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(All events on Oahu, unless noted)


Aloha State Championship of BJJ
(BJJ & Sub Grappling)
(Kaiser H.S. Gym)

State of Hawaii Championship of BJJ
(BJJ & Sub Grappling)
(Kaiser H.S. Gym)

Man Up & Stand Up
Waipahu Filcom Center, Waipahu)

Man Up & Stand Up
Waipahu Filcom Center, Waipahu)

Man Up & Stand Up
Waipahu Filcom Center, Waipahu)

Gladiators for God
(Amateur Muay Thai)
(Wet&Wild Water Park)

Hawaiian Championship of BJJ
(BJJ & Sub Grappling)
(Kaiser H.S. Gym)

Pan American Jiu-Jitsu Championships
University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA)

X-1: Dylan Clay vs Niko Vitale
(Blaisdell Arena)

Mad Skills
(Kickboxing, Triple Threat)
Waipahu Filcom Center, Waipahu)

Chozun 1: "the Reckoning"
(The Waterfront at Aloha Tower Marketplace, Honolulu)

808 Battleground Presents
War of Warriors
(The Waterfront At Aloha Tower, Honolulu)

Pan Kids Jiu-Jitsu Championships
(California State University, Carson, CA )

Man Up & Stand Up
Waipahu Filcom Center, Waipahu)

Garden Island Cage Match 10: Mayhem at the Mansion 2
(MMA, Kickboxing)
(Kilohana Carriage House, Lihue, Kauai)

Amateur Boxing
(Palolo District Park Gym)

Amateur Boxing
(Palolo District Park Gym)

Man Up & Stand Up
Waipahu Filcom Center, Waipahu)

Battle At The Barn
(Molokai H.S. Gym, Molokai)

Hawaii Toughman
(Hilo Civic Center, Hilo)


Destiny & 808 Battleground
All or Nothing - Champion vs Champion
(Dole Cannery Ballroom)

Mad Skills
(Filcom Center, Waipahu)

Aloha State BJJ Championships: Final Conflict
(BJJ & Sub Grappling)
(Kaiser H.S. Gym)

X-1 Island Pride
(Blaisdell Arena)

Man Up & Stand Up Kickboxing Championship
(Filcom Center, Waipahu)

6th Annual Clinton A.J. Shelton Memorial Match Event
(Palolo District Park Gym, Honolulu)

(Dole Cannery Ballroom, Honolulu)

NAGA Hawaii
(BJJ & Sub Grappling)
(Radford H.S. Gym)

(BJJ & Sub Grappling)
(Kauai Beach Resort, Kauai)

DESTINY: Undisputed
Beyer vs Manners II
(Waipahu Filcom Center, Waipahu)

Just Scrap
(Hilo Civic Auditorium, Hilo)

Mad Skills
(Filcom Center, Waipahu)

X-1: Heroes
(MMA, Kickboxing)
(Blaisdell Arena)

Man Up & Stand Up
(Filcom Center, Waipahu)

(MMA, Kickboxing)
(Waipahu Filcom Center, Waipahu)

Big Island Open
(Hilo Armory, Hilo)

Hawaiian Open Championships of BJJ
(BJJ & No Gi)
(Kaiser H.S. Gym)

USA Amateur Boxing
(Lihue Convention Hall, Lihue, Kauai)

Battleground Challenge 2
(Dole Cannery Ballroom)

Just Scrap
(Hilo Civic Auditorium, Hilo)

Mad Skills
(Triple Threat/Kickboxing)
(Waipahu Filcom Center)

The Quest for Champions 2010 Martial Arts Tournament
(Sport-Pankration, Submission Grappling & Continuous Sparring)
(St. Louis High School Gym)

Maui Jiu-Jitsu Open
(BJJ & No Gi)
(Maui War Memorial, Wailuku, Maui)

Mad Skillz
(Kickboxing, Triple Threat)
(99 Market Shopping Center, Mapunapuna)

Man Up & Stand Up
(Filcom Center, Waipahu)

Amateur Boxing
(Palolo District Park Gym)

Kauai Cage Match 9
(Kilohana, Gaylords Mansion, Kauai)

50th State BJJ Championships
(50th State Fair,
Aloha Stadium)

Quest for Champions
(St. Louis High School Gym)

Just Scrap
(Hilo Civic Center, Hilo)

Select Combat
(Triple Threat)
(50th State Fair,
Aloha Stadium)

Destiny: Fury
(Blaisdell Center)

MMA Hawaii Expo
(Blaisdell Ballroom)

3rd Annual Pacific Submission Championships
(BJJ & Submission Grappling)
(Blaisdell Exhibition Hall)

Legacy Combat MMA
(Blaisdell Exhibition Hall)

X-1: Nations Collide
(Blaisdell Arena)

World Jiu-Jitsu Championships
(The Pyramid, University of California at Long Beach, Long Beach, CA)

(Waiphau Filcom Center)

Scrappla Fest 2
Relson Gracie KTI Jiu-Jitsu Tournament
(BJJ & Sub Grappling)
(Island School, Kauai)

X-1 World Events
(Waipahu HS Gym)

Mad Skills
(Waipahu Filcom Center)

Boxing Event
(Evolution Training Center, Waipio Industrial Court #110)

Galaxy MMA: Worlds Collide
(Blaisdell Arena)

Chris Smith BJJ Tournament

2010 Hawaii State/Regional Junior Olympic Boxing Championships
(Palolo District Park Gym)

Hawaiian Championships of BJJ
(BJJ & Sub Grappling)
(Kaiser H.S. Gym)

Strikeforce: Shields vs Henderson

808 Battleground
(Waipahu Filcom Center)

Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championships
(University California Irvine, Irvine, CA)

Man Up & Stand Up
(Waipahu Filcom Center)

Amateur Boxing Smoker
(Palolo District Park Gym)

DESTINY: No Ka Oi 2: Oahu vs Maui
(Maui War Memorial Gym, Wailuku, Maui)

X-1: Champions 2
(Blaisdell Arena)

Hawaiian Championships of BJJ
(BJJ & Sub Grappling)
(Kaiser H.S. Gym)

Hawaiian Kimono Combat
(PCHS Gym)

Sera's Kajukenbo Tournament
(Kumite, Katas, Grappling)
(Maui War Memorial Gym, Wailuku, Maui)

Destiny Fast N Furious
(Level 4 RHSC)

808 Battleground
(Filcom, Waipahu)

UpNUp 6: Unstoppable
(Maui War Memorial Gym, Wailuku, Maui)

Man Up & Stand Up
(Waipahu Filcom)

(Level 4,
Royal HI Shopping Ctr)

Quest for Champions
(Pankration/Sub Grappling)
(Kalani HS)

Kauai Knockout Championship Total Domination
(MMA & Kickboxing)
(Kauai War Memorial Convention Center, Lihue, Kauai)

X1: Showdown In Waipahu
(Boxing, Kickboxing, MMA)
(Waipahu H.S. Gym)
 News & Rumors
Click Here

February 2011 News Part 1

Casca Grossa Jiu-Jitsu is now the O2 Martial Arts Academy with 7 days a week training!

We are also offering Kali-Escrima (stick fighting) on Monday nights with Ian Beltran & Erwin Legaspi.

Kickboxing Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with Kaleo Kwan, PJ Dean, & Chris Slavens!

Kids Classes are also available!

Click here for info!

Take classes from the Onzuka brothers in a family-like environment!

Fighters' Club TV
The Toughest Show On Teleivision

Olelo Channel 52 on Oahu
Also on Akaku on Maui

Check out the FCTV website! Hawaii Underground Forum is Online!

Chris, Mark, and I wanted to start an official forum for a while now. We were searching for the best forum to go with and hit a gold mine! We have known Kirik, who heads the largest and most popular forum on the net, The Underground for years.

He offered us our own forum within the matrix know as The three of us will be the moderators with of course FCTV808 being the lead since he is on there all day anyway!

We encourage everyone from Hawaii and our many readers around world to contribute to the Hawaii Underground.

If you do not have a login, it's simple and fast to get one.
here to set up an account.

Don't worry about using Pidgin English in the posting. After all it is the Hawaii Underground and what is a Hawaii Underground without some Aloha and some Pidgin?

To go directly to the Hawaii Underground Forum

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Short term and long term advertising available.

More than 1 million hits and counting!

O2 Martial Arts Academy
Your Complete Martial Arts School!

Click here for pricing and more information!

O2 Martial Arts features Relson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu taught by Relson Gracie Black Belts Chris and Mike Onzuka and Shane Agena as well as a number of brown and purple belts.

We also offer Boxing and Kickboxing classes with a staff that is unmatched. Boxing, Kickboxing, and MMA champions Kaleo Kwan and PJ Dean as well as master boxing instructor Chris Slavens provide incredibly detailed instruction of the sweet science.

To top it off, Ian Beltran & Erwin Legaspi heads our Kali-Escrima classes (Filipino Knife & Stickfighting) who were directly trained under the legendary Snookie Sanchez.

Just a beginner with no background? Perfect! We teach you from the ground up!

Experienced martial artist that wants to fine tune your skill? Our school is for you!

If you want to learn martial arts by masters of their trade in a friendly and family environment, O2 Martial Arts Academy is the place for you!

Want to Contact Us? Shoot us an email by Clicking Here!

Follow O2 Martial Arts news via Twitter at:


Strikeforce: Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, “I Can Beat The Great Fedor”

It’s not often that a fighter that stands six-foot-four and weighs 265 pounds is the underdog to a fighter that stands six-foot and weighs 230 pounds, but that is exactly where Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva finds himself. In fact, he is an overwhelming underdog to “The Last Emperor.”

Silva isn’t fazed. He steps into the fight with the Russian relishing the fact that many people still consider Fedor amongst the top heavyweight fighters in the world.

“I am very happy to be fighting Fedor, who people still consider the No. 1 heavyweight in the world. Fedor is a legend and to be a legend you have to beat a legend. And I’m ready to be the best heavyweight in the world,” said Silva.

Most people don’t typically count Silva among the top two or three fighters in the division, but adding a win over Fedor to his already impressive 15-2 record would go a long way towards putting him in the midst of future conversations.

The fight with Fedor is the main event of Saturday’s Strikeforce fight card in New Jersey and one of the first two quarterfinal bouts in the Strikeforce World Heavyweight Grand Prix. Silva isn’t looking past Fedor with an eye to winning the tournament. To Silva, Fedor is his tournament.

“Fedor is the best, so this is the top of the food chain. For me, this is the final and I will give it all I have to make this happen,” said Silva. “This is my dream and I’m going to beat the legend and I’m going to be a legend.”

Fedor showed that he is mortal in losing to Fabricio Werdum his last time in the cage. It was the first time that the Russian conqueror has lost since a cut stopped him against Tsuyoshi Kohsaka more than a decade ago.

“One thing I have in my mind is that Werdum showed to the world that Fedor’s main weakness is on the ground,” Silva assessed. “But he’s a complete fighter and I’m going to follow where the fight goes.”

Fedor has faced fighters of the shear size of Silva before, and typically with stellar results. He easily finished both Korean giant Hong Man Choi and former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia early in the first round. It took Fedor a little longer – 10 minutes – to finish Heath Herring. And K-1 specialist Semmy Schilt was able to take Fedor the full three rounds of their fight before losing a decision.

Silva, however, has the most versatile arsenal of any of the big men that Fedor has faced. He is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Judo, and Karate. His jiu-jitsu is especially good for a man of his size, so maybe he picked up a thing or two from Werdum’s win over Fedor.

Often talked about as the future of heavyweight division, Silva believes the future is now. He may have half the experience of Fedor, but thinks it is time for everything to converge in his favor for a win over the man who a year ago was seen as nearly invincible.

“Everyone has been saying that I can be the man to beat Fedor in the future. And now I know in my mind that I can beat him. I know this is the right time and that God has given me this time and that I can beat the great Fedor.”

Source: MMA Weekly

UFC Featherweight Contender Chad Mendes Inks New Four Fight Deal with Promotion

Coming off a dominant win over Michihiro Omigawa at UFC 126, Team Alpha Male fighter Chad Mendes has been rewarded with a new four fight deal with the UFC.

Mendes’ manager Mike Roberts of MMA Inc. confirmed the new contract with on Wednesday.

“Chad’s excited to continue his career with the UFC, and he’s looking forward to fighting for the title in 2011,” Roberts told MMAWeekly.

At 10-0, Mendes has become one of the top featherweights in the world and recently vaulted to the No. 2 spot at 145lbs in the World MMA Rankings.

After defeating Omigawa at UFC 126, Mendes is now widely considered the top contender in the featherweight division, but it’s likely he’ll remain active instead of waiting for the winner of the upcoming title fight between champion Jose Aldo and Mark Hominick.

Mendes will also be featured in an interview with MMAWeekly Radio on Thursday night to talk about his win over Omigawa and his future with the UFC featherweight division.

Source: MMA Weekly

Thiago Silva’s UFC 125 Drug Test Being Scrutinized, Others Clear

Fifteen of the 22 fighters that competed on the UFC 125: Resolution fight card on New Year’s Day were drug tested by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, according to Keith Kizer, the commission’s executive director.

Of those 15, however, only 14 of them are confirmed as testing negative, meaning that they were cleared of any use of banned performance enhancing or recreational substances. The 14 fighters on the all-clear list are: Frankie Edgar, Gray Maynard, Chris Leben, Brian Stann, Brandon Vera, Phil Baroni, Thiago Tavares, Jeremy Stephens, Dustin Poirier, Diego Nunes, Daniel Roberts, Jacob Volkmann, Dong Hyun Kim and Clay Guida.

Kizer stated that they were “still processing another athlete’s urine sample from that event.” An earlier report by, before the NSAC released the names of the cleared fighters, stated that while Kizer would not confirm that Silva’s sample was being questioned, “the NSAC executive did confirm that Silva was among the UFC 125 fighters who submitted a pre-fight screen.” After the list of cleared fighters came out, Kizer confirmed to that the sample still being processed was indeed that of Thiago Silva.

The typical reasoning for such a lengthy processing time is a questionable result. The pre-fight drug screens in Nevada are processed by a WADA certified laboratory, which requires an A and B sample for each test. If the A sample returns a questionable result then the B sample is tested to verify those findings, lengthening the amount of time for definitive results.

Multiple sources on Wednesday indicated that Silva was out of a planned fight with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 130 in May. Those sources did not declare why Silva was out, but a failed drug test would be one reason. If he were to test positive, Silva would be under an immediate suspension that would make him ineligible.

Sources also indicated that Rashad Evans, recently forced out of his UFC 128 title fight with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua due to a minor injury, would be healed in time and is stepping in to fight Rampage at UFC 130.

Source: MMA Weekly

Rashad Evans Steps In to Face Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 130

It appears that while Quinton “Rampage” Jackson won’t get a title shot, he will get a second fight against a former champion.

Sources have indicated to on Wednesday that Thiago Silva has been forced to withdraw from his upcoming fight at UFC 130, and will be replaced by former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans.

Neither Evan’s co-manager Malki Kawa or Jackson’s representatives could be reached for comment, but sources close to the bout confirmed that it will be Evans that steps into the UFC 130 fight.

Evans was just forced out of his UFC 128 bout against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua due to a knee sprain suffered in training. The Team Jackson fighter wasn’t seriously injured, and was already hoping to be back as early as May. It looks like he’ll get his wish.

There’s no love lost between Evans and Rampage, who had an epic war of words leading up to their fight at UFC 114 in May 2010. Evans went on to win the fight by unanimous decision, but then waited for an injured Rua to return for a shot at the belt.

Unfortunately for Evans, due to the knee injury, his training partner and close friend Jon Jones will get the chance to fight for the belt instead, and he will get another shot at Jackson.

The bout between Evans and Jackson will still be a co-main event fight for the card headlined by UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar defending his belt against Gray Maynard.

Source: MMA Weekly

Muhammed ‘King Mo’ Lawal Expects June Return, Open To Fighting All At 205

Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal has been on the sidelines for the past several months recovering from knee surgery, but it appears the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion is looking to come back soon.

Lawal told that his recovery is going well and he plans to make his return to the cage towards the Summer season at a yet to be named event.

“I’m healing great,” he said of his recovery. “(I’m) looking to fight in June.”

And as for potential opponents, “King Mo” won’t discriminate. The flashy light heavyweight is open to all comers in the division he once held the Strikeforce title in.

“Anyone at 205,” he said about potential opponents for his return.

Lawal was last seen fighting Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante at Strikeforce: Houston in August of last year. The outing wasn’t Lawal’s best, falling to Cavalcante via TKO and losing his light heavyweight title in the process. The loss was his first in eight professional fights.

Since that time, Lawal has been healing from the knee surgery that was required as a result of the fight against Cavalcante. Even though there is no opponent lined up for him yet, you can bet “King Mo” will be watching the light heavyweight title fight between the man who took his title, Cavalcante, and former Pride and UFC standout Dan Henderson. That match-up is scheduled to take place as the main event on the March 5 Strikeforce fight card in Columbus, Ohio.
Source: MMA Weekly

Kenny Florian Gunning for Top Contender in 145lb Debut, Then Aldo in Brazil

Now that former UFC lightweight contender Kenny Florian has made the decision to move down to 145lbs, he’s wasting no time looking for a fight.

The former “Ultimate Fighter” season 1 cast member is looking to return in June, and he wants the top competitor the featherweight division can offer.

Speaking to, Florian’s manager Malki Kawa of Authentic Sports Management says that part of the reason the fighter made the move down to 145lbs was because of a proposed fight with Jose Aldo from last year.

The UFC had offered Aldo the chance to move up to 155lbs to face Florian, but ultimately his managers and trainers opted to keep him at featherweight for a little while longer. Meanwhile, it’s a fight that’s stuck in the head of Florian’s manager this whole time.

“We went down to 45 because that fight with Aldo was one that stuck in my head, and I’m just like Dana White, I want to make the biggest and the best fights that I possibly can, and I’m thinking Kenny Florian vs. Jose Aldo one day, I think that’s a pretty big fight,” Kawa said.

While Florian knows he won’t get Aldo for his first fight in the UFC’s featherweight division, he would be happy to face him for his second fight after defeating a top contender.

“A top contender. Whoever the No. 1 contender is at that point is the guy I’d like to get,” Kawa stated. “What would be my ideal situation for me is for him to get a fight in June, whoever the No. 1 contender is, win that fight, and then hopefully set something up for Brazil with (Jose) Aldo if the UFC’s up for it.”

Florian has trained and traveled to Brazil several times throughout his career and even speaks fluent Portuguese, so fighting in the country, even against one of their own, is still a fight he would jump at.

Regardless of who he faces, Florian is just chomping at the bit to get back in there. He will start his road back soon by getting into full training now that his knee is healthy.

As far as a timeline for his return, Florian is still on pace to step back into the Octagon in June, possibly with a slot on the UFC 131 card in Vancouver that has been rumored.

“I think it’s going to be June, but it’s not set,” Kawa said about Florian’s next fight. “I think he’ll be ready to fight in June.”

Florian will soon head back into training and then get ready for his return to action, this time at 145lbs.

Source: MMA Weekly

Dana White Says Georges St-Pierre Is The No. 1 Superstar In the Sport

If you’ve ever wondered who the top star in the UFC is just ask Dana White. The UFC President believes it’s none other that UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, who will headline the upcoming UFC 129 show in Toronto in late April.

The charismatic champion has stormed to the top of the welterweight rankings while also becoming a leading spokesman for brands like Under Armour and Gatorade.

St-Pierre has also been voted “Canadian Athlete of the Year” three years in a row, but despite his legendary status in his home country, White says they didn’t need him to have a successful show in Toronto, but it’s a very nice bonus.

“I don’t know if you remember leading up to this fight, I was saying we don’t need to go into Toronto with Georges St-Pierre headlining. Obviously, if you have Georges St-Pierre headlining it doesn’t suck, but it worked out that way and here he is,” White commented.

“Look at the UFC, and one of the great things about the UFC is how many stars we do have. How many guys headline pay-per-views? We went up into Montreal with 2 Brazilians headlining the card. We’ve been in L.A. with Brazilians headlining the card, we’ve been to England with B.J. Penn headlining a card before, people love everybody in the UFC.”

With a roster of fighters that include names like Brock Lesnar, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, B.J. Penn and others, White believes that St-Pierre is the biggest draw in the sport all over the world.

“Georges St-Pierre, if you look at our top three superstars, I would call Georges St-Pierre No. 1. I literally think and all that stuff that started with (Wayne) Gretzky, I’m telling you right now, I’m going to say it again up here to you guys and eventually it will sink in, this guy is a monster, a superstar,” said White.

“Not just here. If I was headlining with Georges St-Pierre in Toronto, Egypt, Poland, it doesn’t matter. This guy is a huge superstar all over the world.”

St-Pierre has shown his drawing power while headlining cards in Canada and the United States, and would likely get big crowds and numbers in any country he visits. He even commented before his fight with Josh Koscheck that he had the largest gathering of fans in the Philippines.

There’s no denying St-Pierre’s crossover and worldwide appeal, and even the UFC President is now calling GSP the biggest star in MMA.

Source: MMA Weekly


Man Up & Stand Up

Waipahu Filcom Center
Saturday February 19, 2011
Doors open at 6:00




























All matches & participants are subject to change.

Source: Derrick Bright

Jai Bradney Vs Sugar Shane Nelson on Nitro MMA 2

Jai ‘The Toothfairy’ Bradney vs Sugar Shane Nelson (BJ Penn MMA Hawaii)

One of QLD’s most popular fighters Jai ‘The Toothfairy’ Bradney makes a return to the cage at NITRO to take on BJ Penn’s prodigy ‘Sugar’ Shane Nelson who has recently fought on UFC 96, 101 & 107 and member of the TUF 8 house.

Benny ‘Blanco’ Alloway (Fightclub Ju Jitsu) vs Ryan ‘Terminator’ Yanz (Gold Coast)

Hale Vaasa (Southside MMA/Red Dragon) v Panapa Pereira (Integrated)

Gokhan The Pitbull Turkylimaz (Sydney) vs Julez The Jackal (Fightclub Ju Jitsu)

Shane Wundenburg (P.U.M.M.A) vs Damien Brown (Body Torque Townsville)

Tyson Kroehn (Rings Toowoomba) vs Murri (Fight Club Ju Jitsu)

Shannon Mclellan (Miami Fight Centre) vs Fabian Nemcek (Southside MMA)

Cort Hale (Gold Coast) vs Luke Stevens (Shindo New Breed)

Tye Brown (Shindo New Breed) vs Matt George (Rings Toowoomba)

Scott Celere (Lion’s Den Melbourne) vs Todd Woody (Extreme Fight Studio)

Source: Infinite MMA

Lyoto Machida Believes He Beat Rampage, But Randy Couture Is The Business at Hand
by Damon Martin

Lyoto Machida is a fighter that is always up for challenges, but lately he’s been on the losing end, dropping his last two fights in a row after starting off his career with 16 straight victories.

While there was no question he simply got beat when facing Maurcio “Shogun” Rua the second time around, his last loss fell into the hands of the judges at UFC 123 in Detroit when he faced Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.

The opinions were split after the fight with some scoring the fight for Jackson and others scoring in for Machida.

The Brazilian’s manager, Ed Soares, says that scoring in MMA isn’t perfect, but everyone should realize that the sport is still so young that mistakes are bound to happen. He does admit, however, that a controversial loss is still a loss and right now his fighter’s record is reading two defeats in a row.

“It is a bummer to see a loss. You’ve heard Dana White before, sometimes a bad decision effects a fighter’s legacy, effects a fighter’s pay. So many different things are effected by a controversial decision, but unfortunately, it didn’t work out in our favor this time,” Soares said.

“I don’t know what needs to be done about the scoring and the judging. I think they maybe need to come up with a better system. People need to understand that our sport is young. This sport has been sanctioned now for about 10 years.

“There’s gonna be adjustments that are gonna be made to try to perfect the scoring and make it better. We may see in our lifetime, maybe 20 years from now, they may say, ‘Man, off of today’s scoring, Lyoto would have definitely won that fight or such and such definitely would have won that fight.’ But it’s definitely a young sport and it’s constantly evolving. I think everybody is doing the best job they can to try and put these things in order.”

Machida is moving on from the loss to Jackson and will soon head back into a full training camp to get ready for his next challenge, UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture.

While the former UFC light heavyweight champion is excited about the bout, he hasn’t decided whether he’ll train in America or in Brazil for the bout. Either way, he’s ready for the challenge that lies ahead in Toronto in April.

“I think it’s a great fight. It’s an honor to fight a guy like Randy Couture,” Soares told MMAWeekly Radio. “He’s a legend in this sport. Someone like Lyoto, he’s the kind of guy that wants to fight the best. He did feel he won that fight against Rampage, but that’s yesterday, now he’s got to focus on today. The next bout is Randy Couture.”

Couture has teetered on the precipice of whether or not he will be retiring soon, but mentioned Machida by name as one of the fighters he wants to face before calling it a career. The former champion complied and now they two light heavyweights will meet in a featured bout on the UFC 129 main card on April 30.

Source: MMA Weekly

Fedor Emelianenko is Training to Win the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP
by Dave Walsh

The upcoming Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix has been garnering a lot of attention over the past few weeks, all leading up to February 12th where the tournament kicks off at a card headlined by none other than Fedor "The Last Emperor" Emelianenko squaring off with Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva. The inclusion of Fedor Emelianenko automatically takes what was a great tournament and makes it legendary, with the stakes for winning the tournament being more than bragging rights, but instead to lay claim to being one of the top, if not the top Heavyweight in the MMA world.

With the show just a few weeks out, it means that Emelianenko's media duties have begun, with the Russian Heavyweight only speaking to select media outlets and remaining entrenched in an aura of mystique. A few years ago I argued that part of what makes Fedor so great is the fact that he doesn't train in a state-of-the-art MMA gym with a team of other top fighters, instead he chooses solitude and a simple life. You won't find Fedor on out partying or knocking out college football players in Texas, instead you see stories of him jogging with his priest and just learning about Twitter.

Our good friend, Jon Luther, caught up with Fedor to discuss the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP, and Fedor is in it to win it. I also really enjoy Fedor's take on being "number one." It just shows that fans care more about status than most fighters do. [source]

"I can’t wait to compete again. Silva is a great athlete who is skilled in many areas. He has proven to be a very worthy and dangerous opponent. My training camp has been very strong. I feel proud to be representing my country in the tournament. I’m training to win the tournament.”

Eight of the top heavyweights in the world will participate in the tournament, leading many to believe that the eventual tournament champion should be in the running for the title of best heavyweight alive. To Emelianenko, his opinion on the matter is irrelevant.

“The tournament participants are all highly skilled athletes. As for whether the winner should be considered number one in the world, it is not for me to say. That is something left to the media and to the fans.”

Source: Liver Kick

Department of Homeland Security steps in to streaming war, seizes sites

In a development that is sure to delight the UFC, the war on internet piracy has drawn the attention of the US Department of Homeland Security.

Today the DHS seized control of a number of websites which allegedly regularly stream pirated content online, allowing copyrighter content to be watched for free.

The move is controversial in itself, not least because of the First Amendment right to free speech makes seizing websites a move not to be taken lightly.

But the DHS has not only hit sites based in the US; it took control of the domain name of despite it being a Spanish site that was recently declared by a Spanish court to be operating legally.

Other sports-streaming websites such as,,, and have also been seized by the authorities. The timing of the crackdown - just ahead of the Super Bowl event - has not gone unnoticed.

Rojadirecta confirmed that its site had been seized by the authorities in a tweet posted Tuesday but also announced that it had moved to other domains immediately, inviting users to try suffixes such as .me, .es .in and .be. The site also used a .com ending briefly but that was seized by the DHS almost immediately.

The United States Department of Homeland Security is a cabinet department of the United States federal government, created in response to the September 11th attacks, and with the primary responsibilities of protecting the territory of the U.S. from terrorist attacks and responding to natural disasters.

As such today’s seizures have proved extremely controversial with many alleging the DHS is acting ’ultra vires’ (in excess of its powers). The war against internet piracy rumbles on, but the Rojadirecta instance shows that the websites are quick to sidestep the difficulties they are presented with.

Source: Fighters Only

Jordan Breen on why UFC production values are better than Showtime’s for MMA
By Zach Arnold

A caller asked the Sherdog radio host on his Tuesday show why Strikeforce events on Showtime feature wide-angle camera shots and a feel of ‘distance’ from the in-ring product as opposed to the way UFC produces event. Here is how Mr. Breen responded:

“It’s funny that you bring that up and would you like to know the main reason why? Because Showtime knows nothing about MMA and their production staff are incredibly worried about, literally, missing things. That’s how they explained things. Talking to them in meetings, it’s like, well, like I’ve literally heard this like word-for-word, this is verbatim from someone on the Showtime production staff, ‘What if someone throws a kick or something and we miss it?’ Think about that for a second. They’re worried that someone might kick and they’ll miss it? I know, this is the thing and this is something that, um, the people who don’t think about this with production but the camera angles that you get, people think that like camera work and production is germane to itself, like you know, if you have good camera man and a good production set-up and a good director that whatever they shoot it’ll be good and, frankly, familiarity with the product matters. Look at HBO and how they shoot boxing. There are shots at HBO Boxing that are like super in-close with the fighters in the clinch and it’s masterful and the reason is that they have so much experience doing boxing and likewise, the UFC and the crews they use have a lot of experience of doing MMA so they get a lot better shots and you get a lot, like you feel close to the action and I’ve gotten e-mails from people about this in the past saying that, you know, Showtime, they shoot really far away and I mean that’s like that goes more centrally to what I was talking about with the whole ‘what happens if they kick and we miss it?’ They use like wide angle far-away shots so often times when you’re watching Strikeforce like you feel really far away from the action that’s happening. Same thing with Elite XC, whereas with the UFC they use camera angles that are a lot closer because the guys are a lot more experienced with shooting and they know how to change angles and stuff like that. It is night and day and it’s not just because of the people involved, um, and their skill. It’s their familiarity with MMA. They just don’t feel comfortable with it so they use all this kind of wide angle long-distance hackery that just doesn’t look as good and in the situation like TJ (De Santis) and I were in, you end up missing tons of stuff.”

Breen and De Santis were in San Jose this past weekend for the Strikeforce show and helped out with the preliminary fights that streamed live on the Sherdog web site.

“Yeah, and that’s crazy, too, because they honestly, Showtime Boxing start rounds with a lot of like wide-angle shots and stuff like that. Like, inappropriate use of like jibs and stuff like that, just shots that don’t make any sense. So, yeah, it’s something that for a lot of people this will come off as like pedantry and like ‘oh, like, what a stupid thing to complain about.’ But it has very real ramifications and one of the things that people complain the most about with Showtime and Strikeforce for MMA is the commentary and at times things are directly impacted by the commentary. I mean, if TJ and I were live on Showtime, people would have absolutely destroyed us because we had no idea what happened in the Ron Keslar & Isaiah Hill fights and it wasn’t our fault. Literally, there was no camera angles to see what happened and, on top of that, it was even worse. In the Ron Keslar fight, he got the tap and then he stood up and punched the mat and looked angry and I thought, ‘Oh, did he not win? What has happened? I don’t understand what’s happening. Why is he mad?’

As for why UFC production is better…

“It’s a difference in experience and the little things add up to the big picture. There’s a reason why one of the things that Dana White says all the time when people talk about competing events is ‘we’ve been doing this a lot time, we know how to do it.’ It’s not just about knowing how to book a venue, go and make the press turnout. It’s all those little things and stuff like that like keeping an event running on schedule, knowing how and when to slip prelims in. You know, you can talk about some of the stuff that the UFC does being substandard and there’s no question that, for instance, Mike Goldberg & Joe Rogan could be vastly improved upon as a commentary duo. But in the larger picture, everything is pretty air-tight with what Zuffa do and they don’t offer up themselves a lot of avenue for criticism on the production side. Yeah, are the aesthetics sometimes like cheesy and maybe a bit tripe, gladiator men and tribal? Yes. But from a technical perspective when it comes to shot selection and that kind of thing, it’s really, really well done and there’s a reason why often times you feel more into a fight in the UFC than at times you do in Strikeforce. And those little things, like I said, go a long way. I mean, not that Strikeforce doesn’t have great fights, but there’s a significant chance that if a great fight breaks out in Strikeforce, it not feel as great as it would in the UFC because of how it’s shot and this is something that has happened on Showtime. It’s a real thing with boxing fans. Boxing fans will often say, you know, Showtime are putting on a lot better fights than HBO right now but I really wish it looked like HBO or sounded like HBO or whatever and that production stuff makes a big, big difference in the mass recollections of people.”

Earlier on in the radio show, a caller asked the host about his thoughts on Heavy’s growing partnership with the UFC by having a new pre-fight online show featuring Dave Farra right before UFC PPV events. Some are critical of Dave as an interview but personally I’ve always been complimentary towards what he does because he manages to get answers out of guests that other lesser-skilled interviewers can’t do or try to do but aren’t smooth enough to pull off.

The caller was not thrilled about the “Access Hollywood-ification” of the MMA media. Mr. Breen responded in this manner:

JORDAN BREEN: “I just think it’ll be another panel show. I mean the thing is, too, you have to be, it’s a bad question to ask me or I think someone in the media because to some extent it’s kind of like comedians trying jokes on other comedians. Like, um, there’s… like the kind of content that’s produced by various media outlets isn’t necessarily for other media. You know like I don’t, I mean I’m interested in hearing the thoughts of like, you know, people that I’m close to in the media and I find pretty interesting but in general like I’m not the kind of person who’s going to sit down and watch a Countdown show. Likewise, I wouldn’t expect, I don’t think like Adam Schefter really rocks to like the NFL on Fox. Like, why would he? Like what would that offer him, you know?”

TJ DE SANTIS: “It’s like us listening to other MMA podcasts!”

JORDAN BREEN: “Yeah! Like people always ask like, ‘man do you listen?’ Like, no. There are times where like I might, depending, like it’s a guest or something really notable happens or if Ariel Helwani’s putting a party hat on (Alistair) Overeem. Like there are reasons why you’d want to listen or look or whatever, but by in large like it’s just not something that everyone does. Likewise, I think it’s a propsterous like I would be amazed to find out that like other people like my other media colleagues, people that I would consider myself friends with would listen to my show. Why would they? It’s just not part, that’s not the audience that I expect or would be common to listen. So, it’s a bit of a weird thing. Like, people always want to know what the media thinks about other parts of the media. But the fact is, most times it’s not positive or negative it’s just like, ‘oh, yeah, it exists,’ not necessarily indifference but just content that it exists and not necessarily interested in the product.

“The good thing about it is we’re not, like it’s not in place of anything. It’s not, no one’s being forced to watch. If it’s generally, if it’s something that, you know, watching an interview with Chad Mendes for five minutes before UFC 126 makes more people want to tune in, so be it. But, like, I would have a beef if it was like replacing some kind of staple of pre-fight MMA coverage or it was somehow taking resources but it’s an addition that, you know, Dave Farra and the crew at Heavy have put together, so I mean if it’s good it’s good, if not it’s not. Like I don’t think it’s going to alter anything drastically.”

Source: Fight Opinion

Apples and Cinder Blocks: Comparing Fighter Salaries to Other Sports is Pointless
By E. Spencer Kyte

I know what you're thinking: apples and cinder blocks?

Here's the thing: apples and oranges are actually fairly similar; they're both fruit, they're both grow on trees, eating them is really good for you, all kinds of things. Apples and cinder blocks? Not so much.

Now that we've cleared that up, let's get to the more meaningful part of this piece.

Strikeforce announced the salary figures from Saturday's Diaz vs. Cyborg show, and there has been mixed reviews of the dollar amounts the fighters are pulling in for a night's work.

According to the numbers released by the California State Athletic Commission, welterweight champion Nick Diaz took home $150,000 (no win bonus) for his second-round submission of Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos, who took home $20,000. Middleweight champion Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza earned $85,000 total ($70k show / $15k win bonus) in victory, while Robbie Lawler brought in $65,000. Herschel Walker and Scott Carson each netted $5,000, though Walker will continue to donate his earnings to charity, while Roger Gracie pulled $75,000 for his fourth-straight victory over $30,000 earner Trevor Prangley.

Now I don't know about you, but I wouldn't have any problem taking home Cyborg's cheque any day of the week, and the rest of the paydays represent far more money than I make in a calendar year punching a clock at a produce warehouse each morning. If you figure Cyborg put in an eight-week training camp leading up to this bout, he just earned $2500/week for the last two months. To that same end, an eight-week camp for Diaz means a weekly income of $18,500; that's some solid cash money if you ask me.

Extrapolated over three fights a year, the lowest earner amongst the main card fighters, Cyborg, is drawing $60,000 a year if he never earns a victory. While he certainly has to come out of pocket for trainers and everything involved with his preparations, he's also bringing in an undeclared amount from sponsors, and being in the Showtime main event will provide a nice boost to his base sponsorship numbers without question.

If you look at the top end, Diaz is banking $450,000 for three fights a year plus whatever else he's getting from sponsors, and that's someone fighting for Strikeforce.

Those dollar figures go up for some of the big boys in the UFC, and some of the middle tier talent is pulling solid money too. For instance, Thiago Silva took home $110,000 ($55k win/show) for his victory over Brandon Vera at UFC 125, while Nick's little brother Nathan earned $33,000 in a losing effort that same night.

Taken at face value, those are solid annual incomes, but in terms of athlete salaries across the board, they're poor.

The league minimum in the NFL last season was $325,000. Major League Baseball clocked in at $400,000. The NBA minimum for rookies was a random $457,588, while the NHL tops the list at an even half-a-million dollars as the minimum.

Here's the rub: you can't compare the salaries of fighters to those of their counterparts in the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL.

Those sports have tenure amongst the paying public, television executives and major corporate sponsors; comparatively, mixed martial arts is a pimple-faced teenager, and that is why the comparison is apples and cinder blocks.

I'm not saying that fighters shouldn't be making more money; stepping into the cage to get punched in the face has got to be worth more than a couple thousand bucks, especially when viewed against being the 12th man on an NBA roster or the fifth outfielder for the Seattle Mariners.

