News and Notes
- Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Tito Ortiz turned down an offer to fight Forrest Griffin in a rematch of their controversial split decision bout in 2006 at UFC 72.
UFC president Dana White said he had tried to match Griffin with former light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz, but said Ortiz declined.
“Tito didn’t want to come over here, the big sissy,” White said.
Griffin, who lost a controversial split decision to Ortiz last year, said he would welcome a rematch with Ortiz.
“Most definitely, it’s a fight I wouldn’t say no to,” Griffin said.
- The official fight card for the Pancrase 13th Annual Neo-Blood Tournament Finals currently scheduled for July 27th at the Korakuen Town Hall Arena in Tokyo, Japan has been released by the promotion:
Daizo Ishige vs Katsuya Inoue - Welterweight King of Pancrase Title
Rikuhei Fujii vs Tomoyoshi Iwamiya - Middleweight Final
Nao ‘Yoshirock’ Yoshida vs Satoru Takadaya - Welterweight Final
Yuichi Ikari vs Koichiro Matsumoto - Lightweight Final
Yuichi Miyagi vs Koji Yoshimoto - Featherweight Final
Jose Aldo vs Shoji
Miki Shida vs Jong Jin Sok
- Bodog Fight: Paradise Lost premieres next Tuesday, June 26th at 11 PM EST. The season will feature fights involving Daniel Puder and Chael Sonnen among others..
Video of the Day
Tito Ortiz is looking to “put Rashad Evans in a wheelchair” on July 7th according to his latest blog entry…
I am really pumped on caving Rashads face in… more focused than I have ever been I think. He really has no idea what he is in for…I guess until you get your ass kicked really good, you never really do. I am going to make him rethink his career in the UFC. Maybe he should go back to flipping burgers after I put him in a wheel chair. LOL
I’m sure we will have a response from Rashad in the next few days…
The UFC has been marketing this fight as the main event of UFC 73 lately. With this amount of trash talk this early, I can see why.
Las Vegas, NV (USA) – Tired of paying your hard-earned cash for events packed with hype and little else? Sick of sitting down
for a pay-per-view event and finding out that you’re paying over $50 for just three fights that include a showcase and a mismatch? The Ultimate Fighting Championship® has the cure for what is ailing fight fans, and in a continuing effort to provide what the world is truly waiting for, it is announcing yet another UFC card stacked with at least five fights that include two intense championship bouts and a heated grudge match between two light heavyweight rivals. UFC 73: STACKED features UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva in his first title defense vs. Nate “The Great” Marquardt. UFC Lightweight Champion Sean “The Muscle Shark” Sherk puts his newly-won belt on the line vs. Brazil’s Hermes Franca. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira steps into the Octagon™ for the first time for a heavyweight war with Heath Herring – and Tito Ortiz intends to put a painful end to Rashad Evans’ perfect 15-0 record. Let the fireworks begin. UFC 73, loaded with UFC superstars, takes place LIVE from ARCO Arena in Sacramento, Calif. Saturday, July 7, 2007.
“We have five UFC events lined up now through July in the US and UK, and every one of them is stacked with great fights,” said UFC President Dana White. “No matter where we have a UFC, our goal is always the same – to deliver the best fights between the best mixed martial arts fighters. Our fans know they will always see a good fight, and that’s why the UFC reigns supreme in live sports today.”
White continues, “UFC 73 is one of the best cards we’ve put together this year. It’s going to deliver the one-two punch fight fans want – it has Tito Ortiz and Rashad Evans, two all-state college wrestlers, both who dislike each other, settling their differences in the Octagon, as well as title defenses by our two champions Anderson Silva and Sean Sherk. We’re working on more fights right now to pack this card even heavier from top to bottom.”
News and Notes
- Tonight UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell will appear on HBO’s hit series Entourage. The show airs at 10 PM EST and it will feature Liddell getting into an exchange with Johnny Drama.
- In a recent interview with GracieMag.com, former PRIDE heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, provided his thoughts on Gabriel Gonzaga’s recent upset of Mirko Filipovic at UFC 70: Nations Collide.
“I saw on the GRACIE site that things didn’t go to well for the Croatian. Napão and I have never fought, not even in the gi, but if one day we are both up to dispute the belt, we will surely face each other, even though we are both Brazilians,”
“I spoke of Cro Cop and Couture for being the non-Brazilians of the moment over there, I was not underestimating Napão by any means. He is very tough, but really, based on the number of fights each has, I could not imagine Cro Cop would fall in that way. You are gonna tell me you knew Napão was going to knock him out?” he returned the provocation, with a cackle.
- It is rumored that Roridgo Nogueira will make his UFC debut at UFC 73 in Sacramento, California. No opponent has been named at this point.
- UFC Fight Night 10 will be headlined by a lightweight bout between TKO LW champion Sam Stout and UFC LW contender Spencer Fisher. Also on the card will be Stephan Bonnar vs. Mike Nickels.
- Last night Mighty Mo won the K-1 World GP 2007 in Hawaii. Our live blog of the event can be found here.
