Mirko Cro Cop

UFC 67: All or Nothing Preview

Here is a preview John and I put together for UFC 67: All or Nothing.

Main Card Bouts:
Mirko Cro Cop vs. Eddie Sanchez
Anderson Silva vs. Travis Lutter
Quinton Jackson vs. Marvin Eastman
Roger Huerta vs. John Halverson
Scott Smith vs. Patrick Cote

Preliminary Bouts:
Ryoto Machida vs. Sam Hoger
Tyson Griffin vs. Frank Edgar
Jorge Rivera vs. Terry Martin
Dustin Hazelett vs. Diego Saraiva

Also be sure to tune in at 10 PM EST as we’ll be doing one of our patented ‘Live Blogs’ for the PPV.

Continue reading "UFC 67: All or Nothing Preview"

From The Mailbag: 2/2/07

Nate from South Jersey writes:

Great page guys…

What are your thoughts on the UFC’s heavyweight division? The last few fights with Sylvia have been really lackluster at best, obviously Arlovski is still one of the better heavyweights, but we’ve seen enough of Sylvia vs. Arlovski. Is the fight between Sylvia and Couture just a publicity stunt/sign of despiration by the UFC similar to the Hughes - Gracie fight last year? What can the UFC do to bring fans to the table to watch heavyweight fights, or as they just gonna continue to be semi-undercards?

Thanks

Thanks for the props Nate…

The UFC’s heavyweight division has improved greatly since last year. The reason why Tim Sylvia’s recent fights have been so lackluster is best stated by Randy Couture himself in that he believes Sylvia is not fighting to win, but fighting not to lose. You can tell that Sylvia is thinking defense first in his fights - He’s trying to avoid getting hit, only taking opening when they are given to him instead of being aggressive and creating them himself. Sylvia has denied that this is his mindset but it’s obvious that he isn’t the same Sylvia we have seen when he was moving up the ranks at the start of his career and when he was trying to win his belt back at UFC 59.

The Sylvia-Couture fight isn’t a publicity stunt of any means. Anyone who has seen Couture fight knows that he is just as dangerous at heavyweight as he is at 205 lbs. Couture has made it known that he was itching to step back into the Octagon ever since he announced his retirement. Moving up to heavyweight is good for him as he has bulked back up to his natural weight of 225 lbs since he retired. At Randy’s age, it’s best that he doesn’t go through the rigors of cutting weight as it takes a strong physical toll on one’s body, especially at his age, when the chance that he might not be able to fully recover in the 24 hour period before the fight is so strong.

As far as the UFC trying to improve the division, aren’t we seeing now that with the additions of Mirko Cro Cop and Heath Herring? Dana White has made it known that he is trying to sign as much top talent as possible this year so I’m certain that those two won’t be the only big additions to the UFC’s heavyweight division this year. I think the UFC should go ahead and build up multiple contenders just like they did at welterweight. This way contract disputes, injuries, and things that would prevent a fight from happening can be worked around. Andrei Arlovski, Gabriel Gonzaga, and Brandon Vera (if he realizes that he needs to actually been an elite fighter before he gets paid top money) are already in line for a title shot if they win another fight or two. Having multiple fighters like them in the division would bring a lot of the excitement back…

CKA: Feb 02, 2007

News and Notes

- The UFC 67: All or Nothing weigh-ins will air live today at 4PM PST on Yahoo! Sports.

- Yesterday the UFC held their pre-fight press conference for UFC 67: All or Nothing. All of the headliners were there except for heavyweight ace Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic.

- At the press conference, it was mentioned that UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva may move to California, possibly to open a branch of his newly-formed Black House gym.

- The Fight Network has signed a multi year deal with Elite XC and they will begin by televising their first event live on February 10th at 10 PM EST.

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UFC 67 Weigh-In Info

UFC 67 Weigh-In Info

Friday, February 2nd, 2007
Mandalay Bay Events Center
Free autograph session from 1-3 PM in the Mandalay Bay Events Center Lounge
- Tim Sylvia
- Matt Hughes
- Georges St. Pierre
- Keith Jardine
Fighters hit the scale at 4 PM PT

The weigh-ins will be shown live on Yahoo! Sports and Sympatico MSN.

