The UFC and it’s own hall of fame member Ken Shamrock have come to terms on the termination of the remainder of his contract according to a statement by Shamrock yesterday on The Fight Network’s radio show.
Shamrock had one fight left on his current contract with the UFC.
Shamrock’s manager and lawyer Rod Donohoo stated that the termination was most likely because of Shamrock’s involvement with the IFL and Shamrock agrees:
“He [White] doesn’t want competition, and then when I went over there [to the IFL], he got completely upset with me—which had nothing to do with the UFC—and tried to ban me from the UFC because of his personal conflicts with the IFL,” a heated Shamrock said.
“Dana White didn’t build this [UFC] organization,” said Shamrock. “Dana White is not God when it comes to this. Dana White is a promoter that took an event that was already created by Bob Meyrowitz and by Rorian Gracie. This guy did not create this. Therefore, he needs to stop playing God, trying to squash people who try to go out and do other adventures.”
While the Shamrock vs Michael Bisping rumors didn’t pan out, Donohoo says that the UFC was Shamrock’s first choice for his next fight. Now that the UFC no longer wants Shamrock on their roster, he will be fielding all offers from rival promotions:
“The truth is we had an agreement with the UFC and we requested another bout and they were our choice because that was our agreement,” said Donohoo. “Since they’ve released Ken, I think they’re going to be very sorry they did that. I’m now going to be considering all other avenues to get Ken another fight since the UFC is not going to use him.”
Since we didn’t get a CKA up this morning and there is a ton of news to report, I thought we would do a little catching up on things…
Couture, Jackson Nominated for ‘Best Fighter’ ESPY
UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture and UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton Jackson were announced as nominees yesterday for the Best Fighter category in the 15th annual ESPY Awards.
Couture and Jackson are joined by boxers Miguel Cotto, Floyd Mayweather Jr, and Manny Pacquiao as finalists. Fans will be able to vote at the ESPY’s official site until July 7th for the winner. The awards will be televised on July 15th.
Dana White: Shamrock Rumors False; Set to Release Him From Contract
UFC President Dana White stated to Yahoo! Sports Kevin Iole that he never even thought about having Ken Shamrock take on Michael Bisping at UFC 75 in England. He also said that he is considering releasing Shamrock from the remainder of his contract.
“I don’t know if he wants to fight, but we haven’t spoken to him and I’m not planning to use him,” White said.
UFC Officially Announces UFC 74: Respect
The UFC officially announced UFC 74: Respect set for August 25th at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Two bouts were announced: Randy Couture will defend his UFC Heavyweight Title against Gabriel Gonzaga. Also former UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre will take on top-rated contender Josh Koscheck.
Tickets for the event will go on sale Sunday, July 8th.
Cote Meets Grove at UFC 74
Patrick Cote has announced via a post on The Underground forum that he will face Kendall Grove at UFC 74.
ESPN’s LeBetard Talks MMA on The Sports Reporters
ESPN commentator Dan LeBetard declared MMA as ‘the sport of tomorrow’ during ESPN’s annual Sunday morning show, The Sports Reporters.
LeBetard’s comments were as follows:
“Tomorrow’s sports fans, ages 18 to 34, have spoken,” LeBetard said. “Generation YouTube wants fights in a cage and submission holds and a bloody sport that appeals to the short attention span more than the ponderous 12 rounds of De la Hoya-Mayweather. Dying hockey would kill for the kind of future and attention and pub MMA has. Boxing is yesterday’s sport; MMA is tomorrow’s.”
You can watch the clip of the segment here via ESPN Motion.
IFL: Las Vegas, CFFC 5 Attendance Numbers
The Nevada State Athletic Commission released the attendance numbers for IFL’s Las Vegas event earlier this week. According to the NSAC, the event only brought in $93,270 at the gate. The number seems a bit low, especially when the IFL reported that the arena was sold out with a crowd of 3,200. Well apparently the IFL fibbed a little bit. It turns out that only 996 tickets were sold for the event and the IFL gave out 1,842 complimentary tix.
The New Jersey State Athletic Control Board announced that CFFC 5: Kimbo vs Mercer rang up a paid crowd of 7,286, not counting any complimentary tickets that the promotion may have given away.
Burnett, ProElite Developing Reality MMA Series
Reality TV producer Mark Burnett is planning on producing a series based on MMA in conjunction with ProElite, the parent company of Elite XC.
