Photo courtesy of ChrisLeben.com
While the UFC already put forth a “stacked” event last summer, I think it’s safe to say that UFC 82: Pride of a Champion is looking even better.
A tenth rumored bout for the event has been confirmed by Five Ounces of Pain, who are reporting that popular middleweight Chris Leben will return to action against light heavyweight convert Alessio Sakara, who will be fighting for the first time at 185 lbs.
Leben’s manager, T. Jay Thompson confirmed his client’s participation against Sakara at the event. Leben last fought in September, where he scored a dramatic third-round knockout win over upstart middleweight Terry Martin at UFC Fight Night 11.
Sakara defeated James Lee at UFC 80: Rapid Fire a couple of weeks ago, stopping him with strikes in the first round of their bout. The former professional boxer, who has had a roller coaster of a UFC career, recently joined forces with American Top Team.
Tonight we will be going live at 7 PM EST, covering UFC Fight Night 11 with one of our patented live blogs. Be sure to leave some comments throughout the night…
While you are waiting for the event to start, feel free to check out our coverage of the event which includes predictions, weigh-in results, and much more:
UFC Fight Night 11 Weigh-In Results
Tap Selections: UFC Fight Night 11
Exclusive: Swick vs Goulet Off
Spencer Fisher Injured, Kenny Florian Fills In
Bouts Added to UFC Fight Night 11
Martin, Leben to Clash at UFC Fight Night 11
Swick and Goulet Signed for UFC Fight Night 11
Leben Declines Swick Fight; Goulet Now in the Picture
Din Thomas vs Kenny Florian
Chris Leben vs Terry Martin
Nate Diaz vs Junior Assuncao
Nate Quarry vs Pete Sell
Jonathan Goulet vs Dustin Hazelett
Thiago Alves vs Kuniyoshi Hironaka
Leonard Garcia vs Cole Miller
Gray Maynard vs Joe Veres
Luke Cummo vs Edilberto de Oliveira
News and Notes
- Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports has a direct quote from UFC President Dana White where White states he is working on an immediate rematch between Michael Bisping and Matt Hamill:
And, while they’re at it, the UFC honchos should mandate a rematch between Bisping and Hamill.
White said the rematch is “a no-brainer and I’m going to be on it right away.”
Having them fight again in a place where an official athletic commission will oversee the affairs is the only way to remove the stench surrounding UFC 75.
However FOX Sports is reporting that Bisping will most likely drop down to the middleweight division. I’m not so sure that Hamill could make 185 lbs.
- Staying with the quotes, it seems that Patrick Cote wants both Chris Leben and Terry Martin and would like to face the winner of their bout in December:
“I just want to prove to everybody that I was robbed last time [against Leben],” says Cote. “I will not leave the fight in the judge’s hands next time.”
“I just don’t like Martin,” says Cote. “He has a big mouth. Terry Martin has said he’s the next big thing at 185 and that he will be champion. He thinks he has heavy hands because he knocked out Jorge Rivera. But if you watch that fight, you see Rivera was already off balance and he caught him. He’s a one-dimensional fighter. He doesn’t shoot for the leg; he tries to trap you against the cage. I can use my reach against him, and I have good footwork and hands. It will be a long night for him if he wants to try and trap me against the cage.”
- The Ryan Bennett Memorial Fund is auctioning off Randy Couture’s autographed gloves from UFC 74. Bidding ends on Thursday.
- MMA Weekly is reporting that Fabio Silva will take on Melvin Manhoef at the September 17th K-1 Hero’s event.
- The British Medical Association is attempting to ban MMA in the country of England. Apparently it’s nothing to worry about as the BMA has also been trying to ban boxing since 1982. That obviously hasn’t worked.
- Mirko Cro Cop has told Croatian reporters that he suffered a broken rib in the first round of his recent loss to Cheick Kongo over the weekend.
- Zach Arnold has found that Hidehiko Yoshida may be appearing at K-1’s annual Dynamite show on New Year’s Eve. Now the big question: Will he fight or just be a guest?
Sankei Sports is reporting that Hidehiko Yoshida is considering an offer to appear at the K-1 Dynamite New Year’s Eve event. Yoshida was quoted as saying that he wanted to fight before the end of the year and that he is leaving any future career decisions to the J-ROCK office to determine. J-ROCK’s stance is that if PRIDE is dead, then Yoshida should be a free agent.
