Frank Mir - Beware the Rematch
When you get offered a fight by the UFC, you have a choice: either embrace it, get ready for it and win it, or sulk and question whether you are even a fighter in the first place.
I was offered a fight against Antonio (Minotauro) Nogueira on Dec. 10 at UFC 140 and, although I already held a win over the man, I jumped at the chance. It was another big fight in my career, against a legend, and one that will move me a step closer to another UFC heavyweight title shot. What is there not to like about that?
Naturally, some people look at this weekend's fight and think to themselves, 'Damn, Frank already holds a win over that guy -- isn't he going over old ground,' and, in a sense, I guess they are right. I beat Nogueira inside two rounds back in December 2008 and, three years on, it does kind of feel as if I'm going through it all again, especially as I personally believe this rematch will bear an uncanny resemblance to the first fight.
I am a fighter, though, and fighters can't afford to ever think like that. I knew this was a fight I had to take seriously, despite the fact I had already beaten the man. Nogueira is someone I have a victory over, but, right now, that only means he is hungry for revenge and will be much better in this rematch than he was in the first fight.
After camping with Tristar, Mark Bocek wiping the slate clean at UFC 140
UFC lightweight Mark Bocek (9-4 MMA, 5-4 UFC) spent 15 minutes in the cage with current No. 1 contender Ben Henderson and knew something had to change.
Fighting in front of the largest crowd in North American MMA history at this past April's UFC 129 event, Bocek knew he had been defeated, and it was a feeling he didn't like.
So Bocek promptly relocated his camp to Montreal's famed Tristar Gym and reinvented himself. Wipe the slate clean, says Bocek. The real work starts Saturday night.
"I changed the camp up a little bit," Bocek told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I did my camp in Montreal at Tristar with Firas Zahabi and all the guys down there. They have a bunch of different gyms. The way they train, it's not all in one place. It's kind of decentralized, so I've got a new look on things. I felt like my learning curve was getting a little flat, but I feel ready.
"I wasn't happy about the Henderson fight, but I've changed things around. I'm 30 years old now. I think things, now, are starting to come together nicely for me in my game. I feel good."
Bocek gets a chance to display his new skills Saturday night, when he faces Nik Lentz (21-3-2 MMA, 5-0-1 UFC) on the preliminary card of UFC 140, which takes place at Toronto's Air Canada Centre.
Is Lyoto Machida Sick Heading Into Fight With Jon Jones?
Lyoto Machida made weight just minutes ago for his UFC 140 bout with Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight championship. He looked to be in his usual level of shape while Jones looked very fit but also was booed loudly by the Toronto crowd.
Of course, these are just rumors at this point and it's not the first time we've heard such information heading into a fight. But it is worth noting that the word is out there and Machida may face more than Jones' dynamic attacking style when the two men step into the cage.
We'll keep you up to date on any new information or developments as best we can heading into the event.
UFC 140 weigh-in results: Champ Jones (205), challenger Machida (204) on weight
MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view)
Champ Jon Jones (205) vs. Lyoto Machida (204)
Frank Mir (260) vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (239)
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (204.5) vs. Tito Ortiz (206)
Brian Ebersole (170.5) vs. Claude Patrick (171)
Mark Hominick (145) vs. Chan Sung Jung (145.5)
PRELIMINARY CARD (ION Television)
Igor Pokrajac (205) vs. Krzysztof Soszynski (206)
Jared Hamman (185) vs. Constantinos Philippou (185)
Dennis Hallman (158.5)* vs. John Makdessi (155.5)
Yves Jabouin (136) vs. Walel Watson (135.5)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook)
Mark Bocek (156) vs. Nik Lentz (156)
Rich Attonito (170.5) vs. Jake Hecht (170.5)
John Cholish (156) vs. Mitch Clarke (154.5)
What's Missing From UFC's Response to Miguel Torres, Rashad Evans? Consistency.
