Junior Assuncao On A Hot Streak; Eyes UFC Family Affair
Junior Assuncao continued on his quest to the top with another win last week in Brazil. Assuncao traveled to his home in Recife to face Wes Murch in Recife Fighting Championship 4. Murch proved to be no match for the jiu-jitsu black belt, as he finished Murch with a firs-round rear naked choke.
Rumor Watch: Chael Sonnen & Michael Bisping Tapped As Likely Coaches For TUF 14
We’re only one episode into TUF Season 13, and some are already disappointed by the kinder, gentler Brock Lesnar. Sure, we say we want the series to focus more on the fights and less on the drama, but a little tension always makes things more fun. Though it’s far too early to call this season a hit or a flop, the latest TUF rumors already have us eagerly anticipating next season.
According to reports from Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, noted MMA heels Chael Sonnen and Michael Bisping are on deck to tackle coaching duties for season 14 and potentially redefine everything we thought we knew about coaching beef. The likelihood of this pairing hinges largely on the CSAC Ruling and the outcome of Chael’s legal woes.
Dana White Defends TUF 13 Ratings
After watching TUF Season 13, Episode 1 - are you getting tired of The Ultimate Fighter? Do you wish the UFC would do something different with their weekly slot on Spike TV? Dana White took to the Underground Forums to respond to fans and critics complaining about the stale TUF format and commenting on the weak ratings for the Season 13 premiere:
"SINCE WHEN IS 1.5 MILLIONS VIEWERS BAD?
People have been saying it is dead since season 4.
Sit back and watch bitches or don't. TUF isnt going anywhere!!!! deal with it."
After TUF 13 injury, quickly recovering Myles Jury ready for UFC redemption
With a perfect 9-0 record and nine first-round stoppages, Myles Jury entered "The Ultimate Fighter 13" as one of the show's youngest and most promising cast members.
But as we saw on this past week's season debut of the Spike TV reality series, the 22-year-old suffered a significant knee injury and was cut from the cast.
However, as Jury recent told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio), he's confident a future "TUF" spot or even a UFC fight is in his future once he's fully healed.
Jury was head coach Brock Lesnar's fifth-round pick. As MMAjunkie.com detailed in our "Fight Path" series nearly a year ago, the former Detroit Zoo employee began his fighting career a year before he legally was old enough to drive. So despite Jury's age, the King of the Cage vet had the needed experience.
UFC's Dana White: Jon Jones vs Rashad Evans Will Happen in September or October
UFC boss Dana White told fans on the UG that UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones would face Rashad Evans in "Sept or Oct".
Jones took the title from Mauricio Rua at UFC 128 in March. The title shot was to have gone to Jones' then-teammate Rashad Evans, but Evans had to pull out with an injured knee and Jones was offered the shot after beating Ryan Bader at UFC 126.
Evans and Jones had trained together at Greg Jackson's MMA camp in New Mexico until Jones agreed to fight Evans in an interview. Evans reacted angrily and ended up leaving Jackson's camp entirely for Imperial Athletics in Florida. Evans will be taking wrestling coach Mike Van Arsdale with him.
Greg Jackson has promised to have nothing to do with the bout but Jackson MMA striking coach Mike Winkeljohn has made no bones about training Jones to beat Evans. Winkeljohn spoke to MMA Fighting:
"I'm positive I'm going to be working with Jon Jones because, well, the kid didn't do anything wrong. We have a good relationship."
"But in my mind, if I was fired by Rashad, I don't think I should take myself out of another job just because I used to work with the guy that fired me.
"Rashad lost to Machida, and he basically left. I know he left me, so that's how I feel. Choosing sides? I don't know if that's the term for it, but he made that choice. I didn't make that choice."
Ultimate Fighter coach Brock Lesnar was 'a beast' training with Xtreme Couture
It's tough to determine how a fighter will deal with a loss, especially one that is particularly devastating or embarrassing. Such was the nature of Brock Lesnar's defeat at the hands of Cain Velasquez at UFC 121, where "Brown Pride" had the big man doing cartwheels in the middle of the cage.
Not only did Velasquez take his heavyweight title, he had the entire martial arts world thinking Brock might pack his bags and head back to the scripted world of pro wrasslin'.
