Alexander Gustafsson vs. James Te Huna Slotted For UFC 127
A light-heavyweight bout between New Zealand fighter James Te Huna and Swedish competitor Alexander Gustafsson will be part of February's UFC 127 event. Although not officially announced by the organization, UFC 127 is expected to take place Feb. 27 at Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia. Te Huna has fought exclusively in Australia, where he won the 2009 Cage Fighting Championships light-heavyweight grand prix, which included a knockout of former UFC fighter Anthony Perosh in the finale. That led to Te Huna's own UFC contract and a TKO victory over Igor Pokrajac at UFC 110, the UFC's first trip to Australia. He's been on the sidelines since that February win. After posting a perfect 8-0 record with seven stoppage wins, Gustafsson signed with the UFC and knocked out Jared Hamman in his promotional debut at UFC 105 a year ago. However, he then suffered a submission loss to top prospect Phil Davis but rebounded in October with a submission win over Cyrille Diabate at UFC 120.
Jake Ellenberger vs. Carlos Eduardo Rocha Targeted For UFC 126
In lieu of a planned bout with Jon Fitch, Jake Ellenberger instead is expected to meet welterweight prospect Carlos Eduardo Rocha on the televised main card of UFC 126. Verbal agreements are in place, paperwork pending. Ellenberger was originally to have faced Fitch before Fitch was instead tapped to face BJ Penn at UFC 127.
Krzysztof Soszynski Talks UFC, Stephan Bonnar, Gerald Harris and Dana White
In the sport of mixed martial arts a fighter's fortune can change in a heartbeat. Hours of preparation and training to refine muscled mass into a flexible, powerful and agile machine can all be lost under the white hot glare of the stadium lights. The primal gear may shift into fight mode but the warrior has to recite a game plan that has been drilled a thousand times in hopes that once the cage door closes everything that has been picked up along the road traveled will finally produce gains. When the referee steps aside and the action hits full tilt anything can happen but when TUF alum Krzysztof Soszynski faced Goran Reljic at UFC 122 all of the hard work in combination with the desire to bounce back from a disappointing performance brought the end result he was determined to find. "The Polish Experiment" dictated every step of the three round affair in route to grinding Reljic to exhaustion. Several times during the bout Soszynski looked close to finishing Reljic but the Croatian light heavyweight persevered and held on until the final bell. The end result came as a unanimous decision victory for Soszynski and while on paper it will fall as another notch in the win column, to Krzysztof it meant that past issues where resolved and he was back to doing what he does best.
A few days after returning to the states I caught up with Krzysztof to talk about his victory over Goran Reljic in addition to other major topics that have hit the MMA headlines since his fight in Germany at UFC 122. In this Bloody Elbow Exclusive interview "The Polish Experiment" added his unique perspective to several of the larger fires that are currently burning across MMA.
Thiago Silva vs. Brandon Vera promoted to UFC 125 main card
An intriguing light-heavyweight bout between Thiago Silva (14-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) and Brandon Vera (11-5 MMA, 7-5 UFC) has been salvaged from untelevised purgatory.
Sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) the onetime preliminary-card bout has been promoted to the pay-per-view main card of "UFC 125: Resolution."
The event takes place Jan. 1 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and is headlined by UFC lightweight champ Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard.
Former UFC Fighter Lee Murray's Bank Heist Sentence Increased to 25 Years
Former UFC fighter Lee Murray, who was convicted of masterminding the biggest non-wartime cash heist in history, has had his prison sentence increased from 10 years to 25, according to BBC News.
On February 22, 2006, Murray and a group of others broke into a Securitas cash depot in Tonbridge, Kent and escaped with the U.S. equivalent of $92.5 million in cash. A series of arrests soon followed and the British-born Murray was named as the mastermind of the crime.
Greg Jackson Fires Back at Dana White Over Recent Criticism
MMA trainer Greg Jackson isn't pleased with some of the recent comments coming from UFC president Dana White, so he decided to do something about it. With White criticizing the Jackson camp for what he describes as a boring, conservative approach to fights, Jackson is firing back with a weapon of his own: statistical analysis.
On Monday night Jackson sent MMA Fighting an email listing all the bonus awards and finishes tallied by his fighters in Zuffa events in 2010. The list includes the names of 20 Jackson camp fighters who competed in the UFC or WEC in 2010, but perhaps the most telling figure is the distribution of UFC's bonuses after each event, Jackson explained.
