Despite video blog, UFC's Krzysztof Soszynski undecided on potential retirement
It was news to Krzysztof Soszynski that he was retired from fighting.
Not that he hadn't previously considered it – but that he had announced it to the world on Monday evening.
"I'm sitting down surfing the net, and I come across Dana White's video blog," Soszynski (26-12-1 MMA, 6-3 UFC) told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I pop it on because I'm always a fan of those things, and next thing you know, there I am."
It would make sense that the Canadian light heavyweight appears on the UFC president's blog since he fought on the UFC's most recent pay-per-view card, UFC 140. The webisodes take a behind-the-scenes look at these events and everyone around them, and as of late, they frequently feature a fighter's raw moments immediately following a fight as a doctor checks him out. Victorious or not, viewers are often privy to intimate confessions and revelations they might never hear in public.
Such as a fighter who calls it quits, as Soszynski does in the bowels of Toronto's Air Canada Centre after a knockout loss to Igor Pokrajac.
Or did he?
"The truth is, I don't remember," Soszynski said. "The last thing I remember before the knockout was going into the cage, setting up across from Igor, and then shaking hands. The next thing I remember is I'm woken up in the back, fully dressed, and (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva came up to me, sort of gave me a hug and told me to keep my head up."
For UFC 141's low-key Nam Phan, MMA stardom admittedly has its perks
Spend 10 minutes talking to Nam Phan, and it's clear the UFC featherweight is in a good place.
The California-based fighter has trained in multiple disciplines, boxed professionally, plied his MMA skills across the globe, and after years of hard work, he's now cemented his place in the sport's big show.
Now, just days before a UFC 141 fight with undefeated Jim Hettes (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), Phan (17-9 MMA, 1-2 UFC) admits life is pretty damn good.
"For me, making it to the UFC is like making the NFL," the featherweight recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "All the years, all the shows – I fought in Sengoku in Japan, and I fought K-1 – all the shows, all these years, it's all been worth it. I finally made it."
UFC 145 official for March 24, gets Ben Rothwell vs. Brendan Schaub
The UFC's return to Canada is now official for March 24, and a pair of heavyweights will clash on the card.
UFC officials today announced that Ben Rothwell (31-8 MMA, 1-2 UFC) and Brendan Scahub (8-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) have verbally agreed to meet at UFC 145, which takes place in Montreal.
The promotion had previously declined to name a specific date for the event, which is expected to take place at the city's Bell Centre.
Lentz vs. Dunham set for UFC on FOX 2; Wineland forced off card with injury
The night's three headlining fights remain in place, but UFC on FOX 2's undercard continues to undergo changes.
UFC officials today announced that Nik Lentz (21-4-2 MMA, 5-1-1 UFC) replaces an injured Paul Sass (12-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) and faces Evan Dunham (12-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC), while Eddie Wineland (18-8-1 MMA, 0-2 UFC) has suffered an injury in training and has been forced to withdraw from the card.
Wineland's opponent, Johnny Bedford (18-9-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) – who was actually a replacement for Demetrious Johnson – now awaits a new foe.
UFC on FOX 2 takes place Jan. 28 at Chicago's United Center. The night's main card, which features three bouts, airs on FOX. Prelims air on FUEL TV.
Winkeljohn Analyzes Jones Versus Hendo, Evans.
For his next title defense, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones could face the winner of the Jan. 28 matchup between Rashad Evans and Phil Davis. He could also face Dan Henderson, who’s coming off a win in November over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
Jones’ trainer Mike Winkeljohn likes how the champion matches up against all three possibilities.
“They all present different challenges,” Winkeljohn told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Savage Dog Show.” “I’m not sure which one’s the biggest. Dan’s big right hand is always a big challenge. [He’s] somebody that could be able to close that gap and find a hole and try to get to Jon’s chin. That’s probably the dilemma with him, but he’s small. I don’t think he can outwrestle Jon. I think Jon beats him everywhere. I don’t think he can hit [Jones] with that right hand.”
Roberto Vargas is final addition to Bellator's season-six featherweight tournament
The field is set for Bellator's upcoming season-six featherweight tournament.
Early Bellator fighter Roberto Vargas (12-1 MMA, 1-1 BFC), whose only career loss came to Wilson Reis in a season-two tourney qualifier, is the eighth and final addition to the upcoming tourney.
Sources close to the fighter today confirmed his participation with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Vargas now joins Jeremy Spoon (12-0 MMA, 2-0 BFC), Genair da Silva (11-4 MMA, 1-1 BFC), Marlon Sandro (20-3 MMA, 3-1 BFC), Alexandre "Popo" Bezerra (12-1 MMA, 4-0 BFC), Ronnie Mann (21-4-1 MMA, 3-1 BFC), Wagnney Fabiano (14-3 MMA, 0-0 BFC) and Daniel Straus (17-4 MMA, 3-1 BFC) in the tourney, which kicks off on MTV2 in March.
