Above is an official preview video for UFC 79 courtesy of the UFC as well as a preview for tonight’s UFC All-Access with Wanderlei Silva.
News and Notes
-White Chocolate Management has filed a lawsuit against UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and his manager, Juanito Ibarra because of a breach of contract the two had with the company.
According to Sherdog, WCM was forced to file a lawsuit after Ibarra went out of his way to block all incoming transactions and deals offered to Jackson:
WCM President Reed Wallace is asking for $10,000,000 in damages after being “forced into filing the lawsuit by Rampage’s manager Juanito Ibarra, who ‘bad mouthed’” WCM, according to a news release issued by the plaintiff on Thursday.
Wallace said that while the fighter remained friendly, the champion’s manager has “rejected or blocked all transactions and deals offered to Rampage from WCM. Ibarra then went behind WCM and contacted or had his agent contact those very same parties that WCM brought to the table.”
- The mother of UFC middleweight Drew McFedries was found dead in a Davenport, Iowa alleyway according to a report by The Quad-City Times:
The woman who was found dead in an alley in Davenport was the victim of a homicide, an autopsy revealed, though police are not saying exactly how. Agnes McFedries-Kennedy, 51, was found Saturday evening lying in the alley in the 1800 block between West 7th and West 8th streets. A couple returning to a residence near the scene discovered the body.
All of us at MMA on Tap would like to send our condolences to Drew and his family.
- Every long-time MMA fan loves to read about past adventures involving Lee Murray. Here’s Pat Miletich’s account of the infamous street fight between Murray and Tito Ortiz through the words of Matt Hughes via his new book.
Ever wonder why a lot of people don’t like Hughes? Be sure to check this out.
Touch of gloves to Fight Opinion for both of the finds.
- Din Thomas expects to return to action in March according to a recent interview with The Fight Network.
- Jarry Park has a preview of all of the New Year’s Eve MMA events going on.
Two of the best ever in their respective sports right there peoples.
News and Notes
- Our rumors page has been updated.
- HDNet has announced that Yarennoka! will be airing live from Japan at 6:00 AM EST on HDNet on New Year’s Eve. Additional re-broadcasts of the event will take place on the same day at 3:00 PM EST, January 4th at 10:30 PM EST, and January 5th at 3:00 AM EST and 3:00 PM EST.
- The Fight Network is reporting that Jesse Veium will replace an injured Cyrille Diabate against Travis Wiuff at IFO: Fireworks in the Cage IV on December 28th.
Diabate was forced to pull out of his bout against Wiuff after suffering a broken ankle during training.
- Justin McCully has apparently missed the deadline to accept a fight against Cheick Kongo at UFC 82 in February according to Brian Knapp of The Fight Network.
We reported yesterday that McCully had been offered a fight against Kongo but had not yet made a decision.
According to Knapp, McCully can still have the fight but only if he accepts before the UFC finds a replacement opponent for Kongo.
Bloody Elbow: Dear Denny Burkholder
MMA Mania: UFCs Georges St. Pierre and the Fuzzy Brossard
FIve Ounces of Pain: February could be busiest month in MMA history
CBS Sportsline: UFC Tapout video game revisited
Jarry Park: Jamie Varner Really Likes His Chances Against Razor Rob
News and Notes
- Sean Sherk will remain the UFC Lightweight Champion according to a report by Steve Sievert of The Houston Chronicle:
The UFC’s lightweight belt continues to reside with Sean Sherk.
The UFC has yet to comment and when asked about the situation late today, the UFC confirmed that Sherk remains the promotion’s 155-lb. titleholder.
- Ray Sefo, Chalid Arrab, and Souleimane Konate have all been forced to pull out of the K-1 World Grand Prix, which is scheduled to take place this Saturday night in Japan, because of injury.
The final card now looks like this:
Jerome LeBanner vs. Hong Man Choi
Peter Aerts vs. Junichi Sawayashiki
Remy Bonjasky vs. Badr Hari
Semmy Schilt vs. Glaube Feitosa
Musashi vs. David Dancrade
Mighty Mo vs. Paul Slowinski
Takashi Tachikawa vs. Ki Min Kim
Jan Nortje vs. Dong Wook Kim
Mitsugu Noda vs. Noel Cadet
- Mac Danzig says that he will move down to 155 lbs regardless of the outcome of his fight against Tommy Speer at this weekend’s TUF 6 Finale:
“I decided that before I even went on the show,” said Danzig. “I really have no business fighting the top five guys at 170, or even the top ten when it comes down to it. It’s not that I can’t beat them, but if you put me in with Matt Hughes or Georges St-Pierre ten times, I’m gonna win a number of those times, but realistically, with all skills being the same, those guys are extremely skilled and much bigger than me. I walk around at 170, those guys walk around at 190, so it’s not a good idea for me. I really want to make a run for a title, and 155 is my weight class. I feel that within a couple of years I can be a world champion at 155.”
