UFC88: LIDDELL READY FOR EVANS
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight titleholder Chuck Liddell takes on undefeated Rashad Evans in the main event of UFC 88 from the Philips Arena in Atlanta on Sept. 6. And, with a win, Liddell hopes to move back into title contention and earn an opportunity to regain the belt against current champion Forrest Griffin.
Liddell's been in mega-fights before with the likes of Randy Couture, three times, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson twice, Tito Ortiz twice and former Pride Fighting Championship middleweight title holder Wanderlei Silva.
Questioned whether he can get up for a match with Rashad Evans, Liddell told MMAWeekly, "I don't find it hard to get motivated for fights. I love fighting and I want to get my title back. I want to get my title back, so I'm highly motivated for that."
Karo Parisyan: ‘I have so much at stake’ for Yoshiyuki Yoshida UFC 88 fight
“If I get hit by lighting and I lose, God forbid, I don’t care. All I know for this fight is I trained twice as hard as I did for the Thiago Alves fight. I have to thank Thiago Alves. He woke me up…. I have so much at stake. I have so much stress on me. People don’t understand how tough it is. I need to be able to conquer this match. Not sounding selfish at all, [but] I fight for myself. I fight to prove something to myself, to feel good about myself when I walk outside.”
Karo Parisyan talks about how important his next fight is against Yoshiyuki Yoshida at UFC 88: “Breakthrough” at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Ga., on September 6. “The Heat” is coming off a technical knockout loss to Thiago Alves back in April, which dashed his near-term title chances. And it was just the second time ever he had ever been finished in more than 20 professional fights.
UFC Quick Quote: Chris Leben might want to rethink his UFC 89 gameplan for Michael Bisping
“I read that he said I might him with 20 punches to his one punch because I’m faster but he only needs one punch to knock me out. All I’d say to that is he’s going to need a very good game plan to agree to let me stand there and punch him in the face 20 times!”
– Michael Bisping questions the gameplan his opponent at UFC 89: “Bisping vs. Leben,” Chris Leben mentioned in a recent MMAmania.com interview in a new interview with The Sun. Both bangers are set to clash at The National Indoor Arena (NIA) in Birmingham, England, on October 18. It’s a 185-pound scrap that has already received a ton of attention even though we are still more than one month away. Here’s to hoping that Leben doesn’t change his gameplan … let the sluggers slug.
Who Are the Losers if Randy Couture Re-Signs With the UFC?
Zach Arnold thinks beyond Couture's image and Mark Cuban's MMA efforts, there are others who won't fare so well either:
* Third, Affliction could be facing the prospects of not being able to book Couture vs. Fedor in their ring. You would have to assume that booking Couture vs. Fedor was going to be a major part of their business plan. After all, the two men shook hands at Affliction’s debut event in Anaheim.
* Unless Fedor agrees to fight the winner of Arlovski vs. Barnett (10/11 Las Vegas), WAMMA has to be prepared to strip the Russian of his title belt if he goes to UFC. Dana White will not allow any mentions of WAMMA whatsoever or even have that belt shown on PPV or TV.
* Out of all of the fighters in the MMA business, Randy Couture was in the best position to challenge parts of UFC’s somewhat controversial fighter contracts in regards to the clauses inserted into them. Now that Couture reportedly is back in the UFC fold, UFC will be able to breathe a big sigh of relief that none of the contractual provisions they make fighters sign (e.g. the retirement clause, the champion’s clause) will face a legal challenge any time soon.
What Couture vs. Lesnar Means for the UFC Heavyweight Division
This weekend has brought an absolute storm in the blogoland, with rumors flying of Randy coming back to face Lesnar at UFC 91, in what will almost certainly be a title match, as the first fight in a three-fight deal. This matchup, and the other rumors about Randy's return, suggest all sorts of interesting possibilities.
Scenario 1: Couture beats Lesnar
If Couture beats Lesnar, this sets up two possible matchups for Randy. First is the unification match with the winner of Nogueira/Mir. The second and more interesting matchup is the rumor of a fight with Fedor:
The long-rumored heavyweight superfight between UFC champion Randy Couture (16-8 MMA, 8-5 UFC) and WAMMA champion Fedor Emelianenko (28-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is currently being discussed for an as-yet-unspecified date in January or February of 2009.
