With UFC 137 main event looming, Nick Diaz laments choice not to box
Nick Diaz (25-7 MMA, 6-4 UFC) now says he regrets his decision to pass up a boxing contract for a return to the UFC.
Three days before his UFC 137 headliner opposite B.J. Penn (16-7-2 MMA, 12-6-2 UFC), Diaz said a trip to the square circle would have benefitted him more in the long term than the continuation of his MMA career.
"If I had my chance to do it over again, I would have gone back to the boxing contract," the former Strikeforce champion said today.
UFC 137's Donald Cerrone: After 'one-trick pony,' I want Nam Phan at 145 pounds
LAS VEGAS – UFC lightweight contender Donald Cerrone (16-3 MMA, 3-0 UFC) currently has his hands full with German striker Dennis Siver (19-7 MMA, 8-4 UFC), but that doesn't mean "Cowboy" isn't already planning out his next move.
He's giving up Milk Duds and Hot Tamales.
Cerrone said after his bout with Siver at this weekend's UFC 137 event in Las Vegas, he's making a drop down to 145 pounds for one specific reason: to silence Nam Phan.
"I'm about to go to 145 (pounds) after this fight," Cerrone today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I'm going to go after Nam Phan. He's talking [expletive], and now I'm pissed off."
Cesar Gracie Says Gilbert Melendez is UFC-Bound After December Strikeforce Fight
Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez has recently been the subject of much speculation regarding how much longer he would remain with that organization. UFC president Dana White recently said that he wanted to bring him over to the UFC, but he was still booked in a title defense against Jorge Masvidal at a Strikeforce event on December 17th in San Diego. Gil's coach Cesar Gracie made it clear to Tatame that he's going to the UFC after that fight though:
"Absolutely it’ll be his last fight (in Strikeforce)", assures the coach, who didn’t have any doubts about Melendez’s situation on the lightweight division of Ultimate, which title holder is Frankie Edgar. "I believe Melendez is the best of the world in this division".
Caros Fodor vs. Justin Wilcox slated for 'Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal'
A lightweight bout between Strikeforce Challengers regulars Caros Fodor (6-1 MMA, 4-0 SF) and Justin Wilcox (11-3 MMA, 5-1 SF) will be part of December's "Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal" event.
Fodor today revealed the fight on "The MMA Show" with Mauro Ranallo.
The event takes place Dec. 17 at Valley View Casino Center in San Diego. The event's main card airs on Showtime.
It's not clear if Fodor vs. Wilcox will be part of the broadcast.
Legacy Fighting Championships signs 'TUF 14' prospect Carson Beebe
Legacy Fighting Championships has secured another solid prospect.
Company officials today confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the Texas-based promotion has signed "The Ultimate Fighter 14" fighter and top bantamweight prospect Carson Beebe to a multi-fight deal.
He's expected to debut in 2012 on an HDNet-televised card.
Beebe (8-1), who recently turned 23, made his pro debut in early 2010 and has suffered just one loss to date. The former Purdue University wrestler briefly appeared on the current season of "TUF" on Spike TV, but Johnny Bedford upset him with a submission victory and knocked him out of the competition in the 32-man elimination round.
Viacom buys Bellator, plans 2013 start on Spike
MTV Networks' Spike TV channel is getting out of the Ultimate Fighting Championship's business, but the broadcaster has increased its ties to mixed martial arts.
Viacom, parent of MTV Networks, bought a majority stake in Bellator Fighting Championships and will start airing the promotion's bouts on Spike in 2013, the companies told USA TODAY this week. They've had ongoing talks for about a year as they finished up various deals, and over the past month finally reached the point where they could announce the news, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney said.
Selling to Viacom's entertainment conglomerate guarantees a stable future for Bellator, said Rebney, who will remain in charge of the MMA organization.
"It puts all of those cornerstones of ownership in place for us," he said. "Which is something that's been so seriously lacking in the MMA space with so many different companies, including Strikeforce and the IFL and Affliction and all the different failures that have occurred. … It alleviates those issues."
Bellator is the No. 2 promotion in mixed martial arts behind market leader Zuffa, owner of UFC and Strikeforce...