- Five Ounces of Pain has a good recap of yesterday’s conference call for The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale.
- Hiroyuki Takaya is set to join the featherweight ranks of the WEC according to Jordan Breen of Sherdog.
- The California State Athletic Commission denied Bill Mahood’s motion to appeal his positive test for steroids following post-fight testing for Strikeforce’s Playboy Mansion event in September:
“[CSAC] sent me their letter and it took an extra four days at the border. So as far as they were concerned I already had it when you [The Fight Network] called me originally to inform me of the positive test,” Mahood said. “That was fine but when I sent my stuff back to them, it arrived one day after the deadline and they denied me.”
News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated.
- Check back later this morning for an extensive interview with MMA veteran Joe Camacho…
- The UFC has officially announced three more bouts for UFC 80: Rapid Fire in January, including Jason Lambert’s return to the Octagon against Wilson Gouveia.
The two were originally slated to fight at UFC 76 but Gouveia was forced to pull out of the fight after suffering a broken nose during training.
- K-1 Hero’s veteran Andre Dida has revealed that he will be leaving Chute Boxe to MMA Weekly:
“My brother (Mauricio ‘Veio’) lives in Canada and he has some contacts and some of his contacts made me an offer to teach mixed martial arts and Muay Thai in Canada,” said Dida. “It’s a very good offer and I cannot deny an opportunity like that. I have talked with Master Rafael Cordeiro and I’ve never seen him so sad with anything. He was disappointed with the news. I consider him as a father, but I have to leave.”
- Gray Maynard will take on Dennis Siver at UFC Fight Night 12 according to MMA Junkie.
Maynard was originally supposed to fight Matt Grice but Grice opted to decline the fight because of police training requirements. (You can read Grice’s entire explanation in the comments portion of MMA Junkie’s post.)
- Joe Riggs will take on Mike Gates at KOTC: Avalanche on December 15th at the Moncton Coliseum in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada according to The Fight Network.
- The California State Athletic Commission has announced that Alexander Crispim has tested positive for Desoxymethyltestosterone, an anabolic steroid, following post-fight testing for Strikeforce: Four Men Enter, One Man Survives. Crispm has been suspended for one year and fined $2,500.
News and Notes
- Reaction from last night’s Ultimate Fighter 6 episode:
UFC: Matt Hughes’ Blog – Week Eleven; The Ultimate Fighter Serra vs Hughes – Episode Eleven Recap
Sherdog: Sherdog.com’s Guide to TUF 6
The Fight Network: Speer Into TUF 6 Semis
MMA Junkie: “The Ultimate Fighter: Team Hughes vs. Team Serra” — Episode No. 11 Recap
MMA Mania: Ultimate Fighter 6: Episode 11 recap and discussion
Five Ounces of Pain: TUF 6: Episode 11 Recap/Thoughts
UFC Daily: The Ultimate Fighter 6: Episode 11 Recap
Steve Cofield: Ben Saunders has his say
Chicago Sun-Times: John Kolosci’s TUF diary, Episode 10
- MMA Weekly is reporting that Leonard Garcia will be moving to the WEC to compete in the featherweight division according to Garcia’s trainer Greg Jackson:
“Leonard (Garcia) is such a great fighter and a strong guy, but he walks around at like three pounds over weight,” said Jackson about his fighter’s move to featherweight. “He had to eat the morning of the weigh-ins the last time. We’ve got to bring him down a weight class where he’s going to be more effective. We talked after his last fight and 145 is where he’s going to be. I’m really looking forward to proving ourselves in that division in the WEC.”
- Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto will take on former WEC bantamweight contender Rani Yahya at K-1 “Premium 2007 Dynamite!! on New Year’s Eve according to a report from Sports Navi.
Touch of gloves to The Fight Network for that one.
