Nogueira vs. Velasquez Now Set For UFC 108
A heavyweight showdown between Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Cain Velasquez has been confirmed for UFC 108 in Las Vegas.
The possibility of the bout arose last week when Nogueira’s manager talked about the fight to SportTV. MMAWeekly.com has since been able to confirm the bout with multiple sources, who say it will happen on Jan. 2. ...
'Henderson Not Signed Anywhere'
Dan Henderson remains an unsigned commodity, the fighter’s business partner and manager, Aaron Crecy, told Sherdog.com late Thursday, responding to a new report that states the top-five middleweight has signed with Strikeforce.
“Dan hasn’t signed anywhere,” said Crecy.
Crecy has stepped forward twice in the last three weeks to counter claims that his client had signed with the UFC’s biggest U.S. competitor. In mid-October, the middleweight and his managerial team also squashed reports that Henderson was close to signing a deal with Strikeforce.
Henderson and the UFC have been stuck on the monetary terms of a new five-fight agreement since late July. In that time, UFC President Dana White has described the renegotiations as anywhere from “stalemated” to “done.”
However, Sherdog.com has direct knowledge from multiple parties involved that talks between both sides have continued the entire time and even into this week.
On Wednesday, White again commented publicly about Henderson.
“I guarantee you 1,000 percent that Dan Henderson is signed by Strikeforce,” White told Yahoo Sports.
Crecy said the statement is 100 percent false.
“Anyone that would report that is misinformed,” he said.
Strikeforce Signs Zaromskis
Dream welterweight champion Marius Zaromskis has come to terms on a multi-fight contract with Strikeforce, according to officials within the promotion.
An emerging superstar at 170 pounds, the 29-year-old Lithuanian could make his promotional debut on Dec. 19 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. Zaromskis will still compete inside the Japan-based Dream organization, which has formed an alliance with Strikeforce.
Josh Barnett receives second extension for CSAC steroid appeal
Affliction Grim Reaper and former PRIDE star Josh Barnett has applied for — and received — a second extension for his appeal directed towards the ruling of the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) after he was popped for steroids in a random drug test prior to his August 1 bout against Fedor Emelianenko, according to Sherdog.com.
“The Babyface Assassin” returned a positive “B” sample on July 31, all but confirming his initial test result that began a downward spiral for his employer and fellow fighters.
Barnett’s positive test led to Affliction MMA’s house of cards to come crashing down, calling it quits as a fight promoter and returning to the UFC as a corporate sponsor with its clothing brand. Several intriguing fights were scrapped as a result, forcing fighters to search for work elsewhere … Barnett included.
The former UFC Heavyweight champion issued a press release last month, calling into question the integrity of those results alleged by the CSAC — who does have a fairly sordid history dating back to the Sean Sherk scandal and beyond.
From his official press release:
Mr. Barnett was shocked at these allegations and was extremely disappointed to learn that Affliction had made the hasty decision to cancel the August 1st event in its entirety. Mr. Barnett vehemently denies intentionally ingesting any banned substances in preparation for the August 1st fight and he is looking forward to presenting his case to the California State Athletic Commission.
Barnett is appealing this most recent steroid finding with the CSAC but was likely counting on his second “B” sample to help dispute the initial positive result.
In light of this new development, Barnett will not be eligible to reapply for a license to fight in the United States for at least a year, forcing him to remain exiled in Japan until then. With a FieLDS Dynamite!! card looming and a successful wrestling career; however, it may not be too difficult to find work.
Bas, Miletich & More talk Shogun v Machida
Bas Rutten – “Its going to be a great fight! Shogun is the better striker (hands), kicking wise I think he has the same skills as Machida he might kick harder though plus he has those crazy knees. Shogun is wilder than Machida, Machida is great at staying outside the opponents distance and countering the attacks that are thrown at him. The trick to beating Machida is to let him attack you and counter him, since he's a counter fighter you will take that away from him. Machida is more accurate then Shogun with his strikes but Shogun has a wider arsenal of strikes. Difficult one to predict, from what I hear from EVERYBODY who trains with Machida, they can't touch him. If he plays that game (thank God for 5 rounds) and counters the strikes from Shogun, he wins the fight. If one of those crazy combinations from Shogun comes through though, he will win. No prediction from me, I just break down the fights, I suck at predictions! Godspeed and party on!”
