News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated once again…
- The always popular MMA on Tap Top Ten has been updated and was posted yesterday for everyone to break down and take in. Be sure to leave comments with any corrections, props, thoughts, and suggestions that you might have.
- Our latest edition of Rock the Vote has been posted - Who will be victorious in UFC 72’s main event: Rich Franklin or Yushin Okami? Be sure to add your pick…
Here are the results for our last poll:
Chuck Liddell: 25%
Mirko Cro Cop: 23%
Andrei Arlovski: 17%
Tim Sylvia: 17%
Gabriel Gonzaga: 8%
Randy Couture: 8%
Heath Herring: 2%
- Scott put together a nice mini-interview with Jonathan Goulet discussing Goulet’s recent win over Travis Axworthy this past weekend as well as his thoughts on John Alessio’s peformance on Sunday night. MMA Weekly caught wind of the piece and was going to ask Alessio about Goulet’s comments on last night’s radio show but Alessio failed to appear.
- The Fight Network is reporting that renowned grappler Marcelo Garcia is in California training with Team Quest this week. K-1 stated in a pre-fight press conference for Dynamite!! USA that Garcia would make his debut in September.
- Leonard Garcia has announced that he will be fighting on the finale of The Ultimate Fighter 5. Garcia did not say who his opponent will be.
Video of the Day
Live Shows -
Earlier today UFC President Dana White held a conference call with various members of the media in order to discuss this weekend’s UFC 71 event. Many other topics were touched upon and just like our recap of the UFC 70 conference call, we’ve got everything covered…
White’s Thoughts on UFC 71’s main event: Chuck Liddell vs Quinton Jackson:
White came right out and said that he was very excited for the fight as is everyone. He said that the mentality of both fighters are going to make it an exciting fight. He said that Chuck’s striking is obviously going to give Jackson trouble but so will Jackson’s athletic ability for Liddell. White stated that style-wise, it’s a bad matchup for Liddell and that we were able to see that in the first fight between the two.
White pressed on the fact that Liddell has the opportunity in front of him to finally avenge every loss that he’s ever suffered. One of the most interesting things that White said was that Jackson usually “fights to the level of his competition”. He noted that Jackson beat Marvin Eastman but he did it in a fashion that nobody was really impressed by. White said that because Liddell is such a high-caliber fighter, Jackson’s game will be on that same level and he will look much better in this fight then when he fought Eastman at UFC 67.
White briefly touched on Liddell’s controversial segment on Good Morning Dallas a few months back where he appeared to be under the influence of something. White attributed Liddell’s state to the lifestyle that he lives due to being famous. White said that he and other UFC officials promptly took care of the matter when it arose and that everything is fine now concerning that situtation.
White Discusses Potential Signing of Mauricio Rua; Possible Addition of Wanderlei Silva:
It’s been rumored for about a week now that the UFC has signed Mauricio Rua. Well White went ahead and all but confirmed that Rua will be part of the UFC when he said that the winner of Saturday night’s Liddell-Jackson bout will then have to face a challenger that the UFC is bringing in. White also said that the challenger will be revealed during the UFC 71 broadcast.
When asked who that challenger could be, White said that it could be one of two people - Mauricio Rua and Wanderlei Silva. However White then talked into detail about Rua and how he will most likely be fighting Liddell within the next year, all but confirming that the UFC has come to terms with him. White also made the surprising announcement that the UFC “has to bring in Wanderlei Silva”. White said that the winner of Saturday’s fight could also possibly be facing Silva in their next fight as well.
White Gives an Update on PRIDE Sale:
The whole PRIDE ordeal was definitely the most asked question during the conference call but it was also the one topic that White couldn’t really give any definitive answers to. White blamed the reason behind his lack of a definite answer on his busy travel schedule - That doesn’t make any sense, I know but he said it. White assured everyone that the fans would still be able to see the marquee matchups between fighters of both organizations at some point this year.
White Talks Huerta Sports Illustrated Cover, Sanchez’s Thoughts on Retirement, Vera’s Status, and St.Pierre-Koscheck at UFC 74:
White praised Roger Huerta for making the cover of Sports Illustrated and went on to talk about how the sport of MMA is finally becoming mainstream and achieving the dream that White and the Fertitta Brothers had for it. He also made a mention of Chuck Liddell’s appearance on the cover of ESPN the Magazine.
