With UFC 132 rematch booked, champ Cruz details origins of Faber feud
It has been four years since the sport's two most-talented 135-pound fighters faced one another.
However, UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz (17-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) and No. 1 contender Urijah Faber (25-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) meet again at UFC 132, officials announced on Saturday.
After the announcement, Cruz spoke exclusively to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) about the highly anticipated rematch and the origins of his feud with Faber.
Then-champion Faber defeated Cruz in a 2007 WEC featherweight title bout, one in which Cruz made his organizational debut.
Johnson says earning win more important than keeping promise at UFC Fight Night 24
SEATTLE – From the moment Anthony Johnson (9-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) vs. Dan Hardy (23-9 MMA, 4-3 UFC) was first announced for Saturday's UFC Fight Night 24 event, fans salivated at the thought of two lethal strikers standing toe-to-toe.
And in each and every pre-fight media appearance, both sluggers promised they wouldn't even consider taking the fight to the floor.
But things played out very differently during the co-feature. Johnson utilized his wrestling background to control the action on the floor for 15 rather uneventful minutes – and he makes no apologies for his performance.
UFC's Davis not trying to follow Jones' path but not afraid to step in the way
SEATTLE – Fighting just seven days after fellow young gun Jon Jones (13-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) claimed the UFC's light-heavyweight belt, undefeated prospect Phil Davis (9-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) simply couldn't avoid the questions.
Try as he might to deflect the comparisons to "Bones," the wrestling phenom was forced to discuss his future even before he stepped into the cage to face Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in the featured bout of Saturday's UFC Fight Night 24 event.
And while Davis essentially avoided the questions prior to his unanimous-decision win, he answered directly when quizzed post-fight. I'm my own man, Davis proclaimed, but if Jones and I are on a collision course, then bring it on.
For UFC Fight Night 24's Jung, time was right for historic submission, instant pay raise
SEATTLE – UFC featherweight Chan Sung Jung (11-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) was already a legend in MMA circles prior to stepping into the cage at Saturday's UFC Fight Night 24 event.
The only problem was his contract didn't exactly reflect his reputation.
"I'm especially glad to finally get my pay above the $5,000 level since I was stuck there for so long," Jung told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) with a laugh. "I'm glad to finally move up in pay level."
Sadollah says UFC FIght Night 24 win just latest lesson on path to the top
SEATTLE – Put simply, there likely will never be another Amir Sadollah (5-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC).
The season-seven winner of "The Ultimate Fighter," Sadollah has fought his entire professional career inside the octagon – an impossible feat now that "TUF" tryouts require a professional record.
Developing his skills on the sport's biggest stage hasn't been easy, admits Sadollah, but he's comfortable in what he's become. Now it's time to take it to the next level.
Bellator 38 results
Tim Carpenter def. Daniel Gracie via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) (light-heavyweight tourney quarterfinals)
D.J. Linderman def. Raphael Davis via TKO (strikes) - Round 3, 2:44 (light-heavyweight tourney quarterfinals)
Richard Hale def. Nik Fekete via submission (inverted-triangle choke) - Round 1, 1:55 (light-heavyweight tourney quarterfinals)
Christian M'Pumbu def. Chris Davis via TKO (strikes) - Round 3, 3:34 (light-heavyweight tourney quarterfinals)
Austin Lyons def. Jimmy Van Horn via submission (armbar) - Round 1, 2:10
Jake Underwood def. Tim Galluzzi via submission (triangle choke) - Round 1, 1:04
Cody Donovan def. Brian Albin via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Blagoi Ivanov def. William Penn via TKO (strikes) - Round 1, 2:58
Amaechi Oselukwue def. Abe Wilson via unanimous decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-28)
UFC Fight Night 24 bonuses: Jung, Hendricks, McDonald, Figueroa get $55K awards
Chan Sung Jung, Johny Hendricks, Michael McDonald and Edwin Figueroa each earned record $55,000 "Fight Night" bonuses for their performances at Saturday's UFC Fight Night 24 event.
Jung got the "Submission of the Night" bonus, Hendricks the night's "Knockout of the Night" award, and Fight of the Night" honors went to McDonald and Figueroa
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) confirmed the bonus winners and award amounts with UFC officials.