I suggested in a previous fanpost that the matchup would never happen. Both my own and other people's analysis has been that the UFC would never build up Fedor just so he could fight elsewhere. But the UFC has access to better numbers than any of us. Its quite possible that they have run the calculus and concluded that the UFC is now untouchable by any upstart company grabbing top fighters: the cost of the top fighters would make it impossible to build brand equity and achieve break-even before going under. I figured it would be a few more years before this would be the case, but the struggles Affliction has encountered suggest that perhaps the day is already here. If it indeed is, the UFC doesn't have to worry about Fedor going elsewhere, because he costs too much for upstart promotions to survive his paycheck.
If a Randy/Fedor fight comes to fruition, the winner of Nog/Mir might be able to fight Werdum in the meantime. Afterwards, the title could be unified, or Randy's piece of the title could be retired if Fedor wins and then leaves.
Lesnar beats the crap out of Cheick Kongo in his rebound fight.
Gonzaga Could Return At UFC 91
Trying to start another winning streak and get back in the UFC Heavyweight Title picture, Gabriel Gonzaga is expected to return to the Octagon at UFC 91. Josh Hendricks (14-4, 9 straight wins) is the likely foe.
Palhares Sees Title Shot In Future
Rousimar Palhares is already talking of a UFC middleweight title fight with Anderson Silva - despite having fought only once in the organisation.
Palhares made his debut at UFC 84 in May with a slick armbar victory over Ivan Salaverry that made many sit up and take notice.
This weekend, the Brazilian finds himself facing another veteran in the shape of 39-year-old former Olympian Dan Henderson.
"He is a great fighter, and he will demand a lot of attention from me during the fight," he told the UFC website.
A win "would be a huge step in my career... it will make it easier for me to have a chance to fight for the belt".
What To Do About Big Nog ?
With all of the speculation surrounding Randy Couture's potential return to the UFC, lost in the shuffle is current interim heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo (Minotauro) Noguiera.
Couture is rumoured to be making a return in November against Brock Lesnar, in the main event at UFC 91. The questions surrounding the situation are coming from all angles.
With the UFC still pronouncing that Couture is their champion even after he resigned and having never stripped him of the title, would a potential fight against Lesnar actually be a title fight? Does Lesnar already deserve a title fight in the UFC? Would this be a non-title fight and if so why?
So many questions and with a variety of angles that the UFC could steer the ship, my fingers point to Nogueira, the man who should be next for Couture if he returns to the UFC.
The UFC is Holding a Press Conference Tomorrow to Announce the Return of Randy Couture
Steve Cofield reports that the UFC is holding a press conference tomorrow at noon PT:
After 11 months of fighting in the courts it looks like the UFC and Randy Couture have buried the hatchet. The promotion is holding a press conference on Tuesday at Noon PT to announce a new deal with the heavyweight champion.
Couture is expected to face Brock Lesnar at UFC 91 in Portland in what could be the biggest pay-per-view show in the UFC's history.
Let's cross our fingers and hope nothing falls apart. This is potentially the beginning of a very big run for the UFC and MMA in general.
Randy Couture Looking At Three Year UFC Contract Extension
As we previously reported. Randy Couture had been offered and was considering a three-fight contract with the UFC. MMARated.com then reported over the weekend that a three fight extension was on the verge of being agreed to which would see the popular UFC champion return in a fight against Brock Lesnar at UFC 91 on Nov. 15.
The new and improved Punisher
As a 5 foot 10 heavyweight, nothing was ever going to be easy for Jason Lambert. But as he began his pro mixed martial arts career in 2001 and started battling it out with the big boys, he found out that more often than not, he was able to not only hold his own, but win.
