MMA Personalities News - Page 12
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Matt Hamill biopic film 'The Hammer' set for limited nationwide release
The story of Matt Hamill is coming to theaters across the country. The biopic "The Hammer," a critically acclaimed film about the recently retired UFC fighter's life, is set for a limited nationwide release. The movie (which previously was called "Hamill") debuts early later this month in 25 U.S. states and approximately 100 cities, project officials recently announced. Most of the selected theaters will show the film during a two-day run. However, The Uptown Theatre in Utica, N.Y., has set aside five dates, the first of which is Oct. 27. The other theaters debut the film on Oct. 27 or in early November. "The Hammer" won awards from eight major film festivals.
Bjorn Rebney: Anderson Silva is the only man on Earth that could beat Hector Lombard
"We have an incredibly dominant champion. It's not easy. I think, right now, when you look at Vitor Vianna and Alexander Shlemenko, we could provide a good test for Hector Lombard. I think he's one of the best two middleweights on earth. I think Hector is an absolute monster. I think there's one guy on earth right now that I would look at and say to myself, ‘He could beat Hector.' His name is Anderson Silva. I don't know that I would pick Anderson to beat Hector, but it would be one heck of a fight. We'll see what happens with Alexander and Vitor, and one of those guys is going to come out with a big win." - Bjorn Rebney
Longtime UFC announcer Bruce Buffer to release autobiography in 2012
With mixed-martial-arts autobiographies currently among the most popular book titles in the sports category, the "Veteran Voice of the Octagon" is getting in on the action. Bruce Buffer, the longtime emcee of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, recently announced his plans to pen an autobiography, which he says has already been purchased by Random House. While the project has not yet been officially announced, Buffer said it's currently titled, "It's Time!" and will debut between sometime around Christmas 2012. Buffer, the half-brother and manager of fellow famed announcer Michael Buffer, made his octagon debut way back in 1996 at UFC 8. It would be UFC 13 before he became a staple of the company's broadcasts, and even that came only after he was able to get the UFC featured in an episode of "Friends."
Public invited to Oct. 28 Las Vegas memorial for Shawn Tompkins
Noted MMA trainer Shawn Tompkins, who earlier this year passed away at just 37 years old, will be remembered at an Oct. 28 celebration in Las Vegas. Longtime Team Tompkins fighters Sam Stout and Mark Hominick will be on hand, as will Tompkins' former mentor, Bas Rutten. "Shawn loved life, and this evening is an opportunity for the MMA community to share those good memories and to keep his spirit alive," Stout, who is also Tompkins' brother-in-law, stated in an official release. The event takes place from 6-8 p.m. PT local time at Tompkins' former office, the TapouT Training Center, which is located at 4040 E. Hacienda. The event includes guest speakers, as well as music, food and beverages and a silent auction to benefit the Shawn Tompkins Memorial Fund, which was established to assist Tompkins’ surviving family. "Shawn touched a lot of people in a profound way, so it's important to celebrate having been a part of his life," Hominick stated.
Strikeforce champ Melendez wants next crack at UFC 136's main-event winner
Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez (19-2 MMA, 8-1 SF) attended this weekend's UFC Fan Expo Houston 2011 representing his longtime employer, but he hopes to leave the city with a different tag: UFC title challenger. Melendez today said he plans on pressing UFC president Dana White for the next crack at the winner of UFC 136's lightweight championship bout. "I'm a vet in this sport," Melendez told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I've been here for a long, long time, and I'm ready to prove I'm No. 1. "I'm ready to start taking over and holding down the weightclass, promoting the sport and representing MMA. I've been ready for that awhile." Melendez's resume makes a strong case. Currently riding a five-fight win streak with impressive wins over Tatsuya Kawajiri, Shinya Aoki, Josh Thomson, Mitsuhiro Ishida and Rodrogo Damm, "El Nino" is generally considered one of the very few lightweights not currently in the UFC capable of competing at the top of the promotion's 155-pound division. For years, Melendez was tied down to his longtime employers at Strikeforce, and the UFC's position against cross-promoting prevented him from facing top UFC contenders. But with those two companies now operating under the same umbrella, Melendez is ready to prove he's capable of beating either current UFC champ Frankie Edgar or his opponent at Saturday night's UFC 136 event at Houston's Toyota Center, Gray Maynard.
