Marcus Jones announced as second of four bonus characters for "UFC Undisputed 2010"
Video game retailer GameStop announced this week that former professional footballer Marcus Jones (4-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) is the second of four playable bonus characters in the forthcoming "UFC Undisputed 2010" title.
Jones joins James McSweeney as the only two officially announced bonus characters. The remaining two will be revealed one per day on March 9 and March 16.
Customers can secure access to these bonus characters by pre-ordering the game with GameStop either in-store or online. According to the company's website, "a code and instructions to unlock the GameStop exclusive fighters will come packaged with your game."
The retailer engaged in a similar program with the THQ's debut UFC-related title, "UFC 2009 Undisputed," when Ryan Bader and Efrain Escudero were offered up as incentives to reserve the game early. The two fighters were then eligible for all consumers to download 90 days after the initial release date.
The critically acclaimed title went on to sell 3.5 million units and won the "Best Individual Sports Game" at the 2009 VGA Awards, beating out the likes of "Fight Night Round 4," "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10," and "Wii Sports Resort."
Available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation3, "UFC Undisputed 2010" is set for a May 25 release.
"'UFC 2009 Undisputed' opened the door for us to further share the UFC brand with videogame and fight fans around the world, and we cannot wait to return this spring with the release of 'UFC Undisputed 2010,'" UFC president Dana White stated in the official announcement of the new game.
Jones, a first-round draft pick in the 1996 NFL draft, began his MMA career in late 2007. The green but well-rounded fighter advanced to the semifinals of "The Ultimate Fighter 10" after a submission victory over Mike Wessel and a TKO win over Darrill Schoonover.
A seven-year member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jones was knocked out of the competition in the semis by Brendan Schaub in one of the season's most entertaining bouts. Following the loss, Jones said he planned to walk away from the sport, but he returned for the season's live finale, only to suffer a second-round TKO loss to Matt Mitrione
Forrest Griffin: My Jiu Jitsu Is As Good as Nogueira's
The Nogueira brothers are widely regarded as two of the best Brazilian jiu jitsu practitioners in mixed martial arts. But as Forrest Griffin prepares to fight Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 114 on May 29, he says he thinks his jiu jitsu is just as good as Nogueira's -- and that he actually wants to take the fight to the ground.
"I think I'm actually a better wrestler and my jits I think is just as good as his, and I just have to not get choked," Griffin said.
I'm not convinced that Griffin's jiu jitsu is as good as Nogueira's, but I will say I can understand why, after watching Nogueira's impressive TKO win over Luis Cane at UFC 106, he'd be more concerned about what Nogueira can do to him standing up than what Nogueira can do to him on the ground.
"He's a southpaw, he's really tough, he's got really quick hands," Griffin said. "Actually, I was surprised watching a little film of him, I was hoping he'd be slower than me but he might be a little quicker."
With that in mind, Griffin said his game plan against Nogueira is simple: "Not getting punched by the left hand, or maybe the right hook."
Bellator vet Travis Browne signs with UFC, faces James McSweeney in debut
Undefeated heavyweight Travis Browne (9-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has signed a multi-fight deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship and is expected to make his octagon debut against "The Ultimate Fighter 10" veteran James McSweeney (4-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC).
Sources close to the situation informed MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of the new deal and said both fighters have agreed to the contest, but a date has not been finalized for the meeting.
The bout could either take place at UFC 115, expected to take place June 12 at GM Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, or at The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale held one week later in Las Vegas.
Browne has fought eight times since his professional debut this past February with seven of his nine victories coming by way of TKO or knockout. In his most recent performance, Browne knocked out veteran Aaron Brink in 35 seconds for the interim Gladiator Challenge heavyweight title this past Sunday in California.
In early February, Browne knocked out "The Ultimate Fighter 10" veteran Abe Wagner in eight seconds to take the Night of Champions heavyweight belt. He is a veteran of Bellator Fighting Championships' first season.
Browne currently trains at the Alliance Training Center alongside UFC veterans Brandon Vera and Joey Beltran and WEC bantamweight contender Dominick Cruz. When he's not in the gym, he runs a company that trains dogs for military service.
McSweeney, 29, graduated from his turn on "The Ultimate Fighter 10" with a TKO victory over fellow castmate Darrill Schoonover at the show's Spike TV finale this past December. However, he injured his hand in the fight and has since been forced to the bench for several months.
A former kickboxer, McSweeney works with Greg Jackson's squad in Albuquerque, N.M., and is a friend and training partner to former light heavyweight champion and "TUF 10" coach Rashad Evans.
