It’s been rumored for a while now that Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva may finally meet later this year, possibly at UFC 76.
The rumors went to the next level earlier today when UFC Junkie reported that Liddell and Silva had verbally agreed to fight and that the contract would be signed the next time Silva returned to the USA.
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell and former longtime PRIDE Fighting Championships middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva have verbally agreed to a fight that will take place at UFC 76 in September. That’s according to a source close to the Chute Boxe team who recently spoke to UFC Junkie.
According to the source, the two fighters have agreed on “numbers” and a verbal agreement has been reached. Additionally, the fight likely will be signed once the Brazilian Silva returns to the U.S., the source said.
Silva’s official website even supports UFC Junkie’s claim as a new post popped this afternoon stating that Silva’s next fight would be against Liddell on September 22 at UFC 76.
So why is Liddell’s camp saying that the fight isn’t going to happen?
The Fight Network is reporting via Liddell head trainer John Hackleman that the UFC hasn’t notified Liddell or his camp that a fight with Silva has been signed:
“This is news to us,” Hackleman said. “As of this evening, we have not been notified by the UFC.”
We will definitely be following this story as it unfolds…
The trend of future UFC matchups being revealed is continuing this week and UFC President Dana White is a big part of it.
White announced a trio of possible future matchups at the post-fight press conference for UFC 73:
- Anderson Silva will meet Rich Franklin for the second time in a UFC Middleweight Championship bout on October 20th in Franklin’s hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. It was announced that Franklin would face the winner of last night’s bout between Silva and Nate Marquardt after UFC 72 and White confirmed the situation last night.
- White also announced that BJ Penn has decided to stay in the lightweight division and will challenge Sean Sherk for his UFC Lightweight Title in November.
- Mirko Cro Cop will take on Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira later this year provided that he is victorious over Cheick Kongo at UFC 75 according to White.
White also stated that Chuck Liddell will most likely fight again in September during an interview yesterday on the Scott Ferrall Show:
“Chuck is probably going to fight again in September,” White said yesterday on the radio program. “We’re working on a big fight for him. We don’t have it done yet, but Chuck is chomping at the bit to jump back in there and fight again.“
This contradicts previous reports that had White saying that Liddell now wouldn’t be able to fight again until November.
White made clear about yet another possible matchup during an interview with The Gainesville Sun that would take place at UFC 76: Maurico Rua would make his UFC debut against Ryoto Machida.
Rua, a 205-pound Muay Thai specialist, is scheduled to start at UFC 76 on Sept. 22. White said Rua’s most likely first opponent will be Ryoto Machida (10-0), though Forrest Griffin said he would like the fight.
Chuck Liddell recently sat down for an interview with the Baltimore Sun and revealed that PRIDE Heavyweight Champion Fedor Emelianenko may be coming over to the UFC.
Liddell was asked who he would like to fight when it comes to PRIDE fighters entering the UFC. He responded with this:
All of them. Any of the good ones. There’s “Shogun” [Mauricio Rua], there’s [Dan] Henderson. You’ve got Fedor [Emelianenko] coming over. [Antonio Rodrigo] Nogueira is coming over in the heavyweight [division].
If and when Fedor and the UFC finally settle on some kind of contract, their is going to be a huge announcement without a doubt.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission announced earlier today that all of the six fighters that were tested for ‘drugs of abuse’, tested negative for any signs.
Chuck Liddell, Quinton Jackson, Karo Parisyan, Josh Burkman, Alan Belcher, and Sean Salmon were the six fighters chosen by the NSAC at random to be tested after UFC 71.
The NSAC announced earlier in the week that all six had also tested negative for performance enhancing drugs as well.
News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated once again…
- The always popular MMA on Tap Top Ten has been updated and was posted yesterday for everyone to break down and take in. Be sure to leave comments with any corrections, props, thoughts, and suggestions that you might have.
