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...
Kid Yamamoto Jumps On Subway Track To Rescue Injured Man
Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto may be on a losing streak in the UFC, but he made one new fan in Tokyo this week when he lept onto a subway track to pull an injured man out of the path of oncoming trains. Yahoo! Japan was the first to report on the incident.
Ariel Helwani at MMA Fighting summarized the story:
The bantamweight fighter noticed that an older man was unconscious and bleeding from his head on the Gotanda Station track. While he was the first to jump onto the track to help him, the man was too heavy to lift on his own, so other bystanders assisted Yamamoto in getting him off the track. Yamamoto and others were successful in rescuing the man before the next train arrived at the station.
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."
Appeal Denied: Cris Cyborg Santos’ One Year Suspension Upheld by California Commission
Former Strikeforce featherweight women’s champion Cris ‘Cyborg’ Santos went before the California State Athletic Commmission on Monday for her appeal following a one year suspension after testing positive for banned substances during her fight on Dec 17, 2011 in Strikeforce.
Unfortunately for Santos, the commission wasn’t bending on their original ruling.
Santos and her lawyer appeared in front of the commission asking for leniency after the Brazilian tested positive for stanozolol metabolites after her win over Hiroko Yamanaka.
Santos’ appeal was asking for the commission to reduce her sentence from one year down to six months. According to her lawyer, Santos was up for a potential fight on an upcoming Strikeforce show in ‘late June/early July’ in San Diego...
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...
UFC vet Anthony Johnson to fight David Branch at Titan Fighting 22 on May 25
Kansas City, KS -- Joe Kelly, CEO of Titan Fighting Championship, today confirmed that Anthony "Rumble" Johnson will take on former UFC middleweight fighter Dave Branch in the headlining main event of Titan 22 on Friday May 25 live from Memorial Hall in Kansas City. HDNet will present the main card live starting at 10 p.m. ET.
"Anthony Johnson and David Branch are two of the most aggressive, powerful and athletic middleweights in the world, and to have this as the main event of Titan 22 is a defining moment for this brand," said Kelly. "Titan 22 is going to end with Rumble vs. Branch, but wait until you see the fights leading up to it, there will be more familiar faces and I will be announcing more incredible matchups soon."
"David Branch versus Anthony "Rumble" Johnson is the kind of matchmaking that makes Titan Fighting Championship one of the premier MMA organizations in the world," said Andrew Simon, CEO of HDNet Fights. "Both of these guys have something to prove and they know a win on HDNet puts them right back into the conversation of the top MMA middleweights."
Strikeforce's Ronda Rousey to appear in ESPN The Magazine's 'The Body Issue'
Ronda Rousey will soon bare (mostly) all in a new photo shoot.
The Strikeforce women's bantamweight champion is expected to be featured in the 2012 edition of ESPN The Magazine's "The Body Issue," multiple sources close to the fighter today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The issue's release date could not be confirmed, though it could hit stands this fall.
"The Body Issue" features pro athletes in various states of undress (with strategic hand and equipment placement). Other MMA fighters, including Gina Carano and Jon Jones, have been featured in the always-popular edition of the magazine.
Earlier this month, Rousey (5-0 MMA, 3-0 SF) cemented her status as one of Strikeforce's brightest stars when she won the bantamweight title by submitting Miesha Tate in painful fashion at "Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey." The event scored an impressive 431,000 Showtime viewers, a 25 percent increase from the promotion's previous big event, "Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine." The March 3 event peaked with 506,000 viewers during Rousey's bout.
In the weeks leading to the event, which took place at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, Showtime produced a series of lavish promos for the women's title fight. The headliners pitched in with a series of verbal exchanges in the press that boiled over into a brief physical confrontation when Tate head-butted Rousey at the event's weigh-ins...
GSP's road to recovery
UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre's road to recovery is ongoing and the 30-year-old native of Saint-Isidore, Que., is increasing the intensity of his rehab. While preparing for a bout with Nick Diaz late last year, GSP suffered an injury to his knee that required surgery. The Canadian is expected to return to the Octagon late this year, possibly in November.
