Chuck Liddell Plans to KO Rich Franklin, Wants Tito Ortiz in Return From Surgery
After nearly 14 months away from fighting and a series of camps designed to bring him back in pristine condition, legendary UFC star Chuck Liddell is set to return to the octagon at UFC 115 in Vancouver.
Though Liddell (21-7) returned with the expectation of fighting Tito Ortiz at the conclusion of the currently airing season of The Ultimate Fighter, an injury knocked Ortiz out, leaving an opening filled by former middleweight champion Rich Franklin.
In an interview with MMA Fighting, the 40-year-old Liddell spoke about the Ortiz fallout, facing Franklin, changing his lifestyle and whether his June 12 fight is a must-win affair.
UFC 117 Prelims Announced, Wallace vs. Nedkov Among Additions
Following Thursday's official announcement of UFC 117 and three main-card bouts, including a headliner of UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen, UFC officials have unveiled the night's preliminary card. Most of the fights were already known but there was a new addition to the card today: Rodney Wallace vs. Stanislav Nedkov. Wallace is on the Losing Streak Of Doom and needs a win to keep his roster spot while Nedkov will be making his UFC debut after fighting internationally including a 2-0 mark in World Victory Road Sengoku events.
Fertitta On Fighter's Union: That's Up To Them
To unionize or not. Lorenzo Fertitta says it's up to fighters. This past Saturday at UFC Fan Expo 2010, the UFC executive said collective third-party representation – an issue that's long shadowed the sport's explosive rise to popularity – is not under his company's domain. "We have no role," Fertitta said. "So we're not in a position to say we support it, or we're against it. That's entirely up to [the fighters]."
Strikeforce champ Jake Shields' non-exclusive negotiations begin Friday
Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields' exclusive negotiation period with the San Jose, Calif.-based promotion has expired, though negotiations with the company remain ongoing.
Shields' manager and father, Jack Shields, today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that he will begin non-exclusive negotiations tomorrow.
"The options are all good," Jack Shields said, though he did not confirm whether Strikeforce had yet offered a new contract.
Light heavyweight Ricardo Romero signs four-fight deal with UFC
Light heavyweight Ricardo Romero has signed a four-fight deal with the UFC according to his new manager, Mike Constantino, who announced the news today in a press release.
Romero (10-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is a former light heavyweight and heavyweight champion of the New Jersey-based Ring of Combat promotion and carries a five-fight win streak into the octagon.
Yager Clears Up Twitter Controversy With Tito (No TUF Spoilers)
Jamie Yager may have had a rough night on Wednesday watching his elimination from “The Ultimate Fighter" Season 11, but nothing like the storm of controversy he was hit with first thing Thursday morning. An account on Twitter that was said to be Jamie Yager’s went on a hate filled tirade aimed at Tito Ortiz, and several media outlets picked up on the back and forth, reporting the heated exchange between the former coach and fighter. The only problem, Yager says it wasn’t him. "Basically, I woke up today about like 9 o'clock west coast time, and my phone's blowing up like 'dude, what's going on? What's up with you and Tito?’" he told MMAWeekly Radio on Thursday night. As the confusion washed over him, Yager hit the Internet and saw the barrage of messages and media outlets reporting on his "feud" with Tito Ortiz. Blindsided by the whole incident, Yager immediately alerted everyone involved that while he does have his own Twitter account (www.twitter.com/jamieyager) the person posing as him posting the messages was an imposter.
UFC 117 Official For 8/7
UFC officially announced UFC 117 yesterday for August 7 in Oakland, CA at Oracle Arena. Headlining the event is a long-rumored middleweight title fight between UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and challenger Chael Sonnen. Also officially announced for the event were New UFC Hall Of Famer Matt Hughes vs. Ricardo Almeida and Clay Guida vs. Rafael Dos Anjos.
UFC 114 Early Estimate: 925K PPV Buys
It appears that in the over/under with regards to Dana White's prediction of 850,000 PPV buys for UFC 114, the over is going to win. While not yet official, the early estimate is Saturday's event did 925,000 PPV buys. The event was headlined by the grudge match of Rashad Evans vs. Quinton Jackson.
UFC Plans Return To Germany
Die UFC ist wieder nach Deutschland kommen. Translation: The UFC is coming back to Germany. After a successful first show in 2009, it appears the promotion will be heading back to Germany sooner rather than later. They aren't backing down from the challenge of the local government that wants to take the sport off of television there. Never one to back down from a potential challenge, UFC president Dana White was adamant when asked about returning to Germany, and he says this year is the plan in motion right now. "We are doing a show," White said about returning to Germany in 2010. "One thing we don't do, we don't back down, and we don't curl up and climb into the closet when things don't go (our way). We're going to come out, guns a-blazing, and we're going to keep going."
Paulo Filho Calls Out Mauricio Rua
Seriously. That's what he told Graciemag is in his future plans. "I couldn’t miss the chance to challenge [Shogun]. I want to fight him and feel the pressure up close by the end of my career. That’s just something I want. Shoot, I’ve been getting lambasted on forums. Folks are acting with a lot of disrespect. But it’s what I want and I know I can make it.”
