UFC drops Jon Fitch, other American Kickboxing Academy fighters (interviews with Dana and Fitch)
A bitterly angry Dana White said Wednesday the Ultimate Fighting Championship has cut highly regarded welterweight contender Jon Fitch and is not going to do business with any fighters who are part of the American Kickboxing Academy team in San Jose, Calif.
White said he excepted AKA welterweight Mike Swick from that group because he said Swick called him and told him he wants to fight for the UFC. But Fitch and heavyweight Christian Wellisch were cut on Wednesday, and heavyweight prospect Cain Velasquez and welterweight Josh Koscheck could be next.
"We're looking for guys who want to work with us and not against us, and frankly I'm just so [expletive] sick of this [expletive] it's not even funny," White said from Honolulu, where he flew Wednesday from Toronto to hold a news conference to announce the B.J. Penn-Georges St. Pierre fight for UFC 94 on Jan. 31 in Las Vegas.
"Affliction is still out there trying to build its company. Let [Fitch] go work with them. Let him see what he thinks of those [expletives]. [Expletive] him. These guys aren't partners with us. [Expletive] them. All of them, every last [expletive] one of them."
Fitch said Wednesday the dispute was over his reluctance to sign a lifetime contract to allow his name and likeness to be used in a video game the UFC is planning with THQ. He said the dispute has nothing to do with money and that he never caused a problem during his time in the UFC.
Working for free and selling our rights away for lifetime, that's a little different," said Fitch, who said he hasn't spoken with White but plans to call him. "We tried to negotiate five- or 10-year deals with them, but it wasn't good enough. It was all or nothing. He wanted our lifetime. He wanted our souls forever."
White complained that he has to make frequent sacrifices in his personal life and is away from his family for long stretches because of his commitment to growing the UFC. He said the AKA fighters don't understand the things UFC management is trying to do and said they'll learn how tough things are in the poor economy.
Lesnar radio interview
Here's a interview from KFAN a local sports radio show in Minnesota. Nothing groundbreaking but worth a listen. He's been on this show a few times before so that's why they sound all buddy buddy with each other.
Dana White Warns Ontario - You're Next!
"There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be in Toronto," White continued. "We’ve got a (clean) nine-year record of health and safety. There is absolutely no reason for Canada to not accept this sport. There’s an education factor; we need to educate people.
"I’m going after Canada after (I get approval in) New York and Massachusetts. I’m attacking Canada. I’m going to spend so much time in Canada I’ll have to buy a house. I’m going to live here until it’s done. I’m going to be sitting on the porch every day they come to work."
"Everybody I bumped into was from Canada," he said, adding that having St-Pierre fight in Toronto is a no-brainer. "This fight (between St-Pierre and Penn) should have been in Toronto or Hawaii.
"Canada is a huge market for us. Toronto is the mecca, this is the place to be as far as MMA is concerned."
I would most definitely go to an event in Toronto. My guess is that it will happen in late 2010 or mid 2011 for the UFC to get through Ontario. Glad to see his enthusiasm.
Pros Picks: Couture vs. Lesnar
One of mixed martial arts’ most beloved and important figures will make his eagerly awaited return to the Octagon this Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Poised to defend his heavyweight title against behemoth Brock Lesnar at UFC 91, Randy Couture will face arguably his most daunting task when he climbs into battle for the 25th time.
Sherdog.com spoke with dozens of experts, from fighters to trainers to analysts, and got their opinions on the Couture/Lesnar showdown.
Hansen talks DREAM, Alvarez & More!
Joachim Hansen ‘The Hellboy Returns on NYE’
DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix Champion Joachim Hansen took some time out of training to talk with PDG about his tournament victory, Eddie Alvarez, training and fighting on NYE.
PDG: You replaced Eddie Alvarez, who beat you earlier in the GP; how did that affect the way you fought in the finals?
Hansen: Eddie Alvarez and Shinya Aoki are two totally different fighters. I knew a little about Aoki’s style because I fought him in PRIDE in 2006. I knew I had to be very careful with Aoki when on the ground and to not make any big moves that could leave me open to his submission game. If you could clone Alvarez and Aoki into one person you would be close to having the total mixed martial arts fighter!
Boxing on Kimbo’s Mind, Manager Addresses Auction
Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson has a hankering to try boxing, he told host Dan Le Batard on Sports Talk 790 The Ticket Wednesday.
“I’m thinking about boxing as well,” said the Internet legend turned MMA fighter. “Boxing is wide open right now. I want to do it all.”
