UFC ‘Countdown’ to ‘Silva vs. Irvin’ on Spike tonight at 11 p.m. ET
“Watch Anderson Silva and James Irvin as they train in their home towns for their clash at The Pearl in Las Vegas on July 19 2008.”
The hype machine continues to roll tonight for UFC Fight Night 14: “Silva vs. Irvin” from “The Pearl” at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Saturday, July 19. The hour-long Spike TV “Countdown” special will re-air on Friday, July 18 at 11 a.m. 7 p.m. ET for those who miss it tonight.
Quinton Jackon Arrest Video
Very sad day for Quinton Fans. He was a champion, he lost and could not handle it. Here is the arrest video shown out of respect. Please Quinton, come back and take the title. We are all behind you!
Cain Velasquez savors big-fight opportunity
The former Pac-10 All-American wrestler launched his MMA career with decisive victories in Strikeforce and BodogFIGHT in a span of just over two months in 2006. Showing signs that the transition from wrestler to fighter was quickly taking hold, the Salinas, Calif. born Velasquez stopped both opponents by TKO within the first five minutes.
Velasquez, now 25, spent the next year looking for another chance to prove he belonged in the UFC.
"We were trying to get some fights locally to build my record, get some ring time and get to the UFC," he said. "We couldn't find any fights. We just had bad luck. ... Shows would get canceled; guys would back out of fights. We had about six or seven fights that didn't happen that we were getting ready for."
Undaunted, Velasquez continued to plug away in the gym. The education major graduated as a two-time wrestling All-American from Arizona State and relocated to San Jose in August 2006 to train with American Kickboxing Academy. Lacking additional fights to showcase Velasquez's talent, AKA's Bob Cook used his connections to take the heavyweight directly to the UFC's decision maker.
"Me and 'Crazy' Bob went to Vegas and took a couple of other guys and trained in front of Dana White," Velasquez said. "I'm not going to lie to you; I felt a lot of pressure to perform, but once I was there, I felt really good and training went well."
The grappling-and-sparring "audition" late last year at the UFC training center with Christian Wellisch and Mike Kyle impressed White enough that he signed Velasquez to a four-bout contract, and Velasquez finally had another fight. He looked sharp in his UFC debut, with a first-round TKO of Australia's Brad Morris at UFC 83 in April.
For an encore, Velasquez (3-0) has landed on Saturday's UFC Fight Night 14 card on Spike TV in a supporting role to the Anderson Silva-James Irvin headliner. He's set to face another wrestling-bred fighter in Jake O'Brien (10-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC), who's getting a second shot in the UFC after being cut earlier this year.
"This is a great opportunity," Velasquez said. "It's another step up the ladder and getting me closer to achieving my goals. I think I'm a lot more comfortable with my hands, and if I can stop his shots, I'll return with some hands and kicks."
Even though Velasquez's only previous exposure to boxing was hitting the heavy bag as a kid with his father by his side, learning the standup game has come naturally. Velasquez feels at home on his feet and initiating exchanges with opponents. However, while that adjustment has "come pretty easily" for Velasquez, learning the ins and outs of jiu-jitsu hasn't been quite as smooth. At this point, he's only two years into fulltime MMA training and isn't in a hurry to rush through learning the finer points of the sport's multiple disciplines.
In addition to the time spent on grappling, sparring and technique, Velasquez has been focused on becoming a more powerful fighter through specialized work with Joe Grasso, who runs the Elite Fitness gym in San Jose.
"I think my power (in striking) has improved a lot," Velasquez said. "Once I started with Joe, I felt like my power increased tremendously in a short period of time. We're doing a lot of explosive stuff to get my power up in both my punches and kicks."
While Velasquez once considered coaching wrestling as a career option, with his immediate future now mapped out in the UFC, he's committed himself to being a fighter, and he's planning for championship-level success. With only three pro fights to his name, he already has a publicist scheduling his interviews with the media.
