Tito Ortiz Maintains UFC 115 Bout With Liddell Is Still On
Despite recent reports that his UFC 115 fight with Chuck Liddell is off due to medical and personal problems, Tito Ortiz says it's still on. He confirmed this to SI.com's Josh Gross earlier in the week. "Yes, I am," Ortiz told SI.com via text message late Wednesday. "Unless Chuck gets hurt." He also revealed his TUF 11 appearance was not cut short and that both he & girlfriend Jenna Jameson were hospitalized recently: Jenna for pregnancy-related issues, Tito for flu. Ortiz has since been released.
"Big Country" Needs To Win Because He Needs To Eat
Apparently those hoped-for fast food sponsorship deals haven't yet come through for Roy Nelson, because of course food came to be mentioned in the TUF 10 winner's recent comments about his upcoming fight with fast-rising prospect Stefan Struve. "I think my experience... actually I cant even say that, he has more fights than I do, haha! I think it will just come down to who wants it more. He is young hungry kid and I am a hungry old kid. I need to eat."
Rashad Evans May Bring Mr. T To The Octagon To Mess With Rampage
And perhaps we may have to pity the new B.A. in the face of the original B.A., fool! But it's an idea Rashad threw out in his latest pre-UFC 114 trash talk ahead of his grudge match with Quinton Jackson. "I don't like all the pre-fight talking, so I can't wait until I finally get my chance to shut him up," said Evans. "There were a lot of times on the show when I wanted to hit him right there. When Keith [Jardine] was training for his fight with Rampage, I had to mimic Rampage's style. I can probably beat Rampage as Rampage now. Plus, he's gotten fat. He needs to get in shape just to get in shape. I may come to the Octagon with Mr. T just to get in his head."
Japanese star Shinya Aoki says UFC won't succeed in Japan
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – DREAM lightweight champion Shinya Aoki widely is considered a torchbearer for MMA in Japan. And he's very protective of its landscape, particularly when it comes to the interests of stateside promoters.
UFC president Dana White repeatedly has said he's interested in returning to Japan for the first time since Zuffa, LLC purchased the promotion in 2001. But he blames "dirty, sneaky, bad guys" from keeping the promotion out of the country.
UFC Will Not Provide Live Counter Against April Strikeforce Event
Strikeforce has the spotlight to itself.
The long-rumored UFC event expected to counter the promotion's April 17 CBS offering will not take place, MMA Fighting has confirmed.
Earlier this month, the UFC explored the option, going so far as to inform likely broadcast partner Spike TV that the show was a go, but the company has apparently reversed course, and a Spike source said the network has been told by the UFC that the show is no longer happening.
At the time, rumors of potential matchups pitting Mike Swick against Matt Serra and Wanderlei Silva vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama were quickly extinguished for various reasons, making finding a headlining act a challenge.
Despite massive favorite status, UFC 111's St-Pierre isn't underestimating Hardy
Five-time Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre (19-2 MMA, 14-2 UFC) wants to right a career wrong when he meets Dan Hardy (23-6 MMA, 4-0 UFC) at UFC 111.
The last time St-Pierre faced a massive underdog, he lost his title. He bought into his own hype and underestimated "The Ultimate Fighter 4" winner Matt Serra. He ended up on the wrong end of a TKO at UFC 69.
Not this time. Or so he says.
Quote of the Day: Gabriel Gonzaga - "I'm Not Afraid of Trading Strikes"
Gabriel Gonzaga - "My victory would be the ideal move towards what I want, the title shot. Getting close to it pumps me up. I've been training since 2001 and I'm not afraid of trading strikes with anyone on this planet. Although I have much more experience on the ground, I don't underestimate him there. Man, let's play and see who hits harder and has the best submissions."
Nick Catone vs. John Salter on tap for UFC 113 prelims in Montreal
May's UFC 113 event will get a late addition with a middleweight fight pitting Nick Catone (8-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) vs. John Salter (4-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC).
