Lightning Lee: Hero or Villain?
"In the grand tradition of the great British thugs -- media-proclaimed “hard men” like Lenny McLean, Charlie Bronson and Mark Brandon Read -- Lee Murray is moving through the ranks like Parliament was waiting at the end. I have never heard of a man so driven to occupy a jail cell or a morgue with such urgency. (The closest American equivalent: probably Steve-O.)
If you’ve only come into mixed martial arts via the hyper and Xyience-plastered “Ultimate Fighter” era, you’ve likely never seen Murray fight. He had long, corded muscles, a severe expression and a militant attitude. He hit very, very hard and he shocked the hell out of virtually everyone when he went and submitted Jorge Rivera with a triangle choke in his first and only UFC appearance. All said, he fought about 10 times and won most of them. In what would become his career finale, he was smacked around by Anderson Silva. He took Silva the distance, though, and that didn’t happen again in 13 fights.
Fighting was Murray’s day job: He moonlighted as a hoodlum. (Or perhaps it was the other way around.)" ... ...
Erin Toughill official for "Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg" event on Aug. 15
by John Morgan on Jun 27, 2009 at 10:10 am ET
While the California-based Strikeforce organization is set to promote the most heavily anticipated bout in women's MMA history when highly marketed former EliteXC stars Gina Carano (7-0) and Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos (7-1) meet in the main event of the Aug. 15 event "Carano vs. Cyborg," the company is not stopping its commitment to the women's game there.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned that fellow top female 145-pound fighter Erin Toughill (10-2-1) will appear on the evening's card against an as-yet-undetermined opponent.
"Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg" takes place Aug. 15 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. Tickets are currently on sale for the Showtime-broadcast event.
While Carano and Santos have long been considered by many as the top two fighters in the featherweight division, many MMA observers believe Toughill is also in the top five, if not the top three.
Toughill boxed professionally between 2000 and 2006, while also competing in mixed martial arts. The 32-year-old then took a brief hiatus from both sports and competed on "American Gladiators" as the gladiator "Steel."
Toughill is 3-0 since her November 2008 return to action. All three wins came in the Palace Fighting Championship, including a May decision over the previously undefeated Emily Thompson.
Five of Toughill's 10 wins have come by knockout or TKO.
With a win on the card, Toughill could quickly prove a contender for the Strikeforce's 145-pound belt, a title that will be first granted to the winner of the Carano vs. Santos bout.
Strikeforce Director of Communications Mike Afromowitz told MMAjunkie.com he was excited to have Toughill involved with the organization.
"Erin brings a great deal of experience to the cage, and she's very strong," Afromowitz said. "She's been in the game for a while, and she's certainly earned the right to be recognized as one of the best fighters in the women's featherweight division.
"Erin is definitely a great addition to our organization, and we're excited to bring her into Strikeforce on the same night we award our first-ever women's title to either Gina Carano or Cristiane 'Cyborg' Santos."
For complete coverage of "Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg", stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of MMAjunkie.com.
John Morgan is the lead staff reporter for MMAjunkie.com
Broken toilet convinced Sapp to drop weight
Bob Sapp is fighting stateside in just a few days. It's good to see "The Beast" back. But don't be shocked if you see a smaller Sapp against pro wrestler Bobby Lashley on Saturday at Ultimate Chaos in Biloxi, Miss. After years of fighting in the 350-380 pound range, he's down to 320. It's a necessary move. Sapp's gas tank has always been shaky plus he's 35 years old now. All good reasons to trim weight plus when you break a toilet, you're too big.
JOEY VILLASENOR IS BACK, TAKING AIM AT BIG NAMES
As someone once said, “Good things come to those who wait.”
That has never been more evident than it was recently for Strikeforce middleweight contender Joey Villasenor.
After a year in limbo, predicated by the downfall of EliteXC and numerous fight delays, he finally returned to action last Friday victorious over Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos at the second edition of ShoMMA: Strikeforce Challengers Series on Showtime.
Lee Murray Re-Arrested on $92 Million Bank Heist Charges in Morocco
Lee Murray's freedom was short-lived. The ex-UFC fighter who is one of the most wanted men in the UK for allegedly masterminding a $92 million cash depot heist in Tonbridge, has been re-arrested in Morocco following the hearing that refused his extradition.
"Lee was indeed rearrested right away, because the British Authorities did put [in] a formal request to the Moroccan Authorities to have him tried in Morocco for the alleged robbery," his attorney Abdellah Benlamhidi told FanHouse via email.
Shinya Aoki Takes Offense to Question About His Pants
Shinya Aoki is one of the best lightweights in mixed martial arts, and he's the most exciting submission artist in the sport. And Aoki, who fights in the Japanese Dream promotion, is also well known for the colorful spandex pants he wears in the ring. But don't dare ask Aoki whether those pants help him apply those exciting submissions.
NOONS BACK TO MMA IN 2009, STRIKEFORCE LIKELY
The last time MMA fans saw K.J. Noons he was blasting his way through his firs title defense as the EliteXC lightweight champion, but lately the native Hawaiian has gone back to his first love, which is the sport of boxing. While no deal has been made yet, Noons says MMA fans shouldn't forget about him, because he'll be back, and it will be before the end of 2009.
Denny Hopes to End Career on High Note
2008 could have been a banner year for MMA veteran Thomas Denny. After bouncing around different local promotions for most of his career, he signed a contract with EliteXC, and much to many pundits surprise, was booked against Nick Diaz in a high-profile fight in Diaz's hometown of Stockton, Calif., on the second EliteXC on CBS telecast in July.
