The Forward Roll - Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine edition
Over the last few days, there has been some confusion about whether all of the Strikeforce fighters will be transferred over to the UFC. Many of them will. Strikeforce contracts were owned by the same parent company as the UFC, so they are legally transferrable. Others won't make it, either because they are victims of losses that will see them cut, or have become free agents with price tags that Zuffa does not want to meet.
Josh Barnett right now seems in danger of falling into the last category. Barnett's fight deal expired with his Saturday night win, and the UFC hasn't tipped their hand regarding their interest in bringing him into the fold...
Eddie Alvarez Situation Still Not Settled, Dana White Expects Things to Get “Ugly”
It appears Eddie Alvarez’s free agency won’t be coming to an end in the near future without a fight happening first but it’s not a battle in the cage.
No, the battle is likely to take place in negotiations because the former Bellator lightweight champion appears locked in a fight between the two suitors who both want to sign him.
Following Alvarez’s last fight, he officially became a free agent after competing under the Bellator banner for the last few years. While the promotion retained a matching period to offer Alvarez equal money to that of any other organization courting his services, they allowed him to seek out the best deal before they decided if they would try to re-sign him or not...
UFC Champ Jon Jones Makes Top 20 List in ESPN 2012 'Cross-Sport' Power Rankings
Following a dominant year of title defenses and star-making headline news, Jon Jones has been rated as one of the year's Top 20 athletes across all sports.
That list, compiled by ESPN, places the UFC light heavyweight king at No. 18 overall, ahead of more famous stars like Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings.
However, Jones is a long way from the peak of the list, which is topped by LeBron James of the Miami Heat, one of the highest-paid and most prolific athletes in the world...
Heavyweight Fighters Predict UFC 155 Main Event
One of the most anticipated heavyweight clashes in history takes place this Saturday at the UFC’s year end show in Las Vegas.
Several of the sports heavyweight fighters took to various media outlets to discuss their opinion on the match up and MMAMania.com compiled the following:
Nam Phan Talks Short-Notice Fights
Nam Phan is certainly a favorite among MMA enthusiasts. A long time veteran of the sport, he puts on an exciting show every time he competes. He has won “Fight of the Night” Honors in two of his five previous UFC fights. And he has certainly endeared himself to the Zuffa brass, taking his fight this weekend against Dennis Siver on short notice.
Just days before making weight for his UFC on Fox 5 bout this Saturday, December 8th, Nam was generous enough to give us at MMA Playground some of his time and talk to us about short notice fights, and the preparation that comes with them.
P$: With only a couple of weeks to prepare on short notice, time is of the essence. As such do you focus more on your opponent, watching tape of his previous fights, or more on yourself and your own technique and conditioning?
Nam Phan: You HAVE to do both. You can't go in there blind, not knowing who you are fighting. I studied what I could in the short time I had and I tried to get my conditioning up as much as I could in such a short time.
P$: Siver has moved down from Welterweight, to Lightweight, and now he is meeting you at Featherweight. As other fighters filter down to 145, have you noticed the division getting physically larger?
Nam Phan: Yeah definitely. There are a bunch of tough guys coming into the division, Frankie Edgar, Clay Guida, Dennis Siver. Everybody is moving to Featherweight man, making my job tougher!
P$: Has that affected you in the gym as far as the things you work on?
Nam Phan: Oh yeah, definitely. I'm always trying to keep up to date with the trends within MMA. When I can I always try to train at Alpha Male. Those guys are amazing and always show me great stuff, so I'm trying to learn what I can with the time I have left in the sport.
P$: Do you spend most of your time training at Team Alpha Male?
Nam Phan: No, I only go there when I'm training for a fight. Most of the time I'm back home in Orange County, where I train at my own gym (Nam Phan MMA Academy). I also spend some time at Anaheim Boxing.
P$: If you could book your own schedule, how many fights a year do you feel is the perfect amount for you?
Nam Phan: I think about 4 fights a year is good. It's not too much. It's just about right.
P$: You're coming off a big win against Cole Miller. Are you feeling good taking that momentum in to this fight?
Nam Phan: Yeah it definitely feels good. A win is always important, especially coming against someone as tough as Cole Miller. So hopefully that gives me the confidence to come in and beat someone up like Dennis Siver.
