UFC.com - Hughes, Serra and Sherk weigh in on GSP-Penn II
There will be plenty of discussion this week heading into UFC 94’s mega-clash between lightweight champion BJ Penn and welterweight champion Georges “Rush” St-Pierre in Las Vegas. After all, this is a highly-anticipated rematch pitting two of the worlds best pound-for-pound fighters, and big fights always make for big business—especially in the futile business of predicting who’s going to do what to the other.
Sensationalists, mostly found in blogospheres, will have you believe that Georges St-Pierre is an unmovable object with divined wrestling leverage, and that Penn flies around on a magic carpet and is made of Silly Putty; level-headed sports talk will center more around GSP’s chin and Penn’s cardio. Romantics will remind everyone that a chin is just an extension of the heart, and that cardio is more literally about conditioning.
It’s convoluted. The pre-fight hype, that is.
Ryan Madigan replaces Dustin Hazelett at UFC 96
A pair of Ohio-based fighters have swapped spots on the UFC 96 fight card.
An undisclosed injury has forced Dustin Hazelett (12-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC) out of a bout with Ben Saunders (7-0-2 MMA, 3-0 UFC). UFC newcomer Ryan Madigan (5-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who recently signed a four-fight deal with the organization, will take his spot on the card.
UFC Seeks Greater Control Of Fighter Sponsorships
If plans it has go through soon, UFC may become quite the dictatorship with regards to fighter spnsor deals and money they make outside the Octagon while fattening its wallet in the process. UFC reportedly is considering a new business model requiring any company wanting to sponsor a fighter to work directly with UFC and contracts that give UFC access to some money that ALL fighters generate outside the Octagon.
Baroni Positive Regarding UFC Return
Phil Baroni hopes to make his return to the UFC later this year, if he can get the all-clear from his contract with ProElite.
“I’d like to be fighting in the UFC. Its where I think I want to be. Fighting for Strikeforce is pretty good and so is Japan but I just want to be back on the big stage and not be a journeyman anymore,” he told Fighters Only.
Tito Ortiz not going back to UFC with Dana White still in charge
Tito Ortiz (15-6-1) takes another step away from his UFC roots at Saturday night's "Affliction: Day of Reckoning" event in Anaheim, Calif.
Still bound by a fight contract to the organization that gave him his start, Ortiz recently told TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), the official radio partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), that he's excited to try his hand at MMA broadcasting, even though it's not for the UFC.
"This will be my first step to get my feet wet and see how it is," Ortiz said. "I'm very, very excited."
Tim Boetsch Vs Jason Brilz At UFC 96
A light heavyweight match-up has been confirmed for UFC 96 in Columbus, Ohio, as Tim Boetsch will return to action against Jason Brilz. The bout was confirmed to MMAWeekly.com on Saturday by sources close to the fight.
Tim Boetsch steps into the bout at UFC 96 with a cumulative 2-1 record in the Octagon, with his last fight taking place in September, which was a win over Michael Patt. He ended the fight in the first round by strikes, earning a TKO victory.
Reese Andy Released By UFC
Another UFC fighter has gotten Das Boot in the last couple days, this time it's former IFL fighter Reese Andy. 2 losses in 2 UFC fights has him looking for work but his agent says they're going over offers from other promotions.
Jason MacDonald returns at UFC 97
Veteran UFC middleweight and Canadian fighter Jason MacDonald (21-11 MMA, 5-4 UFC) will return to action in April when the UFC heads to Montreal, Canada, for UFC 97.
The UFC is in the process of finalizing an opponent for the 33-year-old Edmonton native.
UFC 97 takes place April 18 at the Bell Centre and airs live on pay per view.
Dana White: Phone call to BJ Penn during ‘Primetime Live’ was as real as it gets
“… if you saw the fallout with me and B.J. during [”Primetime Live”] — a lot of people thought that was contrived, but we don’t ******* fake anything here — it was all real. We could have done a behind the scenes of the behind the scenes on that one. It’s a great product. The end result was awesome. I think the cinematography is amazing. I think the storyline is great. It pumps you up when you watch it and gets you ready for what I call, just to let you know how big this fight is, it’s Haggler-Hearns, it’s Haggler-Leonard, it’s any of the big Tyson fights…. [Me and BJ] got into it a little bit. I’ve had a relationship with this kid for like 11 years. His brother described it best when he said we’re like a family. We’re a dysfunctional family sometimes, but we’re family. Not everybody agrees on everything, but it’s all good. I’m fond of B.J.. I’m fond of Georges. They’re both great guys and they’re both great athletes, and this is going to be a great fight. The whole thing with the phone call was just that all he needed to do was pick up the phone and say, ‘Everything’s good. I’m training.’ It would have avoided a lot of behind the scenes drama.”
Georges St. Pierre vs BJ Penn 2 is the fight of a lifetime
“You’re lucky if you see three or four of these fights in your lifetime. Two of the best fighters in the world in their weight classes — both champions — facing each other both in their prime. I know I keep saying this every time we put on another event, but I think this is going to be the biggest one we’ve ever done (on pay-per-view). B.J. is going to go down in history as one of the greatest lightweights in history. Georges St. Pierre has the opportunity to possibly beat B.J. Penn for the second time and possibly move up and take on Anderson Silva at 185 pounds….. It’s not boxing where one guy moves up six weight classes because he’s only jumping up three or four pounds. To hold two different titles in two different weight classes with the big jump in this sport is a big deal and something to be proud of.”
TJ Grant to Debut against Chonan at UFC 97
When most fighters learn they have finally received a coveted UFC invitation, their emotions can run the gamut, from incredulousness to joy. However, when Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, native T.J. Grant learned he had an offer to fight at UFC 97 on April 18 in Montreal, he tried to go back to sleep.
Grant (13-2) is currently half a world away, training his muay Thai with teammate Ryan Jimmo at the famed Kaewsamrit Gym in Thailand, and when his manager/trainer, Scott MacLean, gave him the big news, he did not really believe it.
Swick Injured, out at least 3 1/2 months
In recent weeks reports have circulated linking UFC welterweight competitor Mike Swick to potential fights vs. Anthony Johnson or Georges St. Pierre. While those fights still could happen at a later date, FiveOuncesOfPain.com has learned that an aggravation of a foot injury will prevent the season one veteran of The Ultimate Fighter from accepting a bout for at least the next three and a half months.