Kenny Florian throws a knee at Joe Lauzon. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The ‘Battle of Boston’ went in Kenny Florian’s favor last night as he relentlessly pressured fellow Massachusetts native Joe Lauzon before ultimately stopping his foe with an onslaught of unanswered strikes during the latest edition of UFC Fight Night at the at the Broomfield Events Center in Denver, Colorado.
What originally was booked as a friendly matchup between two lightweight contenders slowly evolved into a heated exchange of pre-fight trash talking. The tension between the two was evident from the start of the fight as an intense staredown changed into a quick exchange of punches.
Lauzon quickly down Florian down in the first minute. An unorthodox attempt by Florian to use elbows from the bottom was foiled by referee Herb Dean after one of the blows cut the back of Lauzon’s head open. Florian then used solid submission defense to escape knee bar and heel hook attempts before eventually closing out the round delivering strikes from the top position.
Florian turned up the heat at the start of the second round. A swift body kick led to Florian scoring a takedown and transitioning to half-guard. The veteran of the inaugural season of “The Ultimate Fighter” then rained down unanswered punches and elbows on Lauzon for nearly two full minutes. Despite a good job of covering up and limiting damage, Dean decided that Lauzon had enough, moving Florian even closer to another shot at the lightweight title that was once in his reach.
“Joe’s a great competitor and I knew it was gonna be a tough fight,” Florian said after the bout. “That’s what I wanted.”
Eddie Alvarez has his hand raised after winning a unanimous decision over Matt Lee in July 2007. Photo by David Singer.
A lot of news coming to our attention late today…
Alvarez-Aina Possible at EliteXC April Show
Former BodogFight welterweight champion Eddie Alvarez is currently in negotiations to take on EliteXC lightweight Mike Aina at an unannounced show in April according to a report by The Fight Network, who confirmed the contract talks yesterday with Alvarez.
Alvarez is coming off of an impressive knockout of Ross Ebanez at the fourth edition of ShoXC’s Elite Challenger Series. The Philadelphia native signed a three-fight deal with EliteXC earlier this month. Aina has not fought since losing a razor close decision to Nick Diaz in September.
Liddell-Rua Signed for June
A rumored bout between former champions Chuck Liddell and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is now official according to Sherdog, who confirmed the bout with Rua himself earlier today:
“The fight against Liddell is confirmed,” Rua said. “I signed the contract yesterday. Now I am going to train hard, focused on him, to represent my new team, Universidade da Luta, and my country. The fight is going to be in June.”
This could be an interesting fight and a possible great matchup for Liddell. Just like Wanderlei Silva, Rua loves to push the envelope and come right at his opponent, which is a dream come true for a counter-puncher like Liddell.
In order to win this one, “Shogun” will have to find a way to counter Liddell’s wrestling with a ground attack that will keep Liddell off-balance during scrambles. Should be a fun chess match to watch if it does actually go down.
Edgar-Maynard Set for UFC Fight Night 13
Lightweights Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard are set to clash at UFC Fight Night 13 in April according to Five Ounces of Pain.
We reported earlier this week through Five Ounces that Edgar was offered a bout against former PRIDE lightweight champ Takanori Gomi by the UFC, only to have the plans fall through after the promotion was unable to sign Gomi to an official contract.
Maynard was victorious last week, winning a decision over Dennis Siver at UFC Fight Night 12.
Bisping-McCarthy Moved to UFC 83 in Canada
A planned bout between former Ultimate Fighter winner Michael Bisping and American Top Team’s Charles McCarthy has been moved from a tentative U.K. show in March to the UFC’s debut show in Canada on April 19th.
Our partner site Rogers Sportsnet interviewed Bisping earlier this week, who confirmed the move with the network.
While we all know what Bisping has been up to these days (he’s moving down to 185 lbs), McCarthy has not fought in the UFC since submitting Gideon Ray with an armbar at The Ultimate Fighter 4 Finale last year. McCarthy was stopped in his debut by David Loiseau at UFC 53: Heavy Hitters in June 2005.
PFC Announces Five Fights for March
The Palace Fighting Championship has officially announced it’s next event for March 20th at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, California.
PFC 7 will feature a pair of flyweight bouts: Luis Gonzalez will be back in action taking on David Mitchell while newcomers Ulysses Gomez and Greg McDowell will compete for the first time professionally.
