Dodging bullets and prison visits keep Houston Alexander focused for UFC 98
After opening his UFC career with two first-round TKO wins, Alexander has now dropped three-straight contests. But despite the struggles, "The Assassin" recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) that he's not worried about losing his place in the UFC.
"I'm not feeling any pressure at all," Alexander said. "When you have children, the only pressure you feel is taking care of your kids. As far as the world, or pleasing anybody else, I don't feel any pressure from that."
It's not that Alexander isn't working to turn his situation around. In fact, the Nebraska native is focused on doing exactly that when he daces Andre Gusmao (5-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at UFC 98 in May.
"I've kind of stepped up a little bit," Alexander said. "We've been going to different camps and dealing with different bodies and different individuals. It's been working out really good."
Orange County DA Clears "MasK" Of Drug Use During Fatal Crash
According to the Orange County, CA DA's office, toxicology tests done by the Orange County coroner's office following the crash that killed TapouT founder Charles "MasK" Lewis have come back, and the tests reveal that Lewis did not have drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of the crash. This reaffirms testimony from family & friends that Lewis did not drink or take drugs.
Funeral services are Tuesday morning in California beginning at 11 AM PT and will be open to the public.
Anderson Criticizes Wanderlei’s Move to 185
They have the same surname, grew up in the same Brazilian city and trained together for years at Chute Boxe. But things have changed, and destiny has put Wanderlei Silva and Anderson Silva on different sides.
“I always helped Wanderlei in training,” Anderson explained in a November 2007 interview with Tatame magazine. “We were really close.”
Anderson eventually left Chute Boxe, though, and in the Tatame interview he said that the team’s coach, Rudimar Fedrigo, forbid him from fighting in Pride, where Wanderlei was a champion.
“Wanderlei didn’t say anything to help me,” Anderson said. “He even knew that I had four children to raise. If it were not for ‘Minotauro’ putting pressure and bringing me to Pride, I would certainly be retired.”
At UFC 79 in December 2007, however, Anderson couldn’t hide his support for Wanderlei against Chuck Liddell. After the fight, he visited Wanderlei’s locker room with Lyoto Machida to congratulate him on a gutsy performance.
I’m free now, whenever you want to train,” said Wanderlei, who had also left Chute Boxe by then and was happy to have the support of Anderson and Machida.
But now the relationship has soured again. Fifteen months after they shook hands in the locker room, Anderson learned that Wanderlei is on his way to the UFC middleweight division, where Anderson is king.
Exclusive Frank Shamrock Interview
Frank Shamrock has a lot to say in this interview, including what he thinks of his brother, his upcoming opponent, and why he isn't regarded as one of the legends of the sport.
Frank also unveils what his plan will be to celebrate once he knocks Nick Diaz out.
Check it out.
Press Release: UltimateBet Official as UFC Sponsor
UltimateBet earns the sponsorship rights to the upcoming Ultimate Fighting Championship®97 event in Montreal, where UFC® legend Chuck Liddell will bear the UB logo.
Miami, FL (PRWEB) April 7, 2009 — UltimateBet (”UB”) announced today that it has inked a deal with Ultimate Fighting Championship®(”UFC®”) that will deliver a kickass presence for the leading online poker site’s logo and brand at the upcoming UFC®97 event in Montreal, Canada on April 18, 2009.
A highlight of the UFC®97 deal for UltimatBet is the signing of mixed martial arts (”MMA”) legend Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell. The former UFC® light heavyweight champion will don the UB logo when he squares off against Brazilian Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in what promises to be one of the most explosive match-ups of 2009, and one of the most watched Pay-Per-View UFC® events in the history of the world’s leading combat sport.
“The Iceman”, one of the most popular and charismatic fighters in the organization and one of its major box office draw cards, is widely credited for bringing MMA into the mainstream of American sports and entertainment. Liddell’s star status and broad public appeal have won him fans even in Hollywood, with guest turns on cult TV dramedy Entourage, and cameo appearances in films including 300 and Drillbit Taylor amongst his credits.
