Chuck Liddell recently sat down for an interview with the Baltimore Sun and revealed that PRIDE Heavyweight Champion Fedor Emelianenko may be coming over to the UFC.
Liddell was asked who he would like to fight when it comes to PRIDE fighters entering the UFC. He responded with this:
All of them. Any of the good ones. There’s “Shogun” [Mauricio Rua], there’s [Dan] Henderson. You’ve got Fedor [Emelianenko] coming over. [Antonio Rodrigo] Nogueira is coming over in the heavyweight [division].
If and when Fedor and the UFC finally settle on some kind of contract, their is going to be a huge announcement without a doubt.
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.
Quinton Jackson confirmed that he will defend his title against Dan Henderson on September 8th in London at UFC 75 in a recent interview with CBS 2 of Los Angeles.
“I have to fight September 8th in London with the champion of Japan [Henderson]. He has the belt that I was trying to go for that I never got.”
It’s going to be interesting to see what the UFC plans on doing with Henderson’s PRIDE Middleweight and Light Heavyweight titles. Are they going to be on the line as well? Only time will tell…
MMA on Tap currently has Mirko Cro Cop, Jess Liaudin, Dennis Siver, Alessio Sakara, and Michael Bisping rumored to also be fighting at the event.
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…
Tito Ortiz is looking to “put Rashad Evans in a wheelchair” on July 7th according to his latest blog entry…
I am really pumped on caving Rashads face in… more focused than I have ever been I think. He really has no idea what he is in for…I guess until you get your ass kicked really good, you never really do. I am going to make him rethink his career in the UFC. Maybe he should go back to flipping burgers after I put him in a wheel chair. LOL
I’m sure we will have a response from Rashad in the next few days…
The UFC has been marketing this fight as the main event of UFC 73 lately. With this amount of trash talk this early, I can see why.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission announced earlier today that all of the six fighters that were tested for ‘drugs of abuse’, tested negative for any signs.
Chuck Liddell, Quinton Jackson, Karo Parisyan, Josh Burkman, Alan Belcher, and Sean Salmon were the six fighters chosen by the NSAC at random to be tested after UFC 71.
The NSAC announced earlier in the week that all six had also tested negative for performance enhancing drugs as well.
Sean Salmon, fresh off of a loss to Alan Belcher at UFC 71, announced a temporary hiatus from the UFC via his column on UFC Junkie earlier today.
Salmon has decided to take the break in order to work on his overall game and improve by fighting in smaller promotions before he completes the final fight on his UFC contract:
My manager, Ken Pavia, has spoken with Joe Silva (the UFC’s matchmaker), who gave us some options with which to work. Ken and I spoke at length and came to this decision: I am leaving the last fight on my contract with the UFC for a later date and taking a “release” to fight for other organizations.
My initial thought is that it will take 2-4 fights and 6-8 months before I am back to normal; however, I know how good I am and will not return until I am confident that everything is worked out. I believe that I can become great, but all I have proven is that I am a long way from that. My physical training for that fight was perfect, but perhaps I neglected the mental preparation, or the focus, or my gameplan or my visualization. Either way, something went very wrong, and I will lose sleep until it is solved.
News and Notes
- In a interview with the Boston Herald that was printed Sunday, Chuck Liddell has confirmed that his next UFC fight will be against former PRIDE Middleweight Champion Wanderlei Silva:
The road back to the belt will not be easy. It will begin with a long-awaited fight against Wanderlei Silva, probably sometime toward the end of the year. Silva, like Liddell, recently lost his Pride light heavyweight belt to Dan Henderson, in a fight staged in Las Vegas, shortly before the UFC bought the Japanese-based organization.
Liddell-Silva is a fight that UFC president Dana White has been trying to make for a while, going to the extreme of bringing Silva into the ring during a UFC card, asking him who he wanted to fight, and Silva responding that he wanted Liddell.
