Couture-Lesnar a muscled chess match
Trying to handicap Saturday night’s Randy Couture-Brock Lesnar Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight title match is almost an exercise in futility.
There are two contradictory ways of looking at the match.
From a pure physical standpoint, it looks like no contest. Lesnar is bigger, stronger, faster and a whole lot younger, at 31, going against the 45-year-old champion, Couture.
Worse, Couture, a former alternate on the U.S. Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling team, has always relied on his wrestling as his great equalizer. Due to an expected 50-pound weight difference when they hit the cage, Couture is in danger of having his wrestling neutralized against Lesnar, a former NCAA wrestling champion.
Dustin Hazelett finding comfort in cage
Dustin Hazelett is a true student of the fight game – a newly minted Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt who, instructor Jorge Gurgel will tell you, drills every aspect of his craft for hours on end.
But Hazelett (11-4 MMA, 4-2 UFC), who meets fellow prospect Tamdan McCrory (9-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) at Saturday's UFC 91 event, hit a learning road block when it came to his professional fights.
Up until his June bout with Josh Burkman, everything that happened in the cage remained a blur. He could remember the outcomes, but what happened blow by blow, minute by minute was mostly a mystery after each contest.
Burkman Sidelined Indefinately With Back Injury
Following his third loss in a row in the UFC, Josh Burkman has decided to take some much needed time off to repair a serious back injury. The injury is similar to those suffered by other fighters such as Tito Ortiz and Nate Quarry.
Burkman spoke exclusively to MMAWeekly.com about the injury, which he originally suffered during his fight against Dustin Hazelett at the moment when he slammed his opponent to the mat. He then felt a numbness striking down his arm that lasted for a week after the fight was over.
“This is the first time in my career I’ve got to seriously be like I’ve got to get this better. I’ve got to take some time off,” Burkman said.
The injury consists of two bulging discs in his back and another bulging disc in his neck, and the Utah native is hopeful for a natural rehab, but may have to consider surgery if the healing doesn’t happen.
Jason Lambert latest fighter to drop off the UFC roster
With its fighter roster once again hovering above 180 fighters, the UFC once again finds itself looking to reduce the number of contracted fighters to the organization.
In recent days, news has broken that the company attempted to reduce Fabricio Werdum’s salary and when he did not accept their new offer, a decision was made not to make a counter offer.
In addition to Werdum departing the organization, FiveOuncesOfPain.com learned earlier today that middleweight Jason Lambert is now also a free agent. Soon after hearing the news from our initial source, we were able to confirm the development with Matt Stansell, Lambert’s manager with NCFC Management.
Sadollah out with leg infection(***UPDATED - Statement From Amir On Withdrawal + Hoping For Hospital Release Today***)
The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 7 middleweight winner, Amir Sadollah, has been forced to withdraw from his upcoming bout against Nick Catone at UFC 91: “Couture vs. Lesnar” at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on November 15 because of a leg infection.
Unfortunately, the promotion was unable to secure a replacement on such short notice, meaning that Catone will have to wait to make his Octagon debut and the show will go on with nine fights instead on the original 10.
In addition, according to an official announcement on UFC.com, the welterweight match up between Dustin Hazelett and Tamdan McCrory has been promoted to the televised portion of the pay-per-view (PPV) telecast.
Catone Looks To Spoil Ultimate Figher
Nick Catone will get his chance to play spoiler when he steps into the Octagon on Saturday night at UFC 91. He will be taking on The Ultimate Fighter season seven winner Amir Sadollah. This will be Sadollah's first fight since the reality series finale, so there will be a lot of eyes on this fight.
Fabricio Werdum Doesn’t Know If He Has Been Cut by the UFC
According to a article by Brazilian MMA site Tatame, Fabricio Werdum doesn’t even know that he has been cut by the UFC:
"I'm surprised by the news. My sister is my manager and she's the one that deals with the UFC and she always contacted me first before making any decision. From what I know the UFC have not contacted her. I still have four more fights left on my contract that runs until 2010. From what they told me I should fight in February, July, November and April of 2010. In fact, I'm moving to the US to prepare for those fights with Rafael Cordeiro." said Werdum who is still making final arrangements to make his move to USA in December.
UFC Fight Night 16 broadcast set for three hours, minimum five fights
December's "UFC Fight Night 16: UFC Fights for the Troops," a nationally televised event that serves as a fundraiser for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, will feature a full evening of fights.
The broadcast, which airs on Spike TV, will run three hours and feature a minimum of five fights, Spike TV officials have confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The Dec. 13 event takes place at the Crown Coliseum in Fayeteville, N.C., in conjunction with the Fort Bragg military installation.
As Spike TV announced on Monday, Josh Koscheck will return from his recent unanimous-decision loss to Thiago Alves to fight Yoshiyuki Yoshida in the UFC Fight Night 16 main event.
Also on tap for the TV portion of the card is a welterweight bout between Jonathan Goulet vs. Mike Swick, WEC light heavyweight champion Steve Cantwell's WEC debut against UFC newcomer Razak Al-Hussan, "The Ultimate Fighter 7" semifinalist Tim Credeur vs. Nate Loughran, and lightweight contenders Frankie Edgar vs. Matt Wiman.
Free tickets will be given to active military personnel, though 30 tickets will be put up for auction for the general public. The sales benefit the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. Additionally, fans will be able to call in and make donations throughout the night's broadcast. (Donations can also be made now at fallenheroesfund.ufc.com).