Sources close to the event told MMAjunkie.com bout agreements have been distributed and signed by at least one fighter.
UFC 113 takes place on May 8 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The main card, which includes a main event and rematch between UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida and challenger Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, airs live on pay-per-view.
UFC 111's Shane Carwin juggles duties as fighter, engineer, husband and father
The notion of "spare time" has always been a relative term for heavyweight contender Shane Carwin.
The 6-foot-2, 265-pound father of two juggles a fulltime job as a mechanical engineer at the North Weld County Water District in Lucerne, Colo., with another as a professional mixed martial artist in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Today, while discussing his interim title fight with fellow heavyweight Frank Mir at UFC 111, Carwin said he's been given time off from his day job to prepare for the March 27 fight. But he'll keep the office gig as long as possible – or until other opportunities arise
Martial Arts Is About Going To War, Not Wearing Pajamas
That's the latest, and perhaps funniest yet, trash talk from Dan Hardy directed at UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre. He says among other things, "As far as saying I’m not a martial artist… Because he walks out in the Octagon in his pajamas he’s a martial artist and I’m not? He knows nothing about me…"
Mir Buying in Bulk Against Carwin
Much was made about Frank Mir’s decision to add some 20 pounds of muscle to his frame in advance of his UFC 107 matchup with Cheick Kongo. However, the brief bout with the chiseled French kickboxer lasted barely more than a minute and shed little light on whether or not a bulkier Mir was a better Mir.
That figures to change when he takes on the hulking Shane Carwin in the UFC 111 “St. Pierre vs. Hardy” co-main event on March 27 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
“Carwin’s been an athlete his size a lot longer than I’ve been at mine,” Mir said during a Tuesday teleconference to promote the interim heavyweight title bout. “The greatest indication of whether [adding more weight has] been beneficial will be whether or not I can negate some of his strength.”
New Camp Breathes New Life for Paul Buentello
Paul Buentello waited nearly four years for a return to the UFC, but less than a month before his UFC 107 fight, he was suspended from his longtime team, the American Kickboxing Academy.
For now, Buentello has been training under the guidance of Trevor Wittman and Mike Van Arsdale at Grudge MMA in Denver, Colo. alongside fellow UFC heavyweights Shane Carwin and Brendan Schaub for this Sunday's fight against Cheick Kongo at UFC on Versus 1.
In this exclusive interview with MMA Fighting, Buentello talks about learning from the loss last December to Stefan Struve and pushing himself to improve under a new camp.
DirecTV and Versus strike deal just in time for UFC on Versus 1
Versus, home to World Extreme Cagefighting and now the Ultimate Fighting Championship, was dropped from the satellite-cable company's lineup on Sept. 1, 2009, after a dispute over carrier fees.
DirecTV boasts approximately 18 million subscribers and – thanks to some exclusive offerings such as the NFL Sunday Ticket – is popular with sports fans.
Terms of the new deal were not disclosed, though Versus has already been reinstated on the channel lineup.
"We are pleased that both sides were able to work out a satisfactory deal to bring this programming back to our customers," DirecTV executive Derek Chang stated.
A Versus executive echoed that sentiment while playing up the cable station's upcoming UFC on Versus 1 event, which airs this coming Sunday (March 21) live from Broomfield, Colo.
"We're excited that we were able to come to a fair agreement that puts Versus back in millions of homes with DirecTV in time for our busy spring programming schedule," Versus president Jamie Davis stated. "We look forward to super-serving these fans with NHL regular-season and playoff coverage, our first live UFC event and much more."
Gray Maynard Calls Out Florian-Gomi Winner
The UFC's lightweight division basically comes down to B.J. Penn and everyone else, but Gray Maynard has a plan for getting to the top of the "everyone else" pile: He wants to fight the winner of the Kenny Florian-Takanori Gomi bout that will serve as the main event of UFC Fight Night 21 on March 31.
