Efrain Escudero. Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC.
Nick Diaz's hard-fought title defense and Abe Wagner's 32-second destruction of Tim Sylvia may have made the headlines this past weekend, but there was plenty more quality MMA going on around the country.
"Ultimate Fighter 8" winner Efrain Escudero won for the second time since his release from the UFC, submitting Jeremy Larsen with an armbar in the second round of Rage in the Cage 148's main event.
Also victorious was former WEC featherweight champion Cole Escovedo, who snapped a two-fight losing streak via technical submission after choking opponent Steven Siler unconscious with a triangle choke at a Showdown Fights event in California.
Satoshi Ishii. Photo courtesy of FEG.
The Daily Recap is a collection of news and notes from around the web that will be posted at the end of each day. Bout signings, injury news and much more can all be found here.
— Japanese Olympic gold medalist judoka Satoshi Ishii is reportedly considered a move to Strikeforce, possibly as as next month for a "Challengers" event scheduled on February 18. Ishii is planning to drop down to the light heavyweight division as well. The 24-year-old last competed at Dynamite!! 2010, winning an unanimous decision over famed K-1 kickboxer Jerome LeBanner. [Nightmare of Battle]
— UFC heavyweight contender Junior Dos Santos has selected a coaching staff for his upcoming stint as a coach on "The Ultimate Fighter 13", which is set to debut March 30 on Spike. The quartet will include boxing coach Luis Carlos Dorea, BJJ champion Antonio Peinado, Muay Thai trainer Billy Scheibe and Rafael Alejarra, who formerly served as a conditioning coach for Wanderlei Silva. [Tatame.com]
Kalib Starnes weighs-in for UFC 77: Hostile Territory. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Kalib Starnes, a former cast member of the third season of “The Ultimate Fighter” that was recently released by the Ultimate Fighting Championship following a dismal performance against Nate Quarry at UFC 83 last weekend, has released an official statement concerning his departure.
I would like to begin by saying that I was very happy to fight in Montreal, and that I trained really hard for my fight. I know that there were many people, including myself, who were disappointed with my performance, and I would like to apologize to my coaches, trainers and the fans for what happened. It was by far the worst fight of my career, much to the credit of my opponent who proved to be a real monster in the ring, I think that they should keep him in a cave somewhere and feed him raw meat!
I regret having to discuss this matter in the press, and would have preferred to discuss it in private. I was not given this opportunity and feel as though I was forced into a position where I had to respond publicly to the pointed and biased case building against me in the press.
Regardless of my dissatisfaction with my contract, I will say that to the best of my knowledge the UFC honoured all agreements made with me while I was under contract with them. I do not blame the UFC in any way for my loss, and I hold no grudges against Nate Quarry or his corner.
This sport is as much about losing as it is about winning. There is a winner and a loser in every fight. I tried to win but on that night I couldn’t do it and I lost. Instead of allowing me to lose with dignity I was booed and called names and ridiculed beyond anything which seems reasonable to me. I tried to box with him and I couldn’t find my range, I tried to kickbox with him and I broke my foot, I tried to take him down and grapple with him but I was unable to, I tried to work in the clinch but that didn’t work either, in short, I failed. No excuses.
During the fight I received a broken bone in my right foot and I find out tomorrow if I need to have surgery and get a pin put through it so that it will heal properly. I also have severe bruising on my left thigh, lumps on my head, a fat black eye, a sprained jaw and damage to the nerves in my molars.
Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The Kalib Starnes saga continues…
Less than 24 hours after conflicting reports concerning his departure from the UFC came to light, Starnes informed The Fight Network that despite Dana White’s claims that he was cut from the remainder of his contract after his performance against Nate Quarry this past weekend, he indeed asked for his release on Monday.
“Joe Silva told me that it usually takes a couple of days for their legal department to complete the paperwork and that he would send me all of the paperwork to indicate that my contract has been dissolved,” Starnes said in the report. “Later on in the afternoon, after I had spoken to Joe, a story was released by some reporter from Yahoo! in which Dana White said that he had released me from my contract. I received no documentation on that, and it came after I asked to be released.”
