With U.K.'s sweep of TUF 9 Finale, can European "Fight Night" events be far behind?
With James Wilks' impressive submission win over DaMarques Johnson and Ross Pearson's gutsy decision victory over countryman Andre Winner, Michael Bisping's Team U.K. swept the "six-figure contracts" up for grabs in the ninth season of "The Ultimate Fighter."
Now it's up to UFC president Dana White to figure out how best to use his two new European commodities.
With neither fighter ready to challenge their respective division's top contenders, could the UFC be eyeing its first-ever European-based "Fight Night" event?
The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale draws soldout crowd of 1,800 for $500,000 gate
Saturday's latest UFC event, The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale, drew a crowd of "just over 1,800," which produced a live gate of approximately $500,000, a UFC spokesperson confirmed at the post-event press conference.
The finale, which was announced as a sellout, took place at The Pearl, an intimate venue at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
The 10-bout event concluded the latest season of the UFC's reality series, "The Ultimate Fighter: U.S. vs. U.K.," and aired on Spike TV.
Diego Sanchez has ‘tremendous respect’ for Clay Guida and his many hearts
“I’ve got tremendous respect for Clay after tonight because I haven’t been in a blood barnburner like that since Nick Diaz and you know, I hit him with some knees, some kicks and some uppercuts that were right on the button and he just kept on coming. I was surprised, the guy’s got heart. He’s got a couple of hearts because he kept coming in the striking too even though I was landing the more effective strikes and picking my shots. He’s a little Tasmanian Devil to take on. He was in a position to fight me for a reason: He earned his shot with wins against Danzig and Diaz. He put himself in that place but I was just the more technical fighter that executed the gameplan right. I went in there and was ‘The Nightmare.’”
UFC gives "TUF 9" coaches Michael Bisping and Dan Henderson new Land Rovers
As a reward for working as coaches on the latest season of "The Ultimate Fighter," the season-nine coaches (and UFC 100 opponents) each received a brand new Land Rover.
A video shot in Las Vegas of the two fighters receiving the high-end luxury sport-utility vehicles, which can run nearly $100,000 when specialized and fully equipped, is available on UFC.com.
3 FOTN Bonuses At TUF 9 Finale
ULTIMATE FIGHTER 9 FINALE AWARDS & BONUSES
(Each fighter was awarded $25,000)
Fights of the Night:
-Diego Sanchez and Clay Guida
-Chris Lytle and Kevin Burns
-Joe Stevenson and Nate Diaz
Knockout of the Night:
Submission of the Night:
Chris Wilson expects September UFC return
Chris Wilson (1-2 UFC, 14-5 MMA) explained the reasons that took him out of the UFC 98 card. The middleweight fighter has no idea about his return to the octagon but expects to perform in September.
“The Athletic Comission decided that the papers weren’t sufficient and then they required more exames in Brazil on the last time. When I arrived in U.S. the comission considered that was to close for the event and preferred not to put me in the card despite of there wasn’t any problem. They canceled the fight but UFC has paid part of the purse.
The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale Weigh In Results
Clay Guida (155) vs. Diego Sanchez (156)
DaMarques Johnson (170) vs. James Wilks (171) ("TUF" welterweight finale)
Kevin Burns (171) vs. Chris Lytle (170)
Ross Pearson (156) vs. Andre Winner (155) ("TUF" lightweight finale)
Nate Diaz (156) vs. Joe Stevenson (155)
Melvin Guillard (155) vs. Gleison Tibau (155)
Brad Blackburn (170) vs. Edgar Garcia (171)
Mike Ciesnolevicz (208)* vs. Tomasz Drwal (205)
Frank Lester (170) vs. Nick Osipczak (170)
Jason Dent (155) vs. Cameron Dollar (154)
* - Ciesnolevicz missed weight and has been fined 20 percent of his show money. The money goes to opponent Drwal.
Chris Lytle: Fireman, Father, UFC Star
Chris Lytle will step into the Octagon on Saturday night for his 49th professional mixed martial arts fight. But as busy as he's been fighting dozens of times, Lytle has done a lot more than just that: Lytle is also a full-time firefighter with the Indianapolis Fire Department, in addition to being a husband and father of four, and doing some professional boxing on the side as well.
L.A. Times Calls UFC Undisputed a "MMA Marvel"
Let's make something perfectly clear: The sport of mixed martial arts is not for everyone. Some find the ultra-violent marriage of boxing and martial arts too savage and gory (including yours truly). After all, isn't the object to pummel your opponent into a bloody pulp? Who wants to see that?
DaMarques Johnson insists TUF 9 Finale match with James Wilks nothing but business
Team U.S. welterweight DaMarques Johnson (9-6 MMA, 0-0 UFC) was pegged as a favorite early on in the ninth season of "The Ultimate Fighter: U.S. vs. U.K."
To Johnson's credit, he took care of business throughout the season and waltzed his way into Saturday's live finale at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas with two first-round TKO's and a unanimous decision win.
But along the way, Johnson was portrayed as a bit cantankerous and seemed to develop a healthy rivalry with his Saturday opponent, British finalist James Wilks (5-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC).
Diego Sanchez Tells Clay Guida: "It's On Homie" at TUF 9 Finale and Demands Title Shot
Steve Cofield interviews Diego Sanchez and gets him wound up about Clay Guida's recent critique of his striking style:
"Wanna talk some trash? Now it's on homie. Clay, I know you're going to try and throw your little 1-2 combo to a takedown. I'll be waiting for that, also a big left knee is gonna be waiting for that. The same thing Roger (Huerta) did to you, except my knee is going to be harder, more accurate and timed perfect."
Bisping and Henderson Figure Their Fight Will Sell Itself
Last night's season finale of The Ultimate Fighter ended with each coach telling us exactly what he thinks of the other guy; basically, Dan Henderson thinks Michael Bisping's a douchebag, and Bisping thinks Henderson's time has passed. And maybe they're both right. But with three weeks left until they face each other at UFC 100, tensions aren't exactly building. Here's a highlight from a media conference call held earlier today:
Paul Kelly wants Junie Browning next
Paul Kelly wants TUF8 delinquent Junie Browning as his next opponent - and says he will get one of the UFC's bonus awards if they make that fight happen.
“I hope my next match-up is Junie Browning. Its a better match-up for me, he would stand there and fight me, it would be an exciting fight. And he was talking **** about me a bit ago,” Kelly told Fighters Only today.
Franca vs. Griffin Likely For UFC 103
There are reports that Hermes Franca and Tyson Griffin have verbally agreed to face off at UFC 103 in September. Although not yet officially announced, 103 is expected to take place in Dallas. Both last fought at UFNs 17 & 18, respectively.