UFC boss says Rua vs. Evans on target for March, "Suga" comfortable with schedule
While a recent ESPN.com report suggested that former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans (15-1-1 MMA, 10-1-1 UFC) was upset at sitting on the sidelines while waiting for current champ Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (19-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC) to heal from knee surgery, UFC president Dana White said "Suga" is doing just fine.
White was initially baffled by Evans' comments in the report, which suggested he was frustrated at Rua's recovery schedule, but the UFC boss says the two have since worked through any hard feelings and everything is on track for 2011.
"Rashad and I talked right after that whole goofy incident," White said. "We're cool."
Riddle-Pierson Completes UFC 124 Card
UFC newcomer Sean Pierson will take on “Ultimate Fighter” alum Matt Riddle in a preliminary matchup at UFC 124 Dec. 11 at the Bell Centre in Montreal. Made official by the promotion, the welterweight bout finalizes the show’s 11-fight card.
Riddle was originally set to meet Anthony “TJ” Waldburger, but Pierson was tapped as a replacement in late October when Waldburger was forced from the match due an undisclosed injury.
Jonathan Goulet Decides To Hang Up His Gloves
French Canadian mixed martial artist Jonathan “The Road Warrior” Goulet has announced his decision to call it quits on his career. Goulet entered the UFC octagon nine times in his career and recorded a 4-5 record. On his career, Goulet earned himself a 23-12 record.
Nogueira vs. Tito Ortiz in the works for 2011
With two wins in three fights in the UFC, Rogério “Minotouro” Nogueira revealed he wanted to return to the as soon as possible, but it looks like he’ll have to wait until 2011. According to souces close to his camp, Nogueira will face the former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz, who lost four of his last five fights, in 2011. TATAME.com called Rogerio, who didn’t confirmed the news, but revealed he also head Ortiz’s name. “I’ve heard some rumors of this fight, but there’s nothing signed. In my last fight they said about (Quinton) Rampage and they changed to Ryan Bader”, Nogueira said. Stay tuned for more news about the UFC.
Diagnosis, Treatment Clear Swick for Octagon Return
Mike Swick has been off the grid since February, when he lost to Paulo Thiago via second-round submission at UFC 109. It was his second consecutive defeat and sent him to the doctor’s office looking for answers.
“Four years ago, I was told I had dyspepsia,” Swick told Sherdog.com. “I just assumed they were right since I had my stomach scoped twice by different doctors. After [the Thiago loss], I didn’t think I could eat enough to be competitive at the level of the UFC. I didn’t want to quit doing what I love, but I figured I needed to do something if I wanted to stay at this level. I went back to a new doctor who did a totally new evaluation, and he said I had a severely spastic esophagus.”
Pedro Rizzo vs. Tim Sylvia - Winner Gets UFC Contract
"Dana White mentioned that the winner should get another chance in the Ultimate Fighting Championship."
"As the date hasn’t been set, it’s just a verbal agreement, so I’m getting back to light training. But I want to have a good performance. Who knows? Maybe I’ll manage a return to the UFC. I feel really comfortable fighting in that Octagon. I feel leaving there was the biggest mistake of my career, my great regret."
9 Fights Signed for ‘St. Pierre vs. Koscheck 2’
Ring of Combat veteran Rafael Natal (Pictured) will lock horns with promotional newcomer Jesse Bongfeldt in a preliminary middleweight matchup at UFC 124 “St. Pierre vs. Koscheck 2” on Dec. 11 at the Bell Centre in Montreal. Nine fights are now official for the event, which will air live on pay-per-view.
Zuffa Fills UFC 123 Injury Void
English lightweight Paul Kelly (Pictured) will meet T.J. O’Brien in a preliminary matchup at UFC 123 “Rampage vs. Machida” on Nov. 20 at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Mich. O’Brien replaces the injured Gabe Ruediger at the event, which will air live on pay-per-view.
Game over? EA Sports MMA 'appears to be more or less DOA at retail' stores
"EA Sports MMA," the debut entry into the world of mixed martial arts video games from gaming giant Electronic Arts (EA), dropped for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 back on Oct. 19, 2010, featuring the San Jose-based Strikeforce promotion as the official "Premiere League."
The general consensus from Online reviews was that EA Sports MMA was a good, but not great, video game.
And apparently "good" just isn't "good enough," according to Cowen & Company analyst Doug Creutz (via CVG.com):
"EA is likely to back out of the mixed martial arts genre after its debut offering, EA Sports MMA, made a poor start at retail ... EA's recently released 'MMA' appears to be more or less DOA at retail, while UFC recently announced an extension of its license with THQ, likely putting an end to EA's efforts to expand into the mixed martial arts genre," the analyst said in a research note this morning."
Carwin Sponsor Banned from UFC 121
Add another sponsor to the list of brands that UFC fighters may no longer display during events.
Sports drink company Good4U Drinks today announced via its Web site that Zuffa CEO Lorenzo Fertitta informed the brand in an email that they would no longer be welcome at UFC events.
Good4U's American representative, Rick DeBanks, wrote this morning:
“Good4U Drinks is seen by Zuffa as a direct competitor to Xenergy (which is owned by Zuffa) and AMP Energy, which advertises heavily on both WEC events and Spike TV's “The Ultimate Fighter.” Although Good4U are sport drinks and not energy drinks, they have been taking share from these brands.”
Jens Pulver: There is no place for me in this sport
"The reality is there is not place for me in this sport ... I dont know the business sense, I don't know what I am doing, these people just take advantage of you ... the strong survive don't even work anymore, I can't up and mollywop someone ... it's retarded how many people steal from me ... I've been coachless, been getting worse each time ..."
