Tito Ortiz: 'The last time I felt like this was when I had my world title'
"I told myself I would never take a fight like I did last year ever again. I promised myself I'd never do that, because I never want to give a guy an opportunity to beat me again. I feel great, man. I haven't felt like this in a long time. It's been a good six, seven years since I felt the way I do now. The last time I felt like this was when I had my world title. You're going to see at the weigh-ins how good of a shape I'm in. I'm in really, really good shape. My weight's about 220 right now. Usually it's about 215, 212, so I'm able to really stay in great shape, and do the wrestling, and do the squats and lunges, and stuff that I couldn't do before because of my lower back. Now that I'm able to do it, it's a blessing in disguise, as I say ... People have got to look at [my past] fights before they judge. I give my heart and soul every time I go out and fight and I give 100%. I lay everything on the line. I don't get dominated in my fights. I don't get knocked out in my fights. I don't do things that other fighters do that still compete and are main-event fighters. I think that's the way it is. Tito Ortiz always has controversy behind my name. I don't know why it is, but I give my heart and soul for the UFC. I have from day one and I will continue to do it."
UFC brass: British MMA far from dead, local talent not required for expansion
LONDON – Aside from a last-minute save by main-event winner Michael Bisping, Saturday's UFC 120 card in London wasn't exactly a shining moment for British MMA.
Three of the country's biggest stars – Dan Hardy, John Hathaway and "The Ultimate Fighter 9" winner James Wilks – were easily defeated by their American counterparts in high-profile main-card bouts at The O2.
But UFC president Dana White said the results won't do anything to hurt the growth of the UFC in the U.K.
In fact, he said the sport flourishes with or without regional talent.
Jardine vs. France tops Nov. 13 Nemesis Fighting event in Dominican Republic
Notables such as Keith Jardine, Paul Buentello, Dean Lister, Jeff Curran and Eliot Marshall have been booked for November's "Nemesis Fighting: MMA Global Invasion" event.
Fans can attend the unique event as part of a four-day all-inclusive vacation package at the Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.
The vacation takes place Nov. 11-14, and the event is set for Nov. 13.
Jardine (15-9-1), a cast member on "The Ultimate Fighter 2" who recently concluded a long UFC run, meets one-time Strikeforce fighter Francisco "Kiko" France (6-1) in the main event, and Buentello, a former Strikeforce heavyweight title challenger and UFC veteran, meets "TUF 2" cast member Kerry Schall (23-11) in the co-headliner.
UFC 120 reportedly sets European attendance record with 17,133 at The O2
LONDON – As expected, Saturday's "UFC 120: Bisping vs. Akiyama" set the UFC's European record for attendance with a reported total of 17,133 spectators packing The O2 in London.
The show also generated a reported £1.6 million (approximately $2.56 million), which left it short of 2007's UFC 75 event, which also took place at The O2 and generated a reported mark of $2.7 million, the current record gate for Europe.
Condit Wants Winner of Kampmann vs. Shields
Former WEC welterweight titleholder Carlos Condit stunned the O2 Arena in London by knocking out favored Dan Hardy in the first round of their important 170-pound matchup at UFC 120 on Saturday.
“This was definitely the biggest fight of my career, fighting on the co-main [event],” said Condit. “[Defeating] Dan in his backyard at the O2 Arena is the biggest win of my career so far.”
This marks the third straight victory for “The Natural Born Killer” inside the Octagon since he was defeated in his debut by Danish striker Martin Kampmann at UFC Fight Night 18 in 2009. Avenging that loss, along with a 2006 defeat to newly-signed Jake Shields, is at the forefront of the New Mexican’s mind.
Victorious Bisping Looking for Wanderlei Rematch
“I feel I’ve grown as a fighter. If I can’t do it now I’m never going to do it,” he asserted.
That’s not to say that the confident Brit has his sights set on champion Anderson Silva just yet. Instead, he has another Silva in his sights.
“I’d like to fight Wanderlei again, definitely,” said Bisping, referring to his disputed loss to the Brazilian earlier this year. “I would even consider coaching 'The Ultimate Fighter' against him.”
UFC 120 Bonuses: Four Fighters Bank $60K
Before his encounter with Carlos Condit, Dan Hardy had never before been knocked out. In MMA, such streaks are notoriously fleeting.
Condit parked Hardy with a left hook and follow-up ground strike, as he banked a $50,000 “Knockout of the Night” bonus in the UFC 120 “Bisping vs. Akiyama” co-main event on Saturday at the O2 Arena in London. The 26-year-old Condit clipped Hardy with a crackling left hook that sent him to the mat in a semi-conscious state and finished off the Team Rough House standout soon after. The end came 4:27 into round one.
Is Dan Hardy A Stepping Stone-Or A Scary Mofo?