Brendan Schaub and Fabricio Werdum Eye Potential Matchup
It started off with a simple statement from Brendan Schaub, and has blossomed into something more. It's well known that Fabricio Werdum is looking to return to the UFC and he's apparently willing to grasp at any olive branch that might lead him there, no matter how small. After Schaub said Werdum would be an interesting opponent in an interview last week, Werdum responded on twitter today with a challenge:
@BrendanSchaub I'm ready for you, anytime, anywhere! @SpiderAnderson @kings_mma @wandfc @graciemag_br @TATAMEMAGAZINE @marco_goncalves
Oct 25 via Twitter for iPhoneFavoriteRetweetReply
The fact that he included 67 other people in the tweet is a major indication that he's looking for some validation here.
One-armed Daniel Cormier already prepping for Strikeforce bout with Josh Barnett
Daniel Cormier can bounce back from a busted hand because he's the Wolverine.
If he was a mere mortal and not a (fictional) superhero character, he might have been forced to bow out of the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix finals in which he meets Josh Barnett (31-5 MMA, 2-0 SF).
"Because I am Wolverine, I was able to get the cast off," Cormier (9-0 MMA, 6-0 SF) joked during Monday's new edition of HDNet's "Inside MMA."
Until a few weeks ago, this cast sheathed Cormier's right hand, which he broke on the skull of Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva during their fight in the semifinals of the grand prix. In a stunning rout, he stopped the Brazilian in the first round to earn a spot in the tournament finals.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker told the program that the finals are scheduled for the first quarter of 2012. A date and venue have yet to be finalized.
UFC 137 headliner B.J. Penn fueled by haters and those who would hold him down
Former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion B.J. Penn is too old for this you-know-what.
He's still a proud man and a fighter. But he's a father of two now, and has children to keep in check the flare-ups of emotion that would have landed him in hot water three years ago. He can't go flying off at the handle at any slight. He is measured because he is responsible.
In short, he's an adult. At 32, he ought to be.
Few of the haters that seem to follow him everywhere have undergone such transformation. Even after all these years, they still dole out criticism that attacks his motivation, his skills, his background. And it's those nice people that give him the motivation to do his best in the gym.
Jared Hamman vs. Constantinos Philippou added to UFC 140 in Toronto
A middleweight contest between Jared Hamman (13-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC) and Constantinos Philippou (8-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) is now official for the UFC's return to Canada.
UFC officials today announced the matchup as the "final" contest on the now 12-bout UFC 140 card.
Featuring a light heavyweight title fight between current champ Jon Jones and former titleholder Lyoto Machida, "UFC 140: Jones vs. Machida" takes place Dec. 10 at Toronto's Air Canada Centre.
The positioning of Hamman vs. Philippo bout on the evening's lineup was not confirmed, but it will likely take place on the evening's preliminary card.
12th and final bout. Very solid card. Can't wait to go.
Dave Huckaba tapped to meet Bobby Lashley at Shark Fights 21
Bobby Lashley's opponent merry-go-round has finally come to rest.
Manager Leland LaBarre today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Lashley (6-1) has agreed to fight Dave Huckaba (16-4) at Shark Fights 21 for the promotion's heavyweight title. Contracts are expected to be finalized shortly. Champ Darrill Schoonover, who recently withdrew from the event, is expected to relinquish his belt.
Shark Fights 21 takes place Nov. 11 at Fair Park Coliseum in Lubbock, Texas. The event airs via delay on FUEL TV on Dec. 23.
UFC middleweight contender Alan Belcher earns Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt
While UFC middleweight contender Alan Belcher generally enters the cage sporting a pair of Muay Thai trunks, he's also registered four submission wins in the octagon.
And now, he's a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt.
Belcher, who began training in the grappling art at just 14 years old, was recently granted the rank of black belt by his longtime instructor, Helio Soneca.
Josh Grispi Sidelined By Family Circumstances
UFC featherweight Josh Grispi hasn't had the best 2011 in the cage so far, but he's dealing with a lot more outside of it. After going 0-2 earlier in the year, he was scheduled to face Matt Grice at UFC 136 but withdrew from the fight. According to a Boston Herald article, it wasn't an injury that forced him out. There was a lot more to it than that:
On Aug.?12, Grispi's first child Josh Jr. was born. Two days later, Josh's father, Richard, was rushed to Tufts Medical Center for emergency surgery to remove a brain tumor the size of a hockey puck. Suffice to say, the two events didn't leave Josh much time to focus on fighting.
