Undefeated Mendes predicts Aldo win at UFC 136, wants next crack at champ
Chad Mendes (11-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) is excited to watch UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo defend his title against challenger Kenny Florian at Saturday night's UFC 136 event in Houston.
That said, he's not exactly happy about it.
"It's definitely a little frustrating," Mendes admitted to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) at this weekend's UFC Fan Expo Houston 2011.
You see, Mendes was expected to be next in line to face Aldo. After defeating Michihiro Omigawa at this past February's UFC 126 event, Mendes was believed to be the top contender in the division.
It made sense, what with his undefeated record and 5-0 mark in Zuffa-owned promotions. Mendes and Aldo were even penciled in for a contest at this past August's UFC 133 event, but the champ couldn't be ready in time. Mendes elected to stay busy and earned a decision over Rani Yahya, but he was largely panned for the effort.
Mendes admits the criticism was frustrating but thinks much of it was largely undeserved.
"Obviously, I would love to get a finish," Mendes said. "Who wouldn't want to get a finish? To me, that's like the easiest way out. You get in there, you go through whole camp, and then you finish the guy in 30 seconds. You're done. Of course I want to get in there and make it as quick as possible, but we're facing tough guys.
UFC Calendar to Grow to 34 Events in 2012
HOUSTON -- Saturday night's UFC 136 marks the fourth event in four weeks for the Las Vegas-based promotion.
Get used to it.
The schedule continues to grow at an exponential rate, according to UFC president Dana White, who said that the organization has already penciled in dates on its 2012 calendar.
The final tally? Thirty-four events. That's a serious increase from 2011, which will see 27 live events by the time Brock Lesnar and Alistair Overeem close out the UFC's year in Las Vegas on December 30.
Jon Jones Says Rashad Evans Ducked UFC 140 Fight
Did you tell the UFC that since Evans wasn't ready to fight in December that you would rather wait a month or two to fight him so you can finally put this beef behind you?
Well, Dana White basically needed someone to save 140. I didn't necessarily want to fight at 140, but because it was Rashad, I said, 'You know what? I would take the fight in nine weeks.' I'm already in shape. I already know what I want to do. Rashad, predicting that I would say no, he kind of kicked himself in the butt because I said yes, he turns around and says, 'Oh, I didn't expect Jon to say yes. I don't want to fight him that soon.' So in reality, he's kind of the one who's ducking the fight. I feel like he's ducking the fight.
- Jon Jones in an interview
UFC 136's Melvin Guillard promises knockout on undersized Joe Lauzon
Melvin Guillard (29-8-2 MMA, 10-4 UFC) is grateful to Joe Lauzon (20-6 MMA, 7-3 UFC) for fighting him at UFC 136 because, apparently, the line of willing opponents was pretty short.
"A lot of guys turned down the fight, so I respect Joe," Guillard said. "He's a very dangerous guy, and he's very talented. Does he present any problems for me? Yes, if I allow him to."
The thing is, Guillard is not planning on that. Just like other grappling specialists on his recent resume, he's planning to blast Lauzon into orbit.
About the only way Lauzon is favored in the fight, which takes place Saturday at Houston's Toyota Center and airs live on pay-per-view, is on the mat, where his Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills have earned him five wins in the UFC.
But he's got to get there first, and Guillard has enlisted several parties to make sure that doesn't happen. He's worked with Mike Van Arsdale and Rashad Evans, among others, at Imperial Athletics in Florida. He's worked with "Henry," a Dutch kickboxing specialist brought in by his agent. Then there's the supercamp at Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn's in Albuquerque, N.M. And don't forget his own style of MMA, which currently has no name but counts concussions as its chief technique.
With five consecutive wins on his resume – three of them by KO or TKO – it's hard to find a more intimidating lightweight.
Despite hectic turn, UFC champ Jones insists Evans no distraction for Machida bout
UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has been on quite the whirlwind adventure in the past 14 days.