If Hardy has his way today at UFC 120 against Carlos Condit, the latter. "[Carlos Condit] admits this is the biggest fight of his UFC career and he wants to use me as a stepping stone to a shot at UFC champ Georges St-Pierre. That’s not happening. I want to send a message out that I’m back and I’m better than ever, and I’m still a legitimate contender for the belt. I think there were a lot of hopes riding on me for the last fight, with me being the first UK fighter to contend for the belt, and obviously I fell short, and I think a lot of fans were disappointed with that. So as a way of apologizing to the fans for my last performance, I want to put on a show and give them their money’s worth, and at the same time scare the hell out of the rest of the division and let them know that nobody’s safe."
White Talks Fedor, Overeem and Co-Promotion
It's been a couple of years since Dana White went on an international trip to try and negotiate a deal to bring Fedor Emelianenko to the UFC, but it is still a hot button subject with a great many fans that want to see the former Pride champion compete in the Octagon.
Since that time, the UFC has established an strong heavyweight division with champion Brock Lesnar ruling the roost and top contenders like Cain Velasquez, Junior Dos Santos, and Shane Carwin anchoring the weight class along with him.
Fedor lost his most recent effort, being submitted by Fabricio Werdum, and while many believed that White would have been cheering his demise, he says it was far from that.
"A lot of people were saying that, 'you must have been happy when Fedor (lost).' To be honest with you, I'm as much of a fight fan as all you guys are," White said on Friday. "You hear me talk about Fedor. I flew to crazy places, made him a very respectable offer to come in and fight. I would have loved to have done him and Brock Lesnar or whoever. I tried to make that fight happen, and they know it, whether they say it or not.
Steve Cantwell Explains Injury That Forced Him Off UFC 120
LONDON -- Steve Cantwell just can't buy a break.
The light heavyweight was forced to pull out of his UFC 120 fight against Stanislav Nedkov Friday morning after suffering a knee injury in training on Wednesday.
"Wednesday we were training," Cantwell told MMA Fighting. "It was my last medium day training, just trying to cut weight, loosen up a little bit. I was just having a really, really great training session. Literally, the last five minutes I was rolling -- we did three rounds on pads and two rolling -- literally the last minute, I rolled, hit a move, my foot got caught and torqued my knee and popped my lateral collateral ligament. I couldn't walk. I tried to play it off because there were all kinds of people in the room, like, 'Ah, I got a cramp. I'm done training,' kind of thing."
UFC vs. WEC superfights? Showcase fights? UFC exec finally admits possibility
LONDON – Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar? Benson Henderson vs. B.J. Penn?
For more than a year, Zuffa officials have been adamant with decries that the Ultimate Fighting Championship and its sister promotion, World Extreme Cagefighting, will operate as independent organizations.
But for the first time, a company executive has suggested the WEC may get a promotional push by the UFC, and it could result in superfights between the two organizations' biggest stars.
Today during a UFC Fan Expo London 2010 Q&A session at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London, UFC co-owner and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta admitted the time likely has come for the UFC to help its smaller partner. After all, while the WEC has produced some of the best and most competitive events of the past few years, ratings have sunk, attendance figures have flat-lined (when WEC star Urijah Faber isn't on the card), and yet the company continues producing some of the sport's top lighter-weight fighters, including featherweight champ Aldo, lightweight title-holder Henderson, and a host of other notables in the 135-, 145- and 155-pound divisions.
Jon Jones Says Ryan Bader Fight Is Still On For UFC 126
If Jon Jones isn't fighting Ryan Bader in February at UFC 126, nobody's told him. The fast-rising light heavyweight today told a gathered crowd at the UFC Fan Expo London 2010 at London's Earls Court Exhibition Centre that his long-rumored fight with Bader at the as-yet-unannounced UFC 126 event was still a go despite UFC president Dana White's Friday comments that the contest was in jeopardy. "The Ryan Bader fight is well underway," Jones clarified. At a Friday Q&A session, White set the MMA world abuzz with a revelation that the Bader-Jones matchup, which was previously considered a virtual lock for the Feb. 5 event, was perhaps "in jeopardy." On Saturday, Jones calmed the nerves of the gathered crowd by informing them he had consulted with UFC matchmaker Joe Silva, who confirmed that the matchup was still planned for UFC 126. "I think [Bader] signed his contract," Jones said. "I've been really busy, so I haven't gotten a chance to sign my contract yet, but I think that fight will be set for Feb. 5. I'm really excited about this opportunity." The confusion may stemmed from the UFC's original plans of hosting the Jones-Bader matchup on Jan. 1 at UFC 125. Bader reportedly asked for the fight to be delayed due to personal commitments. Jones' team apparently was pushing for the New Year's Day contest but relented in favor of keeping the matchup intact.
