Randy Couture appeared on ESPN’s first take to talk about his UFC situation and to pimp NatGeo’s Fight Science. Couture wants to fight Fedor Emelianenko, shocking.
Good morning bitches! More coverage of last night’s UFC Fight Night to come later on this morning.
Calvancante and Aoki Set to Try Again; Masvidal Added to “Strikeforce At The Dome”
It seems like Gesias Calvancante and Shinya Aoki will finally meet at a K-1 show in Japan in March. American Top Team’s manager Richie Guerrero (who manages Calvancante as well) announced the matchup yesterday during an interview on TAGG Radio.
The two were originally set to face off at Yarennoka! on New Year’s Eve but Calvancante was forced to pull out of the fight after suffering a knee injury during training. The injury occurred on the same knee that he had knee surgery on this past fall.
Guerrero also revealed that lightweight contender Jorge Masvidal will be competing at the “Strikeforce At The Dome” show next month as well. Masvidal does have an opponent but the name was unable to be announced at the time.
Aleksander Expects April Fight With Barnett
Aleksander Emelianenko, who will be fighting in M-1 Global’s first U.S. show in April along with his brother Fedor, expects to take on former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett.
Emelianenko made the announcement via his official website.
Fedor is expected to take on part-time K-1 kickboxer Semmy Schilt but Jeff Monson has also been rumored as a potential opponent. The show will most likely take place right outside of Chicago at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois.
Touch of gloves to MMA Junkie for the find.
Frank Edgar Returns at UFC Fight Night 13
I missed it and I’m sure a lot of other people did but apparently UFC play-by-play announcer Mike Goldberg stated that Frankie Edgar would be part of the UFC’s next “Fight Night” in Denver, Colorado in April.
Edgar, who has not lost yet inside of the UFC, still remains undefeated in his professional mixed martial arts career as well. Edgar is coming off of a dominating performance over Spencer Fisher en route to a unanimous decision win at UFC 78.
Props to Combat Hooligans for catching that.
BodogFight has released the full card for it’s February 1st event in Las Vegas. The Sun is reporting that Brock Lesnar, win or lose, may be tapped to headline the UFC’s June show in London England due to his overseas popularity because of professional wrestling. Roger Gracie may be fighting Hidehiko Yoshida at Sengoku in March.
Fightlinker went live with The Low Blow last night, recapping UFC Fight Night 12. Hilarious.
Randy Couture and Fedor Emelianenko stood face-to-face during a commercial shoot for the Affliction clothing line in a Los Angeles studio on Friday afternoon. If this doesn’t excite you even more about a possible showdown between the two, I don’t know what will.
Touch of gloves to Bloody Elbow for the find.
“Operation All-In”, a celebrity poker tournament put together by current UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture in order to raise money for returning US troops, was a huge success this past Saturday.
The tournament was held at the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas and drew 123 players according to Poker News. The buy-in for the event was $550. Notable celebrities that participated included Todd and Pam Brunson, Kirk Morrison, Johnny Chan, Montel Williams, Dean Cain, and Jose Canseco. Former World Series of Poker winner Jamie Gold served as the host for the event.
Jamie Scott was the winner of the tournament and donated a portion of his $20,000 winnings to the The Xtreme Couture GI Foundation. With the tournament, multiple auctions, and various other activities combined, the event raised over $90,000 for the troops. Sherdog’s Mike Sloan was on hand at the event and gives his take.
Raw Vegas was also at the event as well. In the video above, host Dave Farra sits down with Randy Couture to discuss a variety of things including the tournament, his other charity work, his situation with the UFC, and his thoughts on Fedor Emelianenko. Speaking of Fedor, he apparently plans to meet with Randy while visiting Los Angeles later this month.
The next two videos highlight some action at the tables. Randy apparently one three different hands on the river during the tourney. Two of the times are shown below. Talk about luck…
Interested in owning a UFC championship belt like the one above? How about the exact one above? Got $30,000 to spare? Well former UFC heavyweight champ Ricco Rodriguez is selling the title he won from Randy Couture at UFC 39 on eBay in hopes of raising money for a school Rodriguez will be opening down south.
Tim Sylvia calls Fedor a bad word
Former UFC heavyweight champion had some choice words for Fedor Emelianenko during a post-UFC 79 interview with Gary Herman of CBS Sports. When asked about Emelianenko, Sylvia stated that he feels the former PRIDE champ is ducking top competition:
“I think he’s being a (expletive),” said Sylvia. “I think Fedor is very good, but you have to fight the top level competitors all the time to keep that status, and he is just not doing that.”
