For Penn, Lightweight is Right Weight
B.J. Penn’s clearly excited about the prospect of rematching UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre in December, but the prospect of the bout reveals far more potential downside than payoff for Penn, and the sport itself.
Mike Massenzio plans to apply constant pressure during UFC debut
FiveOuncesOfPain.com broke the news several weeks ago that top East Coast prospect and former IFL middleweight Mike Massenzio had signed a four fight contract with the UFC and that he’s set to debut against Drew McFedries at UFC Fight Night 15 on Sept. 17.
Massenzio’s bout is currently slated to make the Spike TV portion of the card, which will be telecast as a lead-in for the eighth season of “The Ultimate Fighter.” It’s somewhat ironic that he’ll be debuting during a TUF premiere night considering he was recruited to be a part of the cast for TUF 7. But the UFC wasn’t alone in their desire for Massenzio. He has been on the radar of talent evaluators for several national organizations after amassing a 10-1 record in MMA following a standout wrestling career in Junior College.
JIM MILLER VS DAVID BARON AT UFC 89
Two new additions to the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s lightweight roster will square off at UFC 89 in Birmingham, England as Jim Miller is set to do battle with David Baron, as confirmed to MMAWeekly.com by sources close to the fight.
Both Miller and Baron just recently signed with the UFC and this should be a fast-paced fight between two of the brightest rising stars in the sport.
Jim Miller almost had his UFC debut earlier this year in a bout against Marcus Aurelio, but his existing contract with the now defunct International Fight League (IFL) prevented the move.
Now Miller steps in to face David Baron, another top fighter brought in from abroad by the UFC to expand its international talent pool.
Randy Couture Speaks
Couture: Well, the language in [my UFC] contract is pretty clear. It’s 18 months or four fights and the 18 months expired on July 19, so we’re in a 30-day grace period for negotiating or re-negotiating with the UFC. If they find a way to make the Fedor fight happen, I’ll be all over it, but I don’t really see that happening realistically. The non-compete clause expires on Oct. 10, a year from when I resigned, and so I’ll be able to go back to work commentating and working with the other promotions and getting back into the business of MMA.
UFC Quick Quote: Jason MacDonald feels stupid
I don’t know what went wrong in my head. I don’t know what happened and why I chose to fight that fight on the ground. Sure I made the fight exciting and I’ve gotten lots of positive responses on how well I did on the ground with a guy like Maia. But at the end of the day, he caught me and that’s what he does best. I played into his game. It was a stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid fight on my behalf. And I take the full blame 100 percent for it. I’ll take it right on the forehead like I took those hundred elbows from Maia. And that’s that. I’m pretty disappointed because Maia was beatable if I had held that fight standing up. And I paid the price for not doing it.
– UFC middleweight Jason ‘The Athlete’ MacDonald grounds and pounds himself on Sportsnet.ca for not following his gameplan or the instructions from his corner during his submission loss to grappling phenom Demian Maia at UFC 87: ‘Seek and Destroy’ on August 9.
Jon Fitch wants to fight next ‘before the end of the year’
“I wasn’t that beat up. Just a little off in the head after the first dropedge. I’m fine and will be back before the end of the year if I have any say in it.”
Top welterweight contender Jon Fitch is eager to return to the Octagon after missing out on an opportunity to topple Georges St. Pierre at UFC 87: “Seek and Destroy” and capture his 170-pound title. Despite “being a little off in the head” early in the five-round fight, Fitch managed to hang on until the very end, delivering one of the gutsiest performances of the year. It would be no surprise to see him take on the winner of the welterweight bout between Karo Parisyan and Yoshiyuki Yoshida at UFC 88: “Breakthrough” on September 6.
Matt Hughes Not Impressed with GSP’s Performance
You may have noticed Matt Hughes sitting Octagon-side at UFC 87. At least, that’s where he was for most of the night. Turns out he didn’t make it all the way through the evening, and you can probably guess why. From Matt Hughes’ blog:
I went there really to watch one fight, probably not the one you’re expecting. I went there to watch Brock Lesnar. He is so interesting because he is so athletic as well as being so powerful. So that fight went just like I thought it would, Brock took him down whenever he wanted and on the ground he did whatever he wanted. I was also there watching my buddy, Roger, but he didn’t quite look the same. I don’t think him or Kenny fought their best fight on Saturday. Roger looked to have done a few things different and I would say that he needs to go back to what he was doing before.
The last fight of the night was Georges and Fitch. Georges didn’t look as big as he has before and he seemed like he had gotten tired from the first round. Fitch had the game plan of countering Georges and you just can’t do that. You can’t counter a quicker fighter. To be honest, halfway in the third round I got up and walked out of the arena and went to my hotel. The fight wasn’t the most exciting and I wanted to get out of there before everyone else was getting up to leave.
