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.
Video of the Day
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.”
Here are the official weigh-in results for IFL: Seattle.
Tokyo Sabres vs. Portland Wolfpack
Orvil Palmer (233.6) vs. Devin Cole (247.5)
Kazuhiro Hamanaka (185) vs. Matt Horwich (185)
Vladimir Matyushenko (204) vs. Aaron Stark (205)
Antonio McKee (169) vs. Mike Dolce (170)
Savant Young (155) vs. Ryan Schultz (155)
L.A. Anacondas vs. Seattle Tiger Sharks
Benji Radach (185) vs. Bristol Marunde (184)
Chris Horodecki (153) vs. Shad Lierley (153)
Jay Hieron (170) vs. Brad Blackburn (170)
Alex Schoenauer (204) vs. Allan Goes (205)
Krzysztof Soszynski (230) vs. Reese Andy (208)
IFL: Seattle Weigh-In
IFL: IFL Seattle Preview, Part 1
IFL: IFL Seattle Preview, Part 2
Sherdog: Anacondas Canadian Contingent Making Waves
Sherdog: Season Hangs in the Balance for Portland, Seattle
MMAWeekly: Can Lierley Pull Off Big Upset in IFL?
The Fight Network: Building a Foundation
News and Notes
- Our rumors page has been updated…
- Check back with us later today for a preview of what’s coming up in the world of MMA during the month of June.
- No word yet on whether or not the WEC has found a replacement opponent for Brock Larson for the promotion’s first ever televised event on Versus. Larson was originally supposed to challenge Carlos Condit for the WEC Welterweight Title but Condit was forced to bow out of the bout after sustaining an injury during training.
- The Fight Network is reporting that David Loiseau is currently sidelined with a broken thumb and will be out of action for 2-3 weeks:
David Loiseau (15-7) is currently sidelined with a broken thumb that required surgery two weeks ago. “The Crow” suffered the injury during his win over Freddie Espiricueta on May 11th at the Arena Fighting Championship’s “Art of War II” show in Austin, Texas.
The Canadian middleweight defeated Espiricueta with an arm-triangle submission in the second round, after damaging his right hand earlier in the fight.
“I have to wait two to three more weeks [before removing the cast] and then I’ll start training again,” said the 27 year old.
Nonetheless, the Montreal native has been forced to withdraw from the upcoming Steele Cage Promotions IFO event in Las Vegas on July 7. Loiseau was slated to face Chilo Gonzalez (9-7) in the upstart MMA organization launched by former boxing referee Richard Steele.
Video of the Day
This Friday’s IFL Battleground will feature the greatest knockouts in IFL history…
LOS ANGELES – Jake Shields was bred to be a beast in the ring. The life-long vegetarian always has lived a lifestyle that has provided him with the type of brute strength, determination and tremendous heart required to be a successful Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter.
So far, Shields has met with nothing but enormous success.
Raised in a remote area in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Northern California, Shields has been wrestling competitively since he was nine years old. When he was just five, Shields would climb over neighboring mountains to visit his nearest friends an hour away. Now, he is ready to take on a new obstacle: the ranks of the MMA welterweight division as he prepares to fight Ido Pariente on Saturday, June 2, 2007, at the LA Coliseum.
Shields will make his SHOWTIME debut for ProElite/EliteXC during a one-hour telecast on SHOWTIME that begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. The pay-per-view portion of the June 2 mega event, entitled “ProElite presents Dynamite!! USA,” will immediately follow (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) and feature up to six bouts. It will be produced and distributed live by SHOWTIME® PPV.
Tonight we will be going live at 10 PM EST, covering UFC 71: Liddell vs Jackson 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 an official preview, predictions, media coverage, and much more:
UFC 71: Liddell vs Jackson
Main Card Bouts:
Chuck Liddell vs Quinton Jackson
Karo Parisyan vs Josh Burkman
Ivan Salaverry vs Terry Martin
Keith Jardine vs Houston Alexander
Chris Leben vs Kalib Starnes
Din Thomas vs Jeremy Stephens
James Irvin vs Thiago Silva
Wilson Gouveia vs Carmelo Marrero
Alan Belcher vs Sean Salmon
Earlier today UFC President Dana White held a conference call with various members of the media in order to discuss this weekend’s UFC 71 event. Many other topics were touched upon and just like our recap of the UFC 70 conference call, we’ve got everything covered…
White’s Thoughts on UFC 71’s main event: Chuck Liddell vs Quinton Jackson:
White came right out and said that he was very excited for the fight as is everyone. He said that the mentality of both fighters are going to make it an exciting fight. He said that Chuck’s striking is obviously going to give Jackson trouble but so will Jackson’s athletic ability for Liddell. White stated that style-wise, it’s a bad matchup for Liddell and that we were able to see that in the first fight between the two.
