The Ultimate Fighter

CKA: July 2, 2008

Rich Franklin.  Photo property of the UFC.

With the upcoming UFC Light Heavyweight Championship match between Rampage Jackson and Forrest Griffin on tap for this weekend, some interesting tidbits from the UFC have started to surface.  Let’s get to them.

Franklin to 205?

Ever since being handled easily for a second time by middleweight champion, Anderson Silva, there has been speculation on what would be next for former champion Rich Franklin.  Many figured Rich would move to light heavyweight, a weight class he had competed in before, including in the UFC.  Our great friend Ariel Helwani at MMARated have disclosed that Rich will indeed be moving up.  But even more interesting is the bout set for him, that being Matt Hamill of TUF 3 fame. 

The bout is set for UFC 88 at the Phillips Arena in Atlanta, GA on September 6, 2008.  It will likely be the co-main event just under the headline bout between Chuck Liddell and Rashad Evans. 

Jesse Taylor is back

Continuing on the rumored matchups, it appears that Jesse Taylor’s firing from the Ultimate Fighter will not be for long.  MMAJunkie has confirmed with both fight camps that Taylor will face the man who replaced him in the TUF 7 Finale fight, CB Dollaway,  The fight will take place at this months UFN 14 card, set to broadcast live on SpikeTV on July 19, 2008. 

Taylor gained a good deal of press for all the wrong reasons when he became the first TUF finalist to be thrown off the show after he qualified for the Finale.  Taylor, in a drunken stupor, was seen via video tape kicking the window out of a limo and being verbally combative in various Las Vegas casinos via security video.  UFC President Dana White threw Taylor off the show after the completion of tapings.  Semi final losers CB Dollaway and Tim Credeur then fought with Dollaway advancing to the finals where he lost to Amir Sadollah for a second time. 

This card is significant in that it is being televised in direct competition to the Affliction PPV card featuring Fedor Emelianenko vs Tim Sylvia.  At this point the UFN 14 card look like this:

Main Card
Anderson Silva vs. James Irvin
Frankie Edgar vs. Hermes Franca
Brandon Vera vs. Reese Andy
Anthony Johnson vs. Kevin Burns

Preliminary Bouts:
Jake O’Brien vs. Cain Velasquez
Brad Blackburn vs. James Giboo
Rory Markham vs. Brodie Farber
Dale Hartt vs. Shannon Gugerty
Nate Loughran vs. Johnny Rees
Jesse Taylor vs. C.B. Dollaway

Forrest Griffin on Training for UFC 86, Coaching

Continue reading "Forrest Griffin on Training for UFC 86, Coaching"

TUF 7: Finale Live Results

Results from The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale:
Rob Kimmons def. Rob Yundt - Submission (Guillotine Choke)
Dean Lister def. Jeremy Horn - Submission (Guillotine Choke)
Matt Brown def. Matt Arroyo - TKO
Drew McFedries def. Marvin Eastman - TKO
Tim Credeur vs. Cale Yarbrough - Cancelled
Dustin Hazelett def. Josh Burkman - Submission (Armbar)
Matt Riddle def. Dante Rivera - Unanimous Decision
Spencer Fisher def. Jeremy Stephens - Unanimous Decision
Diego Sanchez def. Luigi Fioravanti - TKO
Amir Sadollah def. CB Dollaway - Submission (Armbar)
Kendall Grove def. Evan Tanner - Split Decision

- Dollaway protested his loss, suggesting he didn’t tap out.  It did appear that he tapped once.  It resulted in a good-looking hanging armbar from Sadollah.
- Tanner could not solve Grove’s size.  He walked into a few punches, and looked surprised by the reach of Grove’s legs.  Tanner had a good third round, but nothing that compared to the first two, which easily went to Grove.  The split decision result was curious.

Live commentary:
MMA Weekly
Bloody Elbow

Sadollah-Dollaway II Completes “TUF Finale” Lineup

Amir Sadollah. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Last night’s episode of “The Ultimate Fighter” showed us that everything isn’t always set in stone, especially when it comes to who will be fighting to become this season’s winner.

After Amir Sadollah pulled off a third-round upset of highly touted wrestler C.B. Dollaway, he was set to join Jesse Taylor in the finals of the reality show’s middleweight bracket for this season. However when a few of the fighters opted to stay in Las Vegas following the filming of the show, Taylor’s infamous drunken escapades continued.

