MATT HUGHES ON THE MEND, SURGERY NOT LIKELY
Matt Hughes on Tuesday provided an update on the status of his knee injury via his personal blog. The outlook for the multi-time UFC welterweight champion is promising. It appears he may not need surgery.
“Last Wednesday, I went in for my second MRI and also a stress x-ray. It all came back very positive and looks as though I will not need surgery,” wrote Hughes.
“I still have to go back for my three-month check-up to find out more; but as of right now I can do more and start exercising a little bit.”
Hughes sustained the injury in a non-title fight against Thiago Silva at UFC 85 on June 7 in London. In a blog entry written shortly after the fight, Hughes confirmed that he had partially torn the ACL ligament in his knee.
There is hope that he will be healed up for a fight with Matt Serra in early 2009, possibly as soon as January or February.
Mickey's signs Tito Ortiz, set to release limited-edition cans
Despite being a free agent with no MMA home of which to speak, former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz remains a popular pick with sponsors.
In fact, Mickey's Fine Malt Liquor has signed Ortiz to a sponsorship deal, and this week, the company will roll out commemorative Mickey's cans that feature Ortiz's likeness.
Mickey's has provided MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) an exclusive first look at the cans.
"Tito is one of the most talented and popular athletes in the world of mixed martial arts, and Mickey's is thrilled to bring the partnership to life for our fans with this limited-edition can," Mickey's Brand Manager Mike Davitt stated. "Many people have wanted to get their hands on Tito over the years. Well, this is their chance."
Financial terms of the sponsorship deal were not revealed.
"Can" jokes aside, Ortiz (15-6-1) remains one of the sport's most recognizable stars and one of the very top pay-per-view draws in MMA history. However, he's winless in his past three fights, and despite announcing he agreed to a "record-breaking" contract with Affliction earlier this month, Ortiz currently remains a free agent.
The Ortiz cans hit stores this week and will be available through the end of the year.
Quinton Jackson Charged With Two Felonies
The Orange County District Attorney’s office has formally charged former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson for a July 15 hit-and-run melee that landed the popular fighter in jail.
In a press release issued on Monday, Jackson is accused of sideswiping two cars and subsequently fleeing Costa Mesa police officers as they attempted to stop him. In the short chase, Jackson allegedly damaged another car and nearly hit several pedestrians at a bus stop. His left front tire shredded, he eventually surrendered to police officers in nearby Newport Beach.
The 30-year-old Jackson has been charged with one felony count of evading while driving recklessly, one felony count of evading a peace officer and driving against traffic, three misdemeanor counts of hit and run with property damage, and one misdemeanor count of reckless driving.
His arraignment is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 28. Deputy District Attorney Keith Bogardus will request a $25,000 bail for the fighter.
Notably absent were charges related to Holli Griggs, a passenger in one of the cars that Jackson sideswiped. Griggs was 16 weeks pregnant with a boy when she miscarried two weeks after the incident. Orange County DA spokeswoman Farrah Emami told MMAWeekly.com that a subsequent investigation of the miscarriage did not implicate Jackson.
“We reviewed all the medical records and spoke with the victim’s physician, and the evidence showed that the loss of the fetus was not related to or a result of the crash caused by the defendant,” Emami said.
Kevin Randleman talks top p4p fighters and his take on Shogun vs Coleman 2
The ‘Monster’ Kevin Randleman recently took some time to talk with PDG about his recovery, Mark Coleman, the best pound for Pound fighters in the world and when his next fight for Sengoku – World Victory Road will take place.
PDG: How is the shoulder and the rehab coming along?
Kevin: The shoulder is doing really good and I'm starting to add weight, I am walking around at about 220 lbs now. I have a couple more weeks of rehab and therapy and then I should be back in the gym full time getting ready for my next fight. Some people have asked me if I wanted to drop down to 185 lbs but Anderson Silva is no chump and the guys that I have wanted to fight for the last five years are at 205 lbs.
PDG: What kind of training are you doing right now?
Kevin: I am taking it slow and working a lot on my strength and conditioning. It just takes time and you can't rush these things but I will be ready for my fight in November. I am training about four to five hours a day and I am also doing some teaching seminars for kids and youth groups.
PDG: So barring any setbacks, you will be fighting on the Sengoku – WVR VI card?
Kevin: Yes, that sounds right and I should find out who my opponent is going to be about a month before the fight.
PDG: During your downtime, have you been watching any fights?
