Dana White: Brandon Vera is ‘not the same fighter’
As soon as he had a few wins and all the money got involved and his new contract and his ex-manager and all that bullshit, he’s changed. He’s not the same fighter he was. He needs to put all that shit behind him and he’s needs to come back and be the cocky, crazy Brandon Vera that I met a few years ago. That kid needs to come back. It seems that now the money’s involved, he doesn’t take chances like he used to, he doesn’t let his hands go like he used to. He’s got to come back and be the old Brandon Vera.”
UFC President Dana White hopes to see the old Brandon Vera return against Keith Jardine at UFC 89: “Bisping vs. Leben” at The National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, England, this weekend. “The Truth” was undefeated before getting mired in an ugly contract dispute with the promotion and former manager Mark Dion, which kept him on the sidelines for more than a year. He returned to action only to lose to Tim Sylvia via unanimous decision and then Fabricio Werdum via controversial first round technical knockout stoppage. After the two losses at heavyweight, Vera took a 205-pound fight against Reese Andy at UFC Fight Night 14 back in July. He won the bout with a decision but didn’t look very sharp while doing it, attributing the lackluster performance to the weight cut. Broken Hand, bad stoppage and weight cut: All reasons (and not saying they aren’t valid) Vera has used to explain his three most recent performances … none of which include money. Let’s see which Brandon Vera shows up on October 18 and whether or not White may be onto something or Vera has indeed been the victim of misfortune.
UFC 89: CAN BARON KEEP BIG WINS COMING?
Most fighters will tell you that a win’s a win. That one could be indistinguishable from another in the grand scheme of things.
That is, however, not always the case.
There are certain instances where a win is more than just another notch in someone’s record column. For instance, a first win is always special, as would be winning a title, and following title defenses; but from some perspectives, there’s nothing quite like coming out of nowhere to topple a giant.
Such is the case for David Baron, a veteran French fighter who built a solid career for himself, but fell short against top caliber opposition, until he knocked off perennial top ranked lightweight/welterweight superstar Hayoto “Mach” Sakurai in May.
“Sakurai is an excellent fighter, so to beat him it means that I can compete at that level,” said Baron of his career setting victory over the Japanese hero.
“(It) reassures me for my upcoming fight and my future.”
Chris Leben: From Jail Cell to Main Event
Chris Leben sat in a Clackamas County jail in northwestern Oregon for three weeks and pondered his past, present and future. Arrested on a probation violation related to a previous DUI conviction, Leben forfeited his chance to fight Michael Bisping at UFC 85 in June. As bad career moves go, few could have been worse.
“Obviously, things came up,” Leben says. “It was a huge letdown.”
Fortunately for the 28-year-old middleweight, UFC officials were in a forgiving mood. Given a reprieve by matchmakers, Leben (18-4) will challenge the once-beaten Bisping in the featured bout at UFC 89 this Saturday at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, England.
Michael Bisping: Leben Still Look's the Same
With Michael Bisping less than three days away from a middleweight clash with Chris Leben at UFC 89 in Birmingham, England, the UK standout made no qualms about what he thinks of his recently rejuvenated opponent.
“He still looks like the same Chris Leben,” Bisping told Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” on Wednesday. “There might be a little bit of a difference but I think ultimately he’s still the same fighter.”
Jardine Begins His Search for Consistency
“There’s nothing worse than sitting in a locker room after a fight knowing that you didn’t get a chance to fight,” said Jardine, reflecting on his one round loss to ‘The Axe Murderer’ at UFC 84. “I wanted to run it back out there and fight again as soon as possible, but things happen.”
YOSHIYUKI YOSHIDA STILL EYES KOSCHECK FIGHT
Yoshida's manager, Shu Hirata, confirmed to MMAWeekly.com that his fighter will still compete on the Dec. 10 UFC Fight for the Troops card, possibly still against Koscheck.
There has also been speculation that Diego Sanchez may take up the spot against Yoshida in the main event for the UFC Fight for the Troops show.
Cantwell May Face Al-Hussan At UFC Fights For The Troops
Although he's been without an opponent since original December foe Brian Stann withdrew from their next fight due to injury, WEC Light Heavyweight Champion Steve Cantwell may now have an opponent for UFC Fights For The Troops. Razak Al-Hussan has accepted the fight, now it's up to Cantwell.
Paul Kelly Has A Good Story-And A Better Scar
Paul Kelly recently told the WInnipeg Sun about a childhood motorcycle accident that nearly killed him and cost him a leg, but left him with quite the scar and a bit of an advantage in MMA-he now has no feeling in his thigh area as a result of the carnage, so he doesn’t have to check kicks.
One on on with Tyson Griffin
Listen in as Bloodyknux.Com's Tyler Horton talks with UFC LW Standout Tyson Griffin. Tyson talks preparations for his bout against Sean Sherk at UFC 90 , career retrospective, a future art career? and much more....
Silva "My time is already over"
In a video interview with Sherdog Anderson Silva goes on to discuss Dan Henderson's matchup with Palhares, his upcoming fight with Cote, and confirms that he will retire after he finishes the remaining six fights left on his contract. He goes on to speculate that his contract would probably run out by June 2009. He expresses interest in traning the next generation of fighters after retirement.