UFC Fight Night 24 took place at KeyArena in Seattle and served as the promotion's first-ever event in the state of Washington. The night's main card aired on Spike TV, and five preliminary-card fights streamed on Facebook.
The $55,000 bonuses were a record for a Fight Night event...
Titan Fighting Championships 17 results: Lashley, Baroni visibly tire, take decision wins
You can be certain that no one will ever question the heart of John Ott (8-8).
Bobby Lashley's (6-1) cardio may be an entirely different situation.
Lashley used his world-class wrestling skills to earn a unanimous-decision win over an undersized Ott in the main event of Friday's HDNet-broadcast Titan Fighting Championships 17 event, which took place at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. But after looking tired in the second round and absolutely exhausted in the third, Ott nearly pulled off one of the most miraculous comebacks in recent memory.
The bout started as expected, as the heavily-favored Lashley dumped Ott to the floor just 30 seconds into the opening round. Working from inside of Ott's guard, Lashley unleashed a barrage of increasingly powerful punches, elbows and forearms. Dozens of strikes found their mark, and Ott's face became a bloody, swollen mess over the opening five minutes.
But he survived.
In the second, Ott was visibly slower than the first frame. The wrestling ace appeared to have punched himself out with the opening-round salvo. Nevertheless, it took just one minute for Ott to be shoved on his back yet again, trying desperately to hold his opponent tight, only for Lashley to pour on the damage.
But he survived.
In the final frame, Ott briefly turned the tide. Lashley had little left in the tank, and his primary strategies were to retreat and fire occasional punches. Ott appeared energized as the crowd chanted his name. Bobbing and weaving, Ott found a home for his hands on Lashley's chin. But just when it seemed the impossible was possible, Lashley earned a final takedown. The crowd was silenced, and the Ott's fate was sealed.
But he survived.
In the end, Lashley netted a unanimous-decision win, 29-27, 30-27 and 29-27. But it was Ott that left the cage with his head held high. A light heavyweight who has competed in the 185-pound division, as well, Ott survived underneath the monster.
Despite the disappointing victory, Lashley remained positive when he spoke with HDNet broadcaster Ron Kruck.
"I was looking for something that wasn't there," Lashley said. "But it felt good. I needed it. I needed to spend some time out there.
"(I didn't look) as good as I wanted to, but it was victory. A win is a win. We've got stuff to work on, but I felt good out there."
Lashley rebounds from an August loss to Chad Griggs and said he's open to fighting for either Strikeforce or Titan Fighting Championships in his next outing, which he'd like to take place as soon as April. Meanwhile, Ott falls to 1-2 in his past three contests, though he'll unquestionably earn a more favorable matchup in is next outing.
Strikeforce and Bellator Fighting Championships veteran Aaron Rosa (16-3) earned his fourth-straight win with an impressive finish of former "The Ultimate Fighter 10" cast member Abe Wagner (8-4).
After a slower-than-expected first round, Rosa came out swinging in the second. A left hook clipped Wagner on the chin, and "Hurricane" crashed to the floor. Rosa was a touch slow advancing for the finish, and it gave Wagner a brief opportunity to recover.
It didn't matter.
Unable to land any flush ground-and-pound blows, Rosa transitioned to the back while simultaneously using his leg to trap Wagner's right arm. Unable to properly defend the choke, Wagner had no choice but to tap just 35 seconds into the second frame.
Rosa runs his current win streak to four fights, while Wagner sees a three-fight win streak snapped.
Leading up to Saturday night, UFC and PRIDE veteran Phil Baroni (14-13) admitted his back was against the wall in his main-card fight with Nick Nolte (3-3). "The New York Bad Ass" claimed a much-needed victory via decision, but he didn't make many new fans in the process.
Nolte opened the fight with a flurry of strikes from the clinch, and Baroni appeared to be affected from the shots. But Baroni returned to his wrestling roots and took the fight to the floor each time he felt in danger on the feet.
As the fight wore on both fighters tired badly. Broni walked forward with his hands down, but Nolte could only attack in short spurts. And when Baroni could muster enough energy to work the action to the ground, Nolte couldn't escape from underneath. Baroni didn't land significant damage from the top, but his dominant positioning was enough to earn a unanimous-decision nod, 29-28, 30-27 and 29-28.
