Cain Velasquez vs Mustafa Al-Turk (**OFF DUE TO INJURY**)
Hot heavyweight blue chip prospect Cain Velasquez (4-0) will likely return to action against Octagon newcomer Mustafa Al-Turk (6-3) at UFC Fight Night 16: “Fights for the Troops” at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, N.C., on December 10.
MMAmania.com recently learned of the possible match up between the future the division and the current Cage Rage British Heavyweight Champion.
Velasquez is an undefeated American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) standout who has won all of his UFC bouts (two), building a reputation as a dangerous opponent who many in the division would prefer to avoid. Brad Morris and Jake O’Brien weren’t so lucky, and the former Arizona State University wrestler stopped them both in the first round.
He is widely regarded as a future champion, a distinction his possible opponent already has locked down.
Machida wants to face Rashad Evans to determine number one contender
After being scrapped from UFC 89 because of Thiago Silva’s back injury, Lyoto Machda keeps training in Brazil, but less than before. With his back to the octagon still undefined, Machida waits for the UFC to set his next bout. “I continue training, I can’t be caught unprepared for a fight, but I’m training less now, doing only some physical training, Jiu-Jitsu and Karatê… They didn’t say anything, but told me that this fight (with Thiago Silva) still can happen”, said the fighter, who would need to wait for his recovery to come back to the octagon.
But if it depended on his decision, he’d come back tomorrow with another opponent. “I’m waiting for any situation, or face him, if he gets better, or having another opponent. I would like to face Rashad Evans, and the winner gets a title shot, but now it seems like they will put him against Forrest Griffin… I’d like to face him and the winner gets Griffin, it’s a good way”, suggests Machida, who waits for a top opponent for his next fight.
“I don’t know how it’s gonna be, I’m ready to fight, but don’t wanna fight anyone, because I’m building my way in UFC and I wanna fight the top fighters so that they could give me a title shot after”, says. Between the option in the light-heavyweight Top 10 ranking is Maurício Shogun, getting better from a knee injury and waiting to fight in December, still without and opponent. If Machida could choose, another Brazilian fight could happen. “I never chose opponents, I leave it to UFC and my managers, what they want for me is good. If they think fight Shogun is better I’ll do it, I’m prepared to for everything”, guarantees Machida.
UFC Fight For The Troops Card Taking Shape
Not surprisingly, just as the Ultimate Fighting Championship announced its special UFC Fight For The Troops event for Dec. 10 at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, the fight card has started to slowly piece together.
Although the UFC has yet to make any bouts official, many fights have been verbally agreed to, quickly giving form to the UFC’s effort to raise money to build a treatment center for the brave men and women in the United States Armed Forces who have experienced traumatic brain injuries. The facility is being sponsored, built and equipped by the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.
A bout between Mike Swick and Jonathan Goulet was confirmed by MMAWeekly.com earlier in the week, although it is now being moved to the Dec. 10 benefit event instead of The Ultimate Fighter Season 8 Finale, according to Swick.
Other bouts that sources say have been agreed to include Steve Bruno vs. Luke Cummo, Eddie Sanchez vs. Justin McCully, Liugi Fioravanti vs. Brodie Farber, and Nate Loughran against an as yet unknown opponent.
There has been no word regarding who will be featured in the main event.
The goal of UFC Fight For The Troops is to raise the necessary funds for The National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE), an advanced research facility in Bethseda, Md. dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of military personnel and veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI) and psychological health issues.
Mustapha Al-Turk Signs With The UFC!
Mustapha Al-Turk (6-3) has vacated the Cage Rage British heavyweight title and signed with the UFC, we can exclusively reveal.
He has signed a four-fight deal with the organisation and will make his debut before the end of the year, possibly against Cain Velasquez.
TUF 8 debuts number one in timeslot; UFN 15 beats ESPN and ESPN2 combined in the ratings
UFN 15 served as a lead-in for the TUF premiere and aired live from 8-10 p.m. ET. Competing against ESPN’s telecast of Major League Baseball and ESPN2’s college football broadcast in the same time slot, UFN 15 outdrew both shows combined in the coveted young male demo.
To be exact, the Spike telecast drew 913,000 men 18-49 and 465,000 Men 18-34. By comparison, ESPN’s telecast of the Red Sox vs. Rays and ESPN2’s Louisville vs. Kansas St. college football game drew a combined 858,000 men 18-49 and 373,000 men 18-34.
Then, between 10-11 p.m. ET, TUF 8 debuted to a 1.2 household rating with an average audience of 1.6 million viewers. According to Spike, the show was number one in its timeslot on basic cable in the male 18-49 demographic, garnering a 1.5 rating. The premiere also drew a 1.5 rating in males 18-34.
