UFC 145 gets McDonald-Torres, Blanco-Brimage; seven bouts shift to Atlanta
Two new bouts have been added to April's UFC 145 event in Atlanta, and seven have been shifted to the card after the recent cancellation of a March event in Montreal.
One of the new additions is an intriguing bantamweight bout between former WEC champ Miguel Torres (40-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC) and fast-rising Michael McDonald (14-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC).
The latest UFC 145 card now includes:
Michael McDonald vs. Miguel Torres
Maximo Blanco vs. Marcus Brimage
Mark Hominick vs. Eddie Yagin
Rory MacDonald vs. Che Mills
Ben Rothwell vs. Brendan Schaub
Mark Bocek vs. Matt Wiman
Travis Browne vs. Chad Griggs
John Makdessi vs. Anthony Njokuani
Mac Danzig vs. Efrain Escudero
Chris Clements vs. Keith Wisniewski
Win or lose, UFC on FX 1's Jorge Rivera set to retire
Jorge Rivera (19-9 MMA, 7-7 UFC) has decided to call it a career after his fight with Eric Schafer (12-6-2 MMA, 3-5 UFC) tonight on UFC on FX 1.
The veteran announced the news today on MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio).
Rivera has often flirted with the idea but made up his mind recently.
"I've thought about this for a long time," Rivera said. "If I would have won my last fight, I would have walked away. But that's not how it worked out, and I just told myself I would leave no matter what happens.
"It's time to go. I'm starting to feel like that old man in the club trying to pick up chicks. It gets a little creepy after a while."
Sonnen: I don't think Silva will fight again
Chael Sonnen believes a much-anticipated rematch against Anderson Silva will never happen.
In fact, he doesn’t think Silva -- the current UFC middleweight champion -- will fight again. Period.
During a pre-fight conference call Friday ahead of his meeting with Michael Bisping at the UFC on FOX 2 show on Jan. 28 in Chicago, Sonnen said he was done with the man he referred to as "cowardly."
"I guarantee you Anderson Silva and my paths will never cross in the cage again," Sonnen said. "I don’t think he will fight anybody.
"That’s my personal opinion. But it’s a fact that (he) turned down a fight with me four times."
Sonnen added that Silva even turned down the offer when it was presented to him in person by (UFC chairman) Lorenzo Fertitta.
to us Canadians: Full UFC event to air Friday on Sportsnet ONE!!! (fighter interviews as well)
"I am ready for this fight with (Jim) Miller. He’s a top guy, maybe the No. 3 or No. 4 in the division, and if I perform like I can do, I think it will be hard for people to say that I didn’t deserve a UFC title shot. I won’t be reckless, but you will see what I can do on FX Friday night. You will see the Young Assassin!”
“What happened (to me) last time (first-round loss against Joe Lauzon) was a mistake. I rushed in so hard and fast I was stunned with a jab and from there I lost the fight. It was kinda dumb, but I am young enough to learn as long as realize the mistake."
“I’m only 28, but the thing about me is I always think I need to make things happen right now. I’ve only lost one fight in eight, but I made mistakes in that loss to Ben Henderson and I made mistakes in the wins before that, and I am in a hurry to correct those ... Some people say I am more consistent than Melvin in the Octagon, but Melvin is very dangerous on the feet and with someone like that, one mistake is all it takes. I will watch out for his power, but I will be taking this fight to him right from get-go."
"He doesn’t like fighting when you crowd him, but he’s a very quick puncher and will always be very dangerous on the counter. He’s a top lightweight with a lot of weapons, but I think I can beat him go on to challenge for the belt in 2012."
Ludwig, Neer, Barry, Morecraft interviews found in link
Mark Hominick vs. Eddie Yagin moves to Atlanta along with UFC 145
So Mark Hominick won't be on Canadian soil for his next fight.
With UFC 145 now set to take place April 21 at Atlanta's Philips Arena, the onetime featherweight challenger's bout with Eddie Yagin has been booked for the event, officials announced today.