UFC 67: All or Nothing

Anderson Silva vs Travis Lutter - UFC Middleweight Title
Quinton Jackson vs Marvin Eastman
Mirko Cro Cop vs Eddie Sanchez
Roger Huerta vs John Halverson
Scott Smith vs Patrick Cote
Ryoto Machida vs Sam Hoger
Tyson Griffin vs Frank Edgar
Jorge Rivera vs Terry Martin
Dustin Hazelett vs Diego Saraieva

CKA: Jan 19, 2007

News and Notes

- Renato “Babalu” Sobral will make his return to the octagon at UFC 68 on March 3rd when he faces Jason Lambert.  Sobral last appeared in the octagon at UFC 62 when he suffered a devastating knock out loss to the hands of the UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell.

- Martin Kampmann will be fighting on the upcoming UFC 68 card, his opponent is currently unknown.

- It looks like Matt Lindland will be making his way over to BodogFight to face PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko.

- Last night Dana White took part in a special chat for all of the ‘UFC Fight Club’ members. Here is some interesting information that came out of the chat…

Mason: Have you ever considered having a legends type fight on a card, such as Randy vs. Bas Rutten?
Dana White: We always want to put on the fights the fans want to see. I would love to bring Bas back.

rickrock: Would you like to see Wanderlei Silva back in the octagon? Has there been any steps taken to try and sign him?
Dana White: I would love to have Silva in the UFC, it’s always my goal to get the best fighters in the world to fight for us. Hopefully we will see that fight in 2007.

Poundem: Dana, were do you see the UFC in 5 years from now?
Dana White: Poundem, I see us GLOBAL.

tootall2: Do you intend to keep bringing the better - fighters from other organizations, or is there a plan to absorb other organizations, such as Pride - and thanks for bringing excitement back to professional fighting.
Dana White: Totall, it’s my goal to acquire all the best fighters in the world and if things go my way, I will have them all by the end of year.

Poundem: What is your plan for Fedor, or do you have one? Would you like to get him in the UFC?
Dana White: Poundem, I want Fedor and everyone else in the UFC.

DrWu: If you could change one thing about the rules of fighting in the octagon, what would it be and why?
Dana White: I would add knees to the head.

dnkyntz: Could you talk about the rumors regarding Zuffa acquiring Pride?
Dana White: Obviously we are out there acquiring other MMA companies right now and if Pride is for sale, I’m interested.

Raiderbeast:Before leaving tonight, can you tell us if another big Pride fighter will show up in the UFC anytime soon?
Dana White: Count on it!!

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UFC: Spencer Fisher – From a Small Town to the Big Time

For the folks back home, the 5-7 Fisher was going to the relatively big city of Bettendorf, Iowa to train in some sport he called mixed martial arts. He might as well have told them he was going to be the star in a high-wire trapeze act, because that probably got more recognition from mainstream America in 2002.

But fast forward to 2006, and Fisher has not only carved out a niche for himself in MMA, currently the fastest growing sport in the world, but he’s one of the featured fighters on a Spike TV fight card on January 25th and his face is plastered on the event’s poster. So when he visits family in Cashiers, things have changed a bit for him.

“They love it,” said Fisher. “They keep up with it, and when I go back home they say, ‘hey, I saw you on TV the other day,’ and it’s a big deal to them. It’s nice to know that I have fans. Before I made it on TV, I’d go back home and people would say ‘what are you doing now?’ I’d tell them and they’d go ‘Oh jeez,’ and it was kind of a joke until they saw it on TV and they saw that there were real punches and real kicks and now there’s a respect that goes along with it.”

MMAWeekly: UFC Champ Ready for Cro Cop and Couture

CKA: Jan 15, 2007

News and Notes

- Stephane Vigneault has suffered an injury and he will no longer be fighting Jonathan Goulet for the TKO Canadian Welterweight Title. Goulet released a message on MySpace which said “Damn my opponent got injured and the TKO management are looking for an opponent.”

