News and Notes
- PRIDE has canceled their 04/28 USA show. This is unfortunate considering how exciting PRIDE 33: Second Coming was but one can definitely assume the organization is in some serious trouble. PRIDE USA President Ed Fishman is in the process of taking legal action against the company. For more information on the situation check out Zach Arnold’s piece at Fight Opinion.
- At the UFC 68 post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White, said that UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell is currently suffering from pneumonia and he should never have been let on the “Good Morning Texas” show. White was visibly unhappy and he said that he was flying to San Luis Obispo to check on him. The representative that took Liddell to the appearance was from Warner.
- During the UFC 68 post-fight presser, Matt Hughes stated that former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia came into the fight with a bad back that almost forced him to withdraw from the fight.
Sylvia, who dropped to 25-3, said in the ring that he had come into the fight carrying an injury but was beaten “fair and square.” He did not attend the post-fight news conference but Hughes said Sylvia had an injured back and had considered pulling out of the bout.
- Injury or not, Dana White didn’t feel it was an intelligent move on Sylvia’s part to tell the crowd he was injured coming into the fight.
“Even if he did, he should have never said it,” White said when asked of the injury and the comment in the ring. “Tim has an big image problem, you could see it tonight. Tim’s a good guy. He’ll come back. He’s a tough kid. This is going to be a hard one for him. There was no doubt in his mind he was going to beat Randy Couture tonight. He was overconfident.”
- Assuming Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic gets by Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 70: Nations Collide, Cro Cop and Couture will face off in a heavyweight title fight some time during the summer. For the first time in a while the UFC will have a very legit and marketable heavyweight title fight.
- Speaking of Cro Cop, according to Canada.com, Cro Cop asked the UFC brass for a fight with Brandon “Truth” Vera but it is currently on hold as Vera and Zuffa are having a very difficult time agreeing on a new contract.
Here is the official card for UFC 68: The Uprising.
Main Card Bouts:
Tim Sylvia vs. Randy Couture - UFC Heavyweight Title
Matt Hughes vs. Chris Lytle
Drew McFedries vs. Martin Kampmann
Rich Franklin vs. Jason MacDonald
Renato Sobral vs. Jason Lambert
Rex Holman vs. Matt Hamill
Jon Fitch vs. Luigi Fioravanti
Gleison Tibau vs. Jason Dent
Jason Gilliam vs. Jamie Varner
Canadian middleweight Jason “The Athlete” MacDonald will make his return to the octagon March 3rd when he faces former UFC middleweight champion Rich “Ace” Franklin.
“When you continue to be successful in the UFC, each time you go back you get a tougher fight,” MacDonald said in a statement. “I got a big win over (Chris) Leben who was considered to be in the top five and now they’re giving me someone else who is another top guy.”
Jason MacDonald made his UFC debut earlier this year when he choked out ‘The Ultimate Fighter 3’ runner up Ed Herman. MacDonald was able to continue his winning streak last Saturday when he choked out Herman’s teammate Chris Leben making it six wins in a row for the New Glasgow, N.S. native.
In other news, it is expected that former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes will face Chris Lytle at UFC 68.
Update: 5:21 PM EST - Sherdog.com is reporting that along with signing to fight Rich Franklin, Jason MacDonald has also agreed to a signing bonus and a new four-fight contract.
Earlier this month, UFC President Dana White told reporters that the UFC was planning to come to Montreal April 7th with Georges St. Pierre vs. Matt Hughes II as the headline bout.
Unfortunately for the Canadian fans things took a sudden change as Dana White called off the card on Thursday. In an interview with The Globe and Mail, White said “Fell apart, unfortunately, there were a lot of different things that made that fight fall apart.”
“I’m trying to regroup right now and figure out when we go to Canada.”
With St. Pierre vs. Hughes currently on the backburner, fans will get to see Matt Hughes make his return to the octagon at UFC 68 in Ohio.
Today UFC President Dana White sat down with the OC Register and provided fans with some excellent insight as to what’s on the horizon for the UFC. Here is some interesting information from the interview.
Dana White confirmed the company has picked up:
- Quinton Jackson
- Rob McCullough
- Heath Herring
- Ivan Salaverry
- Urijah Faber
He also mentioned that they are still sifting through it all but the main score was the acquisition of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. We’ll be hearing more information on who was picked up in the coming days.
When asked if being associated with the IFL would be a problem, White stated “Not at all, I’ll take care of that too.” That means we could see the likes of Matt Lindland and Bas Rutten in the UFC in the near future.
White’s reason for purchasing the WFA was mainly for the contracts and in the process he was able to squash the company.
