Bas Rutten On The Demise Of The IFL
In just a few short years the International Fight League went from ambitious concept to reality to demise.
At its best, the promotion helped reintroduce a group of veteran mixed martial arts pioneers to the new era of MMA fans, as well helped jumpstart the career of what would become some of the sport’s best young fighters.
One of the promotion’s first and most prominent figures was former King of Pancrase and Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight titleholder Bas “El Guapo” Rutten.
Starring initially as the head coach of the Los Angeles Anacondas, Rutten then transitioned to a commentator role and ultimately ended up as Vice President of Fighter Operations, and shined with the usual El Guapo flair in each position.
Still, all things come to an end. As such, Rutten has been released from his contract with the company, and now he looks to transition to other things.
Speaking from his adoptive hometown of Los Angeles, Rutten spoke to MMAWeekly about his time in the IFL, his roles in the promotion, and what’s coming down the pipeline for one of MMA’s premier personalities.
MMAWeekly: First off Bas, tell us about your recent release from the IFL.
Bas Rutten: Well, from what I understand, there is no more IFL, right? We’ve been sold, but there’s still some working going on. Exactly what, I have no clue, but the paychecks have stopped coming in. For me it’s stopped and for all the people I knew in the IFL it’s stopped.
I knew the company was struggling. I had gotten emails from people there that had been let go. “Thanks for the great time working together,” and stuff like that. There was a hardcore group left, and once they started getting rid of those people, I knew the end was near. I was aware it was going to happen.
Nick Diaz camp wants KJ Noons but will settle for Hayato ‘Mach’ Sakurai
Elite XC lightweight contender Nick Diaz provided his hometown fans in Stockton, Calif., with an exciting early second round technical knockout win over Thomas “Wildman” Denny last Saturday night during Elite XC: “Unfinished Business.”
The question now is: What is next for the Cesar Gracie jiu-jitsu black belt?
On the surface there are two very obvious answers to that question, both of which involve world titles. Either Diaz will take on Hayato “Mach” Sakurai (32-8-2) in Japan at DREAM 6 for the company’s welterweight gold, or he’ll finally get his redemption fight against Elite XC lightweight champion KJ Noons (7-2).
So which fight is going to happen?
Diaz has made it clear that he enjoys competing in Japan — where he feels the art of this sport is better appreciated and the rules favor more of a traditional martial arts style. He was already supposed to have fought Sakurai at DREAM 5 two weeks ago, but that fight fell through when Diaz learned he was instead going to fight in Stockton for Elite XC.
It seemed obvious that Diaz would have much rather taken on “Mach” for a world title than a mediocre Thomas Denny in a non-title affair, but there’s more to that story than meets the eye.
Not only was he fighting in his hometown an exciting idea for Diaz, but there’s also some hesitation on his part to compete for DREAM since the Japanese based company has yet to pay him a single dime for his May win over Katsuya Inoue at DREAM 3.
Tito Ortiz Not Yet Signed To Affliction
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz is not out of the Octagon just yet.
Despite several published reports of Ortiz’s whereabouts, Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio today told MMAWeekly.com that he has not signed the popular UFC fighter. Atencio claims that Ortiz’s promotional contract with the Las Vegas based company precludes that.
“I can’t talk to Tito until after August 3rd,” Atencio says. “Everybody just wants to read into it and put whatever they want on the internet.”
Cro Cop Knows What You’ve Been Saying About Him
"I see many people speaking about me as a washed-up fighter but this is just another boost to my motivation. I’m working hard to get back on track and meeting and defeating strong competitors in the ring is all that I think of nowdays. "
Affliction, Fedor Prove MMA is Bigger Than UFC
There’s much to be said for selling out. For Affliction, it happens to be a good thing.
The clothing company turned mixed martial arts promoter packed the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on Saturday. Nearly 14,000 fans were treated to highlight reel moments of Dominique Wilkins proportions throughout the night. But it wasn’t all fashionable fun in the organization’s inaugural show.
From the try-hard red carpet that ushered VIPs in and out of the arena to the distracting, unnecessary smoke machines that went on through most of the event, Affliction’s presentation had enough plot holes to compete with the latest batch of summer blockbusters...