Submitted Oct 8, 2011 4:12PM by Budgellism - 6 comments
Filed under: UFC, StrikeForce, MMA Personalities
Jiu-jitsu instructor at heart, Gabriel Gonzaga still happy to fight again
Onetime UFC heavyweight title challenger Gabriel Gonzaga (11-6) admits he wasn't really sure what he wanted to do. An October 2010 loss to Brendan Schaub dropped Gonzaga to just 1-3 in his previous four outings, and the former Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champ strongly considered forever hanging up his gloves. But Gonzaga returns tonight for a heavyweight title fight against Parker Porter (5-2) at the aptly named "Reality Fighting: Gonzaga vs. Porter" event at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. "Napao" admits he doesn't know what comes after that, but he's touched by those that encouraged him to return. "There were a lot of fans and students of mine asking me to return," Gonzaga recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) in his native Portuguese. "There were some e-mails that touched me – from people I've never met – talking about how I helped them in life. That was very gratifying." And so the 32-year-old, who studied under Wander Braga from his grappling beginnings until he was awarded his black belt, turned to Marco Alvan, Alexandre Moreno and the rest of the crew at Massachusetts' Team Link and sought their advice. "Fight," came the answer.
Paul Daley to train with champ GSP, wants Nick Diaz rematch in UFC
It's been longer than you think since Paul Daley (28-11-2) was dismissed from the UFC following his post-fight incident with Josh Koscheck at UFC 113. His post-fight "swipe" at Koscheck was 16 months ago, and a lot has happened since then. Daley has fought for four different promotions (soon to be five), posted mixed results, and tried to maintain an acceptable level of decorum in the hopes of one day returning to the world's top MMA promotion. "If (UFC Chairman and CEO) Lorenzo (Fertitta) came to me and said, 'What you did we can look past that. Would you like to come back to the UFC?' I just want everyone to be clear that yeah, I've got nothing personal against the UFC, and I do think they are a great organization," Daley told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). Technically, Daley has had ties to the UFC again since the organization purchased Strikeforce in March. He became property of Forza LLC (the subsidiary of UFC parent company Zuffa LLC), which was created to house the acquired Strikeforce assets.
MMAPlayground Interview Series - Vol. 6 (Brian "Bad Boy" Ebersole)
As with any successful professional, mixed martial artists eat, sleep and breathe their craft. They put everything on the line when they wake up, hit the gym and pour their blood, sweat and tears into the sport we all love. When they enter that cage, for the fan, it's all about the entertainment, but these athletes go through the daily rigors with more in mind. For some fighters, it's a paycheck. For others, it's the glitz and glamour, but for some it's a lifestyle fueled by a deep passion and connection to the sport of mixed martial arts. In our newest site feature, MMAPlayground would like to introduce you to some of these men and women of MMA that you may not know much about. Our mission? To introduce. To educate. To spread the word. Brian Ebersole is a veteran mixed martial artist, who after years on the other circuits, has finally found his way to the UFC. He is 2-0 in the Octagon and is coming off two impressive performances against Chris Lytle and Dennis Hallman. Brian recently sat down to answer some questions from MMAPlayground. * * * * * MMAPG: First of all, thanks for taking time to answer some questions. I’m sure your schedule must be hectic. Also, we’d like to congratulate you on your win against Dennis Hallman in August. How are you feeling since that win? EBERSOLE: I came out healthy, so I'm very pleased. A quick return to the Octagon (3-6 weeks later) would have been possible, but as it stands, I've had to wait quite a while. So now, I'm feeling fat because dieting proper for that long is just not in my nature. MMAPG: You’ve been around the sport for quite some time now. How and when did you start getting involved in mixed martial arts? Was there something in particular that piqued your interest? EBERSOLE: Can I point you to previous interviews? Teasing.... I saw UFC 1, like most teenagers in 1993. I had my first submission grappling experience at 15 years old and continued ever since. I was a wrestler, so it appealed and was a simple/natural extension of thought/technique/goals/rules from what I'd always done.
