Jon Jones: "Following his Destiny" (interview)
At 22 years of age, Jon "Bones" Jones has quickly become a rising young star to look out for in the UFC's light heavyweight division. With two wins under the organization's banner—including an impressive decision victory over TUF season one finalist Stephan Bonnar—he’s already making waves in one of the most stacked divisions in the entire sport. Jon sat down with me to discuss his past, his upcoming bout with Jake O'brien at UFC 100, and his plans for the future.
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Great interview! I had no idea he was only 22, definitely has a bright future in the sport IMO.
MMA Quick Quote: Gina Carano would ‘probably’ choose the UFC over Strikeforce
Frankly, I am absolutely unmotivated by money. And I know that maybe people take that and don’t understand what that means, but I am just not. What I am interested in is people that have respect. Not only respect for me, but people who have respect for women in MMA … I have sat down with Dana and (Zuffa co-owner) Lorenzo (Fertitta) and they have expressed interest and want to do something, but I am a little weary because I know that Strikeforce is signing women and the “Cyborg” fight is over there … I think that I would probably pick Zuffa (over Strikeforce) because that’s the big show, you know? To be a part of that would be amazing, but you know, here comes Strikeforce and they’ve got this CBS and Showtime deal and they are working their way up into being good competition … They’ve built their company on some good roots and now they are ready to branch out on Showtime and CBS. But as of right now, the UFC is the big show, and for a female, it would be an amazing opportunity.
Mir on Lesnar: "I Probably Wouldn't Like Me Either If I Made Myself Tap Out in Ninety Seconds"
A little less than three months out from his rematch with Brock Lesnar at UFC 100, and Frank Mir is already starting in on the trash talk and mind games in this Raw Vegas interview. He's decided to go the self-deprecating route, which means Forrest Griffin has a royalty check coming. Mir also isn't afraid to toss a few little burns in there just for the hell of it, even commenting at one point on the "penis" tattooed on Lesnar's chest. You can thank Dave Farra for bringing that up. Hey, we were all thinking it.
Aside from the Lesnar talk, Mir offers the best response yet to the inevitable Fedor questions. Instead of doubting his credentials and just refusing to talk about the guy, Mir says it's "not fair" that other heavyweights have gotten a chance to feel how hard Fedor hits and he might never get that opportunity. You have to admit he has a point. It's about time somebody called Fedor out on his discriminatory punching practices.
UFC Quick Quote: Matt Hughes now intends to take ‘bathroom breaks’ when Anderson Silva fights
“ Don’t have much to say about the fight. Thales obviously wanted to fight on the ground and even took Anderson down, but couldn’t keep him there. I really disliked it when Thales would just fall to his butt and expect Anderson to jump on top of him; but even more disappointing was Anderson’s lack of aggressiveness. He never seemed like he wanted to finish the fight. Halfway through the third round … we just decided to go home. It’s not the first time that Anderson has done this to me. When he fought Cote, it was about the same thing. Next time we have a party and Anderson is on the card…. Well, I’ll just say that at least I can expect to take a bathroom break or to go grab a refreshment when it comes time for him to fight. I heard Dana’s comments after the fight and how he was embarrassed. I don’t think Dana should be embarrassed all he can do is put the fighters in the octagon and once again I was a little surprised to hear Dana say this; but Dana White is a man who speaks what’s on his mind.”
Lost in translation
During the UFC 97 post-event confusion there was a lot of apologizing going on, specifically from Dana White to everyone and Anderson Silva to Dana White. But it turns out that Silva wasn’t as apologetic as his manager Ed Soares translated him to be. Here’s what Anderson apparently said in Portuguese:
Contrary to his manager Ed Soares’ translation after the fight, Silva did not apologize for his performance.
“I did well in the fight,” said Silva in Portuguese. “I can’t always make you happy.”
Silva continued his condemnation of Montreal’s vocal MMA fans.
“Not everyone understands what they are watching,” Silva said. “But hey, you guys can boo if you want. You are paying my salary.”
And here is how Ed Soares relayed that sentiment:
“It’s unfortunate that things sometimes turn out that way, but when you’re not in here, it’s hard to tell what going on sometimes,” said Silva. “Sorry.”
Hitomi Akano and Josh Barnett talk “Cyborg”
PDG: Megumi Fujii stated that: “After the ref stopped the fight, Cyborg didn't come over to check on Akano.” Was that more disrespectful or the fact that she showed up to weigh-ins 7 pounds over more disrespectful?
Akano: From the moment she missed the weight, I expected NOTHING from Cyborg.
