IN HIS OWN WORDS: Back surgery spurs Tito on
This was the biggest decision of my career… back surgery
Since the Randy Couture fight, I have had lower back problems. Each fight it got worse. I have made it though the last eight fights by physical therapy, methylprednisolone pills, and spinal injections for last three fights.
I fought injured time and time again for the fans. After the Rashad (Evans) fight, I told the fight doctor I was having excruciating back pain. It was so bad that my security had to carry me from the Octagon to my dressing room to the press conference and back.
This continued for the next four months. If anyone has had back pain, you know the pain I deal with. It got to be so bad that I was barely able to get up off the couch or drive for longer than 20 minutes.
Now try to imagine training for eight hours a day and having to fight formidable opponents like Rashad, and (Lyoto) Machida. From November of 2007 to May of 2008, I did two separate injections and worked my ass off in physical therapy so I was able to fight Machida.
During the second round of the fight I felt the same pain as I did in the Rashad fight. After the fight, I told the fight doctor I was having back pain. It never got better. I didn't want to fall into the terrible life of having to take painkillers in order to be capable of making it through training.
I simply refuse to fall into that trap. I started to look into other ways to help my back pain. I have done everything from rehab to injections to make it better and nothing has succeeded.
Noons: 'I’m a Free Agent'
Karl James Noons is looking towards greener pastures, which may or may not include his return to the EliteXC cage, he says.
“I’m a free agent,” Noons told Sherdog.com Monday, the result of EliteXC taking back his championship belt.
Noons, 25, was stripped of his EliteXC 160-pound title on Sept. 19 after the promotion said he refused to defend his title against Nick Diaz.
Noons bested the mouthy Stockton, Calif. native with a first-round TKO on cuts in November 2007. Words between the fighters and their families ensued in the cage, and a rematch loomed.
EliteXC attempted to promote said rematch on three separate cards since July. But Noons took umbrage with Diaz’s pay scale, which was nearly three times more than his.
Private discussions spilled into the public forum when an EliteXC rep announced Noons had been given a 24-hour deadline to accept the bout.
Though Noons was subsequently removed from EliteXC’s champions mantle, he said a piece is missing from the timeline.
“We weren’t coming to agreements on the fight, so I gave them written notice that I’d give them the belt back five days prior before they stripped me,” he said, in the hopes of “working something out.” “I didn’t make it public, and I guess to prove a point, or maybe out of ego or whatever they want, they stripped me.”
Noons said his contract, of which two fights remain, only pertains to his reign as a titleholder.
"Since I’ve been stripped, I’m no longer the champion and I don’t owe them the fights," he said. "I owed them fights for being a champion.”
Jeremy Lappen, EliteXC’s Head of Fight Operations, doesn’t agree.
"KJ still has two more fights on his contract," Lappen said Monday. “I’m hoping we’ll work something out, but there’s really not much to work out. He’s still under contract with us.”
Seth Petruzelli Paid to "Stand and Trade"...Or Was He?
From Monsters in the Morning via BloodyElbow via CagePotato reader “Adam S”:
Seth Petruzelli: My original plan was to throw a lot of push kicks, they’re called teeps…have him think that I’m going to throw ‘em to try to rush in more, and then shoot in on him, obviously…I knew I would do alright standing up with him. The promoters kinda hinted to me, and they gave me the money to stand and trade with him. They didn’t want me to take him down. Let’s just put it that way. It was worth my while to try and stand up and punch with him.
Interesting...not surprising, but interesting.
But check this out from 5 Oz of Pain:
Upon being contacted by FiveOuncesOfPain.com for a followup, Petruzelli indicated that he felt his words during the 104.1 FM interview are being twisted and he categorically denied accusations that EliteXC somehow tried to influence his strategy through financial considerations.
“What was meant to be said was that I wanted to keep the fight standing for myself because I knew that was what the crowd, the promoters, and everyone wanted to see because that’s more exciting than just taking someone to the ground,” Petruzelli said. “That was my thing only. I wanted to keep it exciting so I decided to keep it standing. It had nothing to do with anybody else. That was all me.”
Upon being asked directly whether EliteXC officials had even hinted that he could receive a bonus by keeping the fight standing, Petruzelli clarified that no such act had taken place.
Escudero turns wrestling into MMA/UFC career
Efrain Escudero grew up in Somerton, Ariz., wanting to fight. Now the Grand Canyon University wrestler is doing it professionally.
