News and Notes
- The CSAC has announced that the following fighters have tested negative for performance enhancing drugs following post-fight testing for UFC 76: Thiago Tavares, Tyson Griffin, Ryoto Machida, Anthony Johnson, and Rich Clementi. The only test results from the event that haven’t been released yet are of Chuck Liddell, Mauricio Rua, Forrest Griffin, and Keith Jardine. The results for those fighters are expected to be released later in the week.
- Josh Thomson spoke with The Fight Network concerning a possible lawsuit Thomson may file against former UFC Middleweight Champion Frank Shamrock. Shamrock reportedly called Thomson “MMA’s first openly gay fighter” during this past weekend’s Strikeforce broadcast.
“I kind of snickered about it,” Thomson said, “but I also have had some big money sponsors coming up to me and asking me whether it was true or not. That potentially could cost me money, and that, to me, is basically what I’m getting at.”
I know that Thomson has some crazy hair and his appearance on “Blind Date” didn’t really go that well but I don’t believe Thomson is gay.
Thomson and Shamrock have had a feud going for well over a year now. Thomson attributes the tension due to the fact that Shamrock was angry that fighters from the American Kickboxing Academy decided against joining a new gym that Shamrock was opening. Shamrock has claimed in the past that Thomson has been bad mouthing him for years.
- Tonight’s episode of UFC Unleashed will feature Renato “Babalu” Sobral vs Jason Lambert from UFC 68 and Houston Alexander vs Keith Jardine from UFC 71. I’m not sure what the third fight on the broadcast will be. Don’t forget that The Ultimate Fighter is on right after that.
- Punch Drunk Gamer posted a recent interview with Josh Barnett where Barnett states that he would like to fight in Pancrase:
“I would like to be fighting in Pancrase. I would love to continue fighting there and hopefully I will get a chance to defend my belt this year. I have had some trouble with getting promoters to honor what they agreed to and cooperate with Pancrase to get a match set-up. So now that I am a free agent I would like to do it.”
Barnett has always noted in the past that he would like the chance to defend his belt in Pancrase as a stipulation in any contract he signs with an organization. However since talks haven’t gone anywhere with anyone, it seems that Barnett may do that before signing anywhere.
Touch of gloves to Five Ounces of Pain for the find.
- Ricco Rodriguez is going to headline Battle Cage Xtreme III in New Jersey on October 20th. He will take on Kauai Kupihiea for the USKBA Heavyweight Title.
- Speaking of Ricco, he’s apparently going to be a cast member of VH1’s newest reality show, Celebrity Rehab. The series debuts on January 10th.
- Fight Opinion wants you to help decide what they should discuss on their next radio show.
- In a recent interview with Sherdog’s John Lee, SpiritMC CEO Kwang Hyun Park stated that current SpiritMC Middleweight Champion Steve Bruno has signed with the UFC:
As for SpiritMC middleweight champion Steve Bruno, Park says, “As far as I know, Steve has signed with the UFC, but we have made it clear that he needs to defend his title.”
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.”
Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell discusses his loss to current title holder Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and his upcoming fight against Keith Jardine at UFC 76 late tonight with Brian Kenny on ESPN’s SportsCenter.
Keith Jardine shares his thoughts with ESPN on his upcoming bout against former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell this Saturday night at UFC 76: Knockout.
Catching up on things in the world of MMA…
- The Fight Network is reporting that officials at American Top Team have stated that Denis Kang is still in negotiations with K-1 and has not yet signed with the promotion:
American Top Team representatives have confirmed that popular Vancouver, British Columbia fighter Denis Kang is in negotiations to sign a five-fight deal with the K-1 HERO’S promotion. Rumors have been circulating about a possible match-up pitting Kang against Japanese legend Kazushi Sakuraba Sept. 17 at the Yokohama Arena in Kanagawa, Japan, but the ATT would not confirm the pairing.
- Tonight’s episode of IFL Battleground will preview the 10 matchups that will take place in the opening round of the upcoming IFL Grand Prix. It will air 8 PM EST on MyNetworkTV.
