Three big future UFC matchups are being reported by three different sites…
UFC Mania is reporting that Chris Leben may take on Mike Swick in a rematch of their January 2004 bout at WEC 9. Leben won that bout by knockout in the second round and it was the focal point of a good amount of discussion between Leben and Swick during the first season of The Ultimate Fighter.
Yesterday UFC President Dana White also mentioned the possibility of the bout during a Q&A session with UFC Fight Club members after the UFC 73 weigh-ins. The bout is expected to take place at either UFC 76 or UFC Fight Night 11. No word on whether the fight would take place at welterweight or middleweight.
UFC Junkie is stating that Diego Sanchez and Jon Fitch are expected to meet at UFC 76:
Rising welterweight contender Jon Fitch could put his spotless UFC record on the line with a fight against Diego Sanchez at UFC 76.
Early this morning, a reliable source close to one of the fighters told UFC Junkie that the fight is in the works and expected to take place at UFC 76 on Sept. 22. The bout would be on the main card, and according to our source, may even be billed as a co-main event.
Sherdog got into the announcing of future bouts this morning when they revealed that Marcus Aurelio will make his UFC debut at UFC 74 against Clay Guida. Aurelio signed a four-fight deal with the UFC last month and is widely known for his win over Takanori Gomi at PRIDE Bushido 10. Guida is coming off a pair of close decision losses to Tyson Griffin and Din Thomas respectively.
Sherdog is reporting that B.J. Penn and Diego Sanchez have agreed to fight at UFC 74: Respect which is currently headlined by a heavyweight title fight between Randy Couture and Gabriel Gonzaga.
B.J. Penn and Diego Sanchez have agreed to fight on the undercard of the heavyweight title fight between UFC champion Randy Couture and challenger Gabriel Gonzaga, Aug. 25 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, a source speaking on the condition of anonymity told Sherdog.com.
Penn’s most recent victory came on the finale at TUF 5 when he submitted his rival Jens Pulver partway through the second round. Diego Sanchez is coming off of a decision loss to Josh Koscheck at UFC 69: Shootout.
Update: 7:30 PM: Sherdog is now reporting that B.J. Penn’s camp has denied the report of an August fight.
Penn’s camp said the fight with Sanchez had not been offered by the UFC for August, and indicated many options are being discussed as far the fighter’s future inside the octagon, which includes the possibility of him remaining at lightweight.
News and Notes:
- Renzo Gracie recently accepted Frank Shamrock’s request for a rematch on MMA Weekly’s Sound Off:
Gracie was recently on MMAWeekly Radio to responds to Shamrock’s challenge. “I never get invited to a party that I didn’t show up. I’d love to do it again,” Gracie said excitedly. Anyone who knows Gracie knows that he never shies away from a challenge and that he has the heart of a lion. “I want to finish a fight that I never had a chance to finish. I think it will be a continuation of what we had in February.”
- Maurico Rua has stated that his leg injury is not as severe as many media outlets are reporting that he will still continue to train while undergoing physical therapy.
- Jason Gilliam will be replacing an injured Drew Fickett as Chris Lytle’s opponent at UFC 73.
- UFC Junkie is reporting that Renato “Babalu” Sobral will make his return to the Octagon at UFC 74 against David Heath.
- Jess Liaudin has announced that he will be training with Team Quest for his upcoming bout at UFC 75 in September:
“I wanted to go to [Las] Vegas to train with Randy [Couture],” Liaudin said. “I saw his new gym, and it looked great. Not only that, but everyone trains down there. Martin Kampmann offered to rent me his apartment because right now he’s back home having surgery on his knee. The only thing is that his apartment is about a 15-minute drive from the gym, and I don’t drive.”
“We looked around a number of different gyms,” Liaudin said. “I always wanted to go to Team Quest, but I didn’t really want to go to Oregon. Now Dan Henderson has a gym in California. My manager got in touch with them; you can stay in a house with other fighters, they come pick you up and take you to the gym and, for extra money, they even deliver food for us.”
- Justin Levens has signed a three-fight deal with Palace Fighting Championships.
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UFC Junkie is reporting that Drew Fickett has been forced to pull out of his scheduled bout with Chris Lytle at UFC 73 because of an undisclosed injury. A second replacement opponent for Lytle has not yet been named.
