Fedor Weighs In On 'Couture/Lesnar
WAMMA heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko has a message for Randy Couture following his loss to Brock Lesnar at last Saturday’s UFC 91, keep your chin up.
MMAWeekly.com spoke with Emelianenko via telephone as he finished watching the first round of the fight on a nearby television. The top ranked heavyweight is currently in Thailand, filming an action movie starring Rutger Hauer and Michael Madsen.
“It’s a very interesting fight,” Emelianenko said of the bout’s first round through his interpreter. “So far, it looks like Randy – he’s more active in the ring.”
Asked who the winner of the first round was, he paused.
Gina Carano in the WEC?
This may soon become reality according to Dana White:
White said he is thinking of inviting Gina Carano to fight in the WEC. Carrano had been fighting in the now defunct EliteXC. "Gina Carano is a star, I think she's talented. I think she's got all the tools, so what I'm willing to do is bring Gina into the WEC. We could do fights whenever there's a challenger for Gina. That's how I'll test the waters and see how it goes." In the past, White has dismissed talk of having women fight in his organization, saying there wasn't enough talent out there.
The proposed scenario would be a major modification to Zuffa's approach in promoting MMA. Not only would this be their first foray into female fighting, but the experiment would not involve a full division of fighters but only Carano fighting various challengers as they materialize.
UFC 94: Jon Fitch vs Akihiro Gono (Exclusive)
Top welterweight contender Jon Fitch (17-3) has signed the bout agreement to fight Akihiro Gono (29-13-7) at UFC 94: “St. Pierre vs Penn 2” on January 31 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, MMAmania.com (www.mmamania.com) has learned.
Dana White Warns Ontario - You're Next!
"There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be in Toronto," White continued. "We’ve got a (clean) nine-year record of health and safety. There is absolutely no reason for Canada to not accept this sport. There’s an education factor; we need to educate people.
"I’m going after Canada after (I get approval in) New York and Massachusetts. I’m attacking Canada. I’m going to spend so much time in Canada I’ll have to buy a house. I’m going to live here until it’s done. I’m going to be sitting on the porch every day they come to work."
"Everybody I bumped into was from Canada," he said, adding that having St-Pierre fight in Toronto is a no-brainer. "This fight (between St-Pierre and Penn) should have been in Toronto or Hawaii.
"Canada is a huge market for us. Toronto is the mecca, this is the place to be as far as MMA is concerned."
I would most definitely go to an event in Toronto. My guess is that it will happen in late 2010 or mid 2011 for the UFC to get through Ontario. Glad to see his enthusiasm.
Dustin Hazelett says patience is key in UFC's welterweight division
With his slick first-round submission victory over Tamdan McCrory at this past weekend's UFC 91 event, UFC welterweight debut Dustin Hazelett picked up his fifth UFC victory in six fights and his second consecutive Submission of the Night bonus.
However, the fighter -- who's now racked up three "fight night" bonuses worth a total of $105,000 over his past two fights -- said he is not yet a part of the 170-pound division's elite.
UFC 93 & 95 Not Airing For Free on Spike TV
Despite the fact that UFC 93 and 95 are taking place in Dublin and London respectively, they will not air for free on Spike TV, reports MMA Rated. Does that mean you’re going to have to pay more of your rapidly dwindling cash to see an event that goes live in the middle of the afternoon? Either that or wait until the videos hit the internet, and for some reason it’s considered “troubling behavior” for me to drink in front of my computer at ten o’clock on a Sunday morning, even though it’s perfectly acceptable to do it in front of the TV on a Saturday. I blame this Puritanical society.
The explanation for why this is happening centers around Spike TV’s production budget. Broadcasting these overseas events is costly, and since both UFC 93 and 95 take place within the first two months of 2009, that would mean blowing a big portion of their budget in the first quarter. This, my friends, is a side effect of the UFC going global.
Paulo Fihlo Released From WEC, Unlikely to Fight in UFC
In the November 17th edition of the Wrestling Observer there is strong indication that (former) top 10 middleweight Paulo Fihlo has been released from his Zuffa contract and will most likely not be heading to the UFC any time soon, if at all.
FiveOuncesofPain.com has the wrap up:
“Not only will Paulo Filho’s middleweight championship be forgotten, but Filho himself will be after his performance on the show, as it’s all but a lock that Filho won’t be moved to UFC,” one excerpt states.