After such a desolating loss, it's difficult to blame anyone for thinking as much. It's natural to wonder how a former champion will react to losing his strap, specifically in the manner in which he lost it.
Pittsburgh's Consol Energy Center emerges as frontrunner for UFC on Versus 4
Two strong options for the UFC's fourth Versus-broadcast event have now narrowed to one.
Sources close to negotiations today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Pittsburgh's 19,000-seat Consol Energy Center is a leading candidate to host UFC on Versus 4.
The event is targeted for June 26, though the promotion has yet to make anything official, and Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission said earlier this week that talks are still in the preliminary stages.
Previous UFC on Versus events have touched down in Broomfield, Colo., San Diego, and most recently Louisville, Ky.
The promotion hosted UFC 101 in Philadelphia, and the same city is rumored for a summer event this year. However, Pittsburgh, one of the nation's great sports cities, never has hosted a show.
As of now, two fights are targeted for the June 26 card: Pat Barry vs. Cheick Kongo and Matt Brown vs. Rich Attonito.
Barry comes into the fight with win over Joey Beltran in his most recent performance, and Kongo hopes to rebound from a draw against Travis Browne.
Meanwhile, Matt Brown is in a must-win situation after three consecutive losses, and Attonito is on the mend from his first octagon setback.
Carlos Condit Would Fight Teammate Diego Sanchez Under the Right Circumstances
As the time rapidly approaches when former teammates Jon Jones and Rashad Evans will square off for the UFC light heavyweight championship, the question about other top fighters training out of the Team Jackson camp facing one another continue to swirl.
One pairing that could be on a collision course one day is former WEC welterweight champion Carlos Condit and his teammate Diego Sanchez.
Condit is currently ranked in the Top 10 in the welterweight division, and with Sanchez’s recent win over Martin Kampmann, he isn’t trailing too far behind either.
Beyond just being teammates, Condit believes the hardest part of fighting someone you work with is figuring out how you’d train for each other.
“As far as teammates fighting each other, some different things arise like who’s going to train where for the fight? Are you guys still going to be at the same gym? Are you going to come in, in the morning? Is the other guy going to come in at night? It’s all something to be considered,” Condit said recently.
Condit is readying for a return to action after a knee injury forced him out of his scheduled fight at UFC 127 against Chris Lytle. While no date for his return has been set, Condit is likely to end up on one of the summer cards, possibly in June or July.
He returned home to New Mexico to train with Team Jackson, and Sanchez went back to his original camp as well after spending several years working in and around California.
While the pair of welterweights haven’t been asked to fight yet, Condit believes that if the right situation came about, he’d fight Sanchez, but not just for giggles.
“As far as fighting Diego, me and him are teammates and training partners. If it was a title fight, like a very, very big fight, we could put friendship and everything aside, and go scrap. But unless it’s something like that, we’d probably try to avoid it,” Condit stated.
Right now, both Condit and Sanchez are awaiting opponents, but they don’t seem to be in the position where the UFC would have to see them fight each other. But if both continue their climb towards the top of the division, it’s something that may happen sooner rather than later.
Should He Stay Or Should He Go Now? Does Dan Hardy Deserve Another Shot in the UFC?
Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy at UFC Fight Night 24 on Saturday night lost his third consecutive fight, to super-sized welterweight contender Anthony “Rumble” Johnson. At this level of competition consistency is key and back to back losses is a quick way to set your career back to the minor leagues. MMA, however, is an individual sport. Every fighter is different and needs to be treated differently.
It took four straight losses before Keith Jardine got the boot. While Todd Duffee, a promising up-and-comer, who holds the record for the fastest knockout in the UFC (7 seconds), was handed his walking papers after his first loss in a fight that he was winning until he got caught with his hands down. Duffee’s release was later attributed to more of an attitude issue than a performance problem, but the loss was all the excuse needed to send him packing.
Dan Hardy is not Keith Jardine nor is he Todd Duffee. Hardy’s case should and will be handled differently than anyone else. His situation is as unique as his mohawk is red. To determine “The Outlaw’s” future with the UFC, we have to evaluate what he’s selling and if he can still close the deal.
Hardy’s product is brash, fun and entertaining. He burst into the MMA mainstream and quickly became a love him or hate him character. In the past, his ability to start and sell a fight has been nothing short of impressive.
