Dana White 'sold' on women's version of The Ultimate Fighter
Less than an hour after Ronda Rousey was introduced as the inaugural UFC women's bantamweight champion, the discussion had already turned toward ways to bolster the new division.
Fielding question from a small collection of reporters on Thursday afternoon, UFC President Dana White was asked if he would be open to an all-female version of The Ultimate Fighter, with Rousey as one of the head coaches.
"Yeah, obviously," White replied. "Listen, she's a world champion. What do you see on TUF? You see world champions as head coaches. Listen, I'm in man. I'm sold.
"The reason we have women's MMA now is because of her."
Dana White says Georges St. Pierre vs. Nick Diaz is next
It appears that UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre will get his way and Johny Hendricks will have to get back in line. MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani spoke to UFC president Dana White after today's UFC on Fox 5 press conference, and he confirmed that it will be none other than Nick Diaz that probably faces GSP next:
Dana just said GSP told him I want Nick Diaz. Dana said that's probably the fight we'll make.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 6, 2012
Dana said that GSP doesn't ask for much, so he feels like he has to do it. Silva and Hendricks will have to wait.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 6, 2012
Dana hasn't told Nick yet, but he is here. ... What did I tell you, my friends?
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 6, 2012
That means two things - the GSP/Anderson Silva thing is officially dead for now, and that's why they're talking about GSP defending his belt. And we're probably going to be hearing a lot from one pissed off Johny Hendricks in the next few days.
Ronda Rousey vs Liz Carmouche Main Event at UFC 157
Ariel Helwani ?@arielhelwani
Dana announces Rousey vs. Carmouche will main event UFC 157.
Ronda Rousey BOOKS 1ST UFC FIGHT -- Main Event at UFC 157
We've known for a few weeks that Strikeforce women's Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey would be coming over the UFC. Now, according to a report from TMZ, we know when and against whom.
If the report is true, Rousey will make her UFC debut against Liz Carmouche in the headliner of UFC 157 in Anaheim, California on February 23, 2013. So far the other fights expected to be on that card are a Light Heavyweight #1 contenders bout between Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida and a Bantamweight bout between Urijah Faber and Ivan Menjivar.
Nam Phan Talks Short-Notice Fights
Nam Phan is certainly a favorite among MMA enthusiasts. A long time veteran of the sport, he puts on an exciting show every time he competes. He has won “Fight of the Night” Honors in two of his five previous UFC fights. And he has certainly endeared himself to the Zuffa brass, taking his fight this weekend against Dennis Siver on short notice.
Just days before making weight for his UFC on Fox 5 bout this Saturday, December 8th, Nam was generous enough to give us at MMA Playground some of his time and talk to us about short notice fights, and the preparation that comes with them.
P$: With only a couple of weeks to prepare on short notice, time is of the essence. As such do you focus more on your opponent, watching tape of his previous fights, or more on yourself and your own technique and conditioning?
Nam Phan: You HAVE to do both. You can't go in there blind, not knowing who you are fighting. I studied what I could in the short time I had and I tried to get my conditioning up as much as I could in such a short time.
P$: Siver has moved down from Welterweight, to Lightweight, and now he is meeting you at Featherweight. As other fighters filter down to 145, have you noticed the division getting physically larger?
Nam Phan: Yeah definitely. There are a bunch of tough guys coming into the division, Frankie Edgar, Clay Guida, Dennis Siver. Everybody is moving to Featherweight man, making my job tougher!
P$: Has that affected you in the gym as far as the things you work on?
Nam Phan: Oh yeah, definitely. I'm always trying to keep up to date with the trends within MMA. When I can I always try to train at Alpha Male. Those guys are amazing and always show me great stuff, so I'm trying to learn what I can with the time I have left in the sport.
P$: Do you spend most of your time training at Team Alpha Male?
Nam Phan: No, I only go there when I'm training for a fight. Most of the time I'm back home in Orange County, where I train at my own gym (Nam Phan MMA Academy). I also spend some time at Anaheim Boxing.