Josh Barnett talks Anthony "Rumble" Johnson, Aleksander Emelianenko
Anthony Johnson claimed in a recent interview he got the better of me in wrestling and that this was his validation for being a great wrestler in MMA. I won’t lie and say he didn’t get a takedown or that he doesn’t have good wrestling skills because he did and he does. But he glossed over the most important part: You don’t run your mouth about what happens in practice. Punks and the weak of heart do that. He came in last while I was running the gauntlet with guys in sparring and even then 1) I took him down more than he did me 2) I suplexed him on his head 3) and tapped him out. But I wasn’t happy with my performance so I said let’s go again. Only it turned out “Rumble” didn’t want to spar but run a marathon. He threw one punch and just ran the whole time. High accomplishments indeed. I guess he’s in San Jose now but hopefully they are more accepting of him than we are at CSW; because bitches need not apply here.
ROBERT "BUZZ" BERRY HANGS UP THE GLOVES
Following his recent loss to Neil Grove at Cage Rage 27, Robert "Buzz" Berry steps out of the limelight and into retirement. It marks a sad day for British MMA when one of the most prominent heavyweights on the scene decides that they have had enough.
Berry amassed a professional record of 13-8-0 since breaking onto the scene in 2001 with a win in the Total Combat show. Since that time he has been one of the most regular competitors on the scene with six fights apiece in 2005 and 2006, three in 2007, and twice already this year.
Berry will forever be remembered for exposing Ken Shamrock's total lack of game plan with a devastating knockout in March of this year. At the time, the fight may have appeared to be a steppingstone for Shamrock to rebuild his career, but Berry had other plans and fought arguably the most mature and complete fight of his career.
On Wednesday night, Berry announced on the Cage Warriors forum his retirement from the U.K. Scene with the following post:
"Just to let you all know I have had to retire. After my fight with Neil Grove I was taken to the hospital and had to have surgery on my face. They have had to put two plates in, one in my cheek bone and one on my eye socket. So that is it, over for me.
Rampage Jackson hearing set for August 15
“[Quinton] was cooperative with us from his arrest to him being released.”
– Sgt. of Traffic Safety Bureau for Costa Mesa Police Department, Victor Bakkila, comments via the Press-Telegram on the behavior of former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson after his arrest for felony evading, reckless driving and hit and run charges. The 30-year-old from Memphis, Tenn., was today released on $25,000 bail and will have his day in court on August 15.
From Surviving the Streets of Russia to MMA: The Story of Aleksander Emelianenko, Part 1
by Evgeni Kogan
"I'm ready. It doesn't matter with who or where. On foot or on horseback. With maces or poleaxes. To fight. To first blood or to death. It doesn't matter, I'm ready to fight." -- Aleksander Emelianenko (Pictures)
Living in the shadow of a big brother isn't easy.
When you are in the same profession and he's more accomplished and better known, it's hard to stand in the spotlight unobstructed, as your own man. Side by side, the achievements that you've worked your whole life for, that you've gone through hell for in order to become a better person are less dazzling, less impressive when compared to his. You have less say in your fighting future, less media attention when he's caught in a perpetual avalanche of flash bulbs and microphones. You're fighting on the televised undercard when he's headlining the pay-per-view.
Dude is so russian
DRUG TEST NETS TIGER WHITE 9 MONTH SUSPENSION
At a hearing before the Nevada State Athletic Commission last week, Vernon “Tiger” White was officially suspended stemming from a positive drug test result for the banned diuretic Hydrochlorothiazide. The drug test was following a May 31 kickboxing bout for Xtreme Fighting Association.
White received a nine month suspension, was fined his entire $2,000 win bonus, and the fight was changed from a victory for him to a no contest result.
"I'm not going to try to talk myself out of trouble, it was a stupid mistake,” said White during the hearing.
Due to the positive test result and impending suspension, White was removed from a fight against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira that was to take place on Saturday’s Affliction “Banned” event at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
Fellow UFC veteran Edwin Dewees, who has signed a multi-fight contract with Affliction, subsequently replaced him. Dewees’ first action for Affliction will be against Nogueira on Saturday night.
Former UFC fighter Jeremy Jackson arrested, charged with multiple felonies
Jeremy Jackson, who appeared on season four of "The Ultimate Fighter," was arrested late last month and charged with seven felony offenses, including two counts of forcible rape.
