Keith Jardine perhaps expected to lose at UFC 96 …
… at least that’s what he thinks, anyway, in a recent SI.com article:
“I think [the UFC] is probably expecting me to lose. I think they’ve put me in other fights where they expected me to lose, but that didn’t happen. I guess I’m the guy they get to step in whenever they need somebody.”
“The Dean of Mean” attempts to get his head wrapped around the thought process behind matching him up against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in the main event at UFC 96 on March 1. It doesn’t make much sense on the surface, considering Jardine will not fight training partner, good friend and reigning division champion, Rashad Evans. And that’s a problem because the winner of the 205-pound bout between Jardine and Jackson would more than likely earn number one contender status. In fact, Jackson was already pegged to challenge Evans; however, the seven-week turnaround for “Sugar” between fights proved to be not enough time. Jardine has played spoiler twice before against big-name players in the division, including Forrest Griffin and Chuck Liddell. Can he pull off the hat trick at the Nationwide Arena?
Despite Comments, Swick Likely Not Facing Alves At 94, Future TBD
Although comments recently made by Marcus Davis suggest otherwise, sources have confirmed that his comments about Mike Swick vs. Thiago Alves happening at UFC 94 are false. In fact, Swick's next fight likely will be determined by the outcome of the BJ Penn-Georges St. Pierre fight at 94. Should GSP win, Swick likely will have to take a fight against someone other than Alves.
Luis Cane vs Steve Cantwell UFC 97 fight likely
Surging light heavyweight contender Luis Cane (9-1) will likely get to sink his chops into the last man to hold the World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) 205-pound title, Steve Cantwell (7-1), at UFC 97 from The Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on April 18.
“Banha” was supposed to collide with Keith Jardine; however, “The Dean of Mean” now has bigger and better things to take care of, namely Quinton “Rampage” Jackson,” after division champion Rashad Evans revealed he would not be ready in time for UFC 96 in March.
Ronys Torres Off UFN 18
Ronys Torres' UFC debut that was scheduled for UFN 18 on April 1 is now off. Torres has suffered a knee injury and will need surgery, which will keep him out up to 6 months. No word yet on the fate of Torres' planned opponent, Melvin Guillard.
Nissen Osterneck vs. Nate Loughran targeted for UFC Fight Night 18 bout
One-time World Extreme Cagefighting fighter Nissen Osterneck (5-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will likely make his UFC debut against Nate Loughran (9-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) in April at UFC Fight Night 18.
The fight is in the works and has been pitched to at least one of the fighters, a source close to one of the competitors told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Thales training with Ryan Bader for Silva
“The training here are great. Everybody here is good. I’m training everyday, emphasizing the Boxing and Wrestling part, where they are very good", said Thales, who is counting with the TUF 8 champion, Ryan Bader’s help and also the UFC fighter CB Dollaway. “Jaime Warner, Steve, Simpson and Carlos Condit, all WEC fighters, are helping me too. Steve is a wrestling coach and is very good teaching at a school here in Arizona”, completed Leites.
Overeem: ''I'll Sign For The UFC When The Money Is Right''
Alistair Overeem is keen on a move to the UFC and will sign with the organisation if offered the appropriate financial incentive.
The Dutch heavyweight had a good year in 2008, manhandling Mirko 'CroCop' Filopovic and stopping K-1 champion Badr Hari under kickboxing rules.
Overeem was ringside at UFC 93 and, when asked by Fighters Only if he would be signing with the organisation, said: "It's possible."
Despite Third Round, Henderson Happy With Win
Dan Henderson is breathing easier after his win over Rich Franklin. The same could not be said, however, by the third round of their fight.
Franklin’s best strike, a left roundhouse to Henderson’s midsection, had taken its toll and was slowing the former Pride champ down in the main event of Saturday's UFC 93.
“I caught the knee right to my ribs a couple of times, and really felt that in the third round,” said the plain-spoken Henderson. “It affected my breathing a little bit.”
Rov Kimmons vs Joe Vedepo set for UFN 18
Both fighters returning from losses in their most recent bouts, Rob Kimmons and Joe Vedepo have verbally agreed to face each other at UFC Fight Night 18 on April 1 in Nashville, Tenn. Bout agreements have yet to be signed. Sources close to Kimmons confirmed the bout to MMAWeekly.com on Tuesday.
Rich Franklin on UFC 93 main event: "I thought I won the fight"
Rich Franklin left his Jan. 17 UFC 93 main-event fight with two gashes in his head, nine stitches, a scratched cornea, blurry vision, a temporary eye patch and a stinging defeat.
In his first interview since the split-decision defeat to Dan Henderson, Franklin said his wounds will heal just fine. However, disappointment over the loss won't.
"Honestly, I thought I won the fight," Franklin said.
Fedor Unsurprised By Nogueiras' Loss
Fedor Emelianeno said he was unsurprised by Antonio ‘Minotauro’ Nogueira’s recent knockout loss to Frank Mir.
The Russian has faced Nogueira and beaten him twice (with one no contest) and although he did not stop him, he says it was a certainty that somebody eventually would.
"It did not surprise me. Antonio had already been punished enough over the years, had many struggles and sooner or later that will catch up with you,”