News and Notes
- According to his management team, it seems that Fedor is going to sign with a promotion very soon:
That situation isn’t likely to remain so for much longer though, as speculation has swirled around Fedor’s contract status, or lack thereof, as of late. The hot rumor over the past few days has been that he has inked a deal with the UFC.
Not so says Reed Wallace, President of White Chocolate Management, who represents Fedor Emelianenko in the United States.
“Fedor has not signed anything [as of Tuesday afternoon],” Wallace informed MMAWeekly. “He’s going to do something soon. They can’t negotiate forever.”
So Wallace and company are getting fed up with waiting, just like the rest of the MMA world. It’s nothing surprising, but Apy Echteld sayng that contract talks with the UFC are going well certainly is:
Fedor’s managers, Vadim Finkelstein and Apy Echteld, met with the UFC late last week, but a signed contract has yet to materialize. “UFC discussions went very well according to Apy,” said Wallace in reference to the meeting. Initially it seemed the UFC was unwilling to make any modifications to their contract, but it now appears there has been some movement.
“I can say that they are very close to a deal, but some last minute players have stepped up as well,” he said.
One of those players as we all now know is Mark Cuban. The other is assumed to be K-1 Hero’s.
- Sherdog is reporting that Rumina Sato will take on Hideki Kadowaki at Shooto’s Back to our Roots show on September 22nd:
Shooto charisma Rumina Sato (Pictures) will fight Wajyutsu Keisyukai grappling ace Hideki Kadowaki (Pictures) on the Sept. 22 installment of the “Back to Our Roots” series, a source confirmed to Sherdog.com.
Leading Shooto promoter Sustain is expected to officially announce the Sato-Kadowaki bout later this week. The match-up will be the ninth, and likely final bout added to Sept. 22’s fight card.
- MMA Weekly has released their latest set of rankings...
Sherdog: Dan Henderson Training Pictures
UFC Junkie: “Team Hughes” Fighters Debut Sept. 15
UFC Mania: UFC Quick Quote: Chris Leben ‘in the best shape’ ever for Terry Martin
Bloody Elbow: Lift the Ban Watch
Fight Opinion: Wednesday war room: BMA and Big Brother
Fightlinker: Dana White treats people like shit
The UFC has announced a slew of fights set to take place September 19th at UFC Fight Night 11.
UFC Fight Night 11
Din Thomas vs. Spencer Fisher
Chris Leben vs. Terry Martin
Nate Diaz vs. Junior Assuncao
Mike Swick vs. Jonathan Goulet
Gray Maynard vs. Joe Veres
Cole Miller vs. Leonard Garcia
Pete Sell vs. Nate Quarry
The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that Terry Martin has signed a contract to fight Chris Leben at UFC Fight Night 11 on September 19th.
Chicago’s Terry Martin signed a contract Monday to fight Chris Leben on Sept. 19 at the Palms in Las Vegas in a ‘‘Fight Night Live’’ on Spike TV. ‘‘Leben will sit there and bang with me, so this is perfect for me,’’ Martin said. ‘‘He’s a big name, and it’s going to be on Spike, so it will be free and more viewers will see it.’‘
Martin is currently undefeated since moving down to the middleweight division earlier this year. He owns stoppage wins over Jorge Rivera and Ivan Salaverry so far in ‘07. Martin formerly fought at light heavyweight where he was stopped by James Irvin and Jason Lambert at UFC 54 and UFC 59 respectively.
Leben has lost three of his last four fights since starting out his UFC career with a five-fight winning streak. Leben was originally scheduled to take on Mike Swick at UFC Fight Night 11 but pulled out of the bout earlier this week. Swick is now set to take on Jonathan Goulet in his welterweight debut instead.
After nearly not fighting at all, Mike Swick and Jonathan Goulet are now signed to fight each other at UFC Fight Night 11 in September.
We reported yesterday that Chris Leben had backed out of his scheduled bout against Swick at the event and that Swick had caught wind of Goulet’s comments towards him, stating that he didn’t accept the fight involving the two and was scared.
Swick denied the claims and stated that he was never offered a fight against Goulet. Goulet is saying otherwise:
“Ken Pavia, my new manager, called me yesterday and asked me to fight Mike Swick in place of Chris Leben,” Goulet said. “He called me back two hours later and said Mike Swick didn’t accept [the fight], but I don’t think it was Swick [who declined]; I think it was his management.”
