Randy Couture appeared on ESPN’s first take to talk about his UFC situation and to pimp NatGeo’s Fight Science. Couture wants to fight Fedor Emelianenko, shocking.
Randy Couture and Fedor Emelianenko stood face-to-face during a commercial shoot for the Affliction clothing line in a Los Angeles studio on Friday afternoon. If this doesn’t excite you even more about a possible showdown between the two, I don’t know what will.
Touch of gloves to Bloody Elbow for the find.
Dana White congratulates Randy Couture after his win over Pedro Rizzo at UFC 34. Photo by Joshua Hedges.
The feud between Randy Couture and the UFC has now gone to a completely different level…
The Las Vegas Review-Journal is reporting that lawyers hired by Zuffa, the UFC’s parent company, filed a lawsuit in Nevada’s Clark County District Court yesterday, citing that Couture has made negative comments about the promotion and those involved with it’s management.
They also stated that the comments have caused “irreparable damage” and that he has breached the latest contract he signed with the company in December of 2006.
Basically the lawsuit was filed because Randy’s Xtreme Couture gym will be fielding a team that will compete at the IFL’s next event in Las Vegas on Friday, February 29th. The UFC is claiming that Randy’s gym being involved with the IFL is a violation of his contract with the UFC. Will the claim hold up in court? We’ll just have to wait and see.
The lawsuit will also attempt to collect up to $10,000 in damages from Couture and seek a restraining order that will prevent Couture from being involved with any other organizations that compete against the UFC.
According to UFC president Dana White, the toughest thing about all of this is the fact that he and Couture have been friends for a long time:
“What’s really tough for me, to be honest, is we have been friends for a very long time,” White said. “The hard part is that he is not living up to his obligations. Captain America is not keeping his word. I expect Randy to honor the obligations in his contract that he signed (a year ago). I tried to resolve it by talking to this guy that I’ve had a relationship with for eight years and was unsuccessful. Now this thing’s in the hands of the justice system.”
“Operation All-In”, a celebrity poker tournament put together by current UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture in order to raise money for returning US troops, was a huge success this past Saturday.
The tournament was held at the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas and drew 123 players according to Poker News. The buy-in for the event was $550. Notable celebrities that participated included Todd and Pam Brunson, Kirk Morrison, Johnny Chan, Montel Williams, Dean Cain, and Jose Canseco. Former World Series of Poker winner Jamie Gold served as the host for the event.
Jamie Scott was the winner of the tournament and donated a portion of his $20,000 winnings to the The Xtreme Couture GI Foundation. With the tournament, multiple auctions, and various other activities combined, the event raised over $90,000 for the troops. Sherdog’s Mike Sloan was on hand at the event and gives his take.
Raw Vegas was also at the event as well. In the video above, host Dave Farra sits down with Randy Couture to discuss a variety of things including the tournament, his other charity work, his situation with the UFC, and his thoughts on Fedor Emelianenko. Speaking of Fedor, he apparently plans to meet with Randy while visiting Los Angeles later this month.
The next two videos highlight some action at the tables. Randy apparently one three different hands on the river during the tourney. Two of the times are shown below. Talk about luck…
This isn’t even close to the complete story, just bits and pieces that I was able to find here and there that may or may not be completely accurate, but what appears to be the best information out there.
I think everyone by now has heard how wearing a Sportsbook.com shirt at the UFC 54 weigh-ins ended up in the UFC releasing Matt Lindland from his contract at a time where he was widely known as the number one contender for Rich Franklin’s then-UFC middleweight title.
At the time those type of sponsor-fighter relationships were said to be prohibited by the UFC. Or was it just Sportsbook that was prohibited? Maybe just online gambling sites?
After all Dana White has called Calvin Ayre a criminal in the past for his dealings in online gambling. Sportsbook’s CEO Peter Dicks was arrested in 2006 on charges of racketeering, conspiracy and fraud, the same reasons why Ayre can not step foot inside the United States according to some.
Did Dana know something that made him think twice before allowing his fighters to be sponsored by online gambling sites? Did an event occur that made White change his mind about them? If something did, it may have been the Sportsbook/Team Quest scandal that occurred in the early months of 2005.
Here’s something interesting to think about…
When Dana White announced that Tim Sylvia and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira would fight for the interim UFC Heavyweight Title at UFC 81 next month, he also stated that the winner of the fight would then face Randy Couture.