But as much as you, me and Dupree want to see our athletes bringing in comparable pay to the guys earning three minutes of ice time or playing special teams, the truth is that MMA isn't in the same space as those organizations; they're the upper echelon and firmly entrenched after years of growth, prosperity and proven success. Mixed martial arts hasn't gotten there yet, and you won't see a unilateral increase in fighter salaries until they do.

You have to remember that each of those four leagues earn sizeable income from network television revenue, something MMA doesn't do at this stage. While you might want to point to the UFC's income from pay-per-view sales, the numbers aren't even close.

In 2010, the UFC registered approximately 9.14 million pay-per-view buys for a gross revenue of $411 million. Big money, right?

Not so fast.

Revenues from the 32 teams that make up the National Football League topped $7.6 billion in 2009. Billion. The NHL, who is no better than fourth banana below the 49th parallel, made $2.82 billion.

The Dallas Cowboys are valued at more than a billion dollars themselves.

Prosperity and increased salaries don't come around overnight, and though a lot of fans have been passionately following MMA since November 12, 1993 (some sooner, some later), that's only 17 years ago. That means that for nearly half of my life, MMA wasn't in the picture, but baseball, basketball, football and hockey most definitely were, and I'll bet the same applies to a lot of other people too.

Once this sport has 30 or 40 years in the bank as a staple in North America, maybe the comparisons will be worth examining, but even a UFC network deal in 2011 isn't going to change the fact that preliminary card fighters in the biggest organization in the sport will be earning between $4,000 and $8,000 to show.

We need to show that long-term viability and become entrenched in the sporting fabric of North American society before fighters are pulling in NFL-type money, and that might not ever happen. Seriously.

For right now, the men competing in preliminary slots on UFC shows are going to keep making relative chump change, with the pay increasing with your place on the card, for the most part.

Does it suck that Frankie Edgar makes a fraction of the money Albert Haynesworth earns in a year? Absolutely.

Is that going to change any time soon? Absolutely not.

Case and point: When Harris Interactive did their most recent poll of the most popular sports in the United States, MMA wasn't even an option.

Once we start making an impression on that survey, maybe then we can start comparing salaries, but for right now, it's an exercise in futility.

Source: The Province

UFC Issues Statement of Thanks to Government Agencies Assisting With Piracy Investigations

Zuffa’s continued battle against piracy of their pay-per-views got a major ally in the fight as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement have stepped up their efforts to stop the illegal streams of the UFC broadcasts throughout the world.

Zuffa has long fought against website providers who illegally broadcast UFC programming, and have filed several lawsuits against those who either show the pay-per-views, or allow others to broadcast them on their websites.

On Wednesday, the UFC issued a special thank you to the individuals most singularly responsible for stepping up efforts to stop the piracy of their products.

Particularly the UFC offered appreciate to Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and John T. Morton from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for their parts in the recent efforts.

“The very forceful actions taken by Mr. Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and Mr. Morton, the Director of ICE, against these parasitic websites is very welcome news. The criminal theft of Pay-Per-View events has resulted in the loss of millions of dollars of revenue to not only the UFC and its fighters, but has also deprived federal, state and local government of their rightful entitlement to significant tax revenue,” UFC President Dana White said in the release.

“On behalf of the UFC and its fighters, I extend my sincerest thanks to Mr. Bharara, Mr. Morton, and the many Assistant United States Attorneys and Agents of Homeland Security Investigations who worked so tirelessly during the course of this intensive investigation.”

Of course investigations are ongoing, but with the U.S. government stepping in to help out the effort, the UFC has a powerful ally on their site in the battle against piracy.

Source: MMA Weekly

Hughes uncertain about future of storied career
By Josh Gross

Matt Hughes' last outing in the Octagon didn't go over so well.

Matt Hughes has expressed the desire before. But this time, he might follow through.

"I don't know if I'll sign another contract with the UFC," the former welterweight champion said Thursday in San Jose, Calif., where he'll corner middleweight Robbie Lawler at the HP Pavilion this weekend against Strikeforce titleholder Ronaldo Souza.

Hughes has one fight remaining on his current UFC deal and said he plans on fulfilling his obligation to his longtime promoter by the middle of the year. Out of fitness preservation, Hughes, patting his stomach, said he stepped back into his gym, H.I.T. Squad in Granite City, Ill., three weeks ago to maintain his shape. Beyond that, he didn't say what his future holds, though the 37-year-old powerhouse did not shut the door on competing again.

After a busy 2010, which saw him win two fights and lose one -- a stunning 21-second knockout against B.J. Penn in December -- Hughes (45-8) is focused on "trying to make sure my kids know who their dad is. The UFC is not the top priority on my mind right now."

Outside of the cage, Hughes hosts Trophy Hunters TV on the Outdoor Channel, which features the fighter on a documentary-style program revolving around his hunting adventures.

Whatever he decides, Hughes, who owns a 9-3 record in UFC welterweight title fights, will go down as one of the great 170-pound fighters in mixed martial arts history.

"I would have to talk to my wife. I'd have to talk to Dana," Hughes said. "I wouldn't call it a retirement. It wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility for me to fight two or three times. I have said I'm going to fight one more time for the last three fights. I meant it. I really have."

Source: ESPN

MMA Not Included in 2011 Budget in New York, Dana White Done with Predictions for Sanctioning
by Damon Martin

Just weeks after the UFC held a press conference at Madison Square Garden to hopefully turn the wheels in motion to have mixed martial arts sanctioned in the state of New York, the sport was dealt a decided blow when Governor Andrew Cuomo released his budget.

Hopes were high that Cuomo would include mixed martial arts in his 2011 budget, but alas he did not include it in his final numbers.

The budget isn’t the last striking point for MMA in New York, but as Assemblyman Dean Murray (R) said last month, it would be a huge step in the right direction.

“I’ve actually contacted the Governor’s office and asked him to include this in the Governor’s budget this year. So we’re going to wait and see if it is included in the budget. If it’s not, I’m hoping that we’ll bring it to the floor for a vote,” Murray commented.

“If it’s in the budget, it has a much better shot of staying in the budget.”

Unfortunately, the $10 billion dollar deficit currently facing the state overwhelmed the budget beyond anything MMA related.

Possibly the more disturbing part of the budget’s release this week was the inclusion that the state intends to eliminate the position for the salary of the Chair of the State Athletic Commission.

The position is currently held by Melvina Lathan, and currently the commission primarily oversees boxing in the state, but that would change of course if mixed martial arts sanctioning takes place. has reached out to Lathan to receive comment on the proposed budget cuts, but at this time no comment has been given.

UFC President Dana White has long talked about sanctioning in New York, and while the budget being released without MMA on the agenda is in no way a nail in the coffin when it comes to the sport being sanctioned there, it certainly doesn’t help matters.

“New York’s a crazy place to navigate politically. We all know it’s ridiculous that this thing isn’t sanctioned in New York,” White said on Wednesday.

“At the end of the day do we really need New York? No. But New York should be open, there should be mixed martial arts in New York. I’m done with predictions on New York. Whenever it happens, it happens.”

MMA could still gain sanctioning through means of being approved through legislature at the state level in New York, but as of now there’s no clear indicator that will happen any time soon.

Source: MMA Weekly


UFC 126: $75,000 Bonuses Handed Out Including Silva’s Knockout
by Damon Martin

Following one of the most fantastic knockouts in UFC history, Anderson Silva was handed a $75,000 bonus on top of retaining the middleweight belt at UFC 126 on Saturday night.

The bonuses were announced by UFC president Dana White at the UFC 126 post fight press conference.

In addition to Silva getting his bonus, new top light heavyweight contender Jon “Bones” Jones walked out with an additional $75,000 for his Submission of the Night over formerly undefeated Ryan Bader.

Fight of the Night went to Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Paul Kelly, with each of them taking home an additional $75,000. Cerrone is a multiple time winner of the award between his time in the WEC and now in the UFC.

Source: MMA Weekly

MMA Top 10 Rankings: Jacare and Nick Diaz Make Moves

The updated World MMA Rankings were released on Wednesday, Feb. 2. This system ranks the Top 10 MMA fighters from all across the world in each of the seven most widely accepted weight classes.

Taken into consideration are a fighter’s performance in addition to win-loss record, head-to-head and common opponents, difficulty of opponents, and numerous other factors in what is the most comprehensive rankings system in the sport.

Fighters who are currently serving drug-related suspensions are not eligible for Top 10 consideration until they have fought one time after the completion of their suspension.

Fighters must also have competed within the past 12 months in order to be eligible for Top 10 consideration unless they have a bout scheduled within a reasonable time frame.

Below are the current World MMA Rankings, which are up-to-date as of Wednesday, Feb. 2.

HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION (over 205 pounds)
1. Cain Velasquez
2. Fabricio Werdum
3. Fedor Emelianenko
4. Brock Lesnar
5. Junior Dos Santos
6. Alistair Overeem
7. Shane Carwin
8. Frank Mir
9. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
10. Antonio Silva

1. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua
2. Rashad Evans
3. Quinton Jackson
4. Lyoto Machida
5. Forrest Griffin
6. Ryan Bader
7. Jon Jones
8. Thiago Silva
9. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
10. Randy Couture

1. Anderson Silva
2. Yushin Okami
3. Nathan Marquardt
4. Demian Maia
5. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza
6. Jorge Santiago
7. Robbie Lawler
8. Michael Bisping
9. Hector Lombard
10. Mark Munoz

1. Georges St-Pierre
2. Jon Fitch
3. Jake Shields
4. Thiago Alves
5. Josh Koscheck
6. Nick Diaz
7. Paul Daley
8. Martin Kampmann
9. Carlos Condit
10. Chris Lytle

LIGHTWEIGHT DIVISION (160-pound limit)
1. Frankie Edgar
2. Gilbert Melendez
3. Gray Maynard
4. Shinya Aoki
5. Eddie Alvarez
6. Tatsuya Kawajiri
7. Jim Miller
8. Kenny Florian
9. George Sotiropoulos
10. Anthony Pettis

1. Jose Aldo
2. Manny Gamburyan
3. Diego Nunes
4. Chad Mendes
5. Michihiro Omigawa
6. Hatsu Hioki
7. Dustin Poirier
8. Mark Hominick
9. Josh Grispi
10. Hiroyuki Takaya

BANTAMWEIGHT DIVISION (135 pounds or less)
1. Dominick Cruz
2. Brian Bowles
3. Joseph Benavidez
4. Scott Jorgensen
5. Miguel Torres
6. Urijah Faber
7. Brad Pickett
8. Demetrious Johnson
9. Eddie Wineland
10. Masakatsu Ueda

Source: MMA Weekly

Sengoku goes to battle with Gong Kakutougi magazine writer Manabu Takashima
By Zach Arnold

Not since promotional attacks in 1995 against then-Weekly Pro Wrestling magazine editor Tarzan Yamamoto can I recall a promotion publicly attacking a veteran writer like you are about to see today. Yamamoto, who was labeled as an anti-New Japan Pro-Wrestling editor, took a beating from fans and was booed unmercilessly everywhere he went.

The writer you’re about to see get mentioned does not remind me of the same type of person as Tarzan Yamamoto, at all.

Manabu Takashima, a competent veteran Japanese MMA writer who often has appeared on TV with dyed silver hair, has lots of street credibility when it comes to understanding the foreign MMA landscape. He’s been around a long time and he’s the kind of guy who, should UFC end up trying to make a big splash in Japan, would prove to be valuable for their efforts if they wanted to hire him for his services outside of writing. (Kind of in the old Wally Yamaguchi role. Only Japanese pro-wrestling fans will understand that analogy.)

So, when I saw this curious article talking about ‘the end of Sengoku’ because of a Gong Kakutougi article, I was amused by the tone. Mr. Takashima is not exactly what you would a tabloid writer. He’s unlikely to be a guy who would launch a Shukan Gendai-type campaign against a promotion.

However, that’s not what Sengoku would like you to believe. In a bizarre statement posted on the company’s web site, the promotion blasted an article that Takashima did in the March edition of Gong Kakutougi magazine. The article theme is ‘our opinion on the interview by Manabu Takashima.’ It starts off talking about since the collapse of PRIDE in 2007 that the Japanese MMA industry had a deep recession and that World Victory Road came along to join the fighters, fans, and mass communiction (media) to help restore the business. It goes on to say that they’re proud to produce big MMA events and do interpromotional fights with DREAM along with the NYE weekend event in Tokyo at Ariake Colosseum. Their viewpoint is that just as things were improving and changing for the future, Manabu Takashima wrote an article that ‘poured cold water’ on their progress that was improper. You can read some of what was said in the Gong article down below, but Sengoku objected to Mr. Takashima’s claims that the organization promoted their NYE weekend event poorly and tried to make it up by booking a lot of matches and used a bigger stage in the building. Additionally, Manabu claimed that fighters signed contracts for the Sengoku 12/30 Tokyo event the day of the show and the promotion disputes the factual accuracy of this claim of ‘irresponsible and groundless’ charges. Sengoku says that they are disappointed that a ‘quality magazine’ like Gong Kakutougi would publish Mr. Takashima’s remarks and that they were launching a protest, demanding a correction and an apology. The promotion claims that they welcome constructive criticism from fans but did not find Mr. Takashima’s personal remarks about Sengoku to be suitable to be attached to what was marketed as an interview with Hatsu Hioki for the magazine.

Essentially, the promotion claims that Takashima’s remarks are damaging to the company’s image and could cause complication with sponsors like Don Quijote. If sponsors back away from the company, then their 4/23 Ariake Colosseum event in Tokyo could be postponed or canceled. The promotion says they are angry at Mr. Takashima’s ‘carelessness’ and expressed strong regret about his comments.

The inimitable Tony Loiseleur on Twitter comments:

Speaking w/those close to the situation but wish to remain anonymous, this kerfuffle on SRC’s page is a non-issue. Don Quijote is still w/SRC. Rumors of DonQi leaving SRC come by way of another mag, quoting an off-the-record Takao Yasuda musing whether DQ should pull out of MMA.

All Manabu Takashima’s article is guilty of is stating contracts are signed day of or day after. I know several ppl who will attest to this. It should be noted however that this is a common practice in JMMA. The biz here obviously works very differently than back in the West.

Also must note: Takashima is an awesome journalist who has covered Western MMA for ages. His noting this idiosyncracy of JMMA biz is natural.

The question is why SRC is calling out Gong & Takashima specifically. I’ve been told a few theories off record that I can’t repeat here, yet. In any case, DonQi is still behind SRC at the moment, but their April show will likely be pushed back to a later date.

The people I spoke to swear it’s SRC kicking up a fuss over nothing. Another thing that should be noted is that the statement on SRC’s page is signed by WVR itself, rather than any of its representatives. It’s a small detail, but I believe something worth keeping in mind.

For all WVR’s troubles promoting, it’s been hard rallying popular & media support. Despite Takashima writing truths, they’re prob fed up. Also, DonQi may not be gone yet, but there’s always that risk. Remember when folks were saying they split from SRC in late 2009? WVR’s statement is prob a warning shot to the media, and a sign to their benefactor, Yasuda, that they’re addressing this “support” issue.

The uber-talented Dan Herbertson on Twitter comments:

Gong’s March issue featured an editorial on SRC, saying they try to compensate for meaningless matches with the size of their stage.

Gong claimed that the fighter contracts were also signed on the day of the event. SRC rebutted that and said that there was no evidence at all to support those claims.

SRC 17 was due to be held on April 23 but now may not happen because of this Gong article.

Some of the Japanese magazines are entirely too close to the promoters (namely FEG). I think this is a reaction to this.

Worth noting that the cover of Gong Kakutougi this month is a picture of Hioki vs Sandro and the lead story is a 10,000 character interview.

I don’t like how WVR refuted that by saying that Gonkaku has no evidence. “Not true” would have been a better response.

The contracts thing is really a non-issue. It’s the lack of support from the MMA media.

Usually when promotions have major problems with beat writers, they will threaten them or admonish them (or bribe them) behind the scenes. Old hat. However, to see a promotion pick a target, freeze it, and then publicly define who the target is to create a certain impression is not the norm.

Keep your eyes on the Twitter accounts of both Dan & Tony for updates on the story. You should trust these men.

Source: Fight Opinion

MMA Diet: Carbohydrates
by Cameron Conaway

There is always talk about “good” and “bad” carbs. It’s an overly simplistic approach, but can certainly be a helpful foundation for the fighter looking to make healthier food choices.

Some “bad” choices are: white bread, white rice, refined sugars (think powder) like those usually found in candy, sodas and even fruit juices. These carbs are considered bad because they offer little other than sugar, and because the sugar they offer is refined and/or is not slowly digested as a result of other nutrients in the food. This means these foods make blood sugar levels quickly surge, and research is continuing to find direct links between those who frequently eat foods that cause their blood sugar levels to surge and diabetes, high blood pressure and a host of other problems.

But don’t we want our blood sugar levels to rise quickly sometimes? Yes, we do. Hint: The sugar from fruit is called fructose. Because fructose is a quick energy source, this makes fruit a great alternative. Marathon runners load up on carbs before their long-distance runs. We need carbs for energy. Check out these five carbohydrate tips.

(1) Learn about the Glycemic Index from Simply put, the Glycemic Index rates carbohydrates based on how quickly or slowly they elevate blood sugar levels. One reason why it’s better to have smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day is because it keeps the blood sugar levels relatively stabilized compared to the extreme ups and downs of having a few large meals per day.

(2) Save fruits and other quick energy carbohydrate sources for the morning and try to avoid them directly before going to bed. If you are going to spike your blood sugar, use the spike to start your day or workout strong.

(3) The fewer ingredients the better. 100% Durum Whole Wheat or Steel Cut Oats are two smart carbohydrate choices that contain just one ingredient. This applies to other foods, but particularly to carbohydrates because sugar comes in many names and in many forms. Here are just a few commonly found on labels:

Brown Sugar, Sugar Honey, Sucrose, Corn Syrup, Molasses, Confectioner’s Sugar, Date Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Brown Rice Syrup, Maltodextrin, Molasses Powder, Turbinado, Maple Syrup, Glucose, Dextrin, Lactose, Fructose, Honey, Caramel, Fruit Sugar, Maple Sugar, Dextrose, Chicory Syrup.

(4) Always choose whole grains. The MMA fighter needs to eat as efficiently as possible. One way to do this is to always choose whole grains whenever possible. Whole grains contain the germ, endosperm, and bran, in contrast to refined grains – like white bread – which retain only the endosperm. This means that rather than just getting carbs, the MMA fighter will also be getting plenty of protein, fiber and the many smaller chemical compounds found in whole grain foods that provide heart-healthy benefits. A typical 2oz (or 200 calorie) serving of a 100% whole grain pasta is packed with seven grams of protein and six grams of dietary fiber. Not to mention the carbohydrates, because they are in their whole form, will digest slowly and will create a steady and stable blood sugar level for hours to come rather than the sharp rise in blood sugar that is associated with many of our country’s health problems.

(5) Buy Dry 100% Whole Wheat Pasta in Bulk. This will ensure that you always have it and won’t be tempted to reach for something less healthy. Boil water, pour some pasta out of the box, watch it for five-six minutes and voila – you’ve got yourself a foundation for your meal. Dose it with some extra virgin olive oil, spices and add a can of tuna to it and you’re fueling your muscles, tendons, skin and organs with many nutrients that will help your body recover.

Remember, it shouldn’t take an eternity in the kitchen to eat healthy.

Source: Sherdog

UFC 126: Jon Jones Submits Ryan Bader, Earns Surprise Title Shot Against ‘Shogun’ Rua
by Erik Fontanez

Jon Jones earned his 12th career win as he defeated fellow up-and-comer, Ryan Bader, by submission in the second round of their UFC 126 match-up. Jones was able to make his presence known, stuffing all of Bader’s takedown attempts en route to a win by guillotine choke at 4:20 of the round.

In addition, Jones, to his surprise, was told during his post fight interview with Joe Rogan that Rashad Evans has blown his knee out and the UFC is offering him a title shot against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in March.

Bader and Jones entered the Octagon with excitement felt from the crowd. Jones, who had a near 10-inch reach advantage, looked calm and relaxed as he shot in for a takedown, putting Bader on his back and landing in side control. Jones looked as though he had a North-South choke that put Bader in trouble, but he released it and returned to side control. The fight then went back to the feet as Bader initiated getting to that position. Jones landed a nice left high kick, which was followed up by a Bader takedown attempt.

The shot was stuffed by Jones and the two ended up on the ground with Jones working from the top. A scramble to the feet led to Bader falling underneath Jones again, where he ate several elbows. The round ended with Jones controlling the majority of the opening stanza.

The second round started with Jones controlling the center of the Octagon. A nice left hook by Jones found its mark on Bader. Later, Jones attempted a flying head kick, but missed the target. Bader threw a massive right hand that Jones was able to avoid. Had it landed, that might have changed the flow of the match-up. A few low kicks by Jones found their targets, digging deep into Bader’s outside thigh. At just over a minute to go, Bader attempted pulling guard, and this was the beginning of the end. Jones was able to lock in a straight guillotine, forcing Bader to tap.

The win was obviously a big one for Jones, as it earned him a shot a Rua’s light heavyweight belt. Rogan stood with Jones after the fight and talked to him about the victory.

“I feel so confident every time I come in here,” Jones said following the win. “I feel as if it’s my time and I’m hungry and I’m going for it. I want it.”

Rogan then made the surprise offer to Jones to face champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 128 in March.

“Here’s the situation: Rashad Evans was scheduled to face Shogun for the title, Rashad Evans is injured he blew out his knee. The UFC wants to give you the opportunity against Shogun Rua for the light heavyweight championship of the world,” said Rogan.

Despite the quick turn around, Jones was ecstatic about his opportunity for a title. When asked about how he feels about getting the shot at UFC gold, Jones was thankful and made an impact statement when he said, “I’m going for a world title, baby! Lets do it!”

The champion, Rua, entered the Octagon after the surprise announcement and accepted the challenge of taming the young “Bones” Jones.

“Jon Jones is a great (fighter) and I respect him,” he said. “I’m a professional fighter and I’ll fight anyone.”

Source: MMA Weekly

Amilcar Alves returns to Shooto after two losses in the UFC
By Guilherme Cruz

After two losses in a row inside the UFC octagon, Amilcar Alves was cut from the organization, but will return to action this month. Shooto Brazil president André Pederneiras told TATAME that the welterweight striker will battle Edmilson Jr. in Shooto Brazil 21 main event, on February 19, in Rio de Janeiro. Check below the complete card of the event.

Shooto Brasil 21
Rio de Janeiro
Sábado, 19 de fevereiro de 2011

- Achiles Campos vs. Janailson Lima (BTT);

- Hacran Dias (Nova União vs. Ricardo Pitbull (Charlie Brown);

- Antonio Samurai (Dragon Fight) vs. Cleber Tavares (BTT);

- Rafael Palhares (Nova União) vs. Vitor Pereira (TFT);

- Eli Frank (Carioca Team) vs. Maurício (Draculino);

- Diogo Osama (Distrito da Luta) vs. Alan Quirino (In Fight);

- Fernando Bruno (Nova União) vs. Anderson Nunes (In Fight);

- Amilcar Alves (Nova União) vs. Edmilson Jr. (Morganti Jiu-Jitsu).

Source: Tatame

Boxing: Manny Pacquiao fever strikes fast Monday
by Damian Calhoun

Manny Pacquaio is returning to Las Vegas for his May 7 fight against "Sugar" Shane Mosley and to say that fans really want to see him, would be an understatement.

Tickets for Pacquaio's (53-3-2, 38 KOs) defense of his WBO welterweight title fight against three-division champion Shane Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KOs) went on sale Monday morning and they were gobbled up quickly.

Between 10 a.m.-1 p.m., 16,000 tickets were sold for the fight. According to reports, 1,000 seats remain for the fight.

"Incredible. Simply incredible," promoter Bob Arum said in a statement. "I have never promoted a fight that has sold so many tickets so quickly. Manny Pacquiao never ceases to amaze the world with his achievements. The excitement he generated today with the initial ticket sales makes it feel like fight week already!"

If you're interested, tickets can still be purchased through Ticketmaster. Tickets are priced at $1,000, $750, and $300. Tickets are also available for purchase at or

Source: Orange County

UFC 126: Miguel Torres Grabs Unanimous Decision Win in UFC Debut
by Erik Fontanez

Miguel Torres was successful in his UFC debut as he pulled out the unanimous decision win over Antonio Banuelos at UFC 126.

From wire to wire, Torres made his place known and controlled the fight on the feet, earning the unanimous nod with all three judges scoring the bout 30-27.

Banuelos and Torres started out gauging each other’s distance, feeling each other out. With a distinct reach advantage, Torres utilized his jab, keeping Banuelos at bay. Banuelos caught a Torres kick at just under three minutes in, putting the former champ on his back, but Banuelos let him right back up to the feet. Very little happened in the first round of this fight. Banuelos even attempted a spinning back kick with 30 seconds left, but didn’t come close to landing it. It appeared Torres won the round by keeping the distance and using a solid jab.

Banuelos started out the second round with instruction by his corner to push the pace a little bit more, but Torres held the center of the Octagon for a good amount of time. At about 1:10 into the round, Banuelos took a shot to the groin, but the action only stopped momentarily. Torres stuck to the jab and had some good movement to avoid most of the strikes Banuelos presented any time he moved forward. The crowd at the Mandalay Bay Events Center began to get a bit frustrated with this fight, booing the competitors as Torres kept his opponent at a distance. A late strike by Banuelos was about the only offense he provided in the second as Torres won the round.

The final round began with more of the same as Banuelos couldn’t close any distance to score points. More booing from the crowd rained on the fighters, motivating Torres to pick up the pace a little bit more. More jabs and counters came from Torres’ direction, while Banuelos’ strikes seemed to be thrown way short of their target for a majority of the fight. Torres threw in an occasional kick that kept Banuelos backing up further away from his opponent. The final 10 seconds of the round had Banuelos put on a little more pressure, but it was too late as the final horn rang signalling the end of the fight. It was now in the hands of the judges, and they ended up giving Torres the win unanimously.

“I wanted to get into a brawl, but I couldn’t,” Torres said to Joe Rogan in his post fight interview. “So, I had to fight him from the outside.”

Clearly, Torres didn’t want to get caught with a punch and have the tides of the fight change direction.

“I didn’t want to commit too much and get hurt because I know he’s a very dangerous fighter on the inside,” he said.

Torres scores his first win in the UFC and 39th of his carrer. Banuelos has his record drop to 18-7.

Source: MMA Weekly

Cuomo leaves MMA out of New York's budget, UFC done with predictions for sanctioning
by John Morgan and Steven Marrocco

LAS VEGAS – Hopes that recently elected governor Andrew Cuomo could speed the process of getting MMA to New York were dashed by the recent release of his 2011-2012 budget proposal.

Conspicuously absent from a host of measures that aim to close the state's $10 billion budget deficit is language to legalize the sport.

The news drew frustration today from UFC president Dana White, who said he is "done with predictions in New York."

"Absolutely," White told ( when asked whether the exclusion was a setback. "It's just one of those things.

"At the end of the day, do we really need New York? No. But New York should be open. We should be able to do it."

Just three weeks prior, the promotion held a rally at storied sports venue Madison Square Garden to announce the results of a self-funded economic impact study that claimed two UFC events could generate $23 million in revenue for the Empire State.

White said feedback on the promotion's current lobbying efforts has been "all positive."

Clearly, though, today's news revealed a divide between rhetoric and the political realities of the financially strapped state.

"New York is just such a crazy place to navigate politically," he said. "We all know it's ridiculous that this thing isn't sanctioned in New York."

Previous governor David Paterson included legalization language in his 2010-2011 budget proposal before it was removed, as one legislator said, because of "strongly divided opinions" on the sport.

The UFC had hoped Cuomo would re-introduce such language, and it donated $74,600 to the governor's election campaign.

But even MMA supporters in the state legislature said it could be a long time before the sport is able to shrug off its controversial past. New York banned the sport in 1997 when the UFC's previous owners, Sephamore Entertainment Group, attempted to hold UFC 12 in the Empire State.

The UFC has drawn stubborn political opposition since it began ramping up its legalization efforts.

One opponent, recently re-elected state assemblyman Bob Reilly, a Democrat, is believed to be at the heart of several roadblocks the promotion has encountered in the state assembly.

"It's scary," White said of Reilly. "It's unbelievable that this guy has been battling this for so long and is so uneducated about it."

MMA legislation has yet to receive a vote on either the assembly or senate floor in the previous three legislative sessions.

"If we were able to get it to the floor, we'd probably pass it with Republican votes," said Steve Englebright, who chairs the assembly's Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development Committee, in an interview with this past June. "But there is a desire, I think, on the part of many of the members of our Democratic majority to resolve this matter satisfactorily within our own [party] before submitting it to the uncertainties of a debate."

With Cuomo's snub of MMA, the fate of legalization rests on three MMA-related bills currently on the docket for this year's legislative session: two bills in the assembly and one in the senate. The state assembly bills are awaiting review in the Tourism, Arts and Sports Development committee, while the senate bill has been refereed to the Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation committee.

While White executive refuses to give up the fight to get UFC events into New York, you won't hear him giving any predictions on when that will become a reality.

"Whenever it happens, it happens," White said.

Source: MMA Junkie

Gina Carano Returns To Training at Xtreme Couture on Wednesday

If you’re looking for signs that Gina Carano might be headed back to MMA, Wednesday was a good indicator.

Carano, who has been shooting scenes for Steven Soderbergh’s upcoming film “Haywire”, was spotted at Xtreme Couture on Wednesday working out with boxing coach Gil Martinez.

Xtreme Couture issued a former welcome back to Carano, who had trained with the gym while fighting in Elite XC and Strikeforce before taking a hiatus from the sport to concentrate on her acting career.

Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker has talked about Carano coming back to fighting multiple times, but has yet to have a conversation with her about resuming her MMA career.

While Carano returning to Xtreme Couture is no sure thing that a return to MMA is next, it’s a step in the right direction. Also, according to internet film database, Carano doesn’t have any acting gigs booked beyond her current job filming “Haywire”.

Carano’s return would obviously be a nice boost to Strikeforce’s roster, but in her absence the promotion has continued to thrive, crowning a 135lb women’s champion and starting to bolster a strong women’s roster. Her addition would only add to that talent pool.

Source: MMA Weekly

Welcome to the UFC: Cerrone and Mendes Dominate At UFC 126
by Damon Martin

Two fighters formerly from the WEC introduced themselves to the UFC world on Saturday night with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone submitting Paul Kelly, and Chad Mendes dominating Michihiro Omigawa during the Spike TV prelims for UFC 126.

Stepping in on shorter notice for his debut, the always ready Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone seemed a bit off in the early going in his fight against Paul Kelly, but never got rattled as the Brit came on the offensive.

Cerrone has been a notoriously slow starter throughout his career, but Saturday night looked more like a timing and defensive issue, but he adjusted well and came back strong, especially in the 2nd round.

After cracking Kelly with a vicious elbow that opened a cut over the Brit’s right eye to close the first, Cerrone stayed on the attack during the second round as well. Getting the fight to the ground, Cerrone immediately transitioned to the mount before Kelly rolled, giving up his back.

Locking on a body triangle, Cerrone peppered Kelly with punches until the Wolfslair fighter gave the perfect opening to slip the forearm under the chin and look for the finish. Cerrone wrenched up on the arm and locked it in place, and Kelly wincing in obvious discomfort had no choice but to tap the canvas.

“That’s Greg Jackson’s jiu-jitsu, the best in the world. My training partners are the best guys in the world,” Cerrone said about the submission.

The win gives Cerrone his first official UFC win, and he admitted following the fight that he was out to prove something to anyone that wasn’t sure how the former WEC lightweights would stack up in the Octagon.

“I’m glad to be here and show the WEC guys deserve (to be here) in the UFC,” Cerrone stated.

Mark Hominick may be getting the next shot at UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo in April, but the new No. 1 contender could have very well been crowned as Chad Mendes dominated Michihiro Omigawa on his way to a route in their fight at UFC 126.

Mendes was hopeful before the announcement that Hominick got the fight with Aldo that if he was successful at UFC 126, that he could possibly get the shot at the belt later this year.

Obviously the UFC opted to give the shot to the Canadian, so Mendes decided to make a point and make an example out of Omigawa on Saturday night.

The Team Alpha Male fighter showed flashes of brilliance in both his already established wrestling game, and his rapidly improving stand-up game, battering Omigawa at every turn. Mendes landed a nasty elbow at one point in the fight that opened a gash on Omigawa’s head that brought more than a few ooh’s and ah’s from the Las Vegas crowd when it was shown on the big screen.

Mendes kept up his relentless pace for all 15 minutes and at the end of the fight all Omigawa could do was throw his arms to the mat in frustration.

Mendes maintains a perfect record in his professional MMA career, and now has to be considered the No. 1 contender in the UFC’s newly minted featherweight division.

Source: MMA Weekly



Mayhem At The Mansion II
Kilohana Mansion, Puhi, Kauai
February 5, 2011
By Chris Onzuka -

The first and longest running MMA event held their first event of the year on the beautiful island of Kauai and like in years past the rain has come down to bless the event. However, the event has moved from under the open aired Hanapepe Stadium into the fully sheltered and more intimate Kilohana Mansion for the second time, which was appreciated by all. The event featured two kickboxing matches, a handful of Pankration matches and ended the night with MMA. Ola Lum from the O2 Martial Arts Academy started off the night by hammering a tough and game Marcus Vierra. The Pankration matches, which featured striking while standing, but grappling only while on the ground was dominated by the HMC team under the tutelage of David "Chinaman" Yeung. His team looked very polished and took full advantage of the Pankration style of matches to get their feet wet to improve their MMA skills. They showcased a very aggressive and well rounded style. The big boys also came out the bang making it was the classic version of the immovable object meeting the irresistible force when Gary Gouviea came straight forward throwing bombs while Kalama Silva fired back and displayed some solid striking skills. In the end, Gouviea's pressure, and ability to take a punch, was too much for Silva. There was even a female kickboxing bout featuring Ingrid Nakamura taking on an intimidating opponent in Ave Peters. Nakamura showed no fear and went after Peters, connecting with a thrust kick and pounding the body until she dropped her larger foe to the Kauai fight fans' delight. The last three fights made Kauai proud as Tyson Hawelu (New Breed) continued his winning streak with his aggressive style taking out Paul Lopes and Salty Shane Kahananui from KTI had a back and forth war with Ryan Clay until landing a vicious right hook that sent Clay crashing to the canvas. The main event featured Kauai's top 145lber and MMA and BJJ veteran Eben Kaneshiro taking on BJ Penn 8-Man tournament champion Matt Comeau. Comeau looked to utilize his wrestling to keep the fight standing and out of Kaneshiro's strength, but Kaneshiro added some new striking skills to his arsenal. When the fighters broke apart or were infighting, Kaneshiro would throw spinning back elbows with bad intentions. It was only a matter of time and the right opportunity for one of those elbows to find its mark. Kaneshiro landed a solid elbow that sent Comeau to the cage floor. He pounced on Comeau, but the Referee stepped in to save a dazed Comeau from taking further damage. This event partnered with X-1 World Events and one of the benefits of this partnership was up and coming fighters could qualify to fight on the larger X-1 stage and with this win, Eben Kaneshiro earned his title shot at the current champ, Ricky "Hoku" Wallace. The promoters are tentatively planning another event in August.

Amateur Kickboxing: 3 Rounds - 2 Minutes
Ola Lum (O2 Martial Arts Academy) def. Marcus Vierra (Kauai Pankration)
Unanimous decision after 3 rounds

Pankration: 3 Rounds - 3 Minutes
Ryne Yoshimura (HMC) def. Abe Mohr (KTI)
TKO via Referee stoppage at 2:59 in Round 3.

Pankration: 3 Rounds - 3 Minutes
Kai Iwasaki (HMC) def. Keone Martins (Bulls Pen)
Submission via arm bar at 0:15 in Round 1.

Pankration: 3 Rounds - 3 Minutes
Tyler Kobayashi (HMC) def. Jory Faasili (Bulls Pen)
Submission via arm bar at 2:27 in Round 1.

MMA: 3 Rounds - 3 Minutes
Gary Gouveia (HIBC) def. Kalama Silva (Kauai Pankration)
TKO via Referee stoppage at 1:20 in Round 2.

MMA: 3 Rounds - 3 Minutes
Issac Worth (Freelance, Kauai) vs. Justin Perriera (Freelance, Kauai)
Draw after 3 rounds.

MMA: 3 Rounds - 3 Minutes
Glen Daguio (KTI) def. Julio Moreno (Bulls Pen)
Unanimous decision after 3 rounds.

Amateur Female Kickboxing: 3 Rounds - 2 Minutes
Ingrid Nakamura (Freelance, Kauai) def. Avemaoe "Cyco" Peters (Submit Jiu Jitsu/DC Muay Thai)
TKO via Referee stoppage at 1:17 in Round 1.

MMA: 3 Rounds - 3 Minutes
Frank Lucero (Bulls Pen) def. David Kealoha (Kauai Pankration)
TKO via Referee stoppage in Round 1.

MMA: 3 Rounds - 3 Minutes
Danny Lopez (Bulls Pen) def. Randy Ogata (Freelance, Kauai)
Submission via guillotine at 0:29 in Round 1.

MMA: 3 Rounds - 3 Minutes
Domenick Ansagay (Freelance, Kauai) def. Daniel Asuncion (Bulls Pen)
Submission via guillotine at 0:32 in Round 1

MMA: 3 Rounds - 3 Minutes
Tyson Hawelu (New Breed Kauai) def. Paul Lopes (808 Top Team)
TKO via Referee stoppage at 1:24 in Round 1.

145lbs Amateur Bantamweight Championship
MMA: 3 Rounds - 5 Minutes
Shane Kahananui (KTI) def. Ryan Clay (HMC)
KO at 3:00 in Round 1.

Main Event:
MMA: 3 Rounds - 5 Minutes
Eben Kaneshiro (New Breed, Oregon) def. Matt Comeau (Team MMAD)
KO at 0:32 in Round 2.

UFC 126 Results & Live Play-by-Play will report from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas at 7:15 p.m. ET with play-by-play and live results of UFC 126, which is headlined by Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort.

