News and Notes
- Tonight UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell will appear on HBO’s hit series Entourage. The show airs at 10 PM EST and it will feature Liddell getting into an exchange with Johnny Drama.
- In a recent interview with GracieMag.com, former PRIDE heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, provided his thoughts on Gabriel Gonzaga’s recent upset of Mirko Filipovic at UFC 70: Nations Collide.
“I saw on the GRACIE site that things didn’t go to well for the Croatian. Napão and I have never fought, not even in the gi, but if one day we are both up to dispute the belt, we will surely face each other, even though we are both Brazilians,”
“I spoke of Cro Cop and Couture for being the non-Brazilians of the moment over there, I was not underestimating Napão by any means. He is very tough, but really, based on the number of fights each has, I could not imagine Cro Cop would fall in that way. You are gonna tell me you knew Napão was going to knock him out?” he returned the provocation, with a cackle.
- It is rumored that Roridgo Nogueira will make his UFC debut at UFC 73 in Sacramento, California. No opponent has been named at this point.
- UFC Fight Night 10 will be headlined by a lightweight bout between TKO LW champion Sam Stout and UFC LW contender Spencer Fisher. Also on the card will be Stephan Bonnar vs. Mike Nickels.
- Last night Mighty Mo won the K-1 World GP 2007 in Hawaii. Our live blog of the event can be found here.
If you haven’t already be sure to check us out on Myspace at http://www.myspace.com/mmaontap.
It’s looks like this war of words is going to continue between WBC Welterweight Champion Floyd Mayweather Jr and UFC President Dana White…
Earlier this month they exchanged some verbal blows where Mayweather bashed on Chuck Liddell, stated he would give Liddell a million dollars if he beat a heavyweight boxer from his promotion, and said that the UFC “ain’t shit”. White came back with a challenge of having one of Mayweather Promotions’ heavyweights fight Liddell under MMA rules. White also said that he would give Mayweather a million bucks out of his own pockets if he would be able to sell more than 10 tickets without Oscar De La Hoya.
Mayweather was asked about the UFC once again during an open workout this past Tuesday and once again he didn’t shy away from giving his thoughts on the subject:
“UFC’s champions can’t handle boxing. That’s why they are in UFC.” Mayweather said. “Put one of our guys in UFC and he’d be the champion. Any good fighter, he’d straight knock them out. Take Chuck Liddell. Put him in the ring with a (boxer) who is just 10-0 and Chuck Liddell would get punished. They wouldn’t have a chance to grapple (us) because we’d knock them out.”
White was given the opportunity to fire back at a press conference on Wednesday and he certainly delivered:
“Boxers couldn’t become mixed martial artists. That’s why they’re boxers,” White. “They are one trick ponies. Our guys can do everything. They can box, they can kick box, they can wrestle and do jiu-jitsu. They are much better athletes than boxers.
I used to talk like Floyd Mayweather when I was involved in boxing,” White said. “I talked just like him, until I educated myself about this sport. These guys are amazing athletes, Floyd Mayweather is one of the best boxers ever, (and) Sean Sherk will whoop his ass in under two minutes.
Any day that Mayweather wants to put his money and his ass where his mouth is, I’m ready,” White continued. “If he wants to step up, let’s do it.”
Mayweather caught wind of White’s comments about Sherk and responded…
“I’ll beat him and come home and watch basketball. Why would I go into a sport paying hundreds of thousands when I’m in a sport paying $20 million?” Mayweather said.
Does Mayweather have a point? Comparing the money that boxers are making and what the top fighters in the UFC are bringing in, why should Mayweather settle for something that is much less at the moment?
White says however that he can offer Mayweather the type of money he would be interested in…
“I’m willing to put together a fight for Sean Sherk and Floyd Mayweather with numbers that would make sense for Floyd,” White said. “And I guarantee you he would not accept it. Floyd Mayweather would never fight in the UFC because he would get his head ripped off.”
News and Notes
- The updated MMA on Tap Top 10 will now be posted after the results of UFC 70…
- Our rumors section has been updated…
- Be sure to check out our summary of the UFC 70 conference call which took place yesterday and left us with a load of new information from the mouths of Mirko Cro Cop and Dana White.
- Here is the updated fight card for the 2007 K-1 World Grand Prix in Hawaii on April 28th:
Gary Goodridge vs Patrick Barry
Remy Bonjasky vs Glaube Feitosa
Hong-Man Choi vs Mike Malone
Junichi Sawayashiki vs Randy Kim
Mighty Mo vs Kyoung Suk Kim
Jan Nortje vs Julius Long
Alexandre Pitchkounov vs Tatsufumi Tomihira
Badr Hari vs Yusuke Fujimoto
Jerrel Venetiaan vs Peter Graham
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.”
Consider this the TUF edition of CKA…
News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated…
- Tonight is obviously the second episode of The Ultimate Fighter Season 5. Spike TV will also be airing Bad Blood: Dana White vs. Tito Ortiz, a documentary about the training that White and Ortiz went through leading up to their cancelled boxing exhibition bout last month right after the show is over at 11 PM EST. Also be sure to check back on Friday as I will be posting a little recap of what has happened so far in TUF5 for those who haven’t been following the show for whatever reason.
- TUF Alumni Alert: UFC veteran Mike Nickels will be fighting on April 28th in Ring of Fire 29: Aftershock. Noah Inhofer was victorious this past weekend over Dave Kleczkowski.
