New and improved UFC welterweight Jon Fitch says he's caught his second wind
After 10 years of plodding away at his MMA career, in hot pursuit of a title, top UFC welterweight Jon Fitch feels like he's never been in a better position to make a run at the 170-pound belt.
Jon Fitch is boring, Jon Fitch doesn't finish fights, Jon Fitch "lays and prays" and will never be an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) title holder.
Whether you've made or believed the aforementioned statements, you're certainly aware of them if you're a fan of mixed martial arts (MMA). After what's been an absolute grind of a career, it felt, for many, as though the perennial UFC welterweight contender was destined to forever be a bridesmaid and never a bride.
However, all that may have turned around, after Fitch's recent unanimous decision win over top prospect Erick Silva at the UFC 153 event in Rio de Janeiro back on Oct. 13, 2012. Sure, he still was unable to procure a finish, but it was the complete antithesis of a Jon Fitch fight.
It was exciting.
He brought the fight from opening horn to the end. And even though it had to go to the judges' scorecards, the win was a dominant one, and it was against a very tough and athletic fighter.
The victory gives Fitch hope for a dynamic contrast in his not so far off future:
"Erick Silva's a very tough fighter, but I believe this is the new Jon Fitch. I kinda got a second wind in my career, and we're gonna see a lot of bigger and better fights for me."
So, what's the difference? Was it just one fluke fight, or are we seeing a new improved version of the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) product?
If you ask him, it's decidedly the latter:
"I think it's partly an accumulation of years of training and finally having the confidence in my full skill set, to really open up and not worry about making mistakes in a fight, knowing that even if I do make a mistake, I'll be able to find my way back on top for the win."
Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida Bout Now in Doubt for UFC 156
A UFC light heavyweight showdown between two of the top fighters in the division, Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida, has been targeted for UFC 156 on Super Bowl weekend, but a shadow of doubt lingers over the fight… at least for the Feb. 2 event slated for Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
While Henderson said on last week’s edition of MMA Uncensored Live on Spike TV that he was told that UFC 156 was the target for such a bout, the injured knee that kept him out of the UFC 151 headliner against Jon Jones may delay a bout with Machida.
Henderson has returned to training, but has been taking things slow, making sure that he allows his knee to fully heal, so as not to set him back any further.
UFC officials, according to a report on Tuesday night’s UFC Tonight on Fuel TV, aren’t quite comfortable pulling the trigger and setting a Henderson vs. Machida bout for UFC 156 just yet.
The fight still looks likely to happen, it’s just a matter of if it will happen at UFC 156, and if not, when?
The UFC has already announced a handful of dates that closely follow Super Bowl weekend event with UFC on Fuel TV 6 on Feb. 16, UFC 157 on Feb. 23, and UFC on Fuel TV 8 on March 2. So there is ample opportunity to move that bout back by two or three weeks to ensure Henderson’s knee is fully recovered.
Overeem vs Bigfoot booked for Superbowl Weekend
The Ultimate Fighting Championship's annual major Super Bowl weekend card in Las Vegas just got a whole lot bigger.
Alistair Overeem is now expected to make his return to the cage against Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva in a matchup of massive heavyweight contenders at UFC 156 at Mandalay Bay on Feb. 2, the Review-Journal has learned.
Overeem's appearance on the card is pending approval from the Nevada Athletic Commission as he is currently serving a nine-month suspension for an out-of-competition drug test conducted by the NAC that revealed elevated testosterone levels. The 32-year-old is eligible to re-apply for a license on Dec. 27.
Alistair Overeem vs. Antonio Silva Targeted For UFC 156
Former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem and Antonio Silva are on tap to face each other at UFC 156: Aldo Vs. Edgar, according to a report by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The card goes down February 2 from Las Vegas.
Overeem is currently suspended, but is set to appear in front of the Nevada Athletic Commission on December 27. He has not fought since defeated Brock Lesnar last year.
Silva is coming off a victory over Travis Browne that followed a loss to Cain Velasquez in his UFC debut.
Overeem would likely move into a title shot with a victory over "Bigfoot."
UFC confirms UFC on FUEL TV 7, UFC on FUEL TV 8 in Japan, UFC 157 in California
The UFC's spring plans are quickly materializing, and the promotion today confirmed a trio of previously reported fight cards for the first quarter of 2013.
As MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) first reported, UFC 157 takes place Feb. 23 at the 15,000-seat Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
The promotion also confirmed a Feb. 16 event previously announced will serve as UFC on FUEL TV 7, though a venue for the fight card was not revealed. Additionally, officials revealed the March 3 event announced this past weekend will serve as UFC on FUEL TV 8.
