Kurt Pellegrino: UFC Comeback Kid
Whoever coined the phrase “you can never go home again” never met Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight Kurt Pellegrino.
After a few years fighting out of Florida with mixed results, Pellegrino relocated back to his native New Jersey and has been on a tear, impressively dispatching Thiago Tavares and Rob Emerson en route to a two-fight winning streak.
Rules Shift Jeopardizes UFC 97 in Montreal
The UFC’s second trip to Montreal is in jeopardy following a decision by the Quebec Boxing Commission this week to adhere to regulations that prohibit elbow and knee strikes and other standard MMA moves.
Sportsnet.ca was the first to report on the story on Thursday.
Nearly 13,000 tickets have been sold for UFC 97 “Redemption,” scheduled to take place at the Bell Centre in Montreal on April 18, according to Marc Ratner, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for the UFC. The show, which pits middleweight champion Anderson Silva against jiu-jitsu ace Thales Leites, may face tough choices in the coming days though.
The UFC broke attendance and box office records with its first event on Canadian soil 10 months ago, though that show was regulated under rules more akin to the unified rules of combat recognized throughout North America.
From 2000-2008, the Universal Combat Challenge, later renamed TKO, held 44 of its 46 events in Quebec under similar regulations as well.
But now Québécois officials are saying the province does not have the latitude to allow those or any other set of regulations outside of the ones they already have in place.
“We had a tolerance for the application of the rules in the past,” Réjean Thériault, director of communications for the combat sports division of the Governing Body of Alcohol, Races and Games of Quebec (RACJ), which oversees the commission, told Shedog.com on Thursday. “We learned today that we had a place for tolerance and we didn’t know. Now we know the rules under which to live. We informed all the promoters last week that they must now respect the rules of Quebec.”
Wanderlei Silva is ready for the move to 185
Quinton Jackson, Chuck Liddell, and Keith Jardine are all fighters that Wanderlei Silva has faced since returning to the UFC. They are also all light heavyweight fighters that, when they are not fighting, walk around well above the 205-pound limit of the weight class.
What weight does Silva walk around at outside of the Octagon?
Try 208 pounds.
It's no surprise then that "The Axe Murderer's" recent UFC record is 1-2 against that cast of characters. He doesn't pawn off his losses to the disparity in size, though.
"I think it is the technique," Silva told MMAWeekly.com, saying that he lowered his hand against Jackson at UFC 92 and the former UFC light heavyweight champion took advantage.
He does realize, however, that contrary to popular belief size does matter. He's ready to drop down and see if he is a fit in the middleweight division.
"Yeah, I could try because every guy in my division have to cut to 205 and my normal is 208. I'm going to test now... I'm going to cut my weight. Maybe I go to fight in my next fight at 185," says Silva. Always toeing the company line, he's not ready to make a permanent move, adding, "I could fight in both divisions; I could fight 185 and 205."
It's not something that he jumped into overnight. Silva has been talking about 185 for a long time, but it looks like the UFC is ready for the move, too. "I've been lots and lots of thinking about this now, I see what (UFC president) Dana (White) wants. What he wants (me) to fight, no problem. I talk with (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva and... say no problem, I'm down for 185? He say, no problem."
Sanchez: ''Weight Cut Hasn't Been Easy''
Diego Sanchez says he is having some difficulty cutting down to 155lbs for his UFC lightweight division debut next week.
Sanchez, who will face Joe Stevenson at UFC 95, revealed this evening that he is eating 1,100 calories a day at present and has had to cut carbs from his diet.
“This weight cut hasn’t been easy,” laughed Sanchez, who minutes earlier had been sitting in a sauna to lose some water.
“But the reason I went to 155 is, it’s a challenge, and I knew that it was going to take a lot of discipline. I was 193lbs on Christmas Eve, so I’ve dropped about 30lbs up to now.
Brian Cobb In For Justin Bucholz @ UFC 95
Riding a nine-fight winning streak, Palace Fighting Championship lightweight titleholder Brian Cobb is stepping in on short notice to face Terry Etim at UFC 95 on Feb. 21 in London, according to a report on Sherdog.com.
Justin Buchholz was originally slated to fight Etim, but had to withdraw after he stricken with a severe staph infection on his arm.
Evans addresses 'worse than Tito' comments by Whitehead
Fighter alum Mike Whitehead poured gasoline on the fire by comparing Evans to Tito Ortiz saying that he's terrible for the sport. Evans has been consistent in saying he's unphased by the criticisim and told Cage Writer there may be an additional reason for Whitehead's anger:
"About three weeks before that I get a call from coach he says 'what do you think about Mike Whitehead coming to train with us Jackson's Gym? Well he wants to be part of the team, he's sick of it over at Couture's'. And now after the fight he says this."
Nogueira vs. Couture Still Possible for June
Although Randy Couture turned down the fight offer last month, opting instead to have a pair of large bone spurs in his elbow removed, it appears "Captain America" could still collide with the UFC's other recently dethroned Heavyweight Champion in June at the company's German debut. After losing his UFC Interim Heavyweight Title to Frank Mir at UFC 92, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira remained in the United States in order to have knee surgery last Saturday, February 7th, according to a new interview with "Minotauro's" Muay Thai coach Luiz Alves
UFC Signs Another Heavyweight
Todd Dufee, a 23-year-old Heavyweight with a 5-0 record, has now been signed by UFC. Dufee trains with Antonio Silva and most recently beat former UFC fighter Assuerio Silva in September.
