With 'TUF' gig looming, UFC champ Cruz looking forward to beating up Faber
UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz (19-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) is running out of interesting storylines.
Win the WEC title? Check. UFC belt? Check. Avenge your lone career loss? Check.
So with Cruz now preparing to face his nemesis, Urijah Faber (26-5 MMA, 2-1 UFC), for the second time in just three fights, is "The Dominator" struggling for motivation? Hardly. After all, who wouldn't want to beat up their annoying co-worker?
"For me, fighting for a world title is all the motivation I need to get ready for a fight, period," Cruz told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "Adding the fact that Faber is a [expletive] just makes it a little easier, you know?"
Of course, prior to their summer fight, Cruz and Faber will serve as opposing coaches on the upcoming season of "The Ultimate Fighter 15," the first edition of the series to air on FX. The two have a rivalry that dates back to 2007, when Faber became the first (and to date only) man to defeat Cruz.
Jay Jeans from MMA@Work interviews Che "Beautiful" Mills
Che Mills is an English mixed martial artist and current UFC Welterweight. He is a former Cage Rage British welterweight champ, and holds 2 notable KO wins over DREAM Welterweight Champion Marius Zaromskis.
MMA@Work's very own, Jay Jeans, recently was able to catch up with Che.
The full audio of the interview can be found below.
Dana White Open to Nate Marquardt, Not Anthony Johnson
CHICAGO -- UFC President Dana White confirmed on Thursday that Anthony Johnson has been released from the UFC and won't be welcome back until he can prove that he has put his weight problems behind him. But White wasn't quite so adamant that another fighter he released, Nate Marquardt, wouldn't be welcome to return to the Octagon.
With Johnson, White said missing weight by 11 pounds at UFC 142 made it clear that he doesn't belong in the UFC. White also specifically ruled out the possibility of Johnson fighting for Strikeforce, and said that Johnson needs to go to another promotion, make weight and win fights before the UFC would consider giving him another chance.
"He needs to go fight somewhere else, get some wins, come in on weight," White said of Johnson. "He needs to prove to me that he can be a professional, show up on weight and do the things he needs to do. If he does, we can talk."
When asked about Marquardt, however, White sounded open to the possibility that he could re-sign with the UFC. Marquardt last fought at UFC 128 in March, defeating Dan Miller, but was cut by the UFC after his testosterone replacement therapy resulted in a high testosterone count, causing the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission to cancel his fight. White was furious at the time, but several months later he sounds willing to forgive and forget.
"I don't dislike Nate," White said. "I like Nate very much. We'll see what happens."
Contract dispute leaves Yoislandy Izquierdo's status in doubt for UFC on FUEL TV 1
Cuban lightweight Yoislandy Izquierdo may not be making his UFC debut in February, after all.
Despite an announcement from the UFC earlier this month that Izquierdo would meet Bernardo Magalhaes at February's UFC on FUEL TV 1 event, an ongoing contract dispute with the Florida-based Championship Fighting Alliance may prevent "Cuba" from appearing in the octagon.
MMAjunkie.com today confirmed with sources close to the fighter that an existing deal with Championship Fighting Alliance, where Izquierdo currently serves as lightweight champion, may prevent his departure from the organization.
UFC's Dana White on SOPA website attackers: 'Knock it down again tonight – do it'
If you were monitoring Twitter on Sunday, news that the UFC website had been rerouted by anti-SOPA hackers didn't get much of a rise out of its president, Dana White.
Not enough to distract him from watching his beloved New England Patriots win a trip to the Super Bowl.
Things haven't changed much since then. As the UFC allots additional resources to fight a repeat occurrence of the cyber-attack, White today issued a challenge to those who would hijack the UFC's URL.
Rashad Evans, Phil Davis turn up trashtalking heat in UFC on FOX 2 build-up
Insulting your opponent, or "talking up the fight," is part of the job being in the UFC, Rashad Evans believes.
