Andrei Arlovski

Arlovski Could Sign With Affliction Next Week


Andrei Arlovski. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Despite various rumors circulating that Andrei Arlovski could very well be International Fight League veteran Ben Rothwell’s opponent at Affliction’s “Banned” show on July 19th at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, it seems that the Belarusian may not be able to sign with the popular California-based clothing company until May 19th.

The news comes from Josh Gross of Sports Illustrated. Gross speculates that Arlovski will not be able to officially get out of his contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship until next week when he successfully completes all remaining fights on his contract and waits out an exclusive negotiating period.

At the same time, the UFC will still have the ability to match whatever Affliction offers Arlovski. However, with the offer reported to be somewhere in the six-figure, three non-exclusive bout range, it seems very unlikely that Dana White will do so, especially after his comments to Yahoo! Sports Kevin Iole earlier this week.

“It’s funny you should ask me that,” White said when asked about Arlovski by Iole. “We were just talking about Arlovski. We want to sign him. It’s our intention to sign him. But I don’t know. We’re, well, I don’t know. We want to. Whether we will or not, I have no idea. We like Andrei and I know the fans like Andrei. I hope we can do something.”

Arlovski’s camp has offered no comment except to say that they are still in ongoing negotiations with the UFC, but all signs as of right now point to Arlovski being introduced at Affliction’s first-ever event-related press conference next Tuesday in Los Angeles.

Another thing interesting of note that Gross brought up in his column today - FOX Sports’ George Greenberg is expected to be in attendance at the press conference as well, potentially signaling that at least part of Affliction’s inaugural event may be televised on FSN in some capacity, also further confirming that any kind of relationship between the promotion and HDNet is rocky to say the least at this point.

HT: Cage Potato

Report: Four Prelims Signed for Affliction Show


Savant Young. Photo by Tracy Lee. Courtesy of CombatLifestyle.com

On the same day that Affliction Clothing makes it’s official entrance into the world of promoting mixed martial arts events, details regarding four signed preliminary bouts for it’s upcoming planned “Banned” show on July 19th at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California have come to light.

The news comes from Sergio Non of USA Today, who confirmed the fights with Affliction VP Tom Atencio.

IFL veteran Savant Young, who recently earned a huge upset win over former Shooto featherweight title contender Takeshi Inoue last weekend, will take on WEC and TKO veteran Mark Hominick in the most high-profile preliminary bout.

Additional dark matches include UFC veteran Justin Levens vs. Ray Lazama, Mike Pyle vs. Brett Cooper, and J.J. Ambrose vs. Patrick Speight.

Atencio also informed Non that Ben Rothwell will indeed fight at the event but an opponent for the Miletich Fighting Systems product has yet to have been determined. Various sources have been reporting that former UFC heavweight champion Andrei Arlovski may very well be Rothwell’s counterpart in the cage but it’s still unknown whether or not he will continue to free agency after finishing out the remainder of his deal with the UFC two months ago.

Contracts for a heavyweight clash between Aleksander Emelianenko and Paul Buentello have also reportedly been sent out to both fighters but have not yet been returned signed.

The potential fight card for the event now looks like this:

Main Card:

Fedor Emelianenko vs. Tim Sylvia
Josh Barnett vs. Pedro Rizzo
Matt Lindland vs. Fabio Negao
Mike Whitehead vs. Renato Sobral
Aleksander Emelianenko vs. Paul Buentello
Ben Rothwell vs. TBA

Preliminary Bouts:

Mark Hominick vs. Savant Young
Justin Levens vs. Ray Lazama
Mike Pyle vs. Brett Cooper
J.J. Ambrose vs. Patrick Speight

UFC 82 Thoughts and Notes

Some brief thoughts and notes from last night’s UFC 82: Pride of a Champion…

Full audio of the post-fight press conference here courtesy of Steve Cofield. Sam Caplan gives his take here, here, and here. Michael Rome here. Brian Knapp here.

Official news and numbers

Let’s get straight down to the facts. The official attendance inside the Nationwide Arena was 16,431. The live gate is expected to be somewhere around $2.2 million.

Fight of the Night honors went to Anderson Silva and Dan Henderson, who each received $60,000. Silva also earned $60,000 for submission of the night. Chris Leben won the same amount for his stoppage of Alessio Sakara.

Josh Koscheck and Yushin Okami both suffered separate hand injuries in their fights. Both Koscheck and Andrei Arlovski completed the last fights on their respective contracts with the UFC and are now officially free agents.

Silva looks unstoppable

I said before last night that if Anderson Silva dispatched of Dan Henderson easily, then I’d go ahead and claim that he is unstoppable. He is. He’s completely cleaned out the entire middleweight division. I was long a proponent that guys using the Team Quest style of fighting were bad matchups for Silva but obviously that isn’t the case. Silva shows us an entire new dimension of his game every time out.

