Silva Says He's Fighting Leben In April In Toronto
UFC middleweight Wanderlei Silva is pretty sure his next opponent will be Chris Leben and that the fight will take place in Toronto in April. The Brazilian MMA icon revealed the news in a recent interview he did with Fighters Only. “I think I want to fight in April in Canada -- I want to fight in Toronto. I think against Chris Leben. I want to fight with him next,” Silva informed Fighters Only when asked about his eventual return to the Octagon. “I think he is interesting, he is my size, he is aggressive, he fights to the front (comes forward)," he explained. I think we are going to make an interesting fight.” It's a big if though mainly because of the status of Leben-he's scheduled to face DUI charges in Hawaii in November and Brian Stann at UFC 125, but it looks like UFC is making alternative arrangements, possibly in anticipation that he will likely have to do additional time behind bars for his latest infraction.
Dana White (Again) Hints At Network TV Deal In 2011
Although previously saying the "right deal" has never been presented to make the organization bite, Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White apparently has made some progress with U.S. network television. Ideally, a network-TV deal will accompany a UFC network similar to those offered by the NFL and MLB. And according to a recent interview with BroadcastingCable.com, the UFC may have a few options for network-TV partners. White was asked if the UFC – which currently broadcasts on pay-per-view, Spike TV and Versus – will be on network TV in 2011. "Yes, we will," he told the trade media outlet. "We are working on some things right now. I just can't talk about it at all because we are right in the middle of it." White dodged specifics about the possibility of airing on NBC or FOX, but he admitted that the outlets theoretically make sense. Recently, White has hinted at a "UFC network" that will debut in the next couple years. However, it's hard to tell if that's the same venture he discusses earlier this year that would bring the UFC to a worldwide online audience. "As technology keeps growing, what I believe is going to happen – and I better be right, or we're [expletive] – is all the world is eventually going to be watching television through the Internet." It also should be noted White promised UFC would already be on network TV in the past...but they weren't by his "guaranteed" date of September 15.
War of Words Between Frank Shamrock and Dana White Continues
Cain Velasquez and Brock Lesnar teamed up to give UFC 121 a huge box office boost at UFC 121 this past Saturday, but it wasn't the only war that earned headlines around the MMA world.
It may be a feud that will never lead to an in-ring conclusion, but the ongoing verbal fireworks between UFC president Dana White and MMA legend Frank Shamrock has continued on. Just days prior to UFC 121, White had some choice words for Shamrock, and now Shamrock has fired back.
UFC president defends pre-UFC 121 marketing of new champ Cain Velasquez
ANAHEIM, Calif. – UFC president Dana White said the promotion simply uses what's already there when it cuts a promo.
The executive blasted critics who said Cain Velasquez's Mexican heritage was exploited in the buildup to this past weekend's UFC 121 event.
"What we do is we take a storyline in what a guy's life is," White said.
Velasquez, who bears a "Brown Pride" tattoo on his chest, sent the 14,000-plus fans in attendance into a frenzy this past Saturday at Anaheim's Honda Center when he won the UFC heavyweight title from Brock Lesnar with a first-round TKO.
Gabe Ruediger Out of UFC 123 Fight
Gabe Ruediger has withdrawn from next month's lightweight bout against Paul Kelly at UFC 123 due to a groin injury.
"I've been training with injuries for this whole camp and I've been trying to just work around them," Ruediger explained Sunday evening on his official website. "One injury that has been giving me daily issues was a groin strain. This happened about three weeks ago wrestling. I was wrapping it and just enduring the pain, but Wednesday, I was back to wrestling and my groin tore all the way through. As I laid on the mat I knew it was bad, but it wasn't until Friday that I realized that it would be impossible to be ready for my upcoming bout."
Who's Next For Matt Hamil? Dana says Top 10 Opponent
Following a unanimous-decision victory over Tito Ortiz at this past weekend's UFC 121 event, Matt Hamill is set for another step up in competition. As detailed in today's "MMA Insider" column in the "Dayton Daily News," UFC president Dana White said Hamill will get a "top-10" opponent in his next fight. Hamill, a three-time NCAA Division III national wrestling champion who joined the UFC after competing on "The Ultimate Fighter 3" in 2006, now owns a five-fight win streak in the organization. "I think we've got to get Matt a fight in the top 10 in the 205-pound division, which is obviously the meanest and nastiest division, as always," White said after the night's pay-per-view event, which took place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. "I'm sure his next fight will be a top-10 opponent."
UFC 121 winner Brendan Schaub welcomes fight with ex-champ Frank Mir
In fact, with three consecutive wins in the UFC, Schaub wants to sustain his momentum and continue moving up the heavyweight ladder. The division, of course, got a shakeup in UFC 121's main event when Cain Velasquez made quick work of champion Brock Lesnar and took the title.
Wanting to be in the best position possible when the dust settles, Schaub already has a next opponent in mind. And it's a veteran who once held the title himself.
"I'd love to match up with Frank Mir," said Schaub, a former football player once employed in the NFL and AFL. "He's one of the stars in the division, and I think I would give him a lot of problems."
