Interview With Evan Tanner
After making his return to action in March with a loss to Yushin Okami after a near two year hiatus from the sport, former UFC Middleweight Champion Evan Tanner will look to get back on the winning track this Saturday, June 21st, when he goes up against TUF 3 winner Kendall Grove. In this MMANews.com exclusive interview, Tanner talks with Chris Howie about a number of topics.
Freddie Roach set to work first MMA Event, Will Corner arlovski in Affliction Fight
Legendary boxing guru Freddie Roach — who has trained a long list of superstars including Oscar De La Hoya, Mike Tyson, Bernard Hopkins, and James Toney, Manny Pacquiao — will enter the world of mixed martial arts on July 19th, when he’ll be working the corner of Andrei Arlovski at Affliction: Banned. According to Fighthype, Arlovski has been developing his hands at Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, in preparation for his bout against Miletich-trained bruiser Ben Rothwell.
Big Nog Talks TUF
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira recently took time out from the taping of Spike's newest edition of their reality TV hit "The Ultimate Fighter", to sit down with Gracie Mag to speak about a variety of topics including his budding rivalry with fellow coach Frank Mir.
“The mood of rivalry between us is getting strong," Nogueria told GracieMag.com. "We see each other here all the time, and I've known his game for awhile. Ever since he submitted Roberto Traven at the UFC, in 2001, he's been known. But you'll see: I'm going to be all over him standing, I’m better than him both standing and on the ground. In the fight with Sylvia the way to the win was clearly on the ground, but against Mir I'm going to show more of what I'm capable of to the world and my fans. I'll always respect him as an adversary, of course. Even more so since he’s trained with Demian Maia and Robert Drysdale.”
Interview with “Big” John McCarty
The past several weeks have brought controversial outcomes to several major bouts. At the center of the controversy at both EliteXC: Primetime and also at UFC 85 a week later was New Jersey-based referee Dan Miragliotta.
Herb Dean also found himself in the spotlight after deducting two points from Nathan Marquardt during UFC 85 bout vs. Thales Leites. Leites was declared the winner, but Marquardt would have won on the scorecards had it not been for the deductions.
“Rampage” Downplays Forrest’s Win Over “Shogun”
I didn’t even watch that fight on tape yet. I was there, but that fight didn’t impress me much. Shogun wasn’t the same. If I watch that fight and try to go off that fight, I’d be misled because Shogun wasn’t 100%. If Shogun was 100% and fights like he normally fights, that would be the fight to watch. Heck, Shogun’s girlfriend could have beat him that night.
Things happen. I think Shogun took the fight with Forrest because he needed it. I don’t think he should have taken the fight on such short notice. I’m a fighter. I can tell how the fighter fought in the past and how they are fighting on that day. I could tell something was up with Shogun that he was hurt.
Cesar Gracie: "You guys might see the Diaz-Gomi rematch"
"If Nick is 100% on, he is the best in the world. If you put Nick somewhere and you say, 'the winner is the fighter that comes out of this cage,' guess who is coming out? Nick Diaz is coming out of that cage. I don't care if it's Georges St-Pierre or whatever. I know he can lose a fight and I know in X amount of rounds this guy can outpoint him, but I know that Nick is a true fighter. He's a warrior wherever he goes," stated Cesar Gracie as he spoke about Nick Diaz and his upcoming clash with Mushin Corbbrey this Saturday. You don't want to miss what else he had to say as he talked more about the Diaz brothers and shared his thoughts on BJ Penn, Georges St-Pierre, Anderson Silva, Jake Shields, Matt Hughes, Frank Shamrock, the EliteXC debut on CBS, a Diaz-Gomi rematch and much more.
Wanderlei Silva Interview
Wanderlei Silva was interviewed by Japanese MMA and pro wrestling mag Kampiro following his brutal 1st round knockout of Keith Jardine at UFC 84, and Wand had an interesting theory about how he got back on the winning track:
Judo Olympian Ronda Rousey Could Be an MMA Star -- If Her Mom Will Let Her
There's a lot to like about Ronda Rousey. She's America's best hope for an Olympic medal in judo this summer, she's a passionate advocate for her sport, and she has a blog that shows she's smart and funny.
