UFC Announces Full UFN 18 Card
For it's first trip to Tennessee, UFC is loading up it's April 1 UFN 18 card with 11 total fights. The card will be headlined by TUF 8 winners Efrain Escudero and Ryan Bader as well as WEC Welterweight Champion Carlos Condit making his UFC debut.
Velasquez, Swick Targeted For 99 Returns
A couple of UFC fighters out of AKA are likely going to make the trip to Germany for UFC 99-top Heavyweight prospect Cain Velasquez and Welterweight Mike Swick are both expected to be in action on the card but opponents haven't been determined.
Marcus Davis Wants To Pound Dan Hardy's Face Into Dust At UFC 99
Marcus Davis is not backing down from a challenge that Dan Hardy issued following a knockout win over Rory Markham at UFC 95: “Sanchez vs. Stevenson” this past weekend. “The Outlaw” mentioned wanting to fight “The Irish Hand Grenade” numerous times in his post-fight interviews. It seems as though his rhetoric may have worked-Davis told UFC matchmaker Joe Silva to set it up for UFC 99 at the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany, on June 13.
UFC Quick Quote: Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson is bored by Lyoto ‘The Dragon’ Machida
“Lyoto is a weird fighter, he’s kind of boring. I think that style works for him, the way he makes people run after him. I mean, he’s good, he’s undefeated, but he’s boring. If I was the promoter of a show I wouldn’t have guys like that fighting on my show.”
-Former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson talks to MMA Fanhouse about the success of undefeated 205-pound contender Lyoto ‘The Dragon’ Machida. Both Jackson and Machida are gunning for current light heavyweight champ Rashad Evans, though a win over Keith Jardine at UFC 96 will likely give Rampage the nod against “Sugar.” Still, it’s hard not to imagine these two facing off at some point down the road. And there’s nothing boring about that.
Are PPV Percentage Contracts Keeping UFC Stars off European Shows?
Only one star with a PPV percentage scale built into his contract has ever fought on a European UFC PPV show. His name is BJ Penn, and the show (UFC 80) did 225,000 buys. Given the very small bonus he got, it's no surprise that he doesn't have interest in participating in a tape delay PPV show from Germany.
Anderson Silva was originally pencilled in to fight at UFC 95 from London, but turned it down for similar reasons. He publicly said he wasn't ready, but this is the same guy who wanted to fight 3 weeks after his last one. Now he will ride Liddell's coattails to some decent money in April.
Penn Wants Late Summer Return
It’s family time for B.J. Penn, which means the UFC lightweight champion might not be back in the cage as soon as others would like.
UFC President Dana White told multiple press outlets last week that Penn’s next title defense against No. 1 contender Kenny Florian was a possibility for UFC 99 on June 13 in Cologne, Germany. However, Penn’s older brother and manager J.D. told Sherdog.com on Monday that the date is not feasible for his celebrated sibling.
“No, it’s too close to BJ’s last fight,” the elder Penn wrote in a text message. “He wants to spend time with his baby.”
UFC Returns To The UK 'At The End Of Summer'
The UFC will be returning to the UK in around seven months, possibly with two shows in close proximity, according to UFC UK division president Marshall Zelaznik.
Speaking to Fighters Only after UFC 95, he said that the UFC would probably return “at the end of summer” and also “possibly stage a show in early fall”.
UFC Building New Stars In England
The Ultimate Fighting Championship's worldwide expansion will grow later this year as the promotion will travel to Germany, but this is only after spending the last couple of years building a brand name in both England and Ireland. That showed true once again with a successful show in London on Saturday night.
As announced at the post fight press conference, UFC 95 drew a crowd of 13,268 rabid MMA fans clamoring to see the show, with a live gate of just over $1 million U.S. dollars. The success of the UFC in the U.K. cannot be denied and UFC U.K. President Marshall Zelaznik agrees with the successful plan implemented so far.
"I still think we're a couple years behind where the U.S. is. I remember being there then," he commented after the show. "We're getting better and better media coverage, which I think is important, it helps spread the word. There's still a lot of misunderstanding about our sport."
The U.K. UFC president added how important it is for the sport to continue to grow in England and beyond.
Pa. to allow MMA bouts in the state
Pennsylvania has joined the growing number of states to allow Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA, events within its borders.
The State Athletic Commission announced today it had adopted final regulations that will allow for the ulta-rough bouts popularized on cable sports networks to be held in the Keystone State.
It's about time!
UFC Quick Quote: Dan Hardy locks eyes with Georges St. Pierre, thunder cracks
“There are so many good guys in my division but I managed to lock eyes with Georges St Pierre outside the cage and we had a moment where I was like — ‘I’m coming for you, I’m coming for you.’ But I know I’ve still got improvements to make. There are some guys I need to pick off on my way up to him. But whoever the UFC send me next, I’ll be ready.”
– Dan Hardy talks to The Sun about the moments after his sensational knockout win over Rory Markham at UFC 95: “Sanchez vs. Stevenson” at The O2 Arena in London, England, this past weekend. “The Outlaw” scored his second win inside the Octagon in impressive fashion and now has his long-term sights set on capturing the division title. He’ll need to put together a few more wins for that to happen, which he seems to understand. In fact, he expressed an interest in facing someone like Marcus Davis in his next fight. That sounds more like it … at least for now.
MM-Nay? Poll Suggests Tough Fight For UFC In NY
If a recent poll done by a New York state assemblyman is any indication, MMA is going to remain MM-Nay in the state. Assemblyman Bob Reilly (D) this past Friday released the results of a poll he commissioned to gauge the opinion of MMA among constituents in his district in the nation's third most populous state. 67% percent of the 468 New Yorkers surveyed said they are against legalizing the sport. Just 18% were for it.
The Offense of ‘Intelligent Defense’
It didn't deserve a MacArthur fellowship, but I don't see anything defensively dull or dimwitted about Josh Koscheck turning his hips and extending his arm to shield Paulo Thiago from pouncing on him Saturday at UFC 95.
Brian Cobb butt scooting and attempting a weak double-leg doesn't warrant a Nobel Prize in defense either, but I would hardly call it brainless or idiotic.
Unfortunately, it seems they still weren't "intelligent" enough.
Let me be clear about what this is, or more pertinently, what it isn't. This is not an assertion that any of the evening's contentious proceedings would've wound up with a different victor if allowed to continue. This is not a criticism of any of the stoppages at UFC 95, nor is it an indictment of officials Dan Miragliotta, Kevin Mulhall, Leon Roberts and Marc Goddard.
In fact, given the current climate of refereeing in MMA, all of the event's referees did their jobs to the letter and their stoppages were just.
Instead, this is an inquiry into whether the refereeing standards in MMA are appropriate. UFC 95 was not an assortment of irresponsible stoppages but an illustration of the intensifying issue of what constitutes a justifiable end to a fight, as the margin between winning and losing in MMA has become hideously deformed.
Great editorial by Jordan Breen
Josh Koscheck Is Not Happy
Josh Koscheck is clearly not happy about the stoppage in his UFC 95 fight with Paulo Thiago. In this backstage video from The Telegraph he insists his hands were up, his eyes were open, and his guard was ready. His cornermen seem to feel the early stoppage was part of a trend on the night -- perhaps a dig at "regional referees" in the U.K.?