Alistair Overeem Responds to Junior dos Santos: ‘I Think He’s Afraid to Fight Me’
Last weekend following the action at UFC on Fox 4, UFC President Dana White revealed the news that heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos has requested to face Alistair Overeem next instead of Cain Velasquez.
Velasquez was the de facto No. 1 contender after his win at UFC 146, and originally he was rumored to face the man that took the UFC heavyweight title from him at UFC 152 in Toronto this September.
Delays kept happening and the fight never materialized, but then it was revealed that dos Santos had asked to face Overeem instead because he was a ‘punk’ and had been running his mouth too much of late.
Now Overeem has responded after speaking to UFC Tonight, and his belief is that dos Santos really doesn’t want the fight to happen in the first place.
Frank Mir Excited by Matchup With Daniel Cormier, Explains TRT Usage
Frank Mir was smack in the middle of taking the summer off to spend time with his family when the powers-that-be came to him with an unexpected offer. Just two months after unsuccessfully bidding for the UFC heavyweight championship, Mir was given an option to move over to sister company Strikeforce, just for one night, to face its recent Grand Prix winner, Daniel Cormier.
It was only months earlier when the UFC had asked B.J. Penn to move to Strikeforce and fight lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez, so while what they were asking him to do was not unprecedented, his answer was...
With Mike Van Arsdale's Departure, Mario Sperry in as New Blackzilians Head Coach
One of MMA's powerhouse teams has a new head coach. Mike Van Arsdale, who has been the man running the show since the group's inception, has decided to relocate to Arizona to be closer to his family and start his own gym. In as his replacement is grappling legend Mario Sperry, who has been coaching at the gym since earlier this year.
Authentic Sports Management CEO Glenn Robinson confirmed the changes to MMA Fighting on Monday, saying they had been in the works.
The news first trickled out through social media, with Van Arsdale soon confirming his departure through Twitter. But, Robinson said, Van Arsdale's westward move does not mean the end of the relationship between the two sides.
"Mike is a good friend and always will be," he told MMA Fighting via e-mail. "His kids missed him as they lived in Arizona and he lived here and went back and forth. He went home to be more with his wife and five kids. He will come back here whenever we need him for a camp and is always part of our family and will be back a lot."
ONE FC CEO Victor Cui says “Billions will be watching live events” on the ONE FC Network
Victor Cui is the CEO and Owner of ONE FC, the Largest and most Prestigious Mixed Martial Arts promotion in Asia. I have been a fan since their first show, ‘Champion Versus Champion’. In less than one year they have become easily the second most viewed promotion in the world. I was truly honored to have Victor call me on the phone to discuss the present and future of ONE FC and MMA in Asia.
It wasn’t a Q & A type of interview, it was more like a genuine discussion about ONE FC. Victor is genuinely excited about everything they are doing right now and has an amazing grasp of the situation he and his company are in.
Victor, thank you so much for the call, how is everything on the 25th floor of the North Tower in Singapore today?
Its great Zeus, and its good to speak with you again.
I was talking to one of my friends who isn’t a big MMA fan, and I was trying to tell him what makes ONE FC different than every other MMA promotion. I came up with this: ONE FC is like an Art Gallery,the biggest and best Art Gallery you could ever want to see. ONE FC displays art(Fights) from their own talented artists (fighters), but they also work with other studios (Smaller promotions) to put together a huge exhibit. By being a venue more than being a brand, ONE FC lends credibiltiy to other promotions and fighters as well as their own.
That’s a great analogy of what we do, Zeus.
We are just a little over a month away from ONE FC: Pride of a Nation, and everyone is really looking forward to that.
Is it coming that soon? I’d lost track. (laughs)
UFC Won't Match McCall with Dodson
In this past week's podcast, Ian "Uncle Creepy" McCall told us that the UFC does not want to match the consensus #3 and #4 fighters in the UFC flyweight division against eachother.
Apparently because McCall is coming off a loss, and Dodson a win; the UFC brass don't see the match-up as one they want. McCall told us that we would take a fight against Louis Gaudinot, the next best flyweight in the UFC.
Obviously, the 125-lb division needs bolstering in the UFC. Kind of disappointed the UFC doesn't want to match Creepy with Dodson.
(Interview about 1:00:00 in)
Kendall Grove Back With Tito Ortiz To Improve His Wrestling Game
Grove the winner of The Ultimate Fighter Season 3 was cut from the UFC after back to back losses to Demian Maia and Tim Boetsch, since leaving the UFC Grove has gone (3-1) most recently defeating Derek Brunson via split-decision.
