Last Thursday we reported via Josh Gross of Sherdog that Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou inked a four fight deal with Elite XC. It seems that the news was a bit premature.
Ken Pishna of MMA Weekly is reporting that after speaking to members of Team Quest, Sokoudjou is not yet officially signed with Elite XC.
Sokoudjou has already made it well known that his number one choice would be Gary Shaw’s organization. Team Quest has stated that they are indeed in close contract talks with Shaw and company and that a deal will most likely be reached sooner than later.
News and Notes:
- Renzo Gracie recently accepted Frank Shamrock’s request for a rematch on MMA Weekly’s Sound Off:
Gracie was recently on MMAWeekly Radio to responds to Shamrock’s challenge. “I never get invited to a party that I didn’t show up. I’d love to do it again,” Gracie said excitedly. Anyone who knows Gracie knows that he never shies away from a challenge and that he has the heart of a lion. “I want to finish a fight that I never had a chance to finish. I think it will be a continuation of what we had in February.”
- Maurico Rua has stated that his leg injury is not as severe as many media outlets are reporting that he will still continue to train while undergoing physical therapy.
- Jason Gilliam will be replacing an injured Drew Fickett as Chris Lytle’s opponent at UFC 73.
- UFC Junkie is reporting that Renato “Babalu” Sobral will make his return to the Octagon at UFC 74 against David Heath.
- Jess Liaudin has announced that he will be training with Team Quest for his upcoming bout at UFC 75 in September:
“I wanted to go to [Las] Vegas to train with Randy [Couture],” Liaudin said. “I saw his new gym, and it looked great. Not only that, but everyone trains down there. Martin Kampmann offered to rent me his apartment because right now he’s back home having surgery on his knee. The only thing is that his apartment is about a 15-minute drive from the gym, and I don’t drive.”
“We looked around a number of different gyms,” Liaudin said. “I always wanted to go to Team Quest, but I didn’t really want to go to Oregon. Now Dan Henderson has a gym in California. My manager got in touch with them; you can stay in a house with other fighters, they come pick you up and take you to the gym and, for extra money, they even deliver food for us.”
- Justin Levens has signed a three-fight deal with Palace Fighting Championships.
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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.
If you yearn for hard-hitting mixed martial arts action with some of the world’s best MMA athletes, then look no further.
Bodog Fight: Paradise Lost premieres in more than 90 million U.S. homes this Tuesday, June 26th at 11 p.m. / 10 p.m. Central on ION television and in Canada on The Fight Network.
This week, from the shores of sunny Costa Rica, Nick Agallar (17-4) takes on Ryan Bow (17-8-1) in a lightweight match-up, while newcomer David Avellan (1-0) looks to tame Antony “The Wild Thing” Rea (11-7) in a light heavyweight fight.
Sherdog.com is reporting that PRIDE veteran Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (4-1) has agreed to a four-fight deal with EliteXC.
A source in Sokoudjou’s camp, who expressed pleasure with the deal, said they’ve received the contract from EliteXC and will comb it over during the next several days.
Sporting a mixed martial arts record of 4-1, Sokoudjou holds impressive wins over PRIDE veterans Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Ricardo Arona. Sokoudjou’s sole loss came to the hands of Glover Teixeira at WEC 24: Full Force.
Sokoudjou became a free agent with the Fertitta brothers purchased PRIDE Fighting Championships from Dream Stage Entertainment.
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.
Here is a preview we put together for UFC 72: Victory.
Main Card Bouts:
Rich Franklin vs. Yushin Okami
Forrest Griffin vs. Hector Ramirez
Tyson Griffin vs. Clay Guida
Jason MacDonald vs. Rory Singer
Ed Herman vs. Scott Smith
Marcus Davis vs. Jason Tan
Eddie Sanchez vs. Colin Robinson
Dustin Hazelett vs. Stevie Lynch
Also be sure to tune in at 3 PM EST as we’ll be doing one of our patented ‘Live Blogs’ for the PPV.
News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated…
- Our coverage of UFC 72 is going to be great as usual. Expect an official preview, some tap selections (that includes celebrity predictions), weigh-in results, a media roundup, live blog, and much more…
- Nate Diaz and Manny Gamburyan defeated Gray Maynard and Joe Lauzon respectively last night to move on to The Ultimate Fighter 5 finals on June 23rd.