Following the win, Baroni admitted he was exhausted, but he insisted the issue was the early damage he received n the clinch and not a lack of proper conditioning.
"I was really tired in the third round," Baroni said. "I was really tired in the second. I took some good knees to the body."
As he was greeted with a chorus of boos from the pro-Nolte crowd, Baroni said he would grant his opponent an rematch if Titan Fighting Championships deemed it necessary.
The win was Baroni's first since September 2008, while Nolte has alternated wins and losses in the first six fights of his career.
In a moderately-paced 15-minute contest, three-time Bellator Fighting Championships veteran Eric Marriott (20-5) claimed a lopsided win over submission stylist Willian de Souza (1-1). Overmatched from the opening bell, de Souza offered little competition to Marriott, who now owns a two-fight win streak and is 2-0 under the Titan Fighting Championships banner.
In a rousing three-round affair, eight-year veteran Alonzo Martinez (29-14-1) was awarded a razor-thin majority decision over Missouri's Aaron Derrow (10-3).
After "Zo Daddy" dominated the opening two frame, "Daddy Long Legs" fought back valiantly in the third and appeared to have potentially salvaged a draw. However, only one of three ringside judges felt Derrow had done enough in the final round to earn a 10-8, and Martinez walked away with the majority decision.
Two-time WEC veteran James Krause (12-3) needed just 41 seconds to notch an impressive viceroy over submission ace Nathan Schut (11-6).
Krause stalked his opponent in the early going before landing a high kick to the chin that sent Schut directly to the canvas. Krause swarmed with pinpoint follow up blows, and the bout was quickly waved off.
The evening's first televised contest saw two-time Titan Fighting Championships veteran Anthony Gutierrez (2-0) worked from his back to secure a triangle-choke victory over Jon Hollis (1-2). The victory was the second-straight win for "Shark Bait" in his young career.
OFFICIAL MAIN CARD RESULTS
•Bobby Lashley def. John Ott via unanimous decision (29-27, 30-27, 29-27)
•Aaron Rosa def. Abe Wagner via submission (rear-naked choke) - Round 2, 0:35
•Phil Baroni def. Nick Nolte via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
•Eric Marriott def. Willian de Souza via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
•Alonzo Martinez def. Aaron Derrow via majority decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-28)
•James Krause def. Nathan Schut via TKO (high kick and punches) - Round 1, 0:41
•Anthony Gutierrez def. Jon Hollis via submission (triangle choke) - Round 1, 4:20
UFC's Condit eyes showdowns with Diaz, Daley, Shields; not keen on Hardy rematch
While the exact future of Strikeforce remains to be seen, UFC welterweight contender Carlos Condit (26-5 MMA, 3-1 UFC) is already eyeing a few potential matchups with some of the promotion's top stars.
Namely, Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz (24-7 MMA, 4-0 SF) and his opponent on April 9, Paul Daley (27-9-2 MMA, 2-0 SF). Condit also wants a second crack at the UFC's current No. 1 contender, Jake Shields (26-4-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC).
"I'm looking to hopefully fight Jake Shields to get that loss back," Condit said at a Friday Q&A session. "Now with the Strikeforce merger, possibly Nick Diaz.
"I was supposed to fight Paul Daley a while back. I got staph infection in my hand and had to pull out of the fight. There's some unfinished business there. I like that fight."
Condit is currently recovering from a knee injury that forced him to withdraw from a planned UFC 127 matchup with Chris Lytle in February. The "Natural Born Killer" said the dislocated kneecap is healing fine with rehab alone and did not require surgery.
He's not sure when he'll return to the cage, but he hopes some key upcoming matchups will produce a suitable opponent.
"I'm still waiting to hear (who I'll fight next)," Condit said. "I think there's some good welterweight fights coming up. When those happen, it will clear up the picture a little bit, and I might have a better idea."
In the meantime, Condit is simply daydreaming about possibilities.
Shields is certainly within reason, whether he comes up short against Georges St-Pierre in April, or if the champ retains his belt but chooses to relinquish the title in favor of a shot at middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva. Condit faced Shields in an April 2006 Rumble on the Rock tourney final but fell short via decision.
Diaz and Daley are a little far-fetched for now, but with the UFC's parent company now in charge of Strikeforce's fighter contracts, Condit may very well lie in each of their futures.