The 26-year-old Jackson was apprehended on June 30 in Oxnard, Calif., and is being held in a Ventura County jail, with bail set at $1 million.
Officials with the Ventura County Sheriff's Department confirmed the arrest and charges with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). Events surrounding the arrest were not made available.
In addition to the two counts of forcible rape, Jackson was charged with kidnapping to commit another crime, first-degree residential burglary, assault with a firearm, dissuading a witness by force or threat, and criminal threats. At his initial arraignment, three additional charges -- all felonies -- were levied against Jackson, which included two counts of sexual assault and one count of sex crimes (aggravated circumstances).
Jackson is due in Ventura County Superior Court again Wednesday, at which time he is expected to enter pleas to the charges.
Jackson's appearance on the fourth season of "TUF" was short-lived. UFC President Dana White kicked him off the reality show after he violated rules by leaving the fighter house to meet a woman.
He was invited back to fight on the season finale and suffered a neck injury in a submission loss to Pete Spratt.
Since that fight in November of 2006, Jackson (9-5) has fought just once, winning a Total Combat match in March of last year.
Andrei Arlovski's trainer: "Nothing set" for pro boxing debut
Despite a recent report of a possible September bout, legendary boxing trainer Freddie Roach says his new pupil, MMA superstar Andrei Arlovski (12-5), has not yet finalized plans for a professional boxing debut.
Roach and Arlovski each addressed the media in a conference call today promoting Arlovski's bout with fellow heavyweight Ben Rothwell at "Affliction: Banned," which takes place July 19 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
"I've been training Andrei for boxing, yes," Roach said. "I know he has a future in boxing, of course. But I don't believe there's anything set out there."
Tito Ortiz To Re-Sign With UFC?
Don't be surprised if Tito Ortiz's last fight is with the UFC. Sources close to the situation have informed us that despite being courted by several other organizations, Ortiz apparently prefers to finish his career with the organization he started it with and is currently considering possible fight offers from the UFC. Although no contract agreement has been reached, Ortiz has been in negotiations and was offered potential fights with UFC light heavyweights Houston Alexander, Thierry Sokoudjou and Stephan Bonnar to name a few.
As evidenced by the standing ovation he received from the crowd in attendance during his unanimous decision loss to Lyoto Machida, Ortiz is still a big draw amongst fans. The overwhelming support he received could be one of the reasons why Ortiz, who's grown accustomed to his superstar status and fighting in front of 10,000+ fans, would prefer to stay with the UFC, undeniably the biggest and most popular MMA organization in the world.
Another reason could be that despite going winless in his last three fights, Ortiz is still only one or two fights away from a title shot. Ironically, he holds a controversial split-decision win over newly crowned UFC light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin and he also has a draw with Rashad Evans, who will be facing Chuck Liddell later this year at UFC 88 to determine the next challenger for the UFC light heavyweight title.
Fedor Emelianenko's New Book To Reveal Training Secrets
Fedor Emelianenko will finally reveal the legendary fighting and training techniques that have allowed him to become the most revered mixed martial artist of his time. Emelianenko, who is widely considered the greatest pound for pound fighter in the world and has also been referred to as the greatest mixed martial artist of all time, is preparing for perhaps his biggest challenge when he takes on Tim Sylvia on July 19 at Affliction: Banned.
His book of fighting and training techniques entitled; Fedor: The Fighting System of the World's Undisputed King of MMA, will be available in bookstores across the country by August 15.
The book is being brought to you by essentially same team that headed up excellent instructional books from Randy Couture, BJ Penn, Karo Parisyan, and Eddie Bravo.
Fightline.com was able to secure an advance copy of the book and we can assure fans that it will not disappoint. Aside from an insightful and brief biography the book is all instruction, intricately spelled out and easy to understand. The techniques are masterfully broken down and explained in great detail and Emelianenko himself assures that all have been battle tested.
Below is an official description of the book:
In Fedor, the undefeated, undisputed heavyweight MMA champion of the world unveils for the first time his trademark striking and grappling techniques through descriptive narrative and more than 2500 step-by-step color photographs. Detailing dozens of throws, punching combinations, cardio workouts and ground and pound techniques, this book leaves no stone unturned.
