Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix now expected to end in March
The hand Daniel Cormier broke on Antonio Silva's skull is taking its time to heal, and Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker today said the end of the promotion's heavyweight grand prix is waiting on that paw.
"We'll take it on a week-by-week basis," Coker said.
At the moment, the finals of the eight-man tournament are expected to late place in "late first quarter," or March.
"That's the month that we're shooting for," he said.
Coker said Cormier (9-0 MMA, 6-0 SF) is soon due back at the doctor for a follow-up visit. The fighter had a protective cast removed several weeks ago. Presumably, the fighter will receive a timeframe for when he can start hitting things and prepare for Josh Barnett (31-5 MMA, 1-0 SF), who awaits him in a five-round fight for the heavyweight-grand-prix belt.
TUF 15 Coaches Announced
The Ultimate Fighting Championship® announced today that The Ultimate Fighter®, the longest-running sports reality show on television, is moving to FX this March with an exciting, new live format.
The Ultimate Fighter® LIVE debuts on Friday, March 9 as part of a two-hour season premiere beginning at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The show will then air for one hour at 10 p.m. ET/PT every Friday for 13 weeks on FX. UFC® bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and “The California Kid” Urijah Faber will serve as coaches on the upcoming season, with lightweight and welterweight contestants competing for two, six-figure UFC contracts.
George Roop vs. Cub Swanson Set for UFC on Fox 2
A featherweight addition to the UFC on Fox 2 card in Chicago has been announced by the UFC, as George Roop will face Cub Swanson at the January 28th event:
Cub Swanson will take on the always-dangerous George Roop in the talent-packed featherweight division.
Although both men have looked impressive at times, neither has been able to string together consecutive wins since 2008. Roop, who competed on the eight season of The Ultimate Fighter, has competed as high as 155 lbs, and all the way down to 135 lbs, but seems to have found his niche at 145 lbs. Looking dangerous in knockout wins over Chan Sung Jung and Josh Grispi, Roop also seems to falter against opponents who are highly skilled in certain areas, getting oustruck by Mark Hominick and outgrappled by George Sotiropoulos. Nonetheless, Roop is looking to build off a close split decision loss to the highly-touted Hatsu Hioki at UFC 137.
UFC Debuting In Sweden In March 2012
The UFC will be adding a new country to its 2012 passport as they'll be heading to Sweden for the first time in company history for a yet-to-be announced March event, according to a Swedish MMA site.
The event is scheduled for Stockholm on Wednesday, March 28th, likely to be a Fight Night event on FX or Fuel TV. There are several options for arenas like the large AEG-run Stockholm Arena or the 16,000 seat Ericsson Globe. This will be the promotion's first trip to a Nordic country.
Dan Henderson Ready to Pull the Age Card to Get Shot at Jon Jones, Wants a UFC Title
Prior to Dan Henderson's return to the UFC it seemed that many people forgot that Hendo had won his last three UFC bouts before heading to Strikeforce. The loss in his first Strikeforce bout against Jake Shields seemed to only serve to make more people want to write off Henderson as a top level fighter.
Now riding a four fight win streak that includes names like Fedor Emelianenko and Mauricio Rua, Henderson thinks it's time for him to get a UFC title shot, an he tells Sherdog he should get the next shot and is willing to use the old man ploy to get it
'TUF 8' champ Escudero likely to return to UFC, meet Volkmann at UFC 141
After a high-profile split with the organization, "The Ultimate Fighter 8" champion Efrain Escudero (18-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) is expected to return to the UFC.
Multiple sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that T.J. Grant (17-5 MMA, 4-3 UFC) has suffered an undisclosed injury and has been forced out of this month's UFC 141 event.
Now, Escudero is expected to take his place and fight fast-rising lightweight Jacob Volkmann (13-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC).
However, UFC officials have made no formal announcement about the likely UFC 141 fight, which takes place Dec. 30 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The event, which takes place on a Friday to avoid Sin City's usual New Year's Eve congestion, features a pay-per-view main card.
Escudero vs. Volkmann is slated for prelims that are expected to stream on Facebook.
TUF 14 Finale ratings: Event averages 2.5 million viewers, peaks with 3.4 million
The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale averaged 2.5 million viewers and peaked with a solid 3.5 million on Spike TV.
Spike TV officials today emailed the ratings information to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The Dec. 3 event, which crowned two new "TUF" champs, drew its peak audience for the headliner between "TUF 14" coaches Michael Bisping and Jason "Mayhem" Miller in the 10:30 p.m. slot.
