Steve Sievert recently sat down with PRIDE Welterweight Champion Dan Henderson to collect his thoughts on the UFC’s current way of paying their fighters. It seems that Randy Couture wasn’t the only one unhappy about the situation:
“It seems like guys could be happier,” Henderson said. “Part of the problem is that they had a couple, three bad shows and got killed in Ireland (at UFC 72) on the money. And, possibly the fact that they spent a boatload of money buying Pride and didn’t do anything with it; they are trying to make some cutbacks, and the fighters aren’t overly happy about that.”
The most interesting excerpt from the interview was when Henderson revealed that he had actually turned down a proposed contract extension from Dana White prior to UFC 75:
The 37-year-old Team Quest fighter has one bout left on the Pride contract he brought with him to the UFC. White offered an extension, but Henderson didn’t bite. He thought the offer was low and chose to take the fight against Quinton Jackson at UFC 75 under the terms of his Pride contract, which left him with no opportunity for a fight bonus.
Despite assurances from White that he would be taken care of in the UFC, Henderson is waiting for what he thinks is an equitable offer.
“He was telling me that, ‘We haven’t had guys leaving. We take care of the guys, that’s why they’re happy. We don’t want guys that are unhappy,’ ” Henderson said about initial negotiations with White. “I haven’t seen that.”
At this point, though, Henderson isn’t ready to follow Couture out the UFC door. His preference is to stay with the organization and he wants to “give the UFC a chance” to bring another offer to the table.
So now it’s not only the disagreement of what weight class Henderson should fight in that’s holding things back, it’s his contract now too…
I know we haven’t posted it but a lot of other sites have. Here’s a promo for UFC WiRED, a new show hosted by UFC color commentator Joe Rogan that debuts this weekend.
News and Notes
- Adam Smith, who competed on last weekend’s Strikeforce at the Mansion card against K-1 veteran Dewey Cooper, has tested positive for cocaine and marijuana according to the California State Athletic Commission. Smith will be suspended until June 25th of next year and fined $1,500.
- Anyone watch Dog The Bounty Hunter? Dog’s son Leland will be making his MMA debut on October 20th at No Limits Fighting’s Brawl for it All event.
- UFC vice president Marc Ratner told Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports yesterday that Anthony Torres tested positive for the anabolic steroid Boldenone through the post-fight tests done after UFC 75. Torres is the first fighter to test positive under the UFC’s testing done when events are held outside of the United States. Torres was released from his contract by the UFC, not because of the positive test, but because of a poor performance against his opponent at UFC 75, Jess Liaudin.
All of the other fighters tested at UFC 75 - Quinton Jackson, Dan Henderson, Dennis Siver, Michael Bisping, Terry Etim, Houston Alexander and Gleison Tibau all passed. All of the fighters who competed at UFC 76 passed their tests for performance enhancing drugs as well.
- Keith Jardine has told MMA Weekly that he plans on returning to the Octagon in January:
“I’m thinking January, the early part of the year would be a good time,” said Jardine about the ideal time for his next fight.
- SUN Sports & Entertainment has announced the complete fight card for Art of War 4: Mississippi Mayhem, scheduled to take place on October 27th:
Ron Faircloth vs Chris Hawk
Rex Richards vs Shane Carwin
Mike Wessel vs Matt Thomas
Andrew Chappelle vs Adriano Nasal
DJ Watkins vs Kyle Gibbons
David Hulett vs David Brown
Keith Bach vs Mark Wiggins
Andy Uhrich vs Chris Gates
- Sam Caplan is reporting through Dave Meltzer that Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Cheick Kongo may not be fighting at UFC 79 after all:
According to Dave Meltzer in his latest FoxSports.com column, a rumored match between Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Cheick Kongo may not take place at UFC 79 on Dec. 29 as had been previously reported. It now appears that Nogueira vs. Kongo could take place in either January or February.
- Zach Arnold is reporting that the PRIDE FC Worldwide office in Tokyo has been shut down and all of the workers have been fired.
Forrest Griffin discusses his recent win over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at the UFC 76 post-fight press conference.
