Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Update 10:00 AM ET: The UFC has confirmed that Liddell has suffered a torn right hamstring and will be unable to compete against Evans in June. Photo of Liddell’s injury here. A new main event for UFC 85 is expected to be announced shortly. - John
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell has reportedly suffered an injury leading up to his June fight against Rashad Evans, leaving him unable to participate and postponing their showdown until later this year.
The news comes from our good friend Ariel Helwani of MMARated.com.
According to the report, the kind and extent of Liddell’s injury is currently unknown but plans call for he and Evans to fight later this summer. There is also no word as to whether or not Evans will still compete at the event.
The main event of UFC 85 has been in trouble from the start. Liddell’s original opponent, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, was forced to pull out of the bout after rupturing an ACL in his left knee during training. It’s an injury that required surgery and will keep Rua out of action indefinitely.
The fight was due to be Rua’s first since he was submitted by Forrest Griffin in his UFC debut in September.
Evans was originally scheduled to be fighting Thiago Silva in May before being tapped to replace Rua. The one-time standout college wrestler has not lost yet inside the confines of his UFC. Evans has been victorious in all of his bouts with the exception of a draw against Tito Ortiz last summer.
Liddell snapped a two-fight losing streak at UFC 79 in December where he won a unanimous decision over long-time rival Wanderlei Silva.
Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
When it comes to Kimbo Slice, opinions vary, especially thoughts held by those that have been involved in mixed martial arts for a long time. Thus has been the case in the past with UFC President Dana White and most recently, his real-life best friend, Chuck Liddell.
However just like Gary Shaw and company, White won’t deny the fact that if given the opportunity, he’d bring Slice over to the UFC. Why? To give him a shot against Liddell of course, well, if he starts beating notable names that is.
“If Kimbo fought anybody that mattered, I would book that tomorrow,” White said. “I’d take Kimbo absolutely seriously, but again, he hasn’t beat anybody. In this sport, it’s all about ‘Who have you beat right now?” And he hasn’t beat anybody. The fact is, Kimbo’s not there yet. He would get destroyed. I heard he just got knocked out by Forrest Griffin last week in a sparring match after a kick to the head.”
While White’s comments concerning Slice and his career so far make sense, it still makes you wonder what his mindset was before signing Brock Lesnar. Then again, Lesnar is an accomplished amateur wrestler while Slice’s previous claim to fame was fighting in the streets of Miami.
A win over James Thompson next month would be a victory over his most legitimate opponent to date. However Thompson still isn’t the type of fighter that will start getting people to take Slice and his skills seriously. Matchups against Brett Rogers and maybe even Ricco Rodriguez may come in time but is Kimbo ready to hit the ground? Time will tell.
Rashad Evans weighs-in for UFC 78: Validation. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
It’s looking like the Ultimate Fighting Championship has found a replacement opponent for Chuck Liddell
The former UFC light heavyweight champion will face the heavyweight winner of the second season of “The Ultimate Fighter in Rashad Evans according to reports from Sherdog and MMA Weekly, who have both reportedly confirmed the fight.
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua was forced to pull out of his scheduled bout against Liddell after rupturing an ACL in his left knee during a recent training session. Rua will apparently also require surgery and will be out of action for an indefinite amount of time according to the UFC. The fight was due to be Rua’s first since he was submitted by Forrest Griffin in his UFC debut in September.
Evans was originally scheduled to be fighting Thiago Silva in May from all of the information that was gathered over the past few months. The one-time standout college wrestler has not lost yet inside the confines of his UFC. Evans has been victorious in all of his bouts with the exception of a draw against Tito Ortiz last summer.
Liddell snapped a two-fight losing streak at UFC 79 in December where he won a unanimous decision over long-time rival Wanderlei Silva. A win over Evans will have Liddell move one step closer to a rematch against current champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, who has defeated Liddell twice in the past.
Chuck Liddell weighs-in for UFC 76: Knockout. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Ariel Helwani of Jarry Park sent this over to me last night but I didn’t get a chance to throw it up into a post until now.
If you haven’t already checked it out, he has an awesome new interview with Chuck Liddell up. Seriously, check it out. It was done last night, so it already has his thoughts on Mauricio “Shogun” Rua pulling out and who his next opponent might be.
Liddell always gives his thoughts on Anderson Silva and the EliteXC/CBS deal as well. But that’s not the best part of the interview. Not even close.
I’m just going to be honest here. We all know that Chuck gets mad bitches. It’s the truth. But have you had sex during interviews? Are you one of those athletes that abstains from doing the dirty before the big game? How about doing it just hours before a fight?
Check it out:
Chuck Liddell: I have a hard time subscribing to that rule one day before a fight…I have had sex anywhere up to…I think the closest I’ve gone to a fight was about four or five hours before.