Hominick and Yagin were originally slated to fight on March 24 at Bell Centre in Montreal, where Hominick had twice fought under the UFC banner to disappointing results.
Andrew Craig replaces Jared Hamman, meets Kyle Noke at UFC on FX 2
Legacy Fighting Championships middleweight titleholder Andrew Craig has replaced injured Jared Hamman and now meets fellow middleweight Kyle Noke at March's UFC on FX 2 event.
UFC officials today announced the switch. Legacy officials confirmed with MMAjunkie.com that Craig is headed to the big show.
UFC on FX 2 takes place March 3 at Sydney's Allphones Arena
UFC makes ruling on Erick Silva's UFC 142 disqualification: The loss stands
Erick Silva's controversial disqualification loss to fellow Brazilian welterweight Carlo Prater at UFC 142 won't be overturned.
UFC Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner today issued a statement regarding the fight.
In it, he stated the referee's verbal warning and his determination that the blows were intentional leave him unable to overturn the decision.
UFC targeting 'TUF: Australia vs. U.K.' for 2012, eyes Brisbane for finale
While Brazil has been awarded the first-ever international edition of "The Ultimate Fighter," Australia may not be far behind.
At a Thursday press gathering Down Under, UFC managing director of international development Marshall Zelaznik said the company is "close" to securing a deal for "TUF: Australia vs. U.K."
If signed, the series would likely film in Australia later this year, and Brisbane's Brisbane Entertainment Center has been earmarked to host the finale.
"We are close to getting 'TUF: Australia vs. U.K.' done, and if we can close that, we will look to hold the finale in Brisbane," Zelznik today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Current plans for "TUF: Australia vs. U.K." call for the series to be filmed and aired via tape delay in similar fashion to the U.S. version of "TUF" during its 15 seasons on Spike TV. Zelaznik did not reveal if the company has discussed potential coaches or when the series would likely tape/air.
Michael Bisping: Criticism of UFC Fighter Pay Makes Me Mad
"To be honest, it makes me mad, because people don't understand," said Bisping. "I've worked hard, and I get [the amount stipulated in the contract], but when Dana comes into the locker room and gives me a check afterwards, they don't have to do that. Far from it. I was already very happy with the money I was getting, but then they'll hand you another check on top of that and say, 'Well done...good job,' and there'll be another huge check inside the envelope."
"When I was an up-and-coming fighter I used to fight in these sh---y little shows and make no money," he said. "I used to sleep in my car. I couldn't pay my bills. I had to work on the weekends. So if I had to go out now [as an incoming UFC fighter] and I had to win a few fights, make six [thousand dollars to show] and six [thousand dollars to win], that's $12,000, plus maybe two or three thousand more in sponsors, and fight three or four times a way, that's not bad money. I'd be able to pay my bills and train full-time."
"If you win, and you start getting some notoriety with the fans and put on a good show, your pay's going to quickly go up. You start at six and six because the UFC is running a business. It's not, 'Oh, this guy's good enough to be in the UFC? Let's pay him a quarter of a million dollars.' It's not like that. They'll pay you a decent amount just for showing up, and even that's a big jump up from the regional show that you're used to. If you do well, they'll take care of you. They'll probably give you a bonus backstage and you'll quickly be in a new contract with a significant pay raise. If you put on good shows, you'll find success."
"From my initial involvement with the UFC on, the UFC has done nothing but take great care of me and my family," said Bisping. "They've always gone above and beyond the call of duty. They really have. With bonuses, with care, if I ever have injuries they give me access to the best doctors and then pay for everything. Myself and my family, we're living a great lifestyle. ...I'm making more money in one fight than I could have in 20 years of my old job. So you'll never hear a bad word come out of my mouth about the UFC's pay structure.
UFC Can't Host Event In Melbourne Due To Octagon
The UFC's plans to take the show back to Australia for an event in Melbourne look like they've come to an end. It appears that in the state of Victoria, it's illegal to hold MMA events in a cage rather than a ring.
