"Strikeforce: Houston" draws attendance of 8,635; CEO credits K.J. Noons
Strikeforce's first trip to the Lone Star State resulted in an attendance of 8,635, which officials surely will consider a success.
Saturday's event, "Strikeforce: Houston," aired on Showtime with a pair of title fights and took place at the Toyota Center in Texas.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) confirmed with a Strikeforce official the attendance figure, which company CEO Scott Coker said in ni doubt was aided by former Houston resident K.J. Noons, who defeated fellow lightweight Jorge Gurgel on the night's main card.
Jay Hieron Says He's Been Released by Strikeforce; Heading to UFC?
Jay Hieron (19-4), who has had some issues with Strikeforce, says that he's officially been released from the promotion. He tweeted:
"I finally got my release from SF... Y'all know what I'm about to do!!!!!!!"
"I have been threw a lot of **** this past year but I have trained the whole time. So all WWs take notice I'm coming for somebodys head..."
Kaufman-Coenen, Lindland-Rockhold Set For 10/9 SF, Diaz Likely
While Strikeforce is just hours away from its first-ever event in Texas, the promotion's brass is apparently busy working on an October return to its home base. Strikeforce 135-pound female champion Sarah Kaufman has agreed to face top challenger Marloes Coenen, while fast-rising prospect Luke Rockhold and longtime veteran Matt Lindland have also signed on to fight at an as-yet-unannounced Oct. 9 Strikeforce event. Additionally, Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz is reportedly targeted to appear at the event, though it was not immediately clear if an opponent has been secured. The event likely will be at HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA and could be announced as soon as tonight. Diaz is currently suspended for his role in the Nashville brawl but should be clear in time for this event.
Fedor & Camp Consider 12/4 Fight With Antonio Silva
Fedor Emelianenko will in the coming week decide what his immediate future holds in Strikeforce, according to a source close to the fighter. While speculation on Emelianenko's next opponent has centered around current heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem or a rematch with Fabricio Werdum, the source said a contest with Antonio Silva on Dec. 4 is currently on the table for the Russian's final fight on his current Strikeforce contract. Strikeforce has yet to determine a city or venue for the Dec. 4 event, and officials could not be reached for comment. Scott Coker recently said Silva is one of 3 fighters being considered for the next Fedor fight, the others being Sergei Kharitonov & Alistair Overeem.
WEC 50 Medical Suspensions
The NSAC has announced the medical suspensions from Wednesday's WEC 50 event. 11 fighters in all were suspended at least 30 days while 5 fighters-including WEC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz and likely next challenger Scott Jorgenson-are suspended 180 days unless cleared to return early.
WEC Boss Says Faber Healed, Likely Meets Mizugaki In November
When his doctor told Urijah Faber he was medically cleared to fight, the former World Extreme Cagefighting champion instantly hopped to his feet, cheered, and began shadowboxing right there in the examination room. WEC General Manager Reed Harris, who accompanied Faber to the checkup, knew right then that a November WEC fight with Takeya Mizugaki was good to go. And though Faber technically would be able to fight as early as next month's WEC 51 event, Harris said the upcoming Colorado card was already full and prompted the tentative November booking. "He was good for September probably," Harris said. "But we had our card set already in Denver, so he's going to fight in November. And I think he's going to fight Takeya Mizugaki." Mizugaki could have taken another fight while Faber healed, but Harris said the Japanese fighter had his heart set on the matchup. "Mizugaki's been funny," Harris said. "He's like, 'I'll wait for the guy. I'll wait for him. I don't care.' He wants that fight." Harris said the organization hasn't chosen a location or venue for the November event, but as with other Faber fights, his hometown of Sacramento, Calif., appears a leading candidate.
UPDATE: The November event will be WEC 52.
Oliveira replaces Wiman
The revolving opponent door has swung once again for Efrain Escudero. Originally slated to face John Gunderson at UFC Fight Night 22 in Austin, Texas, on Sept. 15, he was pulled from that fight after Mac Danzig was forced to withdraw from the co-main event versus Matt Wiman. Escudero was elevated to replace Danzig in the headliner.
