Happy Halloween bitches!
News and Notes
- Officials at Team Link have confirmed that Gabriel Gonzaga will indeed take on Fabricio Werdum at UFC 80 in Newcastle, England.
- Sean Sherk, Phil Baroni, Adam Smith, and Kazuhiro Nakamura will all go in front of the CSAC this afternoon to try and get their original positive tests overturned by the commission. We will have full coverage throughout the day.
- FIghtlinker has all of the documents that were handed out at yesterday’s UFC press conference. (PDF)
- Adam Swift has a new article up on Sherdog where he dives into a standard Zuffa contract. What he found may tell us that Randy Couture’s contract certainly isn’t up after nine months:
The most infamous clause is the so-called retirement provision, which is largely responsible for the war of words—retirement versus resignation—between the UFC and Couture since his Oct. 11 departure from the company.
“If at any time during the Term, Fighter decides to retire from mixed martial arts or other professional fighting competition,” the clause begins, “then ZUFFA may, at its election, (i) suspend the Term for the period of such retirement; (ii) declare that ZUFFA has satisfied its obligation to promote all future Bouts to be promoted by ZUFFA hereunder, without any compensation due to Fighter therefore; or (ii) elect to provide Fighter with notice of an Acceleration.”
For all practical purposes, sub clause (i) allows Zuffa to retain the rights to a retired fighter in perpetuity. Sherdog.com has confirmed that this clause does not appear in every Zuffa contract; it is believed to be reserved for top fighters. The term of the contract may also be extended indefinitely for any period when a fighter is “unable, unwilling or refuses to compete or train for a Bout for any reason whatsoever.”
- Jess Liaudin has announced that he will sign a new three-fight deal with the UFC after his bout against Marcus Davis takes place at UFC 80:
“I will keep fighting for the UFC,” Liaudin said. “I need to go slow and build myself up, work on my weak areas. Training with Team Quest [before UFC 75] really improved my game. I need to keep doing stuff like that.”
- The IFL has announced that Vladimir Matyushenko has signed a contract extension that will keep him in the IFL through the end of 2008.
Sherdog: Matyushenko Meets Schoenauer for IFL Grand Prix 205-Pound Title
Fightlinker: Dana White’s personal heavyweight rankings
Five Ounces of Pain: Round 5 MMA figures on my Christmas list
MMA News: Exclusive Interview With Kevin Randleman [Pt. 1]; Exclusive Interview With Kevin Randleman [Pt. 2]
Bloody Elbow: Trevor Prangley Talks Strikeforce Middleweight Tournament
Fight Opinion: Wednesday war room: UFC winning the PR battle?
Gracie Mag is reporting that heavyweights Gabriel Gonzaga and Fabricio Werdum will fight for the second time in their respective careers in January at UFC 80 in Newcastle, England.
The two previously fought at the inaugural Jungle Fight show in September of 2003 where Werdum stopped Gonzaga with strikes in the third round. Since their careers have taken different turns.
Werdum went over to PRIDE where he racked up a 4-2 record with wins over the likes of Alistair Overeem and Roman Zentsov before signing with the UFC in early 2007. Werdrum dropped an unanimous decision to Andrei Arlovski his UFC debut at UFC 70.
It was also at UFC 70 that Gonzaga scored a career highlighting knockout of Mirko Cro Cop. The win over Cro Cop coupled with previous wins over Carmelo Marrero, Fabiano Scherner, and Kevin Jordan in the UFC earned Gonzaga a title shot against Randy Couture at UFC 74. Couture ended up stopping Gonzaga with strikes in the third round of their fight.
News and Notes
- Palace Fighting Championship will be in talks with both Kimbo Slice and Tank Abbott this morning in an attempt to try and bring the bout between the two to PFC’s show on October 18th:
“I have spoken to both sides’ management,” said PFC’s Christian Printup. “I am submitting a formal offer (Wednesday) morning. If it satisfies their financial needs the fight will happen on Oct. 18 in the PFC. If it doesn’t, I can take comfort in knowing we made a very substantial offer nonetheless.”
- Speaking of Kimbo Slice, he is set to be profiled on ESPN’s newest venture, E:60:
The new sports news show from ESPN, E:60, will be taking a closer look into some of sports’ larger stories, much like 60 Minutes or Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. The surprising thing? Kimbo Slice will be profiled by Rachel Nichols in one of the segments, according to the October 8th edition of USA Today.
