Anthony Johnson Hates John Howard, Would Gladly Accept Chance to Beat Him Up
Anthony “Rumble” Johnson did what he had to do to get a win on Saturday night in Seattle at UFC Fight Night 24: Nogueira vs. Davis. Through three rounds, he wrestled his way to a win, getting the decision nod over Dan Hardy in their co-main event match-up.
The fight was Johnson’s first since December of 2009. The 16 months Johnson spent away from fighting was more than enough time to survey the UFC’s welterweight division. Now, having come off a win in the organization’s first trip to the Emerald City, “Rumble” is able to wait and see who the UFC will pair him with next.
When asked who he’d like to take on in his next trip to the Octagon, Johnson explained that the division is deep enough to make his choice of opponent difficult, but one name sticks out to him.
“The welterweight division is so stacked that if you call out one person, you got to call everybody out,” Johnson said shortly after his UFC Fight Night win. “There’s only one person who I really hate – John Howard.”
Johnson made it clear that he detests Howard, but doesn’t feel “Doomsday” is capable of dealing with a “rumble” after getting dealt with by Thiago Alves so efficiently.
“But he got beat up by Thiago, so he ain’t ready for me yet,” he said. “So, we’ll see. Whoever they give me I guess I just have to be ready for it.”
If given the opportunity, however, Johnson would accept a fight with Howard in a heartbeat. When asked how he would feel if the UFC granted him the opportunity to fight him, Johnson explained it would be perfectly okay with him.
“That’s fine, I’ll beat him up,” he said.
And why does Anthony Johnson want to beat up John Howard? The answer is simple – he feels Howard is a coward.
“He’s a (expletive),” he said.
Cruz vs. Faber 2 Booked for UFC 132 in July
The UFC announced on Saturday that the bantamweight title fight between Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber will go down at UFC 132, July 2nd at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Since taping for TUF 14 is expected to take place sometime this summer, it seems unlikely that Cruz and Faber will be tapped as coaches for The Ultimate Fighter‘s first bantamweight/featherweight season.
The two former WEC stars have shared some bad blood since the lead-up to their first fight at WEC 26 in March 2007. Upset that he wasn’t featured on the event poster, Cruz signed his name over Faber’s face — which the California Kid perceived as a sign of disrespect. Faber went on to score a guillotine choke victory in just 98 seconds, retaining his featherweight title.
Cruz dropped to 135 pounds the following year and has since racked up a 7-0 record in that division, winning the bantamweight belt from Brian Bowles and defending it twice against Joseph Benavidez and Scott Jorgensen. Faber made the drop to bantamweight last year after an ugly loss to current 145-pound champ Jose Aldo, and his since scored dominant victories over Takeya Mizugaki and Eddie Wineland.
The current lineup of UFC 132 is…
Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber (for bantamweight title)
B.J. Penn vs. Jon Fitch (WW)
Melvin Guillard vs. Shane Roller (LW)
George Sotiropoulos vs. Evan Dunham (LW)
Dennis Siver vs. Matt Wiman (LW)
Tito Ortiz vs. Ryan Bader (LHW)
Increasing Speculation That He Will Fight at UFC Rio: Royce Gracie Reportedly Pulls Out of UK Seminar Tour to Focus on Training for Fight in August
CagePotato.com received word over the weekend from a source close to the situation that Royce Gracie has cancelled the European leg of his spring seminar tour and that the official reason given to the group organizing his UK appearances (NJM promotions) is that the UFC Hall-of-Famer has accepted an offer from the promotion to fight on its August 27 card in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
According to NJM, Gracie’s manager, Mike Kogan revealed the news to them, which was relayed to the seminar host gyms in an effort to explain why the 44-year-old UFC 1, 2 and 4 tournament winner would not be able to make his scheduled appearances in England.
When contacted by us today via email to ask if Royce has indeed signed on to fight on the card, and if so, whom he will face, Kogan did not deny the stated reason for his client pulling out of his European tour, but said that nothing is official YET.
“We are talking about fighting in August,” Kogan confirmed. “Nothing is locked down, no.”
No potential opponents have been named for his possible return to the Octagon, but a few names come that with pre-built story lines would make sense.
Following his UFC 60 loss to Matt Hughes in 2006, Gracie expressed his desire to rematch the former UFC welterweight champ, explaining that he overtrained for the bout and didn’t perform as expected as a result, so a rematch would make sense, but there are at least two other opponents that would make sense, especially for a card set in Brazil.
