Randy Couture Actively Seeking Movie Roles, Unsure Of Fighting Future
UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture isn't exactly hanging up the gloves just yet, but he admits fighting is no longer his primary focus. In fact, following his most recent cinematic role working alongside action-film luminaries Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis in "The Expendables," Couture says he realizes his future is brighter in Hollywood than it is in Las Vegas. "I think [acting] is certainly what my interest is right now," Couture said on this week's edition of the MMA:30 Radio Hour. "I've had an amazing year, and I think it's time to start looking at that, for sure. That's probably what's going to carry me through for the next 10 or 15 years." As for what's next, Couture says he's currently in a crossroads. Couture's lawyer, Sam Spira, in September told MMAFighting.com he considered the likelihood of Couture's return to the cage "a toss-up." Couture has 3 fights left on his current UFC contract.
Evan Dunham vs. Kenny Florian In The Works For UFC 127 (Updated)
Kenny Florian recently said he hopes to return to action in early 2011, and it looks like it'll come in February at UFC 127. While not yet announced he's expected to meet Evan Dunham at the event on February 5. Florian recently revealed on "MMA Live" that he's verbally agreed to the fight.
UPDATE Kenflo says yea, agent says nay. Dunham's camp says they have not agreed to the fight, verbally or otherwise, and no date is set. Sources did make it clear the fight could still happen, but despite what some sites say it is NOT official at this time.
UFC Re-signs Mario Miranda
UFC believes Mario Miranda can get back on the right track. Although he has a losing record in the promotion at 1-2, he was recently given a new 4-fight deal from the promotion and is hoping to return in early 2011. Miranda's last fight was a UFC 118 loss to Demian Maia, but that fight came together on short notice due to an Alan Belcher injury.
Dustin Hazelett vs. Mark Bocek Official For UFC 124
As expected, Dustin Hazelett is dropping from Welterweight to Lightweight and his first fight at Lightweight will come at UFC 124. UFC officials have confirmed that Hazelett will face Mark Bocek at the event. It's not known if the fight will be a prelim or PPV fight.
Miller vs. Oliveira Added To UFC 124
According to sources close to the fight, the other half of the "Miller Time" doubleheader at UFC 124 will feature Jim Miller taking on fast-rising prospect Charles Oliveira. While the UFC has made no announcement about the bout, it's like that Miller vs. Oliveira will make the televised broadcast of the UFC 124 show in some capacity. Jim's brother Dan also is scheduled for 124, he'll face Joe Doerksen.
Nate Diaz vs. Dong Hyun Kim in the Works for UFC 125
According to Korean news site mfight.co.kr:
Dong Hyun Kim will be fighting at January 1, 2011 at the MGM Arena in Las Vegas’ UFC 125 against Nate Diaz.
Kim Dong Hyun: "The most important thing for my next fight is to try to win in exciting fashion with a KO or submission finish."
The UFC Puts Money Down in the NY Governor's Race
The New York Post reported that Zuffa, the parent company of the UFC, has contributed $74,000 to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo.
S.C. Michaelson commented:
As you know, MMA is in the middle of a 5-round war with the NY State Legislature over sanctioning of MMA. Their biggest opponent is Bob Reilly (who I have discussed in the past) who also has the ear of the Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (who is the key to keeping the bill from going to vote).
Current Governor David Paterson is a strong proponent for MMA but that has not helped the cause as it is still illegal. However Paterson was not elected and only ascended to the Governorship after David Spitzer resigned. Andrew Cuomo is a much more popular figure in the state of New York and thus could have more influence. According to the Post, Cuomo has not officially stated his position on the legalization of MMA. I'm sure that Zuffa has some knowledge of his position as they donated a substantial sum.
Ricardo Almeida vs. T.J. Grant targeted for UFC 124 in Montreal
A welterweight bout between Ricardo Almeida (12-4 MMA, 5-4 UFC) and Canadian T.J. Grant (16-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC) is being finalized for December's UFC 124 event.
Sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that bout agreements have been distributed and are in the process of being finalized. Showdown.ca first reported the fight.
UFC 124 takes place Dec. 11 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
The night's main card airs on pay-per-view, though it's unclear if Almeida vs. Grant is part of the broadcast.
Jason MacDonald targeted for UFC 124 return, meets Rafael Natal in Montreal
Middleweights Jason MacDonald (24-14 MMA, 5-6 UFC) and Rafael Natal (12-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) have been penciled in for a meeting at UFC 124.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed the impending matchup with sources close to the event, who said verbal agreements are in place and contracts are on the way.
Natal's management, Dominance MMA, confirmed the fight earlier today via Twitter.
