Matt Hamill vs. Keith Jardine targeted for The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale
Light heavyweights Matt Hamill (8-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) and Keith Jardine (15-7-1 MMA, 6-6 UFC) are targeted to meet at The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned.
Sources close to the negotiations said at least one fighter has formally agreed to the fight and is expected to sign a bout agreement shortly.
Although not yet formally announced by the UFC, The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale is expected to take place June 19 at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. The event airs like on Spike TV and features the finalists of the reality show's 11th season as they fight for a UFC contract.
Jardine, 34, is undoubtedly fighting to stay relevant in the 205-pound division after three consecutive losses, and four of his six octagon losses have come by way of TKO or knockout.
In his most recent performance, Jardine was knocked out by "The Ultimate Fighter 8" winner Ryan Bader at UFC 110 in February.
UFC On Versus Fighter Payouts
The official fighter payouts for UFC on Versus last weekend were revealed today. The total disclosed payouts were $713,000 with the largest share-$110,000-going to Cheick Kongo.
Thiago Alves' agent says "Pitbull" disappointed, aims for quick return
Less than 72 hours before his chance at redemption against Jon Fitch (21-3 MMA, 11-1 UFC), Brazilian slugger Thiago Alves (16-6 MMA, 9-3 UFC) was told he wouldn't get the chance to step inside the cage.
An irregularity in a pre-fight CT scan was the culprit, but Alves' agent, Malki Kawa of First Round Management, told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that his client is aiming for a quick return.
"Thiago is very disappointed," Kawa said. "But he remains in good spirits and hopes to get back in the cage very quickly."
Alves was expected to meet Fitch on the main card of Saturday night's UFC 111 event in Newark, N.J. With the removal of the matchup, a bout between Kurt Pellegrino and Fabricio Camoes has been promoted to the pay-per-view portion of the broadcast.
Kawa said the CT scan showed "an irregularity" in Alves' brain, but there was little additional information to share.
UFC still not sure what to do with James Toney
It’s been three weeks since the Ultimate Fighting Championship signed former heavyweight boxing world champion James Toney to a mixed martial arts contract. He’s been through the rumor mill of fighting everyone from Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson to former UFC champion Randy Couture.
But as of right now, he’s got nothing on the docket.
“People keep asking me what’s next for him, who’s he gonna fight. I have no idea,” UFC president Dana White said Wednesday afternoon at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. “We did this deal and now I gotta figure out what I’m gonna do with him and how I’m gonna do this thing.”
White has come under fire for signing Toney, many people calling it a “freak show,” but a lot of the fighters under White’s employ don’t see it that way.
GSP, Mir, Lesnar on SportsCenter
In a positive sign that major mixed martial arts events are getting the kind of mainstream recognition that they deserve, ESPN has scheduled interviews with Georges St. Pierre, Frank Mir and Brock Lesnar this week on SportsCenter.
St. Pierre and Mir will both appear Thursday, two days before St. Pierre fights Dan Hardy and Mir fights Shane Carwin at UFC 111. St. Pierre's interview will air live at 12:15PM ET, and Mir's interview will air live at 11:45AM ET.
Shane Carwin Misses UFC 111 Press Conference Due to Licensing Issue
NEW YORK -- When the UFC made its triumphant entrance into New York with one of its biggest cards of the year, one fighter was notoriously absent, co-main event heavyweight Shane Carwin.
While UFC President Dana White didn't inform the fans or media at Radio City Music Hall why Carwin was missing, only saying that he might arrive before the finish of the pre-fight press conference, MMA Fighting has learned that Carwin was absent due to finalizing his medical licensing paperwork.
Report: Yoshihiro Akiyama vs Wanderlei Silva booked for UFC 116 on July 3 in Las Vegas
Former DREAM and K-1 star Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-1) may finally get the chance to test his sexiness against the ferocity of Wanderlei Silva (33-10-1) when the two reportedly square off at UFC 116 on July 3 in Las Vegas.
Fighter's Only announced the proposed match-up earlier today.
A world class Judoka, Akiyama made his name in K-1 Hero’s, compiling an undefeated record of 11-0 with one No Contest. After FEG pulled the plug on Hero’s, he fought twice in the newly formed DREAM in 2008 before signing with Zuffa.
Anderson Silva talks about fighting at heavyweight
“I’m actually far from cleaning out my division,” said Silva through an interpreter Tuesday during a UFC 112 conference call. “I feel like there may be guys that are even better than me coming into the UFC. Proof that there’s tough guys in the division is Demian Maia right now. Going to be a big challenge for me.”
“My goal is still to put on as many great fights in the UFC, as many victories as I can throughout the three divisions -- middleweight, light heavyweight and possibly heavyweight, Heavyweight is definitely something I have in mind. It’s in my plans. I’ve been adapting my training to take on that challenge.”
Dana White Blames Dan Hardy's Airbrush Tattoo Removal On China
If you've been paying attention to the promotional material released for "UFC 111: St. Pierre Vs. Hardy", you may have noticed that on some of the posters (not the one pictured here, check the UFC's website) Dan Hardy's stomach seems somehow less cluttered than usual. That is because "The Outlaw"'s prominent stomach tattoo has been erased using the magic of Photoshop. The fact that his ink was artificially removed is not new news, but the real reason behind it is and it is also rather interesting.
