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
Tonight it was announced that PRIDE Welterweight and Middleweight Champion Dan Henderson will be facing newly crowned UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
Dan Henderson (22-5) appeared in the octagon in May of 98 when he fought in the UFC middleweight tournament defeating Allan Goes and Carlos Newton to win the tourney. That marked the end of Hendo’s time in the UFC and the beginning of his time in Japan. Henderson spent the next 9 years fighting in Japan for Rings and PRIDE going 18-5 with victories over the likes of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Renato Sobral, Wanderlei Silva, Murilo Bustamante, Yuki Kondo, and many others.
A date for the matchup has not been announced.
UFC President Dana White and heavyweight title contender Mirko Cro Cop held a conference call with the media earlier today discussing this weekend’s event. Many topics were covered over the hour session including Cro Cop’s thoughts on Gabriel Gonzaga, the immediate plans for PRIDE’s future, the contract status of Mauricio Rua and Fedor Emelianenko, and much more.
Let’s just say that we have everything covered. Read and enjoy…
Cro Cop’s Thoughts on Gabriel Gonzaga:
Cro Cop was very straight forward in answering questions about Gonzaga. He stated that Gonzaga will not have an answer for everything that Cro Cop is going to bring to the Octagon on Saturday. He said that he is at full health for this weekend. He will not being using PRIDE’s theme music when he walks to the Octagon. Instead he will use his usual “Wild Boyz” song.
Cro Cop also said that he isn’t worried about Gonzaga’s ground skills and that it is his all-around game that presents the biggest problems matchup-wise:
“I have trained Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu a lot, have experts in my gym. I feel comfortable even on the ground. I am aware he is a jiu-jitsu world champion, but I am pretty versed in ground fighting now. Of course my basis is stand up, but even if we go to the ground, I am not scared.
Gonzaga is a solid, good fighter. He is a tough guy. He won’t hesitate to fight toe to toe. He is a first class fighter. I will try to keep it in a stand up position. I don’t want to underestimate him” stated Cro Cop.
Cro Cop on Couture, Liddell, Fedor, and Big Nog:
Cro Cop said that he would love for to have a rematch with Fedor Emelianenko in the near future but he is currently focused on his fight with Gonzaga and then winning the UFC Heavyweight Title before that can happen. He said that Randy Couture’s age will not be a factor if and when they fight because he has already shown that it hasn’t been a factor in past fights. He stated that while he doesn’t have any preference on his opponents in the UFC, he has a feeling that he will be fighting Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira very soon.
Cro Cop also made it known that he will be unable to cut enough weight to make it down to the 205 lb weight class, meaning that if a dream match with Chuck Liddell is to happen, that Liddell will have to come up to heavyweight and fight…
“I have no space to go down, maybe if I chop off my hand or something. I definitely can’t go down” said Cro Cop.
Dana White on Big Nog, Fedor, Wanderlei Silva, Sakuraba, and Liddell:
White stated that Nogueira was signed by the UFC as a free agent and that talks began about a month ago. He also stated that there is currently no timetable for his first fight nor any ideas on who his first opponent may be.
White said that at the time he originally made that Wanderlei Silva-Chuck Liddell announcement for UFC 65, it was going to be the biggest fight in MMA history. He now says that it isn’t the case until Silva wins a few more fights to make up for his KO losses to Cro Cop and Dan Henderson. Silva currently has four fights left on his six fight contract to do so.
According to White, the UFC is currently trying to figure out the status of Fedor. Fedor’s contract isn’t exclusive to PRIDE and that Zuffa and PRIDE FC Worldwide will not accept non-exclusive contracts for their fighters. White did say however that Fedor is under contract to the company and that if another rival promotion tried to sign him, he would slap them with an injunction immediately.
Despite the heavy rumors that Mauricio Rua has signed a contract that will allow him two fights in PRIDE and two fights in the UFC, White says that the rumors are not true. Also Kazushi Sakuraba is not under contract with PRIDE and White isn’t aware of the reasoning behind him being brought out to address the crowd during PRIDE 34.