WEC 50: 316,000 Viewers
Wednesday's Versus-televised WEC 50 event scored an average audience of 316,000 viewers. Ratings remained steady compared to the Las Vegas-based organization's most recent event, WEC 49, which drew an average audience of 324,000 viewers. That event featured a headliner between lightweights Jamie Varner and Kamal Shalorus and – as with WEC 50 – lacked some of the organization's bigger draws, including Urijah Faber, Jose Aldo and Miguel Torres. However, the show does take over WEC 49's slot as the lowest-rated show for the WEC since the promotion's record-breaking WEC 34 event (1.54 million viewers) in June 2008. (Ratings information for broadcasts prior to that event are not available.)
UFC Prelims Returns At UFC 121
Spike TV today confirmed it will air another UFC Prelims special before the upcoming UFC 121 event on October 23. The 2 TV fights this time will be Ultimate Fighter 10 winner Court McGee vs. Ryan Jensen and Patrick Cote vs. Tom Lawlor.
More UFN 22 Changes Coming-Matt Wiman Likely Off
Just as soon as UFC Fight Night 22's co-main event was shuffled, things are in flux once again. While not official yet, Matt Wiman may now be off the card due to an injury suffered in training. Wiman had previously been booked for a rematch with Mac Danzig before an undisclosed injury forced Danzig to withdraw. Wiman was to have faced Efrain Escudero, who replaced Danzig in the fight. A replacement search is now underway.
Dear MMA Fans; F-You! Sincerely, King Mo
Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Lawal has a pretty simple message for fans:..a particular f-word. "Some [fans] are cool, some are idiots. They're fans-they don't know what the f**k they are talking about. That's why I'll say it again: 'f**k the fans.' A lot of them ain't educated. They're just bandwagon jumpers..."
Fans send WEC to Pheonix
The first ever fan voted Amp Energy WEC contest came to a close on Wednesday night with Phoenix coming out victorious as the city that will host a WEC event on Dec. 16.
This will be the first WEC event in Arizona, where fans have long clamored for the promotion to come to their state.
Mac Danzig Off UFN 22, Escudero-Wiman Now Co-Headliner
The planned Mac Danzig vs. Matt Wiman rematch scheduled for UFC Fight Night 22 is now off for now. Danzig reportedly is now off due to an undisclosed injury. Efrain Escudero has been tapped as the replacement, meaning he's now out of his scheduled fight with John Gunderson. As a result, "The Busiest Fighter In MMA", Yves Edwards, will now likely make his return to UFC and face Gunderson in a prelim. Wiman-Escudero will be the co-main event.
UFC 118 Official With 10 Fights, But Harris-Vedepo Off
The fight card for next week's UFC 118 event is complete, UFC officials today announced. The 10-bout lineup features a champion rematch between lightweight champ Frankie Edgar and B.J. Penn, and Randy Couture meets boxer James Toney in the UFC 118 co-headliner. There were 11 fights planned, but Gerald Harris vs. Joe Vedepo is now off. A source says scheduling issues is the reason. They may be shifted to other cards, not necessarily facing each other.
WEC 50 Fighter Payouts-To-Be
NSAC head Keith Kizer today revealed the preliminary fighter payouts for tonight's WEC 50 event. Every fighter will earn at least $3000 for their efforts with the highest possible payday being $35,000, which would be what Joseph Benavidez would earn if he beats WEC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz for the title. Shane Roller would get $32,000 if he wins his fight while both Scott Jorgenson & Cub Swanson can earn over $20,000 with wins.
Showdown Joe: Rory MacDonald vs. Matt Brown @ UFC 123
Numerous sources have informed me that welterweight prospect Rory “The Waterboy” MacDonald (10-1) is likely set to square off against rugged veteran Matt “The Immortal” Brown (11-9) at UFC 123, tentatively scheduled for November 20th.
MacDonald, who hails from Kelowna, BC, suffered the first defeat of his young career, when, with seven seconds left in his UFC 115 bout vs Carlos Condit, the referee stepped in to halt the action.
Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Goran Reljic targeted for UFC 122 in Germany
Goran Reljic's return to the light-heavyweight division appears set.
Reljic (8-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) is expected to fight Krzysztof Soszynski (21-10-1, 4-2 UFC) at UFC 122, according to a source close to the event who told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that verbal agreements are in place with bout agreements expected to be finalized shortly.
Backstage With Ed Soares
Ariel Helwani interviews Ed Soares one of the most recognizable and influential managers in mixed martial arts. With a stable of fighters that includes the likes of Anderson Silva, Lyoto Machida, Jose Aldo, Junior dos Santos and the Nogueira brothers, Soares has quickly put together one of the most impressive list of clients in the entire sport.