Highlights of Kim Couture’s Muay-Thai match at an Xtreme Couture smoker last weekend courtesy of RawVegas above.
Who’s Your Favorite UFC Ring Girl?
Go ahead and vote for who you think is the hottest of the trio. Rachelle Leah, Arianny Celeste, and Edith Larente are all ready to receive your vote. I went with Arianny but that’s just me. Make sure you hurry up and get your picks in. It is the end of the week you know.
Jordan Replaces Richards in YAMMA Tournament
UFC veteran Kevin Jordan has replaced Rex Richards in YAMMA Pit Fighting’s upcoming eight-man heavyweight tournament next month according to the latest fight card on the organization’s official website.
Jordan was submitted by Paul Buentello and knocked out by Gabriel Gonzaga before being released from the UFC. Since then Jordan has gone 2-1. His last fight was a submission win over Carlos Morena at a Battle Cage Xtreme show last October.
AFL: Erupption Filled With UFC Veterans
The American Fight League will hold an event titled “Erupption” tonight at the Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky that will feature four veterans of the Ultimate Fighting Championship competing on the card. Junior Assuncao, Rory Singer and Dan Christison will all be in action in separate fights.
Diego Saraiva will go up against Joe Ammerman for the AFL lightweight title in the night’s main event.
Vigneault to Travel to Aruba for TKO 33
TKO Championship Fighting veteran Stephane Vigneault will be fighting on the organization’s next card in Aruba according to a report from our friends at TKO Xtreme.
After a near two-year hiatus from active competition, Vigneault made his return at TKO 31: Young Guns in December but ended up being submitted by lightweight prospect Ben Greer. Vigneault bounced back with a TKO win over Daniel Ferguson last weekend.
Photo courtesy of ProElite.
Nevada District Court Judge Jennifer Togliatti will rule later today on a preliminary injunction the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Zuffa has filed against current heavyweight champion Randy Couture.
Different from the lawsuit the organization filed against Couture, the injunction will attempt to block the Xtreme Couture gym from field a team that is currently slated to compete for The International Fight League tomorrow night in the promotion’s first event of the new year. It is likely that if Zuffa is victorious, Couture will be unable to corner fighters from the gym at the event as well. Couture has publicly stated that Shawn Tompkins would be heading the team at the event anyway.
Zuffa alleges that the IFL had posted an image bearing Couture’s likeness on the front of their official website. According to Couture, his staff immediately contacted the IFL and asked that it be removed right away and it was done so.
The lawsuit filed against Couture by Dana White and company will not be heard in court until March 25th. Couture has requested the dismissal of the lawsuit.
Zuffa’s case cites that Couture has made negative comments about the promotion and those involved with it’s management. They also stated that the comments have caused “irreparable damage” and that he has breached the employment contract he signed with the company. Xtreme Couture’s involvement with the IFL was also included in the suit via a claim that it is a direct violation of his contract with the UFC.
The suit will also attempt to collect up to $10,000 in damages from Couture and seek a restraining order that will prevent Couture from being involved with any other organizations that compete against the UFC. This comes after Couture resigned from the UFC last fall and has stated that he intends to sit out the remainder of his contract before fighting in another organization, hopefully against top-ranked heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko.
Mark Cuban and his HDNet Fights promotion filed suit in a Dallas, Texas district court in hopes of earning a declaratory judgment concerning the contractual status of Couture when it comes to his employment contract (the deal that dictates where Couture can fight).
The declaratory judgement will hopefully provide Cuban with an exact date as to when Couture’s contract expires with the UFC, if it expires at all.
HDNet Fights has also reportedly entered into a contractual agreement with Couture which will have the promotion attempt to set up a showdown between Couture and top ranked heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko later this year.
The deal will likely go into effect at the time of the expiration of Couture’s promotional contract with Zuffa. Without some sort of deal in place, a Texas court will likely throw out HDNet Fights suit filed against the UFC’s parent company last week.
It is interesting to note in Cuban’s claims against Zuffa that he points out “indefinite employment restrictions” such as the ones set forth against Couture by Dana White and company since his resignation from the organization last fall are against the law.
Photo property of Xtreme Couture.
Former K-1 kickboxing stars Jan Nortje and Ray Sefo have joined the ranks of the Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas.
The gym made the announcement earlier today it’s official blog.
Nortje is coming off of an impressive victory over former NFL lineman and mixed martial arts veteran Bob Sapp at this past weekend’s “Strikeforce at the Dome” show. Nortje stopped Sapp with strikes in the first round.
The win was Nortje’s first in mixed martial arts since Tadao Yasuda was forced to bow out of their December 2002 bout because of injury. After the fight, Nortje expressed his desire to compete under the Strikeforce banner in the future.