After defeating Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, Jones was planning to take a little vacation. Then came a challenge from Rashad Evans, which Jones answered. Now, it's Lyoto Machida. No sweat, says "Bones."
"Obviously taking Lyoto on nine weeks has sped up a lot of things, but I feel between every great challenge lies great reward," Jones today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I think I'm on the verge of something amazing happening by beating three champions in one year. I'm honored."
Following his UFC 135 win over Jackson, Jones told anyone who would listen that he was ready for a little time away from the sport after fighting three times in just seven months, as well as both capturing and defending the UFC's light heavyweight title.
Champ Edgar seeks definitive UFC 136 win, ready to put Maynard rivalry behind
When Saturday night's UFC 136 event hits Houston's Toyota Center, it will have been three-and-a-half years since UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar (13-1-1 MMA, 8-1-1 UFC) and his nemesis, Gray Maynard (10-0-1 MMA, 8-0-1 UFC), first locked horns.
In other words, a little too long thinking about one man, according to Edgar.
"I'm sick of talking about how sick I am of talking about him," Edgar told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I have a loss to him and a draw to him. I want something definitive. I want a definitive win."
The pair's history began innocently enough. Just budding prospects with only 12 fights between them at the time, the two met in April 2008 at "UFC Fight Night 13: Florian vs. Lauzon." Maynard outmuscled Edgar en route to a unanimous-decision win, and the lightweight division simply rolled on, ostensibly taking little notice of the result.
UFC 136's Brian Stann: In 2012, 'I want to fight for a title or be ready for a title'
As in his former life, Brian Stann is always looking for objectives – and how to trample them.
Next, he'd like to put his boot on a middleweight title shot, and Chael Sonnen is the obstacle he must surmount.
"My goal this year was to get into the top 10 (and) solidify myself on the UFC roster," Stann today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "No more being on the bubble or the guy who could be cut. My next goal, now, is to fight for a title."
That's an entirely reachable goal for the former Marine Stann (11-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC), who on Saturday meets Sonnen (25-11-1 MMA, 5-4 UFC) on the main card of UFC 136, which takes place at Houston's Toyota Center. The middleweight fight airs live on pay-per-view while preliminary action airs on Spike TV and streams live on Facebook.
UFC 136's Lauzon wary of foe's striking but thinks he's bad matchup for Guillard
Gone are the days of true "striker vs. grappler" affairs at the UFC level, and UFC 136's Joe Lauzon (20-6 MMA, 7-3 UFC) is quite aware of that fact.
But his main-card matchup with Melvin Guillard (29-8-2 MMA, 10-4 UFC) appears about close as one can get – see Lauzon's three "Submission of the Night" victories in his past five fights vs. Guillard's seven (out of eight total) career losses via tapout.
So Lauzon's strategy for Saturday night's event at Houston's Toyota Center should be no shocker. The 27-year-old jiu-jitsu specialist said he knows the task won't be easy, but he's willing to go out on his shield making an effort.
"If I can't get the fight down, I'm going out on my shield," Lauzon said. "I'm going to do my best to get the fight to the ground. If I find that I can't get it, I'm going to keep working at it, but I'm going to have to throw punches the entire time.
"The days are gone when you could just shoot on a guy from way out and take him down. Melvin's a great wrestler. He's not going to give up any takedowns. I'm going to have to fight for every single one."
It's not that Lauzon has never faced a striking stud before. In fact, he boasts career contests with Jeremy Stephens, Sam Stout, Jens Pulver and Jorge Masvidal to name but a few. But Guillard represents a special kind of beast, a rare blend of speed and power, and Lauzon knows it will prove a tall order.
'The Ultimate Fighter 14' ratings: Episode No. 3 scores 1.3 million Spike TV viewers
Ratings for the third episode of "The Ultimate Fighter 14" slipped compared to the first two installments.
