Kenny Florian throws a knee at Joe Lauzon. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The ‘Battle of Boston’ went in Kenny Florian’s favor last night as he relentlessly pressured fellow Massachusetts native Joe Lauzon before ultimately stopping his foe with an onslaught of unanswered strikes during the latest edition of UFC Fight Night at the at the Broomfield Events Center in Denver, Colorado.
What originally was booked as a friendly matchup between two lightweight contenders slowly evolved into a heated exchange of pre-fight trash talking. The tension between the two was evident from the start of the fight as an intense staredown changed into a quick exchange of punches.
Lauzon quickly down Florian down in the first minute. An unorthodox attempt by Florian to use elbows from the bottom was foiled by referee Herb Dean after one of the blows cut the back of Lauzon’s head open. Florian then used solid submission defense to escape knee bar and heel hook attempts before eventually closing out the round delivering strikes from the top position.
Florian turned up the heat at the start of the second round. A swift body kick led to Florian scoring a takedown and transitioning to half-guard. The veteran of the inaugural season of “The Ultimate Fighter” then rained down unanswered punches and elbows on Lauzon for nearly two full minutes. Despite a good job of covering up and limiting damage, Dean decided that Lauzon had enough, moving Florian even closer to another shot at the lightweight title that was once in his reach.
“Joe’s a great competitor and I knew it was gonna be a tough fight,” Florian said after the bout. “That’s what I wanted.”
A wealth of news and events have developed over the four days that we were sidelined due to those damn server gremlins. Here’s a little recap of everything that has gone on since then. The majority of the news is displayed after the jump.
Frye-Taktarov Booked for YAMMA Pit Fighting
Longtime mixed martial arts veterans Don Frye and Oleg Taktarov will headline the main event at YAMMA Pit Fighting’s inaugural show, which is slated to take place at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, NJ on April 11th.
Frye revealed the news during his weekly appearance on TAGG Radio.
“I hope (YAMMA) made the announcement because I just signed to fight Oleg Taktarov,” Frye said.
Quote courtesy of MMA Junkie.
EliteXC Reveals Complete Card for “Street Certified”
Elite Xtreme Combat has announced the complete card for their upcoming “Street Certified” event, which will take place this Saturday night at the University of Miami’s BankUnited Center. The event will be airing on Showtime.
The full card is below:
Tank Abbott vs. Kimbo Slice
Ricco Rodriguez vs. Antonio Silva
Kyle Noke vs. Scott Smith
Yves Edwards vs. Edson Berto
Brett Roges vs. James Thompson
Rafael Feijao vs. John Doyle
Jon Kirk vs. Yosmany Cabezas
Dave Herman vs. Mario Rinaldi
Eric Bradley vs. Mikey Gomez
Mike Berhard vs. Lorenzo Borgameo
The UFC held a conference call with the media yesterday afternoon to promote this weekend’s UFC 78: Validation which is set to take place live from the brand new Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey this Saturday. UFC President Dana White was the host of the call. Featured fighters included Michael Bisping, Rashad Evans, and Houston Alexander.
- White stated that Randy Couture contacted him and requested a face-to-face meeting. White said that the meeting will most likely take place at some point this week. White also noted that Couture has been offered an official title defense against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for early next year. Couture has not given an answer as of yet. White says that there are no plans for an interim heavyweight title if Couture chooses not to accept.
- When it comes to Sean Sherk, White says that Sherk will now most likely be stripped of his title if the California State Athletic Commission refuses to overturn his positive steroids test next month. That means Penn and Stevenson would fight for the actual title at UFC 80 and that Sherk would become a mandatory challenger once his suspension was over.
- No decision on whether or not UFC 80 will be broadcasted on PPV or Spike TV.
- The UFC held a meeting with all of it’s fighters last week in Las Vegas where a variety of topics were discussed. Topics included the steroids problem, contracts, taxes, organization policy, and how to deal with the media. Rumor has it that White told fighters they no longer be permitted to participate in internet radio shows. That seems to be false however as Spencer Fisher was on Sherdog yesterday.
- White says that he is slated to meet with officials in the New York State Athletic Commission to discuss the possible legalization of MMA in the state.
- White noted that rematches of Tito Ortiz-Rashad Evans and Michael Bisping-Matt Hamill were originally supposed to headline UFC 78 but both Hamill and Ortiz claimed that they were injured and couldn’t compete.