Additional bouts include former UFC middleweight Justin Levens taking on Phil Collins, Darren Crisp challenging Danny Castillo, and PFC light heavyweight champion Jeremy Freitag defending his title against top contender Anthony Rubalcalva.
Art of War Acquires IFO-Steele Cage Assets
SUN Sports, the parent company of Texas-based Art of War has announced that it has acquired the assets of the recently defunct International Fighting Organization, which was run in conjunction with Steele Cage Promotions.
“We are delighted to be able to acquire the assets of the International Fighting Organization,” said SUN Sports CEO C.J. Comu stated earlier today in a press release sent out to the media. “We are also delighted to be able to acquire all the raw footage and finished broadcast production of the IFO events promoted by Steele Cage Promotions, which we plan on distributing globally. We feel that the film inventory will be a great compliment to the Art of War film inventory which will provide more available product to networks and distributors world-wide.”
Takanori Gomi celebrates after his win over Mitsuhiro Ishida at PRIDE Shockwave 2006. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
At least it’s good to know that the UFC might really be trying to sign Takanori Gomi…
Sam Caplan of Five Ounces of Pain is reporting that a potential deal between the Ultimate Fighting Championship and former PRIDE lightweight champion Takanori Gomi has fallen apart according to sources close to UFC lightweight contender Frankie Edgar.
Apparently Edgar was offered a fight against Gomi and accepted the bout only to have the plans fall through after the UFC was unable to sign Gomi to an official contract.
Caplan also says that there is currently no indication as to why the deal fell apart or if the two sides will be returning to the bargaining table in the near future.
We also reported earlier this month that World Victory Road President Naoya Kinoshita has stated publicly that he is currently in discussions with Gomi’s management team to bring “The Fireball Kid” to the brand new promotion this year.
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.
Tonight we will be going live at 8 PM EST, covering UFC 78: Validation with one of our patented live blogs. Be sure to leave some comments throughout the day and night…
While you are waiting for the event to start, feel free to check out our coverage of the event which includes predictions, weigh-in results, and much more:
UFC 78: Validation Weigh-In Results
Tap Selections: UFC 78
Goldberg and Rogan Preview UFC 78
Herman Wants Revenge Against Doerksen
Bisping and Evans Ready to Battle at UFC 78
Alexander Plans to be Quick and Exciting
UFC 78 Conference Call Notes
Terrell Replaced by Doerksen at UFC 78
Parisyan-Chonan; Alves-Lytle Now Set for UFC 78
Lombard Unable to Compete at UFC 78
Aurelio-Caudillo Agree to Terms
UFC Announces Bisping-Evans, Alexander-Silva
Rashad Evans vs Michael Bisping
Houston Alexander vs Thiago Silva
Karo Parisyan vs Ryo Chonan
Spencer Fisher vs Frankie Edgar
Joe Doerksen vs Ed Herman
Chris Lytle vs Thiago Alves
Joe Lauzon vs Jason Reinhardt
Marcus Aurelio vs Luke Caudillo
Akihiro Gono vs Tamdan McCrory
Here are the official weigh-in results for UFC 78: Validation which is set to take place tomorrow night at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. All 18 fighters scheduled to compete successfully made weight.
Rashad Evans (206 lbs) vs Michael Bisping (205 lbs)
Houston Alexander (203 lbs) vs Thiago Silva (204 lbs)
Karo Parisyan (170 lbs) vs Ryo Chonan (169.5 lbs)
Spencer Fisher (154.5 lbs) vs Frankie Edgar (154 lbs)
Joe Doerksen (185.5 lbs) vs Ed Herman (186 lbs)
Chris Lytle (170.5 lbs) vs Thiago Alves (171 lbs)
Joe Lauzon (155 lbs) vs Jason Reinhardt (155 lbs)
Marcus Aurelio (156 lbs) vs Luke Caudillo (155.5lbs)
Akihiro Gono (169 lbs) vs Tamdan McCrory (170 lbs)
Joe Stevenson may very well be taking on B.J. Penn for the UFC Lightweight Title if current champion Sean Sherk’s October 31st appeal isn’t heard in a positive way according to The Fight Network:
The one-year suspension of champion Sean Sherk for alleged steroid use following his July 7 title defense to Hermes Franca at UFC 73 in Sacramento, Calif., has stalled plans to have the Minnesotan wrestler face number-one contender B.J. Penn at Nov. 17’s UFC 78 in Newark, N.J.
