I’m not even sure how this whole notion got started but I was immediately engaged into conversion about Wanderlei Silva possibly moving down to middleweight the day after he lost a unanimous decision to Chuck Liddell at UFC 79.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There is no logical reason why Silva should move down to 185 lbs. None.
Sam Caplan has an excellent piece on this whole thing and his take is definitely a must read. He goes on to dispute Jake Rossen’s comments from his column earlier today on Sherdog, which claims that a drop in weight for “The Axe Murderer” is “reasonable”. Not in my opinion.
Why fights against Rashad Evans and Tito Ortiz should be chalked up as automatic losses for Silva is beyond me, especially when Silva has defeated a fighter with a similar style yet more talent than the two in Quinton “Rampage” Jackson on more than one occasion.
So Silva has lost three fights in a row? Are we forgetting that those losses have come against Chuck Liddell and Dan Henderson, two of the top pound-for pound fighters in history, and a guy that isn’t even in Silva’s own weight class in Mirko Cro Cop? I think many people are.
I still don’t understand why Rossen claims that Silva is more physically suited for 185 lbs:
An inflated 205er (and you can read as much subtext into that as you wish), Silva’s frame seems more naturally suited for 185 pounds.
We’re talking about a guy here that walks around close to 230 lbs when he’s not fighting. Can anyone else think of any above-average fighters competing at middleweight that cut that kind of weight? Off the top of my head I can only think of one - Rich Franklin. The automatic thought that a fighter should drop down to a lower weight after suffering a couple of losses in a row is getting to be a little too prevalent these days and is absurd.
There are way too many potential matchups left for Silva in the UFC’s light heavyweight division that he has more than a good chance of winning and that would be fun to watch as well as compelling to fans. Silva is a young 31 and just recently hooked up with Xtreme Couture. The guys there have the ability to change his game dramatically. Who is to say that they won’t?
So let’s review. Should Silva drop down to middleweight? No. Will he drop down to middleweight? According to what he told Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports, no, he won’t:
As soon as Silva said that, though, he smiled. He anticipated the next question would be whether he’d consider a drop to middleweight, where the limit is 185 pounds and the fighters are much more his size.
But he quickly ruled that out.
“That’s way too much weight for me to lose,” Silva said. “I couldn’t do it.”
Interested in owning a UFC championship belt like the one above? How about the exact one above? Got $30,000 to spare? Well former UFC heavyweight champ Ricco Rodriguez is selling the title he won from Randy Couture at UFC 39 on eBay in hopes of raising money for a school Rodriguez will be opening down south.
Tim Sylvia calls Fedor a bad word
Former UFC heavyweight champion had some choice words for Fedor Emelianenko during a post-UFC 79 interview with Gary Herman of CBS Sports. When asked about Emelianenko, Sylvia stated that he feels the former PRIDE champ is ducking top competition:
“I think he’s being a (expletive),” said Sylvia. “I think Fedor is very good, but you have to fight the top level competitors all the time to keep that status, and he is just not doing that.”
According to Five Ounces of Pain, the bad word had something to do with a pussy, whatever that is…
WCO Releases Complete Card for “The Return”
The World Cagefighting Organization has released the complete card for WCO: The Return, which is set to take place January 12th at the San Diego Sports Arena.
The event is headlined by a main event between former UFC light heavyweights Renato “Babalu” Sobral and Vernon White and includes many other notable fighters competing as well. The full card is below:
Renato Sobral vs. Vernon White
Ricco Rodriguez vs. Mike Kyle
Mark Kerr vs. Rick Roufus
Jimmy Ambriz vs. Wesley Correira
Joe Riggs vs. Gustavo Machado
Virgil Zwicker vs. David Mejia
Davis Loiseau vs. Leopoldo Serao
Tiki Ghosn vs. J.J. Ambrose
Fabio Costa vs. Carlos Fuentes
Georgi Karakahyan vs. Armando Sanchez
Tony Sylvestor vs. Cain Velasquez
Touch of gloves to MMA Junkie for that find.
Sakara Joins American Top Team
Alessio Sakara has joined the ranks of ATT according to a statement made on the team’s official website:
To start off the new year, American Top Team is pleased to announce UFC fighter Alessio “Legionarius” Sakara has joined our team!
