Rich Franklin Makes Case For 195-Pound Division, But Still Wants Middleweight Gold
Unofficially, Rich Franklin sees his UFC 147 main event matchup with Wanderlei Silva as his return to the middleweight division, even though the duo will only have to step on the scale and hit 190 pounds in order to make their fight official. The catch weight stipulation was a concession to Franklin taking the bout on short notice and having to travel from Singapore to the US to Brazil in the interim.
Just days from the fight, Franklin believes he could have made 185 pounds, and when he does the next time, it will be his first time at the weight since April 2008. After moving to light-heavyweight, Franklin has gone 3-3, though two of those fights are notably at 195-pound catch weights.
"I really don't have an opinion one way or another," he said. "I know originally, the UFC had the five weight classes and they were trying to avoid having so many champions that people would lose track of them, much like what happened with boxing. There are so many weight class champions that you can't name half of the belt-holders in the sport of boxing, and I think the UFC was somewhat trying to avoid that. With time, we've put in these smaller weight classes, so there are so many more weight classes that definitely, an argument could be made for a 195-pound weight class."
Jon Fitch says BJ Penn is ducking him by going after younger guys
"There is so many guys out there right now to fight. I just need to get a good fight against somebody, top 10 or top 15. Now that B.J. (Penn) is back, that would be fun to settle that finally, but, I don't think he wants a piece of me so he is going after young guys."
When asked if he thought "Baby J" was "ducking" him, Fitch simply stated:
"Yeah, I do."
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 Octagon Girl’s repertoire includes kick to boyfriend’s nose, arrest reports indicate
A heated argument early Saturday morning in a Wynn hotel room led to the arrest of UFC Octagon Girl Arianny Celeste and her boyfriend, Metro Police said.
Celeste, 26, whose real name is Arianny Lopez, and her boyfriend, 34-year-old Praveen Chandra, each were arrested on a count of battery domestic violence, according to arrest reports released Tuesday.
A Wynn employee heard a crashing sound from a room and saw Lopez come running out of the room shortly after 4:30 a.m., the reports state.
Lopez told police her boyfriend choked her and grabbed her right arm during an argument about text messages, the reports said. Officers noted that Lopez had scratches on her right arm.
Detectives interviewed Chandra who said Lopez kicked him in the nose in a limousine, where the argument started, the reports said.
UFC champion Jon Jones arrested on DUI charge, management 'still gathering facts'
One of the biggest and most marketable stars in the UFC has been arrested on suspicion of DUI.
Jon Jones, the UFC's reigning light-heavyweight champion, was arrested early this morning after crashing his Bentley in Binghamton, N.Y.
Jones' management team confirmed the arrest today but stated, "The facts of this situation are still being gathered and situated."
The Broome County Sheriff's department reportedly took Jones, 24, into custody earlier today at approximately 5 a.m. ET, according to TMZSports.com. According to the report, he crashed his car into a utility pole, and his mom bailed him out a few hours later...
Ex-MMA Fighter Threatens To Kill UFC Prez
UFC Prez Dana White is on the receiving end of some terrifying death threats from an ex-MMA fighter who says he plans to "shoot [Dana] right in the head" -- and now cops are on the case.
It's unclear what started the beef, but the wannabe fighter -- Dan Quinn -- has gone off the hinges, leaving voicemail messages threatening to blow up Dana's offices and put a bullet in the back of his head.
Quinn's fighting career spanned nine years from 2001-2010. He never fought in the UFC, but did face off against a couple of future UFC fighters, including 2004 heavyweight champ Frank Mir (Quinn got beat).
Quinn has made rambling threats against White for several years on YouTube, but they escalated recently after Quinn somehow got Dana's private work number and left chilling messages...
Braulio Estima Responds To Cesar Gracie's Statement In A Big Way
Braulio's words to Cesar:
@CesarGracieBJJ Hi César i was reading yr statement. vry interesting points..
1st- When junior approached me 2 Offer me the fight I was actually training at the blackzilians at the time so obviously I was training Mma. Junior told me abt nick not wanting 2 fight an Mma fighter. I nevr fought before so he said it was fine & y u dnt cancel the fight before if ths was really an issue..??
