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.
UFC's Chael Sonnen claims victory in Oregon's Republican primary election
UFC middleweight contender Chael Sonnen has passed the first test in his bid for a spot in the Oregon House of Representatives.
Sonnen claimed a landslide victory in Tuesday's Republican Party primaries by earning 99.13 percent of the vote in Oregon's 37th District.
In fairness, Sonnen was running unopposed, though he did claim 2,167 votes versus 19 ballots that featured a write-in candidate.
Sonnen now faces Democratic nominee Will Rasmussen, who claimed victory over Gerritt Rosenthal and Joelle Davis with 65.82 percent of the votes cast.
The general election takes place Nov. 2.
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson says roots of feud with Rashad Evans go back to 2004
While "The Ultimate Fighter 10" showcased a pair of rival coaches, the root of Quinton "Rampage" Jackson's beef with Rashad Evans stretches back almost six years.
After 11 months of verbal warfare, the rivals face off May 29 at UFC 114 in what's become the most heated rivalry in the promotion's history, according to UFC president Dana White.
MMA fans' first peek at the rift came when the two went nose-to-nose in the cage at UFC 96 after Jackson's decision victory against Keith Jardine, Evans' teammate. But the seeds of discontent were sown in middle-of-nowhere Colusa, Calif.
Jackson, then a PRIDE star just a few weeks shy of his 26th birthday, cornered Hector Ramirez, his teammate under trainer Colin Oyama, for a June 2004 fight against Evans at Gladiator Challenge 27.
UFC Announces 4 Grappling Superfights For 2010 UFC Fan Expo
As UFC 114: "Rampage vs. Evans" and the coinciding 2010 UFC Fan Expo quickly approaches, the world's leading mixed martial arts promotion has announced their plans for the second annual grappling tournament held in conjunction with Grappler's Quest. On Friday, May 28 at 1 p.m. PT, ADCC (Abu Dhabi Combat Club) world champion Penny Thomas will battle EliteXC and Strikeforce veteran Shayna Baszler. Also on tap for the Friday afternoon session is a match up between UFC veteran and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Hermes Franca and 23 year-old jiu-jitsu phenom Bill Cooper. Scheduled for Saturday, May 29 at 1 p.m. PT, is contest between former Shooto world champion and UFC veteran Caol Uno and current WEC featherweight contender Fredson Paixao. And finally, to wrap up the two-day event, WEC star Javier Vazquez will face 23-time Grappler's Quest champion Jeff Glover.
To Fans, You've Either Saved America Or You're The Scum Of The World
That's the view of UFC Heavyweight Todd Duffee on the hype or hate he's received since his last fight, as he explained on last night's episode of Pro MMA Radio. Duffee told host Larry Pepe that hype can be a fickle thing in this sport and that even he's not sold on his current standing in the division just yet."That's the one thing it [his seven-second knockout of Tim Hague at UFC 102] did for me. It got me more acquainted with the public eye. It just got me more recognition. But not too much else has changed. I'm a low-key guy so I haven't had to deal with too much... [As for the hype or hate he's received since his last fight] In this sport, it's like that for everybody. I've been around athletics my whole life, but in the fight game there's just a different dynamic between the fighters and the fans. It's a real love hate relationship. You either saved America, or you're the scum of the world." Duffee faces Mike Russow at UFC 114.
Rousimar Palhares: It's Time To Test Myself-Let The Best Fighters Come
Going for his 4th straight win but also coming off a 90 day suspension for not releasing a heel hook after the tapout in his last fight, Rousimar Palhares feels like he's ready to face the likes of next opponent Nate Marquardt and other top fighters. "[Marquardt] is a great fighter, it will be a good test for me. I am working hard to develop and improve my game. My dream fight (is) a title shot some day, and if God helps me become a champion. I know that to reach my dream, I will have to work hard and fight the best fighters in the world. Right now I am feeling totally secure and confident about my skills. Let them come. I want the best opponents I can have. It is time to test myself against them."
Phil Baroni Returns At UFC 118
Love him or hate him, Phil Baroni is back for one more try in UFC. Reports are he's verbally agreed to fight at UFC 118 although an opponent has yet to be named. Baroni is 0-1 in his latest UFC comeback after dropping a decision to Amir Sadollah at UFC 106 last November.
UFC Ultimate Fights: 894,000 Viewers
This past weekend's "UFC's Ultimate Fights" special, which featured some of the top Ultimate Fighting Championship fights from 2010, averaged 894,000 viewers. "UFC's Ultimate Fights" drew a 0.8 household rating among men 18-49 and a 0.7 rating among men 18-34. The special aired as counter-programming against Strikeforce on Showtime.
Tim Sylvia: I Think I Ruined Andrei Arlovski-Since I KO'd Him He Hasn't Been The Same
Yes, that's the former UFC Heavyweight Champion taking credit for his fellow ex-champ's recent downfall and proving that apparently there's still some heat between them. "I would imagine Strikeforce would be better for me because they would be a little more lenient with me instead of locking me down, there is a lot of things you can’t do when you fight for the UFC. With Strikeforce I could probably fight more often, the UFC has so many top guys now that they are only fighting twice a year and I don’t want to do that. I want to fight Overeem, Fedor again, Werdum is a good fight and me and Rogers would be a good fight. Arlovski I think would be [like our fight] number three again, me knocking him out. I think I ruined the poor guy, since I knocked him out he hasn’t been the same."
UFC Extends Reach with Roku Set Top Streaming
For the first time ever, just as UFC light heavyweight rivals Rampage Jackson and Rashad Evans enter the Octagon and touch gloves, Roku users all over the country will be able to see what happens next and who emerges the winner of this ultimate grudge-match live on TV via their Roku streaming video player.
The world’s largest live pay-per-view event content provider, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and Roku, Inc. on Monday announced a multi-year deal to feature all major UFC events on Roku, starting with UFC 114: Rampage vs. Evans taking place Saturday, May 29 live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
“We are always looking at the latest technology and the newest ways to bring the UFC experience to our fans,” said Dana White, UFC President. “Roku is another way for fans to get more UFC and watch all of the UFC events live and in HD, starting with UFC 114 on Saturday, May 29th.”
GSP: From Ultimate Champion to Ultimate Coach
Every season of “The Ultimate Fighter" has brought a different style of coach, and some of the best fighters in the world have taken a turn at the head of a team on the powerhouse reality show. For the first time ever, UFC welterweight champion and arguably pound-for-pound top fighter in the world Georges St-Pierre will take his turn as coach on the next season of the reality show, which starts filming in June.
The Canadian fighter leaves for Las Vegas in a few weeks, and has already started assembling his team of coaches and assistants that will help him along the way with the new season of hopefuls.
The cast of characters to support St-Pierre will be a who's who list of MMA's elite, as the champion has consistently surrounded himself with some of the best in the business.