Thiago Silva back to UFC in 2009
After the injury and the scrapped fight against Lyoto Machida, Thiago Silva now is focused on the back treatment, getting ready to go back to the octagon as faster as he can and keep the perfect 13-0 MMA history. “I’m doing the physiotherapy well to get better… I’m doing the medical treatment, following correctly, but I still don’t know when I’ll come back. Ultimate said that I won’t fight this year anymore, so I’ll probably be back in January, and I’ll be ready”, said the ATT fighter.
Victorious Joe Lauzon seeking return to UFC main card
From main event to undercard, perhaps no fighter has fallen so quick in the course of a single fight.
Such was the situation facing UFC lightweight Joe Lauzon heading into his "UFC Fight Night 15" bout with Kyle Bradley.
But Lauzon recently told the crew of TAGG Radio, the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com, he wasn't too disappointed at the change of position.
Jason MacDonald signs new four-fight deal with UFC
Veteran UFC middleweight Jason MacDonald (21-10 MMA, 5-3 UFC) has signed a new four-fight deal with the organization.
KO Dynasty, a sports management company that recently signed MacDonald, alerted MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of the fighter's new deal.
MacDonald is fresh off a solid victory over Jason Lambert at UFC 88 -- one that earned the 33-year-old fighter a $60,000 Submission of the Night bonus. MacDonald took the fight less than a month after his UFC 87 loss to Demian Maia.
Terms of his new deal were not disclosed.
MacDonald, a former Maximum Fighting Championships fighter, is 9-3 in his past 12 fights. He made his UFC debut in 2006 and garnered some early recognition by scoring submission victories over "TUF" notables Ed Herman and Chris Leben. Additional UFC victories have come over Rory Singer, Joe Doerksen and Lambert.
The UFC has not confirmed when MacDonald could next return to action.
Nate And Nick Diaz Launch Into Tirade At UFC Fight Night Presser
n what was a baffling and undoubtedly rare moment for the media, Nate Diaz was short of salacious quotes about his latest win and opponent Josh Neer. Diaz’s time was limited in dropping four-letter bombs. Why? Because Nate had noly taken his seat in front of reporters at the post-fight press conference when his older brother Nick launched into a tirade that disrupted the interview and left the UFC staff with the unenviable task of keeping the Diaz clan from causing a scene
Kevin Burns wants rematch with Anthony Johnson to "make it right"
Much of the MMA world was taken aback when the Nevada State Athletic Commission recently elected to leave Kevin Burns' (7-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) controversial July TKO victory over fellow welterweight Anthony Johnson unchanged.
After repeated warnings throughout the bout by referee Steve Mazzagatti for Burns to be cautious of repetitive eye pokes, a final third-round blow crumpled Johnson to the mat. Mazzagatti did not initially see the illegal strike, and Burns was awarded a much-maligned victory.
But as Burns recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), regardless of the NSAC's opinion on the matter, the Iowa native is prepared to correct the matter in his own manner.
"To be honest with you, I was kind of impartial," Burns said about Johnson's appeal with the commission. "[The NSAC] had the right and the ability to do what they wanted as far as making the appeal. I didn't have adverse feelings either way.
"I guess what's really going to be the true-tell sign at the end of the day is when we meet in the cage again, and we have a chance to compete against each other. Then the fans will get to see what they wanted to see, and we'll get to make it right."
NOGUEIRA BROTHERS OPEN TEAM NOGUEIRA DALLAS
Both Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and his brother have been very successful as trainers in the field of mixed martial arts and now the tandem is expanding into Texas with the opening of “Team Nogueira” Dallas, which will be located in the new Octagon MMA gym.
The Nogueira brothers are hopeful to train new mixed martial artists while continuing to teach and broaden their Brazilian Jiu-jitsu education to new students in the Dallas area.
“We are bringing the best mixed martial arts and Brazilian jiu-jitsu training that most people in Dallas have not experienced before,” said Nogueira. “We’ve developed training programs for men, women and children, as well as competitive fighters.”
Lead trainer, Greg Seal, owner of Octagon MMA, who is a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu black belt and who has trained with the Nogueira team for the past six years is very positive about bringing the popular fighter’s style to the Dallas based gym.
Bloody sport gains in mass popularity
Rich Franklin used to spend his days teaching math to high school students. Today, he spends his evenings in an octagon-shaped cage grounding and pounding fighters into submission in front of thousands of screaming fans.
Wow, no MMA bashing, Im stunned....
Counter programming alert: UFC 86 to air at same time as Elite XC: ‘Heat’
If you watched UFC Fight Night 15 or “The Ultimate Fighter” (TUF) 8 on Spike TV last night then there’s a good chance you saw the commercials showing that UFC 86: “Jackson vs. Griffin” will be replayed for free on October 4 on Spike TV beginning at 9 p.m. ET.
