Dana White Delivers for NYC Fans, Talks 'TUF' Superfight and Respecting Kimbo
Late Monday night, Dana White tweeted that he would be handing out free tickets to UFC 104 at a Pinkberry in midtown Manhattan. Several minutes before his expected arrival, I decided to check out the scene, fully expecting there to be 10 to 15 people hanging outside. Not so.
When I arrived there were at least 50 people anxiously waiting for White, and when he showed up 30 minutes later, there were at least 100 people outside, along with two police officers. Without hesitation, White promised every single person there a free ticket to UFC 104 in Los Angeles. FanHouse then briefly spoke to White while he was enjoying his frozen yogurt about Wednesday's much-anticipated edition of The Ultimate Fighter featuring Kimbo Slice vs. Roy Nelson. The interview is below.
Liddell, St.Pierre, Evans Among Six Initial Figures Round 5 UFC Series
Its landmark marketing partnership freshly in place, Round 5 is pleased to announce the members of the first series of collectible figurines under the UFC brand, a group of six accomplished fighters, as announced today by Barron Lau, Round 5 CEO and co-founder and Damon Lau, president and co-founder. Figurines for stars Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell, George “Rush” St. Pierre, “Suga” Rashad
Evans, Kenny “KenFlo” Florian, Clay “The Carpenter” Guida and Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida are scheduled to be available at retail and at www.Round5MMA.com early next year.
The six collectibles will be presented in a new UFC-themed packaging that includes action photos of each respective fighter’s memorable moments as well as a short biography.
“These six athletes provide a strong, varied base for our first UFC series,” said Damon Lau. “There are established champions like Chuck Liddell and George St. Pierre, popular up-and comers like Rashad Evans and Kenny Florian and guys like Clay Guida and Lyoto Machida who have loyal, growing followings.”
“We think fans will really connect to these collectibles through their detail and the enhanced packaging,” said Barron Lau. “We want them to feel that by owning a Round 5 figurine, they, in a sense, own a piece of that fighter.”
The issuance of UFC Series 1 signals the discontinuation of the previous Round 5 Series. The remaining inventory from the 17 figurines issued in the previous four Series under that brand will continue to be available while supplies last. Limited editions and other special versions of the UFC Series 1 athletes are also in the planning stages.
Dan Hardy and Mike Swick On the Same Page
“I like Mike, he’s a top bloke. We did a PR tour of Germany together earlier in the year and we got on very well. He’s a fun guy, good company and I really respect him for all the charity work he does with the Troops. It was funny, we kept joking that we were hanging out, playing X-Box, watching movies and stuff on this tour bus together in Germany for a week and yet would probably be fighting each other someday. That day is about five weeks away now, and I am sorry, Mike, but I’m still going to deliver one hell of a beating at UFC 105 — the kind of beating which will be very uncomfortable viewing for every other welterweight in the UFC. Mike’s been around for longer than I have in the UFC, but his best win is over Marcus Davis, like with me, but even though he got a unanimous decision I feel I beat Marcus worse than he did.”
Mike Swick Says AKA Fighters Aren't Done Calling Out Matt Hughes
While a concussion sustained in training cost him a chance to fight Martin Kampmann to determine the UFC’s top welterweight contender, Mike Swick didn’t have to wait long for another fight offer to come his way. The AKA product has agreed to face Dan Hardy at UFC 105 in Manchester, England on November 14, and the winner will likely get the next shot at Georges St. Pierre’s title. We called up Swick to discuss the news, and to ask him some other pressing questions, like, what’s up with AKA fighters and their fixation on calling out Matt Hughes? As usual, Swick did not disappoint.
With or Without UFC, Roger Huerta Ready for Next Chapter of Life
As Maynard applied more torque to the hold and rotated Huerta's shoulder behind him at a disturbing angle, referee Dan Miragliotta stood watch, ready for a tapout that seemed immiment. After bending Huerta's arm about as far as the human appendage can go, Maynard told Miragliotta, "I'm breaking it!" Huerta, who could say nothing because Maynard had his leg covering his mouth, shook his head, telling Miragliotta not to stop the fight. Eventually, Huerta worked his way out.
"Maybe it was just the adrenaline, or maybe it was God protecting my arm," said Huerta, who suffered only a strained shoulder and elbow and was back working out within days. "I'll tell you this much: When he did start cranking it, I said, 'If it goes, it goes.' Even if it did break, I wouldn't tap. I thought, 'I'm not tapping. I'm finishing this fight.'
UFC 105 Card Finalized, Johnson vs. Sobotta Off
UFC today revealed the official final card for UFC 105, and it's down to 10 fights. Damarques Johnson vs. Peter Sobotta is now off, apparently due to Sobotta having military commitments. Johnson is also off but will be in action on a future card.
Sotiropoulos vs. Dent at UFC 106
Lightweight "Ultimate Fighter" alums George Sotiropoulos and Jason Dent will meet on the undercard of UFC 106 on Nov. 21 in Las Vegas.
MMAWeekly.com confirmed the fight as signed, sealed, and delivered on Monday via sources close to the match-up.
Sotiropoulos (12-2) returned to action last month at UFC 101 after a yearlong injury induced layoff, submitting Ultimate Fighter season eight alum George Roop in the first round. A cast member of the reality show's sixth season, he succumbed to season winner Tommy Speer by knockout in the semi-finals, but has since finished both of his fights inside the Octagon and will look to make Dent three in a row.
