Trainer Cesar Gracie expects Nate Diaz to be his first UFC champ
If Nate Diaz emerges victorious against UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson at Saturday's UFC on FOX 5 event at Seattle's KeyArena, the 27-year-old will become the first Cesar Gracie fighter to hold gold in the UFC.
Gracie's Pleasant Hill, Calif. academy has groomed other talent to UFC title shots, including Gil Castillo, who suffered a loss to then-welterweight champ Matt Hughes at UFC 40 back in 2002. Additionally, prominent jiu-jitsu black belts who now represent the camp – Dave Terrell, Jake Shields and Nick Diaz – also have come up short in recent title fights. Nate's older brother, Nick, is the most recent to walk away without the grand prize after he dropped a unanimous decision to Carlos Condit in an interim welterweight title bout at UFC 143 in February.
So what makes Gracie's latest title challenger likely to bring home the goods?
"If I've learned something," Gracie told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) about his decade-plus prepping fighters to become UFC champions, "it's don't let the hype get to you."
Cung Le Had to Leave “Super Camp” To Get Personal Attention Needed for UFC Success
The nature of training is different for every fighter heading into a big bout in the UFC.
One staple throughout MMA in recent years, however, has been the explosion of the “super camp” featuring a number of top fighters all working together under one roof, and one set of coaches to get ready for upcoming competition.
Gyms like Team Greg Jackson, American Top Team, and American Kickboxing Academy have become synonymous with great training and building champions.
Recently, however, more top fighters are shying away from the “super camp” atmosphere because, for all the rave reviews about the great coaching and training, there seems to be something lost when it comes to personal attention when preparing for a fight...
New Jersey trainer sentenced for falsifying documents
A New Jersey-based MMA trainer was today sentenced to probation, community service and fines for falsifying pre-fight medical forms for amateur fighters, the state's attorney general today announced.
Philip Dunlap of Mahwah, N.J., received two years of probation, 100 hours of community service and a $5,000 fine, according to a release.
"Every trainer investigated and arrested for this type of crime enables us to further uphold the integrity of the sport," stated New Jersey State Athletic Control Board Commissioner Aaron Davis.
With Brock Lesnar and Cole Konrad Retired, Team Death Clutch Is No More
Following the retirements of both Brock Lesnar and Cole Konrad, what was once Team Death Clutch is no more.
The heavyweight team that assembled around former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar came to notoriety after the former Minnesota wrestler wanted to built a gym and facility that would make him a more complete mixed martial artist, while also keeping him close to home...
Shogun and Ninja Go Separate Ways After Tension with Coach
Internal tensions in Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua’s camp have caused a rift between him and his older brother Murilo ‘Ninja’.
Since his first days of competition, Ninja has always been in the corner when Shogun fights but he was absent for the weekend’s bout against Brandon Vera, which headlined UFC on FOX 4. The reason is Andrea Dida, Shogun’s head coach. Ninja does not like him and does not agree with his training methods, nor the way that he coaches.
“Guys, I was not with Mauricio in this fight because I have a problem with Dida. I do not agree with the way he corners and drills him,” he wrote on Twitter at the weekend, responding to queries about his absence...
With Mike Van Arsdale's Departure, Mario Sperry in as New Blackzilians Head Coach
One of MMA's powerhouse teams has a new head coach. Mike Van Arsdale, who has been the man running the show since the group's inception, has decided to relocate to Arizona to be closer to his family and start his own gym. In as his replacement is grappling legend Mario Sperry, who has been coaching at the gym since earlier this year.
Authentic Sports Management CEO Glenn Robinson confirmed the changes to MMA Fighting on Monday, saying they had been in the works.
The news first trickled out through social media, with Van Arsdale soon confirming his departure through Twitter. But, Robinson said, Van Arsdale's westward move does not mean the end of the relationship between the two sides.
"Mike is a good friend and always will be," he told MMA Fighting via e-mail. "His kids missed him as they lived in Arizona and he lived here and went back and forth. He went home to be more with his wife and five kids. He will come back here whenever we need him for a camp and is always part of our family and will be back a lot."