White Talks About Changes to PRIDE and the Lightweight Grand-Prix:
White has confirmed once again that PRIDE will be changing to the unified rules of mixed martial arts (the rule set that the UFC uses) as well as the same round structures and weight classes. PRIDE will continue to use a ring instead of a cage. Also fight cards will be announced weeks in advance of an event, just like the UFC does now. Does everyone recall the PRIDE 34 mess?
PRIDE will not have a super heavyweight division and the crazy matchups the promotion used to hold including Butterbean, Giant Silva, and Bob Sapp will not take place anymore. White stated that all employees currently with PRIDE will keep their jobs with the exception of Gary Millen and Frank Trigg. They have been fired and will be replaced with a completely new announce team.
White said that it is still undecided in terms of whether or not the Lightweight Grand-Prix will take place at 155 lbs or 170 lbs. White denied all rumors about Diego Sanchez and Matt Hughes taking place in the tourney as there will not be any UFC fighters participating:
“There will be no UFC fighters in the tournament. The UFC and PRIDE are completely separate companies. You won’t see UFC vs PRIDE until we do the big event” said White.
White Discusses UFC’s status with HBO and ESPN:
The UFC will debut on HBO as soon as this summer according to White. The deal actually isn’t complete but is in the final stages of being finalized. White didn’t say much about things but did mention that the HBO will be doing their own production and announcing of events rather than having the UFC do things along with Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan. White said that it wasn’t easy for him to agree to that…
The UFC will still broadcast shows on HBO, Spike TV, and PPV. Spike TV will be made up mostly of guys from The Ultimate Fighter television shows. Shows on HBO will be mixture of TUF guys, international stars, and other UFC fighters. PPV shows would then have the best of the best.
ESPN will now be covering the UFC on a regular basis according to White. The coverage will include both weigh-in and fight results…
White Talks About Possible UFC Fights and Events in the Near Future:
White said that UFC 72 will either be on PPV or Spike TV. He mentioned Chicago, Washington DC, Boston, Atlanta, and Philadelphia all as possible sites that may hold future UFC events. Florida will also hold another UFC event in the near future according to White.
White said that the “Inside the UFC” TV show wasn’t scrapped and that the company is currently working on a date to bring the show back to the air.
White announced a slew of possible matchups - If Andrei Arlovski defeats Fabricio Werdum on Saturday, he will most likely fight the winner of Mirko Cro Cop and Randy Couture should Cro Cop get poast Gabriel Gonzaga as well. Sean Sherk will defend his lightweight title in Sacramento, California against Hermes Franca. Tito Ortiz vs Rashad Evans and Anderson Silva vs Nate Marquardt will also take place on that card. Georges St. Pierre will most likely be fighting next in August against an opponent that has yet to be determined…
White on Tito Ortiz:
White’s comments were short and sweet when asked about the current situation between himself and Tito Ortiz:
“Tito is living in a fucking bubble right now” said White “You saw what happened. I showed up and he didn’t. He’s not afraid of me, but he has people around him telling him it was a bad idea. He is out there making himself look like a jackass. He should shut his mouth and worry about Rashad Evans.”
Usually, I would not make a post to highlight one specific interview, but this one is awfully informative. The UFC’s Dana White was interviewed on CBS Sportline and had a lot of things to say. Among them…
* Confirmed that UFC 70 will likely be on SpikeTV
* Confirmed that Rashad Evans is the expected opponent for Tito Ortiz at UFC 71.
* Reiterated that he wants Rampage Jackson to fight Chuck Liddell for the LHW title at UFC 71 in May.
* Was very candid once again about his interests in buying the Pride promotion, admitting to having been in negotiations with them.
* Mentioned guys like Wanderlei Silva, Fedor, and Dan Henderson as fighters he’d love to have fight under the UFC banner.
* Hinted at the possibility that they are negotiating with the Nogueira brothers since their contract is up soon with Pride.
