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.
UFC's Joseph Benavidez finds inspiration in NCAA champ Anthony Robles
Size, or lack of it, has been an ever-present part of UFC bantamweight Joseph Benavidez's life.
At 5-foot-4, he'll probably never play center or take it to the hole for a dunk. Yet he's grown tall through the trials of competition, especially when it comes to his transition from wrestling to mixed martial arts.
He's never had to deal with a physical handicap, though, and that's why he's so impressed with Arizona State University senior Anthony Robles, who won the NCAA wrestling championship at 125 pounds this past Saturday.
Extra paperwork creates headache for Nate Diaz, but UFC 129 fight still on
His hand may cramp a bit more than other fighters crossing the border, but Nate Diaz will make it to UFC 129 in Toronto.
Diaz hinted this morning at problems getting into Canada for an April 29 fight with Rory MacDonald. But his manager, Cesar Gracie, told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) the fighter was just venting frustration at extra paperwork he is required to complete before he can travel to the country.
The red tape stems from a 2006 altercation in Reno, Nevada, that resulted in a mark on Diaz's criminal record for disturbing the peace.
my bad on the repost, please delet
Fueled by fans, furied by haters, Ben Rothwell focused on spectacular UFC return
Coming home from an autograph session to a computer screen filled with insults is a jarring experience.
Welcome to the double-edged sword of fandom, a split world fighters encounter when they get to the big show. Up close and personal, they're bathed in praise. Online, where MMA lives and breathes, they're cut off at the knees at a moment's notice.
That goes double for the fighters who bring personality to the table, the ones who don't consult the public relations manual before they speak, or the ones who've decided they're better served as heels.
Heavyweight Ben Rothwell (31-7 MMA, 1-1 UFC) is upset. He has not decided to be a heel.
Horn-Leites Added to April 30 Superior Challenge Bill
Following today’s announcement that Rich Clementi will face Reza Madadi for the vacant lightweight title at Superior Challenge 7, another championship bout has been added to the Swedish promotion’s April 30 card.
UFC veterans Jeremy Horn and Thales Leites have agreed to square off for the vacant Superior Challenge middleweight belt at the event, which goes down at the Hovet arena in Stockholm. Sherdog.com learned of the matchup Tuesday and confirmed the bout with a source close to the event.
Rashad Evans and Jon Jones Head Up Paradise Warrior Retreat Seminar in N.Y.
The Paradise Warrior Retreat will be holding its next training camp at New York’s The Wat Gym. The training camp will feature five top MMA fighters and coaches in the world as instructors.
Former UFC light heavyweight champion and “The Ultimate Fighter” winner Rashad Evans is one of the fighter-instructors at the camp. The other is new UFC light heavyweight champion and 205-pound phenom Jon Jones (13-1).
The Salamander Key featuring Fedor Emelianenko opens March 25th in Moscow
Fedor Emelianenko (31-3 MMA, 1-2 SF) may not be the world's top heavyweight anymore, but there's another place for his icy demeanor.
The silver screen.
Emelianenko co-stars in "The Salamander Key" alongside Michael Madsen and Rutger Hauer. The film debuts Friday in Moscow, the same day Emelianenko's management team, M-1 Global, holds its first Showtime-televised event, "M-1 Challenge 24: Damkovsky vs. Figueroa," in Norfolk, Va.
Wanderlei Silva explains 'terrible' picture featuring Shogun bromance
If you thought the above picture of two sweaty Brazilians embracing during jiu-jitsu practice was "terrible," imagine how poor Wanderlei Silva feels.
"The Axe Murderer" has been featured in one of the Internet's most infamous demotivational posters, featuring the former PRIDE stars sharing a tender moment in the gym. But as the poster indicates, unless eye contact is made, we should assume nothing.
Follow link for hilarious picture
Released from UFC, Todd Brown contemplating move to Middleweight
After an unsuccessful two-fight run in the octagon, Indiana native Todd Brown (15-3) has been released by the world's largest mixed martial arts promotion.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed Brown's recent UFC release with his management at MMA Agents.
However, the 5-foot-11 light heavyweight eyes a return to the bigtime, and he's considering a drop to 185 pounds to do it.
"Bulldog" made his UFC debut in August 2010 at UFC 117. With just two weeks' notice, Brown stepped for an injured Thiago Silva and lost a unanimous decision to Tim Boetsch. The loss snapped a seven-fight win streak for Brown.
'Ashamed' Michael Bisping issues apology for spitting at UFC 127, looks forward to Chael Sonnen smack talk
Michael Spitsbing has broken his silence.
The brash British banger today issued an apology for his post-fight celebration at UFC 127, telling The Telegraph that he was "out of line" for spitting at (not on) Jorge Rivera's corner team after his emotional second round technical knockout victory on Feb 27, 2011, in Sydney, Australia.
"The Count," who flew into a rage after finishing "El Conquistador," admits that the pre-fight smack talk and steady drumbeat of insulting parody videos that "crossed the line" ultimately got the best of him on fight night.
UFC champ Jon Jones scores "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" appearance
Where's Ed McMahon when you need him?
While the UFC's new light heavyweight champ won't get the experience of longtime announcer McMahon's signature, "Here's Johnny," introduction, Jon Jones is heading to "The Tonight Show."
UFC president Dana White today announced via Twitter that Jones will appear on Thursday night's edition of the 67-year-old NBC franchise.
