Clean and Sober, Evan Tanner Poised for Summer Return
One-time UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner (32-7 MMA, 11-5 UFC), just a few weeks removed from a disappointing UFC 82 loss to Yushin Okami, has agreed to a summer return, and he's already accepted an opponent.
Tanner posted the news on his official website, evantanner.net, stating that he and UFC matchmaker Joe Silva had just spoken about the fight. However, he didn't reveal an opponent or a return date for the summer event.
Tanner stated that it's "good to have a fight scheduled" again because "the last two weeks have been really rough." Tanner suffered a second-round knockout via knee at UFC 82, which soured his long-awaited return from a two-year layoff.
Soon after the loss, Tanner wrote an inspiring blog entry about overcoming his alcohol addiction, saying he was both thankful and relieved that the defeat didn't cause him to relapse. The addiction, which prompted the break from MMA, had previously caused him to become malnourished, and his teeth even began to loosen.
Dream Pre-fight Press Conference (video)
Dream held a press conference Friday in Tokyo, where the promotion introduced the lineup for its debut effort and encouraged the athletes to address the press.
Gesias Calvancante (Pictures), Shinya Aoki (Pictures), Mirko Filipovic (Pictures) and the rest of the fighters on the card made their last public comments on the eve of battle.
Kurt Angle Admittedly NOT Ready for MMA
Although professional wrestling superstar Kurt Angle will compete against UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture in a submission grappling match later this year, don't expect Angle to immediately follow in fellow professional wrestler Brock Lesnar's footsteps -- at least not yet.
"I've always wanted to do (MMA), from after the Olympics, and I just never got the shot," Angle said. "I've been keeping myself in really, really good shape, but not in the fighting shape you have to be in to go into MMA."
Instead, Angle will first try his hand at submission wrestling, which is essentially MMA without striking. The match will be Angle's first in Rico Chiapparelli's Professional Submission League, while Couture has competed in the organization before, battling Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza to a draw. The date of the event has not yet been determined, but Angle believes it will take place in late summer or early fall.
"A lot of people are pretty much counting me out, which I don't blame them," Angle admitted. "But you can't count out an Olympic gold medalist."
Michael Bisping doesn’t deserve fight with Anderson Silva … yet
“It’s flattering to hear some of the fans on Mixed Martial Arts forums think I might be able to beat Anderson Silva…it’s nice to hear comments like that. But right now, if I’m being brutally honest, I don’t think I deserve to be spoken about in those terms. As I’ve said before, I’ve got to establish myself at middleweight. I’m coming off a reasonably successful career at light heavyweight so I suppose that brings some momentum with it but I think middleweight suits me better. I’m performing so much better in the gym. I’m faster, I’m stronger and I feel great. Everyone around me has commented on it – I thought I might have lost a bit of strength moving down but that isn’t the case. My boxing coach tells me I’m hitting a lot harder and my combinations are a lot faster and I’m eager to see what I can do at this weight. I think I can go a long way, but let’s see.”.
Note that this is the same publication that recently attributed comments to “The Count” that “insisted” he could defeat UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva. These latest remarks appear to make much more sense … especially since Bisping is untested at 185 pounds. He makes his middleweight debut against Charles McCarthy at UFC 83: “Serra vs. St. Pierre 2? at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, on April 19.
Bocek on UFC 83: “There’s no way I’m gonna lose in Canada”
On April 19th, the 26-year old Bocek will go for win number two in the UFC when he takes on The Ultimate Fighter
season six winner, Mac Danzig.
“I see it as a really good fight,” said Bocek, “and on paper I think it’s a good style matchup for me. I don’t think he’s fought anyone like me before. This fight’s gonna give me a lot of exposure, and more importantly, get me where I need to be – higher up in the rankings.”
“I’ve been competing since I was 12,” he said. “That’s what I do, that’s all I know. It (fighting in front of a huge hometown crowd) gets your blood flowing but it doesn’t really bother me. I’m used to competing a lot, and there’s no way I’m gonna lose in Canada.”
EliteXC Couldn’t Afford Fedor, Shaw Also has some heated Words for Dana
…at least that’s what was implied in WrestlingonTap’s new quickie interview with EliteXC boss Gary Shaw. When Shaw was asked about Emelianenko’s impending free agency, he said:
We would love to have Fedor with our organization. But Fedor and his people need to be realistic about what they are asking for. He hasn’t had a top fight in awhile. He needs to get back to fighting top competition. In the United States out of sight is out of mind.
we have to agree with the underlying message that Fedor Emelianenko’s name only carries weight with hardcore MMA fans, so maybe his management team should actually develop him into a star before they get all prima-donna-y.
