Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that the winner of this weekend’s bout between former UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia and Brandon Vera at this weekend’s UFC 77: Hostile Territory will take on Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for the vacant UFC Heavyweight Title at some point next year:
The winner of the Brandon Vera-Tim Sylvia fight on Saturday at UFC 77 in Cincinnati will meet Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for the vacant heavyweight title sometime early next year.
This is pretty much the scenario that I was expecting. I’m also speculating, like many others, that the fight will probably take place at the UFC’s annual Super Bowl weekend event.
News and Notes
- MMAWeekly is reporting that Hermes Franca has left The Armory and he is now in the process of opening his own gym in West Palm Beach, Fla.
The gym will be opening in November. It will be inside of a boxing gym called Palm Beach Boxing Club that will now also house Team Hermes Franca.
The gym can be found at 1611 N. Military Trail, West Palm Beach, Fla. Interested parties can call at either 561-833-2131 or 561-319-6608.
- Ricardo Arona told Tatame that he has not signed with M-1 but he has received offers from organizations in Canada and the USA.
“I did not close with the M-1. I heard very on this for ai, but I did not receive no proposal to fight against the Stench. Pra you to be sincere I nor know this event”, I said Arona, that he intends to still make a fight this year. “It arrived some proposals of Canada, of the States and Japan, but I am waiting best the proposal to still close a fight in December”, disclosed the BTT.
Reports surfaced earlier this week that Hardcore Championship Fighting in Canada was interested in acquiring the services of Arona. HCF has been on a tear lately signing the likes of Aleksander Emelianenko, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, and Renato “Babalu” Sobral.
- MMA Madness caught up with Ken Shamrock to get his thoughts on a variety of subjects including his brother, Frank Shamrock.
MMA Madness: Frank has openly stated he’s willing to fight you. Is the feeling mutual for you?
Shamrock: Do you want the complete and honest truth?
MMA Madness: Yeah, let’s hear it.
Shamrock: Frank is the kind of guy who will only fight someone if he thinks he can beat them. He won’t fight me unless he talks enough crap that he gets pushed into it by the fans. He might even price himself out of the fight just to get out of it. He’s done that before. He walks around saying he’s the Lion’s Den guy and this and that. He was probably my third best guy when I was training them all, behind [Jerry] Bohlander and [Guy] Mezger. Also, Frank has problems against people who can take him down and he knows I would take him down. Look at his fight against Renzo [Gracie]! I can knock him down and punch him out. He’s my brother and all, but don’t think for a second that I wouldn’t fight him.
- MMA Junkie has teamed up with “The Bubba the Love Sponge Show” and will become the MMA content provider for the show’s official website.
Sherdog: Akiyama to Fight Kang in Korean HERO’S
Sherdog: New Japanese MMA Event, Association Introduced
MMAWeekly: Karo Not Worried About Facing Chonan
The Fight Network: Manager Snubs IFL
UFC: Sylvia’s Quest for a Third Belt Begins Saturday
Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia discusses his loss to fellow former champion Randy Couture at UFC 68 and why Brandon Vera, his scheduled opponent at UFC 77, might not be as talented as everyone believes he is with ESPN.
News and Notes
- Everyone and their mom is reporting that talks between Fedor and the UFC didn’t go so well:
Sherdog: Fedor Reps Say Long Way to Go on Deal with UFC
MMA Weekly: Fedor Still Has Not Signed to Fight
CBS Sportsline: White says Emelianenko meeting ‘didn’t go well’
Five Ounces of Pain: Rumor Killer: Fedor not close to signing with the UFC
Only a couple of links but you get the picture…
- The Fight Network is reporting that Randy Couture’s broken arm is healing well:
X-rays taken on the broken left arm of UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture Friday showed that the 44-year-old’s bone is aligning properly and healing as anticipated.
Doctors informed Couture (16-8) that he had suffered the break during his TKO stoppage of Brazilian Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 74 “Respect” Aug. 25 in Las Vegas, Nev. He sustained the injury blocking a right high kick with his left forearm in the opening seconds of the third round. The kick cleanly separated the ulna bone with a “nightstick fracture,” a break common in law enforcement circles. Couture’s arm will likely remain in a splint for at least five more weeks.
- UFC Junkie has found out through Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer that the UFC issued $35,000 bonuses for those fighters that won the UFC’s usual post-fight awards.
Fight of the Night - Randy Couture vs Gabriel Gonzaga
Knockout of the Night - Patrick Cote
Submission of the Night - Thales Leites
- The Sun Herald of Southern Mississippi is reporting that Alan Belcher has signed a new four-fight deal with the UFC:
Alan “the Talent” Belcher of Biloxi just signed another four- fight contract with the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). His overall record is 10-3, two of which went to a decision). He has had four fights in the UFC within the last year.
- The legal dispute between Brandon Vera and his former manager Mark Dion will finally be settled by an arbiter for the CSAC on September 17th.
