News and Notes
- Strikeforce announced the four participants for their first ever one-night tournament set to take place at their next event on November 16th at the HP Pavilion in San Jose.
The four middleweights that will participate are Falaniko Vitale, Trevor Prangley, Yuki Sasaki and Jorge Santiago.
Each tournament bout will consist of two, two-minute rounds. If a draw is declared following the second round of a fight, an overtime round will be added to the bout to determine a victor. The winner of the tournament may earn the opportunity to face Frank Shamrock in the near future.
- Rich Franklin’s publicity manager has stated that reports about a possible early retirement for Franklin are not true:
“Rich still has a lot left to accomplish in this sport,” said J.T. Stewart, Franklin’s publicity manager. “It’s too early for him to even consider retirement at this point.”
- Paul Buentello will face Alistair Overeem or the vacant Strikeforce Heavyweight Title on November 16th as well.
- Dave Meltzer has another description of Don Frye’s apparent street fight with the bodyguard of Leland Chapman:
The fight with Don Frye and “Sonny,” who was Leland Chapman’s bodyguard, started when promoter Chris Salsbury told Scott Steiner that MMA promoter Phil Flathres would be in charge of paying the wrestlers. The wrestlers came to Flathers for their money. Somehow the MMA people and wrestling people were played against each other and tension developed. “Sonny” started making remarks about pro wrestling, which saw an MMA fighter/pro wrestler, Frye, telling him to shut up. Frye had been drinking and was loaded. It wound up with them going outside.
“Sonny” allegedly sucker punched Frye, bloodying him up. Frye then allegedly single legged Sonny and was punching him hard from the mount when it was pulled apart. The second confrontation in the parking lot saw Sonny knock down Frye and Sonny and Leland Chapman ran off as Scott Norton came and Frye got up. It should be noted that we’ve gotten many different versions and all are slightly different but this seems to be the best detailed version.
- Meltzer is also reporting that a fight between Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva has not yet been signed, thus why there was no announcement of it on Saturday night.
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.
Everyone on the internets is posting this so I thought that I’d follow suit.
DirecTV is currently promoting a deal where you can buy the next three UFC PPV events (UFC 77, 78, and 79) for $120 along with a slew of free stuff. $150 if you are all about HD like David Singer. However their little ad for the package may have spoiled the potential huge announcement that was set to take place Saturday night.
Well if this turns out to be 100% true, I can assure you that I won’t be the only one jumping for joy. That and I won’t have to lose my left eye. (See comments here)
Update 7:05 PM: DirecTV has now removed the graphic from the page, replacing it with a message stating that the matchups for UFC 79 will be posted when they are announced.
Some more details on whether or not Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva may or may not finally fight in December…
MMA Weekly spoke to Liddell trainer John Hackleman yesterday and Hackleman said that he won’t believe anything is official until he sees some signatures on paper:
“I’ll believe it when I see the signatures,” he said of the proposed fight that has been on-again, off-again for the past several years.
I think everyone would tend to agree with Hackleman.
However Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer is reporting a different kind of news. Kind of like Liddell and Silva verbally agreeing to fight:
Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva is now verbally agreed upon by both sides to take place on 12/29 in Las Vegas
Meltzer is a very reliable guy when it comes to rumors like this but we’ll see what happens. The timing between Meltzer finding out of the news and Hackleman’s comments to MMA Weekly could be farther apart than we think. I’m not going to say that Hackleman isn’t permitted to talk about the matchup because we all know that he loves to speak his mind.
Two new rumors and one kind of old one to report for UFC 79…
The Fight Network’s Loretta Hunt is reporting that Tony DeSouza will return to the Octagon to face Roan Carneiro:
Tony DeSouza has been slated to face Roan Carneiro in a welterweight bout at Dec. 29’s UFC 79 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. In most recent action, the ground savvy DeSouza touts a first-round submission victory over Ohio upstart Dustin Hazelett (10-3) from last October’s UFC Fight Night featuring Tito Ortiz versus Ken Shamrock in Hollywood, Fla. DeSouza suffered a second-round knockout loss to American Top Team’s Thiago Alves (12-3) at last December 29’s UFC 66 in Las Vegas, and has not competed in the ten months since.
