Jardine forces his way into picture
Forrest Griffin has the next shot at the UFC’s light heavyweight title.
But Griffin has already lost to Keith Jardine.
One-time 205-pound king Chuck Liddell wants another crack at the belt, currently held by his nemesis, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
Liddell, too, has already lost to Jardine.
And Wanderlei Silva, who has two wins over Jackson, concedes that while he’s thinking of dropping to middleweight after his fight Saturday at UFC 84 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, he also wouldn’t mind a shot at Jackson’s belt.
Silva, not surprisingly, has a bout with Jardine on Saturday.
And when it’s brought to Silva’s attention that Jardine has not yet had a crack at the belt, he’s puzzled.
“Keith is a very difficult fighter,” Silva said. “If anyone should be fighting for a title, it’s him.”
Cheick Kongo vs. Dan Evensen Set: UFC 87
French striker Cheick Kongo will look to get back on his winning streak when he takes on UFC newcomer Dan Evensen. They will battle it out at UFC 87: ‘Seek and Destroy' to be held at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minn., on August 9.
Josh Neer returns at UFC Fight Night 14
Josh Neer (24-6-1 MMA, 3-3 UFC) will look to build upon a recent victory over Din Thomas when he returns at UFC Fight Night 14 in September.
A source close to the fighter told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Neer, who's won seven of his past eight fights, has agreed to fight at the Sept. 17 event, which airs on Spike TV.
An opponent for the 25-year-old the Team Miletich fighter has not been finalized.
AFTER UFC 84, SILVA EYES RAMPAGE AND LIDDELL
Rematches have become one of the most compelling storylines in all of mixed martial arts. From the trilogy of fights between Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture, to the fights featuring Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock, rematches mean big business in MMA.
Two potential rematches that seem almost certain to happen involve former Pride middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva. As he prepares for his upcoming bout at UFC 84 against Keith Jardine, he knows that fights with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Chuck Liddell may have new life down the road.
During his time with the Japanese promotion Pride, Silva defeated Jackson two separate times, finishing both fights with strikes and handing Rampage two of his more devastating losses. The Brazilian recently spoke to MMAWeekly Radio where he intimated that a third fight is definitely in order.
“Of course I want to fight him,” said Silva about another fight with Rampage. “Him and I are going to have to fight, maybe next year, or however I’m going to fight with him. I want to fight him in the Octagon, because I want to beat him here in the United States, in the Octagon.”
Never short on words, Rampage has rarely had nice things to say about Silva and the former Pride champion has taken notice.
“Guys don’t talk much (expletive) about me. The guy is talking a lot in interviews. I’ve looked at him many times at events, he don’t look at my eyes,” Silva commented. “He’s (saying), ‘Oh I’m not afraid of him,’ but he don’t look at my eyes.
“I don’t know what the problem is. They have a problem with me, come and talk to me, don’t talk on an interview. If I have a problem with some guy, I’m going to go talk and say, ‘hey man, I don’t like you.’ I talk to them (face to face).”
Anderson Silva's "Mother" passes away
UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva was in Curitiba, Brazil on Tuesday following the death of his aunt. Her name was not immediately available, but a source close to the fighter confirmed that the woman had raised Silva from his youth and that he thought of her as his mother. She passed away Monday.
UFC 88 To Be Held In Atlanta?
Tim Boetsch made the following announcement on his official myspace page:
Subject: UFC Sept. 6 Atlanta
Body: The Barbarian returns to the octagon to take out James Lee on Sept 6. Get your tickets! It is going to be a good show!!!!
September 6 falls on a Saturday about a month from UFC 87 which takes place in Minnesota Aug 9. Being that the event's on a Saturday it's sure to be a PPV and given the timing, will likely be UFC 88.
Tim Boetsch (10-2) is coming off of a TKO loss to Matt Hamill at UFN 13. Boetsch informed Fightline.com that he had expected to face Houston Alexander, but appears excited by the prospects of entering the octagon opposite James Lee.
Leben Out Of Jail, In Home Detention
Chris Leben was released from jail in Oregon on May 15, and is now finishing his jail sentence under home detention. He was due out May 27. An update on when his next UFC fight will be is expected after all of Leben's legal and personal issues are resolved.
Machida could make big name - Front page Yahoo!sports
The third, and in many ways, key player in Saturday night’s Tito Ortiz-Dana White drama: unbeaten Brazilian-born Lyoto Machida.
Machida, who years ago was groomed for superstar status in Japan but never quite achieved it, may have his career in the U.S. determined largely based on Saturday’s fight.
He’ll either be remembered as the guy who sent Ortiz out of the UFC with his tail between his legs, and in the process put himself in line for a light heavyweight title shot, or he’ll be the guy whose loss led to one of the company’s most embarrassing moments, allowing former light heavyweight champion Ortiz to upstage White, UFC’s president.
White almost never talks about whom he wants to see win a fight, but he’s publicly stated he wants Machida to beat the hell out of Ortiz.
Couture Nabs Victory in Court
Backed by Mark Cuban's HDNet Fights promotion, estranged UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture nabbed a substantial victory Monday in his ongoing legal dispute against Zuffa.
The District Court of Dallas County, Texas, denied Zuffa's three motions to stay, delay and/or dismiss HDNet's challenge of Couture's promotional contract, on which Zuffa says the fighter still owes two bouts.
The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale in high-def, slotted for three hours
The finale of "The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rampage vs. Team Forrest," which features a main event of former UFC middleweight champ Evan Tanner vs. Kendall Grove, will run three hours, and for the first time, will be presented in high-definition.
