Loretta Hunt

Report: Affliction II Postponed Until January


Photo by Esther Lin/CombatLifestyle.com

Loretta Hunt of Sherdog has confirmed with Keith Kizer of the NSAC that Affliction II: Day of Reckoning, scheduled for October 11th in Las Vegas, has been postponed until January 2009. 

The Oct. 11 Affliction event scheduled for the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas has been postponed, Keith Kizer of the Nevada State Athletic Commission confirmed to Sherdog.com on Wednesday.

Affliction contacted Kizer on Wednesday morning to inform him that the event would be moved to a January date at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.


It will be interesting to see what the reasoning is for the postponement and long delay before the rescheduling.

Update (3:30pmEST):  Multiple outlets are reporting that slow ticket sales in Las Vegas may be the reason for the postponement.  Robert Joyner of MMA Payout explains:

Continue reading "Report: Affliction II Postponed Until January"

Report: Florian, Lauzon Verbally Agree to Bout

UFC lightweight contenders Kenny Florian and Joe Lauzon have verbally agreed to face each other in the main event of the next UFC Fight Night scheduled for April 2nd.

The news comes from a report by Loretta Hunt of The Fight Network.

Contracts have yet to be sent out to the fighters but are expected to be sent out, signed, and returned within the next few weeks.

Florian has been riding a wave of confidence since losing a UFC lightweight title opportunity to Sean Sherk last year, winning his last three fights in impressive fashion. He submitted Din Thomas in his last bout at UFC Fight Night 11 in September after Thomas suffered multiple injuries to his knee during a takedown attempt in the fight.

Lauzon stopped former champ Jens Pulver with strikes in his UFC debut in 2006 only to take 9 month hiatus to be on the cast of the fifth season of The Ultimate Fighter. Lauzon lost in the semifinals of the reality show to Manny Gamburyan. Since the show ended, Lauzon has defeated Brandon Melendez and Jason Reinhardt in consecutive bouts.

Larenas-Bosse Under Review by QAC

Loretta Hunt of The Fight Network is reporting that the fight between former TKO Heavyweight Champion Icho Larenas and popular hockey enforcer Steve Bosse that took place at TKO 31: Young Guns this past weekend is currently under review by the Quebec Athletic Commission.

TKO president Stephane Patry revealed the news on The Fight Network’s daily radio show yesterday.

According to Patry, the QAC will be looking to see if Larenas verbally submitted during the bout. Larenas suffered an unintentional poke in the eye by Bosse during the second round of the bout. Referee Yves Lavigne stopped the bout and allowed the ringside physician to take a look at Larenas.

Larenas apparently told Lavigne that he was unable to see and Lavigne ended up giving Larenas a few minutes to recover:

“It was bad. The doctor [asked] me if I could see and I said, ‘No, I can’t see. I was seeing double. It was bad, very bad,” Larenas told The Fight Network following the bout. “I couldn’t focus, so he told me ‘Take your time. We’ll give you two or three minutes to decide.”

Now this is an interesting situation. Normally when a fighter can’t see because of a cut the fight is always stopped. But this is a poke in the eye. Fighters are traditionally given up to five minutes to recover. If the doctor checked his eye, cleared him to continue, and Larenas said that he wanted to keep fighting even though he said that he couldn’t see earlier, there’s no reason to overturn the decision since the events occurred under the correct guidelines.

Here’s Patry’s take on things:

“[Yves] Lavigne, the referee, checked the cut and then he had the right to call the doctor in, which he did, which is perfect,” Patry said. “But once the doctor has a look at the cut, he has to decide right away can he continue – yes or no. If the doctor says ‘Yes’, which he did, then the referee has to [ask] Icho ‘Yes or no?’ If Icho says ‘Yes,’ he has to continue. If he says ‘No,’ Bosse wins by TKO. Icho told the referee ‘I can’t see anything,’ and he took the five minutes. It’s not Icho’s fault. They gave him five minutes. Of course he’s going to take it.”

It seems to me already that there are mixed signals here. It’s going to come down to the commission’s interpretation of Larenas’ original “I can’t see.” If they interpret that as Larenas giving up before having his eye checked, then Bosse would become the winner by TKO due to injury. It’s going to be interesting to hear the ruling.

CKA: Oct 19, 2007

News and Notes

- The Fight Network is reporting that Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson will face Mike Rourke in his promotional debut at EliteXC: Renegade on Nov. 10 at the America Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.

- Randy Couture’s agent spoke with The Fight Network yesterday shooting down rumors about Couture earning between $3.25 and $3.75 million per fight.

“Based on Randy’s contract, $3.25 to $3.75 million is not even in the ballpark,” Walker said. “It’s beyond exaggerated. He’d never make that. I know what he’s been paid; I’ve seen the pay-per-view numbers. The numbers that are being thrown around are not accurate. Whoever gave that information does not have their facts straight.”

