News and Notes
- I would try and elaborate more on the closing of the PRIDE offices in Japan but instead I’ll leave it to the two that can do it best:
- The California State Athletic Commission has announced the all fighters that participated in last weekend’s Strikeforce event, with the exception of Adam Smith, have all tested negative for performance enhancing drugs and drugs of abuse.
- Both K-1 Hero’s and Pancrase have announced details about their upcoming events…
Denis Kang, Yoshihiro Akiyama, Dong Sik Yoon, and Taiei Kin are all said to be part of K-1 Hero’s October 28th event at the Jangchung Gymnasium in Seoul, South Korea.
Pancrase has officially announced three bouts for it’s October 14th show - Middleweight King of Pancrase Yuichi Nakanishi will defend his title against Izuru Takeuchi, heavyweights Tatsuya Mizunoa and Masayuki Kono will collide, and Wataru Takahash takes on Shinsuke Shoji.
Daiki Hata will also be on the card against an opponent that has not yet been announced.
- Matt Hamill made a post on his official website yesterday concerning the booking of the Rashad Evans-Michael Bisping matchup at UFC 78:
Wow! Let me just say… I am in shock. First, I get hosed by two judges in London and now the much anticipated rematch has evaporated in front of my eyes. I’m starting to feel like the deck is stacked against me. Duff, my trainer/manager told me he thought something like this would happen when he read Bisping’s statement on the internet. He said it looked like Bisping was looking for a way out of the rematch. I posted a statement about my knee surgery on 9/25 so everyone would know it was minor, and I would be ready by mid December. I didn’t think six weeks was that long of a wait, apparently, Bisping and the UFC did. I am so hungry to fight. I had surgery to add wrestling back to my arsenal. I fought Bisping’s fight at UFC 75 and I was looking forward to fighting my fight in the rematch. I feel honored that so many people have told me I won the fight in London. It makes the decision easier for me to accept. I want to fight… I want to fight ASAP! Hopefully the UFC will schedule a fight for me soon. I would like to fight in December or January and hopefully Bisping after that… If Bisping has the guts to do it again.
- Adam Swift of UFC Daily is reporting via Dave Meltzer that Sean Sherk has passed a lie detector test concerning his usage of steroids:
Sean Sherk passed a lie detector test saying that he did not knowingly use steroids. While certainly not conclusive, it can’t hurt his chances at getting his suspension over turned or at the very least reduced.
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.
News and Notes
- MMA Junkie is reporting a lot of news lately…
The UFC has apparently signed former PRIDE, Shooto, and Pancrase veteran Akihiro Gono and has sent UFC welterweight Tamdan McCrory a contract proposing the fight according to McCrory’s manager:
“He’ll (be at) UFC 78 if he accepts the fight, which I assume he will considering he has fought top guys his whole career,” Ciotoli.
”(The UFC’s been) trying to get me on that card, being that I’m from the area and have a strong fan base in New Jersey,” McCrory told us last month.
Marvin Eastman has been forced to pull out of his scheduled bout against Demian Maia at UFC 77 after undergoing eye surgery:
“I had a weak spot on my retina for a long time, and about two weeks ago, it tore a little bit,” Eastman said. “It felt like sleepy eye. I went in to check it out last Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., and I was in surgery by 7. It’s fixed now, and I’ve got to chill a month and can’t fight until November.“
No word as of yet on a replacement opponent for Eastman.
Chris Lytle may be heading over to the WEC for a possible title shot against WEC Welterweight Champion Carlos Condit:
MMA fan favorite and “The Ultimate Fighter 4” welterweight runner-up Chris Lytle may be leaving the UFC for Zuffa LLC’s other fight promotion — the WEC — and may be in line for an immediate title shot.
In fact, a source close to current WEC welterweight champion Carlos Condit (21-4) first contacted MMAjunkie.com about the possibility, saying UFC and WEC officials were discussing the potential title fight. However, the WEC recently folded a proposed November event into its Dec. 12 fight card, and as of now, the organization has far more fighters than it has fight slots.