“There is zero criticism I’ve seen of (Zuffa) cutting Paulo Filho, who was 16-0 coming into his fight (vs. Chael Sonnen) but his cut wasn’t over money but that the person who was in that cage has no business fighting at this time,” writes Observer publisher Dave Meltzer
Poll: Most Fans Don't Want Shields-GSP First
On this past Friday's episode of "Inside MMA", the results of a poll conducted by the show and MMAjunkie.com on who fans most want to see Jake Shields first fight in the UFC were revealed. The biggest surprise may be that most fans do not want a possible dream match between Shields and Georges St. Pierre, but most want Shields vs. Diego Sanchez first instead.
UFC to return to Columbus on March 7
According to a report in the Nov. 17 print edition of the Wrestling Observer, the UFC will be returning to Columbus, Ohio for the third consecutive year on Saturday, March 7. While a venue was not identified in the report, the Nationwide Arena is considered the most likely candidate.
The date has yet to be confirmed by the UFC and few details surrounding the event have yet to surface.
Jake Shields will only be happy in the UFC fighting Georges St. Pierre
Former Elite XC Welterweight Champion Jake Shields is just one of the many fighters who are looking to free themselves from their contracts with the now defunct Pro Elite.
Showtime Networks Inc. — who partnered with Pro Elite to air over 14 Elite XC events over the last two years — planned on auctioning off the remaining assets from the promotion in an attempt to recover nearly $6 million in defaulted loans. Among the main items listed at the auction were the contracts for guys like Jake Shields and a number of other top mixed martial artists.
Anderson Silva Begins Boxing Training With Freddie Roach
As if Anderson Silva's opponents needed more reason to worry, Anderson Silva began training with Freddie Roach today. The fact that Roach is becoming more and more involved with MMA is an interesting story in and of itself, but Silva may also be doing this in order to see where he stands for a potential boxing career once he's done with MMA.
On another note, Silva has definitely been tapped for the main event of London in February. They are considering a few possibilities against him, including Chuck. I think the only obstacle to this fight happening is the idea of Liddell vs. Couture for the summer, potentially at UFC 100. I suspect they will pull the trigger on it though, seeing as both men want it.
Rich Franklin open to rematch with Lyoto Machida
Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin, apparently content since moving up a weight class to the light-heavyweight division, is open to a rematch with Lyoto Machida, who defeated "Ace" at a December 2003 event in Kobe, Japan.
Franklin said he's willing to do the rematch now that both fighters are in the 205-pound division, but he has one concern.
"I'd fight him," Franklin said. "The thing about a Machida fight that isn't appealing to me is that stylistically, Machida is kind of a boring fighter.
"That's not a putdown. It's not a putdown. He's very, very effective. He's good at what he does. He's constantly backing away and forces his opponent into mistakes, and that's how he catches you."
Hazelett Happy With Win, Still wants To Improve
Pulling off another victory with a great finish, Dustin Hazelett moved his career UFC record to 5-2 while earning another bonus for the slickest submission of the night.
In the fight against Tamdan McCrory, it was Hazelett's rubber guard transition to oma plata and then into a reverse armbar that saw the fight finished, but he says that is a regular move for him to practice versus the maneuver he used to submit Josh Burkman in his last fight.
Ricky Hatton: "We Can Learn From the UFC"
Boxer Ricky Hatton was among the many fans at UFC 91 and tell The Daily Star that boxing can learn a thing or two from the promotion:
Hatton was at ringside in Las Vegas to see Randy Couture lose his world heavyweight title to man-mountain Brock Lesnar, who beat him with a second-round stoppage.
And ‘The Hitman’, who faces Paulie Malignaggi at the MGM Grand Arena next Saturday, told me: “The presentation and general approach of the UFC is something that boxing can learn a great deal from.”
It was Hatton’s first taste of live UFC action and he said: “The whole aspect of it was great and, rather than boxing ignore it, it should take a leaf out of the UFC book.
Network TV Sits On The Sidelines...For Now
Dana White has made it very clear in the past that he is not depending on a network television deal to further the promotion's popularity. On network television, we've seen EliteXC, the International Fight League and Strikeforce. However, the world's most popular mixed martial arts promotion has yet to fill a network TV timeslot.
No Title Shot Yet, But Maia Still Unbeaten
Demian Maia continued his impressive run in the Octagon Saturday night, submitting much loved Ultimate Fighter 1 veteran Nate Quarry in the first round with a rear naked choke. The win now puts Maia at 4-0 in the UFC with all four of his wins coming by the way of submission. He remains undefeated as a professional.
With the middleweight division quickly running out fresh challengers for UFC middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva, Maia has put himself on the short list for a possible title fight down the line.
Since joining the UFC in October of 2007, he has been impressive in his run. His ground game has looked absolutely perfect, using flawless technique to set up all four of his submission victories in the UFC. The only question mark surrounding Maia is how good is his striking, which is a key component to every fighter’s arsenal.