Fickett Now Off Strikeforce Tonight
It turns out that Drew Fickett has to pull out of yet another fight. He agreed to be on tonight's Strikeforce card to replace Joe Riggs, but now Fickett is off because Maximum Fighting Championships (MFC) has him set to fight on July 25, and they have a 45-day non-compete period before their event for participants so MFC has vetoed Fickett fighting.
Strikeforce weigh-in results for ‘Melendez vs Thomson’
Main card (televised portion):
155 lbs.: Lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez (155) vs. Josh Thomson (155)
185 lbs.: (catchweight): Drew Fickett (n/a) vs. Luke Stewart (n/a)
145 lbs: Miesha Tate (145) vs. Elaina Maxwell (146)
205 lbs: Light Heavyweight Championship: Bobby Southworth (205) vs. Anthony Ruiz (203)
185 lbs: Jeremiah Metcalf (185) vs. Raymond Daniels (184)
155 lbs: Billy Evangelista (155) vs. Nam Phan (154)
135 lbs: Chris Cariaso (135.5) vs. Anthony Figueroa (134.5)
Under card (may not be televised):
185 lbs: Jesse Gillespie (186) vs. Eric Lawson (185) (swing bout)
155 lbs: Bobby Stack (155) vs. Jose Palacios (155)
155 lbs: Eric Jacob (156) vs. Alexander Trivino (156)
205 lbs: Jorge Interiano (201) vs. Travis Johnson (205)
170 lbs: Cyrillo Padhillo (169) vs. Jesse Jones (169)
140 lbs: Bryan Caraway (140) vs. Alvin Cacdac (141)
Interview: Undefeated kickboxer Raymond Daniels
One of the faces to keep an eye out for at the Strikeforce: Melendez versus Thomson event in San Jose on Friday is undefeated kickboxer Raymond Daniels, who will be making his mixed martial arts debut.
As the captain of the championship-winning Los Angeles Stars squad in Chuck Norris' World Combat League, Daniels would often steal the show with his dazzling knockouts and ease in which he would dominate his opponents.
Interview With Strikeforce's Anthony Ruiz
Anthony Ruiz (20-10) has the biggest fight of his career coming up on Friday, June 26 at Strikeforce: “Melendez vs Thomson” as he looks to defeat Bobby Southworth for the second time. This time , however, it’s for the Strikeforce light heavyweight championship.
With 30 professional fights to his creidt, “El Toro” has proven his dedication to mixed martial arts. He’s worked extremely hard to get to where he’s at in this sport and is ready for it to finally to pay off. Winning a world championship on an HDNet televised event would be the highlight of his career to date, but he doesn’t plan on stopping there.
EXCLUSIVE: JOE RIGGS OUT, DREW FICKETT STEPS IN
Joe Riggs, scheduled to face Luke Stewart at Friday night’s Strikeforce event at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., was denied medical clearance on Thursday at weigh-ins. Stepping in at the last minute to take his place is fellow Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Drew Fickett
Josh Thomson on fighting a friend
From the OC Register:
“The disadvantage of this whole situation is we are both going to get hurt in this fight. It sucks that we’re both in here fighting each other. I’m going to end up cut. He’s going to end up cut. We’re going to end up with bumps and bruises from damage done to our bodies. It’s a shame we’re doing it to each other, but you know what though, we do it all the time every day in training when we are training with each other and we weren’t getting paid for it. Now, we’re getting paid for it.”
Check out the entire interview here:
Injury, opponent present title-fight challenges for Josh Thomson
Josh Thomson was forced to work without one of his traditional training partners in preparation for the biggest fight of his career Friday night in San Jose, Calif.
The decision wasn't by choice, but rather necessity. His usual training partner happens to be Gilbert Melendez – the opponent he faces at the HP Pavilion for the Strikeforce lightweight title.
Nam Phan seeks redemption at STRIKEFORCE
At his Strikeforce debut in December of 2006, California grappling standout Nam Phan fought hard, but fell short in his goal of defeating one of the promotion’s top lightweights in Josh “The Punk” Thomson.
Just over a year and a half later, Phan returns to the promotion looking to take the next step in his career as he takes on Billy Evangelista in a feature bout as part of Strikeforce’s HDNet broadcast this coming Friday night.
“I’m very excited to fight Billy Evangelista,” stated Nam.
“I was supposed to fight him back in November, but I think he got hurt or something like that, and we weren’t able to fight. But it’s ready to happen this time and it should be an interesting fight.”
Phan is currently riding a two-fight winning streak and will be looking to end Evangelista’s undefeated ways in a bout that Nam feels could be one of the most exciting fights on Friday’s card.
“I always bring a lot of pressure, always a lot of action,” he said. “Win, lose, or draw I think it’s going to be an exciting fight.
“Billy’s a banger too, so I think there’s going to be a lot of haymakers thrown in this fight.”
Melendez ready for a friendly defense
One of the top lightweights in the world and the current Strikeforce lightweight champion, Gilbert Melendez has been wreaking havoc on the 155-pound division in the states and overseas. We caught up with Melendez to talk about his upcoming fight with Josh Thomson, the No. 1 contender to his Strikeforce lightweight title and good friend. Melendez gives his take on this fight and other things pertaining to MMA’s lightweight division around the world.
MMAWeekly - Gilbert, thanks for taking some time out for us. You have a tough fight this Friday, not only physically, but I would also assume mentally as you face someone you have been good friends with for the last couple of years. First, tell us your thoughts on how your training is going and whom you’re working with.
