Jake O'Brien vs. Christian Wellisch in works for UFC 94
After suffering the first two losses of his professional career, heavyweight Jake O'Brien (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) will look for a return to the win column when he meets Christian Wellisch (8-4 MMA, 2-2 UFC) at UFC 94.
Sources close to the fighters told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the bout is close to being finalized.
UFC 94, which features a UFC welterweight title fight between current 170-pound champ Georges St. Pierre and 155-pound champ B.J. Penn, takes place Jan. 31 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
O'Brien, a former Purdue University wrestler, began his career with 10 consecutive wins, which included a 3-0 mark in the UFC. The 10th win came in a stunning unanimous-decision upset of Heath Herring in the PRIDE veteran's January 2007 UFC debut.
Dana backs Brock to be No1
DANA WHITE reckons Brock Lesnar has all the credentials to become the world's No1 heavyweight fighter.
The UFC president has tipped the former WWE superstar to put on a great performance against the legendary Randy Couture when the pair collide at UFC 91.
And White reckons 31-year-old Lesnar has what it takes to beat The Natural next month.
He said: "It's such an interesting fight because Couture is so good at coming up with plans for finding weaknesses in guys' games and exposing them.
"But Lesnar's such a different animal, this guy is so big, so strong and so fast at that weight it's just phenomenal.
Sherk’s shifting fortunes
Sean Sherk has won 32 mixed martial arts fights. He’s lost three: to Georges St. Pierre, Matt Hughes and B.J. Penn, each an all-time great in the sport.
“The best of the best of the best,” Sherk said.
At 35 he is an MMA stalwart himself, one of the pioneers of the game who first joined the Ultimate Fighting Championship for UFC 30, when he was “just some farm kid from Minnesota.”
Yet he enters UFC 90 in nearby Rosemont on Saturday at the crossroads of his career, dealing with questions about his past successes as much as his potential for future ones.
On the humble undercard this time, he’ll fight up-and-coming Tyson Griffin, 24, a guy who could rightfully be called a young Sean Sherk. Griffin even modeled some of his wrestling game from watching Sherk fights back when he was just a fan.
Sherk is well aware of the stakes. He was on top of the world 15 months ago, when he outlasted Hermes Franca in a 25-minute test of wills to defend his UFC lightweight championship.
Davis Predicts Bright Future For Paul Kelly
Marcus Davis has offered British welterweight Paul Kelly some words of encouragement after submitting him in their UFC 89 fight last weekend.
Davis believes that Kelly, 23, has a bright future in the sport and says he told him so right after their bout.
"I told him, you're a young kid and you've got a long future in this. You're tough and you're already in the big show, don't let it get you down," he revealed to Fighters Only this week.
He praised Kelly's strength and aggression, which he said had forced him to come up with a different gameplan to the one he used against other British fighters such as Paul Taylor and Jason Tan.
"My trainer's plan, that he set out after watching tape on Kelly, was to use the same plan that Bisping did that night against Leben," Davis explained.
Fisticuffs: Spencer Fisher UFC 90 interview
With 25 professional fights under his belt, Spencer “The King” Fisher (21-4) has been around the block a time or two.
The three-year UFC veteran has gone toe-to-toe with the likes of Frankie Edgar and Hermes Franca and holds wins over Thiago Alves, Josh Neer, Sam Stout, Matt Wiman and most recently Jeremy Stephens at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 7 Finale in June.
And if all goes according to plan, Fisher could be adding one more name to that list. He faces Shannon Gugerty (11-2) at UFC 90: “Silva vs. Cote” this Saturday, October 25 at the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Ill.
Although Fisher was originally slated to face slugger Melvin Guillard (21-7-2), the Team Miletich member will face a significantly different test in Gugerty, who has eight submission victories to his credit, the last of which came via rear naked choke in round one over previously undefeated Dale Hartt at UFC Fight Night 14 in July. It was both fighters’ UFC debut.