Via the Sydney Morning Herald:
And while the UFC would like nothing better than to book a date for a Melbourne event, it is unable to while the government refuses to allow MMA bouts to be held in cages.
In the UFC, bouts are held inside the "Octagon" - an eight-side cage. In Victoria, MMA bouts can be sanctioned if held in a boxing ring, but are not allowed to take place in a cage.
Speaking in Melbourne yesterday during a promotional tour for the Sydney event, the UFC's Managing Director of International Development Marshall Zelaznik questioned whether the Victorian Government was more concerned about negative perceptions surrounding "cage fighting" than it was about the safety of the fighters themselves.
"The government has authorised that mixed martial arts can take place [in a ring] - the issue seems to be the Octagon," Mr Zelaznik said.
"The ropes [of a boxing ring] don't protect the fighters enough ... what you always have happen is a fighter will slip through the ropes - hopefully they don't fall - but we have video that we've submitted to the government about how unsafe it is when fighters are actually falling through these ropes and are hurting themselves.
Demian Maia Didn't Want To Fight Palhares Due To Lack Of Brazilian Middleweights
When Mark Munoz got injured it forced Michael Bisping into a match with Chael Sonnen and left Demian Maia without an opponent for the UFC on Fox 2 card. The immediate demand from fans was for the UFC to move Rousimar Palhares (who scored a quick win at UFC 142) into a fight with Maia. It turns out that Palhares turned down the short-notice no-rest fight (at least according to Dana White on Twitter) and the promotion settled on giving the fight to Chris Weidman.
For his part, Maia says that he didn't want to fight Palhares. Not because he was afraid, but because he thinks that Brazilian middleweights shouldn't face each other. Via SporTV (translated by Tom Mendes):
"It was rumored (a fight with Palhares), but I thought there would not be any possibilities (of it happening), because he just fought, it doesn't make sense for him to throw himself into another fight right now. "Toquinho" trained a few months for this fight. Just because it was fast doesn't mean there were no wear and tears. But I don't even think about that. To be honest, the Brazilian fans should be more worried about seeing us fighting foreigners. There are (only) a few Brazilian fighters in the division and I think that, aside of the title, since it's Anderson who is the champion, the Brazilians should not face each other."
Fear and Hope - One Tough Kid
There was always that reflexive twinge, the slight moment’s pause just before he turned the key in the ignition. Dan Miller could not pull out of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia without some pangs of guilt coursing through him. Sitting there alone in his car, he wondered aloud if taking the 120-minute trek up the New Jersey Turnpike to train was worth it. The same questions repeatedly stabbed at him: “Am I doing the right thing? Should I leave her alone? Should I leave him alone?”
Miller always found himself somewhere else during that time, never in the moment, never thinking of himself; whether it was alone in the car staring at the radio grill or bouncing his way toward the Octagon. His mind invariably wandered somewhere else, back to his son, back to little Danny and how he was doing.
Those terrible days were punctuated by constant uncertainty, as Miller tried convincing himself something better had to come; it was bound to come. However, the alone times were the most painful for him, the nadir of what is gradually turning into -- hopefully -- a remarkable, inspiring, uplifting situation.
Miller has experienced a tragedy no parent ever wants to endure: losing his day-old daughter, Alexis. A year after her passing, Miller found himself clutching strength again he never knew he had, when his son, Danny Jr., became gravely sick in March 2010 while battling Polycystic Kidney Disease, a life-threatening disorder which enlarges the kidneys and affects an estimated 12.5 million people worldwide. Miller was not about to bend, not to PKD or the physical demands of his job as a mixed martial artist.
It did not matter that he had fights coming up against Michael Bisping, Demian Maia or Chael Sonnen. Miller was not about to make excuses or let on about what he was going through. It did not matter that he was a late substitute to fight former middleweight King of Pancrase Nate Marquardt at UFC 128. He lost all four fights, yet you never heard a peep from Miller or his team. There was no way you would, no way he would even consider taking some time off, not when there were fights to be had and the constant pressure of paying for little Danny’s exorbitant medical costs looming over him, screaming at him.