The most interesting thing about all of this is that Burnett now owns part of ProElite according to Loretta Hunt of The Fight Network:
As part of the agreement between Mark Burnett Productions and ProElite, Burnett was afforded the right to buy up to 17 million shares of ProElite stock at $3 a share in eight portions tied to the success of the joint venture. The format for the planned MMA series is still in the “exploration stage,” according to the report.
News and Notes
- Our rumors page has been updated…
- A rib injury suffered while training with Miletich Fighting Systems is the reason why Corey Hill won’t be fighting on this weekend’s The Ultimate Fighter 5 finale according to his coach on the reality show, Jens Pulver. Pulver broke the news during a recent interview with CBS Sportsline:
Corey is injured. He hurt a rib and the thing was, he went home to visit with his family. It’s a pretty bad tear. I don’t know if he broke a rib or what was going on. But that’s the only reason. He was training hard, he was ready, he was pumped and then he injured himself about two weeks ago.
- Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer is reporting that the scheduled bout between Michael Bisping and Matt Hamill is still on:
Regarding rumors regarding the next UFC in London, England, Michael Bisping vs. Matt Hamill is still the scheduled match on that show. There are rumors regarding Bisping vs. Ken Shamrock, that may have been discussed but it is not the current plan.
- The New Jersey State Athletic Control Board has confirmed that this weekend’s bout between Ray Mercer and Kimbo Slice at CFFC 5 is an exhibition match. The fight will feature three five minute rounds and will not be judged by official judges from the state, the CFFC would have to bring in their own guys.
- ESPN is currently running an interesting piece concerning the MMA vs Boxing debate.
Live Shows -
We made a post last week making everyone aware of Ticketmaster’s description of a Michael Bisping-Matt Hamill bout at UFC 75. Now Loretta Hunt of The Fight Network is reporting that Bisping may actually take on Ken Shamrock at the event.
The overseas news may not end there. Loretta Hunt, managing editor for The Fight Network’s MMA content, has learned that UFC Hall-of-Famer Ken Shamrock could possibly come out of retirement to face British superstar Michael Bisping at UFC 75. Shamrock, who retired following his TKO loss to Tito Ortiz in October, coached against Bisping (13-0, 3-0 UFC) on season three of “The Ultimate Fighter.”
Bisping, who has won all 13 of his professional bouts by KO, TKO or submission, was originally scheduled to face Matt Hamill on the card – the fight was even promoted by Ticketmaster. The 28-year-old defeated veteran Elvis Sinosic at UFC 70 in April.
I don’t know about everyone else, but if this fight takes place, it’s most likely going to have the same end result as Shamrock’s last two fights against Ortiz. Bisping could very well just take Shamrock to the ground and pound him out.
The International Fight League has announced that UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock and UFC veteran Ian Freeman have been added of the IFL roster as the newest coaches.
The organization announced Ian Freeman’s name yesterday at the weigh-ins for tonight’s event. Freeman’s team will be named the British Bulldogs and they will officially join the season participation in 2008.
Tonight Ken Shamrock was announced as the other coach when the IFL held a press conference shortly before the beginning of their show.
Tonight fighters and fans filled the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Florida to witness Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock III - ‘The Final Chapter’.
The evening began with a light heavyweight battle between Seth Petruzelli and Matt Hamill. The fight was a long one in which we saw Matt Hamill come out the victor.
Early in the fight Hamill secured his takedowns and he was able to land a shot which opened up a cut and caused a big mouse under the eye of Petruzelli. This was the beginning of the end for Seth. Petruzelli spent the majority of this fight on the canvas wiping blood out of his eyes while his opponent lay on top of him and mounting no offense.
The only bright spot of the fight for Seth Petruzelli was in the second round when he landed a kick that stunned Hamill and opened up a nice cut under his right eye. Besides that most of Petruzelli’s game was neutralized by Hamill’s superior wrestling ability.
It would be nice to see Matt Hamill more aggressive when on the canvas. He has excellent wrestling and usually has little trouble taking the fight to the canvas. When he gets it to the ground he stalls, he doesn’t mount much offense no does he even try to pass the guard.
One other thing I noticed about Hamill was his striking and striking defense. Hamill tends to lower his hands quite a bit leaving himself open for shots. He throws punches they are usually sluggish and slow. We saw Petruzelli rock Hamill more then once during the fight but each time he used his wrestling to regain his composure. Either way in the end he did enough to earn himself a unanimous decision victory.
