MORE MATURE, RAMPAGE READY FOR AXE MURDERER
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson is back in the U.S. after a trip across the pond to the U.K., where he’s set up shop at the Wolfslair gym alongside teammates Paul Kelly and Michael Bisping.
Jackson’s commute is hard on his family life, so he lavishes attention on his four children when he returns.
“My dad was a working man. He was in the National Guard, be gone for two weeks at a time,” Jackson said in an exclusive video interview with MMAWeekly.com. “My big boys understand; my two little babies, they don’t know. They just know, ‘daddy gone, pow, pow.’”
Jackson immediately took a liking to the Wolfslair when Bisping invited him there to train for his fight with Dan Henderson at UFC 75. Jackson successfully defended his title, but lost it in a subsequent five-round war with Forrest Griffin at UFC 86. After leaving former trainer Juanito Ibarra, he felt a move across the pond was necessary.
“The managers and stuff over there are really good, and it’s just really a good atmosphere,” he said. “The guys work really hard. I needed a change in my training and how people trained me. I’m a Werewolf, and the name of the gym is the Wolfslair. You do the math.”
Wolfslair trainers have Jackson doing things he’s never done for a fight.
“I’m swimming now,” he said. “It’s helping my cardio get a lot better. I’ve started lifting weights. What do you call it, strength and conditioning.”
GEORGES ST. PIERRE READY FOR PENN; IS SILVA NEXT?
UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre won his fight with UFC lightweight champion BJ Penn by a razor’s edge.
Their UFC 58 battle was another example in a running debate amongst mixed martial arts fans – should the most damaged fighter be declared the loser? St. Pierre definitely lost in that department – he spent a night in a Las Vegas hospital, badly banged up – but two judges ruled he had come out ahead on points, giving him the 29-28 nod.
Two-and-a-half years removed from that important bout, St. Pierre wants to eliminate all the "what ifs." In a recent video interview with MMAWeekly.com, he spoke about fighting Penn for a second time.
“I’m a different fighter than I used to be,” he said. “And he is as well. This time, I want to take him out. I don’t want to go to a decision. I want to finish him.”
The fight is not signed yet, but St. Pierre thinks it will be sometime in the next week.
He left for Albuquerque, N.M. to get some training in with Greg Jackson’s camp. Right now, he’s gathering information from a variety of sources before putting it all together in an MMA-only environment.
Drwal Vs Serati At UFC 93
Tomasz ‘Travolta’ Drwal (14-2) and UFC newcomer Ivan ‘The Terrible’ Serati (10-2) will be facing off at UFC 93 in Dublin, Fighters Only can exclusively reveal.
Polish light-heavyweight Drwal made his UFC debut at UFC 75 and lost a hard-fought battle to Thiago Silva, snapping his thirteen-fight winning streak.
Serati is a veteran of UK promotions Cage Rage and Ultimate Warrior Challenge and is on a four-fight winning run.
Speaking to Fighters Only earlier, the Italian observed that Drwal “is ranked as one of the top 3 light-heavyweight fighters in Europe”.
“He is very tough - in his last UFC fight I remember he gave Thiago Silva a very tough fight,” he remarked. “There is no doubt that the UFC is the cream of the crop, and it's fighters are too.”
“But when you look at my record, the vast majority of my wins have been in the first round. I feel that I have done enough to get my shot.”
And he added: “My only loss at light-heavyweight is to Vitor Belfort, when I made my Cage Rage debut. I was very nervous during that fight and would love a rematch.”
Serati and Drwal will clash on January 17th when the UFC stages its first show in the Republic of Ireland.
Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua and Mark Coleman will top the bill in a rematch of their highly controversial PRIDE FC fight.
Barnett talks AA, Fedor, Slice, Halo & More!
Josh Barnett 'The Watchman'
Josh Barnett talks about Andrei Arlovski, Fedor Emelianenko, his fighting future, more video games, movieland, the fall of Kimbo Slice and Randy Couture versus Brock Lesnar.
PDG: Since you brought up Kimbo; you have been in the sport for a long time. What are your thoughts on him losing to the first experienced fighter that was not a tailor-made opponent for him?
Barnett: I was sitting in the bar and a bunch of people started cheering. The bar had a bunch of other fighters there and everyone was cheering except for me, I was actually upset. I wanted Kimbo to win and I was cheering for him. I wasn't real sure about him fighting Ken Shamrock because I have always been a big fan of Ken. It is really hard for me to watch Ken go out there and under perform like he has as of late compared to when I first started watching him compete. Kimbo is still a relative newcomer to this sport and I don't have any problem with how he has been brought up into the spotlight so fast. I like watching him fight and I wanted to see his ongoing progression fight to fight. I was disappointed because I wanted to see Kimbo do well.
UFC 89: VERA READY FOR 205 AND JARDINE
Vera On Cutting Weight:
--“Cutting that much weight and performing was the problem,” he explained. “I didn’t think it was gonna be, but I hadn’t cut weight in nine years.”