Chael Sonnen: I don’t talk trash
Chael Sonnen was recently interviewed on Mauro Ranallo's The MMA Show. Mauro Ranallo: Why has there been so little trash talk for the Brain Stann fight? Chael Sonnen: “Look, I don’t try to get under someone’s skin. I don’t talk trash. I hear that said about myself but I don’t do that. I’m the most respectful guy in the sport. The difference is I’ve got a different opinion of what respect is. A lot of guys think it’s to be fake. A lot of guys think it’s respectful to bow to your face and stick a knife in your back when you turn around. I will tell you to your face that when you turn I’m going to put a knife in your back and then I’ll do it. MR: What kind of game plan will you implement against Stann? CS: “What’s a game plan? What does that mean? You got a bunch of guys with their 8th grade educations and their gold teeth sitting around trying to break down a fight. Listen, it’s a fist fight in a steel cage in Texas on Saturday night. There is nothing more simplistic in life than that. I don’t exactly need a plan. I walk out there when the guy in the shark suit gets out of my way and the referee with the dreadlocks says ‘get it on,’ I get it on.” MR asked him about the suspension and if he would fight in California again after issues relating to ‘elevated testosterone’ levels. CS: “First off, shame on you for putting out a false report. Not only did I not have elevated testosterone (levels), I was never even accused of that. The state of California never even accused me of that. Josh Gross went on ESPN and falsely reported that. I was never even up against those charges. I took testosterone and testosterone is 100% legal and shame on you as a member of the media for not coming out and not blasting the commission for that. I took testosterone, I offer no apology. Testosterone is not a banned substance in any of the 46 states that govern MMA or the two provinces in Canada. It is completely legal. They banned me for taking a legal substance and I never took an elevated amount, ever. I was never even accused of that other than by Josh Gross who got it on ESPN and by then it was all over the wire.
MMAPlayground Interview Series - Vol. 4 (Julie "Fireball" Kedzie)
As with any successful professional, mixed martial artists eat, sleep and breathe their craft. They put everything on the line when they wake up, hit the gym and pour their blood, sweat and tears into the sport we all love. When they enter that cage, for the fan, it's all about the entertainment, but these athletes go through the daily rigors with more in mind. For some fighters, it's a paycheck. For others, it's the glitz and glamour, but for some it's a lifestyle fueled by a deep passion and connection to the sport of mixed martial arts. In our newest site feature, MMAPlayground would like to introduce you to some of these men and women of MMA that you may not know much about. Our mission? To introduce. To educate. To spread the word. Julie “Fireball” Kedzie is a female mixed martial artist fighting out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, with a current record of 16-9-0. Kedzie has never been one to turn down a fight, which is apparent with a single glance at her resume where one can find such names as Gina Carano, Tara LaRosa and Jan Finney, among others. Julie recently took time out of her busy schedule to sit down and answer a few questions for our MMAPlayground.com Interview Series. Read below to find out why she’d love to be matched up against Floyd Mayweather, how she got the name “Fireball” and more! * * * * * MMAPG: We appreciate you taking the time to chat with us, Julie. How’s the rehab coming? KEDZIE: Much better, thank you! I have been taken very good care of and am able to (finally) jog again. I will hopefully be back in sparring and grappling fully in the next few weeks. MMAPG: Can you give the fans some insight in to how it happened? KEDZIE: Ha! The REAL answer is that I didn't show enough respect for my body and over-trained to the point of injury. Don't ever do that - train your ass off but take the time to recover! I'll try to explain these the way they were explained to me, although you have to bare with me because I get hit in the head for a living. The long of the short of it is that I originally suffered a patella subluxation (my kneecap popped out) in training and tried to push through it to the point of stupidity...
Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson Considering a Move to Boxing
"I hate fighting people who are scared," Jackson told the ESPN UFC Podcast. "When you fight somebody who is scared you never know what they're going to do. They turn and run. "That's why I'm gonna go to boxing. I'm gonna try boxing because they've got to stand with you. If I get knocked out I don't care because at least it's a fight. "I've tried a lot of boxing, I'm falling in love with boxing and I know I can put butts on seats over there." - Quinton "Rampage" Jackson
Bones Jones says "no thx" to portly B-movie star Seagal
The bloated B-movie action star made a surprise phone call to "Bones" prior to his UFC 135 title fight opposite "Rampage" Jackson back on Sept. 24 in Denver, Colorado. But what did he have to say? Jones details his "strange" conversation with Seagal in a recent appearance on the Jim Rome show.
