Middleweight

UFC 74 Weigh-In Results

Here are the official results from the UFC 74 weigh-ins.

Thales Leites weighed in at 188 lbs, 3 lbs over the 185 lb limit at middleweight. He currently has two hours to lose the extra weight. Since his fight against Ryan Jensen is a non-title bout, he will be permitted to weigh-in at 186 lbs if need be. We will be sure to have an update on the situation as soon as we get the information.

Update 9:30 PM: Leites made the required weight within two hours and will be permitted to fight tomorrow night.

Randy Couture (228.5 lbs) vs Gabriel Gonzaga (252 lbs)
Georges St. Pierre (170 lbs) vs Josh Koscheck (170 lbs)
Joe Stevenson (155 lbs) vs Kurt Pellegrino (155 lbs)
Patrick Cote (184.5 lbs) vs Kendall Grove (184 lbs)
Roger Huerta (155 lbs) vs Alberto Crane (155 lbs)
Marcus Aurelio (155 lbs) vs Clay Guida (155 lbs)
Frank Mir (255 lbs) vs Antoni Hardonk (244 lbs)
Renato Sobral (204 lbs) vs David Heath (205 lbs)
Thales Leites (188 lbs) vs Ryan Jensen (185 lbs)

The Top 10 Fighters Not Under Contract With Zuffa

While Zuffa has signed a wealth of talent over the past few months, they haven’t locked up every top fighter just yet, including the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter. Here’s your guide to the top ten fighters that currently aren’t under contract with Zuffa (UFC/WEC) courtesy of Scott and myself…

1. Fedor Emelianenko (26-1-0-1) – The best fighter in the world, period. He has beaten a who’s who of heavyweights from around the world and is looking pretty much unstoppable at this point. The only thing we have against him is that he doesn’t fight often enough but it’s technically not his fault anyway. Both K-1 and the UFC are vigorously attempting to sign the hottest free agent on the market right now. Old rumors had him going to the UFC while the latest set has him staying in Japan. Only time will tell where Fedor is going to end up.

2. Josh Barnett (20-5) – Probably the second biggest FA on the market, Barnett hasn’t ruled out signing with any organization. He’s an extremely talented heavyweight and a former UFC Heavyweight Champion at that. Has split a pair of fights with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. His ‘Achilles’ heel’ seems to be Mirko Cro Cop - Barnett has lost to him in three straight tries. Has the skill set to beat anyone in the world. Has said that he would love to return to the US but the guy is a legend in Japan.

3. Matt Lindland (20-5) – The one fighter that the UFC should have never let go. Lindland was set to challenge Rich Franklin for the UFC Middleweight Title until the UFC terminated his contract because of an unapproved sponsor being on his shorts. Lindland has won 5 out of 7 fights since then - his only losses have been against Quinton Jackson and Fedor who both compete in higher weight classes than “The Law”. Has said that he currently does not want to be locked up by a single organization.

4. Takanori Gomi (27-3-0-1) – Gomi was the top ranked lightweight in the world for what seemed like forever until he was submitted by both Marcus Aurelio and Nick Diaz in less than a year. His losses have come against the cream of the crop and he’s beaten just about everyone else out there. Gomi is the current PRIDE Lightweight Champion as well the winner of the PRIDE Lightweight Grand Prix in 2005. He has stated that he has no interest in leaving Japan to compete at this time and has publicly said he is interested in signing with K-1.

5. Denis Kang (27-8-1-1) – Reports have Kang signing with K-1 any day now. If he does indeed ink a deal with K-1, he is expected to take on Kazushi Sakuraba in September in what could possibly be Saku’s final fight. Kang put himself on the map by fighting his way to the finals of the PRIDE Welterweight Grand Prix, defeating Akihiro Gono, Murilo Rua, and Amar Suloev before ultimately losing a split decision to Kazuo Misaki. He is widely considered one of the most well-rounded middleweights in the world today.

Continue reading "The Top 10 Fighters Not Under Contract With Zuffa"

TKO Notes and Quotes: Aug 21, 2007

Adam Kastner discusses upcoming bout with Adrian Wooley

MMA on Tap was able to catch up with TKO featherweight Adam Kastner (1-0) to get his thoughts on his upcoming bout with Adrian Wooley as well as little background information on how he got his start in MMA and his goals for the future.