GM - No problem. My training has been going great, nothing really different. I always pushed myself hard and to the limit. I was working for five five-minute rounds for my last fight, so it made it easier to jump into the five and five for this fight. So that’s good and I had good training partners in Nick and Nate Diaz, and of course Jake Shields. He (Jake) is the biggest nightmare ever. He’s really discouraging when he’s whooping my ass, but I know when I tangled with someone else they’re not as tough or as strong as him so it’s been going really good. I also drove out to San Diego and trained with Diego Sanchez a little bit, so it was really cool out there.
Cung Le is ‘at a crossroads’ in his career
“I just landed a big movie role with Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster. It’s been pretty exciting for me. I didn’t even get the role for my fighting abilities. I actually auditioned and I got it off straight acting. (It’s not based on martial arts) it’s science fiction. So far, the two movies that I did had fighting. They were saying that’s the best fight scene and they’re actually going to send it in to see if that fight scene gets best fight scene of the year with me and Channing Tatum. I feel like I still got a couple more good fights in me but at the same time I have to be smart. I’m at a crossroads. There’s a lot of great fighters out there. Of course, there’s the great Anderson Silva but that matchup doesn’t seem like it’s ever going to happen.
Thomson Not 100 Percent for Melendez Bout
Josh Thomson hears the questions about his health and senses the doubt revolving around whether his body can withstand a potential five-round battle with Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez. Truth be told, he has his own reservations.
Misaki, Babalu on Strikeforce Playboy Card
In addition to hyping the event, Coker dropped some interesting nuggets of information on us:
* Kazuo Misaki will be making his Strikeforce debut on the Playboy card. Also scheduled to fight at the mansion is Renato "Babalu" Sobral, the winner of Thomson/Melendez and, assuming his visa issues are straightened, Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos.
WCL champion to make MMA debut at Strikeforce
Chuck Norris' World Combat League champion Raymond "The Real Deal" Daniels will make his mixed martial arts debut at this Friday's Strikeforce event in San Jose.
Daniels has drawn comparisons to Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le for his unblemished kickboxing record. But instead of San Shou, Daniels' background is in Karate and Tae Kwon Do.
"I still haven't had any challenges or anything like that so I decided to come over to MMA and see how good I really am," Daniels said of the move.
Daniels vs. Metcalf Set for Strikeforce
Undefeated kickboxing superstar Raymond “The Real Deal” Daniels will make his highly anticipated mixed martial arts debut against Jeremiah Metcalf at Strikeforce: “Melendez vs. Thomson” at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., on Friday, June 27. Daniels has often been compared to Cung Le and won all 16 of his kickboxing fights in dominant fashion.
Riggs Vs. Stewart At Strikeforce, Carter Out
It's curtains for "Showtime" at the upcoming Strikeforce event-Shonie Carter is now off the card due to an injury. He shattered a knuckle during training. He says he could've fought but thought the CSAC might not let him. Joe Riggs will be his replacement against Luke Stewart.
Riggs Replaces Carter at Strikeforce
Extroverted welterweight Shonie Carter (Pictures) has withdrawn from a co-featured bout against Luke Stewart (Pictures) at Strikeforce "Melendez vs. Thomson" on June 27 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.
Strikeforce middleweight Joe Riggs (Pictures) has agreed to step into the vacant slot on a week's notice. The bout will be contested at a catch-weight of 178 pounds, confirmed Strikeforce representative Mike Afromowitz.
Live shows likely next round for NBC, Strikeforce
The programming suits at NBC have a decision to make.
EliteXC's Saturday Night Fights debut on CBS May 31 proved that live mixed martial arts is more than viable on network television. Despite the fact that most MMA fans jeered the show, ripping into everything from the production to the officiating, SNF was the most-watched MMA event in U.S. television history. The broadcast drew a peak audience of more than 6.5 million viewers – and 4.85 million viewers in total – to top the 5.9 million who tuned into the Quinton Jackson-Dan Henderson match at UFC 75.
Those are game-changing numbers that TV executives simply can't ignore, especially when it comes to delivering the male, 18-to-34 audience that advertisers crave. That demographic comprised a sizeable portion of the viewers who tuned into SNF.
NBC already carries MMA, albeit in a time slot far removed from the bright lights of primetime. Strikeforce launched its weekly 30-minute taped series on the Peacock Network April 12. The promotion, which those familiar with the deal say purchased the airtime from the network, hoped the series would be the catalyst that leads to live shows on NBC.
"Periodically, we're in talks (with NBC)," said Strikeforce's Mike Afromowitz. "Of course, we want to be live on the network. That's always been part of our long-term objective. People want to see live events. The show's been a good way to introduce the brand and the product to people, but moving forward, we want to be live. That's the next step."
Not only do the ratings generated on CBS suggest that the next step might be imminent for NBC, programming brass at the network need to look no further than their own ratings to see that MMA draws a crowd. Viewership of "Strikeforce on NBC," which follows "Poker After Dark" every Saturday night/early Sunday morning, has increased nearly 200 percent from its first show to one of its recent airings.
The fifth episode, during the week of May 5, drew an audience of 949,000 viewers. That topped the average ratings for other late-night fare, including "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and "The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson."
"The show has exceeded our expectations," said Afromowitz, who oversees selection of fights featured in the production. "We're only several weeks into the series. We got the production together very quickly with minimal promotion. We didn't have a big, big campaign to promote it, but word spread from the first week we were on."
It seems only a matter of time before NBC makes a more significant commitment to MMA programming.
Shonie Carter has signed with Strikeforce.
"Mr. International" Shonie Carter, one of MMA’s most active and outspoken fighters, recently signed a deal with Strikeforce.
While the terms of his contract have not been released, Carter’s first fight under the San Jose based organization has been announced. He will take on 5-1 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu artist, Luke Stewart, on June 27 in a welterweight bout.