TUF 11 Finale Draws 1889 For $430K Gate
The NSAC today revealed the official attendance and live gate from the TUF 11 Finale. The total attendance was 1889: 1303 paid, 586 comps, 252 unsold, for a live gate of $430,250. UFC originally estimated 1708 attendance but was exactly right on the live gate estimate.
Early UFC 116 Fighter Payouts
NSAC head Keith Kizer today revealed some of the fighter payouts-to-be for tomorrow's UFC 116 event. Brock Lesnar will get $400,000 no matter what, while Shane Carwin will get $40,000 guaranteed, $80,000 of he wins. Chris Leben will make $43,000 with double that if he wins, while Yoshihiro Akiyama gets $45,000 and another $25,000 to win.
UFC 116 Official Sellout, 1 Million PPV Buys Expected
With what UFC president Dana White has called "the biggest heavyweight fight in the history of the UFC" headlining the card, Saturday's UFC 116 event is sold out. While a few select tickets remain for "UFC 116: Lesnar vs. Carwin" at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, the numbers are small enough that the promotion considers the event an official sellout. White also said the buzz surrounding the Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin headlining bout will likely produce a pay-per-view blockbuster, and the UFC exec said the promotion is anticipating more than 1 million buys.
Shogun Rua Out Until March, Leaving 205-Pound Division in Holding Pattern
LAS VEGAS -- Rashad Evans won a light-heavyweight championship title opportunity when he beat Quinton "Rampage" Jackson in May, but he's going to have to wait a while to cash in his golden ticket.
UFC President Dana White confirmed Thursday that current champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua won't be back in the octagon for another eight months, likely returning in March 2011.
Still, White took that as good news, saying that his surgically repaired knee is healing well since a recent surgery.
"Shogun's great, his knee's coming along great," White said just after the UFC 116 pre-fight press conference. "It's all good."
Brock Lesnar on the B.S. Report
Brock Lesnar interviewed with Bill Simmons today for ESPN Radio and answered questions about his health, tactics for the upcoming fight, and the fight itself. Simmons isn't the most educated guy on the sport, but there's some good stuff in this interview. Lesnar says he's going southpaw for this fight.
Dana: Chuck's UFC Career Is Over
And this time he means it. Dana White today told reporters at the UFC 116 pre-fight presser that his good friend Chuck Liddell will never fight in UFC again.
"He'll never fight in the UFC again," White said. "Can Chuck Liddell still make money? Could I make money off of Chuck Liddell? Yes. I don't want that money. I don't want to make that kind of money. I'm not interested in that." And no budging this time. Dana still hopes Chuck will retire but if he's to fight again it's gotta be outside UFC, and Dana wouldn't stand in his way but hopes it won't come to that.
UFC Haters & Idiot Websites Think Alistair Overeem Is "The New Guy"
And they are now in the crosshairs of one Dana White. "Here we go. Alistair Overeem is gonna be the new guy? Alistsair Overeem got knocked out by Chuck Liddell at 205. You know what’s funny? Because we don’t have him signed he’ll be the new guy. The guy that Chuck knocked out at 205. All the UFC haters will be like, ‘oh yeah, this guy is the best.’ And all the idiot websites will rank him the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world."
Cain Velasquez Bringing Speed & Power To The Winner Of Lesnar-Carwin
And he isn't concerned about giving up 20-25 pounds to either guy. "[I want to face] whoever the better fighter is. I want to fight the best. If Carwin keeps the fight standing, with his kind of punching power, I think he'll win the fight. If Brock can get the fight to the ground, with his explosiveness, with his wrestling, I think he'll win. It's whoever can execute their gameplan. It'll be a good fight no matter what. Right now I'm 250 (pounds) but I know when fight time comes around I'll be at 240-245. That's where I feel most comfortable and at my quickest. I think I still have power at that weight so for me it's the weight [I want to] fight at."
Brock Lesnar Feels Fedor's Pain
While all kinds of remarks have been made on Fedor Emelianenko's shocking loss to Fabricio Werdum this past Saturday in San Jose, Calif., one in particular surprised everybody today. UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar stated he feels bad for the outcome, having endured a similar submission misfortune early in his career at the hands of his bitter rival, Frank Mir.