Drew Fickett has been scratched from next weekend’s UFC 73 event and his opponent, Chris Lytle, is currently awaiting word on a replacement.
Lytle’s agent, Ken Pavia, confirmed the news to UFC Junkie early this morning.
Fickett was actually a replacement for Canadian Jeff Joslin, who was scratched from the event last month because of an injury.
The nature and extent of Fickett’s injury is not yet known.
Since we didn’t get a CKA up this morning and there is a ton of news to report, I thought we would do a little catching up on things…
Couture, Jackson Nominated for ‘Best Fighter’ ESPY
UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture and UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton Jackson were announced as nominees yesterday for the Best Fighter category in the 15th annual ESPY Awards.
Couture and Jackson are joined by boxers Miguel Cotto, Floyd Mayweather Jr, and Manny Pacquiao as finalists. Fans will be able to vote at the ESPY’s official site until July 7th for the winner. The awards will be televised on July 15th.
Dana White: Shamrock Rumors False; Set to Release Him From Contract
UFC President Dana White stated to Yahoo! Sports Kevin Iole that he never even thought about having Ken Shamrock take on Michael Bisping at UFC 75 in England. He also said that he is considering releasing Shamrock from the remainder of his contract.
“I don’t know if he wants to fight, but we haven’t spoken to him and I’m not planning to use him,” White said.
UFC Officially Announces UFC 74: Respect
The UFC officially announced UFC 74: Respect set for August 25th at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Two bouts were announced: Randy Couture will defend his UFC Heavyweight Title against Gabriel Gonzaga. Also former UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre will take on top-rated contender Josh Koscheck.
Tickets for the event will go on sale Sunday, July 8th.
Cote Meets Grove at UFC 74
Patrick Cote has announced via a post on The Underground forum that he will face Kendall Grove at UFC 74.
ESPN’s LeBetard Talks MMA on The Sports Reporters
ESPN commentator Dan LeBetard declared MMA as ‘the sport of tomorrow’ during ESPN’s annual Sunday morning show, The Sports Reporters.
LeBetard’s comments were as follows:
“Tomorrow’s sports fans, ages 18 to 34, have spoken,” LeBetard said. “Generation YouTube wants fights in a cage and submission holds and a bloody sport that appeals to the short attention span more than the ponderous 12 rounds of De la Hoya-Mayweather. Dying hockey would kill for the kind of future and attention and pub MMA has. Boxing is yesterday’s sport; MMA is tomorrow’s.”
You can watch the clip of the segment here via ESPN Motion.
IFL: Las Vegas, CFFC 5 Attendance Numbers
The Nevada State Athletic Commission released the attendance numbers for IFL’s Las Vegas event earlier this week. According to the NSAC, the event only brought in $93,270 at the gate. The number seems a bit low, especially when the IFL reported that the arena was sold out with a crowd of 3,200. Well apparently the IFL fibbed a little bit. It turns out that only 996 tickets were sold for the event and the IFL gave out 1,842 complimentary tix.
The New Jersey State Athletic Control Board announced that CFFC 5: Kimbo vs Mercer rang up a paid crowd of 7,286, not counting any complimentary tickets that the promotion may have given away.
Burnett, ProElite Developing Reality MMA Series
Reality TV producer Mark Burnett is planning on producing a series based on MMA in conjunction with ProElite, the parent company of Elite XC.
The most interesting thing about all of this is that Burnett now owns part of ProElite according to Loretta Hunt of The Fight Network:
As part of the agreement between Mark Burnett Productions and ProElite, Burnett was afforded the right to buy up to 17 million shares of ProElite stock at $3 a share in eight portions tied to the success of the joint venture. The format for the planned MMA series is still in the “exploration stage,” according to the report.
Earlier this week on Tagg Radio, Frank Trigg, stated that Hayato Sakurai is not fighting Diego Sanchez, at least not right now.
“One thing I do know is Sakurai is not fighting Diego at least as of Sunday morning when I talked to him, or talked to his guys, not him his english isn’t that good. He doesn’t have any plans of fighting Diego and doesn’t know anything about it.”
