'Colossus' Backs Al-Turk For UFC Success
James Thompson is backing former Cage Rage champion Mustapha Al-Turk to make a big impact in the UFC heavyweight division.
Thompson, a fellow Cage Rage veteran, believes Al-Turk will surprise MMA fans in the US that may not have seen him fight before.
“I always like to see nice people who work hard get chances, and that’s what you've got with Mustapha,” he told Fighters Only earlier.
“He is a really quality person and fighter who has worked really hard and is now going to turn plenty of heads."
Thompson’s last fight was a highly controversial loss to streetfighter turned mixed martial artist Kimbo Slice earlier this year.
MANAGEMENT CONFIRMS UFC HEAVYWEIGHT'S INJURY
Following the news on Monday that Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight Cain Velasquez had been forced out of a proposed fight due to a knee injury, MMAWeekly.com has received an official update on his condition.
Representatives from Zinkin Entertainment, Velasquez’s management team, informed MMAWeekly.com that the former Arizona State wrestler recently injured his knee in training and required arthroscopic knee surgery.
The injury was nothing severe, but with rehab and training it will keep the fighter sidelined for the next few weeks at the least.
According to the report, Velasquez should be back in action by “February at the latest. We are just waiting to see how rehab goes right now.”
As previously reported, the original opponent for Velasquez, Mustapha Al-Turk, will now face Cheick Kongo on Dec. 27 as a part of UFC 92 in Las Vegas.
Matt Wiman vs. Frankie Edgar signed for Dec. 10 UFC military event
Lightweights Matt Wiman (10-3 MMA, 4-1 UFC) and Frankie Edgar (9-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) have signed to meet at "UFC Fight Night 16: UFC Fights for the Troops," an event that takes place Dec. 10 at the Fort Bragg military institution in Fayetteville, N.C.
Stephen Rivera, Edgar's longtime mentor and manager, confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) overnight that bout agreements have been signed.
Fiveouncesofpain.com first reported on Wednesday that the fight was close to being finalized.
Wiman returns to competition and goes for his fifth consecutive victory inside the UFC. The 25-year-old suffered a second-round knockout to Spencer Fisher at UFC 60 before joining the cast of "The Ultimate Fighter 5" in 2007. In the exhibition competition, he defeated Marlon Sims in a preliminary bout but then dropped a unanimous decision to eventual show runner-up Manny Gamburyan in the quarterfinals.
However, Wiman has since been on a tear, defeating Brian Geraghty (TKO), Michihiro Omigawa (unanimous decision), Justin Buchholz (submission) and Thiago Tavares (knockout) in regular UFC competition.
Ben Saunders vs Brandon Wolff at UFN 16
A welterweight bout between "The Ultimate Fighter" alumnus Ben Saunders (6-0-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC) and UFC newcomer Brandon Wolff (7-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will take place Dec. 10 at "UFC Fight Night 16: UFC Fights for the Troops."
The event will be hosted by the Fort Bragg military installation in North Carolina. It airs live on Spike TV.
Wolff's agent, Ken Pavia, today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the bout is being finalized this week.
Fiveouncesofpain.com first reported the possibility of the Saunders vs. Wolff fight earlier today.
*NEW* - Crocop: "We will settle our score on NYE"
Mirko showed up at the airport in sunglasses at around 20h. Overeem smashed both of his arcades and he has two stitches on both sides. Scratches are also visible on his forehead and neck, but Cro Cop was in the mood for a short chat and said that he was upset that the match had to be stopped because he was sure that his chance would come if they were to resume.
LOUGHRAN VS CREDEUR AT UFC FIGHT FOR THE TROOPS
Ultimate Fighting Championship fighters Nate Loughran and Tim Credeur have verbally agreed to fight on the UFC Fight for the Troops event on Dec. 10 on Spike TV.
Both fighters made their official UFC debuts on as part of the July 19 UFC Fight Night featuring a special light heavyweight bout between UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and James Irvin.
