Ian McCall: Life is a little bit different when you've been dead
Zuffa recently added a 125 Bantamweight division, and a four-man tournament to crown the first champion:
Demetrious Johnson vs. Ian McCall
Joseph Benavidez vs. Yasuhiro Urushitani
In an interview with CageSide Sports, McCall discusses how far he has come.
"I am my own worst enemy. I have a lot of demons and they're still there. I still battle with them.
"But I've always had those values in the back of my head. Even though I've done horrible, horrible things to myself and other people, it's not like I don't feel bad.
"When I died I was sober for a while. I was doing good. And then I was getting getting tattooed. I was getting the heart tattooed on my chest saying Capulet and it's the sacred heart from Romeo and Juliet on Tybalt's chest. So I wanted that one. And I was like 'yeah, ok it's gonna hurt so I should so I should take something'. So I take a few oxycontin. And then I was getting anxiety so I'll take a few xanax. And then smoke some weed and then I think I drank some GHB. And then I woke up like a day or two later in the hospital.
Joe Lauzon Relishing Role of Underdog, Unapologetic About Aggressive Style
Feb 20, 2012 - Ask Joe Lauzon about the last time he was the favorite in a big fight and you'd probably be met with silence. At least, if it did happen, he doesn't remember.
Somehow, after thundering through eight stoppage wins in over half a decade with the UFC, Lauzon remains the quintessential underdog. A congenial assassin trapped in a computer technician's frame. So ask him about facing Anthony Pettis as a 2-to-1 dog at UFC 144, and he'll tell you, any other way just wouldn't be his style.
"I like flying under the radar," Lauzon said to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. "I'm not really the guy that's looking to get all kinds of respect and appreciation, and all that kind of stuff. I like to go and have good fights. I like to have exciting fights. I have no problem being the underdog."
Brazilian Rani Yahya Plans Drop To UFC Bantamweight Division
Former ADCC Submission Wrestling World Champion, and current UFC featherweight fighter, Rani Yahya (16-7) is planning a move back to the bantamweight division after a 1-1 record at 145-lbs in the Octagon.
Yahya moved up to the featherweight division after competing as a bantamweight in the WEC, going so far as to face Chase Beebe for the WEC 135-lbs title back in 2007.
Rampage Jackson: 'Biased' Joe Rogan plays the rusty trombone for BJJ fighters
"You know he's got good jiu-jitsu because he's so biased against jiu-jitsu guys. You can hear it in his voice. Whenever a guy is a jiu-jitsu fighter he's playing rusty trombone. I don't think you should talk down, you should be neutral. When I used to fight in PRIDE, watch Bas Rutten and Stephen Quadros on commentary. Those guys were my good friends and you couldn't even tell when they were doing commentary. We hung out outside of work sometimes, we were good friends but when I fought they weren't biased towards me. They did their job. They weren't biased towards skills or anything like that. That's the way it should be. Sometimes you can hear him because Joe Rogan has one of those girly high-ass voices. I just wanna tell him to shut the fuck up sometimes."
UFC champ Jon Jones to serve as Daytona 500 honorary race official
UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones is heading to NASCAR's Daytona 500.
Jones serves as an honorary race official for the 54th annual Sprint Cup Series race, which takes place Feb. 26 at Daytona International Speedway in Florida.
The season-opening NASCAR race airs on UFC broadcast partner FOX.
"I am thrilled to be able to serve as honorary race official at this year's Daytona 500, NASCAR's premier event," Jones stated in a release. "Like the UFC, NASCAR has a passionate and knowledgeable fan base, and I am honored that I will get to share this experience with them."
Evan Dunham Vs. Edson Barboza Set For UFC 146
UFC president Dana White turned to twitter today to announce a pretty big fight for UFC 147. Evan Dunham will take on the undefeated Edson Barboza in a bout that is almost surely main card material. Here's the tweet:
For the UFC 147 card May 16th in Vegas we just signed Edson Barboza vs Evan Dunham!! #funfight
Feb 19 via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply
Dana corrected himself shortly after, and said he meant UFC 146 and May 26th. Still though, this is an excellent fight. Dunham has rebounded from two losses (to Sean Sherk and Melvin Guillard) by winning two in a row, most recently in a fight of the night performance against Nik Lentz. Barboza is 4-0 in the UFC and is coming off one of the best KO's in UFC history, a spinning wheel kick knockout of Terry Etim at UFC 142.
Mayhem Faces a Doberman at UFC 146
Life is all about second chances and the UFC has decided to give Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller another shot.
Miller will return at UFC 146 on May 26 in Las Vegas where he will face former ‘Ultimate Fighter’ finalist C.B. ‘The Doberman’ Dollaway.
