Middleweight

Sherk, Franca File Appeals With CSAC

Sean Sherk and Hermes Franca have both decided to file official appeals with the California State Athletic Commission less then one day after it was revealed that both had tested positive for steroids.

According to CSAC Executive Director Armando Garcia, Sherk and Franca will be scheduled to have their appeals heard on August 6th, the same day that Phil Baroni and all of the other fighters that have tested positive in recent months will also be in attendance to state their case.

Garcia also stated that he spoke to Sherk on the telephone yesterday afternoon and that Sherk told him he had never heard of the steroid Nandralone until now.

Franca has already admitted to taking drostanolone in order to heal an injured ankle before the fight even though he has filed an appeal. The appeal is most likely being submitted in order to have Franca’s suspension time possibly reduced.

Forrest Griffin vs Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 76

Today Tagg Radio broke the news that Forrest Griffin would face PRIDE light heavyweight ace Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 76 on September 22nd in Anahiem, California. Master Rudimar Fedrigo solidified those reports but confirming that Shogun went to Las Vegas to sign the contract and shoot some pre-fight videos.

Master Rudimar Fedrigo confirmed us that Mauricio Shogun will face Forrest Griffin at UFC 76, that is schedule for September 22, at. “We went specially to Las Vegas to sign the contract for four fights and to record the videos for before the fight”, said Rudimar, that arrive at Curitiba today.

Rudimar also confirmed that Shogun’s brother, Murilo “Ninja” Rua, would be defending his EliteXC middleweight title against Robbie Lawler.

WEC Announces Condit-Larson, Filho-Doersken

LAS VEGAS - World Extreme Cagefighting returns to Las Vegas’ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Sunday, August 5, with another hard-hitting night of fights headlined by a championship doubleheader that will ignite the mixed martial arts world.

In a welterweight title bout, “The Natural Born Killer”, Carlos Condit, puts his WEC title on the line against Minnesota’s own Brock Larson, and in the 185-pound co-feature, Brazilian superstar Paulo Filho squares off against tough veteran Joe Doerksen for the vacant WEC Middleweight crown.

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Back to the Future: Dana White Edition

The trend of future UFC matchups being revealed is continuing this week and UFC President Dana White is a big part of it.

White announced a trio of possible future matchups at the post-fight press conference for UFC 73:

- Anderson Silva will meet Rich Franklin for the second time in a UFC Middleweight Championship bout on October 20th in Franklin’s hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. It was announced that Franklin would face the winner of last night’s bout between Silva and Nate Marquardt after UFC 72 and White confirmed the situation last night.

- White also announced that BJ Penn has decided to stay in the lightweight division and will challenge Sean Sherk for his UFC Lightweight Title in November.

- Mirko Cro Cop will take on Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira later this year provided that he is victorious over Cheick Kongo at UFC 75 according to White.

White also stated that Chuck Liddell will most likely fight again in September during an interview yesterday on the Scott Ferrall Show:

“Chuck is probably going to fight again in September,” White said yesterday on the radio program. “We’re working on a big fight for him. We don’t have it done yet, but Chuck is chomping at the bit to jump back in there and fight again.“

This contradicts previous reports that had White saying that Liddell now wouldn’t be able to fight again until November.

White made clear about yet another possible matchup during an interview with The Gainesville Sun that would take place at UFC 76: Maurico Rua would make his UFC debut against Ryoto Machida.

Rua, a 205-pound Muay Thai specialist, is scheduled to start at UFC 76 on Sept. 22. White said Rua’s most likely first opponent will be Ryoto Machida (10-0), though Forrest Griffin said he would like the fight.

Silva, Sherk Defend Titles at UFC 73


Screens from ESPN’s recap of UFC 73

In order to remain a champion, one has to beat the best the opposition has to offer. Both Anderson Silva and Sean Sherk did just that on Saturday night, winning their fights in convincing fashion. With their respective roads now temporarily cleared, both fighters seem like they may stay on top for quite a while: a trend that we haven’t seen recently, at least in this upset-filled year.

UFC 73 turned out to certainly be ‘Stacked’ with action-packed fights from beginning to end. While the show’s production moved a bit faster than usual because of time constraints, each fight on the card equaled the pace. The majority of those in attendance at the ARCO Arena in Sacramento, California might not have agreed according to their unusual reactions throughout the night, but the event definitely lived up to the hype.

Anderson Silva successfully defended his UFC Middleweight Title with a first round TKO victory over Nate Marquardt. The fight was back and forth until Silva (19-4) connected with a straight left hand that dropped Marquardt (25-7-2) to the mat. Silva then got on top of Marquardt and rained down unanswered right hands until referee John McCarthy stepped in to halt the bout.

