Report: UFC 115 In Vancouver In Jeopardy
MM-Eh in May could wind up becoming MM-Nay, at least for UFC. Former fighter-turned-analyst Paul "The Mauler" Lazenby, a Vancouver resident, was on hand at yesterday's meeting of the Vancouver Athletic Commission to inquire about obtaining his promoter's license as well as get more information about the upcoming Zuffa event. And according to a post on his blog, paullazenby.com, it didn't go well. Says Lazenby, "In spite of Vancouver City Council's approval of a two-year trial period for MMA, I found out that there are still no regulations in place to promote the sport professionally within the city. The problem lies in the fact that the city is still expressing grave concerns about legal and financial liability, while movement toward a resolution of those concerns appears to have been extremely sluggish. At one point, newly-elected VAC chair Mirko Mladenovic (a supporter of properly-sanctioned MMA) asked Mr. Hammel when the legal issues might be resolved, to which Mr. Hammel replied, "About two months" in a manner that indicated to me that it may be even longer."
Brock Lesnar Rooting for Frank Mir Over Shane Carwin
Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir drew a lot of attention for comments about wanting to break current UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar's neck and see him die in the Octagon. Lesnar says he welcomes the opportunity for Mir to back up his words.
In an interview on KFAN 1070 (courtesy of SportsRadioInterviews.com), Lesnar said that he's rooting for Mir to beat Shane Carwin this month at UFC 111 so that Lesnar can fight Mir for a third time -- and beat him, he hopes, for a second time.
"I'd really like to fight Frank Mir again," Lesnar said of the man he lost to in his UFC debut at UFC 82 and then beat at UFC 100. "I don't want to go into the Octagon and kill somebody but I do wanna do whatever I can to win. Maybe that's what he was saying, I don't know. The guy should focus on the task in front of him which is Shane Carwin because if Shane Carwin beats his ass he won't be fighting me."
Lesnar said he was surprised that Mir doesn't show much respect for him even after Lesnar thoroughly defeated Mir in July.
"Hopefully he gets past Shane Carwin so I can put another beat down on him," Lesnar said. "For a guy to take an ass whooping like the one I gave him, for him to get up and keep running his mouth, I just gotta laugh at it. I gotta go back to a quote that he said before my second fight. He said, 'If Brock Lesnar beats me, he will be the greatest mixed martial artist ever.' I guess he's eating his words and he doesn't want to admit that I'm that much better than him. I am truly hoping that Frank wins this fight so it sets us up for July."
The UFC is no doubt hoping that Mir wins as well. Although a Carwin-Lesnar fight would be big, a Mir-Lesnar fight, with all the hatred these two have expressed for each other, would be gigantic.
Grappling ace Ricardo Almeida welcomes Matt Brown's striking aggression at UFC 111
UFC welterweight Matt Brown (11-7 MMA, 4-1 UFC) quickly turned heads as one scary, aggressive guy on "The Ultimate Fighter 7" and has kept that reputation intact since the show. He's shrugged off a pedestrian record to emerge as a serious threat to the 170-pound division with three TKO wins in five post-"TUF" fights.
Ricardo Almeida (11-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC), Brown's next opponent at UFC 111, is impressed by the Ohio fighter's run in the UFC, which includes a 4-1 mark and a lone split-decision defeat. But aggression plays right into his hand.
"I always like fighting aggressive guys," Almeida recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I think it makes it a little bit easier than fighting someone who's going to play a very tactical approach."
Of course, easy is a relative term in the fight game, and for a highly decorated grappler such as Almeida, a well-established play against a fighter such as Brown is to take the fight to the mat.
Almeida, though, said he'll try to avoid the easy path. In other words, he's not simply diving for Brown's shoelaces when the punches start flying.
"I think my game's going through a little bit of an evolution right now," Almeida said. "Before, everyone knew I could finish fights on the ground only, and I think in the past two fights, I've shown improved wrestling and stand-up."
The 33-year-old New York City native came up short on the scorecards against Patrick Cote at UFC 86 and afterward, he rededicated himself to striking to make sure he could hold his own if the fight stayed up.
He isn't there quite yet; in his most recent appearance against Kendall Grove at UFC 101 this past August, Almeida won the day by taking the action down and maintaining top position.
Almeida has enlisted top UFC welterweight contender Frankie Edgar in his quest to become a more well-rounded fighter. He's working takedown defense with the Rutgers University wrestling team, which Edgar assistant coaches, and boxing with trainer Mark Henry.
