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
Frankie Edgar talks cutting weight, staying at 155 lbs.
There has been plenty of talk since Frankie Edgar’s loss to Gray Maynard at UFC Fight Night 13 that Edgar may be too small for 155 lbs. When we interviewed Edgar after that bout he said that he intended on staying at 155 and was looking to actually put on some weight to make him a little bit stronger and give him more size. Edgar has been blogging for USA Today leading up to his fight against Hermes Franca at UFC 87 on August 9 and he’s sticking to that plan according to his latest entry:
New Interview from "Big" John McCarthy
Get every interview done by Penny Buffington on
Here is part of the interview of "Big" John done by Penny Buffington:
” The Association of Boxing governs all of the commissions throughout North America. We are trying to get things done as far as certification and education of judges and referees. They will actually have to go through a course. Prove that they know what they are doing. What they are supposed to do in a certain situations and know what the fighters are doing. They are going to have to prove all that. When that is in place, that’s a big step forward for the sport.” - "Big" John
Get the full interview as well as many more on
An older, wiser Melvin Guillard
What does a brash, boisterous, 25-year-old do when handed a bonus check for $60,000?
"My money's sitting in the bank," UFC lightweight Melvin Guillard (22-7-2 MMA, 4-3 UFC) proudly proclaimed.
Russian Emelianenko brings big reputation to the States
Drop him on his head. Knock open a nasty gash on his face. Fedor Emelianenko hardly even blinks. The consensus No. 1 heavyweight in mixed martial arts shrugs it off and conquers his opponents.
Conquering the American marketplace is much more of a challenge. He'll try July 19 as the star attraction on the debut card of Affliction, a clothing company taking a shot at MMA promotion, in Anaheim, Calif.
The burly Russian — a fan of action movies, Bruce Willis and Sting — wants to break through in the USA.
"I have a great desire to have the American fans know who I am and hopefully be just as popular in America as I am in Asia," he said Wednesday via a translator while commuting on a train in Russia.
MMA BLOG: Don't take Sylvia, Rizzo lightly
Within the MMA community, Emelianenko has single-name status, like Kobe or Tiger in their sports. Affliction bills the bout against Tim Sylvia as "Fedor vs. Sylvia."
"I give him the respect and say he's No. 1," says Ben Rothwell, another heavyweight on the Affliction card. "I'll keep giving him that until anyone can prove otherwise."
Emelianenko (27-1), whose sole loss is considered a technicality that he decisively avenged, built that reputation with dramatic wins on Japan's now-extinct PRIDE circuit.
In 2004, Kevin Randleman lifted him for a slam. Emelianenko's head took the brunt. Stunned for just a moment, he flipped himself on top, then started to hammer Randleman's head. When Randleman released his grip to deflect the blows, Emelianenko grabbed his arm for a good wrench, forcing Randleman to submit.
Fighters Weigh In on Rampage-Griffin
In the aftermath of one of the more memorable main events of a major UFC -- Forrest Griffin (Pictures)'s unanimous decision over Quinton Jackson (Pictures) -- the Mandalay Bay Events Center became a maelstrom of reaction Saturday night.
here are some of the fighters take on the fight, and who they believed was the victor.
Quick Quote: Brock Lesnar’s ‘back is against the wall’ with UFC 87 Heath Herring fight
“Heath is a younger guy, he definitely has a lot of experience and he’s a tough SOB. He’s a brawler and brings to the plate a whole variety of things that we’re looking at as a fighter. He’s well rounded with hands, feet and it’s a challenge for me, and I accepted the challenge when Mark pulled out. I’m looking at this fight where I’ve got a lot to gain and he has a lot to lose. My back is against the wall in this fight too, because I said from the beginning I wanted to fight credible opponents and that’s what Dana is handing me in Frank Mir and Heath Herring.”
Former WWE wrestling superstar Brock Lesnar tells the Baltimore Sun that there is a lot riding on his fight against Heath Herring at UFC 87: “Seek and Destroy” at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minn., on August 9. The relative newcomer to the sport has a 90-second submission loss to Frank Mir in his Octagon debut, the memory of which he will try and erase with a win over the very experienced “Texas Crazy Horse.”