Payment Due: Kimbo's Time has Come
'“I’m not a mixed martial artist, I’m a fighter. I’m gonna fight him, win or lose.”
Such were the words of Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson when his fight against Roy Nelson was announced for this week’s episode of “The Ultimate Fighter: The Heavyweights.” And perhaps this simplicity is the appeal of the man who built his initial reputation in backyard brawls on YouTube."
The Best Offense Is A Sexy Defense
And that is why Yoshihiro Akiyama is headed in Vegas for October to train at Xtreme Couture. Akiyama will devote an entire month to training with Shawn Tompkins and Vitor Belfort to refine his striking. Tompkins acknowledged Akiyama’s merit as a fighter, describing his fighting style as “slick and aggressive.” He aims aims to shore up Akiyama’s defense during the month-long training sojourn. No word on his next fight date but he has fully recovered from an eye injury suffered at UFC 100.
Joe Lauzon vs. Sam Stout In The Works For UFC 108
Joe Lauzon's UFC return from major knee surgery apparently will come much sooner than expected. Originally expected to be out until at least Spring 2010, he's now on track to return at UFC 108 on January 2 against Sam Stout pending signing of fight agreements.
Razor Rob gets fish hooked
What happens when you let MMA fighters loose on the high seas for a bachelor party/shark fishing trip? You guessed it, Team Punishment ended up catching a Razor Rob, a rare creature of the sea known for his vicious striking and propensity for slugfests.
Fighters aren't known for their fishing prowess, which was painfully apparent by this video which shows former WEC lightweight champion "Razor" Rob McCullough with a fish hook stuck all the way through his thumb.
Fortunately, McCullough's pal, Tito Ortiz, a former UFC light-heavyweight champion and amateur trauma surgeon, was on hand to, first, grab the video camera to preserve this memory and, second, to operate on the fish-hooked appendage.
Guess what happened when Team Punishment ran out of bait after chumming the waters with fish guts and blood for a half hour? That's right, "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" jumped into the chum infested waters to grab a chunk of fish the crew could use as bait.
McCullough's thumb is fine, nobody on the WEC or UFC roster got eaten by a shark and the entire crew is back on dry land.
McCullough talked about his bachelor party, his upcoming wedding to Lexxi Tyler, how his training has been going, his fight against Anthony Pettis and UFC 103 vs. Floyd "Money" Mayweather on the latest edition of "The Razor's Edge."
Check it out right here:
Eliot Marshall continues improvement
Eliot Marshall improved his overall professional mixed martial arts record to 8-1, including 3-0 in the UFC, with his win over Jason Brilz at UFC 103. Marshall was critical of his performance, but was pleased with certain aspects of the fight.
"I wish I could have done better. I'm not super happy with the performance," Marshall told MMAWeekly.com. "I showed improvement in my wrestling. Everyone has been able to get me down before as far as wrestlers. Now they weren't able to. He wasn't able to and he's gotten everyone down in every single one of his fights."
TUF 10 Finale: Jon Jones ready to take Matt Hamill down on Dec. 5
“[Matt Hamill's] going to be a big step up in competition for me and a really good test for me and I’m stoked about it. I think his wrestling will play a factor in the fight. I usually fight guys who are Brazilian Black Belts or guys who consider themselves strikers, but with Matt being a tough wrestler, I can see that being an issue. But Matt isn’t really known for his submissions or having knockout power in his hands, so I’m just going to train every aspect of mixed martial arts and I’m excited about this fight because he’s not known for his Jiu-Jitsu and my Jiu-Jitsu is getting really good. If he ends up taking me down, I’m straight with working off of my back or getting into some scramble with him and possibly submitting him. In the boxing category, I feel like I’m faster than him and more well-rounded than him. In the kicking department, I’m working with Phil there and now I’m working into being a Muay Thai fighter, so I’m just going to go out there and mix it up in every aspect. I actually had a very good wrestling career also and I try not to doubt myself in any aspect of the sport. Doubt is where a weakness is about to come in, so I’m just ready to mix it up man. I’m ready to take him down, I’m ready to defend his takedowns and I’m just confident man. I haven’t lost and I’m always working to get better, so I have no reason to doubt myself. I just want to be an all-around great fighter.”
Thiago Silva wants Rashad: “I’m ready”
The knock out over Keith Jardine on UFC 102 made Thiago Silva satisfied, but he wants more. With one more victory by knock out on his record, the American Top Team product doesn’t think about resting on 2009. Looking for another fight, Thiago wants to take advantage of Quinton “Rampage“ Jackson’s retirement.
'Rampage' Leaves Evans in Limbo
"When rumors of Quinton Jackson’s withdrawal from their highly hyped Dec. 12 bout reached Rashad Evans, he hoped against hope the news was nothing but Internet banter.
It was not. Evans and the rest of the mixed martial art world received the news that Jackson would indeed shirk his commitment to fight Evans, his fellow coach on this season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” at UFC 107 in Memphis, Tenn. "
Kimbo Slice: Performance, Not Ratings, Determines UFC Future
UFC President Dana White assures fans that Spike TV ratings monger Kimbo Slice will have to prove that he can compete inside the Octagon if he wants to remain on the company payroll. Dana says Kimbo will fight again in UFC after TUF but makes it clear that "the ratings do not influence our decision. The guy can either fight or not." TUF 10 has seen record-high ratings to this point thanks in part to Kimbo.