UFC site coordinator Burt Watson: "I like it when it's wacky, baby. It's what we do."
If you've ever attended a live UFC event or other pre-fight activities, you may recognize the man – but may not know his name.
He's most visible at the official weigh-ins. He's the first man on stage revving up the crowd before UFC commentator Joe Rogan grabs the microphone to introduce the UFC management, octagon girls, and shortly thereafter, the fighters.
He's Burt Watson – UFC site coordinator, part-time hype man, part-time counselor, part-time disciplinarian, jack of all trades.
Despite a laundry list of responsibilities, his main focus centers on monitoring the weight of fighters throughout any given fight week to ensure they are able to compete.
"Making weight is a part of what we do," Watson recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "It's what these guys know they need to do. It's disrespectful if they don't. It shows me they're not trying.
Fedor Knew Better Than To Fight In UFC, Milked His Career To Get Paid
And Rome Is Burning about it-that would be Jim Rome on a recent episode of his ESPN program. "No matter how good you are, you will lose. Everybody does, there are so many different disciplines and everybody gets caught at some point. But, that's not what happened to Fedor Emelianenko Saturday against Antonio Silva. After going a decade without losing, he follows up last summer’s loss to Fabricio Werdum by getting his face beaten in Saturday. And that's no fluke, that's not a guy getting suckered into a savvy submission hold or just getting caught with one big shot in the chin. That was a bigger, stronger, better fighter on top of Fedor pounding him senseless. Silva said that he was surprised that the doctors stopped the fight. Surprised or disappointed? Did you bother to check that piece of meat that you were bludgeoning between shots. Trust me, he had enough. Fedor admitted enough afterwards, quote, 'Maybe it's time to leave … Maybe it's the last time, maybe it's high time.' No, maybe's about it, if anything it's probably past time. Now it's pretty obvious why he didn't want to sign with the UFC. While Strikeforce does have competitive heavyweights, he didn't want to fight the best of the best on the biggest stage, he knew better. He refused to take any chances; he milked it for all its worth and he got paid and then exposed and now it's over."
Newcomer Ruben Duran Signs With UFC, Faces Mizugaki At UFC On Versus 3
Takeya Mizugaki will get a chance to fight after all. The UFC has found a replacement opponent for the bantamweight standout three days after an undisclosed injury forced Francisco Rivera to withdraw from a bout with Mizugaki at UFC on Versus 3, which takes place March 3 at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky. Reuben Duran (7-2-1) will step in on short notice to meet the one-time WEC contender. Duran's management at Iridium Sports Agency subsequently announced the fight via its official Facebook page. Duran has signed a five-fight deal with the UFC.
Scott Jorgensen vs. Ken Stone Added to TUF 13 Finale Show in June
Scott Jorgensen will look to get back on the path to the top of the bantamweight division when he faces Ken Stone at the upcoming “Ultimate Fighter” 13 finale show in June.
The bantamweight bout is the latest edition to the growing card taking place on June 4 in Las Vegas. Sources close to the negotiations confirmed the fight to MMAWeekly.com on Monday. Heavy.com initially reported the booking.
Martin Kampmann Expecting "Old School" Diego Sanchez at UFC Live on Versus 3
Danish striker Martin "The Hitman" Kampmann is looking to erase a previous setback against Jake Shields and make his way back to the top. Standing in his way is original TUF winner Diego "The Nightmare" Sanchez who is also fighting for a return to contention.
They are slated for a showdown at UFC Live on Versus 3 in Louisville Kentucky on March 5th and with the fight quickly approaching I caught up with "The Hitman". In his Bloody Elbow Exclusive interview we talked about squaring off with Sanchez and earning his shot at welterweight gold.