“It’s going to be a striking battle,” Liddell said of the matchup with Silva. “Who’s going to hit harder and throw more punches. I think from the things I’ve seen (of him) that’s what it will be.”
- Chute Boxe USA has stated that former UFC Middleweight Champion Evan Tanner will make his return to the Octagon in September.
Evan Tanner has been training hard and is determined to win the title from Anderson Silva. According to Coach Roberto, he will be fighting at UFC in September under the Chute Boxe USA banner. His opponent is still unknown.
- UFC Mania has posted an exclusive interview with Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou over at their site…
Video of the Day
UFC 75: Mathis vs Boucher
Here are the official weigh-in results for IFL: Seattle.
Tokyo Sabres vs. Portland Wolfpack
Orvil Palmer (233.6) vs. Devin Cole (247.5)
Kazuhiro Hamanaka (185) vs. Matt Horwich (185)
Vladimir Matyushenko (204) vs. Aaron Stark (205)
Antonio McKee (169) vs. Mike Dolce (170)
Savant Young (155) vs. Ryan Schultz (155)
L.A. Anacondas vs. Seattle Tiger Sharks
Benji Radach (185) vs. Bristol Marunde (184)
Chris Horodecki (153) vs. Shad Lierley (153)
Jay Hieron (170) vs. Brad Blackburn (170)
Alex Schoenauer (204) vs. Allan Goes (205)
Krzysztof Soszynski (230) vs. Reese Andy (208)
IFL: Seattle Weigh-In
IFL: IFL Seattle Preview, Part 1
IFL: IFL Seattle Preview, Part 2
Sherdog: Anacondas Canadian Contingent Making Waves
Sherdog: Season Hangs in the Balance for Portland, Seattle
MMAWeekly: Can Lierley Pull Off Big Upset in IFL?
The Fight Network: Building a Foundation
It’s a legitimate question: Is PRIDE officially dead?
You only have to step back and take a look at the recent events that have taken place in the past few weeks to see that PRIDE’s future isn’t looking very promising. Well if there’s a future for the promotion at all…
PRIDE hasn’t held an event since April. It also hasn’t done much of anything except release their 10th anniversary documentary since then. One would think that the company will now get back on track since it’s acquisition by UFC parent company Zuffa is now complete according to UFC President Dana White. However that might not be the case.
The scheduled opening round for the company’s Lightweight Grand Prix on July 16th now seems that it’s not going to happen. Why? Nippon Gaishi Hall, the arena where the event was supposed to be held has now taken the show off of it’s event calendar. Couple that with White’s recent comments concerning all of PRIDE’s top fighters coming over to the UFC and it seems more and more likely that PRIDE’s run in the world of MMA is just about finished.
So what did you say about White’s comments? Well in that same interview with MMA Weekly where he stated that Zuffa now owned PRIDE, he also said that all of the promotion’s top fighters will be coming to the UFC:
“We’re going to have them all. We’re going to have them all. At the end of the day, if you want to fight the best fighters in the world, if you want to cement your place in history… and at the end of the day, the money is great, all that stuff is good, but for me I’m one of those types of people… it’s all about cementing your place in history. Who is the greatest fighter in every weight division? It’s here. It’s in the UFC. They’re all going to be here.”
Well so much for the original plan of keeping all of PRIDE’s top fighters with the company. Since the March announcement of that plan, the UFC has brought over Fabricio Werdum, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mauricio Rua, and now Dan Henderson. Apparently they aren’t even close to being done either since Chuck Liddell’s next opponent is Wanderlei Silva…
When asked about one of Pride’s biggest stars, Wanderlei Silva, White said, “We’re going to have them all here. He [Silva] is going to be here. They’re all going to fight… they’re all under contract.” White also said that Silva would likely be Chuck Liddell’s next opponent.
With all of PRIDE’s biggest stars, including Henderson who currently holds two PRIDE belts and will challenge Quinton Jackson for the UFC Light Heavyweight title later this year, coming over to the UFC, I think it’s safe to say that they have decided to just let PRIDE wither away…