Demian Maia: The gentleman black belt
The National Hockey League presents an annual award called the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy. According to NHL.com, the Lady Byng is an annual award given to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct.
MMA is not a sport that offers accommodations for congeniality but if there was a Lady Byng Trophy in MMA, undefeated UFC Brazilian middleweight Demian Maia would be a leading contender.
Zuffa aiming for UFC live events and programming in neighboring Mexico
In addition to its exploits in Europe, Zuffa was wildly successful with its debut in Canada last year at the Montreal-held UFC 83 “Serra vs. St. Pierre 2.” Now they hope to replicate that success with UFC 97 “Redemption” — assuming the UFC brass can convince the Quebec Athletic Commission to lower their swords.
With that, the UFC has conquered two of the three major markets they set their sites on in early 2006. While events in Germany, Italy and Japan are all a part of the organization’s aggressive growth strategy, neighboring Mexico has somehow still eluded them.
Though that may be just a matter of time.
Parisyan Remains Under Temporary Suspension
Keith Kizer, executive director for the Nevada State Athletic Commission, said the suspension of UFC welterweight Karo Parisyan will hold until a formal complaint against him is heard at the regulatory body’s next meeting in mid-March.
Kizer, on Feb. 10, issued a temporary suspension of the 26-year-old athlete when his post-UFC 94 drug test revealed the presence of painkillers Hydrocodone, Hydromorphoone, and Oxycodone.
During a commission meeting on Tuesday afternoon in Las Vegas, NSAC officials concluded its agenda could not accommodate a “full” hearing of the complaint against Parisyan, and that both officials and Parisyan needed more notice before the commission levies a formal decision on the matter.
UFC signs lightweight Josh Neer to a new four-fight deal
Following his second-round submission victory over "The Ultimate Fighter 6" winner Mac Danzig earlier this month at UFC Fight Night 17, lightweight Josh Neer (25-7-1 MMA, 4-4 UFC) has signed a new four-fight contract with the UFC.
Mickey Dubberly, CEO of KO Dynasty, today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of his client's signing.
The new deal deal comes after a stretch in which Neer has gone 4-1 in his past five fights and 8-2 since November 2006.
UFC Displaying Recession Resiliency
While billion-dollar companies across the United States have been laying off employees and making other budget concessions during a severe economic climate, the Ultimate Fighting Championship continues to resist the downturn.
Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer on Tuesday released the final gross ticket revenue and attendance numbers for the UFC 94 mega-fight between Georges St. Pierre and B.J. Penn.
Lauzon Wants Guida Next
Joe Lauzon is looking to climb the lightweight rankings and wants his next opponent to be one that will help him do that.
Lauzon is coming off a submission win over Jeremy Stephens at UFC Fight Night 17, who stepped in at lat notice for an injured Hermes Franca.
“Next, I'd like somebody like Clay Guida (26-6), who just won a big fight against Nate Diaz (decision)," he says.
Troy Mandaloniz: I might take Paul Kelly's arm home with me at UFC 95
"It seems like [Kelly] is taking me really lightly," Mandaloniz said. "He's saying that he's stronger than me and that I'm no genius on the ground -- and that I gained all this weight and I'm sitting on the beach in Hawaii. He wants to talk all this [expletive] about my ground game, but at least my only submission loss is to a great jiu-jitsu practitioner. How did he lose his last fight again?"
Kelly dropped an October 2008 bout to Marcus Davis via submission, the lone loss of his career.
Mandaloniz said he was actually appreciative of his English opponent for providing him the extra bit of motivation he needed to finish training camp on a strong note before traveling to London.
"He got me real fired up in my last week of training," Mandaloniz said. "It's made me even more hungry to go over there.
"I'm taking this one with a smile. I'm a [expletive] maniac, man. I'm the guy that you punch in the face and I smile. You don't understand why the hell you just hit me with your best shot and I'm still coming forward."
As Mandaloniz considers the UFC's reasoning for arranging the bout with Kelly, the tension is evident in his words.
"I think [the UFC] put us two together and matched us up because they want to see us go in there and punch each other in the face," Mandaloniz said. "I'm a little frustrated. I'm really thinking about putting him on his back and finishing him. But we'll see what happens. I'm looking forward to this fight. It's a war. I'm hoping for that quick finish, but I'm ready to go to the end."
And as Mandaloniz looks to return to action in dramatic fashion, the Hawaiian native has a message for his opponent.
"It's going to be a great one," Mandaloniz said. "I'm hoping that we stand in front of each other and just bang it out and get that fight of the night. But it looks like he thinks I'm so easy on the ground he's going to take me down.
"He better be careful, I might take his arm home with me."
Thales Leites ready for wherever Anderson Silva takes him at UFC 97
“I can fight him standing. I will not be afraid to fight him in the standup game. I will never be afraid. I’ve been training my Muay Thai and boxing for five years and I think that I’m ready for any situation. I will be ready for anything. I know he wants to fight me standing to try and knock me out. But anything can happen. Cote was doing a good job with him closing the distance and keeping him down every time and moving forward in front of him. I’m thinking I have to do the same thing…. The most important thing is I trust in me and believe in me. He has two arms and two legs like me and like everyone else. If I believe in me and trust me and do my job I can do it. That’s it.”
– Top middleweight contender Thales Leites talks to Sherdog.com about how his skills match up against division champion Anderson Silva. The two Brazilians are scheduled to collide at UFC 97: “Redemption” at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on April 18. Leites — a talented Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt — feels that he can stand with the deadly striker if necessary, but feels his ground game is the one area where he is better than “The Spider.” Perhaps he can snag one of those four limbs and ride off into the sunset as the new (and unlikely) 185-pound champion? Easier said than done, but stranger things have happened inside the Octagon … like if he were able to somehow finish Silva via strikes.