A reliable source tell us that a Condit-Lytle fight would happen no sooner than February 2008 — if then — because of the backlog.
- Brazilian MMA website Tatame is reporting that former PRIDE star Ricardo Arona may currently be in contract talks with the UFC.
Hat tip to UFC Mania for the Arona link.
- So Matt Hamill has a torn ACL? He also fought Michael Bisping with that torn ACL? Read what Adam Morgan and 411Mania have to say about that.
- It seems that the UFC has took down UFC Takedown:
Late last week, Matt Cava of UFCtakedown.com was issued a Cease and Desist by Zuffa, LLC. He has been told to remove his website. They specifically nailed him for using UFC in his URL as well as broadcasting illegal fight videos. September 8th’s UFC 75: Champion v. Champion videos as well as a fight between Ricardo Arona and Quinton Jackson were specifically mentioned. As of today, UFCtakedown.com no longer exists. In the meantime, Matt has been able to secure MMAtakedown.net for the time being.
- Brigham Young University has banned Versus from the school’s channel selection, citing costs and the broadcasting of MMA as the reasons:
BYU has banned access to Versus on its campus cable, citing cost and content issues such as ultimate fighting.
Touch of gloves to Fight Opinion for that one.
Luke Thomas, Sam Caplan, and Matt Cava recap EliteXC: Uprising and preview UFC 76.
Sherdog: Tale of Two Coaches
MMA Weekly: Catching up with Matt Lindland
Fight Opinion: Pro Elite pays big for KOTC & Cage Rage
Fightlinker: Kang forsakes America, may secretly be a communist
Bloody Elbow: How to Build a MMA Cage?
Houston Chronicle: Fitch gets his shot at UFC’s main stage
Daily Star: Dancing Iceman’s Hot Move
Chicago Sports: Keeping up with Montini’s Chase Beebe
News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated once again…
- Sam Caplan of Five Ounces of Pain and CBS Sports fame has learned that Denis Kang has officially signed with K-1 Hero’s:
Denis Kang has revealed to FiveOuncesofPain.com that he has formally signed a contract with K-1 HERO’s. The deal between Kang and K-1 had been rumored for quite some time but was not finalized until recently.
The date of Kang’s first fight and his first opponent have yet to be determined.
- Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer is reporting that the UFC has signed Ryo Chonan, for real this time:
UFC has officially signed Ryo Chonan, a former Pride fighter
- A man was apparently shot and then ran away before medics could get to him at Minnesota’s first MMA event last night:
A man was shot during a martial arts competition at the Target Center late Saturday, according to witnesses.
Those in attendance told the Pioneer Press they saw a man at the top of a stairwell in Section 130 fire a shot from a handgun. As patrons scattered in panic, another man was seen falling or sliding down a stairwell.
A Minneapolis police operator said the victim ran off before officers could help, according to the Associated Press. No one was immediately taken into custody in the shooting, which was reported at 10:51 p.m.
Touch of gloves to Zach Arnold and Fight Opinion for that find.
- It looks like Tito Ortiz will be signing a contract extension with the UFC:
I’ll be re-signing with the UFC and they gave me what I want. I know a lot of other companies that are asking about me and I can’t count how many phone calls I’ve said “I can’t talk to you guys anymore,” because it’s against my contract. I’ve got guys literally who have called me and they’ve said, “Is this Tito?” And I’ve said, “Yes.” And they’ll say, “This is so and so.” And I’ll have to stop them right there and tell them, “Oh, let me stop you there. I can’t talk to you no more.”
- Caleb Newby OF 411 Mania is reporting that Roger Huerta has stated he will most likely be fighting at UFC 79 against an opponent yet to be named:
At Saturday evening’s WFC MMA event in Minneapolis, Roger Huerta announced to the crowd that he is looking to have his next fight on the UFC’s December 29 event. I was able to speak to Roger for a few minutes after. He said he’d recently returned from London and is finalizing the details of the Dec. 29 date with the UFC. Huerta also stated there is no opponent lined up as of yet.