The combined record of the eight tourney fighters is am impressive 119-20-1.
HDNet airs 'DREAM: New Year! 2011' live in its entirety
DREAM's ambitious year-end event, "DREAM: New Year! 2011," will air live in its entirety on HDNet.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) recently confirmed the plans with HDNet officials, who have set aside a nine-hour programming block to air the massive combat sports fight card.
Headlined by a heavyweight matchup between Fedor Emelianenko and Satishi Ishii, "DREAM: New Year! 2011" airs in North America at 1 a.m. ET on Saturday morning, Dec. 31 (10 p.m. PT Friday evening, Dec. 30).
A few additional bouts are expected to be added to the lineup in the next few days, but the current card includes:
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Satoshi Ishii
Ryo Chonan vs. Hayato "Mach" Sakurai
Champ Shinya Aoki vs. Satoru Kitaoka (for lightweight title)
Yuichiro Nagashima vs. Katsunori Kikuno (mixed-rules bout)
Champ Hiroyuki Takaya vs. Takeshi "Lion" Inoue (for featherweight title)
Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Kazuyuki Miyata
Rodolfo Marques Diniz vs. Bibiano Fernandes (bantamweight grand-prix semifinal)
Antonio Banuelos vs. Masakazu Imanari (bantamweight grand-prix semifinal)
Hideo Tokoro vs. Yusup Saadulaev (bantamweight grand-prix reserve match)
Karla Benitez vs. Megumi Fujii
Kazuyuki Fujita vs. Peter Aerts (pro-wrestling match)
Atsushi Sawada and Shinichi Suzukawa vs. Kazushi Sakuraba and Katsuyori Shibata (pro-wrestling match)
Josh Barnett vs. Hideki Suzuki (pro-wrestling match)
Yuta Kubo vs. Nils Widlund (kickboxing match)
Masaaki Noiri vs. Kengo Sonoda (kickboxing match)
* A Tim Sylvia vs. Jerome Le Banner Pro Wrestling match has been announced today.
Travis Browne meets Strikeforce import Chad Griggs at UFC 145
Undefeated heavyweight slugger Travis Browne (12-0-1 MMA, 3-0-1 UFC) returns to action in March, and he'll welcome once-beaten Strikeforce vet Chad Griggs (11-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC).
UFC officials today announced the matchup, which will take place at UFC 145.
While complete details for the card have yet to be announced, UFC 145 takes place in March in Montreal. The city's Bell Centre is expected to host the pay-per-view event on March 24.
Verbal agreements are in place for Browne vs. Griggs, and bout agreements are expected to be finalized shortly.
Georges St. Pierre Named One of the Most Overhyped Athletes of 2011
Georges St. Pierre may be one of the top draws in the UFC, but he has not been immune from criticism as of late for his risk-averse style while Anderson Silva and Jon Jones continue to finish opponents with flash. Now, sidelined for the rest of 2011 and much (if not all) of 2012, it appears that St. Pierre's time being thought of as one of the two most elite fighters in the sport may be over.
St. Pierre's 2011 campaign and inability to get a stoppage win since early 2008 has him on Perry Lefko's list of the most overhyped athletes of 2011 at Sportsnet.ca:
Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White said in December 2011 that St-Pierre is still the most popular athlete in Canada in terms of his international recognition -- we're not so sure about that -- but the welterweight champion is sidelined indefinitely with damaged knee ligaments. And even before his injury, St-Pierre was taking verbal shots from the public, the media and fighters for his inability to put away opponents.
He grabbed the international spotlight in April for headlining the first UFC card in Toronto, producing GSP mania. A record UFC crowd of more than 55,000 packed the Rogers Centre to finally see the conquering Canadian hero and he went the full five rounds with Jake Shields in what was more of a clinic on how not to lose a fight than actually win it.
Yes, GSP had problems seeing out of one eye because of a shot in the fight, but we've seen fighters with far bigger issues turn it up a notch. It was boring at best and continued a pattern of St-Pierre going the full distance without delivering the knockout blow or submission. Heck, the fight before it on the card was way more entertaining than the main event.
Following risky move, Chicago MMA fighter paralyzed in amateur bout
This past Saturday at an MMA event in Joliet, Ill., 20-year-old amateur fighter Jeff Dunbar was stuck in a bad way.
In the ninth of 11 scheduled fights at a Dec. 17 Fight Card Entertainment event, fellow fighter Rudy Bahena clung to Dunbar's back, torqued a standing rear-naked choke, and had his opponent desperate enough to try the unthinkable.
Believing to be out of better options, Dunbar dove forward, hoping he could spike Bahena into the canvas. It was an ill-fated decision – one that's now cost Dunbar the use of his limbs and forever changed his life.
