Pros Pick: Jackson vs. Jardine
The UFC returns to Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday with an intriguing bout between former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and dangerous contender Keith “The Dean of Mean” Jardine.
Sherdog.com contacted dozens of professional fighters and trainers for their opinions on the UFC 96 main event. Some were reluctant to give a prediction, but plenty were willing to lay their reputations on the line and try to forecast what will transpire in the Octagon.
Tito "Rampage stepped up to murder Jardine"
Tito Ortiz – “This is a fight that didn't need to happen. After Rampage got screwed on a rematch for the title, he KO’ed Silva unconscious! Evans was afraid to fight Rampage, so Rampage stepped up to murder Jardine. This won't be a fight to get excited about. KO after the 2:35 mark of the 1st round for My boy Rampage.”
Ian Freeman Spared Jail for Tax Evasion
A former ultimate fighting champion facing sentencing for tax fraud broke down in tears today when he heard a friend describe in court his charity work helping his terminally ill son.
Ian Freeman - dubbed The Machine by ultimate fighting fans - sobbed as David Scott told how he had helped his son Lewis, who is dying from cancer.
Freeman was before Newcastle Crown Court to be sentenced for a three-year tax fraud.
Frank Shamrock: Ken Shamrock cut himself to escape fight with Kimbo Slice
I think Ken cut himself. It goes back to his giant ego and not being smart enough to understand the rest of the business. I think he got upset because Kimbo was making twice as much as he was and I don’t think his ego could take it. I know for a fact that he tried to hold the network up for more money the day before the show and unfortunately his parting words were, “Well, then you never know what will happen because anything can happen.” Then when he showed up with the cut we all thought he juiced himself. You know, he’s not to be trusted … a real fighter would have superglued it and put makeup on it and been and would have been out there fighting. Which (is something) I have done and many fighters have done many times … I have no idea what he’s doing. I just hope when he’s finished destroying himself that he has something left to live by.
-Former Strikeforce middleweight champion Frank Shamrock comments to Sam Caplan on brother Ken’s last-minute withdrawal from his EliteXC main event fight against Kimbo Slice last October due to (a possible self-inflicted) cut sustained hours for the bout. Frank — who had not been training for a fight and competes at 185 pounds — volunteered to fight the much larger Slice on two hours notice. Unfortunately CBS executives reportedly nixed the idea and opted to go with Seth Petruzelli instead. The rest, as “they” say is history. Despite moments of civility, the adopted and quasi-estranged brothers are back on bad terms following the illness of their father Bob. Family Feud, MMA style. For the rest of the interview click here.
Joe Lauzon To Have ACL Surgery, Out 12-14 Months
Well, it looks like I will be having ACL surgery next week. I have had a history of bad luck with my knees. I have already had two knee surgeries… meniscectomies on both knees. Those surgeries were relatively simple because they just go in arthoscopically and shave down the meniscus. There is no stitching and no repairing done.
The surgery scheduled for next week will not be so simple. Unlike the last two times, I will need my meniscus repaired. Instead of just shaving that little piece out, they will be stitching it up and getting it to sit back in place.
Tim Sylvia Set to box Ray Mercer, Affliction bout possible
In his first action since a July 2008 loss to Fedor Emelianenko, former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia will face Ray Mercer in the main event of Adrenaline MMA III.
First reported as a possible bout by Fiveouncesofpain.com, Sylvia's manager and Adrenaline MMA promoter Monte Cox today confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Sylvia vs. Mercer will be headlining the May 30 event at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J.
While first pitched as an MMA contest, Sylvia (24-5 MMA, 0-0 Boxing) will instead turn in his open-fingered gloves for a pair of boxing mitts.