- Highly regarded trainer Greg Jackson has announced that Georges St. Pierre has now become an official member of his training team”>Georges St. Pierre has now become an official member of his training team. St. Pierre is excited to be able to train with the likes of Nate Marquardt, Rashad Evans, and Keith Jardine on a regular basis:
“It’s absolutely great, and I think I am blessed because I am lucky to be able to train with such a great group of guys and under Greg Jackson, who is the best MMA coach in my book,” St. Pierre says. “People say you’re only as good as your training partners, and I believe that is the truth.”
- Continuing with some more St. Pierre news - His former manager, Stephane Patry, who also serves as president of TKO, is stating that St. Pierre is still contractually obligated to him. St. Pierre says that is just not the case:
“My manager now is Shari Spencer. She takes care of my sponsorships and my fights, as well,” St. Pierre says. “It’s nothing personal. Me and Stephane are still good friends. We were not in agreement about some stuff in training, and we were not agreeing to some stuff regarding my management.”
- MMA Weekly is reporting that Masakazu Imanari will return to Cage Rage to take on Jean Silva at Cage Rage 23 for the promotion’s World Featherweight Title. Silva will be dropping down from lightweight to featherweight for the first time in his career.
- Jorge Gurgel announced at an open house for his gym over the weekend that he will be facing Alvin Robinson at UFC 77.
Some media links as well…
Sherdog: Georges St. Pierre Training Pictures
MMA Weekly: Pellegrino Hunting Down a Title Shot
The Fight Network: Murphy’s Law
UFC Junkie: What’s Next for Wanderlei Silva?
Yahoo! Sports: Gonzaga sniffs out his biggest opportunity
Rogers Sportsnet: Koscheck eager to get it on
Fight Opinion: Monday maintenance: Lots of activity in the UK
Fightlinker: Brandon Vera is back and I don’t care
Bloody Elbow: More Doubts About GSP
MMA Analyst: An Interview with Cub Swanson, WEC featherweight contender
“I’ve never hand-picked an opponent.”
Those words from the mouth of former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell were spoken in order to shoot down a slew of rumors that popped up last week concerning Liddell possibly hand-selecting Keith Jardine as his opponent at UFC 76.
Liddell discussed the Jardine rumors as well as the usual fight selection process he went through in the UFC with MMA Weekly:
“There would be no reason to hand-pick Jardine. The only time I’ve ever asked for a guy is when I asked to fight Kevin Randleman because I wanted to fight a guy that had a name at the time because they kept giving me guys as little known as I was. I think that’s the only time I’ve ever asked for someone specifically.”
“They talked to me about fighting Wanderlei in September, and I said, ‘Yeah, that’s fine. Cool. Perfect.’ Then I heard it fell out. I assumed they were going to put me with Shogun [Rua] because I knew he was on the same card. I figured they would put me with Shogun, but they came to me and said they wanted me to fight Keith. I’m not complaining. I don’t argue with people about who I’m going to fight. I fight whoever they tell me to,” explained Liddell.
Various sites reported that Liddell was offered a choice between Jardine, Mauricio Rua, Kazuhiro Nakamura, and Ryoto Machida.
News and Notes:
- Remember to vote on our current edition of ‘Rock the Vote’.
- In a recent interview UFC president Dana White confirmed that UFC 75 will be televised on Spike TV and Keith Jardine vs. Chuck Liddell will headline UFC 76 on September 22nd in Anahiem.
- MMA legend Royce Gracie has decided not to appeal the suspension handed down by the California State Athletic Commission after he tested positive for an anabolic agent during his post-fight drug test at K-1 Dynamite!! USA.
- Chris Guillen will replace the injured Wes Sims at the first ever Global FC event August 17 at Mohegan Sun Arena. Guillen, who recently defeated Sims for the second time, will be facing UFC veteran Jeff “The Snowman” Monson for the Global Fighting Championships heavyweight title.
- GracieFighter.com is reporting that Nate Diaz will be fighting at UFC Fight Night 11.