ALVES PLANS TO KO KOSCHECK & GO FOR THE TITLE
While many fighters coming off of back to back wins over top ranked opponents wouldn't be willing to wait for their chance at a title shot, Thiago Alves is more than happy to continue his climb up the ladder towards an opportunity to compete for welterweight championship.
In his last two fighters, Alves has knocked out two impossibly tough opponents in former champion Matt Hughes and top contender Karo Parisyan.
It looked like he was primed for a title shot, but instead of waiting around for that chance he took another fight against another top ranked opponent in Diego Sanchez.
Just over a week ago, Sanchez fell out of the scheduled bout with a rib injury. He was quickly replaced with another top fighter in Josh Koscheck, who stepped in at the last minute.
Many fighters would be hesitant to give up the chance to compete for a title in their next fight, but Thiago Alves is even willing to fight another top ranked welterweight on short notice.
CageFighter Banned From The Octagon
MMAPayout.com has confirmed a rift between the UFC and MMA apparel and collectible company MMA Authentic, best known for its CageFighter brand. MMAPayout.com has learned through multiple sources that CageFighter and other MMA Authentics brands have been banned from the Octagon and any UFC event.
The dispute is rumored to have arisen from a conflict over shelf space in Wal-mart stores. Sources told MMAPayout.com that CageFighter/MMA Authentics beat out the UFC for the valuable real estate in the nation’s top retailer. As a result Zuffa pulled the plug on MMA Authentics’ access to the Octagon in retaliation.
The UFC is able to take such measures by exercising Article 22.1 of the Zuffa Standard Contract, which states that “Fighter covenants and agrees that no wording, symbols, pictures, designs, names or other advertising or informational material… ii. of any sponsor in conflict or competition with Zuffa or any of Zuffa’s sponsors.”
According to the UFC Sponsor Request form sent out to all fighters and obtained by MMAPayout.com, “in addition to Affliction and the Xtreme Couture t-shirt brand, Cage Fighter, MMA Authentic, Familia Gladitoria and MMA Elite will also not be permitted. The Xtreme Couture Training Center is permitted provided, however, the logo must clearly refer to the mixed martial arts training centers and gyms.”
CageFighter and MMA Authentics has a impressive list of fighters who will be adversely affected by the ban. BJ Penn, Michael Bisping, Forrest Griffin, Marcus Davis, Brandon Vera, Urijah Faber, Sam Stout, Roger Huerta, and Chuck Liddell all have signature shirts available for purchase through one or more of the MMA Authentics brands.
The Case for Women in the UFC
Years ago, when the UFC was trying to get sanctioned across the country, Dana White decided that having women fight on his show would just create PR nightmares that he didn't need. He may have been right. It's easy to imagine legislators showing pictures of bloody girls in order to fight regulation efforts. Now that the sport is regulated in almost every state, that concern is gone for the most part, but it made no sense until this week for the UFC to even consider a women's division. All of the top and marketable talent was signed elsewhere, and there'd really be no point to starting a women's division that was inferior to the one over at EliteXC.
Over the course of two major CBS shows, Gina Carano established herself as an elite-level draw. Her fights drew over a million new viewers each show, and she does incredible search numbers online. Nobody in the UFC has drawn those kind of TV ratings all year besides Anderson Silva in July.
Close but no deal: AFFLICTION AND UFC REJECT WORKING TOGETHER
Affliction Entertainment, the fledgling fight promotion that first splashed onto the MMA scene with its ubiquitous t-shirts, has rejected a bid to partner with the industry-leading UFC.
MMAWeekly.com spoke to multiple industry sources that confirmed that the basics of a deal had been brokered to allow Affliction back into the organization as a major clothing sponsor, including the possibility of UFC/Affliction co-branded apparel.
The UFC banned the clothing company in January of 2008 when they learned of Affliction’s desire to promote MMA events.
In exchange for the formal partnership, Affliction would agree to cease operations as a fight promoter. Select fighter contracts from Affliction’s talent roster would presumably be bought out by the UFC.