Showtime hosted a conference call earlier this afternoon in preparation for the upcoming EliteXC: Uprising event scheduled to take place on September 15th in Honolulu, Hawaii. The fighters featured on the call were ICON Middleweight Champion Robbie Lawler, EliteXC Middleweight Champion Murlio Rua through the use of an interpreter, Jake Shields, and Gina Carano. Other officials participating in the call were EliteXC President Gary Shaw and ICON Sport President T. Jay Thompson.
UFC President Dana White hosted a conference call earlier today in preparation for the upcoming UFC 75: Champion vs Champion event set to take place on September 8th from London, England. The fighters featured on the call were UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton Jackson, PRIDE Middleweight and Welterweight Champion Dan Henderson, Michael Bisping, and Matt Hamill through the use of an interpreter.
News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated…
- We are planning on posting an updated MMA on Tap Top 10 at some point this week.
- If you haven’t already, be sure to check us out on myspace.
- K-1 Hero’s and their parent company FEG held a press conference on Tuesday announcing two additional bouts and a new opponent for Ikuhisa Minowa.
Kazushi Sakuraba will be fighting at the event on September 17th but it won’t be against rumored opponent Denis Kang. Instead Sakuraba will be taking on Katsuyori Shibata. Also announced was a middleweight bout between PRIDE veterans Zelg Galesic and Dong Sik Yoon.
Ikuhisa Minowa will no longer be taking on Ralek Gracie as Gracie was forced to pull out of the bout for undisclosed reasons. Minowa will now face Kevin Casey, who will be making his professional MMA debut.
- So the real reason why Andrei Arlovski isn’t being booked by the UFC has finally been revealed - He only has one match left on his contract and the UFC won’t use him until he signs an extension.
Steve Sievert of The Houston Chronicle comments:
The big Belarusian is currently on the UFC sidelines because he has only one match left on his contract. As we know (see Brandon Vera), the UFC doesn’t make key bouts with a fighter who could be on his way out of the organization. After talking with Joe Silva last weekend, that’s actually a possibility.
While the UFC matchmaker stopped short of saying the organization doesn’t need the former heavyweight champ, comments such as “where else is he going to go” and the contract “has to make sense for us” send a clear message as to who has the upper hand in the ongoing negotiations. The UFC won’t book Arlovski until the contract issue is resolved.
Arlovski (11-5) wants a big payday. However, the harsh reality is he’s a mediocre 2-2 in his last four and just hasn’t been impressive since 2005. A year ago, the UFC couldn’t afford to let Arlovski walk. Today, the heavyweight division has ample fire power, and doesn’t need Arlovski to make big fights.
- Cub Swanson has announced via his myspace page that his fight with Jens Pulver has been rescheduled for November 3rd.
Fighting Jens Pulver in WEC November 3rd at the Hard Rock in Vegas. Pulver had a knee injury so we had to push the fight back.
- Sam Caplan wants people to stop stealing content from his site. You let me know if it happens again Sam, I’ll take them out…
News and Notes
- Tony Bonello has been forced to withdraw from his scheduled bout against Jon Murphy at this Saturday’s ShoXC Elite Challenger Series event. A replacement opponent for Murphy has not yet been named.
- Cub Swanson says that he may not be competing in the WEC’s September 5th event now that Jens Pulver has bowed out of their bout with a knee injury:
“It’s fifty-fifty right now that I’ll fight in September,” said Swanson, a hot local talent on the San Diego circuit whose budding career could have surely benefited from the higher profile match-up with the former UFC lightweight champion.
“It’s unfortunate,” said Swanson. “I just finished training for a month in Big Bear and I’m in shape.”
Loretta Hunt of The Fight Network describes Swanson’s current situation as “the WEC placing him on standby.”
- MMA Weekly is reporting that yet another Korean news website is stating that Denis Kang has signed with K-1 Hero’s and that his first bout will be against Kazushi Sakuraba on September 17th.
A Korean website called “joynews.inews24.com” is reporting that Denis Kang has been signed by K-1’s Heroes to a lucrative 2-year contract.
Apparently, Kang’s management is citing the ability to continue to compete in Spirit MC, a Korean MMA promotion in which Kang is one of the biggest draws and holds a title, as the deciding factor in signing the contract with K-1 Heroes.
