In a recent interview with MMA Today, UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton Jackson shed light on monetary negoitations that took place before his debut fight in PRIDE against Kazushi Sakuraba in 2001. Jackson is claiming that PRIDE officials offered him a $2000 bonus if he would allow Sakuraba to knock him out or submit him without Jackson tapping.
“I’m never the type of fighter that would lose for money,” Jackson said. “I don’t do that. But they told me, ‘If you win this fight, you get $10,000.’ But they told me—these are like the two people from PRIDE who got fired recently, I don’t know if the president of PRIDE knew about it—but they told me themselves: ‘If you lose by knockout or submission and you don’t tap, you get $12,000.’
“I said, ‘But what if I knock him out?’ and they said ‘You get $10,000.’ Then I understood what was going on. This was my first time fighting in the big show in Japan and I learned sometimes they wanted the other guy to win. I knew it was going to be tough for me to win that fight, so I went out there and gave it my best anyways to get my $10,000,” Jackson said.
News and Notes
- Tonight’s TUF 5 episode will feature two quarterfinal bouts: Nate Diaz vs Corey Hill and Matt Wiman vs Manny Gamburyan
- Last night on bodogFIGHT: Costa Rica Combat - Nick Thompson stopped Dustin Denes with strikes on the ground in the second round and Eddie Alvarez was victorious with a TKO win over Scott Henze by TKO.
- The rumors are true when it comes to Sherdog adding a third live radio show to it’s lineup. The Stephen Quadros Show will debut on Tuesday, June 12th at 3 PM EST.
- Showtime will replay selected bouts from K-1 Dynamite!! USA this Saturday night at 9 PM EST to precede the Antonio Tarver and Chad Dawson doubleheader started at 10 PM. Brock Lesnar’s MMA debut and the rematch between Royce Gracie and Kazushi Sakuraba will be shown in their entirety while highlights from the other fights on the card will be shown.
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The California State Athletic Commission granted FEG, K-1’s parent company, a temporary promotional license earlier today. What does that mean? Contrary to rumors that the show was on the brink of being cancelled, K-1 Dynamite!! USA will be held as scheduled…
California State Athletic Commision’s newly minted Executive Director, Armando Garcia, released word that Fighting Entertainment Group (FEG) had been granted a temporary promoter’s license.
As the parent company of the K-1 organization, FEG’s license ensures that the June 2nd event, held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, will take place without interference from the CSAC. Though the card has been dealt several blows, including the denial of a fight license to co-main event fighter Hong Man-Choi, the American and Japanese wings of the promotion are undoubtedly breathing easier.
CSAC executive director Armando Garcia commented on Kazushi Sakuraba and the status of his participation in the event. Garcia stated that Sakuraba is still required to undergo an additional slew of tests from doctors and the final decision on whether or not he will be able to fight won’t be made until sometime next week.
Hugely popular former pro and NCAA wrestling champion Brock Lesnar will face 7-foot-2 South Korean giant Hong Man Choi in the eagerly awaited co-main event of the highly anticipated “Softbank presents Dynamite!! USA ‘’ mega MMA extravaganza on Saturday, June 2, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. It is presented by FEG (Fighting Entertainment Group), ProElite and Showtime Networks Inc.
In a grudge rematch, Royce Gracie faces Japan’s Kazushi Sakuraba in the other co-main event.
The Lesnar-Choi, Gracie-Sakuraba fights are two of six that will be produced and distributed live by SHOWTIME® Pay-Per-View (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT). Other pay-per-view bouts are scheduled to include: Mighty Mo vs. Mu Bae Choi, Ray Sefo vs. Marvin Eastman, Melvin Manhoef vs. Dong Sik Yoon, and f ormer University of Southern California and NFL star Johnnie Morton, who will make his MMA debut, against Bernard Ackah.
The pay-per-view fights will be preceded by a one-hour telecast on SHOWTIME® (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) that will feature some of ProElite’s top performers, Antonio “Big Foot” Silva (against Jonathan Wiezorek) and Jake Shields (against Ido Pariente).
News and Notes
- The rumors section has been updated once again…
- Cage Rage has announced the card for it’s July 14th event, Cage Rage 22: Hard as Hell at the Wembley Arena in London, England:
Eric Esch vs Tengiz Tedoradze
Mario Sperry vs Lee Hasdell
Rob Broughton vs Gary Turner
Herb Dean vs Dave Legeno
Mark Buchanan vs James McSweeney
Paul Cahoon vs Mark Epstein
Ronnie Mann vs Robbie Olivier
Marius Zaromskis vs Ross Mason
Ross Pointon vs Dean Bray
Joe Mac vs Jeremy Bailey
Michael Johnson vs Damien Riccio
- Kazushi Sakuraba landed in Brazil earlier this week to train with the Chute Boxe team in preparation for his pending bout at K-1 and EliteXC’s event on June 2nd. An opponent for Sakuraba has not yet been named but rumors have been floating around for a couple of weeks now that he will be matched up against Royce Gracie for a rematch of their famous 90 min brawl in PRIDE…
- Spencer Fisher will take on Sam Stout at UFC Fight Night 10 on June 9th…
- KOAT, an ABC tlevision affiliate in Albuquerque, New Mexico is reporting that the city will host UFC 74 on August 25th at the University of New Mexico’s basketball arena which seats 18,000. They stated they received the information from Diego Sanchez who also said that he would be fighting on the card…
- The UFC apparently chose not to administer drug tests to the fighters that competed at UFC 69 and UFC 70 according to the Houston Chronicle.