"It's like personal, but not really personal-personal," Evans (16-1-1 MMA, 11-1-1 UFC) said today during a pre-event press conference in support of UFC on FOX 2, which takes place Saturday at Chicago's United Center and airs live on FOX.
Then he proceeded to put in a good day's work against Phil Davis (9-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC), who stands between him and a shot at the light-heavyweight title.
Davis got him working early when the topic of wrestling was brought up. He had previously asserted that he would have won if the two had met in college while he was at Michigan State and Davis was at Penn State.
As a four-time Division I All-American and NCAA champion, the normally congenial Davis took humorous exception to the claim.
"Cocaine's a helluva drug," he said. "And it's crazy what the kids do nowadays. I encourage imagination, and it's good that he has that, but no. He'll never beat me in wrestling – not thumb wrestling, not anything of the sort."
Clearly agitated, Evans corrected Davis when he tried to assert that they wrestled in the same division (Evans competed at 174 pounds while Davis was at 197 pounds) and said Davis won his NCAA title on a "soft" year in competition.
McKee Seven Pounds Overweight, Stripped of MFC LW Title
Antonio McKee has been stripped of the Maximum Fighting Championship lightweight title after coming in seven pounds overweight at Thursday’s MFC 32weigh-ins.
McKee will still face Brian Cobb in the co-main event, but it will now be a three-round non-title affair. Sherdog.com confirmed the news with an MFC official on Thursday, who also verified that McKee will be released by the promotion following his bout with Cobb.
ONE FC 2 To Be Streamed Live On Facebook, Tape Delayed On ESPN Star Sports
ONE Fighting Championships' second event will happen in Jakarta, Indonesia. Their first event was streamed on Sherdog.com, but now it looks like they're changing it up a bit and will be taking a page off the UFC's playbook by properly utilizing their social media platforms.
According to Rolles Gracie, who is one of the competitors on the ONE FC card, the event will be streamed live and free on the promotion's Facebook page, with a delayed telecast available all over Asia on ESPN Star Sports.
ONE FC will be hosting a press-conference in Singapore on Tuesday and I expect this TV deal, along with the competitors for their March show, to be part of the laundry list of announcements that will be made.
Key bouts on the card in Indonesia include a lightweight bout between Felipe Enomoto and Ole Laursen, who has been named as the #8 ranked lightweight in the 2010 World MMA Scouting Report, and a featherweight bout between URCC Champ, Honorio Banario and Bae Young Kwon.
MacDonald to face Lawlor in May
The Athlete is returning to the cage in the spring.
Canadian middleweight Jason (The Athlete) MacDonald will take on (Filthy) Tom Lawlor at a UFC event in Fairfax, Va., on May 15. Sources told Sportsnet the two fighters have verbally agreed to the fight.
The 36-year-old New Glasgow, N.S., native, is coming off a first-round TKO loss to Alan Belcher at a UFC Fight Night in September. MacDonald (25-15) is a veteran of 13 fights in the UFC with a 6-7 record in the Octagon.
The American Lawlor (7-4, 1 NC) fell to Chris Weidman by first-round submission in November.
Dan Henderson Implies That Vitor Belfort Uses Steroids, Says He’s Getting Crazy
That’s not true, this fight [against Anthony Johnson] was never offered to me. Steroids might be killing Vitor’s neurons, he’s getting crazy to say something like that”.
Yesterday we featured comments from Vitor Belfort that explained his decisions for taking the Anthony Johnson fight in Brazil. In the same interview Belfort stated that Dan Henderson was on a list of many fighters who turned downed the middleweight bout against Johnson but that he, himself was not scared of any man.
Dan Henderson recently took to the same media source, Tatame.com, to set the record straight and let the world know that he was never offered the Johnson bout as Vitor implied. He then takes it a step further and calls the Brazilian fighter a steroid user.
Vitor threw the first jab at Hendo but Hendo retaliated in a more insulting way. Could these two be posturing for a future fight? Or is this just a case of he said she said?