Mike Pierce vs. Kenny Robertson
Round 1
Referee Herb Dean starts the night off in the welterweight division. The fighters exchange jabs to start the contest. Pierce is able to initiate the clinch with Robertson. The Washington native is able to use the position to drag his opponent to the mat. Robertson is game and fights off the takedown as much as he can. He works back to a standing position. Pierce keeps Robertson's back in the fence but is landing little in the way of damage. Referee Dean agrees and separates the fighters. Robertson fires a right hand but is clinched up against the fence almost immediately. Pierce fires a right hand to the stomach of Robertson. The round ends with a Pierce takedown. 10-9 Pierce.

Round 2
The second frame starts with the fighters opening up in a flurry. A right lands for Pierce but its the left that sends Kenny Robertson to the floor. Pierce capitalizes on the floor and gets the stoppage at 29 seconds into the second round via TKO.

Kyle Kingsbury vs. Ricardo Romero
Round 1
Light heavyweights continue the action from The Mandalay Bay Events Center. Overseeing the tilt is referee Steve Mazzagatti. The two men touch gloves and the action starts early. Romero gets tied up into the clinch and eats a solid Kingsbury knee. The knees don't stop there as "Kingsbu" lands a few more to the body before landing a left hook that drops Romero. Mazagatti has seen enough and stops the contest just 21 seconds in the first.

Paul Taylor vs. Gabe Ruediger
Round 1
Lightweights are in the Octagon, along with referee Kim Winslow. After a quick touch of the gloves Taylor fires a right hand that lands to the head of "Godzilla." This initiates a clinch from Ruediger, but it doesn't last long. Taylor launches a left followed by a right which his complemented by a right low kick. The two men clinch again with Ruediger's back to the fence. Ruediger tries to make space and get a takedown, but Taylor shrugs him off. In space, Ruediger shoots but comes up empty. Taylor clinches again and puts his opponent's back into the fence. With little action taking place, Winslow separates the two lightweights. Ruediger rushes in for a takedown but fails again. The round ends with a Taylor left hand. 10-9 Taylor.

Round 2
The middle period opens with Taylor launching punches at Ruediger. The former WEC champion falls to his back to lure the Brit to the mat, but Taylor is wise and backs away. On the feet they clinch again and Ruediger is able to force Taylor's back into the fence. Taylor is able to move off the cage and launches a fight ending flurry. First it's a left hand that hurts Ruediger. A right causes more damage, but its a left head kick that causes Ruediger to fall to the mat and turtle. Kim Winslow saves the fallen Ruediger at 1:42, giving Taylor the TKO win.

Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto vs. Demetrious Johnson
Round 1
Mario Yamasaki is the referee for this bantamweight bout. Both men bounce tentatively with Yamamoto on the outside. Johnson flicks out a few low kicks and Kid catches him with a short left on the second. Another leg kick yields a right hand counter from Yamamoto, tripping Johnson up and sending him backing up into the cage. Johnson appears to catch a low kick, but he’s good to continue and the fighters touch gloves. Yamamoto winds up and misses on a huge uppercut, gets taken down by Johnson, but pops right back up. Johnson comes in and Kid hits him with a right hand, and then repeats a moment later with a left. Johnson gets a takedown in the center of the cage with 90 seconds to go. Kid bucks and rolls, escaping, but gets clipped by a Johnson combo on the way up. Yamamoto lands one back on Johnson and pins him against the fence. They disengage and Johnson plows Yamamoto down with a powerful takedown. The round ends with Johnson landing short punches from half-guard.

Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Johnson
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Johnson
Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Johnson

Round 2
Yamamoto tries a takedown after some more feeling out, but Johnson sprawls and they stay up. Johnson comes inside with a kick that catches Kid square on the cup and immediately backs off. After a moment, they resume and Johnson scores another takedown. Kid barely touches the ground and scrambles to keep it standing up. He sprawls on the next shot, but eats a few punches from Johnson soon after. Now it’s Johnson circling the outside in the orthodox stance. He goes to the middle and whirls Kid down with a single leg. Yamamoto once again gets the underhook and quickly works back to his feet. Johnson misses with a three-piece, Kid misses with a counter right, and Johnson floors his opponent. Yamamoto gets up and Johnson does it again. Kid scrambles loose and tags Johnson with a knee, then backs off, thinking it may have been illegal. Johnson says he’s good and that’s where the round ends.

Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Johnson
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Johnson
Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Johnson

Round 3
Yamamoto slowing down now, still trying to counter the bouncy Johnson. After a minute of circling, Johnson drags Yamamoto down again. Not much happens before Kid gets back up, but Johnson is taking him down at will now. He does again, but can’t get any position on Yamamoto, who gets to his knees, then to his feet. Two minutes left. Johnson clips Kid with a left hook, then another, a kick to the body, and finishes with a takedown at the base of the fence. This time, Kid is slower to get up. He only gets off a few knee and punch attempts before Johnson takes him down again. It ends with Johnson grinding from half-guard and it should be a clean sweep for “Mighty Mouse.”

Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Johnson (30-27 Johnson)
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Johnson (30-27 Johnson)
Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Johnson (30-27 Johnson)

Official scores: The judges have it 29-28 and 30-27, twice, all in favor of Demetrious Johnson, the winner by unanimous decision.

Chad Mendes vs. Michihiro Omigawa
Round 1
Referee Herb Dean is in charge of this featherweight affair. Omigawa puts his dukes up and begins changing levels, and Mendes smacks him with an outside leg kick. Mendes ducks inside and misses on a combo; Omigawa zaps him with a short counter left. Another cracking leg kick from Mendes precedes a takedown attempt, but Omigawa gets the underhook and sprawls well. Mendes lands a crisp right hand, another leg kick, and tries another takedown attempt. Omigawa stays up again and now starts moving forward on Mendes, who’s flicking out his jab. With 90 seconds left, Mendes brings Omigawa down with a double-leg. Omigawa grabs a straight armbar from guard and Mendes looks concerned momentarily, but soon extracts the limb. He backs out and allows Omigawa to his feet. Mendes with another inside leg kick and grazes Omigawa with a left as the round ends.

Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Mendes
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Mendes
Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Mendes

Round 2
The fighters touch gloves again. Omigawa times an inside leg kick from Mendes and hits him over the top with a right hand. A combo from Mendes floors Omigawa and Mendes gives chase into the judoka’s guard. Omigawa recovers and ties up, but Mendes postures up and gets a few punches through before Omigawa scrambles to his feet. Mendes bounces a few overhand rights off Omigawa, who’s coming slow on his counters and has dropped his hands a bit. Mendes drills a right to the gut of Omigawa and then one to the grill. Omigawa’s face is bloodied now, but does well to resist the next takedown attempt from Mendes and winds up pinned to the fence. Short elbow lands inside for Omigawa; Mendes gives him one back. Omigawa tries to reap the leg of Mendes, can’t get it and they disengage. Nice right hand from Mendes. He lands a few more leg kicks that have Omigawa jumping out of the way. Mendes shoots a single and gets sprawled on, and Omigawa drives some punches and elbows to his ribs. Mendes leaps in with a knee and has a left high kick blocked. Omigawa lands a solid left with 20 seconds left, but immediately gets plowed down by Mendes.

Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Mendes
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Mendes
Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Mendes

Round 3
Omigawa comes out sporting a massive gash on his left eyebrow from a Mendes elbow in round two. Nonetheless, he comes forward, landing a kick to the body and a few left hands before sprawling on another Mendes single-leg. Omigawa grabs a guillotine and Mendes rolls forward, extracting his head and moving into the Yoshida Dojo fighter’s half-guard. Omigawa establishes his guard. He’s doing well to tie Mendes up, but Mendes is just pinning him down and muscling him around the mat. Mendes backs out and dives back in with a right hand. Omigawa shrimps and gets to his feet with just under two minutes left. Omigawa starting to string together punches now, lands a few and eats an overhand right counter. He looks to stuff another shot from Mendes, but Mendes keeps after it and gets it with the second effort. Omigawa looks for an omoplata opportunity in the waning seconds. Mendes senses this and backs out, then dives forward and connects with a few more punches before the final horn.

Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Mendes (30-27 Mendes)
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Mendes (30-27 Mendes)
Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Mendes (30-27 Mendes)

Official scores: All three judges cageside see the bout for Chad Mendes, with scores of 30-27 across the board.

Donald Cerrone vs. Paul Kelly
Round 1
Referee Steve Mazzagatti is in charge of this lightweight matchup. Kelly throws a one-two instead of touching gloves and Cerrone plows him down with a double-leg. Cerrone gets his head clear of a loose guillotine attempt and moves to side control on Kelly. They work back to the feet and Kelly drills a knee in the clinch. He leaps forward and pops Cerrone with a nice left hand, opening up a cut beneath Cerrone’s right eye. Cerrone puts a straight left on Kelly’s forehead, which Kelly slaps, telling the “Cowboy” to do it again. Cerrone ducks under a looping right from Kelly and slaps a nice kick to the Brit’s body. Solid overhand right connects for Kelly this time. Cerrone times a short Superman punch from Kelly and brings him down, then moves into half-guard. Kelly has both of Cerrone’s arms tied up, not allowing much. Cerrone gets loose in the last 20 seconds and busts Kelly up with short elbows, opening up a cut on the Englishman’s right eyebrow.

Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Kelly
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Cerrone
Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Cerrone

Round 2
The fighters touch gloves to start the second. Kelly flurrying with punching combos and leaping knees as Cerrone goes to work with low kicks. Cerrone connects with a left kick to the body-right hook combo. Left jabs getting through for Cerrone now. He drives forward and puts Kelly on his back, but gets caught in a guillotine. It’s not tight, and the Cowboy pops loose and gets to half-guard, then mount. Kelly eats a few punches before giving up his back, where Cerrone locks up a tight body triangle with 1:50 still on the clock. Kelly, whose cut has opened back up, defends well at first, but a few punches from the back soften him up. Cerrone whips his left arm around Kelly’s throat and rolls him over, squeezing tight. Kelly taps the mat at the 3:48 mark of the second round.

Miguel Torres vs. Antonio Banuelos
Round 1
Mario Yamasaki is the third man in the cage for this bantamweight scrap. The WEC vets touch gloves and the much longer Torres sticks his left arm out, feeling for range and keeping Banuelos on the outside. Following a very tentative start from both men, Torres starts to land, connecting with a kick to the body and a few nice jabs. Banuelos catches a low kick and drives Torres down, but lets the former champ back up right away. Torres sneaks a stiff right through the low guard of Banuelos and sticks him with a few more left jabs. The crowd boos as the slow opening round ends.

Mike Fridley scores the round 10-9 Torres
Tony Loiseleur scores the round 10-9 Torres
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Torres

Round 2
Torres slaps a left high kick off the forearm of Banuelos, who then barely misses with an overhand right. Banuelos catches a glancing low kick to the cup, but runs it off and gets right back to work. Torres is continuing to pump the left jab, keeping Banuelos out of his zone. The crowd is growing audibly restless with two minutes left in the middle stanza. Banuelos is getting tagged with the jab every time he moves into Torres’ range and not landing anything of his own. He finally lands a solid left hand in the last 10 seconds, but the round was once again all Torres.

Mike Fridley scores the round 10-9 Torres
Tony Loiseleur scores the round 10-9 Torres
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Torres

Round 3
Torres begins scoring with more jabs to open the final period. Banuelos is still unable to get inside effectively, and the crowd jeers after 90 seconds. Nice one-two from Torres is followed by a kick to the body. More jabs snapping back the head of Banuelos, who is now covering up when Torres feints the punch. Torres landing jabs at will in the final minute and dodging everything Banuelos throws his way. Banuelos goes wild with punches, knees and a spinning kick in the final 20 seconds, to no avail.

Mike Fridley scores the round 10-9 Torres (30-27 Torres)
Tony Loiseleur scores the round 10-9 Torres (30-27 Torres)
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Torres (30-27 Torres)

Official scores: It’s a clean sweep for Miguel Torres, who earns scores of 30-27 on all three official scorecards.

Jake Ellenberger vs. Carlos Eduardo Rocha
Round 1
Referee Kim Winslow gets the assignment for this welterweight bout. Ellenberger eats a left hand and floors Rocha with a double-leg. Rocha pops back up and clinches with Ellenberger along the fence. The Brazilian tries to reap the leg of Ellenberger, but gets taken down instead. Rocha gets to his feet and sprawls on a takedown attempt, winding up in side control on Ellenberger’s right. Rocha steps over into mount, then moves to the left. Rocha is pinning his man down and moving from side to side, then jumps on Ellenberger’s back as the American tries to twist loose. Ellenberger puts his back on the mat and Rocha is back in side control. Rocha steps over and grabs the left leg of Ellenberger under the knee from top mount. He can’t find the leg lock and moves back to side control. Winslow warns Rocha of headbutting. Ellenberger explodes out and grabs a guillotine, but it’s short-lived. Ellenburger stuffs a takedown attempt and drills a knee to the body of Rocha, who slips on a spinning kick. Rocha gets taken down, but sweeps with a kimura. He wrenches the hold from side control, but can’t finish before the round expires.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Rocha
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Rocha
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Rocha

Round 2
Ellenberger scores with some knees in the clinch and stuffs a takedown attempt. Rocha turtles and eats some solid punches from Ellenberger before scrambling to his feet and whiffing on a big spinning back kick. Rocha looks to be breathing hard as he airmails a few slow low kicks. Ellenberger jumps forward and drills a knee to the gut of Rocha. As the pace has slowed, Ellenberger has started landing more punches, especially his left. Rocha catches a kick to the body and returns fire with one of his own. Ellenberger drives Rocha down with 20 seconds left. Rocha looks for a submission as the round ends.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Ellenberger
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Ellenberger
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Ellenberger

Round 3
Rocha putting low kicks on the inside of Ellenberger’s left leg early in the final round. Ellenberger clips Rocha with a three-punch combo and uses underhooks to stuff the subsequent takedown attempt. Rocha falls to guard and Ellenberger wants none of it. Ellenberger times a low kick perfectly and slugs Rocha with an overhand right. The Brazilian sidesteps a double-leg attempt from Ellenberger. Hard left jab from Rocha gets through with 90 seconds left. A right high kick glances off Ellenberger, who shoves Rocha to the floor. He lets Rocha back up and zaps him with a one-two. Ellenberger waits for a low kick and explodes into a takedown, going into Rocha’s guard and landing short elbows. Ellenberger backs out and dives back in with one more shot at the horn.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Ellenberger (29-28 Ellenberger)
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Ellenberger (29-28 Ellenberger)
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Ellenberger (29-28 Ellenberger)

Official scores: One judge scores it 30-27 Rocha, while the other two have it 29-28 for the winner by split decision, Jake Ellenberger.

Ryan Bader vs. Jon Jones
Round 1
Herb Dean is the referee for this important clash of 205-pound prospects. Jones crouches in his corner before the start and then slinks across the cage to meet Bader. Jones looking very relaxed, moving around the outside before shooting in and pulling Bader down with a double. Bader grabs a guillotine, but Jones rolls through and winds up in side control, then north-south position. Jones snares Bader’s head under his left arm and squeezes. Bader looks to be in trouble, but he’s surviving even as Jones puts all his weight on the north-south choke. Jones abandons the choke and Bader twists loose, escaping to his knees, then his feet. Two minutes to go. Jones fires off a left high kick that causes Bader to shoot. Jones stuffs the double and puts Bader on his back. Jones looking for a choke from half-guard, but Bader has an underhook and gets back up. Bader has a kimura framed up momentarily, but loses it as he falls back to guard. Jones with a few glancing elbows that cause Bader to cover up.

Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Jones
Jack Encarnacao scores the round 10-9 Jones
Tomasz Marciniak scores the round 10-9 Jones

Round 2
Jones goes high with a partially-deflected left kick, then low with a right. Bader connects with a solid punch and a leg kick, but Jones continues pressing forward. One-two and a leg kick from Jones. Another outside leg kick makes Bader shoot; Jones stuffs it. They tie up and Jones trips Bader down, landing in half-guard. From there, Jones traps the head of Bader under his left arm, wrenches a tight guillotine choke and elicits the tap from Bader. The official time is 4:20 of the second round.

During the postfight interview, Joe Rogan reveals that Rashad Evans has withdrawn from his UFC 128 light heavyweight title bout with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua due to a knee injury. Rua will instead defend his belt against Jones on March 19 in Newark, N.J.

Forrest Griffin vs. Rich Franklin
Round 1
Steve Mazzagatti is back in the cage for the evening’s co-main event. Franklin throws a low kick and gets his rear leg chopped out from under him. Griffin gives chase into Franklin’s guard, but Franklin is keeping active from the bottom with short punches. Griffin isn’t landing much offense, but is looking every bit the stronger man as he stacks Franklin up from guard. Now the punches begin to come from Griffin, both to the head and body of Franklin, who is maintaining guard and trying to neutralize the space with wrist control. Griffin postures up and gets a few shots through to Franklin’s head. With 90 seconds to go in the opening round, Franklin is playing strictly defense, unable to find an answer to the larger Griffin’s top game. Still in guard, Griffin lands some elbows before the round ends.

Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Griffin
Mike Fridley scores the round 10-9 Griffin
Tony Loiseleur scores the round 10-9 Griffin

Round 2
Griffin going with kicks to open the round, as Franklin tries to get inside with combinations. Griffin catches a low kick from Franklin and takes his back standing, then drags him to the floor. Against the base of the fence, Griffin tries to sink his hooks in. Franklin gets to his knees, but Griffin is still glued on his back. Punches from Griffin as Franklin gets to his feet; Griffin yanks him back down. Franklin works back to his feet and Griffin shoves him away. Some nice left straights connect for Franklin, but his knees fold up when Griffin clips him with a left hook of his own. Griffin doesn’t pounce, instead backing off and firing a hard body kick to Franklin’s ribs. Franklin is landing sporadically when he wades in with combos, but Griffin’s still getting the better, more varied attack.

Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Griffin
Mike Fridley scores the round 10-9 Griffin
Tony Loiseleur scores the round 10-9 Griffin

Round 3
The fighters touch gloves to start the final frame. Franklin thuds a good left kick to Griffin’s gut. Franklin comes inside with a left hand that misses and the pair ties up. Griffin brings it to the floor, but both men are soon back on their feet. Three minutes to go and Franklin seems to be turning the tide slightly. His left kicks are connecting as Griffin’s punching combos decrease in accuracy. Franklin comes over the top with a left hand as Griffin lands a push kick. It’s still a close fight with 90 seconds to go when Griffin changes levels and scores with a double-leg. Franklin twists free and gets on top, but Griffin scrambles and reverses him back. They wind up on their feet with 35 ticks on the clock. Franklin pushes Griffin into the fence and Griffin reverses, then disengages. Both men throwing hard in the final seconds.

Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Franklin (29-28 Griffin)
Mike Fridley scores the round 10-9 Franklin (29-28 Griffin)
Tony Loiseleur scores the round 10-9 Griffin (30-27 Griffin)

Official scores: All three judges cageside score it 29-28 for the winner by unanimous decision, Forrest Griffin.

UFC Middleweight Championship
Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort
Round 1
Mario Yamasaki is set to officiate this title bout. Silva bows to Belfort after final instructions, but the men do not touch gloves as the match begins. Belfort assumes the center as Silva circles the outside, clockwise. Nothing thrown in the first 60 seconds and the crowd boos. Both men starting to feint and flinch when Belfort finally flicks out a leg kick. Now two minutes down and there’s been no offense of substance. Belfort jumps forward and lands a left on Silva’s chin. Silva answers with a high kick and gets taken down, but he’s quickly back up. Another left from Vitor, but Silva is bobbing and weaving, playing the matador. Silva lands a left front kick square to the jaw of Belfort, whose knees give way immediately. Silva pounces and lands two punches on the mat before Yamasaki jumps in. It’s another spectacular knockout for Silva at 3:29 of the opening round.

Source: Sherdog

Chozun 1 Hawaii presents the upcoming "the Reckoning" Championship Kickboxing match!

The match will be held at The Waterfront at Aloha Tower Marketplace on Friday, March 11,2011. Doors open at 6:00 PM and Fight starts 7:30 PM.

Tickets are available now at the Honolulu Box Office at or call (808) 550-8457. Tickets in Advance $20, At the Door $25, and VIP (1st two rows) $40.

Come ready to watch, cheer, and support these incredible fighters! Flyer attached.

Interested fighters may contact Bob Smith at Interested vendors may contact the venue Waterfront ventures at

Source: Event Promoter

UFC 129 Fight Card Full: Aldo vs. Hominick,
Couture vs. Machida Added

UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo
The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Tuesday locked up the fight card for April 30 in Toronto.

Already set with a headlining title defense by one of Canada’s most popular athletes, Georges St-Pierre, UFC 129 now has an official co-main event. UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo will defend his belt against Mark Hominick. The bout is the first time the UFC 145-pound championship will be on the line.

Also officially added to the fight card is UFC Hall of Famer Randy “The Natural” Couture. He’ll take on fellow former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida. Couture is on a three-fight winning streak, but hasn’t fought since dispatching heavyweight boxing champion James Toney in August. Machida, undefeated on his run to the title, has lost his last two bouts and sorely needs a win.

The third of Tuesday’s announcements was the addition of a welterweight contest pitting Nate Diaz against Rory MacDonald.

Source: MMA Weekly

Milwaukee's Bradley Center Likely Host for UFC on Versus
By Mike Chiappetta

LAS VEGAS -- One year after officially sanctioning mixed martial arts, Wisconsin looks poised to host its first major event.

According to sources with knowledge of the situation, the Bradley Center in Milwaukee will be the host venue for a UFC on Versus event to be held on Sunday, August 14.

UFC president Dana White did not confirm the booking but told MMA Fighting the promotion was "looking at" Milwaukee. According to a source, the deal is not yet final but very likely to happen.

If booked, it would make for quite a busy month for the UFC, which will host pay-per-view events in Philadelphia on the 6th and Rio de Janeiro on the 27th.

Wisconsin has suddenly become a hotbed for MMA. Fighters and notables with links to the state include WEC lightweight champ and current UFC top contender Anthony "Showtime" Pettis, UFC heavyweights Matt Mitrione and Pat Barry, and trainer Duke Roufus.

After MMA sanctioning was passed in February 2010, many local cards have been held, as well as a Bellator show last September, but the UFC's visit will be to Milwaukee's largest arena, the Bradley Center, which is the home to the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks and can hold nearly 20,000 fans.

The August event would likely be UFC on Versus 5. A prior Versus event is expected for June, though it has not yet been officially announced.

Source: MMA Fighting

Former Employee Sues Tapout for Wrongful Termination, Defamation, Emotional Distress
by Tracey Lesetar

A former Vice President of Sales for Tapout filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, alleging claims that include wrongful termination, fraudulent misrepresentation, failure to pay wages, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and a litany of negligence claims.

Not only does Lee Lemon target Tapout as a defendant, but also Zuffa, LLC (parent company of the UFC), MMA Authentics, MMA Holdings, LLC, Authentic Brands Group, LLC, Daniel "Punkass" Caldwell, and even the estate of the late Charles "Mask" Lewis.

Most of Lemon's allegations are focused on former Tapout President Marc Kreiner, who Lemon claims abused the sales staff, allegedly calling them "f--kng worthless" and telling Lemon that he was "stupid, incompetent, and ignorant," and that Kreiner could "hire a monkey to do his job." Lemon also alleges that he was promised $400,000 per year in pay, but was never paid that amount. Instead, he argues, he was not paid the commissions he was owed, was berated constantly, falsely accused of firing employees without approval, blamed for salary cuts, and then directed to "defraud investors ... by inflating the sales numbers and at the same time hiding accounts, to engage in thefts from licenses" before he was "constructively terminated" in May of 2010. (Under California law, constructive termination essentially requires the plaintiff to show that they resigned or quit because their working conditions were so intolerable that no reasonable person could be expected to endure them.)

According to Lemon, Tapout gave him a settlement at the time he left the company, through which he was promised money (including the sales commissions he was allegedly owed) in exchange for a "release," or a guarantee that he would not bring certain future legal claims against the company. Such agreements are usually permissible and not uncommon when employees leave their employer. (But as a side note, this contributor notes that in California, employers are generally not allowed to withhold money that is already owed to the employee in exchange for a future release of claims.)

Although Lemon signed the agreement, he argues that it was null and void for three reasons. First, he claims that he was under severe duress when he signed the agreement. Second, Lemon says that he was falsely told that the release was only for any legal claims related to his sales commissions, when in reality, it was a roadblock barring all future legal claims. And third, Lemon states that the defendants generally failed to hold up their end of the agreement by not paying him the money he was promised. In fact, Lemon asserts in the complaint that he has contacted the defendants over 80 times via e-mail or phone in an attempt to recover the money, to no avail. Because he presumably believes that his original promise not to sue is now null and void, Lemon initiated this lawsuit.

At this point in employment litigation, defendants usually respond by filing an answer to the complaint or offering the court a reason why they should be dismissed from the litigation altogether. With all of the defendants in this case -- eight total -- we can expect to see a mix of both types of responses.

Incidentally, this lawsuit comes on the heels of a $3.2 million jury victory last week against Tapout in the same court, reported by MMAPayout and the Beverly Hills Courier.

Tracey Lesetar, an attorney at the global law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, is experienced in various matters related to the business of MMA. A more detailed background regarding her experience is available through her lawyer profile at This article does not provide legal advice, and any opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of her law firm. Lesetar can be reached at J.R. Riddell ( also contributed to this article.

Source: Sherdog

Storylines That Emerged From ‘Diaz vs. Cyborg’
by Jason Probst

With the weekend behind us, and the promotion’s uber-awesome heavyweight grand prix looming Feb. 12, we take a look at five storylines that emerged from Saturday’s Strikeforce “Diaz vs. Cyborg” card in San Jose, Calif.

Diaz + Daley=Dynamite

After watching Nick Diaz conduct yet another hard-nosed, grind-em-down win, you can’t help but admire the Strikeforce welterweight champ. And when Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos took him down, that decision has to rank right up there with Operation Barbarossa in terms of bad tactical decisions.

Diaz’s high-volume striking style is deceptive, largely because of the price it exerts on opponents, even when he’s not hitting them with much more than arm punches and half-power shots. It’s the psychology of constantly forcing them to work, never giving foes a break, and eventually making them give. Despite a ground game that makes him effective against anyone except for world-class wrestlers who can hold him down and play for a decision, Diaz’s willingness to stand, and literally force people to prove they can’t knock his block off, is fan-friendly and attitude-heavy.

That’s why a match with Paul Daley is fascinating, because Diaz’s style plays suicidally into Daley’s strengths. Paul’s takedown defense is fairly decent, as he gave Jake Shields a lot of trouble before finally getting planted and submitted, and Diaz’s takedowns are probably the weakest part of his game.

Daley’s massive power and explosive striking are definitely better than “Cyborg,” who is the first Diaz opponent I’ve ever seen use low kicks effective on Nick, knocking him out of his rhythm in spots and making the Stockton, Calif., native’s jab far less effective.

But what makes Diaz Diaz is that he’s been fighting this way for a long time, and outside of a stoppage defeat early in his career against Jeremy Jackson, nobody’s come remotely close to separating him from his consciousness (the cut loss to K.J. Noons was exactly that -- Diaz would have fought until his head popped out, and probably after that).

He may possess the single best chin in the sport, in terms of absorbing a huge shot and showing little reaction whatsoever. Daley will certainly oblige him, and the two should also be very entertaining in the prefight trash talk, as well. Daley may be the ultimate acid test of Diaz’s chin, but at the end of the day, he always seems to find a way to break the other guy, and nobody seems able to break him.

Paging Gegard Mousasi

Where is Gegard Mousasi?After Roger Gracie’s masterpiece submission over Trevor Prangley, yours truly peeped the Strikeforce 205-pound division. It’s talent-laden, with Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante-Dan Henderson battling for the belt in March; Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal is eminently gifted with a huge upside, and Gracie is clearly an emerging talent. Former Olympian Rhadi Ferguson is just 3-0, but has big-time potential as well.

But the split between the division’s top tier, experienced talent is largely Henderson and Feijao, followed by very inexperienced fighters in Gracie, Ferguson and Lawal, who between them have fifteen fights. Ovince St. Preux has shown some special ability as well.

Gegard Mousasi is an amazingly talented guy, and since his exciting five-round loss to Lawal last April, has fought twice in Japan’s Dream promotion, winning both. It’d be nice to see Strikeforce get him back in action on its cards here, because he’s a seasoned veteran that is a joy to watch. And they can use the top-tier talent.

The challenge with talented, yet inexperienced fighters is new situations often defeat them even when they’re the more gifted guy. Witness Lawal’s title-losing defeat to “Feijao,” where “King Mo” simply ran out of gas when the implacable Cavalcante wouldn’t break. A year from now, that’s a fight Lawal wins, going away.

It wouldn’t surprise me if either Ferguson or Gracie have similar experiences in their next few fights, because that’s part of the game -- which is precisely why Strikeforce needs veterans like Mousasi. Those guys are probably the future of the division, but until then, you need savvy veterans to supply consistent performances so you don’t have to carry main-event bouts with the risk of it ending because a talented -- but green -- fighter hits a speedbump.

What’s Next for Walker?

After seeing Herschel Walker’s win over Scott Carson, it reminds me of the classic quote someone -- perhaps the inimitable Bert Randolph Sugar -- uttered in 1990, when James “Buster” Douglas, a 42-1 underdog, stunned Mike Tyson to win the heavyweight title.

At the time, a comebacking George Foreman was still trying to convince the skeptical public that he deserved a shot at the title, and was dispatching a series of hapless foes in the process.

“What this means is that, now, instead of fighting 5-foot-10 tomato cans, George Foreman will be knocking out 6-foot-4 tomato cans.”

Translation: Walker can probably progress at a slow rate for a fight or two more, but at some point, they’ve got to ratchet it up a little. I was going to complain about what seemed a quick stoppage, if it weren’t for the fact that Carson seemed as relieved as anyone that it was over. At least get someone who’ll complain about that, if not possess a gas tank for longer than two minutes.

The challenges are many, not the least of which is Walker’s size. At 6 feet and 220 pounds, he’s a smallish heavyweight. That also carries the corollary of being able to find out of shape guys, unlike weight classes where a fighter at least has to train down to a proscribed poundage.

To Strikeforce’s credit, they haven’t billed Walker as a main attraction (the doomed prescription of the EliteXC/Kevin Ferguson model). But after the Carson bout, which bordered on embarrassing if for no other reason than Carson hit the wall right when the fight looked competitive, was a reminder that you can only play with fire for so long.

Freak show attractions are like hopping on a pogo stick on an icy sidewalk -- it’s pretty entertaining until it goes south, at which point everyone involved sees something they’d rather not. I’m not saying Walker should be thrown in against a Top-50 heavyweight in his next couple fights -- but put him in against live ones. If I wanted to see stuff like this, I’d still be watching boxing undercards.

Source: Sherdog

Scott Coker is learning what making (first) impressions are all about
By Zach Arnold

Rarely do you get a string of small stories that come together to put together a narrative in the MMA industry, but this is one of those times where it’s there, hanging like fruit from a tree to get picked.

To my astonishment over the weekend, Strikeforce boss Scott Coker on multiple occasions told the US press in attendance in San Jose that he was having dinner with Sotaro Shinoda to negotiate bringing a Strikeforce show to Japan under DREAM auspices for April 9th. I chose the word astonishment because not one US media type blinked at all when Shinoda appeared in town, let alone had his name publicly mentioned by Strikeforce. Why? Sotaro Shinoda was Nobuyuki Sakakibara’s right-hand man in PRIDE. PRIDE, of course, had the Shukan Gendai yakuza scandal that resulted in Fuji TV cutting ties from the organization and ultimately led to the company’s demise. Suffice to say, you can see how ex-PRIDE employees under the DREAM banner could make things difficult in terms of attracting potentially big sponsors or television deals in the country.

If you need a reminder of who Mr. Shinoda is, type his name into Google and you’ll see this entry at the top of the search engine. It was an old screen capture we did of him several years ago when he had a last-minute trip to Costa Rica for a Bodogfight TV taping. Read the old post to get a flavor of what Bodog thought of him. (Shinoda was in Costa Rica to try to find out what was going on with M-1/Red Devil and Fedor.)

In response to me bringing up the obvious (implications) about Scott Coker publicly being seen with Sotaro Shinoda, the initial reaction I got from various writers was a shrug and, to paraphrase, “Well, Scott doesn’t think it’ll hurt him, obviously. Why does he care about it when Showtime is his TV partner and not the Japanese networks?”

So, let me bring up the obvious link to our extensive archives and years of coverage from start to finish about PRIDE’s collapse. You’re welcome. As Fuji TV demonstrated in 2006, you can have a hot product that draws lots of money and big TV ratings and still completely cut the cord when there is stockholder pressure due to who you are associated with and what the media points out in regards to those associations.

Am I saying that Nobuyuki Sakakibara is still involved in MMA? No, he’s off somewhere in Okinawa goofily trying to run a soccer club and live out a fantasy. What I am saying is that when you deal with top management that was involved in a company that got labeled ‘yakuza’ in the media by various outlets (like Shukan Gendai) and ended up losing funding from such a media powerhouse like Fuji TV, it’s pretty hard to remove that taint. Who you associate with, especially when entering into a new market, matters in Japan. Just ask Jamie Pollack and UFC about it when they tried to run the PRIDE office after the asset sale purchase.

In other words, who you are seen with and who you deal with is of the utmost importance in Japan. I wrote about Strikeforce’s high-risk, high-reward plan to try to do business in Japan. A healthy part of that risk is being judicious in how you handle your business affairs. Mr. Coker would be wise to smarten up quickly.

Riddle me this — why don’t you see Mr. Shinoda much publicly in the Japanese media circles? When it’s a DREAM announcement, PRIDE’s version of Baghdad Bob in Mr. Sasahara is trotted out to the cameras (occasionally alongside Shigeru Saeki). When it’s a more serious K-1/DREAM news presser, it’s Mr. Sasahara and Mr. Tanigawa who are in front of the camera.

Here is what Mr. Coker said after his HP Pavilion show Saturday night in regards to booking fights in Japan:

TJ DE SANTIS: “You mentioned Japan. Is that a destination you think Strikeforce will get to?”

SCOTT COKER: “Yes. I have Shinoda-san over there waiting. We’re going to have dinner and talking about trying to get Strikeforce into Japan this year.”

TJ DE SANTIS: “What was the catalyst for making that discussion happen?”

SCOTT COKER: “I mean, you know, you guys know that I worked for K-1 for many years, for eight years and I always had a great respect for Japanese fight fans and, you know, it’s ingrained in the culture. I mean, when you grow up in Japan you’re doing martial arts, you know, and so it’s integrated into the culture and it’s just an amazing place to go watch fights and they’re educated fight fans and I said I wanted to go to Japan for 2-3 years and for it to finally become something that’s possible, it’ll be a milestone for our league.”

TJ DE SANTIS: “I’ve heard some rumblings of possibly having a Lightweight tournament over there. Is that something that you’re thinking about?”

SCOTT COKER: “That’s something that we’re going to talk about because I know that they would like to have a tournament and if they do we’ll support them and send over some of our top guys, but it’s premature. We haven’t had that conversation, yet.”

By the way, as someone who’s bread and butter has been focused on the Japanese fight scene for most of my life, you might be interested in reading about this timely article. If you thought things were hard right now in fields like Sumo and pro-wrestling, try this on for size.

So, there’s that situation in Japan. Our next situation(s), if you want to call them that, deal with two fighters. Now, dealing with fighters is like herding cattle and we all know that there’s a lot of pettiness and jealousy that goes on. However, as we’ve seen with the UFC, if fighters don’t respect or fear you, they won’t act out of turn. Time and again with Strikeforce, we’ve often seen the opposite. See: Nick Diaz being unhappy last week on a Showtime conference call, talking about ’still’ driving a Honda and why he’s not fighting guys like Georges St. Pierre. Remember when Strikeforce got suckered into a media war with Bellator about why a fight between Gilbert Melendez and Eddie Alvarez hasn’t been booked? That started with the two fighters calling each other out.

Gilbert is back, this time saying don’t blame him for not being able to fight… Frankie Edgar, UFC Lightweight champion.

KENNY RICE: “Gilbert, A, B, C, D. Let’s go all the way down. What’s the deal with Strikeforce right now? How many fights left?”

GILBERT MELENDEZ: “The deal with Strikeforce is, um, we’re coming to an agreement right now, you know, and I’ll think there’ll be a couple of fights for me for Strikeforce, so… Right now it’s not a matter of, you know, who I fight. It’s a matter of just when I fight. They have a bunch of contenders, you know, Justin Wilcox now, (Lyle) Beerbohm, (Billy) Evangelista, Josh Thomson, JZ (Calvan), so I’m basically just having to defend my throne, you know what I mean. It doesn’t matter who, it’s just when and that’s my plans for now and hopefully we’ll have something in the next cuople of months or the next, you know, maybe couple of weeks, you know, an exact date and an opponent.”

KENNY RICE: “Are you a free agent right now technically?”

GILBERT MELENDEZ: “Technically, no, I’m not, man. Some of these agreements are structured really well, you know, with the Championship Clause and all and you know I’m proud to be a part of Strikeforce and everything, but as a champion this comes along with it. It’s not that easy to walk away with your title and, you know, Jake’s one of the few guys who has and stuff but it’s not an easy thing to do.”

BAS RUTTEN: “Are you allowed to fight in Japan?”

GILBERT MELENDEZ: “Yeah, I’m definitely, well under Strikeforce’s permission I am, yeah. It’s something that I would love to do. I love fighting in Japan and that’s neat, you know. It’s kind of up to the promotions, you know what I mean? I want to fight all these guys, you know, I want to fight all these dudes, but it’s not up to these, us fighters. It’s really up to the promoters. If you want to see me fight Frankie (Edgar), talk to Dana (White) & Scott (Coker). So don’t blame us fighters. I’m just fighting, trying to get my money, and I’m where I’m at.”

A second fighter voicing displeasure, albeit on a larger vocal scale, is Siyar Bahadurzada. He talked with MMA writer Tomas Rios about his situation with Strikeforce. Suffice to say, his words were not very kind to the promotion. Rios claimed that when he tried to get a comment from Strikeforce PR man Mike Afromowitz on the story, Mr. Afromowitz allegedly told Rios that he (Rios) wasn’t good for the sport. So, he and Joe Rogan have something in common apparently.