“My last fight made me very hungry to get back in the game,” says DeSouza, 33. “I am looking forward to my return.”
DeSouza will be training with B.J. Penn, Renato Verissimo, and Joe Lauzon in Hawaii for the fight.
Brazilian website Tatame recently interviewed Fabricio Werdum who stated that his next opponent may be Frank Mir:
“I thought that my next opponent was going to be Tim Sylvia but it ended up not being him. Now I’ve heard rumors saying that it might be Frank Mir. However I’m training at a high level so I’m ready for anyone.”
Even bigger than those two combined was a statement made by Chuck Liddell’s trainer John Hackleman during a recent interview with FightHype where he says that the UFC is most likely going to match Liddell and Wanderlei Silva together for UFC 79:
PC: I know you guys were eyeballing a fight with Shogun, but his knee surgery will prevent that fight from happening. Will you still like to get the Wanderlei fight?
JH: Looks like the Wanderlei fight is going to happen.
PC: Ok, is it still going to be in December?
JH: December, yeah!
Like I’ve said before there is no better time to finally do Liddell-Silva then right now. It might even be the only chance actually. Hackelman continues to seem confident that Chuck is going to facing Silva and he’s rarely wrong. I guess we’ll find out for sure in the coming weeks.
Loretta Hunt’s latest interview with longtime Chuck Liddell trainer John Hackleman gives hope that Liddell and Wanderlei Silva might be matched up after all:
Last week, Hackleman had intonated his star pupil was in line to fight Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at Dec. 29’s UFC 79 in Las Vegas, Nev., a fight he’d told UFC brass Liddell (20-5) would take. Rua was another casualty of UFC 76, when he was systematically dismantled by Forrest Griffin, succumbing to exhaustion and a rear-naked choke in the third round’s final seconds. Rua has since undergone surgery for a torn knee ligament and has been added to a growing disabled list that also includes current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
“We though it was going to be ‘Shogun,’” Hackleman said, “but now instead of saying ‘no’ to Wanderlei [Silva], they’re saying maybe. We’ve wanted Wanderlei all along. When I told Chuck [it was still a possibility], he was almost as excited about it as when he found out he was fighting Tito [Ortiz].”
I have to admit now that a few weeks have passed since Chuck’s loss to Keith Jardine, I’m feeling a lot better about a Liddell-Silva matchup. So much that I’m getting that feeling in my stomach when thinking about it. UFC 79 has the possibility to be absolutely huge. Matt Hughes vs Matt Serra and all of the trash talking that has gone on for the title. Liddell-Silva maybe. B.J. Penn against either Sean Sherk or Joe Stevenson. Plus some of the other names that have been rumored for the card. Huge.
The two being paired together will easily cause both fighters to train like never before. Chuck could perform a lot better than expected. Remember after his loss to Couture at UFC 43, his next fight was Tito Ortiz of all people. Maybe a fight against Keith Jardine coming off a loss really didn’t do it for Chuck.
Please make Liddell-Silva happen.
News and Notes
- The CSAC has announced that the following fighters have tested negative for performance enhancing drugs following post-fight testing for UFC 76: Thiago Tavares, Tyson Griffin, Ryoto Machida, Anthony Johnson, and Rich Clementi. The only test results from the event that haven’t been released yet are of Chuck Liddell, Mauricio Rua, Forrest Griffin, and Keith Jardine. The results for those fighters are expected to be released later in the week.
- Josh Thomson spoke with The Fight Network concerning a possible lawsuit Thomson may file against former UFC Middleweight Champion Frank Shamrock. Shamrock reportedly called Thomson “MMA’s first openly gay fighter” during this past weekend’s Strikeforce broadcast.
“I kind of snickered about it,” Thomson said, “but I also have had some big money sponsors coming up to me and asking me whether it was true or not. That potentially could cost me money, and that, to me, is basically what I’m getting at.”
