Fear a motivating factor for Griffin
LAS VEGAS -- After more than a year off due to injury, Forrest Griffin will return to the Octagon on Saturday for a light heavyweight fight against Rich Franklin at UFC 126.
Afterward, win or lose, Griffin says he's planning something that could change his career. At 31, Griffin's best years as a fighter aren't behind him, but he admits he's peaked in a different way.
For years, he's surrounded himself with some of the best coaches in every facet of the game. What he's lacked, however, is that one mastermind, the "head coach" who he trusts to build his game plans and bring every part of his training together.
Paul Daley Promises Knockout of Nick Diaz, Voices Criticism of GSP
Paul Daley has other business on his fighting agenda before he can lock up a Strikeforce welterweight title shot against current champion Nick Diaz, but that doesn't mean the hard-hitting Brit isn't already looking forward to the possibility of facing Diaz.
Daley needs to win a Feb. 26 match in the UK with Yuya Shirai, and if he does, a date with Diaz awaits him.
While Diaz recently said he's "not impressed with Paul Daley as a mixed martial artist" aside from his standup, Daley indicated on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour that he'd have more than enough firepower to wrest the belt from him.
"Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg" salaries: Nick Diaz leads $463,500 fighter payroll
Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz ($150,000) and fellow defending champion Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza ($85,000) were the top earners at this past weekend's "Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg" event.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today requested and received the list of salaries from the California State Athletic Commission.
The event took place at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., and aired on Showtime. The total disclosed payroll for the event was $463,500.
Diaz defeated Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos ($20,000) in the night's headliner, and middleweight champ Souza stopped Lawler ($65,000) in the co-headliner.
Perhaps the most notable figure was the salary attached to former NFL great Herschel Walker. Despite his heavy promotion of the card and the interest he drew for his second pro fight, he earned a flat rate of $5,000. However, additional compensation likely came in other forms for the 48-year-old fighter.
The full payouts include:
Champ Nick Diaz: $150,000 (no win bonus)
def. Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos: $20,000
Champ Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza: $85,000 ($15,000 win bonus)
def. Robbie Lawler : $65,000
Herschel Walker: $5,000 (no win bonus)
def. Scott Carson: $5,000
Roger Gracie: $75,000 (no win bonus)
def. Trevor Prangley: $30,000
Nate Moore: $4,000 ($2,000 win bonus)
def. Nathan Coy: $3,000
Isaiah Hill: $3,000 ($1,500 win bonus)
def. Bobby Stack: $1,500
Ron Keslar: $3,000 ($1,500 win bonus)
def. Eric Lawson: $1,500
Germaine de Randamie: $3,000 ($1,000 win bonus)
def. Stephanie Webber: $1,000
James Terry: $3,000 ($1,500 win bonus)
def. Lucas Gamaza: $1,500
Jenna Castillo: $3,000 ($1,500 win bonus)
def. Charlene Gellner: $1,000
Tyron Woodley Believes He's No. 1 Contender and on Nick Diaz's Mind
Here's what we know is true about Tyron Woodley: he's 28 years old; he made his MMA debut two years ago; he's 8-0; and he just signed a new four-fight deal with Strikeforce.
Here's what Woodley would like you to know: he should be fighting for the Strikeforce welterweight title as soon as possible.
"I think I'm the No. 1 contender at this point," the American Top Team member said on Monday's episode of The MMA Hour. "I think, realistically, from the communication I got from Strikeforce, me and Tarec [Saffiedine] wasn't just an irrelevant fight. It meant something. It meant that we were fighting for either the No. 1 contendership spot or to bang heads with [Paul] Daley, and I'm more than willing to go against Daley to solidify that I'm the No. 1 contender and I deserve a title shot.
Despite Love of Boxing, Trevor Wittman Happy to Have Moved on to MMA
WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. – Trevor Wittman has a case of strep throat. Maybe. At least, there's a chance he does, and for a top MMA trainer, a chance is too much.
In his line of work, which requires getting right in the faces of elite professional fighters who are anywhere from several months to several days away from important fights, he can't risk the possibility that he might accidentally infect them. They have enough to worry about, and he can practically feel the white spots popping up on the back of his throat every time he swallows. This explains his uniform for today.
"I swear I don't normally dress like a ninja," the 35-year-old Wittman explains as he leads me into his little office inside the Grudge Training Center.
Diaz focuses on Cyborg -- then boxing?
Nothing is taking Nick Diaz's mind off the task at hand -- not the hoopla surrounding his refusal to move up in weight and face Jason "Mayhem" Miller nor the possibility of competing in a boxing match later this year.
Strikeforce's welterweight champion is focused solely on successfully defending his title on Saturday night (on Showtime at 10 ET) in San Jose, Calif., against Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos.
If Diaz loses focus for just a short period of time, his reign could end. Diaz (23-7-0, 1 no-contest) is aware that Santos has enough power and determination to end his night quickly.
Jens Pulver Out to 'Rebuild' After Ending Six-Fight Losing Streak
There's still some fight left in "Lil' Evil."
Former UFC lightweight champ Jens Pulver (23-14-1) this past Saturday submitted Mike Lindquist with a first-round rear-naked choke at an XFO event in Woodstock, Ill., snapping a six-fight losing streak.
It was Pulver's first win in over three years and would have retired had he fallen short against the unheralded fighter (6-20), Pulver said Monday on MMAFighting.com's The MMA Hour.
Former UFC champ Jens Pulver snaps losing streak, wins XFO 38 headliner
Jens Pulver snapped a six-fight losing streak and picked up his first victory since 2007 with a win in the headliner of Saturday's XFO 38 event.
Pulver (23-14-1) scored a quick, 49-second rear-naked choke victory over area fighter and one-time WEC competitor Mike Lindquist (6-20).
