Move Over Rich Franklin, The UFC May Have A New Company Man
And it's...Chris Leben? Seems he wants to get on the good side of the Zuffa brass, at least based on his latest comments posted on BJ Penn's website. "The UFC called me and they said Wanderlei was hurt and they want me to fight Akiyama ... At first I said no because I woke up in the morning, my phone was ringing and I was sore and it doesn’t make sense to take a fight when you’re not prepared and training for it. But then as I thought about it, you know, I’m a fighter, this is what I do. Why would I not take a great opportunity? It would be stupid of me. Not to mention that but I want to be a company man with the UFC, I want them to be happy with me. I don’t know a ton about Akiyama. My coach knows a bunch, but we haven’t even had a chance to talk much about our game plan. I saw him fight Alan Belcher and to be honest with you, I thought he lost that fight. He’s a good Judo guy, he’s got great Judo, fast kicks, maybe not the most power in the world. He’s a little bit shorter than me but he’s a good strong guy. I think that utilizing my skills, keeping it on the feet and clubbing him in the head with my left shouldn’t be too much of a problem."
A Fight With Kurt Pellegrino is A Step In The Right Direction For George Sotiropoulos
In a battle of emerging lightweight stars at UFC 116 between George Sotiropoulos and Kurt Pellegrino, one man figures to propel himself into the top five of the division with a win. The Australian-bred Sotiropoulos looked great in completely dismantling Joe Stevenson back at UFC 110 while "Batman" has been on a four-fight tear. Though George sees similarities in Stevenson and Pellegrino, he admits this fight is definitely a step up in competition as well as a step in the right direction of one day achieving his ultimate goal.
After Years Of Fighting, Wanderlei Silva's Body Made Him Stop This Time
And in comments about the broken ribs that ultimately forced him out of his UFC 116 fight with Yoshihiro Akiyama, he also revealed a knee injury he was working through and how disappointed he is about having to withdraw from the fight. "I went through a very tense and difficult weekend and had a very hard decision. Two weeks ago I felt pain in my knee while I was training wrestling. I had an MRI of my knee and three doctors told me my knee was torn. I took medicine to help with the pain, and although my knee felt loose, I said 'no,' this date is very important to me and I continued training. Last Friday, during sparring, I injured my rib. It was very painful and the next day I had an x-ray and an MRI. I discovered I had three broken ribs. After years of fighting, my body made me stop this time. This is a very, very, very hard moment for me. This was a fight I really, really desired. You cannot imagine how much I wanted to fight on this card. It was my birthday, I had friends and family from Brazil and around the world coming to see me and now I cannot fight. I apologize to my opponent. I hope that I can fight with you in the future. You are an amazing fighter."
Chris Leben replaces Wandi
Fresh off a dominant win at The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale, Chris Leben (20-6 MMA, 10-5 UFC) has agreed to replace injured Wanderlei Silva (33-10-1 MMA, 3-5 UFC) and fight Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-1-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) in the co-headliner of next week's UFC 116 event.
A source close to the event told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) Leben has agreed to the bout and is expected to sign shortly.
Leben scored a second-round TKO of Aaron Simpson on Saturday, and if signed, his fight with Akiyama will take place after a mere 12-day layoff.
Wanderlei Silva Pulls Out of UFC 116 bout.
Wanderlei Silva, who was scheduled to meet Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 116 on July 3, has been forced to withdraw from the card due to fractured ribs suffered in training, UFC president Dana White confirmed with MMA Fighting Tuesday afternoon.
Akiyama, who defeated Alan Belcher in his UFC debut last July, will still fight on the card, and according to White, the organization is currently working on signing his replacement. No word just yet on who that might be.
Silva (33-10-1) is 2-3 inside the octagon. He most recently defeated Michael Bisping at UFC 110 in Sydney, Australia.
Share17 UFC 116 is headlined by Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin for the undisputed heavyweight title.
