KJ Noons Is Running Up The Middle, Try To Stop Him
Yes, he actually likens his MMA fighting plan to, of all things, football, on today's SF conference call. "Let me put it like this, for anyone that played any level of football, in high school or whatever. My game plan is to run it up the middle, try to stop me. That's it. That's how I fight every time. I'm coming right at you win or lose. Nick Diaz is all over the place, to keep the football analogy going, he's out there running all these crazy plays. We'll see who's strategy works best come October 9."
UFC Re-signs Stefan Struve
6'11" skyscraper Stefan Struve has signed a new 4-fight deal with UFC. His management team announecd the deal today but terms were not disclosed. Struve is 4-2 so far in UFC, losing his UFC debut to Junior Dos Santos but going 4-1 since with the only loss in that stretch being to Roy Nelson.
UFC 119 Prelims: 1.3 Million Viewers
Ratings for this past weekend's UFC 119 "UFC Prelims" special were up slightly and peaked with 1.36 million viewers. The live broadcast, which preceded the night's pay-per-view main card, featured two live preliminary-card bouts from Indianapolis' Conseco Fieldhouse. The bouts included C.B. Dollaway's submission win over fellow middleweight Joe Doerksen and heavyweight Matt Mitrione's decision victory in a slugfest with Joey Beltran. Spike TV's previous "UFC Prelims" broadcast, which accompanied August's UFC 118 event in Boston, scored a series-low 1.1 million viewers. Of the 11 "UFC Prelims" that have aired since their inception in September 2009, UFC 119's tied for sixth best. There are 2 left this year, before UFC 121 & 123. Additionally, the reason 124 won't get one is because of a conflict with Spike's annual Video Game Awards.
Fedor: Right Now, SF Is Struggling To Find Me A Serious Opponent
With Alistair Overeem seemingly ducking Fedor and Fabricio Werdum out until next year (injury) there don't seem to be many options from SF...among other potential hurdles. "I have said many times that I have nothing to do with match-making. Right now, Strikeforce is struggling to find me a serious opponent. Alistair Overeem keeps finding all sorts of excuses not to fight me. The remaining stars have lost in their recent fights, so the promotion has no desire to put them up against me. And Fabricio Werdum is still recovering from his surgery. In addition, I have only one fight remaining with Strikeforce ... I'm yet to decide whether I'm going to continue my fighting career after this contract expires. Also, my candidacy nominated for the Post of Deputy in Belgorod Regional Duma, and if I'm elected, I think, will defend the interests of the people and try to do my best efforts for the development of sport. But again, I think it's too early to talk about it. I have to finalize the contract and prepare for my last bout."
Minotauro Nogueira Likely To Return In Mid-2011
According to both Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and manager Ed Soares, "Minotauro" is definitely done for the year due to knee & hip surgeries and likely is out until mid 2011. "He's had surgery on his knee so far, and we're waiting on when he's going to do his hip surgery," Soares told MMAWeekly in an interview. "Probably within the next couple weeks." Nogueira was at UFC 119 supporting his brother Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, and did have a noticeable limp from the knee surgery. Soares added that he expects Nogueira to be back 6 months after the hip surgery.
Cro Cop: I Have The Option For 2 More Fights...Knowing Myself, I Will Do Both
That's the plan with what's left on his current deal. "I think [the crowd] expected a more aggressive fight. I prepared as much as I could with all the injuries that have followed me. Also, I was sick [in Indianapolis]. I did not want to fight aggressive until the third round but he hit me with the knee. I don't think I was disgraced in this fight because I accepted it at the last moment. After Pat Barry I said that would be my last fight but I fought again. I need to rest and cure my injuries, I have a lot of injuries. This year of course I will not fight. I have the option for two more fights. Knowing myself, I will do both."
Fired by UFC 119's Matt Mitrione, agent Malki Kawa believes miscommunication to blame
MMA agent Malki Kawa believes a lack of communication led to an unfortunate public scene involving his former client, UFC heavyweight Matt Mitrione.
