Chuck Liddell weighs-in for UFC 76: Knockout. Photo courtesy of IcemanMMA.tv
Chuck Liddell vs Mauricio “Shogun” Rua - How does that sound?
According to Chuck himself, it just might happen. Liddell revealed in a recent interview with John Wertheim of Sports Illustrated that his next opponent could be the former PRIDE star.
SI.com: Just trying to throw you off your game. So what’s next for you? Have you been told your next opponent?
Liddell: Possibly Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. That’s what they’re saying. If it’s the June fight, it will probably be in London. But my trainer is trying to get it moved to Vegas. Too far. (Liddell is based in San Luis Obispo, Calif.)
The Fight Network found out from a member of Rua’s camp that the Brazilian will not part of UFC’s April event in Canada because he already has an opponent for June:
“We wanted it, but the UFC didn’t have a spot available in April,” said a member of Rua’s camp. “They already have an opponent for him in June, although we were trying to have a fight in May.”
This could be an interesting fight and a possible great matchup for Liddell. Just like Wanderlei Silva, Rua loves to push the envelope and come right at his opponent, which is a dream come true for a counter-puncher like Liddell. In order to win this one, “Shogun” will have to find a way to counter Liddell’s wrestling with a ground attack that will keep Liddell off-balance during scrambles. Should be a fun chess match to watch if it does actually go down.
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua will return to action when the UFC ventures into Canada for the first time on April 19th according to a recent interview Rua did with Gracie Mag.
Rua mentioned that he is currently in Curitiba, Brazil training for his next fight:
“I’m already preparing for my return, I’ll fight on April 19th. Ninja and Dida go back in March. I’m injury free and with none of the pains in my knee that bothered me so, I’ll devote my entire day to fighting and I’ll be 100%. I’ll do my best to give back to my fans.”
A completely healthy Rua should be a force in the UFC’s light heavyweight division. Whether the injury was a major impact in his loss against Forrest Griffin or not, “Shogun” has a lot to do if he wants to reclaim his title of being the top fighter at 205 lbs in the world.
Touch of gloves to MMA Junkie for the find.
Mauricio and Murilo Rua have both decided to leave the Chute Boxe camp in Brazil in order to open their own gym in the United States.
The news was announced on Chute Boxe’s official website earlier today.
The new gym will opened in an undisclosed location in Massachusetts according to Sherdog’s Gleidson Venga.
Rudimar Fedrigo, the head of Chute Boxe, stated that the Rua’s will always be welcomed back in the future if the situation ever arises:
“We have to remember that the Chute Boxe doors will always be open for them. We also wish them good luck in their new endeavors.”
2007 has been a horrible year for the team that was once considered one of the best in the world. Both Wanderlei Silva and Andre Dida left earlier this year to train with different teams in North America.
The UFC held a conference call with the media earlier today to announce a new television deal with Spike TV and to discuss the UFC’s recent acquisition of former pro wrestler Brock Lesnar and the much anticipated bout between Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva at UFC 79 in December.
Jennifer Wenk, the UFC’s head of public relations was the host of the call. Participants on the call included UFC President Dana White, former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell, former PRIDE Middleweight Champion Wanderlei Silva, Brock Lesnar, and Spike TV officials Brian Diamond and Kevin Kay.
Right off the bat Dana was asked if he purposely planned a conference call at the same time Randy Couture was slated to hold his press conference.
“Am I putting on a press conference to fuck with Randy Couture right now?” asked White. “Is that what you’re asking me? No, it’s not intentional. I’m here to announce the Spike deal and discuss the Lesnar signing as well as talk about Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva and their fight, that’s it. Is it a coincidence that we got this deal done the same week that Randy decided to speak out? No.”
White let everyone know that he still likes Couture as a person and would love to have him back. He was also confident that Couture would return in the near future.
“He’s mine,” claimed White “He’s under contract to me and he can’t fight anywhere else. I don’t know what his people are telling him but resignation or not he won’t be permitted to fight anywhere else. Besides that I love Randy. Randy is pissed at me. We’re friends and friends get pissed at each other. However I’m real confident that we’re going to kiss and make up real soon.”