Overall, episode No. 3 of the Spike TV reality series scored a 1.0 household rating and averaged 1.3 million viewers on Wednesday. The first and second episodes scored 1.5 million and 1.6 million viewers, respectively.
Spike TV officials today emailed the ratings information to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
This season features Michael Bisping and Jason "Mayhem" Miller as coaches. For the first time ever, the show spotlights bantamweight and featherweights fighters. In an elimination round of fights, an initial group of 32 was whittled down to 16, who are now official cast members.
In the third episode, Team Miller's Johnny Bedford defeated Team Bisping's Josh Ferguson via unanimous decision to advance to the semifinal round of the bantamweight division's tournament. Team Miller now leads 2-0.
As with Rolles Gracie, UFC 136's Joey Beltran eager to ruin Stipe Miocic's debut
Joey Beltran admits that if fights were fought on paper, he would have lost them all.
And to look at him, you might agree with that statement. Physically, he's not particularly an impressive character.
In the cage, though, he consistently bucks expectations. And with all the hype surrounding opponent Stipe Miocic's octagon debut, he's interested in proving yet again that he's not what he appears to be.
"I would really like to finish it on my feet and just outbox this guy who gets praise for his great boxing credentials," Beltran today told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "On paper, he's supposed to be way better than me. So I think it would be really cool to go in there and knock him out."
Beltran (13-5 MMA,3-2 UFC) meets Miocic (6-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) on the preliminary card of UFC 136, which takes place Saturday at Houston's Toyota Center. It's the first of four prelims streaming on Facebook prior to fights on Spike TV and pay-per-view.
Rashad Evans 'fully understands' decision to book Jones-Machida UFC 140 headliner
He may not like the decision, but he understands it.
While Rashad Evans was next in line for a shot at UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones' title, he wouldn't be healed in time for a planned UFC 140 main event on Dec. 10.
So he "fully understands" why the UFC instead went with Lyoto Machida for the Toronto event.
As MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) previously reported, the UFC initially wanted to put Jones vs. Evans in the UFC 140 main-event slot. But once Evans wasn't cleared to fight, the UFC had to look to Machida, who was one of the few top-level light heavyweights who was both healthy and not already booked for a fight.
Evans (16-1-1 MMA, 11-1-1 UFC), of course, sat out most of 2010 waiting for a title shot with injured Mauricio "Shogun" Rua. But a planned March bout was scratched when Evans suffered his own knee injury, and Jones got the fight and took the title instead.
Evans' bout with the newly crowned Jones then was delayed due to the champ's uncertain timetable for his recovery from a hand injury. Evans instead fought and defeated Tito Ortiz, and the UFC 133 bout left him with a lingering injury. Jones (14-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) instead fought and defeated Quinton Jackson, and he now meets Machida (17-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC).
No weighty concerns as champ Jose Aldo readies for UFC 136
For a guy hoping to defend his 145-pound championship, UFC 136 co-headliner Jose Aldo finds himself answering a lot of questions about 155 pounds.
Will the champ eventually move to the heavier weight class? Would he want to hold both belts? Will tough weight cuts essentially force a move to lightweight?
Aldo politely answers each question, but his focus remains solely on Saturday's featherweight title challenger, Kenny Florian.
Aldo (19-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) and Florian (15-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC) clash at Saturday's UFC 136 event, which takes place at Houston's Toyota Center. As with the headlining title fight between lightweight champ Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard, Aldo vs. Florian is part of the pay-per-view main card.
For Aldo, it's his first fight since a win over Mark Hominick at UFC 129. Despite a "Fight of the Night" performance, a fading Aldo gave away some later rounds and settled for a decision victory. A video recently came out showing him enduring a brutal weight cut prior to the fight, and he admittedly entered the cage at less than 100 percent.
"In the last fight, I had some inflammations," he today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) through a translator. "But as we all saw, that didn't stop me. I went the full five rounds nonstop, and this fight, I'm completely healthy and one-thousand percent.
