UFC Targets Spring For Toronto Debut
When the provincial government ruled in August that it would legislate and regulate pro mixed martial arts (MMA) events, it toppled the legal barrier between the increasingly popular sport and the country’s most populous province. But a mountain of paperwork remained. Three months later, both the UFC and the government say concrete steps have been made toward finalizing the MMA legislation, and both sides are targeting the spring of 2011 for the UFC’s Toronto debut. Tom Wright, who runs the UFC’s Canadian operations, has already scouted out the Air Canada Centre and the Rogers Centre hopes to announce an event date by the end of the year. Instead of drawing up its own rules Ontario will adopt MMA’s unified rules, which are already in effect for MMA events in all 44 states and six provinces in which the sport is regulated. But other regulatory issues still need solving, like medical requirements for fighters coming to Ontario and the types of suspensions levied to fighters who suffer knockouts or fail drug tests. Finally, UFC (and all others interested in promoting or participating in Toronto) must apply for and get a license.
UFC contract not up for grabs in proposed Pedro Rizzo vs. Tim Sylvia bout
While a heavyweight showdown between former UFC champions Pedro Rizzo (19-9) and Tim Sylvia (27-6) may provide fireworks on the feet, the winner will not be provided a UFC contract.
Contrary to several published reports, UFC president Dana White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that he has made no such promises to either of his ex-employees.
"Where the [expletive] did that come from?" White asked with a laugh.
Personal note... THANK GOD.
Mike Swick Hoping For "Quick" Recovery From Throat Procedure
It turns out that the stomach disorder that caused him to drop to Welterweight from Middleweight was actually a misdiagnosis, but he's hoping for the best and says worst-case is his next fight could be his last depending on how recovery goes. "It's hard to tell yet how effective it was. It's getting better, and I can already tell it's better than it was before, but I have to wait for the swelling to go down so I can see how much back to normal my throat really is. ... I've fought like this for the last four years, so I know I'm able to. It just comes down to, how healthy am I going to be able to get? Am I going to be 100%? Hopefully. But even if not, I can already tell I'm going to be better. Worst case, if it doesn't get any better and the medicine isn't helping at all, that fight [against Mitchell] might be determining whether I can even fight anymore. But I don't see that being an issue. After my last fight, that's what I was scared of. I actually had the thought that I wouldn't fight again. Being able to get this chance again, it's kind of like a rebirth."
Demian Maia Calls On "Batista" To Help Him Train For Kendall Grove
Not that Batista though. Naturally Maia is seeking out his fellow Brazilians. "It may hinder or may help. Truth is that it’s something different. Só I’m training with taller people and taking the opportunity to adapt to it. But I don’t feel it’ll be harder or easier, just different. Ednaldo Lula, who fights in the WFE promotion, is helping me. He is over two meters tall. But I also called on (Aldo) Batista, Antonio Peinado, who just won the Brazilian No-Gi Nationals. He’s going to help me. He’s not quite as tall as Kendall, but he’s really tall and long-limbed. I also have some tall students who are helping me out."
TUF 13 Tryouts Draw Several Notables-Including James Toney
Ah, but not THAT James Toney. With a wry smile on his face, UFC president Dana White called out the name of James Toney and welcomed him to the mat for his chance at a spot on "The Ultimate Fighter 13." That turned out to be a mere Freudian slip, as he was really calling out Jamie Toney, one of nearly 300 who tried out today for season 13 of TUF. Among the notable names at the tryouts: DREAM & Strikeforce veterans Andre Galvao & Karl Amoussou, TUF 9 contestant Frank Lester, TUF 7 contestant Jeremiah Riggs and Nick Newell, a one-armed fighter who wowed on the mat with a dizzying array of submission attempts before tapping his grappling partner with a deftly executed omo plata. Official cast announcements will not be made until just prior to the spring 2011 debut of the season.
Cain Velasquez Is Going To Control Junior Dos Santos-If He Can
But the new UFC Heavyweight Champion is preparing to go everywhere with his first challenger. "Everywhere it seems like, everywhere I go, just everybody is just so happy for me and I appreciate everybody being there for me and being behind me through [the Lesnar] fight ... With [Dos Santos], he’s a great stand-up fighter, he has great takedown defense, and he’s athletic. I think it will be a tough fight, but we’re looking for everywhere. We’re looking to strike with him, we’re looking to look for shots like we did with Brock. If the opening is there get the shots, control him on the ground if we can, but we’ll pretty much look to go everywhere with him."
UFC 127 Slated For 2/27 In Australia, To Be PPV
The UFC makes it return to Sydney, Australia, on Feb. 27. Currently, UFC executives have not formally announced the show or any fights but a rumored Carlos Condit vs. Chris Lytle fight is possible. Although broadcast plans haven't been finalized, it's expected to be PPV and not on Spike.
Dana: Scott Coker Is No Bob Arum
In MMA's sister combat sport, boxing executives Don King and Bob Arum are on very different sides of the spectrum when it comes to personalities and promoting styles. King is the flashy guy who's never afraid of the microphone; Arum is considered a comparatively reserved promoter who puts the fights and fighters in the forefront. But UFC president Dana White today aaid he has major beef with Strikeforce CEO's Scott Coker belief he's more like Arum and the UFC boss more like King. "He [expletive] wishes he was Bob Arum," said White while in Las Vegas for "The Ultimate Fighter 13" open tryouts. "Are you [expletive] me? Bob Arum put on some of the biggest fights in boxing history, and Bob is actually successful and made money. "For you to compare yourself to [expletive] Bob Arum is hysterical. You can call me Don King or whatever you want. But calling yourself Bob Arum is a [expletive] joke."
