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...
Affliction Lands Horodecki
In a move that strengthens its roster outside the heavyweight division, the upstart Affliction promotion on Wednesday announced the signing of former International Fight League poster boy Chris Horodecki (Pictures). Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The once-beaten 20-year-old Canadian will make his promotional debut at Affliction “Day of Reckoning” on Oct. 11 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. An opponent has yet to be named. Horodecki (12-1) last competed in April, when he earned a unanimous decision victory against World Championship Fighting veteran Nate Lamotte (Pictures) at an IFL show in East Rutherford, N.J. ...
Dana White and His Rise to Multi-Millions
"When you see Dana White, the bald headed President and co-owner of the UFC on TV, he always leaves you with the same impression. He's loud, obnoxious, confident, and most probably wealthy. You're right about the wealthy, but how much is he worth? "
Most of this is a shot in the dark. I am posting it because there is some cool information about the finances of Dana and the UFC. Like how Dana is a 10% owner of Zuffa.
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.