- UFC 92 TO FEATURE NOG VS MIR, GRIFFIN VS EVANS & SILVA VS RAMPAGE
The Ultimate Fighting Championship expects to close out 2008 with a bang as the promotion has decided on three key match-ups for their year end show on Dec 27.
Interim heavyweight champion, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira will face Frank Mir, while light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin returns to action defending his belt against Rashad Evans and Wanderlei Silva goes for three in a row against former 205lb champion, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
The news was confirmed by UFC President Dana White to Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports.
UFC 94: Matt Arroyo vs Dan Cramer
It’s a battle of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) contestants as season six alumnus Matt “No Regard” Arroyo (3-2) is scheduled to face season seven’s Daniel Cramer (0-0) at UFC 94 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 31, according to WrestlingObserver.com.
Arroyo was last seen getting pounded out by Matt Brown at The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale back in June. This will actually be Dan Cramer’s first professional fight despite a 3-0 amateur record and making it all the way to the TUF 7 quarterfinals.
This should prove to be an interesting fight between two competitors who match up pretty well.
UFC 94 will feature the welterweight superfight between former 170-pound champion and current lightweight kingpin BJ Penn versus current welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre.
“Rush” first fought “The Prodigy” back at UFC 58 in 2006. The two battled back-and-forth in a very close fight that ultimately ended in a split-decision - one hotly contested by Penn and his followers ever since. Now he finally has his rematch - and a chance to settle the score.
- UFC DUBLIN: FRANKLIN/HENDO & SHOGUN/COLEMAN
i know it's been posted but his time it's official
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has officially announced a return to Ireland on Jan 17, but this time they will be traveling to Dublin for the first time. Former middleweight champion, Rich “Ace” Franklin stays put at 205lbs to face Dan Henderson in a tough light heavyweight showdown as the main event.
Also on the card will be former top light heavyweight stand-out, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua moving up to heavyweight for the night to get a rematch with Mark “The Hammer” Coleman, who defeated Rua while the two were in Pride a few years ago.
Affliction Foiled Again By UFC?
At first it might not seem that way, but it seems that UFC announcing UFC 93 in Ireland on January 17 was another preemptive strike against Affliction. Although they hadn't announced it yet, it's said that 1/17 was the date Affliction/Golden Boy was targeting for their MMA/boxing show in Anaheim with Fedor headlining.
Inside the Numbers: Who Draws On PPV?
The charts below break down the relative drawing power of each fighter in comparison to the average card with out them. These numbers cover PPV’s since the beginning of 2006, which for all intents and purposes marks the beginning of the modern era of the UFC on PPV. It was during this time period that the organization was first able to fully realize the benefits of their success with The Ultimate Fighter.
Benji Radach not happy with the UFC
EliteXC newcomer Benji Radach will be fighting this Saturday during CBS’ “Saturday Night Fights” for the first time since losing in the finals of the IFL middleweight Grand Prix Finals to Matt Horwich last Dec. 29.
Radach was the odds-on favorite to become the first-ever IFL middleweight champion in that fight and a victory would have given him a perfect 6-0 record in 2007. Burned out from competing six times in one year, Radach’s body was depleted and he was not able to perform to the best of his ability.
There still was a silver lining coming out of the loss in that Radach still posted an impressive 5-1 record following a three-year hiatus from competitive MMA due to a multitude of injuries.
Due to the demise of the IFL, Radach never was able to get a second shot at claiming the title. He become a free agent two months ago and spoke with a number of suitors before signing a multi-fight deal with EliteXC.
UFC and Affliction Play Chicken
In the last few days, news leaked out of a potential January 17th UFC show in Dublin.
Rumors have already started flying about fights for the show, and while fighters have been approached about participating on the card, the show is not confirmed. It is yet to be confirmed because the whole purpose of the show is to counter program Affliction in January. At the same time, Affliction is still yet to finalize a date because they do not want to be counter-programmed by the UFC.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. They could leak a fake date and then reschedule for later, but then the UFC could do the same thing. The longer they wait, the less time there is to promote the show. Frankly, I think the competition lead to a lot more press coverage for the show in July, and I'm still not convinced one way or the other whether it hurt or helped Affliction in the end.
Affliction should just pick a date and start promoting it. Waiting longer does them no favors. I think it is a mistake for the UFC to counter them at this point, the story of UFC vs. Golden Boy will get a lot of press, and probably bring more attention to the Affliction show than it would otherwise get.
The Case Against TUF's "Six Figure Contract"
The six-figure contract is nothing more than a slick piece of marketing; its original incarnation was as a nine-fight deal that required three full years of service to earn $300,000, assuming you could go undefeated over the course of the contract. Let’s also not forget the contract is not guaranteed, which means you’re always a couple of losses away from being shown the door.
Considering the value of your average “The Ultimate Fighter” winner to the UFC, it becomes rather obvious the promotion preys on the desperation of fighters who would practically sell their souls to get their foot in the door.
As the nature of the six-figure contract has become more publicized, however, many top prospects have come to realize that their future does not rely on allowing themselves to be manipulated into becoming cash cows on the cheap.
