Mir says Carwin more dangerous than Lesnar, OK if Velasquez gets first crack
After splitting a pair of bouts with UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, former title holder Frank Mir has made little effort to hide his current motivation.
As such, some have labeled Mir a "stalker" because of his singular focus on a rubber match with the champ.
Nevertheless, Mir carries on in search of facing Lesnar once again. But standing in his way at UFC 111 is undefeated challenger Shane Carwin, who Mir says may actually be a tougher opponent.
"I think he's very similar to Brock Lesnar," Mir told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "He's somebody that's strong, and he's a good wrestler. But I think that Carwin, in a lot of ways, is actually more dangerous for me."
The similarities between Carwin and Lesnar are evident with just a cursory glance. The two massive wrestlers have changed the face of the heavyweight division in short order with their powerful builds and overwhelming strength.
But Mir believes Carwin possesses something extra.
"Brock and Carwin are both better wrestlers than I am," Mir said. "Most likely, they'll both be able to take me down. Most likely, they'll both be able to win the fight if I get stuck against the cage on my back with my head jammed up. But with that being said, with Lesnar, on my feet, I have no real anxiety about standing there and boxing. He's knocked people over because he clubs people with his hands, but he's not really a knockout artist. Carwin has actually knocked people out.
"In a fight with Lesnar, the goal is to keep it on the feet, and I'll win the fight. With Carwin, if I say just keep it on my feet and I fall asleep on him while looking for the shot, I can easily go to sleep if I get caught. He's shown the ability to knock people out. To me, he's a dual threat."
With the interim title on the line in the March 27 matchup, an eventual shot at the champ hangs in the balance. But UFC president Dana White has said that a fight between the winner and Lesnar isn't a guarantee.
Top contender Cain Velasquez, who turned in an impressive performance against MMA legend Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in February, could leapfrog the newly crowned interim champ if injuries prove a factor.
Mir once again stated his desire to face Lesnar but also said he would understand if he was forced to wait.
"The competitor in me wants to face Lesnar as soon as possible and be the first one in line," Mir said. "As far as if it worked out, I don't feel like holding the heavyweight division hostage. If after, if I'm victorious on March 27, and I had an injury that didn't allow me to fight, and Brock wants to take a risk to fight Cain first before he fights me, more power to him."
Mir admits he views Velasquez as a credible threat. In fact, he thinks Lesnar might feel the same way and should probably avoid that particular confrontation.
"I think [Velasquez] is a dangerous fight for [Lesnar]," Mir said. "I would be willing to bet that maybe he would be more comfortable waiting for me."
UFC on Versus 1's Paul Buentello talks "huge move" to Grudge Training Center
Heading into his UFC 107 contest with Stefan Struve, much of the talk surrounding Paul Buentello's training camp – or rather, his lack of one.
Forced out of his normal routine at California's American Kickboxing Academy, Buentello (27-11 MMA, 3-2 UFC) scrambled to find a suitable training home.
But as his UFC on Versus 1 bout with Cheick Kongo (14-6-1 MMA, 7-4 UFC) approaches, little word has escaped about where "The Headhunter" was getting ready. Buentello recently said there's a reason for that.
Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz still on for 115
Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin (25-5) will not face Chuck Liddell (21-7) at UFC 115 on June 12 in Vancouver despite numerous reports that surfaced earlier today.
On the contrary, "Ace" will headline the show opposite former heavyweight and light heavyweight champion, Randy Couture, in a 205-pound showdown, according to UFC President Dana White.
In addition, White assured fans that "nothing happened to Tito" and the he and the "Huntington Beach Bad Boy" are still "cool," indicating that he is still set to battle nemesis Chuck Liddell as planned at the conclusion of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 11.
More on this breaking news as soon as possible.
In addition to Couture vs. Franklin, UFC 115 is expected to feature a heavyweight mash-up between Mirko Cro Cop and Pat Barry while welterweights Martin Kampmann and Paulo Thiago make their case for 170-pound contendership.
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for future updates on this still-developing fight card.
UFC set to head back to the UK at some point in October
The Ultimate Fighting Championship is set to head back to UK shores at some point during the month of October after almost a year away spent concentrating on expanding into new territories.
The promotion was last in the UK in November when they visited the city of Manchester of the second time, an event headlined by Randy Couture and Brandon Vera. Although nothing is confirmed the O2 Arena in London is expected to play host this time around.
Ryan Bader, CB Dolloway and Aaron Simpson Leave Arizona Combat Sports
The move by the three UFC competitors and Arizona State alums comes at a curious time as all are coming off the biggest wins of their careers. Bader defeated Keith Jardine via third round TKO at UFC 110, Dolloway took home a unanimous decision that same night against Goran Reljic and Simpson defeated Tom Lawlor at UFC Fight Night 20 in January.
No longer a prospect, UFC on Versus 1's Vera predicts epic fight with Jones
Four years ago, Brandon Vera (11-4 MMA, 7-4 UFC) was the new kid on the block that everyone talked about.
