Forrest Griffin weighs-in for UFC 76: Knockout. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson will defend his UFC light heavyweight title against top contender Forrest Griffin at UFC 86 on Saturday, July 5th in Las Vegas.
The news comes from Dave Meltzer, who reported the date in the latest edition of his Wrestling Observer newsletter.
The two fighters will serve as coaches for the upcoming seventh season of “The Ultimate Fighter, which will begin airing on April 2nd, following a live broadcast of UFC Fight Night 13 on Spike TV. The show is rumored to be featuring a total of 32 fighters competing for a six-figure contract with the UFC.
Jackson successfully defended his title for the first time when he earned a hard-fought unanimous decision over Dan Henderson at UFC 75. July will mark ten months since the last time “Rampage” stepped into the cage.
Griffin, who will be the second ‘TUF’ alumnus to serve as a coach on the show, pulled off one of the biggest upsets of last year when he dominated former PRIDE superstar Mauricio “Shogun” Rua before submitting him with a rear naked choke late in the third round of their bout at UFC 76.
UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson discusses the upcoming seventh season of “The Ultimate Fighter”, of which he will serve as one of the coaches along with future opponent Forrest Griffin with RawVegas.
Twelve Fights at UFC Fight Night 13?
It just might be a possibility according to Pro Karate Weekly:
We are pleased to announce that NAAFS veteran Jeff “The Grinder” Cox will be returning to the Octagon on April 2nd as part of a special UFC Fight Night on Spike TV. Cox will be facing TUF Season 5 runner-up Manny Gamburyan.
Rafferty, Knabjian Return Saturday at XFO 22
Former “Ultimate Fighter” season one cast member Josh Rafferty and WEC veteran Kevin Knabjian will both return to action this Saturday at Xtreme Fight Organization’s “Rising Star” event at the Crystal Lake Holiday Inn in Crystal Lake, Illinois.
Rafferty will attempt to build on a successful two-fight run in 2007 when he takes on fellow welterweight Jay Little. Knabjian will be facing off against an opponent yet to be named.
Making his professional mixed martial arts debut at the show will be Pat Curran, the cousin of top-ranked featherweight Jeff Curran. The younger Curran has won all of his three career amateur bouts.
Robert Drysdale Joins Xtreme Couture
From Xtreme Couture’s official blog:
2007 Abu-Dhabi Absolute Champion Robert Drysdale is the newest member of Xtreme Couture. Robert just moved to Las Vegas, where he is living full time. He is excited to be the newest addition to our Pro Team where he will train in preparation for his MMA debut. Robert will be instructing the Pro Team in jiu jitsu and will teach the jiu jitsu classes at the gym. He is also going to coach our amateur submission grappling and jiu jitsu teams.
Pancrase Announces Card for March 26th Event
Pancrase has officially announced the complete card for it’s next event on March 26th, which will take place at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan.
Miki Shida vs. Marlon Sandro
Izuru Takeuchi vs. Hiromitsu Kanehara
Alavutdin Gadzhiev vs. Hikaru Sato
Takafumi Ito vs. Hacran Dias
Kenji Arai vs. Shinsuke Shoji
Michihisa Asano vs. Yukito
Ichiro Kanai vs. Takenori Sato
Asaki Honda vs. Tomoyoshi Iwamiya
More on Rich Bergeron/Xyience Case
Rich Bergeron has been kind enough to send us a 90-page PDF document outlining his counterclaim against Xyience, which will be heard in Las Vegas court later today.
RawVegas’ Dave Farra interviews former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz, current champ Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Jenna Jameson, and Troy Mandaloniz at the red carpet premiere of NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice”.
Above is an official preview video for UFC 79 courtesy of the UFC as well as a preview for tonight’s UFC All-Access with Wanderlei Silva.
News and Notes
-White Chocolate Management has filed a lawsuit against UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and his manager, Juanito Ibarra because of a breach of contract the two had with the company.
