Facing "tailor-made" opponent, James McSweeney predicts UFC 120 success
For British slugger James McSweeney (4-5 MMA, 1-1 UFC), things couldn't have worked out any better.
Sure, he admits, a late opponent change is never something you'd ask for, but as "The Hammer" finishes his prep for this weekend's UFC 120 bout with promotional newcomer Fabiano Maldonado (17-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC), McSweeney says he couldn't have hand-picked a better foe.
"The guy is very cocky and very sure of himself," McSweeney recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "I love fighting guys like that. It's tailor-made for me."
Strikeforce's Tyron Woodley in no rush to top of welterweight division
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Tyron Woodley isn't calling out marquee fighters just yet.
The full-time fighter and sometime grad student is happy to remain a prospect. Give him a year and then he'll talk.
"I like the pace I'm on," Woodley (7-0 MMA, 5-0 SF) said following his quick win over Andre Galvao at this past Saturday's "Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Noons 2" event. "I don't think I'm far."
Still, it was a pivotal victory for "T-Wood," who prior to his big-show debut was a regular on the Strikeforce Challengers series. He has yet to meet a setback in seven professional appearances.
Phil Baroni vs. Brad Tavares targeted for UFC 125 on Jan. 1
"The Ultimate Fighter 11" semifinalist Brad Tavares (5-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) will put his perfect record on the line when he meets veteran fighter Phil Baroni (13-12 MMA, 3-6 UFC) at UFC 125.
Sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that verbal agreements are in place for the fight, which is expected to take place at middleweight.
UFC 125 takes place Jan. 1 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, and the night's main card airs on pay-per-view.
It's not known if Tavares vs. Baroni will make the broadcast.
SF Diaz vs. Noons 2 Fighter Payouts
The CSAC has revealed the official fighter payouts from Saturday's Strikeforce Diaz vs. Noons 2 event. The total disclosed payouts were $211,500 with the biggest share-$50,000-going to both Nick Diaz and Josh Thomson. And for those wondering, Marloes Coenen earned less than the likely combined value of her new title and Sarah Kaufman's arm-just $3000. Kaufman made $20,000 for the loss.
SF Diaz vs. Noons 2 Medical Suspensions
The CSAC has announced the medical suspensions coming out of Saturday's Strikeforce Diaz vs. Noons 2 event. 7 fighters are suspended with 3-Josh Thomson, KJ Noons and Gesias Cavalcante-all out at least 180 days. Both Thomson & Cavalcante can be cleared early to return but Thomson must sit out at least 60 days (cut), and Noons must be cleared after the suspension and can't return early. 4 other fighters got 45 or 60 day suspensions including Nick Diaz, who got 60 days for cuts.
Silva-Overeem On December 4 SF Back On
Antonio Silva vs. Valentijn Overeem is back on for December 4. A week after Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker told MMAjunkie that the heavily rumored bout was not taking place at "Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu," a source close to the event today confirmed that the fight has been salvaged.
Strikeforce's "JZ" Cavalcante unsure about future, concerned about MMA judging
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Lightweight Gesias "JZ" Cavalcante was sure he'd done enough to earn a decision victory over Josh Thomson at this past Saturday's "Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Noons 2" event.
Instead, Thomson earned a unanimous-decision victory, and though two judges scored it 29-28, one judge surprisingly gave him all three rounds.
"When they said 30-27, I said, 'Come on, that's complete bull [expletive],'" Cavalcante told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) afterward.
"Everybody keeps telling me I won," he added. "I feel like I won the first and the third round. But I have to watch the tape."
