Mir, Nogueira breathe new life into TUF
The past two seasons of the Ultimate Fighter have been met with criticism on two levels. The first is that the show, which launched mixed martial arts' popularity in North America, was growing stale.
After all, how many times can you watch unknown fighters training, struggling to make weight and fighting in front of a small audience in the gym before it all starts looking the same?
Second, the depth of talent over the past two seasons hasn't been as strong as it was in earlier seasons, blamed somewhat on the rise of competing organizations who signed a lot of up-and-coming fighters.
The Spike TV show, which starts its eighth season on Wednesday night, launched the careers of a several top Ultimate Fighting Championship stars, including both competitors in the next light heavyweight title match – champ Forrest Griffin and challenger Rashad Evans.
But it hasn't turned out a title contender since Matt Serra parlayed winning the fourth season into one of the biggest upsets in company history when he defeated Georges St. Pierre for the welterweight title in 2007.
Huerta desperate for Florian rematch, may change trainers
Roger Huerta is desperate to get a rematch with Kenny Florian, who handed him his first loss at UFC 87 last month – and he may enlist new trainers to help him get his revenge.
Speaking exclusively to Fighters Only, the lightweight star said it has been difficult for him to get to grips with the emotional demons that the fight left him with.
"After the fight I was confused and in shock. I kept thinking it was a bad dream and after three days the loss really hit me hard, so hard that I had to go back to Rio Grande Valley to be around family and friends,” he revealed.
Going back home helped him put the loss into perspective: “It made me realise that the loss was just a bump and a further challenge and that there are bigger meanings in life than just fighting.
Exclusive Interview: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
In some of the past seasons of The Ultimate Fighter, the coaches built up great rivalries. Was there ever any hostility between you and Frank Mir? Did he get on your nerves in any way?
ANTONIO RODRIGO NOGUEIRA: No, there wasn’t much of that; we have a lot of respect for each other. If there were arguments they were between the fighters themselves. I went there to do my job. I went to teach the guys, with the goal of not getting involved in fights with the guys inside the house or from the show, but to train them instead. That was my idea. I did my part and Frank did his. At times I was pissed at some of them because some of the guys were picking fights inside the house, and they would lose their control. There was one who wouldn’t quit picking fights, but overall nothing too major.
What do you think of Frank, as a person and as a fighter?
He is a good fighter, very strong, and he has great jiu-jitsu skills. He is also a very cool and nice guy, but he is my opponent, so I am training to fight him.
What’s your strategy going to be when you fight him in December? Would you rather fight him on the ground or standing?
There isn’t really a strategy; my strategy is to finish him. We don’t really choose if the fight will be standing up or on the ground. Whatever happens I will be ready for it.
After he lost to Forrest Griffin, Quinton Jackson partially blamed his performance on the fact that, because of The Ultimate Fighter, he’d gone 10 months between fights. Are you concerned that your own long layoff will affect your performance?
Well, the last time Frank Mir fought was the last time I fought, so the truth is that we both have the same disadvantage. I really don’t like to go such a long time without fighting; never in my life have I gone without fighting for this long. This does make a difference, but this is my job and I will fight when the day comes.
DANZIG SEES GUIDA AS KEY TO TOP LIGHTWEIGHTS
With the recent success of both Forrest Griffin and Rashad Evans, “The Ultimate Fighter” has been proven a successful building ground for future champions. The winner of Season 6, Mac Danzig, is hopeful to keep that formula alive. His next step up the lightweight ladder is Wednesday night against Clay Guida.
In his first fight out since the show, Danzig put away Brazilian Jiu-jitsu ace Mark Bocek at UFC 74 in Montreal, but following the fight he was forced to take some time off with a knee injury.
Coming into the fight with Guida, the former Pittsburgh native says he is 100 percent healthy and ready to compete.
“The knee’s good going into the fight,” Danzig said during an appearance on MMAWeekly Radio. “I could stand to have a little bit more range of motion with it. It’s still not at 100 percent range of motion wise, but there’s no more pain or anything.”
