Chris Leben Explains Steroid Use, Looks Forward to Turning The Page
After a nine-month suspension for using steroids, UFC middleweight Chris Leben is soon to return to action. Usually in a situation like that, a fighter would have to worry about negative public reaction to his comeback, but in this case, Leben is likely to be hailed like a conquering hero, as the 29-year-old veteran has the good fortune of returning at UFC 102 in his hometown of Portland, Oregon.
The match itself, however will not be easy; Leben (18-6) will take on former three-time NCAA wrestling national champion Jake Rosholt as a featured bout on the televised card.
Brock Lesnar vs Shane Carwin at UFC 106
Sources close to the event have confirmed to **********.com that Brock Lesnar will make his first official title defense against Shane Carwin at UFC 106 on November 21 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, NV.
Shane Carwin had been scheduled to take on AKA fighter Cain Velasquez in October at UFC 104. But the UFC has opted to change course. Velasquez is not hurt and his management, Zinkin Entertainment, has not heard any news regarding the bout being scratched.
Minnesota MMA confirmed our source by tweeting the news Wednesday night.
UFC 106 takes place November 21 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas NV.
Here are other rumored matches for the event:
Tito Ortiz vs. Mark Coleman
Jon Fitch vs. Ricardo Almeida
Brandon Vera: No More Talking, No More Questioning
Brandon Vera is tired of all the talking. It is very easy to imagine the typical Vera training sessions as intense mental battles where talking, save light colloquialisms with teammates, is a punishment. Be clear, Vera loves the MMA public. Had it not been for you, me and the world, his highlight reels wouldn’t be celebrated nor his progress considered a beacon for MMA’s bright future. Still when the talking constantly revolves around doubt on his abilities as an athlete and whether he still has that ‘thing’ that made the fans ooze star struck at his very mention, Vera is not much of a conversationalist with the media these days.
Spike TV offers Saturday block of UFC programming
Apparently just for the hell of it, Spike TV and the UFC offer a daylong block of UFC-related programming this Saturday, Aug. 22.
A marathon of past events kicks off at 1 p.m. ET/PT with a replay of UFC Fight Night 4 and concludes with the "Ultimate Iceman: Chuck Liddell" special at 2:30 a.m. PT/ET.
Other events airing include UFC 75, UFC 89 and UFC Fight Night 16.
DAMARQUES JOHNSON VS PETER SOBOTTA AT UFC 105
A welterweight contest between DaMarques Johnson (9-7) and Peter Sobotta (8-2) is set for UFC 105 on Nov. 14 in Manchester, England.
Sources close to the fight informed MMAWeekly.com of the match-up on Tuesday evening. The event has yet to be announced by the UFC, and is expected to take place at the Manchester Evening News Arena.
Forrest Griffin Already Back In The Gym
"If the worst thing that happens to Gina (Carano) or Forrest (Griffin) is they lose a fight, they're doing pretty damn good."
Such are the words of the namesake of Carano and Griffin's training gym, Xtreme Couture, former UFC champion Randy Couture.
UFC 103 vs Floyd Mayweather and HBO
September 19 is a big day for both boxing and MMA. Jim Lampley may be shaking in his boots. The HBO announcer has trashed MMA saying it will never compete with the biggest names in boxing. Well, it's put up or shutup time as a Floyd Mayweather pay-per-view card in Las Vegas is pitted against UFC 103 in Dallas. According to Lampley, the biggest stars in boxing will eat the UFC alive.
Michael Bisping: Wanderlei Silva Will NOT Be My Opponent at UFC 105
Quick update on the potential Wanderlei Silva fight. Unfortunately thats not gonna happen. He's undergone facial surgery, so obviously won't be fighting in the near future. Rumours are he's actually out for the rest of the year.
So as of right now, Im still unaware of who I'll be facing at UFC 105. Obviously as stated before, when I know, you know.
UFC 100 replay outdraws MLB, PGA and ‘Carano vs Cyborg’
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) once again countered live programming from a competing mixed martial arts promotion when it aired selected fights from UFC 100 on Spike TV last Saturday (Aug. 15 at 10 p.m. ET) — directly opposite the Strikeforce: “Carano vs Cyborg” event that aired live on Showtime.
The replay, headlined by the UFC heavyweight championship unification bout between Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir, drew a whopping two million viewers for a 1.8 rating in men 18-34, a 1.7 rating in men 18-49 and a 1.5 household rating.
The Showtime broadcast of Strikeforce: “Carano vs. Cyborg,” in comparison, averaged 576,000 viewers, with 856,000 tuning in for the night’s main event.
However, it isn’t exactly a level playing field, as Spike TV is a basic cable station available in approximately 98 million homes. Showtime, on the other hand, is a subscription-based premium cable channel that has approximately 21 million subscribers.
UFC 102 Far From Sold Out; Economy, Taxes Problematic
A story that’s seemingly flown right under the radar the last couple weeks is the fact that the UFC is having trouble selling tickets for its 102 event to be held at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon. The venue holds nearly 20,000 people for an MMA event, but has sold just over 9,000 tickets to date.
It’s surprising news for a number of reasons: Randy Couture is an Oregon boy, MMA is fairly popular in the state, and the UFC has built up a tremendous amount of momentum in recent months. When you look deeper, however, it’s not so surprising at all that UFC 102 is struggling to fill its arena.
The UFC was actually slated to bring their show to Portland back in November of 2008, but it is believed that the organization cancelled those plans and chose Las Vegas instead due to a combination of the poor economy in Oregon and exhoribidant event taxation in Portland.
Fast forward to 2009 and the economy is only getting worse:
Oregon’s economy, bad as it is, will get even worse over the coming months, threatening double-digit unemployment and early school closures while sucking billions of dollars from the state budget, according to a forecast released Friday.
“We’re falling basically into a pit,” said state economist Tom Potiowsky. He had the unenviable job of telling stone-faced state officials how much — or how little — they can spend on education, aid to the poor and other programs.
According to Potiowsky’s forecast, which is used to set state spending levels, the current state budget will come up short by $855 million. For the 2009-11 budget, the gap between projected revenue and the rising cost of state services grows to $3 billion.
The sharp drop stems from the same forces that clobbered the nation’s economy: dried-up export markets, tumbling home values, falling stock prices and frightened consumers.
“The perfect storm is here,” Potiowsky said. “And Oregon is feeling the recession stronger than many other states.” He predicted
Exacerbating the problem even further are the 6% gross receipt taxes levied by both the Oregon State Athletic Commission and the City of Portland for MMA events held in the city - ie., 12%.
UFC Legend Matt Hughes’s Manager: It’s Time For Matt Serra To Move On
“There has not been discussion on [a rematch between former UFC welterweight champions Matt Hughes (41-7) and "Terror” Matt Serra (9-6)]. I really thought all the talking was over after the fight,” Hughes’s manager Brian Patton told Fighters.com Monday night in response to an interview Serra gave to MMA Weekly Monday in which Serra called for a rematch.