Earlier this month, UFC President Dana White told reporters that the UFC was planning to come to Montreal April 7th with Georges St. Pierre vs. Matt Hughes II as the headline bout.
Unfortunately for the Canadian fans things took a sudden change as Dana White called off the card on Thursday. In an interview with The Globe and Mail, White said “Fell apart, unfortunately, there were a lot of different things that made that fight fall apart.”
“I’m trying to regroup right now and figure out when we go to Canada.”
With St. Pierre vs. Hughes currently on the backburner, fans will get to see Matt Hughes make his return to the octagon at UFC 68 in Ohio.
UFC President Dana White has stated that UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre may be fighting Diego Sanchez April 7th in Montreal for the welterweight title. It was originally thought that St. Pierre would rematch Matt Hughes but it’s now up in the air.
It is all but confirmed that PRIDE Open Weight Grand Prix champion Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic has signed with the UFC. Look for an announcement to come soon, possibly on the December 30th show.
On the most recent edition of ‘Inside the UFC’, lightweights Jens Pulver and B.J. Penn were introduced as the coaches for season 5 of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ and also Joe Rogan announced that Quinton “Rampage” Jackson would be fighting in the UFC in 2007.
It has been confirmed that Quinton “Rampage” Jackson’s first fight in the UFC will come against UFC and PRIDE veteran Marvin Eastman at UFC 67. This fight was originally scheduled to take place on WFA: King of the Streets II but the fight was cancelled and shortly after the Zuffa LLC purchased the organization.
Randy Couture’s name has reemerged in the media as he stated that if Tito Ortiz beats Chuck Liddell at UFC 66, he’ll come out of retirement to fight Ortiz. “If Tito finds a way to beat Chuck, I’m going to have to come out of retirement and give Tito a whack.”
InsideFighting.com sat down with UFC lightweight Hermes Franca and he stated that he signed a new four fight deal with the UFC and his next fight would be January 25th at the Hard Rock in Miami, Florida.
Be sure to tune into Spike TV Thursday, December 28th, as they will be airing UFC 66: Countdown to Liddell vs. Ortiz II, All Access with Chuck Liddell and of course Inside the UFC with Joe Rogan. That will be followed by Live and Inside at 10 PM on Friday.
Finally remember to tune in live on December 30th at 10 PM EST as I’ll be doing one of our patented ‘Live Blogs’.
Moments after the UFC Fight Night event concluded UFC President Dana White took some time to answer questions with reporters on subjects ranging from Mirko “Cro Cop” to Marcus Davis.
White mentioned that UFC welterweight champion Georges “Rush” St. Pierre would be fighting Matt Serra in February and then his next opponent would likely be Matt Hughes in April at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada. White then went on to say he has heard Hughes may want to wait so we could possibly see a fight between Hughes and Diego Sanchez but nothing is for certain. No matter what White said “We’re going to Montreal in April no matter what.”
One reporter asked if there was any more news on which fighters the UFC would be picking up from the WFA and White said “No, not since yesterday. I mean we talked yesterday and obviously the big score there was Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.”
Shortly after that another reporter brought up the rumors of the UFC signing Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, White smiled and said “Really, that’d be awesome too.”
Later White was again asked about “Cro Cop” and he smiled and said “I cannot deny or confirm that. We’re going after everyone; I’m taking over the world. We’re going after everyone.”
White confirmed that he’d love to do another show for the marines. He felt the atmosphere was tremendous and they were honored with the support provided by the folks in the armed services.
When asked about Jeff Joslin, White said “Joslin will definitely be back, no doubt about it. He’s a tough guy, a tough durable fighter. Josh Koscheck is no joke.”
White also confirmed that former UFC welterweight champion B.J. Penn would be a coach on season 5 of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’. Penn will be joining Pulver as a coach on the 5th season and it is expected that they will fight on the season finale which is expected to be in June/July.
Today UFC President Dana White sat down with the OC Register and provided fans with some excellent insight as to what’s on the horizon for the UFC. Here is some interesting information from the interview.
Dana White confirmed the company has picked up:
- Quinton Jackson
- Rob McCullough
- Heath Herring
- Ivan Salaverry
- Urijah Faber
He also mentioned that they are still sifting through it all but the main score was the acquisition of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. We’ll be hearing more information on who was picked up in the coming days.
When asked if being associated with the IFL would be a problem, White stated “Not at all, I’ll take care of that too.” That means we could see the likes of Matt Lindland and Bas Rutten in the UFC in the near future.
White’s reason for purchasing the WFA was mainly for the contracts and in the process he was able to squash the company.
For the past couple of weeks there have been rumors floating around stating that the UFC had purchased the WEC and today Dana White confirmed them. In the interview White said he did in fact purchase the WEC and he went on to say “We’re going to take that to a whole other level, put it on television and blow it up. Pretty soon the WEC will be number 2.”
