The Ultimate Fighter

CKA: Feb 20, 2008

UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson discusses the upcoming seventh season of “The Ultimate Fighter”, of which he will serve as one of the coaches along with future opponent Forrest Griffin with RawVegas.

Twelve Fights at UFC Fight Night 13?

It just might be a possibility according to Pro Karate Weekly:

We are pleased to announce that NAAFS veteran Jeff “The Grinder” Cox will be returning to the Octagon on April 2nd as part of a special UFC Fight Night on Spike TV. Cox will be facing TUF Season 5 runner-up Manny Gamburyan.

Insanity.

Rafferty, Knabjian Return Saturday at XFO 22

Former “Ultimate Fighter” season one cast member Josh Rafferty and WEC veteran Kevin Knabjian will both return to action this Saturday at Xtreme Fight Organization’s “Rising Star” event at the Crystal Lake Holiday Inn in Crystal Lake, Illinois.

Rafferty will attempt to build on a successful two-fight run in 2007 when he takes on fellow welterweight Jay Little. Knabjian will be facing off against an opponent yet to be named.

Making his professional mixed martial arts debut at the show will be Pat Curran, the cousin of top-ranked featherweight Jeff Curran. The younger Curran has won all of his three career amateur bouts.

Robert Drysdale Joins Xtreme Couture

From Xtreme Couture’s official blog:

2007 Abu-Dhabi Absolute Champion Robert Drysdale is the newest member of Xtreme Couture. Robert just moved to Las Vegas, where he is living full time. He is excited to be the newest addition to our Pro Team where he will train in preparation for his MMA debut. Robert will be instructing the Pro Team in jiu jitsu and will teach the jiu jitsu classes at the gym. He is also going to coach our amateur submission grappling and jiu jitsu teams.

Pancrase Announces Card for March 26th Event

Pancrase has officially announced the complete card for it’s next event on March 26th, which will take place at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan.

Miki Shida vs. Marlon Sandro
Izuru Takeuchi vs. Hiromitsu Kanehara
Alavutdin Gadzhiev vs. Hikaru Sato
Takafumi Ito vs. Hacran Dias
Kenji Arai vs. Shinsuke Shoji
Michihisa Asano vs. Yukito
Ichiro Kanai vs. Takenori Sato
Asaki Honda vs. Tomoyoshi Iwamiya

More on Rich Bergeron/Xyience Case

Rich Bergeron has been kind enough to send us a 90-page PDF document outlining his counterclaim against Xyience, which will be heard in Las Vegas court later today.

Radio Schedule

12-1 PM EST - TAGG Radio
1-3 PM EST - The Savage Dog Show
3-5 PM EST - The Beatdown
3-4 PM EST - The Fight Network Radio
9-10 PM EST - MMAWeekly’s Sound Off
11 PM EST - Knockout Radio

Sotiropoulos-Mitichyan Set for UFC Fight Night


George Sotiropoulos exchanges punches with Jared Rollins during tapings for the sixth season of “The Ultimate Fighter”. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship

The Ultimate Fighting Championship has announced that former “Ultimate Fighter 6” competitors George Sotiropoulos and Roman Mitichyan will clash in a welterweight contest at UFC Fight Night 13.

The event, which features a main event between lightweight contenders Kenny Florian and Joe Lauzon,  will mark the UFC’s return to Denver, Colorado for the first time since the promotion held the Ultimate Ultimate tournament in 1995.

Sotriopoulos, who was a favorite to win it all throughout the sixth season of the popular reality show, ended up falling short after being knocked out by eventual runner-up Tommy Speer in the semi-finals. The Australian was victorious in his UFC debut, submitted Billy Miles with a rear naked choke at The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale.

Like his counterpart, Mitichyan also picked up his first UFC win at the event, submitted Muay Thai specialist Dorian Price with an ankle lock. The former stunt man was forced to leave the show in the first episode after fracturing his elbow during a training session.

Koppenhaver Sentencing Delayed


Jon Koppenhaver weighs-in for The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Those who were awaiting news on the fate of Jon “War Machine” Koppenhaver will have to wait a bit longer as sentencing for Koppenhaver’s felony assault case has been delayed until February 21st.

The news comes from Caleb of MMA Predictions who also reports that reasons behind the delay are unknown at this time.

Koppenhaver pleaded guilty to the charges after being accused of attacking a man outside of a San Diego gym while he was in town visiting a former girlfriend. A witness who took the stand during the trial stated that he only saw Koppenhaver hold the man at one point and that it was another person that assaulted him.

Koppenhaver was also facing battery charges but they were dropped after he entered a guilty plea. He is not expected to receive any jail time.

The former cast member of the sixth season of “The Ultimate Fighter” recently announced that he was considering a move to the UFC’s lightweight division.

After losing a unanimous decision to eventual runner-up Tommy Speer during the show, Koppenhaver returned to action at The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale where he went to war with fellow cast mate Jared Rollins in a fight of the year candidate. Koppenhaver finished Rollins off with strikes late in the third round.

