Efrain Escudero. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
“Ultimate Fighter 8” lightweight winner Efrain Escudero kept his perfect record intact on Saturday night, scoring a devastating first-round stoppage of fellow “TUF” alumnus and skilled grappler Cole Miller during the preliminary portion of UFC 103.
Both Escudero and Miller opted to spend the first couple minutes of their Spike TV-televised attraction feeling each other out on the feet. Miller used a substantial reach advantage to land a number of jabs and stiff right hands while Escudero timed some of Miller’s leg kicks and put Miller on the mat on two separate occasions.
We will be going live at 6:00 PM ET with live results of UFC 103: “Franklin vs. Belfort”, which will take place at a sold out American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The event’s televised main card will be broadcast live on pay-per-view starting at 10:00 PM ET. An additional hour of preliminary bouts will also be shown on Spike TV starting at 9:00 PM ET prior to that.
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort headlines the event, returning to the UFC in a 195 lb catchweight bout against former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin. A heavyweight contenders clash between formidable strikers Mirko Cro Cop and Junior Dos Santos serves as the co-main event.
David Baron. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.
A lightweight bout between international veteran David Baron and “Ultimate Fighter 5” alumnus Rob Emerson is reportedly likely for UFC 101, which is currently slated to take place on August 8 at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia.
The news comes from a report by MMA Weekly.
After a lengthy career that had him fighting in various places around the world, Baron punched his ticket to the UFC with an upset of former pound-for-pound phenom Hayato “Mach” Sakurai at Shooto’s “Tradition” show last May. The France native fell in his UFC debut to Jim Miller via third-round submission at UFC 89 in his last bout.
Hermes Franca. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship will reportedly be headed to Florida once again for another “UFC Fight Night” card, which is currently slated to take place on February 7 at the USF Sun Dome on the campus of the University of South Florida in Tampa Bay.
Various fighters and officials involved with the event have confirmed the UFC’s choice over the last few days. The organization is expected to formally announce the show at the end of this week with ticket sales likely beginning as soon as this coming weekend.
MMA on Tap has confirmed that the event will be headlined by a pair of co-main events: Former UFC lightweight title challenge Hermes Franca will try to win his second straight fight against “Ultimate Fighter” season six cast member Joe Lauzon and the winner of the aforementioned reality show, Mac Danzig, will face Josh Neer.
Jason MacDonald. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Despite his best efforts to hang with the touted grappling skills of Demian Maia, Canadian veteran Jason MacDonald eventually succumbed to the Brazilian, tapping out to a rear naked choke late in the third round of what was arguably UFC 87’s most technical undercard bout Saturday night.
With dozens of grappling championships under his belt, Maia was expected to make quick work of MacDonald if he opted to hit the ground with him. However MacDonald surprised many, continually escaping various attempts throughout the first two rounds, even putting Maia in his own predicaments at certain points.
It only took Maia a minute or so to lock in an extremely deep triangle but MacDonald was able to keep his composure and fight his way out of the hold. Multiple rear naked choke attempts followed but MacDonald persevered, even catching Maia in a guillotine before the end of the first round.
We will be going live at 8:00 PM ET tonight with live results of UFC 87: Seek and Destroy, which will take place at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The show’s televised main card will air on pay-per-view and Yahoo! Sports starting at 10 PM ET.
The event will be headlined by Georges St. Pierre defending his UFC welterweight title against gritty top contender Jon Fitch, who will be challenging Royce Gracie’s age-old record for consecutive wins. Additional featured fights include Brock Lesnar vs. Heath Herring and Kenny Florian vs. Roger Huerta.
Be sure to leave comments throughout the night. Detailed live results are after the jump.
Roger Huerta. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Just two weekends after Anderson Silva destroyed James Irvin on cable television, the Ultimate Fighting Championship returns with it’s latest offering: UFC 87: Seek and Destroy, which is headlined by Georges St. Pierre defending his UFC welterweight title against gritty top contender Jon Fitch, who will be challenging Royce Gracie’s age-old record for consecutive wins.
The UFC didn’t come alone on it’s first trip to the state of Minnesota - hometown products Roger Huerta and Brock Lesnar have come to participate in the biggest fights of their respective careers. Huerta will challenge Kenny Florian for the assumed right to take on UFC lightweight champ B.J. Penn while Lesnar will look to bounce back from an embarrassing first defeat against experienced veteran Heath Herring.
Here’s a little breakdown of what you can expect and what you should watch for during tonight’s event. The televised main card will air on pay-per-view and Yahoo! Sports starting at 10 PM ET. MMA on Tap will have complete play-by-play coverage of the event starting at 8 PM ET, so be sure to check back here throughout the night.
