Despite mixed results thus far, UFC 120's Yoshihiro plans to bring Sexyama back
LONDON – "I am Sexyama."
Those are the exact words, in English, Japanese superstar Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) used to open his address to the media at Thursday's "UFC 120: Bisping vs. Akiyama" pre-event press conference in London.
While that audacious tag once seemed shockingly accurate when describing the bronzed judoka with the impressive 11-fight win streak – and though Akiyama's performances thus far in the octagon have both been "Fight of the Night" affairs – he's earned just a split-decision win in two trips to the cage. Is that sexy enough to stick around in the UFC should he falter against UFC 120 opponent Michael Bisping?
While German expansion still rocky, Zelaznik promises broadcast, predicts success
LONDON – When the Ultimate Fighting Championship travels to Germany for just the second time in the promotion's history for November's "UFC 122: Marquardt vs. Okami" event, it will do so amid political backlash and without a TV contract in the country.
If it all sounds to you like a little bit of déjà vu for the company that struggled in the U.S. throughout the 1990s to overcome the label of "human cockfighting," you're not alone.
UFC U.K. president Marshall Zelaznik feels the same.
Phil Baroni vs. Brad Tavares targeted for UFC 125
"The Ultimate Fighter 11" semifinalist Brad Tavares (5-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) will put his perfect record on the line when he meets veteran fighter Phil Baroni (13-12 MMA, 3-6 UFC) at UFC 125.
Sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that verbal agreements are in place for the fight, which is expected to take place at middleweight.
UFC 125 takes place Jan. 1 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, and the night's main card airs on pay-per-view.
It's not known if Tavares vs. Baroni will make the broadcast.
Charlie Brenneman vs. Amilcar Alves Slated For 1/22
Shortly after Melvin Guillard vs. Yves Edwards was reported as beign planned for a as-yet-unannounced UFC event on January 23, it's now been revealed that Charlie Brenneman vs. Amilcar Alves is also planned for the event. There's no venue set for the event and it's not known if it'll be a UFN, UFC On Versus or something else.
Melvin Guillard & Yves Edwards Meet At UFC TBA On 1/22
Melvin Guillard & Yves Edwards are set to meet as an as-yet-unannounced UFC event on January 22, but the fight doesn't yet have a venue or even a card, and it's not known if it could be a UFN or UFC On Versus yet. That search is currently underway. As for the fight, verbal agreements are in place, paperwork pending.
Is Dan Hardy At "The Top Of The Ladder" Of His Division?
He thinks so, at least if the ladder is the Welterweight division and Carlos Condit is the one doing the climbing. "Welcome to England Carlos. I'm gonna knock you out, stamp your passport, and send you back home. He's gonna step in there thinking he can fight me like he has fought everybody else, and I'll hit him one time and change his mind - if he's still awake. I could beat him any day of the week, whenever, wherever. I don't see anything in his game that concerns me. He's not gonna hurt me with his striking, if he even lands a punch. He's scrappy and he's wild. I could close my eyes and throw a punch in any direction and it would still hit him in the face. He needs to be sitting down with his coach and figuring what else he can do for a career. This is the top of the ladder, this is as far as he goes, send some job applications out for something else."
Rory MacDonald Off UFC 123, Brian Foster In
The injury bug continues to keep biting UFC again in recent weeks, today it claimed Rory MacDonald-he's now off UFC 123 due to a knee injury. He was to have faced Matt Brown. Although UFC officials have not formally announced it, sources close to the show say Brian Foster is the replacement.
God Blessed Charles Oliveira With Jim Miller & Greasy Cheeseburgers
In other words, as "Do Bronx" tells the TATAME, UFC means he now has the good life-good money, good fights (Jim Miller), and good food for his girlfriend. Well, sort of. "Now that I’m on UFC, I can focus exclusively on my trainings, in my future. Before I didn’t have enough money to buy stuff. I have a girlfriend, Thalita, and sometimes I wanted to take her out for a nice meal and I couldn’t afford it. Now I can go out with her and it what I want… So it’s much better ... Literally a dream. Now, I’m not great. But I can buy my stuff. Well, I bought a new closet. My house is humble, who knows me I almost live on a slum. Now, thanks God, if my girlfriend says: 'Baby, I want to eat a cheeseburger with salad today', I can afford it. If my friend comes to ask me: 'Charles, I’m feeling like eating something but I can’t afford it', I go there and help him. I’m a humble guy, I like to help my friends. Thanks God I’m living my dream, a new life."
Spike Changes UFC 120 Start Time
US fans take note: Spike has announced a change in the start time for Saturday's tape-delay broadcast of UFC 120. Originally a 9 PM ET start time was announced but Spike has now moved it up to 8 PM ET/PT (Spike doesn't have a "staggered" feed so West Coast viewers have to wait until 8 PM ET/11 PM ET). The broadcast will be 3 hours.