- Tagg Radio had PRIDE light heavyweight contender Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou on yesterday
to talk about fellow Team Quest teammate Dan Henderson’s remark about Sokoudjou getting a poor contract offer from the UFC:
I don’t deal with contract stuff, too much English for me. I just know from my manager and Dan that they were negotiating on my contract. I usually don’t want to get into too much detail. I tried to read my contract with Pride, it was too much for me so I let Team Quest handle that part of my career. They know better than me.
- Carlos Arias from the Orange County Register is reporting that UFC 76 will take place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
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When Quinton Jackson said that PRIDE offered him a $2,000 bonus to lose to Kazushi Sakuraba earlier this week, I actually kind of believed him. Jackson has seemed to be an outspoken but honest individual throughout his career.
PRIDE officials denied the claim the next day to no one’s surprise but it’s DSE attorney Tawnya Wojciechowski’s comments from today’s Fight Network radio show that really have me thinking that DSE is digging themselves into a hole by being outspoken concerning this matter.
Her comments from today’s show:
“I have the signed copy of his contract that we negotiated back in 2001,” Wojciechowski said. “The compensation that was structured for that particular event was that he would receive a fighting fee of $10,000. He was to receive a bonus if he won by either a submission hold, TKO or KO – he would receive $4,000 for the win. If he lost by KO, TKO or a referee’s stop, excluding a tapout, he would get $2,500, basically to make the fight more exciting. There was no bribe involved.”
So let get this straight, there was a bonus for winning and there was also a bonus for losing the fight? Are you kidding me? That’s the first time in history that I’ve heard of a bonus being potentially awarded to a fighter for losing a fight and it doesn’t make any sense. You give out bonuses for winning and that’s it. You don’t out extra money for losing.
The Sakuraba fight was Jackson’s PRIDE debut. Your first fight in the biggest MMA promotion in the world at that time and you are going up against Sakuraba of all people. What if Jackson was scared out of his mind and decided to just bag the fight for an extra two grand? Technically Jackson isn’t lying in this case. PRIDE actually did offer him $2000 to lose the fight. Granted that PRIDE’s intentions may only have been to make the fight more exciting for the fans, the event actually took place. Now I don’t know whether or not Jackson misinterpreted the offer or PRIDE actually meant what Jackson is claiming - I guess we will find out the truth eventually.
An interesting thing to point out is that KOTC founder and Jackson’s agent at the time of the fight is agreeing with Jackson…
“When Quinton got there, one of the guys that I sent directly there with him was with him when he was approached by [the two PRIDE executives] and offered an additional $2,000 to lose the fight by submission,” Trebilcock said. “To my understanding from both Quinton and my guy who I sent over there with him, that is what happened.”
As far as DSE filing a potential lawsuit, nothing is happening as of yet according to Wojciechowski:
“I need some time to investigate this, as this was just brought to my attention this morning,” Wojciechowski said. “Obviously, I’d like to get a hold of the actual interview that was done. If Quinton is making these statements, they are not true. I have irrefutable evidence to prove that they are not true. Hideki Yamamoto and Yukino Kanda did not engage in any bribing activity.”
“Quinton has highly neglected to add to the story that he was going to be paid almost double bonus if he had won,” Wojciechowski said.
We will definitely continue to follow this story…
Matt Hamill wants to fight Michael Bisping.
Hamill has said that Bisping wouldn’t have been the winner of The Ultimate Fighter 3 if Hamill was medically cleared to fight in the semifinals. Bisping says that Hamill is “pathetic” for even thinking that.
Bisping has also said that a fight with Hamill would be a step back in his quest for the UFC Light Heavyweight Title. Well unfortunately for Bisping, the two about to collide at UFC 75 according to a event description from Ticketmaster:
On Saturday 8 September, the fastest growing sport in the world is back in the United Kingdom with UFC 75! The O2 Arena will play host to an incredible night of UFC action. The full card is yet to be confirmed, however one fight has been signed that has the entire country’s attention - Great Britain’s own Michael “The Count” Bisping will face Matt “The Hammer” Hamill in a rematch from The Ultimate Fighter 3. This will be the toughest challenge that Bisping has faced yet.
Ticketmaster is labeling the fight as a rematch but Bisping and Hamill have never fought before, not even on the reality show.