- Tonight’s episode of UFC Unleashed will feature Rory Singer vs Josh Haynes from UFC: The Final Chapter as well as Rich Franklin vs Anderson Silva from UFC 64.
- MMA Opinon discusses why Dave Meltzer’s move to Yahoo! Sports is going to revolutionize MMA media and slams others:
Meltzer’s ascension is not only deserved, but it could shape the way we read and digest thoughts and ideas on MMA. Coverage effects how we all view our MMA. The Sam Caplans’ and Todd Martins’ of the world are excelling because they understand the synergy and goals of business and entertainment as much as true sport. They are equally necessary. And somewhere in between Josh Gross and noted Negative Nancy Zach Arnold (great for community of MMA journalism, but often a malcontent when the sky isn’t falling) there is Dave Meltzer. Well, in between it all is Fight Linker, but that’s commentary.
Meltzer has waited a lifetime for compliments like the one given to him by famous sports writer Frank Deford this past summer. Often the object of disrespect, Meltzer (who writes a giant newsletter or two by himself, did radio shows, and covered ten times what anyone felt was required), was called the best sports journalist in the world by Deford. Here’s hoping he gets to make his mark at Yahoo Sports (he’ll dwarf Kevin Iole in months) and gets to retire from his newsletter. Dave deserves to watch his child grow up and not worry about losing another friend in pro wrestling.
Zach Arnold defends his work:
Who predicted the collapse of PRIDE before it was ever conventional wisdom in any media circles? I took two years of abuse for that one. The track record is good.
- UFC Daily is reporting that Frank Mir will definitely not be facing Fabricio Werdum at UFC 79 because he won’t be fighting until February or March of next year anyway.
- Fightlinker tells Dana White to not expect any favors from Tito Ortiz.
- Royce Gracie is teaching the Palm Beach, FL police department BJJ.
Two new rumors and one kind of old one to report for UFC 79…
The Fight Network’s Loretta Hunt is reporting that Tony DeSouza will return to the Octagon to face Roan Carneiro:
Tony DeSouza has been slated to face Roan Carneiro in a welterweight bout at Dec. 29’s UFC 79 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. In most recent action, the ground savvy DeSouza touts a first-round submission victory over Ohio upstart Dustin Hazelett (10-3) from last October’s UFC Fight Night featuring Tito Ortiz versus Ken Shamrock in Hollywood, Fla. DeSouza suffered a second-round knockout loss to American Top Team’s Thiago Alves (12-3) at last December 29’s UFC 66 in Las Vegas, and has not competed in the ten months since.
“My last fight made me very hungry to get back in the game,” says DeSouza, 33. “I am looking forward to my return.”
DeSouza will be training with B.J. Penn, Renato Verissimo, and Joe Lauzon in Hawaii for the fight.
Brazilian website Tatame recently interviewed Fabricio Werdum who stated that his next opponent may be Frank Mir:
“I thought that my next opponent was going to be Tim Sylvia but it ended up not being him. Now I’ve heard rumors saying that it might be Frank Mir. However I’m training at a high level so I’m ready for anyone.”
Even bigger than those two combined was a statement made by Chuck Liddell’s trainer John Hackleman during a recent interview with FightHype where he says that the UFC is most likely going to match Liddell and Wanderlei Silva together for UFC 79:
PC: I know you guys were eyeballing a fight with Shogun, but his knee surgery will prevent that fight from happening. Will you still like to get the Wanderlei fight?
JH: Looks like the Wanderlei fight is going to happen.
PC: Ok, is it still going to be in December?
JH: December, yeah!
Like I’ve said before there is no better time to finally do Liddell-Silva then right now. It might even be the only chance actually. Hackelman continues to seem confident that Chuck is going to facing Silva and he’s rarely wrong. I guess we’ll find out for sure in the coming weeks.
News and Notes
- We’ve decided to hold off a new MMA on Tap Top 10 until after the events in September.
- Fabricio Werdum has told MMA Weekly that he has joined the Chute Boxe team and has already began training with his new camp:
Werdum stated, “I am very happy with my new training partners and I hope I can get the Chute Boxe spirit and improve my stand up skills. When I first step here, I could see that my training speed wasn’t right. The training here is so much harder, but I am adapting myself and all the coaches and athletes are being like brothers.”
