Jon Fitch

UFC 82: Pride of a Champion Weigh-In Results


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.

Main Card:

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)

Preliminary Fights:

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:

Continue reading "UFC 82: Pride of a Champion Weigh-In Results"

Previewing UFC 82: Pride of a Champion

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.

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UFC Unveils Full Card for “Pride of a Champion”

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.

Wilson Likely to Replace Gono Against Fitch


Chris Wilson throws a left hand at Brad Blackburn. Photo courtesy of IFL.

Team Quest’s Chris Wilson will most likely replace an injured Akihiro Gono against top welterweight contender Jon Fitch when the promotion travels to Columbus, Ohio for UFC 82: Pride of a Champion on March 1st.

The news comes from MMA Mania, who are known to have close ties to Fitch.

Gono was forced to pull out of the bout after learning that he is required to undergo surgery on an injury to his right hand. Gono apparently suffered the injury during his unanimous decision loss to Karo Parisyan at UFC 78 in November.

Wilson is currently riding a four-fight winning streak. His last fight was a unanimous decision win over Derrick Noble at an October Sportfight event.

During a recent stint in the IFL, Wilson dropped a decision to Brad Blackburn while defeating Rory Markham and current IFL welterweight champion Jay Hieron in consecutive fights after the Blackburn loss.

Fitch meanwhile, is undefeated thus far inside the confines of the UFC, racking up seven straight victories. His last win was a unanimous decision over Diego Sanchez at UFC 76.

Arlovski, Gono, and Ludwig, Oh My!


Andrei Arlovski poses at the UFC 70 press conference. Photo courtesy of Arlovski.tv

Three news pieces of note from this afternoon…

- Amidst Don King’s babble about the UFC dying, The Chicago Sun-Times reported earlier today that former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski will return for the final fight on his contract at UFC 82: Pride of a Champion in Columbus, Ohio.

Not so fast say our friends at MMA Junkie. After talking to representatives from Arlovski’s management squad,they have learned that Arlovski hasn’t signed to fight at all just yet.

Rumors have been floating around that have the former champion going up against standout wrestler Jake O’Brien but nothing has been confirmed.

- Is Akhiro Gono injured? Will he have to pull out of his fight against Jon Fitch at UFC 82? It sure seems that way according to his latest blog post.

Here’s a rough Japanese translation:

I have a pain in my right hand from November so I could not train enough. After the doctor checked my hand he found that the condition of it was so bad and he ordered me to stop all training. I may have an operation in January. I am very sorry for my fans and Jon Fitch. I will announce my operation schedule and return date.

Touch of gloves to MMA Mania for the find.

- Last but not least, TKO Xtreme is reporting that Duane “Bang” Ludwig will return to action at the Strikeforce at the Dome show on February 23rd at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington.

Ludwig’s last fight was a knockout victory over Mario Stapel at Ring of Fire 30: Domination. No opponent has been announced yet for Ludwig.

Report: Jon Fitch to Fight at UFC 82

Welterweight contender Jon Fitch will return to action at UFC 82: Pride of a Champion, which takes place on March 1st at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

The news comes from a report by The Fight Network.

While an opponent for Fitch has not yet been revealed, rumors have been circulating that the American Kickboxing Academy product may be taking on former PRIDE veteran Akihiro Gono.

Fitch is undefeated thus far inside the confines of the UFC, racking up seven straight victories. His last win was a unanimous decision over Diego Sanchez at UFC 76.

Update 3:37 PM: MMA Mania is reporting that Fitch has signed a bout agreement to fight Akihiro Gono at the event. They are also reporting that Fitch has signed a three-fight contract extension with the UFC as well.

Is Mike Swick Better Off at Middleweight?

With Mike Swick rumored to be finally making his debut at welterweight against Josh Burkman next month, I feel that I’m forced to ask the question…

Would Swick be better off staying at 185 lbs? In my opinon, he would.

Burkman is a pretty talented wrestler and we saw in Swick’s fight against Yushin Okami that he doesn’t quite have the takedown defense or wrestling ability that would allow him to be able to stay on his feet where he’s obviously most comfortable.