According to Five Ounces of Pain, the bad word had something to do with a pussy, whatever that is…
WCO Releases Complete Card for “The Return”
The World Cagefighting Organization has released the complete card for WCO: The Return, which is set to take place January 12th at the San Diego Sports Arena.
The event is headlined by a main event between former UFC light heavyweights Renato “Babalu” Sobral and Vernon White and includes many other notable fighters competing as well. The full card is below:
Renato Sobral vs. Vernon White
Ricco Rodriguez vs. Mike Kyle
Mark Kerr vs. Rick Roufus
Jimmy Ambriz vs. Wesley Correira
Joe Riggs vs. Gustavo Machado
Virgil Zwicker vs. David Mejia
Davis Loiseau vs. Leopoldo Serao
Tiki Ghosn vs. J.J. Ambrose
Fabio Costa vs. Carlos Fuentes
Georgi Karakahyan vs. Armando Sanchez
Tony Sylvestor vs. Cain Velasquez
Touch of gloves to MMA Junkie for that find.
Sakara Joins American Top Team
Alessio Sakara has joined the ranks of ATT according to a statement made on the team’s official website:
To start off the new year, American Top Team is pleased to announce UFC fighter Alessio “Legionarius” Sakara has joined our team!
We are excited to have the opportunity to work with Alessio, who is known for his explosive stand up style of fighting. We look forward to working with Alessio and help him improve his overall mma game and take him to the top!
Sakara returns at UFC 80: Rapid Fire later this month when he takes on newcomer James Lee. The fight is expected to be Sakara’s last at 205 lbs as he has expressed plans to move down to the middleweight division following the fight.
We will have a brand new MMA on Tap Top 10 posted later today. Our rumors page has been updated. Randy Couture will be hosting a charity poker tournament at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on January 12th. Couture, Jamie Gold, and Dean Cain are all expected to participate. Leland Rolling takes a look at what’s next for Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva. A matchup between Jake Bostwick and John Phillips has been added to Cage Rage 25 according to The Fight Network.
We will be going live at 6:00 AM EST with live results of Yarennoka!, which is taking place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Yarennoka! features the return of Fedor Emelianenko as he takes on K-1 kickboxer Hong Man Choi. The undercard includes Gilbert Melendez going up against Mitsuhiro Ishida and Kazuo Misaki battling with Yoshihiro Akiyama. Shinya Aoki, Hayato Sakurai, and Murlio Bustamante will also be competing.
For those that are interested, the event is being shown live on HDNet starting at 6 AM EST.
Be sure to leave comments throughout the morning.
Live results and commentary are shown after the jump.
John Chandler here again, breaking down Yarennoka! and K-1 Premium 2007 Dynamite!! fight-by-fight, including detailed predictions along the way.
Yarennoka! features the return of Fedor Emelianenko as he takes on K-1 kickboxer Hong Man Choi. The undercard includes Gilbert Melendez going up against Mitsuhiro Ishida and Kazuo Misaki battling with Yoshihiro Akiyama.
K-1 Premium 2007 Dynamite!! features an astounding total of 13 fights - 7 MMA bouts and 6 kickboxing matches. (I’ll only be previewing the MMA fights) The event is headlined by a main event between long-time Japanese veterans Kazushi Sakuraba and Masakatsu Funaki. Bob Sapp, “Kid” Yamamoto, Kiyoshi Tamura, Melvin Manhoef, and Ikuhisa Minowa will all be in action.
Since it’s Christmas Eve and there’s not a lot of news going on, I thought why not make a list of MMA-related things that I’d like to see next year.
These are in no particular order…
1. Randy Couture vs Fedor Emelianenko - I’m not the only one that wants to see this. EVERYONE wants to see this. It’d be the biggest fight ever. Since Fedor opted to sign with M-1 Global instead of the UFC, we are going to have to wait until at least October to learn whether or not Couture’s contract with the UFC is really finished or that’s he going to have to fight twice more in order to finally get out.
Hopefully what Couture says holds true. If not, Dana and company have to work out some kind of working partnership with M-1, at least for the sake of the fans if nothing else.
2. The return of Evan Tanner - Now that Tanner has officially signed a new four-fight deal with the UFC, it’s only a matter of time before he is finally set to step back into the Octagon. I’m not doubting that it’s going to happen by wishing for it. I just want to finally see it take place.