Judging by this video it looks as though he will be in excellent shape as usual.
-- TUF Live competitor Jeremy Larsen was placed on medical suspension after suffering a cut to his head in his unanimous decision win over Jeff Smith to get onto the show. It's unclear at this point what will happen to Larson and his spot in the TUF house.
Following NSAC challenge, lawyer says UFC's Nick Diaz didn't lie about marijuana RX
A lawyer representing Nick Diaz said the Nevada Attorney General's office made a "very offensive" and "ridiculous" statement when Diaz was accused of lying on a pre-fight medical questionnaire prior to his fight with Carlos Condit at UFC 143.
Las Vegas-based lawyer Ross Goodman contends that Diaz's medical-marijuana card doesn't constitute a prescription.
So, he said, the fighter wasn't lying when he checked "no" on the part of the questionnaire asking whether he had taken or received any prescribed medications two weeks prior to his fight.
"The fact that they're falling back now on this is significant because you would think they would respond to the stuff that we argued in the response, which I think is basically irrefutable," Goodman told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Goodman on March 7 responded to a complaint for disciplinary action against Diaz that was issued Feb. 8 when a post-fight drug test revealed the presence of marijuana metabolites. Diaz (27-8 MMA, 7-5 UFC) lost a unanimous decision to Condit (28-5 MMA, 5-1 UFC) in the headliner of UFC 143, which took place Feb. 4 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. He subsequently said he he was retiring from competition after the pay-per-view event.
For now, Diaz is temporarily suspended pending a hearing scheduled for next month in Las Vegas, where he'll appear to face a possible yearlong suspension and fines. He also tested positive for marijuana following a 2007 win over Takanori Gomi at PRIDE 33. Diaz was suspended for six months for that offense, and the result of the bout was changed to a no-contest.
Rule 467.850 of the NSAC's administrative code bars the use of illicit substances such as performance-enhancing drugs and drugs of abuse, including marijuana. The commission also recognizes a list of substances prohibited in and out of competition by the World Anti-Doping Agency, or WADA...
Anderson Silva bashes Chael Sonnen, says he doesn't deserve 2nd title shot
"(What does Chael Sonnen represent for my career?) Nothing! He’s possessed by a demon. That’s the truth. He’s an athlete that failed the drug test, I fought him while injured, and he had problems with the American Justice system. He respects nothing and he didn’t respect our country. What does he represent? Nothing.
"I respect the opinions and the positions of the promoters of the fight and the owners of the event, but in my opinion he shouldn’t get the chance to fight me again. But that’s not something that I can decide. I will get ready for the fight just as I would with any other."
"He disrespected our idols that made history in the world of sports, such as Lance Armstrong. This guy is complicated, he’s got personal issues. The attention that the Brazilian media gives him, the attention that Palmeiras gave him, it’s very bad. If any Brazilian would be in the position that he finds himself in, if they would talk about the US and he does about Brazil, and the American idols, we wouldn’t even have the same opportunities of going in their country or talking to the American media. I think that Brazilians should be more patriotic, like the Americans.
'UFC Primetime' airs on FX for 'UFC 146: Dos Santos vs. Overeem'
In anticipation of their highly anticipated UFC 146 heavyweight title fight, current titleholder Junior Dos Santos (14-1 MMA, 8-0 UFC) and former Strikeforce champ Alistair Overeem (36-11 MMA, 1-0 UFC) will be featured in an upcoming edition of "UFC Primetime," a three-part special that airs on FX.
The first episode airs Friday, May 11, at 11 p.m. ET/PT, with subsequent episodes premiering in the same timeslot on May 18 and May 25.
Replays of each episode air on FUEL TV...
Kimbo Slice Returns To Boxing Ring Against Yet Another Undersized Opponent On March 24
The boxing career of former EliteXC and UFC "attraction" Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson keeps on rolling along when he meets mixed martial artist Mike Glenn on March 24. Predictably, Glenn is making his pro debut and, like all of Slice's prior opponents, is not actually a heavyweight. Glenn competed in MMA at 205 pounds so he will almost certainly come in the much lighter man when the two meet later this month.
