News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated…
- Our coverage of UFC 72 is going to be great as usual. Expect an official preview, some tap selections (that includes celebrity predictions), weigh-in results, a media roundup, live blog, and much more…
- Nate Diaz and Manny Gamburyan defeated Gray Maynard and Joe Lauzon respectively last night to move on to The Ultimate Fighter 5 finals on June 23rd.
- Tagg Radio had PRIDE light heavyweight contender Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou on yesterday
to talk about fellow Team Quest teammate Dan Henderson’s remark about Sokoudjou getting a poor contract offer from the UFC:
I don’t deal with contract stuff, too much English for me. I just know from my manager and Dan that they were negotiating on my contract. I usually don’t want to get into too much detail. I tried to read my contract with Pride, it was too much for me so I let Team Quest handle that part of my career. They know better than me.
- Carlos Arias from the Orange County Register is reporting that UFC 76 will take place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
Video of the Day
Live Shows -
Matt Hamill wants to fight Michael Bisping.
Hamill has said that Bisping wouldn’t have been the winner of The Ultimate Fighter 3 if Hamill was medically cleared to fight in the semifinals. Bisping says that Hamill is “pathetic” for even thinking that.
Bisping has also said that a fight with Hamill would be a step back in his quest for the UFC Light Heavyweight Title. Well unfortunately for Bisping, the two about to collide at UFC 75 according to a event description from Ticketmaster:
On Saturday 8 September, the fastest growing sport in the world is back in the United Kingdom with UFC 75! The O2 Arena will play host to an incredible night of UFC action. The full card is yet to be confirmed, however one fight has been signed that has the entire country’s attention - Great Britain’s own Michael “The Count” Bisping will face Matt “The Hammer” Hamill in a rematch from The Ultimate Fighter 3. This will be the toughest challenge that Bisping has faced yet.
Ticketmaster is labeling the fight as a rematch but Bisping and Hamill have never fought before, not even on the reality show.
Leonard Garcia has confirmed with MMA Weekly that he will be taking on The Ultimate Fighter 5 contestant Allen “Monstah” Berube during the finale of the reality show on June 23.
“I’m very excited,” said Garcia about the fight. “Training has been going good. I took a week off after the Huerta fight [April 7th] and then got back in the gym and I’ve been there ever since. I’m up in Colorado right now working with Duane Ludwig on my stand-up, so I’m not swinging for the fences when I’m not supposed to.”
Just like before his UFC debut against Roger Huerta, Garcia will once again be doing the majority of his training with Greg Jackson’s highly touted camp in New Mexico.
“At first, for the Huerta fight, Greg was just getting me in shape, trying to make sure I could go all three rounds. Now it is different, it’s more spot specific. Greg finds the gaps in my game and then we work on things to put it all together. My wrestling is coming along, my takedown defense is better.”
News and Notes
- Nate Diaz and Manny Gambaryan were victorious on last night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter 5. Diaz submitted Corey Hill with a triangle choke three minutes into the first round and Gambaryan pulled off a hard fought unanimous decision win over Matt Wiman. Diaz and Gambaryan now join Joe Lauzon and Gray Maynard in the semifinals.
- Josh Koscheck discussed his hacked MySpace account and the series of phone calls he had with Dana White with UFC Junkie after a bulletin posted by Koscheck’s account ranted on about UFC fighters not getting paid enough and made suggestions of forming a union between fighters.
- A New Mexico TV station is reporting that Diego Sanchez’s next fight will take place at UFC 74, possibly against top ranked lightweight Hayato Sakurai.
- Former boxing heavyweight champion Tommy Morrison makes his MMA debut this Saturday night at WFC: Rumble in the Red Rocks against John Stover…
- Just a quick reminder to check out the items that are currently up for auction by the Ryan Bennett Memorial Fund. The items currently available include autographed shirts by Chris Leben and Houston Alexander, an original UFC 7 poster with Ken Shamrock and Oleg Taktarov, Din Thomas’ autographed and UFC 71 worn gloves, a Poison tour used CC Deville autographed guitar, and Cole Escovedo’s WEC Featherweight Title belt autographed by the champ himself.
Video of the Day
EFC 18: Bike Week Beatdown
Total Combat 21
Combat in the Cage: Conquest
WFC: Rumble In The Red Rocks
NAAFS: Fight Night in the Flats III
Live Shows -
UFC lightweight contender Roger Huerta will be part of The Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale card on June 23rd.