MMAPlayground Interview Series - Vol. 3 (Nam Phan)
As with any successful professional, mixed martial artists eat, sleep and breathe their craft. They put everything on the line when they wake up, hit the gym and pour their blood, sweat and tears into the sport we all love. When they enter that cage, for the fan, it's all about the entertainment, but these athletes go through the daily rigors with more in mind. For some fighters, it's a paycheck. For others, it's the glitz and glamour, but for some it's a lifestyle fueled by a deep passion and connection to the sport of mixed martial arts. In our newest site feature, MMAPlayground would like to introduce you to some of these men and women of MMA that you may not know much about. Our mission? To introduce. To educate. To spread the word. Nam Phan is an Asian American fighter, who has also competed as a professional boxer. He is most known for his time spent in the Ultimate Fighter household during the twelfth installment of the series. He failed to reach the final, but impressed enough to earn a shot in the Octagon, facing Leonard Garcia and losing what is widely regarded as one of the biggest robberies in recent mixed martial arts history. With a recent loss to former featherweight champ, Mike Brown, Phan was given what he wanted. On October 8, in Houston, Texas, Nam will get a chance to step into the cage and exact his revenge on Garcia. Phan caught up with us while in his gym, gearing up for some kickboxing. * * * * * MMAPG: Thank you for taking the time to do this interview, Nam. You have a fight scheduled right around the corner against a familiar opponent in Leonard Garcia. The look on your face when the decision was announced the first time around pretty much expressed what pretty much everyone was thinking…you got robbed. Do you plan on switching up your game plan this time around? I know you don’t want to go in to much detail, but did you go back to the drawing board in preparation for a rematch with Garcia or did you just fine tune your previous strategy? NAM PHAN: I always try to show some support! The only thing is I gotta try to finish this fight. I feel like if I don’t finish this guy in 15 minutes, just count is as a loss. MMAPG: How do you feel about the judging in the Garcia fight, and how the judges seem to award his aggressiveness so much? NAM PHAN: It kind of pisses me off. You gotta be aggressive, it’s cool, but you gotta score points. It’s frustrating.
Submitted Sep 27, 2011 9:32AM by emfleek - 4 comments
Filed under: UFC, Interviews, MMA Personalities
Bellator champ Hector Lombard and 'Babalu' discuss potential fight, origin of feud
As the days go by, the buzz continues to snowball regarding a potential showdown between Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard (30-2-1 MMA, 7-0 BFC) and free agent Renato "Babalu" Sobral (36-9 MMA, 0-0 BFC). Details began to trickle out late this past week regarding the possibility of the non-title "super fight" consummating at 205 pounds. The Nov. 19 Bellator 58 event in Hollywood, Fla., was floated as the target date. But despite the chatter in recent days – and what appears to be the endorsement of all stakeholders – the fight is not yet set in stone.
Submitted Sep 22, 2011 1:06PM by emfleek - 5 comments
Filed under: StrikeForce, Bellator, MMA Personalities
Strikeforce vet, ex-WWE wrestler Bobby Lashley signs with Shark Fights
Bobby Lashley (6-1) has a new home. The former WWE wrestler, who made a pro MMA debut in 2008 and fought two times under the Strikeforce banner, has signed a three-fight deal with the Texas-based Shark Fights promotion. Officials formally announced the rumored deal on Saturday. A debut date and opponent were not revealed. Financial terms of the deal also were not disclosed. Lashley, though, is expected to fight in November, possibly as part of a show in Missouri. Since its inception in 2008, Shark Fights has become one of the sport's top regional promotions. It's expanded its reach with HDNet and FUEL TV broadcast deals, and its seventh show of 2011 is scheduled for later this month. The Shark Fights signing comes a few months after Lashley pulled out of a Titan Fighting Championship 19 headliner with former UFC fighter Eddie Sanchez (12-5). Officials cited "personal reasons" for his scratch.
Mike Whitehead strikes plea bargain in sex-assault case
Heavyweight fighter Mike Whitehead will face probation after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors accusing him of trying to have sex with a woman who was asleep in his home. Whitehead appeared in Las Vegas' Clark County District Court this week to officially plead guilty to a charge of attempted sexual assault, the Las Vegas Sun reports. Whitehead entered an Alford plea, under which a defendant maintains innocence, but concedes that prosecutors probably can get a conviction. He will be officially sentenced in January. Under his plea bargain, prosecutors will recommend probation for Whitehead, who would be required to register as a sex offender...
