Ultimate Fighting Championship
UFC middleweight contender David Terrell will face off against Yushin Okami at UFC 62. Terrell is coming off a submission victory over Scott Smith at UFC 59. Fans may know Yushin Okami from the Rumble on the Rock welterweight tournament. Okami fought Anderson Silva in the first round and was KO’d by an illegal upkick. He then fought Jake Sheilds in the semifinals and lost via a unanimous decision. Since then Okami has gone 2-0 fighting in Japan.
Rumors surfaced Monday stating that Kenny Florian was not willing to fight Sean Sherk. Florian spoke on the situation and said he would in fact fight Sherk just not on the August card. He doesn’t feel he would have enough time to prepare for the fight as he just fought Sam Stout at Ultimate Fight Night 5. The Sherk-Florian fight was originally supposed to take place in October/November and then the UFC pushed for it to be in August.
WFA CEO Jeremy Lappen was in attendance at the Mandalay Bay Saturday to watch UFC 61: Bitter Rivals. Lappen was given a front row ticket from his former client Ken Shamrock. Just minutes into the event a UFC official along with three security guards escorted Lappen out of the Casino. No real reason was provided.
It has been confirmed that former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver will be one of the coaches for ‘The Ultimate Fighter 5’. Rumors indicate that the other coach may either be B.J. Penn or the winner of Sean Sherk vs. TBA. Sherk was expected to go up against Kenny Florian but he turned down the fight as did Mark Hominick.
At the UFC 61 post-fight press conference, Tito Ortiz made it pretty clear as to when and who he wants to fight again...
“I would love to fight once before this year’s over… and if [Chuck] Liddell is gonna get two fights, then I need to fight at least one more time.” said Ortiz. I would love to be on the November card.”
“I want [Forrest] Griffin again. I know a lot of people who thought he beat me the first time, which he didn’t. I want to give him a taste of me at 100 percent. He got a taste of me when I was 60 percent.”
When was the last time that we had a UFC event that left fans satisfied? I can’t remember myself. While Bitter Rivals was a bit disappointing to say the least, it did give us a clearer picture as to where certain divisions stand if anything. The rumored card for UFC 62 is looking sick so hopefully the next event will improve upon this one.
It was nice to see Drew Fickett win again. I’d like to see a rematch between him and Josh Burkman but it probably won’t happen unless the two continue to climb up the welterweight ladder. I was surprised that Joe Jordan hung in there as long as he did with Hermes Franca. It’s been one hell of a year for Franca - multiple championships in other promotions and a victorious return to the UFC.
Cheick Kongo looked like a monster out there - hopefully he will become a force at heavyweight. An interesting matchup would be him and Brandon Vera, but this will only happen if Vera decides not to go down to 205 like he originally planned.
Hey Frank - What the hell? I’m guessing that Mir either stopping taking Vitamin S or didn’t train at all because he looked like complete shit to put it lightly. He was gassed within the first three minutes of the first round, very unlike the Mir of old.
While the first two rounds of Tim Sylvia-Andrei Arlovski were pretty entertaining in my opinion, the rest of the fight was lackluster with the exception of a few bombs thrown here and there. It was very surprising to me that Sylvia was able to counter Arlovski’s attack so easily. It was weird to watch Arlovski not explosively dominate his opponent and end the fight in the first round. Sylvia and Jeff Monson are pretty much a lock for Sylvia’s next defense.
Both Mir and Arlovski have one fight left on their contracts from what I know. It will be interesting to see who they will both fight next. Could it possibly be each other in an unofficial elimination bout of sorts? Because of Mir apparently not caring anymore, I doubt the UFC wants to get him anywhere near a possible title shot. A rematch of Arlovski-Paul Buentello would get a pretty good draw. Maybe Chieck Kongo can be tagged to send Mir packing.
The Nevada State Athletic Commisson should be thankful that Marc Ratner still isn’t there to slay them after last night’s performance by the referees. I think that it’s time to bring in a couple new ones because Herb Dean and the crew are starting to look like they don’t have it anymore. That cut on Yves Edwards’ head was very bad - I’ve seen cuts that weren’t even half as bad in which fights were stopped early. It’s amazing that Big John let the blood just pour out of his head for that long.
As for Tito Ortiz-Ken Shamrock being stopped so early, I think it was the right decision. After five unanswered elbows, Shamrock wasn’t responding. Even from the video it looked as if he might have been out. Either way, Ortiz would have gone on to decisively win the fight. Shamrock really needs to stop fighting and go back into training fighters.
If you are looking for my thoughts on the Liddell-Silva annoucement, you won’t find them - I’m still speechless…
PRIDE’s Japanese web site is reporting that Kazuyuki Fujita will appear on the upcoming UFC 65 card which is set to take place November 18th in Las Vegas, Nevada. The article stated that Fujita has confirmed that he will be on the card.
Phil Baroni will also make an appearance on the UFC 65 card as well. On ‘The Underground’ Baroni mentioned that he is part of the PRIDE/UFC deal which will see him face a top UFC middleweight fighter on the card.
