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. "
UFC 87 bonuses: St. Pierre, Fitch, Maia and Emerson earn $60,000 each
Georges St. Pierre, Jon Fitch, Demian Maia and Rob Emerson each won $60,000 "fight night" bonuses stemming from Saturday's UFC 87 event at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minn.
The bonuses were announced in a post-event press conference and confirmed by MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) soon after the pay-per-view event.
Although the majority of the night's fights ended via decision, only one -- the night's main event -- earned bonus honors.
St. Pierre, who made his first successful title defense with a shutout unanimous-decision victory over Fitch, split "Fight of the Night" honors with the former top contender. The five-round fight was clearly dominated by St. Pierre, though Fitch's resiliency kept him in the game. For their efforts, each headliner earned a $60,000 bonus check in addition to their base salaries.
Ground wizard Demian Maia, who took another step toward title contention with his third consecutive UFC victory, earned a Submission of the Night award with his win over gatekeeper Jason MacDonald. Although his opponent fended off a multiple attempts, Maia eventually secured a rear-naked choke and forced MacDonald to tap out at 2:44 of the third round.
'Shogun' Rua Vs 'Rampage' Jackson
"Most likely right now it's looking like it's Quinton Jackson."
Shogun Rua, breaking the news that the UFC is planning to put him up against Quinton "Rampage" Jackson in his return fight.
Cro Cop was the last nail in the coffin.
“Fifty times we thought it was over and we were buying PRIDE, then we hear they were talking to these guys and these guys and kept string us along. So when Mirko Cro Cop’s deal came up, we went after Mirko aggressively, signed him, and that really started to unravel PRIDE."
UFC 87 Spotlight: Demian Maia
UFC 87 will take place this Saturday and as we all know will feature three gigantic bouts as headliners. GSP vs. Fitch, Lesnar vs. Herring and Florian vs. Huerta could all very well headline a UFC event on their own merit.
Enough has already been said about those six combatants however and instead of going all "boring archaeologist" on you and covering old ground (take that Mauro Ranallo!) I will instead focus on one of the other fights that will be seen on Saturday's pay-per-view. The bout I am talking about is the middleweight contest between Jason "The Athlete" MacDonald and Demian Maia.
I am very much looking forward to this bout as I believe that Maia has the most potential out of all the UFC middleweights to topple the scariest dude on the planet, Anderson Silva.
I say that because Maia is one of the finest pure grapplers in the world and I don't mean that like Mike Goldberg means it when he says, "he's one of the best in the world, Joe." I mean that for reals. In 2007, he won the 77kg - 87kg weight division at the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship. He has also defeated other notable high profile grapplers in the form of Ronaldo De Souza, fellow UFC middleweight Yushin Okami and former UFC heavyweight title challenger, Gabriel Gonzaga.
Huerta clarifies recent controversial comments
UFC president Dana White tends to tolerate fighters who publicly complain about their contracts about as well as he does a tack in his shoe. When he starts comparing those who do dare to challenge him publicly to his ex-light heavyweight champion and favorite whipping boy, Tito Ortiz, it’s a sure sign he’s about to erupt.
White was interviewed by a Toronto radio station on Wednesday when he heard for the first time that lightweight Roger Huerta had expressed unhappiness with his contract. Predictably, White didn’t take it well. A day later, he said Huerta’s comments were “almost Tito-like,” which is about as big an insult as White can dish out.
Huerta faces the most significant fight of his life Saturday at UFC 87 at the Target Center when he takes on Kenny Florian in a highly anticipated lightweight bout. A battle with White is the last thing Huerta needs on the eve of the toughest fight of his life, but Huerta, who survived one of the most difficult childhoods imaginable, said he’s prepared so well for the fight that nothing will distract him.