Here was Mr. Coker’s response (via an interview with Ariel Helwani) on Bahadurzada’s comments:

ARIEL HELWANI: “Wanted to get your take on a situation that’s been brewing with a fighter by the name of Siyar Baha. He’s been saying something things about Strikeforce, now saying that the reason he hasn’t fought for Strikeforce is because he’s of Afghani descent. How do you respond to this?”

SCOTT COKER: “That’s comical. I mean the reality was that, you know, I still don’t even his visa has been finished yet. It has been a little tougher because, you know, the country and everything to try to get a visa but I don’t think the visa has been completed, so once he gets through his process of getting his visa together then you know we’re have another conversation with him but it’s silly to say it’s based on this or that. I mean, the reality is, you’re a Golden Glory fighter, he should act like a Golden Glory fighter and, you know, get your paperwork done, get what you got to do, and then we’ll put you in the cage and test you out. But in the mean time, you know, talking the way he did, it just was very silly to me.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “Has that perhaps severed your relationship with him?”

SCOTT COKER: “With Siyar?”


SCOTT COKER: “Uh, no.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “The things he said about the organization.”

SCOTT COKER: “The relationship is with the camp, it’s not with the fighter. To me, Bas and I have done many business deals together and, you know, we have Alistair (Overeem), we have (Sergei) Kharitonov here, we have Marloes Coenen here, so we have a good relationship with the camp. So he’s one of the fighters in their camp. When he gets his act together, we’ll put him in the cage.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “What are the chances that we see him in the Strikeforce cage in 2011?”

SCOTT COKER: “You know what, I uh… I would say… you know, once he gets his visa stuff done…”

ARIEL HELWANI: “You’d like to see him fight for Strikeforce, right?”

SCOTT COKER: “Sure, why not? Why not? I mean, you know, I can understand his frustration because he doesn’t understand because he’s so far away and, you know, whatever but in saying that, though, Ariel, he also has to act like a professional. If he can’t, we’re not going to have him.”

Everything should go smoothly in 2011, shouldn’t it? ‘Keyboard warriors’ aren’t ‘good for the sport.’

Source: Fight Opinion

Bráulio faces six-hour operation and returns brand new: “Now I’m bionic!”
by Marcelo Dunlop

Bráulio Estima (Gracie Barra) was the only one who managed to stop absolute champion Sérgio Moraes (Alliance) at the Euro Open last weekend. But his effort in the medium heavyweight division in Lisbon wasn’t Carcará’s only sacrifice early this season. Quite the contrary.

“It was a busy weekend,” reported Bráulio direct from the hospital in England. “I went to a friend’s funeral on Saturday in Birmingham. Then I rushed to London and caught the first flight to Lisbon, competed on Sunday, returned Monday and now I’m here recovering. I’ll be in the hospital till Friday, and then it’s on to physiotherapy.”

The neck operation was a success. “I’m feeling very well, better than I expected. Is doesn’t even feel like I was just operated on. The operation was done with cutting-edge technology, it was rad. I had two disks, C4 and C5, switched out, but I’ll still have total flexibility in the region. It took six hours, since the medical did an excellent overall job. Now I’ve got a bionic neck! And it doesn’t even seem like I was at the European Open just two days ago!” said the champion jubilantly.

Source: Gracie Magazine

TATAME #180: Who’s the best in the world?

MMA came up as a confrontation of modalities, where athletes from different martial arts tried to prove the supremacy of their art on a ring. But the success of the sport, that began on the beginning of the past century with Carlos and Hélio Gracie, came in 1993, when the small Royce Gracie terrified the world beating up much heavier opponents on tournaments of 16 athletes of less.

The Grand Prixs has spread in many events all over the world and has always been a guarantee of success among the fans of the sport. Within time, its shape was left aside as Pride ended, in 2007, and few events had the courage of adopting this kind of event. But Strikefore, the greatest rival of UFC, decided to bet on this format and now the market got busy as the event announced a heavyweight GP that promises to be the greatest in all history.

Prode and the greatest GPs in all history, the consecration of Shogun on the Japanese event, the historical tournaments without any weight limit, and the promises of the favorites to Strikeforce’s tournament. All that and a lot more you can check on the cover article of TATAME Magazine 180th edition.


The greatest moment on Wanderlei Silva’s career happened between 2000 and 2006, the period on which the fighters won 19 fights, some against much heavier opponents, conquerred the middleweight title of Pride and defended it four times, besides participating of three GPS, winning the first one. In 2010, Wand beat Michael Bisping on UFC 110 and needed to take some time off the trainings to heal a knee injury, but that didn’t stop the fighter from being the center of the attentions, being challenged for over five UFC fighters: Chael Sonnen, Nate Marquardt, Alan Belcher, Yoshihiro Akiyama, Brian Stann, Michael Bisping and Chris Leben. After all, why do all these guys want to fight the legend?


The only heavyweight to unify the belts of Pride and UFC, with 32 wins within 40 fights on his career, one of the greatest representatives of Brazilian MMA in Japan and on the United States… The references of Rodrigo Minotauro are many, but the Brazilian, who’ll be 35 in 2011, wants much more. On an exclusive chat, Minotauro talked about the injuries which kept him off the rings for over a year – the longer period he spent without fighting since he debuted on UFC, 10 years ago – and revealed the dream of coming back to the octagon in August, on UFC Rio. “We’ll go fro it on this UFC edition which will happen in Brazil… I’ll be even better on my return”, promises Rodrigo, who has never fought on his own country. On the chat, Minotauro talked about the journey of Junior Cigano on UFC, analyzed the duel between his pupil and Brock Lesnar and gave tips to young tough guys for the reality show The Ultimate Fighter. “Be yourself and leave the rest to Lesnar, he’s an arrogant guy”


Rio de Janeiro has been affected by the greatest natural catastrophe on Brazil’s history and one of the ten worst on the last century. The storm of January ended up in mudslide and floods, and the most affected cities were Nova Friburgo, Teresópolis and Petrópolis. The rain started to ravage the region on January 11th and, after a week, the official numbers were of 711 deaths, with 21 thousand homeless, numbers that would continually grow. Moved by the catastrophe, the fighting community mobilized and, through big classes and seminars, helped the victims of the tragedy. On an exclusive article, we’ve showed how the fighting world helped thousands victims on a historical tragedy.


Fighter of UFC, the Russian Vladimir Matyushenko has chosen the Wonderful City to celebrate his 40th birthday. The tough guy, who has a respectful professional record of 25 wins within 30 bouts, met, in Los Angeles, the Brazilian Tatiana Junqueira and took the chance to come to Brazil, where he spent a time in São Lourenço, Minas Gerais, and ended his vacations in Rio de Janeiro. Matyushenko spent the New Year’s Eve in Copacabana, visited the Christ, the Sugar Loaf and the main touristic sights of the city. But what moved the Russian was the Brazilian cuisine and people. “The Brazilian people hosted me pretty well, and I’ve had fun. The food

is also great, but I’m heavier than ever (laughs). I like “açaí” and Brazilian “cachaça”, which is very good (laughs)”, jokes Vladmir, who talked about his career on an exclusive chat.


Closer and closer to disputing UFC belt, Junior Cigano got the invitation of UFC and will be the second Brazilian in history to be the head coach of a team on the reality show The Ultimate Fighting Championship. On an exclusive article, Cigano talked about his plans for the program, how he’ll get through the language barrier, once he doesn’t know how to speak English, and his expectations for the confrontation with the American giant Brock Lesnar, which will happen after the show’s shooting.

Source: Tatame

Event for troops raises $4.1 million
By Josh Gross

Working in conjunction with Spike TV and the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, the Ultimate Fighting Championship raised nearly $4.1 million with its "Fight for the Troops 2" card on Jan. 22, a representative told Wednesday.

The money raised will go toward traumatic brain injury research among veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

The fight card at Fort Hood, located outside of Killeen, Texas, matched money raised in 2008 after a similar event at Fort Bragg, N.C., helped complete the $55 million National Intrepid Center of Excellence in Bethesda, Md. The facility is one of the most advanced in the world dedicated to research and treatment of nonpenetrating brain injuries.

Zuffa, LLC, the sports promotion company that presides over UFC, has made it a priority to support America's military personnel. "Fight for the Troops 2" was the third UFC event to be hosted at a U.S. military base.

Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, majority co-owners of the UFC, sit on the board of trustees for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, a nonprofit organization through which public-private partnerships build facilities that serve members of the armed forces.

Source: ESPN

Philadelphia Targeted for UFC 133
By Mike Chiappetta

LAS VEGAS -- The UFC is likely to return to The City of Brotherly Love for an August 6 pay-per-view event, a source close to the situation told MMA Fighting.

UFC president Dana White confirmed to MMA Fighting on Wednesday that the event was in the works. The event would be UFC 133 and take place at Wells Fargo Center.

The promotion's return would be nearly two years to the day from their first visit. UFC 101 took place on August 8, 2009 and emanated from Wachovia Center. On that night, Anderson Silva knocked out Forrest Griffin while BJ Penn retained the lightweight championship with a fourth-round submission against Kenny Florian. The arena's name has since been changed to Wells Fargo Center.

The event would be the second major pay-per-view in August. In December, the promotion announced it would an August 27 show in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

A third UFC event is also likely to be held that month, according to sources.

Source: MMA Fighting

Barry ‘Baffled’ by Beltran’s Resilience After ‘Troops 2’ Bout
by Mike Whitman

Apparently, Pat Barry just can’t get any respect.

Since besting Joey Beltran at UFC “Fight for the Troops 2,” the former kickboxer has been hit by a flood of comments from naysayers regarding his game plan, his performance and his post-fight speech. Barry spoke exclusively to last week regarding the outcome of his Jan. 22 scrap and the damage inflicted on his opponent.

Leading up to the fight, Barry made liberal use of the term “zombie” when describing Beltran. After battering the leg of “The Mexicutioner” with low kicks for three straight rounds, Barry asserts that his description of his opponent was not as hyperbolic as people may have thought.

“I knew going into the fight that he was a zombie. That wasn’t a joke. That was a factual message. This guy’s attributes are getting hit and not blinking or getting shook. He just keeps walking forward,” Barry told “I kicked him in his face five times and he didn’t even stumble, he didn’t back up, nothing. I’m talking about stiff kicks to the face, and he took them. So, the game plan going in was to beat his leg to death until he slowed down or until he couldn’t walk any further.”

Barry began landing low kicks early in the fight, and Beltran seemed affected by them even from the first blow that found his thigh. Among the criticisms received by Barry was that he did not go for the kill in round one by chopping Beltran down as soon as possible. According to Barry, however, it just wasn’t that simple.

“I saw [that the kicks bothered him]. But the game plan wasn’t to get in there and see if I could throw 60 low kicks in the first 40 seconds. Low kicks don’t just land every time you throw them,” said Barry. “You know what happens when you just throw kicks for no reason without any type of strategy or setup? ‘Cro Cop’ blocks them and your foot breaks.”

Chief among Barry’s strategies against his uber-resilient foe was to pick his shots and gradually wear Beltran down.

“Did the first [three] hurt him a lot? Yeah, but he took 37 more of them in the next 12 minutes and was still standing,” said Barry. “It’s called the slow cook. That’s what low kicks do. With low kicks, you don’t just throw two of them and then the guy blacks out. That’s not how they work. Not with a zombie, anyway. A human would have died, but not a zombie.”

During the third round, Barry landed one particularly crushing shot to his foe’s quadriceps that crumpled Beltran and sent him to the mat. As the K-1 veteran followed his opponent to the floor, he utilized some unorthodox offense. Rather than immediately targeting Beltran’s head, Barry threw a spiking hammer fist at his opponent’s thigh.

“I was going to punch his leg off. I was so annoyed that the leg had not been severed from his body that I was going to punch it, elbow it, headbutt it, bite it... I was going to go get a bat. I would have shot him with a gun if I had one,” Barry joked.

Though Barry won the fight, inflicting a seemingly absurd amount of damage to his foe’s left leg, Beltran seems to be no worse for the wear. Not only did the stout heavyweight absorb all of Barry’s kicks and continue to fight to the final bell, but he has since claimed over Twitter that he was back in the gym and training the following Monday. Beltran has even posted pictures of his surprisingly un-bruised legs in order to assure fans that he is fine. Simply put, all of this is a bit frustrating to Barry.

“It was a mystery how he was still standing. It had me totally baffled. When you chop a zombie’s leg off, he comes at you hopping on one foot. I knew that going in. But anybody on earth would become human again after all those low kicks,” said Barry.

“Since the fight, I really haven’t been able to sleep. I can’t stand not solving riddles, and this is a riddle that has got me stumped. I have no idea how he was writing on Monday that he was back in the gym doing squats and running stairs. That’s impossible. That doesn’t even register for me, because my leg still hurts [from landing the kicks].”

Despite what most would consider an excellent performance, Barry has still had to deal with criticism, and not only about the fight itself.

“No one has given me negative critiques about the fight face-to-face, but I read a lot on the Internet, and I’m getting text messages from unknown numbers,” said Barry. “[People are asking me], ‘What’s that gay speech that you gave at the end about your dead pappy? You only did that so you could solidify that you really got the win.’ Right, because the judges have a time machine. They heard the speech, went back in time and made me the winner.”

Barry’s post-fight interview was an emotional tribute to the members of the U.S. Armed Forces in attendance and his deceased father, who was also a serviceman.

“Jan. 17 was the 26-year anniversary of my dad [passing away]. That’s the dog tag that I always wear that everybody knows about. I don’t wear any rings or watches or anything else. I was on an Army base, and my dad was in the Army, so I just wanted to give that shout out and explain. Just to be able to fight in front of the troops was amazing. To be able to honor them, to honor my dad, and put on a show for all of them is why [I gave my speech],” explained Barry.

“Every year, on the date [of his death], we have a day. We say a little prayer -- just go outside and talk to a tree, just to talk to dad, you know? So it was cool that my fight happened to be on an Army base in front of a bunch of Army personnel.”

With the durable Beltran now in his rear-view mirror, Barry declined to call out anyone in the heavyweight division when asked about his future. He did jokingly assert, however, that a cut in weight might be in the cards.

“Actually, I think I’d like to drop down to 107 pounds and fight Scotty Jorgensen,” Barry deadpanned.

While a bout with Jorgensen will stay in the fantasy realm, a matchup with teammate Matt Mitrione is a very real possibility in a competitive heavyweight division. Many teammates refuse to fight one another on the grounds of friendship, but according to Barry, he and “Meathead” have an understanding regarding a potential fight.

“I don’t want to fight him and he doesn’t want to fight me. We’re teammates. But we both agreed that we would do it.”

Source: Sherdog

Bellator Kicks Off Season 4 on March 5 at the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino in California

Bellator Fighting Championships will kick off their 4th season on March 5 at the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino with the live broadcast airing on MTV2 starting at 9pm ET/PT.

MTV made the announcement along with Bellator on Wednesday.

The upstart MMA promotion signed on with MTV2 a few months back to showcase their latest season, which will feature several tournaments once again including light heavyweight, lightweight, featherweight and welterweight brackets.

“With our spectacular partnership with MTV2, MMA fans now have a place to watch Bellator live every Saturday night,” said Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney. “Our fourth season is absolutely loaded with talent, and I can’t wait to get the action started at Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino when we return to California on March 5.”

Tachi Palace is of course also home to the popular local Tachi Palace Fighting series which takes place at the same location and has showcased a ton of veteran talent as well as homegrown fighters from around the area.

The announcement also states that the season will air in 12 consecutive weekend broadcasts on Saturday night starting with the March 5 show in California. The date does coincide with the Strikeforce broadcast taking place on March 5 as well in Columbus, OH, airing on Showtime.

No bouts have been confirmed for the inaugural Bellator show for March 5, but an announcement could be forthcoming.

Source: MMA Weekly



Source: Vance Pascual

UFC 126 (2/5 at Mandalay Bay Events Center)
w/ betting odds
By Zach Arnold

Hawaii Air times:
Countdown 4PM - 5PM Spike
Countdown 6PM - 7PM Spike
UFC 126: Silva vs. Belfort 4PM - 8PM Channel 701

Odds courtesy of Betonfighting

Dark matches/preliminaries

¦Welterweights: Mike Pierce (-280) vs. Kenny Robertson (+220)
¦Light Heavyweights: Kyle Kingsbury (-130) vs. Ricardo Romero (even)
¦Bantamweights: Kid Yamamoto (-130) vs. Demetrious Johnson (even)
¦Lightweights: Paul Taylor (-200) vs. Gabe Ruediger (+160)
¦Featherweights: Chad Mendes (-345) vs. Michihiro Omigawa (+275)
¦Lightweights: Donald Cerrone (-280) vs. Paul Kelly (+220)
Main card

¦Bantamweights: Miguel Torres (-365) vs. Antonio Banuelos (+295)
¦Light Heavyweights: Jon “Bones” Jones (-300) vs. Ryan Bader (+240)
¦Welterweights: Jake Ellenberger (-300) vs. Carlos Eduardo Rocha (+240)
¦Light Heavyweights: Forrest Griffin (+125) vs. Rich Franklin (-155)
¦UFC Middleweight title match: Anderson Silva (-275) vs. Vitor Belfort (+215)

Source: Fight Opinion

Amateur Boxing In Palolo!

Sponsored by Waipahu Pawn Shop and Leland Chapman
FEBRUARY 4, AT 6 P.M. 2011
TENATIVE BOUTS, order will change

). Springsteen Stampson 21 2 125 28 Steven Wada
Molokai B.C. 05/07/89 1 or 1 ½ min. 05/04/82 Southside Maui B.C.
). Uly Bordaje 17 0 167 23 Ernesto Orantes 2
Kakaako B.C. 01/07/94 1 min. Unattached (Marines)
). Michael ?? 18 0 127 17 Kyle Delima 1 Palolo B.C. 1 min. 08/23/93 Unattached (Kauai)
). Jariell Munoz 27 0 147 18 Christian Ramil 2
Kakaako B.C. 03/25/83 1 min. 10/02/83 636 B.C.
). Richard Ballesteros 20 0 160 19 Charles Gassparetti 0
Pearlside B.C. 1 min. Unattached (Marines)
). Edward Dirige 14 1 127/124 13 Peter Pacada 0
Kakaako B.C. 07/26/96 1 min. Palolo B.C.
). Mike Plunkett 20 2 180 30 Steven Lee 0
Five-O B.C. 07/25/90 1 min. 11/07/80 Hands On B.C.
). Mikuni Munsayac 19 3 155 21 Joshua Dupree
Unattached 09/27/91 1 1/2min. 09/22/89 Unattached (Marines)
). Austin Hyden 22 8 165 18 Adrian Pelayo 6
Pearlside B.C. 10/21/98 1 ½ or 2 min 09/24/92 Southside Maui B.C
). Tyler Agbayani 16 7 175 16 Ramon Cardona Jr. 4
Unattached 07/20/94 1 ½ or 2 min. 02/17/94 Wailuku Maui B.C.
). Trey Olive 20 1 201+ 33 Nephi Tehiva 0
Pearlside B.C. 04/02/90 1 min. 06/12/77 Hands On B.C.
). Isaiah Lavea 19 2 201+ 21 Kawika Tantala- Kupuikaia 2
Palolo 08/22/90 1 min. 05/01/89 Five-0
). Samuel Kekai Alama 33 1 201+ 30 Mahiahi Naihe 1
Pearlside B.C. 01/10/77 1 ½ min. 05/04/79 Kauai PAL B.C.
). Koichi Tanji 12 130 10+ Anthony Ibanez Kawano B.C. 03/06/92 2 min 09/24/92 Wailuku B.C.
). Natacia Manuma 27 7 175 25 Fallon Farrar 7
Five-0 B.C. 1/15/83 2 min. 09/29/85 Club Discipline B.C.

Thank You to Lloyd McKee from Waipahu Pawn Shop in the Waipahu Shopping Plaza, phone number is 808-671-6555, also Leland Chapman from "Dog the Bounty Hunter" for their continued Support of Amateur Boxing. Also, our Sponsors Rock Bottom Sports Bar where we will have our after party.
Thank You Always for our Volunteers, Boxers, Coaches, Officials, Announcer, Door Workers, Concession workers, Boxing Commissioners and Chairman Herbert Minn, Officer Ron Richardson and OfficerAl Dela Cruz, Officer Daryl Takata, Dr. Myles Suehiro and Dr. Kanani Texeira, Chief of Officials Eiichi Jumawan and Vice President Robyn Jumawan, and "YOU" our Boxing Fans!!

All boxer will receive gold medals for stepping in the ring, these athletes, boxing clubs, and coaches are all winners and champions because of the time, dedication and commitment they put in their sport. All medals donated by our Sponsors.


Sponsored by Waipahu Pawn Shop and Leland Chapman
TENATIVE BOUTS, order will change

). Nicholas Siordia 11 8 78 13 Kawelo Alcos 4
TNT B.C. 06/18/99 1 min. 01/19/98 Unattached
). Goddhey Jacaine 8 1 68 9 Jordan Manangan 2
Pearlside B.C. 03/24/02 1 minute 09/29/01 Molokai B.C.
). Justin Alcos 18 0 132 17 Kyle Delima 1
Unattached 10/28/92 1 min. 08/28/93 Unattached (Kauai)
). Charles Coloma 19 3 120 21 Springsteen Stampson 2
Up n Up B.C. 10/12/91 1 ½ min. 05/07/89 Molokai B.C.
). Jariell Munoz 27 3 pal 145 19 David Vasconcellos 3
Kakaako B.C. 03/25/83 1 ½ min. 12/08/91 Unattached
). Dedric Ke'a Jr. 15 2 130 14 Edward Dirige 1
Pearlside B.C. 09/18/95 1 ½ min. 07/26/96 Kakaako B.C.
). Jonah Lopes 18 0 185 30 Steven Lee 0
Unattached (Joe Palimoo) 1 min. 11/07/80 Hands On B.C.
). Charles Gassparetti 28 0 162 17 Uly Bordaji 0
Unattached (Marines) 1 min. 01/07/94 Kakaako B.C.
). Mike Kurita 25 4 155 20 Travis Ito 3
Pearlside B.C. 12/31/85 1 ½ or 2 min. 07/29/89 Palolo B.C.
). Jazzelle Rabago Bobadilla 12 3 95 12 Kairey Bermoy 4
Boxfit808 B.C. 05/20/98 1 min. 07/21/98 Up n Up B.C.
). Nephi Tehida 33 0 201+ 30 Mahiahi Naihe 1
Hands On B.C. 06/12/77 1 min. per coach05/04/79 Kauai PAL B.C.
). Richard Ballesteros 20 0 165 23 Ernesto Orantes 2
Pearlside B.C. 1 min. Unattached (Marines)
). Koichi Tanji 28 12 128 28 Steven Wada
Kawano B.C. 03/06/92 1 ½ min. 05/04/82 Southside Maui B.C.
). Trey Olive 20 1 201+ Paea ??
Pearlside B.C. 04/20/90 1 min. Palolo B.C.
). Corina Ishikawa 33 8 115 18 Haley Pasion 4
Kawano B.C. 03/23/77 1 ½ min. 10/11/92 Kawano B.C.
). Mark Antalan 18 6 201+ Dustin Dosher 6
Pearlside B.C. 01/31/93 1 ½ min. Unattached
). Kalai McShane 15+ 127 Anthony Ibanez 10+
Five-0 B.C. 4 rds, 2 min. Wailuku Maui B.C.

let me know how many minutes also. I suggest 1 min. for new boxers, 1 ½ min for boxers with 7 matches or less, and 2 min. for a boxer with 8 bouts or more.

We want our boxers and our sport to look good. It doesn't look good when or if they run out of gas. It will depend on the coaches to make the decision. Thanks!!

Weigh-ins will be at Palolo Boxing Gym from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday.
The other side of the island will be Pearlside Boxing Club at Momilani Recreation Center 5-7 p.m on Thursday also.

Outer islands can weigh-in on Friday, I'll be at Palolo gym at 4 p.m.

Remember if they have braces they must have braces release form signed by dentist.


Source: Bruce Kawano

UFC 126 Preview: The Main Card
by Jason Probst

When champions step into the cage or ring to defend their belts, fans love an element of danger. That is precisely what Anderson Silva faces in challenger Vitor Belfort. Attempting to make the eighth defense of his UFC middleweight crown at UFC 126 on Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, “The Spider” meets a unique kind of threat in Belfort, whose speed and power are unlike anyone else’s in the sport.

This match brings a compelling challenge for the champion, as well as the offer of considerable redemption for Belfort, who, along with flashes of unabated brilliance, has suffered from setbacks and letdown performances as often as he has thrilled fans. Whether the “new” Belfort is the “old” Belfort is a subject much-discussed; Silva is the ultimate proving ground for it.

With that in mind, let us get to the main card, previews and picks.

UFC Middleweight Championship
Anderson Silva (No. 1 MW, No. 2 PFP) vs. Vitor Belfort (No. 6 MW)

The Matchup: On paper, the only way you could design a better fighter than Belfort to win this would be by giving him a high-level wrestling pedigree. That is because Belfort has legendary hands, explosive power and great submission awareness and jiu-jitsu, a skill largely overshadowed by his highlight-reel knockouts. Silva, coming off a miracle comeback win over Chael Sonnen at UFC 117 in August, sits on the longest unbeaten streak in the history of the UFC -- 12 bouts and 12 victories -- and a record seven defenses. Long wanted by fans, this matchup finally comes to fruition. Do not go to the fridge.

Belfort, forever hot and cold in his performances, returned to the UFC with a one-round blitz of ex-champion Rich Franklin, showing the Mike Tysonesque form that made him a star at 19 years old. With Silva’s modest-at-best wrestling being the only chink in his armor, the champion possesses the ability to stay cool under fire and absorb big shots at will. One might think Belfort’s best chance is to stand here, but he might have a better chance using his hands to close the gap and take Silva to the ground, where he can grind him down.

Standing, Belfort’s hands are amazingly potent, but over the long haul, Silva has too many weapons and makes too many clever adjustments. He uses range perfectly, delivering numbing counter shots opponents do not see. Plus, he switches from southpaw to orthodox as it suits him, with little drop-off in his effectiveness. Belfort’s chances to win this one fade considerably as the fight progresses, and Silva will plant doubt in his head in an extended stand-up fight.

The Pick: If Belfort goes for takedowns, he could wear out Silva, as Sonnen did, and then look for a stoppage later in the fight. However, “The Phenom” just is not wired that way. Silva will have some tough moments and then explode, delivering a barrage in the third round to retain his title.

Light Heavyweights
Forrest Griffin (No. 5 LHW) vs. Rich Franklin

The Matchup: This showdown between two former champions is a good one, and the winner will be positioned to vie for a title shot with two or three more wins.

The two have a lot in common. Both have had to adjust their games due to a non-wrestling background, and neither is a threat to take down top-level guys. They rely on top-notch conditioning and game planning, and their jiu-jitsu skills are generally overlooked.

Griffin is probably 20 pounds heavier than Franklin between fights, but “Ace” has competed well enough at 205, and Griffin’s game is not based on being a weight-cutter and overpowering people. Griffin and Franklin beat opponents through conditioning work in the gym in the weeks before the fight.

The stand-up battle should dictate this match, as they will likely negate one another on the ground, unless someone gets some effective ground-and-pound going. That seems unlikely, given the matchup.

Franklin is a sound striker and puts more tail-end power into his shots, while Griffin relies on a keep-busy approach. It was what powered him to his five-round title win over Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 86, as he set a fast pace and mixed up his kicks with combinations. Franklin might have a tough time figuring out the lengthy Xtreme Couture Mixed Martial Arts representative at first, but since he should have time to do so, he will make adjustments. If Franklin can build confidence letting his hands go, that will go a long way toward winning this fight, because he will not be able to plant Griffin on the mat and overpower him.

Griffin’s best ranges are in the clinch, where his height and natural aggression serve him well. Both have excellent defensive jiu-jitsu on the ground, and they know how to stifle opponents looking to score points with big blows. A submission win, outside of a dazed rear-naked choke, appears highly unlikely.

The Pick: Franklin has a big target here, one upon which he should be able to kick and use angles. Griffin is a tossup in the striking department but should be stronger in clinches and on the ground. It will be a very close fight, and I do not see either man able to overpower the other enough to force a stoppage. Griffin wins by split decision.

Light Heavyweights
Ryan Bader (No. 6 LHW) vs. Jon Jones (No. 7 LHW)

The Matchup: It would not surprise me to see Bader win this one, and part of me figures Jones has looked so incredible lately that eventually someone will have to make him appear human. Bader can score the upset here, so long as he does not get his head handed to him through one of those moves only Jones seems to know how to execute. Bader has a pretty stout punch, to boot.

That said, Jones’ otherworldly performances of late suggest a new breed of fighter rising through the ranks. At 6-foot-4, he exhibits freakish coordination and the ability to create something out of nothing. His bottom game, at least in his UFC fights, remains untested simply because nobody can put him on his back.

Bader reminds one of what Tito Ortiz might have been had the “Huntington Beach Bad Boy” developed his striking. His close decision win over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 119 was a telling performance. He is an exceptionally strong fighter with a big punch, and it would only take one of them to tell us a lot more about Jones than we currently know.

The wrestling matchup is the driver in this one because Jones is likely to outmatch his foe on the feet, unless Bader’s stand-up has evolved to such a degree that he thinks he has a surprise in store. And he might. “The Ultimate Fighter” contestants consistently show new wrinkles in their games, given their development. Bader will have to pick his moment to force a clinch wisely, as Jones’ hands and feet come from all sorts of strange angles. If they clinch, the battle there is a tossup, as both men are explosive, strong, and able to toss opponents with ease.

The Pick: Jones has been dubbed “the next big thing” in the 205-pound division, and he has earned the hype. This is by no means a lock for him, as Bader is very talented, unbeaten, hard-nosed type of guy. If Bader can avoid Jones’ opening-round shock and awe and score a takedown, all bets are off. With that said, Jones does something that seems ridiculously impressive every time out. Hopefully, he will show a new trick or two en route to a hard-fought decision win here.

Jake Ellenberger vs. Carlos Eduardo Rocha

The Matchup: The hard-charging Ellenberger was lined up for a match with Jon Fitch on two occasions, only to have them fall through. That is unfortunate, because he is a virtual carbon copy of Fitch, with better striking, to boot. Rocha debuted with a gorgeous kneebar submission win over “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 11 finalist Kris McCray at UFC 122, showing the kind of tactical smarts and headiness in a first-timer that prompts high expectations.

With the welterweight division in need of top contenders that have not already been steamrolled by champion Georges St. Pierre, the implications for this match are clear.

Rocha is unbeaten and has had only one fight reach the second round, but the combined record of his suspect opposition stands at 31-44-5. Ellenberger is talented, tough and experienced and came close to beating former World Extreme Cagefighting welterweight champion Carlos Condit in his promotional debut at UFC Fight Night 19. Along with his considerable wrestling chops, his seasoning should prove a key factor here.

The Pick: Look for Ellenberger to push the pace, take it to the floor and pick his spots, uncorking a punishing ground-and-pound attack en route to a third-round stoppage.

Miguel Torres (No. 6 BW) vs. Antonio Banuelos

The Matchup: After losing two straight in brutal fashion to Brian Bowles and Joseph Benavidez, former WEC champion Torres scored a much-needed win at WEC 51, as he submitted Charlie Valencia. Whether or not he successfully continues to rebuild the aura of invincibility he once held is difficult to foresee.

Banuelos, a longtime contender at 135 pounds, will definitely oblige him with willing stand-up and strong wrestling, both of which played roles in Torres’ two WEC defeats. With champion Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber sitting atop the division, either guy could position himself nicely for a title run in 2011 by scoring a significant win on the main card.

Style-wise, this is a fight Banuelos can win. If he can land effectively on the feet and get inside Torres’ range, it will set up takedowns and dirty boxing, two skills at which he has proven effective. For Torres, it is paramount that he does not get sucked into a head-strong type of bout where he dismisses percentages and advantages merely to trade shots and get even. Banuelos figures to score some takedowns, but Torres’ guard is exceptionally dangerous.

The Pick: Expect some rough moments for the ex-champion, as Torres uses sweeps and submission attempts to keep Banuelos defensive on the mat and piles up points on the feet on the way to a third-round submission or decision win.

Source: Sherdog

UFC 126: Silva vs. Belfort Preview
By Josh Stein

Miguel Torres (38-3 MMA) is looking to make an impressive debut on the UFC after his fall from the top bantamweight spot in the world. He impressed in his final fight in the WEC, and Torres will look for a second win as he takes on Antonio Banuelos (18-6 MMA), also looking to extend his consecutive wins to two. Banuelos could use an impressive finish, but Torres is a dangerous guy and he has all of the tools to beat Banuelos. Banuelos lacks the finish skill of a fighter like Joe Benavidez or Brian Bowles, and while he can definitely grind out a win over Torres, that seems like a rough gameplan against a fighter that effective at catching his opponents off of his back and in the clinch.

Jon Jones (11-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) and Ryan Bader (12-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) are the top contenders in the UFC lightheavyweight division, and their bout will likely decide the next top contender. Jones has long been a top prospect, and has destroyed a number of impressive fighters. Bader is coming off of a solid win over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and his undefeated record is impressive given the level of competition he’s fought in the UFC. Jones seems like the solid favorite (at around -300) but the bout will be competitive. Bader is a grinder and has by far the best wrestling credentials of anyone Jones has faced. That said, there’s usually something to be said for the favorite, usually there’s a good reason why they’re the favorite. That seems to be the case for Jones.

Despite only one UFC fight under his belt, Carlos Eduardo Rocha (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) will be appearing on the main card of a pay-per-view event taking on a very tough, powerful grappler in Jake Ellenberger (23-5 MMA, 2-1 UFC). As Ellenberger continues to build momentum in his UFC career, he’s going to have to fight through one of the most interesting grapplers that the UFC has picked up in a while. Obviously, Rocha doesn’t have the credibility as a Jake Shields, but his game seems really amazing, and with 9 straight finishes in 9 career fights, his ability to end fights is not in question, especially on the mat. Ellenberger’s path to victory seems clear enough: use the wrestling to stay standing and throw hands. Ellenberger definitely has knockout power. He put away José Landi-Jons (lesser known than many, but, at the very least, a legend-killer) in 7 seconds. As much as I think Rocha is a phenomenal prospect, Ellenberger has the experience to execute on that gameplan, and he can be a tough guy to finish on the ground, even for someone with the aggressive style of Rocha. Still, hopefully it will be a competitive fight and we’ll get to see some of Rocha’s ground skills more thoroughly displayed.

Forrest Griffin (17-6 MMA, 8-4 UFC) didn’t step in the cage in 2010, and there are many watching to see whether or not there will be ring rust, whether his injuries are still with him or whether he had a transformative year off. Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin (28-5-0-1 MMA, 13-4 UFC) has made an interesting step up to lightheavyweight, and is currently undefeated since officially debuting in the division, though it’s only been one fight. Putting away former lightheavyweight champion Chuck Liddell is no small feat, even if it was Chuck’s final appearance in MMA. The opportunity to fight a fighter coming off of a win, even if that win was not that impressive and over an aging Tito Ortiz is another step for Franklin, and allows him to show that he belongs among the relevant title competitors at 205. For Griffin, it is the opportunity to show that he has not been too shaken by a rough year in 2009. It’s hard to judge the performance of a fighter who has been absent for as long as Griffin, but if Griffin returns as he left, the matchup seems to strongly favor Franklin, because he can keep the fight from turning into the scrap that Griffin does so well and work his hands.

I do not bet against Anderson Silva (27-4 MMA, 12-0 UFC). There are those who saw the four and a half rounds he spent getting roughed up by Chael Sonnen as some sort of indication of his slowing status, or a solution to the puzzle that he seems to be. Obviously, that’s a possibility, but the submission that put Sonnen away is an indication that Anderson Silva is relevant, even on his back, even when it looks like there is no hope for the champion. Fighting Vitor Belfort (19-8 MMA, 8-4 UFC), though, makes things a little more complicated. If Sonnen was a stylistic problem for Silva (as I suspect it was) then the fight is not that relevant, since Belfort has a radically different toolbox, but if the Sonnen fight demonstrates some sort of decline in Silva’s game more generally, then Vitor is a very serious problem. It’s hard to see even a fighter as technically sound as Belfort being able to answer Silva standing up. Silva has never been stopped with strikes in MMA, and none of his fights in the UFC have been particularly competitive standing up (though none of his opponents were as technical as Belfort; Belfort, on the other hand, has had competitive matchups on the feet and come out on the losing end before). Belfort has looked phenomenal in his last few bouts, but there are a few serious concerns about his ability to perform as his full potential.

First, Belfort hasn’t actually fought in the UFC middleweight division. Obviously, he can make the cut, but it does leave a little concern about the way that it will effect him, and he hasn’t really been mixed in with much of the competition that has tested Anderson’s previous opponents. Second, Belfort hasn’t fought since September of 2009. He may be in the best shape of his career (which seems likely) or he may be rusty as hell when he steps in against Silva. There are a lot of variables in this fight, but Anderson Silva is (and should be) the favorite. He is not as large a favorite as he has been in the past, but Silva is still the champion, and he has defended his title seven consecutive times. It’s hard to see Belfort taking that belt away from him. It may be Belfort’s time, but its hard to mark the end of Silva’s reign at this point.

Source: MMA Opinion

Strained Relationship With Belfort Fuels Silva for Brazil's 'Fight of the Century'
By Mike Chiappetta

LAS VEGAS -- It's clear that Anderson Silva has already made the shift into fight mode. On Wednesday, the UFC champ and his challenger Vitor Belfort went eye-to-eye for the first time in the days prior to their UFC 126 clash. The taller Silva crowded into Belfort's personal space, looking down at him with a subtle sneer, while Belfort's face painted a quieter picture of simple determination. Belfort turned away from the staredown first, but Silva would not look away, clearly and purposely glaring at Belfort for three or four seconds afterward. So what's he thinking?

"He's a worthy contender," Silva said. "He's in good condition and I'm ready for him."

With words, he didn't have much to say, yet his body language was unmistakable. He was trying to send a message. But what was it? Years ago, Silva and Belfort were friends, yet today Silva couldn't even bring himself to admit Belfort was one of the best strikers he'd ever faced. It's the forgotten storyline of UFC 126 that this fight has become very personal to a very motivated Anderson Silva.

