Chuck Liddell drops out of USO tour. Rumored to be kicked off.
The abrupt end to Chuck Liddell's participation in an international USO tour to support American troops has raised a few eyebrows.
The former UFC light heavyweight champion was part of a contingent of five celebrities joining a U.S. Marine general on an eight-day, five-country USO tour this week.
Liddell made the first part of the trek on Monday to Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks, Alaska, with rap duo the Ying Yang Twins, model and singer Mayra Veronica and comedians Gabriel Iglesias and Edwin San Juan. However, Liddell pulled out of the tour on Tuesday due to what both the USO and his management team, Zinkin Entertainment, deemed to be an unspecified illness.
However, unconfirmed reports quickly surfaced following Liddell's decision to bow out, including one that he was asked to leave by the USO after members of his entourage were found partying with minors............
Pros Picks: Couture vs. Lesnar
One of mixed martial arts’ most beloved and important figures will make his eagerly awaited return to the Octagon this Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Poised to defend his heavyweight title against behemoth Brock Lesnar at UFC 91, Randy Couture will face arguably his most daunting task when he climbs into battle for the 25th time.
Sherdog.com spoke with dozens of experts, from fighters to trainers to analysts, and got their opinions on the Couture/Lesnar showdown.
Fighting Father Time
America’s athletic battlefields are littered with good-intentioned men who stuck around too long in their chosen sport, their eroding physical skills rendering them incapable of recapturing the glory of day’s gone by. Remember Michael Jordan in a Washington Wizards uniform? Muhammad Ali and Evander Holyfield also spring to mind.
Though his legacy and place in the mixed martial arts pantheon are secure, Randy Couture does not want his name added to the list.
Boxing on Kimbo’s Mind, Manager Addresses Auction
Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson has a hankering to try boxing, he told host Dan Le Batard on Sports Talk 790 The Ticket Wednesday.
“I’m thinking about boxing as well,” said the Internet legend turned MMA fighter. “Boxing is wide open right now. I want to do it all.”
Ferguson’s revelation didn’t come with any news of a fight on the horizon, though he said he’d like to return to MMA competition by February.
The interview marked Ferguson’s first since his lackluster 14-second TKO loss at the hands of last-minute replacement Seth Petruzelli on Oct. 4.
Bas talks Kimbo, EXC, Lesnar-Couture & More!
Bas Rutten ‘Living Mixed Martial Arts Part II’
The former King of Pancrase took some time recently to talk with PDG about the many projects he has going on, the Fall of EliteXC & Kimbo Slice what he thinks of some of the biggest fights of the year coming up in the UFC.
PDG: The last time you were in Japan was for DREAM 6; what did you think about the Alistair Overeem vs Mirko ‘Cro-Cop’ fight?
Bas: It was a great fight and it was a shame that it ended like it did because Overeem was winning the fight. I was a little surprised by his dominance but then I talked to his trainer from Golden Glory; which is a Thai boxing gym in Holland that I used to train at. His striking has definitely gotten better since he started training there and Mirko has not looked very good his last few fights. Don't get me wrong, I am a huge Mirko fan and I wish he could get back on track.
Jacob ‘Stitch’ Duran: ‘I get off on the blood’
“”MMA is far bloodier than boxing. These guys will have multiple cuts—the middle of their forehead, their scalp. Head cuts bleed a lot. And the cuts are deeper, because of the elbows and knees. It’s bone on bone…. I see so many cuts, [fixing them] is automatic for me. It’s poetry in motion.”"
– ESPN the Magazine has a great article this month on the best cut man in the business, Jacob “Stitch” Duran. It talks about how he made it to where he is today and how his unique approach to closing cuts has helped several fighters, including UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Forrest Griffin, continue to compete after getting busted open “as wide as an elevator door.” Very cool article. Very different … go check it out.
Couture talks training for "worst-case scenario" (video)
by MMAjunkie.com Staff on Nov 05, 2008 at 4:25 pm ET
As UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture prepares for next week's UFC 91 main event with Brock Lesnar, the 45-year-old fighter is preparing for all scenarios.
But seeing how he's giving up 14 years of age, 40 pounds and an inch of height, Couture is preparing for one specific scenario more than others.
Couture discussed the fight and his "worst-case-scenario training" while a recent guest of HDNet's "Inside MMA." Thanks to our partnership with the weekly MMA news show, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) now present a clip of the strategy talk.
The Nov. 15 main event fight, which takes place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, pits a UFC hall-of-famer -- one who's fought for a title in 14 of his 24 professional fights -- against a UFC rookie who owns a mere 2-1 career record.
However, Couture knows that Lesnar, a former WWE superstar who was also an NCAA Division I national wrestling champion, isn't your typical three-fight vet.