After winning the TUF Finale, Nathan Diaz will now be returning to the UFC. He is slated to fight on the 19th of September at the Palms in Las Vegas, Nevada. His opponent has not yet been named, however we should have an official confirmation sometime next week.
In a recent interview with Yahoo! Sports UFC president Dana White confirmed that Chuck Liddell vs. Keith Jardine will headline UFC 76 on Sept. 22nd in Anaheim.
“Keith Jardine is a tough guy,” said White. “He got caught. That can happen. But Chuck got caught too.
White bristled at the notion Liddell-Jardine is not a headline-caliber match. “It is definitely a main event, in my opinion,” he said. “Jardine beat a lot of good guys, and he absolutely deserves to be fighting Chuck. He wouldn’t if Chuck still had the title, but I don’t think he needs to win a lot of fights just to get a fight with Chuck.”
It was originally thought that Liddell would be facing Wanderlei Silva at UFC 76 but the fight fell apart at the last minute. Silva has gone on the record saying he will be ready for a fight with Liddell in November.
Forrest Griffin has been on a bumpy ride ever since he stepped foot into the UFC. Things started really well for Forrest - winning the first season of The Ultimate Fighter was followed up with a pair of decisive wins over Bill Mahood and Elvis Sinosic. Then came time for a fight on the big stage with none other than Tito Ortiz. Griffin fought his heart out only to lose a split decision to Ortiz in a fight that many fans and insiders believe that Griffin won, myself included.
Griffin bounced back with his second victory over Stephan Bonnar and then things took a turn for the worst. Griffin was stopped by Keith Jardine at UFC 66, a loss that left him pouring out his emotion in the middle of the Octagon for the whole world to see. The UFC matched him up with Lyoto Machida for UFC 70 but Griffin was forced to pull out due to a recurring staph infection.
However with a long break behind him, Griffin is back, mentally refreshed, and healthy. He’s currently scheduled to take on Hector Ramirez at UFC 72 next weekend. Griffin spoke to the media Thursday afternoon about his loss to Jardine, his upcoming fight with Ramirez, and his health - both mental and physical. As always, Griffin was very candid with his answers…
Here’s a collection of media links focusing on last night’s event UFC 71: Liddell vs. Jackson.
Sherdog: Rampage Ices Liddell, Captures UFC Title; Video: “Rampage” Celebrates Victory; Liddell’s Trainer Talks Disappointing Loss; Beatdown After the Bell: UFC 71
MMAWeekly: Henderson to Challenge for UFC Title; UFC 71 Review: Rampage Makes it 2-for-2; Dan Henderson on Fighting Rampage
The Fight Network: Hendo Octagon Bound; Ice Breaker
Gracie Mag: For a Big House
UFC HP: Crushed Ice – Rampage KO’s Liddell to Win Light Heavy Crown; Next in Line - Hendo’s Back
InsideFighting: “Rampage” KOs Liddell
ESPN: Gettin’ Jacked Up
NBC Sports: Rampage’s right hand melts the Iceman; Iceman Melted
Houston Chronicle: Jackson stuns Liddell to continue UFC upset string
Yahoo! Sports: Anything’s Possible; Rampage Ices Liddell
Press Telegram: Jackson KOs the champ for title
KCAL: Video: Rampage Jackson knocks out Iceman Liddell for the UFC Title
LA Times: Jackson busts through opening left by Liddell
Newsday: Rampage TKOs Liddell at UFC 71
OC Register: Jackson goes on rampage (with audio)
Daily Herald: UFC’s popularity no suprise
CBS: Rampage doesn’t just have Liddell’s number—he has his belt
Washington Post: Jackson Scores Stunning First-Round KO to Take Liddell’s Title
TSN: On The Rampage
Sportsnet: Rampage shocks The Iceman; Canuck Starnes cripples Leben; UFC upsets Continue; Alexander upsets Keith Jardine
CBC: Rampage lives up to his name, dethroning Chuck (The Iceman) Liddell at UFC 71
The Globe and Mail: Jackson takes light heavyweight title from Liddell
Toronto Sun: Sunflashes