Shawn Tompkins: Chris Horodecki Heading to the WEC
According to trainer Shawn Tompkins, MMA lightweight Chris Horodecki will be heading to the WEC. "It looks like Chris Horodecki will be showing up in the WEC," Tompkins revealed in a recent conversation with FightHype.com. Although contracts have yet to be finalized, Tompkins seemed confident that a deal would be in place within the next couple of days.
Wren thinks Jackson is not a coach
5. It sure looked like Rampage and his coaches gave little support to their fighters after they lost. What was your impression?
Justin Wren – “I absolutely have to agree with you. I heard Rampage saying it was the editing but even though his fighters liked him; look at the last TUF he was on and his record was 1-7. From the day I got there I knew I didn’t want to be on his team and I don’t think it has anything to do with the editing. He really did just ditch his fighters and to be honest he is no coach. I was really fortunate to be on Rashad’s Team.”
Dan Henderson's Camp Says No Deal With Strikeforce Is Imminent
Dan Henderson is currently an MMA free agent considering all his options, but his camp says he is not close to signing a deal with Strikeforce or any other promotion after his negotiations with the UFC stalled.
Responding to a Yahoo Sports report that Henderson is "on the verge of signing" with Strikeforce, Henderson's friend and business partner Aaron Crecy said that wasn't the case, and that no signing with anyone is imminent.
Can CBS bring Fedor to the masses?
The new CBS commercial featuring Fedor Emelianenko drew a mixed reaction from the MMA faithful this week – a slick product, yes, but late in the game.
The 33-year-old Emelianenko, who faces heavyweight hopeful Brett Rogers Nov. 7 at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers on CBS, has been the people’s champion for legions of fans who live and breathe the sport.
Most of them, however, know that those outside their circle will spell success or failure for the network event.
CBS had some of both when they promoted three MMA cards last year under the banner of the now-defunct EliteXC. The first and last events, bolstered by Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano, were unqualified ratings triumphs. The second, void of fighters with crossover appeal, drew poorly.
Advertising for the Strikeforce event began a little over a month ago, leading many to question the network’s commitment to the promotion, and by proxy, the sport.
CBS Senior Executive Vice President Kelly Kahl said his network will put its best foot forward in the buildup to Nov. 7, but asked the faithful to help CBS hit a home run.
“MMA fans seem to seek a greater acceptance, and nothing helps better than calling your friends and saying ‘you’ve got to check this out,’” he said.
The network ran several 10-second spots for the event during the past two weekends of NFL coverage, the first salvo in what Kahl said was the start of a comprehensive campaign. He said the network was assembling footage for new promotional spots and said the volume – and scope – of advertising would be increasing shortly, expanding to cable, radio, and the web.
Henderson, UFC Fail To Come To Terms
Dan Henderson’s career with the Ultimate Fighting Championship has ground to a close in a contract stalemate, and the former two-division PRIDE champion appears on the verge of signing a deal with the rival Strikeforce promotion.
Henderson, 39, devastatingly knocked out Michael Bisping in the second round of their heavily hyped fight on July 11 at UFC 100 in Las Vegas, in the final fight of his contract.
UFC Newcomer Alexander Gustafsson Proving Scandinavian MMA is Growing
Scandinavian countries such as Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland haven't been hotbeds of MMA talent. Over the years, there have been a few quality fighters coming out of the region that most hardcore fans would recognize instantly, but there hasn't been a large progression over the last few years in the talent being pumped out of these countries.
Norway's Joachim Hansen is probably one of the most recognized names on the list, but among casual fans -- Denmark's Martin Kampmann would fit the bill as one of the more successful Scandanavian fighters. Sweden brought two prospects to the UFC in Per Eklund and David Bielkheden, and other prospects such as Iceland's Gunnar Nelson, Swedish light heavyweight Bobby Rehman, welterweight Diego Gonzalez, lightweight Reza Madadi, and Finnish welterweight Janne Turilinta will all likely see a bright future with bigger promotions soon.
