Strikeforce move to the bigs includes bush-league writter ban
The enduring image from Saturday night's Strikeforce event was not of Nick Diaz or Gilbert Melendez rocking the house in San Diego with the stuff of a champion, or even of a bloodied, battered yet rejuvenated Keith Jardine. Even more memorable -- and surreal -- was the sight of UFC president Dana White sitting cageside in a Strikeforce T-shirt. This was the second-fiddle mixed martial arts promotion's first major event since being purchased by the top-dog UFC's parent company. And the historic evening made clear that it's now a whole new ballgame for the organization White not long ago was referring to as "Strikefarce."
LESNAR: "I want to be a farmer."
Mike Straka: "Mick Foley became a very succesful author. The Rock became a very sucessful actor. John Cena is also doing acting as well ... What do you see as your future?"
Brock Lesnar: "I'm planning my retirement every day. My heart and soul is on the farm. I've got two young boys and a young daughter and a beautiful wife at home that I just love to be around. I just want to raise my kids and be Joe Farmer Jones."
Cyborg Santos and Tarec Saffiedine slated to fight, possibly at July Strikeforce
A welterweight matchup pitting Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos (18-14 MMA, 1-2 SF) against Tarec Saffiedine (10-3 MMA, 2-1 SF) has been targeted by Strikeforce officials.
A late-July event planned by the California-based promotion is likely to host the matchup, sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
However, official confirmation has yet to arrive. Verbal agreements are currently in place for the fight, though.
Jay Hieron defends victory over Brent Weedman in Bellator tourney semifinals
You might have noticed a visible sigh from Jay Hieron (21-4 MMA, 2-0 BFC) when he was announced the winner in a fight with Brent Weedman (18-6-1 MMA, 4-1 BFC) this past Saturday at Bellator 40.
Some might say that sigh was an acknowledgment that he'd just dodged a bullet.
But that's not the case, Hieron on Monday told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). It was a sigh of happy exhaustion.
Nick "The Goat" Thompson Announces Retirement on The Underground
Long time UGer Nick Thompson has had over 50 fights, in the UFC, Strikeforce, Sengoku, MFC, Elite XC, Bodog, Bellator, and most recently in Japan's World Victory Road. He is the former Bodog Fight Welterweight Champion, and holds wins over Eddie Alvarez, Paul Daley, and Josh Neer, among many others.
Thompson was named after an unfortunate animal breed, the “fainting goat” after displaying the habit of getting knocked out almost on command during his early days in the gym. He shed half of his moniker when he showed a growing propensity to maintain consciousness. While fans may raise their eyebrows at his resulting nickname, he's the Goat today because he personifyied the Japan proverb, "fall down seven times, get up eight:"
Cole Konrad to Face Paul Buentello at Bellator 42
Bellator heavyweight champion Cole Konrad has been booked to face UFC and Strikeforce veteran Paul Buentello in a non-title superfight scheduled for Bellator 42 on April 23 in Concho, Okla.
Konrad, who made his MMA debut in 2010 and finished the year with a perfect record of 7-0, ran through Rogent Lloret, Damian Grabowski and Neil Grove during last season's Bellator tournament to win the heavyweight belt. At 27 years of age, Konrad is remains a prospect in MMA off his accomplishments as a two-time NCAA wrestling champion with the University of Minnesota.
Lyle Beerbohm Not Afraid of Shinya Aoki's Ground Game
In a way, Lyle Beerbohm is relieved. For nearly four years he walked around with an unblemished professional record, and the more fights he won the more people wanted to talk about it. It became a recurring question in interviews, and the pressure only grew.
After all, it wasn't like he could become more perfect with each successive win. Being undefeated meant Beerbohm always had a little more to lose than to gain. That is, until he lost a unanimous decision to Pat Healy in the main event of a Strikeforce Challengers show in February, and then suddenly it was like a weight had been lifted.
After TUF 13 injury, quickly recovering Myles Jury ready for UFC redemption
With a perfect 9-0 record and nine first-round stoppages, Myles Jury entered "The Ultimate Fighter 13" as one of the show's youngest and most promising cast members.
But as we saw on this past week's season debut of the Spike TV reality series, the 22-year-old suffered a significant knee injury and was cut from the cast.
However, as Jury recent told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio), he's confident a future "TUF" spot or even a UFC fight is in his future once he's fully healed.
Jury was head coach Brock Lesnar's fifth-round pick. As MMAjunkie.com detailed in our "Fight Path" series nearly a year ago, the former Detroit Zoo employee began his fighting career a year before he legally was old enough to drive. So despite Jury's age, the King of the Cage vet had the needed experience.
Mei Yamaguchi Victorious in Pancrase's First Women's Main Event
Pancrase, the sport's second oldest promotion, broke new ground on Sunday night at Differ Ariake, Tokyo, as they finally held their first women's main event after 17 years of fights.
A hotly contested bout between one of the sport's best young stars in Mei "V.V Mei" Yamaguchi and fan-favorite "Windy" Tomomi Sunaba headlined Pancrase's first event since the devastating Tohoku earthquake and tsunami on March 11.