UFC 122 prelims lose newcomer Kenny Robertson due to injury
An injury has forced UFC 122 preliminary-card fighter and promotional newcomer Kenny Robertson (10-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) out of next month's UFC 122 event.
The fighter announced the injury via Facebook, and UFC officials since have pulled the fight from the night's official lineup.
As MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) previously reported, Robertson was slated to fight fellow undefeated welterweight Pascal Krauss (9-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC).
Struve vs. McCorkle, Riddle vs. Waldburger official for UFC 124 in Montreal
A heavyweight bout between Stefan Struve (20-4 MMA, 4-2 UFC) and Sean McCorkle (10-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) and a welterweight fight between Matt Riddle (5-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) and Anthony "T.J." Waldburger (13-5 MMA, 1-0 UFC) are now official for UFC 124.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) previously reported both bouts, which UFC officials formally added to the card.
UFC 124 takes place Dec. 11 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
The event airs on pay-per-view and features a welterweight title fight between current champion Georges St-Pierre and top contender Josh Koscheck.
All UFC 119 Drug Tests Come Back Clean
All nine fighters who underwent drug testing at September's UFC 119 event tested clean for performance-enhancing drugs and recreational/drugs of abuse.
Andy Means, executive director of the Indiana Gaming Commission's athletic division, today emailed the results to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
UFC 119 marked the UFC's debut in Indiana. The main event saw former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir score a third-round knockout of Croatian striker Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic.
Dan Hardy: Taking on Greg Jackson's Fighters Gets Boring
When Dan Hardy steps into the Octagon to fight Carlos Condit at UFC 120 on Sunday, he'll be facing his second straight opponent who has Greg Jackson in his corner. The last time the fight didn't go so well, and Hardy is concerned that it won't go so well this time, either.
That's not to say that Hardy, who's coming off a loss to UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre in March, is worried about losing to Condit -- he says he's confident that he'll win. But Hardy says he doesn't like the fighting style that Jackson teaches, and he believes Jackson-trained fighters exercise far too much caution in the cage.
"My biggest concern is that he'll fight a Greg Jackson style fight and run away for 15 minutes," Hardy said in a live chat with MMAFighting.com readers. "It's not that I don't like Greg Jackson's style but I don't like fighting guys he trains because they always take the safest route and that gets boring, they want to send it to the judges and that gets boring after a while."
UFC boss says Jake Shields "probably" in line for title shot with UFC 121 win
While UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre will next put his title on the line in December against fellow "The Ultimate Fighter 12" coach Josh Koscheck, the division's next top contender may be decided as early as next week.
At a press conference today in Montreal promoting December's "UFC 124: St-Pierre vs. Koscheck 2" event, UFC president Dana White said promotional newcomer Jake Shields (25-4-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will likely earn himself a title shot with a win in his upcoming octagon debut.
"If Jake Shields should win against Martin Kampmann, it will probably be him next," White said.
Is The Winner Of Martin Kampmann vs. Jake Shields The Perfect Matchup For Jon Fitch?
Fitch thinks so, and he probably wouldn't mind getting it before his next title shot. "The next time a title shot is coming around is probably going to be a while, so I'm kinda thinking I might wanna fight again before the title shot. The winner of Kampmann-Shields would be a perfect match-up. I've known Jake [Shields] for a long time. He's a good friend of mine. I'm all about fighting the best guys in the world and we've known for a long time that this day would probably come where we'd have to fight. So be it."
Stephan Bonnar "The Gym Rat" Is "Not Too Worried" About The Ground Game Of Igor Pokrajac
Apparently no submission losses means no sweat when it comes to the ground game, at least in Bonnar's mind. "I respect his ground, but I’m not too worried. I[have] never been submitted. I am a BJJ black belt under Sergio Penha, and was brought up in Jiu Jitsu under the legendary Carlson Gracie. Also, I’ve really improved my takedown defense. The only guys to ever take me down in a fight have been Rashad, Jon Jones, and Mark Coleman….and now I’m even harder to take down ... I’m a gym whore. For these last couple fights I’ve been with Sergio Penhas gym, One Kick Nicks gym, and PSI (Philippi Sports Institute) for strength and conditioning. I’m happy too. I love my coaches and my team. I don’t feel like anythings missing anymore."
Facing "tailor-made" opponent, James McSweeney predicts UFC 120 success
For British slugger James McSweeney (4-5 MMA, 1-1 UFC), things couldn't have worked out any better.
Sure, he admits, a late opponent change is never something you'd ask for, but as "The Hammer" finishes his prep for this weekend's UFC 120 bout with promotional newcomer Fabiano Maldonado (17-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC), McSweeney says he couldn't have hand-picked a better foe.
"The guy is very cocky and very sure of himself," McSweeney recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "I love fighting guys like that. It's tailor-made for me."