Well Couture apparently isn’t planning on reconciling with the UFC anytime soon and I’m sure that White and company already know that. So why is Couture still recognized as the champion?
Could it be that it has something to do with keeping Couture under contract as long as possible?
White was advised not to strip Couture of the UFC Heavyweight Championship since Couture’s contract says that as long as Couture is the champion, he can’t fight for another organization. There is a provision in the contract for retiring, however retiring means you can’t fight for another organization.
It does make sense…
Interested in owning a UFC championship belt like the one above? How about the exact one above? Got $30,000 to spare? Well former UFC heavyweight champ Ricco Rodriguez is selling the title he won from Randy Couture at UFC 39 on eBay in hopes of raising money for a school Rodriguez will be opening down south.
Tim Sylvia calls Fedor a bad word
Former UFC heavyweight champion had some choice words for Fedor Emelianenko during a post-UFC 79 interview with Gary Herman of CBS Sports. When asked about Emelianenko, Sylvia stated that he feels the former PRIDE champ is ducking top competition:
“I think he’s being a (expletive),” said Sylvia. “I think Fedor is very good, but you have to fight the top level competitors all the time to keep that status, and he is just not doing that.”
According to Five Ounces of Pain, the bad word had something to do with a pussy, whatever that is…
WCO Releases Complete Card for “The Return”
The World Cagefighting Organization has released the complete card for WCO: The Return, which is set to take place January 12th at the San Diego Sports Arena.
The event is headlined by a main event between former UFC light heavyweights Renato “Babalu” Sobral and Vernon White and includes many other notable fighters competing as well. The full card is below:
Renato Sobral vs. Vernon White
Ricco Rodriguez vs. Mike Kyle
Mark Kerr vs. Rick Roufus
Jimmy Ambriz vs. Wesley Correira
Joe Riggs vs. Gustavo Machado
Virgil Zwicker vs. David Mejia
Davis Loiseau vs. Leopoldo Serao
Tiki Ghosn vs. J.J. Ambrose
Fabio Costa vs. Carlos Fuentes
Georgi Karakahyan vs. Armando Sanchez
Tony Sylvestor vs. Cain Velasquez
Touch of gloves to MMA Junkie for that find.
Sakara Joins American Top Team
Alessio Sakara has joined the ranks of ATT according to a statement made on the team’s official website:
To start off the new year, American Top Team is pleased to announce UFC fighter Alessio “Legionarius” Sakara has joined our team!
We are excited to have the opportunity to work with Alessio, who is known for his explosive stand up style of fighting. We look forward to working with Alessio and help him improve his overall mma game and take him to the top!
Sakara returns at UFC 80: Rapid Fire later this month when he takes on newcomer James Lee. The fight is expected to be Sakara’s last at 205 lbs as he has expressed plans to move down to the middleweight division following the fight.
We will have a brand new MMA on Tap Top 10 posted later today. Our rumors page has been updated. Randy Couture will be hosting a charity poker tournament at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on January 12th. Couture, Jamie Gold, and Dean Cain are all expected to participate. Leland Rolling takes a look at what’s next for Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva. A matchup between Jake Bostwick and John Phillips has been added to Cage Rage 25 according to The Fight Network.
After watching UFC 79 and hearing all of the discussion about how Matt Hughes and Matt Serra were originally supposed to fight but Serra pulled out with an injury, I got to thinking. It wasn’t the first time that a situation like that occurred.
So I sat down and did some research. There were actually a good number of fights in the UFC that were signed and slated to happen but ended up not taking place for one reason or another. The final number was a lot higher than I expected so I went ahead and narrowed the list down to the fights that would have been the best if they were to happen at the time.
So here they are. I’ve sorted them starting with the most recent and excluding Hughes-Serra. Each instance is pretty interesting.
Evan Tanner vs Jeremy Horn (UFC 59): The two long-time MMA veterans were set to clash at UFC 59 in what was unofficially an “elimination” bout for the two of them. Horn had split his two return bouts in the UFC while Tanner had lost two straight, including his middleweight title. The bout would have been an interesting chess match between two slick grapplers but Horn ended up pulling out after injuring his back during training. Justin Levens replaced Horn and Tanner went on to submit Levens in the first round of their bout. Horn was released shortly after defeating Chael Sonnen at UFC 60.