In the meantime, there is one fighter actively pursuing a bout with Condit: UFC Fight Night 24 co-headliner Dan Hardy.
Hardy, of course, was knocked out by Condit this past October. Earlier this week, Hardy said he won't stop fighting until he's able to avenge that loss.
"The thing that I don't like about losing the fight, about getting knocked out, is that my opponent thinks he's better than me," Condit told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I know that's not the case. I know Carlos Condit's not better than me. I'm annoyed that now he thinks that. I gave him that impression by not giving him the respect in that fight.
"I can't retire until I've knocked him out."
Condit said the result was no fluke, and he currently has no desire to revisit the matchup.
"Honestly, I think he dislikes me more than I dislike him, for obvious reasons," Condit said. "I stood in the cage with that guy, and I'm just telling you, he had nothing – that night, anyway."
UFC Fight Night 24 weigh-in results: Headliners Nogueira (206), Davis (206) on weight
SEATTLE – MMAjunkie.com was on scene and reporting live from today's UFC Fight Night 24 fighter weigh-ins, which all competitors successfully made weight.
Today's festivities take place at Seattle's KeyArena, which also hosts Saturday's Spike TV and Facebook event.
Headliners Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Phil Davis both weighed 206 pounds. And despite some tense moments in recent days, yes, Anthony Johnson also made weight.
UFC Quick Quote: Jake Shields is 'a pretty easy fight' for Georges St. Pierre
"I think that's gonna be a pretty easy fight, I really do. I think GSP's going to be able to do whatever he wants. Jake's not going to be able to get on top, so I just don't see him being effective really anywhere. I definitely don't think he's going to be able to take him down, and if Shields is on his back I just don't see him being effective. I have to really wonder why he got a title shot in the first place... but, I'll tell you why he got a title shot is there's no one else."
Jesse Finney Talks About H.I.T Squad Purchase & The Gym’s Future
Jesse Finney Talks About H.I.T Squad Purchase & The Gym’s Future
MMA Access: Jesse Finney Talks About H.I.T Squad Purchase & The Gym’s Future
Great Audio Interview with Jesse Finney -
The Official Radio Partner of PunchDrunkGamer, Takedown Wrestling Media’s Scott Casber talked to Jesse Finney, owner of Finney’s MMA about his recent acquisition of Matt Hughes H.I.T. Squad gym in Granite City, Illinois.
Representatives from H.I.T. Squad, one of the most recognized and respected mixed martial arts training facilities in the industry, announced that they are under new ownership. The Granite City, Illinois MMA training facility is now officially known as "Finney's HIT Squad."
According to gym representatives, Jesse Finney now owns the facility. Finney also owns Finney's MMA; another St. Louis based mixed martial arts gym known for producing top-level contenders. As a result of the strategic change in ownership, the HIT Squad has emerged stronger than ever.
Jesse Finney had this to say, ""We are very excited about working with Matt Hughes, Marc Fiore, and Kyle Watson. The H.I.T. Squad (now Finney's HIT Squad) is already considered one of the top MMA gyms in the world. Our goal is to make it THE top MMA gym. We have already begun making improvements to both training facilities, improvements that will ultimately generate bigger and better opportunities for our fighters as we evolve."
A full size competition cage has been installed in Finney's HIT Squad facility as a result of the new ownership, and they have already begun implementing the Shamrock Fighter Development System (SDS). The system mirrors that of Major League Baseball, where players start out in a development league and work their way up based on their skills and performance.
Amateur fighters start out competing for credible local promotions such as Shamrock MMA. If you're a top-level professional fighter, Finney's has affiliations with nationally recognized promotions such as Shark Fights, Bellator, Strikeforce and the UFC.
Although ownership has changed hands, UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes will continue to train at the facility and the gyms well-established coaching staff will remain intact. According to H.I.T. Squad coach Marc Fiore, "I fully support the change in ownership and look forward to working with Finney and his team. This is a positive change that will generate new opportunities for the gym and make the HIT Squad brand even stronger. The new build out has added value to the facility and our stable of fighters has already increased from 40 to 80. We are all very excited about the direction the gym is going."