On September 28, 2007 at TKO 30: Apocalypse, Adam Kastner will make his second appearance in the TKO cage when he faces fellow undefeated featherweight Adrian Wooley (2-0). Wooley is a talented wrestler who made his TKO debut at TKO MMA Tourney 2007, defeating Sonny Leong (1-10-1) by decision. Wooley’s next fortay in the TKO cage came at TKO 29: Repercussion when he fought and defeated Guillaume Lamarche (1-1).

Kastner was respectful when talking about his opponent saying, “From seeing Adrian fight previously I think he’s a great fighter, a very good wrestler and I think it’s going to be a tough fight for me. It’s hard to predict how the fight is going to go, I am going to try and do the things I am working on in training and try and pull out a win. But I think it will be a very exciting fight to watch.”

Kastner may be relatively new to the MMA scene but he is not new to the fight game. Before making taking the plunge to MMA Kastner spent time fighting in the CAMTAO (Canadian Amateur Muay Thai Association of Ontario). Training with the guys at 519 Fight Factory, Kastner possesses sharp Muay Thai skills. “I actually started MMA March 17th, that was my debut. Before that I only ever fought in Muay Thai competitions in CAMTAO(Canadian Amateur Muay Thai Association Of Ontario), but the opportunity came to fight in TKO so I didn’t think twice to take it.

“My goals as a fighter are just to be successful at it, become better after each fight, keep improving on my weaknesses and keep progressing as an athlete. I am training with Jeff Harrison, Syd Barnier and other good training partners, so I think it helps to keep improving when you train with a good team.”

Jeff Harrison is the head trainer at the 519 Fight Factory. He is well versed in both Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In 2002 Harrsion spent time working on his BJJ at the Gracie Barra Academy in Rio Dejaniero, Brazil. Harrison also spent time working on his Muay Thai with BTT trainer Paulo Nickolai while training with the likes of Ricardo Arona, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Mario Sperry.

Kastner’s teammate, Syd Barnier, will also be fighting at TKO 30: Apocalypse but his opponent is currently unknown.

Report: Valerie Letourneau not fighting at TKO 30

We have received a report stating that Valerie Letourneau (1-1) will not be fighting at TKO 30: Apocalypse. According to the report, Letourneau was not given footage of her opponent on time so she refused to sign the contract.

Letourneau made her TKO debut at TKO 29: Repercussion losing to Sarah Kaufman early in the second by TKO. Training with Tristar Vale Tudo, Letourneau is a well-rounded featherweight who holds a TKO win over Tannaya Hantelman.

TKO alumni update

Jonathan Goulet - “The Road Warrior” will be making his long awaited return to the octagon September 19th when he steps into cage with Mike “Quick” Swick at UFC Fight Night 11.

When asked about his upcoming battle with Swick, Goulet said, “I know I’ll be ready for a war but he’s not going to be ready for me.  Right now I’m stronger and faster than him and that day that would be worst.”

Patrick Cote - Cote, the current TKO middleweight champion, will be stepping into the cage with TUF veteran Kendall Grove this weekend at UFC 74: Respect. After a rocky past in the UFC, Cote will be looking to set things straight with an impressive victory over his 6’6” opponent.

Sherdog.com caught up with Cote to get thoughts on the upcoming bout with Grove.

“I think he has a suspect chin,” said the TKO middleweight champ. “I saw his fights against (Hector) Ramirez and (Joe) Riggs. The thing is I have to be careful about his reach, so like I said I did the perfect training camp for this type of fighter. I can see myself knocking him out … the thing is, I don’t think he’ll be able to put me on my back. I really think I will stop him before the bell to end the second round.

“He [Kendall] said in an interview that he wanted to stay on the feet and bang with me and if he’s in trouble he will take me down. I really think he will try to take me down because I am really confident about my skills on my feet right now. If he tries to take me down I think he would be surprised … I’ve improved a lot on my wrestling right now, I’m really comfortable everywhere the fight will be.”

Georges St. Pierre - Former UFC welterweight champion Georges “Rush” St. Pierre will look to throw himself back into title contention at UFC 74 when he faces fellow welterweight contender Josh Koscheck.