Korean news is also reporting that Kang’s debut is scheduled for September 17 against Kazushi Sakuraba. Neither Kang nor K-1 has yet confirmed this, however, and there is some speculation that Sakuraba may be injured.
The website does bring up two new points - Sakuraba’s possible injury and the fact that Kang would be free to still compete in Spirit MC, which happens to be holding a tournament right now to try and crown a number one contender for Kang’s heavyweight title in that promotion.
- UFC Junkie is reporting that Nate Mohr has been forced to pull out of his proposed bout with Jeremy Stephens at UFC 76. Mohr has apparently suffered a possible broken hand. Officials close to Stephens have stated that he has still been promised a spot on the card and that the UFC is currently searching for a replacement opponent. The UFC had yet to officially announce the Mohr-Stephens bout.
- UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture will be featured tonight in Spike TV’s special, “100% Natural”. Spike will air three programs featuring Couture in them: UFC Unleashed featuring Couture’s win over Tim Sylvia at UFC 68 at 10 PM, Countdown to UFC 74 at 11 PM, and then UFC All Access: Randy Couture at 12 AM.
- The California State Athletic Commission has announced that Anthony Bivins and Cesar De La Torre have both been fined and suspended for testing positive for marijuana.
De La Torre last competed at Total Fighting Alliance on August 11th in Santa Monica, Calif. He lost by TKO to Justin Schalk. De La Torre has been fined $500 and his suspension runs from the conclusion of the bout on August 11 through November 9, 2007.
Bivins tested positive following his most recent bout for Cage Combat on August 18th in Yuba City, Calif. He defeated Tyson Schoel by triangle choke. Bivins was also fined $500 and his suspension runs from the conclusion of the bout on August 18 through November 16, 20007.
- The New Jersey State Athletic Control Board has added a female referee to it’s staff for the first time in it’s history:
Kim Winslow will officiate her first MMA fight under the NJSACB at Ring of Combat XV Friday, Sept. 7 at the Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City, N.J. Promoted by Louis Neglia, the event will be televised on pay-per-view. Ring of Combat XV will feature preliminary fights in the Beasts of the Northeast Tournament.
Winslow, a Reno, Nev. resident, has refereed in an amateur capacity in several other jurisdictions, according to the NJSACB. The 39-year-old has shadowed pro referees at UFC and IFL shows. Winslow trained regularly in jiu-jitsu and Muay thai for several years at the Reno School of Combat.
Sherdog: Canada’s Top Light Heavyweight? Hollett Thinks So
UFC Junkie: “The Ultimate Fighter 6? Will Include Small Rules Change
UFC Mania: Disjointed Lesnar interview shames MMA heavyweights
MMA Madness: A look back at K-1’s Las Vegas Grand Prix
While Zuffa has signed a wealth of talent over the past few months, they haven’t locked up every top fighter just yet, including the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter. Here’s your guide to the top ten fighters that currently aren’t under contract with Zuffa (UFC/WEC) courtesy of Scott and myself…
1. Fedor Emelianenko (26-1-0-1) – The best fighter in the world, period. He has beaten a who’s who of heavyweights from around the world and is looking pretty much unstoppable at this point. The only thing we have against him is that he doesn’t fight often enough but it’s technically not his fault anyway. Both K-1 and the UFC are vigorously attempting to sign the hottest free agent on the market right now. Old rumors had him going to the UFC while the latest set has him staying in Japan. Only time will tell where Fedor is going to end up.
2. Josh Barnett (20-5) – Probably the second biggest FA on the market, Barnett hasn’t ruled out signing with any organization. He’s an extremely talented heavyweight and a former UFC Heavyweight Champion at that. Has split a pair of fights with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. His ‘Achilles’ heel’ seems to be Mirko Cro Cop - Barnett has lost to him in three straight tries. Has the skill set to beat anyone in the world. Has said that he would love to return to the US but the guy is a legend in Japan.