Kevin: Yes, I watched UFC 87 and I would have to say that I was very impressed with Brock Lesnar's performance considering it was only his third professional fight. Any heavyweight that he fights in the UFC is going to have their hands full. He controlled the whole fight and made it look easy, just like any accomplished wrestler should be able to do.
PDG: What did you think of the Georges St. Pierre vs. Jon Fitch fight?
Kevin: Fitch is tough as hell but you saw why GSP is the champion. Fitch fought a very good fight but what it comes down to is that he was overmatched. GSP has so many weapons that he makes it look too easy sometimes.
PDG: I talked with your old buddy Mark Coleman a couple of weeks ago and he said if the UFC wants him to fight ‘Shogun’ Rua again, he'll be ready. How do you think that rematch would go?
Kevin: Same as the first fight but probably worse for Shogun. No question in my mind that Coleman would punish him. What else did he have to say?
PDG: He was talking about how Tim Sylvia made so much money for his fight against Fedor:
"Why did Tim make so much money and just open his legs and get submitted?”
Kevin: Tim Sylvia is not that ******* good. People can take that comment for what they want and get mad at me, I don't care. When you agree to a fight, you better go in there and give it everything you've got. He may have a better record than mine but when I go in the ring I am going full ******* bore until either I get knocked out or I knock my opponent out! That's how I roll!
PDG: Okay then, who are the top five best pound for pound fighter's out there?
Kevin: I would say Anderson Silva, followed by BJ Penn then Georges St. Peirre. Number four would be Fedor and Urijah Faber is fifth. Also, in my opinion Wanderlei Silva is close to being in that top five.
PDG: Are there any upcoming fights the year to be looked in to watch while you finish up your shoulder rehab?
Kevin: Any fight that comes down the line I will probably keep an eye on.
PDG: What about the Chuck Liddell vs Rashad Evans fight next month?
Kevin: Chuck Liddell all the way. He is still the same fighter he used to be and Evans has not fought a former champion two fights removed from being the titleholder. I'll say Liddell by decision but I am expecting a knockout.
PDG: Cool are you going to be traveling and doing any seminars in the upcoming months?
Kevin: I have a few scheduled for this fall on the East Coast and I should have all the details available in the coming weeks. I know for sure that one is going to be in upstate New York. I am also going to have some appearances coming up that I am doing with the Army, seminars and some public speaking. I am looking to fill my schedule up as much as possible so that I am constantly staying busy.
PDG: How is your gym in Columbus, Ohio coming?
Kevin: Great, we are just putting all the final details together and we should have a proposed opening day very soon. Right now it's looking like it will be sometime between December and February.
PDG: Did you pick up Madden NFL 2009?
Kevin: Yes but I haven't had much time to play it yet. My son is out here in Vegas getting ready to start school at UNLV, so we have been pretty busy with that stuff. Since he is a transfer student, he has to sit out this year but he'll be playing on the football team next fall. So be on the lookout for Calvin Randleman! He is a 6’1”, 205 lb cornerback that runs a 4.35 40 – yard dash.
PDG: Thanks again Kevin, is there anything else you wanted to add?
Kevin: Not much but thanks to the fans and hopefully they’ll tune in this fall when the ‘Monster’ hits the ring again!
KJ Noons may not be a coward, but he’s doing an awfully good impression of one.
The latest temper tantrum -- a pastime nearly as popular as the sport itself -- to hit media sites has been between Noons’ employer, EliteXC parent company ProElite, and Noons’ manager, Mark Dion, who insists proposed opponent Nick Diaz isn’t a credible contender for an Oct. 4 defense of Noons’ EliteXC lightweight title on CBS.
(The very same title he won against Diaz, a fact that incites a paradox of Dion’s claim: If Diaz isn’t a worthy opponent, what worth does Noons’ belt possess? Doc Brown warned us about this kind of thing.)
This stalemate was preceded earlier by Noons’ apathetic response to pestering about his seemingly inevitable rematch with Diaz. To paraphrase: I’ve beaten him once, so why do it again? I’m in no rush.
But you should be, Mr. Noons. You should be.
If there’s one thing MMA can finally offer after 15 years of its stubborn existence, it’s hindsight: If you don’t do the money match now, it’s going to slip right through your Ouano-laced fingers.
Back in 2003, the UFC thought it could “build” to a marquee match between Ken Shamrock and David "Tank" Abbott. Unfortunately, both went virtually winless in the Octagon, and the polished veneer of that fight chipped off like paint with no primer.