UFC 126 Drug Tests Come Back Clean
After an apparent failed test at UFC 125, UFC 126 was officially a drug-free zone. All 13 fighters who underwent drug testing at this month's UFC 126 event tested clean for performance-enhancing drugs and recreational/drugs of abuse. UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva topped Vitor Belfort in the headliner. The NSAC tested both of them, as well as Rich Franklin, Forrest Griffin, Jake Ellenberger, Jon Jones, Miguel Torres, Donald Cerrone, Chad Mendes, Paul Taylor, DaMarques Johnson, Mike Pierce and Kyle Kingsbury. All tests were negative. All tested negative for drugs of abuse (such as marijuana and cocaine), as well as anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancers.
Rafael Natal Off UFC On Versus 3 (Updated)
If Alessio Sakara is going to fight at UFC on Versus 3, it will be against a third opponent, since he was first slotted on the March 3 card. Renzo Gracie fighter Rafael Natal has been forced off the UFC on Versus 3 card against Sakara due to a knee injury suffered in training. No timetable set for his return. Natal himself was an injury replacement for Sakara's original foe, Maiquel Falcao. No word yet on yet another possible replacement.
Update: Chris Weidman is the expected replacement. Not yet final though.
What Might Have Been if Fedor went to the UFC
On July 28, 2009, the Los Angeles Times reported that Fedor Emelianenko and the UFC were finalizing a deal that would result in an announcement by the end of that week of the top heavyweight in mixed martial arts finally agreeing to step into the Octagon.
That report was wrong, Fedor went to Strikeforce instead of the UFC, and now Fedor has lost two fights and lost the mantle of Best Heavyweight in MMA. The heavyweight division in the UFC, meanwhile, has moved on and looks a lot different now than it did a year and a half ago.
But what if the report had been correct?
Josh Grispi vs. George Roop scheduled for June 4th
Josh Grispi will face George Roop on June 4, according to a UFC source. The fight will be on The Ultimate Fighter 13 finale card in Las Vegas.
Grispi, a 22-year-old featherweight from Plympton, lost his last fight to Dustin Poirier at UFC 125 on Jan. 1. The loss snapped a 10-fight winning streak for Grispi (14-2).
Jorge Santiago Confirms UFC Talks, But Says No Deal Is Official Yet
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ -- Free agent Jorge Santiago on Saturday night refuted reports that he has signed a contract with the UFC.
Santiago told MMA Fighting that he had not yet signed a contract with any promotion, but that he hoped to finalize a deal very soon. Santiago did confirm ongoing talks with the UFC.
Several MMA sites have reported that Santiago has agreed to a deal and will fight Brian Stann at UFC 130 in May, but he insisted that he has yet to ink his name to any contract.
"Maybe tomorrow," he said with a smile.
Santiago was the reigning Sengoku middleweight champion when he asked for and was granted his release. He holds a record of 23-8 after winning 11 of his last 12 fights.
UFC Cuts Paul Kelly
Not even winning "Fight of the Night" is enough to save UFC lightweights from the massive cuts still coming down after the merger with the WEC. Gareth Davies brings word that British striker Paul Kelly (11-4) has been released from the promotion after his second round submission loss to Donald Cerrone (14-3) at UFC 126: "Silva vs. Belfort" on Feb. 5. The "sucker punch" reportedly had nothing to do with the decision to let "Tellys" go.
Rashad Evans Might Cut Down To Middleweight-If The Fans Want To See It
That's what he said on the latest episode of ESPN's MMA Live. "You know, I would never put going to any weight class out of the question because if a fight was there and it was going to be a fun and competitive fight and something that the fans wanted to see then I would try to do it. But I started my camp at 237, my last camp, and it's going to be really hard for me to make weight. I think the older I'm getting, my body is starting to settle in a little bit, besides the fact my biceps are growing every second of the day. I'm just kidding but I'm getting to be a little bit bigger now so it's harder for me to make 185. It would be a very hard cut but if the fans wanted to see it then I might do it, you know."
