Retired UFC vet 'Joker' Guymon relaunches career in new promotion, new weight class
Almost a year ago to the day, Mike "Joker" Guymon suffered a submission loss to DaMarques Johnson at UFC Fight Night 23 and announced his retirement from the sport.
Guymon, now 37, said well-documented mental problems manifested themselves into physical issues.
But now, in better mental health and with his competitive fire stoked, he's returning to MMA in both a new weight class and a new promotion.
"It was awkward," he told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "You'd always have something to look ahead to like fighting here or doing this or getting ready for this guy. And then all of the sudden, you realize you don't have to do any of that stuff, and there's no more pressure on you.
"It feels wonderful, but it also feels like you're missing something. Personally, I'm a competitor, and I've always been a competitor. Not having that, it definitely felt awkward."
So what changed for the fan favorite? It's complicated, of course. In fact, his situation is doubly complicated when considering his well-documented suicide attempt in 2009. With stress at home, stress with his business, and stress with his fighting career, Guymon planned to check out permanently. However, his wife and a family friend ultimately talked him out of it after a standoff with police, and Guymon underwent a psychiatric evaluation and continued to get the help he needed.
"I feel like the last couple of fights, I cheated everywhere," he said. "I cheated the UFC, I cheated fans, and I cheated my friends because I was going in their not being able to shift it into the next gear. I couldn't get that fire, couldn't get that drive.
"I regret a lot of stuff about those last two fights. I could've asked for time, and they would've given it to me, but I just wanted to get in there and fight. I've never been one to turn down any type of fight. But I just feel like I shortchanged them."
"We figured out a way to wean me off the medication," he said. "I will be right back where I was with that competitive fire and that don't-quit attitude. I feel good like this, and it just feels right.
"I had been trying to figure out the mental stuff in the medication, and that's a big reason I decided to take time off. But now I'm back."
"It's another thing to fire me up to really buckle down," he said. "At the end of fighting [in the UFC], I was cutting corners on the diet, cutting corners on the training and on the cardio, the biking and running. Actually I cut out running for a long time. But now making that decision to cut down to lightweight, I can't cut any corners.
"I have to eat perfect. I have to train correctly. I have to add in all that cardio I used to do. ... The main thing I need to focus on just keeping my head on square. I think I'm going to give a lot of people a lot of trouble it that weight."
Guymon, who's now walking around at 172 pounds, said he'll get as light to 163 to 165 pounds before he'll simply need to cut water weight on the week of the fight. He's refocused, re-energized, rejuvenated. He's happy and motivated and healthy.
'King Mo' Lawal camp narrows list to one culprit in positive steroid test
A list describing the supplements and medications that light heavyweight Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal used prior to his appearance at "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine" points to a single product as the cause of his positive steroid test.
In a letter sent this past Saturday to the Nevada attorney general's office, Lawal's rep, Mike Kogan, stated that an over-the-counter testosterone supplement, S-Mass Lean Gainer, contains a chemical precursor to Drostanolone.
That's the steroid that recently landed the fighter in hot water.
White: GSP could return this summer
Georges St-Pierre’s return may be sooner than we thought.
According to UFC president Dana White, the sidelined welterweight champion is motivated to do what it takes to get back in the cage as soon as possible, suggesting a long-awaited matchup between he and Nick Diaz could happen in "the summertime."
Of course, a couple things would first have to fall into place: Diaz needs to get by Carlos Condit next month at UFC 143; and St-Pierre would have to make significant strides in his rehab following knee surgery -- the previous prognosis had him hoping to get back in the cage only in November.
However, in an interview following Friday’s UFC on FX event in Nashville, White said the Canadian is feeling so much “hatred” for Diaz, who questioned his injured status at an event last October, that he is just itching to get in the Octagon and quiet the American with his fists.
"GSP's rehab could not be going better," White told FUEL TV’s Ariel Helwani. "I kid you not, he texts me every day. Tonight during the fight, he was texting me pictures of him kicking, of him doing things. He says, 'I am praying every night when I go to bed that Nick Diaz wins this fight'
UFC on FX 1 ratings: 1.3 million FX viewers and 148,000 FUEL TV viewers
This past weekend's four-fight UFC on FX 1 event, which was the first UFC main card to air on the FOX-owned FX, averaged 1.3 million viewers.
Additionally, the night's six-bout preliminary card averaged 148,000 viewers on FUEL TV.
The two-hour main card, which boasted four fights on FX, averaged a 1.19 rating among men 18-49 and a 1.21 among men 18-34.
The three-hour preliminary card, which featured Jorge Rivera's successful retirement fight against middleweight Eric Schafer, featured six bouts and was one of FUEL TV's most-watched programs to date.