- Former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin has landed a role as host of a new TV series titled “American Fighter”:
Ultimate fighter Rich Franklin wants to bust out of the ring. The three-time Ultimate Fighting Championship title winner from West Chester Township has shot a half-hour pilot for a TV series, “American Fighter.”
Franklin, 32, a former Oak Hills High School math teacher, will tell inspirational stories about people fighting against the odds, says J.T. Stewart, his publicist. The pilot features Joe Garvey, 21, of Bright, Ind., learning to walk after a crippling ATV accident seven years ago.
I wonder if there is any connection between the show and Franklin’s sponsor of the same name…
MMA Weekly: MMAD Libs II: Writing an MMA Hatchet Piece
Fight Opinion: Sunday media slate: Rizzo remains on his winning ways
UFC: Michael Bisping: England Expects
UFC President Dana White hosted a conference call earlier today in preparation for the upcoming UFC 75: Champion vs Champion event set to take place on September 8th from London, England. The fighters featured on the call were UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton Jackson, PRIDE Middleweight and Welterweight Champion Dan Henderson, Michael Bisping, and Matt Hamill through the use of an interpreter.
The UFC has officially announced that former UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia will be taking on the returning Brandon Vera at UFC 77: Hostile Territory.
Also on the UFC 77 card will be a heavyweight matchup between former UFC Champion Tim “The Maine-iac” Sylvia and unbeaten Brandon “The Truth” Vera. This fight will mark the first fight for Vera since a contract dispute with former management sidelined him for almost a year. The dynamic Vera (8-0) is excited to get back in the Octagon, and he expects to pick up where he left off last year by defeating Sylvia and every opponent afterward until he becomes the UFC heavyweight champion. The 6 foot 8 Sylvia (25-3), only the second man in UFC history to win the heavyweight title twice, would like to eventually join the man he lost the crown to in March, Randy Couture, as the only fighters in history to win the title three times. A win over Vera will push him firmly in that positive direction.
The fight will be Sylvia’s first since losing the title to Randy Couture at UFC 68. He has been sidelined since March after undergoing back surgery and coming down with a staph infection earlier this month.
Vera will be returning to the Octagon for the first time in over 9 months after settling a contract dispute with his former manager. Vera was actually originally scheduled to challenge Sylvia for his title at UFC 68 before outside issues forced Vera to pull out of the bout.
Catching up on things in the world of MMA…
- The Fight Network is reporting that officials at American Top Team have stated that Denis Kang is still in negotiations with K-1 and has not yet signed with the promotion:
American Top Team representatives have confirmed that popular Vancouver, British Columbia fighter Denis Kang is in negotiations to sign a five-fight deal with the K-1 HERO’S promotion. Rumors have been circulating about a possible match-up pitting Kang against Japanese legend Kazushi Sakuraba Sept. 17 at the Yokohama Arena in Kanagawa, Japan, but the ATT would not confirm the pairing.
- Tonight’s episode of IFL Battleground will preview the 10 matchups that will take place in the opening round of the upcoming IFL Grand Prix. It will air 8 PM EST on MyNetworkTV.
- Highly regarded trainer Greg Jackson has announced that Georges St. Pierre has now become an official member of his training team”>Georges St. Pierre has now become an official member of his training team. St. Pierre is excited to be able to train with the likes of Nate Marquardt, Rashad Evans, and Keith Jardine on a regular basis:
“It’s absolutely great, and I think I am blessed because I am lucky to be able to train with such a great group of guys and under Greg Jackson, who is the best MMA coach in my book,” St. Pierre says. “People say you’re only as good as your training partners, and I believe that is the truth.”
- Continuing with some more St. Pierre news - His former manager, Stephane Patry, who also serves as president of TKO, is stating that St. Pierre is still contractually obligated to him. St. Pierre says that is just not the case:
“My manager now is Shari Spencer. She takes care of my sponsorships and my fights, as well,” St. Pierre says. “It’s nothing personal. Me and Stephane are still good friends. We were not in agreement about some stuff in training, and we were not agreeing to some stuff regarding my management.”
- MMA Weekly is reporting that Masakazu Imanari will return to Cage Rage to take on Jean Silva at Cage Rage 23 for the promotion’s World Featherweight Title. Silva will be dropping down from lightweight to featherweight for the first time in his career.
- Jorge Gurgel announced at an open house for his gym over the weekend that he will be facing Alvin Robinson at UFC 77.
Some media links as well…
Sherdog: Georges St. Pierre Training Pictures
MMA Weekly: Pellegrino Hunting Down a Title Shot
The Fight Network: Murphy’s Law
UFC Junkie: What’s Next for Wanderlei Silva?