- Frankie Edgar will make his UFC debut February 3rd at UFC 67: All or Nothing against undefeated lightweight prospect Tyson Griffin.

- Kenny Florian vs. Dokonjonosuke Mishima will headline UFC Fight Night 9 on March 13th.

- Tank Abbott will make his return to MMA February 3rd when he fights Ji Hoon Kim in World Best Fighter: USA vs. Asia.

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Nobuyuki Sakakibara Comments on Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic

In a recent interview, PRIDE President Nobuyuki Sakakibara provided fans with his thoughts on “Cro Cop” signing with the UFC among other things.

Mirko has decided to challenge himself in the UFC in 2007, just as the UFC officially announced today. We support Mirko’s desire to challenge himself and we hope that he will be a success as one of PRIDE’s top fighters. I think Mirko has left some unfinished business in PRIDE as well, such as rematches with Fedor and Nogueira. So, I anticipate Mirko challenging himself once again in PRIDE after he has taken the UFC Championship belt. For our part, we have decided to accept Mirko’s desire and support him as we see him off.

Cro Cop Signing Confirmed

Tonight the UFC officially confirmed the signing of #2 ranked heavyweight Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic.

It was announced that “Cro Cop” would face Eddie Sanchez at UFC 67. The deal is reported to be a two year, six-fight deal.

NSAC Files For Cro Cop’s Work Visa

The Fight Network is reporting that the Nevada State Athletic Commission has “filed a petition with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services seeking approval” for PRIDE Open Weight Grand Prix Champion Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic to fight on the upcoming UFC 67 card.

Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer confirmed today that his agency has filed a petition with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services seeking approval for Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic to compete in UFC 67 at the Mandalay Bay Event Center on February 3, 2007. The UFC has yet to request NSAC approval for a potential opponent.

It seems more and more likely that “Cro Cop” will be introduced to the UFC fans tonight live on the UFC 66: Liddell vs. Ortiz II pay-per-view.

It has also been confirmed by Dave Meltzer at The Wrestling Observer that Mirko Filipovic will in fact be in Las Vegas.

We’ve had it confirmed that Mirko Cro Cop is coming to Las Vegas, so I guess that answers all the questions.

So after many months of speculation it looks like “Cro Cop” will in fact sign with the UFC and he will be introduced to the audience some time tonight.

UFC Update: Herring, Cro Cop, Franca, WEC

MMAWeekly and Sherdog both now have articles up which are reporting that Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic has signed in the UFC. The announcement will be made this Saturday at UFC 66: Liddell vs. Ortiz II. Cro Cop’s first fight is expected to come at UFC 67 against Eddie Sanchez.

Along with the signing of Mirko Cro Cop, it has been announced and PRIDE and K-1 veteran Heath Herring has signed a five-fight deal with the UFC which will see him make his debut January 25th against Jake O’Brien. Herring was one of the many contracts acquired when the UFC bought out the WFA.

InsideFighting is reporting that Hermes Franca will make his return to the octagon against Spencer Fisher on January 25th at the UFC Fight Night in Miami, Florida. Nothing has been confirmed but it is expected that the winner will become the number one contender in the lightweight division. Franca’s manager, Joe Mullings said, ““Nothing is guaranteed but the direction of conversation has been that either Fisher or Franca will likely be in line for a shot at (UFC lightweight champion) Sean (Sherk).”

Things are starting to come together with the UFC and HBO, as I posted yesterday, Larry Merchant confirmed that the UFC would appear on the network when he said “People look at it (UFC) as real wrestling. And next year HBO and Showtime, they both will test the waters and see if this works. I don’t know what Showtime is doing, but we’ll do four and see how it goes.”

MMAWeekly is reporting that various independent sources have confirmed that WEC will no renew their deal with HDNet but rather they will sign a deal with Versus. The deal calls for six shows to be televised next year including three live shows and three on tape delay. The first Zuffa-owned WEC event will take place January 20th as Kit Cope and Rob McCullough will be headlining the card. It is still unknown whether or not this event will be included in the television deal. Both McCullough and Cope’s contracts were acquired when the UFC purchased the WFA.

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