Forget Instant Replay
Using video or instant replay to decide a critical element of a mixed martial arts fight is an interesting idea, but it’s not necessary. Let the referees make their decisions, rightly or wrongly, and live with it.
UFC president Dana White indicated following UFC 142 that video replay would be considered in the wake of the controversial decision made by referee Mario Yamasaki to disqualify Erick Silva following his apparent victory over Carlo Prater for illegal strikes to the back of the head.
Yamasaki, a veteran referee, made the decision on the spur of the moment, and afterward he was criticized by announcer Joe Rogan. White also tweeted that he thought Yamasaki made the wrong call and later paid Silva his win bonus.
Effectively, Yamasaki has been thrown under the bus for what he believed to be the right call.
If you use video replay, based on how it’s implemented in other sports, a call can only be overturned based on conclusive evidence. And it’s the referee who normally overturns it, although some sports go to a command central, which is an independent board that makes the final ruling.
In this case, a video replay would have to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Silva did not, in fact, hit Prater in the back of the head and thus overturn his disqualification. It appeared that Silva hit Prater at least once and possibly two or three times -- even Rogan, an educated and respected analyst in MMA, could not say for sure. So, based on that result, would the evidence have been conclusive enough to overturn Yamasaki’s decision? No.
Chael Sonnen Is A Huge Early Favorite Over Michael Bisping, Weidman Favored Over Maia
Yesterday was a busy day in the world of MMA, and one of the major stories was the UFC on Fox 2 card getting re-shuffled when Mark Munoz was forced out of his bout with Chael Sonnen. Sonnen now faces Michael Bisping, and Demian Maia will now face undefeated prospect Chris Weidman on the main card. Not long after the changes were made, the betting lines came out for the new matchups and the Sonnen/Bisping like is pretty crazy at first glance (line via Bodog.ca):
The third fight on the main card will feature prospect Chris Weidman taking Demian Maia, and while many are stating that it's too early for Weidman to take such a tough bout, the guys who set the lines (Bodog in this case) feel a bit differently:
Source: Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio Silva not happening
A heavily rumored matchup between former UFC heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez (9-1 MMA, 7-0 UFC) and Antonio Silva (16-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is not happening, a source today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The bout was reportedly targeted for April, when the UFC is scheduled to return to Atlanta for UFC 146.
While Silva is still targeted to make his octagon debut on that month, his opponent is undetermined.
With fighter pay in spotlight, UFC vets shed light on life in octagon's middle-class
For three of the UFC's rank and file, the bottom line rarely ends at "show" and "win."
Sponsorships, performance bonuses, and discretionary bonuses help to line the pockets of George Roop, Jacob Volkmann and Nam Phan.
They are not millionaires. But despite a wide disparity in pay with their headliner counterparts, figures disclosed by the fighters painted an upper-middle-class living.
Pay-per-view dollars are, for now, a faraway dream that Roop, Volkmann and Phan hope to realize. They have won and lost and are no strangers to the preliminary card. They draw hardcore interest but are known by a casual few.
Featherweight Roop, a veteran of "The Ultimate Fighter 8," has fought nine times in the now-defunct WEC and UFC and carries a record of 3-5-1 under the Zuffa-owned promotions. Lightweight Volkmann signed with the promotion in 2009 and has fought seven times in the UFC, where he's amassed a 5-2 record including five consecutive wins inside the octagon. Phan, a veteran of "The Ultimate Fighter 12," has fought four times in the UFC as a featherweight and carries a 1-3 record.
Thirty-nine millionaires have been created by the promotion, according to UFC executive Lorenzo Fertitta, who defended his company's pay structure in a controversial segment aired on Sunday for ESPN's "Outside the Lines." Responding to charges that top stars are compensated handsomely while lower-tier fighters risk life and limb for as low as $6,000 a fight, he said the company shares around 50 percent of its revenue with athletes under contract.
Roop, Volkmann and Phan's guaranteed pay leans toward the lower end of what fighters make in the promotion.
But they're not struggling...