Fighting With Heart: Mark Miller Readies for Comeback Fight
It's long been a cliche, a fighter saying he's willing to die in the cage. For Mark Miller, he never knew how close he could have been to making that literal.
At 39, Miller returns to the fight game on Saturday in Moscow in a kickboxing match at the Ultimate Glory World Series. But his comeback, fighting for the first time in more than five years, has little to do with his age. The nearly foot-long scar down the center of his chest tells the bigger story.
When Miller gets in the ring against Nikolaj Falin, he will become the first known professional fighter to return after open-heart surgery.
JZ Cavalcante: DREAM hasn't paid me, Strikeforce is all talk
Marcelo Barone: How’s the situation with Dream? Did they give you any response to your complaints about not being paid?
JZ Cavalcante: Not so far. My manager called them, but nobody respond, nobody answers. It’s disrespectful, the guys disappeared. The situation in Japan’s not good, because of the tsunami, but it’s no excuse, because it’s been a year. They should, at least, answer me, because there’re people saying they plan to produce another event.
MB: Do you intend to start a lawsuit so you’ll get paid?
JZ: I’m considering, I’m looking for a lawyer, trying to find another agency in Japan, somebody from there, who’s closer to it, so that I can get this cleared up.
MB: What do you think about this MMA market crash in Japan? Does that surprise you?
JZ: Over the years, after 2007, I realized it’ll all the same thing. I guess Japan didn’t keep up with MMA’s boom, its professionalization. The guys from Ultimate are much different than the guys in Japan, that schedule you to fight at the last minute, with two or three weeks in advance. It’s hard to promote the event that way… I realized that, if they didn’t change its concept, and started to think world wildly, it’d happen, like it did.
MB: And how are things with Strikeforce now?
JZ: Not good at all. They’ve been promising me a fight since December and every month they say the same thing: that I’ll be on their next card, next month… Meanwhile they’ve offered me two bouts with five days in advance and I asked them sometime to think about it. They called me in the morning and I asked them to give an answer in the evening. Then, when I called them, they have found someone already, and they didn’t tell me anything, they didn’t call me… I hope that with Strikeforce’s purchase, its organization will improve, and also its structure.
Jesse Finney Talks About H.I.T Squad Purchase & The Gym’s Future
Jesse Finney Talks About H.I.T Squad Purchase & The Gym’s Future
MMA Access: Jesse Finney Talks About H.I.T Squad Purchase & The Gym’s Future
Great Audio Interview with Jesse Finney -
The Official Radio Partner of PunchDrunkGamer, Takedown Wrestling Media’s Scott Casber talked to Jesse Finney, owner of Finney’s MMA about his recent acquisition of Matt Hughes H.I.T. Squad gym in Granite City, Illinois.
Representatives from H.I.T. Squad, one of the most recognized and respected mixed martial arts training facilities in the industry, announced that they are under new ownership. The Granite City, Illinois MMA training facility is now officially known as "Finney's HIT Squad."
According to gym representatives, Jesse Finney now owns the facility. Finney also owns Finney's MMA; another St. Louis based mixed martial arts gym known for producing top-level contenders. As a result of the strategic change in ownership, the HIT Squad has emerged stronger than ever.
Jesse Finney had this to say, ""We are very excited about working with Matt Hughes, Marc Fiore, and Kyle Watson. The H.I.T. Squad (now Finney's HIT Squad) is already considered one of the top MMA gyms in the world. Our goal is to make it THE top MMA gym. We have already begun making improvements to both training facilities, improvements that will ultimately generate bigger and better opportunities for our fighters as we evolve."
A full size competition cage has been installed in Finney's HIT Squad facility as a result of the new ownership, and they have already begun implementing the Shamrock Fighter Development System (SDS). The system mirrors that of Major League Baseball, where players start out in a development league and work their way up based on their skills and performance.
Amateur fighters start out competing for credible local promotions such as Shamrock MMA. If you're a top-level professional fighter, Finney's has affiliations with nationally recognized promotions such as Shark Fights, Bellator, Strikeforce and the UFC.
