John Salter tapped as late replacement, meets Gerald Harris at UFC Fight Night 20
With Mike Massenzio (11-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) forced off the card for unspecified reasons, UFC newcomer John Salter (4-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has taken his place and now meets middleweight Gerald Harris (13-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at Monday's UFC Fight Night 20 event.
UFC Fight Night 20 takes place Jan. 11 at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va. The night's main card airs on Spike TV, though Harris vs. Salter is scheduled for the night's un-aired preliminary card.
Anthony Johnson vs. John Howard targeted for UFC Fight Night 21
A long-awaited welterweight bout is expected to take place at UFC Fight Night 21 when Anthony Johnson (8-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) finally meets John Howard (13-4 MMA, 3-0 UFC).
Although not officially announced by the promotion, UFC Fight Night 21 is expected to take place in Denver.
It's the first of two 2010 UFC events expected to air on Versus.
Evan Dunham plans on breaking down and submitting Efrain Escudero at UFC Fight Night 20
"I think he's going to come out and try to test my chin, that's for sure — because I'm sure he got a little bit of confidence from that last fight — instead of just coming out and going for the takedown ... I could see him trying take me down and grind me out, but honestly, I don't think he can hold me down even if he gets me down. I watched his fight with Miller and I watched his fight Felipe, and a couple of his older fights. I've got a good idea of his wrestling abilities and his hands. It's nothing I haven't seen before. I think I have a little bit better movement than he does. I don't feel I'm as stiff as he is, you know? I just feel that I'm able to move and flow a little bit better than he is on the ground and on the feet. My whole philosophy is to go in there and break him down mentally and physically. Make him make a mistake, and capitalize on that mistake. Whether it is leaving his neck out or his arm out or putting his hands a little too low, I plan on capitalizing. So yeah, I definitely think I can submit him."
Undefeated rising star Evan Dunham breaks down his upcoming 155-pound scrap against TUF 8 champion and fellow undefeated lightweight Efrain Escudero.
Shawn Tompkins trains Mark Coleman to fight former boss, Randy Couture
"It's just business. Anyone who's ever spoken to Randy, as far as competition, that's how he feels, too. For Randy, it's about the fight, not the drama, he's real cool about it. We talked about it. I let his camp know first. I started working with Mark for the Stephan Bonnar fight [at UFC 100]. I have my own team now, and this is how I make my living and how my family survives, so if Mark Coleman comes to me and asks me to coach him in a matchup against another UFC Hall of Famer, I'm going to say yes. It's nothing personal. It should happen for the sport and the fans, and when it's all said and done, Randy and I will still be friends, and I'll still respect him for everything he's done for me."
Famed mixed martial arts trainer Shawn Tompkins left Xtreme Couture in October 2009 to run his own fight team and there wasn't any (reported) bad blood with Randy Couture, which made his departure easier.
UFC 109 "UFC Prelim" broadcast to feature Danzig vs. Buccholz, Guillard vs. Torres
A pair of lightweight bouts featuring alumni from Spike TV's "The Ultimate Fighter" reality series are likely to be featured during the cable station's upcoming "UFC Prelim" broadcast for UFC 109.
Sources close to the the Feb. 6 event told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) the one-hour broadcast will include Mac Danzig (18-7-1 MMA, 2-3 UFC) vs. Justin Buchholz (8-4 MMA, 1-3 UFC) and Melvin Guillard (22-8-2 MMA, 5-4 UFC) vs. Ronnys Torres (14-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC).
However, Spike TV officials could not comment on the plans when reached for comment.
UFC 109 takes place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The "UFC Prelim" broadcast, which airs at 9 p.m. ET/PT, precedes the pay-per-view showing of the night's main card.
Jilted Matyushenko Hopes for March Bout
Vladimir Matyushenko is continuing his training camp following the cancellation of his scheduled UFC 108 bout against Steve Cantwell last Saturday in Las Vegas.
Cantwell withdrew from the matchup last Wednesday. UFC President Dana White informed the media that the fighter was suffering from a serious medical condition and that his career was in jeopardy.