Jason Brilz Off UFC 122, New Signee Ferreira Likely Replacement
According to sources close to him, Jason Brilz is now off UFC 122 in Germany due to a back injury. He was to have faced Vladimir Matyushenko. Chute Boxe standout and Brazilian light heavyweight Alexandre Ferreira, who has now signed a multi-fight deal with UFC according to the TATAME, is the replacement. Ferreira is 18-6 career and mainly competes in World Vale Tudo Championships, an old-school style promotion in Brazil.
UFC 120 fight card again official with James McSweeney vs. Fabio Maldonado
The fight card for this month's "UFC 120: Bisping vs. Akiyama" event is again complete.
The 11-bout lineup is now finalized with the official addition of a light-heavyweight bout between "The Ultimate Fighter 10" cast member James McSweeney (4-5 MMA, 1-1 UFC) and UFC newcomer Fabio Maldonado (17-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC).
As MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) reported this past week, Maldonado replaced injured Tom Blackledge.
UFC 120 takes place Oct. 16 at The 02 in London. The event airs in the U.S. on Spike TV via same-day delay.
Ed Soares wants Aldo to fight Frankie Edgar
"To be honest with you, if you were to say, ‘What would be your dream fight for [Aldo]?' I think a dream fight for him, which I think would just be a fight that everyone would love to see, would be Frankie Edgar vs. Jose Aldo. That fight to me is the fight that everybody would want to see simply just because, not to disrespect anybody at the 155-pound division to think that Jose has the right to go up there without fighting in it, I just think that, as their styles, the way they match up, it would be one of the greatest fights of all-time, I think. It has the potential to be, just because of their styles."
Stefan Struve vs. Sean McCorkle targeted for UFC 124 in Montreal
Two very tall heavyweights are expected to clash during the UFC's fourth trip to Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned that 6-foot-11 Stefan Struve (20-4 MMA, 4-2 UFC) and 6-foot-7 Sean McCorkle (10-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) have agreed to meet at UFC 124, and bout agreements are expected to be finalized shortly.
Rich Franklin vs. Forrest Griffin targeted for UFC 127 on Super Bowl weekend
A light-heavyweight bout between former champions Rich Franklin (28-5 MMA, 13-4 UFC) and Forrest Griffin (17-6 MMA, 8-4 UFC) is being finalized for the UFC's Super Bowl weekend card in Las Vegas.
A source close to the negotiations today confirmed the tentative UFC 127 booking with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). MMAFighting.com first reported the matchup.
UFC 127 takes place Feb. 5 in Las Vegas.
Shane Carwin vs Roy Nelson targeted for UFC 125
It appears a heavyweight bout between Shane Carwin and Roy “Big Country” Nelson is being targeted for UFC 125, on January 01st, 2011.
Sources close to the bout have informed Sportsnet that the two heavyweights will lock horns on the main card of the UFC’s first show of the New Year.
Heavyweight Shane Carwin expects return at UFC 125 on Jan. 1
Former title challenger and current heavyweight Shane Carwin expects a return to the cage on Jan. 1.
Carwin today Tweeted his tentative booking for the first-of-the-year UFC 125 card, which takes place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
No opponent has been determined, according to Carwin.
However, he's expected to be a part of the night's pay-per-view main card.
Carwin (12-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC), 35, hasn't fought since UFC 116, when he suffered a second-round submission loss to heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar. Carwin nearly ended the fight in the first round with a vicious barrage of punches. However, Lesnar survived and then capitalized on a quickly fading Carwin to secure an arm-triangle choke and defend his title.
Prior to the loss, Carwin had posted 12 consecutive wins, all of which came via first-round stoppage. Knockouts of UFC fighters Christian Wellisch, Neil Wain, Gabriel Gonzaga and Frank Mir earned him a spot in the world's top-10 heavyweight rankings, where he still resides.
In the UFC, Threat of Being Cut Weighs Heavily on Fighters' Minds
Todd Duffee heard the rumors about a week before he heard the official word. There was chatter around the gym that he might be cut from the UFC. Fighters he knew who were under contract to other organizations started reaching out to him on behalf of their employers.
"I guess they had heard I'd already been cut," Duffee said. "That was the first I'd heard of it."
At first, he thought it was a joke. He'd suffered the first loss of his career at UFC 114 in May. Now it was early September. He felt sure these were just rumors, idle locker room chatter. Then he heard from his manager that the rumors were true, and that the UFC was releasing him from his contract.
UFC looking into India
The UFC’s head of international development is on his way to India.
Marshall Zelaznik, who is also the president of the UFC’s UK division, was spotted in London yesterday emerging from the Indian Consulate’s visa applications department. A fan recognised Zelaznik and tipped Fighters Only off. We were subsequently able to obtain confirmation from the UFC’s London office that he is going to India “soon”.