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.
Jorge Rivera signs new four-fight deal with UFC
Eight-year veteran Jorge Rivera (16-7 MMA, 5-5 UFC) recently signed a new four-fight contract with the UFC, according to a new report from the Boston Herald.
Rivera's April split-decision win over Nissen Osterneck, his 10th for the UFC, completed his prior contract.
The 37-year-old has been rehabbing an injured left shoulder since the April win.
props Jorge, can't wait to see you back in the cage
JON JONES HEADS INTO HIS TITLE FIGHT AT UFC 100 (figuratively speaking)
Jon Jones is long removed from his days as a YouTube warrior; mining the Internet for instructional clips he could incorporate into his arsenal.
One of his favorite concepts from his wrestling days was misdirection – fake one way and go another. Keep your opponent off-balance. Be unpredictable.
“I feel like I have a little momentum going on, but I try not to focus on the past,” he said. “Muhammed Ali says you give different strokes for different folks. So I just focus on Jake O’Brien and I take it one match at a time. Right now, O’Brien is my title fight, and all my energy and focus on him.”
Tito Ortiz Claims He's Close to Strikeforce Deal, No Return to UFC
In the 13 months since his last fight, Tito Ortiz has said more times than I can count that he's close to signing a new contract to return to MMA with another organization. So take this with a grain of salt: Ortiz claims he's close to a new deal with Strikeforce, and he's already targeting an October return to fight Renato "Babalu" Sobral. He also says he has his eyes on a future fight with Fedor Emelianenko, and he says he won't return to the UFC as long as Dana White runs the company.
Wand to get Pensacola "Key to the City"
The City of Pensacola is proud to Present a Key to the City to Wanderlei Silva, Middleweight Pride Champion and UFC Fighter on Thursday, July 16th 2009.
The Mayor, Mike Wiggins, will be presenting the Key to Wanderlei at Paradise Gardens during Coffee with the Mayor, 508 W Gregory Street, Pensacola.
Later that day, Mr.Silva will be giving a speech to At Risk Teens and a street party in his honor will follow. He projects a positive influence with his life story and his determination to overcome the many obstacles that he has confronted. He is a true role model and a true warrior and great spokesman for teens all over the world.
Because of his dedication to inspire the many teens that face difficult challenges Mr. Silva generously donates his time to make a positive impact on teens from all walks of life.
Limp Bizkit concert at the Mandalay Bay Beach on UFC 100 weekend cancelled
The Limp Bizkit concert scheduled for UFC 100 weekend at the Mandalay Bay Beach in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Friday, July 10, has been cancelled, according to Ticketmaster.com.
No reason was provided for the scratch; however, the “rap-metal pioneers” have not performed a concert in North America in more than eight years and were re-uniting this year for its “Unicorns N’ Rainbows” tour.
Anderson Silva might kill Forrest Griffin at UFC 101
“I try to tell the truth and use a little humor to talk about how I really feel. Like if I think you’re a [expletive] idiot, I’ll try to tell you in a funny way. I’m kind of kidding, but there’s also some truth to it…. I’m probably going to get hurt, if not die. This guy knows how to fight. The good news is, if I die, this book will sell a lot more copies and be worth more.”