Anthony Johnson Targeting October Return
Seeming to have put the controversial TKO "eye poke loss" behind him, Anthony Johnson recently noted that while he wasn't happy with the fight's outcome, he's put it behind him and is planning to return to UFC in October. He could be cleared for a September return but Johnson plans to play it safe and wait a little longer.
Sean Sherk: I Want To Fight The Best Of The Rest
Not content with facing just anyone in the UFC Lightweight Division, former champion Sean Sherk says he wants to face the toughest competition around, the guys that, if he defeats them, will leave no one doubting that he should be back in the mix, fighting for a UFC championship.
Nate Quarry Injured in Freak Acciedent
This might be old news, but I hadn't really heard much about Nate's injury.
Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight Nate Quarry, who secured a place in the highlight reel of 2008 by chasing Kalib Starnes across the Octagon, is recovering from a freak accident a little over a month ago.
Quarry was at a party in Albany, Oregon, where guests were hitting golf balls into a wooded area. Quarry walked straight into the backswing of a young woman, sending the club directly into his left eye. The force of the blow broke Quarry's Orbital Floor, a bone that keeps the eye in place. Doctors estimate the original cast member of “The Ultimate Fighter” will not be able to compete until November or December at the earliest. Despite the bad turn of luck, Quarry has been a good sport about the whole incident.
“I’m just glad it was me and not some kid or other woman,” Quarry says. “We had grown men swinging these clubs. If it would have hit a kid or a woman, it would have smashed their face.”
Quarry says the injury has stalled a search for a new opponent. A rumored UFC card in Portland is in the window of his recovery period, but he is not aware of any proposed match-ups.
“It would be great to fight in Portland,” he says. “First, I have to heal up from this though.”
Heath Herring Contradicts Himself
There have been conflicting reports since the evening of weigh-ins for UFC 87 regarding whether or not Heath Herring or his team made disparaging remarks towards Brock Lesnar prior to their fight. Lesnar and UFC prez Dana White say there were, while Herring has denied saying anything derogatory about the former wrestler (or any of his previous opponents, for that matter).
One thing which neither side has disputed to this point was the fact that Herring refused to walk out to the cage before Lesnar when asked by UFC execs. Herring even said as much on the August 12th episode of Sherdog's "Beatdown" radio show.
Quinton Jackson's arraignment delayed as investigation continues
Quinton Jackson's scheduled arraignment last Friday on charges following his July arrest was postponed, as police and the Orange County District Attorney's office continue their investigation.
The 30-year-old former UFC light heavyweight champion was arrested on July 15 on suspicion of hit-and-run driving, felony evading and reckless driving. A new arraignment date has not been scheduled.
The delay could put a crimp in the UFC's plans to bring Jackson back to the Octagon as early as November, which, even in our lenient, second-chance society might be premature.
UFC Quick Quote: Patrick Cote will ‘take care of’ Anderson Silva on October 25
“We know how to beat Anderson Silva. The only way to beat him is to push the pace. Go forward all the time…. You can’t let him get confident and comfortable in the centre of the Octagon. You have to push the pace for five minutes every round. If I do that, I can catch him. I’ll take care of him.”
– Confident Cote strikes again — this time in the Edmonton Sun via Fight Network radio. The Canadian has been talking quite a good game leading up to his fight against 185-pound demon Anderson Silva at UFC 90: “Silva vs. Cote” at the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Ill., on October 25. However, the “Spider” has demolished virtually ever fighter who has adopted the “in your face” strategy inside the Octagon. See James Irvin, Rich Franklin (twice), Nate Marquardt and Chris Leben.
Herring Moving On, Wants Rematch With Lesnar
Heath Herring was convincingly defeated by Brock Lesnar at UFC 87 on Aug. 9 at the Target Center in Minneapolis by unanimous decision. Unhappy with his performance and the outcome, Herring looks to the future and would eventually like a rematch with the Division I collegiate wrestling champion and former World Wrestling Entertainment superstar.