Escudero, who is still attending the Christian university, was selected by Ultimate Fighting Championships for "The Ultimate Fighter," a Mixed Martial Arts reality show based in Las Vegas.
Dumbest … robbers … ever
“… two gunman held [Lloyd] Irvin, his son, wife and UFC light heavyweight contender Brandon Vera at gun point while demanding to be directed towards valuables like cash or jewelry. While one gunman held Irvin’s family hostage, another gunman directed Irvin to the the master bedroom. According to Irvin, he led the gunman toward his bedroom. Once in the bedroom, Irvin said he noticed the other gunman was far enough away down the hall to make a move to disarm the attacker in his bedroom. Irvin, an expert in Sambo defensive gun and knife techniques, was able to get a hold of the gun in the attacker’s hands, first separating the clip from the gun and then removing the gun from the attacker’s hands. At that point, the attacker in Irvin’s room ran yelling to his accomplice that Irvin had his gun and both gunman fled the house…. Police were called to the scene and have launched an investigation. According to Irvin, no one in his family was physically hurt, although the psychological trauma at this point is considerable.”
St. Pierre Joins Beckham, Jeter In Mainstream
Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre has signed with CAA Sports, a division of Creative Arts Agency, one of the largest entertainment and sports agencies in the world.
CAA Sports will work with St. Pierre, alongside manager Shari Spencer, to help build new marketing and endorsement opportunities along with using the agency’s resources to create new endeavors in movies, television, licensing and digital media.
“Beyond being a fierce competitor and a tremendously skilled fighter, Georges St. Pierre’s class, integrity and humility also make him a terrific ambassador for the sport,” said Howard Nuchow, co-head, CAA Sports. “We look forward to creating opportunities for Georges that cross international borders and build upon his widespread appeal.”
CAA Sports is a world famous agency currently representing over 400 professional athletes, including the last five NFL MVP’s, and other sports superstars such as New York Yankee’s captain Derek Jeter, and international soccer player and celebrity David Beckham.
“CAA Sports is the best talent agency in the world and an ideal partner to guide the professional growth of the world’s best fighter,” Spencer commented. “Georges’ appeal transcends the Octagon and I am confident that together we can introduce Georges, and the entire sport of MMA, to a wider audience.”
The addition of St. Pierre to the growing roster of athletes at CAA Sports is a huge move for both the fighter and the entire MMA industry. CAA is an extremely recognizable company worldwide and their reach will expand St. Pierre’s marketability in many different areas that MMA hasn’t seen yet.
The significance of the signing of St. Pierre with CAA may not be seen on the surface to the average MMA fan, but in the long run the deal could be huge for both the fighter and the industry.
Is free agency in the future for Gilbert Melendez?
Former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez is ready to get back to the top of his weight class, but with only one fight left on his current contract, he is welcoming his upcoming free agency.
Melendez has had a very successful career to this point, but the California based fighter has now dropped two out of his last three fights and he’s looking to get the best option for his future.
“I have one fight left with Strikeforce. I really do like Strikeforce, I think they’re a great organization and they took care of me,” Melendez told MMAWeekly.com “But I have other goals too, other dreams. I do want to get my payback against Josh (Thomson) and (Mitsuhiro) Ishida, that’s awesome that they’re there too, but I’m just going to make sure I do really good on my next fight and then I’m going to weigh out all my options.
“It’s going to feel good to be a free agent after this fight and see what I can do.”
The next Strikeforce show is set for Nov. 21, but Melendez says it is up in the air if he will end up on that card or not.
Arlovski-Nelson Tapped for CBS
At least two fighters will not sit on the sidelines following the postponement of Affliction’s Oct. 4 “Day of Reckoning” event in Las Vegas.
Former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski (13-5) and IFL kingpin Roy Nelson (13-2) have been offered a heavyweight bout at EliteXC “Heat” Oct. 4 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla. The event will be aired live on CBS.
Arlovski’s management team would not comment Wednesday on the proposed bout, while Nelson’s attorney, Rod Donohoo, also refrained from remarks. However, Sherdog.com has learned from separate sources that both fighters have agreed in principle to the match and that contracts have been issued for review.
The last-minute addition will be presented as an Affiction-EliteXC co-promoted fight, and adds a quite a punch to an already anticipated roster featuring a showdown between former Internet brawler Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson and UFC Hall-of-Famer Ken Shamrock. Female sensation Gina Carano is also on board to take on Kelly Kobald-Gavin in a 140-pound bout.