Yahoo! Sports: Gonzaga sniffs out his biggest opportunity
Rogers Sportsnet: Koscheck eager to get it on
Fight Opinion: Monday maintenance: Lots of activity in the UK
Fightlinker: Brandon Vera is back and I don’t care
Bloody Elbow: More Doubts About GSP
MMA Analyst: An Interview with Cub Swanson, WEC featherweight contender
The Fight Network is reporting that UFC heavyweight contender Brandon Vera has signed a six-fight contract extension with the company:
UFC heavyweight contender Brandon Vera confirmed on Fight Network Radio Friday that he had agreed to a six-fight extension with the Las Vegas-based promotion. The charismatic 29-year-old dismantled former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir at UFC 65 in November but has not set foot inside the Octagon since. Vera (8-0, 4-0 UFC) is expected to face former UFC heavyweight title holder Tim Sylvia upon returning, possibly as early as UFC 77 in October.
The deal will most likely keep Vera in the UFC well into 2009.
News and Notes
- Dana White and company held the official press conference for UFC 74 yesterday. The most interesting thing to come out of it? Probably something that many of us have known for a while now - When asked about Brandon Vera’s next opponent, White responded with “most likely Tim Sylvia.”
Some press conference coverage:
- UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture will be featured on ESPN’s Rome is Burning later today at 4:30 PM EST. Couture is expected to discuss his preparation for his title defense against Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 74, his bout with former champ Tim Sylvia at UFC 68, and Gonzaga’s brutal knockout of Mirko Cro Cop at UFC 70.
- Wild Bill’s Fight Night has become the latest MMA promotion to earn a television deal:
Wild Bill’s Fight Night, the biggest and most successful MMA event series in the state of Georgia, recently acquired a television deal with Comcast On Demand. Past MMA events from Wild Bill’s Fight Night are available now through Comcast’s On Demand service. All future Wild Bill’s Fight Night cards will be televised on Comcast.
- ION Television has announced that it will no longer be broadcasting BodogFight programming beginning in February 2008. ION stated that MMA is no longer appropriate for the channel’s new style of family programming.
- Apparently George Foreman loves mixed martial arts:
“I love the UFC. I love it,” Foreman said. “If they had had that back when I was coming up, in 1966, it would have been my sport. Man, I love it. And you know what? Nobody would have pulled the rope-a-dope on me.”
- CBS Sportsline writer Sam Caplan has joined the ranks of UFC Junkie.
Roger Sportsnet: Gonzaga on my Mind
MMA Weekly: Randy Couture on Steroids in MMA
Sprawl ‘n Brawl: MMA History Lesson: The Fight That Almost Was
CBS Sportsline: Five Ounces of Pain: Fedor’s next destination should be the UFC
MSNBC: Soft-hearted ‘Rampage’ ready to bring the heat
Fight Opinion: Friday fight notes: A bad week just got worse for K-1
Finally! After months of speculation it looks like Brandon “The Truth” Vera has finally solved his managerial issues and he is ready to return to the UFC octagon. Today the UFC released a statement regarding Vera:
The Truth hurts. Just ask those who have ever stepped into the Octagon™ with rising heavyweight star Brandon “The Truth” Vera, who, after a prolonged absence due to managerial issues, will finally return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) organization to put his perfect record on the line as he resumes his chase for the World Heavyweight Championship. Dana White, UFC President, who was pleased to make the announcement of Vera’s return today, expects the Californian to be back in action as soon as October of this year.
“Brandon Vera is a young, well-rounded, exciting heavyweight who finishes fights in exciting fashion,” said Dana White, UFC President. “I think he brings a lot to the heavyweight mix, and I see him in a position to fight for the heavyweight title in 2008.”
Brandon Vera (8-0) currently sports a UFC record of 4-0 with decisive victories over the likes of Justin Eilers, Frank Mir, Fabiano Scherner, and Assuerio Silva. Vera was in line for a shot at Tim Sylvia’s heavyweight title at UFC 68: Uprising but it all fell through when his manager ran into problems negotiating with the UFC. Finally it has all been solved and Vera is ready to make a return for the heavyweight strap.
“I’m so excited to be back in the UFC, I have no words to describe the feeling,” said Vera.
“I realize the UFC heavyweight division is much stronger now, but I like having more challenges, and that just gives me more motivation to train,” said Vera. “I feel that when I’m on top of my game, nobody can beat me. I have a plan to become the heavyweight champion, so I’m going to stick to the plan that my management team NCFC and both of my coaches set and win the titles. I want to prove I’m the best for my family, my friends and most of all my fans.”
Vera is right, the UFC heavyweight division is much stronger now. Vera is walking into a division that is now home to the likes of Randy Couture, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, Gabriel Gonzaga, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Fabricio Werdum, Tim Sylvia, Andrei Arlovski, Heath Herring, and Cheick Kongo. The UFC is now home to 7 of the 10 heavyweights in the world and it’s common knowledge that Dana White and the UFC are working to sign PRIDE heavyweight ace Fedor Emelianenko.
A while back we ran a poll and asked the question “Who would you like to see Brandon Vera fight next?” (310 votes)
Chuck Liddell: 25%
Mirko Cro Cop: 23%
Andrei Arlovski: 17%
Tim Sylvia: 17%
Gabriel Gonzaga: 8%
Randy Couture: 8%
Heath Herring: 2%