Welterweight

Elite XC Signs Nick Diaz

Elite XC Live Events President Gary Shaw announced yesterday at a news conference that the promotion has signed former UFC welterweight contender Nick Diaz.

Diaz’s manager and BJJ coach Cesar Gracie confirmed the signing yesterday and said that Diaz should be making his Elite XC debut sometime in May.

As with all of the other small MMA promotions, Gracie also added that Diaz would be able to fight in other promotions while under contract. That was a stipulation probably put in because of the postponed Gracie Fighting Championships event that Diaz was supposed to compete in this weekend and may be called on to in the future if the event is rescheduled.

Q & A: Jonathan Goulet

Jonathan “The Road Warrior” Goulet is a veteran of the UFC and TKO, holding a professional MMA record of 16-7. Some of Goulet’s more notable victories have come against Jeff Joslin, Travis Galbraith, Tony Fryklund, John Alessio, and Shonie Carter. Goulet is also currently the number one contender for the TKO Welterweight Title.

Goulet is a well rounded fighter who is versed in Karate and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and is a potent striker. His most recent fight was a loss to Josh Koscheck at UFC Fight Night 6. Goulet also recently signed a three fight deal with the UFC back in August.

Here is a short, recent question and answer set that we did with Jonathan discussing his fight with Koscheck and his plans for the near future…

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BJ Penn States Loyalty to UFC

Despite his older brother signing with Showtime to produce MMA events, BJ Penn has released a statement on his website, reaffirming his loyalty to the UFC and his quest to get his hands back on the welterweight title…

Here is the statement off of his website:

With all that recent press about my brother, JD, and his recent business decision, I want all my fans to know that I am committed to the UFC and to carrying out my dream of regaining the title of UFC Welterweight Champion of the World. See you all at the UFC.
-BJ Penn

Ludwig-Fryklund at Strikeforce: Triple Threat

NEW YORK - In what is shaping up to be a star-studded affair, knockout artist Duane “Bang” Ludwig will attempt to rebound from his recent defeat when he squares off with fellow Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) veteran, Tony “The Freak” Fryklund, during Strikeforce’s “Triple Threat” world championship mixed martial arts fight card that will be presented by BodogFIGHT at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California on Friday, December 8th.

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Shamrock’s Final Hurrah; Ortiz’s Road Block

Tomorrow night’s UFC Fight Night will mean different things to different fighters. Will tomorrow night be Ken Shamrock’s last fight, win or lose? Is Shamrock just an easy obstacle for Ortiz to hurdle over right before his December rematch with Chuck Liddell for the UFC Light-Heavyweight title.

Kendall Grove, Matt Hamill, and Ed Herman are all TUF3 guys who will be returning to the octagon against MMA veterans. Rising UFC welterweight contenders Thiago Alves and John Alessio will face off on the undercard as well.

Another fight that intrigues me - Nathan Marquardt fighting for the first since UFC 58 against Crafton Wallace. Why Marquardt hasn’t fought since March is a mystery to me. After his victory over Joe Doerksen, Marquardt was considered one of the top contenders to Rich Franklin’s middleweight belt. Since then, a handful of middleweights have gained ground and Marquardt isn’t considered in the same breath as Mike Swick, David Loiseau, and Chris Leben anymore.

Some media coverage for the readers…

UFC: Tito Ortiz - Shamrock First, Liddell Later
Miami Herald: Shamrock’s fighting mad; Raw hatred fuels Ortiz, Shamrock
Doghouse Boxing: Tito Ortiz speaks; disses Ken Shamrock
Florida Sun-Sentinel - The ultimate rematch
Tampa Tribune: UFC’s Ortiz Still Man Of People
Houston Chronicle: Ortiz, Shamrock ready for final chapter
Sherdog: Ken Shamrock Training Pictures
UFC: John Alessio - Just Getting Started
Boston Herald: Alessio, Alves to meet on October 10th
MMA Weekly - Ed Herman Ready for UFC Fight Night

A Rematch Two Years in the Making

As UFC 63 draws closer, the amount of coverage the event is starting to receive is picking up in a big way…

FOX Sports: Hughes-Penn rematch two years in the making

You might think Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight titleholder Matt Hughes is gunning for revenge going into his rematch with B.J. Penn at UFC 63 on Saturday.