UFC President Dana White and heavyweight title contender Mirko Cro Cop held a conference call with the media earlier today discussing this weekend’s event. Many topics were covered over the hour session including Cro Cop’s thoughts on Gabriel Gonzaga, the immediate plans for PRIDE’s future, the contract status of Mauricio Rua and Fedor Emelianenko, and much more.
Let’s just say that we have everything covered. Read and enjoy…
Cro Cop’s Thoughts on Gabriel Gonzaga:
Cro Cop was very straight forward in answering questions about Gonzaga. He stated that Gonzaga will not have an answer for everything that Cro Cop is going to bring to the Octagon on Saturday. He said that he is at full health for this weekend. He will not being using PRIDE’s theme music when he walks to the Octagon. Instead he will use his usual “Wild Boyz” song.
Cro Cop also said that he isn’t worried about Gonzaga’s ground skills and that it is his all-around game that presents the biggest problems matchup-wise:
“I have trained Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu a lot, have experts in my gym. I feel comfortable even on the ground. I am aware he is a jiu-jitsu world champion, but I am pretty versed in ground fighting now. Of course my basis is stand up, but even if we go to the ground, I am not scared.
Gonzaga is a solid, good fighter. He is a tough guy. He won’t hesitate to fight toe to toe. He is a first class fighter. I will try to keep it in a stand up position. I don’t want to underestimate him” stated Cro Cop.
Cro Cop on Couture, Liddell, Fedor, and Big Nog:
Cro Cop said that he would love for to have a rematch with Fedor Emelianenko in the near future but he is currently focused on his fight with Gonzaga and then winning the UFC Heavyweight Title before that can happen. He said that Randy Couture’s age will not be a factor if and when they fight because he has already shown that it hasn’t been a factor in past fights. He stated that while he doesn’t have any preference on his opponents in the UFC, he has a feeling that he will be fighting Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira very soon.
Cro Cop also made it known that he will be unable to cut enough weight to make it down to the 205 lb weight class, meaning that if a dream match with Chuck Liddell is to happen, that Liddell will have to come up to heavyweight and fight…
“I have no space to go down, maybe if I chop off my hand or something. I definitely can’t go down” said Cro Cop.
Dana White on Big Nog, Fedor, Wanderlei Silva, Sakuraba, and Liddell:
White stated that Nogueira was signed by the UFC as a free agent and that talks began about a month ago. He also stated that there is currently no timetable for his first fight nor any ideas on who his first opponent may be.
White said that at the time he originally made that Wanderlei Silva-Chuck Liddell announcement for UFC 65, it was going to be the biggest fight in MMA history. He now says that it isn’t the case until Silva wins a few more fights to make up for his KO losses to Cro Cop and Dan Henderson. Silva currently has four fights left on his six fight contract to do so.
According to White, the UFC is currently trying to figure out the status of Fedor. Fedor’s contract isn’t exclusive to PRIDE and that Zuffa and PRIDE FC Worldwide will not accept non-exclusive contracts for their fighters. White did say however that Fedor is under contract to the company and that if another rival promotion tried to sign him, he would slap them with an injunction immediately.
Despite the heavy rumors that Mauricio Rua has signed a contract that will allow him two fights in PRIDE and two fights in the UFC, White says that the rumors are not true. Also Kazushi Sakuraba is not under contract with PRIDE and White isn’t aware of the reasoning behind him being brought out to address the crowd during PRIDE 34.
White Talks About Changes to PRIDE and the Lightweight Grand-Prix:
White has confirmed once again that PRIDE will be changing to the unified rules of mixed martial arts (the rule set that the UFC uses) as well as the same round structures and weight classes. PRIDE will continue to use a ring instead of a cage. Also fight cards will be announced weeks in advance of an event, just like the UFC does now. Does everyone recall the PRIDE 34 mess?
PRIDE will not have a super heavyweight division and the crazy matchups the promotion used to hold including Butterbean, Giant Silva, and Bob Sapp will not take place anymore. White stated that all employees currently with PRIDE will keep their jobs with the exception of Gary Millen and Frank Trigg. They have been fired and will be replaced with a completely new announce team.