Here's a question that became very important, yet difficult to answer this week: If you're a UFC fighter living in this wild world of social media, how do you know when you've crossed the line between edgy and irredeemably offensive? Better yet, how do you know when crossing that line will get you chewed out by your boss, and how do you know when you've committed an offense so egregious that it's cause for termination?
Answer: You don't. Not until it's too late. Not until your fate is already sealed. And that, whether you think of yourself as a shockingly clever Twitter comedian or a press conference trash-talk specialist, is a problem.
It's a problem for fighters, and it's a problem for the UFC. It's also a problem that has a solution, if the UFC cares enough about fairness and clarity to implement it.
As you probably know by now, two UFC fighters made the issue of sexual assault into fodder for their own attempts at entertainment this week, but with very different repercussions.
At a UFC on FOX press conference earlier this week, light heavyweight Rashad Evans referenced the Penn State sex abuse scandal when trying to zing former Nittany Lions wrestler Phil Davis. Meanwhile on Twitter, bantamweight Miguel Torres joked about "rape vans," suggesting that if they were renamed "surprise vans," maybe people would be more likely to ride in them.
Go out on the street and present these two cases to strangers who know nothing about the world of the UFC. See if they can guess which guy got fired, and which got off with just a stern talking to. I'll bet you a six-pack of your finest domestic ale that more people guess wrong than right.
Despite Close to UFC Career, Mirko Cro Cop Plans Return to Kickboxing
A third straight knockout loss brought a close to Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic's UFC career, but the Croatian apparently isn't quite ready to call it quits when it comes to combat sports. While he's rehabbing a torn right biceps muscle, he is also plotting a return to kickboxing, and says he will fight in a March 10 show in his nation's capital city, Zagreb.
In an interview with Croatia's Fight Channel, Cro Cop revealed that he injured his right arm before his recent UFC 137 fight with Roy Nelson and decided to fight anyway. Even beforehand, he told fans that it was likely his last time in the octagon, and while he says he's done in the MMA realm, he plans to return to K-1 for the first time since 2003.
"K-1 is the sport where I started," he said. "This is my first love and I find K-1 more attractive and more suitable for our Croatian fans than MMA."
Cro Cop isn't scheduled to have his right arm removed from a cast until December 20, but despite his doctor's advice of staying on the sidelines for eight weeks, he has begun training in preparation for his return...
UFC confirms Josh Koscheck vs. Mike Pierce for UFC 143
A day after joining MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) and starting his campaign, Mike Pierce has his fight.
UFC officials today confirmed Pierce (13-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC) will meet fellow welterweight contender Josh Koscheck (16-5 MMA, 14-5 UFC) in February at UFC 143.
Koscheck became available when his original opponent, Carlos Condit, was promoted to the main event to fill in for injured champ Georges St-Pierre against Nick Diaz.
UFC 143: Renan Barao vs Scott Jorgensen in the works for Feb. 4 in Las Vegas
And this is why we love the bantamweights.
The owner of MMA's longest unbeaten streak, Renan Barao, will face off against perennial bantamweight contender Scott Jorgensen at UFC 143: "Condit vs. Diaz" on Feb. 4, 2012, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The promotion brought word of the match-up just last night.
Barao was last seen going balls-to-the-wall against British bomber Brad Pickett, cracking the returning brawler's notoriously rugged chin with an enormous standing knee before taking his back and securing the rear-naked choke win.
The victory brought Barao's unbeaten streak to an unbelievable 28 fights. In fact, the badass Brazilian has yet to lose since his professional debut.
There's a certain mohawked wrestler who'd like to change that.
Mike Pierce Confirms Fight With Josh Koscheck At UFC 143
Josh Koscheck was scheduled to be Carlos Condit's opponent at UFC 143 until Georges St. Pierre injured his knee and was forced out of his title fight. The UFC decided to match Condit with Nick Diaz for the interim welterweight title. Koscheck was left without an opponent while the UFC was dealing with the fall out of St. Pierre's injury.
