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.
Wanderlei Silva training to score a hat-trick
Getting ready to face Quinton “Rampage” Jackson for the third time in career, Wanderlei Silva isn’t resting in Las Vegas. The man behind Wandy’s preparation, Rafael Alejarra seeks a hat-trick over Rampage. “I want another victory, it doesn’t matter if it comes with a knockout, submission or decision. Score is a score, we want the victory and go after the belt. The most important is the victory, and we wanna a great one. We have the goal and we’ll fight smart to win”, said Alejarra, commenting Wanderlei’s training.
Economic Factors Affect MMA, UFC
As reported earlier on MMAPayout.com, the Fertitta’s Station Casinos bond rating recently placed on CreditWatch with negative implications. The company is being monitored due to it’s increasing level of leverage that violates certain covenants of its’ bonds. The leverage covenants aren’t being met due to more recent turmoil in the financial markets and continued weakening of economy, which is bringing down performance in the Las Vegas locals market more than previously thought.
The Station Casinos stake may not be the only portion of the Fertitta empire to be hitting on hard times. MMAPayout.com has learned that the UFC has recently went through a round of layoffs in their operations. The UFC looks to be cutting away the fat to make itself lean and mean and capable of weathering an extended time period of financial stress and lowered performance.
Random drug testing Implemented in the UFC
Six UFC 91 fighters, including the event's headliners, have passed pre-event drug tests administered by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
The commission recently enacted year-round drug testing, and the NSAC has been testing fighters approximately a month before fight time.
In an email sent to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer confirmed main-event fighters Randy Couture and Brock Lesnar were tested, as were undercard fighters Amir Sadollah, Nick Catone, Jorge Gurgel and Aaron Riley.
UFC 91 takes place Nov. 15 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. It airs on pay per view.
The NSAC's year-round testing was implemented earlier this year. MMA fighters are subject to drug testing at any time -- for just about any reason -- throughout the year, regardless of whether or not the fighter is scheduled for an upcoming event. However, the testing is usually reserved for scheduled fighters.
For more on the NSAC's new procedures, check out our interview with Kizer that followed the commission's official announcement.
Additionally, for the latest on UFC 91, including the latest fight card and interviews with the night's competitors, check out the UFC Rumors section of MMAjunkie.com.
I don't know how many fans realize how big this is or the potential impact but if HGH and others are as rampant as a few fighters have came out and stated they are this could change the balance of fighters in the UFC, Im just glad Randy came back clean! Now all the people that assumed Couture was juicing can shut it.
Karo Parisyan to Return at UFC 94
Former UFC welterweight title contender Karo Parisyan will reportedly return to action against a yet-to-be-determined opponent at UFC 94 on January 31 in Las Vegas according to MMA Weekly’s MMA Insider Blog. The fight will be the first on a new eight-fight deal Parisyan recently signed with the UFC.
Parisyan was scheduled to take on Japanese sensation Yoshiyuki Yoshida in a welterweight bout at UFC 88 in September, but was forced to withdraw at the last minute after aggravating the sciatic nerve in one of his legs during a pre-fight training session. He has not fought since.
The 26-year-old judo black belt earned a title shot against former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes in the fall of 2005 before a separate injury forced him out of the running. Parisyan’s then five-fight winning streak was snapped after the Armenian dropped an unanimous decision to Diego Sanchez at UFC Fight Night 6.
Following the loss, Parisyan bounced back and racked up three more victorious before being stopped for the first time in his career at the hands of Thiago Alves, who knocked out Parisyan with a knee during the second round of their bout at UFC Fight Night 13.
Shannon Gugerty: You will know me after UFC 90 win
Some fighters are built up slowly, crafting a winning record through carefully selected opponents.
UFC lightweight Shannon Gugerty (11-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) will apparently not be that guy.
But on the verge of a "UFC 90: Silva vs. Cote" showdown with perennial contender Spencer Fisher -- in just his second bout for the organization -- Gugerty recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that he welcomes the challenge.
"Spencer Fisher is almost like a household name," Gugerty said. "Everyone who follows the sport knows who he is. A win over him would definitely be huge for my career."
Gugerty debuted for the UFC in July, defeating fellow newcomer Dale Hartt at "UFC Fight Night 14." Gugerty said the joy of earning a win in the sport's premier organization is a feeling he won't soon forget.
