UFC's Jake Ellenberger wants top-10 opponent but open to John Howard rematch
SAN DIEGO – While Jake Ellenberger thinks his victory over John Howard opens the door to a fight with a top-10 welterweight, he's happy to run it back with Howard.
Ellenberger (23-5 MMA, 2-1 UFC) earned a TKO victory in San Diego on Sunday at UFC on Versus 2 after the cageside doctor ruled Howard (14-5 MMA, 4-1 UFC) unable to continue due to a swollen-shut left eye.
"I got the win, which is nice, obviously, but that's not the way you want to win – having the ref stop it like it was," Ellenberger said. "I'd love to do it again."
Jon Jones Wants Top 3 Opponent Next But Will Settle For Toney
While Vladimir Matyushenko, Brandon Vera and even Matt Hamill might disagree, Jon Jones has a shocking message for everyone in the UFC's light heavyweight division: "Bones" is just playing a game. Sure, that game generally involves the reconstruction of at least some part of his opponents' faces, but to Jones, it's all about fun. Oh, and guess what heavyweights – you're not off the hook either. So the sky now truly seems to be the limit, and Jones is beginning to – in typically humble fashion, of course – imagine himself as a two-division athlete. And after finding himself on the receiving end of some perhaps ill-placed trash talk in recent days, the admittedly sensitive Jones already has a target in mind for his first trip above the 205-pound limit. "Randy Couture, he bumps up to heavyweight all the time, and he always looks very impressive against the slower guy," Jones said. "And now I actually have a heavyweight that I wouldn't mind fighting. That's James Toney – 'Mr. I'm going to slap Jon in the face.' I'd bump up for that fight any day."
If Dana Comes Calling, Okami "Ready For The Challenge" Of Title Shot
Yushin Okami has been the bridesmaid for long enough. "Thunder" is ready to get his due. OK, so the always respectful Japanese contender didn't exactly issue a challenge to UFC brass following his UFC on Versus 2 victory over Mark Munoz, but Okami did say he's up for the task of a long-discussed title shot. "Obviously, we all fight to be champions," Okami told MMAjunkie.com through an interpreter. "I think that I'm ready to go." Dana White told Versus' "The Daily Line" this past week that a victory would go a long way toward putting the 29-year-old in the middleweight title mix. "Winning this fight would be big," White said. "I say it all the time, you know, Yushin Okami is one of the best 185-pounders in the world and has been for a while. This guy's due for a title shot." And with fellow top contender Belcher forced out of a planned September contest with recent title challenger Demian Maia due to injury, could Okami leapfrog "The Talent" for a spot behind Vitor Belfort in line for the middleweight title? Okami refused to play matchmaker, but after hearing of White's comments, he said he'd enjoy seeing what might happen. "I'm honored that [White] would say that, and I hope that I'm up to the challenge if I'm given the opportunity," Okami said. "It's nice that he thinks I am [ready], and if I'm given the opportunity, we shall see."
UFC on Versus 2 quick results
Jon Jones def. Vladimir Matyushenko via TKO (strikes) - Round 1, 1:52
Yushin Okami def. Mark Munoz via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Jake Ellenberger def. John Howard via TKO (eye injury) - Round 3, 2:21
Takanori Gomi def. Tyson Griffin via KO (punch) - Round 1, 1:04
Jacob Volkmann def. Paul Kelly via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Matt Riddle def. DaMarques Johnson via TKO - Round 2, 4:29
Igor Pokrajac def. James Irvin via submission (rear-naked choke) - Round 1, 2:29
Brian Stann def. Mike Massenzio via submission (triangle choke) - Round 3, 3:10
Charles Oliveira def. Darren Elkins via submission (armbar) - Round 1, 0:41
Rob Kimmons def. Steve Steinbeiss via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
UFC on Versus 2 fighter bonuses
SAN DIEGO – Takanori Gomi, Charles Oliveira, Brian Stann and Mike Massenzio each earned $40,000 fight-night bonuses for their performances at Sunday's UFC on Versus 2 event.
Gomi earned the "Knockout of the Night" award, Oliveira picked up the "Submission of the Night" bonus, and Stann and Massenzio earned "Fight of the Night" honors.
Alan Belcher Off UFN 22
Next month's UFC Fight Night 22 event has lost its headlining fight. Alan Belcher is now off due to a detached retina in his right eye. He was to have faced Demian Maia, who he campaigned for a fight against. A replacement search is underway. According to Belcher, he began losing vision in his right eye, consulted doctors and recently underwent surgery in Alabama. He's now prohibited from contact sparring for six weeks, though he said he hopes to attend UFN 22.
James Toney Plans To Slap Jon Jones
Well, this just keeps getting uglier. Professional boxer and UFC newcomer James Toney called out light heavyweight prospect Jon Jones in a recent interview with FightHype, resorting to juvenile name calling and hurling baseless allegations that likely won't make company president Dana White very happy. Toney is booked to battle Randy Couture at UFC 118 at the end of August, but he has called out just about everyone, including Brock Lesnar, who has been skeptical about his success inside the Octagon.
Dana: There Is No Way Rua Returns In December
Apparently injured Mauricio Rua wants to return from knee surgery in December. Only one problem with that: Dana White, who said no to that...and perhaps to the dismay of Rashad Evans, also said no interim title. "This kid keeps pushing it to get out there faster and faster. I completely respect him for that. He's an animal. I love it. But there's no way he's going to be ready by December. People keep asking why he's had so many knee surgeries. That's exactly why he's had that many knee surgeries. I doubt [there will be an interim title]. When we did the belt for Brock Lesnar, we didn't know if Brock was ever going to come back or if he'd be out for a year or two. No interim title. We know this kid is coming back. He's already had the surgery. He knows exactly the date he can come back." Which could be as far out as June '11.
