After UFN 24 win, Johny Hendricks (respectfully) wants Diego Sanchez next
Following a UFC Fight Night 24 victory and $55,000 "Knockout of the Night" bonus, Johny Hendricks underwent his customary post-fight shave and now plans to take a few days off before he's back in the gym.
But as he today told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio), he knows whom he wants next.
"The guy I've been looking at and we've been talking about – and the guy is really tough and been around the block for a while and fought some of the toughest guys in the [welterweight and lightweight] classes – is Diego Sanchez," he said.
In a bout relegated to the untelevised preliminary card, Hendricks scored the UFC Fight Night 24's only knockout. He floored youngster T.J. Waldburger with a straight punch and then followed him to the mat with some fight-ending followup shots.
Once he left Seattle's KeyArena, Hendricks (10-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC), who successfully rebounded from his first career loss with the win, said he began thinking about Sanchez (23-4 MMA, 12-4 UFC).
"He's a tough fighter," Hendricks said. "He comes out there, he brings it every fight, and he's gone toe to toe with some of the best fighters at 170 and 155. Who better to go out there and compete against than him?"
So does he have a beef with the Team Jackson fighter, or is this a respectful call-out?
"It's respectful," he said. "Diego Sanchez is a nice guy. It's just that I know where I want to be, and he's right there where I want to be. He's a great fighter."
Hendricks wants to make a summer return. He thinks a fight with Sanchez, who recently earned a hotly contested split-decision victory over Martin Kampmann at UFC on Versus 3, would make a perfect addition to a July 2 UFC 132 card in Las Vegas. His Team Takedown teammate Shane Roller is on the card (and fighting Melvin Guillard), and he'd love for them to go through a fight camp together.
Additionally, he thinks he's better prepared for someone of Sanchez's caliber. Although a two-time NCAA Division I national wrestling champion and four-time All-American, he's always displayed solid striking. In fact, six of his 10 career wins now have come via knockout.
But after his December decision loss to Rick Story, he fixed a glitch in his style.
"I got away from setting my feet when I threw my punches," he said. "I got into the mode where I didn't want to try to get hit. And that was my whole goal in the (Story) fight. But I got back to, 'Hey, they're going to hit me, but I'm going to try to hit them back that much harder.'"
That willingness to stay in the pocket paid off against Waldburger, who was floored with a punch that Hendricks often drills.
"I actually do that in training where you post the head and throw that straight right down the middle because you sort of blind them, and they can't see the punch coming," he said. "That's when you knock people. It's not how hard you hit. It's (landing) the punch they don't see coming."
UFC Fight Night 24 officially draws record 13,741 attendance, $1.2 million gate
Although the attendance figured dipped a bit, UFC Fight Night 24 set an event-series record in that category, as well in live gate.
UFC officials initially announced estimated totals of 14,212 attendees and a $1,182,850 gate.
According to figures MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) obtained from the the Washington State Department of Licensing, the gate figure remained the same, though the official attendance came in a bit lower at 13,741.
UFC Fight Night 24 took place this past Saturday, March 26, at Seattle's KeyArena. The night's main card aired on Spike TV, and five preliminary-card fights streamed for free on Facebook. Phil Davis defeated Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in the headliner, and Anthony Johnson topped Dan Hardy in the co-headliner.
Of the 13,741 attendees, only 791 (5.8 percent) received complimentary tickets, and the average paid ticket price was $91.34. Given the strong ticket demand for a mid-level UFC card (officials initially configured the arena for 8,000 attendees but had to open additional seating sections to meet demand), a second trip to Washington is likely.
The UFC Fight Night 24 figures broke records set by UFC Fight Night 20 ($753,962 gate) and UFC Fight Night 18 (10,267 attendance).