PUNCHDRUNKGAMER'S BEST OF 2009 AWARDS
PUNCHDRUNKGAMER'S BEST OF 2009 AWARDS
Event of the Year
UFC 100 (July 11, 2009)
Mid-year the UFC put on their 100th numbered event which featured two championship bouts, a knockout of the year candidate, and wars and upsets.
In the main event Brock Lesnar used size, power, and technique to shut down Frank Mir's half-guard and pounded out a second round stoppage. Right alongside the heavyweight title bout was Georges St. Pierre's one-sided decision over top contender Thiago Alves. St. Pierre utilized striking to set up takedowns and used superior wrestling to keep his Muay Thai based opponent on his back.
UFC 100 also featured Dan Henderson's bomb on the chin of Michael Bisping which was followed up but the highly debated tomahawk to a dreaming Bisping. Jon Fitch ground out a decision to avenge teammate Josh Koscheck against Paulo Thiago, Jim Miller stepped up and defeated TUF winner Mac Danzig, hall of famer Mark Coleman outworked TUF finalist Stephan Bonnar, Yoshihiro Akiyama battled Alan Belcher in a stand-up war, Dong Hyun Kim upset T.J. Grant, and Jon Jones submitted Jake O'Brien.
Guymon’s Highway from Hell to the Octagon
Closing the book on 2009 was a bittersweet experience for Mike “The Joker” Guymon. In those 365 days the 35-year-old turned his life around 180 degrees, climbing out of the depths of despair to reach the pinnacle of his ten-year mixed martial arts career by signing with the UFC.
The rocky road Guymon took to realize his longtime dream of fighting in the Octagon could have just as easily ended as a nightmare if it weren’t for the support of his friends and family who stood in his corner as he fought the fight of his life on September 7.
Following an argument with his wife Nicole, having come to the determination that his deteriorating marriage – much like his financially struggling gym and stalled fight career – was destined to eventually implode, Guymon decided it was time to throw in the towel and reached for a gun with the intention of ending his own life. Realizing in the nick of time what he was planning to do as she intuitively looked in on Guymon in their bedroom as he chambered around, Nicole wrestled the firearm away from her husband and tried to talk him out of making any further rash decisions.
Jesse Lennox – Continuing the Year of the Ox
Like many first-time UFC fighters, Jesse Lennox was overwhelmed by his first experience in the organization last August. Unlike his fellow debutants though, Lennox got that awestruck feeling out of his system before the opening bell rang for his match against Danillo Villefort. In fact, that feeling was gone by Wednesday of fight week.
“The first day you get off the plane and see all these people that you’ve never seen before other than on TV,” Lennox recalls. “And on TV they’re bigger than life, and you’re like ‘oh wow, there’s that guy and that guy.’ I had one day of it when I was star struck, and the next day I woke up and was like ‘#$% it man, I didn’t come here to be a fan, get autographs or to see anybody. I came here to beat the #$%$ out of Danillo Villefort, and that is it.’ It was a light switch after that.”
Nik Lentz: No More Mr. Tough Guy
A former pre-med major with a penchant for video games – or as he’d tell you in his own words, “kind of a nerd” – Nik Lentz is the last person you’d expect to sign up for a fight on a whim.
“It was a sudden idea,” he says. “I looked into what it would take to get myself into a local show and just did it. I won by KO and realized I was well-suited for fighting, so after that, I decided to start training in jiu-jitsu and…”
Wait. Fight first, train later? The so-called geek walked into things with no preparation?
“I mean, I wrestled in college,” he explains. “But yeah, basically.”
Rory MacDonald: The New Breed Has Arrived
For years mixed martial arts analysts, journalists and fans have hypothesized about the plausibility that the skill set of fighters in the future would one day eclipse those of their present day counterparts due to the simple fact that they would be “pure mixed martial artists” who had trained in the hybrid art of fighting from day one.
We imagined a new breed of competitor – an army of fighting wunderkinds trained to strike and grapple like men as children, who, by the time they actually became men would take the MMA world by storm, changing the landscape of the game like Michael Jordan did with basketball, Wayne Gretzky did with hockey and Tiger Woods did with golf.
