UFC 117 bonuses: Struve, Silva, Sonnen and Hughes earn $60,000 fighter awards
OAKLAND, Calif. – Stefan Struve, Anderson Silva, Chael Sonnen and Matt Hughes earned $60,000 fight-night bonuses for their performances at Saturday's UFC 117 event.
Struve earned the "Knockout of the Night" award, Silva and Hughes picked up "Submission of the Night" bonuses, and Silva and Sonnen earned "Fight of the Night" honors. Silva's double-bonus performance earned him $120,000 in extra pay.
Dana Noncommital On Belfort Title Shot, Source Says It's Done Deal
Publicly, Vitor Belfort's middleweight title shot is not a forgone conclusion. UFC president Dana White is cautious about guaranteeing the former UFC light heavyweight champion a shot at the winner of Saturday's UFC 117 clash between current middleweight champion Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen. "I don't know," White said Thursday when asked if Belfort was next up. "We've got to see what happens in this fight on Saturday, but yeah, he's definitely in the mix." But a source close to Belfort says it's coming after tonight's main event. Yet White hinted that Belfort's shoulder still might be an issue and that it's keeping him from signing off on a return date. "As soon as he gets healthy, we've got to see how this all plays out Saturday and when Belfort is going to be ready," White said.
UFC 117 Weigh-in results
Weigh-ins have concluded. Looks live Alves managment had more to worry about than previously thought. The Silva/Sonnen stairdown looked intense.
Main Event – UFC Middleweight Championship
Chael Sonnen (185) VS Anderson Silva (184.5)
Thiago Alves (171.5*) VS Jon Fitch (170.5)
Ricardo Almeida (170.5) VS Matt Hughes (170.5)
Junior Dos Santos (240) VS Roy Nelson (263)
Rafael Dos Anjos (156) VS Clay Guida (156)
Rick Story (169.5) VS Dustin Hazelett (169.5)
Rodney Wallace (206) VS Phil Davis (205.5)
Charlie Brenneman (171) VS Johny Hendricks (171)
Tim Boetsch (206) VS Todd Brown (206)
Christian Morecraft (263) VS Stefan Struve (247)
Dennis Hallman (171) VS Ben Saunders (171)
*Alves failed to make 171 pounds in his return to the scales. He will fight at 171.5 pounds and be fined 20% of his purse.
Silva's Job Still On Line At UFC 117, But Poor Performance Won't Dictate Cut
UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva is still at risk of being cut after tomorrow's UFC 117, but a loss to Chael Sonnen won't be the deciding factor. In fact, according to UFC president Dana White, even a poor performance from "The Spider" won't necessarily dictate his release. But don't think for one second that White is backing down from his original claim that he will cut perhaps the world's top pound-for-pound fighter if Silva doesn't act properly in the cage. "Lots of guys are going to have nights where they don't have a good performance," White said on Thursday. "It's not about that." Silva, of course, has been heavily criticized in the past for having off-nights. The Brazilian was widely panned for a UFC 90 win over Patrick Cote when most observers felt Silva simply toyed with his opponent before a third-round knee injury forced the Canadian to bow out of the match. The champ followed that performance with a lackluster decision win over Thales Leites at UFC 97. While Leites' butt-scooting attack was also to blame for the lack of action in that matchup, much of the blame again fell to Silva for a refusal to engage. But it's not those types of performances that White says will have him reaching for a pink slip. Instead, the UFC exec says it would take a repeat of Silva's UFC 112 display against Demain Maia – complete with mat-slapping, trash-talking and general unsportsmanlike behavior – to get his blood boiling on Saturday night. "It's about acting like a lunatic," White said. "If he ever goes out and acts like a nut, like he did [at UFC 112], yes, I would cut him."
"Unpretty" Clay Guida Will Burp & Drool His Way To Victory Over Rafael Dos Anjos
He of course refers the fight and not himself. "It's an honor to be on what I think is the most stacked card of 2010. Everyone knows how it is when I get in the ring. It's going to be a battle, a war, and it ain't going to be pretty. I bring attention to my fight on my own, with just my enthusiasm and my action. You see my walkout, the introduction with me drooling on myself, burping in the cage and stuff. I bring plenty of excitement in my own way ... Fighting is what I do, and it's who I am. ... I'm rededicated to the sport, and more passionate about it now than ever before."
Gabe Ruediger steps in VS Lauzon at UFC 118
t's been a few years since Gabe Ruediger stepped into the Octagon, but the one time "Ultimate Fighter" competitor will get a second chance as he has signed on to face Joe Lauzon at UFC 118 in Boston after original opponent Terry Etim was forced out of the fight for undisclosed reasons.
Joe Vedepo replaces Alessio Sakara, faces Gerald Harris at UFC 118
The replacement opponent now faces a replacement opponent.
Two weeks after fast-rising middleweight prospect Gerald Harris (17-2 MMA, 3-0 UFC) agreed to replace an injured Jorge Rivera and face Alessio Sakara (15-7 MMA, 6-4 UFC) at UFC 118, the Italian boxer has now bowed out with an ailment, as well.
Two-time UFC veteran Joe Vedepo (11-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC) has agreed to step in on short notice, and bout agreements for the new matchup are expected to be finalized shortly.
UFC On Versus 2 Medical Suspensions
The CSAC has announced the medical suspensions coming out of UFC On Versus 2. 9 fighters were suspended for 30-60 days but John Howard & Damarques Johnson are out for 180 days unless cleared to return early.
