UFC 144: Leonard Garcia vs. Tiequan Zhang, Norifumi Yamamoto vs. Vaughan Lee Added
The UFC has finalized the card for its February return to Japan at the Saitama Super Arena with the addition of two more bouts to the UFC 144 lineup. Bantamweights, Norifumi Yamamoto and Vaughan Lee, will square off, as will Leonard Garcia and Zhang Tiequan in featherweight action. The UFC confirmed both bookings late Sunday night:
"Kid" Yamamoto will go to battle against British bantamweight Vaughan Lee, fighting for the first time in almost two years in his home country. Plus, China's Tiequan Zhang and the always-game Leonard Garcia have agreed to meet inside the Octagon on that date.
Edgar to defend the title in Japan
THE CANADIAN PRESS
TORONTO -- The UFC has confirmed its return to Japan with Frankie (The Answer) Edgar defending his lightweight title against former WEC title-holder Ben Henderson at UFC Japan -- or UFC 144 -- on Feb. 26 at Saitama, Japan.
The show is the first for the UFC in Asia since Zuffa Inc. bought the mixed martial arts organization in 2001.
Also on the main card at Saitama Super Arena in suburban Tokyo, former light-heavyweight champion Quinton (Rampage) Jackson faces Ryan (Darth) Bader, heavyweight Mark Hunt takes on Cheick Kongo, Japanese welterweight Yoshihiro Akiyama tackles Jake Shields and lightweight Anthony (Showtime) Pettis fights Joe Lauzon.
Rick Story tells his side of training session beatdown accusations made by Mike Pierce
"What Mike Pierce said about me hitting Abel when he was on a knee saying stop is BULL SHIT. Abel wasn't some random person off the street either. At the time he was 1-1 as a professional and had been training with us for 3 months. He was a 4 time All-American for William Penn college in Iowa and actually beat me at nationals my first match my junior year at Southern Oregon University. What Mike also decided to forget to say is how many times Abel had tapped him that week in training (I think 2 by guillotine). What Mike also forgot to admit was how well Abel did in sparring against Brad Blackburn (at the time current UFC welterweight). Abel was new to our team but not new to the sport and not a poor defenseless kid. Abel did have Vertigo and had taken time off. Pat would not let him spar without a doctor's note saying he was cleared. I had talked with Abel before the session and asked him how his Vertigo was doing, he said he was cleared but to be safe I told him I would only throw body shots. We do spar hard at BRAVE LEGION but not stupid. I would never hit anyone that was telling me stop. Pat would never encourage the continuance of hitting someone that says stop. Anyone that has half a brain would realize this wouldn't be something that could be kept secret for very long. How come this sounds like an isolated incident? Probably because it's a lie. Anyone that knows me would agree that I am not that kind of a person. Mike and Pat were never friends, Mike had been kicked off our team before because he wasn't a team player and it was just a fact their personalities clashed. The only reason we let Mike back on the team is because I told Pat I wanted him as a practice partner. Pat is an awesome coach a great friend and only has our team's best interest in mind. I listen to Pats coaching and don't think listening to my coach is a bad thing. I am a college graduate, spent 8 years in the National Guard and was a Platoon Leader for almost two years. I make my own decisions but work as a teammate with my coach and business partner Pat White bottom line, and because Mike is not a team player he probably wouldn't understand this concept. Mike is obviously trying to maliciously affect our gym and my career by telling lies about Pat and Myself. He seems like a crazy ex-girlfriend that tries to make their ex-boyfriends life miserable. I don't intend on having an Internet battle just giving my side to everyone. I have read the forums and I am seriously amazed at some of the things people say only hearing one side."
- Rick Story
UFC 144: Takanori Gomi vs George Sotiropoulos announced for Feb. 26 in Japan
"The Fireball Kid" is headed back home.
That's because Takanori Gomi has been booked to get busy against jiu-jitsu ace George Sotiropoulos at UFC 144 on Feb. 26, 2012, from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
The promotion brought word of the pending match-up a short time ago.
Both fighters are looking to rebound from recent losses, particularly Gomi, who has been submitted in both of his last two outings against Clay Guida and Nate Diaz, respectively.
In fact, the Japanese import is just 1-3 inside the Octagon, which means it's time to live up to the hype or he may not be making the trip back to the U.S. early next year.
Mole-hem: Jason Miller says the Michael Bisping camp is feeding him secrets
They say what goes around, comes around (no word on who "they" are yet).