The second televised fight of the night was a middleweight battle between Ed Herman and Jason MacDonald. MacDonald showed fans he wasn’t a stepping stone as he finished Herman early with a beautiful triangle choke.
Herman came out early and secured a nice takedown but we quickly saw a war of reversals until MacDonald went from the mount to a triangle. He then sunk the triangle in deep and began to work for an armbar at the same time. Herman showed alot of heart and held on for quite a while under MacDonald wrapped his arm around Herman’s leg so he could no longer move. Eventually it was too much and Herman gave in and tapped out.
Next was another Team Punishment member and ‘The Ultimate Fighter III’ champion Kendall Grove going up against Chris Price.
Grove looked great from start to finish. Early in the fight Grove worked his strikes well before the fight was finally taken to the canvas. From there was able to move to the mount on more then one occasion before he was finally able to secure the mount late in the first and start raining down elbows. Grove nailed Price numerous times and finally he tapped and the ref called the fight.
Afterwards Grove stated that he’d like to step into the octagon with his counterpart Rory Singer. Singer fought earlier on the show against Josh Haynes winning by unanimous decision. Singer and Grove had a little feud on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ in which Grove wrote expletives all over Rory’s training gear. Grove wouldn’t step up and admit to it and Rory was furious.
Next up was ‘The Final Chapter’ between UFC superstars Ken Shamrock and Tito Ortiz. Both fighters entered the octagon looking calm and confident but as was the case in the first two fights Ortiz made fairly easy work of Shamrock knocking him out at 2:33 of the first round.
Shamrock came out and looked very calm unlike the second fight when he bull rushed Tito. The fight started fairly slow until the two fighters clinched in the middle of the octagon and Tito literally manhandled Shamrock and pinned him up against the cage. From there he took the fight to the ground and began the assault.
Tito worked the elbows from the guard before he finally switched to punches. He rocked Shamrock with a few shots and followed it up with a barrage of hard punches that knocked Ken out. “Big” John jumped in between them and Shamrock was clearly out after the fight.
After the fight it was nice to see the two fighters embrace one another and show respect. Ken clearly wanted to bury the hatchet and Tito showed alot of maturity respecting that and agreeing.
When Joe Rogan interviewed Ken after the fight he announced that it would be the last time he’d fight in the octagon and like a true gentleman Ortiz came up, shook Ken’s hand and thanked him for everything he had done in the sport and wished him well.
Undercard action saw Marcus Davis defeat Forrest Petz via a guillotine choke. Both fighters exchanged strikes for the better part of the first four minutes before Petz got caught late with a guillotine.
Thiago Alves put himself back on the winning streak by earning himself a unanimous decision over the very tough John Alessio. UFC newcomer Tony DeSouza submitted Dustin Hazelett late in the first with a triangle choke.
UFC middleweight contender Nathan Marquardt had a successful return to the octagon after spending the better part of 7 months on the shelf due to a suspension issued for taking a banned substance. Marquardt finished his opponent in the second round via the rear naked choke.
Update 10/11 9:00 AM - The media coverage for this event has been pretty big so far…
UFC: Ortiz Retires Shamrock with First Round TKO
Sherdog: Once, Twice, Three Times No Maybes
Miami Herald: Ortiz defeats Shamrock to earn title shot; Shamrock retires; Ortiz claims Ultimate victory
Boston Herald: Ortiz unlucky for Shamrock
Calgary Sun: Shamrock anything but lucky in loss to Ortiz
Houston Chronicle: Ortiz pounds Shamrock into retirement
CBC: More of the same as Ortiz wins The Final Chapter
Long Beach Press-Telegram: Ortiz tees off on Shamrock
Boxing Scene: Ortiz Demolishes Shamrock in Trilogy Bout
What happens if Ken Shamrock actually beats Tito Ortiz tonight? The Light-Heavyweight division of the UFC goes into disarray, that’s what…
Just think about it for a minute. Ortiz and Chuck Liddell are slated to fight for the UFC Light-Heavyweight title in December - Tito has already shown the public the contract itself. If Shamrock beats Ortiz, there’s no reason for that fight to even take place. If it still went as scheduled, there would be a huge uproar, the likes of which we have never seen before.