"I've been putting my self in worst-case-scenario training," said Couture, who's filled his Las Vegas-based Xtreme Couture gym with heavyweight training partners. "You've got to be on the bottom. If this guy takes me down, I've got to be able to survive and get up and scramble and get out from underneath him. I can't lie down there and give up rounds."
However, the three-time Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling alternate still thinks his bread and butter -- dirty boxing -- can be a viable strategy.
"I still feel comfortable in the clinch and using cage tactics. I was there with Tim (Sylvia). They don't get much bigger than Tim, and Gabe (Gonzaga) was certainly a big, strong guy," said Couture, referring to his two most recent victories. "I don't think Brock is any different in that situation. I'm going to feel pretty comfortable putting him there if he gives me the chance to."
For more on the fight, and Couture's thoughts on why a fight with former PRIDE champion Fedor Emelianenko is unlikely ever to happen, check out the embedded clip.
Bisping Responds to Leben’s Steroid Bust
“I have to admit I was disappointed when I heard. You know, when all’s said and done, I like Chris Leben. He conducted himself well before and after the fight and, as I say, I like the guy. I’m a little disappointed that he’s done what he’s done, bringing the sport into disrepute, but it’s not really my place to have an opinion on it.
The UFC, as they always do, have set the example with the punishment — and they’re right to do that. Should he banned for life? I don’t think so, people make mistakes, people learn from mistakes. Plenty of fighters have recovered after testing positive, the standard is set at nine months and it would be unfair to go any harsher on Chris…
I don’t know if it makes my win any better, you can make a case for it because — without wanting to start slinging mud — he did cheat and I didn’t. I don’t know why he did it or if he knew he was doing it, but I know my performance was purely down to blood, sweat and tears — and that’s all the satisfaction I need.”
Nate Quarry wants to put Maia between a Rock and a hard place
For a lot of fighters, seven months between bouts may feel like an awful long time. But when you’ve been through a purgatory of nearly two very uncertain years between fights—time spent rehabbing a bum back and restructuring a shattered nose—seven months of relative quiet between action can seem fast and furious.
That’s why when Nate “Rock” Quarry is asked about ring rust heading into his UFC 91 bout with Demian Maia, you can hear him mumble under his breath . . . ring rust, shmring rust.
“This is actually really good pacing for me,” says the rejuvenated 36-year-old middleweight. “After a fight I like to take a little time, rest, relax, let the body heal up, remind myself why I train so hard and take care of my little girl [8-year-old Ciera]—maybe take her on vacation or something to show her my appreciation for putting up with me working so hard for the last three months.”
Marcus Davis vs. Chris Lytle on tap for UFC 93
The worst kept secret of a fight now has a date.
UFC welterweights Marcus Davis (15-4 MMA, 7-2 UFC) and Chris Lytle (26-16-5 MMA, 5-8 UFC) have agreed to meet at UFC 93, and bout agreements for the fight have been distributed, sources close to both fighters told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The fight is expected to air on UFC 93's televised main card, which takes place Jan. 17 at The O2 in Dublin, Ireland.
The event airs on pay per view.
Davis and Lytle both spoke openly about wanting to fight each other even before they both competed last month at UFC 89. With victories from each fighter -- Davis submitted Paul Kelly, and Lytle stopped Paul Taylor with a unanimous-decision win -- the pieces fell in place for the bout.
As Davis first told TAGG Radio, MMAjunkie.com's official radio partner, in July, he and Lytle first discussed the fight earlier this year.
"Chris Lytle and I want to fight each other," Davis said at the time. "He's expressed that he wants to fight me. I've expressed that I want to fight him.
"We like each other, we respect each other, but we want to have that fight. And my pitch to Chris is, 'The first guy that starts grappling is a pussy, so let's not do that. Let's just stand up and just beat the hell out of each other. If we get in a clinching scenario, and somebody wants to throw somebody or whatever, go ahead and do it. But let's not try to finish it on the ground. Let's stand up, and let's bang it out.'"
Jerry Bohlander: Where is He Now?
"September 11, 2001. I think that sums it up,” says former UFC light heavyweight Jerry Bohlander The 34-year-old Bohlander names that catastrophic day as the catalyst that took him from the world of mixed martial arts into law enforcement.
Alvarez Back in January
Eddie Alvarez has been down this road before.
As Alvarez was preparing to fight Nick Diaz for the vacant EliteXC 160-pound title on Nov. 8, he received word that the event had been cancelled and the promotion was no more.
Alvarez, who is ranked second at 155 pounds in the latest Sherdog.com rankings, said while he was disappointed by the cancellation of the fight, he wasn’t surprised by Pro Elite’s demise.
