BodogFight welterweight champion Nick Thompson discusses his successful title defense over John Troyer this past weekend as well as his thoughts on the differences and similarities between the top MMA promotions around the world with RawVegas. Jens Pulver, Dean Lister, Troy Mandaloniz, and Dave Terrell chime in with their take also.
Photo by Ed Pollard.
Georges St. Pierre came closer to cementing his status as the top welterweight in the world when he gave future UFC hall-of-famer Matt Hughes a drubbing over the course of two rounds before submitting his idol with an armbar during the main event of last night’s UFC 79: Nemesis.
Hughes was originally slated to face fellow Ultimate Fighter 6 coach and current welterweight champ Matt Serra but Serra was forced to pull out of the bout after suffering herniated discs in his lower back during training. Hughes was then given a selective list of opponents that agreed to step in and the former nine-time champion picked St. Pierre in an attempt to try and avenge a prior loss to “Rush” at UFC 65 last year.
However it was obvious from the start of the fight that it was only a matter of time before St. Pierre was going to come away with a win. The Canadian took Hughes down at will throughout the first round, mounting his opponent and connecting with a number of unanswered punches while his opponent held on for dear life.
Hughes found his way back to his feet a couple of times but St. Pierre quickly put an end to that with wrestling skills that have made him consider possibly trying out for the Canadian Olympic wrestling squad next year.
The second round started off much like the first and after mounting and taking his opponent’s back, St. Pierre locked in an armbar that caused Hughes’ face to grimace in pain. The Hillsboro, Illinois native then verbally submitted to referee Steve Mazzagatti, ending the fight.
Many fans showed concern when St. Pierre took the fight on short notice as he would only have a little over a month to prepare for the bout. Training wasn’t an excuse for Hughes during a post-fight interview with UFC color commentator Joe Rogan.
“I came in 120 percent,” Hughes said. “I really trained hard for this fight. I brought in some of the best people and we really had a good game plan. Georges is just a better fighter.”
Hughes also acknowledged that he “had some thinking to do” in terms of continuing his career.
With the win, St. Pierre becomes the interim UFC welterweight champion. He will now wait for Serra to fully recover from his injury and the two will unify the belts at some point next year.
Even though he deserved the win with a show of complete domination, St. Pierre refused to consider himself the welterweight champion, as that distinction is held by the last man to defeat St. Pierre inside the Octagon.
“That’s why I’m going to take off this belt,” St. Pierre said after the fight. “Thanks to the UFC for giving me that; it’s a good honor, but the real champion is Matt Serra. Until I get my belt back, I’m not going to consider myself champion. Matt Serra that night beat me fair and square. He was the better man and I made many mistakes and had a lot of issues that night. Next time when I fight him, it might be a different story and people will understand what I’m talking about.”
We will be going live at 8:00 PM EST with live results of UFC 79: Nemesis, which is taking place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The event is highlighted by Matt Hughes and Georges St. Pierre battling for the third time in their careers for the interim UFC Welterweight Title and the long-awaited matchup between Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva.
Be sure to leave comments throughout the night.
Live results are shown after the jump.
The official weigh-in results for tomorrow night’s UFC 79: Nemesis are below. All fighters successfully made weight.
Things heated up really fast during the stare-down between Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva. Silva empathically ripped off his shirt before approaching Liddell. After an intense stare-down between the two, Silva faked a move towards Liddell and Liddell responded by flipping his opponent the bird. Silva started to walk towards Liddell and officials and trainers all jumped in but order was quickly restored.
Matt Hughes (170 lbs) vs. Georges St. Pierre (170 lbs)
Chuck Liddell (204 lbs) vs. Wanderlei Silva (205 lbs)
Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (205 lbs) vs. Ryoto Machida (204 lbs)
Rich Clementi (155 lbs) vs. Melvin Guillard (156 lbs)
Eddie Sanchez (239 lbs) vs. Soa Palalei (262 lbs)
Dean Lister (186 lbs) vs. Jordan Radev (185 lbs)
James Irvin (205 lbs) vs. Luis Cane (205 lbs)
Roan Carneiro (170 lbs) vs. Tony DeSouza (170 lbs)
Manny Gamburyan (155 lbs) vs. Nate Mohr (155 lbs)
Doug Evans (155 lbs) vs. Mark Bocek (155 lbs)
News and Notes
- Sam Caplan of Five Ounces of Pain is reporting that Ricardo Arona is not close to signing a deal with the UFC, or any organization for that matter:
While Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer has already said as much, FiveOuncesOfPain.com can confirm that there is very little validity to the rumors that Ricardo Arona is close to finalizing a deal with the UFC.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com contacted a source close to Arona via e-mail and that source has indicated that he will be in Europe for the next 40 days, making a deal almost impossible to complete. Furthermore, Arona has made no mention to the source about the possibility of signing with the UFC.
