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.
Kenny Florian seeks truth in UFC 91 clash with Joe Stevenson
While the vast majority of the attention for "UFC 91: Couture vs. Lesnar" is being centered around the main event -- and rightfully so -- an important lightweight scrap between contenders Kenny Florian (10-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) and Joe Stevenson (29-8 MMA, 6-2 UFC) will also grace the card.
And as Florian recently told TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), the bout is quickly developing some real emotion behind it.
"[Stevenson] said he's reading on the internet that everyone is saying that I'm the favorite," Florian said. "He doesn't understand why. He's just had some real odd comments. I don't know why he's upset, or why it's motivating him now. I don't have to read the internet to get motivated for a fight."
Despite 15-month layoff, Randy Couture says ring rust not a factor
When 45-year-old UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture (16-8 MMA, 13-5 UFC) steps into the cage on Saturday night against Brock Lesnar at "UFC 91: Couture vs. Lesnar," it will be the first action for "The Natural" in nearly 15 months.
Couture has faced layoffs of over a year twice before in his illustrious career -- and won his return fight both times. In a recent UFC 91 media conference call, Couture said to expect the same this time around.
"Everybody asks about ring rust and all that stuff," Couture said. "I don't think it's the same for a mixed martial artist as it is for boxing. Sparring in the gym -- the training we do -- it's just about as real as the fights. So I'm not worried about that at all."
As the head of Xtreme Couture, one of the biggest and most highly respected training camps in MMA, Couture believes his daily routines have kept him in fight-ready shape.
Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua to ’set the story straight’ against Mark Coleman at UFC 93
Well, I personally would never want to beat someone that way. I wouldn’t celebrate the win and wouldn’t go bragging about it, and that’s what Coleman did the whole time. I was really bothered by him celebrating the win in that way, and afterwards talking a lot of crap about me in interviews. I always respected all the fighters I’ve fought, since I know how hard it is to make it to the top of the list and just getting into the ring means you’re a winner, so they deserve respect. I respect Coleman as an athlete, the guy’s an MMA legend. I hope to have a good fight with him, I’m confident. God willing I’ll win…. In the category in which I fight there are only top guys, so I see about 10 guys I could fight. Coleman really is a guy I want to face, because of our last fight, but I wasn’t sure it would be him. This was good for both of us, we’ll be able to set the story straight.”
Kang Says ''Timing Was Right'' For UFC Move
Considered one of the top free agents in mixed martial arts just a week ago, Denis Kang signed on with the Ultimate Fighting Championship on Monday to become the latest top fighter to land with the biggest promotion in the sport today.
When the doors of Pride Fighting Championships closed, Kang was on the roster, but after the final contracts were moved and reassigned to the UFC, the American Top Team stand-out didn’t end up fighting in the Octagon, instead opting to stay and compete overseas.
Just over a year later, Kang is now finally a part of the Ultimate Fighting Championship and ready to stack up in the 185-pound division.
Sadollah Ready To Emerge
Amir Sadollah is set to return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship at UFC 91 in Las Vegas, after a close to a five-month layoff. This fight will be his first since winning The Ultimate Fighter finale over CB Dollaway.
Sadollah came into The Ultimate Fighter an unknown. He was a fairly green fighter after having only a 4-0 amateur record prior to getting on the show. Sadollah quickly impressed Forrest Griffin, his assigned coach, during the show submitting Steve Bynes, TKOing Gerald Harris and submitting highly regarded Matt Brown.
Many thought that his next fight against Dollaway would be a quick and easy win for his competitor, but out of nowhere, Sadollah locked on an armbar. Now, an almost “Rocky” underdog, he was going into the finals against Jesse Taylor. However, Taylor got into some antics after the show wrapped, which forced UFC president Dana White to take him out of the finale. Dollaway came back to fight in the finale against Sadollah and get his redemption. However, Sadollah had other plans as he again submitted Dollaway via armbar.
Not fighting for five months affects some fighters, but Sadollah feels it was good to get some time off.
Bas talks Kimbo, EXC, Lesnar-Couture & More!
Bas Rutten ‘Living Mixed Martial Arts Part II’
The former King of Pancrase took some time recently to talk with PDG about the many projects he has going on, the Fall of EliteXC & Kimbo Slice what he thinks of some of the biggest fights of the year coming up in the UFC.
PDG: The last time you were in Japan was for DREAM 6; what did you think about the Alistair Overeem vs Mirko ‘Cro-Cop’ fight?
Bas: It was a great fight and it was a shame that it ended like it did because Overeem was winning the fight. I was a little surprised by his dominance but then I talked to his trainer from Golden Glory; which is a Thai boxing gym in Holland that I used to train at. His striking has definitely gotten better since he started training there and Mirko has not looked very good his last few fights. Don't get me wrong, I am a huge Mirko fan and I wish he could get back on track.
Eddie Alvarez Talks Future & More!
Eddie Alvarez 'Waiting for a Fight'
Lightweight rising superstar Eddie Alvarez took some time to talk with PDG about the fall of EliteXC, his DREAM Lightweight Grand Prix experience, training and what the future holds for his mixed martial arts career.
PDG: Your scheduled fight against Nick Diaz was canceled when EliteXC went bankrupt last month; what were your thoughts when you got the news?
Alvarez: It was very unfortunate as I was about five weeks into my training for the fight. I was really looking forward to that fight and the whole situation just basically sucked. It was very important for me to win a title in America on national television. Shit happens and it wasn't the first time in my career. There was a similar situation when I was fighting for Bodog. I'm looking forward to moving on and signing with another American company that has a television presence.
Brocks Big Plan: Be Bigger
I expect to walk in [to the Octagon] about 275, 280. That’s one of the things we took into consideration when we took this fight. We’re younger, we’re stronger, we’re faster and this guy’s on his way out and we’re going to make sure that happens.
