Thiago Tavares vs. Kurt Pellegrino at UFC 88
Lightweight submission specialists Thiago Tavares (13-2) and Kurt Pellegrino (15-4) will tangle at UFC 88: “Breakthrough” at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Ga. on September 6.
It’s a match up between two 155-pound fighters who up until recently were in the title hunt. However, recent losses for both fighters have temporarily dashed those hopes, making this showdown super important for the winner — it will get him back in the mix much faster.
After bursting on the UFC scene with two straight wins, Tavares created quite a buzz — he was being touted as a possible threat to the champion. However, he has since come back down to Earth, losing two of his last three fights. And the last one — a knockout defeat courtesy of Matt Wiman at UFC 85: “Bedlam” last month — was a huge setback.
It's a Good Time to Be a Free Agent in Mixed Martial Arts
The Vancouver Sun has a piece up discussing Georges St. Pierre's contract negotiations:
"Before it expires, they'll want to negotiate because they won't want me to be a free agent, let the Japanese get their hands on me," St-Pierre said....
Standing in the way of a more lucrative deal, obviously, is Fitch. St-Pierre will be fighting in the U.S., without the home-field advantage that buoyed him against Serra last April.
That could change soon enough; St-Pierre is hearing rumours the UFC will return to Montreal, perhaps next year, and might even try to fill up Olympic Stadium."
It's a good time to be a free agent, and I think St. Pierre will end up getting a very good deal. With the Affliction salaries floating around, the UFC won't risk losing one of their top stars. St. Pierre is already paid well, but most of it is in discretionary bonuses, and it's in his best interest to guarantee himself that money in the future. If he has good management, he is in a strong position to demand money that would make him the top paid fighter in the UFC. He is one guy they definitely won't let go, and his contract will be another example of how fighters benefit from competition.
Catching Up With Travis Lutter
While it seems like an eternity ago, it’s only been three months since the UFC decided to release Travis Lutter following his disappointing loss to former middleweight champion Rich Franklin in Canada back in May. After a pair of short stints inside MMA’s biggest promotion, Lutter has hit a crossroads in his career.
He’s primarily stayed out of the limelight since his departure - spending time with his family and running his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academies in Forth Worth, Texas. However his fans will be happy to hear that Lutter has no intention of hanging up the gloves just yet.
Robbie Lawler vs Scott Smith (1st fight) video now on ProElite.com
Elite XC Middleweight Champion “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler and Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith slugged it out in Newark, N.J. on May 31 during the network mixed martial arts debut on CBS.
It was without a doubt on its way to becoming one of the best fights of the year before it ended because of an inadvertent eye poke, resulting in a disappointing no contest.
The outcome forced Elite XC officials to set up an immediate rematch, which will be the main event on CBS this Saturday in Stockton, Calif., during Elite XC: “Unfinished Business” event.
Elite XC and Affliction to SAVE MMA
When you take at look at MMA, mixed martial arts, from an average fans point of view, what do you see? UFC or Ultimate Fighting (Championship)? Besides the hardcore fans of this rapidly growing and emerging sport, few casual sports fans can even comprehend the difference. Often times I myself encounter this blind understanding of the sport we all know and love on a weekly, if not daily, basis. A simply trip to the grocery store in a tapout shirt has often sparked UFC conversations, as though Tapout is the UFC's clothing line. It's almost as though the MMA world is truly monopolized and you might as well call Dana White "Mr. Monopoly" himself, just give him that funny old top hat and a cane as he strolls down Boardwalk or Park Place. However, is the MMA landscape in for a drastic shift of power in the near future?
Found this on MMA Rated and thought it was worth letting others see:
'Wildman' is preparing for the biggest fight of his life
When Thomas “Wildman” Denny takes on Nick Diaz at the second CBS- EliteXC Saturday Night of Fights set to take place on July 26th, there is likely to be a lot of emotion in the ring. First off, anyone with a nickname like Wildman—and keep in mind that Denny’s nickname is deserved as it relates to fighting—no doubt fights with a lot of fervor anyway; and of course, Nick Diaz has never been one to come into the ring with a stoic expression and a ho-hum attitude. Second, Denny has been outspoken in regard to Diaz’s inability to make weight in his last fight against Muhsin Corbbrey, citing, “if you sign a contract that says you're going to weigh 160, you should come in at 160, not 169 (the weight that Diaz came in at). So, I don't know, I just think it's unprofessional.” Thus, Diaz probably isn’t thrilled with his opponent to begin with.
Josh Thomson Interview: The Punk wants The Legend
Coming into his fight against former Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Gilbert Melendez, the man they call “The Punk” had a 17-2 overall MMA record with six (T)KO’s and eight submission victories to his credit. Of course, Melendez had certainly earned the high level status that many afforded him coming into that fight; he’d defeated Clay Guida, Tatsuya Kawajiri, and Tetsuji Kato during his career.
But when you throw together Thomson’s stellar record and past victories against Duane “Bang” Ludwig, Hermes Franca, and “Razor” Rob McCullough, shouldn’t we all have given him a little more credit as well?
