Personalities

CKA: Jan 23, 2007

News and Notes

- The next WEC show will be March 24th at The Joint in Las Vegas, Nevada.

- PRIDE has added the following bouts to their upcoming show Pride 33: Second Coming:

* Takanori Gomi vs. Nick Diaz
* Hayato Sakurai vs. Mac Danzig
* Kazuo Misaki vs. Frank Trigg
* Kazuhiro Nakamura vs. Travis Wiuff

- Matt Lindland has confirmed through ‘The Fight Network’ that he signed a three-fight deal with BodogFight. All of the fights will take place in the heavyweight division.

- It’s looking like Tito Oritz vs. Forrest Griffin II is a strong possibility for UFC 70 in Manchester.

Recommended Reads

Baltimore Sun: One-on-one with UFC President Dana White (excellent interview)
UFC: Clay Guida - “The Carpenter” Builds his UFC Rep
UFC: Cage ace Bisping the best bar none

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!!

Recommended Reads

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 17, 2007

News and Notes

- UFCmania is reporting that John Halverson will make his octagon debut against Roger Huerta. Also on the card will be Terry Martin versus Jorge Rivera.

- Yoshihiro Akiyama has been suspended indefinitely by K-1 after he was caught using an oil-based substance in his fight against Kazushi Sakuraba.

- Here is what will be on ‘Inside the UFC’ this Thursday…

Rogan will sit down with UFC light heavyweight contender Rashad Evans.
He’ll talk to Randy Couture about Pros vs. Joes.
Fans will get to take a look at the UFC’s newest ring girl, Ali Sonoma.

Recommended Reads

The Fight Network: Hansen Eyes America
Las Vegas Review-Journal: Couture Coming Back
LA Times: Couture Will Face Sylvia in Return to Competition

IFL Reaches Deal with FSN and MyNetworkTV

FSN and MyNetworkTV have reached a strategic, three-tier television and new media programming alliance with the International Fight League (IFL).  The joint announcement was made today by FSN President Bob Thompson, Twentieth Television President Bob Cook, and IFL CEO Gareb Shamus.

Under terms of the alliance, FSN has multi-year rights to televise 22 one-hour late night event programs, produced by the IFL, beginning in the second quarter of 2007.  FSN also has the right to produce related ancillary programming, pay-per-view events and video-on-demand product.

Continue reading "IFL Reaches Deal with FSN and MyNetworkTV"

CKA: Jan 14, 2007

News and Notes

- Icon Sport will be holding an event February 9th and the headline bout will be a battle between UFC and Pride veteran “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler and Trevor Garret. Also on the card will be Renato Verissimo, Jeremy Williams, and Scott Junk.

- UFC veterans Justin Eilers and Pedro Rizzo will fight March 9th at the American Airline Center. The fight will take place in the new organization dubbed the ‘International Fighters Association’ and it will be televised on HDNet. HDNet previously televised the WEC until it was purchased by the UFC and moved to Versus. The matchmaker will be UFC and Pride veteran Guy Metzger and the ring announcer will be Bruce Buffer. Here is the current card…

Pedro Rizzo vs. Justin Eilers
Carlo Prater vs. Dennis Levensky
Alex Andrade vs. Klas Akesson
Matt Grice vs. Yuki Inoue
Buddy Clinton vs. Kenneth Rosfort
Eric Schambari vs. Christian Smith
Justin Wren vs. Trent Standing
Alonozo Martinez vs. Tom East
Sonny Neilson vs. Travis Bush

- MMAWeekly has Luke Cummo vs. Josh Haynes and Wilson Gouveia vs. Hector Ramirez rumored for the UFC Fight Night 10 card on April 5th. Also rumored to be on the card is Josh Koscheck and Kendall Grove.

- Mitsuhiro Ishida has vacated his Shooto Pacific Rim 154-pound championship title.

- In an article on the TKO homepage, UFC matchmaker confirmed that Mark Hominick and Sam Stout would be back in the UFC in the New Year.

Recommended Reads

The Fight Network: Crecy’s 2006 MMA Honors
Fight Opinion: 5 Good Reasons UFC Will Not Buy PRIDE
Sherdog: Sakakibara on PRIDE: “We Are Here to Stay”
TKO: Sam Stout: Taking on All Comers

Pride Officially Announces Silva-Henderson; Sakakibara Denies Purchase Rumors

Pride officially announced that Wanderlei Silva will defend his Pride Middleweight Title against Pride Welterweight Champion Dan Henderson at Pride 33: The Second Coming on February 24th at a press conference in Los Angeles yesterday.

The biggest surprise of the day: Tommy Lee was on hand to voice his support for the event.

Not the biggest surprise of the day: Lee screwed up the date of the event, saying that it was in January instead of February, confusing Motley Crue fans everywhere.