The fight cards were confirmed on Tuesday's new edition of FUEL TV's "UFC Tonight."
The three fight cards take place on consecutive weekends, and the official announcement of the events now means the UFC has a run of six events in the seven weeks between "UFC on FX 7: Belfort vs. Bisping" on Jan. 19 and UFC on FUEL TV 8 on March 3.
Flyweight John Lineker credits manager's plan for UFC on FUEL TV 6 win
Flyweight John Lineker's first trip outside of his native Brazil wasn't exactly his finest hour.
With no team around him and no knowledge of how to properly cut weight, Lineker was heavy for his UFC debut and wound up losing by submission.
It would be understandable, then, if Lineker was less-than-thrilled about the task of traveling to Macau for this past weekend's UFC on FUEL TV 6 event.
The troubles of dealing with Anderson Silva and other UFC superstars
After Anderson Silva successfully defended his UFC middleweight title against Chael Sonnen for the second time, UFC President Dana White sat down in front of reporters and tried, as best he could, to explain to us what it was like to work with the world's greatest fighter.
"I swear to God, it's like dealing with an artist," White said. "It's like dealing with an artist or some big, crazy, talented actor. That's what it's like."
The thing is, White wasn't complaining.
Nike Brasil inks UFC champion Junior Dos Santos to endorsement deal
UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos is the latest Nike-sponsored athlete.
UFC Brasil recently inked the Brazilian fighter and UFC 155 pay-per-view headliner to an endorsement deal, SporTV.com confirmed with the global-sports giant.
Terms of the Nike deal, which is the third for a current UFC fighter, were not disclosed.
Erick Silva training for UFC 156 return, hopes for future rematch with Jon Fitch
One month after his upset loss to perennial UFC contender Jon Fitch (24-4-1 MMA, 14-2-1 UFC), Brazilian welterweight prospect Erick Silva (14-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC) is itching to get back to action.
Earlier this month, Silva's manager, Wallid Ismail, announced his client would return at February's UFC 156 event against an opponent yet to be named.
Silva says that quick return was at his behest, and he's anxious to keep his performance at a high level. And while he knows that open slot won't be filled by Fitch, he does believe he'll someday get a chance to avenge the result.
UFC on FUEL TV 6 ratings: Replay nearly doubles live broadcast's viewership
For the second time, a UFC on FUEL TV event's same-day replay outdrew its live broadcast.
But given the UFC's most recent installment, UFC on FUEL TV 6, and its early-morning start time, it's understandable.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed with industry sources that the Nov. 10 event, which aired live from Macau, drew 88,000 viewers for its initial airing (9 a.m. ET/6 a.m. PT).
Ten hours later, a replay drew 143,000 viewers.
A second replay, which aired the following morning at 1 a.m. ET, drew 59,000 viewers. The three showings produced an overall audience of 290,000 viewers.
It helped produced the third-most-watched day in FUEL TV history (and its fourth-highest primetime ratings in the channel's history)...
UFC featherweight Eddie Yagin hospitalized with head injury suffered in training
Eddie Yagin is likely out of his UFC on FOX 5 match up with Denis Siver after the featherweight fighter suffered a head injury in training that required him to be admitted to the emergency room.
Jason House of Iridium Sports Agency, who represents Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight fighter, Eddie Yagin (16-5-1), shared some troubling news Monday evening (Nov. 12, 2012).
Check out his cryptic Tweet below:
"Please keep @EddieYaginMMA in your prayers. He got admitted to the ER today due to a head injury he suffered training."
The details surrounding the incident are unknown at this time, however, it can only be assumed that Yagin's bout with Dennis Siver, which is scheduled for UFC on FOX 5 on Dec. 8, 2012, in Seattle, Wash., is in jeopardy.
UFC on FX 6: Anthony Perosh out of fight with Joey Beltran after sustaining horrific broken toe
Another Australian has been forced out of UFC on FX 6 in Brisbane, as light-heavyweight Anthony Perosh is out of his fight with Joey Beltran after suffering an absolutely horrific broken toe.
WARNING: Below the Bleacher Report widget is the picture of Perosh's completely broken big toe. It's incredibly graphic, so if you're very squeamish, stop reading.
Australian light-heavyweight Anthony Perosh becomes the latest injury victim of UFC on FX 6, as his scheduled bout with Joey Beltran on the evening's preliminary card has been called off after one of the nastiest broken toes you'll ever see. Adam Ireland of Australian TV network Channel 9 not only has the story but the image of Perosh's big toe.