Here are the post-fight interviews with some of the combatants from UFC 61: Bitter Rivals.
The opening bout of the evening was Yves Edwards vs. Joe “Daddy” Stevenson. Coming into this fight I had picked Yves Edwards to be the winner. I didn’t think Stevenson would be able to handle Edwards striking but he proved me wrong. Edwards had a good first round working his strikes where we saw him land a few lefts along with a good head kick. At the end of the round we even saw Edwards attempt a triangle and an omaplata.
In the second round Joe Stevenson showed us he is the real deal at 155. He put Edwards on his back and worked some vicious ground and pound. Stevenson was able to land a huge elbow which opened up a nasty gash on the top of Edwards head. The blood was literally pouring from Edwards scalp. He showed great heart deciding to continue after he was taken to his corner in the middle of the round to check the cut. Once the fight started up again Stevenson continued to ground and pound Edwards until the bell. Afterwards there was a pool of blood left on the canvas. The doctors checked the cut between rounds and decided to call the fight. Stevenson was given the win due to a doctor stoppage (cut).
Next we saw former UFC HW Champion Frank Mir take on Dan “The Sandman” Christison. This fight really lacked explosiveness. Both fighters looked tired and sloppy throughout the balance of the fight. Each guy had their moments in the fight whether it was the odd combination or submission attempt but otherwise it was a fairly embarrassing showing for both guys. Mir ended up pulling of a unanimous decision. This fight showed the Frank Mir is a shell of his former self. He no longer seems to have what it takes to get himself back to the top. Before the motorcycle accident Mir weighed around 240 lbs. Now he looks out of shape and overweight as he is walking around at 262 lbs.
Finally the fight I had been waiting for was on. No more staged shoving matches and trash talk. They were finally ready to get in there and get it on. I can say that I was pretty pumped to see this fight. Just reading all the pre-fight interviews and seeing the countdown on Spike TV had my blood pumping. I, like everyone else gave Shamrock no chance whatsoever. Just like everyone thought both guys entered the octagon and quickly took to the center. Shamrock started the action by charging in with a flurry of shots. Tito Ortiz was unphased as he clinched with Shamrock and landed a few knees. Ortiz then shot in, picked Shamrock up and slammed him to the canvas. From here he pushed him up against the cage and began dropping elbows. The first one landed flush and was followed by about 5 more unanswered blows. Herb Dean felt that was enough and called the fight off.
Afterwards Shamrock was pissed and felt the fight was called prematurely. I much like everyone else at the time was pissed as well but when you watch the replay Shamrock clearly takes around 6 hard elbows and does nothing to defend them.
With everyone in the arena clearly upset Dana White entered the octagon to address the crowd. Dana mentioned that he knew everyone was pretty upset and he felt he could cheer them up. Next thing you know Dana White breaks news the PRIDE Middleweight Champion Wanderlei Silva and UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell will be facing off in November. I went absolutely nuts when he said this and it was awesome to see both guys in the octagon giving each other a good old stare down. Dana White gains a lot of respect in my books for pulling this off. Fans have been begging for a few years now and finally it’s going to happen. Kudos to the UFC and PRIDE for pulling this off.
Next to hit the octagon was Josh Neer and Josh Burkman. I can honestly say that I was having a lot of trouble focusing on this fight as I was so amped up from Dana White’s announcement. From what I saw in this fight Neer was able to work a bit of standup and at times he was even taunting Burkman. Burkman showed the better wrestling and ground skills as he slammed Neer hard a few times and worked from there. In the end Burkman did enough to garner the unanimous decision.
The final bout of the night was for the UFC Heavyweight Championship. I was expecting this fight to end up exactly how the first two went. Either Arlovski quickly drops Sylvia with that overhand right or Sylvia gets in that short right but I was wrong as the fight actually went the distance. The fight never hit the ground once. Both guys just stood there traded. Sylvia showed great footwork as he was able to avoid quite a few of Arlovski’s big shots. When all was said and done Sylvia did what he needed in the fight and was able to pick Arlovski apart and earn a unanimous decision.
In the end even though the Shamrock-Ortiz fight didn’t live up to the hype, I felt Dana White did a good job making up for it with the huge announcement of Liddell vs. Silva. Share your thoughts…
Here are the full results from UFC 61: Bitter Rivals.
- Drew Fickett def. Kurt Pellegrino (Rear Naked Choke)
- Cheick Kongo def. Gilbert Aldana (TKO)
- Jeff Monson def. Anthony Perosh (TKO)
- Hermes Franca def. Joe Jordan (Triangle Choke)
- Joe Stevenson def. Yves Edwards (Doctor Stoppage)
- Frank Mir def. Dan Christison (Unanimous Decision)
- Tito Ortiz def. Ken Shamrock (TKO)
- Josh Burkman def. Josh Neer (Unanimous Decision)
- Tim Sylvia def. Andrei Arlovski (Unanimous Decision)