News and Notes
- Forrest Griffin knows that Wanderlei Silva apparently wants to fight him. However Griffin isn’t sure if he would be medically cleared for UFC 79 in December:
“It kind of would, yeah,” said Griffin about a December date with Silva being too soon. “I’d love to fight him if I didn’t have a giant hole in my face right now. We were in the hotel lobby and I was doing an interview with someone and they’re like ‘Wanderlei just said he wants to fight you’ and I was like ‘Right now, really, right now? He wants to fight me? I know he’s a Chute Boxe guy, but right now?’ And they were like no, no, no … in December.”
“We’ll see medically,” Griffin stated about the December card. “[It’ll] take a couple of weeks to figure it out.”
The cut that Griffin sustained was pretty severe and I’m going to assume that the CSAC will medically suspend him for at least a month without contact. However UFC 79 isn’t until December 29th, which would still give Griffin a good two months to be able to train for the fight. I guess we’ll see what happens…
- Looking for an update on Dan Henderson? The Fight Network has one.
Apparently Henderson only has one fight left on his current contract with the UFC. He has also stated that he would be ready to fight by November but that he would like to stay at light heavyweight, despite the UFC’s efforts to attempt to get Henderson to move down to his natural weight of 185.
- Cage Rage has released part of the upcoming card for Cage Rage 24: Feel The Pain:
Evangelista Santos vs Paul Cahoon
Mark Epstein vs Tom Watson
Ross Pointon vs Marios Zaromskis
Brad Pickett vs Ronnie Mann
Abdul Mohammed vs Robbie Oliver
James McSweeney vs Robert Paczkow
Neil Grove vs Robert Berry
- Matt Hamill has set the story straight concerning his recent knee surgery and stated that he would like to rematch Michael Bisping in December on his official sitehttp://www.matthamill.com/.
- Entertaining PRIDE veteran Akihiro Gono announced at his own press conference yesterday that he has signed with the UFC and will be fighting welterweight Tamden McCrory at UFC 78 in November:
“I know his fight record,” Gono said of the 20-year-old McCrory. “I know that he’s tall, young and has a long reach.”
- The California State Athletic Commission has released the official attendance and gate for UFC 76:
The UFC 76 “Knockout” event on September 22nd in Anaheim, California had an official attendance of 13,770 - with 1,953 of those seats as comps (tickets given away for free to media, friends, celebrities, etc.) for a gate of $1,984,880.
- MMA Weekly has released their latest set of rankings.
Fightlinker: I loves me some Mac Danzig
Sherdog: Old-School Event Sparks Backlash in Brazil
Fight Opinion: Wednesday war room: Where’s my PRIDE?
Five Ounces of Pain: ShoXC to return on Oct. 26 featuring Javi Vazquez, Aaron Rosa, and Muhsin Corbbrey
MMA Analyst: Is the PRIDE vs. UFC debate over?
MMA HQ: “Minotauro” Nogueria vs Cheick Kongo at UFC 79?
For at least one more night, it was UFC vs PRIDE.
UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and PRIDE Middleweight title holder Dan Henderson clashed last night in order to determine who currently is the best fighter in the world at 205 lbs. It was Jackson that came away victorious after five long and hard fought rounds at the sold out O2 Arena in London, England.
Jackson overcame being down on points earlier in the fight to win the final two rounds in convincing fashion and to give the judges more than enough reason to award him an unanimous decision.
Henderson (22-6) controlled the fight early on, clinching early and often to keep Jackson (28-6) at bay and unable to let his hands go. Jackson fought hard to prevent the two-time U.S. Olympic wrestler from taking him down but Henderson’s skill proved too much in the first few rounds.
However the rounds quickly caught up to Henderson and Jackson used his size and strength to wear down his opponent. The final stages of the fight saw Jackson beat Henderson at his own game, showing off newly polished ground skills that have become yet another weapon in Jackson’s dangerous arsenal. The final round saw both fighters lay everything on the line. Both were content to slug it out until the final bell where Henderson collapsed due to fatigue, allowing Jackson to pound away until the referee was forced to let the fighters know that the bout was over.
After the fight, Jackson let everyone know that his success on the ground wasn’t a fluke.
“A lot of people don’t know but I’ve got Jiu-Jitsu,” exclaimed Jackson.