St. Pierre’s opponent, Josh Koscheck, recently told UFC.com that he felt Georges St. Pierre lacked heart and had a weak chin. St. Pierre responded by saying…

“Talking bad and saying bad stuff about me just gives me more motivation to train hard, to beat him up,” St. Pierre responded. “I don’t play that game. It’s not my style. I’m not that kind of person. I will do my talking in the Octagon.”

That sounds alot like the St. Pierre that stepped into the cage with Matt Hughes at UFC 65: Bad Intentions. If that’s the case, my prayers are with you Mr. Koscheck.

GFC Medical Suspensions Announced

With the aftermath of the recently cancelled Global Fighting Championship event still unfolding, the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation has announced four different suspensions stemming from problems with pre-fight medical examinations according to The Fight Network.

For those of you who aren’t aware of everything that happened, the event was cancelled exactly one hour before the event was about to start after the promoters found that they would not be able to put on enough fights for those in attendance.

UFC and PRIDE veteran Mark Kerr was suspended indefinitely for failing a pre-fight medidcal exam and will not be able to return to competition until he is cleared by a doctor.

Another UFC veteran, Edwin Dewees was medically suspended for 14 days after regulators decided that he had cut too much weight in such a short amount of time. Dewees officially weighed in at 193 lbs for the middleweight contest and was only able to get down to 187 after another two hours of weight cutting.

Nuri Shakir and Charles Ackles were also suspended indefinitely by the department after failing their pre-fight medical examinations. Both fighters must pass separate cardiologist and opthmalogical exams before they will be permitted to return to action.

Robbie Lawler Signs Four-Fight Deal With EliteXC

MMA on Tap has confirmed that Icon Sport middleweight champion “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler has signed a four-fight contract with EliteXC. Lawler’s first bout under the new deal will come September 15, 2007 in Honolulu, Hawaii when he battles Murilo “Ninja” Rua in a Icon Sport/EliteXC middleweight unification bout at EliteXC: Uprising.

Robbie Lawler sports a MMA record of 14-4 with impressive victories over the likes of Falaniko Vitale, Joey Villasenor, Eduardo Pamplona, and Tiki Ghosn. Lawler claimed the Icon Sport middleweight crown earlier this year when he scored a vicious fourth round knockout over the very highly touted Frank Trigg.

Bodog Fight: New Jersey Premieres Tomorrow Night

After crossing the frozen tundra of St. Petersburg, Russia, and storming the beaches of Costa Rica, the hardest-hitting show on TV is infiltrating the home of The Sopranos and Goodfellas ... and you better not fuggedaboutit!

Bodog Fight: New Jersey marks the mixed martial arts series debut on American soil. Filmed in Trenton, the show features two championship fights, with Trevor Prangley taking on Japanese superstar Yuki Kondo for the middleweight belt and Tara LaRosa squaring off against Kelly Kobold for the women’s 135lb title.

The first episode premieres in more than 90 million U.S. homes this Tuesday, August 21st at 11 p.m. / 10 p.m. Central on ION television and in Canada on The Fight Network, offering viewers a look at one of the sport’s fastest rising stars.

Continue reading "Bodog Fight: New Jersey Premieres Tomorrow Night"

Elite XC Announces Partnership with ICON, ROTR; Complete Uprising Card

Elite XC, ICON Sport, and Rumble on the Rock announced their official partnership earlier today at the Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Elite XC President Gary Shaw commented on the importance of the three promotions working together:

“It really is a major step,” said Director of Live Events for EliteXC Gary Shaw with ICON promoter T. Jay Thompson seated to his right and ROTR’s J.D. Penn on his left.

The new alliance’s first event will take place on September 15th at the Blaisdell Arena. Dubbed Elite XC - Uprising, the event will feature Elite XC Middleweight Champion Murlio Rua defending his title against ICON Middleweight Champion Robbie Lawler. The event will be broadcast on Showtime.

“September 15 will be the biggest MMA event Hawaii has ever seen,” said Thompson, however the longtime Hawaii promoter predicted “it won’t be the biggest MMA event Hawaii will see in the future.”

Shaw also talked about future Elite XC-promoted events that will take place in Hawaii:

“Coming to Hawaii was important to EliteXC,” said Shaw. “As I said before, I believe this is really the home of mixed martial arts. Next year we’ll be back. We won’t be back in ‘07, but I guarantee to you … we’ll be back here in ‘08.”