Up until recently most everyone, including Hardy himself, was in the dark as to the reason for the airbrushing. It was originally thought to be because the tattoo was too distracting but CagePotato is reporting that UFC president Dana White had bigger things than visual overstimulation in mind when he ordered the ink wiped clean. Apparently, White revealed his motivation at a Q&A session with fans in Toronto on Tuesday.
Dana White talks to Toronto Media
On Fedor - "Any guy that's considered one of the best fighters in the world. I want him and I'll get him. Fedor is just being a nightmare."
On The Ultimate Fighter - "I want to take The Ultimate Fighter all over the world. We're working on the Middle East right now. That will probably happen the soonest. I want one in the UK and then one for all of Europe. …That has been in the works for a while and that isn't an easy one to pull off."
On Rampage: "Rampage and I are friends again now. I was mad at him because of what he's done, and he was mad at me because I was mad at him [smile]. No, we just renewed Rampage's contract... It's a 6 fight contract."
Silva says no bad blood with Belfort, welcomes Maia's challenge at UFC 112
UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva (25-4 MMA, 10-0 UFC) says there's no bad blood between him and Vitor Belfort, and that he's ready to face Demian Maia (12-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC).
Silva attempts his sixth title defense against Maia at UFC 112, scheduled for April 10 at Concert Arena at the Ferrari World theme park on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Belfort was originally scheduled to take on Silva in the main event but was forced to withdraw in February with a bad shoulder injury. Maia stepped into the slot shortly afterward.
And despite indications that Silva was none too happy to face Belfort for his belt, the UFC middleweight champion said it's all business when he steps into the cage.
UFC Cuts Shannon Gugerty
In addition to the earlier reported release of Eliot Marshall, UFC has also released Shannon Gugerty. He was 2-3 in UFC but his UFN on Versus loss to Clay Guida gave him the dreaded "losing streak of doom" as well as dropping him to 1-3 in his last 4 fights. All his UFC losses, as well as his 2 wins, came by submission.
Lift The Ban Watch: Reilly "Probably" Won't Vote Against MMA If Included In State Budget
Victory for MMA legislation in New York may finally be near. The biggest roadblock to MMA in the state-NY Assemblyman Bob Reilly-may be ready to wave the white flag. He's still against it, but should the legislation be in the state budget, he'll probably give up and not vote against it. He admits that the fiscal problems of the "Empire State" are "too big to be held up by a fight over mixed martial arts." Says Reilly, "It is violence for violence’s sake. And violence begets violence.... [But if the sanctioning of mixed martial arts is not removed from the budget process] Then I will probably not vote against it. As this will only be a small part of the budget."
Frank Mir Is Not Obsessed With Brock Lesnar As A Person-Just In Finding A Way To Beat Him
It was one of many topics he touched on during an appearance on Pro MMA Radio this past Monday. "It's a legitimate concern [focusing too much on Lesnar while overlooking (Shane) Carwin]. But I'm not so much obsessed with Lesnar as a person, as I am with the techniques and positioning he used to beat me. And it's an obsession that will do me well with this fight. If I don't improve upon those aspects of the game, Carwin is also a very strong and powerful guy who's a great wrestler, and he can do the same things to me that Brock did."
Jon Fitch: Promoters and fighters are dumbing down MMA to appease fair-weather fans
"I view them as fair-weather fans. They aren't mixed martial arts fans. They want to see K-1 kickboxing with small gloves and not MMA. I'm always working to finish fights. There are two guys in the fight, and if the other guy is looking to just survive, it's hard to finish. Promoters and fighters are dumbing down the sport to appease those fans. Those fans won't be there for the long haul and will turn their back on the sport as soon as they find the next big thing. I think referees standing fighters up too soon is one of the dumbest things that has been done recently. They need to let the fighters work on the ground, and not be so quick to bring the fighters back to their feet."
UFC welterweight contender Jon Fitch reacts to criticism surrounding his inability to finish fights after going 5-1 since 2007 with six decisions.
Following release from UFC, Eliot Marshall hopes to re-emerge in promotion this fall
"The Ultimate Fighter 8" veteran Eliot Marshall (8-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) has been released from the UFC following his loss to Vladimir Matyushenko at UFC on Versus 1 this past Sunday.
Marshall blogged for MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) during his training camp for the fight.
"It is what it is, man," Marshall said today. "What do you want me to say? It sucks. What can you do? It's my own fault, and that's how it goes."
Two judges gave the former contender Matyushenko scores of 30-27 with one judge dissenting with a score a 29-28 in favor of Marshall. Overall, the bout was characterized by a distinct lack of action, and several times the crowd implored the fighters to engage.
Banged: Duane Ludwig Out Up To 6 Months
Duane Ludwig's manager today confirmed that the fighter suffered a severe ankle fracture in his fight with Darren Elkins at UFC on Versus over the weekend. Ludwig suffered a Maisonneuve fracture–a "spiral" fracture of the fibula bone often accompanied by a severe ankle sprain–to his left leg. Ludwig will undergo surgery on Friday to repair the damage and will have several pins inserted in the bones to stabilize them. He could be out 6 months but will be on crutches and unable to train for 3 months.