- Former UFC Middleweight Champion Murilo Bustamante has announced that he is reforming the Brazilian Top Team after the depature of the Nogueira brothers and Mario Sperry.
- MMA Weekly is also reporting via sources at BodogFight that the promotion plans to announce a new TV deal when their current contract with ION runs out in February of next year:
Sources at Bodog plan to announce a new U.S. television distribution deal once their current run on ION has ended, although no details were forthcoming at the time of publication.
- The California State Athletic Commission has announced that it will hear the appeal of UFC Lightweight Champion Sean Sherk’s positive test for steroids on October 31st in Los Angeles.
- Staying on the subject of athletic commissions, the Nevada State Athletic Commission has filed a formal complaint against Renato Sobral for his actions at UFC 74. Sobral will be required to meet with the NSAC at a later date to find out whether he may possibly be suspended or fined. $25,000 of his purse is still being withheld.
- Yahoo! Sports has posted their updated MMA Top 10...
- Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia has landed at Xtreme Couture for a two day training session in preparation for his bout against Brandon Vera at UFC 77.
Sherdog: Koubousen Companion: News and Notes from Japan; Travis Wiuff Ready for “Last Shot” in IFO
411 Mania: Your MMA News, My Views 8.31.07
Choke Him Out: Top 10 Nastiest Mixed Martial Arts Cuts
Bloody Elbow: The Muscle Shark IS Innocent, Right?
MMA HQ: Josh Barnett Still in UFC’s Future?
Sprawl N’ Brawl: UFC 75: Kongo v. Cro Cop
Fight Opinion: Five things I learned from the UFC 75 conference call
Fightlinker: This is why I hate Japan
In a recent interview UFC heavyweight Fabricio Werdum stated that he is thinking about joining Chute Boxe. Chute Boxe is home to the likes of Wanderlei Silva, Mauricio Rua, Murilo Rua, Thiago Silva, and many others.
“I was going today to Curitiba to talk with Rudimar, but I got sick. I am going to try a deal, watch some trainings and to meet the structure that they have there. I train here with my friends, but I need a bigger structure and I think that Chute Boxe is the biggest Team in the world. I received invitation from others big teams but Chute Boxe is near my house and I don’t want to stay far from my family”, said Werdum.
Fabricio Werdum is a BJJ expert who sports a mixed martial arts record of 9-3-1. Werdum holds victories over the likes of Aleksander Emelianenko, Alistair Overeem, Gabriel Gonzaga, and Tom Erikson. Werdum made his UFC debut at UFC 70: Nations Collide dropping a decision to former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski.
It’s a legitimate question: Is PRIDE officially dead?
You only have to step back and take a look at the recent events that have taken place in the past few weeks to see that PRIDE’s future isn’t looking very promising. Well if there’s a future for the promotion at all…
PRIDE hasn’t held an event since April. It also hasn’t done much of anything except release their 10th anniversary documentary since then. One would think that the company will now get back on track since it’s acquisition by UFC parent company Zuffa is now complete according to UFC President Dana White. However that might not be the case.
The scheduled opening round for the company’s Lightweight Grand Prix on July 16th now seems that it’s not going to happen. Why? Nippon Gaishi Hall, the arena where the event was supposed to be held has now taken the show off of it’s event calendar. Couple that with White’s recent comments concerning all of PRIDE’s top fighters coming over to the UFC and it seems more and more likely that PRIDE’s run in the world of MMA is just about finished.
So what did you say about White’s comments? Well in that same interview with MMA Weekly where he stated that Zuffa now owned PRIDE, he also said that all of the promotion’s top fighters will be coming to the UFC:
“We’re going to have them all. We’re going to have them all. At the end of the day, if you want to fight the best fighters in the world, if you want to cement your place in history… and at the end of the day, the money is great, all that stuff is good, but for me I’m one of those types of people… it’s all about cementing your place in history. Who is the greatest fighter in every weight division? It’s here. It’s in the UFC. They’re all going to be here.”
Well so much for the original plan of keeping all of PRIDE’s top fighters with the company. Since the March announcement of that plan, the UFC has brought over Fabricio Werdum, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mauricio Rua, and now Dan Henderson. Apparently they aren’t even close to being done either since Chuck Liddell’s next opponent is Wanderlei Silva…
When asked about one of Pride’s biggest stars, Wanderlei Silva, White said, “We’re going to have them all here. He [Silva] is going to be here. They’re all going to fight… they’re all under contract.” White also said that Silva would likely be Chuck Liddell’s next opponent.