- The Fight Network is also reporting that B.J. Penn, the UFC’s current number one contender for the lightweight title may not face either Sean Sherk or Joe Stevenson until early February.

- So is Joe Riggs in or out of the Strikeforce middleweight tournament?

Loretta Hunt says that he’s out:

Joe Riggs will not be one of the four contestants to compete in California’s first regulated four-man tournament scheduled for Nov. 16’s Strikeforce “Four Man Enter, One Man Survives” event at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. Riggs declined the slot, however, and will seek a single fight on the card instead.

“It’s a timing thing,” said Riggs’ manager Scott Lewis. “He just fought two weeks ago and he doesn’t want to step into the cage two times in one night. We’re speaking with Scott Coker [Strikeforce’s promoter] to see if we can get him a single fight that night. He loves working with Strikeforce and is looking to get on that card.”

However Sam Caplan reports that Riggs is still undecided:

When contacted by ProElite.com, Riggs did confirm that his status for the tournament is currently uncertain but did not rule out the possibility of competing in it.

According to Riggs, his former agent, Ken Pavia, committed him to the tournament without receiving proper consent. Riggs now has new representation and is evaluating the opportunity. He indicated that he could ready to make a decision on whether he will compete in the next several days.

- Be sure to check out our newest feature ‘Break It Down’ where John and I provide our thoughts and predictions on every fight set to take place Saturday night at UFC 77: Hostile Territory.

- Don’t forget to cast your vote on our latest edition of ‘Rock the Vote’.

- UFC veteran Elvis Sinosic will replace Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos at Cage Rage 24. Sinosic will be stepping up to face British fighter Paul Cahoon.

- The weigh-ins for UFC 77: Hostile Territory will be streamed live today at 4 PM EST on Yahoo! Sports and UFC.com.

- Adam Smith will appeal his positive tests for steroids, marijuana, and cocaine with the CSAC.

- Eddie Alvarez has told Sam Caplan that he’s been informed to prepare for a possible rematch with Nick Thompson in December.

Media Links

Sherdog: In Enemy Territory
Sherdog: Silva-Franklin II: Unlike Any Other
MMAWeekly: UFC Champ Arrives in Cincy
The Cincinnati Enquirer: Fighters, fans get their MMA fix in Cincy
Web Devil: Pankration gives Sun Devils shot at MMA world

Radio Schedule

FCFighter Radio: Bart Palaszewski and Sean Salmon

12-1 PM EST - TAGG Radio
1-3 PM EST - The Jordan Breen Show
3-5 PM EST - The Stephen Quadros Show
3-4 PM EST - The Fight Network Radio
9-10 PM EST - MMAWeekly’s Sound Off
11 PM EST - Knockout Radio

Liddell-Silva Still Possible?

Loretta Hunt’s latest interview with longtime Chuck Liddell trainer John Hackleman gives hope that Liddell and Wanderlei Silva might be matched up after all:

Last week, Hackleman had intonated his star pupil was in line to fight Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at Dec. 29’s UFC 79 in Las Vegas, Nev., a fight he’d told UFC brass Liddell (20-5) would take. Rua was another casualty of UFC 76, when he was systematically dismantled by Forrest Griffin, succumbing to exhaustion and a rear-naked choke in the third round’s final seconds. Rua has since undergone surgery for a torn knee ligament and has been added to a growing disabled list that also includes current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.

“We though it was going to be ‘Shogun,’” Hackleman said, “but now instead of saying ‘no’ to Wanderlei [Silva], they’re saying maybe. We’ve wanted Wanderlei all along. When I told Chuck [it was still a possibility], he was almost as excited about it as when he found out he was fighting Tito [Ortiz].”

I have to admit now that a few weeks have passed since Chuck’s loss to Keith Jardine, I’m feeling a lot better about a Liddell-Silva matchup. So much that I’m getting that feeling in my stomach when thinking about it. UFC 79 has the possibility to be absolutely huge. Matt Hughes vs Matt Serra and all of the trash talking that has gone on for the title. Liddell-Silva maybe. B.J. Penn against either Sean Sherk or Joe Stevenson. Plus some of the other names that have been rumored for the card. Huge.

The two being paired together will easily cause both fighters to train like never before. Chuck could perform a lot better than expected. Remember after his loss to Couture at UFC 43, his next fight was Tito Ortiz of all people. Maybe a fight against Keith Jardine coming off a loss really didn’t do it for Chuck.

Anyway…

Dear Dana,

Please make Liddell-Silva happen.

Love,
John

CKA: Aug 23, 2007

News and Notes

- Tony Bonello has been forced to withdraw from his scheduled bout against Jon Murphy at this Saturday’s ShoXC Elite Challenger Series event. A replacement opponent for Murphy has not yet been named.