Ferguson’s revelation didn’t come with any news of a fight on the horizon, though he said he’d like to return to MMA competition by February.
The interview marked Ferguson’s first since his lackluster 14-second TKO loss at the hands of last-minute replacement Seth Petruzelli on Oct. 4.
Bas talks Kimbo, EXC, Lesnar-Couture & More!
Bas Rutten ‘Living Mixed Martial Arts Part II’
The former King of Pancrase took some time recently to talk with PDG about the many projects he has going on, the Fall of EliteXC & Kimbo Slice what he thinks of some of the biggest fights of the year coming up in the UFC.
PDG: The last time you were in Japan was for DREAM 6; what did you think about the Alistair Overeem vs Mirko ‘Cro-Cop’ fight?
Bas: It was a great fight and it was a shame that it ended like it did because Overeem was winning the fight. I was a little surprised by his dominance but then I talked to his trainer from Golden Glory; which is a Thai boxing gym in Holland that I used to train at. His striking has definitely gotten better since he started training there and Mirko has not looked very good his last few fights. Don't get me wrong, I am a huge Mirko fan and I wish he could get back on track.
Eddie Alvarez Talks Future & More!
Eddie Alvarez 'Waiting for a Fight'
Lightweight rising superstar Eddie Alvarez took some time to talk with PDG about the fall of EliteXC, his DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix experience, training and what the future holds for his mixed martial arts career.
PDG: Your scheduled fight against Nick Diaz was canceled when EliteXC went bankrupt last month; what were your thoughts when you got the news?
Alvarez: It was very unfortunate as I was about five weeks into my training for the fight. I was really looking forward to that fight and the whole situation just basically sucked. It was very important for me to win a title in America on national television. Shit happens and it wasn't the first time in my career. There was a similar situation when I was fighting for Bodog. I'm looking forward to moving on and signing with another American company that has a television presence.
Brocks Big Plan: Be Bigger
I expect to walk in [to the Octagon] about 275, 280. That’s one of the things we took into consideration when we took this fight. We’re younger, we’re stronger, we’re faster and this guy’s on his way out and we’re going to make sure that happens.
We’ve watched every single one of Randy’s fights a number of different times…there really are no comparables to me and the rest of the guys he’s fought because none of them have the wrestling credentials that I have. He has trouble with bigger guys, guys [like Barnett and Rodriguez] who knew how to control him. Tim Sylvia and Gabriel Gonzaga didn’t know how to control him.
I’m not scared to go twenty-five minutes. As the rounds go longer I have a much bigger advantage because for Randy to have to push around 275 lbs for five rounds and me to push around a guy who if he’s lucky is 230 lbs - I know how to wrestle. These other heavyweights that he pushed around the Octagon were guys that had no clue how to wrestle and how to keep position.
Couture talks training for "worst-case scenario" (video)
by MMAjunkie.com Staff on Nov 05, 2008 at 4:25 pm ET
As UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture prepares for next week's UFC 91 main event with Brock Lesnar, the 45-year-old fighter is preparing for all scenarios.
But seeing how he's giving up 14 years of age, 40 pounds and an inch of height, Couture is preparing for one specific scenario more than others.
Couture discussed the fight and his "worst-case-scenario training" while a recent guest of HDNet's "Inside MMA." Thanks to our partnership with the weekly MMA news show, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) now present a clip of the strategy talk.
The Nov. 15 main event fight, which takes place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, pits a UFC hall-of-famer -- one who's fought for a title in 14 of his 24 professional fights -- against a UFC rookie who owns a mere 2-1 career record.
However, Couture knows that Lesnar, a former WWE superstar who was also an NCAA Division I national wrestling champion, isn't your typical three-fight vet.
"I've been putting my self in worst-case-scenario training," said Couture, who's filled his Las Vegas-based Xtreme Couture gym with heavyweight training partners. "You've got to be on the bottom. If this guy takes me down, I've got to be able to survive and get up and scramble and get out from underneath him. I can't lie down there and give up rounds."
However, the three-time Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling alternate still thinks his bread and butter -- dirty boxing -- can be a viable strategy.
"I still feel comfortable in the clinch and using cage tactics. I was there with Tim (Sylvia). They don't get much bigger than Tim, and Gabe (Gonzaga) was certainly a big, strong guy," said Couture, referring to his two most recent victories. "I don't think Brock is any different in that situation. I'm going to feel pretty comfortable putting him there if he gives me the chance to."
