Last week, “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather Jr., shocked MMA fans when he bashed the UFC and their light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell during a conference call to promote his fight with Oscar De La Hoya.
“UFC ain’t shit,” he said. “It ain’t but a fad. Anyone can put a tattoo on their head and get in a street fight.” He singled out UFC poster boy Chuck Liddell for an extra overhand right. “We should put Liddell against a good heavyweight, under Mayweather Promotions, and if Chuck wins, then I’ll give him a million dollars out of my own pocket.” PBF then shoe-shined all MMA fighters. “These are guys who couldn’t make it in boxing,” he said. “So they do (MMA). Boxing is the best sport in the world and it’s here to stay.”
Not only were fans unhappy, but UFC president Dana White also expressed his displeasure during a media conference call on Monday.
“You know, Floyd Mayweather just came out and said some stupid s—- about Chuck Liddell,” White said.
“We should put Liddell against a good heavyweight, under Mayweather Promotions,” Mayweather said last week. “If Chuck wins, then I’ll give him a million dollars out of my own pocket.”
“(He said) he’d pay a million dollars if Chuck could hang with a heavyweight boxer,” White said Monday. “How about if he pays a million dollars to see if a heavyweight boxer can fight MMA with Chuck Liddell? Or, even better, I’ll put up a million dollars of my own money if Floyd Mayweather can sell more than 10 tickets without Oscar De La Hoya.”
News and Notes
- UFC veteran Jonathan “Road Warrior” Goulet added to his winning streak this past weekend when he disposed of Jesse Bongfeldt early in the first at TKOMMA Tourney 2007. His next fight will come June 1st at TKO 29: Repercussion when he faces fellow UFC veteran Steve Vigneault for the vacant TKO welterweight title. Georges St. Pierre was foreced to vacate the title when he won the UFC welterweight belt.
- Yesterday Sherdog.com reported Chuck Liddell and Quinton Jackson will lock horns in the world famous octagon May 26th at UFC 71.
- This past weekend former UFC heavyweight champion and MMA legend, Bas Rutten, announced that he was stepping down as the coach of the Anacondas and Sean Tompkins would be taking his place as the head coach. Rutten will remain with the IFL but instead of coaching he will become the “Face of the IFL” working the broadcast booth and hosting “IFL Battleground”.
- The UFC has hired Mike Mersch who will be the organization’s chief operating officer. Originally Mersch was the Nevada deputy attorney general who represented the Nevada Athletic Commission.
- Hall of Fame play-by-play boxing announcer, Col. Bob Sheridan, will be ringside April 14th when Fedor Emelianenko and Matt Lindland fight in the BodogFight ring.
- Bob Sapp’s new opponent at the upcoming Cage Rage show will be Gary Turner.
- GracieMag.com is reporting that Ronaldo Jacaré will not compete at ADCC 2007.
- According to GracieFighter.com UFC lightweight Tyson Griffin has parted ways with David Terrell and the Nor-Cal Fighting Alliance. Terrell said, ““He didn’t train at all with us for that fight so why would we corner him. Win or lose we wouldn’t have been responsible.”
Clip of the Day
Does anyone remember this man? He was at the very first show of the IFL, and before everyone noticed, he had some ex-body builder running his team Tokyo Sabres. On March 14th, Inoki officially announced that as of April 1st, he is starting a new martial arts promotion called Inoki Genome Federation. (IGF) The head of organization is none other than Anotonio Inoki but other executives and staff are still unknown till this date. The only prediction we can make at this point is that his son-law, Simon Kelly Inoki, just revealed his resignation from New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s president post, probably to join his father in-law’s new promotion. Besides this, no one knows what is going to take place with this new project by Mr. Inoki. All we can tell at this point, is that everyone is making big announcements in April.
Sherdog.com is reporting that Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell will defend his title at UFC 71 May 26th when he locks horns with Quinton Jackson.
Ibarra indicated the Liddell bout should be officially announced by Tuesday of this week.
Their initial encounter took place in November 2003 at PRIDE Final Conflict when Jackson TKO’d Liddell early in the second round.
Since that time Liddell has gone 7-0 defeating Tito Ortiz twice, Randy Couture twice, Renato Sobral, Jeremy Horn, and Vernon White.
Jackson on the other hand has gone 7-3 suffering knockout losses to Wanderlei Silva twice and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Rampage’s victories came over Ikuhisa Minowa, Ricardo Arona (devastating slam), Murilo Rua, Hirotaka Yokoi, Dong Sik Yoon, Matt Lindland and Marvin Eastman.
Usually, I would not make a post to highlight one specific interview, but this one is awfully informative. The UFC’s Dana White was interviewed on CBS Sportline and had a lot of things to say. Among them…
* Confirmed that UFC 70 will likely be on SpikeTV
* Confirmed that Rashad Evans is the expected opponent for Tito Ortiz at UFC 71.
* Reiterated that he wants Rampage Jackson to fight Chuck Liddell for the LHW title at UFC 71 in May.
* Was very candid once again about his interests in buying the Pride promotion, admitting to having been in negotiations with them.
* Mentioned guys like Wanderlei Silva, Fedor, and Dan Henderson as fighters he’d love to have fight under the UFC banner.
* Hinted at the possibility that they are negotiating with the Nogueira brothers since their contract is up soon with Pride.
* Clarified his position on the Kurt Angle rumors, yet was very complimentary to Angle as well as Brock Lesnar.
* Admitted he’d like to see Phil Baroni and Evan Tanner back in the UFC.