"It was like my first win all over again," Gugerty said. "I was really excited. It was like a real surreal feeling. I was really stoked."
Hermes Franca predicts knockout win over Marcus Aurelio at UFC 90
“If he’s awake, I’ll shake his hand.”
– Hermes Franca shares his prediction with InsideFighting.com on his upcoming fight against Marcus Aurelio at UFC 90: “Silva vs. Cote” at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., on October 25. He intends to finish his former Brazilian jiu-jitsu instructor and camp member at American Top team (ATT) — a good back story that most of you should check out prior to the lightweight showdown if you haven’t already. Despite the bad intentions, both fighters insist that bad blood is not boiling over after their shared and spotty past. In fact, Franca and Aurelio intend to go about this as professionals, indicating that it is not personal. Uh-huh …
Matt Hughes vs Matt Serra UFC fight likely in April 2009
Arch enemies Matt Hughes and Matt Serra will more than likely finally face off in the Octagon to settle their bitter score sometime in April 2009, according to Matt-Hughes.com.
Here’s a snip from Hughes’ most recent blog entry:
“This week, I talked to Joe Silva at the UFC and a possible date for Serra and I is in April. I don’t know the exact date right now or venue. So, that is something that I can look forward to and I can set my training up for that schedule.”
Both former welterweight champions have been sidelined with injuries — Serra sustained an elbow injury in his loss to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 83: “Serra vs. St. Pierre 2? back in April and Hughes has been nursing a knee injury that he suffered in his loss to Thiago Alves at UFC 85: “Bedlam? back in June.
Serra and Hughes — who are about as opposite as two people can get — were opposing coaches in The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 6 and were supposed to fight at UFC 79: “Nemesis” in December 2007. However, Serra had to withdraw because of a serious back injury.
The trash-talking has heated up ever since.
Luke Cummo arrested in New York under suspicion of DWI
“Luke Cummo of Lynbrook was charged with DWI. Nassau County releases the photos of individuals charged with DWI. The gallery represents the charge at the time of the photo. All are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.”
The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 2 welterweight finalist Luke Cummo was recently arrested and charged for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in New York. He was penciled in to fight next against Steve Bruno at UFC Fight Night 16: “Fight for the Troops” in Fayetteville, N.C., on December 10 before being forced to withdraw with an injury. He is on a back-to-back losing skid and has dropped four of seven bouts all-time inside the Octagon.
New Rashad Evans Interview!
Rashad Evans ‘Almost Undisputed’
#1 UFC Lightheavyweight Contender ‘Sugar’ Rashad Evans took some time to talk with PDG about his victory over the ‘Iceman’, training for his title shot against Forrest Griffin, his mixed martial arts career and ‘Devil May Cry’.
PDG: Another big UFC fight in your division that is coming up is Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson vs. ‘The Axe Murderer’ Wanderlei Silva version 3.0; what do you think of that match-up and possibly facing the winner of that fight sometime down the road? Evans: I think it's great and I would love to be in a position to fight the winner of that match. It would be an honor in itself to fight either one of those two guys since I've been a fan of both of them for a very long time. ‘Rampage’ nearly got killed though the last time that he fought Wanderlei, Wanderlei could have got arrested for what he did to him in their last fight [laughs]. But in all seriousness if ‘Rampage’ goes into the fight like a quarterback who had a really bad game the last time he faced that opponent and has a short memory. Then just like the quarterback who bounces back and has a great game, so can ‘Rampage’. It is going to be tough though because of the blows that he was dealt in their last fight. Sometimes a fighter just has your number and if Wanderlei stays true to him self....
Fabricio Werdum: Odd Man Out in the UFC Heavyweight Title Picture
Sherdog has a good piece about Fabricio Werdum and his plight outside the four man heavy weight title tournament looking in:
“I didn’t like that they put Brock Lesnar against Randy Couture,” Werdum said. “I think that it would be fair to put ‘Minotauro’ Nogueira against Couture -- it had to be a fight between these two. Despite having been champion once, I’ve not found it fair that Frank Mir is fighting for the belt. I had two great victories where I was very superior to my opponents, Gabriel Gonzaga and Brandon Vera. I’ve won by myself -- not the judges.
“So I think I would be the one to fight against ‘Minotauro’ or Couture, the winner between the two of them, for the belt. I’ve imagined that I would fight for the title in March. Let’s see what will happen. I hope to do my part fighting against ‘Cigano.’ I won’t underestimate him. I will win. It will be by knockout or a finish. I won’t give any opportunity for bad luck.”
