Forrest Griffin

Heath to Face Machida

The UFC has confirmed that David Heath will serve as Forrest Griffin’s replacement at UFC 70: Nations Collide.

As we reported yesterday, Forrest Griffin was forced to pull out of his fight due to a severe staph infection in his knee.

Forrest Griffin Off UFC 70 Card

The UFC has announced that Forrest Griffin has been forced to withdraw from his bout against Ryoto Machida due to a severe staph infection in his knee.

The UFC is currently searching for a replacement to face Machida on the UFC 70 card.

Werdum-Arlovski and Griffin-Machida added to UFC 70

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.

From The Mailbag: 2/1/07

Well I guess this would be the perfect opportunity to introduce you to our newest feature - From The Mailbag. Basically if you send in a question, we will try our best to answer it and post it on the site under this heading. Simple as that…

C Rizzle writes:

If Rampage gets through Eastman and I figure he will, do you see Dana matching him up with Liddell right away? (I see him getting 2 fights before a title bout) If not and you are going to give him another bout before the title fight, I could very well see Dana matching him up with Evans, and in light of Evans comments saying he would “knock Jackson out”, I think this could have some merit to it. Or do you see him fighting a Sobral, Jardine, etc. What are your thoughts?

Basically I think it’s all going to come down to what Dana White decides to do. The Light-Heavyweight division is absolutely stacked, we already know that. The problem is that there is no legitimate number one contender to Chuck Liddell’s belt.

Could Quinton Jackson get an immediate title shot if he beats Marvin Eastman? It’s very possible and only because there isn’t any other fighter that is a step ahead of the rest right now and would be a just challenger.

If Rashad Evans and Keith Jardine are forced to fight or else they are terminated from their UFC contracts, I think the two will fight. If not, another scenario Dana may be visualize is Tito Ortiz vs Keith Jardine and Quinton Jackson vs Rashad Evans. Another thing that may prevent this is the fact that Forrest and Tito are heavily rumored to be fighting at UFC 70.

Michael Bisping is still going to have two or three more fights before he is seriously considered just like the rest of The Ultimate Fighter alumni. Renato Sobral and Jason Lambert are scheduled to fight at UFC 68 so that takes them out of the picture for now…

But where does this leave Liddell? Is he going to have to go through another UFC 57-UFC 62 stretch where he doesn’t fight? Will Dana try to grab Wanderlei Silva again? There’s so many possible scenarios that could happen, it’s too early to really to gage what’s going to happen until some of these fights go down and future matchups are finalized.

Anyway there are my thoughts on the situation. Hope I answered your question well enough…

UFC 66 Medical Suspensions

The Nevada State Athletic Commission has released their official list of medical suspensions from UFC 66: Liddell vs. Ortiz II.

- Chuck Liddell is suspended until June 30th (or until receiving doctor’s approval) due to a knee and hand injury.
- Tito Ortiz is suspended until March 2nd.
- Forrest Griffin is suspended until January 31st.
- Marcio Cruz is suspended until January 31st.
- Eric Schafer is suspended until March 2nd due to a lip laceration.
- Tony De Souza is suspended until March 2nd.
- Rory Singer is suspended until June 30th (or until receiving doctor’s approval) due to a right elbow injury.
- Christian Wellisch is suspended until January 31st.
- Anthony Perosh is suspended until March 2nd.

UFC 66 Weigh-In Results

Here are the weigh-in results for UFC 66: Liddell vs. Ortiz II.

Chuck Liddell (205) vs. Tito Ortiz (205)
Forrest Griffin (205) vs. Keith Jardine (205)
Chris Leben (186) vs. Jason MacDonald (184)
Andrei Arlovski (236) vs. Marcio Cruz (236)
Michael Bisping (205) vs. Eric Schafer (205)
Thiago Alves (170) vs. Tony DeSouza (171)
Gabriel Gonzaga (244) vs. Carmelo Marrero (220)
Rory Singer (185) vs. Yushin Okami (284)
Anthony Perosh (236) vs. Christian Wellisch (235)

UFC 66 Media Roundup

Here’s a few links to fill you in on what sports writers around the country are saying about UFC 66: Liddell vs. Ortiz II…

Articles
LA Daily Times: UFC finds ultimate success
St.Petersburg Times: It’s not all fun and games
UFC: Chuck Liddell: the Last of the Mohicans
Globe and Mail: Liddell, Ortiz meet the media
UFC: Liddell lingers as the Last Piece in the Ortiz Puzzle
OC Register: UFC 66: Liddell vs. Ortiz preview
LA Times: Liddell confident he’ll beat Ortiz
LV Review Journal: Trainer on top with Liddell
UFC: Jardine Ready for A Blue Collar Battle on Saturday
ESPN: UFC 66 Makes ESPN’s Top 100 Sports Events for 2006
UFC: The MMA Resurrection of Jason MacDonald
UFC: Chris Leben – Revenge Now, Redemption Later
FOX: Does Ortiz Believe He Will Win? 