A "Frustrated" Todd Duffee Had A "Horrible" Game Plan Against Mike Russow
And he took to The Underground message board to explain what happened. "It was on the temple I felt the shot...it just shut down the cns system couldnt use my arms to catch my fall or anything i was watching everything till my head hit the canvas(which may have put me out)i blinked and he hit me with a hammer fist....the way i fell made it look much worse than it was...I wasn't gassed i was more frustrated and trying to stick to the game plan should of threw that out after the first 30 seconds ...my game plan was horrible......i wasn't snapping punches instead i was muscling them shoudl of kicked should of grappled should of fought....I'll be back and show I am more than capable of wrestling etc., thanks for the support and thanks to the people who helped me out sorry i let you down it will pay off in the long run."
Rampage: I've got to make a decision, MMA or movies
"I’m really ashamed of myself that I fell victim to ring rust. Emotions had nothing to do with it.”
“I focused really hard and I trained really hard on this fight, but me having this damn movie and everything -- I kind of almost regret doing the damn movie now. There was so much pressure. (20th Century) Fox kind of threatened to sue me if I lost and everything because they didn’t know I was fighting.”
Not Retired, Phil Baroni Will Look to 'Enjoy' UFC 118 Fight
After a loss in his UFC return last November and a premature retirement announcement last Friday, Phil Baroni says he will make sure he enjoys himself when he takes on John Salter at UFC 118 on Aug. 28 in Boston, Mass.
"It was a do-or-die [my last fight]," Baroni said Tuesday on The MMA Hour. "This fight I'm not going to look at it that way. I'm going to go there and enjoy it and not put the pressure on myself."
Last November, returning to the promotion where he first made his name in 2002, Baroni said he felt as if his back was against the cage. And just last week, the pressure was elevated to the point where the 34-year-old was ready to call it quits.
Love or hate him, chances are you don't really know "TUF 12" coach Josh Koscheck
Between a healthy need for revenge, a tense relationship with UFC president Dana White, and a promise to call it like he sees it, Josh Koscheck thinks "The Ultimate Fighter 12" is going to be a good one.
"It will be like season one," Koscheck, who begins his stint as a coach on the reality show this week in Las Vegas, told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) from the Spike TV booth at UFC Fan Expo 2010.
If that holds true, you can expect mind games, rivalries and drama – all the stuff that's helped keep the UFC's Petri dish for new talent alive for a half-decade while making Koscheck a polarizing figure in the welterweight division.
Despite win, UFC 114's Cyrille Diabate sees too many mistakes in performance
Cyrille Diabate sat in the UFC media center and got instant feedback on his performance as the big-screen TV replayed his UFC 114 fight with Luiz Cane.
Diabate, who hails from Paris, sat stone-faced as the fight played out, and he didn't say much when it was over.
Diabate survived a flash knockout in the fight's opening moments but managed to recover and light up the Brazilian with a flurry of punches that won him a first-round TKO.
Brilz OK With Nog Fight, Plans To Be Finisher
You would think losing a close split decision in the biggest fight of his career would have Jason Brilz down in the dumps, but nothing could be farther from the truth. After coming close, but falling short against Antonio Rogerio “Minotoro” Nogueira at Saturday’s UFC 114, Brilz is actually in a more positive mind frame. In the eyes of many, Brilz managed to do well enough to win the fight, or at least earn a return shot even with the loss. According to Brilz, his contract status is not up in the air to his knowledge. “They said I’ll be back,” he announced. “Joe Silva said before the fight, ‘You’re doing me a favor here, thanks very much and no matter what happens you’ll be back.’ “I hope I’m not getting cut. Nobody told me if I am, but I’m usually the last one to find out about that stuff.”
Acting Is Kind Of Gay...
And evidently being coddled on the set of "The A-Team" is not the kind of treatment that sits well with Quinton Jackson. "Acting is kind of gay. It makes you soft. You got all these people combing your hair and putting a coat over your shoulders when you're cold. I don't want a coat over my shoulders! I'm a tough-ass [individual]! (In Hollywood) there's a thing called 'pecking order.' I'm not used to that. People can be really inconsiderate of people's feelings. I wasted three weekends in a row waiting in my trailer when they didn't use me at all. To be honest, my experience in this movie industry hasn't always been good. If you know one thing about me, I say time is the most valuable thing in this universe. I hate wasting time. And these [individuals] wasted a lot of my...time! Overall, I was glad I experienced the stuff. But sometimes I have mixed feelings. Sometimes I think, 'Damn, I should have taken that (UFC 107) fight.'"
Cole Miller vs. Ross Pearson Possible For UFN 22
A Lightweight matchup between Cole Miller and Ross Pearson is currently under consideration for UFN 22 in September. Ariel Helwani first broke the proposed matchup late last week and both sides have reportedly been approached about the fight. UFN 22 is expected to feature a headlining bout between middleweights Alan Belcher and Demian Maia.