KURT PELLEGRINO SCORES A UFC TRIFECTA
Over a brief period of time it looked like UFC lightweight Kurt Pellegrino may be on his way down the 155-pound ladder, or worse yet, out of the company.
Losses in two out of three fights, to Joe Stevenson and Nate Diaz, had Pellegrino reeling, looking for a way to rebound and get his career back on track.
Enter fellow UFC lightweight contender Kenny Florian.
After moving back to his native New Jersey and making a decision to join Florian’s camp in Boston, Pellegrino has flourished, winning three straight fights, including this past Saturday’s win at UFC 101 over Josh Neer.
UFC 1 COMMENTATOR KATHY LONG MAKES MMA DEBUT
The breakout mainstream success that has been achieved by Gina Carano may seem like a new phenomenon, but in truth she is simply the latest in a line of women to achieve such things.
In the 90’s it was Kathy “The Punisher” Long who parlayed her success in the kickboxing and boxing ring to movie roles in such films as Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers and Tim Burton's Batman Returns to even making an appearance as a commentator at UFC 1.
GINA CARANO IS BRINGING THE PASSION BACK
For Gina Carano, it’s a good thing that her next opponent, Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos, is the scariest fighter south of the equator. If she wasn’t, Carano would have a hard time getting into the gym.
On Saturday, history will be made in San Jose, Calif., when the two face off as headliners of a major MMA card in the midst of a headline-filled summer. Strikeforce, the sole second of the UFC, booked the fight for five, five-minute rounds to the objections of some of its fighters. The logic was that female fighters always steal the show, especially when one of those fighters is the first and only female to crossover on the mainstream radar.
MATYUSHENKO RETURNS AT UFC 103
The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Wednesday confirmed the return of Vladimir Matyushenko to the promotion, announcing a bout between the Belarusian and Croatian fighter Igor Pokrajac.
They will meet on the undercard of UFC 103 in Dallas, which features a main event pitting Rich Franklin against Vitor Belfort.
Anderson, Ideals and Atychiphobia
by Jordan Breen (email@example.com)
Anderson Silva is a great fighter.
No, I know, that's not a startling revelation, let alone an interesting one. After his three-minute mauling of Forrest Griffin on Saturday night, the ever-fickle MMA public has decided that Silva is to be celebrated once again, and in the strongest of terms.
That's to be expected after a performance with such a violent and skillful aesthetic. Griffin threw 35 strikes at Silva's head and landed literally one. Silva knocked Griffin on the mat three times. In case you're not mathematically inclined, that means Silva actually knocked Griffin down triple the amount of times that Griffin even touched his face. However, what's been overlooked in discussion of Silva's superlative skills is his equally lofty accomplishment.
Silva's complete sonning of Griffin is not just a technical sign of the times or an acid test that portends a successful light heavyweight run. It's actually set a particularly impressive standard for pound-for-pound achievement: With the victory, Silva has become the first fighter in this sport's short modern history to defeat top-five opponents across three weight classes.
Of course, Silva became a superstar when he became MMA's first pantheon-level middleweight. However, long before he ever eviscerated Rich Franklin, even before his Pride tenure, Silva was one of the sport's best welterweights. Eight years ago, he rolled into Osaka and took the Shooto world 168-pound title from Hayato "Mach" Sakurai, who was widely seen as the sport's top pound-for-pound fighter at the time.
In fact, on the back of that victory, Silva was actually slated to make his UFC debut at UFC 34 to face then-champ Carlos Newton. The exclusive deal that Zuffa wanted for Silva didn't jive with "The Spider," though, or his Chute Boxe handlers, who wanted to keep doors to Pride and Meca Vale Tudo open. Just think how radically different history might be if Silva got into the Octagon in '01 and Matt Hughes didn't unconsciously powerbomb his way to glory. Maybe there's a Marvel Comics-style "What If?" concept brewing.
Nonetheless, it is strange that the victory over Sakurai gets glossed over historically when it was Silva's first great moment and it is an accomplishment that stands the test of time. How often does any fighter dethrone the pound-for-pound king? Surely when Silva loses, the world won't forget about it in eight years -- at least I hope not.
