The UFC officially announced the main event for UFC 78: Validation earlier this morning as Ultimate Fighter 2 winner Rashad Evans will take on Ultimate Fighter 3 winner Michael Bisping on November 17th at the brand new Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Both Evans and Bisping are currently undefeated inside of the Octagon.
Evans earned a split decision over Brad Imes at The Ultimate Fighter 2 Finale and went on to rack up four more consecutive victories with wins over Stephan Bonnar, Sam Hoger, Jason Lambert, and a spectacular knockout of Sean Salmon. Evans’ last fight was a draw against former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Tito Ortiz at UFC 73.
Bisping stopped Josh Haynes at The Ultimate Fighter 3 Finale and then went on to defeat Eric Schafer and Elvis Sinosic respectively. Bisping recently earned a controversial split decision over fellow TUF 3 cast mate Matt Hamill.
The fight will mark the first time that winners of The Ultimate Fighter will meet inside the Octagon.
Also announced for UFC 78 is a light heavyweight battle between two dangerous strikers as upstart Houston Alexander faces off against Chute Boxe’s Thiago Silva.
Alexander has bursted onto the UFC scene rather quickly, scoring impressive first round knockouts of Keith Jardine and Alessio Sakara in his first two fights. Silva won his UFC debut when opponent James Irvin was unable to continue after suffering a knee injury. Silva followed up with another victory over Tomasz Drwal at UFC 75.
News and Notes
- The CSAC has announced that the following fighters have tested negative for performance enhancing drugs following post-fight testing for UFC 76: Thiago Tavares, Tyson Griffin, Ryoto Machida, Anthony Johnson, and Rich Clementi. The only test results from the event that haven’t been released yet are of Chuck Liddell, Mauricio Rua, Forrest Griffin, and Keith Jardine. The results for those fighters are expected to be released later in the week.
- Josh Thomson spoke with The Fight Network concerning a possible lawsuit Thomson may file against former UFC Middleweight Champion Frank Shamrock. Shamrock reportedly called Thomson “MMA’s first openly gay fighter” during this past weekend’s Strikeforce broadcast.
“I kind of snickered about it,” Thomson said, “but I also have had some big money sponsors coming up to me and asking me whether it was true or not. That potentially could cost me money, and that, to me, is basically what I’m getting at.”
I know that Thomson has some crazy hair and his appearance on “Blind Date” didn’t really go that well but I don’t believe Thomson is gay.
Thomson and Shamrock have had a feud going for well over a year now. Thomson attributes the tension due to the fact that Shamrock was angry that fighters from the American Kickboxing Academy decided against joining a new gym that Shamrock was opening. Shamrock has claimed in the past that Thomson has been bad mouthing him for years.
- Tonight’s episode of UFC Unleashed will feature Renato “Babalu” Sobral vs Jason Lambert from UFC 68 and Houston Alexander vs Keith Jardine from UFC 71. I’m not sure what the third fight on the broadcast will be. Don’t forget that The Ultimate Fighter is on right after that.
- Punch Drunk Gamer posted a recent interview with Josh Barnett where Barnett states that he would like to fight in Pancrase:
“I would like to be fighting in Pancrase. I would love to continue fighting there and hopefully I will get a chance to defend my belt this year. I have had some trouble with getting promoters to honor what they agreed to and cooperate with Pancrase to get a match set-up. So now that I am a free agent I would like to do it.”
Barnett has always noted in the past that he would like the chance to defend his belt in Pancrase as a stipulation in any contract he signs with an organization. However since talks haven’t gone anywhere with anyone, it seems that Barnett may do that before signing anywhere.
Touch of gloves to Five Ounces of Pain for the find.
- Ricco Rodriguez is going to headline Battle Cage Xtreme III in New Jersey on October 20th. He will take on Kauai Kupihiea for the USKBA Heavyweight Title.
- Speaking of Ricco, he’s apparently going to be a cast member of VH1’s newest reality show, Celebrity Rehab. The series debuts on January 10th.
- Fight Opinion wants you to help decide what they should discuss on their next radio show.
- In a recent interview with Sherdog’s John Lee, SpiritMC CEO Kwang Hyun Park stated that current SpiritMC Middleweight Champion Steve Bruno has signed with the UFC:
As for SpiritMC middleweight champion Steve Bruno, Park says, “As far as I know, Steve has signed with the UFC, but we have made it clear that he needs to defend his title.”
I give this guy an A for effort. Hopefully the UFC considers him at least.
News and Notes
Everyone is excited about the return of Gilbert Melendez…
Sherdog: Melendez Makes 2007 Debut in Strikeforce
MMA Weekly: Melendez Returns More Determined Than Ever
Yahoo! Sports: Melendez the best fighter you might not know
Bloody Elbow: The World’s #1 Lightweight Fights Saturday at the Playboy Mansion
CBS Sports: Q&A with Strikeforce lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez
- Jordan Breen says that the UFC is trying to secure another TV deal in Japan with WOWOW:
In the most recent issue of the Japanese combat sports periodical Gonkaku, Zuffa co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta said he hoped to ink a new deal with Japanese satellite channel WOWOW next year. He added that an agreement could be accomplished sooner rather than later.
While a deal is far from complete, this is good news for Japanese MMA fans. As of March 2007, WOWOW has just over 2.43 million subscriptions in Japan. After the channel’s UFC 70 telecast in April, network executives had officially announced that they could not reach a contractual agreement with Zuffa to continue broadcasting UFC events.
- Din Thomas will most likely be out for at least four months according to MMA Weekly.