He fast tracked himself to the Top 10 by starting a fight with then contender Marcus Davis. He sealed his number one contender status with a good performance against Mike Swick. At the pre-fight press conference of the Swick fight, Hardy gave Swick a Runners Up trophy. It was one of the funniest moves in pre-fight banter in the history of the sport. There was no doubt about Hardy’s ability to entertain. In the past, Hardy walked the talk, backing up his words with his in-Octagon actions.
Hardy has not been the same “Outlaw” since his loss to UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, the fight that started his recent skid. Hardy was the first Englishman to get a title shot in the UFC. Going into that bout, he was certainly himself. He had plenty to say about what he was going to do to GSP. He was also very much himself when he was unable to compete with GSP when it became a grappling match. While a very competent striker, Hardy has never been known for wrestling or jiu-jitsu. The GSP fight was one that most never really expected him to win. The loss is respectable considering that GSP is in the top two on most pound-for-pound lists. Despite the loss, Hardy showed a lot of heart and resiliency against the future hall of famer and I don’t think anyone weighs the loss too heavily against him.
Hardy’s next fight was against Carlos Condit. Condit had a couple tough wins in less-than-dominant performances as well as a close decision loss in his first few UFC fights. Coming in, Hardy was the favorite, being a man who just had a title shot. Hardy seemed especially motivated for this fight because Condit asked for him specifically. That seemed to bother Hardy and really fire him up. While respect was given from both sides, Hardy, as usual, had plenty to say about his opponent. Despite his talk, this time he was unable to back it up and found himself on the wrong end of the Knockout of the Night.
Anthony Johnson putting the beatdown on Dan HardyIn his most recent outing against Anthony Johnson, there was very little talk. The usual amount of respect was given and a little fun was poked at Johnson’s weight issues, but other than that, Hardy was not very outspoken. Hardy lost this fight from bell to bell. After a feeling out process in the beginning of the first round, Johnson threw a high kick that Hardy blocked most of with his arm, but was knocked to the canvas regardless. The rest of the fight was spent with Hardy fighting off of his back, mostly playing defense and trying to get to his feet. It was not the stand-up war that everyone expected and it certainly was not a Fight of the Night candidate. Hardy failed to deliver on all of the things that fans have come to expect of him. He did not hype the fight with his usual trash talk, and, keeping in mind that it takes two people to make a fight, Hardy failed to deliver an exciting bout.
In his last few fights, Hardy hasn’t been the guy that made him popular. Can Dan still close the deal? Can he still get the fans to buy his product? Maybe you can attribute this recent lack of success to bad match-ups.
The fact is GSP has made a career out of being a bad match-up for anyone. Johnson was not a great match-up for Hardy either. Johnson is a much bigger guy who neutralized Hardy’s strength in striking with his own. He is also a much more skilled wrestler, which is what won him the fight. What about Condit? Hardy has always been known for his striking. He and Condit threw the same punch at the same time and Condit’s was faster and cleaner. Maybe Hardy’s frustration with Condit caused him to be reckless and he paid for it.
Despite his recent troubles, Hardy has done a very good job of selling fights and, typically, performing. Just barely one year ago, Hardy fought for the welterweight championship.
But, we’re not here to make excuses.
Can he get back to what made him such a huge success in the first place?
After three straight losses in the UFC, does Hardy deserve one last chance?
Matt Hughes Plans 1 or 2 Fights in 2011, But Retirement Looming
Despite coming off of a 21-second knockout loss at the hands of BJ Penn at UFC 123 last November, Matt Hughes isn’t exactly ready to hang up the gloves.
Yes, he’s been laying low since the Penn fight, but Hughes says he will return to the Octagon later this year, probably some time around the end of summer or early fall. He’s not, however, planning on fighting three times this year like he did in 2011. He says more like “one, maybe two fights tops.”
“I’ll be honest, I’m 37 years old, my competitors are around 28 years old. It’s about time for Matt Hughes to find something else to do,” Hughes revealed in an interview with HDNet’s Ron Kruck. “I don’t have a whole lot of fights left in me.”
Already a UFC Hall of Famer, having won the UFC welterweight title on two different occasions, defending said belt seven times, and racking up 18 victories in the Octagon, Matt Hughes won’t quickly be forgotten once he does hang up the gloves for the final time.
