Thomson vs. Edwards for Strikeforce LW Title
Strikeforce has announced that Josh Thomson's first Lightweight Title defense, scheduled for the 11/21 event, will be against Yves Edwards. "The Busiest FIghter In MMA" is the only fighter to ever beat Thomson by KO/TKO, scoring a first-round KO against him at UFC 49.
Strikeforce looks to match Duane Ludwig and Phil Baroni in early 2009
After delivering some payback in a long-awaited rematch with Sam Morgan earlier this month, Duane Ludwig is likely to bang with Phil Baroni (13-10) next.
The 30-year-old Ludwig (17-8) lived up to his "Bang" nickname in the fight against Morgan at "Strikeforce: Payback" on Oct. 3, wasting little time in punching out the former "The Ultimate Fighter 2" contestant in round one. The outcome evened the ledger between Ludwig and Morgan at a win apiece. Morgan upset the Colorado native in his home state in 2005.
It was a much-needed victory for Ludwig, who has struggled while fighting for Strikeforce. He’s now 2-3 in the promotion and appears headed for an opportunity to trade shots with Baroni.
"We're going to try to put him and Baroni together," Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said. "Since they're so close in weight now, we should definitely put that fight together at 170 (pounds). They should fight either in Denver or Seattle."
Strikeforce nears deal for launch of live fights on NBC
Strikeforce is in advanced discussions with NBC to bring live fights to the Peacock Network.
The popular West Coast promotion struck a paid programming deal with NBC earlier this year, featuring 30-minute, weekly shows with fights from past Strikeforce events. Extending that agreement to live, primetime shows would be a major boast for Strikeforce as it looks to generate additional exposure for its brand and expand nationally.
"It's been signed off on at many levels (at NBC) already, and I think we're at the final stages," Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "By the first quarter of '09, we'll probably have some fights going on. We would need that time frame any way to book the right fights and do it properly."
Serious talks between Strikeforce and the network have been ongoing for the past couple of months, and Coker says the dialogue is continuing. Approval at the senior most programming levels at NBC is the only hurdle left to clear to bring live MMA to a second U.S. broadcast network.
Up Next For Thomson-Horodecki Or Uno?
The search for Strikefoece Lightweight Champion Josh Thomson's challenger in November continues. In addition to the previously suggested Mitsuhiro Ishida, Strikeforce is now talking to former IFL Lightweight prodigy Chris Horodecki and UFC veteran Caol Uno, but talks with both are in the very early stages.
LUDWIG EXACTS PAYBACK AT STRIKEFORCE IN DENVER (+ Results)
BROOMFIELD, Colo. – It’s been nearly three years, but Duane “Bang” Ludwig was finally able to exact a little payback on Ultimate Fighter alumnus Sam Morgan. It was short, but surely sweet for Ludwig as he won in the main event of Strikeforce’s first foray over the Rocky Mountains.
The action was fast and furious from the opening bell, but as Ludwig and Morgan traded blows, it was Ludwig that found his range. He landed a thundering left hook to Morgan’s body and followed with a crushing right hand that put him on the mat. Ludwig soon followed, unleashing a measured barrage of strikes that had Morgan tapping out from the punishment.
“He came and did his job last time and I didn’t. I wasn’t up for the fight and he was,” said Ludwig of their first meeting, also in Denver.
A measured technician, Ludwig says it was his training partners that lead him to such a furious victory. “Sometimes I just sit back and look for the shot, my partners keep telling me to just let it go and I finally did.”
STRIKEFORCE: BUSINESS AS USUAL FOR SPRATT
“The Secret Weapon” Pete Spratt isn’t one to try to be sneaky with his game plan heading into fights. As he puts it, “My game plan is always the same, just as their game plan is always the same: they’re going to try to take me down, and I’m going to try to strike.”
That is the creed of the former Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran who will be making his first appearance in the Strikeforce promotion this Friday night against Donnie Liles on the outskirts of Denver in Broomfield, Colo.
“It’s nothing new going into this fight,” he continued. “For me it’s all the same fight every time. Whether they’re young or old, veteran or not, it’s the same fight – it doesn’t matter who it is.”
Indeed, it’s business as usual for Spratt, and that’s why he remains a fan favorite, even when heading into the hometown of his opponent.
“I’ve got quite a fan base in the Denver area,” stated Spratt. “It’s been a while since I fought out here, so I’m excited about that.”
‘Karate Hottie’ Michelle Waterson readies for Strikeforce debut
“It’s gonna be an explosive fight. I heard Tyra’s really aggressive and good on the ground so it should be very exciting for the fans.”
“The Dean of Mean,” “The Hungarian Nightmare,” “Lights Out,” “The Iceman,” “The Arm Collector,” “The Baby Faced Assassin,” “The Axe Murderer” … Some fighters do a decent job of living up to their nicknames, but Michelle “The Karate Hottie” Waterson (pictured above) takes the cake. Oh yeah, the former bikini model will take on Tyra Parker tomorrow night on the Strikeforce: “Payback” card, which takes place at the Broomfield Events Center in Denver, Colorado and will air live on HDNet beginning at 10 p.m. ET. Yum.
