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.
UFC 137: Roy Nelson Working With Frank Mir to Prepare for Mirko Cro Cop
"This one actually just fell in place. He was a southie, (like) Cro Cop, and me being a good jiu-jitsu guy, like Nogueira, so it was just a perfect fit,"
"There's nothing strange about it. I think everybody in MMA, paths always cross, especially if you've been in this sport as long as we both have."
"My hair has grown out a little longer. My beard is a little longer. So definitely, we're going to see a different Roy Nelson," he said.
Bantamweights Yves Jabouin vs. Walel Watson added to UFC 140 in Toronto
Two bantamweight are looking to make it two in a row in December.
UFC officials today announced a 135-pound matchup pitting Canadian fighter Yves Jabouin (16-7 MMA, 1-1 UFC) against Texas native Walel Watson (9-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) for the preliminary card of UFC 140.
UFC 140 takes place Dec. 10 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Main-card action, including a title fight between light-heavyweight Jon Jones and Lyoto Machida, airs live on pay-per-view. Broadcast plans for the prelims have yet to be announced.
UFC coming to 3D theaters, Super Bowl weekend tapped first show
Fans soon will be able to watch a handful of UFC events in 3D at select movie theaters.
UFC officials today announced the promotion has partnered with digital theatrical distribution company Cinedigm Digital Cinema to bring the 3D UFC events to 120 theaters across the U.S.
The UFC's next Super Bowl weekend show, which takes place Feb. 4, is the first of four annual events that is part of the agreement.
"By partnering with Cinedigm, we're taking the UFC viewing experience to a whole new level," UFC president Dana White stated. "For the first time ever, fight fans can watch a UFC pay-per-view card in 3D at theatres across the country. We want UFC fans to have the best viewing experience possible, and now they get a chance to experience major UFC pay-per-views in 3D."
No details have been announced for the Super Bowl Saturday show, though White recently said it'll take place in Las Vegas, likely at the Mandalay Bay Events Center...
Georges St. Pierre Shooting for Early 2012 Return
Earlier this week we were informed that UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre suffered a MCL sprain that forced him to withdraw from his UFC 137 bout with Carlos Condit. Mike Fagan explained a little more about the injury yesterday and explained that, given trainer Firas Zahabi's timeline, it appeared that we should see a GSP return to the cage some time in the first few months of 2012.
In an interview with Sportsnet, GSP confirmed that exact target for his return:
"The recovery I want to do it well, I don't want to do it too fast. Because now I had an injury and I tried to train on it and maybe made it a little bit worse. I need a good four weeks to do my physio and do it right.
"I would say maybe end of January, possibly the beginning of February (for my return) ... Super Bowl, around this time."
UFC 137: B.J. Penn Will Go Five Rounds if Paid by UFC or Cesar Gracie
With the injury to Georges St. Pierre forcing B.J. Penn and Nick Diaz into the main event slot at UFC 137, there was some curiosity from fans wondering if Penn vs. Diaz would now be a five round fight. UFC president Dana White was quick to say that the fight would remain a three rounder.
For me, that was a shame. In my mind one of the UFC's most accomplished champions and the current Strikeforce champion should not be fighting a three round fight.
Diaz's manager, Cesar Gracie, was quick to start goading Penn into turning it into a five rounder. This was a smart move on his part as the one place where Diaz has the edge is in his endurance.
Penn has now responded, and he's open to the late notice change. But he wants to get paid for it (via MMA Weekly):
"I want to be compensated accordingly and that's it. I'm more than willing to do a five-round fight," Penn told MMAWeekly.com on Wednesday. "If Dana wants a five-round fight, just give me a call and we can put it together right now.
"Or if Cesar wants to make it a five-round fight and he wants to compensate me personally, he can put his money where his mouth is, it's that easy. I've been training to fight. I'm ready to fight."
Vera: Thiago Silva is just a piece of s---
About his second chance with the UFC:
“It’s like when you broke or when you cheated on up your girlfriend in middle school and she broke up with you but you know she was the perfect one but you’ll never get her back. It was exactly like that.”