The details of the UFC’s new deal with Spike TV are as follows:
The contract is a four year deal. There will be five more seasons of The Ultimate Fighter. Two seasons will take place in 2008, two in 2009, and only one season in 2010. The UFC and Spike TV are also developing a new television show that will premiere in 2010. The show will feature live fights and fighters of a “higher caliber” than those currently featured on TUF according to White.
White also stated that the UFC will produce 12 live events on Spike TV for next year.
“We’re going to do 12 live fight cards for next year,” said White. “We’ll continue to do UFC Fight Nights. We’re back in bed with these guys. They’ve been so good to us over the years and we’re going to do a lot of good programs.”
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua underwent successful surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left knee last Wednesday according to Rua’s publicist Julio Heller through MMA News.
The doctor that performed the surgery was Mario Namba. Namba has worked on former PRIDE Middleweight Champion Wanderlei Silva in the past.
According to Namba, Rua’s recovery should be fast and he will be ready to fight again soon enough:
“The surgery was a success, I’m following Mauricio for the last few months and this problem was identified before his last fight, as a professional he decided to keep his agreement to fight and I respect that, he’s young and very strong, I’m sure that his recovery will be fast and he will be ready to fight again very soon.”
News and Notes
- The CSAC has announced that the following fighters have tested negative for performance enhancing drugs following post-fight testing for UFC 76: Thiago Tavares, Tyson Griffin, Ryoto Machida, Anthony Johnson, and Rich Clementi. The only test results from the event that haven’t been released yet are of Chuck Liddell, Mauricio Rua, Forrest Griffin, and Keith Jardine. The results for those fighters are expected to be released later in the week.
- Josh Thomson spoke with The Fight Network concerning a possible lawsuit Thomson may file against former UFC Middleweight Champion Frank Shamrock. Shamrock reportedly called Thomson “MMA’s first openly gay fighter” during this past weekend’s Strikeforce broadcast.
“I kind of snickered about it,” Thomson said, “but I also have had some big money sponsors coming up to me and asking me whether it was true or not. That potentially could cost me money, and that, to me, is basically what I’m getting at.”
I know that Thomson has some crazy hair and his appearance on “Blind Date” didn’t really go that well but I don’t believe Thomson is gay.
Thomson and Shamrock have had a feud going for well over a year now. Thomson attributes the tension due to the fact that Shamrock was angry that fighters from the American Kickboxing Academy decided against joining a new gym that Shamrock was opening. Shamrock has claimed in the past that Thomson has been bad mouthing him for years.
- Tonight’s episode of UFC Unleashed will feature Renato “Babalu” Sobral vs Jason Lambert from UFC 68 and Houston Alexander vs Keith Jardine from UFC 71. I’m not sure what the third fight on the broadcast will be. Don’t forget that The Ultimate Fighter is on right after that.
- Punch Drunk Gamer posted a recent interview with Josh Barnett where Barnett states that he would like to fight in Pancrase:
“I would like to be fighting in Pancrase. I would love to continue fighting there and hopefully I will get a chance to defend my belt this year. I have had some trouble with getting promoters to honor what they agreed to and cooperate with Pancrase to get a match set-up. So now that I am a free agent I would like to do it.”
Barnett has always noted in the past that he would like the chance to defend his belt in Pancrase as a stipulation in any contract he signs with an organization. However since talks haven’t gone anywhere with anyone, it seems that Barnett may do that before signing anywhere.
Touch of gloves to Five Ounces of Pain for the find.
- Ricco Rodriguez is going to headline Battle Cage Xtreme III in New Jersey on October 20th. He will take on Kauai Kupihiea for the USKBA Heavyweight Title.
- Speaking of Ricco, he’s apparently going to be a cast member of VH1’s newest reality show, Celebrity Rehab. The series debuts on January 10th.
- Fight Opinion wants you to help decide what they should discuss on their next radio show.
- In a recent interview with Sherdog’s John Lee, SpiritMC CEO Kwang Hyun Park stated that current SpiritMC Middleweight Champion Steve Bruno has signed with the UFC:
As for SpiritMC middleweight champion Steve Bruno, Park says, “As far as I know, Steve has signed with the UFC, but we have made it clear that he needs to defend his title.”