KOTC champ Bobby Green promises exciting fights as he targets UFC contract
Bobby "King" Green (13-3) got his start fighting in backyards with no thought of YouTube stardom.
Green sized up who he wanted to fight that day and put socks on his hands to protect them while 100 or so acquaintances milled about. Then, it was go time.
"I just tried to entertain the crowd," Green recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio).
When a trainer told Green he had potential after spotting him at a grappling tournament he did on a lark, "King" leaped head-first into MMA and took fights on short notice. Sometimes, it was very short notice, as little as 20 minutes. But it was always about giving the audience a show – being memorable.
"Win or lose is not important for me," Green said.
Green has fought 16 times in a little more than two years. He's taken fights stateside on Friday and driven across the border to fight Saturday in Mexico. Matchmakers know he doesn't turn down fights.
One week ago, Green, who trains out of Pinnacle Jiu-Jitsu in Redlands, Calif., defeated Ricky Legere Jr. for the King of the Cage 160-pound championship.
"I do it whenever they call," Green said. "This is a lifestyle – versus a lot of guys that are doing the business right now. They're doing it because it's cool – maybe I can get a girlfriend or two out of this, maybe a little respect from their friends. But to me, it's just a lifestyle. This is what I do every day."
Green said he likes fighting so much, he'd do it for free. But with a new son in his life, that isn't in the cards. He isn't keeping his pace out of greed or a well of rage, but because he never wants his son to go without.
"Becoming a father changes you," Green said.
He usually makes between $3,000 and $4,000 dollars a fight – enough to last him a couple of months at a time if he spends it well. Like most up-and-comers, Green's not getting rich. He's fought but once on a national stage.
That fight, the first pay-per-view bout on "Affliction: Day of Reckoning," angers him to this day.
The battle lasted 4:55. Green faced current UFC fighter Dan Lauzon and was deducted two points for kicks to his opponent's groin.
Lauzon, brother to top UFC lightweight Joe Lauzon, pulled guard during the fight and quickly worked himself to Green's back at the end of the first round. With five seconds left, he tapped Green out with a rear-naked choke.
Lauzon returned to the UFC in the wake of Afflliction's collapse, while Green continues to make his way on the smaller circuit.
Green claims only one of his kicks went south and that Lauzon faked the rest for show.
"He was trying to get a breather because he couldn't handle the pressure," Green said. "He got his butt whooped the whole fight, and then he ends up catching a lucky choke, and then, all of a sudden, his balls don't hurt any more and he can do backflips.
"He was crying all day that I was kicking him in the balls, and as soon as it's over, he's doing a back flips. If my balls hurt, I would not be doing back flips off the rope."
Green took a little over a month to lick his wounds and got back to work. He amassed a 4-1 record in 2009, including a victory over Charles "Krazy Horse" Bennett, before his King of the Cage victory this past week.
It's Green's dream to compete on "The Ultimate Fighter" as a lightweight. He wants another chance to prove he belongs in the big leagues. No more fighting month-to-month.
That's why when he fights, he tries to bring the backyard to the big stage.
"The most important thing is that the fight is exciting and people remember it."
Claude Patrick signs four-fight UFC deal, expected to make debut in Vancouver
It didn't take long for Claude Patrick (11-1) to take that next step in his career.
The Toronto, Ontario, Canada-based welterweight recently signed a four-fight deal with the UFC and is expected to make his octagon debut four provinces west in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Patrick today shared news of the signing with "The Fight Show with Mauro Ranallo," and MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has since learned from sources close to the promotion that while an opponent has not yet been determined, the Canadian is expected to compete on the as-yet-unannounced UFC 115 event.
UFC 115 is expected to take place June 12 at the 19,000-seat GM Place, a recent host for many of the 2010 Winter Olympics' games. A third light heavyweight grudge match between "The Ultimate Fighter 11" coaches Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz is expected to headline the event.
A one-time veteran of the now-defunct International Fight League, Patrick most recently fought at Aggression MMA in Edmonton, Alberta, where he stopped Matt McGrath by guillotine choke in the third round of their co-main event fight.
Patrick has nine first-round stoppages to his credit and has won eight of those victories by submission.
In a recent interview with MMAjunkie.com, Patrick spoke of the hardships he's endured as a fighter in a Canadian province where MMA is illegal. He hoped the UFC's lobbying efforts in Toronto would help change the current laws banning the sport.
"I'm really looking forward to do the sport that I love," he said.
Patrick trains with Mark Bocek and Sean Pierson and runs the Elite Training Center in his hometown of Mississauga, Ontario.