Ariel Helwani: Really? In the arena?
Chuck Liddell: No, in the hotel room.
Ariel Helwani: Which fight was that?
Chuck Liddell: Babalu…I think.
Conclusion: Chuck Liddell is the man and you should go listen to Ariel’s latest interview. The end.
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua weighs-in for UFC 76: Knockout. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua has been forced to pull out of his scheduled bout against former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell after rupturing an ACL in his left knee during a recent training session.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship posted the news on their official website earlier this afternoon, additionally reporting that Rua will require surgery and will be out of action for an indefinite amount of time.
“I’ve never seen “Shogun” so motivated for a fight like this in years,” said Rua’s spokesman, Eduardo Alonso in the report. “This was like a new beginning for him. He thanks his fans for all the support. It means a lot to him.”
The fight was due to be Rua’s first since he was submitted by Forrest Griffin in his UFC debut in September. A replacement opponent for Liddell will reportedly be announced shortly.
So who would be a good replacement for Rua in this situation? Any ideas? To be honest, I can’t think of anyone of the top of my head. Every single one of the big-time light heavyweights have been booked for bouts in the coming months.
We all know that Chuck Liddell was a standout Division 1 wrestler at Cal Poly, who knew that he was equally as skilled at thumb wrestling too?
Touch of gloves to our friends at Fightlinker for the find.
Eddie Alvarez has his hand raised after winning a unanimous decision over Matt Lee in July 2007. Photo by David Singer.
A lot of news coming to our attention late today…
Alvarez-Aina Possible at EliteXC April Show
Former BodogFight welterweight champion Eddie Alvarez is currently in negotiations to take on EliteXC lightweight Mike Aina at an unannounced show in April according to a report by The Fight Network, who confirmed the contract talks yesterday with Alvarez.
Alvarez is coming off of an impressive knockout of Ross Ebanez at the fourth edition of ShoXC’s Elite Challenger Series. The Philadelphia native signed a three-fight deal with EliteXC earlier this month. Aina has not fought since losing a razor close decision to Nick Diaz in September.
Liddell-Rua Signed for June
A rumored bout between former champions Chuck Liddell and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is now official according to Sherdog, who confirmed the bout with Rua himself earlier today:
“The fight against Liddell is confirmed,” Rua said. “I signed the contract yesterday. Now I am going to train hard, focused on him, to represent my new team, Universidade da Luta, and my country. The fight is going to be in June.”
This could be an interesting fight and a possible great matchup for Liddell. Just like Wanderlei Silva, Rua loves to push the envelope and come right at his opponent, which is a dream come true for a counter-puncher like Liddell.
In order to win this one, “Shogun” will have to find a way to counter Liddell’s wrestling with a ground attack that will keep Liddell off-balance during scrambles. Should be a fun chess match to watch if it does actually go down.
Edgar-Maynard Set for UFC Fight Night 13
Lightweights Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard are set to clash at UFC Fight Night 13 in April according to Five Ounces of Pain.
We reported earlier this week through Five Ounces that Edgar was offered a bout against former PRIDE lightweight champ Takanori Gomi by the UFC, only to have the plans fall through after the promotion was unable to sign Gomi to an official contract.
Maynard was victorious last week, winning a decision over Dennis Siver at UFC Fight Night 12.
Bisping-McCarthy Moved to UFC 83 in Canada
A planned bout between former Ultimate Fighter winner Michael Bisping and American Top Team’s Charles McCarthy has been moved from a tentative U.K. show in March to the UFC’s debut show in Canada on April 19th.
Our partner site Rogers Sportsnet interviewed Bisping earlier this week, who confirmed the move with the network.
While we all know what Bisping has been up to these days (he’s moving down to 185 lbs), McCarthy has not fought in the UFC since submitting Gideon Ray with an armbar at The Ultimate Fighter 4 Finale last year. McCarthy was stopped in his debut by David Loiseau at UFC 53: Heavy Hitters in June 2005.
PFC Announces Five Fights for March
The Palace Fighting Championship has officially announced it’s next event for March 20th at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, California.
PFC 7 will feature a pair of flyweight bouts: Luis Gonzalez will be back in action taking on David Mitchell while newcomers Ulysses Gomez and Greg McDowell will compete for the first time professionally.
Additional bouts include former UFC middleweight Justin Levens taking on Phil Collins, Darren Crisp challenging Danny Castillo, and PFC light heavyweight champion Jeremy Freitag defending his title against top contender Anthony Rubalcalva.
Art of War Acquires IFO-Steele Cage Assets
SUN Sports, the parent company of Texas-based Art of War has announced that it has acquired the assets of the recently defunct International Fighting Organization, which was run in conjunction with Steele Cage Promotions.
