LAS VEGAS - World Extreme Cagefighting returns to Las Vegas’ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Sunday, August 5, with another hard-hitting night of fights headlined by a championship doubleheader that will ignite the mixed martial arts world.
In a welterweight title bout, “The Natural Born Killer”, Carlos Condit, puts his WEC title on the line against Minnesota’s own Brock Larson, and in the 185-pound co-feature, Brazilian superstar Paulo Filho squares off against tough veteran Joe Doerksen for the vacant WEC Middleweight crown.
Rumors were running rampant yesterday concerning Jens Pulver’s participation at the WEC’s event on September 5th. Various media outlets reported that Pulver would make his debut at 145 lbs on that date but Pulver revealed yesterday that he’s still unsure about the location of his next bout.
“I think I’ve made it clear to everyone that I’d love to fight at 145 [pounds], but I’m ready to do whatever Dana, Joe and Monte want me to do. If they want me at 145, that’s where I’ll go. If they want me to continue at 155, I’ll fight there.”
Those were the words of Jens Pulver yesterday as we talked about rumors that he is fighting in the WEC on Sept. 5. “I don’t know when my next fight is yet,” confirmed Pulver.
MMA on Tap has confirmed that Joe Doerksen will be facing PRIDE veteran Paulo Filho August 5th at WEC 29.
Joe Doerksen (39-9) is currently on a 7-fight winning streak with victories over the likes of Ryan McGivern, Jeremy Johnson, and Brian Foster. Earlier this year it was announced that Doerksen had signed a three-fight deal with PRIDE but that deal has been voided and Doerksen now has a four-fight contract with the WEC.
Paulo Filho (14-0) is a veteran of PRIDE with an impressive resume which includes submission victories over the likes of Kazuo Misaki, Ryo Chonan and Amar Suloev.
Monte Cox, Jens Pulver’s longtime manager, confirmed on the radio earlier this week that Pulver will be switching over to the WEC in order to compete in their featherweight division later this year.
Pulver’s fight against BJ Penn on The Ultimate Fighter 5 finale on June 23rd will be his last in the UFC and at 155 lbs at least for the near future.
An official announcement has not yet been made but it’s expected to come after the event on June 23rd, possibly even after the fight again Penn. No word yet on whether or not Pulver will be Urijah Faber’s next opponent this fall provided he defeats Penn for a second time.
The WEC’s debut broadcast on Versus this past Sunday night brought in an overall rating of 0.4 and averaged 416,000 total viewers throughout the show according to MMA Weekly.
The broadcast did very well at least on it’s own channel as it drew close to the same rating as two games of this year’s Stanley Cup Finals that aired on Versus.
Elite XC’s premiere on Showtime back in February only drew 365,000 views compared to the 416,000 that the WEC brought in. However Showtime is only available in 15 million households in the US compared to Versus which is shown in about 70 million.
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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Live Shows -
This past weekend UFC and TKO veteran Jonathan Goulet upped his record to 18-7 with an impressive knockout victory over Canadian middleweight Travis Axworthy. MMA on Tap caught up with “The Road Warrior” to get his thoughts on the fight and to find out what’s in store for his future.
When asked to provide his thoughts on the fight Goulet said, “I was nervous because I had everything to lose but I was confident because of my good training. My coach told me before I entered the ring, “You haven’t kicked a guy in the head for a while, so do it tonight.” Unfortunately for Travis Axworthy, I did.”
As you can see in the video above, Goulet came out and after a quick shot he fired off a devastating high kick that left Axworthy (3-1) motionless on his back only 8 seconds into their headline bout.
“I kicked him in the head after I tried to take him down but I asked myself “What am I doing? Come on Jon, stay on your feet.”
After the fight, Goulet said, “I was looking for the promoter just to ask him if he was waiting for a murder giving me an opponent like him. Sorry to Travis, I don’t have anything against him but I already did what we saw.”
Goulet was originally scheduled to face Steve Vigneault for the TKO Welterweight Title but the fight was scrapped after Vigneault re-injured his knee. Axworthy decided to step in on short notice meeting Goulet in a middleweight affair, 15 pounds above Goulet’s original weight.