White pressed on the fact that Liddell has the opportunity in front of him to finally avenge every loss that he’s ever suffered. One of the most interesting things that White said was that Jackson usually “fights to the level of his competition”. He noted that Jackson beat Marvin Eastman but he did it in a fashion that nobody was really impressed by. White said that because Liddell is such a high-caliber fighter, Jackson’s game will be on that same level and he will look much better in this fight then when he fought Eastman at UFC 67.
White briefly touched on Liddell’s controversial segment on Good Morning Dallas a few months back where he appeared to be under the influence of something. White attributed Liddell’s state to the lifestyle that he lives due to being famous. White said that he and other UFC officials promptly took care of the matter when it arose and that everything is fine now concerning that situtation.
White Discusses Potential Signing of Mauricio Rua; Possible Addition of Wanderlei Silva:
It’s been rumored for about a week now that the UFC has signed Mauricio Rua. Well White went ahead and all but confirmed that Rua will be part of the UFC when he said that the winner of Saturday night’s Liddell-Jackson bout will then have to face a challenger that the UFC is bringing in. White also said that the challenger will be revealed during the UFC 71 broadcast.
When asked who that challenger could be, White said that it could be one of two people - Mauricio Rua and Wanderlei Silva. However White then talked into detail about Rua and how he will most likely be fighting Liddell within the next year, all but confirming that the UFC has come to terms with him. White also made the surprising announcement that the UFC “has to bring in Wanderlei Silva”. White said that the winner of Saturday’s fight could also possibly be facing Silva in their next fight as well.
White Gives an Update on PRIDE Sale:
The whole PRIDE ordeal was definitely the most asked question during the conference call but it was also the one topic that White couldn’t really give any definitive answers to. White blamed the reason behind his lack of a definite answer on his busy travel schedule - That doesn’t make any sense, I know but he said it. White assured everyone that the fans would still be able to see the marquee matchups between fighters of both organizations at some point this year.
White Talks Huerta Sports Illustrated Cover, Sanchez’s Thoughts on Retirement, Vera’s Status, and St.Pierre-Koscheck at UFC 74:
White praised Roger Huerta for making the cover of Sports Illustrated and went on to talk about how the sport of MMA is finally becoming mainstream and achieving the dream that White and the Fertitta Brothers had for it. He also made a mention of Chuck Liddell’s appearance on the cover of ESPN the Magazine.
The most shocking thing that was discussed during the press conference was White’s confession that Diego Sanchez nearly announced his retirement one day before UFC 69 because doctor’s thought that he had contracted Hepatitis C. Doctors ran multiple tests on Sanchez after that and they kept on coming up negative so they then ruled that he in fact did not have Hepatitis C and the test where he tested positive was faulty. According to White, the doctors still thought that something was wrong with Sanchez, but because they couldn’t figure it out, they let him fight anyway. The next day, Sanchez was diagnosed with a staph infection after an enormous hole developed on his leg.
White assured everyone that Brandon Vera was still with the company and will remain with the company for a long time to come. Vera is currently figuring out personal matters between him and his former manager before he starts actively fighting again. White stated that the winner of the fight between Josh Koscheck and Georges St. Pierre at UFC 74 would get the winner of the Matt Serra-Matt Hughes welterweight title bout at some point in the winter.
White Bashes the NJSAC, K-1, IFL, and Tito Ortiz:
White openly bashed the New Jersey State Athletic Commission for deciding to sanction the upcoming June bout between underground fighting legend Kimbo Slice and former heavyweight champion Ray Mercer. Despite the criticism, White mentioned that the UFC would most likely be returning to the state later this year. K-1 got just as much of White’s wrath for the strong possibility that their Dynamite!! USA show scheduled for June 2nd may be cancelled. White said that the promotion was insane for thinking that could fill up the Los Angeles Coliseum when in fact they have trouble filling up small ballrooms in Las Vegas for their kickboxing tournaments.
White’s bashing of the IFL and Tito Ortiz was pretty much the same as always: The IFL is “retarded” and Ortiz is a baby…
Sherdog.com is reporting Canadian welterweight Jeff “The Inferno” Joslin (5-3) has been forced to withdraw from his fight at UFC 73 with Chris Lytle (22-14-5) due to an injury. Taking Joslin’s place will be UFC vet Drew Fickett (29-5-0).
According to an article on ‘The Fight Network’, Joslin was craving the opportunity to fight a well-known name but to his dismay the injury bug bit him again.
“I’ve been going through a few days of being pissed off,” a disappointed Joslin said today. “I was looking forward to the fight; he’s [Lytle] a well-known name and it was a good opportunity.”
UFC 73: Stacked is scheduled to take place July 7th at the ARCO Arena in Sacramento, California.
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.”