Anderson Silva's Dominance Produces a New Set of Interesting Questions
Anderson Silva wasn't lying when he stated that he's years ahead of the competition. At UFC 101 on Saturday, he showed the world exactly why he's one of the most feared strikers in the sport by dismantling former UFC Light Heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin in 3 minutes and 23 seconds. It looked to be a walk in the park for the UFC Middleweight champion.
It was fairly evident in the week leading up to this tilt that Forrest Griffin was being highly over-valued as a legitimate challenger to Silva. While a lot of fans agreed that Griffin's size could be a legitimate problem, it almost works to every challenger's disadvantage in the light heavyweight division. Speed is what kills competition in MMA, and the same case is made in boxing as well. Unfortunately, Griffin didn't have the game plan to stifle that speed.
BJ Penn's Scorched Earth Tactics
BJ Penn may claim to be ready for his fight this weekend, but a new Kevin Iole piece suggests Georges St. Pierre is still the main thing on his mind:
Penn said he believes St. Pierre uses steroids, though he concedes he has no proof. St. Pierre is arguably the sport’s most popular fighter and Penn knows that making such allegations isn’t going to win him any friends.
Finally Healthy, Amir Sadollah Looks to Re-Start Career at UFC 101
PHILADELPHIA – It's been over a year since Amir Sadollah beat CB Dollaway to capture The Ultimate Fighter's season seven championship and earn a UFC contract. But since then the world's most popular 1-0 fighter has been snakebit, suffering back-to-back setbacks during two separate training camps that forced him to pull out of scheduled bouts.
RIGGS STILL HOSPITALIZED, EXPECTED OUT NEXT WEEK
Strikeforce welterweight Joe Riggs is still hospitalized following a reaction to an undisclosed prescription medicine and is expected to be released next week.
Riggs' manager, Trevor Lally of Arizona Combat Sports, informed MMAWeekly.com of the news on Wednesday.
KENNY FLORIAN: "I FEEL LIKE I'VE ALREADY WON"
As the weeks have dwindled to days, and the days narrow down to hours, Kenny Florian is nothing, if not appreciative of the position he is in. He steps into the Octagon on Saturday night challenging for UFC lightweight gold for the second time in his career.
Not bad for a guy that entered the promotion via The Ultimate Fighter, losing to Diego Sanchez in the finale... as a middleweight, no less.
“To me, it’s a dream come true to fight for the belt and go out there and do what I love doing,” Florian told MMAWeekly.com on Wednesday.
Strikeforce picks up undefeated middleweight Zak Cummings with multi-fight deal
Strikeforce's roster continues to expand, this time with undefeated middleweight Zak Cummings (10-0).
Multiple sources close to the fighter told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Cummings has agreed to a multi-fight, mutli-year deal that will be signed this week.
Cummings is slated to make his promotional debut on Sept. 25 at an event likely to take place in Fresno, Calif., possibly against fellow Strikeforce newcomer and "The Ultimate Fighter 7" competitor Paul Bradley (11-1).
Kendall Grove: ‘I’m going to break’ Ricardo Almeida at UFC 101
“[When Almeida fought] Cote, I learned a lot. Keep my level low. He does get frustrated when he can’t control you on the ground, when you shut down takedowns, he breaks as a fighter, but I’m a firm believer that he learned from that fight and he’s going to come out a little different, he’s going to come out more prepared..."
Top trainer Greg Jackson hopes striking manual "The Stand Up Game" can benefit all
Hardly a weekend goes by that top MMA trainer and namesake of the New Mexico-based camp Jackson's Mixed Martial Arts, Greg Jackson, isn't in the corner of a world-class fighter.
But somewhere between the training sessions, travel and pay-per-view events, Jackson – along with occasional MMAjunkie.com contributor Kelly Crigger – has penned a new striking manual entitled "Jackson's Mixed Martial Arts: The Stand-Up Game."
Jackson recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) that the book was based around a series of proven techniques and should prove beneficial to competitors of all levels.
Frank Mir Breaks Down Dominick Cruz vs. Joseph Benavidez
Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir will be the color commentator for WEC 42 Sunday night on Versus, and all this week he's providing his insight into the WEC fights. Today I ask Mir about the bantamweight fight between Dominick Cruz and Joseph Benavidez, and whether the winner will earn a title shot.