Pros Picks: Liddell vs. Rua
A few years back, a showdown between Chuck Liddell and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua would have been a fight fan’s dream matchup. Liddell was the defending UFC light heavyweight champion and at the top of his game while laying out opponents like kitchen tile. Rua was on a meteoric rise through Pride Fighting Championships’ ranks, rivaling Liddell’s fistic floor masonry in Japan. Before Zuffa bought out Pride, it seemed like a full-scale tilt between these two explosive knockout artists would never materialize.
Thankfully the fight will finally come to fruition this Saturday at UFC 97 in Montreal, but like Liddell’s stellar conquest of Rua’s former Chute Boxe teammate Wanderlei Silva, the matchup is being purchased off the shelf a few years after its expiration date. Looking at his most recent bouts, Liddell’s age appears to be catching up to him and the 39-year-old icon just might be a bit past his fighting prime.
Rua, 27, has had a rocky transition to the cage, where his stamina has been harshly tested. Once feared for his heavy, looping punches, Liddell has been knocked out at the hands of Quinton Jackson and Rashad Evans in the last two years. Rua was soundly beaten by Forrest Griffin and nearly suffocated in a near hilarious, though triumphant, scuffle with fighting fossil Mark Coleman.
Luckily for the fans though, Liddell-Rua should still be an all-out war, a skirmish that could wind up being a “fight of the year” candidate when all is said and done. Will Liddell’s experience and hunger to recapture his title, along with a new striking coach, earn him another highlight-reel knockout? Will Rua have made the necessary adjustments to avoid exahaustion and finally get on the tear that UFC fans expected from him from the start?
Many professional trainers and fighters think they have the answer to those questions. Sherdog.com recently polled dozens of the pros in an attempt to get a read on the pulse of the MMA elite. Some were a little hesitant to comment on the fight, but the brave ones put their names and reputations on the line and boldly picked a winner.
Nate Quarry talks UFC 97 & Video Games!
PDG: UFC 97 in Montréal, Canada is a pretty stacked card; what fights are you looking forward to seeing that night?
Quarry: Any time that you get a chance to fight on a card with Chuck Liddell and Anderson Silva, it is a real treat. I have been a fan of Chuck's for a long time and we are also friends. So being able to be there and to say I fought on the same card as Chuck Liddell is a real honor. That is something that I will always remember.
Frank Trigg offers to "retire" Frank Shamrock
UFC, PRIDE and Strikeforce veteran – and co-host of MMAjunkie.com Radio – Frank Trigg (19-6) is currently on a four-fight win streak, yet he doesn't know where or when his next bout will take place.
But on Wednesday's edition of MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio), Trigg identified one opponent he believes would be easy prey: Strikeforce middleweight Frank Shamrock (23-10-2).
"They can have me fight him any time they want up there," Trigg said. "Put it back at 180 (pounds) again, and I'll put him into retirement. It's not that difficult. Frank Shamrock's only got like two or three fights left in his life."
Trigg fought once for the California-based organization, defeating Falaniko Vitale in October 2008. The 36-year-old said he would love the opportunity to return to the organization in a chance to prove just how far Shamrock has fallen in recent defeats to Nick Diaz and Cung Le.
"How much [expletive] can you talk to Frank Shamrock?" Trigg asked. "He's not that good. The sport has passed him by.
"Do you really want to be seen training on Lamaze balls? Is that really what you want to do? That's what he does. Half of his techniques are done on Lamaze balls. I'm like, 'OK. That's really interesting. That's great. Who's teaching you your takedown defense?'"
Trigg questioned Shamrock's commitment to preparation for his April 11 main event with Diaz at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.
"You live in [expletive] San Jose," Trigg said. "There's like 75 great wrestlers that live right down the street from you. You don't train with any of them? That doesn't make any sense to me.
"You're a great striker, you're incredibly athletic, you have a great ability to talk before the fights, you've got a great ability to sell the fight. But then you're striking hasn't changed. Your ability, your flexibility, your ability to hit your punches hasn't changed. You haven't learned – knowing full well against a guy who's going to do takedowns – how to stop a takedown and how to keep it on your feet where you would have had a shot to win.
"But then, you're on your feet and you got out-punched by a jiu-jitsu guy. It doesn't make any sense."
While Trigg's career has been filled with bouts against the world's top competitors, he last fought in a unanimous-decision win against an unheralded Danny Babcock. While the win certainly wasn't a career-builder, Trigg insists Shamrock's current 1-3 streak proves he's no longer relevant.
"The sport's just passed [Shamrock] by," Trigg said. "It's the same thing I said to Ken (Shamrock). It's the same thing I said to Mark Coleman. It's the same thing I said to Tito Ortiz: The sport has passed you by.