Agent: Jones-Bader Still On For UFC 126
Fans hoping to see Jon Jones fight Ryan Bader at UFC 126 were disappointed when Dana White said at a Fan Expo question-and-answer session Friday that the fight might not happen after all. "I don't know if Jones is going to fight Bader," White said. "We tried to put that fight together, but Bader has some stuff going on. Jon Jones might be fighting somebody else, I don't know how that's going to go." But Jones' agent says he had already been sent a bout agreement for the Feb. 5 fight and had even talked about the fight to UFC officials as recently as Friday in London, and that Jones will sign the paperwork soon. UFC officials even confirmed this statement saying that the fight is still scheduled for the Super Bowl weekend show. The original plan was to have Jones-Bader at UFC 125 on Jan. 1, but Bader asked to have the fight pushed back due to it being scheduled too close to his upcoming wedding.
UFC expansion update: Abu Dhabi return planned for 2011, India and Brazil targeted
LONDON – Next to "can you get me tickets," UFC president Dana White is most often asked where the promotion is headed next.
Both questions were frequently posed today during a Q&A session with UFC Fight Club members at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London
Two new markets appear to have risen above White's usual response ("we're going everywhere"): Brazil and India.
White said UFC executive Lorenzo Fertitta is headed to India following Saturday's UFC 120 event, and he also said the promotion is seriously interested in Brazil following the South American country's successful bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
UFC boss: WEC champ Jose Aldo wants to test himself at lightweight
LONDON – WEC featherweight champion Jose Aldo may agree with observers who think he's running out of credible threats.
During a Q&A session with UFC Fight Club members at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London, UFC president Dana White said Aldo has expressed interest in moving up to the lightweight division.
"From what I'm hearing, Aldo's interested in testing himself," White said.
The UFC president did not present a timeline for a possible move other than to say it could happen "very soon."
Aldo, a member of powerhouse MMA team Blackhouse, decimated the most recent challenger to his WEC crown when he took out former UFC lightweight and "The Ultimate Fighter 5" runner-up Manny Gamburyan by second-round TKO at WEC 51. It was his eighth consecutive victory in the promotion.
UFC: Fight for the Troops 2 Developing for January 22nd At Fort Hood
News of a UFC event on January 22nd, featuring a lightweight bout between Melvin Guillard and Yves Edwards, started unfolding yesterday, although it was unclear where the event would be held or whether it would be designated as a UFC Fight Night or a UFC: Live on Versus event. Now, it appears that the promotion is planning a second installment of UFC: Fight for the Troops, with the card to be held at Fort Hood, outside of Killeen, Texas. As a Texas native, Edwards will most likely have the crowd behind him.
Fabio Maldonado: "See an Englishman get his teeth knocked out" at UFC 120
LONDON – UFC newcomer Fabio Maldonado (17-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) admits he couldn't help but laugh when he first read the pre-fight comments from his UFC 120 opponent, James McSweeney (4-5 MMA, 1-1 UFC).
Earlier this month, the brash British striker, who welcomes Maldonado into the cage in the first bout of Saturday's Spike TV-broadcast fight card at The O2 in London, said he believes the Brazilian is tailor-made to his style and likely will be dispatched in "Knockout of the Night" fashion.
"James talks too much," Maldonado told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "Even a Macaw can talk. He's right about this fight being the 'Knockout of the Night,' but he will be on the receiving end, and I will get the money."
Wessel says wife faked cancer, starting at TUF 10 to create drama
“Just recently, around six months ago when I left (her), when I just finally said I’m done, it was after, I found out through her doctor it wasn’t cancer, it was just a normal check-up,” Wessel said on the show. “She just said that for drama, and she’s just a pretty manipulative person and it really sucked that I found that out.
“When I was talking to her doctor on the phone, because things were coming to a head and I just kind of investigated a little bit on my own, I just went silent. Literally, everything went in slow motion like my whole world stopped, because for 2 ½ years I have been dealing with this woman acting like she’s sick, acting like she was going to these doctors’ appointments, and really she never had anything wrong with her. It was almost disgusting.”
Cheick Kongo: 50 percent of MMA fighters take steroids
"50 percent [of MMA fighters take steroids], if not more.... What can I say, other than we need to stay away from all of that. It's not easy to put things into perspective, especially if you believe that you have a disadvantage from the get go. For some athletes, it's hard to hold up physically and mentally- the pressure, the obligation to stay on top - everything pushes you to take steroids. For me, PEDs aren't the solution. Taking PEDs jeopardizes your health and it's cheating. I am a fighter; I owe my victories to my hard work, my training, the fact that I push myself beyond the limit, the sacrifices I make to a life almost entirely dedicated to sports. Nothing else. Stay away from the needles. You can succeed without them."