With Poland conquered, teenage prodigy Marcin Held hopes for big-stage MMA offer
Marcin Held found the beginning of his promising mixed-martial-arts career on a billboard.
The then-9-year-old Held was searching for something new to try, and he spotted the advertisement for a gym in his Polish city of Tychy. He wandered in to check out the facility.
"It was (an) accident," Held told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) in his improving English this week. "The club is one of the best in jiu jitsu in Poland."
And Held took to it quickly. Now, at 18, the 155-pounder already has an 8-0 start to his professional career after compiling an undefeated amateur record.
M-1: Fedor Emelianenko fighting Fabricio Werdum in May, off planned April CBS card
After weeks of doubt about the fighter's once-expected participation, Fedor Emelianenko will not, in fact, fight in April during Strikeforce's return to CBS airwaves.
According to a report from MMAFighting.com, M-1 officials today said at M-1 Selection Eastern European press conference that Emelianenko will fight Fabricio Werdum – but not until May.
Strikeforce officials have not confirmed plans for the April show, but as MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) reported on Wednesday, it could move to Showtime (or be delayed altogether) now that Emelianenko won't be involved.
Have a Difference in Opinion with Mir? Feel Free to Punch Him in the Face!
Never one to hold back on his opinion, Frank Mir has proven that getting in your opponent’s head can benefit you when it comes time to fight.
Before his UFC 107 match-up against Cheick Kongo, he quipped about the Frenchman’s lack of ground skills, and a few other barbs, which led to Kongo’s anger heading into the fight in Memphis last December.
Mir reversed the situation on Kongo, dropping him with a big punch early and then putting him away with a guillotine choke on the ground. The former UFC champion admits that maybe it got into Kongo’s head, but in reality he was just answering a question honestly and it shocked some people.
“Honestly it just kind of worked out that way. With Kongo I was being matter of fact about things,” said Mir in an exclusive interview with MMAWeekly Radio. “I said his ground skills aren’t that great, guys, and because the cameras are on, instead of just being like they aren’t that great, they’re not very good, really is it that far fetched to say that they’re probably the worst in the UFC?
“I don’t understand this whole mentality just because it’s true doesn’t mean you have to say it. I’m like, why not? I guess if I said it about someone’s wife or their kids, that’s kind of awful, but I’m saying it about another man who gets to lock himself in a cage with me and if he didn’t like what I said, he gets to punch me in the face and try to fix it.”
Putting the recent controversy about Brock Lesnar behind him, Mir is now 100-percent focused on Shane Carwin and their upcoming interim title fight on March 27 in Newark, N.J. With the fight just a month away is it too soon for Mir to pick at Carwin’s weaknesses?
“In the Shane Carwin fight, honestly it’s not that I’m down playing anything or not trying to get into his head. I’m looking for different angles and honestly to my disadvantage, he doesn’t have a lot of fight time on footage. He stays pretty reserved, and in a lot of ways he’s a likeable guy. He’s a tough competitor. He keeps himself kind of on the straight path. There’s really nothing bad for me to say about him,” Mir commented.
Being honest has put Mir in the crosshairs of the media that scrutinize his words. He says that ultimately he’s just telling it like it is, but he won’t be a guy that will just make up something to stir up controversy.
“At this point, I don’t want to be that fighter that just makes stuff up just to say something cause then it loses a lot of it’s legitimacy,” said Mir. “It’s like you just completely pulled that out of left field. I don’t mind exaggerating something, adding a little color to it to make it enticing for television or radio, but if I constantly just go ‘well Shane Carwin, he has no punching power.’ Well bro, that has no truth whatsoever or what are you talking about Frank?”
The former UFC heavyweight champion will continue his camp in Las Vegas before breaking for two days to head out to Columbus, Ohio, to fulfill his commentary duties with the WEC next weekend. He will then get back to training for the interim title fight.
Rampage Jackson Doesn't Love MMA
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson will return to the Octagon after more than a year away from mixed martial arts when he takes on Rashad Evans in May at UFC 114. But just because he's coming back doesn't mean he has a passion for his sport. In an interview with Fighters Only, Jackson said that he likes acting better than MMA, and he looks forward to leaving the UFC once he fulfills his contractual obligations.
"I don't know how much I ever loved the fight game, to be honest," Jackson said. "Most fighters these days join fighting because they became a fan of it. When I started I wasn't a fan of it -- I've been a fighter my whole life. I just thought it was a blessing that God could give me something I could make money doing. When I was a kid I got tired of fighting. I didn't want to be a fighter anymore. But I was just good at it. It was just something that was in my blood. Some people are fighters."
Jackson, who delayed his fight with Evans by six months so he could film The A-Team, said that the UFC's refusal to embrace his acting aspirations took away some of his enjoyment of being involved in the company.
"I like it a lot less than I used to," Jackson said. "It's no secret, everybody knows about the falling out I had with the UFC, and it's just unfortunate that they're trying to blame me for doing this movie."