WWE's David Bautista Wants Multi-Fight SF Deal, Early 2011 Debut
Former pro wrestler David Bautista (known as Batista in WWE) is still very much interested in fighting in mixed martial arts. The heavyweight took in this past Saturday's "Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Noons II" event in support of MMA mentor Nick Diaz and said that talks with the San Jose, Calif.-based promotion are ongoing, though a deal is "not even close to done." If all goes well, however, Bautista hopes to be in the Strikeforce cage by March 2011. As for fighting in a cage for real, the entertainer said he needs between eight and 10 weeks to prepare for a fight and is ready to begin training full-time in January 2011 after he fulfills his obligations to a pair of movie projects. Other than that, he said, it's about reaching an agreement with Strikeforce on money and the number of fights on his contract. "My thing is I want to do a multi-fight deal," he said. "I want to have a guarantee of at least three fights. I want a tune-up fight, I want a big fight, and I want a pay-per-view fight."
Report: No 1/29 UFC Event, 126 Expected To Be Super Bowl Card
Although a Jan. 29 show was under consideration at one point, the date no longer is expected to host an Ultimate Fighting Championship card. Multiple sources close to the organization say nothing is planned for pay-per-view or Spike TV for the January date. That means the Jan. 1 New Year's Day card will be UFC 125, and the star-studded Super Bowl weekend card on Feb. 5 is expected to be UFC 126. In recent years, UFC officials sometimes host an event just a week before the Super Bowl weekend show in an effort to build interest and spur pay-per-view buys. Traditionally, the Super Bowl events are some of the biggest of the year for the UFC. That led to a rumors of a potential UFC 126 event on Jan. 29, but that now appears unlikely, the sources said. 126 is expected to be in Vegas at either MGM Grand Garden Arena or Mandalay bay Events Center.
Feud Over Semmy Schilt Allegations Could Tear Kickboxing Apart
In a move that has the potential to greatly impact the 2010 K-1 Grand Prix, Hesdy Gerges's team has filed a formal complaint against Semmy Schilt stemming from their Final 16 match last weekend. Filed by Black Label Fighting and It's Showtime, the complaint argues that Schilt received illegal medical attention between rounds of the October 2 fight and calls for Schilt to be disqualified from the December 11 Grand Prix finals.
Nearing 50, Renaissance jock Herschel Walker breaks fitness rules
(CNN) -- Javier Mendez, a mixed martial arts trainer for 32 years, scoffed when he heard that retired NFL star Herschel Walker, who's nearing 50, wanted to compete in ultimate fighting. "Yeah, I didn't think he could do it," Mendez said. "I thought it was a joke." Walker had been out of football for 12 years. Aging football players tend to get flabby, play golf or relive the spotlight under "Dancing With the Stars."
Bobby Lashley's Strikeforce Contract Has Expired
According to Dave Meltzer on f4wonline.com, Bobby Lashley's contract has run out, but he still has an exclusive negotiating period with Strikeforce before he can start talking to other MMA organizations that are interested in his services:
"Bobby Lashley’s contract has expired. Right now he’s in the exclusive negotiating period, meaning he can’t talk to anyone else in MMA, although his Strikeforce deal does allow him to do pro wrestling and he always expressed interest in going back..."
Lightweights Clay Guida vs. Takanori Gomi booked for UFC 125 on Jan. 1
Veteran lightweight Clay Guida (27-11 MMA, 7-5 UFC) got his wish and faces Japanese star Takanori Gomi (32-6 MMA, 1-1 UFC) on Jan. 1 at UFC 125.
Guida confirmed the bout during a Sunday appearance on ESPN Chicago's "MMA Tonight" program.
The first-of-the-year card takes place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, and the night's main card airs on pay-per-view.
It's not clear if Guida vs. Gomi will make the broadcast, but it's likely to air in some form.