It's a slow process, but he feels he's becoming a better all-around fighter.
"I don't really prepare for a fighter," Almeida said. "I prepare for techniques. Like, if there are certain techniques I want to use in a fight, I'll focus more on that."
And boxing, it seems, is at the top of Almeida's priorities. Brown is known for his heavy hands and skill in keeping takedown artists at bay. As with many of the welterweight division's best fighters, a wrestling base allows him to keep the action on its feet.
Almeida long ago resigned himself to fighting opponents who want to stand at all costs. He said he's waited for this kind of test against a fighter such as Brown.
"It's going to tell me what I need to do to get to the top of the welterweight division," he said.
If he can weather the storm, he said, he'll be a little better the next time out.
"I'm having a good time with it," Almeida said. "The key is getting that next win so it gives you time to get better and come back stronger."
Yoshiyuki Yoshida vs. Mike Guymon official for UFC 113 preliminary card
A long-rumored welterweight matchup between Yoshiyuki Yoshida (11-4 MMA, 2-2 UFC) and Mike Guymon (11-3-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) is now official for May's UFC 113 event.
The fight is part of the night's un-aired preliminary card.
UFC 113 takes place May 8 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and features a pay-per-view headliner of UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida vs. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.
Yoshida and Guymon, both 35 years old, find themselves in a must-win situation.
Yoshida, who suffered a KO loss to oversized late replacement Anthony Johnson (who weighed 176 pounds for the 170-pound contest) at UFC 104, looks to avoid the first back-to-back losses of his career since he dropped majority decisions to Yoshitaro Niimi and Keita Nakamura in his second and third pro fights.
Yoshida signed with the UFC in 2008 and scored a submission victory over War Machine (formerly Jon Koppenhaver) before a KO defeat to Josh Koscheck. He then rebounded for a submission victory over Brandon Wolff before the Johnson defeat.
Guymom, a longtime King of the Cage fighter and belt-holder, posted a five-fight win streak to earn a UFC contract in late 2009. He made his promotional debut in January at UFC Fight Night 20 and suffered a first-round submission loss to Rory MacDonald in an initially back-and-forth bout.
Guymon, who runs the Jokers Wild Fighting Academy in California, has posted 11 stoppages (six via submission) in his 11 career wins.
Dana White Unexpectedly Gives Donation To Brain Tumor-Stricken Girl
While he might look and talk like a typical foul-mouthed coprorate head honcho, UFC President Dana White indeed has a gentler side to him. That became more evident recently when White donated 5000 pounds (about $7500 US) to the family of a 2-year-old girl who has a brain tumor and needs to raise 250,000 pounds for life-saving treatment in America. It should be noted that White has never met the girl or her family.
SportsBusiness Journal: UFC Sets Company Merchandise Sales Record in Australia
UFC 110, headlined by the Antonio "Minotauro" Nogueira vs. Cain Velasquez heavyweight bout, grossed $540,000 in merchandise sales at Acer Arena in Sydney, breaking the previous record of $498,000 for UFC 83 at the Bell Centre in Montreal. Total sales also topped the previous arena record held by Iron Maiden.
Acer Arena doesn’t release concessions figures. The arena, built for the 2000 Summer Games, is the largest indoor venue in Sydney and has hosted acts such as Coldplay and Britney Spears.
All 16,500 tickets for the Feb. 21 fight were bought on the first day of sales back in December, trailing only the UFC’s debut in Montreal in 2008 as the fastest sellout ever. The $2.5 million gate for an international event was second only to the fight in Montreal.
Chris Lytle: UFC's All-Time Bonus Winner
A handful of the UFC's biggest stars get six-figure guarantees for all their fights and a cut of the pay-per-view revenue. Those guys are the promotion's highest-paid fighters.
For the majority of UFC fighters, the standard payday is in the five figures, and winning a bonus check for Fight of the Night, Knockout of the Night or Submission of the Night can actually make up the majority of their income. And in that category of fighter, no one has cashed in more than Chris Lytle.
Cage Potato has put together a great UFC performance bonus leaderboard, and Lytle comes out on top with seven bonuses that paid him a combined $310,000. No one else even has six career bonuses.
Obviously, being the all-time leader in performance bonuses in no way makes Lytle even close to the best fighter in UFC history. He's been pretty mediocre in his UFC career, has bounced around between the UFC and smaller promotions, and has a record of 7-9 inside the Octagon.