Rua’s da man? ‘Shogun vs Rampage 2' in the works says former GP champ
Get ready for Japan’s biggest rematch since Yuko Matsumiya out-winded Atsushi Fujita at last year’s 61st annual Fukuoka Marathon, which ironically, was the inspiration for the name of the UFC’s buyout of PRIDE now known as Fukuova.
“It was a business decision to kill PRIDE” according to UFC President Dana White in a recent interview.
But if comments made by Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (16-3) at a recent training seminar are any indication, PRIDE may in fact live again.
FLORIAN PLANS TO FIGHT AGAIN IN 2008 REGARDLESS OF PENN SITUATION
Heading into UFC 87 it seemed like a perfect scenario that the winner of Kenny Florian versus Roger Huerta would be on the fast track to challenge current lightweight champion, B.J. Penn, for his title later this year.
Now it appears Penn is on a collision course with UFC welterweight champion, Georges St. Pierre, and Florian, who won a dominant decision over Huerta on Saturday night, may have to let nature take its course before he gets his shot at the title.
UFC worldwide: Dana White talks expansion
The road show that’s been the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s strategy as of late will continue to cross borders, according to UFC president Dana White.
At the post-fight press conference for UFC 87 in Minneapolis, White made some broad sketches of the future pins in the UFC’s travel map.
First on that list was a stop in the Philippines, which currently airs UFC fights. It’s also the native land of newly minted light heavyweight Brandon Vera, who counts president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo among his fans.
White also re-affirmed an anticipated trip to Mexico, in which several UFC fighters, including Roger Huerta, Eddie Sanchez, and Diego Sanchez, have ethnic roots.
"When I say we're going everywhere, I mean we're going everywhere,” White said.
Canada is also a high priority for Zuffa, LLC. Georges St. Pierre’s rematch with Matt Serra at UFC 83 was a smashing success, drawing the largest MMA crowd ever in North America. Since then, White said the company wants to expand its reach in the U.S.’s northern neighbor. “We're really focusing on opening up Canada,” he continued. “Canada has become a really big market for us. We didn't expect that.”
On the home front, White says the UFC is still focusing on getting sanctioning in Massachusetts and New York. As of yet, neither state regulates MMA.
Bull Ropes and BS: 'Respect' and Other Fan Foolery
After a 15-minute emasculation of Heath Herring (Pictures), even in the face of other notable Saturday night happenings, I was fully aware Brock Lesnar (Pictures) was going to dominate my inbox come Sunday morning. However, I expected most of the discussion to be centered on his obvious potential as a heavyweight, with requests for me to impersonate Joe Silva by forecasting Lesnar's future fighting engagements.
Instead, I have been swarmed with and puzzled by dozens and dozens of choleric and venomous messages from incensed fans who have apparently suffered damaged psyches at the hands of Brock Lesnar's in-cage antics.
Jordan Breen talking sense once again...
UFC 87 Medical Suspensions
The Minnesota Combative Sports Commission today confirmed the medical suspensions from UFC 87. Only a handful were issued, none expected to be longer than 30 days. Also, they announced they won't be releasing the fighter payouts.
UFC 87 Gate and Attendance Figures
The gate was $2.2 million, a new record for the Target Center. The attendance was 15,082.
A week out from the event the gate was at $2.2 million on just over 13,000 tickets sold, so the last couple of thousand seemed to be mostly comped/papered tickets.
Brock Lesnar: ‘Can you see me now?’
Brock Lesnar is a God … in Minnestota.
It’s hard to explain the unbelievable (and deafening) reception that Lesnar received last night from the hometown crowd that packed the Target Center to watch him take on Heath Herring at UFC 87: “Seek and Destroy.”
We were seated in section 100 and could not hear anything besides the roar of the crowd, which totally drowned out the voice of Bruce Buffer during the pre-fight introductions. In fact, my ears were ringing well after the lights came down to signal the end of the show.
To his credit Lesnar did an amazing job of whipping the crowd into a frenzy, hoisting his massive limbs in the air if he wanted to raise the volume inside the venue, throwing gloves and shirts into the stands and hijacking the microphone to deliver a dramatic speech.
BJ Penn vs. G. St. Pierre Confirmed
White said, “BJ was here tonight all fired up cheering for GSP; they both really want that fight. I’m gonna let that fight happen."
Also from the article : "A source close to the situation has informed Fightline.com that the fight will take place on December 27 of this year, corroborating a previous report that the two would meet for the UFC's New Years Eve show so that date looks likely at this point. "