Tim Sylvia weighs-in for UFC 81: Breaking Point. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
After hinting that he may opt to leave the Ultimate Fighting Championship for the greener pastures of M-1 Global, Tim Sylvia now may be staying with the UFC after all, if they choose to sign him to a new deal that is.
The news comes from Five Ounces of Pain. Sam Caplan was able to sit down with Sylvia’s manager, Monte Cox, and discuss the situation.
“My situation with Tim is that we’re looking to re-sign with the UFC,” Cox told Caplan in the report. “We think he performed well against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. He got caught but he certainly showed he’s top five in the world right now. We’d like to re-sign with the UFC. But if that’s not possible there are lots of options now.”
One of those other options would obviously be M-1, of which Cox currently serves as President and CEO of the organization. The chance of potentially fighting Fedor Emelianenko would easily draw Sylvia to a new home if necessary.
t was only last month when Sylvia posted some rather stinging comments when it came to his current perception of the UFC via the message forums on his official website.
“I have one fight left on my contract,” Sylvia said in February. “I want to stay with the UFC but I’m going to go where the money is right now. Brock is making more money than me but that has to change. I have a better name than him and I’m the better fighter. My manager runs M-1 so I have a pretty good way of getting in there.”
If Sylvia and the UFC are indeed unable to reach a new deal before the former champion’s next fight, he would become the third high-profile UFC star in recent months to finish their contract with the organization. Andrei Arlovski and Josh Koscheck both became free agents after their respective fights this past weekend.
Photo by Curtis Smith. Courtesy of TimSylvia.com
In an interesting turn of events, former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia may be leaning towards a departure from the UFC following his next fight, which will also be the final fight under his current contract with the promotion.
Sylvia recently left a post in the message forums of his official website where he revealed that one of the reasons behind him leaving concerns the fact that former professional wrestling superstar Brock Lesnar may possibly be making more money than the Miletich Fighting Systems product at the moment.
“I have one fight left on my contract,” Sylvia stated. I want to stay with the UFC but I’m going to go where the money is right now. Brock is making more money than me but that has to change. I have a better name than him and I’m the better fighter. My manager runs M-1 so I have a pretty good way of getting in there. We’ll see what happens in the next few months.”
Monte Cox, who serves as Sylvia’s manager, was named President and CEO of M-1 Global this past October.
Sylvia recently fell short in a bid for the interim UFC heavyweight title when he was submitted by Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira last weekend at UFC 81: Breaking Point. The loss was the second consecutive defeat for the Iowa native, who also dropped a unanimous decision to current champion Randy Couture last March.
Touch of gloves to MMA Mania for the find.
Kimbo Slice discusses his original date to fight against Tank Abbott that was cancelled and how he feels about EliteXC’s upcoming “Street Certified” event being in his hometown of Miami in the above video courtesy of Pro Elite.
Some news for you this morning…
Sean Sherk Still Not Fighting in California
Right after his suspension for a positive steroids test was reduced instead of being overturned by the California State Athletic Commission, Sean Sherk said that he would never fight in the state of California ever again. Over three months later, he still feels the same:
“There’s no reason for me to ever fight in California again. The way they treated my case and the way they handled everything was so unprofessional that there’s absolutely no way I’ll ever fight in the state of California again, unless they get rid of the entire commission and hire a whole new commission,” Sherk told MMA Weekly.
Speaking of the CSAC, they have suspended Luke Hartwig after he tested positive for marijuana following his bout at Strikeforce “Young Guns” event on February 1st. Hartwig has been sidelined for three months (can return on May 1st) and was fined $500.
Fedor Dominates at Russian Combat Sambo Championships
Fedor Emelianenko will be competing at the 2008 Russian Combat Sambo Championships in St. Petersburg, Russia over the weekend.
So how did he do on his first day? MMA Ninja says pretty damn good.
As predicted, Fedor Emelianenko easily won all of his three fights. In his first fight, Fedor quickly attacked, after a combination of strikes he took his opponent down and submitted him. The fight was 35 seconds long. His second fight was even shorter - Fedor broke his opponent’s nose in 10 seconds.
