Randy Couture. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Couture Expecting Contractual Ruling This Week
Embattled UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture reportedly expects a Texas state court to rule this week on his contractual standing with the organization, potentially setting up an anticipated showdown between himself and heavyweight king Fedor Emelianenko according to Alex Marvez of FOXSports.com.
Even though a ruling may be made, Couture believes that his status won’t be completely finalized due to possible appeals from the losing party. However Couture remains confident that he will indeed face Emelianenko sometime before his impending retirement in the near future.
“When, where and with what promotion — we don’t know,” Couture said in the report. “It could happen in the UFC. We just don’t know. I want it to happen. Fedor wants it to happen. In some way, shape or form, we’re going to make it happen.”
Affliction: Banned Salaries and Numbers
The California State Athletic Commission today released the official fighter salaries, attendance numbers, and gate receipts for this past weekend’s “Affliction: Banned” event, which took place at the Honda Center in Anaheim in front of a crowd of 14,832. According to the commission, 3,590 complimentary tickets were given out and 740 tickets went unsold. The gate receipts turned in a reported $2,085,510. The complimentary and unsold tickets were worth 757,900.
Leonard Garcia weighs-in for The Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight Leonard Garcia, who was recently arrested along with twelve other members of an alleged drug trafficking organization in Lubbock, Texas, claims that he is completely innocent and plans to fight the charges filed against him.
Garcia made the comments in a recent interview with our friends at MMA Junkie.
Garcia’s arrest came after a four-year investigation that found a cocaine ring spanning from El Paso to Lubbock. Federal indictments allege that all who were arrested conspired to sell cocaine for a period of time stretching back seven years.
However Garcia maintains that he was not involved in any wrongdoing.
“I am fighting it because there is nothing but someone saying I was involved,” Garcia said. “I hope to have a smile on my face after this is said and done, but I feel like I’m in a fight for my life. I’d like to tell my fans to stick with me and pray that the liar in this case tells the truth.”
Garcia was released from jail on bond but is required to return to court on May 5th. Three of those arrested could face up to 40 years in prison and up to a $2 million fine. The others could face up to life in prison and up to a $ 4 million fine.
Garcia is best known for engaging in a three-round war with lightweight phenom Roger Huerta in Garcia’s debut with the Ultimate Fighting Championship last April. The Jackson’s Submission Fighting product recently knocked out highly touted featherweight Hiroyuki Takaya at a WEC event in February.
His status with the organization is still unknown at this time.
Leonard Garcia weighs-in for The Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Update 4:20 PM: Our friends at MMA Junkie are reporting that Garcia has been charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight Leonard Garcia was reportedly arrested along with twelve other members of an alleged drug trafficking organization in Lubbock, Texas.
The news comes from Lubbock’s KCBD NBC 11.
The arrests from after a four-year investigation that found a cocaine ring spanning from El Paso to Lubbock. Federal indictments allege that all who were arrested conspired to sell cocaine for a period of time stretching back seven years.
Garcia and the others are currently incarcerated in Lubbock County Jail. According to the report, three of those arrested could face up to 40 years in prison and up to a $2 million fine. The others could face up to life in prison and up to a $ 4 million fine.
Garcia is best known for engaging in a three-round war with lightweight phenom Roger Huerta in Garcia’s debut with the Ultimate Fighting Championship last April. The Jackson’s Submission Fighting product recently knocked out highly touted featherweight Hiroyuki Takaya at a WEC event last month.
Jamie Varner throws a left hook at Rob McCullough during their championship bout at WEC 32: Condit vs Prater. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.
Some thoughts and notes from last night’s WEC 32: Condit vs Prater…
Good Show, Good Production
Last night’s event was definitely fun to watch. The televised bouts had a lot of everything - spectacular knockouts, slick submissions. Even the most boring fight on the broadcast had a highlight reel ending. The main thing that I wanted to touch on was the production. Sam Caplan makes a great point when he says that last night’s show was perhaps the best MMA show he’s ever seen on basic cable. I couldn’t agree more.
The commentating was great. Aside from Frank Mir’s screams of excitement once in a while during a bout, he did fantastic as always. Even Urijah Faber guest commentating during the Torres-Beebe fight was interesting to listen to. He came off as being a lot more than just a California surfer like I’m sure the casual fans portray him as.
Did anyone else notice that their was a semi-entrance where the fighters came out last night? Granted it was only a lit-up WEC sign above the curtain but still, it’s at least a start for those out there who still long to see a Zuffa-promoted event use the ramp again.