With BJ Penn’s past history with Royce’s cousins Ralph, who calls “The Prodigy” a traitor for leaving him to train at Nova Uniao before calling out his brother Renzo for a 2005 K-1 bout, that’s another grudge match that wouldn’t take much marketing to sell. A third possible scenario would see the UFC sign Kazushi Sakuraba to face Gracie in a heavily-anticipated rubber match. In their last fight — a June 2007 Dynamite!! USA bout in California, Royce defeated “The Gracie Killer” by unanimous decision, but subsequently tested positive for the anabolic steroid Nandralone. He has disputed the test results for the past four years, claiming that the accusation that he uses PEDs is preposterous as he weighs just two pounds more than he did when he made his UFC debut in 1993. Sakuraba defeated Royce in 2000 by TKO and has beaten Royler, Renzo and Ryan Gracie, which is how he earned his nickname.
Considering that the show is nearly five months away and that there are a number of other suitable opponents from Dan Hardy to Mike Swick whose stock in the Octagon would benefit from a fight with a legend like Gracie, it’s likely that we won’t know until April or May if and whom Royce will fight on the card.
UFC's Alexander Gustafsson training in US hoping for fight in Las Vegas
Losing is not something UFC light heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson is familiar with.
In fact, his record has one lone defeat on it, and that was courtesy of current teammate and recent UFC Fight Night 24 main-event winner Phil Davis.
Following the loss, the fast-rising light-heavyweight contender opted to join Davis in the U.S. for training. Now, the 24-year-old Swedish fighter – who's fought exclusively in Europe and Asia – hopes his next UFC bout comes in the U.S.
UFC Quick Quote: A part of Rich Franklin wants to fight Jon Jones to 'see how he'd do'
Former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin, who was kicked out of the 185-pound division by the seemingly invincible Anderson Silva, talks to the Springfield News-Sun about the meteoric rise of new Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones, who just so happens to rule the weight class Franklin now calls home. "Ace" is just as enamored with the rise of "Bones" as the rest of the mixed martial arts community but his competitive spirit also wonders how he might fare in a 205-pound throwdown.
Good quote from "Ace" in full article
Countdown to UFC 129 debuts April 27th on Spike TV
The UFC's traditional pre-event preview show returns April 27 with the debut of "Countdown to UFC 129."
The one-hour episode debuts on Spike TV at 11 p.m. ET/PT.
UFC 129 takes place April 30 at Toronto's Rogers Centre, and the pay-per-view main card features welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre vs. top contender Jake Shields.
Dan Hardy Calls Out Chris Lytle
"Feeling very frustrated today. No excuses, sometimes you just dont win. I hate having boring fights though.
I want to fight again. I feel like Ive been robbed of the reward at the end of training camp.
An oldschool shootout with a guy that wants to throw down. Screw the rankings, records are for DJs.
Win in a blaze of glory or go out on my shield. Someone like Mr Lytle..."
Sounds to me like Hardy can't handle the wrestlers and doesn't want to anymore. What do you think Playground? Would that be a good fight? And who wins?
UFC Fight Night 24 sets attendance, live gate records for "Fight Night" events
SEATTLE – The UFC's first-ever trip to Seattle was the most successful UFC Fight Night event in the company's history in terms of box office success, according to promotion officials.
Saturday night's "UFC Fight Night 24: Nogueira vs. Davis" event drew a reported 14,212 attendees for a live gate of $1,182,850.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) confirmed the attendance and gate figures with company officials at the evening's post-event press conference.
UFC boss says Dan Hardy's fate not sealed with third straight defeat
SEATTLE – In the hyper-competitive world of the UFC, two straight defeats almost always leads to a release from the promotion.
Three consecutive defeats? Don't call us; we'll call you.
At Saturday's UFC Fight Night 24 event in Seattle, British slugger Dan Hardy (23-9 MMA, 4-3 UFC) dropped his third straight fight when he was toppled by fellow striking specialist Anthony Johnson. However, UFC president Dana White said "The Outlaw" won't necessarily be flying home with a pink slip.
With UFC 132 rematch booked, champ Cruz details origins of Faber feud
It has been four years since the sport's two most-talented 135-pound fighters faced one another.
However, UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz (17-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) and No. 1 contender Urijah Faber (25-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) meet again at UFC 132, officials announced on Saturday.
After the announcement, Cruz spoke exclusively to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) about the highly anticipated rematch and the origins of his feud with Faber.
Then-champion Faber defeated Cruz in a 2007 WEC featherweight title bout, one in which Cruz made his organizational debut.
Johnson says earning win more important than keeping promise at UFC Fight Night 24
SEATTLE – From the moment Anthony Johnson (9-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) vs. Dan Hardy (23-9 MMA, 4-3 UFC) was first announced for Saturday's UFC Fight Night 24 event, fans salivated at the thought of two lethal strikers standing toe-to-toe.
And in each and every pre-fight media appearance, both sluggers promised they wouldn't even consider taking the fight to the floor.
