Anderson Silva weighs-in for UFC 82: Pride of a Champion. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Anderson Silva passed his toughest test yet as champion with flying colors, submitting former Olympic wrestler Dan Henderson and successfully defending his UFC middleweight title for the third straight time, becoming the second undisputed champ in mixed martial arts history while doing it.
Even in defeat, Henderson perhaps gave the best performance against the champion to date. After an exchange on the feet to start the fight, Henderson was able to take Silva down and control him on the mat until the end of the round.
Although Silva did a good job of keeping a tight guard and preventing Henderson from doing any significant damage, the Team Quest co-founder used a number of hammer fists and the constant disruption of Silva’s breathing pattern to take the lead on the judge’s scorecards.
Silva heeded advice to crank up the pressure at the start of the second round, waving Henderson towards him and then stunning him with a mix of kicks, knees, and punches. A dazed Henderson swung wildly while trying to keep himself from falling over and then came up short in a takedown attempt.
Silva (21-4) capitalized by pouncing on his opponent. After softening him up with punches from inside his guard, Henderson (22-7) gave up his back and was forced to tap out via a rear naked choke moments later.
“My hat goes off to Anderson Silva,” Henderson said during a post-fight interview. “He was definitely the better fighter tonight. I controlled him well and beat him up a little bit in that first round and he came back ready to get after me in the second. He dazed me a little bit on the ground and then he got me in the choke.”
“I think I should have been more aggressive,” continued Henderson. “I didn’t fully execute my gameplan.”
Anderson Silva and Dan Henderson weigh-in for UFC 82: Pride of a Champion. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The official weigh-in results for tonight’s UFC 82: Pride of a Champion are below. All fighters successfully made weight.
UFC 82 features a main event, middleweight title unification bout between current UFC title holder Anderson Silva and PRIDE champion Dan Henderson.
The show will also include a heavyweight affair between Cheick Kongo and Heath Herring as well as the return of former champion Evan Tanner as he takes on Japanese sensation Yushin Okami.
Dan Henderson (184.5 lbs) vs Anderson Silva (185 lbs)
Heath Herring (248 lbs) vs Cheick Kongo (233.5 lbs)
Yushin Okami (184.5 lbs) vs Evan Tanner (185 lbs)
Chris Wilson (169.5 lbs) vs Jon Fitch (170 lbs)
Alessio Sakara (185 lbs) vs Chris Leben (185 lbs)
Jake O’Brien (231.5 lbs) vs Andrei Arlovski (241 lbs)
Luigi Fioravanti (170.5 lbs) vs Luke Cummo (170 lbs)
Dustin Hazelett (170 lbs) vs Josh Koscheck (169.5 lbs)
David Bielkheden (170 lbs) vs Diego Sanchez (169.5 lbs)
John Halverson (155 lbs) vs Jorge Gurgel (154.5 lbs)
Video of the weigh-ins are after the jump, courtesy of ESPN:
Here’s a little preview breaking down tomorrow night’s UFC 82: Pride of a Champion, fight-by-fight, including detailed predictions along the way.
UFC 82 features a main event, middleweight title unification bout between current UFC title holder Anderson Silva and PRIDE champion Dan Henderson.
The show, which will take place at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, will also include a heavyweight affair between Cheick Kongo and Heath Herring as well as the return of former champion Evan Tanner as he takes on Japanese sensation Yushin Okami.
A total of ten fights round out the card.
UFC heavyweight title contender Cheick Kongo discusses his upcoming fight against Heath Herring at this weekend’s UFC 82: Pride of a Champion as well as his hopes of eventually getting a chance at becoming heavyweight champion with ESPN.
Former PRIDE veteran Heath Herring discusses his loss to current interim UFC heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira last summer and his upcoming fight against fellow contender Cheick Kongo this weekend at UFC 82: Pride of a Champion, which will take place at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio with ESPN.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship earlier today announced the complete card for it’s upcoming UFC 82: Pride of a Champion event, which will take place on March 1st at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
The event is headlined by a middleweight title unification bout between current UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and PRIDE middleweight champion Dan Henderson. Previously announced main card bouts include a heavyweight affair between Cheick Kongo and Heath Herring as well as the return of former champion Evan Tanner as he takes on Japanese sensation Yushin Okami.
The two other televised bouts that were officially announced this morning involved former Ultimate Fighter winner Diego Sanchez challenging newcomer David Bielkheden and Jon Fitch, who remains undefeated inside the confines of the UFC going up against Team Quest’s Chris Wilson.