Francisco Rivera Off UFC On Versus 3
Former WEC bantamweight Francisco Rivera will have to wait a little longer to make his octagon debut. Rivera is now off of a planned UFC On Versus 3 fight due to an undisclosed injury suffered in training. He was to have faced Takeya Mizugaki. No replacement named yet, a search is underway for one before the 3/3 event.
UFC Applies For 6/4 Vegas Event Date, Likely TUF 13 Finale
As expected, the Ultimate Fighting Championship is planning to conduct a June 4 event in Las Vegas. The world's biggest mixed martial arts promotion has officially applied with the Nevada State Athletic Commission for permission to hold a card at the The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. While the promotion has yet to officially announce the event, the date is expected to host The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale and feature a lightweight main event between fan favorite Clay Guida and the WEC's final champion, Anthony Pettis, as well as the tournament final for "The Ultimate Fighter 13." The NSAC will vote on the application at its November meeting, which takes place Feb. 16 at the Grant Sawyer State Office Building in Las Vegas. The process is generally considered a mere formality for the UFC.
Brian Stann Likely To Meet Santiago, Not SIlva, At UFC 130
After recent reports of a potential return to the UFC, Sengoku middleweight champion Jorge Santiago appears to have an opponent: Brian Stann. Stann initially was slated to face Wanderlei Silva at the May 28 event, though Silva repeatedly has voiced a preference not to fight the fan favorite and military hero. Currently, bout agreements have not been signed. Additionally, Santiago's agent, Malki Kawa of Authentic Sports Management, said he couldn't confirm the fight or even if the veteran officially has signed with the UFC. Stann's rep also declined to comment. If the Santiago vs. Stann fight is signed, Silva likely will be shifted to another matchup, possibly against Vitor Belfort, whom he recently has been feuding via a series of interviews in the Brazilian media. Belfort recently lost a title fight with middleweight champion Anderson Silva at UFC 126.
UFC 129 sold out with 55,000 tickets, attendance and gate records will fall
For now, UFC 129 officially is sold out.
The small allotment of remaining tickets for today's public on-sale date have been depleted, and with pre-sale periods, the attendance for the event is expected to be approximately 55,000, a UFC official confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
UFC 129 takes April 30 at Rogers Centre in Toronto.
The event, which is headlined by UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre vs. Jake Shields, airs on pay-per-view. The stadium show is expected to shatter both UFC and North American MMA attendance and gate records.
Approximately 42,000 tickets, which was the initial event allotment, were sold during the first day of sales this past Thursday, which were available only to members of the subscription-based UFC Fight Club. Today's initial estimate put the total figure at 52,000, though it went up to 55,000 after officials continued tallying today's sales.
The gate could top $11 million.
Rogers Centre previously has hosted events with up to 69,000 spectators. However, given the UFC's event-night layout, large video screens, and UFC president Dana White's commitment to maintain as much as the "intimate atmosphere" of a live UFC-show experience, officials initially expected 50,000 to be the absolute maximum capacity for UFC 129.
Montreal's UFC 124 event currently holds the organization's attendance record with 23,152. (The North American MMA attendance record has been in dispute; a FEG "Dynamite!! USA" event in 2007 reportedly drew 42,757 attendees, but more than 91 percent of the tickets were complimentary.) UFC 66 in 2006 set the UFC and North American gate records with $5.4 million.
Both records, though, will fall at UFC 129.
Miguel Torres vs. Brad Pickett at UFC 130 in Las Vegas
Fresh off a UFC-debut victory, Miguel Torres (39-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) next meets fellow bantamweight Brad Pickett (20-5 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at UFC 130.
Torres overnight Tweeted that he was offered and accepted the fight, which HeavyMMA.com initially reported.
UFC 130 takes place May 28 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. It's the UFC's latest Memorial Day weekend show based in Sin City.
The night's main card, including a third fight between UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard, airs on pay-per-view. Torres vs. Pickett likely will be part of a preliminary card that will air or stream in some fashion.