Although the UFC steadfastly supported Jackson in 2008, when he was arrested on felony reckless driving charges, he said he doesn't believe the UFC has treated him particularly well. For example, he said he wanted to fight UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida and that UFC President Dana White first told him he could, then told him he couldn't.
"They've said some things and done some things I don't agree with -- that's not the way I do business," Jackson said. "I'm a loyal person so I take care of people who take care of me, but people who don't take care of me, I don't take care of them. So I'm done with the UFC. They can't ask me for anymore favors. Nothing. I just want to finish my contract and get out of there, do my own thing. Dana lied to me. He told me I didn't have to fight Rashad, I could fight Machida. I did the show and then after that he told me I had to fight Rashad."
Jackson is a great fighter, and MMA fans love watching him fight. But hearing him talk about how he doesn't love the sport and doesn't like the UFC, it's hard not to think his fighting days are numbered.
Dream Press conference announces 4 fights among other things
Minowaman vs. Jimmy Ambriz
Andre Dida vs. KJ Noons (really happy to see kj knocked out again)
Ryo Chonan vs. Andrews Nakahara
Katsunori Kikuno vs. Kuniyoshi Hironaka
In 2010 they will crown Heavyweight, Light Heavyweight, and Middleweight Champions.
Bibiano Fernandez vs. Joachim Hansen is the first official bout for DREAM 13.
DREAM 14 confirmed for April in South Korea.
Following DREAM 13, there are a total of six events scheduled for the year, in April, May, July, September, October, and December.
DREAM will hold the second installment of the caged fight card in 2010.
A light heavyweight tournament featuring the Strikeforce champion, Gegard Mousasi, is expected to kick off in May with eight or sixteen participants.
A middleweight tourney is also on tap to fill the throne vacated by Mousasi.
Heavyweight title will be crowned in a title bout between two opponents handpicked by DREAM: Sasahara hinted strongly that Alistair Overeem will be one of the contenders.
Sasahara mentioned Strikeforce mainstays, Gilbert Melendez, Josh Thomson, and Robbie Lawler as some of the fighters he would like to court for appearance in DREAM.
DREAM lightweight title bout between the reigning champion, Shinya Aoki, and top contender, Tatsuya Kawajiri, will not happen until May or July
Frankie Edgar's UFC 112 prediction? Plenty of sweat...
"His flexibility, balance, all that stuff, he's going to be a tough nut to crack. I'm going to have my hands full for sure. I definitely watch video. I don't get too caught up in it though because I feel like that's almost psyching yourself out. I'd rather have my team, my coaches look at it, tell me what they think and I will sit down and watch it with them, but I'm not a big video guy...
Shane Carwin: 'Frank Mir is either a terrible human being or unfit to fight'
"I can tell you that ANY athlete wishing death upon a competitor is either a terrible human being or mentally unfit to fight. That type of talk and if it ever happened will take this sport backwards. Frank has been a part of the stone ages of MMA and it makes no sense why he would want or make comments that might damage a lot of the good HE has participated in adding to this sport over the years....
Shine Fight III takes shape with Rua, Vitale, Thompson, Pamplona, Estima, others
While the details regarding Shine Fight Promotions' long-rumored third event have been hard to come by in recent months, the upcoming event is quickly taking shape.
Promotion officials today announced that Ricardo Mayorga and Din Thomas would headline the pay-per-view event, known as "Worlds Collide: Mayorga vs. Thomas," on May 15 in Fayetteville, N.C.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has since been able to pin down the evening's main card along with a handful of preliminary participants.
STRIKEFORCE: ROCKHOLD ON VERGE OF STARDOM
Expectations have always been high for Rockhold, but now more so than ever he’s hearing from followers that it is his time to step up.
“I’ve heard that quite a bit,” he stated. “Everyone’s asking me if this is my last Challengers fight and if I’m ready for the big names and stuff like that.”
People’s expectations aside, Rockhold has never been one to sway his course for outside influences.
Silva suspended just 30 days, free for potential UFC 115 bout with Akiyama
While the New South Wales Combat Sports Authority (the commission in charge of regulating this past weekend's UFC 110 event) has yet to release an official list of medical suspensions from the UFC's first trip to Australia, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has confirmed the status of one high-profile competitor.
According to Marc Ratner, the UFC's Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, newly minted middleweight Wanderlei Silva (33-10-1 MMA, 3-5 UFC) will be free to return to action after a mere 30-day suspension.
The news clears the way for a recently reported potential fight between "The Axe Murderer" and Japanese middleweight star Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) at UFC 115 in June.
Lift The Ban Watch: MMA Now Legal In Alabama
Welcome to the club, Alabama. According to Dana White, Alabama is the latest state to adopt MMA legislation. The MMA regulation actually comes less than a year after Alabama passed a bill to create a state boxing commission to oversee MMA's sister sport. The recently created Alabama Boxing Commission will be renamed the Alabama Athletic Commission and will now oversee pro and amateur MMA events in the state. The MMA regulation opens the doors for organizations such as the UFC, WEC and Strikeforce to hold major shows in Alabama.
