Tito Ortiz turns 33 and celebrates in style at Catwalk in the above video courtesy of RawVegas.
Catching up on this past weekend’s news…
More Rumored TUF Participants
Even more potential cast members of the seventh season of The Ultimate Fighter have come to light thanks to MMA Junkie and Five Ounces of Pain. Those added to the list (which already includes Luke Zachrich and Mike Marrello) are the following:
Couture Likes Sylvia Over Nogueira
In a recent interview with Jose Rodriguez of the Calgary Sun, current UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture revealed that he expects Tim Sylvia to defeat former PRIDE champ Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 81: Breaking Point this weekend.
“I think it’s going to be a good fight. I’m a fan of the sport first and foremost. I think it’s an interesting matchup. Nogueira’s strenght tends to be on the ground and in the submission game and Tim is just a long, strong hard to take down guy who’s got great striking abilities. It’s a classic matchup and for the interim title so they both have a lot on the line. I like Tim’s chances in that fight given Nogueira’s performace against Heath Herring in the last fight. I like Sylvia in a stoppage of some kind.”
Former PRIDE producer Hiromichi Momose was found dead in his Tokyo, Japan apartment yesterday morning. He was 67. Countdown to UFC 81 premieres Wednesday night while UFC All-Access with Brock Lesnar will air for the first time on Thursday. Jason Miller will be holding a seminar in Hamilton, Ontario in February.
Jarry Park: Tyson Griffin Is Mr. Fight Of The Night
Good morning bitches! More coverage of last night’s UFC Fight Night to come later on this morning.
Calvancante and Aoki Set to Try Again; Masvidal Added to “Strikeforce At The Dome”
It seems like Gesias Calvancante and Shinya Aoki will finally meet at a K-1 show in Japan in March. American Top Team’s manager Richie Guerrero (who manages Calvancante as well) announced the matchup yesterday during an interview on TAGG Radio.
The two were originally set to face off at Yarennoka! on New Year’s Eve but Calvancante was forced to pull out of the fight after suffering a knee injury during training. The injury occurred on the same knee that he had knee surgery on this past fall.
Guerrero also revealed that lightweight contender Jorge Masvidal will be competing at the “Strikeforce At The Dome” show next month as well. Masvidal does have an opponent but the name was unable to be announced at the time.
Aleksander Expects April Fight With Barnett
Aleksander Emelianenko, who will be fighting in M-1 Global’s first U.S. show in April along with his brother Fedor, expects to take on former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett.
Emelianenko made the announcement via his official website.
Fedor is expected to take on part-time K-1 kickboxer Semmy Schilt but Jeff Monson has also been rumored as a potential opponent. The show will most likely take place right outside of Chicago at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois.
Touch of gloves to MMA Junkie for the find.
Frank Edgar Returns at UFC Fight Night 13
I missed it and I’m sure a lot of other people did but apparently UFC play-by-play announcer Mike Goldberg stated that Frankie Edgar would be part of the UFC’s next “Fight Night” in Denver, Colorado in April.
Edgar, who has not lost yet inside of the UFC, still remains undefeated in his professional mixed martial arts career as well. Edgar is coming off of a dominating performance over Spencer Fisher en route to a unanimous decision win at UFC 78.
Props to Combat Hooligans for catching that.
BodogFight has released the full card for it’s February 1st event in Las Vegas. The Sun is reporting that Brock Lesnar, win or lose, may be tapped to headline the UFC’s June show in London England due to his overseas popularity because of professional wrestling. Roger Gracie may be fighting Hidehiko Yoshida at Sengoku in March.
Fightlinker went live with The Low Blow last night, recapping UFC Fight Night 12. Hilarious.
Brock Lesnar discusses the physical impact of a professional wrestling match, how often performers are injured, and his rivalry with Kurt Angle. The rest of the interview can be found at the official website for UFC 81: Breaking Point.
RawVegas continues to follow Frank Mir on the Road to UFC 81 as he prepares to take on former professional wrestler Brock Lesnar at UFC 81: Breaking Point next month. In this episode, Mir discusses how his training is going so far and shows off a unique style of punching bag that nearly got him in trouble with a few Las Vegas locals.
Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir discusses his upcoming fight against former WWE superstar Brock Lesnar at UFC 81, his training at Striking Unlimited in Las Vegas, how he would like his family to be involved in martial arts, and how he found his love for the sport again with RawVegas.
RawVegas had the opportunity to interview former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir and fellow UFC veteran Frank Trigg at a Las Vegas Grappler’s Quest event over the weekend.
Mir talks about his son competing at the event and his plan to defeat Brock Lesnar at UFC 82 in February. Trigg discusses his “Triggonomics” clothing line and his upcoming fight against Edwin DeWees this month.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has officially announced that former WWE star Brock Lesnar will make his UFC debut at UFC 81 against former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir. The bout will take place Feb. 2 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“It’s an interesting matchup,” said UFC President Dana White. “Lesnar is a great wrestler, a good athlete, and this is definitely gonna be a big test for him. Frank Mir is a former world champion who is coming off a big win over Antoni Hardonk, and he’s looking to get his career back on track while Lesnar’s looking to walk into the UFC and prove what type of fighter he’s gonna be by trying to knock him off.”
“This guy’s not trying to duck anybody,” said White of Lesnar. “He knew once he got in the UFC that he was gonna fight tough guys.”
Brock Lesnar made his MMA debut in June at K-1 Hero’s Dynamite!! USA where he submitted Min Soo Kim early in the first round.
Frank Mir sports a MMA record of 10-3 with victories over the likes of Wes Sims, Tim Sylvia, Tank Abbott and Pete Williams. Mir’s most recent victory came at UFC 74: Respect where he submitted Antoni Hardonk partway through the first stanza.