- Speaking of Caplan, it seems that he has added Adam Morgan to his team at Five Ounces. I that brings Adam’s total of websites written for to four. Adam is a monster.
- The Fight Network’s Great Fight North column has some good news inside:
Jonathan Goulet is hoping to fight next in November despite dislocating his elbow against Dustin Hazelett at UFC 76.
Bill Mahood’s fight against Bobby Southworth at this weekend’s Strikeforce event will not be for Southworth’s Strikeforce World Light Heavyweight Title.
Denis Kang is apparently training for a return at an October or November K-1 Hero’s event.
- MMA Junkie is reporting that Dean Lister may be taking on Jordan Radev at UFC 79 in December:
UFC rookie Jordan Radev (11-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) will likely face Dean Lister (9-5 MMA, 2-1 UFC) at UFC 79 in December.
MMAjunkie.com learned of the fight from a source close to the fighter, but Ken Pavia, Radev’s agent, said he couldn’t comment on the report or confirm that a deal was close to being signed.
- In a recent interview with FOX Sports, UFC President Dana White stated that he’s still confident he can sign Fedor and Brock Lesnar still isn’t officially with the UFC:
He also was very confident of signing Fedor Emelianenko, but felt it wouldn’t happen until after Emelianenko competes in a Russian sambo tournament in the fall. White said it was incorrect the story, claimed by Kurt Angle, that Brock Lesnar had signed with UFC. But he did hope to make the deal.
It seems that former UFC Middleweight Champion Evan Tanner won’t be returning to action in the near future after all according to a post today on his official website:
I have not been training at all, despite what the rumors say. I’ve signed no fights. I’m so far gone, living on the road, drinking myself into oblivion, that in moments of weakness, I wonder if I can make it back. It’s going to be a long road. I started drinking heavily, long before fighting was even a thought in my head. There was a definite reason I began. There was a method to my madness with good purpose. I’ll tell that story later.
We originally reported that Tanner had been offered the opportunity to take on Dean Lister at UFC 79 but it seems that he neglected to take up on the offer, for good reason if he hasn’t been training with Chute Boxe USA like we all assumed.
Tanner is once again fighting with the demons inside of him. Yet despite all of the setbacks, he still apparently wants to return to the Octagon:
I’ve been on the road for almost two years. I’m tired. I’m tired of drinking, I’m tired of living out of bags, I’m tired of not feeling home. And where is home? I imagine being in the gym again. I imagine stepping into the Octagon again, and in some strange way, those thoughts bring me comfort. That is my home. I know it’s time to come home.
I never wanted to be a fighter. I never dreamed of it. Those I most respected were men of peace. Despite what the general public thinks, I don’t train full time or year round. I never have. Throughout my career, if you wish to call it that, I have been a heavy drinker. I’ve only trained for a month or two at a time when I sign a fight. Sometimes I’ve put down the alchohol, sometimes I haven’t. I think the fights where I haven’t are obvious.
I keep having this idea of what I could do, what I could be if I put put the vices aside and dedicated myself to the sport. I’ve been obsessed with the idea lately. It’s funny. A friend told me I was doing Wing Chun in my sleep, lying there, working techniques. The next night I was throwing elbows and knees. I take it as a sign.
All that has been on my mind is getting back in the gym. As soon as I can take care of the boat, that is where I will be.
It’s interesting when he says that he has never trained on a regular basis. What could have happened if he became a mainstay at Team Quest and actually focused on MMA full-time? It’s a good question.
I’m the biggest Tanner fan I know. I’ve spoken to him on many occasions. I believe in him. However I’m feeling more and more as the rumors are killed that he might not ever get the chance to make one more run for the UFC Middleweight Title. The man that many believe has the style to defeat Anderson Silva might not ever get that chance at this point.