"It was a good fight. I was able to impose my game and everything worked out great."
King Mo: I'm gonna put Rampage's b---- ass on the B-team
Rampage has seen a fair share of beef in his twelve-year-long career. If these fighting words from King Mo are anything to go by, a slow-boiling feud could well boil over into one last rivalry:
"Rampage can talk all that noise, but I'm gonna take his spot," said Lawall. "I'm gonna put his bitch ass on the B-Team!
"His punk ass wants to say I won't stand up and box him. I will box him with the little gloves on. I'll box him.
"The thing is, I can take him down. He can't stop my takedowns, you know what I'm saying? Trust me. But I can make it interesting and embarrass him at his own game and stand with him."
Now that Zuffa has purchased Strikeforce, and are slowly stripping away the top fighters from the former number two promoption, King Mo could very well be set for a February 2012 date with Rampage, when the UFC makes its long awaited return to Japan.
UFC 140 headliner features champ Jon Jones vs. Lyoto Machida
UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones (14-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) will fight in UFC 140's headliner, but it won't be against Rashad Evans (16-1-1 MMA, 11-1-1 UFC).
Injuries have cost Evans another promised title shot, and ex-champ Lyoto Machida (17-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) has taken his spot in the December title fight.
UFC president Dana White today announced the news via Twitter.
The new newly announced main event comes a day after news of a potential Jones vs. Evans UFC 140 headliner. A source told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) and other outlets that the fight was being targeted for the Toronto show. However, White ultimately told MMAjunkie.com that wouldn't be the case.
UFC 140 takes place Dec. 10 at
Despite losing skid, UFC 136's Mike Massenzio out to prove he's UFC caliber
In his heart, Mike Massenzio knows Saturday's UFC 136 bout could be his final opportunity in the octagon.
But in his heart, he also knows that he belongs in the world's top MMA organization, and against former WEC champion Steve Cantwell, he's determined to prove it.
With three consecutive losses in the UFC, Massenzio's UFC career is hanging by a thread. But the same goes for Cantwell.
"It's been up and down for me a bit," Massenzio recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "But I really, truly feel in my heart that this is where I belong, and I'm just going to go after it and give it everything I have."
Massenzio (12-5 MMA, 1-3 UFC) returns to the middleweight division for the bout, and he and Cantwell (7-4 MMA, 1-3 UFC) lead off Saturday's 11-fight lineup at Houston's Toyota Center. It's the first of four prelims streaming on Facebook prior to fights on Spike TV and pay-per-view.
After comeback fight failed, UFC 136's Jorge Santiago ready to show the real him
Jorge Santiago quickly realized he'd messed up in his return to the octagon.
"It took me like a half-hour," he today told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "Soon as I left the ring, I was like, '[Expletive].' That wasn't me."
Santiago's thoughts came in the late hours of May 30 as the main card of UFC 130 got into full swing. He had fallen to Brian Stann's punches in the second round, which deflated a wave of hype that brought him back to the UFC after a five-year absence.
The following weekend, Santiago was back at the gym training. He wanted to get back in the cage as soon as possible.
"I asked my manager (to) get me a fight," he said. "I know I can fight the way I used to fight, and I want to prove that I can do it."
Spike TV's UFC 139 'UFC Prelims' special gets Bader-Brilz, Lawlor-Weidman
Two fights have been chosen for UFC 139's "UFC Prelims" special.
As MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) previously reported, the Nov. 19 event will get a one-hour Spike TV special prior to the night's pay-per-view main card.
Now, the fights have been chosen for the cable broadcast: light heavyweights Ryan Bader (12-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) vs. Jason Brilz (18-4-1 MMA, 3-3 UFC) and middleweights Tom Lawlor (7-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) vs. Chris Weidman (6-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC).