C.B. Dollaway in another must-win situation
"The Doberman," favored by many to win the seventh season "The Ultimate Fighter," instead went out with a whimper, suffering back-to-back losses to the unheralded Amir Sadollah. Due to the rules used in the filming of the reality show, only one of the losses was an official fight for Dollaway. That technicality doesn't make this weekend any less important.
"It was pretty disappointing," Dollaway told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of his feelings of the finale loss. "That was one of the toughest training camps I've ever had. I worked my butt off, and then to have it end so quickly, it was real disappointing."
After that first-round loss in the finale to Sadollah via arm bar, the same technique used to finish Dollaway in the season's semifinals, the 24-year-old is excited to return to the octagon in the main card of this weekend's UFC Fight Night 14 for a shot at redemption.
"It's great to get back in," Dollaway said. "I didn't really have to do a whole training camp over again to compete, to get back in there again."
Dollaway's opponent, Jesse Taylor, also returns to the octagon under somewhat shaky conditions. Despite qualifying for the season's finale, Taylor was removed from the show after an alcohol-induced night of destructive antics.
Dollaway said he supports the decision to bring Taylor back to the UFC, and he feels the bout provided a favorable match-up.
"It didn't really bother me, [Taylor] coming back," said Dollaway, who blogged about "TUF" experience for MMAjunkie.com . "It's a good match-up for me. I think that my strengths are better than his, where he's strongest -- in wrestling."
After the consecutive submission losses, many questioned Dollaway's defensive capabilities on the ground. The Arizona Combat Sports-trained fighter believes the issues in question have been resolved.
"It's something that needed to be fixed," Dollaway said of the issue. "It's one of those things when mixing punches in with jiu-jitsu, sometimes you leave yourself vulnerable. When I'm just doing straight jiu-jitsu, I don't ever have a problem with it. When I am throwing punches, I tend to leave myself vulnerable sometimes. It's just something I had to work on."
Dollaway will be looking to avoid his third-straight loss in the UFC, a mark that would almost certainly spell his release from the organization in which he was once expected to figure so prominently. But Dollaway insists the pressure on him is no different than any other fight.
"I don't go in there to lose," Dollaway said. "So every fight is a must-win situation. ... (I plan on) going out there and going after it, and trying to make for an exciting fight."
Chris Lytle inks UFC contract extension, UFC 89 bout with Paul Taylor
"The Ultimate Fighter 4" runner-up and longtime UFC fighter Chris Lytle (25-16-5 MMA, 4-8 UFC) has signed a four-fight contract extension with the UFC and has also signed to fight Paul Taylor (9-3-1 MMA, 2-2 UFC) at UFC 89.
His manager, Ken Pavia, confirmed the deals with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) on Tuesday.
UFC 89 takes place Oct. 18 at The NIA in Birmingham, England.
"The UFC expressed satisfaction with his past performances, and they extended his deal by four fights," Pavia said. "Chris has a home in the UFC. He's comfortable fighting for the UFC. Both sides will benefit from the deal. We're very happy with it."
Lytle, a nine-year veteran who made his octagon debut in 2000, most recently suffered a unanimous-decision loss to Josh Koscheck earlier this month at UFC 86.
However, after a spirited loss to Thiago Alves in November, Lytle essentially promised to throw caution to the wind. He said calculated game plans made for boring fights, and his two bouts since then -- a February knockout victory over Kyle Bradley and the loss to Koscheck -- have shown streaks of that carefree attitude.
"He appreciate the types of match-ups [UFC officials] have given him," Pavia said. "Chris has re-devoted himself to being exciting, and the UFC has provided him opponents who let him do that. ... Chris' sole goal is to entertain fans."
His next opportunity will come against Taylor, a British fighter who's competed in four consecutive UFC U.K. events. After opening his UFC career with a TKO of Edilberto de Oliveira, Taylor suffered back-to-back losses to Marcus Davis and Paul Kelly.
Knowing the fight was a must-win, he then scored a split-decision victory over Jess Liaudin in June at UFC 85.
