UFC Broadcast Partner Versus Re-Branding To NBC Sports
As the UFC continues to search for a solid long-term TV deal while dealing with an increasingly antagonistic relationship with Spike, it is Versus, the UFC's other home, that is undergoing a big change. The sports network, owned by NBC, is going to officially re-brand into NBC Sports. From AOL Sporting News:
Versus officially will turn into the NBC Sports Network on Jan. 2.
The name change, which has been rumored for much of the last year, is timed to coincide with NBC's broadcast of the NHL Winter Classic and the run-up to NBC's February telecast of Super Bowl XLVI.
"Our goal is for anyone who sees the name or logo of one of our assets to immediately connect with NBC Sports," said NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus. He will officially announce the name change today at the Television Critics Association tour in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Mighty Mouse Believes He has the Answer to Dominick Cruz’s Cat-Like Style
Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson (10-1) is a small guy headed to the big stage. On that stage, he’ll meet a fighter with reflexes like that of a cat in UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz.
The two are slotted to meet in the main event at UFC on Versus 6 in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 1. The challenger is excited to get the chance to, in his view, be the first to “beat” Cruz in a fight.
Cruz has never been beaten? Wait, what?
Reminder: "Countdown to UFC 133" preview show debuts tonight on Spike TV
With Strikeforce's latest fight card in the books, it's now on to the UFC's next pay-per-view event, "UFC 133: Evans vs. Ortiz II."
As a reminder, in anticipation of the show, Spike TV debuts "Countdown to UFC 133" Monday night at 11 p.m. ET/PT.
UFC 133 takes place Aug. 6 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The pay-per-view headliner pits ex-champions Rashad Evans against late replacement Tito Ortiz.
Fedor vs. Hendo: Maybe ‘Minotauro’ Knows Best
The fight resumes of Fedor Emelianenko and Dan Henderson are chock full of memorable battles over more than a decade. They fought a range of opponents of all sizes and abilities in all corners of the world. Though they have never been on the same track long enough to face each other, the headliners of the Strikeforce/M-1 Global event on Saturday at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Ill., forged their reputations, in large part, against a common foe.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira spent about 75 minutes of his life locked in combat with Emelianenko and Henderson, a bruising and strenuous slate that laid bare the trio’s grit and gifts.
“I know those guys very well,” Nogueira said during a recent appearance on the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Rewind” program. “I’ll tell you, [they are] very similar. Both guys ... they have a very good right hand. They’re both very good Greco-[Roman wrestling] guys, so they throw the right hand and get close, shorten the distance. It’s kind of the same, the way they attack the person in the fight.”
Lightweights Shane Roller vs. T.J. Grant added to UFC on Versus 6
The quickly filling UFC on Versus 6 fight card has another addition.
UFC official today announced that lightweights Shane Roller (10-4 MMA, 1-1 UFC) and T.J. Grant (16-5 MMA, 3-3 UFC) have agreed to meet at the Oct. 1 event.
UFC on Versus 6 takes place at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The evening's main card, including a bantamweight title fight between current champ Dominick Cruz and Demetrious Johnson, airs on Versus.
It's not clear if Roller vs. Grant will be part of the broadcast.
Tito and Rashad: Verbal Warfare
"You're gonna get crushed" Tito tells Rashad. "Are you outta your mind... You should give me the knockout bonus and everything right away..." Rashad replies
On the UFC TV website to help promote and hype the fight Tito and Rashad give a brief debate about there thoughts on the fight.
Yves Edwards vs. Rafaello Oliveira added to UFC on Versus 6
A pair of fighters looking to rebound from stoppage losses has been added to UFC on Versus 6 as Yves Edwards meets Rafaello Oliveira.
UFC officials today announced the new matchup.
UFC on Versus 6 takes place Oct. 1 at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The evening's main card, including a bantamweight title fight between current champ Dominick Cruz and top challenger Demetrious Johnson, airs on Versus.
UFC President Dana White Talks Fedor Emelianenko and Being Unhappy With Recent Developments
There seem to be two kinds of Dana White interviews these days, the by the numbers stuff about world dominance and the open and honest (or as honest as a promoter can be) interview. Sports Illustrated has the chance to sit down with Dana and they got one of those fantastic open interviews. There is plenty of great stuff in the interview including Dana making a vague statement that he is unhappy with some things going on behind the scenes:
SI.com: What are you looking at?