I don’t think that Shamrock would automatically get a title shot, but then again who would take on Chuck in December. I would hate to see Liddell have to wait like Georges St. Pierre has had to.
A very possible scenario could be this - Rashad Evans will take on Renato Sobral at some point later this year. Forrest Griffin and Shamrock would quickly follow suit. That would leave Tito matching up with either Stephan Bonnar (if he is permitted to fight which I highly doubt) or Keith Jardine.
Actually any combination of that could become a reality…
What about Chuck? Well this would become the perfect opportunity to re-ignite talks about possible taking on one of Pride’s top light-heavys, Wanderlei Silva or someone else…
Matt Hill of MMA Weekly has written a very good piece about Ken’s possible chances as well…
Tuesday, October 10, will be the trilogy that finally ends one of the longest running feuds in MMA today. If Ortiz wins, he proves that he is without a doubt the superior fighter. If Shamrock wins, he throws a wrench in the entire UFC light-heavyweight division. It seems like almost everyone is counting Shamrock out…except Shamrock.
“I’m supposed to get beat, so if I get beat I get beat; but what happens if I don’t get beat? They’re going to have to eat some crow,” said Shamrock.
Tomorrow night’s UFC Fight Night will mean different things to different fighters. Will tomorrow night be Ken Shamrock’s last fight, win or lose? Is Shamrock just an easy obstacle for Ortiz to hurdle over right before his December rematch with Chuck Liddell for the UFC Light-Heavyweight title.
Kendall Grove, Matt Hamill, and Ed Herman are all TUF3 guys who will be returning to the octagon against MMA veterans. Rising UFC welterweight contenders Thiago Alves and John Alessio will face off on the undercard as well.
Another fight that intrigues me - Nathan Marquardt fighting for the first since UFC 58 against Crafton Wallace. Why Marquardt hasn’t fought since March is a mystery to me. After his victory over Joe Doerksen, Marquardt was considered one of the top contenders to Rich Franklin’s middleweight belt. Since then, a handful of middleweights have gained ground and Marquardt isn’t considered in the same breath as Mike Swick, David Loiseau, and Chris Leben anymore.
Some media coverage for the readers…
UFC: Tito Ortiz - Shamrock First, Liddell Later
Miami Herald: Shamrock’s fighting mad; Raw hatred fuels Ortiz, Shamrock
Doghouse Boxing: Tito Ortiz speaks; disses Ken Shamrock
Florida Sun-Sentinel - The ultimate rematch
Tampa Tribune: UFC’s Ortiz Still Man Of People
Houston Chronicle: Ortiz, Shamrock ready for final chapter
Sherdog: Ken Shamrock Training Pictures
UFC: John Alessio - Just Getting Started
Boston Herald: Alessio, Alves to meet on October 10th
MMA Weekly - Ed Herman Ready for UFC Fight Night
Here is the full card for Ortiz vs. Shamrock 3 - The Final Chapter.
Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock
Kendall Grove vs. Chris Price
Ed Herman vs. Jason MacDonald
Seth Petruzelli vs. Matt Hamill
Thales Leites vs. Nate Marquardt
Tony DeSouza vs. Joe Riggs *
Rory Singer vs. Josh Haynes
Thiago Alves vs. John Alessio
Marcus Davis vs. Forrest Petz
* The UFC still has Joe Riggs listed against DeSouza but there have been rumors floating around stating that Riggs pulled out of the fight due to family issues.
Chuck Liddell was recently on MMA Weekly Radio discussing his plans for the near future...
Liddell stated that his next opponent will most likely be Tito Ortiz for the Light-Heavyweight title in December provided that Ortiz gets by Ken Shamrock on October 10th as expected.
Although a major push was made to get the fight with Wanderlei Silva worked out, things fell apart. Chuck noted that the announcement made at UFC 60 was a ploy by Pride to use the venue to promote themselves. He also said that the deal fell through because of Pride and had nothing to do with Wanderlei.
As always, Liddell expressed interest in rematching Quinton Jackson and avenging his loss to him a few years ago. Chuck said that Rampage signed with the WFA to avoid him. When interestingly asked if he would ever move up a weight class and fight in the heavyweight division, Liddell didn’t rule out the possibility and said that he was open to fighting anyone.
He was questioned about retirement and when it would take place - Liddell said that he would be taking things one day at a time and that he doesn’t have plans to stop fighting any time soon.