Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that the winner of this weekend’s bout between former UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia and Brandon Vera at this weekend’s UFC 77: Hostile Territory will take on Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for the vacant UFC Heavyweight Title at some point next year:
The winner of the Brandon Vera-Tim Sylvia fight on Saturday at UFC 77 in Cincinnati will meet Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for the vacant heavyweight title sometime early next year.
This is pretty much the scenario that I was expecting. I’m also speculating, like many others, that the fight will probably take place at the UFC’s annual Super Bowl weekend event.
Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia discusses his loss to fellow former champion Randy Couture at UFC 68 and why Brandon Vera, his scheduled opponent at UFC 77, might not be as talented as everyone believes he is with ESPN.
HDNet Fights hosted a conference call earlier this afternoon to promote their new venture into the world of mixed martial arts as well as their inaugural event which will take place on October 13th at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas. HDNet Fights officials eatured on the call were HDNet owner Mark Cuban and UFC and PRIDE veteran Guy Mezger. The fighters participating were Erik Paulson, Jeff Ford, Justin Eilers, Jason House, and Freddie Espiricueta.
News and Notes
- We’ve decided to hold off a new MMA on Tap Top 10 until after the events in September.
- Fabricio Werdum has told MMA Weekly that he has joined the Chute Boxe team and has already began training with his new camp:
Werdum stated, “I am very happy with my new training partners and I hope I can get the Chute Boxe spirit and improve my stand up skills. When I first step here, I could see that my training speed wasn’t right. The training here is so much harder, but I am adapting myself and all the coaches and athletes are being like brothers.”
- Former UFC Middleweight Champion Murilo Bustamante has announced that he is reforming the Brazilian Top Team after the depature of the Nogueira brothers and Mario Sperry.
- MMA Weekly is also reporting via sources at BodogFight that the promotion plans to announce a new TV deal when their current contract with ION runs out in February of next year:
Sources at Bodog plan to announce a new U.S. television distribution deal once their current run on ION has ended, although no details were forthcoming at the time of publication.
- The California State Athletic Commission has announced that it will hear the appeal of UFC Lightweight Champion Sean Sherk’s positive test for steroids on October 31st in Los Angeles.
- Staying on the subject of athletic commissions, the Nevada State Athletic Commission has filed a formal complaint against Renato Sobral for his actions at UFC 74. Sobral will be required to meet with the NSAC at a later date to find out whether he may possibly be suspended or fined. $25,000 of his purse is still being withheld.
- Yahoo! Sports has posted their updated MMA Top 10...
- Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia has landed at Xtreme Couture for a two day training session in preparation for his bout against Brandon Vera at UFC 77.
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The UFC has officially announced that former UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia will be taking on the returning Brandon Vera at UFC 77: Hostile Territory.
Also on the UFC 77 card will be a heavyweight matchup between former UFC Champion Tim “The Maine-iac” Sylvia and unbeaten Brandon “The Truth” Vera. This fight will mark the first fight for Vera since a contract dispute with former management sidelined him for almost a year. The dynamic Vera (8-0) is excited to get back in the Octagon, and he expects to pick up where he left off last year by defeating Sylvia and every opponent afterward until he becomes the UFC heavyweight champion. The 6 foot 8 Sylvia (25-3), only the second man in UFC history to win the heavyweight title twice, would like to eventually join the man he lost the crown to in March, Randy Couture, as the only fighters in history to win the title three times. A win over Vera will push him firmly in that positive direction.
The fight will be Sylvia’s first since losing the title to Randy Couture at UFC 68. He has been sidelined since March after undergoing back surgery and coming down with a staph infection earlier this month.
Vera will be returning to the Octagon for the first time in over 9 months after settling a contract dispute with his former manager. Vera was actually originally scheduled to challenge Sylvia for his title at UFC 68 before outside issues forced Vera to pull out of the bout.
News and Notes
- Dana White and company held the official press conference for UFC 74 yesterday. The most interesting thing to come out of it? Probably something that many of us have known for a while now - When asked about Brandon Vera’s next opponent, White responded with “most likely Tim Sylvia.”
Some press conference coverage:
- UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture will be featured on ESPN’s Rome is Burning later today at 4:30 PM EST. Couture is expected to discuss his preparation for his title defense against Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 74, his bout with former champ Tim Sylvia at UFC 68, and Gonzaga’s brutal knockout of Mirko Cro Cop at UFC 70.
- Wild Bill’s Fight Night has become the latest MMA promotion to earn a television deal:
Wild Bill’s Fight Night, the biggest and most successful MMA event series in the state of Georgia, recently acquired a television deal with Comcast On Demand. Past MMA events from Wild Bill’s Fight Night are available now through Comcast’s On Demand service. All future Wild Bill’s Fight Night cards will be televised on Comcast.