DIEGO SANCHEZ DROP TO 155 NOT PERMANENT
When the announcement was made that perennial Top 10 welterweight Diego Sanchez was making a move to lightweight just about every fighter at 155 pounds took immediate notice. From top contenders on down, Sanchez is gunning for the best fighters in the world at lightweight, but as he told MMAWeekly Radio recently, his run at 170 isn't finished either.
Always known for his tremendous strength and cardio conditioning, Sanchez will not accept a loss in either of those categories for his move to lightweight, which may not last as long as some people may have expected.
"I definitely am going to go back to welterweight. Maybe a year, year and a half at this weight, we'll see," he said in the interview. "It's all about the business and the right fights, whatever are the best fights for the UFC. I'm here to put the best fights on for the fans and the UFC, and be the best fighter out there that I can be for you guys."
The New Mexico born fighter attributes the move to lightweight as something he felt necessary at this point in his career, but as he ages, he believes that 170 will be his home once again.
"I'm 27 now, so I'm only in my twenties. When I come into my thirties it's going to be a lot harder to make that weight drop, so I said hey go for the belt at 155 and then later on in my career, I can go for the belt at 170," commented Sanchez.
Injury forces Shannon Gugerty off UFC 95 card
With the UFC's next trip to the U.K. growing closer, an injury has forced two-time UFC veteran Shannon Gugerty (11-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) off of the "UFC 95: Sanchez vs. Stevenson" preliminary card.
Gugerty was originally scheduled to face U.K. product Jeff Lawson (12-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) in a bout that may simply be scratched from the card.
"[Gugerty] has a herniated disc in his neck that was giving him pain in his shoulder blade and arm," Clark said. "I think it's between his C6 and C7 discs. It's giving him pain down his arm. He's just got to recover from that."
Amir Sadollah recovering from surgery, planning drop to 170 pounds
For Amir Sadollah (1-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), his UFC dream has become a nightmare.
The improbable winner of "The Ultimate Fighter 7" hasn't fought since his June 2008 professional debut against C.B. Dollaway. After pulling out of his UFC 94 bout with Nick Catone -- the second-straight fight for which Sadollah was a late scratch -- the 28-year-old admits he might have to make some changes moving forward.
Josh Koscheck doesn’t care about Paulo Thiago
I really don’t know anything about him. To be honest with you, I don’t even know what he looks like. I’ve never seen video on him, nothing. For me, it’s a fight. I expect to go in there and fight and just do what I do, which is win. I just don’t even care to look. I don’t care to watch [him]. I don’t watch video on any of my opponents. For me it’s just another fight. I’m sure he’s a tough opponent, but he hasn’t fought in the UFC yet. This will be his first opportunity to fight somebody really tough.
Josh Koscheck Talks UFC 95, Weighs In On GSP Greasing Allegations
Josh Koscheck knows he’s not your favorite UFC fighter. But you know something? He doesn’t really care. The way he sees it, his job is to fight, and win, as often as possible. After a highlight reel knockout of Yoshiyuki Yoshida at the UFC’s “Fight for the Troops,” he looks to continue he winning streak at UFC 95 next Saturday against Octagon newcomer and undefeated Brazilian fighter Paulo Thiago.
In our exclusive interview, Koscheck discusses his next fight, his career, and what he makes of the Georges St. Pierre greasing allegations.
CagePotato.com: Thanks for talking with me Josh. What do you know about your opponent on the 21st, Paulo Thiago?
I really don’t know anything about him. To be honest with you, I don’t even know what he looks like. I’ve never seen video on him, nothing. For me, it’s a fight. I expect to go in there and fight and just do what I do, which is win.
Is the reason you haven’t seen any video on him because you can’t find any, or because you don’t care to look?
I just don’t even care to look. I don’t care to watch it. I don’t watch video on any of my opponents. For me it’s just another fight. I fight tough guys every single day at the gym. I got a couple guys in the top ten in the weight class, like Jon Fitch and Mike Swick, plus the other guys from other weight classes at our gym. I’m just looking for another good fight. I’m sure he’s a tough opponent, but he hasn’t fought in the UFC yet. This will be his first opportunity to fight somebody really tough.
Do you think it’s strange that after your big knockout of Yoshida, the UFC gives you an opponent most people have never heard of, who’s making his debut?
Not really. Like I told the UFC, I’ll fight anybody at any time. I don’t care who it is, where it’s at, if the fights are three weeks apart from each other. I just want to fight as much as I can.
Brandon Wolff vs Yoshiyuki Yoshida For UFC 98
Mixed Martial Arts Development (MMAD) coach and fighter Brandon Wolff (7-3) will return to the Octagon against Japanese import Yoshiyuki “Zenko” Yoshida at UFC 98 on May 23 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada according to MMAHawaii.com.
Wolff made his UFC debut last December at UFC Fight Night 16 ‘Fight for the Troops,’ receiving a very rude welcome from Ben Saunders via gruesome Thai clinch. The “Killa-B” blasted Wolff in the clinch with a series of damaging knees that left the Hawaiian barely recognizable.