Here’s a collection of media links focusing on UFC 73: Stacked:
Sherdog: Evans Confident for the Ortiz Test; Franca Ready to Make His Dream a Reality; “Stacked” UFC Offers Two Title Fights; Sherk to Offer Franca “Eye Opening” Experience; Great Sherdog Debate: UFC 73
MMAWeekly: Sherk Looks to Defend, Franca to Conquer; Fight-by-Fight: UFC 73; Alvin Robinson Wants to Prove He Belongs; Wanting to Show Fans the Real Jorge Gurgel; Tito Isn’t Looking Past Rashad Evans
The Fight Network: Bocek Makes Fighting a Family Affair; Not Just a Match; An Unlikely Champion
InsideFighting: Rashad Evans is Ready to Take on the Best; Kenny Florian: “I am very, very hungry to fight”; Tito Ortiz “Speaks against”; Hermes Franca: “If my heart is still pumping I can win.”; Sherk Enjoys Finally Being at the Top of the Mountain
UFC: Rashad Evans - His Time Has Come; Tito Ortiz - Last Stand or a Rebirth?; Nate Marquardt - The Challenger; Hermes Franca’s ‘Rocky’ American Dream; Losing is not an option for Frankie Edgar; Marquardt to test Silva’s Mettle as Champion
MMANews: Interview with Hermes Franca
CBS Sportsline: Q & A with Sean “Muscle Shark” Sherk
Denver Westword: A Denver fighter takes on the ultimate challenge
Philadelphia Inquirer: N.J. fighter taking talent to the big cage
OC Register: UFC 73: Stacked preview (with Tito Ortiz video); UFC president Dana White: Meet the Press
Yahoo! Sports: In Hot Pursuit; No pushover; Matchup Breakdown: Silva-Marquardt; Matchup Breakdown: Sherk-Franca
NBC Sports: Word War I: Ortiz, Evans set to rumble
TSN: Herring ready for 3rd bout with Nogueira; Ready to Fight; Bonnar looks to make a fresh start; Bocek prepares for UFC debut
Sportsnet: No backing down for Sherk; ‘Two cats in a burlap sack’; Sherk’s a workout machine; Stacked fight predictions
News and Notes:
- UFC, PRIDE, and Pancrase veteran Ricardo Almeida will be making a return to MMA competition after a three-year hiatus from the sport. Earlier this week, Cage Fury Fighting Championships announced that they had signed Almeida to fight in their next event in September. MMA Weekly is reporting that Dennis Hallman will most likely be Almeida’s opponent.
- The California State Athletic Commission has announced that they are unable to do anything that would prevent Hong Man Choi from taking on Gary Goodridge in the K-1 World Grand Prix on August 5th because they do not have jurisdiction in Asia:
“I got instructions from legal that we don’t have jurisdiction over them in Asia,” said CSAC Executive Director Armando Garcia today during a Fight Network Radio interview. “In other words, if they went over there and had a show there and included Mr. Choi, and then decided to come back, they would not be facing disciplinary action just for that.”
- Phil Baroni has filed a formal appeal with the California State Athletic Commission that will go against the CSAC’s claim that Baroni tested positive for two different types of steroids after his fight with Frank Shamrock last month.
- Kelly Kobold Gavin will replace an injured Laura D’Auguste as Tara LaRosa’s opponent for the first ever BodogFight Women’s Championship bout at next Saturday’s event in Trenton, NJ, BodogFight: Eddie Alvarez vs Matt Lee.
Video of the Day:
Live Shows -
Days before UFC 73: Stacked the chatter continues from Tito Ortiz and Rashad Evans.
Ortiz makes an appearance on ESPN to discuss his keys to victory (video, 6:56 length).
Evans, trying to avoid all trash talk, still discusses how he views Ortiz as on UFC.com:
“I really try not to define people, but to be honest, I see Ortiz as a little something different than what he used to be,” said Evans when asked which Ortiz he sees now, in 2007. “To say that he can’t be a champion again, I don’t know – if I’m there he ain’t gonna be champion (Laughs) – but right now he seems to have a little bit of everything else going on and I don’t know if he has the focus and the desire to do what it takes to win. He’s Hollywood right now, he likes the limelight and everything else like that, but where MMA started and where it is right now, it’s not one of those sports where you can be that Hollywood type of personality. It’s not for the pretty boys; it’s for the blue collar guy who goes in there and gets his work done. And if he has time for everything else, then he’ll do it, but he’s not gonna put that ahead of being a champion. I think Ortiz just wants the limelight a little bit more than being a fighter.”