And while it appeared that Penn has been patiently awaiting a new opponent for Nov. in the interim, the popular Hawaiian’s camp has confirmed their leader is now preparing for a Dec. 29 match-up at UFC 79 in Las Vegas, Nev. Sherk faces the California State Athletic Commission on Oct. 31 to appeal his case, but if he cannot shake the suspension and is stripped of his title by Zuffa LLC, Penn (11-4-1) could face UFC 74 standout Joe Stevenson (28-7).
“I was told I was definitely fighting in December or January,” said Stevenson Thursday. “I think there’s a strong possibility I’ll face B.J. Penn.”
So it seems that the UFC has a backup plan already set just in case Sherk’s positive test isn’t overturned. However, what happens if Sherk is permitted to remain champion? It’s obvious that Penn is the number one contender and would take on Sherk. So what about Stevenson? With Guida-Huerta and Fisher-Edgar already unofficially locked up, Kenny Florian may be the only other option for a Stevenson opponent.
Nos from The Iowa MMA Report is reporting that Spencer Fisher will be taking on undefeated lightweight Frankie Edgar at UFC 78 in November.
The Iowa MMA Report has confirmed that Spencer Fisher will be returning to the Octagon in November to fight Frankie Edgar at UFC 78.
Fisher confirmed the bout after reports that he made a MySpace post saying that he would be fighting in November.
So Fisher goes from a bout with Din Thomas that could earn him a potential title shot in the near future to having to face Edgar. It just goes to show what happens when you suffer an injury at a bad time. At least the UFC is clearing up the lightweight title picture some more by matching the two up.
Update 12:15 PM: MMA on Tap has learned that this bout has only been offered to Fisher and that he has not signed an official contract. We will certainly keep you updated on any new developments involving this story.
News and Notes:
- Our rumors section has been updated…
- Cage Rage has announced three scheduled bouts for it’s upcoming Cage Rage 23: Unbelievable show on September 22. James Zikic will defend his Cage Rage Light Heavyweight Championship against Vitor Belfort. Mark Weir will take on Paul Daley and Joe Mac and Jeremy Bailey will finally go at it.
- The IFL’s Los Angeles Anacondas have announced that former UFC Heavyweight Champion Kevin Randleman has been named the team’s official wrestling coach. Anaconda’s head coach Shawn Tompkins has said that Randleman is also currently training with the team in hopes of making a comeback to active competition:
“Kevin Randleman might be making a return to the cage or ring,” says Tompkins. “I like training Kevin. He’s open-minded and we’re exchanging a lot of knowledge.”
- The following fighters have tested negative for drugs of abuse and banned substances following the post-fight tests done after UFC 73 by the CSAC: Mark Bocek, Chris Lytle, Frankie Edgar, Jason Gilliam, Diego Saraiva, Jorge Gurgel, Stephan Bonnar, and Mike Nickels. More test results will be released later this week.
The California State Athletic Commission has released the list of fighter suspensions stemming from the results of UFC 73:
Nate Marquardt - Medically suspended for 60 days with no contact due to TKO and lacerations around both eyes. Can be cleared to return earlier after being examined by a doctor.
Tito Ortiz - Medically suspended for 60 days with no contact due to right eye damage and lower back pain. Can be cleared to return earlier after being examined by a doctor.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira - Medically suspended for 45 days with no contact permitted.
Heath Herring - Medically suspended for 60 days with no contact due to left cheek damage and lacerations around the eye and nose. Can be cleared to return earlier after being examined by a doctor.
Jorge Gurgel - Medically suspended indefinitely with no contact due to facial fracture.
Frankie Edgar - Medically suspended for 180 days with no contact due to nose fracture.
Jason Gilliam - Medically suspended for 180 days with no contact due to radial collateral ligament damage.
Mark Bocek - Medically suspended for 60 days with no contact due to TKO and facial laceration. Can be cleared to return earlier after being examined by a doctor.
Alvin Robinson - Medically suspended for 45 days with no contact due to TKO.