Rob Emerson vs. Nik Lentz targeted for "UFC Fight Night 21: Florian vs. Gomi"
A lightweight contest pitting Rob Emerson (9-8 MMA, 3-2-1 UFC) against Nik Lentz (17-3-2 MMA, 1-0-1 UFC) is targeted for UFC Fight Night 21, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned from sources close to the situation.
Though bout agreements have yet to be signed, both fighters have agreed to the fight and are expected to put pen to paper shortly.
UFC Fight Night 21 takes place March 31 at Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, N.C. The main card airs live on Spike TV and serves as the lead-in for "The Ultimate Fighter 11."
The addition brings the event's total number of bouts to 11, a robust card for the promotion's fourth trip to North Carolina. A lightweight showdown between two-time contender Kenny Florian and heavy-handed Japanese import Takanori Gomi headlines.
Lentz was behind on the scorecards in his most recent octagon appearance against Thiago Tavares at UFC Fight Night 20, but a deduction to the Brazilian for an inadvertent groin kick in the final frame left the fight as a majority draw. It was a disappointing result for Lentz, a product of the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy, as he had earned seven-straight win over a near-two-year period since his most recent blemish, which, ironically enough, was a draw against WEC veteran Kyle Jensen.
Lentz made a successful octagon debut this past September at UFC 103, where he defeated Rafaello Oliveira by decision.
Emerson, meanwhile, got back on the winning track earlier this month when he defeated "The Ultimate Fighter 8" finalist Phillipe Nover at UFC 109.
A cast member of "The Ultimate Fighter 5," Emerson fell short against Kurt Pellegrino and Rafael dos Anjos at UFC Fight Night 17 and UFC 103, respectively, and vowed to re-tool his training regimen prior to his meeting with Nover. To that end, Emerson migrated to Hilo, Hawaii, to train with B.J. Penn in addition to his work in Huntington Beach, Calif., and said the experience helped him harness the mental aspects of fighting.
The placement of Emerson vs. Lentz in UFC Fight Night 21's current lineup is unknown at this time.
BJ Penn Unlikely Source of Info for Hawaii Tsunami News Coverage
As the world watched the terrible news of another horrific earthquake -- this one epicentered in central Chile, and waited for news of a follow-up tsunami expected to hit Hawaii, UFC lightweight champion BJ Penn and his website BJPenn.com became a legitimate news outlet for information.
Penn, who incorporates frequent video blogs as part of his website, live streamed video footage of Hilo Bay on his website throughout the day. His videos were picked up by CNN and Fox News and broadcast to a worldwide viewing audience, and Penn was also interviewed by CNN regarding conditions in his area.
Though the tsunami was first expected to hit at 11 am local time, the islands had not suffered any damage as of one hour later, though there were reports of receding shorelines, an early sign of an impending tsunami strike.
The 31-year-old Penn -- a two-time UFC champion in two different weight classes -- lives in Hilo and is considered one of Hawaii's most famous athletes. He's always been among the more tech-savvy athletes in MMA, promoting his website in interviews dating back to his early days in the UFC.
He recently released an iPhone app that was a bestseller, and just a few days ago launched what he calls the "Penn Global Broadcasting Network" on his site, offering 90 channels of content.
"It's the biggest news in the world and it's coming from our iPhones," a member of Penn's entourage could be heard saying while shooting video of the bay.
“Rampage Jackson” and Rashad Evans Confirm May 29th Bout
Twitter can be a wonderful or damn annoying thing. In fact, it’s just like the internet; at times providing unfettered access to vitally important knowledge, or an opportunity for morons to drone on incessantly about sh-t they know nothing about. Like anyone gives an eff (hey wait a sec…). This time around Twitter has blessed us all, as both Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Rashad Evans have confirmed the date of their upcoming bout, before the official word came down.
Report: Fisher out, Ludwig faces newcomer Elkins at UFC on Versus 1 in March
While the UFC took a week off from conducting an event, matchmaker Joe Silva didn't get to enjoy the vacation.
