Fueled by fans, furied by haters, Ben Rothwell focused on spectacular UFC return
Coming home from an autograph session to a computer screen filled with insults is a jarring experience.
Welcome to the double-edged sword of fandom, a split world fighters encounter when they get to the big show. Up close and personal, they're bathed in praise. Online, where MMA lives and breathes, they're cut off at the knees at a moment's notice.
That goes double for the fighters who bring personality to the table, the ones who don't consult the public relations manual before they speak, or the ones who've decided they're better served as heels.
Heavyweight Ben Rothwell (31-7 MMA, 1-1 UFC) is upset. He has not decided to be a heel.
NFL Lockout closes one door, opens another for UFC and MMA
Greed will imprison us all.
No one knows that better than the legions of National Football League (NFL) fans that are being held hostage right now by the owners and players inability to come to terms on an agreement regarding how to split the massive amount of revenue the league brings in each year.
They're also bickering over potential rule changes, whether or not to add a few games to each season, a rookie pay scale and many other labor disputes. All of these issues that have gone unresolved for far too long have led to the possibility of a work stoppage.
In short, by the time August rolls around this year, there may not be any professional football. But where one door closes, another one opens and there is always someone standing on the other side, waiting to walk through it.
Enter Dana White and his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Released from UFC, Todd Brown contemplating move to Middleweight
After an unsuccessful two-fight run in the octagon, Indiana native Todd Brown (15-3) has been released by the world's largest mixed martial arts promotion.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed Brown's recent UFC release with his management at MMA Agents.
However, the 5-foot-11 light heavyweight eyes a return to the bigtime, and he's considering a drop to 185 pounds to do it.
"Bulldog" made his UFC debut in August 2010 at UFC 117. With just two weeks' notice, Brown stepped for an injured Thiago Silva and lost a unanimous decision to Tim Boetsch. The loss snapped a seven-fight win streak for Brown.
Spike TV draws 1.3 Million viewers for UFC 128 prelims special
Despite airing head-to-head with coverage of college basketball's "March Madness," this past Saturday's "UFC Prelims" special drew an average audience of 1.3 million viewers.
This past weekend's one-hour special, which featured two live bouts from the "UFC 128: Shogun vs. Jones" event and preceded the March 19 card's pay-per-view broadcast, scored a 0.85 household rating.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today learned of the figures from industry sources.
'Ashamed' Michael Bisping issues apology for spitting at UFC 127, looks forward to Chael Sonnen smack talk
Michael Spitsbing has broken his silence.
The brash British banger today issued an apology for his post-fight celebration at UFC 127, telling The Telegraph that he was "out of line" for spitting at (not on) Jorge Rivera's corner team after his emotional second round technical knockout victory on Feb 27, 2011, in Sydney, Australia.
"The Count," who flew into a rage after finishing "El Conquistador," admits that the pre-fight smack talk and steady drumbeat of insulting parody videos that "crossed the line" ultimately got the best of him on fight night.
UFC 130 "UFC Prelims" headed to Spike TV; Torres-Pickett and Alves-Story likely
As with UFC 129, Spike TV will air a "UFC Prelims" special ahead of May's UFC 130 pay-per-view main card.
Sources close to the event today confirmed the plans with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Although the fights for the one-hour broadcast haven't been determined, leading candidates include bantamweights Miguel Torres (39-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) vs. Brad Pickett (20-5 MMA, 0-0 UFC) and welterweights Thiago Alves (18-7 MMA, 10-4 UFC) vs. Rick Story (12-3 MMA, 5-1 UFC).
UFC 130 takes place May 28 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The pay-per-view headliner pits lightweight champ Frankie Edgar against Gray Maynard for a third meeting between the two.
After self-diagnosis, Phil Davis ready to go "crazy" at UFC Fight Night 24
After winning his first four UFC fights, Phil Davis (8-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) earned a coveted spot in a main event. It's the first of his brief career – but likely not his last.
The 26-year-old has been on a meteoric rise after a seamless transition from collegiate wrestling star to full-time mixed-martial-arts fighter.
He gets his toughest test to date when he faces veteran Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (19-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC) Saturday at UFC Fight Night 24 in Seattle at KeyArena. The main card, including the Davis vs. Nogueira headliner, airs live on Spike TV.
Originally targeted for a UFC 129 matchup with Jason Brilz, Davis answered the call when Tito Ortiz pulled out of the fight with Nogueira due to injury. The opportunity to fight a bigger-name opponent on a more prominent platform was simply too good to pass up.
Healthy UFC Fight Night 24 co-headliner Anthony Johnson staying at 170 pounds
As part of his current 16-month layoff, Anthony Johnson wrestled with both his weight and a lack of attention.
He admits his knee surgery and a subsequent layoff had him feeling down, and the welterweight gained noticeable weight in the process.
But Johnson (8-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC), who returns to action Saturday to meet Dan Hardy (23-8 MMA, 4-2 UFC) in a UFC Fight Night 24 co-headliner, said his previous comments about a possible move to middleweight never were serious. Instead, he simply needed some attention.
"When I said I was thinking about going to 185, I just did that to get everyone talking," Johnson, who fights Hardy on the Spike TV-televised main card at Seattle's KeyArena, told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) during a recent media call. "It worked obviously.
Kendall Grove vs. Tim Boetsch Set for UFC 130
According to UFC.com, Tim Boetsch will make his middleweight debut against Kendall Grove at UFC 130 on May 28th. Boetsch went 3-3 as a light heavyweight in two separate runs with the UFC. Grove was the season three The Ultimate Fighter reality show tournament winner and is 2-3 in his last five fights.
