Larson Wants Rematch with Condit Next
At this past weekend’s WEC event, Minnesota native Brock Larson made his case for getting a rematch with current promotion 170-pound champion Carlos Condit by scoring an impressive win.
In what was supposed to be a tough test against highly regarded Carlo Prater, Larson came out aggressively and put Prater down and out for the count in just 30 seconds.
“It went better than I assumed it would,” he admitted. “I thought it would be a little tougher than that.
“Prater’s the real deal, it just worked out that I caught him with the first shot that I threw and I followed up with many more.”
To be sure, it was the kind of win that Larson needed, especially after his last fight – against John Alessio in March – ended in controversy.
“That was my goal; to go out there and do it quick and make everyone open their eyes again and let them know that I’m back and that the last two fights were kind of flukes,” he said.
“I’m the real deal and I’m ready for Condit.”
According to Larson, the rematch of his title fight with Condit from August of last year appears to be what’s on the horizon next, as long as a deal can be worked out between everyone involved.
“I’m ready for it, so it’s just a matter of getting (Condit) to agree, but (the WEC) definitely wants it to happen,” he commented. “It’s up to Condit’s camp to figure out what it wants.”
Normally Larson would look to stay active, but he explains that he’s not willing to put his title shot on the line should it take longer for a fight with Condit to get worked out and scheduled.
“I’d like to fight as often as possible, but the way it’s looking, this is the fight I want to wait for,” he said. “I don’t want to risk anything like I did before fighting Condit the first time.
“I was supposed to fight him when I fought Kevin Knabjan two months before, and I think I peaked too early for that. It’s hard to peak twice in two months, so if it comes out that way, that’s the way I’m going to have to take it.”
When the rematch does take place, Larson feels that it will be a much different fight the second time around.
“My confidence level is as high as it can be,” he exclaimed. “I’ve always been really confident in my ground game, but now with my hands I’ve been doing a lot of sparring, and I’m confident everywhere now.
“I don’t feel like I have a huge hole anywhere. It’s going to take a pretty tough dude to bury me. I think that right now I’m doing the best that I’ve ever done and I’m ready for it.”
With a three-fight winning streak in tow and only two losses in 26 fights, it would be hard to imagine anyone in the WEC other than Brock Larson getting a title shot against Carlos Condit any time soon.
“I want to thank Warrior Wear and Bowtech for taking care of me,” he closed out. “Everybody out there, fans of mine, I appreciate the support.
“Keep watching and you’re going to see more explosiveness from me and that belt around my waist.”
IFL WW Jay Hieron Officially A Free Agent
Jay Hieron, the final reigning welterweight champion of the International Fight League, received his formal release from the organization in recent weeks and is a full-fledged free agent.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com learned of this news Wednesday afternoon while speaking with his manager, Monte Cox.
According to Cox, Hieron is considering offers from Affliction, Strikeforce, the AFL, and EliteXC. Thus far, the UFC has not expressed an interest.
At one point it was thought that Hieron could be a prime asset in a reported acquisition of select assets from the IFL by the UFC’s parent company, Zuffa. However, no official announcement has been made yet by Zuffa or the IFL regarding an acquisition. Cox stated that at one point it appeared several contracts were going to be transferred and that for some inexplicable reason, the IFL went ahead and released all of its fighters.
Adrenaline MMA targets October return
Adrenaline MMA is working to determine the best date for its second show, but a crowded fall fight calendar has presented problems.
The Midwest promotion launched June 14 with a Chicago-area event that was headlined by heavyweights Mike Russow and Jason Guida.
Adrenaline CEO Monte Cox told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) after the event that a Sept. 6 return to Illinois, specifically Moline in the Quad Cities area, was in the works. However, that was before the UFC scheduled UFC 90 in Atlanta on the same date.
A decision to move the Adrenaline event to the following Saturday was subsequently scrapped due to a conflict with the Iowa vs. Iowa State football game, which could siphon would-be ticket buyers. That's pushed Adrenaline MMA II to the following month, with either Oct. 18 or Oct. 25 the likely landing spot.
Champ Jamie Varner confident the WEC can find worthy contenders
Just days after his first successful WEC lightweight title defense, Jamie Varner (15-2) says he believes the organization is well-suited to attract top-level opposition for future bouts.
Varner discussed his desire to face elite-level competition while a guest of TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
"I have faith that the WEC is constantly growing," Varner said. "They're constantly recruiting new talent. They're going to be finding guys for me to fight. I trust that eventually a guy that they're going to bring in will be a top-five guy, a top-10 guy, and I'll have a true test."