While a rematch against Okami (who is now pretty much the top contender unless the UFC plans on bringing someone else in or creating a new plan) is intriguing, it’s pretty much set in stone that Silva would pick him apart on the feet. I don’t necessarily agree with Dana White’s constant statement that Silva is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport completely, but I will say that he’s getting dangerously close to achieving that honor.

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Silva Submits Henderson; Becomes Undisputed


Anderson Silva weighs-in for UFC 82: Pride of a Champion. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Anderson Silva passed his toughest test yet as champion with flying colors, submitting former Olympic wrestler Dan Henderson and successfully defending his UFC middleweight title for the third straight time, becoming the second undisputed champ in mixed martial arts history while doing it.

Even in defeat, Henderson perhaps gave the best performance against the champion to date. After an exchange on the feet to start the fight, Henderson was able to take Silva down and control him on the mat until the end of the round.

Although Silva did a good job of keeping a tight guard and preventing Henderson from doing any significant damage, the Team Quest co-founder used a number of hammer fists and the constant disruption of Silva’s breathing pattern to take the lead on the judge’s scorecards.

Silva heeded advice to crank up the pressure at the start of the second round, waving Henderson towards him and then stunning him with a mix of kicks, knees, and punches. A dazed Henderson swung wildly while trying to keep himself from falling over and then came up short in a takedown attempt.

Silva (21-4) capitalized by pouncing on his opponent. After softening him up with punches from inside his guard, Henderson (22-7) gave up his back and was forced to tap out via a rear naked choke moments later.

“My hat goes off to Anderson Silva,” Henderson said during a post-fight interview. “He was definitely the better fighter tonight. I controlled him well and beat him up a little bit in that first round and he came back ready to get after me in the second. He dazed me a little bit on the ground and then he got me in the choke.”

“I think I should have been more aggressive,” continued Henderson. “I didn’t fully execute my gameplan.”

Continue reading "Silva Submits Henderson; Becomes Undisputed"

UFC 82: Pride of a Champion Weigh-In Results


Anderson Silva and Dan Henderson weigh-in for UFC 82: Pride of a Champion. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The official weigh-in results for tonight’s UFC 82: Pride of a Champion are below. All fighters successfully made weight.

UFC 82 features a main event, middleweight title unification bout between current UFC title holder Anderson Silva and PRIDE champion Dan Henderson.

The show will also include a heavyweight affair between Cheick Kongo and Heath Herring as well as the return of former champion Evan Tanner as he takes on Japanese sensation Yushin Okami.

Main Card:

Dan Henderson (184.5 lbs) vs Anderson Silva (185 lbs)
Heath Herring (248 lbs) vs Cheick Kongo (233.5 lbs)
Yushin Okami (184.5 lbs) vs Evan Tanner (185 lbs)
Chris Wilson (169.5 lbs) vs Jon Fitch (170 lbs)
Alessio Sakara (185 lbs) vs Chris Leben (185 lbs)

Preliminary Fights:

Jake O’Brien (231.5 lbs) vs Andrei Arlovski (241 lbs)
Luigi Fioravanti (170.5 lbs) vs Luke Cummo (170 lbs)
Dustin Hazelett (170 lbs) vs Josh Koscheck (169.5 lbs)
David Bielkheden (170 lbs) vs Diego Sanchez (169.5 lbs)
John Halverson (155 lbs) vs Jorge Gurgel (154.5 lbs)

Video of the weigh-ins are after the jump, courtesy of ESPN:

Continue reading "UFC 82: Pride of a Champion Weigh-In Results"

Previewing UFC 82: Pride of a Champion

Here’s a little preview breaking down tomorrow night’s UFC 82: Pride of a Champion, fight-by-fight, including detailed predictions along the way.

UFC 82 features a main event, middleweight title unification bout between current UFC title holder Anderson Silva and PRIDE champion Dan Henderson.

The show, which will take place at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, will also include a heavyweight affair between Cheick Kongo and Heath Herring as well as the return of former champion Evan Tanner as he takes on Japanese sensation Yushin Okami.

A total of ten fights round out the card.

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UFC Unveils Full Card for “Pride of a Champion”

The Ultimate Fighting Championship earlier today announced the complete card for it’s upcoming UFC 82: Pride of a Champion event, which will take place on March 1st at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

The event is headlined by a middleweight title unification bout between current UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and PRIDE middleweight champion Dan Henderson. Previously announced main card bouts include a heavyweight affair between Cheick Kongo and Heath Herring as well as the return of former champion Evan Tanner as he takes on Japanese sensation Yushin Okami.

The two other televised bouts that were officially announced this morning involved former Ultimate Fighter winner Diego Sanchez challenging newcomer David Bielkheden and Jon Fitch, who remains undefeated inside the confines of the UFC going up against Team Quest’s Chris Wilson.

Luigi Fioravanti and Luke Cummo will both return to action in a welterweight bout together. Ohio natives Dustin Hazelett and Jorge Gurgel will both be in action at the event. Gurgel will face off against fellow lightweight John Halverson and Hazelett will take on powerhouse wrestler Josh Koscheck, who will be fighting in a preliminary bout after two consecutive lackluster performances.