Shaw also had some bitter words for his UFC rival, Dana White:
“First of all Dana should be ashamed of using that type of language. There is no reason for it. Dana thinks that he invented the sport of mma. He is very lucky that he had rich friends in the Fertittas to fund the sport…and even more lucky that SpikeTV bailed him out of a $35 million deficit. It’s no wonder that fighters like Tito Ortiz and others are fed up with him. Dana doesn’t care about the fighters and treating them well…
As far as Dana saying that I was never a fan of mixed martial arts, ask him to produce articles or tape on me saying the things he said I said. It can’t happen. I was watching MMA with my son back when Dana was selling used cars…”
Oooooh! That’s the best “I was doing x when you were still doing y” line since Hillary Clinton hit Barack Obama with “I was fighting against those ideas when you were practicing law and representing your contributor, Rezko, in his slum-landlord business in inner-city Chicago.” Who could forget that zinger!
Thiago Alves Brings in a Ringer
Knowing that Parisyan will likely include his bone-jarring judo background to keep him on track for a title shot, Thiago Alves has enlisted special help to prepare for their fight in the form of four-time national judo champion and former Olympian Rhadi Ferguson, who now resides in Coconut Creek, Florida, and assists American Top Team athletes. Recently Ferguson podcasted regarding the work he's been doing with Alves and had the following comments:
"From studying Karo Parisyan, he has a system that he does which is absolutely phenomenal. I had to break that thing down like a fraction. It's been almost a month and a half now that I've been training with Thiago and we've gone through the ins and the outs of the series... [Thiago's] movement patterns are getting better and he's beginning to "float" real good now, moving like a judo player."
Rashad's in my way - Liddell
Now it is the undefeated Evans who stands between The Iceman and a potential rematch with Rampage, and Liddell warned his opponent that he is on dangerous ground.
“I’m one punch away from knocking somebody out at all times,” he told Setanta Sports News. “I’m planning on giving him his first loss, and I’m looking forward to it.
“He likes to stand and strike, and he tries to be fast on his feet and he has fast hands, and he has a good shot.
“He has good takedowns but I have good takedown defence so it should be a good fight. He’s gonna try to win the fight with speed but I’m going to win it with power.
“We haven’t put together a game plan yet, but my game plan hasn’t changed for years. It isn’t too hard to figure out what I’m going to do, I’m going to stand there and strike.
“I’ll try to stop him taking me down and then when we’re stood up I’ll knock him down. I’m looking for a first-round knock-out.
“It’d make things easier for me if Rampage beats Forrest Griffin; I can get my title shot and revenge on Rampage at the same time.
“The only reason I’m fighting Rashad is because Rampage already had his fight scheduled. I wanna knock Rashad out my way and get my shot at Rampage.
“I had a bad year but I’m on my comeback, I’m feeling good, I want my title so I can finish my career at the top.
“Rashad better be ready because he’s in my way and I’m coming after him.”
Interview: Fedor on UFC, Dana White, Sambo, BJ Penn, Barnett, Rickson & More
In the interview with MMAYOU.com Fedor discusses UFC, Dana White, combat sambo, BJ Penn, Josh Barnett, Rickson Gracie and number of other topics.
- CAMP REPORT: TEAM SITYDOTONG
I'd bet my modest bankroll that this is where they have the Boston TUF tryouts that are supposed to take place. It is right in Somerville on the edge of Beantown and this camp has been getting tons of press.
Josh “The Punk” Thomson about his recovery from shoulder surgery, Frank Shamrock vs. Cung Le
PDG: Your good buddy Frank Shamrock is fighting Cung Le in about three weeks. How do you think this fight will go?
Josh: "Frank is a mystery to a lot of people, no one thought he was going to come out and stand with Baroni but that is exactly what he did. I think that threw Baroni's game off a little bit."
"He thinks his boxing is good and so he will try to use that to get into Cung’s face. I'm sure Frank thinks his boxing is that of a pro-level fighter but I can assure you that it is not. Frank is a legend in his own mind and so he will try to impose that on Cung in this fight."
"I also think deep down in his mind he remembers sparring with Cung years ago and so I'm sure he also remembers how many times he was dropped in those sparring sessions. If he goes into the clinch with Cung, that will be a mistake and he will get thrown to the ground. The bottom line is that the fight always starts on the feet and Cung is better than Frank in the standup game. I have to favor Frank for this fight as far as experience is concerned but I AM GOING TO HAVE TO TAKE CUNG TO WIN THIS FIGHT."
LOYALTY TO B.J. PENN HAS JOE LAUZON PREPARED
To prepare for the fight, Lauzon has been working with his Ultimate Fighter coach, current UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn, with whom Lauzon continues to adjust his fight game.
“Working with B.J. has been amazing. Every day I get to go out and work out with the lightweight champ of the UFC,” he said with exuberance. “I have learned everything from small training habits to ideas on fighting and technique.”
A win for Lauzon would definitely help his continual climb up the lightweight ladder, but he intends on keeping his focus on the fight.