- Sam Caplan has some pretty big news to report…
First off, apparently Andre Gusmao will not be fighting David Heath at UFC 81 because he’s not even signed with the UFC:
Several reports have surfaced in the last 48 hours claiming that Andre Gusmao will be debuting for the UFC at UFC 81 on February 2 against David Heath. Pro Elite has learned that those reports are incorrect, as the IFL has a contract option to retain Gusmao for the 2008 season and will be exercising that option.
The UFC had been in discussions with someone falsely claiming to be representing Gusmao and misrepresenting information during the faux negotiations. According to the source, the UFC was contacted by the IFL soon after hearing the reports of Gusmao’s departure.
Secondly, Caplan has learned that M-1 Global is leaning towards holding their first-ever event at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ in March, which is good for this site because of a short traveling distance.
- Adam Morgan at Five Ounces of Pain is reporting that Dan Barrera and Ben Saunders will rematch at The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale next Saturday.
London Free Press: He’s called the Crosby of fighting
Sherdog: Politics of Promoting on New Year’s Eve in Japan
MMA Opinion: We Found Rampage!
Bloody Elbow: How Dana White Blew It in 2007
MMA Analyst: Sengoku won’t prove who is the Fight Master
News and Notes
- Check out our recently updated MMA on Tap Top 10.
- Sherdog is reporting that Thiago Tavares will make his return to the UFC Jan. 23 when he steps into the octagon with Michihiro Omigawa at UFC Fight Night.
- MMAWeekly is reporting that the UFC has come to terms with middleweight contender Yushin Okami. The terms of the deal are currently unknown.
- PRIDE veteran James Thompson will be facing Tengiz Tedoradze at Ultimate Force: Festive Fury on Sunday, Dec. 16 at The Doncaster Dome.
- MMA Mania is reporting that Jon Fitch will be fighting at UFC 82 in Columbus, Ohio. According to the report, Fitch has been offered a fight with PRIDE veteran Akihiro Gono who is coming off of an impressive submission victory over Tamden McCrory.
UFC: Sorting Out The UFC Welterweight Division: Part I
Tatame: Belfort: Now I’m a Freelancer, Just Like Fedor
Sportsnet: Joe Doerksen: Disappointed But Not Discouraged
Bloody Elbow: Robert Emerson: 9 Months in the Poke (Video)
News and Notes
- Our rumors page has been updated…
- Jordan Breen’s latest Koubousen Companion on Sherdog reveals that DEEP boss Shigeru Saeki is stating that Ryo Chonan’s contract with the UFC is non-exclusive and Chonan will be expected to defend his title next year:
On the topic of championship reform, Saeki also revealed that as 181-pound champion Ryo Chonan’s new UFC contract is non-exclusive, the 181-pound title will likely be on the market early next year. Saeki stated last month that he planned on having a 181-pound challenger tournament next year. But in light of recent events, that same tournament, which will likely begin in February or April, will probably be for DEEP’s divisional championship.
Update 6:09 PM: Sherdog corrected the article, stating that Chonan’s contract is exclusive, not non-exclusive.
- EliteXC President Gary Shaw confirmed that he has had preliminary talks with members of the company about a potential showdown between the two according to The Fight Network:
EliteXC Live Events President Gary Shaw confirmed this week he has held preliminary discussions about promoting a potential megafight between brothers Frank and Ken Shamrock within EliteXC. The two adopted brothers have expressed a willingness to fight one another in the past.
“I talked to my team about it,” Shaw said. “I would love to do brother versus brother. It would be a great promotion.”
- The IFL has announced Bart Palaszewski has agreed to terms with the on a contract that will keep him in the promotion through 2008.
- MMA Junkie is reporting that Renato “Babalu” Sobral has signed a non-exclusive deal with Xcess Fighting. He will make his debut for the promotion on December 12th:
“I am undeniably the biggest ‘Babalu’ fan that lives,” Xcess Fighting spokesperson Bruce Bellocchi stated. “Xcess Fighting believes he has tremendous talent, and (we) are extremely proud to be able to get him back into he cage and in front of his fans so quickly.“
An opponent for Sobral and location for the event will be named in the near future.
- Asgard MMA reports that Per Eklund has signed with the UFC. Rumors have been floating around for months about Eklund’s possible signing and this can only help to certify that as being true. The deal is a four-fight, 18 month deal. Eklund is slated to fight at UFC 80 in Newcastle, England against an opponent yet to be named.
