UFC to return to Columbus on March 7
According to a report in the Nov. 17 print edition of the Wrestling Observer, the UFC will be returning to Columbus, Ohio for the third consecutive year on Saturday, March 7. While a venue was not identified in the report, the Nationwide Arena is considered the most likely candidate.
The date has yet to be confirmed by the UFC and few details surrounding the event have yet to surface.
Jake Shields will only be happy in the UFC fighting Georges St. Pierre
Former Elite XC Welterweight Champion Jake Shields is just one of the many fighters who are looking to free themselves from their contracts with the now defunct Pro Elite.
Showtime Networks Inc. — who partnered with Pro Elite to air over 14 Elite XC events over the last two years — planned on auctioning off the remaining assets from the promotion in an attempt to recover nearly $6 million in defaulted loans. Among the main items listed at the auction were the contracts for guys like Jake Shields and a number of other top mixed martial artists.
Anderson Silva Begins Boxing Training With Freddie Roach
As if Anderson Silva's opponents needed more reason to worry, Anderson Silva began training with Freddie Roach today. The fact that Roach is becoming more and more involved with MMA is an interesting story in and of itself, but Silva may also be doing this in order to see where he stands for a potential boxing career once he's done with MMA.
On another note, Silva has definitely been tapped for the main event of London in February. They are considering a few possibilities against him, including Chuck. I think the only obstacle to this fight happening is the idea of Liddell vs. Couture for the summer, potentially at UFC 100. I suspect they will pull the trigger on it though, seeing as both men want it.
Rich Franklin open to rematch with Lyoto Machida
Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin, apparently content since moving up a weight class to the light-heavyweight division, is open to a rematch with Lyoto Machida, who defeated "Ace" at a December 2003 event in Kobe, Japan.
Franklin said he's willing to do the rematch now that both fighters are in the 205-pound division, but he has one concern.
"I'd fight him," Franklin said. "The thing about a Machida fight that isn't appealing to me is that stylistically, Machida is kind of a boring fighter.
"That's not a putdown. It's not a putdown. He's very, very effective. He's good at what he does. He's constantly backing away and forces his opponent into mistakes, and that's how he catches you."
Hazelett Happy With Win, Still wants To Improve
Pulling off another victory with a great finish, Dustin Hazelett moved his career UFC record to 5-2 while earning another bonus for the slickest submission of the night.
In the fight against Tamdan McCrory, it was Hazelett's rubber guard transition to oma plata and then into a reverse armbar that saw the fight finished, but he says that is a regular move for him to practice versus the maneuver he used to submit Josh Burkman in his last fight.
Ricky Hatton: "We Can Learn From the UFC"
Boxer Ricky Hatton was among the many fans at UFC 91 and tell The Daily Star that boxing can learn a thing or two from the promotion:
Hatton was at ringside in Las Vegas to see Randy Couture lose his world heavyweight title to man-mountain Brock Lesnar, who beat him with a second-round stoppage.
And ‘The Hitman’, who faces Paulie Malignaggi at the MGM Grand Arena next Saturday, told me: “The presentation and general approach of the UFC is something that boxing can learn a great deal from.”
It was Hatton’s first taste of live UFC action and he said: “The whole aspect of it was great and, rather than boxing ignore it, it should take a leaf out of the UFC book.
Network TV Sits On The Sidelines...For Now
Dana White has made it very clear in the past that he is not depending on a network television deal to further the promotion's popularity. On network television, we've seen EliteXC, the International Fight League and Strikeforce. However, the world's most popular mixed martial arts promotion has yet to fill a network TV timeslot.
No Title Shot Yet, But Maia Still Unbeaten
Demian Maia continued his impressive run in the Octagon Saturday night, submitting much loved Ultimate Fighter 1 veteran Nate Quarry in the first round with a rear naked choke. The win now puts Maia at 4-0 in the UFC with all four of his wins coming by the way of submission. He remains undefeated as a professional.
With the middleweight division quickly running out fresh challengers for UFC middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva, Maia has put himself on the short list for a possible title fight down the line.
Since joining the UFC in October of 2007, he has been impressive in his run. His ground game has looked absolutely perfect, using flawless technique to set up all four of his submission victories in the UFC. The only question mark surrounding Maia is how good is his striking, which is a key component to every fighter’s arsenal.
I Need A Rematch With Mer (the spelling mistake was on purpose)
Looking at Brock Lesnar’s performance against Randy Couture on Saturday, it’s hard to believe many reporters called him the next Kimbo Slice.
With a record of 2-1 in professional mixed martial arts competition, some critics made the most of very little ammunition in Lesnar’s video library.
No matter how hard Dana White tried, he couldn’t shake the Slice comparisons.
“If I had hair, I’d pull it out,” the UFC president quipped.
But any parallels between the titanic champion and his backyard-bred counterpart were erased at UFC 91. Lesnar’s size and strength bridged the gap in experience between he and Couture, setting the stage for a unique changing of the guard in the UFC’s inconsistent heavyweight division. Lesnar is the greenest—and possibly the most promising—champion in its history.
New TUF 9 Coach Emerging From UFC 91?
With Rich Franklin and Dan Henderson reportedly not interested in coaching the US side in TUF 9, Dana's gone looking for new coaches and may have found one after UFC 91-enter emerging middleweight Demian Maia, who may have just worked his way into the spot.
Chuck Liddell drops out of USO tour. Rumored to be kicked off.
The abrupt end to Chuck Liddell's participation in an international USO tour to support American troops has raised a few eyebrows.
The former UFC light heavyweight champion was part of a contingent of five celebrities joining a U.S. Marine general on an eight-day, five-country USO tour this week.
Liddell made the first part of the trek on Monday to Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks, Alaska, with rap duo the Ying Yang Twins, model and singer Mayra Veronica and comedians Gabriel Iglesias and Edwin San Juan. However, Liddell pulled out of the tour on Tuesday due to what both the USO and his management team, Zinkin Entertainment, deemed to be an unspecified illness.
However, unconfirmed reports quickly surfaced following Liddell's decision to bow out, including one that he was asked to leave by the USO after members of his entourage were found partying with minors............
UFC 91 Results (*SPOILERS*) + FOTN/SOTN/KOTN Bonuses
Brock Lesnar defeats Randy Couture via TKO (strikes) Round 2
Kenny Florian defeats Joe Stevenson via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Round 1
Dustin Hazelett defeats Tamden McCrory via Submission (Armbar) Round 1
Gabriel Gonzaga defeats Josh Hendricks via TKO (Strikes) Round 1
Demian Maia defeats Nate Quarry via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Round 1
Aaron Riley defeats Jorge Gurgel via unanimous decision
Jeremy Stephens defeats Rafael dos Anjos via knockout in round three
Mark Bocek defeats Alvin Robinson via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Round 3
Matt Brown defeats Ryan Thomas via Submission (Armbar) Round 2
Sub - Dustin Hazelett
KO - Jeremy Stephens
Fight - Riley/Gurgel