It's no secret to the Brazilian news media though. About 20 made the trip to cover what they said is being coined "The Fight of the Century" in their country, where Belfort is actually a bigger star due to his long history in the sport and famous wife. Among the journalists covering the event is Fernando Kallas, a longtime MMA reporter who is now the UFC's Brazilian play-by-play man. Kallas has known both SIlva and Belfort for years, and has had numerous opportunities to speak with both over the last several months.

"Last week, I was talking with Anderson," he said, "and Anderson said to me, 'If I have the opportunity, I'm going to hurt Vitor. I'm going to hurt him really bad."

It wasn't always that way between them though. At one point, they were friends. To understand where things changed and why this fight is personal to Silva, you have to understand the history between the men.

Years ago, when Belfort was going through bad times -- including the still unsolved kidnapping and murder of his sister Priscila -- he moved from Rio to Belo Horizonte. Silva, who was living in Rio at the time, dropped everything to spend time in Belo Horizonte with Belfort and help him along.

Their friendship remained intact afterward, but things have changed drastically in the last year. The reason? Silva reportedly was quite offended that Belfort would accept a fight with him after their history together. While Belfort saw it as a simple professional decision, Silva took it as a personal affront.

That further emphasizes their different outlooks on the sport.

Silva is originally a product of the famed Chute Boxe camp, where fighting is personal, and intimidation of your opponent is quite literally, part of the fight. They view the person across the cage from them as not an opponent, but an enemy.

"Anderson works like Chute Boxe," said Kallas. "He needs to feel excited for the fight. He needs to have an enemy. Anderson feels betrayed. He helped [Vitor] out and he was surprised that Vitor would fight him."

Belfort has never viewed it quite the same way. To him, the fight is a sport, a profession, nothing personal about it. That's why he's always moved from camp to camp, learning from different coaches and trainers rather than staying in one place.

Team Silva knows Belfort very well. Some of the people who are important parts of Silva's camp were once mentors to Belfort. Years ago, in fact, Belfort used to live in the house of Silva's strength and conditioning coach Rogerio Camoes. They know Belfort well enough to know that Silva can't play with him, he can't toy with him or try to embarrass him like he did to Demian Maia. Belfort is far too dangerous. One punch can change everything.

Silva's trainers know the old Belfort. If you listened to Belfort's words, he made several references to the changes he's undergone in recent years and how many people who knew him then and now do not know him at all.

If you listened to both their words over the last few weeks, it's almost like there's been double-meanings in what they've said. it is a fight, and so much more.

"If one event alone can change your life that's something that can change your principle, because I believe a man lives by principle or by preference," Belfort told MMA Fighting when asked about what winning the title would mean to him. "A man who lives by principle? Nothing can change his life. He doesn't negotiate with moments. And the man who lives by preference? He goes with the flow. You know, depending on how his life is, he goes. So I will keep doing the same things that I'm doing, but of course my life will be changed. You know, you get your bonus money. You get maybe more recognition. But in my life, I will keep doing the same thing I'm doing."

Things used to be so different. They trained together. They trained in the same gym, and with many of the same people. They helped each other, and then it all got torn apart.

It's not something they'll talk about much, but it's something that's simmering under the surface. When the cage door closes, "The Fight of the Century" won't feel quite so big for the two locked inside. To them, the fight began long before the real fight ever started.

Source: MMA Fighting

Omigawa’s Holy Homework
by Tony Loiseleur

TOKYO -- “It doesn’t feel like I should say finally, but finally, I’m back in the UFC,” says a quiet, gravelly voiced Michihiro Omigawa between sips of coffee.

In a knit headband and wool pullover, Omigawa leans back in his booth at a café near the J-Rock Workout Studio. The only other inhabitants are senior citizens, garrulously chatting the morning away while one of their country’s best fighters quietly prepares for the day’s training. The scene is quiet and anonymous, and it suits the deadly serious Omigawa.

Even a fan that has never seen Sengoku Raiden Championship or Dream has likely seen Omigawa before. When he faces unbeaten blue-chipper Chad Mendes at UFC 126 this Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, it will not be the first time he has stepped into the Octagon.

Omigawa is a man of few words; his only moments of voice-raised verbosity are in his infamous -- and often profane -- post-fight speeches. If he were an actor, it would be accurate to call his performances taut or restrained. Nonetheless, the relief in Omigawa’s voice is palpable. While some fighters go only as far as exclaiming the platitude of how honored they are to fight in the UFC, Omigawa is one of the few Japanese fighters who had the benefit of having been there, only to finally return.

“Somehow, I feel like there’s this strong bond between myself and the UFC. I’m really happy that I’m able to come back. Maybe it is God telling me that I have to return to the UFC, and that’s why I’m able to go back now,” he says.

Omigawa’s first UFC stint three years ago was brief, as he was cut after losing tough decisions to Matt Wiman and Thiago Tavares. The pairings were demanding, considering Omigawa entered the Octagon with a .500 record, a clear beneficiary of the fallout from Zuffa’s purchase of Pride Fighting Championships and his place within the Yoshida Dojo stable.

However, those challenges were not new for Omigawa. He debuted in the Pride ring of all places against gritty veteran Aaron Riley, who wielded eight years of MMA experience and nearly three dozen fights. His second fight came against a 7-1-1 Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante; he lasted just 49 seconds.

Omigawa says he holds the advantage in his matchup with Chad Mendes (above).Three years removed from his UFC debut and now a featherweight, Omigawa is not only equipped to make a legitimate UFC run but has exceeded expectations in his development as a fighter.

“Being ‘cut by the UFC’ sounds negative, but all the experiences I’ve had in other rings since are positive. I’ve learned and grown a lot. Before my return to the UFC, I was finally able to refine my ‘Omigawa style,’” the Hidehiko Yoshida understudy says. “Specifically, it’s a synthesis of judo and striking. It’s taken time to hone, and it’s nearly perfect these days.”

Amidst turmoil of a deteriorating fight industry in Japan, it comes as no surprise that fighters like Omigawa are looking abroad to test their mettle and get paid. However, despite having notched wins -- albeit highly contentious ones -- against the likes of major featherweight titleholders in Japan, such as Sengoku featherweight champion Hatsu Hioki, Dream featherweight titleholder Hiroyuki Takaya and former Sengoku featherweight kingpin Marlon Sandro, Omigawa has opted to return to the UFC rather than capture a belt at home.

According to Omigawa, he was never in title consideration, either. After his management company, J-Rock, effectively ended its relationship with Sengoku Raiden Championship, Omigawa turned in a first-round stoppage against Takaya on New Year’s Eve in 2009. Heading into 2010, the win over Takaya fueled speculation that he would challenge for the title on Dec. 31.

“I didn’t know anything about a Dream title match [at Dynamite], and no one was talking to me about one. I felt so isolated from Dream then. I was thinking, ‘Oh well, if that’s how it is, go ahead, I guess.’ I felt left out,” says Omigawa, recalling the Takaya-Bibiano Fernandes title fight Dynamite announcement with a wry smile.

“I remember saying publically at the beginning of 2010 that I desperately wanted the Dream featherweight title, but things went wrong, and I didn’t get an opportunity to fight Fernandes. I didn’t like that,” he laments.

However, Omigawa has taken this rejection slight as a sign of a greater purpose. While former adversaries like Hioki, Takaya and Sandro have excelled in Japan, Omigawa feels his opportunity to outshine them will come beyond the shores of his homeland.

“All three have belts because they’re so strong. All except me, however,” Omigawa says quietly. “I think the reason for that is because I have something to do outside of Japan. It’s like God has given me a task to accomplish, like I’m being told, ‘You’re not for here. You must go beyond Japan.’

“Just before the Takaya-Fernandes title bout was confirmed, the WEC and UFC merged,” he continues in hushed tones. “Since the timing was so perfect, I felt maybe this merger was happening for me. I always said I wanted to reach the top of the featherweight division, and I think it’s in the UFC now.”

Despite speaking softly, there is no doubting Omigawa’s conviction in this belief. He is not particularly religious, but he truly believes something deeper or greater is orienting him toward the UFC.

“I don’t think he’s much of an MMA fighter. He’s not going to try to finish an opponent. I think I’m the one with the advantage here.”
-- Omigawa on Chad Mendes

“The ‘god’ I refer to is something that’s within me, I think. I don’t think there is such a thing as coincidence. I’ve always thought that when things happen, something or someone has given that experience to me,” he says with a self-deprecating chuckle. “It’s kind of spiritual and sounds religious, but I don’t belong to any organized religion. But I do believe there’s someone above me giving me tasks, like homework that I must do in my life.”

Omigawa’s spirituality sans religiosity is typical in Japan. Though the animist Shinto is the state religion and Buddhist temples abound, the majority of modern Japanese tend to be syncretic or atheistic. Christianity and the notion of a monotheistic, all-powerful god is thus something with which many Japanese like Omigawa are familiar and appropriate in their everyday lives in a distinctly secular way.

Fate and destiny notwithstanding, the undefeated Mendes has the kind of stellar wrestling and suffocating top game that can frustrate and shut down anyone’s offense. Omigawa, however, is unperturbed by the stylistic challenge.

“I don’t think he’s much of an MMA fighter. He’s not going to try to finish an opponent. I think I’m the one with the advantage here,” Omigawa says matter-of-factly.

Only a handful of Japanese fighters -- particularly Yushin Okami after his defeat at the hands of Chael Sonnen -- have acknowledged the need to train with North American fighters to improve their cage game. However, Omigawa sees both stateside training and Japan’s difficulties in the Octagon differently than the MMA community at large.

Omigawa is open to the notion of training abroad, but he does not feel compelled to do so. Broaching the idea that the best training is in the U.S., he does bring up a crucial point.

“What about [UFC featherweight champion] Jose Aldo? He doesn’t have to leave Brazil or Nova Uniao to train, does he? If Jose doesn’t need to, why do I have to leave?” he asks with a grin.

“Probably one of the reasons is the cage itself, but more than that, I think it comes down to a fighter’s mental state. Going abroad, fighting in a cage, hearing a different audience than Japan’s -- all these things play a factor,” he continues.

His assertion is one that highlights the fact that Japan is a highly advanced island nation in which the need to travel abroad rarely occurs for its inhabitants. For many Japanese fighters, competing in the states is their first experience abroad. Culture shock and jet lag exacerbate Octagon jitters, making for a deadly cocktail come fight time. To further illustrate his point, Omigawa takes a moment to consult his cell phone’s Japanese-English dictionary to find a particular phrase to convey what exactly it is he feels he needs most to succeed in a North American cage. The phrase he chooses is “comfort zone.”

“Don’t you think that non-Japanese fighters that come to Japan face similar problems? They win and lose just the same as Japanese fighters going abroad, I think. The key is to find out how to create a comfort zone for myself in enemy territory,” he says.

In so doing, Omigawa will be bringing a large entourage with him to Las Vegas. Including the likes of high school friend and Olympic wrestler-turned-mixed martial artist Kazuyuki Miyata, Omigawa will be well-insulated by the company of many close friends, his immediate family and Yoshida Dojo training partners. To assure that he acclimates to the dry Vegas weather, they all arrived a week out from the fight.

Further still, Omigawa views the inclusion of fellow Japanese fighter Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto on the card as a contributing factor in creating a comfortable and encouraging environment for both men to perform in.

“I think we can help each other feel comfortable there. I know there will be a lot of people going to cheer for him, too, just as my friends and family will be there to cheer for me. Hopefully, they can make a good atmosphere for the both of us and cheer us both on,” he says.

Of course, with so many supporters in attendance and a campaign by the UFC’s Japanese broadcast partner, WOWOW, to spotlight both Omigawa’s and Yamamoto’s bouts, there exists the potential that the people that comprise this comfort zone could create no small amount of performance pressure. Add to that the fact that the UFC roster has become much more competitive to stay in since the merger with the WEC, and it is conceivable that the pressure may become debilitating. However, Omigawa is undaunted. Besides his belief that a greater power has brought him back to the Octagon for a reason, he has an iron resolve tempered by the mismatches of his early career. In fact, he finds Zuffa’s stringent pink slip policy refreshing.

“It’s been a theme in my life for these past few years that once I lose, there’s nothing else for me coming up in the future from these promotions. I’m coming into the UFC now with that mentality. It’s just so much clearer and obvious that once you lose, you can and will get cut,” he says.

It happened to Omigawa once already, but he does not seem so concerned with it now. Perhaps it was all the studying and all the homework he has done to ace his next test in the Octagon.

Interpreted by Mizuka Koike

Source: Sherdog

Strikeforce’s high-risk, high-reward Japan strategy
By Zach Arnold

When Josh Gross broke the news of Strikeforce running their second HW GP event on April 9th (with Japan being a target), the obvious reaction online was about avoiding licensing issues and drug testing. The names of Alistair Overeem and Josh Barnett are both popping up for this event. I don’t think it’s fair at all to lump the two fighters together on the issue of doping. Each is an individual case and, as you might recall last May, I argued endlessly about this in relation to Alistair.

I had guessed around the time that Strikeforce picked up Mr. Barnett that they would run his fights in Japan. It made a lot of sense. There’s too many landmines in the States. Plus, with what happened in California (Strikeforce’s home base) and the Affliction show collapse, Japan really was the one place that made sense for Josh. After all, it’s where he wrestles and where he wants to fight. You can also say the same thing about Alistair Overeem, who did sign with talent agency Yoshimoto (the same casting agency that enlists Razor Ramon Hard Gay and his pelvic thrusting.) Overeem’s goal is become the big cheese in Japan and K-1 is his primary focus. America is a nice side attraction for him, but Japan is the goal. What better way to placate him but by having his fights in Japan?

It’s a fascinating move by Scott Coker to really consider a deep involvement in Japan given the current climate of the industry there and yet, it’s a calculated move. The risk is high — lack of money, shaky television situation, long-term uncertainty with K-1. However, what makes the prospects of Strikeforce working with K-1 in Japan realistic is that SF can turn the tables on K-1 and use the K-1 financial model to benefit. With Showtime paying Strikeforce a certain amount of money per show, the promotion can afford to work with someone like K-1 if K-1/DREAM is willing to run the show and cover the costs. Sounds familiar? It was Kazuyoshi Ishii’s strategy when PRIDE collapsed and now, unfortunately for K-1, it’s a failing business model for the Japanese. Which means that the idea of Strikeforce using that same model against the grandmaster who built his empire on it is extremely thick in irony.

For K-1, it would be an interesting image booster in Japan. They could conceivably tell the fans that they are bringing some of the best, if not the best, foreign MMA fighters in the world to Japan to fight in a ring and not a cage. All of this is big for the psyche of the Japanese fans.

(The idea that the big names want to come to Japan because Japan is where the world revolves around.)

Whether it draws or not is another question, but right now K-1 is in survival mode and working with Strikeforce to bring in Fedor, Alistair, Barnett, etc. is good for the image. Plus, all those fighters want to fight in Japan anyways, so it keeps the talent base happy. A co-promotional relationship also would critically help Strikeforce fill some major voids in terms of depth (at least on paper) in the Lightweight and Welterweight classes. The door also opens up to use fighters at Bantamweight and Featherweight.

For Strikeforce, the ability to make money while running big fights in the big non-American MMA market will be a win that UFC will not be able to obtain. It’s a move where both SF & K-1 can combine forces to try to diminish the prospects of UFC making a big dent in the country. Each party (SF & K-1) has something at stake and right now the stakes are pretty high for both parties. Desperate times call for desperate measures. If K-1 can use Alistair, Fedor, and others to try to get leverage for television security, then it’s worth it to play ball in the end.

Now, what I wrote up above is the ‘perfect’ scenario for both parties. Whether or not it turns out that way in the end is anyone’s guess, however. Money talks and bullshit walks.

Source: Fight Opinion

From Las Vegas, an X-ray of challenger Vitor Belfort
by Carlos Eduardo Ozório

It was a laid back trip to Las Vegas with Anderson Silva and Co. (read about it here). During the nine-hour wait after missing the connection in Charlotte, North Carolina, Silva was approached by numerous fans, but time finally came to shove off for the final destination.

In Vegas, about four hours later, more fans awaited the champion at the airport. The “Spider” tried to attend to them all, but the mood was different now. There’s no room for games in the city of entertainment. In a serious climate, the fighter met up with his manager Ed Soares, with his son, and headed for Mandalay Bay hotel and casino, where he will stay and where UFC 126 will take place this Saturday.

From the impression he left, Anderson doesn’t feel any pressure, or at least doesn’t let it show. But, as stated in the previous article, he doesn’t underestimate Vitor Belfort, the challenger. By his side, along with loyal friend and Strikeforce champion Rafael Feijão, he has two trumps with him: coaches Ramon Lemos (Jiu-Jitsu) and Luiz Dórea (boxing). Before disappearing in the midst of the hundreds of tourists arriving in Vegas, the coaches sat down for a chat with and dissected the challenger, Vitor. The outcome of the fight, obviously, remains to be seen. But they expect to have minimized any chance of surprise.

“On the ground, Vitor too is really explosive and quick. But, sincerely, I feel he’s either the same level or worse than Anderson in Jiu-Jitsu. I’ve never trained with him, I speak based on what I’ve seen in his fights. I see Anderson as having more moves on the ground, while Vitor does a good job in the ground-and-pound department. I don’t think he’s going to take much more of a risk than that,” remarks Ramon, the leader of Atos Jiu-Jitsu.

“You have to realize that MMA doesn’t have that points system and Anderson fights 100% for the submission or knockout when on the ground,” adds the coach.

Now Dórea analyzes the Spider’s opponent from the angle that, to many, is Belfort’s most dangerous.

“Vitor is an excellent fighter, I’ve worked with him before. He works the action well and is dangerous with straight punches, down the line. He’s also got a really good uppercut. Another quality of his is his footwork, his getting-in-and-out skills. But Anderson has an above-average ability to absorb everything easily. It will be a great fight, I’m sure of it, but we’ve covered all the bases and we’re really confident,” said Dórea in closing.

Source: Gracie Magazine

Mendes: Omigawa a ‘Perfect’ Matchup

Although Michihiro Omigawa has emerged as a tough matchup for anyone, Chad Mendes believes he’s the perfect opponent for his continued climb up the featherweight ladder.

They fight Feb. 5 at UFC 126.

“He’s definitely been on a tear,” Mendes acknowledged recently during a “Savage Dog Show” interview on the Sherdog Radio Network. “He doesn’t have the best standup. He’s effective with it, but it’s not the most technical. He’s not necessarily the fastest fighter ever, but he does look very strong. … Seems like he’ll rush into you with pretty crazy standup just to close the distance and then go for bodylocks. He likes the clinch, over-and-under kind of stuff and then works a lot of trips. I think that’s perfect for me.”

Mendes was a two-time All-American wrestler at Cal Poly. He also trained Greco-Roman wrestling growing up, using upper body maneuvers and throws somewhat similar to Omigawa’s judo background.

“I’m just going to potshot a lot,” Mendes said, “and when he rushes in, be looking to blast doubles. I think personally this is a great matchup for me.”

Omigawa has won five straight since dropping an August 2009 split decision to Masanori Kanehara. That fight is one of only two defeats Omigawa has suffered since his first UFC run ended in January 2008.

Mendes, on the other hand, has never fought in the UFC. He didn’t expect to be making his debut quite so quickly either.

“I still remember just as a little kid watching [the UFC] with my dad, renting some of the old DVDs from Blockbuster,” Mendes said. “I loved it then. I thought it was so cool. It’s crazy now that I’m going to be fighting in the UFC. I thought I’d be good at it and I’d do well in my career, but coming this far this fast is definitely unexpected.”

Mendes has built a 9-0 record and moved into title contention. Possibly his biggest win came in November when he outpointed Javier Vazquez, a quality opponent who had been critical of Mendes’ skills before the fight.

“The whole Javy thing with the talking crap back and forth, it definitely motivated me, but that’s not something that I need to fight,” Mendes said. “That definitely added to it, but that’s not something I need to get in there and go hard.”

That’s a good thing, as Omigawa likely won’t talk any trash to give Mendes extra motivation. The Japanese fighter’s No. 4 ranking should be motivation enough, though. Mendes wants the win, but he’s hoping for style points as well.

“I’m working so hard on my standup,” he said. “It’s just a comfort thing for me getting in there when I go live. I’d obviously like to get a knockout in this fight or at least just showcase a lot of my standup. Hopefully I get in there and the confidence shines through and I can let my hands go. A knockout would be awesome.”

Source: Sherdog

The passing of two Jiu-Jitsu greats
by Deb Blyth

Some events in life are so painful, random, and inexplicable, they cause us to lose our faith and hope. But as the gentle art of Jiu-Jitsu teaches us, we must never give up nor give in to the darkness, but instead, persevere and find another way back to the light.

Two communities are struggling with this as they try to make sense of the deaths of two of their beloved Jiu-Jitsu family members, Gracie Barra black belt Thiago da Silva Santos and Team Popovitch purple belt Reza “Ray” Payan. Both young men were lost over the 2010 holidays, one from an unfathomable and heartbreaking illness, the other from an incomprehensible and tragic murder.

Thiago da Silva “Roylerzinho” Santos, began his Jiu-Jitsu training at a GB Belo Horizonte satellite school with Danilo Felipe, a black belt under Vinicius “Draculino” Magalhaes, ten years ago. He trained there until he got his blue belt, then transferred to GBBH, and trained directly under Draculino. Thiago was called “Roylerzinho” because he looked like Royler Gracie.

Thiago loved to compete and was good at it, but his main quality was not being a great Jiu-Jitsu player. It was, instead, his kind and generous nature. “Thiago was one of the nicest, most helpful, loyal, and positive people ever to have stepped foot on this Earth,” Draculino says, “His smile was so true and genuine that it brought joy to all around him.”

Thiago moved to New York with Rafael Sapo. They were training and having fun, but Thiago soon ran out of money. Draculino invited him to stay at his house in Houston. “Thiago accepted right away, but said it would only be for a little while,” Draculino says, “He ended up connecting with us so well my family wouldn’t let him go! He learned English fast and began working at my school, Gracie Barra Texas.”

But Thiago began to sound different. His voice became nasally and he complained of a plugged nose and sore throat. “We thought the humidity in Houston was the problem,” Draculino says, “Doctors thought it was allergies or a sinus infection. He took medicine and antibiotics and felt a little better. At the same time, we applied for his work visa and he got it fast, but due to a formality, he had to go back to Brazil to get his passport stamped before he could come back to the U.S.”

Draculino told Thiago to see an ear, nose and throat specialist while he was in Brazil. “The doctor checked him out and saw that there was something wrong,” Draculino says, “He performed surgery and removed a tumor. They discovered it was Burkitt’s Lymphoma, which is a very rare, aggressive, and fast moving cancer.”

Thiago was admitted to the hospital and began treatment immediately. The first chemo session yielded good results and everyone was happy and excited, but after the thirdsession, the tumor kept growing. “It was out of control and nothing would reduce its size or strength,” Draculino says. Thiago became so weak; he was unable to endure another surgery. He was in the hospital for more than four months. Draculino gave Thiago his black belt on December 20, 2010 in his hospital bed. He had been a brown belt for two and a half years. “I didn’t give it to him because of his condition, but because it was more than well deserved,” Draculino says.

At the end of his life, Thiago was in so much pain he passed out many times. “Morphine didn’t even help,” Draculino says, “He couldn’t breath, eat or drink water. He was fed and hydrated through his veins, but he never lost the smile on his face nor his warrior spirit.” Draculino sat with Thiago at the hospital two days before he died and said he thought to himself, ‘Why is all of this happening to such a great human being?’ But it’s not for us to question God’s will. Now I know Thiago is pain free, and in a better place resting.”

Thiago passed away on December 30, 2010 at the tender age of 26, after six months of battling the cancer that claimed him. Draculino says Thiago was a great father, Jiu-Jitsu fighter, friend, “And the fiercest warrior I’ve ever met. Thiago changed everyone’s lives for the better.” He leaves behind a son, Iago, and a sister, Mariana, along with his father and mother. Draculino says Thiago’s biggest angel was his girlfriend, Katherine Osteen, who left family, work, and college behind in Houston to move to Brazil to be by his side every day at the hospital. Draculino says, “Thiago is lost, but never forgotten.”

On the other side of the nation, one short day later, another senseless tragedy was occurring. Reza “Ray” Payan, a purple belt under Pablo Popovitch (who recently experienced his own personal pain in the death of his beloved mother and the critical injury of his father after the devastating Rio mudslides), was gunned down in the street by a friend after a New Year’s Eve party.

Ray was born in Iran. During the Iran/Iraq war his family took refuge in Russia. They stayed there for a few years and then moved to Baltimore, Maryland,when Ray was eight. Ray’s father didn’t acclimate to America, so he left his family behind and went back to Iran. Ray had to grow up fast and looked out for his mom and sister any way he could.

Ray trained Jiu-Jitsu for about ten years and really enjoyed it. He trained with Minotauro in Florida and was one of his first students. He eventually landed at Team Popovitch and started training there at the same time as black belt Vagner Rocha. While Jiu-Jitsu was more like a hobby for Ray, it was a career for Rocha, who eventually opened his own school. Ray followed him and began training there. “I used to tell everybody that Ray was my brother,” Rocha says, “Everything he did, I thought was cool. He was a good, humble, honest person. He was beyond my best friend. He was my family.”

Rocha says Ray was a smart guy. He started with nothing, but he had street smarts. He became a car salesman and ended up opening his own RV business and a nice home in South Florida. “He’s been with the woman he loves, Heather, since they were fifteen years old. They’ve been together for eighteen years and have a little girl, Shiva, who’s twenty months old,” Rocha says.

Everyone came to Ray for advice and said he always had the perfect solution for their problems. “He was a good person,” Rocha says, “If you said to him, ‘I like your shirt,’ I swear to God he’d take it off and give it to you. In my gym alone there were six guys he helped get jobs. He paid for dinner for kids who couldn’t afford to eat out. He cared. If he saw things weren’t good on your side, he tried to help you. He could always make you laugh. I never saw him have a bad day.”

Rocha invited Ray to his family’s New Year’s Eve party. Ray asked if he could bring Ron, a Jiu-Jitsu friend from another school, to the party with him. Ron’s wife and child were out of town and Ray didn’t want him to be alone. “I kind of knew Ron,” Rocha says. He trained with us sometimes. He always treated me with respect. He didn’t have a lot of friends and Ray was a good friend to him over the years.”

The party was very low key. “There was hardly any drinking,” Rocha says, “It was a small family get together. We just ate and let off some fireworks.” At about 2:30 a.m. on January 1, 2011, Ray woke Heather up, who had fallen asleep with Shiva, and said they were leaving. Not long after, Rocha heard pounding on his door. “Heather was full of blood and screaming,” he says, “The street was already locked down with cops and the paramedics had already taken Ray away.”

Rocha was shocked. Heather told him that she was in the car changing Shiva’s clothes while Ray was outside talking to Ron. “He was trying to drive him home,” Rocha says, “He’d seen Ron drinking.” Ron refused the ride. According to Rocha, Heather looked out the back window just in time to see Ron with his gun out, firing three shots at Ray. “Ron ran over and started screaming at Heather then ran back to Ray and shot him twice more.” Ray didn’t make it to the hospital.

“It doesn’t make sense to me,” Rocha says, clearly distraught, “Did this really happen? It doesn’t seem real. Especially to Ray…I can’t understand. How could this happen? He was always a good friend to Ron. Everything Ray got, he asked the same for Ron. Football games, vacations…” he trails off.

At the funeral, many came forward to speak about Ray’s involvement in their lives. He helped “Craig” rebuild his life after jail when everyone else abandoned him. He gave him clothes, found him a place to stay, and a job. Today Craig owns his own business and he credits Ray with his success. “By the time the eighth guy got up to speak, it was obvious that Ray had helped everyone,” Rocha says, “The guy said, ‘You know what? I thought he was just special to me, but apparently he was special to everyone. He helped everyone. He lived every moment to the fullest. For as young as he was, he lived a great life.’”

Rocha says he’s now going to focus on what he thinks Ray would want him to do. “I’m going to help out with his daughter and keep a smile on her face for the rest of her life. I’m going to appreciate life the way it is and just take every day that’s in front of me because you never know when it’s going to be your last day. Today you’re here, tomorrow you’re gone. You need to tell people you love them. Nothing else matters.”

Source: Gracie Magazine

Five coaches breakdown Anderson Silva vs Vitor Belfort
By Guilherme Cruz

After most experts bet on Anderson Silva as the favorite for the duel with Vitor Belfort (read the article here), TATAME choose five coaches of different modalities to evaluate the confrontation of styles of the Brazilians, who will fight against each other next Saturday for UFC’s belt. And Anderson got the credibility of the experts once again. Check below the analysis and stay tuned on TATAME to know all about UFC 126 .

André Pederneiras (Jiu-Jitsu): Black belt of Carlson Gracie, André has fought on UFC and he’s the leader of the team Nova União, where he teached guys like BJ Penn, Vitor Shaolin, Wagnney Fabiano, José Aldo and Marlon Sandro.

“Both are black belts. Anderson proved on his last fight he’s pretty good, applied a great submission... Being beaten up like that on the first round and managing to submit the guy that way… I can’t say anything about his Jiu-Jitsu. If anyone, once in their lives, thought Anderson wasn’t a black belt, that’s been proven now. Anderson has a great coach, Ramon Lemos, and for me he has an advantage on the ground. It’s not that Vitor ain’t good, but Vitor has decided most of his fights standing, and I believe he has been dedicated himself to the trade of punches more, and Anderson has intensified his ground game. I’ll say Anderson has a slight vantage on the ground”

Advantage: Anderson Silva

Artur Mariano (Muay Thai): Muay Thai coach graduated by Luiz Alves, Artur hás also shone on MMA, eating names like Wanderlei Silva. Today he’s on charge of the Brazilian Confederation of (CBMT).

“When it comes to Muay Thai, without no doubts, Anderson is better. Vitor is much talented while standing, but Anderson Silva’s technique is much more complete: the clinch part, the bang… Vitor is a good Muay Thai fighter, but Anderson is better. Vitor is an explosive athlete with his legs and knees, but Anderson’s got the advantage”

Advantage: Anderson Silva

Rafael Alejarra (physical trainer): student of Paulo Caruso on physical preparation, Alejarra is the responsible for sharpen the conditioning of names like Junior Cigano, Demian Maia, Cris Cyborg, KJ Noons, Kim Couture, among others.

“Anderson has been defending his belt for a long time and fighting five rounds. I think Anderson has a great conditioning, he’s been doing a great job with Camões. I have friends who had the chance of working with Vitor and they’ve told me he’s an explosive guy, he has great genes. He was a rocket when he was 19 and he grew up very fast, but it’s been a while since Vitor hasn’t fought... And he’s on a lighter division.

Anderson’s conditioning has been tougher than Vitor, but I think it’ll be interesting. The first and second rounds match Vitor’s muscle explosion. As the fight gets longer, the advantage changes sides”

Advantage: Draw

Cláudio Coelho (Boxing): leader of the team Nobre Arte, Claudio has sharpen the Boxing of names like Murilo Bustamante, Pedro Rizzo, Marco Ruas, Renzo Gracie, Royler Gracie, Vitor Shaolin, among others.

“Anderson’s boxing is not Professional but it sure ain’t amateur.

He’s a guy who knows how to bang, but he has a way of punching that can be bad even for a boxer. He uses his boxing skills along with others, he kicks, he keeps his distance because of his long arms. I see him getting disturbed by his boxing, unlike Vitor, who has his boxing as a professional skill. Vitor doesn’t do many things, he plays on his guard, and he’s more serious when it comes to Boxing posture. Because of the fact Vitor is left-handed, it’ll obligates Anderson not to play with him. He can play with any other guy and let go his guard, but he can’t do such thing with a left-handed and have tight and adjusted coups. That’ll bring much responsibility to Anderson, and he won’t try to play with Vitor”

Advantage: Vitor Belfort

Beto Leitão (Wrestling): son of the Wrestling master Roberto Leitão, Beto is a Wrestling expert. Currently he’s the president of the Brazilian Confederation of Associated Fights (Confederação Brasileira de Lutas Associadas).

“For having more knowledges and for being more explosive, I believe Vitor has many advantages on his attack, because that stuff counts a lot. But Anderson has many factors in favor of his defense, like the fact he’s taller and has a good posture and long arms. He does a great sprawl, he can defend his legs with his arms. I think it’ll be a tied fight on that aspect. Vitor will try the takedown, but Anderson will defend himself. I doubt that Anderson can take Vitor down”

Advantage: Draw

Source: Tatame

Despite past issues, White says UFC champ Silva best fighter of all time
by John Morgan

LAS VEGAS – When UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva walked into Wednesday's UFC 126 pre-event press conference with sunglasses on, it was fairly evident what was about to transpire.

When "The Spider" answered the opening questions of the press conference with single-word responses, even UFC president Dana White took note.

"It's going to be one of those kind of press conferences," White joked.

And for the most part, it was. Silva took time to answer questions from reporters, but the replies were generally of the standard-fare variety and most minimized the importance of a win over Vitor Belfort in the main-event of Saturday night's fight card in Las Vegas.

But just minutes after Silva and Belfort ended the pre-fight gathering with an intense nose-to-nose staredown, White said he saw through the champion's pre-fight demeanor.

"We just sat through 30 minutes of [expletive], in my opinion," White said. "I think the whole, 'This doesn't mean anything; it's just another fight,' (isn't true). Let me tell you how big this fight is in Brazil. These guys live in Brazil. This fight is huge. It's all anybody is talking about there.

"As far as Anderson Silva, he's got the (UFC) record for consecutive wins. He's going for number 14. He's going for his eighth consecutive title defense. He wins this fight, and he's looking at a possible superfight that would be the biggest fight we've ever done. For Vitor Belfort to come in now and get an opportunity to beat this guy at this point in his career, there's a ton of pressure on both guys – not only for what's at stake but for where they come from and how big this fight is down there. The 30 minutes of [expletive] we just listened to, none of it's true."

But if it sounds like White is annoyed with his champion's actions, he's not. Sure, the UFC boss has been openly critical of the middleweight in the past – see his refusal to place the belt around Silva's waist following a bizarre win over Demain Maia at UFC 112 – but those days are well behind. Besides, White doesn't expect Silva to deliver any rousing pre-fight speeches. White just wants his champ to deliver in-fight fisticuffs.

"To be honest with you, when I have to sit through these press conferences with yes-no answers and stuff like that – we've all come to learn that's what's going to happen," White said. "You know you're never going to get crazy [expletive] out of him. He's not going to tell you what he's really thinking. That's never going to happen.

"I don't give a [expletive] if he sits there and doesn't say a word for the entire press conference, as long as he shows up on Saturday night and fights. I'm fine with that. At the end of the day, we don't pay $50 to hear him speak. We pay to see him fight. As long as he shows up Saturday and fights, that's all I care about."

In short, White wants Silva to do exactly what he did this past August, when the Brazilian went toe-to-toe with outspoken challenger Chael Sonnen in a memorable UFC 117 affair that wound up on just about every MMA observers' shortlist for Fight of the Year. Despite entering the fight with a rib injury, and despite losing the opening four rounds of the contest, Silva etched himself in the annals of MMA history with a fifth-round Hail Mary submission to retain his championship belt.

White said the win wasn't just one of the best fights of 2010, but rather it was the type of fight that may very well define Silva's career.

"I think about this all the time when we look back at boxing guys, and you talk about Marvin Hagler-Thomas Hearns and 'Sugar' Ray Leonard-Thomas Hearns and all those fights and what great moments and things that happened," White said. "There's no doubt that the Chael Sonnen-Anderson Silva fight is one of those fights. I think that's going to be one of the fights that defines this guy's career.

"I actually saw a documentary about three weeks ago they did leading up to that fight where Anderson Silva had popped cartilage in his rib and didn't tell anybody, and he came in and fought that fight – took the beating that he took for five rounds and with a minute and 50 (seconds) left, pulls off the submission to win. That's the [expletive] legendary fights are made of."

Belfort would seemingly present exactly what Silva needs to deliver another legendary performance. A former UFC light heavyweight champion, Belfort owns a lethal set of hands that have delivered 13 career knockout wins, including a decisive first-round stoppage of Rich Franklin and a brutal destruction of Matt Lindland in his past two outings.

However, Belfort has turned in his share of head-scratching performances as well, and White is aware that as firework-laden as the bout with Silva appears to be on paper, there's no predicting exactly what will happen until the bell rings on Saturday night.

"We know what both of these fighters are capable of doing," White said. "I'm going to be honest here. I'm not going to be a promoter here. This thing could be the most dynamic, incredible [expletive] fight we've ever seen or the worst staring competition in the history of mankind.

"All I care about is that both these guys come out and let it go and fight the fight we know we could possibly see."

For Silva, there's little left to prove in the octagon. It's been more than five years since the champion tasted defeat, and he's defeated the world's best along the way, including former big-promotion title holders Franklin, Dan Henderson and Nate Marquardt, among others.

Of course, a win sets up a potential superfight showdown with current UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre in what White believes would be the biggest fight in the history of the promotion. But win, lose or draw, White believes Silva has already earned the title of pound-for-pound greatest fighter in the world – and not just for now, thank you. Instead, White said Silva's incredible 12-0 run in the UFC proves he is the greatest fighter ever to strap on four-ounce gloves.

"I think what Anderson has accomplished, I think he's the best to ever compete in mixed martial arts," White said. "And it's not like I have this Chuck Liddell relationship with Anderson Silva where I brought the guy in and he's still close to me or whatever. I'm just being honest. You can't deny it.

"When people go in and try to start arguing, 'Yeah, but that fight was boring, and this fight was boring,' not every fight is going to be the greatest fight you've ever seen, but you can't deny what the guy has accomplished."

Source: MMA Junkie

Stevenson-Castillo Completes UFC Live 3 Bill
by Mike Whitman

A lightweight scrap between former UFC title challenger Joe Stevenson and World Extreme Cagefighting transfer Danny Castillo was made official Tuesday for UFC Live 3 “Sanchez vs. Kampmann,” completing the official fight card with 12 bouts.

The matchup will be part of the Versus-televised main card and will take place March 3 at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky. The event will be headlined by a welterweight duel between dangerous Dane Martin Kampmann and the resurgent Diego Sanchez.