The complete card for the Uprising event was also announced during the press conference:

Main Card:

Murilo Rua vs Robbie Lawler - EliteXC Middleweight Championship
Nick Diaz vs Mike Aina
Joey Villasenor vs Riki Fukuda
Renato Verissimo vs Jake Shields
Gina Carano vs Tonya Evinger

Preliminary Bouts:

Jaw Suk Kim vs Brandon Wolff
Kala Halohe Hose vs Jeff Cox
Mark Oshiro vs Nui Wheeler
Mark Kurano vs Jose Diaz
Justin Bucholz vs Kolo Koka
Tyson Nam vs Albert Manner

The preliminary bouts will be streamed for free at Pro Elite’s official website. The main card will be broadcast on Showtime.

Update 1:33 PM: The Fight Network is reporting that Pro Elite, the parent company of Elite XC, is currently in serious discussions regarding the possible purchase of ICON Sport.

Icon Sport promoter and matchmaker Patrick Freitas confirmed Thursday that Pro Elite, parent company of EliteXC, were still in serious discussions regarding the purchase of the Hawaii-based mixed martial arts promotion. Freitas stopped short of calling any deal imminent, but the conceded the two promotions have been in negotiations for months.

“I think it’s no secret that Pro Elite and Icon are talking about the acquisition of Icon, but anything could happen,” Freitas said.

According to Freitas, should the deal be consummated, Pro Elite would purchase the rights to the company and would hire Icon Sport president T.J. Thompson and Freitas to run events as consultants. The Icon Sport brand would remain intact. The relationship between Pro Elite and Icon Sport began in March when Proelite.com streamed the Icon Sport middleweight championship bout between Robbie Lawler and Frank Trigg.

IFO Announces Card for Fireworks in the Cage II

Hall of Fame Boxing Referee Richard Steele and Steve Oshins, co-owners of Steele Cage Promotions, LLC and the International Fighting Organization, LLC (IFO), announce their September 1st card at the Riviera Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV. After a blazing debut with Fireworks in the Cage I on July 7th, highlighted by Marvin Eastman vs. Rob Kimmons, Steele Cage will unleash the sequel with Fireworks in the Cage II.

“Steele Cage will continue with its goal of giving the fans what they want, exciting well-matched fights. Fireworks in the Cage II will be similar to the first one, with some young talented fighters looking to make a name for themselves as well as ones that have enjoyed the limelight and are looking to stay on top,” stated Steele.

The sequel will bring another star studded cast with UFC, Pride and IFL veteran Travis “The Diesel” Wiuff (45-11) fighting another UFC vet Chris “The Exorcist” Price (11-2) for the IFO Light Heavyweight World Title.

Zac “The Red Devil” George (12-1) has fought for the IFL and is a 3 time Oklahoma State Wrestling Champion. George also participated in the IFO’s July 7th event, but this time he will be fighting for the IFO Lightweight World Title versus Chris “The Mad Dog” Mickle (22-9-1). Mickle is the current Extreme Challenge Champion at 155lbs.

Steele Cage will also feature the entertaining Tony “The Freak” Fryklund (14-9) and Justin “Executioner” Levens (9-6) in separate bouts. Fryklund will fight Kyle Gibbons (5-2) at 170lbs. “The Freak” is well known to MMA fans having fought for UFC, WEC and Strikeforce. Levens (9-6), a UFC, WEC, and IFL veteran himself takes on Nate James (3-3) at 185lbs.

Report: Kang Signs With K-1; Set to Face Sakuraba?

Portuguese MMA website Portal do Vale Tudo released a report yesterday stating that Denis Kang is expected to sign a contract with K-1 Hero’s and will fight Kazushi Sakuraba at the promotion’s September 17th event.

The website apparently was in contact with American Top Team’s Alex Davis who was able to break the news.

MMANews.com posted a rough translation of the main portion of the article:

After counting a little of its work as to manager in interview to the Vestibule of the Vale Tudo Magazine, Alex J. Davis entered in contact with us. With the end of Pride, many athletes are migrating for other events, and the fans wanted to know where walked the vice-champion of the Pride Bushido GP at 83kg, Denis Kang.

