Rumble Exclusive: Jon Jones Interview
he 22-year-old New York native and former junior college national wrestling champion burst onto the scene in January, when he floored Stephan Bonnar with an unorthodox spinning back elbow and then tossed the respected veteran all over the cage en route to a unanimous decision win at UFC 94. After choking out Jake O'Brien at UFC 100, the undefeated Jones (9-0) is now set for his first main event appearance, against Matt Hamill at the live finale of "The Ultimate Fighter" season 10 next Saturday.
Anderson Silva's recovery slow, not fighting Vitor Belfort at UFC 109
Scratch one more title fight for the UFC.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned from sources close to the organization that a planned bout between UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort will not take place on Feb. 6.
Silva's has bone chips removed from his right elbow in October, and the joint has reportedly proved slow to heal.
Sources close to the situation informed MMAjunkie.com that "The Spider" might not be ready to fight until April, though Silva's manager, Ed Soares, wasn't immediately available for comment.
Silva and Belfort were originally slated for UFC 108 on Jan. 2, but that date was also nixed due to the elbow surgery.
Mark Coleman Official For UFC 109 Fight With Couture
The expected Mark Coleman-Randy Couture fight scheduled for UFC 109 is now half-official. It was confirmed today that Coleman has signed his bout agreement for the contest according to Coleman's sponsor. Couture has verbally agreed to the fight already but no word on if he's signed the paperwork yet.
White prepared to call M-1 Global's bluff of free Lesnar vs. Emelianenko bout
Earlier this month, M-1 Global exec Jerry Millen made waves by claiming Fedor Emelianenko would be willing to fight Brock Lesnar for free.
UFC president Dana White recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) that he's prepared to call Millen's bluff.
"They'll do the fight for free?" White asked. "That's [expletive] weird because I offered them millions of dollars to take the fight and he didn't take it. Now [Emelianenko] wants to fight for free? When and where? I'd love him to fight for free.
"I'll make that [expletive] fight right now for free. Let's do it."
UFC Returns To Newark, NJ On March 27
Although the event hasn't been announced and the exact date isn't official, the latest word on UFC's return to Newark, NJ in March '10 is that it will be March 27, not earlier dates as previously thought. This means the event likely will be UFC 112 instead of UFC 111, and is expected to be headlined by Georges St. Pierre vs. Dan Hardy for the UFC Welterweight Championship.
Wanderlei: "I fight anyone, the UFC don't need to offer me second options"
Wanderlei Silva has explained to Fighters Only how he came to be matched with Mike Bisping instead of Yoshihiro Akiyama for UFC Australia. The Brazilian legend agreed to the match yesterday and says as far as he knows, Bisping has also assented.
“Joe Silva called me yesterday and he said he is thinking maybe he will change my opponent to Bisping. I think this is great as he won his last fight [with Denis Kang] very well and it is a good match for both of us,” he explained. “Akiyama is a great fighter but he has not fought much over here [in the USA] and is not so well known, Bisping has a very big name over here, so I am thinking it’s a very good match for me.”
But Silva literally cannot believe that there are people on MMA forums suggesting he ducked Michael Bisping at UFC 105, having surgery on his scar tissue to avoid meeting him in Manchester. Asked by our man in Las Vegas, Gary Alexander, if there was any truth to such talk, , Silva looked incredulous, then burst out laughing.
“I fought CroCop two times, I fought Mark Hunt, Rampage Jackson three times, Dan Henderson twice, Chuck Liddell… I am going to be afraid of Michael Bisping? Stop the jokes!” he cried, bursting into laughter.
Matt Brown wants fight with Renzo Gracie
Coming off of yet another exciting performance, defeating Ultimate Fighter winner James Wilks, Ultimate Fighter alumnus Matt "The Immortal" Brown is looking to take a little down time for the holidays and then would like to return to fight a legend in his next fight.
