Skipped holidays are part of the fight game for Evan Dunham
Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day and two birthdays – UFC lightweight Evan Dunham trained through them all for his co-main-event fight against "The Ultimate Fighter" season-eight winner Efrain Escudero at Monday's UFC Fight Night 20 event in Fairfax, Va.
He's given up a lot but said it's a small price to pay for victory. Training and personal time are the same thing.
Zuffa Brings Legal Action Against Pub That Illegally Streamed UFC 104
Well that didn't take very long. After UFC President Dana White vowed to make life miserable for the chiselers who stream illegal feeds of live UFC programming, the Boston Herald reports that the Zuffa legal team may have bagged their first casualty in the war on pirates. Zuffa is suing "The Draft" and its owner, Derek Brady, for reportedly allowing a patron to connect a laptop illegally streaming UFC 104 to one of the establishment's television sets for all the customers to enjoy.
Bars and restaurants are typicaly required to purchase UFC events through an approved closed-circuit provider (for UFC events that's usually Joe Hand Promotions) and can pay anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars for an event, depending on the circumstances.
They didn't pay on Oct. 24, but they may pay in court -- to the tune of $640,000 plus legal fees if found guilty.
Gray Maynard Didn't Think B.J. Penn Was a Very Good Coach on TUF
Should Maynard prove the experts correct and defeat Diaz, he would likely be the next contender for lightweight champion B.J. Penn. Coincidentally, Penn was Maynard's coach on TUF. However, Maynard was not altogether pleased with the instruction he received.
"As a coach, you have to help the guys keep their goals, and I think he was just 'there'," Maynard said. "He was like 'I just want to go home.' I don't really think we had the best training."
Swick vs. Thiago official for UFC 109: Marquardt vs. Sonnen promoted to co-feature slot
The UFC today officially announced a recently reported contest between welterweights Mike Swick (14-3 MMA, 9-2 UFC) and Paulo Thiago (12-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) for February's "UFC 109: Relentless" event.
Swick stepped in as a replacement for Josh Koscheck when his teammate was forced off the card with an injury.
While Koscheck and Thiago were originally scheduled in the evening's co-main event, the organization has promoted a middleweight fight between top contenders Nate Marquardt (29-8-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) and Chael Sonnen (24-10-1 MMA, 3-3 UFC) to the co-feature slot.
Spencer Fisher burning to fight “Fireball Kid”, Takanori Gomi
When it was announced last weekend that former Shooto and PRIDE Champion Takanori Gomi had signed with the UFC rumors began swirling in regards to who he might debut against in the organization. Though the first name to surface as an opponent was Ken Florian, it appears as though Gomi’s presence in the company has at least one other fighter jazzed at the idea of meeting the Japanese striker at the center of the Octagon.
Since I’ve started MMA Gomi is one of the guys I looked up to and copied some of my style from him…I’ve always talked about guys diving for my shoelaces and the script might be flipped this time! (laughs) But of all the fights in the world that one excites me the most. I would have to be in tip top shape to fight someone of his caliber.
As UFC Fight Night 20 approaches, Amir Sadollah making up for lost time
"The Ultimate Fighter 7" winner Amir Sadollah (2-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) went nearly 14 months between his first and second appearance in the UFC, but now the welterweight is making up for lost time.
Sadollah meets Brad Blackburn (15-9-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) on the broadcast-opening bout of "UFC Fight Night 20: Maynard vs. Diaz" on Jan. 11, and the contest will be the "TUF"-winner's third fight in just five months.
Spike: Record 1.5 Million Viewers For UFC 108 Prelims
Spike TV officials today announced that their one hour "UFC Prelim" special that aired before UFC 108 did a 1.0 rating and a total of 1.5 million viewers Saturday night. That's the best viewership yet for the series of pre-PPV specials, which have all done between 1.3 & 1.4 million before this one. 9 more such specials are planned this year.
UFC Announces Strikeforce: Miami Counter-Programming
New year, same old plans. Not wasting any time in taking shots at Strikeforce, UFC has announced that Spike will air an edited replay of UFC 107 on January 30 opposite Strikeforce: Miami on Showtime. The UFC broadcast will feature at least 3 107 fights: BJ Penn vs. Diego Sanchez for the UFC Lightweight Championship, Frank Mir vs. Cheick Kongo and Clay Guida vs. Kenny Florian.