Fedor Became A Thorn In UFC's Side
So he says. "UFC is a money making machine. The most important thing for this organization is a brand and it's marketing. They have a couple of good fighters and there are also some very good champions; but they are trying to keep everyone at the same level. The most important thing for them is the promotion, not the fighters. I think that they lack a respect for their fighters. As for me, I became a thorn in their side... We are constantly negotiating, but only during recent time the Americans began to show some respect. The dialogue between us is completely different right now. They are more interested in our opinion."
Brendan Schaub Believes Speed Will Kill Against Chris Tuchscherer At UFC 116
The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finalist Brendan Schaub talked to Larry Pepe of Pro MMA Radio about his upcoming fight against Chris Tuchscherer, which is set to take place on Spike TV's UFC 116 "Prelims Live" broadcast before the event goes live on pay-per-view. Schaub feels as though his advantages in the speed and cardio departments are what is going to be the deciding factor in this fight. Schaub will probably be 15-20 pounds smaller than Tuchscherer going into the fight.
Dana White on GSP-Silva: 'I Guess I'm Gonna Have to Do It'
UFC President Dana White says that so many UFC fans are asking him about welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre fighting middleweight champion Anderson Silva that he may soon have no choice but to put the fight together.
"People ask me that all the time," White told Dan LeBatard, via Sports Radio Interviews. "This is what I believe. I believe my job is to put on fights that people want to see. I keep hearing that and enough people want to see it. I guess I'm gonna have to do it."
Fedor & His "Lunatics" Don't Want To Do Business-We Gotta Get Over It
Those "lunatics" Dana White refers to in a radio interview in Miami are Strikeforce, and it simply means no Fedor in UFC. At least while he's there. "[Co-promotion with them] will never happen in a million years. [Strikeforce is] a minor league. Listen I have come to the realization and everyone else needs to too that Fedor (Emelianenko) doesn’t want to fight the best guys in the world. Believe me when I tell you guys I have done everything in my power, I have flown to crazy parts of the world, done all this stuff, been on the phone for hours, not hung out with my kids on weekends because I’m on the phone with these lunatics and just can’t make the deal. They don’t want to do it so we gotta get over it.
McSweeney's Camp Wants TUF 11 Finale Loss Overturned, NSAC Head Responds
James McSweeney's representative contends that his fighter was hit with several illegal elbows during a loss to Travis Browne this past Saturday at The Ultimate Fighter 11 finale. Lex McMahon, McSweeney's manager, today said that he intends to file an appeal this week with the Nevada State Athletic Commission. However, NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer said he does not believe Browne committed any fouls during the bout, which took place in a preliminary-card bout at the The Pearl at the Palms Resort Casino in Las Vegas. During the Spike TV broadcast, cameras showed McSweeney bleeding from his head shortly after Browne followed him to the ground and began striking. It appears at least one of Browne's elbow strikes may have caused the cut. According to McMahon, backstage prior to the fight, referee Kim Winslow explained illegal strikes to McSweeney and highlighted an area "two knuckles beyond the ear" as foul territory.
Commission Docs Said Hamill's Staph "Posed No Threat" To Anyone At TUF 11 Finale
That's the short and sweet explanation from Matt Hamill's camp. The NSAC was aware of Hamill's issue but still cleared him to fight after checking him. "The doctors and the Commission were aware and repeatedly examined the red mark on Matt's back. They concluded that it was healing and hardened to the point that it posed no threat to Matt or anyone else inside the Octagon."
Lloyd Irvin Says Kris McCray Just Needs More Time
Trainer Lloyd Irvin worked with "The Ultimate Fighter 11" contestant Kris McCray for about two months and cornered him against Court McGee this past Saturday at the show's live finale. Although McCray came up short against McGee, Irvin said it's just a matter of time before the durable fighter reaches his potential. Irvin, who's worked with UFC veterans Brandon Vera and Phil Davis, met McCray through an affiliate school, Gold Medal Grappling, and hosted the fighter after his six-week stint on the Spike TV reality show. The trainer said McCray's camp was on point. Saturday's result may have just been a case of inexperience.
