News and Notes
- The updated MMA on Tap Top 10 will now be posted after the results of UFC 70…
- Our rumors section has been updated…
- Be sure to check out our summary of the UFC 70 conference call which took place yesterday and left us with a load of new information from the mouths of Mirko Cro Cop and Dana White.
- Here is the updated fight card for the 2007 K-1 World Grand Prix in Hawaii on April 28th:
Gary Goodridge vs Patrick Barry
Remy Bonjasky vs Glaube Feitosa
Hong-Man Choi vs Mike Malone
Junichi Sawayashiki vs Randy Kim
Mighty Mo vs Kyoung Suk Kim
Jan Nortje vs Julius Long
Alexandre Pitchkounov vs Tatsufumi Tomihira
Badr Hari vs Yusuke Fujimoto
Jerrel Venetiaan vs Peter Graham
UFC President Dana White and heavyweight title contender Mirko Cro Cop held a conference call with the media earlier today discussing this weekend’s event. Many topics were covered over the hour session including Cro Cop’s thoughts on Gabriel Gonzaga, the immediate plans for PRIDE’s future, the contract status of Mauricio Rua and Fedor Emelianenko, and much more.
Let’s just say that we have everything covered. Read and enjoy…
Cro Cop’s Thoughts on Gabriel Gonzaga:
Cro Cop was very straight forward in answering questions about Gonzaga. He stated that Gonzaga will not have an answer for everything that Cro Cop is going to bring to the Octagon on Saturday. He said that he is at full health for this weekend. He will not being using PRIDE’s theme music when he walks to the Octagon. Instead he will use his usual “Wild Boyz” song.
Cro Cop also said that he isn’t worried about Gonzaga’s ground skills and that it is his all-around game that presents the biggest problems matchup-wise:
“I have trained Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu a lot, have experts in my gym. I feel comfortable even on the ground. I am aware he is a jiu-jitsu world champion, but I am pretty versed in ground fighting now. Of course my basis is stand up, but even if we go to the ground, I am not scared.
Gonzaga is a solid, good fighter. He is a tough guy. He won’t hesitate to fight toe to toe. He is a first class fighter. I will try to keep it in a stand up position. I don’t want to underestimate him” stated Cro Cop.
Cro Cop on Couture, Liddell, Fedor, and Big Nog:
Cro Cop said that he would love for to have a rematch with Fedor Emelianenko in the near future but he is currently focused on his fight with Gonzaga and then winning the UFC Heavyweight Title before that can happen. He said that Randy Couture’s age will not be a factor if and when they fight because he has already shown that it hasn’t been a factor in past fights. He stated that while he doesn’t have any preference on his opponents in the UFC, he has a feeling that he will be fighting Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira very soon.
Cro Cop also made it known that he will be unable to cut enough weight to make it down to the 205 lb weight class, meaning that if a dream match with Chuck Liddell is to happen, that Liddell will have to come up to heavyweight and fight…
“I have no space to go down, maybe if I chop off my hand or something. I definitely can’t go down” said Cro Cop.
Dana White on Big Nog, Fedor, Wanderlei Silva, Sakuraba, and Liddell:
White stated that Nogueira was signed by the UFC as a free agent and that talks began about a month ago. He also stated that there is currently no timetable for his first fight nor any ideas on who his first opponent may be.
White said that at the time he originally made that Wanderlei Silva-Chuck Liddell announcement for UFC 65, it was going to be the biggest fight in MMA history. He now says that it isn’t the case until Silva wins a few more fights to make up for his KO losses to Cro Cop and Dan Henderson. Silva currently has four fights left on his six fight contract to do so.
According to White, the UFC is currently trying to figure out the status of Fedor. Fedor’s contract isn’t exclusive to PRIDE and that Zuffa and PRIDE FC Worldwide will not accept non-exclusive contracts for their fighters. White did say however that Fedor is under contract to the company and that if another rival promotion tried to sign him, he would slap them with an injunction immediately.
Despite the heavy rumors that Mauricio Rua has signed a contract that will allow him two fights in PRIDE and two fights in the UFC, White says that the rumors are not true. Also Kazushi Sakuraba is not under contract with PRIDE and White isn’t aware of the reasoning behind him being brought out to address the crowd during PRIDE 34.