McCarthy talks Vaselinegate and Strikeforce
“Big” John McCarthy talks Vaselinegate and Strikeforce’s purchase of Pro-Elite
As a referee in mixed martial arts for over a decade, “Big” John gave his thoughts on the recent controversy revolving around Vaselinegate with Georges St. Pierre and B.J. Penn:
It has been a problem for a long time. It is one that we [referees] have addressed before. As much as people want to make of it; I don’t ever want to suggest that the performance by GSP in that fight was aided by Vaseline....that is ridiculous! His performance was not based at all by having Vaseline on him. He beat B.J. Penn soundly and because of the mistake by someone in his corner people try to make it a bigger deal than it really was. We stopped allowing fighters to have their corner men apply Vaseline to them in the locker-room because we did find that some people were applying it to areas that were illegal. You have commissioners in the back that work both MMA and Boxing matches and sometimes those lines get crossed because there are some differences between the two that sometimes get overlooked. So that is why the fighters get there pre-fight Vaseline at the cage now. This allows the referee or an inspector to watch the cut-man or cornerman when it is applied. Even now though there are times that Vaseline still ends up on a fighter’s back by accident. I don’t think it was intentional or an attempt to cheat but I agree it should have been stopped by the inspector and checked to make sure who ever was applying the Vaseline to GSP’s face didn’t touch him anywhere else. I think the situation was handled well and it wasn’t like they were rubbing handfuls of Vaseline all over his chest and back. I think it has been blown out of proportion and that it didn’t have any effect on the fight. The new rules established by the UFC should stop these incidents from occurring in the future but there is still going to be the chance that the cut-man accidentally touches the fighter somewhere other than his face. Its just human error and not cheating. As far as B.J. goes, I am sure he is upset that it happened but I highly doubt he is going to use that as an excuse for why he lost the fight.
David Loiseau 'The Crow Returns to the UFC' Interview
David Loiseau 'The Crow Returns to the UFC'
PunchDrunkGamer's Justin Bolduc sat down with David “The Crow” Loiseau to talk about his UFC return against Ed Herman at UFC 97 in April.
PDG: First, it is great to have you back in the UFC. How do you feel about your upcoming return?
David: I feel great, man. It feels good to be back home. [The UFC] is my home. It was a long time since I've been back – since 2006, and I'm just very happy to be back, man.
“Big” John McCarthy Hints at History of Greasing Problems
The Los Angeles Times takes a look at various cheating methods in combat sports today, from the illegal substance in Antonio Margarito’s glove to the Vaseline on Georges St. Pierre’s body. The message here is that cheating, or “gamesmanship,” as Bert Sugar charitably tags it, is nothing new.
But of interest to MMA fans are remarks from former UFC referee “Big” John McCarthy, which suggest that greasing problems have persisted for some time now, and that it’s no big secret, either:
"Guys will push the envelope in every way possible," former UFC referee "Big" John McCarthy said of mixed martial arts fighters. "Vaseline has always been an issue in MMA. It's a real problem."
McCarthy has seen MMA fighters come into the octagon after taking a bath filled with soapy water or even baby oil. "You can't notice it when they're dry, but when they get on the ground and start to sweat, it starts to come out of their pores," McCarthy said.
McCarthy also blamed the persistence of this problem on athletic commission regulators, who are accustomed to working boxing matches and don’t realize the advantage a little extra grease on the body can provide in an MMA fight.
The issue raised by the greasebath version of events – and this isn’t the first time we’ve heard that accusation – is tricky to deal with.
Florian Hits Back on Penn’s Secret Text/Email Claims
Sounds like Kenny Florian isn’t buying B.J. Penn’s revised story about the alleged GSP greasing and ‘roiding tip off any more than we are. Talking with Fighters Only, KenFlo dismissed Penn’s claims outright, saying:
"Yeah it went from an email, to a text to a friend of the camp. I think next it will be a fax, and then it'll probably be a bird that delivered a telegram to him from a roommate's brother's dog's owner's sister,” Florian laughed.
"It's kind of ridiculous. BJ is known as a trash talker and he plays a lot of mind games. He does a lot of psychological warfare. …People have tried that on me in the past, but what they don't know is that they're playing checkers and I'm playing chess," he said.