I was training for a five-foot-nine stand-up boxer (in Terry Martin) and then four days before the fight I found out I had to fight six-foot-one wrestler Derek Brunson and had to switch it up last minute.
He also comments on travelling to Big Bear from his native Hawaii to train with his former Ultimate Fighter 3 coach Tito Ortiz.
I’m actually headed out to Big Bear to help Tito train for his upcoming fight (at UFC 148),” said Grove. “Definitely training with Tito is going fill a loss in my game, which is my wrestling. I’d like to get back into that, the high-caliber wrestling, that I lack that here in Maui.
Bart Palaszewski Now Fighting Out of Jackson's
We spoke with Bart Palaszewski tonight, and he informed us that he is going to change things up and fight out of Jackson's from now on.
This is news to the MMA landscape, as he had not announced it formally.
(Interview about 55 minutes in)
We'll see if this boosts him up the ranks to be able to eventually fight for the 135-lb. crown!
Shogun Sets the Record Straight on Refusal of Teixeira Fight
“They offered Glover for us. I talked with my team and we decided that Glover would not be interesting right now. Glover is a top fighter, I know him, I respect him. But he just got into the UFC and he has only one fight in the UFC. He needs to get more fights. I had nothing to gain with that fight.
“We said to the UFC that for now this fight is not interesting to me. After that the UFC offered me Brandon Vera. But the UFC has never thought to cut me nor have I thought to leave the UFC. I’ve never picked my opponents. I’ve fought against the best and I want to keep doing it, to get my chance for the title.
“For sure Glover is a top fighter but today if I beat him then I would gain nothing so we decided to refuse this fight. But in the future, it can happen.”
Manager: Shogun Rua Taking High Road Following Dana White Revelation
Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and his team are done talking about UFC 149 and Glover Teixeira.
Less than a week after UFC president Dana White said on the UFC on FX 3 post-fight show that Rua told him he would rather be cut from the UFC rather than fight Teixeira at UFC 149, his manager Julio Heller told MMAFighting.com that they would have no further comment on the situation...
UFC Pres Dana White Puts NSAC On Blast After Controversial Pacquiao vs. Bradley Decision
Even the MMA world is up in arms about the decision handed down after Saturday night’s professional boxing bout between Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley.
The world championship bout went all 12 rounds with nearly everyone, except the official Nevada Athletic Commission appointed judges that is, scoring the fight overwhelmingly in Pacquiao’s favor… as in most people thought Pacquiao had won eight to 10 rounds.
What does boxing have to do with MMA you say?
Bob Sapp Denies Throwing Fights, Calls Himself 'a Pioneer' of MMA
Bob Sapp knows what you think of him. He reads the headlines about his "tour of surrender." He hears the talk about how disgraceful he is to the sport.
Really, all that's fine, because as long as you're talking about him, he can continue to do what he needs to do -- which happens to be losing 12 of his 13 MMA and kickboxing fights since 2011, almost all of which ended in the first round through varying levels of absurdity. But despite the circus that now surrounds Sapp, just don't ever say he throws his fights.
"Am I throwing these fights? No. Will I go into that ring and receive large amounts of damage for small paychecks? No," Sapp asserted vehemently on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour.
Rampage and Matt Brown on MMA@Work tonight!
This week hosts Josh "BlueSkiesBurn" Webb and Mike Hammersmith, who is filling in for Tim "gartface" Herb, welcome none other than Rampage Jackon to the show along with Matt Brown! They will also be giving away 3 BJ Penn fatheads, so make sure you tune in tonight at 6:30EST!
'Minotauro' Nogueira Joins Brazil's 'Dancing with the Stars'
Move over Chuck Liddell.
Being one of his country’s most popular athletes led to an unusual invitation for former Pride Fighting Championships heavyweight titleholder Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, who will participate in “Dance of the Famous” -- Brazil’s version of “Dancing with the Stars.” The competition will be part of “Domingao do Faustao,” the top-rated Sunday afternoon television show on Rede Globo.
“I’ll dance,” Nogueira told Sherdog.com, a laugh in tow. “They called me to do it, and I’ll be there. It’s an opportunity to expose MMA to people who have never seen it. My grandmother, for instance, will attend ‘Dance of the Famous,’ but she doesn’t watch my fights...
White threatens no UFC in CA if AB 2100 passes
UFC head Dana White has threatened to cease holding events in the state of California if a controversial piece of legislation passes in the state. Assembly Bill 2100 was introduced last Wednesday and is supported by the Culinary Workers Union while opposed by the UFC among others.
Via San Jose Mercury:
(Assembly member Luis) Alejo wants to eliminate what he sees as abusive contracts, freeing up fighters to make Assembly Bill 2100 would prevent promoters from claiming unreasonable future merchandising rights, prevent unreasonable restrictions on fighters’ seeking outside sponsors and prohibit other onerous contract provisions.