Although ownership has changed hands, UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes will continue to train at the facility and the gyms well-established coaching staff will remain intact. According to H.I.T. Squad coach Marc Fiore, "I fully support the change in ownership and look forward to working with Finney and his team. This is a positive change that will generate new opportunities for the gym and make the HIT Squad brand even stronger. The new build out has added value to the facility and our stable of fighters has already increased from 40 to 80. We are all very excited about the direction the gym is going."
Finney's MMA and Finney's HIT Squad collectively offer one of the most comprehensive, well-rounded, training programs in the industry. Fighters at both amateur and professional levels have access to everything they need to advance their careers, from top-of-the-line equipment and unparalleled training, to housing and fight management. Both facilities offer on-site and off -site housing for members of the fight team, a highly sought after amenity that most MMA gyms do not offer. Fighters associated with the gyms also receive top-level representation through Elite MMA Management.
Both 20,000 square foot state-of-the-art facilities cater to professional fighters, as well as the general public. The superior instructors, all experts in their respective disciplines, teach men, women and children of all skill levels. The combined coaching staff has more name recognition and experience than any other team assembled in the Midwest. Classes are offered in boxing, kickboxing, muay thai, jiu-jitsu, mixed martial arts, wrestling, and sports conditioning. Whether a member joins to increase their fitness level, learn self-defense, or to hone their fighting skills, both Finney's MMA and Finney's HIT Squad offer superior instruction.
GSP Talks Shields, UFC 129, Strikeforce & Super-Fights
GSP Talks Shields, UFC 129, Strikeforce & Super-Fights
I don't usually post audio interview links but this is good. GSP is very confident but also very respectful of Jones & Silva.
The undisputed world welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre was recently a guest on PDG’s official radio partner Takedown Wrestling Radio with Scott Casber. GSP talks about training for Jake Shields, UFC 129 in Toronto, Jon Jones performance at UFC 128, Zuffa’s recent purchase of Strikeforce and the opportunities that will bring, trash talking in mixed martial arts and the regulation of MMA in New York.[
UFC champ Jon Jones scores "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" appearance
Where's Ed McMahon when you need him?
While the UFC's new light heavyweight champ won't get the experience of longtime announcer McMahon's signature, "Here's Johnny," introduction, Jon Jones is heading to "The Tonight Show."
UFC president Dana White today announced via Twitter that Jones will appear on Thursday night's edition of the 67-year-old NBC franchise.
"Congrats, Jon Jones," White wrote. "First UFC fighter to do the 'The Tonight Show' with Jay Leno.
"The hits keep on coming! Tune in Thursday on NBC!"
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has since confirmed the booking with additional UFC executives. The official lineup for "The Tonight Show" does not yet reflect the appointment.
Keith Hackney: Where Is He Now?
Held on Sept. 9, 1994, UFC 3 had some notable tweaks from its two predecessors. It remained in a one-night, tournament format but with an eight-man field, instead of 16. The canvas, previously white, was replaced with a more viewer-friendly blue. It was, in a sense, a social phenomenon coming to terms with its own success, which was accompanied by an equal dose of notoriety.
Naturally, that was exactly when Art Davie, then co-owner of the UFC, made the call to Keith Hackney. It came during the peak time for Hackney’s primary business, a heating and air conditioning company he founded in 1980 and still runs today.
His background included boxing, tang soo do, five years of kenpo and a year of high school wrestling, in which he made the state tournament as a 98-pound sophomore. After Hackney responded to a magazine ad, event organizers told him the roster was full but that, perhaps, a future slot could be in the works.
“He said somebody backed out and they had a space for me. It was one week before the fight,” Hackney says. “I thought if I said no, they wouldn’t call me back in the future, so I said, ‘I don’t care. I’ll fight. Get me on a plane.’ Art said, ‘Whoa! Let me tell you who you’re competing against.’ I didn’t care. I wanted to fight.”
Ricco Rodriguez: Will The Road To Redemption Lead To The UFC?
Life is all about second chances, and that’s what former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez is hoping for with the promotion that helped to put him on the map.
It’s been over seven years since Rodriguez last stepped foot in the UFC Octagon, but he’s never forgot the feeling of holding that gold belt or watching the crowd rise as he pulled off a victory.
