Dana White Talks Rampage vs. Evans, Canada, UFC Undisputed 2010 and More
Often times, a fighter may not be 100 percent focused in a return to competition after a layoff in pursuit of Hollywood dreams, but UFC president Dana White says Quinton "Rampage" Jackson should be an exception to the rule due to the amount of animosity he holds towards opponent Rashad Evans.
"The one saving grace for Rampage in this whole thing is how much he hates Rashad Evans," White said Monday on The MMA Hour. "The motivation for him to train and how angry he is and fired up he is for this fight. I think the fact that he's fighting Rashad is probably the best thing in the world for him."
White touched on many other subjects, below.
Kimbo Slice Mulling Over Future Options, Boxing & MMA Possible
Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson is at home in Miami and will soon decide what his fighting future holds. "He has a lot of offers and opportunities on the table, so it's up to him," his manager, Mike Imber said via text message. Imber declined to elaborate on Slice's current opportunities but said they were in both boxing and MMA. The manager left up to Ferguson which to choose. "It's been his call from the beginning, and it's his call now," Imber said.
Anthony Johnson Considering Move To Middleweight
A persistent knee injury has Anthony Johnson considering moving up from Welterweight to Middleweight. Johnson, a welterweight who cuts as much as 50 pounds to make the 170-pound limit, was in February forced to withdraw from a bout with rival John Howard at UFC on Versus 1 because of the injury. He has struggled since to get his knee back to 100 percent. Johnson underwent knee surgery a month ago and has not fought since welterweight contender Josh Koscheck submitted him at UFC 106 this past November. The loss snapped a three-fight streak of wins by TKO or KO. Johnson hasn't agreed to the move and it likely would be temporary. UFC has no objections to the move if it happens.
UFC 113: Early Reports Suggest 520K PPV Buys
According to Wrestling Observer, early reports have UFC 113 doing an estimated 520,000 PPV buys. But some reports have it doing as many as 687,000, which would be within industry esimates of 600K-750K. More reliable reports, though, seem to lean towards the lower number, which would be a disappointment for UFC.
UFN 22 Slated For September 15, Miller vs. Tibau Featured
The next installment of the Ultimate Fighting Championship's Spike TV-televised event series, UFC Fight Night, takes place Sept. 15 and serves as a lead-in for the debut episode of "The Ultimate Fighter 12." No venue is set but it's expected to be on the east coast, with Jim Miller vs. Gleison (Graison) Tibau the first expected matchup.
Everyone Wants To Fight Anderson Silva After UFC 112
Michael Bisping does too, but apparently nobody's given him any attention ahead of his UFC 114 fight with Dan Miller this Saturday, and he doesn't like that. So to change that, "The Count" had some interesting things to say about the undisputed king of his division, Anderson Silva, and his performance at UFC 112.
Dos Santos Confirms Nelson Fight At UFC 117
A top contender match up in the form of Junior dos Santos vs. Roy Nelson is official for UFC 117, which is set to go down on August 7 from the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. The fight has been rumored for a bit, with "Big Country" even joining in the gossip recently, and has now been confirmed by JDS via Twitter.
UFC on Versus 2 officially announced with Jones vs. Matyushenko, Munoz vs. Okami
Ultimate Fighting Championship officials today officially announced a long-expected Aug. 1 UFC on Versus 2 event.
As MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) first reported in April, the Versus-televised event takes place at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City.
A previously reported light-heavyweight bout between Jon Jones (10-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) and Vladimir Matyushenko (24-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC) takes the main-event slot, and a middleweight fight between Mark Munoz (8-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) and Yushin Okami (24-5 MMA, 8-2 UFC) is the night's co-headliner.
UFC Quick Quote: Wanderlei Silva predicts 'action' against Yoshihiro Akiyama
“Professor Rafael Cordeiro will coordinate and give directions to the sparrings to do the way it has to be done (trainings). Akiyama is tough, a good guy who has been an athlete throughout his life. He does well on the ground and is very strong. It’s going to be a very interesting fight, a great one for me because he’s a guy who fights and open the game, not a man who runs. I believe it’ll be a big show. I want to fight for more six years, at least until forty’s. This change of category was good. I had to re-educate myself on food matter and I’m feeling very well”.
-- “The Axe Murderer” meets “Sexyama” at UFC 116 in Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 3, which is a middleweight bout that could have major championship-challenging implications for the winner down the road.