Varner survived an early test from challenger Marcus Hicks this past Sunday night's WEC 35 event. But after overcoming the initial onslaught, Varner was able to blast back with a barrage of punches, kicks and knees en route to a first-round stoppage.
Varner was impressed by the courage of his opponent.
"I was definitely wondering when [Hicks] was finally going to (fall)," Varner said. "Either the corner was going to throw in the towel or he was going to take his final fall. That was definitely going through my head as I was hitting him. I was like, 'How is this guy still standing?' But eventually he did fall, and (referee Steve) Mazzagatti stopped the fight."
The win was Varner's fourth in a row. "The Worm" has lost just once in his most recent 15 official bouts.
Varner believes there are a few immediate obstacles for him to overcome. Once past them, he feels the responsibility will shift to the WEC to find him suitable challengers.
"I'd like to fight Richard Crunkilton, Donald Cerrone or 'Razor' Rob (McCullough) again," Varner said. "I think any of those three would be worthy opponents -- or even all three of them. I'm looking at those three.
"And if I win all three of those fights, I pretty much cleaned out my division. And then the WEC is going to have to find some new talent."
McCullough, who Varner defeated for the title in February, and Cerrone, an undefeated prospect, will meet in September at WEC 36 in Hollywood, Fla., Varner believes the winner of that bout will more than likely be tagged as his next foe.
"I haven't heard anything about my next fight," Varner said. "I just kind of assume that it's going to be the winner of 'Razor' Rob and Cerrone, the 'Cowboy.' Next Monday I'm going to start training for a right-handed kickboxer. Hopefully I'll end up with one of those guys."
Should Varner be able to register his fifth consecutive victory, the Arizona Combat Sports fighter trusts the WEC will continue to seek out the best available opponents.
"I think I should be fighting top-five guys," Varner said. "I trust that the WEC will be bringing me that kind of talent and that kind of competition.
"I'm 23 years old. I'm in no hurry. But my goal is to be the best fighter in the world, and I trust that the WEC will get me there."
Varner also discussed the possibility of a cross-promotional bout with the WEC's sister-company, the UFC, his training with Arizona Combat Sports, and his days before becoming a full-time fighter. To hear the full interview, download Wednesday's edition of "TAGG Radio," available for free in the TAGG Radio archives.
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. ...
Affliction Announces Lindland-Belfort, Nelson-Buentello
Matt Lindland (Pictures) will fight Vitor Belfort (Pictures) at the Oct. 11 Affliction event in Las Vegas, Affliction announced Wednesday at a news conference.
Belfort (17-8) is currently serving a 180-day medical suspension with the California State Athletic Commission following his July 19 knockout win over Terry Martin (Pictures) at Affliction’s debut event in Anaheim. An orthopedic doctor must clear him before he can fight Lindland.
Affliction also announced Wednesday that IFL heavyweight champion Roy Nelson (Pictures) will fight Paul Buentello (Pictures).
Jay Hieron tapped for Oct. 11 Affliction; Lindland vs. Belfort in jeopardy?
Reigning International Fight League welterweight champion Jay Hieron (15-4) has been approached by Affliction executives and is expected to compete at the organization's "Day of Reckoning" event in October.
On Tuesday a representative from Hieron's Xtreme Couture camp told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of the upcoming bout.
No opponent has been determined.
"Affliction: Day of Reckoning" takes place Oct. 11 at UNLV's Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. The event -- the second one for the rookie Affliction Entertainment promotion -- features a headline match of Andrei Arlovski vs. Josh Barnett.
Hieron, a 32-year-old UFC and WEC veteran, hooked up with the IFL soon after its formation in 2006. He's 7-2 in the organization and defeated Delson Heleno for the IFL welterweight title back in December. He made one title defense -- a first-round TKO of Mark Miller in April -- before the organization's financial troubles forced the IFL to cease operations earlier this summer.
Although Affliction is best known for a stocked heavyweight division, executive Tom Atencio has promised the organization would begin signing additional talent for the lighter weight classes. Hieron brings instant credibility to a welterweight division that's still under construction.
The former stand-out high school and collegiate wrestler will now go for his fourth consecutive victory -- and his sixth win in his past seven fights. His only career losses have come to UFC veteran Georges St. Pierre, Jonathan Goulet, Chris Wilson and Brad Blackburn.
For the latest on "Affliction: Day of Reckoning," stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of MMAjunkie.com.
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MMAjunkie.com has also learned that a rumored Oct. 11 Affliction bout between Matt Lindland and Vitor Belfort -- both of whom were winners at Affliction's first show back in July -- could be scratched.