Herring had high expectations heading into the octagon against Lesnar, but was caught by a right hand in the opening moments of the bout that sent him and his expectations crashing to the canvas.
"I think that shot pretty much changed the whole dynamic of the fight," said Herring. "I sure would like to know what would have happened if it hadn't landed."
"Once that right hand landed it was like I was fighting half blind, or pretty much blind at that point. It was all pretty much downhill from there," explained the 30-year-old heavyweight. " I just tried to come back and mount some type of offense. Unfortunately, I was never able to mount anything that significant...After getting rocked with a shot like that, and not being able to see, you're more in survival mode."
UFC 91 - “Rampage” Jackson vs Wanderlei Silva
Mmabay have learned from a very reliable source that the main event for the yet to be announced November show, UFC 91, will be between former UFC light heavyweight champion, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva.
Although no location has been determined for the event to take lace at this time, the UFC have been busy in putting together one of the biggest and most anticipated matches in UFC history. Both have aspirations of getting into the title mix and this fight, although very dangerous for both will greatly propel the winner up the ranks for a possible shot next year.
Although coming off a loss and suffering personal problems, Jackson is back in the gym with a new trainer and working hard to be in shape for this one. He will need to be, as he’s faced Silva twice before and was dominated both times. Silva himself has seemingly shaken his losing streak with the kind of performance we are used to against Keith Jardine in May, knocking him out in the first round.
Thiago Silva Says That He Or Lyoto Machida Deserves Next Title Shot
Unbeaten Brazilian Thiago Silva will face fellow unbeaten countryman Lyoto Machida in a battle that may determine the UFC's next light heavyweight title contender. Silva believes that the winner deserves a shot.
“I think we both got where we are by facing great fighters," Silva told Tatame.com. "Whoever wins our fight has all rights to fight for the title; and he has even more than me (laughs).
Silva laments having to face another Brazilian but appears confident in his preparation thus far.
“I’m ready to fight," said Silva. "My preparation is good, I’m really focused. But unfortunately I have to face another Brazilian fighter."
The UFC Emerges Stronger From a Dangerous Summer
I wrote a piece called "Zuffa's Dangerous Summer" in April, and pointed out three potential threats: 1) Affliction's first show; 2) EliteXC on CBS; and 3) Randy Couture winning his case and pursuing the Fedor fight in one of these competing promotions.
It's now August, and it looks like Zuffa will emerge from this dangerous period as the undisputed top player in the industry.
Affliction did far better than I guessed when they first announced the show, but they spent so much more money to do it that they have cut their second payroll by millions of dollars, and do not look to be a formidable threat at any point in the near future.
EliteXC is on the ropes, reeling from significant financial loss and management issues. CBS does not pay them enough for them to survive without Pay Per View, but who knows if we'll ever see that? They are not a threat, they are more like an occasional novelty act that will serve to build up names on CBS that will get better deals when they eventually sign with the UFC. Lesnar-Kimbo may be a fight we see in 2009 in the UFC. If they do survive and stay strong, they still won't be any kind of threat to the UFC.
For Jon Jones, upset victory proved he belongs in UFC
Not much was expected of unheralded 21-year-old Jon Jones (6-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) at UFC 87. A late replacement for an injured Tomasz Drawl, Jones was regarded as little more than a sacrificial lamb for highly touted prospect Andre Gusmao (5-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC).
But after 15 minutes in the octagon at UFC 87, Jones had delivered a stunning unanimous decision victory. The win proved to Jones that only four months into his MMA career, the Team BombSquad fighter belonged in the UFC.
"[The win] meant a lot to me," Jones told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "It showed me that I can do this. A lot of people doubted me. They said, 'Jon's tough, but he hasn't fought anybody.' Now they can't say that."
Jones started the bout uncharacteristically. Despite owning four first-round stoppages in his previous five fights, Jones looked tentative in the opening frame. While much is made of first-time UFC fighters' "octagon jitters," Jones said it was the locker room that caused his challenges.
