Add Nate Marquardt to the List of UFC Middleweights Wanting a Piece of Michael Bisping
Michael Bisping, through all the trash talk, spitting, and other antics that have made him the MMA villain he is today, has indirectly turned himself into one of the biggest draws in the UFC’s middleweight division.
After his TKO win over Jorge Rivera, the controversy weighed heavy in media circles. Rivera’s camp went on record and described Bisping’s actions as “deplorable” and “disrespectful.” Assault charges are typically filed in similar situations.
The character that Bisping advertises in the UFC has made him a “bad guy” in the sport, equivalent to what you call a “heel” in professional wrestling. The level of villainy he has reached is that of Legion of Doom-type altitudes, spurring the need for defenders of truth, justice and all that other stuff you hear about in the DC Comic universe.
UFC 128 Rumor: 50 Cent To Accompany Jon Jones To Cage vs. Shogun Rua
Jon Jones may be taking a page out of Anderson Silva's book and using fellow celebrities to increase his own marketability.
Silva made headlines across the globe when he had actor and martial artist Steven Seagal accompany him to the cage at UFC 126.
Jones may be ready to do something very similar, though not in the form of a fellow martial artist. Instead, rumors are circulating that rapper 50 Cent may be joining "Bones" during his walk to the cage.
Speculation started on Tuesday afternoon, when 50 Cent sent out the following message from his Twitter page, @50Cent:
Follow @jonnybones to the ring for @ufc 128 this sat for the light heavy weight championship of the world. http://plixi.com/p/84235873
The rapper then sent out a tweet to Ultimate Fighting Championship President, Dana White:
@danawhite stop being mad that god gave @jonnybones grace and style.... @ufc http://plixi.com/p/84236319
Though none of this confirms that 50 Cent will either be in attendance or coming to the cage with Jones, where there is smoke, there is often fire.
Antonio Silva Calls Out Brock Lesnar, Wants to Send Him Back to Pro Wrestling
Antonio Silva is still fresh off the biggest win of his career, beating down long time top heavyweight, Fedor Emelianenko. Now, shortly after Zuffa bought Strikeforce, the #6 ranked heavyweight, wants to add another high-profile name to his resume. He talked to mmajunkie and called out former UFC heavyweight champion, Brock Lesnar:
"It excites me. The UFC is the No. 1 event on earth. The best fighters in the world are there. I would love to fight there. I'd love to fight Brock Lesnar and send him back to pro wrestling because I don't accept the fact that [he's] ranked No. 2."
"It's not personal; I don't know Brock. It's just professional. I fight for my family. I love to fight and I need to fight, so I'll fight any place and anybody."
Itching to scrap, Nick Catone inisisted on fighting – at any weight – at UFC 128
Nick Catone had a choice.
Dan Miller, his opponent at UFC 128, was called up to fight Nate Marquardt after Yoshihiro Akiyama withdrew in the fallout from this past week's earthquake in Japan. He was between 205 and 208 pounds and was just about to start his cut to middleweight. He could hold for another fight – UFC matchmaker Joe Silva had concerns he couldn't get another middleweight approved in time – or he could fight a New Jersey fighter all cued up and ready to go.
It was an easy choice.
Bonnar, Cruz, Liddell and Vera headline UFC 128 tailgate party
Saturday's UFC 128 festivities are getting started a little earlier than normal, and it doesn't have anything to do with pay-per-view start times.
The UFC, in association with DUB Magazine and the upcoming feature film "Fast Five," is hosting a tailgate party outside the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
Featuring autograph signings by current UFC contenders Stephan Bonnar, Dominick Cruz, Brandon Vera and UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell, the tailgate party starts at 3 p.m. ET.
Has UFC Found Its Transcendent Star?
You can watch it a dozen times and not believe it. The first man cinches his arms around his opponent's waist from behind, bucks forward and then simply dead-lifts him up and drops backward with him, tracing an arc of perhaps 140 degrees so that they land together, their weight on the neck of the man being thrown.
As they grapple for leverage on the mat, the first man catches onto the second man's left leg, working down toward the ankle as they rise, and then drops it, spinning to his right and catching his opponent flush with an elbow to the head that knocks him down to the mat, helpless again. From impact to impact, the whole fluid sequence lasts 10 seconds
"I've never seen anyone throw anything like that," said the second man, a tough veteran fighter named Stephan Bonnar. "I didn't even know it hit me. I was laying there thinking someone from the audience threw a bottle or something."
