UFC 86 Gate Figures
According to the Las Vegas Sun the attendance was 11,172 with a gate of $3.2 million. This was slightly off of NSAC Director Keith Kizer's prediction of a Top 5 gate, with the show coming at number 6.
In other news from the post fight press conference, Dana White said the UFC is trying to go to Chicago in October and Boston in November. As previously announced, the UFC also will being doing a show from Birmingham, England in October.
UFC's Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson becomes a changed man
Just as some began to sense Quinton "Rampage" Jackson was on the downside of his career, Juanito Ibarra saw a man with untapped potential. When other mixed martial artists considered Jackson nothing more than a brawler, Ibarra was convinced he could supply him with an arsenal of self-defense tactics...........
"What I seen in Quinton was just a lot of raw ability and a bad attitude," Ibarra remembers.
"I always said, if this kid can really learn how to be a professional, act like a professional, build a brand and have somebody teach him how to fight . . . he'd be a champion."
Quinton Jackson’s ascent a matter of divine intervention
LAS VEGAS – There are, as they say, two sides to every story.
In this case, there's Juanito Ibarra's story of how he connected with Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and became the UFC light heavyweight champion's trainer.
Ibarra said the men had known each other for years from connections in the fight game and that they had gotten together after Ibarra telephoned Jackson and the two talked, mostly about their religious faith, for two-and-a-half hours.
"It was a very powerful, memorable conversation," said Ibarra, who is convinced Jackson will be at his career peak on Saturday when he defends his title at UFC 86 at Mandalay Bay against Forrest Griffin. "I get (goose) bumps thinking about it."
Koscheck wouldn’t mind fighting Penn
LAS VEGAS – UFC president Dana White is almost resigned to the fact that his lightweight champion, B.J. Penn, is going to leave the division to chase the welterweight belt.
White has long urged Penn to resist the tendency to jump from the division and concentrate on cleaning out the 155-pound division. After Penn’s recent one-sided victories over Joe “Daddy” Stevenson and Sean Sherk, though, White doesn’t have a challenger on the horizon who can keep Penn from abandoning the division.
Justin McCully "close to 100 percent" for Gonzaga clash
Eleven-year veteran and one-time Team Punishment fighter Justin McCully (8-3-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) will enter his second heavyweight bout in the UFC much as he did the first -- a decided underdog. But McCully is relaxed and ready on the eve of his UFC 86 undercard bout with Gabriel Gonzaga.
McCully discussed the challenges he faced in the 15 months since his latest UFC appearance while a guest on a today's edition of TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
UFC 86 PREVIEW: JACKSON VS GRIFFIN FIGHT-BY-FIGHT
UFC Light Heavyweight Championship Bout:
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Forrest Griffin
UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson makes his second title defense, this time against Forrest Griffin, the original winner of The Ultimate Fighter.
Neither fighter has seen action since September of last year with Jackson winning a decision over Dan Henderson at UFC 75 and Griffin submitting Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 76.
Fans have gotten to know both fighters over the past several months because of their stints as coaches on the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter. Although through most of the season they were amiable to each other, there were moments where both fighters were eager to fight one another.
Jackson is known for his strong boxing and solid wrestling abilities, while Griffin is known for his scrappiness and his ability to adapt to any situation in a fight. They have had several months to prepare for each other and should know their opponent’s weaknesses like the backs of their hands.
Jackson will want to keep the fight on the feet and use his boxing to tag Griffin with a power shot that will put him on his back. If the fight isn’t going the way that Jackson wants it, don’t be surprised to see him take it to the ground and pound on Griffin.
Griffin will need to keep the distance with kicks and not get into Jackson’s range for an exchange because Jackson has a technique and power advantage over Griffin on the feet. On the ground, he needs to keep position and not take too many risks with submission attempts because Jackson has excellent submission defense.
It’s hard to think that the fight will go to the distance, as both fighters will be looking for the finish. For Jackson, he will want to finish it on the feet with a punching combination. For Griffin, he’ll need to catch Jackson off guard and capitalize on a mistake made by the champion.
However the fight ends up, it’s been months in the making and after Saturday night we’ll have a conclusion.