Kenny Florian gunning for UFC Import Takanori Gomi, Hopeful for March Meeting
News that Takanori Gomi received his key to the octagon spread like a fireball last weekend, and faster still was word that Kenny Florian could be his first charge.
The news fanned from a posting on the official Twitter account of Florian's broadcast gig, ESPN's "MMA Live," and in a conversation with MMAjunkie.com (mmajunkie.com) Monday night, there's smoke where there's fire.
"It's a fight that I think I've been wanting to do for a long time, ever since Gomi was the best over in PRIDE, so Gomi's obviously a legend in the sport and those are the kind of guys that I want to challenge myself with," Florian said from Los Angeles, where he was working with ESPN on an undisclosed project. "The quickest road back to the title is beating great fighters like Gomi."
TUF 10 Finale: 6 MIllion Total Viewers For Kimbo-Alexander
There are still 2 things in this world that, it appears, still sell: Sex and Kimbo Slice. According to a Spike TV executive, the final viewer total for the TUF 10 Finale, specifically the Kimbo Slice-Houston Alexander fight, which includes DVR/Tivo recording and replaying plus all other replays for the 7 days after the live event, is 6 million viewers. That's up from the original live figure of 5.2 million for the fight and it makes it the most-watched UFC fight of 2009. The replay window also pushed the entire Finale's final viewership to an average of 4.2 million, up from 3.7 million.
Wanderlei Silva Looking To KO Michael Bisping In Round 2 At UFC 110
During the UFC 108 Pre-Fight Q&A, Wanderlei Silva said that in his 110 fight with Michael Bisping he's going to try and finish it in round 2-by KO. "I'm doing a lot of standup because I want to knock him out. He's a man that likes to fight standup and sometimes he's a guy afraid to shoot. I've been training more boxing, Muay Thai, knees, elbows. I want to make a very interesting show for my friends." He also said he doesn't want an Anderson Silva fight. Yet. "At this moment, I don't want a fight with (Anderson Silva). He's the champion. I need to prove myself again inside the Octagon. I need to fight better. After few fights I would feel comfortable, but now, I don't want a fight with him."
Massenzio Healthy, Hungry, and Eager to Get Back in the Middleweight Mix
2009 was the year New Jersey stamped its name on the UFC map, and with Jim and Dan Miller, Frankie Edgar, Kurt Pellegrino, Nick Catone, and even adopted Jersey fighters like Ricardo Almeida leading the way, fighters from the state put together an 11-4 Octagon record over the past 12 months, an impressive slate to say the least.
The only one missing from this Garden (State) party was Teaneck native (and Paterson resident) Mike Massenzio, who instead had to sit on the sidelines for all of 2009 following surgeries on his knee and neck. Yet the last thing you’ll hear from the 27-year old is a tale of ‘woe is me.’
UFC officials vow to sue individuals for pay-per-view piracy in forthcoming crackdown
LAS VEGAS — Mixed martial arts fans who watch pirated internet content could soon be pressed against the cage says the president of an industry-leading fight promotion. In a move that could signal a sea change in the viral presence of MMA — the burgeoning sport of caged pugilism — Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, said his company is readying a legal assault on individuals and websites that deal in unauthorized content
Maynard: Penn-Sanchez Was More of a Business Choice
When you’ve won six fights in a row in the UFC lightweight division, it’s difficult not to be earmarked as the next title contender.
Gray Maynard knows there are no guarantees, though. The former Michigan State wrestling champion faces Nate Diaz this Monday at UFC Fight Night 20 in Fairfax, Va., in a rematch of their early 2007 bout on “The Ultimate Fighter 5.” And the pragmatic lightweight said a win won’t necessarily translate into a title shot against B.J. Penn.
“I don’t really know what (the promotion’s) talking about, but I got to get past Nate,” Maynard told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Savage Dog” show on Monday. “There’s a lot of guys who are probably like, ‘Yeah, I’m close to a title shot,’ so I’m just one of those guys I guess.”
James Toney wants Lesnar, is trained by "death fighter"
"I want Brock Lesnar and I know, unfortunately, he’s injured right now and had surgery, but I want him, Kimbo, Kendra, whatever his name is, Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell or whoever. [Fans] think I will get my ass whooped. They will all be disappointed. You know I got a very big mouth and it can’t be shut. I have never been stopped in damn near 90 professional boxing fights and never will be. I still do my thing. They let a street fighter in the UFC; I know they can let a future Hall of Fame boxer with real fighting skills and credentials in there, but they scared."