GSP SAYS FLORIAN WILL BE A GREAT CHAMPION
On Aug. 8, Kenny Florian will take a second crack at the UFC lightweight title, this time battling current champion B.J. Penn at UFC 101, and while the Boston native has always had a top-notch camp, he decided to venture out this time for some extra support.
The extra support comes in the form of UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, the only fighter to have two wins over Penn, and who himself is in final preparations for his UFC 100 bout against Thiago Alves.
Luiz Cane: I want to fight Rich Franklin
The UFC's light heavyweight class has long been considered a marquee division. Deep on talent, the fighters at 205 pounds have put on classic matchups, and the second half of 2009 looks no different.
Lyoto Machida vs. Maurico "Shogun" Rua. Rashad Evans vs. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. Forrest Griffin vs. Anderson Silva.
But with a number of exciting fights lined up in the coming months, where does that leave Brazilian slugger Luiz Cane (10-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC)?
GSP Static Interview
UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre recently took time to answer some questions for PDG regarding his upcoming bout against Thiago Alves, training and the importance of UFC 100.
PDG: How is your training going for UFC 100?
GSP: I’m in the best shape of my life and I’m training really hard before my fight. Three weeks I spent in New York doing Muay Thai at the Wat with Phil Nurse and all the guys over there, sparring with Shawn Imes, Brad Imes and all those great training partners that I have for Muay Thai training. I’m learning a lot from Kru Phil. I also train in New York at the Renzo Gracie Academy under supervision of John Danaher – he’s my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor. I have great training partners there as well. The level of jiu-jitsu in New York at Renzo Gracie is better than it is in Montreal, so that’s one of the main reasons why I have been going there and I spend so much time at that Academy.
Maia ready for title shot with UFC 102 win
Demian Maia is in the mix of fighters who are in contention for the UFC middleweight belt. Despite his upcoming fight versus Nate Marquardt, the jiu jitsu expert had some words for the current champion Anderson Silva.
“I see myself ready to fight for the belt. There are some things that I think about facing Anderson... He’s very good standing, in the clinch and knows how to play in all areas. I’d have to do my best being aggressive for sure, if I want I take the fight to the mat,” he said this week.
I know a lot of people are taking Nate cuz his stand up is wicked, and he's a beast of a man...
But how can you not love Maia? His MMA BJJ is probably the best in the world, and he always wants to win without hurting his opponent.
I'll be pulling for him against Nate...
UFC 100: Frank Mir Concerned About Brock Lesnar's Reach
Frank Mir is getting ready to fight a 275-pound behemoth when he takes on Brock Lesnar for the heavyweight title at UFC 100. But Mir's biggest concern isn't Lesnar's weight. It's Lesnar's reach.
"I can point out why I think Brock has been successful at striking because we've actually had to address that in my training camp," Mir said on a call to promote UFC 100. "Brock's reach for his height is actually long. A lot of people don't realize that. They talk about his size, his power. Brock is almost 6-foot-4 ... his reach is actually really long. I remember even watching when he beat Randy, and he slipped that punch from Brock. He thought that he was out of the way, and that punch kept on coming, it kept on coming, and it kept on coming. And finally it just caught him and he went down."
Mir added that he had to find sparring partners who are taller than Lesnar so he could practice trading punches with someone who had the same arm length as Lesnar.
Lyoto Machida: Fighter of the Half Year
The year is half over, and we're recognizing the best in MMA in the first six months of 2009. Up first is our Fighter of the Half Year, Lyoto Machida.
Heading into 2009, there were still a lot of MMA fans who ripped Machida as the kind of fighter who would rather avoid a fight than engage in one. Not many people are saying that after a half year in which Machida knocked out two previously undefeated fighters, Thiago Silva and Rashad Evans.
The win over Silva at UFC 94 gave us a good look at Machida's punching power, and the brutal knockout of Evans showed that Machida has the kind of killer instinct that great fighters need. Machida, so far, has been the best fighter of 2009.
Here are some of the runners-up for Fighter of the Half Year:
Mike Brown: The World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight champ is 2-0 in 2009, with a first-round destruction of Leonard Garcia in March and an epic five-round war with Urijah Faber in June.
Kyle Kingsbury and Razak Al-Hassan agree to UFC 104 bout in October
A light-heavyweight bout between Kyle Kingsbury (7-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) and Razak Al-Hassan (6-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC), originally targeted for UFC 102 in August, will instead take place in October at UFC 104.
A source close to the fighters today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) verbal agreements are in place and the fight could be signed as early as this week.
UFC 104 takes place Oct. 24 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The night's main card airs on pay-per-view, and the Kingsbury vs. Al-Hassan fight is expected to take place on the night's un-aired preliminary card.
Middleweight Rob Kimmons signs new four-fight deal with the UFC
Following a 2-1 record in the world's premier MMA organization, middleweight Rob Kimmons has signed a new four-fight contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
A source close to the fighter today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) the 28-year-old fighter recently accepted the new deal.
Kimmons (22-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC) most recently defeated Joe Vedepo via first-round submission at UFC Fight Night 18 in April.
It was the sixth win in seven fights for Kimmons, a Midwesterner who's now 13-2 over the past three years.
Heath Herring taking time to clear head, refocus; timeframe for return not yet established
It doesn't take more than simply glancing over UFC heavyweight Heath Herring's (28-14 MMA, 2-3 UFC) record to see what kind of fighter he is.