Tito Ortiz is looking to “put Rashad Evans in a wheelchair” on July 7th according to his latest blog entry…
I am really pumped on caving Rashads face in… more focused than I have ever been I think. He really has no idea what he is in for…I guess until you get your ass kicked really good, you never really do. I am going to make him rethink his career in the UFC. Maybe he should go back to flipping burgers after I put him in a wheel chair. LOL
I’m sure we will have a response from Rashad in the next few days…
The UFC has been marketing this fight as the main event of UFC 73 lately. With this amount of trash talk this early, I can see why.
Las Vegas, NV (USA) – Tired of paying your hard-earned cash for events packed with hype and little else? Sick of sitting down
for a pay-per-view event and finding out that you’re paying over $50 for just three fights that include a showcase and a mismatch? The Ultimate Fighting Championship® has the cure for what is ailing fight fans, and in a continuing effort to provide what the world is truly waiting for, it is announcing yet another UFC card stacked with at least five fights that include two intense championship bouts and a heated grudge match between two light heavyweight rivals. UFC 73: STACKED features UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva in his first title defense vs. Nate “The Great” Marquardt. UFC Lightweight Champion Sean “The Muscle Shark” Sherk puts his newly-won belt on the line vs. Brazil’s Hermes Franca. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira steps into the Octagon™ for the first time for a heavyweight war with Heath Herring – and Tito Ortiz intends to put a painful end to Rashad Evans’ perfect 15-0 record. Let the fireworks begin. UFC 73, loaded with UFC superstars, takes place LIVE from ARCO Arena in Sacramento, Calif. Saturday, July 7, 2007.
“We have five UFC events lined up now through July in the US and UK, and every one of them is stacked with great fights,” said UFC President Dana White. “No matter where we have a UFC, our goal is always the same – to deliver the best fights between the best mixed martial arts fighters. Our fans know they will always see a good fight, and that’s why the UFC reigns supreme in live sports today.”
White continues, “UFC 73 is one of the best cards we’ve put together this year. It’s going to deliver the one-two punch fight fans want – it has Tito Ortiz and Rashad Evans, two all-state college wrestlers, both who dislike each other, settling their differences in the Octagon, as well as title defenses by our two champions Anderson Silva and Sean Sherk. We’re working on more fights right now to pack this card even heavier from top to bottom.”
UFC President Dana White and heavyweight title contender Mirko Cro Cop held a conference call with the media earlier today discussing this weekend’s event. Many topics were covered over the hour session including Cro Cop’s thoughts on Gabriel Gonzaga, the immediate plans for PRIDE’s future, the contract status of Mauricio Rua and Fedor Emelianenko, and much more.
Let’s just say that we have everything covered. Read and enjoy…
Cro Cop’s Thoughts on Gabriel Gonzaga:
Cro Cop was very straight forward in answering questions about Gonzaga. He stated that Gonzaga will not have an answer for everything that Cro Cop is going to bring to the Octagon on Saturday. He said that he is at full health for this weekend. He will not being using PRIDE’s theme music when he walks to the Octagon. Instead he will use his usual “Wild Boyz” song.
Cro Cop also said that he isn’t worried about Gonzaga’s ground skills and that it is his all-around game that presents the biggest problems matchup-wise:
“I have trained Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu a lot, have experts in my gym. I feel comfortable even on the ground. I am aware he is a jiu-jitsu world champion, but I am pretty versed in ground fighting now. Of course my basis is stand up, but even if we go to the ground, I am not scared.
Gonzaga is a solid, good fighter. He is a tough guy. He won’t hesitate to fight toe to toe. He is a first class fighter. I will try to keep it in a stand up position. I don’t want to underestimate him” stated Cro Cop.
Cro Cop on Couture, Liddell, Fedor, and Big Nog:
Cro Cop said that he would love for to have a rematch with Fedor Emelianenko in the near future but he is currently focused on his fight with Gonzaga and then winning the UFC Heavyweight Title before that can happen. He said that Randy Couture’s age will not be a factor if and when they fight because he has already shown that it hasn’t been a factor in past fights. He stated that while he doesn’t have any preference on his opponents in the UFC, he has a feeling that he will be fighting Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira very soon.
Cro Cop also made it known that he will be unable to cut enough weight to make it down to the 205 lb weight class, meaning that if a dream match with Chuck Liddell is to happen, that Liddell will have to come up to heavyweight and fight…
“I have no space to go down, maybe if I chop off my hand or something. I definitely can’t go down” said Cro Cop.