I find it very funny that a TRT user would even go to the roid topic
Exclusive: At All Costs, Alistair Overeem Is Out for Justice Against Golden Glory
In this exclusive interview, UFC heavyweight Alistair Overeem talks to MMAWeekly.com about the ongoing legal situation with his former team at Golden Glory and much, much more.
Overeem took time on Wednesday to talk to MMAWeekly.com about his upcoming fight with Junior dos Santos, the work he’s been doing with the Blackzilians and he fires back at his former team at Golden Glory and the lawsuits that have been filed by both parties.
Damon Martin: First let’s start with what’s coming next for you in the UFC. It’s going to be Junior dos Santos for the title. I want to start by asking your thoughts on him as a fighter and his striking?
Alistair Overeem: Junior dos Santos is the heavyweight champion of the UFC so he’s the best fighter in the world at the moment and he has that belt around his waist, which I’m still missing. He’s a very strong fighter with knockout power in his punches, and he moves very well for a heavyweight. His boxing skills are the best in the MMA business so that would make for a very interesting fight. It will be a classic striker versus striker, which an audience always loves to see. It will be a great fight for sure...
UFC returns to Las Vegas on July 7 with pay-per-view event and fan expo
The UFC is planning a return to its Las Vegas home for a traditional Fourth of July weekend event.
The weekend likely will include a major pay-per-view event on July 7 and a UFC Fan Expo from July 6-7.
MGM Grand Garden Arena likely will host the event, and its sister property, the Mandalay Bay Events Center, is expected to host the expo.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) confirmed the plans with event sources. MMAFighting.com first reported the plans.
Since the UFC hasn't set or announced its schedule past May, it's not clear what numbered event the July 7 show will be. No bouts currently are rumored for the show...
Bedford-Gagnon scratched at UFC on FOX 2, Beltran-Johnson promoted to FUEL TV
UFC officials announced today that Canadian Mitch Gagnon (8-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is unable to cross into the U.S. for a fight with Johnny Bedford (18-9-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC), forcing the promotion to scrap the booking at UFC on FOX 2.
A heavyweight bout between Joey Beltran (13-6 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and newcomer Lavar Johnson (15-5 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has subsequently been added to the event's six-bout preliminary card broadcast, which airs on FUEL TV.
The change leaves Chris Camozzi vs. Dustin Jacoby as the evening's lone bout to stream on Facebook
UFC on FOX 3 adds John Dodson vs. Darren Uyenoyama at flyweight
The recently announced UFC on FOX 3 event has a new addition.
Following Tuesday's announcement of a Jim Miller vs. Nate Diaz bout, UFC officials announced "The Ultimate Fighter 14" winner John Dodson (12-5 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has agreed to meet Darren Uyenoyama (7-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) at the event.
Both fighters are dropping from bantamweight to flyweight for the fight.
Old-School Vale Tudo Org IVC Returns with New Rules, Cage
The seminal fight promotion which propelled the careers of Wanderlei Silva and many others is primed to return to Brazil after a 12-year absence.
This week, in an interview with Brazilian TV channel Combate’s “Face to Face” program, International Vale Tudo Championship (IVC) Founder Sergio Batarelli discussed plans to revive the organization he started in 1997.
“I was the first one to bring the UFC to Brazil, and since then, I’ve kept an excellent relationship with the UFC people,” explained Batarelli, 51, who was instrumental in arranging “Ultimate Brazil” in 1998. “They said the UFC needs a top event in Brazil to select fighters, like I used to do in the ‘90s. After talking with them, I got together a group of top sponsors, and the IVC will be back in the middle of the year with a new name, IVC MMA, and new rules.”
Along with the new moniker and as-yet-unannounced guidelines, IVC MMA will trade its vale tudo-era net-lined ring for a cage upon its return.
Bas Rutten Picks Dos Santos to Beat Overeem
Former UFC heavyweight champion Bas Rutten believes current champ Junior dos Santos will beat Alistair Overeem if they fight this year.
In an interview with the Sherdog Radio Network’s “It’s Time!” show with Bruce Buffer, the colorful MMA personality gave his thoughts on the matchup and a variety of other topics, including his Fuel TV show “Punk Payback” and Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos’ positive test for an anabolic steroid.
