Justin Levens. Photo courtesy of the International Fight League.
Former UFC middleweight Justin Levens was found dead in his Laguna Niguel, California home along with his wife, Sarah McLean-Levens, Wednesday afternoon due to apparent gunshot wounds. Levens was 28-years-old.
“The investigation is ongoing and in the preliminary stages,” an Orange County Police Department official told MMA on Tap early Thursday morning. “As of right now, we believe it is a murder-suicide. We have no other comment at this time.”
According to a report from CBS 2 in Los Angeles, Levens’ mother-in-law found the couple in their bedroom around 2:30 PM PT on Wednesday afternoon and then contacted the authorities.
James Irvin. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission announced today that James Irvin has tested positive for banned painkillers following his devastating knockout loss to reigning UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva at the UFC’s recent July 19th event in Las Vegas.
Irvin reportedly had two different kind of drugs in his system - Oxymorphone, a powerful opiate which is primarily used to alleviate severe pain and Methadone, which is alternatively used to treat recovering drug addicts. Irvin has been temporarily suspended by the commission pending a disciplinary hearing in the coming weeks. An official length of the suspension and fine is expected to be handed out following the meeting.
The loss to Silva snapped a two-fight winning streak for Irvin, who had quickly shot up the ranks of the UFC’s light heavyweight division following a quick stoppage of upstart Houston Alexander at UFC Fight Night 13 in April. Irvin took the bout against Silva on short notice despite recovering from a broken foot that forced him to withdraw from a scheduled bout against Rashad Evans in May. The injury could possibly answer the question as to why the drugs were in his system.
Meanwhile, the California State Athletic Commission also announced today that Justin Levens has tested positive for Oxymorphone as well following his planned participation at Affliction Entertainment’s “Banned event” on July 19th in Anaheim. He has been suspended for six months and fined $1,000.
Fedor Emelianenko. Photo courtesy of Affliction Entertainment.
The long-running dispute is now over. After over a year of continual debate regarding Fedor Emelianenko’s perennial status as the world’s top heavyweight, the former PRIDE title holder answered the call in fighting his first top-ranked opponent in nearly three years, and won, in decisive fashion.
Emelianenko quickly knocked down and submitted former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia in just 36 seconds, capping off a night of exciting action at Affliction Clothing’s inaugural event, which took place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California in front of a host of notable athletes and celebrities.
Sylvia literally never even got started in the fight. After circling each other for a brief moment, Emelianenko stunned and dropped Sylvia with a flurry of left and rights. Fedor quickly pounced on the 6’8 Miletich Fighting Systems product, pounding away with hammer fists until Sylvia gave up his back, allowing Emelianenko to sink in the rear naked choke for the impressive finish.
After the bout, post-fight interviewer and former referee “Big” John McCarthy asked the Russian who he’d like to fight next. His answer then stepped into the ring in the form of current embattled UFC heavyweight champ Randy Couture, who is currently seeking legal help in the courts in his quest to fight Emelianenko before his impending retirement.
“I always thought that the day where I would have to fight Randy would come,” Emelianenko said after the fight with the help of a translator. “It would be a true honor to fight him and I hope that we will be able to work things out in order to make it happen.”
We will be going live at 7:00 PM ET with live results of tonight’s Affliction: Banned, the inaugural mixed martial arts show for the popular California-based clothing company, which will take place this evening at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
The show features a main event years in the making between former PRIDE title holder and perennial top heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko and five-time UFC champion Tim Sylvia. Other notable fights on the card include a rematch between Josh Barnett and Pedro Rizzo, a sure-fire war on the feet between Andrei Arlovski and Ben Rothwell, and the return to active competition of former Olympic wrestler Matt Lindland as he faces Brazilian submission wizard Fabio Negao.
Be sure to leave comments throughout the night. Details live results are after the jump.
Photo courtesy of Affliction Entertainment.
The official-weigh in results for tomorrow night’s Affliction: Banned event, which takes place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, are below. All fighters successfully made weight with the exception of Justin Levens, who weighed-in four pounds over the middleweight limit. However it’s unknown whether or not his bout against Ray Lazama is being fought a catch-weight or not.
In more unfortunate news, the scheduled bout between PRIDE veteran Aleksander Emelianenko and one-time UFC heavyweight title challenger Paul Buentello has been scrapped. According to the California State Athletic Commission, Emelianenko failed to meet the necessary licensing requirements. A replacement opponent for Buentello will not be able to be found in time.
Tickets still remain on sale for the event. The pay-per-view portion of the card will begin at 10 PM ET and FOX Sports Net will be airing three preliminary bouts tomorrow night as well. The promotion intends to televise as many fights as possible, including those prelims that will not be featured on FSN, which will act as swing bouts for the PPV.