"Here's a quick stat for you. So there's been 22 [UFC events] this year? We had 12 bonuses so far this year," Jackson said in a phone interview. "So one out of every two, one of my fighters got Submission of the Night, Knockout of the Night, or Fight of the Night."
Nate Marquardt Calls Out (And Wants To Knock Out) Wanderlei Silva
Evidently Marquardt thinks the path from "choker" (as Dana White called him) back to #1 contender involves a fight he thinks everyone wants...and some promises. "In order to re-establish myself as the number one contender, my next opponent needs to be an elite fighter who will stand and bang with me in the center of the Octagon until one of us is knocked out. The fight that makes the most sense to me is Wanderlei Silva. I have a ton of respect for Wanderlei and have wanted this fight for years, the fans have wanted this fight, they deserve to see two of the best fighters in the world in an all out war. Wanderlei is an amazing fighter who is very aggressive, I will pursue him with unwavering tenacity, then I will knock him out! I promise the UFC, Dana, my fans, my team, my coaches and most importantly myself that never again will there be a question about my cage aggression."
Former UFC middleweight contender Gerald Harris: "I messed up"
Believe it or not, Gerald Harris (17-3) is not angry.
Despite being released from the UFC following a decision loss to Maiquel Falcao (26-3) at UFC 123, Harris does not harbor ill will toward the organization or UFC president Dana White, who was openly critical of Harris' performance.
Instead, Harris said he has learned a valuable lesson from his release and vows to be a better fighter the next time he's in the cage.
"I messed up," Harris told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I had the biggest opportunity in the world, and I didn't seize the day. I didn't take advantage of the situation I was in.
Bisping wasn't interested in Rivera at UFC 127, now he'll teach opponent a lesson
Michael Bisping's bout agreement was signed the moment Jorge Rivera (18-7 MMA, 8-5 UFC) called him out.
Bisping (20-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) said there was no other choice than to say yes, even if Rivera wasn't in his crosshairs.
"I had to take the fight just to shut him up," he today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
As MMAjunkie.com earlier reported, the two will meet at UFC 127, which takes place Feb. 27 at the Acer Arena in Sydney. Bisping in February co-headlined the promotion's first trip Down Under at UFC 110 and fell short on points to Wanderlei Silva.
Was Gerald Harris Released Because He Wasn't "Being A Team Player"?
Jon Jones thinks so. "That's absolutely insane. ... You know a lot of times when you get booted, I think it's because of guys not being team players. The UFC likes guys who show up on time, they're never late to their appearances, they don't give people in the offices a hard time, they don't give too much of a big fight when it comes to contract negotiations; they like guys who are team players. Maybe he wasn't being a team player. I mean, three knockouts and one loss and to get booted, there's definitely something more than performance. ... There's more to the story."
Kyle Noke Heads Home To Australia To Face Chris Camozzi At UFC 127
Kyle Noke will get his wish and head home to Australia for his next fight as the former “Ultimate Fighter” competitor will face off against former housemate Chris Camozzi in a middleweight bout on the UFC 127 fight card.
The fight was confirmed to MMAWeekly.com by sources close to the negotiations on Monday, with verbal agreements in place for the Feb. 27 bout.
Since his time on the 11th season of the reality show, Noke (18-4-1) has looked impressive stopping both of his opponents, picking up wins over Josh Bryant and Rob Kimmons...
Gabe Ruediger Vs. Paul Taylor Agreed For UFC 127 In Australia
Gabe Ruediger was hoping to fight a Brit for his next fight in the UFC, but it won’t be the Englishman he was originally gunning for. Ruediger has instead drawn Paul Taylor in a lightweight fight set for UFC 127 in Australia on Feb. 27, 2011.
The contest was confirmed to MMAWeekly.com by sources close to the fight on Monday, with bout agreements issued for the February showdown.
Ruediger was originally set to return to action at UFC 123 in Detroit, but an injury forced him off the card, and he never got a chance to face British fighter Paul Kelly. The two had engaged in a war of words prior to the fight, and Ruediger had expressed his desire to face Kelly when healthy again.
11 Bouts Signed for ‘Fight for the Troops 2’
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 9 finalist DaMarques Johnson (Pictured) will meet former King of the Cage champion Michael Guymon in a preliminary welterweight matchup at UFC “Fight for the Troops 2” on Jan. 22 at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas. Eleven fights are now official for the event, which will air live on Spike TV.