Loughran kept his unbeaten streak alive by submitting Johnny Rees at that event. In his UFC debut, Credeur also won, defeating fellow Ultimate Fighter Season 7 alumnus Cale Yarbrough by TKO.
Quinton Rampage Jackson vs Wanderlei Silva could happen at UFC 93
The blockbuster light heavyweight match up between Quinton Jackson (28-7) and Wanderlei Silva (32-8-1) will more than likely not happen at UFC 91: “Couture vs. Lesnar” at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on November 15.
The explosive (and long-rumored) third showdown between “The Axe Murderer” and “Rampage” was expected to co-headline the major pay-per-view (PPV) alongside the showdown between UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture and Brock Lesnar.
We first passed along news of the booking earlier this month right here.
However, it appears that even though bout agreements were distributed to both fighters several factors prevented the fight from taking place, including the legal obligations that “Rampage” must fulfill in November.
MICHAEL BISPING WELCOMES RAMPAGE & KONGO
The Wolfslair gym in England was known to many fans as the home of “Ultimate Fighter” season 3 winner Michael “The Count” Bisping, but in recent weeks the addition of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Cheick Kongo have now made the team a major entity in the MMA world.
Jackson and Kongo both recently made the decision to leave former trainer Juanito Ibarra and make the move to Team Wolfslair. Bisping, who is currently training for a fight with Chris Leben, talked about the growth of his home camp in a recent interview with MMAWeekly.com
“I think it’s just a sign of the team getting bigger and bigger,” he commented. “Rampage and Kongo are signed now. On the domestic side in the U.K. we’ve got some of the other fighters in the forefront. Some of the top level fighters in the U.K., they’re joining up to the team now as well.”
Chris ‘The Crippler’ Leben: I’m going to make 20,000 people shut-up at UFC 89
UFC middleweight contender Chris Leben was our guest on this weeks broadcast of Pro MMA Radio. Presented by MMAmania.com, Pro MMA Radio airs live every Monday night at 9pm and features many of the top fighters from the UFC and beyond.
‘The Crippler’ didn’t waste any time getting into his fight with Michael Bisping at UFC 89. Leben gives credit to Bisping’s technical approach but isn’t impressed with his power. He also believes people underestimate his (Leben’s) ground game.
Leben predicts he will win by knockout.
Larry asks him about the short stint he did in prison that kept him out of UFC 85 and the story behind choking out one of his fellow inmates.
Chris also talks about his fight with Anderson Silva and how he had it in his head that he was going to knock him out in the first round - and how that mental mistake cost him the fight.
Great Expectations: Can UFC 91 Top 1 Million Buys?
During the conference call announcing Randy Couture v. Brock Lesnar as the main event of UFC 91, Dana White predicted that the event would do in excess of one million buys on pay-per-view. White’s prediction is rumored to be based on internal marketing research that found the fight was the most anticipated the company could deliver, even more anticipated than a potential showdown between Forest Griffin and Chuck Liddell (that eventually went down in flames courtesy of Rashad Evans) or a dream fight between BJ Penn and Georges St. Pierre scheduled for January.
Mark Bocek vs. Alvin Robinson on tap for UFC 91
A lightweight clash between Mark Bocek and Alvin Robinson is expected to be added to the Nov. 15 undercard for UFC 91: Couture vs. Lesnar at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The news comes courtesy of a report on Sherdog.
Bocek, a jiu-jitsu standout from Canada, is 5-2 overall in his professional MMA career and 1-2 in three career UFC bouts. He debuted for the promotion at UFC 73 in July of 2007, where he suffered a first round TKO loss against Frankie Edgar.
Bocek then returned to the Octagon at UFC 79 last December during the undercard for Georges St. Pierre vs. Matt Hughes and Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva. Showing improved overall MMA skills, Bocek recorded a unanimous decision victory over Alaskan Doug Evans.