The most high-profile preliminary bout includes an undefeated Jake O’Brien attempting to pass the biggest test of his career against former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski. This will mark the first time in over five years that Arlovski has not been promoted as part of the main card of an event, further confirming the notion that he has decided to not re-sign with the company.

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that a rumored bout between Chris Leben and Alessio Sakara was not annnounced as being part of the card.

UFC 81: Breaking Point Thoughts and Notes

Some thoughts and notes from this past weekend’s UFC 81: Breaking Point.

I was right and wrong

I did pretty well in the predictions department. I knew going into the fight that Tim Sylvia was going to give Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira fits and that’s exactly what happened. However Nogueira has been tough to finish off all throughout his career and this fight didn’t turn out to be any different. No shame in losing for Sylvia. He hung in there with one of the best heavyweights in history.

I had a feeling that if Brock Lesnar was going to be submitted, it might have been by way of a leg lock/kneebar. Wrestlers always have been notorious for being too stationary with their legs while posturing up and working some ground and pound although a lot of fighters don’t really take advantage of it. It just goes to show how intelligent of a ground specialist Frank Mir is to keep his composure while getting pounded and still be able to pull off a smart move.

The only fight I took issue with was Rob Emerson’s split decision over Keita Nakamura. I actually thought that the fight was dead even at the end. I thought that Nakamura won the third round convincingly and that the first round was even.

More thoughts on the fights

Marvin Eastman surprised me while Tim Boetsch did not. While Eastman’s fight against Terry Martin wasn’t necessarily the most exciting, I was a tad happy to see that Eastman was able to take some power shots and still stay on his feet. Boetsch did exactly what I thought he would do against an average fighter in my opinion in David Heath.

Ricardo Almeida, Tyson Griffin, and Chris Lytle all did what I thought they would do. I talked to someone after the event who truly thought that Tibau beat Griffin, which is absurd. I wasn’t expecting that quick of a stoppage from Lytle but a stoppage win nonetheless. What’s going on with Jeremy Horn? I’ll have a piece on him up later today.

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Report: Arlovski-O’Brien Likely at UFC 82


Andrei Arlovski poses at the UFC 70 press conference. Photo courtesy of Arlovski.tv

Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski will finally make his long-awaited return to action when the UFC travels to Columbus, Ohio for UFC 82: Pride of a Champion on March 1st. His opponent will likely be one that is making a return as well - upstart wrestler Jake O’Brien.

Yahoo! Sports Kevin Iole has reportedly confirmed Arlovski’s return date with UFC President Dana White who also mentioned that O’Brien will most likely be Arlovski’s opponent.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that Arlovski would be returning at the event late last week but Arlovski was not officially signed for the event until this past weekend.

Arlovski has not fought since winning an easy unanimous decision over Fabricio Werdum at UFC 70 all the way back in April. Since then Arlovski’s management team has been locked up in unsuccessful contract extension talks with the UFC that have kept the former champ on the sidelines. This fight will be the last bout on his current contract with the promotion.

O’Brien has been on an even longer hiatus. He last pulled off a major upset over veteran heavyweight Heath Herring at UFC Fight Night 8 nearly one year ago. O’Brien underwent surgery this past summer to correct a near career-ending spine injury. The The former Purdue University wrestling standout is undefeated inside the UFC thus far.

Arlovski, Gono, and Ludwig, Oh My!


Andrei Arlovski poses at the UFC 70 press conference. Photo courtesy of Arlovski.tv

Three news pieces of note from this afternoon…

- Amidst Don King’s babble about the UFC dying, The Chicago Sun-Times reported earlier today that former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski will return for the final fight on his contract at UFC 82: Pride of a Champion in Columbus, Ohio.

Not so fast say our friends at MMA Junkie. After talking to representatives from Arlovski’s management squad,they have learned that Arlovski hasn’t signed to fight at all just yet.

Rumors have been floating around that have the former champion going up against standout wrestler Jake O’Brien but nothing has been confirmed.

- Is Akhiro Gono injured? Will he have to pull out of his fight against Jon Fitch at UFC 82? It sure seems that way according to his latest blog post.

Here’s a rough Japanese translation:

I have a pain in my right hand from November so I could not train enough. After the doctor checked my hand he found that the condition of it was so bad and he ordered me to stop all training. I may have an operation in January. I am very sorry for my fans and Jon Fitch. I will announce my operation schedule and return date.

Touch of gloves to MMA Mania for the find.

- Last but not least, TKO Xtreme is reporting that Duane “Bang” Ludwig will return to action at the Strikeforce at the Dome show on February 23rd at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington.

Ludwig’s last fight was a knockout victory over Mario Stapel at Ring of Fire 30: Domination. No opponent has been announced yet for Ludwig.

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