In fact, the welterweight division is chock full of wrestlers - Burkman, Matt Hughes, Georges St. Pierre, Karo Parisyan, Josh Koscheck, Jon Fitch, and soon enough Tommy Speer just to name a few. Now Koscheck and Fitch won’t be a problem since they all have agreed that they won’t fight each other being that they all train at the American Kickboxing Academy. All they are doing to do is pretty much help him improve his wrestling anyway in training. Unfortunately for Swick, wrestling isn’t something that can be mastered and perfected in a short amount of time.

Compare that to the amount of fighters in the middleweight division that would present a bad style matchup for Swick and you have a far less number.

Oh, but Swick is undersized for 185 lbs!!!11

Swick was too small for 205 lbs when he was on The Ultimate Fighter and he was a little thin for the middleweight division as well. Well guess what? There are more than a few guys at 170 lbs that could be fighting up another weight class pretty easily. Basically if he works on some takedown defense and adds a little wrestling to his game, he’ll do just fine.

It’s going to be interesting to see what happens if Koscheck gets back on track and Swick puts together a winning streak that allows the both of them to move up the rankings and join Fitch up there. Will the UFC attempt to get two of them to come to some sort of agreement to fight each other in exchange for a potential title shot?

Sorting Out the UFC Welterweight Situation

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.

Thanksgiving News and Notes

Happy Thanksgiving bitches! Sorry for the lateness but here’s a roundup of today’s news…

- Cage Rage has announced that U.K. native Jordan Miller will replace an injured Brad Pickett against Ronnie Mann at Cage Rage 24: Feel the Pain on December 1st.

Pickett was forced to pull out of the bout after breaking his arm during training.

- Yahoo! Sports has added a new MMA videos section.

- The UFC has officially announced four additional bouts for The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale, which is set to take place at The Pearl Theatre in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 8th:

Jared Rollins vs. Jon Koppenhaver
Troy Mandaloniz vs. Richie Hightower
Roman Mitichyan vs. Dorian Price
Paul Georgieff vs. Jonathan Goulet

- MMA Junkie is reporting that Drew McFedries will return to the Octagon against Patrick Cote according to a Facebook bulletin posted by Cote himself. Dann Stupp and company are also reporting that American Kickboxing Academy’s Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch will most likely be back in action at UFC 82 in March.

- The California State Athletic Commission has announced that Bryson Kamaka has tested positive for marijuana following post-fight tests for Strikeforce: Four Men Enter, One Man Survives last weekend. Kamaka has been suspended for three months and fined $500.

Jardine, Griffin Shock the World at UFC 76

The year of the upset continues…

Keith Jardine proved that those who participated in The Ultimate Fighter reality series can hang among the best in the world when he beat former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell at his own game and earned a close split decision in front of the estimated 16,000 in attendance at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA.

Liddell looked to win the first round by sending Jardine scrambling away from flurries of punches. Jardine began to score with his first few of numerous leg and body kicks but it wasn’t enough to prevent the judges from scoring the round in Liddell’s favor.

The second and third rounds were a different story however. Jardine continued to press the action while his opponent looked to land one of his patented counter-punches. Jardine (13-3-1) even knocked Liddell (20-5) down with a right hand midway through the second round, a shot that Liddell was able to absorb as he sprang back up to his feet and right back into the fight.

A number of leg and body kicks bruised and battered Liddell’s body and Jardine’s unorthodox style continued to stifle any opportunities the former champ had to get into a rhythm on the feet. When the 15 minutes was up, it was known that the judges had to make a close decision but it was also obvious that Jardine had won the fight, based on the reaction the crowd gave when Liddell raised his hands in possible victory.

Marcos Rosales was the lone judge that scored the fight for Liddell, giving him the edge by a 29-28 margin. Cecil Peoples and Richard Bertrand scored it the same but gave the victory to Jardine and ruined any chances we had of seeing a Liddell-Wanderlei Silva showdown in December.

After the fight, Jardine tried to put his win into perspective.

“The win feels great,” Jardine said. “Chuck is the greatest fighter in the history of the UFC as far as I’m concerned.”

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