Yoshihiro Akiyama Is Basically A Slower Version Of Aaron Simpson
So says his UFC 116 short-notice opponent, Chris Leben. "I think he’s basically a little slower version of the guy I just fought. He’s an awesome judo player, he’s got fast kicks, but I don’t think he’s got near the wrestling that Aaron Simpson has and I don’t think he’s got knockout power. But it’s a great fight and an opportunity I couldn’t pass up."
UFC Threatened TapouT With Lifetime Ban Over Fedor Shirts
Co-owner and President of M-1 Global Vadim Finkelchtein accuses the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) of blocking a potential deal between Fedor Emelianenko and TapouT, the world's most recognizable brand of mixed martial arts apparel and merchandise. TapouT produced a Fedor shirt that will probably never see the light of day under threat of a lifetime ban from the UFC. "I'm afraid to disappoint the fans, but it seems like, never. Literally today they called me from the TAPOUT firm and told me that they were contacted by the representatives of the UFC, and that under the threat of tearing up all the contracts with their organization demanded that TAPOUT categorically stop producing all the shirts from the line of Fedor Emelianenko. This is how Dana White feels about Fedor. So tell me, what can we think about such person after this, that even in things that have nothing to do with UFC, he still tries to mess it up for us. So it seems that the shirts will just stay a rarity that fans will see in pictures. Say thanks to UFC and their politics of monopoly."
Mike Swick Makes Top 10 At World Series Of Poker Event
Although best known as UFC welterweight contender, Mike Swick is finding his other job lucrative, as well. On Friday Swick finished a remarkable run in the World Series of Poker event No. 42–a three-day no-limit hold'em tournament with a $3.4 million prize pool. Swick made the final day of competition and finished 10th among the event's 2,521 competitors. The showing allowed him to turn a $1,500 buy-in into winning of $34,748. Swick, a sponsored player of online site Full Tilt Poker, actually played in his eighth WSOP event and cashed in his second. (In addition to the "main event," each annual WSOP now includes more than 50 other, smaller events.) In 2007's event No. 25 ($2,000 buy-in no-limit hold'em), Swick finished 151st out of 1,618 competitors and earned $3,828. He also plans to enter the main event-the $10,000 No Limit Hold 'Em World Championship-which starts 2 days after UFC 116.
Grove-Reijic Demoted, Petruzelli-Romero Promoted To UFC 116 Prelims
Apparently Kendall Grove has learned the hard way to not badmouth your employer and it's TV partners. A middleweight bout between Grove and Goran Reljic has been demoted to UFC 116's un-aired preliminary card, and a light-heavyweight fight between Seth Petruzelli and Ricardo Romero has been promoted to its slot on UFC 116's "UFC Prelims" special on Spike TV. Grove, who was the season-three middleweight winner of "The Ultimate Fighter" reality series, earlier this week told Tapout Radio that Spike TV officials only care about ratings and getting "as much drama and stupidity out of us" as possible with little regard for the cast members' careers. Grove rejoined the radio show a few days later and apologized to Spike TV officials, UFC president Dana White and UFC matchmaker Joe Silva for passing off his personal feelings as fact. He said he "put my foot in my mouth" and thanked Spike TV officials for "giving me my shot" with the UFC.
An Exclusive Interview With Fedor
Fedor Video Exclusive: Talks UFC, Werdum, Overeem, and More
interviewer: How important is it for you to get the Strikeforce HW championship belt?
Fedor: I do not collect belts
interviewer: Anything you do collect?
Fedor: good deeds.
Forget The UFC 116 Main Event, "Lights Out" Wants You To Remember "Lytle vs. Brown"
And if you don't like it then according to Chris Lytle, you shouldn't be watching among other things. "I thought it was going to be an easy fight (the first time) and that wasn’t the case. [Matt Brown] was tough. I didn’t know what to expect out of him, but he was coming after me. He’s gonna try and knock me out and I’m gonna try to knock him out. That’s the kind of fights I want and (the UFC) gave me a guy I really wanted to fight. He’s improved just because of the experience he’s gained alone. He’s explosive and confident and he’s gonna come after me the same way I’m going after him. I like to fight on the big cards. I want people to be like ‘That main event was cool, but the real fight was the Lytle vs. Brown match.’ This fight should have everything. If you don’t like this, I don’t know why you’re watching." The "first time" he refers to was at a UFL event in 2007, when Lytle beat Brown by submission.
UFC 115 Medical Suspensions
The Vancouver Athletic Commission has announced the medical suspensions from UFC 115. Everyone was suspended for varying lengths of time-8 are suspended for 2 weeks, Evan Dunham & Paulo Thiago got 30 & 45 days respectively, while everyone else-12 fighters in all-got 180 days.
UFC 115 Draws 17,669 For $4.2 Million Gate
The Vancouver Athletic Commission today revealed the attendance and live gate figures from UFC 115. The vent drew 17,669 fans for a live gate of $4,221,787. Dana White originally said 17,000 attended. The figure includes 1296 compes, 1752 "suite" tickets and 138 unsold tickets.
UFC 115 Fighter Payouts
The Vancouver Athletic Commission has revealed the official fighter payouts from UFC 115. The total disclosed payouts were $1,285,000 with the biggest share-$500,000-going to Chuck Liddell.
UFC Cuts Keith Jardine
Class dismissed for "The Dean Of Mean". UFC veteran Keith Jardine has been cut today following his TUF 11 Finale loss to Matt Hamill, his 4th straight. He's gone 6-7 since being a contestant on TUF 2, but Dana White hopes he'll be back someday.
