YUSHIN OKAMI VS DEAN LISTER AT UFC 92 ON DEC. 27
In a pivotal match-up between two top middleweights, MMAWeekly.com has confirmed that on Dec. 27 Yushin Okami will return from a lingering hand injury to face submission wizard Dean Lister, as confirmed by Lister’s management group at Haymaker’s Empire
Lorenzo: Double Digit PPV Increases In 08
Lorenzo Fertitta spoke with Multichannel News, stating PPV buys are up in 08:
By 2007, UFC was, according to Forbes, generating about $250 million and about 90 percent of all mixed-martial-arts revenue. In that year, it had 5.1 million pay-per-view buys in 11 fights, essentially matching 5.2 million in 15 for the WWE. And Fertitta says the picture remains rosy: “We had double-digit growth this year in a terrible economy.”
As always, looking at the data helps give us perspective to judge such statements. Let us take a look inside the numbers, comparing month-over-month results to this point:
Gilbert Melendez mulls move to UFC
Former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez (14-2) made it clear at last weekend’s “Strikeforce at the Mansion II” event that he has plans to win back the 155-pound title he lost to Josh Thomson back in June.
The loss to “The Punk” was only the second in a 16-fight career for the Cesar Gracie-trained standout. The other was to Japanese standout Mitsuhiro Ishida this past New Year’s Eve.
As it turns out, Ishida now competes under the Strikeforce banner as well, giving Melendez the perfect opportunity to avenge the two losses.
JASON BRILZ: UFC HOMETOWN STANDOU
It may be enough for a fighter to have their dream come true to participate in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, but to do so in front of your hometown crowd and succeed in spectacular fashion is a whole other thing all together.
Such is the case for longtime Midwest fan favorite Jason Brilz.
Long considered something of a star in the making, Brilz entered UFC Fight Night 15 earlier this month expected to do well, but he did much more than that, dominating Brad Morris en route to a second round TKO.
“It went pretty much how we thought it was going to go,” he said of his win. “I figured he’d probably land a few more shots standing up – we trained for that – but it worked out well for me.
“It was really made special that it was in Omaha, so I had a lot of friends and family (in attendance). The UFC was great, they took care of me and it was a very fun experience.”
Exclusive: Chris Leben Talks Fighting Bisping and the Judges at UFC 89 in England
CagePotato.com: Hey Chris. Thanks for talking with me. We’re a few weeks out from the fight. How is your preparation coming?
Really good, really well. It’s been long and intense and I’m kind of just getting to the point now where I’m ready to go fight and get this thing over with.
It seems like things really changed for you when you moved to Hawaii. What has that move done for you?
You know, it’s great. Moving to Hawaii is definitely the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. I had the opportunity to be the head coach at Icon and there are a whole bunch of guys out here training with me who are just great. But besides the gym and the wonderful people out here you have the weather and everything that is Hawaii. It’s been really conducive to my training.
I hear a lot of people say you’re much more mature these days, no longer such a wild guy in and out of the cage. What do you think prompted that transformation?
Losing (laughs). You know, I got away with being a brawler for a long time. And it’s hard to change things when they’re working. But when I fought Anderson I realized, I might be able to beat 95% of the guys out there, but I’ll never be a world champion fighting this way. So I had to go back and change a lot of things. That was one part of it.
And the other part was, you know, coaching. Now that I have a team of amateur guys fighting, it’s hard to tell them to do something if you’re not doing it yourself.
UFC video game available for pre-order
UFC 2009 ‘Undisputed’ is an explosive fighting game detailing the action, intensity and attitude of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Featuring an authentic and comprehensive UFC atmosphere, including an extensive roster of the best mixed martial arts fighters in the world, players will push the envelope with a powerful new game engine and put their best fighting disciplines to the test in the world famous Octagon.
Thiago Tavares back at UFC 93
After doing a great fight against Kurt Pellegrino at UFC 88, getting the fight of the night bonus, but being defeated by unanimous decision, Thiago Tavares already knows when he’ll be back to the octagon. Eyeing a victory in the octagon, sources had confirmed that the Minotauro Team fighter will be on the UFC 93 card, that happens at MGM Grand Arena, at Las Vegas, USA, at January 31st. As we reported earlier, the same event will put Lyoto Machida to face Thiago Silva, on the rescheduled fight from UFC 89.
BRIAN STANN TO TEAM JACKSON FOR UFC DEBUT
As Brian Stann readies himself for a move from the WEC to the UFC starting with a Dec. 10 UFC Fights for the Troops showdown against old foe Steve Cantwell, the former Marine will prepare for the bout with Greg Jackson and his team in New Mexico.
The fight between Stann and Cantwell will be the third in a series of fights that has seen each of them pick up a TKO victory.
Following a disappointing performance in his last fight, Stann had a conversation with Greg Jackson that convinced him the team in New Mexico was the best place for him to continue to learn and prepare for future fights.
“I met Greg here in Atlanta and we really just hit it off right off the bat. He was just really excited about the possibilities of training me and I think for any fighter that makes you excited,” Stann said in a recent interview with MMAWeekly.com. “For me that was just flattering and motivational at the same time. So I went down there and I was down there for a while and I just really gelled. There’s no egos. It’s just a lot of good guys that are helping each other to our common goals, and I really, really liked it.”
UFC 93 In Ireland, January 2009
Antonio Mendes has told TATAME that he will be back in action in January 2009.
The Europe Top Team athlete, who fought seven times in 2007 and won all of those bouts, will fight on January 17th in Dublin, Ireland, and might face another Brazilian fighter Andre Gusmao. Rich Franklin is also rumoured to be fighting on this card.