STRIKEFORCE FIGHT CARD LAYED OUT FOR DENVER
Strikeforce continues its measured expansion outside of its home state of California, making its way over the Rocky Mountains to land at the Broomfield Events Center, just outside of Denver, on Friday night.
The event is highly geared towards drawing local fans to the event with a number of Denver-based fighters. Chief among them is Duane “Bang” Ludwig, who heads the “Payback” fight card, searching for a little payback of his own. He rematches Ultimate Fighter alumnus Sam Morgan, a fighter who knocked Ludwig out three years ago, in front of this same Denver crowd.
There are several strong veteran fighters on the card, many being UFC or Pride veteran, such as Frank Trigg and Falaniko Vitale, who square off in a 185-pound super fight.
Pete Spratt, a staple of Denver-based promotion Ring of Fire and a UFC veteran, returns in an intriguing welterweight contest with International Fight League veteran Donnie Liles, another local area favorite.
A recent transplant to Denver, Luke Caudillo has also built his name up as a favorite to the Ring of Fire crowd. He faces a tough road in trying to make his way back to the UFC by having to get through undefeated Strikeforce fighter Billy Evangelista.
Five "Strikeforce at the Mansion II" fighters issued medical suspensions
The California State Athletic Commission has issued a total of five medical suspensions following this past weekend's "Strikeforce at the Mansion II" event.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) requested and today received the list of suspensions directly from the CSAC.
The Sept. 20 event took place at the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Among those receiving suspensions was headliner Joe Riggs, who suffered a TKO loss to Kazuo Misaki in the night's main event.
The CSAC also issued suspensions to Ashe Bowman, Corey Devela, Justin Wilcox and Kenneth Seegrist.
All of the suspensions last 45 days and require no contact for 30 days. Four of the suspensions were for precautionary reasons following knockout losses. Wilcox, meanwhile, was issued a suspension due to a possible right-elbow injury.
STRIKEFORCE: WHO'S NEXT FOR THE PUNK?
Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh “The Punk” Thomson turned in another impressive performance this weekend, taking a mere 74 seconds to defeat Lion’s Den fighter Ashe Bowman at the world famous Playboy Mansion. It was his eighth straight victory in two and a half years; he took but one serious punch before overwhelming Bowman with strikes.
“I just took what he gave me and tried to exploit him a little bit, it just worked out to my benefit. I caught him with a good shot right off the bat and it all fell into place,” Thomson told MMAWeekly.com in a video interview after the fight.
The question now shifts to who’s next in line for Thomson. A Top 10 lightweight, Thomson recently stated that he only wanted to face names and solid contenders for his belt. Mitsuhiro Ishida, who also decimated his opponent on Saturday, would appear to be the next logical opponent. But Thomson isn’t so sure at this point.
STRIKEFORCE AT THE MANSION 2 FIGHTER SALARIES
MMAWeekly has obtained the fighter salary information from the California State Athletic Commission for “Strikeforce at the Mansion 2” featuring Kazuo Misaki vs. Joe Riggs, which took place on Saturday, Sept. 20, at the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, Calif.
The following figures are based on the fighter salary information that promoters are required by law to submit to the state athletic commissions, including the winners' bonuses.
Although mixed martial arts fighters do not have collective bargaining or a union, the fighters' salaries are still public record, just as with every other major sport in the United States. Any undisclosed bonuses that a promoter also pays its fighters, but does not disclose to the athletic commissions (specifically, fight of the night bonuses, etc.), are not included in the figures below.
In the listings below, "Main Event Fighters" are defined as fighters who compete in the main event of a show. "Main Card Fighters" are defined as fighters whose fights appear on the main card, but not in the main event. "Preliminary Card Fighters" are defined as fighters whose matches take place before the live broadcast goes on the air, regardless of whether or not those matches end up airing on the TV or Internet broadcast.
MAIN EVENT FIGHTERS
– Kazuo Misaki ($1,400/win bonus was undisclosed) def. Joe Riggs ($20,000)
MAIN CARD FIGHTERS
– Josh Thomson ($40,000/win bonus was $20,000) def. Ashe Bowman ($2,000)
– Terry Martin ($10,000) def. Cory Devela ($10,000)
– Mitsuhiro Ishida ($1,400/win bonus was undisclosed) def. Justin Wilcox ($5,000)
– Trevor Prangley ($40,000) def. Anthony Ruiz ($6,000)
PRELIMINARY CARD FIGHTERS
– Luke Stewart ($8,000) def. Jesse Juarez ($2,000)
– Eric Lawson ($6,000/win bonus was $500) def. Kenneth Seagrist ($2,000)
– Brandon Magana ($2,000) def. Brandon Thatch ($2,000)
– Jesse Gillespie ($2,000/win bonus was $1,000) def. Dave Martin ($1,000)
STRIKEFORCE AT THE MANSION 2 DISCLOSED FIGHTER PAYROLL: $159,300
Josh Thomson wants Joachim Hansen next
After defeating Ashe Bowman in a non-title fight this past weekend, Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson made it very clear who he wants to fight next.