A Jeremy Horn protégé, Johnson has won two of his last three fights. The 28-year-old West Jordan, Utah, native last appeared in August, when he succumbed to second-round strikes from “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 7 alum Matt Riddle at UFC Live 2. Johnson -- who has delivered 10 of his 11 career victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission -- owns notable victories over Bellator Fighting Championships veteran Brad Blackburn and WEC veteran Edgar Garcia. Only one of his past 12 fights has reached the judges.
Davis: ‘Wonderbar’ Was Variation from Kimura Series
Phil Davis knew what he was doing.
He didn’t accidentally pin Tim Boetsch’s arm behind his back, grab a second grip and invent a shoulder lock on the spot.
“I know that position very well,” Davis said Monday on the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “Although I have never called it the ‘Mr. Wonderful’ or like my Twitter fans are calling it now, ‘The Wonderbar.’ I’ve never actually called it that. It’s just a variation off my kimura series that I do.”
Boetsch tapped to the hold 2:55 into the second round of their UFC 123 light heavyweight matchup. Davis credited instructor Lloyd Irvin for helping him win an $80,000 Submission of the Night award.
“I tell people Lloyd Irvin is like a ninja, a modern-day ninja on the ground,” Davis said. “I just picked up his kimura series and ran with it.”
Josh Koscheck: Georges St. Pierre has 'quit in him' and the plan is to 'knock his ass out'
"I have a great gameplan and my thing is, I don't think George has a good chin and I don't think his hands are that good. So I want to keep this fight on the feet and knock his ass out. ... I believe he hasn't been hit since Matt Serra. That was a good crack. His chin hasn't been tested and I think Georges has quit in him. If you look at the first Matt Hughes fight where he arm barred him, he was tapping before it was even tight. If you look at when little Matt Serra was on top of him pounding him, he tapped out. So I believe that Georges has quit in him and you just have to take him to that point. Nobody has been able to do it since those two but I plan on doing it on December 11th."
Trash talk a onetime experiment for UFC 124 co-headliner Stefan Struve
There are hundreds of thousands of page views to back the buzz surrounding Stefan Struve and Sean McCorkle's upcoming fight.
The heavyweights have propped up UFC 124's co-main event by hitting the message boards to snipe at each other.
At 22 years old, Struve would seem a prime candidate for a war of keystrokes. And yes, he's had fun logging in and firing back at the noted keyboard warrior. But in the long run, he'd rather play Anderson Silva to McCorkle's Chael Sonnen.
Couture disagrees with 'Rampage' decision
They see some superficial things like Rampage moving forward the whole time in that fight and they attribute that to him winning those rounds," Couture told Paul Howard of ESPNRadio1100 in Las Vegas. "And technically that's not what was happening. It sucks to be a fighter and have that happen to you."
Joe Lauzon blames 'concrete legs' for loss to George Sotiropoulos at UFC 123
I figured the second round would be more like the first. But getting off the stool for the second round, my legs felt like concrete. I don't know why or what happened. I felt pretty good at the end of the first, but at the beginning of the second I felt dead. It was like I got worse. Instead of recovering, I got way worse. ... I'm not even sure. It had to be an adrenaline dump. I think I pushed a pretty good pace in the first round, but I didn't feel like it was something that would make me gassed. I felt good at the end of my first walking back to my corner. I was a little winded, but I was OK.
UFC won't start splitting weight classes
"I don't see it happening and I think Dana has his eye on the prize for why that would be a bad thing. When you add these lower weight belts, you're not running the risk of the boxing terrain, because you're not splitting weight classes to create new ones. We're just adding a few on the bottom. It would be a bigger concern if we had created a 195 weight class or something. What these new divisions do is give a platform to some of the most exciting lighter weight fighters in the world. It will bolster our fight cards. You look at some of these smaller fighters, Manny Gamburyan for instance, who was fighting in the UFC before he moved to the WEC. He moved to 145 from 155, but he could possibly even go lighter. All of the fighters will look at that." says UFC UK boss Marshall Zelaznik.
Palhares Signs New 4-Fight UFC Deal
According to trainer Murilo Bustamante via the TATAME, Rousimar Palhares, aka Paul Harris on the net, has signed a new 4-fight deal with UFC and already wants a Nate Marquardt rematch. "We've signed a new contract for Toquinho today, he'll fight four more times, it's renewed and we are on the expectations to know about his next fight. He's very motivated, he know that he let the victory escape, he made a mistake, but these things happen in life, but he's crazy to fight Nate again. He wants this fight pretty bad and he's training for it. Rousimar is conditioned and training every day as if he had a fight schedules. Our expectations are the best possible ones and I'm sure that Toquinho and these new guys from BTT will bring the Brazilians many reasons to be happy."