White Talks About Changes to PRIDE and the Lightweight Grand-Prix:
White has confirmed once again that PRIDE will be changing to the unified rules of mixed martial arts (the rule set that the UFC uses) as well as the same round structures and weight classes. PRIDE will continue to use a ring instead of a cage. Also fight cards will be announced weeks in advance of an event, just like the UFC does now. Does everyone recall the PRIDE 34 mess?
PRIDE will not have a super heavyweight division and the crazy matchups the promotion used to hold including Butterbean, Giant Silva, and Bob Sapp will not take place anymore. White stated that all employees currently with PRIDE will keep their jobs with the exception of Gary Millen and Frank Trigg. They have been fired and will be replaced with a completely new announce team.
White said that it is still undecided in terms of whether or not the Lightweight Grand-Prix will take place at 155 lbs or 170 lbs. White denied all rumors about Diego Sanchez and Matt Hughes taking place in the tourney as there will not be any UFC fighters participating:
“There will be no UFC fighters in the tournament. The UFC and PRIDE are completely separate companies. You won’t see UFC vs PRIDE until we do the big event” said White.
White Discusses UFC’s status with HBO and ESPN:
The UFC will debut on HBO as soon as this summer according to White. The deal actually isn’t complete but is in the final stages of being finalized. White didn’t say much about things but did mention that the HBO will be doing their own production and announcing of events rather than having the UFC do things along with Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan. White said that it wasn’t easy for him to agree to that…
The UFC will still broadcast shows on HBO, Spike TV, and PPV. Spike TV will be made up mostly of guys from The Ultimate Fighter television shows. Shows on HBO will be mixture of TUF guys, international stars, and other UFC fighters. PPV shows would then have the best of the best.
ESPN will now be covering the UFC on a regular basis according to White. The coverage will include both weigh-in and fight results…
White Talks About Possible UFC Fights and Events in the Near Future:
White said that UFC 72 will either be on PPV or Spike TV. He mentioned Chicago, Washington DC, Boston, Atlanta, and Philadelphia all as possible sites that may hold future UFC events. Florida will also hold another UFC event in the near future according to White.
White said that the “Inside the UFC” TV show wasn’t scrapped and that the company is currently working on a date to bring the show back to the air.
White announced a slew of possible matchups - If Andrei Arlovski defeats Fabricio Werdum on Saturday, he will most likely fight the winner of Mirko Cro Cop and Randy Couture should Cro Cop get poast Gabriel Gonzaga as well. Sean Sherk will defend his lightweight title in Sacramento, California against Hermes Franca. Tito Ortiz vs Rashad Evans and Anderson Silva vs Nate Marquardt will also take place on that card. Georges St. Pierre will most likely be fighting next in August against an opponent that has yet to be determined…
White on Tito Ortiz:
White’s comments were short and sweet when asked about the current situation between himself and Tito Ortiz:
“Tito is living in a fucking bubble right now” said White “You saw what happened. I showed up and he didn’t. He’s not afraid of me, but he has people around him telling him it was a bad idea. He is out there making himself look like a jackass. He should shut his mouth and worry about Rashad Evans.”
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.
I’ve been thinking about the lasting effects of taking a big KO. Now I’m not talking about medical conditions like post concussion syndrome (more on that later). I’m talking about the mental aspect of being knocked out. We’ve all heard how when you fall off a horse, you have to get right back on so you do not develop any fear. When you’ve been KO’d in a fight, its a much longer process before you can get “back on the horse” so to speak. Could that time off be pretty detrimental to the KO’d fighter? Let me explain.
Many people are saying how Wanderlei Silva didn’t look himself and fought completely differently than he normally does. Now I understand he may have been a bit sick (strep throat), but his interview on Sherdog was revealing. He talked about how he wanted to feel out Henderson in the first couple of rounds and see what he had. He said he wanted “see the fight in the 1st” and feel Dan’s power. He went on to say he figured he’d get the KO in the 4th or 5th round! Since when does the Axe Murderer take his time feeling out an opponent. His murderous aggression is famous and he barely gave opponents time to breath, much less feel them out. Now we must remember Silva’s last fight was a devastating KO from CroCop. Did that KO make Wanderlei a little more hesitant and defensive, as witnessed by his backing up during the fight with Hendo, something almost never seen before?
