Sorting Out the UFC Lightweights
As Kenny Florian showered Joe Lauzon with punches from the mount at UFC Fight Night, the final pieces of a very muddled lightweight picture were undoubtedly being shuffled for the umpteenth time in the mind of UFC matchmaker Joe Silva.
With Sean Sherk set to challenge champion B.J. Penn for his former title May 24, Silva will have some time to sort things out after watching four of his most promising 155-pounders secure victories last Wednesday in Colorado.
"The lightweight class is stacked," said Florian, highlighting Silva's propitious dilemma. "Look at all the guys who won [Wednesday] night and some of the guys who lost. They are all tough."
Fedor Carries Olympic Torch in St. Petersburg
In a traditional lead-up to the Beijing Olympics, the Olympic torch touched down in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Saturday before heading off to England and France, continuing its world tour.
The torch was taken along a 12-mile route through the wide streets and boulevards of the historical river city by a relay of 80 Russian sporting champions, cultural icons and national heroes.
Monday Morning Reverie: Exactly How Good?
Kenny Florian toppled Joe Lauzon in the main event of UFC Fight Night last Wednesday, a solid event that was the perfect segue to season seven of the hit television series "The Ultimate Fighter."
It was a stellar performance by the inaugural "first runner up" from the first TUF reality series, and the win came against a sturdy, albeit young, opponent. But in the wake of Florian's second-round triumph over "J-Lau," the question remains: Exactly how good is Florian?
More headaches for YAMMA organizers (Goodgridge KO'd)
Veteran fighter Gary Goodridge (23-15-1), who was scheduled to fight Eric "Butterbean" Esch (10-5-1) in a "Masters Superfight" at YAMMA Pit Fighting's debut show, suffered a knockout at an event this past weekend.
The KO, which came to Mu Bae Choi in South Korea, has also knocked Goodridge out of the April 11 YAMMA event.
According to a New Jersey Athletic Control Board representative who spoke to fiveouncesofpain.com, Goodridge will not be cleared to fight at next weekend's event due to concerns over health and safety.
Mark Kerr and Ricco Rodriguez added to YAMMA card
Former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez (27-8) has been added to YAMMA Pit Fighting's eight-man heavyweight tournament, and two-time UFC tournament winner Mark Kerr (15-6) will fight in a "Masters Superfight" YAMMA bout vs. Oleg Taktarov (15-5-2).
The full card for the event now includes:
Mark Kerr vs. Oleg Taktarov
Eric "Butterbean" Esch vs. Gary Goodridge
Wanderlei Silva Responds To Comments Made By Rampage Jackson
"i'm always watching out for the comments here (in the blog) and in PVT (portaldovaletudo.com.br). for my surprise i saw that someone changed my nickname from Axe Murderer to Chump Murderer, but what i have to say is that the nickname is only aplied to one person because the only chump i fought was Quinton (Jackson).
Kenny Florian wasn't supposed to be a fighter.
He was a smart kid. Focused, always smiling.
His parents, immigrants from Peru, preached hard work and education. That's how his father, Augustin, had become a surgeon. He wanted Kenny to be a lawyer. He also wanted his children to be able to defend themselves, though.
The Florians were essentially the lone Latino family in a neighborhood about 25 miles outside of Boston. Augustin had earned a black belt in judo and maintained a fierce loyalty for Latino boxers. Didn't matter if his man was 1-40.
‘Shogun' Recuperating After Surgery
Mauricio Rua is recovering in Brazil after surgery a few weeks ago on his knee.
"The surgery was very quick, lasted 50 minutes, was quiet," Rua told Sherdog.com. "Now I hope for healing and I think here in about two months I can return to training slowly, very cautiously."
The Brazilian light heavyweight ruptured the ACL in his left knee while preparing at his academy for a bout against Chuck Liddell . "Shogun" said he had tried to explode into a maneuver while training with Vitor Miranda , and his knee moved strangely.