Denis & Sandro Added To SRC 12
World Victory Road today announced more matches for their upcoming SRC 12 event on 3/7. Breakout star and Featherweight King Of Pancrase Marlon Sandro will return to the promotion to face Tomonari Kanomata while Nick Denis has been added and will face Yuji Hoshino. Denis replaces Wilson Reis, who is off due to Bellator commitments.
Keith Kizer Explains Legality of George Sotiropoulos' Fight Gear
During last weekend's UFC 110, George Sotiropoulos turned in a star-making performance in a win over Joe Stevenson, but the victory also caused a minor controversy by some who questioned Sotirpoulos' fight attire as flouting the rules.
Sotiropoulos wore fight shorts, compression shorts, knee sleeves and ankle sleeves that left little of his legs exposed, causing some to think he exposed a loophole in the rule prohibiting grappling pants.
Although the bout took place in Australia, MMA Fighting spoke with Nevada state athletic commission executive director Keith Kizer, who oversaw a previous UFC event in Nov. 2009 during which Sotiropoulos wore the same gear.
With Dream contract obligations fulfilled, Alvarez focuses on Bellator
As Bellator Fighting Championships readies to make its Season 2 debut in 2010, one of the marquee names on its roster happens to be lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez. The Philadelphia native was just announced as a headliner for an upcoming super fight in May against former UFC slugger Josh Neer at a catchweight of 160 pounds.
For the last few years, Alvarez has been splitting time living in the U.S. and fighting in Japan, but now it looks like his eyes are focused on fighting closer to home and promoting Bellator.
Speaking with MMAWeekly Radio recently, Alvarez talked about his deal with Dream and his future with Bellator.
Stephan Bonnar to appeal UFC 110 loss, claims headbutt should lead to draw
UFC 110 competitor Stephan Bonnar, who suffered a TKO loss to Krzysztof Soszynsk at UFC 110i due to a deep facial cut, plans to appeal the loss and hopes to have it overturned to a draw.
Bonnar confirmed the plans to The Times of Northwest Indiana's Caged In MMA site, for which he also blogs.
Bonnar, who competed on the un-aired preliminary card of the Feb. 20 event, said the cut was caused by the first-round headbutt – an illegal blow – and that the referee should have gone to the scorecards after the third-round stoppage.
Instead, the referee determined the cut was caused by a punch, though multiple replays of the fighters bashing heads in the first round aired on the video screen at host site Acer Arena in Sydney, New South Whales, Australia.
It's Official: Shields vs. Hendo In April For SF MW Title
At long last it's on. Dan Henderson and Jake Shields have agreed to meet in Strikeforce with the Middleweight Title on the line in April. Shields confirmed the bout when speaking to MMAWeekly Radio on Tuesday night. The date & venue are set but apparently can't be revealed until TV arrangements are made. "I have a date (and) venue, but they told me to hold that back," said Shields. "Hopefully CBS. I think it's CBS. There's a slight possibility of Showtime because they're still (working it out). I don't know the rest of the card or any of that yet. But me and Dan's on, and I'm hoping it's on CBS."
Report: Bully Beatdown Gets 3rd Season
MMA fighter Jason Miller's reality series "Bully Beatdown", which has been airing on the cable network MTV, has reportedly been renewed for a 3rd season by the network. While details about the third season are scarce, the source said Miller returns as the show's host and that the pro-fighter-vs.-bully format will remain largely the same. During each 30-minute episode of the show, which debuted in March 2009, a bully victim contacts Miller, a professional MMA fighter currently under contract to Strikeforce, for help. An MMA fighter then competes against the bully, who receives cash prizes (up to $10,000) for surviving a round of grappling and a round of kickboxing with the pro. MTV has aired 16 "Bully Beatdown" episodes over two seasons, which ran from March to April and August to October of 2009. The show has been a solid performer in the men 12-34 demo, an age range that MTV primarily targets.
Stratus Media Group assumes control of ProElite Inc., plans to relaunch MMA promotion
More than 15 months since the company that housed fight promotions EliteXC and ShoXC closed its doors, the live entertainment company Stratus Media Group, Inc. has assumed control of its operations and plans to relaunch the brand, according to a press release issued today.
ProElite, Inc. held 21 MMA events before it collapsed in October 2008 under the weight of a $55 million debt accrued in 20 months of operations.
Stratus CEO Paul Feller said his company has a plan to revitalize the troubled brand and promote events in the near future, though details on the venture are scant.
"We believe that by combining select key experienced management executives, who made ProElite the immediate success it was, with new top executives with demonstrated successes in conducting and televising MMA events internationally and sufficient capital, that we will achieve the brand's strategy for global growth and success," Feller stated in today's release.
"With this combination, we can start focusing on strengthening and repositioning ProElite events and the brand, planning a series of MMA events that we believe will bring excitement to the MMA market, fans and our shareholders and establish ProElite as a leading international MMA company."