Miller first announced the fight via his Twitter account, and separate sources confirmed the bout to MMAWeekly.com as well on Saturday.
Tim Sylvia willing to return to UFC for old pay
Tim Sylvia had an interview where he said he would be willing to fight in the UFC for what they used to pay him. He also mentioned he'd like to retire in the UFC...but I guess everyone does right?
The more I think about it, the more I say give him 1 fight in the UFC to see how he can handle himself with the new breed of fighters
NSAC Explains Nick Diaz Could Have (But Didn't) Request Exemption For Marijuana Use
One of the biggest stories coming out of Nick Diaz testing positive for marijuana after his UFC 143 bout with Carlos Condit has been Diaz's medical prescription for the drug. While some have said that Diaz should not be punished at all for something he has a prescription for, others have pointed out that there are plenty of medical conditions which require drugs or other intervention which prevent others from fighting.
But, as pointed out in a recent Cage Potato interview with Keith Kizer, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, there were ways for Diaz and his camp to have applied for an exemption for his use, they just didn't:
According to Kizer, though, Diaz had another option: coming to the NSAC weeks before fighting and applying for a therapeutic exemption (TUE) for his marijuana use.
Given that Diaz' coach and manager, Cesar Gracie, has made a point of saying that Diaz has a legal right to use marijuana in California since a doctor prescribed it to him, one would have expected Diaz to have applied for the exemption with the commission.
But that did not happen Kizer explains, as no one from Diaz' camp has ever attempted to explain any mitigating circumstances to him about the fighter's marijuana use or tried to contextualize it to attempt for Nick to granted a therapeutic exemption. "I have no idea what [Diaz's] marijuana situation is," Kizer told CagePotato on Thursday. "No one from his camp has ever come to me or the commission and tried to explain it."
Ex-Teammates Talk About Gray Maynard Leaving Xtreme Couture For AKA
Even before his UFC 136 loss to Frankie Edgar, Gray Maynard was talking openly about his intention to leave Xtreme Couture, his long-time training camp. At the time Maynard said it was not because he was frustrated with the coaching he got in Las Vegas, but rather a desire to see other places and learn new things from other coaches.
Steve Cofield got some of Maynard's former Xtreme Couture teammates to dish the dirt about the move. Here's Frank Trigg:
"Gray just was not prepared. It was really one of those deals where a coach within his staff just would not pay attention any other coaches. He was getting really upset if any other coach tried to explain to him 'hey, this is how hard I'm going to push Gray in my session. You need to back off in your session so he can recover. [Maynard] wasn't prepared. It's ultimately up to one coach that didn't pay attention."
UFC on FUEL TV 1 ratings: Audience peaks with 315,000 viewers, shatters records
Earlier today, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) reported that Wednesday's UFC on FUEL TV 1 event averaged 217,000 viewers, which set a UFC-FUEL TV record.
Now, FUEL TV has released additional information, including additional record-setting figures.
Chief among them? UFC on FUEL TV 1 peaked with a record 315,000 viewers during the night's main event between Jake Ellenberger and Diego Sanchez.
UFC on FUEL TV 1, which is the first of six main-card broadcasts on the FOX-owned cable station in 2012, took place Feb. 15 at Nebraska's Omaha Civic Auditorium. After three prelims on Facebook, the three-hour FUEL TV broadcast featured six bouts, including Ellenberger's entertaining decision victory over Sanchez and Stefan Struve's TKO of fellow heavyweight Dave Herman...
Dennis Bermudez vs. Pablo Garza slotted for UFC on FOX 3
Featherweights Dennis Bermudez (7-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) and Pablo Garza (11-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) hope to reverse recent slides when they meet at UFC on FOX 3.
Officials today announced the fight, which is expected to be part of the event's preliminary card.
UFC on FOX 3 takes place May 5 at IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J. The event's preliminary card airs on FUEL TV while the main card airs live on FOX.
Nick Denis vs. Johnny Bedford slated for UFC on FOX 3
A bantamweight bout between Nick Denis (11-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) and "The Ultimate Fighter 14" semifinalist Johnny Bedford (18-9-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is the latest addition to UFC on FOX 3.
UFC officials today announced the fight.
UFC on FOX 3 takes place May 5 at IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J. The main card, including a Jim Miller vs. Nate Diaz headliner, airs on FOX, and prelims air on FUEL TV.
Denis vs. Bedford is likely to be part of preliminary card.
Dan Henderson: The UFC never offered me a fight against Lyoto Machida
What's the deal with Dan Henderson?
Good question. The former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion, who was expected to breathe new life into the shrinking 205-pound division, has been floundering on the sidelines ever since he decisioned Mauricio Rua at UFC 139 back in Nov. 2011.
So, what's the hold up?
