UFC's Edson Barboza says 2012 ESPY nomination is a win for MMA
Edson Baraboza didn't see his recent ESPY nomination as a personal accomplishment so much as he did a win for the sport of MMA.
Barboza's spinning-wheel-kick KO of Terry Etim at UFC 142 recently was nominated as one of the year's top 16 plays as part of the 2012 ESPN ESPY Awards. .
Baraboza said that having an MMA highlight actually rank among those in the NFL, NBA, MLB and worldwide soccer is already a big win for his chosen sport.
Siyar Bahadurzada Injured, Out of UFC 149, Matt Riddle in
Siyar Bahadurzada, who originally replaced an injured Yoshihiro Akiyama, is the latest scratch from July's UFC 149 event.
UFC officials today announced Bahadurzada has been forced to withdraw from the event due to injury, and Matt Riddle (6-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) now steps in to face Chris Clements (11-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC).
Sonnen reveals source of anger toward Silva
The dislike that top UFC middleweight contender Chael Sonnen feels toward titleholder Anderson Silva did not begin during the months leading to their first battle in August 2010.
It started much earlier.
Sonnen told ESPN.com this week the reason for his hostility toward Silva, and surprisingly, another high-profile Brazilian fighter.
“Anderson Silva and Wanderlei Silva, who have had me p---ed off for years, have gone around and tried to bully people,” Sonnen said. “That stuff doesn’t work with me.
“The buck stops here.”
On 3-0 UFC run, Chan Sung Jung wants shot at featherweight champ Jose Aldo
Maybe Chan Sung Jung just didn't feel like he said it loud enough after his last fight.
So on Friday, "The Korean Zombie" reiterated what he said after his last win: He wants a shot at UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, and when he gets it, he plans on leaving with the title.
Jung isn't on Twitter much – he's posted just seven messages since his May 15 upset of Dustin Poirier. But it's his last post that is standing up and asking to be noticed.
Tito Ortiz: Maybe Forrest Griffin Should Retire Too
‘If I lose to Tito, I’m going to retire from life. Seriously’
~ Forrest Griffin – June 2012
On paper, UFC 148 is supposed to be the final event of Tito Ortiz’s Hall of Fame UFC career, but he’s not planning on strolling quietly into the night.
As a matter of fact, what has Ortiz ever done quietly while he’s been in the UFC?
That’s why when the former light heavyweight champion heard about Griffin’s comments about their third and final fight, Ortiz figured maybe it was just his time to walk away from the sport as well.
“I’m excited for the fight. Forrest is a tough guy and I know he’s training really hard. I just heard a little thing saying that if he loses to me he’s going to retire. Well, it looks like he better put on his retirement shoes cause it’s going to be an exciting fight and I plan on having my hand raised,” Ortiz said when appearing on MMAWeekly Radio.
UFC on FOX 4's Vera doesn't care why 'Shogun' chose him to fight
Brandon Vera (12-5 MMA, 8-5 UFC) gets goose bumps every time he thinks about fighting Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (20-6 MMA, 4-4 UFC) at UFC on FOX 4.
Just the thought of fighting an MMA icon offsets the knowledge that Rua picked him as perhaps an easier opponent.
"I don't give a damn what his reasons are or what happened or how this came about," Vera told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Rua turned down Glover Teixeira when Thiago Silva re-injured his back and was forced to withdraw from their fight at UFC 149. A pink slip was threatened for the former champ, whose pass on the Teixeira fight was aired to the public. Rua countered that Vera's name was more valuable to his career.
Cynics would translate that to mean Vera is an easier fight for Rua than Teixeira, who blasted Kyle Kingsbury in his recent octagon debut. Vera has been around long enough to make that connection, and he's certainly familiar with the disappointment of fans who saw him go from top heavyweight contender to endangered light heavyweight.
The whys just don't matter to him at this point, he said. He's got the fight, and the fans and Glover Teixeira do not.
UFC 150's Tavares looking for win over Hallman, bout with Diaz or Maynard
Twelve fights into his UFC career, Brazilian lightweight Thiago Tavares is tired of flying under the radar.
He's lost just once since 2009, and three of his four career octagon defeats came along with a "Fight of the Night" bonus.