Mir Interested in TUF Road to Sylvia


Frank Mir weighs-in for UFC 48: Payback. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

With Frank Mir now riding a wave of two impressive performances and slowly sliding himself back into the UFC heavyweight title picture, one can only expect that the former champ will eventually clash again with another former title holder in the form of Tim Sylvia.

Of course everyone knows the history between the two. Mir won the vacant title in a 2004 bout that saw the Las Vegas native snap Sylvia’s forearm in half. Since then the two have gone down separate roads - Sylvia held the title for a near eight month period within the last two years while Mir has struggled until recently to get back into form following a devastating motorcycle accident over three years ago.

While a title bout against current interim champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is in the distant future, a potential rematch between Mir and Sylvia has become much closer to a reality now that the Miletich Fighting Systems product has failed in two straight attempts to regain the title.

In a recent interview with MMA Weekly, Mir mentions that he would love to have a rematch with Sylvia as well as the opportunity to build up the fight as coaches on “The Ultimate Fighter”:

“Obviously, the Tim (Sylvia) fight is always going to sell,” Mir said. “I’m trying, I wish that would work out where it’s for a title, me and Tim, so maybe we can do a show and coach, maybe do a lot of hype behind that one.”

While Mir’s idea is an interesting one, the reality show has never featured two heavyweights as coaches. A season highlighting heavyweights would help the UFC’s depleted heavyweight division greatly, but one can only question whether or not enough competent heavyweight prospects would be able to be gathered at the moment in the sport. Then again, who says that the two wouldn’t just handle fighters from a lighter weight class?

Exclusive: Chris Clements Possibly on TUF 7


Chris Clements discusses his loss against Rory Markham at an IFL post-fight press conference along with trainer Shawn Tompkins. Photo courtesy of IFL.

MMA on Tap has learned that TKO and IFL veteran Chris Clements may have been one of the contestants chosen to participate as part of the cast for the upcoming seventh season of “The Ultimate Fighter”, which is scheduled to begin airing on Spike TV in April.

A source close to Clements informed us that the Chatam, Ontario native may have been selected for the show. The source also mentioned that Clements was selected for last season’s show but was unable to participate due to problems making the 170 lb. limit and was invited to try for the upcoming season, which will feature fighters competing at middleweight.

After being submitted by Joey Guel in his professional mixed martial arts debut in 2005, Clements went ahead to post a four-fight winning streak under the TKO Championship Fighting banner, where he defeated Martin Grandmont along the way.

Clements came up short in his last two bouts, being stopped by Rory Markham at an IFL event in August and then failing in an attempt to win the vacant TKO welterweight title as he was submitted by Jesse Bongfeldt at TKO 30: Apocalypse in September.

(Touch of gloves to MMA on Tap reader “kbbuckshot” for the help)

Report: TUF 7 to Likely Feature 32 Contestants

When the upcoming seventh season of “The Ultimate Fighter” starts up in April, it’s already widely known that the popular reality show will feature a brand new format designed to spruce up the series, which has saw ratings continually decline in recent years.

According to our friends at MMA Junkie, the new format may likely include a total of up to 32 contestants to start the season, a number that will be widdled down to 16 after a round of fights between cast members. The large amount could also result in many other fighters being revealed in the next couple of months.

The new format will most likely have a high number of fights during the first few episodes, a big change from past seasons where only a handful of fights if any occurred during the first three or four shows.

Thanks to MMA Junkie, Five Ounces of Pain, and MMA News, a slew of potential participants have already been named. The full list includes: Luke Zachrich, Mike Marrello, Prince Mclean, Steve Byrnes, C.B. Dollaway, Aaron Meisner, Matt Brown, Dante Rivera, Paul Bradley, Timothy Credeur, Jeremiah Riggs, David Roberts, Amir Sadollah, Brandon Sene, Josh Hall, Jesse Taylor, and Dan Simmler.

Current UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and the number one contender for his title, Forrest Griffin, will serve as coaches for the season and then fight after the show is finished airing on Spike TV.

CKA: Jan 28, 2008

Tito Ortiz turns 33 and celebrates in style at Catwalk in the above video courtesy of RawVegas.

Catching up on this past weekend’s news…

More Rumored TUF Participants

Even more potential cast members of the seventh season of The Ultimate Fighter have come to light thanks to MMA Junkie and Five Ounces of Pain. Those added to the list (which already includes Luke Zachrich and Mike Marrello) are the following:

Prince Mclean
Steve Byrnes
C.B. Dollaway
Aaron Meisner
Matt Brown

Couture Likes Sylvia Over Nogueira

In a recent interview with Jose Rodriguez of the Calgary Sun, current UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture revealed that he expects Tim Sylvia to defeat former PRIDE champ Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 81: Breaking Point this weekend.

“I think it’s going to be a good fight. I’m a fan of the sport first and foremost. I think it’s an interesting matchup. Nogueira’s strenght tends to be on the ground and in the submission game and Tim is just a long, strong hard to take down guy who’s got great striking abilities. It’s a classic matchup and for the interim title so they both have a lot on the line. I like Tim’s chances in that fight given Nogueira’s performace against Heath Herring in the last fight. I like Sylvia in a stoppage of some kind.”

