Karate Coach Touts Belfort’s Improved Speed
Vitor Belfort has always been revered -- and feared -- for his blinding speed and the devastating power that accompanies it. To hear one of his trainers tell it, the Brazilian has only grown faster since he took out former middleweight titleholder Rich Franklin in the Octagon 16 months ago.
“Before arriving, I was a little bit anxious about whether or not we could do a good job in such a short time,” said South American karate champion Jayme Sandall, who has spent the past few weeks honing Belfort’s skills. “But as I always say, Vitor is a phenomenon and gets everything so fast. He’s already moving a different way in the ring; his muscle explosion is at its peak. He’s even faster than he was when he was training to face Franklin.”
Fans invited to "UFC 126: Silva vs. Belfort" open workout sessions
With this weekend's blockbuster UFC 126 event quickly approaching, UFC officials are inviting fans to take part in fight-week activities.
While Wednesday's UFC 126 press conference will be closed to the public, fans are invited to attend Thursday's open workout sessions.
The session – which features Anderson Silva, Vitor Belfort, Rich Franklin, Forrest Griffin, Jon Jones, Ryan Bader, Antonio Banuelos and Miguel Torres – takes place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and is free and open to the public.
Fear a motivating factor for Griffin
LAS VEGAS -- After more than a year off due to injury, Forrest Griffin will return to the Octagon on Saturday for a light heavyweight fight against Rich Franklin at UFC 126.
Afterward, win or lose, Griffin says he's planning something that could change his career. At 31, Griffin's best years as a fighter aren't behind him, but he admits he's peaked in a different way.
For years, he's surrounded himself with some of the best coaches in every facet of the game. What he's lacked, however, is that one mastermind, the "head coach" who he trusts to build his game plans and bring every part of his training together.
Jake Ellenberger Ready for Carlos Rocha at UFC 126, Wants Jon Fitch
Opportunities come and go in the life of a fighter and for welterweight power-wrestler Jake Ellenberger, both sides of the coin look familiar. At 25 years old and nearly 30 fights into his career, the Nebraska native is already a veteran of the sport. Over the past six years Ellenberger has made the most of several last minute changes, including a call from the UFC to face former WEC champion Carlos Condit after MMA veteran Chris Lytle was forced out with injury. Ultimately the judges would decide in favor of Condit but Ellenberger made an impression with the UFC as his gritty performance earned him a place on the roster.
Coming off the Condit fight, Ellenberger found victory in his next two appearances. In his most recent showing against the always dangerous John "Doomsday" Howard, Ellenberger neutralized Howard's striking attack and utilized a full scale ground and pound display. Midway through the third round the bout was stopped by the ringside doctor due to the damage Howard's eye had absorbed. Back to back wins has the future looking bright and even after a bout with Jon Fitch came and went, Ellenberger is ready to make his climb. In his Bloody Elbow Exclusive interview Ellenberger talked about a future bout with Jon Fitch, his upcoming matchup with Carlos Eduardo Rocha at UFC 126 and took a look back at his recent victory over "Doomsday".
UFC's Josh Koscheck expects six-month layoff following recent surgery
Josh Koscheck will settle the score with Georges St-Pierre when he gets healthy.
But instead of tangling again with the welterweight champion inside a cage, he'll do it on an ice rink for now.
"We have a bet to settle," Koscheck told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) during his first public appearance since he lost to St-Pierre at UFC 124.
That's something to look forward to for Koscheck, who said he's out for a minimum of six months as he heals from a broken orbital bone he suffered in the fight, which took place Dec. 11 in Montreal.
St-Pierre has asked for a rematch, at least when it comes to the home-run challenge he lost during the filming of "The Ultimate Fighter 12." The two served as opposing coaches on the reality show before squaring off in Canada.
"As soon as I get healthy, we've got a little one-on-one competition," Koscheck said just prior to signing autographs at the one-year anniversary celebration for the first UFC Gym opening.
The one-time contender underwent surgery in Boston nine days after the fight and flew home to Fresno, Calif., in time for Christmas.
Doctors have limited his physical activity to walking as he recovers. Koscheck said the entire right side of his face is still numb. A prominent scar now resides underneath his right eye...