Crocop's official statement regarding dream 5
A quote from Crocop from his website at MMA-ID.com
unfortunately I have some bad news? I won't be fighting at DREAM 5 at all. I was about to face Jerome LeBanner but he decided to fight in K1 against Schilt. Mighty Mo was the alternative and I accepted this challenge, but unfortunately Mighty Mo pulled off from the fight. I was ready to face Mo, but maybe this scenario wasn't that bad for me at all and I'll tell you why.
I've been having problems with my right elbow for years and the injury got even worse over last 6 months. I'm already receiving a proper treatment but the recovery won't happen over night. The second problem is a knee injury, something that troubles me for quite a while. I had difficulties using my kicks and over last few weeks I focused more on boxing and grappling. I really wanted to fight on July 21 and I was even ignoring doctor's suggestions, but now I've rached the point from which I can't continue with my normal training regiment due to my injuries.
I was willing to accept the risk of fighting Mo or someone else without being 100% ready fo the fight. I had only one fight this year, I miss big fights and top level competition. I'm eager to get back to the big stage, I still have good fights left in me and I won't give up. I'm not happy with this outcome of course, but at this moment I need to be patient and give some time for my body to recover.
I'm scheduled for arthroscopy tomorrow morning, it's a minor surgical procedure but it will keep me away from MMA trainings for 2-3 weeks probably. From Wednesday I'll focus on my new cardio training program and we'll add MMA elements to my training regiment as soon as my knee will be ready for action.
My goal is to become the first heavyweight champion in DREAM and to do that I need to be ready to fight on September 23. I'm not interested in summer time, vacations or things like that; I'll focus on getting back to shape and hopefully I'll fight in September. I would really like to fight Alistair Overeem, we all know why and I won't let it go. My career is far from being over, I'll be fighting some strong competitors soon again and hopefully I'll meet Fedor in the ring once more in 2009.
Thank you for supporting me and I'll get back to you all soon to keep you updated. "
Changing face, Koscheck ready for UFC 86
Growing up is hard to do. It’s even harder when you’re growing up in front of millions of people on television. But that’s exactly what Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight Josh Koscheck did as a member of the cast for the first season of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show.
Coming onto the show, Koscheck only had a handful of fights and an impressive resume that included an NCAA championship in wrestling at Edinboro University in 2001. What he learned on the show was a first hand lesson in the world of MMA and how reality shows can soon become a reality after the filming is finished.
During the show’s filming, Koscheck became everyone’s favorite bad guy, taunting and prodding at housemate Chris Leben, until the two finally fought on the show. When he won the fight, Koscheck’s intensity only seemed to grow while his protagonists kept at him before and after the season ended.
Now entering his 13th professional fight, facing veteran Chris Lytle at UFC 86 on Saturday night, Koscheck understands that how the fans perceive him could make or break his career as a successful mixed martial artist.
“TV can give you a false sense of who a person is,” Koscheck stated. “So for me it’s all about turning fans around and really showing these fans who I really am as a person. That’s one of the big things I’m trying to do.”
Josh Barnett revisits old rival Pedro Rizzo
UFC, PRIDE and K-1 veteran Josh Barnett (22-5) is perhaps one of the least-known commodities in the upper echelon of the heavyweight division to American fans. But if Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio has his way, "The Babyface Assassin" will soon be a household name.
The first roadblock on that journey is the first man ever to beat Barnett, the heavy-handed Pedro Rizzo (16-7).
Already a legend in Japan, Barnett and Atencio discussed Barnett's upcoming bout with longtime-veteran Rizzo at "Affliction: Banned" today on a media conference call.
"One of my goals is to make Josh famous here (in America), as well," Atencio said. "I think that he deserves the recognition."
For his part, the one-time UFC heavyweight champion downplayed the importance of recognition in his homeland.
"I didn’t do this to become famous," Barnett said. "I did it because I wanted to be the baddest guy on the planet."
Barnett has long been considered among the most talented heavyweights in the world. At just 24, the Washington native defeated MMA legend Randy Couture to become the UFC's heavyweight champion in 2002. A highly controversial steroid scandal followed, and Barnett left the UFC to compete in Japan.