Submitted Sep 14, 2011 9:58PM by grappler0000 - 6 comments
Filed under: Miscellaneous, MMA Personalities
Nick Diaz: UFC Is Trying To Make These Wrestling Matches
It was one of the most shocking stories in mixed martial arts history. Former Strikeforce champion Nick Diaz (25-7 MMA, 6-4 UFC), handed the biggest opportunity of his career, no-showed a pair of pre-event press conferences and was pulled from a UFC 137 fight with UFC title-holder Georges St-Pierre (22-2 MMA, 16-2 UFC). The world struggled to make sense of the situation, and honestly, so has Diaz, himself. The fiery Californian admits he dropped the ball, but he's shocked St-Pierre went along for the ride. And that supposed disdain for the press? Garbage, says Diaz. Media members should feel free to stop by his gym anytime. "I'm not trying to make all these little excuses," Diaz today told MMAjunkie.com. "If I'd have known the fight was going to be off, I would have [expletive] gone to the press conference, or I would have told somebody, 'Hey, if I don't make it to this stupid [expletive], I'm not fighting.' I think that people would have gotten me there. I think people would have come and gave two [expletive] and gotten me to that press conference."
Submitted Sep 14, 2011 6:12AM by uedamasa - 31 comments
Filed under: UFC, StrikeForce, MMA Personalities
Bellator's Kurt Pellegrino on short retirement: "I fell in love with the sport again"
Did you miss him yet? After a brief hiatus from MMA, 12-time UFC veteran Kurt Pellegrino (16-6 MMA, 0-0 BFC) has announced his return to the sport. This time, however, he'll call Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney "boss." The New Jersey native will make his promotional debut at Bellator 59 against Patricky Freire (9-2 MMA, 2-1 BFC). The event takes place Saturday, Nov. 26, at Caesar's Atlantic City in New Jersey. The official announcement was made during Saturday's Bellator 49 broadcast on MTV2. It's been just 103 days since Pellegrino announced his retirement to the world via his website.
Velasquez Spent Time On Shelf Wisely
He didn’t spend the past year focused solely on rehabbing his right shoulder; Velasquez also used the time to improve his overall skills. He feels he's spent his time wisely but taking every aspect of his game to a higher level. Dos Santos will face a much more refined heavyweight champion on Nov. 12 than the one he saw wrest the title away from Lesnar. Two key areas that Velasquez felt needed improvement -- his footwork and head movement -- are now up to speed with his wrestling acumen. He's even added a few wrinkles to his ground game. “I’ve gotten a lot better, just from the time off, from a technical standpoint,” Velasquez said. “I’m happy I used the time off wisely, and everything healed up. “There aren’t a lot of guys who can say that with time off they’ve gotten better. But my technique and understanding of the entire MMA game has gotten better and I’m happy for that.”
What Chael Sonnen REALLY Thinks About Anderson Silva
Despite his recent, well-publicized troubles, which have included being suspended for steriods and receiving a suspended sentence after pleading guilty to money laundering charges, ESPN have seen fit to place him alongside host Jon Anik for the past two weeks running. Sonnen has seized the moment, almost entirely dispensing with his standard UFC persona in favor of something far more professional, sincere, and, dare we say, truthful? “The bottom line – Anderson Silva did an awesome job,” Sonnen said in his assessment of ‘The Spider’s’ performance at UFC 134 in Rio last weekend. “He continues with his dominance. He’s such a good striker. And what he’s really good at is keeping guys at range and having guys fight his fight, and he showed it again.” Jon Anik then tested just how much he could get Sonnen to admit on national TV by asking him if his rival was the best in the business. “I’m not ready to say he’s the best ever,” Sonnen said before conceding, “but he’s certainly special.” There were flashes of the “old” Chael though, such as when he was asked who Silva can beat. “For me personally it comes down to this – if you want the job done right, apparently I’m going to have to go out and do it myself.” i also enjoyed his analysis of Anderson mocking opponents.... “When he drops his hands and mocks you, that’s when he’s getting ready – that’s his set-up. So you gotta make him restart. Either take a couple steps backwards [and] make him come to you, or charge him, but you’ve gotta reset him. That’s when he’s starting to get his footwork down.”
Submitted Sep 5, 2011 2:22PM by Poor_Franklin - 8 comments
Filed under: UFC, MMA Personalities, Interviews