UFC 116 prelims live
MMAWeekly.com sources indicated that the two bouts to be telecast live on Spike are a heavyweight showdown pitting Brendan Schaub against Chris Tuchscherer and a middleweight contest featuring Kendall Grove versus Goran Reljic.
Will We See The Best Rich Franklin vs. The Best Chuck Liddell At UFC 115?
"Ace" seems to think so, in his conversation with the Springfield News Sun. "I really didn’t plan on fighting until maybe July or August this year [but at the end of the day, you’re fighting Chuck Liddell ... Even though Chuck has taken a couple losses, people are going to remember it’s Chuck Liddell. A year from now, five years from now, whatever — it’s a win over Chuck Liddell. That’s what people are going to remember. I saw Chuck recently. Chuck, to me, physically looks better than he has in his entire career. He looked like he was in the best shape I’ve ever seen him in, and so I honestly believe I’m going to get the best Chuck we’ve seen in some time. You’ll also see the best Rich Franklin you’ve seen in years."
Ricardo Almeida signs to fight ex-champ Matt Hughes at UFC 117
As expected former middleweight Ricardo Almeida (12-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) looks to build off a welterweight-debut win over Matt Brown when he fights former champ Matt Hughes (44-7 MMA, 17-5 UFC) at UFC 117.
While a recent guest on Versus' "The Daily Line," Almeida confirmed he's signed a bout agreement for the fight. MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) confirmed with a source close to Hughes that he's also set for the bout.
Although not officially announced by the organization, UFC 117 takes place Aug. 7 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif. The night's main card, including Almeida vs. Hughes, airs on pay-per-view.
UFC Fan Expo 'Boston' announced for Aug. 27-28
Dana White wasn't messing around when he promised to pull out all the stops for the promotion's first-ever trip to Boston, Mass., which is scheduled for the TD Garden on Aug. 28, 2010.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) today announced that it will coordinate a two-day "Fan Expo" at the nearby Hynes Convention Center from Aug. 27 right up until fight time to coincide with the major pay-per-view (PPV) event
Here's what White, a "Beantown"-area native, had to say about his big plans:
"I think everyone knows how much it means to me to bring the UFC to Boston and to give fans this two-day event packed with amazing UFC experiences."
Those "experiences" include meet and greets with legendary UFC, Pride FC and WEC fighters, mixed martial arts (MMA) demonstrations, grappling "Super Fights," fan-inspired special events, training and development sessions, as well as other combat related opportunities and entertainment.
Additionally, the third UFC Fan Expo, which is the first to be staged outside of "Sin City," is expected to attract more than "150 leading vendors covering roughly 200,000 gross square feet of space."
According the the release, the exhibit floor will also "feature apparel, electronic gaming, food & beverages, fight gear, fitness equipment and supplies, nutritional supplements, lifestyle products and much more."
Oh, and by the way, there are also some huge fights taking place that weekend,
UFC 118 is expected to be headlined by a rematch for the lightweight title between B.J. Penn and division champion Frankie Edgar, as well as another exciting 155-pound showdown between Kenny Florian and Gray Maynard.
Former light heavyweight and heavyweight champion Randy Couture is also expected to introduce professional boxing champion James Toney to the Octagon.
GSP set to train with Freddie Roach
UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre broke the news that he will be spending some quality time with world renowned boxing trainer Freddie Roach in the very near future.
"Rush" told Jim Rome on his nationally syndicated radio show that he will be flying to California today to begin training at Roach's Wildcard Gym in Hollywood.
Roach, best known for his training of seven-division world champion Manny Pacquiao, is coming off his supervision of yet another masterpiece less than a week ago on May 15. He was in the corner of trainee Amir Khan as he made his stateside debut at Madison Square Garden in New York. "King Khan" recorded an 11th round TKO victory to retain his WBA world light welterweight title after a dominant performance over challenger Paulie Malignaggi.
This will certainly not be the first time Roach has helped MMA fighters fine tune their "sweet science" repertoir. Anderson Silva, Andrei Arlovski, Gegard Mousasi, and Dan Hardy have all trained under his watchful eye in the past.
Attention Strikeforce: Jake Shields' Camp Wants You to Call Them
According to Josh Gross' latest column for SportsIllustrated.com, Strikeforce 185-pound champ Jake Shields' manager and father, Jack Shields says that the promotion has yet to bother to contact them to attempt to negotiate a new contract.