Anderson Silva says he won't fight again until the end of 2013
When Anderson Silva knocked Stephan Bonnar into retirement in early October, it was believed that the UFC had bypassed a key hurdle on the way to a Silva vs. Georges St-Pierre super fight. The last obstacle will come on Nov. 17, when GSP faces Carlos Condit. With a St-Pierre win, there would be no major contender issues, and talk could finally turn to financial matters in putting together what would clearly be one of the biggest money fights in mixed martial arts history.
But in the final days before St-Pierre vs. Condit, expectations may have to be tempered. In a Monday interview with Tatame, Silva said that he has no plans to challenge St-Pierre after the completion of UFC 154, and furthermore said that he did not expect to fight again until the end of 2013...
Belcher-Okami rounds out UFC 155 main card; Leben-Vemola, Pickett-Wineland to prelims
A middleweight rematch more than six years in the making between Alan Belcher and Yushin Okami will fill out the main card for the UFC's year-end event.
The fight, which was announced by UFC officials two months ago, remained a strong candidate for placement on the UFC 155 main card, but also had competition from other bouts at the event.
But sources close to the card on Monday told MMAjunkie.com that the middleweights will fill out the top portion of the bill.
Why UFC on FUEL events might be the most difficult UFC events to do correctly
It may appear as if the UFC's smallest event series carries the fewest challenges to successfully stage or leverage, but a closer reveals precisely the opposite. Luckily, despite a few early hiccups, UFC leadership are getting better and better at getting all of the details right.
After Saturday's UFC on FUEL TV 6, the UFC completed its first year of contractual obligations to that FOX family channel in terms of live event programming. What we've witnessed in the last year is that while these shows are often wildly entertaining with meaningful bouts, they are much more difficult to plan and construct than their size and scope would indicate.
The following are four of the key challenges the UFC faces with this franchise. None of the problems have been perfectly solved for and some of these solutions the UFC has proposed work better than others. Nevertheless, it's important to understand why the most minor of the UFC's branded series may be some of the more difficult shows for the UFC to properly promote and leverage.
Finally back in win column, UFC on FUEL TV 6's Thiago Silva wants more frequency
When Thiago Silva got up off the canvas on Saturday in Macau, the scorecards didn't matter. Not in the least.
The Brazilian took advantage of either his opponent's waning energy or lack of attention, took him to the canvas, mounted him, then transitioned to an arm-triangle choke that he cranked until Stanislav Nedkov tapped.
What may come as a surprise to some is, had the fight gone the distance, Silva already was in line to win with the judges.
UFC on FUEL TV 6's 'Fight of the Night'? Cung Le thinks it was Jon Tuck-Tiequan Zhang
Takanori Gomi and Mac Danzig each pocketed an extra $40,000 on Saturday night as "Fight of the Night" winners at UFC on FUEL TV 6.
Gomi took home the win with a split decision, one of two split calls out of seven decisions on the card, which took place at CotaiArena in Venetian Macau Resort Hotel as the UFC's first event in China. But they had some competition.
And main event "Knockout of the Night" winner Cung Le might have gone in a different direction had he been passing out bonus checks.
UFC bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz first in MMA to win speedway sponsorship
While Dominick Cruz's mixed martial arts career has braked for a pit stop, he'll be getting help from the racing world to get back on track.
Cruz, the UFC's bantamweight champion, is being sponsored by the Phoenix International Raceway for his next fight, which is expected to take place in early 2013. The 27-year-old will wear the track's logo on his shirt and shorts.
A torn ACL has sidelined Cruz since May, but that didn't stop him from getting behind the wheel of a pace car.
Observations from UFC on FUEL 6 you may have missed
UFC Macau is in the books and Zuffa's first trip to China ended up as a success. Apart from having that arena feel, commercials may have cut out several minutes of your viewing experience. To make up for that, here are several tidbits from being live at the Cotai Arena that you may have missed out on during the FUEL TV broadcast:
- Macau is a popular tourist spot which is just a few short hours away from several countries in Asia. This was one of the primary reasons the UFC chose this location to start with their Asian expansion, as they knew a lot of people would fly in to see the event while also catering to a very young Chinese market at the same time.
They were right on the money with this one, as a huge percentage of the crowd were indeed from several different nations. This led to the crowd being split during several bouts with huge contingents from countries like the U.S., China, Brazil, and South Korea cheering on their countrymen.
- Like a lot of events in the U.S., the judges in Macau all had monitors they can use cageside...