UFC 115's Paulo Thiago aiming for 2011 title shot but won't quit special-forces job
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – UFC welterweight and self-described adrenaline junkie Paulo Thiago (13-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) says it's much easier than you'd think to be a fighter and a special forces police officer.
"[My] commanders do the best they can," Thiago, who faces Martin Kampmann at UFC 115 on Saturday, told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) on Wednesday. "Whether I win or lose, I always have the best support."
But as far as he goes in MMA, there's one thing he won't give up, and that's his day job.
Thiago lives in Brasilia, Brazil, where he's a member of Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais, a special Brazilian police squad that takes on high-risk missions. His team regularly takes on a sordid cast of underworld characters: drug dealers, prison inmates, thieves and the like.
Dean Lister Tapped to Work With James Toney on Jiu-Jitsu
With his mixed martial arts debut about two months away, former multi-division boxing champion James Toney has enlisted ex-UFC star and Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Dean Lister to tutor him in a crash course on the ground game, MMA Fighting has learned.
According to two separate sources, Lister has been working with Toney for about one month in preparation for his August UFC 118 bout against UFC legend Randy Couture. Lister did not respond to messages seeking comment.
Chuck Liddell plans return to his roots against Rich Franklin
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Chuck Liddell is ripped, yes. He's rejuvenated, and he's rededicated to fighting.
But fans who expect to see a fighter who headhunts at the expense of MMA's other disciplines may be surprised on Saturday night when he meets Rich Franklin (25-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC) at UFC 115.
Liddell (21-7 MMA, 16-6 UFC) is usually the guy to wall-walk when an opponent wants him on his back, and with his heavy hands, that's often. He's made a career on counter-grappling and minted the sprawl-and-brawl style.
But his fight style and lifestyle have caught up to him – he has lost four of his past five fights and been knocked out in his most recent two fights – and UFC president Dana White wants him to hang up the four-ounce gloves and work in the UFC office (or any place other than inside a cage throwing punches).
A "Mean" Tyson Griffin Isn't Interested In A Fight Bonus Against Evan Dunham
It's not that he doesn't want more money, but simply because Fight Of The Night means it was a close fight and he doesn't want a close fight tomorrow. "I think one of my biggest strengths when it comes to this situation is that I might be a little too nice in the gym. I don't like to hurt my training partners. If I land a punch and he's rocked, I'm not going to jump on him. I think one thing he might be surprised with is how mean I am in the cage as opposed to how I am in the gym. I feel like I’ve learned a lot, I’ve gained tons of experience, and learning that when I fight more patient, my abilities really shine as opposed to going in there and just scrapping. Yeah, Fight of the Night bonuses are great, but Fight of the Night means it was a close fight, and I’m not trying to have anymore close fights."
Chael Sonnen's (Possibly Fake) Twitter Not Helping Political Ambitions
The rash of alleged Twitter identity thefts continues in the MMA world, or so we are told.
The latest supposed victim is top UFC middleweight contender and current Republican nominee for Oregon State Representative Chael Sonnen, who's taking heat in an article today on the Huffington Post for remarks on a Twitter account that purports to be his.
The complicating factor – and this is where the story starts to sound familiar to anyone who followed the Jamie Yager saga last week – is that Sonnen has, according to the Huffington Post, called the account (Twitter.com/sonnench) a fake after he was contacted by reporters about some off-color comments that appear on the page.
Wounds healed and lessons learned, Kampmann ready to make statement at UFC 115
Even with a gaping wound over his right eye that UFC broadcaster Joe Rogan would almost certainly compare to some aspect of a goat's anatomy, Martin Kampmann (16-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC) still wanted to fight.
But with just six weeks from the time of the injury until his schedule fight with Ben Saunders at March's UFC 111 event, Kampmann was advised by doctors to stand down.
He did, but the urge to fight has been building for months, and the "Hitman" is ready to unleash his fury on potent Brazilian Paulo Thiago (14-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) at this Saturday's UFC 115 event in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Right Leg Hospital, Left Leg Hospice
Either way, Pat Barry apparently is going to spend the next 2 years staring out a window, but where might depend on if Mirko Cro Cop can throw one of his signature high kicks. "[Pat Barry] said, in the case of him winning, that he will spend two years staring outside a window, but he must also have one thing else on his mind: In case he loses the fight, and I am lucky and throw a high kick, he might stare outside the window for two years, too. With a nurse by his side."
