Misaki, Babalu on Strikeforce Playboy Card
In addition to hyping the event, Coker dropped some interesting nuggets of information on us:
* Kazuo Misaki will be making his Strikeforce debut on the Playboy card. Also scheduled to fight at the mansion is Renato "Babalu" Sobral, the winner of Thomson/Melendez and, assuming his visa issues are straightened, Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos.
Henderson VS Palhares Likely at UFC 88
It appears that Dan Henderson’s return to the middleweight division wasn’t a one-time deal to challenge UFC champion Anderson Silva. MMAWeekly.com has confirmed with sources close to the camp of Brazilian Top Team fighter Rousimar Palhares that he has signed to fight Henderson in a 185-pound divisional bout at UFC 88 on Sept. 6 in Atlanta.
Henderson has stated several times in the past that he prefers to fight at light heavyweight, but the bout with Palhares will keep him in the middleweight division, at least for the time being.
Henderson lost his last two bouts, both being title fights. He was defeated by Silva at UFC 82 in Columbus earlier this year and lost in a light heavyweight title bout to Quinton Jackson in September of last year. Prior to those two defeats, Henderson had won two in a row – over Wanderlei Silva and Vitor Belfort – and held both the middleweight and light heavyweight Pride championship belts simultaneously.
One of the fastest rising talents of the Brazilian Top Team, Rousimar Palhares made his Octagon debut last month against Ivan Salaverry at UFC 84. Improving his record to 8-1 as a professional, Palhares also earned Submission of the Night honors and a $75,000 bonus check for his slick submission of Salaverry via armbar.
Palhares has finished six of his eight victories by submission, including both Daniel Acacio and Fabio Negao in one night to win the Fury FC middleweight title. He is widely regarded as one of the most dynamic submission specialists to recently emerge from Brazil.
UFC 88 will take place on Sept. 6 at the Philips Arena in Atlanta. The main event features former light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell in a battle with undefeated Ultimate Fighter Season 2 winner Rashad Evans.
UFC 88 Bouts (officially announced):
-Chuck Liddell vs. Rashad Evans
UFC 88 Bouts (unannounced):
-Dan Henderson vs. Rousimar Palhares
-James Lee vs. Tim Boetsch
Nine UFC fighters issued medical suspensions after TUF7 Finale
The Nevada State Athletic Commission has issued medical suspensions to nine of the 20 fighters who took part in this past Friday's live finale for "The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rampage vs. Team Forrest."
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today obtained the list of medical suspensions from the NSAC.
The June 21 event took place at The Palms Las Vegas and aired on Spike TV. Kendall Grove defeated Evan Tanner via split decision in the night's main event, and Amir Sadollah submitted C.B. Dollaway to win the "TUF7" season championship.
Joe Lauzon vs. Kyle Bradley at UFC Fight Night 15
After debuting with the UFC as a welterweight, Kyle Bradley (13-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC) will drop to his normal fighting weight of 155 pounds to meet contender Joe Lauzon (16-4 MMA, 3-1 UFC).
A source close to Bradley told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the two fighters recently agreed to meet at UFC Fight Night 15, an event that takes place Sept. 17 at the Omaha Civic Auditorium in Omaha, Neb.
The event, which features a headline bout of Mac Danzig vs. Clay Guida, airs on Spike TV.
Gary Shaw On His Way Out at ProElite?
Speculation within the MMA industry suggests that Gary Shaw's days at ProElite may be numbered. Rumors suggest that Shaw may be out by the end of the summer, possibly soon after the July 26 CBS event. Multiple sources have told MMAPayout.com that the expected move is another example of CBS's growing influence on the company. Santa Monica Capital Partners, the largest shareholder in the company, is also believed to have taken a more active role in the company of late.
Gomi vs Horodecki At Sengoku 4?
MMA Weekly's rumors section:
WORLD VICTORY ROAD: "SENGOKU 4" ON AUGUST 24, 2008
-Takanori Gomi (#2 Lightweighter in the World)* vs. Chris Horodecki
Lightweight Tournament Participants:
Nick Diaz vs. Thomas Denny on July 26
On Elite XC's July 26 CBS card, Nick Diaz will take on...Thomas Denny:
EliteXC lightweight Nick Diaz (17-7) will meet former King of the Cage champion Thomas Denny (26-16) at the next EliteXC-CBS "Saturday Night Fights" event, which takes place July 26 at Stockton Arena in Stockton, Calif.