BJ Penn vs. GSP is a Title Fight
According to Dave Meltzer, the January BJ Penn vs. Georges St. Pierre fight will be for the welterweight title:
St. Pierre vs. Penn will be for the welterweight title, giving Penn the chance to become the first person in UFC history to hold championships in two weight divisions at the same time.
This is great news from my perspective, I really hated the idea of another three round fight between these two. It's hard to imagine this going to decision now, so we should get a real answer as to who is the better fighter at 170 pounds. This also has to favor St. Pierre, who is in far better condition than Penn, and pushes a tougher pace than any other fighter in the UFC.
Top UFC 91 Fighters Test Negative in Out-of-Competition Drug/Steroid Tests
From Keith Kizer of the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), in an email to FightTicker.com:
The Commission recently tested Randy Couture, Brock Lesnar, Nick Catone, Amir Sadollah, Aaron Riley and Jorge Gurgel. All tests came back negative.
All six fighters are scheduled to fight at UFC 91 in November in Las Vegas.
The NSAC is currently the only commission that tests fighters randomly throughout the year, so the tests are commendable. On the other hand, so far the tests have only included fighters within a month or so of their next fight. What I'd like to see on top of this is testing fighters who may not have a fight scheduled in the near future.
I believe that if there are fighters cheating, they'll try to do it at less-than-predictable times of the year, for example when they believe the commissions won't be paying attention to them.
For fighters training for an upcoming fight, however, it'd be pure foolishness to take performance enhancers then.
- GAMBURYAN TO RETURN AT UFC 94, TAVARES LIKELY
Lightweight prospect Manny Gamburyan is returning to action at the UFC's Super Bowl weekend card, UFC 94, on Jan. 31 in Las Vegas. Gamburyan confirmed the fight to MMAWeekly.com on Sunday.
Though bout agreements have not been signed, he says he has agreed to face Brazilian Thiago Tavares. Tavares’ American representatives were unavailable for comment.
Pete Sell seeks redemption at UFC 90
In an organization that often will release a fighter after a single loss, Pete Sell (7-4) has survived four-straight UFC defeats.
But as Sell recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), his bout with Josh Burkman at Saturday night's "UFC 90: Silva vs. Cote" offers a chance to erase three years of frustration.
"[A win would] mean everything to me," Sell said. "Throw me a freaking bone here, man."
Sell won his first six professional bouts, including his debut for the organization in 2005 at UFC 51. After earning a submission victory over Phil Baroni, Sell would then lose his next four bouts in the UFC -- to Scott Smith, Thales Leites and twice to Nate Quarry.
Sell's last bout was in September of 2007, and "Drago" said he has changed with the time off.
"It was just a lot of down time," Sell said. "A lot of time reflecting on my life and the direction I'm going.
"I'm going for the gusto. I'm going to try and make it with this fight game. To me you've got to either do this 100 percent or you're not. I want to put in all my time, training three times a day, and really do it for real. I don't want to do it half-ass."
Sell admits that hasn't always been the case.
"The Ultimate Fighter 9" U.K. tryouts net record number of prospects
Before packing up and returning to the U.S. after Saturday's "UFC 89: Bispng vs. Leben," the UFC held an open casting call for "The Ultimate Fighter 9: U.S. vs. U.K." in London.
Just two days after Brit and "The Ulitmate Fighter 3" winner Michael Bisping was victorious in front of his countrymen, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned over 200 hopeful fighters showed up to the Earls Court Exhibition Centre for their chance at a UFC contract.
Already tabbed as the coach of the U.K. team, Bisping and fellow English fighters and UFC 89 participants Terry Etim and Paul Taylor were also on hand in support of the would-be "TUF" contestants.
Mixed martial arts has enjoyed a rapid surge in popularity and participation in the U.K. in recent years. After a five year absence from the U.K., the UFC has held five events across the Atlantic in the past 18 months.
In contrast, when the UFC held open tryouts for the third season of "The Ultimate Fighters" in 2006, less than 30 fighters showed up for the session.
One of the more notable participants in the afternoon's session was "The Ultimate Fighter 3" cast member Ross Pointon. The Cage Rage veteran appeared twice in the UFC following his stint on the show, losing both contests.