The 39 year-old, all-American UFC® icon faces his most challenging role ahead of him, when he enters the Octagon™ looking to reclaim the magic that saw him notch up a spectacular 15-14 win-loss record from 1999 to 2006. On a mission to kick start another winning streak during the hotly-anticipated showdown against Rua, Liddell guarantees priceless brand exposure for UltimateBet and inestimable marketing value for the online poker room in over 100 countries and territories where UFC®97 will be telecast.
Along with opening billboards, in-venue commercials, and the stellar sponsorship of Liddell, fans will also see an additional four contenders on the fight card sport the UB logo in the UFC’s return to Canada. The 27 year-old Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt Thales Leites, who takes on Anderson “The Spider” Silva in the headlining event, Krzysztof “The Polish Experiment” Soszynski , Dutch kickboxer Antoni Hardonk and Franklinville, New Jersey native Eliot Marshall will also be waving the UltimateBet flag on fight night, adding even more clout to the sponsorship’s appeal.
UltimateBet has netted the marquee sponsorship contract with UFC® ending several weeks of intense industry speculation, sealing a partnership between two camps that genuinely share a passion for champion competitors and a respect for the sporting ideal.
Securing the UFC® agreement is a triumph for UltimateBet, who will have their second outing in the Octagon™ at the “Redemption” event that is set to rock the capacity Bell Center crowd in Montreal.
Coloring MMA Badd
When I settled on a topic for this latest post-event opining, I thought I might have some 'splainin' to do as to why I was so sickened with Frank Mir's color commentary for WEC 40. However, after a quick peek into my inbox and a cursory glance at the Sherdog forums, I feel as though my objections are justified.
In case your TiVo exploded, here's a recap: Mir, routinely celebrated as a stellar technical analyst, ignores any and all offense from Joseph Benavidez and Takeya Mizugaki in otherwise brilliant fights while butchering the names of any and all brave enough to step into the cage with the UFC's interim heavyweight champ on the mic (though I suspect Jameel Massouh may be used to it.)
Mino and Stallone together?
The news broke today in the ‘O Globo,’ newspaper that Sylvester Stallone will be inviting Rodrigo Minotauro to participate in a moving being shot in Rio de Janeiro.
As discerned by GRACIEMAG.com, contact was made through Rodrigo’s adviser, Fernando Flores.
Mino, who is in Miami, arrives in Rio tomorrow, when he may meet with the star of “Rambo” and “Rocky.” Stallone’s team also expressed interest in meeting other well-known fighters, like Lyoto Machida and Rogerio Minotouro.
Actor, producer, director and screenplay writer of “The Mercenaries,” Stallone, 62, has already called upon Randy Couture for the full-length action movie, as reported by GRACIEMAG.com last December 18th. Yesterday, at a press conference in Rio, the Hollywood star said he is an MMA fan and spoke about the city.
He justified his choice in having Randy Couture, 45, in the film. Couture has already appeared in “Redbelt,” the 2008 movie by David Mamet.
“Couture will participate in this movie because he looks like a gladiator,” said Stallone. “I like fights and even know some Brazilian fighters; who knows maybe some of them will be in the film.”
“I came to shoot in Rio because the script called for a tropical setting and I found the city ideal for it. The movie shows mercenaries for a cause, and doesn’t intend to harm Rio’s image,” stated the debuting director. Although Stallone tend to surprise, the story of “The Expendables,” with Forest Whitaker, Gisele Itie and a large cast, isn’t too original at the outset: it is the story of a group trying to overthrow a Latin American dictator.
Paulo Filho: “I’m more focused now”
"I’m 100%, training hard with the Master Distak, who is giving a great base, and the Master Oswaldo Alves, who has helped me on the ground, a totally different vision of Jiu-Jitsu. I found a cool girl that gives me support. My father is in good health, everything is perfect for me. I think this is the best stage of my life", said Paulo.