- The next UFC Fight Night is scheduled for January 23rd. No word on a location or potential participants on the card yet.
- The UFC plans on returning to Florida at some point next year but the show will most likely be a PPV instead of the usual UFC Fight Night cards that have taken place in the state.
- While White did not reveal which major network he was currently in discussions with, he admitted that he was indeed in talks to have the UFC air on a “prime-time” network in the future.
- White has no idea concerning who is next in line to challenge Anderson Silva for the UFC Middleweight Title. White noted that he has attempted multiple times to try and get Dan Henderson to drop down to middleweight but Henderson seems to want to stay at 205 lbs.
News and Notes
- I would try and elaborate more on the closing of the PRIDE offices in Japan but instead I’ll leave it to the two that can do it best:
- The California State Athletic Commission has announced the all fighters that participated in last weekend’s Strikeforce event, with the exception of Adam Smith, have all tested negative for performance enhancing drugs and drugs of abuse.
- Both K-1 Hero’s and Pancrase have announced details about their upcoming events…
Denis Kang, Yoshihiro Akiyama, Dong Sik Yoon, and Taiei Kin are all said to be part of K-1 Hero’s October 28th event at the Jangchung Gymnasium in Seoul, South Korea.
Pancrase has officially announced three bouts for it’s October 14th show - Middleweight King of Pancrase Yuichi Nakanishi will defend his title against Izuru Takeuchi, heavyweights Tatsuya Mizunoa and Masayuki Kono will collide, and Wataru Takahash takes on Shinsuke Shoji.
Daiki Hata will also be on the card against an opponent that has not yet been announced.
- Matt Hamill made a post on his official website yesterday concerning the booking of the Rashad Evans-Michael Bisping matchup at UFC 78:
Wow! Let me just say… I am in shock. First, I get hosed by two judges in London and now the much anticipated rematch has evaporated in front of my eyes. I’m starting to feel like the deck is stacked against me. Duff, my trainer/manager told me he thought something like this would happen when he read Bisping’s statement on the internet. He said it looked like Bisping was looking for a way out of the rematch. I posted a statement about my knee surgery on 9/25 so everyone would know it was minor, and I would be ready by mid December. I didn’t think six weeks was that long of a wait, apparently, Bisping and the UFC did. I am so hungry to fight. I had surgery to add wrestling back to my arsenal. I fought Bisping’s fight at UFC 75 and I was looking forward to fighting my fight in the rematch. I feel honored that so many people have told me I won the fight in London. It makes the decision easier for me to accept. I want to fight… I want to fight ASAP! Hopefully the UFC will schedule a fight for me soon. I would like to fight in December or January and hopefully Bisping after that… If Bisping has the guts to do it again.
- Adam Swift of UFC Daily is reporting via Dave Meltzer that Sean Sherk has passed a lie detector test concerning his usage of steroids:
Sean Sherk passed a lie detector test saying that he did not knowingly use steroids. While certainly not conclusive, it can’t hurt his chances at getting his suspension over turned or at the very least reduced.
Forrest Griffin discusses his recent win over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at the UFC 76 post-fight press conference.
News and Notes
- Forrest Griffin knows that Wanderlei Silva apparently wants to fight him. However Griffin isn’t sure if he would be medically cleared for UFC 79 in December:
“It kind of would, yeah,” said Griffin about a December date with Silva being too soon. “I’d love to fight him if I didn’t have a giant hole in my face right now. We were in the hotel lobby and I was doing an interview with someone and they’re like ‘Wanderlei just said he wants to fight you’ and I was like ‘Right now, really, right now? He wants to fight me? I know he’s a Chute Boxe guy, but right now?’ And they were like no, no, no … in December.”
“We’ll see medically,” Griffin stated about the December card. “[It’ll] take a couple of weeks to figure it out.”
The cut that Griffin sustained was pretty severe and I’m going to assume that the CSAC will medically suspend him for at least a month without contact. However UFC 79 isn’t until December 29th, which would still give Griffin a good two months to be able to train for the fight. I guess we’ll see what happens…
- Looking for an update on Dan Henderson? The Fight Network has one.
Apparently Henderson only has one fight left on his current contract with the UFC. He has also stated that he would be ready to fight by November but that he would like to stay at light heavyweight, despite the UFC’s efforts to attempt to get Henderson to move down to his natural weight of 185.