Since leaving the UFC, Goulet has gone 2-0 (1 NC) with victories over Travis Axworthy and Jesse Bongfeldt. Goulet was originally awarded a TKO victory over Thomas Schulte but the decision was overturned after Schulte’s camp filed a grievance with the Quebec Athletic Commission because Goulet earned the TKO after the round was over but the referee failed to stop the fight at the proper time.
What’s next for Goulet? Who would he like to fight?
“I want to be a champion. I’m thinking about the WEC Welterweight Title but first I have to fight July 14th in King of the Cage. John Alessio is back on track, after his fight when he won by guillotine choke he said it’s his move but I’m curious if he’d be able to apply a guillotine on me.”
For those of you unaware, Goulet and Alessio fought back in 2004 at TKO 18: Impact when Goulet took the unanimous decision victory. Next up for Goulet is a middleweight bout against Cory MacDonald at King of the Cage in Halifax on July 14th at the Halifax Forum.
Closing out the interview Goulet left a message for his fans:
“I’m not going to fight for TKO soon so stay tuned to my Myspace (www.myspace.com/jonathangoulet) because my goal at this time is to reach the top 5 in the world before the end of the year. Right now I’m 15th.”
The WEC has added UFC and PRIDE veteran Jeff Curran to their already growing featherweight division. Curran (27-8-1) is 3-0 so far in 2007, racking up wins over John Mahlow, Kevin English, and Donnie Walker in the IFL and KOTC.
However the addition of Curran is coupled with the loss of one of the WEC’s long-time middleweights, Olaf Alfonso. Alfonso signed a four fight deal with Palace Fighting Championships, returning to Lemoore, California - the former home of the WEC and the place where he became one of the organization’s most popular stars.
PFC is set to throw Alfonso directly into the mix at either lightweight or welterweight and one win may automatically place him into title contention, especially at 170:
“Right now the 170-pound PFC title is vacant. It’s hard to put a time line on when Olaf would be ready for a title fight, though,” Printup said. “I believe that the winner of Jason Von Flue and Chris Botelho’s fight will be one half of a title fight which will possibly take place in January. There’s a lot of talent at 170 pounds and not just locally. We are being contacted with outstanding talent from across the country right now.”
News and Notes
- The updated MMA on Tap Top 10 will be posted later today…
- Steve Bruno has been taken off the card for June 12’s UFC Fight Night 10 after sustaining an injury during a practice session last Friday. A replacement opponent for Chad Reiner, whom Bruno was slated to face, has not yet been announced.
- Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer shot down heavy rumors regarding the possibility that the NSAC denied Frank Mir the opportunity to take on Tim Sylvia at UFC 74. In fact, the bout was never even taken to the commission in the first place. That doesn’t mean that the bout would still be approved however based on what Kizer stated earlier today in an email sent to various MMA media outlets:
That fight has not been presented to me, and thus no ‘denial’ has been made. I was asked about the match-up by a reporter and said I would have a hard time approving that fight unless I see a quality win from Mr. Mir first. However, I will keep an open mind.
- Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell will be on Late Night with David Letterman this Thursday on CBS…
- The Fight Network is reporting that the six fighters who were tested for performance enhancing drugs after UFC 71 all passed with flying colors:
The Nevada State Athletic Commission announced Friday that six fighters – Chuck Liddell, Quinton Jackson, Karo Parisyan, Josh Burkman, Alan Belcher and Sean Salmon – tested negative for steroids and stimulants prior to May 26’s UFC 71. Drugs of abuse tests results are still pending.
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The official fighter salaries from WEC 28 via MMA Weekly
Urijah Faber: $20,000
John Alessio: $18,000
Brock Larson: $16,000
Alex Karalexis: $10,000
Rani Yahya: $10,000
Cub Swanson: $8,000
Brian Stann: $8,000
Mark Hominick: $6,000
Alex Serdyukov: $6,000
Jeff Bedard: $6,000
Charlie Valencia: $6,000
Chance Farrar: $4,000
Brian Bowles: $4,000
Micah Miller: $4,000
Mike French: $3,000
Kevin Knabjian: $2,000
Craig Zellner: $2,000
Josh Smith: $1,000