2nd- nobody has ever bended no rules for me. Because there was no rules set to start off with, it wasnt going to be a UFC match but a superfight on a BJJ Expo so the whole point here was for us to show a fight..has Nick signed a contract that stated the date time and weight that we both need to reach? I didn't. And since this whole thing was going to be a friendly event I really don't see any issue here even if Nick turned up 10lbs overweight.
Rest of Braulio's statement:
Still when asked I went and dropped the weight to meet the requirement. Actually to put things straight it was myself that called Junior around 10pm Friday to check if there is going to be a weigh in at all. He kept contacting you and got back to me saying I need to be 180 that time, of course I said I can't for the simple reason I was away in Irvine and it was already late at night but I said sure no problem I'll make it first thing in the morning if needed, even if it would put me in a bigger disadvantage I didnt care I just came to fight. Junior had actually called me back no later than midnight that he spoke to you and confirmed the weigh in for 10am.
Besides when did Nick actually weigh in? And who witnessed that if we are being so strict and proffessional?
3rd - you are saying Nick had left by 10am Saturday morning? Why you never said anything then? I even asked you I'd like to see him and his weight and you said he's not gonna come down because he ate already and wouldn't make the weight anymore. And Lana after speaking to you called his room and said he was actually there sleeping. Nobody at any point had mentioned he could have left. Leaving me believing we would fight till the very last minute, now youre talking about lack of proffesionalism in the organisation of the superfight and this was very professional behaviour right?
There is many more points here that I don't agree with but I am just fed up of this whole situation and don't agree for anyone to ever release the blame from Nick for whatever reason, we were there to fight and that's what should happen no excuses, we are both professional athletes and should respect one another no matter what. And this is inexcusable.
Cesar Gracie Provides Statement On Nick Diaz No Show For Braulio Estima Match
My decision to write an account of what happened this weekend is not to answer to the detractors of myself or my team, as no explanation is owed them. It is instead based on my acknowledgement and respect to our fans and supporters. I never thought I would be answering for something that happened at a grappling tournament, however with the worldwide popularity of the sport and my team increasing, I understand that our supporters need answers.
Below is a compilation of events in chronological order. I included the behind the scenes problems we had to let you, our supporters, know how things deteriorated.
In the month of February I was contacted by a Brazilian named Junior asking me if I wanted to participate in an Expo\Jiu-jitsu tournament. The goal was to put one of our team’s stars in the event to attract sponsors and ensure it was successful. The event was not that far away and they desperately needed exposure. Junior stated that he was working with my uncle Rilion and my cousin Renzo on this project and they were in fact partners. Rilion and Renzo are 2 people that I greatly admire and respect and I was more than happy to partner up with them.
I discussed the idea with Nick Diaz and he readily agreed to enter in the black belt gi division. He did not seek any reimbursement. Junior thought it better for Nick to do a super fight as he thought this would be more of a spectacle and bring in more attention. Nick was not as enthusiastic but agreed on the condition that whoever was picked to go against him was not an mma fighter. He knew even a mediocre mma fighter would try to use a match and/or victory over him to further their career in mma. Nick believes a reputation as a fighter should only be earned in a ring or cage.I relayed this to Junior and he agreed to arrange for a strict jiu-jitsu competitor.
In March I received the disturbing news from Rilion that Junior had broken his agreement with him. Rilion stated to me that Junior was registering all World Jiu-jitsu Expo names under his name alone and was no longer taking his phone calls. When contacted by me, Junior stated that he would no longer honor his financial obligations to Rilion because “Rilion was doing nothing and treats me like one of his clerks”.
He then went on a tirade about Rilion which I interrupted and reminded him that Rilion was my family member and I would not listen to someone speaking negatively about him.
This rift left me in a dilemma. My instinct was to sever ties immediately. Rilion was my original jiu-jitsu instructor and his reputation as an honest person was impeccable. On the other hand we had already committed Diaz and Caio Terra. Our removal would destroy an event Renzo provided all of the funding for.