Jon Jones Receives No AP Athlete of the Year Votes
Despite having what many (including myself) feel is, without a doubt, the greatest year in the history of mixed martial arts, Jon Jones did not receive a single vote in the AP vote for Athlete of the Year. To Mike Chiapetta of MMA Fighting, this was proof that it is the mainstream that needs to catch up to MMA, not vice versa.
From the article:
I'm not arguing that Jones should have won the award. The winner, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, had an amazing calendar year. He won the Super Bowl, led his team to a 19-game win streak and has them in position to possibly repeat. Runner-up Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers won both the American League Most Valuable Player and Cy Young awards, the first pitcher to do that in 27 years. Third-place went to tennis star Novak Djokovic, who won 10 tournaments -- including three majors -- and finished the year with an exceptional 70-6 record.
Jones, MMA Fighting's Fighter of the Year, had arguably the best calendar year in MMA history, winning four matches overall, defeating three former UFC champions and becoming the youngest title holder in UFC history. He wasn't exactly invisible doing it, either. He was a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and on the day of his title win, helped thwart a robbery, an act that resulted in major national attention.
If a boxer like Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather put together a year like that, you better believe that they would have earned votes.
But because Jones fights in a cage instead of a ring, his accomplishments go unappreciated and unrecognized. It's not like this was a small sample size; 212 alleged experts in sports cast ballots for the award.
The problem with saying this is an example of a larger ignorance of MMA is that to vote for Jones meant that the voters would have had to have not voted for who they truly felt was deserving of the award. Yes, maybe some (most) of the voters are ignorant of MMA, but would more information have caused them to vote for Jones over Rogers? Is a courtesy vote really that important?
Man Dies After Online Sparring Challenge
If you spend time at MMA forums for any length of time you'll see people challenging others to get together and spar or even looking for people to spar with just "for practice." While most of these are just guys spouting nonsense because that's half of the reason the internet exists, there are times where the people involved are serious and it can lead to dangerous situations.
Investigators are looking into the death of a Chicago man who died after a two-day series of sparring matches with a Vancouver man he met in an online chat room.
Salvador Flamenco, 38, came to Vancouver on Dec. 15 after arranging the fights with the unidentified Vancouver resident through a website, www.allfighters.com, said Sgt. Scott Creager of the Vancouver Police Department. The pair decided to spar at the Vancouver man's home.
The two men fought that day and the next, but after the second day of boxing, Flamenco started complaining of dizziness and nausea, Creager said. The symptoms became more severe and by the time paramedics arrived, Flamenco had begun losing consciousness.
After an autopsy, the Clark County Medical Examiner's Office said Flamenco died of blunt-force injuries and ruled the death a homicide, prompting an investigation by police.
Chael Sonnen 'Done With Anderson Silva', Wants GSP, Jon Jones, dos Santos Next
On Friday, Chael Sonnen returns to the program he walked off last month, claiming he is done with Anderson Silva and after his fight on January 28th with Mark Munoz, he wants either Georges St. Pierre, Jon Jones or Junior dos Santos in a title match next.
Sonnen will appear on TSN's Off The Record with Michael Landsberg at 5 PM EST and a preview clip released today has the top middleweight claiming his pursuit of the current UFC Middleweight Champion is over.
"I'm done with the guy. He and I have no business. He's cold product. He's like jheri curls and Pepsi Clear. He's yesterday's news. I destroyed this guy back when he was tough. That was years ago. He's so far over the hill and so far past his prime that it's not worth talking about.
I'm going to become the No. 1 contender on January 28th and despite what you may think, I'm not going to use that voucher to fight Anderson Silva. I'll be looking at (Jon) Jones, (Junior) dos Santos and possibly (Georges) St. Pierre. I will take that voucher to Dana White and pick one of those three guys. My time with Anderson is done."
Glover Teixeira visa issues fixed
Glover Teixeira finally got a visa to fight in the U.S.. After months of waiting, the light heavyweight granted permission to enter the country and its destination should be the UFC.
"I knew that the visa should leave, but the interview was scheduled for today. All went well and my passport arrives 10 days with a visa, "he said," I'm very close to signing with the UFC. In fact they called me to fight in the UFC against Fabio Maldonado Rio, but I'm a hand injury and did not have time to train. Ed Smith talked to Joe Silva, who told me to rest assured that my place in the UFC would be guaranteed. In the coming weeks, I will meet with them and sign, everything is well underway. "
Glover explained his injury and revealed that hopes to fight in the first quarter of 2012.
"I hope my next fight is already in the UFC in February or March," he said, "I hurt in the fight against Ricco Rodriguez. My hand injury is not serious, it is only in cartilage, but bothers. So I'm trying not to be always bothering me about it. I think here about 20 days I can train, but I'm doing physical conditioning and everything else. I just can not punch, because it is precisely the part that bothers."