* Clarified his position on the Kurt Angle rumors, yet was very complimentary to Angle as well as Brock Lesnar.
* Admitted he’d like to see Phil Baroni and Evan Tanner back in the UFC.
* Continued the war of words with Jerry Millen, Gary Shaw, and Frank Shamrock.
I’ve been thinking about the lasting effects of taking a big KO. Now I’m not talking about medical conditions like post concussion syndrome (more on that later). I’m talking about the mental aspect of being knocked out. We’ve all heard how when you fall off a horse, you have to get right back on so you do not develop any fear. When you’ve been KO’d in a fight, its a much longer process before you can get “back on the horse” so to speak. Could that time off be pretty detrimental to the KO’d fighter? Let me explain.
Many people are saying how Wanderlei Silva didn’t look himself and fought completely differently than he normally does. Now I understand he may have been a bit sick (strep throat), but his interview on Sherdog was revealing. He talked about how he wanted to feel out Henderson in the first couple of rounds and see what he had. He said he wanted “see the fight in the 1st” and feel Dan’s power. He went on to say he figured he’d get the KO in the 4th or 5th round! Since when does the Axe Murderer take his time feeling out an opponent. His murderous aggression is famous and he barely gave opponents time to breath, much less feel them out. Now we must remember Silva’s last fight was a devastating KO from CroCop. Did that KO make Wanderlei a little more hesitant and defensive, as witnessed by his backing up during the fight with Hendo, something almost never seen before?
Just some random thoughts from this past weekend’s Pride 33: The Second Coming show.
It was a great show put on by DSE, which is great considering the amount of mismatches that most thought plagued the fight card. Stunning KO upsets (Lil’ Nog especially), an absolute war between Nick Diaz and the Fireball Kid Takanori Gomi that saw the UFC vet Diaz choke out Gomi with a gogoplata, and another highlight KO of Wanderlei Silva by Dan Henderson highlighted the event. While the production style of Pride may take some getting used to in the American market, the event was a much better representation of Pride than their first foray into the US this past October.
PRIDE 33 FULL RESULTS
Dan Henderson def. Wanderlei Silva by KO at 2:08, Round 3
Nick Diaz def. Takanori Gomi by Gogoplata at 1:46, Round 2
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua def. Alistair Overeem by TKO at 3:37, Round 1
Sergei Kharitonov def. Mike Russow by Armbar at 3:46, Round 1
Hayato “Mach” Sakurai def. Mac Danzig by TKO at 4:01, Round 2
Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou def. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira by TKO at 0:23, Round 1
James Lee def. Travis Wiuff by Guillotine Choke at 0:39, Round 1
Frank Trigg def. Kazuo Misaki by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Joachim Hansen def. Jason Ireland by Armbar at 2:33, Round 3
That being said, there are some stories out there that claim the results of Pride 33 will hurt the promotion in the long run. The first one by Zach Arnold was first printed on BoxingScene.com.
PRIDE 33 will go down as an event that, on paper, had a fight card line-up that looked like a turkey but produced some exciting fights. Short-term, the event was successful. Long-term, however, major damage was done to several of PRIDE’s key Japanese assets.
There is no turning back to Japan now for PRIDE. *Read More*
Arnold goes on to intricately detail how the surprising results will hurt Pride, especially in their stronghold of Japan itself.
A few days later, Al Yu, a Japanese columnist for MMAWeekly who specializies in covering the Far East MMA scene for the site, offered very similar setiments to Arnold. He even called it a disaster, the same as Arnold.
Operating under financial turmoil, DSE continued forward with their second U.S. show in hopes to make a further impact in a market currently dominated by the UFC. Pride 33: The Second Coming produced many exciting fights and was easily one of the best events of the year. Of the nine scheduled fights, only one went to a decision. So why was it a disaster?
What makes an organization is its stable of fighters. Pride’s large roster consists of some of the best fighters in the world. Any time a marquee fighter loses, it can have an adverse affect on an organization. In this case, four of Pride’s stars faltered on a crucial night for the Japanese organization.