- Our latest edition of Rock the Vote has been posted - Who will be victorious in UFC 72’s main event: Rich Franklin or Yushin Okami? Be sure to add your pick…
Here are the results for our last poll:
Chuck Liddell: 25%
Mirko Cro Cop: 23%
Andrei Arlovski: 17%
Tim Sylvia: 17%
Gabriel Gonzaga: 8%
Randy Couture: 8%
Heath Herring: 2%
- Scott put together a nice mini-interview with Jonathan Goulet discussing Goulet’s recent win over Travis Axworthy this past weekend as well as his thoughts on John Alessio’s peformance on Sunday night. MMA Weekly caught wind of the piece and was going to ask Alessio about Goulet’s comments on last night’s radio show but Alessio failed to appear.
- The Fight Network is reporting that renowned grappler Marcelo Garcia is in California training with Team Quest this week. K-1 stated in a pre-fight press conference for Dynamite!! USA that Garcia would make his debut in September.
- Leonard Garcia has announced that he will be fighting on the finale of The Ultimate Fighter 5. Garcia did not say who his opponent will be.
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News and Notes
- The updated MMA on Tap Top 10 will be posted later today…
- Steve Bruno has been taken off the card for June 12’s UFC Fight Night 10 after sustaining an injury during a practice session last Friday. A replacement opponent for Chad Reiner, whom Bruno was slated to face, has not yet been announced.
- Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer shot down heavy rumors regarding the possibility that the NSAC denied Frank Mir the opportunity to take on Tim Sylvia at UFC 74. In fact, the bout was never even taken to the commission in the first place. That doesn’t mean that the bout would still be approved however based on what Kizer stated earlier today in an email sent to various MMA media outlets:
That fight has not been presented to me, and thus no ‘denial’ has been made. I was asked about the match-up by a reporter and said I would have a hard time approving that fight unless I see a quality win from Mr. Mir first. However, I will keep an open mind.
- Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell will be on Late Night with David Letterman this Thursday on CBS…
- The Fight Network is reporting that the six fighters who were tested for performance enhancing drugs after UFC 71 all passed with flying colors:
The Nevada State Athletic Commission announced Friday that six fighters – Chuck Liddell, Quinton Jackson, Karo Parisyan, Josh Burkman, Alan Belcher and Sean Salmon – tested negative for steroids and stimulants prior to May 26’s UFC 71. Drugs of abuse tests results are still pending.
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News and Notes
- In a interview with the Boston Herald that was printed Sunday, Chuck Liddell has confirmed that his next UFC fight will be against former PRIDE Middleweight Champion Wanderlei Silva:
The road back to the belt will not be easy. It will begin with a long-awaited fight against Wanderlei Silva, probably sometime toward the end of the year. Silva, like Liddell, recently lost his Pride light heavyweight belt to Dan Henderson, in a fight staged in Las Vegas, shortly before the UFC bought the Japanese-based organization.
Liddell-Silva is a fight that UFC president Dana White has been trying to make for a while, going to the extreme of bringing Silva into the ring during a UFC card, asking him who he wanted to fight, and Silva responding that he wanted Liddell.
“It’s going to be a striking battle,” Liddell said of the matchup with Silva. “Who’s going to hit harder and throw more punches. I think from the things I’ve seen (of him) that’s what it will be.”
- Chute Boxe USA has stated that former UFC Middleweight Champion Evan Tanner will make his return to the Octagon in September.
Evan Tanner has been training hard and is determined to win the title from Anderson Silva. According to Coach Roberto, he will be fighting at UFC in September under the Chute Boxe USA banner. His opponent is still unknown.
- UFC Mania has posted an exclusive interview with Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou over at their site…
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UFC 75: Mathis vs Boucher
It’s a legitimate question: Is PRIDE officially dead?
You only have to step back and take a look at the recent events that have taken place in the past few weeks to see that PRIDE’s future isn’t looking very promising. Well if there’s a future for the promotion at all…
PRIDE hasn’t held an event since April. It also hasn’t done much of anything except release their 10th anniversary documentary since then. One would think that the company will now get back on track since it’s acquisition by UFC parent company Zuffa is now complete according to UFC President Dana White. However that might not be the case.