On his performance in the Thiago Silva fight:
“The whole fight I just kept asking myself, what the hell is going on? Why is this? I train with Phil Davis, Travis Browne, the Noguiera brothers, Junior Dos Santos…I train with some big dudes man and nobody has ever just been able to hold me down you know?”
On Silva’s antics inside the cage:
“I think he was just celebrating, but now that I know that he was a juice monkey, for sure I think he is a piece of shit. He is for sure just a piece of shit.”
MMAPlayground Interview Series - Vol. 10 (Chris "Kamikaze" Cariaso)
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.
Chris "Kamikaze" Cariaso is a 5-year mixed martial arts veteran and can currently be found competing in the Bantamweight division of the UFC. His current record stands at 11-3-0 with 4 stoppage victories and 7 wins by decision.
Cariaso is currently scheduled to face Vaughan Lee at UFC 138 in Birmingham, England. Read the interview below to find out why he thought he won his most recent fight against "Mayday" McDonald, what to expect at UFC 138 and more!
* * * * *
MMAPG: Thank you for the interview, Chris. How’s training going for you?
CARIASO: Training is going great. I have expanded my team. I have been working with strength and conditioning specialist John Pena at Power and Physique. I have spent the last month training in Montreal with Firas Zahabi, the Tristar Team and John Chaimberg.
MMAPG: You’re currently scheduled to fight Vaughan Lee at UFC 138 on November 5th, in Birmingham, England. Can you tell us a little bit about him? He’s a relative unknown in the US. Have you been able to find much to research?
CARIASO: I don’t know much about him. There is not much video on him; just a few videos on YouTube. He looks strong and has some submission skills.
UFC 137's B.J. Penn would like another title shot, but he's not banking on it
The title picture is a fickle beast, and B.J. Penn isn't about to get wrapped up in it.
The former lightweight and welterweight champion said that after his near-miss with a second chance at 170-pound champ Georges St-Pierre's belt, he's taking a wait-and-see attitude about his career.
"I'm trying to fight my best, and like all fighters say, the fight's against yourself," Penn said today. "So I'm just going to try to push myself to my personal best."
Penn (16-7-2 MMA, 12-6-2 UFC), who meets Nick Diaz (25-7 MMA, 6-4 UFC) in the headliner of UFC 137 on Oct. 29 at Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay Events Center, admits he fights himself a lot. Once a dominant force in the lightweight division, his stock took a considerable slide with back-to-back losses to current champ Frankie Edgar, and later, a draw at UFC 127 with Jon Fitch that was supposed to crown the next welterweight contender.
"For me, it's always been a love-hate relationship with MMA, and maybe with the UFC at times," Penn said. "I'd love to stick around as long as Randy (Couture) has stuck around, if I could do something like that. But it's one day, I want to fight 100 more fights, and the next day, I'm like I don't want to do this any more. I think a lot of fighters feel that way, but maybe I'm just more vocal about it."
Shoulder surgery reignites UFC fighter Rich Franklin's passion for MMA
At 37 years old, stuck in the purgatory of being a between-weight-classes fighter, and now on the mend from a recent shoulder surgery, Rich Franklin could easily wonder if being a UFC fighter has lost its luster.
A former no-hassles champ and the UFC's longtime consummate professional, he's found adversity around every corner in recent years.
But if you think Franklin is losing his interest in the fight game, think again. In fact, he said it's quite the opposite.
"Now that I'm injured and can't do things, it's fired me up," he today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "When you're stopped from doing something, that's when you're most hungry for it."
Franklin hasn't fought since a February loss to Forrest Griffin. Like so many of his fights since a move up from middleweight – where two losses to MMA kingpin Anderson Silva forced his departure – he found himself the much smaller fighter on event night.
Dustin Jacoby went from pro debut to UFC 137 pay-per-view slot in 11 months
When the squad at Fiore MMA heard Georges St-Pierre was injured and out of UFC 137, a buzz lit up the room.