The guy has battled some personal demons over the past two years and I’m sure that the majority of MMA fans would like nothing more than to see Tanner achieve his dream of fighting again in the UFC. On top of that, Tanner says he has the goods to knock off Anderson Silva. Ask anyone to make a list of fighters that could beat Silva and you’ll see Tanner on there almost every time.
3. Floyd Mayweather in MMA - After months and months of putting MMA down and then deciding that he might want to try it, it’s time to put up or shut up for boxing’s best pound for pound fighter. If he fights under Mark Cuban’s HDNet Fights banner, money won’t even be an issue. If Mayweather does go into MMA, I think that he’ll try to spin it for all it’s worth. Based on the fact that he has zero experience, the athletic commission is going to force the matchmakers to put Floyd up against another fighter that has not fought professionally and has very little amateur experience, most likely a guy that Mayweather could knock out in the first round.
It’ll probably be an exhibition bout too. After that Mayweather will declare that boxing is superior to MMA and will never step into a cage again. Then a slew of professional MMA fighters will call him out and he’ll try to explain that he has no reason to go back and fight again in MMA. Still, it’ll definitely be fun to watch.
4. Josh Barnett and Takanori Gomi to sign somewhere - Ever since the demise of PRIDE, these two have been nowhere to be found. While Barnett kept some of the spotlight on him in 2007 with his war of words with Dana White and his submission grappling match a few days ago, he still hasn’t fought in an MMA bout since losing to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira nearly one year ago.
Gomi’s loss changed to a no contest against Nick Diaz was the former PRIDE Lightweight Champ’s only bout in ‘07. Since then, he’s been competely silent. These two are among the elite in their respective weight classes and aren’t getting any younger. It’s time to sign somewhere and get fighting again.
5. The UFC video game to come out in ‘08 - Yes, I know that it’s slated for a 2009 release but it could be finished early, right? It was UFC Throwdown’s release in 2002 that got me into the world of MMA. We haven’t had a new game since Sudden Impact in ‘04. The trailer for THQ’s new project looks amazing and I can’t wait. While I’m at it, Sam Caplan has a great article on UFC: Throwdown and what he hopes THQ will include in the new game coming out.
The UFC has apparently turned down an offer from M-1 Global to do a cross-promotional fight between UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture and Fedor Emelianenko.
The news comes from Steve Sievert of The Houston Chronicle who has a direct quote from Couture himself:
“We got an official offer from M-1 to the UFC to do a co-promotion for the Couture-Emelianenko fight, and they (UFC) rejected that offer. Really, the only thing standing in the way for that fight right now is Dana and the UFC. Obviously, M-1 is happy to do a co-promotion like that. It only serves to help them. I think the UFC is looking at it the other way, and it’s like why do we want to help out another organization? The fans want to see that fight. At some point, you have to put that first.”
It kind of depends when exactly this offer was made. If it was made during the period of time where Couture and the UFC were at each other’s throats, I can certainly see why Dana White and company would throw the offer aside. No matter what happens, I’m sure we’ll see this fight eventually.
During last night’s HDNet Fights broadcast, current UFC heavyweight champion (for now) Randy Couture stated that he would be interested in fighting Fedor Emelianenko when he is free from his UFC contract next October.
Sherdog has the exact quote:
“Unless the UFC wants to do a co-promotion with M-1 and make the Fedor fight happen, I’m going to have to wait ‘til my contract expires,” Couture told HDNet’s Ron Kruck. “I have no intention of breaching that contract; that expires in July. My employment contract expires with them in October. So I would assume the soonest you’d see me fight Emelianenko would be in October.”
I’m pretty sure that Dana and company aren’t going to care that Randy has publicly said that he isn’t going to breach his contract but I’m sure they’ll be a little ticked that he has breathed some life into the drama between the two once again.
Apparenetly Couture’s remarks were a hot topic at the HDNet Fights press conference as well according to MMA Junkie:
It became a hot topic again in a post-fight press conference.
“I’m not sure what’s going to happen with me at this point,” Couture said. “I have a contract with the UFC that I have to honor. I can’t breach that or I’ll end up in litigation, so I don’t intend to do that.
Provided that Fedor is successful against Hong-Man Choi later this month, this could potentially be the biggest fight in history as we all know. I really hope it happens.