Aaron Simpson hospitalized with unknown infection
UFC Middleweight Aaron Simpson had been preparing for a potential bout with Dave Branch at Ultimate Fight Night 22 in Austin, TX. Now, Simpson is recovering from surgery performed late Wednesday night to battle an unknown infection.
Simpson went through a typical sparring session with teammate Ryan Bader on Thursday of last week, but was alarmed on Friday morning when his nose was sore. After a visit to the doctor on Friday, the infection spread to Simpson’s elbow by Saturday. After five days of infection, surgery was performed and Simpson is now recovering in the hospital.
Dana White confirms UFC 117's Jon Fitch vs. Thiago Alves winner gets title shot
SAN FRANCISCO – The winner of Saturday's UFC 117 co-main event between Jon Fitch (22-3 MMA, 12-1 UFC) and Thiago Alves (16-6 MMA, 9-3 MMA) will, in fact, get a shot at the title.
UFC president Dana White confirmed the expected plans during today's pre-UFC 117 press conference at the Hilton San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf hotel in California.
The winner will be in line after Josh Koscheck, who meets current champ and "The Ultimate Fighter 12" rival coach Georges St-Pierre at a tentatively planned Dec 11 UFC 124 event.
Manager: Alves At 177, Will Make Weight For 117
Thiago Alves caused a stir Wednesday when he no-showed an open workout in Concord, Calif., for this Saturday's UFC 117 event because he reportedly had trouble cutting weight. That has led to wide speculation that Alves will come in heavy for a highly anticipated rematch with Jon Fitch. But Alves' manager, Malki Kawa, said the worries are much ado about nothing and that his client will make 170 pounds. In fact, he said that Alves currently is 177 pounds and in "high, high spirits" as he preps for Fitch.
Forrest Griffin to Donate Entire Proceeds of New Book Sales to Various Charities
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin appeared on Fox and Friends this morning to discuss his second book, Be Ready When the Sh*t Goes Down: A Survival Guide to the Apocalypse.
Although the release of the book isn't necessarily a newsworthy event, what is worth noting is that Griffin will be donating the entire proceeds of the sale of the book to a number of charities, including one that has been set up for the young son of his dear late friend John Grantham, who was referred to throughout his first book "Got Fight" as "Big John."
Here's the lowdown courtesy of theultimatefighter.com:
"Even if they get nothing out of [the book], I hold myself free from harm, because I donated every penny that I make from this book to charity. I didn't keep any money from the book at all to help you survive the apocalypse. That's how much I care about you the reader.
There’s a couple of different [charities the money will go to]: Fisher House, Three Square, a food bank in Las Vegas, our church, and then a couple more personal ones. The guy Big John, in the book, he passed away, and he’s got a five-year-old son, and he’s got a trust set up, so some of it’s for that as well. I kept no money from the book. It didn’t go to charities like the 'Forrest Griffin Needs a New Car Foundation.'”
Chael Sonnen: Fighter, Realtor, Politician...Amnesiac?
Remember that interview he did this Monday on Pro MMA Radio that included the inflammatory comments about Lance Armstrong & cancer? Now Sonnen claims it never happened. "I never did an interview with Larry Pepe. I've never spoke of Lance Armstrong -- ever." He then claimed to Ariel Helwani that he's never spoken to Pepe despite having appeared on Pro MMA Radio with him before. 5 times.
UFC Targeting March 2011 Return to Ireland
The UFC is making tentative plans to return to Ireland.
The promotion, which previously held events in Ireland and Northern Ireland, is likely to return to the Emerald Isle, perhaps sometime around St. Patrick's Day, according to UFC UK President Marshall Zelaznik.
"We are targeting Dublin for 2011 and working toward March, but St. Patty's Day may not fit perfectly for us," Zelaznik wrote in an email to MMA Fighting. "But hope is we will be there in '11."
Jon Fitch Or Thiago Alves? Carlos Condit Wants To Fight The Lesser Of Two Evils
Translation: Fitch-who Condit thinks will also win at UFC 117 this weekend. "They're both very tough match-ups, they're dangerous fighters and they have a lot of tools. But the better match-up for me would be Jon Fitch. That's not taking anything away from Fitch, it's just the lesser of two evils. They're both killers. Fitch isn't as much of a finisher as Thiago Alves, he's more about grinding his opponent into the ground - literally. With my jiu-jitsu, I could withstand that and do better than a lot of guys have done. Thiago's coming off a long lay-off so we'll see if that has any effect on him. I see Fitch winning it because I think he'll be busier and I see Thiago being a little rusty."
Dustin Hazelett Not McLovin' Pre-Fight Trash Talk
And he thinks all the "smack talk" leading up to UFC fights should stay in pro wrestling and prefers to let his previous fights do the talking when it comes to pre-fight hype. "I'm not in this to become famous or anything. I don't like all the hype and I hate talking smack. I just do this because I enjoy competing in martial arts. A lot of guys trash talk just to hype the fight and stuff like that, but I got into this because of martial arts and that's not what martial arts are about, talking smack and stuff like that. That's more pro wrestling than martial arts. When they're talking smack, I think it looks bad for the sport and sets a bad example. I don't want this sport to become pro wrestling where we have to do monologues where we talk about how we're going to beat somebody up. My previous fights should be enough to hype my next fight. If they're not, then I should remain on the undercard."