Sherdog.com is reporting that bout agreements should be signed today.
EliteXC had planned for Diaz to rematch lightweight champ KJ Noons in his next bout later this year, but with the organization heading to Diaz's hometown, plans apparently changed.
Fedor: ‘Im proud to fight’ Tim Sylvia at Affliction: ‘Banned’ on July 19
“He is a very strong and good fighter. He won 5 times in the championship on the UFC and he is 4th position in the world ranking. I’m proud to fight him…. I defeated a fighter who was a lot bigger than him, so I don’t think it’s too hard to fight a big fighter.”
Fedor Emelianenko talks about his upcoming heavyweight showdown with Tim Sylvia during the main event of Affliction: “Banned” at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. on July 19. It will be the biggest test for “The Last Emperor” since a unanimous decision win over Mirko Cro Cop in August 2005 (although Mark Hunt is no slouch … and he defeated him via kimura in 2006).
Diaz-Denny Banked for July 26 CBS-EliteXC
Thomas Denny has no problems walking into the lion's den.
The former King of the Cage champion has agreed to face resident troublemaker Nick Diaz in his hometown of Stockton, Calif. on EliteXC's second CBS-televised card at the Stockton Arena on July 26. Contracts are expected to be inked Tuesday.
The 160-pound bout joins a previously announced matchup between the much-vaunted Jake Shields and former Bodog Fight champion Nick Thompson for the vacant EliteXC welterweight crown.
A self-promoting crowd-pleaser, the "Wildman" has waged over 40 battles in the cage since 1999, including key victories over Tony Fryklund and Olaf Alonso.
Denny's three-fight deal with the Pro Elite promotion kicked off against the single-named muay Thai striker Malaipet on a ShoXC "Elite Challenger Series" card last March. Malaipet was disqualified for elbowing Denny to the back of the head at the conclusion of the first round.
Denny and Diaz had been slated to meet in other organizations on two different occasions.
Kendall Grove determined to remain in the UFC
Before Saturday night's "The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rampage vs. Team Forrest" finale main event, "The Ultimate Fighter 3" winner Kendall Grove (10-5 MMA, 4-2 UFC) had openly described the bout as having "loser leaves town" implications.
In the bout, Grove defeated former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner (34-8 MMA, 11-6 UFC) via split decision and earned what was arguably the most notable victory of his career.
"Da Spyder" was a guest on Monday's edition of TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), and explained why he felt he was fighting for his future in the UFC.
"I was taking at as though I was fighting for my job," Grove said about his effort on Saturday. "And I love my job."
In one of the stranger scores in recent memory, Grove won the fight on two judges' cards 30-26 while a third judge awarded the bout to Tanner, 29-28. Grove felt his split-decision victory should have been unanimous.
"That's what happens when you leave it in the judges' eyes," Grove said. "But I don't know. ... Where I come from, I call that a [expletive] beating."
Phil Baroni to welterweight ‘to be a world champion’
After dropping four out of his last five bouts at middleweight — albeit to pretty good competition (Kazuo Misaki, Frank Shamrock, Kala Hose and Joey Villasenor) — Phil “The New York Badass” Baroni has decided to drop down to 170 pounds for the first time ever and try his luck at welterweight.
It’s a 15-pound decision that he hopes will help him become a world champion in the near future.
Here are his exact thoughts:
“Im making the move because I want to be a World Champion. I dont fight for pay day’s or fame, to be on tv or chick’s. I got into MMA because I wanted to be the best fighter in the world. This is what I feel at this point in my career I need to do. Im feel Im a better fighter than Ive shown in the ring esp as of late. As far as the move to Welter Weight goes I feel great. Im more athletic. Im in much better condition, my hand speed is back, an I would go as far as to say Im a lot quicker than I was at my previous best. I feel just as strong physically if not stronger do to much greater flexibility. Im not going to make any predictions or promises. Ive been very humbled as of late. Ive been handed a real wake up call. Im going to give it my all 100% and do my best. Its Do or Die for me. Im All In! I love to fight. Im a real fighter, an like I said the day I dont think I can be a World Champion is the day Ill retire. Im not done yet, I have alot of fight left inside me. I have alot to prove to myself an alot of people to prove wrong. NEVER SAY DIE !!!”
