Notes and nuggets from Chicago
Jackson talks often about no longer being happy in UFC and looks forward to leaving the promotion after Saturday night’s bout against Teixeira. But Jackson won’t be all smiles when it’s over.
“I will miss a lot of things. I will miss Burt Watson backstage. He’s funny; he’s cool to hang around,” Jackson told ESPN.com. “Honestly, if you are on Dana’s good side, he’s one of the coolest guys. Lorenzo Fertitta’s always been cool with me; and Frank [Fertitta]. I will miss the good fans. When you’re walking back to the locker room, when you win, the fans are cheering you on. There are a lot of things about the UFC that I will miss.”
HT to The UG for the find.
Alvarez hopes for court decision, UFC move
Alvarez is in the middle of a legal tug-of-war between UFC and his former promoter, Bellator. The fighter wants to compete in UFC; Bellator, however, isn’t ready to relinquish his services.
But on Friday, Alvarez’s future could become a little clearer. His attorneys and those representing Bellator will appear before United States District Court judge Jose L. Linares at the Martin Luther King Federal Building in Newark, N.J., to argue whether Alvarez can compete at an upcoming UFC event in April.
“I’ll be very relieved [when the Friday hearing concludes],” Alvarez told ESPN.com. “Hopefully, they will come to a judgment this Friday. But I’m not setting my expectations too high; I’ll just be setting myself up for disappointment.
“I just want to take things as they go; I’m not trying to control things that are not in my control. If we manage to get this thing settled this weekend I will be very happy. If not, then me, my management team [Authentic Sports Management] and the attorneys who are working this on my behalf are patient; we’ll wait and get the result that we want.”
If the judge sides in Alvarez's favor and he is free to go to the UFC, it is widely expected that Alvarez will fight in the co-main event at UFC 159 on April 27 in New Jersey, potentially against either Gray Maynard or Jim Miller in a title eliminator.
It could honestly go either way, and it really all comes down to how Judge Linares is going to interpret the PPV portion of the offer. The UFC is obviously a mainstay and Bellator claims that they will go that route if they do retain Alvarez's services, but they have never have to date. Will their promise be enough to hold up in court?
“What can Askren do to me, actually?” Amoussou asked MMAjunkie.com this past fall while in Orlando, Fla., shooting promotional spots for Bellator’s current eighth season. “He cannot punch, and he cannot kick – so there’s no way he can knock me out. He can’t submit me. So the only thing he can maybe do is lay and pray. That’s it.
“But even if he manages to do it for one round, I’m going to kick his ass in the next. There are five rounds, and I’ll be ready for five rounds.”
And when Askren says he believes Amoussou’s chance to win comes in the first 90 seconds, and after that drops pretty much to zero, Amoussou is comfortable with the assessment.
“At least he’s aware he’s going to lose the fight in the first 90 seconds,” he said. “He’s aware of the situation, and I think it’s good for him.”
I can totally understand Amoussou's decision to go for broke whenever he and Askren are on the feet together, but that sort of style is going to lend its hand into a chance for an easy takedown for Askren.
If I were Amoussou, I would absolutely be concentrated on going for the KO, but also be prepared for the fact that this bout is going to take place primarily on the ground, where a full training camp of nothing but wrestling and BJJ would have one at least prepared to the best of their ability.
And that could be a slight problem for Sonnen’s goal of getting more than, he says, three fights a year, which is about what healthy UFC fighters average.
“It’s not about anything else – it’s about competition,” Sonnen said. “I hate the fact that we only fight three times a year. I hate the fact that I’ve got to go to bed at night wondering, ‘I wonder how I’d do with this guy, or what this guy’s skills would do with mine.’
“Well, let’s just find out. Let’s get in there a lot more often. Let’s fight all these guys.”
Sonnen said he understands why it can’t happen and doesn’t happen, but the Division I All-American wrestler from the University of Oregon longs for the days of the kind of competition that had him wrestling many opponents a day.
It's almost impossible to have more than three UFC fights under your belt in the course of a single year these days. The fact that Donald Cerrone was able to make five appearances in 2011, albeit a couple of times as a short-notice replacement, is amazing.