Fedor Emelianenko To Fight Bobby Lashley In 2012
Bobby Lashley may not have gotten a fair shake from the MMA community. He entered the fight game after a career in the WWE and was viewed by almost everyone as a 'poor man's Brock Lesnar'. It's how the WWE fans viewed him when he made his wrestling debut and it's how MMA viewed him as well. During his time in Strikeforce, he was criticized for taking easy fights, with most viewing him as an expensive can-crusher. He'd deflect this accusations by saying that he is new to the business and taking his time to develop. He'd then add that if people had a problem with how he's handling his career, he'd like to fight Fedor instead. Well, it looks like Bobby Lashley will get his wish.
Mike Kyle vs. Gegard Mousasi confirmed for 'Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey'
A light-heavyweight bout between Mike Kyle (19-8-1 MMA, 3-3-1 SF) and Gegard Mousasi (32-3-2 MMA, 3-1-1 SF) will be part of March's "Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey" event.
Kyle today tweeted news of the bout, which will be part of the Ohio card.
Soon after, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) confirmed the booking with a source close to the event. Although it hasn't been decided if the fight will be for Strikeforce's vacant light-heavyweight title, it will co-headline the show.
Weapon Related Sponsers Banned From UFC
Sponsors being banned from UFC events is nothing new, but the new banning of weapon related sponsors is certainly different. It appears that the initial pressure to ban these sponsors actually came from the UFC's new network home.
The MMA Corner with the report:
The MMA Corner has learned from sources close to the situation that the latest impact is that guns and ammunition sponsors, such as The Gun Store and Ammotogo.com, have been banned from events that take place on the Fox family of networks.
*UPDATE * - The MMA Corner has learned that the ban includes companies related to guns, knives, ammunition, and hunting. It will go into effect on Jan. 23. The ban has been extended to all UFC events, not just those broadcast on the Fox family of networks.
Ray Sefo Confirms He’ll Face Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ In K-1 Rules Bout This March
Croatian heavyweight Mirko ‘Crop Cop’ Filipovic will return to his kickboxing roots this coming March when he faces New Zealander ‘Sugar’ Ray Sefo at an upcoming show in Zagreb, Croatia.
Sefo announced the matchup on Twitter (@SugarRaySefo) this past weekend.
- Some news for you all my fight with Mirko Cro-Cop has been confirmed for March 10th!!!
- The fight will be a K-1 rule fight, it’s held in Zagreb Croatia I’m told it’ll be in front of 25,000 people
- The promotion is called Fight Channel Promotions it’s a TV Network in Croatia, the fight will be K-1 rules
Bellator Announces Featherweight Tournament Match-Ups
Marlon Sandro (19-3) vs. Roberto Vargas (12-1)
The 34-year-old Sandro advanced to the featherweight summer tournament finals and was knocked out by Curran in the second round. He returned to the winner's circle with a first round submission victory over Rafael Dias in November and is 5-2 in the last two years. Vargas returns to Bellator after a near three year absence, riding a six fight win streak in regional promotions.
Ronnie Mann (20-4) vs. Wagnney Fabiano (14-3)
The 25-year-old Mann was also a victim of Curran, dropping a unanimous decision to him in the tourney semifinals. He rebounded with a first round submission win over Kenny Foster in October and has won five of his last six. In Fabiano, Mann will face someone once regarded as one of the best featherweights in the world.
The former IFL 145-pound champion won two straight after joining the WEC, but went 2-2 with defeats to Joseph Benavidez and Mackens Semerzier before being cut. When he steps into the cage, it will be his first action in 15 months.
Alexandre Bezerra (12-1) vs. Genair da Silva (11-4)
After ripping through four non-tourney opponents in 2011, Bezerra finally gets his shot in a Bellator tournament. He's a finisher with stoppages in 11 of his 12 wins and hasn't been in a fight that's gone the distance in over three years. da Silva returns to Bellator after being dispatched by Sandro last year in the summer tournament's opening round. He's coming off a first round submission win over Brian Goldsby and is 5-1 in the last two years.
Daniel Straus (17-4) vs. Jeremy Spoon (12-0)
Straus did just fine in his first 145-pound tourney, advancing to the finals of the spring tourney against Patricio Freire. The unanimous decision loss that night snapped a 12-fight winning streak, but he bounced back with an October decision win over Jason Dent in a non-Bellator fight. The undefeated Spoon gets his first crack in a tournament after two Bellator wins last year with Straus as his toughest competitor in his young career.
ProElite Results: Kendall Grove Tops Minowaman
ProElite held another successful event in the beautiful state of Hawaii as Kendall “Da Spyder” Grove (14-9) dominated all three rounds in his main event tilt with Japanese MMA legend Ikuhisa “Minowaman” Minowa (51-33-8). With effective stand up and picture perfect back control, Grove took the score 30-27 on all three judges’ score cards.
“I put my own pressure on myself. Minowa has very dangerous leg locks and I know if I gave him the opportunity, he would have broken my leg.” Grove said about going the distance in his bout.
In the co main event of the evening, Sara McMann (5-0) continued her dominance in the 135-pound women’s weight class with her unanimous decision over Hitomi Akano (18-9). McMann used her extensive wrestling pedigree to complete some cage shaking slams throughout the bout...
