Focus is on Brown, but UFC on Versus 4's Howard ready to settle score with Johnson
PITTSBURGH – John Howard (14-6 MMA, 4-2 UFC) hasn't lost focus on the task at hand.
When he meets fellow welterweight Matt Brown (11-10 MMA, 4-4 UFC) on the Versus-televised main card of Sunday's UFC on Versus 4 event at Pittsburgh's CONSOL Energy Center, both of the once-hot prospects are fighting for their job security.
But Howard knows that – one way or another – he and rival Anthony Johnson eventually are going to clash, whether it's in the UFC octagon or in the street.
Mizuto Hirota Finally Ready to Return Twenty Months After Shocking Injury
On December 31, 2009, Mizuto Hirota got his arm wrenched behind his back by possibly the most ruthless man in MMA: DREAM lightweight champion Shinya Aoki.
Hirota, who was then the Sengoku lightweight champion and had engaged in a war of words with Aoki prior to the bout, refused to tap and so Aoki wrenched the arm further and further until Hirota's body shook and a sickening snap was heard through Saitama Super Arena as referee Yuji Shimada proceeded to dive in and covered his mouth in shock.
With Hirota lying stunned on the canvas and his arm destroyed, Shinya Aoki stood over his defeated opponent while sticking his tongue out and extending his middle finger before excitedly running around the ring and flipping off the audience. Not yet finished, Aoki then laughed at Hirota and mocked his broken arm before proudly named the submission after his boss, the "Keiichi Sasahara 2010."
Hirota obviously should have tapped, but Aoki's performance at Dynamite!! 2009 was one of the lowest points in the history of Japanese MMA. At Deep 55 on August 26, twenty months after getting his arm snapped, Hirota will finally be ready to return.
UFC on Versus 4: Pat Barry – No More Mr. Nice Guy
If there’s one thing you can say about UFC heavyweight Pat Barry beyond his fight skills, it’s that he’s a hell of a nice guy.
During his Q&A appearance prior to UFC on Versus 3 in Louisville, Ky., Barry had a room full of fans laughing and joking along with him as he told stories and answered questions.
At the UFC Fighter Summit, Barry somehow managed to strip down to his underwear and sit quietly during one of the talks being given, while fighters all around him chuckled and couldn’t help but laugh at the gentle giant’s antics.
He even famously knocked down his idol Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic when they fought, and helped him back up.
'Whitey' Bulger arrest recalls UFC owner's roots
The capture of one of the most wanted U.S. fugitives touches on the origins of the Ultimate Fighting Championship's parent company.
James "Whitey" Bulger was arrested Wednesday near Los Angeles, law enforcement officials said. Bulger, one of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted, is accused of leading Boston mobsters for decades. If at least one allegation is true, his organization also launched a chain of events that led to the formation of UFC owner Zuffa.
edit: I really hope this is in the right forum. if not, I'm sorry
Mike Kyle vs. Gegard Mousasi possible for September Strikeforce event
A matchup pitting former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champ Gegard Mousasi (30-3-2 MMA, 2-1-1 SF) against Mike Kyle (18-8-1 MMA, 2-3-1 SF) could be headed to the promotion's fall lineup.
The pair were supposed to fight this past April at "Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley" before Kyle was forced to withdraw with a broken hand. In his place stepped Keith Jardine, who fought Mousasi to a draw.
The fight could take place at a yet-unnamed Strikeforce event slated for Sept. 10 that's expected to feature a middleweight title fight between current champ Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza and Luke Rockhold, though at this point, the date is not finalized.
Jorge Gurgel returns at Strikeforce Challengers 18 against opponent yet to be determined
Strikeforce lightweight contender Jorge Gurgel (14-7 MMA, 2-2 SF) will return to action on Aug. 12.
The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt today announced his intentions via Twitter. His opponent for the matchup has yet to be determined.
Gurgel is expected to compete on the main card of the as-yet-unannounced Strikeforce Challengers 18, which MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) reported Wednesday morning will take place at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
Top Brazilian Prospect Marcos ‘Pezao’ Signs with Strikeforce
Undefeated Brazilian light heavyweight prospect Marcos Rogerio de Lima has inked a multi-fight deal with Strikeforce.
Sherdog.com confirmed the signing Tuesday with multiple sources close to the deal. According to those with knowledge of the situation, “Pezao” has neither a date nor an opponent for his Strikeforce debut, which will most likely occur this fall. September is said to the earliest that the 205-pounder could join the promotion.
UFC 132's Chris Leben doesn't like fighting, despite all evidence to the contrary
Chris Leben will be the first to tell you he doesn't have issues; he's got subscriptions.
Fighting used to be something that not only gave him the opportunity to prove himself, but maybe – just maybe – unburden himself of those issues in the most physical way possible.
