligned TUF: Live TV ratings that just dipped below one million viewers for the first time in Ultimate Fighter history, but the comparison is a difficult one to make. Just like UFC programming on Fuel TV doesn’t do as well as programming on FX, Bellator’s programming on MTV2 suffers from the lower availability of the network and MTV2 not being known for sports programming. Bellator’s season average of viewers per episode has steadily declined over the past three seasons...
Thiago Alves vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama Targeted for July UFC Even
Yoshihiro Akiyama still has a job in the UFC, and now has his next opponent set, as well. Despite losing four straight in the octagon, Akiyama's spirited performances have ensured him at least one more go, and it will come against Thiago Alves at a July event -- most likely UFC 149 -- according to sources with knowledge of the situation. The two have both agreed to the matchup, sources told MMA Fighting.
Michael Schiavello: 'Everyone is crucifying Alistair Overeem, but he hasn't technically cheated'
By now, everyone in the mixed martial arts (MMA) community is aware of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight Alistair Overeem testing positive for high levels of testosterone during a random drug test by the NSAC, directly following a press conference for UFC 146. But is Overeem being unfairly targeted? That's the question "The Voice," Michael Schiavello, wants answered and is the question he was asking his colleagues on the panel of HDNet's "Inside MMA." "You know, while we're talking about the subject, Kenny, I just wanna chime in here on a couple things that have been playing on my mind, the last week or so, since the news of Alistair (Overeem) broke. Alistair doesn't have a license with the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), so how are they testing him in the first place when he doesn't have a license with them? By what jurisdiction are they testing him? And 'B,' everyone seems to be hanging Alistair out to dry. They've been nailing him to the cross and crucifying him, but it's still two months away from his fight. You know, he hasn't technically cheated. Because, unless he pisses hot on the fight night, how could he possibly have cheated? There's still an opportunity he can get from the 14:1 down to the allowed 6:1 level by fight time. But we're calling him out as a cheat, two months out from a fight?"
Champ Cole Konrad vs. Eric Prindle off Bellator 65, moved to Bellator 70
This week's Bellator 65 event has lost a title fight. A fight between heavyweight champion Cole Konrad (8-0 MMA, 6-0 BFC) and de facto tournament winner Eric Prindle (7-1 MMA, 3-0 BFC) has been moved to Bellator 70 on May 25. Prindle, who suffered a hand injury, today tweeted news of the change. Bellator 65 takes place Friday at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Konrad vs. Prindle was expected to join Bellator bantamweight champion Zach Makovsky (14-2 MMA, 6-0 BFC) and fellow headliner Eduardo Dantas (13-2 MMA, 3-0 BFC) on the MTV2-televised main card. Instead, it'll take place next month at a currently unannounced Bellator 70.
Mark Hunt Rallies 'Army of Doom' in Quest for UFC 146 Title Shot
The UFC has always prided itself on keeping its ear to the pulse of the fans. In the coming weeks, we're about to see just how far that dedication goes. Following the announcement of Alistair Overeem's failed drug test, a new surprise candidate for UFC 146's title shot has emerged. Led by a burgeoning #RallyForMarkHunt crusade that shows no sign of slowing, former K-1 champion Mark Hunt and his ‘Army of Doom' have besieged the MMA community, bombing the social networks of Dana White, Lorenzo Feritta, and anyone else with a say in the UFC's decision making process, in the hopes of awarding "Super Samoan" a shot at the UFC heavyweight strap.
Victor Conte Says There Are 'Simple Answers' for MMA's Drug Problem
When it comes to the use of performance-enhancing drugs, Victor Conte knows a thing or two about beating the system. He did it for years with his Bay-Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO), and he paid for it with a brief prison sentence and a scandal that made his name synonymous with doping in professional sports. These days he’s making it his mission to improve drug testing in sports, and as he told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, he sees plenty of room for improvement in MMA.