- So apparently Brad Imes has trained with Brock Lesnar in the past. Imes says that Lesnar’s game was lacking:
I think he’s got a lot of potential. His stand up is really kinda nonexistent, but he’s obviously a big powerful guy. And his ground game…I know, he’s a D-1 national champ but I think he’s pretty rusty as far as his ground game. I was able to pass guard on him, mount him, do whatever I wanted with him on the ground really. And he really didn’t feel that strong to me, granted I don’t grapple with anyone that feels strong to me.
But, I think that one of his strengths when he was in college was that he was much stronger than everyone he went up against; and heavyweights, no matter what the sport . . . it is hard to find good ones. So, I think if he sticks with it he’ll be great. I just think it was a mistake going to the UFC so quick. And I say that from someone who knows.
Happy Halloween bitches!
News and Notes
- Officials at Team Link have confirmed that Gabriel Gonzaga will indeed take on Fabricio Werdum at UFC 80 in Newcastle, England.
- Sean Sherk, Phil Baroni, Adam Smith, and Kazuhiro Nakamura will all go in front of the CSAC this afternoon to try and get their original positive tests overturned by the commission. We will have full coverage throughout the day.
- FIghtlinker has all of the documents that were handed out at yesterday’s UFC press conference. (PDF)
- Adam Swift has a new article up on Sherdog where he dives into a standard Zuffa contract. What he found may tell us that Randy Couture’s contract certainly isn’t up after nine months:
The most infamous clause is the so-called retirement provision, which is largely responsible for the war of words—retirement versus resignation—between the UFC and Couture since his Oct. 11 departure from the company.
“If at any time during the Term, Fighter decides to retire from mixed martial arts or other professional fighting competition,” the clause begins, “then ZUFFA may, at its election, (i) suspend the Term for the period of such retirement; (ii) declare that ZUFFA has satisfied its obligation to promote all future Bouts to be promoted by ZUFFA hereunder, without any compensation due to Fighter therefore; or (ii) elect to provide Fighter with notice of an Acceleration.”
For all practical purposes, sub clause (i) allows Zuffa to retain the rights to a retired fighter in perpetuity. Sherdog.com has confirmed that this clause does not appear in every Zuffa contract; it is believed to be reserved for top fighters. The term of the contract may also be extended indefinitely for any period when a fighter is “unable, unwilling or refuses to compete or train for a Bout for any reason whatsoever.”
- Jess Liaudin has announced that he will sign a new three-fight deal with the UFC after his bout against Marcus Davis takes place at UFC 80:
“I will keep fighting for the UFC,” Liaudin said. “I need to go slow and build myself up, work on my weak areas. Training with Team Quest [before UFC 75] really improved my game. I need to keep doing stuff like that.”
- The IFL has announced that Vladimir Matyushenko has signed a contract extension that will keep him in the IFL through the end of 2008.
Sherdog: Matyushenko Meets Schoenauer for IFL Grand Prix 205-Pound Title
Fightlinker: Dana White’s personal heavyweight rankings
Five Ounces of Pain: Round 5 MMA figures on my Christmas list
MMA News: Exclusive Interview With Kevin Randleman [Pt. 1]; Exclusive Interview With Kevin Randleman [Pt. 2]
Bloody Elbow: Trevor Prangley Talks Strikeforce Middleweight Tournament
Fight Opinion: Wednesday war room: UFC winning the PR battle?
News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated…
- The IFL has announced that it has signed welterweight Mark Miller to a contract extension through the end of 2008.
- Bubba the Love Sponge mentioned on his satellite radio show yesterday that he ran into Dan Henderson over the weekend and Henderson mentioned that he would be fighting in December and possibly at middleweight:
It appears that Dan Henderson may very well be fighting on the UFC 79 Nemesis December 29th card. While on a trip to Vegas this weekend, Bubba the Love Sponge mentioned on his Satellite Radio program today that he ran into Henderson. He stated that Dan mentioned in conversation that he thought he would be fighting in December. Bubba went on to say that Dan would not say who he would be fighting, but did mention that he may be fighting at 185 lbs.
- MMA Junkie is reporting that Pete Spratt will take on Tristan Yunker at HDNet Fights II in December.
- UFC Mania has now become MMA Mania...
- HCF CEO Keith Crawford and Scott Zerr of Maximum Fighting Championship exchanged heated press releases yesterday. Crawford claimed that the slated MFC bout between Shonie Carter and Brad Zazulak is a complete mismatch and shouldn’t be allowed to happen. Zerr fired back with claims that Crawford’s company is losing money and not paying their fighters on time.