Fedor Emelianenko (230 lbs) vs. Tim Sylvia (263 lbs)
Andre Arlovski (241 lbs) vs. Ben Rothwell (264 lbs)
Josh Barnett (256 lbs) vs. Pedro Rizzo (242 lbs)
Matt Lindland (185 lbs) vs. Fabio Negao (185 lbs)
Renato “Babalu” Sobral (201 lbs) vs. Mike Whitehead (206 lbs)
Vitor Belfort (185 lbs) vs. Terry Martin (185 lbs)
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (205 lbs) vs. Edwin Dewees (205 lbs)
Mike Pyle (171 lbs) vs. J.J. Ambrose (170 lbs)
Savant Young (145 lbs) vs. Mark Hominick (144 lbs)
Justin Levens (189 lbs) vs. Ray Lazama (186 lbs)
Savant Young. Photo by Tracy Lee. Courtesy of CombatLifestyle.com
On the same day that Affliction Clothing makes it’s official entrance into the world of promoting mixed martial arts events, details regarding four signed preliminary bouts for it’s upcoming planned “Banned” show on July 19th at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California have come to light.
The news comes from Sergio Non of USA Today, who confirmed the fights with Affliction VP Tom Atencio.
IFL veteran Savant Young, who recently earned a huge upset win over former Shooto featherweight title contender Takeshi Inoue last weekend, will take on WEC and TKO veteran Mark Hominick in the most high-profile preliminary bout.
Additional dark matches include UFC veteran Justin Levens vs. Ray Lazama, Mike Pyle vs. Brett Cooper, and J.J. Ambrose vs. Patrick Speight.
Atencio also informed Non that Ben Rothwell will indeed fight at the event but an opponent for the Miletich Fighting Systems product has yet to have been determined. Various sources have been reporting that former UFC heavweight champion Andrei Arlovski may very well be Rothwell’s counterpart in the cage but it’s still unknown whether or not he will continue to free agency after finishing out the remainder of his deal with the UFC two months ago.
Contracts for a heavyweight clash between Aleksander Emelianenko and Paul Buentello have also reportedly been sent out to both fighters but have not yet been returned signed.
The potential fight card for the event now looks like this:
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Tim Sylvia
Josh Barnett vs. Pedro Rizzo
Matt Lindland vs. Fabio Negao
Mike Whitehead vs. Renato Sobral
Aleksander Emelianenko vs. Paul Buentello
Ben Rothwell vs. TBA
Mark Hominick vs. Savant Young
Justin Levens vs. Ray Lazama
Mike Pyle vs. Brett Cooper
J.J. Ambrose vs. Patrick Speight
Justin Levens weighs-in for UFC 59: Reality Check. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
LEMOORE - Phil Collins was training for a fight.
And as it so happens, that’s exactly what the Merced mixed martial artist will get on Thursday at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino at Palace Fighting Championship 7.
Collins (5-3) was scheduled for a PFC Middleweight eliminator fight with Newport Beach’s Justin Levens (9-8), but Levens sustained an injury in training and could not compete.
Lemoore’s Mike Martinez (3-1) will step in to take the fight on five days notice.
“We were looking forward to Collins vs. Levens. Both guys suffered losses to current champ Kenny Ento. Levens’ loss was a controversial one and Collins’ loss was cut and dry. But both guys had reasons to be in an elimination fight,” PFC President Christian Printup said. “A lot of people think fighting is brutal, but the training that the guys do is actually harder and Levens suffered a broken hand during training. Given the short notice, PFC Vice President Jacob Jeff and I came up with what we believe is a very interesting fight.”
Collins is not bothered by the change in the slightest.
“I fought on one card with [Martinez] and didn’t pay too much attention. I saw him win at Pure Combat in Visalia and he looks tough and big. I only see this fight going one way, though, a win for me,” Collins said. “I’m sure he’ll fight tough, but I think my experience will prevail. Short notice fights don’t matter. I used to fight for Gladiator where that happens a lot, so I train to fight and fight is what I will do.”
Eddie Alvarez has his hand raised after winning a unanimous decision over Matt Lee in July 2007. Photo by David Singer.
A lot of news coming to our attention late today…
Alvarez-Aina Possible at EliteXC April Show
Former BodogFight welterweight champion Eddie Alvarez is currently in negotiations to take on EliteXC lightweight Mike Aina at an unannounced show in April according to a report by The Fight Network, who confirmed the contract talks yesterday with Alvarez.
Alvarez is coming off of an impressive knockout of Ross Ebanez at the fourth edition of ShoXC’s Elite Challenger Series. The Philadelphia native signed a three-fight deal with EliteXC earlier this month. Aina has not fought since losing a razor close decision to Nick Diaz in September.
