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.
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
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?
Rumored matchups for the UFC’s upcoming events in January and February are being revealed at a pretty good rate and here we are with three more to report on…
MMA Mania is reporting that welterweights Josh Koscheck and Dustin Hazelett are currently in discussions to potentially meet at UFC 82 in February.
Note that I said discussions because nothing is official as of right now. Contracts haven’t been written up or signed. The news is apparently coming from Hazelett’s camp.
Koscheck is coming off of only his second loss in the UFC, that being an unanimous decision dropped to former champ Georges St. Pierre. Hazelett has actually won his last three fights in pretty impressive fashion, his last being a submission win over Jonathan Goulet.
Koscheck has done pretty well when facing skilled grapplers so far in his career and I don’t think Hazelett will present that much of a problem for him.
Our friends at MMA Junkie are reporting on two separate bouts that both may take place at UFC Fight Night 12.
TUF 5 alumnus Corey Hill will finally make his UFC debut when he goes up against Joe Veres according to Hill’s agent, Ken Pavia.
Hill has not competed since being submitted by Nate Diaz during the taping of The Ultimate Fighter 5. He was slated to face Allen Berube at The Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale but was forced to withdraw after suffering an injury during training. Veres’ UFC debut only lasted 9 seconds as he was knocked out by Gray Maynard.
Speaking of Gray Maynard, the UFC has apparently informed him that he will most likely be fighting at UFC Fight Night 12 as well. Maynard confirmed the rumor today on an ESPN radio show where he stated that he may be fighting fellow former collegiate wrestler Matt Grice.
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.
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.
Hector Lombard isn’t going to be able to take on Karo Parisyan at UFC 78 according to Sherdog. Why? He can’t gain entry into the United States:
“I’m not going to get my visa,” said Lombard, who was set to fight welterweight Karo Parisyan. “I only have a Cuban passport, so I’ve been told it’s impossible for me to migrate. I went to the American embassy twice and they said no to me both times.”
So now what? There are a lot of welterweights out there that could step in on short notice to take on Parisyan - Roan Carneiro, Rich Clementi, Paul Taylor, Dustin Hazelett, and Jess Liaudin to name a few. Hazelett is probably the best one out of that bunch to step up and face Parisyan but what would I like to see? Josh Koscheck
Koscheck has apparently been itching to get back into the Octagon as soon as possible following his loss to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 74. He was rumored to be fighting at UFC 79 and now may be moved to early next year. However I’m sure he’d be wiling to take this fight on short notice.
The fight would help make the welterweight division a little clearer as well. A Parisyan win would most likely set up a showdown with Jon Fitch and the winner would be line for a title shot against the winner of Hughes/Serra vs St. Pierre early next year. However if Koscheck wins… well we already know he’s not going to fight Fitch.