Just a reminder to UFC fans that Spike TV will be a new show called “Live and Inside” tonight at 10PM ET/PT. The show will feature the weigh-ins for UFC 62: Liddell vs. Sobral along with a huge announcement from UFC President Dana White.
I expect the big announcement to be Shamrock vs. Ortiz III on Spike TV in October. Also I’m sure they’ll make mention of the rematch between B.J. Penn and Matt Hughes.
“The Iceman” broke on to the UFC scene back in 1998 when the sport was still considered barbaric. Since that time Zuffa LLC purchased the company and implemented rules which have made it one of the fastest growing sports around. Nowadays Chuck Liddell is considered one of the sports biggest names and first millionaires. With all that being said he is still the same guy who grew up in San Luis Obispo, California.
“I’m a fighter, man,” said the 38-year old Liddell. “All this other stuff, this celebrity stuff, I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s good making some money now, but I’m the same person I always have been. Nothing that comes along is going to change me.”
“When people ask me how long I think I can do this, to me, that is the silliest question,” he said. “I have been training to fight since I was 12 years old. I’m a fighter. That’s all I know and that’s all I want to be.”
Liddell has been on a role of late racking up five wins in a row with KO victories over Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture twice, Vernon White and Jeremy Horn. Liddell is looking to continue his streak against Renato Sobral who he previously knocked out with a beautiful kick to the head.
“I know people look at the first fight (with Sobral) and say that I knocked him out, but that doesn’t mean anything for this fight,” said Liddell, who also flustered Couture’s legendary grappling skills. “Any time you’re matched up with someone, anyone can leave themselves open for one punch or one kick. That’s just the way it is. Babalu keeps winning and he keeps getting better and better and he’s a really smart fighter.”
In November of 2002, Renato “Babalu” prepared for his fourth appearance in the octagon against Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell at UFC 40: Vendetta. Early in the first round Sobral took Liddell’s shin square off the head and was left on the canvas dazed and confused.
Since that time Babalu has stated that the only thing on his mind has been the loss to Chuck Liddell and he is looking for some redemption.
“I have been thinking of that fight for four years,” Sobral told The Canadian Press from Las Vegas.
“He’s in my dreams,” he added of the Iceman.
Here is my preview of UFC 62: Bitter Rivals. I only wrote my thoughts for the main card but the full card looks like this…
Main Card Bouts:
Chuck Liddell vs. Renato “Babalu” Sobral
Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar
Josh Neer vs. Nick Diaz
Hermes Franca vs. Jamie Varner
Christian Wellisch vs. Cheick Kongo
Yushin Okami vs. Alan Belcher
Rob MacDonald vs. Eric Schafer
Wes Combs vs. Wilson Gouveia
David Heath vs. Cory Walmsley
This Saturday Extreme Challenge will invade Hayward, Wisconsin where it will hold Extreme Challenge 70. The card has a solid main event which will feature UFC veteran Brock Larson going up against Edward O’Daniel. Larson is currently on a five fight winning streak with his last loss coming in the UFC against Jon Fitch. O’Daniel is coming off of his first loss which was a KO to the hands of Chad Reiner.
Also on the card will be the finals of the welterweight tournament started at Extreme Challenge 68. Chad Reiner and Dustin Hazelett will square off for the championship.
Finally there will be a 4-man lightweight tournament which will feature Clay French, Lee Gibson, Justin James and Alonso Martinez.
Extreme Challenge 70
Aug. 26, 2006 * LCO Casino, Hayward, Wis.
Edward O’Daniel (3-1) vs. Brock Larson (18-1)
170 tourney final
Dustin Hazelett (8-2) vs. Chad Reiner (12-0)
4-man 155 tourney
Clay French (7-0) vs. Alonso Martinez (13-9)
Lee Gibson (4-0) vs. Justin James (11-5)
John Meyer (3-2) vs. Tom Speer (4-0)
George Foster (1-0) vs. Pete Stauner (1-1)
TBA vs. Tony Belvidere 145
Its official, UFC’s welterweight number one contender Georges “Rush” St. Pierre has been forced to pull out of his long awaited rematch with UFC Champion Matt Hughes. St. Pierre pulled his groin during training and he made it official today that he would not be fighting after a few days of speculation.
BJ “The Prodigy” Penn will serve as St. Pierre’s replacement and rightfully so. Penn is the last man to beat Hughes and on September 23rd the rivalry will be renewed.
Fox Sports will continue its partnership with Pride Fighting Championship Sunday, August 27th as they will broadcast fights from Pride Fighting Championship Bushido Survival 2nd Round. None of the fights will be shown in North America on pay per view so FSN will have a two-hour special.
The special will feature three main events and if time permits they could broadcast as many as nine bouts. The first bout will be Dan Henderson vs. Kazuo Masaki followed by Dennis Kang vs. Amar Suloev and finally Takanori Gomi vs. David Baron.
In a recent article with the Miami Herald, UFC President Dana White stated that the UFC is currently in the works to put a deal together which would see them producing seasons of The Ultimate Fighter featuring Mexico and UK with fighters from their respective countries fighting.
“We’re trying to put a deal together right now for the Ultimate Fighter: Mexico, where we just have Mexican fighters. Same scenario, just for Mexico. Right now, the Ultimate Fighter plays in Mexico in English, and it’s a huge hit down there. We think Ultimate Fighter: Mexico will be huge. We’re doing the Ultimate Fighter: UK. That’s why we started with two guys from the UK last season. All three seasons have aired in the UK too.’‘
Also in the article Dana White stated that domestic agreements with ESPN and HBO are expected soon.
“There’s never a deal until a deal is done. . . . but, yeah, we’re going to do a deal with HBO,’’ White said. “HBO is getting pulled, kicking and screaming, into this thing. They’ve obviously spent millions of dollars on boxing. [HBO Sports president] Ross Greenberg has boxing gloves running through his veins. It’s a real kick in the [groin] for all the boxing people to see this thing coming up the way it is. It is what it is. It’s here. It’s not going anywhere. This is what all the young people like. It’s going to be around for a while.’‘
Icon Sport has announced the full card for their September 2nd event titled “Mayhem vs. Lawler”.
ICON SPORT: Mayhem vs. Lawler
7:30pm September 2ND
Jason Miller vs Robbie Lawler
Ron Verdadero vs Nick Ring
Jason Dent vs Kolo Koka
Ikaika Silva vs Tyson Nam
Mike Russo vs Jay Jack
Kimo Woelfel vs Sydney Silva
Paul Gorman vs. Mark Oshiro
Marshall Harvest vs Makana Albino
Chico Cantiberas vs. Kevin Delima
Lowen Cabuag vs Kenneth Gusman
Keoni Bryant vs Derek Stadler
Shaun Durfee vs. Thomas Ferguson
Peni Taufa’ao vs. Ricky Wallace
Pride has annouced two more bouts for the upcoming Final Conflict Absolute 2006 on September 10th: Kazuhiro Nakamura will fight Yoshihiro Nakao and Yousuke Nishijima will take on Evangelista Cyborg. After the press conference, Yousuke Nishijima had quite an opinion on Mike Tyson.
In reference to Tyson appearing in the Pride press conference in California he said, “I was very impressed. Mike Tyson is a superstar, and I would like to fight him, if I have the opportunity.”