The scheduled opening round for the company’s Lightweight Grand Prix on July 16th now seems that it’s not going to happen. Why? Nippon Gaishi Hall, the arena where the event was supposed to be held has now taken the show off of it’s event calendar. Couple that with White’s recent comments concerning all of PRIDE’s top fighters coming over to the UFC and it seems more and more likely that PRIDE’s run in the world of MMA is just about finished.
So what did you say about White’s comments? Well in that same interview with MMA Weekly where he stated that Zuffa now owned PRIDE, he also said that all of the promotion’s top fighters will be coming to the UFC:
“We’re going to have them all. We’re going to have them all. At the end of the day, if you want to fight the best fighters in the world, if you want to cement your place in history… and at the end of the day, the money is great, all that stuff is good, but for me I’m one of those types of people… it’s all about cementing your place in history. Who is the greatest fighter in every weight division? It’s here. It’s in the UFC. They’re all going to be here.”
Well so much for the original plan of keeping all of PRIDE’s top fighters with the company. Since the March announcement of that plan, the UFC has brought over Fabricio Werdum, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mauricio Rua, and now Dan Henderson. Apparently they aren’t even close to being done either since Chuck Liddell’s next opponent is Wanderlei Silva…
When asked about one of Pride’s biggest stars, Wanderlei Silva, White said, “We’re going to have them all here. He [Silva] is going to be here. They’re all going to fight… they’re all under contract.” White also said that Silva would likely be Chuck Liddell’s next opponent.
With all of PRIDE’s biggest stars, including Henderson who currently holds two PRIDE belts and will challenge Quinton Jackson for the UFC Light Heavyweight title later this year, coming over to the UFC, I think it’s safe to say that they have decided to just let PRIDE wither away…
Quinton Jackson discusses his win over Chuck Liddell at UFC 71, being the new UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, and his future plans on ESPN Motion.
Here’s a collection of media links focusing on last night’s event UFC 71: Liddell vs. Jackson.
Sherdog: Rampage Ices Liddell, Captures UFC Title; Video: “Rampage” Celebrates Victory; Liddell’s Trainer Talks Disappointing Loss; Beatdown After the Bell: UFC 71
MMAWeekly: Henderson to Challenge for UFC Title; UFC 71 Review: Rampage Makes it 2-for-2; Dan Henderson on Fighting Rampage
The Fight Network: Hendo Octagon Bound; Ice Breaker
Gracie Mag: For a Big House
UFC HP: Crushed Ice – Rampage KO’s Liddell to Win Light Heavy Crown; Next in Line - Hendo’s Back
InsideFighting: “Rampage” KOs Liddell
ESPN: Gettin’ Jacked Up
NBC Sports: Rampage’s right hand melts the Iceman; Iceman Melted
Houston Chronicle: Jackson stuns Liddell to continue UFC upset string
Yahoo! Sports: Anything’s Possible; Rampage Ices Liddell
Press Telegram: Jackson KOs the champ for title
KCAL: Video: Rampage Jackson knocks out Iceman Liddell for the UFC Title
LA Times: Jackson busts through opening left by Liddell
Newsday: Rampage TKOs Liddell at UFC 71
OC Register: Jackson goes on rampage (with audio)
Daily Herald: UFC’s popularity no suprise
CBS: Rampage doesn’t just have Liddell’s number—he has his belt
Washington Post: Jackson Scores Stunning First-Round KO to Take Liddell’s Title
TSN: On The Rampage
Sportsnet: Rampage shocks The Iceman; Canuck Starnes cripples Leben; UFC upsets Continue; Alexander upsets Keith Jardine
CBC: Rampage lives up to his name, dethroning Chuck (The Iceman) Liddell at UFC 71
The Globe and Mail: Jackson takes light heavyweight title from Liddell
Toronto Sun: Sunflashes