UFC Quick Quote: Brock Lesnar needs ‘a lot’ of preparation before fight with Minotauro Noguiera
“[Brock needs] A lot [of preparation time]. Because Nogeuira’s very dangerous on the ground. Brock would have to outwrestle him and take him down. And be very careful that he doesn’t extend his limbs. Brock hits like a sledgehammer. He hits so hard and he’s fast. One thing we’re really working hard on is not pushing his strikes but launching strikes with crack and pop at the end. To have boxer-level hands. Also, his knees are devastating. I would not want to get kneed by Brock. His knees are huge. Heath had no idea that Brock was going to come out and throw a kick at him. As for a match with Nogueira, I have no idea what the UFC’s plans are. I know Brock has two more fights. Brock is such an incredible athlete. He could rise to the occasion. For me, he’s fun to train because he’s so ambitious. Brock is completely coach able. Some fighters I’ve worked with, you go for a week and you end up holding pads for them. With Brock, it’s, Can you teach me? Can you show me? Can you show me? It’s worth the time to go there.”
– Former mixed martial arts champion and current trainer for Brock Lesnar, Erik Paulson, shares his thoughts with MMAmemories.com
UFC 90: Tibau Out -vs- Franca
Just stumbled upon this on sherdog... Any thoughts on who the replacement should be? They're already saying Aurelio would be good and making it sound like it's the most likely fight to happen.
Amir Sadollah announces possible return at UFC 91
Colonial Heights, Virginia – Season seven winner of “The Ultimate Fighter” Amir Sadollah returned to his former home state of Virginia during Combat Sports Challenge 26 last night to corner several fighters from his old Richmond-based Team Combat fight team that is housed out of the Combat Sports Center.
After intermission, Sadollah was introduced to the crowd, where he received a strong hometown reception as well as some playful taunts. While addressing the audience on the microphone, Sadollah revealed that he expects his next fight for the UFC to take place at UFC 91 on Nov. 15 in Portland, Oregon.
Sadollah said he did not yet know his opponent but that he expected to receive notification from the UFC shortly.
Report: Rampage Jackson Accuses Police of Abuse
MMA Bay is alleging there is an interview Rampage conducted with "cbs.com" where he asserts the police who arrested him in July acted unprofessionally and outside the boundries of proper police conduct:
1. Turned the heat up in the car even though he was already dehydrated
2. Phoning friends and mocking him to them while in the car with him
3. Sped up and slowed down while taking him to the station, tightening his handcuffs
4. Refusing to move his cuffs from the back to the front, leaving him squashed and uncomfortable in the car
5. Tightening his cuffs further as they escorted him into the medical facility, so much so that he lost the feeling in his wrists for three weeks
6. Escorted him through the facility with his pants below his knees, exposing his underwear
PELLEGRINO LOOKS INTO THE MIRROR AT UFC 88
Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight Kurt Pellegrino is the midst of his own personal transition period.
After years of training and fighting out of Florida, under the eye of other people, Pellegrino has struck out on a new path, returning to his native New Jersey in hopes of rebuilding a career that has always seemingly been on the cusp of something big, but never quite breaking through.
Eager to put the memory of his most recent outing behind him, he has stepped up to face an equally difficult challenge in Thiago Tavares at the upcoming UFC 88 in Atlanta.
“I’m real excited to get my feet back in the octagon,” stated Pellegrino. “I’m looking to erase that loss (to Nate Diaz at UFC Fight Night 13 in April) with a big win over Thiago.
“That’s why I suggested this fight; was to move on and not fight a lesser opponent, but in my eyes, fight an extremely dangerous and tough fighter.”
As he puts it, having a good showing and getting back on the winning track against Tavares is imperative for his career.
Josh Burkman Feeling Pressure to Win at UFC 90
Saying Josh Burkman has been inconsistent in his UFC tenure could be an understatement. He has a 5-4 record in the Octagon, including two straight losses to Mike Swick and more recently to Dustin Hazelett. “This is a big fight for me. I’m coming off 2 losses in a row and my contract is coming up in Nov. So there is some serious pressure to win.” Burkman recently said via his MySpace blog.
Since his season 2 appearance on “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series, Burkman has become one of the more well known fighters from the show but success in the Octagon hasn’t followed.
It’s hard to complain about losing to the likes of Jon Fitch and Karo Parisyan but Burkman didn’t looked too impressive in his losses to Swick or Hazelett. To Burkman’s defense though, it could be argued that he really won the fight with Swick.
Burkman has made changes to his training for his upcoming fight with Pete Sell at UFC 90. “I’ll do the majority of my training in Las Vegas at Xtreme Courture,” Burkman continued.