But I still think Lytle has a special place in UFC history. I've heard some people denigrate Lytle by saying he fights like he'd rather earn a bonus than a win, but in fairness to Lytle, only two of those bonuses were for fights he lost: He got the Fight of the Night check at UFC 78, when he lost to Thiago Alves because the fight was stopped when he suffered a nasty cut, and he got it at UFC 93, when he lost a split decision to Marcus Davis. It's not like he wasn't trying to win those fights.
The 35-year-old Lytle is never going to be a UFC champion, and he's never going to be one of those guys with a six-figure guarantee or a cut of the pay-per-view proceeds. But he'll always be a fighter the fans will want to see, and he has certainly earned that $310,000 in extra income.
UFC targeting Michael Bisping vs. Dan Miller for UFC 114 in Las Vegas
A middleweight bout between Michael Bisping (18-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) and Dan Miller (11-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC), established contenders both desperately in need of a win, is likely to take place in May at UFC 114.
Multiple sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that UFC officials are working to sign the bout and that at least one competitor has agreed to the matchup.
If signed the fight would likely be part of the main card for UFC 114, which takes place May 29 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and airs on pay-per-view.
As of Monday, though, bout agreements have not been distributed.
It'd be another solid addition to a card, though not officially announced, that's expected to feature Rashad Evans vs. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, Forrest Griffin vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and John Hathaway vs. Diego Sanchez.
Both Bisping and Miller, who were both once on the verge of top title contention, look to rebound from recent losses.
Bisping's losses came to Dan Henderson (vicious knockout at UFC 100), and then after a rebound TKO win over Denis Kang at UFC 105, to Wanderlei Silva via close unanimous decision last month at UFC 110. Bisping thought he won the fight, but Silva knocked him down in the final 10 seconds of the co-main-event fight to take the final third round on the judges' cards and the decision win (via scores of 29-28).
Prior to the recent 1-2 skid, "The Ultimate Fighter 3" winner's only loss came to Rashad Evans via razor-thin split decision at UFC 78 in 2007.
Meanwhile, Miller's two consecutive losses both came via unanimous decision to top contenders Chael Sonnen (UFC 98) and Demian Maia (UFC 109). Prior to the defeats, the former IFL middleweight champion went undefeated over a 10-fight span that included UFC victories over Rob Kimmons, Matt Horwich and Jake Rosholt in his first three UFC appearances.
Introducing The Ultimate Fighter 11 Cast - All 28 Middleweights
For the first time Spike TV has officially announced the full cast of the 28 middleweights fighting for a chance to become the next Ultimate Fighter. TUF 11 premieres March 31.
Nick Ring (10-0), Jordan Smith (10-0), Josh Bryant (10-0), Charley Lynch (6-0)
Kris Mccray (5-0), Warren Thompson (5-0), James Hammortree (4-0), Brad Tavares (4-0)
Joseph Henle (3-0), Court Mcgee (9-1), Victor O’Donnell (8-1), Norman Paraisy (5-1)
Costantinos Philippou (5-1), Brent Cooper (5-1), Greg Rebello (9-2), Kyle Noke (16-4-1)
Jacen Flynn (8-2), Lyle Steffens (5-2), Chris Camozzi (11-3), Charles Blanchard (7-2)
Cleburn Walker (9-3), Ben Stark (3-1), Rich Attonito (7-3), Woody Weatherby (7-3)
Seth Baczynski (11-5), Clayton Mckinney (4-2), Jamie Yager (2-1), Kyacey Uscola (18-15)
Cain Velasquez: I'm ready for a shot at Brock Lesnar
"Yes. I'm ready. I think I've been ready for a while. The way this sport works is you've just got to prove yourself when you get the chance. I want to fight the best so I can be the best ... I don't know what I do better than (Lesnar) but I do know I'd be ready. I know what I can do, I know I train with really tough guys, and I know I'd prepare myself to give him a really good fight"
B.J. Penn, Tito, Kimbo Head Next Round 5 Series
Like most sports today, mixed martial arts has its fair share of fans that also fancy themselves collectors. One of the first companies to really fill that niche for MMA aficionados was Round 5, a Markham, Ontario, Canada based company that specializes in collectible figures.
Ultimate Fighter International Coming Soon
Over the last three years, the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s plan for global domination has been in full swing, hosting events on three continents and in five different countries, six if you include its home base of the United States. Its first trip to the United Arab Emirates is scheduled in April chalking up another continent and another country.