But things played out very differently during the co-feature. Johnson utilized his wrestling background to control the action on the floor for 15 rather uneventful minutes – and he makes no apologies for his performance.
UFC's Davis not trying to follow Jones' path but not afraid to step in the way
SEATTLE – Fighting just seven days after fellow young gun Jon Jones (13-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) claimed the UFC's light-heavyweight belt, undefeated prospect Phil Davis (9-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) simply couldn't avoid the questions.
Try as he might to deflect the comparisons to "Bones," the wrestling phenom was forced to discuss his future even before he stepped into the cage to face Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in the featured bout of Saturday's UFC Fight Night 24 event.
And while Davis essentially avoided the questions prior to his unanimous-decision win, he answered directly when quizzed post-fight. I'm my own man, Davis proclaimed, but if Jones and I are on a collision course, then bring it on.
For UFC Fight Night 24's Jung, time was right for historic submission, instant pay raise
SEATTLE – UFC featherweight Chan Sung Jung (11-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) was already a legend in MMA circles prior to stepping into the cage at Saturday's UFC Fight Night 24 event.
The only problem was his contract didn't exactly reflect his reputation.
"I'm especially glad to finally get my pay above the $5,000 level since I was stuck there for so long," Jung told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) with a laugh. "I'm glad to finally move up in pay level."
Sadollah says UFC FIght Night 24 win just latest lesson on path to the top
SEATTLE – Put simply, there likely will never be another Amir Sadollah (5-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC).
The season-seven winner of "The Ultimate Fighter," Sadollah has fought his entire professional career inside the octagon – an impossible feat now that "TUF" tryouts require a professional record.
Developing his skills on the sport's biggest stage hasn't been easy, admits Sadollah, but he's comfortable in what he's become. Now it's time to take it to the next level.
UFC Fight Night 24 bonuses: Jung, Hendricks, McDonald, Figueroa get $55K awards
Chan Sung Jung, Johny Hendricks, Michael McDonald and Edwin Figueroa each earned record $55,000 "Fight Night" bonuses for their performances at Saturday's UFC Fight Night 24 event.
Jung got the "Submission of the Night" bonus, Hendricks the night's "Knockout of the Night" award, and Fight of the Night" honors went to McDonald and Figueroa
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) confirmed the bonus winners and award amounts with UFC officials.
UFC Fight Night 24 took place at KeyArena in Seattle and served as the promotion's first-ever event in the state of Washington. The night's main card aired on Spike TV, and five preliminary-card fights streamed on Facebook.
The $55,000 bonuses were a record for a Fight Night event...
UFC's Condit eyes showdowns with Diaz, Daley, Shields; not keen on Hardy rematch
While the exact future of Strikeforce remains to be seen, UFC welterweight contender Carlos Condit (26-5 MMA, 3-1 UFC) is already eyeing a few potential matchups with some of the promotion's top stars.
Namely, Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz (24-7 MMA, 4-0 SF) and his opponent on April 9, Paul Daley (27-9-2 MMA, 2-0 SF). Condit also wants a second crack at the UFC's current No. 1 contender, Jake Shields (26-4-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC).
"I'm looking to hopefully fight Jake Shields to get that loss back," Condit said at a Friday Q&A session. "Now with the Strikeforce merger, possibly Nick Diaz.
"I was supposed to fight Paul Daley a while back. I got staph infection in my hand and had to pull out of the fight. There's some unfinished business there. I like that fight."
Condit is currently recovering from a knee injury that forced him to withdraw from a planned UFC 127 matchup with Chris Lytle in February. The "Natural Born Killer" said the dislocated kneecap is healing fine with rehab alone and did not require surgery.
He's not sure when he'll return to the cage, but he hopes some key upcoming matchups will produce a suitable opponent.
"I'm still waiting to hear (who I'll fight next)," Condit said. "I think there's some good welterweight fights coming up. When those happen, it will clear up the picture a little bit, and I might have a better idea."
In the meantime, Condit is simply daydreaming about possibilities.
Shields is certainly within reason, whether he comes up short against Georges St-Pierre in April, or if the champ retains his belt but chooses to relinquish the title in favor of a shot at middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva. Condit faced Shields in an April 2006 Rumble on the Rock tourney final but fell short via decision.
Diaz and Daley are a little far-fetched for now, but with the UFC's parent company now in charge of Strikeforce's fighter contracts, Condit may very well lie in each of their futures.
In the meantime, there is one fighter actively pursuing a bout with Condit: UFC Fight Night 24 co-headliner Dan Hardy.
Hardy, of course, was knocked out by Condit this past October. Earlier this week, Hardy said he won't stop fighting until he's able to avenge that loss.