In a previous interview discussing his opponent, Danzig had been quoted as calling Guida a “gatekeeper,” but the Xtreme Couture team member wants everyone, including Guida, to know that it was not meant as an insult to him at all.
Guillard Arrested on Drug Probation Violation
UFC lightweight contender Melvin Guillard was arrested Aug. 13 in Houston for violating probation on a 2007 drug charge, a Harris County deputy told Sherdog.com.
The 25-year-old New Orleans native is in custody at the Harris County jail in Houston, the deputy said last Thursday, and will be released to a drug treatment facility as soon as space becomes available per the terms of his recently amended probation.
Same old Melvin.
Mac Danzig: ‘I’m going for that first round finish’ of Clay Guida at UFC Fight Night 15
“Clay is one of the coolest people I’ve met in the fight game. One of the things that makes him dangerous isn’t necessarily his skills, but his intensity and heart. He’s constantly moving forward and has a good work ethic. He goes for the whole fifteen minutes … I know that I’m going to win. I think I have an advantage in training with guys who, skill-wise, are better than Clay. I know what he’s going to bring to the table. I just have to work on stopping him and controlling the pace. The best-case scenario: I end it in the first round. I’m not going to say how, but I’m going for that first round finish.”
Season six winner of The Ultimate Fighter, Mac Danzig, talks about his upcoming UFC Fight Night 15 co-main event bout against Clay Guida at the Omaha Civic Auditorium in Omaha, Neb., on September 17. Danzig has not lost since he joined the promotion, winning his last two fights via submission against Tommy Speer and Mark Bocek, respectively. He has 10 first round finishes in 23 professional fights.
“Cigano” confident for Werdum fight
Junior Cigano’s job in his UFC debut is not one fo the most easy. The fighter from Minotauro Team will face at UFC 90 the BJJ World Champion and ADCC champion, Fabrício Werdum, that has in his history great fights in UFC and Pride. “It could be a little late to debut in Ultimate and face a guy like Werdum, but I have all the conditions to beat him. I train with one of the best, Rodrigo Nogueira, and he said I can defeat him, so I’m pretty confidence that I can put him down”, said Cigano, that is training hard at Minotauro Team.
With seven fights and only one loss in MMA, Junior is developing his Wrestling and Muay Thai to keep this fight standing up and get another victory. “I hope keep this fight stand. I watched some of his fights with Minotauro and he gave me some tips”, said Cigano. With a victory against Werdum, the fighter guarantees that wouldn’t face his friend, the interim UFC heavyweight champion. “It’s impossible to face my master. As long as he keeps the belt, I’ll be his guardian. To face him, people will have to beat me first”, guarantees.
Anderson Silva: “Gracie’s time is past”
Pointed as the best pound for pound MMA fighter of the world, Anderson Silva commented the fight between Rousimar Palhares and Dan Henderson, that ended with the unanimous decision victory for the former Pride champion. “I didn’t see the fight, but everybody said that Den Henderson was very superior, as I was expecting. Toquinho (Palhares) is very young, has a lot of thing to go through in the sport and it was a good experience”, said the UFC middleweight champion, that doesn’t believe that only BJJ can bring the fighter to victory in the octagon.
“You have to train everything… People are wrong about MMA. The time when the Gracie’s supremacy was total, when Jiu-Jitsu was the most important, but Gracie’s time is past. That thing about the weak fights the strongest, everybody knows something, avoid the ground, defend a leg-lock, nobody is fool nowadays”, analyzed Anderson. “But who is Andeson Silva to say about it, it happens… It could be the opposite, he could have catch his foot and finish him, but isn’t easy, that guy needs to be respected and Toquinho hasn’t much experience to fight him”, said Anderson to TATAME.com.
The all-time TUF Top 10
While there are cynics that like to downplay the relevance and importance of the UFC and Spike TV's hit reality television series The Ultimate Fighter, Rashad Evans' upset knockout of Chuck Liddell last weekend during the main event of UFC 88 has proved the show's impact on the sport undeniable.