Luigi Fioravanti and Luke Cummo will both return to action in a welterweight bout together. Ohio natives Dustin Hazelett and Jorge Gurgel will both be in action at the event. Gurgel will face off against fellow lightweight John Halverson and Hazelett will take on powerhouse wrestler Josh Koscheck, who will be fighting in a preliminary bout after two consecutive lackluster performances.
The most high-profile preliminary bout includes an undefeated Jake O’Brien attempting to pass the biggest test of his career against former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski. This will mark the first time in over five years that Arlovski has not been promoted as part of the main card of an event, further confirming the notion that he has decided to not re-sign with the company.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that a rumored bout between Chris Leben and Alessio Sakara was not annnounced as being part of the card.
A good amount of news to report on…
NSAC Announces Tougher Drug Testing
The Nevada State Athletic Commission has announced that it has instituted expanded drug testing for state licensed fighters and those applying for new licenses as well.
The commission will now test fighters randomly throughout the year in hopes of lowering the number of positive tests.
“Random testing throughout the year will further deter any fighters considering taking non-approved substances,” NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer told MMA Weekly. “The additional testing, which will be paid for by the Commission, will help us keep the sport of unarmed combat safe and fair for all fighters.”
Fighters who have tested positive for a certain substance in the past or are under suspicion of doing so may also be tested under the new regulations.
Tanner-Okami Set for UFC 82, Not Montreal Show
The UFC officially announced three additional fights earlier today for UFC 82: Pride of a Champion on March 1st at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
Heavyweights Heath Herring and Cheick Kongo will collide on the main card while Josh Koscheck and Dustin Hazelett will be featured on an undercard bout.
Evan Tanner’s return bout against Yushin Okami was also announced. UFC color commentator Joe Rogan apparently told members of the media that the fight would be taking place at the UFC’s Canada show in April but that obviously isn’t the case now.
New UFC Additions and TUF Rumored Participants
Also, today marks the first day we have come across some TUF 7 rumored fighters. MMA Junkie has learned that Luke Zachrich will be on the show while Five Ounces of Pain is reporting that Mike Marrello will be on the show as well.
TKO 32: Ultimatum Update
TKO Championship Fighting has made some updates to the official card for TKO 32: Ultimatum, which will take place on February 28th at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Notable additions and subtractions: While former TKO heavyweight champion Icho Larenas’ fight against Lance Evans is no longer listed (not sure why but I’ll still include the fight in our rumored card), popular hockey enforcer Steve Bosse will be back in action against Scott Wright at the event.
The current card as of right now:
Jesse Bongfeldt vs. T.J. Grant - TKO Welterweight Title
Jose Landi-Jons vs. TBA
Icho Larenas vs. Lance Evans
Steve Bosse vs. Scott Wright
Stephane Vigneault vs. Daniel Ferguson
Damacio Page vs. Justin Tavernini
Johan Croes vs. Mark Fraser
Yannick Galipeau vs. Derek Gauthier
Adrian Wooley vs. Syd Barnier
Jordan Mein vs. Samuel Guillet
Christopher Hulme vs. Joel Pigeon
Guillaume Lamarche vs. Tim Wadsworth
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.
Above is the latest from The Garv who discusses the newly signed Kimbo Slice-Tank Abbott fight and how dangerous Miami is. I’m guessing that Will Smith is full of crap.
UFC Announces Nakamura-Emerson
The UFC has announced that a lightweight bout between Keita Nakamura and former Ultimate Fighter cast member Rob Emerson for UFC 81: Breaking Point next month.
Nakamura has not fought since losing a unanimous decision to Drew Fickett at UFC Fight Night 9 in April of last year. Nakamura also dropped a decision in his UFC debut against Brock Larson at UFC Fight Night 7.
Fresh off of his second stint in jail, Emerson will be making his first appearance inside the Octagon since his infamous fight against Gray Maynard at The Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale where he tapped out due to a rib injury and Maynard knocked himself out slamming Emerson to the ground.
While bout agreements have not yet been signed, both Cheick Kongo and Heath Herring are expected to face off in a heavyweight bout at UFC 82 in March according to a report from MMA Mania.
Juanito Ibarra, one of Kongo’s trainers, has stated that his client is already training in preparation for the bout:
“Kongo’s here at my house already getting ready for the fight,” said Ibarra. “This is going to be his year. Kongo’s got all the talent to be a heavyweight champion real soon, I truly believe that. Heath’s a tough opponent and this is going to be a big test.”