Mitrione defeated Joey Beltran by unanimous decision at this past Saturday's UFC 119 event and then made the highly unusual move of firing Kawa during his post-fight interview, which aired live on Spike TV.
And while Kawa is unhappy with his own performance leading up to the event, he today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the deck was stacked against him and that he'd like to clear the air with Mitrione.
"He's a great guy," Kawa said. "He just doesn't understand how it should get done, and I didn't get the chance to sit down and operate with him the way I normally would with anybody else."
Seven-fight lineup finalized for Thursday's Bellator 31 event
The fight card for Thursday's Bellator 31 event is set with a seven-bout lineup.
The event takes place at at the L'Auberge du Lac Casino and Resort in Lake Charles, La.
The night's main card, including women's 115-pound tournament semifinal fights of Megumi Fujii (21-0 MMA, 2-0 BFC) vs. Lisa Ward (14-5 MMA, 2-0 BFC) and Zoila Frausto (8-1 MMA, 2-0 BFC) vs. Jessica Aguilar (9-3 MMA, 1-0 BFC), airs on FOX Sports Net.
However, one notable matchup officially is gone from the card. As MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) first reported earlier this month, a heavyweight bout between Ricco Rodriguez and Dave Herman has been scratched. Although he hoped to fight through injury, Rodriguez, an early UFC champion, was forced off the card after learning a knee injury could require multiple surgeries. Herman, who had been in a contract dispute until the booking, has been removed from the card.
Murilo Rua Not Headed To UFC Despite Rumors (Yet), Signs With W-1
Former PRIDE light heavyweight luminary Murilo Rua's next fight will not be in the UFC Octagon, contrary to rumors pointing otherwise. The older brother of Mauricio Rua has signed with the W-1 promotion in Canada and will compete on the promotion's 10/23 event. His opponent will be Cesar Gracie-trained fighter Roy Boughton. Terms of Rua's deal were not disclosed but if Rua beats Boughton, then his next stop likely is UFC.
UFC 119 Medical Suspensions
The Indiana Gaming Commission has issued the medical suspensions from Saturday's UFC 119. A total of 10 fighters are suspended with most getting 30 days although Evan Dunham got 45, but 3 fighters-Mark Hunt, Matt Serra & Mirko Cro Cop are suspended indefinitely and for a minimum of 180 days.
Michael Bisping Won't Resort To MMAth While Training For Akiyama
So he says in an interview for Men's Fitness magazine, also referring to Akiyama's most recent fight, a loss to Chris Leben. "It's easy to get suckered into thinking that because Leben beat him and I beat Leben, I should be able to steamroll Akiyama, but it doesn’t work like that. Fighters match up differently and anything can happen on the night. Stylistically they’re both quite similar, and I beat Leben by just having a crisper, sharper striking style and being more technical. I want to finish Akiyama and I think I will because during this camp I’ve been knocking down lots of big guys – heavyweights. That never used to happen so it’s a sign that my boxing has come on a lot. Yeah, I want to knock out Akiyama. That’s what everyone wants to see and that’s what I’m aiming to do."
Dana White Likens Frank Mir To The Grinch
How, you ask? He's not hairy and he's not green, but Dana says he also has no heart. "I have no clue about Frank. To talk the stuff he does, and then fight like he fought, that's a little frustrating. Once "Cro Cop" stuffed his takedown attempt, his heart fell out on the floor. If Frank Mir can't bully you, his heart shrinks to the size of the Grinch's. If he can't take you down, his heart shrinks to the size of a pea."
WEC 53 Title Doubleheader set With Henderson-Pettis And Cruz-Jorgensen
World Extreme Cagefighting will close out the 2010 season with a bang and a championship double-headliner. Officials today announced WEC 53 features lightweight champ Ben Henderson vs. Anthony Pettis and bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz vs. Scott Jorgensen. Although not announced today, Bart Palaszewski vs. Kamal Shalrous is also expected for 53.
