Ace in the hole: An MMAmania.com UFC 99 interview exclusive with Rich Franklin
Rich Franklin is one of the most recognizable faces in the history of mixed martial arts and a guy that to this day, remains one of the UFC’s most beloved former champions.
The day may come where “Ace” get serious consideration to be inducted into the UFC Hall-of-Fame, mainly due to his sixteen month reign as middleweight champion from 2005-2006, but for now that can wait.
At the age of 35 he has yet to show any visible signs of slowing down, however there is officially light at the end of the tunnel. He has now gone past the nine year mark in his storied professional career.
UFC 99: Wanderlei Silva's Swan Song?
Wanderlei Silva is one of the best athletes in the history of mixed martial arts, a former Pride middleweight champion who at one point was considered the most feared fighter in MMA. But if he loses to Rich Franklin at UFC 99, could Silva be finished?
Crocop: 'I was just empty in my head'
Croatian heavyweight Mirko "Crocop" Filipovic believes his previous woes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship were purely mental.
"I think I was just empty in my head," said the man once considered the most dangerous striker in mixed martial arts. "It was just the head problem, not body."
M-1 Continues UFC Plea For Fedor Fight
After 2 years, the pleas keep being made by M-1 Global. They do remain in contact with UFC about a Fedor Emelianenko fight although no negotiations have taken place. They remain hopeful of something happening though, perhaps buoyed by reports that Mirko Cro Cop has only a one-fight deal with UFC covering UFC 99.
Nogueira postpones retirement for UFC title run
Rodrigo ‘Minatauro’ Nogueira expects to retire next year and says he would like to end his career in Japan or Brazil - but first he wants to take another run at the UFC heavyweight title currently held by Brock Lesnar.
Regarding his loss to Frank Mir in his most recent outing, Nogueira says: “This defeat has postponed my retirement, I want to run after the belt.
“I want to be another warrior to help the guys to take this American hegemony and bring four belts for Brazil,” he explains in next month’s print edition of Tatame, outlining his belief that he and Thiago Alves can top their weight divisions in the near future.
UFC 99: Caol Uno Returns and Can History Give Spencer Fisher the Formula for Success?
Back in March, hardcore fans were treated to an announcement that brought back some nostalgic memories of a crafty fighter who was one of the first Japanese lightweights to have an impact in the history of the UFC. Caol Uno(27-11-4) will make his return to the Octagon at UFC 99 against what may be considered one of Joe Silva's best matchups on the card as he takes on Spencer Fisher in a lightweight tilt.
Despite recent hurdles, Saturday's UFC 99 event nearing sellout status in Germany
Saturday's UFC 99 event, the first-ever UFC show to take place in Germany, is close to being sold out.
Jennifer Wenk, the UFC's director of public relations, said during Monday's pre-event media conference call that the event is "about 85 percent sold out."
"UFC 99: Franklin vs. Silva," which features a main event between Rich Franklin and Wandleri Silva at a catch-weight of 195 pounds, takes place at Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany, and airs on pay per view. It's the first overseas event for the UFC since it ventured to Dublin, Ireland, in January for UFC 93.
Rampage Says Rashad Was Afraid When He Fought Machida
By now, it's no secret that Quinton "Rampage" Jackson isn't fond of Rashad Evans. The two went nose to nose after UFC 96 and nearly fought at a recent photo shoot. Jackson is chomping at the bit for a fight with the former champion.
New champion Lyoto Machida was a frequent refrain at a media day for the tenth season of "TUF." Jackson said Evans had it all wrong when he faced "The Dragon."
UFC 99: Mirko Cro Cop Says This Time He's Ready to Fight in the Octagon
Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic stepped into the MMA ring four times in 2006, going 4-0 and winning the Pride Open Weight Grand Prix title. But in 2007, when he moved from the Pride ring to the UFC Octagon, he struggled, going 1-2. Now Cro Cop is getting ready to return to the UFC, and he said on Tuesday that he's much more prepared to make the transition from ring to cage than he was two years ago.
"They are different, definitely," Cro Cop said of transitioning from ring to cage. "I spent my whole career fighting in the ring and then I entered the cage. I must say I underestimated the cage. It's much, much easier to go from the cage to the ring than from the ring to the cage. So I got a cage in my gym."
For Cain Velasquez, UFC Title Is the Goal, but Not Right Away
Cain Velasquez is an undefeated heavyweight who's preparing for the toughest test of his career when he faces Cheick Kongo on Saturday at UFC 99, and he says his goal is to win the UFC heavyweight title. But the 26-year-old Velasquez, who only got into MMA four years ago after his wrestling career at Arizona State ended, says he can be patient.