Dana White on Big Nog, Fedor, Wanderlei Silva, Sakuraba, and Liddell:
White stated that Nogueira was signed by the UFC as a free agent and that talks began about a month ago. He also stated that there is currently no timetable for his first fight nor any ideas on who his first opponent may be.
White said that at the time he originally made that Wanderlei Silva-Chuck Liddell announcement for UFC 65, it was going to be the biggest fight in MMA history. He now says that it isn’t the case until Silva wins a few more fights to make up for his KO losses to Cro Cop and Dan Henderson. Silva currently has four fights left on his six fight contract to do so.
According to White, the UFC is currently trying to figure out the status of Fedor. Fedor’s contract isn’t exclusive to PRIDE and that Zuffa and PRIDE FC Worldwide will not accept non-exclusive contracts for their fighters. White did say however that Fedor is under contract to the company and that if another rival promotion tried to sign him, he would slap them with an injunction immediately.
Despite the heavy rumors that Mauricio Rua has signed a contract that will allow him two fights in PRIDE and two fights in the UFC, White says that the rumors are not true. Also Kazushi Sakuraba is not under contract with PRIDE and White isn’t aware of the reasoning behind him being brought out to address the crowd during PRIDE 34.
White Talks About Changes to PRIDE and the Lightweight Grand-Prix:
White has confirmed once again that PRIDE will be changing to the unified rules of mixed martial arts (the rule set that the UFC uses) as well as the same round structures and weight classes. PRIDE will continue to use a ring instead of a cage. Also fight cards will be announced weeks in advance of an event, just like the UFC does now. Does everyone recall the PRIDE 34 mess?
PRIDE will not have a super heavyweight division and the crazy matchups the promotion used to hold including Butterbean, Giant Silva, and Bob Sapp will not take place anymore. White stated that all employees currently with PRIDE will keep their jobs with the exception of Gary Millen and Frank Trigg. They have been fired and will be replaced with a completely new announce team.
White said that it is still undecided in terms of whether or not the Lightweight Grand-Prix will take place at 155 lbs or 170 lbs. White denied all rumors about Diego Sanchez and Matt Hughes taking place in the tourney as there will not be any UFC fighters participating:
“There will be no UFC fighters in the tournament. The UFC and PRIDE are completely separate companies. You won’t see UFC vs PRIDE until we do the big event” said White.
White Discusses UFC’s status with HBO and ESPN:
The UFC will debut on HBO as soon as this summer according to White. The deal actually isn’t complete but is in the final stages of being finalized. White didn’t say much about things but did mention that the HBO will be doing their own production and announcing of events rather than having the UFC do things along with Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan. White said that it wasn’t easy for him to agree to that…
The UFC will still broadcast shows on HBO, Spike TV, and PPV. Spike TV will be made up mostly of guys from The Ultimate Fighter television shows. Shows on HBO will be mixture of TUF guys, international stars, and other UFC fighters. PPV shows would then have the best of the best.
ESPN will now be covering the UFC on a regular basis according to White. The coverage will include both weigh-in and fight results…
White Talks About Possible UFC Fights and Events in the Near Future:
White said that UFC 72 will either be on PPV or Spike TV. He mentioned Chicago, Washington DC, Boston, Atlanta, and Philadelphia all as possible sites that may hold future UFC events. Florida will also hold another UFC event in the near future according to White.
White said that the “Inside the UFC” TV show wasn’t scrapped and that the company is currently working on a date to bring the show back to the air.
White announced a slew of possible matchups - If Andrei Arlovski defeats Fabricio Werdum on Saturday, he will most likely fight the winner of Mirko Cro Cop and Randy Couture should Cro Cop get poast Gabriel Gonzaga as well. Sean Sherk will defend his lightweight title in Sacramento, California against Hermes Franca. Tito Ortiz vs Rashad Evans and Anderson Silva vs Nate Marquardt will also take place on that card. Georges St. Pierre will most likely be fighting next in August against an opponent that has yet to be determined…
White on Tito Ortiz:
White’s comments were short and sweet when asked about the current situation between himself and Tito Ortiz:
“Tito is living in a fucking bubble right now” said White “You saw what happened. I showed up and he didn’t. He’s not afraid of me, but he has people around him telling him it was a bad idea. He is out there making himself look like a jackass. He should shut his mouth and worry about Rashad Evans.”