Fedor Doesn't Deserve To Step Inside The Octagon
And according to Dana White, that's that. End of story. "Nope. Now I don't have to hear about him anymore. I like it.... He has star power? Nobody cares. Do you realize this is something that's been created by the mixed martial arts media? Do you know how many people watched his fight the other night? 400,000 people watched it. The guy has absolutely no star power. They sold no tickets to that fight, either.... Here's the problem, the guy loses and gets to fight one of these guys? I've been saying for years this guy isn't all that. He's not great. Everybody's talking about how great this guy is, no he's not. Now he should deserve to come into the UFC and fight the best? No way!... The guys who fight in the UFC are fighting the very best three times a year. This guy hasn't fought anybody since 2005. The media created him and hyped him up. Not me. What do you want me to say? This is what I've been saying?"
Leben: UFC Made Offer I Couldn't Refuse, Akiyama Made It Personal
Following one of the most impressive performances of his career in a win over Aaron Simpson at The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale, middleweight slugger Chris Leben said he was in no rush to get back in the cage. But now in one of the shortest turnarounds in modern UFC history, Leben steps back in the cage just two weeks later to meet Japanese superstar Yoshihiro Akiyama at Saturday's UFC 116 event. So why the change of heart? According to Leben, once Wanderlei Silva was forced out of the contest, the UFC simply made an offer he couldn't refuse. "It was an offer that I couldn't turn down, and I'm really happy that I was their first pick to replace Wanderlei. That's a huge compliment to me." Of course, it wasn't that simple. Akiyama wasn't keen on the fight either, and he objected to fighting Leben. Akiyama said he wanted to fight a higher-caliber for, a notion to which Leben admits he takes a bit of exception.
Nogueira vs. Rampage Possible For September
Although it may not be more than a rumor at this point, the boxing coach for Antonio Rogerio Nogueira told the TATAME website today that "Minotoro" likely will be back in September against Quinton Jackson and a source says verbal agreements are in place. While no date is set for the fight, it could be at UFC 119 on September 25 as the only other September event right now is a UFN.
Brock Lesnar "Coming Home With The Belt Sunday Morning"
Shane Carwin made his prediction for Saturday earlier today, and now the UFC Heavyweight Champion has made his, and it's not a surprise. "I've prepared. This fight I see it going either way. We can stand and if either one of us, I of course have superior wrestling skill. More superior than his. I wanna be able to control this fight and take it wherever I want to. I'm a better ground-and-pound guy. That's where I've shown a lot of success. There's no secrets about my game. I'm a pretty blue collar, straightforward, let's get after it kind of fighter. My prediction is I'm coming home with the belt on Sunday morning."
You're Going To See Brock Lesnar Knocked Out On The Canvas
That's the near-guarantee made by Shane Carwin on ESPN's SportsCenter earlier today ahead of UFC 116's main event. "I'm not concerned at all (about conditioning), we have a great training camp and my coaches have prepared me for an all-out war. The stand-up game has become my passion. [I know] Brock is gonna come back 100-percent and I'm excited to get in the cage against him. You're looking at the top two heavyweights in the world. He's got the real belt and I'm coming after it Saturday. You're going to see Brock Lesnar knocked out on the canvas."
UFN 22 Likely Headed To Austin
The UFC's third trip to Texas is nearly a done deal. The promotion is in the final stages of securing the 16,000-seat Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas, for the Spike TV-televised UFC Fight Night 22. UFC has requested the venue and a September 15 date for the event, which is expected to be headlined by Alan Belcher vs. Demian Maia. The Frank Erwin Center is located on the University of Texas campus and is home to the UT men's and women's basketball teams. As with all Texas shows, though, the UFC will have to get involved in one area the state athletic commission rarely does. Due to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation's limited use of drug testing among MMA competitors (the commission can test fighters but seldom does), UFC Vice President of Regulatory and Governmental Affairs Marc Ratner will likely oversee the testing at UFC Fight Night 22.
Dana White Makes Latest "Stunning Announcement" Today
And it's this: If you're going to UFC 116, leave your vuvuzelas at home. In what's likely more of a good-natured publicity stunt than a vital new policy, UFC officials today announced a ban of vuvuzelas at this weekend's UFC 116 event. Vuvuzelas are horn-shaped noisemakers popularized (and perhaps overused) during this year's FIFA World Cup. UFC president Dana White is credited with implementing the ban. "This decision was pretty simple for me," White stated. "Vuvuzelas make the most horrific sound I've ever heard. I'd rather let Brock punch me in the face than hear 15,000 people blow on those things."