Despite losing to Diaz via second-round TKO, Denny showed a ton of heart, and appeared to have found a home with the upstart promotion. But it was not to be, as EliteXC folded three months later, and "The Wildman" was once again a free agent.
Griffin’s Got Fight? Makes NY Times Bestseller List
Got Fight? by Forrest Griffin and Erich Krauss, a self described guide to the Zen principles of combat, made its’ mark at the cash register recently. The book debuted on the New York Times Best Seller list for hardcover advice books, coming in at number 8. Griffin has recently been balancing a book tour to promote the tome with his training for an August showdown with middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva.
One-Armed MMA Fighter Nick Newell Brings Big Dreams to Pro Debut
Like any mixed martial artist just beginning his pro career, Nick Newell has big dreams.
He wants to go as far as his mind can imagine, win a few belts, make some nice paydays, fight in a big promotion like DREAM, Strikeforce, even the UFC.
But Newell won't only have to overcome opponents to get there; he'll have to overcome a physical disability. The 23-year-old lightweight fighter, who will be making his pro debut this Saturday at a Cage Fighting Xtreme show in Plymouth, Mass., was born without a left hand. His arm ends just below the elbow.
Ben Askren Not Buying Into Own Hype
There was a considerable amount of buzz surrounding Ben Askren's MMA debut in February. The two-time NCAA wrestling champion, 2008 US Olympian and two-time winner of the Dan Hodge Trophy, which is the wrestling equivalent of the Heisman, is now 2-0 in his MMA career, defeating his first opponent via TKO and the second via arm-triangle choke. Neither fight has lasted longer than 90 seconds.
MMA Quick Quote: Frank Shamrock and his stability ball ready for Nick Diaz or Tito Ortiz rematches
“Certain things didn’t go well leading up to that fight, during practice I popped a few ribs. It was really painful at the time but I thought it wouldn’t have a big impact on the fight, but as you could see it obviously did. I could feel that I couldn’t get any power in my shots so I had to keep it standing. Before the fight, I was told that I had to rest my ribs for a while so I couldn’t work out on the stability ball which is crucial to getting a good workout, most guys like to train BJJ, boxing or whatever but the stability ball encompasses all of those aspects into one. It was weird because usually I can go 3 rounds no problem but it was like my body started shutting down after the first round. I think that fight was a blessing is disguise, I changed up my training schedule and bought a new stability ball which I’ve been working out on to help me with my balance. But props to Diaz he did a great job. Of course the Diaz fight didn’t sit well with me so I definitely would like to get a rematch. There’s still plenty of fights left out there for me before I call it a day, if Tito wants to do it I wouldn’t mind kicking his ass again, I'm sure we could agree to a catch weight.”
Seth Petruzelli discusses Kimbo Slice, "TUF 10" and the possibility of a UFC return
The unknown embarrassed the media sensation and cult creation. Yet the latter is back in the spotlight while the former remains anonymous and underground, plotting his next move.
The last time Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson and Seth Petruzelli were each inside the cage, one was a fledgling organization's meal ticket and the other a lightly regarded (to put it mildly) last-second replacement.
Once Petruzelli knocked out Slice in a stunning 14 seconds, their careers were at a crossroads. Slice was exposed as brute with no skills; Petruzelli, a UFC castoff, was looking at a resurrection.
Miguel Torres: Cain Velasquez Is the Next Mexican MMA Star
One of the big questions facing mixed martial arts as it attempts to move from niche sport to the mainstream is whether it can attract the millions of Mexican-American fans who love boxing. The most popular Mexican-American MMA fighter right now is World Extreme Cagefighting bantamweight champion Miguel Torres, but Torres says there's another Mexican-American fighter who is a budding star: UFC heavyweight Cain Velasquez.
"It's Cain Velasquez's coming out party," Torres said of Saturday's UFC 99 show on this week's installment of ESPN.com's MMA Live. "He's the next Mexican MMA star. ... I think it's his coming out party."
Series 3 of popular Round 5 MMA figurines hits store shelves this week
Round 5's latest series of popular MMA figurines hits store shelves this week, the Ontario, Canada-based company announced today.
Series 3 features former UFC champion Andrei "The Pit Bull" Arlovski, referee "Big" John McCarthy, UFC heavyweight title-holder Frank Mir and former PRIDE and UFC champ Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira.
The company also announced that a planned figurine of popular Russian fighter Fedor Emelianenko has been delayed and will not be part of the Series 4 this summer.
"We continue to work closely with Fedor and his team on making his figurine as accurate and true to his persona as possible," Round 5 President Damon Lau stated. "Consumers appreciate Round 5's commitment to producing collectibles that capture each athlete's individual style, and we look forward to completing the Fedor figurine with that goal in mind."
Series 4, expected to be in stores by no later this early August, now features Gina Carano, Dan Henderson, Cung Le, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Matt Serra.
Series 5 will be released by year's end, though participating fighters have not been announced.
Round 5's offerings can be purchased at leading retailers such as Walmart (Canada), Toys 'R' Us, FYE, Century Martial Arts, Sunrise Records, The Treadmill Factory and Hatashita International. Other retailers can be found at www.round5mma.com/wheretobuy.php.
Tim Sylvia: ‘I would like to end my career in the UFC’
“I don’t talk to Dana, not at all. I don’t have his number. But we had a pretty good relationship. I know he has said some pretty bad things about me but, to be honest, I think a lot of it has to do with marketing; Dana tries to come off like he doesn’t care. Dana likes to come off as an asshole but a lot of it is an act I believe. I had a good relationship with [UFC co-owner] Lorenzo Fertitta, great guy. So, it is what is. But I would love to be back there again one day, I would like to end my career in the UFC.”