"The thing that I don't like about losing the fight, about getting knocked out, is that my opponent thinks he's better than me," Condit told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I know that's not the case. I know Carlos Condit's not better than me. I'm annoyed that now he thinks that. I gave him that impression by not giving him the respect in that fight.
"I can't retire until I've knocked him out."
Condit said the result was no fluke, and he currently has no desire to revisit the matchup.
"Honestly, I think he dislikes me more than I dislike him, for obvious reasons," Condit said. "I stood in the cage with that guy, and I'm just telling you, he had nothing – that night, anyway."
UFC Fight Night 24 weigh-in results: Headliners Nogueira (206), Davis (206) on weight
SEATTLE – MMAjunkie.com was on scene and reporting live from today's UFC Fight Night 24 fighter weigh-ins, which all competitors successfully made weight.
Today's festivities take place at Seattle's KeyArena, which also hosts Saturday's Spike TV and Facebook event.
Headliners Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Phil Davis both weighed 206 pounds. And despite some tense moments in recent days, yes, Anthony Johnson also made weight.
UFC Quick Quote: Jake Shields is 'a pretty easy fight' for Georges St. Pierre
"I think that's gonna be a pretty easy fight, I really do. I think GSP's going to be able to do whatever he wants. Jake's not going to be able to get on top, so I just don't see him being effective really anywhere. I definitely don't think he's going to be able to take him down, and if Shields is on his back I just don't see him being effective. I have to really wonder why he got a title shot in the first place... but, I'll tell you why he got a title shot is there's no one else."
Jesse Finney Talks About H.I.T Squad Purchase & The Gym’s Future
Jesse Finney Talks About H.I.T Squad Purchase & The Gym’s Future
MMA Access: Jesse Finney Talks About H.I.T Squad Purchase & The Gym’s Future
Great Audio Interview with Jesse Finney -
The Official Radio Partner of PunchDrunkGamer, Takedown Wrestling Media’s Scott Casber talked to Jesse Finney, owner of Finney’s MMA about his recent acquisition of Matt Hughes H.I.T. Squad gym in Granite City, Illinois.
Representatives from H.I.T. Squad, one of the most recognized and respected mixed martial arts training facilities in the industry, announced that they are under new ownership. The Granite City, Illinois MMA training facility is now officially known as "Finney's HIT Squad."
According to gym representatives, Jesse Finney now owns the facility. Finney also owns Finney's MMA; another St. Louis based mixed martial arts gym known for producing top-level contenders. As a result of the strategic change in ownership, the HIT Squad has emerged stronger than ever.
Jesse Finney had this to say, ""We are very excited about working with Matt Hughes, Marc Fiore, and Kyle Watson. The H.I.T. Squad (now Finney's HIT Squad) is already considered one of the top MMA gyms in the world. Our goal is to make it THE top MMA gym. We have already begun making improvements to both training facilities, improvements that will ultimately generate bigger and better opportunities for our fighters as we evolve."
A full size competition cage has been installed in Finney's HIT Squad facility as a result of the new ownership, and they have already begun implementing the Shamrock Fighter Development System (SDS). The system mirrors that of Major League Baseball, where players start out in a development league and work their way up based on their skills and performance.
Amateur fighters start out competing for credible local promotions such as Shamrock MMA. If you're a top-level professional fighter, Finney's has affiliations with nationally recognized promotions such as Shark Fights, Bellator, Strikeforce and the UFC.
Although ownership has changed hands, UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes will continue to train at the facility and the gyms well-established coaching staff will remain intact. According to H.I.T. Squad coach Marc Fiore, "I fully support the change in ownership and look forward to working with Finney and his team. This is a positive change that will generate new opportunities for the gym and make the HIT Squad brand even stronger. The new build out has added value to the facility and our stable of fighters has already increased from 40 to 80. We are all very excited about the direction the gym is going."
Finney's MMA and Finney's HIT Squad collectively offer one of the most comprehensive, well-rounded, training programs in the industry. Fighters at both amateur and professional levels have access to everything they need to advance their careers, from top-of-the-line equipment and unparalleled training, to housing and fight management. Both facilities offer on-site and off -site housing for members of the fight team, a highly sought after amenity that most MMA gyms do not offer. Fighters associated with the gyms also receive top-level representation through Elite MMA Management.
Both 20,000 square foot state-of-the-art facilities cater to professional fighters, as well as the general public. The superior instructors, all experts in their respective disciplines, teach men, women and children of all skill levels. The combined coaching staff has more name recognition and experience than any other team assembled in the Midwest. Classes are offered in boxing, kickboxing, muay thai, jiu-jitsu, mixed martial arts, wrestling, and sports conditioning. Whether a member joins to increase their fitness level, learn self-defense, or to hone their fighting skills, both Finney's MMA and Finney's HIT Squad offer superior instruction.