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.
The Fitch Push
Jon Fitch represents one of the problems the UFC has faced in recent years in being able to properly promote and market a full stable of over 250 fighters. He’s a great fighter - undefeated in almost 5 years - but prior to his fight with Diego Sanchez, few in the mainstream had even heard of the guy. Most of his fights had not been shown on broadcasted events nor had he really received any press for his grinding, “blood and guts” fight style.
It’s not like Fitch is the only fighter to contend for a title that the general public may not know about; Nathan Marquardt is another that comes to mind. You might even add Lyoto Machida, previous to his bout with Tito Ortiz, to that list.
Attempting to change all this, the UFC is taking every opportunity to push Fitch to the masses. Last night, SpikeTV aired Countdown to UFC 87 and chose to focus the spotlight on the contender, Fitch, for the majority of the main event portion of the segment.
It’s really no surprise, either, as Dana White has been telling every and anyone that will listen this week that not only is Fitch the real deal, but also that he’s White’s personal pick for upset of the night.
UFC Quick Quote: ‘Stitch’ Duran a possible X factor?
“It might be a good thing that I’m in the red corner — Georges might need me. Jon Fitch punishes his opponents and is known for doing damage in his fights. And this is a five rounder. I might be able to get Georges one or two more rounds if he needs them.”
– The best cut man in the business, “Stitch Duran,” tells MMAmania.com that UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre has perhaps an ace up his sleeve if need be — a man who can get him more time to fight if he needs it. “Rush” will take on Jon Fitch in the main event of UFC 87: “Seek and Destroy” at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minn., on August 9.
Lesnar faces stern test in veteran Herring...
When we last saw Brock Lesnar, the former NCAA wrestling champion and WWE alumnus was shaking his head in the Octagon after being submitted by former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir.
Lesnar had imposed his bulk on Mir and laid copious punishment on the more technically advanced Mir for about 90 seconds. His fists of fury hammered Mir's face and almost forced a stoppage.
Mir kept conscious, though, then lured Lesnar into a trap. As Mir swiveled on his back, Lesnar stood straight up, allowing Mir to get a good look at his exposed legs. The vet snapped on a kneebar. Lesnar couldn't shake off the agony or slide out; he was forced to tap.
The end came at 1:30 of the first round.
Heath Herring won’t hesitate to take out Brock Lesnar
MINNEAPOLIS – Heath Herring chuckled at the mention of what undoubtedly is the biggest mistake of his professional life.
For the last 13 months, rarely has a day gone by where someone hasn't asked the fighter known as "The Texas Crazy Horse" about the events of UFC 73.
A career-defining and, perhaps, career-changing victory was in his grasp and he hesitated. He looked at a fallen Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and hesitated. Herring didn't pounce on Nogueira and finish him after a kick to the head nearly knocked Nogueira out.
THE ART OF WAR AS STRATEGIZED BY ST PIERRE
“The clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy's will to be imposed on him.”
- Sun Tzu, “The Art of War”
Current UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre may not have studied the famous text by Chinese General Sun Tzu, but he certainly employs his strategies in all of his fights.
Whether it was out wrestling Josh Koscheck, putting a ground clinic together against Matt Serra, or simply overpowering Matt Hughes, St. Pierre has taken the best weapon away from each of his opponents and made it his own strength.
Now St. Pierre faces his toughest challenge to date at UFC 87 when he faces top contender Jon Fitch, who is an extremely well rounded and dangerous fighter in all parts of his game. Despite the odds making him a huge favorite, St. Pierre isn’t looking past Fitch at all.
“A lot of people make me try to see through Jon Fitch and I don’t want that. I made a mistake once, I don’t want to do it again,” said St. Pierre alluding to his loss to Matt Serra. “Jon Fitch is probably the most dangerous guy I’ve fought so far, he’s a new breed of mixed martial arts fighter. Very well rounded.”
PENN MOVING TO 170 REGARDLESS OF UFC 87 OUTCOMES
"I don't think he'll get the winner of Fitch and GSP, said the UFC president. "He wants to fight GSP if GSP wins the title. GSP has a win over him. He wants to try to beat GSP. I don't think he'd move up if Fitch won."
Penn disagrees, commenting, "I'd feel okay facing anyone for the welterweight title."
"Jon Fitch is a great opponent, a tough opponent, but St. Pierre brings the whole backing of Canada with him to a fight," stated Penn. "Fan base, this sport, it's entertainment. It would be great to put on a big fight with me and St-Pierre, but then again, it’s about me fighting the best fighter and if Fitch goes down and proves he’s the best fighter, then he’s the man.”