Vera On His Opponent, Keith Jardine:
--“He’s got great hands and a super awkward style,” Vera said. “An unorthodox, offbeat style; that’s a problem for almost every fighter. But it’s just something we’ve been working on in the game plan. Just making sure I execute the game plan that’s been set forth by my coaches.”
--“Nobody ever respected him or gave him the time of day until he started putting people to sleep,” Vera said. “I’m glad I didn’t do the same before I have to fight him. I just look at him as somebody that could knock me out. So I’ve got to be on my p’s and q’s.”
ARLOVSKI AGREES WITH STAND-UP, LOOKS TO FEDOR
“Before the fight we had a meeting with the ref and he said, so guys – and the UFC have the same and Affliction – you have 30 seconds to improve your position,” he said. “So I was pretty comfortable, I knew that I am safe. He was on top of me, but I controlled the situation.”
Quinton Jackson Hearing Postponed
The pre-trial hearing for Quinton Jackson that was scheduled for today has been postponed. A preliminary examination scheduled for November 30 also has been postponed. No reason was given for the postponement.
Josh Koscheck vs Yoshiyuki Yoshida to headline ‘Fight for the Troops’ Dec. 10
The fantastic welterweight match up between Josh Koscheck and Yoshiyuki Yoshida, which MMAmania.com first passed along right here, will serve as the main event for UFC Fight Night 16: “Fight for the Troops” at the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, N.C., on Wednesday, December 10.
USA Today today confirmed the complete line up, as well as talked to “Kos” about his big 170-pound showdown with “Zenko.”
It's been rumored, now it's official
Randy vs Brock Lagging at Gate
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer had a snippet of info in the print version of his newsletter about the soft market for tickets that the UFC is finding for Brock vs Randy tickets:
The 11/15 Las Vegas show with Randy Couture vs. Brock Lesnar, which should have been a first weekend sellout, due to the combination of the high prices and economy is at 8,000 sold for $3 million, and also moving slowly since only the $500 and up seats are left. There are casinos who have purchased tickets that don’t figure into that number, which is the ticket outlet numbers. But it was scaled to break the all-time UFC gate record of $5.4 million and right now it looks like they are going to have to cut deals or paper to sellout the 14,000 plus seats at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The Randy-Brock information was mentioned against the backdrop of a piece that gave the tone that the United States’ economic troubles are affecting the UFC”s ability to move their premium-priced seats. While the party line from Dana and Lorenzo seems to be that the downturn isn’t bad for their PPV business, there seems to be little doubt that it is affecting their gate revenues.
It should be interesting to see what effect this has on their subsequent two cards in Las Vegas, which follow quickly afterward. While the New Year’s and Super Saturday don’t look to have as high a premium on their best seats, an adjustment in their ticket pricing strategy may be needed to fill the venue. That would be the better option, as papering tends to devalue your product.
Bisping & Leben Both Want Title Shot
Michael Bisping and Chris Leben both agree that the winner of their fight should be the next middleweight title challenger.
Speaking ahead of their headline clash at UFC 89 in England next week, the pair were frank about the potential ranking implications.
“I’ve said it before, I think this fight will be a deciding factor in who will be at that top tier in the middleweight division,” said Leben. “Who’s going to be in line for a title shot and who is going to fall back down into the middle of the pack?”
Bisping agreed: “Whoever wins this fight moves onwards and upwards to title contention, while its back to the middle of the pack for the loser. So obviously there is a lot riding on it.”
Fans of the TUF3 winner have long cited him as a potential champion, but he has not yet had a title shot in his time with the UFC.
However, Leben has fought middleweight boss Anderson Silva once before – and was stopped with a knee strike just 43 seconds into the first round.
“I can’t say how Michael is going to perform if he fights Anderson Silva, obviously I’ve fought him once and it didn’t go that well,” Leben laughed. But “I’m a much better fighter now and the Chris Leben of today wouldn’t make the same mistakes.”
UFC Quick Quote: Dana White ‘disgusted’ with Elite XC and alleged fight influencing
“It disgusts me. I’ve been busting my (expletive) for 10 years flying all over the planet to show everybody what a great sport this is and what amazing people are involved in it. Then CBS throws this guy who fights at people’s barbecues on the main event because they’re trying to compete with us, and he gets knocked out in (14) seconds by a guy who didn’t win ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ and couldn’t fight in the UFC. Then the guy turns around the next day and says, ‘The promoters actually paid me to not go to the ground with this guy. They paid me to stand up,’ which I’m pretty sure is illegal…. (Slice is) a joke. It was bound to happen. These guys have lost $60 million trying to get this thing off the ground. They’re building their promotion around a guy who can’t fight. It’s kind of (expletive) stupid, isn’t it? You’re in the fight business and you’re building your business around a guy who can’t fight…. When dirty people go out and do stuff like that, it hurts. Promoters have a bad rap as it is because of the last 100 years of boxing. We actually started to turn that around and were doing the right things and then you have these guys coming out and doing (expletive) like that. It hurts us.”
