UFC 137's Donald Cerrone: After 'one-trick pony,' I want Nam Phan at 145 pounds
LAS VEGAS – UFC lightweight contender Donald Cerrone (16-3 MMA, 3-0 UFC) currently has his hands full with German striker Dennis Siver (19-7 MMA, 8-4 UFC), but that doesn't mean "Cowboy" isn't already planning out his next move.
He's giving up Milk Duds and Hot Tamales.
Cerrone said after his bout with Siver at this weekend's UFC 137 event in Las Vegas, he's making a drop down to 145 pounds for one specific reason: to silence Nam Phan.
"I'm about to go to 145 (pounds) after this fight," Cerrone today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I'm going to go after Nam Phan. He's talking [expletive], and now I'm pissed off."
Cesar Gracie Says Gilbert Melendez is UFC-Bound After December Strikeforce Fight
Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez has recently been the subject of much speculation regarding how much longer he would remain with that organization. UFC president Dana White recently said that he wanted to bring him over to the UFC, but he was still booked in a title defense against Jorge Masvidal at a Strikeforce event on December 17th in San Diego. Gil's coach Cesar Gracie made it clear to Tatame that he's going to the UFC after that fight though:
"Absolutely it’ll be his last fight (in Strikeforce)", assures the coach, who didn’t have any doubts about Melendez’s situation on the lightweight division of Ultimate, which title holder is Frankie Edgar. "I believe Melendez is the best of the world in this division".
Brendan Schaub and Fabricio Werdum Eye Potential Matchup
It started off with a simple statement from Brendan Schaub, and has blossomed into something more. It's well known that Fabricio Werdum is looking to return to the UFC and he's apparently willing to grasp at any olive branch that might lead him there, no matter how small. After Schaub said Werdum would be an interesting opponent in an interview last week, Werdum responded on twitter today with a challenge:
@BrendanSchaub I'm ready for you, anytime, anywhere! @SpiderAnderson @kings_mma @wandfc @graciemag_br @TATAMEMAGAZINE @marco_goncalves
Oct 25 via Twitter for iPhoneFavoriteRetweetReply
The fact that he included 67 other people in the tweet is a major indication that he's looking for some validation here.
UFC 137 headliner B.J. Penn fueled by haters and those who would hold him down
Former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion B.J. Penn is too old for this you-know-what.
He's still a proud man and a fighter. But he's a father of two now, and has children to keep in check the flare-ups of emotion that would have landed him in hot water three years ago. He can't go flying off at the handle at any slight. He is measured because he is responsible.
In short, he's an adult. At 32, he ought to be.
Few of the haters that seem to follow him everywhere have undergone such transformation. Even after all these years, they still dole out criticism that attacks his motivation, his skills, his background. And it's those nice people that give him the motivation to do his best in the gym.
Jared Hamman vs. Constantinos Philippou added to UFC 140 in Toronto
A middleweight contest between Jared Hamman (13-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC) and Constantinos Philippou (8-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) is now official for the UFC's return to Canada.
UFC officials today announced the matchup as the "final" contest on the now 12-bout UFC 140 card.
Featuring a light heavyweight title fight between current champ Jon Jones and former titleholder Lyoto Machida, "UFC 140: Jones vs. Machida" takes place Dec. 10 at Toronto's Air Canada Centre.
The positioning of Hamman vs. Philippo bout on the evening's lineup was not confirmed, but it will likely take place on the evening's preliminary card.
12th and final bout. Very solid card. Can't wait to go.
UFC middleweight contender Alan Belcher earns Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt
While UFC middleweight contender Alan Belcher generally enters the cage sporting a pair of Muay Thai trunks, he's also registered four submission wins in the octagon.
And now, he's a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt.
Belcher, who began training in the grappling art at just 14 years old, was recently granted the rank of black belt by his longtime instructor, Helio Soneca.
Josh Grispi Sidelined By Family Circumstances
UFC featherweight Josh Grispi hasn't had the best 2011 in the cage so far, but he's dealing with a lot more outside of it. After going 0-2 earlier in the year, he was scheduled to face Matt Grice at UFC 136 but withdrew from the fight. According to a Boston Herald article, it wasn't an injury that forced him out. There was a lot more to it than that:
On Aug.?12, Grispi's first child Josh Jr. was born. Two days later, Josh's father, Richard, was rushed to Tufts Medical Center for emergency surgery to remove a brain tumor the size of a hockey puck. Suffice to say, the two events didn't leave Josh much time to focus on fighting.