UFC 120 reportedly sets European attendance record with 17,133 at The O2
LONDON – As expected, Saturday's "UFC 120: Bisping vs. Akiyama" set the UFC's European record for attendance with a reported total of 17,133 spectators packing The O2 in London.
The show also generated a reported £1.6 million (approximately $2.56 million), which left it short of 2007's UFC 75 event, which also took place at The O2 and generated a reported mark of $2.7 million, the current record gate for Europe.
Condit Wants Winner of Kampmann vs. Shields
Former WEC welterweight titleholder Carlos Condit stunned the O2 Arena in London by knocking out favored Dan Hardy in the first round of their important 170-pound matchup at UFC 120 on Saturday.
“This was definitely the biggest fight of my career, fighting on the co-main [event],” said Condit. “[Defeating] Dan in his backyard at the O2 Arena is the biggest win of my career so far.”
This marks the third straight victory for “The Natural Born Killer” inside the Octagon since he was defeated in his debut by Danish striker Martin Kampmann at UFC Fight Night 18 in 2009. Avenging that loss, along with a 2006 defeat to newly-signed Jake Shields, is at the forefront of the New Mexican’s mind.
Victorious Bisping Looking for Wanderlei Rematch
“I feel I’ve grown as a fighter. If I can’t do it now I’m never going to do it,” he asserted.
That’s not to say that the confident Brit has his sights set on champion Anderson Silva just yet. Instead, he has another Silva in his sights.
“I’d like to fight Wanderlei again, definitely,” said Bisping, referring to his disputed loss to the Brazilian earlier this year. “I would even consider coaching 'The Ultimate Fighter' against him.”
UFC 120 Bonuses: Four Fighters Bank $60K
Before his encounter with Carlos Condit, Dan Hardy had never before been knocked out. In MMA, such streaks are notoriously fleeting.
Condit parked Hardy with a left hook and follow-up ground strike, as he banked a $50,000 “Knockout of the Night” bonus in the UFC 120 “Bisping vs. Akiyama” co-main event on Saturday at the O2 Arena in London. The 26-year-old Condit clipped Hardy with a crackling left hook that sent him to the mat in a semi-conscious state and finished off the Team Rough House standout soon after. The end came 4:27 into round one.
Phil Baroni vs. Brad Tavares targeted for UFC 125
"The Ultimate Fighter 11" semifinalist Brad Tavares (5-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) will put his perfect record on the line when he meets veteran fighter Phil Baroni (13-12 MMA, 3-6 UFC) at UFC 125.
Sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that verbal agreements are in place for the fight, which is expected to take place at middleweight.
UFC 125 takes place Jan. 1 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, and the night's main card airs on pay-per-view.
It's not known if Tavares vs. Baroni will make the broadcast.
EA MMA Video Game Review
I sat down and played the EA MMA demo for Xbox 360 for about an hour today. The demo comes with four playable characters - Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem, Bobby Lashley, Jason "Mayhem" Miller, and Jake Shields, a Fight Now mode, and an "MMA 101" tutorial. My thoughts below.
The character models are excellent. The four playable characters (Overeem, Lashley, Miller, and Shields) and two non-playable characters ("Big" John McCarthy and Jimmy Lennon Jr.) look fantastic. All the faces are recognizable, the body types are correct, and the textures have a lot of detail.
Basic striking with the right stick is fluid. I played a fair bit of the Fight Night series, so this wasn't completely jarring for me. Kicks are performed by using the left trigger as a modifier. Putting together combos felt natural. Everything felt intuitive, so while I by no means have mastered the striking system, I feel comfortable with it.
Grappling still sucks. Another MMA game, another disappointing grappling engine. The grappling system is simple: press "A" to improve position, press "B" to prevent your opponent from improving, press "X" to attempt a submission, and press "Y" to try disengage. While THQ's series uses the right stick for positional advancement, grappling ends up as the same back-and-forth improve/deny position game in EA MMA as well. Never mind that this isn't an accurate representation of real-life grappling, it just feels clunky and disjointed. I'm beginning to worry that a fun, fluid, and simple grappling system is out of reach.
Warren withdraws from Dream 16
One of the top fights slated for Dream 16 on Sept. 25 in Nagoya, Japan, was a featherweight matchup pitting the world-ranked Michihiro Omigawa against newly crowned Bellator Fighting Championships featherweight titleholder Joe Warren.
However, during an appearance on the Sherdog Radio Network’s Savage Dog Show on Friday, Warren said he will not face Omigawa at the event.
TapouT, Silver Star, & Hitman Sold
Once rivals, TapouT, Silver Star Casting Co., and Hitman Fight Gear are now on the same team.
Bloomberg on Monday night reported that the three key mixed martial arts clothing brands have been purchased by business man Jamie Salter, who is also known for having snapped up such name brands as Linens ’n Things Inc., Polaroid Corp., and others.
Salter is reportedly putting the three brands together under his Toronto-based company Authentic Brands Group LLC.
“These are some of the most exciting brands I’ve seen in years,” Salter told Bloomberg. “The popularity of mixed martial arts and the UFC is soaring around the world. The last time I saw a sport with this much potential was 20 years ago with snowboarding.”
TapouT has the furthest reach into the mainstream of the three companies purchased, accounting for sales of more than $200 million dollars last year.
TapouT president Dan “Punkass” Caldwell told Bloomberg that there had been no shortage of buyers, but went with Salter because he welcomes the continued involvement of Caldwell and his partner, Tim "SkySkrape" Katz.