According to Sherdog, WCM was forced to file a lawsuit after Ibarra went out of his way to block all incoming transactions and deals offered to Jackson:
WCM President Reed Wallace is asking for $10,000,000 in damages after being “forced into filing the lawsuit by Rampage’s manager Juanito Ibarra, who ‘bad mouthed’” WCM, according to a news release issued by the plaintiff on Thursday.
Wallace said that while the fighter remained friendly, the champion’s manager has “rejected or blocked all transactions and deals offered to Rampage from WCM. Ibarra then went behind WCM and contacted or had his agent contact those very same parties that WCM brought to the table.”
- The mother of UFC middleweight Drew McFedries was found dead in a Davenport, Iowa alleyway according to a report by The Quad-City Times:
The woman who was found dead in an alley in Davenport was the victim of a homicide, an autopsy revealed, though police are not saying exactly how. Agnes McFedries-Kennedy, 51, was found Saturday evening lying in the alley in the 1800 block between West 7th and West 8th streets. A couple returning to a residence near the scene discovered the body.
All of us at MMA on Tap would like to send our condolences to Drew and his family.
- Every long-time MMA fan loves to read about past adventures involving Lee Murray. Here’s Pat Miletich’s account of the infamous street fight between Murray and Tito Ortiz through the words of Matt Hughes via his new book.
Ever wonder why a lot of people don’t like Hughes? Be sure to check this out.
Touch of gloves to Fight Opinion for both of the finds.
- Din Thomas expects to return to action in March according to a recent interview with The Fight Network.
- Jarry Park has a preview of all of the New Year’s Eve MMA events going on.
Michael Bisping announced an official move to middleweight today on the UFC’s official website.
I guess when Rampage is only eating a leaf of lettuce to keep on weight while you’re stuffing your face with Domino’s and Subway it might be time for a move:
“Dana thought it was a great idea,” said Bisping. “He said I’d be ‘a monster’ down at middleweight. In fact all sorts of people like Rampage were telling me this was the best thing for my career. Really, I knew middleweight was the place to be. When I went to train with Rampage in America over the summer, when we’d go eat he’d have half a lettuce leaf; I’d have a pizza or a couple of foot-long Subways and a couple of sneaky cookies.”
Seriously though, Bisping will be much better off at 185 lbs. I’d still like him to continue to improve his wrestling though. It will improve his chances against guys like Okami and Belcher. The move brings a bit more life to a rather dull middleweight division right now. I like it.
UFC President Dana White announced over the weekend that UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and the number-one contender for his title, Forrest Griffin, will serve as coaches for the seventh season of “The Ultimate Fighter.
White made separate announcements for Griffin and Jackson’s participation at The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale and Spike TV’s 2007 Video Game Awards respectively.
The upcoming season of the show will feature 16 middleweights competing for a six-figure contract with the UFC. White stated multiple times over the weekend that the show would be completely revamped.
As part of the deal, Jackson will defend his title against Griffin when the show is finished airing, some time in the summer next year.
News and Notes
- Reaction from last night’s Ultimate Fighter 6 episode:
UFC: Matt Hughes’ Blog – Week Eleven; The Ultimate Fighter Serra vs Hughes – Episode Eleven Recap
Sherdog: Sherdog.com’s Guide to TUF 6
The Fight Network: Speer Into TUF 6 Semis
MMA Junkie: “The Ultimate Fighter: Team Hughes vs. Team Serra” — Episode No. 11 Recap
MMA Mania: Ultimate Fighter 6: Episode 11 recap and discussion
Five Ounces of Pain: TUF 6: Episode 11 Recap/Thoughts
UFC Daily: The Ultimate Fighter 6: Episode 11 Recap
Steve Cofield: Ben Saunders has his say
Chicago Sun-Times: John Kolosci’s TUF diary, Episode 10
- MMA Weekly is reporting that Leonard Garcia will be moving to the WEC to compete in the featherweight division according to Garcia’s trainer Greg Jackson:
“Leonard (Garcia) is such a great fighter and a strong guy, but he walks around at like three pounds over weight,” said Jackson about his fighter’s move to featherweight. “He had to eat the morning of the weigh-ins the last time. We’ve got to bring him down a weight class where he’s going to be more effective. We talked after his last fight and 145 is where he’s going to be. I’m really looking forward to proving ourselves in that division in the WEC.”
- Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto will take on former WEC bantamweight contender Rani Yahya at K-1 “Premium 2007 Dynamite!! on New Year’s Eve according to a report from Sports Navi.
Touch of gloves to The Fight Network for that one.
- Sam Caplan has some pretty big news to report…
First off, apparently Andre Gusmao will not be fighting David Heath at UFC 81 because he’s not even signed with the UFC:
Several reports have surfaced in the last 48 hours claiming that Andre Gusmao will be debuting for the UFC at UFC 81 on February 2 against David Heath. Pro Elite has learned that those reports are incorrect, as the IFL has a contract option to retain Gusmao for the 2008 season and will be exercising that option.
The UFC had been in discussions with someone falsely claiming to be representing Gusmao and misrepresenting information during the faux negotiations. According to the source, the UFC was contacted by the IFL soon after hearing the reports of Gusmao’s departure.
Secondly, Caplan has learned that M-1 Global is leaning towards holding their first-ever event at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ in March, which is good for this site because of a short traveling distance.
- Adam Morgan at Five Ounces of Pain is reporting that Dan Barrera and Ben Saunders will rematch at The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale next Saturday.
London Free Press: He’s called the Crosby of fighting
Sherdog: Politics of Promoting on New Year’s Eve in Japan
MMA Opinion: We Found Rampage!
Bloody Elbow: How Dana White Blew It in 2007
MMA Analyst: Sengoku won’t prove who is the Fight Master
In response to the rapid growth of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), Round 5 has just released the first official line of MMA collectible figures. The collectibles are set to launch in North America in over 1000 different stores this holiday season. They will also be available internationally online.
“This first series showcases the most exciting championship fighters to date, in their most well known poses,” said Barron Lau, Marketing Director of Round 5. He continues to explain, “Series 1: Champions, will include fan favourites; Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Tito ‘The Huntington Beach Bad Boy’ Ortiz, Matt Hughes, and Randy ‘The Natural’ Couture. Each collectible is expertly sculpted, stands 6” tall and is fully pose-able. Select characters even include accessories such Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson’s signature chain. Each fighter had direct input in the design and development of their own collectible figure including the look, feel and pose. We are honoured to be releasing these collectibles at a time when the sport has achieved so much success.”
The collectible figures are sculpted by famous McFarlane artist and owner of INU Art design studio, David Cortes. He is best known for sculpting comic-related and mainstream characters like Hellboy, Spawn, and the Incredible Hulk. Cortes takes great pride in the level of detail and likeness captured in the 6” tall caricature-style figures.
Interest in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts has grown dramatically over the past several years, surpassing both boxing and professional wrestling in popularity and Pay-Per-View sales in some areas of the world, to currently become one of the fastest growing sports around. “Due to the mainstream rise in popularity of professional MMA, the response from our website has been tremendous. These collectibles will be the hottest sellers for the upcoming Christmas season,” said Damon Lau, CEO Round 5.
News and Notes
- Fedor Emelianenko has denied an invitation to compete in Super Challenge Grappling’s December event:
Promoter Paulo Vasconcellos traveled to Russia and invited Fedor Emelianenko to compete in December’s Super Challenge Grappling event, which will pit eight Brazilians against eight foreign competitors in an open-weight submission tournament in Brazil. However, the top-ranked heavyweight kindly refused the invitation, according to the promoter.
Nothing big, just some different Fedor news…
- Gilbert Melendez’s hand is injured but not brokenaccording to a recent set of x-rays. Since there are no broken bones, Melendez would like to be part of Strikeforce’s next event in November:
“I got it x-rayed. The guy said I was lucky. No break. Just a lot of swelling. I’m getting a sonogram … to make sure there are no torn tendons.”
