Chris Leben is older, wiser and … better?
“They say as we get older, we get smarter. I guess I’ve kind of got to agree a little bit. I still like to have fun, I still like to get my heart rate up, do exciting things. After my last little stint in jail, a lot of things that have happened to me in my life, I’ve realized there’s a lot of situations that are good fun, safe fun, beneficial fun - and then there’s other kinds of fun and situations that I now choose to abstain from…. Believe or not, moving to Hawaii definitely is not a difficult move. For me or for anybody for that matter. I had just an awesome opportunity. (Icon’s) T.J. Thompson offered me a job out here, being the head coach at Icon Sport. I came out to check it out. Everything clicked great and just things started falling into place and I tell you what I couldn’t be happier. I can’t tell you the future but I can tell you I’m definitely happy right now…. More than anything, a gradual progress. I think obviously maturing as a person and again as a fighter and being a coach, now I can’t tell the guys I’m training with, do this, don’t do that - when I’m doing something different. To some extent, I’ve got to walk the line.”
Gabriel Gonzaga interested in Brock Lesnar clash of monsters
“[Brock Lesnar] was never proposed to us, but Gabriel Gonzaga would love to fight him because he’s a big name and I think it would be a clash of two monsters. I think it would be a huge fight so if the UFC gave Gonzaga that honor he would be happy to fight Brock Lesnar.”
– Marco Alvan — the head trainer for former UFC heavyweight number one contender Gabriel Gonazaga — tells BostonHerald.com that he and his fighter would be interested in a fight with Brock Lesnar in the near future. “Napao” is among the larger fighters in the division (like Lesnar) who also has a tight submission game (unlike Lesnar), which would more than likely be another dangerous test for the former professional wrestling star. Lesnar takes on Randy Couture — who beat down Gonzaga last year — at UFC 91 on November 15. Gonzaga will also compete on that same card against Octagon newcomer Josh Hendricks. If Couture defeats Lesnar and Gonzaga defeats Hendricks it would be real interesting to see if the promotion would book a fight like this, which would once again put a big pay-per-view (PPV) money machine at risk of losing to a much more experienced fighter.
Cage fighters 'behind £53m raid'
I know Lee Murray has long been rumoured to be involved in this robbery, but this is the first time to my knowledge that he has been formally named/accused:
Two cage fighters masterminded the £53m raid on a Securitas depot in Kent and then fled to Morocco, a jury was told.
Paul Allen and Lee Murray, 29, were at the heart of the raid in Tonbridge in February 2006, the Old Bailey heard.
Mr Allen, 30, of Chatham, was extradited to the UK while Mr Murray remains in a Moroccan jail.
Mr Allen is on trial along with Michael Demetris, 32, of Bromley Common, south London. Both deny conspiracy to rob, to kidnap, and to possess a firearm.
Mr Allen and Mr Demetris, a hairdresser, are accused of conspiring with five other men who were jailed in January after being found guilty of kidnap, robbery and firearms charges in connection with Britain's biggest cash raid.
During the raid, depot manager Colin Dixon and his family were kidnapped at gunpoint by men posing as police officers.
After "depressing" July loss, Jorge Gurgel next meets Aaron Riley at UFC 91
After dealing with the first bout of depression in his entire life, submission specialist Jorge Gurgel (12-4 MMA, 3-3 UFC) will next fight at UFC 91 against Aaron Riley (26-10-1 MMA, 0-2 UFC), who returns to the UFC for the first time in nearly three years.
Gurgel today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that bout agreements have been signed for the Nov. 15 fight, which takes place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Gurgel, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, looks to rebound from his disappointing submission loss to Cole Miller at UFC 86.
Although seemingly on his way to a tough-fought unanimous-decision victory in the July bout, Gurgel ran into disaster in the fight's final moments. While scrambling for position after securing a trip-takedown, Gurgel was trapped by Miller's triangle choke and forced to tap out with just 12 seconds remaining in the fight.
It would have been Gurgel's fourth UFC victory in a five-fight span. Instead, he suffered just the second submission loss of his career -- and his first in nearly five years.
"It was extremely difficult for me," Gurgel said. "I never in my life -- never in any circumstance -- I've never been depressed. Depression can't get to me. I'm always happy. I don't get depressed. But, I got to the point where I couldn't sleep.
"My parents were disappointed. My family was very hurt, and the first words out of my step-dad's mouth, as soon as he walked down the aisle in the arena (at UFC 86) and saw me -- he goes, 'This is the first time in my life, Jorge, that I saw a fighter win and lose a fight in the same fight.' And that quote has never left my head because that's exactly what happened. ... I lost my focus for one second, and it cost me 14 minutes and 30 seconds of beating [Miller] up. It was my best fight yet. I didn't even have a black eye, but I just lost focus for that split second."