The top 10 attendance marks in UFC Fight Night history, as compiled by MMAjunkie.com, include:
1."UFC Fight Night 24: Davis vs. Nogueira" – 13,741 attendance ($1,182,850 live gate)
2."UFC Fight Night 18: Condit vs. Kampmann" – 10,267 ($626,077)
3."UFC Fight Night 19: Diaz vs. Guillard" – 9,490 ($577,997)
4."UFC Fight Night 15: Diaz vs. Neer" – 9,103 ($700,00)
5."UFC Fight Night 16: UFC Fights for the Troops" – 8,500 (n/a)*6."UFC Fight Night 20: Maynard vs. Diaz" – 8,078 ($753,962)
7."UFC Fight Night 22: Marquardt vs. Palhares" – 7,724 ($595,500)
8."UFC Fight Night 21: Florian vs. Gomi" – 7,700 ($590,685)
9."UFC Fight Night 17: Lauzon vs. Stephens" – 7,596 ($304,000)
10."UFC Fight Night 13: Florian vs. Lauzon" – 6,742 ($753,429)
Cordeiro: Kings MMA Doors Open to ‘Shogun’
Former Chute Boxe Academy coach Rafael Cordeiro found Mauricio “Shogun” Rua’s performance against Jon Jones in the UFC 128 main event on March 19 in Newark, N.J. deeply unsettling. Rua, a longtime Cordeiro pupil, succumbed to a third-round technical knockout against Jones, as he surrendered the UFC light heavyweight crown in a woefully one-sided affair.
The doors to Cordeiro’s Kings MMA academy in Huntington Beach, Calif., remain open to Rua, who now owns a 3-3 mark inside the Octagon.
“It just depends on him,” Cordeiro (Pictured) told Sherdog.com. “It would be very easy to say that Shogun coming to train at my gym would be the solution to his problems. I think it would be the first step to solving things. I think the first step to solving your problems is for you to seek good training. That’s not to say he hasn’t done that, because he has a good team, but I’ve seen some weaknesses in Shogun that I had not seen before.”
Jones wiped out Rua, standing and on the ground, and emerged from the bout virtually unscathed. Never before had the 2005 Pride Fighting Championships middleweight grand prix winner been so soundly defeated. For Cordeiro, it was particularly tough to stomach.
“I was very sad on one hand, and it was a very sad night for me because this is a guy I graduated from white belt to black belt. I have a lot of affection for him,” Cordeiro said. “Every time I saw him coming to the ring, whether I was there or not, I had a reason to be proud because it was a black belt of mine who was in there.
“Even though we didn’t train together, his defeat was a very big revelation to me,” he added. “It’s hard to see your student going through a situation so complicated in the ring. Nobody until then had put Shogun [in a situation like that].”
Widely regarded as one of the top light heavyweights of all-time, Rua entered the cage against Jones on the heels of his third reconstructive knee surgery since 2007. The 29-year-old Brazilian had not fought in almost a year. Cordeiro believes he has an ideal team in place to assist in Rua’s recovery.
“My gym is open to all the guys,” he said. “When I opened this gym, it was always my intention to bring together good things and new. I want to add value to these fighters, and, so far, nothing has changed.
“It would be very easy to say to you today that I have the cure for Shogun’s problems,” Cordeiro added. “The most important thing for me is that he knows that there is a group of competent people to help him here. Again, that’s not to say he didn’t have competent people at his side [leading up to the Jones fight]. I think going forward there are some things that happened that showed he needed some special people to work with him.”
Jackson: Evans Said Jones Could Join Team
Rashad Evans has suggested trainer Greg Jackson is to blame for letting Jon Jones join their camp and set up a teammate-versus-teammate matchup, but Jackson (Pictured) has a different take.
“Rashad can say maybe he was uncomfortable with it, but when I asked him if [Jones] could come on the team, he said yes,” Jackson explained recently on the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “Everybody said yes. There’s a ton of people I’ve turned away because [team members] have said, ‘I’m not really comfortable with that person. I don’t want you to do it.’ I’ve got a list of those guys too. They’re very good fighters, and I’m not going to name names that I’ve had to turn away for that very reason. Everybody was all right with [Jones], and now they’re not.”