In an interview with FanHouse, Velasquez said that even if he beats Kongo on Saturday, he doesn't expect to get the next shot at the UFC title. He's just looking to add one more win to his fast growing resume. The full interview is below.
At UFC 99, Mirko Cro Cop Expects to Have the Fans on His Side
Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic is one of the most popular mixed martial arts fighters in the world, but his most devoted fans -- the ones in his native Croatia -- haven't had many opportunities to see him fight. Cro Cop has fought almost exclusively in Japan, so as he prepares to fight in Continental Europe for the first time ever at UFC 99 in Cologne, Germany, he says he expects to have a big contingent of fans with him when he takes on Mostapha Al Turk.
"Many friends of mine are traveling," Cro Cop told me Tuesday on a call to promote UFC 99. "My brothers, my brothers-in-law, my father-in-law, my family will be taking their own cars to Cologne. Many, many people are going in their cars. It's only about 10 hours of driving to get there. Many, many, many people are coming, people are organizing trips, and definitely, many Croatian fans will be there."
Carwin Cleared To Spar, Targeting Fall Return
Coming off a badly broken nose suffered in his huge victory over Gabriel Gonzaga, Shane Carwin recently said he was cleared to resume sparring last week and, while he doesn't have an opponent in mind, is targeting a September or October return to UFC. He says he likes 3 months' notice before a fight but will be ready when UFC calls.
UFC Signs Cro Cop For UFC 99 On Verbal Agreement, No Contract
When asked on a conference call Tuesday how many fights Cro Cop had on his new UFC contract, White said it was up in the air.
"Mirko and I are working on that still," White said. "Mirko Cro Cop ended up on this card last minute, weeks before the event, and this whole deal was done verbally over the phone with me and him."
Something To Prove, CroCop Returns To The UFC
For Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic motivation is the sole reason he fights at an elite level.
The Croatian kickboxer turned MMA fighter Tuesday spoke to the media of his return to the UFC after a 21-month absence. He faces British fighter Mustapha Al-Turk at UFC 99 in Cologne, Germany on Saturday.
Filipovic lost two of his three appearances in the Octagon after winning the Pride Absolute Grand Prix in dominating fashion almost three years ago. There were physical problems to contend with, Cro Cop said, like his knee and foot, but mostly, his mind wasn't right after the tournament.
Despite Headaches, UFC 99 & 101 Nearly Sold Out
Resistance be damned, UFC president Dana White says UFC 99 will go on.
The promotion’s first trip to Germany hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing.
Front page news decrying mixed martial arts as a bloodsport was the first harbinger of trouble. Now, television partner Setanta Sports could go under before it gets a chance to televise the event for British audiences.
All in a day’s work, says White.
UFC 99 IS AT 195, BUT 205 IS FRANKLIN'S HOME
Rich Franklin has caught the catchweight fever, but don’t expect him to fall below 205 pounds for the foreseeable future.
This Saturday, the former middleweight champion headlines UFC 99 with Wanderlei Silva at 195 pounds, 10 lighter than his previous two outings. For the third time, he’s crossing time zones for a big fight, this one at the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany.
Silva walks around between 210 and 220 pounds and is on his way down to middleweight.
UFC 99: MUSTAPHA AL-TURK READY FOR CRO COP
If a man is less than fazed about the return of Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic to the UFC, it is British heavyweight Mustapha Al-Turk.
“I was initially taken aback at the announcement, but hey, it’s a big opportunity for me and since then I have just immersed myself in training. He is an opponent like any other. I take all of them seriously.”
The encounter – which is slated to kick off the main card of UFC 99 in Cologne, Germany, on the June 13 – will mark Al-Turk’s second venture into the promotion’s heavyweight ranks following a disappointing debut against Wolfslair product Cheick Kongo. He is keen to make a different impression this time round.
UFC 99: Mike Swick Looking for Impressive Win, Seeks "Big Fight"
Mike Swick (13-2) vs. Ben Saunders (7-0-2) could easily be considered one of the best matchups at UFC 99. The welterweight tilt will pit two Ultimate Fighter alums in what could be deemed a situation in which Swick has much to lose while Saunders could gain considerable momentum in the divisional picture. Saunders will see a substantial step up in competition against Swick after defeating Dan Barrera, Ryan Thomas, and Brandon Wolff while Swick rides a three-fight win streak with wins Josh Burkman, Marcus Davis, and Jonathan Goulet.