The Blueprint: Rashad Evans
Most fans that I’ve talked with over the past few months believe Rashad Evans had to be just a bit disappointed when he first learned the identity of his opponent for UFC 108 on January 2.
After all, he had spent six weeks exchanging venomous barbs with bitter rival Quinton “Rampage” Jackson on the most recent installment of The Ultimate Fighter and was then reminded of those exchanges during the subsequent airing of the 11 episodes on Spike TV. The pair was supposed to work out their differences in a headlining bout at UFC 107 in Memphis, Tennessee, but Jackson’s foray into acting put that super fight on temporary hold.
Junior dos Santos: Carwin vs. Mir for UFC interim title isn’t fair
With three consecutive wins inside of the Octagon since his arrival in the UFC, the one fighter that continuously seems to be thrown under the bus when talk turns to the future of the promotion’s heavyweight division in the absence of current champion Brock Lesnar is without a doubt Junior dos Santos.
The heavy handed Brazilian knockout artist burst onto the UFC scene with the first round demolition of the highly regarded Fabricio Werdum before rattling off consecutive TKO victories over the likes of Stefan Struve and Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic.
As it now looks like Shane Carwin and Frank Mir will be slugging it out for the UFC interim heavyweight crown, Dos Santos doesn’t agree with the decision, and surprisingly it’s not in his best interest but a close friend’s.
Gilbert Yvel: Junior dos Santos is not in my league
"This is like the highest point you can reach. It’s still a little bit difficult to believe, but I am in the UFC. What better way to prove myself than to knock out Dos Santos ... If I play my game and I be relaxed, and listen (to my corner) through the whole thing, I won’t, I hope there won’t be no problems because he is a good fighter, but his stand-up game is not in my league. For sure I’m going to knock him out. I do MMA to knock somebody out, because then you know you won. He’s on the ground. He’s sleeping, you’re standing, and it’s better than after two rounds the judge says to tell you who is better. If I knock him out then I did my job and nobody can say anything."
Gilbert Yvel anticipates a highlight reel debut when he takes on the fast-rising heavyweight prospect Junior dos Santos at UFC 108: "Evans vs. Silva" on Jan. 2 in Las Vegas.
Despite drastic change of opponent, Martin Kampmann happy to fight at UFC 108
Changes of opponent have become commonplace in the UFC recent months, but not all have been quite as dramatic of a shift as welterweight Martin Kampmann's path to Saturday's "UFC 108: Evans vs. Silva" event.
Kampmann (15-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) was originally expected to face fellow slugger Rory Markham (16-5 MMA, 1-1 UFC), but he will now meet grappling standout Jacob Volkmann (9-1 MMA 0-1 UFC).
Cantwell Off UFC 108, Replacement Sought
And the curse continues...
Vladimir Matyushenko on Tuesday confirmed to MMAWeekly.com that his originally scheduled opponent for this weekend’s UFC 108 in Las Vegas, Steve Cantwell, is out of their fight due to undisclosed reasons.
Renzo Gracie: Rashad Evans is "on fire" to fight Thiago Silva at UFC 108
"Rashad is a really tough guy. I even feel he should fight one division down, at middleweight, because he’s practically my size. But he doesn’t want to hear it; he likes that weight and is on fire. I feel he has a good chance of being division champion again. This fight will be tough, because he’s got a really tricky opponent. We worked together on several aspects so he can return to being champion and let’s see how it goes. I can’t wait for him to get in there."
Hulk Hogan: MMA is spanking the WWE pay-per-view business, brother
"MMA is spanking the WWE as far as the pay-per-view stuff. Dana White and the UFC has done an amazing job, and it's all about timing. The UFC was ready to close its doors, they were losing a ton of money, they were going under, they were getting ready to go out of business, and then they did a reality show called The Ultimate Fighter. They developed the characters; they made people care about the fighters; the people found out who the fighters were; they breathed life into the fighters. That's what I want to do with TNA. They've got the best talent in the world down there, but no one is breathing life into the characters. I have learned a ton of stuff from MMA, watching them. They remind me of TNA. Ton of talent, but no one has put that Frankenstein, shock the monster, breath some life into the characters. I learned a ton from MMA, and I get along great with Dana White -- he's awesome."
Thiago Silva content with Machida rematch after UFC 108 win
The 2010 plan for Brazilian slugger Thiago Silva (14-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) is a simple one: get another shot at Lyoto Machida.
The former light heavyweight title challenger already took one step toward that goal with a spectacular TKO of Keith Jardine in August. Now he hopes to take another with a win over Rashad Evans (13-1-1 MMA, 8-1-1 UFC) in the main event of Saturday's "UFC 108: Evans vs. Silva" event in Las Vegas.
Yvel Plans To Take Full Advantage Of UFC Shot
When Affliction entertainment nailed up the shutters, the famed Dutch striker was left in limbo. He had been vocal about his UFC aspirations in the past, but nothing was set in stone until Gabriel Gonzaga was forced to withdraw from his bout at UFC 108, opposite rising contender Junior Dos Santos.From there, negotiations sped up and the Pride veteran quickly inked a deal with the UFC to fill in for “Napao” for the televised portion of the Jan. 2 fight card.