As he prepares to face longtime veteran Dennis Hallman at August's UFC 150 event, Tavares is ready to make a little noise. Once he puts "Superman" away, Tavares is calling out Nate Diaz and Gray Maynard.
"I will beat Dennis Hallman," Tavares told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "After that, I want Nate Diaz or Gray Maynard. I really want to prove myself.
"I think Nate Diaz and I would be a crazy, exciting fight. I always try to submit people, and he likes to knock everybody out. Gray Maynard just beat Clay Guida, but I would give him a real fight. I just want to fight against the best names and move up in the division."
Forrest Griffin hints retirement is near
Former light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin is set to meet Tito Ortiz for a third time in the co-main event of UFC 148 on July 7. It’s expected to be the final fight of Ortiz’s career.
In a candid interview with ESPN.com, Griffin, who enjoyed the birth of his first child last year, spoke on how much time he has left in the sport, whether or not this recent string of losses for Ortiz has tarnished his career, and how comfortable he would be accepting a fight against a dangerous up-and-comer in the division.
ESPN.com: What was the experience of your last fight like, going to Brazil and trying to concentrate on Mauricio Rua while your wife was in labor back in Las Vegas?
Griffin: It really wasn’t that distracting. Maybe some time when I was down there and she was real good about censoring what she told me. The problem with that fight wasn’t anything other than Shogun hitting me in the head. That was more the problem with that fight than my wife being pregnant. It’s funny, I really didn’t think (about the loss). It was a s----- flight, I flew back with Dana (White). That’s a tough flight. You don’t want to sit next to your boss after you don’t do such a great job at work. After that, it was like, “we’re in the hospital.” So, I really didn’t think about it other than the flight home.
ESPN.com: Did you talk to Dana at all on the flight?
Griffin: I watched "Band of Brothers" with headphones on.
Urijah Faber Says MMA Needs Chael Sonnen
One thing most people can agree on about Chael Sonnen is that he is one of the most polarizing figures in mixed martial arts. But that’s about it.
Not many people have the insight into Sonnen’s background to see how he became the brazen character that finally got under the skin of current UFC champion Anderson Silva, pushing and prodding him until he cracked and unleashed the brutal tirade we heard on the recent UFC 148 media conference call promoting their July 7 rematch.
Many will debate whether or not Sonnen even has a place in MMA, a sport that has roots in the more disciplined approach of traditional martial arts. Former WEC champion and current UFC interim title contender Urijah Faber isn’t among them.
“I think this sport needs guys like Chael Sonnen,” said Faber at a recent question and answer session.
Shogun and Lombard Open as Sizeable Favorites In Upcoming Bouts
Injuries have derailed some of the summer’s biggest fights, but there are still plenty of match-ups to talk about including the debut of a former Bellator champion and the return of a former UFC title holder.
Former Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard will make his long awaited Octagon debut at UFC 149 where he faces former light heavyweight Tim Boetsch in a 185lb showdown.
According to Nick Kalikas from BetOnFighting.com, Lombard’s reputation as a knockout artist will follow him to the UFC where he has opened as a sizeable favorite over UFC veteran Boetsch.
Lombard comes in as a whopping -310 favorite with the comeback on Boetsch at +240
Rua opens as an expected favorite in the fight with -290 odds in his favor while Vera comes back at the underdog with +220 odds on his side.
Joe Rogan comment leads to Sam Stout game plan change at UFC on FX 4
Sam Stout remembers very clearly what Joe Rogan said during a recent fight.
The longtime UFC commentator said Stout was an easy fighter to train for because he fought the same way every time. Basically, opponents knew he liked to strike, and knew he was more vulnerable on the mat.
So when Stout (19-7-1 MMA, 7-6 UFC) bucked that trend in a rubber match with Spencer Fisher (25-9 MMA, 9-8 UFC) at this past Friday's UFC on FX 4, he had Rogan's statement in mind – and also, Fisher's more accurate punches.
"I decided to go out there and do something about that in this fight," Stout told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "My wrestling game is something that I've been working on for a long time, and my jiu-jitsu game. I've been saying that for a long time, but I've never really shown it."
