Georges St. Pierre and Matt Serra square off at the weigh-ins for UFC 69: Shootout. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
After years of waiting, the Ultimate Fighting Championship finally made their first trek up to Canada official when they announced UFC 83: St. Pierre vs Serra II during a press conference earlier today at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada earlier this morning.
In attendance at the press conference were UFC President Dana White and current welterweight champions Georges St. Pierre and Matt Serra who will unify their belts in a main event rematch of their fight at UFC 69: Shootout last year, where Serra stopped St. Pierre with strikes to win the UFC welterweight title.
“I’m actually excited to go to Canada and fight St-Pierre in his hometown,” Serra said at the press conference earlier today. “I think this puts more pressure on him than it does me. I know he’s going to come at me hard, but I’m ready for that and I’m preparing for a great fight. I know that’s what I would do if a guy knocked me out like that. But I plan on staying the champ and taking my belt back home to Long Island.”
St. Pierre, a native of Montreal, will be fighting in front of his hometown under the UFC banner for the first time in his career. After originally speculating that St. Pierre would not be ready in time for the event due to his bout against Matt Hughes in December, St. Pierre came away with the interim welterweight belt relatively unscathed, allowing him to partake in the historic event.
“I am at the same point as I was last year when I fought Matt Serra, except this time I am fighting as the contender not the champion,” said St-Pierre. “It’s a dream come true to have this historic UFC event in Canada, I’ve waited my whole life for this opportunity, and especially fighting for – and winning – the world title in front of my people.”
Jonathan Goulet applies a choke to Shonie Carter at TKO 23: Extreme. Photo courtesy of TKO Championship Fighting.
Two rumored bouts may now be coming to fruition when the Ultimate Fighting Championship ventures into Canada for the first time in history on April 19th at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada for UFC 84.
Scott White at TKO Xtreme is reporting that both Canadian natives Sam Stout and Jonathan Goulet will be in action at the event. Stout will apparently take on Rich Clementi while Goulet is set to be matched up against Kuniyoshi Hironaka.
If you’ve been hearing Stout’s name a lot lately, it’s because he took on newcomer Per Eklund this afternoon at UFC 80: Rapid Fire. Prior to today, Stout had rebounded from a decision loss at UFC Fight Night 11 to knockout Martin Grandmont at TKO 30: Apocalypse in September. Clementi submitted Melvin Guillard in a controversial and intense bout at UFC 79: Nemesis last month.
Goulet signed a new four-fight deal with the UFC following his submission win over Paul Georgieff at The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale. Hironaka verbally submitted to Thiago Alves at UFC Fight Night 11 in his last bout.
Melvin Guillard has stated that he will be taking a short leave of absence from the UFC to fight in smaller promotions and try to get back on track.
Guillard made the comments in a recent interview with The Baltimore Sun:
I’m going to take a few fights outside the UFC to get back some of my wins. Hopefully, it’s not any all-around chumps. I’m not going to take any fights at 155 [pounds] outside the UFC. I want to fight at 170 [pounds]—a weight class above mine outside the UFC. I’m probably scheduled to fight again in the UFC late March, early April if they bless me with that.
Guillard goes on to talk about the controversy behind his feud with Rich Clementi, his made-up rivalry with Joe Stevenson, and his plans for the future. It’s a really good read.
Guillard goes on to say that the UFC has told him that they don’t want him to fight anybody at 155 lbs outside of the UFC, which seems kind of odd to me. Guillard says that he’ll be happy to go back up to welterweight and would even try middleweight if the opportunity presents himself.
Even more strange, Guillard believes that the UFC wouldn’t care if he lost at 185 lbs while on his hiatus. I don’t know about anyone else but a loss is a loss and I’m sure Dana White and Joe Silva won’t be happy either way.
Photo by Ed Pollard.
Georges St. Pierre came closer to cementing his status as the top welterweight in the world when he gave future UFC hall-of-famer Matt Hughes a drubbing over the course of two rounds before submitting his idol with an armbar during the main event of last night’s UFC 79: Nemesis.
Hughes was originally slated to face fellow Ultimate Fighter 6 coach and current welterweight champ Matt Serra but Serra was forced to pull out of the bout after suffering herniated discs in his lower back during training. Hughes was then given a selective list of opponents that agreed to step in and the former nine-time champion picked St. Pierre in an attempt to try and avenge a prior loss to “Rush” at UFC 65 last year.