"I wasn't nervous at all," Jones said. "I was a little unprepared though. Usually before my fights I'm in a zone. My mind and body is one unit. I'm ready to go. My reactions are quick. I've got a great sweat going. My lungs are open.
"In this fight I'm fighting against a Renzo Gracie guy. I've got Wanderlei Silva hanging out in my locker room. Matt Serra's in my locker room hanging out. Renzo Gracie is walking in and out of my locker room. There's all these cameras in my face. I just couldn't really get in my groove."
The wealth of talent surrounding the young fighter was in stark contrast to the smaller stage on which he was used to competing.
"I wasn't as focused as I was if I was at a smaller show," Jones explained. "So when I went out there it wasn't that I was nervous. I kind of had cold feet. I didn't get that mental game together before I came out there.
"So it took me a while to get comfortable. The more I landed punches, and the more I avoided his attacks, my creative juices got flowing. My comfort got flowing. And that's when I started opening up a bit."
Once Jones began to open up, a vast array of strikes followed. Jones peppered Gusmao with unorthodox attacks from every angle. Gusmao claimed a few of those angles ended below his belt.
Much of the crowd in attendance, as well as Jones himself, disagreed.
"It definitely was frustrating to me," Jones said of the situation. "The first knee to the groin was legit. I definitely kneed him to the groin. It was a total accident.
"I'm a lot taller than most of my opponents. When I throw a knee it usually lands to my opponent's face or chest. Him being a tall guy, I kind of caught him a little low. It was a total accident.
"He took enough time and got to catch his breath. All the rest of the knees I think was just acting a little bit trying to get the crowd and the judges on his side. I had no respect for that."
Adding to the frustration was Gusmao scoring an illegal knee of his own below the belt on Jones.
"I definitely remember that moment," Jones said of being hit in the groin. "I definitely felt the knee. But you're in a fight. I felt the knee. It was a legit knee, but it wasn't enough to drop me, so you fight through it. Some guys just don't have that mental edge."
Jones fought through the controversy and delivered the upset victory. The importance of the win was not lost on the New York native.
"I fought a guy who's 5-0 in the IFL, and it showed me a lot," Jones said. "It shows me that I can do this and I do belong in the UFC."
The win also showed two other fighters in attendance that Jones belongs in the UFC. An invitation to train together soon followed.
"Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson, his manager contacted me right after the fight, and we exchanged information," Jones said. "I know that Quinton and Cheick Kongo want to fly me out to their gym to give them a different look as far as workout partners.
"So I'm excited about that. I get to work out with one of the best 205-pounders in the game. I'm sure that's going to help me out a lot."
It's a safe bet that Jones will not enter his next UFC bout as such an unknown commodity. Although Jones believes he'll still be the underdog for quite some time, he hopes his performance in Minneapolis has earned him a bit more respect.
"I'm sure there will be lots more cases of me being the underdog," Jones admitted. "But I definitely think I earned the respect of the UFC with the performance I put on.
"Anyone who watches that fight knows that when it comes to stand-up, they don't know what to expect. I think it's going to be hard to train for a fighter like me -- especially when I get my jiu-jitsu a little bit stronger.
"I definitely think I have a lot more underdog fights to come. Especially with me being so young, being so new to the game. But I definitely know that even though I'm going to be the underdog, I'll be the respected underdog."
And for a fighter with six professional fights in just four months, the opportunity to step back into the cage can't come soon enough.
"I'm ready to step into UFC 88 or 89," Jones said. "I'm ready to get in there right away. I love staying in my groove. I don't really like to take too much time off.
"I'm hungry to fight more. Hopefully they throw me back in there as soon as possible."
IFL champ Roy Nelson says choice to sign with Affliction was easy one
After the seemingly defunct IFL closed its doors on July 31, IFL heavyweight champion Roy Nelson found himself among the many of the organization's fighters forced into free agency.