There is no question that the event itself was a huge success, especially fight wise. The key will be where the PPV buy numbers end up, especially considering how poor the PPV numbers for the October event turned out. Let’s hope for the best.
Finally, for the first time ever, Pride CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara made a comment that did not deny that Pride may be up for sale. In the past, he has always firmly denied the sales rumors. From Loretta Hunt’s article on the Fight Network…
“Maybe,” PRIDE CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara answered of rumors that the PRIDE organization could go up for sale. “Today[‘s] show is very good [though].”
Pride officially announced that Wanderlei Silva will defend his Pride Middleweight Title against Pride Welterweight Champion Dan Henderson at Pride 33: The Second Coming on February 24th at a press conference in Los Angeles yesterday.
The biggest surprise of the day: Tommy Lee was on hand to voice his support for the event.
Not the biggest surprise of the day: Lee screwed up the date of the event, saying that it was in January instead of February, confusing Motley Crue fans everywhere.
Pride CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara was very confident that his company would succeed in the UFC-dominated American market…
“2007 is the year of change and challenge for PRIDE,” Sakakibara told Sherdog.com. “We take the American market very seriously and also we have champions like Fedor and Wanderlei, strong fighters — they’re waiting for anyone to challenge them. We’re here to stay in America and those champions are here to stay in PRIDE.”
While he couldn’t say anything more about the matchups for Pride 33, Sakakibara did state that Takanori Gomi will be fighting on the card.
Sakakibara also quelled the rampant rumors that are circulating through some of MMA’s most popular message boards that Zuffa, the company that owns the UFC and WEC, has come to terms to purchase Pride:
“It’s just a rumor. I haven’t had any close conversation with (UFC president) Dana White so far. But since the Fertitta brothers bought the UFC we’ve had a very close relationship and we have had friendly conversation. We’re just trying to come up with the idea on how we can make this sport grow. That’s our main concern. I think that is where the rumors are coming from. We’re constantly having a conversation with the UFC.”
While an MMA monopoly might not be the best thing for the sport, it’s always good to know that the two superpowers are working together to try and better the sport and also constantly talking to each other.
If there ever comes a time when Pride has to be sold, I’d rather Zuffa acquire it than WWE or Showtime…
Loretta Hunt of ‘The Fight Network’ is reporting that PRIDE 33 will be headlined by a rematch between PRIDE champions Wanderlei Silva and Dan Henderson.
Henderson and Silva battled back in December of 2000 where fans saw “The Axe Murder” Wanderlei Silva win by decision.
In 2000, Henderson didn’t draw a favorable straw in Silva for his PRIDE debut, but the wrestler with little formal stand-up training made the most of it, pulverizing the Brazilian’s face to a mangled mesh of purple and red on route to a decision loss with the then unstoppable fighter.
This fight will give Henderson the opportunity to hold a title in two different weight classes.
“As impossible as it seems, I will make him even uglier than he is already,” Henderson promised from his home in Southern California today.
Today the International Fight League announced that they would be adding four new coaches and heavy-handed slugger Robbie Lawler would be making his IFL debut in a superfight against Eduardo Pamplona.
The four coaches that were introduced to the crowd were PRIDE and UFC veteran Dan Henderson, South Korean judoka and martial arts instructor Doo B. Park, BJJ expert and PRIDE veteran Mario Sperry, and finally K-1 kickboxing legend Jerome LeBanner.
The IFL also announced that UFC and PRIDE veteran “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler would be taking on Eduardo Pamplona February 23rd in Atlanta, Georgia. Pamplona was originally scheduled to face UFC veteran Ivan Salaverry but the fight was cancelled when the UFC purchased the WFA contracts which included Salaverry.
Pride Fighting Championships has announced that Dan Henderson will face off against Vitor Belfort at Pride FC: The Real Deal on October 21st at the Thomas and Mack Center.