- Cage Rage has released part of the upcoming card for Cage Rage 24: Feel The Pain:
Evangelista Santos vs Paul Cahoon
Mark Epstein vs Tom Watson
Ross Pointon vs Marios Zaromskis
Brad Pickett vs Ronnie Mann
Abdul Mohammed vs Robbie Oliver
James McSweeney vs Robert Paczkow
Neil Grove vs Robert Berry
- Matt Hamill has set the story straight concerning his recent knee surgery and stated that he would like to rematch Michael Bisping in December on his official sitehttp://www.matthamill.com/.
- Entertaining PRIDE veteran Akihiro Gono announced at his own press conference yesterday that he has signed with the UFC and will be fighting welterweight Tamden McCrory at UFC 78 in November:
“I know his fight record,” Gono said of the 20-year-old McCrory. “I know that he’s tall, young and has a long reach.”
- The California State Athletic Commission has released the official attendance and gate for UFC 76:
The UFC 76 “Knockout” event on September 22nd in Anaheim, California had an official attendance of 13,770 - with 1,953 of those seats as comps (tickets given away for free to media, friends, celebrities, etc.) for a gate of $1,984,880.
- MMA Weekly has released their latest set of rankings.
Fightlinker: I loves me some Mac Danzig
Sherdog: Old-School Event Sparks Backlash in Brazil
Fight Opinion: Wednesday war room: Where’s my PRIDE?
Five Ounces of Pain: ShoXC to return on Oct. 26 featuring Javi Vazquez, Aaron Rosa, and Muhsin Corbbrey
MMA Analyst: Is the PRIDE vs. UFC debate over?
MMA HQ: “Minotauro” Nogueria vs Cheick Kongo at UFC 79?
Touch of gloves to Ryan at Fightlinker for the picture idea.
News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated…
- According to John Hackleman at least, Liddell is already back in the gym and planning for a return to the Octagon in December if possible:
If Chuck Liddell is contemplating retirement, his trainer and closest confidante John Hackleman is the last to hear about it.
“He’s already said he’ll be back in the gym next Monday,” said Hackleman, who has coached Liddell for 16 years. “He’s going to fight again, hopefully as soon as possible, maybe in December. We’re looking at ‘Shogun.’”
- Stash Capar of The Fight Network wrote an excellent piece yesterday detailing Joachim “Hellboy” Hansen’s decision to sit out the remainder of his current contract with Zuffa, that’s right I said Zuffa. Why? The parent company of the UFC refuses to pay him the same amount of money that he made in PRIDE:
Most mixed martial arts fighters dream of scoring a contract to fight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, sometimes top ten lightweight Joachim “Hellboy” Hansen wants nothing more than to get out of his. The well-rounded Norwegian, the first man to beat PRIDE Fighting Championships Lightweight Champion Takanori Gomi, attended last Saturday’s Cage Rage 23 at London’s Wembley Arena to meet with Pro Elite’s Live Events president Gary Shaw, presumably to explore his options with the organization.
“I just want to fight and make enough so that I can live decently,” says Hansen. “The UFC gave me an offer in the summer, a fight with Marcus Aurelio (14-5-0). But they only wanted to pay me half the money that I was making in PRIDE. How can you say my contract is transferable, and then only offer me half of what I normally make?”
Instead of accepting the offer, Hansen says he’s opted to wait out his contract with the three months left till its completion.
- Michael Bisping has announced that his potential rematch with Matt Hamill, which was apparently scheduled for UFC 78 in November, has been postponed as Hamill is undergoing knee surgery:
The rematch between Hamill and I was being planned for Nov 27 in New Jersey. Unfortunately Hamill is unable to fight as he is having knee surgery. I am disapointed as I was really looking forward to fighting him again. That said, myself having a torn ligament in each of my knees for my last 3 fights, I can understand why he’s having it.
- IFL website editor Ben Fowlkes has joined Sam Caplan and Adam Morgan at Five Ounces of Pain.