“The WEC isn’t going to be looked at as a feeder show or guys who are aspiring to be in the UFC. There is going to be no trading or swapping. It’s going to be UFC versus WEC.”
White continued to assure the reporters that 2007 was going to be huge and we now know that is true. At this point we are still at the tail end of 2006 and White has already gone out and purchased the WEC, bought out the WFA, acquired numerous WFA contracts, and he expects his product to be televised on HBO in the very near future. Also there have been many rumors floating around that heavyweight ace Mirko Cro Cop may be testing his luck in UFC in the very near future. When asked about Cro Cop, White said “I’m looking at a lot of guys right now, I want them all.”
White closed out the interview by saying that the UFC would be coming to Canada in April of 2007 for the Georges St. Pierre vs. Matt Hughes rubber match. When talking about the rematch in Canada, an excited White said “How crazy do you that place going to be that night? How do you think it’s going to be for Hughes when he walks in with 16,000 Canadians in there? They’re going to kill him.” On top of that he said the UFC plans on branching out into Mexico and the U.K.
2007 is going to be great!
Zuffa, LLC, the company that owns the Ultimate Fighting Championship has announced that it has acquired select assets from the World Fighting Alliance.
The company purchased select fighter contracts and the trademarks and other intellectual property of World Fighting Alliance.
Dana White, UFC President and Zuffa co-owner said, “Zuffa is committed to giving our fans the best fights between the best fighters in the world. This acquisition helps us continue fulfilling that goal.” White also said, “Goodman and Palazzo were working towards building a strong promotion. But bringing the WFA fighters into the Zuffa family is the best thing that could happen for the fighters – and for the fans.”
The WFA will now cease all operations.
The UFC also is in the final stages of buying out the WEC, according to MMA Weekly.
The WEC is expected to serve as a sort of developmental promotion for young fighters that the UFC signs. The WEC will use the offical Octagon and is scheduled at this time to hold it’s first event under the UFC next month…
Update - 11:11 PM
The Fight Network is reporting that UFC president Dana White has confirmed that Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is among the talents acquired.
Be sure to tune into Spike TV tonight at 12 AM EST as the UFC’s newest weekly series “Inside the UFC” will premiere.
The show will be a weekly half-hour magazine-style series that will feature interviews, up-to-the minute UFC news and much more.
The first episode will include an exclusive interview with UFC President Dana White as well as one on one interviews with UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre and his next opponent Matt Serra. Also the first episode will include an in-depth look at the UFC Octagon Girls.
In a recent interview with MMA Weekly, Matt Lindland was asked about his discussions with the UFC on possibly coming back and challenging Anderson Silva for the UFC Middleweight title.
What was his answer? I don’t think it’s something that Dana White will be happy to hear…
“There’s a lot on the horizon…I’m going to be the most active free agent out there. I’m not going to sign exclusive deals with any one organization, I just think that’s a bad move right now for any fighter that wants to move his career ahead.
I think you’ve got to have the flexibility to be able to fight in different organizations, and any organization that wants to lock you down for multiple agreements is only looking out for their best interests, and as a fighter you’ve got to look for your own best interests. You’ve got to be able to fight where the fights are. I’ll fight anybody and I’ll fight in any organization that doesn’t want to force somebody to sign long-term contracts.
Yes, we did talk to the UFC about the possibility of me fighting for them as well, and right now it’s not looking like that’s going to come to fruition, but it’s something that I’m definitely interested in exploring in the future months, or maybe even next year, who knows?”
With all of the other middleweight contenders in the UFC booked for fights later this year already, does this mean that Mike Swick is the number one contender?
While browsing the web, I came across an interesting post on a message board. The user was saying that the UFC is wrong in trying to bring in Lindland and that they are continuing to not go after foreign talent. He also said that they were trying to get rid of Silva.
I don’t think that’s the case…
If you haven’t noticed, the amount of foreign talent in the UFC is more than ever before. Granted it isn’t big name international talent like Pride and other organizations sport, it’s foreign guys nonetheless. Bottom line, why don’t they go after the big guys?
Has it occurred to anyone that they might want to develop their own guys inside their own organization? It’s exactly what Pride has done with Fedor, Wanderlei, Barnett, Shogun - They will forever be aligned with the company, bringing the organization a huge amount of recognition for years to come.
In my opinion, the UFC is making a good decision in the long run by signing rising, younger stars and developing them rather than going out and signing every big-name free agent out there.
As for the UFC talking with Lindland about returning - First off they should have never let him go in the first place. He was the number one contender for the title and they let him slip away by refusing to talk about a new contract - that’s why Nate Quarry fought Rich Franklin at UFC 56 - Lindland was supposed to be Franklin’s opponent, not Quarry who was probably the last person who deserved a title shot at that point.