Stevenson-Castillo serves as a late replacement for a welterweight contest between Paulo Thiago and Johny Hendricks. That fight was scrapped after Thiago withdrew last week due to injury. Left without an opponent, Hendricks was also taken off the card.

After winning season two of “The Ultimate Fighter” as a welterweight, Stevenson made the cut to 155 pounds in 2006. “Joe Daddy” proceeded to win four straight fights en route to a shot at B.J. Penn’s lightweight championship. Since falling to Penn at UFC 80, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt has lost four of his last seven fights, most recently dropping back-to-back bouts at the hands of George Sotiropoulos and Mac Danzig. A three-time recipient of “Fight of the Night” honors inside the Octagon, Stevenson owns 14 of his 31 career victories by submission.

Conversely, Castillo rides consecutive victories into his bout with the more experienced Stevenson. A seven-time WEC veteran, “Last Call” bounced back from losses to Shane Roller and Anthony Pettis to defeat Dustin Poirier and Will Kerr at WEC 50 and WEC 53, respectively. The Team Alpha Male representative has finished eight of his 10 victims and has been knocked out only once in his three-year career.

Source: Sherdog


Amateur Boxing In Palolo!

Sponsored by Waipahu Pawn Shop and Leland Chapman
FEBRUARY 4, AT 6 P.M. 2011
TENATIVE BOUTS, order will change

). Springsteen Stampson 21 2 125 28 Steven Wada
Molokai B.C. 05/07/89 1 or 1 ½ min. 05/04/82 Southside Maui B.C.
). Uly Bordaje 17 0 167 23 Ernesto Orantes 2
Kakaako B.C. 01/07/94 1 min. Unattached (Marines)
). Michael ?? 18 0 127 17 Kyle Delima 1 Palolo B.C. 1 min. 08/23/93 Unattached (Kauai)
). Jariell Munoz 27 0 147 18 Christian Ramil 2
Kakaako B.C. 03/25/83 1 min. 10/02/83 636 B.C.
). Richard Ballesteros 20 0 160 19 Charles Gassparetti 0
Pearlside B.C. 1 min. Unattached (Marines)
). Edward Dirige 14 1 127/124 13 Peter Pacada 0
Kakaako B.C. 07/26/96 1 min. Palolo B.C.
). Mike Plunkett 20 2 180 30 Steven Lee 0
Five-O B.C. 07/25/90 1 min. 11/07/80 Hands On B.C.
). Mikuni Munsayac 19 3 155 21 Joshua Dupree
Unattached 09/27/91 1 1/2min. 09/22/89 Unattached (Marines)
). Austin Hyden 22 8 165 18 Adrian Pelayo 6
Pearlside B.C. 10/21/98 1 ½ or 2 min 09/24/92 Southside Maui B.C
). Tyler Agbayani 16 7 175 16 Ramon Cardona Jr. 4
Unattached 07/20/94 1 ½ or 2 min. 02/17/94 Wailuku Maui B.C.
). Trey Olive 20 1 201+ 33 Nephi Tehiva 0
Pearlside B.C. 04/02/90 1 min. 06/12/77 Hands On B.C.
). Isaiah Lavea 19 2 201+ 21 Kawika Tantala- Kupuikaia 2
Palolo 08/22/90 1 min. 05/01/89 Five-0
). Samuel Kekai Alama 33 1 201+ 30 Mahiahi Naihe 1
Pearlside B.C. 01/10/77 1 ½ min. 05/04/79 Kauai PAL B.C.
). Koichi Tanji 12 130 10+ Anthony Ibanez Kawano B.C. 03/06/92 2 min 09/24/92 Wailuku B.C.
). Natacia Manuma 27 7 175 25 Fallon Farrar 7
Five-0 B.C. 1/15/83 2 min. 09/29/85 Club Discipline B.C.

Thank You to Lloyd McKee from Waipahu Pawn Shop in the Waipahu Shopping Plaza, phone number is 808-671-6555, also Leland Chapman from "Dog the Bounty Hunter" for their continued Support of Amateur Boxing. Also, our Sponsors Rock Bottom Sports Bar where we will have our after party.
Thank You Always for our Volunteers, Boxers, Coaches, Officials, Announcer, Door Workers, Concession workers, Boxing Commissioners and Chairman Herbert Minn, Officer Ron Richardson and OfficerAl Dela Cruz, Officer Daryl Takata, Dr. Myles Suehiro and Dr. Kanani Texeira, Chief of Officials Eiichi Jumawan and Vice President Robyn Jumawan, and "YOU" our Boxing Fans!!

All boxer will receive gold medals for stepping in the ring, these athletes, boxing clubs, and coaches are all winners and champions because of the time, dedication and commitment they put in their sport. All medals donated by our Sponsors.


Sponsored by Waipahu Pawn Shop and Leland Chapman
TENATIVE BOUTS, order will change

). Nicholas Siordia 11 8 78 13 Kawelo Alcos 4
TNT B.C. 06/18/99 1 min. 01/19/98 Unattached
). Goddhey Jacaine 8 1 68 9 Jordan Manangan 2
Pearlside B.C. 03/24/02 1 minute 09/29/01 Molokai B.C.
). Justin Alcos 18 0 132 17 Kyle Delima 1
Unattached 10/28/92 1 min. 08/28/93 Unattached (Kauai)
). Charles Coloma 19 3 120 21 Springsteen Stampson 2
Up n Up B.C. 10/12/91 1 ½ min. 05/07/89 Molokai B.C.
). Jariell Munoz 27 3 pal 145 19 David Vasconcellos 3
Kakaako B.C. 03/25/83 1 ½ min. 12/08/91 Unattached
). Dedric Ke'a Jr. 15 2 130 14 Edward Dirige 1
Pearlside B.C. 09/18/95 1 ½ min. 07/26/96 Kakaako B.C.
). Jonah Lopes 18 0 185 30 Steven Lee 0
Unattached (Joe Palimoo) 1 min. 11/07/80 Hands On B.C.
). Charles Gassparetti 28 0 162 17 Uly Bordaji 0
Unattached (Marines) 1 min. 01/07/94 Kakaako B.C.
). Mike Kurita 25 4 155 20 Travis Ito 3
Pearlside B.C. 12/31/85 1 ½ or 2 min. 07/29/89 Palolo B.C.
). Jazzelle Rabago Bobadilla 12 3 95 12 Kairey Bermoy 4
Boxfit808 B.C. 05/20/98 1 min. 07/21/98 Up n Up B.C.
). Nephi Tehida 33 0 201+ 30 Mahiahi Naihe 1
Hands On B.C. 06/12/77 1 min. per coach05/04/79 Kauai PAL B.C.
). Richard Ballesteros 20 0 165 23 Ernesto Orantes 2
Pearlside B.C. 1 min. Unattached (Marines)
). Koichi Tanji 28 12 128 28 Steven Wada
Kawano B.C. 03/06/92 1 ½ min. 05/04/82 Southside Maui B.C.
). Trey Olive 20 1 201+ Paea ??
Pearlside B.C. 04/20/90 1 min. Palolo B.C.
). Corina Ishikawa 33 8 115 18 Haley Pasion 4
Kawano B.C. 03/23/77 1 ½ min. 10/11/92 Kawano B.C.
). Mark Antalan 18 6 201+ Dustin Dosher 6
Pearlside B.C. 01/31/93 1 ½ min. Unattached
). Kalai McShane 15+ 127 Anthony Ibanez 10+
Five-0 B.C. 4 rds, 2 min. Wailuku Maui B.C.

let me know how many minutes also. I suggest 1 min. for new boxers, 1 ½ min for boxers with 7 matches or less, and 2 min. for a boxer with 8 bouts or more.

We want our boxers and our sport to look good. It doesn't look good when or if they run out of gas. It will depend on the coaches to make the decision. Thanks!!

Weigh-ins will be at Palolo Boxing Gym from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday.
The other side of the island will be Pearlside Boxing Club at Momilani Recreation Center 5-7 p.m on Thursday also.

Outer islands can weigh-in on Friday, I'll be at Palolo gym at 4 p.m.

Remember if they have braces they must have braces release form signed by dentist.


Source: Bruce Kawano

UFC 126 (2/5 at Mandalay Bay Events Center)
w/ betting odds
By Zach Arnold

Hawaii Air times:
Countdown 4PM - 5PM Spike
Countdown 6PM - 7PM Spike
UFC 126: Silva vs. Belfort 4PM - 8PM Channel 701

Odds courtesy of Betonfighting

Dark matches/preliminaries

¦Welterweights: Mike Pierce (-280) vs. Kenny Robertson (+220)
¦Light Heavyweights: Kyle Kingsbury (-130) vs. Ricardo Romero (even)
¦Bantamweights: Kid Yamamoto (-130) vs. Demetrious Johnson (even)
¦Lightweights: Paul Taylor (-200) vs. Gabe Ruediger (+160)
¦Featherweights: Chad Mendes (-345) vs. Michihiro Omigawa (+275)
¦Lightweights: Donald Cerrone (-280) vs. Paul Kelly (+220)
Main card

¦Bantamweights: Miguel Torres (-365) vs. Antonio Banuelos (+295)
¦Light Heavyweights: Jon “Bones” Jones (-300) vs. Ryan Bader (+240)
¦Welterweights: Jake Ellenberger (-300) vs. Carlos Eduardo Rocha (+240)
¦Light Heavyweights: Forrest Griffin (+125) vs. Rich Franklin (-155)
¦UFC Middleweight title match: Anderson Silva (-275) vs. Vitor Belfort (+215)

Source: Fight Opinion


Source: Vance Pascual

UFC 126 Predictions
By Michael David Smith

Traditionally, the UFC likes to put together a great pay-per-view show on Super Bowl Eve. In 2010 that wasn't the case, as the UFC offered up a weak card featuring the ancient Mark Coleman losing to the even older Randy Couture in the main event. But this year, the UFC has put together a blockbuster for the Super Bowl weekend show, with a card that, on paper, looks like one of the best of the year.

What: UFC 126: Silva vs. Belfort

Where: Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas

When: Saturday, the undercard starts around 7 PM ET, the Spike TV fights start at 9 and the pay-per-view starts at 10.

Predictions on the five pay-per-view fights below.

Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort
Silva is still regarded by many as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, but it's been a long time since he's had the kind of thrilling title defense that we once just assumed we'd always get from the Spider: Silva's last four defenses of his middleweight title were the lackluster bout with Patrick Cote that ended abruptly when Cote hurt his knee, the two bizarre decisions against Thales Leites and Demian Maia, and most recently his Hail Mary submission of Chael Sonnen after Sonnen had whipped him for four rounds.

Does that mean Silva is getting old? Does it mean he's getting bored with a lack of challenges at middleweight? Does it mean the cut to 185 pounds takes a lot out of him? I think it might mean all of those things, and yet I also think Belfort, a power puncher who has knocked out his last three opponents, could be just the guy to bring out the best in Silva. Silva won't clown around with Belfort the way he did with Cote, Leites and Maia.

But while Belfort's knockout power makes him a threat to anyone, there are questions about whether we'll see the best Vitor Belfort on Saturday night: Belfort hasn't fought in 16 months, so ring rust could be a factor. Belfort also parted ways with trainer Shawn Tompkins while preparing for this fight, which paves the way for more questions about his preparation.

Is it possible that Belfort could knock Silva out? Sure, it's possible that Belfort could knock anyone out. But Silva's head movement is second to none, and he's a more complete striker than Belfort. I like Silva to soften Belfort up with leg kicks early in the fight and eventually finish him on the ground.
Pick: Silva

Forrest Griffin vs. Rich Franklin
Like Belfort, Griffin didn't fight at all in 2010. So ring rust could be an issue here as well. But if Griffin is ready to go mentally and physically, I think he should handle Franklin. Griffin has a significant size advantage (he's a big light heavyweight, while Franklin only moved up from middleweight because he wanted to make another run at a title and knew he couldn't beat Silva), and I expect him to use his reach to stay outside, land leg kicks and wear Franklin down on the way to winning a decisive decision.
Pick: Griffin

Jon Jones vs. Ryan Bader
This is as good as it gets if you want to see a battle of young prospects. The 23-year-old Jones is widely regarded as the next big thing in mixed martial arts, but Bader is 12-0 and the best prospect to come out of The Ultimate Fighter in years.

Jones is a huge favorite -- an even heavier favorite than Silva according to the Vegas odds -- and I wonder if some people are so overwhelmed by how impressive Jones has looked recently that they aren't giving Bader enough of a shot. Bader is big and strong and an outstanding wrestler, and he's not just going to get thrown onto his back the way Jones' last few opponents have. Bader also has knockout power in his hands, and he might be able to test Jones's chin in a way no one else really has.

But as good as Bader is, Jones is on a whole other level. The things Jones has done in the cage in his last three fights -- absolutely brutalizing Matt Hamill, Brandon Vera and Vladimir Matyushenko with vicious elbows -- are awe-inspiring, and at this point there are very, very few fighters in the world I'd pick to beat Jones.
Pick: Jones

Jake Ellenberger vs. Carlos Eduardo Rocha
Hardly any fans knew who Rocha was before he put on a show in his UFC debut in October, submitting Kris McCray with a beautiful kneebar. Rocha is 9-0 in his MMA career with eight wins by submission, so he's extremely dangerous for anyone on the ground. But what Rocha hasn't done so far is face a strong wrestler, and that's exactly what he's getting in Ellenberger. The 23-5 Ellenberger has the power to knock Rocha out standing up, the ground and pound to win a TKO, or the top control to win a decision. A Rocha submission wouldn't shock me, but I like Ellenberger to win.
Pick: Ellenberger

Miguel Torres vs. Antonio Banuelos
It wasn't that long ago that Torres was the WEC bantamweight champion and widely regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. A two-fight losing streak set Torres back, but he looked good beating Charlie Valencia in September, and he should be able to use his superior height and reach to win the striking exchanges with Banuelos and win a decision.
Pick: Torres

Source: MMA Fighting

UFC 126: Silva vs. Belfort Undercard Preview
By Josh Stein

KID Yamamoto's reputation, while not what it once was, was earned.
The Silva vs. Belfort undercard begins with a very competitive bout between Kenny Robertson (10-0 MMA) and Mike Pierce (11-3 MMA, 3-1 UFC). Pierce is looking for his third straight win against a debuting Robertson, and as a veteran of four UFC bouts (his only loss coming to top tier welterweight Jon Fitch) he should have a major edge both in the odds and in the mental preparation for the fight. Pierce was impressive in his last fight, and as his only loss is to a top five welterweight, it’s hard to look at Pierce and not pick him in this one. Robertson is tough, though, and undefeated fighters, especially ones that rarely go the distance, like Robertson, are very hard to read, as the quality of their competition prior to entering the UFC is really an unknown.

TUF 8 veteran Kyle Kingsbury (9-2-0-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) is also looking for his third straight win, as he steps in against Ricardo Romero (11-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC), who recently submitting Seth Petruzelli in his UFC debut. Romero is a tough fighter, and his submission game should really worry an opponent like Kingsbury, whose submission defense hasn’t really been well established. This is a tough fight to call, because it seems that Kingsbury will have a substantial advantage standing up, and whether Romero will be able to close the distance and get him to the mat is really an open question. I think that Romero will probably edge Kingsbury out and force the fight to the ground, where he can control the bout.

Norifumi “KID” Yamamoto (18-3-0-1 MMA) has lost a little bit of hype since his two losses at featherweight. He got back on track with a win in a bantamweight bout against Federico Lopez in DREAM before coming over to the UFC, but the loss of hype is notable. Demetrious Johnson (8-1 MMA) will also be making his UFC debut, though it isn’t really clear how much WEC experience, with exposure to the cage and a similar sort of audience, though smaller, actually affects the jitters that seem to accompany debuts in the UFC. KID really needs to establish that he is still relevant, despite the fact that those losses came at featherweight, and a win over Johnson, who has a good deal of credibility after two consecutive WEC wins, would allow him to do that. It seems that KID has a substantial advantage in the standup, and his wrestling skills are well known, so its hard to see the fight unfolding on the ground. Hopefully this will, like many KID Yamamoto fights, feature some serious fireworks.

Gabe Ruediger (17-6 MMA, 0-2 UFC) is basically unpickable. I was curious to see if he had serious improved after the UFC resigned him, but his performance against Joe Lauzon was really disappointing. Paul Taylor (10-6-1-1 MMA, 3-5 UFC) doesn’t have the the same ground game that Lauzon does, nor the same explosiveness, but his striking is very good and hopefully the move to lightweight will mean more power. He had a rough few bouts at welterweight, and his lightweight debut against Sam Stout was rough, especially as it featured a matchup with another striker, but the fight with Ruediger should give Taylor an opportunity to showcase that he is capable of knocking people out, and that he belongs in the UFC, at least more than a fighter who will largely be remembered for missing weight on TUF 5.

Michihiro Omigawa (12-8-1 MMA, 0-2 UFC) has made something of a name for himself since leaving the UFC after a disappointing stint at lightweight. He seemed to hit his stride at featherweight, making the finals of the Sengoku featherweight grand prix and, after losing in the finals, going on a five fight win streak, including victories over Hatsu Hioki, Micah Miller and Cole Escovedo. Omigawa will make his return to the UFC against WEC veteran Chad Mendes (9-0 MMA) who put together a win streak of his own, defeating Cub Swanson and Javier Vasquez. Omigawa should be a favorite based on experience, but the matchup between a solid judoka (Omigawa trains with Olympic gold medalist and Pride veteran Hidehiko Yoshida) and an NCAA D-I wrestler should be really interesting if it gets into the clinch. This one feels like a toss up, but Omigawa seems like a slight favorite, though only due to the experience.

Donald Cerrone (13-3-0-1 MMA) will try to transition his career over to the UFC after a long, impressive career in the WEC. Despite his losses to Ben Henderson, Cerrone’s submission is still well respected, as is his ability to game, even when under pressure. Paul Kelly (11-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) is a long time UFC veteran, having fought at welterweight and lightweight. He’s been around the organization for over three years now, and his reputation (while not substantial among casual fans) is solid. If he can grind out Cerrone, then he can win this bout, but Cerrone is very difficult to grind, because of the aggressiveness of his submission game and his ability to take a punch. The matchup here is very competitive, but it’s hard to pick against the UFC veteran in this one.

Source: MMA Opinion

UFC 126: Rich Franklin, “My Time in This Sport is Limited”
by Damon Martin

Rich Franklin

It’s a conversation that every professional athlete has to confront at some point in his career. In mixed martial arts the passing of the guard is taking place right before our very eyes as legends like Chuck Liddell start to walk away and new stars such as Jon Jones begin to emerge.

Rich Franklin was the last fighter to ever face Chuck Liddell. Following his knockout win over the former light heavyweight champion the questions started immediately about the “Iceman” walking away from the sport. It wasn’t until late last year that Liddell finally made the decision to call it a career, and Franklin certainly doesn’t think of himself as the one that ‘retired’ the “Iceman.”

“I get asked that question all the time, ‘how does it feel to be the guy that retired Chuck Liddell?’ and you’re right in what you said, (Chuck’s retirement) was the culmination of a lot of events. It wasn’t just me that retired Chuck Liddell. There were several other fights and I’m sure he had talks with his doctors and all of that kind of stuff, and those factors came into play. I don’t crown myself as having that honor or anything like that,” Franklin told MMAWeekly Radio on Tuesday.

“Chuck Liddell that’s a name that’s just synonymous with success in the UFC and to have a win over somebody like that and to just be able to step in the Octagon with somebody like that is a great honor. Chuck’s a friend of mine. He’s a class act guy.”

As Liddell walks away, the questions about other legends start to pop up. Matt Hughes has talked openly about retiring and may not have many years left in him, and while Randy Couture is readying himself for a showdown with Lyoto Machida at UFC 129, his days in MMA are winding down as well.

It seems odd to look at Rich Franklin in the same light, but the former Cincinnati math teacher admits it’s something an athlete has to start contemplating once they reach a certain age, and he doesn’t plan on fighting into his forties.

“My time in this sport is limited. I’m 36 years old. I’m not going to fight till I’m like 50 like Randy (Couture) is, I don’t know how the heck he does it. It’s just amazing. I realize my time is limited, and it’s going to get more and more difficult to keep up with these younger guys,” Franklin said. “These Jon Joneses and the Ryan Baders and stuff like that, these are guys that are in their early thirties and the UFC has been around basically ever since they can remember. The first UFC that I ever saw, the first UFC that ever took place for me was my senior year of high school and I was 18 years old basically.”

Franklin is quick to point out that while he is still in tremendous shape heading into his fight with Forrest Griffin, age does eventually catch up to you. The things that were so easy to do 15 years ago, aren’t as easy any more.

“When you’re 22 years old you have this feeling of invincibility as if you’re super human, and really when you get injured when you’re 22 years old, when you’re young like that, you bounce back quickly,” Franklin said. “You bounce back quickly from hard workouts. I’m 36 years old now and my body just doesn’t respond that way it did when you’re 22. It’s a scientific fact, that’s just how things are.”

During his fight with Dan Henderson in early 2009, Franklin suffered an eye poke that resulted in him having surgery to repair the injury. It was that beyond any broken bone that had him taking a serious look at his career, realizing that the end really could come at any time.

“When things like getting poked in the eye happen to you, it makes you start to think about things,” said Franklin. “I don’t have any problems with my vision, never have. I was born with great eyesight. I’ve had perfect vision, 20/15 vision, and I’ve never had issues with my eyes of any kind. So when my eye got poked like that and the severity of that injury to me, I mean, I was seeing double vision and there was a chance it was going to effect my vision in that eye permanently for the rest of my life, you begin to think about things.

“It’s one thing to break an arm and to be in a cast or something for eight to 10 weeks, or I broke my hand and I had to get surgery and I had to get a plate in my hand, and that plate is permanent. There is a difference between that and something like an eye injury and when you have stuff happen to you like eye injuries, you really start to think to yourself ‘what would I really do if that one eye was messed up?’ regardless of if I wanted to fight anymore, I would never be able to. I would never get approved by any athletic commission and I wouldn’t be able to pass a vision test and so my life would change forever.”

No fighter ever comes into a bout at 100-percent healthy, with nothing hurting or aching, but what Franklin wants to avoid are things that are going to prevent him from enjoying life when fighting is over. He knows that everyone has a starting point and a stopping point, and when the time for him to walk away from MMA happens, he’ll know it.

“You start thinking about those kinds of things as you start getting older, your health, and all that kind of stuff,” said Franklin. “I’m one of those guys I want to be able to play a game of full court basketball when I’m in my fifties or something like that. I know that my body is still in great shape. I wake up and I feel great in the mornings when I get up, but if there comes a day where I start to feel run down physically, I’ll know that it’s time for me to kind of pull the curtains.”

That time is not right now however and Franklin believes he’s in the top physical condition he needs to be as he gets ready to face Forrest Griffin in the co-main event of UFC 126 this weekend in Las Vegas.

Source: MMA Weekly

Mastering His Universe
by Tristen Critchfield

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Jon Jones might very well be the next big thing in mixed martial arts, but he does not possess the sense of entitlement one might expect from a phenom-in-waiting.

When his car breaks down, he pushes it himself. Just ask Mike Winkeljohn, his stand-up coach at Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts.

“He was training for his fight [against Vladimir Matyushenko] in the summertime. I was driving ... and I see a really tall, skinny guy pushing a car, and I look up and it was Jon Jones,” he tells “Somebody else was driving [Jones’ car]. He was too embarrassed to ask for help, and he’s pushing in his bare feet. He’s going to get blisters on his feet. He’s got a fight in a week. I stopped to help him out ... but he didn’t feel the need to ask anybody to help; he was going to take care of it himself. He’s that kind of individual.”

If Jones’ feet were aching against Matyushenko, it did not show in his performance. The light heavyweight known as “Bones” dispatched his Belarusian opponent with elbows from the crucifix position at 1:52 of the first round in the UFC Live 2 main event. The ease with which he overwhelmed Matyushenko, a former International Fight League champion and a veteran of 30 professional fights, has become a recurring theme in the New York native’s career.

Since he first appeared in the Octagon, Jones has been the master of his domain. He signed with the UFC in 2008 as the then-youngest fighter on its roster and reeled off six increasingly impressive performances upon his arrival. His lone loss, a disqualification against Matt Hamill at “The Ultimate Fighter 10” Finale, could accurately be called a victory in disguise. Jones was so thoroughly dominant against Hamill that it is often easy to forget about the illegal 12-to-6 elbows that were responsible for his only career blemish. Chalk it up to the learning experience. “Records are for DJs,” Jones might tell you.

There are many reasons why Jones has been tabbed as a potential heir apparent to assume the mantle of Zuffa LLC figurehead once the spotlight fades from the current generation of top-tier luminaries. His accessibility, humility and polish give him a marketability that few 23-year-old fighters currently possess.

The decision to head to the Southwest and join the Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts family has only added to his credibility. Jones often makes a point of putting on a suit for public appearances, following the lead of distinguished brethren like Rashad Evans and Georges St. Pierre. However, Jones’ seemingly limitless potential for controlled violence is what makes him most appealing within the MMA world. Because of his notorious elbows, Brandon Vera makes jokes about setting off metal detectors with his face.

Jones has an uncanny self awareness regarding what all of the aforementioned elements can mean to a budding legacy. He refers to it as being the captain of one’s grid square, a phrase Jones picked up from a friend who served in the Marine Corps. Jones makes every effort he can to live by those words.

“Think about a grid, like a map, [where] you’re planning out a house,” Jones says. “You’ve got to be the master of the grid square, which means this world is so big and my grid square is my household. That’s the one piece of the world that I own. My family, my MMA career -- that’s my grid square. That’s the things in life that I can control. The key to success is to be the master of your grid square. You’ve got to be the master of the things you can control.”

Bader (above) stands in Jones' way.All the anointing and hype can disappear with a single loss. At UFC 126 “Silva vs. Belfort,” Jones will face undefeated “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 8 winner Ryan Bader. It represents his toughest task to date but one that trainer Greg Jackson feels his protégé is more than capable of handling.

“He’s just flourished. Every fight he’s done very well since he’s been here. Even if we have a three-round back-and-forth war, he’s still improving and doing the right things. I’m very proud of him,” Jackson says.

To his credit, Jones seems aware of the challenge he will face at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas this Saturday. The sense of unease he has felt in the days and weeks leading up to his battle with Bader reassures Jones that he is facing the perfect caliber of opponent.

“Being nervous is what wakes me up every morning to work hard and give it all I have each day,” he says. “That’s how I know it’s the fight I wanted -- because I’m nervous. And it’s scaring me to bring out my best.”

Three Brothers

The prodigious physical gifts that have tantalized fight fans are not limited to one Jones. Athletic talent runs in the family.

Oldest brother Arthur was a fifth-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft and recently completed his first season as a 6-foot-5, 315-pound defensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens. Youngest brother Chandler checks in at 6-foot-5, 251 pounds and plays defensive end at Syracuse University. Jon, meanwhile, was never much for the gridiron.

“As far as Jon’s football abilities, I’d give him a three [out of 10],” Chandler says. “He can’t really catch. And he can’t really jump. He’s tough. He played defensive tackle in high school, but as far as his football ability [goes], I would honestly give him a three.”

Chandler admits that competition among the three brothers was fierce growing up in Rochester, N.Y. It did not matter what the contest involved.

“From video games to even just playing with G.I. Joes, we were very competitive. We always wanted to be the one that was the winner out of everything. Jon, he was always the one that had the temper tantrums. He would always take things personal and serious,” Chandler says.

“She beat him down right in the hallway in school. It’s pretty funny that he’s a professional fighter now.”
-- Chandler Jones on brother, Jon.

Sometimes that temper had embarrassing consequences.

“He got beat up by a girl. This was in middle school; he was in about the seventh grade,” Chandler recalls. “I guess that he had said something about the girl’s mother, and the girl took off her shoe and beat him down. She beat him down right in the hallway in school. It’s pretty funny that he’s a professional fighter now.”

Recent months have brought a bounty of success for all three siblings. Chandler’s Orange won a bowl game, Arthur’s Ravens made it to the playoffs and, now, Jon’s fight will be featured prominently on what is traditionally one of the UFC’s biggest events each year: the Super Bowl weekend show.

Chandler concedes that watching his brother perform in the cage is not always easy.

“I feel like I get more nervous before the fight than I do before my own football games,” he says. “He trains for so long, and his fights always [seem] to go in the first round, so I feel like I would start to get nervous if any of his fights did go into the second round. I don’t lose that nervousness until my brother lays a hit.”

In a perfect world, Baltimore would still be playing football, allowing Arthur to be a part of the NFL’s grandest stage just a day after his brother competes in the Octagon.

“It would’ve been awesome if they would’ve beaten the Steelers and made it to the Super Bowl. That would’ve been a very rejoicing time for my mom,” Jon says. “I’m actually secretly happy that my brother’s team didn’t win because [he] will be at the fight with me.

“Me and my brother have gone to [wrestling] tournaments together for years,” he adds. “Just to have him with me always spikes me up, just to see him in that front row before I step in that cage. He’s a very accomplished wrestler. We always made it to the finals together in high school. We’d be the only ones in the locker room together, just slapping each other in the face and getting ready and stuff. He’s definitely a great source of motivation for me.”

In the past UFC President Dana White has said he expects his company to eventually surpass the NFL in terms of popularity, but Jones’ experience at the birthday party of Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs last year demonstrated the gap that still exists between the two brands.

“He had security guards with guns, and just everyone was so flashy and stuff. The NFL world’s so different than MMA -- thousand-dollar suits and million-dollar jewelry. But it was a cool experience. The guys were actually very down to earth, just a little more flashy with the way they present themselves,” he says.

The Task at Hand

When Jones and Rashad Evans work out side-by-side in Jackson's fight school, it becomes nearly impossible to keep the mind’s wheels from turning. Evans, the No. 1 contender at 205 pounds, has a date with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in March to regain his light heavyweight strap. Jones, with a win over Bader, will continue to ascend the pecking order in that very same division.

A potential matchup between the two teammates appears farfetched since training partners within the camp usually avoid confrontations in the cage.

“It’s old hat,” Evans says of the subject. “I said before that me and Keith [Jardine] would never fight. It worked itself out with Keith, and I’m sure that it will work itself out with me and Jon. I’m only here to help Jon, and he’s only here to help me, as well.”

As teammates, working toward the common goal of victory has proven invaluable.

“He’s a major confidence booster -- to know that I can compete with a guy like Rashad in grappling and wrestling. He’s the No. 2-ranked guy in the world. I would have to credit Rashad for the most competitive work I’ve had this training camp,” Jones says.

Jones’ progression has proven so advanced, however, that Evans does not have to offer much in the way of advice.

“Jon is a rare case,” Evans says. “He’s a young fighter with a lot of maturity and a lot of poise, so there’s really not a lot that I do tell him. If I see him out of position or something like that then I let him know, but, for the most part, Jon is pretty well-rounded and pretty on top of things right now.”

Such composure should benefit Jones as he squares off against Bader, a wrestler who showed an added dimension to his attack when he knocked out Jardine at UFC 110.

“He hurts people when he throws his punches. They’re so hard. He uses them, especially his overhand, to set up his takedowns,” Winkeljohn says. “He throws so hard that people have to pull away from it, and they’re pulling in the direction of his takedowns.”

Many will point to Bader’s Arizona State wrestling pedigree as his greatest advantage in the fight, a notion that Jones -- a junior college national champion at Iowa Central Community College -- disputes.

“My wrestling career came to an end as I was getting better and better. I was competing against Division I guys the year I left Iowa Central, so I feel confident in my wrestling ability. No one’s ever tried to take him down in the UFC, so no one knows what his takedown defense looks like,” he says. “So I’ll be the first to try to get my takedowns and feel as if I could be a stronger wrestler than him.”

“My goals and dreams are to be in the very top of the division.”
-- Jon Jones

If the fight remains upright, Jones can take advantage of his reach, which has been measured as the longest in the UFC.

“Obviously, we want to fight long,” Jackson says. “Jon’s actually pretty good on the inside, as well. He’s one of those few long guys who’s at his best when he’s doing elbows and spinning stuff like that. Even if our reach gets nullified -- which I fully expect Bader to be training to do that -- hopefully, we’ll have a good arsenal of moves from that inside position.”

Jones turns 24 in July. He believes that, as long as he maintains focus and continues to rack up convincing victories, a title shot could be attainable by 2012.

“My goals and dreams are to be in the very top of the division,” he says. “I realize I have a lot of work to do. I realize there’s a lot I need to learn. A lot of these veterans have the experience, and just one punch could end a fight, so I try to make sure the odds of that happening are very slim.”

All part of remaining the captain of his grid square.

Source: Sherdog

Franklin Sees Size Obstacle Against Forrest

Rich Franklin believes Forrest Griffin’s size will pose problems when they meet Feb. 5 at UFC 126.

When Franklin filled in for Tito Ortiz as a head coach on the 11th season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Griffin also helped out as an assistant coach. The former UFC light heavyweight champion made an impression on Franklin.

“I just remember seeing him out there and thinking, ‘My God, he is just a big, big man.’ I’m sure that’s probably going to look even that much worse to me when I show up to the fight at the weigh-ins,” Franklin said recently during a “Savage Dog Show” interview on the Sherdog Radio Network. “I would imagine the kind of problems he’s going to pose is that he’s just big and he’s going to be strong. Possibly trying to push me against the fence.”

Franklin is a former UFC 185-pound champion, but he’s also had success at 205 pounds. Still, Griffin is a big light heavyweight and will be a unique challenge.

“Of course I’m going to have to worry about his reach with his jab and working to the inside,” Franklin said. “All those things are going to be problematic. And he’s funny, so he might actually tell some jokes when we’re in the ring. I think it’s going to be a good fight. We’ve taken a good approach to getting ready for all this, and we’ll see what happens.”

Franklin is coming off a knockout of Chuck Liddell in June. The bout was Liddell’s last before retiring, though Franklin said he was sharp in the cage.

“I think that he was moving really well, especially at the beginning of the round,” Franklin explained. “He threw a lot more head kicks than we were planning on, and of course breaking my arm, it took me off guard. I personally think that in the fight against me, Chuck looked better than he had looked almost in his entire career. He was just moving really well. Unfortunately he got caught again, and that wasn’t the first time he had been caught in the last several years.”

The 36-year-old Franklin is also at a stage in his career where retirement is becoming a possibility.

“Trust me, I’ve had these talks with my coaches,” he said. “I’ve seen some other fighters that have started to fade away a little bit as they’ve gotten older. I’ve said to my coaches and my friends and my training partners, ‘Hey, when you guys notice that I’m starting to lose a step, tell me because I would rather step out of this game before I ruin the end of a good career.’”

Franklin doesn’t think his friends will hesitate to tell him to exit. And unlike some athletes who struggle with retiring, he believes he’ll step out when it’s time.

“I would have the ability to do that,” he said. “Honestly, if my coaches had come to me before this Forrest fight and said, ‘Look, you’ve lost a step. You’re not competing at a top level anymore and this is not a smart fight for you to take and you should really seriously reconsider fighting,’ I would have to sit down and really think about that. I’ll be real honest with you. Jorge Gurgel, he’s one guy in my life that would just be brutally honest with me. He doesn’t pull any punches. He’s one guy that would look at me and be like, ‘Frank, you’re old and slow. Just stop.’”

Franklin hasn’t heard those words yet and doesn’t expect to for some time.

“I don’t think it’s time for me to look back and start reminiscing yet,” he said. “I still have a little bit of work to do.”

Source: Sherdog

Kevin Iole’s interviewing adventures with Brock Lesnar
By Zach Arnold

KEVIN IOLE: “So, you know when you thought it over I mean obviously you’ve said many times that your family is the most important thing, you don’t want to, you know, that’s why you don’t even go away to train. So, you know, I mean, obviously it’s going to be a tough decision to come here and be six weeks away from your family.”

BROCK LESNAR: “My family is here. I don’t go anywhere without my family.”

KEVIN IOLE: “Ah. Makes it a little bit easier for you then.”

BROCK LESNAR: “And it’s -30 below zero in Alexandria right now. I’ve had enough of ice fishing and trouncing around in the snow. For sure, my wife had enough, too, so, you know, Dana did all the right things for us to be here and Spike, you know, they… you know, is Las Vegas a place that I want to be? Probably, you know, no, there’s other warmer places that I can think of but… you know, it’s not painful. At least it hasn’t been yet. Talk to me in five weeks, but right now it’s pretty accommodating.”

KEVIN IOLE: “There’s a lot of good restaurants here.”

BROCK LESNAR: “We’ll check them out.”

KEVIN IOLE: “Do you feel good about the fact that, you know, Dana had enough confidence in you as an athlete to come in here, you know, you haven’t been in this sport very long and now being a coach and coaching inspiring fighters. I mean, that shows a certain level of confidence in you. Does it or do you think he just picked you for the ratings power you brought?”

BROCK LESNAR: “You know, I don’t… you guys can sit and discredit. I mean, there’s a lot of people out there to, enough to discredit me but I got just as many fights as, you know, Junior (dos Santos) in my mind, I mean I’ve been competing my whole life. I got a great coaching staff, guys who have been coaching top fighters, top wrestlers. Marty Morgan, 16-year veteran at the University of Minnesota, national championship teams. I mean, Luke Richardson, Erik Paulson, Greg Nelson, Comprido, these guys, you know… I think we’re real capable of coaching, you know, underqualified guys to become the next Ultimate Fighter. I don’t have to believe, I got faith in my people. I got enough faith in my people that these guys made me a champion, why can’t we make these young eager kids, you know, successful? I think we can.”

KEVIN IOLE: “But I wasn’t suggesting that you couldn’t. I was just making the point that you’re still, you know, only been in MMA a couple of years yourself and so the fact that it seems like it’s pretty successful.”

BROCK LESNAR: “I was a UFC Heavyweight champion, though, you know…”

KEVIN IOLE: “I agree.”

BROCK LESNAR: “So what more qualifications do you need?”

