Pellegrino fighting for his life at UFC 88
Pellegrino is opening a new Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school in Belmar, N.J. But if his fight career ends anytime soon and his business fails, Pellegrino doesn't know how he and his family would survive. He can barely read and write, and said his math skills are at a third grade level. He's a product of the wonderful school system in Point Pleasant, N.J. where he was moved along and allowed to graduate because he was a phenomenomal athlete (two-time runner-up in the N.J. state high school wrestling championships).
Jon Koppenhaver Now A Legal "War Machine"
Apparently Jon Koppenhaver attended the Jim "Ultimate Warrior" Hellwig school of thought. Because of a wrestling federation attempting to sue him over his nickname, Koppenhaver has changed his legal name to his nickname, "War Machine".
Snapshot of the Day: Rampage's New Home
The legally embroiled Quinton "Rampage" Jackson formally confirmed his split from trainer/manager Juanito Ibarra today, and announced that he will now train with and be managed exclusively by Liverpool, England's Wolfslair. UK site Fighters Only broke the news.
According to multiple reports, it's now all but confirmed that Jackson will face Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 91 in Portland, OR, on November 15th.
Quinton Jackson Likely To Fight At UFC 91
Despite being currently entangled in the legal system, Quinton Jackson is forging on with his mixed martial arts career.
After losing the title at UFC 86 via a unanimous, but controversial, judges decision, Jackson will likely grace the UFC’s first Northwestern card in Portland, Ore. at UFC 91. No opponent has been named for the embattled former champ, but speculation has named Mauricio “Shogun” Rua as a possible draw. Jackson badly lost to Rua in his latter days with the Pride Fighting Championships, falling to strikes in the first round of their 2005 fight. The news comes from a report by Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports after speaking with UFC president Dana White.
Jackson on Tuesday was charged with two felonies and four misdemeanors by the Orange County District Attorney’s office for a July 15 hit-and-run incident on the streets of Costa Mesa. If convicted, he could face up to three years in prison. A felony charge related to a female victim of the incident never materialized.
Holli Griggs was a passenger in one of the cars that Jackson sideswiped. Griggs was 16 weeks pregnant with a boy when she miscarried two weeks after the incident. Orange County DA spokeswoman Farrah Emami told MMAWeekly.com that a subsequent investigation of the miscarriage did not implicate Jackson.
Tyson Griffin not considering rematch with WEC champion Urijah Faber
Despite recent rumors to the contrary, UFC lightweight contender Tyson Griffin (12-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) is not considering a move to 145 pounds to take on WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber (21-1 MMA, 6-0 WEC).
In fact, while a guest on a recent edition of TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), Griffin said the cut wouldn't even be possible
"I'm 180 pounds right now," Griffin said. "There's no way I'm making 145 pounds. Ever. I don't see that happening."
Faber is currently riding a 13-fight win streak. That streak started after Faber's lone career loss -- a Gladiator Challenge bout with Griffin. However after that 2005 contest, Griffin stated he felt he would no longer be capable of making the cut down to 145 pounds.
While fans and media continue to speculate over who could possibly provide a challenge for the dominant "California Kid," Griffin said not to include him in the discussion.
"There's no truth to me moving anywhere," Griffin said. "I've never heard that from anybody. I do not plan on moving in weight class or organization. I'm happy with where I'm at."
Instead, Griffin will continue to focus on his astounding run in the UFC's talent-rich lightweight division.
After a controversial decision loss to Frankie Edgar in February 2007, Griffin has won four straight against some of the sport's best in Clay Guida, Thiago Tavares, Gleison Tibau and Marcus Aurelio. Now the 24-year-old will face former lightweight champion Sean Sherk at October's UFC 90 event.
"They just get tougher and tougher," Griffin said of his opponents. "I definitely don't get a break in competition.
"At the same time, that's what keeps me motivated to train harder and harder. If you have easy fights, it's kind of hard to push yourself. The more you get challenged, the more you challenge yourself in the gym."
Griffin, who faced Faber in just his third career bout -- as well as notable Duane "Bang" Ludwig in his seventh -- isn't complaining about the constant high-level of competition. In fact, the Las Vegas resident wouldn't have it any other way.
"I just think it comes down to the way I am and the way I compete, even before I was part of the UFC," Griffin said. "And as soon as I became a part of [the UFC], I made sure my manager told them straight up and down I want to fight stiff competition. The more challenges I have the better."
ULTIMATE FIGHTER'S HUTCHERSON TO FACE CROW
Sometimes it can be a good thing to fall through the cracks.
After his experience on the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s third season of “The Ultimate Fighter” television series ended with a loss to Luigi Fioravanti on the series finale in 2006, Solomon Hutcherson faded from the limelight.
Surfacing a year later in smaller shows, Hutcherson has been allowed the opportunity to sharpen his skills and become a true MMA veteran in the process without the pressures of performing on a Pay-Per-View stage.