UFC Cuts Willamy Friere (Chequerim)
Another pink slip was handed out by UFC today, and according to the TATAME it went to Willamy Friere (Chequerim). The former Shooto Champion, who gave up his title to sign with UFC, lost what turned out to be his only UFC fight-a decision loss to Waylon Lowe at UFC Fights For The Troops 2.
UFC Cuts Greg Soto
It may have been a longer time coming than recent cuts, but another UFC pink slip has gone out, this time to Greg Soto. After going 7-0 to start his career and earn a UFC spot, Soto went 1-2 in UFC, most recently losing to Daniel Roberts at UFC 125.
No UFC Prelims For UFC 127 In US, Pearson-Fisher To Air In England
If you're a US fan who wants to see free prelims for UFC 127, plan on heading to England. The UFC UK's office today confirmed plans to air UFC 127 prelims before the main show begins in England although details are still being finalized, but Spike will not air a UFC Prelims special in the US before their broadcast. Currently the only prelim fight scheduled to be broadcast is Ross Pearson vs. Spencer Fisher.
UFC Will Not Cut Mike Brown
Despite his 3rd Zuffa loss in his last 4 fights being suffered at UFC Fights For The Troops 2, former WEC Featherweight Champion Mike Brown will not be cut by UFC yet. Altogether, the talented featherweight has lost four of his last six. Because of that, his UFC future seemed murky after his most recent loss, but the decision to keep him was likely helped by the fact that Brown had stepped up to fight Rani Yahya on short notice, just three weeks after a split-decision loss to Diego Nunes at UFC 125. Yahya had been scheduled to face Chan Sung Jung, before Jung pulled out due to injury. Brown likely is going to be out several months due to injury rehab.
Is Jorge Rivera The Love Child Of Chuck Norris & Bruce Lee?
Michael Bisping thinks so in his altest bit of trash talk, where he expresses disappointment with the choice of his next foe and drops quite the funny one-liner about the great martial arts movie stars. "I was expecting a big name opponent after [the Akiyama] win. I've been in the UFC for five years almost, which is an achievement in itself, and was hoping to step back up in class to push my case for a UFC Title shot in 201 So the name ‘Jorge Rivera' didn't exactly send a surge of excitement through me, put it that way. Rivera has won his last three - all by KO - and everyone in the UFC is at least a top 25 guy in the world, but at first I wasn't much for the fight. All of a sudden he thinks he's a tough guy smart talker. Oh, okay Jorge. But before he makes a proper fool of himself I think he needs to look closely at the people he's been beating, and ask himself why he's been beating them. He hasn't beaten anyone as good as me. I'm not saying he's not dangerous, he can obviously punch and will have a war, but I'm surprised he's been talking the way he has. We're talking about a guy who's got submitted by a welterweight kick-boxer, but the way he talks he's Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee's lovechild. He's not in my class and I am going to show him all about it next month. But feeling embarrassed will be the last of his worries because I'm going to beat the hell out of him."
THrough Tragedy & Loss, VItor Belfort Found The Strength To Persevere
It hasn't been an easy path back for Belfort since his sister was abducted & murdered in 2004, but he's made it back with a little help from a higher power. "We have words for if you’ve lost your husband, you’re a widow; if you’ve lost your parent, you’re an orphan; but if you lost your child, they don’t have a name for that. That’s so painful that they don’t have a name for that. I think there is two ways to get to God, through love or through pain. Mine was through pain. I can see now that through that tribulation, I’m a new man. I’m a strong man. I’ve matured. I’m not perfect. I still struggle with many things, but it’s a process. I’m in the middle of the process and every day I try and prove myself so I can fight through that process, which never ends."
UFC Cuts Amilcar Alves
The pink slips are starting to go out from UFC to fighters again-after Tim Hague was let go yet again by the promotion earlier today, word now has come out that Amilcar Alves is now gone. After an 11-1 start to his career that earned him a shot in UFC, he quickly went on the Losing Streak Of Doom with UFC losses to Mike Pierce and Charlie Brenneman.
UFC Cuts Tim Hague (Yet Again)
It's the 3rd Strike 3 for Tim Hague today, as he confirmed he's been cut by UFC for the third time in his career. After being TKO'd by Matt Mitrione at UFC FFTT 2, Hague is now only 1-4 career in UFC. He said he intends to make it back for a 4th time but for now will take a break and consider dropping to 205.