Video Interviews
Keith Jardine and Forrest Griffin
Carmelo Marrero and Gabriel Gonzaga
Jason MacDonald and Chris Leben
Thiago Alves and Tony DeSouza
Christian Wellisch and Anthony Perosh
Marcio Cruz and Andrei Arlovski
Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell
Eric Schafer and Michael Bisping
UFC 66 Press Conference - Ortiz and Liddell
UFC 66 Press Conference - Jardine, Griffin, Schafer, Bisping
Liddell vs. Ortiz II Predictions

Jardine-Griffin is Official

It has been announced that ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ season 1 champion Forrest Griffin will battle fellow TUF star Keith Jardine at UFC 66: Liddell vs Ortiz 2.

Griffin’s last fight came at UFC 62: Liddell vs. Sobral where fans saw Griffin earn a unanimous decision victory over Stephan Bonnar. Shortly after the fight it was revealed that Bonnar tested positive to an anabolic agent.

Keith Jardine is returning to action for the first time in nearly 5 months. Jardine was scheduled to face Mike Nickels at UFC 64: Unstoppable but the fight was cancelled hours before it was susposed to take place because Nickels injured his back. Jardine is coming off of a decision victory over Wilson Gouveia and his only UFC loss came to Stephan Bonnar.

What If Shamrock Wins?

What happens if Ken Shamrock actually beats Tito Ortiz tonight? The Light-Heavyweight division of the UFC goes into disarray, that’s what…

Just think about it for a minute. Ortiz and Chuck Liddell are slated to fight for the UFC Light-Heavyweight title in December - Tito has already shown the public the contract itself. If Shamrock beats Ortiz, there’s no reason for that fight to even take place. If it still went as scheduled, there would be a huge uproar, the likes of which we have never seen before.

I don’t think that Shamrock would automatically get a title shot, but then again who would take on Chuck in December. I would hate to see Liddell have to wait like Georges St. Pierre has had to.

A very possible scenario could be this - Rashad Evans will take on Renato Sobral at some point later this year. Forrest Griffin and Shamrock would quickly follow suit. That would leave Tito matching up with either Stephan Bonnar (if he is permitted to fight which I highly doubt) or Keith Jardine.

Actually any combination of that could become a reality…

What about Chuck? Well this would become the perfect opportunity to re-ignite talks about possible taking on one of Pride’s top light-heavys, Wanderlei Silva or someone else…

Matt Hill of MMA Weekly has written a very good piece about Ken’s possible chances as well…

What if Ortiz doesn’t beat Shamrock?

Tuesday, October 10, will be the trilogy that finally ends one of the longest running feuds in MMA today. If Ortiz wins, he proves that he is without a doubt the superior fighter. If Shamrock wins, he throws a wrench in the entire UFC light-heavyweight division. It seems like almost everyone is counting Shamrock out…except Shamrock.

“I’m supposed to get beat, so if I get beat I get beat; but what happens if I don’t get beat? They’re going to have to eat some crow,” said Shamrock.

Pride Talks The Real Deal, Liddell-Silva

Pride held yet another press conference yesterday discussing details about their upcoming US debut in October…

We already learned about the announcements of Josh Barnett-Pawel Nastula and Mark Hunt-Eric Esch yesterday. Dream Stage CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara stated that some more fights will be named later this week and the rest of the card will be revealed at the end of the month.

It’s interesting to note that because the event is taking place in Nevada, the rules will be similar to those that the UFC uses with a couple of changes. The fight will obviously take place in a ring rather than the UFC’s famed octagon. As it pertains to striking, there will be no elbows to the head permitted while on the ground. Kicking or kneeing of a downed opponent will be illegal as well despite that it is usually allowed in Pride events.

No shoes or Gi’s are allowed to be worn. The fights will be three five-minutes rounds instead of Pride’s usual one ten minute round followed by two five-minute rounds. The event will be four hours long and will be broadcast on PPV and the web.

Even more interesting then those announcements is the fact that Sakakibara was willing to talk about Silva-Liddell and the current status of the possible matchup. ..

“Speaking on behalf of Pride, we are ready anytime. Also, Wanderlei is ready. We just need the doctor’s confirmation regarding his injury from last week. We are still waiting for the UFC’s response. Mirko even said that if Wanderlei is not ready to fight in November, he would fight in his place. In some interviews, Mr. Dana White stated that this fight won’t happen. However, speaking from Pride’s side, we are ready.”

Hey, that’s not what Dana said!

I really don’t know which side to believe. I want to side with Dana and the UFC seeing how Pride has screwed over other promotions before by pulling crap like this whole saga. I wonder what he will have to say about this.

Even though Dana already said that Silva shouldn’t get a shot at Chuck Liddell because he was destroyed by Mirko Cro Cop, there is still room for things to happen. Dana’s right - Silva shouldn’t get Chuck after that massacre.

But if what Dana said at UFC 61 is true - They were supposed to have Wanderlei for three fights - Why don’t they have Wanderlei face someone else, like Babalu or Forrest for example. This way Tito can get his title shot and providing Chuck and Wanderlei both win, they can meet after that.

I’m such a genius…

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