Exclusive: Randy Couture Talks Fedor-Sylvia, Being the “Banned Brand”, and More
MMA legend Randy Couture finds himself in a strange position these days. An ongoing legal battle with the UFC threatens his future as a fighter, and his affiliation with clothier-turned-MMA promoter Affliction has prompted the UFC to keep him and the “banned brand” off any of their broadcasts. Recently Couture talked with Cage Potato about his life as a fighter, the future of MMA, and this summer’s Fedor-Sylvia bout.
CagePotato.com: Thanks for taking the time to talk with me, Randy. How’s everything at Xtreme Couture? It seems like you guys have so many fighters in so many different organizations now. Does it ever get hard to keep track of who is fighting and where?
No, it’s not too hard. We’ve actually just got a big grease board and we just write who’s fighting and where and when and we do a pretty good job of keeping track of it that way. We’ve got new gyms opening up in Long Island and in Toronto. Everything is going really great.
What are your thoughts on Tim Sylvia signing to fight Fedor this summer? You’ve beat Tim, and the Fedor fight is the one you wanted more than any other. How does it make you feel to see Tim get that chance before you do?
I think it’s going to be a great fight. Tim’s a seasoned veteran and he presents some unique challenges with his height and his size. People knock Fedor because he hasn’t fought any top guys recently, but Fedor’s an excellent fighter. It should be very interesting to see how he handles this challenge. I know I’ll be interested to see it. It’s going to be a good one and I hope to be right there at ringside when it happens.
Tito Ortiz: “I Feel Like a Slave”
to Ortiz has been a vocal critic of both Dana White and the UFC payscale for much of his MMA career, so it only makes sense that he would combine his two favorite topics as the last fight on his current contract draws near. A recent video from Throwdown features Ortiz with some incendiary rhetoric and fuzzy logic as he rails against the UFC and his former manager:
“Back then [Dana White] used to fight for things that I believe in. He fought for me to get paid more money…He was the guy battling for me. Now I’m battling against him. I’m not asking the fans for more money. I’m not asking you guys for more money. I’m asking the company that you guys pay for more money.
We’re the modern day gladiators, and we’re getting treated like gladiators…those guys were slaves. I feel like a slave. Yeah, I get paid a little money, but these guys are keeping the big revenue.” .
While the UFC dodges worry, EliteXC isn't as lucky
Having quickly overcome Chuck Liddell's badly torn hamstring and the second lost main event for June 7 in London, the Ultimate Fighting Championship can sit back and await its next pay-per-view attraction, UFC 84, in Las Vegas, knowing it's booked solid back-to-back cards.
Other mixed martial arts promotions, however, are not as fortunate or able to plug in Matt Hughes and Thiago Alves on short notice when things go awry.
Last week it was revealed Drew Fickett, who was set to fight Jake Shields for the vacant EliteXC welterweight belt, had been forced out of the June 14 Showtime-televised clash with a badly injured knee. The question now for the Kimbo Slice-led promotion is what to do with Shields, who is coming off an injury that prevented a bout with Fickett on March 29.
Step one starts Monday, when Shields plans to test his bad back for the first time with hard training and sparring. If healthy, Shields said he'd like to remain on the upcoming Hawaii EliteXC card, even if it's not a title bout.
"I'm pretty sure I'll be fine," the 29-year-old Shields said. "I'm hoping they'll get me a fight in June. If not, they said September, and I don't want to go that long without fighting. That's just way too much ring rust."
According to EliteXC promoter Gary Shaw, the fighter's June wish has been noted.
"My plan right now, as you and I speak, is to fight him on June 14," Shaw said. "The question is, can we get him the right opponent?"
Forrest Griffin: “Jacaré has heavy hands”
The Brazilian Ronaldo Jacaré start at the DREAM middleweight GP at the better possible way. The rear naked choke at Ian Murphy putted Jacaré at the next round of the event and now he waits for the definition of his next opponent. The BJJ world champion, that now is training at Xtreme Couture, at Las Vegas , is attracting attention from his teammates with his strong trains with Forrest Griffin. “I definitely think that he can do well in that category. Apart from been very strong for this weight and also for Heavyweight guys, he has heavy hands”, said Forrest Griffin to TATAME magazine #145, that bring exclusives shots from Xtreme Couture trains.