Kelly overcomes the odds to reach the cage
Saturday could be a crowning moment for Paul Kelly as he faces off against Marcus Davis at UFC 89. The undefeated Kelly takes his first big step up on the Birmingham card. In a way, he's fortunate to be stepping at all. A childhood accident nearly left him unable to walk according to The Telegraph:
Kelly was messing about on a motorbike with his mates along a railway line in West Derby, Liverpool. It was getting dark. "I thought I knew it all," explains Kelly, built with the frame of a rugby union hooker. "We were out all day and all night on the bike on the railway sidings. Of course, we shouldn't have been there. As it was getting dark, I hit a stack of wet leaves at 40 miles an hour and went into a huge concrete block on the sidings. My leg just exploded. It was a mass of blood, bone and muscle."
The injury was so severe Kelly got 800 stitches and 13 skin grafts. At 12 years old, he was told he'd never walk again. He's worked his all the way back to be one of Great Britian top MMA prospects.
Nothing new: Michael Bisping UFC 89 interview with MMAmania.com
Since dropping to middleweight, Michael “The Count” Bisping (16-1) has been on a mission to establish himself as a top 185-pound contender.
And he’s off to a brilliant start — The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Season 3 winner has looked impressive in first-round stoppages over Jason “Dooms” Day (17-7) at UFC 85 and Charles “Chainsaw” McCarthy (10-5) — (who Bisping sent into retirement) at UFC 83.
But his biggest test (at 185, anyway) is certainly the one he faces this Saturday night, October 18, at The National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, England. That’s where he’ll face off against Chris “The Crippler” Leben (18-4) in the main event at UFC 89: “Bisping vs. Leben.”
We caught up with Bisping today to see how he plans to handle “The Crippler’s” punching power (he doesn’t seem too worried about it), find out about his evolving ground game (he’s been training in Japanese jiu-jitsu since he was eight years old) and to get his take on the possibility of serving as a coach on the upcoming TUF 9: “U.S. vs. U.K.”
Andre Gusmao vs. Antonio Mendes set for UFC 93
A light heavyweight fight between Andre Gusmao (5-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) and Antonio Mendes (15-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) has been added to UFC 93, an event that takes place Jan. 17 at The 02 in Dublin, Ireland.
The match-up was first reported in the Oct. 13 edition of Wrestling Observer.
The 205-pound match-up complements the night's main event between light heavyweights Dan Henderson and Rich Franklin, as well as a co-main event of Mauricio "Shogun" Rua vs. Mark Coleman.
Shogun Training Elbows For Coleman
Maurício "Shogun" Rua is practicing his elbow strikes in preparation for a bitter war with long-time adversary Mark ‘The Hammer’ Coleman, his coach has revealed.
The two will face off at UFC 93 in January in a rematch of their 2006 PRIDE FC meeting that left Rua with a broken arm and the two men as sworn rivals.
Mauricio Veio is training Shogun for the January fight and says his athlete “knows Coleman will go at him”.
PRIDE did not allow the use of elbows, but Rua is adapting quickly to the UFC ruleset and is already making them part of his game.
“He is training hard and will take The Hammer down and hit him with his elbows,” Veio revealed. “Shogun is ready for the worst situations in the fight."
Veio was a coach with Chute Boxe before leaving to join Shogun and Ninja at their new gym, Universidade da Luta (University of Fighting) earlier this year.
He is the brother of Andre ‘Dida’ Amade, who also left Chute Boxe to join Universidade da Luta.
MICHAEL BISPING GETS READY FOR THE SECOND TIME
For the second time in as many months, Michael Bisping has been working and training for a match-up against Chris Leben. The first time around, Leben had to pull out of the bout to serve time for a past legal offense, but now the fight is on and the British fighter has had plenty of time to think about this one.
Before fighting Jason Day in his last UFC bout, Bisping had game planned and prepared for Leben. He is now able to recycle that knowledge for the fight scheduled for UFC 89 this weekend in England.
“This time when the fight was scheduled I kind of already had an idea of how the fight was going to go and what I needed to do,” said the Brit in a recent interview with MMAWeekly Radio. “I was already watching his tapes, now I started doing that again. The gameplan’s still the same.”
While the gameplan itself hasn’t been revealed, one big key to Bisping’s success could be his patience to deal with Leben’s incredible chin and ability to withstand a ton of punishment.
Heavyweight Antoni Hardonk vs. newcomer Mark Burch at UFC 92
UFC heavyweight Antoni Hardonk (7-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC) will go for his third consecutive UFC victory when he meets UFC newcomer Mark Burch (9-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at UFC 92, an event that takes place Dec. 27 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Sources close to Hardonk told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of the bout earlier today.
The fight is expected to air on the un-aired preliminary card of the pay-per-view event.
Hardonk, a former kickboxer, made his octagon debut at UFC 65 and defeated Sherman Pendergarst via first-round TKO. The 32-year-old Dutchman then suffered back-to-back losses to Justin McCully and Frank Mir before recently scoring TKO victories over Colin Robinson (in just 17 seconds) and Eddie Sanchez.
He'll now meet Burch, a BodogFIGHT veteran who's undefeated in his past four fights. The Indiana native has fought twice this year -- both times in the Hoosier state -- with first-round TKOs over Chris Hanni (0-1) and Alex Rozman (0-6). Prior to those victories, he posted wins over the likes of Yoshiki Takahashi (28-24-3) and stand-out Xtreme Couture grappler Jay White.
Six of Burch's nine fights have come via knockout.