UFC 93 Preview
Many of you probably haven't even recovered from the end of the year onslaught of action from the world of MMA, but it's time to kick off 2009 this weekend with UFC 93, the first major card of the year. And here to help me break down the action, which will take place in Dublin, Ireland on Saturday, is my good buddy Bryan Henderson aka ModMind, who writes The Gauge, one of the best MMA blogs on SN.com.
Anderson and the ground game for Thales
With one fight confirmed, the main focus is on the UFC middleweight, Anderson Silva, who defends the title against Thales Leites. "We’re creating a strategy, we’ll attack and counter-strike too. We’re training with the best Jiu-Jitsu’s athletes, André Galvão (two times BJJ world champion), Ronaldo Jacaré and Master Sylvio Behring... We’ll train hard as if we were fighting with a giant. We have strong weapons to help Anderson and we’ll go prepared for war", says the coach( Josuel Distak ).
Maia: “Sonnen is a dangerous guy”
Without a perfect career in MMA, Demian Maia faces a tough opponent in his return to UFC. Set for the UFC 95, the Brazilian faces Chael Sonnen, the responsible for the only loss in Paulo Filho’s MMA career, last November. "He won the Paulão and that is not for everyone. Despite that Paulão wasn’t in the best conditions, he’s a tough opponent to be beaten", said Demian.
Training strongly for the fight, held on February 21st in London, England, the BJJ black belt expects a studied fight against the American: “I have to be careful, he’s a dangerous guy and very strategic, he won’t fall into me, he would fight to defeat me by points”, bets Demian, keeping the style that rendered him four wins by submission.
Dan Henderson welcomes chance to coach U.S. in "TUF" battle with U.K.
With the winner of this weekend's "UFC 93: Franklin vs. Henderson" main event contest tagged to coach against Michael Bisping on the upcoming ninth season of "The Ultimate Fighter," Rich Franklin (24-3 MMA, 11-2 UFC) has hinted at his lack of desire to make another appearance on the show.
His opponent, Dan Henderson (23-7 MMA, 3-2 UFC), recently told TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), he's not only open to the possibility of coaching on "TUF," he's already clearing his calendar for the experience.
UFC 93: Dan Henderson Q & A
GAD: You're 38. Does retirement enter your mind?
DH: It's hard to know when that moment is. There's a lot of fighters going through that dilemma. Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell, it must be going through their heads. There's things I want to accomplish that are attainable in this sport, and if I attain them, it would probably be a good time to retire. I want to beat Anderson Silva (the sport's No 1 pound for pounder, who Henderson lost to two years ago) and I also want to fight for the 205 lb belt. And then retire.
SCHAFER & MOHR IN THE LAND OF THE CELTIC TIGER
Schafer and Mohr tell us that Ireland and the fans there are terrific! “The buzz about the UFC is felt all over town and the Irish fans know all about us! It’s really kinda cool!” said Mohr. Nate, who is there with teammate and cornerman Bart “Bartimus” Palszewski and will be joined by Jeff “Big Frog” Curran on Thursday, tell us that they were surprised at that the fans called out their names and ask for autographs. “It really shows the growth and popularity of this sport. I was surprised that anyone would recognize me, especially being out for a year!” Mohr states.
Mark Coleman has strong words for Shogun at the UFC 93 press conference
"He is a legend in this sport and it is a pleasure to fight him again,” said Rua.
But when Coleman took the stand, he rounded on the Brazilian and questioned the sincerity of his words.
Shogun has “called me two-faced, said it was a lucky win [in the first fight] and now he says he respects me. I don’t know which it is,” he said.
“I’ve heard he’s said I might get my leg broken. Well Shogun, if you can break it, I won’t say you were lucky, I will say ‘good job’."
UFC Primetime Premiere Draws Over 1.4 Million Total Viewers
MMAPayout.com has learned that the premiere of UFC Primetime last night on Spike drew a combined total of 1,494,000 viewers in 10PM EST time slot. The 10PM debut drew 880,000 viewers with 614,000 viewers for the replay that followed immediately at 10:30PM.
Just a note. Be sure of the key word combined , meaning the initial viewing was 880,000.
I'm also going to enclose a link to UFC Primetime" Ratings May Justify Expense " which gets more into depth with the expenses and number jargon.
Irish debutant Egan wanted no part of "The Ultimate Fighter"
He's not the first guy to pass on an opportunity to try out for the UFC's reality show but it is interesting to hear why Irishman Thomas Egan wanted no part of the UFC's highly successful reality show. It's a show that has launched dozens of fighters to new heights in their mixed martial arts career. The Ultimate Fighter 9 is pitting a team of U.S. fighters against a group from the U.K. Technically Egan isn't from the U.K. but he was considering trying out for the show and would've been welcomed with open arms by the organization who lack any sort of Irish presence on its roster.
BJ Penn's Trainer Calls Dana White a "Drama King"
UFC Primetime tried to insert what the BJ Penn camp unequivocally calls a non-issue. That is, there is a storyline being pursued that suggests Penn is taking a vacation in the middle of his training camp thereby somehow indicating Penn isn't taking the fight seriously or won't be properly prepared. Penn's head trainer, Rudy Valentino, says it's all rubbish. To wit:
“Dana White was making a big deal out of nothing,” Valentino tells InsideFighting.
Tyson Griffin to return at Fight Night 18
After what will be more than a six-month layoff, UFC lightweight contender Tyson Griffin (12-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) will return to action in April at UFC Fight Night 18.
A source close to the Xtreme Couture fighter today told MMAjunkie.com Griffin has agreed to fight at the event. UFC officials are currently finalizing plans for an opponent.
Pro's Pick: Coleman vs. Shogun II
Sherdog caught up with 25 pros to get their picks on the upcoming rematch at UFC 93.
19 took Shogun, 4 went with Coleman, and 2 couldn't decide.
I was suprised to see Tompkins pick Coleman, Randy seems to be leaning that way as well.
Pros Pick: Henderson vs. Franklin
With the winner penciled in to coach alongside Michael Bisping on the next season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Sherdog.com caught up with plenty of professional fighters and trainers for their predictions on Henderson vs. Franklin.