Goulet also states that after hearing that Swick apparently turned down the fight, it was David Loiseau who gave him the idea to call Swick out on the internet:
“I called David Loiseau, because we were both excited about the [potential] fight,” Goulet said. “He told me to write some things on Sherdog and other forums, and I did. Mike Swick saw what I wrote and accepted the fight.”
It has been confirmed that the fight will take place at welterweight. Goulet has spent the better part of this year fighting at 185 lbs instead of his natural weight of 170 lbs. This fight will be Swick’s debut at welterweight.
MMA Weekly is reporting that Mike Swick may now take on Jonathan Goulet at UFC Fight Night 11 in September. The news comes after Swick announced that Chris Leben has pulled out of their scheduled fight via his latest blog on MySpace:
Chris Leben said something about moving down to 170 and the UFC thought it would be a great time to have us fight. I was offered the fight and we accepted it immediately. We even told the UFC that we can do it at whatever weight class; I will give up weight if I have to get it done. So they were going to make our fight the Main Event of Ultimate Fight Night 11 on Spike TV on September 19th. Spike was excited about the fight, the UFC was excited about the fight, the fans were excited about the fight, and most of all, we were excited about the fight. Apparently Leben and his camp wasn’t. After almost a week of waiting for an answer he declined the fight at any weight class.
Swick then went on to talk about Goulet, who created a thread in MMA Weekly’s forums yesterday, stating that Swick refused to fight him:
“Wanted to fight Mike Swick to replace Leben at 170 for the UFC Fight Night in September, but he refused. Is he scared to go to sleep against me? I will beat his ass. I want him.”
Swick caught wind of Goulet’s comments and informed MMA Weekly that he was never offered to fight Goulet, so it would have been impossible to turn him down as an opponent. Swick also stated that he would like to fight Goulet and that a contract has already been sent out in the mail for him to sign.
Since the other opponents we were trying to get an agreement with fell through, why not fight Goulet? I mean he is a good fighter and at least has some juevos. So Jonathan Goulet, let’s see if you can back up all that tough talk. Contract is in the mail, just sign the dotted line and let’s give these fans what they…well, get for free on Spike TV!
News and Notes:
- Our rumors section has been updated once again…
- Be sure to check back later today when we post a brand new Rock the Vote. An updated MMA on Tap Top 10 is also possible.
- Tonight’s episode of BodogFight: Paradise Lost will feature a bout between Tara LaRosa and Shayna Bazsler at 135 lbs.
- UFC Fight Night 11 will air on September 20th and will precede the debut of The Ultimate Fighter 6. The event will take place at the The Palms in Las Vegas. Mike Swick vs Chris Leben and Din Thomas vs Spencer Fisher are two of the rumored bouts for the event.
- Lightweight Jeremy Stephens has been granted a temporary leave of absence by the UFC in order to fight in smaller shows according to UFC Junkie.
- The third season of The Ultimate Fighter is in stores starting today.
Live Shows -
Three big future UFC matchups are being reported by three different sites…
UFC Mania is reporting that Chris Leben may take on Mike Swick in a rematch of their January 2004 bout at WEC 9. Leben won that bout by knockout in the second round and it was the focal point of a good amount of discussion between Leben and Swick during the first season of The Ultimate Fighter.
Yesterday UFC President Dana White also mentioned the possibility of the bout during a Q&A session with UFC Fight Club members after the UFC 73 weigh-ins. The bout is expected to take place at either UFC 76 or UFC Fight Night 11. No word on whether the fight would take place at welterweight or middleweight.
UFC Junkie is stating that Diego Sanchez and Jon Fitch are expected to meet at UFC 76:
Rising welterweight contender Jon Fitch could put his spotless UFC record on the line with a fight against Diego Sanchez at UFC 76.
Early this morning, a reliable source close to one of the fighters told UFC Junkie that the fight is in the works and expected to take place at UFC 76 on Sept. 22. The bout would be on the main card, and according to our source, may even be billed as a co-main event.
Sherdog got into the announcing of future bouts this morning when they revealed that Marcus Aurelio will make his UFC debut at UFC 74 against Clay Guida. Aurelio signed a four-fight deal with the UFC last month and is widely known for his win over Takanori Gomi at PRIDE Bushido 10. Guida is coming off a pair of close decision losses to Tyson Griffin and Din Thomas respectively.