I know that Thomson has some crazy hair and his appearance on “Blind Date” didn’t really go that well but I don’t believe Thomson is gay.
Thomson and Shamrock have had a feud going for well over a year now. Thomson attributes the tension due to the fact that Shamrock was angry that fighters from the American Kickboxing Academy decided against joining a new gym that Shamrock was opening. Shamrock has claimed in the past that Thomson has been bad mouthing him for years.
- Tonight’s episode of UFC Unleashed will feature Renato “Babalu” Sobral vs Jason Lambert from UFC 68 and Houston Alexander vs Keith Jardine from UFC 71. I’m not sure what the third fight on the broadcast will be. Don’t forget that The Ultimate Fighter is on right after that.
- Punch Drunk Gamer posted a recent interview with Josh Barnett where Barnett states that he would like to fight in Pancrase:
“I would like to be fighting in Pancrase. I would love to continue fighting there and hopefully I will get a chance to defend my belt this year. I have had some trouble with getting promoters to honor what they agreed to and cooperate with Pancrase to get a match set-up. So now that I am a free agent I would like to do it.”
Barnett has always noted in the past that he would like the chance to defend his belt in Pancrase as a stipulation in any contract he signs with an organization. However since talks haven’t gone anywhere with anyone, it seems that Barnett may do that before signing anywhere.
Touch of gloves to Five Ounces of Pain for the find.
- Ricco Rodriguez is going to headline Battle Cage Xtreme III in New Jersey on October 20th. He will take on Kauai Kupihiea for the USKBA Heavyweight Title.
- Speaking of Ricco, he’s apparently going to be a cast member of VH1’s newest reality show, Celebrity Rehab. The series debuts on January 10th.
- Fight Opinion wants you to help decide what they should discuss on their next radio show.
- In a recent interview with Sherdog’s John Lee, SpiritMC CEO Kwang Hyun Park stated that current SpiritMC Middleweight Champion Steve Bruno has signed with the UFC:
As for SpiritMC middleweight champion Steve Bruno, Park says, “As far as I know, Steve has signed with the UFC, but we have made it clear that he needs to defend his title.”
Touch of gloves to Ryan at Fightlinker for the picture idea.
News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated…
- According to John Hackleman at least, Liddell is already back in the gym and planning for a return to the Octagon in December if possible:
If Chuck Liddell is contemplating retirement, his trainer and closest confidante John Hackleman is the last to hear about it.
“He’s already said he’ll be back in the gym next Monday,” said Hackleman, who has coached Liddell for 16 years. “He’s going to fight again, hopefully as soon as possible, maybe in December. We’re looking at ‘Shogun.’”
- Stash Capar of The Fight Network wrote an excellent piece yesterday detailing Joachim “Hellboy” Hansen’s decision to sit out the remainder of his current contract with Zuffa, that’s right I said Zuffa. Why? The parent company of the UFC refuses to pay him the same amount of money that he made in PRIDE:
Most mixed martial arts fighters dream of scoring a contract to fight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, sometimes top ten lightweight Joachim “Hellboy” Hansen wants nothing more than to get out of his. The well-rounded Norwegian, the first man to beat PRIDE Fighting Championships Lightweight Champion Takanori Gomi, attended last Saturday’s Cage Rage 23 at London’s Wembley Arena to meet with Pro Elite’s Live Events president Gary Shaw, presumably to explore his options with the organization.
“I just want to fight and make enough so that I can live decently,” says Hansen. “The UFC gave me an offer in the summer, a fight with Marcus Aurelio (14-5-0). But they only wanted to pay me half the money that I was making in PRIDE. How can you say my contract is transferable, and then only offer me half of what I normally make?”
Instead of accepting the offer, Hansen says he’s opted to wait out his contract with the three months left till its completion.
- Michael Bisping has announced that his potential rematch with Matt Hamill, which was apparently scheduled for UFC 78 in November, has been postponed as Hamill is undergoing knee surgery:
The rematch between Hamill and I was being planned for Nov 27 in New Jersey. Unfortunately Hamill is unable to fight as he is having knee surgery. I am disapointed as I was really looking forward to fighting him again. That said, myself having a torn ligament in each of my knees for my last 3 fights, I can understand why he’s having it.
