UFC Reportedly Loses ‘Huge’ New Sponsorship After Online Poker Indictments
The federal indictments lobbed at three top poker websites late last week – including noted fight sponsor Full Tilt Poker – continue to cause a troubling ripple effect in the MMA world, new reports indicate. You may have already seen the stories over the weekend about how much the sudden absence of such poker site dough may or may not adversely affect the bottom line of individual fighters, but notable sports business reporter Darren Rovell (who works a lot on ESPN) now says the charges against Full Tilt also mean the loss of an important upcoming deal for the UFC.
COUTURE: "I believe this is my last fight..."
I believe this is my last fight," Couture told ESPN.com on Monday. "I know the UFC is probably going to have other ideas, especially with acquiring Strikeforce and all that. They're probably going to try to draw me into another fight but I don't think that's going to happen. I want to stick to my guns and this is the last one."
"I will miss the competition immensely but I want to go out on my terms," Couture said. "I want to go out when I think it's time to go out and not because I lost this fight or lost that fight or because I had an injury that precludes me from training the way I want to train.
"I want to make the decision on my own."
The Verdict is in: Shogun to Reunite with Cordeiro at Kings MMA
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua has made his decision.
The 2005 Pride Fighting Championships middleweight grand prix winner and former UFC light heavyweight champion will reunite with longtime former mentor Rafael Cordeiro at Kings MMA in Huntington Beach, Calif. Cordeiro made public his invitation for Shogun to rejoin him, as he prepares for his upcoming rematch with Forrest Griffin at UFC 134 “Rio” on Aug. 27 at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Griffin spoiled Rua’s Octagon debut in 2007, submitting him with a rear-naked choke at UFC 76.
“I will make my training camp at Kings MMA because I have so much respect for Rafael Cordeiro,” Rua told Sherdog.com. “He invited me, and I agreed with him that it would be a good way to develop my game.”
Rua has not competed since UFC 128 in March, when he surrendered the light heavyweight championship to Jon Jones in a third-round technical knockout defeat at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Long considered one of the sport’s top fighters at 205 pounds, Rua’s career has been interrupted by three reconstructive knee surgeries. Still only 29, He holds a 3-3 mark inside the UFC. He enjoyed some of his greatest success under Cordeiro at the famed Chute Boxe Academy.
“He’s one of the best coaches ever in the history of MMA,” Rua said. “I’m going for him and for the other athletes there who are all great fighters, like Wanderlei Silva and Fabricio Werdum. I don’t know if Anderson Silva will be there, but the others are great.”
UFC contender Phil Davis taking time off to improve, plans to fight by year's end
To the naysayers who've said he isn't the future of the light-heavyweight division, Phil Davis has something to say.
Did you think of that one on your own, or did you need help?
"So I'm not the best in the world," Davis (9-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "Guess what. I will be one day."
Less-than-stellar feedback on his most recent performance and a series of nagging injuries have prompted Davis to realign his priorities. Improving his skills is now the most important part of his career.
'Banha" Cane vs. Stanislav Nedkov at UFC Rio
Following two aborted starts, Stanislav Nedkov will once again attempt to make his Octagon debut on Aug. 27, when he meets fellow light heavyweight Luis Cane at UFC 134 “Rio.”
The UFC announced on its official website Sunday that Nedkov and Cane have “verbally agreed” to square off at the event, which takes place at the 18,000-seat HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro. While not officially announced, a middleweight title clash between champion Anderson Silva and challenger Yushin Okami is expected to topline the promotion’s first Brazilian event since 1998.
Spencer Fisher vs. Thiago Tavares at UFC Rio
An intriguing lightweight affair between the always-exciting Spencer Fisher (24-7 MMA, 9-6 UFC) and Brazilian submission ace Thiago Tavares (15-4-1 MMA, 5-4-1 UFC) is in the works for "UFC: Rio."
MMAjunkie.com has confirmed with sources close to the event that verbal agreements are in place for the matchup, which was first reported by Brazilian outlet Portal do Vale Tudo.
UFC vet Dustin Hazelett puts fighting career on hold, heads back to school
Former UFC welterweight and lightweight Dustin Hazelett has put his fighting career on hold and gone back to school.
The 24-year-old also is focusing on teaching and jiu-jitsu competitions during the break from MMA.
The Ohio-based fighter discussed the plans with MMAjunkie.com's Dann Stupp in today's MMA Insider for the "Dayton Daily News."
Hazelett (12-7 MMA, 5-5 UFC), a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Jorge Gurgel, made his pro MMA debut as an 18-year-old and signed with the UFC just two years later. He won five of his first seven UFC fights while winning two "Submission of the Night" bonuses and a "Fight of the Night" award.
UFC 132: Tito Ortiz Feels He Matches up Well With Ryan Bader
Former UFC light heavyweight champ Tito Ortiz will face up and comer Ryan Bader at UFC 132 in July. Ortiz has been hampered in recent years by a long string of back injuries. He gives his thoughts on the fight and has some advice for fighters who want to avoid ending up like UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes:
"I think (Ryan Bader and I) match up really really well. He only has one loss on his record. He's a tough kid, really great wrestler; his stand up skills are fairly decent. His ground game is ok. I think I have my (work) cut out for me. I have to be in great shape and I have to press the pace."
"I haven't had a win since 2006. But people have to understand, watch all the fights I have lost. I lost them by a little bit. I fought Forrest Griffin the second time, I thought I beat him two rounds to one. When I fought Rashad (Evans), I thought I beat him, but they took a point away, made it a draw, I didn't think I grabbed the fence. I’m competing against the top guys of the world, each and every time. There's never no gimmies and I want to thank Dana and Joe Silva who give me these matches to show I'm still competing against the top guys in the world."
Dana Claims UFC’s True Competition is NFL, MLB; Says ‘Dirty’ Reporters are Gone for Good
It took a while for Dana White and the always capable Sergio Non to really get down to business during the UFC boss’ Wednesday interview with USA Today. Both guys spent a lot of time making the obligatory small talk about UFC 129, Silva vs. Okami and which weight class Frankie Edgar should be fighting in before the actual questions came out of the quiver. Once they began in earnest, White characteristically did not shy away from giving us The Full Dana on any number of topics.
UFC teams with "Jump for Joy," launches exercise initiative at Las Vegas event
Ultimate Fighting Championship officials on Saturday partnered with the Las Vegas-based Jump for Joy Foundation and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Las Vegas to launch a new campaign focused on the country's youth.
Perennial UFC contenders Stephan Bonnar and Tyson Griffin teamed up with UFC vice president Reed Harris and UFC writer Frank Curreri to teach local students the benefit of mixed martial arts training.
Limited Ultimate VIP tickets available for UFC Fan Expo Toronto 2011
Sometimes it may pay to wait. Well, if you're willing to pay.
UFC brass recently announced there are still a handful of Ultimate VIP tickets remaining for this month's UFC Fan Expo Toronto 2011.
The ultra-exclusive experience includes numerous once-in-a-lifetime perks and is limited to just 35 people. Each ticket costs $1,725 CAD.