The most shocking thing that was discussed during the press conference was White’s confession that Diego Sanchez nearly announced his retirement one day before UFC 69 because doctor’s thought that he had contracted Hepatitis C. Doctors ran multiple tests on Sanchez after that and they kept on coming up negative so they then ruled that he in fact did not have Hepatitis C and the test where he tested positive was faulty. According to White, the doctors still thought that something was wrong with Sanchez, but because they couldn’t figure it out, they let him fight anyway. The next day, Sanchez was diagnosed with a staph infection after an enormous hole developed on his leg.
White assured everyone that Brandon Vera was still with the company and will remain with the company for a long time to come. Vera is currently figuring out personal matters between him and his former manager before he starts actively fighting again. White stated that the winner of the fight between Josh Koscheck and Georges St. Pierre at UFC 74 would get the winner of the Matt Serra-Matt Hughes welterweight title bout at some point in the winter.
White Bashes the NJSAC, K-1, IFL, and Tito Ortiz:
White openly bashed the New Jersey State Athletic Commission for deciding to sanction the upcoming June bout between underground fighting legend Kimbo Slice and former heavyweight champion Ray Mercer. Despite the criticism, White mentioned that the UFC would most likely be returning to the state later this year. K-1 got just as much of White’s wrath for the strong possibility that their Dynamite!! USA show scheduled for June 2nd may be cancelled. White said that the promotion was insane for thinking that could fill up the Los Angeles Coliseum when in fact they have trouble filling up small ballrooms in Las Vegas for their kickboxing tournaments.
White’s bashing of the IFL and Tito Ortiz was pretty much the same as always: The IFL is “retarded” and Ortiz is a baby…
In a recent interview with MMAWeekly, Brandon Vera, gave fans an update on his training and who he’d like to face when he returns to the UFC octagon.
Brandon said, “I’ve been traveling and training, I just got back from Thailand. I want to be back in August. I’ve been training and my weight is already down to 228. I’m not even training for a fight, but I’m training hard right now.”
“Arlovski, Nogueira, CroCop…especially Chuck [Liddell]. I still want Chuck. I want to fight him before he’s tired of fighting. I want to fight him when he’s still in his prime and he’s still hungry and he’s still hitting people hard. I don’t want to fight him after he’s over the hump,” Vera said.
With that being said I think it’s time for another edition of ‘Rock the Vote’...
Loretta Hunt of The Fight Network has reported that UFC heavyweight title contender Brandon Vera has signed a contract extension with the UFC with plans to negotiate a new deal after legal issues with Vera’s former manager are resolved.
Vera also plans on completing the last fight on his original contract with the UFC as soon as possible.
“I want to stay with the UFC,” the Virginia native said today. “They have some of the best fighters in the world. It’s an amazing stable of fighters and the who’s who of the MMA world. ‘Cro Cop’ [Mirko Filipovic] is a big factor for me wanting to stay. He’s the number-two guy in the world.”
Update 3/29 6:00 PM: There seems to be some confusion as what exactly Vera and the UFC agreed to. It’s partly because it’s such an odd situation because it isn’t exactly your normal contract extension. Vera and the UFC didn’t agree to add more fights to his contract. They only agreed to push the date back for his final fight to allow Vera to settle other matters at hand outside of the UFC. The agreement was also made with the stipulation that Vera would participate in talks for a brand new deal afterwards.
You can call it a contract extension, you can call it an extension, whatever. MMA contracts are set up completely different compared to those in other sports, thus the confusion…
Various rumors and reports have been floating around for the past few months concerning Brandon Vera’s status with the UFC. Vera was originally supposed to be given a title shot against Tim Sylvia at UFC 68. However Vera’s contract with the UFC only had one fight left on it and Dana White wasn’t about to set up a championship bout between his current title holder and a fighter that wasn’t locked up for multiple fights. To put it simply, he’s learned from the past…
The UFC and Vera tried to negotiate a new deal multiple times but talks never went anywhere since Vera apparently thought that he deserved more money. Reports surfaced stating that the the UFC and Elite XC both offered Vera upwards of $200,000 to $1 million per fight but were never confirmed by either side. Now the news coming to light is letting us know what is really going on.
Here is what we know:
Both Brandon Vera and Dean Lister are no longer associated with the City Boxing gym in San Diego, California. City Boxing founder Rob Kaman was also Vera’s manager and handled Vera’s contract including fielding offers from any organizations that wanted to sign him. A few other fighters/trainers/officials who helped out at the gym have also left in disgust over what has happened
Well what happened? Apparently Kaman turned down multiple counter offers from the UFC concerning a new multi-fight contract for Vera without even informing him that he was doing so. Vera eventually found out and left City Boxing, leaving his partnership as part-owner of the gym behind as well.
