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.
Following scintillating return to 155 pounds, Nate Diaz done with welterweight – for now
UFC lightweight contender Nate Diaz's 170-pound experiment is over, at least for now.
It's not that his two recent losses in the division have discouraged him from giving it another shot. It's not even that he was influenced by an incredible UFC 135 win over Japanese legend Takanori Gomi.
No, the truth is Diaz (14-7 MMA, 9-5 UFC) feels like he has a duty to stay at lightweight for now. A quick survey of the division's landscape, and Diaz realized he belongs among the sport's best 155-pounders.
"A lot of the guys I beat are top contenders at 155," Diaz told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "Melvin Guillard is about to get a title shot and (Clay) Guida, I thought I beat up Guida pretty good.
"I can't stay at 170 when all the guys I'm whooping are at the top of the division."
UFC champ Jon Jones: Rashad Evans is not even close to having my number
After witnessing the pre-fight tension between UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones (14-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) and his UFC 135 opponent Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (32-9 MMA, 7-3 UFC), the pair's almost-playful banter at Saturday night's post-event press conference seemed a tad bizarre.
However, after Jones submitted Jackson in the evening's main event, both fighters said the tension that once existed between them has been resolved.
In contrast, the champ does not feel the same about his next opponent: former training partner Rashad Evans.
"I don't want to talk about Rashad tonight," Jones flatly said.
UFC boss thinks Matt Hughes will likely hang 'em up – even if he won't say 'retire'
No official decision has been made, but UFC president Dana White believes Matt Hughes (45-9 MMA, 18-7 UFC) has fought for the final time.
Following a UFC 135 loss to Josh Koscheck, Hughes declined to share his future plans.
However, at Saturday night's post-event press conference (which Hughes declined to attend when given the option, according to the UFC boss), White said he thinks the UFC Hall of Famer is likely done competing in the octagon.
"I think he's going to retire," White said of Hughes. "I just don't think Hughes wants to say the word 'retire.'"
UFC 135 bonuses: Koscheck, Diaz, Jones and Jackson earn $75K fighter awards
Josh Koscheck, Nate Diaz, Jon Jones and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson each earned $75,000 fight-night bonuses for their performances at Saturday's UFC 135 event.
Koscheck earned the night's "Knockout of the Night" award, Diaz picked up the "Submission of the Night" bonus, and Jones and Jackson took home "Fight of the Night" honors.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) learned of the bonus winners and award amounts at UFC 135's post-fight press conference.
UFC 135 took place at Denver's Pepsi Center. The night's main card aired on pay-per-view, and Facebook and Spike TV carried portions of the preliminary card.
All four bonus winners competed on the PPV main card...
UFC 135 Weigh In Results
Main card (Pay-Per-View):
Jon Jones (204.5) vs. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (204)
Matt Hughes (170) vs. Josh Koscheck (170.5)
Rob Broughton (261) vs. Travis Browne (255)
Nate Diaz (156) vs. Takanori Gomi (155)
Mark Hunt (261) vs. Ben Rothwell (263)
Preliminary card (Spike TV):
Aaron Riley (155) vs. Anthony Ferguson (155)
Tim Boetsch (186) vs. Nick Ring (185)
Preliminary card (Facebook):
Ricardo Romero (205) vs. James Te Huna (205)
Cole Escovedo (135) vs. Takeya Mizugaki (135)
Junior Assuncao (145) vs. Eddie Yagin (145)
Nick Pace says he's fighting Miguel Torres at UFC 139 in November
UFC bantamweight Nick Pace (6-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) today announced he's fighting ex-WEC champ Miguel Torres (38-4 MMA, 1-1 UFC) at UFC 139 in November.
The fighter revealed the booking via Twitter, though UFC officials have made no formal announcement.
UFC 139 takes place Nov. 19 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. The night's main card, including a Dan Henderson vs. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, airs on pay-per-view.
Pace vs. Torres would likely be part of the preliminary card.
Rampage names the spy; executive VP of MusclePharm resigns
During Friday morning’s edition of ESPN’s SportsCenter, Rampage finally exposed the name of the mole and revealed the alleged perpetrator is now standing in the unemployment line:
The dialog begins when Rampage responds to why he felt there was a spy in his camp:
Rampage: Because it’s true. I’ve had a couple of feelings and a guy tweeted me on Twitter and made my suspicions grow further. A couple of things happened, so I faked a injury. It got right back to Jon Jones’ manager and we just found out who the spy was. And he’s terminated. He’s no longer working right now. So we found out exactly who the spy was and it’s true.
Jones: So who’s the spy, Rampage?
Rampage: You know who the spy was.
UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes not ready to retire, but 'Chuck Liddell job' pretty appealing
UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes (45-8 MMA, 18-6 UFC) admits he's not quite ready to walk away from the sport that's paid his bills for the past 13 years.