The UFC isn’t trying to get rid of Silva, they are just trying to not make the same mistake twice. Swick isn’t ready for Silva, Dana already knows that, that’s why he wants him to fight at least one more time before he gets a title shot.
However with Lindland currently out of the picture, it seems like Silva’s next fight might be against just another Quarry…
The UFC and Spike TV announced earlier this week that they will debuting a new show on November 9th called ‘Inside the UFC’, a magazine that will have a variety of features.
Some of the topics that will be covered will be fight results, fight previews, profiles on up-and-coming fighters, as well as a behind the scences look into some of the fighters’ lives away from the Octagon.
With the comments of UFC president Dana White at the recent UFC 64 post-fight press conference, it would seem that Inside The UFC is only a precursor of things to come from the UFC. “We have a magazine show that we’re doing in November… It’s just another way to help promote the fighters and get more people educated on the sport.” He continued, “There’s a ton of programming coming. We’re going to blow your mind again this year. Wait until you see what we’ve got coming.”
So Dana had some interesting things to say once again at the UFC 63 Post-Fight Press Conference on Saturday night/Sunday morning…
What did he have to talk about? I guess I’ll give it you interview style…
What are your thought’s on Pride coming to the US market?
“I think it’s great for the sport… There are going to be a lot of guys up-and-coming. There are a lot of opportunities for these guys to make money, so I can’t have everybody. I can’t pay everybody… I think it’s necessary.”
Any thoughts on Wanderlei Silva’s loss to Mirko Cro Cop?
“I think he just got executed. Isn’t that what happened to him?”
Will we see Silva in the UFC in the near future?
“Did he wake up yet? Let’s put it this way, everybody’s terrorized me about the fight with Wanderlei Silva. I’ve been trying to make that fight for five years. If that fight happened in the United States right now, he’d be on a ninety day suspension for getting his head kicked to another planet. He’s out. There’s no way he can come fight in the United States right now. When he gets back up and wins another fight or something… trust me when I tell you, I’d love to have Wanderlei Silva under contract with the UFC. I joke around, but I’d love to have him under contract.”
Could you elaborate more on your plans for expansion as you have mentioned before?
“We’re going to get real aggressive over the next two, three years. We’re going to expand our market. We’re going down to Mexico. We’re going up to Canada. We’re going over to the U.K. in October. We’re going to do 4 or 5 fights a year over there. We’re going to see how that goes and then possibly reaching out into Europe.”
“We’re going to aggressively go after the Hispanic market over the next couple of years. Right now down in Mexico, they get the Ultimate Fighter on DirecTV. Every time I go down to Mexico, people know about the sport and the show and we’re looking for a television deal.”
Leading up to UFC 63 this week, UFC President Dana White has to be very vocal. However, he decided to comment on a few of the rumors that have been floating around as of late, things that he really didn’t even have to address.
When it comes to the stories out there that say many big-name UFC fighters are considering leaving the company because of horrible pay, what does White have to say?
“Believe me when I tell you, brother, people aren’t leaving me,” Dana White said in an interview Tuesday.
While declining to detail UFC’s finances, he said his athletes were happy with their take. “We’re a private company and our fighters make a lot of money, a lot of money,” he added.
“None of us are arguing, none of us are bitching and none of us are fighting. We get along with all of our fighters very well. They feel like they’re part of a very happy family. Let me tell you what, I can sleep at night. I’m not in this for the money and I never was.
“We’re a real business. We’ve got this thing rolling and we’re thrilled, thrilled that these guys are able to make what they’re making.”
Dana happened to use UFC Middleweight Champion as an example of this:
White cited middleweight champion Rich Franklin, a native of Cincinnati whose UFC deal calls for a basic fee of $18,000 per fight with another $18,000 for each win.
“Him and his wife just bought 15 acres of land and a big fat house that they just moved into,” White said.
White also decided to comment on Jeremy Lappen, CEO of the WFA, and the real reason as to why he was ejected from UFC 61.
White also denied being responsible for having the head of the rival World Fighting Alliance ejected from the Mandalay Bay at UFC 61: Bitter Rivals. Jeremy Lappen was asked to leave by Mandalay Bay officials, White said, because he had people distributing flyers in the casino for a WFA event.
The UFC president said he “embraced” competition from rival organizations.
“These guys create the talent that’s going to end up in my show some day. I’ve got no problem with these guys.”
“I’ve made more millionaires in this business than anybody else has,” White added.
Those are pretty brash comments by Dana right there. However with the UFC on top of the MMA world right now, I’d say that he can make those remarks whenever he pleases…