There you have it, B.J. Kenny Florian is not impressed with your attempts at mind games. Try again. Or just get in the gym and prepare yourself to kick his ass over the course of five rounds. Either one, though I hear the second option generally pays better.
Former UFC fighter Kimo Leopoldo busted for drug possession
Former UFC fighter Kimo Leopoldo was arrested by police for drug possession in Tustin, California earlier today after authorities spotted the ex-fighter wearing a Long Beach Police Department jumpsuit complete with patches and a cloth badge according to TMZ.com
The clothing, restricted to police officers only, prompted the men in blue to investigate and upon searching Leopoldo’s car, found “a small amount of (illegal substance) what is believed to be meth.”
Kimo (10-7-1) is perhaps best known for wearing down Royce Gracie in a losing effort at UFC 3, thus allowing Nebraska police officer Steve Jennum his fifteen minutes of fame.
Leopoldo last competed at UFC 48, getting dropped back into irrelevance courtesy of Ken Shamrock’s knee. Kimo would subsequently test positive for steroids following the bout, and again get caught using the juice prior to a scheduled match with Bas Rutten at the World Fighting Alliance.
When we last heard from the German-born brawler, he was applying to be Executive Officer of the California State Athletic Commission (no, really). Leopoldo is currently still in custody.
16 Questions for Don Frye
With his emergence on the scene at UFC 8 in 1996, Don Frye made an indelible mark upon the mixed martial arts world, both for his fighting prowess and unique style. Rooted in a collegiate wrestling background that included stints at high-level programs at Arizona State and Oklahoma State, Frye utilized a different kind of game than those with his pedigree at the time. He had a better understanding of jiu-jitsu, could operate from his back and did not shy away from trading blows on the feet, even when seemingly outgunned.
His arrival signaled the prototype of what would later become the standard -- the well-rounded mixed martial artist capable of competing effectively at any range, in any position -- and his career in the UFC and Pride Fighting Championships marked him as one of the game’s most entertaining fighters to watch. Carrying a record of 19-7-1 (1 NC), “The Predator” locked horns with some of biggest names of his era, including Mark Coleman, Ken Shamrock and David "Tank" Abbott. Whether it was his thrilling street-style brawl against Abbott in which he won the Ultimate Ultimate in 1996 or his blood-soaked, gutty technical knockout loss to Mark Coleman at UFC 10, Frye always gave fans more than their money’s worth. He currently resides in Tucson, Ariz.
Q: You’ve tried acting lately, appearing in a few productions. How do you like it so far?
A: I’ve made a couple movies. Earlier this year, I made “Public Enemies” and just got done with a small role in a movie called “Number 13” with Jason Statham and Mickey Rourke. It was a pretty good experience.
Q: You’re a fighter. They’re actors. What was it like meeting and working with them?
A: They’re a bunch of good guys. Hell, they’re real polite … just regular old boys. Acting is their job.
Q: Rourke had a few pro fights. Did you guys talk about the fight game?
A: We sat there and swapped stories. Rouke’s a good ole boy. I really like him. “Godzilla” was my first acting experience. I pretty much was just thrown in there as one of the leads. I played Kevin Douglas Gordon, the captain of a flying submarine. He was gonna try and save the planet.
Josh Barnett Calls Out Kenny Florian
Kenny Florian is a punk-ass bitch. He thinks he can put on a suit, shave his stubble off, and get in front of a camera, and it makes him some sort of expert on MMA. I think it just makes him an expert on taking it up the ass, as far as I can tell...if he thinks his ability on the mat can match his mouth, and if he'd like to show me how to throw an armbar, then be my guest....I can fly out to "sit on a dong," grab him, and see what he's got to say now.
TKO Leaves Hyped Velasquez Unsatisfied
TAMPA, Fla. -- Cain Velasquez hears the hype.