KEVIN IOLE: “And I guess that’s what I’m getting at, Brock, I’m saying that, you know, young in your career you’ve accomplished that much and now they’re also asking to do something like this which normally goes to a veteran…”

BROCK LESNAR: “I’ve never thought I’d be down here to do this, you know. I’m actually, it’s kind of refreshing, you know. For me, this is about… I’ve got one thing in mind for this whole thing. It’s to help these kids, you know, to improve their lives but more importantly it’s to, for me, to be able to get down here and train. It’s an opportunity for me to get my title back sooner than later where I, you know, when I beat dos Santos then I get a rematch with (Cain) Velasquez and I get my [expletive] belt back. I’m looking at this, that’s the way I’m looking at this.”

KEVIN IOLE: “We didn’t get a chance to talk to you after the (Anaheim) fight that night. When you look back on it, where do you think you came up short in that fight and what do you need to change to defeat him?”

BROCK LESNAR: “I got knocked on queer street somewhere in there. I haven’t watched the fight, even. We’ll go back and when the time is right we’ll analyze where it went wrong and, you know, somewhere along the way there, you know. When you’re fighting in the level we’re fighting, Cain Velasquez is a professional athlete. I’m a professional athlete. We’re at the pinnacle of the sport. It’s a matter of inches, you know. It’s like the NFL season. These guys get to go out 16 games a year but it’s a matter of, you know, somebody missing a block and the ball’s gone and they’re ahead by two touchdowns, you know. It’s a game of inches. We got to sit down and figure out to widen that gap and we will. I’ve been successful, you know. It’s a loss. I hate to lose but I’ll get better. So, I’ll climb my way back like I always do.”

Source: Fight Opinion

A mature Belfort against Silva
by Carlos Eduardo Ozório

Vitor Belfort is getting ready for the fight of his life, against Anderson Silva, next Saturday, and will be at UFC 126 in Las Vegas to witness it. In the meantime, check out the interview our correspondent Nalty Jr. had with Belfort, which was already published in GRACIEMAG #166 but so far hasn’t been posted on the website. Vitor won’t have it easy, but from his statements, readers will notice he is a more mature fighter as he heads into the octagon.

You were once considered the MMA fighter with the best boxing technique. Is your boxing still better than the other MMA fighters?

No, I don’t think so. Far from it. There are so many good guys out there these days.

What technical fundamental is it that, after so long, you haven’t managed to polish up as much as you would have liked?

There are so many… Sometimes I feel like a Jiu-Jitsu white belt, an amateur boxer… I’m an apprentice. I feel you have to think ahead the whole time, want to improve. You can’t get comfortable.

What’s the worst mistake and best move of your career?

My best move was leaving Brazil to live in the USA. My biggest mistake is often leaving the solution to a problem for later.

You were one of the first to question fidelity to a single team in training for MMA. You were criticized for it. However, now it seems to be quite a common stance among top-tier fighters…

It’s cool to see the guy who used to criticize me doing the same thing he criticized me for. I feel people have to have some humility and realize that before criticizing we have to try and understand what it means. What is fidelity? It’s a word everyone uses but that few manage to put to practice. Fidelity is something within us. I feel that, for the sport to evolve, people need to share their knowledge, learn from one another, because no one knows so much that they don’t need to learn and no one knows so little they have nothing to teach. The big question surrounding this matter isn’t fidelity but people seeing MMA as a job, as growth, learning, seeing it all through humble eyes and knowing that nobody knows everything. The other day I saw an interview with Lyoto, where he went to train at AKA, trained with Cain Velasquez; sometimes he trains with Cigano. These days everyone follows this principle. Someone out there has to break the ice, to say it can be done, there’s nothing wrong with it. Obviously there will always be critics, people taking up arms, but I feel what’s important is that we stick to our beliefs.

Which fighters do you most like watching in action?

Cain Velasquez is a sight for sore eyes. Randy Couture’s another, because of his perseverance, because of the way he pursues his endeavors, the challenges he imposes on himself. Minotauro… Jon Jones… The Brazilians in general… Anderson Silva, too, with that ability of his to mix all the different styles of fighting together.

Who are the main fighters in MMA history?

Royce, Marco Ruas, Fedor, Randy Couture, Minotauro… and so on. There’s a bunch of them.

How much longer do you plan on fighting MMA?

I plan to fight for another five years. After that I’ll dedicate myself to the business surrounding the sport, surrounding MMA. Sometimes, when we’re starting something, it doesn’t occur to us that it will end someday. I never imagined that one day I would have to stop fighting. When talking about retirement, I imagined it as being far away. Some people retire earlier, others later, others seem like they’re never going to retire, as is the case with Randy Couture. The important thing is to know that the one making your decisions is you: we can’t break from our principles. A lot of people live frustrated lives, and happiness is a question of making decisions. That’s what determines a man’s future.

Source: Gracie Magazine

MMA Weekend: A Viewer's Guide
by Jeff Sherwood


3:00 a.m. ET MAVTV: Ultimate Combat Experience (Replay)
4:00 a.m. ET MAVTV: MMA H.E.A.T. (Replay)
4:30 a.m. ET MAVTV: Art of Fighting (Replay)
4:00 p.m. ET HDNet: Sengoku “Soul of Fight” Part I
8:00 p.m. ET Versus: Countdown to UFC 126 (Replay)
9:00 p.m. ET Versus: UFC Live “Vera vs. Jones” (Replay)


4:00 p.m. ET HDNet: World Victory Road - Soul of Fight Part II (Replay)
7:00 p.m. ET HDNet: Inside MMA UFC 126 “Silva vs. Belfort” Weigh-Ins
8:00 p.m. ET HDNet: Best of Strikeforce “Destruction”
8:30 p.m. ET HDNet: Fighting Words with Mike Straka (guest: Vitor Belfort) [Replay]
9:00 p.m. ET HDNet: Inside MMA UFC 126 “Silva vs. Belfort” Weigh-Ins (Replay)
10:00 p.m. ET HDNet: Best of K-1 World GP 2010


12:00 a.m. ET ESPN2: MMA Live
2:00 p.m. ET SpikeTV: UFC Unleashed -- Chuck Liddell and Rich Franklin (Replay)
3:00 p.m. ET SpikeTV: UFC Unleashed -- Silva vs. Jardine (Replay)
4:00 p.m. ET SpikeTV: UFC Unleashed -- St. Pierre vs. Serra 2 (Replay)
5:00 p.m. ET SpikeTV: UFC Unleashed: Silva vs. Franklin (Replay)
8:25 p.m. ET Facebook: UFC 126 -- Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto vs. Demetrious Johnson
9:00 p.m. ET SpikeTV: UFC 126 Prelim Fights (Live Event)
10:00 p.m. ET PPV: UFC 126 “Silva vs. Belfort” (Live Event)


1:00 a.m. ET ESPN2: MMA Live (Premiere)
3:00 a.m. ET NBC: Bellator Highlights (Replay)
11:00 p.m. ET MAVTV: MMA30 (Replay)

Source: Sherdog

Ohio Fighters Lead Strikeforce Undercard on March 5 in Columbus
by Damon Martin

Strikeforce has gained a reputation for using a lot of local talent when filling out the roster for their undercards when taking their show on the road, and it will be no different when the promotion hits Ohio for the first time in March.

Strikeforce has never made an appearance in the Buckeye State, which sanctions more MMA bouts than another other area in the United States.

One fighter who has made Ohio his home for more than a decade is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace and former UFC lightweight Jorge Gurgel, and he is expected to land on the Strikeforce undercard on March 5. While an opponent hasn’t been determined for Gurgel, local fighter Tyler Combs is the leading candidate.

Combs is a local fighter who trains near Dayton, OH and apparently has a long standing grudge with Gurgel. While the fight is not signed for the card, sources have indicated that is the fight Strikeforce has been working on for the March 5 show.

The first fight confirmed for the card will feature Cleveland area fighter Brian “The Predator” Rogers against Cincinnati favorite Mojo Horne. The bout was first confirmed by, which is an Ohio based promotion that Rogers has fought for several times in the past.

Rogers is coming off of a TKO win in Dan Bobish’s show in Cleveland earlier this month, and will look to make a splash when he debuts in Strikeforce. His opponent Mojo Horne is a home grown product from Cincinnati, having fought in the area for virtually his entire career.

Another local fighter, Roger Bowling, is also expected to make an appearance on the Strikeforce Ohio show. Bowling was a hot prospect coming out of Ohio just last year, and since signing with Strikeforce he has gone 1-1 with both fights against Bobby Voelker.

Bowling will face Cesar Gracie student Josh Thornburg who will be making his Strikeforce debut. will have more information on the Ohio card as it becomes available.

Source: MMA Weekly

Silva Signs with Soccer Superstar Ronaldo's Marketing Company
by Gleidson Venga

With all the greatness that he has achieved in the UFC, on the eve of his all-Brazilian title clash with Vitor Belfort at UFC 126, Anderson Silva is finally seeing his success pay off in Brazil.

The UFC middleweight champion has signed with 9ine, the upstart sports marketing firm of soccer great Ronaldo, the three-time FIFA Player of the Year. 9ine is a partnership venture between Ronaldo, entertainment entrepreneur Marcos Buaiz, and London-based advertising powerhouse WPP.

The company, which officially launches in March with offices in both Sao Paulo and London, has already thrown its weight behind its new client. Silva will still be managed by Ed Soares and Jorge “Joinha” Guimaraes, while 9ine look to secure sponsorships and opportunities to develop the brand of “The Spider.”

“9ine has a concept of exclusivity, which means working with only a few athletes and brands, just the best,” Ronaldo stated in a press release. The 34-year-old superstar currently starts for Sao Paulo-based soccer club Corinthians, which happens to be Silva’s team of choice. “This is the case of Anderson Silva, one of the greatest competitors in the MMA world.

When Silva faces Belfort on Saturday night in Las Vegas, Silva will be sponsored by Bozzano, a leading producer of men’s shaving and grooming products in Brazil. According to Brazil’s Veja Magazine, Bozzano will pay 170,000 reais, or just over $102,000 USD from the sponsorship deal to have their mark stamped on the champion.

Source: Sherdog

Meet Miguel Torres, The Wrestler
By Frank Curreri

“For me to be a complete grappler, to get a real black belt, I have to learn how to wrestle...That’s a part of my game that I’ve ignored for a long time."

37 professional victories despite no wrestling skill whatsoever.

Arguably the worst wrestler that elite MMA had to offer from the year 2000 all the way through 2010.

Here’s the stone-cold truth: We will probably never see another like Miguel Angel Torres again in our lifetime. A legendary fighter who defied conventional wisdom, ignored the wrestling aspect of his sport altogether, and still won a world title and ruled the bantamweight division for the better part of a decade.

So I ask him, “Miguel, in 40 bouts, when’s the last time you took somebody down in a live fight?”

“Never,” he responds.

That’s right -- zero takedowns. And it’s not like the Purdue University graduate’s takedown defense was much better. statistics show that Torres has stuffed a paltry 11 percent of his opponents’ takedowns, which might be a record low for a seasoned veteran in the organization.

The reason for Torres’ incessant neglect was simple: He held a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under the late great Carlson Gracie. He owned sick submission skills. Torres didn’t bother to shoot on foes because he could beat every one up standing (thanks in part to a massively long reach). And he didn’t concern himself with stopping takedowns because he was far superior to his adversaries on the ground, too. Take down Torres? Please. You were doing the guy a favor.

But along came Joseph Benavidez, a former state champion wrestler who single-handedly changed Miguel Torres’ life, changed the way Miguel Torres trains, changed Miguel Torres’ antagonistic relationship with wrestling. The Team Alpha Male fighter took Torres down at will in their battle last March and bloodied the East Chicagoan with a vicious elbow that literally required hundreds of stitches and the services of a plastic surgeon. Benavidez showed Torres the light, so to speak.

“I had to branch out,” said the 30-year-old Torres. “I had to learn how to wrestle.”

Indeed, the 135-pound weight class has been all but hijacked by high-caliber wrestlers who have added deft striking skills to round out their games. UFC champ Dominick Cruz fits the description, as does former kingpin Urijah Faber, top contender Scott Jorgensen and Japanese sensation Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto. Torres’ next opponent, Chuck Liddell teammate Antonio Banuelos, is another fighter who hails from the evolved wrestler ilk.

“I always knew we’d fight sometime and it just happens to be for my UFC debut,” said Torres, who meets Banuelos this Saturday night to jumpstart the UFC 126 main card.

“He’s a tough guy and he likes to throw big combinations. He’s got good takedowns and good ground-and-pound. He trains at a great team, ‘The Pit,’ so you know he’s in shape and he’s not going to get tired.”

Six months ago Banuelos would have been a bona fide lock to manhandle Torres in the wrestling department. But after hearing Torres rave on and on about wrestling -- how he’s training with many of the same wrestlers who molded Georges St-Pierre, how he’s added Olympic-style weightlifting and studied lots of wrestling videos – it’s enough to make a man forget the pre-2011 Torres. This “new” Torres, reinvented under widely respected trainer Firas Zahabi, sure sounds transformed.

“I even demoted myself from a black belt to a brown belt,” Torres noted, referring to his rank in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

He proceeded to give the rational for this self-imposed stripping. Zahabi was still ranked as a brown belt several months ago. Torres owned a black belt, an honor he had held for years.

“I can’t be a black belt and he’s a brown belt,” Torres explained. “I did it out of respect for a guy that I’m training under and call my “master.’”


“He’s one of the only guys I’ve ever called master,” Torres said.

(Incidentally, John Danaher awarded Zahabi his BJJ black belt on New Year’s Day).

“When Firas feels that I’m ready to get a black belt then I’ll get my black belt from him,” Torres said. “For me to be a complete grappler, to get a real black belt, I have to learn how to wrestle. I have to 100 percent be able to decide whether the fight is going to be standing or on the ground. That’s a part of my game that I’ve ignored for a long time. I thought I could remedy it by doing better jiu-jitsu but the game has changed, it’s totally different. I’m studying wrestling in-depth now.”

This rebirth is happening amid the frigid temperatures and snow-lined streets of Montreal, where Torres has called Zahabi’s basement home for the past two months.

“I’m a hermit. I come up only to eat and take a shower and then go back downstairs,” said Torres, who for the first 10 years of his career trained in Chicago or his hometown, East Chicago, Indiana. “I don’t have my car for the winter so I’m pretty much at the gym or (Firas’) house. I just try to keep my eye on the prize. I went back to square one and got away from all of my comforts.”

The charismatic former champ believes that this relative solitude and simplicity will lead him back to his lost throne. It is striking, I must say, how frequently Torres mentions Firas’ name during our interview. Rarely a minute passes without the occurrence, giving the distinct impression that Torres is utterly convinced that the man who helped architect GSP’s ascent will deliver the same impact on his own career.

“During the first month we would have talks until like four or five in the morning,” Torres said. “It was crazy, but he’s a great leader, a great coach and a great mentor. Firas is a great fit.”

Zahabi, he says, has tried to reform him from an all-out brawler into a strategic thinker.

“Firas talked to me about not going in for guts and glory every time,” Torres said. “I’ve always gone out there to out-tough somebody, but just because you’re the toughest doesn’t mean you’re the smartest. The biggest thing I’ve changed is my mentality … I’ve watched a lot of my fights with Firas and he’s showed me a hundred times how every time I go in with a combination I’m going in elbow and shoulder deep with punches and kicks and it’s very dangerous. So he’s trying to clean up my striking.”

Torres began working with Firas last year, two months before his bout against Charlie Valencia, a contest he won handily to break a two-fight losing streak.

“We watched that last fight and it was a huge difference from the other fights that I’ve had,” Torres remarked. “I didn’t get hit at all in my face. I got kicked in my leg two or three times. I just controlled the distance and totally frustrated my opponent. It’s exciting to know that I can win a fight by being smart and not taking damage.”

Such a smooth and one-sided performance meant he didn’t need to show off Torres 3.0. But he expects to continue to impress on Saturday night, and, for anyone wondering – yes, his notorious mullet will once again be in full effect inside the Octagon.

“It’s a long time coming. From watching the first UFC with Royce Gracie to actually being able to call myself a UFC fighter, it’s a great honor,” Torres said. “The most important thing is to get back on track with my fighting career, especially now that my weight class is in the UFC now.

“I made a whole new family out here in Montreal. If I wouldn’t have lost that fight to Benavidez then I would have been training somewhere else. So everything happens for a reason. My mind, my heart and my body are in the right place now. I’m chasing a dream. I want to be a UFC champ and I know I can achieve that. I expect big things in the next couple of years.”

Source: UFC

The Cut List: Who Desperately Needs a Win at UFC 126?
By Ben Fowlkes

As former WEC fighters make their way into the UFC, it's make-or-break time for some of the men who have just barely been clinging to roster spots.

If you're a UFC lightweight with more losses than wins lately, you have to be looking over your shoulder and wondering how long you'll have a job now that there's suddenly a talent surplus in your division. If fighting in the UFC were like an office job, this is the point where you'd look up one morning and see a bunch of new hires standing around with cardboard boxes full of their stuff, sizing up your cubicle with their eyes.

Join me below as we take a look at the UFC 126 lineup and ask which fighters could find themselves out of work unless they can keep their place at the table with a victory on Saturday night.

Paul Kelly (11-3, 5-3 UFC)
Who he's fighting: Donald Cerrone
Why he's in danger: With a 2-2 record in his last four fights, Kelly has been consistently mediocre against mid-level UFC competition. Ordinarily his recent win over T.J. O'Brien might be enough to secure his spot, but 155 pounds is the wrong division to be an 'aiiiiight' kind of fighter in right now. With WEC imports flooding the roster, it's time to clean house in the UFC lightweight class to make room for the guys with a future in front of them. If Kelly can't stay relevant with a win here, he'll essentially be telling the UFC that he doesn't fit that description.
Odds of getting cut: 2-1. Cerrone is the favorite here, and if Kelly loses only the UFC's love of keeping British fighters around will save him.

Gabe Ruediger (17-6, 0-2 UFC)
Who he's fighting: Paul Taylor
Why he's in danger: The fact that Ruediger is still on the UFC roster seems more like a paperwork error than any endorsement of his skills. He got absolutely demolished by Joe Lauzon at UFC 118, washed out of 'The Ultimate Fighter' without ever stepping in the cage, and got beat up by Melvin Guillard in his only other UFC appearance. Yet somehow he's still here, while Gerald Harris got cut after going 3-1 in the Octagon. I guess no one ever said this business was fair. If it was, Ruediger would be on an MFC undercard right now and Harris would still have a job. But alas...
Odds of getting cut: Even. Taylor's not the toughest possible opponent here, but he's likely also fighting for his job (more on that in a moment). He's probably also just a tad better than Ruediger, who seems like he's taking up space in an increasingly crowded division.

Paul Taylor (10-6-1, 3-5 UFC)
Who he's fighting: Gabe Ruediger
Why he's in danger: Not only has he lost two in a row, he's lost three of his last four. Of the three people he has beaten in his unimpressive UFC tenure, not a one is still employed by the organization. Once again, if he were a heavyweight this might be no cause for concern. But in the lightweight division? With the former WEC guys breathing down your neck? You've either got to win some fights in a hurry or find a new place to work. Taylor is certainly a tough fighter, but tough isn't enough in this weight class anymore.
Odds of getting cut: 3-1. I like Taylor's chances to keep his job only because I think he should beat Ruediger without too much trouble. It's still not an easy fight, and Ruediger has displayed flashes of real talent (however inconsistently) in the past. But it's now or never for Taylor, and you have to think he knows it.

Anderson Silva (27-4, 12-0 UFC)
Who he's fighting: Vitor Belfort
Why he's in danger: Remember Dana White's vow to fire the champ if he goes out there and does the Abu Dhabi waltz again? Yeah, I don't buy it either, but imagine for a moment that Silva does slip back into open mockery mode as soon as he no longer has Chael Sonnen in his face to motivate him. Imagine he spends five rounds toying with Belfort, whipping the Vegas crowd into a fury on the eve of the most sacred American holiday – Super Bowl Sunday. What then?
Odds of getting cut: 40-1. White's heated and implausible threats aside, I don't even want to think about what Silva would have to do to really get himself released. If he refused to fight at all, then addressed the crowd in perfect English to tell them he no longer believes in violence or the pursuit of material wealth, all before ceremoniously burning the American flag in protest, then...maybe. Otherwise, he's safe. But who says we can't have some fun with the possibilities?

Source: MMA Fighting

UFC 126: Kid Yamamoto vs. Demetrious Johnson To Air For Free on Facebook

'Kid' Yamamoto
For anyone that was bummed out about not being able to see Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto’s UFC debut on Saturday night, your wish has been granted, and the UFC will broadcast his fight against Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson for free on Facebook starting at 8:25pm ET on Saturday night.

UFC president Dana White had teased on his official Twitter page that he had something special in store for the Yamamoto vs. Johnson fight, and now the cat is out of the bag. The UFC announced the move on their Facebook account today.

The UFC tested the Facebook method of showing fights during the “UFC Fight for the Troops” broadcast a couple weeks back, and it appears the success will bring more fights to the social networking giant.

The fight between Yamamoto and Johnson brings the total guaranteed number of fights on Saturday night up to 8, including the Spike TV prelim show and the pay-per-view broadcast which kick off at 9pm and 10pm ET respectively.

Yamamoto makes his UFC debut after a storied career in Japan that saw him become one of the top featherweights in the sport just a few short years ago. He took time off to pursue his Olympic dream, and also faced injuries, but now he’s healthy and hoping to re-establish himself in the UFC.

To watch the broadcast just go to and ‘like’ their page and the free broadcast is available to anyone with a Facebook account.

Source: MMA Weekly

Traveling with Anderson Silva
by Carlos Eduardo Ozório

The crew is already on American soil to cover Saturday’s UFC 126 event in Las Vegas. Better yet, while still in the airport in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, it happened upon one of the stars of the event, Anderson Silva, who will defend his middleweight crown against Vitor Belfort in the headlining fight at the Mandalay Bay Center.

Alongside a team comprised of Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Rafael Feijão, Ramon Lemos, Luiz Dórea, Paulo Bananada and Erick Silva, Anderson was in laid back spirits. Waiting for US Airways flight 801 to Charlotte, the “Spider” posed for photos with fans and made sure to cause commotion.

“I age ten years with every trip like this one that I take!” remarked Ramon Lemos.

Questioned prior to the flight, Anderson showed his dodge is in good form, having been called aside by airline employees.

“There’s no point complaining to me. These guys are all Dórea’s kids,” he joked.

The champion’s confidence heading into his fight with Belfort was apparent. However, dear reader, don’t confuse confidence with underestimating the opposition. During the week leading up to the trip, his sparring partners suffered. Many of them knocked out mercilessly.

“I know he’s going to come at me with everything he’s got and I’ll end up getting hit some,” commented Anderson.

“He’s even been talking about training in the airplane, but no way. Now he’s just going to break a mild sweat right before the fight,” Luiz Dórea cuts in.

In Charlotte, the port of entry to the USA, the lightness of spirit continued. Even after missing his connection to Vegas due to a delay coming from Brazil, Anderson remained friendly. More even than in his country of origin, the fighter was approached by a number of people. Police officers, airport employees, fans from all over the world… All of them want to meet the champ.

At the airport, concerned about making weight, he doesn’t mind eating apples while everyone else digs into the goodies at the snack bar. Then off to the VIP lounge to wait for the connection to Vegas at 6 pm local time.

And the trip continues!

Source: Gracie Magazine


Amateur Boxing In Palolo!

Sponsored by Waipahu Pawn Shop and Leland Chapman
FEBRUARY 4, AT 6 P.M. 2011
TENATIVE BOUTS, order will change

). Springsteen Stampson 21 2 125 28 Steven Wada
Molokai B.C. 05/07/89 1 or 1 ½ min. 05/04/82 Southside Maui B.C.
). Uly Bordaje 17 0 167 23 Ernesto Orantes 2
Kakaako B.C. 01/07/94 1 min. Unattached (Marines)
). Michael ?? 18 0 127 17 Kyle Delima 1 Palolo B.C. 1 min. 08/23/93 Unattached (Kauai)
). Jariell Munoz 27 0 147 18 Christian Ramil 2
Kakaako B.C. 03/25/83 1 min. 10/02/83 636 B.C.
). Richard Ballesteros 20 0 160 19 Charles Gassparetti 0
Pearlside B.C. 1 min. Unattached (Marines)
). Edward Dirige 14 1 127/124 13 Peter Pacada 0
Kakaako B.C. 07/26/96 1 min. Palolo B.C.
). Mike Plunkett 20 2 180 30 Steven Lee 0
Five-O B.C. 07/25/90 1 min. 11/07/80 Hands On B.C.
). Mikuni Munsayac 19 3 155 21 Joshua Dupree
Unattached 09/27/91 1 1/2min. 09/22/89 Unattached (Marines)
). Austin Hyden 22 8 165 18 Adrian Pelayo 6
Pearlside B.C. 10/21/98 1 ½ or 2 min 09/24/92 Southside Maui B.C
). Tyler Agbayani 16 7 175 16 Ramon Cardona Jr. 4
Unattached 07/20/94 1 ½ or 2 min. 02/17/94 Wailuku Maui B.C.
). Trey Olive 20 1 201+ 33 Nephi Tehiva 0
Pearlside B.C. 04/02/90 1 min. 06/12/77 Hands On B.C.
). Isaiah Lavea 19 2 201+ 21 Kawika Tantala- Kupuikaia 2
Palolo 08/22/90 1 min. 05/01/89 Five-0
). Samuel Kekai Alama 33 1 201+ 30 Mahiahi Naihe 1
Pearlside B.C. 01/10/77 1 ½ min. 05/04/79 Kauai PAL B.C.
). Koichi Tanji 12 130 10+ Anthony Ibanez Kawano B.C. 03/06/92 2 min 09/24/92 Wailuku B.C.
). Natacia Manuma 27 7 175 25 Fallon Farrar 7
Five-0 B.C. 1/15/83 2 min. 09/29/85 Club Discipline B.C.

Thank You to Lloyd McKee from Waipahu Pawn Shop in the Waipahu Shopping Plaza, phone number is 808-671-6555, also Leland Chapman from "Dog the Bounty Hunter" for their continued Support of Amateur Boxing. Also, our Sponsors Rock Bottom Sports Bar where we will have our after party.
Thank You Always for our Volunteers, Boxers, Coaches, Officials, Announcer, Door Workers, Concession workers, Boxing Commissioners and Chairman Herbert Minn, Officer Ron Richardson and OfficerAl Dela Cruz, Officer Daryl Takata, Dr. Myles Suehiro and Dr. Kanani Texeira, Chief of Officials Eiichi Jumawan and Vice President Robyn Jumawan, and "YOU" our Boxing Fans!!

All boxer will receive gold medals for stepping in the ring, these athletes, boxing clubs, and coaches are all winners and champions because of the time, dedication and commitment they put in their sport. All medals donated by our Sponsors.


Sponsored by Waipahu Pawn Shop and Leland Chapman
TENATIVE BOUTS, order will change

). Nicholas Siordia 11 8 78 13 Kawelo Alcos 4
TNT B.C. 06/18/99 1 min. 01/19/98 Unattached
). Goddhey Jacaine 8 1 68 9 Jordan Manangan 2
Pearlside B.C. 03/24/02 1 minute 09/29/01 Molokai B.C.
). Justin Alcos 18 0 132 17 Kyle Delima 1
Unattached 10/28/92 1 min. 08/28/93 Unattached (Kauai)
). Charles Coloma 19 3 120 21 Springsteen Stampson 2
Up n Up B.C. 10/12/91 1 ½ min. 05/07/89 Molokai B.C.
). Jariell Munoz 27 3 pal 145 19 David Vasconcellos 3
Kakaako B.C. 03/25/83 1 ½ min. 12/08/91 Unattached
). Dedric Ke'a Jr. 15 2 130 14 Edward Dirige 1
Pearlside B.C. 09/18/95 1 ½ min. 07/26/96 Kakaako B.C.
). Jonah Lopes 18 0 185 30 Steven Lee 0
Unattached (Joe Palimoo) 1 min. 11/07/80 Hands On B.C.
). Charles Gassparetti 28 0 162 17 Uly Bordaji 0
Unattached (Marines) 1 min. 01/07/94 Kakaako B.C.
). Mike Kurita 25 4 155 20 Travis Ito 3
Pearlside B.C. 12/31/85 1 ½ or 2 min. 07/29/89 Palolo B.C.
). Jazzelle Rabago Bobadilla 12 3 95 12 Kairey Bermoy 4
Boxfit808 B.C. 05/20/98 1 min. 07/21/98 Up n Up B.C.
). Nephi Tehida 33 0 201+ 30 Mahiahi Naihe 1
Hands On B.C. 06/12/77 1 min. per coach05/04/79 Kauai PAL B.C.
). Richard Ballesteros 20 0 165 23 Ernesto Orantes 2
Pearlside B.C. 1 min. Unattached (Marines)
). Koichi Tanji 28 12 128 28 Steven Wada
Kawano B.C. 03/06/92 1 ½ min. 05/04/82 Southside Maui B.C.
). Trey Olive 20 1 201+ Paea ??
Pearlside B.C. 04/20/90 1 min. Palolo B.C.
). Corina Ishikawa 33 8 115 18 Haley Pasion 4
Kawano B.C. 03/23/77 1 ½ min. 10/11/92 Kawano B.C.
). Mark Antalan 18 6 201+ Dustin Dosher 6
Pearlside B.C. 01/31/93 1 ½ min. Unattached
). Kalai McShane 15+ 127 Anthony Ibanez 10+
Five-0 B.C. 4 rds, 2 min. Wailuku Maui B.C.

let me know how many minutes also. I suggest 1 min. for new boxers, 1 ½ min for boxers with 7 matches or less, and 2 min. for a boxer with 8 bouts or more.

We want our boxers and our sport to look good. It doesn't look good when or if they run out of gas. It will depend on the coaches to make the decision. Thanks!!

Weigh-ins will be at Palolo Boxing Gym from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday.
The other side of the island will be Pearlside Boxing Club at Momilani Recreation Center 5-7 p.m on Thursday also.

Outer islands can weigh-in on Friday, I'll be at Palolo gym at 4 p.m.

Remember if they have braces they must have braces release form signed by dentist.


Source: Bruce Kawano

Bader, Simpson, Dollaway, Lawler and Others Find Stability At New Gym

The age of the super camp is upon us in the world of MMA. From Team Jackson to American Kickboxing Academy to American Top Team, fighters from all over the world flock to bigger and bigger camps to get the training, coaching, and sparring necessary to take them to the next level, be it the UFC, Strikeforce, or beyond.

The newest team forming in Arizona at the new Power MMA & Fitness gym is headed up by a group of top flight UFC fighters along with a Strikeforce title contender, and they hope to form the next great camp.

Ryan Bader, Aaron Simpson, and C.B. Dollaway, along with Robbie Lawler and others have worked to open their new gym in Arizona. It’s starting to pay off already with fighters traveling from all over the country to work with the team.

“Last week we had the guys like me and Aaron (Simpson), the Steinbeiss brothers, C.B. (Dollaway), Jesse Forbes, we had Robbie Lawler, who has been down there for almost three weeks, DaMarques Johnson, we had some heavyweights Jon Madsen and Chris Tuchscherer down here right now. It’s nice to have some different looks,” UFC light heavyweight Ryan Bader told MMAWeekly Radio leading up to his fight at UFC 126 against Jon Jones.

Bader, Simpson, and Dollaway have worked together for years starting out during their time at Arizona State in the wrestling program. They’ve taken that team atmosphere and transferred it to the new gym, and Bader says they are hoping to become the next great camp in MMA.

“We want to build a top of the line team. If guys want to come from around the country and train for a couple weeks, that’s fine, but we’re looking to build a premier team. Starting with the core guys that we’ve been around forever and a lot more guys are coming down for their camps.”

Old friend Kyle Kingsbury came down to work with the team before his fight at UFC 126. They will even have an amateur team headed up by Strikeforce middleweight Robbie Lawler, who will commit most of his time to the new team in Arizona.

“We’re going to have a top notch amateur team that’s headed up by Robbie Lawler; he’s going to be the amateur MMA coach. We’re looking to make it one of the top teams in the country,” Bader said.

The team also has some involvement from other sports stars, most notably Miami Heat guard Mike Miller, who is a part owner in the gym. Miller actually did cardio and conditioning with the MMA team over the summer in preparation for his NBA season, and continues to support them even though he’s full swing into his basketball career.

“We met with my manager now, Dave Martin, and I really liked him and he was like ‘hey, let me do your first fight, no contract or anything, just see if you like it,’ and I ended up liking it a lot and then finding out he had different guys. I met Mike (Miller) and Chad Greenway, and all his different guys a couple times. We all just became friends and go to each others different events, charity events and whatnot, and from there we just became friends,” Bader explained about Miller joining the camp.

Miller, who is a huge fan of MMA, told in August 2010 that the work the guys go through on a daily basis will get anyone in shape, and he plans on doing that for his future in basketball as well.

“The program that these guys are going through is the most ridiculous program I’ve seen. They workout harder than anybody,” Miller said. “The hardest workouts I’ve ever been through; that’s why I came down here though. I realized how hard these guys work, and I felt like I might as well join them. It’s been a good experience.”

The biggest thing that Bader has taken away from building a new gym has been stability. He admits that before going into his fight in September 2010 against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira that he didn’t have a great camp, and training for the fight was hard.

At the time, Bader, along with Simpson, Dollaway and others, were forced to travel and try to find the right places to train, but now they have their own gym and their own team, and it makes all the difference in the world.

“Honestly, before the Nogueira fight, I had a horrible training camp just because we were bouncing around. We were at three different gyms. Everybody knew we were going to be a competitor to them in the future, and so it got kind of weird here and there, and we’d only have a certain time. Then one gym we were at, they only had like a 10-foot cage so we couldn’t really get in good work,” said Bader.

“Finally, I feel I’m at home, feel like I’ve put in the best camp I’ve ever put in for the biggest fight of my life. So I’m looking forward to that for sure.”

Bader will try to show that off on Feb. 5 when he faces Jon Jones at UFC 126 in Las Vegas.

Source: MMA Weekly

Vitor Belfort’s Secret Weapon For UFC 126: Mike Dolce

It’s not easy to keep a secret during a training camp in the world of mixed martial arts.

From sparring partners to coaches, a fighter can tweak many things to try and keep an edge over his opponent and one key piece to the puzzle that Vitor Belfort added ahead of his fight with Anderson Silva at UFC 126 is nutritionist and weight cutting guru Mike Dolce.

The former IFL and UFC fighter has worked with several top athletes and has gained recognition for always bringing in athletes in peak physical condition, while also making weight the day before their fights.

“I have been working with Vitor Belfort in preparation for UFC 126. I’m very humbled and proud to be able to make that statement,” Dolce revealed when appearing on MMAWeekly Radio Monday night.

Some of the biggest questions surrounding Belfort heading into his fight against Silva were about his weight cut. The former heavyweight has only cut down to middleweight a couple of times, and his last fight in the UFC was a catchweight bout against Rich Franklin at 195lbs and most thought the Brazilian struggled to even make that weight.

Dolce was happy to accept the challenge and believes that the work he’s done with Belfort over the last few months will first pay off this Friday when he steps on the scales in Las Vegas.

“It seems like now those are the only guys that really want to bring me in are, those are the guys that are motivated to bring me in, are the ones with the most to lose,” Dolce said. “Vitor he was a heavyweight, he competed a lot at heavyweight, he spent most of his career at light heavyweight, and now he’s dropping down to middleweight and he did some catchweights at 195 before middleweight, just to help the transition just because he was so big and he did have a hard time making weight.

“As it stands right now, he’s ahead of schedule and we can make weight tonight if we needed to. Of course we’re not going to, we’re going to use the extra time to continue the peaking process and make sure we deliver the most prepared Vitor Belfort that the world has ever seen.”

Over the last few years, Dolce has received quite a bit of recognition for the work he’s done with different fighters in and around the sport. Most notably Dolce helped weight cutting problem child Thiago Alves make weight for his last fight, and the American Top Team fighter looked at peak conditioning throughout his three round fight against John Howard at UFC 124 last December.

Dolce also helped one time light heavyweight Michael Bisping make the cut down to middleweight, where he has thrived and is known from having some of the best conditioning in the weight class.

The former Team Quest member admits that for all the great fights and wins Belfort has in his career, he was quick to point out that weight cutting was something he never did the right way before. He will however do it the Dolce way for UFC 126.

“He said this is the first time in his career that he’s cutting weight like a world class athlete, and I took that as a huge compliment,” said Dolce.

Dolce will continue to work with Belfort all the way through weigh-ins and the day of the fight to fuel him and get him ready for the main event at UFC 126 against Anderson Silva.

Source: MMA Weekly

UFC 126: Donald Cerrone All Studied Up for Paul Kelly, Calls Mac Danzig ‘Hypocritical’

Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (17-3) is officially in the UFC. He’ll make his debut for the promotion this Saturday at UFC 126: Silva vs. Belfort in Las Vegas when he takes on English fighter Paul Kelly.

Kelly (11-3) will be making his ninth appearance in the UFC, so he’s definitely earned his stripes in the Las Vegas-based promotion. It’s safe to assume that with eight fights in the Octagon, opponents will know who Paul Kelly is.

Apparently, not if you’re Donald Cerrone.

When the WEC veteran received the offer to fight Kelly, he admittedly didn’t know much about his opponent. Kelly might not have liked this fact very much, but Cerrone explained to MMAWeekly Radio that he meant no disrespect to him in any way, shape, or form. Having a lot going on is what Cerrone blames for not knowing more about his UFC 126 opponent.

“I never meant any disrespect to the guy, I just never heard of him,” Cerrone said. “Now, of course I’ve seen tape on him, I’ve studied him. I understand who he is.”

Not having knowledge about Kelly and his arsenal might not be a good thing. As a matter of fact, it’s downright dangerous to not know what the English mixed martial artist is capable of. Kelly has finished two of his last three opponents. First, he submitted Matt Veach at UFC 112 by guillotine choke, then after a tough decision loss to Jacob Volkmann in August, Kelly beat T.J. Brian by TKO at UFC 123.

Luckily for “Cowboy,” he’s done his homework. He’s watched the film on Kelly, and now, he knows exactly what kind of fight he’s getting into – one that promises some stand-up action.

“He’s got a good uppercut, great overhand, and good hooks,” said Cerrone. “He likes to be inside and brawl. If you want to go out and shoot, baby, let’s go! I’ve been looking for a stand-up fight this whole time.

