Trainer: Jones vs. Evans matchup forcing "soul searching" at Jackson's, Grudge
When it comes to the impending fight between newly minted light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones and former champ Rashad Evans, trainer Greg Jackson is sticking to a long-held policy not to corner fighters against one another.
Other coaches are still figuring things out. It's admittedly an uncomfortable situation not only for Jackson but those who've worked with both fighters, or work with the Jackson team.
"Everybody's doing soul searching right now," Jackson today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Not long ago, Evans and Jones were meeting on the mats of Jackson's MMA academy in Albuquerque, N.M., as Evans prepared to face light-heavyweight champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 128. When Evans hurt his knee in early February, Jones went in his place and dominated the Brazilian champion en route to a third-round TKO.
Jason Brilz ready for a fight against UNO Athletic Director Trev Albetrs
After three straight Division II wrestling titles University of Nebraska Omaha Athletic Director, Trev Alberts, has decided to cut the program. Alberts aletered the UNO wrestling team by telephone a meer hour after the team had won its third straight title...upon returning to the school there lockeroom had been padlocked, and they were escorted by security to clean out their lockers and peacefully leave the campus.
Assistant Coach Jason Brilz is ready for a fight with the former failed ESPN announcer and new University of Nebraska Omaha AD, Trev Alberts...
Babin looks at MMA, CFL during break from Titans
The NFL lockout has given players a chance to put their feet up and take it easy if they want.
Titans defensive end Jason Babin apparently is viewing it as an opportunity to cross things off his bucket list — or maybe even add to it.
He plans to begin mixed martial arts training in California, and if things go well he said he could enter MMA competitions. He's also scheduled a bear-hunting trip to Alaska next month.
Antonio Silva Calls Out Brock Lesnar, Wants to Send Him Back to Pro Wrestling
Antonio Silva is still fresh off the biggest win of his career, beating down long time top heavyweight, Fedor Emelianenko. Now, shortly after Zuffa bought Strikeforce, the #6 ranked heavyweight, wants to add another high-profile name to his resume. He talked to mmajunkie and called out former UFC heavyweight champion, Brock Lesnar:
"It excites me. The UFC is the No. 1 event on earth. The best fighters in the world are there. I would love to fight there. I'd love to fight Brock Lesnar and send him back to pro wrestling because I don't accept the fact that [he's] ranked No. 2."
"It's not personal; I don't know Brock. It's just professional. I fight for my family. I love to fight and I need to fight, so I'll fight any place and anybody."
"Hamill" named best feature film at Miami Film Festival
"Hamill," a feature film based on the life of UFC light heavyweight Matt Hamill, is now two-for-two.
The film picked up the Audience Award for Best Feature Film this past weekend at the Miami Film Festival. The honor comes four months after it captured the Breakthrough Film award at the 2010 AFI Film Festival in Los Angeles.
"These awards are further proof to show that this film can survive theatrically and break the mold," "Hamill" writer Eben Kostbar told MMAjunkie.com.
Bellator signs undefeated heavyweight prospect Blagoi Ivanov
The man best-known for defeating Fedor Emelianenko in a combat sambo match is coming to Bellator Fighting Championships.
Bellator officials today announced that Blagoi Ivanov has signed a multi-fight deal with the promotion and will soon fight for the first time in the U.S.
"Blagoi is a great signing for us at heavyweight," Bellator chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney stated in today's official release. "He brings an incredible sambo background to the cage and is developing his hands with some of the best in the business."
NY MMA bill overwhelmingly passes committee vote
New York Senate Bill 1707A, i.e. the bill to authorize mixed martial arts in New York, overwhelmingly passed the Senate Standing Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation, by a vote of 13-1 this morning.
If last year is any indication, the bill will now go straight to the full Senate for a vote.
The overwhelming support for the bill is a good sign and so is the fact that the bill is through the Tourism Committee this early in the legislative session, i.e. approximately three (3) months before the bill was referred out of the Tourism Committee last year.
Source: Kheder Allegedly Bolts from Bellator Weigh-Ins; Shockley In
According to a source close to the promotion, Kheder checked in at the Bellator 36 weigh-ins on Friday and then left while the undercard competitors were hitting the scales. Sherdog.com confirmed news of alleged Kheder's departure after MMA Junkie initially reported on the matter.
When it came time for the lightweight tournament competitor to stand and deliver, he was allegedly nowhere to be found. The official announcement during the live stream of the weigh-in was that the fighter was talking with commission officials and would step on the scale after the stream went off the air.
That plan apparently went out the window, as one member of the Bellator staff actually chased after Kheder when it was realized that he had exited the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium. Calls from the promotion to the lightweight's phone allegedly went unanswered.
Despite suspension, James Irvin meets Mamed Khalidov in KSW 15 headliner
Despite a failed drug test and one-year suspension, James Irvin is heading overseas to fight light-heavyweight champion Mamed Khalidov in the headliner of next week's KSW 15 event.
Officials today announced the title fight, which takes place March 19 in Warsaw, Poland.
Irvin recently was pulled from a Shark Fights 14 co-headliner and rematch with Houston Alexander due to his alleged used of the steroid epitrenbolone at December's Tachi Palace Fights 7 event.