A source close to Belfort said that the middleweight fighter has been slowed by a lingering hand injury.
As we previously reported, the California State Athletic Commission suspended Belfort 180 days after his July victory over Terry Martin for undisclosed medical reasons (though a hand injury is believed to be the reason why).
Belfort can be cleared early by a doctor, but any signs of a hand injury would make an October return unlikely.
MMAjunkie.com coudln't immediately reach Belfort or Lindland for comment, but we'll have more on this story later in the week.
Jacaré wants Dream’s belt
Waiting for the announcement of his next opponent, Ronaldo “Jacaré” Souza keeps training hard without caring about who he will face. “The expectations are the best, I’ll do my best as a person and fighter, all my heart and faith to be the champion”, said Jacaré to TATAME. After hearing about what Jason Miller said about him. “He’s a jackass with a mouth, and can say whatever he wants. He calls himself a jackass. He can say whatever he wants, he lost, and if he wants to fight again just need to ask”, answered Ronaldo, that said he’s working everything to win his first MMA belt. “I’m training everything, Wrestling, Jiu-Jitsu… I’m going to do MMA. I’ll bring this belt home”, guarantees the Xtreme Couture athlete.
Ford-Clark to Co-Headline MFC 18
MMA on Tap has learned that welterweight prospect Ryan Ford will attempt to bounce back from his first professional loss when he takes on longtime veteran LaVerne Clark in the co-main event of Maximum Fighting Championship’s upcoming “Famous” show on September 26th in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Ford was upset by journeyman Pat Healy at MFC 17 last month, succumbing to a late third-round armbar after dominating Healy for two rounds. Ford, a training partner of current UFC middleweight contender Jason MacDonald, also scored consecutive submission wins over C.J. Fernandes and Pete Spratt earlier this year.
Jason "Mayhem" Miller says DREAM is no nightmare
World traveler and all-around colorful character Jason "Mayhem" Miller (21-6) has been involved in his share of entertaining fights. With recent reports that DREAM -- promoters of Miller's previous two fights -- may be in financial trouble, the 27-year-old may soon find himself a free agent once again.
Miller discussed his status while a guest of "The Lights Out Show" on the TAGG Radio Network (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
"As far as the fighting front goes, I'm not sure yet," Miller said of his possible return to action. "I've got my DREAM contract still alive. I don't know what's going on."
Amid recent allegations by Nick Diaz that DREAM still had not paid him for his TKO victory in May, Miller stood firm in his support of the organization.
"I think that's just a rumor," Miller said. "Maybe [DREAM] stiffed a couple of fighters or something. But I'm sure they'll pay those guys eventually. Maybe they were just like, 'The check's in the mail.'"
ALBERTO CRANE GETS BACK ON TRACK
Heading into his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut last year, former King of the Cage lightweight champion Alberto Crane was considered one of the best young prospects in the 155-pound weight class.
Having won all seven of his bouts heading into his UFC 74 match-up with Roger Huerta, Crane seemed more than ready to make his step up to the big time of MMA.
After missing out on an opportunity to take control of the fight early on, he was finished off in the third round, signaling the beginning of a three-fight losing streak for the previously unblemished fighter.
Determined to get back on track, Crane entered this past weekend’s Rage in the Cage event insistent on not dropping his fourth fight in a row, and delivered a performance reminiscent of his earlier bouts, winning the match via guillotine choke just over 90 seconds into the fight.
Tito Ortiz to Affliction MMA official
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz has officially ended his turbulent tenure with the most popular mixed martial arts promotion in the world, opting to sign with upstart Affliction MMA and reuniting with his on screen “boss,” Donald Trump, from the “Apprentice.”
No specific details of the contract were revealed at this time; however, the “Huntington Beach Bad Boy” told SportsIllustrated.com that deal is “like no other.”
Here’s a snip:
“I guarantee you that my contract will be like no other. It will be a ground-breaking record contract for sure, without a doubt. There’s so much money to be made right now in mixed martial arts and it’s all about the fighters trying to make that money. It’s going to be a long-term deal where I put my heart and soul into the company and help build them. That’s something I’m interested in doing. They’re going to bring me on, not just as a fighter but also doing some of the back work also.”
That “back work” likely includes an opportunity to somehow help grow the business behind the scenes. Ortiz — one of the most recognizable and controversial faces in the sport — has been a part of several of the top-grossing pay-per-view (PPV) events ever.
He can likely leverage that star power to contribute to the success of the promotion.
