Chuck Liddell Still Has the Itch, Especially with the UFC Moving to Fox Sports
Chuck Liddell hasn’t set foot in the Octagon, at least as a fighter, in more than a year.
Like most fighters, he still has that itch to compete, but he’s also realistic about where he’s at in his career.
“I still wanna fight. I still like fighting, but my reasons for retiring stay the same,” Liddell said over the weekend. “There’s nothing I can do about that.”
Liddell’s life now revolves around growing the sport. Yeah, he’d much rather be in the Octagon, but his work outside of it keeps him on a busy schedule. Instead of hours on end in the gym, Liddell spends much of his week traveling to different locations where he promotes the sport he loves with personal appearances and helping people understand that mixed martial arts is a sport.
One of the most significant recent developments is the UFC’s new television deal with the Fox family of networks. Liddell would love to be a different part of that deal, stepping into the spotlight when the UFC puts fights on a major mainstream television network, but he seems content with where he’s at, and happy for the fighters that are granted that opportunity.
Kurt Angle: 'Dana White Asked Me to Fight Kimbo Slice'
Anyone who knows much about Kurt Angle knows that he is a very colorful storyteller. Basically, the truth might not be as important as the story to Kurt, who is a pro wrestler for the TNA organization. It's an old pro wrestling adage (coined by Dick Murdoch, I believe) - "If a story's worth tellin', it's worth colorin' up a little bit". Angle did an interview with UK publication The Void where he ventured further of the path of realism and actually claimed that Dana White wanted him to fight Kimbo Slice. Here, read for yourself:
I called him (White) a couple of year later – I was getting a little tired of wrestling – I said "Hey, I’m ready", so we had another meeting and he had me do a physical, and he threw a great offer at me, but said "I need you in four and a half weeks."
I said "I can"t do that. You’ve gotta give me 3-6 months," but he said "I need you in four a half weeks," so I said "Well then, we’re not going to be able to do this."
Michael Bisping Pushes Around Little Reporter, Swears a Lot
UFC middleweight and TUF 14 coach Michael Bisping probably isn't the most popular UFC fighter out there. Let's just get that out of the way now. While he's loved in the UK apparently, his unique brand of wit and honesty have failed to charm the pants off the rest of the world. And stuff like this could be why. He recently did an interview with Scandianavian reporter Bobby Cavian of MMANYTT.se, and I'm not gonna say that Bisping was drunk or anything, but - okay he was drunk. [Edit - According to MMA Nation's Luke Thomas who was at the event, Bisping was not drunk. My mistake.]
The interview was filmed after he and fellow coach Jason "Mayhem" Miller co-hosted a screening of the premiere episode of The Ultimate Fighter 14, and it's not your typical Bisping. You'll either think this is hilarious and find that Bisping is actually pretty entertaining when he's had a few, or you're going to despise him even more. Because he spends at least some of the time insulting, pushing, and slapping the interviewer. And swearing. A lot. It was in a playful way, but still - see for yourself.
UFC 139's Dan Henderson not keen on 185 pounds – except for Anderson Silva
Dan Henderson didn't look a bit out of place sitting at a dais adorned with UFC logos, even though he had just been front and center for another promotion's banner event.
"I guess it's a little bit ironic that every time I win a title somewhere, (UFC president) Dana (White) has to buy the company to get me back," Henderson said at a press conference today in San Jose, Calif., the former backyard of said company, Strikeforce, which in March was purchased by UFC parent company Zuffa LLC.
Henderson's saltiness definitely hasn't left since his most recent turn in the octagon.
UFC 140 briefly adds Phil Davis vs. Lyoto Machida, but UFC boss 'jumped gun' (Updated)
A blockbuster light-heavyweight bout was coming to UFC 140. For a short time anyway.
UFC president Dana White said he jumped the gun in announcing that former champ Lyoto Machida (17-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) will meet fast-rising and undefeated contender Phil Davis (9-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) at December's UFC 140 event.
Instead, he said Davis is still recovering from a knee injury.
Fighter representatives told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) they were still awaiting official word on the matchup as of earlier today. But at a UFC 139 press conference today in San Jose, Calif., White told MMAWeekly.com the fight is slated for UFC 140 and could be contested as a five-round non-title fight.
White, though, said he spoke prematurely.
"I jumped the gun on Machida vs Davis," White later tweeted. "Just found out Davis is still recovering from knee surgery. Sorry about that!"
UFC 140 takes place Dec. 10 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto with a heavyweight headliner between Frank Mir and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.