Stout certainly put his grappling chops on display when he earned a unanimous decision over Fisher in the co-main draw of the event, which took place at Revel Atlantic City in New Jersey. The bout aired on FX.
Korean Zombie calls out Jose Aldo
The Korean Zombie tweets:
"I want Jose Aldo. I will end his reign as a Champion."
Aldo vs. Jung has a chance to be the biggest featherweight bout in the sport's history and KZ isn't going to be quiet while he waits for Aldo to heal up and deal with Erik Koch.
Patrick Cote says "Silva crushes Sonnen this time around"
Patrick Cote talks to sportsnet.ca:
"Once you've shared an Octagon with UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, very little else scares you. On July 7 at UFC 148 I meet Cung Le, another fighter who, like Silva, is very unorthodox with his striking, but, having fought the best in the world, I hold no fear whatsoever.
It will be interesting to see how Sonnen approaches his rematch with Silva on July 7. Personally, I think Silva crushes Sonnen this time around. Unlike last time, he won't be surprised about the pace or strength of Sonnen, and we could be in for a classic Anderson Silva performance. I think he wins before the end of the third round, probably by knockout.
... Anderson is up for this fight and we know he's looking to make a statement. You don't want to annoy somebody like Anderson Silva and, unfortunately for Chael, I think that's exactly what he has done. This one could get ugly for Chael..."
Roland Delorme vs. Francisco Rivera official for UFC 149
An exciting bantamweight bout now is official for UFC 149.
UFC officials on Wednesday announced that Roland Delorme (8-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) and Francisco Rivera (8-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) will meet at the event, which serves as the promotion's first trip to Canada this year. The Delorme-Rivera booking first was reported by MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) earlier this month.
UFC 149 takes place July 21 at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Main-card fights air on pay-per-view while preliminary-card fights air on FX and stream on Facebook.
Delorme, who briefly was linked to a fight with Bibiano Fernandes before the former DREAM champ quashed rumors of his UFC signing, comes into the matchup having finished his past two opponents via submission. Most recently, he dispatched fellow Canadian Nick Denis with a first-round rear-naked choke at UFC on FOX 3, which built on his third-round tapout of Josh Ferguson with the same hold at the Season 14 finale of "The Ultimate Fighter."
Delorme served on "TUF 14," where he was eliminated in the quarterfinals by eventual finalist T.J. Dillashaw.
Phil Davis vs. Wagner Prado official for August's UFC on FOX 4 event
A light heavyweight matchup between top prospect Phil Davis and promotional newcomer Wagner Prado is now official for UFC on FOX 4.
Davis was originally expected to face Chad Griggs on the card, but "The Grave Digger" was forced to withdraw due to injury. MMAjunkie.com in May reported the switch, and UFC officials recently confirmed the new matchup.
Featuring a main event between Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Brandon Vera, UFC on FOX 4 takes place Aug. 4 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
UFC Fan Expo hosts Tito Ortiz HOF induction before UFC 148
The upcoming UFC Fan Expo is set to host the induction of Tito Ortiz, "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy," into the UFC Hall of Fame.
Officials on Thursday announced the ceremony will take place at noon PT on July 7 at Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay Events Center, which hosts the two-day Expo as part of UFC 148's fight festivities.
"It is a huge honor to be recognized as one of the greatest fighters of all time by the UFC," Ortiz stated. "To be inducted into the Hall of Fame is final proof that all the hard work and dedication, all the pain and sacrifices, were all worth it."
Rick Story glad for UFC on FX 4 win, but still critical of own performance
Rick Story got back to his winning ways with a lopsided victory over Brock Jardine at UFC on FX 4 this past Friday.
But even after his dominant decision, the 27-year-old Story left Atlantic City, N.J., wanting more.
"I hold myself to high standards," Story (14-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC) recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "I'd rate it about (A-minus, B-plus). I don't want to fall in the category of one of those guys that just ride out wins."
While Story's workman-like victory over the UFC newcomer never really was in doubt, the Washington native said he would have preferred a finish.
"I didn't want to get too excited for the finish and then get clipped with something stupid," said Story, who snapped his two-fight losing streak and added a little job security with his Zuffa employer. "I just played it a little more conservative than I normally would."