According to The Wrestling Observer Spencer Fisher has been forced to withdraw from the UFC's upcoming debut on the Versus network.
And in an additional report from MMAWeekly.com, Fisher's original opponent, Duane "Bang" Ludwig (19-10 MMA, 2-1 UFC) will now face UFC newcomer Darren Elkins (9-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC).
DARREN ELKINS IN AFTER FISHER SUFFERS INJURY
Spencer Fisher has been forced out of the upcoming UFC on Versus 1 card in March due to an undisclosed injury. Octagon newcomer Darren Elkins has been tapped as a replacement to face hometown fighter Duane "Bang" Ludwig on the Denver-area card.
The change of opponents was confirmed to MMAWeekly.com by sources close to the fight on Friday. The injury to Fisher was first reported by F4Wonline.com.
Gilbert Yvel to meet Ben Rothwell, not Pat Barry, at UFC 115 in Vancouver
Although initially expected to fight Pat Barry (5-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC), heavyweight Gilbert Yvel (36-14-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) instead will fight Ben Rothwell (30-7 MMA, 0-1 UFC) in June at UFC 115.
Sources close to the event today confirmed the change with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) and said verbal agreements are in place for the bout.
UFC 115 is expected to take place June 12 at GM Place in Vancouver, British Columbia. The night's main card airs on pay-per-view.
With Barry no longer facing Yvel, Barry vs. Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic is expected for UFC 115.
Heavyweights Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic and Pat Barry agree to UFC 115 meeting
A pair of heavyweight strikers collide in June at UFC 115 now that Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic (26-7-2 MMA, 3-3 UFC) and Pat Barry (5-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) have agreed to a matchup.
Sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) bout agreement should be distributed shortly and that the competitors were told it'll be part of the night's pay-per-view main card. MMAScrapsRadio.com first reported the fight earlier today.
Barry initially was expected to fight Gilbert Yvel (36-14-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at the June 12 event.
Although not officially announced by the UFC, UFC 115 takes at GM Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Cole Miller vs. Andre Winner Off UFN 21
The curse just won't quit. The latest victim today is Cole Miller, who has an injury and now can't fight Andre Winner at UFC Fight Night 21. As a result, the fight is off. It's not known if they'll try to reschedule at a later date, but they won't try and find a replacement for Winner.
Joe Brammer vs Aaron Riley agree to UFC 114 meeting in Las Vegas
Joe Brammer (7-1-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) makes a second attempt at his first Ultimate Fighting Championship victory at UFC 114, where he's likely to meet veteran Aaron Riley (28-12-1 MMA, 2-4 UFC).
Both lightweights have agreed to the fight and are expected to sign shortly, a source close to one of the fighters told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
UFC 114 takes place May 29 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The night's main card airs on pay-per-view, though Brammer vs. Riley is likely to be part of the night's un-aired preliminary card.
Brammer entered the UFC last year with an undefeated 7-0-1 record, which included a reign as a champion of the Iowa-based Midwest Cage Championship. However, he suffered his first career loss at The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale in December when he was tagged with a submission loss to ground wizard Mark Bocek.
Brammer faces his most experienced opponent yet when he meets Riley, a 13-year vet currently in his third stint with the UFC. Riley went 0-2 during his previous two UFC runs, but since his return in late 2008, he's 2-2 with decision wins over Jorge Gurgel and Shane Nelson.
But even Riley's two recent losses (which are the only ones in his past six fights) come with a disclaimer. The first came to Nelson after what appeared to be a premature referee's stoppage, after which Riley immediately sprang to his feet to protest. (Riley avenged the loss five months later). And though he was suffering damage in a UFC 105 fight with Ross Pearson, the bout was stopped because of Riley's gushing bloody nose and not because he was knocked out.
Have a Difference in Opinion with Mir? Feel Free to Punch Him in the Face!
Never one to hold back on his opinion, Frank Mir has proven that getting in your opponent’s head can benefit you when it comes time to fight.