Perhaps the most notable example is Brandon Vera, who refused to sign on the dotted line when offered a spot on TUF because he felt the contract contestants must sign was simply unfair. You’d think the perpetually vindictive White would have made sure Vera got his comeuppance by joining the UFC’s blacklist, but a funny thing happened along the way to banishing the gifted light heavyweight. Knowing it could ill afford to lose a charismatic and talented prospect like Vera to another promotion, the UFC signed him. He made $200,000 in a unanimous decision win over Reese Andy in his seventh fight inside the Octagon in July. Even more staggering, Vera pocketed more in his last three fights -- he lost two of the three -- than a TUF winner would make even if the winner went undefeated over the entire life of his initial contract.
It makes more sense for blue-chip prospects to negotiate a three-fight UFC contract that pays them less than TUF winners initially but leaves the door open for future.
UFC May Bring David Loiseau Back To Big Show
After putting together three straight wins, former UFC Middleweight Title contender David "The Crow" Loiseau has found himself back in the sights of UFC match maker Joe Silva.
A source close to the UFC has informed MMANews.com that the company is interested in bringing Loiseau back to the Octagon, possibly in his next fight. There is a possibility that Loiseau may have to take one more fight outside of the UFC depending on schedules and potential match ups, but if all goes well "The Crow" could be back sometime over the next few months.
Shane Carwin Confident of Victory
Shane Carwin will travel to Birmingham, UK to take on Neil Wain at UFC 89: Bisping vs Leben.
Carwin is one of the hottest prospects in the Heavyweight division - and the prospect of fighting away from home does not worry him.
He told UFC.com:
“It’s gonna be his backyard and I know that the fans are gonna be behind him. I’ve been in college situations before where I walked in and got booed, so that’ll probably be nothing any different for me. Sometimes that makes you a little bit more hyped up.”
Rampage: Abdul Mohamed Will Be UFC Champ
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson has moved to the Wolfslair in the UK. At his new camp - he believes he has met a fighter with a big future. In fact, Rampage has even compared Abdul Mohamed to one of the biggest names in the sport.
Rampage told gazettelive.co.uk:
“I call him mini Randy, because he looks like (UFC heavyweight champion) Randy Couture. He will get a UFC contract and he will be champion, all he has to do is believe in himself.
“He is a strong wrestler, he is a hard worker and he has got a strong mind. You can see it with the look in his eye.
“Tell the UFC to look out for mini Randy!”
HBO, WWE Executives Weigh-in on UFC
MMAPayout.com recently did a segment on Inside MMA on the PPV battles between UFC, HBO, and WWE. Multichannel News recently elaborated on this battle for supremacy, with HBO and WWE execs commenting on the situation. At least for the press, both HBO and WWE execs tend to play down the impact that the UFC is having on their business.
HBO Pay-Per-View senior vice president Mark Taffet tends to feel a rising tide is lifting all boats:
“The landscape continues to look bright,” he said, adding that HBO’s pay-per-view boxing set records in 2006 and 2007 with 2008 proceeding apace, while the traditional network’s live events are also faring well. (Boxing tends to draw an older demographic than MMA.)
“There is room for everyone,” said Taffet. “It’s good for pay-per-view — mixed martial arts has just added more consumers to the television set.”
Report: UFC 93 In Ireland On January 17
Although it hasn't been confirmed by UFC yet, there are reports that UFC will return to Ireland for UFC 93 on January 17. The event, to be held at the O2 Arena, could be headlined by Rich Franklin vs. either Chuck Liddell or Maurucio Rua.
UFC Quick Quote: Karo Parisyan inks eight fight contract extension
I love the UFC. I love Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta, they’re one of the nicest people I’ve ever met and that’s the truth. I don’t kiss ass. I had a meeting with them last week they gave me a new, eight fight contract and the deal is I’m happy with them, I’m happy with the UFC. But the deal is there is a lot of stuff even Dana can’t control. He can’t control a lot of the referees. A lot of the judges are from the commission so he can’t control all those guys. It’s very hard. He can control [them] a certain amount of time [and] a certain amount of people, but not everything.
-UFC welterweight Karo Parisyan sounds off on RawVegas.tv about some of the questionable judging in recent memory including Kimbo Slice vs. James Thompson at EliteXC ‘Primetime’ back on May 31. During the clip, “The Heat” reveals he’s just signed a new, eight fight contract extension with the UFC. Not only does that sound like an unusually large number for UFC contracts, it’s timing is a bit bizarre considering Parisyan’s recent admission of panic attacks and his last-minute exit from his fight against Yoshiyuki “Zenko” Yoshida at UFC 88 ‘Breakthrough’. Maybe the UFC loves him as much as he claims to love them.
Dale Hartt confirms fight vs. Corey Hill at UFN 16 on Dec. 10
A lightweight bout between season five veteran of “The Ultimate Fighter” Corey Hill and Dale Hartt has been signed for “UFC Fight Night 16: UFC Fights for the Troops” on Dec. 10 at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com contacted Hartt via e-mail, who confirmed he signed his bout agreement on Wednesday.
* Josh Koscheck vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida
* Mike Swick vs. Jonathan Goulet
* Frankie Edgar vs. Matt Wiman
* Nate Loughran vs. Tim Credeur
* Corey Hill vs. Dale Hartt
* Ben Saunders vs. Brandon Wolff
* Justin McCully vs. Eddie Sanchez
* Steve Bruno vs. Luke Cummo
* Luigi Fioravanti vs. Brodie Farber
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