Maynard made his statement on Twitter Monday morning, tweeting, "florian vs gomi. I want to fight the winner!!" Maynard later told a fan that he's picking Florian to win.
Maynard is a logical next opponent for the Florian-Gomi winner, and it's a fight that I would like a lot. I also agree with Maynard that Florian will win.
Nate Quarry promises barnburner at UFC Fight Night 21, eyes contender status
The month of March is loaded with high-quality MMA fight cards, and with a number of exciting matchups planned, it's difficult to look forward to just one.
UFC middleweight contender Nate Quarry (12-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC) thinks you'd best not sleep on his bout with Jorge Rivera (17-7 MMA, 7-5 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 21 on March 31.
"I think this is really just a fan-favorite kind of fight," Quarry recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "Both of us just go in there and throw."
Quarry and Rivera meet on the Spike TV broadcast portion of the North Carolina card, and with 18 knockouts or TKO wins between them, fireworks seem imminent.
"Every fight I've had in the UFC, no matter what it is, I come to fight," Quarry said. "I come to win every minute of every round. I've had two 'Fights of the Night.' The last fight against Tim Credeur, we were ranked No. 3 best fight of the year for two guys just going out there and beating on each other for 15 minutes. We're going to get the same thing with Rivera.
"[Rivera and I] just move forward and like to throw and like to finish fights. He's been fighting a long time for the UFC. This is a great opportunity, and I'm really looking forward to it."
Quarry comes into the fight on a two-bout win streak. In addition to the win over Credeur, Quarry also had a first-round win over Jason MacDonald at UFC 97.
But despite the recent success, "Rock" said he's still adding to his game.
"It's funny, I'll be talking with my coaches – and this was as recent as a few months ago – and he'll be telling me to feint the jab and throw a hook or something," Quarry said. "I said, 'Coach, why would I throw a jab that I wasn't looking to land and knock him out with?' He looks at me and says, 'So you can knock him out with the next punch.'
"It was like there was this huge light bulb over my head – like, 'What? Throw something to distract him so I can knock him out with the next one? Wow.' I've only been doing this for like 14 years now. You think I might pick this stuff up, but no. It's still brand new for me."
At nearly 38 years old, it might seem odd that Quarry is picking up such basic tactics. But the Team Quest fighter explained that the high-level training of mixed martial artist wasn't always quite as specialized as it is today.
"For most of my career, I really didn't have specialized coaches," Quarry said. "It was kind of the MMA training, which for the longest period of time was just watered-down jiu-jitsu, watered-down Muay Thai, watered-down boxing.
"Even back in the day when I would try to get specific training, I would go to a boxing gym, I would train there three or four times, the coaches would love me, and they'd see I was a hard worker that had potential. They'd come up to me and say, 'OK, we want to set you up with a fight.' I'd go, 'No, no, no. I'm doing this NHB stuff, this no holds barred where you fight in a cage.' They'd go, 'Oh, OK. Well, you're not welcome here anymore.'"
Of course, now that MMA has exploded in popularity, some of those coaches have changed their tune.
"Here we are years later, and those exact same coaches have come up to me and said, 'Hey, I'd love to work with you,'" Quarry said. "I'm like, 'You know what? My dance card is full. When I needed your help, you could have been there. You could have believed in me, but you missed the boat.'"
A popular cast member of the first-season of "The Ultimate Fighter," Quarry received a title shot against Rich Franklin in 2005. Things didn't go exactly well for him that night, but the slugger is 4-1 since that time.
The Oregonian hopes a win over Rivera will get his name once again mentioned among the 185-pound title contenders.
"My record in the UFC is 7-2," Quarry said. "I've had a lot of knockouts in the UFC. I've had a lot of exciting fights. I hope that my name stays in the mix for those type of things."
But regardless of where he's ranked in the division, Quarry promises to continue putting on exciting fights.