Jason Miller, and later his opponent, Michael Bisping, are learning that very fact right now. That's because "Mayhem" says he must have some good karma thanks to John Dodson's rampant insubordination during The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 14 this year.
Dodson, you see, was selling secrets to the other side, popping off at the mouth to Team Bisping about what Team Miller was doing in training.
Now, it seems, the tables have turned.
That's according to Miller, who writes in his blog that he's got buddies feeding him information on his upcoming opponent at the TUF 14 Finale on Dec. 3 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In ironic twist news- I'm totally getting reimbursed for John Dodson's insubordination. I'm not even asking about Michael's training, but for some reason all the friends that I've had for years that are working with him seem to be inclined to tell me about his camp and what he's doing. I don't want or need this info, I'm going to beat him regardless, just found it interesting. Pretty karmic.
Josh Koscheck rooting for Nick Diaz to best Georges St. Pierre, eyes future title fight with Diaz
"To be honest with you, I like the Diaz kid. I think that he brings something similar to what I bring to the table: he's not afraid to say what's on his mind. Realistically, I think GSP is a strategist and GSP is probably gonna come in with a good game plan, that's where he can play it safe and get the victory. But, I'd love to see Diaz win because when I beat Carlos Condit February 4, then that means me and Diaz for a title shot, and then that means it's a big fight because he talks really good, and I believe I can talk up a fight really good."
UFC vet Dan Miller's son facing life-threatening surgery; family asks for help
The fight of Daniel Miller Jr. is not yet over.
The one-year-old son of UFC middleweight Dan Miller needs a kidney transplant as the result of a genetic kidney disorder known as polycystic kidney disease, or PKD, and a foundation has been formed in his name to raise money for medical bills in the neighborhood of $100,000.
Miller's team, AMA Fight Club, is holding an MMA seminar at the gym on Dec. 3, the proceeds of which will benefit the foundation. An auction is also being planned for the end of the year.
A Paypal account recently set up for the foundation has drawn overwhelming support since it was announced this week, according to AMA Fight Club trainer Mike Constantino.
"We've gotten donations as little as a $1.50 all the way up to a donation for $20,000," he told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "So people are really, really stepping up. It's amazing."
Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson vs. Ryan Bader Set for UFC 144 in Japan
I guess Quinton "Rampage" Jackson's tweet about not fighting in Japan was a little premature. It turns out the former Pride star will indeed be headed back to the Saitama Super Arena one more time, and he will face Ryan Bader at UFC 144. Brett Okamoto of ESPN has the confirmation:
The UFC has granted Quinton Jackson's request to fight in Japan in February.
The former light heavyweight champion will meet Ryan Bader at UFC 144. UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta confirmed the matchup to ESPN.com
Edson Barboza Talks Terry Etim, Possible Drop to Featherweight
Lightweight Edson Barboza has looked very good in his three UFC fights so far, and he's scheduled to face Terry Etim at UFC 142 in Brazil. But despite the success at 155, it seems that Edson might be considering a drop to 145. He discussed it with Sherdog:
"I don’t have any trouble making 155 pounds," he revealed. "I’ve already competed many times at 145 pounds as a muay Thai fighter. I’ve already told my manager, Alex Davis, that I feel great at lightweight, but that a weight drop is a real possibility. Who knows? In the future, if I get a good opportunity, I believe I could do good work at featherweight, too.
Steve Cantwell vs. Riki Fukuda targeted for UFC 144
It may be last chance time for two light-heavyweights on the ropes.
Sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that a bout pitting Steve Cantwell (7-5 MMA, 1-4 UFC) against Riki Fukuda (17-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC) is targeted for UFC 144. MMAWeekly.com initially reported the matchup.
UFC 144 is set for Feb. 26 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. Broadcast plans for the event have yet to be announced.
Cantwell desperately needs a win in the octagon since a successful crossover from the now-defunct WEC to the UFC. He submitted Razak Al-Hassan in gruesome fashion at "UFC Fight Night 16: UFC Fights for the Troops" only to drop four consecutive bouts against the likes of Luiz Cane, Brian Stann, Cyrille Diabate, and most recently, Mike Massenzio.
Thiago Alves vs. Martin Kampmann in the works for UFC event in March
A key welterweight matchup is in the works between Thiago Alves (19-8 MMA, 11-5 UFC) and Martin Kampmann (18-5 MMA, 9-4 UFC).
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has confirmed with sources close to the fighters that at least one of the fighters has agreed matchup, which is expected to take place at an as-yet-unannounced March 3 event.