Unfortunately, beyond those two weeks in August in Beijing, she's not going to have many opportunities to be in the public eye, or to make a living as a professional athlete. So that's why it makes sense that, as Beau Dure of USA Today reports, she's considering turning her attention to mixed martial arts:
"I have quite a few people who have been trying to get me to do MMA," Rousey says. "A coach has been talking to me about teaching me striking (punches, kicks) after the Olympics....
"My mom's generally not a big fan of the idea, so we'll see if I can convince her,"
Dana White Refutes N.Y. Regulation Is Topic Of "Big Announcement"
As we previously reported, UFC President Dana White made a guest appearance yesterday on CNBC's "Power Lunch" to announce a merchandising deal with JAKKS. During the interview White took time to publicly address rumors that are swirling around the internet involving another big announcement that the UFC has planned for next Tuesday - stating that Floyd Mayweather will not be signing with the UFC, the company will not go public, Vince McMahon will not buy out the Fertitta's and the UFC will not be shown on free TV anytime soon. (Click here to watch the interview)
The nature of the UFC's big announcement has remained secret, but White has boasted that the announcement will reveal MMA's direction over the next five years. Fans and insiders have speculated about the nature of the announcement and a variety of plausible scenarios have surfaced; all from "reliable sources", all appear legitimate and all of this speculation greatly benefits the UFC.
After EliteXC's mainstream success and Affliction signing or partnering up with every big name tough guy out there, including business mogul Donald Trump, is it possible that White and Co. floated a number of these rumors to in order to drum up some interest and get the conversation back onto the UFC? While unlikely, it's certainly not out of the realm of possibility, and the fact remains that all of this speculation can only be good for the industry leaders.
White and the UFC appear to be getting such a kick, not to mention publicity, out of all of the speculation surrounding their impending press conference that they decided to let us all flail about a bit more by pushing back the day of the press conference from this Thursday to next Tuesday. Good business decision, bad for all of us grown-ups who had a tough time waiting for Christmas as kids.
Sam Caplin reported earlier today that he had revealed White's big surprise; an MMA New York sanction, but that was quickly shot down by White himself through German MMA reporter Oliver Copp. Apparently, White told Copp and other reporters in London that the big surprise would not be New York regulation. There you have it.
McCarthy, ABC to Review ‘Grounded Knees'
"Big" John McCarthy will propose legalizing knees to the head of a grounded opponent when the Association of Boxing Commissions meets for its annual convention July 2-5 in Montreal. McCarthy, who retired from officiating in December, made the revelation during Sherdog.com's Beatdown radio show on Monday.
"It's a good technique," said McCarthy, who refereed 535 matches during his 15-year career. "It's a very effective tool, and it opens fights up."
The most recognized referee in the game has met privately with ABC representatives in the last few months to discuss amendments to the sport's Unified Rules of Combat. The ABC will unveil their efforts at its annual gathering, where its membership of nearly 80 state and tribal athletic commissions throughout North America will review them.
McCarthy also addressed the controversy surrounding referee Dan Miragliotta, who was criticized for his officiating in the Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson-James Thompson main event at EliteXC "Primetime" on May 31 in Newark, N.J., and the Brandon Vera-Fabricio Werdum heavyweight matchup at UFC 85 on Saturday in London.
"A lot of people are all over Dan," McCarthy said. "Refereeing - it's opinion. Some people are going to look at you and say, ‘You're right,' and some people are going to look at you and say, ‘You're wrong.' We're all human."
Miragliotta made what many viewed as a crucial error in judgment in the Ferguson-Thompson bout on CBS, when he forced the fighters to stand after Thompson had passed Ferguson's guard and secured side control on the ground in the second round.
"When your opponent gets to side control, there are very few things you can do," said McCarthy, who was offered the chance to officiate the Ferguson-Thompson fight. "When you take a fighter out of side control, you're giving the advantage to one fighter over another. James was in a dominant position, and Dan stood them up."
Everlast to start MMA equipment line in September
Everlast is best known as a century-old boxing gear and equipment company. However, in recent months, the company has ventured into MMA, signing a deal with Randy Couture's Xtreme Couture gym to be their exclusive apparel and equipment sponsor.
Now, in an interview with Brandweek.com, Everlast President Adam Geisler says the company will be coming out with a retail MMA equipment line this september.
