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...
Memorable Jamie Yager has army in tow for tonight's Superior Cage Combat 4 event
Fight for a while at the professional level, and your reasons for doing it change.
Jamie Yager (5-2) has been chewed up and spit out by the promotional machine behind UFC parent company Zuffa. Still, to many, he's the only guy remembered from his season of "The Ultimate Fighter" reality series.
That's worth something. So now, the plan is to merge notoriety with talent, and tonight, he attempts to put the latter on display when he meets Danny Davis Jr. (6-5-1) at Superior Cage Combat 4. The event takes place at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
"I got on the show based on my looks and my natural, God-given talent and abilities, and I was able to portray a good thing to get on the show," Yager told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "But that's only going to get you so far."
Tim Sylvia can be a title contender and beat 80-percent of the heavyweights in the UFC
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia is doing a little bit of campaigning asking for fans help to get him back into the ranks of the UFC. "The Maniac" took to "The Underground" to post this video asking for fans support for his "push" to get back into the world's largest mixed martial (MMA) promotion, a place he called home for more than six years before he was sent packing after a loss to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 81.
Strikeforce's Gina Carano cast for 'In the Blood' action-thriller
Following a starring and debut role in "Haywire," Gina Carano now has been cast for the lead film role in the upcoming action-thriller "In the Blood."
The news comes from "The Hollywood Reporter."
The new gig casts further doubt on the Strikeforce fighter's potential return to the MMA cage.
According to the report, the film, which John Stockwell will direct, begins principal photography "in late spring or early summer in Puerto Rico." That schedule all but assures Carano won't return to Strikeforce by year's end.
Carano (7-1 MMA, 1-1 SF) hasn't fought since an August 2009 title loss to Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos. Soon after, famed director Steven Soderbergh cast the 29-year-old for "Haywire," which opened nationwide this past month to largely positive reviews. Many reviewers singled out Carano, who starred alongside the likes of Ewan McGregor and Michael Douglas, for her performance...
Gary Goodridge Diagnosed with CTE/Pugilistic Dementia
Former UFC, Pride and K-1 star Gary Goodridge has a new battle on his hands, but just like his fights in the cage or ring, he won’t go down without swinging.
Goodridge recently visited a top neuro-physician in Canada where he was diagnosed with early onset CTE/pugilistic dementia.
CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) by definition is brain damage caused by repeated head trauma, resulting in degeneration of brain tissue. It’s commonly found in boxers, football players, ice hockey players and other athletes who have suffered repeated traumatic shock to the head.
Exclusive: Josh Koscheck Reveals The Reason Why He Left AKA
Following Josh Koscheck‘s win at UFC 143 on Saturday night over Mike Pierce, the former ‘Ultimate Fighter’ season 1 competitor revealed at the post fight press conference that he had split with his longtime team at American Kickboxing Academy and immediately the MMA world was taken back.
Fighters switching teams or working with different training camps is nothing new, but Koscheck had been a mainstay of the San Jose based gym literally for every fight since season one of the reality show, which took place nearly 8 years ago.
It was for that very reason that when he announced the split, everyone was asking why? What happened that would cause Koscheck the team he had such deep rooted seeds with?
Well, truth be told Koscheck didn’t leave his entire team. As a matter of fact, his training partners are still very much a part of his family and his team.
“First and foremost, my teammates over there at AKA in San Jose are my brothers. I love those guys. 8 years, we’ve basically trained ourselves and got us to the level that we are and we’ve all relied on each other and those guys are forever going to be my teammates, I’m forever going to train with them, but I’m just not going to train in San Jose with them,” Koscheck told MMAWeekly.com in an exclusive interview on Sunday...
GSP doesn't see himself as champ anymore
UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre doesn't like Nick Diaz. But that won't stop him from cheering on the Stockton, Calif., native on Saturday at UFC 143 as the latter takes on Carlos Condit in the main event for the interim welterweight title.
GSP will be cageside for the fight and says he will feel conflicted while watching Diaz and Condit compete.