We’ve watched every single one of Randy’s fights a number of different times…there really are no comparables to me and the rest of the guys he’s fought because none of them have the wrestling credentials that I have. He has trouble with bigger guys, guys [like Barnett and Rodriguez] who knew how to control him. Tim Sylvia and Gabriel Gonzaga didn’t know how to control him.
I’m not scared to go twenty-five minutes. As the rounds go longer I have a much bigger advantage because for Randy to have to push around 275 lbs for five rounds and me to push around a guy who if he’s lucky is 230 lbs - I know how to wrestle. These other heavyweights that he pushed around the Octagon were guys that had no clue how to wrestle and how to keep position.
The UFC and the Issue of Steroids
Mike Straka’s FoxNews Fight Game recently had a roundtable discussion on steroids. John Moody of Tri-State Fighter asks some pointed questions about the UFC’s testing process. MMAPayout.com had some of the same questions and more in the wake of Chris Leben’s positive steroid test.
Anthony Torres tested positive on a Euro Card and was released while Leben gets a suspension. Was Torres under a one fight contract? If not, is there equal protection under the UFC’s steroid policy? If no, Why not? Is the decision based on what level the fighter is with the company (Torres being a newer guy vs Leben being a veteran)?
There seems to be a lack of transparency when it comes to the UK drug tests (Who what when where how many). Zuffa/UFC, being a private company, has transparency issues in many areas, especially financial items, which is understandable, but the lack of transparency in the drug testing area seems to be a PR problem. Will the company be taking any moves to increase transparency in the future?
Frank Mir confirms he would rematch Brock Lesnar
Speaking to Setanta Sports News, Mir said:
“I’d rather fight Brock than Randy. Randy has been dealing with MMA for a lot longer and he knows how to fight off submissions to a greater degree than Brock does.”
“Brock’s only trained for two or three years. I’ve been doing it a lot longer. But Randy’s ability to stop my submissions would be about the same as my ability to stop his takedowns.”
“He’s been wrestling for 18 years - I’ve been doing martial arts since I was four, so I’ve been practicing for 25 years. For him to catch up on the submissions game is going to be one heck of a feat.”
Three fighters issued UFC 90 medical suspensions
The Illinois State Athletic Commission recently issued medical suspensions to a total of three fighters who competed at last month's UFC 90 event, the commission confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Among those shut down was headliner Patrick Cote, who suffered a knee injury during a third-round TKO to UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
UFC 90 took place Oct. 25 at Allstate Arena just outside Chicago.
It was the UFC's first-ever event in the state of Illinois, which only recently began regulating MMA events.
Cote, who last longer than any other of Silva's UFC opponents, ultimately dropped to the mat in the first minute of the third round. While lunging forward, his knee buckled, and he re-aggravated a past injury. Cote has been suspended 45 days and can have no contact for 30 days, though he could be sidelined longer depending on the nature of his injury.
Additionally, heavyweight Fabricio Werdum was suspended 60 days (no contact for 45 days) following his stunning first-round TKO loss to UFC newcomer Junior de Santos on the night's televised main card.
Finally, preliminary-card fighter and late replacement Drew McFedries was suspended 30 days following his first-round submission loss to Thales Leites. McFedries tapped out from a rear-naked choke 78 seconds into the fight.
Joe Stevenson motivated to defeat Kenny Florian at UFC 91 thanks to BJ Penn loss
“I still think about [the loss to BJ Penn]. I have to. It’s what keep me motivated and makes me train harder. If we don’t remember our past, we can’t go forward. I have a Hawaiian wife man. She brings it up every time we argue…. I’m fighting to be a champion. I want that belt; there is no other reason. I’ve fought for free and I’ll probably fight for free before I die again, but I’m going to bring it.”
Luis Cane wants to fight the best … like Keith Jardine
“Maybe they put me against (Keith) Jardine, a tough fighter, another Top 10, but I won’t choose opponents. I’ll wait for Joe Silva decide who I’ll fight and I’m sure it won’t be easy, they’ll put me another great fighter and that’s what I want. I’m ready for that and I want to be between the best.”
– Luis Cane tells Tatame.com that he is ready to challenge the top fighters in the UFC light heavyweight division. “Banha” destroyed Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou via second round technical knockout at UFC 89: “Bisping vs. Leben” just last month. It was his second straight win — the Brazilian heel stopped Jason Lambert at UFC 85: “Bedlam” back in June. His only loss is to James Irvin, which was ruled a disqualification because of an errant knee to the face. The 27-year-old fighter is tough as nails and comes prepared to bang, making any match up with a top 205-pound competitor a juicy one.
Filho Moving To LHW
Paulo Filho says that his loss to Chael Sonnen at WEC 36 will do him good and imbue him with “a new spirit”.
Filho was undefeated in sixteen fights before dropping a points decision to Sonnen after a sluggish and outright bizarre performance that at one point saw him talking to himself and repeatedly looking over his shoulder.
Speaking to Brazilian MMA magazine Tatame, he said: ”The fact is that I have no excuses, he went in there and did his job to neutralize me and that’s what happened.”
He added that suffering his first professional defeat was “sad – but it was good to give me a new spirit”.
Following the loss, Filho – who failed to make weight for the middleweight clash - is now looking at a move to light-heavyweight and is also planning a move to Los Angeles.
Spike Offers 5 TUF Fights For Kimbo
Pun apparently intended. Taking their cue from UFC President Dana White, who recently said Kimbo Slice was more than welcome to be a loser on "The Ultimate Fighter" reality show, Spike TV recently released a list of TUF fighters they believe should be the first to introduce Slice to the UFC--or at least its leather glove as it smashes his face.