MMA on Tap has learned that former UFC Middleweight Champion Evan Tanner has been proposed a possible bout with Dean Lister at UFC 79 in December.
Tanner has been out of action since submitting Justin Levens at UFC 59 in April of last year. After an attempt at creating a foundation for underprivileged mixed martial artists fell through, Tanner announced his intent to return to the UFC in May. Chute Boxe USA revealed that Tanner had joined the training team in June and stated that he would be fighting at a UFC event in September. Tanner was then heavily rumored to be fighting Marvin Eastman at UFC 76 but that rumor obviously turned out to be untrue.
Lister is coming off of surgery for a torn biceps muscle in his right arm, an injury that he suffered this past April. Lister’s manager, Jerry Villasenor, recently announced that his client was planning on returning at UFC 79 against an opponent that had not yet been named and that he would be running the new Xtreme Couture facility in San Diego. Lister last fought at UFC Fight Night 8 in January, losing an unanimous decision to Nate Marquardt.
Update 2:50 PM: It seems that Ryan from Fightlinker has also been made aware of the Tanner-Lister situation courtesy of Jorge Oliviera, Tanner’s training partner at Chute Boxe.
Dean Lister has become the latest fighter to switch gyms and join the uber-popular Xtreme Couture camp. Lister not only officially joined Randy’s team but will be the co-owner and head instructor at the newest Xtreme Couture facility in San Diego, CA.
Lister’s manager, Jerry Villasenor also told MMA Weekly that his client is planning on returning to the Octagon at UFC 79 on December 29th:
In the swirling waters of today’s mixed martial arts landscape, MMAWeekly has learned that Dean Lister is the latest fighter to join UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture’s camp and is planning a return to the Octagon as part of the UFC’s Dec. 29 event.
According to Lister’s manager, Jerry Villasenor, no opponent has been named yet for Lister’s return bout. He did say that Lister would like to face the winner of the Oct. 20 middleweight title bout between Rich Franklin and Anderson Silva that is slated to take place in Cincinnati.
News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated…
- Our UFC 71 coverage will include our usual predictions on Friday and one of our patented live blogs on Saturday night of course…
- Scott went ahead and updated his mega post concerning the big possibility that the K-1 Dynamite!! USA might not be happening because of K-1 parent company FEG continually failing to adhere to the requests of the CSAC.
- Loretta Hunt of The Fight Network is reporting that Randy Couture and Wanderlei Silva will sit down at some point this week to discuss the possibility of Silva training and teaching at Couture’s gym in Las Vegas.
“Wanderlei and I sat down with our wives and we had lunch in Ohio,” said Couture. “He’s a very nice guy and we are both very interested in getting together to train. I’m looking for some Muay Thai influence to go with Xtreme Couture’s wrestling and other offerings, so there is a good possibility this could happen.”
- Speaking of Couture, he will also be filming a documentary for National Geographic this week titled “Fight Science”. The special will also include Bas Rutten and Dean Lister and will take a look at the mechanics behind the art of fighting.
LOS ANGELES – ProElite.com, the comprehensive and inclusive online community for MMA fighters, fans and organizations, announced today it will bring the prestigious Abu Dhabi Combat Club “Submission Wrestling World Championship” to a global Internet audience for the first time May 5 – 6, 2007. The live broadcast stream from the Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton, New Jersey will begin noon EST/ 9:00 a.m. PST on both days
This ProElite.com and OntheMat.com Pay-Per-View presentation over two days will feature selected fights from over 75 male and 30 female fighters that include grappling’s cream of the crop from Brazil, Australia, France, Japan, Canada, Portugal and the United States. Visitors to ProElite.com before May 5 will be able to purchase the two-day event, unlimited viewing, for only $19.99, a $5 discount to purchasing May 5 or after.
Besides the two days of live fights, fans will be treated to bonus coverage that ranges from behind-the-scenes interviews to the pre-fight weigh-ins on May 4. Through ProElite.com’s powerful blogging tools, fans can connect to discuss the fighters and event in real time.
The featured “Super Fight,” scheduled for May 6, will have current Absolute Division winner Roger Gracie battling against Ricardo Arona, who replaced an injured Dean Lister on the card. Due to contractual obligations during ADCC 2005, Arona was unable to defend his Super Fight title against Lister and now he’s back in this epic match-up with Gracie.