Kenny Florian. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Kenny Florian will reportedly serve as the temporary host of ESPN’s newly-planned online mixed martial arts magazine show that will appear exclusively on the company’s official website and on mobile phones according to Adam Swift of MMA Payout.
According to Swift, Florian will serve as the show’s host at least for the first two weeks of tapings. However it’s unknown whether the show will be UFC-based, something that apparently delayed the launch of the program, or if it will cover the entire world of the sport.
Affliction-HDNet Deal Still Possible
While it was previously reported that a potential deal between Affliction and HDNet that would have the clothing brand hold it’s first MMA show at the Dallas-based American Airlines Center fell apart, HDNet Fights CEO Andrew Simon says that the event could still possibly be televised on the digital cable network.
According to MMA Weekly, the event would not be permitted to take place at the home of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks due to a lack of time to substantially promote the show. However the potential of at least part of the event airing live or on tape-delay on HDNet is not out of the realm of possibility.
“We talk to everybody and I wouldn’t say that any conversation is dead yet,” Simon said in the report. “You just never know. You know how this sport works, one day you think you’re not working together and the next day you might announce something. Affliction… I would say, never say never.
ASU Shuts Down Storied Wrestling Program
Arizona State University has decided to shut down it’s storied wrestling program along with men’s swimming and men’s tennis as part of a financial cutback at the school according to MMA Weekly.
Normally this wouldn’t be the type of news to be reported on this site, but the school’s wrestling program has produced a slew of highly-touted MMA prospects in recent years, including current UFC fighters Cain Velasquez and C.B. Dollaway. Shoe-in hall-of-famers Dan Severn, Don Frye, and Dan Henderson all competed for the school as well in the past.
There may still be hope for the program. NCAA President Myles Brand is expected to hold a meeting later this month to discuss the possibility of protecting school sports that also take place in the Olympics, wrestling being one of them.
Bush Tests Positive for Marijuana
Heavyweight prospect George Bush has reportedly tested positive for marijuana following his first-round tournament loss to former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez at YAMMA Pit Fighting’s inaugural show last month in Atlantic City, New Jersey according to Sherdog.com.
“I just found out a few days ago, and needless to say, I’m very surprised and disappointed,” Bush said in the report. “I accept full responsibility for my actions, and I assure the fans that this will never happen again.”
While there won’t be any official announcement from the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board, (they don’t release drug-testing information to the media) Bush has confirmed that he has not been fined but has been suspended by the commission for 90 days.
Gina Carano. Photo by Esther Lin/ProElite.
For the second time in a week, an EliteXC fighter will be featured on “E:60.”
The most recognizable face in women’s mixed martial arts, the incredibly popular and talented Gina “Conviction’’ Carano, of Las Vegas, will be profiled on “E:60” next Tuesday, May 13, on ESPN.
The multi-subject newsmagazine show starts at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.
Tuesday’s segment will include comments from Gina’s parents—her father, Glenn, is a former NFL quarterback—world-class women fighters Shayna Baszler and Tara LaRosa, the story behind Gina getting involved in MMA and why she stopped going to college – 18 credits short of getting her degree – and the impact of her sudden stardom.
Carano, aka “Crush” on “American Gladiators,” will fight dangerous, confident, hard-hitting Hook ‘n Shoot champion Kaitlin Young, of Minneapolis, on the first-ever MMA primetime broadcast on network television when “CBS EliteXC Saturday Night Fights’’ premieres with a five-fight card on Saturday, May 31, on the CBS Television Network (9 p.m.-11 p.m. ET/PT).
Travis Lutter, the winner of the fourth season of “The Ultimate Fighter” discusses his troubles cutting weight before his scheduled title fight against current middleweight champion Anderson Silva in his last bout and his upcoming fight against former champion Rich Franklin at UFC 83: Serra vs. St. Pierre II this weekend with ESPN.
From Ben Goldstein on Flickr.
It seems that the world’s top heavyweight’s relationship with M-1 Global will be over just about as soon as it started.
In a recent interview with ESPN the Magazine‘s Ryan Hockensmith, one of Fedor Emelianenko’s agents, Apy Echteld, has revealed that his client is set to become a free agent later this week after his current contract with M-1 Global runs out.
“Officially, yes, Fedor will be a free agent,” Echteld said in the report. Echteld also pointed out that a formal announcement from the organization will be released in the coming days.
However even more interesting than this is the fact that the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Emelianenko’s management team have both confirmed that they are interested in speaking with each other once again in hopes of striking a deal.
When asked if he would ever attempt to sign Fedor again, UFC President Dana White reportedly quickly said yes.
“Absolutely, 100 percent, in a heartbeat,” said White. “People think he’s the best, I don’t, not even close. But if it’s somehow possible, I would make it happen.”
“We’re open to a discussion,” Echteld confirmed with ESPN. “If everybody is willing to put a little wine in the water, then we have something to work with. There is space for this to happen.”
Now the big question: If this story is true and if the UFC is somehow able to sign Fedor, will Randy Couture come back even after all of the crap he has gone through in the last five months?
Touch of gloves to Five Ounces of Pain for the find.
Anderson Silva discusses his win over Dan Henderson this past weekend at the UFC 82 post-fight press conference courtesy of ESPN. Heath Herring and Jon Fitch follow after the jump.
Prepare to be irked…
I love Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon to death. While I don’t always agree with everything they say, they are entertaining to watch and always make valid points on whatever subject they are talking about. The only downfall to both of them is they are extremely stubborn when it comes to something that is viewed negatively by mainstream media, take hockey for another example besides mixed martial arts.They only change their tone when someone else does first.
I’m so sick of the “Oh, it’s so violent and brutal!” comments. Give me a break. I wish Wilbon would challenge me to a duel involving the total deaths and serious injuries attained between MMA and his beloved past-time of boxing. That way I could give him a single sheet of paper and go watch Titanic while he works away.
Former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner will make a long-awaited return this weekend at UFC 82: Pride of a Champion when he takes on Japanese standout Yushin Okami. Both men discuss the upcoming fight with ESPN in this video.
UFC heavyweight title contender Cheick Kongo discusses his upcoming fight against Heath Herring at this weekend’s UFC 82: Pride of a Champion as well as his hopes of eventually getting a chance at becoming heavyweight champion with ESPN.
Former PRIDE veteran Heath Herring discusses his loss to current interim UFC heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira last summer and his upcoming fight against fellow contender Cheick Kongo this weekend at UFC 82: Pride of a Champion, which will take place at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio with ESPN.
Former NFL lineman and K-1 star Bob “The Beast” Sapp discusses his training regiment for his upcoming fight this weekend against Jan Norte at the Bodog Fight-sponsored “Strikeforce at the Dome” show, which will take place at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington with ESPN.