'The Fire' Inside Kevin Burns
It made perfect sense. With only six professional bouts under his belt, Kevin Burns was a massive underdog going into his UFC 85 fight against emerging contender Roan Carneiro. Instead of getting tapped by the Brazilian jiu-jitsu maestro, however, Burns wound up submitting him via triangle choke midway through the second round.
A phantom welterweight from Iowa had tapped out a submission guru. Suddenly fans were introduced to "The Fire."
John Hackleman: "I'm not going to quit if Chuck doesn't win!"
was pretty stupid actually to say that. It takes away any kind of credibility. It's like a little kid, 'No, I didn't say you could have that.' Yeah, it was pretty lame and then he says he didn't mean he was going to retire from MMA, he meant from being a longshore man… I just don't think it was very Christian and it was kind of tacky," stated Pit Boss John Hackleman as he shared his thoughts on Juanito Ibarra's claim that he would retire if Rampage lost to Forrest Griffin
UPDATED Police: "Rampage" goes on one
Driver hits at least three cars during chase that begins on 55 freeway and ends with arrest on Balboa Peninsula.
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, former light heavyweight champion of the Ultimate Fighter Championships, was arrested on suspicion of felony evading, hit-and-run and reckless driving Tuesday after he allegedly led police on a pursuit from Costa Mesa to Newport Beach, police said.
Roger Huerta Talks Fight Preparation - Calls Out BJ Penn
Roger Huerta made the following statement via myspace bulletin:
"I feel really good mentally at this point, a month before I fight Kenny Florian at UFC 87. I feel relaxed and very knowledgeable as well, and I think that comes from being blessed with the guys I’ve been training with.
I flew to Denver, Colorado last week to train with Trevor Wittman. I’m here training with one of the best boxing coaches there is. I came here a week before Nate (Marquardt) fought in London to help him before his fight, and at the same time I got to know Trevor, who did some mitt work with me and helped me out. I fell in love with his training methods and his work as a striking coach and I knew that I had found my boxing coach. So I’m out here now and learning from him. I’ll be here until the 13th of July, and then we’ll all head down to New Mexico to work with Greg Jackson and Georges St-Pierre, and Nate will be coming down as well.
Cain Velasquez receives high praise from AKA trainer Javier Mendez
In Dave Meltzer’s latest column at Yahoo! Sports, he profiles up and coming heavyweight talent Cain Velasquez. Velasquez trains out of American Kickboxing Academy alongside talents such as Josh Koscheck, Mike Swick, and Jon Fitch. He was an All-American wrestler at Arizona State and is arguably the best heavyweight prospect in the UFC today (sorry, Shane Carwin). We all know how coaches talk their fighters up and how people from the same camp talk their teammates up, but coming from Javier Mendez, the head trainer at AKA, this is pretty high praise:
“Right now, he could walk in and be a good pro boxer,” said Mendez about someone who, aside from fooling around with gloves with some friends, had never even put on boxing gloves until August 2006. “He could not only be a good kickboxer, but he’s K-1 level (the Japanese group which is top organization for heavyweights in the world). He won a world championship in Jiu Jitsu (World No Gi world champion in the blue belt division in late 2007, 17 months after his first class). He’s the fastest learner I’ve ever had. And nobody trains harder. He trains harder than the lightweights.”
Out of the Blue: Interview with Kevin Burns
To the casual mixed martial arts fan, Kevin Burns (6-1) might not be a household name. But don’t let that fool you. This guy’s full of surprises.
He came out of nowhere (Iowa, actually) to take a fight on just nine days notice against Roan Carneiro at UFC 85: “Bedlam” and submitted the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt in the second round, earning “Submission of the Night.” This feat is made all the more impressive when you consider that Burns is just a blue belt. But you couldn’t tell by watching the fight.