While not yet official, it's expected that in December during New Year's Eve weekend, Forrest Griffin will defend his UFC light heavyweight title vs. Evans. Once the bout is finalized, it will mean that the light heavyweight winner from Season 1 of TUF will be taking on the show's Season 2 heavyweight winner in the main event of the biggest show of the year with arguably the sport's most prestigious title at stake.
It doesn't get any thicker than that.
There still might be a pocket full of skeptics who claim that many of the show's top graduates are nothing more than "manufactured reality TV stars," but that argument seemingly weakens with each fight card that passes. The argument that the show has manufactured some fighters might have some validity, but the vast majority who have appeared on the show were already legitimate guys who were only lacking exposure.
"Minotauro" Nogueira eyes UFC title unification bout with Randy Couture
Despite currently holding UFC gold, interim heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira believes he's still two fights away from being the true world champion.
And as Nogueira recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), he wants to go through Randy Couture to get there.
"When I fought against (Tim) Sylvia, I was thinking about being the world champion," Nogueira said of his UFC 81 interim title bout. "And I made it.
"Randy Couture came back, and he has the title, too. I think I have to fight against him, and whoever wins is going to be the real world champion of the UFC."
Couture will first have to get past his UFC 91 battle with WWE-import Brock Lesnar. Although Lesnar will enjoy a 40-pound weight advantage in the bout, Nogueira feels confident that Couture will prevail.
"I think Randy Couture is going to win the fight," Nogueira said. "That's my opinion. He's much more experienced. He's got a big history as a fighter."
UFC FIGHT NIGHT: LAUZON GETTING BACK ON TRACK
Joe Lauzon didn't have your typical Ultimate Fighting Championship debut. He was brought in originally to take on the former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver in what was supposed to be Pulver's big return to the UFC. Lauzon had other plans though and pulled the upset of the year, knocking Pulver out in 48 seconds.
He then went onto “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show, where he came up short in the semi-finals. He then went on to defeat fellow cast member Brandon Melendez on the Ultimate Fighter finale by triangle choke. Keeping the success going, he subsequently submitted Jason Reinhardt.
Following that bout, Lauzon was tapped for main event status to take on top lightweight contender Kenny Florian in Denver. Both fighters had an intense first round of action in the fight with many transitions. In the second round, Florian took control and was able to finish Lauzon with punches and elbows.
Now “J-Lau” is looking to get back to his winning ways when he takes on Kyle Bradley on Wednesday night at UFC Fight Night 15 in Omaha, Neb. “I'm definitely excited,” Lauzon said confidently. “I want to erase that last one.”
Josh Neer – The Quiet Headliner gets His Chance to Shine
This past April at Colorado’s Broomfield Event Center, Josh Neer stepped into the Octagon with all odds stacked against him. With an extended absence from the UFC, untested mettle in a new weight class, and a formidable veteran opponent, a potential win would not come easy. To add to the burden, this wasn’t an ordinary fight— its outcome would determine his standing in the organization.
Marcus Aurelio interview
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt from American Top Team, Marcus Aurélio will do his fourth fight in UFC’s octagon needing a victory. The Brazilian fighter will face his former pupil Hermes França at UFC 90, which happens in October 25th at United States, and guarantees that knows the way to defeat his opponent. Directly from Florida, Marcus Aurelio spoke to TATAME.com, when he talk about his training, the expectation for the fight and his problems with Hermes França.
Breaking down the UFC heavyweight tourney
Two mixed martial arts legends and two fighters whose paths intertwined for a very important 90 seconds, will be competing over the next several months in what comprises the biggest heavyweight MMA tournament ever in North America.
At stake is the UFC heavyweight championship, which has been a matter of confusion over the past year.
UFC Cuts War Machine
Evidently at least one UFC fighter didn't learn from recent incidents about fighters getting in trouble for what they said-the latest case is War Machine. The former Jon Koppenhaver reportedly was cut this week by UFC due to controversial (and rather incendiary) postings about fighter pay and one clearly aimed at Evan Tanner.