Jackson pointed out that Jones is one among many fighters who have been allowed to join the Jackson’s MMA team. Evans is another.
“I want talented people around talented people,” Jackson said. “Remember, these guys were really cool with each other until like a couple of weeks ago and then it all kind of went downhill because I guess Jon said something that hurt Rashad’s feelings and then it just kind of, I don’t know, it went out of control from there.”
Jones said he would be willing to fight Evans, and now Evans has said he’s willing to fight Jones, who won the UFC light heavyweight title March 19 from Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Jackson will not be watching.
“If they choose to fight each other, it’s not like I’m their dad or I own them or anything like that,” he said. “If they’re making those choices, of course I’m disappointed, but if it’s what everybody wants, then I’m just going to stay out of it.”
One outcome Jackson wants to avoid is the feeling among his fighters that they should train with each other knowing they could meet one day in the cage.
“That’s part of the reason why we don’t want to fight each other,” he said. “That’s what people will never understand. Business people will never understand. … You want to keep that vibe of not having that around because everyone’s going to hold on to their own techniques and no one’s really going to grow. Why train with somebody in the first place if they’re not going to be showing you stuff, not helping you out?”
Brock Lesnar’s Motive For Doing TUF 13 Was All About Fighting for the Title
There are a lot of reasons that someone would accept a slot as a coach on “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series. Maybe it’s a grudge that needs to be settled, like in the case of Rashad Evans and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, or maybe it’s just for the exposure the show provides.
For TUF 13 coach Brock Lesnar the motivation to go on the show was pure and simple.
It earned him a fight that will get him closer to regaining the UFC heavyweight title that he lost last year.
The former NCAA champion is already one of the most well known figures to ever compete in the UFC, but Lesnar admits that there are certain things that haunt him about the fight with now champion Cain Velasquez. He’s looking to exorcise those demons with the reality show and the fight with Junior Dos Santos.
“I was healthy physically, but mentally probably not so,” Lesnar said about his fight with Velasquez. “I don’t think it really registers to the general public on my year last year. From being sick and losing 42 pounds and just getting my ass to the gym to recover. Then have a title fight and on top of that, while I’m training for a title fight, a new baby boy, and then fighting Shane Carwin and I was expecting some time off.
“I really needed it mentally more than anything and physically. Then I booked the fight against Cain. If there was one thing that I could learn from that is to maybe spread title fights out a little farther than what I did.”
Hindsight is 20/20, but Lesnar is now focused on the goal of getting ready for the fight against Dos Santos in June at UFC 131, and then facing Velasquez with the title on the line.
The Minnesota resident admits that was the biggest reason for him to do “The Ultimate Fighter.” He hopes that motivation serves him well in June. He also knows that he would have had to fight Dos Santos eventually, so this all works out pretty well.
“Analyzing my loss against Cain, if I had won that fight I’d be fighting Junior, so I’m right back in the same position, but absolutely, it’s the closest thing to getting me a title fight, and getting my UFC heavyweight title back,” Lesnar commented.
One thing that won’t likely be showcased on this season of “The Ultimate Fighter” is a standing grudge between Lesnar and Dos Santos. In past seasons, with coaches like Evans and Jackson or even Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping, there always seemed to be a fuse just waiting to be lit any time the coaches interacted with each other.
Lesnar threw water on that idea right away because simply put, he didn’t spend enough time around Dos Santos to build a grudge during the show.
“I don’t know what them guys are referring to. I probably spent a total of 30 minutes with Junior on the show. I didn’t make it a point to run into him or anything of that nature. I saw very little of him other than what we were doing for television,” Lesnar disclosed.
Regardless of any pent up aggression boiling over from six weeks together on the show, Lesnar and Dos Santos are battling for a shot at the UFC heavyweight title when they meet in June, and that needs no extra build up.
“The Ultimate Fighter Season 13? debuts this Wednesday night at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Spike TV.
