Sean Sherk discusses his health, UFC return, Ben Henderson vs. Nate Diaz, and much more
It's been over two years since former UFC Lightweight Champion Sean Sherk has stepped inside the Octagon, but "The Muscle Shark" hasn't gone anywhere. Sherk's battled a series of nagging injuries during that time, but he's continued training, hosted seminars, and has gotten himself into the equipment business with his Elevation Training Mask (available at TrainingMask.com).
All the while, he's continued planning his return to action, and isn't near ready to walk away from a sport he's been involved with for the last 13 years. I caught up with Sherk last weekend in Maplewood, Minn., where he was a guest for an event from local Minnesota promotion Cage Fighting Xtreme, and he discussed a number of topics, including his health, returning to action, the UFC's lightweight division, the upcoming Championship bout between Ben Henderson and Nate Diaz, and more. Here's what Sherk had to say:
Bellator Making Hard Push to Keep Eddie Alvarez
According to Alvarez’s manager, Glenn Robinson of Authentic Sports Management, Bellator is pushing hard to keep their former champion right where he is as they make their transition to Spike TV in 2013.
“Bjorn and Eddie had a great conversation and had some great talks. Bjorn has expressed interest in keeping Eddie, and talks have gone really well, and that’s all I can really say at this point,” Robinson told MMAWeekly.com this week.
“Talks have gone really well with Bellator and Eddie just wants to fight the best fighters he can, and get a contract he feels is fair, but I can tell you Bjorn has gone out of his way to make Eddie feel welcome and talks have gone well so far, so we’ll see what the future brings,” said Robinson.
David Mitchell vs. Hyun Gyu Lim completes UFC on FUEL TV 6 lineup in Macau
A welterweight bout between David Mitchell (11-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC) and Hyun Gyu Lim (10-3-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is the final addition to next month's UFC on FUEL TV 6 event in Macau.
Mitchell recently replaced injured Marcelo Guimaraes (8-0-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC).
With the addition of the event-opening bout, UFC on FUEL TV 6 now features 10 total fights, including a Rich Franklin vs. Cung Le middleweight headliner.
Report: Jose Aldo Vs. Frankie Edgar Targeted For UFC 156 In Brazil
On October 13, 2012, we saw one of the greatest fighters on the planet completely destroy Stephan Bonnar in the headline fight at UFC 153. Though that fight in itself was a nice little treat for fight fans, it was a result of a super fight falling through, a bout that was supposed to feature Jose Aldo defending his featherweight crown against Frankie Edgar.
Now, as reported by Brazilian website clicrbs, that matchup is being sought out yet again by the UFC, and it is likely for UFC 156 in Brazil.
Details on the event have yet to emerge, but it is expected to be a major Brazilian show in a high-profile city. The event is likely to occur in January of 2013. So far, Aldo vs. Edgar has been the only bout rumored for the card, but seeing how great recent Brazilian cards have been, I'd expect it to fill out quickly.
Luiz Cane released from UFC contract
Luiz Cane entered UFC 153 in a must-win position. After losing three of four at light heavyweight, the Brazilian striker decided to drop to the middleweight division and was matched up with Chris Camozzi. Unfortunately for him, he dropped a unanimous decision. And according to his manager Alex Davis (via Tatame), he has been released from his UFC contract as well. Davis also said that Cane has had to undergo two knee surgeries lately and that he will be back with some wins outside the organization.
Olympic gold medalist Jeff Blatnick dies
NISKAYUNA - NewsChannel13 has confirmed that Olympic gold medalist Jeff Blatnick from Niskayuna has died following complications from heart surgery.
Sad day for MMA this guy was one of the biggest proponents for MMA in the dark days.
Replacement Marcus LeVesseur meets Michael Chiesa at UFC on FOX 5
A broken hand has forced lightweight Rafaello Oliveira to withdraw from UFC on FOX 5, but he's been replaced.
Stepping in for the Brazilian is Marcus LeVesseur (22-6 MMA, 1-1 UFC), who is set to meet "The Ultimate Fighter 15" winner Michael Chiesa (8-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), sources close to the event told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The new matchup serves on the FUEL TV-televised prelims of the event, which takes place Dec. 8 at KeyArena in Seattle. Main-card fights air on FOX.
MMAjunkie.com passed along news of Oliveira's injury earlier today, though his replacement wasn't known at the time.
Earlier this month, LeVesseur won a hard-fought split decision over Carlo Prater at UFC on FX 5, which put him back on the right track after his octagon debut at UFC on FUEL TV 3 ended in a first-round submission loss to Cody McKenzie. Boasting an amateur wrestling record of 155-0, LeVesseur notably outpointed current Bellator welterweight champ Ben Askren on the mats at Augsburg College.
Josh Koscheck calls out Nick Diaz and Demian Maia for 2013 return to UFC
Josh Koscheck is coming back to UFC in 2013 and he's already got a handful of opponents in mind for his Octagon return, including Nick Diaz, Jake Ellenberger, Rory MacDonald and Demian Maia.
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight number one contender Josh Koscheck has been to the promised land once before. Sure, he came up short in his bid to dethrone Georges St. Pierre at UFC 124, but he's not getting any younger.
And he doesn't have time to dick around with the middle of the pack.
UFC targeting Rashad Evans vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira for Super Bowl weekend
According to Brazil's SporTV, former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans will return to the Octagon on Super Bowl weekend and face off with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
While the UFC hasn't officially announced the bout, a source close to the fight confirmed to MMAFighting.com on Wednesday that the bout is under serious consideration for a planned Feb. 2 event in Las Vegas.
If the fight is finalized, it would mark Evans' first bout since losing a unanimous decision to champion Jon Jones on April 21. The loss snapped a four-fight win streak for the 33-year-old Evans (17-2-1).
