Greg Savage of Sherdog ran into UFC President Dana White last night at WEC 26 and White let him know there is currently no deal in place for the Fertitta Brothers to purchase PRIDE right now.
Savage told White about the reports floating around stating that PRIDE president Nobuyuki Sakakibara had informed those involved with PRIDE USA that the company was about to be sold to Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta. White’s response was both blunt and sarcastic:
“I ran Wanderlei Silva out there and said he was going to fight Chuck Liddell because Mr. Sakakibara said it was done. So take that for what its worth.”
Like most things,” he said, “about 70 percent of what you hear is bullshit.”
News and Notes
- UFC veterans Wes “The Project” Sims and David Loiseau will appear on the upcoming Art of War 2 show May 11th in Austin, Texas.
- In a recent interview with TATAME, Pedro Rizzo, told the site that his next fight could be in June against Aleksander Emelianenko.
- Tito Ortiz was a no show yesterday for the weigh-ins for his bout with UFC president Dana White. White was on hand for the weigh-ins as he tipped the scales at 196 lbs. Once again the fight has been called off and this time the NSAC was unhappy with Ortiz as he wasted their staff’s time.
- PRIDE FC has added Zuluzinho vs. Butterbean and Gilbert Yvel vs. Volk Ataev to PRIDE 34: Kamikazie.
- After his victory last night at WEC 26: Las Vegas Urijah Faber called out “Kid” Yamamoto (15-1).
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.
News and Notes
- According to Dave Meltzer, UFC 70: Nations Collide will likely appear on Spike TV and not HBO.
Dana White said that regarding the broadcast of UFC 70 on 4/21 from Manchester, England into the U.S., that nothing is finalized right now, but it will most likely be on Spike and not HBO.
- Fight Opinion Radio has released their newest episode dubbed “Power Brokers”. The show features former WFA boss and current EliteXC employee Jeremy Lappen and Jimmy Greninger of Soldier Fight Gear.
- MMA manager Monte Cox told MMAWeekly that he doesn’t feel Tim Sylvia’s back injury had any effect on the outcome of the fight with Randy Couture.
“He had trouble with his back. It was something that we dealt with with chiropractic help to make it so he could compete hard. And I think he did,” commented Cox. “I’m not one to say that has any kind of effect. I wish he hadn’t have said it. It happens before a lot of fights, it’s just one of those things.”
Injuries going into a fight, especially a fight with as much meaning as a title fight, are quite common among professional fighters. In fact, it’s a common saying amongst fighters that “if you’re not injured at all going into a fight, you’re not training hard enough.”
- Our rumors section has been updated.
Icon Sport: Epic TV Promo
A rumor is now going strong due to a posting on the fiveouncesofpain.com blog that says Tito Ortiz will be fighting Rashad Evans at UFC 71 rather than teammate Keith Jardine. The blog’s writer, Sam Caplan, works for CBSSportsline and is very credible. Here’s his post…
It’s been reported in multiple outlets that Tito Ortiz will fight Keith Jardine at UFC 71 in May. I believe Tito may have even confirmed the bout himself. However, while interviewing Dana White for CBS Sportsline yesterday Dana indicated Tito’s opponent at UFC 71 will be Rashad Evans so I’m not so sure he’ll be fighting Jardine.
Look for my exclusive interview with Dana to appear on Sportsline in the next couple of days.
If so, this fight would either elevate Rashad to title fight contender or show that he needs a bit more time to sharpen his skills.
This might also open up Keith Jardine for a title bout with Chuck Liddell as they are searching for an opponent for Liddell since Quinton Jackson has stated he’d like another fight before facing the Light Heavyweight Champion. This of course is pure speculation on my part.
UFC President Dana White received a professional boxing license from the Nevada State Athletic Comission on Monday morning in order to go ahead with his scheduled exhibition boxing match against Tito Ortiz on March 24th.
Some details about the match have been found out: The bout will be three rounds that are three minutes long. There will be a referee officiating the bout and doctors will be on hand. There will be no judges to score the bout since it is an exhibition.
The general public will not able to see the bout wherever it takes place but it is expected that fans will be able to watch it on the internet.
For those who aren’t familar with the background on this story - Ortiz was guaranteed a fight with White when he resigned with the UFC last year. White was an amateur boxer from 1988-1995.
News and Notes
- UFC President Dana White fielded a series of questions concerning Chuck Liddell yesterday mainly concerning the status of Liddell’s health and the date of his next fight.
White said that Liddell is now out of the hospital and is now the road to recovery from a bout pneumonia. White also stated that Liddell will be fighting on May 26th in Las Vegas against an opponent that has yet to be named. The big rumor floating around is that Liddell was put his belt up against Quinton Jackson who has decided not to have another fight before getting a title shot.
The biggest question has to be whether or not Liddell is going to be physically ready for the biggest fight of his career after being sick for so long…
- Cage Rage has struck a television deal with Sky Sports in England and the station will broadcast Cage Rage 21 on April 21st.
“Cage Rage and Sky Sports have confirmed the deal,” said Cage Rage promoters in a public statement made over the weekend. “Cage Rage Championships are pleased to further cement their relationship with Sky Sports and as the biggest UK based MMA event in Europe, have once again raised the bar to bring you another spectacular fight night from Wembley Arena.”
“We have worked with Sky Sports for about three years now,” said promoter Andy Geer. “But this deal is something else. When Sky Sports throw their considerable advertising budget at this event it will pack sports bars up and down the country and finally put our wonderful sport live in the homes of millions of people.”