Matt Hughes vs Karo Parisyan (UFC 56): After losing to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 46, Parisyan went ahead and racked up three straight wins over Nick Diaz, Chris Lytle, and Matt Serra to earn a title shot against then-champion Matt Hughes. The anticipated welterweight showdown was set to headline the event until Parisyan was forced to pull out of the fight after suffering an elbow injury during training. Joe Riggs stepped in for Parisyan and ended up failing to make weight, costing him his shot at the title. Hughes would go on to submit Riggs in a non-title bout and wouldn’t defend his belt again until UFC 63, making it over a full year since the welterweight title was contested. To this day, Parisyan is still yearning for another shot at the title.
In a battle of former UFC and PRIDE champs, Tim Sylvia will meet Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for the interim UFC heavyweight title at UFC 81: Breaking Point on February 2nd at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
UFC President Dana White made the official announcement on last night’s PPV broadcast of UFC 79: Nemesis.
According to White, the winner of the fight will then challenge current champion Randy Couture in order to unify the belts. Whether or not Couture will accept will remain to be seen for some time. Couture hinted earlier this month that he was content to wait out the remainder of his contract in order for a chance to fight Fedor Emelianenko.
Sylvia is coming off of an impressive unanimous decision over Brandon Vera in a fight many thought he would lose after coming off of back surgery. Nogueira was victorious in his UFC debut in July when he pulled out a decision over long-time rival Heath Herring.
Since it’s Christmas Eve and there’s not a lot of news going on, I thought why not make a list of MMA-related things that I’d like to see next year.
These are in no particular order…
1. Randy Couture vs Fedor Emelianenko - I’m not the only one that wants to see this. EVERYONE wants to see this. It’d be the biggest fight ever. Since Fedor opted to sign with M-1 Global instead of the UFC, we are going to have to wait until at least October to learn whether or not Couture’s contract with the UFC is really finished or that’s he going to have to fight twice more in order to finally get out.
Hopefully what Couture says holds true. If not, Dana and company have to work out some kind of working partnership with M-1, at least for the sake of the fans if nothing else.
2. The return of Evan Tanner - Now that Tanner has officially signed a new four-fight deal with the UFC, it’s only a matter of time before he is finally set to step back into the Octagon. I’m not doubting that it’s going to happen by wishing for it. I just want to finally see it take place.
The guy has battled some personal demons over the past two years and I’m sure that the majority of MMA fans would like nothing more than to see Tanner achieve his dream of fighting again in the UFC. On top of that, Tanner says he has the goods to knock off Anderson Silva. Ask anyone to make a list of fighters that could beat Silva and you’ll see Tanner on there almost every time.
3. Floyd Mayweather in MMA - After months and months of putting MMA down and then deciding that he might want to try it, it’s time to put up or shut up for boxing’s best pound for pound fighter. If he fights under Mark Cuban’s HDNet Fights banner, money won’t even be an issue. If Mayweather does go into MMA, I think that he’ll try to spin it for all it’s worth. Based on the fact that he has zero experience, the athletic commission is going to force the matchmakers to put Floyd up against another fighter that has not fought professionally and has very little amateur experience, most likely a guy that Mayweather could knock out in the first round.
It’ll probably be an exhibition bout too. After that Mayweather will declare that boxing is superior to MMA and will never step into a cage again. Then a slew of professional MMA fighters will call him out and he’ll try to explain that he has no reason to go back and fight again in MMA. Still, it’ll definitely be fun to watch.
4. Josh Barnett and Takanori Gomi to sign somewhere - Ever since the demise of PRIDE, these two have been nowhere to be found. While Barnett kept some of the spotlight on him in 2007 with his war of words with Dana White and his submission grappling match a few days ago, he still hasn’t fought in an MMA bout since losing to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira nearly one year ago.
Gomi’s loss changed to a no contest against Nick Diaz was the former PRIDE Lightweight Champ’s only bout in ‘07. Since then, he’s been competely silent. These two are among the elite in their respective weight classes and aren’t getting any younger. It’s time to sign somewhere and get fighting again.
5. The UFC video game to come out in ‘08 - Yes, I know that it’s slated for a 2009 release but it could be finished early, right? It was UFC Throwdown’s release in 2002 that got me into the world of MMA. We haven’t had a new game since Sudden Impact in ‘04. The trailer for THQ’s new project looks amazing and I can’t wait. While I’m at it, Sam Caplan has a great article on UFC: Throwdown and what he hopes THQ will include in the new game coming out.