Hand injury forces Rafaello Oliveira out of UFC on FOX 5, Michael Chiesa bout
"The Ultimate Fighter 15" winner Michael Chiesa (8-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) will need a new opponent for his first post-"TUF" bout.
Lightweight opponent Rafaello Oliveira (15-5 MMA, 2-4 UFC) suffered a broken hand in training and has pulled out of their scheduled UFC on FOX 5 meeting.
Oliveira and Chiesa tweeted news of the injury, though UFC officials haven't formally removed it from the December card.
DREAM hosts Thursday press conference, New Year's Eve event expected in Japan
Perhaps the DREAM promotion still has some life to it.
Inactive for the past 10 months, the Japanese promotion has announced it's hosting a Thursday press conference.
There, officials are expected to announce an event for New Year's Eve, and DREAM featherweight champion Hiroyuki Takaya, veteran Tatsuya Kawajiri and former title challenger Satoru Kitaoka are scheduled to attend.
The presser takes place in Tokyo at 6 p.m. local time (5 a.m. ET in the U.S.) and streams online. It's open to the public.
Fabio Maldonado camp: 'Toughest SOB on UFC roster' considering drop to middleweight
After enduring a brutal assault from top light heavyweight contender Glover Teixeira, Fabio Maldonado is at least considering a drop to 185 pounds.
Maldonado's manager, Alex Davis, said that his client hasn't yet made a commitment to middleweight, but he's certainly considering the option.
"Maldonado has been relying on his capability to withstand punishment, and it caught up with him," Davis told MMAjunkie.com. "Now I'm hearing he wants to drop to 185 pounds. I think it could be a good move."
Pat Barry vs. Shane Del Rosario targeted for December's TUF 16 Finale in Las Vegas
A battle between a pair of heavyweights has been added to the slate for the TUF 16 Finale.
Pat Barry and Shane Del Rosario are targeted for a meeting in December. Sources with knowledge of the fight booking on Tuesday confirmed the matchup to MMAjunkie.com.
The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale takes place Dec. 15 at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas with a main event between TUF 16 coaches Shane Carwin and Roy Nelson.
Cutting to 155 from 'a little too much,' UFC champ Henderson fights future move to 170
If Benson Henderson were in the throes of a weight cut, a night at a restaurant would be one of those experiences filed under "Reasons why it sucks to be an MMA fighter."
There's a little less than two months until his title fight with Nate Diaz, however, and Henderson has the freedom to be a little more liberal than usual with his diet.
He polishes off an entree, finishes a neglected appetizer and orders dessert during an interview at Elliott's Oyster House in Seattle.
Todd Harris, Bas Rutten named broadcast team for World Series of Fighting 1
Still 10 days from its debut, World Series of Fighting has made another change in its broadcast booth.
The promotion on Tuesday announced its official team to call World Series of Fighting 1 will be Todd Harris and Bas Rutten. Rutten already had been attached to the card, but Harris is a new addition.
WSOF 1 takes place Nov. 3 at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The event's main card airs live on NBC Sports Network.
UFC's Chad Mendes has battery count dropped, pleads no contest to lesser charge
After two months, Chad Mendes' legal ordeal is over.
The onetime UFC featherweight title challenger on Monday had a battery charge against him dropped in Hanford, Calif. Instead, according to reports, Mendes pled no contest to a lesser public disturbance charge, paid a fine and was released.
Mendes (12-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) is scheduled to meet Hacran Dias (21-1-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) at UFC on FX 6 in December.
The Team Alpha Male fighter was charged in late August with battery for allegedly sucker punching a man during a July 29 bar fight in Hanford. The charge carried a possible $2,000 fine and up to six months in county jail.
According to the "Hanford Sentinel," Kings County Sheriff's deputies say Mendes "sucker punched a man in the face" at a local bar during the July incident.
"I have said from the beginning that the ridiculous allegations published by the media were either false or incredibly sensationalized. Today’s outcome proves it," Mendes stated in the widely reported release.
UFC Lightweight Anthony Pettis hospitalized with infection
Things keep going from bad to worse for Lightweight Anthony Pettis. Following UFC 144 where he knocked out Joe Lauzon and current champion Ben Henderson won a decision over Frankie Edgar, the masses were calling for the two fighters to rematch. Unfortunately for "Showtime", Edgar was granted a rematch in his stead. Pettis underwent shoulder surgery in the meantime while getting into a twitter feud with Donald Cerrone. There were talks that the two would coach TUF 17 and meet afterward, but that plan was scrapped in favor of Chael Sonnen vs. Jon Jones. Instead, they were expected to meet in January. Now, that may too be in jeopardy.
AXS TV's Inside MMA caught the story tonight and announced via Twitter:
BREAKING NEWS - @showtimepettis hospitalized with an infection in his elbow in the same arm as his surgically repaired shoulder
— Inside MMA (@InsideMMAaxstv) October 23, 2012
UFC 155 card official for December 29th, tickets on sale this week
And here's a look at the current card:
Junior Dos Santos (15-1) vs. Cain Velasquez (9-1) [HW Title]
Forrest Griffin (19-7) vs. Phil Davis (10-1, 1 NC)
Tim Boetsch (16-4) vs. Chris Weidman (9-0)
Joe Lauzon (22-7) vs. Gray Maynard (11-1-1, 1 NC)
Alan Belcher (18-6) vs. Yushin Okami (27-7)
Chris Leben (22-8) vs. Karlos Vemola (9-3)
Matt Mitrione (5-1) vs. Philip De Fries (9-1, 1 NC)
Ricardo Lamas (12-2) vs. Erik Koch (13-1)
Brad Pickett (22-6) vs. Eddie Wineland (19-8-1)
Erik Perez (12-4) vs. Byron Bloodworth (6-2)