With all of PRIDE’s biggest stars, including Henderson who currently holds two PRIDE belts and will challenge Quinton Jackson for the UFC Light Heavyweight title later this year, coming over to the UFC, I think it’s safe to say that they have decided to just let PRIDE wither away…
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.”
News and Notes
- The WEC has announced their next card will be headlined by a lightweight title bout between “Razor” Rob McCullough and Rich “Cleat” Crunkilton.
- Quinton “Rampage” Jackson has signed a new four-fight deal with the UFC. His first fight will be a match for the UFC light heavyweight belt with Chuck Liddell.
- Diego Sanchez recently spoke with Houston Chronicle and during the interview he stressed the fact that he is looking to fight Matt Hughes.
“I’ve been calling out Matt Hughes. The man that I want is Matt Hughes. They gave him Chris Lytle (at UFC 68), and I think, honestly, it should have been me and Matt Hughes right now, instead of me and (Josh) Koscheck.”
“Me and Dana talked about this, and he said he needs contenders. And, if me and Matt fight, there’s only going to be one contender, but I’m still going to work hard after this fight to call him out and say, ‘Hey, man, let’s do this; let’s make it happen.’ I’ve worked my way up and ever since I started in this fight game, I’ve wanted to fight Matt Hughes. I believe I can submit him. I believe I can stop him from taking me down and outbox and outmuscle him.”
- Wensday April 4th Spike TV will be televising Countdown to UFC 69 and UFC All Access with Georges St. Pierre.
- UFC veteran Sam Hoger will make his IFL debut April 7th when he faces the experienced veteran and Lion’s Den fighter Vernon “Tiger” White.
Video of the Day
Rock the Vote Results
Who is currently the best striker in the UFC?
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic - 44%
Chuck Liddell - 37%
Anderson Silva - 12%
Brandon Vera - 6%
Other - 1%
Be sure to vote on our newest poll.
Tatame: Fabricio Werdum Interview
How was that change from the Pride to the UFC?
My manager Ken May said that I was going to fight at the Pride 33, but it seems that they didn’t accept the purse we asked them, so he tough that was better to me to go fighting at UFC. He didn’t explained to me very well, but I know they will pay me much better there, I think almost the double that I am receiving at the Pride organization.
But didn’t you have a contract with the Pride?
No, my contract is with Ken May, my contract finishes on December and I want to renovate. I want to be the champion this year. I am at UFC now so I want to be the champion there. I did a contract of four bouts with the UFC and I want to dispute the belt on the third or on the fourth bout of my contract.
Fight Opinion Radio #43: Ed Fishman
In this 70-minute interview, Ed discusses the Fishman Companies lawsuit versus Dream Stage Entertainment. There are some very intriguing facts coming out of this interview that you have not heard anywhere else.
The Fight Network is reporting that Pride veteran Fabricio Werdum is the latest fighter to jump ship to the UFC. And he’s being put in a very competitive fight to debut against former UFC heavyweight champ Andrei Arlovski. Dana White made the announcement at a press conference in Manchester, England to promote the upcoming UFC 70 and the return of the promotion to Europe. In addition to the Werdum-Arlovski match, White also announced that Ryota Machida will be on the card fighting Forrest Griffin. These are two extremely competitive matches, perhaps answering some of the recent complaints that the UFC was putting on too many mismatches.
According to the Fight Network…
Fabricio Werdum was today announced as the latest PRIDE fighter to jump to the Ultimate Fighting Championship – and Dana White warned “I’m not done yet.”
The announcement came at a press conference to formally introduce the Las Vegas-based promotion’s April 21 event in Manchester, England, at which Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Werdum (9-2-1) will fight former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski (10-5). The show, set for the Manchester Evening News Arena, will feature Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (22-4-2) vs. Gabriel Gonzaga (7-1) in the headline slot, with Clitheroe native Michael Bisping (12-0) vs. Elvis Sinosic (8-9-2) and Forrest Griffin (13-4) vs. Ryoto Machida (9-0) also signed. Dana White confirmed that should Cro Cop defeat Gonzaga, he will receive a heavyweight title match against either Tim Sylvia or Randy Couture, who fight at March 3’s UFC in Columbus, Ohio.