That “coincidentally” happens to be the same date and time that Elite XC will air perhaps the most important event in its history, Elite XC: “Heat” on CBS.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that Dana White and the UFC have attempted to sabotage the competition with counter programming.
In fact, it was only two months ago when Affliction MMA was set for its first live pay-per-view (PPV) event. The t-shirt company turned MMA promotion had big plans to make a splash in the MMA world only to to have the UFC plan a free “Fight Night” on Spike TV the same night.
To make matters worse (for Affliction) the UFC headlined the card with one of the most popular fighters on the planet, Anderson Silva.
Apparently the plan worked because Affliction’s PPV buys did not reach expectations and the UFC’s free “Fight Night” pulled in better numbers.
While this isn’t a live event being put on by the UFC, it’s still counter programming and there will still be fans who opt to tune in to the replay of a card headlined by one of the better fights of the year between Rampage Jackson and Forrest Griffin instead of eyeballing another potential disaster main event involving Kimbo Slice.
It’s clear the UFC wants to clear the world of any and all competition. And if there’s an organization out there capable of pulling that off, it’s definitely the good ole’ Zuffa boys.
GUIDA HAPPY WITH WIN; WANTS 1 MORE FIGHT IN ’08
Having been on the wrong side of a few controversial decisions during his time with the UFC, lightweight competitor Clay Guida worked as hard as ever to prove himself during his bout with Ultimate Fighter Season 6 winner Mac Danzig on Wednesday night at UFC Fight Night 15 in Omaha.
Guida kept up a very high pace during the fight with Danzig and when it was over he felt there was no doubt that he was the victor.
“I felt confident in this one,” said Guida about the decision. “He’s got pretty good takedown defense, towards, up against the cage, he stopped it, he stopped my takedown a couple of times. But I stuck with it and put him down to his butt where I wanted it and it did feel good to come out with the decision.”
In the end, Guida was able to dominate the ground portion of the fight, landing numerous takedowns while being cautious of his opponent’s considerable submission skills in the process.
Second effort nets Schafer biggest win
OMAHA, Neb. – Eric Schafer was almost a Division I college football player. But a hip pointer caused him to miss his senior high school season and the Big Ten conference teams that had shown interest in him as a linebacker suddenly began to encourage him to walk on.
Then, he nearly became a doctor. He graduated magna cum laude with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. His medical school entrance test results were very high, enough so that he could have been accepted pretty much wherever he wanted.
But what he wanted, really, was to fight. He bought the pay-per-views of most Ultimate Fighting Championship shows and quickly became enthralled. His first was UFC 8, when Don Frye won a tournament by beating Gary Goodridge in the final round.
“Once I discovered MMA,” Schafer said, grinning, “I never thought about football for a minute again.”
It’s hard to imagine a guy who looks like a grown-up Opie Taylor being a mean and snarling linebacker, so that was probably a good call. But, honestly, it wouldn’t be easy to guess Schafer’s profession now simply by looking at him.
He took the first step toward establishing himself in the UFC when he submitted hometown favorite Houston Alexander with a slick arm triangle choke Wednesday at 4:53 of the first round at the Omaha Civic Auditorium.
Dustin Hazelett promoted to BJJ Black Belt
UFC welterweight Dustin Hazelett was promoted to a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt under Jorge Gurgel at Gurgel's gym Tuesday night in West Chester, Ohio.
Hazelett, 22, began training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in his junior year of high school and has been studying with Gurgel for the past 5 years and 10 months, according to the Team Gurgel website.
Hazelett, who will be quick to remind you he’s not Jon Fitch, is 4-2 in the UFC and 11-4 overall in MMA.
In his last fight, Hazelett won the Submission of the Night award with a second-round armbar win over Josh Burkman at “The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale” in June.
Hazelett had to go under the knife to remove damaged cartilage under his nose after that fight, but he’s already back training for his next fight scheduled for Nov. 15 at UFC 91 “Couture vs. Lesnar” against Tamden McCrory.
Houston Alexander couldn’t hear at UFC Fight Night 15
“The crowd was so loud that I couldn’t hear my corner. If I heard them and knew, you know, there are 10 seconds left, five seconds left, whatever, I would have tried to hung in there a little longer and survived. But it was so loud and these people were supporting me so much, I couldn’t hear and I had to tap.”
– Houston Alexander tells Yahoo!Sports.com that if he knew how much time was left in the first round (seven seconds) he perhaps would have tried to last until the bell rather than tap because of an Eric Schafer arm triangle at UFC Fight Night 15: “Diaz vs. Neer” last night. Alexander is from Nebraska and had his hometown crowd vociferously rooting him on until the waning seconds of the opening frame. The loss is Alexander’s third straight, pushing his record inside the Octagon below .500 (2-3).