- ION Television has announced that it will no longer be broadcasting BodogFight programming beginning in February 2008. ION stated that MMA is no longer appropriate for the channel’s new style of family programming.
- Apparently George Foreman loves mixed martial arts:
“I love the UFC. I love it,” Foreman said. “If they had had that back when I was coming up, in 1966, it would have been my sport. Man, I love it. And you know what? Nobody would have pulled the rope-a-dope on me.”
- CBS Sportsline writer Sam Caplan has joined the ranks of UFC Junkie.
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MMA on Tap has learned that UFC veteran Drew McFedries will likely be out 6 to 8 months after suffering from a severe staph infection.
Last week it was reported that Spencer Fisher, Tim Sylvia, and Drew McFedries were all suffering from staph infections. Fisher pulled out of his fight with Din Thomas at UFC Fight Night 11 and Pat Miletich told the fighters infected not to return to the gym for at least 3 weeks.
Drew McFedries got hit the worst, suffering from an infection which grew to the size of a football on the back of his leg. The infection required surgery and McFedries had a good amount of skin removed from the back his leg which will now require grafts.
- Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia has stated on his official blog that he has started training again and hopes to be fighting in October.
- Mark Bocek, who will be making his UFC debut this Saturday against Frankie Edgar has stated that he spent the majority of his time training for the fight with Greg Jackson’s camp in New Mexico.
- K-1 has announced the updated card for it’s Hero’s 9 event on July 16th:
Caol Uno vs Katsuhiko Nagata
Kazuyuki Miyata vs Vitor Ribeiro
Hideo Tokoro vs Kultar Gill
Gesias Calvancanti vs Andre Dida
Alexandre Franca Nogueira vs Shuichiro Katsumura
Katsuyori Shibata vs Ralek Gracie
Dong Sik Yoon vs Bernard Ackah
- Joe Riggs’s next fight will be on July 21st against Dan Chambers at Hardcore Fighting Championship’s debut event. Ricco Rodriguez and Ron Waterman will also be fighting for the third time on the card.
- Jason Day has announced that he may be fighting in the UFC in September according to The Fight Network.
- Countdown to UFC 73 will air tonight for the first time on Spike TV at 10:30 PM EST. UFC All-Access featuring UFC Lightweight Champion Sean Sherk will air immediately after that.
- Staying with the television theme, The History Channel has a new MMA-related show starting on July 20th titled “Human Weapon”:
The History Channel is jumping on the MMA bandwagon. The network will premier “Human Weapon,” at 10 p.m. Friday, July 20. Hosted by welterweight jiu-jitsu artist Jason Chambers and former professional wrestler Bill Duff, the show will traverse the globe as the two introduce viewers to various martial arts disciplines.
The series opens in iconic referee “Big” John McCarthy’s Ultimate Training Academy in Valencia, Calif. Episode one will focus on muay Thai, as Chambers and Duff travel to Bangok, Thailand, home to the martial art that made Wanderlei Silva and Mauricio Rua household names. From ancient killing techniques in the jungles to weapons training among the ruins of a Buddhist temple, the hosts will attempt to master aspects of the centuries-old discipline in hopes one of them can survive a bout with an international muay Thai champion.
Future episodes will take viewers to Russia to study Sambo (likely with PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko) and to Israel to study Krav Maga, a fighting system developed in Europe and employed by various Israeli security forces. The series will also feature exhibition bouts, including one filmed yesterday with former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez.
- Ken Pavia, manager of Phil Baroni, has stated that Baroni will seek a second opinion from doctors on his pending surgery for a torn groin muscle and hernia.
News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated once again…
- The always popular MMA on Tap Top Ten has been updated and was posted yesterday for everyone to break down and take in. Be sure to leave comments with any corrections, props, thoughts, and suggestions that you might have.
- Our latest edition of Rock the Vote has been posted - Who will be victorious in UFC 72’s main event: Rich Franklin or Yushin Okami? Be sure to add your pick…
Here are the results for our last poll:
Chuck Liddell: 25%
Mirko Cro Cop: 23%
Andrei Arlovski: 17%
Tim Sylvia: 17%
Gabriel Gonzaga: 8%
Randy Couture: 8%
Heath Herring: 2%
- Scott put together a nice mini-interview with Jonathan Goulet discussing Goulet’s recent win over Travis Axworthy this past weekend as well as his thoughts on John Alessio’s peformance on Sunday night. MMA Weekly caught wind of the piece and was going to ask Alessio about Goulet’s comments on last night’s radio show but Alessio failed to appear.
- The Fight Network is reporting that renowned grappler Marcelo Garcia is in California training with Team Quest this week. K-1 stated in a pre-fight press conference for Dynamite!! USA that Garcia would make his debut in September.
- Leonard Garcia has announced that he will be fighting on the finale of The Ultimate Fighter 5. Garcia did not say who his opponent will be.
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