But as his March 21 fight with Jon Jones (9-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) at UFC on Versus 1 nears, Vera is now the veteran, and "Bones" is the new fast-rising hotshot.
At 32, Vera remembers being in that position and liked the pressure it brought. And while he knows can't get that time back, he's trying to go back to that mindset – in spirit if not in reality.
UFC 114 Likely Set For 5/29 In Vegas
Although not yet officially announced by UFC, the NSAC has approved an application from UFC for a May 29 event at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, which likely will be UFC 114. Set to occur during this year's UFC Fan Expo, 114 was also planned originally for Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, the Fan Expo's host, but MGM Mirage Group is spreading them out between the two properties it owns.
James Toney Wants Brock Lesnar
That's what he says on tonight's "Inside MMA" on HDNet. "I want Brock Lesnar. I'm the heavyweight champion of the world vs. the UFC champion. That'd be a hell of a match ... Chuck Liddell, Brock Lesnar, Randy Couture, Tito, Tito Ortiz-whatever his name is, it doesn't matter. I'm not a sideshow. This is the real deal right here."
Every Welterweight On The Planet Is The Underdog Against GSP
And according to Michael Bisping, that's a good thing for Dan Hardy. "Dan's in a great position. All the pressure is on GSP for this fight. I know Dan's a consummate professional and I know from the UK scene he's come up with a great game plan to bring the UFC welterweight title back to England. I will be up late, and cheering Dan on for sure. He knows he's the underdog, but every welterweight on the planet is the underdog against GSP right now. Dan is a very good striker, he has that edge over GSP, but Dan's best weapon is his belief in himself. He won't beat himself before the fight starts."
James Toney is a 'lose-lose' fight for Randy Couture
"Randy Couture, he respects my game like I respect his game. He's the best at what he do in his sport; I'm the best at what I do in my sport. We gonna see who has the better style and everybody know it's James Toney. If he tries to throw blow for blow with me, he definitely gonna get knocked out."
Mike Swick: Dan Hardy Deserves Title Shot Against GSP, Can 'Definitely Win'
Mike Swick and Dan Hardy have never appeared to be the best of friends. Of course, Hardy beat Swick to earn a welterweight title shot in November and then Swick talked publicly about how he didn't believe Hardy had done enough to truly earn that shot.
So with that in mind, you might be surprised to hear that Swick has changed his tune about Hardy's right to face Georges St-Pierre later this month at UFC 111 and his chances of pulling off the upset in Newark, NJ.
"Hardy can definitely win. Overall, GSP has the better chances to win, of course, but Hardy is getting better and better and, honestly, I am more excited to see this GSP fight versus Hardy than pretty much anyone else you could put GSP in with," Swick recently said.
Emerson vs. Lentz official; UFC Fight Night 21 complete with 11 bouts
In a bout first reported by MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), Rob Emerson (9-8 MMA, 3-2-1 UFC) meets Nik Lentz (17-3-2 MMA, 1-0-1 UFC) on the UFC Fight Night 21 preliminary card.
The UFC today announced the matchup, bringing the total number of fights on the card to 11.
Featuring a lightweight matchup between perennial contender Kenny Florian and Japanese import Takanori Gomi, UFC Fight Night 21 takes place March 31 at Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, N.C. The main card airs live on Spike TV and serves as the lead-in for "The Ultimate Fighter 11" season debut.
Jones, Vera focused on 205-pound division now, but heavyweight may be in future
Jon Jones (9-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) and Brandon Vera (11-4 MMA, 7-4 UFC) could be headed up a division around the same time.
The light heavyweight headliners of UFC on Versus 1 spoke Tuesday to media about their March 21 fight, and both said a trip to the heavyweight division is not out of the question in two years, give or take.
It would be Vera's second run in the weight class since June 2008, when the UFC urged him to drop to 205 pounds after losses to Tim Sylvia and Fabricio Werdrum. Jones has served his young career at light heavyweight but said his still-growing frame may support a move up.
Bonnar Loses Appeal, Possibly Gets K-Sos Rematch
The Combat Sports Authority of New South Wales, Australia, which was tasked with regulating UFC 110 in Sydney, has ruled against Stephan Bonnar with regards to his appeal of his 110 loss to Krzyzstof Soszynski, meaning the official fight result-Soszynski win by TKO-stands. Bonnar appealed claiming it should've been ruled a no contest because the cut causing the TKO was caused by a accidental headbutt, with the likely outcome being changed to a Draw if the appeal won. Multiple reports indicate Bonnar will get his rematch at the TUF 11 Finale in June, but Bonnar did not confirm the rumors yesterday. Soszynski was unavailable for comment.
Martin Kampmann vs. Paulo Thiago in the works for UFC 115 in June
A welterweight matchup between Martin Kampmann and Paulo Thiago is currently in the works for UFC 115.
The potential bout was first reported by The Las Vegas Sun, and MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has since confirmed that both fighters have verbally agreed to the fight, and bout agreements are expected to be finalized shortly.
While not yet officially announced, UFC 115 is expected to take place June 12 at GM Place in Vancouver, British Columbia. The night's main card airs on pay-per-view.