There appears to be some confusion between "Hendo" and UFC President Dana White. After Henderson rejected a bout against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, White told fans the former middleweight would wait for a title shot. Then a few weeks later said no, he doesn't want to wait.
White even claims Henderson was offered a bout against Lyoto Machida but turned it down, a claim "Hollywood" refutes, after the jump.
From Henderson's Twitter:
Was never offered machida. And even though he has lost 3 out of his last 4, I'm sure it would be entertaining.
UFC planning no PRIDE revival for Japan shows, will target existing UFC fans
Long before MMA hit the mainstream in North America, Japan was hosting historic shows with massive audiences and record TV ratings.
Most of it was the result of PRIDE Fighting Championships, a once-glorious fight promotion that mixed sport with unrivaled spectacle.
But as the UFC gears up for next week's UFC 144 event and a long-awaited return to Japan, officials are looking to the future, not the past.
Zuffa, the UFC's parent company, ultimately purchased and disbanded PRIDE in 2007. Officials planned to independently operate the promotion – which featured elaborate ring entrances, a different rules set, and a series of sometimes-comical open-weight matches – but ultimately disbanded it and moved key talent to the UFC. They cited numerous problems – from the internal workings of the company to issues with TV partners to financial discrepancies on the books. Rumored ties to the yakuza also dogged the promotion.
While many veteran MMA fans fondly remember PRIDE's once-dominant glory days, UFC president Dana White said UFC 144 marks a new era for MMA in Japan, and it'll include the UFC's brand of fighting.
"Do I think this is going to be a PRIDE event and 100,000 people are going to show up, and it's going to be (like that)?" White asked. "No, I don't think that. But I think that there is a fanbase there for the UFC.
"People keep asking me, 'Oh, will you play the PRIDE music? Will you do (this or that)?' No, this isn't PRIDE. It's the UFC. The UFC is coming to Japan, and what the people in Japan are going to see is what they see on television, if they're UFC fans."
Aaron Simpson nearly set on move to welterweight after UFC on FUEL TV 1 loss
If the docs say it's OK, count on seeing UFC vet Aaron Simpson at welterweight.
After a loss to Ronny Markes (13-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) on Wednesday at UFC on FUEL TV 1, Simpson (11-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) said he's tired of being undersized at middleweight.
"I've been thinking about it over the last year and a half," the 37-year-old today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "Everybody I fight is cutting from 220 (pounds)."
UFC on FUEL TV 1 took place at Omaha Civic Auditorium in Omaha, Neb. Simpson vs. Markes served as part of the event's main card, which aired on FUEL TV following prelims on Facebook.
The noticeably bulky Markes pinned Simpson on the cage several times during the three-round fight, which ended in a split decision for the Brazilian.
Simpson, who saw a three-fight win streak broken, said he never gets heavier than 200 pounds.
"There were times I couldn't budge," he said. "[Markes] had his shoulder buried in my chest, and I couldn't move him. And I can defend a lot of people's takedowns and everything, and it was just one of those deals where that really dwarfed me."
A positive Simpson took from the fight was the power in his punches, which dropped Markes in the first round. However, that advantage was muted by his size deficit...
Akira Corassani withdraws from his bout with Jason Young
Hard-hitting featherweight Akira Corassani has suffered an injury and will be unable to compete against Jason Young as originally expected at UFC on Fuel 2.
The promotion recently issued a press release to members of the Swedish media, revealing that Young will meet a to-be-announced replacement at the April 14 event, which marks the UFC’s inaugural trip to Sweden.
Headlined by a light heavyweight confrontation between top Swedish prospect Alexander Gustafsson and former Pride Fighting Championships star Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, UFC on Fuel 2 takes place at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm.
UFC boss: NSAC's handling of Mayweather, Diaz, Sonnen woefully inconsistent
OMAHA, Neb. – UFC president Dana White admits he doesn't know how the Nevada State Athletic Commission is going to handle the failed UFC 143 drug test of top welterweight Nick Diaz.
But after observing what White considers incomprehensibly inconsistent recent handling of boxer Floyd Mayweather and UFC middleweight Chael Sonnen, the UFC boss is praying for fair treatment.
"We'll see what happens," White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) following Wednesday's UFC on FUEL TV 1 event in Omaha, Neb. "We'll see if inconsistency prevails again."
White's frustrations with the NSAC include his usual gripes: judges and referees that need better education and execution of their responsibilities. But more importantly, White points to the commission's recent directives for Mayweather and Sonnen as prime examples of how everything is certainly not equal.
"How about the Nevada State Athletic Commission royally kissed Floyd Mayweather's ass when he walked in there," White said. "This guy is going to jail. The judge is allowing him to not go to jail until he has his fight. Right?