Akiyama-Leben At UFC 116 Still On Despite Akiyama Protests
Fear not UFC fans; you'll get your required dose of "Sexyama" in July. Despite initial resistance and even considering withdrawing from the fight, it's been confirmed that Yoshihiro Akiyama will indeed face Chris Leben next week at UFC 116. Akiyama was to have faced a now-injured Wanderlei Silva.
UFC Cuts Ties With David Loiseau...Again
The UFC has parted ways with veteran David Loiseau following his UFC 115 loss to Mario Mirando earlier this month. Loiseau's agent Ken Pavia confirmed the news with MMA Fighting Thursday.
This marks the third time since 2006 that Loiseau has been let go from the organization.
Pavia said that Loiseau has not decided whether or not he will retire from MMA, but the 10-year veteran will take some time off to regroup and think about his future options.
Spike Confirms UFC Prelims Special For UFC 118
As expected Spike TV will host a one-hour "UFC Prelims" special prior to the pay-per-view-televised main card of August's UFC 118 event. Spike TV officials today announced the PPV teaser features Massachusetts-based fighters Joe Lauzon and Jorge Rivera, who respectively fight Terry Etim and Alessio Sakara at the Boston show.
Dana White on Fedor: “How is This Possible That I Can’t Sign This Guy?”
“I’ve signed Brock Lesnar, who came from the WWE, James Toney from boxing – he’s a nut chasing me all over the place – Tito Ortiz, whom I hated, and he hated me. I signed him twice when we hated each other. I’ve kept Chuck Liddell, kept Matt Hughes, kept Rich Franklin, when they were all champions. Anderson Silva, I’ve dealt with all the crazy [expletive] with him,” White told MMAJunkie.com of his ability to deal with everything from the ordinary to outrageous.
“But I can’t sign Fedor? How is this possible that I can’t sign this guy? It’s not possible.
A "Disappointed" Yoshihiro Akiyama Not Pleased With UFC 116 Opponent Change
And to make matters worse, there's even a chance Akiyama himself will pull out of the event over this according to a translation of comments he made to a Korean website. "I am not pleased with the change. There are just ten days left until the contest for me to determine [Leben’s] threats and the time is insufficient to establish a tailored gameplan. Leben is also not as high-profile as [Wanderlei] Silva and that does not help me. If there is to be a replacement I was hoping for a big name. I spent one year preparing hard for this fight and this news has come as a big disappointment, my motivation has waned. I do not know yet what will happen ... In the worst case, I will not take part in the [UFC 116] event. We are working hard to resolve this issue."
TUF 11 Finale: 2 Million Viewers
Last Saturday night's (June 19) The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 11 Finale drew an average of 2 million viewers while peaking with 2.4 million, according to Spike TV officials. The card's main event saw Court McGee claim the season 11 TUF middleweight title by submitting Kris McCray in the second round. In other action, Matt Hamill earned a majority decision win over Keith Jardine as he battled with a broken hand, a torn eye duct, and, of course, staph infection. God bless him. The ratings fell short of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 10 Finale, which drew an average of 3.7 million viewers, but also featured some character known as Kimbo. TUF 11 Finale's ratings were in line however with season 9's finale as that event drew 2.2 million viewers.
Marcus Davis vs. Nate Diaz official for August's UFC 118 in Boston
A welterweight bout destined for fireworks is now official for the UFC's first trip to Boston.
The promotion today confirmed Marcus Davis (17-6 MMA, 9-4 UFC) vs. Nate Diaz (12-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC) for the pay-per-view portion of UFC 118, which takes place Aug. 28 at Boston's TD Garden. A lightweight title rematch between newly crowned champion Frankie Edgar and the recently deposed B.J. Penn headlines.
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."