Geisler explains why in the interview:
"Everlast is the exclusive apparel and equipment sponsor of Randy's Xtreme Couture Gyms. In September we will launch Everlast's MMA equipment line at retail. We are doing a photo shoot with him [this week] for a print campaign that will run in men's and sports magazines. Randy has left UFC and Mark Cuban's HDNet Fights is trying to set up a match between him and [MMA world-class heavyweight] Fedor Emelianenko. If they fight on pay-per-view it could generate [incredible] numbers. Our brand is strong with consumers 30 and older. With Randy and MMA, we will attract 16-22-year olds, a demo we have had trouble attracting. So the opportunity to speak to these younger consumers is key for us. It's a major opportunity to grow our business."
Vera wants UFC rematch, Werdum says no
Filipino American mixed martial artist Brandon "The Truth" Vera immediately called for a rematch after losing in a first-round battle against Fabricio Werdum of Brazil in their Ultimate Fighting Championship match at London's O2 Arena over the weekend.
"[I'm willing to wait] eight weeks, 10 weeks," Vera said, referring to the regular training period a UFC fighter undergoes before slugging it out in "The Octagon."
Werdum, however, declined Vera's challenge, saying he wants to fight for the UFC championship belt next. The Brazilian said that if and when he snares the crown, he would consider a rematch with Vera following Saturday's "UFC 85: Bedlam."
No rush: MMAmania.com exclusive sit down with Robert Drysdale
Marcelo Garcia, Demian Maia and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza are among a handful of insanely talented and decorated Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialists who have recently made the transition to mixed martial arts.
Their skills are off the charts — “top of the food chain” as Joe Rogan would say — and it is clear that these grapplers are on a totally different level when their fights go to the ground.
It’s a reality that has not been lost on Robert Drysdale — perhaps the most dangerous jiu-jitsu player on the planet today. And he was born in the United States.
For close to 10 years now, Drysdale has been tearing up the world of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, winning medals and finishing some of the best in the business in countless international tournaments. Now the world champion looks to take on a new challenge … mixed martial arts.
Earlier this year, Drysdale left his gym in Brazil to join Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, Nevada. Drysdale is familiar with the Las Vegas area and felt he needed a change of pace. In Drysdale’s case, moving to “Sin City” made perfect sense.
“My family’s from Vegas. I felt like I had enough of Brazil. I felt like I’ve done everything I wanted to do in jiu-jitsu and it was time to move on,” Drysdale said. “Just training in Brazil, I was just distracted, you can get distracted very easy over there.”
Mark Coleman eyes fall UFC return
"It's just going to take some time to heal," Coleman said of his knee. "The good news is no surgery. I'm rehabbing it hard. ... I plan on coming back stronger because of this. I'm building the muscles that are going to take care of my knee even better."
Originally scheduled to face former WWE superstar and decorated amateur wrestling Brock Lesnar in August, Coleman was forced to withdraw from the bout while recovering from the injury. The 43-year-old now hopes to return to action by October at the latest.
UFC Quick Quote: Dana White on UFC 85: ‘Cursed’
“I’m wondering if this kid [Thiago Alves] should be at 170 or not. If this were a title fight, I’d be really pissed. What are you going to do? Matt Hughes agreed to fight him at 175, so it’s not all bad. … I can’t wait to get this card behind me, to be honest with you. Eight guys dropped out. The main event guy can’t make weight. It’s crazy.”
UFC President Dana White shares his thoughts via Yahoo!Sports.com on the fiasco also known as UFC 85: “Bedlam” at the O2 Arena in London, England, on Saturday, June 7. The latest blow was Thiago Alves coming in four pounds heavy four his main event fight with Matt Hughes. For what it’s worth Hughes proves once again that he is such a team player, agreeing to take the fight with Alves at a catchweight with little to no resistance. In addition, the UFC has really demonstrated its superior depth by cobbling together a card that is still ripe with talent. I’m still interested regardless of all the shenanigans.
411mania MMA Interview: The EliteXC’s Gary Shaw
“I had the show on CBS. Dana White watched the show on CBS. That says it all.” –Gary Shaw
Gary Shaw is one of the largest figures behind the up and coming EliteXC company. What many people may not know is that Gary Shaw is no stranger to putting on large-scale successful events as he is also behind the highest grossing boxing match of all time, Mike Tyson vs. Lennox Lewis. Gary Shaw recently took time out to talk with 411mania about the EliteXC, Dana White, and More.
411Mania Mr. Shaw, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to join 411mania. How are you doing today? Tell us a little about your background that led you into MMA.
Gary Shaw "I'm doing great, thanks for asking. I was a former regulator in New Jersey, a boxing promoter and a big fan of the sport of Mixed Martial Arts."