Liddell-Rua Signed for June
A rumored bout between former champions Chuck Liddell and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is now official according to Sherdog, who confirmed the bout with Rua himself earlier today:
“The fight against Liddell is confirmed,” Rua said. “I signed the contract yesterday. Now I am going to train hard, focused on him, to represent my new team, Universidade da Luta, and my country. The fight is going to be in June.”
This could be an interesting fight and a possible great matchup for Liddell. Just like Wanderlei Silva, Rua loves to push the envelope and come right at his opponent, which is a dream come true for a counter-puncher like Liddell.
In order to win this one, “Shogun” will have to find a way to counter Liddell’s wrestling with a ground attack that will keep Liddell off-balance during scrambles. Should be a fun chess match to watch if it does actually go down.
Edgar-Maynard Set for UFC Fight Night 13
Lightweights Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard are set to clash at UFC Fight Night 13 in April according to Five Ounces of Pain.
We reported earlier this week through Five Ounces that Edgar was offered a bout against former PRIDE lightweight champ Takanori Gomi by the UFC, only to have the plans fall through after the promotion was unable to sign Gomi to an official contract.
Maynard was victorious last week, winning a decision over Dennis Siver at UFC Fight Night 12.
Bisping-McCarthy Moved to UFC 83 in Canada
A planned bout between former Ultimate Fighter winner Michael Bisping and American Top Team’s Charles McCarthy has been moved from a tentative U.K. show in March to the UFC’s debut show in Canada on April 19th.
Our partner site Rogers Sportsnet interviewed Bisping earlier this week, who confirmed the move with the network.
While we all know what Bisping has been up to these days (he’s moving down to 185 lbs), McCarthy has not fought in the UFC since submitting Gideon Ray with an armbar at The Ultimate Fighter 4 Finale last year. McCarthy was stopped in his debut by David Loiseau at UFC 53: Heavy Hitters in June 2005.
PFC Announces Five Fights for March
The Palace Fighting Championship has officially announced it’s next event for March 20th at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, California.
PFC 7 will feature a pair of flyweight bouts: Luis Gonzalez will be back in action taking on David Mitchell while newcomers Ulysses Gomez and Greg McDowell will compete for the first time professionally.
Additional bouts include former UFC middleweight Justin Levens taking on Phil Collins, Darren Crisp challenging Danny Castillo, and PFC light heavyweight champion Jeremy Freitag defending his title against top contender Anthony Rubalcalva.
Art of War Acquires IFO-Steele Cage Assets
SUN Sports, the parent company of Texas-based Art of War has announced that it has acquired the assets of the recently defunct International Fighting Organization, which was run in conjunction with Steele Cage Promotions.
“We are delighted to be able to acquire the assets of the International Fighting Organization,” said SUN Sports CEO C.J. Comu stated earlier today in a press release sent out to the media. “We are also delighted to be able to acquire all the raw footage and finished broadcast production of the IFO events promoted by Steele Cage Promotions, which we plan on distributing globally. We feel that the film inventory will be a great compliment to the Art of War film inventory which will provide more available product to networks and distributors world-wide.”
Kenny Ento def. Justin Levens - Submission (Triangle Choke)
Jeremy Freitag def. Lodune Sincaid - Decision (Split)
Poppies Martinez def. Brandon Jinnies - TKO (Strikes)
Phil Collins def. Marc De La Cruz - TKO (Strikes)
Luis Gonzalez def. Josh Besneatte - TKO (Strikes)
Jeremy Luchau def. Michael Satumbaga - Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Jimmy Dexter def. Dewey Cooper - Decision (Unanimous)
Mike Moreno def. Chaondray Johnson - KO (Kick)
Mike Martinez def. Rocky Molina - TKO (Strikes)
Nate Loughran def. Brian Warren - Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Jorge Evangelista def. Vernon Phillips - KO (Kick)
Mark Munoz def. Anthony Rubalcava - Decision (Unanimous)
Thomas Denny def. Olaf Alfonso - Decision (Unanimous)
LEMOORE — Kenny Ento says he is always looking for some one to stand and trade with him. Justin Levens welcomes the idea.
“If it stays standing, I see myself with a smile and a shiny new belt,” said the Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran from Newport Beach.
“Most people say they are going to try and stand and trade with me ‘til I hit them. Then their game plan changes.”
Ento (8-2) is steadfast in his vow to keep his Palace Fighting Championship Middleweight Championship fight with Levens (9-7) standing on Oct. 18 at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore.
“I hope he wants to keep it standing and box it out,” said Hanford’s Ento, who is a slick submission master with seven of his eight victories coming by submission.
“I wouldn’t say that I have a game plan really. I try and take each fight and play it by ear, but I’ve continued to work on my standup and my ground is getting a lot cleaner.”