The UFC has announced that it will hold a media conference call tomorrow afternoon to announce a new television deal with an unknown source.
I’m guessing that it could either be an extension with Spike TV or something new.
UFC President Dana White will apparently discuss the recent signing of former professional wrestler Brock Lesnar as well as the upcoming matchup between Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva at UFC 79. Lesnar, Liddell, and Silva are all expected to be on the call.
News and Notes
- Remember that you can always donate directly to the Ryan Bennett Memorial Fund through this link.
- Evan Tanner is looking for sponsors for his friend Ian Dawe who will be fighting at a couple of upcoming shows later this year, including King of the Cage. Contact him here for information.
- Kalib Starnes posted the real story behind his controversial cut suffered during his bout against Alan Belcher this past weekend at UFC 77 in Sherdog’s forums:
I got hit with an elbow early in the first round. In the second round the ref stopped the action so the doctor could look at the cut. The doctor said “How is your vision?” I said “There’s blood in my eye.” Yves Lavigne said, “If you say you can’t see he’ll stop the fight.” I said, “I can see, there’s no problem, I want to fight.” The doctor spread the cut open with his thumbs and said “I can see his skull, I’m stopping it.” I said “I want to continue” and looked at my cornerman.
My cornerman was staring at my cut and yelling “Why are you stopping the fight?”, “What are you doing?” His comments were directed at the referee, but because he was staring at me, I was confused. That is why I became so angry, because I did not quit, and I thought that he was accusing me of quitting. We sorted things out afterwards. That’s something that bothers me a lot after Ken Shamrock said that I was not injured on that show when I had a serious injury. I still take a lot of heat for that son of a bitches ignorant comments.
- Paulo Filho and Thiago Silva have both joined Team Link.
- MMA News interviewed Brock Lesnar over the weekend who apparently already knows when and who he is fighting in his UFC debut.
- Sam Caplan is reporting that Shad Lierley has signed a deal with the IFL that will keep him in the promotion through 2008.
- 411 Mania makes note that Sean Salmon will serve as the injury replacement for the fighters competing in Strikeforce’s middleweight tournament in November.
As you probably already heard, the UFC has officially announced the signing of former pro wrestler Brock Lesnar.
Lesnar is expected to make his UFC debut in February.
Ricardo Almedia’s signing with the UFC has also been made official by the company.
No formal announcement of Wanderlei Silva’s next opponent was made, despite claims that Silva was set to do so himself.
MMA Junkie ran into Silva at the event and asked him about the rumored matchup:
MMA Junkie bumped into the former PRIDE champion in downtown Cincinnati on Saturday, and the fighter couldn’t help smile when we asked him about a rumored fight with Liddell.
“Dec. 29 I go into the ring and finally beat (Liddell),” Silva said. “Unless Chuck (is) scared, we fight then.“
Tim Sylvia challenged fellow heavyweight Cheick Kongo after his victory over Brandon Vera:
“We don’t know what’s going on with Randy [Couture] right now,” Sylvia said. “He’s a little bit in limbo. I don’t want to sit my ass down and wait for him, so I think Cheick and I should fight.”
However White has stated that Sylvia will most likely fight Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for the UFC Heavyweight Title early next year.
UFC President Dana White announced the winners of the usual performance bonuses at the post-fight press conference:
Knockout of the night - Anderson Silva
Submission of the night - Demian Maia
Fight of the night - Jason Black vs Matt Grice
Each fighter will receive a bonus of $40,000, the highest that has ever been given out.
White also announced that UFC 77 broke the official gate record at the U.S. Bank Arena, bringing in a total of $2.54 million.
Randy Couture will hold a public press conference this coming Thursday to discuss his depature from the UFC.
White mentioned that the UFC would return to Ohio next March. He also said that Boston, Chicago, and Atlanta are all being considered to host shows next year.
Alex Marvez of FOX Sports is reporting that Franklin is expected to consider retirement.
Yushin Okami’s contract with the UFC apparently expired after last night’s fight with Jason MacDonald.
When asked about a future opponent for Silva, White threw Thales Leites, Ricardo Almeida, and David Terrell out there as possibilities.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has announced the signing of former NCAA Champion and four-time All-American Brock Lesnar (1-0).
“I don’t think there are any other pro wrestlers that can make the transition to MMA, except for Brock Lesnar,” said White. “And if you look at his amateur wrestling credentials, his size, and what he’s done, this guy can end up being a force in the heavyweight division of the UFC.”
“If you want to go with the NFL of the fighting game, it’s the UFC, and it was an easy choice for me,” said Lesnar. “Obviously I don’t think I’m ready for a title shot right away, but I will be there, and I’m not gonna turn down any opponent because I’m here to prove myself. I’m not here to pick and choose my fights. I’ll fight whomever they want. I don’t make the fights; that’s not my job. I’ve got one job to do and that’s to fight.”
