Randy Couture on Nogueira, Lesnar and How Long He'll Fight
It seems almost impossible that, at age 46, Randy Couture is still fighting in the UFC. But in less than two weeks he'll get back into the Octagon once again, taking on Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 102. In an interview with FanHouse, Couture talked about what kind of opponent Nogueira will be, why he thinks he could beat UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar if he gets another shot at him and whether it's realistic for him to keep fighting into his late 40s. The full interview is below.
Chuck Liddell Will Be Dancing With The Stars This Season
That's right, this time he'll be on the floor instead of watching in the stands. The former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion was one of 16 celebrities announced today as participants on the next season of the ABC show "Dancing With The Stars", where he'll be paired up with a to-be-determined pro dancer for the competition. The season premieres September 21 on ABC.
Notable Edits Made During Spike TV's 'UFC 100' Special
The UFC countered last night's "Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg" event by airing a "UFC 100" special for free on Spike TV. The special included three fights from the main card, as well as three never-before-televised preliminary bouts.
The Brock Lesnar - Frank Mir heavyweight title fight, Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Alan Belcher and Dan Henderson vs. Michael Bisping aired from the main card, while Mark Coleman vs. Stephan Bonnar, Shannon Gugerty vs. Matt Grice and Jon Jones vs. Jake O'Brien aired from the preliminary card
Coleman warns Ortiz: “I won’t be used as a stepping stone by anybody”
“I think that’s absolutely perfect, I’m ecstatic. I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for a long time. I’ve been given this kind of opportunity in the past and this is one I need to take advantage of. This is my chance to take everything he has.”
“I think it’s gonna be a hell of a fight, I think it’s gonna be a war. Neither one of us likes to lose, I actually hate to lose. There’s a good chance this fight could end up on its feet and I feel like my stand-up skills will be ready to win in that area. I don’t know if I can knock him out but I definitely think I can beat Tito. I definitely feel like I can win this fight. There are no guarantees in this game but I hit really hard and if I connect I could knock him out.”
Condit vs. Ellenberger on main card, Dollaway vs. Miller completes UFC Fight Night 19
With a couple recent changes to the card, September's UFC Fight Night 19 lineup is now complete.
The event takes place Sept. 16 at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City and airs on Spike TV as a lead-in for the debut of "The Ultimate Fighter 10."
A bout between Jake Ellenberger (21-4 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who was a late replacement for Chris Lytle, and Carlos Condit (22-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC) remains on the televised main card, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) had learned, and the addition of a C.B. Dollaway (8-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) vs. Dan Miller (11-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) fight is now official for the night's preliminary card.
Phil Baroni signs with the UFC
It's official: Phil Baroni, a shameless (and effective) self-promoter who's better known as "The New York Bad Ass," is returning to the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
On Thursday the 33-year-old fighter signed a new multi-fight deal with the UFC and is heading to the organization's welterweight division.
UFC reverses course on Thales Leites and Tamdan McCrory, both returning to octagon
Thales Leites was stunned on Saturday when he heard that judges had come to a split decision in his fight with Alessio Sakara at UFC 101 at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia. He was even more stunned when he came out on the short end of the verdict.
But the really shocking news came on Thursday, when he learned he was being dropped by the Ultimate Fighting Championship only four months after competing for the middleweight title.
It turns out, though, that Leites still has a job with the UFC.
Josh Neer and Kurt Pellegrino Comment on Their Fight at UFC 101
Hey guys I figured I’d come on here and explain my fight a little. 1 thing I wish I would have done is just try to get up. The reason I didn't was because when he stood up, he was waiting for me to do so. Soon as I would of, he would of spun around and take my back. If I had it to do over again I would have just took the risk. I was complaining about the ref standing us up because c'mon he can't stand us up 1 time? But I guess you can't when you’re basically from the same town as my opponent. I watched the same ref being buddy buddy with all the guys on the card from New Jersey. My main problem with Kurt was b4 the fight he talked how it was going to be a war and he was going to leave it all out there and blah blah. Well in my opinion he didn't at all. If you’re going to play it safe and stick to a game plan just say that. Don’t talk like it's going to be a great fight.
BJ Penn wants Diego Sanchez sooner rather than later
“It’s gonna happen, hopefully within the next two, two-and-a-half months. I’m 30 now and I’m hoping to get a couple of more fights in. I know they say that in MMA, people peak later, but who knows? My whole career, fighting from age 20 to 30, I’ve gotten into real good shape and gotten out of shape and started getting back into shape again. I don’t want to do that anymore. Here I am. I’m in shape. I want to have fun for a couple of days, take some time off, eat some good food, and then I want to get right back into all that stuff…. [Diego is] really good; he’s really explosive. He’s shown that he has some knockout power and he’s a very good grappler. He’s very hungry; he’s shown that he wants to be a champion someday. This is an important fight…. I’d like to get a fight with St. Pierre again, but now that Diego Sanchez is next, once we get the word from Dana White, that’s what we’re gonna be thinkin’ about.”