UFC 139 takes place at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. The night's main event pits recent Strikeforce champ Dan Henderson vs. ex-UFC champ Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in a five-round non-title fight.
Chael Sonnen: Tell Anderson Silva I will pat his wife on the ass and have her make me a steak
I get the feeling Chael Sonnen really wants to fight Anderson Silva (again).
That could explain his obsession with calling out the reigning 185-pound champion, who survived four-and-a-half rounds of abuse before submitting Sonnen with a triangle choke at UFC 117 back in August 2010.
The mouthy middleweight mudslinger was a recent guest on The MMA Show and told host Mauro Ranallo (via Middle Easy) to relay a message to "The Spider," which sounded more like the threat of home invasion, but let's not argue about semantics.
"You tell Anderson Silva I'm coming over and I'm kicking down his backdoor and patting his little lady on the ass and I'm telling her to make me a steak, medium-rare just how I like it."
MMAPlayground Interview Series - Vol. 6 (Brian "Bad Boy" Ebersole)
As with any successful professional, mixed martial artists eat, sleep and breathe their craft. They put everything on the line when they wake up, hit the gym and pour their blood, sweat and tears into the sport we all love. When they enter that cage, for the fan, it's all about the entertainment, but these athletes go through the daily rigors with more in mind. For some fighters, it's a paycheck. For others, it's the glitz and glamour, but for some it's a lifestyle fueled by a deep passion and connection to the sport of mixed martial arts.
In our newest site feature, MMAPlayground would like to introduce you to some of these men and women of MMA that you may not know much about.
Our mission? To introduce. To educate. To spread the word.
Brian Ebersole is a veteran mixed martial artist, who after years on the other circuits, has finally found his way to the UFC. He is 2-0 in the Octagon and is coming off two impressive performances against Chris Lytle and Dennis Hallman. Brian recently sat down to answer some questions from MMAPlayground.
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MMAPG: First of all, thanks for taking time to answer some questions. I’m sure your schedule must be hectic. Also, we’d like to congratulate you on your win against Dennis Hallman in August. How are you feeling since that win?
EBERSOLE: I came out healthy, so I'm very pleased. A quick return to the Octagon (3-6 weeks later) would have been possible, but as it stands, I've had to wait quite a while. So now, I'm feeling fat because dieting proper for that long is just not in my nature.
MMAPG: You’ve been around the sport for quite some time now. How and when did you start getting involved in mixed martial arts? Was there something in particular that piqued your interest?
EBERSOLE: Can I point you to previous interviews? Teasing.... I saw UFC 1, like most teenagers in 1993. I had my first submission grappling experience at 15 years old and continued ever since. I was a wrestler, so it appealed and was a simple/natural extension of thought/technique/goals/rules from what I'd always done.
Alex Caceres drops to bantamweight, fights Cole Escovedo at UFC on FOX 1
Since featherweight apparently wasn't the answer, "Bruce Leroy" is going to give bantamweight a go.
UFC officials today announced that "The Ultimate Fighter 12" cast member Alex Caceres (5-4 MMA, 0-2 UFC) will get a third chance at a first octagon win, as "Bruce Leroy" drops to 135 pounds to face Cole Escovedo (17-8 MMA, 0-2 UFC), who is also winless in two UFC appearances.
The pair now meets at UFC on FOX 1.
Featuring a heavyweight title fight between current champion Cain Velasquez and top contender Junior Dos Santos, UFC on FOX 1 takes place Nov. 12 in Anaheim, Calif. The evening's main event airs on FOX, but broadcast plans for the preliminary card have yet to be determined.
"Both bantamweights had non-stop action fights in their last outings and are sure to do the same Nov. 12," UFC president Dana White stated.
Caceres competed on "TUF 12" as a lightweight but was eliminated in the semifinals by eventual runner-up Michael Johnson. Caceres then dropped to 145 pounds for his official UFC debut, which came in a submission loss to Mackens Semerzier at UFC Fight Night 24.