Ultimate Fighter coach Brock Lesnar was 'a beast' training with Xtreme Couture
It's tough to determine how a fighter will deal with a loss, especially one that is particularly devastating or embarrassing. Such was the nature of Brock Lesnar's defeat at the hands of Cain Velasquez at UFC 121, where "Brown Pride" had the big man doing cartwheels in the middle of the cage.
Not only did Velasquez take his heavyweight title, he had the entire martial arts world thinking Brock might pack his bags and head back to the scripted world of pro wrasslin'.
After such a desolating loss, it's difficult to blame anyone for thinking as much. It's natural to wonder how a former champion will react to losing his strap, specifically in the manner in which he lost it.
UFC's Alexander Gustafsson training in US hoping for fight in Las Vegas
Losing is not something UFC light heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson is familiar with.
In fact, his record has one lone defeat on it, and that was courtesy of current teammate and recent UFC Fight Night 24 main-event winner Phil Davis.
Following the loss, the fast-rising light-heavyweight contender opted to join Davis in the U.S. for training. Now, the 24-year-old Swedish fighter – who's fought exclusively in Europe and Asia – hopes his next UFC bout comes in the U.S.
UFC Quick Quote: A part of Rich Franklin wants to fight Jon Jones to 'see how he'd do'
Former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin, who was kicked out of the 185-pound division by the seemingly invincible Anderson Silva, talks to the Springfield News-Sun about the meteoric rise of new Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones, who just so happens to rule the weight class Franklin now calls home. "Ace" is just as enamored with the rise of "Bones" as the rest of the mixed martial arts community but his competitive spirit also wonders how he might fare in a 205-pound throwdown.
Good quote from "Ace" in full article
UFC boss says Dan Hardy's fate not sealed with third straight defeat
SEATTLE – In the hyper-competitive world of the UFC, two straight defeats almost always leads to a release from the promotion.
Three consecutive defeats? Don't call us; we'll call you.
At Saturday's UFC Fight Night 24 event in Seattle, British slugger Dan Hardy (23-9 MMA, 4-3 UFC) dropped his third straight fight when he was toppled by fellow striking specialist Anthony Johnson. However, UFC president Dana White said "The Outlaw" won't necessarily be flying home with a pink slip.
With UFC 132 rematch booked, champ Cruz details origins of Faber feud
It has been four years since the sport's two most-talented 135-pound fighters faced one another.
However, UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz (17-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) and No. 1 contender Urijah Faber (25-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) meet again at UFC 132, officials announced on Saturday.
After the announcement, Cruz spoke exclusively to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) about the highly anticipated rematch and the origins of his feud with Faber.
Then-champion Faber defeated Cruz in a 2007 WEC featherweight title bout, one in which Cruz made his organizational debut.
Johnson says earning win more important than keeping promise at UFC Fight Night 24
SEATTLE – From the moment Anthony Johnson (9-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) vs. Dan Hardy (23-9 MMA, 4-3 UFC) was first announced for Saturday's UFC Fight Night 24 event, fans salivated at the thought of two lethal strikers standing toe-to-toe.
And in each and every pre-fight media appearance, both sluggers promised they wouldn't even consider taking the fight to the floor.
But things played out very differently during the co-feature. Johnson utilized his wrestling background to control the action on the floor for 15 rather uneventful minutes – and he makes no apologies for his performance.
UFC's Davis not trying to follow Jones' path but not afraid to step in the way
SEATTLE – Fighting just seven days after fellow young gun Jon Jones (13-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) claimed the UFC's light-heavyweight belt, undefeated prospect Phil Davis (9-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) simply couldn't avoid the questions.
Try as he might to deflect the comparisons to "Bones," the wrestling phenom was forced to discuss his future even before he stepped into the cage to face Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in the featured bout of Saturday's UFC Fight Night 24 event.
And while Davis essentially avoided the questions prior to his unanimous-decision win, he answered directly when quizzed post-fight. I'm my own man, Davis proclaimed, but if Jones and I are on a collision course, then bring it on.
For UFC Fight Night 24's Jung, time was right for historic submission, instant pay raise
SEATTLE – UFC featherweight Chan Sung Jung (11-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) was already a legend in MMA circles prior to stepping into the cage at Saturday's UFC Fight Night 24 event.
The only problem was his contract didn't exactly reflect his reputation.
"I'm especially glad to finally get my pay above the $5,000 level since I was stuck there for so long," Jung told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) with a laugh. "I'm glad to finally move up in pay level."
Sadollah says UFC FIght Night 24 win just latest lesson on path to the top
SEATTLE – Put simply, there likely will never be another Amir Sadollah (5-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC).
The season-seven winner of "The Ultimate Fighter," Sadollah has fought his entire professional career inside the octagon – an impossible feat now that "TUF" tryouts require a professional record.
Developing his skills on the sport's biggest stage hasn't been easy, admits Sadollah, but he's comfortable in what he's become. Now it's time to take it to the next level.