But with the amount of shows the UFC is now putting on, it's not impossible. Fans and fighters alike have recently been calling for a thinning out of the talent pool. The recent rash of injuries has obviously decimated the lineups for upcoming UFC shows, leaving ticket holders to look forward to matchups featuring a serious lack of star power since that is all the UFC can muster at the moment. If they started stacking the cards as in years past, problems and wishes would go away and be granted at the same time.
UFC Announces China Debut in November With UFC on FUEL 6
After years of speculation, the UFC will make its long-awaited Chinese debut on November 10, 2012 with UFC on FUEL 6, promotion officials announced on Tuesday’s episode of UFC Tonight.
The international event is slated to be held in Macau, a special administrative region of China located on the country’s eastern shore, at the 15,000 seat CotaiArena inside the Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel. The $2.4 billion hotel opened in 2007 and is currently the largest casino in the world.
“Breaking into a market with a population of over 1.3 billion is both a testament to the growth of our sport and a long-term challenge we are excited to undertake,” UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta stated. “This is just the first of many world-class fights we plan to hold over the coming years in China, one of the birthplaces of martial arts.”
This is huge news for the UFC, who earlier this year, didn't believe a trip to China was in the cards until 2013 at the earliest. The promotion has slowly built a following in the country through television specials and online broadcasts and will now test the market with a live event in Macau, which hosted Chinese-based Legend Fighting Championship in recent years. It'll be exciting to watch.
Dan Hardy: Pay Structure May Affect Fighters' Strategy
“We’ve all seen him fight. We saw his fight against [Diego] Sanchez and all those other crazy ones where they were back-and-forth wars. He’s got a great pace and he’s a fantastic fighter. So really, for me, that showed that he made the choice of going in there and fighting that way. And whether that was down to his coaches convincing him or what, I don’t know, but I do think a lot of the responsibility is on the fighter.
“But at the same time, I think pay scale could be an issue as well. I think that there could be a way of paying people so there’s not a massive amount of money resting on winning and losing. I mean, 50 percent of purse pretty much is a win bonus for most people. If you win the fight, you get double the money. For a lot of people, double the money is what they need in order to cover their training camps. It’s really difficult. We need a little bit more money turning towards the fighters and we need the fighters with a bit more of an aggressive work ethic.”
Hardy's take on things is definitely something that's part of the equation here. However, there are other factors. The biggest is the UFC's ability to cut struggling fighters. Three losses and you're out has been the policy for years now, with a handful of exceptions for certain guys. We're starting to see cuts after two consecutive losses as well as two defeats in three fights more and more, especially with those fighters that don't carry any sort of name value.
Pay certainly has something to do with it, but job security has more. In Guida's case though, it may not have been either of the two. It could have just been the plan employed by his camp. It's not the first time that Guida has been conservative in fights since joining Jackson's. Just ask Anthony Pettis.
“When we did the press conference down in Brazil, Silva hadn’t even agreed to fight him,” White said. “That fight wasn’t happening. I had them bring Anderson to the place where the press conference was, and we sat in a room for three hours fighting about the fight.”
Fans may remember the April 24 news conference in Rio de Janeiro for its late start. And White said that late start was because he and his biggest star were at odds over Silva signing on for the rematch.
Silva, as should come as little surprise, is not a fan of the brashness and trash talk that led up to UFC 117, and the talk that Sonnen has continued for nearly two years since then. But when Sonnen got on the plane with White, he flew to Brazil with no guarantee of a fight – only the hope that White could get Silva to agree to the rematch.
“Yeah, (Chael knew),” White said. “He knew there was no fight. (What Chael said) was true, absolutely true. We went down there to make that fight. We set up a press conference, and I had to get it done.”
As interesting as that story is and was, I'd be even more intrigued to find out what the UFC's plans were for the press conference had Anderson not agreed to the bout. Would they have allowed Sonnen to call him out again in his home country? Or would Dana and Chael have just held a "state of the UFC" address?