Quarry discusses new camp, Starnes fight, future challenges
Earlier this month at UFC 83, Nathan "Rock" Quarry (10-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) used everything from Muay-Thai strikes to a playground taunt en route to earning one of the most lopsided decisions in UFC history. His opponent, "The Ultimate Fighter 3" cast member Kalib Starnes (8-3-1 MMA, 2-3 UFC), has since been released from the UFC, and Quarry is anxious to return to the octagon for an opportunity to again prove himself as a top middleweight contender.
Pre Fight Goran Reljic Interview Discussing UFC Debut
MMA Manager: Hello Goran How is your day today?
Goran Reljic: My day is doing great thanks for asking.
MMA Manager: Which city are you stationed in at the moment?
GR: At the moment I am in the beautiful Las Vegas.
MMA Manager: What a pleasant surprise to have you in the US. Is it your first time here?
GR: My first time here, yes.
Mousasi Wants Manhoef in Dream GP
Despite a 20-2-1 record, Gegard Mousasi (Pictures) was a heavy underdog going into Tuesday's fight with Denis Kang (Pictures) in the Dream middleweight grand prix. After his first-round submission win over the Canadian veteran, one can definitely say the role was not justified.
New Bas Rutten interview
This is part one of a two part interview. Check back tomorrow as we should have it ready for you then.
MMAyou.com: Yo Bassito! You ready for the world’s greatest interview?
Rutten: You’re so ******* on the ******* minute man, I love you!
MMAyou.com: Haha, thanks dog, I love you too. You ready to get started?
Rutten: Ready, ready!
MMAyou.com: Alright cool. Well, how are you doing?
Rutten: I’m doing ******* phenomenal.
Cesar Gracie Interview
MMAYOU.com: Thank you Cesar for talking to us at MMAYOU.COM.
MMAYOU.com: Would you like to rematch Frank Shamrock? If you did fight again, what would be your strategy?
Cesar: I think every fighter would want to get another crack at a fight he lost. Get it to the ground and don't strike with a striker.
MMAYOU.com: The Machado brothers were your BJJ teachers for a time. What influence did they have on your game?
Quarry Talks Starnes And The Rock-Hammer
Nate "Rock" Quarry won a unanimous decision over Canadian fighter Kalib Starnes at UFC 83. He also won over a lot of fans for his performance and in-Octagon antics during what turned out to be one of the most bizarre fights in Ultimate Fighting Championship history.
Following his bout with Rich Franklin at UFC 56, Quarry underwent back surgery to repair disc damage from a degenerative condition that resulted in having several vertebra fused together. Many thought his fighting career was over. Defying the odds, he returned nearly two years later at UFC Fight Night 11 with a knockout victory over Pete Sell.
Following his successful comeback, Quarry requested a bout with Kalib Starnes. The bout was turned down by Starnes’ camp. “When I called Joe Silva at first to make my comeback in the UFC, I just thought (Starnes’) style would be perfect for mine and it would be a good warm-up fight for me," Quarry told MMAWeekly.
"(Silva) contacted his camp and the response was, ‘No. We don't want that fight. He just lost. We just won, so he doesn't deserve to fight us.’ At that moment I just kind of made a mental note that some day I'm going to give you a beating if at all possible."
Head Of The Class: ASU Wrestlers Take On MMA
Wrestlers have always had a special place in the world of mixed martial arts. One particular group of wrestlers from Arizona State University have made a mark lately, positioning themselves as the new breed of athletes competing in MMA.
While Arizona State has always been a top school for collegiate wrestling, it has also produced many top MMA fighters including Dan Severn, Dan Henderson, and Don Frye. Now, a new group of grapplers from Arizona State has proven the team still knows how to produce great fighters.
C.B. Dollaway, Ryan Bader, and Cain Velasquez were all a part of the Arizona State wrestling team. Recently, all three have made successful transitions into MMA.