"Congrats, Jon Jones," White wrote. "First UFC fighter to do the 'The Tonight Show' with Jay Leno.
"The hits keep on coming! Tune in Thursday on NBC!"
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has since confirmed the booking with additional UFC executives. The official lineup for "The Tonight Show" does not yet reflect the appointment.
Zuffa Officials Meet With Showtime, Paul Daley Expected to Fight April 9
The changing climate in the world of MMA took another step towards the future on Saturday night when Strikeforce advertisements aired during the UFC 128 pay-per-view broadcast.
When Zuffa purchased the second largest MMA organization, everybody knew the crossover appeal would happen sooner rather than later, but it still caught a few people off guard when it happened.
In addition to the advertisements about the upcoming Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley event, middleweight Jason “Mayhem” Miller took over the UFC Twitter account during the pay-per-view to give his thoughts on the show, while Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson sat in the front row for the action.
Rashad Evans: Disrespected by Jon Jones, Disappointed in Greg Jackson
This past Saturday at UFC 128 was supposed to be the culmination of two years of hard work for former champion Rashad Evans. He was set to face Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in a lightweight title bout that would give Evans the opportunity to finally reclaim the belt he once lost but instead of a moment of potential greatness, instead Evans has found himself in the midst of a bitter dispute. Several weeks from the fight Evans suffered an injury that forced him to withdraw and in his place the UFC tapped his teammate Jon Jones.
This created the potential confrontation between Evans and Jones, and while both men have publically stated this wasn't something they would take part in, after Jon Jones became the youngest light heavyweight champion in the history of the UFC, Evans was sitting right there in the number one contender's position. Now the reality of their matchup has forced a wedge between two men who were once considered close friends and training partners but Evans's frustration is not aimed at Jones alone. I caught up with Evans on the day after he agreed to face Jones later for the light heavyweight title and in his Bloody Elbow Exclusive interview, Evans spoke his mind. While Evans discussed the details of the situation between himself and Jon Jones, he perhaps showed more anger towards former Coach Greg Jackson's public declaration that he will take no part in the matchup.
UFC targets Belfort vs Silva II, the Axe Murderer holding out for Leben
For a guy who built a career on fighting anybody, anywhere, anytime, Wanderlei Silva (33-10-1 MMA, 3-4 UFC) is proving incredibly difficult to schedule.
UFC president Dana White said he's trying to book a rematch between Silva and Vitor Belfort (19-9 MMA, 8-5 UFC) – a fight "The Phenom" has verbally agreed to – but "The Axe Murderer" is holding out for a bout with Chris Leben (25-7 MMA, 11-6 UFC).
White admitted he's a little shocked by Silva's actions, especially considering he already turned down a UFC 130 fight with Brian Stann because he didn't want to face a U.S. military hero.
"We asked him to take [a fight with Stann], and he turned it down," White said. "He said, 'I don't like it because everybody likes this guy.' That's kind of a weird philosophy, but I'll accept that. Wanderlei's a warrior. He always goes out there. So we offered him the Vitor fight, and now he's on Twitter lobbying to fight Chris Leben."
Jason Brilz ready for a fight against UNO Athletic Director Trev Albetrs
After three straight Division II wrestling titles University of Nebraska Omaha Athletic Director, Trev Alberts, has decided to cut the program. Alberts aletered the UNO wrestling team by telephone a meer hour after the team had won its third straight title...upon returning to the school there lockeroom had been padlocked, and they were escorted by security to clean out their lockers and peacefully leave the campus.
Assistant Coach Jason Brilz is ready for a fight with the former failed ESPN announcer and new University of Nebraska Omaha AD, Trev Alberts...
Has UFC Found Its Transcendent Star?
You can watch it a dozen times and not believe it. The first man cinches his arms around his opponent's waist from behind, bucks forward and then simply dead-lifts him up and drops backward with him, tracing an arc of perhaps 140 degrees so that they land together, their weight on the neck of the man being thrown.
As they grapple for leverage on the mat, the first man catches onto the second man's left leg, working down toward the ankle as they rise, and then drops it, spinning to his right and catching his opponent flush with an elbow to the head that knocks him down to the mat, helpless again. From impact to impact, the whole fluid sequence lasts 10 seconds
"I've never seen anyone throw anything like that," said the second man, a tough veteran fighter named Stephan Bonnar. "I didn't even know it hit me. I was laying there thinking someone from the audience threw a bottle or something."
The fight was a test, Jon Jones's eighth in less than a year and his second in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the leading mixed martial arts promotion. Five fights, four wins and just more than two years later, Jones, 23, is preparing for his first chance at a UFC title.
Saturday at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., he is scheduled to fight Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, champion of the 205-pound division, a feared Muay Thai artist and Brazilian jiu-jitsu player who has finished two-thirds of his 24 professional fights by knockout or technical knockout.
At stake, though, is more than a championship. Since first gaining purchase on the American consciousness five years ago, fighting has won a hard sort of semi-legitimacy as a sport. Major televised bouts draw around six million viewers, top fights regularly sell more than a million pay-per-view orders and an upcoming show in Toronto has, according to the promotion, sold about 55,000 tickets, with an estimated gate of $11 million.
The gap between a status as underground freak show and grudgingly tolerated niche sport, though, may be smaller than the one between fighting as it is now and as it aspires to be. If it is ever to become anything near a major sport, it will have to present a transcendent athlete. Jones may not be that man, but he's likely closer than anyone yet has been—which in its way just shows how far fighting has yet to go...