A lot of interesting news and notes were brought to light after last night’s event were over…
- The Wrestling Observer reported last night in it’s live play-by-play of the fight that Diego Sanchez would tentatively be facing Josh Koscheck at the UFC’s event in April. (UFC 69 which will take place in Houston, Texas) MMA Weekly now has the fight listed as a rumor as well. It makes me wonder if something was said or at least shown on the video screen during the preliminary fights seeing how Wrestling Observer just plopped that note in there out of nowhere.
- Sean Salmon was rushed to the hospital last night right after the event was over. Those at the event said that he was motionless on the mat for upwards of seven minutes. He received a CAT scan that came up negative at the hospital and was released in the wee hours of the morning. He is doing fine and is now vacationing with his family.
- UFC President Dana White announced at the post-fight press conference that Hermes Franca would be getting a shot at Sean Sherk’s UFC Lightweight belt at some point during the summer when Sherk is able to fight again. Sherk is currently recovering from shoulder surgery that will keep him out of action for at least another month or two.
- The most interesting thing to come out of last night’s press conference was an exchange between Dana White and Rashad Evans that was reported by the Los Angeles Times.
Perhaps the most interesting exchange took place after the show at the press conference. When a reporter asked about a prospective match with Evans vs. Keith Jardine, who made a name for himself by knocking out Forrest Griffin on Dec. 30 in Las Vegas, UFC President Dana White said that sounded like a great idea. Evans shot back that he trains regularly with Jardine in Albuquerque, and he would never fight him. White said that if he made the match, he’d fight him. Evans shot back that he would not, and the awkward exchange ended at that point.
Other fighters have put friendships aside to move up the rankings in the past… Will see it happen between these two in the near future?
News and Notes
- Caol Uno will make his return to the octagon March 3rd at UFC 68 in Ohio. Uno’s opponent will be lightweight contender and ‘The Ultimate Fighter II’ winner Joe Stevenson.
- MMAWeekly has Dan Lauzon, Matt Wiman and Nathan Diaz listed as fighters on the upcoming season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter 5’.
- The IFL has announced that the fight between Vernon White and Raphael Davis has been cancelled because it was not approved by the California State Athletic Commission.
The reasoning behind the decision was that the difference in experience between the two fighters gave one an unfair advantage over another and therfore the bout could be sanctioned. The CSAC is right - White has fought in more than 50 bouts while this would have just been Davis’ third career fight.
This now means that there will be no light-heavyweight fight in tomorrow’s matchup between the Nevada Lions and the San Jose Razorclaws. A second lightweight fight between Joe Martin and Clint Coronel will take place of this one.
- The California State Athletic Commission announced yesterday that MMA promotions seeking to put on a sanctioned event in the state now have the option of using a cage or a ring. The IFL’s event on Friday night will be the first time that a ring will be used in for MMA competition in California’s history…
- Jeff Monson will make his return to the UK at Cage Warriors: Showdown 3, defending his heavyweight belt against an opponent that has yet to be named. However many are speculating that Monson will be taking on Mario Neto in his third title defense.
Monson’s fight with Fedor on the March 3rd Bodog card has been cancelled. The bout has not yet been rescheduled although it is expected they will just move the fight to Bodog’s April event without a problem…
Vitor Belfort has issued a letter to the Nevada State Athletic Commission concerning the charges that have been placed on him by the organization stating that he tested positive for an illegal substance after his loss to Dan Henderson on October 21st at Pride’s USA debut event…
Belfort tested positive for 4-hydroxytestosterone, a substance that is defined as a steroid and is banned in many sporting organizations around the world.
Below is the letter that Belfort wrote…
In regard of the disciplinary complaint against myself about having violated section 467.850 of the Commission Regulations, all I have to say is that I bought a supplement called ‘Max Tribostak’ at Max Muscle in La Habra, California, which contains 4-Hydroxytestosterone. I had no idea that a supplement bought over the counter at a vitamin store would contain a substance that is illegal in the state of Nevada. This lack of knowledge is costing me a great deal, hurting my image throughout every newspaper in Brazil, which caused me to lose some of my sponsors, and most of all the risk of being suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. I hope you consider my letter before taking any formal disciplinary actions.
Bobby Southworth and Vernon White will battle for the vacant Strikeforce Light-Heavyweight Championship on December 8th.
For Vernon White, this opportunity is just another chance to enjoy success in a major MMA promotion…
“It’s gonna be an honor for me to take this title and come home with it,” said the 35-year-old White, a 13-year veteran of the professional fight game who has seen action in every major mixed martial arts organization from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to Japan’s K-1 and Pride Fighting Championship. “It means a lot to me. I’ve held titles in three other organizations and I want another one.”
There seems to be some bad blood coming into this contest. Apparently Fram Shamrock has said some disrespectful things about his own brother, Ken Shamrock, creator of The Lion’s Den in which White helped Shamrock develop into one of the top fight teams of the 1990’s.
Southworth trains with the American Kickboxing Academy, a team that Frank Shamrock also used to train with.
