Georges St. Pierre Shooting for Early 2012 Return
Earlier this week we were informed that UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre suffered a MCL sprain that forced him to withdraw from his UFC 137 bout with Carlos Condit. Mike Fagan explained a little more about the injury yesterday and explained that, given trainer Firas Zahabi's timeline, it appeared that we should see a GSP return to the cage some time in the first few months of 2012.
In an interview with Sportsnet, GSP confirmed that exact target for his return:
"The recovery I want to do it well, I don't want to do it too fast. Because now I had an injury and I tried to train on it and maybe made it a little bit worse. I need a good four weeks to do my physio and do it right.
"I would say maybe end of January, possibly the beginning of February (for my return) ... Super Bowl, around this time."
UFC 137: B.J. Penn Will Go Five Rounds if Paid by UFC or Cesar Gracie
With the injury to Georges St. Pierre forcing B.J. Penn and Nick Diaz into the main event slot at UFC 137, there was some curiosity from fans wondering if Penn vs. Diaz would now be a five round fight. UFC president Dana White was quick to say that the fight would remain a three rounder.
For me, that was a shame. In my mind one of the UFC's most accomplished champions and the current Strikeforce champion should not be fighting a three round fight.
Diaz's manager, Cesar Gracie, was quick to start goading Penn into turning it into a five rounder. This was a smart move on his part as the one place where Diaz has the edge is in his endurance.
Penn has now responded, and he's open to the late notice change. But he wants to get paid for it (via MMA Weekly):
"I want to be compensated accordingly and that's it. I'm more than willing to do a five-round fight," Penn told MMAWeekly.com on Wednesday. "If Dana wants a five-round fight, just give me a call and we can put it together right now.
"Or if Cesar wants to make it a five-round fight and he wants to compensate me personally, he can put his money where his mouth is, it's that easy. I've been training to fight. I'm ready to fight."
Daniel Cormier Would Consider Move to 205 to Avoid Cain Velasquez
Two-time Olympic wrestling team member and undefeated prospect Daniel Cormier vaulted himself into the upper-echelon of the heavyweight division in September after he demolished Brazilian giant Antonio Silva at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio. The shocking knockout victory extended Cormier's unblemished record to nine, creating talk that he may, in fact, fulfill a role as the next great heavyweight fighter. Fellow semifinalist Josh Barnett stands in his path of proving that theory for fans, but we won't find out until Cormier's hand heals, sometime in early 2012.
In the meantime, Cormier's teammate at American Kickboxing Academy, UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, prepares for his first title defense on the UFC's inaugural Fox card on November 12. As you would expect, a world-class wrestler like Cormier is one of Velasquez's primary training partners, making it inevitable that a question arise about Cormier and Velasquez ever fighting one another. Interestingly enough, Cormier told Yahoo!'s Dave Meltzer that it could happen if the money was right:
"It'll be a very difficult fight for us to do. It will have to be worth it to us financially. We share the same coaches and the same management team. We'd have to address this as a group, with [manager] Bob Cook, Javier. I don't want to be just a good fighter. I want to be the best in the world. I could be in line for a championship but if it came down to us, I'd much rather go to 205. That would eliminate a lot of things. We have a great thing going at AKA, to avoid a lot of negatives, to avoid people having to choose sides, I'd rather move to 205, maybe beat someone, and then face Jon Jones. I'd have to have that fight instead of Cain."
Paulo Filho Says If He Fights in November It Will Be His Last
At one time, former WEC middleweight champion Paulo Filho was considered the No. 2 fighter in the world at 185lbs, and possibly the best challenger to UFC champion Anderson Silva.
Fast forward a few years later and Filho’s career has taken a path that could only be described as sad and tragic.
Since losing to Chael Sonnen in 2008 and exiting the WEC for the last time, Filho has gone 6-3-2, but that’s nothing compared to the personal problems he’s encountered dealing with a drug issue and depression that have caused many around him to remain concerned over the years.
UFC Hall of Famer Dan Severn Battling Bullies, Will Call It Quits After 2012
While Dan Severn may be known as “The Beast” inside cage, outside of it, he’s one of MMA’s biggest supporters and ambassadors who uses his fame to help further many causes as best he can.
This coming Thursday night at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square, New York, Severn will be among the celebrities (including current UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar) lending his support to the Kickin’ It anti-bullying program at one of their premier events of the year.
Vera: Thiago Silva is just a piece of s---
About his second chance with the UFC:
“It’s like when you broke or when you cheated on up your girlfriend in middle school and she broke up with you but you know she was the perfect one but you’ll never get her back. It was exactly like that.”
On his performance in the Thiago Silva fight:
“The whole fight I just kept asking myself, what the hell is going on? Why is this? I train with Phil Davis, Travis Browne, the Noguiera brothers, Junior Dos Santos…I train with some big dudes man and nobody has ever just been able to hold me down you know?”
On Silva’s antics inside the cage:
“I think he was just celebrating, but now that I know that he was a juice monkey, for sure I think he is a piece of shit. He is for sure just a piece of shit.”
MMAPlayground Interview Series - Vol. 10 (Chris "Kamikaze" Cariaso)
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.
