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:
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.”
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.
Jarry Park: Tyson Griffin Is Mr. Fight Of The Night
Photo courtesy of TitoOritz.com
Is the UFC about to lose yet another star?
Former light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz has announced that he has accepted a proposed fight against undefeated Lyoto Machida in a fight that will likely be his last with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Ortiz made the announcement earlier today during an interview with Mauro Ranallo on The Fight Network’s daily radio show.
The two are expected to meet at a UFC event in May at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The bout will be the final one on Ortiz’s current contract with the promotion.
According to Ortiz, he was expecting a rematch against former Ultimate Fighter winner Rashad Evans, whom Ortiz battled to a draw with at UFC 73: Stacked this past summer. Now Ortiz seems to be content to take his skills elsewhere.
“I was expecting a bigger fight. I think the fans were expecting a bigger fight,” Ortiz said on the radio show earlier today. “I got pressed into it, and all of a sudden, it’s all over the Internet that Tito Ortiz won’t fight Machida. I’m just looking to get my final fight over with the UFC.”
Ortiz is yet another former UFC star that has now decided to take their services elsewhere in recent months. Current heavyweight champion Randy Couture resigned from the company this past fall, citing a lack of respect and monetary issues among the reasons behind his decision.
Dana White, the same man that once called Couture his hero, is now helping lawyers prepare a lawsuit against him.
Former heavyweight titleholder Andrei Arlovski will now finish out his contract in March as he expected to take on Jake O’Brien at UFC 82.
Fighters come and go as we all know. I just wish it didn’t have to be this way.
RawVegas’ Dave Farra interviews former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz, current champ Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Jenna Jameson, and Troy Mandaloniz at the red carpet premiere of NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice”.
NBC has released a nice video introducing each of the women American Gladiators, including Gina Carano. She was pretty impressive last night in my opinion and I’m sure everyone got a kick out of her pulling guard during the “Pyramid” event. Another episode is on this evening in it’s normal time slot at 8:00 PM EST on NBC.
Cage Potato says that last night’s episode was terrible. I think it was bad but not that bad, with a few changes it’ll be better.
Here’s a little catch-up on some of the things that we may have missed over the weekend:
Bloody Elbow: Vince McMahon and the UFC
Houston Chronicle: Henderson supremely confident prepping for Silva
MMA Weekly: UFC Offers Machida Fight With Ortiz
TKO Xtreme: Xtreme Couture Coming to Toronto
Sherdog: Hardy Headed for U.S. in ‘08
MMA Junkie: Heath Herring Offered UFC 82 Fight with Cheick Kongo
Five Ounces of Pain: Xtreme Couture to field team at IFL opener on Feb. 29
Sam Caplan: Baroni talks career options and steroids
Fight Opinion: He’s back… Bob Meyrowitz
Our rumors page will be updated as soon as possible.
Matyushenko and Palaszewski Move to Chicago IFL Team
IFL light heavyweight champ Vladimir Matyushenko and popular lightweight Bart Palaszewski have opted to leave their respective teams and join the new Chicago franchise in the IFL according to The Fight Network:
According to Palaszewski, the team will be affiliated with former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski’s team and trainers, and will include former Chicago Red Bear Mark Miller (8-2), and IFL light heavyweight champion Vladimir Matyushenko (20-3). Matyushenko transferred from the now-defunct Los Angeles Sabres team.
Palaszewski said the team will train at Sean Bormet’s Overtime School of Wrestling in suburban Naperville, home of Arlovski and Team Pitbull. Overtime’s coaching staff is comprised of wrestling standouts Bormet, Kerry Boumans, and John Kading, along with boxing trainer Mike Garcia and jiu-jitsu specialist Dino Costeas.
I thought it was the Tokyo Sabres and the Los Angeles Anacondas but whatever…
Pancrase Releases Partial Card for Jan 30 Event
Panrcrase has announced four scheduled bouts for the first event on it’s 2008 Shining Tour. The main event will feature Katsuya Inoue defending his welterweight King of Pancrase title against Satoru Kitaoka in the third career fight between the two.
The remainder of the card:
Daisuke Hanazawa vs. Wataru Takahashi
Shinsuke Shoji vs. Yuichi Ikari
Yuki Yamasawa vs. Seiya Kawahara
Fightlinker is also still taking e-mailed questions until 6:00 PM EST today for their usual “mailbag” show that will go up later tonight.
Beginning tonight and continuing into next week, we are going to experience something for the first time in history. It’s not really a big deal to anyone else, but it’s pretty big to those who follow mixed martial arts on a regular basis. The sport of MMA will be represented on mainstream reality television.
Photo courtesy of NBC.
Now I’m not talking The Ultimate Fighter, TapouT, or another MMA-related reality show that has aired to date. More people will be watching Tito Ortiz and Ricco Rodriguez over the next few months than probably each of The Ultimate Fighter seasons combined.
Ortiz will be trying his hand on Donald Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” on NBC while Rodriguez will be checking into “Celebrity Rehab” on VH1. The connection between the two is quite obvious. They are best friends and former training partners under the Team Punishment banner.
Now the million dollar question - Will the sport of MMA be affected in a positive or negative way because of all this?