I believe there’s a Strikeforce in November,” Melendez commented. “If I’m healthy and I’m ready to go, I wouldn’t mind jumping on there. I’m in good shape. I want to keep fighting.”
- Speaking of being part of Strikeforce’s November event, former UFC heavyweight title contender Paul Buentello will fight on the card according to Brian Knapp of The Fight Network.
Massachusetts State Boxing Commission head Dan Fitzpatrick thinks that the state will probably never legalize MMA:
“My sense is before they ever regulate and allow it, the state would have all kinds of hearings and take a long time to pass it if it ever passed at all,” said Dan Fitzpatrick, chairman of the Massachusetts State Boxing Commission. “My gut tells me they wouldn’t allow it.”
- Five Ounces of Pain is looking for some more writers...
Sherdog: Mail Call
MMA Weekly: Jorge Masvidal’s Next Step
The Fight Network: Uchimura Crowned First ZST Welterweight Champion
MMA Junkie: Pictures from “Strikeforce at the Playboy Mansion”
UFC Mania: Sports Science: Rampage Jackson hits hard (video)
Bloody Elbow: The 10 Point Must System Explained (Kind Of)
Five Ounces of Pain: Combat in the Cage results for Oct. 6 in Trenton, NJ
Fight Opinion: Monday chalkboard: UFC’s chances in Japan
Houston Chronicle: Fast-growing WEC looks to add depth
Press of Atlantic City: Upcoming Kimbo Slice Atlantic City fight canceled after investor drops out
Boxing Scene: Boxing and MMA: There’s Room for All of Us
411 Mania: UFC’s Future and the Promotional Machine
I know we haven’t posted it but a lot of other sites have. Here’s a promo for UFC WiRED, a new show hosted by UFC color commentator Joe Rogan that debuts this weekend.
News and Notes
- Adam Smith, who competed on last weekend’s Strikeforce at the Mansion card against K-1 veteran Dewey Cooper, has tested positive for cocaine and marijuana according to the California State Athletic Commission. Smith will be suspended until June 25th of next year and fined $1,500.
- Anyone watch Dog The Bounty Hunter? Dog’s son Leland will be making his MMA debut on October 20th at No Limits Fighting’s Brawl for it All event.
- UFC vice president Marc Ratner told Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports yesterday that Anthony Torres tested positive for the anabolic steroid Boldenone through the post-fight tests done after UFC 75. Torres is the first fighter to test positive under the UFC’s testing done when events are held outside of the United States. Torres was released from his contract by the UFC, not because of the positive test, but because of a poor performance against his opponent at UFC 75, Jess Liaudin.
All of the other fighters tested at UFC 75 - Quinton Jackson, Dan Henderson, Dennis Siver, Michael Bisping, Terry Etim, Houston Alexander and Gleison Tibau all passed. All of the fighters who competed at UFC 76 passed their tests for performance enhancing drugs as well.
- Keith Jardine has told MMA Weekly that he plans on returning to the Octagon in January:
“I’m thinking January, the early part of the year would be a good time,” said Jardine about the ideal time for his next fight.
- SUN Sports & Entertainment has announced the complete fight card for Art of War 4: Mississippi Mayhem, scheduled to take place on October 27th:
Ron Faircloth vs Chris Hawk
Rex Richards vs Shane Carwin
Mike Wessel vs Matt Thomas
Andrew Chappelle vs Adriano Nasal
DJ Watkins vs Kyle Gibbons
David Hulett vs David Brown
Keith Bach vs Mark Wiggins
Andy Uhrich vs Chris Gates
- Sam Caplan is reporting through Dave Meltzer that Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Cheick Kongo may not be fighting at UFC 79 after all:
According to Dave Meltzer in his latest FoxSports.com column, a rumored match between Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Cheick Kongo may not take place at UFC 79 on Dec. 29 as had been previously reported. It now appears that Nogueira vs. Kongo could take place in either January or February.
- Zach Arnold is reporting that the PRIDE FC Worldwide office in Tokyo has been shut down and all of the workers have been fired.