Cro Cop vs. Akiyama ???
Buried at the end of Dave Meltzer’s latest column at Yahoo! Sports regarding the health of the MMA business is this little tidbit about DREAM’s possible plans to put a fight together between Japan’s most hated fighter, Yoshihiro Akiyama, and their most beloved foreign fighter, Mirko Cro Cop:
Under the gun to draw ratings, the company is attempting to put together middleweight Akiyama against heavyweight Mirko Cro Cop, the country’s most popular foreign fighter.
Really? A top tier middlweight against a top tier heavyweight? Is DREAM doing so bad that it would really put this matchup together? It seems a little farfetched, especially since Cro Cop vs. Allistair Overeem is being rumored for the next DREAM, but Japanese promotions have done crazier fights in the past. Usually freakshow fights favor one fighter heavily over the other, such as Choi vs. Fedor, but this is a matchup that I have no interest in seeing. Perhaps the Japanese simply want to see Akiyama get smashed by Cro Cop because they hate him so much? That’s the only plausible reason I could see for putting on this fight. Here’s to hoping it doesn’t happen, but don’t color me surprised if it does.
I think this fight is far more likely to happen than the Overeem fight.
Affliction's Justin Levens tests positive for oxymorphone
Veteran fighter Justin Levens, who was scheduled to fight Ray Lazama in an "Affliction: Banned" bout that was ultimately scrapped due to time constraints, tested positive for oxymorphone in a drug test administered at the July 19 event.
California State Athletic Commission Assistant Executive Officer Bill Douglas confirmed the news with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) via email.
The news comes just hours after the Nevada State Athletic Commission confirmed that UFC Fight Night 14 headliner James Irvin had tested positive for the same painkiller.
According to Douglas, Levens registered a test level that was finalized at 10,141 ng/mL. The CSAC's cutoff for oxymorphone is 120 ng/mL.
Elite XC's Gary Shaw and Doug DeLuca resign and become consultants
Two of the original Elite XC head honchos have called it quits before the mixed martial arts promotion could celebrate its two-year anniversary.
According to a filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, Elite XC Live Events President Gary Shaw and former Chief Executive Officer, Doug DeLuca, have resigned from their respective posts, but will remain with the company as “consultants.”
There has been speculation swirling about the demise of Gary Shaw for some time now. In fact, after the May 31 network television debut on CBS ended with mostly bad reviews — despite impressive ratings — the rumors of the successful boxing promoter being forced out by CBS executives became public.
Those reports were denied by Elite XC officials at the time, but with Shaw’s absence from the last two Elite XC events and now this announcement, it all appears to have been true after all.
UFC does a press release to humiliate Elite XC
In their effort to smash the competition, UFC brushes aside business ethics and made THIS press release:
"SPIKE TV’S RE-BROADCAST OF UFC 84 DRAWS MORE YOUNG MEN THAN A LIVE PRO ELITEXC CHAMPIONSHIP FIGHT ON CBS
Need proof the UFC is the preeminent mixed martial arts brand in the world? On Saturday, July 26, more men 18-34 watched a repeat…a repeat…of a UFC event on Spike TV than a LIVE telecast of a Pro EliteXC championship card on CBS. "
It gets better. They compare EliteXC to the XFL, purposely call them "pro eliteXC" to make them sound like the WWE. Check it out, its pretty funny.
Ibarra and Rampage Part ways
With defeat as the impetus, Jackson responded to rough terrain by relieving the trainer of his duties, though “bottom line, somehow, someway it all involves money,” said the fighter’s friend.
Jackson is now out of psychiatric observation and is attending outpatient treatment on a daily basis, but he didn’t seem completely cured after his initial release.
“He would still make comments that were slightly weird,” said Jackson’s longtime associate. “You could tell that he wasn’t all the way there, but each day you could tell he was better…He knows what he went through,” said the source. “He knew he had an emotional breakdown that led to a mental breakdown.”
Rampage on the road to recovery, possible Fall fight with Wandy?
Upon Jackson's release, the plan was to make the switch from a Costa Mesa jail cell to a psychiatric hospital bed. He refused help, and no one was going to convince him otherwise. The only place he was headed was home.
Rampage demanded silence when he wasn't offering words of faith. He spoke of a "wolf in sheep's clothing" and people aligned with the devil.