Chris Weidman Asks Anderson Silva’s Camp Why Don’t They Want to Face the No. 1 Contender?
There’s probably no quicker way to illicit a response from a fighter than to call them ‘amateur’ or ‘a joke’, especially when those words are coming from a manager and not another competitor.
The strong statement came from Jorge Guimaraes, who is a co-manager of UFC middleweight king Anderson Silva, when speaking to Tatame.com about the prospects hoping to next face his fighter in the Octagon.
“That’s a big joke,” Guimaraes said about Chris Weidman and his fellow middleweight contenders. “Anderson has the biggest paycheck in the UFC and you can’t promote and event with these amateur kids that are coming up now.”
Needless to say Weidman didn’t take too kindly to Guimaraes’ words about him or the other top ten middleweights vying to face Silva in the cage...
Bart Palaszewski Now Fighting Out of Jackson's
We spoke with Bart Palaszewski tonight, and he informed us that he is going to change things up and fight out of Jackson's from now on.
This is news to the MMA landscape, as he had not announced it formally.
(Interview about 55 minutes in)
We'll see if this boosts him up the ranks to be able to eventually fight for the 135-lb. crown!
Jorge Santiago Celebrates Latest Win with Decision to Move Down to Welterweight
In his last two fights, Santiago has gone 2-0 with stoppages in both bouts while competing in Titan Fighting Championships.
His latest bout just last Friday, it took Santiago only 94 seconds to put away Justin Guthrie with a nasty inverted heel hook. The funny thing is, that’s not even something Santiago practices on even a semi-regular basis.
Following a tough run in only two fights back in the UFC, Santiago is starting to breathe again and find new life with his team at the Blackzilians in Florida. As an original member of the camp, it took Santiago a little while to acclimate to the new team and new trainers, but he’s now found himself and the results are starting to show.
“This is not the new, but the old Jorge Santiago from Japan. The old one, nothing else distracts me anymore, the only thing I have to do now is go out there and fight the way I like to fight, that’s it. Everything is getting more light for me, even the weight,” said Santiago.
The weight comment holds an extra special meaning because following his last fight in Titan Fighting over the weekend, Santiago decided that he would be dropping down to 170lbs and testing the welterweight division.
Exclusive: Josh Koscheck Reveals The Reason Why He Left AKA
Following Josh Koscheck‘s win at UFC 143 on Saturday night over Mike Pierce, the former ‘Ultimate Fighter’ season 1 competitor revealed at the post fight press conference that he had split with his longtime team at American Kickboxing Academy and immediately the MMA world was taken back.
Fighters switching teams or working with different training camps is nothing new, but Koscheck had been a mainstay of the San Jose based gym literally for every fight since season one of the reality show, which took place nearly 8 years ago.
It was for that very reason that when he announced the split, everyone was asking why? What happened that would cause Koscheck the team he had such deep rooted seeds with?
Well, truth be told Koscheck didn’t leave his entire team. As a matter of fact, his training partners are still very much a part of his family and his team.
“First and foremost, my teammates over there at AKA in San Jose are my brothers. I love those guys. 8 years, we’ve basically trained ourselves and got us to the level that we are and we’ve all relied on each other and those guys are forever going to be my teammates, I’m forever going to train with them, but I’m just not going to train in San Jose with them,” Koscheck told MMAWeekly.com in an exclusive interview on Sunday...
Exclusive: At All Costs, Alistair Overeem Is Out for Justice Against Golden Glory
In this exclusive interview, UFC heavyweight Alistair Overeem talks to MMAWeekly.com about the ongoing legal situation with his former team at Golden Glory and much, much more.
Overeem took time on Wednesday to talk to MMAWeekly.com about his upcoming fight with Junior dos Santos, the work he’s been doing with the Blackzilians and he fires back at his former team at Golden Glory and the lawsuits that have been filed by both parties.
Damon Martin: First let’s start with what’s coming next for you in the UFC. It’s going to be Junior dos Santos for the title. I want to start by asking your thoughts on him as a fighter and his striking?
