In a recent interview with The Oregonian, UFC president Dana White, confirmed that the UFC had reached a deal with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and they were close to reaching a deal with PRIDE heavyweight ace Fedor Emelianenko.
“He’s signed and ready to roll,” White said. “You couldn’t meet a classier guy in your whole life. He will be so marketable.”
White also said he is moving close to signing a contract that would bring Pride heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko (26-1), widely considered the best fighter in the world, to the UFC.
A month ago, ChuteBoxe.com, reported that Mauricio “Shogun” Rua had signed with the UFC but the deal was never officially announced by the UFC.
The Fight Network is reporting that PRIDE Welterweight Grand Prix Champion Denis Kang is close to signing a contract with BodogFight.
The American Top Team’s Denis Kang is in serious negotiations with bodogFIGHT and could sign with the upstart promotion as early as this week, a source close to the ATT indicated.
Kang (27-8-1), one of the world’s top middleweights, is 20-1-1 in his past 22 fights, the lone defeat a split decision loss to Kazuo Misaki in the finals of the PRIDE Welterweight Grand Prix at PRIDE “Bushido 13.” Kang reportedly tore a biceps muscle in the semi-finals but agreed to fight anyway.
This is interesting because it was being rumored that Kang was about to join the UFC. I’m guessing now that some of the PRIDE fighters were able to get out of their contracts or were free agents before Zuffa bought the promotion.
Kang is the only other free agent from PRIDE that I’ve heard of except for a handful of others - Fedor, Silva, and Big Nog. Then again maybe all of the fighters are technically free agents as of right now and it just so happens that the majority of them are signing with Zuffa.
Chuck Liddell recently sat down for an interview with the Baltimore Sun and revealed that PRIDE Heavyweight Champion Fedor Emelianenko may be coming over to the UFC.
Liddell was asked who he would like to fight when it comes to PRIDE fighters entering the UFC. He responded with this:
All of them. Any of the good ones. There’s “Shogun” [Mauricio Rua], there’s [Dan] Henderson. You’ve got Fedor [Emelianenko] coming over. [Antonio Rodrigo] Nogueira is coming over in the heavyweight [division].
If and when Fedor and the UFC finally settle on some kind of contract, their is going to be a huge announcement without a doubt.
St. Petersburg, Russia - The Russian Red Devils capitalized on their comrades’ support to emerge victorious from Russia’s ICE Palace Arena on Saturday, April 14th in the most anticipated pay-per-view event of the year, BodogFight: Fedor Emelianenko vs Matt Lindland, Clash of the Nations.
The star-studded mixed martial arts card lived up to its billing, with Fedor Emelianenko, the #1 ranked heavyweight in the world taking on the #1 ranked middleweight, Matt “The Law” Lindland, in the main event. In the end, the sold out crowd, which included Russian President Vladimir Putin, got what they wanted, as their beloved champion improved to 26-1 after forcing his brave American challenger to tap out in the very first round.
Usually, I would not make a post to highlight one specific interview, but this one is awfully informative. The UFC’s Dana White was interviewed on CBS Sportline and had a lot of things to say. Among them…
* Confirmed that UFC 70 will likely be on SpikeTV
* Confirmed that Rashad Evans is the expected opponent for Tito Ortiz at UFC 71.
* Reiterated that he wants Rampage Jackson to fight Chuck Liddell for the LHW title at UFC 71 in May.
* Was very candid once again about his interests in buying the Pride promotion, admitting to having been in negotiations with them.
* Mentioned guys like Wanderlei Silva, Fedor, and Dan Henderson as fighters he’d love to have fight under the UFC banner.
* Hinted at the possibility that they are negotiating with the Nogueira brothers since their contract is up soon with Pride.
* Clarified his position on the Kurt Angle rumors, yet was very complimentary to Angle as well as Brock Lesnar.
* Admitted he’d like to see Phil Baroni and Evan Tanner back in the UFC.
* Continued the war of words with Jerry Millen, Gary Shaw, and Frank Shamrock.
BodogFight announces today a mammoth card for a Superfight pay-per-view spectacular that promises to be raved about for ages. On Saturday, April 14, live from the ICE Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, “BodogFight: Fedor Emelianenko vs. Matt Lindland, Clash of the Nations” takes place before an international audience in what will be an unforgettable event in mixed martial arts history.
News and Notes
- The next WEC show will be March 24th at The Joint in Las Vegas, Nevada.
- PRIDE has added the following bouts to their upcoming show Pride 33: Second Coming:
* Takanori Gomi vs. Nick Diaz
* Hayato Sakurai vs. Mac Danzig
* Kazuo Misaki vs. Frank Trigg
* Kazuhiro Nakamura vs. Travis Wiuff
- Matt Lindland has confirmed through ‘The Fight Network’ that he signed a three-fight deal with BodogFight. All of the fights will take place in the heavyweight division.
- It’s looking like Tito Oritz vs. Forrest Griffin II is a strong possibility for UFC 70 in Manchester.
News and Notes
- Renato “Babalu” Sobral will make his return to the octagon at UFC 68 on March 3rd when he faces Jason Lambert. Sobral last appeared in the octagon at UFC 62 when he suffered a devastating knock out loss to the hands of the UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell.