The fight was a test, Jon Jones's eighth in less than a year and his second in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the leading mixed martial arts promotion. Five fights, four wins and just more than two years later, Jones, 23, is preparing for his first chance at a UFC title.
Saturday at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., he is scheduled to fight Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, champion of the 205-pound division, a feared Muay Thai artist and Brazilian jiu-jitsu player who has finished two-thirds of his 24 professional fights by knockout or technical knockout.
At stake, though, is more than a championship. Since first gaining purchase on the American consciousness five years ago, fighting has won a hard sort of semi-legitimacy as a sport. Major televised bouts draw around six million viewers, top fights regularly sell more than a million pay-per-view orders and an upcoming show in Toronto has, according to the promotion, sold about 55,000 tickets, with an estimated gate of $11 million.
The gap between a status as underground freak show and grudgingly tolerated niche sport, though, may be smaller than the one between fighting as it is now and as it aspires to be. If it is ever to become anything near a major sport, it will have to present a transcendent athlete. Jones may not be that man, but he's likely closer than anyone yet has been—which in its way just shows how far fighting has yet to go...
Bobby Lashley re-booked to face John Ott on March 25
The finalized lineup just announced by Titan Fighting includes a late change to the night's main event, which will feature former WWE superstar Bobby Lashley. Kansas City-based heavyweight James Jack (6-2) had been scheduled to fight Lashley but has been pulled from the show and replaced by John Ott (9-7).
Jack's departure from the card comes under questionable circumstances.
Tom "Kong" Watson to face Murilo "Ninja" Rua at BAMMA 6
Europe's leading MMA promotion, BAMMA, and Syfy are proud to announce BAMMA 6 will take place on Saturday 21st May at Wembley Arena.
The headline bout features a BAMMA Middleweight title bout between defending champion Tom "Kong" Watson and former Elite XC Middleweight Champion Murilo "Ninja" Rua.
Oh hell yeah! I am getting tickets now!
Herb Dean to Officiate UFC 128 Main Event, Rua-Jones Judges Also Named
Well respected referee Herb Dean has drawn the assignment as the third man in the cage for Saturday's UFC 128 main event pitting champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua against challenger Jon Jones.
New Jersey state athletic control board legal counsel Nick Lembo informed MMA Fighting of the decision on Tuesday.
Dean is one of the most experienced officials in the sport, reportedly presiding over 4,000 matches during his career. His most recent UFC main event was in last month's UFC 127 draw between BJ Penn and Jon Fitch in Australia.
While Dean will decide things in the cage, if the fight goes to the judges, Douglas Crobsy, Cardo Urso and Dave Tirelli will be scoring the bout at cageside...
Gina Carano Visiting New York Next Week to Promote ‘UFC Personal Trainer’
The UFC’s ongoing tour of the East Coast includes a public press conference at Radio City Music Hall in New York tomorrow, UFC 128 in Newark on Saturday, and the TUF 14 tryouts next Monday. But there’s one more little surprise in store for fight fans — Gina Carano will be doing an appearance in New York next Wednesday to promote “UFC Personal Trainer,” a fitness game slated for a June release on the Xbox 360 Kinect, PlayStation Move, and Nintendo Wii.
White Reveals Vague (But Allegedly Harsh) Punishment for Michael Bisping Spitting Incident
When Ariel Helwani showed up at UFC headquarters over the weekend, he and Dana White didn’t just talk about the company’s surprise purchase of Strikeforce or the impending dissolution of the Jones-Evans bromance, they touched on a number of juicy topics, including exactly how White planned to punish Michael Bisping for conduct unbefitting an Englishman at UFC 127. Turns out, he already has … or at least he says he has. Hard to tell really, since White refuses to get into specifics.
All we know is that in the wake of Bisping blasting Rivera with an illegal knee and then spitting at/on one of Rivera’s corner men following their grudge match, White says the British toolbox “didn’t get a bonus.” We assume that he doesn’t mean the ol’ run-of-the-mill, FOTN-KOTN-SOTN bonuses either, instead referring to the long-rumored, under-the-table bonuses that are sometimes alleged to make up the bulk of a UFC fighter’s pay. So, yeah, that seems … vague. Whatever he did though, White assures us it was a pretty big deal.