Taylor smashed a limousine window, upset guests at Palace Station, a casino owned by UFC co-owners Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, and then gave security all they could handle on the fighter’s final night in Sin City. UFC President Dana White had seen enough and ultimately decided to kick Taylor off of the show, additionally asking Dollaway and fellow semi-finalist Tim Credeur to fight in another exhibition bout to decide who would go on to fight Sadollah in the finals.

Dollaway used his wrestling skills to earn a hard-fought unanimous decision over Credeur, moving on to rematch Sadollah this Saturday night. This season’s finale will see the fewest amount of ‘TUF’ cast members in history - only seven from this season will be on the card. The remainder will have a slew of UFC veterans complete a stacked undercard.

The show will also feature a welterweight battle between Diego Sanchez and American Top Team product Luigi Fioravanti. Former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner will collide with Kendall Grove, the middleweight winner of the show’s third season, in the night’s main event.

The complete card for the event is as follows:

Main Card:

Evan Tanner vs. Kendall Grove
Diego Sanchez vs. Luigi Fioravanti
Amir Sadollah vs. C.B. Dollaway
Spencer Fisher vs. Jeremy Stephens
Matt Riddle vs. Dante Rivera

Preliminary Bouts:

Josh Burkman vs. Dustin Hazelett
Marvin Eastman vs. Drew McFedries
Dean Lister vs. Jeremy Horn
Tim Credeur vs. Cale Yarbrough
Rob Yundt vs. Rob Kimmons
Matt Arroyo vs. Matt Brown

Report: Arroyo-Brown Set for TUF 7 Finale

Matt Arroyo. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

A rematch between “Ultimate Fighter” competitors from different seasons has been signed for The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rampage vs Team Forrest Finale on June 21st in Las Vegas as season six’s Matt Arroyo will take on Matt Brown, who was eliminated from the current season in last night’s episode.

The news comes from MMA Mania, which reports that the fight has been signed to take place.

The two originally fought at a Real Fighting Championships event in November 2006. Brown scored a second-round TKO win over Arroyo. The two have gone their separate ways since however. Arroyo has won two straight fights since losing to Brown, most recently submitting fellow cast member John Kolosci by way of an armbar at The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale last December.

Meanwhile Brown, a former member of Tito Ortiz’s Team Punishment, has lost three out of his last four professional bouts, his lone victory a submission of Dan Kolbasowski last July. He most recently was submitted by longtime UFC veteran Chris Lytle at a United Fight League show last August.

Along with a stacked undercard full of UFC veterans, the show will feature a welterweight battle between Diego Sanchez and American Top Team product Luigi Fioravanti as well as the middleweight finals of the reality show. Former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner will collide with Kendall Grove, the middleweight winner of the show’s third season, in the night’s main event.

TUF 7: The Quarterfinals Begin

This week’s show features a pair of quarterfinal bouts between members of Team Forrest: Amir Sadollah vs. Matt Brown and Jesse Taylor vs. Dante Rivera. Right off the bat, Dana White asks Forrest to make a decision in terms of who will be cornering each fighter since they are all on his squad. He can’t do it so they decide to flip a coin. It’s decided that Forrest will corner Jesse and Amir while Rampage will work with Matt and Dante.

Rampage meets with Matt and Dante and says that he doesn’t have a problem with either of them. Jesse talks about his eating habits and how bad they are. His teammates, especially Tim Credeur agree. Dante is shown training with Juanito Ibarra, who knows Dante from previous fights in the past, while Rampage sleeps on top of a heavy bag. Jesse then decides to cut some weight by putting on plastics and playing ping-pong. He ends up getting himself below 185 lbs which is absolutely ridiculous.

Jesse then decides to piss his pants outside of the hot tub right before jumping in. Dante gets in as well, oblivious to the fact that he is resting in pee. Anyway it’s time for the fight. Both guys are going into the fight pretty confident, maybe Jesse the more eager to win between the two. Both intend to put their friendship aside and go to war.

Continue reading "TUF 7: The Quarterfinals Begin"

TUF 7: Quarterfinal Matchups Set

Things pick up right where they left off on this week’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rampage vs Team Forrest.

A recap of Cale Yarbrough’s controversial win over Patrick Schultz is shown. Forrest Griffin is shown storming back towards the locker rooms, followed by loud noises of things being thrown around. When the cameras catch up, it shows that Griffin has destroyed one of the rooms and even kicked a hole in the door.

Griffin says that fighting is the “getting mad” business. UFC President Dana White claims that it’s the first time that anyone has damaged the training center and not the house.

“In the history of “The Ultimate Fighter”, nobody’s ever hurt the gym… until now,” White said.

