Media

Couture’s Big Announcement

Be sure to tune into ‘Inside the UFC’ on Thursday night as Randy “The Natural” Couture will be interviewed and he has a big announcement to make.

To the loyal readers, feel free to leave comments on what you think the announcement might be. Personally, I have a feeling “The Natural” will be coming out of retirement to fight Tim Sylvia for the UFC heavyweight title at UFC 68 in Ohio.

Silva-Henderson to Headline PRIDE 33

Loretta Hunt of ‘The Fight Network’ is reporting that PRIDE 33 will be headlined by a rematch between PRIDE champions Wanderlei Silva and Dan Henderson.

Henderson and Silva battled back in December of 2000 where fans saw “The Axe Murder” Wanderlei Silva win by decision.

In 2000, Henderson didn’t draw a favorable straw in Silva for his PRIDE debut, but the wrestler with little formal stand-up training made the most of it, pulverizing the Brazilian’s face to a mangled mesh of purple and red on route to a decision loss with the then unstoppable fighter.

This fight will give Henderson the opportunity to hold a title in two different weight classes.

“As impossible as it seems, I will make him even uglier than he is already,” Henderson promised from his home in Southern California today.

EliteXC Debut Card is Set

Pro Elite has announced the full card for the upcoming Elite Xtreme Combat show. The event will take place February 10th at the Desoto Civic Center in Southaven, Mississippi. Also the show will air live on Showtime starting at 10 PM EST.

Frank Shamrock vs. Renzo Gracie
Wesley “Cabbage” Correira vs. Antonio Silva
David Loiseau vs. Joey Villasenor
Charles Bennett vs. KJ Noons
Gina Carano vs. TBA
Bo Cantrell vs. Tim Persey
Seth Kleinbeck vs. Riki Fukuda
Adriano Periera vs. Javier Vasquez
Mike Pyle vs. Ross Ebanez
John Shackelford vs. Edson Berto

WEC Card Coming Together

The first WEC card under Zuffa ownership is quickly coming together with just 15 days to go until the event.  One of the main events has been dropped, that being Jorge Oliviera vs Doug Marshall.  The card including heavily rumored fights looks like this:

WEC Lightweight Title: Rob McCullough vs. Kit Cope
WEC Featherweight Title: Urijah Faber vs. Joe Pearson
Alex Karalexis vs. Olaf Alfonso
Carlos Condit vs. Alex Serduykov
Josh Smith vs. Casey Olson
Rich Crunkilton vs. Mike Joy (Rumored)
John Alessio vs. Brian Gassaway (Rumored)
Brandon Seguin vs. Fernando Gonzalez (Rumored)

A couple of potentially great fights on there, especially the two title fights and the Condit/Serduykov match.  This is a very good offering for the re-invented WEC.  Eventually, most of these fights will likely end up on VERSUS, the network that the WEC signed on to broadcast their events.

WEC Update

The World Extreme Cagefighting’s first card under Zuffa is beginning to take shape.

The card’s main event will pit heavy-handed lightweights Kit Cope and “Razor” Rob McCullough in a battle that will be for the vacant WEC lightweight title. The belt was originally held by Hermes Franca but he decided to vacate it when he recently signed a new four-fight deal with the UFC.

Doug “The Rhino” Marshall will battle Chute Boxe USA’s Jorge Oliveira for the vacant WEC light heavyweight title. Oliveira became a WEC fighter when the Zuffa purchased the contracts of the WFA. Zuffa decided they’d showcase Oliveira in the newly acquired WEC.

Urijah Faber will defend his WEC featherweight title against PRIDE veteran Joe Pearson. Faber much like MuCullough, Cope and Oliveira was acquired when Zuffa purchased the WFA. Faber was sent to the WEC because he fights at 145 lbs and the UFC doesn’t currently have a featherweight division. Faber’s only MMA loss came to the hands of UFC veteran Tyson Griffin at Gladiator Challenge 42.

Since acquiring the WEC, Zuffa has been working hard to put on a solid first show which will showcase some of their lightweight talent. WEC event’s are also expected to appear on Versus.

Pyle Signs With Showtime; O’Brien, Kampmann Receive UFC Extensions

Today, Pavia, Ciscone & Associates announced that Mike Pyle has signed a three-fight deal with the newly formed Showtime organization, Elite Xtreme Combat. Pyle’s first fight will come against Ross “The Boss” Ebanez on February 10, 2007.

Also it has been announced that the UFC has re-signed Martin “Hitman” Kampmann and “Irish” Jake O’Brien to three-fight extensions.