"Hamill" named best feature film at Miami Film Festival
"Hamill," a feature film based on the life of UFC light heavyweight Matt Hamill, is now two-for-two.
The film picked up the Audience Award for Best Feature Film this past weekend at the Miami Film Festival. The honor comes four months after it captured the Breakthrough Film award at the 2010 AFI Film Festival in Los Angeles.
"These awards are further proof to show that this film can survive theatrically and break the mold," "Hamill" writer Eben Kostbar told MMAjunkie.com.
Manager: Anderson Silva Wouldn't Have a Problem Fighting Georges St. Pierre at a Catchweight
"Anderson has proven he’s the best fighter and he handles it quite good. It’s a complicated fight to GSP… It’s a pretty bad fight for him. Anderson has this biotype, he loses weight easily, he can make any weight, so I believe a catchweight division would be perfect for GSP, and Anderson wouldn’t have problems with that. Who’d have a problem would be GSP, because Anderson can lose that weight easily and, at the day of the fight, he’d be on his usual weight, so I believe it’s complicated for Georges St. Pierre"
Bellator signs undefeated heavyweight prospect Blagoi Ivanov
The man best-known for defeating Fedor Emelianenko in a combat sambo match is coming to Bellator Fighting Championships.
Bellator officials today announced that Blagoi Ivanov has signed a multi-fight deal with the promotion and will soon fight for the first time in the U.S.
"Blagoi is a great signing for us at heavyweight," Bellator chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney stated in today's official release. "He brings an incredible sambo background to the cage and is developing his hands with some of the best in the business."
Anderson Silva documentary, "Like Water," debuts at Tribeca Film Festival
"Like Water," a documentary focused on Anderson Silva's life leading up to his UFC 117 win over Chael Sonnen, debuts at next month's Tribeca Film Festival.
Directed by Pablo Croce, the film is one of six documentaries in the New York gathering's fifth edition of the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival.
This year's Tribeca Film Festival takes begins April 20 in New York City.
NY MMA bill overwhelmingly passes committee vote
New York Senate Bill 1707A, i.e. the bill to authorize mixed martial arts in New York, overwhelmingly passed the Senate Standing Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation, by a vote of 13-1 this morning.
If last year is any indication, the bill will now go straight to the full Senate for a vote.
The overwhelming support for the bill is a good sign and so is the fact that the bill is through the Tourism Committee this early in the legislative session, i.e. approximately three (3) months before the bill was referred out of the Tourism Committee last year.
Evans-Jones Rift Escalates; Rumors Swirl That Rashad Has Left Team Jackson
The Jon Jones-Rashad Evans situation is heating up as we get closer to Jones’ fight with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 128 Saturday night in New Jersey.
If you haven’t been following along at home, here’s the score:
• Jones hungrily accepted the UFC’s offer to fill in for Evans against Rua when his Team Jackson teammate injured his knee and had to postpone fighting for the title.
• Evans took umbrage with Jones hopping the line since he waited on the sidelines for over a year to get a crack at Rua while the UFC light heavyweight champ recovered from knee surgery, but he took the high road and decided to bite his tongue on the matter.
• Jones reneged on an earlier pact to never fight Evans and goes on record saying during an interview with Versus that he would have no problem facing “Suga.”
• When put on the spot about Jones quote about fighting him during MMA Live, Evans basically said “he ain’t no bitch” and that if that’s what “Bones” said, he would have to fight him.
• Jones tells reporters during a media conference call for UFC 128, “I absolutely hate when people mention Rashad Evans, especially throughout this training camp….for people to even be mentioning Rashad Evans right now…I think it’s ludicrous. Rashad is not in my mind, he’s not in my being, he has absolutely zero to do with my heart and who I am right now. This guy has nothing to do with Shogun and from here on out, I don’t think I’ll answer a question about Rashad. I have a lot of people outside of Rashad who I can draw energy and power from and they’ll all be with me.”
Which brings us to this week.
Schaub Ready for Cro Cop Thanks to Team Intervention
Brendan Schaub's coaches were worried about him. He'd started his training camp roughly three months out from his fight with Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic at UFC 128, and the wear and tear was starting to show.
His body wasn't reacting the way it should have, he said. He'd do one round of sparring or mitt work and feel exhausted. It was like he was getting in worse shape as the weeks wore on. To put it simply, he'd burned himself out. That's when his coaches got together and insisted that he leave the gym and not come back for at least three days.