Griffin’s rage was ultimately caused by Schultz’s side-comment after the fight, telling Forrest that he can’t wait until he fights Rampage. Schultz apologizes for the remark shortly after, realizing the damage that he caused.

The focus shifts to a training session. While Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is sitting in the cage with C.B. Dollaway, who will fight Nick Klein in the final first-round fight later in the show, Griffin decides to take a Spiderman-like net gun and shoot it at Rampage, who is pinned to the fencing by the webbing. Rampage laughs it off and plots his revenge, which comes in the form of a Super Soaker later on in the episode.

Continue reading "TUF 7: Quarterfinal Matchups Set"

TUF 7 to Run Three Hours and in HD

Spike TV officials announced today that the finale of “The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rampage vs. Team Forrest”, which is slated to take place on June 21st at the The Palms Resort in Casino in Las Vegas, is currently slotted to air for three hours and will be the first UFC event to be broadcast in high-definition.

The finale will air starting at 9 PM ET on the cable network.

Along with a stacked undercard full of UFC veterans, the show will feature a welterweight battle between Diego Sanchez and American Top Team product Luigi Fioravanti as well as the middleweight finals of the reality show. Former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner will collide with Kendall Grove, the middleweight winner of the show’s third season, in the night’s main event.

The rumored card for the show currently looks like this:

Evan Tanner vs. Kendall Grove
Diego Sanchez vs. Luigi Fioravanti
Josh Burkman vs. Dustin Hazelett
Spencer Fisher vs. Jeremy Stephens
Marvin Eastman vs. Drew McFedries
Dean Lister vs. Jeremy Horn
Rob Yundt vs. TBA
Matt Arroyo vs. TBA
Matthew Riddle vs. TBA

TUF 7: Bad Blood Boiling

Things got right down to business during this week’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rampage vs Team Forrest. The first fight announcement came just seconds into the show as Quinton “Rampage” Jackson announces that one of his personal favorites on his team, Gerald Harris, will meet Forrest Griffin’s Amir Sadollah in one of the last remaining quarterfinals bouts.

Profile pieces on both Harris and Sadollah. Rampage harps on Harris’ impressive takedowns and slams, reminding him of himself. Sadollah isn’t very confident. He’s yet to have a professional fight under his belt.

Both fighters successfully weigh-in. Forrest tells Sadollah that will shave half of his head if he wins, attempting to instill some confidence as his fighter will be going up against a much-more talented wrestler than he. Fight time already.

Continue reading "TUF 7: Bad Blood Boiling"

Mir, Nogueira Tapped as Coaches for “TUF 8”

Frank Mir. Photo by Tracy Lee. Courtesy of

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight champion Frank Mir and the organization’s current interim title holder, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, have been selected to serve as the coaches for the upcoming eighth season of “The Ultimate Fighter”.

SpikeTV officials confirmed the previously rumored news this afternoon in a press release sent out to the media.

Mir will try to continue a successful road back from a near career-ending motorcycle accident when he takes on Nogueira at the conclusion of the show, which will begin taping later this week. He was originally slated to take on Team Punishment member Justin McCully in July, but was abruptly removed from the card once the UFC decided to use him on the popular reality show.

Mir is now riding a wave of two straight impressive performances. He slowly crept back into title contention after his submission win over former professional wrestler turned mixed martial artist Brock Lesnar at UFC 81: Breaking Point in February.

Meanwhile Nogueira became the first mixed martial artist in history to hold championship gold inside the confines of both the UFC and PRIDE Fighting Championships as he submitted former two-time champion Tim Sylvia to win the interim UFC heavyweight belt in February as well. With current champion Randy Couture all but finished with the promotion, the winner of the showdown with Mir later this year will almost surely become the sole title holder.

Mir has already made it known that he’d love to be a coach during a future season of the show and he’ll get his chance now. He wanted it to lead to a rematch with Tim Sylvia, but now that the Miletich Fighting Systems product has been released from the UFC, that won’t be happening anytime soon.

His fight with Nogueira will pit two of the world’s top heavyweight grapplers against each other. While Mir might be marketable because of his win over Lesnar and WEC color commentating job, casual fans aren’t all that familiar with Nogueira, who has only fought twice inside the promotion. It could be the making of a potential negative hit to ratings but rumor has it that the UFC has a plan to showcase the Brazilian and expose his personality to fans.

The winter season will mark the first time that the reality show has ever featured two heavyweights as coaches. It will also return to the show’s original format of featuring two separate weight classes - eight lightweights and light heavyweights (155 lbs and 205 lbs) will compete for the coveted six-figure UFC contract. The cast is expected to be announced sometime in September.

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