Usually, I would not make a post to highlight one specific interview, but this one is awfully informative. The UFC’s Dana White was interviewed on CBS Sportline and had a lot of things to say. Among them…
* Confirmed that UFC 70 will likely be on SpikeTV
* Confirmed that Rashad Evans is the expected opponent for Tito Ortiz at UFC 71.
* Reiterated that he wants Rampage Jackson to fight Chuck Liddell for the LHW title at UFC 71 in May.
* Was very candid once again about his interests in buying the Pride promotion, admitting to having been in negotiations with them.
* Mentioned guys like Wanderlei Silva, Fedor, and Dan Henderson as fighters he’d love to have fight under the UFC banner.
* Hinted at the possibility that they are negotiating with the Nogueira brothers since their contract is up soon with Pride.
* Clarified his position on the Kurt Angle rumors, yet was very complimentary to Angle as well as Brock Lesnar.
* Admitted he’d like to see Phil Baroni and Evan Tanner back in the UFC.
* Continued the war of words with Jerry Millen, Gary Shaw, and Frank Shamrock.
Here are the full results from PRIDE Shockwave 2006.
- Kiyoshi Tamura def. Ikuhisa Minowa - KO (Soccer Kicks)
- Shinya Aoki def. Joachim Hansen - Submission (Gogoplata)
- Akihiro Gono def. Yuki Kondo - Decision (Split)
- Mauricio Rua def. Kazuhiro Nakamura - Decision (Unanimous)
- Gilbert Melendez def. Tatsuya Kawajiri - Decision (Unanimous)
- Kazuyuki Fujita def. Eldari Kurtanidze - Submission (Strikes)
- Takanori Gomi def. Mitsuhiro Ishida - TKO (Strikes)
- James Thompson def. Hidehiko Yoshida - TKO (Strikes)
- Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira def. Josh Barnett - Decision (Unanimous)
- Fedor Emelianenko def. Mark Hunt - Submission (Kimura)
Brazilian newspaper Jornal dos Sports has done an interview with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in which the fighter reveals that he will be taking on Josh Barnett at Pride’s Shockwave 2006 in a rematch of their controversial bout earlier this year which Barnett won by a close split decision.
“My adversary for the next Pride event, on the 31st of December, will be the American Josh Barnett, and revenge will be mine in my last fight of the year. Shortly after [Nogueira’s first fight with Barnett], I made it clear to Pride management that although I respect the judges decision, I would like a revenge match, since I didn’t feel the decision being given to Barnett by 2 to 1 was just.
I am motivated and focused for this fight and am certain I will put in a good performance. Barnett is a great fighter and has shown how he is dangerous on the ground. In a fight at this level, anything can happen, but I am quite confident I can beat him.”
Pride has not yet officially announced the bout so there is still a chance that the promotion could change the matchup between the two fighters before the December 31st event…
Well Pride’s last two events have set in stone who the top three heavyweights are in that promotion, in order even: Fedor Emelianenko, Mirko Cro Cop, and Josh Barnett.
Now the big question: Who is going to fight Fedor next?
Both Fedor and Barnett are scheduled to fight at Pride’s show on or around New Year’s Eve. It doesn’t have a name as of yet but I’m willing to bet that Pride will go ahead and use Shockwave just as in previous years.
Cro Cop defeated Barnett at Final Conflict Absolute 2006 in September. That would make him the shoe-in to fight Fedor, right?
The thing is Cro Cop lost to Fedor last year and this fact creates a dilemma. Should Pride give Cro Cop another shot just one year later or should Barnett be given the chance even though he lost to Cro Cop last month?
To make matters even more confusing, Fedor announced at a post-fight press conference for Pride’s most recent event, The Real Deal, that he wants Barnett as his next opponent.
Barnett is interested in the opportunity:
Josh said, “Cool. I’m glad that he nominated me. Honestly, I think he understands the game out there. There’s not really all that many people left for him to fight, but I’m sure he’s understood for at least some time now that fighting me would be a really big match up for him.”
“For me, basically what it all comes down to is how training goes…and this year has been, uh…something else so far, but if I feel good, I’ll do it,” said Barnett.
Barnett has expressed wanting to take on Fedor in the past and it looks like right now is the closest that the two have ever been to actually possibly fighting. It’s going to be interesting to see the decision that Pride makes this month concerning the fight.
If the promotion decides to have Cro Cop take on Fedor, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira could be the obvious choice of opponent for Barnett…
MMA Weekly had the chance to sit down with Josh Barnett after a training session in Los Angeles to ask him about his upcoming fight with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira…
Barnett said, ” Basically, we’re both adept at the ground game, however, I believe that the difference isn’t so much our techniques or skill sets even… he’s much more methodic and slow-paced and he likes to work a more jiu-jitsu based attack where as my grappling base comes from catch-wrestling…catch-wrestling also is a very aggressive style, [it] doesn’t really believe in laying back and trying to wait for opportunities to present themselves, you make your opportunities, you force your opponents to do what you want them to do.”
He commented on Nogueira saying,”...he can take inordinate amounts of punishment and just stay in the fight which can be very difficult for a guy who’s trying to sprint… he can take so much punishment, so much damage, he can still just hang in there.” But he is looking for a decisive win and not leaving it in the hands of the judges. “I don’t want it to go the distance…I’m looking to finish him.”
Dream Stage Entertainment has announced the match-ups set to take place in the semi-finals of the Pride Open Weight Grand Prix.
Wanderlei Silva vs. Mirko Cro Cop
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Josh Barnett