MMA Personalities News - Page 14
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Cesar Gracie Says Gilbert Melendez is UFC-Bound After December Strikeforce Fight
Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez has recently been the subject of much speculation regarding how much longer he would remain with that organization. UFC president Dana White recently said that he wanted to bring him over to the UFC, but he was still booked in a title defense against Jorge Masvidal at a Strikeforce event on December 17th in San Diego. Gil's coach Cesar Gracie made it clear to Tatame that he's going to the UFC after that fight though: "Absolutely it’ll be his last fight (in Strikeforce)", assures the coach, who didn’t have any doubts about Melendez’s situation on the lightweight division of Ultimate, which title holder is Frankie Edgar. "I believe Melendez is the best of the world in this division".
Submitted Oct 26, 2011 6:57PM by Budgellism - 4 comments
Filed under: UFC, StrikeForce, MMA Personalities
Roy Nelson Looking Svelte For UFC 137 Fight vs CroCop
It appears as though "Big Country" has finally done what UFC President Dana White has long implored him to and dropped a few calories from that famous belly of his.
MMAPlayground Interview Series - Vol. 11 (Pablo "The Scarecrow" Garza)
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. Pablo “The Scarecrow” Garza is a WEC and UFC veteran who has fought in both the lightweight and featherweight divisions. He was the first featherweight, along with Fredson Paixao, to compete under the UFC banner. He is also the first fighter in UFC history to pull off a flying triangle submission. He’s a versatile fighter, a humble man, and a closet nerd. Garza is scheduled to take on fellow UFC featherweight Dustin Poirier on November 12 on UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos. * * * * * MMAPG: Pablo, thanks so much for taking time to answer some questions. You’re scheduled to take on fellow featherweight Dustin Poirier at UFC on Fox 1. How are you feeling right now? How’s your training going? GARZA: My training is going good and I’m feeling great! MMAPG: You’re coming off two of the most spectacular finishes in the UFC in the past year. You’ve received submission of the night and knockout of the night in back-to-back fights. Which one did you find to be more rewarding? GARZA: I think the flying triangle was more rewarding. Some people thought that I just got lucky in landing a flying knee against Paixao. A lot of people questioned whether I belonged in the UFC at all. So after I landed the flying triangle in UFC129, I felt like people finally saw that I actually hold my own in the UFC.
Submitted Oct 25, 2011 9:06AM by emfleek - 0 comments
Filed under: Interviews, UFC, MMA Personalities
Paulo Filho Says If He Fights in November It Will Be His Last
At one time, former WEC middleweight champion Paulo Filho was considered the No. 2 fighter in the world at 185lbs, and possibly the best challenger to UFC champion Anderson Silva. Fast forward a few years later and Filho’s career has taken a path that could only be described as sad and tragic. Since losing to Chael Sonnen in 2008 and exiting the WEC for the last time, Filho has gone 6-3-2, but that’s nothing compared to the personal problems he’s encountered dealing with a drug issue and depression that have caused many around him to remain concerned over the years.
UFC Hall of Famer Dan Severn Battling Bullies, Will Call It Quits After 2012
While Dan Severn may be known as “The Beast” inside cage, outside of it, he’s one of MMA’s biggest supporters and ambassadors who uses his fame to help further many causes as best he can. This coming Thursday night at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square, New York, Severn will be among the celebrities (including current UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar) lending his support to the Kickin’ It anti-bullying program at one of their premier events of the year.
MMAPlayground Interview Series - Vol. 10 (Chris "Kamikaze" Cariaso)
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. Chris "Kamikaze" Cariaso is a 5-year mixed martial arts veteran and can currently be found competing in the Bantamweight division of the UFC. His current record stands at 11-3-0 with 4 stoppage victories and 7 wins by decision. Cariaso is currently scheduled to face Vaughan Lee at UFC 138 in Birmingham, England. Read the interview below to find out why he thought he won his most recent fight against "Mayday" McDonald, what to expect at UFC 138 and more! * * * * * MMAPG: Thank you for the interview, Chris. How’s training going for you? CARIASO: Training is going great. I have expanded my team. I have been working with strength and conditioning specialist John Pena at Power and Physique. I have spent the last month training in Montreal with Firas Zahabi, the Tristar Team and John Chaimberg. MMAPG: You’re currently scheduled to fight Vaughan Lee at UFC 138 on November 5th, in Birmingham, England. Can you tell us a little bit about him? He’s a relative unknown in the US. Have you been able to find much to research? CARIASO: I don’t know much about him. There is not much video on him; just a few videos on YouTube. He looks strong and has some submission skills.
Submitted Oct 20, 2011 9:08AM by emfleek - 0 comments
Filed under: Interviews, UFC, MMA Personalities
Coach: Werdum fighting in December, hopefully for UFC
Guilherme Cruz: Is Wanderlei training with you guys for Cung Le? Raphael Cordeiro: He’s here, he’s practically living here. He’s done a marathon here, he’s pouring his heart out on the trainings. We’re having good results on the trainings with Werdum, Babalu, Munoz, Dida, quality guys. And he’s doing great. We’re much confident because of the work we’ve been doing here. GC: Before Wand vs. Cung Le, Mark Munoz, another fighter from your team, fights Chris Leben. How is he doing on the trainings? RC: He’s on fire. Mark is super dedicated, he’s a good guy, special, who’s making some room for himself in the organization. He’s one of the guys who trains the most, he’s our ‘geek’ (laughs). Sometimes he overtrains… But sometimes it’s good to make a mistake by trying to hard than not trying hard enough, right? GC: And what about Werdum’s return? There were rumors about him signing with UFC… RC: He’s back to the trainings, he’s making everybody laugh. He’ll probably fight in December… He’s talking to the UFC, and maybe they come up with something for December
Submitted Oct 19, 2011 1:37PM by emfleek - 8 comments
Filed under: StrikeForce, UFC, MMA Personalities
Jorge Santiago Released by the UFC
Jorge Santiago has been released by the UFC. The Middleweight fighter is coming off a loss to Demian Maia at UFC 136. Santiago made his return to the UFC earlier this year, losing to Brian Stann at UFC 130 before falling to Maia. This was Santiago's second run in the UFC as he was 1-2 in the company back in 2006. In the years between his two UFC runs, Santiago established himself as one of the top Middleweights in the world outside of the UFC, putting together a solid 11-1 record. His major success came in Japan, where he claimed the Sengoku Middleweight championship and turned some heads with a pair of classic fights against Kazuo Misaki. His work in Japan earned him a lot of respect, and many fans were excited about his return to the UFC.
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.