News and Notes
- Our rumors page has been updated…
- A rib injury suffered while training with Miletich Fighting Systems is the reason why Corey Hill won’t be fighting on this weekend’s The Ultimate Fighter 5 finale according to his coach on the reality show, Jens Pulver. Pulver broke the news during a recent interview with CBS Sportsline:
Corey is injured. He hurt a rib and the thing was, he went home to visit with his family. It’s a pretty bad tear. I don’t know if he broke a rib or what was going on. But that’s the only reason. He was training hard, he was ready, he was pumped and then he injured himself about two weeks ago.
- Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer is reporting that the scheduled bout between Michael Bisping and Matt Hamill is still on:
Regarding rumors regarding the next UFC in London, England, Michael Bisping vs. Matt Hamill is still the scheduled match on that show. There are rumors regarding Bisping vs. Ken Shamrock, that may have been discussed but it is not the current plan.
- The New Jersey State Athletic Control Board has confirmed that this weekend’s bout between Ray Mercer and Kimbo Slice at CFFC 5 is an exhibition match. The fight will feature three five minute rounds and will not be judged by official judges from the state, the CFFC would have to bring in their own guys.
- ESPN is currently running an interesting piece concerning the MMA vs Boxing debate.
Live Shows -
UFC announcers Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan discuss the results of yesterday’s UFC 72 on ESPN Motion.
Here’s a collection of all of the stuff the media is putting out there to help cover UFC 72: Victory:
Sherdog: Franklin: Under Pressure; MacDonald Doesn’t Want Off the Ride; Tyson Griffin Talks Guida, Octagon Return; Fighters Look for Much Needed “Victory”
MMAWeekly: Rich Franklin: 10,000 Miles Back to Greatness; Despite the Travel, Forrest is Ready for a Fight
The Fight Network: The Breakdown: UFC 72 Victory; Franklin Belfast Sound
InsideFighting: A Centered Clay Guida Talks About Griffin, Career and Life; Hector Ramirez Looking to Take Forrest Griffin’s Spotlight at UFC 72
UFC: Rich Franklin - Money Player; Forrest Griffin - Nothing Else Matters; Hector Ramirez - Born to Be Here; Jason MacDonald - Hard Lessons Lead to ‘Victory’; Fighting Irish embark on great Odyssey
TSN: Franklin closer to regaining title; MacDonald brushes off pre-fight taunts; Griffen looks to return to winning ways
Sportsnet: UFC 72 weak on stars; Aggression the key for The Athlete; MacDonald: UFC bout no laughing matter
Dana White talks about the present and future of the UFC on ESPN Motion.
The recap of Liddell-Jackson with some interview coverage from ESPN Motion.
UFC color commentator Joe Rogan defends the sport of MMA against boxing promoter Lou DiBella…
UFC President Dana White and heavyweight title contender Mirko Cro Cop held a conference call with the media earlier today discussing this weekend’s event. Many topics were covered over the hour session including Cro Cop’s thoughts on Gabriel Gonzaga, the immediate plans for PRIDE’s future, the contract status of Mauricio Rua and Fedor Emelianenko, and much more.
Let’s just say that we have everything covered. Read and enjoy…
Cro Cop’s Thoughts on Gabriel Gonzaga:
Cro Cop was very straight forward in answering questions about Gonzaga. He stated that Gonzaga will not have an answer for everything that Cro Cop is going to bring to the Octagon on Saturday. He said that he is at full health for this weekend. He will not being using PRIDE’s theme music when he walks to the Octagon. Instead he will use his usual “Wild Boyz” song.
Cro Cop also said that he isn’t worried about Gonzaga’s ground skills and that it is his all-around game that presents the biggest problems matchup-wise:
“I have trained Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu a lot, have experts in my gym. I feel comfortable even on the ground. I am aware he is a jiu-jitsu world champion, but I am pretty versed in ground fighting now. Of course my basis is stand up, but even if we go to the ground, I am not scared.