THALES LEITES SURPRISED, UPSET ABOUT UFC RELEASE
Following a controversial loss to Alessio Sakara at UFC 101, Brazilian fighter Thales Leites received word that he would be released by the promotion. He was surprised by the move.
"My manager received one e-mail from the UFC telling that I was out of the UFC," Leites told MMAWeekly.com in an exclusive interview. "Personally, I think (it’s) unfair."
Despite neither competitor finishing the fight, most felt that Leites did enough to notch the win, but the judges in Philadelphia saw it different and handed the decision to Sakara instead.
"I didn't understand what the two judges saw," Leites commented. "Unreal."
With the news still fresh in his mind, Leites is quick to point out that he doesn't plan to sit on the sidelines for very long.
"Still training hard, looking for new proposals for a fight," he said about his immediate future.
The motivation of being cut seems to be all Leites needed to drive him to work that much harder, and the Brazilian will do exactly that to get back to the top promotion in the sport.
"I was upset about the fight and much more about being cut (from) the UFC," Leites said. "I didn't fight well, but I know that I won that fight. This gives me more motivation to train more and one day come back stronger than ever to the UFC."
Leites will continue his training in Brazil while waiting for his next chance to step back in the ring and prove he belongs among the elite middleweights in the world.
Welterweight Phil Baroni released by Strikeforce; reportedly "likely" to sign with UFC
Following a June defeat at the hands of Joe Riggs, welterweight slugger Phil Baroni (13-11) was today officially released from his contract with Strikeforce.
Baroni fought just twice for the organization, compiling an 0-2 record.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said he wasn't ruling out a future relationship with the "New York Bad Ass," providing Baroni can put together a win streak in the welterweight division.
"We wish Phil the best of luck and hope he can revive his career," Coker said. "If he can, maybe one day he can return and fight for us."
A former middleweight, Baroni made his Strikeforce debut in June 2007. Facing MMA pioneer Frank Shamrock for Strikeforce's first-ever middleweight title, Baroni was choked unconscious in the second round.
The loss to Shamrock started a three-fight skid for the hard-hitting Baroni, a run that ultimately inspired the 33-year-old to drop to the welterweight division, where he put together a three-fight win streak before the loss to Riggs.
A report from Sherdog.com cites the UFC as Baroni's likely new employer. Baroni's agent, Ken Pavia of MMAAgents.com, was unable to comment on the matter when contacted by MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Would MMA fans ‘love to see’ Chuck Liddell vs Tito Ortiz III?
According to the “Huntington Beach Bad Boy” they would:
“I have no more pain, no more soreness, no more numbness going down my legs; I’m back in to fighting shape again. I just started working with Freddie Roach out of Los Angeles, the ‘Wild Card,’ and I’m excited. For once I’m gonna be 100 percent, and hopefully the fans get to the see the champion I was before, ’cause the last time I was 100 percent, when I was the world champion, and I defended my world title five consecutive times … I gotta give the respect to Chuck Liddell, he was a great champion. Too bad he retired, a rematch with him would be nice, and I think the fans would love to see that.”
The former light heavyweight champ talks via SportsRadioInterviews.com about his ‘comeback’ under the tutelage of famed boxing coach Freddie Roach. Ortiz is coming off major spinal fusion surgery to correct a back problem that plagued him in his most recent bouts. His last appearance was in May 2008 — a unanimous decision loss to now 205-pound champion, Lyoto Machida. Speculation has swirled that Ortiz could return to competition at UFC 106 opposite Mark Coleman, but nothing is official at this time. Is a win over the aging wrestler going to propel him back into the mix? Or would any fans out there rather see him tangle with “The Iceman” for a third time instead?
Randy Couture expresses interest in a possible fight with current UFC Middleweight Champion
Chad Dukes: Would you ever consider [dropping to light heavyweight] and facing [Silva]?
Randy Couture: Yeah, are you kidding? I think he's one of the best fighters in the world. Those are the kinds of guys I want to fight. That would be an interesting fight.
I think the guy with a wrestling background that can get their hands on him, tie him up and smother him is definitely a guy that's going to give him fits and make him have a rough night.
Houston Alexander Possible For Adrenaline 4
In the rather rare case of a fighter still under contract to Zuffa yet fighting elsewhere, UFC star Houston Alexander, coming off a recent injury, is tentatively set for the 4th Adrenaline event to be held September 18. He's scheduled to face Sherman Pendergarst in the co-main event.
Anderson Silva Set to Draw Big on His "Final Run"
Throughout his dominant UFC career, the knock on Anderson Silva has been his drawing ability, or lack thereof. His two fights with Rich Frankin did buyrates in the 300,000 range, and his fight with Dan Henderson did only slightly better. Then in July 2008, the UFC put together a monster campaign on his behalf leading into his fight with James Irvin, and Silva came through with a memorable highlight knockout. The show did a big rating for Spike TV, and everyone thought Silva was on the path to being a big draw. Then Patrick Cote happened.