Firas Zahabi: 'I'd Want Georges St. Pierre to Move Down to 155'
Tri-Star trainer Firas Zahabi was a guest on Beatdown radio with T.J. De Santis and Jon Luther of Sherdog yesterday, and had some very interesting things regarding his star pupil Georges St. Pierre changing weight classes. They started off asking Firas about what would be required for GSP to move to middleweight, and he threw them for a loop with his answer. He said that he actually recommends that St. Pierre should move down to 155, not up to 185 (starts around the 88 minute mark):
"Well to be honest with you, I have recommended to Georges, you know...the only reason I don't recommend it now is because Frankie Edgar is the champion, but I'd want him to move down to 155 if Frankie was not the champion. Obviously we're part of the Renzo Gracie team and we'd never fight Frankie Edgar, because obviously we're all Renzo Gracie fighters. But if it wasn't the case, you know, I'd rather him go down to 155 because Georges is not a very big welterweight. People might think he is, he's actually not very big. And him making 170 is extremely easy for him.
MMAPlayground Interview Series - Vol. 11 (Pablo "The Scarecrow" Garza)
As with any successful professional, mixed martial artists eat, sleep and breathe their craft. They put everything on the line when they wake up, hit the gym and pour their blood, sweat and tears into the sport we all love. When they enter that cage, for the fan, it's all about the entertainment, but these athletes go through the daily rigors with more in mind. For some fighters, it's a paycheck. For others, it's the glitz and glamour, but for some it's a lifestyle fueled by a deep passion and connection to the sport of mixed martial arts.
In our newest site feature, MMAPlayground would like to introduce you to some of these men and women of MMA that you may not know much about.
Our mission? To introduce. To educate. To spread the word.
Pablo “The Scarecrow” Garza is a WEC and UFC veteran who has fought in both the lightweight and featherweight divisions. He was the first featherweight, along with Fredson Paixao, to compete under the UFC banner. He is also the first fighter in UFC history to pull off a flying triangle submission. He’s a versatile fighter, a humble man, and a closet nerd.
Garza is scheduled to take on fellow UFC featherweight Dustin Poirier on November 12 on UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos.
* * * * *
MMAPG: Pablo, thanks so much for taking time to answer some questions. You’re scheduled to take on fellow featherweight Dustin Poirier at UFC on Fox 1. How are you feeling right now? How’s your training going?
GARZA: My training is going good and I’m feeling great!
MMAPG: You’re coming off two of the most spectacular finishes in the UFC in the past year. You’ve received submission of the night and knockout of the night in back-to-back fights. Which one did you find to be more rewarding?
GARZA: I think the flying triangle was more rewarding. Some people thought that I just got lucky in landing a flying knee against Paixao. A lot of people questioned whether I belonged in the UFC at all. So after I landed the flying triangle in UFC129, I felt like people finally saw that I actually hold my own in the UFC.
Former Strikeforce Fighter Brett Rogers Arrested Again
Brett Rogers was arrested again early this morning. The Apple Valley Patch in Apple Valley, MN is reporting that Rogers was arrested on an outstanding warrant related to his June arrest. This past June, the former Strikeforce fighter was arrested and charged with felony third-degree assault against his wife. Rogers pled guilty to that charge, and was released pending sentencing. Today's arrest was for failing to comply with certain conditions of that pre-sentencing release.
Rogers was also arrested in late September for violating the order of protection issued after the June domestic assault.
Reagan Penn meets Evan Cutts at ProElite 2
Reagan Penn's burgeoning MMA career rolls on at ProElite 2.
Penn (1-0), the younger brother of former UFC champ B.J. Penn, is set to meet the undefeated Evan Cutts (2-0) at the event, which takes place Nov. 5 at iWireless Center in Moline, Ill.
The bout airs live as part of the event's HDNet-televised main card. Broadcast plans for the preliminary card have yet to be announced.
Jacob Volkmann vs. T.J. Grant booked for UFC 141 in Las Vegas
Looking for his fifth straight UFC victory, lightweight Jacob Volkmann will meet T.J. Grant later this year at UFC 141.
UFC officials today announced the bout.
UFC 141 takes place Dec. 30 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The event, which takes place on a Friday to avoid Sin City's usual New Year's Eve congestion, features a pay-per-view main card.
Officials deny Bobby Lashley vs. Tim Hague booked for Shark Fights 21 headliner
The same day someone from the company's official Twitter account announced the fight, Shark Fights officials since have denied that their next event will feature a heavyweight headliner between ex-WWE star and Strikeforce vet Bobby Lashley and UFC vet Tim Hague.
Shark Fights officials today told MMAjunkie.com the fight hasn't been booked.
They also said they "have no idea" who tweeted the news from the company's Twitter account.