- IFL website editor Ben Fowlkes has joined Sam Caplan and Adam Morgan at Five Ounces of Pain.
Fightlinker: The Low Blow Episode 17
Radio Shows -
Wrestling Observer: The Truth about PRIDE and UFC
Sherdog: Sherdog’s Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings
MMA Weekly: London Calling - The Next Step Forward
Fightlinker: Birthday Reminder: Loretta Hunt
Bloody Elbow: Kevin Iole
Sports Illustrated: Five observations
Fight Opinion: Tuesday turmoil: Mainstream media questions if Liddell was all hype and no substance
UFC: Surveying the Lay of the 205-lb Land; Jardine, Evans Poised for a Run – Lay of the 205-lb Land - Part II
FOX Sports: UFC upsets opened numerous possibilities
After two consecutive losses at the age of 37 and a shot at regaining his UFC Light Heavyweight title now out of reach at least for the near future, one would have to expect that Chuck Liddell would be asked “the question” at some point, right?
Well Liddell was asked about it during the UFC 76 post-fight press conference and for the first time in his career, Liddell admitted that he was going to consider retirement:
Liddell was asked if the bout with Jardine was his last. The 38 year old answered, “I don’t know. I’ll think about it.”
It’s not 100% that Liddell is going to retire. He’s just thinking about it. However UFC President Dana White stated that he spoke with Liddell after the fight and that he wouldn’t be surprised if Liddell stepped away from the sport:
White went on to discuss Liddell’s last two performances in the Octagon with Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports and how it seems that Chuck isn’t the same anymore. White also gave some good advice to Liddell in terms of how he should do the right thing for him, and not the UFC:
“At the end of the day, we have so many talented fighters in the UFC that we’ll be fine,” White said. “We’re not a one-trick pony, that’s for sure. Chuck is always going to be a part of the UFC, whether he’s fighting or not, but we’re definitely not going to be in any kind of trouble if he quits.
“He needs to do what’s right for him and not worry about us. This isn’t the kind of sport you can be in half-heartedly. If you don’t have the passion for it, it’s time to get out. Only Chuck really knows how he feels, but you wonder because he hasn’t looked the same, fire-wise, in either of these last two fights.”
If Liddell does decide to retire, it would subtract yet another pre-TUF veteran from the roster. I wouldn’t believe that he would stay retired forever though, just look at Randy.
The year of the upset continues…
Keith Jardine proved that those who participated in The Ultimate Fighter reality series can hang among the best in the world when he beat former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell at his own game and earned a close split decision in front of the estimated 16,000 in attendance at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA.
Liddell looked to win the first round by sending Jardine scrambling away from flurries of punches. Jardine began to score with his first few of numerous leg and body kicks but it wasn’t enough to prevent the judges from scoring the round in Liddell’s favor.
The second and third rounds were a different story however. Jardine continued to press the action while his opponent looked to land one of his patented counter-punches. Jardine (13-3-1) even knocked Liddell (20-5) down with a right hand midway through the second round, a shot that Liddell was able to absorb as he sprang back up to his feet and right back into the fight.
A number of leg and body kicks bruised and battered Liddell’s body and Jardine’s unorthodox style continued to stifle any opportunities the former champ had to get into a rhythm on the feet. When the 15 minutes was up, it was known that the judges had to make a close decision but it was also obvious that Jardine had won the fight, based on the reaction the crowd gave when Liddell raised his hands in possible victory.
Marcos Rosales was the lone judge that scored the fight for Liddell, giving him the edge by a 29-28 margin. Cecil Peoples and Richard Bertrand scored it the same but gave the victory to Jardine and ruined any chances we had of seeing a Liddell-Wanderlei Silva showdown in December.
After the fight, Jardine tried to put his win into perspective.
“The win feels great,” Jardine said. “Chuck is the greatest fighter in the history of the UFC as far as I’m concerned.”