UFC 86 Fallout: Possible Protest, Rematch
Although Quinton Jackson lost his UFC light heavyweight title Saturday to Forrest Griffin in a grueling 25-minute bout, his camp is ready to keep fighting.
Jackson's coach, Juanito Ibarra, plans to protest the unanimous decision with the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
"We got robbed," Ibarra told Sherdog.com Sunday afternoon. "We won the majority of the fight."
Judges Adalaide Byrd and Nelson Hamilton scored the bout 48-46 for Griffin, while Roy Silbert turned in a 49-46 tally for Griffin.
It's extremely unlikely that a protest would change the outcome of the fight. Ibarra isn't hopeful in that regard, but less than 24 hours after his fighter had lost in the UFC for the first time, the coach seemed determined to learn exactly how the fight was scored.
He was baffled that Byrd and Silbert gave Griffin a 10-9 advantage in the first round, during which Jackson dropped the challenger. In Ibarra's view, the knockdown warranted a 10-8 round in Jackson's favor. He believes Jackson won the third and fourth rounds on 10-9 scores, though he said Griffin deserved a 10-8 second round and a 10-9 fifth. That comes out to a 47-46 win for Jackson.
"You have to beat the champion," Ibarra asserted more than once.
Randy Couture, a coach and training partner of Griffin, gave a slight edge to the new champion.
"I thought that it was a very, very close fight," Couture said. "I thought that it was three rounds to two [for Griffin]. I thought that Quinton did enough to win two of the rounds clearly. I thought they may have been able to give Quinton a 10-8 round in the first round with the knockdown and then the second round you could have given Forrest a 10-8 round.
"And it could have went the other way. If one or two rounds went the other way, it could have been three rounds to two for Quinton. It was that close."
Five Greatest Career Turnarounds in MMA
Nothing gets boring faster than perfection, except for perhaps mediocrity. In the realm of fight sport, the sight of an athlete slipping from one into the other is often the fuel for the theater of the unexpected that MMA has become.
While seeing our favorites cast aside after one beating too many is all too common an occurrence, we do occasionally get to see the most moribund of fighters get in touch with their inner "Cinderella Man."
With both James Braddock and a certain "TUF" product in mind, we cast our sights on chronicling the five greatest career turnarounds this young sport has ever seen. So load up for a trip down memory lane and don't forget the Kleenex -- this place is gonna be Niagara Falls in a bit.
Crocop's official statement regarding dream 5
A quote from Crocop from his website at MMA-ID.com
unfortunately I have some bad news? I won't be fighting at DREAM 5 at all. I was about to face Jerome LeBanner but he decided to fight in K1 against Schilt. Mighty Mo was the alternative and I accepted this challenge, but unfortunately Mighty Mo pulled off from the fight. I was ready to face Mo, but maybe this scenario wasn't that bad for me at all and I'll tell you why.
I've been having problems with my right elbow for years and the injury got even worse over last 6 months. I'm already receiving a proper treatment but the recovery won't happen over night. The second problem is a knee injury, something that troubles me for quite a while. I had difficulties using my kicks and over last few weeks I focused more on boxing and grappling. I really wanted to fight on July 21 and I was even ignoring doctor's suggestions, but now I've rached the point from which I can't continue with my normal training regiment due to my injuries.
I was willing to accept the risk of fighting Mo or someone else without being 100% ready fo the fight. I had only one fight this year, I miss big fights and top level competition. I'm eager to get back to the big stage, I still have good fights left in me and I won't give up. I'm not happy with this outcome of course, but at this moment I need to be patient and give some time for my body to recover.
I'm scheduled for arthroscopy tomorrow morning, it's a minor surgical procedure but it will keep me away from MMA trainings for 2-3 weeks probably. From Wednesday I'll focus on my new cardio training program and we'll add MMA elements to my training regiment as soon as my knee will be ready for action.
My goal is to become the first heavyweight champion in DREAM and to do that I need to be ready to fight on September 23. I'm not interested in summer time, vacations or things like that; I'll focus on getting back to shape and hopefully I'll fight in September. I would really like to fight Alistair Overeem, we all know why and I won't let it go. My career is far from being over, I'll be fighting some strong competitors soon again and hopefully I'll meet Fedor in the ring once more in 2009.
Thank you for supporting me and I'll get back to you all soon to keep you updated. "