For more on the fight, and Couture's thoughts on why a fight with former PRIDE champion Fedor Emelianenko is unlikely ever to happen, check out the embedded clip.
Dana White Not Happy With New TUF Format
In an article for The Sun, Dana White expressed his displeasure with the next season of TUF.
I said from day one I hate the UK v USA idea.
It's dumb, I don't like it — it's not USA v the UK, we're looking for the best fighter in the world.
We put on a card one time, the USA v Canada, it was f***ing retarded.
I don't care if you're from the UK, Croatia or Brazil because at the end of the day, when Michael Bisping comes to America — Americans don't boo him.
When GSP comes down and fights in the US more people cheer for him than the guy who's from America!
When Tim Sylvia from the United States fought Antonio Nogueira from Brazil, everybody booed Sylvia on the way in and cheered for Nogueira. The reason is because in this sport it's not country versus country.
You either like the guy's fighting style or personality — nationality has nothing to do with it.
That's the way it used to be with boxing, with the exception of Ricky Hatton because everybody hates Floyd Mayweather!
But with the exception of that, you never saw guys from one country cheering a guy from a different country.
That's what's changing in what we're doing.
We're looking for the best fighters in the world — this country versus that country is irrelevant."
Affliction VP Tom Atencio Believes Station Casinos Will Go out of Business Early Next Year
Interestingly enough, Affliction co-founder Todd Beard has recently surfaced to voice his displeasure with the UFC, most notably on a recent appearance on "The Scott Ferrall Show."
"They threaten us personally, which is hilarious," Beard said. "Dana White, Lorenzo Fertita, they are tough guys. They're old school mafia guys, or wannabe old school mafia guys that their grandfather built their business and they are nothing. They’re nothing."
When asked about Beard's comments, Atencio seemingly shrugged them off.
"I will always do my fighting in the ring but my partner has just had it with them," Atencio said.
During his interview with Ferrall, Beard mentioned that Zuffa co-founders, Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, are experiencing some financial trouble with their Palace Station Casino properties.
"They put their business five billion dollars in debt," Beard said in the interview."They’re in big touble right now. They are going to go out of business in February. Guaranteed. Station Casinos will go out of business in February for sure."
Atencio did not refute this claim.
"They want to talk about us being done by January," Atencio said. "Well, I will guarantee you that their Statino Casinos will be out of business by February...I have all the proof I need."
Of course, there are two sides to every story but an effort to get a response from someone at Zuffa was unsuccessful.
mattew riddle's tuf 8 blog
As for the show, I was going to start cutting down to 155 just so I could beat Junie senseless. After reading Ryan Bader’s blog I realized that Junie might be heading to 170 with Haagen-Dazs as the main sponsor. That and I promised my Mom I would never pick on children with special needs are the only reasons I have not flown out to Kentucky to smash him. I thought it would be impossible to have someone who is a bigger loser then Jeremy May on the show and they proved me wrong........
WAR CHIPPER!!!! I love the junie hate!
"The Ultimate Fighter 8" ratings improve; Junie Browning to thank?
This past Wednesday's episode of "The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs. Team Mir," which featured controversial cast member Junie Browning's quarterfinal fight with Roli Delgado, scored 1.7 million viewers, an increase of nine percent from the season's first five episodes.
Additionally, the Oct. 22 episode had an audience 35 percent larger than the season low of 1.1 million that tuned in for the third episode of the reality series on Oct. 1.
Spike TV today sent the ratings information to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) via email.
With the recent ratings revival, in doubt aided by the antics of Browning, the eighth season of the show is now averaging 1.6 million weekly viewers. The seventh season of the show ("The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rampage vs. Team Forrest"), which aired earlier this year, averaged 1.3 million viewers for its 11 regular-season episodes.
The only basic cable stations that beat Spike TV and "TUF" this week were Comedy Central (with "South Park" and "Chocolate News") and FX ("Son of Anarchy").
Wednesday's episode of "TUF" peaked with 1.9 million viewers for the Browning-Delgado fight, which took place in the final quarter hour of the show. Browning, whose drunken rampages and confrontations with other cast members have resulted in ratings jumps over the past few weeks, recently told MMAjunkie.com that his actions were the result of being locked in the "TUF" house.
"You're in Vegas, and you can't go anywhere or do anything, so you let loose a little crazier than I normally would." Browning said. "I don't necessarily act like that at home. I can go out to a bar and drink, but I don't mess with people or anything. Once you're in the house, it's almost like being in high school again. You're around a bunch of young guys, we're all crazy and drinking, and I don't like being messed with at all."