Jon Jones Picks Up 180 Days On UFC 135 Medical Suspension List
The official medical suspensions are out for UFC 135 and in a bit of a surprising moment, Jon Jones has picked up one of the longest medical suspensions of any fighter on the card. Jones has been suspended for six months unless cleared by a doctor, in which case the suspension can be reduced to 45 days. There were no details on the exact injuries tied to the suspensions, but one would have to assume this is related to Jones' limp after his fight with Quinton Jackson and then basically being carried to the press conference.
Full suspension list via MMA Weekly:
Recovering Vitor Belfort eyes UFC 141 slot, fight with UFC 136's Sonnen-Stann winner
The injury that forced Vitor Belfort out of a featured UFC 139 slot is simply a speed bump on his quest for a UFC title, and he's planning to return to the cage before year's end.
While a recent in-studio guest on MMAjunkie.com Radio, Belfort said he's specifically targeting a return at the year-end UFC 141 event in Las Vegas.
As for a potential opponent, Belfort has his sights on the winner of an upcoming UFC 136 fight between Chael Sonnen and Brian Stann. He'd be happy with either opponent. But for very different reasons.
Larry Merchant: UFC made street fighting a 'so-called' sport
Boxing commentator Larry Merchant is a long-time foe of Mixed Martial Arts, in the manner of a toothless cro magnon telling a Geico commercial looking guy that he wouldn't use that crazy fire stuff if you paid him all the delicious termites on the savanna.
On September 17th, Merchant got into a verbal spat with Roger Mayweather, and snarled perhaps the single most dubious sentence ever uttered in a boxing ring "I wish I was 50 years younger and I would kick your ass." Lifelong boxing fan Dana White finally stopped always holding his feelings back, and spoke his mind.
"The guy is senile, he's out of his mind. He's up there berating Floyd, but Floyd can't say anything back to you? You've been disrespecting guys your whole career, and guess what, you can go back 60 years, you're not kicking Floyd's ass, okay? Give me a break. And what's Floyd going to do? A 102-year-old guy just said that to him."
Now Merchant responds.
MMAPlayground Interview Series - Vol. 3 (Nam Phan)
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.
Nam Phan is an Asian American fighter, who has also competed as a professional boxer. He is most known for his time spent in the Ultimate Fighter household during the twelfth installment of the series. He failed to reach the final, but impressed enough to earn a shot in the Octagon, facing Leonard Garcia and losing what is widely regarded as one of the biggest robberies in recent mixed martial arts history. With a recent loss to former featherweight champ, Mike Brown, Phan was given what he wanted. On October 8, in Houston, Texas, Nam will get a chance to step into the cage and exact his revenge on Garcia.
Phan caught up with us while in his gym, gearing up for some kickboxing.
* * * * *
MMAPG: Thank you for taking the time to do this interview, Nam. You have a fight scheduled right around the corner against a familiar opponent in Leonard Garcia. The look on your face when the decision was announced the first time around pretty much expressed what pretty much everyone was thinking…you got robbed. Do you plan on switching up your game plan this time around? I know you don’t want to go in to much detail, but did you go back to the drawing board in preparation for a rematch with Garcia or did you just fine tune your previous strategy?
NAM PHAN: I always try to show some support! The only thing is I gotta try to finish this fight. I feel like if I don’t finish this guy in 15 minutes, just count is as a loss.
MMAPG: How do you feel about the judging in the Garcia fight, and how the judges seem to award his aggressiveness so much?
NAM PHAN: It kind of pisses me off. You gotta be aggressive, it’s cool, but you gotta score points. It’s frustrating.
Chael Sonnen Comments On Anderson Silva's Injuries
Everyone's favorite zany middleweight Chael Sonnen recently weighed on a topic that has made the round a bit since UFC 134 - the fact that Anderson Silva said he went into his fight with Yushin Okami with an injury and took anti-inflammatories for the injury. Silva also said he was injured entering his fight with Sonnen at UFC 117, so Chael wasn't about to pass up an opportunity to say something about it. This dandy of a quote was said to Paul Lazenby:
"I don't think that treatment for Anderson's problems is prohibited by the UFC, even right before a match. Some medications are limited, as you know, but Anderson is in a state of medical legitimacy because I don't think that Midol is prohibited, nor are chocolate or Gerard Butler movies. I have never personally had to deal with his sort of condition, but I feel for him and I really want to see what his top fighting form actually is, since we apparently haven't seen it yet. I can't remember the last time that he didn't say he was hurt for a match, and it's starting to alienate the fight fans. So he should take care of himself when he's suffering, or else the public will be stuck with the same unengaging fights and lackluster victories until he either dies or finally hits menopause."