Finney's MMA and Finney's HIT Squad collectively offer one of the most comprehensive, well-rounded, training programs in the industry. Fighters at both amateur and professional levels have access to everything they need to advance their careers, from top-of-the-line equipment and unparalleled training, to housing and fight management. Both facilities offer on-site and off -site housing for members of the fight team, a highly sought after amenity that most MMA gyms do not offer. Fighters associated with the gyms also receive top-level representation through Elite MMA Management.
Both 20,000 square foot state-of-the-art facilities cater to professional fighters, as well as the general public. The superior instructors, all experts in their respective disciplines, teach men, women and children of all skill levels. The combined coaching staff has more name recognition and experience than any other team assembled in the Midwest. Classes are offered in boxing, kickboxing, muay thai, jiu-jitsu, mixed martial arts, wrestling, and sports conditioning. Whether a member joins to increase their fitness level, learn self-defense, or to hone their fighting skills, both Finney's MMA and Finney's HIT Squad offer superior instruction.
Three new bouts added to UFC Fight Night 24's free Facebook stream
Three new fights have been added to the previously announced two for the free Facebook stream accompanying Saturday's UFC Fight Night 24 event, officials today confirmed.
The new additions include welterweights John Hathaway (14-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) vs. Kris McCray (5-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC), bantamweights Michael McDonald (11-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) vs. Nick Pace (6-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC), and heavyweights Sean McCorkle (10-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) vs. Christian Morecraft (6-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC).
They join featherweights Alex "Bruce Leroy" Caceres (4-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) vs. Mackens Semerzier (5-3 MMA, 1-3 WEC) and heavyweights Jon Madsen (7-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) vs. Mike Russow (13-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) on the free stream.
Middleweight Dave Branch Latest Fighter Released by the UFC
UFC middleweight Dave Branch has been released from the promotion following his loss to Rousimar Palhares at the UFC on Versus 3 show earlier this month in Louisville.
Sources close to the fighter confirmed his release with MMAWeekly.com on Wednesday.
Branch, who is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under legendary trainer Renzo Gracie, went 2-2 during his time with the UFC.
Martin Kampmann Wants Rematch With Diego, Understands Why Sanchez Doesn't Want One
Several weeks have passed since Martin Kampmann was lost a split-decision to Diego Sanchez at UFC Live on Versus 3, and there is still zero doubt in his mind that he won the battle. In fact, he believes he did so convincingly as his takedown defense and accurate counter-striking punded Sanchez's face to a beaten pulp over the course of three rounds. When the decision was announced the ongoing debate about MMA judging reform caught fire once again. Kampmann expressed his disappointment in the post fight interview and now faces a reality that has him losing back-to-back fights in the highly competitive UFC welterweight division. Upon his return from visiting his family in Denmark I caught up with "The Hitman" and in this Bloody Elbow Exclusive interview Martin looked back on the fight and shared his thoughts on the outcome.
Fedor Emelianenko to Return to Strikeforce in July
The long-time top-heavyweight in MMA, Fedor Emelianenko, will make his return to action for Strikeforce in July. The Russian star lost his second straight fight to Antonio Silva in February after submitting to Fabricio Werdum in 69 seconds back in June 2010.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker spoke to Sherdog:
"Fedor's gonna fight sometime in July. It's probably toward the end of July or mid-July, but we have fights with Fedor that we're gonna honor and continue forward. We're gonna do the co-branding exercise that we do with M-1 every time we do fights with them."
"The opponent has not been chosen, but I think having Fedor involved close to the tournament as an alternate is definitely a possibility," he added.
Pittsburgh possible host site for UFC on Versus 4 on June 26
Pittsburgh could host June's UFC on Versus 4 event.
Sources close to the June 26 event today told MMAjunkie.com Steel City is one of a few locales being considered for the Versus-televised show.
However, Greg Sirb, executive director of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission, today told MMAjunkie.com talks are in the preliminary stages and that nothing is official.
West Virginia becomes 45th U.S. state to regulate MMA
With overwhelming votes in favor of the move, West Virginia is now the 45th U.S. state to regulate mixed martial arts.
After it recently passed the West Virginia legislation, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin recently signed the bill into effect.
Only three state athletic commissions (New York, Connecticut and Vermont) currently don't regulate MMA, and two states (Alaska and Wyoming) lack regulatory bodies to do so.