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?
All Randy Couture wants is the one thing he’s constantly earned over his 10 year MMA career: Respect.
Couture held a public press conference earlier today at his Xtreme Couture training facility in Las Vegas, Nevada to discuss his reasons behind resigning from the UFC just two weeks ago.
Couture was quick to point out that he doesn’t want to do any harm to the promotion that caused him to become one of the most recognizable athletes in the world.
“I talked to Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta on the phone yesterday and I told them both that I’m not trying to hurt the organization in any way,” said Couture. “I told them how I felt. There weren’t any shouting matches or anything like that. Dana made particular comments that he’d like me to come back but based on the responses that were put on the table I don’t see it happening right now.”
“I’m tired of swimming against the current,” continued Couture. “I just want to be treated the way that I deserve and I haven’t been treated that way in a long time. If I would have come out and made inflammatory statements about the UFC and how I was being treated then it would have made it worse while I was still fighting and talking about contracts. I didn’t try to create a big buzz and I didn’t want to start anything. I simply laid out my feelings about why I was resigning.”
Jason Remillard of The Springfield Republican is reporting that Paulo Filho will make the first defense of his WEC Middleweight Title against Frank Trigg at WEC 31 on December 12th:
Filho is a world-class fighter with a 15-0 professional record. He has fought all over the world, including the now-defunct Pride Fighting Championships in Japan. Filho recently defeated Joe Doerksen for the WEC middleweight title and will make his first defense Dec. 12 in Las Vegas against Frank “Twinkletoes” Trigg.
Filho will arrive in Ludlow Nov. 1 to begin the final phase of his training for this fight against a very tough opponent. Trigg has held his own against many of the big names in the UFC, such as former welterweight champions Matt Hughes and Georges St. Pierre.
The statement comes in an article where Remillard announces that both Filho and Thiago Silva have joined Team Link, the same training team that sports UFC heavyweight contender Gabriel Gonzaga.
Trigg has stated in the past on his daily radio show that the fight was only being discussed and nothing was signed. However Trigg also noted that anything could change at a moments notice.
News and Notes
- Remember that you can always donate directly to the Ryan Bennett Memorial Fund through this link.
- Evan Tanner is looking for sponsors for his friend Ian Dawe who will be fighting at a couple of upcoming shows later this year, including King of the Cage. Contact him here for information.
- Kalib Starnes posted the real story behind his controversial cut suffered during his bout against Alan Belcher this past weekend at UFC 77 in Sherdog’s forums:
I got hit with an elbow early in the first round. In the second round the ref stopped the action so the doctor could look at the cut. The doctor said “How is your vision?” I said “There’s blood in my eye.” Yves Lavigne said, “If you say you can’t see he’ll stop the fight.” I said, “I can see, there’s no problem, I want to fight.” The doctor spread the cut open with his thumbs and said “I can see his skull, I’m stopping it.” I said “I want to continue” and looked at my cornerman.
My cornerman was staring at my cut and yelling “Why are you stopping the fight?”, “What are you doing?” His comments were directed at the referee, but because he was staring at me, I was confused. That is why I became so angry, because I did not quit, and I thought that he was accusing me of quitting. We sorted things out afterwards. That’s something that bothers me a lot after Ken Shamrock said that I was not injured on that show when I had a serious injury. I still take a lot of heat for that son of a bitches ignorant comments.
- Paulo Filho and Thiago Silva have both joined Team Link.
- MMA News interviewed Brock Lesnar over the weekend who apparently already knows when and who he is fighting in his UFC debut.
- Sam Caplan is reporting that Shad Lierley has signed a deal with the IFL that will keep him in the promotion through 2008.
- 411 Mania makes note that Sean Salmon will serve as the injury replacement for the fighters competing in Strikeforce’s middleweight tournament in November.
News and Notes
- The Nevada State Atheletic Commission has overturned Donald Cerrone’s Sept. 5 victory over Kenneth Alexander after he tested positive for Hydrochlorothiazide.
- In a sit down with Yahoo! Sports, former PRIDE middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva discussed a variety of subjects including steroids, Chuck Liddell, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and more.
Actually, they do test in Japan. I was tested before and after my fights in Japan. But if you are thinking of Mirko (Cro Cop) and Shogun as examples, Mirko may have lost because he has so many other things going on in his life, such as his duty in government, and his business. Shogun went through a lot of changes before he fought in the UFC. He changed his home, he changed his training, and he changed fighting organizations. I don’t know why they lost their fights in the UFC; only Shogun and Mirko understand the reasons why they lost.
- Sticking with Yahoo! Sports, Kevin Iole posted a mailbag article yesterday and in it he stated that non-UFC sources say that the contract Randy Couture signed before fighting Tim Sylvia was for four fights paying between $13-15 million.