P$: You've been in the sport for a decade. What aspect(s) of the sport do you feel have changed the most?
Nam Phan: Definitely the transition from jiu-jitsu to wrestling. In the very beginning jiu-jitsu was dominant, but now wrestling has really taken over. With everyone having good boxing and takedown defense, submissions have become more rare these days.
It was great chatting with Nam, big thanks to him from MMA Playground!
You can follow Nam Phan on Twitter @NamPhanMMA and visit his website at IamNam.com.
Nam would also like to shout out his sponsors Hayabusa and The Ally Restaurant in Westminster, CA.
The Fact of the Matter is Michael Bisping is the Unofficial Strikeforce Middleweight Champion
“Are they gonna come over and be number one contenders? Are they gonna come in and take the belt? I don’t think so. You’re in Strikeforce, come over to the UFC and earn your place.”
As a matter of fact… yes fact… Bisping believes Rockhold’s belt rightfully belongs around his waist.
“Let me put it like this,” said the brash Brit. “I’ve sparred with Luke Rockhold recently and let’s just say, I’m the unofficial Strikeforce champion.
“These are the facts.”
After Getting Shot and Going Through Addiction, Tim Means Building UFC Career
The 28-year-old has been shot, addicted to drugs and also served time in prison. He survived all of those ordeals, though, and is now 2-0 in the UFC. Ahead of his Dec. 8 bout against Abel Trujillo at UFC on Fox 5, Means joined the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Rewind” show and discussed his past with host Jack Encarnacao.
On getting shot: “I went out partying one night with some buddies, got drunk and winded up at a local business here. One thing led to another, walked outside a little while later and a guy winded up shooting six of us.
On what started the incident: “In all honesty, we supposedly cut in line and the guys had recognized me from a local fight organization. ... They didn’t want to fight then. We shook hands and left it alone. He winded up calling his cousin up. About an hour later, we walked outside and the dude just started shooting at us, no questions said, no nothing. He just started firing into a bunch of us.”
On where he was hit: “My femoral artery in my left thigh. I have about an eight- or nine-inch scar on my left thigh from where they had to cut me open, go in and tie my femoral artery. They said I was bleeding to death. I had a good buddy named Brian Shaw who wrapped a belt around my leg, and supposedly that saved my life. I was bleeding pretty good, so thanks to Brian Shaw for saving me that night. I thought I was going to die.”
Ronda Rousey: I have sex as much as possible pre fight
UFC women's Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey appeared recently on the JIM Rome show, and discussed the "women weaken legs" rule in fighting.
“For girls it raises your testosterone," explained Rousey. "so I try to have as much sex as possible before I fight actually. Not with like everybody, I don’t put out like a Craigslist ad or anything, but if I got a steady I’m going to be like ‘yo, fight time’s coming up’."
There are limits however.
“You can’t (beep beep) somebody and go fight that day," said Rousey with a laugh.
She concluded by citing studies done that show that male fighters who abstain for months before a fight can actually suffer decreased performance (in fighting).
For a few UFC fighters, there are some terrible moments that just won't die
Former UFC welterweight Frank Trigg has a running joke with Zuffa matchmaker Sean Shelby, who also happens to be heavily involved in putting together the UFC's highlight reels. It's a familiar routine that often plays out via text message right before the UFC runs it's pre-event video package of great moments from fight cards past, all set to The Who's "Baba O'Riley."
"Before it starts I say, 'Sean, are you about to hurt my feelings again?'" Trigg told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
It's not exactly a serious question, because Trigg already knows the answer. He knows that, just as surely as clips from the classic fight between Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar will make it into the highlight reel, so will he. It's just that he'll be on the wrong end of one of those memorable UFC moments. He'll be getting carried across the cage like a bag of fertilizer by former 170-pound champ Matt Hughes. He'll be getting slammed on the mat and then choked into submission at UFC 52, right before Hughes is lifted up in triumph to the sound of soaring guitars and a wailing Pete Townsend.
"I can't even listen to that song anymore," Trigg said. "It was seven years ago."