Mike Swick offered fight with Matt Serra on April 17, won't fight due to arm injury
Mike Swick (14-4 MMA, 9-3 UFC) can't straighten his left arm, much less train or fight.
The UFC welterweight spoke to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) on Friday after rumors surfaced of his participation in an as-yet-unannounced UFC event planned for Spike TV on April 17, the same date on which Strikeforce is slated to hold their second CBS-televised fight card.
Swick said the UFC offered a fight with Matt Serra (10-6 MMA, 7-6 UFC) on the quickly developing card through his management, but he had to turn it down due to his arm.
"[My management] knew about the situation and pretty much said I wasn't going to be able to do it," Swick said.
"The Ultimate Fighter" veteran recently got an MRI confirming a problem he's dealt with since his fight with Dan Hardy this past November at UFC 105. He will consult with a specialist Monday to determine options for treatment.
"The only way I'm going to get [my arm] to where it straights out, or even close to all the way out, is most likely the surgery," Swick said.
The arm is similar to the injury he sustained in the build-up to his fight with Marcus Davis in June 2008. Swick underwent surgery after the fight and had his elbow "scoped" to take out bone fragments accumulated from hard training.
Swick won't have a concrete timetable for his return until Monday, but wants to get back into the cage as soon as possible.
"I'm sure it's going to be along the lines as the first time I had surgery on my right arm," Swick said. "I don't remember how long that was, but I do know that I started back too soon and it slowed down the healing process.
"I'm going to have to be really smart about it, because I want to fight as soon as I can. The sooner I can fight, the better it is for me."
Swick said his recent adventures in Thailand with lightweight Roger Huerta, which he chronicled on his official blog, were for rest and relaxation and not to sharpen his skills.
Simply put, a fight with Serra in a little more than six weeks is just not in the cards.
"All I can really say on that is that I'm not (fighting him)," Swick said.
Couture, Kimbo, Forrest? Who's First For Toney?
Who gets the first shot at James Toney?
That is the million-dollar question... or likely somewhere near the million-dollar mark considering that Toney signed a multi-fight deal with the UFC.
It’s unclear how soon we’ll find out just who the former world champion boxer will draw in his Octagon debut, even UFC president Dana White told MMAWeekly.com content partner Yahoo! Sports that he wasn’t sure yet what he’d do with Toney.
Interview: Clay Guida on His Renewed Motivation, RV Living, and More
Clay Guida has twice been on the cusp of getting a title shot in the UFC’s ultra-competitive lightweight division, only to come up a little short. On the heels of back-to-back losses against Diego Sanchez and Kenny Florian, “The Carpenter” has a chance to get things rolling again on March 21st, when he faces Shannon Gugerty. Clay sat down with CagePotato to discuss training with Greg Jackson, why he's living in an RV in the desert, and much more.
‘Morango’ controls the mind to fight ‘Batman’
Fabrício “Morango” Camões debuted in the UFC with a draw against Caol Uno. Scheduled to return against Kurt “Batman” Pellegrino at UFC 111, the black belt under Royler Gracie is excited to win his first fight in the UFC octagon.
SF: 4/17 Event Has "Some Fluidity", Though Future UFC Conflicts Unavoidable
New fans of MMA are tasked with learning a daunting list of jargon when first approaching the sport, but in recent years, a new term has made its way to the fighting lexicon: counter-programming. With UFC now reportedly set to go head-to-head with "Strikeforce: Nashville" on April 17 according to report from The Wrestling Observer, Strikeforce executives may be looking at a little retaliation of their own. The recently announced "Strikeforce: Nashville" show may end up going head-to-head with the UFC's sister promotion, the WEC, on that company's first-ever pay-per-view event, "WEC 48: Aldo vs. Faber," on April 24. SI.com's Josh Gross recently posted a report on his Twitter account that Strikeforce "had the option" of changing dates, and Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker confirmed an adjustment was a possibility. UFC hasn't officially announced that it would be adding an April 17 card to its already loaded Spring schedule, but Coker said Strikeforce and its broadcast partner, CBS, are currently considering a date change. "It hasn't been decided yet," Coker said. "I think we're meeting probably Monday. But for now, everything is going to be locked and loaded for the 17th."
"Kimbo Slice" manager welcomes James Toney fight but says nothing currently in works
Hold your horses.
Amid rabid speculation this morning that Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson (5-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) may be James Toney's first octagon opponent, his manager told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) on Thursday afternoon that it's business as usual for the bearded brawler.
Slice, who is expected to face Matt Mitrione at UFC 113 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, is absent from the promotion's official event page. But Mike Imber, Slice's longtime manager otherwise known as "Icy Mike," said his client was never on the page to begin with.