I consulted with Rilion who advised me to move forward with the event. He was the one that had brought Renzo into this project and convinced Renzo to fund it. He also still believed in the idea of an American tournament that paid the best BJJ guys on the planet to showcase their skills. We agreed to move forward without him since at this stage Junior had entrenched himself and his removal was impossible. Lastly Rilion warned me that Junior was not to be trusted and would undoubtedly try to cheat me and Renzo.
In early April I got the call from Junior asking what I thought of a Braulio Estima vs Nick Diaz matchup. I had heard of Braulio and knew he was a formidable jiu-jitsu practitioner. I was under the impression that Braulio competed in the close to 200lbs weight category.
When I asked Junior he assured me that Braulio could weigh in as little as 175 lbs right before the match.
I presented his information to Nick who accepted the matchup and seemed happy to go against the top BJJ player in the world at that weight. Nick started training for the match and I brought up several BJJ black belts to compliment his training.
Looking through some of Estima’s youtube videos, it was soon discovered that he had in fact been planning on entering upon a career in mma. We wondered if the match with Diaz was a way to create a buzz around him and get him signed with a prominent organization.
I called Junior who assured me Estima would not be fighting in mma and that he had spoken with him and been assured he had given up on the idea of ever fighting. Junior reiterated, “Cesar I spoke with Braulio, the guy is in his 30's, he has a family and doesn’t want to live that type of life at this stage in his life…etc”
I repeated this info to Nick. A week or so later it was all over the Internet that Braulio had joined the “Blackzillians” and was training for an mma fight. We had been lied to. Furthermore it was evident that Nick’s sole condition that he not go against a wanna be mma guy was violated and this was in fact an attempt by Braulio to ignite an mma career.Nick was to have been accurately portrayed as a fighter returning to his BJJ roots. He had even agreed to give his entire purse to charity; St Jude’s Children’s Hospital for kids with cancer. If you know the story of Ralph Gracie’s son you would understand why this charity was chosen. Nick’s name having been added to this event had saved it but now it was clear he was to be the patsy, not respected but used.
Despite all of this Nick was still going to compete. He brought up Kron Gracie and prepared himself. Around this time I was informed by Junior that Braulio wanted to weigh in the day before and not right before the match as is the custom in IBJJ competitions and Abu Dhabi. At the time Nick was about 186lbs so I consented to both guys weighing in at 180lbs the night before.
Nick boarded a plane on Friday for Long Beach having cut 6 pounds for the weigh in that night. On his way there I got a call from Junior telling me Braulio would not be making weight! ”Cesar Braulio is complaining about the weight cut. Can we have him weigh in tomorrow? He can’t make the weight tonight how about 185 in the morning?”
Nick arrives in Long Beach to the news that there will be no weigh ins that night. As a professional with over 30 fights this was the final straw. The disrespect and total lack of professionalism given him convinced him he was at a circus not a professional event.
At 3:20 in the morning I received a text from Junior that Braulio would in fact make the 180lbs weight class at 10:00AM. With no other option available I said fine I’ll check with Nick in the morning. At 10:00AM Braulio did weigh in at 180lbs but by that time Nick had already left.
As a Brazilian I love Brazil but not all things Brazilian. In the last decade I have witnessed Brazilian cronies running the IBJJF and making it impossible for Americans to get a fair shake when competing against their Brazilian countrymen. These cronies have instituted rules to where if you miss weight by even half a pound you are disqualified and not refunded your entry fee. They gladly keep your money and treat you like crap in your country because they can. One of these cronies (Junior) decided to bend all the rules for Braulio Estima and treat Nick Diaz like crap. Sorry that didn’t work out here.
As for Braulio I still respect him as a great BJJ artist. As far as calling Nick out for a mma fight, he knows that is impossible because Nick is signed with the UFC and in mma you have to make weight when they want you to. Not when you want to. If Braulio ever finds success in mma then he can mention Nick’s name for a fight. Right now he should respect the man.