Mario Yamasaki To Referee UFC 126 Main Event
Veteran official Mario Yamasaki will serve as the referee for next weekend's UFC 126 main event between middleweight champion Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort. Judging the five-round fight will be Adalaide Byrd, Sal D'Amato and Glenn Trowbridge. NASC Executive DIrector Keith Kizer confirmed the assignments today.
Paulo Thiago scratched from UFC on Versus 3, Johny Hendricks in limbo
An undisclosed injury has forced welterweight Paulo Thiago (13-3, 3-3 UFC) to withdraw from a bout with Johny Hendricks (9-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) at UFC on Versus 3.
A source close to the event told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Hendricks may get another opponent or be shifted to another card. Hendricks' camp, Team Takedown, also confirmed the news via Twitter.
UFC on Versus 3 takes place March 3 at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky., and its main card airs on Versus.
The news comes just six days after MMAjunkie.com reported that Thiago vs. Hendricks had verbally agreed to the bout, which was targeted for the event's preliminary card. UFC executives officially announced the fight a few days later...
UFC 129: 42,000 Seats, Tickets Range From $50-800
A little more than two weeks before tickets are set to go on sale for April's highly anticipated "UFC 129: St-Pierre vs. Shields" event, the world's largest mixed martial arts promotion has released more details about what's up for sale. In short, approximately 42,000 tickets that will sell from just $50 to a luxurious $800 for a cageside seat to the potentially historic affair. According to UFC officials, nearly one quarter of the available tickets will cost $100 or less. UFC 129 takes place April 30 at Toronto's Rogers Centre, home to Major League Baseball's Toronto Blue Jays, and features a pay-per-view welterweight title fight between current champion Georges St-Pierre and top contender Jake Shields. "We are really excited to bring a UFC event to Rogers Centre and want to create the ultimate experience for fans," the UFC's director of Canadian operations, Tom Wright, stated in today's release. "We are working on specialized fan zones and other unique features that will make this a can't-miss event. With this card and the level of energy we expect inside Rogers Centre on April 30, UFC 129 is going to be off the charts." Seats on the Rogers Centre floor range from $300 to $800, while seats in the stands run from $50 to $225. Tickets for UFC 129 go on sale to the general public on Saturday, Feb. 12. Members of the UFC Fight Club, the UFC's official fan club, will have first dibs to the tickets on Thursday, Feb. 10. UFC.com newsletter subscribers can purchase tickets on Friday, Feb. 11.
Despite quick UFN 23 win, DaMarques Johnson not celebrating
DaMarques Johnson (12-8 MMA, 3-2 UFC) says the body triangle he applied to Mike Guymon (12-5-1 MMA, 1-3 UFC) was simply a tool for freeing his hand so he could punch with it.
But when Guymon tapped to the hold and rolled onto his side in pain, Johnson was both surprised and disappointed. He didn't expect the fight the end that way, and he wanted to fight on. It just happened so fast.
He's also bummed that he hurt Guymon on his way to victory.
"Bumps and bruises and blood is cool and all, but spinal injuries and stuff like that are 'no bueno' for anybody in the sport," Johnson recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio).
The two fought this past Saturday at "UFC Fight Night 23: UFC Fight for the Troops 2," which was held at Fort Hood in Texas and served as a fundraiser for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.
"TUF 13" coach Junior Dos Santos: Weak-chinned Brock Lesnar can't take a punch
LAS VEGAS – Just a few short weeks ago, things really didn't seem to be working out for top UFC heavyweight contender Junior Dos Santos (12-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC).
Despite earning a shot at the UFC's heavyweight title, Dos Santos openly expressed his frustration at having that bout delayed when Cain Velasquez was forced to the sidelines following surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff.
But things have quickly changed, and Dos Santos is elated to take a role as coach on "The Ultimate Fighter 13," which debuts in on Spike TV in March. And in fact, he's downright salivating at the looming showdown with his opposing coach, Brock Lesnar (5-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC), a man he thinks provides a very favorable matchup.
"When they told me to come and make 'The Ultimate Fighter 13,' I was very happy," Dos Santos told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "It's a new opportunity for me. I was supposed to fight for the title, but Cain got hurt. When the UFC told me to come [to Las Vegas] and make this show with Brock, I was very happy."