Viewed by some as a man who can contend for the heavyweight championship sooner rather than later, the 26-year-old American Kickboxing Academy prospect knows the UFC expects much from him. He believes his latest effort -- a second-round stoppage of pudgy newcomer Denis Stojnic in the UFC Fight Night 17 co-main event on Saturday at the Sun Dome -- left plenty of room for improvement.
“My timing was off,” Velasquez told UFC.com after he was pushed into the second round for the first time in his career. “The last two weeks of my training camp, I wasn’t able to spar. I think that had a lot to do with it. Other than that, I felt great.”
Still, he cannot argue with the results. Velasquez (5-0) battered Stojnic throughout the fight with knees, kicks and punches from the clinch. He did well in space, too, as he nearly finished the Golden Glory product with clean strikes from the outside in the first. A two-time All-American wrestler at Arizona State University, Velasquez mauled Stojnic on the ground and forced the referee to intervene 2:34 into the second round. Even so, he was not satisfied.
“I just wasn’t relaxed out there,” Velasquez said. “I think I need more ring time. I kind of tightened up. I was just throwing two punches [at a time]. I want to be able to throw more … head movement, sit in the pocket and keep that progress going. I was throwing and backing off. That’s not what I want to do. I want to be more active.”
St. Pierre: 'I never cheated in my life'
Georges St. Pierre has had enough.
The UFC welterweight champion should be celebrating the four-round pummeling he gave lightweight king B.J. Penn last Saturday at UFC 94 in Las Vegas. Instead, St. Pierre’s had to defend his integrity amidst allegations that his cornermen improperly applied Vaseline to the fighter’s shoulders and back during his first two corner breaks.
“Listen, I never cheated in my life,” an animated St. Pierre told Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show on Wednesday. “Let me tell you something, I never said something bad to B.J. Penn. I never answered back to him with what he said. I’ve always been respectful. Even after the fight I went and told him, ‘Hey, keep your head up. You can be proud. You’re a tough guy. You stayed in the ring for a long time.’ But now that he says something like that it bothers me a lot. He already said I was taking steroids, that I was a quitter, that he was blaming me for seeing a sports psychologist and now he says that I cheat because I use Vaseline.”
“Lets go do a rematch with B.J. Penn,” said St. Pierre. “We’re going to do it this summer. St. Pierre-Penn III -- and this time we’ll wear a rash guard. I guarantee you the result will be the same or even worse for him.”
NSAC Comments on Vaseline Controversy
The sweat had not yet dried when accusations began to fly against welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre after his lopsided victory against B.J. Penn in the UFC 94 main event on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Not long after his win, St. Pierre and his corner, including trainer Greg Jackson, came under fire for allegedly using a “greasing” agent between rounds. Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer on Monday confirmed improprieties had occurred in the champion’s corner after the first and second rounds.
“After the first round, one of my inspectors came to me and told me he thought he saw one of the cornermen -- I believe it was Phil Nurse … after putting Vaseline on [St. Pierre’s] face, he saw him rub his shoulders, and it appeared as though he might not have wiped off his hands,” Kizer said. “After the second round, we observed Mr. Jackson putting Vaseline on Mr. St. Pierre’s face and then putting his hand on his back.”
At that point, Kizer attempted to get Jackson’s attention from outside the cage.
“I don’t think he heard me because of all the noise in the arena, so I immediately walked into the Octagon myself -- I’ve probably done that two other times in my career -- and told him to take his hand off Mr. St. Pierre’s back,” he said. “We took a towel and wiped off his back. After the third round, we went in again and made sure his back and shoulders were wiped off to ensure a level playing field.”
Kizer informed Penn’s camp of the situation after the bout ended. Penn’s manager and brother, J.D., told Sherdog.com on Sunday that the Hawaiian’s camp planned to file a complaint with the NSAC, but, as of Monday afternoon, Kizer had not heard from Penn’s representatives. Penn has 10 days to file...