This is a continuing trend for Kimbo as he made his debut against then 0-1 James Wade weighing 227 to Wade's 205, took on then 2-3 Tay Bledsoe weighing 244 to Bledsoe's 206 and then beat the debuting Charles Hackmann when he weighed 235 to Hackmann's 211. The only opponent Slice has faced (or is scheduled to face in Glenn's case) who is a listed heavyweight is Hackmann, and that's only because he made his debut at heavyweight. He almost certainly could have cut down to cruiserweight.
Breaking news: Josh Barnett's MMA license reinstated in California
Strikeforce heavyweight attraction and former PRIDE FC star Josh Barnett had his mixed martial arts (MMA) license reinstated today (March 5, 2012) during a special hearing in front of the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC).
But not without provisions.
"The Warmaster" must consent to "random biological fluid testing" at a time and place determined by the commission prior to his participation at any event held in the state of California.
Barnett, who is expected to fight undefeated division standout Daniel Cormier under the Strikeforce banner on May 19, has been battling the CSAC for over two years to get back in their good graces following his failed drug test back in 2009, one that sank the S.S. Affliction and canceled a late summer superfight against Fedor Emelianenko.
Now he's back, primarily because the state of California "needs good fighters," according to the commission.
More details on his reinstated license, as well as his upcoming fight against "DC," as they become available.
Coming Into His Own: Bartimus
Bart Palaszewski has 50 professional fights to his name, but, to hear him tell it, his journey has only just begun.
The 28-year-old Palaszewski has worked his way into the Top 10 in the featherweight division following a first-round knockout against Xtreme Couture Mixed Martial Arts representative Tyson Griffin in October and will look to build on his momentum when he meets Hatsu Hioki at UFC 144 “Edgar vs. Henderson” on Saturday at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Palaszewski has been training with Team Curran since June 1999, when he was 16 years old.
“I’m still developing my game, as crazy as that sounds,” he says. “I’m just kind of getting into my own, 50 guys in.”
Earlier in his career, the Poland-born heavy hitter fought as many as seven to nine times a year, and he certainly does not miss those days.
“I think the only reason I was able to do it was because I was younger,” Palaszewski says. “My body can’t hold up to that anymore, I don’t think.”
Not only has his game evolved over the years, but he also feels stronger mentally.
UFC champ Jon Jones to serve as Daytona 500 honorary race official
UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones is heading to NASCAR's Daytona 500.
Jones serves as an honorary race official for the 54th annual Sprint Cup Series race, which takes place Feb. 26 at Daytona International Speedway in Florida.
The season-opening NASCAR race airs on UFC broadcast partner FOX.
"I am thrilled to be able to serve as honorary race official at this year's Daytona 500, NASCAR's premier event," Jones stated in a release. "Like the UFC, NASCAR has a passionate and knowledgeable fan base, and I am honored that I will get to share this experience with them."
Aaron Simpson nearly set on move to welterweight after UFC on FUEL TV 1 loss
If the docs say it's OK, count on seeing UFC vet Aaron Simpson at welterweight.
After a loss to Ronny Markes (13-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) on Wednesday at UFC on FUEL TV 1, Simpson (11-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) said he's tired of being undersized at middleweight.
"I've been thinking about it over the last year and a half," the 37-year-old today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "Everybody I fight is cutting from 220 (pounds)."
UFC on FUEL TV 1 took place at Omaha Civic Auditorium in Omaha, Neb. Simpson vs. Markes served as part of the event's main card, which aired on FUEL TV following prelims on Facebook.
The noticeably bulky Markes pinned Simpson on the cage several times during the three-round fight, which ended in a split decision for the Brazilian.
Simpson, who saw a three-fight win streak broken, said he never gets heavier than 200 pounds.
"There were times I couldn't budge," he said. "[Markes] had his shoulder buried in my chest, and I couldn't move him. And I can defend a lot of people's takedowns and everything, and it was just one of those deals where that really dwarfed me."
A positive Simpson took from the fight was the power in his punches, which dropped Markes in the first round. However, that advantage was muted by his size deficit...