The final fight against Stanislav Shushko took a little bit longer. Stanislav tried to keep Fedor at a distance using his height advantage, but Fedor closed the distance with a combination, went for a throw and a hold-down. The sequence of events happened once more and Fedor finished off Shushko in just over a minute.
Fan favorite Paul Buentello revealed his desire to take on former boxing heavyweight champion Tommy Morrison in one of Morrison’s “MMA rules” bouts in The Underground. Touch of gloves to our friends at Bloody Elbow for the find. Luiz Alves, Muay Thai trainer for Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, claims that he believes Tim Sylvia greased up for their title bout last weekend in a recent interview with Tatame.
Jarry Park: Carlo Prater Is Ready For The Fight Of His Life
Good morning bitches! More coverage of last night’s UFC Fight Night to come later on this morning.
Calvancante and Aoki Set to Try Again; Masvidal Added to “Strikeforce At The Dome”
It seems like Gesias Calvancante and Shinya Aoki will finally meet at a K-1 show in Japan in March. American Top Team’s manager Richie Guerrero (who manages Calvancante as well) announced the matchup yesterday during an interview on TAGG Radio.
The two were originally set to face off at Yarennoka! on New Year’s Eve but Calvancante was forced to pull out of the fight after suffering a knee injury during training. The injury occurred on the same knee that he had knee surgery on this past fall.
Guerrero also revealed that lightweight contender Jorge Masvidal will be competing at the “Strikeforce At The Dome” show next month as well. Masvidal does have an opponent but the name was unable to be announced at the time.
Aleksander Expects April Fight With Barnett
Aleksander Emelianenko, who will be fighting in M-1 Global’s first U.S. show in April along with his brother Fedor, expects to take on former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett.
Emelianenko made the announcement via his official website.
Fedor is expected to take on part-time K-1 kickboxer Semmy Schilt but Jeff Monson has also been rumored as a potential opponent. The show will most likely take place right outside of Chicago at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois.
Touch of gloves to MMA Junkie for the find.
Frank Edgar Returns at UFC Fight Night 13
I missed it and I’m sure a lot of other people did but apparently UFC play-by-play announcer Mike Goldberg stated that Frankie Edgar would be part of the UFC’s next “Fight Night” in Denver, Colorado in April.
Edgar, who has not lost yet inside of the UFC, still remains undefeated in his professional mixed martial arts career as well. Edgar is coming off of a dominating performance over Spencer Fisher en route to a unanimous decision win at UFC 78.
Props to Combat Hooligans for catching that.
BodogFight has released the full card for it’s February 1st event in Las Vegas. The Sun is reporting that Brock Lesnar, win or lose, may be tapped to headline the UFC’s June show in London England due to his overseas popularity because of professional wrestling. Roger Gracie may be fighting Hidehiko Yoshida at Sengoku in March.
Fightlinker went live with The Low Blow last night, recapping UFC Fight Night 12. Hilarious.
Interested in owning a UFC championship belt like the one above? How about the exact one above? Got $30,000 to spare? Well former UFC heavyweight champ Ricco Rodriguez is selling the title he won from Randy Couture at UFC 39 on eBay in hopes of raising money for a school Rodriguez will be opening down south.
Tim Sylvia calls Fedor a bad word
Former UFC heavyweight champion had some choice words for Fedor Emelianenko during a post-UFC 79 interview with Gary Herman of CBS Sports. When asked about Emelianenko, Sylvia stated that he feels the former PRIDE champ is ducking top competition:
“I think he’s being a (expletive),” said Sylvia. “I think Fedor is very good, but you have to fight the top level competitors all the time to keep that status, and he is just not doing that.”
According to Five Ounces of Pain, the bad word had something to do with a pussy, whatever that is…
WCO Releases Complete Card for “The Return”
The World Cagefighting Organization has released the complete card for WCO: The Return, which is set to take place January 12th at the San Diego Sports Arena.