Well, since defeating Gilbert Melendez on June 27th Thomson has certainly earned a higher status amongst MMA fans and a championship belt to go along with it. And if you’re wondering if he has some strong feelings regarding the next fighter he takes on, you better believe that he does.
Phil Baroni scheduled for ICON Sport card on Aug. 2
“The New York Badass” Phil Baroni is slated to return to the ring for ICON Sport promotion on Aug. 2 when he competes during the promotion’s “Hard Times” card in Honolulu, Hawaii at the Blaisdell Arena.
Baroni will be fighting Ron Verdadero on the card in a 175 pound bout. For Baroni, it will be a quick turnaround, as he fought on July 12 in England at Cage Rage 27. Making his debut at welterweight, Baroni needed just 3:18 into round 1 to knockout Scott Jansen.
ICON, which is a subsidiary of ProElite, Inc., will also be promoting featured fights between Bao Quach and Mark Oshiro for the North American 140 pound title as well as ICON Sport middleweight champion Kala Kolohe vs. Rolando Dominique in a non-title fight contested at 180 pounds.
Diaz still wants to fight Sakurai
One of the feature matches at the previous DREAM 5 card was set to have Hayato “Mach” Sakurai take on Nick Diaz. Due to Diaz’s upcoming fight with Thomas “Wildman” Denny on Saturday’s EliteXC show, the Diaz - Sakurai fight was taken off the show.
Diaz hopes the the fight was merely postponed and not canceled.
I want the Sakurai fight to come about again,” said Diaz, “I think the fight would be an excellent match-up.”
The Diaz-Sakurai fight would be a very entertaining one. Even though Diaz’s main commitment is to EliteXC, he is grateful for the opportunity to fight in other organizations as well. Hopefully, the fight can be rescheduled in the not-to-distant future.
EliteXC has plans for PPV
During a recent media conference call, Doug DeLuca confirmed that EliteXC is looking to get onto pay-per-view.
Pay-per-view is our goal,” said Deluca, “Broadcast TV builds stars for PPV.”
Really, at this point, EliteXc only has one bankable PPV draw in Kimbo Slice. In order to protect Slice and generate decent PPV numbers, the best possible opponent is probably Ken Shamrock. Without Slice, I’m not sure how they put on a show that people would pay for. A brother vs. brother fight of Ken vs. Frank Shamrock could generate some interest, but I don’t think it would be enough to call the show a success.
Babalu Against Ortiz ?
One of the more interesting comments to come from the recent Affliction show was from Renato “Babalu” Sobral. Babalu made it very clear who he wants to fight next.
I told Tom Atencio who the one guy I want him to sign is,” said Sobral, “Tito Ortiz is my dream fight.”
A potential Sobral vs. Ortiz would be a big one for Affliction - mainly because it would mean they have Ortiz under contract. It would also have a lot of appeal to the casual fan because Babalu is a name most people are familiar with from his fights with Chuck Liddell. Affliction could position the winner as its first light heavyweight champion.
EliteXC's Shayna Baszler fighting for what's hers
Fight of the night. Those four words are music to the ears of a professional fighter and words that have more often than not been associated with the lone female bouts on some recent high-profile fight cards.
This trend could very well continue as the "Queen of Spades" Shayna Baszler (9-4) faces off against Chute Boxe's Cristiane "Cyborg" (4-0) Santos on July 26 as CBS and EliteXC preset "Unfinished Business."
The event will be held Saturday at the Stockton Arena in Stockton, Calif., and will be shown live on CBS with undercard matches airing on Showtime.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) recently had a chance to speak with Baszler as she prepares for her network television debut in a fight that many consider the stepping stone to the first-ever EliteXC women's championship fight.
EliteXC/CBSPreview: Robbie Lawler and the H.I.T. Squad
I found this short, but cool video that's a look into the HIT Squad Gym in Granite City, Illinois as well as Robbie Lawler's training camp. The most interesting part of the story is where they show "fighter dorms" that are only 100 yards away from the gigantic training facility. In an entire separate building, fighters are able to live for what has to be a fraction of the cost an apartment in town would be while staying extraordinarily close to their training facility. For those who don't recall, Hughes & Co. purchased a small former Army base that was no longer in use to set up the first HIT Squad gym. While the location of Granite City isn't that ideal, the amount the dollar will extend in that part of the country is astounding. Fighters are really able to live in very comfortable accomodations in facilities that can house equipment and training areas as expansive as your imagination can be. Impressive.
AFFLICTION NEARING OCT. 11 DATE IN LAS VEGAS
Despite much speculation about a possible Nov. 8 date for the next event from fledgling MMA promotion Affliction, MMAWeekly.com has learned from multiple sources close to the negotiations that the promotion is instead nearing finalization of an Oct. 11 date for its next event
Does a Weak Economy Make For a Strong Fight Game?
"San Diego Union-Tribune has an interesting article linking the rough economic times with a booming combat sports environment." Basically it shows how boxing became popular during the depression and now MMA finds popularity in harder times. It's pretty unique way to look at the sport: