Quinton Jackson. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
— Former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson’s pre-trial hearing, which was scheduled to take place today in California, has been postponed until Oct. 24 due to the Orange County chief prosecutor being unable to make it to today’s proceedings. In addition, a preliminary examination (when the prosecution presents the evidence to the jury) scheduled for Nov. 30 has been postponed to a later date. Jackson is facing two felonies and four misdemeanors following his high-speed chase with Costa Mesa on July 15. He has pleaded not guilty. If convicted, Jackson could face up to three years in prison.
— After undergoing successful surgery to repair a partially torn ACL, Renato “Babalu” Sobral will once again to attempt to challenge Bobby Southworth for his Strikeforce light heavyweight title at a planned November 21 event in San Jose, California according to what Sobral’s manager, Richard Wilner, told our friends at MMA Junkie. Sobral and Southworth were originally slated to meet at “Strikeforce at the Mansion II” in September before both fighters were forced to withdraw from the bout due to separate knee injuries. The November show is also expected to feature Josh Thomson making the first defense of his Strikeforce lightweight title as well.
Renato Sobral. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Renato “Babalu” Sobral has reportedly been forced to withdraw from his scheduled bout against Anthony Ruiz at Strikeforce’s upcoming second event at the Playboy Mansion after suffering a leg injury during a recent training session according to MMA Junkie.
The report cites Strikeforce VP Mike Afromowitz as confirming Sobral’s injury. His opponent, Ruiz, was actually an injury replacement for Sobral’s first foe, reigning Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Bobby Southworth, who partially tore his ACL. Strikeforce officials are currently looking for an alternate opponent for Ruiz, who will remain on the card.
Affliction Entertainment’s Tom Atencio hoped to match Sobral up against former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz, whom the organization has been courting ever since his official release from the UFC last month. However a deal with Ortiz was unable to be worked out and Sobral was permitted to fight for Strikeforce.
Ruiz, who has split a pair of bouts against Southworth in the last year, most recently won his third career fight over Jeremy Freitag, a unanimous decision at EliteXC’s “Unfinished Business” on July 26.
Takanori Gomi. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.
Here’s a little recap of what we might have missed over the past few days or so…
Gomi, Trigg Win at Sengoku IV
Former PRIDE standouts Takanori Gomi and Frank Trigg were victorious in their respective bout Sunday morning at World Victory Road’s “Sengoku IV” event in Japan. Gomi earned a decision over Seung Pang Hwan while Trigg went all three rounds with Makoto Takimoto.
Former IFL lightweight champion Ryan Schultz was upset in the first round of World Victory Road’s inaugural lightweight grand prix, losing via knockout to Mizuto Hirota. Kazunori Yokota, Eiji Mitsuoka, Satoru Kitaoka all also moved on to the tournament’s next round.
Bobby Southworth. Photo by Jon Swenson.
Strikeforce light heavyweight champion and former “Ultimate Fighter” contestant Bobby Southworth will defend his title at Strikeforce’s upcoming event at the Playboy Mansion on September 20th against fellow UFC veteran Renato “Babalu” Sobral.
Strikeforce Vice President Mike Afromowitz officially announced the bout in a press released sent out to the media today. Additional participants confirmed by Afromowitz include Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson and undefeated prospect Billy Evangelista.
Southworth made his second consecutive defense of his Strikeforce title at the organization’s “Melendez vs. Thomson” event in June, winning a unanimous decision over Anthony Ruiz, who defeated Southworth by TKO due to a cut last November.
Sobral has been rumored to also be taking on former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz at Affliction’s “Day of Reckoning” event in October, however Ortiz has yet to officially sign with the promotion. The popular Brazilian recently picked up a hard-fought unanimous decision over Mike Whitehead at Affliction’s debut show last month.
Photo courtesy of TitoOrtiz.com.
It’s official: Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz has signed with Affliction Entertainment. The 33-year-old has stated that the deal he signed with the promotion will be nothing short of “ground-breaking”, likely making one of, if not the, highest-paid fighter in mixed martial arts today.
“I guarantee you that my contract will be like no other,” Ortiz told Sports Illustrated’s Arash Markazi. “It will be a ground-breaking record contract for sure, without a doubt. There’s so much money to be made right now in mixed martial arts and it’s all about the fighters trying to make that money. It’s going to be a long-term deal where I put my heart and soul into the company and help build them. That’s something I’m interested in doing. They’re going to bring me on, not just as a fighter but also doing some of the back work also.”
Ortiz is set to be introduced at a press conference Affliction has slated for tomorrow in Las Vegas. His official defection from the UFC comes just over 24 hours after his non-compete clause with the organization expired at midnight on Monday. It also signals that Dana White and company opted not to match Affliction’s offer. Exact numbers in terms of the money he’s making with this deal have not yet been revealed.
Photo by Tracy Lee/CombatLifestyle.com
Affliction caused quite a stir earlier this month when right after their successful debut into the world of MMA with “Banned”, VP Tom Atencio immediately started discussing plans for a second show later this year. News floated around and eventually it was reported that the promotion would hold a show right in the UFC’s backyard, even using one of their former champions in the main event.
However those clamoring to see Fedor Emelianenko and Andrei Arlovski duke it out for WAMMA’s “title”, (that would be all of us) may now have to wait a little bit longer for that to happen, and for more than one reason.
It’s not that alarming but the California State Athletic Commission released the official list of medical suspensions from Affliction’s July 19th event earlier today. Normally it would just be protocol to list out the suspensions and their length. However two of the the second planned show’s biggest draws may be unable to participate.
Renato “Babalu” Sobral. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Right after his win over Mike Whitehead at Affliction’s inaugural show earlier this month, Renato “Babalu” Sobral called out Tito Ortiz, who is currently in the midst of his divorce from Dana White and the UFC. Sobral says that fighting Ortiz would be a dream fulfilled. Maybe this dream is a tad weird but we’ll let that slide for now.
Anyway, Steve Cofield reports that Ortiz-Sobral will happen at Affliction’s next show in October, serving as the co-main event. Tom Atencio won’t confirm it but did mention that details concerning the next show’s fight card will be revealed at a press conference on August 6th. According to Ortiz, his non-compete clause with the UFC expires on August 4th.
That technically gives Atencio only two days to talk money with Ortiz but let’s not pretend to be naive here, it’s probably already happened and is a common practice. Let’s just hope that the UFC doesn’t decide to go after Tito because of the rumors because I’m sure paperwork hasn’t been signed yet. With Ortiz’s buddy Donald Trump already connected with Affliction, it’s more than likely that he’ll choose them over EliteXC and Strikeforce, the two other major players that have reportedly been gunning for him lately.
In the end, it’s all going to come down to the big bucks, which the UFC isn’t willing to pay Ortiz any longer because of his recent lackluster performances. He’s a proven PPV draw, just look at the numbers. If Affliction is willing to pay Tim Sylvia $800,000, how much are they willing to shell out for Tito’s services?
Fedor Emelianenko. Photo courtesy of Affliction Entertainment.
The long-running dispute is now over. After over a year of continual debate regarding Fedor Emelianenko’s perennial status as the world’s top heavyweight, the former PRIDE title holder answered the call in fighting his first top-ranked opponent in nearly three years, and won, in decisive fashion.
Emelianenko quickly knocked down and submitted former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia in just 36 seconds, capping off a night of exciting action at Affliction Clothing’s inaugural event, which took place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California in front of a host of notable athletes and celebrities.
Sylvia literally never even got started in the fight. After circling each other for a brief moment, Emelianenko stunned and dropped Sylvia with a flurry of left and rights. Fedor quickly pounced on the 6’8 Miletich Fighting Systems product, pounding away with hammer fists until Sylvia gave up his back, allowing Emelianenko to sink in the rear naked choke for the impressive finish.
After the bout, post-fight interviewer and former referee “Big” John McCarthy asked the Russian who he’d like to fight next. His answer then stepped into the ring in the form of current embattled UFC heavyweight champ Randy Couture, who is currently seeking legal help in the courts in his quest to fight Emelianenko before his impending retirement.
“I always thought that the day where I would have to fight Randy would come,” Emelianenko said after the fight with the help of a translator. “It would be a true honor to fight him and I hope that we will be able to work things out in order to make it happen.”
We will be going live at 7:00 PM ET with live results of tonight’s Affliction: Banned, the inaugural mixed martial arts show for the popular California-based clothing company, which will take place this evening at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
The show features a main event years in the making between former PRIDE title holder and perennial top heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko and five-time UFC champion Tim Sylvia. Other notable fights on the card include a rematch between Josh Barnett and Pedro Rizzo, a sure-fire war on the feet between Andrei Arlovski and Ben Rothwell, and the return to active competition of former Olympic wrestler Matt Lindland as he faces Brazilian submission wizard Fabio Negao.
Be sure to leave comments throughout the night. Details live results are after the jump.
Photo courtesy of Affliction Entertainment.
The official-weigh in results for tomorrow night’s Affliction: Banned event, which takes place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, are below. All fighters successfully made weight with the exception of Justin Levens, who weighed-in four pounds over the middleweight limit. However it’s unknown whether or not his bout against Ray Lazama is being fought a catch-weight or not.
In more unfortunate news, the scheduled bout between PRIDE veteran Aleksander Emelianenko and one-time UFC heavyweight title challenger Paul Buentello has been scrapped. According to the California State Athletic Commission, Emelianenko failed to meet the necessary licensing requirements. A replacement opponent for Buentello will not be able to be found in time.
Tickets still remain on sale for the event. The pay-per-view portion of the card will begin at 10 PM ET and FOX Sports Net will be airing three preliminary bouts tomorrow night as well. The promotion intends to televise as many fights as possible, including those prelims that will not be featured on FSN, which will act as swing bouts for the PPV.
Fedor Emelianenko (230 lbs) vs. Tim Sylvia (263 lbs)
Andre Arlovski (241 lbs) vs. Ben Rothwell (264 lbs)
Josh Barnett (256 lbs) vs. Pedro Rizzo (242 lbs)
Matt Lindland (185 lbs) vs. Fabio Negao (185 lbs)
Renato “Babalu” Sobral (201 lbs) vs. Mike Whitehead (206 lbs)
Vitor Belfort (185 lbs) vs. Terry Martin (185 lbs)
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (205 lbs) vs. Edwin Dewees (205 lbs)
Mike Pyle (171 lbs) vs. J.J. Ambrose (170 lbs)
Savant Young (145 lbs) vs. Mark Hominick (144 lbs)
Justin Levens (189 lbs) vs. Ray Lazama (186 lbs)