Marquardt stayed down on the mat for a few moments afterwards, obviously shaken up. Silva thanked all of his trainers and coaches during a post-fight interview with Joe Rogan. He also continued his growing love affair with American fans with praise and thanks as well.

“I love fighting for these fans,” Silva said. “I enjoy fighting in front of these fans fight after fight. They are always gracious.” Silva will now most likely go on to rematch former champion Rich Franklin this fall.

Sean Sherk won yet another five round unanimous decision and was able to keep his UFC Lightweight Title after defeating top contender Hermes Franca. Sherk (32-2-1) was able to control Franca (18-6) throughout the course of the fight, pressing the action and not letting Franca get up from the ground.

Franca landed multiple big knees to the chin of Sherk but was unable to generate any more offense than that. After the fight, Sherk stated that he was very impressed with Franca’s skills on the ground and his defense as well.

“Hermes was great on the ground. Definitely an awesome Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu guy.” said Sherk. “He did a good job of keeping his face from getting hit and kept me close the entire fight.”

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UFC 73: Stacked Live Blog

Tonight we will be going live at 10 PM EST, covering UFC 73: Stacked with one of our patented live blogs. Be sure to leave some comments throughout the night…

While you are waiting for the event to start, feel free to check out our coverage of the event which includes predictions, media coverage, and much more:

UFC 73: Stacked Weigh-In Results
Joe Rogan Previews UFC 73: Stacked
Tap Selections: UFC 73
UFC 73 Media Roundup
Two Sides of UFC 73: Stacked
MMA on Tap on Myspace

UFC 73: Stacked

Main Card:

Tito Ortiz vs. Rashad Evans
Anderson Silva vs. Nathan Marquardt - UFC Middleweight Title
Sean Sherk vs. Hermes Franca - UFC Lightweight Title
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Heath Herring
Kenny Florian vs. Alvin Robinson

Preliminary Bouts:

Stephan Bonnar vs. Mike Nickels
Chris Lytle vs. Jason Gilliam
Frankie Edgar vs. Mark Bocek
Jorge Gurgel vs. Diego Saraiva

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Back to the Future: Focusing on the Fall

Three big future UFC matchups are being reported by three different sites…

UFC Mania is reporting that Chris Leben may take on Mike Swick in a rematch of their January 2004 bout at WEC 9. Leben won that bout by knockout in the second round and it was the focal point of a good amount of discussion between Leben and Swick during the first season of The Ultimate Fighter.

Yesterday UFC President Dana White also mentioned the possibility of the bout during a Q&A session with UFC Fight Club members after the UFC 73 weigh-ins. The bout is expected to take place at either UFC 76 or UFC Fight Night 11. No word on whether the fight would take place at welterweight or middleweight.

UFC Junkie is stating that Diego Sanchez and Jon Fitch are expected to meet at UFC 76:

Rising welterweight contender Jon Fitch could put his spotless UFC record on the line with a fight against Diego Sanchez at UFC 76.

Early this morning, a reliable source close to one of the fighters told UFC Junkie that the fight is in the works and expected to take place at UFC 76 on Sept. 22. The bout would be on the main card, and according to our source, may even be billed as a co-main event.

Sherdog got into the announcing of future bouts this morning when they revealed that Marcus Aurelio will make his UFC debut at UFC 74 against Clay Guida. Aurelio signed a four-fight deal with the UFC last month and is widely known for his win over Takanori Gomi at PRIDE Bushido 10. Guida is coming off a pair of close decision losses to Tyson Griffin and Din Thomas respectively.

Phil Baroni Out For 6-7 Months

MMAWeekly is reporting that Phil Baroni goes in for surgery this week to repair a hernia and torn groin muscle. Baroni suffered the injury early in the first round of his Strikeforce middleweight title fight with Frank Shamrock.

“[Phil’s] got three months of absolutely nothing,” said Pavia. He won’t be allowed to do any sort of training [during that time]. It’ll be 6-7 months before he can fight again.”

Today Baroni’s agent, Ken Pavia, appeared on “The Savage Dog Show” and gave a little information about the pre-fight drama and Baroni’s injuries.

“I don’t know if you guys knew this but the weigh-ins were Thursday and Monday he was informed by the CSAC that he wasn’t going to fight because additional medicals were mandated that he didn’t have time to do. So what he did was left Las Vegas on Monday - flew to Northern California and went through a battery of tests. Flew back to Vegas - flew then to Southern California for an additional battery of tests, I know because I drove him and we camped out at Dr. Gloveson’s (?) office at 6 AM in the morning because Phil couldn’t sleep he was so anxious to get over there. He went through an additional battery of tests there - flew back to Vegas and ultimately up to San Jose so at the day of the weigh-ins he was finally physically cleared to fight.”