Pat Barry vs. Joey Beltran Added to UFC Fight for the Troops 2
A heavyweight bout with dynamite written all over it has been added to the Jan 22 "Fight for the Troops" show as Pat Barry makes his return to action against Joey Beltran.
The bout was confirmed to MMAWeekly.com by sources close to the match-up on Thursday, with verbal agreements in place from the fighters.
Fight for the Troops is looking nasty.
Carlos Condit vs. Chris Lytle Possible For February UFC Event
The fight both welterweights wanted appears it'll come to fruition. That would be Carlos Condit vs. Chris Lytle, which could happen at an unannounced UFC event in February. There were initial reports it would happen at UFC 126, but Condit's agent has confirmed those reports as false and clarified that the February event it happens at will not be 126. At least one fighter has reportedly been approached about the fight, but no paperwork is done and even verbal agreements may not be in place, so stay tuned.
Fleeing The "Country"? Brendan Schaub Looking For A Step Towards The Title, Not Redemption
In his words, that means he's up for whatever UFC asks him to do-but preferably guys named Mirko Cro Cop & Frank Mir and not guys named Roy Nelson. "If the UFC calls, I’m up for whatever they ask me to do… but I did say I think that next step up from Gonzaga would be a guy like Frank Mir or [Cro Cop]. For me, that’s kind of headed in the direction of getting closer to the title. I don’t know that fighting a guy like Roy does that. But whatever the UFC wants, I’m the guy. As far as the redemption stuff, it doesn’t do it for me. I am a different fighter now. I truly believe in my heart 100 percent the outcome would be different between Roy and I. I would prefer a bigger name like Frank Mir or Cro Cop."
'Marajo' Signs with Zuffa, Debuts at Final WEC Show
Brazilian lightweight Yuri “Marajo” Alcantara has inked a five-fight deal with Zuffa and will debut against Ricardo Lamas on Dec. 16 at WEC 53, according to his manager, Wallid Ismail. Alcantara is also expected to make the transition to the UFC's 155-pound division when the two promotions merge in 2011. Alcantara enters the Zuffa ranks with a record of 20-3, having gone undefeated in his last 10 bouts, with nine of those 10 wins coming by way of stoppage.
Is Dana White The Don King Of MMA?
Yes, according to Strikeforce head Bob Arum...I mean, Scott Coker. "Dana is kind of like the Don King. He's out there and he's out promoting his brand as well as the company brand and the fighter brand. I'm more of a very direct business man. The guy I really liked wasn't Don King. To me, it's okay being the Bob Arum. In a lot of Bob's early fights, you didn't even know who promoted the fights. The fights were amazing, they were great, and they were focused on the athlete. That's been my philosophy too. The stars of the show are in the cage ... Dana is Dana. He does a great job at doing what he does. It's okay to be the Bob Arum and put on these great fights, to put on these mega events. I think we've accomplished so much in these last 18 months. A lot of fans have to remember - Strikeforce on a national scale has been around since April 10, 2009. And the fights that we put on are right up there with any other league. We've done some big arena shows, we've done some million dollar gates. Outside of the UFC, I don't think anyone is doing that."
Efrain Escudero Signs With Shine Fights
Although he was reportedly in talks with Strikeforce & Bellator shortly after his UFC release, Ultimate Fighter 8 winner Efrain Escudero announced today he's instead signed with Shine Fights. No date set for his debut, but based on the current plans for Shine Fights it might not be until early next year.
Georges St. Pierre Knows Josh Koscheck Better Than Josh Koscheck
So he says...and he even predicts how their UFC 124 rematch ends. "Yeah, I think he’s going to try to put me down. I also think he’s going to try to knock me out with his big right hand but I know him. I’ve been studying so much tape on him, I’ve got to the point where I know Josh Koscheck probably better than he even knows himself. My coaches have been studying him a lot. Being with him on the Ultimate Fighter for eight weeks was a way for me to know him a little bit better as a person and as a fighter.... I knew how he was before I got there. I think he was like that to get inside my head, and to keep the fans entertained. I don’t think he’s a bad person. In a way, I think that’s his way to motivate himself. He likes to be the bad guy.... [I'll ] win, that’s all I can say. Submission or knockout."
Nate Quarry Might Take His "Rock" And Go Home
Translation: HIs current time off after facial reconstruction surgery last year might turn into retirement. "We'll see. It's kind of nice, actually, taking this time off, waking up in the morning knowing that I don't necessarily have to get punched today and I've got so many other incredible opportunities going on, so we'll see where my career takes me. I've been fighting for 12 years, training for 14. So 12 years, that's a lot. I started with absolutely nothing, literally living the American Dream. I saw the UFC on TV when I was 24, opened up the phone book, found a gym and started training. ... I was the guy sitting on the couch watching the fights, got up, went out, joined a gym. If I can do it, anybody can because I had no athletic ability from day one. Just willing to take my beating and move forward."