Chris "Kamikaze" Cariaso is a 5-year mixed martial arts veteran and can currently be found competing in the Bantamweight division of the UFC. His current record stands at 11-3-0 with 4 stoppage victories and 7 wins by decision.
Cariaso is currently scheduled to face Vaughan Lee at UFC 138 in Birmingham, England. Read the interview below to find out why he thought he won his most recent fight against "Mayday" McDonald, what to expect at UFC 138 and more!
* * * * *
MMAPG: Thank you for the interview, Chris. How’s training going for you?
CARIASO: Training is going great. I have expanded my team. I have been working with strength and conditioning specialist John Pena at Power and Physique. I have spent the last month training in Montreal with Firas Zahabi, the Tristar Team and John Chaimberg.
MMAPG: You’re currently scheduled to fight Vaughan Lee at UFC 138 on November 5th, in Birmingham, England. Can you tell us a little bit about him? He’s a relative unknown in the US. Have you been able to find much to research?
CARIASO: I don’t know much about him. There is not much video on him; just a few videos on YouTube. He looks strong and has some submission skills.
UFC 137's B.J. Penn would like another title shot, but he's not banking on it
The title picture is a fickle beast, and B.J. Penn isn't about to get wrapped up in it.
The former lightweight and welterweight champion said that after his near-miss with a second chance at 170-pound champ Georges St-Pierre's belt, he's taking a wait-and-see attitude about his career.
"I'm trying to fight my best, and like all fighters say, the fight's against yourself," Penn said today. "So I'm just going to try to push myself to my personal best."
Penn (16-7-2 MMA, 12-6-2 UFC), who meets Nick Diaz (25-7 MMA, 6-4 UFC) in the headliner of UFC 137 on Oct. 29 at Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay Events Center, admits he fights himself a lot. Once a dominant force in the lightweight division, his stock took a considerable slide with back-to-back losses to current champ Frankie Edgar, and later, a draw at UFC 127 with Jon Fitch that was supposed to crown the next welterweight contender.
"For me, it's always been a love-hate relationship with MMA, and maybe with the UFC at times," Penn said. "I'd love to stick around as long as Randy (Couture) has stuck around, if I could do something like that. But it's one day, I want to fight 100 more fights, and the next day, I'm like I don't want to do this any more. I think a lot of fighters feel that way, but maybe I'm just more vocal about it."
Shoulder surgery reignites UFC fighter Rich Franklin's passion for MMA
At 37 years old, stuck in the purgatory of being a between-weight-classes fighter, and now on the mend from a recent shoulder surgery, Rich Franklin could easily wonder if being a UFC fighter has lost its luster.
A former no-hassles champ and the UFC's longtime consummate professional, he's found adversity around every corner in recent years.
But if you think Franklin is losing his interest in the fight game, think again. In fact, he said it's quite the opposite.
"Now that I'm injured and can't do things, it's fired me up," he today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "When you're stopped from doing something, that's when you're most hungry for it."
Franklin hasn't fought since a February loss to Forrest Griffin. Like so many of his fights since a move up from middleweight – where two losses to MMA kingpin Anderson Silva forced his departure – he found himself the much smaller fighter on event night.
Dustin Jacoby went from pro debut to UFC 137 pay-per-view slot in 11 months
When the squad at Fiore MMA heard Georges St-Pierre was injured and out of UFC 137, a buzz lit up the room.
Not because the UFC welterweight champ had been injured, of course, but because it meant that one lucky pair of fighters from the preliminary card would get a big promotion.
Maybe that pair would include team middleweight, Dustin Jacoby, who until the start of this month had been a sharp up-and-comer waiting for his big-show shot.
Jacoby, whose professional career started just 11 months ago, was already thrilled to have gotten a short-notice fight opposite Brad Tavares on the Facebook-streamed preliminary card of the Oct. 29 pay-per-view event. When a friend texted him late Tuesday that he'd gotten the main-card spot (and he confirmed the good news on MMAjunkie.com's mobile-phone app), life got a bit more interesting.
"It's been pretty hectic," Jacoby today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "To have an opportunity like this, it stepped everything up to a whole other level."
Jacoby (6-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) vs. Tavares (7-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) is now the first fight of the pay-per-view card. UFC 137 takes place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Jacoby earlier this month stepped in for an injured Tim Credeur (12-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC)
Blagoi Ivanov out, Neil Grove back in heavyweight tourney at Bellator 56
Bellator's heavyweight-tournament shuffle continues.
The latest change comes as a result of an injury to semifinalist Blagoi Ivanov (5-0 MMA, 2-0 BFC). Taking his place in the final four is opening-round loser Neil Grove (11-4-1 MMA, 3-2 BFC), who now gets a second life and meets Thiago Santos (9-1 MMA, 1-0 BFC) in a semifinal matchup at Bellator 56.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the change with a source close to the fighter.
Bellator 56 takes place Oct. 29 at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. The main card airs on MTV2 (and in high-definition on EPIX), and the prelims stream on Spike.com.