We are excited to have the opportunity to work with Alessio, who is known for his explosive stand up style of fighting. We look forward to working with Alessio and help him improve his overall mma game and take him to the top!
Sakara returns at UFC 80: Rapid Fire later this month when he takes on newcomer James Lee. The fight is expected to be Sakara’s last at 205 lbs as he has expressed plans to move down to the middleweight division following the fight.
We will have a brand new MMA on Tap Top 10 posted later today. Our rumors page has been updated. Randy Couture will be hosting a charity poker tournament at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on January 12th. Couture, Jamie Gold, and Dean Cain are all expected to participate. Leland Rolling takes a look at what’s next for Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva. A matchup between Jake Bostwick and John Phillips has been added to Cage Rage 25 according to The Fight Network.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission has released the official list of medical suspensions stemming from this past weekend’s UFC 79: Nemesis, which took place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
The notable potential injury not mentioned on the list involved Nate Mohr, who had to be helped out of the cage after being submitted with an ankle lock by Manny Gamburyan. Various reports have made statements ranging from Mohr’s trainers hearing “a pop” to Mohr having a broken leg. Mohr has been medically suspended anyway until January 20th with no contact allowed until January 13th for precautionary reasons.
Chuck Liddell, Matt Hughes and Tony DeSouza have all been medically suspended until January 29th with no contact permitted until January 20th. Both Hughes and DeSouza have been suspended for precautionary reasons while Liddell has a laceration above his left eye.
James Irvin, who was knocked out by an illegal knee from Luis Cane, has been shelved until February 28th with no contact until January 13th because of precautionary reasons.
Both Wanderlei Silva and Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou have been medically suspended until February 13th with no contact permitted until January 29th because of laceration around their right eyes.
Soa Palelei and Doug Evans received the worst medical suspensions. Palelei has been suspended until June 27th unless a broken nose and broken left orbital bone suffered in his fight with Eddie Sanchez are cleared by an ophthalmologist. Evans has been suspended for the same length of time unless a broken left thumb is cleared by a doctor. If it is, he will still be suspended until February 13th with no contact until January 29th because of an additional cut above his left eye.
Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell discusses his recent win over Wanderlei Silva at UFC 79, his future in the UFC, and the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter with RawVegas.
Photo by Ed Pollard.
Georges St. Pierre came closer to cementing his status as the top welterweight in the world when he gave future UFC hall-of-famer Matt Hughes a drubbing over the course of two rounds before submitting his idol with an armbar during the main event of last night’s UFC 79: Nemesis.
Hughes was originally slated to face fellow Ultimate Fighter 6 coach and current welterweight champ Matt Serra but Serra was forced to pull out of the bout after suffering herniated discs in his lower back during training. Hughes was then given a selective list of opponents that agreed to step in and the former nine-time champion picked St. Pierre in an attempt to try and avenge a prior loss to “Rush” at UFC 65 last year.
However it was obvious from the start of the fight that it was only a matter of time before St. Pierre was going to come away with a win. The Canadian took Hughes down at will throughout the first round, mounting his opponent and connecting with a number of unanswered punches while his opponent held on for dear life.
Hughes found his way back to his feet a couple of times but St. Pierre quickly put an end to that with wrestling skills that have made him consider possibly trying out for the Canadian Olympic wrestling squad next year.
The second round started off much like the first and after mounting and taking his opponent’s back, St. Pierre locked in an armbar that caused Hughes’ face to grimace in pain. The Hillsboro, Illinois native then verbally submitted to referee Steve Mazzagatti, ending the fight.
Many fans showed concern when St. Pierre took the fight on short notice as he would only have a little over a month to prepare for the bout. Training wasn’t an excuse for Hughes during a post-fight interview with UFC color commentator Joe Rogan.
“I came in 120 percent,” Hughes said. “I really trained hard for this fight. I brought in some of the best people and we really had a good game plan. Georges is just a better fighter.”
Hughes also acknowledged that he “had some thinking to do” in terms of continuing his career.
With the win, St. Pierre becomes the interim UFC welterweight champion. He will now wait for Serra to fully recover from his injury and the two will unify the belts at some point next year.