Hardy to face Condit or Kampmann at UFC 120
ESPN.co.uk understands that the UFC has narrowed down the shortlist for Dan Hardy's next opponent to just two names: Carlos Condit or Martin Kampmann.
Hardy is ready to return to the Octagon at UFC 120 in London following his March defeat to Georges St-Pierre, a fight that represented British MMA's first ever title shot. "The Outlaw" has taken time out following the unanimous decision defeat to recover from the draining process of being involved in a UFC main event, but now he is champing at the bit to put the loss behind him.
I for one would like to see Condit, what about you guys?
Rampage Wants Forrest, Rashad and a Snuggie?
Rampage Jackson plans to make up for the 'most embarrassing fight' of his career by rematching Forrest Griffin, and then taking revenge over Rashad Evans.
Jackson is gutted that he played a part in what he labels a 'boring' fight against Evans, which saw "Suga" Rashad triumph via unanimous decision. Rampage is adamant it wasn't a true defeat, and he is promising to wear the snuggy that became so prominent during the Countdown show if Rashad can repeat the victory.
I'm all for these fights and I wouldn't mind seeing him lose to Rashad and having to wear the Snuggie to be honest.
Chuck Liddell Retirement Is Still In The Evaluation Phase
The problem is that despite his head trainer and best friend (and boss) telling him he's done, Liddell isn't quite ready to give up fighting. Yet. "I’m still working on evaluating. I thought I did great before I was caught. I have to look at it some more and think about it. I think I looked good and I definitely was in great shape. I could have kept that pace up for another four rounds, without a doubt.... It’s hard to beat that [aggressiveness] out of me, because that’s who I am and that’s who I’ve been for a long, long time. People like watching me because of the way I fight, so it’s hard to get me not to fight that way. There’s a lot still to think about. I felt pretty good and I think showed I can compete. I’m not going to rush and I’ll do what I think is best. I’m just not at a point to make that decision yet."
Fighters Are Like Strippers, Nobody In Their Right Mind Wants To Do This
That, according to victorious TUF 11 Finale fighter Chris Leben, is the mindset of a fighter. "Fighters are like strippers; they ain't paying their way through college. If you don't understand what that means, you have to realize that there is always something underlying with all of us. Nobody in their right mind, no normal, sane person, goes ‘[expletive] college, screw my guidance counselor. I'm going to put all my chips in one basket to become a cage fighter so I can get the crap kicked out of me in front of other people.' Obviously, there is something wrong going on there... This guy (McGee) right here is the perfect example. It's that obsessive energy that we have that makes us different. It's that obsessive energy that, yeah, makes me cause a lot of problems for myself in my life. But look, look at where he's at now, willing to do whatever it is. Most fighters I know do whatever they do 110 percent. For me, it's all or nothing. It's either full throttle or nothing. Either I'm eating ice cream and candy or I'm dieting 100 percent. I'm yin and yang. If I go out and have a drink, I'm going to go out and get [expletive] trashed. I know that. That's why I'm not going to do that tonight. It's the same thing in the ring and it's that type of personality that makes all of us up here in front of you, it's what got us here. We all have something like that in us."
Fight Doc weighs in on Hamills staph
Aside from Court McGee being crowned "The Ultimate Fighter 11" champion, the biggest news coming out of this past weekend's UFC event was Matt Hamill's clearance to fight despite an active Staph infection.
Hamill appeared at The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale weigh-ins on Friday with a noticeable lesion on his lower back, and following his win over Keith Jardine on Saturday, he and Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer confirmed the infection.
In his latest "Ask the Fight Doc" installment, MMAjunkie.com medical columnist Dr. Johnny Benjamin wonders how that was possible and why so many others were unnecessarily put at risk.
In my opinion, the NSAC was victim of a poor medical decision. Furthermore, every athlete (including Hamill) and referee that entered the octagon – with or after Hamill – was unnecessarily exposed to a potentially very serious and deadly infection by the "licensed doctor" who cleared him to compete.