Pros Picks: Liddell vs. Rua
A few years back, a showdown between Chuck Liddell and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua would have been a fight fan’s dream matchup. Liddell was the defending UFC light heavyweight champion and at the top of his game while laying out opponents like kitchen tile. Rua was on a meteoric rise through Pride Fighting Championships’ ranks, rivaling Liddell’s fistic floor masonry in Japan. Before Zuffa bought out Pride, it seemed like a full-scale tilt between these two explosive knockout artists would never materialize.
Thankfully the fight will finally come to fruition this Saturday at UFC 97 in Montreal, but like Liddell’s stellar conquest of Rua’s former Chute Boxe teammate Wanderlei Silva, the matchup is being purchased off the shelf a few years after its expiration date. Looking at his most recent bouts, Liddell’s age appears to be catching up to him and the 39-year-old icon just might be a bit past his fighting prime.
Rua, 27, has had a rocky transition to the cage, where his stamina has been harshly tested. Once feared for his heavy, looping punches, Liddell has been knocked out at the hands of Quinton Jackson and Rashad Evans in the last two years. Rua was soundly beaten by Forrest Griffin and nearly suffocated in a near hilarious, though triumphant, scuffle with fighting fossil Mark Coleman.
Luckily for the fans though, Liddell-Rua should still be an all-out war, a skirmish that could wind up being a “fight of the year” candidate when all is said and done. Will Liddell’s experience and hunger to recapture his title, along with a new striking coach, earn him another highlight-reel knockout? Will Rua have made the necessary adjustments to avoid exahaustion and finally get on the tear that UFC fans expected from him from the start?
Many professional trainers and fighters think they have the answer to those questions. Sherdog.com recently polled dozens of the pros in an attempt to get a read on the pulse of the MMA elite. Some were a little hesitant to comment on the fight, but the brave ones put their names and reputations on the line and boldly picked a winner.
Larson Official For UFC 98, Fight Dropped To Prelim
UFC 98 is now again officially complete with the official announcement that Brock Larson will replace the injured Josh Koscheck and face Chris Wilson. As a result of this change, the Larson-Wilson fight has been dropped from PPV to prelim, with James Irvin vs. Drew McFedries promoted to PPV as the replacement.
Coleman Granted License For UFC 100
Now the UFC 100 fight between Mark Coleman & Stephan Bonnar is official following the NSAC granting Coleman a one-fight license. As a rule, all fighters over the age of 35 have to contact the commission to discuss any concerns that they may have. Coleman appeared before the NSAC in person and discussed the concerns with NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer and other Commission members.
Nate Quarry talks UFC 97 & Video Games!
PDG: UFC 97 in Montréal, Canada is a pretty stacked card; what fights are you looking forward to seeing that night?
Quarry: Any time that you get a chance to fight on a card with Chuck Liddell and Anderson Silva, it is a real treat. I have been a fan of Chuck's for a long time and we are also friends. So being able to be there and to say I fought on the same card as Chuck Liddell is a real honor. That is something that I will always remember.
Lyoto bets on Silva against Thales or Fedor, and helps train Satoshi Ishii
“Anderson normally weights 98kg, If Fedor fights him weighting 100kg, I believe Silva would win. Besides being very tactical, Anderson is a way superior technically and I truly believe He has good tolls to put Fedor in trouble”, said the Dragon from Brazilian Amazon. Lyoto also talked about the Olympic Judo champion, Ishii, who is training with him for almost 2 months. “He weights around 105kg and learns really fast. He improved a lot his striking since he arrived. Ishii is helping me a lot with my grappling game as well. Soon He will be ready to make his MMA debut and I believe He will do a great job”
After odd win over Cote, Anderson Silva has something to prove at UFC 97
"I wasn't very happy with the way that the fight ended," said Silva, who said he felt a kick he delivered in the second round is what wound up injuring Cote. "I felt that my performance was good in the fight. I felt that I showed – I executed everything that we did in training. But unfortunately, when he got that kick in the second round and in the third round his knee popped, the fight didn't necessarily end the way the world and myself would have expected.
Fitch vs. Thiago, Danzig vs. Miller official for UFC 100 in July
The organization today officially announced a long-rumored welterweight contest between Jon Fitch (18-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) and Paulo Thiago as well as a recently discussed bout involving lightweights Mac Danzig and Jim Miller.
After being relegated to the preliminary card in his January bout with Akihiro Gono, Fitch's bout with Thiago has been scheduled for the UFC 100 main card.
UFC 94 Replay Draws Almost 2 Million Viewers
Spike TV began spinning the numbers for Saturday's Strikeforce counter-programming they aired, a replay of UFC 94 headined by GSP vs. BJ Penn. They announced the show did a 1.4 cable rating, 1.9 million total viewers, and outdrew live boxing on HBO (1.5 million viewers). SF ratings are not yet available.
Vera vs. Hamill At UFC 102, Not 101
Although it was originally planned for UFC 101, it now appears that the planned fight between Brandon Vera and Matt Hamill will instead happen at UFC 102. The fight is being finalized for the August 29 event.
UFC 104 - Quinton “Rampage” Jackson set to return to action
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson could return to action in October, possibly in his home town of Memphis, Tennessee.
Sources close to the Wolfslair Academy trained fighter revealed the news to MMABay earlier on today although the planning of the event is still in the early stages and a date is not yet known.
Dodging bullets and prison visits keep Houston Alexander focused for UFC 98
After opening his UFC career with two first-round TKO wins, Alexander has now dropped three-straight contests. But despite the struggles, "The Assassin" recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) that he's not worried about losing his place in the UFC.
"I'm not feeling any pressure at all," Alexander said. "When you have children, the only pressure you feel is taking care of your kids. As far as the world, or pleasing anybody else, I don't feel any pressure from that."
It's not that Alexander isn't working to turn his situation around. In fact, the Nebraska native is focused on doing exactly that when he daces Andre Gusmao (5-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at UFC 98 in May.
"I've kind of stepped up a little bit," Alexander said. "We've been going to different camps and dealing with different bodies and different individuals. It's been working out really good."
Ed Herman: It’s win or get cut at UFC 97
“I think this is going to be a really exciting fight. Hopefully it’s Fight of the Night or Ass Whooping of the Night. I’m looking to finish him as fast as I can…I’ve lost two in a row and if I lose another fight, the UFC will probably cut me so I’m trying to keep my job. It’s rough times. It’s a bad economy, so I gotta keep my damn job so I can keep living. I respect Loiseau, but on the 18th, I’m going in there to beat his ass.”
– Ed Herman — middleweight finalist on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 3 — talks about his upcoming fight with hometown favorite David Loiseau at UFC 97 from The Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on April 18. “Short Fuse” is looking to rebound from back-to-back losses and prevent himself from being a victim of a contractual “Spring Cleaning.” That might not be so easy against “The Crow,” who also is fighting to remain on the UFC roster. The former middleweight contender was invited back to the Octagon after putting together a solid 4-2 record outside of the promotion. Loser leaves town? Perhaps not if they can pull off fight of the night. What say you?