Unfortunately for him, Hughes knows his wife and kids have a different opinion on what should happen after a UFC 135 contest with Josh Koscheck (15-5 MMA, 13-5 UFC).
And while Hughes insists the result of Saturday pay-per-view co-headliner will not prove the determining factor in his choice, the former champ said that UFC president Dana White's recent offer of a job where Hughes could "stick around and get paid to do nothing" is pretty appealing.
"Maybe one of those Chuck Liddell jobs?" Hughes asked MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) with a smile. "Who doesn't? You don't want a paycheck? It does appeal to me.
"There's a tight group of guys – Chuck, me, Forrest Griffin is probably in there, too, and there's a probably a couple of other guys – that have been good to the UFC. I think we're going to be fine. No matter what position I was in financially, the UFC is always going to make sure I've got food on the table and clothes on my kids' back."
But that doesn't mean Hughes is ready to take that position just yet. The love for competition, the drive to be the best, the camaraderie of his teamamtes and training partners – Hughes still finds joy in each and every aspect of MMA.
Ultimate Insider names top eight UFC fighters 25 years old or younger
8. Erik Koch - 22, 13-1
A high school dropout, Koch is quickly making a name for himself as a legit contender in the featherweight division. Since a tough loss to Chad Mendes back in March 2010, "The New Breed" has ripped off four wins in a row, including three finishes and two "Knockout of the Night" awards, one of which came in his Octagon debut.
7. John Hathaway - 24, 15-1
A talented Englishman fully capable of heading up the British invasion, Hathaway put himself on the map by mopping the floor with Diego Sanchez in his native land just last year. He followed that up with a loss, unfortunately, but quickly rebounded and is still on track to become one of the promotion's top overseas stars.
6. Anthony Pettis - 24, 13-2
Famous for his "Showtime off-the-wall Kick" and the innovative techniques he manages to execute inside the cage during highly competitive contests, Pettis is a former WEC champion who recently made the jump to the world's largest fight promotion. And while he dropped a close decision in his debut with the UFC, he's still poised to become a staple in the lightweight division for years to come.
5. Alexander Gustafsson - 24, 12-1
They call him "The Mauler" for a reason. 12 wins in 13 career fights and just one of them came by way of decision. His lone defeat, a submission loss to Phil Davis, came in April 2010 and he's since rebounded with three consecutive victories, two submissions and a knockout of Matt Hamill that sent him into retirement.
4. Demetrious Johnson - 25, 14-1
Probably the fastest man in the fight game at 135-pounds, Johnson parlayed wins over Damacio Page, Norifumi Yamamoto and Miguel Torres into a title shot against Dominick Cruz at UFC on Versus 6 on Oct. 1.
3. Rory MacDonald - 22, 12-1
Pegged as the next Georges St. Pierre, the 170-pound MacDonald has shown a freakish combination of size, speed, strength and athleticism rivaled only by the champion of the division and his training partner, the previously mentioned St. Pierre. His lone defeat, a close loss to Carlos Condit, only served to solidify such claims. The future is bright for this one.
2. Jose Aldo - 25, 19-1, UFC featherweight champion
12 wins in a row over the best competition the WEC and UFC could find for him at 145-pounds should say it all. In fact, there are those that feel he could very well become the first simultaneous two-divison champion in the history of the UFC.
1. Jon Jones - 24, 13-1, UFC light heavyweight champion
The most notorious member of the list is also, perhaps, the most talented. His unbelievable size and reach, coupled with an elite training camp and natural ability has combined to make an unstoppable freight train that shows no signs of slowing down. Quinton Jackson and Rashad Evans are waiting in the wings to attempt to dethrone the king of the 205-pound mountain but he's quickly gaining steam as one pound-for-pound great. And maybe, just maybe, the best ever.
'The Ultimate Fighter 14' ratings: Season debut scores 1.5 million Spike TV viewers
Wednesday's season debut of "The Ultimate Fighter 14" – the final season of the reality series to air on Spike TV – earned a 1.1 household rating and averaged 1.5 million viewers.
Spike TV officials today emailed the the ratings information to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The two-hour broadcast was the No. 1 rated cable program in its timeslot among men 18-49 and men 18-34. It was also the No. 2 program all day among men 18-49.
The ratings were on par with past seasons of the long-running reality-competition series. The "TUF 13" debut scored 1.5 million viewers, "TUF 12" drew 1.6 million, and "TUF 11" scored scored 1.9 million. A heavily anticipated heavyweights-only 10th season shattered records with 4.1 million viewers for its debut in 2010.
UFC 135's Kosheck willing to stir the pot for a fight, but respects opponent Hughes
DENVER – The UFC is finally on the same page with Josh Kosheck (15-5 MMA, 13-5 UFC) in booking a fight with Matt Hughes (45-8 MMA, 18-6 UFC) – or so the onetime welterweight challenger said.
The way Koscheck sees it, he's been lobbying for the bout for some time, and his requests have fallen on deaf ears.
