Leben’s path comes full circle
Even three years later, Chris Leben can’t bring himself to sit down in front of a television sit and watch the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter.
He cringes at what little he does see, unhappy and unimpressed with the desperate character seemingly crying out for help.
Chris Leben was one of an odd assortment of fighters cobbled together by UFC president Dana White and owner Lorenzo Fertitta to compete on the first season of the reality series on Spike TV, which wound up fueling the UFC’s current success.
Leben’s wild, drunken behavior, unpredictable mood swings and overbearing attitude on the show makes it difficult for him to even speak about it now.
Overeem Talking To UFC
Dutch heavyweight Alistair Overeem has dropped a hint that a move to UFC may be on the cards.
Speaking to Fighters Only earlier, Overeem was asked if he would like to fight for the organisation if the right deal could be struck.
"Of course. My management is working on some deals in the US right now," he replied.
"But I would like to add that I have been treated very well by Strikeforce," he added, referring to the Californian organisation whose heavyweight title he holds.
"There is nothing confirmed as of now about my next fight for Strikeforce, but there should soon be more information on this."
Overeem recently fought bitter rival Mirko CroCop at DREAM 6 in Japan, but the bout was declared a no-contest after several low blows from the Dutchman.
However, he is keen for a rematch and says that negotiations are currently taking place for a second fight on New Year's Eve.
Escudero turns wrestling into MMA/UFC career
Efrain Escudero grew up in Somerton, Ariz., wanting to fight. Now the Grand Canyon University wrestler is doing it professionally.
Escudero, who is still attending the Christian university, was selected by Ultimate Fighting Championships for "The Ultimate Fighter," a Mixed Martial Arts reality show based in Las Vegas.
Marc Goddard Retires From MMA and Becomes UFC Referee
For the majority of you who don't know him, Marc was supposed to be fighting his final fight last weekend, but pulled out due to his close friend and fellow fighter Ross Mason nearly being killed, he's helping Ross' wife and children get through this very difficult time, Leon Roberts who many of you may have seen on Cage Rage is also now becoming a UFC referee................it's a nice and almost moving read
"As the title says really. I am now completely 100% retired from active MMA competition. I have enjoyed mixed success over the years and owe thanks to a whole host of different people, too many to name without fear of forgetting anyone.
I can not wait to take up 100% committed to my refereeing and coaching role in helping others. I will still obviously be teaching, training and compete actively with sub grappling.
From 18th October onwards I will be refereeing at UFC events and I am both deeply honoured and feel real achievement. Good things come to those who wait and the story of me being in before UFC 70 in Manchester to be decided at the last minute no now bears absolutely no significance. I am personally thrilled and can not wait to really get going.
I never said or set out to be the best 205lb fighter in the world but rest assured I will be setting my stall well and truly out to prove to be the best MMA ref in the world, this is something I know I can and will be without a doubt. Espacially now being granted the opportunity and honoured to be given the platform to do so.
This was confirmed for me a few weeks ago but it was always the intention to make Saturdays fight my last and hopefuly retire a champion, alas we all know what happened there and the fight not happening certainly does not matter now.
Even more good news is that I am not alone, as it was confirmed last week that my good friend Leon Roberts will be joining me as the second British representative as a referee. When ever I have been unable to make a show I have always asked Leon to step in for me and I think that he has proved just how good he is and I was so glad when I learned that the UFC had picked Leon too. I am both excited and thrilled for us both and we aim to show just what we are made of.
I have met some real gems in this game and will continue to do so no doubt i really look forward to the future and seeing you all out there and the stars of the game coming through as well as the sport developing here as it should.
Obviously in light of the weekends events I had wished to make this announcment in happier times but that just goes to show that you never know whats coming next, thats why I will be taking this opportunity with both firm hands !
Thankyou to all that wish me well and for those that may not I am sorry for the reason that may have not to, but as I said due to the weekends events may I kindly request that any negatives be refrained from here or at least hate on me via PM.
Sorry if i have been long winded. Love to you all, see you in the cage - peace, Marc."
Eddie Bravo: "The Game Has Changed"
"A lot of fighters wanted to sit in half guard and pound them and rain elbows, but never try and pass the guard.