Good article with interview, interesting read
Exclusive: Roy Nelson Talks TUF, WWE and Brock Lesnar
In the world of MMA media a fighter's place in the headlines can be somewhat of a catch-22. When the attention is warranted a fighter revels in the good news spreading of a job well done but when the information is vague and ambiguous it leaves an unsettled situation up for speculation. Those moments of unchecked speculation can lead into waves of forum boards, chat rooms and even headlines that eventually set the mark of validation on the situation. Outspoken UFC heavyweight and TUF season 10 winner Roy Nelson is square in the middle of this type of back and forth and rather than leave the issue alone to run it's course, Nelson chooses to speak up and set the record straight.
Nelson was originally scheduled to face former Interim champion Shane Carwin as the co-main event at UFC 125 on January 1st. After Carwin was forced to withdraw from the matchup due to an injury, Nelson sat idle as the UFC looked for his next opponent. Then the news broke that former champion Brock Lesnar was looking for a bout with Nelson and when he received word "Big Country" welcomed the opportunity. Prior to the reports that Lesnar wanted to fight Nelson there was speculation that Nelson would face Mirko Cro Cop or possibly Frank Mir but the UFC never issued any information to back these claims. Nelson jumped on the chance to fight Brock Lesnar and from his Twitter account pushed to make the fight happen. Unfortunately for Roy Nelson just as quickly as the Lesnar bout hit the headlines it disappeared as the UFC announced that Nelson had been pulled from the card entirely. Fans and the media alike were left in limbo as to the reasons but when UFC President Dana White came out with the story explaining Nelson was involved in a contract dispute with Roy Jones Jr.'s Square Ring Promotions all motivations became clear. White also confirmed that it would be some time before Roy Nelson fought in the UFC again and that is where the story left off in the eyes of the public. Other fighters would keep a low profile and allow the controversy to blow over but Roy Nelson has never been considered a "company" man. Rather than sit on the sidelines quietly Nelson has continued to push ahead citing the contract dispute as old news as he pecks away at Dana White for bigger opportunities.
Krzysztof Soszynski Talks UFC, Stephan Bonnar, Gerald Harris and Dana White
In the sport of mixed martial arts a fighter's fortune can change in a heartbeat. Hours of preparation and training to refine muscled mass into a flexible, powerful and agile machine can all be lost under the white hot glare of the stadium lights. The primal gear may shift into fight mode but the warrior has to recite a game plan that has been drilled a thousand times in hopes that once the cage door closes everything that has been picked up along the road traveled will finally produce gains. When the referee steps aside and the action hits full tilt anything can happen but when TUF alum Krzysztof Soszynski faced Goran Reljic at UFC 122 all of the hard work in combination with the desire to bounce back from a disappointing performance brought the end result he was determined to find. "The Polish Experiment" dictated every step of the three round affair in route to grinding Reljic to exhaustion. Several times during the bout Soszynski looked close to finishing Reljic but the Croatian light heavyweight persevered and held on until the final bell. The end result came as a unanimous decision victory for Soszynski and while on paper it will fall as another notch in the win column, to Krzysztof it meant that past issues where resolved and he was back to doing what he does best.
A few days after returning to the states I caught up with Krzysztof to talk about his victory over Goran Reljic in addition to other major topics that have hit the MMA headlines since his fight in Germany at UFC 122. In this Bloody Elbow Exclusive interview "The Polish Experiment" added his unique perspective to several of the larger fires that are currently burning across MMA.
Joe Lauzon blames 'concrete legs' for loss to George Sotiropoulos at UFC 123
I figured the second round would be more like the first. But getting off the stool for the second round, my legs felt like concrete. I don't know why or what happened. I felt pretty good at the end of the first, but at the beginning of the second I felt dead. It was like I got worse. Instead of recovering, I got way worse. ... I'm not even sure. It had to be an adrenaline dump. I think I pushed a pretty good pace in the first round, but I didn't feel like it was something that would make me gassed. I felt good at the end of my first walking back to my corner. I was a little winded, but I was OK.
Maiquel Falcão: Gerald Harris tapped, three different times
Erik Engelhart: Did everything go like you had planned for your debut on UFC?
Maiquel Falcão: The most important thing was my victory, but according to the game plan we’ve set, which was to hit so I could keep myself standing, I thought it was a good fight, despite I know I could’ve hit him more. I trained wrestling a lot to defend the takedowns and thanks God I was successful, here at Chute Boxe we are well assisted on wrestling and I have some experience on the modality, I’ve been joining some competitions.