UFC Fight Night 24 Medical Suspensions
The Washington State Department of Licensing on Monday released the post-fight suspensions for UFC Fight Night 24: Nogueira vs. Davis.
Every fighter on the card received at least a seven-day precautionary suspension. Six of the fighters on the card received a lengthier layoff.
DaMarques Johnson, who submitted to an onslaught of strikes from Amir Sadollah, was handed a 30-day suspension. Jon Madsen, TJ Waldburger, and Mario Miranda were the other fighters tagged with a 30-day suspension following their losses.
Kris McCray received a 42-day suspension after a tough split decision loss to John Hathaway. Nik Lentz, one of two victorious fighters to receive lengthy suspensions, also received 42 days on the sidelines.
Michael McDonald, also victorious with a unanimous decision win over Edwin Figueroa, received an indefinite medical suspension.
John Howard Responds to Anthony Johnson: “It’s About to Get Real Ugly”
After his win at UFC Fight Night 24, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson expressed his dislike for John “Doomsday” Howard in what bordered on genuine hatred for another human being. Simply put, Johnson despises Howard, but the only explanation he could give referenced Howard as a part of the female anatomy.
John Howard at UFC 94
The mystery remained as to why there is such a passionate beef, but MMAWeekly.com caught up with Doomsday to add some clarity to the situation. According to Howard, the source of the problem stems from a proposed fight that never happened.
The two welterweights were set to square off at the inaugural UFC on Versus show in March of 2010. Ultimately, Johnson had to pull out of the fight due to injury, but when the bout was originally offered, Howard had his reservations because he wanted to slowly work his way through the division before jumping into a big match-up.
“He started the beef about a year ago,” Howard explained. “What happened was, (the UFC) offered the fight to me for my second fight in the UFC. And I told them, ‘no, I don’t think it’s a good idea. I’m still new in the UFC and I still want to be making some money out of it, and don’t want to be fighting some of the top 20 guys already.’ He took it like, oh, I was scared, I’m a (expletive), I’m a (expletive) and all this. And then call me a ‘cotton picker.’
“I got really uptight about that.”
Johnson apparently thought that Howard’s reservations made Doomsday a coward, but it was the use of the term “cotton picker” that fueled Howard’s rage, blanketing him with the feeling of being disrespected in one of the worst ways he can think of.
It’s because of this, Howard now detests “Rumble” Johnson.
“The beef is real,” Howard confirmed. “I can’t stand that cat. I hate that kid. The feeling is mutual.”
Despite pulling out a win this past weekend in Seattle, Johnson has been criticised for not putting more emphasis on his stand-up striking ability, and instead choosing to utilize his wrestling attributes during the fight. One of those critics is Howard.
Apparently, Howard believes Johnson made a point to say he was going to trade shots on the feet with Hardy, but did nothing of the sort during the bout.
“He talks all this (expletive), ‘yo, I’m going to stand and bang,’” he said. “What’d he do? He (expletive) out and took him down. I’m not saying it wasn’t a smart strategy. Maybe it was, but don’t come up like, ‘oh, I’m going to stand and bang. I’m a hardcore mother (expletive).’ And then when push comes to shove, you take down and you go the (expletive) way out.
“At least, when I fought Thiago, yes, Thiago beat me, but I stood and banged with a mother (expletive).”
With so much beef and tension, Howard explains that he would welcome an opportunity to take on Johnson. He would prefer it happens in the Octagon, but made a notion that he would open the doors to his gym in Boston if necessary. It’s a fight that has little to do with making his way up the rankings, and more so to do with hurting Johnson. Win or lose, Howard just wants to make sure he gets his shots in.
“Yeah, I definitely want to shut that dude up, man,” he said. “It’s one of those fights where I don’t care about winning or losing. I just want to smash this dude. I think it’s better to (have it) happen in the UFC before it gets to the streets. That’s how bad it is between me and him. I don’t like this kid.
In addition, Howard feels Johnson’s determination to cut so much weight to fight at 170-pounds stems from wanting to pick on people smaller than him.