Kendall Grove Ready To "Make History" Against Mark Munoz
But there are no bad words between the Middleweight fighters facing each other, and both are looking forward to their UFC 112 fight in Abu Dhabi-and perhaps a few rounds at the bar afterwards. According to Grove, "I can't wait to go out there and fight. We get to do it in Abu Dhabi. We're making history; the first outdoor event in the Middle East. We're going to have war in war. Right when I got the word that we were fighting, I shot him a Tweet saying, 'Hey man, I respect you a lot. Good luck and let's put on a show.' He responded back, 'Likewise, it's an honor to fight you and we will give these guys a good show.' To me, that's just how our business is. At the end of the day, I can honestly say no matter if I'm on the positive or negative side of it, I will be the first to shake his hand and say, 'Let's go grab a beer or do something.' There are no hard feelings because business is business."
Martin Kampmann Healing Up To Defend Against Smurf Kicks
No, not kicks from those little blue cartoon characters. In comments made to the Las Vegas Sun, Martin Kampmann tlaked about the cut that forced him off UFC 111 and will likely keep him out past a targeted March return date, namely that it was a deep cut that could open right back up with any impact, but in his words "but as long as it's not going to open up for just a smurf kick, it's good."
Rob Emerson vs. Nik Lentz targeted for "UFC Fight Night 21: Florian vs. Gomi"
A lightweight contest pitting Rob Emerson (9-8 MMA, 3-2-1 UFC) against Nik Lentz (17-3-2 MMA, 1-0-1 UFC) is targeted for UFC Fight Night 21, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned from sources close to the situation.
Though bout agreements have yet to be signed, both fighters have agreed to the fight and are expected to put pen to paper shortly.
UFC Fight Night 21 takes place March 31 at Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, N.C. The main card airs live on Spike TV and serves as the lead-in for "The Ultimate Fighter 11."
The addition brings the event's total number of bouts to 11, a robust card for the promotion's fourth trip to North Carolina. A lightweight showdown between two-time contender Kenny Florian and heavy-handed Japanese import Takanori Gomi headlines.
Lentz was behind on the scorecards in his most recent octagon appearance against Thiago Tavares at UFC Fight Night 20, but a deduction to the Brazilian for an inadvertent groin kick in the final frame left the fight as a majority draw. It was a disappointing result for Lentz, a product of the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy, as he had earned seven-straight win over a near-two-year period since his most recent blemish, which, ironically enough, was a draw against WEC veteran Kyle Jensen.
Lentz made a successful octagon debut this past September at UFC 103, where he defeated Rafaello Oliveira by decision.
Emerson, meanwhile, got back on the winning track earlier this month when he defeated "The Ultimate Fighter 8" finalist Phillipe Nover at UFC 109.
A cast member of "The Ultimate Fighter 5," Emerson fell short against Kurt Pellegrino and Rafael dos Anjos at UFC Fight Night 17 and UFC 103, respectively, and vowed to re-tool his training regimen prior to his meeting with Nover. To that end, Emerson migrated to Hilo, Hawaii, to train with B.J. Penn in addition to his work in Huntington Beach, Calif., and said the experience helped him harness the mental aspects of fighting.
The placement of Emerson vs. Lentz in UFC Fight Night 21's current lineup is unknown at this time.
BJ Penn Unlikely Source of Info for Hawaii Tsunami News Coverage
As the world watched the terrible news of another horrific earthquake -- this one epicentered in central Chile, and waited for news of a follow-up tsunami expected to hit Hawaii, UFC lightweight champion BJ Penn and his website BJPenn.com became a legitimate news outlet for information.
Penn, who incorporates frequent video blogs as part of his website, live streamed video footage of Hilo Bay on his website throughout the day. His videos were picked up by CNN and Fox News and broadcast to a worldwide viewing audience, and Penn was also interviewed by CNN regarding conditions in his area.
Though the tsunami was first expected to hit at 11 am local time, the islands had not suffered any damage as of one hour later, though there were reports of receding shorelines, an early sign of an impending tsunami strike.
The 31-year-old Penn -- a two-time UFC champion in two different weight classes -- lives in Hilo and is considered one of Hawaii's most famous athletes. He's always been among the more tech-savvy athletes in MMA, promoting his website in interviews dating back to his early days in the UFC.
He recently released an iPhone app that was a bestseller, and just a few days ago launched what he calls the "Penn Global Broadcasting Network" on his site, offering 90 channels of content.
"It's the biggest news in the world and it's coming from our iPhones," a member of Penn's entourage could be heard saying while shooting video of the bay.