Razak Al-Hussan

The Daily Recap: Valimaki-Al Hassan Cancelled, Denis Retires & More

Nick Denis. Photo property of UFC.

UFC veterans Victor Valamaki and Razak Al-Hassan were scheduled to fight yesterday at Aggression FC 14 in Edmonton, Alberta. The fight was cancelled when doctors refused to allow Valimaki to fight.

Valimaki apologized on Facebook, “Sorry guys, doc wouldn’t let me fight due to kidney failure from too big of a weight cut. Thanks everyone for the support, I feel like shit for letting everyone down. Time for a move up in weight so watch out heavyweights!”

Yves Edwards and Jeremy Stephens will finally lock horns at UFC on Fox 5 as it’s being reported that Stephens will step in and replace John Cholish who was forced to withdraw with a groin injury. Stephens and Edwards were originally slated to fight at UFC on FX 5 but the fight was scrapped when Stephens was arrested on an old warrant. [MMA Junkie]

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Cantwell Explains Controversial Comments

Following Steve Cantwell’s impressive submission victory over Razak Al Hassan at last week’s UFC Fight for the Troops, the victor gave a post fight interview that included some comment that many have felt were inappropriate.  Cantwell won the fight via armbar in which his opponent’s elbow dislocated due to the pressure applied.  While being interviewed by Joe Rogan, Cantwell said that he had “always wanted to do that” and seemingly was very pleased when he watched the replay and saw the joint dislocate.  Steve recently sent word to MMAonTap that he would like to apologize for the post fight comments.

Cantwell’s battle with Al-Hassan lasted a mere four-minutes into round one. Razak appeared to push the pace when the fight began, initially stalking Steve around the Octagon with punches and kicks. But after a few exchanges Cantwell, the more refined striker, landed two clean left hands before taking Al-Hassan to the floor of the Octagon. He quickly passed to side-control, then secured a ull mount. In a flash he took his opponents right arm and locked it tightly into the confines of an armbar. Al-Hassan attempted to free his arm by rolling forward but Cantwell rolled with him on to his stomach and locked the arm in tighter. Cantwell rolled forward again to his back with the arm still hooked tightly. After waiting for what seemed like an eternity – and making clear eye contact with Al-Hassan and referee Mario Yamasaki – Cantwell applied additional pressure that resulted in Razak’s arm breaking at the elbow – at which point Yamasaki immediately called an end to the fight.

Cantwell was thrilled with the victory, as Al-Hassan was a formidable opponent with a solid background in Tae-Kwon-Do and Jiu-Jitsu. However, some controversy has arisen over his remarks to UFC commentator Joe Rogan when he was interviewed after the fight. Cantwell explains; “You know that was a really weird outcome to the fight. I had the arm locked in tightly and expected Razak to tap right away – then we rolled twice and it got even tighter. I was thinking to myself ‘This guy is made of rubber – this is crazy’. The only thing I could to end the fight was force the arm until either it broke or he tapped, and that’s what I did. Fighting is always a series of calculated risks, and he had ample opportunity to tap. But none of us enter the ring trying to end each others career, and I do regret the comments I made and being so animated about it afterwards. It was the adrenalin taking over.”

Shortly after the fight, Cantwell called the UFC and requested Al- Hassan’s phone number to speak to him directly. He reached Al-Hassan at home and expressed a heart-felt apology for the comments he made regarding the injury. He also shared some techniques and healing methods to aid Razak in his recovery. “When Razak heals up I want him to come out to Vegas and train with me. He’s a great guy, a great fighter, and has a future in this sport for sure. There is absolutely no ill will between us,” said Cantwell.

Koscheck Blasts Yoshida at “Fight for the Troops”


Josh Koscheck. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Josh Koscheck bounced back from a disappointing decision loss to Thiago Alves in October by knocking out Japanese welterweight sensation Yoshiyuki Yoshida in the featured attraction of the UFC’s “Fight for the Troops” card in Fayetteville, North Carolina last night.