EE: Did the fact that the referee did a huge mistake on the first round, finishing the fight before the regular time, disturbed you?
MF: It didn’t disturbed me because he (Gerald) said many stupid things to me, said he’d beat me easily, so I kind of liked it so I could punish him even more and I could make his suffering last longer.
Sonnen Has Been Undergoing Hormone Replacement Therapy For at Least the Past Year and Assumed CSAC Knew
According to the story, Sonnen has been undergoing hormone replacement therapy since before his fight with Yushin Okami, which he reported to and was given clearance to fight by the California State Athletic Commission prior to the the bout. Because it is a permanent treatment Sonnen allegedly assumed his doctor prescribed required testosterone treatment would be on file, and thus never re-reported it to the commission.
Testosterone levels can drop off for various reasons, including age, hereditary reasons or because of stress the endocrine system is due to a number of variables, not limited to repeated weight fluctuation and dehydration caused by weight cutting.
Stefan Struve plans to bulk up to 290 pounds before rematching Roy Nelson and Junior dos Santos
UFC heavyweight skyscraper, Stefan Struve has been speaking about his goal of bulking up over the next couple of years to a massive 290 pounds before rematching the two men to defeat him inside the octagon, Roy Nelson and Junior dos Santos.
Speaking via Fighters Only Magazine, Struve said:
“Well, I only turned 21 a few days before the fight. I was at 235 I believe and if you see these guys running round, well.. Dos Santos is a beast. I need more muscle and more power, but that will come in the next couple of years. I would like to have a rematch with Roy and Dos Santos at some point in my career to see if I did improve. I am pretty sure I did. I want to go up to 290 to see what trouble I give them. Right now I weigh 255 so its going good.”
Art 'One Glove' Jimmerson Finds an Unexpected Home with the UFC
If you ask Art Jimmerson now, he'll admit that he never thought the UFC would still be around nearly two decades from the night he stepped into the Octagon for the first and last time. He certainly never thought that, seventeen years after his short, but memorable bout with Royce Gracie at UFC 1, he'd be teaching boxing at a UFC gym in Rosemead, Calif.
And yet here he is, now 47 years old and retired from boxing, sitting on some heavy bags next to a cage not so unlike the one he saw for the first time, along with the American public, in November of 1993...
Shinya Aoki: BJ Penn Didn't Lose; Wrestlers Have No Risk
"I am really a huge fan of BJ Penn, he is one of my favorite fighters. He lost by decision. When we look at martial arts in it's most extreme form, we need to win by submission or knockout. In that sense, he didn't lose. He lost that fight but he is still 'the man'. He is still my favorite fighter."
Overeem receptive to Emelianenlo fight and drug testing, but conditions apply
Alistair Overeem thinks it's a little fishy that Fedor Emelianenko is suddenly clamoring for a fight with him.
Emelianenko's reps at M-1 Global made headlines this week by announcing the Russian heavyweight wants a year-end meeting Overeem – and not Fabricio Werdum, who submitted him Emelianenko back in June.
But Overeem, Strikeforce's current heavyweight champion, contends M-1 is playing "tricks" with the public to cut in line for a crack at his belt.
Backstage With Ed Soares
Ariel Helwani interviews Ed Soares one of the most recognizable and influential managers in mixed martial arts. With a stable of fighters that includes the likes of Anderson Silva, Lyoto Machida, Jose Aldo, Junior dos Santos and the Nogueira brothers, Soares has quickly put together one of the most impressive list of clients in the entire sport.
Following first UFC win, Takanori Gomi admits he even doubted himself
SAN DIEGO – Despite Takanori Gomi's relatively young age of just 31, many MMA observers had already declared the Japanese superstar's career as an elite fighter over.
Five years removed from his vintage form in PRIDE's glory days, Gomi (32-6 MMA, 1-1 UFC) looked downright sluggish in a March loss to Kenny Florian – "The Fireball Kid's" debut in the UFC.
But at Sunday night's UFC on Versus 2 event, Gomi needed just 64 seconds to silence the critics. Of course, if you were among those that counted Gomi out, fear not. He wasn't so sure either.