We originally had Huerta’s next fight rumored to be at UFC 74 but that is no longer the case after Huerta made an announcement on MySpace earlier today:
My next fight has been changed!!
I’m going to be fighting on June 23rd. I was just notified last night. It will be live on Spike TV so check it out. God bless.
Huerta’s fight will most likely be televised. Our rumors section has been updated with the change…
Ivan Trembow of MMA Weekly has checked in with a recap of television ratings for the ninth week of The Ultimate Fighter 5:
The ninth episode of The Ultimate Fighter 5 drew an overall rating of 1.2 on Thursday, May 31st. The previous week’s episode, which was promoted around the street fight between show contestants Marlon Sims and Noah Thomas, drew a slightly higher 1.3 overall rating. Spike TV’s primetime average last week was a 1.1 overall rating, which is just 0.1 lower than TUF 5’s average-to-date.
In the 18-to-34-year-old male demographic, Episode Nine drew a 1.5 rating, down from the previous week’s 1.7 rating. In the 18-to-49-year-old male demographic, Episode Nine drew a 1.4 rating, down from the previous week’s 1.6 rating.
The portion of Episode Nine that featured the tournament quarter-final match between Gray Maynard and Brandon Melendez, which Maynard won by submission, drew a 1.3 overall rating. This is an increase from Maynard’s previous fight (a TKO victory over Wayne Weems) and Melendez’ previous fight (a decision win over Andy Wang), as both of those fights drew 1.1 ratings.
The continued decrease in ratings sparks a question in my mind - Are casual fans now switching over from taking in as much MMA as they can get and gravitating to the bigger fighters and the bigger stars that the UFC has to offer now that they are familar with the sport?
Steve Sievert of The Houston Chronicle is reporting that contrary to a press release Spike TV sent out about Marlon Sims and Noah Thomas fighting on the finale of The Ultimate Fighter 5 on June 23, the two will not be fighting on the card. In fact, they will never fight in the UFC according to a recent interview Sievert had with UFC President Dana White.
“They’re not fighting on the finale,” said UFC President Dana White. “Not only are they not fighting in the finale, they’ll never fight in the UFC. Spike wanted that fight. It ain’t gonna happen. No fucking way is that fight going to happen. Those guys will never fight in the UFC…ever.”
Sims and Thomas seem to be the newest members of a group of fighters blacklisted by the UFC after doing wrong on the reality show:
Eli Joslin - quit TUF 2 after “not being able to handle the camera environment around the house”
Kenny Stevens - failed to make weight for first fight on TUF 2
Noah Inhofer - quit TUF 3 after receiving a letter from his girlfriend claiming that she thinks he has cheated on her
Gabe Ruediger - no explanation necessary
White told Sievert that the press release sent out by Spike TV on May 29th should have never went out and that it was a complete mistake:
“Mistakes happen. I didn’t find out about it until yesterday. We make mistakes over here ... it’s unfortunate.”
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.”
Consider this the TUF edition of CKA…
News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated…
- Tonight is obviously the second episode of The Ultimate Fighter Season 5. Spike TV will also be airing Bad Blood: Dana White vs. Tito Ortiz, a documentary about the training that White and Ortiz went through leading up to their cancelled boxing exhibition bout last month right after the show is over at 11 PM EST. Also be sure to check back on Friday as I will be posting a little recap of what has happened so far in TUF5 for those who haven’t been following the show for whatever reason.
- TUF Alumni Alert: UFC veteran Mike Nickels will be fighting on April 28th in Ring of Fire 29: Aftershock. Noah Inhofer was victorious this past weekend over Dave Kleczkowski.
- MMA Weekly fills us in on the ratings results for the premiere episode of TUF 5:
The season premiere of The Ultimate Fighter 5, which aired on Spike TV on April 5th, drew an overall rating of 1.4. This puts the TUF 5 premiere in a tie with the premiere of the very first season of The Ultimate Fighter for the lowest-rated premiere episode in series history, as the TUF 1 premiere also drew a 1.4 overall rating.
The majority of the episode drew a 1.3 rating, but the show-closing fight between Cole Miller and Alan Berube drew a 1.5 rating, increasing the average for the hour.