"I respect Carlos Condit, but I want Diaz to win. It will be a weird feeling, sitting at the Mandalay Bay wanting Nick Diaz to win," St-Pierre told the UFC.
"I am very nervous that Carlos Condit will win on Saturday night, and that I won't be able to fight Nick Diaz this summer," St-Pierre said.
"Carlos Condit is a very good fighter, he can strike, he is aggressive and he has submissions. He has been very impressive and is the type of fighter who gets better and better the more confident he gets … I am not personal friends with him but I know him a little and he's a great person.
"All that has done though is make me determined to beat him up. He will bring out the best in me, I will be 100 per cent focused, like a bomb-expert defusing a time bomb. When my back is against the wall and I have no choice but to win … that is when I am most dangerous.
Despite the fact most people don't give much thought to interim titles, St-Pierre feels the opposite.
"The way I see it, I am not the champion anymore on Saturday night," St-Pierre said. "I have not fought since April, against my will, but I understand the champion must fight. You have to put the belt on the line in order to call yourself champion, the best in the world. Right now I am not the best in the world, I am injured.
“The winner of this fight on Saturday will be more than just the new No. 1 contender, but he won't be the new champion either. The winner of this fight will have to beat me to become the true world champion and I will have to beat the winner of this fight in order to call myself the best in the world again."
Exclusive: At All Costs, Alistair Overeem Is Out for Justice Against Golden Glory
In this exclusive interview, UFC heavyweight Alistair Overeem talks to MMAWeekly.com about the ongoing legal situation with his former team at Golden Glory and much, much more.
Overeem took time on Wednesday to talk to MMAWeekly.com about his upcoming fight with Junior dos Santos, the work he’s been doing with the Blackzilians and he fires back at his former team at Golden Glory and the lawsuits that have been filed by both parties.
Damon Martin: First let’s start with what’s coming next for you in the UFC. It’s going to be Junior dos Santos for the title. I want to start by asking your thoughts on him as a fighter and his striking?
Alistair Overeem: Junior dos Santos is the heavyweight champion of the UFC so he’s the best fighter in the world at the moment and he has that belt around his waist, which I’m still missing. He’s a very strong fighter with knockout power in his punches, and he moves very well for a heavyweight. His boxing skills are the best in the MMA business so that would make for a very interesting fight. It will be a classic striker versus striker, which an audience always loves to see. It will be a great fight for sure...
Bas Rutten Picks Dos Santos to Beat Overeem
Former UFC heavyweight champion Bas Rutten believes current champ Junior dos Santos will beat Alistair Overeem if they fight this year.
In an interview with the Sherdog Radio Network’s “It’s Time!” show with Bruce Buffer, the colorful MMA personality gave his thoughts on the matchup and a variety of other topics, including his Fuel TV show “Punk Payback” and Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos’ positive test for an anabolic steroid.
Rutten on telling Overeem’s camp which opponents could make for difficult matchups: “I always told them … make sure to avoid Junior dos Santos. I think him and Cain Velasquez, although with Cain, he cannot take a punch too great. But still, Cain is a monster and he should have simply shot in on Junior dos Santos, I think. I actually thought he was going to win that fight, but he didn’t. He got tagged, and that can happen to anybody. Anyway, I always said try to stay away as long as you can from Junior dos Santos. That right now could be a very big threat together, believe it or not, with Cheick Kongo. I think that would also be a great opponent for him.”
On how Overeem matches up with dos Santos: “I think Alistair, everything he does is one single shot because he knows he’s got that glass jaw as well. He’s been knocked out quite a few times in the past, even by Chuck Liddell as well. Every time when he punches, one hand is up. He throws single shots; he doesn’t throw combinations. You saw that when he fought [Fabricio] Werdum. Werdum was actually tagging him more than he did to Werdum. I think that Junior dos Santos, with his combinations, his reach, I think he’s going to tag him and he’s going to throw combos and I think that yeah, he’s going to take this fight.”
