MATYUSHENKO RETURNS AT UFC 103
The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Wednesday confirmed the return of Vladimir Matyushenko to the promotion, announcing a bout between the Belarusian and Croatian fighter Igor Pokrajac.
They will meet on the undercard of UFC 103 in Dallas, which features a main event pitting Rich Franklin against Vitor Belfort.
New Frankie "The Answer" Edgar Interview
The Official Radio Partner of PunchDrunkGamer, TakeDown Wrestling Radio’s Scott Casber recently talked with the UFC’s Frankie Edgar. Scott and Frankie talk about Edgar’s recent win over Sean Sherk, his battle with Hermes Franca and the difference that his background and continued involvement in wrestling has made in his mixed martial arts career so far.
Next Up For Lashley: Ron Waterman
The next step up for Bobby Lashley likely won't be the big step his management was promising. Reports are the 4-0 Lashley will next face fellow one-time wrestler Ron Waterman, who spent some time in the WWF/E developmental system while also compiling a 16-6-2 MMA record. The fight is scheduled for October 3.
Edith fired for being hungover?
Edith LeBelle is officially no longer a UFC Octagon girl, as fans suspected when they noticed she had been removed from the UFC site.
"Something happened, but at this time, I can only confirm that Edith no longer works for the UFC," her manager told MMA FanHouse.
The ‘something’ that happened has not been made public by the UFC either. In fact the UFC has made no comment on the Canadian’s departure at all.
But Fighters Only has been given to understand that LaBelle landed in hot water after phoning the UFC on the morning of UFC 100 and telling them she was too ill to work the event that night.
The UFC apparently disputed that and claimed she was hungover from partying in Las Vegas the night before.
As a result, she was dismissed with immediate effect, which is why viewers did not see her working the Octagon at UFC 100.
Andrei Arlovski May Have Recently Tried To Kill Himself
Seriously. According to a fighters.com article posted yesterday, the former UFC Heavyweight Champion confessed to playing Russian Roulette recently, and it wasn't the first time. Apparently he has been having trouble dealing with his last 2 fights, losses to Fedor Emelianenko and Brett Rogers, and returned to his native Belarus to get help.
Assessing Strikeforce's Chances to Make a Go of Promoting Fedor Emelianenko
Dave Meltzer breaks it down. After pointing out that Fedor will be marketed as the No. 1 heavyweight and the legitimate champion in the world as long as he doesn't lose, Meltzer concedes that none of the three likely opponents for Fedor on the Strikeforce roster will create the kind of hype needed to draw general public interest, much less sell a PPV. But he goes on to make the long-term case:
But there are several more factors in the long-term. Strikeforce’s television contract includes options with CBS, which is in the same Viacom corporate umbrella as Showtime. If Emelianenko’s second fight is on CBS in a prime-time slot, he will get a measure of exposure in this country the likes of which he’s never come close to receiving. There is value in being considered by most as the best heavyweight, and of a second MMA organization having someone of his stature on its major events.
After MMAJunkie.com Story, Tim Kennedy Gets Wish Of Military/MMA Career
Even heroes need heroes sometimes. Special Forces Operator Tim Kennedy is tough as nails. He has been blown up and shot at, and he kept moving toward the enemy. He's one of the best shooters in the world, finishing the famed El Presidente target shoot in less than three seconds. He can literally curve bullets as a sniper. He has conquered almost every rigorous Army school there is, including Ranger School. And to top it all off he is one of the best middleweights in MMA. But this time, none of that would save him. He needed MMAjunkie.com. Last week the site posted a story about Kennedy leaving the service because he couldn't get cleared to stay in the military while remaining a fulltime professional MMA fighter. Mere hours after the story was posted, LTC Douglas O'Connell of the Texas National Guard reached out and asked Kennedy to represent Texas. Now Kennedy will be able to fight in September, likely for Strikeforce on 9/25 vs. Evangelista Santos, and continue fighting full-time while serving in the Texas National Guard as a shooting instructor, tactics instructor and Army Combatives instructor.
Jeff Monson Pleads Guilty, Could Get Jail
MMA Heavyweight Jeff Monson has entered an Alford plea on charges stemming from an incident of spray-painting an anarchist symbol on the Washington State capitol. Under an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt but concedes there would be enough evidence to convict if the case went to trial. In addition to paying nearly $22,000 in restitution, prosecutors will recommend 90 days in jail for Monson, who will be sentenced October 1.
Los Angeles Times Reporter Sticks to Fedor Emelianenko Report
For a brief moment on Tuesday, the MMA world held its collective breath when news broke that Fedor Emelianenko and the UFC were "finalizing" a deal.
Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times reported on the newspaper's Web site that a deal between both sides "is expected to be announced by UFC President Dana White on Friday." However, several hours later, M-1 Global's Apy Echteld told SI.com's Josh Gross, "I can give you a guarantee it's not accurate."
Pugmire, however, is standing by his story. Kind of.
Down on its luck radio show turns to crank calling UFC pressers
There were some real wackos from The Star-Ledger, USA Today and Honolulu Advertiser on the UFC 101 teleconference. One guy asked B.J. Penn about his career in gay porn. The USA Today writer said he was going to kick Penn's [expletive]. And the dude from Honolulu opened by asking who's more popular in Hawaii: Penn or Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino? Wouldn't he know if he worked in Hawaii? Wacked, right?