"I've asked for it a number of times, and I'm not sure why he never accepted it or it's never been offered to him," Koscheck said.
That's news to the former welterweight champ. He wasn't aware that he'd been ducking anybody.
"Probably a question for Dana (White)," Hughes offered after Koscheck explained his plight.
UFC 141: Vladimir Matyushenko vs Alexander Gustafsson re-booked for Dec. 30 in Las Vegas
Let's try this again.
Vladimir Matyushenko vs. Alexander Gustafsson was originally booked to go down at UFC 133: "Evans vs. Ortiz 2" on Aug. 6 in Philadelphia; however, "Vladdy" suffered an injury and "The Mauler" went on to destroy Matt Hamill.
Now, according to the promotion's website, the two have been re-booked to scuffle at the upcoming UFC 141: "Lesnar vs. Overeem" event on Dec. 30 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
im going w/ Gustafsson Rd1 TKO. love The Janitor, but don't give him much of a shot in this one.
UFC boss warming to Nick Diaz, won't rule out title fight with UFC 137 win
"Here's the thing with Nick Diaz, which I'm not used to, but I'm going to get used to it: He's just a different guy," White today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I'm going to have to handle him and deal with him differently than I do every other guy in the UFC."
"It's not that he has to," he said. "But you have to play by some of the rules. I'm not asking you to not be yourself ... or come up to me and say 'hi' to me when you see me. It doesn't matter. But I think I can work with it, and I think we can figure this thing out. I respect him as a fighter, people like to see him fight, there's no doubt he's got a little nutty side to him, but we'll figure this thing out.
"What I'm more worried about are the things that he has to do, like follow the rules that the athletic commission of whatever state we're in lays down. You've got to follow those rules. There's no bending or curving on that. All the other stuff is all, who cares. The kid's a fighter."
"When you've got a guy that's funny like 'Rampage,' who speaks as nice as Jon Jones does, and the list goes on and on," White said. "But at the end of the day, Nick Diaz isn't showing up to give some big speeches, and he's not performing in front of it. He's coming to fight, and that kid shows up to fight.
"I told him, 'Listen. You have to show up for the press conference. You can sit there and [not] say a word. People can ask you questions, don't even answer them if you don't want to. You have to show up. You have to be there.' We'll see what happens."
"He's fought in these smaller organizations where the inmates run the asylum," White said. "If he's fighting in Strikeforce before we owned it and doesn't show up for a press conference, what's Scott Coker going to do? Cancel the main event? Hell no. That would never happen in a million years.
"When you come over here, it's a whole other ball game, man. You don't run this show. I do. I'm going to make decisions sometimes that make the fans not too happy and piss people off here and there. But if you're going to run your business, you've got to do what you've got to do."
i took the major quotes from the article & took out the filler. the whole thing is there in the link. if it doesnt tie together well enough for you guys, sorry
Dana White: Wanderlei Silva's octagon career on line in UFC 139 bout with Cung Le
DENVER – Following a first-round knockout loss to Chris Leben at July's UFC 132 loss, Wanderlei Silva's future with the UFC was uncertain.
Now he's back, co-headlining at this falls's UFC 139 event in a fan-friendly bout with Cung Le (7-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC).
But now more than ever, Silva (31-11-1 MMA, 3-5 UFC) needs a win to continue on the octagon, UFC president Dana White today proclaimed. The UFC boss said he has nothing but love for "The Axe Murderer," but another loss will likely end his run in the UFC.
"It's one of those things," White said. "There's this fine line between telling a guy you've got to hang it up and him actually wanting to hang it up. We'll give him this fight with Cung Le, and we'll go from there."
Dan Henderson vs. Shogun Rua Winner Gets Next Shot at the Title After Rashad Evans
When Dan Henderson returns at UFC 139 to face Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, a shot at the UFC light heavyweight title will be on the line.
UFC President Dana White confirmed that the bout between Henderson and Rua will be a No. 1 contender’s match when speaking to MMAWeekly.com on Wednesday.
According to White, Rashad Evans is still next in line to get the winner of this weekend’s fight between champion Jon Jones and challenger Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, but either Hendo or Rua will get the next crack at the belt.
“It would be tough not to give the winner of that the next shot,” said White.
Einemo Returns to UFC, Teammate Bahadurzada Could Follow
The UFC and Golden Glory have apparently found common ground.
Heavyweight submission specialist John Olav Einemo (pictured) Wednesday announced that he will return to the Octagon, though no debut date was mentioned. The news comes on the heels of an announcement from Einemo's Golden Glory teammate, Siyar Bahadurzada, who tweeted on Tuesday that he had been offered a contract with the UFC.
While UFC president Dana White confirmed the Einemo signing at today's UFC 135 press conference in Denver, Bahadurzada's status is still in flux. According to the Shooto 183-pound world champion, he is still deciding whether to sign the deal.