“I think he’s a big bully. That’s why he cuts so much weight,” Howard said of Johnson. “That’s why he fights guys five times smaller than him. Unfortunately, with me, I’m not that small. Where I come from, I don’t give a (expletive). The bigger they are, the harder they fall.”
Although there are no clear plans in the works for a Johnson-Howard showdown, it’s clear the two would like to fight each other. As days go by, tension will grow and attitudes will show, making the possibility of this match-up stronger and stronger. For now, Howard says he’s lifting weights and staying in shape, but knows that the more Johnson talks, the rougher the situation will become.
“It’s about to get real ugly.”
Strategic Call-Outs Alert: Hardy Wants Lytle; Johnson, Hendricks Would Also Like to Pick Their Next Opponents
Well, this is getting pretty goddamned transparent. First everybody and their dog wants a coin-flip fight against Wanderlei Silva, then Ryan Bader responds to the first loss of his career by calling out Tito Ortiz and now – fresh off his own third consecutive defeat in the Octagon — Dan Hardy is suddenly very interested in fighting Chris Lytle. You know, just for the purposes of putting on “an old school shootout with a guy that wants to throw down” and stuff like that. We’re sure it has nothing to do with Hardy desperately needing a win.
“Screw the rankings, records are for DJs,” Hardy tweeted on Sunday, as part of a Twitter barrage expressing his frustration with losing a “boring” fight to Anthony Johnson at UFN 24. Once again the whole “mixed” part of mixed martial arts bit another standup-oriented fighter in the ass as Johnson first toppled Hardy with a head kick, then dominated him with his wrestling skills en route to a unanimous decision. After the trio of losses, Hardy’s job was saved only by the fact Dana White “******* loves that kid” (his words) and now Hardy just so happens to fancy a matchup with one of the throw-downiest guys who ever threw down, yet doesn’t have a ton of knockout power. Must be coincidence.
Anyhow, after the jump we took the liberty of condensing Hardy’s irritation into one easily-digestible quote. Plus, find out what fights Johnson and Johny Hendricks also envision for themselves …
“Feeling very frustrated today,” Hardy tweeted. “No excuses, sometimes you just don’t win. I hate having boring fights though … I want to fight again. I feel like I’ve been robbed of the reward at the end of training camp … (I want to) win in a blaze of glory or go out on my shield (against) someone like Mr. Lytle …”
Speaking of DJs, we’re starting to feel like a broken record here ourselves: If you don’t like to be outwrestled, dudes, learn to be better wrestlers. ’Nuff said.
As Hardy was trying to cherrypick a sweet matchup for himself, the man who beat him still can’t get over his distaste for John Howard. Johnson told MMA Weekly on Monday that he would welcome a bout with Howard, despite that fact you’d think he should be on to bigger and better after his win over Hardy. Especially since Howard has now lost two straight. Who knows, maybe handing guys their third straight loss will become Johnson’s thing.
And finally: Hendricks, who rebounded from his first career loss with a TKO over Anthony Waldburger on Saturday, is requesting a leap forward in competition, with a fight against Diego Sanchez.
“I am wanting to fight Diego Sanchez next and need all my fans to help let the UFC know that is a fight you want to see,” Hendricks tweeted this week. “Please post on any MMA message boards and help me get that fight.”
Welterweights, man. They all want something …
Johny Hendricks, Lil’ Nog Lead UFC Fight Night 24 Salary List
The competitors at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 24: Nogueira vs. Davis card earned a total of $757,000 in disclosed salaries and bonuses, according to figures released by the Washington State Department of Licensing. Preliminary card fighter Johny Hendricks actually walked away with the biggest check of the night, earning $99,000 for 95 seconds of work against TJ Waldburger. Check out the full salary list below; keep in mind that the figures don’t include deductions for taxes, licensing fees, or insurance, or additional revenue from sponsorships and undisclosed “locker room bonuses.”
