UFC 87: Georges St. Pierre all business heading into Jon Fitch fight
“The last time I defended my title, I didn’t approach it the right way” (Serra). “ trained to fight an army and there is no way one man can stop me if many cannot.”
UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre appeared focused and serious today during the public press conference at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minn., to promote UFC 87: “Seek and Destroy,” which is slated for the Target Center Saturday, August 9. “Rush” will look to retain the 170-pound strap for the first time since winning it back from Matt Serra when he takes on number on contender, Jon Fitch, in the main event of the evening.
Dana White: "Yes," some WEC weight classes will be folded into the UFC
After months of openly considering the move, Zuffa LLC is now committed to folding some of the WEC's heavier weight classes into the UFC, and UFC President Dana White today said the process is already underway.
White confirmed the partial WEC-UFC merger while a guest on today's edition of TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
"We're working on that now," White said of the merger.
Ever since Zuffa LLC (the UFC's parent company) purchased the organization in December 2006, White has maintained that the WEC would be run as a separate entity -- not a feeder system for the UFC -- with a focus on the sport's lighter weight classes.
Although some fighters -- including current WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner, former UFC title-holder Jens Pulver and featherweight prospect Leonard Garcia -- went from the UFC to the WEC, they weren't necessarily demotions. In fact, Pulver and Garcia made the moves so they could fight at 145 pounds (a weight class not offered in the UFC), and Varner joined the WEC with the promise of a title shot.
However, the organization has struggled to stock its middleweight and light heavyweight divisions, and rather than pull talent from the UFC, White said the WEC's 205-pound and 185-pound divisions will be folded into the UFC.
"The answer is yes, and we're working on that right now," White said.
No flash, just fights for Fitch...
By Kevin Iole, Yahoo! Sports
Jon Fitch jokes that a family photo which includes his brother, cousins, and father could be mistaken for a semi-pro football team. There are a lot of big men in that shot.
And, indeed, Fitch spent much of his life believing he was destined for the NFL.
“Little problem with that way of thinking,” Fitch says. “I am way too slow and turns out I’m at least four inches shorter than I thought I’d be.”
MINNEAPOLIS – Former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson spoke publicly Thursday for the first time since his July 15 arrest in Costa Mesa, Calif.
The highly popular mixed martial arts fighter was arrested by Costa Mesa police following a chase and booked into the Orange County jail on suspicion of felony evading, hit and run and reckless driving.
One of the persons Jackson allegedly sideswiped on the 55 Freeway was 38-year-old Holli Griggs of Huntington Beach, Calif. On Aug. 1, her fiance, Bill Krebs, told the Newport Beach Daily Pilot that Griggs, who was 16 weeks pregnant with a boy, suffered a miscarriage.
alifornia State Athletic Commission on MMA
"The California State Athletic Commission takes a lot of heat for its handling of MMA affairs, on every topic from fighter licensing to drug testing."
They talk about strikes to the back of the head, point scoring in MMA, etc etc. I am surprised by his competency. I figured CSAC was full of people who ignored MMA.
Bas Rutten On The Demise Of The IFL
In just a few short years the International Fight League went from ambitious concept to reality to demise.
At its best, the promotion helped reintroduce a group of veteran mixed martial arts pioneers to the new era of MMA fans, as well helped jumpstart the career of what would become some of the sport’s best young fighters.
One of the promotion’s first and most prominent figures was former King of Pancrase and Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight titleholder Bas “El Guapo” Rutten.
Starring initially as the head coach of the Los Angeles Anacondas, Rutten then transitioned to a commentator role and ultimately ended up as Vice President of Fighter Operations, and shined with the usual El Guapo flair in each position.
Still, all things come to an end. As such, Rutten has been released from his contract with the company, and now he looks to transition to other things.
Speaking from his adoptive hometown of Los Angeles, Rutten spoke to MMAWeekly about his time in the IFL, his roles in the promotion, and what’s coming down the pipeline for one of MMA’s premier personalities.
MMAWeekly: First off Bas, tell us about your recent release from the IFL.
Bas Rutten: Well, from what I understand, there is no more IFL, right? We’ve been sold, but there’s still some working going on. Exactly what, I have no clue, but the paychecks have stopped coming in. For me it’s stopped and for all the people I knew in the IFL it’s stopped.
I knew the company was struggling. I had gotten emails from people there that had been let go. “Thanks for the great time working together,” and stuff like that. There was a hardcore group left, and once they started getting rid of those people, I knew the end was near. I was aware it was going to happen.