Nick is not without fault by any means. His lack of communication with his team and coach was inexcusable. This will be addressed privately.
Renzo and I have spoken and we are committed to continuing with this otherwise awesome event….without the services of Junior.
It should be noted that Nick paid to St Jude’s Children’s Hospitable the sum of what would have been his entire purse.
You have my apologies and my respect
'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...
UFC on FOX 3 headliner Jim Miller using walkout shirt to benefit nephew's foundation
Jim Miller will carry a heavy heart into Saturday's UFC on FOX 3 headliner with fellow lightweight Nate Diaz.
But it'll be covered on his way to the cage with a TapouT walkout shirt he hopes will raise some serious funds for his nephew's foundation.
Miller, who fights in his home state for Saturday's network-televised event, and clothing giant TapouT are donating $10 from every shirt sold to a foundation set up for brother and fellow UFC fighter Dan's young son.
"We did a signature limited-edition T-shirt with TapouT, and they were generous enough to donate at least $10 per shirt to my nephew's foundation, the Daniel James Miller Foundation," Miller said of the project.
The DJM Foundation is named after "Danny," who was born to Dan and Kristin Miller in January 2010 with autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (PKD). He undergoes daily dialysis and physical therapy after losing all kidney function. An upcoming kidney transplant is scheduled, but Danny will remain on costly anti-rejection medication for the remainder of his life.
The foundation has been set up to help with the costs of the transplant and medication, which aren't covered by insurance. The UFC was one of the first supporters of the foundation, and now TapouT has lent its support...
State of Nevada Rebuts Nick Diaz Lawsuit
Last Tuesday, UFC welterweight Nick Diaz filed a lawsuit against the Nevada state athletic commission, claiming that the state regulation agency violated his right to due process by declining to grant him a hearing on the status of his fighter's license within 45 days of his suspension.
According to the state of Nevada's office of the attorney general, the legal move is misguided. That is because Diaz's legal team, headed by Ross C. Goodman, cited a "summary suspension" of Diaz's license in his court filing. According to Nevada's state codes, a summary suspension can be ordered if an agency finds that "public health, safety or welfare imperatively require emergency action."
But in a written response from Nevada attorney general Catherine Cortez Masto to Goodman and forwarded to MMA Fighting, the state of Nevada asserts that Diaz's legal team misunderstood the suspension...
Nick Diaz Sues Nevada Athletic Commission, Claims Due Process Rights Violated
UFC welterweight Nick Diaz has filed a lawsuit against the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) for alleged violations of statutory law and his Constitutional rights to Due Process.
Diaz, acting through his lawyer Ross C. Goodman, filed it in Nevada on Tuesday, April 24th. Diaz's motion for a preliminary injunction was filed Thursday.
The lawsuit is related to a failed drug test by Diaz that was conducted by the NSAC. It was announced on Feb. 9th the Stockton, Calif. native tested positive for marijuana metabolites from a test administered after his UFC 143 bout with Carlos Condit. He was subsequently given a summary suspension by the NSAC.
The suit is asking the court to immediately stay the summary suspension handed out to Diaz by the NSAC as well as to enjoin the NSAC from going ahead in any further disciplinary proceedings. Diaz's complaint also asks the court to declare his due process rights have been violated by the NSAC's failure to promptly convene a hearing to determine the merits of the disciplinary complaint against him.
Diaz's suit centers on three allegations, two of which relate to statutory complaints for which he seeks injunctive relief -- namely, to have the temporary suspension lifted and to not be required to go any further punitive proceedings. The other allegation focuses on Diaz's due process rights, the NSAC's violation of which entitles Diaz to both injunctive and declaratory relief, according to the lawsuit...
Chuck Liddell would entertain Octagon return for title fight versus Jon Jones
Chuck Liddell was one of the greatest champions in the history of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). As the 205-pound strap owner, he defended his belt four consecutive times, during a two-plus year period where he went undefeated.
"The Iceman" was a pioneer, who held a cult-like following of mixed martial arts (MMA) fans who swore by his legend. Some of them even cut their hair like him, mimicking his trademark mohawk.