- Cub Swanson says that he may not be competing in the WEC’s September 5th event now that Jens Pulver has bowed out of their bout with a knee injury:

“It’s fifty-fifty right now that I’ll fight in September,” said Swanson, a hot local talent on the San Diego circuit whose budding career could have surely benefited from the higher profile match-up with the former UFC lightweight champion.

“It’s unfortunate,” said Swanson. “I just finished training for a month in Big Bear and I’m in shape.”

Loretta Hunt of The Fight Network describes Swanson’s current situation as “the WEC placing him on standby.”

- MMA Weekly is reporting that yet another Korean news website is stating that Denis Kang has signed with K-1 Hero’s and that his first bout will be against Kazushi Sakuraba on September 17th.

A Korean website called “joynews.inews24.com” is reporting that Denis Kang has been signed by K-1’s Heroes to a lucrative 2-year contract.

Apparently, Kang’s management is citing the ability to continue to compete in Spirit MC, a Korean MMA promotion in which Kang is one of the biggest draws and holds a title, as the deciding factor in signing the contract with K-1 Heroes.

Korean news is also reporting that Kang’s debut is scheduled for September 17 against Kazushi Sakuraba. Neither Kang nor K-1 has yet confirmed this, however, and there is some speculation that Sakuraba may be injured.

The website does bring up two new points - Sakuraba’s possible injury and the fact that Kang would be free to still compete in Spirit MC, which happens to be holding a tournament right now to try and crown a number one contender for Kang’s heavyweight title in that promotion.

- UFC Junkie is reporting that Nate Mohr has been forced to pull out of his proposed bout with Jeremy Stephens at UFC 76. Mohr has apparently suffered a possible broken hand. Officials close to Stephens have stated that he has still been promised a spot on the card and that the UFC is currently searching for a replacement opponent. The UFC had yet to officially announce the Mohr-Stephens bout.

- UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture will be featured tonight in Spike TV’s special, “100% Natural”. Spike will air three programs featuring Couture in them: UFC Unleashed featuring Couture’s win over Tim Sylvia at UFC 68 at 10 PM, Countdown to UFC 74 at 11 PM, and then UFC All Access: Randy Couture at 12 AM.

- The California State Athletic Commission has announced that Anthony Bivins and Cesar De La Torre have both been fined and suspended for testing positive for marijuana.

De La Torre last competed at Total Fighting Alliance on August 11th in Santa Monica, Calif. He lost by TKO to Justin Schalk. De La Torre has been fined $500 and his suspension runs from the conclusion of the bout on August 11 through November 9, 2007.

Bivins tested positive following his most recent bout for Cage Combat on August 18th in Yuba City, Calif. He defeated Tyson Schoel by triangle choke. Bivins was also fined $500 and his suspension runs from the conclusion of the bout on August 18 through November 16, 20007.

- The New Jersey State Athletic Control Board has added a female referee to it’s staff for the first time in it’s history:

Kim Winslow will officiate her first MMA fight under the NJSACB at Ring of Combat XV Friday, Sept. 7 at the Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City, N.J. Promoted by Louis Neglia, the event will be televised on pay-per-view. Ring of Combat XV will feature preliminary fights in the Beasts of the Northeast Tournament.

Winslow, a Reno, Nev. resident, has refereed in an amateur capacity in several other jurisdictions, according to the NJSACB. The 39-year-old has shadowed pro referees at UFC and IFL shows. Winslow trained regularly in jiu-jitsu and Muay thai for several years at the Reno School of Combat.

Radio Schedule

12-1 PM EST - TAGG Radio
3-5 PM EST - The Jordan Breen Show
3-4 PM EST - The Fight Network Radio
9-10 PM EST - MMAWeekly’s Sound Off
11 PM EST - Knockout Radio

Media Links

Sherdog: Canada’s Top Light Heavyweight? Hollett Thinks So
UFC Junkie: “The Ultimate Fighter 6? Will Include Small Rules Change
UFC Mania: Disjointed Lesnar interview shames MMA heavyweights
MMA Madness: A look back at K-1’s Las Vegas Grand Prix

Report: Bisping May Face Shamrock at UFC 75

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.

Pride 33 Wrap-up

Just some random thoughts from this past weekend’s Pride 33: The Second Coming show. 

It was a great show put on by DSE, which is great considering the amount of mismatches that most thought plagued the fight card.  Stunning KO upsets (Lil’ Nog especially), an absolute war between Nick Diaz and the Fireball Kid Takanori Gomi that saw the UFC vet Diaz choke out Gomi with a gogoplata, and another highlight KO of Wanderlei Silva by Dan Henderson highlighted the event.  While the production style of Pride may take some getting used to in the American market, the event was a much better representation of Pride than their first foray into the US this past October.