BACK IN UFC; COUTURE QUESTIONS AFFLICTION CEO
Spending more than a year away from the sport, UFC heavyweight champion Randy “The Natural” Couture is ready to return on Nov. 15 to face Brock Lesnar at UFC 91. It was a long, strange trip through lawsuits, courtrooms, and other various legal battles, but the champ is ready to get back to his office in the Octagon.
“Fighting in the cage is what I do best. Courtrooms and depositions and crap like that, it’s not really up my alley,” Couture said during a recent appearance on MMAWeekly Radio. “Realistically, I’ve got a short window of opportunity to continue to compete at this level, so I need to take advantage of that while the window’s still open.”
During his time away from the UFC, Couture was focused on making a fight happen with top heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko, and the Affliction promotion seemed to be the place leading the charge to make it happen.
mattew riddle's tuf 8 blog
As for the show, I was going to start cutting down to 155 just so I could beat Junie senseless. After reading Ryan Bader’s blog I realized that Junie might be heading to 170 with Haagen-Dazs as the main sponsor. That and I promised my Mom I would never pick on children with special needs are the only reasons I have not flown out to Kentucky to smash him. I thought it would be impossible to have someone who is a bigger loser then Jeremy May on the show and they proved me wrong........
WAR CHIPPER!!!! I love the junie hate!
Friends Fighting Friends
They say familiarity breeds contempt, but in the world of mixed martial arts, the lines are a bit more blurry. Promoters often pit teammate against teammate, friend against friend, in their pursuit of financial success. Some fighters refuse those advances, no matter the lure.
“We won’t fight each other,” says famed mixed martial arts trainer Greg Jackson when asked about a potential fight between two of his top protégés, Rashad Evans and Keith Jardine.
Former UFC light heavyweight champions Tito Ortiz and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson have pledged never to fight unless the money was “right.” Other competitors seem to have no trouble putting relationships on the back burner and going toe-to-toe with their friends. Karl James Noons and Yves Edwards come to mind.
Few dynamics can match friend-versus-friend in terms of piquing interest. One needs only to look at the clashes between Ortiz and Chuck Liddell to understand the hype such fights can generate. In the case of James Irvin and Scott Smith or Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin, mixing it up inside the cage can forge even stronger bonds and lead today’s modern-day gladiators to hone their games inside the same gym as their former opponents.
Here are some past, scheduled and potential bouts with thick plotlines...
"The Ultimate Fighter 8" ratings improve; Junie Browning to thank?
This past Wednesday's episode of "The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs. Team Mir," which featured controversial cast member Junie Browning's quarterfinal fight with Roli Delgado, scored 1.7 million viewers, an increase of nine percent from the season's first five episodes.
Additionally, the Oct. 22 episode had an audience 35 percent larger than the season low of 1.1 million that tuned in for the third episode of the reality series on Oct. 1.
Spike TV today sent the ratings information to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) via email.
With the recent ratings revival, in doubt aided by the antics of Browning, the eighth season of the show is now averaging 1.6 million weekly viewers. The seventh season of the show ("The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rampage vs. Team Forrest"), which aired earlier this year, averaged 1.3 million viewers for its 11 regular-season episodes.
The only basic cable stations that beat Spike TV and "TUF" this week were Comedy Central (with "South Park" and "Chocolate News") and FX ("Son of Anarchy").
Wednesday's episode of "TUF" peaked with 1.9 million viewers for the Browning-Delgado fight, which took place in the final quarter hour of the show. Browning, whose drunken rampages and confrontations with other cast members have resulted in ratings jumps over the past few weeks, recently told MMAjunkie.com that his actions were the result of being locked in the "TUF" house.
"You're in Vegas, and you can't go anywhere or do anything, so you let loose a little crazier than I normally would." Browning said. "I don't necessarily act like that at home. I can go out to a bar and drink, but I don't mess with people or anything. Once you're in the house, it's almost like being in high school again. You're around a bunch of young guys, we're all crazy and drinking, and I don't like being messed with at all."
EliteXC fighter faces toughest test yet: unemployment
The past few weeks were exciting for middleweight Joey Villasenor. He had prepared vigorously for his rematch with Robbie Lawler.
Though Villasenor was stopped in 22 seconds the first time they met, he was confident things would end differently Nov. 8 in Reno, Nev. Villasenor, who turned 33 on Friday, was feeling good.
Where to now? Joey Villasenor founds himself without a job after EliteXC closed its doors.
In a little more than two weeks, he planned to enter the cage and exact revenge on one of mixed martial arts' top middleweights. Plus, he could earn a much-needed $60,000 -- $30,000 for the fight and $30,000 to win.
Just two more weeks and Villasenor would put a few bucks into his savings account that serves as a retirement fund. But two weeks is a long time when the event's promoter is struggling to make ends meet.