"Depending on my recovery, I think that I can fight again in September or October," Rua said. "We always talked with Dana White and also would like to thank him because the UFC offered me a doctor, a physical therapist -- all to get me help. They have been very attentive with me."
Maurice Smith Calls in Sick to Avoid YAMMA Show
Seriously. It’s now officially ****** up. Let’s count the fighters that Bob Meyrowitz’s YAMMA 1 event has lost to date:
– Headliner Don Frye
– Gary Goodridge
– Frye’s replacement, Patrick Smith
– Rex Richards
– Two undisclosed members of the heavyweight tournament
The fight card on YAMMA’s site has still not been updated, but we’ll try and keep score for ya’. It was reported earlier that Ricco Rodriguez had been tapped to fill in as one of the replacements in the eight-man tourney, but we’re still not sure where that one stands. Rex Richards was replaced by Kevin Jordan. Don Frye had pulled out for whatever reason — probably because he realized how terrible the card is — and Patrick Smith took over. Then Pat Smith had been dropped due to arrest scheduling and 90-year-old Maurice Smith had been submitted as his replacement
Roy Jones Jr. Wants Silva Fight; Dana White Not So Much
Now that it’s clear both Silva and Jones want the fight, there’s just one question: What does the UFC think? Turns out, they’re not so crazy about it. Not yet, anyway.
“We’ve spoken about it,” Soares said. “At first, I think there was a lot of resistance. They don’t seem too into it, to be honest with you. We’ve heard from certain people that there’s just no way that this can happen. But never say never, you know.”
Recently the jokesters over at Bodog went ahead and handicapped the bout, despite the fact that it’s only talk at this point, and they pegged Jones as a heavy favorite with a -2800 line. Silva is going off at +1400, which is understandable since he’s never had a real pro boxing match and Jones, you know, has had a few.
Soares, who may well be biased, warns us against underestimating Silva.
“I think Anderson would be able to put up a good fight against Roy Jones. That’s my opinion. Maybe it’s unrealistic. When you talk to some people and read some of these threads, there’s people who swear up and down that it’s the stupidest thing to believe Anderson would do it, but I don’t know. Maybe I’m tainted. I’m not saying that Anderson’s going to go in there and knock him out, but I think Anderson is that skilled that he could make it a fight.”
Monte Cox talks Fedor and more
Monte Cox, the President and CEO of M-1 Global, joined "The Savage Dog Show" on the Sherdog Radio Network Monday to discuss the company's rumored dissolution and the status of prized heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko.
EliteXC Fight May Hurt MMA More Than it Helps
On May 31st, MMA will debut on CBS primetime. EliteXC will televise their show live from the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.
As a fan I'm excited about the sport finally breaking through to the major networks, but evolution always has a price. The question becomes does EliteXC have the talent to support a show on major network TV. As of right now, the answer is no. Unless the promotion makes significant signings or cross promotional fights, the stable just isn't strong enough.
Shortly after he was released from California’s Avenal State Prison in early 2005, Shad Smith got a call from the organizers of an underground fight club called Felony Fights. Was he available? they asked. “I was just out of prison and out of money,” Smith told me recently. He was incarcerated for failing to comply with the probation terms of an earlier D.U.I. conviction, a relatively minor offense in his long criminal résumé. “They said they’d give me 800 bucks to show up and double that if I won.”
I thought people might be interested to see that the New York Times Magazine had published an article on MMA, so here it is.
Arbitration hearing lifts curtain on backstage world of the UFC
A contract offer scrawled on a blue Post-it note. A disgruntled fighter. A manager whose cut is one-third. A powerful promoter in hardball negotiations to tie up a young heavyweight star.
The California State Athletic Commission arbitration hearing into the dispute between mixed martial arts heavyweight Brandon (The Truth) Vera and his former manager, Mark Dion, lifts a corner of the curtain on the backstage world of the UFC.