The matchup was first reported by MMAWeekly.com.
"It was the fight I asked for, and I know UFC fans will love it," Alves told Tatame."He has just defeated Rick Story, who had beat me before, so it's a good fight for me."
"I haven't talked with UFC yet, and I don't have a date or opponent," Kampmann stated on his Twitter account. "Alves is a possibility, but so [are] a lot guys. I will let you know!"
Jon Fitch plans on giving his fans another 30 fights in the UFC (Video)
"I go out there and I bust my ass and I win fights in a professional sport. If it wasn't about winning they wouldn't pay us more for winning. I'm just doing what I do best, I win fights. I have a big fan base, maybe developing slower than people who get a lot of first round knockouts, but my career is gonna go for a long time, I'm gonna be putting in a lot more fights. I've had 15 fights in the UFC and I plan on putting in another 30. I plan on being here a long time, my fans love what I do, they give me a lot of support and I fight for my fans."
Report: UFC Signs Reza Madadi, Debut Against Rafaello Oliveira
According to a report from Swedish-based MMA website MMAnytt.se, the #6-ranked lightweight on the World MMA Scouting Report, Reza Madadi (11-2), has signed with the UFC. The 31-year-old Swedish-Iranian wrestler will debut on the inaugural UFC on FX card on January 20 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee against five-fight UFC veteran Rafaello Oliveira (14-5).
'Mad Dog' has been on an impressive run as of late, snagging the Superior Challenge lightweight crown in April when he defeated former UFC fighter Rich Clementi by decision. He previously waxed WEC veteran Carlo Prater at Superior Challenge 6 last October, and he submitted The Ultimate Fighter season 8 bad boy Junie Browning at Superior Challenge 5 last May, running his winning streak to six before the UFC knocked on the door.
Mayhem Miller on Bisping: “Dan Henderson took his soul, I’m going to take the rest”(video)
TUF 14 coach Jason “Mayhem” Miller is preparing to return to the UFC Octagon for the first time in over 6 years when he faces opposing Ultimate Fighter coach Michael Bisping at the TUF 14 Finale on Dec. 3 in Las Vegas.
After abusing reporter Aaron Tru, Mayhem talks about, among other things, the joy of watching Bisping fall off the air hockey table during the “coaches challenge” and how it helped relieve the pain of losing $10,000 to him just moments earlier.
Mayhem, although known more for his high-level grappling than his striking, makes the prediction that Bisping will be the one who will end up shooting in for a takedown first. He also predicts the fight will not make it out of the first round and he will either knock Bisping out or submit him within the first five minutes of the bout.
Rafael Cordiero: 'Shogun' Rua needs to train harder if he wants to get back to the top
Mauricio Rua's long time friend and former head trainer, Rafael Cordiero, has been speaking about his former students performance this past weekend (Nov. 19) at the UFC 139: "Shogun vs. Henderson" event in San Jose, California.
Fans were treated to what many are calling the best fight in UFC history, as Rua and Dan Henderson put on a show for the ages in a back and forth brawl that left both men battered and bruised. "Hendo" and "Shogun" traded punches and knockdowns for 25 minutes, which eventually resulted in the American walking away with a somewhat controversial unanimous decision victory.
Everyone from fans, media and even UFC President Dana White were left in awe of the efforts that both combatants put forth in their epic battle.
Apparently, Cordiero was not as impressed as the rest of us.
UFC Quick Quote: Jon Jones expecting to fight the best Lyoto Machida ever
"We're going to have to watch Machida's speed, and his distancing is key. He's also a very creative fighter. He's very quick on the in and out. He's going to try to get past Jon's length, I'm sure, with his jumping in and jumping out style and moving side to side. We have to be extremely careful with that. He does have one-punch power, so we need to be careful of his power. He'll be very motivated because once somebody supposedly has that stature that Jon has now of this invincible machine, everybody trains really, really hard -- partly out of fear, partly out of ambition -- to take you down. I fully expect us to fight the best Machida that has ever fought, and hopefully we'll be able to get around that and those problems."
Junior dos Santos thinks Velasquez may have had knowledge of his pre-fight injury:
Yes, (I did) have an injury in my left knee 10 days before the fight. We knew his strategy would be to take me down. I don’t know if he had knowledge of my injury but in a minute and four seconds he kicked me in the knee seven times, so he probably knew (about the injury), so much so that he accepted the fight standing, something I think he wouldn’t do otherwise because it wouldn’t be smart for him to do that