You may remember that Thomas injured his knee while attempting to take Kenny Florian down in their fight at UFC Fight Night 11. It turns out that Thomas suffered a torn meniscus, stretched anterior cruciate ligament, bruised femur, and a damaged tibia and will be required to undergo arthroscopic surgery within the next two weeks.
- Falaniko Vitale has been added to the Strikeforce card for this Saturday and will make his Strikeforce debut against Ron Fields.
- 411 Mania has confirmed with B.J. Penn’s camp that he is booked for UFC 79 in December.
- Tonight’s episode of Human Weapon on The History Channel will feature Strikeforce welterweight Cung Le.
- The second installment of Inside MMA will be broadcasted tonight at 9:30 PM EST on HDNet. Tonight’s episode will feature a segment on Shane Carwin, a visit to Duke Roufus’ MMA school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, highlights, and rankings. Hosts Kenny Rice and Bas Rutten will be joined by guests UFC referee “Big” John McCarthy, Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson, and Chris Bruno.
- Still looking for something else to watch? Spike TV will be airing a replay of UFC Fight Night 11 tonight starting at 9 PM EST.
- Zach Arnold is reporting that Kazuhiro Nakamura and his management team, J-Rock, plan to file an appeal with the CSAC:
J-ROCK, the management team of Kazuhiro Nakamura, fired back at the California State Athletic Commission in the Japanese press on Thursday. The company released a statement on behalf of Nakamura, denying that he was guilty of using marijuana and that they are appealing the ruling. They want a drug test re-examination and are considering the current ruling a mistake. (In the statement, J-ROCK claims that they talked to Nakamura after the news of the failed drug test came out. Nakamura stated that he had no motive whatsoever for using marijuana and has not used marijuana.)
- Sam Caplan has an excellent interview with UFC light heavyweight contender Houston Alexander at Five Ounces of Pain. A single father taking care of six kids while fighting in the UFC, hosting his own radio show, and traveling the country to lecture on the culture of hip hop. Holy shit.
For at least one more night, it was UFC vs PRIDE.
UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and PRIDE Middleweight title holder Dan Henderson clashed last night in order to determine who currently is the best fighter in the world at 205 lbs. It was Jackson that came away victorious after five long and hard fought rounds at the sold out O2 Arena in London, England.
Jackson overcame being down on points earlier in the fight to win the final two rounds in convincing fashion and to give the judges more than enough reason to award him an unanimous decision.
Henderson (22-6) controlled the fight early on, clinching early and often to keep Jackson (28-6) at bay and unable to let his hands go. Jackson fought hard to prevent the two-time U.S. Olympic wrestler from taking him down but Henderson’s skill proved too much in the first few rounds.
However the rounds quickly caught up to Henderson and Jackson used his size and strength to wear down his opponent. The final stages of the fight saw Jackson beat Henderson at his own game, showing off newly polished ground skills that have become yet another weapon in Jackson’s dangerous arsenal. The final round saw both fighters lay everything on the line. Both were content to slug it out until the final bell where Henderson collapsed due to fatigue, allowing Jackson to pound away until the referee was forced to let the fighters know that the bout was over.
After the fight, Jackson let everyone know that his success on the ground wasn’t a fluke.
“A lot of people don’t know but I’ve got Jiu-Jitsu,” exclaimed Jackson.
Today we will be going live at 1:30 PM EST, covering UFC 75: Champion vs Champion with one of our patented live blogs. Be sure to leave some comments throughout the day and night…
Since this event is taking place in England and airing in North America via tape delay at 9 PM EST on Spike TV, we will be sure to keep the live blog hidden from the front of the page. In order to view it in it’s entirety, click on the “continue reading” link at the bottom of the post.
While you are waiting for the event to start, feel free to check out our coverage of the event which includes predictions, weigh-in results, and much more:
UFC 75 Weigh-In Results
Dan Henderson: “This is the Biggest Fight of my Career”
PRIDE’s Last Hurrah? Possibly Not
Rampage Discusses Strategy Against Henderson
Dan Henderson on Best Damn Sports Show Period
UFC 75 Conference Call Notes
Rampage Discusses Bout With Henderson
Cro Cop’s Training Regimen Revealed?
UFC 75 to Air on Spike TV
Quinton Jackson vs. Dan Henderson - UFC Light Heavyweight Title/PRIDE Middleweight Title Unification Bout
Mirko Cro Cop vs. Cheick Kongo
Michael Bisping vs. Matt Hamill
Houston Alexander vs. Alessio Sakara
Marcus Davis vs. Paul Taylor
Jess Liaudin vs. Anthony Torres
Gleison Tibau vs. Terry Etim
Thiago Silva vs. Tomasz Drwal
Dennis Siver vs. Naoyuki Kotani
Here are the official results from the UFC 75 weigh-ins:
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (204 lbs) vs. Dan Henderson (204 lbs)
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (220 lbs) vs. Cheick Kongo (231 lbs)
Michael Bisping (205 lbs) vs. Matt Hamill (205 lbs)
Alessio Sakara (205 lbs) vs. Houston Alexander (203 lbs)
Marcus Davis (169 lbs) vs. Paul Taylor (171 lbs)
Thiago Silva (204 lbs) vs. Tomasz Drwal (204 lbs)
Jess Liaudin (170 lbs) vs. Anthony Torres (170 lbs)
Dennis Siver (154 lbs) vs. Naoyuki Kotani (155 lbs)
Gleison Tibau (156 lbs) vs. Terry Etim (155 lbs)