"Have you ever seen me get tired and lay in somebody's guard and not punch him?" Quarry asked. "It won't happen."
Brazilian lightweight Charles Oliveira offered multi-fight deal with UFC
Undefeated Brazilian lightweight Charles Oliveira (12-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will soon be the UFC's newest commodity.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today learned from sources close to the promotion that Oliveira has been offered an exclusive agreement and is expected to debut in the near future.
Though the contract has yet to be finalized, the process appears to be a mere formality at this point.
An exact date for the 20-year-old Oliveira's first UFC fight has not been determined, and an opponent has yet to be named.
Oliveira, who has fought predominantly in Brazil during his budding career, made his professional debut in March 2008 in an eight-man tournament under the Predador Fight Championship banner. Oliveira earned three victories on the night to take the tournament title, and all three wins came via stoppage.
Oliveira has since been able to earn two more tournament victories – a four-man Korea Fight title in December 2008, and a four-man Warriors Challenge bracket this past February.
Oliveira has earned 11 of his 12 victories by stoppage. Six of the wins have come by knockout or TKO, while five have come via submission. His lone U.S. appearance to date came in a first-round submission of Dom Stanco in a Ring of Combat fight in April 2009.
An announcement is expected shortly regarding Oliveira's first fight. In the meantime, he's expected to train in Houston alongside Jorge "Macaco" Patino and in Brazil with Ericson Cardoso.
Mir says Carwin more dangerous than Lesnar, OK if Velasquez gets first crack
After splitting a pair of bouts with UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, former title holder Frank Mir has made little effort to hide his current motivation.
As such, some have labeled Mir a "stalker" because of his singular focus on a rubber match with the champ.
Nevertheless, Mir carries on in search of facing Lesnar once again. But standing in his way at UFC 111 is undefeated challenger Shane Carwin, who Mir says may actually be a tougher opponent.
"I think he's very similar to Brock Lesnar," Mir told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "He's somebody that's strong, and he's a good wrestler. But I think that Carwin, in a lot of ways, is actually more dangerous for me."
The similarities between Carwin and Lesnar are evident with just a cursory glance. The two massive wrestlers have changed the face of the heavyweight division in short order with their powerful builds and overwhelming strength.
But Mir believes Carwin possesses something extra.
"Brock and Carwin are both better wrestlers than I am," Mir said. "Most likely, they'll both be able to take me down. Most likely, they'll both be able to win the fight if I get stuck against the cage on my back with my head jammed up. But with that being said, with Lesnar, on my feet, I have no real anxiety about standing there and boxing. He's knocked people over because he clubs people with his hands, but he's not really a knockout artist. Carwin has actually knocked people out.
"In a fight with Lesnar, the goal is to keep it on the feet, and I'll win the fight. With Carwin, if I say just keep it on my feet and I fall asleep on him while looking for the shot, I can easily go to sleep if I get caught. He's shown the ability to knock people out. To me, he's a dual threat."
With the interim title on the line in the March 27 matchup, an eventual shot at the champ hangs in the balance. But UFC president Dana White has said that a fight between the winner and Lesnar isn't a guarantee.
Top contender Cain Velasquez, who turned in an impressive performance against MMA legend Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in February, could leapfrog the newly crowned interim champ if injuries prove a factor.
Mir once again stated his desire to face Lesnar but also said he would understand if he was forced to wait.
"The competitor in me wants to face Lesnar as soon as possible and be the first one in line," Mir said. "As far as if it worked out, I don't feel like holding the heavyweight division hostage. If after, if I'm victorious on March 27, and I had an injury that didn't allow me to fight, and Brock wants to take a risk to fight Cain first before he fights me, more power to him."
Mir admits he views Velasquez as a credible threat. In fact, he thinks Lesnar might feel the same way and should probably avoid that particular confrontation.
"I think [Velasquez] is a dangerous fight for [Lesnar]," Mir said. "I would be willing to bet that maybe he would be more comfortable waiting for me."