As if Starnes’ claims of White being “inappropriate” weren’t enough to deal with, the British Columbia native has had hundreds of mixed martial arts fans criticizing him for his lack of aggression against Quarry. Starnes claims that the cause of him constantly backing away from his opponent was due to a broke foot suffered in the first round.
“Right now, I have a broken foot that I sustained with the first kick I threw in the fight,” Starnes said. “My leg is purple and black from my knee up, I have a black eye, a sprained jaw, and Dana White is questioning my desire to fight? If that isn’t enough to satisfy him and the crowd, I can show them the medical report. I can barely walk. Quarry totally destroyed my thigh with those kicks. I’m sure a lot of people would rather see me suffer a traumatic brain injury and be rendered unconscious. That’s too bad. If that’s what they want, they’re paying the wrong guy $10,000 to get his brain smashed in.”
My question: If the broken foot was that much of a problem, why didn’t Starnes inform the referee in between rounds? After all, he’s not getting paid $10,000 to potentially ruin the rest of his career by becoming injured…
Kalib Starnes weighs-in for UFC 77: Hostile Territory. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
I think it was pretty obvious after Kalib Starnes’ disaster of a performance this past weekend at UFC 83 in Montreal that he would likely no longer be under contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Mixed reports have come out since concerning his potential departure, but one thing is for certain, Starnes is now a free agent. Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports apparently confirmed everyone’s suspicions with UFC President Dana White earlier today.
“He just doesn’t belong in the UFC and after his performance the other night, he should consider a new line of work,” White said in the report.
However after contacting Starnes’ himself, Sherdog.com is reporting that the former “Ultimate Fighter” cast member was granted his release from the UFC per matchmaker Joe Silva.
“This morning I made a request to Joe Silva to be released from my contract,” Starnes told Andy Cotterill. “Joe agreed with my request.”
Starnes also refuted a rumor floating around in MMA-related message boards this afternoon that he informed a Montreal radio station that his performance at this past weekend’s event was an intentional jab at the way the UFC treats their fighters.
The Surrey, British Columbia native leaves the UFC after garnering a record of 2-3. His most high-profile win came at UFC 71 in May of last year when he used superior wrestling to earn a unanimous decision over popular middleweight Chris Leben. Unfortunately for Starnes, he will now go down in history as the only fighters to ever receive an unheard of 30-24 judge’s score in his opponent’s favor.
Georges St. Pierre. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
One year removed from his original upset loss to Matt Serra, Georges St. Pierre was finally able to avenge the defeat, dominating Serra on the mat over two rounds en route to regaining his UFC welterweight title in UFC 83’s historic main event.
The raucous crowd packed inside Montreal, Quebec’s Bell Centre saw St. Pierre surprise many in the opening seconds of the fight as he opted to take Serra down. After being on the receiving end of an array of strikes, Serra eventually worked his way back to his feet before finding himself on his back once again.
Any chances for another first-round Serra knockout were spoiled in a big way. With a mouse forming under Serra’s right eye, the Long Island native came out from his corner looking to throw down at the start of the second round. St. Pierre unfortunately had a different idea.
St. Pierre scored yet another early takedown. Serra mounted a bit of offense once the fight hit the feet, connecting with a head kick. However with fatigue setting in, Serra was unable to capitalize, allowing St. Pierre to land a handful of stiff jabs before shooting in for a takedown.
Once on the mat, St. Pierre unleashed a barrage of unanswered punches and knees to the body that forced Serra to cover up and referee Yves Lavigne to ultimately stop the fight, handing St. Pierre the title that he likely should have never lost in the first place.
“My strategy going in was to make it a physical fight,” St. Pierre said in his post-fight interview with Kenny Florian, who filled in for usual color commentator Joe Rogan. “I wanted to make him tired as much as I could because I know have the conditioning. I was trying to mix it up as much as I could.”
Matt Serra and Georges St. Pierre pose at the pre-fight press conference for UFC 83: Serra vs. St. Pierre II. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The official weigh-in results for tomorrow night’s UFC 83: Serra vs. St. Pierre II show are below. All fighters successfully made weight.
The event will be headlined by current welterweight champions Georges St. Pierre and Matt Serra unifying their belts in a main event rematch of their fight at UFC 69: Shootout last year, where Serra stopped St. Pierre with strikes to win the UFC welterweight title.
Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin will also be in action, taking on the middleweight winner of the fourth season of “The Ultimate Fighter, Travis Lutter. Additional main card bouts include Nate Quarry vs. Kalib Starnes, Michael Bisping vs. Charles McCarthy, and Mac Danzig vs. Mark Bocek.
Matt Serra (169.5 lbs) vs. Georges St. Pierre (169.5 lbs)
Rich Franklin (185.5 lbs) vs. Travis Lutter (185 lbs)
Nate Quarry (185.5 lbs) vs. Kalib Starnes (186 lbs)
Michael Bisping (185.5 lbs) vs. Charles McCarthy (186 lbs)
Mac Danzig (154.5 lbs) vs. Mark Bocek (154.5 lbs)
Jason MacDonald (185 lbs) vs. Joe Doerksen (184.5 lbs)
Sam Stout (155.5 lbs) vs. Rich Clementi (155 lbs)
Ed Herman (185.5 lbs) vs. Demian Maia (184.5 lbs)
Jonathan Goulet (169.5 lbs) vs. Kuniyoshi Hironaka (170 lbs)
Alan Belcher (185 lbs) vs. Jason Day (183.5 lbs)
Cain Velasquez (235.5 lbs) vs. Brad Morris (225.5 lbs)
Screenshots from this afternoon’s weigh-ins featuring St. Pierre and Serra are after the jump, courtesy of Yahoo! Sports.
Georges St. Pierre and Matt Serra square off at the weigh-ins for UFC 69: Shootout. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
After years of waiting, the Ultimate Fighting Championship finally made their first trek up to Canada official when they announced UFC 83: St. Pierre vs Serra II during a press conference earlier today at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada earlier this morning.
In attendance at the press conference were UFC President Dana White and current welterweight champions Georges St. Pierre and Matt Serra who will unify their belts in a main event rematch of their fight at UFC 69: Shootout last year, where Serra stopped St. Pierre with strikes to win the UFC welterweight title.
“I’m actually excited to go to Canada and fight St-Pierre in his hometown,” Serra said at the press conference earlier today. “I think this puts more pressure on him than it does me. I know he’s going to come at me hard, but I’m ready for that and I’m preparing for a great fight. I know that’s what I would do if a guy knocked me out like that. But I plan on staying the champ and taking my belt back home to Long Island.”
St. Pierre, a native of Montreal, will be fighting in front of his hometown under the UFC banner for the first time in his career. After originally speculating that St. Pierre would not be ready in time for the event due to his bout against Matt Hughes in December, St. Pierre came away with the interim welterweight belt relatively unscathed, allowing him to partake in the historic event.
“I am at the same point as I was last year when I fought Matt Serra, except this time I am fighting as the contender not the champion,” said St-Pierre. “It’s a dream come true to have this historic UFC event in Canada, I’ve waited my whole life for this opportunity, and especially fighting for – and winning – the world title in front of my people.”
Nate Quarry celebrates after his win over Lodune Sincaid at The Ultimate Fighter Finale. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Former UFC middleweight title contender Nate Quarry will look to win his second straight fight since returning from near career-ending back surgery when he takes on Kalib Starnes when the UFC ventures into Canada for the first time in history for UFC 83 on April 19th at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
The fight was reported earlier today by Mauro Ranallo on The Fight Network’s daily radio show. Ranallo stated that he had confirmed the bout with Starnes himself.
Quarry is coming off his second straight win over Pete Sell, whom he knocked out at UFC Fight Night 11 this past September.
Since participating on the third season of The Ultimate Fighter, Starnes has split his four bouts inside of the Octagon. Impressive wins over Chris Leben and Danny Abbadi have been countered with losses to Yushin Okami and most recently Alan Belcher, who caused a nasty cut over Starnes right eye at UFC 77 in October which ultimately cost Starnes the fight.
Joe “Daddy” Stevenson discusses his upcoming UFC lightweight title fight against B.J. Penn at UFC 80: Rapid Fire, his childhood growing up, and how he renovated Marc Laimon’s house along with Kalib Starnes and Kendall Grove with RawVegas.