But "Father Time" caught up with Liddell, as he does, ever so cruelly, with us all.
During a three-year stretch, Liddell painfully dropped five of his last six fights; four of which came by way of (technical) knockout. It was hard to watch, and when UFC President Dana White finally forced him to hang up the eight-ounce gloves, there were few who objected to the decision.
Liddell recently did an interview with "UFC Tonight," where he discussed that decision, as well as what life is like for him after professional fighting. He's comfortable being a father, a businessman and a fight fan. He's in no hurry to step back into the Octagon, but there is one fight he'd seriously consider coming out of retirement for.
The answer may surprise you:
"The only thing that would even make me think about it is if they gave me a shot at the title. So, we'll see. For now? Yeah. Jon Jones. I don't wanna come back as a sideshow. It's just one of those things. It's not something I wanna do."
Liddell went on to comment about "Bones" and the current tear he's been on, as he continues to carve notches into his belt for every big name he puts down in the Light Heavyweight division.
Chuck was highly complimentary, but he was honest about the possibility of Jones eventually meeting his match:
"I'll never say never. Not in this sport. Anybody can lose at any time. If he keeps doing what he does, he's gonna be hard to beat if he keeps doing what he's doing. He follows his game plan. He trains hard. He keeps learning. He's young and he's athletic and a great athlete. He's a great guy. He's gonna be hard to beat, but I'm never gonna say no one's gonna beat him."
Doctor who prescribed Alistair Overeem medication popped in 2004 for dealing 'controlled substances'
And the plot thickens...
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight Alistair Overeem, who appeared in front of the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) today (April 24, 2012), has attributed the results of his failed drug test back on March 27 to anti-inflammatory medication he received out of competition to help with his recovery from a rib injury.
That medication, which included self-injections containing testosterone, was prescribed by performance-enhancement doctor Hector Oscar Molina, who was referred to "The Reem" by former UFC fighter Tra Telligman.
The same Dr. Hector Oscar Molina that was fined $25,000 and slapped with restrictions on his practice for three years for "prescribing controlled substances and dangerous drugs over the Internet without establishing a proper physician-patient relationship."
Post-fight scuffle mars Andreas Spang's Bellator 66 comeback, disciplinary action likely
Andreas Spang's comeback win over hometown hero Brian Rogers was a thing of beauty.
And then things got real ugly.
For the better part of two rounds, Rogers (9-4 MMA, 2-2 BFC) had his way with the late replacement Spang (8-1 MMA, 1-0 BFC), who filled in for injured Bruno Santos in middleweight-tournament-semifinal action. The bout was part of the MTV2-televised main card of Bellator 66, which took place Friday at Cleveland's I-X Center.
Rogers scored early in the fight with kicks and punches before slipping on a head kick. Spang was able to seize the moment and get his back in the scramble and threaten with a rear-naked-choke submission. But then it was back to punishment mode after the escape, and Rogers resumed peppering Spang with heavy punches to the body and head.
It was more of the same in the second frame. Rogers countered with a big right cross early, caught Spang's kick, and continued his vicious assault. Spang was visibly hurt and wobbly at one point, and Rogers sprung forward throwing wild punches looking for the kill.
It cost him dearly.
Out of nowhere, Spang countered with a left hook that dropped Rogers like a sack of potatoes. One hammerfist later, referee Jerry Poe had seen enough. That was it. Spang had authored one of the best comebacks of the year in MMA and advanced to the middleweight-tournament finals.
"I had a couple rough times," Spang told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "He hits pretty hard. I never felt really worried or in too much of danger. I know he had his way with me a couple times, but I was pretty focused on the win. I came here to win. I caught him with my moneymaker left hook."
Maiquel Falcao (30-4 MMA, 2-0 BFC), who defeated Vyacheslav Vasilevsky (16-2 MMA, 1-1 BFC) by unanimous decision earlier in the evening to secure his own spot in the finals, was brought into the cage to greet Spang for the first time after the fight.
Then all hell broke loose...