If you haven’t already be sure to check us out on Myspace at http://www.myspace.com/mmaontap.
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.
News and Notes
- Check back later this morning for our predictions on tonight’s UFC Fight Night 9. As always we will be going live at 8 PM EST with one of our patented live blogs…
- Also video of Josh Koscheck fighting a fan is coming your way around 8:30 AM…
- So what are you doing today from 6 PM on? Watching Spike TV, duh. Remember there will be two episodes of UFC Unleashed between 6-8 PM. 8 PM of course is UFC Fight Night 9 and following that will be the season premiere of The Ultimate Fighter 5 at 10 PM. Going to be a big day.
- A Japanese news report is speculating that Diego Sanchez may participate in the PRIDE Lightweight Grand Prix starting in May.
- Brazilian MMA news site World Fight posted a recent interview with Mauricio Rua where he stated that he would be interested in taking on Renato Sobral and Tito Ortiz in the near future.
UFC Junkie gives the English translation:
WF: Tito Ortiz declared recently that he would like to fight with you…
Rua: He is a very good athlete and strong, I would like to face him yes, with certainty I would like that fight.
WF: Does the possibility of a rematch with Renato Sobral motivate you to fight in the UFC?
Rua: Definitely! It is a fight that now can happen and I would like it very much it if did.
- Cage Warriors President Doug Truman was arrested yesterday on charges of an alleged connection to a convicted drug dealer in Hampshire, England. Truman is still in jail but is expected to post bail in the next 24 hours.
- The schedule for Versus’ coverage of the WEC starting in June is now up on it’s official website.
Video of the Day
Rock the Vote Results
Diego Sanchez - 68%
Rashad Evans - 13%
Mike Swick - 11%
Josh Koscheck - 7%
Joe Stevenson - 4%
Other - 1%
Houston Chronicle: Ultimate Fighting battles for a mainstream role
Sherdog: Diego Sanchez - This Time It’s Personal
UFC: Sanchez vs Koscheck II - Bad Blood Boiling
The Fight Network: The Second Go-Around
News and Notes
- UFC veterans Wes “The Project” Sims and David Loiseau will appear on the upcoming Art of War 2 show May 11th in Austin, Texas.
- In a recent interview with TATAME, Pedro Rizzo, told the site that his next fight could be in June against Aleksander Emelianenko.
- Tito Ortiz was a no show yesterday for the weigh-ins for his bout with UFC president Dana White. White was on hand for the weigh-ins as he tipped the scales at 196 lbs. Once again the fight has been called off and this time the NSAC was unhappy with Ortiz as he wasted their staff’s time.
- PRIDE FC has added Zuluzinho vs. Butterbean and Gilbert Yvel vs. Volk Ataev to PRIDE 34: Kamikazie.
- After his victory last night at WEC 26: Las Vegas Urijah Faber called out “Kid” Yamamoto (15-1).
Usually, I would not make a post to highlight one specific interview, but this one is awfully informative. The UFC’s Dana White was interviewed on CBS Sportline and had a lot of things to say. Among them…
* Confirmed that UFC 70 will likely be on SpikeTV
* Confirmed that Rashad Evans is the expected opponent for Tito Ortiz at UFC 71.
* Reiterated that he wants Rampage Jackson to fight Chuck Liddell for the LHW title at UFC 71 in May.
* Was very candid once again about his interests in buying the Pride promotion, admitting to having been in negotiations with them.
* Mentioned guys like Wanderlei Silva, Fedor, and Dan Henderson as fighters he’d love to have fight under the UFC banner.
* Hinted at the possibility that they are negotiating with the Nogueira brothers since their contract is up soon with Pride.
* Clarified his position on the Kurt Angle rumors, yet was very complimentary to Angle as well as Brock Lesnar.
* Admitted he’d like to see Phil Baroni and Evan Tanner back in the UFC.
* Continued the war of words with Jerry Millen, Gary Shaw, and Frank Shamrock.
A rumor is now going strong due to a posting on the fiveouncesofpain.com blog that says Tito Ortiz will be fighting Rashad Evans at UFC 71 rather than teammate Keith Jardine. The blog’s writer, Sam Caplan, works for CBSSportsline and is very credible. Here’s his post…
It’s been reported in multiple outlets that Tito Ortiz will fight Keith Jardine at UFC 71 in May. I believe Tito may have even confirmed the bout himself. However, while interviewing Dana White for CBS Sportsline yesterday Dana indicated Tito’s opponent at UFC 71 will be Rashad Evans so I’m not so sure he’ll be fighting Jardine.
Look for my exclusive interview with Dana to appear on Sportsline in the next couple of days.
If so, this fight would either elevate Rashad to title fight contender or show that he needs a bit more time to sharpen his skills.
This might also open up Keith Jardine for a title bout with Chuck Liddell as they are searching for an opponent for Liddell since Quinton Jackson has stated he’d like another fight before facing the Light Heavyweight Champion. This of course is pure speculation on my part.