Georges St. Pierre. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The official weigh-in results for tomorrow night’s UFC 87: Seek and Destroy, which will take place at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, are below. The show’s televised main card will air on pay-per-view starting at 10 PM ET. All fighters successfully made weight.
Georges St. Pierre (170 lbs) vs. Jon Fitch (170 lbs lbs)
Heath Herring (250 lbs) vs. Brock Lesnar (265 lbs)
Kenny Florian (155 lbs) vs. Roger Huerta (155 lbs)
Jason MacDonald (185 lbs) vs. Demian Maia (185 lbs)
Rob Emerson (155 lbs) vs. Manny Gamburyan (155 lbs)
Cheick Kongo (235 lbs) vs. Dan Evensen (244 lbs)
Luke Cummo (167 lbs) vs. Tamdan McCrory (170 lbs)
Andre Gusmao (205 lbs) vs. Jon Jones (205 lbs)
Chris Wilson (170 lbs) vs. Steve Bruno (170 lbs)
Ben Saunders (170 lbs) vs. Ryan Thomas (170 lbs)
Rich Clementi weighs-in for UFC 83: Serra vs. St. Pierre II. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Despite competing this past weekend in a three-round war against Sam Stout, lightweight contender Rich Clementi has agreed to step in for an injured Rob Emerson and take on Terry Etim at UFC 84: Ill Will on May 24th.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship officially announced the change this afternoon on their website.
Clementi used superior striking skills to win a hard-fought split decision over Shawn Tompkins-trained Sam Stout at UFC 83: Serra vs. St. Pierre II this past Saturday. The win was Clementi’s fifth in a row and third consecutive victory inside the UFC.
Etim was originally slated to face Iowa native Jeremy Stephens at the event but Stephens was moved to a different event later this summer due to a minor legal situation concerning the Miletich Fighting Systems product. Etim is coming off of a unanimous decision loss to Gleison Tibau last September.
The kind and extent of Emerson’s injury is currently unknown.
Forrest Griffin was always crazy, even in high school.
Props to frankiscool at the UG for the find.
Sakakibara, DSE Sue Fertittas, Zuffa
Two months after Zuffa, under the name PRIDE FC Worldwide, filed a lawsuit against former PRIDE parent company Dream Stage Entertainment claiming that they were defrauded during their purchase of PRIDE in March of last year, DSE and Nobuyuki Sakakibara have countered with a lawsuit of their own.
More from Swift:
The suit filed by the former owners of Pride in federal court, under diversity jurisdiction, seeks damages for breach of the asset purchase and consulting agreements that were part of the Pride transaction, as well as fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.
The complaint alleges that Pride was sold to the owners of the UFC with the promise that the Pride brand would be maintained as a “global top-level brand.” This promise allegedly resulted in the former owners’ decision to sell to the Fertittas despite more lucrative financial offers from other suitors.
DREAM Planning Events on U.S. Soil?
DREAM could potentially hold shows in the United States if the promotion eventually gains the popularity that PRIDE once had as well as a television deal according to Fight Entertainment Group figurehead Sadaharu Tanikawa.
From MMA Weekly:
FEG executive, Sadaharu Tanikawa stated that their hopes are to first establish a brand name in Japan before trying their hand in the United States. Tanikawa went on the record saying that it would take “maybe a year or two” for the new Dream promotion to gain the same strength among fans that the former Pride brand did before their demise.
With DREAM and HDNet already in talks about a possible deal, Tanikawa’s idea could become a reality sooner than later, especially if they could come to some sort of a deal with EliteXC or HDNet Fights to get some notable American names on the card.
Sakurai-Baron Set for Shooto Fight in May
Hayato “Mach” Sakurai will attempt to keep his current five-fight winning streak intact when he takes on fellow PRIDE veteran David Baron at a Shooto event in May according to a report from Sports Navi.
Sakurai stopped Hidetaka Monma with strikes at DREAM’s inaugural event last month. Baron, who is mostly known for his loss to Takanori Gomi at PRIDE Bushido 12 in the summer of 2006, has won his last three fights since then.
Touch of gloves to Fight Opinion for the find.
Emerson Replaces Stephens at UFC 84
Update 2:30 PM ET: Our friends at MMA Junkie have learned that a possible “minor legal situation” may be preventing Stephens from fighting on the card but he expects to return to action this summer.
Sam Cupitt over at Five Ounces of Pain has noticed that Rob Emerson, a contestant on the fifth season of “The Ultimate Fighter”, has replaced Iowa native Jeremy Stephens in a scheduled lightweight bout against Terry Etim at UFC 84: Ill Will according to the UFC’s official website.
It was reported back in February that Etim and Stephens had signed bout agreements, making the fight good to go. No word as of yet on why Stephens was forced out of the bout.