Strange Judging in Tapia-Banuelos
I realize it was a pretty even fight for the most part but how that one was scored a draw confuses the hell out of me. Antonio Banuelos did a good job of controlling the third round but I still thought that Manny Tapia earned a unanimous decision for the first two, even though a split call was more likely.
I’m still surprised that no one scored a 10-8 first round for Tapia. He knocked Banuelos down twice in the round and came very close to finishing him. Just like in the Bisping-Hamill fight, Cecil Peoples gave the fight to the wrong person again.
Carlos Condit weighs-in for WEC 32: Condit vs Prater. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.
New Mexico native Carlos Condit avenged the first loss of his career and retained his WEC welterweight title as he submitted Carlo Prater in front of a supportive crowd of 4,648 inside Rio Rancho’s Santa Ana Star Center last night.
The fight was one of three title bouts that headlined World Extreme Cagefighting’s first venture outside of Las Vegas since UFC parent company Zuffa purchased the promotion in the fall of 2006.
After exchanging a series of leg kicks with Condit, Prater was able to slam his opponent down to the mat in impressive fashion. However Condit immediately went on the offensive, attempting a series of submissions that included tries for a triangle, armbar, and a guillotine.
While sitting inside of Condit’s guard, Prater (21-6-1) made the mistake of digging his head into Condit’s stomach, allowing the hometown hero to sink in a fight-ending guillotine from the bottom. After the fight, Condit (22-4) pointed out that it would be impossible for him to be uncomfortable fighting off of his back at this point.
“I’m very comfortable on my back, like I’ve proven before,” Condit said during a post-fight interview with Frank Mir. “All my wins in the WEC so far have come by submission. I’m not complaining at all.”
While Condit was able to keep his belt around his waist, the two other champions defending their titles didn’t fair so well.
Team Punishment’s Rob McCullough defended multiple takedown attempts while not mounting much of his well-known offense during the first two rounds against Jamie Varner, who had recently converted over from the UFC’s lightweight division.
Varner’s early scored takedowns and aggressiveness put him ahead on points going into the third round. However it was Varner who was on the wrong end of a right hook courtesy of McCullough. After the blow knocked his mouthpiece out, Varner intelligently asked referee Steve Mazzagatti if he could have it back in his mouth, a decision that ultimately gave Varner more time to recover from the shot.
When the fight was restarted, Varner (14-2) rushed McCullough (15-4) out of the gate with a flurry of lefts and rights. A stunned McCullough continued to take unanswered shots, going down to a knee twice before finally being finished off with a devastating straight right that forced Mazzagatti to step in and save a bloodied and battered “Razor” Rob.
Varner, the newly-crowned lightweight champion, revealed his plan to strike against the renowned Muay-Thai specialist after the fight.
“I grew up boxing,” said Varner,”. “Everybody called me a wrestler. He expected me to wrestle. So I kind of put my wrestling on the back-burner during this training camp and really worked on my striking. It really paid off tonight.”
Featherweights Hiroyuki Takaya and Leonard Garcia will both make their WEC debut and against each other at the promotion’s next event on February 13th according to a report by Sherdog’s Jordan Breen.
The WEC reportedly inked a deal with Takaya earlier this month. Takaya returned to 145 lbs after a stint at lightweight where he fell to Gesias Calvancante and Gilbert Melendez. Since dropping back down to featherweight, Takaya has been victorious in his last two fights which include an impressive stoppage victory over Antonio Carvalho.
Garcia will be coming to the WEC from the UFC where he fought to a record of 1-2. Garcia’s trainer, Greg Jackson, announced his client’s move to 145 lbs last month.
Known for putting on an exciting fight here and there, Garcia came out on the wrong end of a unanimous decison against Roger Huerta in a fight of the year canidate in his UFC debut in April. Garcia then split a pair of fights against TUF alumni Alan Berube and Cole Miller.