411Mania First of all you just completed the first Prime Time MMA show the CBS Network. Tell us how you thought it went?
GS "I think it was terrific. The company is happy. CBS is happy. The fighters are happy. We pulled the demographics we wanted and the ratings were great. I think it was the best show it could be. There is always room for improvement. We put the show together in two months."
411Mania A lot of fans of who watched the show thought some of the stoppages were a little premature? What are your opinions on that?
GS "You know, the refs are in the best position to determine when to stop a fight. I agree with their decisions. I would rather stop a fight one punch too soon rather than one punch too late."
411Mania One thing I noticed more than anything on the show was your willingness to pay both Smith and Lawler after their stoppage. This seems like something I wouldn't expect from the UFC. How else are you different from Dana White and the UFC?
GS "Dana White has a huge ego and I don't. It is all about Dana White in the UFC and what he can do to help himself. I care about our fighters and organization more than myself. It just comes down to this Dana White cares about Dana White and I care about our fighters and it paid off. I had the show on CBS and Dana White watched the show on CBS. That says it all."
411Mania I have to say there was no better fight to introduce casual fans to MMA than the Robbie Lawler vs. Scott Smith fight. Can we expect to see a rematch between Lawler and Smith?
GS "I completely agree with that statement. It was everything that is good about MMA. We will absolutely see a rematch between them, probably anywhere between August and October. I hope it will be on CBS but it could be on Showtime."
411Mania Apparently you had some issues at the post fight news conference between Kimbo and Rodgers in which Rodgers stated he saw Kimbo tap. You actually had to physically restrain Kimbo while Phil Baroni restrained Rodgers. What happened? Is there any chance we will see Rodgers vs. Kimbo in the near future?
GS "Rogers started trash talking Kimbo, calling him garbage and everything in front of Kimbo. You just don't do that in front of Kimbo. It got ugly real quick. Robbie Lawler stepped in and helped keep them separated. Those two will get a chance to fight each other in the cage eventually."
411Mania There is a lot of concern that the EliteXC is protecting Kimbo Slice. I think there is only so much protection that can be offered in a fight. What is your response to this statement?
GS"That kind of stuff comes from the 23 blogging haters. The guy has had three fights in his career, not 20 fights. We aren't going to rush him into big matchups when the guy only has three fights. Those comments come from those bloggers. We had six million people watch the show. You don't have six million bloggers on your site. Kimbo is the number one most recognizable face in MMA and that is why they are hating on him. They are just jealous. The guy is the greatest striker in the world. "
UFC, Liddell headed to Atlanta in September
We heard from a few reliable sources about the Phillips Arena event, but at the time the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Zuffa hadn't even begun preliminary talks about bringing an event to the state.
Nevermind; UFC president Dana White recently told ESPN The Magazine that the organization is, in fact, heading to Atlanta -- and Chuck Liddell is headlining the event.
White told the magazine about the fight date and Liddell's involvement:
The fight is going to be in Atlanta, Georgia -- that's something we haven't said publicly yet. There's something no one else has heard.
Rematch Between Paulo Filho and Chael Sonnan Set For September 10
Paulo Filho and Chael Sonnen are finally set to rematch on September 10th. The two were originally scheduled to rematch on March 26th in order to settle a disputed Filho win at UEC 31 back in December.
In that fight, Sonnen appeared to be controlling the action well into the second round before Filho caught him in an armbar. Sonnen did not appear to tap, but yelled while the armbar was secured causing the referee to stop the fight via verbal submission. Sonnen disputed the stoppage and called immediately called for a rematch which was eventually granted for March 26th.
However, Filho was unable to make weight for the fight and was purported to be suffering from chemical dependency and depression according to his management, who declared Filho ready to fight now.
MMA Submission: An Interview With Dana White
Get a load of Dana White's schedule this week. The UFC president spent two days in New York on business, then flew right to London for this weekend's pay per view. Then he's flying back to New York for more meetings. "It's a little crazy right now," he says with a laugh. "But in a good way. This sport is blowing up."
The Mag caught up with him for a wide-ranging question and answer session about everything from this weekend's pay-per-view to Kimbo Slice. He couldn't answer some questions about pending deals (including an announcement he's planning for next week, an announcement he says will rock the MMA world). Other questions, such as his thoughts on Slice, he had plenty to say.