However it was obvious from the start of the fight that it was only a matter of time before St. Pierre was going to come away with a win. The Canadian took Hughes down at will throughout the first round, mounting his opponent and connecting with a number of unanswered punches while his opponent held on for dear life.
Hughes found his way back to his feet a couple of times but St. Pierre quickly put an end to that with wrestling skills that have made him consider possibly trying out for the Canadian Olympic wrestling squad next year.
The second round started off much like the first and after mounting and taking his opponent’s back, St. Pierre locked in an armbar that caused Hughes’ face to grimace in pain. The Hillsboro, Illinois native then verbally submitted to referee Steve Mazzagatti, ending the fight.
Many fans showed concern when St. Pierre took the fight on short notice as he would only have a little over a month to prepare for the bout. Training wasn’t an excuse for Hughes during a post-fight interview with UFC color commentator Joe Rogan.
“I came in 120 percent,” Hughes said. “I really trained hard for this fight. I brought in some of the best people and we really had a good game plan. Georges is just a better fighter.”
Hughes also acknowledged that he “had some thinking to do” in terms of continuing his career.
With the win, St. Pierre becomes the interim UFC welterweight champion. He will now wait for Serra to fully recover from his injury and the two will unify the belts at some point next year.
Even though he deserved the win with a show of complete domination, St. Pierre refused to consider himself the welterweight champion, as that distinction is held by the last man to defeat St. Pierre inside the Octagon.
“That’s why I’m going to take off this belt,” St. Pierre said after the fight. “Thanks to the UFC for giving me that; it’s a good honor, but the real champion is Matt Serra. Until I get my belt back, I’m not going to consider myself champion. Matt Serra that night beat me fair and square. He was the better man and I made many mistakes and had a lot of issues that night. Next time when I fight him, it might be a different story and people will understand what I’m talking about.”
We will be going live at 8:00 PM EST with live results of UFC 79: Nemesis, which is taking place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The event is highlighted by Matt Hughes and Georges St. Pierre battling for the third time in their careers for the interim UFC Welterweight Title and the long-awaited matchup between Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva.
Be sure to leave comments throughout the night.
Live results are shown after the jump.
The official weigh-in results for tomorrow night’s UFC 79: Nemesis are below. All fighters successfully made weight.
Things heated up really fast during the stare-down between Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva. Silva empathically ripped off his shirt before approaching Liddell. After an intense stare-down between the two, Silva faked a move towards Liddell and Liddell responded by flipping his opponent the bird. Silva started to walk towards Liddell and officials and trainers all jumped in but order was quickly restored.
Matt Hughes (170 lbs) vs. Georges St. Pierre (170 lbs)
Chuck Liddell (204 lbs) vs. Wanderlei Silva (205 lbs)
Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (205 lbs) vs. Ryoto Machida (204 lbs)
Rich Clementi (155 lbs) vs. Melvin Guillard (156 lbs)
Eddie Sanchez (239 lbs) vs. Soa Palalei (262 lbs)
Dean Lister (186 lbs) vs. Jordan Radev (185 lbs)
James Irvin (205 lbs) vs. Luis Cane (205 lbs)
Roan Carneiro (170 lbs) vs. Tony DeSouza (170 lbs)
Manny Gamburyan (155 lbs) vs. Nate Mohr (155 lbs)
Doug Evans (155 lbs) vs. Mark Bocek (155 lbs)
John Chandler here, breaking down UFC 79: Nemesis fight-by-fight, including detailed predictions along the way.
UFC 79: Nemesis features ten fights including the third fight between Matt Hughes and Georges St. Pierre for the UFC Welterweight Title and the most anticipated fight in mixed martial arts history when Chuck Liddell takes on arch-rival Wanderlei Silva in a fight years in the making.
A lot of people know about the history and bad blood between Rich Clementi and Melvin Guillard, who are both set to meet at UFC 79 in December. However now that the matchup has been revealed, I’ve been getting a few emails asking about what happened between the two. I’ll try and give it a shot…
Basically Clementi and Guillard are former training partners. It’s been said before that Clementi was Guillard’s mentor of sorts and basically got him known by some of the bigger promotions in MMA, although I’m not sure if that is completely true.