Today we will be going live at 1:30 PM EST, covering UFC 75: Champion vs Champion with one of our patented live blogs. Be sure to leave some comments throughout the day and night…
Since this event is taking place in England and airing in North America via tape delay at 9 PM EST on Spike TV, we will be sure to keep the live blog hidden from the front of the page. In order to view it in it’s entirety, click on the “continue reading” link at the bottom of the post.
While you are waiting for the event to start, feel free to check out our coverage of the event which includes predictions, weigh-in results, and much more:
UFC 75 Weigh-In Results
Dan Henderson: “This is the Biggest Fight of my Career”
PRIDE’s Last Hurrah? Possibly Not
Rampage Discusses Strategy Against Henderson
Dan Henderson on Best Damn Sports Show Period
UFC 75 Conference Call Notes
Rampage Discusses Bout With Henderson
Cro Cop’s Training Regimen Revealed?
UFC 75 to Air on Spike TV
Quinton Jackson vs. Dan Henderson - UFC Light Heavyweight Title/PRIDE Middleweight Title Unification Bout
Mirko Cro Cop vs. Cheick Kongo
Michael Bisping vs. Matt Hamill
Houston Alexander vs. Alessio Sakara
Marcus Davis vs. Paul Taylor
Jess Liaudin vs. Anthony Torres
Gleison Tibau vs. Terry Etim
Thiago Silva vs. Tomasz Drwal
Dennis Siver vs. Naoyuki Kotani
UFC color commentator Joe Rogan discusses the importance of today’s title unification bout between UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and PRIDE Middleweight and Welterweight title holder Dan Henderson as well as the keys to victory for both fighters on SportsCenter.
Here are the official results from the UFC 75 weigh-ins:
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (204 lbs) vs. Dan Henderson (204 lbs)
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (220 lbs) vs. Cheick Kongo (231 lbs)
Michael Bisping (205 lbs) vs. Matt Hamill (205 lbs)
Alessio Sakara (205 lbs) vs. Houston Alexander (203 lbs)
Marcus Davis (169 lbs) vs. Paul Taylor (171 lbs)
Thiago Silva (204 lbs) vs. Tomasz Drwal (204 lbs)
Jess Liaudin (170 lbs) vs. Anthony Torres (170 lbs)
Dennis Siver (154 lbs) vs. Naoyuki Kotani (155 lbs)
Gleison Tibau (156 lbs) vs. Terry Etim (155 lbs)
PRIDE Middleweight and Welterweight Champion Dan Henderson discusses his upcoming championship unification bout against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson with the media at the pre-fight press conference for UFC 75.
UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson discusses his upcoming unification bout against PRIDE Middleweight Champion Dan Henderson at this weekend’s UFC 75 with ESPN.
History will be made this weekend. It doesn’t even seem like it right? Where the hell is the hype for UFC 75? I wish I knew…
Anyway, the UFC has been gracious enough to at least promote this event as part of the UFC vs PRIDE battle that we were all promised back in March. UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton Jackson and PRIDE Middleweight Champion Dan Henderson are to fight to unify the titles this Saturday.
Now let’s all be honest here. Even if Henderson wins, which I think he will, the UFC title is still going to remain just that. The PRIDE belt will most likely be absorbed into it unless the UFC has some kind of plan that we don’t know about.
So is UFC 75 the last we are going to see or hear about PRIDE? I’m not so sure. There’s always that remote chance that White and company somehow find a way to salvage the company and strike a TV deal over in Japan. My point is about the three other PRIDE belts that fighters still hold. It seems that PRIDE Lightweight Champion Takanori Gomi is going to stay in Japan and sign with K-1 Hero’s. The UFC could always vacate the title or they could give it to another former PRIDE fighter and then unify it that way.
Henderson still has PRIDE’s Welterweight Title as well. White has already said that he’s not sure if Henderson would get an immediate shot at Anderson Silva or Rich Franklin after the Jackson fight, making it seem like he is going to have to put the welterweight strap on the line too.
Then there’s always Fedor. Has he signed with the UFC or not? You know as much I do right now. I guess we’ll find out Saturday. If so, that’s yet another PRIDE belt that needs to be unified.
My guess is that the PRIDE label isn’t going anywhere, at least for the next few months…