Pride CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara was very confident that his company would succeed in the UFC-dominated American market…

“2007 is the year of change and challenge for PRIDE,” Sakakibara told Sherdog.com. “We take the American market very seriously and also we have champions like Fedor and Wanderlei, strong fighters — they’re waiting for anyone to challenge them. We’re here to stay in America and those champions are here to stay in PRIDE.”

While he couldn’t say anything more about the matchups for Pride 33, Sakakibara did state that Takanori Gomi will be fighting on the card.

Sakakibara also quelled the rampant rumors that are circulating through some of MMA’s most popular message boards that Zuffa, the company that owns the UFC and WEC, has come to terms to purchase Pride:

“It’s just a rumor. I haven’t had any close conversation with (UFC president) Dana White so far. But since the Fertitta brothers bought the UFC we’ve had a very close relationship and we have had friendly conversation. We’re just trying to come up with the idea on how we can make this sport grow. That’s our main concern. I think that is where the rumors are coming from. We’re constantly having a conversation with the UFC.”

While an MMA monopoly might not be the best thing for the sport, it’s always good to know that the two superpowers are working together to try and better the sport and also constantly talking to each other.

If there ever comes a time when Pride has to be sold, I’d rather Zuffa acquire it than WWE or Showtime…

CKA: Jan 12, 2007

News and Notes

- The IFL has confirmed that “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler will participate in a superfight against rising Brazilian star Eduardo Pamplona on the upcoming February 23rd event in Atlanta, Ga.

- The UFC has launched the official site for UFC 67: All or Nothing. It can be found here.

- Last night on ‘Inside the UFC’, Randy “The Natural” Couture sat down with Joe Rogan and announced that he signed a new four-fight contract with the UFC and his first fight will come against UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia.

- Martin Kampmann vs. Drew McFedries is scheduled to take place at UFC 68.

- King of the Cage will be coming to Hull, Quebec January 20th with their card dubbed King of the Cage : Freedom Fight.

KOTC: Freedom Fight

Travis Galbraith vs. Craig Brown (205 lbs.)
Mark Bocek vs. Matt Fiordirosa (155 lbs.)
TJ Grant vs. Nick Portieous (170 lbs.)
Barry McDonald vs. Tony Legnaro (155 lbs.)
Markhaile Wedderburn vs. Mickel Alexander (185 lbs.)
Jean Marc Lalonde vs. Brett Portieous (155 lbs.)
Stephane Lamarche vs. Garrett Velroy (170 lbs.)
Nick Denis vs. Shawn Lalonde (145 lbs.)
Wayne Xilon vs. John Cole (250 lbs. challenge fight)
Yan Fortier vs. Allen Harvey (170 lbs.)
Andre Dreosiers vs. Mike Delorne (Heavyweight challenge fight)

Recommended Reads

BoxingTalk.com: Exclusive Interview with John Hackleman
BoxingTalk.com: Exclusive Interview with Ed Herman
RandomSpeak.com: Interview with Kevin Randleman

Couture’s Big Announcement

Be sure to tune into ‘Inside the UFC’ on Thursday night as Randy “The Natural” Couture will be interviewed and he has a big announcement to make.

To the loyal readers, feel free to leave comments on what you think the announcement might be. Personally, I have a feeling “The Natural” will be coming out of retirement to fight Tim Sylvia for the UFC heavyweight title at UFC 68 in Ohio.

Silva-Henderson to Headline PRIDE 33

Loretta Hunt of ‘The Fight Network’ is reporting that PRIDE 33 will be headlined by a rematch between PRIDE champions Wanderlei Silva and Dan Henderson.

Henderson and Silva battled back in December of 2000 where fans saw “The Axe Murder” Wanderlei Silva win by decision.

In 2000, Henderson didn’t draw a favorable straw in Silva for his PRIDE debut, but the wrestler with little formal stand-up training made the most of it, pulverizing the Brazilian’s face to a mangled mesh of purple and red on route to a decision loss with the then unstoppable fighter.

This fight will give Henderson the opportunity to hold a title in two different weight classes.

“As impossible as it seems, I will make him even uglier than he is already,” Henderson promised from his home in Southern California today.

BodogFight Teams with Couture and Lindland

BodogFight, the mixed martial arts (MMA) reality television phenomenon and brainchild of digital entertainment mogul Calvin Ayre, will be the official Presenting Sponsor for “Turning Point”, a 10-bout Sportfight mega-card set for Saturday, January 6, at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon.

“We are extremely excited about this opportunity to work with Randy Couture and Matt Lindland,” says Calvin Ayre, the founder of Bodog.com Entertainment who recently returned from the filming of BodogFight: St. Petersburg. “Randy is an MMA legend and role model for the sport while Matt is an Olympic silver medalist who understands the commitment required to become one of the world’s top competitors. Since combining their athletic and coaching qualities together, it’s no wonder that Team Quest is producing a distinguished list of incredible fighters.”

Continue reading "BodogFight Teams with Couture and Lindland"

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