“I know that Frank fought without an ACL which he allegedly hasn’t had for years and an MCL which was torn weeks prior. Phil additionally came in with an injured hamstring which caused him to injure his groin, a quartizone shot the week of the fight which numbed the area and if you watch the fight in the first 30 seconds what actually happens we later found out from the treating doctors is he tore the groin from the bone and a piece of the testes shot through hernia and if anybody has had a hernia they know it’s excruciating pain. Phil went back to the locker room and had what looked like a tennis ball protruding from his groin.”

Afternoon News and Notes 6/26/07

Since we didn’t get a CKA up this morning and there is a ton of news to report, I thought we would do a little catching up on things…

Couture, Jackson Nominated for ‘Best Fighter’ ESPY

UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture and UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton Jackson were announced as nominees yesterday for the Best Fighter category in the 15th annual ESPY Awards.

Couture and Jackson are joined by boxers Miguel Cotto, Floyd Mayweather Jr, and Manny Pacquiao as finalists. Fans will be able to vote at the ESPY’s official site until July 7th for the winner. The awards will be televised on July 15th.

Dana White: Shamrock Rumors False; Set to Release Him From Contract

UFC President Dana White stated to Yahoo! Sports Kevin Iole that he never even thought about having Ken Shamrock take on Michael Bisping at UFC 75 in England. He also said that he is considering releasing Shamrock from the remainder of his contract.

“I don’t know if he wants to fight, but we haven’t spoken to him and I’m not planning to use him,” White said.

UFC Officially Announces UFC 74: Respect

The UFC officially announced UFC 74: Respect set for August 25th at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Two bouts were announced: Randy Couture will defend his UFC Heavyweight Title against Gabriel Gonzaga. Also former UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre will take on top-rated contender Josh Koscheck.

Tickets for the event will go on sale Sunday, July 8th.

Cote Meets Grove at UFC 74

Patrick Cote has announced via a post on The Underground forum that he will face Kendall Grove at UFC 74.

ESPN’s LeBetard Talks MMA on The Sports Reporters

ESPN commentator Dan LeBetard declared MMA as ‘the sport of tomorrow’ during ESPN’s annual Sunday morning show, The Sports Reporters.

LeBetard’s comments were as follows:

“Tomorrow’s sports fans, ages 18 to 34, have spoken,” LeBetard said. “Generation YouTube wants fights in a cage and submission holds and a bloody sport that appeals to the short attention span more than the ponderous 12 rounds of De la Hoya-Mayweather. Dying hockey would kill for the kind of future and attention and pub MMA has. Boxing is yesterday’s sport; MMA is tomorrow’s.”

You can watch the clip of the segment here via ESPN Motion.

IFL: Las Vegas, CFFC 5 Attendance Numbers

The Nevada State Athletic Commission released the attendance numbers for IFL’s Las Vegas event earlier this week. According to the NSAC, the event only brought in $93,270 at the gate. The number seems a bit low, especially when the IFL reported that the arena was sold out with a crowd of 3,200. Well apparently the IFL fibbed a little bit. It turns out that only 996 tickets were sold for the event and the IFL gave out 1,842 complimentary tix.

The New Jersey State Athletic Control Board announced that CFFC 5: Kimbo vs Mercer rang up a paid crowd of 7,286, not counting any complimentary tickets that the promotion may have given away.

Burnett, ProElite Developing Reality MMA Series

Reality TV producer Mark Burnett is planning on producing a series based on MMA in conjunction with ProElite, the parent company of Elite XC.

The most interesting thing about all of this is that Burnett now owns part of ProElite according to Loretta Hunt of The Fight Network:

As part of the agreement between Mark Burnett Productions and ProElite, Burnett was afforded the right to buy up to 17 million shares of ProElite stock at $3 a share in eight portions tied to the success of the joint venture. The format for the planned MMA series is still in the “exploration stage,” according to the report.

Shamrock-Baroni Press Conference Quotes

Despite rumors concerning the eligibility of both “The New York Badass” Phil Baroni and Murilo “Ninja” Rua to compete on Friday’s “Shamrock vs. Baroni” world championship mixed martial arts fight card, it was confirmed, two days beforehand, that both will suit up and enter the cage for their respective matchups.

Former UFC middleweight champion and King Of Pancrase, Frank Shamrock, will square off Baroni, a UFC and Pride Fighting Championship veteran, for the vacant Strikeforce world middleweight (185 lb. limit) title while former Pride stars, Joey “The Dream Smasher” Villasenor and Rua will battle for the vacant EliteXC world middleweight (185 lb. limit) crown.

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