In fact, the extremely composed Burns says he’s more comfortable on his feet. And he’ll be given every chance to prove that when he squares off against the heavy-hitting Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (5-1) at UFC Fight Night 14 this Saturday, July 19 at “The Pearl” at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The fight has all the potential for a slugfest, and Burns promises there will be fireworks. Somebody is going to sleep in this fight.
Shane Carwin vs Neil Wain UFC 89 fight confirmed
Up-and-coming heavyweight prospects, Shane Carwin (9-0) and Neil Wain (4-0), will lock horns at UFC 89: “Leben vs. Bisping” at The National Indoor Arena (NIA) in Birmingham, England, on October 19, according to UFC.com.
Carwin lived up to the hype in his inaugural appearance for the promotion, finishing Christian Wellisch with a punch just 44 seconds into their encounter at UFC 84: “Ill Will” in May. The enormous Colorado native still has not made it into the second round of any of his professional mixed martial arts fights.
In fact, Carwin has spent less than eight minutes COMBINED in his nine pro performances.
Bud Merger And The Possible UFC Effects
After an extended negotiation process it looks like Euro brewing giant InBev will gobble up Anheuser Busch. Amy Robinson at MMAOpinion speculates at the possible impact the move may have as it relates to Bud Light's sponsorship deal with the UFC:
The greatest concern for the UFC, as stated by many financial experts is how exactly InBev will be able to cover the $70 a share stock price, which is a huge increase from the $52 a share that Budweiser had been stuck at for a year. The general understanding is that massive cuts will have to be made by Inbev to cover the high cost. Budweiser’s massive arsenal of sports sponsorships would almost certainly be one of the first expendable areas to be on the chopping block, which would be a huge blow to the UFC.
Anderson Silva: The Re-Launch
One of the key business goals of the upcoming Fight Night show, besides lowering Affliction PPV sales, is a relaunch of Anderson Silva. While their certainly haven't been any qualms about Anderson's work inside the octagon, there has been a less than stellar performance at the box office. Anderson has been an under-performer when you compare his PPV buy rates against those of the average UFC show, with Silva generally drawing in the 325k range as opposed to the normal show taking in anywhere from 400 to 425k. The UFC looks to be taking a two pronged approach in boosting Anderson's appeal to their core audience.
Interesting read i thought........
Hardy vs Gono at UFC 89
Warriors' own Dan 'The Outlaw' Hardy will face UFC & Pride veteran Akihiro Gono at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham on October 18th as his inaugural UFC fight since signing in May of this year.
Hardy, who signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship back in May of this year, sports an impressive 19-6-0-1nc record and is widely regarded as one of Europe's top pound-for-pound fighters. Already the Cage Warriors Welterweight and Light-Welterweight World Champion Hardy holds wins over the likes of former King of Pancrase; Daizo Ishige, the K-1 Heros veteran; Hidetaka Monma and the two time UFC veteran Chad Reiner.
Luiz Cane vs. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou at UFC 89
Two light heavyweights will look to join a crowded list of contenders when Luiz Cane (8-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) and Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (5-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) meet at UFC 89.
The event takes place Oct. 18 at The NIA in Birmingham, England.
The UFC today confirmed a handful of fights, including the Cane-Sokoudjou bout.
Cane, a knockout artist well-versed in submissions, made his octagon debut at UFC 78. Although he was clearly in control of his fight with James Irvin, Cane suffered a disqualification loss after tagging his opponent with an illegal knee.
Cane returned in June at UFC 85 and posted a quick TKO victory over Jason Lambert. It was his seventh knockout victory in eight career wins.
Sokoudjou, meanwhile, will look to reclaim some of the magic he found in PRIDE. After upset victories of Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Ricardo Arona, the Team Quest fighter made his octagon debut at UFC 79 and suffered a second-round submission loss (via arm-triangle choke) to Lyoto Machida.
The loss knocked Sokoudjou out of many top-10 rankings, but he rebounded in May with a TKO of Kazuhiro Nakamura at UFC 84. Sokoudjou battered his opponent with leg kicks, and Nakamura was unable to answer the bell for the second round.