The Ohio native and recent transplant to Seattle, Wash., is heading home to spend time with the family first, and then head back to camp for his next fight.
Forrest Griffin doesn't envy mma judges
Forrest Griffin rebounded from back-to-back losses by defeating Tito Ortiz in the UFC 106 main event by split decision, spoiling “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy’s” Octagon return.
“I thought I won,” Griffin told MMAWeekly.com content partner TapouT Radio.
The win avenged a previous split decision loss to Ortiz at UFC 59 in April of 2006, but Griffin admits judging mixed martial arts is not easy.
“Judging is hard. I’ll give them a pass,” said “The Ultimate Fighter” season 1 winner. “I think fighting is easier than judging or refereeing.”
Jon Jones is going to get funky on Matt Hamill for Greg Jackson
... they’re attacking my main weaknesses. Greg is big on getting his athletes to close up their gaps. My jiu-jitsu has to be my weakest department so he's trying to close that hole up. I've been doing a lot of wrestling and a lot of jiu-jitsu.... It's amazing. It's just a total reality check on how not good I actually am. You know what I mean? I go from a school (in New York) where I beat up everyone, and now I get tapped out and guys try to kick my head off. It's an everyday thing. It's just a big reality check in how much work I actually have to do still.... One thing about Greg Jackson is that he sees who I am and he respects who I am and he allows me to be who I am. He tells me every day, 'I love your creativity, Jon. I want more of that. What is that called? Do more of that funky thing.' He loves it. The only thing he forces is for me to be able to push the pace. Instead of one flying knee, he wants six flying knees per round. Instead of a few jabs, he wants 20 jabs per round. He wants combinations, he wants punches in bunches. He wants (me) to use the base of (conventional) fighting to set up the funkiness. He embraces it, he just wants me to take pride in this new set of lungs that I have."
Worth a read!
Rich Franklin: I fought Vitor and Wandy to help them transition to middleweight
"The UFC asked me to fight the catchweight fights to help Silva and Belfort make the drop down to 185 pounds. But now I’ve lost my ranking at 185 and 205. It’s crazy — I can headline a card and not be top-10 ranked. I took the Belfort fight because Dana called and asked me, even though I wasn’t quite where I needed to be physically or mentally. Now, I’m not making excuses, that’s just the nature of the fight game. But now I’m taking some time off and probably won’t fight again until April or May. I need to rest and relax and recover a little bit and I also hate prepping for a fight in the wintertime. Cincinnati can get pretty cold and I hate running and working out when the temperature is always zero.”
Georges St-Pierre says path to history doesn't necessarily lead to Anderson Silva
Canadian Georges St-Pierre (19-2 MMA, 12-2 UFC) is already considered among the world's current top pound-for-pound fighters, but that's not enough for the UFC's welterweight champ.
"When I retire, I want to be known as the best fighter in the history of the sport of MMA, pound-for-pound, of all time," St-Pierre recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
And while many fans hope to see St-Pierre take on current middleweight champ Anderson Silva at some point in his career, "GSP" believes he doesn't necessarily need to make the jump to middleweight to secure his spot in history.
"To reach that goal (of being the best fighter in history), of course I'm going to have to beat some of the best guys in the sport," St-Pierre said. "Of course Silva is one of them. B.J. Penn was one of them. But this fight (with Silva) is not written in stone. One of us can lose a fight, and if one of us loses a fight, the interest of the fight will diminish considerably."
After latest win, Billy Evangelista eyeing title shot
With an undefeated record and a recent upset victory over UFC veteran Jorge Gurgel at "Strikeforce Challengers IV: Evangelista vs. Gurgel," Strikeforce contender Billy Evangelista (10-0) is quickly climbing the ranks of the promotion's lightweight division.
And after earning a hard-fought win over a "name" opponent, Evangelista recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) that he plans on challenging soon for the organization's lightweight strap.