Clementi has apparently had Guillard’s number for years in and outside of the gym. Clementi has said in the past that he has easily controlled Guillard during training sessions. It’s also been documented that Clementi once knocked Guillard out in a kickboxing match as well.
Things came to a head during the hours leading into The Ultimate Fighter 4 Finale. Clementi and Guillard exchanged a heated set of emails that can be found here.
A few months later Clementi and Guillard reportedly engaged in an altercation started by Guillard puncing Clementi in the face at a local MMA event:
According to reports, Guillard walked over, Clementi put out his hand for a shake and asked, “What’s up with those e-mails?” Apparently, before Clementi could finish, Guillard punched him in the face but didn’t noticeably hurt him. The two fighters squared off, but nothing happened, and it eventually got broken up.
Guillard then apparently threatened to shoot Clementi, stating, “Next time I’ll hit you with my pistol,” which consequently lead to him being tossed out of the fights.
Rumors floated around after the incident that the two were trying to get the UFC to set up an official bout between them. It look eight months but it finally happened…
Five Ounces of Pain is reporting that Melvin Guillard will make his return from an eight month suspension at UFC 79 and take on Rich Clementi.
Guillard was suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission following a positive post-fight test for cocaine at UFC Fight Night 9.
Before preparing for Guillard, Clementi will actually be taking on Antoine Skinner on a card promoted by himself at Louisiana State University.
News and Notes
- The CSAC has announced that the following fighters have tested negative for performance enhancing drugs following post-fight testing for UFC 76: Thiago Tavares, Tyson Griffin, Ryoto Machida, Anthony Johnson, and Rich Clementi. The only test results from the event that haven’t been released yet are of Chuck Liddell, Mauricio Rua, Forrest Griffin, and Keith Jardine. The results for those fighters are expected to be released later in the week.
- Josh Thomson spoke with The Fight Network concerning a possible lawsuit Thomson may file against former UFC Middleweight Champion Frank Shamrock. Shamrock reportedly called Thomson “MMA’s first openly gay fighter” during this past weekend’s Strikeforce broadcast.
“I kind of snickered about it,” Thomson said, “but I also have had some big money sponsors coming up to me and asking me whether it was true or not. That potentially could cost me money, and that, to me, is basically what I’m getting at.”
I know that Thomson has some crazy hair and his appearance on “Blind Date” didn’t really go that well but I don’t believe Thomson is gay.
Thomson and Shamrock have had a feud going for well over a year now. Thomson attributes the tension due to the fact that Shamrock was angry that fighters from the American Kickboxing Academy decided against joining a new gym that Shamrock was opening. Shamrock has claimed in the past that Thomson has been bad mouthing him for years.
- Tonight’s episode of UFC Unleashed will feature Renato “Babalu” Sobral vs Jason Lambert from UFC 68 and Houston Alexander vs Keith Jardine from UFC 71. I’m not sure what the third fight on the broadcast will be. Don’t forget that The Ultimate Fighter is on right after that.
- Punch Drunk Gamer posted a recent interview with Josh Barnett where Barnett states that he would like to fight in Pancrase:
“I would like to be fighting in Pancrase. I would love to continue fighting there and hopefully I will get a chance to defend my belt this year. I have had some trouble with getting promoters to honor what they agreed to and cooperate with Pancrase to get a match set-up. So now that I am a free agent I would like to do it.”
Barnett has always noted in the past that he would like the chance to defend his belt in Pancrase as a stipulation in any contract he signs with an organization. However since talks haven’t gone anywhere with anyone, it seems that Barnett may do that before signing anywhere.
Touch of gloves to Five Ounces of Pain for the find.
- Ricco Rodriguez is going to headline Battle Cage Xtreme III in New Jersey on October 20th. He will take on Kauai Kupihiea for the USKBA Heavyweight Title.
- Speaking of Ricco, he’s apparently going to be a cast member of VH1’s newest reality show, Celebrity Rehab. The series debuts on January 10th.
- Fight Opinion wants you to help decide what they should discuss on their next radio show.
- In a recent interview with Sherdog’s John Lee, SpiritMC CEO Kwang Hyun Park stated that current SpiritMC Middleweight Champion Steve Bruno has signed with the UFC:
As for SpiritMC middleweight champion Steve Bruno, Park says, “As far as I know, Steve has signed with the UFC, but we have made it clear that he needs to defend his title.”