White said that it is still undecided in terms of whether or not the Lightweight Grand-Prix will take place at 155 lbs or 170 lbs. White denied all rumors about Diego Sanchez and Matt Hughes taking place in the tourney as there will not be any UFC fighters participating:
“There will be no UFC fighters in the tournament. The UFC and PRIDE are completely separate companies. You won’t see UFC vs PRIDE until we do the big event” said White.
White Discusses UFC’s status with HBO and ESPN:
The UFC will debut on HBO as soon as this summer according to White. The deal actually isn’t complete but is in the final stages of being finalized. White didn’t say much about things but did mention that the HBO will be doing their own production and announcing of events rather than having the UFC do things along with Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan. White said that it wasn’t easy for him to agree to that…
The UFC will still broadcast shows on HBO, Spike TV, and PPV. Spike TV will be made up mostly of guys from The Ultimate Fighter television shows. Shows on HBO will be mixture of TUF guys, international stars, and other UFC fighters. PPV shows would then have the best of the best.
ESPN will now be covering the UFC on a regular basis according to White. The coverage will include both weigh-in and fight results…
White Talks About Possible UFC Fights and Events in the Near Future:
White said that UFC 72 will either be on PPV or Spike TV. He mentioned Chicago, Washington DC, Boston, Atlanta, and Philadelphia all as possible sites that may hold future UFC events. Florida will also hold another UFC event in the near future according to White.
White said that the “Inside the UFC” TV show wasn’t scrapped and that the company is currently working on a date to bring the show back to the air.
White announced a slew of possible matchups - If Andrei Arlovski defeats Fabricio Werdum on Saturday, he will most likely fight the winner of Mirko Cro Cop and Randy Couture should Cro Cop get poast Gabriel Gonzaga as well. Sean Sherk will defend his lightweight title in Sacramento, California against Hermes Franca. Tito Ortiz vs Rashad Evans and Anderson Silva vs Nate Marquardt will also take place on that card. Georges St. Pierre will most likely be fighting next in August against an opponent that has yet to be determined…
White on Tito Ortiz:
White’s comments were short and sweet when asked about the current situation between himself and Tito Ortiz:
“Tito is living in a fucking bubble right now” said White “You saw what happened. I showed up and he didn’t. He’s not afraid of me, but he has people around him telling him it was a bad idea. He is out there making himself look like a jackass. He should shut his mouth and worry about Rashad Evans.”
The Honolulu Advertiser is reporting that Frank Trigg, fresh off a victory over Kazuo Misaki at Pride 33 this past weekend, will defend his ICON Sport Middleweight Title against Robbie Lawler at the promotion’s event - ICON Sport: Epic on March 31st.
The event is said to be taking place at the Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Kazushi Sakuraba will be fighting Jurij Kiselov at K-1’s next Heros show on March 12th.
K-1 also announced two additional bouts, bringing the complete card thus far to this:
Kazushi Sakuraba vs Jurij Kiselov
Vitor Riberio vs Ryuki Ueyama
Caol Uno vs Ali Ibrahim
Kazuyki Miyata vs Kultar Gill
Melvin Manhoef vs Yoshiki Takahashi
Yoshihisa Yamamoto vs Katsuyori Shibata
Hiroyuki Takaya vs Andre Dida
The result of the New Year’s Eve bout between Kazushi Sakuraba and Yoshihiro Akiyama at K-1 Premium 2006 Dynamite!! has been changed from a TKO win for Akiyama to a no contest after officials found that Sakuraba’s inability to grasp Akiyama was due to a skin moisturizer Akiyama had applied before the bout for cosmetic purposes.
Sakuraba complained to the referee several times during the fight about Akiyama’s skin but nothing was done until after the fight when Sakuraba and his camp filed a formal protest.
There was also some controversy surrounding Akiyama’s gloves which didn’t sport the regulation logo on them. After investigation, officials stated that the logo had simply fallen off and the gloves were regulation size.
K-1 has ruled that they will not punish Akiyama since he was unaware that the cream would cause that to happen however he will not receive his purse money for the victory. Akiyama has stated that he would like to fight Sakuraba again as soon as possible…
K-1 promoter Fight Entertainment Group held a press conference today to break the news that Kazushi Sakuraba will not be fighting on the October 9th HERO’S card at Yokohama Arena.
Earlier this week Sakuraba was rushed to the hospital by one of his training partners because he was suffering from dizzy spells and vomiting during training. When Sakuraba began to feel ill, Minoru Toyonaga who is Sakuraba’s friend and training partner, rushed him to the hospital.
Sakuraba does not have any brain damage but he has sustained damage to his vertebrobasilar system, which is responsible for blood flow to the brain.
All of this spouted from Sakuraba’s last fight against Kestutis Smirnovas. Sakuraba took enormous amounts of damage in the fight before finally pulling off the submission.
Kazushi Sakuraba has been cleared to fight on the upcoming Hero’s show which will take place October 9th at the Yokohama Arena.
It was also revealed by K-1 official’s that Sakuraba’s MRI showed no signs of brain damage or injuries.