Gurgel, Sokoudjou among recent UFC cuts
Jorge Gurgel and Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou are among the recent cuts from the UFC roster. Both were involved in losses in their last fight within the octagon.
Gurgel never fails to give a wild performance, such as the one against Aaron Riley that garnered him Fight of the Night honors at UFC 91. But more often than not, he has come out on the losing end, having lost three of his last 4 fights. He has been widely criticized for not utilizing his BJJ Black Belt skills more and instead choosing to stand and trade with his opponents. Gurgel will not be out of work long as he has already signed an exclusive contract with the Strikeforce promotion. In the end, it would not surprise me if Zuffa didn’t help get him signed right away. His time in the UFC was clearly up and yet he was a real favorite of Dana White’s. A demotion to WEC would be seen as just that while also inadvertantly degrading the WEC’s lightweight class.
Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou came into the UFC within a ton of hype coming off two spectacular KO’s in the last days of Pride. His performances in the UFC though showed how much further the Judoka needs to progress his skills in more than one area. A chokeout defeat courtesy of Lyota Machida and a TKO loss at the hands of Luiz Cane were sandwiched between a TKO win over Kaz Nakamura. Sokoudjou is still very green in the sport with a lot of upside and it wouldn’t surprise many to see him continue to grow in MMA.
Franca vs Lauzon set for UFC Fight Night
Hermes Franca and Joe Lauzon have each confirmed they are set to battle each other at the upcoming UFC Fight Night 17 on Feburary 17, 2009. Franca is coming off a decisive win over ex-teammate Marcus Aurelio at UFC 91 while Lauzon defeated Kyle Bradley via TKO at UFC Fight Night 15. This will be stern test for Lauzon as Joe’s strength lies in taking his opponent to the ground, utilizing ground and pound to set up his submissions. This could prove to be very dangerous against the BJJ Black Belt Franca as France is very good off his back. Franca has never been submitted while he has tapped out 11 of his 17 victories.
That card is already stacking up to be a pretty solid Fight Night card. Amir Sadollah, in his UFC debut following his win of TUF 7, will battle newcomer Nick Catone and Mac Danzig will tangle with the very dangerous Josh Neer.
Fedor cancels upcoming press tour
Fedor Emelianenko, via M-1 Global, has cancelled an upcoming press tour to promote his Affliction Day of Reckoning title match against Andre Arlovski. Fedor, the reigning WAMMA Heavyweight Champion, has been extremely busy filming a movie in Thailand of late and feels he needs a uninterrupted training camp to prepare himself for the former UFC champion.