Sanchez Explains Why He Ditched ‘Nightmare’ Nickname, Makes Vague Reference to Getting Scammed Out of $175K
Diego Sanchez sort of unexpectedly dominated the action on Tuesday during the official media conference call for the Versus Network’s upcoming UFC Live broadcast. The newly nickname-free fighter talked openly about the hard times he suffered in the midst of back-to-back losses to BJ Penn and John Hathaway, said a return to lightweight is currently impossible (owing to a new weightlifting regimen courtesy of Olympic-wrestler-turned-Team-Jackson-middleweight Willie Parks) and explained why he recently decided to ditch his longtime moniker as “The Nightmare.” Turns out, it just wasn’t positive enough for him.
“I let the ‘Nightmare’ go,” Sanchez told reporters. “A nightmare is something that is negative and kind of evil. I don’t want to represent that. I want to represent positivity and I want to represent the good. I look back on my whole career (as) the ‘Nightmare’ (and) the nightmare was myself. I was my own nightmare. All the times I fell off track and got into drinking, got into smoking weed, the things that brought me down, the partying. That was my nightmare. I was my own nightmare. I’m grown up (now). I’m going to let that name go … I thought about changing it to ‘The Dream’ but I thought that would be a little bit out there, so I’m just going to stick with Diego Sanchez.”
Fukuda vs. Ring also part of ION Television's UFC 127 prelim-card broadcast
A middleweight bout between DEEP champion Riki Fukuda and "The Ultimate Fighter 11" contestant Nick Ring also will be part of ION Television's preliminary-card broadcast for this weekend's UFC 127 event.
MMAjunkie.com passed along news of the broadcast earlier today but mentioned just two bouts.
Since then, UFC officials have confirmed the broadcast but upped the number of total fights to three, including Fukuda vs. Ring.
Brandon Vera not cut by the UFC
Light heavyweight Brandon Vera is still a UFC fighter.
Vera was cut by the promotion this past month following his third consecutive loss, which came against Thiago Silva at UFC 125.
However, it has been learned that the result of that bout is expected to be changed to a "no contest" following additional scrutiny of Silva's post-fight drug test, and the promotion has rescinded Vera's release, sources close to the event told MMAjunkie.com.
Karlos Vemola Off UFC 128 (Updated)
Unfortunately for UFC fans but perhaps fortunately for Luiz Cane, Karlos Vemola has been "Terminated" and is now off UFC 128. According to a source with knowledge of the situation, Vemola was recently diagnosed with a serious infection that has left him unable to train. Faced with the issue, he was forced to pull out of the fight. No replacement named yet.
Update: Eliot Marshall is the replacement.
Rich Franklin and Forrest Griffin’s Tattoo Bet Ends in Henna-Dragon Nightmare
Remember when Forrest Griffin and Rich Franklin tried to add some heat to their UFC 126 meeting by suggesting that the loser would have to get an embarrassing tattoo? As Griffin suggested, “I think the loser should have to get like a big, flaming dragon tattoo, or something just hideous.”
Franklin lost the fight by unanimous decision, and we quickly forgot about this silly business — except Franklin didn’t. An MMAFighting report came out Friday claiming that Ace had actually visited a tattoo shop to honor the bet that nobody thought was real.
Diego Sanchez Staying At Welterweight
One-time lightweight contender Diego Sanchez says his days in the lightweight division are over. After a three-fight stint at 155 pounds that culminated in a December 2009 title shot against then-champion B.J. Penn, Sanchez will stay in a welterweight division in which he spent the bulk of his professional career. "The options are closed for me to ever go down to 155 (pounds) again," Sanchez said during a conference call in support of his headlining fight with Martin Kampmann at "UFC on Versus 3: Sanchez vs. Kampmann."
‘UFC Prelims Live’ Specials Return to Spike TV with UFC 128
Spike TV will once again broadcast a “UFC Prelims Live” special, as the cable network will air two UFC 128 undercard contests one hour prior to the event’s pay-per-view broadcast.
Sherdog.com confirmed the news with a source close to the broadcast, which MMAJunkie.com first reported Tuesday morning. The free special will feature a light heavyweight duel between former heavyweight prospect Karlos Vemola and hard-hitting Brazilian Luis “Banha” Cane, as well as a lightweight shootout between strikers Anthony Njokuani and Edson Barboza.
UFC 128 will go down March 19 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., and will be headlined by a light heavyweight title clash between reigning champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and up-and-comer Jon Jones.