When asked if Sakurai had heard the rumors Trigg said…
“Yeah he’s heard them cause he’s like why do people keep asking me if I’m going to fight this guy Diego. I’m in Japan laying down, I’m literally on the couch with my wife and kids. I’m not training for this guy right now. “
Rumors of the possible Sakurai-Sanchez fight originally surfaced on KRQE News 13, a local New Mexico-based television station, when they said:
“Diego Sanchez is ready to return to the UFC stage after suffering his first defeat back in April. Sanchez will has a welterweight showdown on the UFC 74 card in Las Vegas, Nevada, August 25th. He will fight Hayato Sakuri of Japan. Sanchez says if he is victorious he could get a rematch with the only man ever to defeat him … Josh Koscheck.”
Tonight we will be going live at 9 PM EST, covering UFC Fight Night 10 with one of our patented live blogs. Be sure to leave some comments throughout the night…
While you are waiting for the event to start, feel free to check out our coverage of the event which includes predictions, media coverage, and much more:
UFC Fight Night 10
Spencer Fisher vs Sam Stout
Jon Fitch vs Roan Carneiro
Drew McFedries vs Jordan Radev
Jason Black vs Thiago Tavares
Pete Spratt vs Tamdan McCrory
Luigi Fioravanti vs Forrest Petz
Gleison Tibau vs Jeff Cox
Nate Mohr vs Luke Caudillo
Chad Reiner vs Anthony Johnson
News and Notes
- Nate Diaz and Manny Gambaryan were victorious on last night’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter 5. Diaz submitted Corey Hill with a triangle choke three minutes into the first round and Gambaryan pulled off a hard fought unanimous decision win over Matt Wiman. Diaz and Gambaryan now join Joe Lauzon and Gray Maynard in the semifinals.
- Josh Koscheck discussed his hacked MySpace account and the series of phone calls he had with Dana White with UFC Junkie after a bulletin posted by Koscheck’s account ranted on about UFC fighters not getting paid enough and made suggestions of forming a union between fighters.
- A New Mexico TV station is reporting that Diego Sanchez’s next fight will take place at UFC 74, possibly against top ranked lightweight Hayato Sakurai.
- Former boxing heavyweight champion Tommy Morrison makes his MMA debut this Saturday night at WFC: Rumble in the Red Rocks against John Stover…
- Just a quick reminder to check out the items that are currently up for auction by the Ryan Bennett Memorial Fund. The items currently available include autographed shirts by Chris Leben and Houston Alexander, an original UFC 7 poster with Ken Shamrock and Oleg Taktarov, Din Thomas’ autographed and UFC 71 worn gloves, a Poison tour used CC Deville autographed guitar, and Cole Escovedo’s WEC Featherweight Title belt autographed by the champ himself.
Video of the Day
EFC 18: Bike Week Beatdown
Total Combat 21
Combat in the Cage: Conquest
WFC: Rumble In The Red Rocks
NAAFS: Fight Night in the Flats III
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News and Notes
- Tonight’s TUF 5 episode will feature two quarterfinal bouts: Nate Diaz vs Corey Hill and Matt Wiman vs Manny Gamburyan
- Last night on bodogFIGHT: Costa Rica Combat - Nick Thompson stopped Dustin Denes with strikes on the ground in the second round and Eddie Alvarez was victorious with a TKO win over Scott Henze by TKO.
- The rumors are true when it comes to Sherdog adding a third live radio show to it’s lineup. The Stephen Quadros Show will debut on Tuesday, June 12th at 3 PM EST.
- Showtime will replay selected bouts from K-1 Dynamite!! USA this Saturday night at 9 PM EST to precede the Antonio Tarver and Chad Dawson doubleheader started at 10 PM. Brock Lesnar’s MMA debut and the rematch between Royce Gracie and Kazushi Sakuraba will be shown in their entirety while highlights from the other fights on the card will be shown.
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The Nevada State Athletic Commission announced earlier today that all of the six fighters that were tested for ‘drugs of abuse’, tested negative for any signs.
Chuck Liddell, Quinton Jackson, Karo Parisyan, Josh Burkman, Alan Belcher, and Sean Salmon were the six fighters chosen by the NSAC at random to be tested after UFC 71.
The NSAC announced earlier in the week that all six had also tested negative for performance enhancing drugs as well.