When you have that kind of attitude, you're only going to get so far. Your game is going to be so limited and
you're going to win some and lose some; you're going to bat .500 and not get very far."
Johnny Rees replaces Luke Cummo at UFC Fight Night 16
Johnny Rees (10-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) has agreed to replace Luke Cummo and will fight Steve Bruno (11-4 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at the Dec. 10 "UFC Fight Night 16: UFC Fights For the Troops" event.
MMAjunkie.com learned of the change over the weekend from a source close to Rees. The bout was first reported by fiveouncesofpain.com.
The event, which airs live on Spike TV and serves as a fundraiser for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, takes place in conjunction with the Fort Bragg military institution in North Carolina.
Luke Cummo off UFN 16 card on Dec. 10 due to injury
Welterweight Luke Cummo has been forced to pull out of a planned Dec. 10 bout vs. Steve Bruno during UFC Fight Night 16: “UFC Fights for the Troops” in Fayetteville, North Carolina due to injury.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com learned of the development from a source close to one of the fighters last night. The source went on to add that Cummo’s spot on the show will be filled by Johnny Rees.
Rees, 10-1, made his UFC debut during UFC Fight Night 14 this past July, losing to fellow newcomer Nate Loughran due to a first round submission following a guillotine choke.
Bruno, 11-4, trains out of American Top Team in Florida and is coming off a loss in his UFC debut at UFC 87. Facing Chris Wilson, Bruno lost a unanimous decision.
Michael Bisping: "Anderson's Only Human, Anything Is Possible"
Although he has other business to take care of before such a fight could happen, Michael Bisping is already thinking, and talking, about an Anderson Silva fight. Bisping thinks his strong point, wrestling, could help him against Silva, who he thinks is a weak wrestler, and that Anderson is only human despite rumors to the contrary.
ALMEIDA OUT; DAN MILLER WILL FACE MATT HORWICH
An undisclosed injury has forced Brazilian Jiu-jitsu ace Ricardo Almeida out of his scheduled fight at UFC 90 in Chicago. Stepping in to replace him is highly touted middleweight prospect Dan Miller, who will now face Matt Horwich on Oct. 25.
The fight has been verbally agreed to by both fighters and should be signed shortly according to sources close to the situation, as confirmed to MMAWeekly.com
Miller was signed to the UFC recently after a stint in the International Fight League that saw him crowned the last-ever middleweight champion for the now defunct promotion.
Ironically enough his opponent, Matt Horwich, was the first ever IFL middleweight champion, but lost the belt during his first title defense a few months later.
Miller made an impressive debut in the Octagon by submitting veteran fighter Rob Kimmons by rear naked choke in the first round of their match-up at the UFC Fight Night event in mid-September.
Shogun: ''Coleman Is Two-Faced''
Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua has a score to settle when he gets his long-awaited rematch with Mark Coleman at UFC 93.
In a recent interview with Fighters Only, Shogun stated that he is back to full fitness and ready for the fight, which he has wanted ever since their PRIDE showdown was halted when Shogun broke his arm during a fall to the mat.
“I've wanted to fight Coleman for a long time, but he kept running away from me,” the light-heavyweight said.
He then revealed that there is a personal element to the fight, which stems from their previous encounter.
“Mark Coleman is two-faced. When I broke my arm whilst falling during our previous fight, he was very nice to my face.
Marcus Davis is going to float and sting against Paul Kelly at UFC 89
“I think his plan will be to throw big thumping punches to get me to clinch with him, I’m just not gonna do it…. I’ve got the longer reach, I’m an inch taller, I’m gonna smash him with jabs, he’s gonna reach for me, I’m gonna move. Every time he drops his head I’m gonna smash him with an uppercut and every time he straightens up I’m gonna smash him with punches. He’s gonna be chasing me around the ring, every time he swings I won’t be there. I can not only hit hard coming forward, I can hit hard on the slide. A lot of people have a tough time punching hard on the move, but that’s all I’ve been working on in this camp. I’ve just been working on throwing bombs while on the move. It’s gonna be a frustrating fight for him, I’m gonna catch every time he reaches, every time he gets desperate, he’ll be chasing as I lead the fight and that’s when I’ll finish it.”