Jason Reinhardt Off WEC 51, TUF 12 Castmember To Face Quan (Updated)
Although the exact reason for the change couldn't be disclosed, Jason Reinhardt is now off WEC 51 due to failing his pre-fight medical exam, possibly due to a vision problem. He was to have faced debuting Chinese fighter Zhang Tie Quan. Pablo Garza, who competed on the current 12th season of The Ultimate Fighter but lost early to Michael Johnson, is the short-notice replacement.
Update: The reason is because Reinhardt's contact lens prescription is too heavy. “We were informed Thursday by the WEC that Jason's contact lens prescription was too heavy,” said Justin Reinhardt, Jason's brother and PR agent. “The State of Colorado does not allow a fighter to wear contact lenses in competition and therefore would not pass Jason to fight without his contacts. He has fought 11 years including UFC 78 with his contacts.”
Manny Gamburyan Ready to Wrestle the Title Away From Jose Aldo at WEC 51
When he dropped from the UFC to the WEC - and from lightweight to featherweight - no one was sure what to make of Manny Gamburyan. Was his skill set too limited? Did he have enough to compete at that stacked weightclass? Did his time pass?
After dropping his last two fights in the UFC at lightweight, he's rattled off three consecutive wins in the WEC at featherweight. And he's never looked more well-rounded in his professional MMA career.
Whispers in the Night: What Were Mir and Cro Cop Talking About?
Saturday night it seemed Mirko Cro Cop and Frank Mir were doing more talking than fighting. At one point the two were so gabby that they continued a conversation after instructed to break by the referee. What was so important that it couldn't wait until after the fight? Cro Cop revealed what was said to a Croatian news service...
Trigg, Monson, Sokoudjou, Other UFC Vets Slated for Israel FC
Frank Trigg, Jeff Monson, Ricco Rodriguez, Hermes Franca, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, Charles "Krazy Horse" Bennett, Daniel Gracie and Shonie Carter are all slated to compete in Israel on Nov. 9 for the Israel Fighting Championship group.
The matchups after the jump.
Former UFC heavyweight title contender Monson refuses to let age slow down his work schedule. When he faces Sergey Shemetov on Nov. 9, the American Top Team heavyweight will be fighting for his eight time this year.
Trigg, who fell out of active competition after his February loss to Matt Serra, will return to action against Roy Neeman.
UFC welterweight contender Jon Fitch says move to middleweight is inevitable
ROSEMEAD, Calif. – Dec. 11 is a huge night for Jon Fitch's career.
That's the date the perennial welterweight contender will get an idea of where he's headed in the near future. He could meet the winner of Martin Kampmann vs. Jake Shields, slated for next month's UFC 121 event, or the winner of UFC 124's Georges St-Pierre vs. Josh Koscheck title fight.
But Fitch also sees a move to the middleweight class not too far down the road, and that trip could be expedited if American Kickboxing Academy teammate Koscheck wins St-Pierre's welterweight belt this winter.
"We have a philosophy at our gym that it would be much better to have three belts at AKA than to have two belts, and then send two guys to fight for the same belt," Fitch told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) during a recent UFC Gym opening event in Rosemead, Calif. "So I feel like I can beat Anderson Silva, too, and GSP."
Japanese MMA Still in Trouble, DREAM.16 Ratings Down
FEG was able to come to terms with WVR and acquire Satoshi Ishii for a fight at DREAM.16. The problem? The fight was announced within days of the event, allowing FEG and TBS to do minimal promotion for the event. This all led to what turned out to be less-than-stellar ratings for DREAM 16, withIkuhisa Minowa vs. Satoshi Ishii as a strong draw in the press, but only Ishii's second bout on Japanese soil and Ishii doing very little press since the loss in December.
The final ratings for the event were 11.9%, almost a full point decline from their last primetime event, DREAM.11. With FEG in dire straights, one has to wonder how this looks to investment bank PUJI as well as what this means for the TBS/FEG relationship.
UFC 119 bonus pay
Sean Sherk, Evan Dunham, Matt Mitrione, Joey Beltran and C.B. Dollaway each earned $70,000 fight-night bonuses for their performances at Saturday's UFC 119 event.
Mir gets a ko, but no bonus!