"Mentally he wasn't there," said the source. "It was almost as if he was possessed. He heard voices. He thought he was a God."
Talk amongst people in the house turned to the need for medical help. At first, they tried convincing Rampage to head for the hospital. That failed, tempers flared and police, thankfully, intervened. Several hours later, the fighter was under psychiatric hold.
"He went very easy" with police, said the source.
Three days later, rested and nourished, Rampage was reunited with friends.
UFC Fight Night 14 fighters test clean
The 11 fighters who were randomly chosen to undergo drug testing earlier this month at UFC Fight Night 14 (also dubbed "UFC: Silva vs. Irvin") have tested negative for performance-enhancing drugs and drugs of abuse.
The event featured UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva's non-title, light-heavyweight win over James Irvin. Both headliners were tested, as were Tim Credeur, Cale Yarbrough, Hermes Franca, Frankie Edgar, Cain Velazquez, Brandon Vera, C.B. Dollaway, Nate Loughran and Shannon Gugerty.
Freddie Roach: Andrei Arlovski Could Fight Klitschko
The top boxing coach Freddie Roach worked with Andrei Arlovski before his fight with Ben Rothwell at Affliction: Banned. After comprehensively defeating Rothwell - Arlovski is next in line to take on newly crowned WAMMA Heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko.
Roach believes that “The Pitbull” may have an eye on another world champion - Wladimir Klitschko.
In an interview with Fighthype.com, Roach said:
“I thought Andrei fought a great fight. I’ve been training his hands and I think he won the fight with his hands pretty much and I was happy about that. His ground game looked okay, but I don’t know nothing about that (laughing).”
“Yeah, we were working on combinations. I thought he varied his punches very well. His opponent was very tough. I was surprised he took so much punishment. He hung in there.”
“Andrei is not a boring fighter.”
Arona: ''UFC Rules Were Made For Me
Nearly 16 months have passed since Ricardo Arona (Pictures), a man once universally received as one of the world’s premier light heavyweights, appeared on the mixed martial arts scene. A former open-weight winner at the Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships, the elusive 30-year-old holds wins over Wanderlei Silva (Pictures) and Dan Henderson (Pictures) and went the distance with Fedor Emelianenko (Pictures).
Arona last fought in April 2007, when he succumbed to strikes against Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (Pictures) at the Pride Fighting Championships swan song -- Pride 34 “Kamikaze” -- in Japan.
Do Affliction’s numbers smell fishy?
At first glance, it appeared that Affliction’s first-ever pay-per-view on July 19 in Anaheim was a relative success story. It was announced that the Honda Center sold out for “Banned” and Tom Atencio, the company’s Vice President, stated that PPV buys were expected to be over 100,000.
While the 100,000 mark would have been well short of the UFC’s average, it still would have been a milestone for the fledgling company, as it would have represented the highest total in MMA for a non-UFC PPV in the United States.
However, it appears that Atencio may have mis-spoke, as Dave Meltzer of Yahoo! Sports is indicating that early-cable estimates peg the buys in a range between 50,000-85,000. It had been believed that the event would need to do 250,000-300,000 buys to have a chance to break even.
WEC Signs FW Prospect John Franchi
World Extreme Cagefighting has signed undefeated featherweight prospect and one-time IFL fighter John Franchi (4-0) to a five-fight deal.
He's the latest major signing coming out of the New York-based Team BombSquad. Team manager Ryan Ciotoli confirmed the signing with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) over the weekend.
Franchi is the latest in a rash of IFL-fighter signings for Zuffa LLC, the parent company of the UFC and WEC.
With the IFL reportedly just days away from officially ceasing operations, a Zuffa LLC buyout announcement is expected soon.
SHIELDS ACCEPTING ALL CHALLENGES, EVEN AT 185
Since signing on with Elite XC in 2007, it was Jake Shields mission to become the company’s first welterweight champion and after a lot of hard work, numerous opponents, going through his first major injury and his debut fight on network TV, he finally got the gold around his waist.
Most fans watching Elite XC knew that Shields was the real deal going into his fight with Nick Thompson, but some still questioned if he could hang with many of the top welterweights in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the promotion that is home to the majority of the top 170lbers.
Shields answered that question in resounding fashion as he tapped out Thompson, who was previously on a 12 fight win streak, in just over a minute during their championship bout on Saturday night.