Lesnar made his mixed martial arts debut in June at K-1 Hero’s Dynamite!! USA defeating Min Soo Kim early in the first round of their heavyweight tilt. According to the article, the deal and opponent for Lesnar’s UFC debut will be announced in the near future.
News and Notes
- Sam Caplan of Five Ounces of Pain is reporting that Ricardo Arona is not close to signing a deal with the UFC, or any organization for that matter:
While Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer has already said as much, FiveOuncesOfPain.com can confirm that there is very little validity to the rumors that Ricardo Arona is close to finalizing a deal with the UFC.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com contacted a source close to Arona via e-mail and that source has indicated that he will be in Europe for the next 40 days, making a deal almost impossible to complete. Furthermore, Arona has made no mention to the source about the possibility of signing with the UFC.
- Speaking of Caplan, it seems that he has added Adam Morgan to his team at Five Ounces. I that brings Adam’s total of websites written for to four. Adam is a monster.
- The Fight Network’s Great Fight North column has some good news inside:
Jonathan Goulet is hoping to fight next in November despite dislocating his elbow against Dustin Hazelett at UFC 76.
Bill Mahood’s fight against Bobby Southworth at this weekend’s Strikeforce event will not be for Southworth’s Strikeforce World Light Heavyweight Title.
Denis Kang is apparently training for a return at an October or November K-1 Hero’s event.
- MMA Junkie is reporting that Dean Lister may be taking on Jordan Radev at UFC 79 in December:
UFC rookie Jordan Radev (11-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) will likely face Dean Lister (9-5 MMA, 2-1 UFC) at UFC 79 in December.
MMAjunkie.com learned of the fight from a source close to the fighter, but Ken Pavia, Radev’s agent, said he couldn’t comment on the report or confirm that a deal was close to being signed.
- In a recent interview with FOX Sports, UFC President Dana White stated that he’s still confident he can sign Fedor and Brock Lesnar still isn’t officially with the UFC:
He also was very confident of signing Fedor Emelianenko, but felt it wouldn’t happen until after Emelianenko competes in a Russian sambo tournament in the fall. White said it was incorrect the story, claimed by Kurt Angle, that Brock Lesnar had signed with UFC. But he did hope to make the deal.
It seems that the IFL and Kurt Angle are currently in contract talks to bring the former Olympic gold medalist to the first team-based MMA league.
It’s interesting to note that Angle seems to actually want to sign with the promotion these days:
“God willing, the IFL and myself can make a deal,” Angle told FOXSports.com while attending the promotion’s team championship finale Thursday night at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. “The best fit for me right now as a pro wrestler who [works] about 120 times a year is the IFL.”
Angle stated that he would still need to acquire permission from TNA and train for about a year before being ready to step in the ring. Compared to the UFC and EliteXC, Angle has enjoyed the IFL’s different approach to things:
“The other organizations were pushing me for to fight right away for big money, bigger money than any other fighter has ever made,” Angle said. “But I think they were doing it for my name because I had a lot of exposure in WWE and TNA. When I talked to the IFL, it wasn’t like they came at me with the biggest contract, but they made a lot more sense.
“The IFL is giving me an opportunity to get my feet wet and train without affecting my job with TNA whatsoever. [The IFL] said they would be second priority and make sure TNA is happy all the time and they’ll take me when they can get me.”
One of Angle’s goals in going into the sport of MMA was to set up a fight with former pro wrestler Brock Lesnar. Angle now says that the chances of that happening are now almost gone since Lesnar has signed with the UFC:
“We figured we would make somebody a hell of a lot of money,” Angle said. “We were talking about it, but Brock jumped the gun and went to UFC right away and struck a deal. I don’t blame him. The kid honestly wants to do three or four fights and retire. He’s going to make that kind of money. I give him a lot of credit for that.
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.
News and Notes
- Tony Bonello has been forced to withdraw from his scheduled bout against Jon Murphy at this Saturday’s ShoXC Elite Challenger Series event. A replacement opponent for Murphy has not yet been named.
- Cub Swanson says that he may not be competing in the WEC’s September 5th event now that Jens Pulver has bowed out of their bout with a knee injury:
“It’s fifty-fifty right now that I’ll fight in September,” said Swanson, a hot local talent on the San Diego circuit whose budding career could have surely benefited from the higher profile match-up with the former UFC lightweight champion.
“It’s unfortunate,” said Swanson. “I just finished training for a month in Big Bear and I’m in shape.”
Loretta Hunt of The Fight Network describes Swanson’s current situation as “the WEC placing him on standby.”