"You haven't adjusted. You haven't learned. You haven't spent the time being in the academy every day trying to learn. You're out there [expletive] around doing other stuff when you're not training. It's not smart anymore for this sport...
Dodging bullets and prison visits keep Houston Alexander focused for UFC 98
After opening his UFC career with two first-round TKO wins, Alexander has now dropped three-straight contests. But despite the struggles, "The Assassin" recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) that he's not worried about losing his place in the UFC.
"I'm not feeling any pressure at all," Alexander said. "When you have children, the only pressure you feel is taking care of your kids. As far as the world, or pleasing anybody else, I don't feel any pressure from that."
It's not that Alexander isn't working to turn his situation around. In fact, the Nebraska native is focused on doing exactly that when he daces Andre Gusmao (5-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at UFC 98 in May.
"I've kind of stepped up a little bit," Alexander said. "We've been going to different camps and dealing with different bodies and different individuals. It's been working out really good."
Ed Herman: It’s win or get cut at UFC 97
“I think this is going to be a really exciting fight. Hopefully it’s Fight of the Night or Ass Whooping of the Night. I’m looking to finish him as fast as I can…I’ve lost two in a row and if I lose another fight, the UFC will probably cut me so I’m trying to keep my job. It’s rough times. It’s a bad economy, so I gotta keep my damn job so I can keep living. I respect Loiseau, but on the 18th, I’m going in there to beat his ass.”
– Ed Herman — middleweight finalist on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 3 — talks about his upcoming fight with hometown favorite David Loiseau at UFC 97 from The Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on April 18. “Short Fuse” is looking to rebound from back-to-back losses and prevent himself from being a victim of a contractual “Spring Cleaning.” That might not be so easy against “The Crow,” who also is fighting to remain on the UFC roster. The former middleweight contender was invited back to the Octagon after putting together a solid 4-2 record outside of the promotion. Loser leaves town? Perhaps not if they can pull off fight of the night. What say you?
Frank Shamrock: Nick Diaz kicked my ass
“I give everything to Nick Diaz. I knew he was a dangerous opponent. Nick kicked my a– tonight; there’s no two ways about it. Nick was just the better man. He hit me in the guts, and that was about all the juice I had. I doubled over, and he put a whoopin’ on me. This is my hometown; this is my arena. I’m 36. I’m still going. I’ll be back here. Don’t even worry about it. There’s always tomorrow.”
-Former Strikeforce middleweight champion Frank Shamrock (23-10-2) comments on his main event bout with Nick Diaz at the Strikeforce event that took place on April 11 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California. Shamrock — who defeated Diaz’ mentor Cesar Gracie in just 21 seconds back in 2006 – found himself on the other end of the whoopin’ for a change. Diaz was dominant from start to finish and left the usually insolent Shamrock both humbled and respectful after the show. What’s left now for the 36-year old Shammy going forward? Time will tell…
UFC Quick Quote: Rich Franklin wants to train with Wanderlei Silva after their date in Deutschland
He had invited me to train at his gym in Las Vegas before this fight had been scheduled. I have enormous respect for Wanderlei Silva … I’m always in Vegas and intend to train at his academy after this fight. We’re great fighters but UFC wanted to make this fight …. [Silva] is very strong, fast and has knockout power in his hands. Everything I know it’s going to be a big fight. He has victories over Rampage in PRIDE and Jardine in UFC. He’s still hazardous as he was in PRIDE and is still exciting in action. I’m training my clinch, training hard to avoid his Muay Thai clinch. I’m training wrestling and jiu jitsu as well and the rest of the aspects I have trained as I usually do to face other fighters.”
– Get the snorkels ready! Former middleweight champion Rich Franklin reveals (via Fighters Only Magazine) his intentions to train alongside Wanderlei Silva after the pair collide in a 195-pound catchweight bout during the UFC 99: “The Comeback” main event from the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany, on June 13. Both fighters are in must win situations. Who ya got?
MMA Quick Quote: Frank Shamrock is a fight fixer and a robber … not a legend
“I know he doesn’t want to go to the ground with me ’cause I’d tap him out quick and probably embarrass him. So he’ll try to trade strikes. I don’t mind…. We’ll like I said he’s weak on the ground so he’ll be doing everything to keep it standing. He thinks he’s a great striker and I want to see how great…. He’s not a legend to me. Back in the day he was fighting fixed matches in Japan and supplementing himself with who knows what. Before that he was in a California Youth Prison for robbing houses. If that’s your idea of a legend you might want to reassess your thinking.”