- Martin Kampmann will be fighting on the upcoming UFC 68 card, his opponent is currently unknown.
- It looks like Matt Lindland will be making his way over to BodogFight to face PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko.
- Last night Dana White took part in a special chat for all of the ‘UFC Fight Club’ members. Here is some interesting information that came out of the chat…
Mason: Have you ever considered having a legends type fight on a card, such as Randy vs. Bas Rutten?
Dana White: We always want to put on the fights the fans want to see. I would love to bring Bas back.
rickrock: Would you like to see Wanderlei Silva back in the octagon? Has there been any steps taken to try and sign him?
Dana White: I would love to have Silva in the UFC, it’s always my goal to get the best fighters in the world to fight for us. Hopefully we will see that fight in 2007.
Poundem: Dana, were do you see the UFC in 5 years from now?
Dana White: Poundem, I see us GLOBAL.
tootall2: Do you intend to keep bringing the better - fighters from other organizations, or is there a plan to absorb other organizations, such as Pride - and thanks for bringing excitement back to professional fighting.
Dana White: Totall, it’s my goal to acquire all the best fighters in the world and if things go my way, I will have them all by the end of year.
Poundem: What is your plan for Fedor, or do you have one? Would you like to get him in the UFC?
Dana White: Poundem, I want Fedor and everyone else in the UFC.
DrWu: If you could change one thing about the rules of fighting in the octagon, what would it be and why?
Dana White: I would add knees to the head.
dnkyntz: Could you talk about the rumors regarding Zuffa acquiring Pride?
Dana White: Obviously we are out there acquiring other MMA companies right now and if Pride is for sale, I’m interested.
Raiderbeast:Before leaving tonight, can you tell us if another big Pride fighter will show up in the UFC anytime soon?
Dana White: Count on it!!
For the folks back home, the 5-7 Fisher was going to the relatively big city of Bettendorf, Iowa to train in some sport he called mixed martial arts. He might as well have told them he was going to be the star in a high-wire trapeze act, because that probably got more recognition from mainstream America in 2002.
But fast forward to 2006, and Fisher has not only carved out a niche for himself in MMA, currently the fastest growing sport in the world, but he’s one of the featured fighters on a Spike TV fight card on January 25th and his face is plastered on the event’s poster. So when he visits family in Cashiers, things have changed a bit for him.
“They love it,” said Fisher. “They keep up with it, and when I go back home they say, ‘hey, I saw you on TV the other day,’ and it’s a big deal to them. It’s nice to know that I have fans. Before I made it on TV, I’d go back home and people would say ‘what are you doing now?’ I’d tell them and they’d go ‘Oh jeez,’ and it was kind of a joke until they saw it on TV and they saw that there were real punches and real kicks and now there’s a respect that goes along with it.”
MMAWeekly: UFC Champ Ready for Cro Cop and Couture
Both Matt Lindland and BodogFight have announced that Lindland has agreed in principle to face Pride Heavyweight Champion Fedor Emelianenko on April 6th at Bodog’s event in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Fedor was originally supposed to take on Jeff Monson at Bodog’s show in March but contract talks never went anywhere and we reported that the fight was officially cancelled yesterday.
American Top Team has stated however that Monson may still fight Fedor’s brother, Aleksander Emelianenko at the event instead.
Lindland is expected to sign an official contract with Bodog later tonight and says that he will come up from 185 lbs and weigh-in at about 210 lbs for the fight in April.
I’ll be sure to give an update whenever more information becomes available…
News and Notes
- Caol Uno will make his return to the octagon March 3rd at UFC 68 in Ohio. Uno’s opponent will be lightweight contender and ‘The Ultimate Fighter II’ winner Joe Stevenson.
- MMAWeekly has Dan Lauzon, Matt Wiman and Nathan Diaz listed as fighters on the upcoming season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter 5’.
- The IFL has announced that the fight between Vernon White and Raphael Davis has been cancelled because it was not approved by the California State Athletic Commission.
The reasoning behind the decision was that the difference in experience between the two fighters gave one an unfair advantage over another and therfore the bout could be sanctioned. The CSAC is right - White has fought in more than 50 bouts while this would have just been Davis’ third career fight.
This now means that there will be no light-heavyweight fight in tomorrow’s matchup between the Nevada Lions and the San Jose Razorclaws. A second lightweight fight between Joe Martin and Clint Coronel will take place of this one.
- The California State Athletic Commission announced yesterday that MMA promotions seeking to put on a sanctioned event in the state now have the option of using a cage or a ring. The IFL’s event on Friday night will be the first time that a ring will be used in for MMA competition in California’s history…
- Jeff Monson will make his return to the UK at Cage Warriors: Showdown 3, defending his heavyweight belt against an opponent that has yet to be named. However many are speculating that Monson will be taking on Mario Neto in his third title defense.
Monson’s fight with Fedor on the March 3rd Bodog card has been cancelled. The bout has not yet been rescheduled although it is expected they will just move the fight to Bodog’s April event without a problem…