White Says UFC 86 Paves The Way For 205 Future
“The (light heavyweight division) is so stacked right now. What's going to happen in the light heavyweight division is going to depend on what happens Saturday night,” stated Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White on Thursday. “Obviously if Forrest Griffin wins the title, there's a ton of different things that could happen. If Rampage Jackson wins it, there's a ton of different things that could happen.
Ryo Chonan To Face Roan Carneiro At UFC 88
Ryo Chonan is set to face Brazilian Roan "Jucao" Carneiro at UFC 88. The news comes directly from Jucao's manager Alex Davis courtesy of our good friends over at Tatame.com:
"This is an important fight for the Jucão," said Davis. "It is a fight he wanted for a long time and it didn’t happen at UFC 85 because Chonan got injured. He is now training hard and will be very well prepared for this fight."
Pre-UFC 86 Interview With Cole Miller
On Saturday, July 5th, at UFC 86 in Las Vegas The Ultimate Fighter 5 cast member Cole Miller will face The Ultimate Fighter 2’s Jorge Gurgel in an undercard lightweight bout. Cole recently took some time out of his busy schedule for an exclusive interview with MMAFrenzy.com to discuss the upcoming fight.
MMAFrenzy.com: Cole thanks again as always for the interview. How are things going for you?
Cole Miller: Things are going good, I feel better than ever before for this particular fight.
ABC Passes Revised Unified Rules
MONTREAL -- A revised edition of the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts was passed Thursday by the Association of Boxing Commissions via a majority vote at the ABC's annual conference.
Exclusive Interview: Josh Koscheck
CagePotato.com: Not to take anything away from Chris Lytle, but he has a losing record in the UFC. Do you feel like you should be fighting a higher-ranked welterweight at this point?
Josh Koscheck: No. After my loss to Georges St. Pierre I have to work my way back up through the ranks. In order to be the #1 contender you have to beat whoever they put in front of you, and that’s my plan.
What part of Lytle’s game are you most concerned about?
I don’t really know too much about him, I just know he’s pretty good on his feet and he’s got pretty good jiu-jitsu. My concerns are myself — coming in prepared, which I definitely am, and taking the opportunity to get the job done.
This is the first fight on your new UFC contract extension. Would you say you’re getting paid what you deserve now?
I don’t know that answer; that’s up to my managers. My job is to train and fight. My managers got me the contract so I guess that’s what I deserve right now. Obviously, it’s human nature to want more money. You probably want more money to interview me today. But it’s just a matter of time. Yeah, UFC fighters deserve a lot more money, and it’s coming. The sport’s growing, and as the UFC brand grows, the fighters will make more money.
Do you have any interest in fighting Diego Sanchez again? Your last fight with him was called into question because he was supposedly suffering from a staph infection at the time. Do you feel the need to prove it was a legitimate win?
I’ve fought with staph infections before too. I beat up Jonathan Goulet while I had a huge staph infection in my leg — I never told anybody because that’s a ******* excuse. [Sanchez] should stop making excuses, and a win is a win. If his staph infection was so bad, he shouldn’t have stepped into the Octagon. People fight with injuries all the time; the bottom line is, don’t make excuses for losing. I’m just focused on winning this fight against Lytle. I don’t care too much about Diego Sanchez or anyone else in the weight class right now.
Anderson Silva gunning for two belts
Since emerging in the Ultimate Fighting Championship two years ago, Anderson Silva has clearly proven his position as the No. 1 middleweight fighter in the world. Many have also bandied about the label of best pound-for-pound fighter in the same breath as the UFC middleweight champion.
Now he’s out to prove it. And for the first time in the promotion’s history, UFC president Dana White is giving his blessing to allow one of his champions to move among divisions in an attempt to hold two belts in two classes.
“(Ricarod Almeida) and Patrick Cote are going to fight on Saturday night and see who's next in line for Anderson Silva's 185-pound title,” said White at Thursday’s pre-fight press conference in anticipation of Saturday’s UFC 86 card in Las Vegas.
“Anderson Silva, being the monster that he is, you all know is going to move up to 205 on July 19. He's going to fight at 205. If everything goes well, he wants to move back to 185 and fight Sept. 6 in Atlanta, probably against Yushin Okami, then he wants to fight again two months later,” he continued.