After watching UFC 79 and hearing all of the discussion about how Matt Hughes and Matt Serra were originally supposed to fight but Serra pulled out with an injury, I got to thinking. It wasn’t the first time that a situation like that occurred.
So I sat down and did some research. There were actually a good number of fights in the UFC that were signed and slated to happen but ended up not taking place for one reason or another. The final number was a lot higher than I expected so I went ahead and narrowed the list down to the fights that would have been the best if they were to happen at the time.
So here they are. I’ve sorted them starting with the most recent and excluding Hughes-Serra. Each instance is pretty interesting.
Evan Tanner vs Jeremy Horn (UFC 59): The two long-time MMA veterans were set to clash at UFC 59 in what was unofficially an “elimination” bout for the two of them. Horn had split his two return bouts in the UFC while Tanner had lost two straight, including his middleweight title. The bout would have been an interesting chess match between two slick grapplers but Horn ended up pulling out after injuring his back during training. Justin Levens replaced Horn and Tanner went on to submit Levens in the first round of their bout. Horn was released shortly after defeating Chael Sonnen at UFC 60.
Matt Hughes vs Karo Parisyan (UFC 56): After losing to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 46, Parisyan went ahead and racked up three straight wins over Nick Diaz, Chris Lytle, and Matt Serra to earn a title shot against then-champion Matt Hughes. The anticipated welterweight showdown was set to headline the event until Parisyan was forced to pull out of the fight after suffering an elbow injury during training. Joe Riggs stepped in for Parisyan and ended up failing to make weight, costing him his shot at the title. Hughes would go on to submit Riggs in a non-title bout and wouldn’t defend his belt again until UFC 63, making it over a full year since the welterweight title was contested. To this day, Parisyan is still yearning for another shot at the title.
Above is an official preview video for UFC 79 courtesy of the UFC as well as a preview for tonight’s UFC All-Access with Wanderlei Silva.
News and Notes
-White Chocolate Management has filed a lawsuit against UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and his manager, Juanito Ibarra because of a breach of contract the two had with the company.
According to Sherdog, WCM was forced to file a lawsuit after Ibarra went out of his way to block all incoming transactions and deals offered to Jackson:
WCM President Reed Wallace is asking for $10,000,000 in damages after being “forced into filing the lawsuit by Rampage’s manager Juanito Ibarra, who ‘bad mouthed’” WCM, according to a news release issued by the plaintiff on Thursday.
Wallace said that while the fighter remained friendly, the champion’s manager has “rejected or blocked all transactions and deals offered to Rampage from WCM. Ibarra then went behind WCM and contacted or had his agent contact those very same parties that WCM brought to the table.”
- The mother of UFC middleweight Drew McFedries was found dead in a Davenport, Iowa alleyway according to a report by The Quad-City Times:
The woman who was found dead in an alley in Davenport was the victim of a homicide, an autopsy revealed, though police are not saying exactly how. Agnes McFedries-Kennedy, 51, was found Saturday evening lying in the alley in the 1800 block between West 7th and West 8th streets. A couple returning to a residence near the scene discovered the body.
All of us at MMA on Tap would like to send our condolences to Drew and his family.
- Every long-time MMA fan loves to read about past adventures involving Lee Murray. Here’s Pat Miletich’s account of the infamous street fight between Murray and Tito Ortiz through the words of Matt Hughes via his new book.
Ever wonder why a lot of people don’t like Hughes? Be sure to check this out.
Touch of gloves to Fight Opinion for both of the finds.
- Din Thomas expects to return to action in March according to a recent interview with The Fight Network.
- Jarry Park has a preview of all of the New Year’s Eve MMA events going on.
Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Tito Ortiz discusses his chances of winning the upcoming season of “The Celebrity Apprentice” on NBC as well as he plans to surprise some of the contestants with his business savvy.
Touch of gloves to Five Ounces of Pain for the find.
ESPN profiled EliteXC heavyweight Kimbo Slice on their E:60 program. The feature also includes interviews with UFC color commentator Joe Rogan and former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Tito Ortiz who give their take on Slice’s rise to fame.
Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Vitor Belfort will meet with UFC matchmaker Joe Silva today according to a report by Cesar Garcia of Sherdog.
Belfort’s main reason for the meeting is the potential to set up a rematch against Tito Ortiz, who earned a unanimous decision over Belfort at UFC 51 in 2005:
“I want to rip his big head off,” said a re-motivated Belfort. “The last time I had a back problem, and he just laid on top of me with a broken nose bleeding all over me and I tired in the last round. I’m willing to fight him winner take all, the loser gets nothing. He’s a millionaire, he doesn’t need money—he has to have pride.”
Since leaving the UFC, Belfort has been relatively unimpressive, putting together a mediocre record of 4-3. While Belfort has been victorious against lower competition, he has struggled against fighters with similar talent levels. He lost consecutive fights against Alistair Overeem and dropped a unanimous decision to Dan Henderson over the past two years.
If the UFC does decide to sign Belfort to a new deal, they should attempt to build him up instead of throwing him in against the big dogs like they did in his last return to the Octagon. A fight against Ortiz should come, just not right away in my opinion.