The event is headlined by a main event between former UFC light heavyweights Renato “Babalu” Sobral and Vernon White and includes many other notable fighters competing as well. The full card is below:
Renato Sobral vs. Vernon White
Ricco Rodriguez vs. Mike Kyle
Mark Kerr vs. Rick Roufus
Jimmy Ambriz vs. Wesley Correira
Joe Riggs vs. Gustavo Machado
Virgil Zwicker vs. David Mejia
Davis Loiseau vs. Leopoldo Serao
Tiki Ghosn vs. J.J. Ambrose
Fabio Costa vs. Carlos Fuentes
Georgi Karakahyan vs. Armando Sanchez
Tony Sylvestor vs. Cain Velasquez
Touch of gloves to MMA Junkie for that find.
Sakara Joins American Top Team
Alessio Sakara has joined the ranks of ATT according to a statement made on the team’s official website:
To start off the new year, American Top Team is pleased to announce UFC fighter Alessio “Legionarius” Sakara has joined our team!
We are excited to have the opportunity to work with Alessio, who is known for his explosive stand up style of fighting. We look forward to working with Alessio and help him improve his overall mma game and take him to the top!
Sakara returns at UFC 80: Rapid Fire later this month when he takes on newcomer James Lee. The fight is expected to be Sakara’s last at 205 lbs as he has expressed plans to move down to the middleweight division following the fight.
We will have a brand new MMA on Tap Top 10 posted later today. Our rumors page has been updated. Randy Couture will be hosting a charity poker tournament at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on January 12th. Couture, Jamie Gold, and Dean Cain are all expected to participate. Leland Rolling takes a look at what’s next for Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva. A matchup between Jake Bostwick and John Phillips has been added to Cage Rage 25 according to The Fight Network.
Since it’s Christmas Eve and there’s not a lot of news going on, I thought why not make a list of MMA-related things that I’d like to see next year.
These are in no particular order…
1. Randy Couture vs Fedor Emelianenko - I’m not the only one that wants to see this. EVERYONE wants to see this. It’d be the biggest fight ever. Since Fedor opted to sign with M-1 Global instead of the UFC, we are going to have to wait until at least October to learn whether or not Couture’s contract with the UFC is really finished or that’s he going to have to fight twice more in order to finally get out.
Hopefully what Couture says holds true. If not, Dana and company have to work out some kind of working partnership with M-1, at least for the sake of the fans if nothing else.
2. The return of Evan Tanner - Now that Tanner has officially signed a new four-fight deal with the UFC, it’s only a matter of time before he is finally set to step back into the Octagon. I’m not doubting that it’s going to happen by wishing for it. I just want to finally see it take place.
The guy has battled some personal demons over the past two years and I’m sure that the majority of MMA fans would like nothing more than to see Tanner achieve his dream of fighting again in the UFC. On top of that, Tanner says he has the goods to knock off Anderson Silva. Ask anyone to make a list of fighters that could beat Silva and you’ll see Tanner on there almost every time.
3. Floyd Mayweather in MMA - After months and months of putting MMA down and then deciding that he might want to try it, it’s time to put up or shut up for boxing’s best pound for pound fighter. If he fights under Mark Cuban’s HDNet Fights banner, money won’t even be an issue. If Mayweather does go into MMA, I think that he’ll try to spin it for all it’s worth. Based on the fact that he has zero experience, the athletic commission is going to force the matchmakers to put Floyd up against another fighter that has not fought professionally and has very little amateur experience, most likely a guy that Mayweather could knock out in the first round.
It’ll probably be an exhibition bout too. After that Mayweather will declare that boxing is superior to MMA and will never step into a cage again. Then a slew of professional MMA fighters will call him out and he’ll try to explain that he has no reason to go back and fight again in MMA. Still, it’ll definitely be fun to watch.
4. Josh Barnett and Takanori Gomi to sign somewhere - Ever since the demise of PRIDE, these two have been nowhere to be found. While Barnett kept some of the spotlight on him in 2007 with his war of words with Dana White and his submission grappling match a few days ago, he still hasn’t fought in an MMA bout since losing to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira nearly one year ago.
