Eight bouts now official for UFC 101; main event not yet announced
While an anticipated main event between UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn and challenger Kenny Florian has not yet been made official, seven other bouts were announced by the organization today.
In addition to several previously reported matchups, the UFC also announced a middleweight contest between Ricardo Almeida (10-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC) vs. Kendall Grove (10-5 MMA, 5-2 UFC), and a lightweight showdown between Rob Emerson (8-7 MMA, 2-1 UFC) and George Sotiropoulus (9-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC.
UFC 101 takes place Aug. 8 at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia.
The full card for the event now includes:
* Champ B.J. Penn vs. Kenny Florian (for UFC lightweight title)*
* Champ Anderson Silva vs. Forrest Griffin (non-title fight)
* Johny Hendricks vs. Amir Sadollah
* Ricardo Almeida vs. Kendall Grove
* Josh Neer vs. Kurt Pellgrino
* John Howard vs. Tamdan McCrory
* Dan Cramer vs. Matthew Riddle
* Rob Emerson vs. George Sotiropoulos
* Jesse Lennox vs. Danillo Villefort
* Shane Nelson vs. Aaron Riley*
* Rousimar Palhares vs. Alessio Sakara*
* - Not officially announced
Dana White: The man, the sport, and the money
Former street tough Dana White rescued the Ultimate Fighting Championship and transformed the mixed martial arts organization into the hottest sport in America. Get out of his way because he's not stopping now. And besides, you just might get hurt.
Most corporate titans don't look like this. It's hard to picture Donald Trump rolling into a shareholder meeting sporting a fresh shiner from one of his employees. And you definitely won't see Warren Buffett tossing up 300 pounds on the bench press. Thirty-eight-year-old Ultimate Fighting Championship(UFC) president Dana White may now have the boardroom cred of other business bigwigs, but with his round-shouldered build and two faint but permanent red lines along the edges of his nose (courtesy of a sparring partner), he mostly resembles just another fighter. And that's perfectly fine with him.
Indeed, White's tenure as the guiding force behind the rise of the UFC as the newest "fastest-growing sport in America" is best described as a knock-down, drag-out brawl in which he's now the undisputed champion. Nearly worthless and tainted by controversy less than a decade ago (the sport was not sanctioned by most states), White has helped elevate mixed martial arts (MMA) into the mainstream and transformed the UFC, the first MMA organization, into the biggest—and most surprising—success story in sports.
Acquired in 2001 for $2 million by White and other investors, the UFC now fills arenas in North America and Europe, produces a hit cable series (Spike TV's The Ultimate Fighter) and has smashed the all-time pay-per-view record. In 2006, the UFC generated more than $200 million in pay-per-view revenue, outperforming boxing and pro wrestling. Last year, Time magazine estimated the UFC's value to be over $1 billion.
MMA Quick Quote: Tom Atencio walks the walk, Dana White talks the talk
“I want to thank Prize Fight as well as Fight Force for putting on this card. I’ve been seen in front of the cameras before as far as the business side, but it’s time to fight. I’m doing something Dana White won’t do and that’s fight. He talks like a fighter, so why doesn’t he fight? I’m stepping up to the plate and win, lose or draw I attempted it. I don’t ever think he would fight.”
– Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio takes a rare stab at his UFC counterpart, Dana White, during the press conference to promote his upcoming welterweight fight against Randy Hedderick at “Ultimate Chaos,” which is scheduled for the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Miss., on June 27. This will not be the first time that the 42-year-old steps into the ring — Atencio made his mixed martial arts debut back in 2005 and has competed sporadically ever since. He currently runs Affliction MMA, staging two major pay-per-view (PPV) events within the last year. During that time White — who was at one time an aspiring boxer — has been vocal about the “t-shirt” guys wasting gobs of money and running a poor operation. Atencio, for the most part, has bit his lip … until now.