Mauricio Rua's First Title Defense Likely Delayed By Knee Surgery
Newly minted UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio Rua's first title defense likely will be delayed due to a recent knee surgery. Rua was expected to face Rashad Evans later this year Dana White is unsure when the Brazilian champ will fight again. "He just got out of the hospital; it was a successful surgery," White said. "He had the surgery in [Los Angeles], and he's going to be doing all his therapy in (Las) Vegas. "So he'll be in Vegas for the next five weeks." White said Rua's injury occurred during the fight with Machida, though a report from ESPN's "MMA Live" the night of the May 8 event stated Rua's knee was already injured. "He got hurt in the fight," White asserted. No comment yet from Rua.
Tito Ortiz Talks Neck Surgery, Comeback and Still Wanting to Fight Chuck Liddell
Breaking his silence about his neck injury, withdrawing from his fight with Chuck Liddell and being replaced on The Ultimate Fighter, Tito Ortiz said he plans to be back in the cage around October or November, and hopes to return against Liddell.
Speaking on Spike's Inside the Ultimate Fighter podcast, Ortiz said he will actually be rooting for Liddell in his UFC 115 bout this weekend against Rich Franklin, but said win or lose, Liddell should have to face him later this year.
"I think we should still fight, just because of the s--- he's been saying. Saying that I'm afraid of him and I'm a p----, this and that. Go f--- yourself man. Are you kidding me? Has he ever defended his world title longer than me? No. Has any light-heavyweight ever defended the world title longer than me? No. I'm only 35 years old. I'll be back in the cage again, and I'll be dominating."
Josh Bryant vs. Kyle Noke Completes TUF 11 Finale
One last fight between TUF 11 castmates has been announced to complete the TUF 11 Finale lineup, Kyle Noke vs. Josh Bryant was announced by UFC for the prelims. Noke reached the quarterfinals and Bryant the semis before they were eliminated, both by Kris McCray.
Filipovic forthright about his UFC troubles
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic had reached a breaking point. A few minutes earlier, he’d slipped almost unnoticed into a ballroom in a downtown hotel, where several of his peers were going through a workout for the benefit of the media covering UFC 115.
The Croatian was testy, to be kind, as he fielded questions about the upcoming fight Saturday at GM Place and clearly looked like a guy who’d rather be just about anywhere other than where he was.
Sucks that if a guy dosn't want to market himself and simply allow his highlight reel to do the work for him that his contract won't allow it. But he signed it. Heres hoping Mirko can give a Pride showing this weekend!
Sadly I think I'm taking Barry in this one.
Evan Dunham Is Hoping You'll Take Notice If He Beats Tyson Griffin
Especially if you haven't already considering he is only 3-0 in UFC. "Tyson, in my opinion, is a top-tier fighter in the UFC, one of the guys who could definitely have a title shot here real soon. I didn't really think too much into [fighting a training partner] besides I was going to have to find some different places to train at for the camp, because he didn't want to share the same gym for the fight. Overall I thought it was great because Tyson's very talented and he's a high-level fighter. At the same time, I think we'll both going to have a couple of tricks up our sleeve but overall we both know each other's strengths. All I can do is keep winning and hope people take notice. Flying under the radar is definitely not by choice."
TUF 12 Finale Scheduled For December 4
With the upcoming 12th season of "The Ultimate Fighter" now in production and its Sept. 15 Spike TV debut set, plans are also in motion for the show's live finale. The live finale for season 12 is currently scheduled for December 4, and will be held at the venue that's hosted the last 7 finales-The Pearl At The Palms in Las Vegas. The finale will air live on Spike.
Dan Lauzon released by the UFC
Dan Lauzon has been released by the UFC following a loss to Efrain Escudero, his second in a row, at UFC 114.
Joe Cavallaro, a friend and business partner, confirmed the news. The promoter of World Championship Fighting had Lauzon under a promotional agreement when he fought locally and has helped the East Bridgewater native along the way.
“His contract was terminated. He’s just got to go back and get more experience. Dany is very very young guy,” said Cavallaro. “He is a tremendous fighter. He needs to get the right training, the right camp and get a handful of wins again.