Integrated Sports Media announces "George St-Pierre: Rush To The Top" PPV special
New Jersey-based pay-per-view distributor Integrated Sports Media today announced the impending release of "George St-Pierre: Rush To The Top," a one-hour special focusing on the early career of UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.
According to the release, the special will feature footage from all six of St-Pierre's non-UFC fights.
The special debuts April 1 on DirecTV and DISH Network, April 11 on Avail-TVN and April 12 on iN DEMAND. Replays run throughout April and May.
"TUF 14" tryouts draw notables Din Thomas, Wagnney Fabiano, Micah Miller, Kit Cope
Some 400 hopefuls turned out today at the Newark Liberty International Airport Marriott in Newark, N.J., to audition for the 14th season of "The Ultimate Fighter."
Seen in the crowd were a few familiar faces: UFC vet Din Thomas, who appeared on the show's fourth season, and WEC vets Wagnney Fabiano, Micah Miller and Ian McCall.
"The Ultimate Fighter 14," which begins production this summer and debuts in the fall on Spike TV, is expected to feature bantamweight and/or featherweight fighters. It's the first time the reality show has featured competitors in the UFC's lightest weight classes.
UFC champ Jon Jones scores "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" appearance
Where's Ed McMahon when you need him?
While the UFC's new light heavyweight champ won't get the experience of longtime announcer McMahon's signature, "Here's Johnny," introduction, Jon Jones is heading to "The Tonight Show."
UFC president Dana White today announced via Twitter that Jones will appear on Thursday night's edition of the 67-year-old NBC franchise.
"Congrats, Jon Jones," White wrote. "First UFC fighter to do the 'The Tonight Show' with Jay Leno.
"The hits keep on coming! Tune in Thursday on NBC!"
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has since confirmed the booking with additional UFC executives. The official lineup for "The Tonight Show" does not yet reflect the appointment.
Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale Show Official; Pettis vs. Guida Headlines
The UFC has officially announced the “Ultimate Fighter” season 13 finale show taking place in Las Vegas on June 4 with Anthony “Showtime” Pettis taking on Clay Guida in the main event.
Pettis comes to the UFC after a successful WEC career that included the infamous “Showtime kick” to close out his time with the promotion, and leave as the last ever lightweight champion.
Pettis was expected to fight for the UFC lightweight title in his first bout in the Octagon, but a draw between champion Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard forced another fight and so Pettis will stay busy by facing Guida instead.
Zuffa Officials Meet With Showtime, Paul Daley Expected to Fight April 9
The changing climate in the world of MMA took another step towards the future on Saturday night when Strikeforce advertisements aired during the UFC 128 pay-per-view broadcast.
When Zuffa purchased the second largest MMA organization, everybody knew the crossover appeal would happen sooner rather than later, but it still caught a few people off guard when it happened.
In addition to the advertisements about the upcoming Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley event, middleweight Jason “Mayhem” Miller took over the UFC Twitter account during the pay-per-view to give his thoughts on the show, while Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson sat in the front row for the action.
Trainer: Jones vs. Evans matchup forcing "soul searching" at Jackson's, Grudge
When it comes to the impending fight between newly minted light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones and former champ Rashad Evans, trainer Greg Jackson is sticking to a long-held policy not to corner fighters against one another.
Other coaches are still figuring things out. It's admittedly an uncomfortable situation not only for Jackson but those who've worked with both fighters, or work with the Jackson team.
"Everybody's doing soul searching right now," Jackson today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Not long ago, Evans and Jones were meeting on the mats of Jackson's MMA academy in Albuquerque, N.M., as Evans prepared to face light-heavyweight champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 128. When Evans hurt his knee in early February, Jones went in his place and dominated the Brazilian champion en route to a third-round TKO.
Tito Ortiz Takes on Ryan Bader at UFC 132 on July 2
Tito Ortiz is ready to step back in the Octagon. He will have a tough test ahead of him when he does, as he has agreed to face Ryan Bader at UFC 132 in July.
Sources close to the fight confirmed the bout to MMAWeekly.com on Monday.
Tito Ortiz (15-8-1) will not only be fighting Ryan Bader in July, he will literally be fighting for his UFC career. The former light heavyweight champion is currently on a three-fight losing streak, but UFC president Dana White said he would give him one more chance to prove himself, and this is it.
Rashad Evans: Disrespected by Jon Jones, Disappointed in Greg Jackson
This past Saturday at UFC 128 was supposed to be the culmination of two years of hard work for former champion Rashad Evans. He was set to face Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in a lightweight title bout that would give Evans the opportunity to finally reclaim the belt he once lost but instead of a moment of potential greatness, instead Evans has found himself in the midst of a bitter dispute. Several weeks from the fight Evans suffered an injury that forced him to withdraw and in his place the UFC tapped his teammate Jon Jones.
This created the potential confrontation between Evans and Jones, and while both men have publically stated this wasn't something they would take part in, after Jon Jones became the youngest light heavyweight champion in the history of the UFC, Evans was sitting right there in the number one contender's position. Now the reality of their matchup has forced a wedge between two men who were once considered close friends and training partners but Evans's frustration is not aimed at Jones alone. I caught up with Evans on the day after he agreed to face Jones later for the light heavyweight title and in his Bloody Elbow Exclusive interview, Evans spoke his mind. While Evans discussed the details of the situation between himself and Jon Jones, he perhaps showed more anger towards former Coach Greg Jackson's public declaration that he will take no part in the matchup.