“We are delighted to be able to acquire the assets of the International Fighting Organization,” said SUN Sports CEO C.J. Comu stated earlier today in a press release sent out to the media. “We are also delighted to be able to acquire all the raw footage and finished broadcast production of the IFO events promoted by Steele Cage Promotions, which we plan on distributing globally. We feel that the film inventory will be a great compliment to the Art of War film inventory which will provide more available product to networks and distributors world-wide.”
Chuck Liddell weighs-in for UFC 76: Knockout. Photo courtesy of IcemanMMA.tv
Chuck Liddell vs Mauricio “Shogun” Rua - How does that sound?
According to Chuck himself, it just might happen. Liddell revealed in a recent interview with John Wertheim of Sports Illustrated that his next opponent could be the former PRIDE star.
SI.com: Just trying to throw you off your game. So what’s next for you? Have you been told your next opponent?
Liddell: Possibly Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. That’s what they’re saying. If it’s the June fight, it will probably be in London. But my trainer is trying to get it moved to Vegas. Too far. (Liddell is based in San Luis Obispo, Calif.)
The Fight Network found out from a member of Rua’s camp that the Brazilian will not part of UFC’s April event in Canada because he already has an opponent for June:
“We wanted it, but the UFC didn’t have a spot available in April,” said a member of Rua’s camp. “They already have an opponent for him in June, although we were trying to have a fight in May.”
This could be an interesting fight and a possible great matchup for Liddell. Just like Wanderlei Silva, Rua loves to push the envelope and come right at his opponent, which is a dream come true for a counter-puncher like Liddell. In order to win this one, “Shogun” will have to find a way to counter Liddell’s wrestling with a ground attack that will keep Liddell off-balance during scrambles. Should be a fun chess match to watch if it does actually go down.
Interested in owning a UFC championship belt like the one above? How about the exact one above? Got $30,000 to spare? Well former UFC heavyweight champ Ricco Rodriguez is selling the title he won from Randy Couture at UFC 39 on eBay in hopes of raising money for a school Rodriguez will be opening down south.
Tim Sylvia calls Fedor a bad word
Former UFC heavyweight champion had some choice words for Fedor Emelianenko during a post-UFC 79 interview with Gary Herman of CBS Sports. When asked about Emelianenko, Sylvia stated that he feels the former PRIDE champ is ducking top competition:
“I think he’s being a (expletive),” said Sylvia. “I think Fedor is very good, but you have to fight the top level competitors all the time to keep that status, and he is just not doing that.”
According to Five Ounces of Pain, the bad word had something to do with a pussy, whatever that is…
WCO Releases Complete Card for “The Return”
The World Cagefighting Organization has released the complete card for WCO: The Return, which is set to take place January 12th at the San Diego Sports Arena.
The event is headlined by a main event between former UFC light heavyweights Renato “Babalu” Sobral and Vernon White and includes many other notable fighters competing as well. The full card is below:
Renato Sobral vs. Vernon White
Ricco Rodriguez vs. Mike Kyle
Mark Kerr vs. Rick Roufus
Jimmy Ambriz vs. Wesley Correira
Joe Riggs vs. Gustavo Machado
Virgil Zwicker vs. David Mejia
Davis Loiseau vs. Leopoldo Serao
Tiki Ghosn vs. J.J. Ambrose
Fabio Costa vs. Carlos Fuentes
Georgi Karakahyan vs. Armando Sanchez
Tony Sylvestor vs. Cain Velasquez
Touch of gloves to MMA Junkie for that find.
Sakara Joins American Top Team
Alessio Sakara has joined the ranks of ATT according to a statement made on the team’s official website:
To start off the new year, American Top Team is pleased to announce UFC fighter Alessio “Legionarius” Sakara has joined our team!
We are excited to have the opportunity to work with Alessio, who is known for his explosive stand up style of fighting. We look forward to working with Alessio and help him improve his overall mma game and take him to the top!
Sakara returns at UFC 80: Rapid Fire later this month when he takes on newcomer James Lee. The fight is expected to be Sakara’s last at 205 lbs as he has expressed plans to move down to the middleweight division following the fight.
We will have a brand new MMA on Tap Top 10 posted later today. Our rumors page has been updated. Randy Couture will be hosting a charity poker tournament at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on January 12th. Couture, Jamie Gold, and Dean Cain are all expected to participate. Leland Rolling takes a look at what’s next for Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva. A matchup between Jake Bostwick and John Phillips has been added to Cage Rage 25 according to The Fight Network.
Georges St Pierre and Matt Hughes speak about their bout at the post-fight press conference. Chuck Liddell after the jump.