Before his UFC 107 match-up against Cheick Kongo, he quipped about the Frenchman’s lack of ground skills, and a few other barbs, which led to Kongo’s anger heading into the fight in Memphis last December.
Mir reversed the situation on Kongo, dropping him with a big punch early and then putting him away with a guillotine choke on the ground. The former UFC champion admits that maybe it got into Kongo’s head, but in reality he was just answering a question honestly and it shocked some people.
“Honestly it just kind of worked out that way. With Kongo I was being matter of fact about things,” said Mir in an exclusive interview with MMAWeekly Radio. “I said his ground skills aren’t that great, guys, and because the cameras are on, instead of just being like they aren’t that great, they’re not very good, really is it that far fetched to say that they’re probably the worst in the UFC?
“I don’t understand this whole mentality just because it’s true doesn’t mean you have to say it. I’m like, why not? I guess if I said it about someone’s wife or their kids, that’s kind of awful, but I’m saying it about another man who gets to lock himself in a cage with me and if he didn’t like what I said, he gets to punch me in the face and try to fix it.”
Putting the recent controversy about Brock Lesnar behind him, Mir is now 100-percent focused on Shane Carwin and their upcoming interim title fight on March 27 in Newark, N.J. With the fight just a month away is it too soon for Mir to pick at Carwin’s weaknesses?
“In the Shane Carwin fight, honestly it’s not that I’m down playing anything or not trying to get into his head. I’m looking for different angles and honestly to my disadvantage, he doesn’t have a lot of fight time on footage. He stays pretty reserved, and in a lot of ways he’s a likeable guy. He’s a tough competitor. He keeps himself kind of on the straight path. There’s really nothing bad for me to say about him,” Mir commented.
Being honest has put Mir in the crosshairs of the media that scrutinize his words. He says that ultimately he’s just telling it like it is, but he won’t be a guy that will just make up something to stir up controversy.
“At this point, I don’t want to be that fighter that just makes stuff up just to say something cause then it loses a lot of it’s legitimacy,” said Mir. “It’s like you just completely pulled that out of left field. I don’t mind exaggerating something, adding a little color to it to make it enticing for television or radio, but if I constantly just go ‘well Shane Carwin, he has no punching power.’ Well bro, that has no truth whatsoever or what are you talking about Frank?”
The former UFC heavyweight champion will continue his camp in Las Vegas before breaking for two days to head out to Columbus, Ohio, to fulfill his commentary duties with the WEC next weekend. He will then get back to training for the interim title fight.
Rampage Jackson Doesn't Love MMA
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson will return to the Octagon after more than a year away from mixed martial arts when he takes on Rashad Evans in May at UFC 114. But just because he's coming back doesn't mean he has a passion for his sport. In an interview with Fighters Only, Jackson said that he likes acting better than MMA, and he looks forward to leaving the UFC once he fulfills his contractual obligations.
"I don't know how much I ever loved the fight game, to be honest," Jackson said. "Most fighters these days join fighting because they became a fan of it. When I started I wasn't a fan of it -- I've been a fighter my whole life. I just thought it was a blessing that God could give me something I could make money doing. When I was a kid I got tired of fighting. I didn't want to be a fighter anymore. But I was just good at it. It was just something that was in my blood. Some people are fighters."
Jackson, who delayed his fight with Evans by six months so he could film The A-Team, said that the UFC's refusal to embrace his acting aspirations took away some of his enjoyment of being involved in the company.
"I like it a lot less than I used to," Jackson said. "It's no secret, everybody knows about the falling out I had with the UFC, and it's just unfortunate that they're trying to blame me for doing this movie."
Although the UFC steadfastly supported Jackson in 2008, when he was arrested on felony reckless driving charges, he said he doesn't believe the UFC has treated him particularly well. For example, he said he wanted to fight UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida and that UFC President Dana White first told him he could, then told him he couldn't.