UFC Releases Radev and Hightower
No, there hasn’t been an official announcement by Dana White and company. Instead the news comes inadvertently from Ken Pavia’s journal about his dieting adventure with Luke Cummo via MMA Junkie:
The day needed a pick-me-up so I called UFC matchmaker Joe Silva to check the progress of my guys’ fights. He said he was still working on it but then informed me they would be releasing two of them, Jordan Radev and Richie Hightower.
Apparently Radev has already been booked to fight Hector Lombard at Cage Fighting Championship’s third event on February 15th in Sydney, Australia.
Ryan Bennett Memorial Fund Reminder
While there aren’t any items currently up for auction for the Ryan Bennett Memorial Fund, remember that you can always donate directly to the fund by visiting it’s official website.
Any fighters that are interested in donating items that can be auctioned off such as autographed pictures, shorts, gloves, or anything else should contact Randy Harris at email@example.com
Remember that all proceeds from the auctioned items go directly to the Ryan Bennett Memorial Fund.
Marcelo Garcia has joined American Top Team. MMA Junkie is reporting that UFC Fight Night 13 will most likely take place on April 2nd at a site yet to be determined in Colorado. The Nevada State Athletic Commission corrected the attendance and revenues stemming from UFC 79 yesterday. Scott White has a good piece on David Loiseau’s return. John Philapavage tries to revive Mirko Cro Cop’s career.
12-1 PM EST - TAGG Radio
1-3 PM EST - The Jordan Breen Show
2-3 PM EST - The Lights Out Show
3-5 PM EST - The Stephen Quadros Show
3-4 PM EST - The Fight Network Radio
9-10 PM EST - MMAWeekly’s Sound Off
11 PM EST - Knockout Radio
As you can see above, Chris Fries and The JDH of MMA News fame will premiere their “Lights Out Show” this afternoon on TAGG Radio at 2 PM EST.
Fightlinker also has the newest edition of The Low Blow out.
NBC has released a nice video introducing each of the women American Gladiators, including Gina Carano. She was pretty impressive last night in my opinion and I’m sure everyone got a kick out of her pulling guard during the “Pyramid” event. Another episode is on this evening in it’s normal time slot at 8:00 PM EST on NBC.
Cage Potato says that last night’s episode was terrible. I think it was bad but not that bad, with a few changes it’ll be better.
Here’s a little catch-up on some of the things that we may have missed over the weekend:
Bloody Elbow: Vince McMahon and the UFC
Houston Chronicle: Henderson supremely confident prepping for Silva
MMA Weekly: UFC Offers Machida Fight With Ortiz
TKO Xtreme: Xtreme Couture Coming to Toronto
Sherdog: Hardy Headed for U.S. in ‘08
MMA Junkie: Heath Herring Offered UFC 82 Fight with Cheick Kongo
Five Ounces of Pain: Xtreme Couture to field team at IFL opener on Feb. 29
Sam Caplan: Baroni talks career options and steroids
Fight Opinion: He’s back… Bob Meyrowitz
Our rumors page will be updated as soon as possible.
Matyushenko and Palaszewski Move to Chicago IFL Team
IFL light heavyweight champ Vladimir Matyushenko and popular lightweight Bart Palaszewski have opted to leave their respective teams and join the new Chicago franchise in the IFL according to The Fight Network:
According to Palaszewski, the team will be affiliated with former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski’s team and trainers, and will include former Chicago Red Bear Mark Miller (8-2), and IFL light heavyweight champion Vladimir Matyushenko (20-3). Matyushenko transferred from the now-defunct Los Angeles Sabres team.
Palaszewski said the team will train at Sean Bormet’s Overtime School of Wrestling in suburban Naperville, home of Arlovski and Team Pitbull. Overtime’s coaching staff is comprised of wrestling standouts Bormet, Kerry Boumans, and John Kading, along with boxing trainer Mike Garcia and jiu-jitsu specialist Dino Costeas.
I thought it was the Tokyo Sabres and the Los Angeles Anacondas but whatever…
Pancrase Releases Partial Card for Jan 30 Event
Panrcrase has announced four scheduled bouts for the first event on it’s 2008 Shining Tour. The main event will feature Katsuya Inoue defending his welterweight King of Pancrase title against Satoru Kitaoka in the third career fight between the two.
The remainder of the card:
Daisuke Hanazawa vs. Wataru Takahashi
Shinsuke Shoji vs. Yuichi Ikari
Yuki Yamasawa vs. Seiya Kawahara
Fightlinker is also still taking e-mailed questions until 6:00 PM EST today for their usual “mailbag” show that will go up later tonight.