Junie Browning Apologizes, Promises to Improve Himself
Former UFC lightweight Junie Browning spoke publicly for the first time Tuesday, exactly one week after he reportedly consumed 16 pills of the anti-anxiety medication Klonopin in an attempt to overdose and allegedly assaulting three nurses when treated at the St. Rose Dominican Hospital in Henderson, Nev.
Browning spoke to the media at former Xtreme Couture trainer Shawn Tompkins' house to issue an apology to the nurses, his supporters and Tompkins, who drove Browning to the hospital and had taken the fighter under his wings.
"I'm going to continue working on the problems I have, but again I want to apologize to everyone that was involved," Browning told Raw Vegas in the video above. "It was a horrible thing that happened."
Ben Rothwell Living on the Edge of a Dream
"Had it not been for therapy, Ben Rothwell might never have found MMA.
He fought plenty outside the ring, lashing out at a suddenly uncertain world as a 17-year-old in Kenosha, Wis. In a short period, he had lost his grandmother on his mom’s side, his grandfather on his father’s side, and his best friend. His grades started to slip. His parents were going to kick him out of the house."
Junie browning no longer with UFC
Junie Browning, who was a standout on “The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs. Team Mir” more for his antics than his in-cage performance, was arrested Tuesday night in Henderson, Nev., after allegedly assaulting three nurses at St. Rose Dominican Hospital, according to a report by Lawrence Mower of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The report states that two friends took the 24-year-old Browning to the hospital after he overdosed on anti-anxiety pills. After being taken to a room at the hospital, he reportedly tried to leave and became angry, pushing a female nurse, punching a male nurse and kicking another male nurse.
Browning was charged with three counts of battery on a health care worker.
UFC president Dana White on Wednesday told Yahoo! Sports that, upon learning of the arrest, he terminated Browning’s UFC contract.
“He was given an amazing opportunity, but he has some serious issues that are beyond me and what I can do,” White told reporter Kevin Iole. “I’m there for guys and I realize nobody is perfect and guys are going to get into trouble. When that happens, I want to try to help and do something for them. But he needs more help than I can give him. I did what I could for him.”
Matt Serra's Road Back to UFC Welterweight Title Begins in February
If you're wondering why Matt Serra hasn't been booked to fight since his UFC 98 clash against rival Matt Hughes in May, it's not because he's been injured or taking the loss too hard. No, Serra has simply been busy working on his new 83,000 square foot MMA gym that will be opening soon.
"It's going to be a beautiful martial arts facility," Serra told FanHouse on Thursday. "It's going to be the best one on Long Island, that's for sure."
Cain Velasquez Chasing UFC Heavyweight Title ... And Perfection
In few sports is true perfection attainable. In baseball, a pitcher can retire 27 batters in a row (it's only been done 18 times in over 100 years). A bowler can reach perfection with strikes in 12 straight frames. In football, a quarterback can somewhat illogically boast of a perfect passer rating even in a game where he does not complete all his passes (and even in a game that his team loses).
So the concept of perfection in sports is difficult to quantify, explain and achieve. Nonetheless, it's what motivates rising heavyweight star Cain Velasquez, who faces Ben Rothwell (30-6) at UFC 104 on Oct. 24.
Despite his 6-0 record with five stoppages, Velasquez remains his own worst critic as he continues his ascent to what he hopes will soon be a date with the heavyweight championship on the line. The new father of 4 1/2 month old daughter Coral recently took some time to talk to FanHouse about his demanding personality, switching opponents from Shane Carwin to Rothwell, and his response to critics.
Ryan Couture Maps Out Plans to Go Pro
"Having one of the most famous surnames in mixed martial arts, there's been a lot of attention paid to Ryan Couture's amateur fighting career. Son of legendary UFC fighter Randy "The Natural" Couture, Ryan has had five amateur bouts. With his first round submission victory over Nick Albert at Sportfight 26 on Oct. 2, Couture is eying turning pro and planning his professional MMA debut in 2010."
Chuck Liddell Sounds Like a Man Who Wants to Fight
The last time I talked to Chuck Liddell, in August, he wasn't ready to say whether he would retire from the UFC. Two months later, he still isn't ready -- but I got the sense then, and I still get the sense from a TV interview he gave Monday, that he's itching to get back into the Octagon. Video below.