With UFC 121 win, refocused Diego Sanchez may compete in two divisions
Following Sanchez's one-sided decision loss to British welterweight prospect John Hathaway at May's UFC 114 event, UFC president Dana White suggested "Nightmare" might be best served migrating back down to 155 pounds.
But after Sanchez turned in one of the grittiest performances of his career in a UFC 121 win over Paulo Thiago, White said the former winner of "The Ultimate Fighter" looks again like a monster at welterweight and should turn his focus there. Sanchez has a different perspective: Why not take them both on?
Tito Ortiz: "I still feel like I have a lot more in me" despite UFC 121 loss
"I'm going to hop on the horse, I'm going to get back in the gym in about two weeks, and I'm going to get to a college and start wresting again because I'm healthy," Ortiz said. "That hunger is there.
White refused to decide the former champion's future when pressed (though he did rule out a fourth meeting with Chuck Liddell), but the always-outspoken executive's silence when asked for comment on Ortiz's status was likely very telling.
After UFC 121 win, Jake Shields still next in line for UFC welterweight title shot
The UFC boss had suggested prior to Shields' win over Martin Kampmann (17-4 MMA, 8-3 UFC) that a victory would "probably" mean a title shot against the winner of December's Georges St-Pierre vs. Josh Koscheck matchup.
Following the win, White confirmed that probable contest is now a certainty.
"I think no less of him today than I did yesterday," White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
UFC 121 draws reported 14,856 attendance for $2.15 million live gate
ANAHEIM, Calif. – "UFC 121: Lesnar vs. Velasquez" a reported 14,856 attendees for a $2.15 million gate, UFC president Dana White announced in the evening's post-fight press conference.
The event, which took place Saturday, was hosted by the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., and marked the UFC's third event in The Golden State in 2010.
Official figures will be verified by the California State Athletic Commission early next week, but it the preliminary numbers hold up, UFC 121 scored the eighth highest attendance of the UFC's 20 events so far this year and scored the biggest attendance of the three California-based events.
Incredible night for Velasquez
On Saturday in the main event of UFC 121 before a boisterous crowd at the Honda Center, a more mature and experienced Velasquez rewarded his coach’s faith in him by putting on one of the most impressive displays by an Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight in a long time.
UFC 121 bonuses: Velasquez, Roberts, Sanchez and Thiago claim $70K bonuses
ANAHEIM, Calif. – Cain Velasquez, Daniel Roberts, Diego Sanchez and Paulo Thaigo each earned $70,000 "Fight Night" bonuses for their performances at Saturday's "UFC 121: Lesnar vs. Velasquez" event.
Velasquez earned the night's "Knockout of the Night" award, Roberts picked up the "Submission of the Night" bonus, and Sanchez and Thiago shared "Fight of the Night" honors.
4 Fights Added To UFC 124
The bout schedule for the UFC's final event of 2010 is nearly complete as promotion officials today announced the addition of four more contests for "UFC 124: St-Pierre vs. Koscheck II." The new listings include Mac Danzig vs. Joe Stevenson and Thiago Alves vs. John Howard for the night's main card, as well as Ricardo Almeida vs. T.J. Grant and Pat Audinwood vs. John Makdessi for the night's preliminary activities.
Dana White No Fan of Friends Refusing Fights
“I'm tired of guys who don't want to fight each other,” said White. “Just because you train together means you can't fight each other?”
Next, White tackled the issue at the UFC 121 pre-fight conference on Wednesday.
“They're all pros. It's not personal. These guys are going in to compete and see who best is,” he said. “There should be no problem with guys in same weight class fighting each other.”
Lesnar learns of Sonnen's comments
ESPN's Jim Rome read to Lesnar some of the trash that Chael Sonnen has talked about the heavyweight champion, including Sonnen's claim that "I'd slap you in your face and you wouldn't do anything about it, Brock," Lesnar had a simple retort: "I don't know who he is."
"Is he a fighter? I don't know who he is," Lesnar said. "I'm serious. Seriously."
Dana White hints at Olympic MMA progress, won't lead efforts
"You see wrestling, you see boxing, you see judo, Tae Kwon Do – I mean, all the things that are allowed in mixed martial arts are already an Olympic sport," White said. "The reality is [MMA] should be. And it should be sanctioned in every state and everywhere else around the world.
"But it isn't. It's going to take us time. I've been the guy to say it should be an Olympic sport, and I hope I see it before I die, but I'm not going to be the guy to do it. I know what my goals are and what I need to do. That's not one of them yet."
Are Teammates Not Fighting Because One Guy Is Scared Of The Other?
Maybe, according to Dana White. "The bottom line is, and the way that that's been in the UFC, it's been a camp thing. You'll find a couple of camps that are saying, 'oh no this guy's my friend, I'm not fighting him.' What? This isn't personal, this isn't, 'oh I hate him, I'm going to fight him.' You train, you work hard to be the best mixed martial artist you can be, and you're going out to compete against other mixed martial artists to prove you're the best. Me personally, what I think, is when one guy says, 'oh he's my friend I won't fight him,' that means I train with this guy and this guy's probably going to kick my ass. That's what I get out of that. I'm not confident enough to fight this guy."