The Fight Network is reporting that Pride veteran Fabricio Werdum is the latest fighter to jump ship to the UFC. And he’s being put in a very competitive fight to debut against former UFC heavyweight champ Andrei Arlovski. Dana White made the announcement at a press conference in Manchester, England to promote the upcoming UFC 70 and the return of the promotion to Europe. In addition to the Werdum-Arlovski match, White also announced that Ryota Machida will be on the card fighting Forrest Griffin. These are two extremely competitive matches, perhaps answering some of the recent complaints that the UFC was putting on too many mismatches.
According to the Fight Network…
Fabricio Werdum was today announced as the latest PRIDE fighter to jump to the Ultimate Fighting Championship – and Dana White warned “I’m not done yet.”
The announcement came at a press conference to formally introduce the Las Vegas-based promotion’s April 21 event in Manchester, England, at which Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Werdum (9-2-1) will fight former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski (10-5). The show, set for the Manchester Evening News Arena, will feature Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (22-4-2) vs. Gabriel Gonzaga (7-1) in the headline slot, with Clitheroe native Michael Bisping (12-0) vs. Elvis Sinosic (8-9-2) and Forrest Griffin (13-4) vs. Ryoto Machida (9-0) also signed. Dana White confirmed that should Cro Cop defeat Gonzaga, he will receive a heavyweight title match against either Tim Sylvia or Randy Couture, who fight at March 3’s UFC in Columbus, Ohio.
News and Notes
- Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic will be facing Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 70 in Manchester, England.
- ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ veterans Chris Leben and Kalib Starnes will clash in the octagon at some point in May.
- UFCJunkie.com is reporting that Team Jackson fighter Nathan Marquardt has been granted at title shot at UFC 72.
- In a recent article on Sherdog.com, Josh Gross reported that Brandon Vera’s final UFC fight will come against heavyweight prospect Jake O’Brien.
I do have it on good authority, though, that Vera will fight Jake O’Brien. All signs point to the UFC doing anything it can to leave a black mark on Vera as he appears headed in another direction.
DEEP: 28th Impact - 02/16/07
ROF 28: Evolution - 02/16/07
NAAFS: The Midwest Combat Challenge 2 - 02/17/07
CFC III: Combat Fighting Championship III - 02/17/07
GMC: Cage Force 2 - 02/17/07
Shooto: Professional Shoot 2007 - 02/17/07
The UFC’s newest acquisition Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic will make his second appearance in the UFC when the UFC heads to Manchester, England for UFC 70. Cro Cop’s opponent is currently unknown at this time.
UFC 70 will be held at the Manchester Evening News Arena on April 21.
News and Notes
- Travis Lutter failed to make weight at the weigh-ins yesterday coming in at 186.5 lbs so the fight is now a three round non-title fight.
- Matt Lindland added another solid win to his record last night when he submitted former UFC welterweight champion Carlos Newton.
- Tonight UFC 67: All or Nothing will take place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center and we’ll be doing one of our patented ‘Live Blogs’. Be sure to tune in at 10 PM EST for blow by blow coverage.
- The odds on Cro Cop vs. Sanchez are unreal. Take a look at this:
At the Mandalay Sports Book, you had to lay down US$1,000 just to make $100 on a Filipovic win. A $100 bet on Sanchez, in contrast, would win you $600.
- Hammer House member Rob Wince suffered a tragic loss on Wensday evening when he found his son dead in the basement of his house. His son accidentally killed himself by playing the ‘choking game’. Our thoughts go out to the Wince family during this tough time.
MMA on Tap: UFC 67: All or Nothing Preview
Canada.com: Cro Cop: Fighter-turned-politician makes UFC debut Saturday night in Las Vegas
Sherdog: Lindland Stops Newton
Here are the results from todays weigh-in for UFC 67: All or Nothing.
Travis Lutter (187) vs. Anderson Silva (185)
Eddie Sanchez (229) vs. Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (223)
Marvin Eastman (203) vs. Quinton Jackson (205)
John Halverson (155) vs. Roger Huerta (156)
Patrick Cote (185) vs. Scott Smith (185)
Terry Martin (187) vs. Jorge Rivera (185)
Frank Edgar (154) vs. Tyson Griffin (156)
Sam Hoger (206) vs. Ryoto Machida (203)
Diego Saraiva (155) vs. Dustin Hazelett (156)