'Minowaman' happy to be fighting on U.S. soil, hopes to one day fight for UFC in Japan
With so much uncertainty in his native country's MMA scene, Ikuhisa Minowa began branching off from his usual stomping grounds.
The U.S. was always an attractive option, but he was always under contract with the biggest Japanese promotions, who relentlessly employed him for his showmanship and willingness to fight anyone – really, anyone.
When those promotions fell into disrepair, Minowa had talks with the UFC to appear in the promotion's return to Japan at UFC 144. His profile popped up on their website. But the contract never got done.
UFC on FX 1 draws announced 7,728 attendance and $334,860 live gate
Friday's UFC on FX 1 event drew an announced attendance of 7,728 and a live gate of $334,860.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) learned of the figures during the event's post-fight press conference at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.
The Tennessee Athletic Commission will release official tallies in the coming weeks.
UFC on FX 1 marked the first FX-televised main card in UFC history, and prelims aired on FUEL TV. Both channels are part of FOX, which kicks off a seven-year deal with the UFC earlier this month. The FX and FUEL TV cards essentially replace the UFC's smaller events that previously aired on Spike TV and Versus.
Friday's event featured Jim Miller's submission victory over fellow lightweight Melvin Guillard in the night's main event. Josh Neer, Pat Barry and Mike Easton also picked up wins on the main card...
UFC on FX 1 bonuses: Denis, Miller, Barry, Morecraft earn $45K awards
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nick Denis, Jim Miller, Pat Barry and Christian Morecraft each earned $45,000 fight-night bonuses for their performances at Friday's UFC on FX 1 event.
Denis earned the night's "Knockout of the Night" award, Miller picked up the "Submission of the Night" bonus, and Barry and Morecraft earned "Fight of the Night" honors.
UFC 145 gets McDonald-Torres, Blanco-Brimage; seven bouts shift to Atlanta
Two new bouts have been added to April's UFC 145 event in Atlanta, and seven have been shifted to the card after the recent cancellation of a March event in Montreal.
One of the new additions is an intriguing bantamweight bout between former WEC champ Miguel Torres (40-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC) and fast-rising Michael McDonald (14-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC).
The latest UFC 145 card now includes:
Michael McDonald vs. Miguel Torres
Maximo Blanco vs. Marcus Brimage
Mark Hominick vs. Eddie Yagin
Rory MacDonald vs. Che Mills
Ben Rothwell vs. Brendan Schaub
Mark Bocek vs. Matt Wiman
Travis Browne vs. Chad Griggs
John Makdessi vs. Anthony Njokuani
Mac Danzig vs. Efrain Escudero
Chris Clements vs. Keith Wisniewski
Guy Mezger Saved a Woman From Knife-Wielding Scumbag Last Month
(In your face, Jon Jones)
In spite of the fact that Guy Mezger retired seven years ago this month from active MMA competition, the 44-year-old former Lion’s Den fighter proved recently that he is still a badass.
Mezger, who is the president of HDNet, stepped in to offer assistance to a woman who was being roughed up by her boyfriend outside a Dallas sports store the week before Christmas and soon found himself in a fight with the angry beau.
According to the UFC 13 tournament winner, most of the onlookers just stood and gawked as the angry man repeatedly pushed the terrified woman to the ground while hurling obscenities at her, so he decided to try to diffuse the situation by stepping in between the pair and talking it out with the attacker. The next thing he knew, the guy was rushing him.
Win or lose, UFC on FX 1's Jorge Rivera set to retire
Jorge Rivera (19-9 MMA, 7-7 UFC) has decided to call it a career after his fight with Eric Schafer (12-6-2 MMA, 3-5 UFC) tonight on UFC on FX 1.
The veteran announced the news today on MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio).
Rivera has often flirted with the idea but made up his mind recently.
"I've thought about this for a long time," Rivera said. "If I would have won my last fight, I would have walked away. But that's not how it worked out, and I just told myself I would leave no matter what happens.
"It's time to go. I'm starting to feel like that old man in the club trying to pick up chicks. It gets a little creepy after a while."
Sonnen: I don't think Silva will fight again
Chael Sonnen believes a much-anticipated rematch against Anderson Silva will never happen.
In fact, he doesn’t think Silva -- the current UFC middleweight champion -- will fight again. Period.
During a pre-fight conference call Friday ahead of his meeting with Michael Bisping at the UFC on FOX 2 show on Jan. 28 in Chicago, Sonnen said he was done with the man he referred to as "cowardly."
"I guarantee you Anderson Silva and my paths will never cross in the cage again," Sonnen said. "I don’t think he will fight anybody.
"That’s my personal opinion. But it’s a fact that (he) turned down a fight with me four times."
Sonnen added that Silva even turned down the offer when it was presented to him in person by (UFC chairman) Lorenzo Fertitta.