* Continued the war of words with Jerry Millen, Gary Shaw, and Frank Shamrock.
A rumor is now going strong due to a posting on the fiveouncesofpain.com blog that says Tito Ortiz will be fighting Rashad Evans at UFC 71 rather than teammate Keith Jardine. The blog’s writer, Sam Caplan, works for CBSSportsline and is very credible. Here’s his post…
It’s been reported in multiple outlets that Tito Ortiz will fight Keith Jardine at UFC 71 in May. I believe Tito may have even confirmed the bout himself. However, while interviewing Dana White for CBS Sportsline yesterday Dana indicated Tito’s opponent at UFC 71 will be Rashad Evans so I’m not so sure he’ll be fighting Jardine.
Look for my exclusive interview with Dana to appear on Sportsline in the next couple of days.
If so, this fight would either elevate Rashad to title fight contender or show that he needs a bit more time to sharpen his skills.
This might also open up Keith Jardine for a title bout with Chuck Liddell as they are searching for an opponent for Liddell since Quinton Jackson has stated he’d like another fight before facing the Light Heavyweight Champion. This of course is pure speculation on my part.
News and Notes
- UFC President Dana White fielded a series of questions concerning Chuck Liddell yesterday mainly concerning the status of Liddell’s health and the date of his next fight.
White said that Liddell is now out of the hospital and is now the road to recovery from a bout pneumonia. White also stated that Liddell will be fighting on May 26th in Las Vegas against an opponent that has yet to be named. The big rumor floating around is that Liddell was put his belt up against Quinton Jackson who has decided not to have another fight before getting a title shot.
The biggest question has to be whether or not Liddell is going to be physically ready for the biggest fight of his career after being sick for so long…
- Cage Rage has struck a television deal with Sky Sports in England and the station will broadcast Cage Rage 21 on April 21st.
“Cage Rage and Sky Sports have confirmed the deal,” said Cage Rage promoters in a public statement made over the weekend. “Cage Rage Championships are pleased to further cement their relationship with Sky Sports and as the biggest UK based MMA event in Europe, have once again raised the bar to bring you another spectacular fight night from Wembley Arena.”
“We have worked with Sky Sports for about three years now,” said promoter Andy Geer. “But this deal is something else. When Sky Sports throw their considerable advertising budget at this event it will pack sports bars up and down the country and finally put our wonderful sport live in the homes of millions of people.”
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.
Well I guess this would be the perfect opportunity to introduce you to our newest feature - From The Mailbag. Basically if you send in a question, we will try our best to answer it and post it on the site under this heading. Simple as that…
C Rizzle writes:
If Rampage gets through Eastman and I figure he will, do you see Dana matching him up with Liddell right away? (I see him getting 2 fights before a title bout) If not and you are going to give him another bout before the title fight, I could very well see Dana matching him up with Evans, and in light of Evans comments saying he would “knock Jackson out”, I think this could have some merit to it. Or do you see him fighting a Sobral, Jardine, etc. What are your thoughts?
Basically I think it’s all going to come down to what Dana White decides to do. The Light-Heavyweight division is absolutely stacked, we already know that. The problem is that there is no legitimate number one contender to Chuck Liddell’s belt.
Could Quinton Jackson get an immediate title shot if he beats Marvin Eastman? It’s very possible and only because there isn’t any other fighter that is a step ahead of the rest right now and would be a just challenger.
If Rashad Evans and Keith Jardine are forced to fight or else they are terminated from their UFC contracts, I think the two will fight. If not, another scenario Dana may be visualize is Tito Ortiz vs Keith Jardine and Quinton Jackson vs Rashad Evans. Another thing that may prevent this is the fact that Forrest and Tito are heavily rumored to be fighting at UFC 70.
Michael Bisping is still going to have two or three more fights before he is seriously considered just like the rest of The Ultimate Fighter alumni. Renato Sobral and Jason Lambert are scheduled to fight at UFC 68 so that takes them out of the picture for now…
But where does this leave Liddell? Is he going to have to go through another UFC 57-UFC 62 stretch where he doesn’t fight? Will Dana try to grab Wanderlei Silva again? There’s so many possible scenarios that could happen, it’s too early to really to gage what’s going to happen until some of these fights go down and future matchups are finalized.
Anyway there are my thoughts on the situation. Hope I answered your question well enough…
The Boston Herald is reporting that the UFC may actually be on ESPN a lot sooner than we think. UFC President Dana White informed the newspaper that he will be traveling to the network headquarters to participate in a series of meetings regarding the possibility of putting UFC programming on ESPN in the near future.
“All the top meetings over there are about the UFC, said White. When they start talking about this stuff on ‘SportsCenter,’ that’s really going to help us. That’s going to help us get to the next level.”
Even though the UFC and the sport of mixed martial arts is exploding faster than ever before, White still isn’t satisifed with his product’s place in pop culture…
“That’s the beauty of the business,” White said. “We’re the biggest thing on pay per view. We’re bigger than boxing. We’re bigger than WWE. But we’re so fucking far from mainstream. Mainstream is Shaquille O’Neal. If Shaq is walking down the street, everyone knows who he is.
The weird thing about this is Chuck Liddell is one of the biggest superstars in other places. We went to Ibiza, Spain, and he’s getting mobbed there. We couldn’t go anywhere. He goes to New York and people are all over him. I mean, it’s tough to miss a guy with a Mohawk and Chinese writing on his head. They might recognize him, but they don’t immediately know the UFC.”