Even though he deserved the win with a show of complete domination, St. Pierre refused to consider himself the welterweight champion, as that distinction is held by the last man to defeat St. Pierre inside the Octagon.
“That’s why I’m going to take off this belt,” St. Pierre said after the fight. “Thanks to the UFC for giving me that; it’s a good honor, but the real champion is Matt Serra. Until I get my belt back, I’m not going to consider myself champion. Matt Serra that night beat me fair and square. He was the better man and I made many mistakes and had a lot of issues that night. Next time when I fight him, it might be a different story and people will understand what I’m talking about.”
We will be going live at 8:00 PM EST with live results of UFC 79: Nemesis, which is taking place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The event is highlighted by Matt Hughes and Georges St. Pierre battling for the third time in their careers for the interim UFC Welterweight Title and the long-awaited matchup between Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva.
Be sure to leave comments throughout the night.
Live results are shown after the jump.
Chuck Liddell discusses his upcoming fight against Wanderlei Silva later tonight at UFC 79: Nemesis including why he needs to prove a point in this fight by knocking his opponent out.
The official weigh-in results for tomorrow night’s UFC 79: Nemesis are below. All fighters successfully made weight.
Things heated up really fast during the stare-down between Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva. Silva empathically ripped off his shirt before approaching Liddell. After an intense stare-down between the two, Silva faked a move towards Liddell and Liddell responded by flipping his opponent the bird. Silva started to walk towards Liddell and officials and trainers all jumped in but order was quickly restored.
Matt Hughes (170 lbs) vs. Georges St. Pierre (170 lbs)
Chuck Liddell (204 lbs) vs. Wanderlei Silva (205 lbs)
Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (205 lbs) vs. Ryoto Machida (204 lbs)
Rich Clementi (155 lbs) vs. Melvin Guillard (156 lbs)
Eddie Sanchez (239 lbs) vs. Soa Palalei (262 lbs)
Dean Lister (186 lbs) vs. Jordan Radev (185 lbs)
James Irvin (205 lbs) vs. Luis Cane (205 lbs)
Roan Carneiro (170 lbs) vs. Tony DeSouza (170 lbs)
Manny Gamburyan (155 lbs) vs. Nate Mohr (155 lbs)
Doug Evans (155 lbs) vs. Mark Bocek (155 lbs)
Wanderlei Silva discusses his return to the UFC for the first time since 2000, his long-awaited fight against Chuck Liddell tomorrow night, and how that fight has become a must-win situation for him.
Whether you want to admit it or not, tomorrow night’s fight between Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva is the biggest in the history of mixed martial arts.
It’s going to stay that way until and or if Randy Couture and Fedor Emelianenko even meet in the future.
The hype for this fight couldn’t be any greater. Not a day has gone by that I can remember for the past couple of weeks where I haven’t seen a commercial for UFC 79 somewhere. I’ve seen posters in stores, billboards in the city. Tonight’s UFC All-Access and Countdown to UFC 79 is only going to create more excitement.
It’s a matchup years in the making. Originally planned to happen in 2003 during PRIDE’s Middleweight Grand Prix, the UFC lent Liddell to the Japanese only to have him upset for the first of two times by Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. UFC President Dana White hoped to make the dream match come to fruition last November but talks with PRIDE officials fell apart. So Dana and company went ahead and bought PRIDE which in turn ended up securing Wanderlei for them as well.
For years, a potential fight between these two has been debated back and forth between fans and MMA experts alike. If you’re a “nuthugger” of the UFC or PRIDE, you are salivating over this fight as it presents the ultimate UFC vs PRIDE situation.
As if all of that wasn’t already enough, one only has to look towards the styles of each fighter to know that this fight has the makings of an absolute war on the feet. It’s a fantastic bout pitting the aggressive striker against the counter-puncher. Doesn’t get any better than that.
All I know is that I’m getting more and more excited for tomorrow night with every passing minute and I’m sure that many others are sharing similar feelings. For those that still don’t realize or can’t comprehend what’s going down tomorrow night, those feelings will change as we count down the hours until Liddell and Silva finally clash.
It’s the biggest fight in mixed martial arts history. Can’t tell me different.