The fighter finishes to sign a contract with the HERO’s and goes to enter in the organization against the former champion of the Pride, always the dangerous Kazushi Sakuraba. The fight will be in day 17 of September, in Kanagawa, in the same show that will count on the ends of the HERO’s.

We reported yesterday in our CKA via MMA Weekly that Kang was expected to sign with an organization over the next few weeks and was targeting the month of September as a possible date of return. I don’t think anyone imagined that an announcement would come this soon…

TKO Notes and Quotes Aug 16, 2007

MMA on Tap has learned the Adam Kastner (1-0) will face Adrian Wooley (2-0) in a featherweight bout at TKO 30: Apocalypse.

Adrian Wooley is a strong wrestler who sports an unblemished TKO record of 2-0. Wooley last victory came at TKO 29: Repercussion when he TKO’d Guillaume Lamarche late in the third round. Adam Kastner is a talented kickboxer who made his TKO debut at TKO MMA 2007 Tourney submitting Tommy Pariseau late in the first round.

TKO Major League MMA has announced that Dan Chambers (9-4) will meet Marcus Celestin (3-2) in a middleweight affair at TKO 30. TKO 30 will mark the debut of Dan Chambers who is coming off of a loss to UFC veteran Joe “Diesel” Riggs at Hardcore Championship Fighting. Chambers’ opponent Marcus Celestin sports a TKO record of 1-0 with his sole victory coming by submission over Brett Pearson at TKO 29: Repercussion.

TKO 30: Apocalypse

Sam Stout vs. Martin Grandmont - TKO Lightweight Title
Sean Pierson vs. Chris Clements - TKO Welterweight Title
Samuel Guillet vs. Yves Lemelin
Stephane Dube vs. Tyler Jackson
Steve Bosse vs. Lance Evans
Stephane Vigneault vs. Justin Tavernini
Marcus Célestin vs. Dan Chambers
Bob Landry vs. Jody Burke
Adrian Wooley vs. Adam Kastner

Also scheduled to appear on the card is:

Valerie Letourneau (1-1)
Syd Barnier (1-0)
Mark Hominick (13-7)
Imad Regragui (0-0)
Adil Regragui (0-0)
Shawn Thompson (0-0)
Eric Leclerc (3-1)
Nabil Khatib (6-1)

In a recent interview with Sportsnet.ca, TKO president Stephane Patry stated that he is in the final stages of securing a deal which would allow him to produce a new MMA reality show which will be a mix between Big Brother and The Ultimate Fighter.

“We are in the last stage of closing the deal with a network,” said Patry. “It will have 16 guys in a house with girls. It will be a mix between Big Brother and The Ultimate Fighter.”

Interesting concept… 16 fighters in a house with girls. That could make for some interesting television, someone call Jeremy Jackson. According to the article, auditions began 8 months ago and Patry expects to make an announcement in the near future. The show will be in French, but apparently an English network is interesting in picking up the series. It’ll be interesting to see if it airs on The Fight Network as both companies have done business in the past.

The article also states that TKO is expected to make an announcement within the next week that they’ve hired a public relations firm, one that works with the Montreal Canadiens. Patry is also looking to expand within Canada in the near future.

They are also expected to make an announcement in the next week that they’ve hired a public relations firm, one that works with the Montreal Canadiens. The next thing to focus on for Patry is expansion to other venues in Canada. But he’s biding his time.

“I’m waiting until we are in a good position before going full steam with expansion,” said Patry. “I’d like to be getting 9-to-10,000 in attendance on a steady basis first before I do that.”

Not only is Patry planning to expand within Canada but he is also plans on hosting a show in the Bahamas when the UFC comes to Montreal. Patry feels the UFC will be in Montreal within the first three months of 2008 and he doesn’t want to host a show in Montreal during the same month as the UFC.

He will more than likely do a show outside Canada next year, but he’s waiting to find out exactly when the UFC will hold its Montreal event, which he expects to be in the first three months of 2008. Only then will he set his schedule, because he doesn’t want to have a show in Montreal the same month that the UFC has theirs.

“That won’t be good for either of us,” admitted Patry. “So, the same month that they come here, we’re most likely going to have a show in the Bahamas. I do five shows per year so I don’t want to have four because the UFC is coming.’

TKO 30: Apocalypse is scheduled for September 28th, 2007 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec. For the latest TKO 30 fight card, check out the Rumors section.

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