Keith Hackney: Where Is He Now?
Held on Sept. 9, 1994, UFC 3 had some notable tweaks from its two predecessors. It remained in a one-night, tournament format but with an eight-man field, instead of 16. The canvas, previously white, was replaced with a more viewer-friendly blue. It was, in a sense, a social phenomenon coming to terms with its own success, which was accompanied by an equal dose of notoriety.
Naturally, that was exactly when Art Davie, then co-owner of the UFC, made the call to Keith Hackney. It came during the peak time for Hackney’s primary business, a heating and air conditioning company he founded in 1980 and still runs today.
His background included boxing, tang soo do, five years of kenpo and a year of high school wrestling, in which he made the state tournament as a 98-pound sophomore. After Hackney responded to a magazine ad, event organizers told him the roster was full but that, perhaps, a future slot could be in the works.
“He said somebody backed out and they had a space for me. It was one week before the fight,” Hackney says. “I thought if I said no, they wouldn’t call me back in the future, so I said, ‘I don’t care. I’ll fight. Get me on a plane.’ Art said, ‘Whoa! Let me tell you who you’re competing against.’ I didn’t care. I wanted to fight.”
Rich Franklin Gets Tattooed After Losing UFC 126 Bet With Forrest Griffin
This one's gonna leave a mark.
Prior to their UFC 126 co-main event fight, Rich Franklin and opponent Forrest Griffin joked about the loser getting tattooed. At least it seemed like a joke.
But don't ever say Rich Franklin isn't a man of his word. True to his promise, Franklin -- who lost the fight via unanimous decision -- visited a tattoo shop on Friday to begin the process of getting inked.
UFC site coordinator Burt Watson: "I like it when it's wacky, baby. It's what we do."
If you've ever attended a live UFC event or other pre-fight activities, you may recognize the man – but may not know his name.
He's most visible at the official weigh-ins. He's the first man on stage revving up the crowd before UFC commentator Joe Rogan grabs the microphone to introduce the UFC management, octagon girls, and shortly thereafter, the fighters.
He's Burt Watson – UFC site coordinator, part-time hype man, part-time counselor, part-time disciplinarian, jack of all trades.
Despite a laundry list of responsibilities, his main focus centers on monitoring the weight of fighters throughout any given fight week to ensure they are able to compete.
"Making weight is a part of what we do," Watson recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "It's what these guys know they need to do. It's disrespectful if they don't. It shows me they're not trying.
Gilbert Melendez: “I Really Truly Believe I’m the No. 1 Fighter in the World”
Now that he has a new contract in place, Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez is ready to get back to the business of fighting, and he’s ready to prove he’s the top 155-pounder in the world.
Melendez hasn’t set foot in the cage in nearly a year following his win over Shinya Aoki last April. Since that time, Melendez welcomed a new baby into the world and recovered from a thumb injury, but now he’s healthy and ready to dominate again.
Scott Jorgensen vs. Ken Stone Added to TUF 13 Finale Show in June
Scott Jorgensen will look to get back on the path to the top of the bantamweight division when he faces Ken Stone at the upcoming “Ultimate Fighter” 13 finale show in June.
The bantamweight bout is the latest edition to the growing card taking place on June 4 in Las Vegas. Sources close to the negotiations confirmed the fight to MMAWeekly.com on Monday. Heavy.com initially reported the booking.
Martin Kampmann Expecting "Old School" Diego Sanchez at UFC Live on Versus 3
Danish striker Martin "The Hitman" Kampmann is looking to erase a previous setback against Jake Shields and make his way back to the top. Standing in his way is original TUF winner Diego "The Nightmare" Sanchez who is also fighting for a return to contention.
They are slated for a showdown at UFC Live on Versus 3 in Louisville Kentucky on March 5th and with the fight quickly approaching I caught up with "The Hitman". In his Bloody Elbow Exclusive interview we talked about squaring off with Sanchez and earning his shot at welterweight gold.
Ex-UFC Welterweight Jeremy Jackson gets 25 years-life
A Ventura County, Calif. judge today sentenced ex-UFC welterweight and "The Ultimate Fighter 4" cast member Jeremy Jackson to 25 years to life for sexual assault.
Jackson, 28, pleaded guilty in 2010 to charges that he raped his ex-girlfriend during an attempted burglary.
He was arrested in June 2008 and charged with seven felony offenses, including two counts of forcible rape. He has sat in a Ventura County jail since his arrest.
Jorge Santiago Confirms UFC Talks, But Says No Deal Is Official Yet
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ -- Free agent Jorge Santiago on Saturday night refuted reports that he has signed a contract with the UFC.
Santiago told MMA Fighting that he had not yet signed a contract with any promotion, but that he hoped to finalize a deal very soon. Santiago did confirm ongoing talks with the UFC.