And Slice's absence does not mean he has other plans.
"I really don't think that's got anything to do with us," Imber said.
James Toney's Coach, Juanito Ibarra: "He says he wanted Kimbo Slice"
The MMA world was rocked yesterday with the announcement of a former world champion boxer, James Toney , being signed to the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
With a professional boxing record of 72-6-3, Toney is one of the most accomplished boxers of this, and any, generation. Titles in the middleweight, super middleweight, cruiserweight, and heavyweight divisions have all been claimed by “Lights Out” Toney.
Although boxers have made their way into MMA prior to this, none of them have had a resume the likes of Toney.
Just a few hours after the signing was announced, word got out that the champion boxer hired world famous boxing and MMA Coach Juanito Ibarra to help prepare him for his MMA debut
Bleacher Report spoke to Ibarra and he weighed in on his and Toney’s business partnership and what they intend to do.
“We get along real well. He’s a great student. He considers me a teacher. Hopefully this chemistry that we have can carry us to a title in MMA.”
Yes, an MMA title.
According to Ibarra, Toney is taking this transition as serious as anyone can take it and plans to, one day, contend for a championship strap. Some of the toughest competition in MMA wanders around the UFC’s heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions, so a climb to the title will be no easy road for the boxing great.
When asked of what he expects of Toney’s MMA career accomplishments, Juanito knows that his fighter‘s mind frame is one that will serve him well against the UFC competition.
“James Toney is a born fighter …I’d hate to be in an alley with a born fighter.”
With his obvious strength being his stand-up, some question what will become of a fight when Toney is asked to do something out his element. Ibarra feels that Toney will be able to hold his own when he says, “James knows some martial arts because his manager [John Arthur] was a master in martial arts.”
Now comes the time where rumor mills spin and speculation over Toney’s first opponent consumes the collective minds of everyone close to the sport.
No announcements have been made, as of yet, but names like Couture and Kimbo have been tossed around as possibilities. Juanito opened up about who he thinks would be a good match-up for his boxing turned MMA fighter.
“James Toney will fight anybody. It’s up to us to help him figure things out. What I would like to see and what his manager would like to see…Kimbo Slice.
"It makes sense. The weight factor makes sense. Maybe a 220 [lbs.] fight somewhere in there. Two guys who have great names. I would love to see that fight …I think that’s a great opponent …hopefully the UFC would consider something like that.”
The slice is right!
Ibarra made it clear who he thinks his fighter wants to test his MMA waters with.
“He’s said it all over the Internet. He calls him Simba. He says he wanted Simba Slice.”
Apparently, Toney looks at Kimbo as nothing but a cuddly Disney character.
Another topic circulating about Toney and the UFC is at what weight class the world champion boxer would fight at. Heavyweights can be close to 265 lbs. so that may seem a bit too big, even for the solid hands of Toney.
A fighting weight of 205 lbs. seems like the suitable destination for Ibarra’s fighter and he agrees.
“I like it. I think that’s in the plan.”
After a fight with Kimbo, the boxing coach looks ahead and sees what could be a great set up for his fighter’s next bout.
“I’d like to get him down to 205 and fight the winner of a Chuck and Tito. Fights with Kimbo Slice and he goes on to fight the winner of a Chuck and Tito fight …I think it would sell and I think it would be a hell of a fight.”
There has been no word on when and where Toney will have his first fight in the UFC, however, Juanito Ibarra is working hard with his fighter and optimistically sees big things happening in 2010.
“Hopefully they’ll see us fight somewhere, maybe in June. Believe me, as his teacher I’m not going to let him step into the octagon without him being ready …I think we’re gonna shock the world, dude. I believe that.”
Randy Couture Wants James Toney First
While we still don't know who James Toney will face in his Octagon debut, UFC legend Randy Couture has let it be known that he wants to be the one to introduce the former boxing champion to the world of mixed martial arts.
"The Natural" took to Twitter just a couple of hours after the news of Toney's signing was made official by the organization, and wrote: "I hope I'm the first guy they call to fight tony! [sic] :)"
Apparently Couture really wants a shot at Toney, because moments later he tweeted about him again: "I hope they set me up with tony! [sic]."
Message received, Randy. Here's hoping the UFC was reading your Twitter feed last night too.
A fight between Toney and Couture, who has no scheduled fights on the horizon, makes a lot more sense than, say, Toney vs. Kimbo Slice, as some have suggested. Couture is a UFC legend, and in many ways represents what MMA is all about. If we really want to find out how Toney will hang in the Octagon, put him up against one the best MMA fighters of all-time, not someone who will try to outbox him. And forget the fact that Toney has an 0-0 MMA record, while Couture is 18-10. If "Lights Out" wants the best, he should fight the best.