Rampage Jackson Trashes Forrest Griffin; Will Return in November
In an interview with Fighters Only Magazine, a UK publication, Rampage Jackson slammed Forrest Griffin:
...Regarding that fight, he says: "I just want my fans to know, I was at my worst, he was at his best - and I still beat him."
Jackson says that when he said [that he got his ass kicked], "I was being sarcastic, because I really could not believe that it went the way it did."
"I'm not a sore loser, shit happens. But I was hoping that Forrest would be a man and come out and say 'you know what, I didn't win that fight,' especially after he watched it."
"...But now, I don't respect him as a man. Because if it was me, I would have said, 'I have to give him a rematch right away, to remove all doubt.'"
I guess this is the beginning of the heat-up to their next fight. if Jackson pleas down his charges to probation and some community service, could we see this fight sooner than later? They sure are desperate for a November main event, but I don't know how willing they are to give Jackson a title shot given everything that just happened.
Kevin Iole interviewed Dana White for a new Yahoo Mailbag piece, and White confirmed that Jackson would return in November, but that they are still looking for an opponent:
But Jackson will fight, likely on the Nov. 15 card in Portland, Ore., and the charges won’t impede him.
“Of course he’ll fight,” White said. “If he was doing drugs, if he had been drunk, if he had gone out there and done what he did because he was pissed off at someone, that would be a completely different story. But he was ill. And in this company, we support our friends and anyone who works for us when they’re ill and have problems. He was ill, the incident occurred, and now he’s fine.
“Rampage feels awful about the woman’s baby, but he had nothing to do with it. And the (traffic incident) occurred because he was very ill and not with him in control of his faculties.”
Iceman Rx: Chuck Liddell vs. Forrest Griffin at UFC 92 (If all goes to plan)
It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world — especially for fans of mixed martial arts.
Who could have ever predicted the career of Chuck Liddell would be sandwiched between two contestants from The Ultimate Fighter (TUF)?
Yet that’s exactly what’s happened to the former light heavyweight champion, who’s had an interesting 2008.
Liddell was originally scheduled to face PRIDE assassin Mauricio Rua at UFC 85 until “Shogun” re-injured his ailing knee and was forced to withdraw.
TUF Season 2 winner and undefeated light heavyweight Rashad Evans answered the call to replace Rua, but this time it was Liddell who canceled after a devastating hamstring injury.
Now fully healed, Chuck is set to honor his commitment by battling Rashad Evans at UFC 88 at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Ga., on Saturday, September 6.
At that time of the announcement (June), it was sort of anti-climatic. After all, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson was still the 205-pound champion. Defeating Evans meant a possible autumn superfight against Shogun Rua and not the title shot for which he was hoping.
But boy have things changed since then.
Jackson was narrowly defeated by TUF Season 1 winner Forrest Griffin at UFC 86 and spent some time after the fight ranting and raving on the highway like Dr. Miles Bennell.
And Shogun somehow ended up bypassing Liddell altogether and could go straight to a Jackson rematch (from their PRIDE days) in November/December. That’s assuming he can make it that long without his knee folding up like George Jetson’s car.
So where does that leave the Iceman? In line for a title shot against Forrest Griffin at UFC 92, according to his nutrition company Iceman Rx.
Unless of course “Sugar” Rashad Evans has anything to say about it.
Joe Lauzon "I'm not going to let any fight slip by"
In a relatively short period, 24-year-old Joe "J-Lau" Lauzon has gone from computer geek to starring on The Ultimate Fighter 5 television reality show, upsetting a former world mixed-martial-arts champ, and then headlining UFC Fight Night 13. Not too shabby for the nerd-looking but fearless fighting lightweight contender who has a Bachelor's degree in computer networking from Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston
Liddell changes his focus from title to “Rampage”?
Chuck spoke to thesun.co.uk about avenging one of the last losses on his record:
"I want to fight “Rampage” real badly. I actually think I match up very well against him, but I’ve managed to lose to him twice now. But the third fight will not have anything to do with the first two, it will be a fresh start. “Rampage” is the one fight I really want, as much as I want my title back. He’s lost the belt now, so I can’t beat him and win the title back in one fight, but I want to fight him just as bad as when he was champion.”
Speaking on his fight with Rashad Evans, Chuck thinks his unbeaten opponent won’t pose him a big threat:
"Evans is a very different type of challenge because he is very fast, goes for takedowns, and has a mentality to try and take the fight into his comfort zone. I won’t allow him to do that, I’ll pressure him for three rounds if I have to but I think I’ll knock him out. I think I’ll get to him. I have real doubts about his shot. He won’t be able to take me down. He had a hard time taking Michael Bisping down in his last fight, and I’m known for stopping shots.”
Chuck will be fighting Rashad at UFC 88 in Atlanta on September 6th, and on winning the fight, could gain himself a title shot.
BJ Penn Willing to Wait for GSP Super Fight
UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn will have to wait just a little longer to face Georges St. Pierre, the man he’s set in his sights since conquering the 155-pound division. But it won’t be too long; manager J.D. Penn tells MMAWeekly.com that UFC president Dana White has named Jan. 31 as D-Day for B.J.’s next incursion into the 170-pound division. Penn and company had originally anticipated a showdown with St. Pierre at UFC 92 on Dec. 27 in Las Vegas.