Firas Zahabi: 'I'd Want Georges St. Pierre to Move Down to 155'
Tri-Star trainer Firas Zahabi was a guest on Beatdown radio with T.J. De Santis and Jon Luther of Sherdog yesterday, and had some very interesting things regarding his star pupil Georges St. Pierre changing weight classes. They started off asking Firas about what would be required for GSP to move to middleweight, and he threw them for a loop with his answer. He said that he actually recommends that St. Pierre should move down to 155, not up to 185 (starts around the 88 minute mark):
"Well to be honest with you, I have recommended to Georges, you know...the only reason I don't recommend it now is because Frankie Edgar is the champion, but I'd want him to move down to 155 if Frankie was not the champion. Obviously we're part of the Renzo Gracie team and we'd never fight Frankie Edgar, because obviously we're all Renzo Gracie fighters. But if it wasn't the case, you know, I'd rather him go down to 155 because Georges is not a very big welterweight. People might think he is, he's actually not very big. And him making 170 is extremely easy for him.
MMAPlayground Interview Series - Vol. 11 (Pablo "The Scarecrow" Garza)
As with any successful professional, mixed martial artists eat, sleep and breathe their craft. They put everything on the line when they wake up, hit the gym and pour their blood, sweat and tears into the sport we all love. When they enter that cage, for the fan, it's all about the entertainment, but these athletes go through the daily rigors with more in mind. For some fighters, it's a paycheck. For others, it's the glitz and glamour, but for some it's a lifestyle fueled by a deep passion and connection to the sport of mixed martial arts.
In our newest site feature, MMAPlayground would like to introduce you to some of these men and women of MMA that you may not know much about.
Our mission? To introduce. To educate. To spread the word.
Pablo “The Scarecrow” Garza is a WEC and UFC veteran who has fought in both the lightweight and featherweight divisions. He was the first featherweight, along with Fredson Paixao, to compete under the UFC banner. He is also the first fighter in UFC history to pull off a flying triangle submission. He’s a versatile fighter, a humble man, and a closet nerd.
Garza is scheduled to take on fellow UFC featherweight Dustin Poirier on November 12 on UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos.
* * * * *
MMAPG: Pablo, thanks so much for taking time to answer some questions. You’re scheduled to take on fellow featherweight Dustin Poirier at UFC on Fox 1. How are you feeling right now? How’s your training going?
GARZA: My training is going good and I’m feeling great!
MMAPG: You’re coming off two of the most spectacular finishes in the UFC in the past year. You’ve received submission of the night and knockout of the night in back-to-back fights. Which one did you find to be more rewarding?
GARZA: I think the flying triangle was more rewarding. Some people thought that I just got lucky in landing a flying knee against Paixao. A lot of people questioned whether I belonged in the UFC at all. So after I landed the flying triangle in UFC129, I felt like people finally saw that I actually hold my own in the UFC.
Jacob Volkmann vs. T.J. Grant booked for UFC 141 in Las Vegas
Looking for his fifth straight UFC victory, lightweight Jacob Volkmann will meet T.J. Grant later this year at UFC 141.
UFC officials today announced the bout.
UFC 141 takes place Dec. 30 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The event, which takes place on a Friday to avoid Sin City's usual New Year's Eve congestion, features a pay-per-view main card.
Winklejohn: GSP's injury maybe a 'blessing in disguise' for Condit
Carlos Condit was disappointed last week when Georges St. Pierre had to pull out of their UFC 137 welterweight title fight due to a knee injury, but the bout’s postponement could benefit him, according to trainer Mike Winkeljohn.
“Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise,” Winkeljohn told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “We had a game plan. We felt real good with it, but Chris Luttrell and I were talking about some things we’d like to see Carlos do, but we figured it was too late to even try to implement those things because the fight’s coming up and you can only fill your fighter’s head with so much information. In a way, now we can come up with a couple of more things to put us in a couple of better positions for this fight.”
Nelson: I've been working out in cemetery
Ask Roy Nelson how he's been preparing for his fight against Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic at UFC 137, and you'll find that "Big Country's" sense of humor is still very much intact after two straight losses.
"I've just been working out in the cemetery a lot," he told MMA Fighting recently. "I've got to get ready for the left kick. I want to see what it's like."
Sanchez expects early 2012 return
“Diego’s hand, I want to say, is about 75 to 80-percent healed up. He’s lifting weights on it, he’s taking really good care of it, he’s rehabbing it hard. He’s really trying to get back as soon as possible,” Kawa told MMAWeekly Radio.
“I estimate him coming back either the first part of February or the later part of February.”
Like any injury, Kawa wants to make sure that Sanchez is back to full health before booking him in any fights, but there appear to be plenty of opportunities awaiting “The Dream” when he’s ready to come back.
