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."
Mark Coleman discusses possible rematch with Mauricio "Shogun" Rua
Mark ColemanMMA legend Mark Coleman (15-8 MMA, 6-3 UFC) has been pursuing a comeback in the organization that made him famous ever since he was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame at UFC 82 in March.
While Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (16-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) has made recent headlines by declaring his interest in a second match with "The Hammer," Coleman told MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps | MMAjunkie.com) he "wasn't aware of any of these rumors."
Gerald Haris: "Rampage is doing good"
Rampage is pretty much focusing on the bible and getting his life back together. The first thing that came to my mind was the kids man. He's got 4 kids. Everybody else was concerned about was he going to fight again or is he losing sponsors; damn that," stated MMA middleweight Gerald Harris as he gave an update on his good friend Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. Check out what else he had to say as he talked about his own future plans and much more
Frank Edgar Interview
Today I had the honor of talking with UFC rising star Frank "The Answer" Edgar about his recent win over Hermes Franca, his $25,000 fight-of-the-night bonus, and even a little politics. The 26 year-old Edgar boasts a 9-1 record including a notable win over Spencer Fisher and he is the only man to have ever defeated Tyson Griffin. Edgar brings a smothering ground game to the cage and with his extensive wrestling background, Edgar is a tall order for any of the UFC's lightweight division fighters. Here's what was said:
Exclusive Interview: Nick Diaz
When we last saw Nick Diaz, he was whipping Muhsin Corbbrey at EliteXC: The Return of the King, and advising KJ Noons not to be frightened. Diaz gets back into the cage this Saturday at the second installment of EliteXC’s “Saturday Night Fights” (CBS, 9 p.m. ET/PT), and while he won’t be settling his grudge with Noons, he’ll be facing the very tough Thomas Denny in front of a rabid hometown crowd at the Stockton Arena. The always outspoken Cesar Gracie-trained fighter recently chatted with us about the origins of his bad attitude, why MMA fights should be held in a ring, and why steroids should be legal.
Real good interview with Nick Diaz........
Vitor Belfort KO’d Terry Martin with a Broken Hand
When Vitor Belfort knocked out Terry Martin at Affliction: Banned (see above video, in case you didn’t get the FSN broadcast), it was hard not to think that “The Phenom” was back. But what we didn’t know was that he did it with a broken hand. As he told the Xtreme Couture blog, he basically fought the whole bout that way:
XC: When did you break your hand?
Vitor: The first punch I threw. It was a straight left. I knew right away it broke. But I had to keep going. I couldn’t throw my combinations I had worked on. Coach Tompkins was yelling at me to throw my combos. At the end of the first round I went back to the corner and Tompkins was yelling at me, “Why don’t you throw your combos?” I said, “My hand is broken”. He said, “Ok” and Randy said, “Just go first. Go for it and finish the fight”.
I said to myself, “Ok, I’ll do that”. It was great chemistry in the corner. I went out and I did what they said. I was looking to land a big shot and get it over with. It’s my left hand, which is my power hand. I went out and threw the kick at Terry. When he caught my kick I let him take me down so I could soften him up with the elbows. I knew I could get back to my feet when I needed to. Then I set him up for the knee. After that I was able to pick his head up with the uppercut and end it with the straight left.
James Irvin: ‘I didn’t know what hit me’ in Anderson Silva fight last night
“He’s a scary dude…. It was a flash knockout, because I didn’t know what hit me after that. Even waking up, I was covered in blood. He got me right on the money tonight…. I don’t think I’ll have another (chance) as big as this.”
It was a blistering overhand right punch that came blazing down Broadway, James, which was then followed up with a few head bouncers.
Arlovski ready for Rothwell
Arlovski explained during a recent Affliction conference call with media that following a brief period where he was unable to negotiate with other promotions, it was ultimately Affliction that won his services inside the ring.
“First of all I had 60 days basically for negotiations with the UFC,” he said about his contract negotiations. “After that time my management talked with Affliction and we got a deal.”
Now Arlvoski can just get back to the business of fighting and next up on the agenda is a battle with former IFL top dog Ben Rothwell. To get ready for Rothwell, Arlovski trained with regular coach Mike Garcia, but he also enlisted the help of famed boxing trainer Freddie Roach.