Alistair Overeem: Junior dos Santos is the heavyweight champion of the UFC so he’s the best fighter in the world at the moment and he has that belt around his waist, which I’m still missing. He’s a very strong fighter with knockout power in his punches, and he moves very well for a heavyweight. His boxing skills are the best in the MMA business so that would make for a very interesting fight. It will be a classic striker versus striker, which an audience always loves to see. It will be a great fight for sure...
Golden Glory legal team wins judgement to garnish Overeem's UFC 141 wages
In the latest legal salvo between Alistair Overeem and his former managers at Golden Glory, a lawyer for the MMA team today obtained a pre-judgement from a judge to garnish the fighter's wages for his bout tonight against Brock Lesnar.
The order requires the Nevada State Athletic Commission to withhold a $241,285.49 check Overeem is slated to receive for the fight, which headlines UFC 141 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
"It would have been ideal if a lawsuit could have been avoided," Roderick J. Lindblom, the lawyer representing the MMA team, stated in a press release issued today. "We wish Alistair well in the fight, and in fact, have a financial interest in his continued success. Unfortunately, my clients simply had no choice."
A bond of $200,000 is required to execute the order; however, it is unknown whether that bond has been deposited to the Clark County, Nevada court in which it was filed.
"Whatever valid order is in effect, we will certainly comply with," UFC chief legal counsel Laurence Epstein today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
On Thursday Lindblom, who represents Golden Glory and its corporate parent Knockout Investments, filed suit in a Clark County alleging that Overeem breached a management agreement struck in Holland four years ago.
"There has been some consternation about the timing of a lawsuit filed by Knock Out Investments/Golden Glory against Alistair Overeem," today's release stated. "We've been in discussions with Mr. Overeem's legal counsel since Nov. 7, and there has been no progress regarding the dispute.
"The reality is that a fighter is paid within 24 hours of the bout. Given past failure to pay management and training fees, there is serious concern on my client’s part that Mr. Overeem will simply walk away with the money. "
The judgement applies to 30 percent of Overeem's show and win purses, any performance bonuses he may receive, and any proceeds he may receive from the pay-per-view event per his UFC contract...
Report: Alistair Overeem Files Lawsuit Against Former Managers
Alistair Overeem is preparing for his first fight in the UFC, but he's reportedly preparing for a legal fight as well.
According to TMZ, the decorated mixed martial artist who will debut in the octagon against Brock Lesnar on December 30 has filed a lawsuit against his management team for their alleged refusal to pay him money owed from their deal.
It's no small amount, as the lawsuit alleges that they're holding out on paying him more than $150,000 he's owed. He's also seeking a court order to break his management contract.
On Monday's edition of The MMA Hour, Overeem revealed that he had left his longtime home, Golden Glory, due to a "major breach of trust," moving his training camp to Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas. Overeem also called Golden Glory "harmful management" in his interview, suggesting that he was taken advantage of.
The lawsuit claims that Overeem agreed to give managers 35 percent of his pre-tax earnings. You may recall that in July, the UFC parted ways with most of the Golden Glory fighters they had under contract, with UFC president Dana White alleging that they insisted on business practices that made it impossible to work with them. Among them was an insistence on the UFC directly paying Golden Glory rather than its fighters, as is required by most state athletic commissions...
Cesar Gracie Makes Formal Offer To Unite Team Penn & Team Gracie Into One Fight Team/Alliance
“I was reminded by something that happened many, many years ago. I think BJ was probably about 17 at the time, we were at a tournament and I was giving one of my guy’s instructions. At the time there was an alliance, it was my school and Ralphs school and we where one team and BJ was on that team.
I was giving one of my guys instructions and I looked over to my left a little bit and I saw BJ’s eyes focused on every word I was saying and he kind of smiled and said, ‘You always have the best advice, that’s why I always listen to you.’
And it just reminded me, years and years have passed since then, but BJ, take my advice now, it’s time to make something new happen. “
These are the sentiments of famed coach and leader of the Gracie Fight Team, Cesar Gracie, as he tells it exclusively to BJPENN.COM this afternoon...