Overall, the event, which took at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, scored a 1.7 household rating, and it was highest-rated finale since the TUF 10 Finale in 2009. It also was the day's No. 1 rated program on ad-supported cable among men 18-49 (2.4 rating) and men 18-34 (2.9 rating).
Strikeforce CEO on Showtime renewal: 'I'm optimistic at this point'
Despite persistent rumors, Strikeforce hasn't completed a broadcast deal to remain on Showtime.
But Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker today hinted at some progress with the premium-cable channel and suggested an announcement could be coming.
"That's something we'll just have to wait and see," Coker said. "But I think things are going well, and I think we'll have something to announce soon."
Coker today made the commitments as part of a medial call ahead of a Dec. 17 "Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal" event in San Diego. It's Strikeforce's final event of 2011, and a Jan. 7 event is slated to kick off 2012 in Las Vegas. However, the current two-year Strikeforce-Showtime deal expires in February, so barring a renewal, they could be the final ones on Showtime.
'TUF 15' tryouts attract 350 fighters, including Jamie Yager, Kultar Gill, to Las Vegas
"The Ultimate Fighter 11" veteran Jamie Yager and K-1 kickboxing vet Kultar Gill were among approximately 150 welterweights who attended Monday's open tryout session for "The Ultimate Fighter 15."
Additionally, more than 200 lightweight fighters also attended the all-day session, which aims to secure a cast for the upcoming edition of the reality series, set to begin filming in early 2012.
The prospective cast members gathered at the Fertitta family-owned Texas Station Hotel & Gambling Hall in Las Vegas.
iJudgeFights.com seeks beta testers, eyes fan education and interaction
If you're an MMA fan that's been enraged by a decision, chances are you've used Twitter to commiserate and argue with fellow fans.
iJudgeFights.com, a website currently in development, hopes to give would-be judges a place not only to vent, but to score fights and measure them against those who do it for a living.
"I wouldn't say people are outraged, but there are periods where people are disappointed with the outcome of fights, and we feel that not only are we going to be able to help, but create interaction that hasn't existed before," iJudgeFights co-founder Jonathan Wakrat today told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio).
Users of the site are invited to score each round of an MMA event such as the UFC and provide details on why they gave that score on elements such as striking, grappling and octagon control. The site is expected to go live in January, and beta-testers are currently being sought to use the program and help generate feedback for future improvements.
UFC 140 Still Not Sold Out A Week Out From The Event
Eight months ago the UFC packed 55,000 fans into the Rogers Centre to watch Georges St. Pierre defend his welterweight title against Jake Shields. The atmosphere was electric and the Canadian fans showed up in droves to support the national hero. This week there is a completely different story. Instead of an enormous sold out crowd, Jon Jones and Lyoto Machida may do battle in front of a partially filled Air Canada Centre.
The Toronto Sun was the first to report on the ticketing troubles surrounding the event. When the UFC rolled into town for UFC 129, the city was abuzz with excitement and expectations. The first event was a huge success with local media doing their part in building up the supercard. For UFC 140, it would appear that they just haven't gotten on board with the promotion. The city is all but dead with the event just a week away. From the Toronto Sun:
Despite the great line-up, there's been little hoopla over the city's second ever UFC event, which still has tickets available.
In reality, with so many cities around the world clamouring to host the UFC these days, Toronto should be counting its blessings. Only Montreal in 2010 and Las Vegas, where the UFC is headquartered, have ever held two events in the same year, Wright said.
The UFC will likely come to town at least once a year from now on, he said, adding the ACC show is more in line with a typical UFC event.
Melvin Guillard Finds Missing Pieces with Blackzilians
Sometimes, you just have to make a change to improve your situation. That’s pretty much the case with Melvin Guillard.
From Guillard’s perspective, there are things – important things – he’s missing by keeping 100 percent of his training within the walls of Jackson’s MMA. But that’s not to say he’s ready to up and leave the camp altogether. Guillard has teamed up with the “Blackzilian” crew down in Florida, but he plans on splitting his time with them, as well as Team Jackson.
This leaves one wondering: are things okay at Team Jackson and was there tension that caused Guillard’s departure?
According to “The Assassin,” people need to stop making an issue out of an non-issue and realize there are no problems with the camp. The problem, rather, lays within Guillard.
“I’m still part of Team Jackson,” he told MMAWeekly Radio Weekend Edition. “People need to not make everything so much more than it is because then it causes problems.
“There is no problem in any camp. The problem is with myself. I feel that I get certain things (with the Blackzilians) that I don’t get at Jackson’s. Just like I feel I get certain things at Jackson’s that I don’t get here.”
