Dana On Europe: "We're Coming To France Definitely"
From MMA to MM-Eh now to Le UFC...at yesterday's UFC 97 Press Conference, Dana White revealed that the next stop on UFC's European expansion after Germany is France. Although no date is set Dana says they're next after Germany in June. France does not regulate MMA but an official ban was lifted in '08 and a show there could be overseen by UFC and, more specifically, UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner, the former head of the NSAC.
Dana Backs Off Liddell Retirement Talk
At yesterday's pre-UFC 97 Press Conference, Dana White backed down off statements made last month about Chuck Liddell perhaps being done after tomorrow's fight against Mauricio Rua, even if Liddell impresses. Now Dana says Chuck will be with UFC until Dana is "dead".
A Carmichael Dave Exclusive: Dana White on Fedor Emelianenko
Carmichael Dave: You really need to stop with this Fedor stuff. Jeez…
Dana White: Stop what? He is far from the pound-for-pound best in the world!
Carmichael Dave: Dana, the dude (Emelianenko) has never lost (ed. note: other than a cut stoppage early in his career that was later avenged with a first round TKO)….If you signed him tomorrow, you’d be swinging on those nuts….come on!
Dana White: You have to consistently fight the best in the world in order to get my respect.
Carmichael Dave: He consistently beat 3 UFC Heavyweight Champion’s asses: Noguiera twice, Andrei Arlovski, and Tim Sylvia.
Rampage Jackson: "Rashad got a big mouth"
“I did the UFC a favor and fought Jardine because Rashad wouldn’t fight me; that’s why I fought Jardine, because I was supposed to fight Rashad after the fight with Wanderlei. Since Rashad got a big mouth and got in my face, you already know who I want to fight. I’m thinking it might be a boring fight, but what do I know?”
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.