During this time Koscheck was attempting to get a fight at 185, even tweeting that he'll have an announcement soon. Looks like the UFC have decided to keep Koscheck busy at weltwerweight with a fight against Mike Pierce. Piece has a grinding style that could cause Koscheck fits. Pierce tweeted, "It's on! KOS tried wiggling outta this one too, but Feb 4th he's mine #ufc#ufc143".
Dana White Discusses Why He Released Miguel Torres Over Tweet
TORONTO -- MMA Fighting spoke to UFC president Dana White Thursday evening about why he decided to release Miguel Torres after the bantamweight fighter tweeted about a "rape van" recently. White explained his reasons for the release, why he didn't release other UFC fighters who appeared to make light of rape, and what kind of message he is sending to his fighters.
Miguel Torres Released From UFC Following Twitter Comment
In an interview with UFC President Dana White, SI.com is reporting that Miguel Torres has been released by the UFC following a “rape” comment he made on his twitter account. Here is an excerpt from that interview;
SI.com: And what about Miguel Torres’ tweet from yesterday?
White: This morning I’m on [Michael] Landsburg’s show, up here in Canada, and he hits me with the quote of what he tweeted. Now there’s no explanation for that. There’s absolutely nothing I could say to make any sense of that. And the fact that he even thinks that’s funny or that’s a joke, it disturbs me. It bothers me. Again, you’re dealing with a guy that’s a smart guy, that owns his own business, that’s been one of the top fighters in the world forever. And I cut him today. He’s no longer with the UFC.
SI.com: Was that announced today?
White: It’s being announced right now to you. You’re the only one that knows. Miguel Torres has been cut from the UFC and his career with us now is over.
The tweet -
"If a rape van was called a surprise van, more women wouldn't mind going for rides in them," Torres stated. "Everyone like surprises."
Unidentified UFC Fighters Beats Up Robber in Chicago
A man who tried to rob a mixed martial-arts expert at gunpoint found himself no match for his intended victim this weekend, police said.
Anthony Miranda, 24, faces a charge of discharging a weapon during a robbery in the Southwest Side attack, which left him wounded in the ankle and badly bruised from his confrontation with the 33-year-old man he robbed, police said.
The victim was sitting in his car near Kenneth Avenue and 55th Street about 11:30 p.m. Friday when a man came up to the car and asked him for a light, said Chicago Police News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli.
The man in the car replied that he didn't have a light, and the other man pulled out a handgun and demanded the driver's valuables, Mirabelli said. The driver handed over his cash, wallet and valuables, and the gunman then ordered him out of the car.
At some point, the older man was able to grab hold of the handgun, and during a struggle, the robber discharged a round, striking himself in the ankle, Mirabelli said.
The victim was able to hold the robber until police arrived. When he turned the robber over to police, the victim told them that he participates in Ultimate Fighting Championships, a mixed-martial arts competition, Mirabelli said.
Cesar Gracie Thinks Georges St. Pierre Should Be Stripped of Title
LayzieTheSavage of Middle Easy reached out to Cesar Gracie to get his thoughts on Georges St. Pierre's injury. Gracie is Nick Diaz' long time trainer and manager and has played an important role in Diaz' development from mid-tier UFC fighter to welterweight title contender.
As usual with Gracie, he is very honest in his assessment of the situation and doesn't pull any punches when discussing the extent of St. PIerre's injury. St. Pierre has been out of action since fighting Jake Shields earlier this year at UFC 129 and with the news that he could be out for 10 months with a blown out ACL, Georges and the welterweight title will be sidelined for close to two years.
The UFC has announced that Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit will be fighting for the interim title while GSP recovers from his injuries. Because of this extended time off, Gracie believes that St. Pierre should be stripped of his title. His reasoning isn't off base either. Fans don't view interim champions as the "real" champion and a champion should be active in his defenses.