Gonzaga is a solid, good fighter. He is a tough guy. He won’t hesitate to fight toe to toe. He is a first class fighter. I will try to keep it in a stand up position. I don’t want to underestimate him” stated Cro Cop.
Cro Cop on Couture, Liddell, Fedor, and Big Nog:
Cro Cop said that he would love for to have a rematch with Fedor Emelianenko in the near future but he is currently focused on his fight with Gonzaga and then winning the UFC Heavyweight Title before that can happen. He said that Randy Couture’s age will not be a factor if and when they fight because he has already shown that it hasn’t been a factor in past fights. He stated that while he doesn’t have any preference on his opponents in the UFC, he has a feeling that he will be fighting Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira very soon.
Cro Cop also made it known that he will be unable to cut enough weight to make it down to the 205 lb weight class, meaning that if a dream match with Chuck Liddell is to happen, that Liddell will have to come up to heavyweight and fight…
“I have no space to go down, maybe if I chop off my hand or something. I definitely can’t go down” said Cro Cop.
Dana White on Big Nog, Fedor, Wanderlei Silva, Sakuraba, and Liddell:
White stated that Nogueira was signed by the UFC as a free agent and that talks began about a month ago. He also stated that there is currently no timetable for his first fight nor any ideas on who his first opponent may be.
White said that at the time he originally made that Wanderlei Silva-Chuck Liddell announcement for UFC 65, it was going to be the biggest fight in MMA history. He now says that it isn’t the case until Silva wins a few more fights to make up for his KO losses to Cro Cop and Dan Henderson. Silva currently has four fights left on his six fight contract to do so.
According to White, the UFC is currently trying to figure out the status of Fedor. Fedor’s contract isn’t exclusive to PRIDE and that Zuffa and PRIDE FC Worldwide will not accept non-exclusive contracts for their fighters. White did say however that Fedor is under contract to the company and that if another rival promotion tried to sign him, he would slap them with an injunction immediately.
Despite the heavy rumors that Mauricio Rua has signed a contract that will allow him two fights in PRIDE and two fights in the UFC, White says that the rumors are not true. Also Kazushi Sakuraba is not under contract with PRIDE and White isn’t aware of the reasoning behind him being brought out to address the crowd during PRIDE 34.
White Talks About Changes to PRIDE and the Lightweight Grand-Prix:
White has confirmed once again that PRIDE will be changing to the unified rules of mixed martial arts (the rule set that the UFC uses) as well as the same round structures and weight classes. PRIDE will continue to use a ring instead of a cage. Also fight cards will be announced weeks in advance of an event, just like the UFC does now. Does everyone recall the PRIDE 34 mess?
PRIDE will not have a super heavyweight division and the crazy matchups the promotion used to hold including Butterbean, Giant Silva, and Bob Sapp will not take place anymore. White stated that all employees currently with PRIDE will keep their jobs with the exception of Gary Millen and Frank Trigg. They have been fired and will be replaced with a completely new announce team.
White said that it is still undecided in terms of whether or not the Lightweight Grand-Prix will take place at 155 lbs or 170 lbs. White denied all rumors about Diego Sanchez and Matt Hughes taking place in the tourney as there will not be any UFC fighters participating:
“There will be no UFC fighters in the tournament. The UFC and PRIDE are completely separate companies. You won’t see UFC vs PRIDE until we do the big event” said White.
White Discusses UFC’s status with HBO and ESPN:
The UFC will debut on HBO as soon as this summer according to White. The deal actually isn’t complete but is in the final stages of being finalized. White didn’t say much about things but did mention that the HBO will be doing their own production and announcing of events rather than having the UFC do things along with Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan. White said that it wasn’t easy for him to agree to that…
The UFC will still broadcast shows on HBO, Spike TV, and PPV. Spike TV will be made up mostly of guys from The Ultimate Fighter television shows. Shows on HBO will be mixture of TUF guys, international stars, and other UFC fighters. PPV shows would then have the best of the best.