P$: If you could book your own schedule, how many fights a year do you feel is the perfect amount for you?
Nam Phan: I think about 4 fights a year is good. It's not too much. It's just about right.
P$: You're coming off a big win against Cole Miller. Are you feeling good taking that momentum in to this fight?
Nam Phan: Yeah it definitely feels good. A win is always important, especially coming against someone as tough as Cole Miller. So hopefully that gives me the confidence to come in and beat someone up like Dennis Siver.
P$: You've been in the sport for a decade. What aspect(s) of the sport do you feel have changed the most?
Nam Phan: Definitely the transition from jiu-jitsu to wrestling. In the very beginning jiu-jitsu was dominant, but now wrestling has really taken over. With everyone having good boxing and takedown defense, submissions have become more rare these days.
It was great chatting with Nam, big thanks to him from MMA Playground!
You can follow Nam Phan on Twitter @NamPhanMMA and visit his website at IamNam.com.
Nam would also like to shout out his sponsors Hayabusa and The Ally Restaurant in Westminster, CA.
Renan Barão vs. Michael McDonald Heads UFC on Fuel TV 7 in London; Several Bouts Announced
It’s no secret that interim UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barão is going to make the first defense of his belt against Michael McDonald, but now the two know when and where… Feb. 16 in London.
UFC president Dana White confirmed the title defense on Tuesday night’s edition of UFC Tonight on Fuel TV.
UFC on Fuel TV 7 London Fight Card:
Renan Barao vs. Michael McDonald
Che Mills vs. Matt Riddle
Terry Etim vs. Renee Forte
Paul Sass vs. Danny Castillo
Billy Harris vs. Ulysses Gomez
Vaughan Lee vs. Motonobu Tezuka
Andy Ogle vs. Josh Grispi
Firas Zahabi: Georges St-Pierre wants to fight Anderson Silva
Despite recent claims from Anderson Silva's camp stating otherwise, UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre is still interested in a blockbuster fight against Anderson Silva, according to TriStar gym head trainer Firas Zahabi.
"I asked him if he wants to fight Anderson. He told me, ‘Yes,'" Zahabi said. "But I think there's a lot to be negotiated, so I don't know much more than that. If one day they tell me he's fighting Anderson Silva, I'll treat him accordingly. If they tell me he's fighting Nick Diaz, I'll treat him accordingly."
St-Pierre is currently vacationing following a hard-fought title defense over Carlos Condit at UFC 154, his first fight in 19 months, and has mostly laid low during public negotiations.
"After a fight like that, he needs time off," said Zahabi.
"Honestly, whenever we've just finished a fight, we're just so happy the fight is done, we don't talk about fighting anymore. And then when we get a name, that's all we're focused on."
UFC in London gets some fights announced including a title fight
For those of you who don't speak twitter Language:
Interim Bantamweight Championship: Renan Barao (c) vs Michael McDonald
Che Mills vs Matt Riddle
Terry Etim vs Renee Forte
Paul Sass vs Danny Castillo
@UFC_UK: Europe will see its 1st battle for the bantamweight belt at #UFCLondon2013 when @RenanBaraoUFC takes on @MayDayMcDonald at @wembleyarena!
@UFC_UK: #UFC welterweight @riddletuf7 gets his chance to fight a Brit when he takes on @Che_Mills in #UFCLondon2013
@UFC_UK: #UFCLondon2013 sees @terry_etim return to the UK against #TUFBrazil contestant @reneeforte
@UFC_UK: #UFC lightweight @lastcall155 takes on submission specialist @paul_sass at #UFCLondon2013
@UFC_UK: #UFC announces 1st flyweight bout in Europe with @uselessgomez vs @billyharrismma #UFCLondon2013
@UFC_UK: #UFC bantamweights Motonobu Tezuka vs @vaughanlovelee added to #UFCLondon2013 at @wembleyarena.