But it’s more than just the loss of a potentially incendiary fight. Barely in diapers in his MMA career, Noons was being offered the Holy Grail of anyone coveting mass exposure: a slot on primetime network television. A fight on CBS, regardless of the result, would give Noons an instant level of recognition that could be parlayed into any number of opportunities: endorsements, sponsorships, acting, seminars, etc.
Put another way, product advertisers spend hundreds of thousands of dollars securing pithy ad time on networks in an effort to marinate viewer brains in their product. Dion’s product is Noons, and instead of paying out the nose for the exposure, ProElite would be paying him -- and so would sponsors eager to get their logos captured by CBS’ high-definition cameras.
I’m not a business major, but that doesn’t sound too bad.
Top 49 Most Influential Men of 2008 (VOTE: including Dana and Spider)
Who have been the most influential men in 2008? Over the past 12 months, which guys have had the biggest impact on the way other men behave, buy and think? We at AM have a good enough idea to have assembled the shortlist of candidates youll find below. Now we need your help in determining the final 49. Follow the steps outlined below to build and submit your own Top 49 list. Your picks will be combined with those of other AM readers and our staff to produce the final list: the Top 49 Most Influential Men of 2008.
Silva Pleads Innocence to Steroid Allegations
EliteXC heavyweight champion Antonio Silva and his representatives have denied allegations that the 28-year-old Brazilian took steroids prior to his July 26 contest against Justin Eilers, and they’re willing to fight to prove it.
On Thursday, the California State Athletic Commission released urinalysis results pointing the finger at the 6-foot-4, nearly 300-pound Brasilia native for Boldenone, an anabolic agent. Silva was immediately suspended for one year and fined $2,500, but may protest the disciplinary action and request a hearing before the commission –- something Silva’s manager, Alex Davis, plans to pursue without hesitation.
“It’s a false positive. He got tested positive for something he didn’t take,” said Davis from his home outside Rio de Janeiro. “I will not let my fighter sit back and be wronged like this. I just won’t.”
Silva was notified of the positive test result Wednesday via a phone call from the CSAC, though Davis said rumors of his fighter’s results had been circulating during a prolonged testing period, which included independent tests of two separate samples conducted by Quest Diagnostics and the World Anti-Doping Agency-approved Laboratoire De Controle Du Dopage in Montreal.
“I did not use the steroid Boldenone, or any other steroid of prohibited substance,” Silva wrote in a prepared statement distributed to Sherdog.com. “I don’t agree and never have agreed with the use of this kind of product in order to win, for this is cheating. I will go to the full extent of my power and the law to prove my innocence in this matter.”
Brock Lesnar vs. Cheick Kongo in November?
Big news, ladies and gents: Our own Jeffrey Lee has tracked down the "International Man of Mystery" himself, Cheick Kongo. Not sure how he did it but good on him for doing so. Stay tuned for his interview with the Frenchman in the coming days.
In the meantime, we leave you with these two little nuggets:
Kongo on Brock Lesnar:
"There's really nothing that worries me too much with Brock Lesnar."
So, wait, are these two behemoths about to get it on?
Well, according to a member of Kongo's management team the answer is yes:
"Cheick has been contacted about his next fight. It should be Lesnar maybe in November or December."
Mikey Gomez Florida's #1 unsigned Mixed Martial Artist
Check out all the Interviews by Penny Buffington on
Here is just part of the Interview from Mikey Gomez who was voted #1 unsigned Fighter in Florida!!!!!!!
"Gomez is fighting Charley Blanchard for the welterweight title. On Thursday August 15, 2008 I spoke with a happy Mikey. He told me, “I am really excited to fight for the Cage Warriors belt. I’m fighting a really tough aponant named Charley Blanchard from American Top Team. I’ve been training really hard for this upcoming belt and now I’m just tweaking up my game in preparation for it.” - Mikey Gomez
Check out the Full interview by Penny Buffington on
5 Fighters You Need to Watch
While some of you may see the brief reprieve we’re enjoying from a whirlwind last few weeks of high-profile throwdowns as a bit of welcome rest for the weary, you’re all wrong. Yes, every last one of you.
Now is the time to discover the fighters you’ve been ignoring, parked in front of your screen researching the next generation while selling your less-than-essential organs for rare fight tapes.