Robert Drysdale: 'Arrogant' and 'idiot' Anderson Silva wants Georges St. Pierre fight, not Jon Jones, because of size advantage
Speaking to ProMMAInsider.com, Robert says though Silva is a "phenomenal" fighter, as a person, he is as "arrogant" as they come:
"I think he's phenomenal man. I think he is phenomenal. I just think he's got an attitude man. Yeah. He's great, he's a phenomenal striker, unbelievable man. I keep saying that. He's really that good. But, I don't think much of the guy just because of his attitude. I don't think much of him as a person. I think he's incredibly arrogant and I just don't look up to people like that, I don't care how skilled you are. I really don't. To me, it's like, 'Alright, you're skilled, but you're an idiot.' So, whatever. I don't think that much of the guy as a person."
Chiming in on the much-publicized "super fight' between UFC welterweight champion and Silva, Drysdale believes the only reason Anderson wants the bout is because he knows he can beat "Rush" due to his size.
A fight against light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, however, is a whole different ball game, and according to Drysdale, Silva recognizes that:
"I would like to see him and Jon Jones, man. I think that would be a hard pick. Him and GSP, I think he would have an edge on [him] because he's going to be so much bigger, so much taller. Because he walks around 220-something from what I hear. Him and Jon Jones would be a better match and fun to watch. He knows that he can beat GSP because of the length. His (Silva's) wrestling has improved a lot from preparing for Chael Sonnen. But, that would be GSP's best bet and even so, he wouldn't be much better than Anderson on the ground. Jon Jones, it's a different ball game, he's longer than Anderson Silva and he's a better wrestler. Yeah, he (Silva) knows that."
Let's see, that's now at least six major prominent figures in the fight game that believe Silva is picking on the much smaller man. With Freddie Roach, Tito Ortiz, Martin Kampmann, Cesar Gracie and Firas Zahabi sharing Robert's sentiments.
UFC boss Dana White confirms move to Hard Rock was retaliation for credit cut at Palms
The UFC's return to Las Vegas' Hard Rock Hotel and Casino from the Palms Casino Resort was the result of a fallout between UFC President Dana White and the Palms.
White on Saturday confirmed to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) the accuracy of a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which stated he cut ties with the venue when his credit limit was cut in half.
"I had a little beef with the Palms, and I ripped the UFC out of there," he said with a chuckle...
The Georges St-Pierre business is booming despite layoff
According to industry sources, St-Pierre has 14 endorsement deals, with each paying him in the six-figure range. If you tally up the numbers from past and present deals, his income outside the cage is well into eight figures, sources say, with much of it coming in the past year.
The question is, how does a fighter who hasn't fought in more than a year and a half become such a magnet for blue-chip sponsors while sitting on the sidelines? The answer, according to those who know him best, has to do with St-Pierre's squeaky-clean image outside the cage and the team of high-powered agents in his corner...
BJ Penn Serious About His UFC Comeback with Stacked Team of Training Partners
No one has ever questioned that B.J. Penn wants to go down in the annals of UFC history as one of the best fighters of all time, but there have been moments when his motivation to train and prepare have come into doubt.
Returning from a short-lived retirement to face Rory MacDonald at UFC on Fox 5 on Dec. 8 in Seattle, however, Penn appears to be at the top of his game, even in the training room.
At least, if the training partners he’s hired for this fight are any indication, it appears that Penn couldn’t be any more serious about his Octagon comeback...
Ronda Rousey's manager responds to Cyborg's life-threatening weight cut claims
Ronda Rousey's manager takes 'Cyborg' Santos and her professional medical opinion that warns a 10-pound weight cut could harm the Brazilian to task, saying opinions (paraphrasing here) are like belly buttons ... everyone has got them.
Everyone has got them, including medical professionals who are charged with protecting the health -- and possibly even the self interests -- of their patients.
The cardiologist who former Strikeforce female champion Cristiane Santos relies on to ensure that her lub-dub lub-dubs properly to keep her blood pumping, recently warned her that cutting 10 pounds could have detrimental effects on her ticker. In addition to the potential pulmonary problems, the drop from her current fighting weight of 145 to pounds to 135 pounds could prohibit "Cyborg" from "carrying a child later in life."
Risking life and possibly motherhood for a mixed martial arts (MMA) fight seems like a pretty easy decision: No thanks.