UFC Quick Quote: Brock Lesnar would beat up himself … kinda
“If the Brock Lesnar of today would fight the Brock Lesnar from then … I’d win.”
–- Brock Lesnar, during the media conference call for UFC 87: “Seek and Destroy,” fields a question about how his game has improved since his submission loss to Frank Mir at UFC 81: “Breaking Point” back in February 2008. Along with Georges St. Pierre’s “training to face an army” quote (“Every time I’m training and I do my sparring, I have a fresh guy coming on me all the time.”), Lesnar’s quote had to be one of the more memorable of the call. It will be interesting to see how quickly Lesnar’s game improves. His collegiate wrestling credentials alone (two-time NJCAA All-American, two-time NCAA All-American, two-time Big Ten Champion, 2000 NCAA heavyweight champion, 1999 NCAA heavyweight runner-up, with a career record of 106-5) are some of the very best in the UFC. Time will tell how well he adapts those wrestling skills to MMA. For now, he gets his second chance inside the Octagon against Heath Herring on August 9.
MORE POSITIVE DRUG TEST RESULTS APPEAR LIKELY
Though the California State Athletic Commission has already released partial drug test results from Affliction’s debut mixed martial arts event on July 19 and EliteXC’s second edition of CBS-EliteXC Saturday Night Fights on July 26 with only one positive result, neither promotion can plan on clear sailing as the remaining results come in.
Of the first eight fighters returning drug test results from Affliction, only Justin Levens tested positive, that being for oxymorphone, a pain reliever related to morphine.
None of the results for the first eight fighters tested for EliteXC returned a positive result.
The initial test results for the remaining fighters on each show, however, indicate that there are more positive results forthcoming. CSAC Assistant Executive Officer Bill Douglas told MMAWeekly.com that, “Both cards are not out of the woods yet.”
He would not identify any of the individuals involved, nor would he indicate how many individuals were involved, but did indicate that initial testing of the remaining fighters’ “A” samples returned more positive results.
Each fighter has an “A” sample and a “B” sample for the drug testing procedure. The “A” sample is sent to Quest Diagnostics, Inc. and tested twice to confirm results. The “B” sample is sent to a World Anti-doping Agency approved lab in Montreal for the same sort of procedure in an effort to independently confirm or deny the initial results.
Frank Mir: ‘I dont have Fedor being in the top’ P4P MMA rankings
“I don’t have Fedor being in the top … I don’t have him above B.J. Penn, St. Pierre. I think that if all those guys weighed 155 pounds, that Fedor can’t beat B.J., he can’t beat Georges St. Pierre, and that’s what pound for pound means. It means that if they were exactly the same size. I think that some people are a little misunderstanding of that whole idea.”
Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir takes exception to the pound-for-pound ranking of Fedor Emelianenko on the recent top 10 list released by ESPN (fan votes were responsible for the order). He argues that the term is often misunderstood among those who attempt to create such lists. For example, Mir feels that a fighter such as WEC Bantamweight Champion Miguel Torres — who can compete at several different weight classes and likely be successful — should be top two or three. UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva received 49 percent of the votes to take the top spot and Fedor — who came in second — tallied 40 percent of first place nominations.
CONDIT READY TO UNLEASH ON MIURA
While the champion admits that it’s nothing personal before the fight, once that cage door closes, the switch is flipped and he makes it personal.
“Before the fight I don’t like to talk a lot of crap about my opponents, it’s nothing personal, when it comes to interviews or anything like that,” said Condit in a recent interview with MMAWeekly Radio. “But once I get in there, I make it personal. This is my livelihood, my life is either going to go up or go down depending on what happens right here, so it’s really personal. I make that guy my enemy.”
Condit understands the competition involved with mixed martial arts, but he also knows at the core of it all his opponent wants to knock him out or submit him and take what’s his.
“He’s going to get in there and he’s going to try to take something from me,” Condit stated. “Not only my reputation, my pride, but he’s going to try to knock my (expletive) in the dirt.”
At the end of the day it’s still business, but a fight is always personal.
“I’ve got nothing but respect for the guys I compete against, but in the cage it’s a different story,” said the champion.