"They've said some things and done some things I don't agree with -- that's not the way I do business," Jackson said. "I'm a loyal person so I take care of people who take care of me, but people who don't take care of me, I don't take care of them. So I'm done with the UFC. They can't ask me for anymore favors. Nothing. I just want to finish my contract and get out of there, do my own thing. Dana lied to me. He told me I didn't have to fight Rashad, I could fight Machida. I did the show and then after that he told me I had to fight Rashad."
Jackson is a great fighter, and MMA fans love watching him fight. But hearing him talk about how he doesn't love the sport and doesn't like the UFC, it's hard not to think his fighting days are numbered.
Frankie Edgar's UFC 112 prediction? Plenty of sweat...
"His flexibility, balance, all that stuff, he's going to be a tough nut to crack. I'm going to have my hands full for sure. I definitely watch video. I don't get too caught up in it though because I feel like that's almost psyching yourself out. I'd rather have my team, my coaches look at it, tell me what they think and I will sit down and watch it with them, but I'm not a big video guy...
Shane Carwin: 'Frank Mir is either a terrible human being or unfit to fight'
"I can tell you that ANY athlete wishing death upon a competitor is either a terrible human being or mentally unfit to fight. That type of talk and if it ever happened will take this sport backwards. Frank has been a part of the stone ages of MMA and it makes no sense why he would want or make comments that might damage a lot of the good HE has participated in adding to this sport over the years....
Silva suspended just 30 days, free for potential UFC 115 bout with Akiyama
While the New South Wales Combat Sports Authority (the commission in charge of regulating this past weekend's UFC 110 event) has yet to release an official list of medical suspensions from the UFC's first trip to Australia, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has confirmed the status of one high-profile competitor.
According to Marc Ratner, the UFC's Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, newly minted middleweight Wanderlei Silva (33-10-1 MMA, 3-5 UFC) will be free to return to action after a mere 30-day suspension.
The news clears the way for a recently reported potential fight between "The Axe Murderer" and Japanese middleweight star Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) at UFC 115 in June.
Lift The Ban Watch: MMA Now Legal In Alabama
Welcome to the club, Alabama. According to Dana White, Alabama is the latest state to adopt MMA legislation. The MMA regulation actually comes less than a year after Alabama passed a bill to create a state boxing commission to oversee MMA's sister sport. The recently created Alabama Boxing Commission will be renamed the Alabama Athletic Commission and will now oversee pro and amateur MMA events in the state. The MMA regulation opens the doors for organizations such as the UFC, WEC and Strikeforce to hold major shows in Alabama.
Keith Kizer Explains Legality of George Sotiropoulos' Fight Gear
During last weekend's UFC 110, George Sotiropoulos turned in a star-making performance in a win over Joe Stevenson, but the victory also caused a minor controversy by some who questioned Sotirpoulos' fight attire as flouting the rules.
Sotiropoulos wore fight shorts, compression shorts, knee sleeves and ankle sleeves that left little of his legs exposed, causing some to think he exposed a loophole in the rule prohibiting grappling pants.
Although the bout took place in Australia, MMA Fighting spoke with Nevada state athletic commission executive director Keith Kizer, who oversaw a previous UFC event in Nov. 2009 during which Sotiropoulos wore the same gear.
Stephan Bonnar to appeal UFC 110 loss, claims headbutt should lead to draw
UFC 110 competitor Stephan Bonnar, who suffered a TKO loss to Krzysztof Soszynsk at UFC 110i due to a deep facial cut, plans to appeal the loss and hopes to have it overturned to a draw.
Bonnar confirmed the plans to The Times of Northwest Indiana's Caged In MMA site, for which he also blogs.
Bonnar, who competed on the un-aired preliminary card of the Feb. 20 event, said the cut was caused by the first-round headbutt – an illegal blow – and that the referee should have gone to the scorecards after the third-round stoppage.
Instead, the referee determined the cut was caused by a punch, though multiple replays of the fighters bashing heads in the first round aired on the video screen at host site Acer Arena in Sydney, New South Whales, Australia.