Dana White on the downfall of Pro Elite
Sorry don't know how to make a link, just copy and paste it. He talks about Pro Elite closing doors in his own words like always. Makes you wonder if he has bodyguards or not. I still like him
Dana's new blog: "Great day in MMA - ProElite is dead!"
Some trash talking from Dana:
I dont understand excitement about #2 MMA organization folding. In the 2 years they existed they helped mainstream MMA with their network deal and helped boost women fighting. It was free and had some entertaining fights, but it struggled to stay afloat, took some risks and made some poor choices.
Despite short break and trans-Atlantic journey, Dan Miller eager for UFC 90
A trans-Atlantic trip less than a week before a scheduled fight isn't generally considered a recommended practice.
But that's exactly what UFC middleweight Dan Miller, brother of UFC lightweight Jim Miller, did in advance of his Saturday bout with Matt Horwich at "UFC 90: Silva vs. Cote." Dan made the trip to Birmingham, England, to watch brother Jim in action at UFC 89.
"It was tough," Dan recently told MMAjunkie.com of the travel. "I was exhausted, but I wouldn't have missed it."
Sean Sherk looking in the mirror against Tyson Griffin at UFC 90
“Stylistically, I think we’re a lot the same. Obviously, physically, we look a lot the same. I see a lot of same attributes in myself that he has as well. To be honest with you, I just don’t think he’s seasoned enough yet. We’re talking about a guy with 13 fights who hasn’t fought an A-level fighter yet, versus a guy who’s got 40 fights who’s been fighting A-level fighters for six years. So there’s a lot of experience coming into this that I have.”
Marcus Aurelio vs Hermes Franca: The Feud
American Top Team member Marcus Aurelio is facing off against his former student Hermes Franca who left ATT a while back. To say its not pretty is an understatement.
Aurelio's side of the story from :
"I think it will be awesome, because there will be both guys trying to kill each other," Aurelio said. "He’s got to hate me, and I got to hate him. He’s not my teammate anymore. He’s not my student anymore. He’s not with us anymore. He got kicked out of ATT."
Hermes has a different take:
"I think my weakness is I’m so nice with everybody. For this fight, I’m not going to be nice. I can say we have [a] beef. I’m angry. I’m pissed. I want to kick his ass."
has more background on the feud:
Both fighters grew up in the city Fortaleza, Brazil. The two became acquainted through Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with Aurelio teaching Franca - is his junior by one year.
Eventually, both moved to the U.S. and found a home at American Top Team in Florida. The nature of this move, however, is disputed as Aurelio has said that he brought Franca over while Franca contends that he came by himself and that it was fellow UFC fighter Wilson Gouveia who gave him the idea.
Whatever the truth is, the two remained in close contact with Aurelio being one of the four Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belts present when Franca was awarded his own black belt.
It was the awarding of another black belt, however, that helped lead to the end of their relationship.
While still with ATT, Hermes awarded current UFC fighter Kurt Pellegrino his black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Some of Franca’s ATT teammates did not feel the promotion was deserved. The divide was wide enough that Franca left to form his own team with Pellegrino at The Armory in Jupiter Florida.
“When I gave Kurt his black belt I was four years into my black belt,” Franca tells Inside Fighting.
“And I know exactly when a guy deserves a black belt. He wasn’t just a good fighter but Kurt’s a good teacher and a great fighter.”
Brock Lesnar Storms Out of ESPN Interview
From AOL Fanhouse:
ESPN correspondent Tom Farrey started to ask about performance-enhancing drugs, prompting Lesnar to storm out of their interview.
Farrey said in the voiceover, "Lesnar's physique also raised big questions about steroids."
The viewers then saw a portion of Farrey's interview with Lesnar in which Farrey said, "You're just so big and you come out of pro wrestling," and was then cut off by Lesnar saying, "That's it. We're done. Thanks, guys," and walking off.
Anytime, anywhere: Josh Koscheck UFC 90 interview
Disaster nearly struck last week when Diego Sanchez suffered torn rib cartilage while training for his co-main event fight against Thiago Alves at UFC 90: “Silva vs. Cote” at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., on October 25, forcing him off the card with less than two weeks until showtime.