Pros Pick: UFC 87
With one of the more intriguing tripleheaders in recent memory taking place at UFC 87 on Saturday, Sherdog.com turned to the pros for predictions on Georges St. Pierre vs. Jon Fitch, Roger Huerta vs. Kenny Florian and Brock Lesnar vs. Heath Herring.
Herring won't hesitate to take out Lesnar...
MINNEAPOLIS – Heath Herring chuckled at the mention of what undoubtedly is the biggest mistake of his professional life.
For the last 13 months, rarely has a day gone by where someone hasn’t asked the fighter known as “The Texas Crazy Horse” about the events of UFC 73.
A career-defining and, perhaps, career-changing victory was in his grasp and he hesitated. He looked at a fallen Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and hesitated. Herring didn’t pounce on Nogueira and finish him after a kick to the head nearly knocked Nogueira out.
Thales Leites vs. Goran Reljic signed for UFC 90
Thales Leites (13-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) and Goran Reljic (8-0 MMA, 1-0) have agreed to meet in a middleweight bout at October's UFC 90 pay-per-view eveent.
A source close to Leites said bout agreements were recently signed and that fight is now official.
Leites was expected to fight in September at UFC Fight Night 15 but will instead return at UFC 90, which takes place Oct. 25 at Allstate Arena just outside Chicago.
Leites will go for his fith straight victory in the UFC since suffering a unanimous-decision loss to Martin Kampmann at his 2006 octagon debut. The 27-year-old Brazilian most recently scored a split-decision victory over Nate Marquardt at UFC 85, though the win was aided by Marquardt's two costly point deductions.
Leites will now meet undefeated Crotian Reljic, who will drop to middleweight for the fight. The fighter, who competed throughout Eastern Europe before signing with the UFC, scored a second-round TKO of Wilson Gouveia at UFC 84. It was his eighth straight victory -- and the seventh to come via stoppage.
Jorge Rivera's daughter dies suddenly
My heart goes out to the family.
Janessa M. Rivera
Janessa M. Rivera CRANSTON, R.I. Janessa Marie Rivera, 17, passed suddenly at Kent County Hospital, Warwick, R.I., on Aug. 5, 2008, after being stricken.
Alessio Sakara vs. Joe Vedepo likely for UFC Fight Night 15
Another Midwest-based fighter could make his UFC debut when the organization heads to Omaha next month.
A source close to UFC newcomer Joe Vedepo (7-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the middleweight fighter has verbally agreed to meet Alessio Sakara (12-7 MMA, 3-4 UFC) at next month's UFC Fight Night 15 event.
The bout has not been signed, but bout agreements should be distributed shortly, the source said.
UFC Fight Night 15 takes place Sept. 17 at the Omaha Civic Auditorium and airs on Spike TV. The event, co-headlined by Nate Diaz vs. Josh Neer and Mac Danzig vs. Clay Guida, precedes the debut episode of "The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs. Team Mir."
Vedepo, a part of the Cedar Rapids-based Team Hardrive MMA, won the Midwest Cage Championship middleweight belt with a June victory over Brian Green (15-10). Both fighters entered the bout knowing that a major-league contract offer could be on the line. The bloody, back-and-forth main-event fight ultimately ended via a third-round verbal submission in favor of Vedepo.
The 25-year-old former light heavyweight and stand-out high school wrestler has never gone to decision; he's won four fights via knockout and three by submission.
Sakara, meanwhile, will look to push his UFC record to .500. He most recently suffered a loss to Chris Leben at UFC 82 in March. The hard-hitting Italian's other losses have come to Houston Alexander, Drew McFedries and Dean Lister; victories have come over James Lee and Victor Valimaki via knockout, and Elvis Sinosic via unanimous decision.
The American Top Team fighter has lost four of his past six fights.
Jason Lambert vs Jason Day UFC 88 fight set
Jason Lambert (23-8) and Jason Day (17-7) will meet inside the Octagon at UFC 88: “Breakthrough” at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Ga., on September 6.
MMAmania.com was able to independently confirm the booking, which was originally posted over at FiveOuncesOfPain.com.
“The Punisher” appears to be making the drop to middleweight after competing most of his career in the heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions. Perhaps back-to-back losses to 205-pounders Wilson Gouveia and Luis Arthur Cane, respectively, convinced Lambert to try his luck in the 185-pound division.
Lambert has three losses in his last five attempts within the eight-sided cage.
Day was victorious in his debut for the promotion against Alan Belcher at UFC 83: “Serra vs. St. Pierre 2? in April, upending Alan Belcher via first round technical knockout. The Canadian product was then stopped himself in the same fashion less than two months later when he locked horns with Michael Bisping at UFC 85: “Bedlam.”