Vemola looks to capitalize on his successful light heavyweight debut, as the powerful Czech most recently pounded out Seth Petruzelli at UFC 122 in November. In his last bout at heavyweight, the London Shootfighters product was outpointed by powerful wrestler Jon Madsen at UFC 116. That loss marked the first and only defeat of Vemola’s career.
UFC Announces Prelim Streaming Plans For UFC 127 (Updated)
In addition to the night's pay-per-view main card, UFC 127 will feature four televised or streamed UFC 127 preliminary-card bouts. UFC officials recently announced that two bouts from this weekend's event stream on Facebook (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT), and then ION Television carries an additional pair of fights (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT). The ION fights are scheduled to be Spencer Fisher vs. Ross Pearson and James Te Huna vs. Alexander Gustafsson. The Facebook fights are scheduled to be Jason Reinhardt vs. Zhang Tie Quan and Anthony Perosh vs. Tom Blackledge.
Update: Riki Fukuda vs. Nick Ring has been added to the ION fights, so they will now show 3 fights instead of 2.
Darren Elkins dropping to 145, likely meets Michihiro Omigawa at UFC 131
Darren Elkins is dropping a weight class and is expected to make his featherweight debut against Michihiro Omigawa at UFC 131.
MMAjunkie.com today confirmed the planned bout with sources close to the event, who said verbal agreements are in place but bout agreements not signed.
Although not officially announced, UFC 131 is expected to take place June 11 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Vladimir Matyushenko vs. Jason Brilz Slated for UFC 129 in Toronto
A light-heavyweight bout between Vladimir Matyushenko and Jason Brilz is being finalized for April's UFC 129 event in Toronto.
Sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com that verbal agreements are in place and that bout agreements are being finalized.
Brilz was expected to meet Matyushenko this past November at UFC 122 before a back injury forced him to pull out of the overseas show.
Tim Credeur vs. Ed Herman targeted for TUF 13 Finale in June
Dustin Poirier isn't the only Gladiator Academy product planning to do work in June.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has confirmed that Tim Credeur (12-3 MMA, 3-1 UFC) is also expected to return to the octagon in June in order to take on "The Ultimate Fighter 3" finalist Ed Herman (19-7 MMA, 4-5 UFC).
The two are expected to meet at The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale in a matchup that was first reported by HeavyMMA.com.
Dustin Poirier vs. Rani Yahya in the works for June's UFC 131 event
Fast-rising featherweight prospect Dustin Poirier (9-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) will soon tangle with Brazilian submission ace Rani Yahya (16-6 MMA, 1-0 UFC).
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has confirmed that both fighters have verbally agreed to meet at June's UFC 131 event.
Bout agreements for the contest, which was first reported by Heavy.com, are expected to be finalized shortly.
While not yet officially announced by the promotion, UFC 131 is expected to take place June 11 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Tito Ortiz Off UFN 24, Davis Faces Nogueira
The UFC's first-ever trip to Washington has undergone a major overhaul. UFC president Dana White today announced that Tito Ortiz has been forced out of the UFC Fight Night 24 main event after receiving stitches, and Phil Davis has been tapped as a replacement opponent for Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Davis had been expected ot next fight at UFC 129.
Keith Hackney: Where Is He Now?
Held on Sept. 9, 1994, UFC 3 had some notable tweaks from its two predecessors. It remained in a one-night, tournament format but with an eight-man field, instead of 16. The canvas, previously white, was replaced with a more viewer-friendly blue. It was, in a sense, a social phenomenon coming to terms with its own success, which was accompanied by an equal dose of notoriety.
Naturally, that was exactly when Art Davie, then co-owner of the UFC, made the call to Keith Hackney. It came during the peak time for Hackney’s primary business, a heating and air conditioning company he founded in 1980 and still runs today.
His background included boxing, tang soo do, five years of kenpo and a year of high school wrestling, in which he made the state tournament as a 98-pound sophomore. After Hackney responded to a magazine ad, event organizers told him the roster was full but that, perhaps, a future slot could be in the works.
“He said somebody backed out and they had a space for me. It was one week before the fight,” Hackney says. “I thought if I said no, they wouldn’t call me back in the future, so I said, ‘I don’t care. I’ll fight. Get me on a plane.’ Art said, ‘Whoa! Let me tell you who you’re competing against.’ I didn’t care. I wanted to fight.”
Kenny Florian vs. Diego Nunes in the works for UFC 131 in Vancouver
After dropping hints of a possible move to 145 pounds, two-time lightweight title challenger Kenny Florian (14-5 MMA, 11-4 UFC) erased all doubts.
On the latest edition of ESPN's "MMA Live" series, Florian announced he'll meet Brazilian featherweight Diego Nunes (16-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) at June's UFC 131 event.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has since verified that both fighters have verbally agreed to the fight and that bout agreements are expected to be finalized shortly.