News and Notes
- Our rumors page has been updated…
- Jordan Breen’s latest Koubousen Companion on Sherdog reveals that DEEP boss Shigeru Saeki is stating that Ryo Chonan’s contract with the UFC is non-exclusive and Chonan will be expected to defend his title next year:
On the topic of championship reform, Saeki also revealed that as 181-pound champion Ryo Chonan’s new UFC contract is non-exclusive, the 181-pound title will likely be on the market early next year. Saeki stated last month that he planned on having a 181-pound challenger tournament next year. But in light of recent events, that same tournament, which will likely begin in February or April, will probably be for DEEP’s divisional championship.
Update 6:09 PM: Sherdog corrected the article, stating that Chonan’s contract is exclusive, not non-exclusive.
- EliteXC President Gary Shaw confirmed that he has had preliminary talks with members of the company about a potential showdown between the two according to The Fight Network:
EliteXC Live Events President Gary Shaw confirmed this week he has held preliminary discussions about promoting a potential megafight between brothers Frank and Ken Shamrock within EliteXC. The two adopted brothers have expressed a willingness to fight one another in the past.
“I talked to my team about it,” Shaw said. “I would love to do brother versus brother. It would be a great promotion.”
- The IFL has announced Bart Palaszewski has agreed to terms with the on a contract that will keep him in the promotion through 2008.
- MMA Junkie is reporting that Renato “Babalu” Sobral has signed a non-exclusive deal with Xcess Fighting. He will make his debut for the promotion on December 12th:
“I am undeniably the biggest ‘Babalu’ fan that lives,” Xcess Fighting spokesperson Bruce Bellocchi stated. “Xcess Fighting believes he has tremendous talent, and (we) are extremely proud to be able to get him back into he cage and in front of his fans so quickly.“
An opponent for Sobral and location for the event will be named in the near future.
- Asgard MMA reports that Per Eklund has signed with the UFC. Rumors have been floating around for months about Eklund’s possible signing and this can only help to certify that as being true. The deal is a four-fight, 18 month deal. Eklund is slated to fight at UFC 80 in Newcastle, England against an opponent yet to be named.
- So apparently Brad Imes has trained with Brock Lesnar in the past. Imes says that Lesnar’s game was lacking:
I think he’s got a lot of potential. His stand up is really kinda nonexistent, but he’s obviously a big powerful guy. And his ground game…I know, he’s a D-1 national champ but I think he’s pretty rusty as far as his ground game. I was able to pass guard on him, mount him, do whatever I wanted with him on the ground really. And he really didn’t feel that strong to me, granted I don’t grapple with anyone that feels strong to me.
But, I think that one of his strengths when he was in college was that he was much stronger than everyone he went up against; and heavyweights, no matter what the sport . . . it is hard to find good ones. So, I think if he sticks with it he’ll be great. I just think it was a mistake going to the UFC so quick. And I say that from someone who knows.
The UFC held a conference call with the media earlier today to announce a new television deal with Spike TV and to discuss the UFC’s recent acquisition of former pro wrestler Brock Lesnar and the much anticipated bout between Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva at UFC 79 in December.
Jennifer Wenk, the UFC’s head of public relations was the host of the call. Participants on the call included UFC President Dana White, former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell, former PRIDE Middleweight Champion Wanderlei Silva, Brock Lesnar, and Spike TV officials Brian Diamond and Kevin Kay.
Right off the bat Dana was asked if he purposely planned a conference call at the same time Randy Couture was slated to hold his press conference.
“Am I putting on a press conference to fuck with Randy Couture right now?” asked White. “Is that what you’re asking me? No, it’s not intentional. I’m here to announce the Spike deal and discuss the Lesnar signing as well as talk about Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva and their fight, that’s it. Is it a coincidence that we got this deal done the same week that Randy decided to speak out? No.”
White let everyone know that he still likes Couture as a person and would love to have him back. He was also confident that Couture would return in the near future.
“He’s mine,” claimed White “He’s under contract to me and he can’t fight anywhere else. I don’t know what his people are telling him but resignation or not he won’t be permitted to fight anywhere else. Besides that I love Randy. Randy is pissed at me. We’re friends and friends get pissed at each other. However I’m real confident that we’re going to kiss and make up real soon.”
The details of the UFC’s new deal with Spike TV are as follows:
The contract is a four year deal. There will be five more seasons of The Ultimate Fighter. Two seasons will take place in 2008, two in 2009, and only one season in 2010. The UFC and Spike TV are also developing a new television show that will premiere in 2010. The show will feature live fights and fighters of a “higher caliber” than those currently featured on TUF according to White.
White also stated that the UFC will produce 12 live events on Spike TV for next year.
“We’re going to do 12 live fight cards for next year,” said White. “We’ll continue to do UFC Fight Nights. We’re back in bed with these guys. They’ve been so good to us over the years and we’re going to do a lot of good programs.”
Yahoo! Sports will stream today’s scheduled UFC media conference call at 4 PM EST through the MMA section of the site.
UFC President Dana White will host the call and announce a new television deal that the UFC has signed. White will also discuss the UFC’s recent acquisition of former pro wrestler Brock Lesnar and the much anticipated bout between Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva at UFC 79 in December.
Lesnar, Liddell, and Silva are all expected to be part of the call.
While listeners will be able to hear the entire call in full, only certified members of the media will be permitted to ask questions.
Remember that Randy Couture’s press conference concerning his resignation from the UFC will take place at 4:30 PM EST live from Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas and will be streamed on Pro Elite’s official website.
We will have extensive coverage of both events.