Alexander hopes Irvin available for May Shark Fights show, will settle for "Kimbo"
Light heavyweight Houston Alexander hopes James Irvin gets a recent suspension for performance-enhancing drugs reduced from one year to six months, if only for one selfish reason.
So he can put his hands on "The Sandman."
But if Irvin doesn't get cleared to fight Alexander in May, as the Texas-based Shark Fights is now targeting, "The Assassin" has someone else in mind for his next fight: Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson.
Former WWE Superstar Dave Batista May Make MMA Debut in UK
MMAWeekly.com has learned through independent sources that the rumored MMA debut of former WWE wrestler David Batista looks likely to take place in May… but not on U.S. soil.
It has come to light that the main delay in his debut has been aligning his desire to make a professional MMA debut ahead of September, which is when the aspirational heavyweight fighter will begin shooting an undisclosed film project.
Alvarez vs. Curran official as Bellator 39 headliner, Saunders vs. Lee added
A title fight between lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez and season-two tourney winner Pat Curran will headline Bellator 39 on April 2.
Bellator Fighting Championships brass today officially announced the matchup, which was previously reported by MMAjunkie.com, as well as a non-tournament bout between Ben Saunders and Matt Lee.
Bellator 39 takes place April 2 at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn., and airs on MTV2. The fight card will also feature two semifinal contests in Bellator's season-four welterweight tournament.
NSAC budget cuts eliminate out-of-competition drug testing; Kizer seeks alternatives
A budget crunch has left the Nevada State Athletic Commission unable to employ one of the most significant deterrents to the use of performance enhancing drugs in professional competition.
Two years after the influential regulatory body announced it would conduct out-of-competition drug testing, legislators completely withdrew funding for the program.
The NSAC will soon decide whether to press legislators on a proposal to reinstate testing, possibly by diverting funds within the commission's budget.
"What we're trying to do is find alternative sources of revenue," NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The NSAC began out-of-competition in the summer of 2008 after successfully petitioning the legislature to set aside money from the state's general fund. The commission received $18,000 for the 2008-2009 fiscal year (July 2008 to June 2009) and conducted between 40 and 50 tests, according to Kizer.
UFC 84 main-event fighters B.J. Penn and Sean Sherk, as well as co-main event fighters Lyoto Machida and Tito Ortiz, were among the first to be tested in the new program. Machida and Rashad Evans were the last MMA headliners to be tested out of competition at UFC 98. None of the out-of-competition tests came back positive for performance enhancers or drugs of abuse.
With state governments around the country tightening their belts amid a widening recession, the NSAC's budget for out-of-competition testing was reduced to $12,000 in fiscal year 2009-2010. Regulators then asked the commission to give back all of the money before the year's end, Kizer said.
Alan Jouban vs. Jamie Yager set for Tachi Palace Fights 9 on May 6
After a stunning 15-second knockout in his professional debut over prospect Kyle Griffin, 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu disciple Alan Jouban (1-0) now meets "The Ultimate Fighter 11" cast member Jamie Yager (3-2) in a welterweight contest.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned from Tachi Palace Fights officials that Jouban and Yager have agreed to meet at Tachi Palace Fights 9.
Featuring a lightweight matchup between UFC veterans Fabricio Camoes and Efrain Escudero, Tachi Palace Fights 9 takes place May 6 at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, Calif.
Vinny Magalhaes vs. Jake Doerr in the works for M-1 Challenge on Showtime
Two-time UFC veteran Vinny Magalhaes has already been announced as a participant at March's "M-1 Challenge: Damkovsky vs. Figueroa," and now his opponent is all but official.
MMAjunkie.com has learned from sources close to the organization that Magalhaes and undefeated Wisconsin native Jake Doerr have verbally agreed to meet in the evening's co-main event, though bout agreements have yet to be finalized.
Shark Fights Partners with HDNet, Debuts March 11
Texas-based MMA promotion Shark Fights has signed a broadcast deal with HDNet and will make its network debut on March 11. The network confirmed rumors of the HDNet-Shark Fights partnership via Twitter on Friday. Terms of the deal were not immediately known.
Alexander-Irvin Rematch Ticketed for Shark Fights 14
Their first encounter lasted all of eight seconds.
UFC exiles Houston Alexander and James Irvin will meet for a second time in a featured light heavyweight tilt at Shark Fights 14 on March 11 at the Fair Park Coliseum in Lubbock, Texas. Alexander on Thursday announced the rematch via Twitter. Irvin knocked out “The Assassin” with a Superman punch at UFC Fight Night 13 in April 2008.
Alexander (Pictured), who turns 39 next month, will carry a two-fight winning streak into the rematch. He last appeared at Shark Fights 13 in September, when he stopped Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou on second-round punches at the Amarillo Civic Center in Amarillo, Texas. An East St. Louis, Ill., native, Alexander burst on the scene in 2007 with consecutive first-round finishes over Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts representative Keith Jardine and American Top Team’s Alessio Sakara. However, he lost each of his next four UFC fights and was cut by the promotion following his unanimous decision defeat to Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson at “The Ultimate Fighter 10” Finale in December 2009.