Carano Says Cyborg Fight Will Happen
Of course the question is when. Although Gina Carano has been staying out of the MMA spotlight for now while taking a break from fighting, she still says her much-anticipated fight with Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos will happen this year. It just seems to be a question of when and if StrikeForce will be able to pay enough to secure Carano's services based on her drawing power.
GSP - First MMA Fighter in Gatorade Commercial
"Today I shot a commercial for Gatorade - [I'm] proud to be the first MMA athlete to be sponsored by Gatorade, and also proud for the sport - it shows how far it has come. [It's] really an honor for me to be [in] the company of such other great athletes. Tomorrow I shoot the movie "Death Warrior" - I'll write more in a few days when I have some time. Thanks to everyone for all their support! "
Here's a 30-second teaser.
18 Questions For John McCarthy (Part 1)
In part one of this exclusive interview, the most famous referee in mixed martial arts, Big John McCarthy, discusses the state of MMA officiating and the subjectivity of “intelligent defense.” McCarthy also addresses whether he has been critical of the UFC or of Keith Kizer of the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Part 2 should be up tomorrow.
The Man That Was ‘Mask’
Charles “Mask” Lewis Jr. had all the faith in the world.
It takes nothing less to be the first of your kind, to see opportunity and potential in places where others simply do not. It takes even more to act upon that vision, to put yourself out on a limb in the face of ridicule and failure.
Lewis had faith in the sport of mixed martial arts. Through his Tapout clothing line, he championed it without a hint of hesitation to every stranger, friend, and foe alike.
Charles Lewis was one of the good guys. And that’s why his death in a horrific car crash during the early morning hours of March 11 hit the fight community so hard.
As is the case with those we cherish most, Lewis was gone too suddenly. He was on his way home from the gym with his girlfriend Lacey at 1 a.m., the only time he could fit working out into a hectic schedule. Lewis took pride in his deceiving physique, and many questioned he was really 45 years old, even after officials confirmed it.
That night, Lewis and Lacey had decided to drive by a condominium apartment they had been looking into purchasing over the next few days. It is believed Lewis’ fire-engine red Ferrari occupied the middle lane when Jeffery Kirby and his companion came up along the left side in a white 1977 Porsche. At the scene, black skid marks snake up onto the median’s curb right as the road bends slightly, then drag for 500 or more feet across the three lanes. They indicate Kirby’s car bounced off the road’s island divider before t-boning into Lewis’ vehicle’s backend, sending the Ferrari into a 180-degree spin. The car traveled backwards before the driver’s side wailed directly into a cement light pole, slicing it into two parts.
It was the first time in a few months that Lewis had had the opportunity to enjoy the luxury ride he’d purchased over a year ago. The car had slept at a friend’s showroom until Lewis had been asked to bring it to a photo shoot that day for Dub magazine. High speeds didn’t seem unfathomable under the circumstances, though friends said they couldn’t see Lewis engaging in a dangerous street race for superiority. Lewis didn’t know Kirby, nor was Lewis believed to be drinking at the time. Lewis never touched alcohol, as many will attest, including his best friend and business partner Dan “Punk Ass” Caldwell.
Lewis and Caldwell met in 1992 as sheriffs for San Bernardino County in southern Calif. Both trained in boxing and kickboxing, but soon found a mutual love in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and the early UFC events.
The name Tapout was born from the license plate on Lewis’ car. It was a way for Lewis to demonstrate his unadulterated love for the art and he displayed it around town like his badge of honor.
“Especially then, when you would ride down the freeway with ‘Tapout’ on your license plate, people would come up to you and look inside and give you a thumb’s up. That’s how you knew another jiu-jitsu guy,” said Caldwell.
When a license plate wasn’t enough, Lewis went to Caldwell with an idea for a T-shirt
New Wanderlei Interview, talks about his childhood, and future
Wanderlei Silva on his childhood, his motivations and his future
When Wanderlei Silva was in the UK recently, Fighters Only managed to drop in on his seminar at London Fight Factory and get a few words with him. Often described as one of the nicest people in the MMA game (outside the ring of course!), Wand more than lived up to his reputation. He sat down with us for a long chat and a very revealing interview.