“Frank has said some disparaging remarks about Ken and it’s not right,” explained Tiger. “I know that (Bobby) used to train with Frank, so that, in itself, makes me want to go out there and bury him because I know he thinks he’s got submission skills.”
Southworth has been regarded by many to owning the talent necessary to hold a championship but always falling short. He gets the chance to prove the critics wrong at Strikeforce: Triple Threat…
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
There are some pretty major changes to the card that have to be announced…
Wesley “Cabbage” Correira has taken himself off of the card due to medical reasons. The fighter he was scheduled to face, Ruben Villareal was dropped off of the card for reasons that aren’t known at this time. It is speculated that they were unable to find an opponent for him at the last minute.
Bobby Southworth will also be unable to compete at the event due to an injury that he suffered during a recent training session. Taking his place against Anthony Ruiz, will be Trevor Prangley.
Prangley was scheduled to fight Bryan Pardoe but that bout is now cancelled…
Pride held yet another press conference yesterday discussing details about their upcoming US debut in October…
We already learned about the announcements of Josh Barnett-Pawel Nastula and Mark Hunt-Eric Esch yesterday. Dream Stage CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara stated that some more fights will be named later this week and the rest of the card will be revealed at the end of the month.
It’s interesting to note that because the event is taking place in Nevada, the rules will be similar to those that the UFC uses with a couple of changes. The fight will obviously take place in a ring rather than the UFC’s famed octagon. As it pertains to striking, there will be no elbows to the head permitted while on the ground. Kicking or kneeing of a downed opponent will be illegal as well despite that it is usually allowed in Pride events.
No shoes or Gi’s are allowed to be worn. The fights will be three five-minutes rounds instead of Pride’s usual one ten minute round followed by two five-minute rounds. The event will be four hours long and will be broadcast on PPV and the web.
Even more interesting then those announcements is the fact that Sakakibara was willing to talk about Silva-Liddell and the current status of the possible matchup. ..
“Speaking on behalf of Pride, we are ready anytime. Also, Wanderlei is ready. We just need the doctor’s confirmation regarding his injury from last week. We are still waiting for the UFC’s response. Mirko even said that if Wanderlei is not ready to fight in November, he would fight in his place. In some interviews, Mr. Dana White stated that this fight won’t happen. However, speaking from Pride’s side, we are ready.”
Hey, that’s not what Dana said!
I really don’t know which side to believe. I want to side with Dana and the UFC seeing how Pride has screwed over other promotions before by pulling crap like this whole saga. I wonder what he will have to say about this.
Even though Dana already said that Silva shouldn’t get a shot at Chuck Liddell because he was destroyed by Mirko Cro Cop, there is still room for things to happen. Dana’s right - Silva shouldn’t get Chuck after that massacre.
But if what Dana said at UFC 61 is true - They were supposed to have Wanderlei for three fights - Why don’t they have Wanderlei face someone else, like Babalu or Forrest for example. This way Tito can get his title shot and providing Chuck and Wanderlei both win, they can meet after that.
I’m such a genius…
It seems that Tito Ortiz seems to dislike Renato Sobral these days. Judging by his comments, I think it’s a good observation. Ortiz has been pretty willing to rip into Babalu for his recent performance against Chuck Liddell at UFC 62…
“Renato Babalu is not really as good as they try to make him to be. They kind of painted the picture more of what they think. I think that was a typical fight for Liddell. That fight will go the same way each and every time. The first time went 2 minutes and 30 seconds and this one went 1 minute. Renato Babalu is not really that great a fighter. He’s a great ‘B’ fighter and an average ‘A’ fighter. He’s not at the level of (Randy) Couture or Liddell or myself.”
I wouldn’t go that far Tito. Anyone who takes Fedor the distance and beats Trevor Prangley, Shogun, and Jeremy Horn all in the same night has to be considered among the best fighters out there without question. The main reason why Babalu lost in my opinion is that he failed to execute the proper game plan that could beat Chuck. Babalu must have been dreaming if he thought that he could win the stand-up battle.
It’s the classic mistake that Couture, Horn, and now Babalu have made during their fights with him. All of the fighters had fought him before, all of them had a superior ground game to him, yet all of them decided that they wanted to beat Chuck at his own game and they paid the consequences by getting dropped.
Anyway, enough of my rambling…
After hearing about Tito’s remarks, Babalu has issued a statement through his manager:
Through his manager, Sobral sent the following retort to MMAWeekly.com, “I earned my title shot after my results in the Octagon. I won my way up to the title shot against Liddell and Tito has his fight guaranteed on a contract. I won my way up with 10 wins in a row with the last three being at the UFC by submission. Tito had two victories at his two recent UFC fights with the judges helping him… very controversial results, not convincing!! Even though I believe it’s impossible, I really hope Tito beats Liddell because it will be easier to smash his face and get the title from him instead of Liddell.”
Babalu does make some good points, however I don’t think he will be getting a shot at Tito or Chuck for quite a while…
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.