Not because the UFC welterweight champ had been injured, of course, but because it meant that one lucky pair of fighters from the preliminary card would get a big promotion.
Maybe that pair would include team middleweight, Dustin Jacoby, who until the start of this month had been a sharp up-and-comer waiting for his big-show shot.
Jacoby, whose professional career started just 11 months ago, was already thrilled to have gotten a short-notice fight opposite Brad Tavares on the Facebook-streamed preliminary card of the Oct. 29 pay-per-view event. When a friend texted him late Tuesday that he'd gotten the main-card spot (and he confirmed the good news on MMAjunkie.com's mobile-phone app), life got a bit more interesting.
"It's been pretty hectic," Jacoby today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "To have an opportunity like this, it stepped everything up to a whole other level."
Jacoby (6-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) vs. Tavares (7-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) is now the first fight of the pay-per-view card. UFC 137 takes place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Jacoby earlier this month stepped in for an injured Tim Credeur (12-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC)
Amir Sadollah accepts full blame for recent loss, eyes January UFC return
Ups and downs are inherent to life, which means you're not immune if you're an MMA fighter and your name happens to be Amir Sadollah.
Since May 2010, "The Ultimate Fighter 7" winner has an even 2-2 record.
Mixed results aren't ideal in a cutthroat business. You never know what could happen following a loss. Sadollah is safe at the moment – but definitely shouldn't get too comfortable.
After all, fellow "TUF" winners such as Joe Stevenson, Kendall Grove, Efrain Escudero and Travis Lutter all currently find themselves outside the promotion looking in.
While Sadollah's situation isn't too dire, the inconsistency is still worth his upright and full attention. To address it, he looks to fight again in the near future to get back in the win column.
Coach: Werdum fighting in December, hopefully for UFC
Guilherme Cruz: Is Wanderlei training with you guys for Cung Le?
Raphael Cordeiro: He’s here, he’s practically living here. He’s done a marathon here, he’s pouring his heart out on the trainings. We’re having good results on the trainings with Werdum, Babalu, Munoz, Dida, quality guys. And he’s doing great. We’re much confident because of the work we’ve been doing here.
GC: Before Wand vs. Cung Le, Mark Munoz, another fighter from your team, fights Chris Leben. How is he doing on the trainings?
RC: He’s on fire. Mark is super dedicated, he’s a good guy, special, who’s making some room for himself in the organization. He’s one of the guys who trains the most, he’s our ‘geek’ (laughs). Sometimes he overtrains… But sometimes it’s good to make a mistake by trying to hard than not trying hard enough, right?
GC: And what about Werdum’s return? There were rumors about him signing with UFC…
RC: He’s back to the trainings, he’s making everybody laugh. He’ll probably fight in December… He’s talking to the UFC, and maybe they come up with something for December
Dustin Jacoby vs. Brad Tavares promoted to UFC 137 main card
Georges St-Pierre's misfortune is a gain for Dustin Jacoby Brad Tavares.
The middleweights, who had been relegated to the Facebook-streamed preliminary card for next week's UFC 137 event, have been promoted the pay-per-view main card, UFC officials today confirmed with MMAjunkie.com.
A PPV slot opened when an injured St-Pierre was forced out of UFC 137's championship headliner with Carlos Condit.
Cesar Gracie on B.J. Penn vs. Nick Diaz - 'Let's Make it Five Rounds'
It looks like Nick Diaz wants to go five rounds with B.J. Penn in the new main event of UFC 137, despite Dana White stating it would only be a three-rounder on twitter earlier today. Of course, they are now in the marquee spot because Georges St. Pierre was forced out of his headlining bout with Carlos Condit due to a knee injury. As usual, Nick's manager Cesar Gracie is leading the campaign for a five-rounder, speaking to MMA Fighting about the idea:
"If they can't fight five rounds against each other, how are they going to fight five rounds against GSP?," Gracie said to MMAFighting.com on Tuesday.