The event took place at Woodstock Harley Davidson in Woodstock, Ill., and streamed online.
Cesar Gracie explains why Diaz chose Strikeforce over UFC
Diaz recently signed an extension with Strikeforce. Though Gracie could not discuss the exact terms, he said reports the contract was for a three-year deal were inaccurate.
He confirmed that the UFC was interested in Diaz but noted that the decision was ultimately made to stay with Strikeforce because Diaz's brother Nate and his main training partner Jake Shields also fight in the UFC's welterweight class.
Diaz, however, is not closing the door on a return to the UFC (he fought 10 times for the promotion between 2003-2006, going 6-4).
After big revelation with Lesnar, Barry ready for Beltran at UFC Fight Night 23
Something had been missing in the two years since Pat Barry gave up his K-1 dreams and decided to become a ninja. Or a mixed martial artist.
One of the two. Maybe both.
Barry was doing everything he needed to become a well-rounded fighter, which in his case was a near-daily regimen of wrestling and jiu jitsu with his stablemates at Roufusport Academy in Milwaukee.
He toiled on the mats learning about the completely different application of leverage and balance. He learned about how to get out of bad situations and how to get back to his feet. He got tapped, a lot.
Mark Hominick: Jose Aldo Hasn't Faced a Striker Like Me
The news that Mark Hominick is one win away from a UFC featherweight title shot against Jose Aldo has been questioned by some MMA fans who wonder whether Hominick has really done enough to merit fighting for a belt.
But for his part, Hominick insists that he has exactly what it takes to beat Aldo, and that he's ready to throw things at Aldo in the cage that the champion has never seen before.
"Aldo has faced everybody -- he's faced top grapplers, top jiu jitsu guys, wrestlers," Hominick said on HDNet's Inside MMA. "But he hasn't faced a top elite striker like myself. I'm going to be in his face."
Nate Diaz is tired of 'ridiculous' scoring in MMA
For as long as there has been judging in MMA, there has been complaining about judging in MMA. Now Nate Diaz is piling on with his critique of the scoring system currently in place. According to the "Kid from Stockton," all you have to do to win a fight is get on top of your opponent and hold him down. In the interest of full disclosure, it should be noted that Diaz was largely out-wrestled and controlled by Dong Hyun Kim en route to a decision loss at UFC 125 on Jan. 1.
Jens Pulver wants to give it one more shot so he can 'retire the right way'
The sad tale of once great UFC Lightweight Champion Jens Pulver will continue when he fights at XFO 38 on Jan. 22 against Mike Lindquist in Woodstock, Illinois. When looking at the current state of affairs for the longtime veteran, one can't help but wonder -- why continue? Why keep fighting after eight losses in his last nine fights and six in a row? Well, Pulver tells MMAFighting.com that he's not okay with ending his once proud career with that many consecutive losses.
Josh Barnett out to take states by storm
While Strikeforce was in the process of putting together its heavyweight tournament, some high-profile participants requested specific opponents. No one requested a fight with Josh Barnett.
It wasn't that the higher-profile fighters -- including Fedor Emelianenko and Alistair Overeem -- sought to avoid him. In their minds, they simply had bigger fish to fry.
Emelianenko will take on Antonio Silva on Feb. 12 in Newark, N.J. Overeem is slated to face Fabricio Werdum on a date that has yet to be determined.
When the brackets were finalized, Barnett found himself in the less appealing group. That he isn't in the same group with Emelianenko, Overeem and Werdum reveals how much Barnett's star has dimmed.
Fedor: 'I Never Believed I Was the Best Fighter in the World'
Heavyweight great Fedor Emelianenko will leave it up to observers and pundits to determine who the No. 1 heavyweight in the world is following the conclusion of the 2010 Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix.
Should the winner of the tournament be ranked higher than the UFC heavyweights?
"That's probably something the specialists and commentators should decide," Fedor said Thursday on a conference call promoting his upcoming quarterfinal bout against Antonio Silva.
Jens Pulver in main event of XFO 38, Jan. 22
Former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver (22-14-1) will whet his appetite for an expected March fight with another booking later this month just outside of Chicago.
Now-featherweight Pulver is set to headline XFO 38 opposite Mike Lindquist (6-19) on Jan. 22 at the Woodstock Harley Davidson in Woodstock, Ill.
It's the former champ's second fight since being released from the now-defunct WEC following a stretch of five losses.
Shields up: Georges St. Pierre is going to have to deal with 'new strategies' on April 30
I definitely feel that I'll find a way to get him down and I think he's going to try to get me down too. He's a great wrestler and Jiu-Jitsu fighter as well, so I think this fight will definitely hit the ground. There are big differences between me and all of the other guys at 170-pounds. Koscheck shoots in a big blast double from outside and GSP had an answer for that. I have some different strategies and I'm going to try to come up with some new strategies because it is hard to get GSP to the ground. I have a feeling I'll be able to get him down there with my style."
Fight Path: Marlon Moraes the next version of UFC's Edson Barboza?
Marlon Moraes has been a skilled fighter from the beginning, as his two Brazilian Muay Thai national championships underline.
But when given the choice, he picked mixed martial arts, and he became a second standout up-and-comer from his small Brazilian town.
Several years ago, when a martial arts show came to Moraes's home town of Nova Friburgo, he was asked to be part of it.
Ring girls Brittney Palmer and Holly Madison added to UFC 125 lineup
The UFC has added two familiar ring girls to the lineup for Saturday's UFC 125 event.
Former WEC ring girl Brittney Palmer will circle the UFC octagon in her first duties since the merger with its sister promotion.
Additionally, Playboy model and "The Girls Next Door" star Holly Madison returns to the organization for the first time since guest-ring-girl duties at UFC 100 in July 2009.