Amir Sadollah accepts full blame for recent loss, eyes January UFC return
Ups and downs are inherent to life, which means you're not immune if you're an MMA fighter and your name happens to be Amir Sadollah.
Since May 2010, "The Ultimate Fighter 7" winner has an even 2-2 record.
Mixed results aren't ideal in a cutthroat business. You never know what could happen following a loss. Sadollah is safe at the moment – but definitely shouldn't get too comfortable.
After all, fellow "TUF" winners such as Joe Stevenson, Kendall Grove, Efrain Escudero and Travis Lutter all currently find themselves outside the promotion looking in.
While Sadollah's situation isn't too dire, the inconsistency is still worth his upright and full attention. To address it, he looks to fight again in the near future to get back in the win column.
Coach: Werdum fighting in December, hopefully for UFC
Guilherme Cruz: Is Wanderlei training with you guys for Cung Le?
Raphael Cordeiro: He’s here, he’s practically living here. He’s done a marathon here, he’s pouring his heart out on the trainings. We’re having good results on the trainings with Werdum, Babalu, Munoz, Dida, quality guys. And he’s doing great. We’re much confident because of the work we’ve been doing here.
GC: Before Wand vs. Cung Le, Mark Munoz, another fighter from your team, fights Chris Leben. How is he doing on the trainings?
RC: He’s on fire. Mark is super dedicated, he’s a good guy, special, who’s making some room for himself in the organization. He’s one of the guys who trains the most, he’s our ‘geek’ (laughs). Sometimes he overtrains… But sometimes it’s good to make a mistake by trying to hard than not trying hard enough, right?
GC: And what about Werdum’s return? There were rumors about him signing with UFC…
RC: He’s back to the trainings, he’s making everybody laugh. He’ll probably fight in December… He’s talking to the UFC, and maybe they come up with something for December
Efrain Escudero vs. Cesar Avila added to Saturday's Bellator 55 event
A notable name has been added to Saturday's Bellator 55 event.
"The Ultimate Fighter 8" winner and recent regional-show regular Efrain Escudero (17-3 MMA, 0-0 BFC) meets fellow lightweight Ceasar Avila (6-1 MMA, 0-0 BFC) on the event's preliminary card.
The official Bellator 55 card includes:
MAIN CARD (MTV2)
Marcos Galvao vs. Alexis Vila (bantamweight tourney semifinal)
Eduardo Dantas vs. Ed West (bantamweight tourney semifinal)
Champ Christian M'Pumbu vs. Travis Wiuff (non-title light-heavyweight fight)
Ricardo Tirloni vs. Steve Gable
PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike.com)
Cesar Avila vs. Efrain Escudero
Carlos Flores vs. Richard Hale
Edgar Garcia vs. Jacob Ortiz
Erin Beach vs. Roscoe Jackson
Nick Piedmont vs. Jade Porter
Dano Moore vs. Steve Steinbeiss
Friday's XFC 14 fight card finalized, HDNet lineup undergoes two changes
With Friday's XFC 14 event quickly approaching, the promotion has announced a few late changes to the lineup.
Welterweight Nicolae Cury (5-2) replaces Charles Blanchard and now faces Elijah Harshbarger (6-3), and featherweight John Mahlow (12-12) steps in for Lawson McClure to face Bruce Connors (8-3).
Both fights air Friday on HDNet as part of the seven-bout main card of "XFC 14: Resurrection."
Featuring a headliner of former WEC champion Jamie Varner (17-5-1) vs. fellow lightweight Nate Jolly (10-3), XFC 14 takes place Oct. 21 at UCF Arena in Orlando, Fla., on the campus of the University of Central Florida.
With the official changes, the latest XFC 14 lineup now includes:
MAIN CARD (HDNet)
Nate Jolly vs. Jamie Varner
Scott Barrett vs. Carmelo Marrero
Marianna Kheyfets vs. Molly Helsel
Josh Clark vs. Reggie Pena
Nicolae Cury vs. Elijah Harshbargar
Mike Bernhard vs. Mikey Gomez
Bruce Connors vs. John Mahlow
Dustin Jacoby vs. Brad Tavares promoted to UFC 137 main card
Georges St-Pierre's misfortune is a gain for Dustin Jacoby Brad Tavares.
The middleweights, who had been relegated to the Facebook-streamed preliminary card for next week's UFC 137 event, have been promoted the pay-per-view main card, UFC officials today confirmed with MMAjunkie.com.
A PPV slot opened when an injured St-Pierre was forced out of UFC 137's championship headliner with Carlos Condit.
Cesar Gracie on B.J. Penn vs. Nick Diaz - 'Let's Make it Five Rounds'
It looks like Nick Diaz wants to go five rounds with B.J. Penn in the new main event of UFC 137, despite Dana White stating it would only be a three-rounder on twitter earlier today. Of course, they are now in the marquee spot because Georges St. Pierre was forced out of his headlining bout with Carlos Condit due to a knee injury. As usual, Nick's manager Cesar Gracie is leading the campaign for a five-rounder, speaking to MMA Fighting about the idea:
"If they can't fight five rounds against each other, how are they going to fight five rounds against GSP?," Gracie said to MMAFighting.com on Tuesday.