- MMA Weekly fills us in on the ratings results for the premiere episode of TUF 5:
The season premiere of The Ultimate Fighter 5, which aired on Spike TV on April 5th, drew an overall rating of 1.4. This puts the TUF 5 premiere in a tie with the premiere of the very first season of The Ultimate Fighter for the lowest-rated premiere episode in series history, as the TUF 1 premiere also drew a 1.4 overall rating.
The majority of the episode drew a 1.3 rating, but the show-closing fight between Cole Miller and Alan Berube drew a 1.5 rating, increasing the average for the hour.
Last night fans witnessed one of the biggest upsets ever as ‘The Ultimate Fighter 4’ winner Matt Serra defeated Georges St. Pierre to win the UFC welterweight title. During the post-fight press conference Dana White stated that Serra’s first title defense would likely come against former champion Matt Hughes.
During the event Dana White announced the signing of heavyweight ace Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira to a two-year contract.
The UFC gained a great deal of exposure last night as highlights of UFC 69: Shootout could be seen on ESPN, TSN, Rogers Sportsnet and many other major television stations across the country.
TATAME is reporting that undefeated light heavyweight Thiago Silva will make his UFC debut May 26th at UFC 71. Silva (9-0) is the under 93kg Fury FC Grand Prix Champion. Training with Chute Boxe, Silva has showcased excellent striking ending 7 of his 9 fights by knock out.
TATAME is also reporting Alexandre Franca “Pequeno” Nogueira has received an offer from the UFC. Pequeno is 12-4-2 with the majority of his victories coming by submission.
UFC on Spike TV:
Tuesday, April 10th: UFC Unleashed 9 PM EST
Thursday, April 12th: The Ultimate Fighter 5 10 PM EST
Thursday, April 12th: Countdown to Dana vs Tito 11 PM EST
Friday, April 13th: Countdown to Tito vs Dana Replay 12 AM EST
Last week, “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather Jr., shocked MMA fans when he bashed the UFC and their light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell during a conference call to promote his fight with Oscar De La Hoya.
“UFC ain’t shit,” he said. “It ain’t but a fad. Anyone can put a tattoo on their head and get in a street fight.” He singled out UFC poster boy Chuck Liddell for an extra overhand right. “We should put Liddell against a good heavyweight, under Mayweather Promotions, and if Chuck wins, then I’ll give him a million dollars out of my own pocket.” PBF then shoe-shined all MMA fighters. “These are guys who couldn’t make it in boxing,” he said. “So they do (MMA). Boxing is the best sport in the world and it’s here to stay.”
Not only were fans unhappy, but UFC president Dana White also expressed his displeasure during a media conference call on Monday.
“You know, Floyd Mayweather just came out and said some stupid s—- about Chuck Liddell,” White said.
“We should put Liddell against a good heavyweight, under Mayweather Promotions,” Mayweather said last week. “If Chuck wins, then I’ll give him a million dollars out of my own pocket.”
“(He said) he’d pay a million dollars if Chuck could hang with a heavyweight boxer,” White said Monday. “How about if he pays a million dollars to see if a heavyweight boxer can fight MMA with Chuck Liddell? Or, even better, I’ll put up a million dollars of my own money if Floyd Mayweather can sell more than 10 tickets without Oscar De La Hoya.”
After purchasing PRIDE Fighting Championship, Lorenzo Fertitta, Dana White, and former owner Nobuyuki Sakakibara fielded questions from the press concerning the future of PRIDE, the rules and more.
Question: Can you explain what will Pride and the UFC look like after this?
Dana White: They are going to be completely separated. The UFC will run separately from Pride. Most of the employees are still in place at Pride and we are going to continue to run them as competitors and two separate entities.
Question: But there will be mega-fights and fighters and champions (from the UFC and Pride) going against each other at some point?
White: That’s what we are talking about. Obviously, there is a lot that needs to be worked out. What we would like to see, finally, is the Super Bowl of mixed martial arts where we could, finally, line up all the guys in all the different weight classes to fight each other and see who the best in the world is. We’d do that once a year. We don’t know exactly how that will be done, yet. But that’s what we are thinking about doing.
The full transcript can be found at ocregister.com.
From the PrideFC website...
Dream Clash between PRIDE and UFC! Steps Finally Taken Towards MMA Version of the World Series As DSE CEO Sakakibara Resigns; New PRIDE Owner Lorenzo Fertitta Takes Office
On Tuesday, March 27th, at the Roppongi Hills Arena in Tokyo, PRIDE Executive Director Nobuhiko Takada and UFC President Dana White appeared together to announce that the two largest MMA organizations in the world, America’s UFC and Japan’s PRIDE FC, will finally come to blows.
Since the dawn of the sport, PRIDE FC and the UFC have continued to be the driving forces behind mixed martial arts. Under the new leadership of PRIDE owner Lorenzo Fertitta, the MMA world is one step closer to determining who truly is the world’s toughest man. This momentous event will similarly resemble baseball’s World Series, soccer’s World Cup, and football’s Super Bowl.
In addition, DSE President and CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara announced that his resignation from PRIDE FC will take place immediately after PRIDE.34, scheduled to take place April 8th at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan. Lorenzo Fertitta will assume Mr. Sakakibara’s responsibilities as PRIDE’s new owner.