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.
Here is the official card for UFC 68: The Uprising.
Main Card Bouts:
Tim Sylvia vs. Randy Couture - UFC Heavyweight Title
Matt Hughes vs. Chris Lytle
Drew McFedries vs. Martin Kampmann
Rich Franklin vs. Jason MacDonald
Renato Sobral vs. Jason Lambert
Rex Holman vs. Matt Hamill
Jon Fitch vs. Luigi Fioravanti
Gleison Tibau vs. Jason Dent
Jason Gilliam vs. Jamie Varner
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 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…
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!!
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
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.
News and Notes
- Former UFC Welterweight Champion Carlos Newton will take on Matt Lindland in a “superfight” on the IFL fight card Feb. 2 in Houston.
- A few days ago Seth Petruzelli released a MySpace bulletin which said that his fight at UFC Fight Night 8 was off. Petruzelli recently released another bulletin saying he may still be on the card.
Petruzelli’s bulletin said “Hey guys, I still have to train and go weigh in the 25th for the UFC…my opponent injured his ankle. They are trying to find me a new fight on short notice but it doesn’t look good. So I still have to go ready to fight just in case. Thanks and I hope to be back fighting for you all soon!”
- As we reported yesterday, The Gracie Fighting Championships: Evolution event has been postponed due to unknown circumstances. This is an unfortunate turn of events as the GFC: Evolution card was looking very solid with UFC veterans Jeff Monson, Wes Sims, Nick Diaz, Renato Verissimo, and others. Hopefully the get things sorted out and find a new date for the show soon. The response so far from fighters and fans is fairly negative, here is what Randy Harris and Marco Avellan had to say on ‘The Underground’.
Marcos Avellan - “I’m obviously super bummed out. One of my biggest disapointments was for all the people who made a lot of sacrifices so that I could train for this fight. My brother and other FFA instructors picked up the slack for me and taught all my classes for the past six weeks. My wife had to deal with my temper tantrums because of the weight cutting and training - I’m the first to admit I’m a bit difficult to deal with when training full time and dieting.
And then Lloyd Irvin trained me personally for a week… and Eric “El Tigre” Castanos and Paulino Hernandez took a ton of time out of their personal schedules to train me.
So thank you to all of them, you guys did an AWESOME job getting me ready and we’ll do it again one more time when the fight is rescheduled.
In the meantime, to my students, I’m back! I miss all you guys and am looking forward to teaching some classes again!
And about the GFC, I think they are trying their best to resolve this the best they can. I used to promote shows (not nearly as big as the GFC) and it is a TOUGH business. A lot of people don’t realize some of the crazy monkey wrenches that get thrown your way as a promoter. Believe me… if anyone is suffering from this… they are taking it the WORST. I really think they did everything they could to treat the fighters A+... I genuinely believe they probably had no other choice.
So a strong recovery to all those involved with this show - fighters, spectators, and promoters.
Randy Harris - “Yes I was told postponed but as far as I am concerned it has been cancelled. I wouldn’t plan on attending it ever again. People have spent money on plane tickets and more and they are now out! BAD BAD business!”
- 01/13/07 American Bushido: “2007 Grand Prix Round 1” in McCook, IL.
- 01/13/07 Battle in the Cage VI: “Aftermath” in Denver, CO.
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)
Just a few minutes ago, Randy Couture made it official during an interview with Joe Rogan - Captain America is coming out of retirement.
Couture has signed a brand new four-fight contract with the UFC that will keep him fighting through 2008. His first opponent will be UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia and the belt will be on the line at UFC 68: The Uprising on March 3rd.
During the interview Couture said that the itch to fight he had while doing color commentary for UFC broadcasts became too much for him to handle.
When asked about Sylvia, Couture stated that he saw holes in the champion’s game, especially a conservative approach against Jeff Monson where Sylvia fought “not to lose rather than to win”.
With the addition of Couture, the UFC Heavyweight division, which only a few months ago looked bone dry is now stacked with contenders…
Welcome to the first edition of Coffee and Kick Ass, a new morning column that will include a variety of news and articles, or whatever else is going on in the MMA world.
News and Notes
- Seth Petruzelli has announced via his MySpace page that his fight at UFC Fight Night 8 on January 25th has been cancelled. Petruzelli was scheduled to face Hector Ramirez but Ramirez was forced to pull out after suffering an ankle injury during training.
- Remember to tune into ‘Inside the UFC’ tonight at 12 AM EST on Spike TV as Randy Couture will be making his “big” announcement. Reports have already surfaced stating that Couture will coming out of retirement to fight Tim Sylvia for the UFC heavyweight title.
- Lodune Sincaid has confirmed that he be fighting on the upcoming January 20th WEC card. His opponent at this time is still unknown.
- Yesterday on MMAWeekly Radio, MMA agent Ken Pavia reported that Ivan Salaverry is tentatively scheduled to fight on the April UFC card.
- Frank Trigg will defend his newly acquired Icon Sport middleweight title April 7th against UFC and PRIDE veteran “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler.
- On the note of Robbie Lawler, it is expected that he will appear on the PRIDE USA show scheduled for sometime in June.
- Joe Doerksen will be making his PRIDE debut April 28th, 2007. At this time his opponent currently unknown.
InsideFighting: It’s do or die for Phil Baroni, and he’s “not ready to die”
MMAFighting.com: Lodune Sincaid Q & A
UFC Junkie: An Interview with Sean Salmon
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.