What makes this even more interesting is that Vera himself posted earlier this afternoon on Sherdog that he is currently in negotiations with the UFC on a contract extension. He is also finding a new manager for himself through the California State Athletic Commission. Vera stated that he has left City Boxing and will be fighting in the UFC very soon.
News and Notes
- PRIDE has canceled their 04/28 USA show. This is unfortunate considering how exciting PRIDE 33: Second Coming was but one can definitely assume the organization is in some serious trouble. PRIDE USA President Ed Fishman is in the process of taking legal action against the company. For more information on the situation check out Zach Arnold’s piece at Fight Opinion.
- At the UFC 68 post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White, said that UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell is currently suffering from pneumonia and he should never have been let on the “Good Morning Texas” show. White was visibly unhappy and he said that he was flying to San Luis Obispo to check on him. The representative that took Liddell to the appearance was from Warner.
- During the UFC 68 post-fight presser, Matt Hughes stated that former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia came into the fight with a bad back that almost forced him to withdraw from the fight.
Sylvia, who dropped to 25-3, said in the ring that he had come into the fight carrying an injury but was beaten “fair and square.” He did not attend the post-fight news conference but Hughes said Sylvia had an injured back and had considered pulling out of the bout.
- Injury or not, Dana White didn’t feel it was an intelligent move on Sylvia’s part to tell the crowd he was injured coming into the fight.
“Even if he did, he should have never said it,” White said when asked of the injury and the comment in the ring. “Tim has an big image problem, you could see it tonight. Tim’s a good guy. He’ll come back. He’s a tough kid. This is going to be a hard one for him. There was no doubt in his mind he was going to beat Randy Couture tonight. He was overconfident.”
- Assuming Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic gets by Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 70: Nations Collide, Cro Cop and Couture will face off in a heavyweight title fight some time during the summer. For the first time in a while the UFC will have a very legit and marketable heavyweight title fight.
- Speaking of Cro Cop, according to Canada.com, Cro Cop asked the UFC brass for a fight with Brandon “Truth” Vera but it is currently on hold as Vera and Zuffa are having a very difficult time agreeing on a new contract.
News and Notes
- Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic will be facing Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 70 in Manchester, England.
- ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ veterans Chris Leben and Kalib Starnes will clash in the octagon at some point in May.
- UFCJunkie.com is reporting that Team Jackson fighter Nathan Marquardt has been granted at title shot at UFC 72.
- In a recent article on Sherdog.com, Josh Gross reported that Brandon Vera’s final UFC fight will come against heavyweight prospect Jake O’Brien.
I do have it on good authority, though, that Vera will fight Jake O’Brien. All signs point to the UFC doing anything it can to leave a black mark on Vera as he appears headed in another direction.
DEEP: 28th Impact - 02/16/07
ROF 28: Evolution - 02/16/07
NAAFS: The Midwest Combat Challenge 2 - 02/17/07
CFC III: Combat Fighting Championship III - 02/17/07
GMC: Cage Force 2 - 02/17/07
Shooto: Professional Shoot 2007 - 02/17/07
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has officially announced that Brandon “The Truth” Vera versus Frank Mir is signed. Vera has looked excellent since making his venture into the UFC going 3-0 with victories over Justin Eilers, Assuerio Silva, and Fabiano Scherner. Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir will be in tough as Vera will be his toughest test since returning from his motorcycle accident which forced him to sit out the better part of a year. Since returning Mir is 1-1 with lackluster performances in both fights.
Also on the card will be light heavyweight contest slating UFC veteran James Irvin against newcomer Hector Ramirez. This fight will be Irvin’s first fight back in the UFC since he suffered a tough submission loss to Stephan Bonnar. Since that time Irvin has kept busy fighting outside of the UFC going 2-1-1. Hector Ramirez is a newcomer to the UFC with a record of 6-1-1. Ramirez’s only loss came to UFC light heavyweight contender Rashad Evans.
Reports are circulating that Frank Mir will take on Brandon Vera at UFC 65. If legitimate, this matchup could have pretty big implications on the heavyweight divison and both fighters in general. A win for either Mir or Vera could establish them as one of title contenders in the heavyweight division along with Jeff Monson. A loss for Vera would be a step back in what seems to be a promising career for the young star; for Mir, a defeat could spell the end of his time with the UFC and possibly big-time MMA competition.