UFC Update: Herring, Cro Cop, Franca, WEC

MMAWeekly and Sherdog both now have articles up which are reporting that Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic has signed in the UFC. The announcement will be made this Saturday at UFC 66: Liddell vs. Ortiz II. Cro Cop’s first fight is expected to come at UFC 67 against Eddie Sanchez.

Along with the signing of Mirko Cro Cop, it has been announced and PRIDE and K-1 veteran Heath Herring has signed a five-fight deal with the UFC which will see him make his debut January 25th against Jake O’Brien. Herring was one of the many contracts acquired when the UFC bought out the WFA.

InsideFighting is reporting that Hermes Franca will make his return to the octagon against Spencer Fisher on January 25th at the UFC Fight Night in Miami, Florida. Nothing has been confirmed but it is expected that the winner will become the number one contender in the lightweight division. Franca’s manager, Joe Mullings said, ““Nothing is guaranteed but the direction of conversation has been that either Fisher or Franca will likely be in line for a shot at (UFC lightweight champion) Sean (Sherk).”

Things are starting to come together with the UFC and HBO, as I posted yesterday, Larry Merchant confirmed that the UFC would appear on the network when he said “People look at it (UFC) as real wrestling. And next year HBO and Showtime, they both will test the waters and see if this works. I don’t know what Showtime is doing, but we’ll do four and see how it goes.”

MMAWeekly is reporting that various independent sources have confirmed that WEC will no renew their deal with HDNet but rather they will sign a deal with Versus. The deal calls for six shows to be televised next year including three live shows and three on tape delay. The first Zuffa-owned WEC event will take place January 20th as Kit Cope and Rob McCullough will be headlining the card. It is still unknown whether or not this event will be included in the television deal. Both McCullough and Cope’s contracts were acquired when the UFC purchased the WFA.

UFC on HBO Update

Pedro Fernandez at Ring TALK is reporting that Larry Merchant confirmed that HBO will be testing its luck with the UFC in 2007.

“People look at it (UFC) as real wrestling. And next year HBO and Showtime, they both will test the waters and see if this works. I don’t know what Showtime is doing, but we’ll do four and see how it goes.”

UFC Update: St. Pierre, Cro Cop, Rampage, Franca

UFC President Dana White has stated that UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre may be fighting Diego Sanchez April 7th in Montreal for the welterweight title. It was originally thought that St. Pierre would rematch Matt Hughes but it’s now up in the air.

It is all but confirmed that PRIDE Open Weight Grand Prix champion Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic has signed with the UFC. Look for an announcement to come soon, possibly on the December 30th show.

On the most recent edition of ‘Inside the UFC’, lightweights Jens Pulver and B.J. Penn were introduced as the coaches for season 5 of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ and also Joe Rogan announced that Quinton “Rampage” Jackson would be fighting in the UFC in 2007.

It has been confirmed that Quinton “Rampage” Jackson’s first fight in the UFC will come against UFC and PRIDE veteran Marvin Eastman at UFC 67. This fight was originally scheduled to take place on WFA: King of the Streets II but the fight was cancelled and shortly after the Zuffa LLC purchased the organization.

Randy Couture’s name has reemerged in the media as he stated that if Tito Ortiz beats Chuck Liddell at UFC 66, he’ll come out of retirement to fight Ortiz. “If Tito finds a way to beat Chuck, I’m going to have to come out of retirement and give Tito a whack.”

InsideFighting.com sat down with UFC lightweight Hermes Franca and he stated that he signed a new four fight deal with the UFC and his next fight would be January 25th at the Hard Rock in Miami, Florida.

Be sure to tune into Spike TV Thursday, December 28th, as they will be airing UFC 66: Countdown to Liddell vs. Ortiz II, All Access with Chuck Liddell and of course Inside the UFC with Joe Rogan. That will be followed by Live and Inside at 10 PM on Friday.

Finally remember to tune in live on December 30th at 10 PM EST as I’ll be doing one of our patented ‘Live Blogs’.

Inside the UFC Preview

Be sure to tune into Spike TV tonight at 12 AM EST as they’ll be going live with another edition of “Inside the UFC” hosted by Joe Rogan.

Here is what will be on the show tonight:

- The show may include a special announcement regarding a 2007 addition to the UFC roster.

- A preview UFC All Access with Chuck Liddell.

- The show will follow light heavyweight James Irvin as he makes him homecoming at UFC 65 in Sacramento.

- Introduction to the two coaches (Jens Pulver & B.J. Penn) of ‘The Ultimate Fighter 5’

- They will also show how the UFC is giving back this holiday season.

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