Carlos Condit: ‘I can deal with any one of those guys in the UFC’ (Audio)
On his thoughts about the WEC’s welterweight division and where it fits in with Georges St. Pierre in the UFC and Jake Shields in EliteXC:
“There are some tough dudes. They (the WEC) are still working on their roster. They’re still working on filling out their welterweight division. Obviously, they are not as strong as the UFC. But I feel, me being the champion, I can deal with any one of those guys in the UFC and beat quite a few of them and give any of them a run for their money. There are some tough guys (in the WEC). My last three fights have been against pretty legit competitors. This guy I’m fighting on Sunday is very tough as well. It’s not as stacked as the UFC’s welterweight division, but there is some talent.”
NOTE: The audio link has the full interview. The other link just gives you a quick outlay of what was asked.
Tito Ortiz Not Yet Signed To Affliction
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz is not out of the Octagon just yet.
Despite several published reports of Ortiz’s whereabouts, Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio today told MMAWeekly.com that he has not signed the popular UFC fighter. Atencio claims that Ortiz’s promotional contract with the Las Vegas based company precludes that.
“I can’t talk to Tito until after August 3rd,” Atencio says. “Everybody just wants to read into it and put whatever they want on the internet.”
Ibarra and Rampage Part ways
With defeat as the impetus, Jackson responded to rough terrain by relieving the trainer of his duties, though “bottom line, somehow, someway it all involves money,” said the fighter’s friend.
Jackson is now out of psychiatric observation and is attending outpatient treatment on a daily basis, but he didn’t seem completely cured after his initial release.
“He would still make comments that were slightly weird,” said Jackson’s longtime associate. “You could tell that he wasn’t all the way there, but each day you could tell he was better…He knows what he went through,” said the source. “He knew he had an emotional breakdown that led to a mental breakdown.”
BARNETT'S BITTERSWEET VICTORY
Josh Barnett has become accustomed to fighting his friends. After the downfall of Pride Fighting Championships last February, the Seattle native has faced a shrinking pool of opponents as the Ultimate Fighting Championship siphoned the majority of top-tier heavyweight talent in the industry. Before his KO victory over Pedro Rizzo in last week’s inaugural Affliction card, Barnett fought former training partners Hidehiko Yoshida and Jeff Monson in the first half of 2008. His sense of professionalism and competition led him past any misgivings that might affect his performance — he still pummeled the two to victory — but it was a bittersweet payday.
The brotherhood of old-guard opponents, something Barnett has talked about often, made his fight with Pedro Rizzo especially hard. Even though Rizzo had knocked him out cold at UFC 30 in 2001, a feat Yoshida and Monson couldn’t accomplish, Barnett regretted the outcome of the fight.
“Before the fight, during the fight, it’s completely destroy everybody mode,” Barnett told reporters after the fight. “But afterwards, I have to be honest, I felt pretty upset… I wasn’t really happy that I knocked Pedro out, because there’s not a lot of people in this world that really have a beautiful soul, and Pedro’s one of them. At the time, it didn’t even matter that he’d beaten me before, it was more about I wish it could have been somebody else.”
Whatever it takes: MMAmania exclusive interview with Josh Koscheck
MMAmania.com: So let’s start off by saying congrats on the big win over Chris Lytle. That turned out to be quite a blood-soaked battle. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re still finding his blood on you.
Josh Koscheck: [Laughs]. Thanks, man. I had to take like three showers and even then it was still everywhere. It turned my hair pink.
MMAmania.com: That was a tough fight because a lot of people sleep on Lytle — he’s very dangerous and very resilient. In fact, he’s never really been stopped other than a few cuts.
Josh Koscheck: Yeah, that’s what I was worried about when I was approached about the fight. He’s never really been stopped. I was a little more worried about this fight going in than some of the others actually because he’s good on the feet, great with submissions — has some tricky stuff. But we put together a great gameplan thanks to Javier Mendez and the other coaches at American Kickboxing Academy. Javier was pounding it in my head for three months leading up to the fight. In fact, he printed out Chris Lytle’s boxing record and made me stick it in the visor of my car so I would see it everyday and have that constant reminder that I was not going to trade punches all night with this guy. I just followed it to a tee and got the victory.
MMAmania.com: Are you surprised that the fight wasn’t stopped because of all the blood?
Cris Cyborg levels path to Gina Carano.
Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos levels the path to Gina Carano
by John Morgan on Jul 27, 2008 at 2:25 pm ET
Cristiane CyborgEliteXC didn't have a Russian to answer Affliction's main event this past weekend. But the organization was able to bring in a "Cyborg."