Luckily, I’ve done most of the work for you, finding five of the most pugilistically inclined superstars in the making of whom you’ve probably never heard. In the event you’re familiar with these guys, just smile and nod for the sake of everyone else.
John Alessio: I'm not facing Jake Shields at Sept. 20 EliteXC event
Despite recent reports of EliteXC welterweight champion Jake Shields (21-4-1) defending his title on EliteXC's Sept. 20 card against John Alessio (23-11), the potential challenger today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) he will not be ready in time for the Albuquerque, N.M. event.
Alessio was recently forced to take time off from training after suffering a broken arm in a June victory over veteran Pete Spratt. Now the Xtreme Couture fighter feels it imperative to allow ample time for a full recovery
Jackson Arraignment Postponed
The arraignment of former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (Pictures) has been postponed Friday pending further investigation into his July 15 arrest in Costa Mesa, Calif.
Jackson was arrested on suspicion of felony evading, reckless driving and hit-and-run charges following a chase by authorities that saw elite fighter’s Ford pick-up truck bounce off other vehicles, jump street medians and swerve onto sidewalks, which “caused pedestrians to flee in terror,” according to a Costa Mesa police department report.
Randy Couture’s Pricetag: $6-10 Million
I’d love for the UFC to step up and make the fight [with Fedor Emelianenko] happen. It has the potential to be the biggest mixed martial arts fight to date…It has the potential to do 700,000+ pay-per-view buys which is a helluva lotta money. I think 6-10 [million should be the salary] for each of us and they’re still gonna make a boatload of money on top of that.
Now I am beginning to believe that this fight will never happen. No way any promoter can make it happen at that price tag.
Emelianenko: I’m not the best fighter
One of the most hotly debated topics in mixed martial arts these days is the identity of the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter.
UFC president Dana White insists it’s middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Others consider either UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn or UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre to be No. 1.
Further down Dana says:
“But we all have to thank him for getting rid of Tim Sylvia. He’d been stinking out the joint the last couple of years and Fedor did everyone a favor by beating him so easily and getting rid of him.”
I thought that was low, even for Dana.
Tito Ortiz actively negotiating with AFFLICTION
LOS ANGELES – At a press luncheon on Tuesday, Affliction vice president Tom Atencio told MMAWeekly.com that negotiations are now underway with former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz. Affliction COO Michael Cohen confirmed that Ortiz is free to negotiate with the upstart company, and was working on a deal with Ortiz’s lawyers.
In an interview with SI.com last week, Ortiz confirmed he was working on a “groundbreaking record contract” with a company assumed to be Affliction. However, the outspoken fighter was a no-show at the press conference for “Day of Reckoning” in Las Vegas. Ortiz still appears to be persona non grata in UFC president Dana White’s book, but on more than one occasion, that has not come between Ortiz and a UFC contract.
As of yet, few details on the negotiation exist, but Atencio initially said the dollar signs associated with the record-breaking contract are the major sticking point.
“We’ve got a contract, and it’s just not feasible,” Atencio said.
Both Atencio and Cohen have fielded interest from a large number of free agents looking to sign with the new promotion. Affliction received a great deal of attention, much of it negative, for the 3-4 million dollars it paid to fighters in its first show, “Banned,” on July 19. Afterwards, Atencio told MMAWeekly.com one of his future concerns was to make sure fighters didn’t look at Affliction as a “cash cow.” And while there’s no doubt Ortiz can sell tickets for Affliction, it would come at a steep premium.
Randy and Fedor meet again. Talks between two camps.
MMAPayout.com has learned that Couture and Emelianenko, along with their respective management teams, have spent a great deal of time together in Los Angeles this week. The purpose of the informal summit is not entirely clear, but one logical goal of the meetings could be the development of a collective strategy moving forward in order to insure that [their] fight takes place, sooner rather than later.
Interesting to see where this goes.
Bull Ropes and BS: 'Respect' and Other Fan Foolery
After a 15-minute emasculation of Heath Herring (Pictures), even in the face of other notable Saturday night happenings, I was fully aware Brock Lesnar (Pictures) was going to dominate my inbox come Sunday morning. However, I expected most of the discussion to be centered on his obvious potential as a heavyweight, with requests for me to impersonate Joe Silva by forecasting Lesnar's future fighting engagements.
Instead, I have been swarmed with and puzzled by dozens and dozens of choleric and venomous messages from incensed fans who have apparently suffered damaged psyches at the hands of Brock Lesnar's in-cage antics.
Jordan Breen talking sense once again...