Exclusive: Cole Miller in a Rush to Win Again at UFC 108
Losing is always miserable, but in a combat sport like MMA, getting beaten is no figure of speech. If you lose, you hurt; physically and badly. The risk and danger involved in MMA competition helps make it more exciting than other sports, but behind every highlight-reel knockout and submission is ugly and unfortunate pain — at least for the guy laid out.
Report: Swick To Replace Koscheck at 109
With welterweight contender Josh Koscheck (14-4 MMA, 12-4 UFC) forced to bow out of a planned UFC 109 contest with Paulo Thiago (12-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC), UFC officials were forced to search for a replacement.
They didn't have to look far.
Koscheck's American Kickboxing Academy teammate Mike Swick (14-3 MMA, 9-2 UFC) has been tagged as Thiago's new opponent according to a report from AOL FanHouse.
Bas Rutten ‘Living Mixed Martial Arts Part III’
Once a year, PDG talks with Legendary Fighter and Analyst “El Guapo” Bas Rutten and asks him questions regarding the world of mixed martial arts and what his personal opinions are in regards to the year of fighting in review. The following is Part III of a great series of interviews involving the former King of Pancrase, the host of HDNet’s Inside MMA, the former UFC Heavyweight Champion and the man well regarded as one of the greatest mixed martial artists to enter a cage or ring.
PDG: So do you think the fans will ever get to see Josh Barnett fight Fedor Emelianenko?
Bas Rutten: I don't think it is going to happen and if it happens it will be in Japan. I think that Josh is going to have a very difficult time getting another fight in the United States. Who is going to take the risk to promote that fight with the liabilities from his past that he would bring if he was put into a main event again. It's like the actors that get banged up on drugs and alcohol; they become liabilities and can cause a whole movie production to go down the drain. So you see them less and less involved in the industry because nobody wants to work with them. It's a shame.
Dana White talks Gilbert Yvel
UFC fans will get their first glimpse of maverick Dutch kickboxer Gilbert Yvel at UFC 108 on Saturday.
"The Hurricane" comes in as a replacement for Gabriel Gonzaga to fight Brazilian heavyweight contender Junior Dos Santos in what promises to be the sleeper event in Las Vegas.
"The guy's an amazing striker," said White.
"He's the only guy to ever knockout Cheick Kongo. He beat Semmy Schilt and just recently knocked out Pedro Rizzo.
Frank Mir Denies Steroids Played a Role in His Growth
"I'm not gonna steer that route. The UFC drug tests the hell out of us. I get randomly drug tested all the time because I'm with the UFC. I'm sure there's a way around everything but that's a lot of stress."
Mir said it would be too much to deal with before a fight. He told Cagewriter that he was incredibly lean with low body fat at UFC 100. After the fight, he immediately ballooned up to 265 pounds. He worked with elite former Strongman contestant Mark Philippi to add the bulk and strength the right way. Mir is hoping to be walking around at 280 pounds by his next fight.
Josh Koscheck Off UFC 109 With Injury
Josh Koscheck has been forced to pull out of his UFC 109 bout against Paulo Thiago due to an undisclosed injury. The bout was scheduled to take place on Feb. 6.
At this time, it is unknown how long Koscheck will be out for. Thiago, meanwhile, will remain on the card, however, the UFC has yet to sign a replacement to fight the Brazilian.
UPDATE: Mike Swick will step in for his teammate and face Paulo Thiago at UFC 109
Stout enjoys profitable if odd year in the UFC
It's been a profitable if somewhat strange year for Canadian fighter Sam (Hands of Stone) Stout.
Stout won a decision over (Handsome) Matt Wiman at UFC 97 in April, picking up a US$70,000 fight of the night bonus in the process. The 25-year-old lightweight from London, Ont., was slated to meet Phillipe Nover next at a card Sept. 16 in Oklahoma City but the mixed martial arts bout was called off when Nover had a seizure in the locker-room.
The Blueprint: Thiago Silva
There are only a few things in life that are certain: death, taxes and Evans-Silva ending inside the distance.
That’s right. I said it. There is no possible way that the main event at UFC 108 will last the full three rounds. No chance. None whatsoever. Why? Styles make fights, and Evans’ counter punching mixed with Silva’s go-for-broke mentality means that this one is going to end early.\
The ‘Hitman’ Reloaded
Imagine being a professional hit man and having your typical day at the office quickly turn on a dime from being a productive one to becoming the worst one in your career.
In a split second, a clean headshot at a target in your sights misses its mark and you end up trading shots with an equally apt sniper, whom you soon realize you should have never been in a gunfight with in the first place.
38 and in his prime, The Janitor still loves cleaning clocks
When Vladimir Matyushenko competed in his first mixed martial arts fight at the Battle in the Bayou back in September of 1997, Mike Tyson had only just taken a bite out of Evander Holyfield’s ear. The first Harry Potter book was published in the United Kingdom. Oh, and Steve Cantwell, Matyushenko’s opponent at UFC 108 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, was 11 years old.