'TUF 14' runner-up Bermudez says ailing arm not broken, aims for quick return
The only tough break Dennis Bermudez suffered this past Saturday was his loss to Diego Brandao.
Bermudez today told MMAjunkie.com that he did not, as suggested, suffer a broken left arm when Brandao nabbed a come-from-behind armbar submission in the finals of "The Ultimate Fighter 14."
But the bantamweight finalist did admit that his arm was less than 100 percent leading up to the fight, and at one point, he contemplated withdrawing from the bout.
Dan Henderson: Anderson Silva's 'injuries' would 'heal real fast' for Michael Bisping fight
Move over Chael Sonnen, your old buddy Dan Henderson is taking over in the Slam-Silva campaign.
The former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion, who made a successful return to the Octagon in his bloody war against Mauricio Rua at UFC 139 earlier this month, has also been pining for a middleweight rematch against Anderson Silva.
One he felt he deserved after stiffening Michael Bisping at UFC 100 all the way back in 2009.
While the win over "Shogun" has likely put him in line to face the winner of Jon Jones vs. Lyoto Machida at UFC 140, he couldn't get another crack at "The Spider" even if he wanted to.
Silva has shipped himself back to Brazil for the next six months to rehab an injured shoulder.
One that would heal "real fast" if the UFC came calling with a title defense against Bisping, who "looked more like a TUF contestant than a TUF coach" in his Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 14 Finale headliner opposite Jason Miller.
"Looked like one guy hadn't fought in a long time & the other guy cut too much weight. Kinda like the JV team. Not hating. Just not a great night for either guy--weren't there physically so they looked more like TUF cast than coaches. All the 'injuries' that keep Anderson from a rematch w/ me or Chael will heal real fast if they offer Bisping to him."
The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale salaries: Bisping ($425,000) earns top payday
Main-event winner and "The Ultimate Fighter 14" head coach Michael Bisping was the bigger winner at this past weekend's TUF 14 Finale event, and he earned $425,000 for his efforts.
The payday, which included a $150,000 win bonus, accounted for the majority of the event's $708,000 payroll.
The full TUF 14 Finale payouts includes:
Michael Bisping: $425,000 (includes $150,000 win bonus)
def. Jason "Mayhem" Miller: $45,000
Diego Brandao: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Dennis Bermudez: $8,000
John Dodson: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. T.J. Dillashaw: $8,000
Tony Ferguson: $30,000 (includes $15,000 win bonus)
def. Yves Edwards: $16,000
Johnny Bedford: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Louis Gaudinot: $8,000
Marcus Brimage: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Stephen Bass: $8,000
John Albert: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Dustin Pague: $8,000
Roland Delorme: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Josh Ferguson: $8,000
Steven Siler: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Josh Clopton: $8,000
Bryan Caraway: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Dustin Neace: $8,000
Charlie Brenneman vs. Daniel Roberts targeted for UFC on FX 1
A welterweight bout between Charlie Brenneman (14-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Daniel Roberts (12-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC) has been added to the UFC's first event broadcast on FOX affiliate FX.
Sources close to the event today confirmed the matchup to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). Roberts also confirmed the bout on his official Twitter account.
UFC on FX 1 takes place Jan. 20 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. The event's main card airs live on FX while preliminary fights air on FUEL TV.
Muhammed 'King Mo' Lawal targeted for 'Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine'
former strikeforce light-heavyweight champion muhammed "king mo" lawal (8-1 mma, 3-1 sf) is back on a regular schedule. after an on-again, off-again stretch of activity courtesy of a knee injury, lawal is expected to make his second appearance since returning from his layoff when he fights at "strikeforce: rockhold vs. jardine."
Former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal (8-1 MMA, 3-1 SF) is back on a regular schedule.
After an on-again, off-again stretch of activity courtesy of a knee injury, Lawal is expected to make his second appearance since returning from his layoff when he fights at "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine."
Bellator Moves to Fridays, Plans Five Spring Tournaments
Bellator Fighting Championships has decided that going head-to-head with the UFC is a losing battle.
The No. 2 MMA promotion in America announced that starting with its sixth season in the spring, Bellator's live fights will air on MTV2 on Friday nights. The first Bellator show of Season 6 will take place on March 2, and having the event on a Friday ensures that it won't take place simultaneously with a UFC pay-per-view, as Bellator often did this year.
However, the decision to move to Fridays may still mean going head-to-head with the UFC, as The Ultimate Fighter will move to a live format with fights on Friday nights on FX next year, and the UFC may also run some Fight Night-level shows on FX or Fuel TV on Friday nights.