Evan Tanner ‘Into the Desert’ final blog entry found
It’s Tuesday night. Tomorrow I go out into the desert. It has taken over a month to get all the gear together. The preparation for this adventure took far longer than I had expected. I’ve never done this before, so I took my time reading books, studying the land, and researching gear. A few weeks of solitude in the deep desert, and then back to civilization, and back to training.”
The entry above is from former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner, who up until his premature death was a regular blogger on Spike.com. The network apparently uncovered the draft post in the dashboard of the control panel — Tanner never published the entry. He was eventually found in the California desert in which he sought solitude, succumbing to heat exhaustion from the searing temperatures that soared above 110 degrees. He was just 37 years old. There is a memorial service in his honor this weekend. Dan Christison provided MMAmania.com with all the details
Tito Is Having Twins
Yes everyone, I can officially confirm that Tito and I are expecting twins! I had my second ultrasound today and was greeted by two big healthy babies with pounding hearts.
Ahh yes, two Tito heads are better than one.
Joe Riggs On Misaki And Close Call With Kimbo
Fight fans, take notice: In a small way, Joe Riggs helped create Kimbo Slice.
The year is 2003. Riggs is at least a year away from his UFC debut. He’s fighting for $1,000 a show, good money for him at the time. Slice’s manager, Icy Mike, puts out a challenge to tough guys around the country – come to Florida if you think you can beat up Kimbo Slice. Win, and you get $10,000.
Riggs’ manager at the time, Trevor Lally, jumps at the offer. He emails Mike and says he’s got someone for him. He offers to put up $50,000 of his own money as a show of faith.
Riggs begins training in earnest and mentally preparing for a fight with Slice. But when Mike finds out about Riggs’ credentials, the door is promptly closed.
“I’d of beat the (expletive) out of him,” Riggs told MMAWeekly.com. “It would have been done. No Kimbo. I would have rubbed him out and saved everyone the headaches.”
Or Riggs could have videotaped his street brawls, something he jokingly wishes he did.
Riggs had other things in store for his future, including a two-year stint in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. There, he met mixed results. He failed to make weight for a title fight with Matt Hughes at UFC 56 then lost the fight decisively. Batting .500 in his four post-Hughes fights, he asked to be released from his UFC contract after a spat with matchmaker Joe Silva.
Other than the requisite scraps of a hotheaded MMA fighter, the closest Riggs got to Slice was a post-UFC 57 brawl with opponent Nick Diaz at the hospital where they stayed.
Kongo leaves Ibarra for UK’s Wolfslair
“Quinton had a split from his coach and he knew what a good job we did with [Michael] Bisping so it was a natural move for him. His old management weren’t on great terms with the UFC, but we are very UFC-friendly here and have a lot of time for (UFC president) Dana White so we stepped in. It was the same with Cheick. He was having some problems negotiating his new contract with the UFC and was looking for somewhere to train so it was an easy decision for him to join his mates…. He has been training with Quinton for his last couple of fights, and we know that has not been a happy camp. We think he will be a happier fighter here; he is only a couple of hours from his home in Paris and we will be taking all the other distractions like sponsorship out of his hands.”
When it rains it pours … just ask Juanito Ibarra. Cheick Kongo has now bolted from his camp, joining one of Ibarra’s other prized fighters, former light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, overseas at the Wolfslair MMA Academy in the United Kingdom. Of course, Michael “The Count” Bisping is also a Wolfslair fighter and more than likely the person responsible for recruiting Jackson to join the gym after his differences with Ibarra emerged. No specific reason was given for the split between Kongo and Ibarra, but the “French Sensation” is now certainly closer to his native France.
Tanner, According to Those Who Knew Him Best
MMA will never have another Evan Tanner.
To chronicle his compelling life, Sherdog.com turned to some of the people who knew him best, including those who grew up with him and watched him wrestle in high school before he began his fight career inside a rowdy rodeo coliseum in Amarillo, Texas.
A Self-Taught Texan
Deana Epperson grew up across the street from Tanner in Amarillo and kept in touch with him throughout the years: He was a good kid. He really didn’t mess with anybody. He didn’t even wrestle -- he pole-vaulted in junior high. He didn’t even start wrestling until our sophomore year in high school, and we were a big school. We were 5A. By our junior and senior year, he was a back-to-back state champion in wrestling. Texas is no joke with wrestling and for him to have never wrestled till 10th grade and then been a state champion in 11th and 12th grade -- that’s just incredible.