“Basically, when I came to Arizona State, it put me in a great position to be a great collegiate wrestler. I came in with Ryan Bader and Cain Velasquez, it was kind of like a 1-2-3 punch,” said Dollaway about his teammates. “So we all worked out together and my coach Aaron Simpson, who’s a two time All-American who was trying to make the Olympics. Just a bunch of great guys to workout with.”
The work ethic displayed showed on the wrestling mat as all three were All-American wrestlers in their time at Arizona State and it’s that commitment that helped them transition to MMA as well.
Maia Breaks Down UFC Win
Demian Maia (Pictures) scored another impressive victory last Saturday at UFC 83. The Brazilian middleweight used a triangle choke and strikes to subdue Ed Herman (Pictures) and improve his record to 7-0.
411 MMA Interview: The Ultimate Fighter 7’s Amir Sodallah
After coming into the Ultimate Fighter Season 7 with an MMA record of 0-0 many fans began writing into the websites that here comes a fighter who just took up MMA one day and chose the Ultimate Fighter to begin and would as a result be wiped off the show on the first episode. They were wrong as he proceeded to submit his opponent in the first round and would later become Forrest Griffin’s second pick. 411mania’s John Curry sits down with Amir Sodallah to get to know this fighter. After this, Amir has gained himself at least one new fan.
UFC Referee Dan Miragliotta Recounts Run-In With Fan At UFC 83
Many outlets have erroneously reported that a crazed fan attacked 6-4, 296 pound UFC referee Dan Miragliotta who promptly put the fan in a rear naked choke before other authorities arrived to make the arrest.
Miragliotta recounted his side of the story about his run-in with the fan in an email to Mr. Sunshine:
The only thing, is that he wasn’t going after me he was charging either GSP or the ring. I just happened to be in between him and his targets. I was asked by the UFC to help with security when the 2 fighters entered the ring area. They where more worried about Matt then GSP.
Liddell Won't Be Out Too Long
"I hyperextended it," Liddell said. "I probably didn't warm up enough, or it was a freak injury.
"I think I can fight by August," said Liddell, who will need four to six weeks to rehab before he can begin hard training...
Liddell said he was lucky that the partial tear was in the belly of the muscle and not the insertion, so it should heal faster.
After the injury, he continued to train his upper body and was swimming without much stress on his legs, while doctors advised him against fighting.
I think they'll be able to maintain their plan if Chuck wins, which is to have him fight for the title in December. I guess the question now is whether he will fight Rashad Evans or Shogun, who is rumored to be returning around that time.
Random Notes: Dana White on a number of different topics
There was an article posted on the Canadian section of Yahoo! sports on Saturday about UFC president, Dana White. White provided nuggets of information about a variety of different topics.
The part I found the most interesting was when White was asked about if there were plans for the UFC to install a featherweight division (145 lbs.).
UFC 83 Post-Fight Press Conference
--The bonuses were 75,000. Maia won best submission, the Goulet fight got fight of the night, and KO of the night went to Jason Macdonald.
--Matt Serra v. Matt Hughes is probably next for Serra.
--Dana was "amazed" by Jason Day, suggesting he has landed himself a UFC gig.
--Asked about the Quarry / Starnes fight, Dana said “It takes 2 to fight and only Nate came to fight. Starnes is gonna wake up tommorow and wish he’d fought that fight differently.
--Dana said it’s “not a bad idea” for GSP to move up to face Anderson Silva. Asked if GSP could move up to fight Silva but still keep his belt, Dana said he’d have to talk to GSP about it. This is at the same time GSP walks into the room.
--Dana again says Fitch is #1 contender.
--GSP said that getting into an exchange with Serra was the worst thing he could do. Said that a slugfest is like flipping a coin, whoever connects first is going to win. So he never wants to fight like that.
--GSP says he has a lot of jobs to do at 170 before considering a move up in weight. Plus he says he has lots of training partners at 185 and never wants to fight a friend.
--Dana gave props to Demian Maia, said he was impressed.
--Dana said Hughes/Serra was supposed to happen and didn’t happen, so they’ll try to make it happen.
--Quarry talks about getting back into the sport after career ending back surgery. Said he called Kalib out when he first came back and Kalib’s camp refused it because Quarry ‘wasn’t worthy’ so it was something of a grunge match.