After all, Penn didn’t just beat Hughes for the welterweight title in 2004. He embarrassed the champ.

But Hughes says the one-sided, first-round submission loss was precisely what he needed at the time.

“In some ways, that loss to B.J. was the best thing that ever happened to me,” said the 32-year old Hughes.

Penn Talks St. Pierre, Pulver

In case anyone is wondering, BJ Penn is already on weight for his upcoming fight against Matt Hughes on September 23rd…

“I’m in good shape. I’m at 169 pounds right now,” said Penn regarding his conditioning.

Penn was on the radio this week discussing how the fight with Hughes came about, the injury to Georges St. Pierre, and possibly fighting Jens Pulver once again. He gave plenty of interesting answers to say the least.

When asked how the match came about, Penn said, “I heard that St. Pierre might be hurt. We told Joe Silva to let us know if St. Pierre is hurt just in case you need a replacement. He [Silva] called a couple days later and said it’s on.”

With the unexpected injury, St. Pierre’s loss became BJ’s gain. “George is a great guy, no disrespect to him,” said Penn. “He’s such a tough guy. He worked his way back to the title fight. It is sad that he didn’t get the title fight… I think he made the right choice. It’s good to be at your best to come in for a fight of that caliber.”

I’m guessing that he already knew he would be the one to get the call if Georges was really hurt, which he happened to be. I know that some have said that St. Pierre should have rested some more and given training shot but BJ is right about this - A fighter wants to be 100% for this kind of opportunity.

St. Pierre had a pretty tough road back to the title compared to some fighters that lost the first time around and only won 1 or 2 fights before they got another shot - Frank Trigg and Carlos Newton are perfect examples.

Penn was also asked if he would give St. Pierre a title shot if he was to win the title from Hughes at UFC 63. His answer: an emphatic yes…

So what about Jens Pulver?

When asked about possibly dropping down in weight to face Jens Pulver in a rematch (Pulver beat Penn in 2002) , BJ responded, “Of course. In a second… I’d do it in a second. I’ll do it anytime. Let’s do it. I’m ready to go.”

“I want to be known as a champion,” added Penn. “I don’t want to be known as a great fighter. I want to be known as the best.”

Very interesting. If BJ is victorious over Hughes, I wonder if he will go with his original plan to win the belts at welterweight, lightweight, and middleweight. That would be awesome to watch.

A Title Match Under the California Sun

UFC President Dana White held a press conference on ESPN earlier today announcing the rematch of Matt Hughes and Georges St. Pierre for the UFC Welterweight Championship at UFC 63 on September 23rd. The event will take place once again at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim. Hughes beat St. Pierre the first time around, forcing him to tap out via armbar at the end of the first round at UFC 50.

The Nightmare Meets The Heat

The UFC has announced that Diego Sanchez and Karo Parisyan will fight in the main event of an August 17th Ultimate Fight Night that will precede the premiere of The Ultimate Fighter 4 on Spike TV.

I’m guessing that this will be another fight to narrow down the list of contenders in the welterweight division, but is it really doing that? After all, does the winner of this matchup meet BJ Penn? With Sean Sherk supposedly moving down to lightweight, I don’t see Joe Silva being able to match Penn up with anyone right now. If they do make him wait for the victor of Sanchez-Parisyan, that’s a pretty long layoff for BJ…

Alvarez Wins Welterweight Belt

Eddie Alvarez took home Mixed Fighting Championship’s first ever welterweight championship, stopping Derrick Noble one minute into the first round at MFC’s USA vs Russia III this weekend.

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