Heath Herring has no hesitations with Lesnar
When former heavyweight champion Mark Coleman fell out his bout with rising star Brock Lesnar due to injury, the call was quickly made to perennial contender Heath Herring, who stepped up on short notice to take on the Minnesota native in his home state.
Herring made an impressive showing in his last fight defeating Cheick Kongo by split decision at UFC 82 in Columbus, Ohio. Despite the short notice, Herring says he had no hesitations stepping in to face Lesnar and the only detractor was pulling his camp together on time.
“The only hesitation was trying to get all the chickens back in the chicken coup so to speak. No one was really set up to try and get ready for a fight. I think we got camp established pretty quick and now everything’s going okay,” said Herring.
For his last fight, he admitted that he didn’t work much on his ground game, expecting a stand-up fight with the experienced kickboxer, Kongo. Now facing a former NCAA Division I wrestling champion, he’s on top of his grappling skills again, but definitely isn’t neglecting his striking ability.
“I actually am working a little bit of ground now, but we’re also training stand-up as well,” Herring stated. “Not to slack off in any area. We’re trying to be as well rounded as possible. I have a feeling he might want to come out and try to throw just a little bit, and I’m hoping he does and we’ve got to make him pay when he does.”
Affliction Sets Plans For Two Future Shows
Since the announcement of the Affliction promotion a few months ago, everyone from fans to fighters to other promoters have been watching the new organization with great interest as to their business plan for the mixed martial arts industry.
Bobby Lashley Training With AKA, H.I.T Squad and others for MMA Debut
LEXINGTON, Ky. - MMA promoters have long targeted professional wrestling fans as potential ticket-buyers for their own events. Now, those same promoters are targeting professional wrestling's athletes as potential stars.
Pro wrestling's latest export, recently signed American Fight League fighter Bobby Lashley, recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that he doesn't want to be viewed as just another wrestler.
"I'm putting it all together," Lashley said. "I'm going into this thing not with just overpowering my own style with [wrestling]. I'm actually learning everything else. I'm learning the jiu-jitsu; I'm taking it from the basics. I'm learning my kickboxing, my boxing. I'm getting the whole game tied together. So when I debut, it's not going to be a wrestler trying to do MMA. It's going to be a fighter."
WEC Going International (Coming to the UK?)
Fighters Only is on a roll as they have the scoop on the WEC possibly coming to the British Isles:
However, Marshall Zelaznik, president of the UK division of the UFC, has confirmed to Fighters Only that the WEC visiting the UK is very likely.
"There's the prospect of the WEC coming to the UK, first on television screens and, when the time is right, we will look to run live WEC events in the UK too," he revealed.
Nick Diaz and KJ Noons will not fight on July 26
MMAmania.com has just learned that Nick Diaz will not fight Elite XC Lightweight Champion KJ Noons on the next CBS show entitled “Unfinished Business,” which is slated for July 26.
The match up appeared to be all but guaranteed — Noons and Diaz were involved in a post-fight tussle at the “Return of the King” show earlier this month after Noons defended his 160-pound title against Yves Edwards. Diaz was invited in to the ring to discuss a rematch with Noons and the entire situation descended into chaos rather quickly.
Noons defeated Diaz via technical knockout (cuts) at Elite XC: “Renegade” back in November 2007. It was a decision that did not sit well with the volatile Diaz and the smack talk has escalated ever since.
Recent speculation has the July 26 CBS show headed for Stockton, Calif., which is where Diaz calls home. He’ll likely still compete on the card, considering it’s possibly in his backyard and his scheduled fight against Hayuto “Mach” Sakurai for the Dream welterweight title fight on July 21 (just five days prior to “Saturday Night Fights”) was recently scrapped because of contractual obligations with Pro Elite (the Elite XC parent company).
Stay tuned for more details on this developing story.