BJ Penn, Michael Bisping, Urijah Faber and Carlos Condit to visit troops in Afghanistan
UFC Lightweight Champion BJ Penn and middleweight contender Michael Bisping, along with WEC champions Carlos Condit and Urijah Faber, will soon travel to Afghanistan to visit with United States military and other coalition troops stationed there.
Here’s a snip from UFC President Dana White:
“We are honored to send UFC and WEC fighters to visit the men and women of the United States Military. We are pleased to be giving back to such a great cause; many of our fighters have served in the military and understand what a great contribution our troops are making overseas.”
No timetable for the visit or duration of the trip was announced at this time. However, Condit is set to defend his 170-pound title on August 3, meaning it has to happen real soon or after WEC 35.
This is certainly not the first time Zuffa has dispatched a small contingent of its fighters overseas. Randy Couture, Rich Franklin and Rachelle Leah visited troops in Iraq back in 2006. Tito Ortiz and Justin McCully have also been fixtures on recent USO tours.
Remember that the promotion staged a special Spike TV live event in an aircraft hangar at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, Calif., on December 13 that was open only for troops to attend. It featured a main event between Diego Sanchez and Joe Riggs, which the “Nightmare” won via first round knockout.
And there’s also been discussions that the UFC plans to hold a future event on the deck of a Navy aircraft carrier.
More Reality On The Way From UFC
In the most recent issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer intimated that there may be more reality programming on the way from the UFC, in addition to The Ultimate Fighter:
"UFC is going to do a new reality show. I don't know the details of the show itself, but my impression is it involves Matt Hughes in a big way."
Hughes would seem an excellent choice for the new reality concept. Hughes's career has benefited greatly from his two stints as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter.
Matt Hughes Wants Matt Serra Showdown
Former UFC champion Matt Hughes had a long journey home after his defeat at UFC 85: Bedlam. Hughes was beaten in the second round of his fight with Thiago Alves at the 02 Arena in South East London. Hughes has had time to reflect on the defeat and consider his future as a fighter.
He shared his views on his blog at www.matt-hughes.com .
“Well, I didn’t think I’d come back writing something up after a loss. I fully expected to win, things didn’t go my way. Thiago came in big, some people told me that he looked bigger than me in the octagon. I didn’t expect that but I also think that had nothing to do with the outcome of the fight.
PS. Thiago really did come in big! He made Hughes look tiny in comparison i thought.
Evan Tanner blog on Spike.com coming soon
“I’ll be making two to three posts a week. Spike’s given me the freedom to talk about whatever’s on my mind, within reason of course.
1. I’ll be giving training updates, with pictures and video footage, sparring sessions, technique sessions, and strength and conditioning sessions. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some behind the scenes footage in the dressing room before and after fights, and footage of everything else that goes on that’s never shown on the UFC event coverage.
2. I’ll also be giving thoughts on upcoming events, and individual fights. And sometimes, I’ll be doing post fight reviews. I’m sure I’ll have a thing or two to say about developments with the UFC and the MMA world in general.
Ken Shamrock's Lion's Den NEW Elite Fight Team
The next generation of MMA champions have been chosen. MMA Legend Ken Shamrock recently held open tryouts for the highly anticipated Lion's Den Scottsdale Elite Team. The tryouts, open to all experienced professional fighters, took place at Shamrock's newest MMA training facility located in Scottsdale Arizona.
With MMA, UFC influence spilling over to wrestling, are Olympics next?
The U.S. Olympic wrestling trials begin Thursday in Las Vegas. It's the perfect location because so much of the chatter surrounding the event is focused on pushing the ancient sport to sexy, combative extremes.
"People aren't trying to pin each other anymore," said Jason Townsend, who is promoting a new style -- "Grappling" -- for USA Wrestling, the sport's national governing body. "They're trying to choke each other, arm-bar, leg-lock and get their opponent to say, 'Uncle.' How long can you hold out before you tap out?'"
You "tap out" before turning blue, feeling your knee burst or your arm snap.
Welcome to 21st-century international wrestling, and -- perhaps -- the future of Olympic wrestling. Buffeted by a perfect storm of marketing and cultural vectors striking Olympic sports, wrestling -- arguably the most traditional of all -- can be traced back thousands of years, when, Townsend said, "wherever people were, whether they were in a tree, they were wrestling. People have evolved with wrestling."
Freestyle, which is similar to high school and college wrestling, and Greco-Roman, in which no holds or actions are permitted below the waist, remain the classic Olympic styles and are on the Beijing program. But that almost certainly won't be the case 20, 10 or perhaps even five years from now.
"There is a school of thought among traditionalists that our sport will exist in its current form forever," USA Wrestling executive director Rich Bender said. "But even those within that traditionalist community would have to admit our sport has changed. We have to keep our eyes wide-open."