Phil Davis: $34,000 (includes $17,000 win bonus)
def. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira: $90,000
Anthony Johnson: $40,000 (includes $20,000 win bonus)
def. Dan Hardy: $25,000
Amir Sadollah: $40,000 (includes $20,000 win bonus)
def. DaMarques Johnson: $14,000
Chan Sung Jung: $65,000 (includes $5,000 win bonus, $55,000 Submission of the Night bonus)
def. Leonard Garcia: $18,000
Mike Russow: $28,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus)
def. Jon Madsen: $10,000
Mackens Semerzier: $12,000 (includes $6,000 win bonus)
def. Alex Caceres: $8,000
John Hathaway: $26,000 (includes $13,000 win bonus)
def. Kris McCray: $10,000
Michael McDonald: $65,000 (includes $5,000 win bonus, $55,000 Fight of the Night bonus)
def. Edwin Figueroa: $61,000 (includes $55,000 Fight of the Night bonus)
Christian Morecraft: $12,000 (includes $6,000 win bonus)
def. Sean McCorkle: $10,000
Johny Hendricks: $99,000 (includes $22,000 win bonus, $55,000 Knockout of the Night bonus)
def. T.J. Waldburger: $8,000
Aaron Simpson: $30,000 (includes $15,000 win bonus)
def. Mario Miranda: $10,000
Nik Lentz: $30,000 (includes $15,000 win bonus)
def. Waylon Lowe: $12,000
Underpaid: It’s nice that Chan Sung Jung has picked up bonuses in two of his three fights for Zuffa, but his $5,000 to-show salary seems almost exploitative, especially for a guy who has to travel halfway around the world to get paid. Mario Miranda, Kris McCray, and Sean McCorkle all get double the guaranteed money that Jung gets, and the Korean Zombie actually puts asses in seats. Go figure.
Overpaid: Antonio Rogerio Nogueira hasn’t performed like a star since his UFC debut against Luiz Cane, 16 months and four fights ago. The UFC may decide he’s not worth the cost. Also, I’m not sure what makes Waylon Lowe special enough to demand $12,000 in show money, which puts him ahead of guys like Jon Madsen and the aforementioned Korean Zombie.
UFC's Chael Sonnen receives new sentencing date in real-estate case
Chael Sonnen will have to wait a little bit longer before he can start his career anew.
A sentencing hearing expected to serve the UFC middleweight with two years of probation, a $10,000 fine and the revocation of his real-estate license has been rescheduled from today to April 8 at the U.S. District Court building in downtown Portland, Ore.
In January Sonnen pleaded guilty to a federal charge of money laundering stemming from a shady real estate deal in 2006. His UFC contract subsequently was frozen.
Government officials said Sonnen took part in a scheme to illegally net more than $69,000 in loan proceeds through the submission of a falsified repair order, according to a report from "The Oregonian."
Jake Shields to Train With Chael Sonnen During UFC 129 Prep for GSP
As he prepares for his UFC 129 main-event fight with Georges St. Pierre, former EliteXC welterweight champion and former Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields will spend some time training with Chael Sonnen. Jake Shields comments on Spike TV:
"So far things are going great, camp's going good. We just had Court Mcgee out here ... you've got Chael Sonnen coming out this week, things are going good. I'm pushing, in great shape. I'm just excited, I'm ready to go."
Anthony Johnson Hates John Howard, Would Gladly Accept Chance to Beat Him Up
Anthony “Rumble” Johnson did what he had to do to get a win on Saturday night in Seattle at UFC Fight Night 24: Nogueira vs. Davis. Through three rounds, he wrestled his way to a win, getting the decision nod over Dan Hardy in their co-main event match-up.
The fight was Johnson’s first since December of 2009. The 16 months Johnson spent away from fighting was more than enough time to survey the UFC’s welterweight division. Now, having come off a win in the organization’s first trip to the Emerald City, “Rumble” is able to wait and see who the UFC will pair him with next.