UFC to Show Four Live 3D Pay-Per-Views in Theaters in 2012
The UFC has tried to keep pace with technology when it comes to broadcasting their events. Whether it was offering HD broadcasts of their pay-per-views or using social networking sites to offer undercard fights, it's hard to fault them for the commitment to offering what fans want. They've apparently taken this to the next level starting with their annual Super Bowl weekend card next February, where they will offer a live 3D airing of the pay-per-view in select theaters across the United States.
Kenny Florian vows to keep fighting, will return to lightweight in six months
"I still love this sport tremendously and still want to be a part of it. I know myself and it's not even just being competitive, but it's just being there learning and competing. There's still very much a fire burning there so I'm going to do it.... I didn't get in this to be second-best, of course. But at the same time, not everybody can be a champion. I'm just going to go back to 155, work my way up, take it one fight at a time and see where it puts me. I think there's exciting fights out there for me, there's still challenges out there for me, there's still things I'd like to try to improve on and that's the main thing. I don't necessarily have the title in my eyes, but I do have my own personal goals as far as the technical level that I want to get to."
- Kenny Florian
Terry Etim vs. Edward Faaloloto completes five-bout UFC 138 main card
A lightweight contest of Terry Etim (14-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) vs. Edward Faaloloto (2-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) has been officially announced as the fifth and final contest of next month's Spike TV-broadcast UFC 138 main card.
The bout completes a lineup that already included Chris Leben (26-7 MMA, 12-6 UFC) vs. Mark Munoz (11-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC), Brad Pickett (20-5 MMA, 0-0 UFC) vs. Renan Barao (26-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC), Thiago Alves (18-8 MMA, 10-5 UFC) vs. Papy Abedi (8-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) and Anthony Njokuani (14-5 MMA, 1-1 UFC) vs. Paul Taylor (11-6-1 MMA, 4-5 UFC).
The night's complete, 11-bout lineup now includes:
MAIN CARD (Spike TV)
Chris Leben vs. Mark Munoz
Renan Barao vs. Brad Pickett
Papy Abedi vs. Thiago Alves
Terry Etim vs. Edward Faaloloto
Anthony Njokuani vs. Paul Taylor
Cyrille Diabate vs. Anthony Perosh
Justin Edwards vs. John Maguire
Michihiro Omigawa vs. Jason Young
Rob Broughton vs. Philip De Fries
Chris Cope vs. Che Mills
Chris Cariaso vs. Vaughan Lee
UFC's Demetrious Johnson eyes 125-pounds but 'not afraid' of another bantamweight run
Three weeks ago, Demetrious Johnson (9-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) came up short in his bid to claim the UFC's bantamweight title from champion Dominick Cruz (19-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC).
With a little time to rest and reflect on the performance, Johnson believes he has only himself to blame for dropping a unanimous-decision to the bigger Cruz.
But while many MMA pundits believe Johnson is sure to drop to 125 pounds the minute the UFC officially adds the division, the 5-foot-3 "Mighty Mouse" is fine right where he is and isn't afraid to make another run to the top at 135 pounds.
"I still think I have a lot of fights there that are available for me," Johnson recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "The road back to the top doesn't scare me. It's only going to make me get better and evolve my skill and become a more mature martial artist."
Yves Edwards vs. Tony Ferguson added to December's The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale
The "Thugjitsu Master" meets "El Cucuy."
UFC officials today announced that longtime veteran Yves Edwards will face "The Ultimate Fighter 13" winner Tony Ferguson in a lightweight contest at The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale.
Featuring a headliner between "TUF 14" coaches Michael Bisping and Jason "Mayhem" Miller, The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale takes place Dec. 3 at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
Chael Sonnen to Host World MMA Awards, Will Air on Fox Sports and Fuel
Chael Sonnen has done an incredible job at becoming the best talker in MMA. His ability to cut a promo has become legendary and his post fight victory speech after defeating Brian Stann at UFC 136 was talked about for hours afterward by members of the press. It seems the year of Chael is continuing as he got the nod to host the World MMA Awards by Fighters Only Magazine. The World MMA Awards by Fighters Only Magazine are the MMA industry's equivalent of the Academy Awards or Grammy's.
The Fighters Only awards cover everything from Promotion of the Year to Journalist of the Year. There are also categories for apparel and ring card girls. This will be the fourth year the show as been held and will take place at the Pearl Theater at the Palms in Las Vegas. The date is November 30th and the event is open to the public. If you are in the Vegas area, you can pick up tickets on Friday at the Pearl ticket booth.
The news was broken by MMA Weekly earlier today. Sonnen will join Molly Qerim, who hosted last year's show with UFC legend Randy Couture. A change that no doubt has occurred due to the UFC's relationship with Fox, is that the show will air via delay on Fox's regional sports networks as well as Fuel TV. No word on when the show will air, but the schedule is expected to be released in the upcoming weeks.