Twitter Beef of the Day: Chael Sonnen Serves Mayhem Miller a Nice Glass of STFU
There is no truly no place on the Internet more hate stricken than that of the Twittersphere, other than Sputnikmusic or well…here, of course. I’ll be honest, I’ve had a Twitter account for a few months now and I’m still not truly sure as to what its purpose on this world is. Do I care if Kourtney Kardashian is currently releasing the contents of her latest trip to Moe’s in the second floor bathroom of a Versace outlet? Not really, but apparently there are nearly six million people on this planet that need to be made aware of this disturbing fact, right down to how many pieces of corn managed to find their way into the bowl. But I digress. Perhaps the most ironic aspect of Twitter, at least in my mind, is its ability to make celebrities willingly trade away the last bit of privacy they so desperately ask for when bombarded by the media. In less than 150 characters, these public figures can run their names into the ground, yet even the UFC encourages it, handing out monetary awards for “creativity” and “growth percentage” for this “social” media network. Where, in times past, people wrote down their thoughts in journals, diaries, or simply let a thought go, nowadays everyone from Miguel Torres to King Mo have significantly screwed themselves by using this device as a platform to express their innermost feelings for the world to see, somehow unaware that it would bite them in the ass almost immediately. Such is the case for Jason “Mayhem” Miller. Always the funnyman, Miller took to his Twitter yesterday and jotted down quite a zinger in light of Chael Sonnen’s recent Twitter remarks concerning Alistair Overeem:
Greg Jackson Explains Decision To Corner Jon Jones At UFC 145
Jon Jones had hoped to have his coach Greg Jackson alongside him for his UFC 145 Light Heavyweight Title defense against Rashad Evans but the fact Evans was a former student of Jackson's made things awkward for the sought after coach from New Mexico. After time, Jackson decided to corner Jones in a few weeks when the title in on the line and explained his decision to MMAFighting.com> this week:
D.J. Linderman replaces Chris Barnett in Cage Warriors Fight Night 5 headliner
Officials today announced a late change to Thursday's Cage Warriors Fight Night 5 headliner. Bellator veteran D.J. Linderman (10-3) has replaced injured Chris Barnett (7-1) and now meets fellow heavyweight Bobby Brents (12-2) in the show's main event. Barnett was forced off the card with a foot injury, officials stated. Cage Warriors Fight Night 5 takes place at New Boxing Arena in Amman, Jordan. The main card streams on Facebook following prelims on Cage Warriors' Facebook page.
Jessica Aguilar vs. Megumi Fujii confirmed for Bellator 69
A meeting between top-ranked fighters Megumi Fujii (25-1 MMA, 3-1 BFC) and Jessica Aguilar (13-4 MMA, 3-1 BFC) is now official. Bellator officials today confirmed the 115-pound women's bout for the MTV2-televised main card of Bellator 59, which takes place May 18 at L'Auberge du Lac Casino Resort in Lake Charles, La. Prelims stream on Spike.com. The event also features the finals of Bellator's season-six lightweight tournament and a heavyweight tournament qualifier pitting vet Ron Sparks (8-1 MMA, 3-1 BFC) against Kevin Asplund (15-1 MMA, 0-0 BFC).
Former Tachi Palace champ Ulysses Gomez committed to flyweight, seeking UFC bid
Flyweight Ulysses Gomez (9-2) is certain of two things in his career: He wants to be in the UFC, and he's not a bantamweight, no matter how much it might hurt to admit. The UFC aspirations he's known for sometime, the return to 125 pounds is a more recent decision. "As much as I hate to admit it, I'm not big enough for 135," Gomez recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "I learned that in my last fight when I fought Cody Gibson. He was a little bit taller at the weigh-in. Then when he walked in the cage, I was like, 'Man, this guy rehydrated pretty good.'" Fortunately for Gomez, who recently vacated the Tachi Palace Fights bantamweight belt in order to make a permanent return to 125 pounds, the UFC recently added a flyweight division. It was bittersweet for Gomez, who saw fellow TPF champ Ian McCall earn entry into the promotion's four-man 125-pound tourney. It's the final fight on Gomez's Tachi Palace Fights contract, and he's hoping the bout can serve as an informal UFC tryout. The UFC dream is front and center, and Gomez believes now is his time to make a run to the bright lights. "The UFC has been in the corner of my head for how many years?" Gomez asked. "I've been pumped up since like 2010, when the WEC was supposed to have the 125-pound division. I've been pumped up for a while. "I'm supposed to fight May 10 – Tachi Palace one more time. This is my last one on my contract, and hopefully bigger and better things after that."
Ben Askren Happy with Defense; Not Going Toe-to-Toe with One-Punch KO Power
His style is not flashy, but his performance was near flawless as he dominated Douglas Lima for all five rounds of their championship fight. The Windsor, Ontario, Canada, crowd, however, was predominantly unimpressed as they shouted boos throughout the main event. Aware of the crowd’s negative reaction, Askren made no apologies for the manner in which he won the 50-45 unanimous decision. “His stand-up isn’t something you want to mess with. If the Canadian fans want to stand on their feet for 25 minutes with Douglas, well, they wouldn’t last that long because he’d probably finish them earlier. My striking has improved tremendously, but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to stand around for 25 minutes and slug it out with someone that has one-punch knockout power. That’s ridiculous. If I wanted to do that I’d go to the sport of kickboxing.”