Akiyama-Leben At UFC 116 Still On Despite Akiyama Protests
Fear not UFC fans; you'll get your required dose of "Sexyama" in July. Despite initial resistance and even considering withdrawing from the fight, it's been confirmed that Yoshihiro Akiyama will indeed face Chris Leben next week at UFC 116. Akiyama was to have faced a now-injured Wanderlei Silva.
UFC Cuts Ties With David Loiseau...Again
The UFC has parted ways with veteran David Loiseau following his UFC 115 loss to Mario Mirando earlier this month. Loiseau's agent Ken Pavia confirmed the news with MMA Fighting Thursday.
This marks the third time since 2006 that Loiseau has been let go from the organization.
Pavia said that Loiseau has not decided whether or not he will retire from MMA, but the 10-year veteran will take some time off to regroup and think about his future options.
Spike Confirms UFC Prelims Special For UFC 118
As expected Spike TV will host a one-hour "UFC Prelims" special prior to the pay-per-view-televised main card of August's UFC 118 event. Spike TV officials today announced the PPV teaser features Massachusetts-based fighters Joe Lauzon and Jorge Rivera, who respectively fight Terry Etim and Alessio Sakara at the Boston show.
Dana White on Fedor: “How is This Possible That I Can’t Sign This Guy?”
“I’ve signed Brock Lesnar, who came from the WWE, James Toney from boxing – he’s a nut chasing me all over the place – Tito Ortiz, whom I hated, and he hated me. I signed him twice when we hated each other. I’ve kept Chuck Liddell, kept Matt Hughes, kept Rich Franklin, when they were all champions. Anderson Silva, I’ve dealt with all the crazy [expletive] with him,” White told MMAJunkie.com of his ability to deal with everything from the ordinary to outrageous.
“But I can’t sign Fedor? How is this possible that I can’t sign this guy? It’s not possible.
A "Disappointed" Yoshihiro Akiyama Not Pleased With UFC 116 Opponent Change
And to make matters worse, there's even a chance Akiyama himself will pull out of the event over this according to a translation of comments he made to a Korean website. "I am not pleased with the change. There are just ten days left until the contest for me to determine [Leben’s] threats and the time is insufficient to establish a tailored gameplan. Leben is also not as high-profile as [Wanderlei] Silva and that does not help me. If there is to be a replacement I was hoping for a big name. I spent one year preparing hard for this fight and this news has come as a big disappointment, my motivation has waned. I do not know yet what will happen ... In the worst case, I will not take part in the [UFC 116] event. We are working hard to resolve this issue."
TUF 11 Finale: 2 Million Viewers
Last Saturday night's (June 19) The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 11 Finale drew an average of 2 million viewers while peaking with 2.4 million, according to Spike TV officials. The card's main event saw Court McGee claim the season 11 TUF middleweight title by submitting Kris McCray in the second round. In other action, Matt Hamill earned a majority decision win over Keith Jardine as he battled with a broken hand, a torn eye duct, and, of course, staph infection. God bless him. The ratings fell short of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 10 Finale, which drew an average of 3.7 million viewers, but also featured some character known as Kimbo. TUF 11 Finale's ratings were in line however with season 9's finale as that event drew 2.2 million viewers.
Marcus Davis vs. Nate Diaz official for August's UFC 118 in Boston
A welterweight bout destined for fireworks is now official for the UFC's first trip to Boston.
The promotion today confirmed Marcus Davis (17-6 MMA, 9-4 UFC) vs. Nate Diaz (12-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC) for the pay-per-view portion of UFC 118, which takes place Aug. 28 at Boston's TD Garden. A lightweight title rematch between newly crowned champion Frankie Edgar and the recently deposed B.J. Penn headlines.
Move Over Rich Franklin, The UFC May Have A New Company Man
And it's...Chris Leben? Seems he wants to get on the good side of the Zuffa brass, at least based on his latest comments posted on BJ Penn's website. "The UFC called me and they said Wanderlei was hurt and they want me to fight Akiyama ... At first I said no because I woke up in the morning, my phone was ringing and I was sore and it doesn’t make sense to take a fight when you’re not prepared and training for it. But then as I thought about it, you know, I’m a fighter, this is what I do. Why would I not take a great opportunity? It would be stupid of me. Not to mention that but I want to be a company man with the UFC, I want them to be happy with me. I don’t know a ton about Akiyama. My coach knows a bunch, but we haven’t even had a chance to talk much about our game plan. I saw him fight Alan Belcher and to be honest with you, I thought he lost that fight. He’s a good Judo guy, he’s got great Judo, fast kicks, maybe not the most power in the world. He’s a little bit shorter than me but he’s a good strong guy. I think that utilizing my skills, keeping it on the feet and clubbing him in the head with my left shouldn’t be too much of a problem."
A Fight With Kurt Pellegrino is A Step In The Right Direction For George Sotiropoulos
In a battle of emerging lightweight stars at UFC 116 between George Sotiropoulos and Kurt Pellegrino, one man figures to propel himself into the top five of the division with a win. The Australian-bred Sotiropoulos looked great in completely dismantling Joe Stevenson back at UFC 110 while "Batman" has been on a four-fight tear. Though George sees similarities in Stevenson and Pellegrino, he admits this fight is definitely a step up in competition as well as a step in the right direction of one day achieving his ultimate goal.