"The time is ticking. We'd like to move forward as soon as possible,"the elder Shields told Gross on Monday. "I'd like to be negotiating right now."
Strikeforce reps blamed their busy event schedule for the delay, but a source told Gross that they have actually considered releasing Shields before an exclusive negotiating period that expires in three weeks. Even after that period ends, the promotion still has the right to match any offer made by any other promotion, but the fact that they are pretending Shields doesn't exist and discussing life after he leaves the organization essentially all but says they are conceding he will not be back.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker seemed irritated by Gross' inquiry about the possibility that they may release the talented welterweight who has spent the last year moonlighting as a middleweight so he could ensure he had challenging fights.
"Can I guarantee that we won't release him? No, I can't. It depends on how the last two or three weeks of negotiation go. I won't be able to answer until negotiations are over. Is it a possibility? It's a possibility. If we're not going to be in the Jake Shields business, let's just move on," Coker said. "That's how I feel. This is a business. Jake has a career and a life and it's not fair to him. But Jake is a guy we've appreciated having him as part of the family."
UFC To Make "Major Announcement" On 5/25 In Toronto
Is this the moment Canadian mixed martial arts fans have been waiting for? The UFC today revealed that a "major announcement" is coming on May 25, 2010, at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada, just two months after company President Dana White stormed Toronto's Eaton Centre for a public pep rally. White expects MMA to eventually become the world's largest and most popular sport. Unfortunately, that vision of global domination has faced opposition in Ontario as Premier Dalton McGuinty recently indicated that MMA regulation was "not a priority." Last year White was hoping to secure a show in Ontario at some point in 2010, setting his sights on Toronto's Rogers Centre in front of as many as 50,000 fans. Considering that one of the world's most popular fighters is a Canadian named Georges St. Pierre, that wasn't such an unrealistic goal. Then again, nothing is possible unless the Ontario Athletic Commission lifts its ban on cagefighting, that while not a priority, could help generate millions of dollars for the local economy.
Georges vs. Georges Grappling Match On "Off The Record" Tomorrow
MMA vs. Boxing has been a hot topic lately. But MMA vs. Hockey? UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre has accepted a challenge from friend and fellow Canadian Georges Laraque for a grappling match at the Tristar Gym in Montreal. TSN will broadcast the showdown on Friday, May 21, 2010, at 6 p.m. ET on "Off the Record." The 33-year old heavyweight hockey player, who last skated for the Montreal Canadiens, appeared with "Rush" on a recent episode of "Off the Record," where he promised to use his weight advantage against GSP and "pick him up and body slam him." St. Pierre doesn't see it that way.
Kos: GSP Doesn't Have KO Power And I Do
Josh Koscheck, in commenting on his upcoming UFC Welterweight Title fight with Georges St. Pierre, also feels he's improved a lot since his first match with GSP at UFC 74, which GSP won by decision. "I don't think I need to get in Georges St-Pierre's head. He knows what kind of fighter I've improved (to) ... I'm going to have my wrestling so good that I'm going to force Georges St-Pierre into standing toe to toe with me and then I'm going to end up knocking him out, because I believe that Georges doesn't have knockout power and I do ... [In the first fight] I kind of just overlooked he was a good athlete and had the ability to learn wrestling so quick. I believe that I was young, naive and a little immature. I think now I'm wiser, older and a lot smarter when it comes to preparing and putting a game plan together."
Manager: Vitor Belfort Will Get UFC Middleweight Title Shot In November
According to his manager, Vitor Belfort will return to UFC in November and get his shot at the UFC Middleweight Title immediately. "Vitor will be in (the best) absolute physical condition to return to the octagon and fight for the UFC title by November 2010," Fabiano Farah, Belfort's representative, wrote today in an email. Belfort won't get a warm-up fight first. There currently are no UFC events on the schedule for November.
Takanori Gomi vs. Shane Roller Added To UFC Fan Expo Grappling Tournament
The UFC Fan Expo just added another bit of star power, as former PRIDE and Shooto champion Takanori Gomi and current WEC lightweight title contender Shane Roller will face off in a superfight at the Grapplers Quest tournament being conducted at next week's UFC Fan Expo in Las Vegas. Grapplers Quest officials announced the matchup today. Held in conjunction with this month's "UFC 114: Rampage vs. Evans" event, the UFC Fan Expo takes place May 28 and 29 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. Gomi-Roller will be on the 29th.