He was such a renaissance man on the most basic level. He didn’t really like to admit this to people, but Evan had a photographic memory, and that’s how the big legend of Evan Tanner was true. He was a big wrestler in high school and he got the Gracie jiu-jitsu videos, and whatever he would watch somebody do, he could instantly put that into his repertoire. He was genetically gifted, he was amazingly smart, and he remembered everything he read and saw. That really explains how a guy who never really went to a dojo till he was 21 was able to do what he did.
He was the first one I ever saw grab wrists to reign down elbows. And later on I saw Tito Ortiz in the corner with one of his fighters yelling, “Tanner elbows! Tanner elbows!” That’s when you know you’re the s---, is when someone is referencing you when they’re cornering someone else.
Evan Tanner Death Confirmed in California
Update 9:28 PM ET: MMA on Tap has been able to confirm through members of Tanner’s camp that the body found in Palo Verde mountain area was indeed that of Evan Tanner. No other details are available at this time and Tanner’s camp has asked that everyone please respect the wishes of his family at this time. Everyone here at MMA on Tap would like to send our condolences to Tanner’s family and friends.
Im pretty speechless, but i will say that ever since i started watching MMA (2005) i have had the utmost respect for this guy. I remember when i first heard that he taught himself jiu-jitsu just by watching tutorial tapes, then he became the champion! Tanner was always a warrior and my heart goes out to his family.
Rich Franklin talks win and weight class
It wasn’t an easy job, but former UFC middleweight champ Rich Franklin got it done, stopping former training partner Matt Hamill with a liver kick in the final round of their UFC 88 fight in Atlanta. The onslaught of takedowns Franklin and many pundits expected never came, and as the fight wore on, his kicks made sure of that. His lone stay on the mat was short lived.
“I just put myself in the mindset that if I ended up on my back I was comfortable there anyway, it didn’t matter to me,” he said. “I assumed that he would probably have several shot attempts that I just wouldn’t be able to defend, because he’s such high caliber wrestler.
Rich franklin talks about mashida later on in the interview. Very good point he makes about having a history of bad luck vs "south paws from chute box"
he is a cool guy. i love that he can joke
oh my sorry i guess i got caught up in the moment
Liddells Top 8 Moments
Zuffa brings its beloved big top to Atlanta on Saturday night for UFC 88. As good hosts, Dana White and Co. are putting their best foot forward in Georgia with an end-to-end burner of a fight card, suitably topped off with MMA's foremost rockstar, Chuck Liddell (Pictures).
In a main event some five months in the making, Liddell, now with full hamstring capabilities, meets the undefeated Rashad Evans (Pictures). For the 38-year-old Liddell, the fight is a must-win to secure a December mega-fight with UFC light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin (Pictures) and to have one last crack at solidifying his resume as the sport's greatest light heavyweight.
On the cusp of boom-or-bust for MMA's favorite San Luis Obispan, here are eight of the finest episodes from "The Iceman." And in the interest of class, only one reference to “Good Morning Texas.”
Please no liddell haters right now
UFC will wait for fedor
UFC President Dana White confidently laid out his organization’s plan to acquire the services of Fedor Emelianenko (Pictures) for a future matchup with recently returned heavyweight champion Randy Couture (Pictures).
The promotion will simply wait, he said during a conference call Tuesday.
Don Frye undeterred by loss, looking to continue fighting career
Although approaching 43 years old, UFC, PRIDE and K-1 veteran Don Frye (19-7-1) continues to ply his trade in the MMA business. However a recent submission loss to Ikuhisa Minowa (40-28-8) has caused many to question the aging veteran's fighting future.
Frye recently joined TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) to discuss his disappointing loss, and he spoke candidly about his desire to continue to fight despite approaching an age where most choose to retire.
"I didn't show up to fight," Frye admitted. "I showed up to just drink beer and ended up looking at the lights at the top of the ceiling. He opened up a can of whoop-ass I couldn't close.
"Like a dumbass I thought I could go out and charm my way to a victory because I was Don Frye. Unfortunately he didn’t find me charming."
Any time a fighter of Frye's age experiences defeat, questions are immediately raised about their thirst for competition.