That was years ago, though. A decade after getting into the sport, he's mellowed, and he fights for different reasons, as he today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Strikeforce Challengers 16's Lorenz Larkin in no rush to the top
Undefeated Lorenz Larkin made one of the most impressive debuts in recent Strikeforce history when he defeated Scott Lighty at Strikeforce Challengers 15.
Even more impressive than the vicious second-round TKO was the fact that Larkin took the fight on just a week's notice.
And though the fast-rising light heavyweight can further bolster his top-prospect status at Friday's Showtime Challengers 16 event, the Californian told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) he's simply enjoying the ride.
After a tough year, a re-motivated Wanderlei Silva returns at UFC 132
Sitting on the sidelines is hard for any fighter, but when you're Wanderlei Silva, it's excruciating.
One of the most beloved figures in the sport, Silva gets messages daily from fans who want to see him return to the cage sooner than later.
For the past year, though, he's been unable to oblige those requests. Injuries have kept Silva (33-10-1 MMA, 3-5 UFC) out of the spotlight for 17 months, and now that he's back, he wants to please his fans as much as he wants to beat Chris Leben (21-7 MMA, 11-6 UFC), whom he faces at UFC 132.
Fedor Emelianenko: Two losses in a row cannot be coincidence ... I do not want to allow a third
Three strikes and you're out.
Famed Russian heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko will try to pull the chute on his current freefall when he battles Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Dan Henderson in the main event of "Fedor vs. Henderson" set to go down on July 30, 2011, at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.
Emelianenko (31-3) was bounced from the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Tournament earlier this year after the cageside doctor deemed him unfit to answer the bell for round three of his quarterfinal bout against Antonio Silva.
72 Hours with Urijah Faber: The Life of a Champion
Urijah Faber is used to being in the spotlight. He’s been the main event over and over again. But on July 2 at UFC 132, Faber steps into the brightest spotlight of his career in the biggest fight of his career.
Faber squares of with UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, a man he’s defeated once before.
Only this time, unlike four and a half years ago in the WEC, Faber will be the challenger try to wrest the belt from Cruz.
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Hatsu Hioki to Train with Georges St-Pierre and Andre Benkei While UFC Negotiations Continue
While former Sengoku and Shooto fighter Hatsu Hioki hasn’t officially signed with the UFC yet, he’s going to do some training in the U.S. and Canada just to help him prepare if it does happen.
Hioki, who is currently ranked No. 4 in the MMAWeekly World MMA rankings, has been rumored to be negotiating with the UFC while searching for a new fight home.
The Japanese featherweight attended UFC 131 in Vancouver over the weekend, and will now be taking his talents to Canada and the United States to get some training in as well.
Strikeforce's Brett Rogers: "Healthy is going to get you wealthy"
DALLAS – Who's that guy sitting at the Strikeforce podium?
It's heavyweight Brett Rogers. You might do a double take after you see him – not just for the bright yellow T-shirt and fire-engine red shoes he sports. Something is different. He's a bit more, well, svelte.
As Rogers (11-2 MMA, 2-2 SF) said today, it's not just a full training camp that's shed the pounds. It's a new diet, which he said is one more step in being a "top to bottom" good athlete.
Strikeforce CEO on Cris "Cyborg" Santos negotiations: No deal but "We're dancing"
DALLAS – Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos, who's arguably the top female fighter in MMA today, still is without a contract.
The management team for Strikeforce current women's middleweight champion hasn't been able to strike a new deal with company officials.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) he has no updates on the negotiations, but he's optimistic a deal will get done and the 145-pound champ will be back in the cage.
Josh Barnett's Strange Journey to the Strikeforce Cage
Eight hundred seventy-two. That's the number of days since Josh Barnett last fought on U.S. soil (when he forced Gilbert Yvel to tap to strikes). In the interim, we've seen three Super Bowl champions. Two major scandals involving self-portraits of penises. Two earthquakes near 9.0 in magnitude in Japan and Chile. Flooding in Pakistan. The deaths of both Michael Jackson and Osama bin Laden. The rise of Twitter and Facebook. Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien playing hot potato with the Tonight Show. Uprisings in Egypt and Libya and across the Middle East. And so on and so forth.
Following UFC 131 loss, Shane Carwin has broken nose, possible orbital fracture
Following a UFC 131 main-event loss to Junior Dos Santos, Shane Carwin was unavailable to the media in the post-fight press conference and instead was ushered to the hospital.
Carwin, who was badly bloodied in the first round of Saturday's fight, ultimately survived the onslaught and settled for a unanimous-decision loss.
In a blog post, Carwin discussed the fight while confirming a suspected broken nose and a possible orbital fracture.