UFC Back On German TV In March
Its official the UFC will return to German TV on the 7th of March. The first details have emerged of the deal via German network DSF. The 24 hour sports network has posted the following on their website. This exclusive translation via “Free Fight Videos”.
"As real as it gets" - experience non stop fight action with a "decathlon of martial arts"
Starting next month, DSF will broadcast the Ultimate Fighting Championship every Saturday from 11PM.
Ultimate Fighting has its origins in Bruce Lee's "Jeet Kune Do". It combines a variety of martial arts such as boxing, kickboxing, karate, wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu. Two combatants battle it out in an octagon over three rounds that are 5 minutes long. Victory can be achieved by knockout, submission or a points decision . The security and saftety of the Ultimate Fighters will be determined by a long list of well-defined rules and regulations. With the UFC, the DSF is now the German home of the most successful Mixed Martial Arts Organization (MMA) in the world.
A very confident fighter
Joe “Daddy” Stevenson is hardly putting down a welcoming mat for Diego Sanchez’s move to the lightweight division in the main event of Saturday night’s UFC 95 show in London.
Sanchez, known for wearing out his opponents by fighting at a fast pace for as long as it takes, is, in Stevenson’s mind, not going to find that as much of an advantage in the move down.
Why Paul Kelly Feels Sorry For Troy Mandaloniz
Wolfslair welterweight Paul Kelly says it will be do or die when he gets in the cage with Troy Mandaloniz at UFC 95 on Saturday night.
With the UFC cutting its excess weight from its roster of fighters, he knows there is a good chance he will be cut if he loses, which is why he is preparing to lay everything on the line come showtime.
“Its do or die time for me. I don’t know whether the UFC would keep me on after another loss. They keep Paul Taylor on, they keep a few other guys on, where the losses are exciting fights, so my whole point on this [next fight] is just to be exciting,” he says.
Rory Markham plans on turning enemies to friends at UFC 95
It's been a wild ride for UFC welterweight Rory Markham (16-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC).
Eight months ago Markham was fighting in front of sparse crowd on the preliminary card of Adrenaline MMA's debut event in Chicago against a fighter with a record of 6-18.
One fight later -- one stunningly quick, "Knockout of the Night"-earning fight later -- Markham is heading just outside of Englishman Dan Hardy's (20-6 MMA, 1-0 UFC) hometown in preparation for a co-feature clash at "UFC 95: Sanchez vs. Stevenson."
Florian Hits Back on Penn’s Secret Text/Email Claims
Sounds like Kenny Florian isn’t buying B.J. Penn’s revised story about the alleged GSP greasing and ‘roiding tip off any more than we are. Talking with Fighters Only, KenFlo dismissed Penn’s claims outright, saying:
"Yeah it went from an email, to a text to a friend of the camp. I think next it will be a fax, and then it'll probably be a bird that delivered a telegram to him from a roommate's brother's dog's owner's sister,” Florian laughed.
"It's kind of ridiculous. BJ is known as a trash talker and he plays a lot of mind games. He does a lot of psychological warfare. …People have tried that on me in the past, but what they don't know is that they're playing checkers and I'm playing chess," he said.
There you have it, B.J. Kenny Florian is not impressed with your attempts at mind games. Try again. Or just get in the gym and prepare yourself to kick his ass over the course of five rounds. Either one, though I hear the second option generally pays better.
Caol Uno's UFC return likely to come vs. Spencher Fisher at UFC 99
A source close to the negotiations today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that former UFC lightweight contender and recent DREAM fighter Caol Uno (27-11-4 MMA, 3-3-1 UFC) will take on UFC veteran Spencer Fisher (22-4 MMA, 7-3 UFC) at the June event.
Verbal agreements are in place, and the fight is expected to be finalized shortly, the source said.
Wilson Gouveia: "I Don't Need Ten Punches to Put Someone Away. I Just Need One."
CagePotato.com: Thanks for talking with me, Wilson. How is your preparation coming for the fight with Nate Marquardt?
The training has been very intense. I’m taking this fight very seriously. I think it’s going to be the most important fight of my career so far. Right now I feel very good. I’m in great condition, no injuries, just ready to go.
Are you doing anything specifically to prepare for him?
Not really, to tell the truth. In all my fights I try to be prepared for everything. With Nate it’s no different. He’s a pretty well-rounded fighter. He’s good at everything. I have to try and be prepared for the worst-case scenario. He’s a good wrestler. He’s got better takedowns than me. I’ve been training a lot of jiu-jitsu off my back, a lot of stand-up.
I think he’s good in everything, but I don’t think he’s great in anything. I think his jiu-jitsu is good, but it’s not amazing. His wrestling, I think, is his greatest strength. But even with that, I don’t think he’s the best wrestler in the UFC. His striking is good, but if you watch his last fight with [Martin] Kampmann, he spent like ten or more punches to put him away. I really don’t need ten punches to put someone away. I just need one.
You were on a good roll in the UFC until your loss to Goran Reljic. What do you think went wrong for you in that fight?
What happened in that fight, that not many people know because it happened behind the scenes, was an argument between my coaches and his agent. I made a huge mistake after that and treated that fight like a personal problem. And I have no problem whatsoever with any fighter. But I tried to punish the guy and put him away. When I was on the top throwing punches I gave everything that I had. So when we both stood up again I was tired. I tried to rest for a second and that’s when he threw a hook or something that caught me. When you use those small gloves, anything can hurt you.