Nelson recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) the choice to sign with upstart promoters Affliction was an easy one. Of course that was only after Nelson found out very unceremoniously his time with the IFL was over.
"Actually the first time I actually heard of [the IFL folding] was when I was doing a taping for 'Inside MMA' a couple of weeks back," Nelson said. "They actually announced it on the show, and that's when I found out."
Nelson said the disappointment of the league folding was tempered by his realization of new opportunities on the horizon.
"It really wasn't that tough just off the pure fact that with any business if your employer's not really sound and they don't take very good business strategies -- I knew there were bigger and better things," Nelson explained. "If [the IFL] had the potential to go get a Fedor (Emelianenko) or a Randy (Couture) or a top-10 guy like an (Andrei) Arlovski, then I would have been 10 times more happy. But I knew that wasn't going to happen."
Jackson Arraignment Postponed
By Loretta Hunt
The arraignment of former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (Pictures), scheduled for Friday, has been postponed pending further investigation
UFC Quick Quote: Thiago Alves via knockout of Diego Sanchez at UFC 90
”I know I’m going to knock him out. It doesn’t matter what round…. I want to put on an exciting fight for the fans. Diego is a pretty tough guy, but I can knock him out. But I have to take him down and submit him, I’ll do that. I’ll be on top of my game.”
– Thiago Alves shares his prediction (a knockout) with the Chicago Sun-Times for his upcoming welterweight scrap with Diego Sanchez at UFC 90: “Silva vs. Cote” at the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Ill., on October 25. “The Pitbull” has every reason to be confident — he is riding impressive back-to-back technical knockout wins over top contenders, Matt Hughes and Karo Parisyan. The winner of this fight will likely land a spot behind BJ Penn as the next 170-pound title challenger or at the very least earn a berth in a number one contender eliminator match.
Herring ''First Punch Fractured Orbital''
Heath Herring claims that the right hand that Brock Lesnar landed at the start of their fight last Saturday fractured his orbital bone and partially blinded him.
He updated his profile on a major social networking site with a post detailing the causes and symptoms of orbital fractures.
“The orbit is the bony structure around the eye. An orbital fracture usually occurs after some type of injury or a strike to the face,” he wrote.
Later he spoke to MMA Mania and said that the blow from Lesnar had made him “start off right away blind”.
Donald Trump will always have a seat at Dana White’s table
“I have a ton of respect for [Donald Trump]. When the Fertittas bought the UFC, most venues wouldn’t deal with us. We were outlaws. Our first event was at the Trump Taj Mahal, and Trump actually came to the fights. You’ll never hear me say a bad word about Donald Trump. He can have my seats anytime.”
– UFC President Dana White — who is featured in the most recent edition of Playboy magazine — talks about just about everything, including his thoughts on Mark Cuban (HDNet Fights) and Donald Trump (Affliction MMA). He also touches on the HBO deal that never was, John McCain and Barrack Obama, boxing, ratings and the percieved violence of the sport. And of course, Tito Ortiz, calling him a “bigmouthed bitch, that clown.” Head over to WrestlingObserver.com for the annotated Cliffs Notes version of the sit-down. Or just go buy Playboy as soon as possible. You might actually get away with the “I read it for the articles” excuse on this one.
Nobody Will Fight Cain Velasquez
According to Bryan Alvarez, the UFC has still not found an opponent for Cain Velasquez at UFC 90:
UFC sources say that despite reports of Cain Velasquez vs. Antoni Hardonk for the Chicago show, as of this morning, there was no opponent for Velasquez.
Dave Meltzer recently noted that they are having a lot of trouble finding people to take fights against Velasquez. He is very good, but he has no name value yet, so fighters don't see any upside in facing him.
Fabricio Werdum, the number one contender, is supposedly booked on this show against Junior dos Santos. This fight really makes no sense at all, it's a guy that is barely known to UFC fans against another that is completely unknown. If Werdum is the top contender, he should fight Velasquez on this show.