The International Olympic Committee has made it known it seeks to modernize its sports to better attract young audiences. Consider the advent of BMX cycling in Beijing this summer, or snowboarding in the Winter Games.
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) have exploded onto the sports scene recently, giving rise to the new wrestling style, Grappling, which was approved by FILA, the international wrestling federation, in 2006.
UFC Quick Quote: Thales Leites not interested in Nate Marquardt rematch
“I don’t think so [take a rematch with Nate Marquardt]. He did a lot of illegal things to me. In my opinion it was his obligation to knock me out in the second round after the illegal knee. If he wants to fight me again I think he should get to the line, and wait in it again. I’m looking for the title-shot. He had his chance before, and he couldn’t get it so now it’s my time.”
‘Those who cant … teach:’ MMAmania.com exclusive interview Juanito Ibarra
UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is a wanted man — not just inside the Octagon, but outside of it, too.
With the conclusion of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 7, which he was a coach alongside Forrest Griffin, he is now hunkering down in Big Bear, Calif., to prepare for his monster upcoming title defense at UFC 86: “Jackson vs. Griffin” on July 5.
UFC Headed To Nebraska In September
Although UFC has not announced it yet, multiple sources have confirmed that UFN 14 in September will be held at the Omaha Civic Auditorium in Omaha, Nebraska. No main event has been signed but Nate Diaz & Houston Alexander will be fighting on the card.
Nate Diaz camp confirms UFC Fight Night 14 bout with Josh Neer
As expected "The Ultimate Fighter 5" winner Nate Diaz (9-2 MMA, 4-0 UFC) will meet veteran Josh Neer (24-6-1 MMA, 3-3 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 14 in September.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) was the first to report the fight, which has now been signed, according to graciefighter.com, home to Cesar Gracie's training center in Pleasant Hill, Calif.
Dana White Refutes N.Y. Regulation Is Topic Of "Big Announcement"
As we previously reported, UFC President Dana White made a guest appearance yesterday on CNBC's "Power Lunch" to announce a merchandising deal with JAKKS. During the interview White took time to publicly address rumors that are swirling around the internet involving another big announcement that the UFC has planned for next Tuesday - stating that Floyd Mayweather will not be signing with the UFC, the company will not go public, Vince McMahon will not buy out the Fertitta's and the UFC will not be shown on free TV anytime soon. (Click here to watch the interview)
The nature of the UFC's big announcement has remained secret, but White has boasted that the announcement will reveal MMA's direction over the next five years. Fans and insiders have speculated about the nature of the announcement and a variety of plausible scenarios have surfaced; all from "reliable sources", all appear legitimate and all of this speculation greatly benefits the UFC.
After EliteXC's mainstream success and Affliction signing or partnering up with every big name tough guy out there, including business mogul Donald Trump, is it possible that White and Co. floated a number of these rumors to in order to drum up some interest and get the conversation back onto the UFC? While unlikely, it's certainly not out of the realm of possibility, and the fact remains that all of this speculation can only be good for the industry leaders.
White and the UFC appear to be getting such a kick, not to mention publicity, out of all of the speculation surrounding their impending press conference that they decided to let us all flail about a bit more by pushing back the day of the press conference from this Thursday to next Tuesday. Good business decision, bad for all of us grown-ups who had a tough time waiting for Christmas as kids.
Sam Caplin reported earlier today that he had revealed White's big surprise; an MMA New York sanction, but that was quickly shot down by White himself through German MMA reporter Oliver Copp. Apparently, White told Copp and other reporters in London that the big surprise would not be New York regulation. There you have it.
Thiago Alves on feud with Matt Hughes, missing weight, title shot
Defeating longtime UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes (42-7 MMA, 15-5 UFC) is an impressive notch on any fighter's belt, but for Thiago Alves (20-4 MMA, 8-2 UFC), this past Saturday's UFC 85 main event knockout victory was especially sweet for more reasons than one.
"When my boss called me and said, 'You are going to fight Matt Hughes,' I was like '[expletive] yeah, I am going to fight him!'" Alves said.
“The last part of the fight was what we call at the gym “Swicking Out”… I actually was trying to get my punches through but he was doing a great job at blocking them so I got creative. I was actually at one point going to sit up and donky kong hammer fist them in but actually changed my mind and stuck to the less effective freestyle swimming technique. Amazingly it looked so much better in my head than how it turned out! You just have to know that in my head I was a ground n pounding machine with brutal power and perfect technique… I guess I am not quite the ninja I think I am sometimes…”
I thought they looked like two kids on the playground... that's how I used to fight. It is funny to hear is perspective.