Non-UFC sources say that the contract Couture negotiated and signed before his comeback fight against Tim Sylvia in March is for four fights and between $13 million and $15 million, which puts him behind only Chuck Liddell, at four fights and $17 million, in the UFC salary pecking order. Those numbers are believed to include percentages of pay-per-view money.
- In a recent interview with MMAWeekly, Chris Lytle spoke about his upcoming fight with Thiago Alves and also provided his thoughts on being labeled a “utility fighter”.
“(The UFC has) told me this, ‘Chris, we can call you at any time and you’re going to be in shape and we can put you in with anybody.’ It’s not like, no, this guy’s too tough for Chris,” said the Indiana native.
“At the same time, they’re trying to utilize me not towards my best interests at times. It’s probably not a good label, but if I had less skill, I wouldn’t have it. It really speaks to the level of my ability to fight.”
Sports Illustrated: Q & A with Chris Horodecki
MMAWeekly: Alan Belcher Version 2.0
The Fight Network: Familiar Territory
UFC: Patience is no virtue for Jason MacDonald
UFC: Words of Wisdom with Brandon Vera
Sherdog: Behind the Curtain: Zuffa’s Finances Come Into Focus
A lot of news to report so I’ve decided to throw up a Sunday edition of CKA…
News and Notes
- Pancrase has been forced to cancel it’s championship main event for this morning’s 2007 Rising Tour show after former heavyweight King of Pancrase Kestutis “Tiger” Arbocius pulled a no-show. His scheduled opponent, current Heavyweight King of Pancrase Assuerio Silva, has been removed from the card and will defend his title at a later date.
Officials from Sherdog have stated that varying reports reveal that no one really knows where Arbocius is right now:
Initial reports from Japanese media, which attributed information to Arbocius’ management, suggested that the 32-year-old Lithuanian* may have had difficulty with local police.
A Pancrase official disputed that report, telling Sherdog.com via e-mail, “Nobody knows where he is, even his manager. Pancrase is trying to keep in touch with him.”
Yuki Kondo’s bout against Yuji Sakuragi will now serve as the main event for the show.
- Shooto has announced five more bouts for it’s Back to our Roots 6 card, set for November 8th at Yoyogi National Stadium Second Gymnasium in Tokyo:
Shinichi Kojima vs Eduardo Dantas
Megumi Fujii vs Kyoko Takabayashi
Rambaa Somdet vs Masaaki Sugawara
Masashi Yozen vs Leandro Silva
Hayate Usui vs Shintaro Ishiwatari
- In a recent interview with ADCC News, Jake Shields stated that he is closer to signing with the UFC than EliteXC right now:
“I want to go out there and fight the best. I’m really looking at UFC over Elite because that is where a lot of top guys are. In the next few weeks I’ll probably make my decision on where I’m going to be signing. I’m sure we’re going to talk to them in the next week before we sign anything with Elite. I’m ready to get in there with the top guys. With the Rumble on the Rock tournament and EliteXC and my last four or five fights have been top come and have been fast, easy fights. I think it definitely shows I belong there.”
- The Edmonton Sun is reporting that Hardcore Championship Fighting is currently in contract talks with Vitor Belfort, Ricardo Arona, and John Alessio:
The Canadian fight club has been on a big-name signing binge of late.
Pride’s Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, former UFC veterans Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral and Joe Riggs have signed on. Negotiations are ongoing with former UFC heavyweight champ Vitor Belfort, Pride vet Ricardo Arona and Canadian John Alessio.
“We are the only Canadian promotion that is bringing in huge international names,” says Crawford. “We remain committed to promoting local talent, but I believe Canadians are educated in the sport and want to see the world’s best.”
- American Top Team has announced that Seth Petruzelli has joined the ranks of the Florida-based training team:
Seth has been involved in the MMA scene for awhile and decided to join ATT to help further his career while preparing and train for his fights. When not preparing for his fights at the Main academy in Coconut Creek, FL. Seth will continue teaching at ATT Orlando along with Paul Rodriguez.
Look for Seth to be back in action Oct. 27th at Knight Fights in Orlando, Florida.
- Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer is reporting that Strikeforce will hold a four-man middleweight tournament at their next event on November 16th:
Strikeforce announced the first one-night tournament ever in California, which will be a four-man middleweight tournament featuring Joe Riggs and Falaniko Vitale on 11/16 in San Jose at the HP Pavilion. Promoter Scott Coker said it was be streamed live on Yahoo! like the Playboy Mansion show was. Cung Le will be in the non-tourament main event.
Sherdog.com is reporting that WEC middleweight champion Paulo Filho has joined Team Link.
Paulo Filho was originally a member of Brazilian Top Team training with the likes of the Nogueira brothers, Murilo Bustamante, Mario Sperry, and Roan Carneiro. Filho is now joining UFC heavyweight contender Gabriel Gonzaga at Team Link in Ludlow, Mass.