Jason MacDonald Cut From UFC
Apparently when Dana White says UFC needs more guys like you, it doesn't necessarily mean UFC needs you. Such is the case with UFC veteran Jason MacDonald, who despite being the subject of said praise from Dana has been released from the promotion.
Trainer John Hackleman: Chuck Liddell has "more than one fight left in him"
Dana White's message to Chuck Liddell was clear before UFC 97: Don't just win, but bring it again. Following "The Iceman's" first-round TKO loss to Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, White was adamant that one of the most storied and famous careers in mixed martial arts has ended.
Or has it?
John Hackleman, Liddell's longtime trainer and close friend, told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) – with confidence – that Liddell isn't done yet. Liddell has one more fight on his UFC contract, but Hackleman hinted that the fighter would explore competing elsewhere if White keeps the door closed.
Renzo Gracie: Don’t sleep on Matt Serra
People take Matt Serra lightly … In our sport things don’t happen by chance. Luck has nothing to do with it … He’s one of the best fighters I have ever seen in my life. He has huge heart, never quits, he can win a fight at any moment. His jiu-jitsu is unbelievable and his punching power is very strong. He’s a guy that can always surprise someone. It will be a very action-packed fight. I can’t wait to watch.
Frank Mir: ''I Would Like To Coach Brock''
Frank Mir is not bothered much by Brock Lesnar’s trash talk. The UFC heavyweight champion is just a garden variety bully, he says.
“It’s like when you go to school and you’re not comfortable with yourself, you tend to pick on other people to take the attention away from yourself,” the interim UFC heavyweight champion told MMAWeekly.com.
Lesnar challenged the validity of Mir’s belt, and the rescheduling of their second bout from UFC 98 to UFC 100 in an interview with Inside MMA.
“In my mind, is it, is Frank really hurt, or is he scared?” Lesnar told Ron Kruck.
UFC Looking at Entering the Magazine Market?
As MMA has seen an explosion in popularity one of the market segments that has been lifted with this tide has been the MMA magazine industry. The magazine publishing field as a whole is seeing a general weeding out of titles (once popular titles like Blender are being shuttered), MMA-specific titles like Fight! Magazine are reaching new sales heights, while other titles like Fighters Only are expanding into the US and new titles like MMA Cage are being planned and launched. With the newsstands bulging with MMA material, the 800lb gorilla may be making their move to enter the market.
IT IS ALL OVER ... Chuck Liddell Retires!!
DANA WHITE has confirmed Chuck Liddell will never fight in the UFC again.
The former light heavyweight champion suffered his fourth loss in five fights against Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua at UFC 97.
That defeat followed hot on the heels of his brutal UFC 88 knockout loss to Rashad Evans, and UFC president White insists The Iceman’s Octagon career is now over.
Randy Couture files for divorce
Yesterday [Apr. 28] Randy Couture served his wife of over two years, Kim Couture, with divorce papers. The news was a shock to those close to the couple and even more to Kim, who pulled out of her televised main event fight due to the devastating news. This marks Randy's third divorce.
Anderson Silva's UFC title contenders stuck in the middle
The fallout of Anderson Silva's (24-4 MMA, 9-0 UFC) two recent dull middleweight title defenses – with the UFC feeling the need to "challenge" him with Forrest Griffin (16-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC), a former light-heavyweight champion with a reputation for exciting fights – has left a slew of viable challengers spinning their wheels.
Right now there are five viable middleweight title contenders, although that number will likely be whittled to three at the end of the summer. With Silva fighting Griffin on Aug. 8, whomever emerges is likely to get a title shot in the fall or winter.
Matt Hughes would ‘love to rematch’ Thiago Alves and GSP
If I beat Serra — and I obviously think I will — and Thiago wins I’d love to get a rematch with Thiago. I think that fight could have gone differently if my knee hadn’t gone out, so I’d love to rematch Thiago. To be honest, I didn’t like the way the last GSP fight went either, so I’d love to rematch GSP. But all I’m worrying about right now is Matt Serra. So where ever winning that fight puts me is fine, but I’ve just got Matt Serra on my mind right now.