Spike TV today confirmed details for the June 21 event, including fights for the night's undercard. The televised main card airs at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Previously reported fights of Spencer Fisher vs. Jeremy Stephens, Jeremy Horn vs. Dean Lister, Josh Burkman vs. Dustin Hazelett, and Marvin Eastman vs. Drew McFedries were all confirmed today.
The Grove vs. Tanner fight, as well as a welterweight bout between Luigi Fioravanti and Diego Sanchez, were previously announced by the UFC.
The event will also feature the two finalists from the current season of "TUF." The final preliminary bout airs this coming Wednesday, and the cast will then be whittled down to eight remaining quarter-finalists. As with past seasons of the show, the winner earns a six-figure contract with the UFC and an assortment of prizes.
Chuck Liddell eyes fall return, title shot
Forced to withdraw from the main event of UFC 85 due to a torn hamstring, fan favorite Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell (21-5 MMA, 16-3 UFC) is now looking to return to the octagon in early fall. And although an opponent has not been determined, Liddell feels a win would earn him a shot at the light-heavyweight title he lost a year ago.
Liddell discussed his return while a recent guest on TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), a content partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
"It wasn't very fun," Liddell said regarding the injury. "But I've been doing rehab on it, and it's been going real well. I'm hoping to be back fighting in late summer, early fall. You know, September or November."
The latest officially announced UFC date is UFC 87, on Aug. 9 in Minneapolis, Minn. Liddell ruled that date out, stating it was "too early."
Once a date has been determined, Liddell and the UFC can work on arranging a match-up. The 38-year-old would still be willing to take on his original opponent, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, provided the Brazilian recovers from his own knee injury in time.
"It's a possibility," Liddell said of the bout. "If he's healthy and I'm healthy, it's a fight that makes sense."
Regardless whom Liddell ends up facing, the ex-champion feels a victory should be enough to earn him a shot to reclaim the title.
"I've been ready to fight the champion for a long time," Liddell said. "(If) I win in the fall, I think I deserve a title shot."
Liddell is also anxious to avenge his two most recent losses, to light heavyweight champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, and the rapidly improving Keith Jardine.
Ortiz guarantees victory
"The Huntington Beach Bad Boy," Tito Ortiz, completes his contractual obligation with the Ultimate Fighting Championship when he steps in the octagon at UFC 84 against Lyoto Machida. Ortiz spoke with MMAWeekly about his training, his focus and his match up with the undefeated Brazilian.
"I'm really healthy. I feel great. I feel really, really good," said Ortiz. "I'm excited about this fight. I'm very focused. This fight means the world to me. I'm not just fighting myself. I'm fighting for every one of those fans, the Tito Ortiz fans that support me."
As excited as Ortiz is for his showdown with Machida, it wasn't the fight he wanted for his final bout in the UFC. "It doesn't matter who I fight to me. In the beginning I thought the Rashad Evans deal was supposed to happen," said the former UFC light heavyweight champion. "They built it, it was going to happen, and that's what I expected. And I know a lot of fans expected that."
"The UFC has their own game plan. They have their own ideas of how they want to run things, and I turned it down at first, saying why would I want to fight Lyoto? There's no reason to. But then I just started going on, and I was like, I don't really care. Whoever you want me to fight, I'll fight. That's really what it came down to. No diss toward Lyoto. He's a great fighter, undefeated, but I thought they were building the Rashad Evans fight. I wanted to fight Rashad again because I thought I beat him the first time."
Silva No-Shows MFS Seminar In Houston
UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva was not at a scheduled Miletich Fighting Systems (MFS) seminar in Houston this past weekend due to "personal family health issues" according to MFS. But there are rumors of MFS being misled as Silva may actually have been opening the Miami gym he's started with fellow Champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and that could lead to legal action if true.
Kongo Returns At UFC 87
Coming off a unanimous decision loss to Heath Herring that perhaps cost him a title shot, Cheick Kongo returns to UFC at UFC 87 in August. He'll face Dan Evensen, who will make his UFC debut.
A Beached Bad Boy
If the UFC's ancillary video producers are on their game, they'll have a camera fixed on company president Dana White during the Lyoto Machida/Tito Ortiz bout Saturday -- preferably one in high definition, all the better to capture every dripping bead of sweat on White's reflectively smooth head.
After a years-long war of words that would make Vince McMahon glow with pride, White and Ortiz are finally set to go their separate ways, with White to continue chairing the biggest, most self-aggrandizing MMA organization in the world and Ortiz to ply his trade for one of the UFC's many upstart competitors.
The emotional volume of Ortiz's exit will go up considerably should he beat Machida, a 12-0 fighter being groomed as a future contender for the light heavyweight title. Ortiz will certainly see a victory as one final shot at White and his flagrantly insulting disposition, and a Machida win would act as a springboard for White to continue burying Ortiz in the media.
But unless Machida devastates Ortiz -- unlikely, considering his preference for a tactical chess game over a firefight -- there's little opportunity for White to whitewash what is arguably the most substantial exodus of talent from his company since its inception.
Chuck Liddell hamstring injury is ‘not good’
His injury’s not good. He can barely bend over and tie his shoe. He tore his leg real bad. It’s pretty nasty…. I know the doctor told him to kind of play it by ear. It’s one of those things that can heal in six days, or it could heal in 16 weeks. The doctor doesn’t really know. It depends on how fast Chuck can recover.”
– UFC President Dana White talks with FOXSports.com about the hamstring injury that Chuck Liddell recently sustained training for his fight with Rashad Evans at UFC 85: “Bedlam” in London, England, on June 7. He had to withdraw from the fight and there is no timetable for the return of the 39-year-old former light heavyweight champion. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua — who is also recovering from an injury — has encouraged “Iceman” to wait until he is 100 percent so the two can lock horns once and for all sometime in late 2008.