Roach worked with Arlovski for about three weeks leading up to the fight with Rothwell and his new boxing coach will also accompany him to the ring and work his corner for the upcoming fight.
“I was very happy Freddie (Roach) let me train with him because I know it’s a big line to work with Freddie Roach, and when my friends told me he had time to train with (me) I said I’m in,” Arlovski commented. “Anytime, he would let me come to his gym, I’m in.”
Hostile territory no problem for Mike Whitehead
Mike Whitehead (21-5) knows he is headed into hostile territory tomorrow night.
The former UFC and IFL fighter will face Southern California resident Renato "Babalu" Sobral (29-7) on the main card of "Affliction: Banned," and Whitehead plans to play the role of spoiler for the hometown hero.
The Xtreme Couture-trained fighter was a recent in-studio guest on TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), he and discussed why fans should expect him to extend his 12-fight win streak by upsetting Sobral on his home turf.
"A lot of people are pulling for [Sobral], which is great," Whitehead said. "That means it's going to be a hell of a fight. But I'm here, I'm healthy, and I am ready to bring it."
The 27-year-old veteran knows the crowd will be decidedly against him, but he believes it may actually work in his favor.
"I'm already mentally preparing myself to be booed on the way [to the ring] since this is Sobral's hometown," Whitehead said. "All the pressure is on him to perform, and I am a pretty tough guy (for someone) to go out and try to have an impressive win (over) -- like he wants to have."
FEDOR LOOKING TO RE-ESTABLISH DOMINANCE
op ranked heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko returns to the States and returns to fighting top competition July 19 when he takes on former UFC heavyweight titleholder Tim Sylvia in the main event of Affliction “Banned” at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
Widely regarded as the best fighter in the world, Emelianenko solidified his place in the Japanese Rings and Pride organizations, obtaining the Pride belt by defeating current UFC heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at Pride 25 in March of 2003. But since defeating Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic at Pride: Final Conflict 2005, Emelianenko has received criticism for not competing against top tier talent.
Although ranked No. 1 in the world, Emelianenko in a lot of ways has to re-establish himself in the heavyweight division. In his second appearance in the U.S., he seeks to silence the critics when he squares off against Top 5 ranked Tim Sylvia for the WAMMA heavyweight title.
"How can you say that the guy is the number one fighter in the world if there's different organizations not willing to work with each other?" said Affliction vice president Tom Atencio. "If there is even a shadow of a doubt that this guy is not the best, how can you say he's the best in the world worthy of a belt of even the title if he's not fighting everybody?"
"Fedor’s willing to come over here and put his title on the line," added Atencio. "Everybody says he's the number one fighter in the world. Well here's one step closer to being it if he beats Tim Sylvia."
From Surviving the Streets of Russia to MMA: The Story of Aleksander Emelianenko, Part 1
by Evgeni Kogan
"I'm ready. It doesn't matter with who or where. On foot or on horseback. With maces or poleaxes. To fight. To first blood or to death. It doesn't matter, I'm ready to fight." -- Aleksander Emelianenko (Pictures)
Living in the shadow of a big brother isn't easy.
When you are in the same profession and he's more accomplished and better known, it's hard to stand in the spotlight unobstructed, as your own man. Side by side, the achievements that you've worked your whole life for, that you've gone through hell for in order to become a better person are less dazzling, less impressive when compared to his. You have less say in your fighting future, less media attention when he's caught in a perpetual avalanche of flash bulbs and microphones. You're fighting on the televised undercard when he's headlining the pay-per-view.
Dude is so russian
John Hackleman: "I'm not going to quit if Chuck doesn't win!"
was pretty stupid actually to say that. It takes away any kind of credibility. It's like a little kid, 'No, I didn't say you could have that.' Yeah, it was pretty lame and then he says he didn't mean he was going to retire from MMA, he meant from being a longshore man… I just don't think it was very Christian and it was kind of tacky," stated Pit Boss John Hackleman as he shared his thoughts on Juanito Ibarra's claim that he would retire if Rampage lost to Forrest Griffin