ESPN will now be covering the UFC on a regular basis according to White. The coverage will include both weigh-in and fight results…
White Talks About Possible UFC Fights and Events in the Near Future:
White said that UFC 72 will either be on PPV or Spike TV. He mentioned Chicago, Washington DC, Boston, Atlanta, and Philadelphia all as possible sites that may hold future UFC events. Florida will also hold another UFC event in the near future according to White.
White said that the “Inside the UFC” TV show wasn’t scrapped and that the company is currently working on a date to bring the show back to the air.
White announced a slew of possible matchups - If Andrei Arlovski defeats Fabricio Werdum on Saturday, he will most likely fight the winner of Mirko Cro Cop and Randy Couture should Cro Cop get poast Gabriel Gonzaga as well. Sean Sherk will defend his lightweight title in Sacramento, California against Hermes Franca. Tito Ortiz vs Rashad Evans and Anderson Silva vs Nate Marquardt will also take place on that card. Georges St. Pierre will most likely be fighting next in August against an opponent that has yet to be determined…
White on Tito Ortiz:
White’s comments were short and sweet when asked about the current situation between himself and Tito Ortiz:
“Tito is living in a fucking bubble right now” said White “You saw what happened. I showed up and he didn’t. He’s not afraid of me, but he has people around him telling him it was a bad idea. He is out there making himself look like a jackass. He should shut his mouth and worry about Rashad Evans.”
As Scott mentioned earlier, UFC highlights seemed like they were virtually everywhere last night and this morning.
Matt Serra’s upset win definitely turned some heads.
Here’s the SportsCenter highlight from ESPN 360:
Last night fans witnessed one of the biggest upsets ever as ‘The Ultimate Fighter 4’ winner Matt Serra defeated Georges St. Pierre to win the UFC welterweight title. During the post-fight press conference Dana White stated that Serra’s first title defense would likely come against former champion Matt Hughes.
During the event Dana White announced the signing of heavyweight ace Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira to a two-year contract.
The UFC gained a great deal of exposure last night as highlights of UFC 69: Shootout could be seen on ESPN, TSN, Rogers Sportsnet and many other major television stations across the country.
TATAME is reporting that undefeated light heavyweight Thiago Silva will make his UFC debut May 26th at UFC 71. Silva (9-0) is the under 93kg Fury FC Grand Prix Champion. Training with Chute Boxe, Silva has showcased excellent striking ending 7 of his 9 fights by knock out.
TATAME is also reporting Alexandre Franca “Pequeno” Nogueira has received an offer from the UFC. Pequeno is 12-4-2 with the majority of his victories coming by submission.
UFC on Spike TV:
Tuesday, April 10th: UFC Unleashed 9 PM EST
Thursday, April 12th: The Ultimate Fighter 5 10 PM EST
Thursday, April 12th: Countdown to Dana vs Tito 11 PM EST
Friday, April 13th: Countdown to Tito vs Dana Replay 12 AM EST
The Boston Herald is reporting that the UFC may actually be on ESPN a lot sooner than we think. UFC President Dana White informed the newspaper that he will be traveling to the network headquarters to participate in a series of meetings regarding the possibility of putting UFC programming on ESPN in the near future.
“All the top meetings over there are about the UFC, said White. When they start talking about this stuff on ‘SportsCenter,’ that’s really going to help us. That’s going to help us get to the next level.”
Even though the UFC and the sport of mixed martial arts is exploding faster than ever before, White still isn’t satisifed with his product’s place in pop culture…
“That’s the beauty of the business,” White said. “We’re the biggest thing on pay per view. We’re bigger than boxing. We’re bigger than WWE. But we’re so fucking far from mainstream. Mainstream is Shaquille O’Neal. If Shaq is walking down the street, everyone knows who he is.
The weird thing about this is Chuck Liddell is one of the biggest superstars in other places. We went to Ibiza, Spain, and he’s getting mobbed there. We couldn’t go anywhere. He goes to New York and people are all over him. I mean, it’s tough to miss a guy with a Mohawk and Chinese writing on his head. They might recognize him, but they don’t immediately know the UFC.”