Report: Zuffa Not Intent On Signing Fedor to the UFC
Well it looks like Dana White is sending a message to fighters whose camps think they’re bigger than the UFC.
According to a report by LifeSports.ru, which cites “a source close to the fighter,” Zuffa has passed on a proposed deal with M-1 to sign the Russian management group’s biggest client, Fedor Emelianenko to a new UFC contract.
M-1's failed dealings with the UFC over the past few years have been well documented, which no doubt left a bad taste in White’s mouth and likely contributed to the UFC president’s decision to pass on locking in the former number one ranked pound-for-pound fighter.
The source from Fedor’s camp said that The Last Emperor’s back-to-back losses and the high salary demands led to the latest contract impasse with the UFC, who recently purchased Strikeforce.
Depending on how Emelianenko does in his next bout, the former PRIDE heavyweight champion may be reserved to finishing up the last three bouts on his current Strikeforce deal without ever setting foot in the UFC Octagon.
To clarify, Fedor still has a deal in place that was signed in Janary to ensure his participation in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, but it’s rumored that the UFC has already begun renegotiating new contracts with fighters in place of the promotion’s deals they had with fighters before the buyout.
Randy Couture’s Next Retirement Tentatively Scheduled for April 30th
During his 14-year MMA career, Randy Couture has ditched the UFC no less than three times — once in 1998 to pursue opportunities in Japan, the second time due to a short-lived retirement in 2006 following his second knockout loss to Chuck Liddell, and finally in 2007 due to a money disputes and a perceived lack of respect. Each time, the lure of competition has brought him back to his home in the Octagon. But there’s only so much a 47-year-old can take, and after a series of vague hints in recent months, it seems like Randy is preparing us for his final departure, seriously, for real this time.
Joey Beltran vs. Dave Herman added to UFC 131 in Vancouver
It's "The Mexicutioner" against "Pee Wee."
UFC executives today announced that Joey Beltran (12-5 MMA, 2-2 UFC) and Dave Herman (20-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will meet at UFC 131.
While not yet officially announced by the promotion, UFC 131 is expected to take place June 11 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.
Herman was originally expected to face British slugger Rob Broughton. No reason was given for the change in plans.
Dana White Supports Overtime to Take Draws Out of the UFC
The UFC has already had two pay-per-view main events end in draws this year, with neither fighter getting his hand raised in the Frankie Edgar vs Gray Maynard fight at UFC 125, or the B.J. Penn vs. Jon Fitch fight at UFC 127.
UFC President Dana White wasn't satisfied with those decisions, and he'd like to do something about it: Add overtime to UFC fights.
Jon Fitch Out of UFC 132 Rematch With BJ Penn
Still 13 weeks out from his rematch with BJ Penn at UFC 132, Jon Fitch has pulled out of the fight due to a training injury.
Sources close to the UFC confirmed the news to MMA Fighting on Wednesday. Word of Fitch's withdrawal from the bout was first reported by MMA Weekly.
There is no word yet on a possible replacement for Fitch. The fight was expected to determine the top contender for the UFC welterweight title currently held by Georges St-Pierre.
Fitch and Penn fought to a majority draw at UFC 127 in Sydney last month when two judges scored the fight 28-28, giving Penn the first and second rounds, and a 10-8 to Fitch in the third. One judge scored the fight 29-28 in favor of Fitch.
UFC's Chris Lytle Answers Dan Hardy's Challenge; "Let's Do it!"
"I think it would be awesome. I know exactly how he feels. He wants to go out there and fight. Just get out there and bang. He didn't get to do that in his last fight and I'm all about it. Let's do it!"
UFC Welterweight scrap machine Chris Lytle tells Duane Finley that he accepts Dan Hardy's challenge with open arms. After Hardy lost a lopsided decision to Anthony Johnson he posted on his Twitter account that he was disappointed and wanted to face an opponent who was looking to actually fight him. He then went on to address "Mr. Lytle" directly and now "Lights Out" has answered back. Lytle has been vocal throughout his career that he is only interested in fighting opponents who come into the octagon with the intention to fight him and with Hardy having lost three straight, the British slugger's back is against the wall. A potential matchup between two of the division's most exciting stand-up fighters would certainly produce fireworks and now it is up to the UFC to make it happen.