Dana: I Think It's Time Okami Got A Title Shot
Yes, Dana White actually is pulling a Lyoto Machida of sorts again with regards to perhaps his Middleweight counterpart. He made this comment recently on the Versus sports talk show The Daily Line: "I think it's time this guy gets a title shot; he's been here a long time." Okami is 8-2 in UFC with the only losses coming to Rich Franklin & Chael Sonnen. He next faces Mark Munoz Sunday at UFC On Versus 2, but the fight hasn't been confirmed as being a #1 contender's fight.
Will You Forget That Tyson Griffin Lost To Evan Dunham If He Beats Takanori Gomi?
Griffin sure hopes so. "I was actually the one that let the UFC know that I was ready to get back in there right away if any of the upcoming lightweights fighting got injured, so I was ready, stayed in shape and got back in the gym a week after the (UFC 115) fight and kept the ball rolling. I don't really need much time to prepare. It's not like Gomi's got anything spectacular about him. He's just a hard-nosed fighter and aggressive. I've dealt with that a lot. I think that's a perfect matchup for me. (It’s) not necessarily the loss, (I’m) just disappointed with my performance and just making simple mistakes ... I'd rather be beaten than lose the fight and I feel like I lost the fight against Dunham just being stupid and forcing myself out of similar positions when he's on my back and kind of expecting him to choose a different option and him going for something else. I want to erase that out of my head and the fans’ memories as well."
Ben Rothwell Has ACL Surgery, Out 9 Months
UFC heavyweight Ben Rothwell sat at UFC 115's post-fight podium and made no excuses. He had won a unanimous decision over Gilbert Yvel on the June 12 event's pay-per-view card but said it was "not a victory" for the fight's lack of finish. He chose not to disclose that he had torn his ACL on the first takedown of the three-round contest. Rothwell on Tuesday underwent surgery to repair both his ACL and a torn meniscus and hopes to be back in action by February or March of 2011.
Dana Confirms Dos Santos-Nelson Winner Gets Title Shot
As has been expected for some time, the winner of the upcoming Junior Dos Santos-Roy Nelson fight will indeed get a UFC Heavyweight Title shot following the upcoming Brock Lesnar-Cain Velasquez title fight. Dana White made the official announcement on the latest episode of ESPN's MMA Live.
UFC Sues Bellator & Fighter Agent
Zuffa LLC, the parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship and World Extreme Cagefighting, has filed suit against Ken Pavia, one of the sport’s most prominent fighter agents, alleging Pavia passed along trade secrets and confidential Zuffa documents to rival mixed martial arts promotion Bellator. The suit alleges that Bellator used the documents to help run its business. Pavia is the founder of MMA Agents and represents in excess of 50 fighters, more than 40 of whom are now or have been in the past under contract to Zuffa. Bellator, which is a co-defendant, is a fledgling MMA promotional company that has earned rave reviews for the entertaining fights it made during its first two seasons, which were broadcast initially on ESPN Deportes and then on FOX Sports Net, among other networks.
Jason MacDonald cleared to train, anticipates December return
UFC middleweight Jason MacDonald (24-14 MMA, 5-6 UFC) on Tuesday had two three-inch screws removed his ankle and was cleared for light training.
MacDonald suffered a broken tibula, a dislocated ankle and bone and ligament damage when John Salter took him down in the first round of their fight at UFC 113.
Jon Jones attributes success to sheltered upbringing
"My parents always kept us in the house. We weren't allowed to spend the night at other people's houses. We were sheltered kids. Now all the discipline that was instilled in me is coming out; I'm naturally doing all the right things."
Those Christian values were taught to Jones long before he could walk. Jones, like his brothers Arthur Jones Jr. (a defensive tackle with the Baltimore Ravens) and Chandler Jones (a defensive end at Syracuse), was introduced to biblical teachings as an infant.
Ricardo Almeida Will Choke Out Anyone From Matt Hughes To His Own Momma
Yes, he actually said that he would choke out his own mother. Just part of his "nothing personal, it's just business" take on his upcoming UFC 117 match with Hughes. "People say that he’s slowed down—and he’s had some hiccups here and there—but at welterweight he’s really only lost to Georges St-Pierre. His fight with Thiago Alves wasn’t really at welterweight. I’m watching video on this guy and watching his fights and I’m thinking like, what are all of these people watching. It’s MMA; when you win, you’re the greatest and when you lose, you’re done. It just so happens that he has beaten a couple of guys from my team—actually, I felt that Matt Serra won his fight, but hey, I’m biased. I was in the corner with Renzo [at UFC 112] and it was very emotional to see the way that it ended, so I asked Joe Silva for that fight right away and they gave me my wish. It’s just extra motivation, but whether I like or dislike Matt Hughes doesn’t really make a difference. If it was my mother in there, I’d be trying to choke her out and I expect nothing less from my opponent."
Baroni off 118, collarbone UPDATE: Dan Miller steps up
UFC welterweight Phil Baroni (13-12 MMA, 3-6 UFC) is out of next month's UFC 118 event and his fight with John Salter (5-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) due to a collarbone injury.
Baroni's agent, Ken Pavia of MMAAgents.com, today confirmed the news with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
"He suffered a minor injury that interrupted his preparations," Pavia said. "It's not going to be a long-term problem."