- MMA Weekly is reporting that yet another Korean news website is stating that Denis Kang has signed with K-1 Hero’s and that his first bout will be against Kazushi Sakuraba on September 17th.
A Korean website called “joynews.inews24.com” is reporting that Denis Kang has been signed by K-1’s Heroes to a lucrative 2-year contract.
Apparently, Kang’s management is citing the ability to continue to compete in Spirit MC, a Korean MMA promotion in which Kang is one of the biggest draws and holds a title, as the deciding factor in signing the contract with K-1 Heroes.
Korean news is also reporting that Kang’s debut is scheduled for September 17 against Kazushi Sakuraba. Neither Kang nor K-1 has yet confirmed this, however, and there is some speculation that Sakuraba may be injured.
The website does bring up two new points - Sakuraba’s possible injury and the fact that Kang would be free to still compete in Spirit MC, which happens to be holding a tournament right now to try and crown a number one contender for Kang’s heavyweight title in that promotion.
- UFC Junkie is reporting that Nate Mohr has been forced to pull out of his proposed bout with Jeremy Stephens at UFC 76. Mohr has apparently suffered a possible broken hand. Officials close to Stephens have stated that he has still been promised a spot on the card and that the UFC is currently searching for a replacement opponent. The UFC had yet to officially announce the Mohr-Stephens bout.
- UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture will be featured tonight in Spike TV’s special, “100% Natural”. Spike will air three programs featuring Couture in them: UFC Unleashed featuring Couture’s win over Tim Sylvia at UFC 68 at 10 PM, Countdown to UFC 74 at 11 PM, and then UFC All Access: Randy Couture at 12 AM.
- The California State Athletic Commission has announced that Anthony Bivins and Cesar De La Torre have both been fined and suspended for testing positive for marijuana.
De La Torre last competed at Total Fighting Alliance on August 11th in Santa Monica, Calif. He lost by TKO to Justin Schalk. De La Torre has been fined $500 and his suspension runs from the conclusion of the bout on August 11 through November 9, 2007.
Bivins tested positive following his most recent bout for Cage Combat on August 18th in Yuba City, Calif. He defeated Tyson Schoel by triangle choke. Bivins was also fined $500 and his suspension runs from the conclusion of the bout on August 18 through November 16, 20007.
- The New Jersey State Athletic Control Board has added a female referee to it’s staff for the first time in it’s history:
Kim Winslow will officiate her first MMA fight under the NJSACB at Ring of Combat XV Friday, Sept. 7 at the Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City, N.J. Promoted by Louis Neglia, the event will be televised on pay-per-view. Ring of Combat XV will feature preliminary fights in the Beasts of the Northeast Tournament.
Winslow, a Reno, Nev. resident, has refereed in an amateur capacity in several other jurisdictions, according to the NJSACB. The 39-year-old has shadowed pro referees at UFC and IFL shows. Winslow trained regularly in jiu-jitsu and Muay thai for several years at the Reno School of Combat.
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MMA Madness: A look back at K-1’s Las Vegas Grand Prix
News and Notes
- Tonight’s TUF 5 episode will feature two quarterfinal bouts: Nate Diaz vs Corey Hill and Matt Wiman vs Manny Gamburyan
- Last night on bodogFIGHT: Costa Rica Combat - Nick Thompson stopped Dustin Denes with strikes on the ground in the second round and Eddie Alvarez was victorious with a TKO win over Scott Henze by TKO.
- The rumors are true when it comes to Sherdog adding a third live radio show to it’s lineup. The Stephen Quadros Show will debut on Tuesday, June 12th at 3 PM EST.
- Showtime will replay selected bouts from K-1 Dynamite!! USA this Saturday night at 9 PM EST to precede the Antonio Tarver and Chad Dawson doubleheader started at 10 PM. Brock Lesnar’s MMA debut and the rematch between Royce Gracie and Kazushi Sakuraba will be shown in their entirety while highlights from the other fights on the card will be shown.
Video of the Day
The Fight Network is reporting that Min Soo Kim will replace K-1 veteran Hong Man Choi and face Brock Lesnar at the upcoming K-1 Dynamite!! USA card.
Lesnar was originally scheduled to face Hong Man Choi but the fight was scrapped after Choi failed to pass his medical tests put forth the California State Athletic Commission. Lesnar’s new opponent, Min Soo Kim, sports a MMA record of 2-5 with victories over the likes of Sean O’Haire and Yoshihisa Yamamoto. Kim’s five losses came to K-1’s best Siala “Mighty Mo” Siliga, Semmy Schilt, Don Frye, Ray Sefo, and Bob Sapp.
It was also noted that Marvin Eastman vs. Ray Sefo was been removed from the card. K-1 Dynamite!! USA is scheduled to take place June 2nd at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.