The California State Athletic Commision has announced that Kazuhiro Nakamura has tested positive for marijuana following the results of the UFC 76 post-fight tests.
Nakamura has been suspended until December 21st and has also been fined $500. Nakamura lost his UFC debut at the event against Ryoto Machida by unanimous decision.
All of the other 17 fighters were tested for drugs of abuse and passed.
The year of the upset continues…
Keith Jardine proved that those who participated in The Ultimate Fighter reality series can hang among the best in the world when he beat former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell at his own game and earned a close split decision in front of the estimated 16,000 in attendance at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA.
Liddell looked to win the first round by sending Jardine scrambling away from flurries of punches. Jardine began to score with his first few of numerous leg and body kicks but it wasn’t enough to prevent the judges from scoring the round in Liddell’s favor.
The second and third rounds were a different story however. Jardine continued to press the action while his opponent looked to land one of his patented counter-punches. Jardine (13-3-1) even knocked Liddell (20-5) down with a right hand midway through the second round, a shot that Liddell was able to absorb as he sprang back up to his feet and right back into the fight.
A number of leg and body kicks bruised and battered Liddell’s body and Jardine’s unorthodox style continued to stifle any opportunities the former champ had to get into a rhythm on the feet. When the 15 minutes was up, it was known that the judges had to make a close decision but it was also obvious that Jardine had won the fight, based on the reaction the crowd gave when Liddell raised his hands in possible victory.
Marcos Rosales was the lone judge that scored the fight for Liddell, giving him the edge by a 29-28 margin. Cecil Peoples and Richard Bertrand scored it the same but gave the victory to Jardine and ruined any chances we had of seeing a Liddell-Wanderlei Silva showdown in December.
After the fight, Jardine tried to put his win into perspective.
“The win feels great,” Jardine said. “Chuck is the greatest fighter in the history of the UFC as far as I’m concerned.”
PRIDE veteran Kazuhiro Nakamra will make his UFC debut on Sept. 22 at UFC 76: Knockout when he steps into the cage with Lyoto Machida.
Hiroshima’s Nakamura (11-6) will be making his UFC debut after fighting his entire career for the PRIDE organization. Owner of wins over Murilo Bustamante, Kevin Randleman, and Igor Vovchanchyn, this light heavyweight Judo standout has also locked horns with Dan Henderson, Wanderlei Silva, Josh Barnett, and Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, making him one of the most battle-tested veterans at the elite level of the game. He will be a tough challenge for the unbeaten Machida, who holds a stoppage win over Rich Franklin and who is 2-0 in the Octagon, with wins over Sam Hoger and David Heath.
“I’ve never hand-picked an opponent.”
Those words from the mouth of former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell were spoken in order to shoot down a slew of rumors that popped up last week concerning Liddell possibly hand-selecting Keith Jardine as his opponent at UFC 76.
Liddell discussed the Jardine rumors as well as the usual fight selection process he went through in the UFC with MMA Weekly:
“There would be no reason to hand-pick Jardine. The only time I’ve ever asked for a guy is when I asked to fight Kevin Randleman because I wanted to fight a guy that had a name at the time because they kept giving me guys as little known as I was. I think that’s the only time I’ve ever asked for someone specifically.”
“They talked to me about fighting Wanderlei in September, and I said, ‘Yeah, that’s fine. Cool. Perfect.’ Then I heard it fell out. I assumed they were going to put me with Shogun [Rua] because I knew he was on the same card. I figured they would put me with Shogun, but they came to me and said they wanted me to fight Keith. I’m not complaining. I don’t argue with people about who I’m going to fight. I fight whoever they tell me to,” explained Liddell.
Various sites reported that Liddell was offered a choice between Jardine, Mauricio Rua, Kazuhiro Nakamura, and Ryoto Machida.
News and Notes
- Our rumors section has been updated…
- We have confirmed through a source that Jason Black has inked a new four fight contract with the UFC. Also it looks like former UFC lightweight champion Jens “Little Evil” Pulver will be making his WEC debut on September 5th at WEC 30.
