Nogueira’s coach: “Couture has no punch”
“We think that Couture will fight standing against him, and Rodrigo thinks that too. Rodrigo is 100% prepared standing. I always said that this fight were good to Rodrigo, because Couture has no punch to knock him out, and Rodrigo boxes better than him… Rodrigo is prepared in the ground too and will work to submit, because Rodrigo has everything to submit him”, explained the coach. “Our strategy is stay away from the fence”.
– Luiz Alves, the Muay Thai coach for Antonio Rodrigo Minotauro Nogueira, tells Tatame.com that his fighter is set to stand and trade with Randy Couture at UFC 102 because the “Natural” doesn’t pack much heat on his feet. He may be right — Couture doesn’t have a clean knockout on his resume in 25 career fights. But that hasn’t necessarily stopped him from handling (and defeating) the big dogs, including Tim Sylvia, Chuck Liddell, Vitor Belfort, Tito Ortiz, Pedro Rizzo and Kevin Randleman, among others. Will he add “Big Nog” to that list on Aug. 29? For the record: Nogueira has one knockout, and just one technical knockout, in 37 career fights.
Danillo Villefort cut from UFC after just 1 fight
The truth is, the UFC answered all of these questions with their decision to release Danillo and fighters need to take it as a warning that, right or wrong, in the days of big PPV numbers the promotion doesn't have time for fighters that they feel don't deliver for the fans.
JON "BONES" JONES JOINS JACKSON
Undefeated UFC light heavyweight Jon Jones is the latest fighter to join Team Jackson's in Albuquerque, N.M., headed by highly sought after trainer Greg Jackson.
Jackson told MMAWeekly.com content partner Tapout Radio, "Jon Jones has joined our team and he's out here training. He's just a pleasure to work with. He's incredibly creative. That he's got so far with his creativity is amazing.”
Belfort doesn't want to fight Silva, but Silva would not mind
Vitor Belfort isn’t that high on an opportunity to challenge Anderson Silva for his 185-pound crown. He’ll do it, but it’s not an ideal situation to compete against a fellow Brazilian and someone who he considers a friend. However, Silva has remarked that Belfort is not his friend, but someone who he respects and is willing to fight without reservation if called upon. “The Phenom” is the latest addition to the UFC middleweight class and someone who company president, Dana White, would like to see earn a title shot to one day challenge “The Spider.” Before that can happen, however, both fighters need to take care of other business — Belfort is set to battle Rich Franklin next month and Silva is penciled in to take on Dan Henderson before year’s end. Are Belfort and Silva on a collision course, whether they like it or not?
Frank Fertitta Jr., Father Of UFC Owners, Dies
Frank Fertitta Jr., founder of Station Casinos and the father of UFC owners Frank Fertitta III and Lorenzo Fertitta, has died. He was 71. Frank Fertitta Jr. died earlier today following heart surgery in Los Angeles. He reportedly had been ill for some time. No official statements have been released yet by Station Casinos or UFC.
Report: Penn vs. Sanchez At 105
Turns out Michael Bisping may not headline UFC 105 after all. According to InsideFights, a source within UFC says that BJ Penn's next UFC Lightweight Title defense against Diego Sanchez will happen at UFC 105 in November. This comes despite Penn saying he's never do a UK event again over money issues and 105 expecting to be a free TV event in the US.
Jim Miller to face UFC newcomer Steve Lopez on UFC 103 preliminary card
With Thiago Tavares recently bowing out of a UFC 103 preliminary card matchup due to an injury, Jim Miller (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) will now fight UFC newcomer Steve Lopez (12-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC).
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned from sources close to the event that both fighters have agreed to the contest, and bout agreements are expected to be distributed shortly.
Dana White: Shane Carwin Hates Brock Lesnar
"Brock is ready to go now and wants to fight," said White. "Carwin makes the most sense. He’s 11-0, and he’s been kicking the [expletive] out of everybody. [Gabriel] Gonzaga destroyed [Mirko] Cro Cop and he [Carwin] totally destroyed Gonzaga. Plus, he hates Brock Lesnar."
Frank Mir plans on striking with Cheick Kongo at UFC 107
“I think the advantage of being well rounded is not having to force anything. As long as we’re boxing with each other, I feel very comfortable against Cheick Kongo. Obviously I don’t want to eat one of his knees, so I probably will try to strike with him a lot because if I just try to dive at him there’s always a chance of taking one of those.”
Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir dishes on his planned fight against the hard-hitting Cheick Kongo at UFC 107 from the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee on December 12. Did his TKO win over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 92 over-inflate his confidence in the stand-up game? Or does the Las Vegas native have the arsenal to stand and bang with the Parisian — who is known for his poor wrestling defense?
Brandon Vera Prepares for UFC 102 With an Eye on Lofty Goals
Brandon Vera has the loftiest goal imaginable for an MMA fighter, and even if you don't think he can do it, he's not afraid to say it publicly: Vera wants to hold the UFC heavyweight belt and the UFC light heavyweight belt simultaneously. That's the goal that drives him.
Never mind that Vera has never even been the No. 1 contender for either title, Vera insists that he can do it. But in the mean time, he's just focused on beating Krzysztof Soszynski, the man who will be on the other side of the Octagon from Vera on August 29 at UFC 102. In an interview with FanHouse, Vera discussed the upcoming fight and his long-term plans in the sport. The full interview is below.
MINOTAURO NOGUEIRA IS STILL IN THE GAME
Three fights into his UFC career, former Pride and UFC champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira says the best is yet to come. And though his headlining fight with Randy Couture at UFC 102 may be long overdue, he feels it’s the best opportunity possible for redemption.
“I’m gonna have a lot of people against me, but I’ve been very focused and very well-trained,” he told reporters during a media teleconference Tuesday.
For a guy that’s been in the game as long as he has, ups and downs come with the territory. The stakes, however, have doubled since he’s come to the UFC and met with mixed success.
Shane Carwin ‘honored’ to fight Brock Lesnar at UFC 106
“I have verbally been offered the fight with Brock and I have verbally accepted this fight. My manager and the UFC are handling the the details. I am honored that the UFC has given me this opportunity. The fans of this sport are what makes MMA so great. I expect to be fighting at UFC 106 in November.”
Number one heavyweight title contender Shane Carwin shares his first public thoughts on challenging division champion Brock Lesnar at UFC 106 from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Nov. 21. Carwin was expected to take on Cain Velasquez at UFC 104 on Oct. 24; however, the promotion today shifted gears and opted instead to put him up against someone his own size — Carwin and Lesnar are far and away the biggest competitors on the UFC roster. And they both have strong wrestling backgrounds. On paper, the fighters appear to be very evenly matched. However, Lesnar has dedicated himself to training mixed martial arts for the past few years. Meanwhile, Carwin still holds down a full-time job as an engineer at the North Weld County Water District in Colorado.
UFC 103 Undercard to be Televised on Spike TV
The “UFC 103: Franklin vs. Belfort” pay-per-view card is going toe-to-toe with the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Juan Manuel Marquez HBO pay-per-view event on Sept. 19.
The UFC is known for its creative marketing and counter-programming tactics and it looks like the MMA giant has come up with a good plan to beef up awareness for UFC 103.
The UFC will air a two-hour telecast of the UFC 103 undercard commercial free on Spike TV as a lead in for the UFC 103 main card on pay-per-view, according to a source at the UFC.