Fightlinker: The Low Blow Episode 17
Radio Shows -
Wrestling Observer: The Truth about PRIDE and UFC
Sherdog: Sherdog’s Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings
MMA Weekly: London Calling - The Next Step Forward
Fightlinker: Birthday Reminder: Loretta Hunt
Bloody Elbow: Kevin Iole
Sports Illustrated: Five observations
Fight Opinion: Tuesday turmoil: Mainstream media questions if Liddell was all hype and no substance
UFC: Surveying the Lay of the 205-lb Land; Jardine, Evans Poised for a Run – Lay of the 205-lb Land - Part II
FOX Sports: UFC upsets opened numerous possibilities
News and Notes
- MMA Junkie is reporting a lot of news lately…
The UFC has apparently signed former PRIDE, Shooto, and Pancrase veteran Akihiro Gono and has sent UFC welterweight Tamdan McCrory a contract proposing the fight according to McCrory’s manager:
“He’ll (be at) UFC 78 if he accepts the fight, which I assume he will considering he has fought top guys his whole career,” Ciotoli.
”(The UFC’s been) trying to get me on that card, being that I’m from the area and have a strong fan base in New Jersey,” McCrory told us last month.
Marvin Eastman has been forced to pull out of his scheduled bout against Demian Maia at UFC 77 after undergoing eye surgery:
“I had a weak spot on my retina for a long time, and about two weeks ago, it tore a little bit,” Eastman said. “It felt like sleepy eye. I went in to check it out last Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., and I was in surgery by 7. It’s fixed now, and I’ve got to chill a month and can’t fight until November.“
No word as of yet on a replacement opponent for Eastman.
Chris Lytle may be heading over to the WEC for a possible title shot against WEC Welterweight Champion Carlos Condit:
MMA fan favorite and “The Ultimate Fighter 4” welterweight runner-up Chris Lytle may be leaving the UFC for Zuffa LLC’s other fight promotion — the WEC — and may be in line for an immediate title shot.
In fact, a source close to current WEC welterweight champion Carlos Condit (21-4) first contacted MMAjunkie.com about the possibility, saying UFC and WEC officials were discussing the potential title fight. However, the WEC recently folded a proposed November event into its Dec. 12 fight card, and as of now, the organization has far more fighters than it has fight slots.
A reliable source tell us that a Condit-Lytle fight would happen no sooner than February 2008 — if then — because of the backlog.
- Brazilian MMA website Tatame is reporting that former PRIDE star Ricardo Arona may currently be in contract talks with the UFC.
Hat tip to UFC Mania for the Arona link.
- So Matt Hamill has a torn ACL? He also fought Michael Bisping with that torn ACL? Read what Adam Morgan and 411Mania have to say about that.
- It seems that the UFC has took down UFC Takedown:
Late last week, Matt Cava of UFCtakedown.com was issued a Cease and Desist by Zuffa, LLC. He has been told to remove his website. They specifically nailed him for using UFC in his URL as well as broadcasting illegal fight videos. September 8th’s UFC 75: Champion v. Champion videos as well as a fight between Ricardo Arona and Quinton Jackson were specifically mentioned. As of today, UFCtakedown.com no longer exists. In the meantime, Matt has been able to secure MMAtakedown.net for the time being.
- Brigham Young University has banned Versus from the school’s channel selection, citing costs and the broadcasting of MMA as the reasons:
BYU has banned access to Versus on its campus cable, citing cost and content issues such as ultimate fighting.
Touch of gloves to Fight Opinion for that one.
Luke Thomas, Sam Caplan, and Matt Cava recap EliteXC: Uprising and preview UFC 76.
Sherdog: Tale of Two Coaches
MMA Weekly: Catching up with Matt Lindland
Fight Opinion: Pro Elite pays big for KOTC & Cage Rage
Fightlinker: Kang forsakes America, may secretly be a communist
Bloody Elbow: How to Build a MMA Cage?
Houston Chronicle: Fitch gets his shot at UFC’s main stage
Daily Star: Dancing Iceman’s Hot Move
Chicago Sports: Keeping up with Montini’s Chase Beebe
News and Notes
- Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports has a direct quote from UFC President Dana White where White states he is working on an immediate rematch between Michael Bisping and Matt Hamill:
And, while they’re at it, the UFC honchos should mandate a rematch between Bisping and Hamill.
White said the rematch is “a no-brainer and I’m going to be on it right away.”
Having them fight again in a place where an official athletic commission will oversee the affairs is the only way to remove the stench surrounding UFC 75.
However FOX Sports is reporting that Bisping will most likely drop down to the middleweight division. I’m not so sure that Hamill could make 185 lbs.
- Staying with the quotes, it seems that Patrick Cote wants both Chris Leben and Terry Martin and would like to face the winner of their bout in December:
“I just want to prove to everybody that I was robbed last time [against Leben],” says Cote. “I will not leave the fight in the judge’s hands next time.”