Then again, it's only one opinion and, as we've already explained, everyone has got them, including medical professionals who are charged with protecting the health -- and possibly even the self interests -- of their patients. Just because it's one opinion, naturally, doesn't mean it's the correct or accurate reflection of the current situation.
Rather than let me try and explain it, I'll turn it over to Darin Harvey, who represents current Strikeforce female champion -- and possibly future big-money "Cyborg" opponent -- Ronda Rousey, who just so happens to weigh 10 pounds less than the Brazilian.
Harvey breaks it down to Yahoo!Sports.com:
"If you ask five doctors, you'll get five different opinions. I guarantee you, you can find doctors that'll say the weight cut will be fine.... It all depends on what side they're working for. It's her doctor. If you're going to trial, I can find a professional witness to make you look innocent or make you look guilty.... I don't want to see anyone get hurt long-term ... but my personal belief is she can lose the weight. She would just prefer an advantage to fight at 145 pounds. And I think we have the advantage at 135."
"We want that fight because it's a big money fight. We want to fight Cyborg and I think Ronda can beat her at any weight. But I believe if she's not taking drugs, 135 pounds will be absolutely no problem.... At the end of the day, it's up to Ronda. I would advise against it because I would like to do everything to get Cyborg down to 135 pounds, but I know it's the fight the world wants to see. I think it's a million-plus Pay-Per-View fight, so we have to take those things into consideration."
Anderson Silva says he won't fight again until the end of 2013
When Anderson Silva knocked Stephan Bonnar into retirement in early October, it was believed that the UFC had bypassed a key hurdle on the way to a Silva vs. Georges St-Pierre super fight. The last obstacle will come on Nov. 17, when GSP faces Carlos Condit. With a St-Pierre win, there would be no major contender issues, and talk could finally turn to financial matters in putting together what would clearly be one of the biggest money fights in mixed martial arts history.
But in the final days before St-Pierre vs. Condit, expectations may have to be tempered. In a Monday interview with Tatame, Silva said that he has no plans to challenge St-Pierre after the completion of UFC 154, and furthermore said that he did not expect to fight again until the end of 2013...
Ronda Rousey coming to UFC can change the sport
As Ronda Rousey becomes heralded as the first woman fighter in the UFC, it's amazing how quickly this has all happened.
Even more, one asks the questions, where is this going and what is the ceiling?
It's impossible to answer. But in cases like this, timing is everything. And the timing looks awfully good.
There are still some who cling to the notion that MMA fans don't want to see women battle in the cage, and it won't work in the UFC. But there is already years of evidence in Strikeforce and other organizations that prove differently.
Women have already shown they are viable on the card. And it's also been proven that with the right mix of personalities, women can be successful headlining major shows...
UFC: Stephan Bonnar and Dave Herman admit to taking banned substances
Stephan Bonnar and Dave Herman admit to taking the banned substances that prompted their failed drug tests at this past month's UFC 153 event.
That's according to the UFC, which recently issued a statement on both fighters.
As MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) first reported on Friday, Bonnar tested positive for drostanolone, an anabolic steroid, and Herman's test detected marijuana metabolites.
"The UFC has a strict, consistent policy against the use of any illegal and/or performance-enhancing drugs, stimulants or masking agents," the statement read. "Both fighters have admitted taking the banned substances and have orally agreed to suspensions. Once the suspensions have been reduced to written agreements, the results of their tests and the agreed-upon suspensions will be sent to the Association of Boxing Commissions official record-keeper so other jurisdictions will be on notice."
The length of the suspensions wasn't disclosed.
Report: Japanese star Kazuo Misaki to retire after DEEP 60 bout
It appears as if the former Grabaka Hitman is choosing retirement over a cloudy future in Strikeforce. Kazuo Misaki (25-11-2, 1 NC), the Pride 2006 welterweight grand prix winner, will take one more bout in Japan before he hangs them up for good according to MMAAsia.com:
In the biggest news of the night, the legendary Kazuo Misaki announced that he will step away from MMA action and that his final fight will be at DEEP’s December 22 Haleo Impact event. Due to Misaki’s Strikeforce contract, the match may have to be a "special exhibition bout" and no opponent was named.