- TKO has announced that Bob Landry, Adrian Wooley and Valerie Letourneau will be fighting at TKO 30: Apocalypse.
- UFC Junkie is reporting that Thiago Alves will face Kuniyoshi Hironaka at UFC Fight Night 11.
- It looks like Mauricio “Shogun” Rua will make his UFC debut against Ryoto Machida at UFC 76 in September.
- Gesias “JZ” Calvancanti has pulled out of his July 16th K-1 Hero’s fight due to an undisclosed injury.
- Be sure to check out our latest rankings as well as our current poll…
OC Register: News and Notes from UFC 73
Sherdog: Cage Rage Aims to be “Hard as Hell”
Sportsnet: All-Canadian Title Fight
InTheNews UK: Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
PR.com: Mainstream MMA Announces Expansion/Growth Plans
The trend of future UFC matchups being revealed is continuing this week and UFC President Dana White is a big part of it.
White announced a trio of possible future matchups at the post-fight press conference for UFC 73:
- Anderson Silva will meet Rich Franklin for the second time in a UFC Middleweight Championship bout on October 20th in Franklin’s hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. It was announced that Franklin would face the winner of last night’s bout between Silva and Nate Marquardt after UFC 72 and White confirmed the situation last night.
- White also announced that BJ Penn has decided to stay in the lightweight division and will challenge Sean Sherk for his UFC Lightweight Title in November.
- Mirko Cro Cop will take on Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira later this year provided that he is victorious over Cheick Kongo at UFC 75 according to White.
White also stated that Chuck Liddell will most likely fight again in September during an interview yesterday on the Scott Ferrall Show:
“Chuck is probably going to fight again in September,” White said yesterday on the radio program. “We’re working on a big fight for him. We don’t have it done yet, but Chuck is chomping at the bit to jump back in there and fight again.“
This contradicts previous reports that had White saying that Liddell now wouldn’t be able to fight again until November.
White made clear about yet another possible matchup during an interview with The Gainesville Sun that would take place at UFC 76: Maurico Rua would make his UFC debut against Ryoto Machida.
Rua, a 205-pound Muay Thai specialist, is scheduled to start at UFC 76 on Sept. 22. White said Rua’s most likely first opponent will be Ryoto Machida (10-0), though Forrest Griffin said he would like the fight.
The UFC has confirmed that David Heath will serve as Forrest Griffin’s replacement at UFC 70: Nations Collide.
As we reported yesterday, Forrest Griffin was forced to pull out of his fight due to a severe staph infection in his knee.
The Fight Network is reporting that Pride veteran Fabricio Werdum is the latest fighter to jump ship to the UFC. And he’s being put in a very competitive fight to debut against former UFC heavyweight champ Andrei Arlovski. Dana White made the announcement at a press conference in Manchester, England to promote the upcoming UFC 70 and the return of the promotion to Europe. In addition to the Werdum-Arlovski match, White also announced that Ryota Machida will be on the card fighting Forrest Griffin. These are two extremely competitive matches, perhaps answering some of the recent complaints that the UFC was putting on too many mismatches.
According to the Fight Network…
Fabricio Werdum was today announced as the latest PRIDE fighter to jump to the Ultimate Fighting Championship – and Dana White warned “I’m not done yet.”
The announcement came at a press conference to formally introduce the Las Vegas-based promotion’s April 21 event in Manchester, England, at which Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Werdum (9-2-1) will fight former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski (10-5). The show, set for the Manchester Evening News Arena, will feature Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (22-4-2) vs. Gabriel Gonzaga (7-1) in the headline slot, with Clitheroe native Michael Bisping (12-0) vs. Elvis Sinosic (8-9-2) and Forrest Griffin (13-4) vs. Ryoto Machida (9-0) also signed. Dana White confirmed that should Cro Cop defeat Gonzaga, he will receive a heavyweight title match against either Tim Sylvia or Randy Couture, who fight at March 3’s UFC in Columbus, Ohio.