PRIDE 33 FULL RESULTS
Dan Henderson def. Wanderlei Silva by KO at 2:08, Round 3
Nick Diaz def. Takanori Gomi by Gogoplata at 1:46, Round 2
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua def. Alistair Overeem by TKO at 3:37, Round 1
Sergei Kharitonov def. Mike Russow by Armbar at 3:46, Round 1
Hayato “Mach” Sakurai def. Mac Danzig by TKO at 4:01, Round 2
Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou def. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira by TKO at 0:23, Round 1
James Lee def. Travis Wiuff by Guillotine Choke at 0:39, Round 1
Frank Trigg def. Kazuo Misaki by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Joachim Hansen def. Jason Ireland by Armbar at 2:33, Round 3

That being said, there are some stories out there that claim the results of Pride 33 will hurt the promotion in the long run.  The first one by Zach Arnold was first printed on BoxingScene.com.

PRIDE 33 will go down as an event that, on paper, had a fight card line-up that looked like a turkey but produced some exciting fights. Short-term, the event was successful. Long-term, however, major damage was done to several of PRIDE’s key Japanese assets.

There is no turning back to Japan now for PRIDE.  *Read More*


Arnold goes on to intricately detail how the surprising results will hurt Pride, especially in their stronghold of Japan itself. 

A few days later, Al Yu, a Japanese columnist for MMAWeekly who specializies in covering the Far East MMA scene for the site, offered very similar setiments to Arnold.  He even called it a disaster, the same as Arnold.

Operating under financial turmoil, DSE continued forward with their second U.S. show in hopes to make a further impact in a market currently dominated by the UFC. Pride 33: The Second Coming produced many exciting fights and was easily one of the best events of the year. Of the nine scheduled fights, only one went to a decision. So why was it a disaster?

What makes an organization is its stable of fighters. Pride’s large roster consists of some of the best fighters in the world. Any time a marquee fighter loses, it can have an adverse affect on an organization. In this case, four of Pride’s stars faltered on a crucial night for the Japanese organization.
*Read More*

There is no question that the event itself was a huge success, especially fight wise.  The key will be where the PPV buy numbers end up, especially considering how poor the PPV numbers for the October event turned out.  Let’s hope for the best.

Finally, for the first time ever, Pride CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara made a comment that did not deny that Pride may be up for sale.  In the past, he has always firmly denied the sales rumors.  From Loretta Hunt’s article on the Fight Network…

“Maybe,” PRIDE CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara answered of rumors that the PRIDE organization could go up for sale. “Today[‘s] show is very good [though].”

 

Silva-Henderson to Headline PRIDE 33

Loretta Hunt of ‘The Fight Network’ is reporting that PRIDE 33 will be headlined by a rematch between PRIDE champions Wanderlei Silva and Dan Henderson.

Henderson and Silva battled back in December of 2000 where fans saw “The Axe Murder” Wanderlei Silva win by decision.

In 2000, Henderson didn’t draw a favorable straw in Silva for his PRIDE debut, but the wrestler with little formal stand-up training made the most of it, pulverizing the Brazilian’s face to a mangled mesh of purple and red on route to a decision loss with the then unstoppable fighter.

This fight will give Henderson the opportunity to hold a title in two different weight classes.

“As impossible as it seems, I will make him even uglier than he is already,” Henderson promised from his home in Southern California today.

The Fight Network Update

The Fight Network president/COO and co-founder Mike Garrow recently spoke with the Toronto Sun about ‘The Fight Network’ which is Canada’s only 24 hour fight channel.

Garrow made it clear that he has accomplished everything he could in Canada and his next venture will be the States.

“For all intents and purposes, Canada is done, said Garrow, The Fight Network’s president/COO and co-founder. “We got Bell Express Vu this week, with Shaw still to come.

“What I’m focused on now is the United States ... we’ve got three different opportunities we’re looking at. I think you’ll see The Fight Network in the U.S. in 2007 in some capacity. It’ll be the first time a Canadian digital specialty channel goes to the U.S.”

All I can say to the American fans is be ready! I’ve had the pleasure of watching the fight network for the better part of a year now and it is awesome. On top of that ‘The Fight Network’ plans on introducing some new programming in the new year.

The Fight Zone, hosted by Mauro Ranallo, will provide a strong news element with an inside look at mixed martial arts, boxing and wrestling. A ticker is also on the way. Up soon is a TV version of radio’s weekly Live Audio Wrestling. And before and after major pay-per-views, Jason Agnew and Dan (The Mouth) Lovranski will have a 90-second segment done in a “shoot” style breaking down matches.

Along with the recent addition of Loretta Hunt, The Fight Network also announced the signing of “The Natural” Randy Couture.

Randy (The Natural) Couture was signed as the lead MMA analyst and company ambassador to add star power.

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