Gracie believes that Carlos Condit could actually be a tougher opponent for Diaz than St. Pierre. His assessment is that Condit is a more dangerous fighter because he doesn't fight safe. He is a bigger fighter than St. Pierre and has more power in his hands. It should also be commended that Gracie also doesn't allow himself to get baited into calling the injury fake when Layzie attempts to lead the conversation in that direction.
Mike Pierce wants Josh Koscheck at UFC 143, points to previous 'skirting'
Josh Koscheck is without an opponent at UFC 143. Mike Pierce has some free time and the desire to give fans what they want.
And what do fans want?
"For whatever reason – it's nothing personal – Josh Koscheck is just one of those guys that everybody loves to hate," Pierce today told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "They want to see Koscheck get his ass beat. I want to be his personal Dan Henderson."
If it isn't clear by now, Pierce (13-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC) is calling out Koscheck (16-5 MMA, 14-5 UFC).
Koscheck was scheduled to fight Carlos Condit at the Feb. 4 event, which takes place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The bout was scheduled for the pay-per-view main-card before champ Georges St-Pierre blew out his knee and was forced to withdraw from a title fight with Nick Diaz. Condit was then promoted to fight Diaz for the interim welterweight title.
UFC to announce new 125-pound flyweight class this weekend
The UFC is going to strike while the iron is hot.
Following a successful lighter-weights season of "The Ultimate Fighter" reality series on Spike TV, the UFC is going even lighter and adding a 125-pound flyweight division.
UFC president Dana White confirmed the long-rumored division – which will be the UFC's eighth – should be announced within the next few days.
"It's happening," he said. "I told you guys it's happening, and it's happening."
"This weekend," White said after Wednesday's UFC on FOX 2 press conference in Chicago (before hopping on a jet to Toronto for this weekend's UFC 140 event). "I should have something by this weekend."
Big Nog Still Wants Heavyweight Title But Never Against Dos Santos
Two hip surgeries and a knee surgery behind him, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is finally healthy and ready to get back to his championship form from just a few years ago.
The next step to that goal is facing old foe Frank Mir at UFC 140 this weekend.
If he’s successful, Nogueira is hopeful to still face the top of the heavyweight division, and dreams of reclaiming the title, but there’s one small caveat to that plan.
Nogueira has no plans to ever face his good friend and student Junior Dos Santos, so if he’s the champion, the former Pride king will happily face other top level competition.
UFC 140's Tito Ortiz eyes third fight with Forrest Griffin, 2012 retirement
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz may finally be ready to call it quits.
On the eve of his UFC 140 matchup with fellow longtime vet Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Ortiz believes he's finally – thankfully – healthy, but that's precisely the point.
With kids at home that need a father, Ortiz remembers what it was like to have absentee parents. And with all that fighting has given to him over the years, Ortiz refuses to let the sport take away future quality time with his family.
UFC 139 drug tests for steroids come back clean
Two weeks ago, the California State Athletic Commission confirmed that all UFC 139 fighters tested clean for recreational/drugs of abuse.
Today, a CSAC rep told MMAjunkie.com that steroid tests also came back clean for this past month's event.
UFC 139 took place Nov. 19 at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.
Sparks fly at today's contender-heavy UFC on FOX 2 press conference
The sound bites were flying today at a press conference announcing UFC on FOX 2, and there were contenders aplenty.
All six fighters sitting on the dais at Chicago's United Center are in the hunt for a UFC title. Two of them have to fight a friend to get there.
As expected, the winner of Mark Munoz vs. Chael Sonnen fights middleweight champ Anderson Silva, and the winner of Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis is next for the light-heavyweight title.
Dustin Jacoby vs. Chris Camozzi added to UFC on FOX 2
A middleweight bout between Dustin Jacoby and Chris Camozzi has been added to next month's UFC on FOX 2 event.
Officials today announced the fight, which likely will earn the loser his UFC walking papers.
UFC on FOX 2 takes place Jan. 28 at Chicago's United Center. The night's main card, which features three bouts, airs on FOX. However, Jacoby vs. Camozzi will be part of the preliminary card.