Dana White on Chuck Liddell: 'A loss at UFC 115 would be the end'
"Yes [a loss at UFC 115 would be the end of Chuck Liddell's career], and I think he will say the same thing. But let me tell you what the difference is - the difference before, when I wanted him retired, was that he wasn't doing the right thing. He was out partying every night and doing the wrong thing not the right thing. He wasn't living the life of a professional athlete... He and I sat down and talked and I will tell you what, he has kept his word. He has been phenomenal shape since the beginning of The Ultimate Fighter and it will be interesting to see how he does. Because Rick Franklin is tough, he is no joke. He had that war with Dan Henderson that many people believe he won, he had the war with Wanderlei Silva - he has fought all the best in the world."
TUF 11 Finale prelims include Tavares vs. Baczynski, Camozzi vs Hammortree
Following tonight's regular-season run of "The Ultimate Fighter 11," the fight card for next week's season finale is taking shape.
Sources close to the event have confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Chris Camozzi (12-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is set to fight fellow middleweight cast member James Hammortree (5-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC), and in a bout pitting MMAjunkie.com blogger vs. blogger, Brad Tavares (4-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) takes on Seth Baczynski (11-5 MMA, 0-0 UFC).
The bouts take place next Saturday, June 19, at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
The night's main card, including the Court McGee vs. Kris McCray finale, airs live on Spike TV.
Jamie Yager vs. Rich Attonito slated for The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale prelims
A bout pitting Team Ortiz's Jamie Yager (2-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) vs. Team Liddell's Rich Attonito (7-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is set for the preliminary card of The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale, a source close to the event confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The meeting of eliminated cast members takes place next Saturday, June 19, at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
The night's main card, including the Court McGee vs. Kris McCray finale, airs live on Spike TV.
Both fighters fell short in the 28-man/32-slot middleweight tournament.
Yager, the fourth pick of Tito Ortiz's team, scored a 26-second knockout of Ben Stark in an elimination-round bout, and he advanced to the quarterfinals with a subsequent TKO of Charles Blanchard. However, his "TUF" run came to an end when he didn't answer the bell for the third round in a fight with Josh Bryant.
Trainer Duke Roufus wants all focus on UFC 115's Pat Barry
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Getting kicked by UFC heavyweight Pat Barry on daily basis sucks. Getting kicked by Pat Barry while holding pads from the Reagan era really, really sucks.
Jeff "Duke" Roufus, Barry's trainer, found himself in that position today at an open workout promoting Barry's fight with Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic this Saturday at UFC 115.
Delta Airlines lost the luggage containing his gear on the flight into Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and he had to ask UFC welterweight Claude Patrick's trainer for an extra pair of kick pads and hand mitts.
Roufus, a former K-1 kickboxer, has his regular kick pads made special in Thailand. They're packed to the gills with extra padding, which is perfect for absorbing the shock of shins traveling 80 miles per hour.
UFC 115's "Cro Cop" says retirement possible if new contract doesn't materialize
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic is on the last fight of his UFC contract and wants to keep fighting. But if he doesn't ink a new UFC deal, he's not shopping himself to Japan.
Instead, he's done.
"I will extend the contract, or I will go retire," said Filipovic (26-7-2 MMA, 3-3 UFC), who on Saturday faces Pat Barry (5-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) on the pay-per-view portion of UFC 115. "But I think I will keep fighting."
Filipovic inked a three-fight contract extension with the promotion this past July after a rocky patch in which it was speculated that he might defect from the UFC to the Japanese-based DREAM promotion.
Rosenthal officiates UFC 116 main event; Lesnar's camp, UFC speak against Mazzagatti
LAS VEGAS – Veteran referee Josh Rosenthal today was selected by the Nevada State Athletic Commission to officiate July's UFC 116 main event between UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar (4-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) and interim belt holder Shane Carwin (12-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC).
Rosenthal was selected from a pool of available officials that also included Herb Dean, Steve Mazzagatti and Mario Yamasaki at today's NSAC meeting in Las Vegas based on the recommendation of NSAC executive director Keith Kizer.
Both Lesnar's camp and the UFC issued objections to Mazzagatti's potential selection, though NSAC chairman Pat Lundvall ultimately dismissed the claims and included the oft-criticized referee in the pool of potential officials.