News and Notes
- Reaction from last night’s Ultimate Fighter 6 episode:
UFC: Matt Hughes’ Blog – Week Eleven; The Ultimate Fighter Serra vs Hughes – Episode Eleven Recap
Sherdog: Sherdog.com’s Guide to TUF 6
The Fight Network: Speer Into TUF 6 Semis
MMA Junkie: “The Ultimate Fighter: Team Hughes vs. Team Serra” — Episode No. 11 Recap
MMA Mania: Ultimate Fighter 6: Episode 11 recap and discussion
Five Ounces of Pain: TUF 6: Episode 11 Recap/Thoughts
UFC Daily: The Ultimate Fighter 6: Episode 11 Recap
Steve Cofield: Ben Saunders has his say
Chicago Sun-Times: John Kolosci’s TUF diary, Episode 10
- MMA Weekly is reporting that Leonard Garcia will be moving to the WEC to compete in the featherweight division according to Garcia’s trainer Greg Jackson:
“Leonard (Garcia) is such a great fighter and a strong guy, but he walks around at like three pounds over weight,” said Jackson about his fighter’s move to featherweight. “He had to eat the morning of the weigh-ins the last time. We’ve got to bring him down a weight class where he’s going to be more effective. We talked after his last fight and 145 is where he’s going to be. I’m really looking forward to proving ourselves in that division in the WEC.”
- Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto will take on former WEC bantamweight contender Rani Yahya at K-1 “Premium 2007 Dynamite!! on New Year’s Eve according to a report from Sports Navi.
Touch of gloves to The Fight Network for that one.
- Sam Caplan has some pretty big news to report…
First off, apparently Andre Gusmao will not be fighting David Heath at UFC 81 because he’s not even signed with the UFC:
Several reports have surfaced in the last 48 hours claiming that Andre Gusmao will be debuting for the UFC at UFC 81 on February 2 against David Heath. Pro Elite has learned that those reports are incorrect, as the IFL has a contract option to retain Gusmao for the 2008 season and will be exercising that option.
The UFC had been in discussions with someone falsely claiming to be representing Gusmao and misrepresenting information during the faux negotiations. According to the source, the UFC was contacted by the IFL soon after hearing the reports of Gusmao’s departure.
Secondly, Caplan has learned that M-1 Global is leaning towards holding their first-ever event at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ in March, which is good for this site because of a short traveling distance.
- Adam Morgan at Five Ounces of Pain is reporting that Dan Barrera and Ben Saunders will rematch at The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale next Saturday.
London Free Press: He’s called the Crosby of fighting
Sherdog: Politics of Promoting on New Year’s Eve in Japan
MMA Opinion: We Found Rampage!
Bloody Elbow: How Dana White Blew It in 2007
MMA Analyst: Sengoku won’t prove who is the Fight Master
Tonight we will be going live at 7 PM EST, covering UFC Fight Night 11 with one of our patented live blogs. Be sure to leave some comments throughout the night…
While you are waiting for the event to start, feel free to check out our coverage of the event which includes predictions, weigh-in results, and much more:
UFC Fight Night 11 Weigh-In Results
Tap Selections: UFC Fight Night 11
Exclusive: Swick vs Goulet Off
Spencer Fisher Injured, Kenny Florian Fills In
Bouts Added to UFC Fight Night 11
Martin, Leben to Clash at UFC Fight Night 11
Swick and Goulet Signed for UFC Fight Night 11
Leben Declines Swick Fight; Goulet Now in the Picture
Din Thomas vs Kenny Florian
Chris Leben vs Terry Martin
Nate Diaz vs Junior Assuncao
Nate Quarry vs Pete Sell
Jonathan Goulet vs Dustin Hazelett
Thiago Alves vs Kuniyoshi Hironaka
Leonard Garcia vs Cole Miller
Gray Maynard vs Joe Veres
Luke Cummo vs Edilberto de Oliveira
The UFC has announced a slew of fights set to take place September 19th at UFC Fight Night 11.
UFC Fight Night 11
Din Thomas vs. Spencer Fisher
Chris Leben vs. Terry Martin
Nate Diaz vs. Junior Assuncao
Mike Swick vs. Jonathan Goulet
Gray Maynard vs. Joe Veres
Cole Miller vs. Leonard Garcia
Pete Sell vs. Nate Quarry
Leonard Garcia has confirmed with MMA Weekly that he will be taking on The Ultimate Fighter 5 contestant Allen “Monstah” Berube during the finale of the reality show on June 23.
“I’m very excited,” said Garcia about the fight. “Training has been going good. I took a week off after the Huerta fight [April 7th] and then got back in the gym and I’ve been there ever since. I’m up in Colorado right now working with Duane Ludwig on my stand-up, so I’m not swinging for the fences when I’m not supposed to.”
Just like before his UFC debut against Roger Huerta, Garcia will once again be doing the majority of his training with Greg Jackson’s highly touted camp in New Mexico.
“At first, for the Huerta fight, Greg was just getting me in shape, trying to make sure I could go all three rounds. Now it is different, it’s more spot specific. Greg finds the gaps in my game and then we work on things to put it all together. My wrestling is coming along, my takedown defense is better.”