Spike TV Press Release: "Fight for the Troops" NOT at Fort Bragg
While some considered it a non-story that UFC President Dana White would announce that "Fight for the Troops" would be held at U.S. Army base Fort Bragg without getting confirmation from the Army, the plot now thickens. Spike TV has a press release that says the UFC's December 10th event "Fight for the Troops" will not be held on Fort Bragg:
Spike TV will telecast "UFC Fight For The Troops" live from the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, NC on Wednesday, December 10 from 9:00 PM – Midnight, ET. The event will feature a full UFC fight card as well as celebrity appearances and an all-star lineup of UFC fighters. A phone bank in Los Angeles will also be created where donors can interact with the celebrities and UFC fighters answering phones. Further details on appearances and event information will be released soon.
Goulet Vs Swick Is Official
Jonathan Goulet has signed a bout agreement to face Mike Swick at UFC Fights for the Troops on December 10th, Fighters Only can exclusively reveal.
Speaking to a Fighters Only staff writer earlier this week, Goulet said he had “only just signed the contract”.
“He’s a good fighter, a quick fighter, he is versatile,” he said. “All my friends are trying to guillotine me [laughs]. They are trying to help me because of The Swick-otine.”
Swick finished Steve Vigneault and Joe Riggs in two minutes each via a guillotine choke he jokingly named the Swick-otine.
Rampage On facing Wanderlei For A 3rd Time
Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson will face Wanderlei Silva for a third time at UFC 92 in December.
The pair have fought twice before, in Japan’s now-defunct PRIDE organization, with Jackson losing by KO both times.
The second loss was particular dramatic, with Rampage taking a barrage of knees to the head before being left hanging from the ring ropes. It was the kind of loss that many would find difficult to come back from.
"I was conscious that whole time! I was kind of KO'd but I remember all that!" he laughed when discussing the forthcoming fight with Fighters Only.
- UFC 92 TO FEATURE NOG VS MIR, GRIFFIN VS EVANS & SILVA VS RAMPAGE
The Ultimate Fighting Championship expects to close out 2008 with a bang as the promotion has decided on three key match-ups for their year end show on Dec 27.
Interim heavyweight champion, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira will face Frank Mir, while light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin returns to action defending his belt against Rashad Evans and Wanderlei Silva goes for three in a row against former 205lb champion, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
The news was confirmed by UFC President Dana White to Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports.
UFC 94: Matt Arroyo vs Dan Cramer
It’s a battle of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) contestants as season six alumnus Matt “No Regard” Arroyo (3-2) is scheduled to face season seven’s Daniel Cramer (0-0) at UFC 94 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 31, according to WrestlingObserver.com.
Arroyo was last seen getting pounded out by Matt Brown at The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale back in June. This will actually be Dan Cramer’s first professional fight despite a 3-0 amateur record and making it all the way to the TUF 7 quarterfinals.
This should prove to be an interesting fight between two competitors who match up pretty well.
UFC 94 will feature the welterweight superfight between former 170-pound champion and current lightweight kingpin BJ Penn versus current welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre.
“Rush” first fought “The Prodigy” back at UFC 58 in 2006. The two battled back-and-forth in a very close fight that ultimately ended in a split-decision - one hotly contested by Penn and his followers ever since. Now he finally has his rematch - and a chance to settle the score.
- UFC DUBLIN: FRANKLIN/HENDO & SHOGUN/COLEMAN
i know it's been posted but his time it's official
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has officially announced a return to Ireland on Jan 17, but this time they will be traveling to Dublin for the first time. Former middleweight champion, Rich “Ace” Franklin stays put at 205lbs to face Dan Henderson in a tough light heavyweight showdown as the main event.
Also on the card will be former top light heavyweight stand-out, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua moving up to heavyweight for the night to get a rematch with Mark “The Hammer” Coleman, who defeated Rua while the two were in Pride a few years ago.
Affliction Foiled Again By UFC?
At first it might not seem that way, but it seems that UFC announcing UFC 93 in Ireland on January 17 was another preemptive strike against Affliction. Although they hadn't announced it yet, it's said that 1/17 was the date Affliction/Golden Boy was targeting for their MMA/boxing show in Anaheim with Fedor headlining.