“Now I am part of the team of my friend Marco Alvan, which is also where Gabriel ‘Napão’ trains,” Filho said. “I was there to give seminars and liked the structure a lot. I felt a great affinity with them … and now I am Team Link. I fight for Team Link from now on.”
“The trainers are extremely good,” he said. “The athletes there are cardio machines. The academy is giant, has boxing bags, has an Octagon, has a ring and has everything there. And the city is very calm, is very good for training because it does not have anything distracting. A lot of green, some very clean lakes and even a hydroponic market—those foods without agrotoxics. It’s a very good city for an athlete to live.”
According to the article, Filho’s next WEC appearance will come Dec. 12 in a non-title bout against a to-be-named opponent.
Jay Hieron works some ground and pound on San Jose Razorclaws' welterweight Donnie Liles at the IFL's event in Los Angeles in March 2007. Provided by IFL. Getty Images.
After close to three years of bouncing from promotion to promotion, Jay Hieron has finally found a home in the IFL, where he has fought six times thus far as a member of the Los Angeles Anacondas.
In those six fights, Hieron quickly established himself as one of the top welterweights in the league. His success earned him a bid in the IFL’s inaugural Grand Prix, pitting four fighters from each weight class against each other in an elimination style tournament, in hopes of crowning a champion.
Hieron sees the Grand Prix as a chance to not only showcase his skills but to prove that he is indeed the best fighter at 170 lbs the IFL has to offer. With the help of those at Xtreme Couture and his former coach Shawn Tompkins, Hieron is set to make the most of the opportunity.
Sam Caplan is reporting that Jake Shields will be part of EliteXC’s next event on November 10th. His opponent has not yet been named but apparently may come out of Xtreme Couture:
After proposed bouts against Frank Trigg and Antonio McKee fell through for an Oct. 20 card promoted by “Brawl for it All” at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, FiveOuncesOfPain.com has learned that Jake Shields’ next fight will be for EliteXC on November 10.
According to his trainer, Cesar Gracie, Shields has signed a bout agreement to fight on EliteXC’s next card against an opponent that has yet to be confirmed. However, Gracie did indicate that Shields’ opponent could end up being someone that is already on the EliteXC roster and currently trains out of Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas.
My guess would be Mike Pyle, who is currently under contract with EliteXC and is one of the few welterweights currently training at Xtreme Couture’s Las Vegas location.
Forrest Griffin wishes you a good morning.
News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated…
- Luke Thomas of Bloody Elbow is reporting that the The Ultimate Fighter 7 will focus solely on the middleweight division:
UFC matchmaker Joe Silva made an appearance at the Combat Sports Challenge in Richmond, VA this past weekend where he announced to the crowd that the next season of The Ultimate Fighter will focus exclusively on the middleweight class. No further details are available at this time. However, if ultimately true, this would be a boon to a comparatively weak division. Stay tuned.
- Fight Opinion via MMA Movement is reporting that renowned grappler Rondalo “Jacare” Souza has announced that he has signed with the UFC.
Souza’s manager, Andre Cabral, apparently made the announcement at a recent Amazon Challenge event and was then later interviewed by a Brazilian news station.
Souza currently sports a professional MMA record of 5-1. He is a veteran of Jungle Fight, fighting in that promotion on four separate occasions. His lone loss came at the hands of Jorge Patino in 2003.
- Rafael Cordeiro of Chute Boxe has stated that Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos will fight at the next K-1 Hero’s event in October and then at Cage Rage 24 in December.
- MMA Junkie is reporting that Renato “Babalu” Sobral has signed Ken Pavia as his new agent:
Renato “Babalu” Sobral, who recently signed with Strikeforce after the UFC terminated his contract, has become the latest client of Ken Pavia’s MMA Agents sports agency.
Pavia told MMA Junkie of the signing late last night.
Other fighters that Pavia has recently added to his stable also include Cyrille Diabate, James Thompson, Carmelo Marerro, Todd Moore, and Carlo Prater according to the post.
- Fightlinker is passing along it’s own insider information concerning Tito Ortiz and his potential opponent at UFC 78:
I guess we’re at that size now where we start getting tips on stuff. On Saturday night, Tito Ortiz was at the Little Creek Casino in Shelton, WA. and got on the mic to say “Blah blah blah blah, my next fight will be against Wanderlei Silva or Rashad Evans”
Sherdog: PRIDE and Prejudice
MMA Weekly: Marines and Sailors use MMA as part of Training
Bloody Elbow: Rankings Roundup: Heavyweight
Five Ounces of Pain: Frank Shamrock to be sued?
FOX Sports: UFC’s light heavyweights carry the sport
Fight Opinion: A Look Behind the Curtain: Zuffa’s Finances Come Into Focus
Yahoo! Sports: Strikeforce proves it isn’t an all-UFC world
411 Mania: Punch Drunk Hangover