“The Nightmare,” fortunately, was short lived.
With one quick phone call to the management team of Josh Koscheck, the promotion had secured a worthy replacement — a top contender who could keep the 170-pound title implications intact and would no doubt present another stiff test for the powerful Brazilian Muay Thai specialist.
Alves has been on a tear, leveling — not just winning against — the opponents put in front of him, including division stalwart Karo Parisyan and former welterweight champion Matt Hughes. In fact, “The Pitbull” has not tasted defeat in more than two years and is riding a six-fight win streak, finishing all but one of the bouts during that span.
Not the caliber of fighter anyone wants to take on with just 12 days notice. Unless, of course, your name is Josh Koscheck.
UFC 90: CLEMENTI HAS "NO LOVE" FOR MAYNARD
In mixed martial arts, it's hard to find a 31-year-old fighter who has over 30 fights, but Rich “No Love” Clementi has more than 40. Clementi has been in the sport of MMA for nine years and has fought in many different shows against some of the best fighters in the world. He's been on an impressive six-fight winning streak and looks to extend that streak to seven at UFC 90 in Chicago against Xtreme Couture fighter Gray Maynard.
Clementi's last fight came at UFC 84 against Terry Etim where he won a decision over the tough Englishman. Self-admittedly taking the fight lightly, Etim pushed Clementi hard in that fight and it taught him a valuable lesson.
“It made me really hungry,” Clementi said recently in an interview with MMAWeekly Radio. “That was one of my toughest fights all year and totally didn't think it was going to be. I don't know if it was cutting weight for that long. I had a little bit of a tough time with that fight. I'm hungry and put some size back on. I'm feeling really strong, right where I'm usually am.”
The Gray Maynard and Rich Clementi fight has been moved to the main card, which was very exciting news for the Louisiana native. “I'm stoked. Any time you get put on a main card like this, it's a lot of recognition and I've been working my ass off this year. A lot of people didn't get to see some of my fights. I thought my fight with Stout was really entertaining."
COTE WILL NOT BE INTIMIDATED BY ANDERSON SILVA
Some of the greatest stories that have ever happened in the sport of mixed martial arts have been the upsets when underdogs overcome the odds and take out the heavy favorite. From Matt Serra finishing Georges St. Pierre to Gabriel Gonzaga knocking out Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic, the upset has become a staple of great MMA action.
The next fighter who will hope to add his name to the list of upset victors is Canadian heavy hitter Patrick Cote, who faces middleweight and widely regarded pound-for-pound king Anderson Silva this Saturday night in Chicago for the UFC 185-pound divisional title.
While the odds are stacked against Cote going into the fight, he remains calm and doesn't care what the "experts" say only what he will do in the Octagon.
"I don't care about the odds," Cote said recently on MMAWeekly Radio. "It's just better for my friends, and everybody who believes in me will put money on me and they will be a lot richer after the fight."
Spike TV: UFC 89 Draws 2.6 Million Viewers
Anchored by a middleweight bout between Michael Bisping and Chris Leben, UFC 89 on Saturday drew an average of 2.6 million viewers, according to Spike TV representatives. The telecast -- which aired on tape delay from the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, England -- peaked with 3.4 million viewers during the 11:30 p.m. to 11:45 p.m. quarter hour.
Despite stiff competition from Game 6 of the American League Championship Series on TBS and regional college football coverage on ESPN and ESPN2, the UFC 89 telecast ranked second with 18- to 49-year-old males, 18- to 34-year-old males and 25- to 34-year-old males among ad-supported cable for its time period.
Bisping (17-1) defeated Leben by unanimous decision in a competitive main event, as the UFC made its final stop in the UK this year. The popular 29-year-old Brit extended his winning streak to three fights and continued his rapid ascent up the 185-pound ladder. Scheduled to coach on the ninth season of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series, Bisping will face the winner of the UFC 93 match pairing Rich Franklin with Dan Henderson sometime in 2009.