@UFC_UK: #UFC confirms featherweights @joshgrispi vs @thelittleaxe for #UFCLondon2013 at @wembleyarena. Newsletter pre-sale today @ticketmasteruk
Will get a link up ASAP
UFC 156: McCall vs. Benavidez and Dunham vs. Tibau added to Super Bowl weekend
UFC officials have announced that Ian McCall vs. Joseph Benavidez and Evan Dunham vs. Gleison Tibau have been added to the UFC 156 event that’s set for Super Bowl weekend on February 2nd.
McCall (11-3-1) is coming off the unanimous decision loss to the now current UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson. The two were fighting for the honor of fighting in the inaugural UFC flyweight championship fight. The two had fought to a majority draw in the fight before that in what was a very exciting fight.
Benavidez (16-3) is also coming off a loss to Demetrious Johnson in his last fight. The two fought for the inaugural UFC flyweight title with Johnson winning a unanimous decision. The other two losses for Benavidez came against UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz.
Training partner Tyron Woodley: B.J. Penn is 'ready to roll'
When Strikeforce welterweight standout Tyron Woodley went out to Hawaii to help B.J. Penn train for his UFC on FOX 5 bout with Rory MacDonald, it didn't take him long to figure out why Penn's camps are the stuff of mixed martial arts legend.
"One thing that I immediately noticed is his camp is so in tune and so focused on one goal, and task, and that's winning on Dec. 8," Woodley said on a recent edition of The MMA Hour. "Those guys are so in tune with the diet, the nutrition, how many rounds he's sparring, how many minutes, they really have it down to a science. So I can appreciate that for the several times I've ran my own camp, to have that out of my mind and be able to focus on fighting, that's a great thing not to have on your plate."
The 10-1 St. Louis native was brought in to mimic MacDonald, the well-rounded welterweight from Montreal's Tri-Star gym, and Woodley did his best to deliver.
"It's a blessing and an honor that they would consider me for this camp," Woodley said. "Rory MacDonald's no joke, man. That's not a guy a lot of guys are calling out to fight I think B.J. Penn, if anyone's going to knock this young buck off, he's the guy to do it. So, they wanted someone who can strike who can wrestle who can grapple, that was a bigger guy who could compete with him. So I went in there and I gave him everything he could handle, I tried to give him a good look."
Trainer Cesar Gracie expects Nate Diaz to be his first UFC champ
If Nate Diaz emerges victorious against UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson at Saturday's UFC on FOX 5 event at Seattle's KeyArena, the 27-year-old will become the first Cesar Gracie fighter to hold gold in the UFC.
Gracie's Pleasant Hill, Calif. academy has groomed other talent to UFC title shots, including Gil Castillo, who suffered a loss to then-welterweight champ Matt Hughes at UFC 40 back in 2002. Additionally, prominent jiu-jitsu black belts who now represent the camp – Dave Terrell, Jake Shields and Nick Diaz – also have come up short in recent title fights. Nate's older brother, Nick, is the most recent to walk away without the grand prize after he dropped a unanimous decision to Carlos Condit in an interim welterweight title bout at UFC 143 in February.
So what makes Gracie's latest title challenger likely to bring home the goods?
"If I've learned something," Gracie told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) about his decade-plus prepping fighters to become UFC champions, "it's don't let the hype get to you."
Dan Hardy rules out potential appearance at UFC on FUEL TV 7 in London
When the UFC returns to London for a February event, it'll do so without one of the area's top fighters.
Veteran welterweight Dan Hardy recently ruled out the possibility of competing at UFC on FUEL TV 7.
The event, which airs live on FUEL TV, takes place Feb. 16 at Wembley Arena.
Hardy (25-10 MMA, 6-4 UFC), a veteran of the U.K. fight scene who's also fought six times in England for the UFC, tweeted his unavailability for the card while responding to fellow welterweight Siyar Bahadurzada, who had been campaigning for a fight with the Brit.
"Sorry mate, I won't be ready to fight in February," Hardy wrote. "Enjoy fighting in London though, the UK fans are always great."
Hardy, who's recovering from injuries, is expected to return in the spring.