Pay-Per-View Could Be in Bellator's Future
When Bellator lost its middleweight champion Hector Lombard to the UFC last week, it was at least partially because in the UFC's offer, they monetized the deal through pay-per-view. That avenue isn't available to Bellator right now, but within two years, it might be.
As Bellator grows internationally through its major deal with distribution giant Fremantle Enterprises, and makes its move domestically to Spike, new opportunities will arise. And that could mean that at some point, Bellator will try out the pay-per-view format.
Organization CEO Bjorn Rebney told MMA Fighting that the promotion is considering all of its options when it comes to producing live content, but that Bellator would only make the move to pay-per-view under the right circumstances.
"I think what you’ll see is as this is monetized and that sector plays out, it’ll play out with the big fights on that platform," he said in a recent interview. "You need that kind of platform for what they’re doing. We may get there. I never wanted to make a firm commitment to it as far as when and if we’ll get there, though. It’s really something that we might do, but it needs the right fights and the right talent to get you there."
Tito Ortiz ponders future in the WWE
Former UFC light-heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz expects Forrest Griffin to be his final fight with the promotion on July 7, and he hinted his future could be in the WWE.
In his prime Ortiz defended the 205lb belt more times than any other before or after him. A devastating ground-and-pound exponent, the Huntington Beach Bad Boy became one of the most popular figures in the sport.
However, a run of injuries has led to him winning just one of his last eight fights, and it is widely expected that he will bow out against Griffin. The pair have won one fight each, so this settles the trilogy.
"It's my final hurrah, Forrest brings the best out of me and vice-versa, and on July 7 we're gonna get some late fireworks," Ortiz told ESPN.
"I've had some major surgeries but I took the fights anyway, and I've shown that I'm able to compete. A lot of athletes don't compete with injuries, but I have. Those fights with Forrest were tight, and a completion of the trilogy should be the right way to end my career...
Tito Ortiz content with upcoming retirement, hoping for UFC front-office job
Yes, Tito Ortiz is going through with his planned retirement. His UFC 148 bout with Forrest Griffin will be the final one of his illustrious career.
For real. Seriously. No joking, you guys.
While some fighters find retirement too uncomfortable and a return to the cage too enticing, the 37-year-old Ortiz told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) he's preparing himself mentally for the end of the line.
"It's my last fight after 15 years," Ortiz told MMAjunkie.com while in Stockholm for promotional duties and fan events at UFC on FUEL TV 2. "I don't know what it's going to feel like to walk out for the last time, step in the octagon for the last time, to walk out of the octagon for the last time. Honestly, man, I don't know what to expect."
In fact, Ortiz (16-10-1 MMA, 15-10-1 UFC) said he recently signed a contract for his bout with Griffin (18-7 MMA, 9-5 UFC), which is part of the pay-per-view main card of UFC 148. The bout takes place July 7 at Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena. As Ortiz put pen to paper for the fight, just that simple act put him in a nostalgic mood...
UFC on FUEL TV 2's Brian Stann says military past now staying private
Brian Stann has trotted out his Marine past for the benefit of his past two MMA employers on many occasions, including his upcoming fight with middleweight Alessio Sakara at Saturday's UFC on FUEL TV 2 event.
He's done it to the point where some fans have wondered if it's his only selling point.
Stann, of course, has always said he's trying to help the gears of promotion, not trying to exploit honor.
But a recent appearance FUEL TV's "UFC Ultimate Insider," which hyped his upcoming fight with Alessio Sakara at UFC on FUEL TV 2, proved too invasive even for him. Now, he's drawing boundaries as to what can and cannot be discussed.
"I don't have to go through those memories of my life with other people," Stann told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "Those are my private memories. I did it once. It's out there. I hope that it was for the better of the sport. I hope it was for the better of the men and women who served, and let it be that."
Frank Mir, The Constant Heavyweight Contender
Frank Mir seems to always be just one win away from a title shot. The constant contender has fought in four UFC championship bouts, and if he gets past Cain Velasquez at UFC 146, he’ll be fighting for a UFC championship belt for a fifth time.
He’s seen the highest of highs and the lowest of lows during his career to this point. He rose to the top of the heavyweight division at a young age. He debuted in the organization at just 22 years old. By the time he was 25, he was UFC heavyweight champion.
Before he could defend that title, Mir was involved in a motorcycle accident suffering a broken femur. Many questioned if he’d ever get back to where he once was in the sport. And his comeback performances following the injury fueled the doubters’ belief that Mir would never be the same...