When asked who he’d like to take on in his next trip to the Octagon, Johnson explained that the division is deep enough to make his choice of opponent difficult, but one name sticks out to him.
“The welterweight division is so stacked that if you call out one person, you got to call everybody out,” Johnson said shortly after his UFC Fight Night win. “There’s only one person who I really hate – John Howard.”
Johnson made it clear that he detests Howard, but doesn’t feel “Doomsday” is capable of dealing with a “rumble” after getting dealt with by Thiago Alves so efficiently.
“But he got beat up by Thiago, so he ain’t ready for me yet,” he said. “So, we’ll see. Whoever they give me I guess I just have to be ready for it.”
If given the opportunity, however, Johnson would accept a fight with Howard in a heartbeat. When asked how he would feel if the UFC granted him the opportunity to fight him, Johnson explained it would be perfectly okay with him.
“That’s fine, I’ll beat him up,” he said.
And why does Anthony Johnson want to beat up John Howard? The answer is simple – he feels Howard is a coward.
“He’s a (expletive),” he said.
Cruz vs. Faber 2 Booked for UFC 132 in July
The UFC announced on Saturday that the bantamweight title fight between Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber will go down at UFC 132, July 2nd at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Since taping for TUF 14 is expected to take place sometime this summer, it seems unlikely that Cruz and Faber will be tapped as coaches for The Ultimate Fighter‘s first bantamweight/featherweight season.
The two former WEC stars have shared some bad blood since the lead-up to their first fight at WEC 26 in March 2007. Upset that he wasn’t featured on the event poster, Cruz signed his name over Faber’s face — which the California Kid perceived as a sign of disrespect. Faber went on to score a guillotine choke victory in just 98 seconds, retaining his featherweight title.
Cruz dropped to 135 pounds the following year and has since racked up a 7-0 record in that division, winning the bantamweight belt from Brian Bowles and defending it twice against Joseph Benavidez and Scott Jorgensen. Faber made the drop to bantamweight last year after an ugly loss to current 145-pound champ Jose Aldo, and his since scored dominant victories over Takeya Mizugaki and Eddie Wineland.
The current lineup of UFC 132 is…
Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber (for bantamweight title)
B.J. Penn vs. Jon Fitch (WW)
Melvin Guillard vs. Shane Roller (LW)
George Sotiropoulos vs. Evan Dunham (LW)
Dennis Siver vs. Matt Wiman (LW)
Tito Ortiz vs. Ryan Bader (LHW)
Increasing Speculation That He Will Fight at UFC Rio: Royce Gracie Reportedly Pulls Out of UK Seminar Tour to Focus on Training for Fight in August
CagePotato.com received word over the weekend from a source close to the situation that Royce Gracie has cancelled the European leg of his spring seminar tour and that the official reason given to the group organizing his UK appearances (NJM promotions) is that the UFC Hall-of-Famer has accepted an offer from the promotion to fight on its August 27 card in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
According to NJM, Gracie’s manager, Mike Kogan revealed the news to them, which was relayed to the seminar host gyms in an effort to explain why the 44-year-old UFC 1, 2 and 4 tournament winner would not be able to make his scheduled appearances in England.
When contacted by us today via email to ask if Royce has indeed signed on to fight on the card, and if so, whom he will face, Kogan did not deny the stated reason for his client pulling out of his European tour, but said that nothing is official YET.
“We are talking about fighting in August,” Kogan confirmed. “Nothing is locked down, no.”
No potential opponents have been named for his possible return to the Octagon, but a few names come that with pre-built story lines would make sense.
Following his UFC 60 loss to Matt Hughes in 2006, Gracie expressed his desire to rematch the former UFC welterweight champ, explaining that he overtrained for the bout and didn’t perform as expected as a result, so a rematch would make sense, but there are at least two other opponents that would make sense, especially for a card set in Brazil.