I only wish to be as cool as the Hammer House..
News and Notes
- The Fight Network is reporting that UFC veteran Drew Fickett has been added to the inaugural HDNetFights card on October 13th and will take on Anthony Lapsley. Lapsley was originally scheduled to face T.J. Waldburger. No word on why Waldburger is no longer set to compete at the event.
- If you haven’t already, don’t forget to place a bid on the shorts that UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture wore while defeating Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 74. The shorts are also autographed and are being auctioned off as part of the Ryan Bennett Memorial Fund.
- MMA Junkie is reporting via Brazilian website RPC that Mauricio “Shogun” Rua fought against Forrest Griffin at UFC 76 with a torn ligament in his knee and will be out of action until early next year. MMA Junkie also pointed out at that no mention of the injury was made by the CSAC after a post-fight examination of Rua.
- We already know that MMA is banned in Vancouver, but so is MMA-related clothing too apparently.
- Sam Caplan has received word via Gilbert Melendez that Nick Diaz has been released from the hospital after receiving treatment for a staph infection and is currently recovering at his home in Stockton, CA.
- UFC Daily has learned that Heath Herring will be returning to the Octagon early next year according to manager Dean Albrecht:
UFC heavyweight Heath Herring will likely to return to the octagon in early 2008 according to his manager, Dean Albrecht, who confirmed the news with UFC Daily earlier today. According to Albrecht, Herring is taking some time off from fighting while continuing to train for his UFC return.
No definite plans have been established for Herring though there are several rumored UFC events in January and February which could host his return to the octagon from the extended break.
The Rock talks MMA:
“Well, I think that there is still great boxing out there, and there are fights coming up that I look forward to seeing. But mixed martial arts is just phenomenal. It is so hot, and it’s clear to me why it’s so popular. I have a ton of love and respect for those guys. I’ve become friends with a bunch of those guys and they have my support. I think mixed martial arts requires an amazing athleticism, and those guys must put together a strategy and a game plan every single time they go out and fight because it’s not one-dimensional, it’s not so predictable. On any given day, the greatest can go down. I think it’s really exciting to see the success that MMA is having right now. Everything that that sport provides and all the attention that people are diverting to that entity right now is well-deserved, and it’s—well, it’s a big deal and I’m excited about it.”
- Darren Rovell of CNBC ranks UFC President Dana White 80th out of 100
sports executives in terms of power.
Touch of gloves to Fight Opinion for that find.
- Speaking of Fight Opinion, Zack Arnold is wondering how the Japanese media is going to cover Kazuhiro Nakamura positive drug test.
- Ryan from Fightlinker is impressed with how well UFC 76 did compared to UFC 59 in California.
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
The year of the upset continues…
Keith Jardine proved that those who participated in The Ultimate Fighter reality series can hang among the best in the world when he beat former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell at his own game and earned a close split decision in front of the estimated 16,000 in attendance at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA.
Liddell looked to win the first round by sending Jardine scrambling away from flurries of punches. Jardine began to score with his first few of numerous leg and body kicks but it wasn’t enough to prevent the judges from scoring the round in Liddell’s favor.
The second and third rounds were a different story however. Jardine continued to press the action while his opponent looked to land one of his patented counter-punches. Jardine (13-3-1) even knocked Liddell (20-5) down with a right hand midway through the second round, a shot that Liddell was able to absorb as he sprang back up to his feet and right back into the fight.
A number of leg and body kicks bruised and battered Liddell’s body and Jardine’s unorthodox style continued to stifle any opportunities the former champ had to get into a rhythm on the feet. When the 15 minutes was up, it was known that the judges had to make a close decision but it was also obvious that Jardine had won the fight, based on the reaction the crowd gave when Liddell raised his hands in possible victory.
Marcos Rosales was the lone judge that scored the fight for Liddell, giving him the edge by a 29-28 margin. Cecil Peoples and Richard Bertrand scored it the same but gave the victory to Jardine and ruined any chances we had of seeing a Liddell-Wanderlei Silva showdown in December.
After the fight, Jardine tried to put his win into perspective.
“The win feels great,” Jardine said. “Chuck is the greatest fighter in the history of the UFC as far as I’m concerned.”