The full UFC Fight Night 16 fight card includes:
* Josh Koscheck vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida
* Jonathan Goulet vs. Mike Swick
* Razak Al-Hussan vs. Steve Cantwell
* Tim Credeur vs. Nate Loughran
* Frankie Edgar vs. Matt Wiman
* Brodie Farber vs. Luigi Fioravanti
* Steve Bruno vs. Johnny Rees
* Ben Saunders vs. Brandon Wolff
* Dale Hartt vs. Corey Hill
* Eddie Sanchez vs. Justin McCully
Quarry Expects Fight Against Maia To End Early
“He’s just a great fighter. All of his fights, he’s just looking to finish the whole time. He brings that definite Jiu Jitsu coming at you, gotta tap him out, gotta be working the whole time attitude. I really respect everything he’s done. All his accomplishments in Jiu Jitsu and being undefeated in his fighting career. I think it makes for an exciting fight, especially for the fans. Nobody really wants to see decisions. They want to see the fights end and that’s what both of us are going to try to do.”
STUDY SHOWS UFC IS POISED TO CONTRIBUTE MILLIONS TO NY ECONOMY
NEW YORK, NY – A study released today showed that Ultimate Fighting Championship® events in New York City and Buffalo would have a significant impact on state and local economies by generating tax revenues, creating jobs and boosting tourism industries.
Professional mixed martial arts is one of the highest grossing arena sports in the country, drawing sell-out crowds and bringing in millions of dollars in ticket and concession sales. One of the fastest growing sports in America, MMA is regulated in 36 states including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California and Florida. Legislators in Albany will consider regulating the sport in New York State when the legislative session begins in January.
Wand: I May Get Title Shot If I Beat 'Rampage'
Wanderlei ‘The Axe Murderer’ Silva has hinted that he might be getting a title shot if he beats Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson in December, we can exclusively reveal.
Speaking to Fighters Only at the weekend, Silva said that he understands he will get a crack at the belt if he gets past the former champion.
The Jackson fight “is a very, very good opportunity for me for me to fight for the title,” he said. “I think after I beat Rampage, it may be possible I fight with the champion.”
However, he is quick to stress that he is not looking past Rampage, saying that fighting the former champion “is never easy”.
“He was a great champion... he is a tough guy. Very strong - good wrestling, good boxing.”
If Silva does get a title shot, he will face current belt-holder Forrest Griffin, who he trains with at Xtreme Couture.
In fact, the two spar regularly, but Silva says it would be all business should the two meet in the cage.
“I train and spar with Forrest, I am his best sparring partner and he is mine. It is sad situation, to train with some guys it is possible I will have to fight in the future, but it is no problem,” he explains.
“I am a professional and he is a professional. I like him, he is a very nice guy. Outside the Octagon, I am his friend, but inside the Octagon it is a business, a job.”
Spike Releases Fight For The Troops Card, Koscheck Still On, 3 Hour Event
Spike TV officially announced the UFC Fights For The Troops card for next month's special TV event, and questions about whether or not Josh Koscheck would still fight Yoshiyuki Yoshida on the card coming off his UFC 90 last-minute fight were answered: He will. The fight is still on.
Also, Spike announced the event will be a 3 hour broadcast and feature at least 5 televised fights.
Lyoto Machida and Thiago Silva fight talk
“I think the fight will be the synthesis of the modern MMA, will have everything: takedowns, striking and I think we’ll do everything that exists in MMA, and the fight might be a stand up one. I consider you a tough guy, but I think my technique is superior.”
Randy Couture Breaks Down Brock Lesnar
When Randy Couture finally returns to action on Saturday night fans at UFC 91 in Las Vegas are expected to give the UFC heavyweight champion one of the loudest ovations any fighter has ever felt before. But soon after the entrance, the business begins and standing across from Couture will be Brock Lesnar waiting to welcome the champion back to the Octagon.
The match-up with Lesnar is very interesting simply because the former WWE superstar currently holds a 2-1 professional record and hasn’t gone through many of the top contenders most would view he should fight before getting to Couture. But the champion understands why this fight was made and also compliments the fighters right underneath him hungry for a shot at the championship.
Stevenson Earns BJJ Black Belt Before UFC 91 Fight
When Kenny Florian & Joe Stevenson face off at UFC 91 this Saturday, there now will be 2 BJJ black belts fighting instead of just one. Stevenson earned his black belt from world class grappler Robert Drysdale this past weekend in a ceremony that apparently was 13 years in the making.
Dos Santos Knocks Werdum Out of UFC
Following a rocky time in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, capped by a surprising knockout loss to Octagon newcomer Junior dos Santos at UFC 90, Chute Boxe fighter Fabricio Werdum has left the promotion.
Sources tell MMAWeekly.com that Werdum's exit comes on the heels of a failed contract renegotiation following the loss to dos Santos. The Brazilian came into the fight with the expectation that he would soon be contending for a heavyweight title shot.
The knockout at UFC 90 derailed anything of the like in the near future, and spurred a renegotiation of his contract. Werdum and the UFC were apparently unable to come to an agreement. He has already opened talks with other promotions in the U.S. and Japan.
After losing his opening salvo in the UFC to Andrei Arlovski, Werdum put together back-to-back impressive victories with TKOs of Gabriel Gonzaga and Brandon Vera, effectively positioning him as one of the top contenders in the promotion's heavyweight division.
Current champion Randy Couture faces Brock Lesnar at UFC 91 on Saturday and interim heavyweight titleholder Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira defends against Frank Mir on Dec. 27 at UFC 92. The winners of those two fights are expected to fight in early 2009, as a unification bout to the UFC mini-tournament.
Had Werdum taken care of business against dos Santos, he was expected to be in contention to face the unified heavyweight champion later in the year. Now it appears he will be moving on to another promotion such as Affliction in the U.S. or Dream or Sengoku in Japan.