Frank Edgar vs Matt Wiman UFC Fight for the Troops
There’s a an exciting lightweight clash between Frank Edgar (9-1) and Matt Wiman brewing for UFC Fight Night 16: “Fight for the Troops” at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, N.C., on December 10.
MMAmania.com recently learned about the potential 155-pound bout; however, bout agreements have not been signed (though have been distributed to both fighters).
Edgar recently rebounded from the first professional loss of his career to Gray Maynard (unanimous decision) at UFC Fight Night 13 to outpoint former number one contender Hermes Franca on all three judges scorecards at UFC Fight Night 14: “Silva vs. Irvin” in July.
The latter bout was dubbed the “Fight of the Night,” earning Edgar and Franca each an additional $25,000 for their performances. It came as no surprise — Edgar is often involved in action-packed battles.
And the match up with “Handsome” should be no different.
NEWCOMER AL-TURK TO FIGHT KONGO AT UFC 92
Having just signed a multi-fight agreement with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Cage Rage champion Mustapha Al-Turk was all set for a baptism of fire in the UFC against highly touted heavyweight prospect Cain Velazquez. It was scheduled to be a tough debut for the London Shootfighters standout, but one that suited him stylistically as both are heavy handed grapplers.
According to his coach and manager Alexis Demetriades, it appears that the fight is off due to injury. "We got word from Joe Silva that Velazquez has pulled out due to injury and will be undergoing knee surgery to fix it. It’s a shame as we had a strategy in place and we were all set to go."
The announcement of Velazquez withdrawing from the fight will leave many disappointed as the fight guaranteed fireworks. All is not lost, as a replacement has been found in tough Frenchman Cheick Kongo, who is coming off a TKO win over Dan Evensen at UFC 87 in Minneapolis.
Travis Lutter Back In UFC (Again)?
Apparently being cut from UFC for various reasons isn't the end of your career there-TUF 4 MW winner Travis Lutter, despite being let go by UFC earlier this year, could be coming back again. He appears set to face Joe Doerksen at UFC 91.
Anderson Silva NOT Retirng Next Year, says his Manager
Anderson Silva’s manager says that the middleweight champion will definitely not be retiring within the next 12 months.
He made the statement after UFC middleweight champion Silva told a Brazilian television station he was thinking of quitting MMA in the coming year.
Some have speculated that the decision was prompted by Dana White’s refusal to allow Silva leave to enter into a boxing match with Roy Jones Jr.
However, his manager Ed Soares says that this is not the case and that White has a good relationship with Silva.
“Dana hasn't done anything to **** over Silva. It's the complete opposite. Dana has been very good to Anderson,” he wrote on popular message board MMA.tv earlier.
“I can guarantee you Anderson will not be retiring within the next year. He still has 6 fights on his contract.”
Matt Hamill: I’m glad I have a trainer that won’t accept that performance
“I don’t know why I didn’t take him down more. That’s the one thing I have been thinking about over and over. I should have taken him down more like in the first round. That was the game plan. My weapon is ground and pound…I don’t follow what people say in the media, all I can say is I didn’t follow the game plan that we put together. Duff wants me to perform at the level he knows I’m capable of. I’m glad I have a trainer that won’t accept that performance and I respect him for speaking the truth. Duff didn’t do anything wrong.”
UFC ZEROING IN ON SUMMER 2009 FOR PHILIPPINES
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has not hidden its desire to expand its brand across the world. The UFC has yet to return to Japan and Brazil, countries that they haven’t been to in many years, but they have recently expanded into Canada, following a strong building process in Northern Ireland and England.
Anderson Silva to Retire Next Year
"I'll retire next year, I already gave my all. I don't need to prove anything for anyone and within one year I'll put my gloves aside."
-- Anderson Silva talking to Brazilian cable channel SporTV.
It's hard to argue against Silva's accomplishments and boredom with the landscape, but how many mega fights at 205lbs might we be missing if Silva retires? And is this too soon given his age? Shocking developments to say the least.