Ian Freeman. Photo by David West/Full Contact Fighter.
Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran and former Cage Rage heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Ian Freeman pleaded guilty yesterday to tax evasion in his native England.
According to a report from BBC News, the 42-year-old Freeman also plead guilty to tax credit fraud as well along with his wife, Angela. The amount of money owed by both totals over $30,000. Freeman reportedly failed to declare his yearly earnings, which partly came from numerous television appearances for UK-based Cage Rage.
Freeman last competed at Cage Rage 26 last May, winning a unanimous decision over journeyman Paul Cahoon to successfully defend his Cage Rage light heavyweight belt. He and his wife are scheduled to be sentenced on March 3.
From robcee on Flickr.
English mixed martial arts legend Ian Freeman was victorious in his return from a brief retirement Saturday afternoon, earning an unanimous decision over Paul Cahoon and taking the former champion’s Cage Rage British light heavyweight title in Birmingham.
Freeman saw very little trouble during the course of the bout with Cahoon, save Cahoon taking the veteran’s back on a pair of separate occasions, while using an effective ground-and-pound assault to keep Cahoon at bay and leaving him unable to mount a suitable amount of offense.
After the fight, Freeman assured fans that a return fight against Cahoon was not a one-time thing and that he would be back to defend his title.
“I’m 41 years old now and I have to say that I’m in the best shape of my life,” Freeman said during a post-fight interview. “The training leading up to this fight was very difficult but the end result was worth it. I feel younger than I did years ago. Going back into retirement isn’t an option at this point. I’m not going anywhere.”
Marius Zaromskis was unsuccessful in his bid to win the vacant Cage Rage British welterweight belt, suffering a nasty cut in the beginning of the first round of his bout against Che Mills that forced the ringside doctor to stop the action after the first five minutes, ultimately awarding Mills the championship.
Matt Ewin controlled Mark Epstein over three rounds to win an unanimous decision and successfully defend his Cage Rage British middleweight title. UFC veteran Ross Pointon submitted Ross Mason with a heel hook and James Zikic submitted Rodney Faverus, handing the former kickboxer his fifth straight defeat.
Complete results from the event:
Harvey Harra def. Gary Kelly - Submission (Triangle)
Chris Rice def. Edgeleson Lue - TKO (Strikes)
Popek Rak def. Kevin Simms - TKO (Strikes)
Brad Pickett def. Paul Reed - Majority Decision
Henrique Nogueira vs. Marc Goddard - Draw
Matt Ewin def. Mark Epstein - Unanimous Decision
Ross Pointon def. Ross Mason - Submission (Heel Hook)
James Zikic def. Rodney Faverus - Submission (Armbar)
Che Mills def. Marius Zaromskis - TKO (Cut)
Ian Freeman def. Paul Cahoon - Unanimous Decision
From robcee on Flickr.
English mixed martial arts legend Ian Freeman may come out of a brief retirement and return to action against former kickboxer and Golden Glory product Paul Cahoon at Cage Rage’s next event on May 10th at the at Wembley Arena in London, England.
The news comes from Stash Capar of The Fight Network, who reports that anonymous sources within the promotion have said that Freeman is likely to step back into the cage in the spring, most likely against Cahoon.
Freeman has not fought since winning a unanimous decision over Mark Epstein at Cage Rage 18: Battleground in September of 2006. Since then the 41-year-old Sunderland native has been busy doing backstage interviews for Cage Rage during their pay-per-view events and serving as editor of the UK-based “Fighters Only” magazine.
If Freeman’s return does come to fruition, he would be wise to not look past Cahoon’s sub-par record. Despite winning as many fights as he has lost, Cahoon has overcome struggles early on in his career to post a current five-fight winning streak, which includes a recent TKO win over Elvis Sinosic in December.
Freeman announced his second break from active fighting last April. He had previously announced that he was stepping away in 2005 after pulling out of a scheduled bout with Forrest Griffin at UFC 55 but returned to active competition the following year.
After watching UFC 79 and hearing all of the discussion about how Matt Hughes and Matt Serra were originally supposed to fight but Serra pulled out with an injury, I got to thinking. It wasn’t the first time that a situation like that occurred.
So I sat down and did some research. There were actually a good number of fights in the UFC that were signed and slated to happen but ended up not taking place for one reason or another. The final number was a lot higher than I expected so I went ahead and narrowed the list down to the fights that would have been the best if they were to happen at the time.
So here they are. I’ve sorted them starting with the most recent and excluding Hughes-Serra. Each instance is pretty interesting.
Evan Tanner vs Jeremy Horn (UFC 59): The two long-time MMA veterans were set to clash at UFC 59 in what was unofficially an “elimination” bout for the two of them. Horn had split his two return bouts in the UFC while Tanner had lost two straight, including his middleweight title. The bout would have been an interesting chess match between two slick grapplers but Horn ended up pulling out after injuring his back during training. Justin Levens replaced Horn and Tanner went on to submit Levens in the first round of their bout. Horn was released shortly after defeating Chael Sonnen at UFC 60.
Matt Hughes vs Karo Parisyan (UFC 56): After losing to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 46, Parisyan went ahead and racked up three straight wins over Nick Diaz, Chris Lytle, and Matt Serra to earn a title shot against then-champion Matt Hughes. The anticipated welterweight showdown was set to headline the event until Parisyan was forced to pull out of the fight after suffering an elbow injury during training. Joe Riggs stepped in for Parisyan and ended up failing to make weight, costing him his shot at the title. Hughes would go on to submit Riggs in a non-title bout and wouldn’t defend his belt again until UFC 63, making it over a full year since the welterweight title was contested. To this day, Parisyan is still yearning for another shot at the title.
Ian Freeman has announced his retirement once again from active fighting according to the Cage Rage official website and then confirmed by MMA Weekly.
Freeman had previously announced that he was stepping away in 2005 after he pulled out of a scheduled bout with Forrest Griffin at UFC 55 but returned to active competition the following year.
Freeman will continue to be involved in the fight game as coach of an IFL expansion team set to start up next year. He will also be involved in the day-to-day operations of Cage Rage as well as Fighter’s Only magazine.
The International Fight League has announced that UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock and UFC veteran Ian Freeman have been added of the IFL roster as the newest coaches.
The organization announced Ian Freeman’s name yesterday at the weigh-ins for tonight’s event. Freeman’s team will be named the British Bulldogs and they will officially join the season participation in 2008.
Tonight Ken Shamrock was announced as the other coach when the IFL held a press conference shortly before the beginning of their show.