- Kevin Randleman is currently in the hospital, dealing with an extremely severe staph infection. .I’m not going to upload the pictures of his infection on here because it’s pretty tough on the eyes but you can see it here.
Randleman was apparently in critical condition for three weeks:
Kevin spent three weeks in the hospital and was released two weeks ago. After having a look at that picture I could only assume that it was painful, Kevin offered this: “I was in critical condition for almost three weeks and I am two weeks out of the hospital now.” He continued, “pain is just part of the healing, and it hurts a lot.”
Painful indeed as one could only assume two holes in the side of your body could be. Kevin is doing okay now but will need to be careful. “I had two organs shut down again. I think what I need to do is stop enduring the pain and go see the doctors earlier.”
- Dave Meltzer has an excellent piece on how olympic-skilled wrestlers have revolutionized MMA’s heavyweight division over the years.
News and Notes
- ProElite.com will be streaming Randy Couture’s press conference live at 4:30 PM EST.
- A roundup of coverage of last night’s TUF episode:
UFC: The Ultimate Fighter Serra vs Hughes - Episode Six Recap; Matt Hughes’ Blog - Week Six
Sherdog: Sherdog.com’s Guide to TUF 6
The Fight Network: Controversy Strikes TUF 6
Inside Fighting: Paul Georgieff; Tommy Speer
Chicago Sun-Times: John Kolosci’s TUF diary, Episode 6
OC Register: Mac Danzig’s Ultimate Fighter Blog (Episode 6)
MMA Junkie: “The Ultimate Fighter: Team Hughes vs. Team Serra” — Episode No. 6 Recap
UFC Mania: Ultimate Fighter 6: Episode 6 recap and discussion
UFC Daily: The Ultimate Fighter Season 6: Episode 6 Recap
Five Ounces of Pain: TUF 6: Episode 6 Thoughts/Recap
- Strikeforce originally stated that two-minute rounds would be used during their inaugural middleweight tournament next month but the California State Athletic Commission has stepped in and changed the bout duration to five full minutes.
- Some other numbers from UFC 79…
Official attendance - 16,054
Total live gate - $2,519,850
- Sean Salmon has revealed through MMA Junkie that he will be fighting at Strikeforce next month against an opponent yet to be determined and at the next HDNet Fights event on December 15th against Jason “Mayhem” Miller:
Now, onto upcoming fights (or what I am permitted to say, anyway): I am “for sure” fighting on the Strikeforce card on Nov. 16. However, Eugene Jackson (my original opponent) is injured and can’t fight. I know Cung Le’s opponent has fallen through, and I would like nothing more than to fight him. Here we go again:
Either way, I have been assured that I am on this card, but I’m most likely an “alternate bout” to the tournament. I can’t complain about that, as I would be honored to fight anyone in that four-man field.
Next up, I have been given permission to announce that I will be fighting Jason “Mayhem” Miller on the Dec. 15 HDNet Fights card.
- Last night Brian Knapp of The Fight Network announced that James Thompson and Jon Murphy were set to clash at EliteXC: Renegade on November 10th. However Sam Caplan and Five Ounces of Pain are reporting that the fight is not signed and Murphy was never even approached about a potential fight against Thompson:
When contacted by Five Ounces of Pain, Murphy indicated that no one with EliteXC has contacted him about the possibility of fighting Thompson. He went on to add that he’s currently suffering from a serious shoulder injury and does not believe he’d be able to take the match even if it is offered.
Murphy went on to indicate that a match with Thompson is one he’d welcome in the future and that he hopes it’s a bout available to him once he’s healthy again.
- Herb Dean recently sat down for an interview with The Winnipeg Sun and discussed his controversial decision to stop the Frank Mir-Tim Sylvia heavyweight title bout at UFC 48 after Sylvia suffered a broken arm:
That experience was never more evident back in 2004, when Dean was the referee in UFC 48. In the heavyweight championship fight between Tim Sylvia and Frank Mir, Sylvia broke his arm in the first round. Dean, understanding the headstrong mentality of some of the fighters, saw this and jumped in right away, stopping the fight. He knew if he didn’t, Sylvia would have kept going and possibly suffered more damage.
“He was upset, the crowd was upset,” Dean remembers, “but it turns out they caught in on video, they had a good angle of it, so I was vindicated. For a minute I was wondering where I was going to hide. I was looking for a good hiding spot or a large police officer.
“It’s happened more than once, but that was my defining match as a referee.”