News and Notes
- PRIDE has canceled their 04/28 USA show. This is unfortunate considering how exciting PRIDE 33: Second Coming was but one can definitely assume the organization is in some serious trouble. PRIDE USA President Ed Fishman is in the process of taking legal action against the company. For more information on the situation check out Zach Arnold’s piece at Fight Opinion.
- At the UFC 68 post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White, said that UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell is currently suffering from pneumonia and he should never have been let on the “Good Morning Texas” show. White was visibly unhappy and he said that he was flying to San Luis Obispo to check on him. The representative that took Liddell to the appearance was from Warner.
- During the UFC 68 post-fight presser, Matt Hughes stated that former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia came into the fight with a bad back that almost forced him to withdraw from the fight.
Sylvia, who dropped to 25-3, said in the ring that he had come into the fight carrying an injury but was beaten “fair and square.” He did not attend the post-fight news conference but Hughes said Sylvia had an injured back and had considered pulling out of the bout.
- Injury or not, Dana White didn’t feel it was an intelligent move on Sylvia’s part to tell the crowd he was injured coming into the fight.
“Even if he did, he should have never said it,” White said when asked of the injury and the comment in the ring. “Tim has an big image problem, you could see it tonight. Tim’s a good guy. He’ll come back. He’s a tough kid. This is going to be a hard one for him. There was no doubt in his mind he was going to beat Randy Couture tonight. He was overconfident.”
- Assuming Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic gets by Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 70: Nations Collide, Cro Cop and Couture will face off in a heavyweight title fight some time during the summer. For the first time in a while the UFC will have a very legit and marketable heavyweight title fight.
- Speaking of Cro Cop, according to Canada.com, Cro Cop asked the UFC brass for a fight with Brandon “Truth” Vera but it is currently on hold as Vera and Zuffa are having a very difficult time agreeing on a new contract.
The Fight Network is reporting that Pride veteran Fabricio Werdum is the latest fighter to jump ship to the UFC. And he’s being put in a very competitive fight to debut against former UFC heavyweight champ Andrei Arlovski. Dana White made the announcement at a press conference in Manchester, England to promote the upcoming UFC 70 and the return of the promotion to Europe. In addition to the Werdum-Arlovski match, White also announced that Ryota Machida will be on the card fighting Forrest Griffin. These are two extremely competitive matches, perhaps answering some of the recent complaints that the UFC was putting on too many mismatches.
According to the Fight Network…
Fabricio Werdum was today announced as the latest PRIDE fighter to jump to the Ultimate Fighting Championship – and Dana White warned “I’m not done yet.”
The announcement came at a press conference to formally introduce the Las Vegas-based promotion’s April 21 event in Manchester, England, at which Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Werdum (9-2-1) will fight former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski (10-5). The show, set for the Manchester Evening News Arena, will feature Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (22-4-2) vs. Gabriel Gonzaga (7-1) in the headline slot, with Clitheroe native Michael Bisping (12-0) vs. Elvis Sinosic (8-9-2) and Forrest Griffin (13-4) vs. Ryoto Machida (9-0) also signed. Dana White confirmed that should Cro Cop defeat Gonzaga, he will receive a heavyweight title match against either Tim Sylvia or Randy Couture, who fight at March 3’s UFC in Columbus, Ohio.
News and Notes
- WEC veteran Cole Escovedo is now suffering from paralysis from the waist down due to a staph infection…
According to a post by Laura Escovedo on MMA.tv and confirmed by Reed Harris of the WEC, Cole contracted a staph infection back in December that went unchecked because he just thought it was a spider bite or something of that sort. By the time he was diagnosed in January with staph, the infection made its way into his spine and paralyzed him from the waist down.
Cole was hospitalized and underwent an operation to alleviate some of the fluid that had built up on his spine due to the infection. He has since been released from the hospital and is now at home with a walker and is set to begin therapy.
At the time of publication, it was unknown whether Cole’s paralysis is a permanent or, hopefully, a temporary condition.
- More news on the whole Kurt Angle situation and who he might be signing with:
With a lighter schedule working with rival promotion Total Non-Stop Action (TNA) and a recovery from numerous health issues, 38-year-old Angle says he’s poised to enter the MMA world in 2007 with a number of suitors courting the former Olympian. At the top of the list, says Angle, is the newly formed Elite XC, which enjoyed a strong debut this past Saturday on the premium channel SHOWTIME.
“It looks like I’m going to sign with them (Elite XC) but then all of a sudden Dana White comes along last week and calls Dixie Carter (President of TNA) and says ‘Why is Kurt going to Showtime? I want to talk to him; he should be fighting for Spike, for UFC.”
Pro Elite’s Gary Shaw issued a “no comment” this morning regarding any contact they’ve had with Angle. Dixie Carter, President of TNA, who would not comment on Angle’s negotiations with any company but did confirm that the wrestler’s TNA contract allows him to do MMA, but only if TNA agrees it is best for him. Inquiries to the UFC were unanswered; while Angle says he’d need at least six to eight months of solid training before entering the cage or ring for a mixed martial arts debut.
“I can’t go in there with just my amateur wrestling skills,” said Angle. “I need to learn every facet of fighting, I need to learn how to protect myself with striking, submission holds, some jiu-jitsu and how to strike a bit better.”
- KOTC Canada’s next event, Capital Chaos, will take place on March 28th at the Robert Guertin Arena in Hull, Quebec…
- Elite XC Head Gary Shaw stated that a rematch between Renzo Gracie and Frank Shamrock will most likely take place this fall.
- Our rumors section has also been updated…