Several MMA sites have reported that Santiago has agreed to a deal and will fight Brian Stann at UFC 130 in May, but he insisted that he has yet to ink his name to any contract.
"Maybe tomorrow," he said with a smile.
Santiago was the reigning Sengoku middleweight champion when he asked for and was granted his release. He holds a record of 23-8 after winning 11 of his last 12 fights.
Matt Hamill replaces Thiago Silva, faces "Rampage" Jackson at UFC 130
With Thiago Silva's status in doubt, the UFC isn't taking any chances.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has confirmed with sources close to the UFC that the promotion has pulled the Brazilian from a planned UFC 130 matchup with Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (31-8 MMA, 6-2 UFC), and Matt Hamill (10-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) has stepped in to fill the void.
Verbal agreements for the contest are in place, and bout agreements are expected to be finalized shortly.
Hamill had been expected to face Phil Davis at April's UFC 129 event. It's currently unknown if Davis will receive a new opponent for the card or be shifted to a later date.
MMA Fighter passes away from cancer
Wrestling has lost one of their own. Jose Cortez, 25, father, son, brother and friend passed away on January 29, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Jose, an accomplished wrestler and mixed martial arts fighter, died last weekend after a two-year battle with germ cell cancer. His six-year old daughter, mother and father, two brothers, a sister and countless friends and supporters survive him.
Jose was a graduate of Maryvale High School in Phoenix where he placed 4th in the state in 2002, 3rd in 2003 and won the state championship during his senior year in 2004. In addition, he was a three-time All American in freestyle and Greco-Roman and an Honorable Mention All-American in Wrestling USA Magazine.
After high school, Jose began a successful career in mixed martial arts. He won his last fight in November 2008 by unanimous decision over Drew Ficket that yielded a pro record of 6-1. Shortly after defeating the decorated UFC veteran, Jose began his fight against germ cell cancer.
Angel and Henry Cejudo, both graduates of Maryvale High School, were close friends with Jose Cortez. Jose and Angel shared a mat while in high school; the two families have been close for many years. The Cejudos are among the many friends and teammates who will miss Jose Cortez, cherish his memory and carry him in their hearts forever.
For more information on Jose Cortez and how to donate to his family, please visit www.fightyourwayout.org
Jones signs signature deal with K-Swiss, FORM
K-Swiss announced a multi-year endorsement deal with UFC light heavyweight contender Jon “Bones” Jones for K-Swiss and FORM Athletics. Jones’ deal includes collaborating with K-Swiss on a signature shoe.
According to Jones’ agent, Malki Kawa, he is the first MMA star to have his own shoe.
Via K-Swiss press release:
The Jones deal with K·Swiss will include appearances, ad campaigns and representation in the company’s growing fitness category. He joins Jeremy Shockey of the New Orleans Saints, Patrick Willis of the San Francisco 49ers, and Urijah Faber, the MMA Fighter and WEC Champion, in representing the TUBES training footwear category. Jones will also be collaborating with K·Swiss on a signature shoe.
FORM Athletics will release a Jon Jones Signature Collection of performance and lifestyle apparel for both in and out of the ring.
Jones will begin representing K-Swiss in the Octagon at UFC 126...
Bader, Simpson, Dollaway, Lawler and Others Find Stability At New Gym
The age of the super camp is upon us in the world of MMA. From Team Jackson to American Kickboxing Academy to American Top Team, fighters from all over the world flock to bigger and bigger camps to get the training, coaching, and sparring necessary to take them to the next level, be it the UFC, Strikeforce, or beyond.
The newest team forming in Arizona at the new Power MMA & Fitness gym is headed up by a group of top flight UFC fighters along with a Strikeforce title contender, and they hope to form the next great camp.
Ryan Bader, Aaron Simpson, and C.B. Dollaway, along with Robbie Lawler and others have worked to open their new gym in Arizona. It’s starting to pay off already with fighters traveling from all over the country to work with the team.
Bellator Adds Nazareno Malegarie, Featherweight With MMA's Best Record
The fighter with the best record in mixed martial arts is heading to Bellator and ready to enter the promotion's Season 4 featherweight tournament.
Nazareno Malegarie, who has built up a 19-0 record while fighting for Brazilian promotions, is now ready to fight in the United States, Bellator announced Monday.
"I'm just very excited to finally have the chance to show fans in the United States what I'm capable of," Malegarie said in a statement. "Signing with Bellator was very important for me, and I'm ready to prove myself."
Siyar Bahadurzada: I'm Not the One Being Unprofessional Here
Afghan-born fighter Siyar Bahadurzada may regret some of the language he used when lashing out at Strikeforce over the internet last week, but he stands by the sentiment, Bahadurzada told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour.
Though Bahadurzada said he signed a contract to fight for Strikeforce in April of 2010, he has yet to be offered a fight with the organization, and said repeated attempts to contact Strikeforce about the situation have been ignored.
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.