The evening was focused on the UFC’s attempts to raise money for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which will go towards building a state-of-the-art facility that will help soldiers that have suffered tramuatic brain injuries. Following his stoppage of Yoshida, Koscheck asked those watching around the world what else it would take for them to make a small donation towards the cause.

“If that wasn’t worth $5 bucks from every UFC fan, I don’t know what else I can do,” Koscheck said.

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Spike Announces Full Card for “Fight for the Troops”


Josh Koscheck. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

JOSH KOSCHECK AND YOSHIYUKI YOSHIDA HEADLINE “UFC FIGHT FOR THE TROOPS” EVENT ON SPIKE TV

NEW YORK, NY -  Fighting with a truly meaningful purpose in front of some real American heroes, “The Ultimate Fighter” alums Josh Koscheck, Mike Swick, Matt Wiman will be featured on Spike TV’s telecast of “UFC Fight For The Troops” live from the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, North Carolina on Wednesday, December 10 at 9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT.

The special live UFC fight card will raise funds to build a hospital for traumatic brain injuries for the brave men and women in the United States Armed Forces.  Thousands of soldiers from nearby Fort Bragg, the proud home of the U.S. Airborne and Special Operations Forces, will be in attendance.  More information about the facility, including ways to donate, can be found online at http://www.fallenheroesfund.org or by calling 1-800-340 HERO

The fight card also showcases five current UFC fighters who are all U.S. military veterans including Luigi Fioravanti, Tim Credeur, Dale Hartt, Brandon Wolff, and Steve Bruno.  An additional fight will be added to the main event and announced at a later date.

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Jones to Face Gusmao at UFC 87


Jon Jones (left) is interviewed by Kevin “The Garv” Garvey following his title win over Moyses Gabin. Photo courtesy of Battle Cage Xtreme.

Battle Cage Xtreme veteran Jon Jones will step in as a late replacement opponent against fellow UFC newcomer Andre Gusmao at UFC 87: Seek and Destroy on August 9th in Minnesota. The UFC officially announced the bout earlier today.

Gusmao was originally rumored to be fighting Iowa fighting scene prospect Razak Al-Hussan after his first opponent, Tomasz Drwal, withdrew from the bout due to unknown reasons. However our friends at MMA Junkie now report that Al-Hussan has suffered a chest injury that will leave him unable to compete at the event. Al-Hussan still remains under contract with the UFC and is expected to make his debut with the promotion later this year.

Jones is currently riding a six-fight winning streak. He most recently earned a TKO win over Moyses Gabin on July 12th, which also gave him the vacant USKBA light heavyweight title. His opponent, Gusmao, is entering the UFC after a two-year stint with the IFL. He has not fought since knocking out Miletich Fighting Systems product Mike Ciesnolevicz with a knee at the IFL Team Championships in September of last year. It was the Brazilian’s second career win over Ciesnolevicz.

Report: Al-Hussan to Replace Drwal at UFC 87


Tomasz Drwal. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Iowa fighting scene prospect Razak Al-Hussan will reportedly replace Tomasz Drwal in his scheduled preliminary bout against IFL veteran Andre Gusmao at UFC 87: Seek and Destroy on August 9th in Minnesota.

The news comes from our friends at MMA Junkie, who was informed by sources close to Al-Hussan that the light heavyweight formally accepted the bout with Gusmao this past week. The reason for Drwal’s withdraw remains unknown at this time.

Al-Hussan has won his first four professional fights to begin his young career. He most recently scored a second-round TKO of Todd Monghan at a Mainstream MMA event in April. Both he and Gusmao will be making their UFC debuts at the show.

Gusmao, who also remains undefeated thus far in his career, has not fought since knocking out Miletich Fighting Systems product Mike Ciesnolevicz with a knee at the IFL Team Championship in September of last year. It was the Brazilian’s second career win over Ciesnolevicz.