With BJ Penn’s past history with Royce’s cousins Ralph, who calls “The Prodigy” a traitor for leaving him to train at Nova Uniao before calling out his brother Renzo for a 2005 K-1 bout, that’s another grudge match that wouldn’t take much marketing to sell. A third possible scenario would see the UFC sign Kazushi Sakuraba to face Gracie in a heavily-anticipated rubber match. In their last fight — a June 2007 Dynamite!! USA bout in California, Royce defeated “The Gracie Killer” by unanimous decision, but subsequently tested positive for the anabolic steroid Nandralone. He has disputed the test results for the past four years, claiming that the accusation that he uses PEDs is preposterous as he weighs just two pounds more than he did when he made his UFC debut in 1993. Sakuraba defeated Royce in 2000 by TKO and has beaten Royler, Renzo and Ryan Gracie, which is how he earned his nickname.
Considering that the show is nearly five months away and that there are a number of other suitable opponents from Dan Hardy to Mike Swick whose stock in the Octagon would benefit from a fight with a legend like Gracie, it’s likely that we won’t know until April or May if and whom Royce will fight on the card.
UFC's Alexander Gustafsson training in US hoping for fight in Las Vegas
Losing is not something UFC light heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson is familiar with.
In fact, his record has one lone defeat on it, and that was courtesy of current teammate and recent UFC Fight Night 24 main-event winner Phil Davis.
Following the loss, the fast-rising light-heavyweight contender opted to join Davis in the U.S. for training. Now, the 24-year-old Swedish fighter – who's fought exclusively in Europe and Asia – hopes his next UFC bout comes in the U.S.
UFC Quick Quote: A part of Rich Franklin wants to fight Jon Jones to 'see how he'd do'
Former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin, who was kicked out of the 185-pound division by the seemingly invincible Anderson Silva, talks to the Springfield News-Sun about the meteoric rise of new Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones, who just so happens to rule the weight class Franklin now calls home. "Ace" is just as enamored with the rise of "Bones" as the rest of the mixed martial arts community but his competitive spirit also wonders how he might fare in a 205-pound throwdown.
Good quote from "Ace" in full article
Countdown to UFC 129 debuts April 27th on Spike TV
The UFC's traditional pre-event preview show returns April 27 with the debut of "Countdown to UFC 129."
The one-hour episode debuts on Spike TV at 11 p.m. ET/PT.
UFC 129 takes place April 30 at Toronto's Rogers Centre, and the pay-per-view main card features welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre vs. top contender Jake Shields.
Dan Hardy Calls Out Chris Lytle
"Feeling very frustrated today. No excuses, sometimes you just dont win. I hate having boring fights though.
I want to fight again. I feel like Ive been robbed of the reward at the end of training camp.
An oldschool shootout with a guy that wants to throw down. Screw the rankings, records are for DJs.
Win in a blaze of glory or go out on my shield. Someone like Mr Lytle..."
Sounds to me like Hardy can't handle the wrestlers and doesn't want to anymore. What do you think Playground? Would that be a good fight? And who wins?
UFC Fight Night 24 sets attendance, live gate records for "Fight Night" events
SEATTLE – The UFC's first-ever trip to Seattle was the most successful UFC Fight Night event in the company's history in terms of box office success, according to promotion officials.
Saturday night's "UFC Fight Night 24: Nogueira vs. Davis" event drew a reported 14,212 attendees for a live gate of $1,182,850.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) confirmed the attendance and gate figures with company officials at the evening's post-event press conference.
UFC boss says Dan Hardy's fate not sealed with third straight defeat
SEATTLE – In the hyper-competitive world of the UFC, two straight defeats almost always leads to a release from the promotion.
Three consecutive defeats? Don't call us; we'll call you.
At Saturday's UFC Fight Night 24 event in Seattle, British slugger Dan Hardy (23-9 MMA, 4-3 UFC) dropped his third straight fight when he was toppled by fellow striking specialist Anthony Johnson. However, UFC president Dana White said "The Outlaw" won't necessarily be flying home with a pink slip.