News and Notes
- According to reports, all of the fighter’s drug tests from UFC 68 came back clean. Surprisingly the Ohio Athletic Commission only tested Randy Couture, Tim Sylvia, Jon Fitch, and Luigi Fioravanti.
- UFC Junkie is reporting that Tito Ortiz vs. Rashad Evans will take place at UFC 72. It was originally thought they would fight at UFC 71.
- Josh Barnett released a message on his Myspace blog yesterday stating that it was unlikely he would be appearing on the upcoming PRIDE 34 card. More PRIDE drama…
There are some rumors thaty I will be fighting on the next PRIDE show, April 8th. Well I wish I could say there was much truth to it but at this point it doesn’t look very likely at all.
I had been training on a schedule to fight on the now canceled April 28th show and was contacted about now fighting on the 8th. Even though this would cut my time to train significantly, I was still receptive to fighting and planned to fight anyway. But at this point PRIDE has been unwilling or unable to make a match happen. We have yet to make any headway in booking a match and ,to me, it seems as though they are not even trying.
- The UFC has officially released a message on The Ultimate Fighter 6 tryouts. Here is their message and the TUF 6 application.
UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter® season 6 welterweight fighter tryouts will be held at the Palms Hotel and Casino, Tuesday, April 10th beginning at 8am PT.
If you’d like to compete for a spot on the next season, fill out the application and send it to the address on the application. It must be postmarked no later than April 7th.
- This weekend Jonathan Goulet will look to build on his winning streak at TKO Tourney 2007.
TKOMMA Tourney 2007
Saturday, March 17th, 7:30 PM
Colisee Desjardins, Victoriaville
Jesse Bongfeldt (11-2-0) vs. Jonathan Goulet (16-7-0)
Jacob MacDonald (2-5-0) vs. Stephane Dube (4-1-0)
Jason St. Louis (11-9-0) vs. Dave Pariseau (5-3-1)
Chester Post (5-7-1) vs. Sean Pierson (4-3-0)
Ray Penny (1-1-0) vs. Yan Pellerin (8-9-0)
Bob Landry (1-0-0) vs. Sebastien Gauthier (1-1-0)
Behrous Nemati (0-0-0) vs. Jean-Francois Bedard (1-0-0)
Adam Kastner (0-0-0) vs. Tommy Pariseau (0-0-0)
Stjepan Vujnovic (1-0-0) vs. Marco Picotte (0-0-0)
Adrian Wooley (0-0-0) vs. TBA
Usually, I would not make a post to highlight one specific interview, but this one is awfully informative. The UFC’s Dana White was interviewed on CBS Sportline and had a lot of things to say. Among them…
* Confirmed that UFC 70 will likely be on SpikeTV
* Confirmed that Rashad Evans is the expected opponent for Tito Ortiz at UFC 71.
* Reiterated that he wants Rampage Jackson to fight Chuck Liddell for the LHW title at UFC 71 in May.
* Was very candid once again about his interests in buying the Pride promotion, admitting to having been in negotiations with them.
* Mentioned guys like Wanderlei Silva, Fedor, and Dan Henderson as fighters he’d love to have fight under the UFC banner.
* Hinted at the possibility that they are negotiating with the Nogueira brothers since their contract is up soon with Pride.
* Clarified his position on the Kurt Angle rumors, yet was very complimentary to Angle as well as Brock Lesnar.
* Admitted he’d like to see Phil Baroni and Evan Tanner back in the UFC.
* Continued the war of words with Jerry Millen, Gary Shaw, and Frank Shamrock.
A rumor is now going strong due to a posting on the fiveouncesofpain.com blog that says Tito Ortiz will be fighting Rashad Evans at UFC 71 rather than teammate Keith Jardine. The blog’s writer, Sam Caplan, works for CBSSportsline and is very credible. Here’s his post…
It’s been reported in multiple outlets that Tito Ortiz will fight Keith Jardine at UFC 71 in May. I believe Tito may have even confirmed the bout himself. However, while interviewing Dana White for CBS Sportsline yesterday Dana indicated Tito’s opponent at UFC 71 will be Rashad Evans so I’m not so sure he’ll be fighting Jardine.
Look for my exclusive interview with Dana to appear on Sportsline in the next couple of days.
If so, this fight would either elevate Rashad to title fight contender or show that he needs a bit more time to sharpen his skills.
This might also open up Keith Jardine for a title bout with Chuck Liddell as they are searching for an opponent for Liddell since Quinton Jackson has stated he’d like another fight before facing the Light Heavyweight Champion. This of course is pure speculation on my part.