White: First of all, there're things going on that I'm unhappy with, here at the company, that we're going to fix and change over the next few months, and you're going to see us get back on track here in the next few months. As you start to get bigger and you start to expand into all these different places, and you're working on all these crazy deals, things start to get out of control. I'm going to get some more control around here in the next three months. And that includes my business as a whole, my actual office and employees and departments, right down to s--- that's going on with the fighters.
Vaughan Lee to Face Chris Cariaso at UFC 138
The UFC has really been beefing up the bantamweight division in the last few days, and the trend continued today with the signing of Brit Vaughan Lee (11-6-1). And as usual, it didn't take long for them to apparently give their new signing an opponent. MMAHQ is reporting that Lee will be meeting Chris Cariaso at UFC 138 in Lee's hometown of Birmingham:
The signing of bantamweight Vaughan Lee (11-6-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) was today unveiled by the UFC, and sources close to the fight have revealed that he will make his organizational debut against WEC veteran Chris Cariaso (11-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) on November 5th.
Double E Pictures buys life story of UFC's Rich Franklin for "American Fighter" movie
If all goes well, former UFC champion Rich Franklin's life story will soon be the basis of a Hollywood feature film.
Eric Eisner today announced that his Double E Pictures has optioned Franklin's life story for a film and commissioned David Hollander to write a script and Mathew Cullen of Motion Theory to executive produce.
"I'm excited to see the story of my career as a fighter brought to the screen, and I feel confident that the team assembled will do a great job in telling this story," Franklin stated in today's official release.
According to today's press release, "American Fighter" will tell "the unlikely story of how Franklin, a family man and high school math teacher, taught himself mixed martial arts, quickly emerged as one of the dominant figures in the sport, and ultimately became champion of the UFC. The story also chronicles the rise of mixed martial arts as the fastest growing sport in the world and transformation into a billion-dollar industry."
UFC 133 headliner Rashad Evans appears Friday on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
With former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans' long-awaited return to action quickly approaching, the UFC 133 headliner is a featured guest on Friday evening's edition of NBC's "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon"
Evans is expected to discuss his Aug. 6 bout with fellow former champ Tito Ortiz, as well as the controversy and budding rivalries that have surrounded his recent layoff.
"Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" airs at 12:35 a.m. ET/PT.
UFC 133: Rashad Evans Working With Kickboxing World Champions to Prepare for Tito Ortiz
Interesting photo here as Rashad Evans prepares for next weekend's UFC 133 main event against Tito Ortiz. To prepare for the fight, Evans has spent some time training with top ranked kickboxers Tyrone Spong and Cosmo Alexandre at Imperial MMA in Florida. For those unfamiliar with the names, both Spong and Alexandre are among the elite in kickboxing and Muay Thai, claiming multiple world title between them. Spong may be best known to MMA fans as Alistair Overeem's opponent at last year's K-1 Grand Prix, where he gave The Reem his toughest challenge of 2010.
I'll be very interested to see how this work impacts Evans, as in my eyes, it is a fantastic choice of training partners for him. Rashad's greatest strengths in MMA have always been his wrestling and his hands. His striking game is solid from the waist up, but has some gaps elsewhere, as he does not use many kicks, and could still improve his footwork at times. Working with two kickboxing experts may help tighten up that footwork, while expanding his striking repertoire to include kicks and knees. Meanwhile, both Spong and Cosmo are looking at making a transition to MMA, and working with a wrestler and excellent all around fighter like Evans will greatly benefit them.
Rory MacDonald Talks About Training With Georges St. Pierre
UFC welterweight Rory MacDonald has been writing a series of blogs for sportsnet.ca leading up to his fight with Mike Pyle at UFC 133 on August 6th. The first one dealt with his childhood and his entry into MMA. This one deals with his training at Tri-Star gym with UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre. He talks at first about how Mike Pyle has said that his experience edge will be a factor, and believes that he will beat Pyle and take some of that experience. He then moves onto talking about GSP.
Mike Easton vs. Jeff Hougland at UFC on Versus 6
More good news for the bantamweight division today. Mike Easton will make his long-awaited UFC debut at UFC on Versus 6 on October 1st when he takes on Jeff Hougland. UFC.com shares the news:
Winner of five in a row, bantamweight prospect Mike "The Hulk" Easton will return to competition for the first time since 2009 and he will do it in the UFC Octagon as he makes his debut in the organization against Jeff Hougland on October 1st's UFC Live on Versus card in Washington D.C. Easton, a stablemate of 135-pound champ Dominick Cruz, will be in tough against Hougland, who was successful in his UFC debut in July, defeating Donny Walker.