3. Matt Lindland (20-5) – The one fighter that the UFC should have never let go. Lindland was set to challenge Rich Franklin for the UFC Middleweight Title until the UFC terminated his contract because of an unapproved sponsor being on his shorts. Lindland has won 5 out of 7 fights since then - his only losses have been against Quinton Jackson and Fedor who both compete in higher weight classes than “The Law”. Has said that he currently does not want to be locked up by a single organization.
4. Takanori Gomi (27-3-0-1) – Gomi was the top ranked lightweight in the world for what seemed like forever until he was submitted by both Marcus Aurelio and Nick Diaz in less than a year. His losses have come against the cream of the crop and he’s beaten just about everyone else out there. Gomi is the current PRIDE Lightweight Champion as well the winner of the PRIDE Lightweight Grand Prix in 2005. He has stated that he has no interest in leaving Japan to compete at this time and has publicly said he is interested in signing with K-1.
5. Denis Kang (27-8-1-1) – Reports have Kang signing with K-1 any day now. If he does indeed ink a deal with K-1, he is expected to take on Kazushi Sakuraba in September in what could possibly be Saku’s final fight. Kang put himself on the map by fighting his way to the finals of the PRIDE Welterweight Grand Prix, defeating Akihiro Gono, Murilo Rua, and Amar Suloev before ultimately losing a split decision to Kazuo Misaki. He is widely considered one of the most well-rounded middleweights in the world today.
Catching up on things in the world of MMA…
- The Fight Network is reporting that officials at American Top Team have stated that Denis Kang is still in negotiations with K-1 and has not yet signed with the promotion:
American Top Team representatives have confirmed that popular Vancouver, British Columbia fighter Denis Kang is in negotiations to sign a five-fight deal with the K-1 HERO’S promotion. Rumors have been circulating about a possible match-up pitting Kang against Japanese legend Kazushi Sakuraba Sept. 17 at the Yokohama Arena in Kanagawa, Japan, but the ATT would not confirm the pairing.
- Tonight’s episode of IFL Battleground will preview the 10 matchups that will take place in the opening round of the upcoming IFL Grand Prix. It will air 8 PM EST on MyNetworkTV.
- Highly regarded trainer Greg Jackson has announced that Georges St. Pierre has now become an official member of his training team”>Georges St. Pierre has now become an official member of his training team. St. Pierre is excited to be able to train with the likes of Nate Marquardt, Rashad Evans, and Keith Jardine on a regular basis:
“It’s absolutely great, and I think I am blessed because I am lucky to be able to train with such a great group of guys and under Greg Jackson, who is the best MMA coach in my book,” St. Pierre says. “People say you’re only as good as your training partners, and I believe that is the truth.”
- Continuing with some more St. Pierre news - His former manager, Stephane Patry, who also serves as president of TKO, is stating that St. Pierre is still contractually obligated to him. St. Pierre says that is just not the case:
“My manager now is Shari Spencer. She takes care of my sponsorships and my fights, as well,” St. Pierre says. “It’s nothing personal. Me and Stephane are still good friends. We were not in agreement about some stuff in training, and we were not agreeing to some stuff regarding my management.”
- MMA Weekly is reporting that Masakazu Imanari will return to Cage Rage to take on Jean Silva at Cage Rage 23 for the promotion’s World Featherweight Title. Silva will be dropping down from lightweight to featherweight for the first time in his career.
- Jorge Gurgel announced at an open house for his gym over the weekend that he will be facing Alvin Robinson at UFC 77.
Some media links as well…
Sherdog: Georges St. Pierre Training Pictures
MMA Weekly: Pellegrino Hunting Down a Title Shot
The Fight Network: Murphy’s Law
UFC Junkie: What’s Next for Wanderlei Silva?
Yahoo! Sports: Gonzaga sniffs out his biggest opportunity
Rogers Sportsnet: Koscheck eager to get it on
Fight Opinion: Monday maintenance: Lots of activity in the UK
Fightlinker: Brandon Vera is back and I don’t care
Bloody Elbow: More Doubts About GSP
MMA Analyst: An Interview with Cub Swanson, WEC featherweight contender