Rich Franklin: ‘Another fight with Anderson wouldn’t be that interesting for fans’
Perhaps the fourth-best fighter at 185 pounds in the world, Rich Franklin, admits that a third fight with UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva is not that attractive. That’s because “The Spider” is kryptonite when it comes to “Ace” — two fights, two lopsided losses and two broken noses. Franklin recently inked a six-fight deal, meaning he has a lot ahead of him. If he and Silva roll in their next few bouts, will that make a third fight between the two any more interesting, maniacs? My Spidey-sense says no, which makes this a potential conundrum for Franklin and the UFC.
“Realistically, another fight with Anderson wouldn’t be that interesting for fans. But (fighting) is how I make money. Whenever I’m at the end of my rope and I take a week away from the gym, I’m anxious to get back. I’m just a competitor.”
to me this is his way of officially announcing that He is Now the Middleweight Gate keeper.
Shogun: "I'll Be Back Likely In August"
Mauricio Rua is planning to undergo surgery Saturday, March 8th. He suffered an injury during the training at UFL Academy.
"I'm calm, I have to operate, there is no other way, I hope Chuck waits for me (laughs)"
Asked how he injured the knee, Rua responded, "I did shit, I was hurt helping a friend in the training, He was running and I held him by the waist and forced my knee"
Also, the former PRIDE Champion stated that he is surprised with his substitute, Rashad Evans, Despite Evans stature here in the US and his undefeated status in the octagon, the Brazilian fighter doesn't know who he is.
Rua is confident about his return to the octagon, "I'll be back likely in August."
WAR RUA's KNEE, to a 100% recovery and nothing less than 100%
Liddell - I want to fight Fedor!
In an exclusive interview with SunSport, ‘The Iceman’ claims Fedor does not live up to his billing as the world’s greatest fighter.
Liddell said: “Fedor’s someone I want to fight because he’s someone I match up well with.
“He’s a ground and pound guy that doesn’t have a great shot. He doesn’t have a great game plan.
“I think I could take him. I think I match up well with him.
“As far as I know he’s never knocked anyone out from his feet and I think he’d have a hard time taking me down.”
And The Iceman admitted a move up to the heavyweight division could happen once he has achieved his goals at light heavyweight.
Cung Le Ready for "Fight of My Life" with Frank Shamrock
"It's definitely the biggest fight of my life, and I'm very excited about the fight," Le said. "I just can't wait to get in the cage with Frank Shamrock to see how good I really am."
"Frank doesn't realize that not only am I a kickboxer, but my style is San Shou, which is punching, kicking, kneeing, sweeping, throwing," Le said. "There's going to be a lot of things for Frank to deal with. I believe that not only am I a kickboxer, I also bring different elements. Kickboxers throw boxing, and they throw the round kicks. They throw the knees. They throw the hard leg kick. I'm a different kind of fighter. I feel like I'm a complete martial-arts stand-up fighter."
While Le does not feel his skill set prevents him from success on the ground, the 35-year-old knows he is best served in this fight by remaining on his feet.
"For me, Frank's a wizard on the ground," Le said. "Why am I going to go on the ground and play the submission game with him? That would be basically getting out of my old element. What I'm good at is the stand-up, so I'm going to keep it on my feet."
Heath Herring Staying with UFC, Wants Title Shot
"He (Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira) just got that title," Herring said. "Let the poor guy enjoy his title a few times before he has to have another battle with me."
Herring has already faced Nogueira three times in his career, coming up short each time (two via decision and one by submission). But those three losses have not deterred Herring from wanting another shot at the UFC's interim heavyweight belt.
"It's starting to get like a bad 'Rocky' movie," Herring joked. "I'd love to take that one, though... I would love to fight (Nogueira) again. I want that belt, I do. I'll be honest. We'll just see what happens."
Herring, who turned 30 the day after his victory over Kongo, feels a change in training practices will propel him to further success in the octagon.
Kevin Randleman to make MMA return and could fight Jeff Monson
Former UFC heavyweight champion, Kevin Randleman, is in negotiations to ink a deal with the Japanese-based World Victory Road promotion to make a return to mixed martial arts action on May 18, according to MMAWeekly.com.
In addition, “The Monster” revealed during the interview that it’s also possible that he will take on Jeff Monson one month later during a Global Fighting Championships (GFC) event penciled in for sometime in June.
That’s an ambitious schedule for a fighter who has not competed since 2006 — a submission loss to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at Pride 32: “The Real Deal.” Not to mention Randleman recently survived a SERIOUS staph infection that could have killed him if went untreated.
Randleman — who is now training with XTreme Couture out of Las Vegas — was also recently stopped for Driving Under the Influence (DUI), intimidating a public officer and other charges in Sin City.
He has satisfied a one-year suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) for providing a non-human urine sample following his loss to Rua.
The two-time NCAA Division I Wrestling Champion from Ohio State University defeated Pete Williams at UFC 23 in 1999 to capture the vacant heavyweight title. Randleman’s title reign was brief, however, when Randy Couture stopped him the following year via technical knockout (strikes) at UFC 28 in round three of their championship bout.
Best of luck on the comeback, Kevin. These last two years have been rough … it’d be nice to see you enjoy some success.