Mark Cuban: Affliction Did Right Thing
The demise of Affliction Entertainment will not simply go away after one press release. The fact of the matter is that they had a lot of partners involved. One of those partners was Mark Cuban's HDNet television network, which was scheduled to air the undercard of the now-canceled "Affliction: Trilogy."
Tito Ortiz Sees the Writing on the Wall
Tito Ortiz, my man.
I have been an Ortiz fan all my life and say what you will about the Huntington Beach Bad Boy, he’s no dummy.
Ortiz is one of the most intelligent fighters in the world when it comes to business sense and it’s one of the main reasons him and Dana White butt heads so often. The two are actually a lot alike.
Don't Blame Randy Couture for the Death of Affliction Entertainment
Jonathan Snowden wrote a piece for MMA Payout suggesting Randy Couture killed Affliction. I disagree with the argument, but everyone should take a look for themselves:
"When Couture retired from the UFC in 2007 while still under contract, it was for two reasons: money and a chance to fight the undisputed world heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko. Affliction risked everything on the Couture-Emelianenko fight, throwing their business relationship with the UFC out the window for the chance to promote what many thought was the biggest heavyweight fight in the world. Couture was all in, or so they thought. The two stood face to face for an Affliction photo shoot to start getting fans excited about the fight, and Couture made an appearance at Affliction’s first PPV show July 19, 2008. It was all in an effort to get people talking about the next show, headlined in theory by the dream fight between the PRIDE and UFC champions. And then Couture stuck the knife in the back..."
Cope says "sex tape" comments just a joke, remains steadfast in evaluation of Tompkins
While UFC 100 was certainly the focus of the MMA world in recent weeks, Kit Cope managed to generate quite a bit of controversy during a July 8 appearance on MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio).
After a few less-than-complimentary remarks about Xtreme Couture trainer Shawn Tompkins – including dubbing the camp "Xtreme Fashion" – and the suggestion that a sex tape may exist with him and ex-girlfriend Gina Carano, Cope has found himself in hot water with many in the MMA community.
Lift The Ban Watch: Massachusetts A Step Closer To Legalizing MMA
The Massachusetts Senate Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday passed "An Act To Regulate The Sport Of Mixed Martial Arts" with a favorable review, clearing it for a debate and vote on the Senate floor. Although it still has a ways to go, this keeps hopes of MMA in Massachusetts, more notably Boston, by early next year or even the end of this year alive.
Jim Ross, WWE Announcer Analyzes Brock Lesnar's Post-Fight Antics
"Lesnar's post match, unscripted remarks did not completely surpirse (sic) me. Those that do not personally know Lesnar as do I need to understand that his level of intensity and fury is scary. Brock has said many things in private conversations that I have been a part of that would make one do a double take. He is an intimidating, emotional jock who has been known for speaking first and thinking later. I don't think Brock is an inherently evil person whatsoever but his level of competitiveness can be dangerous..."
STEINBEISS VS. JENSEN SET FOR UFC FIGHT NIGHT 19
The original bout was called off on the day of weigh-ins "due to a medical approval issue regarding (Ryan) Jensen," stated UFC officials at the time. Independent sources confirmed to MMAWeekly.com that the alleged medical issue stemmed from Jensen's use of Adderall, which is not allowed under standard athletic commission rules.
According to drugs.com, “Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant. It affects chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control.
GSP Static Interview
UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre recently took time to answer some questions for PDG regarding his upcoming bout against Thiago Alves, training and the importance of UFC 100.
PDG: How is your training going for UFC 100?
GSP: I’m in the best shape of my life and I’m training really hard before my fight. Three weeks I spent in New York doing Muay Thai at the Wat with Phil Nurse and all the guys over there, sparring with Shawn Imes, Brad Imes and all those great training partners that I have for Muay Thai training. I’m learning a lot from Kru Phil. I also train in New York at the Renzo Gracie Academy under supervision of John Danaher – he’s my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor. I have great training partners there as well. The level of jiu-jitsu in New York at Renzo Gracie is better than it is in Montreal, so that’s one of the main reasons why I have been going there and I spend so much time at that Academy.
The Issues of Referee and Judge Certification
‘Showdown’ Joe Ferraro has an excellent piece up at Rogers Sportsnet that details his experience with ‘Big’ John McCarthy’s referee certification seminar, C.O.M.M.A.N.D. (Certification of Officials for Mixed Martial Arts National Development).
The course is broken down into three areas and participants require a passing grade of 90 percent (at minimum in all three) to be certified. As it stands today, the course has a 75 percent failure rate, as participants simply do not make the grade to officiate or judge in MMA.
Would-be referees must know and identify over 25 takedowns, 35 submissions, 25 positions and seven sweeps, reversals and transitions. They also must know the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts inside and out.
After the identification of the aforementioned moves and keen knowledge of the unified rules, participants are also trained and tested on in ring / cage mechanics. This is comprised of what is required by an official before, during and after a bout. It’s not just about positioning (which is HUGE when refereeing) but dozens of other variables that are key to the safety of the athletes who put it all on the line.
All of this knowledge is paramount for one to be proficient in officiating and without it I do not understand how commissions around the world allow men and women to step into the cage/ring and ref without proving they have this type of knowledge.
If the four major sports leagues — the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL — mandate that officials are properly trained before being allowed to step onto the playing surface, why doesn’t MMA do the same? If this sport is expected to be taken seriously then this type of certification must be the bare minimum an athletic commission requires from an applicant prior to receiving their license to ref or judge.