Two of the best ever in their respective sports right there peoples.
News and Notes
- Our rumors page has been updated.
- HDNet has announced that Yarennoka! will be airing live from Japan at 6:00 AM EST on HDNet on New Year’s Eve. Additional re-broadcasts of the event will take place on the same day at 3:00 PM EST, January 4th at 10:30 PM EST, and January 5th at 3:00 AM EST and 3:00 PM EST.
- The Fight Network is reporting that Jesse Veium will replace an injured Cyrille Diabate against Travis Wiuff at IFO: Fireworks in the Cage IV on December 28th.
Diabate was forced to pull out of his bout against Wiuff after suffering a broken ankle during training.
- Justin McCully has apparently missed the deadline to accept a fight against Cheick Kongo at UFC 82 in February according to Brian Knapp of The Fight Network.
We reported yesterday that McCully had been offered a fight against Kongo but had not yet made a decision.
According to Knapp, McCully can still have the fight but only if he accepts before the UFC finds a replacement opponent for Kongo.
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That may be the case. According to Matt Hughes’ personal website, that is exactly what is happening.
I’m going to fight Georges St. Pierre on December 29th. I’ve got a couple reasons why I’ve made this decision and I will share those at a later time. I’ve asked for this to be for an interim title and if Matt Serra can’t fight in a year, then this would just be the title fight; but I don’t know if that is going to happen right now. I will keep you all posted.
EDIT: This WILL BE for the interim title, so it will be a 5-round fight. -Matt
As John wrote earlier, this is the replacement fight that makes the most sense. The biggest question is whether GSP is prepared to take the fight on 5 weeks notice. The thoughts postulated across the web are that GSP had been training with Rashad Evans in preparation for Evans’ UFC 78 fight. Thus he’s physically prepared, its just the gameplanning that needs to be taken care of.
Of course, this is still up in the air until we get confirmation from either GSP himself or the UFC. Stay tuned…
Update 10:05 PM: The UFC has confirmed the fight on it’s official website. - John
This thing is a mess…
Well as I’m sure everyone already knows, UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Serra has been forced to pull out of his scheduled title defense against Matt Hughes at UFC 79 next month after suffering a pair of herniated discs in his lower back.
So what happens now?
Well one thing we know for certain - Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva are going to headline UFC 79.
Dave Meltzer of Yahoo! Sports leaked some information about what UFC officials are considering in terms of possibly finding Hughes another opponent:
According to a UFC official, if Serra is out for a long period of time and Hughes agrees to fight on Dec. 29, the two most likely candidates for an opponent would be Jon Fitch or Thiago Alves.
Fitch I can agree with, Alves I can not. In fact I think that Hughes and Fitch would be a great matchup. However we can throw it out the window according to MMA Mania because not only can Fitch not make it to the event, he won’t even be in his country:
MMA Mania can confirm that Fitch is not available to fight that weekend. In fact, he told us today, “I’m not even going to be in the country. I’ll be in Vietnam tending to some personal matters.”
Hughes will most likely only be fighting next month if Serra is going to be out of action for a long period of time. So if Serra is going to miss more than a couple months, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the UFC bust out the infamous interim title. But if Serra is only going to be out until February or March, Hughes would be wasting his time in taking a fight next month.
Alves should not be getting a shot at any kind of title in my opinion, not yet. He’s lost to Fitch and Spencer Fisher and needs to at least defeat a top 5-6 welterweight in the UFC before he gets a chance at the big dogs. The same goes for Marcus Davis in my opinion.
Josh Koscheck is coming off of a loss so that’s not going to happen. Diego Sanchez is coming off of two losses and probably won’t be fighting at 170 lbs for much longer. Karo Parisyan may have missed yet another title opportunity due to injury once again after revealing that he fought Ryo Chonan with a broken left hand last weekend.
So who does that leave? How about Georges St. Pierre?
If St. Pierre isn’t being considered to replace Serra, he’s going to be waiting a hell of a long time for a title shot, quite possibly almost an entire year. I think the idea of an interim title would be enough to get St. Pierre to agree to the fight on short notice. That and if he’s been active in the gym and not just sitting around waiting until a couple months before his next fight to get back into shape.
On top of that, it would finally settle the series between Hughes and St. Pierre. It would also make the welterweight title picture a lot more clearer. The winner of Hughes-St. Pierre would fight Serra in the spring if he is able to come back. If Parisyan and Fitch are matched up in March as rumored, that creates yet another number one contender.
The UFC will probably have a better idea on what have to decide after Serra meets with doctors this weekend. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens.
I always knew that The Garv’s hands were deadly...
News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated.
- Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar will most “The Tuffest 25 Moments of The Ultimate Fighter” tonight at 8 PM EST on Spike TV. It will be a two-hour long special highlighting the most memorable, drama-filled, and controversial moments that have taken place during the six seasons of the reality show.
- An episode of UFC Unleashed will air at 7 PM EST on Spike TV, just before the TUF special. Three fights will be shown: Chuck Liddell vs Renato Sobral from UFC 62, Matt Hughes vs Georges St. Pierre from UFC 65, and Andrei Arlovski vs Tim Sylvia from UFC 51.
- Tickets for the first round of the IFL Grand Prix in Chicago apparently only cost $12:
In an attempt to actually fill a venue, it looks like the IFL is offering tickets to its World Grand Prix on November 3rd in Chicago for only $12. The semi-finals, held in Florida, supposedly pulled in over 7,000 attendees, but those numbers (from the IFL) can lie and it’s hard to believe they are selling these tickets if they are so cheap. But tt’s a great deal if you live in the area and there should be some exciting matchups on the card.
- MMA News is claiming that the UFC was advertising Chuck Liddell vs Wanderlei Silva on the front of the site yesterday and then removed the text later on.
- UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva has told Sherdog that he would love to fight Matt Hughes:
Prior to that loss, Hughes speculated on retiring with both the welterweight and middleweight titles. If he can get past Matt Serra (Pictures) in December, he would be primed for a middleweight showdown with Silva.
“I would love to fight Matt Hughes (Pictures) if the UFC asked me to,” the Brazilian said. “He is a great fighter, and those are the people I want to fight.”
When pressed for a breakdown of a proposed match with the former welterweight champion, Silva demurred. “I am not going to comment on that,” he said, “other than saying it would be a great fight.”
UFC President Dana White has stated that the UFC is planning on holding their January event at the Bell Centre in Montreal according to R.J. Broadhead and Rogers Sportsnet.
The most interesting thing to come out of the interview between White and Broadhead was that Montreal native Georges St. Pierre most likely wouldn’t be on the card. With St. Pierre set to get a title shot against of the Matt Serra-Matt Hughes title bout taking place in December, St. Pierre will most likely have to wait until at least the early spring before either Hughes or Serra would be ready to fight.
However White did say that the UFC was also planning on holding an event later next year with St. Pierre in the main event:
“We’re planning to come to Canada a lot,” said White.
I’m surprised that White was able to find an empty weekend at the Bell Centre, especially in January. Hopefully everything works out and we see the UFC heading north early next year.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission has announced that all ten fighters tested for performance enhancing drugs after UFC 74 passed with flying colors. The results of the tests for drugs of abuse will be released in the coming weeks.
The ten fighters that were tested: Patrick Cote, Randy Couture, Alberto Crane, Gabriel Gonzaga, Kendall Grove, Antoni Hardonk, Roger Huerta, Josh Koscheck, Frank Mir, and Georges St. Pierre.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission has announced the official fighter salaries from UFC 74.
Half of Renato Sobral’s total purse has withheld by the NSAC pending an investigation and review of his extended submission held on opponent David Heath after Heath had already tapped out and referee Steve Mazzagatti ended the fight.
Randy Couture: $250,000
Georges St. Pierre: $140,000
Frank Mir: $66,000
Renato Sobral: $50,000
Gabriel Gonzaga: $45,000
Roger Huerta: $34,000
Joe Stevenson: $32,000
Marcus Aurelio: $30,000
Patrick Cote: $24,000
Thales Leites: $18,000
Clay Guida: $14,000
Kendall Grove: $12,000
Josh Koscheck: $10,000
Antoni Hardonk: $8,000
Kurt Pellegrino: $8,000
David Heath: $6,000
Ryan Jensen: $4,000
Alberto Crane: $4,000
Total Payroll: $755,000
So once again, the UFC is attempting to go north of the border and put on an event in Canada.
Previous tries to book a show at the Bell Centre in April and November both failed earlier this year because of scheduling conflicts with the NHL. Yet UFC President Dana White is content to try again, quite possibly being fuled by Georges St. Pierre’s post-fight remark Saturday night, letting White know that an event in his hometown of Montreal would drive the fans crazy.
White made his intent to try again known at the post-fight press conference for UFC 74. There he stated that he would like to try and book an event in Montreal as early as February or March. He also said that the show would feature Georges St. Pierre challenging the winner of a December bout between Matt Hughes and Matt Serra for the UFC Welterweight Title.
Loretta Hunt of The Fight Network has mentioned a pretty good alternative solution for White’s Montreal arena troubles - the Colisée Pepsi, the former home of the now-defunct Quebec Nordiques:
An alternate location could be the Colisée Pepsi in Quebec City. The arena hosted the province’s other NHL team, the Quebec Nordiques, up until 1995 until they moved to Colorado. Colisée holds 15,750 spectators, not including floor seating. A popular concert location, the venue now plays host to some junior and senior hockey teams that have yet to finalize their home schedule, leaving a window of opportunity for White and company to lock in a date for 2008.
The capacity is certainly large enough to be a number that White is looking for and while it may not be the Bell Centre, it’s at least an opportunity to build a good foundation with the city of Quebec for future events.
Randy Couture did it again.
For the second time in as many fights, Couture shocked the world and defeated a challenger that was supposed to run him over. This is nothing new to Couture. He’s been an underdog for the majority of his career. However after two huge wins over two dominate heavyweights, can Couture be an underdog any longer?
Couture dominated challenger Gabriel Gonzaga over two rounds and an assault of strikes on the ground two minutes into the third forced referee Herb Dean to stop the fight, allowing Couture to retain his UFC Heavyweight Title. Gonzaga laid in the Octagon, bloodied and exhausted, in front of the 11,118 in attendance at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. It was a sight that many did not expect to see.
Gonzaga put himself on the map with a vicious knockout of Mirko Cro Cop this past April at UFC 70. A single headkick from Gonzaga left the supposed best striker in MMA unconscious on the mat. Couture said that he had developed the perfect strategy to beat Gonzaga during training. Gonzaga (8-2) stated that he found that Couture (16-8) had a fatal flaw in his game. It was Couture that ultimately won the chess match.
Clay Guida def. Marcus Aurelio - Split Decision
Thales Leites def. Ryan Jensen - Submission (Armbar)
Frank Mir def. Antoni Hardonk - Submission (Kimura)
Renato Sobral def. David Heath - Submission (Anaconda Choke)
Patrick Cote def. Kendall Grove - TKO (Strikes)
Joe Stevenson def. Kurt Pellegrino - Unanimous Decision
Roger Huerta def. Alberto Crane - TKO (Strikes)
Georges St. Pierre def. Josh Koscheck - Unanimous Decision
Randy Couture def. Gabriel Gonzaga - TKO (Strikes)