Miscellaneous Notes

Former PRIDE producer Hiromichi Momose was found dead in his Tokyo, Japan apartment yesterday morning. He was 67. Countdown to UFC 81 premieres Wednesday night while UFC All-Access with Brock Lesnar will air for the first time on Thursday. Jason Miller will be holding a seminar in Hamilton, Ontario in February.

Radio Schedule

Jarry Park: Tyson Griffin Is Mr. Fight Of The Night

12-1 PM EST - TAGG Radio
1-3 PM EST - The Savage Dog Show
3-5 PM EST - The Beatdown
3-4 PM EST - The Fight Network Radio
9-10 PM EST - MMAWeekly’s Sound Off
11 PM EST - Knockout Radio

Evening News and Notes: Jan 25, 2008

A good amount of news to report on…

NSAC Announces Tougher Drug Testing

The Nevada State Athletic Commission has announced that it has instituted expanded drug testing for state licensed fighters and those applying for new licenses as well.

The commission will now test fighters randomly throughout the year in hopes of lowering the number of positive tests.

“Random testing throughout the year will further deter any fighters considering taking non-approved substances,” NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer told MMA Weekly. “The additional testing, which will be paid for by the Commission, will help us keep the sport of unarmed combat safe and fair for all fighters.”

Fighters who have tested positive for a certain substance in the past or are under suspicion of doing so may also be tested under the new regulations.

Tanner-Okami Set for UFC 82, Not Montreal Show

The UFC officially announced three additional fights earlier today for UFC 82: Pride of a Champion on March 1st at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

Heavyweights Heath Herring and Cheick Kongo will collide on the main card while Josh Koscheck and Dustin Hazelett will be featured on an undercard bout.

Evan Tanner’s return bout against Yushin Okami was also announced. UFC color commentator Joe Rogan apparently told members of the media that the fight would be taking place at the UFC’s Canada show in April but that obviously isn’t the case now.

New UFC Additions and TUF Rumored Participants

Two fighters are reportedly set to join the ranks of the UFC: Dong Hyun Kim and Rousimar Palhares.

Also, today marks the first day we have come across some TUF 7 rumored fighters. MMA Junkie has learned that Luke Zachrich will be on the show while Five Ounces of Pain is reporting that Mike Marrello will be on the show as well.

TKO 32: Ultimatum Update

TKO Championship Fighting has made some updates to the official card for TKO 32: Ultimatum, which will take place on February 28th at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Notable additions and subtractions: While former TKO heavyweight champion Icho Larenas’ fight against Lance Evans is no longer listed (not sure why but I’ll still include the fight in our rumored card), popular hockey enforcer Steve Bosse will be back in action against Scott Wright at the event.

The current card as of right now:

Jesse Bongfeldt vs. T.J. Grant - TKO Welterweight Title
Jose Landi-Jons vs. TBA
Icho Larenas vs. Lance Evans
Steve Bosse vs. Scott Wright
Stephane Vigneault vs. Daniel Ferguson
Damacio Page vs. Justin Tavernini
Johan Croes vs. Mark Fraser
Yannick Galipeau vs. Derek Gauthier
Adrian Wooley vs. Syd Barnier
Jordan Mein vs. Samuel Guillet
Christopher Hulme vs. Joel Pigeon
Guillaume Lamarche vs. Tim Wadsworth

Brandon Melendez Released from UFC


Brandon Melendez weighs-in for The Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

MMA on Tap has learned that the Ultimate Fighting Championship has granted the release of former “Ultimate Fighter 5” cast member Brandon Melendez.

Melendez’s management team sent over word that Melendez had asked for and been granted his release from the UFC in order for Melendez to pursue other opportunities and maintain a more active schedule when it comes to fighting.

The former Sportfight welterweight champion and Utah native was submitted by Joe Lauzon in his UFC debut at The Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale this past June. Melendez has been a longtime training partner of Jeremy Horn at Elite Performance in his home state.

Melendez is one of many former TUF competitors that have been released from the UFC over the past few weeks.

Others include Dorian Price, Blake Bowman, Dan Barrera, Paul Georgieff, Richie Hightower, John Kolosci, and Billy Miles, who all competed on the sixth season of the show.

Report: UFC Releases More TUF 6 Cast Members


Richie Hightower weighs-in for The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

In addition to our announcement that the UFC had parted ways with Dorian Price, it seems that Dana White and company have also released an additional six more competitors who participated on the sixth season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’.

ProElite’s Sam Caplan is reporting that the UFC has most likely come to terms on the release of Blake Bowman, Dan Barrera, Paul Georgieff, Richie Hightower, John Kolosci, and Billy Miles.

So why were they all released?

Well all of them came out on the losing end of things at The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale last month. This was also the first season of the show where with the exception of Mac Danzig, all of the fighters were unknown and relatively inexperienced. Couple that with the fact that they all fight at 170 lbs and it’s pretty obvious that they wouldn’t survive in the UFC’s toughest division just yet.

This doesn’t mean that they won’t be back fighting in the Octagon in the near future though. The UFC is notorious for bringing back fighters that were once a part of the organization and go out and win multiple fights after their release.

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