“I am really looking forward to possibly fighting Joachim Hansen,” said Thomson.
Thomson went on to say that his next fight will definitely take place in 2008.
“November 21st is my next fight. I do know that I will be fighting at the HP Pavilion. I believe it will be a title defense.”
Once again, Thomson made it clear who he wants the title defense to be against.
“We are hoping for Joachim Hansen.”
A fight between Thomson and Hansen would certainly be an excellent match-up. Hansen is coming off a very impressive showing in the recent Dream lightweight tournament that included a win over Shinya Aoki and a loss to Eddie Alvarez in a potential fight of the year candidate. On the other hand, Thomson is on an eight fight winning streak dating back to March 2006.
Josh Thomson dreaming of November bout with Japanese star
LOS ANGELES -- With a non-title fight and an after-party at the world-famous Playboy Mansion looming, it would be easy to forgive Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson (15-2) were his focus to stray.
But as Thomson told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) at Friday's "Strikeforce at the Mansion II" weigh-ins, the situation has been a blessing.
"It makes me really focus on my opponent more," Thomson said. "To not have to worry about the fact, 'Oh, gosh. If this goes three rounds, I've got to go two more.' I know I'm more than capable of going three rounds. Three rounds just seems like a walk in the park these days."
Thomson admits to knowing very little about his opponent, the Lion's Den's Ashe Bowman (9-4). But "The Punk" insists that will simply force him to be more aware of his opponent's actions.
"I heard he's a good grappler," Thomson said of Bowman. "I heard he's probably got heavy hands. It's kind of a feeling out process.
Trevor Prangley: Strikeforce, Affliction and DREAM all on horizon
LOS ANGELES -- South African middleweight Trevor Prangley (17-5) was on a tear.
After back-to-back decision losses to Jeremy Horn and Chael Sonnen forced Prangley out of the UFC in 2006, the 36-year-old won five-straight fights with BodogFIGHT and Strikeforce. However a surprising loss to Jorge Santiago in the finals of Strikeforce's November 2007 four-man tournament was the last time Prangley has stepped in the cage.
But as Prangley told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) at Friday's "Strikeforce at the Mansion II" weigh-ins, a return to more frequent activity is on the way.
Will Strikeforce's Japanese Gambit Succeed?
Let's face it, there's not too much intrigue around tonight's Strikeforce at the Playboy Mansion card. First off, lightweight champ Josh Thompson is fighting a non-title fight against relative unknown Ashe Bowman. Secondly, both Babalu Sobral and Bobby Southworth dropped out of their match due to injuries.Thirdly, UFC also rans like Joe Riggs, Trevor Prangley and Terry Martin aren't exactly setting the world on fire these days.
But in true Strikeforce creeper fashion, there is something VERY interesting happening on tonight's card. Two A-List Japanese fighters are making their U.S. debuts. Sengoku middleweight star Kazuo Misaki and DREAM lightweight contender Mitsuhiro Ishida.
LUKE STEWART RETURNS TO STRIKEFORCE
It’s been an anxious several months for Strikeforce welterweight Luke Stewart.
Eager to rebound off the first loss of his career in March, he was supposed to be part of the promotion’s June card, but instead sat on the sidelines as opponent after opponent dropped out of the fight.
Three months later and Stewart finally gets his opportunity to atone for his loss, as he steps into the cage this Saturday as part of Strikeforce’s return to the world famous Playboy Mansion.
“It’s been a rough last six months,” he admitted of his second half to 2008. “I’ve come off a loss and I was real eager to get back in the cage, and everything that happened with my last (scheduled) fight, going through three opponents was really frustrating.
“I feel like it’s been all work and no play, so I’m really looking forward to fighting on Saturday night.”
As Stewart explains, it was vexing to go through his on again/off again ordeal in June.
STRIKEFORCE KING FOCUSED ON THE SLEEPING LION
Josh Thomson leads a hard life these days. He most recently defeated highly regarded lightweight Gilbert Melendez to obtain the Strikeforce lightweight championship belt. He has won his last seven fights. He now will take a non-title fight against Ashe Bowman on Saturday night at the infamous Playboy Mansion.
MMAWeekly Radio caught up with Thomson to discuss how things have been going since being the newly crowned champ. “Things have picked up a lot obviously since I won the title,” said Thomson. “I've been doing a lot of traveling back and forth to Hollywood and the L.A. area and just trying to stay busy. Trying to make a buck.”
The last event that Strikeforce had at the Playboy Mansion, the matches were spread, the timing of the fights wasn’t as fluid as usual, and the fights started a little late. Thomson believes the kinks have been worked out and this event will go a little smoother. “The first time was probably a little rougher than this time will be. I don't think the fights are going to start as late as they did the last time. I'm kind of hoping the fight is a little earlier so I can enjoy the rest of the night.”