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.
MMA on Tap has learned that UFC veteran Drew McFedries will likely be out 6 to 8 months after suffering from a severe staph infection.
Last week it was reported that Spencer Fisher, Tim Sylvia, and Drew McFedries were all suffering from staph infections. Fisher pulled out of his fight with Din Thomas at UFC Fight Night 11 and Pat Miletich told the fighters infected not to return to the gym for at least 3 weeks.
Drew McFedries got hit the worst, suffering from an infection which grew to the size of a football on the back of his leg. The infection required surgery and McFedries had a good amount of skin removed from the back his leg which will now require grafts.
Today the IFL held a national media conference call promoting their upcoming IFL: Semifinals show which is scheduled for August 2nd at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, NJ.
Present for the conference call was Kurt Otto, Pat Miletich, and Shawn Tompkins.
Summary of the conference:
• Next Wednesday the IFL will be announcing who will be competing in the Grand Prix. It will consist of the top four guys in each weight class and they will be competing for a belt. The IFL also plans on revealing the belt next Wednesday.
• The Grand Prix will consist of two different events and they are still currently trying to finalize where the two shows will be. They hop to have it finalized by Wednesday.
• When asked if the IFL has considered streaming upcoming shows on the internet or PPV, Otto said, “The IFL has always promised free MMA and at this point we feel that in order for us to do a pay-per-view we better have a very good reason to do it or offer something a little bit different then we already offer now in order to justify doing a pay-per-view.”
• Chris Horodecki and Jay Heiron are off the card because of injuries. Horodecki suffered a broken in his fight with Shad Lierley and replacing him will be Adam Disabato. Heiron’s injury was a recent one which occurred while he was grappling. His replacement will be TKO veteran Chris Clements.
• Ryan McGivern will not be fighting August 2nd due to a personal commitment. Miletich said “Ryan McGivern’s injuries stem from basically having to get married.” The wedding was already planned and paid for so McGivern had to bow out but he gave Miletich plenty of notice. Miletich wanted to replace McGivern with Lawler but was unable to as Lawler suffered a shoulder injury while helping Matt Hughes on TUF.
• When asked about how he feels to have Rory Markham back, Miletich said, “It obviously helps, he is one of our A guys. Rory’s fire and passion for fighting definitely is contagious so it’s definitely going to make a difference as it always has. Win or Lose, Rory goes out and people stand on their feet. That’s just the way he does things. It’s pretty amazing and rare when you find guys like that - a Horodecki, a Markham. Guys who will just go out and unleash and throw down with people because that’s what they love to do - they have a warriors heart, they’re not afraid to get hit, they’re not afraid to trade and throw bombs so you know that sort of mentality is contagious when you have guys like that, that fight in the manor, mentality and warrior spirit that they do.”
•Gerald Harris will be joining the Silverbacks to face Benji Radach.
• The IFL still pays injured fighters for training and preparing for fights but they don’t get individual/team win bonuses.
• The preliminary bouts will feature Mike Dolce vs. Nissim Levy and Dante Rivera vs. Lyman Good.
• Otto stated that there was a good possibility that Chris Horodecki and Bart Palaszewski would meet in the Grand Prix.
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.
News and Notes
- Our rumors page has been updated…
- A rib injury suffered while training with Miletich Fighting Systems is the reason why Corey Hill won’t be fighting on this weekend’s The Ultimate Fighter 5 finale according to his coach on the reality show, Jens Pulver. Pulver broke the news during a recent interview with CBS Sportsline:
Corey is injured. He hurt a rib and the thing was, he went home to visit with his family. It’s a pretty bad tear. I don’t know if he broke a rib or what was going on. But that’s the only reason. He was training hard, he was ready, he was pumped and then he injured himself about two weeks ago.
- Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer is reporting that the scheduled bout between Michael Bisping and Matt Hamill is still on:
Regarding rumors regarding the next UFC in London, England, Michael Bisping vs. Matt Hamill is still the scheduled match on that show. There are rumors regarding Bisping vs. Ken Shamrock, that may have been discussed but it is not the current plan.
- The New Jersey State Athletic Control Board has confirmed that this weekend’s bout between Ray Mercer and Kimbo Slice at CFFC 5 is an exhibition match. The fight will feature three five minute rounds and will not be judged by official judges from the state, the CFFC would have to bring in their own guys.
- ESPN is currently running an interesting piece concerning the MMA vs Boxing debate.
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UFC lightweight contender, Spencer “The King” Fisher, took time to call out fellow UFC veteran Joe Lauzon last night during his post-fight interview with UFC.com.
“I guess Joe Lauzon. He wants me and it gives me a chance to kill two birds with one stone. He beat my teammate and I beat his brother so it makes for a good storyline and I look to fight him.”
For those of you unaware, Joe Lauzon TKO’d Fisher’s good friend and training partner Jens Pulver at UFC 63: Penn vs. Hughes. Fisher then decided to return the favor when he TKO’d Joe Lauzon’s younger brother Dan at UFC 64: Unstoppable. Since then both fighters have been vocal about stepping into the octagon and settling the score.