For the past couple of weeks there have been rumors floating around stating that the UFC had purchased the WEC and today Dana White confirmed them. In the interview White said he did in fact purchase the WEC and he went on to say “We’re going to take that to a whole other level, put it on television and blow it up. Pretty soon the WEC will be number 2.”
“The WEC isn’t going to be looked at as a feeder show or guys who are aspiring to be in the UFC. There is going to be no trading or swapping. It’s going to be UFC versus WEC.”
White continued to assure the reporters that 2007 was going to be huge and we now know that is true. At this point we are still at the tail end of 2006 and White has already gone out and purchased the WEC, bought out the WFA, acquired numerous WFA contracts, and he expects his product to be televised on HBO in the very near future. Also there have been many rumors floating around that heavyweight ace Mirko Cro Cop may be testing his luck in UFC in the very near future. When asked about Cro Cop, White said “I’m looking at a lot of guys right now, I want them all.”
White closed out the interview by saying that the UFC would be coming to Canada in April of 2007 for the Georges St. Pierre vs. Matt Hughes rubber match. When talking about the rematch in Canada, an excited White said “How crazy do you that place going to be that night? How do you think it’s going to be for Hughes when he walks in with 16,000 Canadians in there? They’re going to kill him.” On top of that he said the UFC plans on branching out into Mexico and the U.K.
2007 is going to be great!
As the days go by the UFC continously grows and so does the mainstream media coverage. Last night fans saw a passing of the torch in the welterweight division.
Here are some links to keep you dialed in…
TSN: Canada Rules UFC Welterweight Ranks
UFC: GSP Dethrones Hughes; Sylvia Outpoints Monson
Sherdog: French Toasted: St. Pierre Ends Hughes’ UFC Reign
MMAWeekly: What A Rush: Georges St. Pierre Wins The Welterweight Title
InsideFighting: St. Pierre Wins Title, Sylvia Retains His and Vera Becomes #1 Contender
Last night fans saw a passing of the torch as UFC welterweight superstar Georges “Rush” St. Pierre destroyed Matt Hughes early in the 2nd round.
In what turned out to be one of the best UFC events in quite some time about 15,000 fans packed the ARCO Arena in Sacramento, California to witness one of the most anticipated fights in UFC history; Hughes and St. Pierre didn’t disappoint.
It seems that every UFC event is growing in coverage as the year goes on. Of course Georges St. Pierre rematching Matt Hughes for the UFC Welterweight Title might be helping things a little bit too…
Here’s a few links to fill you in on what sports writers around the country are saying about the event:
UFC: It’s Redemption, not Revenge on the Mind of Georges St. Pierre
FOX Sports: Hughes-St. Pierre: UFC’s match of the year?
Sherdog: A Self-Made “Maine-iac”
MMA Weekly: Tim Sylvia Ready to Ascend Beyond Belt
The Fight Network: Monson Plans Hostile Takeover of UFC Crown
Houston Chronicle: Matt Hughes intends to continue the fight; Monson prepared for last shot
Winnipeg Free Press: Opposites collide in heavyweight title fight at UFC 65 in Sacramento
Rocky Mountain News: Out of ring, Monson sits for anarchy
Los Angeles Times: St. Pierre is primed for rematch
Doghouse Boxing: Can Matt Hughes fend off the Rush?
Slam Sports: From idol to enemy
Canada.com: UFC champion Hughes takes swipe at Canada over foreign policy
Las Vegas Review-Journal: Monson faces tall task against Sylvia
Jonathan “The Road Warrior” Goulet is a veteran of the UFC and TKO, holding a professional MMA record of 16-7. Some of Goulet’s more notable victories have come against Jeff Joslin, Travis Galbraith, Tony Fryklund, John Alessio, and Shonie Carter. Goulet is also currently the number one contender for the TKO Welterweight Title.
Goulet is a well rounded fighter who is versed in Karate and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and is a potent striker. His most recent fight was a loss to Josh Koscheck at UFC Fight Night 6. Goulet also recently signed a three fight deal with the UFC back in August.
Here is a short, recent question and answer set that we did with Jonathan discussing his fight with Koscheck and his plans for the near future…
Not so fast! A few days ago Matt Hughes wrote on his personal blog that if his teammate and friend Rich Franklin loses his upcoming fight against Anderson Silva at UFC 64: Unstoppable he’lll consider bumping up to 185 to fight Anderson Silva.
While there has been talk about Hughes moving up to middleweight alot lately, it almost seems like it is now or never. Hughes has accomplished everything expected of a champion as he has defended his title numerous times and now he is looking for a new challenge. As long as we get St. Pierre vs. Hughes II in November, I’m all for it.
Thursday night, my wife and I leave for Las Vegas for the UFC. I hope Rich wins, but if Anderson wins I would consider bumping up to 185 and fighting him.