After such a stunning and stinging loss, Gurgel heard the same thing over and over from friends, family and fans.
"It was either 'tough break' or '[expletive] happens,'" Gurgel said. "I'm just ready to get in there and put it behind me."
Standing in his way is Riley, who returns to the octagon for the first time since a first-round TKO loss to Spencer Fisher at UFC Fight Night 3. Ten fights and four years earlier, the former PRIDE and BodogFIGHT veteran made his UFC debut with a unanimous-decision loss to Robbie Lawler.
Since his latest UFC appearance, Riley has posted a 3-2 record in a variety of organizations; the losses came to notables Eddie Alvarez and Ryan Schultz.
Riley, a former Golden Gloves champion who made his professional MMA debut as a 16-year-old in 1997, has won seven of his past 10 fights.
St. Pierre Snagged by CAA
While the fight world awaits confirmation of a rematch with UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn on Jan. 31, Georges St. Pierre has signed on another dotted line.
St. Pierre, 26, has joined the ranks of Derek Jeter, LeBron James and Tony Hawk, as the UFC welterweight champion has been picked up by CAA Sports, a division of the Creative Artists Agency.
Looks like we'll be seeing a lot more of GSP in the public.
This is another sign that MMA has almost entirely "made it"
Brian Stann Off UFC Fight Night 16 Due To Injury
Former WEC Light Heavyweight Champion Brian Stann will not be able to fight on the December 10th UFC FIGHT FOR THE TROOPS show which is to be held at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Sources close to the fighter today confirmed to Fiveouncesofpain.com that an injury to the fighter’s foot would not allow him to fight in his scheduled bout with Steve Cantwell.
Abdul Muhamed Signs With The UFC
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has further added to its growing roster of European talent by inking a deal with top U.K. lightweight Abdul Mohamed (16-6-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC).
Sources close to Mohamed told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of the signing on Monday, though terms of the contract were not undisclosed.
Mohamed is expected to make his debut at UFC 93, which takes place Jan. 17 in Dublin, Ireland.
No opponent has been determined.
Quote of the Day: Anderson Silva
I think it's going to be real fun." "Cote is going to come out and stand up with me and it will be exciting and entertaining. He's going to hit me and I'm going to hit him a few times and we'll see what happens."
"I believe in every opponent there are some weak points that I can capitalize on." "He may find some weak points in my game where he can capitalize on me, but I am very confident and I'm training very hard. I think Patrick Cote is right: I am beatable."
"I believe the confidence that Patrick Cote has is a good thing." "Every fighter should be confident and the same way he's confident I'm confident. If Cote thinks he's going to knock me out or submit me in the third round that's a good thing to think that. But there is an opportunity that he might get knocked out or submitted. I believe everybody is beatable and that's what makes this sport so interesting."
Eddie Bravo: Joe Rogan Is One Bad Mofo
While it's not clear if he'll ever trade punchlines for real punches, Joe Rogan apparently is pretty good when it comes to jiu-jitsu...so much that his teacher, Eddie Bravo, thinks Rogan could go straight to Welterweight if he ever wanted to do MMA and do quite well.
Ivan Serati Debuts At UFC 93
UFC has announced that new acquisition Ivan Serati will make his debut at UFC 93 in Ireland. He'll be the second Italian to compete in the Octagon (Alessio Sakara). No opponent has been named yet.
Leben’s path comes full circle
Even three years later, Chris Leben can’t bring himself to sit down in front of a television sit and watch the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter.
He cringes at what little he does see, unhappy and unimpressed with the desperate character seemingly crying out for help.
Chris Leben was one of an odd assortment of fighters cobbled together by UFC president Dana White and owner Lorenzo Fertitta to compete on the first season of the reality series on Spike TV, which wound up fueling the UFC’s current success.
Leben’s wild, drunken behavior, unpredictable mood swings and overbearing attitude on the show makes it difficult for him to even speak about it now.
Overeem Talking To UFC
Dutch heavyweight Alistair Overeem has dropped a hint that a move to UFC may be on the cards.
Speaking to Fighters Only earlier, Overeem was asked if he would like to fight for the organisation if the right deal could be struck.
"Of course. My management is working on some deals in the US right now," he replied.
"But I would like to add that I have been treated very well by Strikeforce," he added, referring to the Californian organisation whose heavyweight title he holds.
"There is nothing confirmed as of now about my next fight for Strikeforce, but there should soon be more information on this."
Overeem recently fought bitter rival Mirko CroCop at DREAM 6 in Japan, but the bout was declared a no-contest after several low blows from the Dutchman.