The San Diego hearing came about as a result of Vera's desire to get out of his management contract with Dion because he was irate at an alleged misrepresentation of a UFC signing bonus. This week, Dion posted the 135-page transcript of the arbitration hearing on his website, as well as the arbitrator's ruling and a slew of exhibit documents.
Privately owned by billionaire brothers Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta and outspoken president Dana White, the UFC does not like talking money. But the Vera hearing sheds some light on UFC contract negotiations, suggesting that the battles outside the cage can be just as hard-nosed.
Five Rounds Of News 03.21.08
A decidedly slow week for the UFC means tons of news from the rest of the MMA world. DREAM debuts and looks the most like PRIDE since...well, PRIDE. Elite XC reveals more details on their CBS deal and Fedor fought without a contract. Tons of news, tons of videos, tons of poorly phrased opinions!! Five Rounds!!
Kimbo Slice: ‘Now he can become the next mixed martial arts champion’
Check out the 10-second EliteXC commercial that aired on CBS last night during the NCAA tournament for the debut of “Saturday Night Fights” on May 31 below. Kimbo Slice is the centerpiece of the bit, which mentions the word “champion” in the teaser.
Is it possible that he’ll lock horns with Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva on fight night for the EliteXC heavyweight championship or is it just ambiguous advertising?
Frye Bows Out of Yamma; Taktarov to Face Pat Smith
Don Frye (Pictures) has pulled out of a scheduled April 11 main event against Oleg Taktarov for the debuting Yamma Pit Fighting promotion, Sherdog.com learned Wednesday.
Taktarov will instead face UFC 1 tournament entrant Patrick Smith, according to Smith's co-managers Francois Nguyen and Tommy Rojas. A contract is expected to be signed and returned this week.
Hurray for the MMA Senior Tour!
Babalu to HCF for May 10 Event
UFC cast-off Renato "Babalu" Sobral (29-7) will return to action on May 10 for a Hardcore Championship Fighting show to be held in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. There, 32-year-old will take on fellow Brazilian Mauricio Alonso (4-1).
Sobral will be in Quebec on March 29 for the HCF's "Crow's Nest" event, featuring UFC veterans David Loiseau, Hector "Sick Dog" Ramirez and Gideon Ray, where a formal announcement of the fight card will be made.
During the interview, Pavia was unable to confirm, but did little to deny, a rumored match-up between Sobral and UFC veteran Mike Whitehead. It is believed the bout will be contested at the debut event of the new Affliction/Golden Boy co-promotion.
Pavia also mentioned a forthcoming "big announcement" by the UFC regarding welterweight Chris "Lights Out" Lytle. The UFC is expected to soon release information regarding Lytle facing a "very big name" at UFC 86 in July. Pavia felt confident that the match-up would be the co-main event of the card.
According to Pavia, "Razor" Rob McCullough will return to action in the WEC on the as-yet-unannounced June 1 WEC event in Sacramento, Calif. Although McCullough's opponent has not yet been determined, that card is believed to be headlined by Urijah Faber vs. Jens Pulver. Miguel Torres vs. Manny Tapia is also expected at the event, and Jeff Curran will also likely compete.
Lastly, Pavia said Joe "Diesel" Riggs was recovering quickly from back surgery after suffering an injury in his latest fight, and should return to action with Strikeforce in late May, when the organization looks to return to Tacoma, Wash.
Shamrock dismisses Silva
Veteran Frank Shamrock and EliteXC promoter Gary Shaw dismissed talk Tuesday that rival UFC champion Anderson Silva is pound-for-pound the best mixed martial arts fighter in the world.
"Well I think I've been named that guy several times over the past 14 years, so I think that it's fleeting, it's exciting but I certainly don't think he's the best in the world," Shamrock said in a conference call Tuesday to promote his March 29 Strikeforce-Elite XC middleweight title fight with Cung Le in San Jose.
"I think he's probably one of the best guys in the UFC, but all the best fighters are not in the UFC. So hopefully he can hang onto that and make something out of it and gain some fame. But I have 100 per cent confidence if I ran into him, they'd be calling me that guy."