“He’s staying strong and focused,” J.D. says. “Jan. 31 gives him an extra month to train.”
In a recent interview with MMAWeekly.com, B.J. said he’s pulling out all the stops in preparation for the fight. It’s not just an issue of avenging a loss – he dropped a split decision to St. Pierre at UFC 58 in his second go-around as a UFC welterweight – but advancing the sport to a higher level.
“St. Pierre, he’s got his Canadian fans, his American fans, his fans all over the world,” B.J. said. “I could see in one night that fight jumping the sport of mixed martial arts leaps and bounds. It could be maybe the Joe Frazier/Muhammad Ali type fight that the sport is looking for right now.”
The UFC’s Super Bowl weekend cards have taken on increased importance since the sport’s meteoric rise in visibility. With Penn and St. Pierre coming off extremely impressive performances at UFC 84 and UFC 87, respectively, the event has the potential to splash black ink across Zuffa’s first quarter balance sheet for 2009.
UFC president Dana White recently told Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports that the company was having a retreat this week to figure out the marquee fights for the four yet to be announced cards, starting with UFC 91 on Nov. 15 in Portland, Ore.
As of yet, no other fights have been rumored or confirmed for the Jan. 31 card in Las Vegas.
Thales Leites analyzes fight with Reljic
With four victories in a row, Thales Leites will have a tough opponent at UFC 90. After a huge unanimous decision victory over Nate Marquardt, Leites faces now Goran Reljic, that won his eight bouts at light-heavyweight division and now debuts at 185’s. “I’m expecting a great fight, everything is fine. I’m training hard and the only different detail is that he’s left-handed, but the reat is all the same”, said the Nova União’s athlete, that doesn’t believes it’ll be a problem.
“I never fought a left handed before, but it won’t be a problem. I’m well trained, I saw some videos and I’m doing my preparation with left-handed athletes… The sad thing is that we (right-handed) don’t usually train with left-handed athletes”, said the athlete, that bet at the middleweight decision between Anderson Silva and Patrick Cote.
“I think it’ll be a huge fight, but I think Anderson will take it… If Patrick wants to do a game on feet he won’t make it, Anderson is taller, more technical and is left-handed. But it’s a fight and everything can happen”, bet Leites, that wants to win another fight to get a titleshot. “Obviously I wanna win the title… If any fighter says he doesn’t wants to fight for the belt, he’s crazy or a liar. But my main focus is to keep winning and if they call me I’ll be ready”, said the athlete.
UFC 1: A Look Back
Cool 15th Anniversary article with lots of behind the scenes info and interviews.
Like the fact that Big John applied but Rorion wouldn't let him in.
Or that Zane Frasier got in Rorion's face and then challenged Rickson on the spot.
Or that besides the original alligator moat around the ring, Art Davie wanted to add an electrified copper fence!!
Anderson Silva wants Super Fights
Since making his debut in the Octagon, UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva has never hand picked an opponent. He has never turned down a fight. He even moved up a weight class to be a part of a main event for a special live televised event. And after facing Patrick Cote at UFC 90 in Chicago, Silva is looking for the biggest fights possible.
Being considered among the best pound for pound fighters on the planet always puts Silva’s name in the hat when fans and journalists alike start matchmaking the dream fights, pitting the Brazilian against everyone from Georges St. Pierre to Chuck Liddell.
His manager, Ed Soares, spoke to MMAWeekly Radio recently and feels that Anderson Silva will be a part of many of the biggest fights fans will ever see.
“I think he wants to fight those big mega fights because that’s the kind of fight we want to be involved with right now,” he said about Silva’s future fights. “I think it’s a combination of seeing what the potential opponent is and also seeing what the UFC wants to do. At the end of the day, this is a business, and they need to sell fights. They need to sell a lot of pay-per-views, and they need to sell tickets. So, we want to be involved with those types of fights.”
One name in particular that has been rumored for months is former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell, who is arguably the most well known fighter in the sport today. While Silva’s focus is solely on Patrick Cote, a fight with Liddell is one he would accept.
“We’re not looking past Patrick Cote, but I think we’ll take one step at a time and see what happens. But yeah, if a Chuck Liddell fight came up, we’d take it,” stated Soares. “Whoever the UFC wants to put in front of us, he wants to fight the best, and whoever that may be at the time, that’s who he wants to fight.”
The timing for a year-end super fight involving Silva may work out as well. As Soares explained, he was originally going to fight Yushin Okami at UFC 88 in Atlanta, but an injury forced the Japanese fighter off the card.
This latest match-up with Cote will take place towards the end of October, but barring any injuries, the “Spider” won’t close the door for the possibility of another fight in 2008.
“If the right fight was to come up for the New Year’s fight, maybe we would take it,” said Soares. “Right now it’s really hard to say, we’re pretty much just focused with Anderson on the Oct. 25 fight.”