“It wasn’t luck,” Nortje said during a post-fight interview. “I trained my ass off for this fight. I knew Sapp was one hell of a job to take on, but I did it. Thanks to Scott Coker and Strikeforce, I’m going to keep doing this. This feels nice. This feels good.“
Sefo, more renowned for his success in the world of kickboxing, only has one professional MMA fight to his credit. He knocked out Min Soo Kim with a head kick at a K-1 Hero’s event in July 2005. The New Zealand native is already enjoying the company he has at the gym.
“A lot of times, high level fighters have bad attitudes,” Sefo said in the article. “But not here. Everyone is cool and doesn’t take themselves too seriously.”
Sefo also revealed that he was offered a fight against top heavyweight striker Mirko Cro Cop but opted to decline the bout since he was given extremely short notice.
UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson discusses the upcoming seventh season of “The Ultimate Fighter”, of which he will serve as one of the coaches along with future opponent Forrest Griffin with RawVegas.
Twelve Fights at UFC Fight Night 13?
It just might be a possibility according to Pro Karate Weekly:
We are pleased to announce that NAAFS veteran Jeff “The Grinder” Cox will be returning to the Octagon on April 2nd as part of a special UFC Fight Night on Spike TV. Cox will be facing TUF Season 5 runner-up Manny Gamburyan.
Rafferty, Knabjian Return Saturday at XFO 22
Former “Ultimate Fighter” season one cast member Josh Rafferty and WEC veteran Kevin Knabjian will both return to action this Saturday at Xtreme Fight Organization’s “Rising Star” event at the Crystal Lake Holiday Inn in Crystal Lake, Illinois.
Rafferty will attempt to build on a successful two-fight run in 2007 when he takes on fellow welterweight Jay Little. Knabjian will be facing off against an opponent yet to be named.
Making his professional mixed martial arts debut at the show will be Pat Curran, the cousin of top-ranked featherweight Jeff Curran. The younger Curran has won all of his three career amateur bouts.
Robert Drysdale Joins Xtreme Couture
From Xtreme Couture’s official blog:
2007 Abu-Dhabi Absolute Champion Robert Drysdale is the newest member of Xtreme Couture. Robert just moved to Las Vegas, where he is living full time. He is excited to be the newest addition to our Pro Team where he will train in preparation for his MMA debut. Robert will be instructing the Pro Team in jiu jitsu and will teach the jiu jitsu classes at the gym. He is also going to coach our amateur submission grappling and jiu jitsu teams.
Pancrase Announces Card for March 26th Event
Pancrase has officially announced the complete card for it’s next event on March 26th, which will take place at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan.
Miki Shida vs. Marlon Sandro
Izuru Takeuchi vs. Hiromitsu Kanehara
Alavutdin Gadzhiev vs. Hikaru Sato
Takafumi Ito vs. Hacran Dias
Kenji Arai vs. Shinsuke Shoji
Michihisa Asano vs. Yukito
Ichiro Kanai vs. Takenori Sato
Asaki Honda vs. Tomoyoshi Iwamiya
More on Rich Bergeron/Xyience Case
Rich Bergeron has been kind enough to send us a 90-page PDF document outlining his counterclaim against Xyience, which will be heard in Las Vegas court later today.
Chris Horodecki and Shad Lierley weigh-in for an IFL event in June 2007. Photo courtesy of the International Fight League.
The International Fight League earlier today announced details for their upcoming East Rutherford, NJ event, which will take place at the IZOD Center on April 4th.
Three title fights are scheduled to headline the card. IFL light heavyweight champion Vladimir Matyushenko will make his first title defense against New Jersey native Jamal Patterson. Popular welterweight champion and Xtreme Couture product Jay Hieron will attempt to keep his belt around his waist when he goes up against former U.S. Marine Mark Miller.
Upstart Shad Lierley, who made headlines after going toe-to-toe with lightweight sensation Chris Horodecki last year, will drop down to the featherweight division in exchange for a shot against current title holder Wagnney Fabiano, who submitted L.C. Davis this past December to grab the vacant belt.
Horodecki is also expected to return to action at the event, currently against an opponent yet to be named.
The nine-fight card will feature matchups between four different camps. Fighters from Renzo Gracie’s Academy will take on athletes from Midwest Combat while American Top Team will make it’s IFL debut against martial artists from the renowned Miletich Fighting Systems.
“I like the local feel of this card,? said IFL Vice President Bas Rutten. “?In addition to three outstanding championship bouts, featuring fighters from New York and New Jersey, you have Renzo Gracie?‘s camp, which was the champion last year, Midwest Combat, which features our top fighters from the Chicago area, and great battles with the Miletich camp and American Top Team, who we are very excited to have on board.?”