However, he is keen for a rematch and says that negotiations are currently taking place for a second fight on New Year's Eve.
Escudero turns wrestling into MMA/UFC career
Efrain Escudero grew up in Somerton, Ariz., wanting to fight. Now the Grand Canyon University wrestler is doing it professionally.
Escudero, who is still attending the Christian university, was selected by Ultimate Fighting Championships for "The Ultimate Fighter," a Mixed Martial Arts reality show based in Las Vegas.
Marc Goddard Retires From MMA and Becomes UFC Referee
For the majority of you who don't know him, Marc was supposed to be fighting his final fight last weekend, but pulled out due to his close friend and fellow fighter Ross Mason nearly being killed, he's helping Ross' wife and children get through this very difficult time, Leon Roberts who many of you may have seen on Cage Rage is also now becoming a UFC referee................it's a nice and almost moving read
"As the title says really. I am now completely 100% retired from active MMA competition. I have enjoyed mixed success over the years and owe thanks to a whole host of different people, too many to name without fear of forgetting anyone.
I can not wait to take up 100% committed to my refereeing and coaching role in helping others. I will still obviously be teaching, training and compete actively with sub grappling.
From 18th October onwards I will be refereeing at UFC events and I am both deeply honoured and feel real achievement. Good things come to those who wait and the story of me being in before UFC 70 in Manchester to be decided at the last minute no now bears absolutely no significance. I am personally thrilled and can not wait to really get going.
I never said or set out to be the best 205lb fighter in the world but rest assured I will be setting my stall well and truly out to prove to be the best MMA ref in the world, this is something I know I can and will be without a doubt. Espacially now being granted the opportunity and honoured to be given the platform to do so.
This was confirmed for me a few weeks ago but it was always the intention to make Saturdays fight my last and hopefuly retire a champion, alas we all know what happened there and the fight not happening certainly does not matter now.
Even more good news is that I am not alone, as it was confirmed last week that my good friend Leon Roberts will be joining me as the second British representative as a referee. When ever I have been unable to make a show I have always asked Leon to step in for me and I think that he has proved just how good he is and I was so glad when I learned that the UFC had picked Leon too. I am both excited and thrilled for us both and we aim to show just what we are made of.
I have met some real gems in this game and will continue to do so no doubt i really look forward to the future and seeing you all out there and the stars of the game coming through as well as the sport developing here as it should.
Obviously in light of the weekends events I had wished to make this announcment in happier times but that just goes to show that you never know whats coming next, thats why I will be taking this opportunity with both firm hands !
Thankyou to all that wish me well and for those that may not I am sorry for the reason that may have not to, but as I said due to the weekends events may I kindly request that any negatives be refrained from here or at least hate on me via PM.
Sorry if i have been long winded. Love to you all, see you in the cage - peace, Marc."
Eddie Bravo: "The Game Has Changed"
"A lot of fighters wanted to sit in half guard and pound them and rain elbows, but never try and pass the guard.
When you have that kind of attitude, you're only going to get so far. Your game is going to be so limited and
you're going to win some and lose some; you're going to bat .500 and not get very far."
Johnny Rees replaces Luke Cummo at UFC Fight Night 16
Johnny Rees (10-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) has agreed to replace Luke Cummo and will fight Steve Bruno (11-4 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at the Dec. 10 "UFC Fight Night 16: UFC Fights For the Troops" event.
MMAjunkie.com learned of the change over the weekend from a source close to Rees. The bout was first reported by fiveouncesofpain.com.
The event, which airs live on Spike TV and serves as a fundraiser for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, takes place in conjunction with the Fort Bragg military institution in North Carolina.
Luke Cummo off UFN 16 card on Dec. 10 due to injury
Welterweight Luke Cummo has been forced to pull out of a planned Dec. 10 bout vs. Steve Bruno during UFC Fight Night 16: “UFC Fights for the Troops” in Fayetteville, North Carolina due to injury.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com learned of the development from a source close to one of the fighters last night. The source went on to add that Cummo’s spot on the show will be filled by Johnny Rees.
Rees, 10-1, made his UFC debut during UFC Fight Night 14 this past July, losing to fellow newcomer Nate Loughran due to a first round submission following a guillotine choke.
Bruno, 11-4, trains out of American Top Team in Florida and is coming off a loss in his UFC debut at UFC 87. Facing Chris Wilson, Bruno lost a unanimous decision.
Michael Bisping: "Anderson's Only Human, Anything Is Possible"
Although he has other business to take care of before such a fight could happen, Michael Bisping is already thinking, and talking, about an Anderson Silva fight. Bisping thinks his strong point, wrestling, could help him against Silva, who he thinks is a weak wrestler, and that Anderson is only human despite rumors to the contrary.