If the buzz emanating from Canada that surrounds him and the endorsements he has received from a host of the country’s most respected MMA figures are any indication, the new era has a face and a name and it is that of UFC newcomer Rory MacDonald.
Aaron Simpson: The Seasoned Newcomer
Like most fighters, Aaron Simpson doesn’t play fortune-teller when it comes to his career. A typical inquiry about his upcoming game plan against Tom Lawlor yields an equally typical response – an open-ended “I don’t know, anything can happen.”
There’s only one guarantee he can make upon next week’s arrival in Fairfax, Virginia for UFC Fight Night, and that’s this: there will be neither a sloppy body paint job nor a barking man-dog in sight, at least not in his corner
Brad Blackburn’s New Year’s Resolution – A Full Year of Fighting
Every athlete in the UFC has his post-fight ritual. Some raid the refrigerator for a week, some travel, while others just sit back for a while and stay far away from the gym. Welterweight Brad Blackburn has had his own ritual following each of his three bouts in the Octagon, one he’d like to break following his Monday meeting with Amir Sadollah on the UFC Fight Night card in Fairfax, Virginia.
“I haven’t won a UFC fight without having surgery after it yet,” Blackburn says with a smile that only comes after being healed up and ready to get back to work. “So now my goal is to win a UFC fight and not need surgery after it.”
Thiago Tavares – A Brazilian Phenom’s Return
As we all know, mixed martial arts is a high impact sport, one in which fighters have to deal with the pain sustained in training and in fighting all the time . So when a fighter needs to push the pace in preparation for a match, he can sometimes pay with an injury that will sideline him from the bout or force him to step into the Octagon at less than 100 percent.
Thiago Tavares, the Brazilian fighter that will face Nik 'The Carny' Lentz on Monday’s UFC Fight Night card in Fairfax, Virginia, had more than his share of problems with injuries in the last year. After undergoing knee surgery a couple of years ago, he was sidelined from UFN 18 against Melvin Guillard due to a new injury to his elbow. He healed up and was then scheduled to face Jim Miller at UFC 103 before injuring his knee again.
Tired Thiago Silva didn't know what was going on at UFC 108
"I thought he would exchange a little bit more, but he escaped from the exchanging and he went on takedowns.... I knew I was losing. I wasn’t that good on the energy and I tried to provoke him to see if he comes over me, but he didn’t bought it. I knew I was losing, I lost the two rounds. To be tired make a difference, man ... I started to provoke him because he was with the low energy, getting tired.... Wanting or not, he has a heavy hand, there’s some time that we don’t know what’s going on anymore.... I think the energy made the difference, I was pretty tired."
Tatame: Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort Will Take Place at UFC 112
The fight between Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort is in works to take place at UFC 112, on April 10, at Abu Dhabi. Carlos Santos, leader of Emirates Team, revealed to TATAME.com that both fighters called him to train at his training center in Abu Dhabi in the days before the fight. This will be the first UFC event in Abu Dhabi, and will also have the UFC debut of the legend Renzo Gracie, against the five times welterweight champion Matt Hughes.
NSAC exec says UFC light heavyweight Steve Cantwell's return still possible
When UFC light heavyweight Steve Cantwell was forced to withdraw from a UFC 108 bout in Las Vegas with Vladimir Matyushenko, most MMA observers simply chalked up the loss as another victim of the "curse" that plagued the card.But when UFC president Dana White said Cantwell was in danger of never fighting again, the concerns for "The Robot's" future quickly grew.
Rashad Evans had an 'Oh Sh*t' moment at UFC 108
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans talks about the close call he had in the third round against the dangerous Thiago Silva in the main event of UFC 108 back on Jan. 2. "Suga" almost dissolved in the third round after getting rocked by the Brazilian; however, Silva was either too gassed or too tentative to seal the deal, allowing the former TUF champion to recover and take home the unanimous decision win.Was the performance enough to convince you he'll be the better man in his eventual grudge match against "Rampage" Jackson? Or will the fighter currently known as BA Baracus send him back to the Spike TV fight nights?