Marcus Davis Needs To Chill Out
That's the response from Davis's (and maybe every UFC Welterweight's) latest trash talk target, Dan Hardy. "Yeah I saw [the AIDS tweet]. I laughed. I think he needs to chill out a bit. I think more than anything it is Davis getting to Davis now. I think he needs to see it for what it was and just chill out a bit. It was all meant in good humor, I didn’t say anything malicious or do anything malicious. It was all funny stuff, like the photoshops and the plastic paddy thing. It was just like a back and forward you’d get between mates in our gym any day of the week."
Is James Toney An MMA Freak Show?
Believe it or not, many UFC Heavyweights say no. Most, in fact, had more positive things to say than negative-including Pat Barry, Paul Buentello, Brendan Schaub and Todd Duffee. In fact, Barry even said he wanted to fight Toney. Tonight.
Trainer Juanito Ibarra to coach UFC signee James Toney in transition to MMA
Boxing champion James Toney (72-6-3 Boxing, 0-0 MMA) already has a trainer to shepherd him into the world of mixed martial arts.
Juanito Ibarra, a 30-year veteran of boxing and MMA who once trained champions Oscar De La Hoya and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, is training Toney in his Southern California MMA gym.
Ibarra told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) on Wednesday that he's been working with Toney for the past month and will act as head coach for the boxing champion's first MMA fight.
"James and I have good personal chemistry," Ibarra said. "That's what it takes. I just don't jump in with anybody. We respect each other's knowledge."
Toney's UFC signing today came as a shock to many MMA fans who have heard UFC president Dana White rail at aging athletes such as Herschel Walker for turning the sport into a "freak show."
And until now, a deal between Toney and the UFC was thought to be dead in the water. The boxing champion crashed the UFC 108 post-fight press conference on Jan. 2 and confronted White about a possible contract. Before a group of reporters, White was skeptical about bringing Toney into the octagon.
"Listen, let me tell you what: I got blasted this week? Let me make this fight (with Toney)," White said after Toney accosted him. "That will get me [expletive] blasted. I'm the first guy out there going, 'This is a [expletive] freak show. Who would put on a fight like this?' I'm the first guy that would say that. I'm always saying it when freak shows happen."
Afterward, Toney brought cameras to his meeting with White and made his pitch once again.
Days later, Toney called the UFC's offer "laughable" and trashed White in subsequent interviews on various media outlets. As recently as last week, he appeared anything but confident a deal would happen.
"Dana White is a straight up ho!" Toney told Fighthype.com. "He makes me a five-fight offer for chump change and said I can't box anymore if I accept it. He must have lost his damn mind."
The UFC has yet to make an official announcement on the signing, although White has confirmed the deal to multiple media outlets.
Ibarra said he'd like to see Toney make his UFC debut in June, but said that was just his wish.
In the coming weeks, he expects to bring in several well-known fighters to coach Toney in wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, though he declined to give any names.
Ibarra is encouraged by what he's seen so far in the gym.
"He's a student of the fight game," Ibarra said. "He's a born fighter, and I believe in him. I think I can teach him more about his body, his athleticism – how to fight better as an MMA combatant."
To teach Toney, he said, is simply an honor.
"We'll put in the work and see what happens," Ibarra said. "He's starting to get in shape, and he's in it.
"If I can be an asset to somebody, that's fantastic. It's another great opportunity. Hopefully my team will help him and we can go in there and get some victories."
UFC Signs Boxing Champion James Toney, Debut Date Uncertain
After a long period of off-again, on-again courtship, the UFC has pulled the trigger and signed 41-year-old boxing champion James Toney.
UFC President Dana White confirmed the signing to MMA Fighting after it was first reported by FiveOuncesofPain.com.
Toney had actively campaigned for a contract from the UFC, following White around the country to several events and eventually meeting with him. Toney reportedly turned down at least one contract offer before signing.
Asked when Toney would debut, White said he had "no idea."
With a professional boxing record of 73-6-2 with one no contest, Toney is among the great boxers of his era, winning titles in six different weight classes ranging from middleweight to heavyweight.
In the past, White noted that he'd have some trouble passing Toney off as a legitimate mixed martial artist after criticizing other late career changers like Herschel Walker, but he always voiced an interest in Toney as a "real fighter" capable of making the transition.
Toney has reportedly been training in MMA for some time in hopes of making his octagon debut. Now it appears he'll finally get the chance he's campaigned for.