“I just don’t like Martin,” says Cote. “He has a big mouth. Terry Martin has said he’s the next big thing at 185 and that he will be champion. He thinks he has heavy hands because he knocked out Jorge Rivera. But if you watch that fight, you see Rivera was already off balance and he caught him. He’s a one-dimensional fighter. He doesn’t shoot for the leg; he tries to trap you against the cage. I can use my reach against him, and I have good footwork and hands. It will be a long night for him if he wants to try and trap me against the cage.”
- The Ryan Bennett Memorial Fund is auctioning off Randy Couture’s autographed gloves from UFC 74. Bidding ends on Thursday.
- MMA Weekly is reporting that Fabio Silva will take on Melvin Manhoef at the September 17th K-1 Hero’s event.
- The British Medical Association is attempting to ban MMA in the country of England. Apparently it’s nothing to worry about as the BMA has also been trying to ban boxing since 1982. That obviously hasn’t worked.
- Mirko Cro Cop has told Croatian reporters that he suffered a broken rib in the first round of his recent loss to Cheick Kongo over the weekend.
- Zach Arnold has found that Hidehiko Yoshida may be appearing at K-1’s annual Dynamite show on New Year’s Eve. Now the big question: Will he fight or just be a guest?
Sankei Sports is reporting that Hidehiko Yoshida is considering an offer to appear at the K-1 Dynamite New Year’s Eve event. Yoshida was quoted as saying that he wanted to fight before the end of the year and that he is leaving any future career decisions to the J-ROCK office to determine. J-ROCK’s stance is that if PRIDE is dead, then Yoshida should be a free agent.
For at least one more night, it was UFC vs PRIDE.
UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and PRIDE Middleweight title holder Dan Henderson clashed last night in order to determine who currently is the best fighter in the world at 205 lbs. It was Jackson that came away victorious after five long and hard fought rounds at the sold out O2 Arena in London, England.
Jackson overcame being down on points earlier in the fight to win the final two rounds in convincing fashion and to give the judges more than enough reason to award him an unanimous decision.
Henderson (22-6) controlled the fight early on, clinching early and often to keep Jackson (28-6) at bay and unable to let his hands go. Jackson fought hard to prevent the two-time U.S. Olympic wrestler from taking him down but Henderson’s skill proved too much in the first few rounds.
However the rounds quickly caught up to Henderson and Jackson used his size and strength to wear down his opponent. The final stages of the fight saw Jackson beat Henderson at his own game, showing off newly polished ground skills that have become yet another weapon in Jackson’s dangerous arsenal. The final round saw both fighters lay everything on the line. Both were content to slug it out until the final bell where Henderson collapsed due to fatigue, allowing Jackson to pound away until the referee was forced to let the fighters know that the bout was over.
After the fight, Jackson let everyone know that his success on the ground wasn’t a fluke.
“A lot of people don’t know but I’ve got Jiu-Jitsu,” exclaimed Jackson.
Today we will be going live at 1:30 PM EST, covering UFC 75: Champion vs Champion with one of our patented live blogs. Be sure to leave some comments throughout the day and night…
Since this event is taking place in England and airing in North America via tape delay at 9 PM EST on Spike TV, we will be sure to keep the live blog hidden from the front of the page. In order to view it in it’s entirety, click on the “continue reading” link at the bottom of the post.
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 75 Weigh-In Results
Dan Henderson: “This is the Biggest Fight of my Career”
PRIDE’s Last Hurrah? Possibly Not
Rampage Discusses Strategy Against Henderson
Dan Henderson on Best Damn Sports Show Period
UFC 75 Conference Call Notes
Rampage Discusses Bout With Henderson
Cro Cop’s Training Regimen Revealed?
UFC 75 to Air on Spike TV
Quinton Jackson vs. Dan Henderson - UFC Light Heavyweight Title/PRIDE Middleweight Title Unification Bout
Mirko Cro Cop vs. Cheick Kongo
Michael Bisping vs. Matt Hamill
Houston Alexander vs. Alessio Sakara
Marcus Davis vs. Paul Taylor
Jess Liaudin vs. Anthony Torres
Gleison Tibau vs. Terry Etim
Thiago Silva vs. Tomasz Drwal
Dennis Siver vs. Naoyuki Kotani