Rutten on telling Overeem’s camp which opponents could make for difficult matchups: “I always told them … make sure to avoid Junior dos Santos. I think him and Cain Velasquez, although with Cain, he cannot take a punch too great. But still, Cain is a monster and he should have simply shot in on Junior dos Santos, I think. I actually thought he was going to win that fight, but he didn’t. He got tagged, and that can happen to anybody. Anyway, I always said try to stay away as long as you can from Junior dos Santos. That right now could be a very big threat together, believe it or not, with Cheick Kongo. I think that would also be a great opponent for him.”
On how Overeem matches up with dos Santos: “I think Alistair, everything he does is one single shot because he knows he’s got that glass jaw as well. He’s been knocked out quite a few times in the past, even by Chuck Liddell as well. Every time when he punches, one hand is up. He throws single shots; he doesn’t throw combinations. You saw that when he fought [Fabricio] Werdum. Werdum was actually tagging him more than he did to Werdum. I think that Junior dos Santos, with his combinations, his reach, I think he’s going to tag him and he’s going to throw combos and I think that yeah, he’s going to take this fight.”
On Cristiane Santos testing positive for an anabolic steroid: “You could say it doesn’t come as a surprise. I don’t think anybody was surprised, but I always say … you’d better [be] 100-percent sure that you know something before you say it. If I say, ‘Oh, she’s on steroids’ -- I could never say that. … But yeah, she does have the looks from it. She’s unbelievably strong. For a woman she just looks very, very extreme muscular, even more so than bodybuilders.
Diego Nunes vs. Dennis Siver added to UFC on FUEL TV 2
So Dennis Siver (19-8 MMA, 8-5 UFC) will fight in Sweden, after all.
After a rumored rematch with Ross Pearson turned out to be much ado about nothing, UFC officials have instead booked Siver to face Brazilian featherweight Diego Nunes (17-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) at April's UFC on FUEL TV 2 event.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the booking, which was first reported by Swedish site mmanytt.se, with sources close to the event.
Featuring a main event between light heavyweights Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Alexander Gustafsson, UFC on FUEL TV 2 takes place April 14 at Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm. The main card airs on FUEL TV (live on Saturday afternoon in the U.S.), and as MMAjunkie.com first reported, some prelims are expected to stream on Facebook.
Carlo Prater believes Joe Rogan publicly humiliated him after the Eric Silva disqualification
It’s been several weeks since the fight, and Carlo Prater is finally speaking about how he felt about it in this interview with Brazil’s Sportv.globo.com.
“I think in the end I was made out as a villain. I wasn’t laying on the octagon for nothing after the fight. I want that to be clear. I had to stay in the hospital until Monday. They (UFC) asked me not to go public because, indeed, that wouldn’t do any good for me or Eric. IMO, Mario did the right thing. It’s been a long time since rules have been implemented. You are not allowed to do anything you want inside the cage. Watching the fight video I could see at least 9 blows to the back of the head. I think the way Joe Rogan behaved was completely unethical. He went with the crowd. A real professional doesn’t do that. He was acting like a fan when he should be acting as a shout caster. Mario is a million time more competent than him. He’s been living off this for 20 years. Joe Rogan is just a swagger, someone who walks amongst fighters but isn’t really a fighter himself. He doesn’t understand. Whatever… human beings make mistakes and I am not going to be holding grudges against him”
This isn’t the first time someone has criticized Joe Rogan; but it is the first time that Joe Rogan took a position on a controversial stoppage and declared that the referee was wrong inside the octagon. While that kind of personal engagement to the sport might not be something we’re used to, I feel it’s exactly what’s missing in other sports. So often we find commentators sitting monotonous in a press booths, summing up what they see and offering little to no constructive interpretation outside of a fact sheet that’s handed to them, while Rogan lets his passion for the sport transcend the broadcast. Hopefully Carlo Prater and Joe Rogan can make amends before their next event together. Maybe they too can hug it out over a bag of plantain chips.