This is the first i've heard of a UK event in 2009 and with 'Super Bowl Weekend' being billed as UFC 93 maybe this could be a 'Fight Night' ?
EDIT: With 'Fights for the Troops' and the TUF8 Finale both being held in December, january is probably too soon to have another 'Fight Night' so i'm thinking this will be UFC 93 and 'GSP Vs Penn' will become UFC 94
Any thoughts ?
Sadollah vs Catone at UFC 91 confirmed
On November 15th, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, his saga continues as he returns to the Octagon to take on unbeaten newcomer Nick Catone on the televised portion of UFC 91: Couture vs Lesnar.
Rampage vs Wanderlei at UFC 92 not UFC 93
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson (28-7) and former Pride FC middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva (32-8-1) will collide at UFC 92 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, on December 27.
The blockbuster light heavyweight match up was first discussed for the UFC 91: “Couture vs. Lesnar” show on November 15 and then the UFC 93 Super Bowl weekend event on January 31. Those dates did not work out, however, and the bout is now slated to enhance the New Year’s Eve weekend mixed martial arts bonanza.
FRANK MIR TALKS TUF AND TITLE FIGHT
In a recent interview with MMAWeekly.com, Frank Mir reflected on his experiences with the eighth season of “The Ultimate Fighter” and moving forward to face Antonio Rogrido Nogueira at UFC 92 on Dec. 27 at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino.
Mir says he's found the right training chemistry for his fight with the former Pride champion. Before moving to Striking Unlimited with Ken Hahn—now Mir’s assistant coach on the show—Mir found himself dominating his training partners in the gym. His schedule was rigid and unvaried. Though it stroked his ego to blow through the weekend warriors and two pro fighters there, it was giving him a false sense of security, and ultimately, hurting his ability to persevere in later rounds.
“Wrong mindset,” he said. Mir's 2006 UFC performances many to question his heart, and forced him to take a good look at how he was preparing himself for battle. Hahn now emphasizes wearing Mir down with a steady stream of fresh sparring partners at the new gym, some of which are from the reality show. He may dominate initially, but after a while, he gets humbled.
“There’s been a couple of times towards the end where, on video, if you just watched it and that was by itself, you didn’t know I had sparred a lot before that, you’d be like, ‘damn, dude, you suck,’” he said.
Ivan Serati, UFC debut December
It's becoming apparent that the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has its sights set firmly on European expansion and that the talent pool on the continent is being harvested for resources. One of the key signings outside of the ubiquitous British talent pool comes from Milan, Italy in the shape of Ivan "Il Terrible" Serati - a monster of a man at 205 pounds and one of the toughest wrestlers this side of the Atlantic.
"The biggest difference this will make to Ivan (Serati) is that he will now be able to train full-time for fights,” Serati’s manager, Alex Burzotta told MMAWeekly.com. “It's something he hasn't had the pleasure of up until now, so his evolution as a fighter will continue, but at a much greater pace than we have witnessed so far.”
Serati had been working as a doorman for several years, but became weary of being continually challenged by troublemakers looking to prove themselves in the street. He turned it all in and paid for his license as a Taxi driver in Milan about 18 months ago and aside from a few people arguing about airport run fares, life has been filled with people recognizing his persona as a fighter, especially after his bout with Vitor Belfort.
STANN VS CANTWELL AT UFC FIGHT FOR THE TROOPS
It didn’t take long for some of the fighters from the soon-to-be-defunct WEC light heavyweight division to make their move to the UFC and none could be happier than former 205-pound champion Brian Stann, who will make his promotional debut in a third fight against Steve Cantwell at the UFC Fight for the Troops show on Dec. 10.
Stann and Cantwell have fought each other twice in the past with each gaining a victory, most recently with Cantwell taking the 205-pound divisional crown away with a TKO win in early August.
The rematch had already been discussed internally at the WEC, and according to Stann, as happy as he was to get another shot at Cantwell, he was a little sad that a week later a fight would take place in front of the military and he wouldn’t be involved.
“They were talking to me about a rematch right after I lost that fight, so I was already excited about that and I thought it was going to be Dec. 3 in Vegas, so I’d be fighting Steve (Cantwell) in his hometown for the third time,” Stann said in an exclusive interview with MMAWeekly.com. “It was kind of like a tear in my heart because all of a sudden I was watching Spike TV and watching the Fight Night and they announced this special featuring the Fallen Heroes Fund and it’s going to benefit TBI (traumatic brain injury) patients.
Rampage Jackson: Michael Bisping could beat Anderson Silva one day
“I’ve been working and training with Michael for a year now, and I have seen improvements consistently; he is already one of the best. He just can’t see it yet. This guy doesn’t know just how good he is. Or how good he can be yet. I think if Michael beats Chris Leben and he fights Dan Henderson next he has the chance to show he is one of the best. If Michael beats and defeats Henderson then he can take on Anderson Silva. Michael has all the qualities to be one the best. He’s better than me at so many things. Michael is a great fighter. He works hard, trains hard, he’s got the potential to be one of the best champions in the sport. He’s also got really good trainers. In the MMA game, anything can happen in a fight. People see Silva as invincible, but Michael could beat Silva one day. There is always a first in this sport.”
Former light heavyweight champion Quinton Rampage Jackson — who now trains full time with top middleweight contender Michael Bisping at Wolfslair MMA Academy in the United Kingdom — feels his team member and friend could defeat UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva. The interesting thing here is that he lays out a fight schedule that could groom Bisping for an eventual showdown with “The Spider” after two fights — Chris Leben at UFC 89 and then Dan Henderson.