Steven Seagal Reportedly Banned From Jon Jones' Locker Room Before UFC 135
Steven Seagal just won't go away. It was pretty humorous when Seagal, with 100% seriousness, took credit for teaching Black House members Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida the front kicks that saw them defeat Vitor Belfort and Randy Couture respectively. I guess he thought he would take some of his wisdom over to another superstar, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, before UFC 135. But Fighters Only reports that Seagal got shot down:
"He was wondering if he could come and talk to me backstage before the fight, just give me some words of encouragement. I didn't think that would be a good idea," Jones revealed.
"My training staff works very hard on me. I'm their prodigy. I wouldn't want to disrespect them by welcoming someone else's master into our room, into our house, into our family."
Spike TV to counter-program UFC on FOX 1 with Velasquez and Dos Santos fights
Further solidifying the rift between the UFC and its longtime cable partner, Spike TV today announced counter-programming for the UFC's debut on network TV.
On Nov. 12, Spike TV will air a "UFC Unleashed" marathon – dubbed "Dos Santos vs. Velasquez: Unleashed for the Heavyweight Title" – featuring past fights with UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos.
Not surprisingly, the marathon begins just as Velasquez and Dos Santos fight at UFC on FOX 1, the UFC's first show on network TV.
The event kicks off a monumental seven-year deal between the UFC and FOX. As part of the deal, which includes four annual events on FOX, other UFC programming such as "The Ultimate Fighter" and UFC Fight Night events will move from Spike TV to FOX-owned FX and FUEL TV.
Once able to take the money and run, UFC 135's Mark Hunt instead wanted a fight
When the UFC purchased and ultimately disbanded its rival, PRIDE Fighting Championships, veteran heavyweight Mark Hunt was offered a pretty sweet deal.
Quite simply, the UFC was willing to pay him to go away and surrender his contracted fights.
But the PRIDE veteran didn't want to do that, and following a hard-fought decision victory over Ben Rothwell at Saturday's UFC 135 event, UFC president heaped praise on him.
In fact, it was White who convinced Hunt to attend the post-fight press conference for UFC 135, which took place Saturday at Denver's Pepsi Center. Hunt (7-7 MMA, 2-1 UFC) fought Rothwell (31-8 MMA, 1-2 UFC) on the night's pay-per-view main card.
"I actually asked Mark to come to this press conference," White said. "Many of you probably don't know, or some of you do know, when we bought PRIDE, he came as part of the PRIDE deal. It was back and forth, and basically I was like, 'You know what? We'll just pay you off what we owed you in the PRIDE deal.' Mark Hunt said, 'No, I want to come, and I want to fight.'"
What's next for UFC 135 winner Koscheck? Middleweight, UFC 139 are possibilities
Josh Koscheck is back. In more ways than one.
Just ask the man himself, who returned from a nine-month layoff to impressively defeat UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes in Saturday's UFC 135 co-headliner.
Koscheck, who spent much of the past year recovering from a broken orbital bone, is now focused on the future. And he's not counting out a possible move to middleweight or even a spot on November's UFC 139 card in San Jose, Calif.
Koscheck (16-5 MMA, 14-5 UFC), fighting for the first time since his December title loss to champ Georges St-Pierre, defeated Hughes (44-9 MMA, 18-7 UFC) via first-round TKO. He took the bout, which aired on pay-per-view from Denver's Pepsi Center, on 19 days' notice for injured Diego Sanchez. But prior to that, he considered a move to middleweight.
It's a move he's still considering.
"I would still like to have some fights at 185, but I don't know what the future holds for me right now," said the American Kickboxing Academy fighter. "I'm just going to go home and see about possibly getting back into the gym and working on areas I need to improve on. You never know. I might be fighting in November in San Jose."
Humble in UFC 135 defeat, 'Rampage' Jackson hopes for 'Shogun' Rua in Japan
For former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (32-9 MMA, 7-3 UFC), there are no excuses.
He admits that he was as ready as ever for a UFC 135 contest with UFC champ Jon Jones (14-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC), but "Bones" simply proved the better man with a fourth-round submission victory.
So now, it's time to move on. Well, at least past Jones. For his next move, Jackson would like to meet an old friend in a familiar setting.
"[Jackson] and I just talked about [fighting 'Shogun' Rua in Japan] when he was back there getting stitched up," UFC president Dana White said at Saturday's post-event press conference. "[Rua] is fighting Dan Henderson in San Jose, so we'll see what happens there.
"What Rampage said to me was, 'I want to fight in that Japan fight.' I said, 'Cool.' I'm never going to argue with you when you tell me you want to fight."
Jackson and Rua (20-5 MMA, 4-3 UFC), of course, have a history together. The two first squared off in April 2005 in a middleweight grand prix bout under the PRIDE banner. The contest, which was held in Osaka, Japan, ended with Rua earning a devastating TKO via soccer kicks.