UFC 131, which is expected to take place June 11 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It's currently unknown if the Florian vs. Nunes fight will factor into the evening's main card.
For Florian, the move confirms he'll now compete in an incredible fourth different weightclass for the UFC.
Rich Franklin Gets Tattooed After Losing UFC 126 Bet With Forrest Griffin
This one's gonna leave a mark.
Prior to their UFC 126 co-main event fight, Rich Franklin and opponent Forrest Griffin joked about the loser getting tattooed. At least it seemed like a joke.
But don't ever say Rich Franklin isn't a man of his word. True to his promise, Franklin -- who lost the fight via unanimous decision -- visited a tattoo shop on Friday to begin the process of getting inked.
Brandon Vera Wants To Know "The Truth" About Thiago Silva's Urine Sample
And he also hoped that he's the person to welcome Silva back to UFC...once he gets back himself. "I roll with Phil Davis. I roll with Travis Browne. I roll with Junior dos Santos. I roll with the Nogueira brothers. When I'm in the half guard underneath somebody and I have their leg, and my other leg's half-cocked up on their arm pit, I can rock people back and forth. I can rock you and either stand back up or get the sweep. I remember when I was underneath him and I was pushing him back and forth. I was thinking, ‘What the hell? Why is this guy so damn strong?' And I remember thinking during the fight, ‘Yo, I gotta start lifting weights again.' He was one of, if not the strongest dudes I ever rolled with in my life ... There's stuff I want to say about you, Thiago. You know, I'm glad you were happy winning the way you were. It's cool, man. It's cool. If this thing comes back and you did do whatever you did and I make it back to the UFC, on your welcoming back party, I want to make sure I'm the one you get to fight. And I promise if you take me down, I'm going to get back up. Then I'm going to punish you on the feet just like I did while we were fighting, until you took me down. Then you gave it to me, but you won't take me down next fight. So I'm glad you got to showboat. I'm glad you got to win, kind of. But I'm gonna see you again soon, bud."
"UFC Fight Night 23: UFC Fight for the Troops 2" drug tests come back clean
All six fighters who underwent drug testing at January's "UFC Fight Night 23: UFC Fight for the Troops 2" event tested clean for performance-enhancing drugs and recreational/drugs of abuse.
UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner today confirmed the results with MMAjunkie.com.
"UFC Fight Night 23: UFC Fight for the Troops 2" took place Jan. 22 at Fort Hood in Texas, and the night's main card aired on Spike TV. The event raised more than $4 million for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.
Lentz-Lowe Matchup Targeted for UFC Fight Night 24
A lightweight clash between two powerful wrestlers will go down at UFC Fight Night 24, as Minnesota Martial Arts Academy product Nik Lentz squares off with American Top Team standout Waylon Lowe.
Sherdog.com today confirmed the matchup with a source close to the bout, which was initially reported by MMADieHards.com. According to Sherdog.com’s source, bout agreements were recently signed.
UFC Fight Night 24 will mark the promotion’s first trip to Seattle, as the event emanates from KeyArena on March 26. The show will be headlined by a light heavyweight showdown between former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz and onetime Pride Fighting Championships star Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Also expected for the event is a welterweight duel between the returning Anthony “Rumble” Johnson and heavy-handed Brit Dan Hardy. In total, 11 bouts have been made official for the show; only Lentz-Lowe remains unannounced.
Dan Lauzon Stabbed Outside Boston Nightclub
Dan Lauzon is recovering today after being stabbed in the shoulder following an altercation early Thursday morning outside a Boston-area nightclub. An initial report from the "Enterprise News" states Lauzon was stabbed with a knife on the top of his shoulder during a fight with a group of men in the club's parking lot at around 1 a.m. ET. Lauzon's name subsequently was removed from the report, but his older brother, current UFC lightweight Joe Lauzon, confirmed the incident via his personal blog. Joe Lauzon was due this morning to depart for Iraq to visit active-duty troops. He injured his ankle on the way to Bridgewater Hospital where Dan was taken after the incident. "I got to the hospital and gimp-walked my way into the ER and found Dan in one of the rooms," he wrote on his blog. "Luckily, everything was OK, and it wasn’t a big deal as was originally thought." Bridgewater police are investigating the incident. Joe's trip is now delayed while his ankle heals from what doctors are calling a bad sprain. "Hopefully I can walk on it better by tomorrow and I can get another flight out there, but it’s not looking real good," he stated. "I definitely won't be able to train out there, but I would still like to be able to do all of the Q&A, meet and greets and whatnot."