Miletich fighters Rory Markham and Mike Ciesnolevicz will go up against American Top Team’s Emyr Bussade and Lew Polley respectively. L.C. Davis will also likely compete for Pat Miletich as well.
A lightweight clash between Deividas Taurosevicius and Bart ?Palaszewski is the only announced battle between Renzo Gracie’s Academy and Midwest Combat as of right now. Skilled welterweight Delson Heleno will also represent Renzo Gracie on the card.
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.
Justin McCully grapples with Antoni Hardonk at UFC Fight Night 9. Photo by Mary Ann Owen.
Weeks after missing a deadline to accept a fight against heavyweight contender Cheick Kongo, Team Punishment’s Justin McCully has opted to undergo surgery that will remove a number of bone chips and spurs that have contributed to a nagging elbow injury that he is currently suffering from.
The Fight Network’s Ariel Helwani reports that McCully doesn’t even consider himself 100% at the moment:
“At this point, right now, I’m probably about 85 to 90 percent of myself,” McCully says. “I wouldn’t want to have to go into a fight with a man as good as Cheick Kongo and not give my best. It took 10 years to make it to the big dance [and] get to the UFC, and I don’t want to make any mistakes now that I am here. So, I’m going to get fixed, [and] I’m going to get back out there.”
McCully apparently hopes to face the winner of the Kongo-Heath Herring matchup that will most likely take place in March at UFC 82: Pride of a Champion.
Helwani also has an audio interview with McCully up at his Jarry Park website.
Dana White congratulates Randy Couture after his win over Pedro Rizzo at UFC 34. Photo by Joshua Hedges.
The feud between Randy Couture and the UFC has now gone to a completely different level…
The Las Vegas Review-Journal is reporting that lawyers hired by Zuffa, the UFC’s parent company, filed a lawsuit in Nevada’s Clark County District Court yesterday, citing that Couture has made negative comments about the promotion and those involved with it’s management.
They also stated that the comments have caused “irreparable damage” and that he has breached the latest contract he signed with the company in December of 2006.
Basically the lawsuit was filed because Randy’s Xtreme Couture gym will be fielding a team that will compete at the IFL’s next event in Las Vegas on Friday, February 29th. The UFC is claiming that Randy’s gym being involved with the IFL is a violation of his contract with the UFC. Will the claim hold up in court? We’ll just have to wait and see.
The lawsuit will also attempt to collect up to $10,000 in damages from Couture and seek a restraining order that will prevent Couture from being involved with any other organizations that compete against the UFC.
According to UFC president Dana White, the toughest thing about all of this is the fact that he and Couture have been friends for a long time:
“What’s really tough for me, to be honest, is we have been friends for a very long time,” White said. “The hard part is that he is not living up to his obligations. Captain America is not keeping his word. I expect Randy to honor the obligations in his contract that he signed (a year ago). I tried to resolve it by talking to this guy that I’ve had a relationship with for eight years and was unsuccessful. Now this thing’s in the hands of the justice system.”
Phil Baroni walks to the cage at Strikeforce: Shamrock vs Baroni in June 2007. Photo by Jon Swenson.
World Victory Road announced last week that Phil Baroni would be taking on Sanae Kikuta at the promotion’s inaugural event, “Sengoku”, on March 5th.
Then came the news from Ken Pavia, Baroni’s agent, that the fight against Kikuta wasn’t signed and that Baroni still didn’t decide if he will even accept the fight.
Well now it appears that the fight might be a go after all, at least according to MMA Weekly.
They’ve confirmed through the American Kickboxing Academy that the fight is indeed signed and Baroni will be making the trip to Japan.
According to Ricardo Mendoza, Ken Pavia isn’t involved in the contract discussions when it comes to the Kikuta fight and it’s AKA’s management team that’s doing the talking. Zach Arnold discusses whether or not Pavia has exclusive rights when it comes to Baroni’s offers.
Dorian Price grapples with Roman Mitichyan at The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has possibly released ‘Ultimate Fighter 6’ contestant Dorian Price from his contract following his loss to Roman Mitichyan at The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale last month.
The news comes from a report by Jason Perkins of MMA Fightline.
Price lost in his first fight on the show, being submitted by Matt Arroyo in what was also the first televised bout of the reality show’s season. Price was also involved in a controversial altercation when he chased and threatened a cameraman after asking to be left alone during taping.
The report also indicates that Price has signed on with White Chocolate Management and will be training with the American Top Team in Miami, FL for the immediate future.