While "The Texas Crazy Horse" hasn't won every fight he's ever entered, Herring has fought the world's toughest fighters throughout his 12-year career.
But despite having fought 42 times in bouts all over the globe, his UFC 99 withdrawal provided Herring a new experience that has forced him to take a little time away from the sport.
UFC 100 will air live on UK TV
FANS of mixed martial arts in the UK have been boosted by the news UFC 100 will definitely air live on July 11.
Speculation has mounted that the event would be screened on Bravo on tape delay following Setanta's collapse last week.
But we can reveal the main card from the Mandalay Bay spectacular will be broadcast in its entirety as it happens.
We understand Virgin 1 is favourite to screen the extravaganza — which looks set to be the biggest event in MMA history.
A source told SunSport: "UFC 100 will definitely air live in the UK and we can guarantee fans it will not be on pay-per-view."
The showpiece sees Brock Lesnar clash with Frank Mir in a heavyweight title unification bout in the main event.
Welterweight star Georges St Pierre also puts his title on the line against rising Brazilian star Thiago Alves, while Britain's biggest MMA fighter Michael Bisping pits his wits against legendary American middleweight Dan Henderson.
In a further boost, our insider claimed SIX TV channels are battling it out for the rights to screen fight cards following Setanta's demise.
ESPN are said to have lodged a huge bid to become the new home of the UFC in the UK and are the frontrunners to seal a long-term contract with the promotion — probably starting with UFC 101 in August.
But they face a challenge from Five, who are keen on bringing MMA to a mainstream audience.
UFC 100: JIM MILLER, "I WANT TOUGH FIGHTS"
Jim Miller seemed to be on the fast track towards a title shot, since making his long anticipated debut in the big show at UFC 89, when he squared off against the highly touted David Baron. Baron just had come off the biggest win of his career, submitting prized Japanese fighter Hayato Sakurai in the first round.
After handing Baron his first loss in five fights with an impressive third-round rear naked choke (garnering Submission of the Night), he followed up the victory with another exciting performance with a unanimous decision win over Ultimate Fighter veteran Matt Wiman, who was on a four-fight win streak inside the Octagon.
BACK TO THE WALL, IT'S DO OR DIE FOR MAC DANZIG
Coming into season six of The Ultimate Fighter, Mac Danzig was believed to be one of the most well rounded and respected guys out of any season. An early favorite to win, he showed the versatility which would be essential for a fighter exiting TUF and transitioning into the big show that is the UFC.
Submitting runner-up Tommy Speer en route to a six-figure contract with the 800-pound gorilla organization would mark his fourth submission victory in a row, including his three exhibition bouts during his time in the house. His exhibition wins included Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace Joe Scarolla via triangle choke and the always tough John Kolosci twice by rear naked choke, none making it out of the first round.
Frank Mir - Accident, UFC, Lesnar & Liddell
Frank Mir - Accident, UFC, Lesnar & Liddell
The Official Radio Partner of PunchDrunkGamer, TakeDown Wrestling Radio recently conducted an interview with interim UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir. Mir talks with Scott Casber about his training, Brock Lesnar and a variety of issues in mixed martial arts today.
UFC Quick Quote: ‘I can’t retire (Chuck), but he gave me his word’
“I can’t retire him, but he gave me his word that he was going to retire so … To be honest with you, he and I have talked, and he has said, yes, he will retire … So we’ll see what happens. He and I are getting together next week … We’re going to get together and talk about a lot of things. He’s coming into town, and we’ve got a lot to talk about.”
Lightning Lee: Hero or Villain?
"In the grand tradition of the great British thugs -- media-proclaimed “hard men” like Lenny McLean, Charlie Bronson and Mark Brandon Read -- Lee Murray is moving through the ranks like Parliament was waiting at the end. I have never heard of a man so driven to occupy a jail cell or a morgue with such urgency. (The closest American equivalent: probably Steve-O.)
If you’ve only come into mixed martial arts via the hyper and Xyience-plastered “Ultimate Fighter” era, you’ve likely never seen Murray fight. He had long, corded muscles, a severe expression and a militant attitude. He hit very, very hard and he shocked the hell out of virtually everyone when he went and submitted Jorge Rivera with a triangle choke in his first and only UFC appearance. All said, he fought about 10 times and won most of them. In what would become his career finale, he was smacked around by Anderson Silva. He took Silva the distance, though, and that didn’t happen again in 13 fights.
Fighting was Murray’s day job: He moonlighted as a hoodlum. (Or perhaps it was the other way around.)" ... ...
Swick vs Kampmann in the works for UFC 103
A welterweight contest between Mike Swick and Martin Kampmann is likely for UFC 103, MMAWeekly.com has learned from sources close to the fight.
While bout agreements have not been signed, both parties have agreed to the match-up.
UFC 103 is expected to take place on Sept. 19 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, the promotion’s second trip to the Lone Star State. The event has yet to be announced by the UFC.
UFC scores television deal in China, boasts of 240 million potential viewers
The Ultimate Fighting Championship's worldwide television audience could expand significantly following today's announcement that the UFC has struck a TV deal with Inner Mongolia Television.
It's the UFC's first-ever TV deal in China.
Inner Mongolia Television, known as NMTV, is available in 80 million households with the potential to reach 240 million viewers throughout all provinces of China, according to today's announcement.