"I feel that Jorge Gurgel was a big catch for me, and it definitely gave me a big confidence boost winning that fight," Evangelista said. "I would love to take a shot at the title."
Hard work pays off for Dan Hardy
in an age where hundreds of fighters are under contract with the ufc, dan hardy’s short road to a title shot is somewhat of an anomaly.
In an age where hundreds of fighters are under contract with the UFC, Dan Hardy’s short road to a title shot is somewhat of an anomaly.
Maybe not for heavyweight, but for welterweight, one of the most talent-laden divisions in the sport, four fights to a title shot is lickety split. Just ask Lyoto Machida.
Then again, it’s also a testament to the dominance of champion Georges St-Pierre. The French-Canadian has pretty much cleaned out the division, and many thought to be rightful heirs to contendership have stumbled upon each other.
Cain Velasquez:The Last Man Standing
At this point, Cain Velasquez might be the only healthy fighter on the UFC’s heavyweight roster.Velasquez, 27, has seen the division’s landscape alter drastically since his dominating TKO win over Ben Rothwell at UFC 104.The American Kickboxing Academy fighter’s peers – Brock Lesnar, Shane Carwin, and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira – have all been shelved due to injuries or illness, the last of which robbed him of a possible contender slot when Nogueira got a staph infection and withdrew from their meeting at UFC 108.
Wanderlei Silva: “I'll kick Bisping's ass"
Wanderlei Silva was scheduled to face Yoshohiro Akyiama at UFC 110, but the UFC matchmakers changed plans. In a video, posted yesterday in his website, “The Axe Murderer” confirmed the fight against Michael Bisping, and promised to be back with victories. “The fans keep asking this, and I don’t know what it really means, but I’ll kick Bisping’s ass”, Silva said, in the video below.
Report: Elvis Sinosic meets Chris Haseman at UFC 110 in Australia
"The King of Rock n Rumble" will reportedly fight again for the UFC.
Longtime MMA veteran Elvis Sinosic (8-11-2 MMA, 1-6 UFC) meets countryman Chris Haseman (20-16 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at UFC 110 in Australia according to a report from the Brisbane Times.
The UFC has yet to officially schedule any contests for the as-yet-unannounced event, which is expected to take place Feb. 21 at Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) could not immediately verify the report.
Despite limited success in the octagon, Sinosic fights for the eighth time inside of the octagon. The 38-year-old defeated Jeremy Horn in his 2001 debut for the promotion at "UFC 30: Battle in the Boardwalk," though Sinosic then lost three-straight bouts to Tito Ortiz, Evan Tanner and Renato "Babalu" Sobral.
Georges St. Pierre vs. Dan Hardy targeted for UFC 111 in New Jersey
Georges St-Pierre (19-2 MMA, 13-2 UFC) will put his welterweight title on the line against British challenger Dan Hardy (23-6 MMA, 4-0 UFC) at the as-yet-unannounced event, according to a report by AOL FanHouse.
The New Jersey event is expected to take place at the Prudential Center, which was home to UFC 78 in November 2007, and presumably would be dubbed UFC 111.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Cain Velasquez targeted for UFC 110 in Australia
A highly anticipated heavyweight matchup between Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (32-5-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) and Cain Velasquez (7-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) may take place Down Under.
Despite reports circulating today that Nogueira and Velasquez will meet at UFC 109 in Las Vegas, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned from sources close to the organization that the UFC is actually leaning toward booking the fight for UFC 110 in Australia.
Verbal agreements are in place for the contest, though bout agreements have not yet been finalized.
Bisping looks to bring in “Rampage” as his secret weapon
Speaking from his home in the UK, Bisping said when asked about his preparations:
Fingers crossed we’re going to get “Rampage” out for the training camp as well. Obviously that’s not confirmed yet but we’re going to work on that and hopefully we can get “Rampage” over for the camp. Obviously after fighting him three times no one’s going to know him better than “Rampage” so I should have a definite insight into Wanderlei.”