“I’m really forward to throwing down, man. That’s what I love to do.”

Apart from his fight with Kelly, Cerrone has had some other beefs that have garnered the attention of the media. Of course, Cerrone’s open dislike of Cole Miller has been echoed through the blogs, forums, Twitter and other outlets for quite some time. The rivalry has boiled for years, yet the two have never had the opportunity to settle their differences.

Cerrone may have a fight on Saturday with a different competitor, but it’s clear that he doesn’t keep Miller far off from his cross hairs on a day to day basis. Any opportunity he gets, he tells Miller of his intentions.

“Every time I see him, I remind him. I’m coming for you, Cole. I’m coming for you, I’m coming for you,” said the lightweight fighter.

Not only is Cole Miller an issue, but recently, Mac Danzig called out Cerrone on Twitter, saying, “So, all you have to do to secure a fight you haven’t earned is wear a silly hat, call yourself ‘cowboy’ and talk trash? Seems strange.”

Cerrone explained that Danzig is hypocritical in doing this, and feels the TUF 6 winner won his last fight by a fluke. “Cowboy” held nothing back when defending his Jackson’s MMA teammate, Joe Stevenson.

“First of all, Danzig, you were on the chopping block and then you accidentally knocked out my teammate, Joe Stevenson. Now you want to do exactly what I did by calling Cole Miller out and you want to be a hypocrite. Come on, bro!”

These may seem like heavy distractions, but regardless, Donald Cerrone will get his chance to take out whatever frustration he has on Paul Kelly on Saturday night in Las Vegas.

Source: MMA Weekly

UFC 129 Fight Card Full: Aldo vs. Hominick, Couture vs. Machida Added

The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Tuesday locked up the fight card for April 30 in Toronto.

Already set with a headlining title defense by one of Canada’s most popular athletes, Georges St-Pierre, UFC 129 now has an official co-main event. UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo will defend his belt against Mark Hominick. The bout is the first time the UFC 145-pound championship will be on the line.

Also officially added to the fight card is UFC Hall of Famer Randy “The Natural” Couture. He’ll take on fellow former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida. Couture is on a three-fight winning streak, but hasn’t fought since dispatching heavyweight boxing champion James Toney in August. Machida, undefeated on his run to the title, has lost his last two bouts and sorely needs a win.

The third of Tuesday’s announcements was the addition of a welterweight contest pitting Nate Diaz against Rory MacDonald.

Source: MMA Weekly

Sérgio Moraes wins the absolute dispute on European 2011

After four days of much adrenalin, the eighth edition of the European Championship of Jiu-Jitsu, that happened in Lisboan, Portugal, gets to an end. Despite not having a bout with submissions, the fights of the adult black belt male dispute were exciting, motivating foreigners and Brazilians on the Portuguese gym.

On the medium heavyweight, Braulio Estima (Gracie Barra) got the gold home after beating Sergio Moraes (Atos JJ). For the champion, the finale was the toughest fight of the three he had to do on the division. “On the last fight I was under a lot of pressure, Moraes had more tactic during it”, evaluated. The athlete of Alliance explained what his main mistake on this fight was so that he played his opponent’s game. “On the other hand, I learned I have to be more alert on the absolute dispute. I never played Calasans’ game and I got off there with a win in my hands”, tells Sergio, who earned the absolute title over Claudio Calasans.

Calasans told TATAME that he didn’t intend to compete the absolute because he was recovering from an injury, but his team motivated him and, with only three weeks of trainings, he decided to participate of it too. For him, the rhythm imposed by Sergio was too strong. “I confess I lacked conditioning on this fight, because I had a total of seven fights among the medium heavyweights and absolute. But the devotion was worth it, at least I’ve won the weight dispute”, says Calasans.

On the super heavy, Lucio Lagarto (Gracie Barra) and the American Rafael Lovato (Ribeiro JJ) let the fans crazy on the Sportive Complex of Casal Vistoso (Complexo Esportivo do Casal Vistoso). Lagarto won his third European title since his debut on the competition, in 2004. on his

evaluation, the non-Brazilians are getting better and better. “Lovato is an excellent fighter, that’s why I had to impose a strong rhythm from the beginning until the end so that he wouldn’t beat me”, affirmed, completing that he dedicates his title to his wife.


On one of the most expected female finals, Kyra Gracie and Marina Medeiros, feather weights, did a pretty tough fight, but the athlete of Checkmat showed more willingness since the beginning until the end and guaranteed the highest sport on the podium for herself, with no contestation. To Kyra, she deserved it. “Marina has a great guard and it was her day. She’s a girl that deserves it, a new generation athlete”, highlighted. On the light weight, Luanna Alzuguir guaranteed the gold medal, but had to confront a tough girl on the finale. “MIchelli Nicolini is a very technical fighter, that’s why you have to be much cautious as you fight her, and that’s how I behaved on the fight”, explained the athlete of Alliance.


- Light featherweight: Ary Farias (Atos) beat Bruno Malfacine (Alliance) by 6x4;

- Featherweight: the team Atos closed the division with Rafael Mendes, Bruno Frazatto, Guilherme Mendes and Eduardo Ramos;

- Lightweight: Michael Langhi and Lucas Lepri – closed for Alliance;

- Middleweight: Cláudio Calasans (Atos JJ) submitted Bruno Alves (Gracie Barra);

- Medium heavyweight: Bráulio Estima (Gracie Barra) beat Sérgio Moraes (Alliance) on the advantages;

- Heavyweight: Bernardo Faria and Leonardo Nogueira – closed for Alliance;

- Super heavyweight: Lúcio Lagarto (Gracie Barra) beat Rafael Lovato (Ribeiro JJ) by 8x2;

- Ultra heavyweight: Rodrigo Comprido and Igor Silva – closed for Brasa;

- Absolute: Sérgio Moraes (Alliance) beat Cláudio Calasans (Atos) on the advantages;


- Light featherweight: Oceane Talvard (Attila) beat Elizangela Meirel (Gavião);

- Featherweight: Marina Soares (Checkmat) beat Kyra Gracie (Renzo Gracie);

- Lightweight: Luanna Alzuguir (Alliance) beat Michelle Nicolini (Checkmat);

- Middleweight: Ida Hansson and Priscila Juni – closed for Checkmat;

- Female absolute: Luanna Alzuguir and Gabi Garcia – closed for Alliance;

Source: Tatame

Roger: “I just waited for the right opportunity”

Roger Gracie notched his fourth win in a row this Saturday at Strikeforce. With yet another submission – a rear-naked choke –, the victim this time was Trevor Prangley.

“I’m feeling great, I think everything went well, it was splendid,” he said with contentment as he left his dressing room.

Roger explains how he managed to successfully carry out his strategy: going on the attack with jabs and keeping the right distance for the takedown.

“I just waited for the right moment. I didn’t plan to finish in the first round or anything like that. I just waited for the right moment.”

Source: Gracie Magazine

Brit John Maguire Plans Title Defense, Wants An International Stage

One of the highlight fights in the British welterweight division is set to take place this weekend at Ultimate Challenge with current champion John “The One” Maguire squaring off against TUF veteran Dean Amasinger.

“I know Dean is a confident, tough guy, and I don’t for one second think I am going to run through him. I think we are both very evenly matched,” explained Maguire, although he believes he has the edge over his opponent in technical prowess.

“My boxing has come along a lot. I am getting better in that aspect and I think that I edge him in every other range. He is a strong person, but I know I am more technical off my back, better in top position, and more than comfortable with the wrestling. In fact, I don’t really care where the fight goes.”

For those that don’t know, Amasinger and Maguire have been friends on the scene for a long time and they have always joked that at some point they were going to fight, ever since the latter dropped to 170 pounds following a loss to BAMMA champion Tom “Kong” Watson. For this reason, you probably won’t find any smack talk between the two; there is a lot of respect there, but not enough to dilute a fight.

“I know Dean looked really rusty in his last fight against Jamaine Facey and I know that was because it was his first fight back from a broken arm. I had the same injury myself after the Watson fight so I know exactly what he went through, but I also know that has got over that doubt and he will be much stronger now.”

The fight with Amasinger is to defend one of the two belts Maguire currently holds on the U.K. scene, the second one is for the OMMAC promotion in Liverpool. But it’s getting to the point where Maguire feels that he needs to make a jump internationally to progress, and he thought he almost had that opportunity when he was called back to the U.S. for the medical process after a successful showing in the current TUF trials.

“I was gutted when I was told I wasn’t selected, but it was a good experience and I managed to spend every day I was out there in Vegas training out of Wanderlei Silva’s gym. It has prompted me to look at training with different people and expanding my horizons while trying to getting bigger fights.”

This experience of a new training regimen has filtered through to this camp, with Maguire taking himself off to Sweden and August Wallen’s facility before coming back to Team Tsunami for final preparations with his usual guys.

“Sweden was fantastic. I’ve had a really good camp with them, lots of guys with different body types, which I prefer. I’ve been doing two two-hour sessions each day, covering sparring and techniques, then cardio drills after, literally living in the gym because of the fighter accommodation set-up they have.”

With about 25-30 pro fighters to exchange with, the former middleweight feels that Amasinger’s blatant strength will not come as anything new to him.

“I worked a lot in Sweden with this 130kg Greco-Roman guy who had twice been to the Olympics. So size isn’t an issue for me; besides, I used to be a small middleweight back when I was fighting at that class anyway. Having Jack Mason in the camp knowing what my weaknesses are is always good, I don’t think he will be as strong as Jack.”

In closing, Maguire feels as ready as he’s ever going to be for a fight, he has some new skills in his arsenal and is close to weight already. All his attentions are on this showdown and then after that he will be looking at making an international impression.

“I would love to rematch with Simeon Thoresen, that fight really bugs me as I feel we were a round even, but I should have edged it at the end of the first with a takedown. Shame he doesn’t want to fight me again though… aside from that, I just want tough fights with named guys.”

Source: MMA Weekly


Bas Rutten Staying As Busy Out Of The Ring As He Was In It

Anyone who thought Bas Rutten would slow down in retirement is sorely mistaken. Years after he called his active career quits, Rutten is as busy as ever, working on a myriad of projects.

Up next, Rutten can be seen in the upcoming Feb. 1 episode of the hit FX television series “Lights Out.”

Speaking to about how he lined up his appearance on the series, Rutten said, “One of my best friends, Holt (McCallany), is the lead actor on the show. When he found out that they needed an MMA fighter, he said I was the only guy he wanted to do it with.”

Rutten had previously worked with McCallany on the series “Freedom,” where he served as fight choreographer over a half a year of shooting.

Staying true to his style of fighting, Rutten went all out shooting his scenes for “Lights Out.”

“I have one speed and that’s full speed, and Holt’s like that too,” commented Rutten. “He’s a method actor and likes to get in there and get hit a little bit.

“It was tough, but it was a lot of fun. They said it was one of the best fights of the whole season. It’s going to look powerful, let me tell you that.”

Staying with television, Rutten continues to work on HDNet’s highest rated series, “Inside MMA” with co-host Kenny Rice. And if that wasn’t enough, he has a couple of other TV projects in the works.

“I shot a pilot where we re-enact robberies, hold-ups, and stick-ups, whatever goes bad, and I tell the people what they could have done,” said Rutten. “It’s like the bar fighting DVDs I did. It’s real stuff, quality stuff we’re doing, but not super, super serious.

“I also just did some hosting for a crazy video clip show, like ‘Bas’ Biggest Breakdowns.’ I think that came out very well.”

Rutten’s time in front of the camera will shift towards the movies when he begins shooting an MMA comedy, sensitively titled “Here Comes the Boom,” in March with longtime collaborator Kevin James.

Rutten is also pursuing other business opportunities, such as his work with Star Greetings.

“It’s these virtual greeting cards (where celebrities like) Eminem, 50 Cent, and other big names are involved,” commented Rutten.

“You type in the name, like John, and pick the occasion, like a birthday card, and I say something like, ‘Hey, John, this is Bas Rutten. Happy Birthday, etc.’ and I do a little fight scene in there and it’s really funny.

Following in the lines of his Body Action System (B.A.S.), Rutten is set to release another training product he’s had in mind since he was 15 years old and hopes will cross lines from sports to other activities.

“I’m working on something called the O2 Trainer,” announced Rutten. “The O2 trainer is a breathing device that you have in your mouth while you’re training. It trains your diaphragm and lung muscles, so you can get really strong lungs from it.

“It’s been a long time in the process. Just to get the patent was a nightmare, but now we’ve got everything and it’s falling into place. I think it’s going to be very good for any athlete or singers or people who play wind instruments are going to gain a lot by using this product.”

Rutten continues to prove that he was never one to slow down in the ring, and it doesn’t appear he’s going to anytime soon out of it.

Said Rutten in closing, “Hey everybody, check out ‘Lights Out’ because lights will be out next Tuesday on FX.”

Source: MMA Weekly

Comprido to help Brock on UFC reality show recently reported who would make up the coaching staff for Junior Cigano’s team for the upcoming season of UFC reality show The Ultimate Fighter. Brock Lesnar too has announced who he will be partnering up with for the program, without any great surprises.

The Jiu-Jitsu coach for the former UFC heavyweight champion’s team will be two-time absolute world champion Rodrigo Comprido. Also on the team is Minnesota Martial Arts founder Greg Nelson, a muay thai and wrestling expert; Marty Morga, who is Brock’s head coach, a wrestling specialist who also coaches the University of Minnesota team; Peter Welch, once boxing coach to the likes of Kenny Florian; Luke Richardson, a physical conditioning coach with NFL experience; and Erik Paulson, who marked an era in submission grappling events, the first American Shooto World champion.

Source: MMA Weekly

Herschel Walker wins second pro fight via TKO

Herschel Walker continues to defy Father Time. The 48-year-old former NFL and college football star toyed with Scott Carson to pick up his second career mixed martial arts win on the Strikeforce card in San Jose, Calif.

Walker knocked Carson down with a left hook in the opening minute of their fight at the HP Pavilion and brutalized him on the ground for the next two minutes. Referee Dan Stell stepped in to save Carson at 3:13 of the first round. Walker is now 2-0 and said he plans on moving forward with his MMA career.

"MMA is my love," Walker said, when asked about talk of an NFL return.

Walker has been successful in every athletic endeavor he's attempted, so he's very demanding of himself in MMA.

"I was okay. I took a kick where I thought I was getting a little too excited," Walker said. "When you're in MMA, you should be able to take a kick like that."

Walker was a bull from the get-go.

"(My trainer) Javier Mendes told me I have to be on offense. Being a young MMA fighter I gotta control what I'm doing in the cage," said Walker.

The scenario surrounding the first knockdown was like scene out of a movie. Carson grazed Walker's face. The former football star appeared enraged and yelled in the air. He walked straight forward and floored Carson with a left. Carson got to his feet momentarily with 3:50 left in the round, but Walker lifted him in the air and tossed him back down. Walker dominated him on the ground working from hip control and landing punches under Carson's arms. The Californian did little to protect himself.

With two minutes left in the first, Walker backed off for a second to allow Carson to get back to his feet. Carson barely got to his feet, was drilled by a left hook and crumbled against the fence. The referee had to stop it.

For man his age, Walker's energy level was incredible. He threw 58 shots and landed 40 overall. On the ground, he was 36-of-53 (67.9 percent). Walker's combination of stamina and athleticism simply broke Carson's will.

Walker began his MMA journey in 2009 when he began training at a renowned MMA gym, the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose. That's also the home of UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and UFC welterweight title contenders Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck.

Walker made his MMA debut last January. He showed off decent striking and grappling, with his gas tank being his most impressive element. Walker manhandled 26-year-old Greg Nagy for his first professional victory.

Walker's MMA exploits add to an unbelievable athletic resume. After a decorated career at Georgia, Walker earned a home in the college football Hall of Fame. He won the 1982 Heisman trophy as a junior. Walker went on to play 15 seasons in the USFL and NFL, where he rushed for 13,787 yards.

In the middle of his NFL career, he decided that he wanted to be an Olympian and took on the challenge of the bobsled. Walker made the U.S. Olympic team in the two-man bobsled and finished seventh at the 1992 games.

Source: Yahoo Sports

Melvin Guillard Looking for a No. 1 Contender or Title Shot, Florian Doesn’t Fit the Bill

It’s common that any time a fighter comes off a big win a slew of challengers line up to try and get the next shot at them. Such is the case with Melvin Guillard, who showcased his skills in a dominant victory over Evan Dunham last Saturday night at UFC Fight For The Troops 2.

Guillard has often been seen as an extremely talented fighter who hadn’t lived up to his potential. He proved everybody wrong by blasting through Dunham, something no one else had done to the Oregonian throughout his professional MMA career.

The first to take a shot at Guillard following his win was former UFC lightweight title contender Kenny Florian, who said when appearing on Pro MMA Radio, “If Melvin thinks he deserves a shot over me, he should fight me and beat me.”

Guillard of course heard about the comments, and while he has the utmost respect for Florian, he doesn’t think that fight does anything for him right now.

“I’ve got mad respect for Kenny. He’s a good friend. I talk to him all the time. There’s no animosity, but of course he’s going to feel like that when I’m on top right now. He’s had his shot. He’s had two chances to be a champion, he didn’t make it,” Guillard told MMAWeekly Radio on Tuesday.

“I don’t take nothing from Kenny. He’s a dangerous fighter, just like Dunham and everybody else. Anyone that steps into that Octagon is dangerous because anyone can win at any given day. But I feel like Kenny had his chance.”

Florian has been looking for a fight when he comes back later this year after a knee injury forced him out of the bout against Evan Dunham last weekend. The Boston area fighter also looked to challenge final WEC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, but his camp opted to face someone coming off a win and not a loss. Pettis instead took a fight against Clay Guida at the June 4 “Ultimate Fighter Season 13? finale.

Guillard seems to take a similar approach towards a fight with Florian, not out of disrespect, but simply because right now it doesn’t push him closer to his ultimate goal of getting a title shot.

“Now him asking to fight me? He’s only doing that because he’s in the shadows and nobody’s talking about him. He’s not in the spotlight,” Guillard said about Florian. “If he wants that fight it has to be worth it for me, because honestly at this point in my career, and me and my agent already agreed on it, I’m not going to get anything out of beating Kenny Florian. He’s going to gain, and I’m going to lose, so that’s not a fight that I’m looking for.”

What Guillard is looking for is a chance to prove he deserves a title shot. He’s not willing to sit and wait for things to happen, and if the UFC comes calling tomorrow with a new challenge, he’s up to take it.

“I’m looking for a No. 1 contender or I want a champion. That’s all I want right now,” said Guillard. “If I have to take another stepping stone and Kenny wants to throw himself in there, I promise you if that fight happens, I’m going to (expletive) him up and I’m going to make it impressive. I’m going to let him know that he can’t beat me, period.

“I’m not going to sit here and wait for a title shot. I’ll put my reputation on the line and that’s why my record is so big because I will fight weekend after weekend. Right now that’s the best preparation for me is to keep fighting. So whoever they put in front of me, I’m going to fight.”

One fight that seems particularly intriguing to most fans is to match up Guillard against Pettis. Currently, Pettis is instead set to face Guillard’s teammate, Guida, but it’s a fight that the native of New Orleans is happy to accept.

As a matter of fact, he doesn’t even care if Pettis sees exactly what he’s going to do to win the fight.

“Me and Pettis hung out, he trains with my old kickboxing coach and childhood friend Patrick Barry. So he got to see my warm-up. People are like ‘you’re going to warm up in front of guys you’re going to fight?’ I don’t care,” Guillard stated. “When I go into a fight, I’m going to execute my skill.

“I don’t care if I’m the champion and I trained with the guy I’m going to fight, he can see everything that I’m working on, I’m that confident in my skill. I’m not cocky at all, but I’ve been doing this for so long, I’ve wrestled all my life, I’ve been a competitor, and I’m an athlete first before anything.”

Guillard is taking very little time off following the big win over Dunham. He is already back in New Mexico training with coaches Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn, and plans on helping other teammates prepare for their upcoming battles as well.

Source: Yahoo Sports

Diaz Not Impressed by Strikeforce Welterweight Contenders

Nick Diaz offered little in the way of trash talk in the lead-up to his Strikeforce welterweight title defense against Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos. After submitting the Brazilian with a second-round armbar on Saturday at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., the generally brazen 27-year-old refused to attribute that fact to some newfound sophistication and reiterated his respect for Santos.

“Everybody thinks I’ve matured and grown up, but it’s just how it is,” a serene Diaz said at the post-fight press conference for Strikeforce “Diaz vs. Cyborg.”

“I have respect for fighters that come out and fight,” the champion said of Santos. “He wasn’t trying to score and run. He was coming straight forward and trying to fight. I give a guy like that a lot of respect. It has nothing to do with me growing older.”

Prior to the fight-ending submission, Diaz and Santos engaged in a hard-hitting dogfight, which saw Cyborg rack up chopping leg kicks while Diaz scored with his trademark volume boxing style. When Diaz’s strikes began to take their toll, Santos took the fight to the floor -- something Diaz expected from the jump and was prepared to capitalize on.

“I did see him taking me down from taking too many punches. I did figure I’d be able to ladder up and finish an armlock or a triangle choke on a guy like that,” said Diaz. “I think I put on a decent performance. Cyborg is a really worthy opponent. It’s not like this guy is some joke.”

But while Diaz heaped praise upon his just-dispatched challenger, he had few positive words for those potentially in line for a shot at his title.

Next up for Diaz looks to be British slugger Paul Daley, who is first booked for a Feb. 26 bout with Deep champion Yuya Shirai in Manchester, England. In his most recent Strikeforce outing, Daley notched a scorching knockout of Scott Smith, whom Diaz submitted last June.

“I’m not really impressed with Paul Daley as a mixed martial artist,” said Diaz. “He’s got great stand-up, sure, [but] I wouldn’t judge him from the Scott Smith fight.”

Diaz went on to criticize Smith, a fellow Californian, for what he sees as a lack of desire to improve as a fighter.

“I know who Scott Smith is. I’m from Stockton, Lodi. He’s from Elk Grove. He’s never come down to train with us. He’s never tried to get better,” Diaz said. “He does his tae bo, or whatever, you know what I mean? Then Paul Daley knocks him out and everybody is like, ‘Look at Paul Daley!’”

And how would Diaz approach a fight with Daley?

“I just might do some karate ... some wushu,” Diaz deadpanned before offering a dispassionate breakdown of the matchup. “I see me putting punches on him, maybe him trying to take me down, getting caught in a choke. He can run from me. I’d run him down and take him down and beat him on the ground. I dunno.”

Diaz, who signed a multi-year contract extension with Strikeforce in December, seemed similarly disinterested in a match against unbeaten up-and-comer Tyron Woodley, who has won six straight inside the Strikeforce cage.

“I don’t wanna talk bad about anybody. I don’t really have anything about him that impresses me,” he said of the two-time NCAA Div. I All-American. “I didn’t think he was a wrestler, but then I heard he was a wrestler. It was like, ‘OK.’”

So, the question seems to be: what opponent would Diaz want to fight?

“I’m interested in fighting people ranked above me and upping my status, but, whatever,” he said. “I fight for [Strikeforce CEO] Scott Coker here, and they’ll have to work that out here.”

Source: Sherdog

Marloes Coenen vs. Miesha Tate Confirmed for Strikeforce in Ohio March 5

It appears the first ever Strikeforce event in Ohio will have two title fights heading the fight card as Marloes Coenen will defend her welterweight championship against Miesha Tate in the co-main event for the night.

Tate confirmed the fight via her personal Twitter page on late Sunday night.

“It’s confirmed my fight is set for March 5th in Columbus OH vs Marloes Coenen for my shot at the Strikeforce 135lb title,” she wrote.

The bout has been rumored for the card for some time now, but it looks like it’s a done deal for the Columbus show taking place at the Nationwide Arena in early March.

Strikeforce officials responding to could not confirm the bout between Coenen and Tate, but it’s believed that verbal agreements are in place for the title fight.

Miesha Tate (11-2) earned the shot at Coenen’s title by winning a one-night tournament in Strikeforce last August.

Coenen (18-4) won the 135-pound title by defeating previously undefeated champion Sarah Kaufman in October, and this will be her first title defense.

The card in Ohio will be headlined by another title fight as Rafael “Fejiao” Cavalcante will make the first defense of his light heavyweight championship against Dan Henderson.

More fights are expected to be announced by the promotion in the coming weeks.

Source: MMA Weekly


Strikeforce – Diaz vs. Cyborg: Roger Gracie Scores Big Win, Submits Prangley

After a big win over Keith Jardine at Shark Fights 13, Trevor Prangley returned to Strikeforce at Diaz vs. Cyborg on Saturday night and was paired against Jiu-Jitsu phenom Roger Gracie.

“It’s always great when you get another opportunity,” Prangley previously told “It’s the last fight on my contract and I just need to get out there and perform.

“It’s going to be a really tough fight for me. He’s undefeated. He doesn’t know how to lose yet, so I’m curious to see how I’ll fare against him. I think it will be a competitive fight on both of our sides.”

After a long feeling out process that saw Gracie utilize his jab, the Brazilian displayed some Muay Thai knees and eventually took Prangley down halfway into the round. Gracie mounted and transitioned to Prangley’s back as he tried to scramble away. The South African fighter succumbed to a rear naked choke shortly after.

With the win, Gracie scored the biggest win of his career and improved his record to 4-0.

Source: MMA Weekly

Strikeforce Results: Herschel Walker Gets Second Win, TKOs Scott Carson in the First

Herschel Walker came into his sophomore effort in Strikeforce with a record of 1-0. After Saturday night, he remained undefeated as he finished Scott Carson in the first round of their affair.

The Heisman Trophy winner showed he had some power in his left hand when he rocked Carson for the TKO win at 3:13 of the opening stanza.

The fight started off with Carson throwing a right head kick that grazed Walker’s chin. This looked as though it angered Walker, motivating the former NFL running back to throw a flurry that included a left hand strong enough to send Carson crashing to the mat. Walker attempted capitalizing from there, getting on top of Carson, stacking him up and landing punches from that position.

Carson looked like he almost secured Walker’s leg for a leg lock, but Walker was able to escape and eventually capture his opponent’s back. From there, Walker kept sneaking in punches from behind through any hole Carson gave him. An attempt by Carson to get back to his feet was met by Walker slamming his opponent back on the mat. It was clear Carson had no offense to offer here. For a moment, he was able to monkey roll onto his back where he would try to initiate getting back to the feet again, but on Carson’s way up, Walker caught him with yet another massive left hand. This was the beginning of the end and the ref stepped in to put a stop to the contest.

Walker collected the TKO victory, despite eating a head kick he feels he shouldn’t have opened himself up for.

“I was okay,” Walker said in his post-fight interview at center cage. “I took a kick where I think I was getting a little bit too excited. And when you’re in an MMA fight, you shouldn’t get kicked like that.”

The finish was evidence of Walker’s training and urge to build his offensive arsenal. The now 2-0 mixed martial artist wanted to harness what he learned and apply it to his competition.

“One thing that Javier told me was build offense,” Walker explained. “Being a young MMA fighter, I gotta control what I’m doing in the cage.”

Prior to fight night, rumors swirled that Walker, after competing in his second Strikeforce fight, would make an attempt at coming back to the NFL, being the oldest player ever to compete in the premier football league. Saturday night, however, he confirmed that he would do no such thing, deciding to stay with MMA and continue to learn and compete.

“That is the case,” Walker said about not pursuing an NFL comeback. “MMA is my love. I love MMA.”

Source: MMA Weekly

Strikeforce – Diaz vs. Cyborg: Jacare Retains Title, Lawler Forced to Tap

Fresh off his impressive KO win over Matt Lindland, “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler returned to the Strikeforce cage. This time the HIT Squad fighter contended for Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza’s middleweight title in the co-main event of the evening.

Lawler opened the round more animated than usual. After a short feeling out process, Lawler closed in with a small flurry but Jacare defended and pressed him to the cage. Jacare secured a takedown and controlled Lawler for a while. Lawler got back to his feet and rocked Jacare with a right hand and he followed the Brazilian down into his guard. The fighters were stood up with 20 seconds left and the round ended with a Jacare takedown.

Jacare secured a double leg takedown early in the second round and was able to control Lawler for nearly five minutes. Much to the pleasure of the crowd, Lawler was able survive an onslaught of strikes and submission attempts to finish the round on top.

Souza was aggressive early in the third with knee strikes from the clinch as Lawler countered to the body. The Strikeforce champion took Lawler down and took his back, securing a rear naked choke that forced his opponent to tap.

“I prepared for everything. I had a great coach and training partners. I feel great now,” Souza said after the fight. “I can’t wait to fight again.”

With the victory, Ronaldo Souza retained his middleweight title and remains undefeated in Strikeforce.

Source: MMA Weekly

Belfort: “It will make MMA history”

Vitor Belfort and Anderson Silva were side by side once again at a press conference promoting UFC 126, which will take place next Saturday in Las Vegas. More experienced and thirty-three years old, Vitor will again have a shot at being the UFC number 1, which he hasn’t been since 2004, when he took and later lost the light heavyweight belt against Randy Couture. Check out what the “Phenomenon” had to say:

You must have watched the fight between Anderson and Chael Sonnen a number of times. What are your thoughts on it? Will it influence your strategy?

When Anderson fought Chael, he was injured, and even so, in my opinion, he had a good fight. However, there isn’t much I can absorb from that fight. I know I have to be ready for anything.

You had to drop down a weight class. Do you feel this is a good move and that you’re still as strong as you always were?

I’ve already had two fights in this division and I feel fine. I’m a professional and this is what I do.

Seven years ago you faced Randy Couture for the second time. What do you remember from that fight? Do you feel you’re now in a similar situation?

If I look back, I’ll see myself again having a chance to be back at the top. Now I feel better, not just as a fighter, but as a family man and human being.

With just a few days to go till the fight, how are you feeling?

I’m really excited. It’s another big opportunity that has arisen in my career. I’m going to fight one of the best on the planet. It’s my time to show what I can do.

You’ve faced big names from MMA before, but have you ever faced anyone as skillful as Anderson?

If I were to say I’ve faced anyone like him I’d be lying. He’s unique. But I’m doing fine and I did a lot of preparation so I can get in the octagon and do my best.

This is considered the most highly-anticipated fight in history. How do you feel as far as that goes (see Anderson’s response here)?

This fight will make worldwide MMA history. Two Brazilians will be going at it and that will be important in making people in our country appreciate the sport more. It may open doors for new talent. Who knows, maybe one day MMA will be compared to soccer or volleyball.

Source: Gracie Magazine

Anderson Silva: “It will be funny, as always”

The thermometers in Las Vegas hit 5-degrees Centigrade (41-degrees Fahrenheit) this week. The city is still going off regardless, though. Next Saturday, February 5, Anderson Silva will defend his middleweight title against Vitor Belfort, a matchup greatly anticipated by fans across the planet. Check out what Anderson had to say during the UFC 126 press conference this Thursday:

Since the Chael Sonnen fight, what has changed in your standup training?

I changed some things, kept others. But there isn’t much to change. I’m going to use the same strategy as always.

You’re undefeated in the UFC, having defended your title seven times. Are you still motivated to fight?

I’m motivated, because I do what I love and do best. It’s gratifying and it’s my main motivation.

Do you feel Vitor may want to take it to the ground? How are you preparing for that?

It’s impossible to foresee. I’m training on my feet, on my side, my back, underwater, with my feet on the wall. I’ve trained every which way possible. I just know it will be funny, as always.

This is considered the most heavily anticipated fight in history. How do you feel about that (see Belfort’s response here)?

It’s a much-awaited fight just like the others. A lot of people will watch it around the world and in Brazil. Let’s do it. Now it’s just about getting in there and fighting.

Source: Gracie Magazine

Dynamic Diaz fends off game Santos

SAN JOSE, Calif. – When Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos took Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz down with 20 seconds left in the second round, he probably saw it as a way to clinch a close round.

Instead, the move was his undoing. Immediately after Santos scored the takedown, Diaz began working for an armbar. Seconds later it was locked in, and Diaz retained the title via tapout victory with 10 seconds left in the round. Santos punched the mat in frustration, while his wife, Strikeforce women’s middleweight champion Cristiane Santos, put her head in her hands and broke down in tears at cageside.

Santos (18-14), whose record coming into the fight made him a suspect challenger, was competitive in an exciting fight that brought the HP Pavilion crowd of 9,059 to its feet at the end. Santos won much of the first round until being rocked with punches late which turned the tables. And he was winning the second round with an attack of leg kicks that Diaz admitted after the fight were the hardest he had ever taken in competition.

“I think ‘Cyborg’ was a really worthy opponent,” said Diaz (24-7, 1 No Contest), who won his ninth straight fight. “He’s probably the biggest guy I’ve fought and he was strong. He’s got big legs and big feet. He kicks harder than anyone else I’ve ever fought or trained with. I could tell it from watching his fights. I knew it was coming. It was nothing I didn’t expect. I expected what I got and I’m happy with surviving the fight.”

Diaz downplayed the effect of the leg kicks in the fight, although his leg buckled once in the first round from them before he started checking them, and he did need medical attention after the fight.

“He was eating a lot of punches,” said Diaz, a native of nearby Stockton. “He throws leg kicks and I throw punches. For all the leg kicks I was taking, he was taking more punches. I started checking the kicks and I had to figure out what I needed to do to stop taking those kicks.”

He said he started feeling a little better after the fight, but figured the left leg would stiffen up later.

Diaz, who has seemingly replaced first-generation stars Frank Shamrock and Cung Le as the main local headliner in Strikeforce’s hometown, won his 12th straight fight in Northern California and third straight main event in the company’s main arena, following wins over Shamrock and K.J. Noons.

“You know, I train really hard and really consistent, and I didn’t think too much about it (fighting not far from home),” he said. “It’s great I get to fight before local area crowds. Before I’d come here and I wasn’t always the favorite when I fought against San Jose and Frank Shamrock. But now it’s nice.”

He taunted Santos, who was trying to become the other half of the first husband and wife major world champion tandem in the sport’s history, but Diaz was eating low kicks early. Just as the low kicks seemed to take their toll, Diaz fired back and had Santos in trouble with body and head punches late in the first round, wobbling the Brazilian veteran. Another strong punch rocked Santos at the end of the round.

Diaz got into a kicking exchange in the second round that he didn’t get the better of. But as they traded punches, Santos’ punches started losing their zing, and the feeling going in was Diaz, with his triathlete endurance, was going to be tougher to beat if he wasn’t finished early.

Diaz stood up to Santos’ punches that landed accurately. Diaz continued to taunt, but as it turned out, the key point in the match was when Santos went for a surprise move, the spin kick, and then exploded against the off-balance Diaz for a takedown.

But Diaz was ready.

“I did see him taking me down after taking too many punches,” Diaz said. “I saw him getting tired and I did feel I could finish with an armlock or triangle choke.”

A couple of names were batted around as Diaz’s next opponent, including Paul Daley, who will likely get the shot if he beats Yuya Shirai on Feb. 26 in Manchester, England. Tyron Woodley’s name was thrown in the mix, as was a grudge match that would be out of his weight class against Jason “Mayhem” Miller.

Diaz spoke confidently about Daley, who he noted had good knockout power but didn’t see as a complete fighter. Diaz’s teammate, Jake Shields, finished Daley on the ground when they fought in 2008.

“I see me putting punches on him and maybe him trying to take me down and then he’ll get caught in a choke or something like that,” Diaz said. “He could run from me, but then I’ll run him down and take him down and beat him on the ground. I can see the fight going a lot of different ways. I’m not really impressed with Paul Daley as an MMA fighter. He’s got great stand-up and good knockout power. I wouldn’t judge him from the Scott Smith fight. That fight was made for him. They both punch and he punches a little harder.”

Diaz got emotional when Miller’s name was brought up as some have accused Diaz of coming up with reasons not to fight Miller. Adding fuel to the fire, there have been out-of-competition incidents between the two and online videos by Miller making fun of Diaz.

“I don’t think that would be a title fight,” Diaz said, and then got mad at a reporter asking the question. “If I’m not fighting for a title, they can work that out. I’ll fight him at 185 pounds. I don’t care. I just don’t care, I just want you (the promotion) to make it worth my while. This is hard stuff. I’m training hard every day, harder than people who work eight hours a day holding a camera. You can’t do what I do. Money talks.”

The name of Miller, the host of the MTV show “Bully Beatdown,” was a lightning rod all night. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (14-2, 1 no contest), who retained his middleweight title with a submission at 2:00 into the third round over Robbie Lawler (18-7, 1 no contest), also grew upset when Miller was mentioned as a potential challenger.

“You’re kidding me,” Souza responded. “I beat this guy two times (the two fought twice in Japan, once with Souza winning via decision and the other ruled a no contest after Miller cut Souza’s head with an illegal kick). No more!”

Lawler will probably question the fight for a long time, as he knocked Souza down with a barrage of punches in the first round, and then suddenly, for reasons he couldn’t explain, he wasn’t himself.

“I was tired three-and-a-half-minutes in, and even now, I’m still out of breath,” Lawler said after the fight. “I don’t know what happened. His takedowns were pretty good. I knew my wrestling, how to defend, but I just didn’t have the energy to do it. I just felt lethargic. Everything seemed slow, even when I got out of that armbar (in the second round). I trained hard and felt good the last week.” Herschel Walker, 1982 Heisman Trophy winner who turns 49 in a few weeks, went to 2-0 with a one-sided win over 40-year-old Scott Carson (4-2) at 3:15 in the opening round.

Walker gave no answers as to whether he would fight again, but said that he loves training at the AKA Gym in San Jose that has been his home for much of the past 15 months. But he quickly dispelled any ideas of taking on the top names in the sport.

“No, there’s no way,” he said when asked if he would be willing to step in as an alternate in the heavyweight tournament Strikeforce is running this year. “I have an opportunity to step into the ring with the guys in AKA like Cain (UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez). These guys are amazing. Cain works with me a little but, but when he decides to turn it up, I know how much I need to learn. That’s what the sport is all about.”

“No way I’m going after the belt,” he said. “The only belt I’m getting will be the one that I buy. You can’t buy a belt here, this isn’t boxing.”

And then he quickly realized what he said.

“All you boxing fans, I didn’t really mean that.”

Source: Yahoo Sports

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