Houston Alexander Denies UFC Firing Rumors and Says He’s Sticking by His Coaches
Houston Alexander has apparently heard internet rumors to the effect that he’s been dropped from the UFC or has fired his entire coaching staff or desperately needs to learn the ground game. Oh, wait. That last part’s not a rumor. Anyway, the point is, he’s sick of it. So to clear the air and talk directly to fans without the filter of the MMA media, he turned to the Fight Magazine MMA blog:
People keep asking me what my plans are, they have read things all over the internet about my future with the UFC and how I am firing my coaching staff. So I thought I would address the rumors and my upcoming plans.
NO – I have not lost my UFC contract.
NO – I have not fired my coaching staff.
NO – I am not going to step down and fight for smaller organizations.
The loss last month was tough, but life goes on. People need to remember that I have only been fighting professionally for a year and a half. I have made great strides during that time, as well as faced some setbacks. My training will continue and we are looking at visiting some of the larger camps for additional training and strategy for my next fight. I have a lot to learn and am hoping to have everything straightened out before I enter the cage next time.
UFC Coming To Scotland........If Anywhere is Big Enough
Scotland is proving to be a difficult nut to crack for the UFC as it continues its European expansion - because there are no venues in the country big enough.
Glasgow is the most likely prospect to host a show if the UFC does travel there, even though its arena holds less than 6,000 people.
"Scotland is a region that we'd love to be in," UFC UK division president Marshall Zelaznik told Tough Talk
"The venues are a little small there for us so we're trying to figure out if we can bring one there even if it doesn't offer the 9,000, 12,000 or 15,000 seats.
"There's a 5400 seat arena in Glasgow at Braehead, which is probably the best venue for us now, so we'd love to be there."
Scotland is home to a significant UFC fanbase and the organisation has noted that many fans at UK shows have travelled from there.
Such ticket-buyer analysis was the reason that the UFC went to Newcastle in January, as UK ticket sales have been particularly consistent in the north-east of England.
In January, the UFC will make its Republic of Ireland debut when it stages a show at the newly-expanded O2 Arena in Dublin.
The show will be headlined by Rich Franklin and Dan Henderson, while Mauricio ‘Shogun' Rua and Mark Coleman will clash in a co-main event.
UFC CLARIFIES MEDICAL INSURANCE CLAIMS BY TITO
In a statement released to MMAWeekly.com on Tuesday night, former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz openly discussed his ongoing bout with back problems and his decision to have surgery to repair his back.
“I have made it though the last eight fights by physical therapy, methylprednisolone pills, and spinal injections for my last three fights,” he recounted. “I took it upon myself to get surgery in hopes that my fight career will jump back on track and I will be back to the explosive monster I always have been.”
He didn’t stop there, however. In his statement, Tito went on to claim that his former employer, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, denied the claims for medical coverage for his back.
“The kicker to this whole story is that the UFC denied my claim for coverage of my debilitating back injury obviously acquired in the Octagon,” he said. “After all of the battling, and allegiance I pledged to them, they now have stooped so low as to not give me the medical care I so desperately needed.”
Sokoudjou Contemplates Career In Porn And (Hopefully) Luis Cane
With just two years of professional experience, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou has quickly become one of the more successful and likable new figures in MMA. At 24 years old, early signs indicate Sokoudjou will have a bright future in the Octagon … as long as the UFC doesn’t lose him to the pornography industry first.
In this short Q&A published in advance of his upcoming bout with Luis Cane at next Saturday’s UFC 89, the Cameroonian judo practitioner says if he hadn’t gotten into MMA, he’d be a porn star. We assume he was joking, but with Sokoudjou you never can tell.
Remember, this is the same guy who once famously played up his nickname as the “African Assassin” by telling Japanese reporters that he trains with “animals in the jungle.” This is the same guy who responded to a glut of Photoshopped pictures of him on the Internet by showing up for his UFC debut wearing a Predator mask. The same guy who claims that he got “beat down by a girl” the first time he trained in Muay Thai.
Cordeiro: “Quinton wanted to train with me”
Considered one of the best MMA coaches of the world, Rafael Cordeiro is running the Chute Boxe branch in USA, and celebrates the good moments of the team. With more than 70 athletes and training in it’s own training center, Rafael believes that now Chute Boxe will show her work in America. In an exclusive chat with TATAME, Cordeiro revealed that one of the biggest opponents of the team in the past, Quinton Jackson, that fought Wanderlei Silva, Maurício Shogun and Murilo Ninja, wanted to train with him to face Wanderlei again, at UFC 92.
“I heard something that he wanted to train with me and, when I knew it was his reparation to fight Wanderlei, I didn’t accept.