Gomi’s loss changed to a no contest against Nick Diaz was the former PRIDE Lightweight Champ’s only bout in ‘07. Since then, he’s been competely silent. These two are among the elite in their respective weight classes and aren’t getting any younger. It’s time to sign somewhere and get fighting again.
5. The UFC video game to come out in ‘08 - Yes, I know that it’s slated for a 2009 release but it could be finished early, right? It was UFC Throwdown’s release in 2002 that got me into the world of MMA. We haven’t had a new game since Sudden Impact in ‘04. The trailer for THQ’s new project looks amazing and I can’t wait. While I’m at it, Sam Caplan has a great article on UFC: Throwdown and what he hopes THQ will include in the new game coming out.
The UFC has apparently turned down an offer from M-1 Global to do a cross-promotional fight between UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture and Fedor Emelianenko.
The news comes from Steve Sievert of The Houston Chronicle who has a direct quote from Couture himself:
“We got an official offer from M-1 to the UFC to do a co-promotion for the Couture-Emelianenko fight, and they (UFC) rejected that offer. Really, the only thing standing in the way for that fight right now is Dana and the UFC. Obviously, M-1 is happy to do a co-promotion like that. It only serves to help them. I think the UFC is looking at it the other way, and it’s like why do we want to help out another organization? The fans want to see that fight. At some point, you have to put that first.”
It kind of depends when exactly this offer was made. If it was made during the period of time where Couture and the UFC were at each other’s throats, I can certainly see why Dana White and company would throw the offer aside. No matter what happens, I’m sure we’ll see this fight eventually.
During last night’s HDNet Fights broadcast, current UFC heavyweight champion (for now) Randy Couture stated that he would be interested in fighting Fedor Emelianenko when he is free from his UFC contract next October.
Sherdog has the exact quote:
“Unless the UFC wants to do a co-promotion with M-1 and make the Fedor fight happen, I’m going to have to wait ‘til my contract expires,” Couture told HDNet’s Ron Kruck. “I have no intention of breaching that contract; that expires in July. My employment contract expires with them in October. So I would assume the soonest you’d see me fight Emelianenko would be in October.”
I’m pretty sure that Dana and company aren’t going to care that Randy has publicly said that he isn’t going to breach his contract but I’m sure they’ll be a little ticked that he has breathed some life into the drama between the two once again.
Apparenetly Couture’s remarks were a hot topic at the HDNet Fights press conference as well according to MMA Junkie:
It became a hot topic again in a post-fight press conference.
“I’m not sure what’s going to happen with me at this point,” Couture said. “I have a contract with the UFC that I have to honor. I can’t breach that or I’ll end up in litigation, so I don’t intend to do that.
Provided that Fedor is successful against Hong-Man Choi later this month, this could potentially be the biggest fight in history as we all know. I really hope it happens.
DALLAS - Andrew Simon, CEO of HDNet Fights, announced today that HDNet will feature the man considered by many to be the greatest fighter in any weight-class, Fedor Emelianenko in a LIVE bout from Japan only available in the United States on HDNet.
“HDNet Fights: Fedor Returns” will air LIVE on Monday, December 31 on HDNet.
This LIVE broadcast is made possible by a partnership between M-1 Global and HDNet Fights.
Officials running the mega New Years Eve event Yarennoka! held a press conference yesterday at Hayato “Mach” Sakurai’s newly opened gym to announce two additional bouts for the event.
Gilbert Melendez going up against Mitsuhiro Ishida was one of the announced fights. We reported on this fight being signed last week.
The other fight that was revealed was former Shooto welterweight champion Tatsuya Kawajiri facing off against Luiz Azeredo.
Kawajiri is coming off of an unanimous decision loss to Gilbert Melendez at PRIDE Shockwave 2006 which took place last New Year’s Eve. Before the loss, Kawajiri had won nine out of his last ten bouts. Azeredo has not fought since winning a decision over Paul Daley at Cage Rage 19 in December of 2006. Azeredo owns a win over current UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva.
DEEP official Shigeru Saeki expects the fight to be a war on the feet:
“I expect Kawajiri’s fight with Azeredo to be an aggressive fisticuff style fight,” Saeki said. “It will be exciting.”