Bellator signs Russian heavyweight prospect Ruslan Magomedov
Russian heavyweight Ruslan Magomedov (7-1 MMA, 0-0 BFC) is the latest addition to the Bellator Fighting Championships roster. Magomedov's debut fight has yet to be scheduled, but he could fight in a season-six non-tournament fight. At 6-foot-4, the striking specialist has the size to compete in the sport's top promotions, and Bellator gives him an opportunity to make a name for himself in the sport. He recently downed former UFC champ Ricco Rodriguez in a three-round decision win at United Glory 15, giving Magomedov the first "name" victory of his career. Ruslan has fought exclusively in Russia and Ukraine this far in his career, which already includes four wins by knockout, two via decision and one b way of submission.
Appeal Denied: Cris Cyborg Santos’ One Year Suspension Upheld by California Commission
Former Strikeforce featherweight women’s champion Cris ‘Cyborg’ Santos went before the California State Athletic Commmission on Monday for her appeal following a one year suspension after testing positive for banned substances during her fight on Dec 17, 2011 in Strikeforce. Unfortunately for Santos, the commission wasn’t bending on their original ruling. Santos and her lawyer appeared in front of the commission asking for leniency after the Brazilian tested positive for stanozolol metabolites after her win over Hiroko Yamanaka. Santos’ appeal was asking for the commission to reduce her sentence from one year down to six months. According to her lawyer, Santos was up for a potential fight on an upcoming Strikeforce show in ‘late June/early July’ in San Diego...
Caught in the Middle: How Teammates Have Dealt with Jones vs. Evans
What started as a rift between teammates has spawned into one of the biggest fights in UFC history, as Jon Jones gets ready to defend his light heavyweight title against Rashad Evans on April 21 in Atlanta. Before they were ever set to face off at UFC 145, Evans and Jones were both students of famed coach and MMA guru Greg Jackson at his camp in Albuquerque, N.M. The two light heavyweights trained alongside each other, and at one time promised to never let the fight game interfere with their friendship or team. It’s funny how a title can change all that, and now the one-time friends have become bitter rivals.
Keith Jardine: The Fighter Who Always Said Yes
Having a reputation as a fighter that will always step up whenever the UFC or Strikeforce asks you to can be a commendable thing in the sport of MMA. Most fighters in the industry know it as an unspoken rule, but Zuffa officials love fighters who will step up and help save a fight card when injury strikes or something pops up on late notice that requires someone take a chance. Throughout Keith Jardine‘s long career from his days in King of the Cage to his stint on the second season of The Ultimate Fighter to his recent Strikeforce fights, he’s always been the fighter willing to say “yes.”
How would Josh Barnett fare in the UFC?
Alistair Overeem hasn't spoken publicly since news broke Wednesday that he tested positive for an increased testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio. He probably doesn't have to for Josh Barnett to understand what the 31-year-old Dutch heavyweight is feeling right now. Barnett, of course, paid a heavy price when he failed a prefight drug test in California almost three years ago. Lost was a huge payday against Fedor Emelianenko, then ranked No. 1 in the division and widely considered among the best competitors in mixed martial arts. The loss of the fight was also the impetus for Affliction Entertainment going under, a situation that rattled the business, fostered the growth and subsequent decline of Strikeforce, and eventually led to Zuffa's move to consolidate the industry. It's unclear what penalties Overeem will suffer, but similar to Barnett (32-5) he could easily surrender a huge payday as well as the most important fight of his career -- a UFC title tilt against Junior dos Santos. Hey, at least he doesn't have to worry about bringing down a promotion, though he might not be around to partake in UFC's continuing prosperity. Still, with dark clouds currently hanging over his head, Overeem should take solace in the notion of Barnett's return the UFC for the first time in a decade -- the message being: No matter how badly someone messes up, Zuffa is prone to forgive under the right circumstances. Barnett's new lease on a UFC life is incumbent on defeating Daniel Cormier on May 19 to cap off the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix tournament. If that happens, UFC president Dana White has suggested that the 34-year-old American could enter the Octagon for the first time since stopping Randy Couture in 2002 to claim the promotional title. How would he fare against the men ranked above him (which for the time being continues to include Overeem)?