On Cristiane Santos testing positive for an anabolic steroid: “You could say it doesn’t come as a surprise. I don’t think anybody was surprised, but I always say … you’d better [be] 100-percent sure that you know something before you say it. If I say, ‘Oh, she’s on steroids’ -- I could never say that. … But yeah, she does have the looks from it. She’s unbelievably strong. For a woman she just looks very, very extreme muscular, even more so than bodybuilders.
Guy Mezger Saved a Woman From Knife-Wielding Scumbag Last Month
(In your face, Jon Jones)
In spite of the fact that Guy Mezger retired seven years ago this month from active MMA competition, the 44-year-old former Lion’s Den fighter proved recently that he is still a badass.
Mezger, who is the president of HDNet, stepped in to offer assistance to a woman who was being roughed up by her boyfriend outside a Dallas sports store the week before Christmas and soon found himself in a fight with the angry beau.
According to the UFC 13 tournament winner, most of the onlookers just stood and gawked as the angry man repeatedly pushed the terrified woman to the ground while hurling obscenities at her, so he decided to try to diffuse the situation by stepping in between the pair and talking it out with the attacker. The next thing he knew, the guy was rushing him.
Sonnen: I don't think Silva will fight again
Chael Sonnen believes a much-anticipated rematch against Anderson Silva will never happen.
In fact, he doesn’t think Silva -- the current UFC middleweight champion -- will fight again. Period.
During a pre-fight conference call Friday ahead of his meeting with Michael Bisping at the UFC on FOX 2 show on Jan. 28 in Chicago, Sonnen said he was done with the man he referred to as "cowardly."
"I guarantee you Anderson Silva and my paths will never cross in the cage again," Sonnen said. "I don’t think he will fight anybody.
"That’s my personal opinion. But it’s a fact that (he) turned down a fight with me four times."
Sonnen added that Silva even turned down the offer when it was presented to him in person by (UFC chairman) Lorenzo Fertitta.
With fighter pay in spotlight, UFC vets shed light on life in octagon's middle-class
For three of the UFC's rank and file, the bottom line rarely ends at "show" and "win."
Sponsorships, performance bonuses, and discretionary bonuses help to line the pockets of George Roop, Jacob Volkmann and Nam Phan.
They are not millionaires. But despite a wide disparity in pay with their headliner counterparts, figures disclosed by the fighters painted an upper-middle-class living.
Pay-per-view dollars are, for now, a faraway dream that Roop, Volkmann and Phan hope to realize. They have won and lost and are no strangers to the preliminary card. They draw hardcore interest but are known by a casual few.
Featherweight Roop, a veteran of "The Ultimate Fighter 8," has fought nine times in the now-defunct WEC and UFC and carries a record of 3-5-1 under the Zuffa-owned promotions. Lightweight Volkmann signed with the promotion in 2009 and has fought seven times in the UFC, where he's amassed a 5-2 record including five consecutive wins inside the octagon. Phan, a veteran of "The Ultimate Fighter 12," has fought four times in the UFC as a featherweight and carries a 1-3 record.
Thirty-nine millionaires have been created by the promotion, according to UFC executive Lorenzo Fertitta, who defended his company's pay structure in a controversial segment aired on Sunday for ESPN's "Outside the Lines." Responding to charges that top stars are compensated handsomely while lower-tier fighters risk life and limb for as low as $6,000 a fight, he said the company shares around 50 percent of its revenue with athletes under contract.
Roop, Volkmann and Phan's guaranteed pay leans toward the lower end of what fighters make in the promotion.
But they're not struggling...
Cesar Gracie Responds to B.J. Penn's Angry Tweet
"BJ Penn has apparently not come to terms with the beating he received at the hands of Nick Diaz...."
"At some point it is up to those around you to protect you from yourself. To take you aside and let you know you are wrong and help save you from your folly. Unfortunately for Penn he is surrounded by "Yes Men" that are unwilling to do that. The outcome will be predictable, resulting in a fighter that will never push himself to the fullest and will always have excuses for his losses."
- Cesar Gracie