– Nick Diaz tells how he really feels about former UFC middleweight champion and mixed martial arts pioneer, Frank Shamrock, in a recent interview. Shamrock and Diaz are slated to touch ‘em up tomorrow night (April 11) at the HP Pavillion in San Jose, Calif., during the main event at Strikeforce: “Shamrock vs. Diaz.” And it can’t come soon enough — the two have traded back-and-forth barbs for months. Now it’s time to let the fists fly and let them do all the talking inside the cage.
Exclusive Frank Shamrock Interview
Frank Shamrock has a lot to say in this interview, including what he thinks of his brother, his upcoming opponent, and why he isn't regarded as one of the legends of the sport.
Frank also unveils what his plan will be to celebrate once he knocks Nick Diaz out.
Check it out.
Steinbeiss talks about cancelled UFN 18 Fight
PDG: How did you find out that your fight with Ryan Jensen was canceled?
Steinbeiss: We were about 30 seconds away from stepping up onto the stage for weigh-ins and right then they pulled us aside and said that the fight wasn't going to go on because of the Adderall thing.
PDG: That had to be pretty disappointing considering all the work that you put in to prepare yourself for that fight.
Steinbeiss: Most people have no idea; I made the weight and was ready to go through the weigh-ins and then pound some Pedialyte. 10 weeks of hard training and then the day before the fight you find out it is canceled. It certainly took the wind out of my sails.
Michael Bisping ‘too quick’ and ‘too fast’ for Dan Henderson at UFC 100
Spending so much time around him has given me confidence. Obviously I grew up in MMA watching Dan Henderson fight and he was a hero for me. I watched him win two belts in two weight divisions [in Pride FC]. I am looking forward to the fight and I’m going in really confident that he is going to lose … in fact I know he is going to lose. I am going to win every minute of every round for the whole fight. I am going to be too quick for him, too fast. His striking is no where near my level. All I’ve got to watch out for is a big right hand and the clinch. As long as I avoid that I think it’s my fight to lose.”
The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 3 light heavyweight winner, Michael Bisping, keeps up the confidence as his showdown with Dan Henderson at UFC 100 on July 11 draws closer. “The Count” has been talking a good game to promote the middlweight showdown, saying previously that Henderson is “nowhere near his level.” In this interview, Bisping once again takes a shot at another top contender, Demian Maia, calling him a “one-trick” pony who he would “stuff like a Christmas Turkey” is the two ever met inside the Octagon. The winner of the match up between Bisping and Henderson, as well as Maia, are the front runners to challenge for the 185-pound title next. The next few months should be very interesting for the suddenly crowded middleweight class.
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Diego Sanchez: One win away from UFC title shot at 155 pounds?
Currently on a three-fight win streak, UFC welterweight-turned-lightweight Diego Sanchez (20-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) believes he's one solid win away from a shot at the UFC's lightweight 155-pound title.
And on the most recent episode of HDNet's "Inside MMA," Sanchez said the UFC feels the same way.
"I have been given word that a dominating victory over Clay Guida, which I intend to do, will be put me right in my spot for the title shot," Sanchez said.
Sanchez meets Guida at the Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale on June 20 in Las Vegas.
Sanchez, winner of season one of "The Ultimate Fighter," went through a rough stretch in 2007 with back-to-back decision losses to Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck - the first two losses of his then-five-year-old career.
Sanchez believes his first-round TKO win over Florian in 2005's original Ultimate Fighter Finale, and his size advantage in his new division, prove he's ready for the challenge.
"Being one of the biggest 155-pounders is going to give me a great edge," Sanchez said. "I've beat Kenny Florian in a decisive fashion, so I put myself as a No. 1 contender - and I'm here to prove that."
Brock Lesnar on UFC 100: "Is Frank really hurt, or is he just scared?"
A knee surgery Mir deemed necessary forced the rescheduling of the bout, but in the most recent episode of HDNet's "Inside MMA," Lesnar said he's not sure the move was made for the right reasons.
"I'm a little disappointed that it got pushed back," Lesnar said. "In my mind, is Frank really hurt, or is he just scared?"
Mir submitted Lesnar with a knee bar at UFC 81 in February 2008. Lesnar's first trip to the octagon - and his just his second career fight - Mir found himself in trouble early in the contest, but took advantage of a restart by referee Steve Mazagatti to lock in the fight-ending maneuver.
Lesnar said he's learned his lesson regarding the over-aggressive approach that cost him the bout.
"The biggest thing was that you've got 15 minutes," Lesnar said. "As soon as I entered the octagon, there were a few other key factors that played into why I rushed the fight. But those would be just plain old excuses.