Randy Couture Actively Seeking Movie Roles, Unsure Of Fighting Future
UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture isn't exactly hanging up the gloves just yet, but he admits fighting is no longer his primary focus. In fact, following his most recent cinematic role working alongside action-film luminaries Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis in "The Expendables," Couture says he realizes his future is brighter in Hollywood than it is in Las Vegas. "I think [acting] is certainly what my interest is right now," Couture said on this week's edition of the MMA:30 Radio Hour. "I've had an amazing year, and I think it's time to start looking at that, for sure. That's probably what's going to carry me through for the next 10 or 15 years." As for what's next, Couture says he's currently in a crossroads. Couture's lawyer, Sam Spira, in September told MMAFighting.com he considered the likelihood of Couture's return to the cage "a toss-up." Couture has 3 fights left on his current UFC contract.
Diaz-Miller Rivalry Continues At SF, Coker Open To Fight
There nearly was another brawl at last night's Strikeforce event, but this time we wouldn't have seen it because it was backstage. Nick Diaz & Jason Miller nearly came to blows after last night's event and had to be separated by Showtime officials. Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said Diaz needs rest following a unanimous decision victory over K.J. Noons in this past Saturday's event, but he's not opposed to a grudge match between the welterweight champion and "Bully Beatdown" host. According to a source who witnessed the scene, Diaz and Miller locked eyes while passing each other in the hallway between the dressing rooms and the pressroom as the post-event press conference took place. Words were exchanged, and Diaz allegedly threw a water bottle at Miller. The two were immediately broken up by members of their respective camps and Showtime officials. A Showtime official later confirmed the incident with MMAjunkie but downplayed its significance. Coker reacted with surprise when told of the near-scuffle following the press conference. While he pointed to a different path for Diaz during the meeting – Diaz could meet either the winner of a Dec. 4 bout between Scott Smith and Paul Daley or perhaps Brazilian brawler Evangelista "Mr. Cyborg" Santos – he isn't opposed to having the rivals settle their score inside the Strikeforce cage.
Strikeforce Working On Melendez-Aoki Rematch
Gilbert Melendez has been on “Daddy Daycare Duty” as of late, but all signs point to him returning to competition in short order... it’s just a matter of settling upon who and where. Speculation has centered on the Strikeforce lightweight champion making the trip to Japan to face Dream champion Shinya Aoki on New Year’s Eve. Far from cementing a rematch between the two titleholders, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker did say that bout is a likely scenario. “That is not confirmed, but it is something that (Dream has) said that they would like to have happen if possible, so we're having that dialogue,” he said at Saturday night’s post-fight press conference in San Jose, Calif. If it doesn't work out, the likely Plan B is Melendez-Josh Thomson 3.
Coker: No More SF On CBS In 2010
Strikeforce's ambitious expansion plans took a major hit last night when CEO Scott Coker revealed after last night's event that there will be no more events on CBS this year. Coker didn’t comment on the particulars on Saturday night following Diaz vs. Noons II, but he did confirm that CBS is still on ice and will remain so for the remainder of the year. He deflected talk away from any friction between the promotion and CBS, saying, “We're working on a couple of things with them, one being the DVD. We're working on another type of product with them, as well as getting back on the air next year, but it definitely is shelved until 2011.” But the post-event brawl on the last CBS card involving Jake Shields & Jason Miller may have been a partial factor.
Evan Dunham vs. Kenny Florian In The Works For UFC 127 (Updated)
Kenny Florian recently said he hopes to return to action in early 2011, and it looks like it'll come in February at UFC 127. While not yet announced he's expected to meet Evan Dunham at the event on February 5. Florian recently revealed on "MMA Live" that he's verbally agreed to the fight.
UPDATE Kenflo says yea, agent says nay. Dunham's camp says they have not agreed to the fight, verbally or otherwise, and no date is set. Sources did make it clear the fight could still happen, but despite what some sites say it is NOT official at this time.
UFC Re-signs Mario Miranda
UFC believes Mario Miranda can get back on the right track. Although he has a losing record in the promotion at 1-2, he was recently given a new 4-fight deal from the promotion and is hoping to return in early 2011. Miranda's last fight was a UFC 118 loss to Demian Maia, but that fight came together on short notice due to an Alan Belcher injury.