The interesting thing here is that Ortiz is clearly set to likely make a lot of money, which is not uncommon within Affliction MMA. For its first show, in fact, the promotion shelled out an astounding collective payroll that exceeded $3.3 million, cutting into any potential profit significantly.
Cung Le In Talks For Anderson Silva Showdown
Cung Le is in talks with the UFC about a possible showdown with middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
The sticking point in negotiations is that Le has several fights left on his deal with Californian promotion Strikeforce.
Speaking after a seminar in Richmond, Canada on Saturday, Le revealed that the UFC is looking for a six-fight commitment from him.
But he has three fights left on his contract with Strikeforce and, while his current promotion are happy to “work something out”, the UFC is well known for refusing single-appearance deals.
Nonetheless, Le is hopeful that a compromise can be reached and cited the Royce Gracie-Matt Hughes fight as an example (Gracie was loaned out by K-1 for one fight).
Mayhem Miller On Jacare: ""He punches like a girl, he kicks like a girl."
In the newest edition of The Light's Out Show, the fellas interview Jason "Mayhem" Miller. Below are some interesting quotes from this hilarious interview:
In the wake of Nick Diaz saying he has not been paid from DREAM, we asked Jason if he had similar problems:
“No, no problems. They’re a kick-a__ organization. Money in the bank!!”
Asking Jason if he’s looking to land a long term fight contract with a promotion:
“No. A long term deal is like being married. You can’t go around bangin’ other chicks.”
Asking Jason why he chose not to sign with The UFC when given the opportunity:
“At the time they offered me the deal, it wasn’t the workable deal, so I did my own thing. It can be scary for a fighter to do that because if you’re not with The UFC people look at you like you’ve got leprosy, but I’m not worried about it. I’m able to make money, and let’s face it, you’ve got to make as much money as you can because you can’t go around punching people in the face forever.”
Fighter Salaries: A Fair Share of Revenues (Part 2)
Reinvesting Into Zuffa
Some are quick to point out that accurate information isn’t required for them to know that the fighters are getting “screwed.” Despite the obvious shortcomings of this argument, it needs to be addressed, because it’s an important segue to another issue that is not commonly explored: the re-investment of earnings back into the company.
We need accurate information to assess the fairness of fighter payouts, because there are a host of intangibles both from the revenue and expense side of things that are involved with running not just an event, but also a growing leader in a rapidly expanding industry. We’re not looking at the whole picture if we simply compare the gross revenues from the last event relative to the fighter payouts.
Pawel Nastula to end retirement at Sengoku 4
World Victory Road’s Sengoku promotion has officially announced that former Judoka Olympic Gold Medalist Pawel Nastula is coming out of retirement to fight Korean wrestler Yang Dong Yi at Sengoku 4 on August 24.
Nastula, who won gold in the 1996 Olympics while representing his native Poland, is 1-3 lifetime in MMA in spite of his impressive Judo credentials. All four of his fights took place inside the rings of PRIDE, where he sustained losses against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Aleksander Emelianenko, and Josh Barnett.
His lone victory took place s during PRIDE’s “Critical Countdown Absolute” in July of 2006 when he executed a first round submission against Edson Draggo.
WEC Bonuses Handed Out; 2 Fights of the Night
Following another action-packed show by World Extreme Cagefighting in Las Vegas, capped off by welterweight champion Carlos Condit pulling through his toughest fight to date against Hiromitsu Miura, the promotion handed down bonuses as confirmed to MMAWeekly.com
Each fighter earning a bonus received $7,500 in addition to the fight purse in the individual bout agreements.
For the first time, the WEC also handed out two “Fight of the Night” bonuses.
Carlos Condit and Hiromitsu Miura earned a no-brainer for Fight of the Night after their almost four-round war that saw the incumbent champion pushed further in the fight than any previous match-up during his title reign. Both Condit and Miura earned the respect of all the fans watching the match-up and now a bonus check on top.
WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner and Marcus Hicks also earned a Fight of the Night bonus for their respective performances in an amazing fight between the two 155-pound stars.
Knockout of the Night went to Minnesota Martial Arts Academy member Brock Larson, who dispatched of Carlo Prater in just 37 seconds in their welterweight showdown.
Brian Bowles, who moved his professional record to 6-0, earned a Submission of the Night for his guillotine choke victory over Damacio Page.
WEC 35 Fights of the Night:
Carlos Condit vs. Hiromitsu Miura
Jamie Varner vs. Marcus Hicks
WEC 35 Knockout of the Night:
WEC 35 Submission of the Night: